Friday, February 29, 2008

I Feel Pretty, Oh So Pretty

...right up until I fell down the stairs in front of an entire stairwell of sixth to eighth graders.  I told you all this Karma thing was a kick in the pants.
Go ahead, laugh out loud.  You know you want to.  They did.  Which reminded me of something else about school kids... they have a sense of humor and are not afraid to use it.
Some of the comments made to me as they passed by:
"Why you trippin' Miss?"
"Miss, you missed the first step"
"Man, don't you know it's not fall?"

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Death By Monkeys

I am so mad!  I mean the kind of mad you get when your logical brain can not figure out how these asshats put two and two together then got twenty-two.  I can't even pronounce everyday words like "kill" or "F*@K" right now and my ability to focus has become non-existent.  NASA is investigating reports of a sonic boom that coincided with my screaming into the phone.  That kind of mad.  I will give you three guesses with whom I just ended an hour long phone call:

Was it:
1. The chinese food delivery place 
2. A member of my family

Everyone that voted for number three: you win.  Somehow this company, which is run with even less efficiency than the U.S. Government, has managed -AGAIN- to bugger up my claims. Here's the kicker: I filed two sets of claims at roughly the same time.  Set one was for the end of 2007 and set two was for services that started this year.  I find it very interesting that BH&BC can't manage to pay me my money, but they did manage to inform me that this year I now have a $500 deductible... The "We Ain't Gonna Pay You" letter was received two weeks after the claim was filed - even though that particular claim was filed only a week after the set one claim - which they have managed to F*@K up.  Seriously, they drag their feet and make up more BS than a sixth-grader who forgot his homework (& trust me I know what kind of BS a 6th grader makes up - but more on that in another blog).   Yet, they will push their own mothers into hell, sell their children into slavery and jump through a ring of fire so fast it would burn your @$$ two states away to send you an non-payment EOB (Explanation of Benefits) when they don't have to give you any dough.

These people are seriously getting on my "PEOPLE TO KILL" list.  (It's a small, but distinguished list that used to be larger when I was working for Ascend Into Hell Company, but has managed to shrink since then.)  And this is not a good thing since I really hate the color orange and have a large aversion to showering with other women.  

I can understand not wanting to pay a bill.  Hell, I go through that every month when I get my Visa statement.  (By the way, I really did need those oh-so-cute and ever-so-fashionable kitten pump heels.  I mean, you can't expect me to teach middle school kids in three inch FMPs??? Sorry, not happening - no matter what David Lee Roth thinks). But it's time to pay up people.  I got things to buy with that money and you are standing in my way.  Which is like standing in front of a speeding train whispering "stop".  You will lose and it will not be pretty.  Trust me bigger people have tried and died.... I'm the freaking Bloody Red Baron when it comes to spending money and I have a wallet stamped with proof of my "kills" to prove it.  

So, what we obviously have here is a "failure to communicate" (*See Cool Hand Luke).  Most likely based on the fact that I do not speak Dumb-ass Monkey and BC's Dumb-ass Monkeys don't understand English.  Really.  How much plainer can I make it.  YOU OWE ME MONEY - GIVE IT TO ME NOW.  Crap, I think my cats understood that.  I am so peeved at these F*@k-whits that I can barely keep my hands from wringing the phone in two.  The first two go rounds of Tax ID and NPI numbers were not enough, they are now claiming the CPT codes are wrong.  Funny.  They are the same bloody CPT codes that you dimbwhits paid on the last two claims and managed to "post towards this (mysterious) $500 deductible".  All of a sudden they are wrong?!?!?  UUUUUUUGGGGGHHHHH!!!!

I am off to find the xanax and Ho-Ho's because this is becoming more than one non-medicated non-chocolate-high-induced person can handle.  As soon as I pry the phone from my Kung-Fu Death Grip.

Monday, February 11, 2008

We're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

Ode to Roy Scheider who passed away Feb 10, 2008.  While he may have been twice nominated for an Oscar; he will forever be know to us as the shark defeating Captain Brody from JAWS. And the utterer of those immortal words "We're gonna need a bigger boat".

They say the best way to overcome a fear is to face it head on.  THEY are full of shit.  Coming face to face with your greatest fear and not having anything to protect you but a thin sheet of plastic is not going to cure your fear.  It might however get the US Navy wondering what the hell that noise was.

I have been deathly afraid of sharks ever since Steven Spealberg was nice enough to ruin my summer '75 water fun with his little movie - Jaws.  When I was a kid, I spent every summer going to the lake.  I was such a water baby that getting me out of the water at the end of the summer required a tow-truck, bribery and the shore patrol.  In fact, I think my Dad still owes me for the summer '79 bribe.... hummmmm.   

Background on the story.  My (then) boyfriend and I were spending Memorial day in Hawaii and wouldn't it be nice to do some of the adventure outings that Hawaii has to offer?  Swim with the dolphins.  Check.  See North Shore.  Check.  Eat Shaved Ice.  Check.  Dive with sharks.............  What?!?!!?

Thus we ended up at a place called Shark Dives (or something to that nature - I am still traumatized by  the whole event and have blocked certain details).  We are on a boat that doesn't have a head (bathroom to the land-lovers) and a motor that looks like my cat on catnip could outrun it.  There are three other couples.  My boyfriend.  Buckets of chum.  And me with half a bottle of xanax.  Did I mention no bathroom/head?  Not a good thing when you are about to have the living sheeeeeeeet scared out of you by the way.  Anyway, boat motors up to the cage, people go in the cage, cage goes in the water.  Just like that, you have meals on wheels for sharks.  A nice snack pack for the sharks that the boat captain and his mate are now chumming the waters in order to entice into some sort of feeding frenzy.  

Note on the type of sharks.  Before you think I am as nuts as CP and his dive buddy J, these were NOT Great Whites.  They were Galapagos Sharks and according to the nut-job herding the shark version of Soylent Green, are not known for eating people.  Damn good thing since my happy rear was going into a 5x5 cage with only a mask and a snorkel.

We get the five second lecture about putting our hands and feet outside the cage before we are handed a "dive set".  I can't even begin to tell you how much I was NOT looking forward to putting my body INSIDE the cage, let alone my hands/feet outside the cage.  Captain Ahab breaks the group in two and tells my boyfriend and I that we will be in group two.  Which gives me 15 minutes of complete panic time.  When facing your fears it is best to be in group ONE!  Why?  Because being in group two gives you fifteen minutes to allow an over-active imagination to run through all sorts of shark-attack-life-ending-scenarios that would give Rob Zombie a run for his money.  Shark Week is for light-weights when it comes to the crap I can think up in 15 minutes while watching 4 people play catch-me-if-you-can for a group of blood frenzied sharks.

My turn.  Boyfriend and I get into the cage with lucky couple number three.  Cage gets lowered into the water.  I start screaming....and kicking.....and screaming....and kicking.  (Anyone seeing a pattern here?)  Remember when the movie Alien ('79) was released?  "In space no one can here you scream."  Well in the North Shore waters of Hawaii, they can hear you all the way down at the Pearl Harbor Naval Base!  For 15 minutes straight, I kicked and screamed like a two year old not wanting to take a nap.  I managed to bruise and beat myself, my boyfriend, the other couple and (according to the captain) a few unlucky sharks who had sonar problems because of my terror induced sound waves.  It wasn't pretty and my fear of sharks was NOT cured.  My bottle of xanax however, was empty.

Skip to a year and a half later.  I am in diving off the Gulf Coast.  I have been reassured by EVERYONE that sharks are not seen this time of year.  (By now my fear of sharks has been beaten by my love of SCUBA diving.)  Anyway, we are in the water for our third dive when my dive buddy gives me the signal for "shark".  And just like the calm, cool, collected rational diver I had become.... I looked straight at it, flinged my fingers in an upwards motion  and scream "SSSSSSSHHHHHOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!"  To which this man-eating-menace of the sea turned on his tail and swam away.

Moral of this tale:  Sharks aren't bad.  Shark Movies are Bad.  And having a fear based on a movie and fiction is worse.  Sharks are beautiful creatures who (when seen in their element) are far more afraid of you than you are of them.  I have now "swam with sharks"on several dives and find them very harmless when respected.  They are more afraid of "us" than we should be of "them" ~rightly so given they way we treat the things we fear.  Am I cured of my "fear" of sharks?  Well..... not really.  Let's just say I have a health respect for their beauty and tranquility ...and prefer to observe them from several yards away.  

To read more about how we are impacting these creatures and see some awesome photos of sharks in action visit the sites listed below.

Rest in Peace Captain Brody ~
"Show me the way to go home, I'm tired and I wanna go to bed, I had a little drink about an hour ago and it's gone right to my head, where ever I may rome by land, by sea, by home you'll never hear me singing this song show me the way to go home......"  
(Quoted from the movie Jaws.)

Louis and Prada and Coach, Oh My!!

Hello. My name is Lisa-tastrophies and I have a hand bag problem.
I have been hand bag free for 132 days. Unless you count the beautiful black Coach leather tote that I was re-gifted for my birthday. Since I did not actually purchase this handbag, I think that all my days on the wagon should count.
I wasn't always like this. Years ago I was content with my pink pleather purse that I had purchased from JC Pennys or the tan Dooney & Burke I received for my high school graduation. Until the day I met Louis.

Well, Hello Louis

Louis Vuitton came to me in vintage Bucket style. Complete with matching cosmetic bag. I was as hooked as the chain link clip that held the cosmetic bag neatly inside my beloved bucket bag. The smell of the fine Italian leather. The feel of the soft interior as I reached for my sunglass case. The cold radiating from the very snaps, rings and grommets that held it all together. It was the beginning of a beautiful life together... and my decent into hand bag snobbery.

My second Louis V was the signature piano bag. Angelina Jolie carries one. I had to have it. I hunted, researched and located an authentic piano bag on ebay. Managed to acquire it with only a little resistance from the bidding public. After a semi-heated last minute bidding frenzy during which I crushed my opponent with my sheer will and credit limit, I had the bag. It was perfect. Once on my shoulder, my walk was a little sexier. My lips a little poutier, and my attitude was all Jolie. We became sisters in handbags, carrying secrets that only our perfect LV Piano bags could hold.

The Coachman Cometh

Coach came to me latter. I was a working woman then and needed a bag that matched my perfectly well heeled sense of style. One that said grace, timelessness and "yes, I did spend my last paycheck on this bad boy so you had better recognize". Coach and I have been together for many years. I have seen some of his bad design decisions but loved him for his classics collections. He has carried my load through airports, small towns, big towns and half of Europe and never complained. Even when I passed on the older coaches to younger friends, Coach has rewarded me with new, and beautiful yet timeless replacements. While I may grow up to be a Channel quilt bag woman, we will always have Paris.

Longchamp By a Nose

Which brings me to my lovely Longchamp. My bag that's the "insider" bag. I love these bags for their durability and ability to fold into small envelope size for easy carry. I have two. One that opens into a purse. The other one blossoms into a carry all that truly could hold the kitchen sink. However what I love most about the Longchamp bag is its selectivity. Hardly anyone outside of Europe knows about these handy little beauties. So when I see another woman carrying her Longchamp bag it's like seeing a long-lost sorority sister. We nod, acknowledge each other's good taste in bags and smile that our secret is safe within fashionable hands.

Hermes Hermit

But the piece del la resistance. The Holy Grail of all handbags. The Mother of them all is still woefully out of my reach. The Hermes bag. Hermes, the Olympian god of boundaries and of the travelers who cross them (thank you The handbag that sets the boundary for all good taste and distinction - not to mention ostentatious display of wealth and clout. Not just one, but two pieces of hand bag perfection never to be obtained by mere mortals. The Kelly Bag. Designed for America's Princess - Grace Kelly. It stood for all things glamour and fairy-tale. Then came the Birkin. Named after a british singer named Jane Birkin. Ah the Birkin. Starting price $7500 and a waiting list longer than that of a Miley Cirus concert sales line. THE bag to have. It says you have arrived. You are the bomb and no one in NYC's elite is going to turn you away now.

My name is Lisa-tastrophies and I am a bag lady. I have accepted that I am powerless against the lure of the name brand and that I have handbag issues. I love these convenient packages for all my gear. I live for the smell of leather and suede. The feel of the weight on my shoulder. The thrill of the new purchase. God, grant me the serenity to accept that I can not change (or exchange the bag after purchase), the courage to buy cheap imitation knock-offs, and the wisdom to never spend what amounts to that of a down payment for a house on a large bag of leather & metal. Amen.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Unemployment is a Bitch

Warning: This post is BITCHY. Really Bitchy. And is not directed at ANY ONE PERSON. It is mostly the venting of all my frustrations stemming from being unemployed longer than I had hoped.

Dear Everyone:
While you are at work everyday, toiling to keep the economy afloat, I want to let you know what I am doing: I am sitting on my ass watching General Hospital and smoking a big fatty!!

Margot: "Hey Elle, do you know what happened on Days of Our Lives?"
Elle: "Why yes, Margot. As you know Hope is still brain washed by the evil Stephano."
*Legally Blond-paraphrased from memory

Yep, since I quite my Hell-Job that gave me migraines, an ulcer, sent me into therapy and left me puking on the side of the road at the very thought of having to go into the office, I have been doing NOT A GOD DAMN THING! Which is apparently what everyone thinks I am doing all day based on the comments made to me.  Also, if we do not know each other in more than a very casual sense, what makes you think you have the right to make any life suggestions to me in the first place?!?!?! I don't need career advice from someone who's interaction with me has less depth than the kiddy pool at my apartment complex.

Some of my favorites so far:

1. Wal-Mart is Hiring. Really?? And what do you think I am qualified to do at Wal-Mart? Apparently nothing since they never responded my application. Not even a "thank you but no thanks" computer generated response. Starbucks turned me down.  The animal shelter was closed the day I went to sign up to foster kittens. So yes, I am wasting my 12 years of college by applying to jobs that a trained monkey could do and getting told bugger off we don't want you.

2. You have to look for a job 8 hours a day. If I spent 8 hours a day every day looking for a job I would have spent (roughly) 835 hours looking for a job. I wonder how many of you actually spend ALL 8 hours a day actually working? Not checking personal e-mails, shopping for Christmas gifts on-line or watching the latest viral video making the internet rounds? I really can not tell you how pissed I get every time some one tells me this. It's such Bullshit and we all know it - so stop it. Not to mention the small detail of: THERE AREN'T THAT MANY JOBS A PERSON IS QUALIFIED TO DO. Which brings us to #3

3. "Since you have nothing to do" or variation "Since you aren't doing anything". I would LOVE to come over to your house and help you alphabetize your underwear drawer. Or enter you in the Free Cruise give-a-way every day while you are hard at work for 8 hours without any breaks what-so-ever and can't enter this yourself. Especially since I know I am not the "companion" you would be taking on this fabulous trip for two to sunny Port-of-Somewhere-Other-Than-Here. Yes, I want to pick up your brat kids from day care and run them to play-dates. Apparently not having children of my own was not a conscious decision on my part and being enclosed in my small car with your two hell-children is what I was missing in life. 

Now there is a disclaimer here. Asking honestly for help to do something is one thing and I don't mind doing things to help a friend out. However, thinking of me as your personal man-servant because I "have nothing to do all day" just pisses me off.

4. You should take a temp job. Guess what?  I tried!  Temp agencies don't want to place a person with 15 years of work experience and two degrees in a receptionist position. I don't know why. And yes, I called in available for work. And yes, I e-mailed them. And yes, I left voice messages at their call center before I went to bed every night. The only thing they have assigned me is a restraining order.

5. You should apply to insert job/company/position here. Please remember that just because you wanted to be a plumbing crack repairman does not mean that job is for everyone. There are only so many jobs a person is qualified (or over-qualified to do) and applying to every single job listed is just stupid. If the qualifications for a job list a PhD in astrophysics, what makes you think they are even going to look at my resume once the computer pre-screens it and sees that a Bachelor in Under Water Basket Weaving degree was the highest I earned? Get real people, this comment is so beyond common sense that I have a hard time not throttling the person speaking. It's usually uttered with some other insane comment about the shot-gun approach to job hunting and how someone is bound to call me eventually based on the rule of averages.

6. You should.... You could.... Why don't you...... 
Should have, Could have, Would Have as the saying goes and yes I have. I know that any sentence starting with one of these is meant to be of some help and deep inside I really do appreciate that you want to help. Please see it from my side right now. I am unemployed, broke and can't find a job. My nerves are a little raw and I am just this side of super-sensitive about the whole damn thing.

Keep it up people and I will buy a pair of clear heels and head towards the nearest pole. I'm smart enough to know that men are dumb enough to pay $20 for a three minute song in order to view twins they will never get to touch. And since everyone has already written me off as a fucking loser for not being able to find a job, pole dancing should just solidify the opinion.  (P.s. I really wouldn't do this, but it sounded good when I was venting.)

Thus endeth my rant.  Again, this was just venting and not directed to any one person.  I apologize in advance if anyone takes it personally.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Ex-Files

I ran into one of my Ex's the other day at Starbucks.  I was standing in line waiting for my usual (Venti White Chocolate Mocha with four sweet & lows and extra whip) when I heard a voice.  GOD?  Is that You?  No, it was an-Ex.  Not just any EX.  But one I had really really liked.  Thank GAWD that I was actually having a semi-decent hair day and had managed to put on more than the Geranimals version of sweats and jeans.  Nothing sucks worse than running into Ex when you look like shit, don't have your act together and you hair looks like its seen the inside of a high velocity wind tunnel.  We talked for about twenty minutes before Ex made a comment regarding my usage of this particular Starbucks.  I can't remember word-for-word, but the gist was that he wanted to know how often I was there and when I was there... Then he insinuated that I "try the Starbucks" at the corner of X and Y.  Dude!!  I have lived here for three years.  You just moved here.  I have a special relationship with my barista and she knows how to make my White Mochas just the way I like them.  You do not get custody of Starbucks. Deal with it and deal with the fact that I am SOOOOO over you.  Move on.  I did.

Anyway, all of this got me to thinking about Ex's and that there are rules to being my Ex (OK, these aren't hard and fast rules, they should be).  
The number one rule is that you can not look better now than when we were dating.  In no way are you to:
A. Lose weight and find some muscles.  If anything, you were supposed to gain weight from all the comfort food you consumed while pining away for my return.
B. Find a sense of fashion - if you couldn't dress yourself when we were dating, don't figure it out now.  And if this is the after-effect of a recent or current girlfriend, just lie to me and tell me you won a make over on What Not To Wear and normally look like the crap dresser I remember.
C. Get contacts, lasiks or a really cool pair of glasses.  I don't need you to see that my hair is "lighter" and that my rear now comes with it's own zip code.

The second rule was that you were supposed to go through a mourning phase.  This phase is directly proportional to the time we "dated".  I don't need to know that you ran out and met Buffy-the-Wonder-Babe five days after we were through.  At least pretended that you were heartbroken about my absence even if you were the one who chose to make me absent.  This period of mourning should include endless obsessing over "us", the "relationship" and "was it your fault".  Preferably done in conjunction with you gaining about 10 pounds.  

Side note guys.  Drop the "We can still be friends" bullshit.  What that really means is that you will be cordial if forced to interact with your ex in a public environment, but you want absolutely nothing to do with her in any way, shape or form otherwise.  We know this and quite frankly 9 times out of 10 don't want to be your "friend" or "friend-with-benefits".  Get over it, we don't need to hear that crap.  We move on.  And in the rare occasion that we did truly GET OVER YOU or were JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU to begin with and want to JUST BE FRIENDS with you; you do not have the right to think we are psycho when we ask you to the movies because we are bored and want to go.  Trust me you were the LAST person we called to go to the movie. 
P.s. YOU brought it when you said "we could still be friends".  Think about it...

Last but most important rule of all.  Even if you happened to be THE ONE who got away... Please remember that while I probably spent a great deal of time driving a 16-penny nail through a voodoo doll with your name on it, I really don't wish you any ill-will.  So don't act like a freak-a-zoid if you happen to run into me in a public place.  Say hello and go on your way. God knows I already have.