Monthly Archives: February 2013

It Takes My Pain Away

I have a problem with headaches. I don’t mean a problem as in, like, I have beef with them; I mean that I get them a fair amount.

I’ve never been diagnosed with chronic migraines like some people I know. I don’t know that I’ve ever even had a migraine. They say they’re incredibly intense and so much worse than a regular headache, but I don’t have anything to compare my headaches to other than my headaches, so I don’t know.

I bring it up because I had a headache when I came home from work today. I took some regular old Advil, and immediately got mad at myself because I had forgotten that I had some Tylenol “tension headache” medicine that I should have taken instead.

Which got me to thinking…how do the pills know? How do they know we’re to “go,” for lack of a better word? My understanding is that they actually don’t. I’ve been told by a doctor that all medicines of any given type are the same; there is nothing different that makes pills labeled “tension headache” actually relieve tension headaches. I don’t know if this is true, but the guy was a neurologist, so I took his word for it.

But the more I thought about it, the more value I put into the idea that if you think it works, and then it works, why mess with a good thing? If it ain’t broke, why medicate it, you know?

So as I’m sitting here with the remnants of a headache sticking around the back of my skull, yeah, I’m annoyed with myself. Screw you, neurologist guy. What do you know about head pain, anyway?

Bust Out On It

We have a bobblehead doll on our office that broke.  I don’t recall how it broke, but it did.  The body of this doll has disappeared; it may have been thrown out.  But the head survives, and has become something of a talisman around the office.  And by that I mean the head has been hidden all over the place for unsuspecting coworkers to find.

I mean, it’s kind of startling to see a random head sitting in your pencil holder, isn’t it?

Well, someone has been running her mouth about how well it’s been hidden.  I’ve looked all around my desk (when she hasn’t been around, of course; I wouldn’t give her the satisfaction), and it’s not here.  She clearly doesn’t understand the point.

So as a lesson, tomorrow morning, she’s going to find a surprise.  Namely, her computer desktop has been changed to a fairly haunting photo of the thousand-yard stare of the bobblehead in question.  I also printed out a number of copies of a photo of said bobblehead head.  They’re hidden everywhere.  This will pay dividends for at least a week.

I play hard.  And I play dirty.  Don’t gloat, my young colleague.  I always get the last laugh.

Money, It’s a Gas

A couple years ago, I got a call from my credit card company telling me that my card had been used to purchase gas at a station in Florida.  At the time, I was not in Florida, so I found this to be a helpful call.  The charge came off of my card and I got a new one.

Fast forward to today.  I got a phone call from an 866 number and answered it.  It was an automated call, so I hung up.  The number called back, and I declined it.  But then I saw that there was a voicemail.  Turns out that it was my bank’s fraud alert number.

Okay, you have my attention.

I called back, and after a short wait, spoke to someone whose tone I found just a little more bothered than it should have been.  I logged into my account before I had spoken to her and found a payment of about $250 to a local cable company that I didn’t make.  There was also a charge for nearly SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS to the same company.  She then informed me of $135 in other charges that were not mine.

Obviously, that bites.  They canceled my card, and I’m going to the bank tomorrow to get a new one.  Hopefully, all of the charges will be erased and I won’t be out a thousand bucks.

However, the reason this was blog-worthy to me is the way the bank carried out the call.  First of all, I would think this is something that a real, live person should call me about, not a computer.  Most people hang up when they get automated calls, and for good reason.  I understand this takes time, but how many more calls would be answered?  Then again, the bank doesn’t care; if I don’t get the charges taken off, it’s no big deal to them.

The other thing that bugged me was that the woman who answered my call 1) spoke with the tone and cadence of a high school girl, and 2) spoke way too fast and in a way too agitated tone.  It almost felt like she couldn’t be bothered to give a crap what I was calling about.

I understand that the folks who handle these calls probably deal with a hundred or more of these every day.  However, what they need to understand is that, while those callers are one out of 100 to them, this is the most important thing in that caller’s life that day.  So hey, maybe show a little compassion.  Show a little “give a crap.”

At the very least, don’t talk so friggin’ fast.

I Wear Your Granddad’s Clothes

Remember Asher Roth?  No?  Yeah, me neither.

Yet I’m reminded of him with the popularity of Macklemore and his song “Thrift Shop.”  Granted, these songs may not sound anything alike, but I refuse on principle to go look up Roth’s “I Love College” (or whatever it was called) to see if they’re similar, and it’s irrelevant anyway.  For some reason, they’re linked in my head, and that’s the point.

Have you read the lyrics on “Thrift Shop?”  Please do.  They’re so, so stupid.  Do we really need a song about the wonders of buying other people’s stuff?  I say that we don’t.

So, to my original point: if Macklemore still has a career in five years – maybe even three years – then I owe you a beer.  Every single one of you.*

*Free beer offer limited to first claimant.  Beer selection limited to light beer on special.  Total value of prize cannot exceed three American dollars.

Hold Your Breath and Count to Ten

I once again considered a live blog, this time for the Academy Awards.  Except, again, I didn’t actually want to watch the show.

Well, I put it on around 11:00 and was overjoyed to see that I hadn’t really missed anything.  So guess what?  I’m live-blogging the last however-much of the Oscars!

• I turned it on just in time for the “In Memoriam” part.  My timing is impeccable.

• A song by Barbara Streisand?  Perfect time to go get a beverage.

• I cannot tell you how negatively attracted I am to Renee Zellweger.  How long has she been sucking on that same lemon?

• How do you nominate a song from Ted that isn’t “Thunder Buddies?”  Especially when we all know Adele is going to win.

• And she did.  How does a musical artist dress better for the Oscars than for the #Grammys, i.e. the awards for her actual industry?

• I liked Argo and Django Unchained.  I’m glad they won.  I have nothing else to say on that.  Which is another reason I originally ditched the live blog idea.

• If that Grey Poupon commercial was a full-length feature film, I would see it eight times.

• I will take this opportunity to make the mandatory “man, how was Ben Affleck not even nominated?!?” comment.

• I think either Jessica Chastain or Jennifer Lawrence could win Best Actress and no one should be mad.

• Of all the people to fall down and eat it on stage, it’s a shame Jennifer Lawrence did it.  She seems…I guess the word is “normal.”  There are like 489 people in Hollywood I’d like to see fall on their face in front of the world, and she’s not one of them.  Jack Black is probably in the top five.

• If Daniel Day Lewis wins, do you think they make a sequel to Lincoln? ::rimshot::

• Oh come on, Meryl, couldn’t you have PRETENDED to 1) have some drama, and 2) give a crap?

• Again, why do we have English actors playing Americans so often?  I guarantee if there was an American playing MI6 agent James Bond, there would be riots in London.

• Interesting surprise there, having the First Lady do a bit that could have been recorded at any point in the last three months.  Come on, why not give HER the envelope?

• Oh.  There we go.  Huh.  See, I suck at this.

• Final thought: when Gigli was being made, who saw Ben Affleck back on the stage at the Academy Awards?  But he is, and he deserves it.  Ain’t life grand?

Well, How Did I Get Here?

I’ve already mentioned the difficulties I’ve run into in writing this blog.  I expected it to be a challenge; after all, if it was easy, then I wouldn’t have thought of bothering to do it.  The challenge is the point.

It’s gotten much more difficult the last few weeks.  A number I’ve times I’ve sat here at the computer and just stared at the screen for five, 10, 20 minutes, and not written a word, simply because I hadn’t the foggiest idea what to write.  Three hundred-plus entries is a whole lot, so writer’s block is to be expected, but I feel like I’ve hit a wall.

I wonder what my actual motivation was.  Did I think I had something to say?  Was I working on my creative writing?  Or was it just to make myself actually go and do it?  I still don’t know, but I do know that I’m kind of mad at myself for it.

Of course, when I can burn a post by pseudo-complaining about posting, that’s like, way meta, man.  Far out.

I don’t intend for this to become some kind of emo/existential forum for me to wax philosophical and get introspective all the time.  Sometimes, but not all the time.  It’s just that the specter of how much writing is still left is rather daunting, and it’s been gnawing at me for a few days.

Whatever.  Onward.

Psycho, I’m Liable to Go Michael

Not to belabor the point about me being a cranky old man, but…okay, so I went to the movies with a couple buddies to see the new Die Hard film (more on that tomorrow or another day, I promise).  Before the trailers started, they showed a “First Look” at this show called Bates Motel; essentially, a prequel to the movie Psycho.

Um…why?  Why did that happen?  Why does this keep happening?

Is there no more originality out there?  We already had a remake of Psycho.  There’s a new Hawaii Five-0 series.  The Ocean’s movies were kick-started by a remake.  Judge Dredd and Total Recall had remakes out last year and those movies aren’t even as old as I am!

Sequels and prequels and remakes abound.  Why can’t we just make new stuff?  Why is this so hard?  I know, easy for me to say, I haven’t exactly written any movies…but I got ideas, man.  I got ideas.  Unfortunately, I’ve never seen them done anywhere else, so I probably have no chance of getting anywhere with them.