Friday, May 28, 2010

I'm Outta Here!

The Animals sang, "We gotta get out of this place if it's the last thing we ever do." I find myself in hearty agreement about several Places. Here is my list of

Places That Don't Do It For Me Anymore

1. Applebee's
2. The Gap
3. Old Navy
4. Max & Erma's
5. Express
6. Macy's

I know I usually go in order, but try and stay with me. Let's start with the two restaurants on this list. Those of you who are even snobbier than I am and are ready to start harping at me by saying (with your noses in the air), "Oh, what do you expect when you--assume air of disdainful elitism here--eat at a chain restaurant!?" can settle yourselves down immediately. I live in Ohio, first of all, and secondly, do not have the choices or unlimited disposable income to go eat at Le Bistro de Plus d'Argent. Regardless of all of this, allow me: These two establishments bore me senseless with mediocre food and uninspiring menus. I can make their offerings at home. (And far better. So I do.) I don't think Max & Erma's has put a new pasta entree on their menu since, possibly, 1988. Inexcusable.

The clothing stores start off at a disadvantage for me because I am a difficult individual to fit. The Macy's in my area, which would carry clothing for a 51-year old woman does not stock pants or skirts in a size 2. Also, they lean heavily on the Karen Scott line, which runs alarmingly large and trends toward knits, which I hate. And if anyone can tell me how the hell that store is "organized," and I use the term very loosely, I will gladly listen. That store is a nightmare. Express, which is the only place I buy pants for work, fits me beautifully, but let's face it: I am not their target demographic. I would, however, like to know who in the hell buys puffed sleeve tops, for that is the preponderance of their shirt style. All of their shirts are hideous and overpriced. Even if I were not a half-century old, I would never buy a shirt there. Ever.

Old Navy and The Gap are owned by the same corporation, The Gap being the upscale big sister of the two. In this case, "upscale" means vastly overpriced. Sometimes I go into The Gap just for the entertainment value. I once picked up a little cotton eyelet sleeveless blouse and it was $56.00. Usually, I just wait out The Gap. Sure enough, my patience is rewarded. I really liked a skirt there that was $49.95. Rick wanted to buy it for my birthday. I snorted and said, "Don't be silly. I can beat The Gap. By July, this will be down to twenty bucks." I got it for 14. (On a related note: I am currently waiting out a little sleeveless shirt at American Eagle where they are silly enough to think someone will pay $29 for what is, essentially, gauze. Idiotic.)

Old Navy used to carry some pretty decent stuff for very reasonable money. I would shop for separates there: jeans, jackets, the odd sweater or shirt. Now, it's all crap, period. My sons, ages 22 and 25 don't even shop there. Not even for a sweatshirt. What happened to that store is a tragedy. Their fit got bad, their quality got bad, everything went to hell. Even their commercials. What on earth is that mannequin campaign? Terrible.

So, what about you, Stuff readers? What places are you over and done with?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sounding Off On The Sporting Life

I don't participate in Sports; they require that you exert effort and I might, therefore, become sweaty. I do, however, watch Sports on television. (Sometimes, I might even go to A Sporting Event "live.") Spectating also allows me to observe those in attendance, and I have to tell you, there is a lot of

Stuff That People Need To Stop Doing At Sporting Events

1. Sending text messages
2. Talking on cell phones
3. Trying to get on television
4. Inserting themselves into the event
5. Taking off their shirts

Even if you don't watch Sporting Events on television, you can undoubtedly appreciate the righteousness of these arguments. Consider:

1. There is nothing so idiotic and irksome to me than to watch, say, a championship Sporting Event whose prime seats go for a thousand dollars, and to see some bozo or bimbo sitting there with a cellular device, thumbing away. If you are going to ignore The Major Sporting Event in order to send vowelless gibberish to your friends, then just stay home! I don't get it. And it is People Of All Ages who are guilty of this transgression. I know dozens of people who would literally mow down the elderly for lower bowl seats to an NBA playoff series game, and some airhead is sitting courtside sending random bullshit to someone who is probably sitting next to him/her.

2. Ditto with cell phone usage. Every time the camera zooms in on a batter in an MLB game, some yahoo behind home plate with excellent seats is on his phone. Naturally, the goofball he is talking to is watching the game at home and tells him he is on TV. Now the doofus has to wave and stand up and act like a moron so that his friend can say, "Yeah, I see you! I see you!" Sigh. Sit down and--here's a novel idea--watch the game!"

3. Sometimes there are pre- and post-game interviews near the seats/stands. This means that sad, attention-deprived fans who are maturity-challenged will stand behind the interviewers and jump up and down, make faces, keep wandering nonchalantly back and forth, wave, etc. in order to be on television. Sometimes they will helpfully yell the name of "their" team or the statement "We're number one!" Stellar.

4. Recently, a teenager decided to run onto the field during a Phillies baseball game. He was tasered when he kept running and eluding security. According to some reports, this idiot even called his father first to tell him he was thinking of doing it. He just wanted the game to be memorable. To quote my son Sam, "Hey. Save your ticket stub." Police also had to taser a golf fan on May 7th. And Danny Ainge, the Boston Celtics General Manager, tossed a towel into the air while an opposing player was shooting a free throw during a playoff game. He was subsequently fined $25K for insinuating himself into the game. What is wrong with these people? THE GAME IS NOT ABOUT YOU. SIT THERE, WATCH THE GAME, GO HOME. HOW HARD IS THAT?

5. What is it about going to a Sporting Event that makes men act as if they are having Their First Beers Ever? Then they take off their shirts in a manly display of...what? It would be different if they were Fine Examples Of The Masculine Form. But, more often than not, they are tubby, flabby, chalky ickmonsters who then jiggle their puddingy selves while their bad haircuts get sweaty and some of them then throw up. Ugh. Again: I don't get it.

All sports have rules. It's part of the game. Maybe it's time for there to be stricter rules about Watching the Games, too.


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