2-27-12 Monday (Distorted Views)

Continuing yesterday’s blog post first… I had a 2:30 flight out of the Greenville/Spartanburg International Airport.  Jim and I chose to fly with Allegiant because it was about $100 cheaper.   

Just passed the NC/SC state line, I exited I85 for some gas and lunch.  On the off ramp was a beaver!  It waddled/scurried or whatever is appropriate to describe a beaver’s movement across the road.  It was pretty cool.  I’ve already heard many a beaver joke (from my status post on Facebook) so feel free to add to ‘em.

I stopped off a Pilot gas station that also had a Wendy’s inside.  I really, really hate to say this but there are some ugly and stupid sounding folks in South Carolina.  By the way, in case I haven’t insulted any of my readers, let me add a few more cities to that list: Little Rock, Arkansas; Rock Hill, South Carolina; various places in Alabama; and some others.  The white trash I saw in this Wendy’s was crazy.  I should have snuck some photos in but I may have still been in beaver shock.  I’m not going to say that it’s every person in those cities because I know it’s not.

I got to the airport fairly early.  The line for ticketing check in was quite long.  Once through the security check point I went to the gate.  The airport is very small but nice enough.  We boarded the plane eventually and I had to sit way in the back.  The turbulence throughout most of the hour and 20 minute flight sucked.  The flight attendants couldn’t use their beverage cart but rather we had to use the call button if we wanted a beverage.  That part was no big deal though.

Arrival at the Punta Gorda airport was certainly interesting.  We had to deplane on the tarmac.  When walking up to the building, auto doors opened revealing people waiting for us to deplane so they could board.   It was kind of strange having all of these people right at the entrance.  After walking passed the crowd, bam, I was at the luggage carousel.  Briefly, I wondered, am I at the right carousel.  A quick look around revealed I was at the only one.  One plane and it seemed like it took forever for the luggage to come off.  I got my rental and hit the road for a 35 minute drive to my parent’s house in Fort Myers.


Mom and I had some tea together, Dad arrived and off to dinner we went.  TGI Friday’s.  My meal was good.  Weight Watchers?  Uh, not so much right now.  When I get back, definitely.

I did get a call from one of the managers of Adams Homes on Friday.  It was a voicemail with apologies and an offer for a meeting.  I was probably on the plane when he called.  I’m happy I got a call back at least.  I guess my bitchy letter got through?

On Saturday I met up with friends, Mike & Dave and David, for lunch at a favorite local restaurant, Oasis.  We then walked around downtown Fort Myers where since I’ve been gone they’ve done a nice job of revitalizing it.  It had been dying for so many years.

2012-02-25 020Above: They recently adopted 2 Sun Conures (gorgeous!) and 2 dogs.

2012-02-25 014Above: Mike

2012-02-25 006Above: Dave & Mike

2012-02-25 009Above: Me, Mike & Dave

2012-02-25 010Above: Mike, Dave & David

2012-02-25 013Above: Moi.

Meanwhile, back in Charlotte, Jim supervised the drywall dudes.  He also worked on getting plywood laid down in the attic to accommodate more Christmas crap décor.

At dinner, my cousin came over and my Dad barbequed burgers, steaks and hot dogs.  Yum!  My cousin and I had some fun with my camera phone:

2012-02-26 026Above: Me & my grandmother

2012-02-25 017Above: Cousin Carissa

2012-02-25 019Above: Me

2012-02-25 102Above/Below: Cousin Carissa2012-02-25 104

2012-02-25 108Above: Cousin Carissa

2012-02-26 022Above: Grandmother

2012-02-26 023Above: Aunt Donna

2012-02-26 025Above: Mom

On Sunday I went with my aunt Donna and mom to visit my grandmother in the nursing home.  She immediately touched my belly and commented on it.  Thanks.  I wasn’t aware it was huge.  She’s always done that.  She’ll just speak her mind but I guess at 90 she can.

2012-02-26 018Above: Aunt Donna, my mom and Grandmother.

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Mom and dad’s newest cats. Cookie (above) and Oreo (below)

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For dinner I treated my parents to dinner at Cantina Laredo for their birthday.  Yes, I said THEIR birthday and I no I didn’t mean anniversary.  My mom and dad have the same birthday, 1 year apart. 

On the day of my departure (Monday), Dad went to work meanwhile Mom, me and Aunt Donna went to breakfast at Perkins.   I left extra early for the airport so I could get an “early seating” during their open seating.  They board in groups according to when you checked in.  Getting off the plane faster doesn’t really matter since the luggage seems to take forever to get to the carousel.  I’d rather stand around waiting for the luggage than sitting on that damn plane.  I don’t enjoy flying.  It’s cramped, noisy, and usually warm.

I scored on the seat.  I’m in row 16 of 2,458.  I’m not sure how it’s counted as 16.  It’s more like 10th row but whatever.  I also snagged a window seat.  It’s 3 to a row and there’s no one next to me.  Just a guy on the aisle seat and me.  Go me. 

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Why does half the plane stand up after landing and taxiing?  I mean, everyone knows it takes forever before you can even get off the plane.

Speaking of air travel, how do these flight attendants constantly smile?  It’s obviously their job but I think it’s a skill… really. 

When I bought my laptop, I got a huge screen and keyboard setup.  You know, the one with a numerical keypad off to the side?  The laptop is too large to actually use on the plane.  I can’t open the lid with a good viewing angle so I just have to suffer.  I know, there’s poor kids riding airplanes without laptops.

Speaking of laptops, it’s been acting weird.  It will show 100% battery life then after 10 minutes maybe 90%.  Next thing I know it shuts down with 5% battery.  What happened to the other 85%?

I was thinking about all the friends I didn’t get to see while in Florida.  The best I can do is invite everyone to Charlotte!  A few days isn’t a long visit but I got to see my family and that was what the trip was about.

Right now we’re flying through a lot of clouds which means some turbulence and a lot of white.

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I look forward to being home with Jim, Dasher and Clea.  I miss my bed too.  My parent’s guest bed had a swale in it.  I also end up inconveniencing my mom.  She typically sleeps in the guest bedroom cause my dad snores and with her med problems, she doesn’t sleep restfully.  Since they only have 1 guest room, she’d start off in the bedroom with my dad and eventually migrate to a couch.

My mom will be coming to visit me right after Easter.  We’ve been talking my Aunt Donna to coming as well.  My mom will probably stay for 3 weeks and my aunt for just one.  I think it will be good for my aunt to get away.  We have two guest rooms across the hall from one another so there’s plenty of room.  While my aunt is in town, her and my mom can take little road trips or whatever.  Maybe even visit my aunt in Myrtle Beach.

2-24-12 Friday (Gripe 4 Of Unknown)

Warning: This post is filled with unspeakable (yet writable) rants.

Rant Animated 1

You may remember that the drywall people didn’t show up Saturday.  I emailed the warranty coordinator on Saturday. 

“Misty, I sat in my house on Saturday from 8 till 1pm and no one showed up.  You and your subs make me very angry.  Shall I erect a sign in my front yard warning potential buyers?  Shall I call the Better Business Bureau?  Do I need a lawyer?  Magnetic signs on my vehicle?   Do I need to call the news media?  What do I need to do to get my home fixed?    Does Adams Homes care?

I'm so angry right now... really you have no idea.  I believe you should escalate my concerns to your project manager.  As many problems as I've had and not one single call or acknowledgement from management.  Just you.  I'd like the name and the address of Adams Homes President.  I'd like the phone number for the corporate office.”

It was now Wednesday and still no call or reply from Adams.  I swapped with a coworker today to get to a dentist appointment so I had some time to call Adams.  I prefer email for documentation but what else can I do?  I spoke with Sonya, explained a little of the situation and she said she’d have Ted, the supervisor, call me.  By Thursday morning, no call.  I called and spoke with Dana.  She said Ted left early sick yesterday and was out sick today.  What, and he didn’t think to have her call me back and explain that knowing I was so pissed and stewing over the situation?  I asked for Ted’s boss.  She said she’d have Chris call me when he got in.  At 11:23am I get an email from Misty:

“I am really sorry for the mix up again and I am sure you are tired of the excuses.  I was out Monday and Tuesday and Sonya told me she had taken a message from you for Ted to call you back and now he is out sick.  I did talk to F& Painters this morning to see what happened to drywall on Sat and she said she had you on schedule for this coming Sat by mistake.  We had confirmed last week but she must have been looking at her calendar wrong.  She says they can still be there this Sat if you are willing to let them try again.  I have let Ted know and Dana left a message for my General Manager this morning.  Again, I am sorry for the delay in getting your home finished and if you will please let me know about this coming Sat the 25th.”

What about an email “out of office” auto reply?  C’mon people.  AND as of Friday morning, no call from Ted or Ted’s boss, Chris.  I’ve not been supplied any information I requested as far as corporate or anything.

I temporarily replied to Misty that Jim would be home this weekend.  This morning (Friday morning), I let loose through another email:

Misty, sometimes I don't necessarily mind excuses when they come with an apology.  I will tell you though that I think you should have used an "out of office" reply and if your company doesn't have that capability then that's another whole issue in itself.  When I called Wednesday and Spoke with Sonya and gave her a tid bit about what had happened, she never said anything about you not being in... that may have diffused the situation.  Then, adding more to the problems, I asked for a call back from Ted and never received one.  It wasn't until I called back on Thursday morning when Dana said that Ted had left early and called in sick the following day.  Wouldn't it have been very professional for Ted to tell Sonya to call me and explain the situation or perhaps for Sonya to make that decision on her own.  Overall I got that feeling that Dana didn't like that suggestion so I asked to speak with Ted's boss.  She said she'd have Chris call me.  That was Thursday morning.  You then email me.  I still haven't received the information I wanted.  Corporate office, owner email, whatever.  Here I am, Friday morning and still no call from Chris or Ted.  Did they stamp this as resolved and not bother?

I haven't been seeking compensation.  Hell, when all this started I complained about drywall dust all over the place and you offered to have professional cleaners come in.  I haven't and probably won't bother with that offer but I do thank you for it.   I wasn't looking for compensation.  I've been in customer service many, many years and I know those people who always wanted me to comp them for their troubles.  I'm not like that.  I've been looking for swift repairs, quality repairs and great customer service and haven't received that.  I can't believe upper management, be it Ted, a zone manager, or anyone else hasn't picked up the phone thanking me for my $165,000 business and apologize for all of this mess.  3 water leaks, plumbers who contradict one another, and flaky sub-contractors.  And yet again, the caulking in the master shower is split for the 3rd or 4th time.  Really.  Are these people licensed?

Have you seen the poor quality of workmanship from the painters you employ?  My door trims look like they are 20 years old and have been painted and repainted and painted.  Paint boogers, dented wood all painted over AND that's how we bought this house. We rejected the most obvious and accepted the rest.  Foolish me to accept this house as is.  Do you know that we were running out of contract time and because we were too picky Adam's wasn't quite sure if they'd extend our contract or not?  Am I bitter?  You betcha. I had to go round and round with Michelle Snyder.  Sure, we were ready to walk away from it too.

What do I want?  At this point, I want this thread of emails forwarded to Wayne Adams, Ted, and Chris.  Based on past behaviors, I suspect Ted and Chris will shrug their shoulders and hit the delete button.  As for Mr. Adams, I'm not quite sure what he'll do.

"Quality... the ultimate sacrifice"

That last bit about Quality/sacrifice is a play on their slogan, “Price… the ultimate amenity”.  Crafty, aren't I?


There might be more on all of this before I publish.  For now, We’ll move on to Tuesday.  I realized that I didn’t get a credit for the pillow cases I returned to Chad at the Sleep Number store so I called them (during business hours) and got a voicemail.  I gave all the information on the recording.

Our friend Beth was in the hospital for blood clots in the lungs.  With a couple of days in the hospital, and some blood thinners, she’ll be recovered in no time at all.  She was happy to see us.  While I’ve never had to stay overnight in a hospital, I certainly understand it can get boring and lonely.

imageAfterwards for dinner we went to Red Robin.  Now since I’m on a roll about service, I have a complaint about the visit at Red Robin tonight.  When Jim ordered his meal he asked for a side of Ranch (for his sweet potato fries).  When the meal came it was missing the Ranch.  Sometimes I understand that the food runner didn’t know about the side of something however this was delivered by our server.  Forgot something?  No problem.  BUT when I remind you of a necessary condiment that was ordered at the beginning such as mayo, ketchup or what have you, know that it’s because we require it to enjoy our meal to the fullest of satisfaction rather than just because we think it will look real purdy on the table or because we like to watch your ass as you sashay across the floor or even because it’s not really for our food but rather a quirky beverage.  So when we remind you of the missing item, I fully expect you move your ass quickly to accommodate us rather than getting us a refill on beverages first, stopping by to check another table or otherwise.  Oh, and it definitely doesn’t exonerate you to stop by our table twice and mention that you’re going to go get the said missing item.  Bitch please, do your job.  I’m sad to say because the rest of the service was good and she was sweet, she was tipped 15-20% and perhaps I should have at least told her what I had thought about her priorities. 

imageI couldn’t possibly have more to bitch about in one week… could I?  Oh, but contraire!  You know me too well.  Remember, on Tuesday evening I called Sleep Number dude and left a message.  Wednesday passed, no return call from Sleep Number dude.  Thursday evening I call him.  He answers.  “Hi Chad, my name is Garret, did you get my voicemail from the other day?”  “No, I was off a couple of days.”  I go on to tell him that I hadn’t realized the pillow case credit was missing.  He apologized, took care of it and we moved on.  What I wanted to say was “So you were off.  You’ve worked there for hours and hours today and didn’t call me back especially on a message 2 days old?  Not only did you not call me back but you didn’t even check your messages.”

imageWhile we’re still talking about Thursday and customer service, even my own company has a lot of customer service issues.  I get a call from a customer.  He selected the wrong auto option and came to me.  He explained about a letter he received.  I explained he wasn’t in the right place but rather than just forward him I’d make sure he was in the correct place AND I’d explain what he told me so he wouldn’t have to retell his story.  He was delighted.  That’s customer service.  So I call the number he originally called and because it’s within the company it automatically bypasses the menu system (smart system I guess) and I get some ho on the line.   In the middle of explaining what’s going on she cuts me off and asks for the account number.  I don’t have it.  She says put him on.  I said no, not till I explain the situation so that the client doesn’t have to AND I make sure you are the person to help him.  She was quiet enough that I thought she had hung up on me but she didn’t.  Lucky ho.

OK this email has been filled with gripes.  I think I’ll just publish as is and continue a new post later.

Today (Friday), I depart for Fort Myers, Florida to visit with my family.  Perhaps I’ll blog some more on the plane, in the airport, or whatever.


2-19-12 Sunday (Pinching A Loaf)

On Friday, Jim departed Charlotte for a long weekend in Florida with his family!  I’m a bachelor for the weekend.
To start my Saturday, I was stood up by the dry wall guy.  Adams Homes said between 8-12; I waited until 1.  I have no one to call so I had to fire off an email to the warranty coordinator.  I’m sick of all this crap.  Poor workmanship.  Poor customer service. 
The Sleep Number In Balance sheets we bought at the end of December are pilled.  They are also too large for the bed.  Why would you design your mattress so thin and your sheets so thick?  They go on nice but then in the morning they are all bunched up.  It’s too bad really since they were so soft.  They also offered some sort of temperature regulating technology built in which is why we bought them.  You could actually feel the difference when touching the sheets versus another fabric.  I really shouldn’t have ever bought them since their return policy is crappy.  I’m hoping that since I purchased a $3000 bed from them that they’ll do me right and refund me.
In the meantime, I researched sheets and it seemed as though Wamsutta Dream Zone sheets from Bed Bath and Beyond did well.  $200 less a 20% off coupon (that would be $40 off, you’re welcome).  I braved the mall.  The Concord Mills Mall is CRAZY all the time.  I swear it’s like Christmas every weekend.  The interstate exit gets backed up, then It took several light changes by the mall to get in, then it’s a traffic nightmare of who has the right of way.  Incoming traffic has right of way and it’s posted for them to keep moving but people miss the signs so they stop.  The people at the stop sign decide to go because the others erroneously stopped.  Horns are honking, near misses are narrowly avoided, it’s a friggin’ mess.  After driving up and down several rows looking for a spot, I finally parked in what I believe to be a foreign country.  I surely expected to see currency conversion machines and border patrol.  I diligently hiked to the mall entrance. 
imageNow some back story.  The other day, Jim bought a Living Social coupon for Coldstone Creamery.  What I didn’t know is that it’s only good at the Coldstone in the mall.  Back story complete.  So I’m walking to the mall and decide to check email to pass the time at Customs while walking.  I see an email from Living Social saying we redeemed the Coldstone coupon and asking for our opinion about it.  So me being a smartass, texts Jim “How was Coldstone?”.  I figured he’d wonder how I knew.  He didn’t go there and it’s only good for the mall location (he’s in FL).  So we get to talking on the phone.  We kind of panicked that perhaps someone hacked our account.  After lunch I figured I go over to Coldstone and inquire.  Maybe they punched in the wrong coupon number?  Jim called Living Social, they checked with Coldstone.  Apparently they were a little overwhelmed and frazzled and goofed but it was corrected.  It was all just weird that I happen to be in the mall when it occurred.  So I finished typing all that and thought to myself, self, I often call myself that, does anyone really care?  My alternate voice told me not to listen to my primary voice so I published it anyway.  Thanks for your support.
I washed the new sheets and the old sheets and I guess I’ll brave the mall once again to make a return.  I don’t remember which entrance to the mall is closest to the Sleep Number store so I decided to browse the Android Application market where I found a Simon Mall App.  Look at all the options there are.  Will it help?  Not sure, but I’ll let ya know.
Mall App
Sunday: I’m back.  The application was helpful.  The screen shot is from the Android Market; I’m not in Indianapolis. 
I went to the Select Comfort, Sleep Number store and had to wait a while for the manager to break free.  He (Chad) cheerfully gave me a refund on the sheets, no hassle despite being over 30 days.  While he and his saleswoman were handling potential customers, I chimed in about how much I liked the bed.  Maybe that helped?
I did some more grocery shopping today, made meatloaf and clean bathrooms.  Well, I also played a video game.
imageAbove: Turkey meatloaf ingredients (ground turkey, turkey sausage, egg, garlic, cheese crumbles, stuffing, catsup, chopped onion, and a little milk.
imageAbove: Pinching  loaf: I made 4 mini loaves.  More than enough for 2.  3 go into the freeze.  Yummy!

2-12-12 Sunday (Blizzard Of 2012)

Snow tubing!  Since last month’s snow tubing adventure was a flop, Jim suggested we give it a try with a first time visit to Winterplace which is a ski/tubing resort in West Virginia.  Jim calculated the trip to be about 3 hours each way.  Doable*. 

2012-02-12 016Above: A lackluster motto.

2012-02-12 001Above/Below: There were so many great dilapidated barns and silos.  I just love ‘em.2012-02-12 002


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2012-02-12 004Above: One of two tunnels.  We were glad we weren’t in the motorhome!

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Are we there yet? Yes.

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Above:  Winterplace parking lot.  It was COLD!  Long johns, multi-layers, gloves, snow pants… we were ready!

2012-02-12 015Above: I’m on my way up to the top of the slope via the “carpet lift”.

2012-02-12 008Above: Other tubers waiting on the carpet lift.

2012-02-12 009Above: Jim and I.

2012-02-12 010Above: The line to grab a tube and get on the carpet lift.

2012-02-12 012Above: Jim on the tube, coming in for a landing.

2012-02-12 014Above: Jim rides the carpet lift to the top again.

Despite some annoyances, we had a fantastic time.  AND yes, I’m going to complain anyway.  It’s what I do:

Rant Cloud Animated - FastThis place only had one slope as opposed to the 4 that Hawk’s Nest has.  At this place you don’t keep your tube, you constantly turn it in at the bottom, wait in a line and grab another one, ride the carpet lift to the top and then slide down.  The lanes stayed very empty yet the line for a tube stayed full.  At one point they got more tubes and opened the other carpet lift to make the line go faster.  The problem with the lanes being empty was two problems.  The first, not enough tubes.  The second is kids waiting for 3-4 lanes in a row to be empty so they could race one another.  This place is $32 for 4 hours.  We were there for 3.  It was poorly run.

Next time we may need some extra face protection.  The wind combined with the snow machine made it brutal.  It was surely blizzard-like conditions.

*Between the stop for lunch, stop for dinner and extra drive time, we got home much later than anticipated.  It was close to 9:30 pm.  We had to call on Dasher’s Uncle Mike and Uncle Billy to let Dasher out.

2-10-12 Friday (Working The Phones With Speech Impediments)

On Sunday, we finished cleaning up from the party.  Although it was late, we actually had everything washed and put back to normal at the end of the party.  Sunday was mostly about putting returning clean items to cabinets, grocery shopping and other errands.

So, for our next party I’d like to do a “white trash” theme.  I’ve found so many websites with décor, food, beverage and costume ideas.  What’s your suggestion?  You know, like pink flamingoes on the lawn, spam for food…

imageThursday sucked.  I swapped shifts with a coworker so I could have step 1 of 2 in the root planing/tooth scaling process done.  As typical we started with half my mouth, numbing, scraping, rinsing, blotting, etc.  I’ve had the process done several times over the years and this was the first time my front teeth hurt even 2 days later.  Not throbbing or anything like that, just no chewing using my front teeth.  The hygienist warned me although naturally I wonder if something went wrong.  I’m typing this up on Saturday morning and it was difficult to chew an English Muffin.  Anyway, after the procedure I went to work.  Since half my mouth is numb and I work by talking on the phones, naturally I was concerned about my probable speech impediment.  “Tank you fo calling my job, I’m gawit, how can I atist you doday?”  I practiced in the car.  I sounded pretty good.  Off to work I go.  As the numbness wore off, it was painfully evident that I’d not be chewing.   Skipping my salad for lunch, I went to the cafeteria and opted for a bowl of chili.  I was able to eat that.  Eating a cheese stick for a snack?  Not so much.  I had to literally gnaw on it from the corner of my mouth.  Pitiful.  I popped some more Advil and just dealt with it.  I was determined not to use PTO.  Why be miserable at home?  I’d rather save my PTO for fun stuff!

The issue of what to do with the motorhome has come up again.  I have weekends off, now what?  It’s a 1997, things need repaired, things will go wrong but it’s paid off.  Should we trade into a bumper pull trailer?  Something a tad smaller, and much newer?  Can we pull it with the Jeep.  The towing capacity for the Jeep is 5,000 pounds.  Finding a trailer we like under that weight is possible not not exactly what we want.  Then it gets more complicated.  Something over 5,000 pounds will require something larger than the Jeep.  But the Jeep is paid off.  We don’t want too large a vehicle because it needs to fit in the garage and it needs to be used daily for regular use.  Next weekend is the RV show but Jim won’t be here.  He’ll be in Florida.  Maybe I’ll go to the show by myself, take pictures and notes.

Sunday may be a trip to West Virginia for snow tubing!

2-4-12 Saturday (Tricky Abbreviations)

When Jim and I moved in together, he unpacked this eerie clown picture from his childhood.

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Honestly, he won’t get rid of it.  It’s creepy and he feels like some strange horror-movie-ish thing will happen.  Every time he throws it out, it will simply reappear a week later next to something dead.  Maybe the hat the clown was wearing will be laying in our front yard.  You know, freaky stuff like that.  So for the last 12 years, it has been “safely” stored away in a guest room dresser drawer… (maniacal laugh) until recently. 

You see, he likes hanging the dumb picture of a cub below in the bathrooms of any residence we’ve been in. 

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I’ve pleaded that I hate the photo and then without regard to my disgust, it will appear in the bathroom.  I decided enough was enough and removed said picture and swapped it with Creepy Clown Painting.  Jim and I laughed but yet a month later it still hangs above the toilet.  Jim said we’ll leave it there; it scares the shit out of him… literally.

Once in a while you find out that someone didn’t know something that you’d think they should.  Like… a mechanic should know what a strut is.  A surgeon should know about scalpels.  Stuff like that.  A year ago while I was in my training class, we talked about CDs.  You know (or maybe not) CDs as in Certificates of Deposit or Time Accounts?  Well as we kept talking about them, a coworker, who was under 21, asked what we were talking about.  She was confused as to why we’d sell CDs as in music CDs.  I don’t think anyone laughed out loud but truth be known, I chuckled to myself.  I then realized that maybe things that I consider simple are maybe not so much to others and that the definition of a CD should have been explained.   So where the hell am I going with this?  Well, on Wednesday a coworker who has worked for the company for about a year and a half mentioned that when a client inquires about an IRA (Individual Retirement Account) she connects them to the mortgage folks.  Why?  She thought an IRA stood for International Renter’s Association and they were looking to purchase a home.  When I heard this story today, I didn’t laugh nor smile.  I was in shock.  Yes, later I laughed my ass off.

Speaking of work… a co-worker has started selling Mary Kay.  I like Mary Kay… well the few products that I can or will use anyway.  I ordered some oil absorber that I’ve used years and years ago.  It’s perfect for smearing on my face and keeping my oil fields-ish nose from sparkling inappropriately.  So I told Jim I had ordered that and he mentioned how he liked Tribute Cologne so I ordered that the next day too.  If you’re interested, Michelle will ship to you:

I am a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant.  I can assist you with skincare and body care needs that are specific to you.  Also, I am able to help you establish a personal color pallet that will fit all parts of your life.  Having fun is part of my business, hosting a party where I can be with you and your friends is another way that I love to work.  If you are not in my area that is ok, all shipping is completely free to you and all products are guaranteed.  I can be contacted through phone 309-339-5456, email msmith08@marykay.com, or my website marykay.com/msmith08. 

For every dollar you spend, she’ll contribute something to the Tammy Faye Bakker Institute of Make-up.  OK, not really but certainly sounds connected and legit, doesn’t it?

Today we had some errands to do.  We needed to get our state income taxes mailed out.  We went to the Post Office.  Who decorated these tacky places?  Wall to wall Formica.  It’s so institutional.  Why are they so run down? 

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Above/Below: Great alcoves for service.  No copier, no scale and no stamp machine.

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It really is a shame that the post office wasn’t run more retail-ish than governmentish.  I lump the attitude and service of the Post Office right up there with the DMV or tag office.  Yes, I know not everyone is that way.  I hate to stereotype like “all New Yorkers are rude” which is how I’m coming across but the majority of postal counter workers (not carriers) are awful.  If only the government would have stopped taking their money.

Onward to BJ’s for some weekly supplies.  Here’s what I saw:

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I didn’t have my camera with me so the best I could do was the camera phone.  That kid had so many barrettes in her hair, I’m not quite sure how she held her head up.

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Oh, and honey… your bloomers are showing.  Severely.

Later in the day Jim and I vacuumed, mopped, scrubbed, wiped, etc to get ready for a cocktail party.  I didn’t take any photos of people.  I had a little wine.  Perhaps that had to do with it.  Here’s the shots I snapped while sober:

2012-02-04 006


2012-02-04 004Above: Dasher eagerly awaits guests.

2012-02-04 005Above: Some food ready to go.  The rest was on the kitchen bar and dinette table.  Sorry, no more photos.

This type of party was a first for us.  We did it as a potluck appetizer/snack sorta way.  Deanna, Beth, Billy (Mike had a migraine), Ruby, Jamie, Jim and I had great conversation.  We had all sorts of dips and spreads and pizza rolls, and guacamole and this and that.  Lots of wine.  It was all yummy.  I totally blew through my Weight Watchers points. I utilized Pandora and played some swanky groovy music (listen here) if you want a sample AND Pandora is 100% free.  Love it.