Wtf are these things I saw at Target?

No, seriously, what are they?  We already established that some pretty comical things can be found at Target.  But I saw these on the seasonal shelf and had to snap a picture because they are so bizarre.

I can only assume they are Valentine's Day related decorative crap, but like - are they plants?  Lollipops?  They come in small pots, look sort of like rosebushes covered in fake gummy heart-shaped candy.  The weirdest part was the clear-ish frost covering the hearts that made them look like something you find out in the deep-sea ocean.  What will they think of next?

Dear coworker: please don't use antiquated American idioms like "soup to nuts" in a meeting.

Especially when more than half the people in the room are international in some way:

  • One Scotsman by way of Malaysia
  • One Albanian from Kosovo
  • Two Russians
  • ...and a second-generation ABC like me.
Seriously dude.  Just say "end-to-end."

FYI, the phrase "soup to nuts" is fully explained on Wikipedia.  I don't think I'd ever heard the phrase explained before and I'm really glad I asked.

Aquatic therapy and massage...for dogs!?

Having never owned a furry pet, I find it really, really difficult to understand how and why some people pour so many resources into the well-being of their dogs.  I mean, I think dogs are lovable and endearing and can be seen as "part of the family," and I certainly believe they should be treated humanely and given proper nutrition/shelter/exercise.  But the thing that gets me every time is that in many cases, dogs in this country live about 50x better than many human beings do, in other parts of the world.

You can imagine my reaction to the recently launched Rex Center, aquatic fitness just for your canine pals.  Complete with swim coaches, assisted swimming, canine massage, and aromatherapy--keep in mind that these services are NOT for medical purposes, though it sounds like they can be used for rehab.  I saw this come through my e-mail inbox and I don't think my eyes could roll any further back in my head.  Maybe there I am missing something very crucial, and maybe some readers will be thrilled to discover this find.  But I just don't see why animals deserve such luxurious treatment (essential oils and aromatherapy!?) when human beings in so many parts of the world face poverty, malnutrition, abuse, and injustice.

Folks might be interested in Michael Schaffer's look into America's obsession with their pets in his new book, One Nation Under Dog.

I understand I may not have the full picture and my strong feelings about this may very well be self-righteous and misguided--if so, someone please explain what I'm missing.

Someone asked me the other day why I left the Biz...

...I found my answer while digging through my old blog.  Reblogging now:

June 19, 2005

Holy BALONEY. I graduated from college TWO YEARS AGO. I have been in this godforsaken business for ALMOST TWO YEARS. Yea, I'm FREAKING OUT. I BARELY have enough saved up to buy a car, though I did manage to pay off my student loans. ALL MY FRIENDS ARE GETTING ENGAGED (by all, I mean two. But several are well on their way, and everyone from high school is getting married. And by everyone, I mean like ten). I have no way of knowing WHEN IN THE HELL I'm going to get promoted. and even IF I get promoted in the next few months, I'll still BE WORKING 12-Hour days and reading PILES of SCRIPTS at 1 AM on a Sunday, not going to church, eating out every night and GETTING FAT, all while making less money PER ANNUM than a general manager at HOME DEPOT (which my parents loooooooooove to remind me). And I'll be NOWHERE NEAR making the kind of movies I actually, really want to make. MY FRIENDS ARE STARTING TO TRY TO SET ME UP WITH BORING TAIWANESE GUYS WHO GRADUATED FROM STANFORD AND WORK AT YAHOO, under the guise of "group dinner" at hipster Japenese fusion places (all well intentioned of course). 

I'm considering a career change. Scratch that, I'm considering a LIFE CHANGE.
Because I'm making a living doing something "FUN" I find I have no time to do anything I really actually want to do, like take walks, curl up on my couch with homemade brownies and milk and watch reruns of Sex and the City, reading from CITY OF QUARTZ and writing my caldecott award-winning picture book, paint my walls, buy shoes and furniture, get haircuts on a regular basis, having long talks with people I completely trust, being creative, keep my bathroom spic and span, vacuum, iron, cook eggs for myself, have people over, do double-headers at the movies, run around, throw pots, volunteer, surf the internet for hours, go to the beach, reorganize everything, teach, learn, laugh.

On the plus side: I bought four pairs of shoes today. Last week I got my first pedicure EVER and went to the Rose Bowl Flea market with Amelia, and came home with an old metal vanity chair that is THE perfect project: I get to sand it down and repaint it, and reupholster the seat cushion with a staple gun. I am surrounded by people almost all the time. 

I have in the backseat of my car, as part of the spoils of "company stuff" that was being stored at Disney, an original finger painting by Adam Sandler that he gave to my boss-man. It's a mess of blue with an ugly face surrounded by the words, "LIVE FEAR FUCK DIE." Those tortured comics. I bet it would sell for a lot on eBay. I also have a pile of stunt wigs that they used for that movie, CORKY ROMANO, if anyone wants to buy those off me.

And tomorrow I'll be rubbing elboys with the new Face of Bulimia herself, Ms. Lindsay Lohan at the HERBIE: FULLY LOADED premiere. Fun times.


It's funny... I read the above underlined paragraph now... and I have spent pretty much the last 2.5 years doing many of those things... and yet am still not satisfied.  Should I be re-evaluating my life or should I be re-evaluating my expectations?

Rant: It really annoys me when people are not direct.

Especially if, when you've asked them for clarification on a matter of delicacy, and they feel awkward or uncomfortable about telling you the truth, they give you a very confusing and convoluted answer, or completely circumvent the issue by not answering your question at all. 

Indirect-ness and passive-aggressiveness absolutely infuriate me in both the professional and personal realms.  Those of you who like to side-step issues and keep people guessing: DO YOU EXPECT US SIMPLETONS TO READ YOUR MINDS!?

I'm thinking of a different recent situation, but one good example is when you apply for a job somewhere and they give you some trite answer like, "we did not find you to be a fit at this time."  What I want to know is, what the F does at this time mean?  That they might review my application at a later date, and THEN would find me a fit?  That I should try applying again? 

If what they REALLY mean is: "Given your current qualifications,you are not good enough to work for this company in this capacity, but you are welcome to apply again if a different opportunity arises or if you gain significant experience/skill in X area, and good luck with all your endeavors," then they should just SAY it.  What people often need to hear most is that there is NO HOPE, ever, and they should just get over it and move on.  I'm sure if everyone were more direct (and truthful--not hurtful), we would all be spared a lot of heartache.

Don't even get me started on how some people behave in romantic relationships and are afraid to "Just Say NO" to people they have zero interest in, and wind up stringing those poor people along.  Cowards.