Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Ikea: Malm

"Hey, can I use the drill on these?"
"Huh? Oh, no. NO, no, no, no, no. Do you have a little wrench?"
"A wrench?"
"Yeah, mine came with a little wrench. Does it have a groove on the side?"
"A what?"
"A groo--just let me look at it. Oh, this has a screw head."
"I know it has a screw head, I'm not a fucking idiot."
"How many of them do you have?"
"Like a million."
"Yeah, you can use the drill, but I don't have the cordless one, and the torque--"
"Christ almighty, I'll just USE the SCREWDRIVER."

"Do you want the mattress higher or lower?"
"I don't understand the question."

"Hey, can you grab me the crescent wrench while you're down there?"
"Do you mean an adjustable wrench?"
"I mean a CRESCENT wrench."
"It's still in the truck. I'll have to go out and get it."
"You only have one? You have like, 5 toolboxes."
"Well, I don't use the crescent wrench very much, because I have a wrench set that--"
"Oh my God, please stop talking to me!"

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Dropping Some Knowledge

NEVER ASK QUESTIONS. Because if you don't ask, you won't get answers--and you can avoid exchanges like the one below, where I was asking my boyfriend why employers check credit scores:

boy: A bad credit score means you have poor character.

me: why?
what has caused that shitf?

Sent at 2:32 PM on Tuesday

boy: Because, they can? And some Smart People sat down and did a Study which showed that people with poor credit scores make worse employees. I mean, it's the same reason they run a criminal background check. It's a indicator of how you'll perform as an employee. If you have poor credit, it means you're lazy and shiftless. In the cases where that's not accurate, oh falls in the noise. If you fire 10 people because they have bad credit, and eight or nine would have been bad employees, avoiding those problems is more than worth (at least in actuarial terms) what you would have gained from the one or two good employees.

me: hmm

boy: It's all about the numbers in a more and more purely capitalistic society. "How can the corporation make the most money for the stockholders?"
It comes down to money.
And science.

me: ahhh

Sent at 2:37 PM on Tuesday

boy: Let's say you have 1000 employees, and you run a credit check on them. And let's say that scientific studies show that employees with a FICO score lower than 600 are 5x more likely to steal, take more sick days, and are generally less productive. Let's say that you can quatitate that to mean that each employee with a FICO score less than 600 costs the company $10000/year more than an employee with a FICO score greater than 600. Then, you find that 50 of your employees have a FICO score under that. A consultant comes in and says, "well, it's going to cost you $25000 to replace these employees."
Of course you do it.

me: Oh, I get it.
So what you're saying is
it's gay

boy: Now, if this theory that a lower FICO score makes you a worse employee becomes conventional wisdom in management circles (as it has), you don't have a choice. Because, especially if you're a publicly traded company, your stockholders will accuse you of not maximizing profit, which is a federal crime.

Sent at 2:42 PM on Tuesday

boy: So, you develop HR policies based on these management consultants, studies and conventional wisdom which say, "we run a criminal background check and credit report on all new hires. Any new hires that have a FICO of less than 600 are to be immediately terminated for cause."
And that gets put down in an HR manual...
And it becomes inviolate.

me: wow.

boy: That's how your credit score becomes an indicator of your employement prospects, especially in a competitive market.

me: Yeah...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Bitten by Inexpensive Fashion

Much has been written about Sarah Jessica Parker's inexpensive clothing line, Bitten. Found exclusively at Steve and Barry's, the line features laid-back clothing that purportedly looks good on all body types. While some people have gotten behind the line's ethos of real clothes for real women (Bitten's sizes range from 2-22) many reviews have been catty at best. Many fashion writers are dismissing the line as a publicity stunt aimed at people who live in the flyover states who still order Cosmos when they're out with the girls.

What I haven't seen is a review from someone who has actually worn the clothes. So while this is not complete in any way, I'm taking this opportunity to do my own review of Bitten's wearability.

I'm always on the lookout for a good pair of jeans. Like a comfortable bra, this is a never ending quest. I was in love with my Gap Long & Lean jeans. I would basically buy a new pair anytime I had extra money (they are about $60). Then they started falling apart. After about a year, as with all Gap pants, they started unraveling, leaving unsightly holes everywhere.

After my Gap jeans were left in tatters, I got a pair of Old Navy Low Rise Boot Cut jeans. They were only about $25 and had a slim, flattering cut. My only problem with them is that the stretch that makes them so comfortable causes them to sag within a few hours of putting them on. Either I wear a belt or I'm stuck tugging at them all day.

This is why, when I saw that the Bitten Jeans were only $15, I headed straight over to Steve & Barry's. I tried on the Boot Cut jeans and found them to be almost identical to the Old Navy pair I owned in cut and fit. The only difference is these have a darker rinse, which dresses them up a bit. Unfortunately, another similarity is the stretch. These are even worse than the Old Navy jeans in terms of falling straight off of me. When you have a pair of jeans like that sag, you go from cute to dumpy real fast.

Another fashion staple for me during the summer is flip-flops. I wear these way more than I should, and have the tan lines and dirty feet to prove it. New York is dirty and I was tired of scrubbing the black grime off of my feet before bed. I decided that switching to a black flat would be a cute way to ditch the flops. The problem with flats though, is that when you do a lot of walking in them, they start to smell. Bad. So I didn't want to spend a lot of money on something that I would probably have to burn at the end of the summer. Enter SJP.
I got these comfy little guys for $10 and I wear them almost daily.

My next excursion was right before my family reunion in Tennessee. I generally wear jeans in summer and haven't owned a pair of shorts in years. However, it was Nashville in June and I had become obsessed with the short-shorts and wedge heel look. I figured Bitten would be a cheap way to test it out.

I bought the trouser shorts ($10), but decided to forgo the boob-belt option (pictured above left on the "real girl" [bullshit] model).
The problem with these isn't the problem I thought I'd have. Instead of them riding up, they fall down just like the jeans. The shorts are deceptively not stretchy, but that doesn't keep them from practically ending up around my knees at any given moment. Adding a cute belt wouldn't help either, as these shorts are not equipped with belt loops.

I paired them with this fantastic pair of blue, peep-toed wedges for $10, which my boyfriend dubbed my "stripper shoes."

The fact is, he's just uncomfortable because I tower over him when I wear them. He says I'm passive-aggressively trying to be superior to him, which I totally am. So does admitting this fact bump it from passive-aggressive to actively aggressive?


The point is, These shoes + the falling down shorts + drinking on an empty stomach = Kona falling on her ass. A lot.

The Verdict:
For the price, you cannot beat this clothing line. The items are cute and inexpensive enough that if they fall apart, it really will not matter. The only problem is the sizing. The shoes run small (I bought both pairs in a size above what I usually wear) and the pants/shorts either run big or stretch way too much. When I went back to buy the shorts, I tried on the jeans in a smaller size. They were a little tight and had they been the first pair I tried on, there was no way I would have gotten them (hello, muffin top). However, based on my experience with the pair of jeans that fit me well in the dressing room, my guess is that the too-small pair would end up looking normal on me.

If you have a Steve and Barry's in your mall, I highly recommend checking this line out and if it doesn't work out for you, you're basically out the price of a couple of drinks or a dinner at a mid-priced chain restaurant. You've wasted your money on much worse.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Random Conversations with Family Members #8

Kali: So, you and your boyfriend have to sleep in dad and Holly's bed with four dogs. Is that going to be awkward for you guys?
Me: What? Why would we do that? We're going to sleep on the air mattress.
Kali: Nope. They took it with them.
Me: Dammit.
Kali: Yeah. That's where dad and Holly do the nasty.
Me: Ack!
Kali: Hahahahahahaha. I hope they changed the sheets!
Me: Why? Just...why?
Kali: Hahahahahahhaa. Sorry. I'm a little drunk right now.
Me: It's not even 1:00.
Kali: Yeah, I don't really have a job.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I scream, you scream, we all scream for cleverly diguised terrorism

"Honey, what the fuck is this?"

I was digging through my boyfriend's closet trying to find things to throw away. We were moving in together and I thought it was important to get rid of as much of his crap as possible so I can keep as much of my crap as possible.

"It's a bug-out bag."

"A What? Nevermind. I don't want to know."

Of course, he wouldn't be him if he didn't explain to me that the black backpack I was holding that contained an old leather jacket, a new pair of Payless sneakers, a bag of rice, some tea bags and a few glowsticks was on hand in case the shit went down and he had to get the hell out of dodge. In his heart, he's kind of a survivalist, and on his surface, he's completely paranoid. Since moving in together, we've had multiple conversations about weather and terrorism-related emergency plans. For him, a bomb in lower Manhattan or a class 5 hurricane are very real threats that need to be planned for accordingly.

To his credit, when we have these conversations, at some point he'll look at me sheepishly and ask, "do you think I'm crazy?" I always assure him that I don't and tell him that I'll go along with whatever plan he thinks is best. The way I see it, if he wants to buy a propane-powered generator, it's no skin off my teeth.

What I won't tell him, however, is how I may have stumbled onto the greatest, most insidious terrorism plot we've been faced with yet: ice cream.

My first job when I moved to the city two years ago put me in Times Square for about 8 hours a day, six days a week. While that may sound horrible (it was), there were a few perks, namely, free shit.

Whether it was a middle-aged dude with a rocket pack full of Starbucks coffee, a wannabe model with packs of gum or Scientologists with granola bars, Times Square is full of underemployed folks just itching to give you free samples of crap you don't want or need until it's free. To this day, I have a cupboard full of various Tetley teas because my roommate at the time shoved about a dozen canisters in his backpack and brought them home, never to be consumed.

The point is, nothing will get a power-walking New Yorker to stop dead in his tracks faster than free shit. It is our city's greatest weakness, and I fear, our future downfall.

Case in point: Yesterday, I'm walking around the financial district, kind of in search of lunch, but mostly killing time so I didn't have to be in the office. As I passed the dozens of striped umbrellas that housed the standard fare of hot dogs, pretzels, gyros and unidentified meat on a stick, I saw one that looked delightfully out of place. It was a bright orange umbrella--attached to an ice cream cooler. Even better, there didn't appear to be any money changing hands. Immediately, I lined up. Several middle-aged office workers followed my lead, a few of whom had no idea what the line was for, but figured it must be for something good.

As I was standing there, I was struck by the fact that neither the umbrella nor the comely young men scooping out the ice cream had any signage. In fact, there was no indication at all as to who these men were or why they were giving us ice cream. They were scooping it out and we were eating it. That's it. There were no Deal or No Deal-like models trying to get us to sign up for a credit card, open a checking account, or even visit a new ice cream store that was opening up. It was just two guys giving away free ice cream without explanation or expectation.

I started nervously looking around, suddenly overcome with the feeling that I was a cow in a chute going towards the slaughterhouse. Shit. Wasn't "don't take candy from strangers" one of the first rules you learned as a kid? Yet here I was, 26-years-old and standing in line to take a frozen treat from completely random men. Sure, it looks like harmless ice cream, but it could be laced with strychnine or a time-released drug that will turn me into a flesh-eater within 24-hours. As bad ass as that would be, it's not really the way I want to go out (at least not yet).

Then I started thinking, if I were a terrorist, this is exactly what I would do. I would set up posts all over the city and give away free food laced with something time-delayed, allowing me to kill or maim as many people as possible, while still giving me time to make a clean getaway. Airports and monuments have security, but no one's going to argue with a dude giving away free ice cream. It's just not done.

I started to get a little panicky. Is standing in this line going to make me a part of history? Like, the bad part? I see something, should I say something, like the subway ads tell me to? Should I raise the question to one of my line compatriots? Should I just run? Should I take a picture so I can give it to Good Morning America and cry with Diane after all of these people become cannibals?

"Who wants a chocolate cone?"

"I do."

Let me tell you, it was good. Although, not as good as the orange sorbet I went back for today.