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Posts Tagged ‘Advice’

Dear Lacey,

At least I think that’s your name. Hard to remember when lightheaded from blood loss.

I hope you remember me. I was strapped to your machine for a hour Friday.

When you originally asked if I wanted to donate two pints of blood, I said, “Sure.”

You said it would take no longer than 30 minutes.

But then the machine started “acting up.”

Not something anyone in my position wants to hear.

Finally, I was free to go.

Maybe a few more minutes with you would have been good, though. Maybe with my donation arm up over my head. Maybe with a little more pressure applied to my new wound.

I got to my car, and suddenly I looked like I had been in a knife fight.

You’ve heard of a shy colon? Apparently, I have an extroverted vein.

Back in the blood mobile, you and everyone else sprung into action.

I kept saying I was ok, though.

No one believed me. I got loads of attention, some apple juice and a snack.

I even got an offer of drycleaning.

You should see the other guy!

No need. Hydrogen peroxide worked wonders.

And today I’m barely bruised.

You know what else I am? Happy I successfully donated blood when the need is critical.

Maybe I’ll see you again in two months.

Your patient,
Bloody Mary Beth

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Dear Detroit Marriott at The Renaissance Center,

I attended my annual research conference in you this week. I am NOT a fan, and I will not be back (unless I have absolutely no choice).

How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways:

  1. Your staff is not prepared for guests. The line was 10 deep for check-in, and you had one person actually working. Three other employees — one of whom looked like a manager — were at the other end of the counter chatting. Do their eyes work? Couldn’t they see the line?
  2. Your building is not prepared for guests. There are six elevators “servicing” floors 40-70. Only two appeared to be working. A gang of fellow conferencers and I waited 10 minutes Thursday night for an elevator to take us down.
  3. Your events staff is not prepared for guests. Two thousand people attended the last in-person AEJMC conference (Toronto, 2019). That is standard for this conference. Yet nothing was set up to handle this influx of people. Your staff selected large rooms for small events (e.g., the University of South Carolina alumni breakfast featured three tables for eight in a cavernous room) and wee rooms for major events. For example, the Broadcast and Mobile Journalism group awards ceremony and reception was in the tiniest conference room I’ve ever seen. No tables. For an event that featured food and drinks. Group leaders who got to the event early drug in tables and chairs for the 50 or so attendees. Way to go, Marriott!
  4. Your technology support is not prepared for guests. This conference is primarily for journalism/mass communications professors. You know: People who communicate. They have devices that need to be charged. Outlets were few and far between.
This is the ONLY OUTLET in the room!

The various other problems fellow attendees and I experienced had to do with The Renaissance Center in general. It is, generously, an atrium-focused maze of wasted space.

Circulation Ring = CIRCLES OF HELL
Trust me: You can’t get there from here
No, you don’t really want to sit and meet/eat/work do you?

There is a shocking lack of open restaurants. Again, conference of 2,000+ people (and AEJMC was one of at least three going on at once). Hotel with 70 floors of rooms. Yet, it was hard to find a place to eat. Literally (see maze above) and because so many were closed. Note: There was a VERY bougie seafood restaurant open, but who wants to pay $75 for shrimp?

Desperation signage
Starbucks: closed
Another Starbucks: closed
Food court: mostly closed
Oh look! The open Burger King that I thought was only the stuff of legend.

Then there is the location. You are on the Detroit River. So a riverwalk with shops and restaurants would make sense. Apparently, it only makes sense to me. I would not say the United States side has ample commerce. The Canada side (Windsor) looks promising.

The Renaissance Center provides a great view of our northern neighbor.

But once again, you can’t get there from here if you don’t have a car.

I realize that the pandemic took a toll on the hospitality industry. That said, people are traveling again. Conferences are back in person. Do better, or you won’t have guests to piss off anymore.

Sincerely,
Bonvoy Member on Floor 47

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Hey Rock Music Fans! Have I got a new album for you.

Jesse’s Divide releases “Thirteen Steps” tomorrow. Some of you even responded to my prior call to action and helped fund this album. It’s their first.

“But wait, Beth,” you might say. “Haven’t they been a band for years? Haven’t they released songs?”

Well, yes to both. But this is their first ALBUM. The others were EPs.

Now, I’ve reviewed books, movies, plays/musicals, performances, etc., but I’ve never reviewed an album before.

But like an antivaxxer who knows ALL ABOUT the danger of the COVID vaccine thanks to his YouTube research, I’m going to act like an expert.

This is a great album — their best work to date.

Let me give you a frame of reference for my taste: Of their EPs, I’m partial to “Strange Alchemy.” Specifically the title track.

So let’s get to it. The debut features 10 tracks plus a special “secret” track, which is not so secret, clearly. (Why isn’t it 13? I don’t know. You’ll have to ask them.)

  1. Bad Decisions
  2. Free Thinker
  3. Down Again
  4. Long Time Coming
  5. Fyre!
  6. Thirteen Steps
  7. Jajvam
  8. The One
  9. Hollow Throne
  10. Anubis
  11. SYCM (aforementioned “secret track.”)

Bad Decisions

I feel like this is “my” song. My oft-used phrase “bad decisions make good stories” was, I’ve been told, the inspiration for the title. And the song is about bad decisions the guys made during their U.S. tour: Too much beer on the plane for Nick, too much tequila on stage for Rob, too much ALL THE ALCOHOL for Si in Savannah. The chorus even references what you do with a tequila shot. (“Lick it. Down it. Suck it. Wooo!”)

Photo evidence of debauchery:

I know you want to look at Si’s tongue. Don’t. Look at Rob’s dead eyes.
Look at Rob’s tequila sweats.
In addition to looking vaguely like Papa Smurf, Si has the dead eyes like Rob.

I don’t have photos of Drunk Nick, sadly. I wasn’t on the plane.

Anyway, the song. It kicks off the album with a bang. The main riff vaguely resembles the theme from “The Munsters,” so I’m a fan. Si has a fantastic voice, but here he screams like Steven Tyler. That’s great, if that’s your thing.

Free Thinker

This is the song for the antivaxxer mentioned who will think the guys agree with him. (Hint: They don’t.) It’s a critical COVID anthem.

Down Again

“Free Thinker” segues nicely into “Down Again.” And it’s catchy as all hell. It’s been in my head every morning this week. This could and should get radio play.

Long Time Coming

The lyrics make me think someone in the band is getting a divorce. (What’s going on, guys?) Again, catchy as hell. Accessible to people who like rock, pop, alternative. Also could and should get radio play.

Fyre!

No one likes a KISS soundalike song more than I do, so this is a song for me. I want them to wear fancy pants and big boots and play this in a stadium full of fans, all of whom are yelling “Fyre! Fyre! Fyre! at the chorus. “Burn baby, burn.”

Thirteen Steps

The title track is a heavy-as-balls concoction that references 13 steps to the gallows. Grim. But the song is a banger.

Jajvam

What the heck does that mean? A Google search says it’s Klingon for “Today is a good day to die.” Delightful! “Jajvam” hearkens back to JD’s first EP “Metadome.” And it would be a great song on that EP. Here it is overshadowed by everything else. Sorry. It’s just that the others rock SO HARD. (To be fair, I saw them do this live, and it killed.)

The One

This will kill live too. I want them to play it after “Fyre!” It’s an energetic and infectious rock song.

Hollow Throne

The opening riff sounds like a mix of Yes’ “Owner of a Lonely Heart” and the soundtrack to a whodunit. This, “The One” and “Thirteen Steps” are, in my opinion, the heaviest on the album. But they still are accessible to pop-lovers like myself. We’re not talking Slipknot* heavy.

Anubis

Like “Down Again” and “Long Time Coming,” “Anubis” feels commercial. I could hear this on any number of my Sirius presets. It also sounds like a divorce song. (Seriously guys: Are you OK?) That said, it feels optimistic. It connects the whole album together and ends it on a high note.

Oh, but wait.

SYCM

It’s an acoustic amuse-bouche. Why here (this position and at all)? I’ll probably never listen again. I’m so sorry. I’m honest to a fault. I hope the guys will still love me. 😉😘

Anyway, the album rocks your face off the whole way through. No real ballads here, which is fine by me. It’s already pushed out “Strange Alchemy” as my favorite release of theirs.

So, be a trendsetter: Download the album on your favorite streaming service today! If you like it, spread the word and buy some merch.

*Look. Listen. I know there’s way heavier stuff than Slipknot. Not for me. This is as far as I go. You know my taste!

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Dear Missouri Drivers,

I’m so glad I learned to drive in Atlanta where Nascar has nothing on I-285. If I hadn’t, there’s no way I would have been prepared for you.

Perhaps you didn’t get any drivers education. Let me help.

Pro Tip 1
People getting onto the highway need to be able to merge. Let them in, for crying out loud!

Pro Tip 2
When someone has his/her/their turn signal on, that means the person wants to get over. Oh but wait, none of you seems to know what that is.

Pro Tip 3
The turn signal is a lever on your steering wheel that, when activated, lets other drivers know you want to make a turn or get into a different lane. You are in the Show Me state, so show me your freakin’ turn signal.

Pro Tip 4
It’s helpful to other drivers for you to pick a lane and STAY IN IT. Weaving in and out is annoying and dangerous.

Pro Tip 5
The posted speed limit is not a suggestion. It’s the max. It’s right there on the sign!

Maybe y’all drive this way to avoid all the potholes and road damage.

Seriously, these roads are about as bad as the ones I had the misfortune of driving in Antigua. That’s saying something.

Please, for the love of God, think of your fellow drivers.

I thank you from the bottom of my wheel wells.

Beth

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Dear People with “Just a Cold,”

Maybe you do have a cold. But also, you might have COVID. Let’s recap the Omicron symptoms:

  • Cough
  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Congestion and runny nose

That’s right: Also symptoms of a cold.

So before you get around anyone, TAKE A COVID TEST. They are available in stores (you can use your FSA/HSA), and there are free testing sites all over the place.

If it’s positive, ISOLATE, FFS.

And let’s be clear: You shouldn’t be around anyone if you have a cold either.

It’s because of one of you that my son and sister in law had a lonely Christmas.

Gideon hung out with some friends. Two days later, he didn’t feel well. Typical cold symptoms. We sent him to his room. Tested him: positive. Then Eddie, Dominic and I tested ourselves: negative. We waited a day. Tested again. Negative. Waited. Tested. Negative.

Only then did we feel like we were safe to be around other people.

Even though we didn’t have any symptoms.

See how that works? Protecting others?

We just tested again to be safe.

Waiting for results
Still negative

But Christmas 2021 is the one Gideon will remember as the one where we made him wear what amounted to a HazMat suit to open his gifts.

Poor Positive Gideon

I haven’t ever gotten Coronavirus [knocks wood], and I don’t plan to get it. I’m not taking chances.

The bottom line: If you think you have a cold, get tested anyway. Don’t be a Typhoid Mary.

Somehow this manages to sum up this Christmas.

Kthxbyeeee,
Beth

* To the tune of this classic.

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Dear St. Louis Wildlife,

I’m going to have to ask you to stay in your lane.

Spiders, please stay out of my basement.

Squirrels, please stop looking in my bedroom window.

Birds, please don’t come into my house.

I got home last night and opened my front door to get the mail. One of you flew in uninvited. Then had the nerve to fly upstairs.

My dustmop and I followed.

Luckily, your fowl emissary was smart. He (she?) settled on the floor. I gently placed the dustmop on top of him (her?) until I could grab a hand towel. I wrapped the scout in the hand towel, and we both went outside.

My niece said she thinks it’s a House Sparrow (which would be appropriate) or that I’m a Disney princess.

I had to make your rep skedaddle by flapping the towel.

But why? There’s nothing for any of you inside. No supply of worms. No room to fly high. No comfy nest.

Stay outside!

This is not the first time you outside critters have been lured by the great indoors, though. In my first apartment in Savannah, a rat came up from the dumpster outside. (I lived above a famous Southern restaurant. Loads of food waste.)

Luckily, my friend Brenon was on patrol with an ax handle. He went ham. Sorry, Remy.

That was the same night my immediate downstairs neighbor dealt with a bat from the chimney. And the neighbor below her had a random cat in heat show up.

Rat. Bat. Cat.

What’s up with that?

Anyway, you stay in your habitat, and I’ll stay in mine.

Thanks!
Beth

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Dear Mike,

In my last post, I noted some, um, issues with my move — issues beyond those caused by the seller, my neighbor. Your moving company caused additional agita.

Let’s start with the fact that you were supposed to send three guys between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m.

I was there waiting at the storage unit by 10. I left just before noon to go sign the closing papers. My saintly realtor took my place while I was closing.

We had no way of knowing that you meant 10:30-11:30 Hawaii Time.

Your guys showed up just after 3. And there were only two of them. And these two had been on two other jobs previously. So they were tired. Moving SO SLOWLY. Great for you as you charge by the hour.

🙄

For THREE HOURS, you promised me that two more guys were coming. When they finally showed up, one left immediately. Again, third job of the day. The other stayed, but complained the whole time, talked to his baby mama on the phone, and barely did anything. And he was wearing slides. SLIDES!

Night fell.

I was DYING.

I couldn’t stand it. I started helping.

Yes, you read that right: I was paying your company to move my stuff, but I put myself to work.

My bruises are proof.

You sent two more sloths workers. Around 8 (8!), the storage unit was finally empty.

Let me remind you that one man, one woman and four teenage boys loaded the same size truck in less time than your “professionals.” And for the price of Zaxby’s.

Then it was time to unload at my house. Angry man left. The others stayed. Actually stepped up the pace. They wanted to be done as much as I wanted them to be done.

Everything was in a bit after midnight. MIDNIGHT, MIKE!

But then I overheard the two original guys talking about how they were going to get home. They don’t have cars. Their buses weren’t running. You — their boss who had scheduled them for three jobs in one day — told them to figure it out themselves. An Uber would be very expensive.

Sigh.

I drove your employees home, Mike.

Josh was going to walk back to just outside the Central West End. He apparently walked to work — a three-hour journey.

I don’t know how Jeff was going to get back to Washington Park, ILLINOIS.

I got back home around 3 a.m.

I think you should have given me a massive discount, but you didn’t.

I think the money I spent should go to your employees, but it won’t.

You thrive because you pay them $14 an hour, no benefits.

I told Josh and Jeff that Target pays $15 an hour with benefits.

I hope they take my advice.

More advice to anyone who will listen: Don’t use your company.

Sincerely,
Beth, a former customer

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Dear Mid-America Apartments:

I hate you with a white-hot rage. The temp of a thousand suns.

I hate you like Bette hated Joan.

I hate you like a high-school boyfriend hated shirts with sleeves (much to my father’s chagrin).

(I hate you so much, but I still don’t hate you as much as I hate Mitch McConnell.)

You installed “smart locks” a few months ago. Ours has never worked properly. Your maintenance folks have been out to fix it more than four times.

Last night, it wouldn’t open. Period.

I called the emergency line. Twice. Eddie called too.

Someone will be right over.

Someone did not come over.

Someone called.

The someone: We don’t do lockouts. We only do emergencies.
Me: This is an emergency. Our lock isn’t working. We need to get into our place. Don’t you have the special key to get into the garage?
Him: No. You’ll have to check with the leasing office.
Me: They don’t open until Monday.
Him: I guess you’ll have to wait until Monday.
Me: How are we supposed to get into our apartment?
Him: I don’t know. We only handle emergencies.
Me: This is an emergency.
Him: We don’t consider this an emergency. Don’t you have the garage door opener?
Me: If we had that, I wouldn’t be calling you, would I?

I hung up on him.

I mean … WHAT the ACTUAL F?!

So we borrowed an extension ladder from a friend. I hummed the “Mission Impossible” theme while Dominic shimmied up and saved the day.

I was TERRIFIED of what bad things could happen here.

We should not have had to do this. Your emergency line people should actually have the capacity to help.

And you should have installed locks that actually work.

I can’t wait until our lease is up. I will NEVER recommend your company/complexes.

Beyond vexed,
Beth

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Trigger warning: Laceration

Dear People at Peachtree Immediate Care:

You suck. Completely.

I thought you were in the business of helping people. Immediately. I mean, IT’S IN THE TITLE of the place.

So when Gideon was attacked by a can of diced tomatoes, we naturally thought of you.

It was deep.

We showed up moments after the attack.

You said there were two other lacerations ahead of us, and that you wouldn’t be able to get to him before closing time.

IN TWO HOURS.

What the eff? For real?!

I don’t understand.

So we went to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Urgent Care. They sent us to the emergency room because the gash was three centimeters long — the cutoff for urgent care treatment, apparently.

The ER doctor rolled his eyes when he heard about our adventure. He said:

Just come here first. Don’t even bother with those urgent care places.

Roger that.

Anyway, Gideon is all fixed up, no thanks to you.

Three deep stitches, eight on the top layer

Get your act together.

Sincerely,
Beth

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Dear High Road,

I really don’t want to take you. I don’t. But I knowI should.

For example, someone has angered me, and I want to tell off that person. Immediately and thoroughly.

I want to go FULL KAREN.

My journalism and PR background has helped me know you. And you’ve always served me well.

I’m not a bridge burner.

I believe in karma.

But.

Your antithesis, the low road, is looking mighty appealing. Calling to me, even.

Sigh.

But I will. Because I am better than the person I mentioned above. Karma can sort him out.

I’ll be seeing you. Loads.

Yours truly,
Beth

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