No Soliciting

When I was a kid, my parents put a “No Soliciting” sign on our front door. I wasn’t a fan of the sign. I didn’t even know what soliciting was (and I’m pretty sure that if I had known, I wouldn’t have been a fan), but it seems kind of mean to say “no” to something right off the bat like that. Why the negativity, parents? It was a stern little square sign that didn’t even have a little stick figure briefcasey sales dude with a circle and slash. That level of artistic detail might have made the sign more agreeable to a youngster.

I never became more conservative as I got older (my dad always said this would happen), but I did eventually acquire my parents’ distaste for soliciting. I do not like soliciting. I do not like it here or there. I would not like it anywhere. I do not like it in a house. I do not like it with a mouse. I do not like it, Sam-I-Am.

At least in a house, though, you can avoid a solicitor by declining to answer the door. I’m a big fan of this type of confrontation avoidance. In person out in public, it’s not so easy.

One thing in life that gets on my last nerve is the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver. The Sixteenth Street Mall in downtown Denver is teeming with aggressive people who want to talk to you only as a means of furthering their own purposes. Solicitors (broadly defined)! Usually this involves people asking you for money or, worse, Greenpeace employees who want to talk to you for hours and get you to do something to comply with their agenda.1 I do not like it when people speak to me only as a means of furthering their own purposes. In fact, it’s one of the minor annoyances of life that I hate the most.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not an asocial jerkwad or anything (most of the time). I don’t mind if you talk to me to be nice or social. I mean, I smiled for a good 5 minutes after a woman complimented my German grandma bunion shoes2 this morning. I like that! And I like pleasant social interactions, too, even if you’re not complimenting me! It’s cool if you talk to me about something at the gym or on the street or at the DMV or in line at the beer store or wherever, as long as you’re being nice and aren’t doing it just because you want something.

Today there was a very underweight older woman wearing a tiny shirt held together by a string (it wasn’t ripped — this was the design of the shirt). First she left me alone and tried to approach a dude wearing a tie. When he didn’t stop, it was my turn — something about a dude taking her money and a boarding house. I’m always very polite, “Sorry, I have no cash at all. I’m really sorry.”

And it’s true. I have no cash at all. I hardly ever have cash, partly for this very reason but also because what the hell am I going to do with cash anyway. Cash is so old school. And I am really sorry.

And you know, I was just going about my business here after working out, but thanks for reminding me of the fact that it’s not just cash I don’t have — it’s money in general. Then I start thinking that you probably have no money but I actually have negative money and I’ll be paying off these goddamn law school loans forever and my husband and I are gainfully employed with full-time jobs but still can’t manage to maintain our modest lifestyle in a tiny house in the ‘hood and maybe buy some new clothes once in a while and send our kid to daycare without going into the hole and and and waaaaaah woe is me.

Oh, man. That’s awful. I’m the eggshell head change-requestee — you take the person you’re hitting up for cash on the street as you find her. And apparently you don’t want to find me. Not that I’ll tell you any of this woe-is-me shit. I’ll just silently resent you like the fine, upstanding former Midwesterner of Northern European descent I am.

I mean, look. I don’t want to be a (total) asshole. I get it. There are people who are way worse off than I am and I feel bad about that. Despite the fact that I’m broke, I recognize that I occupy a relatively privileged place in our society. I wish there was something I could do about all this shit but realistically, there isn’t. I don’t have the means in any respect — money, time, connections, anything. So that sucks.

And I kind of wish I could wear a no-soliciting hat or something, so people would know that I really don’t like soliciting.
_______
Notes
1. The Greenpeace people lurk outside the entrance to the empty shell of a mall where my gym (for the next month — I did quit) is located. They wear green vests and are super-aggressive about talking to you. Here’s the thing, though. Or maybe here are the things, plural, because my problems with the Greenpeace people are, well, many-fold. First of all, every time I’ve seen someone actually get sucked in to their web of being talked to, he or she is stuck there for, like, a long-ass time. At least 10 minutes or more. I don’t want to spend that much time being talked at by someone who is speaking to me only as a means of . . . yeah, you know. I’m in a hurry to get in and out of the gym and get home to my peeps, and my parking meter is going to expire, so no time, thanks. Then, they’re going to want you to do something. I’m not sure what because I’ve never stopped to listen to this shit for the required amount of time. They have to want either money or action. They will get neither from me. First of all, I have no money. Second, I’m not going to take any action at their request. I’m not going to do any volunteer work for you because I already do volunteer work I chose myself without being accosted on the street. I’m not going to sign up for anything so you can send me spam emails. I’m not going to sign any sort of petition presented to me by anyone on the street ever under any circumstances (marijuana legalization is an exception, because the language of that would be very straightforward and you have to have exceptions). People petition for crazy shit and it gets on the ballot because people on the street think it sounds okay and sign it and it ends up being a steaming pile of horseshit that should never pass in a million years but now we have to worry about it because it’s on the goddamn ballot. I mean, I’m sure my expensive-ass lawyer mind could figure out what you’re asking me to sign, but I don’t want to be put on the spot like that. If I’m going to sign something, it’ll be because I want to and I’ve independently researched the issue. Finally, I’m not going to give you money or do what you’re requesting because doing so would be encouraging you to stand on the street and annoy people. I don’t want that!
2. I don’t have bunions. I just accessorize as if I do.

I would prefer to have no Klout, thanks.

Can I tell you guys about something that’s been pissing me off?

Klout. Klout pisses me right off.

Look. I never signed up for Klout but somehow, there I was on the site with my score and a “score analysis” and a list of people I influence (which um, hi, I don’t even influence my dogs, so whatever that’s dumb).

Here’s the thing. I’m a raging hippie (that doesn’t make sense) and I hate shit like this. I hate scores and honestly, if you’re the kind of person who goes around talking about how you have Klout (sadly, these people exist), I’d kind of like to punch you in the face. While we’re at it, I hate websites with their lists of top blogs and the like. First of all, the blogs listed on lists of top blogs are never very good and, anyway, who in the hell who isn’t in, like, middle school gives a shit about this crap? It’s all babble and bullshit if you ask me.

I also hate Klout because it makes people spam my Twitter feed. I’m always seeing shit about how somebody gave someone +K about being a spammy asshole on the internet or whatever. Today, there were like 900 tweets about some stupid Spotify shit, which you can access if you have Klout (which, as I soon will reveal, you have if you have a public Twitter account).

Because I was on Klout against my will, I ended up linking my Twitter account so I could at least exert some control over what information about me was presented on the site. I thought maybe I could just delete my Klout profile and be done with it. Well, no. If you have a public Twitter account, you’re going to be on Klout, your desire to not be on Klout be damned. I don’t want to make my Twitter private and deprive my legions of fans who don’t actually follow me of the awesome things I say about an under-appreciated baseball team when I’m drunk, so that’s not a good option.

So. What do you do when you have a profile you don’t want on a website you think is dumb and you can’t delete it? If you’re me, you try to get banned.

How do you get banned from Klout? I have no idea. I googled it and came up with this, which is hilarious and illustrates the complete stupidity of Klout but doesn’t actually tell you how to get banned.

 

So, I figure I’ll start with the basics and do what I do best — using terrible, inappropriate language. You can see the result on my stupid-ass Klout page, which I can only hope is currently updating my True Assholery number. I’ll let you know how this goes. In the meantime, if you want to give me +K on “being an asshole on the internet,” I’ll take it.

Update: In a new effort to get my account deleted, I searched Klout help and found this:

If you would like to delete your registration, please email contact@klout.com and we will process your request within 5 business days. All personal information that you submitted to Klout during registration will be completely deleted from our database within 30 days.

I emailed and I’ll let you know what happens!

Update: Some person named Lan “deleted my Klout account” for me. All this means is that it appears that I never signed up for Klout. Unfortunately, as a result, my “Fucking shit Klout is dumb” name and position as Brand Ambassador of Your Ass no longer appear when you view my profile. My picture and Klout score are still on the site, against my will I might add. Clearly, Lan and I have a different understanding about what “delete” means.

Fucking shit Klout is dumb.

Update: As of November 1, 2011, you can delete your Klout profile. (You can see a screenshot of the page here.) If you don’t have an active Klout account, to access the “opt out” page you have to sign into Klout with Twitter. Then go to profile settings. It appears to work — I just tried it and my profile seems to no longer exist. Sweet!

Foul!

I am in a foul mood today. I blame it on the following, in no particular order:

  • People who don’t use turn signals while driving. Seriously? You’re an inconsiderate asshole. You should get a ticket and be punched in the face.
  • Facebook apps. Every time I see one, I block it. That doesn’t stop them, though. They just keep coming, like bindweed. (If you don’t know about bindweed, it’s this awful weed we get in Colorado with little morning-glory like flowers and vines that will grow and wrap around good, legitimate plants. The worst part is that each individual bindweed is actually connected to all the other bindweed by a gigantic underground root that you will never be able to destroy, so no matter how many of these bastards you pull out they’ll keep coming back until the end of time.) I don’t care which Mad Men character’s underwear you would be while on a boat with one of the Beatles. (For the record, I don’t care for the Beatles and will never watch Mad Men because I’m so sick of people talking about it. I’ve also vowed to never, ever talk about a tv show (outside of TWOP forums) or movie again, except to maybe talk about Lost once in a while in a sheltered, isolated environment with other annoying people discussing Lost. Talking about tv shows and movies is like talking about your dreams or your kid’s poop — at best, it’s interesting to you and tediously boring to everybody else in the world.) If you’re stupid enough to enjoy Facebook apps, could you at least stop posting their shit every five minutes?
  • People who don’t look where they’re going and try to get on the elevator before you get off and then loudly inhale a big giant loogie.
  • Women who are defensive about their epidural use and/or just bitchy and who say something like any of the following: (1) if declining pain relief is so cool, why don’t you have dental work with no anesthesia; (2) let’s do everything like they did in the old days before medical advances, like poop in the woods; (3) you don’t get a prize for experiencing pain and suffering during childbirth! Seriously, choose your choice and all that, but stop acting like it makes you better than anybody who doesn’t do things the same way.
  • People who equate blunt, TMI-style oversharing with honesty and call it a good thing. There’s some shit you should just keep to yourself or people who really want to hear about it — i.e., not the entire internet.
  • My fantasy football team. I swear I almost had negative points this week. Everybody on my bench was awesome and most of my active players sucked.
  • The White Sox. I’ve seen people with uncombed hair, skid-marked shorts, and ice-cream-stained, oversized t-shirts picking cigarette butts off the ground and smoking them who have given up less than you have.
  • The entire healthcare debacle. I can’t even listen to the discussion any more. I guess there are people in this country who know people are dying because they don’t have access to medical care and are okay with that.
  • Bacon. Enough already. It’s so over.
  • Broncos fans who are really proud of their team being 2-0. The first win was mad, crazy luck. The second win — well, my dog (the little one) could beat the Browns. The defense doesn’t suck as much as it did last year, but this is not a good team.
  • Old-fashioned, grandpa/grandma hipster baby names. I just don’t understand.
  • People who use ultrasound pictures as avatars. I think it’s creepy to use your baby as an avatar ever, but it’s especially creepy before the kid is even born. Don’t even get me started on the 3-D ultrasounds. Those things absolutely terrify me. Maybe you think it’s cool that your kid looks like a half-formed alien made of melting candle wax, but would you please spare the rest of us?
  • Animals who pee on the furniture.
  • And finally me, for being this annoyed by totally stupid shit. I’ll go eat some more pumpkin loaf (the most delicious thing in the entire universe) and get the hell over it already.

If you like him so much, why don’t you marry him?

Congratulations to Luke Harangody and ESPN on their recent engagement! It looks like the wedding plans are going well, and I like the green Lacoste towels on your registry!

ETA: I just received word that my boyfriend Jon Garland signed a one-year deal with the Diamondbacks. I do not approve of him hanging out with such a team (stay away from Eric Byrnes!), but at least this will bring him to Denver.

Idiot Commenters are Trendy

The Onion has its finger on the pulse of the “idiot commenter” phenomenon with a new article about Brandon Mylenek, a 26-year-old guy who intends to post an “incredibly stupid” comment on the internet tonight. Brandon said, “Although I do not yet know exactly what my comment will entail, I can say with a great degree of certainty that it will be incredibly stupid.”

Read the awesome article here: Local Idiot To Post Comment on Internet.

It’s not you. It’s me.

Dear Denver Nuggets,

We’ve been together for a while now, and as with any relationship, we have our ups and downs. The good times have been amazing, and when you brought me Allen Iverson for my birthday, I thought my love for you would last forever.

Today, though, I’m not so sure. I don’t even have anything to say to you right now. You’ve been letting yourself go. Look at yourself, and look at the Utah Jazz, and tell me why they’re three games ahead of you in the division. That doesn’t even make sense. You looked HOT that night against the Celtics. Then you play down to teams like the Bulls and the Bucks, like you think you’re all that, when in reality you’re the guy who looks kind of hot but then does something really stupid, and I realize that I deserve better.

I’m not trying to harp on your weaknesses or leave you when you’re down, but let’s be honest. You need to figure out who’s going to lead this team. You need to get your free-throw percentage out of the crapper and find some defense. You need some time to get your shit together. You have to work on yourself before you can be in a relationship with any self-respecting fan.

I think maybe I should see other teams. We can do this on a trial basis — you know how Andrei Kirilenko has a sex allowance? I’d like to have a team allowance. For one week per year, I can cheer for another team. This is only reasonable — you have to understand the temptation I’m faced with every day, watching NBA highlights on ESPN and seeing all these teams that actually have a chance of getting past the first round in the playoffs this year.

I hope you’ll use this time to figure out how to fix everything that hasn’t been working for you lately. I’m not saying that we should break up — I just need some space. Maybe I’ll spend some time with Pistons. They’re kind of hot, you know, but you probably don’t want to talk about that. No problem. See you in a week.

Love,
HBP

What’s with Valentine crap and sports radio?

I listen to local sports radio in the morning while getting ready for work and during my lunch break. For the most part, I find the discussion insightful and interesting, unless it involves crazy talk about the Nuggets (they need to trade everybody on the roster for Jason Kidd) or crazy talk about Avalanche (they need to pay eleventy billion dollars for some guy who is old and hurt).

But holy hell, for the past two weeks they’ve been talking about Valentine’s Day, like, nonstop. They’ve had a million commercials for Valentine-related crap every day. It’s worse than those membership drives on public radio.

If I were to believe local sports radio, I would think the following about Valentine’s Day:

  • all women care a lot about Valentine’s Day
  • all guys hate Valentine’s Day and think it’s a bunch of crap but buy stuff anyway because they have to
  • Valentine’s Day presents can consist of jewelry (especially diamonds, because nothing says love like the oppression and torture of people in Africa), roses, chocolates, champagne, teddy bears, pajamas, or a gift certificate to a spa
  • Valentine’s Day is all about women and buying them stuff
  • guys might not understand it, but this entire process is VERY meaningful and you might end up “in the doghouse” if you don’t comply.

I even got a spam comment on this blog, saying something like, hey guys, now that football is over, it’s time to stop ignoring your girlfriend — buy her some overpriced flowers. Wait, what? Listen buddy, I’m a woman who writes about sports. If my boyfriend ignored me during football season, it would be because he was sick of me drinking beer and screaming at Rex Grossman. Flowers aren’t going to make up for that, unless they come with a few four-packs of Gordon.

Here’s the thing. I’m a woman and I don’t give a rat’s ass about Valentine’s Day. I don’t want flowers, heart-shaped chocolates, diamonds, or any other cheeseball crap that is less thoughtful and original than a Jay Mariotti column. I can’t be the only one, right?

In theory, I suppose Valentine’s Day isn’t such a bad thing. In theory, it tells us to take a day to appreciate those we love and do something extra to show we care and maybe give a little present to serve as a reminder of the fact that we love them. That’s fine, and it’s cool if you have your own way of making Valentine’s Day special — but how does going to the store and buying a dozen roses and a box of chocolates because that’s what you’re “supposed to do” serve this purpose? It doesn’t. It’s a cheesy copout and people only do it because marketing has convinced them that it’s required — it’s also incredibly boring and predictable. Where’s the fun and romance in that?

Even though the idea of showing your love on Valentine’s Day might be kind of nice, none of this commercialized crap does that. Buying a diamond necklace doesn’t show that you love someone. You show that you love someone by how you act every day of the year. It doesn’t require a special day or a gift that comes with a vase or silk boxers (ew). All this Valentine’s Day hype is just silly.

Don’t let the sports stations tell you otherwise. And don’t let them convince you that trading Marcus Camby is a good idea.