10 Things I Hate Part 31


1 – I hate when I’m stopped in traffic and decide to be nice by letting someone in from a driveway or side street, only to have them twiddle their thumbs about it. When I decide to let you in, it’s a limited time offer. I’m not going to wait all day for you to mosey into traffic. I’m being nice here! Take advantage of it now or I’ll ram you! I actually get annoyed when people pantomime-ask if they can sneak in front of me when it’s obvious that was my intention. I tend to ruin any goodwill derived from being nice with my impatience.

2 – I hate when I pull into a parking lot to find a bunch of people parked over the lines like total assholes, then, when I come out from the store, all the other assholes are gone and I’m the only one parked like an asshole. I want to shout to anyone in earshot, “There were a bunch of assholes here who made me park like this when I got here! I swear, I’m not normally an asshole!” Then I quickly get in my car and leave in shame before I get any more “you’re an asshole” looks.

This is a picture of a former coworker‘s normal parking job, but it illustrates my point.

3 – I hate when the car behind me honks and the car in front of me thinks I was the one who did it. If I honk, you’ll know it. I don’t like being blamed for someone else’s actions, even if it is just a honk.

4 – Website pop up boxes on mobile phones. I hate visiting a site on my phone only to have a box pop up say, “sign up to our email list, get a free case of the herpes!” It’s annoying, but simple enough to click on the X when you’re on a computer. This easy task becomes nearly impossible on a phone. It takes a ton of scrolling and zooming just to find the X, let alone click the damn thing. By that time, I’ve forgotten why I even went to the website in the first place.

5 – Strangely labeled bathrooms. Ladies and gentlemen, men and women, even guys and gals, or simply this will work:

jTxErLpTEI don’t want to have to think about which room to use. I just want to pee. I can’t stand nonsense like this:

31barcelonast9 33petitpalaisth6

A full bladder tends to blot out my symbols knowledge, so I don’t know off-hand whether I’m an arrow or a cross. Neither of those is particularly intuitive of the female anatomy. Using logic, I’d say I’m a cross since that’s where the arrow would aim like a target, but I don’t want to have to use logic or think of my lady bits as a target just to pee. If you’re going to use a symbol, please, put words there, too.

6 – Vacuuming. I hate it. I also hate the word since it’s hard to spell. Does any word really need two Us in a row? Greedy. Anyway, with carpet, a dog and a cat, I have no choice but to vacuum every week. I probably should vacuum more than that, but once a week is standard. When I empty the canister–a task I find both disgusting and oddly satisfying–there’s enough fur in there to build another dog/cat from scratch every week.

7 – People who don’t understand how lines (or queues for my peeps over the pond) work. At convenience stores, 7‑Eleven in particular, it’s an unwritten rule that the queue goes along the counter away from the door. This is a diagram of the layout of your typical 7‑Eleven and the way the line is supposed to work with the black dots representing people:

Screen shot 2015-06-25 at 4.14.39 PM

Most of the time it works that way, but then comes the outlier who is somehow completely unfamiliar with the rules of convenience stores and lines up through the aisles like so:

Screen shot 2015-06-25 at 4.12.55 PM

Which of course causes everyone else to go into a panic thinking that maybe they’ve been doing it wrong this whole time. NO. I don’t care how gross those hot dogs on rollers look, you stand there. It’s the unwritten rule. Line up by the rolling hot dogs, dammit!

8 – Work meetings. I had forgotten how awful they are. At my old job, say I needed to go over something with my boss or vice versa, I would walk into his office and ask if he had a minute. If he said no, he’d call me when he did. If he said yes, I would sit down in one of the several chairs there, explain the situation and get a verdict. The whole process would take no more than a half an hour, usually 10-15 minutes.

At my current job, in addition to the process outlined above, we also have monthly production meetings, which are scheduled in advance, include everyone involved in production (that’s at least 8 regular and 4 or so rotating), take at least an hour, and accomplish precisely nothing except wasting an hour. But we all get typed up meeting minutes afterward so we can show how little we actually accomplished.

The worst is that instead of having the meeting in the conference room where there are plenty of chairs, the manager holds it in her office where there are only five chairs. If you don’t get their early or bring your own chair, you don’t sit.

9 – Extremely obtrusive panhandlers. I don’t mind if you ask me for change when I’m walking into a store, but do not come up to my car, knock on the window, and demand money from me like I owe you. No. You get nothing. Or worse, get indignant about it when I say no.

10 – Lists that claim to have 10 things on them, but then when you read them, there are only 9. It throws my mental calculations, such as they are, all off. Can’t you count or are you just lazy?

More Things I Hate

Canine Eugenics


I’m a fan of mutts. I’ve never had a dog with a simple answer to the commonly asked question, “What breed is your dog?” The answer to my current dog is typically a little shepherd/boxer/pit bull, etc. or simply mutt, depending on how sociable I’m feeling. Her origins are unknown. Even my vet said, “I see at least seven different kinds of dog here.”

I’ve never bought a pet from a breeder. I always adopt for many reasons. First, there are so many great animals in shelters who need good homes. For every purebred German shepherd or French bulldog out there, there are a dozen mutts in cages at the local shelter whose time is running out. It breaks my heart that I can’t adopt more of them.

Second, puppy mills. While there are reputable breeders out there who treat their dogs humanely, there are many evil bastards who force their breeding stock to live in cages and never see daylight.

I’ve seen the results of puppy mills first hand. A friend at the dog park adopted a purebred Rhodesian ridgeback who was thrown out on the street when she was too old to breed anymore. She had several serious health problems and was about 40 pounds underweight. They estimate that she was 10-12 years old, and she had spent her whole up to that point in a cage making babies that her owners then sold off at a profit one at a time. She died less than a year after she obtained her freedom. I refuse to contribute to that.

Third, mutts are not inbred like every purebred dog on the planet. Because my dog is made up of many different kinds of dog, she won’t have difficulties due to selective breeding–the process by which humans breed other animals and plants for particular traits. I’m not saying my dog is altogether healthier just because she’s a mutt, but she’s less likely to have specific health issues that come from being purebred.

Purebred is just a nice way of saying inbred.

Selective breeding is a nice way of saying eugenics.

And here comes Godwin's law...
Uh oh. Godwin’s law already…

Eugenics is frowned upon for humans. We associate it with Hitler and Mengele and Dr. Death and lampshades made out of human skin. Part of the reason we disapprove of this practice is because, as the Nazis proved, “desirable heritable characteristics” are a slippery slope of subjectivity. Another part is that it’s inhumane, unnatural, and leads to unforeseen complications. Also, Nazis suck.

The Nazis thought that the most desirable humans were, well, people like me: tall, blonde, Nordic creatures with pale, white skin, and light eyes. But, besides Hitler, who’s to say that I’m any better than someone who’s short and dark? Certainly not me. Because of my genetics, I’m prone to skin cancer, light sensitivity, depression, and migraines.

In fact, simply because I’m of predominantly Finnish ancestry, I may be susceptible to 39 genetic diseases:

The uniformity of Finns, created by several centuries of isolation and intermarriage, results in a large set of hereditary disorders. So far researchers have identified 39 such genetic diseases, many of them fatal, that crop up in the unlucky children of unwary carriers.

Isolating a culture with inbreeding isn’t all that desirable in humans, yet we pay for the privilege of having an inbred dog. We parade the results of our inbreeding around in dog shows and hand out prizes for the best canine eugenics. Why is a practice considered monstrous when done on humans applauded when used on other living things?


Through selective breeding, pugs got smaller, shorter, a more squished face, and acquired all of these potential health issues: eye injuries; breathing difficulties; inability to efficiently regulate their temperature through panting; fluid or debris getting caught under the palate and irritating the throat or limiting breathing; weakened immune system, etc. Actually, there’s too much to list here, just read these paragraphs on pug health issues.


Today’s English bulldog is prone to many of the same health issues as the pug as well as many others: difficulty breathing; regulating temperature; hip dysplasia; cysts; infections and mites in their skin folds; and a severely shortened lifespan (one study showed that only 9% of them die of old age). The overwhelming majority of bulldogs are delivered by Caesarean section because their heads are too big to fit through the birth canal. Again, the list of health issues is too long; read this.

Most French bulldogs are unable to breed naturally. They have very slim hips, making the male unable to mount the female. 80% of all French bulldogs are the result of artificial insemination and Caesarean section. They can neither impregnate nor give birth on their own. If humans didn’t intervene, French bulldogs would go extinct.

Siberian huskies are predisposed to a variety of autoimmune disorders, many of which affect the skin, as well as glaucoma and cataracts.

German shepherds are very prone to hip dysplasia, where the leg joint’s ball and socket don’t fit together properly, which causes pain, arthritis, and problems walking.

Boxers have a higher risk of lymphoma and mast cell tumors. Labrador retrievers are prone to obesity, beagles to epilepsy, dachshunds to back problems, Doberman pinschers to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

And the list goes on. Every dog breed recognized by the American Kennel Club and the United Kennel Club has a higher risk of some sort of medical condition than other breeds. All of them.

That is the result of selective breeding. We did that. We created these problems for these dogs by inbreeding them to death. We made it so the English bulldog can’t exercise without risk of dying. We created French bulldogs that can’t breed naturally. We did that. We created a marketplace where people keep inbred dogs in cages their whole lives just to breed more of them. We hand out prizes and money for the best examples of inbreeding.

At the dog park, I heard a purebred boxer owner tell her dog to stop playing with my “dirty old mutt” and play with another purebred boxer that was there instead. I wanted to scream at her that at least my dirty old mutt’s father probably isn’t also her cousin, grandpa and brother.

I find the practice of canine eugenics disgusting and absolutely monstrous. Don’t even get me started on the mutilations (there’s really no other word for it) of these dogs to have them meet breed standards, e.g., cutting off their ears and tails. Dogs communicate with body language and tails and ears are a huge part of that. How the hell can you justify a breed standard that requires an animal to be mutilated? That’s not “standard.” I refuse to be a party to it. I refuse to buy a dog from a breeder or butcher a dog, not for any medical reason, but purely for looks. I’ll stick with my mutts with ears and tails the way they came.

Even if you’re only interested in a specific breed of dog, there are rescue organizations out there for nearly every breed imaginable. One dog park regular only has Airedale terriers, because he likes big dogs and he’s allergic to dogs with fur instead of the more hair-like fur of the terrier. All of his dogs have come from an Airedale rescue.

Also, breeders often dump dogs they can’t sell at the shelter to make the rest of us deal with it. There are perfectly healthy purebreds sitting in shelters for a fraction of the cost, just because their ears don’t flop the right way, their coat is the wrong hue or a myriad other purely aesthetic (read: salable) reasons.

I’m not saying that purebreds are destined to have health problems. Nor am I saying that I’m right and you’re wrong if you have a purebred. Supplemented by fact as it is, this is still just my opinion. The reason for this post is that I want you to think about all of this the next time you go dog shopping, so that you can make an informed decision.

For whatever reason, if you feel you must buy a dog from a breeder, do the research. Find a reputable breeder and research the breed. Do not, even if inadvertently, support the practice of puppy mills, because the last thing we need is more dogs dumped at shelters.

Alright, maybe I am saying it: please, don’t shop, adopt.

I made this and you can buy your own here.
I made this. You can buy your own here.

An Open Letter To WordPress Part 2


Dear WordPress.com,

It’s been just over three months since I wrote my first missive to you about all of your ridiculous changes. In that three month period, that letter was read several thousand times. It was reblogged and shared over 100 times. It has 411 likes and 457 comments, mainly from people who agree with me.

Also, in that three months, not one person from WordPress even acknowledged its existence. You didn’t even respond when I portrayed your “Happiness Engineers” like so:

HAY GUYZ, IMPROOVEMNTD R GREET@! (sheilabridgeblog.com)

So, by default, I guess your “Happiness Engineers” must be over-enthusiastic puppies. While we’re at it, would you like to hire my dog? She’s excellent at destroying perfectly good things, and if she could type, I’m sure she’d use lots of exclamation points, so I think she’d make a great “Happiness Engineer.”

She was about
A future Happiness Engineer.

By the way, “Happiness Engineer” is just about the least apropos job title in history since we are still very unhappy. You have engineered nothing save the destruction of any customer satisfaction and good will.

There have been many changes since I first wrote to you, but none of them are good, so let’s revisit all the ways you are sucking at business, shall we?

Post Editor

I don’t want to go all sweary on you in the first section, because you might stop reading here (my potty mouth could be why you didn’t respond to the last letter), so feel free to replace the Ms in the next two sentences with Fs when you read it.

Muck your post editor. Muck it right in its muckhole. It sucks in every single way that a thing is capable of sucking. It sucks now just like it sucked when you rolled it out a few months ago, only now, you’ve even taken the option away to switch to the old one.

I tolerated this for a while, until the other day when I went to add more posts to the Editors’ Picks widget (FOG Favorites in the sidebar) that is peculiar to my theme from this box…

…which does not exist in your new nightmaresauce Beep Beep Boop editor. Instead of merely clicking on “Edit,” I had to click a thousand more times and do a thousand searches in the “All Posts” section of the dashboard just to use features THAT I PAID FOR. Muck you.

So, I complained again in your forum. Here’s part of what I wrote:

Screen shot 2015-05-03 at 11.08.46 AM And your response:

Screen shot 2015-05-03 at 4.29.05 PMNo reason, no explanation–just, “We’ve decided not to add these,” right before you tell me what I already told you I know.

Also, apologies and exclamation points don’t typically work well together. “I apologize that I ran over your cat… twice!” Can you see how that might sound insincere? Exclamation points work best with exclamatory statements (hence the name), e.g. “Beep Beep Boop is poppycock!”

Then, there’s this:

Screen shot 2015-05-03 at 4.37.16 PM

Why are you getting rid of features like post revisions and copy a post? I use both of those a lot. I’ve yet to hear a compelling reason for any of this. You must be tired of all of these complaints by now, but seriously, WHY?

Guess which editor I’m using to write this post? Go on, take a guess. Don’t be shy.


You know how I look at my notifications? With this bookmark: https://wordpress.com/notifications. I never use your idiotic drop-down menu if I can help it, because it’s absolutely pointless. Reading comments in a squished column on the far right is rather inconvenient, unnecessary and quite dumb.

Do you realize that most people leave more than two-word comments? Yet, two lines is all the room you’ve afforded each comment in the menu. It’s not that the notifications archive at the link above is all that either, since I still have to click on each comment individually, but at least I can see the whole comment at once.

If done correctly, comments are a conversation. And I don’t mean a conversation like this: “Great job!” “Thanks! “High five!” but a real conversation with actual sentences. Your stupid drop-down notifications thing does nothing to foster conversation. In fact, it hinders it.

You did add the “you already replied to this comment, dummy” arrow back in, so thanks for that, but you shouldn’t have taken it away in the first place. Other than that, you’ve improved nothing about it since you foisted it upon us.

It’s hard to improve a pile of dung, because at the end of the day, a pile of dung with perfume on it is still just a pile of dung. In case you didn’t catch that, yes, I mean to imply that your notifications menu is a pile of dung.

Since you still insist that all we need is a perfumed pile of dung instead of real functionality, I’m just going to quote what I wrote last time. It’s still salient:

Comments are an integral part of having a blog. The conversation starts when we hit publish. What on earth would make you think that a dumbass little drop down menu incapable of expanding would be good enough?


Now that I’m going through this, I don’t even know why I’m writing you a second letter, since so much of the first one is still valid, including this:

Ages 3 and up.  Caution: choking hazard.
Ages 3 and up. Caution: choking hazard.

For your information, I don’t use your new stats page, because I’m a professional graphic designer and it offends my design sensibilities, but for the purposes of this post, I just took a look at it.

I see you’ve reduced the line spacing and squished another column into the space for one. Why would you squeeze two columns on the right, yet leave the ridiculously large left-hand column that doesn’t need to be there at all?

What is better about your new stats page from your perspective? Really, I would like to know why you think it’s better, because I’m not seeing it. There’s nothing better about the information that’s contained there and there’s certainly nothing better about the design. It hurts my eyes.


Just so we’re clear, your improvements are still unwanted, dumb and not even improvements, but since my Gram used to say there are no complaints without alternatives, here is what I would like you to do.

Post Editor:

  1. Get rid of Beep Beep Boop in the regular web interface. If you want to leave it for mobile users, that’s fine. I don’t care, since I don’t write posts on my phone.
  2. Barring that, add the functions that we need to it, including post revisions, copy a post and theme-specific options that I paid for.
  3. If you’re unwilling to do that, give us the option to switch to the classic editor again. Having to go through the dashboard just to edit a post is incredibly frustrating and time-consuming for no reason.


  1. If you insist on leaving the stupid drop-down notifications, put the link to the notifications archive back. Seriously, put it back. Having to read my comments through a bookmark is ridiculous and so very 1990s.


  1. Hire a graphic designer. That page is ugly as all get out.


  1. Stop taking features away from us.
  2. Stop using exclamation points in your oblique responses. Exclamation points don’t make us any happier to hear that you’re ignoring our questions and opinions again.
  3. Give us a reason why.

So, there you go. There are your action items for the next quarter. I look forward to getting all the things you’ve taken away from me back.

Thanks in advance,

P.S. In case you’re still not getting it, here’s a visual metaphor:


WordPress is the horse. Your “improvements” are the tree. Your customers and source of income are the rider. Cut down the tree.

10 Things I Hate Part 30


This is part 30, which means I’ve hated 300 things! Yay! Or alternately, wow, that’s really sad.

1. Stupid work signs. I refuse to acknowledge signs with bad grammar and spelling in two languages.
Why is “to prevent sewege [sic] damage” a sentence fragment in parentheses in two languages? I don’t even…

Then, there’s this hilarious attempt at a kind of irony. It tripped, missed that pile of irony entirely and did a belly-flop into another stinking pile. Then this dumb sign got up and tried to carry on with a big smear of irony across its stupid face.

Dear fucktard who made this sign, have you even seen Office Space?

2. Girl Scout cookies. I just got suckered into buying a $5 box of cookies, which are now labeled as “VEGAN!” That label means that I’ll enjoy them just a little less than I would have had they not been labeled that way, even though they’ve probably always been “VEGAN!”

From their website:


You’re seriously going to tell me that spending $5 on a box of cookies helps a girl learn about money management? Well, guess what: I bought them from her father. He walked around with an order form, pleading with his coworkers to help his kid out with sales. He took my five dollars and put my name on the form, and he will bring me my cookies. In this entire transaction, I will never even interact with his daughter.

Also, spending $5 on a box of cookies is not a sound financial decision. It’s actually terrible money management. I can get better cookies cheaper elsewhere. The only benefit is that they’re delivered to my desk at work.

3. Obvious mini commercials built into television shows. Thanks to Draliman for reminding me of this one. This is all too common lately, what with people downloading everything or watching it commercial-free on Netflix et al. Advertisers are desperate to have us see their awesome products, so they pay television shows to have their characters use it and talk about it. I couldn’t watch more than a few episodes of Netflix’s unnecessary remake of House of Cards because of all the totally obvious advertisements lying around. They’re getting sneakier about it, yet it’s still so very overt.

Speaking of television, I hate remakes. Why does Netflix’s House Of Cards even exist? The original is soooooo much better. Why is it when I surf Netflix for something to watch, I see Being Human (UK) and Being Human (US), Shameless (UK) and Shameless (US), etc.? Why is any of that necessary?

It’s bad enough that movies like The Departed blatantly rip off excellent foreign films like Infernal Affairs (then win awards for thievery), but at least you can kind of blame it on language (since Americans are too dumb to read subtitles, right?). But, why are there so many remakes of UK television? We speak the same language. I refuse to watch anything with (US) after the title. Shameless is right.

5.Cubicles. Who the hell thought this was a good idea? I know, let’s make people sit together in a big open area, but we’ll put up half walls to give the illusion of privacy. Um, no. There is no privacy in a cubicle. None. There are no doors and everyone can hear everything from what you’re eating for breakfast to your stinky farts. I miss my office.

6. PC keyboards. I hate them and I’m surrounded by the bastards. I have a keyboard, too, but mine doesn’t blast 101dB @ 2.83V / 1m with every press of the damn key. Why do PC keyboards have to be so friggin’ loud?

7. Multimillionaire tight-fistedness. This applies to everything from not wanting to pay taxes to trying to take health care and benefits away from the working poor in favor of the “job creators.”

When Male was in town, I took a day off (unpaid). It was just a happy accident that the day I took off was the same day they held their incredibly tardy “holiday party” in mid-January. All the bigwigs flew in to the left coast. Apparently, they catered lunch with terrible, inexpensive, and not too plentiful food, and gave a bunch of speeches. They handed out certificates or something for people who’ve worked there five and ten years (nobody survives longer than ten years). When I went back to work on Monday, my coworkers told me that they called my name in a raffle. “Oh? What did I win?” “Nothing. When they found out you weren’t here, they called another name.” Cheap bastards.

8. Taxes. Ugh, taxes. I finally got all of my W2 forms from my employers last year, so this weekend, I’ll do my taxes. I used to have an amazing accountant, but he died a few years ago. Since then, because I am poor and don’t have any deductions like kids or mortgage, I have been doing it myself. Even in the comfort of my home, doing taxes is painful. It’s such an awful antiquated system.

9. Sales calls on my cell phone. They’re usually robots that start speaking before my voice mail message is done, so by the time I hear the message it’s just “…1-800-BLOW ME now to take advantage of this special offer!” Or worse, sales text messages. I wish I could give you an example, but I delete them, because they piss me off. You hear the little text message chime and think, “Ooh, someone loves me!” Then, you look and it’s an ad for hooking up with hot singles online. Screw you! Get off my phone!

10. I hate rushing somewhere only to wait. The last time I went to the vet, I woke up late, grabbed my ornery feline, and rushed to the vet’s office with uncombed hair and one shoe. Then I sat there for a half an hour. Why do doctors always run late? Seriously, can’t they figure out a schedule by now that takes all that into account?

More Things I Hate.