Thursday, June 13, 2013

Dunkin Donuts and ALOT of Absolute Panic

So, you ever hit that fevered level of stress, that pitch so intense and you're afraid your heart's just going to explode in your chest?

Yeah, me, too.  The past couple of days.

You see, our lease is up in three months.  No, we cannot afford to move.  We have neither the cash nor the credit rating to find a new place.  So I emailed the Landlord, letting him know that we're hoping to stay on, that we're very happy here, that we've been happy with him as a landlord and hope we've been good tenants.

And he still hasn't answered.

You can imagine how absolutely panicked I am at this point.  It's been two days with no response.  We have put a lot into this place--when we moved in, the last tenants left it stinking of dog piss, with the grass gone, the lawns nothing but weeds, cigarette butts, and garbage.  Food still stuck to the walls and floor in the kitchen.  We have worked SO hard to get the lawns nice, put in flowers, and just generally keep things looking/smelling pleasant.  I don't know what we're going to do if the Landlord doesn't renew.


A quick grammar aside?  Above, where I wrote "We have put a lot into this place . . . ?"  The Google auto-correct is telling me that's supposed to be "ALOT."

Holy cow.  That's not a WORD!

Here--an oldie but goodie on the subject:

NOT my artwork, but rather a live link to the brilliant "Hyperbole and a Half" blog!


I found a video today while perusing various news sites.  A video of a painfully stupid woman.  Normally, I'm not happy about videos that hold people up to public ridicule, but this one's different.  You see, this stupid woman shot the video herself.  She shot the video herself, then posted it online to show us all how stupid she is.  

And that's something different.


I remember this sort of dull-witted, desperate-to-impress type back in junior high and high school.  They were the ones who started fights over how people "looked" at them.  They were the kind who would storm over in the cafeteria and demand to know what a previously laughing kid thought was so funny.  Stupid, mean bullies who've somehow gone through life surrounded by people too stupid or too scared to tell them what morons they really are.

A friend suggested that perhaps this was a marketing ruse, maybe to drum up business for her advertising, or maybe to bring folks into Dunkin Donuts.  I don't think so--if that's the case, the folks who dreamed it up are looking at the bloody end of their careers.  The moment she crossed into racist language and 9/11 references, any marketing potential was lost.  No, I'm a big fan of parsimony--the simplest answer is probably the correct one.  In this case?

She's stupid.


Now, for the last few months, I've been increasingly panicked about the end-of-year tests for our boy.  As you probably know, we homeschool, and Utah had no end-of-year testing.  I used to print out the sample tests from New York, Tennessee, and other states just to get a handle on where he was, but nothing formal.  Here?

Here we have to test him, and then we have to submit the results to the local school district.  So you can imagine just how nervous I get.

As always, I've been particularly concerned about the math/algebra.  That's because our boy's parents are mathematical idjits.  I mean, we can add, subtract, multiply, divide, and even do that thar fancy stuff like multiplying decimals and dividing fractions.  But algebra.


See, I was a problem child.  I had a problem life with problem parents and, by 8th grade, was myself a problem.  As a result, I was held back a grade. When my class went up to high school, I was still stuck in junior high, and I was very sad about that.  I approached my Vice Principal, Mr. Hawkes, and asked what I could do about being with my grade.  He told me to get all "A" grades and he'd make it happen.  

I did, and so did he.

The trouble?  That threw me from first semester math to second semester algebra.  And you know what happens when you miss all that important BASIC stuff they teach in the first semester?

You fail.  

It wasn't until last year I knew about ORDER OF OPERATIONS.  Yeah, that's an important one.  

So, while I KNOW that kids are capable of learning beyond their teachers, I've always been afraid. And when I printed out the New York and Tennessee end-of-year tests this year?

I was terrified.

Oh, there was SO much on there we haven't covered yet!  Nonlinear equations?  Graphing quadratic equations?  What have I been doing?  Where has my mind been?  My poor boy!  Hurry, hurry, cram that in!  Faster, find videos, find books, find worksheets!


The end of year test came in the mail a few days ago.  The toughest "algebra" question on it?  Goes something like this:  if 3m + 5 = 20, solve for m.  

Oh, gosh.  Okay, I guess I can relax, because our boy is WICKEDLY over-prepared for this test.  No, that doesn't mean I'm going to give him a break or let him backslide until his skill level matches the test.  That would be incredibly stupid.


So, I found myself looking through the old town's mugshots the other day--something I do to keep tabs on in-laws and old classmates.  As I cruised through, I kept an eye out for stupid names.  Yeah, stupid, sorry, no reason to sugar-coat it.  I was reading a study not too long about about disciplinary problems and incarceration rates for kids with stupid names vs kids with normal names.  It was interesting, the results found a pretty clear relationship between idiotic names and behavioral issues, and that crossed racial and social boundaries.  In a nutshell, give your kid a stupid, hard-to-pronounce, idiotically spelled name?  Increase the chance that there will be run-ins with teachers, administrators, and the police.  Remember that before you go to saddle that baby with a name like RYKLAN, ANTJUAN, PEYTIN, CELICA (!), MEYSCHELLE, TYETIN, KOHLSIN, or (a personal anti-favorite) ACQYUILLIEZ.

Anyway, something I noticed as I was perusing--there don't appear to be any cutesy, stupid, misspelled, or otherwise altered-for-parental-amusement foreign names.  A lot of Hispanic names, but no "Hoe-zay," no "Furnandoh," no "Hoo-lee-oh" or "Rikkarrdo."  Same with the names of Arab or African arrestees--nothing intentionally misspelled to be "cute" or "unique."  Just the names.  

Is it just an American/English-speaking thing?  Because I've noticed that once you get down a generation (to the second born here), naming conventions fly out the window and the YOOONEEK rears its ugly head.  Is it like the American diet?  Insidious, creeping inexorably into the immigrant culture to wreak havoc?

I dunno.  But it's interesting to ponder.


A new contender for personal anti-favorite stupid name?  EINSTEIN GAMMA!  I won't list the last name because, with those two up front, who NEEDS a last name?

Really does argue for "gave me a stupid name" as a defense in matricide/patricide cases.


One last thing before I post something ugly?  Sometimes, I like to look at the search terms people have used to find my blog.  The other day?  Someone found my blog by searching for the term "Dick Van Patten Porno."

If that was you, smack yourself.  Hard.

And now, something ugly:


  1. When I watched that Dunkin Donuts video the other day, I too was struck by the utter stupidity of the woman who shot it. Stupid, mean, and hateful. When she started with the paranoia, saying that she thought they would put feces or pee in her food and that she knew that she'd been served fries with pee on them in the past, I started to wonder if there was a touch of mental illness, too. Then again, it might just be the lifelong stupidity coupled with knowing that she'd treated lots of servers so badly that she shouldn't trust them to make her food anymore, built up into a paranoid reinforcement of her hateful, racist outlook on life. Luckily, she wasn't going to eat it, she was going to give it to her boyfriend. Nice move.
    I saw a mugshot for a man named "Rickyjohn Joseph" once, and I instantly thought that with a name like that, his parents had destined him for arrests and jail time. As for the weird spellings, Iwonder if Utah's propensity for large families has something to do with it. When you have 8 kids, maybe you feel like you need to do something to make them unique, even if it's just throwing a "y" in place of an "i" in the middle of their name. Or maybe they all fancy themselves fantasy novelists and like making up elven names, I don't know. My friend named her kids with traditional names and spellings, and they stand out now, because there aren't any other "Thomas"es or "Andrew"s in their classes.

  2. Who wants to see Dick Van Patten porno? That is just wrong.