Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Monday, August 13, 2007

Tres $h!ttay Weekend Update

Five Days Of Misery Packed Into 72 Hours

OK, it wasn't all THAT bad...

Still, I got some bones to pick with a few people.

When you set an appointment, and you tell the other party that you will be taking a vacation day from work to keep said appointment, and the other party tells you to expect them at your domicile between 12-2 pm, do they honestly have a right to get upset when you lambaste their manager when they fail to keep up their end of the bargain?

Check out this genius... After setting up this appointment to fit my horizontal jet-fighter sleeping mask a week ago, he calls to confirm the appointment on Friday morning. Man has possession of all my contact numbers, including cell. Einstein calls my WORK PHONE twice, fails to reach me, and cancels my appointment since I am not there to confirm.

I call his office at 3 pm, noting at the time that my plans to go places and do things after the fitting are now properly scuttled. He calls back, tells me that it's my fault since I didn't confirm that morning.

Oh, no, sirrah! I confirmed last week. This is *your* error. Get your medtech ass over here forthwith!

He disagreed, said "he'd be by when he could, I have to go to Dickinson first". This entails him driving at least 80 miles, putting his arrival somewhere around dark:30, given Friday evening traffic.

El Capitan calls the main office once more. The words "incompetent", "bush league", and "extremely irate" are used, along with the phrase "someone owes me 8 hours of vacation time".

Medtech calls back 10 minutes later, says he's on his way, will be there within 15 minutes.

Heh. I'm gonna have to be a hard-ass more often...

That was Friday.

On Saturday, I must go downtown in 100 degree heat to mail my auto insurance renewal & AAA Auto Club renewal. I decide to redeem the gift cards to Borders and Barnes & Noble bookstores that have been cluttering my wallet since Xmas.

El Capitan has a list of 8 books he'd like to get. All by reasonably well-known authors, each with a published catalog averaging 15 books apiece.

Borders has exactly what I need. I pick up two books off the list. I pay, I go.

Barnes & Noble has dick. Bupkis. Nada. See, Barnes & Noble is a bookstore for the casual reader. If you want the latest Oprah rec, or whatever's on the NYT bestseller list, they'll have it.

If, on the other hand, you're a seriously addicted bibliophile that reads more than 3 books a year, a trip to Barnes & Noble is an exercise in frustration. I look for other books not on my list. I am again disappointed.

I ask at the service desk. Do you have XXXX?

"Nope, but we can order it!"

Do you have YYYY?

"Nope, but we can order it!"

Do you have ZZZZ?

"Nope, but we can order it!"

OK, listen to me, you boho hipster, and I'll do my best not to grab you by your overlong goatee and yank your weak chin and pierced lip repeatedly onto the countertop... If you do not have the book inside these four walls, you and your establishment are worthless to me.

"But but but but... we can order it!"

I give him the basilisk stare. He does not turn into a column of feldspar, much to my dismay.

I explain to him in short and easy-to-understand words that this is not 1985. I can go home, order it from faster & cheaper, and not have to come back here to pick it up. So, once again, what good is your establishment? Verstehe?

Jah, Ich verstehen sie, says he.

Barnes & Noble makes two last swipes at my patience on the way out. I've managed to find one book that looks interesting, a sequel of sorts to a book I enjoyed, and I'm going to use the gift card to buy it. As I'm waiting in an overlong line, I am seriously peeved by a previously unread blurb on the book's cover. "The book Robert A. Heinlein would have written if he lived in George Bush's America" - Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing.

Doctorow, you BCG-wearing hack... You're unworthy to utter Heinlein's name. Get off my book cover! Go play Katamari Damacy or something.

I'd ditch the book, but the author probably had no control over the blurbs, and I can always rip off the cover.

I reach the register. The drone behind the counter starts into his sales pitch for the B&N Happy Friends Club membership card. Again, the basilisk stare does not produce fossilization. I've got to work on that...

Though I am tempted to tell Mr. Drone to fold the membership card until it's all sharp corners and insert it in the fundamental orifice, I do not. I explain I am there to redeem a gift card, and do not expect to return in this lifetime. I get a bovine stare in return. Gamma Boy's been hitting the Soma, it seems.

Following the B&N fiasco, I go looking for a pub I've heard about called the Firkin & Phoenix. They're supposed to have firkin good pub grub, and firkin huge schooners of India Pale Ale. Alas, they are on Westheimer Rd. and I am searching for them on Richmond Ave. I eventually give up and head home.

I stop at a place called Ragin' Cajun. The local Houston blogging crew had a meet there once, so it can't be all bad, right?

Oh, yes it can. The crab cake appetizer consisted of 4 allegedly crabby patties each about the size of a Vegas poker chip. The crawfish etouffee had more cornstarch thickener than crawfish, and the rice was so overcooked it brought to mind Rice Krispies left to soak in milk for several hours. The food, she was pricy, and the portions, they was small.

I will say this, though... Their bread pudding was outstanding. Not enough to redeem the entree, but damned good.

The weekend improved after that. I'll cover the movies I saw tomorrow, time permitting.