Wednesday, January 31, 2007
If you get me, you've hit bottom
Sometimes in my work I run into someone who doesn't think a woman could be anything other than a secretary.

That pisses me off.

It is 2007. Women are doing more than making babies and doing dishes. We are running countries, corporations, and marathons.

The other day, a guy called, didn't identify himself, and said he "wanted to talk to one of the guys." I told him that the guys were either not present or unavailable. I told him if he wanted one of the guys, it would be a while, but I could have somebody call him. He got kind of peevish at this. I told him, "Look, the guys are not available and it is likely to be a while."

He said, "I want to talk to a [insert job title]."

"I am a [job title]," I said.

"Oh, well I guess I can talk to a girl..." he said.

And that made me want to say, "Are you sure? We wouldn't want anything to fall off. We don't want you to be tainted..."

Seriously. I mean, Come on!


posted by Phoenix | 11:39 AM | 2 comments

About yesterday...
Yesterday was just plain awful.

And, forgive me for not spelling out the details, but as it happened at work, I am loathe to be more forthcoming. First, the backstory:

In my job I talk to a lot of people all over the country. Last April, I began working with this person who, let's just say, has difficulty communicating with the rest of the world. For an indepth look at my first encounters with this guy, check out this post in the archives.

My initial take on him was "buffoon," but in the year that I've had the distinct displeasure of knowing him I've consistently downgraded him. From "buffoon" he slipped to featherbrain, simpleton, and then half-wit. About midway through the past year however, he made a huge break through and became a boor, then a cad, then a beast. Now, I am proud to proclaim him an insufferable asshole, an unprofessional sunuvabitch, and completely lacking in any sense of personal responsibility.

Perhaps you know his type. He is one of those that claim to NEVER BE WRONG. Infallible. Error-free.

Of course, one might counter this obvious unliklihood with the argument that if that were true, he'd be doing better financially, but alas, he is not.

Not that that is any of my business, of course. I only mention it to point out the fallacy in his premise.

The way that our relationship was supposed to work was for him to give me explicit instructions which I would follow to the letter. Of course, his idea of explicit left enough holes for me to drive a sprawling Chicago suburb through, but don't forget, he's never wrong.

I would attempt to get clarification on my questions, but he wasn't only never wrong, he was also never available. So, I'd have to determine what he intended from my not so powerful powers of mindreading. As it would turn out, this would become the most important of my powers. Too bad that power is not one of my strengths.

Without going into details, I can tell you that yesterday, his antics came to a head. I called him to ask a simple, run of the mill, standard question. To put it politely, he came unglued. He threw a temper tantrum - adult style - and directed it, in explicit language, at me. His behavior went beyond impolite and right into a crude personal attack. He put all of the blame on me. You know, because he's NEVER WRONG. I did it. Me. I lost the money. Sure I did.

I want you to know that I kept my cool through his entire tirade. I did not retaliate or match him word for word on his nastiness. I did, however, keep asking him for an answer on the original question, and he refused to give me one. Like a 3-year-old with his hands over his ears, sticking his tongue out and going "nah, nah, nah, I can't hear you", he would not answer my question. More nastiness ensued until I couldn't take it anymore and I ended the conversation as politely as possible given the circumstances.

Ten minutes later, as I am leaving my boss a message about my encounter with Mr. Mean McNasty, we take another phone call from a third party. She was treated to a similarly ugly encounter with Mr. Mean McNasty, taking the rest of the attack that I refused to parry.

The encounter and the dealing with the issues Mr. Mean McNasty wouldn't resolve left me frazzled, uptight, and sick to my stomach the rest of the day. The upside of all of this is, however, we no longer do business with McNasty. Sayonara, Sucker. What do we have as a parting gift, Chuck?

I realize that not everyone likes me. I am too opinionated. People don't like me because I am too capable (or so I've been told) and I make them feel inadequate. People don't like me because I am an overachiever with a can-do attitude. People don't like me because of my ability to skewer others with my barbed wit and prose. Whatever.

I was nothing but professional in my dealings with McNasty. He has no reason to dislike me. I have taken all of his bullshit, refined it into fertilizer, and spread it. Unfortunately for him, the quality of the inputs sort of limit the potential of the end product. Even had I put chocolate syrup on top, it still would have been bullshit. But, of course, this too is my fault. I failed to read his mind. I failed to know what emails he had/hadn't received from a third party. I failed to know what he intended, even if his words indicated something contrary.

I won't miss McNasty. I won't miss being the fall guy so that he can maintain his NEVER WRONG, perfect record. I won't miss his profanity, his personal attacks, or his insinuations.



posted by Phoenix | 9:46 AM | 1 comments

Touching base
So, the main reason that posting has been light to non-existent is the fact that work has been incredibly busy all of a sudden.

There isn't a lot of free time. I haven't written anything on the novel in over a week, let alone here. I'll post when I can, including an explanation about yesterday.
posted by Phoenix | 9:40 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, January 30, 2007
When things slow down for me, I will tell you the story of the guy I'd like to verbally decapitate. Verbally.

He most sincerely deserves it.

And then, just for laughs, I'll tell you about the guy who grudgingly decided to talk to me, a woman.


posted by Phoenix | 3:39 PM | 0 comments

What Next?!?
Having a really bad, horrible, shouldastayedinbed, terrible day.
posted by Phoenix | 12:15 PM | 1 comments

Thursday, January 25, 2007
So, here is a question for you:
Have you flown Jet Blue?

What did you think?

Any problems? What about flying with an infant?

Any concerns with baggage?

I'm planning a trip to a sunny destination for the whole family and seriously leaning toward JetBlue for the reviews I've seen.
posted by Phoenix | 3:32 PM | 1 comments

Note to Self
You are a paranoid dork.


posted by Phoenix | 3:31 PM | 0 comments

Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Wednesday Link Roundup
Mike Nifong, ex-prosecutor of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case, has been charged with ethics violations in relation to the case by the North Carolina Bar. He is accused of witholding evidence and misleading the court.

It isn't exactly, but lonely Welsh farmers looking for love are being featured on milk cartons.

The white suburbs of Atlanta are trying to secede and create their own county. They are already being called racists.

Bou has a post up about the dangers of infection (Christina brought it to my attention in response to my post Testosterone Kills). It is a good read.

I started our taxes last night. It gave me a small thrill.
posted by Phoenix | 8:32 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Testosterone Kills
I love my husband, I really do. But sometimes, sometimes he's an idiot.

Let's flashback, shall we, to last Thursday. Prince Charming was visiting our local hometown non-chain pharmacy for some baby ibuprofen. He was carrying Bunny Boop into the pharmacy with him when he slipped and fell on a patch of ice that he blames on the sloppiness of the pharmacy owner (but we'll leave the blame for the ice alone). Prince Charming had enough time, but barely, to move his body in the fall to protect Bunny so that she would not be injured. And, in fact, she came out of the incident a bit scared, but not in the least harmed.

Prince Charming, on the other hand, took a serious hit to his right elbow. He cracked the thing good and it split open. He picked himself and Bunny up, dusted off, went into the pharmacy, and conducted his business, being sure to mention the icy patch to the pharmacist. He knew that he was bleeding, but he had no idea how bad it was. He dropped Bunny off at daycare and went home.

He discovered the severity of the injury while he was trying to peel his shirt away from the wound. He thought it might need stitches, but decided instead to wash it off and put a band-aid on the injured area.

When I arrived home later that day I took a good look at the wound. For my own mental health, I insisted on cleaning and bandaging the wound again. I told him he should have gotten stitches, but at this point the wound was already closed. Prince Charming complained of some pain (only normal) and took some Tylenol.

Fast forward to last night. When Prince Charming woke up, he complained that his elbow hurt. Not only that, it was swollen. Not dramatically, but obviously. What was more obvious, to me at least, was the infection. The area was inflamed, red, and hot to the touch. This, to me, said INFECTION. Now, I can't claim an md, but I do know a few things. I told him he was going to the doctor, no question. He said, "we'll see" and then he took another Tylenol.

This morning when he got home from work he had a hard time taking his coat off. Right there, folks, that should have been the final straw. He awkwardly and gingerly slipped his jacket off and I came a bit unglued. His elbow was bigger than a baseball and was fast approaching softball size. The area of inflamation was larger as was the area putting off heat. The infection was spreading very fast. I told him, in no uncertain terms, that he was going to see a doctor today.

When I got to work, I made him an appointment with our family practitioner and he saw the doctor at 11:30. The doctor told him it was very good that he came in, that it is good to catch these things as soon as possible. Whereupon my wonderful husband had to admit that he wouldn't be here were it not for my insistence on the matter. The doctor put him on antibiotics, told him to take at least 2 days off of work, and not to bend his elbow if at all possible.

Did I mention that after the initial injury my husband cut off some of the flesh that protruded from the wound before bandaging it? Heaven help me, I didn't learn this for a couple of days after the fact. Now I wonder exactly what device he used in the trimming. I'd bet dollars to dogshit he didn't sterilize the item, nevermind the stupidity of trimming meat from your elbow in the first place.

Yes, I love my husband, but sometimes he is an idiot. Testosterone messes with his cognitive skills. Yes. Testosterone Kills.

Beware, lest this happen to you, too.


posted by Phoenix | 1:54 PM | 2 comments

Monday, January 22, 2007
New in High Fashion for Men
The legging.

One hypenated word: icky-poo!

This is not masculine. In fact, the model in the picture that runs with the article could easily pass for an ugly girl. Boo!, I say, BOOOOOO!

Phoenix does not want her man to wear leggings, ever. Now, as a big fan of the revolutionary war period, I might like to see Prince Charming in some knee breeches while I wear a big ol' skirt and stays, but I'm not interested in seeing him in leggings. Or pantyhose, or a bra, or mascara, 'kay?

Oh, I can't wait to hear what Our Maximum Leader has to say about this! Somehow, I don't believe it would work well as a fashion statement with his bejeweled mylan cap.

Vote in the comments. Yay or nay for men in leggings?


posted by Phoenix | 12:04 PM | 0 comments

Litvinenko Poisoning Update
As you may or may not recall, Alexander Litvinenko, ex-KGB and new British citizen, was poisoned with Polonium-210 at the end of 2006. The world was agog and atwitter at the implications and theories.

It seems now that this was not the first attempt on Litvinenko's life. The first attempt apparently failed. British authorities are ready to identify the assassin. Of course, an arrest and justice for Litvinenko still appear to be a long way off.


posted by Phoenix | 11:49 AM | 0 comments

Annoying Commercials
Here is a mini-rant for your Monday reading.

Have you seen this Kia commercial where the sales agents are singing "So Long, Farewell" from The Sound of Music fame? This commercial irks the hell out of me. I'm not exactly sure why, but it offends me. They couldn't find a better tune, or write one of their own, they have to co-opt a song that is part and parcel with happy childhood memories? What's next, selling Bic Razors to The Candyman song? Selling Hanes underwear to that song Mr. Roger's used to sing?

Also, the Geico caveman commercial where the caveman is talking to his therapist and complaining about the "So easy a caveman could do it" ads is just bizarre. Are the commercials so bad that he needs to see a therapist, is that what we are supposed to take away from this? That, and apparently his mother verbally abuses him, I guess. It is inane and I'm not sure what they think they are selling. It isn't even funny.

Don't even get me started on those feminine napkin and tampon commercials that portray life at that time of the month as a 5-day dance party. Who are they kidding? Have a happy period, indeed. Talk about a message that isn't received well during PMS. Everytime I see that, I want to beat the idiot who came up with that ad campaign.

Wow. I need to meditate or something...


posted by Phoenix | 10:52 AM | 0 comments

In the Card Catalog of Life
Check it out!

Is that cool, or what?

This fun thing was brought to my attention by Our Maximum Leader, he who is most charming, and the other Naked Villains.

Get your own card here.


posted by Phoenix | 10:41 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, January 17, 2007
A Case for Encyclopedia Brown
Assuming he's grown up and taking paternity cases these days from his PI office in the suburbs (Bugs Meany having long ago been put away on some three-strikes rule)...

Here's an interesting mystery: The case of the pregnant chimp.

A Louisiana animal sanctuary has been visited by the stork. Despite all seven males in the population having been given vasectomies, a female chimp by the name of Teresa has given birth. Now a paternity test is underway to determine who's the daddy.

Chimp Haven managers knew something was up when they could not find one of their chimps last week. Teresa, who's been at Chimp Haven for the past year and a half, was nowhere to be found during the morning rounds. Later that morning, she appeared with a newborn chimpanzee in her arms.

No, they aren't going after him for child support. They are going to get him a new vasectomy. Talk about a boobie prize.

The baby chimp has been named Tracy and arrangements have been made for her to live out her life at the sanctuary with her mother.


posted by Phoenix | 12:19 PM | 1 comments

Mommy's Worried, Baby's Fine
So. Last night was sort of exciting.

It started out as a normal night with lots of promise. Bunny and I came home. She had some supper and a bath and then we woke up Daddy. Then, the whole family sat down to watch NCIS (insert obligatory Mark Harmon is sexy comment here). After that, Bunny was playing while we watched William H. Macy as The POTUS in The Unit (it isn't NCIS, but it is still good - alas, no Mark Harmon). Bunny soon had a bottle and went to bed. Mommy had big plans about working out and going to bed. That didn't happen.

Forty-five minutes after falling asleep, Bunny woke up screaming. And I mean screaming. She did not stop crying when I picked her up. She did not stop crying when I tried to offer her a bottle. She refused a bottle, tylenol, and even refused to be held. Although, she also refused to be put down. She screamed and screamed and screamed some more. Twenty minutes in, I called Dial-a-Nurse because this sort of behavior is very uncharacteristic. She could not be pleased, something was most definitely wrong. After jumping through hoops over the phone and giving them the same information three times (something I am convinced all medical professionals do to check that you are mentally okay or to distract you from the screaming baby) and chatting with the nurse for 25 minutes, Bunny was still screaming.

The nurse said that ordinarily if a child is crying for an hour they would suggest a trip to the ER. Since we live 15 miles from a hospital and Bunny had been crying for 45 minutes, we hopped in the car. All of us. Prince Charming opted to join us in our adventure instead of going to work as normal. Naturally, the minute we put her in the car she got quiet and while not happy, at least wasn't in pain.

As I have said before, I haven't done this before. I'm a nervous new mommy. This means that I made an executive decision to go to the ER anyway. Sure, she wasn't still crying, but 45 minutes of crying is highly unusual for Bunny Boop. Five minutes is unusual. I decided to err on the side of caution.

The entire drive, I'm doing a mental investigation. What did she eat? How much did she drink? Poopie diaper? Wet diaper? Good Lord, what if I've made some serious blunder in my parenting and it is all my fault and something very serious? I'll never forgive myself. What if we get there, the doctor takes one look at her and says, "She's fine. Maybe she had some gas. Babies cry, you know" and sends me home with that look that says I'm an over-reacting new mother? What if they take one look at her and want to med-flight her to Madison for surgery?

My mind is at its most creative when under stress. And there is no stress like a mother worried about her cub.

Prince Charming, of course, was my rock. He was probably worried (or he would have gone to work), but you wouldn't have known it by looking. He's calm, business-like, even. I'm all mind whirlygiggin' and nervous fingers fumbling and tapping.

We arrived at Divine Savior (I'd never been there before) and they started asking us all those same questions again. Bunny wasn't crying, but anybody could tell by looking at her that she wasn't happy. She was tired too. 45 minutes of screaming will exhaust anybody. We finally see the nurse who really pisses Bunny off by taking her temperature the "old-fashioned" way. I have never done this. The under the arm method and ear method work just fine. I'm afraid Bunny saw this (what else can you call it) intrusion quite unacceptable. She was not a happy camper after that.

From there, they took us into yet another room and we finally saw a doctor. He listened to her lungs (this made her angry), looked in her ears (hell hath no fury), and finally checked her throat (Good God Man!) and we had to hold her down through all of it. It is no wonder I have white-coat syndrome; Bunny is starting to get it too.

The doctor made his diagnosis and the remedy: An ear infection and antibiotics. We gave her a dose right there in the examining room before we left and then took our baby home. She was back asleep shortly after 11 p.m. and I was asleep by midnight.

She slept peacefully the rest of the night and woke up smiling, joking, and laughing this morning, thankfully.

I'll tell you, I was really worried. In fact, I was more worried when my alarm clock rang and I realized that she had slept through the night.

Freaky paranoid mom that I am.


posted by Phoenix | 11:34 AM | 4 comments

Tuesday Roundup
You'll get a good idea of my daily surf from these links:

1. My favorite blogfather, the Noble Eagle as a post up about the so-called "Fairness" Doctrine. Must Read.

2. Michelle Malkin has returned from Iraq, heartened by the professionalism and dedication to the mission our troops at FOB Justice exhibited. Must Read.

3. My favorite Hatemonger's, let's just call them "Chip" choose to highlight an absurd ACLU circle jerk. This quote sums up the hypocrisy nicely:

Essentially, then, this little powwow is intended as a get-together for an ideologically exclusive group to discuss an ideologically exclusive view of ideological exclusion.

4. The American Geek, USADave, points out the striking irony behind two interesting facts: California's zeal about global warming stands in contrast to the fact that 4 consecutive nights of sub-freezing temperatures have wreaked havoc on the citrus, flower, avocado, and other crops.

5. Ace highlights a new technology that is, as he puts it, guaranteed to get you laid if you are in the military and drive one of them.

Okay, that's not the whole list of my faves, obviously. Just a few tidbits to get your clicking finger warmed up.

posted by Phoenix | 10:53 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Too much to do
No time to blog.
posted by Phoenix | 12:25 PM | 0 comments

Friday, January 12, 2007
China's Little Social Problem is About to Explode
Holy Crap! I find this absolutely fascinating:

BEIJING - China will have 30 million more men of marriageable age than women in less than 15 years as a gender imbalance resulting from the country’s tough one-child policy becomes more pronounced, state media reported Friday.

The tens of millions of men who will not be able to find a wife could also lead to social instability problems, the China Daily said in a front-page report.

I'm both fascinated and scared for them (and us).


posted by Phoenix | 11:20 AM | 0 comments

Hey, Ladies!
Where are all you Women's Libbers who stand up at any provocation?

Where are you?

Why aren't you outraged about this?

As some of you may be aware, Sec. of State Condoleeza Rice testified before the Senate yesterday to answer questions about the shift in strategy that President Bush outlined on prime time television on Wednesday night. As was to be expected by even the most casual of political observers, the Democrats took the opportunity to snipe at a popular Republican figure and trot out the same ol' song we've all seen and heard so many times before (like all those wishfuls on American Idol who sing the same Whitney Houston songs). One, in particular, was a particularly vicious attack and women everywhere should be mad as hell.

Senator Barbara Boxer of California seemed to suggest that the Sec. of State didn't have a personal stake in Iraq and was therefore somehow ineligible to comment:
"Who pays the price? I'm not going to pay a personal price," Boxer said. "My kids are too old, and my grandchild is too young."

Then, to Rice: "You're not going to pay a particular price, as I understand it, with an immediate family."

Look, Sec. Rice's resume speaks for itself. She is a highly respected, very learned woman. The Cindy Sheehanesque argument from Boxer is an act of a traitor.

Boxer is a woman. Rice is a woman. Yet Boxer stands in judgement of Rice and finds her wanting because she is childless and therefore not fit to make decisions or be a diplomat for the United States of America? I think the President of the United States (2 Presidents in fact) might argue otherwise.

The fact that a woman hasn't given birth is not a defining characteristic when it comes to Global Diplomacy. Boxer damn well ought to know this. I have had a child, but this doesn't make me eligible for Rice's job in and of itself. Boxer's suggestion is merely a polished version of Cindy Sheehan's old saw about sending our children off to die.

Let's set that straight right now: America's troops serve by choice. They are all adults and have free will. They entered into their own obligations. This is the truth no matter what the Democratic party, Democratic Underground, or Cindy Sheehan's talking points might say. The only people I'm aware of that knowingly send their children to die are the freakin' Palestinians who use their children as walking bombs. Those people literally send their children to die. Saddam used to pay the parents to do it.

But Boxer's suggestion is so anti-woman's rights it is amazing that the ol' bitch can get elected in what is arguably the most liberal state in the union (I said arguably).

Boxer suggests that Rice is less of a woman and this is pure unadulterated crap. Whether Rice is childless by choice or by a cruelty of biology doesn't matter. A great many women choose to be childless. Another great set of many women are unable to have children. This does not make them somehow lesser or inadequate or ineligible or undesirable.

They, too, have free choice. Boxer seems to suggest that it is the duty of all women to have children first. Next thing you know, she'll have us give up our places in the workforce and demand we start performing more knee-based tasks. Boxer's words are a betrayal to women everywhere. And I, for one, am mad as hell that she seems intent on taking us back to the days when women weren't educated, couldn't vote, and served merely as the playthings of men and the vessels that carried their progeny. And I say that as a working mother who has very good friends who are childless by choice.

I am sure that Rice took it with grace because she's a classy lady and a leader. Boxer doesn't hold herself to those ideals, apparently. Some will expect Boxer to apologize to Rice. I say, SCREW THAT!

She should apologize to all women. Either that or give up her esteemed position and put on an apron. Grandma has some cookies to bake.

So I ask again: Where's the damn outrage?

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posted by Phoenix | 10:29 AM | 0 comments

America's Celebrity Ranks Gain Two Brits
So, it seems David Beckham, European Soccer God (or something), has inked a deal to leave Europe and come play Futbol (read Soccer) here in the states.

I'll be honest. I don't give a flying beetle's wing about this. I've never seen Beckham play. I've never even seen a professional soccer game, even on television. I didn't even know there was a team called The L.A. Galaxy. Who do they play, the Denver Satellites and the Orlando Rings?

I'm at a complete loss. All I know about David Beckham is that he is married to a Spice Girl (arguably the prettiest of the lot) and she's a gal pal to Katie Holmes Cruise. That's it. That is the extent of my knowledge.

Paparazzi in Hollyweird are likely thrilled over the news. Now they have two new victims and these pictures will have market power in the US and in Europe. Bonanza.

In the meantime, I'm yawning. Soccer is a sport suburban kids play here in the US. It doesn't have the cache of other US sports. Good luck, Beckham. Do us all a favor and try not to add to the ranks of assholes in Hollywood.
posted by Phoenix | 9:39 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, January 11, 2007
SpySistah News
I would like to announce a new blog: The SpySistah Chronicles.

That's right, SpySistah now has a home of her very own. I intended to roll this out on December 24th as a Christmas gift to SpySistah's fans, but I didn't get the new chapter done in time.

If you check out the site, you will see that you can now read all of the stories from the very beginning in order. They have been reposted to the new site.

In addition, I have just posted a new chapter: Chapter 16: Hong Kong and Kai-ying. Additional chapters will follow as time allows and inspiration dictates (from the life of the real SpySistah).

Enjoy! And feel free to leave a comment here or there on the story, template, etc.

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posted by Phoenix | 11:46 AM | 1 comments

Wednesday, January 10, 2007
UPS Sucks
That's right. I said UPS Sucks! UPS Sucks, UPS Sucks, UPS Sucks.

As many know, I bake cookies and ship them all over the country at Christmas. This year, I baked more cookies than ever before, beginning prior to Thanksgiving and finishing on December 10th.

On December 11th, I went to my local UPS Store to ship the packages. I paid dearly for it, too.

Last year (I speak of the cookies shipped for Christmas 2005), it should be noted, one of the packages had difficulty arriving. It was shipped to a small town in Pennsylvania by the name of Mountaintop. For some reason, the driver had trouble finding the equivalent of Main Street in this little town. After some work, I managed to get the directions (to friggin' Main Street) to the driver and the package was delivered 3 days late.

This year, I was again sending a package to that same town and so I wanted to make certain that there were no problems encountered.

Well, it seems that Mountaintop, PA is UPS's Brigadoon - exceptionally difficult to locate and even harder to deliver to.

This year the box, as I said, was delivered to UPS for shipment on 12/11/06. I have a printout of the tracking history and can tell you that it even left Madison, WI on that same day. On 12/14/06, it went out for delivery. However, the driver claimed an exception, saying that the address was incorrect and a corrected address was needed. I duly called UPS (because I had been tracking all of the packages sent on a daily basis 'cause I'm a control freak) to tell them, no, the address is correct. It is a business. I send him mail at that address on the freakin' main drag several times per week with no difficulties. The tracking information claimed that they were sending a postcard out requesting that the recipient contact UPS (which I found highly ironic considering they were sending a postcard to an address they claim doesn't exist).

On 12/16/06, the tracking information says that the address has been corrected (except it was never wrong) and delivery was rescheduled.

On 12/18/06, I am informed, via tracking, that the "Receiver has moved" (except he hasn't) and that they are trying to get a new address.

Later that very same day, they decide not to deliver it and instead return it to me. Gee, thanks. Thanks for all of that effort, UPS.

They initiate the return on 12/19/06 and it appears on my doorstep on 12/22/06, way too late for me to get it to the intended recipient in time for Christmas. That's right. They fiddle-farted around for 10 freakin' days. To add injury to insult, when I opened the box (which didn't look so good) the contents were in ruins. I'm talking cookie rubble here. I was embarrassed. If it had ended up with the intended recipient, I would have been mortified.

Now, lest you say I should have done a better job packing the box, let me assure you that all the boxes were carefully packaged with plenty of padding. And, the address which UPS failed to locate is a good address that does actually exist on the main drag of a small town. How do I know? Ah, this is the best part! Read on!

The recipient had been expecting these cookies. He knew they were coming and even tried to assist in the delivery by making himself available. I had to send him something and the haphazard and careless manner in which these cookies were handled and returned to me (demolished) dictated that I had to bake yet more cookies. That's right. I had to bake even more cookies. He did not get the full assortment, however, and had to settle for those that he specifically requested. This time, I shipped them using the good ol' inefficient United States Postal Service. It arrived in 2 days, intact, at the aforementioned address that UPS was unable to locate for so many days.

If you want to send a package to Brigadoon, send it by USPS, not those idiots at UPS. They've got the address, and a post office right there in town.

Now, just a bit more venting, if you don't mind. As I mentioned, I shipped the original packages through the local UPS Store. Here's what I have to say about them: They suck too. Granted, they may have tried to help me, but they were awful quick to disclaim any knowledge and pass the buck. And even that I can forgive. What I can't forgive, however, is the fact that they didn't once - NOT ONCE - return a phone call to me. And, I called them multiple times. Moreover, THEY LIED. They said that once the package was returned to me, they would arrange to have it shipped again or refund my original charge. To this date - FREAKIN' JANUARY 10 - they still haven't arranged to pick up the package and ship it again, there has been no phone call, no refund, nothing.

I asked people what I should do about this mess and they all urged me to let it go. I could have written a letter to UPS's corporate offices to express my inordinate displeasure over the entire fiasco, but instead, I chose to air my grievances here. That way, anytime anybody googles UPS, this post about how UPS Sucks will come up.

That is much better than more unreturned phone calls and a never-gonna-get-it refund or any explanations about how the mountain is too tall and the brown trucks can't get up there, or plane crashes that maroon packages on a desert isle with only a volleyball for company, or addresses that don't exist, or towns that only show up once every 100 years.

Just for the record, all the rest of the packages arrived in 2 or 3 days time. Nevertheless, UPS's inability to be better at their jobs or RETURN A FREAKIN' PHONE CALL means that next year, my cookies are shipping via FedEx or USPS.

yeah. I feel much better now.


posted by Phoenix | 12:30 PM | 8 comments

Another Item in the Long List of Things that Piss Me Off
Via Ace of Spades, I was made aware of an article that Villianous Company first linked about the rapidly rising number of rapes occurring in Oslo, Norway. In fact, the number of rapes is now 6 times as high as that in New York City as measured on a per capita basis. Tellingly, 2 out of every 3 people charged with these crimes is an immigrant from a non-western country. However, the powers that be in Oslo keep urging people not to get Islamophobic.

In fact, one such had this to say:

Unni Wikan, a professor of social anthropology at the University of Oslo, in 2001 said that “Norwegian women must take their share of responsibility for these rapes” because Muslim men found their manner of dress provocative. The professor’s conclusion was not that Muslim men living in the West needed to adjust to Western norms, but the exact opposite: “Norwegian women must realize that we live in a Multicultural society and adapt themselves to it.”

This is the biggest piece of multi-culti shit I've read in a very long time. The very notion that a would-be victim should make accomodations for her would-be rapist is appalling! No, it goes further that that. It is horrific, abhorrent, and an absolute certainty that "multiculturalism" has gone too far. Dhimmitude has certainly attained a new level when we start to suggest that the onus of law and order falls on the victims and not the criminals. It is now obvious that rather than have the immigrant adapt to his new environment, the regular denizens must adapt instead. This is a ridiculous notion. It is a tyranny of the weak and a sure way to please nobody.

For surely, there is more than one immigrant group present in any society and while they may have common beliefs, there is no way you are going to please them all. Governing a society as is suggested here, from the least common denominator, is stupid. It is a sure way to rub out the light of freedom, that's for damn sure.

Just take this example as an illustration. The professor excuses the rapes because the Muslim men found the manner of dress of their victims to be provocative. Need I point out that this is religion that has as its least common denominator a manner of dress for women that allows for only a small window to their eyes to be seen? Just so we're clear, in this circumstance, anything less than a Barnum&Bailey's circus tent is going to be seen as provocative. And this, this explains and excuses the rapes? I don't think so. Not now. Not ever.

If you move to a new country, it is incumbent upon you to adapt, not the people that already live there. A free country will allow you to live as you will, but forcing everyone else to live as you do is ridiculous, particularly if you are the new-comer. If you want to affect change, stay, vote, and make your voice be heard. But don't even begin to tell me that you didn't know rape was wrong, or drag out that old "she was asking for it" bullshit.

At the end of the day, society is preserved by law and the zealous protection and prosecution of the law. Without law, there is no order. But then again, I would remind the professor of another thing. Many Muslims don't like the notion of a secular government of laws and would instead prefer a sharia law system.

Of course, in this case the rapists go free. Because, under sharia these women likely were guilty of promiscuity. And, even if they were not, women need something like 5 male witnesses to a rape in order to win their case. So, only a woman who is gang-raped and then 5 of her attackers regret their actions will a rape case ever be successfully prosecuted under sharia. And, heaven forbid. I'm not even sure that it wouldn't take more than that if the victim was not Muslim.

This is my point. It is incumbent upon the immigrants to adapt, not the people who have a prior claim. All of this multiculturalism dhimmidtude is a very slippery slope. If we aren't careful, we are going to find ourselves on the quick chute to hell.


posted by Phoenix | 11:16 AM | 0 comments

Um, you can't do that...
Sometimes you have to wonder if our esteemed representation in Congress is familiar with the United States Constitution.

As you may or may not be aware, President Bush is scheduled to speak to the nation this evening and outline a "new strategy" for Iraq. The Democrats, ever the party to poo-poo any idea offered by a Republican, with or without hearing it first, seem set on making sure that the President can't send more troops into a hot trouble spot.

Nevermind the fact that the Constitution gives all military power to the President, even going so far as to name him the Commander in Chief. Hard to top that, but the relentless hand-wringers on the left side of the aisle are attempting to do just that.

Ted Kennedy of Chappaquiddik fame plans to introduce a bill to deny the necessary funds to send these troops into the fray prepared to fight. Once again he is using the term "civil war" to characterize the action there and explain why US troops shouldn't be there.

In my opinion, only worth a nickel as it is, this is just the sort of posturing that makes the Democrats lose credibility. The leaders on the ground in Iraq have requested a few more troops to stem the growing violence in two areas. President Bush seems set to grant their request so as to help them to win the war and come home safely.

The Democrats, in their attempts to make brownie points with the Cindy Sheehan crowd and anti-war-for-any-reason activists at the farthest (and loudest) side of the left, are playing politics with the lives of our troops, the future of Iraq's fledgling democracy, and the bigger War on Terror with those that would like to see us all lying in a mass grave.

I can't believe how stupid they are! Suppose you tell me to bake a cake for a party. I get started and realize that I don't have enough eggs. Would you not send me more eggs? If you expect me to bake a cake, don't you make sure that I have all that I need to get the job done?

The Democrats in Congress (for all of their joint wisdom which seems might fit in Polly Pocket's pocket) would deny you those eggs. And not just the eggs! They'd expect a six-layer, rolled fondant iced chocolate cake from a bucket of old nuts and a bushel of moldy wheat. No leavening agents. No pans. No oven. And then, if you don't manage to deliver a masterpiece, you will be to blame, once again propping up their preconceived notion that we don't need a kitchen because it doesn't produce anything useful and only poisons people. Nevermind the fact that we still need to eat, even if it isn't cake.

Maybe I took that metaphor too far, but it illustrates my point nicely. The master baker (The President) and his sous chefs (the generals, colonels, and troops of all ranks) are being denied the necessary tools - eggs, flour, milk, butter, sugar (troops and money) to deliver the cake for the party (victory, peace, and democracy for the Iraqis and the shutting down of a large front in the war on terror). They won't be happy until the kitchen is gutted, the sous chefs fired and not replaced, and the master baker replaced by their own sushi chef.

I don't know about you, but I don't want sushi. I want cake.
posted by Phoenix | 10:39 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Bunny Boop Update
Our little girl had her 1 year check up today at the pediatrician's office. She had shots, which she handled well, and blood drawn, which she didn't handle so well.

Currently, she is 30 inches tall (in the 75-90 percentile) and 21 lbs, 13 oz in weight (50-75 percentile).

Skinny little butt...


posted by Phoenix | 11:58 AM | 1 comments

It must suck to be Royal
I've often fantasized about what a wonderful life it must be to be royal. What a beautiful life a princess must live, I used to tell myself. I have no doubt that this fantasy is in large part due to the watching of Princess Diana's and Prince Charles's wedding back when I was a wee one. That was the stuff of fairytales, was it not?

Today's history of that match is a bit less Disney, but my opinion has been altered completely. I now know it must suck to be royal or dating a royal.

Apparently, Prince William has been dating a young lady named Kate Middleton for some time. I don't follow the royal family much, so this was news to me. Apparently this young woman is a middle class commoner, but we are to understand that this isn't being held against her. How...understanding of them, huh?

Kate went to school with Prince William and may have even shared a house with him in college. I'm sure there were others too, so that doesn't appear to be a scandal. But now, it seems, she is attending more royal family functions as though she is being groomed for an eventual marriage to the young prince and a life in the royal spotlight.

And the paparazzi are hounding her like she's the last bit of chicken and they are all starving. I know that they are a part of the supply chain for people who can't get enough of this, but you must admit that it would suck. She can't leave her home if she doesn't look like a million bucks. If she doesn't curtsy just right, people will comment. She has all of these people talking, speculating, expecting, and that has to be a tremendous pressure.

I couldn't live like that, that's for certain. Poor girl, she seems to be handling it with grace (if she weren't we'd certainly hear about it), but I wish I could send her a pat on the back. That is quite a lot for anyone to bear. I hope they are in love, but I also hope that they can avoid the bullshit that seems to come with that life.
posted by Phoenix | 9:09 AM | 0 comments

The Twin Guilts of Motherhood
I imagine the women among my readers who have children will be either nodding their head in knowing understanding on the subject of this post. Either that, or I am uniquely disturbed. Come to think of it, that wouldn't surprise me either.

The subject of this post are the twin guilts of motherhood. They may have a more clinical term that is widely accepted by mental health professionals, but this is what I call it. It is a classic catch-22.

Let me explain. I am a type-A, over-achieving control-freak. Do you have any idea how bizarre and freaky I can be? I seriously doubt it. You'll just have to take my word for it. You should also know that I also come from a long line of workaholics. The giveup in me is very difficult to find.

Motherhood, of course, posed complications for these foibles and personality tics of mine. At first, I was plagued by the location and cleanliness of the pacifiers and their caps. And baby socks, which seem to go missing as though they are AWOL from some onerous duty. And let's not forget all of the other baby gear! Bottles have four parts and I insist that they be hand-washed. Blankets must be clean. Laundry and burp cloths and baby's stuff must all be in its place. Even baby's bath had a method and procedure.

Today I have relaxed on a lot of this. No, it's true. I really have relaxed quite a lot. I still demand certain things concerning cleanliness, but if a stray sock goes walkabout for a week, I'm not likely to call out a search party.

Even so, I am still in big trouble from a mental standpoint. Moreover, I know that this is self-imposed craziness, not that that helps all that much....

I speak of the catch-22 that happens when my child falls ill. It doesn't matter what the illness is, I am compelled to stay home and be with her in her suffering, over the succor that only mommy can. If she needs to be held, I want to be there. If she needs to sit in my lap and cuddle while she plays, that, too, is what I want to be doing, what I feel I need to be doing. And, so I do it. But then, as we are quietly convalescing, I begin to feel guilty anew.

I should be at work, I tell myself. I have responsibilities, obligations. I am part of something important and I don't want to be the weak link. I am a professional. I expect myself to perform up to (if not exceed) expectations of my co-workers and boss, not to mention my own.

Do you see what I am talking about? If I don't stay home with my sick child, I damn myself in my own mind, and if I do stay home, I am again damned.

I know what you are going to say. Of course my child must be my priority. And she is. But that doesn't remove the guilt on the flip side. Nor does it lessen the guilt I feel when she is back to the sitter's house with a sniffle and a cough. I still feel guilty. It is something, I believe, that I'm just going to have to learn to cope with.


posted by Phoenix | 8:48 AM | 1 comments

Monday, January 08, 2007
On the New Year
I know what you are thinking. I am over a week late on my New Year's Post. What can I say? I needed 53 weeks to complete 2006. I've been swamped. So, my plans for 2007, beginning today are as follows:

1. To be a better correspondent. I want to write more letters and get in touch with people I care about.

2. To be a better blogger. I feel as though the blogging content and regularity have been lacking lately. We're going to try to kick it up a notch.

3. To be a better mother and wife.

4. To cut down my caffeine and sugar intake through the slow elimination of soda pop. It is my monkey.

5. To drink more water and take my vitamins.

6. To get back into the habit of making time to workout, with treadmill 3 times per week and pilates 2-3 times per week.

7. To be a happier me.

Now, onto the predictions:

1. The Democrats in Congress will do their damnedest to raise your taxes.

2. Illegal Immigration Amnesty will pass.

3. Some politician will put his foot in his mouth and have to backpedal.

4. Several "celebrities" will jump on the bandwagon and adopt children from developing countries, becoming the new must-have accessory, like those little dogs you carry in your purse.

Now, on with the show!

Labels: ,

posted by Phoenix | 9:55 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, January 04, 2007
Still at home with a sick baby. Maybe more later.
posted by Phoenix | 9:46 AM | 2 comments

Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Her Excellency, I like that!
My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Her Excellency Phoenix the Antique of Deepest Throcking
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

So, be sure that you bow down very low when visiting Deepest Throcking.

h/t: CaltechGirl


posted by Phoenix | 11:22 AM | 1 comments

Happy New Year, everybody!

I've been out of pocket for a very long holiday and am now returned, albeit briefly. Four days off (I was off yesterday due to the National Day of Mourning for President Ford), I almost felt guilty. Almost.

In point of fact, it was very nice. We went to the in-laws for the weekend and celebrated Christmas with them and returned home on New Year's Eve Day. I went grocery shopping. And then we did absolutely nothing. We went to bed early so I could head off on Monday with my mother and so Prince Charming wouldn't miss an instant of the UW Badgers in the Capital One Bowl. (They got robbed out of a BCS Bowl, I'm just sayin'!)

Yesterday I ran errands and took it easy. The tree is down and the Christmas decorations are back in their bins. Life is slowly returning to normal. Thank goodness! All of that holiday whirlwind gets old after a while.

It was a real surprise to me to learn that poor ol' Saddam had been executed. Don't get me wrong, in general I think the SOB had it coming. Worse, in fact. I think they should have gotten a bit creative, but nevermind. I was surprised because I thought cooler heads would prevail and they would wait a bit longer. No matter. It is a new year. Iraq is now free of the threat of that mad tyrant. Let's hope they are smart enough to avoid similar ones in future coughAl Sadercough.

President Ford's passing was sad, but I thought it was really classy the way his children greeted the mourners individually who came to pay their respects in the Capital Rotunda. How many thousands of hands did they shake? Talk about grace. Their father is taken from them and they see to the grief of the masses. That, in my book, is grace and class. So, kudos to the Ford family.

I also found it interesting, in the whole coverage of the Funeral and mourning, how the MSM has forgiven Ford for pardoning Nixon. I heard nary an ill word spoken on the matter, rarely even heard it mentioned, as a matter of fact. I found it interesting because the MSM hates Nixon with a burning passion and Watergate is the primary scandal of their combined consciences. It was burned into their brains. Now every scandal has "gate" attached to the end of it.

I'm going to have to call it a day early. Bunny Boop is not feeling well and needs her mommy.


posted by Phoenix | 10:35 AM | 0 comments


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