Dear Asshole Neighbor

Posted by barb on Feb 7, 2011 in Random Thoughts

Dear asshole neighbor –

Here’s the deal: I hate people who don’t pick up after their dogs. I probably hate them as much, or more, than you do. However, the fact that I’m walking a dog does NOT give you the right to approach me, a woman alone (with her dog) in a parking lot. It especially does not give you the right to approach me with an angry attitude.

Oh, and if you are going to approach me? Learn to ask a meaningful question. Just approaching me and asking “Is that your dog?” while pointing behind you is stupid. No, asshole, whatever you are pointing at is NOT my dog. My dog is on a leash connected to my hand. Then saying, “I KNOW that’s your dog” also doesn’t help me discern what you’re after, especially when it’s followed by, “Is THAT your dog” pointing behind you again.

I now understand that you’re pissed that someone is letting their dog poop in your yard and not cleaning it up. I don’t know that because you ever actually asked me. Instead, you used 2-word phrases that made you sound like a grunting caveman (which is also scary for a woman walking by herself in a parking lot). Somehow between the “walking there”, “my house”, and “poop” grunts, I figured out that you wanted to know if my dog was pooping in front of your yard.

When I tell you, “no”, and show you the empty bag I carry around to clean up after my dog, and tell you that I always clean up after my dog (and express as much in full sentences), your correct response should be to APOLOGIZE and walk away. It should not be to holler after me to pick up after my dog when she poops. NO SHIT ASSHOLE – I JUST TOLD YOU THAT I DO THAT. Maybe you were just confused by someone who uses complete sentences.

I’m tempted to hunt down your house, and bring the diaper pail that we keep our dog shit in until trash day, just to prove to you that I clean up after my dog. I trust that the smell alone would be proof enough, but if not, I’d be HAPPY to pull out every bag so you can inspect them. Instead, I’m writing you this note.

But if you EVER approach me again in the parking lot? I’m calling the cops to tell them you are threatening me. Because approaching a woman alone in a parking lot (with a very friendly dog) is NEVER okay, especially when you are mad. Asshole.

Sincerely fuck off,



On why I’m still leaving Netflix

Posted by barb on Jun 30, 2008 in Random Thoughts

Those of you who use Netflix Profiles know that two weeks ago they were planning on unceremoniously removing the Profiles in September. On Thursday, June 19, at the very end of the day, Netflix sent out the following e-mail to their Profiles-using customers:

We wanted to let you know we will be eliminating Profiles, the feature that allowed you to set up separate DVD Queues under one account, effective September 1, 2008.

Each additional Profile Queue will be unavailable after September 1, 2008. Before then, we recommend you consolidate any of your Profile Queues to your main account Queue or print them out.

While it may be disappointing to see Profiles go away, this change will help us continue to improve the Netflix website for all our customers.

I was pissed. I sent this note to them within an hour of the e-mail hitting my inbox:

I am highly disappointed to hear that you will be eliminating the Profiles feature of Netflix. To be honest, that was the best feature that you’ve created, and the one feature that truly set you apart from your competition. When recommending Netflix to friends and family, it was the highest selling point that I would tout.

To add to this mistake is not offering customers a way to easily reintegrate their queues into one. My husband and I have three queues – one for me, one for him, and one for us – with over 100 movies in each. Consolidating these movie-by-movie into one queue will be a huge undertaking. A large enough undertaking that I might just as well start over at, say, Blockbuster Online.

Over the past couple of years, we have occasionally supplemented our Netflix movies with a trip to Blockbuster, and while I don’t like their business practices in general, I’ve been tempted to switch because of the convenience of trading movies in their stores. Please reconsider this decision. I’d rather stick with Netflix, but this is enough of a reason to look seriously at my alternatives.

I can, perhaps, understand that if one feature is slowing down the entire website, it may need to be eliminated. However, the slimy part is that Netflix’s solution to them closing down my queue was to “consolidate any of your Profile Queues to your main account Queue or print them out”. People I know who manage databases have told me that it should be a simple database query for Netflix to reintegrate our queues for us. Rather than offer that solution, they wanted me to print out my queue, and re-enter my over 100 movies by hand to our main queue.

To me, Netflix has shown its true colors. I know that Blockbuster is slimy, but then, they’ve never pretended to be anything else. Netflix pretended to listen to its customers, relying on power-users to drive some if its features. But as soon as Neflix felt that it had a large enough customer base, it was about to yank the one feature that most power-users used.

June 23, I signed up for Blockbuster Online. I’ve already switched my queue over, and have movies in my house.

Now, a week and a half after the original announcement, I got this from Netflix:

You spoke, and we listened. We are keeping Profiles. Thank you for all the calls and emails telling us how important Profiles are.

We are sorry for any inconvenience we may have caused. We hope the next time you hear from us we will delight, and not disappoint, you.

-Your friends at Netflix

Too fucking late. Netflix, you and I are no longer friends. I know that I’m now onboard with “the evil empire”, but that means that they can’t disappoint me. If they screw up like you guys did, at least it won’t be a surprise.



Creepy Commercials

Posted by barb on Sep 28, 2007 in Random Thoughts

Most commercials are merely annoying, very few entertaining, but lately I’ve been hearing (on the radio) and seeing some creepy commercials. Here’s a few of them:

  • Lasik commercial – There’s a local (I think) radio ad featuring a woman talking about her fears getting lasik surgery. She says that she put it off for a long time, and finally was convinced by the region’s best (in her opinion) lasik surgeon. After her surgery, she looks up at the surgeon and says something like “Thank you, dear”, because afterall, the surgeon is her husband.

    Bah? Ick! I thought one of the big ethical “rules” of medicine was that you do not treat family members. But here they are trying to use this as a reason that I should go to this guy? I think not.

  • Car dealer commercial – There’s a car dealer here that helps local buyers get imported cars (possibly Mercedes, but I can’t remember) directly from the factory. They even set up trips to the factory in Europe.

    Their commercials try to highlight how helpful their staff is. In one commercial, the salesperson talks about one of his clients. During the long process of acquiring one of these cars this client’s father dies. The salesperson goes to the father’s funeral. ‘Scuse me? This guy I hardly know, who is helping me to buy a very expensive car, goes to my father’s funeral? I think not. That’s not comforting; it’s creepy.

  • CVS commercial – One of the recent CVS commercials aims to show how caring and compassionate their pharmacists are. The pharmacist in this commercial talks about how concerned he is about the medications that his customers use. The reason this is creepy is that the way he was talking made it sound like he was willing to play “god” with our medications – like he would be willing to refuse to fill a prescription for, say, birth control or the morning after pill.

What have you heard or seen in an ad that’s creeped you out?



Dear Beltway Parents

Posted by barb on Jun 20, 2007 in Random Thoughts

Imagine that you are driving on the beltway with your child snugly cinched in their car seat (or in their seatbelt, if they happen to be over the car-seat weight and height limit). Suddenly, your child tells you that they have to go to the bathroom NOW. Do you (a) take the next exit off the beltway and find a gas station (or other suitable restroom) or (b) pull over onto the shoulder and take them into the shrubs along the side of the interstate?

I hope that most of you answered (a). But a frightening number of parents choose option (b). In fact, even one parent choosing (b) is frightening, in my view.

I have to admit that I’m not a parent, and I never plan to be one. So, I’ll never know the scream of a child who needs to use the bathroom immediately, and I’ll never know the urgency. (Though, I have spent a day with my two, very cute, nieces, but one was still in diapers, and the other was pretty good about telling us when she needed to go.) However, it just seems common sense that letting your child stand alongside an interstate, especially the Washington DC Beltway, is very foolish thing to do. I would rather clean up a wet child.

Why do I bring this up? Because I saw a car pulled over on the beltway on my way home from work tonight. Walking away from that car was a woman and a small (4 or 5-year-old, maybe) child. It was clear that they were heading toward a small stand of trees.

This reminded me of an incident several years ago. Over Thanksgiving weekend 1999, a father pulled the car over on the Beltway to let the kid use the trees as a restroom. While he was doing his business, another car crashed into his parents car, killing his parents and seriously injuring his sister. All I can think is what a f—ing selfish act of his father. The kid did not deserve to lose his family, just because he needed to go to the bathroom. And you know that this poor kid probably blamed himself. But it’s the father’s fault.

So, just in case you’re ever tempted to take option (b), let me just slap you in advance. Pull off the damn beltway at any of the non-interstate and non-tollway exits, and you’re likely to find several accommodating gas stations or fast-food restaurants. It’s not worth the risk to yourself and it’s certainly not worth the risk to your child.



Mental Note

Posted by barb on May 27, 2007 in Random Thoughts

When setting up the DVR so I can try out a new show, just set it to record all instances of that show instead of just the first one. Why? ‘Cuz there just might be a two-hour premier, which the DVR will only catch half of. Grrr….



Beauty Tips?

Posted by barb on Feb 27, 2007 in Random Thoughts

Is there some beauty advice floating around that if you have thin lips, just put lipstick where you want your lips to be, and it’ll look great? Well, if there is, cut it out. It looks ridiculous. Sure, the world will be staring at your lips, but they won’t be saying, “wow, what lush, full lips.” No, they’ll be saying, “what an idiot – doesn’t she know where her lips end? She really could use better lighting in the morning…or a cup of coffee.”



Sitting to pee is clearly fiddling with God’s work

Posted by barb on Oct 3, 2006 in Random Thoughts

In Norway, the head of one of the political parties is all up-in-arms that schoolboys have to sit to pee (Urination will go to committee)

“It is a human right not to have to sit down like a girl,” Kleppe said.

Err. Right. I’ve been in a unisex bathroom, and I’ve avioded them ever since. Why? Because men can’t aim. I can’t imagine that boys are any better. Making them sit down will reduce the work for the janitorial staff, clearly, and make the restroom much, much more sanitary.

But, of course, FSM knows what might happen to these boys if they have to sit down “like girls” to pee. Maybe they’ll grow up to be gay. Or worse, sensitive.

Give me a f—ing break. Don’t these people in Norway have better things to do with taxpayers’ time than this? The sad thing is that I could totally see this happening here in the US, too.

[via Bitch PhD]



Oh, boo-hoo

Posted by barb on Sep 25, 2006 in Books, Random Thoughts

“Pro-Family” groups* are upset** with the American Library Association for Banned Books Week:

“What people need to understand is that this is the American Library Association’s way of trying to censor those who exercise their free speech rights and say that there are books in the library that should not be available to children.”

Huh? First amendment right to censor? Can anyone take these people seriously?

Their main problem seems to be that none of the books were actually banned across the nation. No, but books have been challenged, and groups like these so-called pro-family people would be perfectly happy if many of these challenged books were, in fact, banned.

Boo-hoo “pro-family” groups who have a problem with banned books week because it shines a big spotlight on your intolerance. Perhaps the place for discussions on books you feel are inappropriate for you children is in your household, since not every parent shares your narrow-minded views. Indeed, the first amendment is alive and well in public libraries and schools, and those of us who celebrate banned books week intend to keep it that way.

*Because, of course, if you don’t support their view that we should censor books, then clearly you aren’t pro-family.

**I’m a little ashamed to be linking to a “focus on the family” site, but there it is. Please don’t think any less of me.



Dressing up

Posted by barb on Sep 13, 2006 in Pictures, Random Thoughts

Let’s just say I don’t dress up. At least not often, and usually when I “dress up”, it’s not business dress-up, but a more casual skirt and top or slacks and top. Today, for our visits on the hill, I dressed up in business clothes, complete with nylons and dress shoes.

I have to say that it’s amazing the difference in my attitude when I’m wearing professional clothes. I felt important, like I had something to say, something to contribute. And the “clump” of my shoes added to my feelings.

Having said that, I must point out that nylons are made of pure evil. To get them on in the first place, much grunting, hopping and dancing must occur. Then, of course, they have to come off part-way at times during the day as I…um…relieved my bladder. But they never go on the same way they did when I was at home. No, of course not. They are slightly twisted, or the crotch is lower than it should be.

In addition to nylons, I wore a body-constricting undergarment to make me smoother under the dress. I was smart this time (unlike last time), and wore the undergarment over the nylons. However, I discovered new adventures with the undergarment. It has snaps in the crotch to make going to the bathroom easy. I don’t actually use them, but today they came undone in the middle of the day. While I was standing in the hall. Waiting for a meeting. To make matters worse, shortly after the snaps came undone, the bottom edges of the garment started to creep up, eventually forming a constricting belt at my waist. And there was nothing I could do about it except keep my face neutral, go into the next meeting, and wait until I could get into the ladies’ room.

My blistered foot!

Oh, and don’t get me started on the shoes



Today is not the day to fuck with me!

Posted by barb on Jul 28, 2006 in Random Thoughts

I’ve been a customer of Lane Bryant for more than 15 years. In all that time, one thing has really bugged me about buying clothes at their stores. Every time I check out, I am pestered by the cashier to apply for a Lane Bryant credit card. Every. Fucking. Time.

The conversation usually goes something like this:
Cashier: Will this be going on your Lane Bryant card?
Me: Nope
C: Do you have a Lane Bryant card?
Me: Nope
C: If you apply for one today, you’ll save 15% on your entire purchase.
Me: No thanks.
C: But it’s a really great deal.
Me: Nope.
C: Okay, but you’re missing out.
Me: I don’t care.
C: Your total is…

I’ve tried various ways to cut this conversation off.

Trial 1:
C: Do you have a Lane Bryant card?
Me: Nope, and I don’t want one.
C: But you could save …

Trial 2:
C: Do you have a Lane Bryant card?
Me: Nope, and I’m really tired of you people asking me.
C: But you could save…

Trial 3:
C: Do you have a Lane Bryant card?
Me: Nope, and I don’t want another credit card in my wallet.
C: But you could apply, save your 15%, and just pay it off right away.

Trial 4:
C: But you could save 15% on your entire purchase today.
Me: I know because you’ve accosted me about this every time I shop here, and I haven’t changed my mind.
C: You’re missing a great deal.

I realize that one way to deal with this would be to lie to the cashier and simply say that yes I have a Lane Bryant card, but I don’t care to use it today. However, I don’t want to have to lie. I shouldn’t have to lie to have a good shopping experience.

Today I decided to try something different. (“Decided” might be a bit of an overstatement – I’m a bit stressed out, so perhaps my frustration just boiled over to make the decision for me.) The conversation went something like this:

Cashier: Are you going to put that on your Lane Bryant card?
Me: No, and I don’t care to apply for one, either.
C: But if you apply today you’ll save 15%…
M: Yes I know, and I’m tired of being asked every time I shop here. If you bring up that credit card again, I’m walking out of this store.
C: Yes, but…
M: Bye.

And, indeed, I walked out while she was ringing up my purchases.

I’m sure I’m now known as the “crazy lady” at that store, but I don’t care. I’m tired of having that conversation every fucking time I check out. I don’t shop there very often anymore, anyway, because much of their clothes are…um…hoochy-mama clothing, which I’m not into wearing. However, they are the only place that sells cute underwear in my size (emphasis on cute…I can find it elsewhere, but it’s fun to wear somthing cute, dammit). Maybe I’m just going to have to get used to boring, white, granny under clothes. Sigh.

Any other suggestions for how to deal with these over-programmed cashiers and their well-rehearsed script?


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