Lookit These Fuckin’ Maroons

I’ve long since established that my commute would make Magellan weep at my hardships, so that’s not news. But I got some sweet pics of total fuckin’ morons today, so I thought I’d share those.

Moron The First:


There’s a joke about gay camo here but I’m not gonna make it.

Apologies for the blur, we were hauling some ass at this point in time (by Kennedy standards, which means we were doing about 15MPH. So save the complaints about me snapping a pic while driving, please, that’s about the safest thing I saw happen on the drive in this morning).

My question is… who the fuck does that to a poor VW Jetta? I mean, even in their fastest zoom zoom configuration, they’re not exactly race cars. This thing had THAT paint job and murdered-out black forged-alloy rims on the tires… just so fuckin’ dumb.

I’d point out that the driver was some variety of Asian fellow in his early 20’s from the looks of it, but you already knew that.

Moron The Second:

FullSizeRender (1)

Hard to make out, but her RIGHT-hand turn signal is on.

This particular example of dipshittery is becoming more and more common, and It. Is. INFURIATING. Let me set the scene:

This is the Butterfield Rd. exit ramp off of I-88 WB. A two-lane exit from the highway that widens into three lanes; a left-turn only lane at left, a center lane that allows left-turn or go straight, and a right-turn only lane at the right.

The right lane is backed up worse than usual because they’re doing work on the ramp it feeds into, though they didn’t bother putting any signage up for that PRIOR to the ramp, so it’s a clusterfuck.

The lady in the Nissan here was in the center lane the whole way, with her right turn signal on. I’m in the right-lane, and I see her signal so I leave a nice big Nissan-shaped gap for her to avail herself of.

This ramp is slow in the best of conditions; with the construction, people are dumber than usual. I usually spend a good 5-10 minutes just on this ramp, for 2 or 3 of those long-assed suburban light cycles that I really don’t understand how you all tolerate every day. Today, it’s worse, because nobody can figure out what the fuck to do from the right lane.

Point being, I’m not rushing her at all. I’ve got this gap open for a good two minutes for her to take, because people are usually dicks about people trying to make a lane change and I like to not be a dick.

She never takes it.

What she DOES do is, with that right-turn signal flashing merrily and uselessly the whole time, is merge LEFT.

Now… I think we’re all used to the fact that people just don’t signal anymore, particularly since signalling is generally seen by other drivers as an attempt to TAKE THEIR SPACE that must be resisted at all costs. Okay, that’s fine. Got it.

But signaling the opposing way of where you’re going to actually go? That’s a new level of dickheadery that manages to make basically all lanes near you unsafe. Well done.

I hope both of these dopes end their day in a ditch somewhere.

Starbucks and the “War on Christmas”

Christians Whining About Some Dumb Shit Yet Again

You mewling cunts. You cowardly little whinging twats. What, it’s not good enough for you that the fucking cups are red and green and even GLANCING at them sears the eyes with irrevocable images of IT IS CHRISTMASTIME SO UP YOUR CONSUMING IMMEDIATELY, PROLE? You’re not going to be happy until every fucking tiny thing associated with this actually thoroughly-de-religioned festival of gross consumerism is stamped with an actual image of your god’s son (or your god… or… fuck, man, your theology makes as much sense as a two-year old hopped up on Kit-Kats, I have no idea how to phrase that but you all know what I mean) cannonading out of the Virgin Mary’s Inviolate Vagina while the Three Wise Men do The Wave in the background?

You fucking unsatisfiable bastards.

You DO realize that the fucking cups in question have NEVER carried explicitly Christian imagery, because Starbucks isn’t an explicitly Christian company, and their products have FUCK ALL to do with religion, so why the fuck would they?!?!!?

Just… shut up. Shut the fucking fuck up already. There is no fucking war on Christmas, it’s the most universally celebrated fucking holiday in this country, it gets WAY MORE attention and public acknowledgment than any other religion’s high holiday (QUICK QUIZ: without googling, tell me when or what Eid is? You can’t, can you? You provincial shitbird. Fuck off), it’s “under attack” by precisely no one because even the shittiest, Dawkins-worshipping atheist asshole nephew of yours who wears a God Is Dead t-shirt to Christmas and rolls his eyes during Grace is STILL THERE WITH YOU CELEBRATING MOTHERFUCKING CHRISTMAS so can you PUH-LEEZE drop this wounded angel act and just accept that christians, particularly the real dumb white baptist kind, still dominate this country’s entire culture and therefore acting like you’re the last Druze in Lebanon just makes you look like a ginormous fucking pussy?

Christ (all puns intended).

Things I Like: FIELD NOTES

One ritual I really miss from childhood is the annual pilgrimage every August to a Zayre or Venture to get a fresh stock of school supplies. Much like Zayre and Venture and my childhood, that little ritual is dead now. However, there’s a sorta-quasi replacement in the Annual Search for a New Work Planner.

Now, most of you are probably asking yourself “who gives a shit about notebooks in this day and age?”. Most of you are also probably the kind of Philistine who simply blindly accepts whatever piece of imported Chinese trash notebook your employer makes available in the supply room, in which you’ll ham-handedly scribble your awful block printing via whatever piece of shit BIC ballpoint your work also makes available…

You people make me sick.

Anyways… I’m real particular, possibly downright OCD about what I write on and with. The pile of half-used and then discarded notebooks my wife will have to dispose of when I die attests to this. But… I’ve been acquiring less of them the last few years because I’ve pretty much settled on Field Notes as my brand for the foreseeable future:

2016’s New Tools (the Planner and Calendar both overlap into 2015 a bit and start in November, hence why I’ve got them already)

I’ve been using their cool-assed pocket notebooks for quite some time; I keep one in my bag, a few at my desk at work, a bunch at home… they’re cheap, small, and rugged, so I keep them everywhere. For work, though, I do like to have two main notebooks at all times:

  1. The Steno Pad on the left is my regular notebook for, well, notes. I take meeting notes in it, if I need to scribble something down from a phone call or the like, it goes in there. Over the years, I’ve always had one primary notebook for work and I just fill them and then file them when I’m done. I’ve got more full ones than I care to think about stacked in my office at home and my office at work. Why keep them around? I don’t know, man, but it’s sometimes fun to flick through one and let the notes send me back to a particular point in time where I was doing something completely different than I am now. I’m a whore for certain kinds of nostalgia, and old, full notebooks tickle that particular itch for me.
  2. On the right, we have my 56-week planner. Every morning, I fill out what my schedule looks like for the day, and try to record 1-3 lines that cover the major accomplishments or problems of that day. It’s how I keep my head straight and how I give my work some direction for the day. There’s always 20 different things I _could_ be doing; thinking about it over some coffee at the start of the day and then writing down the three things I actually really would like to make progress on that same day is helpful.

The middle guy is obvs just my wall calendar. Sure, my computer, phone, tablet, fuck, my desk phone, too, can all show me the date, but I still like to just swivel my head and get that date in the context of the month from paper. It’s a cheap quirk and I will continue to indulge it.

Why Field Notes in particular? Well… I was a Moleskine guy for years, and still love them, but that shit’s expensive and they’re going overboard with the co-branding and I find that distasteful and, frankly, I just prefer lay-flat spiral bound notebooks, which aren’t their thing. I’ll sacrifice the really nice covers that wear so beautifully over time for a notebook I actually enjoy writing in more. I may be the last guy in America with really beautiful cursive, but I am, goddammit, and I like a notebook that makes it easy for me to write above all else.

Field Notes is the sort of company I wish to support, too. For one, they are local. Good Chicago people manufacturing quality products right here in the US of A. I like that, if you don’t want to pay for shipping, one of the “shipping” options is to just swing by their River North facility and pick your order up directly. Not feasible for many folks, but a nice option for the locals that makes me want to support them.

While not as cheap as, say, a five-pack of MEAD (barf) notebooks or something, they’re certainly cheaper than Moleskines or Rhodias or the other top-tier notebooks. And I don’t mind paying for the quality.

The team IN ACTION.

So, yeah, if you’re, like me, one of the seven remaining people in this country who cares about handwriting and posterity and Buying American, Goddammit! please do check out Field Notes for all of your scribbly needs. They have a super-fun subscription plan to get their unique notebooks on a quarterly basis, often toss freebies into the delivery just because, and they’re just the kind of small business we should want to support around here. And, first and foremost: their notebooks really do rock.

Not My Favorite Writer, But a Damned Good Prognosticator

’Cause the technology is just gonna get better and better and it’s gonna get easier and easier and more and more convenient and more and more pleasurable to sit alone with images on a screen given to us by people who do not love us but want our money and that’s fine in low doses but if it’s the basic main staple of your diet you’re gonna die.

— David Foster Wallace, 1996

Y’know, I’ve always found DFW a bit over-rated, probably more due to how he’s held in such high-esteem by the sort of tortured, trust fund MFA program fuckers that I find personally loathsome in the extreme, but that was some prescient, accurate shit right there. Particularly since he wrote it way back 1996 :S

On that note, off to a family thing on my wife’s side where I’ll say hi to everyone for five minutes then probably stare at my phone until we leave.

TODAY’S EPISODE OF REAL SPECIFIC NERD BEEFS: Auto-Capitalization After Erroneous Auto-Correct in iOS

So, iOS will often autocorrect a mis-typing of “in a” to “Ina”, because OF COURSE many more people have a friend with Scandinavian ancestry that they’re referring to to a third party via text than would EVER need to type “in a”.

So, fine, fucking thing overwrites my error with its own, now it says “Ina” in the middle of a sentence.

delete-delete-delete-delete and type “in a” where it should have been to begin with.

iOS writes “In a”, capitalizing the “in” even though that’s absolutely senseless in this context.

So you have to delete everything AGAIN, UNCHECK the shift key that will otherwise needlessly capitalize your “in”, and then type “in a” for what is now the sixteenth time.

What the fuck, iOS? Wouldn’t a better assumption be that, since the capitalization only originated with your erroneous autocorrection to begin with, and given that the writer is now deleting your autocorrection, indicating that it was WRONG, that your capitalization was ALSO incorrect and therefore you should leave the goddamned keyboard in its default state instead of invoking a special mode that, in every other instance, has to be specifically invoked by the user?

God DAMN it. This happens to me a million times a day. I know it’s because Apple (and Android does this too) expects you to choose from their row above the keyboard of possible corrections rather than just do the work yourself, but I can retype this shit faster than I can move my thumbs up to that row and choose as the cognitive workload is higher (and therefore slower) to do that than to rely on the built-in muscle memory for a retype. I have where each normal keyboard key is memorized; one can NOT, by definition, memorize where keys that pop up only due to specific context will be, so fuck that row of choices.

I further know that most people give two shits about capitalization or grammar or spelling at all these days, and most texts are written in a combination of emoji and whatever letters pop up when some Vine-addled fuckboi just drags his dick across the Apple keyboard, but I’m going to be back over here raging against the dying of the light on this one, however much Apple insists on fighting me about it.

The Last Straw

So, Strike One is that I haven’t had a smoke in four days. We’re both giving quitting an honest, solid try right now and it’s going well, but I don’t have a lot of margin for error at the moment.

Strike One Point Five? Haven’t had a drink in six. Drinking and quitting smoking don’t exactly go hand in hand.

Strike Two? CHANTIX. Yeah, it’s a wonder drug when you’re trying to quit nicotine, but it does fuckall for keeping you on the “able to” side of “keep your shit together”.

Strike Two Point Five? Wife’s been outta town since Tuesday. So it’s just me, the cats, and not smoking or drinking. Not a recipe for calm.

Strike Two Point Nine Five? This fuckin’ weather. Driving in the rain blows.

So, what was Strike Three, you may ask, if you’ve hung in so far?

A little old lady.

Scene: smr is driving home after a nice dinner with his brother. He’s tired, crabby, smoke-free and sober, and heading home to a house without a wife in it because said wife is in Utah. Okay, fine.

It’s dark and rainy out. smr is a careful driver, so he’s keeping the speed down and watching intersections and crosswalks carefully.

smr comes to an intersection where he has the red. He’s in the right-hand turn lane, as he needs to turn right. The two lanes to his left already have cars stopped at the light and backed up. He is approaching them in his right-turn lane.

Since smr can’t see through the cars stopped in the left lanes into the crosswalk, smr starts braking as soon as his line of sight is closed off and is almost at a complete stop a good six feet before the start of the crosswalk. As traffic is coming through on the cross street at a good clip, he’s not going to be able to turn until it’s green anyways.

As smr’s erstwhile Jetta rolls to its final stop (again, many feet clear of the START of the crosswalk), a sweet little old lady enters his field of view from the left, in the crosswalk. As smr is already finishing braking, and almost fully stopped, he thinks nothing of it.

TO BE MOTHERFUCKING CLEAR: there is no risk to the old lady. At all. She is crossing in front of two stopped cars in the lanes to smr’s left, and smr is just about stopped a good six feet back from the crosswalk. Why, smr could take his foot off of the brakes at this point and his car wouldn’t have the momentum left to roll into the crosswalk.

So, does the old lady just finish making her fucking way across the crosswalk and onto the sidewalk? Oh no. Of course she doesn’t.

smr has been paying her no mind, focusing instead on the light, waiting for it to change to green. He saw the old lady enter his field of view, so he just finished braking and is at a complete stop six feet short of the START of the crosswalk. He’ll get on the gas when she’s out of the street and the light goes green. smr does not creep-roll red lights, and yells at Mrs. smr constantly for doing that when she’s driving.

The old lady is Perfectly. Safe.

smr has to turn his attention from the light to her, though, because, while she HAD been proceeding north through the crosswalk and facing north, she has now clearly stopped dead in front of smr’s car and rotated 45 degrees to where she is now facing smr dead on.

Including the hood of smr’s car, there are AT LEAST eight feet between her eyes and smr’s eyes, which are now locked onto each other.

It’s raining, and dark, and smr has the windows rolled up and music cranking, so, if the old lady is saying anything, smr has no fucking clue what it is. But it is clear that the old lady is annoyed, nay, SERIOUSLY PISSED OFF that smr has only left a gap between his front bumper and the start of the crosswalk long enough to fit two of the old lady’s corpses stretched out head to toe.

She is making this point by gesticulating angrily at smr’s car, which is six feet away, and the start of the crosswalk, which is right under her hands.

IE, six feet away from smr’s car. Which is stopped. Completely. And has been for a while at this point.

A reminder: smr is tired. smr wants a smoke and an Old Style. smr is not going to get either of those things. And while smr normally holds a little life rule that says “give little old ladies a veritable fuckton of leeway”, because that is what well-raised men just do, and smr’s momma raised him the right way, and he has always kept to that rule, smr. just. can’t. even.

Because, smr thinks, “This. Is. BULLSHIT”.

“I am goddamned stopped over a car length away from her, and I slow-rolled to this stop because it’s dark and rainy and that’s what a careful, considerate-to-pedestrians driver fucking does, and I am ALL of those adjectives. MAYBE I could understand this like if I had to jam on my brakes to bring my bumper to a halt three inches from this tired dusty bitch’s arthritic knees, but that’s not the fucking case, now is it? No, it fucking ain’t. She literally has no reason to be giving me shit right now, and I’d normally let this go, but the part of my conscience that normally suppresses these thoughts is fueled by nicotine and alcohol, and I’ve got fucking NEITHER of them in my system right now so guess, what, granny? I don’t give a fuck if your seven decades have been an unrelenting shitshow that Dickens could’ve written a fucking novel about, I’m not having it. I don’t care if everything went to hell for you the day you let little Mickey Sullivan from one parish over have his way with you and put the first of your eventual seven ungrateful kids into you back when Tricky Dick Nixon was running things, and you’ve spent every hour since regretting that moment because Mickey liked to talk with his fists so you’ve spent the last four decades getting knocked off of more furniture than Michael J. Fox’s shins, and now Mickey’s dead and your kids hate you and you’re all alone and that sucks, I realize, but that’s still NO reason for you to be a DICK TO A TOTAL STRANGER WITHOUT CAUSE.

So, forgive me, old lady, but as you finally stepped out of the crosswalk, pausing only to turn one last time and literally give me the ol’ “hand swiped under the chin” curse that you probably learned at your toothless gypsy grandmother’s knee back in the old country, I felt permitted, nay, OBLIGED, to return it to you via the modern, updated version, consisting of double-barreled birds aimed at your face, with a FUUUUUUUUCK YOUUUUUUUUU mouthed so slowly that even your Alzheimer’s-ridden wreckage of a brain that never really fully learned English in the first place could comprehend EXACTLY what I meant.”

smr’s not proud of this. It was a moment of weakness. But smr doesn’t feel TOO bad, because age alone does not somehow automatically grant one the right to be a total fuckin’ asshole to strangers for absolutely no reason.