12-24-13 Tuesday (Edible Trailers)

Work continues to be very slow.  We’re told repeatedly that it will pick up after the new year.  I really hope so.  At times I’m bored and there’s really only so many times I can read notices, email, clean/organize my desk, create cheat sheets or other trivial tasks.   I resorted to non-work related activities such as Facebook, the news, Words with Friends, personal email, and even making this blog entry.  I continue to be concerned for my job but not “worried”.  My “numbers” for productivity, quality and customer satisfaction are high which gives me hope that if layoffs happen, I will be looked upon favorably and spared from that fate.  My experience in this new field is under a year which would make it hard to find employment when compared against others with 2 years or more experience.  Well, I guess I’ll quit worrying here, there isn’t anything I can do about it.

In October I told you of a work contest regarding decorating pumpkins.  This time, we’re having a gingerbread house decorating contest.  I really want to do a trailer park but that could offend.  Hey, you never know where people live.  Instead, I’ve come up with a bank bank.  No, I didn’t stutter.  I want it to be a <insert my bank’s name here> branch office along with it being a savings bank of sorts.  A slot at the top with some chocolate coins… that sort of thing.  I’m waiting for my team to discuss or possibly come up with something different.

Sometimes I think I should have named this blog, “My Daily Blessings Bitchings”…  Sigh.

Friday night, using coupon dejour, we went to Ciro’s, and Italian restaurant.  We both had a tortellini dish.  It was kind of bland and the portion was very small for the price.  They don’t have a website but their menu is published on line.  Unfortunately 1- It’s out of date 2- they had the nerve to raise their price by $2. 


So for $15.95, we got bread and this dish.  A salad was extra.  Really?  For that price you can’t throw in a salad?  What’s some lettuce, tomatoes, croutons and dressing gonna run ya?  I’m thinking that their location rent is too much.

I looked up a blog entry from when we went elsewhere for a similar dish.


That dish was huge portions (1 dish fed us for 2 meals), included bread as well but also included the side salad.  The price was $14.95.  I shake my head.  Also, I looked at Prosciuttos website for blogging research and they offered a smaller portion for $10.99 which still included the salad and bread. 

Walmart makes it easy to buy online and pick up at the store.  We ordered a tiny drain plug valve thingy for the Motorhome’s water heater.  By the way, it’s a water heater, not a hot water heater because you wouldn’t heat up water that is already hot.  This message brought to you by <buy ad space here>.   So, I was just amazed at the size box they used for this tiny thing.  What a waste of space for the store and truck that shipped it and material waste.  My guess is that they didn’t want to lose it being so small but I still think that’s the extreme.

2013-12-19 001

In other packaging, kill a tree issues, I decided to try these new Weight Watchers Brownie things.  <Insert Norma’s eyeroll here (her blog is no longer active)> 

2013-12-21 002

These were very tasty but small.  I guess that’s the point.  2 bites and that’s it.  I’m thinking the packaging is big to appear that the product is big.  Awfully shady Weight Watchers. 

Since I didn’t get the blog posted prior to the gingerbread contest, here are a few of them:

2013-12-24 008Above: this was the winner.  A trailer park with a tornado in the middle of the mobile home.  Since we work in the Home Equity department, this particular “house” was made with humor to show many of the risky conditions we don’t particularly lend against.  I love it but it’s more of an “inside” joke.

2013-12-24 0032013-12-24 0052013-12-24 0062013-12-24 007

And here’s my team’s gingerbread house bank.

2013-12-24 004

For Christmas Eve, I took off work a little early so Jim and I could do our traditional go to the mall to laugh at the people having to last minute shop.  We just like to relax, eat have a cookie and watch people.  And so we did.  We went to the Northlake Mall whereas this past weekend we went to the Concord Mills Mall.  Concord Mills was sooooo busy… the last weekend before Christmas.  We bought two spatulas at the $1.09 store.  Northlake Mall wasn’t bad at all.  We still enjoyed our shopping for nothing type of experience.

And finally, here’s a Christmas card we received from my cousin Carissa:

2013-12-24 -circled

Bless her heart.

12-11-13 Wednesday (When A Deal Isn’t A Deal)

There’s a few odds and ends to report.  #1, I have back pain.  Perhaps it’s my huge gut, my poor posture, genetics or whatever else but it’s a mess.  I’ve had non-diagnosed back pain for years.  I go to the chiropractor for a few treatments and viola, I’m good as new.  This time, not so much.  The pain has been different.  My chiro thinks I may have a disc issue and ordered x-rays and an MRI.  Joy.  X-rays are done but not yet reviewed.  MRI is still being coordinated.

Work continues to be slow.  They’ve hired Loan Doc Specialists for my site and after 6 weeks of training, they’ll come to the floor to help work our applications.  They’re the ones who gather docs and talk to the customers.  We have something similar now; this new position is just more evolved I guess.

12/7 Saturday.  We went to JC Penney.  I like this store.  I just can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, “No way, we’re not going to Kohl’s, they don’ have one of those convenient hooks.  Let’s go to Penney’s instead.”  I can’t tell you because it’s never occurred although I do want to thank Penney’s for this fun photo.  If you’re wondering where this was, it was in a transitional area between the store and the optical, hair salon, and restrooms.  So no, not in a fitting room or anything.


Using a Groupon or the like (hard to keep track anymore), we went out to dinner to The Peculiar Rabbit.  The ambiance and building itself was very nice.  The service was good.  The food was unique and good.  We’d go back.


Jim had the Risotto and I the ribs.  I’m disappointed to say that the online menu doesn’t match the in restaurant menu.  Jim’s didn’t have spice boiled peanuts, it wasn’t cauliflower, it was totally different.  Some of the other items are different as well.  That doesn’t make it a bad restaurant, but I am a stickler for website links to work, and info to be accurate.  As a matter of fact, while typing this, Jim attempted to leave feedback on the movie theaters (review coming up) website and was confronted with an error.  All that he typed in had been lost and this made him angry… as well as it should. 

We skipped dessert, it was all too obscure for me.  We just weren’t feeling food-adventurous tonight I guess.  I was going to insert a snapshot of the dessert menu as well, but it hardly matches up.  I went to leave them feedback on their site and it wouldn’t work.  I had to use Internet Explorer.  Another pet peeve is when websites aren’t compatible with Chrome or FireFox.  I hate Internet Explorer.

Using another <insert discount coupon name here>, we went to Studio Movie Grill and saw Hunger Games, which was good.  OK, more bitching.  This is the second time in a row we didn’t eat here.  We love this place and want them to survive but their food/service is questionable.  Jim’s fries are always cold and have to be sent back.  When we ask for napkins, sweeteners, etc., we have to ask several times.  You can’t customize crap which makes no sense.    Several months ago we tried swapping out brownie sundae ice cream flavors.  They said no.  We decided to skip it if we couldn’t have what we wanted.  Tonight we ordered ice cream sandwiches which are served as 2 per order.  There were a few cookie choices so we asked if we could get one chocolate chip, 1 macadamia nut.  Nope.  The food isn’t that great but we order it there because drinks and food are where they make their money.  Their constant postings of discount coupon deals are an indication they’re not doing as well.  We might become part of their demise.

Oh, here’s my favorite about the menu:


So you want to charge extra to leave out an expensive ingredient?

short-strawAnother bitch about them (now I wonder why we keep going, oh yeah, the seats are really awesome). They made their cups larger and taller.  Good right?  Well, the straws don’t go past the liquid line, they’re too short.  You have to stick your fingers into your drink to get it during the first 1/2 inch of consumption.  This has been going on for a month or 2.  At first we chalked it up to them having an abundance of shorter straws that they didn’t want to waste (which really isn’t a good excuse either) but after a few visits there with the same scenario, I’m not so sure.  It’s annoying.  Luckily Jim and I drink unsweet drinks so we don’t get sticky fingers. 

Earlier in the week Jim spotted a cheap deal at a restaurant, NC Tavern.  $5 burgers which includes the sides and the drink.  Good deal.  Monday, we roped Beth into going with us.  We were seated next to the bar.  I really hate the bar area.  Service tends to be slower since the bartender in mostly concerned about his/her drinkers and he/she must make cocktails for the entire restaurant.  I rarely goes well.  Service was virtually non-existent.   A group of men at the bar started talking VERY loudly.  We could barely hear one another.  The ambiance was a miss at this point.  Getting refills was an annoying process.  The food was OK but that’s all I’ll say.  What do I want for a $5?  Yeah, I know.

Ignoring-PersonOn Wednesday, Jim wanted to redeem himself for Monday’s craptastic experience.  $5 burgers at Bar Louie’s.  We’re convinced it will be better since it’s a large national chain although we’ve never been to one.  The flatbreads are half price, appetizers half price and burgers are $5.  Sounds good.  Beth declines the invite (smart woman) and off we go.  We walk in to find a nice swanky atmosphere with a seat yourself sign.  We settle into a cozy spot and begin looking at the menu.  A server at the next table chit-chats with the patrons, eventually walks past us and to another table.  Maybe we’re not in her section?

We’re now done with the menu.  No server for us.  Jim walks to the bar area to find a manager.  In the meantime, that same server is back at the table next to us.  She still “ignores” me.  At this point I’m hoping she’s not our server because I don’t want her so I’m trying to think of something to say if she walks over to me.  Surprise, she doesn’t even look at me.

cardboardJim returns to the table, a moment or 2 later, a male server, Cameron, comes over, apologizes for the wait and mentions something about the kitchen being crazy.  What’s that got to do with a server?  He’s on top of things.  Service is fine.  The artichoke-spinach dip appetizer has stale chips and flavorless dip.  We didn’t complain.  Our burgers were just OK.  Definitely nothing to say “hey Bar Louie’s has great burgers, wanna go there?”  The manager stops by to check on us.  When we get our check, we’re told the manager took care of the appetizer.  It appeared he took off an extra $2.  I finally ask Cameron, “by the way, who’s section is this?” and he said it was someone’s who has come in yet.

I’ll tell you this, he got a good tip. HIS service was good BUT we’ll never come back.  Substandard food.  The section should have been closed.  This is where having a hostess is good to control the flow.  So when the server isn’t there, and the kitchen is “crazy”, your customers don’t suffer.  Also, she-server could have said something like “Cameron will be with you in a moment.” 

I know.  Bitch, bitch, bitch.  It’s what I do.