The Good, the Bad, and the Irritating

Good: The implant went well–it’s a good sign when the dentist says things like “perfect!” I am more used to hearing “well…” ūüôā It doesn’t even hurt.

Bad: I often have weird reactions to medications (not bad, usually, but weird). This time, the antibiotic caused low blood pressure (something that I tend to any way) and being generally down (thus, no blog post yesterday). I’ve also been easily tired. The good in the bad is that Thursday is the last day I have to take the antibiotics.

Good: I had enough energy yesterday to get my Claritin and do some light grocery shopping.

Bad: Our list had three items. We bought a cart-full. Sigh. And I got WAY more tired than I should have.

Irritating (may veer into bad): My mom takes a migraine prophylactic and since it was a holiday yesterday in the States, we didn’t get it filled (we’re bad at holidays). Also, since it was a holiday, the local drugstore was closed. No problem since we were going out anyway. We went to the pharmacy counter and were told (a bit snippily, if I’m honest) that they couldn’t possibly fill the prescription unless the original pharmacy was open. Aggravating! Especially since I know there are drug databases (when my mom was in the hospital last, they knew every drug she’d been prescribed in the last ten years. In this age of technological prowess and databases, the only way to fill a renewal is to call the original pharmacy? Really? (I can only assume this is to prevent people who are addicted from getting more pills than they are supposed to. But who’s addicted to migraine prophylactics?)

Really bad: My mom’s already had a migraine today. She described it as a humdinger. For some reason, she’s still doing things. When I have a migraine, I go to bed and then whine a lot.

Good: We can get the medication today. After 11. Maybe see below.

Irritating: The phone thingie was acting weird which sometimes means that the order didn’t go through. And since I live in a town that’s about twenty years behind the times, there’s no easy way to check.

Bad: I saw an interesting take on the philosophy of grammar on Twitter and I’d really like to show the tweets (like I’ve seen on other websites), but I don’t know how. Is it Storify? Or something that one can do right in Twitter? Does anyone know?

Interesting: Something I saw on line recently said that posts published on Tuesdays were more likely to be read. Fame and fortune here I come? ūüėõ

That’s it for now–how are things going with you all?

 

 

Notice to the Person who just Knocked at the Door

We¬†don’t want what you’re selling, or even what you’re giving away. We¬†are more than capable of buying our¬†own wrapping paper, popcorn tins, and¬†candy. I do not want, nor do I need, those cookies. Not even one box. I will not ever buy food that comes from¬†a truck, especially if it’s not refrigerated. Therefore, I am not interested in your ice cream or steak.

If there some yard work that we need to do, we will either do it ourselves or hire someone we know. Goodness knows what would be left of the plantings in the yard after letting “some dude on a tractor” loose on them. We don’t need our trees trimmed or shaken for their seeds. We like for the leaves to mulch into the soil, so we don’t want you to rake them. We can shovel our own driveway.

This applies to handiwork as well. We don’t want you up on our roof (putting holes in!), tarring or “asphalting” our driveway. We don’t want you poking at our siding or our foundation, nor digging any holes.

Our souls are not your concern. They are well-taken care of, thanks. If we were interested in your church or your denomination, I assure you, we would be able to find it, since places of worship are well-marked. The fact that no one answers the door when you come around, anywhere on this street, might give you a hint that we’re ALL good.

“No” is a complete answer. It doesn’t require negotiation, nor will that help you. We’re not changing our minds, especially if you say “but we can do it right now.” We like to research and think about things. Not accepting no as an answer means that you are being rude, and I guarantee that I will be ruder.

So please, please, go away. Stop bothering us. We just want a quiet day. We promise that we’ll give you one.

Gripes!

  1. That dumb Crepe Erase commercial. If you haven’t seen it, it’s about twenty minutes of women who are genetically blessed talking about “crepe-y” skin as if they should be locked in dark, dank, dungeons rather than expose innocents to their slightly wrinkly skin. Oh, the horror! The terror! The abomination of older ladies who have wrinkles! Maybe we ought to tie these appalling wrecks in the deep woods and have them be killed by squirrels and salamanders. We can start at, what, forty? Is that when women turn instantly from dewy ingenues to shocking hags? (Hey, I have a few years yet!) “I can show my arms again,” says one of these hideous beasts (who looks terrific, I might add). Show ’em anyway. If you’re comfy, have at it! Or if you’re warm. Or if you want to. But can we¬†please stop acting that women’s bodies always have something wrong with them?
  2. ¬† There was a segment on one of those morning shows about this story:¬†“Bartenders Can’t Refuse Pregnant Women Alcohol, New York City Says”. Now, this is an interesting story; however, the take that the women took this morning was, in essence, “You ladies are morons who don’t realize that you’re carrying a¬†growing human around in there.So we’re going to explain this like you’re five. Alcohol is¬†bad for fetuses! You¬†shouldn’t drink!” Yes. Even I, who has–lemme see–NO children, knows this. Almost everyone knows this. That’s why bartenders weren’t serving them drinks. And to act as if, the second that a woman becomes pregnant, her body and her decisions are¬†our decisions is irritating beyond measure. It’s why nibby-nosed busybodies have felt free to comment on what pregnant women and mothers do. How about we assume that¬†most women are concerned with having a good pregnancy (and raising their children after that) and therefore will make good decisions? And that they aren’t morons? Please? If that ends with an army of evil children who put in some Hunger Games government, we can go back to the old ways.
  3. Why in the universe is Realtor capitalized? Since when are professions proper nouns? Do you capitalize Chef, Nurse, Garbage Collector? Can any of us just decide that we can do that? Can I be an Instructor of English? A Part-Time Composition Instructor? Gosh, I feel ever so much more important now. Maybe I’ll start earning as much as a Realtor!
  4. When we try to do things either in the house or in the yard to make our lives easier, and the *cough* men *cough* who put in whatever it is make it more difficult. For instance, this morning I spent about an hour desperately hacking away at this grass-like¬†stuff that had been planted after we had a new driveway put in. I have a blister now. The garage that was put in ended up with this hill on the side that no one can mow or navigate. The mulch that I put down last year to help the young man who mows the grass not mow any flowers has caused this berm of weeds beside it to spring up. The edging that the landscape person was supposed to put in didn’t happen, so the weeds are encroaching on the plant beds. And the forsythia (grr) that they were supposed to¬†take out was just cut down, so it’s starting to grow up. I could get the smaller forsythias (grr) dug up (with help from the young man who mows for the last one), but I can’t do much for the one that’s been in the yard probably longer than I’ve been alive. I took the grass that I’d cut to the back and a honeysuckle which was supposed to have been cut down is¬†still there. Beyond that, it’s¬†bigger *cue horror music*! I was in tears by the time I came in.

What gripes do you have? Go on, share. You know you want to!

Petty Web Aggravations

As you might imagine, I spend a bit of time on the Internet. Okay, a lot of time. Entirely too much time. But it’s so interesting! And full of wonderful people (and a few jerks, but what can you do?). At least once a day, I look something up on here, or I hear about a nifty/distressing opinion/ or a funny video, and off I go. So here are some things that irritate me when I’m poking about the web.

1). “Would you like to fill out a survey?” No, I wouldn’t. And I wouldn’t like to fill one out on the next page I look at. Or the one after that. And if I order something, I don’t want to “Tell other people what you think about the Widget you just ordered.” First of all, maybe I don’t want the world knowing that I purchased that particular widget (and Amazon’s “post on social media what you just bought” fills me with irritation). Second, I’m not being paid to review all of this stuff, nor do I want to. Third, as far as I’m concerned, our relationship is over after my credit card payment clears and I have my thingie-mabober. When I buy a bag of chips at the dollar store, I don’t want the cashier showing up at my door with a clipboard.

2. I don’t want an ad overlay blocking the screen. I don’t want it graying out the text I actually came here to read. I don’t want some cutesy commercial doohicky following me as I read. And do not, EVER, have an ad that I can’t close. It’s possible that I will write down the name of the product and spend the rest of my life telling everyone I know about how terrible your product is. I may dedicate the rest of my life to destroying your entire company through word of mouth. Or not. But you don’t know, do you?

3. “Click this button for the next page!” I realize that you are running on ad revenue. I even realize that more clicks = better page views = more money. But to see everything as a “load a whole new page” slideshow will make me leave your site and never come back, no matter how many cute bunnies or tips for better living you have (I prefer the bunnies, by the way). No more than two clicks per story/ feature. I’m warning you. I hold grudges.

4. (This applies to social media and, for some reason, my email). Automatically displaying that I’m online so that people can “chat.” I don’t care how much I like or love someone, I don’t want to be available to chat with them every time I log into something. Maybe I just want to check the shipping date of the widget I just ordered. Maybe I want to concentrate on the thing I’m doing. Maybe I just don’t want to chat. Let ME decide whether or not I want to do that. Don’t assume!

5. “Would you like to subscribe to our newsletter, site, email advertising, spam?” No. “Are you sure? We really like you!” You don’t know me. I could be a terrible person. “We’re sure you’re great. Subscribe?” No! “But we’re lonely!” I’m not. Leave me alone. “But what if you change your mind?” Then, unlikely as that would be, I’d come back and click the button. Sheesh.

6. Alternatively… WordPress has this follow/like system. It works wonderfully well when I find a site/voice that I would indeed like to subscribe to. Until it doesn’t. Where is the follow button? Is it at the top? The bottom of this post? Near the bottom or top? Why is there no like button? I liked this thing, and I think the creator should get some feedback. Hello?

7. Websites that want too much. When I order something, I’m perfectly happy to fill out the form. You can have my address and email (I don’t exactly know why you want my phone number, but fine). But then there are the websites that want…more. “Please enter the name of your child.” I don’t have a child. Why isn’t there a box to indicate that? “Enter name of child! Cannot proceed without Name of Child!” Why are we assuming that everyone has a child in the first place? Second, even if I had one, why do I need to enter his/her name into your site to order a coffee cup? So, if you meet my offspring GoAwayAnd LeaveMeALONE Granger, don’t judge. It’s not her fault.

8. Those ads that follow you around the net like stalkers. Why, yes, I did look at that product. Maybe I wanted to buy it. Maybe I was researching something or it was on sale, but upon reflection, I didn’t really need it. Maybe I was just looking. In any case, that ad is going to follow me around. And if it’s something that I REALLY don’t want the entire world to know about, why that’s going to be there for WEEKS. Thanks!

9. Autoplay. Sigh. No, I don’t want the ad to start blaring music (which is one reason my laptop is muted by default). No, I don’t want to see the next video in line. Stop it. And if youtube needs to play an ad before the video I watch, that’s fine. But can it not be the SAME ONE? Please?

10. Lists that are obviously padded to hit whatever number the writer feels most comfortable at. It’s usually a round number, like 20 or ten. You just couldn’t write a 9 item list, could you? No, it has to be ten, with the last one feeling quite forced and incomplete. Whatever.

So, what are your pet peeves? Tell me in the comments. I promise that I’ll respond!

Gratitudes and Groans

Gratitudes:

  1. Spring Break! I think everyone should get a week off per season. I’m not actually sure why we get a spring break at my college–we don’t get a fall break, but I’ll take it. I’m planning to catch up on all that stuff that I put off when I’m working, like writing this blog, working on my almost-finished 2nd novel, doing some crafting and exercising. Since I have a few more papers to get through, I haven’t accomplished all of these things regularly, but I have great hope for the rest of the week.
  2. My bosses. There was some sort of snafu when they emailed me to ask about availability for classes next semester. I am so thankful that they realized that my not responding was out of character and contacted me, even though I missed the deadline. I have two classes for fall, so I can pay bills. Whew! (Also, a mini-gratitude because I the reputation of being on the ball at work and missing a deadline is out of character.)
  3. I have 17 Twitter followers and the occasional non-relative who reads my blog. I’m pleased as punch! Thanks, everyone! Additionally, all of the people who have looked at my blog have really interesting blogs themselves, so that’s awesome.
  4. Steve Martin and Eddie Brickell’s music. I picked up their second CD because I’d heard a song “My Baby” on the radio. The whole CD is¬†wonderful, full of charming, sweet, lovely music and really clever lyrics. It’s my kind of music and I’m planning to buy the first. I recently found out that there is a Broadway musical running now based on their music. That’s tremendously exciting!

Groans:

  1. Papers. I’m the silly idiot who assigned papers that I’d have to grade over spring break–good for the students, a pain for me. I’ve spent every weekend for over a month grading papers. Because I try to do a good job, it takes¬†forever! After this grading session, I get a few weekends where I just grade the in-class stuff. It’ll seem like a vacation.
  2. I’m pleased that Ohio is important to the political future of the country, but the almost-constant political ads have started. Even if I like the candidates, it’s nearly¬†every ad in every ad break. And since it’s just the primary, the candidates have one commercial each, so it’s over and over and over until I’m ready to scream. If we’re fast enough we mute the tv, but we’re not always. It doesn’t help that all of the commercials are incredibly manipulative and either cloying or blatantly anger-inducing. We just have to get through Tuesday and then they taper off until closer to November. Wish us luck!
  3. Folks who don’t quite get how the First Amendment works. It says that the government can’t interfere with your speech. It says nothing about other citizens. So if you get shouted down while making a speech (comment on the Internet, in public), that’s not an infringement of your First Amendment rights. It’s un-civil, certainly, but not illegal. Actually, as someone who appreciates civility, that might be a stronger argument for me to get on your side!

She’s an Introvert, Abby

I like reading Dear Abby–sometimes as an insight into human behavior, and sometimes as a way of cultivating gratefulness that I’m not related to many of the people who write in (occasionally, I read to make sure I’m not being written about, but I acknowledge that’s a wee bit paranoid). Generally, even if I don’t agree with the advice (for instance, did you know that you¬†don’t have to continue to deal with your damaging relatives? Even if they’re your parents? (again, grateful here), I’m interested in what’s being said, and Abby (this is not the original Abby, but rather a franchise thing) is pretty level-headed.

However, this column¬†misunderstands something fundamental about how humans work. The lady who has written in deals with people all day and prefers to be alone, at home, instead of going out with friends. Abby says that friends aren’t a burden and the lady should be happy to go out with some friends. The lady is an introvert, obviously; just as obviously, Abby is an extrovert. The two find it very hard to understand each other, but, as an extroverted introvert, I’m going to try to explain.

Every job I’ve ever had has involved helping people, often in groups. I’m good at it. Some days, I excel at it. To supplement my income, I sub for other instructors, which means I go into a room full of strangers, talk to them as they stare at me, and wrangle them until we’ve done what we’re supposed to. This would be a nightmare for many, combining public speaking with being not-100% sure of what’s going to be happening for the time I’m in the class. It makes me a little nervous, but I still like it. I enjoy public speaking, improv, and interacting with all those new people.

However, at the end of my day, I want to get into my car alone. I want to drive home by myself, listening to NPR (yes, I’m a geek), singing along to the radio, or show tunes on CD (enormous geek). I do not want to have a conversation with anyone or even have to share my space. Sometimes, if I’ve had a particularly people-oriented day, I don’t even want to watch a tv show. I’d rather read because watching the actors is too much personal interaction and drama.

But I’m not un-friendly. I genuinely enjoy interacting with other people–as long as I get a break afterwords (or during, if it’s a long day). I need to recharge my people batteries. It’s how introverts function. We’re not unfriendly or misanthropes. We just need some space to breathe. Family and pets are fine–other people are probably not.

Okay, now extroverts–these folks find spending time by themselves pretty draining. The perfect solution to a stressful day for an extrovert is to spend it with friends, going to a party or club, or maybe chatting on the phone. It’s refreshing for them and torture for the introverts.

Neither one of these is better than the other. Certainly, if a person is an extrovert, working in an office far, far away from everyone else is going to be painful. If an introvert wants to make presentations all day, he or she should make sure that there’s someplace to hang out to refresh themselves. Extroverts are Lab/retriever mixes–everyone’s a friend and a walk’s a good time to meet everyone! Introverts are more like the stereotype of a cat–we need to feel secure before we get on a lap, and when we’re done, we’re going to take a nap somewhere.

The problem comes when–sorry extroverts–people assume that there’s something wrong with the introverts, that we’re pathologically shy, or need to be herded to a party, that we’re unhappy with how we work. Some may be, but most of us are comfortable with ourselves and know what we need to do. There’s nothing wrong with us. We just need a few quiet moments, okay?

And if I’m reading, I’m not lonely or bored, so you don’t have to entertain me!

So, how about you? Are you an extrovert? Introvert? Mixed, like I am? What irritates you about the other side?

 

Gratitudes and Groans

Gratitudes:

  1. That spring¬†might be on the way. The daffodils have leaves poking up. Okay, they’re sprinkled in snow, but at least they weren’t covered, smothered, or iced. I planted a¬†whole bunch of bulbs in the fall, so I’m looking forward to seeing them come up (I planted a million or so. I hope I get at least one). When I come home, I check for crocuses–none yet, but I’m optimistic! I’ll post a picture as each kind of bulb comes up (the aforementioned crocus, tulips, and hyacinths).
  2. Students who actually learn and don’t just go through the motions. If there is a chance of seeing actual progress from someone I’ve been working with, that’s a genuine joyful moment. It makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something by teaching, other than grading papers that no one looks at (to be fair, most of my students check out comments!).
  3. Another great post by an author I like. Charles Stross has a write up of all the things that aren’t thought through in space operas. I don’t read/watch¬†many of those, but I could appreciate a lot of points he makes. My geek brain approves. My question is, can a person still appreciate a good story in space even if he or she knows about that list? For me, yes–I’m usually able to go with the flow of the premise, at least while I’m watching it.

Groans:

  1. The fact that I’ve read so many student mistakes in writing, they’ve filtered into mine. I just typed “too be fair.” Argh! Their/they’re/there is another one that I REALLY, DEFINITELY know and type wrong. Shouldn’t the students reading all of that edited stuff make their usage better? Why does it have to work the other way?!?
  2. That people do not use apostrophes correctly. It’s bad enough in student work, but “I like to eat mashed potato’s”?! “7 Pasta’s for $7”? That last one was from a restaurant–professionally printed on their menu. I recently saw “Shoes and Boot’s here.” That’s in a school. It makes me irrationally angry. Maybe that idea of grammatical shock collars isn’t such a bad one?
  3. The end of book series I like. I admit that it’s better for an author to stop before he or she hates the books/runs out of ideas, but it’s still upsetting to me. I don’t like change.
  4. For balance–a series that goes on toooooo long, past the point that the author is obviously bored with it or quite angry about it. I used to like Joanne Fluke’s Hannah Swenson series, an enjoyable cozy set in Minnesota with a fat cat and recipes. But at some point, the author started cutting and pasting descriptions, a sure sign that her heart wasn’t in it. Then it went off the rails–read the reviews for this one. They’re brutal but on the mark. I think that’s why some authors write more than one series–sometimes in different genres. Helps forestall that issue.