Snark Scribe

Not all of us can meet people of quality

Sunday, August 31, 2008


Yesterday I went shopping with my friend (who is getting married this weekend). We went to her wedding site, a party shop, a cafe for lunch, a gift shop, an accessories store, a large make-up shop, a pizza place for dinner, a chocolatier and then her home to make wedding favors. I came home around midnight.

At the cosmetics boutique my friend said to a beautician, "I don't wear make-up, but I'm getting married, and you need to tell me what to do." You could see the dollar signs in the saleslady's eyes.

She selected an array of products and explained why each one was necessary "for good photos" and what they were used for. After giving the bride a make-over she asked if she wanted to buy the items that were used.

"Of course," said my friend, without seeing any of the prices.

As she signed her credit card receipt, she turned to me and said, "Don't look."

The final bill was about $200.

Prior to seeing the receipt I thought, "This seems fun. I should come back." I've changed that to "I'll come back after I graduate and find a job."

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The House Saga Continues

I left the house on Friday to spend the weekend at my parents' home. When I came back on Monday, both my roommates' bedrooms were empty.

I assumed that they were upset because the landlord is selling the house, and decided to do an emergency move. I wished they told me, but I thought maybe something happened over the weekend. (When I came back I saw that the cheapass landlord had decided to staple down new carpet on the stairs, without ripping out the old carpet, while I was gone).

A little while later, I got a message from the landlord asking, "What's going on? Your roommates moved out and haven't paid the August rent or electric bill?"

I replied that I had no idea they planned to move immediately, and I only found out myself an hour ago. (I'm glad we have separate rental agreements, and I'm not responsible for paying their share if they skip town).

Later that day, Female Roommate called me and explained she and her boyfriend (Male Roommate) had a big fight on Friday and broke up. He started saying vindictive, nasty things about tossing out her belongings.

She did not want to risk him carrying out his threat, and moved all her items to her mother's house while he was at work. He probably came back, saw she was gone and decided, "To hell with it, I'll leave too."

Female Roommate says she paid her August rent, but not the electric bill, because she loaned the boyfriend money.

I'm not sure how much of what she told me is a post-breakup smear campaign, but she told me he has a gambling problem, a drinking problem, and a "woman problem."

(I actually thought this was funny because "woman problem" could have referred to other things besides infidelity).

Holy crap.

It's too quiet in the house for my taste, but I'm glad they're not playing out this drama while still living here.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Another Kind of Home Invasion

I came back from Europe about a week ago, but I've been silent due to my internet being cut off. Yes, my landlord "forgot" to pay the internet bill again. (I'm blogging from a friend's house). I was hoping to regale you with tales of my travel adventures, but I've been rather distracted.

I found out yesterday morning that my landlord is trying to sell the house, when a realtor showed up and said, "What? They didn't tell you?"

I stood there in my pajamas as she explained that he's been thinking of selling the house for a while, and she reminded him several times that he needed to notify his tenants. He kept insisting, "Yeah, I told them, but when you go to the house can you pretend you're a repairman or something?"

That bastard. Instead of telling us at the beginning of the summer so we could find new places to live, he decided to squeeze another few months of rent out of us. It didn't matter to him that trying to find an apartment right before school starts, after everyone else has signed their leases and found roommates, is rather difficult.

The newest roommate moved in 2 months ago. I'm sure the landlord knew at that time he was going to sell the house, but why consider the inconvenience to others when you can wring a few dollars from a college student dependent on his financial aid check to pay the rent?

I was suspicious when I came back from Europe and found flowers in the yard, and new carpet in an empty bedroom. I thought, "He's too lazy to fix the porch light but planted new flowers?" It all makes sense now. He's attempting to do last-minute, half-assed repairs. The realtor told him he needed to change all the filthy carpet in the house. He only changed about 1/3. There are now 3 (obviously) different colors and textures of adjoining carpet in the upstairs. The new carpet is lumpy, has huge air pockets, peels up near the walls and has loose nails and staples. It also smells funny.

I've also been requested not to be present when prospective buyers come to see the house. He doesn't want me telling people about the rat infestation problem, the dead air conditioning, the dodgy appliances and the electrical problems. Screw you jackass. I'll play along. I won't be in the house, but it doesn't mean I can't hang out around the driveway. Perhaps I'll let the buyers in and say, "Hi, I'm Snark and I have to go take a walk because they don't want me to talk to you. I'll be around nearby. Thanks!"

If the buyers are smart they'll chase me down and I can let them know to expect $9,000 in repairs the moment they move in. (The dead AC is over 20 years old. Every repairman has said they can patch it, but it'll break down very soon, so they recommend a $9000 replacement. I'm sure the landlord will cheap out and do the patch).

Yes, you heard right. It's been 6 weeks without air-conditioning in the house. There were two heatwaves during this time, with temperatures over 100 degrees.

In the next few weeks I'm supposed to expect a stream of strangers going through my bedroom, poking into my closets. The realtor has informed me that legally I can't "obstruct his fiduciary rights" so I have to accommodate anyone who wants to wander in and steal my stuff, even if I'm not home. (The realtor has keys that she's leaving in an electronic lock box attached to the house, that only "authorized" people can access).

I asked for 24 hours notice any time someone needs to enter, but I'm not optimistic about that. My landlord has shown up in the past unannounced. One time, he brought his son and entered with his own key, without even knocking. He walked in on my roommate, who just came out of the shower wrapped in a towel. There was no apology.

The realtor brought an air-conditioning salesman to the house yesterday to give a repair estimate. He needed to get into the attic through the entry in my bedroom. As usual, a shower of dust, rat feces and plaster came down onto my bed and floor. When I went down to the garage to get the vacuum cleaner to tidy up (yet again) I found out that the landlord took the vacuum. I had to borrow one from a friend in order to make my room livable. Sadly, I expect this to repeat as last-minute repairs continue.

I am worried, but not in panic mode. The housing market is poor, and the greedy jerk has an asking price that's $50,000 to $60,000 too much, according to the realtor. Plus, even if the house sells right now the escrow is going to take one month. I'm thinking of alternate housing options, but homelessness is not imminent.

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Lords and Ladies

The very first time my friends dragged me to a nightclub I decided two things:
1. I am not coming back here.
2. I am a freak magnet. (Like poor Ginger).

One of the first people I met was an individual who introduced himself as "Lord Dimitry." He admitted Dimitry was not his real name, but he thought it sounded cool. I suppose, if you are a naive little 14 year old who worshiped Ann Rice you could be excused for saying things like "I am Count Mordred and I am 400 years old! Wanna come back to my crypt of doom?" But one is supposed to outgrow this phase. Please, when you're balding (with greasy stringy hair) it's not cool, fun or attractive to tell strange girls to call you "Lord" anything. The genuinely spooky individuals are sniggering at you, Dimitry.

I spent the evening clinging to my friends like dryer lint on a screen, and using them as a human shield. It did not work.

The next person I "met" was particularly determined and shoved himself into our circle and extended his hand towards me. I found this rather rude. Really, if you want to talk to a girl, don't offend her by treating her friends like they don't exist. Furthermore, his appearance creeped me out. He had long hair and was wearing an androgynous blouse, and there was something unnatural about the color and texture of his skin. Perhaps he was simply rather pale, but I could not shake the feeling he was wearing foundation. I discussed this with my friends later and we could not decide whether he was an amateur transvestite, or just a really bad goth. I chose the former, because it sounded funnier.

He said, "Hi, I'm Amateur Tranny. What's your name?"

I looked at his hand, then looked at him, and said, "I don't touch." I then gave him the look that normally makes people flee in terror. However, I underestimated his ability to see the silver lining in every cloud.

Amateur Tranny smiled and said, "Oh! Do you like girls?"

I wasn't sure what this meant:
1. "I'm a straight guy but it'll protect my ego if I assume you're rejecting me because you're a lesbian."
2. "I'm a stereotypical straight man who likes imagining lesbians doing lesbian things. Please say you like girls because it'll turn me on."
3. "I'm a tranny! Love me! Me!"

I weighed my options and said, with as straight a face as I could muster at the moment, "I'm a misanthrope."

This was not the response he was looking for. He said "oh" with a surprised look, then turned away. I sighed with relief and had no more awkward encounters with him, except for when I stumbled upon him sitting on the staircase with his elbows on his knees and his head in his hands.

This was also the same night a couple approached me for a threesome.

Should I be flattered or creeped out that both men and women (and those in between) find me attractive?

And FYI, not that it should matter: I was wearing an ankle-length skirt, a baggy blouse and a coat I dared not remove the entire evening. Perhaps this was misinterpreted as "Oooh, I'm mysterious. Come hit on me."


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Be Careful When Screencapping

One of my friends works in a office where a secretary has an addiction to screencapping. When there is something she wants to show someone, instead of utilizing copy/paste to transfer the text into an email, or even providing a URL, she decides to press the "Print Screen" button.

She then makes a .jpeg and sends it as an email attachment, which requires everyone to download the file and use an image viewer to see a slightly blurry picture of her screen.

Everyone was suitably annoyed with this practice, until she slipped up.

She was running multiple applications, and sent a .jpeg that showed some of the other items she had on her taskbar.

One was an internet browser labeled "Sex Acts."

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Supermarket Drama

I have a cousin who has a reputation for being rather foul-mouthed, yet works in customer service. She manages fine, until she meets someone equally combative.

Once, she was passing out free samples of wine as part of a holiday promotion at the grocery store where she worked.

A customer asked, "How much is that wine?"

When my cousin gave him the price, he said, "What? That's too much."

She said, "There's a cheaper kind over there."

The customer decided to take that as a personal insult. "Are you calling me cheap? You don't think I can afford this wine or something?"

When she didn't correct him, he yelled, "Look at you! You must be some kind of uneducated person to work such a degrading job!"

My cousin retorted, "Look at you! You look like you have venereal disease!"

Upon hearing this, the customer flew into a rage. Both he and wife started screaming for a manager, and my cousin started yelling back.

When the manager arrived and asked the other store employees who were witnesses to the outburst what happened, they all said the customer started it.

I supposed "The customer is always right" doesn't apply when you inadvertently insult all the other employees working a "degrading job."

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Europe Here I Come

Today, I'm leaving on a trip abroad.

I plan to eat my way across Europe. Much of my spending money is earmarked for weird, foreign candy.

I'm going to try out the scheduled posts thing. If it works, there are a few stories in the queue that will pop up like magic, without my intervention. If it doesn't work, then this blog will go silent for about 2 weeks, but don't worry, I'll be back!

With my luck, there will be at least a few wackos in my tour group.

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Saturday, August 02, 2008

A Free Show

At work, one of the student employees was trying to give away tickets to a male strip show. She could not convince anyone to take them.

The previous week she was at a bar, and one of the bouncers gave her the tickets. When she read what was printed on them, she burst into giggles.

The bouncer said grimly, "Don't laugh. It's a good show."

We thought, "How good can the show be if it's free?"

We tried to talk the men in the lab into going, but unfortunately the show was for female audiences only.

That is so unfair. Gay men want to see strippers too!