Monday, May 23, 2016

When Directions Don’t Follow

The other day, my dishwasher didn’t drain all the way.

I got out the instructions that came with it. (Felt pretty proud of myself that I still had them.) It contained directions on how to change the filter, complete with a diagram.

After suctioning out the gross water with a turkey baster (yuck), I took a look.

The bottom of my dishwasher looked nothing like the diagram. Was I crazy? Stupid?


(Well, not because of this.)

That diagram, in the instruction booklet for my specific dishwasher, was not of my dishwasher.

And those directions about a filter? Turns out my dishwasher doesn’t even have a filter.

There is a special place in hell for the person who threw those directions together.

Today, I had to figure out how to transfer recordings of an interview from an app on my phone to my computer. The instructions from the app mentioned email (files too big), Dropbox (after setting that all up, files too big) and using iTunes (that didn’t work at all, was stymied at the first damn step).

As I, with increasing despondency, dutifully went through the trouble-shooting directions for iTunes, I saw a bit of software I had originally downloaded onto my computer when I got the app a couple years ago. (I don’t use it much.)

It synced the app to my computer beautifully.

But now, when I needed it, why was there no mention, not one, in the app itself or on the company’s website, of this software?

Because that omission wasted a couple hours for me.

For people who write the directions for things: Yes, we all say we don’t read them, but for those times when we are forced to, please take care when composing them.

You are toying with people’s sanity here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Are You What You Wear?

Yup, particularly when, like me, you more often than not wear clothes that have slogans actually written right on them.

My mom got me this t-shirt, which declares, “Dogs (Because People Suck).”
It came from; the purchase was a donation that fed seven shelter dogs. My mom chose “Ursin purple” as the color, of course. And, yes, I totally wear it.

My sister-in-law got me these socks, on which a little girl whispers with wonder to her pet horse, “I hate everyone too.”

Let’s just say: My mom and sister-in-law know me.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Foods That Aren’t Really Food

See? People trying to make
pomegranates edible.
There are some things we all say are food that really aren’t. 

Take, for example, pomegranates. By the time you get through cutting it open, careful not to get any on yourself, it stains, and digging out the seeds, just so that you can get that tiny bit of edibleness around them … No, not food.

Grapefruit: absolutely not a food, more of a torture.

Lots of diet food – rice cakes, melba toast – fall less into the “food” category and more into the “cardboard” category.

Popcorn, in my opinion, is similar to rice cakes and melba toast, except you can drench it in butter.

In fact, there are a lot of foods that are inedible except as vehicles, excuses, really, for eating melted butter: steamed clams (breading and frying those also works), escargot, lobster.

Fondant, that weird clay-like icing bakers use when they are building something that looks cool out of cake ingredients, is not food.

Neither are marshmallows and cotton candy.

Legally, restaurants are not supposed to put anything on your plate that is not edible, in case you are too dumb to tell that that flower blossom isn’t really meant to be eaten. But it isn’t. Ditto: those sprigs of parsley and cilantro and those dried red peppers in your General Tso’s chicken. Not food.

Likewise, spicy ingredients – hot chiles, horse radish, wasabi – while fine as an accent to the actual food on your plate, are not, in my opinion, food themselves. Just picture yourself trying to eat a bowl of any of them.

Anise, the flavoring for black licorice. My grandmother was so proud of her anisette cookies. Blech. When she gave me, ordinarily a cookie fiend, one, I would sneak it back onto the plate when she wasn’t looking.

Did I miss any?