Snark Scribe

Not all of us can meet people of quality

Friday, January 30, 2009

Nuke the Whales

My coworker had a crazy high school teacher that was a former nun. She told her class she never wore lipstick because "it's made from whale blubber, and they kill whales with nuclear warheads, so when you use lipstick it has radiation in it."

This woman also had a fake plant on her desk, that she watered daily. One morning, the students noticed a new fake flower in the middle of the fake plant. Despite having to "help" the plant bloom, she continued to water it.

Her memory was so bad, she once showed the same history video to her class four days in a row. (Maybe she forgot her plant was fake?)

She later quit her job and purchased a piece of land with her husband, and tried to start a cult.

None of my high school teachers were that amusing.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Happy Thursday

I'm happy to say that after the recent spate of doom and gloom posts, it's been a good week.

1. I'm done with the data collection for my research project. I'm moving home to my parents' house tomorrow to write my thesis.

2. Yesterday, I got a call for a job interview scheduled in February. It's at a place where I really, really want to work, and I'm very excited. I originally applied about a year ago, when they weren't hiring many people, and now they have some funding for some new positions.

3. A friend of a friend had a pair of nearly-new jeans that didn't fit her anymore, and offered them to me. Not only did this pair of free jeans fit me perfectly (despite the fact that I have a hard time buying jeans in stores), I came home and found out they were worth $150. These are my first (and probably last) pair of designer jeans.


Tomorrow I'll go back to posting funny stories.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Overheard in a Store

Father to small boy running amuck: "If you break anything we have to leave you here."

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Poo Sofa

My fiance and I went shopping for a couch this weekend.

At the store we saw the ugliest piece of furniture I've ever seen. (Yes, even worse than the sumo table). We both looked at it and said, "That looks like dog crap."

Not only was it a particular shade of brown, it had a mottled color and texture that made it look "realistic." It had a subtle shine to it, so it looked almost sticky.

The upholstery was stitched to make it look like lumps squished together.

In short, the couch was shaped, colored and textured to look like a giant mound of poo.

It took us a while, but I think we've finally stopped laughing.

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Friday, January 16, 2009


It's been a nomadic week for me. I have my belongings split between several places so I don't have to annoy any particular friend for more than several nights at a time, especially if they're a couple who wants some "alone" time.

Odd Guy has tried contacting me 3 times since I left. I am very suspicious about his motives.

His first text message was the day after I moved out, and was a polite offer to let me move back in. It was very uncharacteristic of him to use words like "thank you," especially after throwing a fit just 24 hours before, so I ignored the message. Besides, why the hell would I move back in?

Several hours later, he said "come back to the apartment and I'll give you your deposit." My first thought was "It's a trap!" I assumed he meant that he would give me back my money if I moved back in, due to his first message. I wasn't that desperate for cash.

I talked to one of the other roommates, who told me they planned to move out too, so perhaps Odd Guy was trying to recruit me back.

The day after that he sent another message, saying that if I moved out my bed (which I gave away to one of the other roommates), and changed the lock on my bedroom door back to the original unlockable doorknob, he'd refund my deposit.

I called the girls because obviously, they wouldn't want me giving the keys to him while they were still living there. I've called them twice but they haven't responded, and it's been days. I think that since they're moving, they don't want the bed, and are afraid to tell me.

My parents insist that we should go and get rid of the bed, change the doorknob, and leave him the keys this weekend to wash our hands of the matter.

I really, really would rather not go back, but I don't want him to call me again when the girls move out, or when his lease expires.

Hopefully he will be gone since this is a 3-day weekend, and my family can settle things in peace. I'm not going to bother making an appointment with him because I don't really believe he will give me any money, and I don't care anyway.

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Drama Central

I'm going to be couch-surfing for the next month. I could not stay at my old apartment anymore. Odd Guy got too psycho, and I had an emergency move yesterday. My dad and boyfriend moved most of my belongings to my parents' house, and I'm staying with friends and the bare necessities.

There's a lot of gritty details, and I'm still digesting, but the major points are:

Odd Guy got progressively crazier this week, and more angry we didn't go along with his control freak plans. The last straw for me was when I caught him putting pubic hair on my towel on Thursday night to retaliate. I didn't confront him because I didn't want him to completely freak out and vandalize all my things before I moved out. I stayed with a friend Friday night.

On Saturday morning, I told him I was planning to move out with a friend. I tried to be casual, non-accusatory and "played dumb." I said, "I'd just rather live with a friend. You don't need to pro-rate January rent; just give me the deposit and I'll be gone, thanks."

He refused and said "I'll give you my answer tomorrow." I asked him, "Oh gee, does that mean you'll have the check tomorrow?" He kept repeating that he'll "answer" me tomorrow even though I was sure he was just trying to be a jerk and string me along. Eventually he freaked out and said a number of crazy things:

1. He'll never give me any money back.
2. I should have appreciated that he did me a "favor" by letting me move in, even though I was paying rent.
3. He figured out that I was a "conservative" (I think he meant selfish) person when I kept locking my bedroom door.
4. It's "his" apartment, and I didn't have the right to keep him out of my room.
5. If I was a decent person, I should have offered him extra money during the time in December when no one else had moved in.
6. It's "my fault" girls I never met or spoke to flaked out on moving in last quarter.
7. I can't complain about the 5 people living there because this week "doesn't count" due to a girl being gone for a number of days due to a family funeral.
8. He didn't break the contract by moving in 3 people without my consent. I agreed to rent the room, and never made him promise not to put 5 people in a 1 bedroom apartment. (Hmm, maybe because it's common sense?)
8. He wasn't afraid of me telling the apartment management about his illegal sublets because he's "there legally" so he's safe, but everyone else can get into trouble. (Obviously he doesn't understand how things work).

My fiance showed up, and Odd Guy yelled "I don't know you" and told him to get out because he was not renting there. He slammed the door on my fiance and locked it while I was inside with him. My fiance was afraid he was going to attack me, and told him he was going to call the police. Odd Guy told him to go ahead.

Can you see why I had to leave that day?

I doubt I will get my deposit back, but if it means I never hear from him again, it's worth it. At the moment, he's 100% wrong because he has my money and I don't owe him a dime. Legally, he doesn't have a leg to stand on, especially since he lied to everyone else and told them I was going to move in January anyway. The other roommates are understandably upset about the situation, and are also pessimistic that they will get their deposit back. I will not be surprised if they decide to flee the coop as well.

Unfortunately, Odd Guy has my parents' address because it was printed on my checks. If he contacts me again I think filing restraining order would be a good idea.

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

Shut Up Little Boy

Vote! Odd Guy has started throwing tantrums like a whiny brat because:
a) No one will go along with his bathroom schedule.
b) All the roommates ignore him.
c) He's a loser who's jealous that he has no friends.
d) All of the above.

The other night, when the new roommates had some friends over and everyone was socializing without him, Odd Guy sat in the living room with his laptop, watching videos at an unusually high volume. No one said anything to him, so he turned the volume up. Unable to get the attention he wanted, he increased the volume again. And again. And again until he was blasting heavy metal, which he never listens to.

No one said, "Please turn it down" so he finally gave up, turned off his computer, and went to sleep.

Just a few minutes ago, Odd Buy berated Male Roommate for having "too many friends over all the time," in the presence of one of these friends. Apparently, we're not allowed to have friends over because they're not renting, and thus using space, electricity, plumbing and other things they're not paying for.

Shut up you cheapo bastard! You live here for free, and turn a profit, and you're begrudging 50 cents of water and gas?

Or maybe you just can't stand that other people have the ability to make people like them.

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Geek Bling

I showed my engagement ring to a senior scientist at the lab, and he said, "Wow! Follow me!"

He took me into the microscope room, where he examined the diamonds in my ring.

He was so excited by the chance to put something new under his microscope he didn't ask who I was engaged to, or when it happened. It was cute how he acted like a child during show-and-tell, and started asking other scientists into the room to "come look at this!"

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Monday, January 05, 2009

Toilet Nazi

Odd Guy isn't just a greedy little bastard, he's a control freak.

Today, he asked to talk to me privately in my room. l left the door open and spoke loudly enough for the rest of the roommates to hear.

Odd Guy had a spreadsheet and said he wanted to schedule our bathroom times in half-hour blocks. He insisted it was necessary because we had 5 people in one apartment. (Who's fault is that?)

He wanted to institute several rules:
1. No one is allowed to shower in the morning.
2. You must only use your scheduled time in the morning.
3. If it's not your time you can't use the bathroom, even if it's empty, just in case the person who "owns" the time wants it.

Obviously, I was not enthusiastic about this idea.

He put himself down for 7 AM - 7:30 AM and asked me what time I needed. I said, "All of us need to talk about this together."

He said, "Yeah, I'll talk to everyone else afterwards."

I said, "We should all talk to everyone, because what if people want the same time?"

He responded with "Don't worry, you get to pick first." (I think he was trying to be "nice" because he sensed that I have the ability to lead a mutiny. I've used the past 24 hours to be my charming self and become super-chummy with the other roommates, especially in his presence. They invited me to dinner with them tonight, but left him out of the plans).

I left the bedroom and announced, "He wants to schedule our bathroom times." Everyone looked at him like he was a zoo creature.

He kept pointing to his spreadsheet and insisting what a good and necessary idea it was. We tried to explain calmly and rationally that 30 minutes is a really long time to camp out in the bathroom continuously. We are (mostly) reasonable people, and if someone yells "I have to brush my teeth and get to class in 10 minutes!" no one is going to insist on taking a long bath and waxing their legs at that moment. Also, if someone needs to take up the bathroom for 2 minutes just to pee, it's stupid to make them wait for "their time" just in case someone else needs it.

Odd Guy didn't believe us. He said, "You won't just take 2 minutes."

This morning, Odd Guy wasn't home, and the rest of us had no problem being courteous together and having things work out. However, cooperation is apparently foreign concept to Odd Guy. We finally got him to drop the topic (temporarily) by saying that this is the first week of class and not everyone's schedule is set. I suggested that since we did not have a problem this morning, there was a very good chance we would not have a problem in the future so severe we needed scheduling. If two people woke up one morning at the same time, and one was running very late, the two people could talk it out.

I'm sure Odd Guy is pissed at me right now for thwarting his control freak plans. The other roommates revealed to me that they had asked for my phone number prior to moving in, so they could talk to me, and he refused to give it to them. He also lied to them about how soon I am moving out, and said, "Don't worry, I can kick her out any time."

I definitely am not in love with living at the apartment, and would like to get out as soon as possible, but I still need to finish school. If Odd Guy tries to carry out his threat, I'll remind him that he wouldn't want the landlord to know about his unauthorized subletting scheme.

Sidenote: While talking to my sister about him, I referred to him as an ugly twisted gnome. My sister thinks I should call him Ugly Twisted Individual. Given his bathroom fixation, perhaps UTI is a fitting name.

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Sunday, January 04, 2009

(Really) Full House aka Freakin' Long Rant

At first I thought my roommate Odd Guy was just socially awkward and shy. I later revised that to weird. Then creepy.

Now I would like to state that he has no idea how normal people function.

I got back from my vacation today to find out that there are FIVE people sleeping in my apartment tonight. FIVE! SIX if Odd Guy shows up. I live in a one bedroom apartment as explained before. How the hell did this happen?

Before Christmas, Odd Guy was looking for a girl to replace the one that flaked. He asked for a copy of the key to my room so he could show it to people while I was gone. He didn't seem to understand why I refused. (The thought of him having access while I slept did not sit well with me). I told him to just let me know when people were coming, and I'd be present or leave my room unlocked.

Instead of asking me when I was available, or telling prospective tenants to call me to set up a time, he would make arrangements, then call me at the lab, saying, "Be here at ____ time today." I declined to leave work every time he snapped his fingers, so one day I decided to leave my room unlocked but the door closed, without telling him. The plan was to say, "Oh my room's open, tell her to go in and take a look" if he called again suddenly.

I received no call that day, but when I went home, I found him in my room.

With a flashlight.


I can understand being curious enough to think, "Hey, I wonder what her room looks like" or "Gee, what's on her desk?" It's quite another thing to say, "On the off chance she forgot to lock her door, I'm going to try the doorknob. Oh good! Now, let me go out, get a flashlight from my desk, come back into her room, get down on my hands and knees and look under her bed, or in her underwear drawer."

He even moved around the items in my room. Although the bulk of my items were on "my half," I had some shopping bags, etc. on the other side since the other girl hadn't moved in. Odd Guy moved all those items back to my side. He also pushed a small bureau (that was technically on my half of the room) next to my desk, blocking off my chair. He even opened my closet, took out a box that was on "the other side" and moved it back to my side. He explained, "I don't want the other girl to come and think the room is not good."

She's not stupid! I'm sure she'll figure it out when I say, "Hey, I'll be cleaning up those 2 shopping bags and 1 box before you move in."

After that, I couldn't wait for Christmas vacation to start, and I would have several weeks free of him.

On New Year's Eve he called me, and hung up after the phone rang once. He then texted me, apparently preferring not to speak to a real person. He informed me that I needed to show up on New Year's Day to show the room to a girl.

I said no. He responded with "You should leave the room open while the room is for rent or you lend me the key." So you can rifle through my stuff while I'm gone? No.

On New Year's Day he texted me, letting me know that he found "someone" to rent the room.

I said ok.

The day after, he sent me some vital information he left out. "2 young and small" girls were moving in.

I called and demanded an explanation. Our 9 minute, repetitive conversation can be distilled down to:
Me: "What's going on?"
Odd Guy: "Everything's okay."
Me: "What do you mean two girls are moving in with me?"
OG: "It's okay. They're small people."
Me: "It doesn't matter how short they are! Our agreement was that I would share with one other girl."
OG: "It's okay. You still get half the room."
Me: "But there's two people!"
OG: "You still get half the room."
Me: "How much are they paying."
OG: "You still get half the room."
Me: "How can I have half the room when there's three people?"
OG: "The girls are sharing the other half."
Me: "But there are two girls bringing two beds and two desks and everything else they own.
OG: "You still get half."
Me: "How? Do they only have one bed."
OG: "Yes."
Me: "They're sharing one bed? Are they sisters?"
OG: "You have to understand me."
Me: "Are they related?"
OG: "They know each other."
Me: "How much are they paying?"
OG: "You have half the room."

As far as I understood at the time, the girls would take over the room completely once I left in mid-February. He rented to them because it would be hard for him to find someone else in the middle of the quarter once I left. I was not happy with the arrangement, but I resigned myself to it because I would be leaving soon, and I felt sorry for the other girls who were international students desperate for a place to live.

Today I came back to find that Odd Guy forgot to tell me that he had rented to an additional male, who was going to share the living room with him. On top of that, that other guy had a friend who was staying "temporarily." (Luckily, he's leaving tomorrow, after having stayed for several days). The girls are also not sharing one bed. They moved in their furniture, and our beds are lined up along one wall, with a tiny bit of room between each. I definitely do not have "half" the room.

In short, while I was away on vacation, Odd Guy interviewed and moved in 3 other people without my consent.

Luckily, the new roommates I met today are sociable and normal. (The flew into the country 5 days ago, and immediately went to look at apartments the next day, hence the haste). Thank goodness Odd Guy did not pick them because he thought they were kindred spirits. However, he's been less than honest with them as well. He told them I was "moving out at the end of the month" when he actuality my agreement is through mid-February.

The apartment is $900 and I'm paying $300. The other 3 new roommates told me they're paying $250 each. That means that Odd Guy is not only living rent-free, but making a profit of $150 a month running an illegal youth hostel.

According to the new people who moved in, he justifies this by saying that after the other roommates move out in June, he has to pay all $900 by himself until the lease ends in September. I'm sure he'll just rent to other people when we move out, and continue his little scheme.

He isn't home yet, so I have not seen him today, or had the chance to beat the pulp out of his skinny, short, ugly, pimply little dried shrimp-eating body.

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Thursday, January 01, 2009

Ring Quest

Happy new year everyone!

I'd like to share the story about my fiancé and I shopping for my engagement ring before returning to you to your regularly scheduled Snark.

I decided we should pick out the ring together, mainly so he wouldn't get ripped off. (He knows very little about jewelry and what it should cost. You'll see that in a moment). Call me cynical, but I think the jewelry industry makes most of its profits off guys who don't know any better.

First, we went to a big store with lots of employees. I wasn't interested in a large diamond, but I wanted a unique setting, and thought there would be a more extensive selection there. We told the saleslady we were looking for an engagement ring, and she immediately pulled out a large rock and said, "Here's a D colorless diamond. It's the highest grade and the only kind you want, because you want a PERFECT diamond for your engagement don't you? You don't want to have a cheaper diamond that looks yellow . . . we can custom make you a platinum setting . . . do you want a matching wedding band? . . . You should buy this big diamond . . . etc."

We told her we'd think about it. She gave us her business card and wrote the information and price of the diamond on the back. We left with the card, but I decided to throw it away when I noticed the price on the card was higher than what she quoted a couple minutes ago.

Next, the fiancé and I went to a much smaller shop several doors down. It was a family business, run by a charming old man with a foreign accent and his daughter. We told Mr. Jeweler we wanted a D colorless diamond and he said, "Sweetheart, unless you are an expert, you can't tell the difference between a D, E and F diamond with the naked eye. If you want a D, I'll get you one, but I recommend an F. You'll save a lot of money."

The fiancé and I exchanged glances. This shopkeeper actually turned down a bigger sale?

I said, "We'd like a platinum setting." Mr. Jeweler explained that a much less expensive white gold ring plated with rhodium would look just as good, and if I was interested in vintage settings or something intricate, I would have more choices in settings. However, if I really wanted a platinum ring, I could bring him a magazine photo of any ring and he could reproduce it in platinum.

He showed me a filigree ring that I thought was pretty, but wasn't "the one." There was flower-shaped ring that I had spotted when I first sat down at the counter, but it had a very large diamond and I thought it was out of our price range.

I kept staring at the flower ring, though. Eventually, I realized the "large diamond" was actually composed of multiple, smaller stones fitted together, and I asked to try the ring on.

It was beautiful, and it cost less than 1/4 of our max budget. When Mr. Jeweler told us the price, my fiancé asked, "How much extra are the diamonds?" (This is why he is not allowed to go shopping alone).

We were also shown a similar design, but with slightly larger diamonds. As I was trying both on, Mr. Jeweler said, "Get the smaller one. It's a good size for your finger. It's perfect for you."

Wow! This was the third time he turned down a chance to make more money.

He then told us a story (which I'm sure he tells every engaged couple). "Many years ago, when I married my wife, I had no money. I spent $20 on our rings. We have nicer rings now, but I still wear the original ring on a chain around my neck." He pulled a chain out from behind his shirt, which had a thin metal band on it.

"It's not about the size of the ring. It's about the size of your love. And I can tell you two kids are nice people and you'll have a long, happy marriage. Years from now, when you are rich, you can come in and make this poor fellow buy you a 3 carat ring in a platinum setting. Right now, this ring is perfect for you, and I wish you the best."


He measured my left ring finger and said, "My god! This is the smallest ring I've ever sold." I have very thin fingers, so the ring had to be cut down to my size. I thought it would take a couple days or weeks, but he said, "Come back in half in hour. I have a workshop upstairs. We'll resize it, replate it in rhodium, clean and polish it for you."

Very soon afterwards, I had the ring of my dreams, and I felt very good about buying from that particular store. I'm sending all my friends there when they need to buy a ring.

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