Do you want fries with that?

“Do you want fries with that?”

<blank stare>

“Did I say I wanted fries?  No.”

Do I actually say that?  No.  Not anymore.  Contrary to popular belief, and contrary to standard curmudgeonly customs and expectations, I have gained some sense of couth and social refinement over the years.  Now, I will admit that I want to say that every single time, but I never do.  I mean, that would be rude, right?

Besides, I don’t want anyone spitting in my food.  Practical considerations, ya know.

Yeah yeah yeah, it’s called ‘suggestive selling’, or ‘upselling’, and employees are told to do it because it’s quite effective.  I have read many sources who claim corporations make boatloads of extra money just by adding an extra item here and there.  It boggles my brain cells that so many people fall for it.  Yet, in the interest of full honesty, I cannot claim that I have never fallen for it.  Every now and then, rarely, even though I know what they’re doing, they will suggest something that appeals to my weaknesses and I will succumb.  As a general rule, however, even if it sounds good, and even if I want what they are suggesting, I will politely decline just as a matter of principle.  I have been known to decline even though I was just about to order what they suggested.  I’m kind of stubborn that way.  I’ll show ’em!

Coming into the adult world, I love a good margarita.  Must be frozen/blended.  I call them “Adult Slurpees”, and I am a sucker for a good Slurpee, with or without tequila.  When I order one, though, they usually try to upsell me to a higher grade tequila.  I have been known to respond, “I’m not sophisticated enough to know the difference, so no thank you.”

I always get an annoyed stare in return.  They never laugh.  <shrug>  Plus, after two I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference, anyway, so no, I’m not paying the extra money for a higher-end tequila.

I’m kind of stubborn that way.

Classic band or Cover band?

Isn’t it amazing that you can still see so many classic musical acts?  And they’re all over the place.  Our nostalgic teen years can be continually played and replayed over and over again.  It’s great, I don’t ever have to grow up.

Hey Mickey you’re so fine, you’re so fine you blow my mind, hey Mickey!

Oh, sorry, got carried away.  Anyway, who are these people?  It’s one thing to see the Stones and view Keith Richards suspended in a perpetual age of 192 since he was 27, but for lesser bands it’s not always so sure.

I have this very basic criteria:  For a band to be that band, they must have at least one original member.  One.  And for simplicity sake I define “original” as the lineup when their first album was released.  No need to go back to the first garage jam session, just the first album. Otherwise they’re just a cover band.  And no, the height of the band’s popularity isn’t good enough.  Must… be… original.  Maybe it’s just me… it usually is… but I don’t think this is an unreasonable criteria.

Believe it or not, some bands claiming to be whoever have no original members at all, just hangers-on from later in the band’s career when the band was dying anyway.  There are several instances where there have been TWO bands of the same name, each one with an original member and each original member hating each other.

Then there’s the case of the J. Geils Band.  For legal reasons, the band calling itself the J. Geils Band in recent years doing nostalgic shows had most of the original members… but not J. Geils.  He had disputes with the rest of the band, so they wouldn’t let him in, but they got to legally keep the name.  That’s actually funny.

I’m not convinced Keith Richards will ever die, btw… then again, maybe he’s been dead for 40 years.  Can’t tell.

An Open Letter To: Facebook

An Open Letter To: Facebook

Dear Facebook… and Mark Zuckerberg,

re:  “Top Stories” vs. “Most Recent”

On occasion I’m going to have a semi-regular feature where I write an open letter to someone, usually a corporation or other faceless non-person entity, regarding an issue that they need some help with. Somebody’s gotta tell ’em, right? Today’s letter is to Facebook and regards their settings for post viewing. Or, rather, the lack of settings for post viewing.

I’m talking about “Top Stories” being the non-changable default, causing me to have to continuously switch it to “Most Recent” so that I can view them according to my preference. Sometimes I have to manually switch a dozen times a day, sometimes none at all. I have no need to have a continuing long discussion about three women’s personal foot care processes thrown in my face every time I log in just because it’s ‘popular’ or active.  No, I prefer to scroll back through the day as it happened, and let’s be real, even with all your tracking and algorithms, you do not know what I like like I know what I like.

Rumor has it that you are aware of this issue, and steadfastly refuse to address it. What makes this even more perplexing is that you seem to enjoy making all kinds of things optional to our preferences, so why not this?

C’mon, Facebook, get on the stick.

The Windows to Your Soul

As you will no doubt learn while reading my blog, I have pet peeves. Many pet peeves. Some people probably will think too many pet peeves. (It has been noted… *cough*) But hey, some things need to be said, and some people need to be told, and I’m the person to set them back on the right path. Well, there is an increasing trend that is sweeping the nation, and it is of epic, almost Biblical, proportions.

Have you noticed that when people post photos of themselves they are almost always wearing sunglasses? Quite often even indoors. Sunglasses are becoming ubiquitous. Even celebrities are wearing sunglasses in official functions. I was watching Wheel of Fortune the other day and Pat and Vanna were wearing dark sunglasses while making a promotional pitch. Several years ago then-San Francisco Giants manager Dusty Baker did a television commercial for a charity and, yep, you guessed it, he was wearing dark sunglasses while making his pitch.

What’s wrong with that, you say? Everybody’s doing it, right? Well, everybody re-elects their Congressperson and you can see where that got us. Anyway, dark sunglasses covers your eyes. Still shrugging your shoulders and wonder why that matters? Your eyes are the window to your soul. Your eyes convey personality and character and trust. Your eyes tell me who you are. If I can’t see your eyes, I can’t see YOU.

I get it, it’s sunny. You are shading your eyes. I do that, too. But when sharing a photo, you sitting in a tropical resort means nothing to me without the warmth of your personality coming through. You might as well wear a mask, and a cheesy smile doesn’t make up for it. When Dusty Baker was pitching his charity, I had no reason to even want to contribute. He removed all potential sense of trust when he covered his eyes. Might as well have been a hit man, or something, for all I knew. Regardless, he didn’t convey trust.

So, lose the shades for the photo-op. It takes only a few seconds, then you can put them back on again. I want to see you, not some generic soulless creature.



Seems reasonable to me. <shrug>

Them: “Good morning.” Usually including a cheery tone and a smile.

Really, what am I supposed to do with that? Is it a threat? Is it a command? A suggestion? A desperate plea of hope at the prospect of yet another mind-numbing day? What if it’s not a ‘good’ morning? What if it is a ‘good’ morning, but I just want to be left alone? Is that so bad? I, for example, am not a morning person. I may not have anything against you or the morning in particular or anything else, but as a non-morning person… combined with being an introvert… simply do not wish to interact with people beyond a minimally-required level until later in the morning after I have been awake for awhile and have eased into the day a bit. Yet, some people seem to think I’m some kind of grouchy pariah.

I have also observed that some people get very defensive about their morning greetings. They are put off, offended actually, if you do not respond in kind with the same level of chirpiness that they have graciously just offered you. (And, as I have found out the hard way, a sarcastic overly-bubbly “GOOD MORNING!!!”, complete with fake sunshine and rainbows and forced ear-to-ear grins, does not drive home the point and make them stop. Ugh!) Go figure.

Now, I suppose I could be the standard cookie-cutter curmudgeon and respond with, “What’s good about it?”, complete with faux gruff voice inflection, but that’s predictable and all wannabe-curmudgeons, the posers, say that. Those people… men, usually… are also viewed as cute and cuddly in their curmudgeoness. Curmudgeons are not cute and cuddly. (I am actually very cute and cuddly, but I hide it.)

Anyway, how I *want* to respond, and used to until the blowback became too annoying itself, was to just grunt.

Them: “Good morning.” Usually including a cheery tone and a smile.

Me: *grunt*

There. You got your acknowledgement. Go away. But, practical reality precludes me from doing this as often as I’d like. I am told that it is viewed as unsociable. Who knew?

My sister… a rare female curmudgeon, I am proud to say… and I have developed a standard response. And the best part is we developed it somewhat independent of each other. When people say “Good morning.”, we respond with, “Hello.”

What’s wrong with that? It’s a proper greeting. It’s short and simple and correct, we are offering a formal greeting. It’s polite and reasonably friendly. It’s not obscene or uncouth or insulting. Yet to see some people react you’d think you just bludgeoned a unicorn to death, or something. I know people who honestly get offended when I respond with “Hello”. C’mon, stop being uptight and demanding that people act and react how you want them to. Not everybody is happy and chipper when they first wake up. I gave you an honest and non-sarcastic response, accept it and be grateful.

Then go away and leave me alone.