Thursday, October 22, 2009

I can't make this shit up.

Well, I had to go back to the bank yesterday to make a deposit, and OF COURSE, the broad who made the name change for me last Friday was the same one who had to wait on me again. I give her my stuff (keep in mind there’s a huge line of people behind me) and she’s like, “Hiiiiiiiiiii Jodie. Are you doing better with YOUR DIVORCE this week? Have things settled down?”

Yeah. Thanks for advertising to the whole fucking world that I just got divorced. If I wanted everyone to know this, I would’ve bought some stupid ad space in Volume One and just been done with it. Anyway, I try to be nice because clearly she’s a moron and doesn’t know better. Plus, the fact that she’s even talking to me, considering how our last conversation ended, was keeping me interested.

There didn’t seem to be a reason to discuss this beyond me saying, “Yep, thanks.” But I guess I was wrong. She goes on to say, “Yeah, I don’t know about you but boy, I sure was glad to be done with all that stuff! What a hassle! That’s what I get for marrying an alcoholic.”

Jesus Christ. I do not need to hear shit like this. And also, I have nothing that grand to offer in reverse. I wasn’t being beaten or something tragic like that. So I say nothing. Because she’s right anyway. That IS what you get for knowingly marrying an alcoholic.

The minute I turn to leave, the lady in line behind me smiles and says, “I’ve been divorced too.”

Newsflash: Half the world is divorced. I don’t need to talk about this shit with strangers.

In other news, I previously agreed to do this stupid makeover thing at the Clinique counter. It was during their “gift with purchase” promotion and I was high on free products. Now I see that its next week and I’m not sure I give a shit anymore about Clinique’s “Limited Edition Black Tie Violets makeup.” Though I could probably use a makeover and some lessons, considering the fact I just learned how to correctly apply eyeliner a few years ago.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I hate Associated Bank. And Xcel Energy, too. While we're at it.

For those of you living under a rock, my divorce was finalized on Friday. Sadly, the shortest part of my day was the part where I was in court getting divorced. I spent the rest of my day waiting in lines for things like a new driver's license and a new social security card. Yeah. I've pretty much decided I have very little time for people who walk into the Social Security office, sit their fat asses down at a table without taking a number, and just tell the overpaid federal employee sitting in front of them that they "want to get some money because they can't work." This happened twice during my ONE HOUR WAIT to request a new social security card. Which I have to wait ten days to get.

Anyway. The last stop I had to make was at the bank. Associated Bank. You know...the ghetto bank on Water Street that tries to pull in dumb college students by offering them free slow-cookers in the shape of footballs, etc. Yeah. I was one of those dumb college students once, which explains my current affiliation with these asshats.

I only wanted to change my last name on the account. This didn't seem to be something that should take that long. Or involve a fucking 10-minute questionnaire. WRONG. After waiting 20 minutes (because the banker was on the phone with her stupid kid, saying shit like, "HOW SICK ARE YOU REALLY? DON'T LIE TO ME"), I sat down and simply said: "I got divorced today. My last name has changed. Here are my documents. I'd like to get this done, please."

She's like, "Okay. No problem. While I'm doing that, let me ask you a few questions." Here were a few of the questions:

1. Have you gotten married in the past year? If so, have you thought about asking your spouse to join your account? (She looked up at me here, like she didn't even remember why I was there in the first place, and was like, "Well???") I just said, "Ummmm. NO. Because I just got divorced."

2. Do you have a 401K? YES. (I'm sure this was supposed to go somewhere but I didn't offer up anymore information)

3. How much is in your checking account? When she asked me that, I said, "I don't know. YOU TELL ME."

4. Have you thought about buying a house? If so, why don't we discuss your mortgage options?

*at this point I cracked*

My response: "NO. I don't want to buy a fucking house. I HAD ONE. I just got divorced. I don't want to think about that right now."

Her response? "Can I call you in four months to see if you feel differently?"

In other news, Xcel Energy has been fucking Mike and I up the ass and I'm tired of them scheduling times to drop our power (so we can move into the 21st Century and lose the damn fuses that blow when you turn on the microwave and the coffee pot at the same time) and then canceling because they "don't do that on Friday" or "it might snow." If we could switch to a different company, we would. For now, I'm just going to email them the link to this blog, and let them know that I'm going to mention their lousy customer service on a regular basis.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

You can ring my bell.

I've been a CD-reviewing fiend as of late. I'm not sure what that's all about but I'm not asking any questions. I get free music in exchange for honest opinions. Sometimes I even get paid for these opinions. You know what that means! TATTOO MONEY.

My latest project is Joshua Bell's "At Home With Friends." Honestly? When I got this in the mail, I was thinking, "Uhhhh. No." Hello. Look at the cover. He looks like a socially awkward musical genius. Anyway, he's a violinist (albeit Grammy Award-winning) and generally this is just not the sort of thing I'd pop into the CD player and listen to on my own free-will. But I'm supposed to listen with an "open-mind" (which I'd like to think I have but sometimes I don't) so that's what I did.

I looked at the playlist and noticed one name that stood out like a homely, sore thumb; JOSH GROBAN. Ugh. You know how I feel about him. And sorry. But I listened to that track with a totally biased opinion. Meaning; it sucked. But the rest of the album? Not bad.

I initially listened to this CD while I was driving, and that's pretty much something I wouldn't recommend doing. The sounds of a violin combined with Sting singing in Latin is not something I want to listen to while I'm driving. It annoyed the crap out of me so I had to take it to work instead. Muuuuch better as this is one of those "serenity now" CDs.

I have a secret love for musicians like Chris Botti, so this was kinda right up my alley. I'm not so crazy about the tracks featuring the opera singers and/or the classically trained vocalists. I don't have the patience for this and it gives me a headache. But the ones featuring just the violin or more contemporary artists are actually pretty beautiful. This CD makes for really great background music, though it does remind me of the kind of stuff you'd hear in a store selling a lot of candles and shabby chic decor.

I'm torn on a recommendation. Most of my friends aren't gonna dig on this just because they aren't. Not because the CD sucks (which it doesn't). I'm actually going to keep this CD and not run it over with my car (like I did the "Rock of Ages" soundtrack), so take that information and do with it what you will.

Friday, October 2, 2009

I'm not wild about Harry...

I was pretty excited when I got a review copy of Harry Connick, Jr.’s newest CD, “Your Songs,” a few weeks ago. I dig on Harry Connick, Jr. In fact, I know very few women who don’t dig on Harry Connick, Jr. There are several reasons for this; his voice being second on my personal list.

Anyway, I can’t lie. I have several of his other CD’s and they’ve come in handy when I’ve needed some spontaneous (but really planned) “dancing in the living room with my boyfriend and oh wow! I happen to have Harry Connick, Jr. in the CD player” music. I figured this disc would be another weapon for my arsenal.

I guess I was mistaken.

There’s no denying the fact that Harry Connick, Jr. has a fantastic voice. This gives him a pass to occasionally get away with corny stuff; like acting and the “When Harry Met Sally” soundtrack. However, it doesn’t give him the right to do an album filled with great songs set to the sounds of bad lounge music. It’s almost as though he was contractually obligated to grind out an album this year, and instead of doing something original, he waited until the last minute, blindly picked some old “standards”, and just went with it.

The album begins with a Sinatra favorite; “All The Way.” This is a pretty safe start. Harry Connick, Jr.’s VOICE sounds great on the track, though it lacks genuine emotion. There’s something very hollow about it all, which doesn’t work with music like this. The reason why these old standards are so great is because the people singing them know how to “sell it.” And I wish the band would’ve played this song a little more “straight” and a little less lounge-like. The notes were all drawn out a few seconds too long and it left me feeling like I was listening to a cheap Vegas band playing in a hotel lobby.

This seems to be the theme with the whole album. It’s all very lackluster, very generic, and very easy to forget. It doesn’t help that it ends with “Mona Lisa”, which is just a terrible song in any case. In fact, I’d be pretty okay with this song just being permanently wiped from history. Anyway, I’d honestly recommend you not buy this CD, even though Oprah had him on the show a few weeks back and I’m sure most housewives are convinced otherwise. Trust me. Either listen to one of Harry Connick, Jr.’s older albums or dig out your Sinatra records and hear it straight from the source.