Saturday, October 8, 2011

I'm trying to ignore the anti-Wall Street protesters. It's not easy, as I like to read the blog posts on the National Review, and it's been getting daily mentions out there.

It annoys me. Lots of things annoy me, actually; some things more than others. I really don't like being in a perpetual state of annoyance, as I'd rather be amused. I am more frequently annoyed, these days, and less often amused. It's an imbalance I seek to correct.

Avoiding things that really annoy me is part of my plan to restore my annoyance/amusement balance, and that is why I have been trying to avoid those stupid protesters. I have not done a good job, because I've read a fair number of articles on the subject (excluding the purportedly glowing endorsement from Krugman: how can you sing the praises of anti-capitalist protesters when you make seven figures writing for a paper that advertises for Rolex and Tiffany's? Seriously?) I have read some articles, and so now I am annoyed.

I like to rant when I am annoyed, so here I go:

I have worked in the student aid industry for fifteen years now, and I know those protesters. They're the same ones who failed to file their federal aid applications on time, missed grant deadlines, and screamed at me because somehow it's my fault that they wouldn't be getting aid that semester. They're the ones who missed a line on their loan application, and screamed at me because their wouldn't disburse in time to buy books before the start of the semester.

These are the same kids that spent all six (count'em, six) years of undergraduate study calling up and screaming at people like me because the loan limits weren't high enough. I'll repeat: they screamed and ranted and raved because they COULDN'T BORROW ENOUGH. After all, loans are generally the only type of aid for which middle-class kids qualify. (The free money is for people on welfare; the financial aid system is set up to reward bad behavior, so if anyone in your household is working, you're screwed.)

For Federal loans, the schools determine a borrower's eligibility, and transmit that information to my agency. (Well, they used to under the old system, which was a much better system than the system now in use, but that's a rant for another day.) I used to call school financial aid offices on behalf of borrowers whose loan applications were pending school approval, and the story was always the same: the student was either ignoring requests from the school for verification of their income/status/costs, or was in some way ineligible. Generally, "ineligible" = "crap grades," but not always. I would relay this to the borrower, and the borrower would scream at me. Then the borrower would call up the school and scream at them, too.

After they graduate, or drop out, they call up to scream about how they can't possibly repay all this money they borrowed. In spite of the fact that they are counseled to borrower conservatively, and only borrow enough to cover attendance. (Using loan money to fuel your three-five-dollar-Starbucks-frappuccinos-a-day habit is just a bad idea.) They don't listen, they borrow loan amounts in excess of what they could ever hope to earn with a degree in interpretive dance or filmmaking or basket weaving, because the screamers are often from the most useless and unmarketable fields of study, for some reason.

Then they file bankrupcty, and call and scream at us because you can't discharge student loan debt in bankruptcy. This is stated on the promissory notes they sign when the apply, mind you, but they never read them. Most of them have their mothers completeing the applications for them, so how can they possibly be held responsible?

They default, and they call up and scream because their wages are garnished and their tax refunds seized. Then they decide that the loans aren't theirs; someone stole their identity and borrowed money in their names, so they file fraud claims. When that is disproven, they'll file disability for their depression and anxiety. When that's denied, they'll add fibromyalgia and ADHD to the disability discharge application form.

These disgruntled student loan borrowers, blocking the sidewalk waving their little cardboard sign with their outstanding loan balance scrawled in Sharpie have always been disgruntled. I think they're extra angry now because they lived better when they were living off student loans. The majority of them are unemployed not because they can't get jobs, but because they can't get the jobs they think they deserve. They're underemployed because they're following some pipe dream ideals of working in some low paying activist job, or forgoing better-paying jobs they COULD get for low-paying jobs they ENJOY.

And the spoiled little smelly shits think it reasonable to expect someone else to now foot the bill for their degrees, like the banks, and taxpayers.

I am slightly bemused by the "smash the system" socialists of the movement, who say they want to overthrow the government. (This will never happen as long as Ted Nugent is alive, by the way.) Ditto the "anti-capitalists" who completely miss the irony of Tweeting anti-capitalist sentiments on their iPhones while eating pizza donated by sympathizers who ring up local pizzarias to place mass orders, paying with their VISA cards.

The student-loan-forgiveness jackasses, however, just piss me off. Perhaps they should have paid attention when they were told not to overborrow, and chosen less expensive schools. Or, more importantly, perhaps they should go back to their respective alma maters and ask why the rate of inflation for higher education is four times that of any anything else?

I hope they actually do affect some change with their villify success/eat the rich/sour grapes bullshit nonsense. I hope Herr Obeekaybee pushes through some kind of legislation to allow student debt to be included in bankruptcies. I predict that when that happens, the banks will jump ship, and people like the "erase student debt" assholes won't be able to borrow themselved in to a hole in order to attend college. In fact, they won't be able to go at all.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Mrs. Kintner Ruminates at the Wave Pool.

    Udo and I went to hang out in the wave pool at the local amusement park. Me and Udo, we love the wave pool.
    In previous years, Udo was a reserved swimmer. Whether the beach, or the swimming pool, or the wave pool at the water park, Udo stuck close to the side and did NOT get his head wet.
    This year, however, Udo has got the spirit. The gods of summertime water fun must have reached down and annointed him with chlorinated holy water, for he is now a most exhuberant swimmer. He is ZEALOUS. He jumps, he dives, he floats; he puts his face in the water and screams for all he is worth, sounding alarmingly like little Alex Kintner, about to meet his toothy, bloody end.
     So Udo is joyfully splashing and diving about in the wave pool, while I sit at the edge and let the water lap at my toes (noting with some alarm that the size of the arthritic toe-bumps seem to have increased exponentially since last summer, and that the heavily chlorinated water has played hell with my pedicure.)
     Udo's favorite thing in his new gung-ho wave pool repertoire is to do a dead-man's float kind of thing while letting the waves carry him in. He will do this over and over again, or as long as the pool's wave cycle lasts.
     Little boys playing dead in a large wave pool at an amusement park is an alarming thing to the lifeguards; they don't like it one bit. This is understandable, as it must be hard to differentiate between little boys joyfully floating face-down on the waves, and actual kid corpses. The lifeguard blew her whistle at Udo, and told him not to float around like that.
     Udo was sad; Udo's summery wave pool joy had been compromised by a well-meaning lady with a whistle. I tried to explain to him that she wanted to make sure that he was just playing, and was not hurt. I told him that floating around like that makes it look like he was a dead guy, and lifeguards try to keep the dead guys out of the pool.
    Udo looked sad, with big blue watery puppy dog eyes, but did not want to be consoled. "Are you OK?" I asked him. Udo smirked. "Yes, I'm FINE," he said. "Can you please go away now?"
     So Udo went back to playing in the waves, although his splashing lacked the same level of joyful exhuberance. This is the trouble with Udo's complete lack of cynicism. The rest of us in this family expect the worst and hope for the best; Udo expect sunshine, rainbows, and unlimited freezepops at every turn. His heart breaks audibly whenever someone proves disproves his perception of the world as an amazing place with unlimited possibilities, where a guy can dead-man's-float around the wave pool as much as he likes.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Further observation.

Women who have big fake plastic fingernails and go around tapping them on everything deserve to have their fingertips smashed with a hammer.

Then they should be forced to eat the pieces.

Hey, you at the ATM. Yes, Sheniqua, I'm talking to you. What the hell are you doing up there, programming the damn thing? You've reinserted your card three times, and pushed all the buttons, but I'm pretty sure it's not going to make that TANF money appear in your account any faster. Now move so that those of us who actually have some money in our accounts may access it. Thank you.
P.S....Nice braids.

Can we please call a moratorium on the damned Obama shirts? The fact that I disagree with the man's Keynsian "redisribute the wealth" bullshit nonsense policies notwithstanding, your shirt is offensive. He's the bloody leader of the free world, Lord 'elp us, not Kid Rock. It's not a rock concert, it's not a tractor pull, it's not a charity walk. The face of the POTUS does not belong stretched across your giant bulbous midsection.

Stop it.

P.S....No, you can't.

A cell phone is not a free pass that absolves one from common courtesy. You may be engrossed in your text or posting to your FB page or checking the hits on your porn site, or whatever it is you silly millenials do with those damned things, but it does not give you license to walk the hell in to me because you're too busy to watch wher the flaming fuck you're going.

Lastly, I would just like to reiterate that I hate tattoos. I know, I know...I'm a blinkered, stodgy old lady with antiquated ideas and a stick up my ass. Whatever, jackass; you look ridiculous. They are not beautiful, they are not artistic, and perhaps most of all, they do not make you unique. They do not affirm your individuality. You dig, freak show? They make you look just like every other shitass twenty-something with a bloated sense of self-worth and a lip ring. It's just ugly, and it makes you look trashy. I maintain that the only people that ought to have them are bikers, longshoremen, convicts, and soldiers. If you're not one of those things, don't get one.

And a special note to the tattooed ladies out there: I'd like to come after you with the same hammer I use on the fake fingernails.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Observations (Assorted)

I'm fed up with politics, and have decided to stop paying attention. I've come to the conclusion that one side is the same as the other; two sides of the same coin, and the coin was formed out of shit. I suspect that the ultimate goal of either side is to implode the system from within by 1) excessive interference with everyday life, and 2) tipping the scales heavily to one side or the other of the wage scale.I feel that it is rather hopeless, and my one regret is that I never got around to stocking up on MRE's and ammunition. When I head for the hills, I'm going to be hungry and unarmed.

(**I have formulated an opinion regarding the current debacle of a budget debate, though. At this point, they may as well be shouting, "Less filling!" "Tastes great!" across the aisle at one another. It may actually be slightly more productive.)

Along a similar vein, I can't decide which pack of zealots I dislike more. Progressives? Evangelical Christians? Naturopaths? Vegans? (Insert vocal racial group here)? People who get all their news from Jon bloody Stewart? People who get all their news from Glenn bloody Beck? Conspiracy theorists? Smart phone owners? Luddites? "Pet parents?" People who are against abortion? People who are for abortion? Union members? Breastfeeders? Anyone who refers to himself as an "advocate"? Have I mentioned "pet parents?"
Decisions, decisions.

A side note: commenting on a local news channel's FB post regarding a study about some supposed extra benefit of breastfeeding and using the term "La Leaky Tit Nazis" will get your post deleted. FYI.

Note to parents of screaming children: if you hit it, it will stop. If you would have hit it a few times when it was much smaller, it would not be screaming right now; it would have learned its lesson. So please, for the love of God, take your squalling lump of meat in to the can and whack its ass a few times.

Pink lip gloss looks smashing when one has a tan.

McDonald's has announced that every Happy Meal will now automatically come with apples, an indication that those in the greasy monolith who make the decisions are a punch of frilly-skirted nancies. I don't want corporations to kow-tow to special interest groups and Obeekaybee's fright of a wife! I want them to tell them to bugger off, whilst lifting a leg and farting. It's fast food, for Christ's sake, it's supposed to be unhealthy! If I were given a chance to make this decision, I would decree that Happy meals will now come with a side of bacon and six Pixie Sticks.

If I ever win the lottery, I will:

*Buy a house where the nearest neighbor is at least a mile away. My moat will double as a swimming pool.

*Special order my Aston Martin

*Spend a whole summer at the beach.Drink in my hand, toes in the sand...

*Turn my current house in to a used book/record shop, zoning laws be damned.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Blair Witch: Some Thoughts on the Royal Wedding.

I will not be getting up at 4AM to watch Prince William's wedding. I'm sure that some people assumed I'd be sitting up all night in breathless anticipation, wearing a tiara and an imitation Princess Diana sapphire ring; those people would be wrong.

By the time I do get up at 5:30-ish, I'm sure that the newscasts will be rife with instant replays and commentaries, never mind the impending economic collapse, and wars and pestilence and famine. But the hell with it, we've got us a new princess!

There are things about the royal wedding I'd like to see, though. Former Prime Ministers John Major and Margaret Thatcher were on the guest list; Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were not. I read a commentary that Wills is pissed off at Blair over the way he used Diana's death as a vehicle to further his political agenda, and also the way he goaded the Queen in to making a televised statement in spite of that fact that those kinds of things are NOT in her queenly nature. I don't know if this is true, but I sure hope so. It makes it all a little more interesting.

My friend Rosenrosen suggested that perhaps Brown and Blair might swing by Westminster Abbey and do a drive-by mooning, which I think would definitely be worth getting up at 4AM for. I'd also like to see Blair disguise himself as a kindly old lady, and give the bride a bouquet booby-trapped with a cursed thorn upon which she would prick her dainty finger. This would cause her to fall in to a deep sleep for a hundred years, and all of London would be overgrown with a mighty tangled hedge that no warrior could tame.

Tony would then hop on Cherie's broomstick and ride off in to the sunset. Being the Toniest of Blairs, of course, he would be so busy looking back over his shoulder and laughing maniacally at the havoc he had wrought he would not see the towers of London Bridge looming ahead of him. SMACK, he'd go, right in to the wall, and his head would shatter like a terra cotta pot.

Gordon Brown would just be standing around uselessly, looking frumpy.

That's not likely, though. I'm also wondering how tight the security might be for this ultimate whopper of a shindig. The UK has a very loose immigration system, so that they've been letting in boatloads of disgruntled middle-eastern types for years. These people form little angry clubs and plot to blow shit up, so I'm wondering if the might target the royal couple on their wedding day. This would certainly justify setting the alarm for 4AM.

Given the prince's knack for shunning convention, I also wonder he might be working at dismantling the monarchy from within, which will be something interesting to witness. Then again, once he gains the throne he might go all Henry VIII and start lopping off people's 'eads. This I would also like to see.

Still and all, I'm awfully disappointed that no one bought me a Wills and Kate tea towel for my birthday.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cloudy with a Chance of Popcorn Chicken

Udo got in big, big trouble. In fact, Udo got suspended from school for one day because he made a threat against someone. Threats are awful and terrible, and people who make them get kicked out of school for a day.

Here's the gist of what he said:

"I'm going to cut you up, deep fat fry you, and eat you like popcorn chicken."

He was either joking, or we have a fledgling Dahmer on our hands; a second-grade Albert Fish who's only a few years away from learning to cook the livers of small children, and purchasing many, many sewing needles.

My money is on the former, but the school is not taking any chances. Bad, bad Udo had to sit out school for a day. Here is what bad Udo had to say about that:

(Singing) "I-i-i-i-i don't have to go to schooooool on Mo-ho-ho-nnnndaaaaay....lucky meeeee, lucky, lucky meeeeee...." (etc.)

Udo said the bad, horrible, terrible thing about chicken to his little friend. Socially retarded Udo has one little friend, by the way. Some other kid overheard the exchange, and ran and told the paraprofessional who was minding the playground. There were interrogations, apparently. There may have been nipple-twisting and cattle prods, but I cannot say for certain. I'm sure the school people wouldn't admit to it.

Supposedly, Udo gave up the information willingly. When the teacher repeated it back to him, he corrected her. "No, I didn't say I'd fry him...I said I'd DEEP FAT FRY him!"

Udo was in a squirrely mood on Friday, I guess. He had been making smart comments to his teacher all day, and had shaken his fist angrily at the director.

I told him that he should not say things like that at school, even if he means it as a joke. I also told him that the world is full of assholes who like to tattle, and get off on getting other people in trouble. "All your life," I told him, "you will have to deal with assholes like that. When you find those people, you need to stay away from them."

I realize that in the post-Columbine era, the schools have become hyper-vigilant about possible threats. I realize that this is because the schools have to think about liability, and the legal ramifications of NOT taking seriously any word or action that could be perceived as a threat. It seems to me, however, that chasing after the Udos in the schoolyard, the ones who make exaggerated and cartoonish threats amongst their friends, is pointless. I doubt that the alphas who lay painstaking plans to bring Grandpa's guns to shoot up the school are going to waste much time making jokes about it.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Birthday Party

My friend’s grandmother called and asked if I was going to the party. I tell her I don’t know anything about a party.

“She’s having a birthday party, and I know you were invited,” she says.

I tell her I never got an invitation. “Oh, sure you did,” says the grandmother. “Look on top of the piano. I look, and there is an invitation. Thick cream-colored card stock, obviously professionally printed. The party is today, and I have to leave right now.

I go to a building down the street from the house where my friend is living. A firehall, or perhaps the social hall at the Catholic church. My friend is there with her extended family. “You aren’t supposed to be here,” she tells me. “Everyone is waiting at the house, and we’re going to make an entrance.”

I go to the house where she lives; her stepfather’s house, the one she grew up in. It’s a ranch house that used to have just a small concrete block by the front door, and not a proper porch. A porch of massive proportions has been built. It has a gabled roof and several levels. It’s full of party guests, waiting for the grand entrance.

Her blind step-father is there, and tells me that the family is bringing a goose. “When they get here, we can cook the food.”

There are lots of people I don’t know, as well as a few I do. Kenny is there, which strikes me as odd because he dealt himeself a fatal gunshot to the head many years ago. It is very dim under the porch.

Three 80’s-era conversion vans pull up and park at angles by the curb. The vans are dented and rusty. The family all jump out of the vans, waving, and the party guests on the porch whoop and cheer.

Someone opens the sliding door on the side of one of the vans, and what I presume to be the goose flies out. It is a massive bird with white feathers, and it is a skeleton from the chest up. It flies up on to the porch, and lands on a table behind me.

“Someone turn on the grill,” says the stepfather.

The bird stares at me with its gaping sockets.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Udo the Barber

One day when Udo was in kindergarten, during German class, he broke another kid's crayons and cut another kid's hair with the safety scissors. It was funny, apparently, until his regular teacher and the principal questioned him. He lied and said he didn't do it. When they told him they knew he'd done it, THEN he got scared because he realized he was in trouble.

I don't know why he did it, or why he'd ever think that either of those things are acceptable.

I said, "Why the hell did you cut that kid's hair???"

He says, "I didn't like it." Sigh.

When we got home, Udo ran inside ahead of me and locked the back door.
"Don't let her in!" he yelled to his father, and then went to hide in the bathroom. Apparently I'm pretty scary.

I took his CD player away for a week, he's not allowed to play his Wheel of Fortune plug'n'play game, and we WERE going to go to Friendly's this evening but now we're not. I also shouted at him for a while and wacked his ass, the sociopathic little bugger. Then I sent him to bed.

Udo was very, very sorry. Sorrier for the loss of his video game and his CD player than anything else, I think, but sorry nontheless.

He had to write letters of apology to the German teacher, the kid whose crayons were broken, and the kid whose hair was cut. That was a party, I can tell you, as he was not in the mood to write when we sat down to write them. Udo can do anything provided he wants to; if he doesn't want to, he feigns stupidity. This makes me angry, because I know damn well he reads and writes above grade-level. So I shouted at him and whacked him on the head with the pencil, which made him cry. I don't enjoy making the child cry, believe it or not, but he is so infuriating that sometimes I'd really love to beat him with a stick.

However, we got the letters done and he  promised not to touch other kids or their possessions. We'll see how long this lasts. Later, he asked me if I love him. I said of course I do. He said, "Sometimes you don't love me!" I told him that when he is disobedient I get angry at him, but I always love him. He didn't look like he believed me, probably because I do things like lose my temper and whack him in the head with a pencil.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

On the Rampage.

I've been reading the news coverage of the shootings in Arizona. I read some articles on MSNBC, just because the old man insist on keeping it set as the homepage and they're right in my face when I log in. I dislike MSNBC's coverage of just about everything, on the grounds that it's dumbed-down, and more than a little biased.

This site, as well as a number of others, are all frothing at the mouth in blind leftist ecstasy because they've all decided that they get to blame this particular incident on the right-wing entertainers they so despise (I call them entertainers because they're not journalists. Just like network hacks like Meredith Viera or that Olberman douchebag more vaudevillians than journalists, but I won't elaborate on that at this time.) People also seem to be calling for the head of Sarah Palin on a platter, as they have decided that it's also her fault.

I don't have the audacity to presume that I can say who is to blame, although my money is on the guy with the gun. I don't watch Fox News, and I think Sarah Palin not only a disgrace to conservatives and Republicans, she makes all women look bad. She's another sinewy, b'suited corporate bitch with a stupid haircut, just like every female executive I've ever encountered; women like her are the scourge of the earth.

The vitriol and bile I've seen in the comments sections of the news stories I've been reading (why, oh why, do I ever waste my time with the bloody Huffington Post?) are coming from those who are gleeful about their certainty that the responsibility for the catastrophe can be laid squarely at the feet of the other side.
"Oh, yay!" they're shouting. "Score one for us!"

It reminds me of April 1997. Hitler's birthday, to be exact. Remember? Two teenage boys carried bags of weapons in to their high school and laid waste to a number of school mates and faculty. Remember that? Remember how the right wingers were pissing their charming underclothes in self-righteous glee because they were convinced that they'd get to pin the whole thing on violent movies, video games, and most importantly, Marilyn Manson?

It was a shining, golden moment for the religious right...except that they were wrong. The shooters were not Manson fans. The shooters, it seems, thought Manson was a tool, and favored German industrial metal like Rammstein. Imagine that! To this day, Manson maintains that Columbine ended his career. Too bad the shooters weren't even fans.

Those kids were narcissistic little turds and were likely psychotic. Just like the guy in Arizona is a narcissistic turd; preliminary reports indicate that they guy is anti-government period, and doesn't seem to favor one side over the other.

Again, I don't presume to know one way or the other. What I do know is that at this point no one knows what really motivated the shootings, and like Columbine, it's possible no one ever will. In my mind, the political affiliations of the assholes laying the turds are irrelevant; whether it's a right-wing evangelical shitting stupid unfounded divisive rants all over the comments sections of national news sites, or a left-wing progressive shitting stupid unfounded divisive rants in the same manner, it's still shit. You can slap all the pretty pink ribbons of justification on that pile of shit as you still stinks, and no one needs it.