18 November 2006

What are the odds?

You won't believe this, but my email says I won both the British Lottery AND the Canadian Lottery. Both! In one week! I can't even remember buying a ticket.


I'm off to quit my job and buy round-the-world tickets on the QEII.

Woo hoo.

17 November 2006

Don't kid a kidder

I had the following email exchange with Yankee Candle Company. They obviously didn't realize that I write bullshit for a living. So here is the email exchange, a la The Lazlo Letters.

To: YankeeCatalog Service
Subject: Vanilla cookie


I heard that the Vanilla Cookie scented candle had been retired. I think it may have been too easily confused with the many other vanilla flavors. I think it smells like creme brulee. You might try renaming it creme brulee and seeing how it sells, since that is such a popular dessert.

Just a suggestion.




Dear Suebob,

Thank you for being a valued Yankee Candle guest and for taking time to write to us with your suggestion. We appreciate the time and effort you took to write to us. While we would like to accept all of our valued guests' suggestions and ideas, unfortunately, we are unable to do so at this time.

Please accept our apologies for your disappointment regarding this matter.WTF kind of sentence is THAT, anyway?

Please contact us again with any future questions or concerns.


Heather D.


so then I HAD to write back

That's probably the worst form letter I have ever received. It just seems unnecessarily mean. Here is my new, improved version:

Thank you for being a valued Yankee Candle guest and for taking time to write to us with your suggestion. We appreciate all of our valued guests' suggestions and ideas. We consider many factors when developing products, which is a long and often complex process. We may take input from our customers into consideration at times. We cannot make any promises or offer comments about specific suggestions, but we appreciate the time and effort you took to write to us.

Please contact us again with any future questions or concerns.

That way you can still dismiss people without seeming dismissive. You aren't making any promises - since you "may" take input into consideration, and you may not...Isn't that nicer?


Do I think they will listen? Hm...would I listen if someone tried to correct the crap I write? Good question.

16 November 2006

Must see

The video up at Linkateria is especially hilarious. To me, at least. Go check and see if you think so, too.

I went to a party tonight. One of THOSE parties. Ladies, you know what I mean. A party that is not really a party, but a shopping experience. They lure you in with the white wine and brie and then hit you with the overpriced crap.

Do men ever do this? Do they ever gather at some friend's house and eat pretzels and drink beer and shop for computer peripherals or car parts or whatever it is guys like these days? I didn't think so.

This was a jewelry party, a first for me. Throughout the ages I have been to my share of kitchenware parties. I (fortunately) skipped the candle party rage, pleading scent allergies. I have never been invited to a sex toy party, much to my chagrin, because I have always been too shy to go into a sex shop and ask about the merits of various vibrators.

But I really like the woman who was throwing the party and wanted to get to know her a little better, so I went, figuring I could spend maybe $50 and get out with a piece or two of cute jewelry.

But everything was WAAAAY overpriced. Silver earrings $49. The sales rep kept saying "This is really GOOD quality," but I kept wondering, "Then why is all the turquoise made of plastic?"

I was having a quandry about buying stuff that was a slight notch above street fair junk and having to spend $50 for it. My inner skinflint was NOT happy.

Then Heather showed up. She is the wife of a friend and the more I know her, the more I like her. She got her plate of snackies and chatted people up and then announced "I don't wear jewelry."

Gasp. How bold! How wonderful! A person who got a party invitation and assumed that she was being invited for the sake of having a party, not because she was a cash cow.

Her chutzpah emboldened me, too. I thought "Hey! I don't actually have to buy this overpriced crap for the sake of being polite!" Duh. It may seem stupid, but this thought had never occurred to me before. Suddenly I was free.

So I grabbed some more crackers and brie and socialized until I couldn't socialize anymore. It felt good. Thanks, Heather.

15 November 2006

Not like the other kids

I hope you get to meet Karen Walrond someday. She is so beautiful - yes, physically, but she also has a powerful spirit and open heart that must be experienced to be understood.

Enough crushing on Karen. But really, meeting her is worth a trip to BlogHer all in itself. Ok, ok, I'm done.

The other day Karen wrote this post about her beautiful (apple doesn't fall too far from the tree) young daughter, Alex.

It made me wince with recognition. Alex's preschool teacher doesn't like the way Alex plays by herself and thinks it is time for her to make a little friend. Meanwhile, Alex seems perfectly happy and loves to hang out with adults and other interesting people. Karen wanted to know what we, the blogosphere, thought.

Sigh. I think her teacher is an average person, and I think Alex is far above average.

Average people always try to make you act like them. They are always thinking they can whack above-average people into their molds and not have anything spill over.

But if you are more intelligent than the average bear, you often find your peers boring, silly or a little daft. In fact, quite a few people of all ages that you encounter seem boring, silly and daft.

As a child, my favorite person was my older (11 years my senior) sister, Laura, who was (and is) the Bomb. The age gap didn't seem to exist, because we understood each other perfectly.

My other favorite person to hang around was my Mom's cousin Jim, who was 40-something when I was 8. He lived in Europe! He was gay! He was well-read. He was super witty and had an acid tongue that would put Dorothy Parker on notice. He was a bit of a bon vivant. All of the qualities that attracted me to him then are things I still love in people today - almost 40 years later. My spirit knew what it wanted, even as a little tiny kid.

But other children my age were generally lost on me. They spazzed out and lied and were mean and told stupid jokes. Why, as an intelligent child, would I want to hang out with other children? There just wasn't anything in it for me.

I could do it, of course. I figured out how to fit in. I figured out how to not seem too smart because I knew what that would get me.

But whenever I had to spend too much time with other children, I would end up thinking "God, I would rather be home alone." I still have this thought a lot, today.

And even back then, stupid adults bored the hell out of me. I had a couple aunts who were classic airheads. Both could prattle on for days without stringing together a lucid sentence.

I remember that once, before the especially talkative Aunt Helen was due to arrive for a 5-day visit, my mother and I solemnly shook hands and said "Talk to you next week," because we knew we wouldn't get a word in edgewise.

At 5, I already knew those aunts were dunces, and I knew I didn't want to be around them. People think kids don't know much. But it is amazing how much that they are already who they are going to become, even before they can tie their own shoes.

What about you? What did you figure out early?

14 November 2006

Unnatural Axe

The U.S. Catholic bishops took up the sticky subject (no pun intended) of homosexuality at their semi-annual conference and decided:
"Because homosexual acts cannot fulfill the natural end of human sexuality they are never morally acceptable," said Bishop Arthur Serratelli, who headed the committee that crafted the guidelines. "Such acts furthermore do not lead to true human happiness."
I suppose by "fulfill the natural end of human sexuality" they mean "make a baby."

What about infertile hetero married couples? Are they acting immorally if they still have sex?

What about hetero married couples who have already procreated and are now past reproductive age? Do they need to become celibate? Mom, Dad, are you listening? NO FUN FOR YOU OLD PEOPLE. BACK TO MATLOCK, YOU TWO.

What about hetero couples who give up on vaginal intercourse and "make sexytime" (as Borat would say) some other way - orally, anally, fetishistically...? Ok, yeah, I agree, that has GOTTA be a sin.

And as far as "true human happiness"? I dunno, but I hear that The Kaiser is quite truly happy on Father's Day, after the Queen takes part in the annual GBJD tradition. And there ain't no baby-making involved in that one.

13 November 2006

Please note

Mr Stapler's blog, Mind Yer Arse is now linked in my sidebar.

So far I am his only commenter. Go take a look and give the man some encouragement.

There are dozens of other people that I want to add to my link list, but so far I have been too disorganized and lazy. I'm sorry. It doesn't mean that I love you less.

Speaking of links, there are some new links up at Linkateria.

12 November 2006

Public Service Announcements

We had a perfectly lovely party at Mr Stapler's house on Friday night. Good food, good company, lots of interesting international students from all over Europe. But am I going to blog about the fun and loveliness?

Don't you know me better than that? Don't you know that the motto on my escutcheon would read "If you don't have anything nice to say, come and sit by me"?

I am going to bitch about the woman who showed up sick as a dog and sneezed all over my beautiful hors d'oevures and sucked down all the red wine, including a $48 bottle of Dutch Henry Pinot Noir that Mr Stapler opened for her in a moment of drunken merriment. (Note: I do not normally purchase $48 wine. It was the result of a long day of wine tasting in Napa Valley, where my good judgement went out the window at about the 3rd winery.)

Honestly, people. I can see going to the grocery store when you are sick because you need Nyquil. I will even cut people some slack who go to work sick because they need to save their sick days to care for their children. But puh-leaze, if you are sick YOU DO NOT NEED TO GO TO PARTIES.

And if you are stupid enough and clueless enough go to a party, please do not hover over the food table with a wadded up kleenex clutched in your evil little claw.

And especially, do not swill down the expensive Pinot that Suebob will need to drink to recover from the thought of your disgusting microbes polluting her St. Andre Triple Cream brie plate. Go home, beyotch!


There is a way to bum money from me and and a way not to. Here are some helpful hints.

"Excuse me, miss, I was wondering if you could help me out. My sister just had a baby and she is real sick and I need to get $37 for a bus ticket to go help her out and I have $28 and I was wondering if you had any change to spare?"

Why this is good:
1. "Excuse me" - you may be a meth freak, but your mama raised you right.
2. "miss" - I am 45. I will take all the "miss" I can get.
3. "My sister just had a baby..." - I appreciate a good story. It may be total fiction but you at least know how to tug at the heartstrings. Good plotline.
4. "$28..." nice detail
5. "If you had any change to spare..." not presumptious.

"Excuse me. I was wondering if you had any spare change."

Why this is okay
See 1 and 5 above. Not too creative, though.

$1 or all the change in my pocket.
"Do you have a dollar?"

Why this is bad
No "excuse me." No backstory. No polite words at all. Just a presumption that I will give some random drunk in the parking lot at the do-it-ur-self car wash a dollar.

Not gonna happen, pal.
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