Electronic Smilie Faces Fall Short – Friday July 17

7e4efd01d6773ea2 Dear Poor Lucky Me,


I have a major problem.  My boss has started writing me emails asking me to do thinks (he used to talk to me personally).  When he wants me to do particularly annoying things he includes at least one of the following symbols:


:)    ;)    :(    :P


I cannot tell you how much these little symbols boil my blood.  Seeing them written after a sentence like “Hey There, could you do me a favor and refile all the client files, but this time do it in alphabetical order according to the project name?” makes me want to commit arson, at the very least.


Am I overreacting?  Should I say something about it? What the hell is he thinking?


Living on the Edge


Dear Living on the Edge,


Your boss must have recently learned about emoticons, and is using them to lessen the guilt he feels about assigning you tedious tasks.  It’s rare to find a boss who really gives a crap about your happiness, so you can at least appreciate him on that level.  It’s unfortunate that he has manifested his caring in such a stupid manner, but at least he’s trying.


I don’t think you’re overreacting; just that you might consider his point of view.  And do not commit arson.  It’s never as easy to get away with as you think it will be, and prison is the worst.


You don’t have to say anything, but if you continue to be bothered by his smiley symbols you can fight back.  First, make sure you’re in a good mind-set.  Next, craft your replies with three times as many :) and :P and ;) > as you can.  Finally, next time you see him make a joke about your smiley war. 


Be sure to laugh genuinely and offer a high five, if he’s into that kind of thing.  Your boss will realize that he doesn’t have to feel guilty about assigning you work, and doesn’t need to dress it up in douchey smiley faces.


Poor Lucky Me

You Should Know – Thursday July 16

I just want Google to know that I’m on to them.  I don’t care that using  Yahoo mail is like using a hammer and chisel; there’s no got dang way I’m switching to gmail permanently.  I know they’re mining my information and probably sending it to China.


This is a subject I’ve been pretty obsessed with since I started noticing that the ads on the right side of my gmail are tailored to what’s in the content of the email.  Well I say no more damn you!


(I know I know everyone is mining my information- especially evil Facebook.  But I have to take one stand at a time)


On an unrelated note, I’ve decided to boycott the news after seeing the following headline on Yahoo:


Peel Banana Like a Monkey: The fastest, easiest way to open a banana is probably not the way you’re doing it

Good Bye Snarky, Hello Complaints to H.R.- Wednesday July 15

Well today I officially hate the word “snarky”.  I thought it was really funny at first, and very descriptive. 


It filled a hole that had long plagued my vocabulary- especially after being informed by the H.R. department that a certain word that begins with a “T” and is a synonym for female genitalia would no longer be tolerated in the work place.  Snarky was a great alternative.  But I started hearing it more and more- it popped up regularly on T.V. and I heard a newscaster say it.  My enthusiasm for the word waned.


I still have the immature inclination to dislike things that become popular.  In junior high school I thought the Red Hot Chili Peppers was the coolest white funk band around.  I played my Mother’s Milk tape so much it wore out.  My jean jacket was covered in pins and patches, and I thought that Flea’s stuffed animal pants were a revolutionary fashion statement.


Then Blood Sugar Sex Magik came out.  It was a pretty cool album, if you overlooked the couple wuss-ballads and focused on the funk.  My mom was appropriately offended and concerned about most of the lyrics, and I was pleased.  Eventually though, I noticed more and more of my classmates were buying and referencing the album. 


Girls on the bus would sing “Under the Bridge” until I winced and teared up.  They didn’t understand the band like I did.  The album got so popular it caused a stir among the school parents, who were collectively offended by the lyrics and tone of the songs. 


I stopped trying to convince my friends that there was more to the Chili Peppers and that The Uplift Mofo Party plan was a purer sound.  I went home and tore the patches off my jean jacket.  I abandoned my copy of Blood Sugar Sex Magik in the back of my closet.  I didn’t want to be a part of anything that was trendy and felt a little heart ache that the Chili Pepper’s, as it turned out, didn’t understand me.


The good news is that Led Zeppelin was always there for me, and they were and are a band that transcends trendiness. Stairway to Heaven and D’yer Mak’er might not move me the way they used to, but I’ll always love all of Zeppelin’s songs.  And the Rolling Stones of course.


Anyway, the point is that if I didn’t hear that blond ho on The View use the word “snarky” twice in a row I probably wouldn’t hate the word as much as I do today.  Or if I didn’t read Gawker so often, I might not even notice how popular it has become.


I’ve set up a meeting with the H.R. director today.  Hopefully I can explain this awful dilemma and she’ll grant me an exemption and I can go back to calling people twats.

Dear Readers,

Exercising makes me really tired and there are cushy chairs in the locker room at the gym.  Is it acceptable to take a quick cat-nap after a good work out?  Why else would they put those chairs there if they don’t want people like me snoozing in them?

I won’t be looking at naked people because my eyes will be closed.


Poor Lucky Me

NPR Blows Minds Again – Tuesday July 14

Dear Poor Lucky Me,


You’ll never believe this (unless you already know) but Shel Silverstein wrote the song “A Boy Named Sue“. 


Are you blown away? I was. I found out listening to NPR tonight and I feel like an idiot that I had no idea. I mean I was a hippie in college!


This is sort of distressing to tell you the truth, because I’ve always prided myself as a worthy musical snob. How could this knowledge have slipped by me?


Am I right to feel to ashamed of myself?


A Boy Named Idiot


Dear Idiot,


I am officially blown away.  I am similarly disturbed that Shel Silverstein’s catalog of achievements has escaped my attention until now.


However, because I am working diligently with a therapist to create an internal dialogue more consistent with my external achievements- I refuse to call myself an idiot for this lack of knowledge. 


Instead I spent an evening looking of Silverstein’s impressive artistic forays and appreciated what a renaissance man he was.  I was even inspired to pick up an art project I had abandoned a few weeks ago.


Surely a profound feeling of inspiration trumps any initial embarrassment you or I should have because of our ignorance.  We learned about Silverstein when we were kids, now we can learn about another side of him as adults.  And it’s a really funny, creative, impressive side.  I’m so glad you wrote in.


As usual I started my research with Wikipedia.  I know people poo-poo Wikipedia because it can be user-edited…but don’t only smart nerds bother to do that?  Oh and evil corporations I guess.  But I never look stuff up like “Coca-Cola” or “Haliburton”. 


I did get lost on a funny trail though where I learned the following important facts:


-Silverstein composed most of the soundtrack for the 1970 movie “Ned Kelly” starring Mick Jagger.  The film was about a famous Australian bushranger who was eventually hanged for murder.


-The Kakapo is a flightless parrot from New Zealand.  They can live up to 60 years and only breed every four years depending on their food source.


-Some experts argue that Easter Island was not solely settled by Polynesians, for reports of residents with red hair and sun burnt skin were written by early European explorers.


-Tamed rats are friendly and can be taught many tricks when kept as pets.


Wow.  What an amazing journey of intellectual curiosity.  I can now watch at least 15 hours of guilt-free reality TV.  I love the Internet ever so much.


Poor Lucky Me

Status Update: I’m Better Than You! – Monday July 13

I joined Facebook two years ago when I was helping a friend run in a political campaign.  He wanted a Facebook page and I had to set up my own account to administer it.


I liked the concept because it reminded me of my good old days at boarding school.  Within the first month of school everyone has their picture taken and put into a little softcover collection of head shots.  This facebook was distributed to all students and faculty.  It helped you learn people’s names quickly, and also inspired people to write funny/mean captions next to the pictures…and allowed you to have a picture of people you thought were hot and planned on trying to make out with in the upcoming year.  It was very useful.


I liked the new Facebook at first too.  I found a few friends that I had lost track of and felt like it was a low-pressure way to keep in touch.  Then I started to get friend requests from people I work with.  That was a little tricky, it meant editing my status updates and pictures more carefully (no more “Work Sux” or “Work is for SUCKERS” or “I’d quit this job to be a goat herder in Mongolia” updates).


Soon, I was getting friend request from people I was never friends with- people who lived in the same town I grew up with or people who were in the same industry as me.  I didn’t really care, I accepted most of them. I check in on Facebook about once a day, and after a while I started noticing something. This might be the world’s most obvious observation, but according to Facebook everyone I know has fabulous, adventurous, fulfilling lives.


Great news!  No one is ever depressed or crabby or hates their job.  On one hand, it’s nice to have a connection to all your acquaintances and not have them try and get you involved in all their problems.  On the other hand- it’s annoying.


In the boarding school facebook, you might be smiling but you couldn’t hide your acne or bad hair.  You had to just be you and hope no one would write too mean of a caption next to your face.  On the internet, Facebook is like a fantasy life forum.  It’s the place where everyone just shows off their awesomeness and ignores their real life.


Actually now that I think about it, Facebook is pretty sweet.


Did I mention my life is totally exciting and worry free and I’m always on fantastic adventures? Additionally, I’m very important in many ways and my hobbies make you look like a slug. Basically if you follow my status updates you’ll know: I’m better than you.

Taste of Chicago Final Conclusion – Friday July 10

It turns out that if you go to a food festival on a 90 degree day and eat Indian food and prime rib quesadillas and refuse to drink water due to a porty-potty phobia, you can get a bladder infection. Then, interestingly enough, if the bladder infection goes untreated you get a kidney infection after about a week. The bladder and kidney infection provide an fascinating opportunity for you to be hyper aware of where these organs are in your body by creating a feeling that they are smoldering inside of your body cavity.


Don’t worry- three days of anti-biotics so strong that you can’t go into the sun or stand up without dry heaving will clear everything real nice.


In the end, the score looks like this:


Taste of Chicago: 1 Poor Lucky Me: 0

Olfaction Debate Rages – Thursday July 9th

Dear Poor Lucky Me,


I bought a weirdly scented deodorant at Walgreens last week.  It’s like a flowery, perfumey smell that mixes badly with my natural odor, and by 5 pm I’ve really got a funk about me.


So yesterday, I threw the deodorant in the garbage, and went au natural.  I’m a smallish woman and have a sedentary job, but it is the summer.  This time by 5 pm I smelled like a European on a bus ride.


What’s worse: weird flower funk or hot human smell?


With Love,
A Receptionist


Dear A Receptionist,


I think hot human smell is was better than flower funk.  However, as an American and a receptionist you have a responsibility to mask your body odor with deodorant.  If your current deodorant doesn’t work, you must try another.  If that one doesn’t work, another!  And so on until you don’t smell like a European.


We don’t have a lot of bragging rights left right now.  We’ve got Obama, freedom of speech, and a B.O. free public.  Do your patriotic duty and freshen up your armpits, no matter what you have to go through to do so.



Poor Lucky Me

Dear Readers,

I can’t hold this in any longer- I must confess!  I have watched August Rush, P.S. I Love You, and No Reservations this year.  And (gulp) I was moved by all of them.  I’m assuming – based on my tolerance for these movies- that I’ve suffered a mild brain aneurysm.


Poor Lucky Me

Hopping on the Diet Bandwagon – Wednesday July 8

Dear Poor Lucky Me,


I’ve decided to go on a diet.  I don’t really need to lose too much weight, but I’d like to have something I can use to relate to people.  I’m in sales and I think it will help my approachability.


In your experience, what are some great diets I can explore?  Do you think it’s worth it to have some fat pictures doctored up to show people?


Dieting My Way To Riches


Dear Dieting,


Your sales techniques is creatively disturbing.  I don’t approve of what you’re planning, but am intrigued by your deviance.  What a creep you must be, huh?  But, luckily for you, I’ve got the dieting secret of the century.


The diet is called The Revenge Diet or The Hate Diet (depending on if you’re in the hating stage or have moved on to active revenge).  You first choose your target- an ex, a parent, a co-worker, the captain of the football team, etc.  Then you think about how much you hate them/want revenge. 


Spend about two days doing this.  Write lists if that helps you and see if you can take a couple of personal days from work.  You don’t want your professional duties distracting you from stirring up the hateful energy you’ll need to burn calories!


Now, you should be eager for revenge by the end of two days.  Take that feeling, squeeze it into a little ball and imagine putting it into your stomach.  Assuming you are an American with a high school education and access to the Internet, you should already know what foods are healthy: Vegetables, fruits, lean protein, drink a lot of water, try to avoid very processed or sugary foods. 


Imagine yourself eating like a peasant or sustenance farmer.  The first few days will be invigorating, and you probably won’t even need your revenge ball.  But at some point you’ll want some pizza or a meatball sub, or ice cream cake.  Take a few bites of anything that you want, but then focus on the revenge ball that’s been waiting patiently in your stomach.  Concentrate on growing it until it fills your stomach and makes you full.  You can’t eat anymore because you’re already satiated with revenge!  It’s delicious and nutritious.


I once lost 35 pounds after a break up using this method.  When I bumped into my ex and they saw me looking fit and sexy, the revenge ball got smaller and smaller until it disappeared.  I’ve had to recall it a few times since then, but it gets easy the next few times around.


As I typed the last few words of the above paragraph, I started to feel guilty that I’m giving you my wonderful diet plan to use for nefarious purposes.  On second thought, I realized that your future clients could really benefit from this as well.  So good luck, you scumbag!



Poor Lucky Me

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