Tuesday, September 29, 2009

oh ralph

So, I was reading an interview with Ralph Lauren. When asked his favorite authors, Ralph answered "Ayn Rand and Ernest Hemingway." Interesting, I thought. Makes sense, he's a self-made businessman. And then I got to the second-to-last question.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

I'm guessing he's a fan of her fiction and not her nonfiction, notable among which is a little book called "The Virtue of Selfishness." Actually, it's more likely that he hasn't actually read Rand, and just thinks he'll sound interesting saying he likes her.

That sounds you hear is my eyes rolling, hard.

Friday, September 25, 2009

murder and ice cream!

There's an article on MSNBC today that's making me a little stabby. The headline: "Study: Spanked kids have lower IQs."

I assumed the headline was a bit of sensationalism on MSNBC's part. Anyone who hasn't heard "correlation does not imply causation" over and over again in the classroom could be fooled by this headline into believing that spanking causes low IQ. (The example we were always given is the strong positive correlation between murder rates and ice cream sales - both of which rise in the summer). That can't possibly be what the study concludes. Right?

Except that is exactly what the researcher is trying to say. He claims that he controlled for socioeconomic status and other factors in his study, and therefore that the lower IQ scores were actually caused by the spanking. Says the researcher, ""You can't say it proves it, but I think it rules out so many other alternatives; I am convinced that spanking does cause a slowdown in a child's development of mental abilities."

I'm pretty sure this researcher was "convinced" that spanking causes lower IQ before he ever started his experiment. He goes on to explain how he thinks spanking lowers IQ, something his study could not possibly have told him. Then I get stabby and have to close the window before I hurt my computer monitor.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

resumes are funny

I was skimming more resumes today, and I found a couple of tidbits I just had to share.
First, someone listed this under "Activities" at the bottom of his resume:
"Winner of doubles-competition and runner in singles-competition at Company X's yearly Table Tennis competition." [sic]
I think that's supposed to be funny? I hope? But I'm not endeared. I mean, I'd like to hear that you organized the thing, but telling me where you placed? At table tennis? That has to be "funny because it's absurd," right? Please?
Okay, so I guess the next person was using a template. At the top of the resume, I saw this string of nonsense:
123-456-1234 (p) - N/a (f)
This one took me a few minutes, but then I realized that they were trying to indicate "not applicable" for a fax number. Which, I mean, gahh. Template FAIL.
I also realized something about myself when I was going through these. Whenever I saw a gap in someone's resume, I would always scroll to the top to see if the person was female. Like, did she take off because she had a baby?
And then finally, hundreds of resumes later, I realized that I was being sexist. I mean, it's more likely that a woman would take off after having a baby, but it's not impossible that a gap in a man's resume could also be baby-related. Duh.
Later in the day, I found nothing at all amusing, and couldn't wait to run out the door at 5. I'm going to spare you the little stream-of-consciousness rant I wrote then. You can thank me in the comments.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

i am one spineless, nerdy smart-ass

Okay, so recently there appeared a sign above the copier in one of our break rooms. It reads:

"Copy Machine Usage is for Business Purpose's Only!"

I've read the sign like a dozen times, but today was the first time I noticed the inappropriate use of an apostrophe on this sign. This sign, which someone printed out on pink paper, laminated, and then hung in a professional setting. Duh, people.

As soon as I noticed this, I had the urge to run to my computer and print a sign reading:

"Apostrophe for Posessive Usage Only!"

Then I did a wikipedia search for the word "apostrophe" to make sure I wasn't missing any appropriate usages, because there's nothing worse than being all snotty and correcting someone and saying something incorrect in your correction.

Turns out I was missing two basics (in addition to lots of ridiculous particulars that no one would really hold against me): contractions (e.g. couldn't) and abbreviations (e.g. gov't). But my sign doesn't pack quite the same punch when it reads:

"Apostrophe for Possessive, Contraction, and Abbreviation Usages Only!"

Usages? Usage? I can't decide, so I guess I'm going to have to give the whole thing up.

Not that I would actually be brave enough to hang the sign, anyway. There could be cameras! I could be called into offices!

top 5 reasons why yesterday was better than monday or tuesday

  1. White cake with whipped cream frosting and chocolate mousse filling. One piece at the little corporate cake gathering thing, and one later while I scanned those stupid double-sided phone bills.
  2. Something new and interesting (no, really!) to do at work: Reviewing resumes! (Quick tip to all job applicants ever: get yourself a nice, staid, firstnamelastname@gmail.com email address for job hunting, because seriously, people. The "quirky" "creative" address you give to your friends looks totally ridiculous on your resume.)
  3. I got an examiner newsletter suggesting that I write articles about exactly what I was planning on writing articles about this month. I'm a total genius, and I rock at this job, even if I did only make $1.86 yesterday. How much did you make for writing an article about 5 new sitcoms that are airing this fall? Yeah, that's what I thought.
  4. Getting exactly what I wanted for dinner. The Wii Fit board is going to weep on Saturday, but whatever, this is no time of the month for good choices.
  5. Listening to Josh Groban on the way to work. Rolling my windows down and positively blaring Josh Groban on the way home. (Suck it, guy blasting hip hop in the car next to me!) Singing along loudly to all the Italian songs and feeling all smugly superior about it.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

self-medicating with tween romance and dusters

Saturday was a nice day. I wrote a movie review for examiner.com and cleaned my kitchen while watching HGTV. Renovation shows always help motivate me!

Sunday started getting sketchy. I couldn't get certain parts of Breaking Dawn out of my head, and I started itching to read it for a third time. Michael and I went to breakfast, and then Michael went to work. I watched television or something for a couple of hours, and then I caved and read like 400 pages of Breaking Dawn.

Monday was just downright strange. Michael left for work early. I finished reading what I wanted to in Breaking Dawn (I lose interest when the action begins), and then I thought that maybe I should watch Twilight again. After ransacking the bookcases twice, I finally found it.

I'd heard the audio commentary was kind of ridiculous, so of course I decided to listen to it. I enjoyed it, but I didn't actually get to watch the movie, since they were talking over it, so I decided to watch the movie again. Or listen to it, really, since I also re-cleaned my kitchen (there were new dishes to be done, I needed to clean the counter and stove again, etc.)

When the movie ended, I played it again. I cleaned the living room (I even dusted!) and cleaned the bathroom. The movie ended again, and I played it again. I straightened our bedroom, and then there was nothing else to do, so I sat and watched the end of the movie. For the third time, not counting the first time with the commentary. I was kind of afraid to turn it off, I think, like I would have a panic attack if I didn't distract myself enough.

I teetered between distracted and downright miserable yesterday. I can't really believe I got so much done yesterday. Usually when I'm unhappy I just want to curl up and do nothing. I think the same thing that made me watch Twilight three or four times yesterday also made me spend the whole day cleaning. Like I needed to be busy with something so that I wouldn't be forced to think.

Michael was feeling pretty down when he got home, too, so we went out to dinner, and then to Target, where we bought the first season of Mad Men on DVD. We joked about being miserable, and I pretended to hyperventilate. We watched two episodes at home, and then it was time for bed. I read Infinite Jest before I went to sleep, instead of Twilight (which I had re-started before dinner), because really, my use of Stephanie Meyer's crack had been excessive enough.