Thursday, July 19, 2007

I have one thing to say

Bear with me. Last night my good friend Mockingbird and I attended our local film festival (Real to Reel) and saw a wonderful documentary called Darius Goes West. A group of eleven young men decided to take their friend, Darius, who suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, on a cross country road trip to California with the expressed goal of convincing MTV to put him on Pimp My Ride and having his wheelchair customized. It wasn't so much that they wanted the wheelchair tricked out, it was that they wanted to raise awareness of the disease in the demographic that watches that show.

I admit that I knew very little about Muscular Dystrophy until last night. I did not know that it is the most common fatal genetic disorder to affect children worldwide. There are nine different forms of Muscular Dystrophy, all of which produce degeneration of the muscles of the body. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is the most severe with a 100% fatality rate. The longest anyone has lived with DMD is their early 30s. Most people with DMD succumb in their late teens or early 20s. Check out the Muscular Dystrophy Association's website for more information. (Or to check my facts).

The young men involved in this documentary are incredible. It was completely and utterly clear that they valued Darius as a person and as a friend and were doing this to not only create lasting memories for him and themselves, but also because they wanted his life to mean something. And Darius himself was amazing. Here was someone who has been given a slow and painful death sentence and yet he was living life to the fullest, without self-pity, and without shame. How many able bodied people can say this? Not only did they simultaneously raise awareness of DMD everywhere they went, but they also demonstrated how, despite the ADA, handicapped people are shut out of doing daily activities most people take for granted. And you would be really surprised to learn what is and what is not handicapped accessible. Carlsbad Caverns are, but the St. Louis Arch is not.

So what is the one thing I had to say? It is simply this: Fuck MTV. They refused to do a show where Darius's wheelchair got "pimped" out because "they were worried that the accessories would impair his mobility." Bullshit. You want to know why I say this is bullshit? Because a car customizer in Decatur, GA pimped a wheelchair out for Darius instead. So for anyone in the area who is interested head to Full EFX in Decatur, GA because that dude rocks! This isn't a slam against the individuals who actually do the work on Pimp My Ride, on the contrary, when our group of merry men met them they were extremely friendly and totally unaware that the request had even been made. No, it was the suits in the executive offices who decided that they couldn't be bothered to do this amazing thing for this teenager as well as generate positive press for themselves and awareness for a terrible disease. Why would they want to do anything positive when they make so much money off of shows that feature the worst of the worst of teenage American culture?

So if this story pisses you off the way it does me, say it with me! Fuck MTV! Don't ever watch any of their crap programing ever again. Share this story with others so that they too will know, without a doubt, that the people who run MTV are as shallow and superficial as the brats on their shows. And then you should visit Darius Goes West to find out more, or visit Charley's Fund to donate to a non-profit charity that is devoted to funding research for a cure for DMD.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Aggressive? I'll give you aggressive!

There is a certain company who shall remain nameless that seems to think they have a right to call me at work an harass me. They remain nameless only because I did not remember their company name for the following reasons: 1)I did not initiate the interaction with them, 2)I have never purchased anything from them, and 3)when they call not only does their company not display on my phone screen, but they refuse to say which company they are calling from. Apparently, a previous employee here indicated somehow that we would like to be listed in a business directory, which is funny because 1)we are an educational institution, and 2)as the library we do not have the authority to make that decision for the school itself. So every once in a while different representatives from this company call and try to get me to pay an invoice, which they have never sent in the mail, and the one time I got something faxed to me there was no record of it in our business office. I ask you, how is it possible that we owe them money for a product we have never heard of, never received, and have no record of ordering? In a word, it isn't.

Today though, the infernal person who called to speak to me, on someone else's extension, told me that I was being aggressive and that she wouldn't continue to speak to me and would rather fax something and then hung up. And all because I said, in an admittedly terse tone, that I had tried to cancel this business approximately five times, that we never received anything and had no record of them in our business office. And every time I made a statement she interrupted me. Now, I have nothing against this person, she may be a very nice person, but the fact of the matter is that she works for a company that is trying to dupe people out of their funds through unscrupulous methods. And I do not hold with that.

I confess that I did not keep my tone in a professional calm, but I did not swear at her, or hang up. I want this resolved and I thought I had it resolved. But apparently not! If anyone knows how to channel their anger into that icy, lethal, quiet tone please come teach me! But for now it is beyond me. And the next time someone from that company calls they will see what aggressive is and it will not be pretty. Because what I wanted to say was "give me the name of your company, your supervisor, a phone number that WORKS and stop calling me, because we did not order this and we do not owe you money! I'm contacting the Better Business Bureau as soon as we hang up and if there is any justice in this world you and all of the other shits who work there will be out of job. Do I make myself clear you stupid, fucking cow?"

That's aggressive. And if I knew the name of the company I would do it, without giving them the heads up. Now I'm hoping that they do send a fax in so I can skewer them with delight. There was once a time when I would eviscerate someone without a second thought for much less aggravation than this. That level of wickedness is still in me. Do not awaken it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Lead me not into temptation, I can find it myself.*

This weekend, I purchased the ingredients to make would should be a stupendous cake. One of these ingredients happened to be a bag of snack size Reese cups. (The recipe calls for two cups of chopped chocolate covered peanut butter cups.) I was under the impression that I needed to provide refreshments for a work function, but as it turns out the work function was canceled. I contemplated not making the cake, as I really don't need to eat any of it, but sadly, one of the ingredients won't keep until I return from the beach. However, the purpose of this blog is not to ramble on about a cake, but rather to discuss just how incredible a bag of Reese cups smell when you open the package. My dear friend Mockingbird was over for a visit last night and she asked if she could have one, and thus I opened the bag. My toes curled and my knees almost gave way when the luscious scent of chocolate and peanut butter came wafting out. Because of the time I managed a shred of self-control and did not eat any last night, but I know I will be weak this evening. I shall make the cake and bring it to work where we can gorge ourselves on the wonderful mingling of two of the best flavors in the world. It's registration, we've earned it.

*And I usually drag others along with me.

Monday, July 16, 2007

What's up random?

I have caught a lot of flack for being a slack blogger, and I will admit that going 13 days without a new post is a bit lax. However, in my defense, July is a terribly boring month and not much of interest has happened. I didn't want to blog about trifling stuff, but none of my other ideas ever came together for a blog of any length. So here is a collection of randomness to amuse and entertain.

Rodgers and Hammerstein were full of it. They are the composers of that ridiculous song "I adore being a girl," used in their musical Flower Drum Song and lately in commercials for some hair dye being hawked by Sarah Jessica Parker. There is very little that is fun about being a girl, certainly nothing that would make me burst into song. Ask any woman who has just had her annual or a mammogram if she adores being a girl. The answer will be a resounding "no."

Summer is really not fun after you've hit puberty. Especially if you are a girl! (Notice a theme here?)

Fireworks are lots of fun, but very scary if they malfunction and explode in the parking lot instead of up in the air. Not that I would know from personal experience or anything. I'm just saying.

There is a terrible amount of ambivalence that you experience when the final installment of a series looms on the publication horizon. On the plus side, we finally get to learn how it ends! On the down side, it ends. Fade to black. Roll credits.

You know your dog is spoiled when you keep a jug of treated water in the fridge for him. Granted it is to combat his fish breath, and it has worked very well, but still, it does make him seem coddled.

Nothing says summer the way the scent of a charcoal grill does. Not up close and personal, but that distant smell on the breeze.

To paraphrase Ben Franklin: ice cream is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. Which reminds me, if the busybodies of this world pass the fat tax I am moving to England.

I really don't like the way my voice sounds on tape. I think I sound exceedingly girly and rather high pitched on tape, neither of which I view as a good quality. The worst thing is that when I mention this to others they say "but that's how you sound." Makes me not want to talk at all. But then someone says something particularly dumb and I can't resist making some snarky comment.

Browsing in a bookstore, a good bookstore mind you, gives me a disproportionate amount of pleasure. I frequently succumb to temptations within those walls that make my creditors and retailers rub their hands in glee. However, I do resist the urge to merely walk up and down the aisles running my hands across the shiny new books, as well as the urge to pick up a book and stake a claim in one of the big arm chairs. Yes it is tempting, but the Barnes & Noble is not my living room, and thus I shouldn't treat it that way. Others should heed my advice and not do this either.