Re-Launch: Stop calling me!! (Unless I like you!)

I found this great post that I wrote ‘way back in 2005 that I thought you might enjoy again.  To this day, anytime my phone rings and it’s an 800 number, I remember this ridiculous conversation.

And yes, he truly did say, “You are only harassing yourself.”  

 

Whenever my phone rings, I check the caller ID. If it’s an 800 number, I usually have a good idea who is calling, so I refuse to answer. More than likely it’s yet another telemarketing company.

Yes, I know about the National Do-Not-Call Registry, but I never got around to adding my number to it. Now I’m paying the price. I get calls every day from various outfits offering me a chance to “Win a million dollars by entering our contest” or “Get a quote for siding on your home” or “Refinance your mortgage.”

Of course, most of these calls are recordings, but the “actors” on the other end have recorded their voices in such a quasi-conversational style that it borders on sickening.

Occasionally, however, I will get a call from a live person, and usually this person is not from the United States. They always SAY they are calling from the United States, but the heavy Indian accent tells me otherwise.

The other day, I made the mistake of picking up one of those calls. I’ve seen this number repeatedly on my Caller ID, so I wanted to know just what the heck they wanted. I also wanted to ask that they remove my number from their list, which they are SUPPOSED to do, but rarely ever follow through.

So I answered the call.

Me: Hello.

Telemarketer With Thick Indian Accent: Hello Sir?

Me: Yes.

TWTIA: I am calling because you have been selected to participate in a contest for…

Me: Hold on just one minute, please.

TWTIA: …and if you act now…

Me: EXCUSE ME!

TWTIA: Yes, sir?

Me: I have asked you at least once before to please remove my number from your calling list and you have failed to do so. Please do not call me anymore. I am not interested.

TWTIA: But why?

Me: Why do I need to tell you why? I am simply asking you to no longer call me. I get 5-6 calls a DAY from you, and I am not interested in anything you have to say.

TWTIA: But why?

Me: Are you deaf? I just said why. Now stop calling me.

TWTIA: But why?

Me: (getting extremely irritated) Listen, I am not going to argue with you. You are harassing me. I am not interested in your products or services. Now STOP CALLING ME!

TWTIA: But why?

Me: (now totally angry) STOP CALLING ME!!!!!

I hang up the phone.

The phone rings AGAIN.

I can’t believe this guy. Is he SERIOUS?

I click to answer and hang up again.

It rings AGAIN.

I hang up again.

IT RINGS AGAIN.

I go to Google and find the National Do-Not-Call Registry. I sign up my phone number– ALL of my phone numbers. This shit has got to stop.

IT RINGS AGAIN.

I pick up the phone.

I answer.

Me: What part of STOP CALLING ME do you not understand!?!?

TWTIA: But Why?

Me: I’m through with you. I want your supervisor.

TWTIA: I am the supervisor.

Me: Then you are an idiot. Why would I buy anything from you? Why would I even listen to anything you have to say? Is this how you do business– to harass people?

TWTIA: You are only harassing yourself.

Me: That doesn’t even make sense! Stop calling me. I will not answer the phone any more. I’ll find a way to report you if you continue. Goodbye.

I hang up the phone.

It rings once more and then I never hear from them again.

I have no idea what the product or service was… but these FREAKS are out there, people. If you haven’t done so yet, go directly to the National Do Not Call Registry right now and add ALL of your phone numbers– Work, Cell, and Home– to the list. It will take 30 days for everything to get squared away, but after that, if you get calls like this one, you can report them and they can be fined for harassment. Don’t put up with what I did. Do it now.

Red Red Line

Red Red Wine
Image via Wikipedia

Preface:  I have a CTA tracker app on my Android phone, and on the menu, the CTA Red Line shows up as “Red Red Line.”  I’m not sure why this is, but I can’t help but think of the classic Neil Diamond/UB40 tune “Red Red Wine” every time I see it.  So one day, I came up with some words for that song:

Red red line
Riding the train
Homeless and businessmen
Riding together

Red red line
Going to work
Everyone looks as if
They just woke up
They just woke up

Pay my fare
Catch the train
Monotony of the morning
Read a book
Read the news
It’s the same thing every day…

Red red line
I hope I find a seat
Why does this train move slow
I’ll be late for work
I’ll be late for work!

Do you have more verses for the song?  Add them in the comments.  How about the rap portion of the UB40 version?  That’d be funny. 🙂

So… what the hell happened?

The GAP logo.
Image via Wikipedia

Last week, I posted this short paragraph to my Facebook account:

Just had an experience that is making me re-evaluate the way I live my life. I need to make some changes, post-haste. For now, though, I’m going to spend a quiet night at home.

The comments, emails, text messages and phone calls that followed were overwhelming.  In a good way.  Without even knowing the source of my dismay, my friends from far and wide reached out to me with words of comfort and encouragement.

Mom and Beth, sorry you are hearing about this firsthand– I didn’t include you on that post– I didn’t want to worry you.

So… what the hell happened?

Well, in hindsight, it seems kind of silly.  Really.  I wasn’t held up at gunpoint or told I have some life-ending disease.  I wasn’t fired from my job or evicted from my home.  Nobody was maimed or harmed in any way, shape or form.

Only my ego.  And maybe my self-esteem.  But it’s really my fault.

OK, enough with the setup– here’s what happened.

On Friday after work, I was preparing to meet some friends out for drinks and then head to a fundraising event for the chorus.  I was looking forward to the events, mainly because in the very near future, things were about to get really busy with the chorus show.  A last hurrah, of sorts.

So I decided to go shopping and buy a new outfit for the evening.  I needed some new shirts, as I’ve worn my short-sleeve shirts to death.  The most logical stop was The Gap, since there was one just a block away from my first stop for the evening.

I went in, and I found a couple really nice short-sleeve shirts and a pair of jeans.  I also looked at a new jacket, since it had suddenly turned colder that day and I didn’t have one with me; and the jacket I already have is starting to look a little worn.

I found XL sizes for the shirts, because that’s been my size for years now.  I had been working to change that, but in the past few months I haven’t been so good about going to the gym.  We’ll talk more about that in just a few minutes.

Anyway, I proceeded to the fitting rooms to try my new selections on.

NOTHING fit.

Absolutely nothing.

Not the shirts, not the jeans, not the jacket.  They were all too tight.  In fact, the shirts were so bad I couldn’t even bring the buttons together with the buttonholes, and I had a hard time getting my arms in the sleeves.

Now I could see if one shirt was bad, but two?  That’s just weird.  I’ve worn XL Gap clothes for years and they always had ample room.  But not with these shirts.  At the first attempt, I thought, “This has to be mis-labeled. ”  It felt like a MEDIUM, not an XL.  But I took it off, and it was definitely marked an XL.

Dejected, I stood in the fitting room and started at myself, then at the clothes.  What was this telling me?

  • I wasn’t going to buy anything that day.
  • I needed to fix this problem.

How did it get to this?  I was doing so well just a year ago.  And now I can’t fit into new clothes.  How did I fall so fast?

Then I started to feel humiliated.  All I wanted to do was get out of there and go home.

So I patiently gathered up my things, brought the clothes back to where I found them, sauntered out of the store, and went straight home.

That’s what happened, and that’s why I was feeling so low that day.

Now, in hindsight, I have a few thoughts:

First, there has to be something amiss with those clothes and the sizes.  I could see if they were a little snug, but to be so tight that I couldn’t even bring the buttons together seemed ridiculous.  I have never had that happen before, and I’m sorry, but I haven’t gained THAT much weight.  In fact, I had a doctor appointment the following Monday, which only proved that to me– I am still well under the weight I was at when I started my workout regime in May 2010.

Second, I don’t usually resort to the tactic of “Vaguebooking” to elicit responses from people… but I felt pretty vulnerable that night.  I almost deleted that post shortly after I wrote it, but after the responses started coming in, I actually did feel a lot better.  I can’t thank those of you enough that reached out.  You helped me greatly.

Third, I have made a promise to myself to get back to the gym once and for all.  It’s going to be tough at first, I know; but I did it before and I know I can do it again.  I can’t help but think of how well things were going last year and how great I’d look now if I had only stuck with it.  So I need to stick to it and keep thinking of the end result.  It will come.

Now I need to actually JUST DO IT!  Getting started is the hard part.  But I know that (second) first day back is coming very soon.  It will happen.

And a year from now, who knows… I may be wearing that MEDIUM after all.

But let’s just take things one step at a time.

RIP Soap Operas?

Erica Kane, AMC and OLTL Logos, Victoria Lord

The recent shocking announcement  that not one, but two classic, long-running Soap Operas, ABC’s “One Life To Live” and “All My Children,” had been cancelled sent shock waves through the entertainment community and all who have watched Soap Operas over the years.

While I didn’t watch either of these shows (save for a brief time in the 90s when I watched “All My Children,” along with a few others), as a former dedicated Soap Opera fan, this stings.

It stings about as much as it did when my favorite Soap, “Another World” was cancelled in 1999.  And it surely stings as much as fans of the recently-cancelled “As The World Turns” (which I also watched for a few years in the mid-late 1990s) and “Guiding Light” felt when their favorite shows were ended.

It seems the death knell has truly been sounded:  Soap Operas, or Daytime Dramas– whatever you want to call them — are nearing the end of their lives.  And no amount of trickery or black magic can possibly bring them back.

Gone are the magical days of the 70s and 80s, when Soaps were required viewing for more than just the ‘typical’ housewife.  My mom’s favorite shows were always on NBC:  “Days of Our Lives,” “Another World,” “The Doctors,” “Somerset,” and “Texas.”  I remember my mom and my Grandma, sitting in my Grandma’s kitchen, talking about the Soaps over cups of coffee, and discussing the lives of the residents of Salem and Bay City.  The theme songs from those shows alone make me recall happy childhood days– about as much as “Sesame Street” clips and “Electric Company” sketches.

When my family bought our first VCR, viewings of  “Days of Our Lives,” “Another World” and “Santa Barbara” were part of our family time together.  We all were engrossed by the stories, and loved zipping through the commercials to see what would happen next.  As we grew older, we became part of the crowd of college students engrossed by the shows.  When I visited my friends in college, entire dorms would gather to watch “Days” and other shows.  It was just the thing to do.

But time went on and attitudes and viewing habits changed.  And now the Soaps are barely hanging on.

They’re being killed by cheaper television:  Talk shows, “Reality” shows, and “Lifestyle” programming.  Shows that don’t need writers or actors.  Shows that don’t need expensive sets or lengthy rehearsals and staging.  Shows that don’t have legendary names like Susan Lucci, Erica Slezak, Anthony Geary and Victor Braeden.

Actors on soaps spend the majority of their careers on the shows.  The longevity is unheard of elsewhere in the industry, mainly because the fans of the genre become so attached to the characters they portray; and many of them stay in the roles for 30 years or more.  Susan Lucci’s portrayal of Erica Kane has become legendary in the Soap world, representing the typical “so bad she’s good” character that audiences love to hate.  She has spent practically her entire acting career on one show.  There is really no place else where this kind of dedication and longevity exists in the entertainment world.

Soaps have ridden quite a roller coaster over the years.  From the early days of radio serials, to the first televised shows, which lasted for only 15 minutes each; to the boom of the 70’s where “Another World” actually expanded first to 60 minutes, then to an unprecedented 90 minutes; the stories, conflicts, dramas, trials and tribulations have kept viewers entranced.  When I was a kid, the typical Soap Opera scene involved two ladies sitting in a kitchen set, drinking a cup of coffee and discussing their problems with each other.  This changed when “Another World” started featuring love ‘triangles’ (Steve, Alice and Rachel) and the melodrama surrounding them.  Then the first “Supercouple,” Anthony Geary’s Luke and Genie Francis‘ Laura from “General Hospital,” epitomized the 70’s and early 80’s fascination with daytime couples and their storylines, and propelled Soaps into the mainstream media, with appearances on Time Magazine‘s cover and major, expensive promotional budgets.  And on “Days of Our Lives,” Marlena Evans Brady Black, was first possessed by the devil, then later  bewilderingly killed off matriarch Alice Horton in 2003 during the controversial “Salem Stalker/Melaswen” storyline; which prompted fans to get so upset that they nearly boycotted the show — until it was revealed that she had been sent to an alternate universe with the other killed residents, and nobody was really dead after all.

These are just examples of how entrenched in our minds these shows are, and always will be.  I’m saddened to see that the genre seems to be dying.  As our entertainment choices are further dictated by the Snookis, Real Housewives and gabfests of today, we’re slowly losing the culture that made TV what it was.  Pretty sad.

Favorite Soap Operas: Opening Sequences

Days of Our Lives

Another World (70s-80s)

Texas

Santa Barbara

All My Children

The Young And The Restless

Dame Elizabeth Taylor – A truly one-of-a-kind woman

The divinely lovely Elizabeth Taylor died today at age 79.

She was lovely in more ways than just the physical, however.  She was a fierce advocate for numerous charitable organizations for HIV/AIDS research, the LGBT community, animal rights, and creative freedoms.

As notorious for her seven marriages as she was for her beauty, Liz never let the tabloids get the best of her.  She was quick to rebuke a story that wasn’t true, and did so with fierce voracity.  She played the spitfire in many a movie– and it was pretty obvious that she didn’t have to act all that much to play those roles.  She was a force to be reckoned with.

She was truly remarkable —generous in spirit and heart, especially through her work in helping to create amfAR (American Foundation for AIDS Research) and the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation when others couldn’t even be bothered to utter the acronyms HIV or AIDS.  For these and all of her other talents, she will never be forgotten.

As further proof that Elizabeth Taylor was one-of-a-kind, the Grand Dame had a Twitter account (which was verified) that she used from March 31, 2009 until her last Tweet on February 9, 2011.  And in true Liz form, she didn’t just use it to share her day-to-day events—she used it to share her innermost thoughts on topics such as the death of Michael Jackson, refuting stories about her in the tabloids, and, probably most frequently, living life to its fullest.

In one of the last series of Tweets to this account (@DameElizabeth) on July 22, 2010, Liz shares her philosophy on living life, and giving generously to others.  Reading this now, it’s almost as if she was saying farewell to her fans, and giving a last bit of advice.

Hold your horses world. I’ve been hearing all kinds of rumours about someone being cast to play me in a film about Richard and myself.

No one is going to play Elizabeth Taylor, but Elizabeth Taylor herself.

Not at least until I’m dead, and at the moment I’m having too much fun being alive…and I plan on staying that way. Happiness to all.

I would like to add something to my earlier tweet. Always keep love and humility in your heart.

Never let yourself think beyond your means…mental, emotional or any otherwise.

You are who you are. All you can do in this world is help others to be who they are and better themselves and those around them.

Give. Remember always to give. That is the thing that will make you grow.

That is the thing that will give back to you all the rewards that there are. Don’t do it for yourself, because then it becomes selfish.

Because then it becomes about yourself…which is wrong. Giving is to give to God. Helping is to help others.

Every breath you take today should be with someone else in mind. I love you.