Thursday, March 24, 2011

ThingsThat IRK Me !

I'm feeling a bit cranky lately, so I thought maybe if I vented about some of the things that IRK me, I'd feel better.  And, maybe if this post does not BORE you to tears or TICK you off, you'll be kind enough to tell me what you think.
  1. At the top of my list is blog tours.  Is it just me, or does anyone else get very tired of going through their "reader" and finding (20) reviews for the very same book?  I understand the reason, but there seems to be so many tours lately, and new requests all the time: when a new book is released; when it comes out again in trade softcover.  Sometimes, it makes me NOT want to read the book, and just stick to the older books on my shelves, that no one has blogged about lately. What do think?
  2. Cheap people - I understand that money can be tight at times for all of us, but some people are takers, 99.9% of the time, and that just isn't right. the people who complain that they can't afford to donate time or money to charities, yet always seem to have enough money for vacations or are involved in other activities which require a time commitment. Also, people who take without asking.
  3. Packages jammed into our mailbox - Depending on who is delivering the mail, sometimes our mail person is just too lazy to go the extra step and put packages in the separate package mailbox. So what I get is books jammed into the smaller box, that are impossible to get out without sometimes tearing the wrapper.  How about when something says "do not bend", and it's curled in half when the mailbox is stuffed.....yeah, I know, I should really complain to the PO, and not to you.
  4. Pot Holes - Now, I have your attention, at least if you live in New England.  It makes me just a little nervous to drive over a bridge each day when I see craters in the road ahead.  I refuse to drive at night unless its absolutely necessary, as if I hit one of those nasty suckers, I may be stuck there all night before someone tows my car out of the hole.
  5. Politicians: all of them lately - give me a break. Cut the education budgets, cut aid to states, cities and towns, increase local taxes because of the cuts, but make sure those pork barrel line items continue to get approved year, after year, after year. (Republican, Democrat, Tea Partier - I see little difference).

Whew....that's it for today, I feel better already!
Thanks for listening


  1. We have an oversized mailbox so most of our packages can fit in it. Our mail carrier hates it when he has to get out of his car to bring something to the porch. It bugs me too. If no one got any mail, he'd be out of a job.

  2. Are blog tours effective? It would be interesting to get an industry insider's point of view on this, especially an author's. I know they're part of promotional packages but perhaps it would be better if the stops were spaced apart rather than concentrated in one day or week. Since it's been raining here nonstop - I agree that potholes are AWFUL!

  3. I don't have a reader, but I do very often see the same books reviewed on blogs which are on my blog lists. I tend not to read the more popular books, and so I rarely read them but I sure understand what you are saying. I'm always so thrilled to find someone writing about an Agatha book, or a really old book, as I just read here:

    My taste is so varied that I'm always tickled when someone else reads what I do.

    This is stealing plain and simple.

    And I've never heard of a package mailbox. I just have a big one, and if the package doesn't fit, the mail carrier drives it up the hill.

    I've been thinking for years of doing a posting on pot holes and frost heaves. I'm sure there are people who have never heard of such things. Lucky them!

    I don't like politics. Period. I don't read about news. I'd rather read blogs about books or gardens or food or read my own books. As Nero Wolfe would say 'pfui' on the whole political scene.

  4. I agree about blog tours. Hundred reviews of the same book in the same day make me less enthusiastic about the book!
    It seems politicians around the world are the same - I live in a different country but have the same thoughts about them as yours.

  5. What you said about politics and money is spot on! I don't hear them cutting useless programs, but those very usless programs are needed to line friends and supporters!

    I do really DISLIKE that pothole in our street!

  6. I know what you mean about jamming packages into a small mailbox. Thnkfully we have double doors so if I am lucky they will put it between the doors or a bin I have place for that putpose outside.

    As for potholes, you are not alone they are terrible here in Montreal. I hate driving.

    I agree with what you said about tours. Thankfully the ones I seem to be with only schedule x amount a week but agree its gets rather annoying seeing the same book reviewed on blogs with a day or so. Turns me off the book more then anything.

  7. I dislike the emails from publicists for people on blog tours.My blog specially says that I don't accept review books but I constantly get emails from people asking me to read their book for the blog tour

  8. I received reimbursement paperwork the other day for a business trip I took a month ago...$2700 worth of reimbursement charged to my credit card and posting interest every freaking day. The post office tore the entire envelope in half...put the pieces in a little baggie and apologized if they had "inconvenienced me in any way" GRRRRRRRR!!!! I somehow managed to stay calm but they just acted like it was no big deal...happens all the time :(

  9. I'm always having packages crammed into our mailbox which I hate.

    When it comes to blog book tours, I actually enjoy them and like participating but what I don't like is when there are a billion reviews up in my google reader before the book has even come out! I still haven't read Across the Universe because I was at first interested by already sick of it by the time it was released for example. However some of the books I am most interested in reading I have seen very few reviews for if any, and in a way that captures my interest more because I don't know what to expect.

  10. Kathy...what you said about the mail folks is so true. It is job security, and even those civil service jobs are not a given nowadays.

    Stephanie...I would be curious about stats as well. It does get the word out, but I know it turns more than a few bloggers off as well. The pothole situation and dodging them is really dangerous too IMO.

    Nan...I love those older reads as well. My goal is to read ALL of Rebecca DuMaurier's books.

    Misha...In some ways it is good to know the US is not the only country with crooked politicians. Thanks for taking the time to respond, and also for your feedback on blog tours.

    Sharon, yes indeed, granting all those favors gets them reelected.

    Cindy....we have double doors as well, but generally the USPS person is too lazy to come to the door unless it is a huge box, and they have no choice.

    Becky...yes, I don't think they even read our policy on reviews and tours, even when it is posted.

    Peppermint PHd....OMG, That is horrible, and it seems the PO has an excuse for everything:( make a good point about posting reviews BEFORE the book has been released. A bad review can really hurt an author, and it reviews really are JOO's.

    Thanks for all of your comments thus far; I appreciate the lively discussion.

  11. I read only one or two blogs about books - so, I keep missing the blog tours (which doesn't hurt my feelings any :) ).

    New England pot holes and frost heaves - oh, my - I often think I'm going to take the bottom of my car out!

    I'm lucky - we have a small store in our apartment building - and all the packages that are too big to go into the large mail boxes that we have.

    And, let's not even go there - with politicians!!! :)

  12. Oh you got me a couple of those! Our mailman jams all kinds of crap into our mailbox and so everything is bent! Also, CA is broke as a joke so all roads have potholes and there is no hope of fixing them for quite some time so I feel you there!

  13. I get the books jammed in also. They must all do it!

    And what about those people who dial their cell phones while driving, weaving all over and endangering everyone else? I hate, hate, hate that!!!

  14. #2, #3, and #4 bother me a lot, too, Diane! But I like blog tours (and often post on tours). They give readers a chance to read reviews from many perspectives and often have book giveaways as well. :)

  15. The blog tour thing...yeah, you're probably right. That's why I'm glad I'm behind on reviews, in a way. That way my review comes out way separate from all the others. =O) I've also been told by several authors, when I explain that there will be a delay if I review for them, that they prefer to spread things out to avoid over saturation. Actually makes sense, doesn't it?

    Don't get me started about people and money. I have people in my family who seem to be able to afford big ticket items like huge TVs and the like, but don't seem to have money for anything else...ugh! Let's get real here!

    When we have packages in the mail, the mailman leaves a key to the large mailboxes at the end (I live in apartments) so no problem with packages. But I did have this problem when I lived in my house.

    Potholes and politicians...aren't they one in the same? I'm in agreement on both here.

  16. I am with you on just about everything here, Diane! I participate in a small number of blog tours but do think that they're a bit overdone. I'm much happier when I see the list of participants is somewhere between 10-15 bloggers versus 20+. It just loses its impact when readers get sick of seeing the book.
    And my mailbox is fully open on the mailman's side but has a lip for the door on my side so he puts things in on his side that I literally can't get out from my side without mangling them. It drives me CRAZY!
    And potholes and politicians -- I'm sick of both of them.
    I hope your venting has helped!

  17. Sara...I'm glad u can relate to those nasty pot holes and frost heaves; I bet the car repair places have some conspiracy going on there...LOL seems all states are in horrible financial shape, yet we have money for every thing else.

    Jill, oh yes those people dialing cell phones while they drive...crazy. We just enacted a no texting law in out state, but of course some people don't realize that or care.

    Suko, I'm glad blog tours work for you. It is obvious some like them or there wouldn't be so many participating. It's just after reading so many reviews on the same book in the same week, I feel I know everything about the book, and there is no need to even read the book any longer.

    Michelle and Kristen...yes, I guess pot holes and politicians do have a lot in common after all...grinnnnn

  18. Oh.. don't even get me started on the mailbox issue! Instead of taking the extra few seconds to put my larger package in the large box and putting the key in my box, they stuff a book in my box and sometimes I have to really fight to get it out. Last summer I was so irate over this situation that I went to the Post Office and filed a complaint. I won't even waste my breath commenting on politicians :)

  19. Pot Holes, yep. I weave all over the lane to avoid them, and it's also quite effective in getting tailgaters to back off.

  20. Potholes irk me too! I just got a 'new' car and I cringe every time I go over potholes because I don't want to throw it out of alignment or pop a tire.

  21. By principle, I only check out first 2-3 reviews of any book that I see a lot on blogs - tour or not. I do tours, but when I read reviews of books on tour, I like not to know that the book was on a tour. I'm not sure why, I think it's just me. Some bloggers (incl me), put the tour details at the bottom, so that's effective. Seeing the same book over and over doesn't really bother me in one selfish sense - I rarely get time to go through my reader, so sometimes it's just easier that way. (Yeah, I know that's a bit selfish.)

  22. That's funny because I figured when I finally get a book published I will do a blog tour, but then I realized I've never actually read the posts from a blog tour. I guess they aren't very effective with me.
    I think I'm pretty stingy with my money -- I give to the local YMCA and the NPR station, but I don't usually take fabulous vacations. My husband donates his time to the Nature Conservancy and Habitat for Humantity. He's an admirable person.
    Potholes are bad here in Ohio too, but the mail carriers are great. Ours has to walk up 24 steps to get to our mailbox.
    Politicians -- I keep hoping someday that someone will choose to do the right thing.

  23. I solved the mailbox issue by buying a HUGE mailbox. Almost anything and everything I get in the mail can fit in there.

    I hear you about the politicians and potholes..I live in Wisconsin..need I say more.

  24. I have a new irk to add to the mail carriers. I have been living in my house for two years now and I still get mail from the previous owners, despite the fact that I continually put them back in the box with return to sender on them. Now this may not be a post office thing and more the previous owner thing, but it still irks me every time I have find yet another piece of mail that is not mine!

    I also agree with you on both the blog tours and all politicians.

    I feel better, hope your venting helped!

  25. Oh dear. I am sorry you are unhappy with all these things. Can I send you a cupcake to cheer you up!

  26. I like blog tours and I'll tell you why. To me it's almost like a little book club reading the same book and I like to go back after I've read it and see what the others thought and comment especially if the book was talk worthy.

    Now the potholes are a whole other story. We have some so big - one was measured at 5 feet ling the other day. It's ridiculous. Too much thawing and freezing this winter. The thing is they'll still be fixing them when winter cinema again.

    Top on my list of tick offs for the day is that it is stills knowing ever so lightly here and it's cold! I want spring already!

    Have a good weekend Diane!

  27. My mail lady is fantastic about that. She always brings the mail to the house. Could be because we went to school together? ;o) She also loves her job, that could be a factor as well.

    I've got the potholes all mapped out to avoid them, but each day a new one appears. UGH!!

  28. My mail carrier sometimes doesn't even bother puttiing book packages in the mailbox at all and just leaves them on my porch to be rained or snowed on. sigh. As to potholes, they are so huge in Minneapolis right now that they have become canyons and the city is saying no money to fix them. I suppose it is one way to cut down on traffic.

  29. Wowsers! i agree with everything that irks you. they all irk me at times.

    potholes SUCK, we have way too many around my house!
    politicians always irk me, ALWAYS!

    MY mailman leaves my packages in the puddles sometimes. THAT irks me.

    BLOR TOURS I'm generally okay with. I know what you mean though. I just like the opportunity to read some of the great books. I do say no a lot though because, quite frankly, I can't keep up!

    BTW, if you got Amaryllis in Blueberry from S&S, I recommend it. I just got done reading it!

  30. Those were good ones fur sure! I'm partial to #5, they are the best case for spay and neuter ever!

  31. Last year my mailbox kept getting knocked down by the snowplows... and when there's no box, no mail. (I could write my own rant on this one.) The county installed a new box but didn't put it close enough to the road so the mailman left a note saying he wouldn't deliver unless it got moved. About that time I started having deliveries go to my work address. Eventually it got corrected and there is now a protective barrier in front of the box to protect the poor thing from the plows. Yes, it snows that much in Chicago and plows drive way too fast. I'm not even going to start on potholes.

    I have come to the conclusion that all politicians play the same game they are just on different teams ... kind of like the NFC and the AFC football leagues. And none can be believed or trusted.

  32. I hear ya sister! Absolutely agree with everything you said!

  33. 1. I also get very tired of seeing review after review for the same book. It's getting to the point where I am considering not reading most of those blogs any more. I already skip over reading the multiple reviews. I can't say the blog tours work for me because of the high annoyance factor.

    3. After spending 5 minutes recently trying to get a book out of our box (when none of the package mailboxes were being used) I DID call the post office to complain. Our mailperson had to come back and take the book out of the box. He brought it right up to my door and apologized. I will always complain from now on when a book is jammed in there.

    4. Pot holes! I live in fear for my tires, rims, and whole suspension system during this time of the year. Some of the holes are craters!

  34. I participate in blog tours and I agree that it definitely becomes overwhelming to see the same book featured everywhere. But, it actually ends up making me take note of the book, then motivates me to me start looking around at new commenters to peek at their blog.
    Mailbox cramming drives me NUTS.

  35. love this post! I try not to do tours and to be honest... I don't really accept books anymore so I'm reading what I want to read. I have noticed that it's the same blogs doing the book tours... Totally understand your view here.

    I have the nicest mailman I have every had, he waves to me. knocks on the door. He's a talker. love him!

    I have been trying to get my husband to donate. He says that's what his taxes are for (ugh).

    Politicans drive me crazy too.... things are really screwed up right now. I listen to the right and the left... interesting to hear both sides (no solutions)

  36. Wow! You must feel better now--you had a lot to get off your chest! I'm with you on the pot holes; they are terrible here as well. Makes driving very dangerous. I'm with you on the politicians. I'm just sick of all of them refusing to bend or compromise. Oh no; now you've got me all fired up, too!

  37. Hi Diane,

    Sounds like you have a real case of the blues, although you are not on your own. Just trying to get through a normal day is a challenge in itself and it is so easy to get annoyed with silly things.

    I have so many books in my TBR mountain, that I am always reading books that are several months if not years out of date, so my blog probably isn't that interesting to many people, although I'm happy with my reading material.

    I volunteer almost full time for my local hospice charity shop and do get fed up with people who seem to think that I'm some strange sort of being from another planet, although they are inside the shop telling me this, so I'm not sure who they think would help them if I was not there.

    In the UK the postman delivers direct to front door in most cases and we have letter boxes in our doors. Consequently the letter boxes are not very large, so the postman either breaks the letter box trying to force the mail through, or just leaves a card telling us that we need to go to our local sorting office to collect the package.

    Pot holes like craters in many of our roads and no money to fix them. I feel most sorry for cyclists, who stand no chance of even seeing them, let alone avoiding them, in the dark.

    Politicians!!!!! Not even going to go there !!!!!!

    Loved the post LOL


  38. Lynda, glad to hear my mail person is not out to get me personally:)

    Charley, good point about all of the weaving around potholes, keeping the tailgaters father behind...LOL

    April, potholes and new cars are a nasty combination.

    Aths, I'm happy tours work for you, I know they serve a purpose.

    Paulita, How great that your husband in so into volunteering; I think that is admirable. You mail person sounds like a gem.

    Beth, OMG...we've been keeping tabs on what those politicians have put people from WI through! My sympathies.

    Jan, Thanks...I do feel better. Sorry to hear u have mail issues as well.

    Viv...YES YES YES, please send me a cupcake! Thanks

    Dar, Happy tours work for you; perhaps I've missed something ?

    Nise, Lucky you to have an award-worth mail person. I am jealous.

    Stefanie, sounds like we have a lot of the same gripes.

    Michelle, glad you and others can relate to my issues...LOL

    Brian, LOL LOL LOL...."You got that right"!!!

    Leslie, this was not a good winter for roadside mail boxes for sure.

    Bree, Thanks so much

    Lori,...I am glad to hear that you and others also have issues with multiple reviews, at the same time for the same book as well

    Coffee & Book Chick, Good point about discovering new blogs through tours. Since I don't follow tours, I missed that.

    Mari, you are so lucky to have a great mail person. So glad you enjoyed my post.

    Lisa, YES YES YES...I am much happier after my rant.

    Yvonne, Don't think I have the blues, but just a hair up my butt perhaps. Now that I ranted I feel much, much better.

  39. Well I see you got a bazillion long comments from others who are irked too. That would reallly get me if people took my stuff at work. That is so not right. And I do find with blog tours that I'll start skimming after the third or fourth one. And if you have a separate package mailbox, I'd be reallly mad! Glad this helped you feel better.

  40. LOVE the new look of your blog!

    I would have to agree about the potholes. I think Michigan has the distinction (one of many negative distinctions) of having the WORST roads in the country.

    I can add sooooooooo many more gripes to your list but it is 10pm...if I start....I will get myself worked up before I go to bed and I don't want to do that! :)

  41. Nothing like a good rant! Hope you feel better.

    I'm totally with you on #1. I blog about older books and I know that makes my blog less popular. But honestly, I love when a see an old book blogged about or an obscure book.


  42. I don't do blog tours, but I an't say they bother me a great deal...
    not like those mailbox incidents!
    my mailman seems to have an issue with packages. and closing the lid of the mailbox and yes, it bother me because this is his job!
    and the post office wants to know why their business is declining...because of your poor attitude maybe?

  43. Here in Vermont I feel that there are more potholes than regular road! It's awful this year. I also hate it when packages are shoved into mailboxes. I don't want my brand new book to be all bent with wrinkled pages. I also agree with you about cheap people. If every adult donated an hour a month of their time, think of all the things that could accomplished. One hour a month is not too much to ask.

  44. ugh, blog tours. really, really tiresome. don't even get me started!

  45. Yes, boo to potholes! There are a ton of them where I live, and they're deep. We don't have a mailbox (just a mail slot), but I swear the UPS guy just tosses packages from his truck to our front porch, which is up an entire flight of steps. As for blog tours...I kind of agree. I understand the point, and I'll read a review or two, but eventually I just skip them. Sometimes I'll read a really popular book and just not bother posting a review, just because there are so many out there already. I'm with you on reading older books.

  46. Pot holes are one of the few things I don't miss about New England along with having to get the under carriage of the car washed frequently to get the salt off.

    I would have put politicians as number one irk maker. Makes my blood boil to see what has happened to this country.

  47. WonderBunny has left a new comment on your post "Revolution; Jennifer Donnelly":

    I am looking forward to reading this one, just haven't gotten to it yet. All I've heard is good things though and your review only reinforces that. Great review!

  48. Jenner...yes, I don't understan why some think the work frig is their own personal cafeteria like...gezzz. And, yes we do have large (separate) mailboxes for packages at our condo complex, but sometimes the mail person is too lazy to leave the key so they jam it in the smaller box.

    Caren, thanks for the blog compliment, and I'm guessing many of our states are in the sam pot hole hell this spring sadly.

    Monica, glad we see "eye to eye" :)

    Caite, the USPS has become quite lazy in the last 10 years (IMO) and they wonder why they are in trouble.

    Nan, Love your idea of donating (1 hr) of time each month. WHO does not have (1) hour??

    Marie, "amen sister"!

    Erin, sounds like you could use a good rant as well - we do have similar feeling here.

    Kaye, yes, lets not get started on the "one hand washes the other" politician mindset.

  49. I love my regular mailman! If he has a package or packages that don't fit in the mailbox, he rings my bell so that I can get them from him or leaves the package on the back stoop (in plastic if the weather is inclement). The substitute mailman .. well, HE'S a different story - so much so that I've actually complained to the post office .. three times. He won't even take packages OUT of the mailbox to deliver them; he stuffs whatever mail he has right beside them and has refused to take them even when I've walked them out to him after he's left them ("I'll come back for it" my patootie, since he doesn't).

    I'm also exceedingly tired of our politicians, taking from well-deserved programs and from low-and-mid-level workers to give tax breaks to the wealthiest people and corporations. They don't seem to get that their purpose is to represent the "people" whose votes put them in office, not the few whose big dollar contributions funded their campaigns.

    Blog tours - I will participate if they are stretched out, but decided a while ago not to participate in any that have tons of blogs doing the same thing on the same day.

    Takers? We're surrounded by 'em ... the trick is not to let them take from you.

  50. I see I'm late to the game and everyone pretty much covered all I could possibly say!!!

    1- Politicians shouldn't get to stay beyond 4 years. They should leave with no pension and no health care...funny how they don't have to do SS and they've opted out of Obama care!!

    2- I can see your point about blog tours but I think the problem is with reviewers. I don't want someone telling me everything about the damn book...just tell me if you liked it or not and why..let me find out the rest for myself!! when a review is too in-depth I pass it up and read the last paragraph..that usually tells me what I'm looking for.

    3- My mail lady is a gem!! Love her.

    4- POT HOLES..OMG!! Don't get me started, especially if you have to venture Detroit way on I-94....your car will drop into some of those holes and you'll never be heard from again!!LOL!!

    Hope your bad mood has been lifted!!! :)

  51. Julie....yes, I guess we have all had our share of bad mail people, and the "takers" in society...LOL

    Staci....I knew you would make me LOL with your comment on this post and you did. It's too late at night to get me ranting again on POLUTITIONS...LOL

  52. Wow, this is obviously a post that has touched a nerve. :) Lots of fun comments to read.

    We have a wonderful mailman who delivers large packages to our door with a smile. He's an older gentleman though, so I'll be curious to see if we get the same wonderful treatment from someone else once he retires.

    My biggest irk is the lack of school funding which is forcing the schools to cut jobs and school days and increase class sizes (one teacher predicted 40 kids per class next year for the grade school - I hope not).

    My other biggest irk is the poorly designed and dangerous parking lot at our school. Half of the entrance to the parking lot is the crosswalk (perpendicular to the lot), leaving only one lane for cars going in and out. Even worse there are many idiot parents who park their cars in that lane while waiting for their kids so you can't get in and out (and there are empty spots in the parking lot, so it's not like they don't have a place to park). Then you add in all the kids using the crosswalk to enter the parking lot and you've got a nightmare. And the school won't do anything about it.

  53. I don't mind blog tours so much if they stagger the dates a bit. Some have bloggers post all on the same day, which is silly (IMO).

    Pot holes? We have one pot hole that is a result of a broken water line and what does the county do? They patch it up...without fixing the leak. It has been patched 4 times in 6 weeks and it keeps getting bigger and bigger and water is still pouring out. I fear for my life everytime I drive over it (think:sink hole) but if I don't take that road, I have to add another 30 min to my commute time. Oh yeah, and it's been reported.

  54. Sometimes it's the everyday stuff that just drives you 'round the bend. Several of these grievances sound much like rants I've had recently. :) Hope venting made you feel at least a bit better.

  55. Alyce...That certainly sounds like an unsafe situation for children at your childrens school. Scary too.

    Ti....Sounds like a huge waste of time, $$ and resources, and just plain foolish to patch the road over and over without fixing the cause..LOL

    Dave and Tami...Absolutely! I think some days I am able to brush off IRKS better than on other days...LOL

  56. I'm glad you feel better. YAY! My mail carriers are very good to me. I leave them a treat now and then.

    I'm not a big fan of blog tours. We don't have potholes where we live, but crimeny--the construction! On streets that were brand new maybe 5 years ago. Now they dig them up to put in a new pipe or something. They couldn't think ahead? Job security.

  57. I feel you for the mailbox one. To avoid headaches, I don't allow anything to be sent to my address in Penang. The mailbox is so small, my books won't fit. I send it to my brother's office instead and each time I go home to Kuala Lumpur, I collect my goodies. :D

  58. Our mailman has always done a good job with packages. He will just drop them on our front step. Its covered by a breezeway so unless the weather is AWFUL they are fine, and that way they don't get squished into the box.

    Blog tours...hmmm I've done some and enjoyed them. But I do prefer when the number of reviewers is small and the reviews are spread out.

    On charities and giving...I wish people did more, but it's easy just to brush off requests for help. Once you find a charity or organiztion that you are passionate about it, its amazing how wonderful helping others can make you feel!


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