One morning last spring I came to work, settled down at my desk, and had just begun to check my email when I heard the crash of breaking glass outside. I stood up and craned my neck to look out the window and down to the sidewalk. Two figures were scuffling, rolling around together and throwing punches.
From appearances, some young man had decided to harass an older man, and had dumped out his bag of collected bottles and cans. I think the young buck may have underestimated his balding opponent, because the older guy was connecting with more of his punches. After a few moments they separated. The kid postured and threatened a bit, but he wasn’t pressing the issue. “Get your fucking mess off the sidewalk,” he taunted, then strutted away down the sidewalk.
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My last visit to the Original Pancake House on Barbur Boulevard, way back in 2007, ended up being the subject matter of a Portland Metblog post. I found their policy of not accepting credit or debit cards, a policy that required me to leave my children in the restaurant while I found an ATM, incredibly short-sighted in this modern age of electronic transactions.
In fact, I had been sufficiently irked that I hadn’t gone back, not for four long years. There are after all plenty of places to get pancakes on the west side.
But this morning I was craving pancakes, and I wanted something special. My memory of the whole credit card debacle had faded to the point that I thought the Original Pancake House would be a good place to go. Besides, on a Wednesday morning, there wouldn’t be a line to get in.
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Please note: The following is a rant. If rants disturb you, or you believe they are a waste of time, or believe they shouldn’t be published, this is your chance to go elsewhere.
To the driver of the silver SUV:
This is the second morning in a row that I have found you parked in the end of the aisle in the middle school parking lot, next to the curb. I realize it’s a very convenient place to park. That’s precisely why it’s used as a drop-off area by all of us other parents. You see, this particular spot is as close as you can get to the front door of the school without either a) blocking a regular parking space, b) driving down the bus lane dodging buses, c) parking or otherwise obstructing a handicapped space, d) making our kids walk across the parking lot, or e) backing out of a space. While not an officially designated “drop-off zone,” there is nonetheless often a line of parents waiting in line to drop off kids, each in their turn pulling up to the curb, wishing their offspring a good day, kicking them out, and driving away. It’s efficient. It’s what we do. It’s understood.
But you aren’t one of us. Whoever you were dropping off, they’re long gone. And still you sit there, keeping everyone else from dropping off THEIR children at the curb. This morning (incredulous that you would do something so completely self-absorbed two days in a row) I looked over at you as I awkwardly pulled around your car and into the handicapped parking to let my son out. You were sitting in your car chatting on your cell phone.
Here’s a thought. After you drop off your spawn, pull into one of the regular parking spaces. The lot is nearly empty at that time in the morning. Then you can make your call, eat a muffin, work a crossword puzzle, apply your makeup, and basically do whatever the hell you want without affecting anyone else in the slightest.
But just sitting there? For your own convenience? That’s the behavior of a self-absorbed, self-important ass.
I work downtown. That means I get exposed to a wide variety of panhandlers, buskers, wackos, and weirdos on a daily basis. Ah, but the folks who have a special fiery corner reserved for them in hell are the bucket drummers. They’re loud, they’re repetitive, and they’re obnoxious. You can easily hear them 1 1/2 – 2 blocks away, and if they’re within half a block, the sound cuts right through windows, walls, and hearing protectors.
You want to know what it’s like? Turn your speakers WAYY up and click through for the rest of the post….
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As you are no doubt WELL aware, vampires are IT these days. Thanks to Twilight, Vampire Diaries, True Blood, and their ilk, you can’t swing an undead cat without hitting something vampire-related.
And of course, there are those who are only too glad to market anything at all by slapping it with some contrived connection to whatever happens to be popular.
That’s how you get something as awful as “Love At First Bite: The Complete Vampire Lovers Cookbook”
Is this really a cookbook for vampire lovers? Possibly featuring Transylvanian home cooking? Or even blood sausage? No, of course not. It’s a truly generic cookbook where the name of every recipe has been changed to something
stupid ‘vampirey’. Recipes like “Cold-Blooded Gazpacho; Blackened ‘Like My Heart’ Bass; Bloody Mary Fondue; Coffin Cakes; Hot Cross Buns; and Blood Orange Mimosas”. Just stab me in the heart with a sharpened chopstick.
But as stupid as that is, as I was checking out I saw something even stupider:
In case you can’t make it out, that’s a “Hot and Cold Stone Massage” kit. That is, it’s a short instruction book, a CD of ethereal background music, some rocks and a wooden spoon. One some level I’m kind of impressed with the person who came up with this. I mean, you’re getting people to pony up their hard-earned cash for some rocks and a spoon.
Oh, and AT&T says they can’t unlock my phone for my trip to Australia. But they were all too happy to refer me to another service that would only charge me $20-$25 so I could use my own phone this summer. Screw you, AT&T.
Update: Well, although my local AT&T store was utterly unable to help me, the service rep I called was more than accommodating. My blackberry is now unlocked. So, screw you a little less violently, AT&T.