So Long, Ricky!

Filed under: — Kate @ 1:35 pm EST

I would just like to take a moment of your time to say…


No more Rick Santorum, no more Rick Santorum, no more Rick Santorum…
(repeat ad infinitum)

I am very proud to be one of the voters who helped cast Rick Santorum out of the US Senate. Not that I’m in any way thrilled with his replacement, mind you. But almost anyone would be better than Ricky.

Good riddance, you narrow-minded, scheming, hypocritical bigot.

-Pennsylvania Senate Election Results [CNN.com]
-Philadelphians Against Santorum

See Also:
-Santorum [Wikipedia]
-Santorum [Urban Dictionary]
-Bob Casey, Jr. [Wikipedia]


Down With the Ducks

Filed under: — Kate @ 9:52 pm EST

I’m a little late in reporting this, but I’m still catching up, so bear with me…

I now present you, via Philebrity, with more idiots who illustrate the need to eliminate The Ducks:

Teen tourists from Maine proclaim city, duck boats cool [Philadelphia Business Journal]

“I learned a few things. We saw where that girl who made the flag lives and where the money is made,” said Chelsey Pratt, referring to the Betsy Ross House and the U.S. Mint.

People! Stop it!! Don’t give them free publicity!! Don’t invite anymore mentally defective tourists to “quack” at Philadelphians as we walk through our most historic streets.

Just, just… just STOP!!

Further Reading:
-Biz Journal Inexplicably Delivers Ride The Ducks Blowjob Piece [Philebrity]

Previously at the Landslide in my Ego:
-Quack Quack
-Fight Back — Join the Résistance!


The MySpace Vortex: Feel the Suck

Filed under: — Kate @ 7:58 am EST

or “MySpace Can Suck On My Asshole”

I’ve been sitting on this rant for months now, so I figured I should post it while we’re on the subject.

Okay, here goes: I really fucking hate MySpace. No offense to those of you who love it, but looking at some of those profiles makes me want to gouge my eyes out with a rusty spoon.

It’s FULL of bugs. Pages don’t load properly, and browsing gets interrupted by making you log into your account, then taking you to your home page and away from what you were trying to see in the first place.

The pages take forever to load, and when they finally do, you are often presented with a garbled mélange of bad graphics, flashy, messy text and horrific backgrounds. Some of the backgrounds are actually overlaid on the text—what the hell?!

It conjures up the really crappy personal websites people had ten years ago (myself included). You know, the ones hosted by Tripod or Angelfire or whatever. It’s like somebody took the internet, shoved it into a blender, and fed it to a dog who then vomited on my computer screen.

I’m often reminded of all the silly, juvenile things I did on my website when I was 18: one of my favorites was a little guy who would walk across the screen and then piss on an image of Leonardo DiCaprio (or DiCraprio, as I called him back then). Not that I don’t do silly, juvenile things now, of course—I just don’t do them with lots of flashing colors and animated gifs. And even when I did, you could always read my text.

And don’t get me going about the goddamn music that starts playing when a page eventually loads (though it’s nice to see some people have started turning that feature off).

Now I will admit that browsing through the profiles on MySpace can be somewhat addictive, often in the trainwreck sort of sense—SO many people making utter fools of themselves. But I really had no interest in joining the mess until last year when a friend started keeping a blog there, and I couldn’t even leave a comment without creating my own account. So reluctantly, I did. And I uploaded a picture so I wouldn’t be the only loser without one. I now have a whopping 10 friends.

Does that make me a hypocrite? Maybe. Probably. But don’t get me wrong, I think the concept of MySpace (and sites like it) is brilliant. A great way for people with common interests to find each other, for current friends to stay in touch, and for old friends to reconnect. It’s an address that never changes, and easier than email. It’s also a great place for small bands to publicize themselves.

So like I said, great concept. But oh what horrible execution!


My Blood Runs Cold

Filed under: — Kate @ 1:42 pm EST

Dear imbecile who thought it was a good idea to BLAST music in the parking lot of my building at 7:00 AM this morning,

Consider yourself lucky to be alive, because I was very near the brink of pushing the air conditioner out of my window and onto your head. That guy who finally came out and asked you to turn off the music? You owe him your life.

Now, I love me some J. Geils Band as much as the next girl, but what makes you think that ANYONE wants to hear it at 7:00 AM?!! Some of us are still recovering from a rather hellish weekend, and could really have used the extra minutes of precious sleep that you so selfishly denied us.

My bedroom, as well as the bedrooms of at least seven other apartments overlook that little parking lot. And generally, I have accepted the annoyances that come with it. I don’t complain about the beeping when the back gate is opened. Or the car doors slamming. Or the trash truck emptying the dumpsters at 2:00 AM.

Okay, so I did once grumble about the dude playing his bongos in the alley at 8:00 AM on a Sunday. But even he didn’t piss me off as much as you did.

Now obviously, you were here to perform some sort of maintenance in the building, and I understand wanting to hear a little music while you work… but for Christ’s sake, get a fucking iPod already. Or even just a little boom box. Don’t open up all the doors on your van and crank the radio up to the max!

If you EVER do this again, I will hunt you down to the ends of the earth. I will not kill you, but you will be begging for death before I am done.

I will find out where you live. I will secretly install tiny speakers all over your bedroom. In the walls, in the floor. You won’t see them, but they will be there. And I will rig them to play that annoying Barney song every night, over and over and over again, gradually increasing in volume, until you eventually go insane.

I love you, you love me, we’re a happy family…

You think I’m kidding, don’t you? Well ask yourself, when was the last time you heard bongos coming from the alley?


Have You Tried Turning It Off and On Again?

Filed under: — Kate @ 6:14 am EST

Yesterday, one of my students said to me as she was leaving for the day “Oh, by the way, the computer died on me earlier. I tried turning it back on, but it died again.”

Ummmm… WHAT?!

Now this is a very smart girl. One of the brightest students I’ve had. Not at all like my Dumb and Dumber interns from last summer (“Does that go through the network or something?”).

So why she wouldn’t come running into my office the minute it failed is beyond me.

I asked her “Did you check the power connection?”


No?! NO?!! When your computer spontaneously shuts down, isn’t that the FIRST THING YOU CHECK??? I dunno, maybe I’m asking too much here. Maybe I’ve just kicked more power cords and accidentally ripped them out of the wall than the average person. Wait, no… that’s definitely true…

Anyway, I’m actually not sure what happened. All the plugs were, in fact, still connected, but the computer wouldn’t turn on. So I just switched off the surge protector, pressed reset, and turned it back on. Voila, the computer booted up. I must be a fucking genius.

But I digress. I didn’t even start this post with the intention of telling that story, but then I found myself inspired by the title.

So now, the original reason for this edition of my blatherings…

The new Britcom “The IT Crowd” is my favorite new tv show at the moment. It’s about the IT geeks in the basement of a large company.

Do yourself a favor and watch the first episode here.

See Also:
-The IT Crowd [Fansite]
-The IT Crowd [Wikipedia]


Tomato/Tomahto. Turin/Torino.

Filed under: — Kate @ 7:08 am EST

Apparently, there’s some controversy over what to call the 2006 Winter Olympics. Both NBC and the Olympic Committee are using “Torino,” the city’s actual name.

But American media has traditionally used the Anglicized version, “Turin,” so this whole “Torino” thing has turned their worlds upside down.

Evidently, there’s a whole contingent of people who can’t seem to wrap their minds around it. The Shroud of Turin is the only thing they associate with that region, so “Turin” it must be!

Being a native of that region, Edo deals with this quite often.

“I’m from Torino.”



“Oh! Like the Shroud of Turin!”

Never mind that identifying Torino with the Shroud is like defining Philadelphia by the Liberty Bell—that is, if we kept the Liberty Bell hidden away and only allowed people to view it a few times a century.

Okay, I realize that it’s not what most people are accustomed to hearing, but it’s not as if “Torino” was just pulled from someone’s ass. We don’t typically say “Roma” or “Milano,” but we know what they mean… right?

Maybe I’m not the best person to pass judgment, since the words are interchangeable in my household, but come on! Are Americans really SO stupid that they can’t figure this out?

More Reading:
-NBC Says Torino, Others Say Phooey [Early Word]
-Turin or Torino? Depends on whom you ask [AP]


Today’s Forecast: It’s Raining, So… Some People Might Get Wet!

Filed under: — Kate @ 10:47 am EST

A word of advice to those of you who don’t have to walk everywhere…

On a day like today (heavy rain with wind gusts up to 40+ mph), do not act surprised if I show up at the office looking a bit wet.

Do not act like you’ve never seen a rain-soaked person and ask “Don’t you have an umbrella?”

And when I say “Yes, I do have an umbrella,” do not look at me like I’m an idiot, point out the fact that my upper torso is wet, and try to use that as some sort of proof that I didn’t use an umbrella.

Furthermore, if I’m not wearing a hat, and there is no hood on my coat, yet my hair is still somehow dry? You can probably interpret that as a sign that I was indeed using an umbrella.

You see, that little phenomenon we know as “wind” tends to affect the rain and sometimes, causes it to blow sideways. And unless you have some sort of special full body umbrella, it’s only going to protect against the rain that comes from above you.

I know, I know… it’s hard for your little brain to comprehend. I’ll give you a minute to recover…. Okay then.

Yes, I’m a little wet. And yes, it sucks for me. But you know what? I didn’t need you to tell me that.

UPDATE: I’ve been “Blogicized.” Thanks! [Philadelphia Will Do]


Can’t They Just Leave Well Enough Alone?

Filed under: — Kate @ 7:25 am EST

You may have heard that the Pew Charitable Trust has been trying to convince Amtrak to rename 30th Street Station after Benjamin Franklin, and offered to cover all the costs involved.

Upon hearing this I wasn’t very happy, but I figured, “At least they are proposing to name it after someone who had a major historical impact on Philadelphia (unlike last year’s renaming of West River Drive to MLK Drive).

Though I didn’t want them to change it, I thought maybe I could learn to live with “Ben Franklin Station.”

Except people won’t call it “Ben Franklin Station” or even “Franklin Station.” The will inevitably call it “Ben Station.” The newspapers are already doing it.

Ben Station.

Which of course sounds nothing like Penn Station. There’s no chance for confusion there.



Karma Police

Filed under: — Kate @ 8:11 pm EST

I’m not against the police; I’m just afraid of them. –Alfred Hitchcock

Larakin recently wrote about a harrowing experience he had just before Christmas. He witnessed an accident, barely avoiding it himself, and stayed to help out and answer questions. And in spite of his good deeds, he got treated like ass by the cop. That reminded me of a story of my own.

I had an accident 4 or 5 years ago on one of Philly’s busiest highways, the always delightful Schuylkill Expressway (I think just before the Zoo exit, for those that know it).

It was during rush hour, and if that wasn’t bad enough, the Sixers were in the playoffs that night.

It was really just a fender bender, but still very scary for me because of all the traffic. Not to mention that it was my first (and only) accident, and I was all alone. I was only a couple miles from my destination, but it might as well have been hundreds.

Ironically, the traffic may have actually been a good thing, as it caused me to only be moving at 25 mph when it happened. On the other hand, had there not been so much traffic, I probably would have reached my destination before I fell asleep…. I guess I’ll never know.

Anyway, the point of this story is that the cop was a complete and total jerkoff.

As I was fumbling for the vehicle registration, he used the opportunity to berate me for not knowing precisely where it was.

I said “I’m sorry, this is my father’s car, and I’ve been away at college so I haven’t driven it recently.”

His response? “You should never drive a car without knowing where the registration is.”

Which, okay, I guess he was right, but give me a break!! After all, I knew it was in the glove compartment somewhere! He kept harping on it until I finally gave him the registration.

Then, in an even nastier tone, he asked “Why did you tell me this was your father’s car?”

Bewildered, I looked at him, and stammered “Because… it… is.”

He then shoved the registration into my face and yelled “But it says your name right here!”

I looked at it and realized he was referring, not to my name, but to my mother’s, which also happened to be on the registration. She’s Kathleen and I’m Katharine. Yes, they are similar. No, they are not the same. (Something the post office could never figure out either, I might add). Get some goddamn reading glasses, people.

So I explained this to him and he just sort of muttered “Oh, okay.” Then he went back to lecturing me about the registration.

It would have been different if he just pointed to the registration and said “I thought you said this wasn’t your car, but isn’t this your name?” But he yelled at me and treated me like I was a liar.

I was visibly scared, and obviously emotional, and that cop just used me to get himself off on some power trip. He was a total asshole. I really should have complained about it.

On the other hand, the police were pretty good to me that time I got trapped in my bathroom…. But I’ll leave that story for another time.

In Roads that Never Saw Sun nor Sky

Filed under: — Kate @ 10:49 am EST

As most of you probably know, initial reports said that 12 of the 13 miners trapped in the West Virginia coal mine were found alive. Sadly, as most of you also know, that was not the case, and only one of the miners actually survived.

Now, I understand that mistakes happen. News reports have to be corrected all the time because information was wrong or outdated. But what that mining company did was inexcusable.

[Sago Mine company chief Ben Hatfield] said he knew within 20 minutes that an error had been made and that not all 12 were alive, but said he did not inform jubilant family members.

“We couldn’t correct the information without knowing more about it,” he told reporters. “Let’s put this in perspective — who do we tell not to celebrate? All I knew is, there weren’t 12 people that were alive. It was somewhere between 12 and zero.” [CNN]

What kind of crap is that?? Who do we tell not to celebrate? Are you for real? We’re not talking about a raffle at the local firehouse. We’re talking about people’s lives! What a dick!

To make things worse, most of the east coast newspapers ran the story that the miners survived. That just rubs salt into the wounds.

How hard is it to release a statement like this: “We originally reported that 12 of the miners are alive. However, we fear that we may have jumped to conclusions too soon. At this time, we cannot confirm how many of the men have survived.”

Would that have been so hard? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

See Also:
Grief, anger as all but one miner found dead [CNN]
A Mining Disaster [Blinq]
For once, the local media’s obsession with sports is great journalism [Philadelphia Will Do]
Mining Disaster Coverage [NewsDesigner.com]


Bah Humbug!

Filed under: — Kate @ 6:04 am EST

Alright, I feel a need to go on the record here and say this…


Every year it just gets worse, and I’m sick of it.

I’ve become so cranky that it’s ruined all the fun and joy for me.

I’m a cold cynical shell of what my Christmas self used to be.

We can’t go on like this, America.

So I am going to tell you how we can start fixing it.

First: Take back the music.
Christmas music should only be played in the month of December—even better, limit it to just a couple weeks. But if we could just keep it contained within December, I believe we would see a marked improvement.

Now, having said that, there are certain songs which must be retired from rotation and never ever played again. No matter what.

They are as follows:
“Wonderful Christmastime,” by Paul McCartney
“Please Daddy, Don’t get Drunk this Christmas,” by John Denver
“Silent Night,” sung by Stevie Nicks
“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” sung by anyone
“Feliz Navidad,” sung by anyone

This list is just a start. Suggestions are welcome.

Second: Decorate responsibly.
There should never be any holiday decorations or Christmas lights until after Thanksgiving. Until I gets me turkey and pumpkin pie, I don’t want to see freaking Santa Claus and goddamn Christmas trees all over the place!!

Stores should keep their holiday displays under wraps until the week before Thanksgiving. They get an exception to the “post-turkey” rule, so they can be ready to sell stuff to us on Black Friday. But a week should be more than enough to get ready.

We must permanently ban those awful giant inflatable lawn monstrosities. There’s just no excuse for them. Or at least make it legal for me to sneak around and set them on fire.

Third: Stop bitching about the “War on Christmas.”
There’s no goddamn war! It’s all a conspiracy concocted by Bill O’Reilly and people with a persecution complex and nothing better to do.

Try to remember that if someone says “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas,” it doesn’t make them an ungodly pagan.* After all, there are a few non-Christians in this country, and what’s wrong with trying to include everyone?

In being ignorant or insensitive about another person’s faith or culture, you exclude them. Do we want to make Christmas the time of year when we ignore everyone who doesn’t share our particular set of values? It reminds me of grade school. “We’re all in the Jesus club, and you other kids can’t play.” That doesn’t seem very Christian, now does it?

Remember freedom of religion? That means everyone’s religion, not just yours. And that means you have to exercise tolerance and maybe make a few compromises once in a while. In order to live among other humans, everyone in this world makes compromises each day. So why should this be any different?

My family celebrates Christmas, so to them I usually say “Merry Christmas.” I have many Jewish coworkers and friends, and I usually wish them a Happy Hanukkah. But I’ve always used the phrase “Happy Holidays” with everyone.

I always saw it as simplified way to say “I hope you enjoy whatever holidays you might be celebrating this year, including secular ones like New Years, as well as all the fun holiday-related activities that you might do on the days before and/or after the actual holidays.”

Another thing to keep in mind is that many people who consider themselves atheist or agnostic—or those who just don’t give religion much thought at all—still come from families with Christian traditions. Remember that religion is not only about faith. When religious traditions exist long enough, some of them become part of culture as well.

My family celebrates Christmas. We decorate a tree. We sing. We exchange gifts. What am I supposed to do? Sit in the corner?

No one is trying to take Christmas away! It will always be there. How, if, or when people choose to celebrate it is a personal choice.

Bill O’Reilly says he’s only trying to promote respect for a holiday that’s celebrated by 95% of Americans. But if 95% of us celebrate it, how is it really in any danger?

*Which if they were, would of course be their constitutional right.


Ignoramus Maximus

Filed under: — Kate @ 2:59 pm EST

Maxim recently published “100 Things You Need to Know About Women.”

Not that I was expecting much, but the list is basically utter nonsense. As Mac wrote, “I swear, it’s as if some douchebag who doesn’t know any women except psychotic mental patient escapees wrote the list.”

I was originally going to refute the their idiotic notions here, but there’s really so much crap that I thought I’d just tell you when they got it (mostly) right.

Kinda True

99. Most women will not have sex for the first time with a guy unless their legs are shaved. If your date shows up and you spot stubble, she’s trying to keep herself in line.

Don’t give yourself so much credit. If she didn’t shave, it’s because she didn’t feel like it and knew it wouldn’t matter. Not because she was trying reign in her wild side. Women don’t like to show their unshaven legs to anyone. So this really applies to any activity, whether it’s going to the doctor, the beach, or the bedroom. When I had physical therapy for me knee, I always shaved. Because really, who wants to touch my stubble?

72. During emergencies, women are likely to remain calmer than men. Though it should be noted that inventing minor crises on a weekly basis gives them more practice.

Okay, I admit, this one made me laugh. I’m trying to thing of major problems Edo and I have faced; who stayed calm, and who freaked out. And I have to say, it’s probably 50/50. I think it depends on the type of crisis, really.

69. If you have something to hide, she’ll find it.

Yes, but not because I was looking for it. It’s because you are too stupid to hide it somewhere I wouldn’t find it.

32. Girls will not sit on any toilet outside their own home or a five-star hotel. Everywhere else they’re hovering above the toilet in a squat.

Well… it’s a little less picky than that. We’ll sit anywhere that we can trust the host cleans on a regular basis.


96. Jewelry. Now you always know what to get her for a last-minute gift.

Nothing more for me to say, really.

95. The sight of you in your socks and underwear is the biggest turnoff in the world.

Not necessarily the “biggest turnoff in the world,” but it will definitely send me into a fit of giggles. Take the socks off first, boys.

91. She still has all the love letters and cards from her past boyfriends.

Well yes, but only because I’m a packrat.

82. What do women really want in bed? More blankets. They get colder than men.

You men are like perpetually fueled furnaces. Where does all that excess heat come from anyway?

6. Rub a sheet of medium-grade sandpaper across your face. That’s your five o’clock shadow when you kiss her. Now rub that sandpaper on your inner thigh. (Mind you, we’re not suggesting you shave.)

Yeah, that one is right on the money. And I suggest that you DO shave.

[Via Pesky’Apostrophe via Yay! Blog!]


Always Call for an Escort!

Filed under: — Kate @ 2:24 pm EST

Last night I was walking home from work when, about a block from my building, I became aware that there was someone behind me–you sort of develop a sixth sense like that when you live in the city long enough. So I glanced back and saw that it was a guy from the local community’s bike patrol.

I’ve never been completely clear on exactly who these people are. They aren’t rent-a-cops (we have them, too), but I don’t think they are Philly PD either. I do know that they are officially sanctioned by the universities and neighborhoods.

Well, anyway, he rode past me on his bike and asked, “Are you okay, ma’am?”

I thought that was a little strange, but figured maybe he just thought I looked distressed. After all, this was the same day that I started off by taking a nosedive in the middle of the street. And I had walked about 50 blocks since then.

So I said, “I’m fine, thank you,” and kept walking.

Oh, but he wasn’t done. “You should never walk alone, you know. Always call for an escort.” (One service provided by this group is a walking escort.)

That seemed crazy to me, so I asked “Well what time is it?!”

“Doesn’t matter what time it is,” he replied. “It’s dark.”

Keep in mind, this was 8:30 PM, on one of the busiest streets in Philadelphia, adjacent to a college campus. (more…)


More Friendly Advice

Filed under: — Kate @ 1:25 pm EST

I’d like to think that Edo and I are good hosts. After all, everyone who visits us says such nice things. It does wonders for our egos. :-)

So if you are coming to visit me for an overnight stay, or even a weekend, you never have to worry about asking for something. I’m happy to provide anything you need, from towels and pajamas to soap and shampoo or even a toothbrush (I always have extras). But if you are coming for a week or more, please don’t just assume it’s okay to use all my stuff. Chances are that I would let you, but I’d really appreciate it if you asked.

Most of my things are very specifically catered to me and my super dry, hyper-sensitive skin, and well… I need them. It’s not like I get to the store every day. And I have plenty of other things you can use, like sample packages or products I bought that didn’t turn out to be suited for me.

But if you choose to ignore this advice, and just use the things I already have in the shower without asking me… LEAVE THE GODDAMN CAPS ON THE BOTTLES!! THEY ARE FLIP TOPS FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!!

P.S. Don’t even think about using my razor. I’ll happily give you a new blade to use with my handle if you need a shave.


SEPTA’s Transit All-Stars

Filed under: — Kate @ 11:56 am EST

Remember that old slogan? “SEPTA: We’re getting there.”

I used to think it was the absolute worst… motto… ever. It was as if they were mocking me every time I boarded a train.

And then the SEPTA monkeys came up with this beauty here on the left (image nicked from Philebrity).

Their new “Genuine Philly” campaign prompted a collective “WTF?!!” from basically every person who saw one of these stupid posters.

I guess they were trying to stir our inner Philadelphian spirits. Whatever.

I didn’t think it could get any worse.

But I was wrong.

Presenting the SEPTA employee trading cards:

Edo actually got one of these last week, but alas, he threw it away and I wasn’t able to scan it for your guffawing pleasure.

Oh, did I mention that this ad campaign is costing SEPTA $600,000?

The same SEPTA that can barely wipe its own ass without asking the state for more money.


I wonder how many urine soaked subway stations could be cleaned up with $600,000.

See also:
Bubble gum not included [Inky]
Update: SEPTA Marketing Dept. Just Can’t Stop Making “Philebrity Gold” [Philebrity]


The Never-Ending Battle Between Pat’s and Geno’s is Over

Filed under: — Kate @ 2:20 pm EST

For me, at least.

I will never patronize Geno’s again.

See picture below for the reason why:

[via Philebrity]

Update: Saw this on Pesky’Apostrophe and it cracked me up:

A deep South Philly goombah telling the general public to speak English? That’s rich. Or, more appropriately, dat’s rich! Youse guys aughta wash whatcher sayin’. I’ve heard better English down at the INS.


SEPTA: Spoiled Rotten Brats

Filed under: — Kate @ 3:40 pm EST

Well, we’re coming to the end of the first work week sans SEPTA (Stupid, Elementary Poltroon, Tiptoeing in Apathy). Thankfully, I don’t have any problems getting to work, but I have been a prisoner of West Philly for the last five days. Yeah, yeah, I could walk or take a cab, but that’s not the point.

I really am trying to feel sympathetic toward the union workers. While it seems absurd that they don’t want to pay a percentage of their healthcare benefits, it does seem very unfair that SEPTA management would not have to do the same.

But they are not even trying!! They broke off negotiations on Tuesday night and haven’t talked since. According to Philly.com, the talks have lasted a whopping 2.5 hours since the strike began on Monday at 12:01 AM. And if this keeps up, SEPTA is in serious danger of losing additional state funding that it sorely needs.

And regardless of whether you want to blame the unions or the management, the top or the bottom, it’s still SEPTA’s fault.

All of this seems so childish in comparison to what’s going on with Philadelphia’s firefighters and paramedics, who are also trying to negotiate a new contract. Consider this excerpt from an article Monday in the Philadelphia Daily News:

Philadelphia paramedics make roughly $50,000, 10 percent more than the $45,000 paid to firefighters. Plus, they average an additional $20,000 to $30,000 in overtime, but more than one-third of them want to transfer to the lower-paying firefighter’s job.

The Fire Department made 255,000 runs in 2004, and 200,000 of them were medical and not fires. We have under 300 paramedics, meaning we’re already short at least 50, and 106 of them have applied to get out and become firefighters.”

The paramedics and firefighters are asking for:
• Creation of a stress-relief program to deal with the widespread “burnout” problem that drives the average paramedic out after seven or eight years, well short of qualifying for a 10-year pension. A union consultant said stress levels among local paramedics resemble “what you would see coming out of Vietnam.”
• An agreement to allow paramedics, who work two 10-hour and two 14-hour days a week, time to eat lunch or dinner. There are no scheduled meal breaks at present, the union says.
• The provision of a second radio to each two-member Emergency Medical System team. At present, only one team member has a radio, a situation the union calls dangerous.
• A redeployment plan that would enable paramedics to rotate periodically from rescue vehicles to fire trucks, where they would work for a time as firefighters.

While half the city’s bus drivers won’t even hang up their cell phones on the job, our paramedics have to beg for time to eat!! Consider that, you SEPTA monkeys!

See also:
Day 5 of strike, with no end in sight [Philly.com]
Rendell: SEPTA strike hurts funding [Inky]
Analysis: A Few Words About This SEPTA Thing [Philebrity]
Return to Sender: Stranded in the City [Phillyist]
Paramedics look for stress relief [PDN]

CNN Makes Me 360 Degrees of Dizzy

Filed under: — Kate @ 10:59 am EST

Seriously, what the hell is the matter with CNN? Some of you may have heard that the news network has recently shuffled their lineup, firing Aaron Brown and giving us more of Anderson Cooper, who will now be on from 10-12 every night.

Too bad, I really liked coming home and putting on AC 360 at 7 PM, when I don’t usually have anything better to do, and watching for most of the hour. Now he’ll be on for two hours at a time when I’m almost always busy.

I love Anderson Cooper, but I fear that too much of him will eventually cause me to feel otherwise. CNN is exploiting the shit out of all the good work he did covering Katrina. Not that I’ll be watching him as often as before, but he’s going to get so overhyped and overexposed that he’ll be ruined. (If that hasn’t happened already).

And while Aaron Brown wasn’t my favorite anchor, I certainly found him more tolerable and interesting than a lot of their other crap. At least he actually summed up the news stories of the day.

So, what’s happening to the 7 PM time slot, you ask? Why, Wolf Blitzer’s “Situation Room.” Don’t even get me started on how stupid the premise of that show is….

“We’re always live here on the Situation Room. And oh, by the way, you’re watching the Situation Room. Did I say ‘Situation Room?’ I think I said ‘Situation Room.’ Look at all the pretty televisions with feeds from international news channels. We’re not going to tell you what’s on them, but look how pretty they are here behind me on the Situation Room!”

So anyway, the Situation Room will now air from 4-6, with an hour pause for Lou Dobbs, and then we get more Blitzer from 7-8. Maybe it’s because they realized that no one wants to watch three straight hours of the Wolf man. I don’t know. But the whole thing just seems so convoluted.

See Also:
CNN Ousts Evening Anchor and Embraces Rising Star [NYT]
Anderson Cooper, CNN’s Man of the Hour [WaPost]
Cooper d’etat! [MOAN.tv]

Links via Wonkette. Don’t bother looking for any info about this on CNN.com.


SEPTA: Now They’re Not Even “Getting There”

Filed under: — Kate @ 3:21 pm EST

I’m sure those of you who live in my general region already know that everyone’s favorite transit monkeys went on strike today.

I can’t even begin to tell you of the fits of rage that SEPTA has caused me over the last four years, but this really takes the cake.

Philebrity says it better than I ever could…

More on this later.


Some Friendly Advice…

Filed under: — Kate @ 10:27 pm EST

Just because you have a digital camera and the pictures are “free,” it doesn’t mean that you have carte blanche to take pictures of your girlfriend* whenever you want. And if you do it anyway, and she tells you “Delete that, I look like shit,” THEN DO IT.

And if you ignore this request, definitely DO NOT take the picture files to your parents’ house and then leave them on their computer. Especially if your parents are in the process of digitally archiving all of their pictures for posterity.

Because one day, in preparation for a visit from YOUR mother, your girlfriend will be lovingly going through a CD of your family photos so you can display some of them alongside the pictures of her family.

And in between the pictures of your dad’s birthday and your cousins playing in the pool, she will find one of herself. In a bikini top, eating a tunafish sandwich, with ZIT CREAM on her face.

And believe me, you WILL regret it.

*or wife, boyfriend, husband, etc.


Gee, That’s Super!

Filed under: — Kate @ 12:25 pm EST

You know, I thought it was kind of dumb when Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin named their kid Apple, but this one really takes the cake: Nicholas Cage just had a kid and name him Kal-el. As in Superman. Who the hell does that to a kid? I wonder if they will just call him Clark.

Annals of Retarded Celebrity Baby Names: Superbaby Edition [Defamer]

Kind of reminds me of a client in an office where I used to work who was named T’Pring. Are you thinking to yourself “Wait… I know that name… wasn’t that Spock’s wife in the episode where we first learn about the whole Vulcan “mate or die” syndrome?” Well, if you were thinking that, you would be right.


Oh Jesus Freaking Christ

Filed under: — Kate @ 1:20 pm EST

Not that I’m really surprised.

Grand jury harshly criticizes Archdiocese for hiding clergy sexual abuse [Inky]

See Also:
Blogging the Grand Jury Report [Blinq]
Look what’s in Rick Santorum’s backyard… [Attytood]
Grand Jury Report


The Horror of it All!

Filed under: — Kate @ 11:52 am EST

This has got to be one of the dumbest things I’ve read in a long time…

Mom, Dad … How did you get my screen name? [Daily Pennsylvanian]



People Who Piss Me Off By Speaking

Filed under: — Kate @ 1:38 pm EST

People who want me to tell them the “heighth” of an object.

People who pronounce the “l” in “salmon.”

People who are not my mother, father, grandmother, aunt or uncle, a close family friend, or over the age of 65, but find it acceptable to call me “honey” or “sweetie.”

People who ask me if I would like an “expresso.”

People who want to “axsk” me a question.

People who say “yous.” As in “How are yous guys doing?” or “What did yous do last night?”

And the most dreaded of them all: People who say “nuke-u-lar.”


Go ahead and call me a snob. I don’t care. I admit that I’m not immune to this problem. After all, you can’t help but catch a disease if you are in constant contact with infected people. But as far as I know, my only glaring offense is occasionally pronouncing “water” as “wudder.” At least I’m not creating an additional syllable. And I do admit to saying “down the shore.” Damn Philadelphia dialect.

Of course, non-native born English speakers are exempt from my wrath, as would only be fair since I haven’t included my butchery of other languages.


So if You’re Lonely, You Know I’m Here Waiting For You

Filed under: — Kate @ 11:44 am EST

Scored Franz Ferdinand tickets this morning. Third row, right center. I am so psyched.

And all I have to say, is fuck Ticketbastard. And I hate myself for being too weak to resist them.