No, this is not about abbreviated warm-weather fashion, though my credentials as a long-established leg watcher would certainly justify such a piece. Instead, we have here a compilation of a few items for which I couldn't come up with enough material to produce an entire Vent, but which needed to be here while they were still somewhat timely. Your indulgence will be greatly appreciated.

  1. Dear Sarah: I don't think I really need to point this out to you, but most of us are not in a position to select our neighbors, especially if we get there first; short of buying up the whole neighborhood, we're pretty much stuck with what we get, and at the moment, you're stuck with a world-class asshole. The upside: spite fences are cheap, and the character in question simply isn't clever enough to survive the entire length of his lease without showing his hand (or worse), so all you need to do is remain upbeat, go through the motions of avoiding his existence, and then enjoy yourself when it's time to lower the boom. Besides, every neighborhood of any appreciable size inevitably will contain at least one asshole; I work diligently to assure my neighbors that it's someone other than me.

  2. For those who were wondering if my recent references to sudden penury were quite as alarming as they sounded, the answer is a qualified Maybe. I don't have much in the way of reserves, to be sure. But I'm far better off having to come up with $1000 or so in mandated debt service every month than I was trying to find $1700 in the budget every month to avoid being faced with a mandate. Besides, I really do make more than enough to live on; I suppose it's about damned time I actually put some effort into living on it.

  3. Some months back, I pinned this to the cork board over my desk at work:

    The customer is always...

    As the phrase goes, 15 percent of the customers generate 85 percent of the work, and now you know why.

  4. To my everlasting horror, I have discovered, via the miracle of piped-in music, that it's possible for there to exist Our Song even when there never was an Us. A pox on you, Lowe's, and also on you, Plain White T's. I just hope no one saw me duck into the lumber aisle while I was losing it.

  5. This month I will have completed one year on Twitter. During that year I have posted:

    1. 1,000 tweets
    2. 2,000 tweets
    3. 3,000 tweets
    4. All of the above

    The answer, of course, is D: the current count is well over 6,000, and fewer than half of those were auto-generated from blog posts. I'm so embarrassed.

  6. I'm still trying to figure this one out: What is the difference, quantitative or otherwise, between buying a $1.49 two-liter bottle of Dr Pepper (for example) at $1.29, and buying a $1.59 two-liter bottle of the same stuff at $1.29? Are we supposed to be more impressed with the ostensibly greater savings we're getting in the wake of the price increase? If so, why not just declare it to be two bucks a bottle, and let us pretend we're socking away a whole 71 cents? (Note: Not applicable on weeks, such as last week, when the stuff could be bought for 99 cents for a two-liter bottle.)

  7. Oh, what the hell. Who wears short shorts? Sarah wears short shorts. Life is good.

The Vent

  1 June 2010

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