Thursday, December 29, 2005

Know your rights

The following entry was intended for last week, but an early trip to the hospital delivery room pre-empted posting. So the holiday relevance may be irrelevant, but I'm too busy learning how to change diapers to make a new one this week. Thanks for reading!

This holiday shopping season I've been trying to vote with my wallet. Easier said than done. takes care of the checking on the store you're planning on throwing money at. The rest is up to you.

Do you wanna support the Red (i.e. EVIL) companies? Go to Wal-Mart. Duh. But who else? None of those tree-hugging, parka sporting companies in the Northwest, right? WRONG. Every time you click the purchase button on Amazon, you're giving more money to the Red party than the Blue.

Instead, go to the co-op of all co-ops, REI and buy some gear. 100% Blue. Not that everybody on your holiday shopping list is gonna want lanterns and snowshoes, but everybody appreciates a nicely pitched tent.

Need some toys for some nieces and nephews? Mattel gives 81% of their money to the Blue party. If you buy "it" on eBay you're giving 56% Blue. But if you walk into KB Toys and slide that credit card, it's now 100% Red.

And when you go home and order a pizza at the end of your shopping day, picking up the phone and calling Domino's will give 100% of your money to Republicans. Surprisingly enough, so does California Pizza Kitchen. You know you're funding corporate America when you go to the big burger chains like McDonald's
and Burger King, but what about In-n-Out Burger? In-n-Out actually gives a larger percentage of their donations to the Red party than the other two.

Well that's all for this week's installment of LLMB. Gotta get a Blue coffee. Where? Surprise surprise!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Lost in the supermarket

Lately I've been receiving a lot of inadvertent e-mails to one of my bazillion e-mail accounts. Specifically my Gmail account. I never use that one because they scan each and every one of your e-mails for marketing clues. It's true. Says so right on the user agreement.

I always love getting random e-mails to my accounts that have pictures attached. I received one e-mail that had this one attached. The sender said "You look so cute in these. Here you go."

I wish I knew which one of these cute guys he or she thought was me. Striped shirts and dark belts, coronas, clean shaven and neatly trimmed eyebrows. I just wanna party with these guys.

I got signed up for an account to Wegmans, which is a supermarket chain. I don't see any of these dudes signing up for supermarket online offers, so it must be some other person who thinks they got my Gmail account.

Now I'm on this e-mail list for moms of Brownies. I get regular e-mails telling me when to be at Investiture and Rededication, Ice Cream parties and such. Apparently I'm supposed to bring an ice cream scoop and a can of whipped cream to the next meeting. And there is a super secret trip to the Jelly Belly factory on the 27 of January. I so badly want to show up dressed as a Brownie so I can go along. Doesn't this place look like a blast?

I can't wait to see where our little Brownie group will go next. Speaking of which, we have a meeting next Wednesday which requires "holiday cookie cutters." No bigger than 3-4 inches please. Kisses!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

What's my name?

A tribute to Andy Rooney:

You ever wonder why some bands are called "The" something-or-other? Why bands aren't called "The" something-or-other? Why is that?

With rock bands in the 60's, it was pretty easy. Bands were more likely to put "The" in their names. You knew it was THE Beatles, THE Who. Not Beatles, or Who. Then in the 70's it got a little tougher because the preference wasn't to use "The". Yeah, we know it's not THE Foreigner. Not THE AC/DC. Just Rush. Styx. Queen. But is it THE Sex Pistols? or Sex Pistols? Right about now, you thinking "Well their album is called Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's THE Sex Pistols." Right, but the title of the band on the cover of Flogging a Dead Horse just says "Sex Pistols". Damn punk rockers. So angry they wanted to confuse us all.

In the 80s, there was no preference for "The" in your name or not. Great. It's THE B-52s, but is it THE Stray Cats? (It's not, it's just Stray Cats. But try saying it that way the next time they come up in conversation - which will be like, never.) You think it's THE Go-Gos, but it clearly says just "Go-Go's" on Vacation. It gets easier with hard rock bands, because they don't want to think about whether it's THE or not, they just want big hair and beer. Motley Crue. Guns n' Roses. Not THE Poison. And not THE Twisted Sister.

And when grunge killed glam in the early 90s, it also axed THE from its vocabulary. Easy to remember: Soundgarden, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam. (Some Seattlite is going to write me and tell me that those bands are from the late 80s, I just know it.) Hip-hop made it easy too by bustin' a cap in THE's ass: Gangstarr, NWA, Mobb Deep, Wu-Tang.

Then around the new millenium, THE came back in vogue. So many THE's it was The THE empire strikes back! The Strokes, The White Stripes, The Vines, The Hives! AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!

I heard The The was touring again, but it's probably just as interesting to see whether the THE is popping up in band names again. -LL THE MB

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Car Jamming

I recently bought a certified pre-owned vehicle. The last time I bought a car was in 1995. Before that, 1988. My first car was a BMW 2002 - you know, those little ones that make a Mini look big. It wasn't certified pre-owned. Private owner, a guy who worked at some fashion store in the Tacoma Mall that makes Gap look like haute couture. He was a slick dude. And the 2002 was a fine looking vehicle on the outside, but under the hood it was the biggest piece of shit I've ever heard of. I bet the guy who sold it to me is a used car salesman now.

What is it with car salesmen (and women) that makes them so slimy? Do they go to some car sales school where they're taught the slimy tricks of the trade? Slimyness 101? Seems like they could just point out the features of the car and go along for the test ride and talk a few special deals up and their job would be done. I don't need the "I really want to make this work for you" treatment. They don't give a shit what works for me, as long as it means a sale for them.

Well this salesman, we'll call him Sammy, gave me the requisite treatment. Coffee, more coffee, more coffee. I love coffee, but what else ya got? He talked about his cousin who lives near me, but couldn't remember his name. He told me to go in and say hi to his cousin. Uh huh. He attempted to recount the details of our phone conversation and got every one of them slightly wrong. Wife's not coming, don't live in San Hose, don't have a trade-in.

The slimy stuff was generally harmless until we were finalizing the details of the purchase. I told him I noticed that the fog lights weren't working, the light that turns on when you open the drivers side vanity mirror didn't, and the windshield wipers made a horrible rubbing and skipping noise when turned on. Not major stuff, but stuff that shouldn't be happening on a certified pre-owned vehicle. Sammy said they were taking the car to the back to get it ready to go.

I sign the next 3 years of my life away with some other guy who does nothing but complain about "the man" and ask me if I would edit a video of his 2 year old son. I go back out to the waiting area where Sammy asks me if I want more coffee. Then he tells me that the shop is closed on weekends and they're not gonna be able to fix that stuff today. To sweeten that deal, Sammy says that I have to take it back to Sunnyvale VW to get that stuff fixed. Wow, that was a fast one! I thought I'd covered my bases.

My head turned into a big flat lollipop like the ones you see in Bugs Bunny cartoons that said "SUCKER". Actually all that stuff wasn't a major deal, but it made me wonder what else didn't meet the certified pre-owned criteria. Well, a few days later I drove the car down to Sunnyvale to get the stuff fixed, they gave me a Hyundai loaner that drove like a souped up golf cart, and I drove back down again to pick it up the same night. You gotta love that 101 rush-hour traffic. I drove into the lot to find Sammy combing his greasy hair back in the reflection of my certified pre-owned car window. He greeted me with a big open hand waiting for a shake. "Well I guess the next time I see you is when you're bringing me another customer!" Yeah.