Tag Archives: peevery

Generational Complaint

This isn’t based in logic, just custom and preference, but it grates on my nerves when I say thank you and am given back a “no problem.”

Argh!

I grew up with the please-thank you-you’re welcome mantra, and anything else simply sounds wrong. It especially sounds wrong in a professional or service capacity. It’s one thing for someone to say a casual “no problem” when I thank him for handing me a card in a game, but quite another for a waiter to say it when he brings my iced tea. I feel the percentage of the tip dropping in my head.

What’s funny is that I’ll go a long time without hearing this irritating response, and then suddenly it’s everywhere again for a while.

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Addicted to News [mini-rant]

What is it about other people’s drama that’s so enticing to read about? While I’ll always click on a cute kitty story, I find myself drawn even more to the negative news loops like a gawker at a traffic accident. Even when I already know the gist, I’ll click to see yet another POV ~ and then be disgusted with myself for wasting my own time. Stop!

Whether it’s politics or entertainment (not that there’s much diff), I am a glutton for punishment, stuffing myself at the 24-hour buffet of stupid “news.” And then I have the nerve to whine right here on my own blarg that wah wah I can’t find the time to write fiction any longer.

I told myself that quitting Facebook would free up loads of extra time, and it has, but I’ve been spending it reading about the Karjenners. Gahhh.

But seriously, Kylie is cuter sans the fillers.

Barbara Double D [dating story]

A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I met a man named Ozzy. We’re calling him this because he’s originally from Australia, or so he said. You never know with guys from dating sites, since they tend to lie about everything. He lived in NorCal and was working here, in SoCal, and was (allegedly) separated from his wife. I didn’t care at the time that he wasn’t divorced yet because I wasn’t either. He was very sympathetic regarding the recent death of my mom, which drew me to him.

For our first meeting/date, he took me to a very nice Japanese restarant, where we had a long, leisurely sushi and sake lunch. (Back then, I loved sushi and also drank alcohol.) It sure beat the boring Starbucks meets favored by the majority of men on dating sites. We kissed afterward and it was very fireworky. He also enjoyed writing and sent me a sexy story starring us and included a special pasta dish similar to spaghetti carbonara but named for me.

Ozzy and I began dating/sleeping together. He was fun and cute and had a nice place provided by his employer (I had a child at home and didn’t bring dates over). We had agreed at the start to be monogamous and deactivate our dating profiles, but for whatever reason I didn’t trust him. And I wasn’t even that cynical yet, but I simply didn’t.

So, I reurned to the same site where we met, but instead of reactivating my profile to spy on Ozzy (which he would see and then deny doing anything, except accuse me of still being active too… stalemate), I created a new, spoof profile. I named her BarbaraDD and stole a photo of a blurry blonde off the web. I made her profile very different from mine: outgoing saleswoman with implants, loves to travel, likes watching football, wants to keep things casual. I made deliberate spelling errors, though that was difficult. Barbara viewed Ozzy’s profile and said “hey how are u” ~ something I’d never do in a million years. Of course he responded because he hadn’t deactivated.

Naturally, Barbara also received 90 kajillion messages from other men, pretty much every man on the site. She ignored all of them and focused only on chatting with Ozzy. She said outrageous things, like she wanted to come to him right after she had unprotected sex with another man, and he said that would be great. Ughhh. Then he sent Barbara the sexy story, changing the names, including the recipe to Pasta Barbara.

I was so mad! Obviously Ozzy sent that stupid story to all his women.

Barbara told him the story was incredible and made her want to meet him right away, but she’d lost her phone. Could he just meet her tonight at this bar in Newport Beach at 8:00? Of course he agreed.

At 8:00, BarbaraDD deleted her account. I blocked Ozzy and never spoke to him again. Dunno if he figured it out.

Regarding the Discover Option [rant]

The “Discover” new blogs button isn’t unique to the WordPress app, of course ~ we can access it from our WP browser menu as well. I’ve clicked on it a few times over the years. And every time I exit in disgust a minute later. Why? I’ll tell you why!

Those blogs featured under Discover don’t need to be discovered cuz they’re already discovered AF. They have 500-700 likes already on the poasts we’re supposed to believe are new and interesting. Hey, let’s all discover The New York Times! Whoa. Bet we never thought of reading Newsweek or CNN. Hey, how about that obscure People magazine… bet they need some readers.

Feh. I would like to discover more blogs that have small readerships (like ahem mine) in order to help them grow. Talking about fun, interesting personal blogs for the most part, not those other kind. This is a major reason why I enjoy the games and prompts ~ they help me find new blogs to follow.

Big shout-out to the bloggers who have taken the time to start and maintain the prompts: Fandango, the WOTD group, Flash Fiction, et al. I plan to participate even more in these and other prompts because (1) they’re fun, (2) it’s cool to see the creative ideas others come up with, and (3) they provide a good avenue to find new blogs.

But I won’t be clicking on WP Discover again!

Earning the Ending

HEA

I think most of us like to feel that an ending is deserved in a book or a movie and that applies across the spectrum of genres. I’m only going to discuss romances however. The other night I watched Set It Up on Netflix after reading a glowing review from Vox. Meh. While the office humor was cute, the romance aspect was basically all snark and zero chemistry. The ending basically consisted of the protags going hey we might as well get together now since we’re both free and sarcastic. But there was no real epiphany or character arc or anything interesting wrt either one of them. What’s sort of ironic is that this is how we often behave in real life, since people don’t like to work for things (work? waaah!), which utterly sucks ~ and idk about you, but I want my fiction to be better than real life!

Compare this to one of the best romcoms of all time When Harry Met Sally. The protags change during the film and make the audience feel an anxious longing for them to work through the obstacles preventing them from being together. When Harry runs through the streets of New York City on New Year’s Eve to find Sally, we’re right there with him, feeling his desperation. Harry and Sally both grow as characters during the film (which takes place over a decade) and do more than just snark at each other to create sparks. Think about your favorite romcom ~ you’ll likely agree that the protags have to change and overcome character traits or fears in order to be with their soul mate. This doesn’t just happen via lazy banter and geographical convenience. Love should be earned and fought for, not handed out in the last scene like a party favor.

The same goes for romance novels, which are heavier on the romance and lighter on the comedy (though the best ones are witty too). I recently read two that seemed similar cuz they both were about fictional dukes in England around the same time period, but one had an earned happily ever after ending and one did not. They were both enjoyable, for different reasons, but I gave one 3 stars and the other 4, because of the earned aspect.

In How to Forget a Duke, neither protag changes significantly during the novel other than falling in love. The main issue that keeps them apart is resolved by someone else fixing it, not by either the hero or heroine figuring out a way around the issue or deciding it is not as important as their lurve. That gave me the sads. But in From Duke Till Dawn, both protags change during the novel (and more than once) and have various epiphanies about each other, themselves, and life in general. It’s a really good book and the ending is earned. I didn’t give it 5 stars because I simply can’t bear ridiculous coinkydinks, and if a duke with his massive resources can find people anywhere, why couldn’t he have found Cassandra when she disappeared the first time? Anyway…

I’m glad I stumbled across that Vox article I linked in the first para because it referenced The Daily Beast’s 2014 essay declaring that the romcom is dead, which I hadn’t heard before. Is that true? TDB makes a good argument for it ~ and I haven’t seen many (any?) decent new romcoms in the last 5 years or so. I loved The Big Sick, if that counts as one, but even if… that’s just one. Can you think of any other recent big-screen romcoms?

Oh well, there are still are romantic books to read. Remember books? 🙂

MP3: Ocean’s 8

O8

 

Fantabulous! No, not the movie; we’ll get to that later. I’m talking about the voodle salad at Whole Foods.

Yesterday, Thursday, I arrived at Bella Terra in Huntington Beach early enough to grab a late lunch, meander around B&N, and see O8. My plan was to have a low-carb salad at Daphne’s Greek Café, but you know what they say about plans. BT was undergoing some remodeling, so I wandered around for a bit, trying to find Daphne’s. Finally, I spied a directory and OMG there was no Daphne’s! Yikes. Sadness. Now what? None of the other casual restaurants looked like they’d have something tasty and low-carb friendly (I don’t eat sushi anymore). So, I figured I’d walk over to Whole Foods, where there would have to be something acceptable among the trendy offerings. Right?

Usually at WF I get a slice of pizza or a dish of pasta or a cookie ~ you know the drill. Heavy on carbs, light on veggies/nutritional value. All that has now been nixed from my slate of choices. I poked around a bit. Not fond of salad bars where peeps are breathing and sneezing all day. The packaged stuffs were too carby ~ sandwiches, wraps, etc. I peeked at the deli counters. Lotta pasta and… ooh, what’s this? Mediterranean salad. I love! Why are they calling it Zucchini Voodles?

OIC. The curly things aren’t noodles ~ they’re zucchini curls. Cute! There must be some machine that voodlizes your foodles. And the rest of the ingredients were totally legit: tomatoes, artichokes, feta cheese, spinach, olives, dressing. I bought a cup of that and sparkling water and sat down. I assumed the salad would be good, but it was wonderful! I’d never have ordered this in my “past life.” I’d have passed it up for something yummy like pizza. But it was so delicious! The flavors worked so well together. I savored that for a while until realizing I hardly had any time left for B&N. Whoops.

Did a quick book browse, then checked into the movie. It was crowded for a weekday, but O8 has been pretty hyped up. There were some good previews I can’t remember and then the main feature began. First, let me say one thing. It’s really difficult to watch Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett now without remembering that article about their penis facials. I mean, obviously the facials work because their skin is super-glowing and beautiful. But still. This knowledge is distracting.

Second, the problem for a movie with 8 (or 11, etc.) main characters is that… it has 8 main characters. These Ocean movies are overcrowded with protagonists, or anti-heroes, to be precise, since we are (may I remind everyone) talking about criminals. I don’t know about you, but I can’t really root for characters committing crimes unless they’re setting to rights a miscarriage of justice, and I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by saying that’s not what these Ocean movies are about, mainly. They’re about very good-looking people committing crimes, is what.

Third, putting that aside for a moment, I can still have fun with a movie like this if I can let go and jump into it, but that’s difficult when the set-up drags on and on and on. For gawd’s sake ladies just steal something already! Since I’m not a scriptwriter, I don’t know how you make it super-fun for an audience to sit through the minute details of hacking into a computer system or copying a diamond necklace or whatever, but geez they need to spice that stuff up! So boring. Yeah, there were a few funnies, but not enough. And I had the same criticisms about the male Oceans ~ in fact, I dozed off during each one (bought the set at the beginning of the year to prep for O8). Yawners, even with Clooney. I know!

Finally, the action happens and it’s good. Nicely paced (finally). I enjoyed the last third of the movie. James Corden was hilarious as the insurance detective. The ending was fun as well. But overall Ocean’s 8 was a disappointment after all the hype. Certainly not as bad as Life of the Party, but nowhere as good as Book Club.

I’m going to give Hotel Artemis a swerve after the terrible review in the Observer, and while the stellar reviews of Hereditary tempt me, I’m afraid it’ll give me nightmares for the rest of my life, if not heart failure on the spot. Definitely The Year of Spectacular Men next week and then The King! Elvis, baby.

*

Whoa. One thing before you go. While looking up the O8 cast to make sure I got Corden’s name right (I didn’t, lol, and fixed it), I noticed that there was a busboy named Michael Gandolfini. Yes, his son. BE STILL MY HEART.

 

MP1: Book Club

Book Club

My handy dandy MoviePass came in the mail on Friday, so naturally I activated it that night and ran right out to see my first movie on Saturday afternoon. I decided to see Book Club. It was first on my list of current movies and playing right near me in Triangle Square, where (strangely) I never go, even though it’s actually the closest theater to my apartment. I guess that’s because I always see movies with friends and that’s just not a convenient central location. I could literally walk there, not that I would (what, are you nuts?).

Anyway, of course parking was a major hassle, as usual. No wonder we don’t go there. What a pain in the butt. I left in plenty of time but began to worry I’d be late. I will never understand why people simply don’t drive up to the top of a parking garage when the bottom levels are full. WHY DO THEY HOVER AND WAIT? All you have to do is go around and up and up and then, viola, like magic, there are a zillion spots. It happens every time! Finally, I got a nice top spot away from the maroons and then like an even bigger maroon I couldn’t figure out where the theater actually was. This is a geometrically confuzzling architectural construction with staircases that don’t connect to all the things and just ugh. Lots of restaurants are smushed in the levels and people sit outside being noisy and irritating.

Okay, so finally I found the theater, hurrah! There was a bit of a line which was fine cuz it gave me a chance to open the app and check in for my first time. Wait, what. This is an e-theater only. What’s that mean? I haz to select my movie and seat and I’m not allowed to change my mind. If I screw up, I’m done for the day, boom. No more movie for you! Well, geez. I stood there in the blasting sunshine trying to peer at the seating chart on my phone and stab at an aisle seat toward the back. Bam. No takebacks!

I get up to the window and the guy says I didn’t have to stand in the line cuz I already have the ticket code thingie on my phone. Well, aren’t I a dumbass. He doesn’t even want to see the MoviePass credit card. Fine, whatever. I go in, show my phone to the otter guy, and he tells me theater two. I stumble around, find my seat, and some fat man with a vat of popcorn is sitting in it. I ask if that’s G5 and he moves over one seat. Apparently the whole row is a group of friends, all jabbering excitedly, great. As I look around, I see the theater is stuffed with old people, all happily waiting for this old person’s movie. WTF am I doing here? Oh, right. I’m old too. Forgot.

The lights go down and an ancient biddy shines a flashlight in my face. “Those people are sitting in our seats, Mildred,” she huffs.

“We are not!” grumbles Popcorn Man. “These are our seats.”

“We’ll just sit over here in these empty ones on the side.” Biddy and Mildred plop down in the clearly inferior seats.

Popcorn Man chuckles. “This whole row is ours.”

Damn right, Popcorn Man. You defend our honor! Fight for Row G. This is our turf, bro.

It was quite an experience for my first time I must say.

Oh, the movie? Book Club. Enjoyed it! Funny, poignant, not as cliched as I had expected. Highly recommend. That’s my in-depth review.

The Best Medicine

Sometimes you just gotta laugh, amirite? More times than not really. Otterwise you just spend your life perpetually enraged and that’s no good for the old BP. It can be a struggle though, especially when you’re dealing with one of the giant mega corp chatbot clusters:

Me: I have an account but can’t seem to log in.
Them: I see you’re using Chrome. Have you tried using another browser?
Me: I don’t want to try another browser.
Them: OK. What’s your account number?
Me: [pastes it in from last auto-billing email notification]
Me: I have an auto-reject message saying it looks like a credit card number and won’t send.
Them: Oh, sorry. You’ll have to break it in half.
Me: {whaaa?}
Me: [does that]
Them: Thanks!
Me: K
Them: The problem is you don’t have an online account with us.
Me: Then how have I been auto-paying my bill all these years?
Them: …
Me: All I wanted to do was log in so I can see my options since my bill has increased and it seems ridiculous to pay $75 per month for just internet.
Them: Understandable! Would you like to switch to a package deal?
Me: Well, I’d like to see what’s available. Do you know why my price went up?
Them: Can you open your January bill?
Me: Apparently not. I can’t log in, which is why I began the chat.
Them: You were upgraded to extreme internet!
Me: I don’t need extreme internet. Can I return to normal internet?
Them: No. We only have extreme now, unless you buy a package.
Me: …
Them: Has your issue been resolved satisfactorily?
Me: Not really. I still can’t log in.
Them: Let me get an account specialist.
Me: Great.
A Different Them: Hello! I hear you need to create a new account! I can help you!
Me: {whaaa?}
Them: Are you still there?
Me: Yes. I think I have an account, since I’ve been auto-paying my bill online for years.
Them: Can you log in?
Me: No. My credentials don’t work.
Them: I suggest making a new account. I can walk you through the steps!
Me: {%*#&@*$&}
Them: Here is a link to get started!
Me: [clicks link, makes account]
Them: Are you having success?
Me: It says I can’t use my email as my username, since that account already exists, as I told you.
Them: …
Me: Never mind. I’ll use another name.
Them: How’s it going?
Me: I’m done.
Them: Has your issue been resolved satisfactorily?
Me: Yes.
Them: Please take this survey.
Me: [rates them high because who cares and they were polite]
Me: [checks out the package deal options in my ZIP code only to discover there aren’t any and I will have to continue paying $75/month for extreme internet, wotever that even is, probably some stupid thing for people who watch 17 TV’s at once and play Dragonpr0n Ap0calypse]
Me: [takes valium and laughs]

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The End.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Laughter

Don’t Believe Everything You Read

Especially here. Remember back in the day when I was jabbering on about how much I lurve That Girl? Like last week? Well, I’ve changed my mind. Sunday I wrote a bunch in the morning and then took a little break, which turned into a 12-hour TG binge. At first, I still enjoyed the eps, especially the ones with guest stars, such as “Compudate,” which featured Rich Little doing impressions. I adore him and lost respect for Ann when she didn’t dump Don for Rich. Wtf? Ridiculous. Don’s a total bore. The more I watched the more convinced of this I became. What did she even see in him? He is totally dull. The British photog dude is also way more fun than Don, but nope. I guess it must be this opposites thing ~ sparkling butterfly needs a lump of mashed potatoes for a partner so she can make sure she’s always the center of attention. If she had gone with Rich, he might have grabbed some of the spotlight for himself. That’s fine for her, but what about us, the audience? After almost two full seasons, I’m really tired of Mr. Boring.

But that’s not even the main thing. There’s something about TG that’s really started to bug me. Several somethings.

1. The show takes place in NYC and everyone is white. There’s nothing but white people everywhere. White people celebrating generic white Christian holidays. No matter where Ann goes in the city, she never encounters anyone or anything but this. Amazing!

2. The city is freakishly clean.

3. Ann wants a career and left her small town to be independent, which seemed refreshing at first, but it’s not this way at all. She’s still emotionally yoked to her parents 24/7, especially to her father, and she calls him Daddy constantly, which is as irritating as her “Oh Donalds.” Daddy pops into her apartment whenever because he has “business in the city,” though he’s allegedly running a restaurant two hours away in the small town, and he has zero respect for her privacy. Ann is obsessed with his opinion regarding everything she does, whether it’s cooking a turkey or wearing dangling earrings, and it’s disgusting.

4. I’ve seen several eps now where Ann gets into dicey situations involving some creepy older man coming onto her and she wriggles out of it with her silly, spunky personality. If at any point she is actually physically touched, the scene is interrupted by Mr. Boring lumping in. Even when Don punches some otter guy in the face, he manages to be dull about it and hurt his widdle paw. The point is, nothing bad ever really happens to Ann, since she’s a “good girl.” This is the message we always have received.

5. Even worse, both Donald and Ann say “terrific” every freaking minute and it drives me up the wall. Of all the things, this started to turn me off the most Sunday night until I began dreading any positive announcement, since it would always be followed up with the inevitable. Why didn’t anyone buy these writers a thesaurus?!

Yes, I praised the writers earlier, so I’m blaming them now. Live by, die by. Goodbye, That Girl.

*

Of course I realize this was back then ~ I don’t care. I’m criticizing it now anyway, just like I did IDOJ.

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Diamonds, Daisies, Snowflakes…

That Girl!

That Girl

I can’t believe no one guessed the correct answer. Some of you got close with MTM, etc. ~ shows about single brunettes navigating big city life. But alas, nobody got That Girl. I’ve been enjoying reruns on Prime and am just starting the second season. A good friend bought S5 for me as a gift and watching some of those motivated me to start over at the beginning. Okay, let’s discuss…

First, we’ll address the theme song (music only until S5 when lyrics are introduced), which I see via google is not super popular. I guess people hate happy, sappy lists. Does this mean “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music is hated now too? Bye cream-colored ponies, off you go. We’re tossing the crisp apple strudel right in the trash. What the hell is wrong with lists of nice things? Does every piece of music have to be dark and dystopian with singularity death robots clawing out our livers? Eff that. We can haz nice lists.

Second, That Girl is a nice show about nice people, who mostly do nice things and end up getting into mild predicaments. So, you’re thinking omgawwwd boring. No. You know what I’m bored with? Criminals, jerks, liars, druggies, drunks, narcissists, wackos, and psychopaths. But enough about men from dating sites already, eh? Pffft.

Sometimes it’s just darned good fun to watch a show about normal people negotiating the quotidian. Kind of like Seinfeld, in a way… many of TG’s eps are also about “nothing” or nothing more than the minutiae of daily life gone awry via misunderstandings or miscommunications. This was prior to texting and email, so people have to talk to each other face to face to work things out. This generally resolves an issue quickly rather than our current method of trying to “text it out,” which further mires us in the muck of miscomm. Yes, I realize it’s fictional. 😛

Third, there’s a refreshing absence of sex, drugs, and violence. I’m no prude, but I’m just tired of the emphasis on those three things in entertainment. Once they’re introduced, they tend to dominate the script. Ann and Don are steadily dating, but we haven’t seen them in bed. Good. I don’t want to; it’s uninteresting to me. In one of these early eps, they wade in a stream while picnicking and she remarks that it’s the first time she’s seen his ankles. Why? Because they haven’t slept together or cuz he has sex in his socks or what? The questions crossed my mind, briefly, and I’m happy not to know. There’s a mafia ep where the bad guys end up in a food fight then a fist fight but not a gun fight and it’s hilarious. Etc.

Fourth, surprisingly, these old TG eps offer many situations that are still currently relevant. How to maintain a close relationship with your parents when you move away and choose a different lifestyle. Can you conduct a professional relationship in the same office with someone with whom you’re romantically involved? The struggle of pursuing your low-paying dream while juggling two or more side gigs to make the rent. Etc.

Plus Marlo Thomas is funny. So are Ted Bessell, who plays her boyfriend, and Lew Parker, who plays her father. But many actors could have done these roles, imo, including Marlo’s. This is not to disparage the actors, who are certainly fine, but the writers should get the credit for the show. Always credit the writers! Check out that link… interesting.

K, I’m off for more teevee! 🙂