Oh for fuck’s sake.

There is a grassy area a block wide and half a block long about five blocks from our house. Sam and I have gone there to play at least once a week for several months, sometimes daily. It’s where I took this picture. Also this one, and this one and this one. It’s in front of this building (which is open to the public), obviously part of the same property. There is a security guard who is usually in the lobby, and who I know for a fact has seen us there. We have seen other children playing there, adults playing frisbee, people with dogs, and skate boarders. People lay in the grass and read. Will once saw someone flying a kite there.

Today we stopped there for Sam to run off some steam. The security guard came out and told me we could not be on the grass. I doubt I can recount our exact conversation, but the basic gist of my response was, “Isn’t it public property?” He said it’s private property, so I asked why there was no sign stating as much. He told me they put up a sign (note: I have never seen any such thing, and we pass by very frequently) but someone stole it. I said that was not my fault, and he repeated that we were not allowed on the grass. He then walked away and we continued to play. Sam eventually went back onto the grass and I didn’t stop him. The security guard didn’t come back out.

Am I in the wrong here? There is no fence up, and the grass is very easily accessible to the public. There is, as I said, no sign (though I’ve never been under the impression that one could enforce a “stay off the grass” sign anyway).

Why now? And can he even enforce it? It really seemed like he was just being a dick, but I’m not keen on breaking the law, or on being a cunt in response.

Behavior That Baffles Me (Part 1,794,647)

OK, so here’s what happened:

Sam and I went for a run (er, more of a walk with occasional bursts of speed) and stopped at Starbucks (yes it is counter to my weightloss plan, but soy chai lattes are kind of keeping me going right now and I do not want to think about what will happen when this card has no more money on it) on the way to the park. Now, our stroller is pretty big. This is not anyone else’s fault and I do not expect special treatment because I have a kid or because of the stroller. But our Starbucks is quite narrow, and the path between the door and the pick up bar at the far end is two-way traffic.

After we got my drink, I managed with some comical difficulty to turn the stroller around — thanks to a very nice man who gamely moved out of the way twice as I struggled to figure out which way would work best — and headed for the door. There was a long line of people waiting to order, and it went from the door to the bar at an angle making it impossible to leave. (It is worth noting that I doubt I could have gotten past alone, never mind with the stroller.)

I headed for the door and two of the three men who were directly in the way stepped to the side. The third stood still despite the fact that he MUST have seen us. I said “Excuse me” and he STILL did not move. I said it again, louder. NOTHING. His friend actually grabbed his arm and pulled him out of the way.

As I said, I do not expect special treatment. Just basic courtesy. My only guess is that Sam creates some sort of force-field around him so that some people simply do not see us.

(Incidentally, able-bodied people–by themselves, not carrying or pushing anything–routinely do not give way on the sidewalk and I am forced at times to maneuver the stroller into the street. I suspect this is due to the same.)

YouTube, we need to talk.

YouTube, I miss hot coffee. I mean, I really miss hot coffee. I had some, about ten minutes ago, but it has disappeared forever and there is some cold, coffee-like liquid in my mug in its place.

YouTube, when Will makes a play list of videos for Sammy, with lightsaber battles and Voltron clips and Queen videos, he does it because Sam loves to watch those things; when I press Play All on that play list, I do it so I can DRINK MY GODDAMN COFFEE WHILE IT IS HOT.

YouTube, your definition of ‘Play All’ does not bear much resemblance to mine. Perhaps it is unreasonable of me but I expect you to play all the videos in the play list. Not play two of them and then stop because surely that is enough. You know what two videos is enough for? It is enough for me to pour that coffee, to mix in the half-and-half, to sit down with my computer (the modern day newspaper, as you know, YouTube) and to take perhaps one sip before Sam gets bored because his play list has stopped. Do you know what Sam does when he is bored, YouTube? He climbs on me, preventing me from doing much of anything but especially from drinking my coffee.

YouTube, I am not a very nice person when I am not allowed to drink my coffee. I would like to be a nice person and you have the power to help me. So when I say play all, you will fucking play all from now on. Are we clear?

Now taking bets.

It is the day before Thanksgiving. I am working on various food preparations. Sam is screaming at me every time I sit down, which is extremely inconvenient because a) most of my recipes are on the computer, b) I am lazy, and c) I have a horrible twitch in my left eye that is exacerbated by his screaming to the point that I cannot see.

Also, the kitchen sink is backed up because our piece of shit garbage disposal couldn’t handle a couple of sweet potato peels. So I am going to have to deal with incompetence from maintenance, IF management bothers to send anyone up (they still have not bothered to take care of anything else for us, so I don’t really know why they would now).

So, how long do you think it will be before I

  • Take Kung Fu Panda from its hiding place in the cupboard?
  • OR

  • Lose my fucking mind?

ARGH, WHY?

Sam was playing with another little boy in the laundry room. The boy’s father asked me if Sam is in preschool and I said no. He asked if he’d be going when he turns three and I said I didn’t know yet (no sense in hitting strangers with the schooling philosophy whammy). And then he sort of scolded me, because “school is important so kids can play with other kids.” Um, you mean like they are doing right now? God I hate everyone.

Ugh

Remember back when I got enough sleep to get pissed off on a regular basis? Nowadays I am so tired I just whine a lot, but tonight I am Pissed Off.

We had a nice evening out, made possible in part by Sam taking a super-late nap. We went to a wine tasting at which Sam ran in circles in the middle of the room until it became too crowded; we then took turns walking him up and down the block. On my turn I knocked on a door that looked friendly (there were pictures of old movie stars and pit bulls!) and Sam and I became the first ever guests on Be The Marriage, which I understand is now Be The Bank and soon to be broadcast from a private island with scooter-drawn rickshaws.

Which brings me to our arrival home tonight. Late nap or no, Sam got tired as kids do and we headed out. When we pulled into the garage, some dude was sitting on Will’s Vespa. I’ve seen kids (not little kids, teenagers or early 20s) on it before and scared them off with a glare, but this was the “security” guard. As you might imagine, I am not terribly impressed with the caliber of guard hired by our building. (For anyone who is new: When I was pregnant I was mugged IN OUR GARAGE. The guy took my car and the police classified it as a carjacking although I was not in the car. The security guard was nowhere to be found but mysteriously showed up ten minutes later.)

So I glare at him, but mostly concentrate on getting Sam out of his seat. Will takes the pointed but friendly tack of asking if he’s comfortable and then saying, “Don’t they give you a chair?” Dude says yes, he has a chair, but he likes it better on the bike.

OH. MY. FUCKING. GOD.

I was fully prepared to kill him with my bare hands, but Will thought it would be wise to leave it be so that he doesn’t do anything to Vera (that is the bike’s name). I see his point but we have put up with SO MUCH BULLSHIT and I feel like this, as minor as it is, might be the last straw for me.

Not that anything will change, since management never does ANYTHING (ask me if my oven has been fixed–go on, ask) and we cannot afford to move EVER.

BETTIE SMASH.

This is going to bother me FOREVER.

I am pissed off at Hunter S Thompson.

His book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas famously begins:

We were somewhere outside of Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.

And it just occurred to me (like, half an hour ago) that BARSTOW IS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DESERT. It is halfway between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, and there is NOTHING BUT DESERT IN-BETWEEN.

And the asshole fucking KILLED himself, so I cannot take him to task for this egregious error.

DAMN IT.

Dear Skype,

Hi. You may remember me from such rants and raves as Why Are These Whiners Complaining About The FREE Fail Whale and Gosh These Shoes Are So Nice My Feet Don’t Hurt At All No Wonder They Cost So Much. So I assure you that I understand the adage that you get what you pay for.

THAT SAID.

My son becomes GIDDY whenever his father sets up the web cam. He associates it with Gramma and Grandad and HE LOVES HIS GRAMMA AND GRANDAD. If the goddamn call doesn’t work, he is HEARTBROKEN. I don’t want my son to be heartbroken. I can’t explain to a two year old that the circuits may all be busy (or however this internet phone thing works).

PLEASE GET IT TOGETHER. NOW.

Yours,
Disgruntled

(P.S. Aside, to my parents: I’d bet that Sam could associate Skype with all of his grandparents. Let’s chat more frequently, OK? I’d really love that and I bet Sam would too.)

Dear Garbage Trucks:

OMG, STFU. You have been banging around on my street since this morning. WHY GOD WHY? My kid is finally sleeping and if you wake him up I will come downstairs and sic him on you.

Seriously, how could it take this long to collect trash from half a dozen buildings? Wait, let me guess. You picked up the trash at the place catty-corner from us, then went across town to get some other trash, then came back to get the building across the street.

No? That’s sure what it sounded like from up here.

Let’s talk about taglines for a minute.

Yesterday I drove past billboards for Tropic Thunder and Hellboy II: the Golden Army about half a block apart. And I was HORRIFIED.

A good tagline tells you enough about the movie to intrigue you, and is clever in some way.

For instance: Hellboy II carries the tagline “Believe it or not, he’s the good guy.” This is EVERYTHING you need to know about the movie, and it makes you want to go see it IMMEDIATELY because holy crap, the big red monster is the GOOD guy.

Slightly less fantastic but still good is the tagline for Hancock: “Not your average superhero.” I think this one would be a bit more effective if you could really see that Hancock is a homeless schmo, but the greying stubble, sunglasses, and watchcap do create a less than superhero-y look.

Some billboards that are up right now don’t have taglines at all. Journey to the Center of the Earth merely tells us that it is in 3D, but good grief the title tells us nearly everything we could ever need to know about it (and the picture of Brendan Frasier covers the rest) so that is just fine. Likewise The Dark Knight only proclaims that it will be released in I-MAX, but you either want to see the new Batman movie or you don’t, so that’s fine too.

And then there is Tropic Thunder. Here’s the poster, which is the same as the billboard I saw yesterday (but has the credits at the bottom as well):

“Get Some.”

SERIOUSLY? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN? I’ll tell you: It means NOTHING. It is not intriguing. In fact, the most intriguing thing about it is the claim that Robert Downey, Jr., is in the picture. Which no one who is driving past will have time to register. (Hint: he is there.) I suppose it’s easy enough to infer that it’s a war comedy, given the cast. But holy crap is that ever the worst tagline. (I have seen posters that say “Shit blows up,” which is much, much better. But those are not in current rotation.)

I’ve read the script, so I want to see the movie. But if I’d only seen the billboard, you would have to PAY me to watch it.