Saturday, December 31, 2005

Year-end review: My favorite comments

The holidays are a time for self-indulgence. That's why I've gained five pounds in the last week and plan on getting wasted tonight. And that's why I'm dragging out a few things I tucked away in comment threads during the past year and throwing them on the main page.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Endless Summary: Vol. 8 – Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!)
As I read the lyrics, Mike's into the girls from all around the world for different reasons. East Coast girls are hip and stylish, Southerners speak nicely, Midwesterners are hospitable, and Northerners transfer body heat efficiently. He'd like all this variety close at hand. And it's just like dumbass Mike to try to haphazardly cram every girl in the US into one state.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005
How busy are you?

Here's a conversation I had with [a co-worker] recently:

J (at 10:30 a.m.): Can I get this back by noon?

Me: [cold stare]

J (meekly): By end of day?

Later, I found out that she was asking other people to bring me things because she thought I hated her. But I like her! I just hate unreasonable requests.

Thursday, September 01, 2005
Quitting English
In fact, English and French used to have two cognate forms of the second-person pronoun. In the singular, English had thou, which French had (and has) tu. In the plural, English had you, which French had (and has) vous. As you've mentioned, the French reserve tu for intimate or subordinate relationships, and use vous for strangers and superiors. It was the same for the English and thou. For instance, when Sir Walter Raleigh was on trial, Sir Edward Coke insulted him by saying, "I thou thee, thou traitor!" thus showing that he did not consider Raleigh worthy of respect. Much as vous is the more common form in French because it is more respectful, you became vastly more common in English, and thou dropped out of general usage, except among the Quakers, who used it as a sign of humility and equality.

As for marking nouns for gender, I don't care for it. It makes sense to divide people and animals into males and females, but once you get into inanimate objects, it gets bizarre. [As for why house is feminine in French] perhaps the guy who came up with French decided a woman's place was in the home.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005
I require the following
The big boss saw me this morning, and the conversation went kind of like this:

"Did you do that thing?"

"No, I never got e-mailed the info I needed."

"But it has to be done by ten!"

"Well, I never got e-mailed the info I needed."

"But I saw her e-mail it to you!"

"I never got e-mailed the info I needed!" (Starting to lose patience here.)

I checked my inbox to make sure. Yes, I had never been e-mailed the info I needed. The big boss went to investigate. It turned out the foister had indeed written an e-mail with all the info I needed, but sent it to two other people who didn't need it without copying me in on it. So she forwarded it, I did her job, and she didn't give me so much as a thank-you afterward.

However, I did have another irritating conversation with the big boss later after overhearing something about a big change in our procedures and expressing surprise.

"Why don't you ever read your e-mail?" he asked in irritation.

"I never got it."

"I sent out two bulletins."

"I never got them."

"Aren't you part of the 'All Marketing' group?"

"You mean 'Marketing, All'?"

"It's the same thing!"

"To us. Maybe not when you type it into Lotus Notes."

"Well, I sent it to all of Marketing."

So I checked Lotus Notes. No such e-mail had been sent to "Marketing, All". And there wasn't any "All Marketing" group, as I suspected. It turned out that he'd just sent the news out to the marketing managers (although not to mine, to whom the news was also a surprise). It turned out a lot of other people didn't know about it.

So, I twice got chastised for failing to read or respond to e-mail I was never actually sent. I don't know if it's creeping senility or just overwork, but the big boss just doesn't know how to use e-mail. I think if there's a technological solution to his problems, it's to forget about Lotus Notes and maybe get something like Cerebro, that mental telepathy chair from X-Men 2 so he can just sit in it and beam his thoughts directly into our heads. That seems to be more or less what he expects should happen anyway.

Friday, September 23, 2005
“Haw Haw, I'm the Mexican Vale Tudo Champion!”
I once saw one of El Santo's movies late at night on TV, and they had translated the title to "Santo vs. The Doctor Death". I always loved that. Not just any Doctor Death -- say, cardiologist Wayne Death, MD -- but the Doctor Death.

But I guess we know who won that battle in the end, don't we?

Monday, October 03, 2005
Something to try
I was discussing this with a co-worker, and an alternative thing to try is to adjust yourself while talking to your boss in the bathroom, but fully reach right down your pants and root around. Then, after you withdraw your hand, absentmindedly smell your fingers, frown slightly, but just keep talking all the way through it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Don't Panic.

I was looking for empty bottles or cups. I remembered I had a plastic bag in my briefcase and wondered if I could use it to fashion some kind of urine collection bag. Situations like that turn you into Excreting MacGyver.

Thursday, October 27, 2005
More on dental care

Off-topic: The word verification I have to type in to post this comment is "kyrghax". If I ever become a giant mantis warrior like the thri-kreen from Dark Sun, I'm definitely changing my name to "Kyrghax".

Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Van Hammer, Internet Stud
It's well known that "Santa" is an anagram for "Satan". What is not widely known is that "Tooth Fairy" is an anagram for "A fit Tory ho", i.e., Ann Coulter, who is, of course, Satan. Did I just blow your mind?!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Announcement to co-workers

I eventually resorted to clearly labelling my inbox and chair with Post-it notes marked INBOX and CHAIR.

Also, one of the dudes who left an ad on my chair attached a Post-it asking if it was okay if I looked at it in form of a printout, rather than having him e-mail the file. I've told him before that this is fine, and I attached another Post-it saying that it would be fine and returned the ad to his desk. Naturally, he had to bring it back over again in order to get me to actually look at it.

And as I was just typing this, one of the girls came over with an ad with a Post-it attached that read as follows:



I ripped off the top half of the note and handed it back to her.

A little while ago, someone put something on my chair again. I physically got on top of my desk and sat in my inbox, illustrating that since what I was doing clearly wasn't appropriate office behavior, why would the reverse be?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005
In which I officially become critically acclaimed

I mentioned to my friend Katherine that I was nominated for an award. Her response? "For what? Most irritating co-worker?"

Poor Peter.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Basically, I would like you all to take a moment to make sure you understand exactly what you're talking about before you say anything at all.

I might have mentioned before that my least favorite example of gratuitous apostrophe use among the urban celebrity set is that of queen-sized comedienne Mo'nique. Eventually I decided it could legitimately stand for "More Monique". So I'm actually kind of okay with it now.

Thursday, December 22, 2005
It's all Greek to me
That reminds me of a conversation I had with one of the call centre girls at work today. I was making fun of her fur-lined boots for being too furry.

"Well, it's fake,' she said. "I wouldn't wear real fur. I only wear leather because I eat cow."

"I wear fur," I said, "Because I eat beaver."


"Every chance I get."

"You don't seem the type."


"You don't seem like the sort of person who would eat unusual meats," she said.

You don't seem like the sort of person who would understand innuendo, I thought.


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