Archive for ‘Mow?’

August 24, 2011

Scaredy Cats

Here’s the thing, I grew up in Southern California. Earthquake central. In fact, I was just a few short miles from the big bad nasty San Andreas Fault line. See?

That blue dot? That’s my childhood home. Earthquakes were no joke growing up.

Landers, 1992 – 7.2 – This was crazy. Just crazy. It was just before 5 am … NOT a fun wake up call. Shaking lasted 3 minutes.

Big Bear, 1992 – 6.5 – All of three hours after Landers. These two are what you would call a “regional earthquake sequence.” *

Northridge, 1994 – 6.7 – I was far enough out that we didn’t get the worst of the shaking, but it was bad, even by us. Worst damage I’ve ever seen in person. ::shakes head::

Hector Mine, 1999 – 7.1 – Middle of the night earthquakes are the worst. Especially when you have a little sister sleeping on a bunk above your head. I don’t think I’ve EVER gotten out of bed that quickly!

And those are only the ones I REMEMBER, that are over 6.0. Yesterday, though in an unexpected place … 5.8. The different between a 5.8 and 6.0 is HUGE. Exponential growth.  It’s to the point that I could very easily say “5.8? Oh, that’s nothing.”

But I won’t. An earthquake IS a scary thing. ESPECIALLY when you’re not expecting it, or have never experienced one before. And long shakes (like yesterday’s 55 seconds) can be terrifying. I won’t diminish that. But some of the reactions? GOOD LORD:

– The Federal Government sent all workers in the DC region home for the day, less than an hour after the quake.  This created gridlock that lasted for 3 hours.  

– Schools are closed today.

– People fled their respective buildings (something you should NEVER do in an earthquake!) and REFUSED to come back in. ** Several of my tenants demanded that a city engineer come check out the building. Um, thanks, our building engineer can do that just fine.

That street, for reference, is 6 lanes wide, with a park right next to it – which was also full.

– People screamed and cried and wailed, and told me off. I’m sorry, I’m trying to reassure you, don’t bitch me out. My “favorites” were the woman who told me “I’m from California [she later mentioned she hadn’t been in California since she was 8 years old], that wasn’t even a 5.0. You don’t know what you’re talking about.” ***, the woman who screamed “It’s not an earthquake, it’s a BOMB!” in all seriousness, and the woman who, when I told her it was an earthquake****, and not to be worried snapped at me “How would YOU know?” I patiently explained to her that I’d grown up in SoCal and had been through many earthquakes, plus had already checked the building systems, and the USGS site. She responded “Well buildings here aren’t MADE to withstand earthquakes like your precious California. So SHUT UP.” and stopped off.

::blinks::

Alright, first off, any building built in the last 15 years is going to have to meet codes that will allow it to withstand an earthquake. While we may not have “rolling” and other foundations that meet the strict earthquake-zone codes, we’re not just building buildings that will come crashing down the first time they shake. Be smarter than this, people.

THAT shot was from the newspaper this morning. SERIOUSLY?

It’s all just ludicrous to me. I mean, really. YES, it was frightening, but grow up and get over it. The world is not ending, you are not traumatized, you can act like an adult. Educate yourselves, and maybe we can move on.

DC is a city that over-reacts to everything. OH GOD, 2 INCHES OF SNOW! CLOSE THE SCHOOLS AND BUY ALL THE TOILET PAPER!!! And really, I’m just sick of it.

Though the bars that did offer $5.80 happy hour specials are GENIUS.

 

* And now you know! Fancy learning stuff.

** The only exception here, for me, is the Pentagon. I have friends who work there, who have co-workers that were there on 9/11. Apparently the earthquake felt JUST LIKE the attack. I would have run, too. Not blaming them for a SECOND.

*** I saw her in the lobby later and said “Oh, by the way? They’re saying it was a 5.9.” (It wasn’t until later that it was downgraded to a 5.8.) Her eyes got huge, and she said “Wow, you’re good!” I’d pegged it at a 6.0 or slightly under.

**** The sheer number of times I had to answer the question “What was that?!” was hilarious. By 3 minutes after I was having to hold in my laughter. Basically, I’m a bitch. ::winks::

August 11, 2011

Some Good Old Fashioned Outrage

My brain’s been fried today. No idea what I wanted to write about, I’ve been sitting here, attempting to do work, with this ridiculous song playing in my head:

If I die young bury me in satin
Lay me down on a bed of roses
Sink me in the river, at dawn
Send me off with the words of a love song
The sharp knife of a short life

I’m sorry, what was that?

That SUPER HAPPY song is by The Band Perry … and while pretty enough is incredibly morbid. Especially  when you consider it’s played on the Top 40 stations listened to by pre-teens (and my husband). What in the world could inspire someone to write a song glamorizing and romanticizing a mother “as she buries her baby” … yep, that’s a lyric, too.

All this has gotten me thinking of how utterly brainless people can be when it comes to their lyrics. Liz and I recently had a Twitter discussion on how it is NOT appropriate to use rape and domestic abuse for entertainment. You’d THINK it would be common sense. But no, we keep getting things like this:

Last night I blacked out I think
What did you, what did you put in my drink?

 – Avril Lavigne, “Smile”

This, in the middle of a sugary pop song, where she talks about how this boy and his antics make her so damn happy.

Or how about:

Take me, ta-ta-take me
Wanna be a victim
Ready for abduction

– Katy Perry, “E.T.”

Yes, I understand this one’s a little far-reaching, but the idea of pre-teens (or anyone for that matter) going around singing “I wanna be a victim” just makes me sick to my stomach. Or better yet, posting it on their Facebooks.

::sighs::

During the Twitter convo, a friend said “It’s not ok to sing about something gritty from real life? Crap, we’re gonna have to go back and delete most of music history.” I’ve thought about this for a while, and I think … if it’s used in a realistic way? You’re writing from your experiences? Awesome. Look at “Love the Way You Lie” … both parts. TOTALLY real, and written from the horrific experiences of being on both ends of domestic violence. Education, wrapped up in a hit song? Do it.

But to use it in a flippant way? To make fun of it? To promote to young girls that it’s just a part flirting with the guy you like?

What happened to common sense?

 

And now for something USEFUL:

Rape, Abuse & Inscest National Network

National Domestic Violence Hotline

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

August 1, 2011

Silver Spoon

As an avid fan of discounts, I tend to follow my favorite stores/websites on Facebook. For the little bit of newsfeed spam it generates, I tend to be rewarded fairly frequently. But lately, I’ve noticed a disturbing phenomenon.

In this age of online shopping, things sell out quickly. Websites sometimes can’t handle the traffic and are down. Glitches happen and orders are lots. You know, basic online errors. It’s frustrating, but we all understand that shit happens, right?

Apparently, wrong.

Here are some of the reactions I’ve pulled off the Rent the Runway, Gilt, RueLaLa and Loft pages*:

“TOTALLY NOT FAIR TO THOSE OF US THAT DON”T HAVE A STORE IN OUR CITY! YOU SHOULD GIVE US 50% OFF ONLINE AND FREE SHIPPING!!!!”

“This type of error is completely inexcusable. It seems as if this is a scam of sorts and that does not bode well for my future purchases with your company. Make this right or I’ll report you.”

“They should credit everyone $20 for going our of our way!!!!”

“YOUR DUMB SITE ISN’T WORKING! YOU NEED TO GIVE US DISCOUNT FOR WASTING OUR TIME!”

“I am so disappointed in this company. I logged in and everything is already sold out. If you want to turn my bad review around you should give me a discount.”

“What the hell, only in store? All your coupons need to be online, too!”

“Why can’t I use this in store? I don’t shop online! This is bullshit!” **

And my personal favorite … the winner of an online “style contest”:

::headdesk::

I regularly rant to the husband about this. How in the HELL did people become so entitled? A store gives a coupon good for a day or so, and that means they OWE you a coupon? Or better yet, because your favorite item was sold out they owe you something else FOR FREE? SERIOUSLY?

The sad part is, these companies all have fantastic customer service. A pair of shoes I bought from Rue didn’t fit … and the sale was over. But I called to do a return, and the CSR offered to track down the right size and do an exchange, though their TOS says no exchanges. An order I placed on Rent The Runway got lost in the interwebs somewhere, and when I wrote to see if they could track it down they immediately responded saying they couldn’t, but would extend the promotion I’d used (which was now expired) to my new order.

Both of these instances were service above and beyond what I called/wrote for, or expected. It’s a wonderful way to keep customers, and get recommendations.  I do not understand how people can take service like that, and demand something even more.

Grow up, and learn how the world works. The stores are their to sell you things, not cater to your every whim. They don’t need to discount their product, or give you special treatment. You’re going to have to pay full price sometimes. DEAL.

ARGH.

* If you need invites to any of these sites let me know. I’ve got ’em!

** The funniest part about these last two comments were that they were back-to-back on the FB page, talking about two different coupons. ::shakes head::

July 29, 2011

Is There Such a Thing…

… as too much editing? Um. YES. But where do you draw the line?

The boy and I had a discussion on it this morning. He’s thinking about doing a series of running portraits with one of his clients. Said client had recently decided he wants to be a photographer, too. (Hooray for more creativity in the world! Boo for our biggest client making us obsolete!) In his quest to become the next great photog, he’s going through phases.

His current phase is to over edit EVERYTHING. Even when it’s not needed. Even when they’re just snapshots. Every photo he takes goes through Photoshop.

This one’s not too bad, but it wasn’t needed. Edited on the right. *

You remember those mini photo-studios everyone went to in high school? You and your bestie could get 40 photos for $20 or some such nonsense? You had a choice at those studios … a normal background and straight photo, or a “cool” background and really harsh “high-key” processing. 90% of the time, people wanted to look cool. Oh, and of course they’d add “electricity” and other ridiculous graphics for you if you wanted. That’s what this photog is doing right now.

I’ll be the first to tell you … this guy has a FANTASTIC eye. But he’s making the newbie mistake of calling his EDITING style his SHOOTING style. And when it doesn’t look highly edited right out of the camera, he’s disappointed and shops it with the subtlety of a machete. He’ll get there. But he’s not there yet.

It’s totally possible to do what he wants straight out of camera. Take for example this un-edited shot:

Paul Brecht is a GENIUS. This is one of my all time favorite photos. **

Straight out of the camera. No editing other than a layer with the humongous watermark (for web images only, of course). So yes … he’ll get there someday. But not today.

So all this talk about the photog friend got me to thinking … I know a LOT of photogs who bash on editing heavily. Hell, I bash on it sometimes. But sometimes, I can’t deny the allure of it. And sometimes, it’s beneficial. Here are some of our wedding shots: raw on the left, edited on the right:

 

The first one isn’t heavy on the editing, but you can definitely see the difference. The second adds ambiance, but I like it without the color wash just as much, if not more. But that third one? Heavy HEAVY editing. And the “ooh that’s pretty” photo became a stunner.

So, where’s the line? Where do you draw it, in the photos of you, and in the photos you take?

Because now I’m just confusing myself.

 

* Yep, that’s the husband. No, he doesn’t actually shoot while  biting his lip … he was goofing off.

** Have I changed much in 3 years? ::winks::

*** No, you’re not alone. The fact that those images don’t line up symmetrically is KILLING me, too.

July 22, 2011

And Again!

Oh, kids, this reunion nonsense keeps getting better and better!

Wednesday night I got this:

 

Yes, that is everyone’s email address listed, thank you very much. Way to blind copy, idiots.

Then, an hour later, this shows up:

 

OoooOOOOooooh, fighting among the ranks! But good lord, look at all those typos. I’m glad those who PERCHANCED tickets will get their money back. ::headdesk:: Also … total lack of interest. YOU THINK?!

Let’s head over to Facebook, shall we?

 

::snickers:: Well said, ladies.

Before this next post, I feel the need to let you know that the “company hired” to coordinate the reunion is owned and run by one of the committee members … specifically, the one who was named in the first email and who wrote the second one. Now, with that:

 

::blinks::

I. Have. No. Words.