Friday, December 3, 2010

RIP... Renovation In Progress!

OK, OK, it's been a while...but I'm coming back, I swear! 

Friday, May 14, 2010

5/12's Dear Prudence, plus Preakness Last-Minute Picks

Cousin Jackal, for the record, does not gamble on the ponies; I'm too, err, frugal (coughCHEAPcough) to waste money on a bet, and I am a lousy handicapper.  I am a lousy handicapper because instead of spending my youth at the track, I spent it in 4-H learning to be a conformation judge.  I can walk down a line of identical-looking horses (or, hell, twelve different kinds) and tell you which one best fits its breed standard.  I could expound for several minutes on the merits of the "original" standard of a given breed versus the "modern" standard.  I can tell you whether a horse is sound, whether its stride will be smooth or choppy, and even what sport it's best suited to based on how it's built.  What I can't tell is how fast it can run.

That's okay, because tomorrow's Preakness doesn't have anything to do with speed.  The Kentucky Derby is called the Run for the Roses; the Preakness should be called the Clusterf&ck for the Black-Eyed Susans.  Every year it's the same.  Every year, all the jockeys manage to forget somewhere around the final turn that the homestretch is a sixteenth of a mile shy of Derby distance, and all the late-movers' late moves come too late.  Which is why Super Saver is going to win the second leg of the Triple Crown.  NOT because he's a great horse--but because Calvin Bo"rail" is going to plant him on the inside again, same as before, and Super Saver has a good mile and three-sixteenths in his tank.   There's the win, and I'll side with Andrew Beyer in calling Aikenite and Lookin At Lucky to place and show.  But fear not (or hope not), there won't be a Triple Crown winner this year.  Super Saver hit his peak distance in the Derby and flattened out before the wire; he doesn't have the Belmont's mile and a half in him.

Finally, after several insane weeks of real-life hassles, there is time to do a few DP letters.  The originals can be found here.

Letter 1:
Two of my coworkers are boinking each other in the conference room!  Can I rat on them and, like, ruin the guy's marriage?  'Cause, y'know, I've got some baggage and it would REEEEALLY hit the spot to get some misplaced vengeance!

Dear Bitter Twat,
Oops, did I say that out loud?  I should have kept that to myself.  And you should keep your baggage to yourself in the office.  You want to "ruin the lives of a young mother and her toddler", even though you don't know them?  Well...if you don't know them...see if you can follow me here...then you don't know she isn't aware of her husband's office shaggery and isn't already planning to divorce him.  Or maybe they're separated and he's having a fling.  Or any of a hundred other possibilities that make their marriage none of your business.  Your coworkers' quickies and parking lot canoodling makes you and the rest of your team have to pick up their slack?  Bullshit.  If that were true, either your manager would have noticed the team pulling overtime and the schedule slipping, or you'd have already lodged a complaint.  I don't buy it for a second, with all your seething victimhood, that you'd have covered for them for an instant.  So it boils down to you not wanting these two to make sweet sweet love in the conference room.  That's actually the only fair part of your complaint.  It's not professional behavior, and it squicks everyone else out.  (Run a blacklight over the table.  I dare you.)  Unfortunately, if you don't have evidence of wrongdoing on their part, you can't lodge a complaint with HR.  Fortunately, this is exactly what nanny cams are for!  Rig one up, record, grab a series of offensive behaviors, report to HR with evidence in hand.  Personally, I'd just pound on the door or shove it open and run away, but, hell, technology is our friend!

Letter 2:
I've been in the workforce for a year and I'm still identifying myself as a recent college grad.  But beyond that, I got promoted to a tough new position and rely heavily on the person who used to have the job.  I spent forever--nearly a month!--working on a task, only to find that she sent our boss a better version!  Can I tell her what a meanie she is?

Dear Here Is A Towel,
Please take this experience as an opportunity to dry off behind your ears.  There are two possibilities with this situation.  First, it's possible your boss directly assigned her the project and she completed it without anything to do with you.  She doesn't work in your department and she doesn't owe you any notification of what tasks she's working on.  Second, there is the term "scooped" in journalism to mean one reporter getting to a story before another reporter does.  You may have simply trusted the wrong person and gotten scooped.  Either way, bringing it up with her or your boss in any accusatory fashion WILL make you look whiny--because, hey, you're whining!  Go ahead and mention it in conversation with her to learn whether she meant it as a strike against you or not, and proceed with your office friendship accordingly.  Oh, and for fuck's sake, rely on her a little less to do your job.  You're a year out of college; you need on-the-job training, not training wheels.

Letter 3:
My fiance never wants sex.  I do.  I try to turn him on, even dressing up in sexy outfits.  He laughed at me!  Should I resign myself to a sexless marriage because it's the nice, generous thing to do?

Dear Naughty Nurse,
Run, do not walk, from this relationship.  I say this having recently consoled a friend who divorced her husband after eight miserable years of unwilling celibacy and unanswered questions about why.  Just take Mr. Dan Savage's advice and dump the motherfucker already.  Sex isn't the only basis for a relationship, but if it doesn't remotely match up then it's doomed to fail.  And as for him laughing at you, well, I'll cut him some slack there.  You probably looked funny.  "Sexy" outfits, when sprung on someone without warning, tend to look more comical than lust-inducing. 

Letter 4:
My relatives are trying to crash my graduation and mooch off my mother.  My grandmother has threatened to make a scene if I dare to be fat at the ceremony, which I will be.  What to do?

Dear Get the Smelling Salts,
You've come to the right place, because if Cousin Jackal's good at one thing, it's lobbing sickeningly truth-filled, bridge-burning insults at relatives who are behaving like lower forms of life.  (Ask me about Mother's Day.  Better yet, don't.)  But you're young.  Presumably you want to still have some sort of relationship with your grandmother.  I say, tell yourself you don't give a flying fuck what comes out of the old biddy's mouth.  Whatever she says, just roll with it.  Deflect it.  If she faints in the aisle, she faints in the aisle.  Let the audience worry about her.  Shrug, collect your diploma, and don't give her another thought.  As for the mooching guests, talk to your mother about it.  Plan a response together.