Sunday, June 29, 2008

Typos are not okkay.

I get annoyed by typos. Not that I never make them, because I do.

But, I spend a lot of time at my job everyday proofing stuff. I catch typos all day, everyday. And, I'm pretty good at it. I don't catch them all, but I can comfortably say that I catch more typos than most people on any given day.

However, now that I have time and desire to read again, I am confused. I don't understand how books, REAL books, make it into my hands with typos in them.

Seriously. If I buy a book and I'm reading it and I'm catching typos in the book, what's up with that?

The book is written, usually by someone who is a professional writer, which by default should mean they know how to spell pretty well. Even if they can't, unless they are using a typewriter or charcoal on a shovel, it's probable that they have spell check of some sort to catch typos.

THEN, even if the initial draft (understandably) is finished with typos, there are proofreaders and editors that take a crack at it. They have dictionaries and style guides and beyond that, hopefully some sort of degree or professional experience that they can fall back on to catch all of the typos, grammatical errors, and other whatnot that should be fixed before a book is considered final and ready to print.

So, by my calculations, that's at least three people (or robots, if that might be the case) who have read the entire book with the intent to make it absolutely perfect.

SO, how does a book get through all of those people, plus mass production, and into my hands with a typo in it?

The book I finished today had more than one typo in it, including a figure illustration that was on the opposite page of the text that explained it. How does that happen?

I don't catch all the typos in the entire world. I'm only human, and sometimes mistakes make it through my eagle eye.

But if I can catch typos in a published book, I think I should get my money back for the mental anguish it causes me to deal with the typos in the book I paid for.


P.S. If there are any typos in this post, please let my editor know.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I got a little out of control with the organizing the other day.

I needed to do a little light cleaning on Sunday. I always know when my house is too dusty because I start sneezing constantly . . . well before I see that everything is covered in dust.

Well, the dusting turned into rearranging all of my shoes in my closet by color and by how often I wear them, for easy access in the mornings on the way out the door to work. Quite handy, now that I've done it. But it was a bit more time than I really wanted to spend on housework at the time.

But then I went a step further. See, I have this random box of band-aids that is the catch-all for when I have only a couple of band-aids left, but I need a different size band-aid which requires me to get a new box. I throw out the big box that is holding the two leftover band-aids and I put them in the big random box for safe keeping.

Um, I organized the random box of band-aids. By size.

Quite handy . . . now. But quite possibly a waste of time at the time.

Whatever. If you need a band-aid, I can find the perfect size for you super fast. Because they're organized for efficiency.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I have a new rabbit in my yard

He's very small. He lives under my shed.

I think I will call him Sunflower. Because I think he ate the sunflower seeds I planted.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Ridiculous people are at Target

I saw two disturbing things within the past week at Target. And yes, I have no shame in admitting the fact that I go to Target more than once a week.

It's how I roll.

The first ridiculous person I saw at Target was in front of me when I was returning a couple of items. She was nicely dressed in a Polo brand shirt, nice jeans, nice shoes. It was obvious that she doesn't shop at Target for her clothes. She was too fancy.

So, you might ask, what was this obviously well-to-do woman returning at Target? I kid you not, she had just bought groceries and noticed that she had been charged too much for a package of muffin mix, and she was getting her 35 cents back.

This woman probably had well over $100 worth of groceries in her cart. And believe me, I am all for saving money and being frugal.

But if you're going to stand there in your fancy jeans and jewelry after examining your ridiculously long receipt, Ridiculous Suburban Wife, and keep me waiting in line for 10 minutes while the Target employee works as hard to find the packet of muffin mix on your ridiculously long receipt as she's working not to LAUGH AT YOU for wanting your 35 cents, then I have no choice but to let you know that you are RIDICULOUS.

Seriously, I felt bad for the poor kid who had to say this: "OK, M'aam, 35 cents will go back on your Mastercard. Thank you and have a nice day." Without laughing.


Then today I was in line to check out at Target, and the woman in front of me bought a whole lot of stuff . . . then paid for it by writing a check.

What? Are Target employees even trained on how to process a check anymore? I thought I was the last remaining person on earth who was clinging to her checks to pay for things, and when I gave that up a few years ago I assumed I had put to rest that art form for all the world over.

But no, I was mistaken. Today I found the last check-writer on the planet. And she was at Target. . . keeping me waiting in line while she wrote a check for her stuff.



Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Jehovah's Witnesses have gone too far this time.

They sent me mail.

So, the Jehovah's Witnesses visit my house pretty regularly. It's the same two ladies every time. I don't know if they think I look extremely gullible, or if they just really like a challenge. But they show up here every few months, always on a Saturday or Sunday morning, usually before 10am.

That alone is enough to really make me angry. My Saturday before 10am is MY time. Leave me alone.

The first time they stopped by, I decided to be nice. I answered the door, I talked with them. I listened to their presentation. I even took their literature.

Apparently, I made them feel a little too welcome. Because now they won't leave me alone.

The last couple of times they've come by, I've hidden in the house and refused to answer the door until they go away.

One day I came in from my backyard where I was doing yard work, and I heard women's voices . . . talking. At first, I assumed I was overheated and simply hearing voices. But as I got closer to my front door, I realized that there were people on my front porch . . . having a conversation.

Yep, it was those same two JW ladies, hanging out on my porch, having a conversation. I figure they probably rang the doorbell while I was in the backyard and I didn't hear it. But they were still standing there on the porch, just talking. My window shades were open and I think the TV was on. They knew I was home.

But, I still didn't answer the door. I snuck away from the window so they couldn't see me and I watched until they left. And believe me, they stood on my porch for awhile. Then they stood by their car at the end of my driveway for awhile.

Here it is: I'm over the JWs at my house. Seriously, enough already.

Today I come home and I find a hand-addressed envelope in my mailbox. Now, I work with direct mail on a daily basis. It's my job. I know how to mail to people. And I especially know that hand-addressed envelopes are the most likely to be opened by a donor. It's more personal.

But, this was obviously the work of some random person, LOCAL, I might add (due to the local hand-written return address in the upper left hand corner) who needed THREE stamps to get the appropriate 42 cents for postage. It was junky.

I opened it and inside was a hand-written letter addressed to "Dear Friends and Family."

Um, newsflash. I'm really not your family.

A JW brochure also fell out. Subtle, right?

The letter starts, "I was recently at your home but did not get a chance to speak with you."

Ok, that's nearing stalker-level language and ridiculousness. That's just a hair away from, "I've been watching you from across the street in my car at nights through your front window using my binoculars, and I'd really like to speak with you about my crazy cult. Why are you ignoring me? Also, I have a shrine built in your honor in my basement."

So, now I'm officially done with JWs. That's it. They have annoyed me beyond the point of what is reasonable. I'm sorry, but pestering somebody repeatedly is no way to win converts. It's a complete turn off.

I've lived here almost 5 years and have probably been visited by these same women at least 5 times. I've never had a JW visit before I lived here. Seriously, I can't be the only one in the neighborhood who is NOT a JW. Go recruit the neighbors for awhile.

Leave me alone.

From henceforth, I proclaim an embargo on all JWs on my property.

I will not answer the door when you come by. You can stand there all day, I don't care.

If I see you coming, I will run away.

If I get more mail from you, I will toss it. Without reading it. Shoot, I might even send it back to you marked "Not at This Address. " Ha! You lose 42 cents, my "Friends and Family."

That's how I roll.


Sunday, June 08, 2008

It's not easy being a genius sometimes

A couple of weeks ago, the back window in my Jeep decided it had lost the will to stay up any more. This was a sad moment for me.

I knew what the problem was. It had happened before to the other back window, at which time I took it to the dealer and had them fix it for free since it was still under warranty. It's the regulator. It broke.

Now that the Jeep is no longer under warranty, these silly repairs are not my favorite thing. I just don't want to spend the money on things that aren't essential to keeping the Jeep running for a long, long time.

However, keeping the window up, while not entirely essential to keeping the Jeep running, is quite essential to, say, keep rain and random people out of the Jeep. So, this means I had to fix the window.

As a temporary fix, I needed to get the window to at least stay up until I could get it completely fixed. Now that I'm an expert in taking off the inside of the doors in the Jeep to replace speakers, I decided I could take the door apart and figure out some contraption to keep the window up.

What I like about these challenges is that it is a chance for me to put my genius IQ and a little bit of common sense to good use to solve a problem. It also gives me the opportunity to hurt myself in new ways. Like my dad has so wisely taught me, always keep bandaids in the tool kit.

After a few attempts, the following combination of items worked to keep the window up so well that I could push on it from the outside and it still stayed up:

  • One Bungee cord
  • duct tape
  • Three zip ties
  • Super glue
Part genius, Part Macgyver. That's me.

So, I managed to keep the window up for the time being. And I also managed one huge bruise on my left arm, and a series of cuts and bruises on my right arm. All in a good day's work.

Then I got online to find out if I can purchase a window regulator. I really don't want to pay someone to fix the window. Sadly, I could not find one that was the correct part for my Jeep. But, I did find instructions online about how to replace the window regulator.

I then consulted the man from whom I've inherited my do-it-myself genes: my dad. He felt like this was something we could handle. This would save me some money, and of course, give me a new skill that I did not have before: Window Regulator Replacement.

So, yesterday was the day. I ordered the part from the dealer and we were ready to go. I figured I'd first attempt to undo the bungee cord, duct tape, zip ties, and super glue that was holding the window in place before my dad came over to help. I'm all for efficiency. And with my tiny, girly hands, I could get in there and undo everything without wasting his time.

Remembering my injuries from a couple of weeks ago, this time I suited up for my mechanical endeavor ahead of time to save my arms from further damage. And by "suited up", I mean "free wristbands that I got from running a few relays with my relay team a few years ago":

I felt that it was really important to look the part of Genius Mechanic Girl while I did the work.

Then I attacked the door and was finally able to undo my Macgyver fix-it job (I was a tad worried that I wouldn't be able to undo it - especially the super glue part - and then I'd probably have to just buy a whole new door . . . or just get a new Jeep) But I managed to undo everything fairly easily, and pretty soon my door looked like this:

It's kinda hard to see, but you're looking at the guts of my Jeep door.

So, by then I was having so much fun and feeling pretty confident that I'd at least gotten the door back to its broken state, I decided to see how far I could get with the next steps: getting the old regulator out, then putting the new one in.

Turns out, the hardest part was getting the old one out. Once I got it out, things looked like this:

That contraption in the upper left on the ground is the regulator. And yeah, that black thing on the ground is the outside panel of my door, cup holder and all.

At this point, things are a little frightening if you think about this in terms of the simple mechanics that my door is now in three pieces, and no one is watching me do this or making sure I'm not doing something really, really stupid without adult supervision.

However, I was still feeling an extreme sense of accomplishment at having gotten this far on my own, my wristbands were working marvelously, and I decided I'd keep forging ahead and try to get the new regulator even though my dad hadn't gotten there to help, yet.

So, I did it. I put the new one in, hooked it up, and tested it out. See, I'm dumb enough to have done projects like these before where I put everything back together without testing it first, only to find that I didn't hook it up right and the thing doesn't work.

But IT TOTALLY WORKED. And yes, I just sat there and made it go up and down and up and down a few times, just for fun.

Holy cow, I just pulled the guts out of my door and put new ones in, and it worked. I'm like a surgeon, only not with people.

I closed everything up just in time for my dad to call and say he was on his way soon. Don't worry, we had another project to do.

But y'all, I totally fixed my window all by myself.

And after all was put back in place, there was only one tiny random piece leftover that I'm pretty sure never served a purpose in the first place:

I guess I'll find out if it was important if my door falls off or something.

Next on the agenda was putting a giant net over my giant fig tree, which was quite an adventure that required the genius IQs of both me and my dad, a lot of string, some scissors, duct tape (seriously, it really does help in almost any situation) and a softball.

Yes, a softball.

Turns out, we needed about three more nets to fully cover the tree. It is seriously the world's largest fig tree. The guy at Home Depot when I bought the net thought I was ridiculous to buy the biggest net they had for just a fig tree.

He seriously underestimated the girth of my fig tree.

But whatever. We got one net up there and it should keep the birds off of at least some of the figs this year.

We will have figs, and I will eat them in my Jeep while I make the window go up and down.

It will be super fun.


Friday, June 06, 2008

Dear All Places that Report the News,

It is no longer news that gas prices are going up, everyday, all the time.

However, it makes me sad and angry to hear that gas prices go up, everyday, all the time. In fact, I'd say it's pretty much torture to remind us every day that gas costs more than our cars do.

We all know gas prices are going up. There's no need for it to be all over the news everyday.

Gas is expensive. It continues to get more expensive. People can't afford to eat or go anywhere because gas takes everyone's money.

These are things that are not news. But these are things that make everyone unhappy.

So, let's keep gas out of the news for awhile, shall we? It might help us think of other things that make us happier, like sunshine and bunnies. Both of which are free in my backyard, which is where I sit and relax to conserve the gas in the Jeep.

And how about if you just let us know when or if gas prices ever go down, for a change.

THAT will be big news, and I will certainly want to hear about it.

Til then, shut it.


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Rejected Juror

Once upon a time, I aspired to be the world's greatest juror.

This morning, I reported to court, right on time. I found where I was supposed to be and I reported to the bailiff, per my instructions.

I was so excited, you don't even know.

Then THIS happened:

"There are no trials today. Everyone can go home."

Um, WHAT??

I have been preparing for my role as the most amazing juror the world has ever seen for weeks. You cannot take this away from me!

Please, can't someone giving me something to jure?? I'll take anything.

That guy cut in front of you in line? GUILTY.
The bailiff made you throw your coffee away? GUILTY.
The bailiff made me throw MY coffee away? Um, NOT guilty.
Seriously, man. Leave me and my Starbucks alone.

The bailiff gave us the option to not turn in our summons form, which means we would probably get called again one day.

Um, you'd better believe I kept mine. I WILL JURE ONE DAY.

But not today. I was at work by 8:40, which is sometimes when I roll in on a normal day anyway.

Lamest. Jury. Duty. Ever.


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Dear Smoke Detector Battery,

Why is it that you always insist on dying . . . in the middle of the night?


By doing this, you cause the smoke detector to beep incessantly, in the middle of the night, until it wakes me up and I am forced to get out of bed . . . in the middle of the night . . . to change the battery so that I can get some peace and quiet to fall back asleep.

Why can you not decide to quit working, say . . . at 3:00 in the afternoon? When I'm not even home? I'll gladly replace you when I get home. And I won't have to lose any sleep over you.

This is the most important thing in the world. The Tyrant should never have to lose sleep over these types of silly things. I get cranky and no one wants that.

Generally, I replace you regularly. Sometimes I get busy and forget. But, I do enjoy safety first. I try to stay on top of things. I have a ridiculously large supply of 9 volt batteries on hand and ready at a moment's notice.

So, it's kind of rude to wake me up in the middle of the night when I'm just a bit late replacing you. You know, it's really not all about you.

It's just not.

So, if you could, the next time you decide your time is up, try to let me know while I'm still awake.

Much appreciated,