Thursday, August 30, 2007

Lyric of the Week - August 27, 2007

I am also going to move the lyric of the week from the sidebar list into an actual post. Again, it affords an opportunity for you, the reader, to get some insight into why a lyric grabbed my attention. Maybe it will even shed some light on why I am so damn bitter all the time.

This week's emotional beatdown comes courtesy of Canadian folkie Sarah Harmer, from her song "Greeting Card Aisle", featured on the album All Of Our Names (2004). Apparently, our hero has called her, literally, from a greeting card aisle, and offered some store-bought sentiment/apology for his supposed crimes. Suffice it to say, it backfired.

She responds to one of his Hallmark nicknames with the following:

"Well, this Light of Your Life has drawn the blind."

and then, to kick him whilst he's down, she adds:

"The wind from the river will swirl like a scream and wrap itself around you,
There may be a friend somewhere down the road, but from here you have to walk it out alone"

Oh snap.

Not only does he get dumped, he gets a pox placed upon him and ostracized at the same time. I don't really feel that summoning the elements to increase the suffering was warranted, but hey - it's their journey.

The artist and the album

A greeting card aisle, site of the alleged insincerity

I'm out -


Monday, August 27, 2007

Cubicle Tunes - Week of August 27, 2007

I am trying something new with the cubicle tunes list this week. This used to be over on the right side column as a "quick-hitter" type of list. There was no room to explain why a particular album, especially an older one, was getting played. Maybe you're interested, maybe you're not, but I think it relevant.

1. Faithlift - Spirit of the West (1994)

Spirit of the West is a folk-rock band from Canada. I was driving around Detroit and listening to a radio station called The River, and I was shocked (and pleased) to hear "And If Venice is Sinking". I hadn't heard SOTW in a long time, and I quickly loaded the 4 albums I have onto the iPod.

2. Home Again, Home Again (EP) - Hem (2007)

Anyone who reads this with any regularity knows that Hem is one of my favorite bands. "The Part Where You Let Go" is another beautiful Hem track, and is used in the current ad campaign for Liberty Mutual Insurance.

3. St. Vincent - Marry Me (2007)

St. Vincent is multi-instrumentalist Annie Clark. I think of her as a folk version of Kate Bush. I wanted to hear her music because she is opening for The National on their current US tour, and I am seeing them in Cincinnati (well, Covington, KY anyway) on September 23.

4. Brian Vander Ark - Live At Eddie's Attic (2006)

Brian performs with pianist Randy Sly on this outstanding live recording. I saw the pair at the Kraftbrau Brewery in Kalamazoo back in June, and this album is a nice reminder of how great that show was. I've been working on a post about that show for a couple of months now, and I need to get it finished.

5. Shawn Colvin - Fat City (1992)

As you've read before, I never go long between listenings of Colvin's body of work. "Orion in the Sky" is one my all time favorite songs. This album also features the gorgeous and emotionally wrenching "Monopoly". If you knew falling in love would ever do that to you, you'd never do it.

I'm out-


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Comcast Sucks Ass

Comcast is the suckiest company ever.

These bastards owe me a credit of $190, and they've owed it since April of 2006. And now, they say it's been so long, they don't have records that far back.


So now, I will use my blog to openly mock and ridicule them until they get their shit together. How ironic - I use the service they provide to take them down a notch. Kind of like making them eat their own poop. Or, kind of like beating a clown with his own big ass shoe (see, I wasn't kidding in that earlier post, was I?)

Back in June, 2005, I moved into an apartment and transferred service from my previous address. Then they overcharged me $15 a month for 10 months (until April, 2006), at which time I caught on to their shenanigans and called them out on it. To date, not dime one has been credited. So that's the first $150, but it gets better.

I am a pretty patient guy, so I only called them every few months to find out why I hadn't seen the ducats yet. Each time I was told it was "in the notes" and would be processed. And then one day, I come home to find my service disconnected. Apparently, the "notes" people don't get along with the "disconnect" people over there. It was probably because the "notes" people cracked on the "disconnects" mama by calling her a stank ass ho, but that's neither here nor there. I don't care if someone's mama is ho'in' - all I know is I can't watch Wheel of Fortune. Not only that, being $190 in the red, I can't even buy the vowels I need to solve the puzzle "C_mc_st S_cks _ss". Anyway, I called to bitch and they restored the service, but still didn't issue the credit.

And now, the service disconnection has become a monthly ritual. Every month, around the 22nd or so, they shut my service off. And every month, I call and waste 45 minutes chewing some $7/hour punk's ass. Until last month, when I was finally able to talk to a MANAGER. Finally, I thought, some resolution. He goes through my history and tells me the reasons my bills are always high is because I was charged for the "throw ins" I'd been offered whenever I'd threatened to cancel. So apparently, a peace offering at Comcast means charge people for services they never even asked for! So, he summons the managerial power granted to him by Comcast On High and throws me a bone - a $40 "instant credit" to get my service restored - and PRESTO, my service comes back on immediately.

So, today . . . . my service is disconnected again! So I look at my bill. Not only is the $150 credit not there, but neither is the $40 "instant credit". So I pop a Midol (this call occurs monthly now, like a period, so I thought it might take the edge off before I dialed the phone) and dial 1-800-COMCAST. Actually, I didn't dial it. It's on speed dial.

And now I know - the credit hasn't been issued because the "notes" don't go that far back on the system! (Oddly enough, they can still see that pay-per-view porn movie I "accidentally" ordered back in 2002 - go figure.) If I want that credit, I'm told, I have to go to my local Comcast office and "help them find it in the archives". Never mind that NO ONE I have ever talked to has been in my local office. If this information was on a sidewalk on a cold winter's morning, it would be steaming.

So I pay my bill (minus $190, of course, so they can shut me off again next month) to buy some time until I get back to town to visit the local office to do some prospectin' in the archives. But first, I am going to have some Taco Bell and a 6-pack of Pabst. And a Midol - goes without saying, doesn't it? And then, when I get there, I am going to ask to use the rest room. You mess with the bull, you get the horns. They can't find my credit, but I'll bet they know where the plunger is.

Here's the kicker - when I asked why the credit wasn't issued in the first place, I was told that a phone rep probably entered the note but that a manager never "approved" the transaction. So, a Comcast rep can offer the sun, moon, stars, and a night with the "disconnects" mama at a rate substantially below street value, but if the supervisor doesn't approve it later, it just disappears (cue "Dust In The Wind") like it never happened.

So, if they can't produce it, I am paying my next bill in person - with a sock full of quarters. Stay tuned . . .

I'm out-


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Coloring Books

I color in coloring books, and most times I stay all the way inside the lines, but sometimes I go outside the lines, and you know what? I don't apologize for it. Not now. Not ever.

Who gives the coloring book publisher the right to tell me what parts of the page need to be filled in? Your bold black lines can't limit the vision and scope of my imagination. Your sketch is merely a suggestion, and my $0.99 purchase price gives me the inherent if not full legal right to complete the scene as I see fit. What if I want to add busted liquor bottles and spent jimmies to a street scene to represent rampant urban blight and decay? Life isn't always kites and rainbows and flowers. Sometimes, life is busted liquor bottles and spent jimmies.

And you know who else thinks they hold the patent on colorful creativity? Those asshole "color by number" publishers, that's who. Not only do I have to stay in their lines, but I have to color it the way they want it colored? Well, color me "pissed". If the leaves on the tree are marked with a "2" and the guide says "2" is green, but I feel the essence of the drawing is more autumn and I want to use red, orange and yellow, well then sir, I will see you in court.

You can't copyright me.

I'm out-


Monday, August 6, 2007

Fruit at the Bottom, Anger on Top

I enjoy a good yogurt. All kinds, all flavors. It’s nutritious and delicious. And it’s convenient. No preparation necessary. Open the lid, and you are spoon deep in velvety fruit goodness, unless your container is marked fruit-at-the-bottom.

Fruit-at-the-bottom yogurt is an unfinished product. They put the fruit in, they put the yogurt in, and then they quit. Why should I, the consumer, the end-user, have to blend the fruit-at-the-bottom into the rest of the yogurt? Why can’t it be fruit-at-the-top? Then, when I open it, I won’t have to see multiple layers of laziness. I won’t have to throw up a little in my mouth when I see the watery milky slime on the top. I won’t have to question whether I’ve adequately prepared the yogurt after I stir it for 5 minutes and it’s still white. Shouldn’t strawberry yogurt turn pink? Blueberry blue?

I buy yogurt because I DON’T want to make it. In this day and age of highly mechanized food preparation, they can’t mix it up even just a little? The fruit shouldn’t be at the bottom, or the top, or in the middle. It should be “fruit throughout”, and they should put it there – not me. Modern science allows microwavable meals, with MEAT in them, that require NO freezing or refrigeration, and yet I have to imagine my spoon as a little tiny boat oar so I can row myself to my culinary destination? I think not.

I will no longer support this half-ass dairy product.

I’m out –