Some things that have perplexed me lately:

• Why are there so many flavors of vinegar? And how many varieties does a well-stocked kitchen really need? I’ve got half a dozen bottles of vinegar at the moment. Is that enough? Once cooked into something, can anyone tell the difference between them? The other night I made sloppy joes from scratch (never use the canned stuff…yuck). The recipe called for distilled white vinegar, but I pulled apple cider vinegar out of the cupboard. Not one single member of my family spat out the joe and said “Good God, woman! Did you put APPLE CIDER vinegar in this?”

• What is WRONG with the people who make children’s toys? Today my four year old opened a jigsaw puzzle that was clearly designed for four year olds. It’s a picture of Barbie in a diaphanous gown and contains 46 enormous pieces. Little Bit is good at puzzles and she was having no trouble fitting this one together. But, when it was about half done, she began to cry with frustration because the cheap, flimsy cardboard pieces would not lay flat, and therefore would not hold together. The more pieces she added, the more the picture fell apart. I think the devil spawn that sells this kind of crap to young children should be required to build themselves a house out of dry sand and live in it.

• While perusing the writing jobs on Craigslist, I came across this gem:

Freelance Writer Wanted! Serious Applicants Only

Admin911 is in search for professional and reliable freelance writers.
Admin911 is an office management firm for small business. We offer our clients a variety of services at a low and competitive rate. At this point we are seeking talented and creative writers. As a start up venture, we are not a large company, offering large compensation. Instead, we are a small company and the pay is not great. If you have a strong passion for writing and can offer quality work for poor pay, contact us.

Pay Terms:
New Employees: 2.00-5.00 per article containing 200-500 words. Normally, there are 10-25 articles per project assigned. Writers will make between 20.00-125.00 per project and they will be assigned 1-3 projects a week.

What a deal, eh? At best, these folks want some idiot to agree to write 25 500-word articles (that’s 12,500 words) for $125.00. Hey, Admin911, anyone who would agree to those terms cannot be a “serious applicant.”

Over and out.


18 thoughts on “

  1. Oh, god, what a ripoff.  Ironically, the rejection letter I would write them would be so eloquent and so publishable that they could steal it, market it, and make more money off of it than they could have made if they’d hired me to write for them.

  2. I really, really hate crappy toys and the people that sell them.
    The apple cider vinegar is probably why I said the joe tasted sweeter than usual.  Rice and wine vinegars have distinctive flavors that I like in salads and other more delicate things.  Balsamic is very different from the others and has very rich flavors.  Here’s an interesting page on vinegars.

  3. I have the plain vinegar and apple cider vinegar. The latter is very good for cooking rice. About a spoonful and a tiny pinch of ginger gives rice a great flavor and it comes out so fluffy. I’ve really never tried any of the others, so I can’t say about those.
    Crappy toys and low pay for writers–I’m used to that!

  4. Amazing post… I agree ont he children’s toys, my nephews get so upset and it hurts their self-esteem when they do nothing wrong, it’s the toy’s fault!  Write them a letter and you’ll get a few free flimsy puzzles instead!  Woohoo!

  5. When I started in journalism I was constantly outraged by what an expolitative industy it is. I still feel this way. I’ve seen so many trainees literally working for free, just to get a foot in the door. And once you’re in, you wonder why you sweated all the blood for it. The pay is a pittance, even when you’ve made it. AND everyone hates you. I swear, tell people you are a journalist and they look at you like you are scum. Almost as bad as telling them you are a politician.

  6. Wine vinagar does taste different, otherwise it’s all just acid.
    A lot of children’s toys are made cheaply in sweat shops and I can imagine the poorly paid workers sabataging a few toys in spite at their conditions.
    Ne serious writer would prositute themself for nasty little publishing firms.

  7. I cook from scratch all the time. (Ugh! I will NOT buy anything premade except tomato sauce and garbanzo beans.) I use different vinegars for different meals and I really wouldn’t substitute some vinegars for others, depending on the meal. However, sometimes you really can’t tell the difference between vinegars when cooked. Admin911 has got to be kidding, right?

  8. Well there is a noticable differance between some vinegars but the rest are to make people feel cultured and special. Crappy toys are good for the fireplace so all power to em and what a fucking rip off.

  9. Yes, recipes that call for fancy vinegars are irritating–especially because you usually need just a tablespoon or so and an entire bottle costs $4.99 and then the recipe turns out terrible and you’re stuck with the bottle of pricey vinegar. And it’s not like you can go to the little old lady next door and ask for 2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar.

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