Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Valor - A Greystone Novel

The below is my review of Valor by Taylor Longford, which can be purchased below from Amazon:

For me, the test of a really good book is this: when I'm not reading it, do I wish I was reading it? As far as Valor goes, the answer was a definite YES. I read this book in two days, and when I wasn't reading it the characters kept popping into my mind.

I will admit, when I saw that this book was about gargoyles, I wasn't sure what to expect. I pictured the winged lions that you see on the sides of buildings. How on earth were they going to be part of a young adult paranormal romance? Boy was I wrong. These gargoyles are a pack of extremely good looking, romantic, and tough, young men. Mix Jacob's wolf pack with Edward's vampire family, throw in a pinch of boy band, and you have an idea of the gargoyles. LOVED IT. 

The storyline grabbed me right from the beginning and not once did it drag or feel forced. Longford writes with a great sense of humor and a talent that can easily match that of Amanda Hocking or any other self-published sensation. I highly recommend this book and look forward to seeing more in this series.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Executive's Coloring Book

Check out this hilarious coloring book from the 1960's from A Hole in the Head.  Seems to me the only thing that's changed in 50 years is that telephones now have more than five buttons.


"The beginning is always today."
- Mary Wollstonecraft

Thursday, August 25, 2011

April Ludgate - The Best Worst Assistant on Television

We all know Pam Beesley - the receptionist, turned paper salesman, turned office administrator on NBC’s The Office. Pam used to be cool, the way she sat miserably behind the reception desk wearing bland colored cardigans and dreaming of a more fulfilling career. But then she went and married Jim, had a baby, and stopped being so depressed and mopey about her life. And frankly, that’s when her character lost its appeal for me.

So I take you now to the best portrayal of an administrative assistant currently on television - April Ludgate from Parks & Recreation. If you are looking for a lazy, deadpan, apathetic, role model, April is your girl. To quote her boss, Ron Swanson:
“I need to find someone to fill in for April. Now I know I'm not going to find someone who's both aggressively mean and apathetic. April really is the whole package.”
Judging from the lack of April clips that I could find online, she is not getting as much attention from the administrative professional community that she deserves. This is a video from when she started out as an intern and should give you an idea of the awesomeness of her character:

And here’s another great conversation between April and her boss:
Ron: Who the hell is 'Fwarp'?

April: I don't know. I couldn't really hear him. It sounded like his name was Fwarp.

Ron: Get his number?

April: No.

Ron: Good girl.
So tune in! Season 3 of Parks & Recreation was absolutely hilarious and I can't wait for Season 4. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Call Center Heroes

There are quite a few things I dislike about my office job: filing, cubicle neighbors who have megaphones strapped to their lips like a duck-billed platypus, and the feminine hygiene receptacle in the ladies room that is eternally left open. But nothing can quite compare to the joys of answering the telephone. Best case scenario, it’s a wrong number. Worst case scenario, it’s an 85 year old man who’s pissed off about the Walmart being constructed outside his bedroom window, has no clue who he needs to speak to, and wants to tell you his life story. Oh, and he clearly hates you.

It’s for these reasons that I can’t fathom the idea of working at a call center. These rugged souls brave the office each and every day, speaking to customer after customer, and they do it all with a “please” and a “thank you” and a “sir” and a “ma’am.” I must tell you, I admire these call center employees the same way I admire people who know how to do math. They were born with something that I wasn’t. Maybe it’s patience, or empathy, or just a general desire to speak to other humans. Whatever it is, it’s commendable work. Nobody would want to call customer service and speak with me. First of all, they wouldn’t be able to hear me over the sound of my eyes rolling. Second of all, they would have to be put 
on hold while I got fired.

"Yes sir, A squared plus B squared equals C squared"
No, when you call customer service you want to get a pro.  You want to get someone who works for a place like the Global Response Call Center. Large companies like Lord & Taylor, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Toyota outsource their customer service to Global Response who spend a lot of time training their employees on the specific brands. As a result, the employees are highly knowledgeable, helpful, and (aahh!) pleasant to speak with! These are people who actually want to talk on the phone. 

I don’t know how they do it day in and day out, but we should all be glad that they do. And if I ever meet one of these people, maybe they can help me with my Algebra.

Friday, August 19, 2011

We Just Decided To Go

"From now on, we live in a world where man has walked on the moon. And it's not a miracle, we just decided to go." - Jim Lovell, Apollo 13

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Thank you to @cube_girl for alerting me to the existence of these cute Copy/Paste t-shirts for twins.  I'm sure they've been around for years, but this is the first I've heard of them:
Riverstone Goods Twins Copy & Paste 2-Pack Short Sleeve Lap T-Shirts (Newborn, 7-14 Pounds)

Almost makes me want to have twins.  Or, you know, cats that wear clothes.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

No Cookies at the Library!

Who can't sympathize with this poor librarian? Some people, *cough* coworkers, *cough, cough* clients, just can't get simple ideas through their heads. Love this skit (particularly when he trips over the wastebasket, but that's just because I'm four):

Oh Burger King

To quote a coworker, "I can't believe Burger King still exists."

I think that if I started a second blog it would feature pictures of sad and decrepit Burger King signs. Nine times out of ten a BK sign will be missing letters, letters will be dangling off, letters will be inexplicably too far apart, and M's will be used as W's. Today I saw this one for Free WiFi. That's cute. Unfortunately the chances that the WiFi will ever be working properly are about as good as the chances that your Whopper won't give you diarrhea.

BK signs should always come with storm clouds

Monday, August 15, 2011

Don't Mess With Me 3:30

For some strange reason, there is a huge difference between 3:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. when you're at the office.  Take today for example (and yes, my example involves food).
Me at 3:30:  "Oh man, it's only 3:30?  I'm starving!  I'm never going to make it until 5:00! 5:00 is so far away!" 
 Shuffles into the kitchen.  Shoves 2 quarters into the vending machine.  Clutches Snickers bar in paw.
Me at 3:48 after finishing Snickers bar:  "Shit!  It's almost 4:00! I just ruined my dinner!"
What the heck happens in that span of 30 minutes?  3:30 is like the middle of the afternoon with absolutely no hope of ever seeing the outside world again.  Then 30 piddly minutes tick by and suddenly you're in the homestretch?  "Oh it's 4:00?  Pffft, I'll answer those emails tomorrow!"  

And today the turning point was at 3:48 -  only eighteen stinking minutes after I felt like all hope was lost.  It's interesting, and I'm just going to chock it up to the fact that our entire existence is probably some kind of messed up psychological experiment. 

Another of life's mysteries

Friday, August 12, 2011


"So the hours are pretty good then?" he resumed.
The Vogon stared down at him as sluggish thoughts moiled around in the murky depths.
"Yeah," he said, "but now you come to mention it, most of the actual minutes are pretty lousy."

- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Brokers With Hands On Their Faces Blog

Check it out.  There are quite a few entertainingly depressing shots on this blog, here are a few favorites:

The Treadmill Desk

It’s a treadmill! It’s a desk! It’s a treadmill desk! It’s over two thousand dollars! And much to my dismay, this ridiculous looking piece of office furniture actually receives rave reviews all across the Internet. 

It’s like nobody has realized they should be making fun of it. To remedy the situation, I’ve made up (and then answered myself) some very informative Treadmill Desk Q&A’s:
Question: One of the best parts of an office job is that I get to sit on my ass all day. Why would I possibly want to change this? 
Answer: It is important to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. By using The Treadmill Desk, which has absolutely no place to put a chair, you will now get 8 straight hours of exercise per day. 
Question: Yes, but as a human being with physical limitations, I would probably collapse after, say, one hour. 
Answer: In case of collapse, The Treadmill Desk comes equipped with a magnetic safety clip. 
Question: Okay, but I’m a woman who likes to wear high heels to the office. Now what? 
Answer: Just switch to unattractive brown sandals like the woman in the picture. She feels energetic already. Another popular option is wearing a dress skirt with white socks and gym sneakers. You’ve probably seen this look on women in the city racing for the train.  
Question: I find it hard enough to read the closed captioning on an episode of 7th Heaven while I’m running on the treadmill at the gym. How do you expect me to get actual work done with all that up & down motion? 
Answer: You are not supposed to run on The Treadmill Desk. That would be stupid. You are supposed to walk slowly, at 1 mph, for 8 hours straight. Duh. 
Question: But won’t my co-workers laugh at me? 
Answer: Yes. They will also be $2,000 richer than you. 
Question: Can I stop for lunch? 
Answer: Only if you walk by a Subway. 
Question: I noticed that a mouse, keyboard, and monitor are not included. Are there any other items that are not included? 
Answer: A giant fist punching you in the stomach for being such a tool is not included. However, one will be provided by the guy in the next cubicle. 

I could go on and on. But I suppose if you’re that interested in getting exercise, who am I and my unused gym membership to judge? In fact, I encourage all employees to spend their hard earned cash on one of these as soon as possible.

It’s a win-win: You get your exercise, and I’ll laugh my ass off. 

I Deserve Some Sort of Coupon

Just parked in front of Starbucks and blew my nose into a Dunkin Donuts napkin.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

And Now, I Present You With...Wednesday

"What to do if you find yourself stuck in a crack in the ground underneath a giant boulder you can't move, with no hope of rescue. Consider how lucky you are that life has been good to you so far. Alternatively, if life hasn't been good to you so far, which given your current circumstances seems more likely, consider how lucky you are that it won't be troubling you much longer." ~ Doug Adams

Monday, August 8, 2011

Why Are All My Posts About Food Lately?

One of the most annoying tasks I have to do at my job is to mail out notifications to people who live close to the fast food restaurants that we're remodeling, just in case somebody objects. 

Us: Hi, we'd like to add more trees and outdoor seating to your local shitty fast food restaurant.

Neighbor: If you remove the Mayor McCheese jungle gym, I'll fucking kill you.

Clearly, only crazy people like that would have a problem with it.  It's a total waste of time.  So what possible way could there be to make this task even more revolting?  Aahhhhh yes, maybe if I sent each one in a bacon flavored envelope:

So, after thousands of years and kajillions of horrible tasting envelopes licked, we’re happy to report that J&D’s Bacon-Flavored Mmmvelopes™ are here to save the day. No longer will envelopes taste like the underside of your car. You can enjoy the taste of delicious bacon instead.
Hey maybe it's good, I dunno.  I was also reluctant to try pineapple on my pizza, and now I'm a full fledged Hawaiian pizza eating machine.  But at least pineapple's, you know, made out of food.  So I think I'll just stick with glue flavored envelopes.

Or, better yet, tape.

No thanks, I'll just chew on these envelopes. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Bread Paperclips & Some 80's Nostalgia

When I was a kid I loved my dollhouse.  But what I loved even more than the house and the dolls, were all the accessories: the little books, the little boxes of cereal, and the little loaves of bread to put on the table.  When I saw these bread paperclips from Small Idea on Etsy, that's exactly what they reminded me of:

I would love to have these if it weren't for the fact that they're way too nice to use at my office.  But at least they reminded me of the fun I used to have playing with these guys:

What?  Your dolls looked like humans?  Pffft!  I had Sylvanian Families raccoons, rabbits, and bears, and I'll have you know that they all got along splendidly in their one bedroom Colonial.

Happy Friday Everybody. Parkour!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Bento? Get Bent.

I've never heard of Bento before until I stumbled on this article from In Japan, Bento is a single portion meal arranged in a box shaped container, that can also be elaborately designed to look like animals, flowers, cartoon characters, etc. It's a cool idea and beautiful to look at, but come on...who has this kind of time?
Take me, for example, who at ten o'clock at night exclaims "Shit! I forgot to make lunch for tomorrow!" Cut to the next morning when I'm throwing an entire package of turkey and a jar of mustard into a plastic bag to be assembled later at the office. Even harder to imagine is making one of these for each of your kids to take to school. Even if I was a stay at home mom, I think that by the end of the day, when the kids are finally in bed, I will have better things to do than stand in the kitchen shaping a slice of cheese into a lion's head and baby birds out of...of....whatever the heck that is. Mozzarella?
In conclusion, I will never make these because:

 a) I like to enjoy a wee bit of time to myself in the evening, and

 b) As a kid I remember my lunch ending up at the bottom of my backpack underneath 15 lbs of textbooks.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Have you ever looked at a paperclip?

Thank you @officethingy for bringing this video to my attention.  Perhaps Bert missed his true calling as a secretary:

Junk Food Betty

Maybe it was the Go-Pak of Chips Ahoy cookies running through my veins, but on my drive home today I thought of an awesome blog I've spent many an afternoon silently laughing over in my cubicle:  Junk Food Betty. 
If you see a product on your grocery store shelf or fast food menu and think, “That is both unhealthy and completely unnecessary,” then it’s a good bet that I’m eating it and writing about it. This website is here to provide you, the scrupulous consumer, with information about the ridiculous junk foods that come and go. I’m eating it so you don’t have to.
Junk Food Betty covers everything from Jones Bacon Flavored Soda  to the KFC Double Down with descriptions such as "I have never been anywhere near a rotting, decomposed, maggot-filled pig carcass, but I can imagine exactly what it smells like. And that is exactly like what Jones Bacon Flavored Soda tastes like."  Poetic.

So check it out.  At the very least it will ignite a hankering for some Doritos Late Night All-Nighter Cheeseburger Tortilla Chips.  And who couldn't use a few of those?



I love the Go-Pak. Particularly a mini Chips Ahoy Go-Pak. And I learned an interesting thing about them today. If you buy one while at Target, you will be shoveling them into your mouth by 2:30 p.m. Guaranteed.

Luckily my Go-Pak also came with these handy instructions so I would know that I need to "reach in to snack" rather than tip my neck back like a Pez dispenser and pour them directly into my mouth which I did previously with a Go-Pak of Nutter Butters. Technical writers, I commend you.