Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Eye, Yi, Yi.

You have to love an emergency, pre-Thanksgiving trip to the eye doctor. Or two.

Believe it or not, it's not ME this time. Nope, even worse. It's Vern. He's had a sudden loss of central vision, so we are headed off to our normal eye doctor for a quick check in the morning and then to a retina specialist as soon after as possible.

Anything but vision. It could be anything but his vision. We're already working at half capacity in that area as it is.

Friday, November 21, 2008

You Can't Scare Me

Ask anyone. I thrive on blood and gore. I grew up on gunslingers, mass murder, and horror.

I was reading about the Boston Strangler and Charles Manson when my peers were reading The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew.

If the TV is on at our house, it's most likely a crime show of some sort or, better yet, a live trial.

I've never seen a movie that left me trembling. Jaws? Bring it tuna breath. The Exorcist? What a bunch of babies.

The joke in our house is that I could kill my husband and no one would ever suspect me or find his body. And I wouldn't even break a sweat or a nail doing it.

However, I've met my match. So much so, that I'm not even sure I can stand to have the cover of this movie on the blog. (If I abandon the blog, you'll know why).

Last night I watched "The Exorcism of Emily Rose."

How I missed this movie when it was first released, I don't know. Why I didn't pass it up this time around, I'll always regret.

Holy crap (no pun intended), this movie is S-C-A-R-Y. Not in a Stephen King boogie man kind of way and not in a psychological thriller kind of a way, but scary in a way that will make you afraid to look out the window or look at a clock in the middle of the night.

I honestly could not get this movie out of my house fast enough.

And if I wake up again tonight at 3:00 AM, I am seriously out of here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It Has Been One of Those Days

What has happened to customer service? To doing your job well? To actually getting things right?

It seems as though I have a full time job sometimes keeping up with the mistakes or issues that companies and service providers make. It is nothing new, but days like today really make me tear my hair out.

Today I had to bring out my inner "Bitch on Wheels." I not afraid to trot her out every once in a while.

Incident #1
You know all that crap that comes in the same envelope as your bill? That stuff that you just pitch in the trash when you pull out the bill for payment? Read it. Study it. Especially if it is in your credit card bill.

While this one could potentially be filed under "Buyer Beware," it really is one of those tricky things that companies pull hoping that the consumer won't notice. Fortunately, I just happened to notice the small print on my credit card bill that said "see enclosed notification for changes to your terms." Sure enough, when I fished it out from the bottom of the trash, there it was - a notice that our interest rate was going to more than double unless we "opted out" of the interest rate change. If you don't opt out - in writing - in the next two weeks, you are screwed.

It seems that credit cards are passing on their financial woes of extending credit to people who can't pay it back along to the people who can pay it back. Sure enough, when I called to find out WTF was going on, they advised me that it was "nothing personal" or even related to our account, which by the way we appreciate you paying so timely every month, but we are increasing rates for some of our customers.

I can, of course, opt out of it, but the second I use the card for any reason, then the rate automatically hops up close to 20%. No thanks.

In my mind, the credit card company loses on this one because not only do they now have to lock in my rate at the current low interest rate until I pay it off, but I also will no longer ever use the card again for any new charges.

Screw you AAA.

Incident #2
Remember my pretty new range top? The one that cost us a small fortune? The one that we have only had for a few months? It quit working.

I can live with that. We have a warranty on it. Things happen.

However, what I cannot live with is the fact that I have been waiting for 5 weeks to get it repaired. Not only that, when I called to find out WTF was going on, (are you seeing a pattern here?) it appears that my original service call and all resulting return calls were lost in space. No record of them at all. I paid $3,000 for a range top that worked for 6 months and they cannot even keep track of my phone calls? Now we start all over. Someone is coming out tomorrow to look at it, but I know that it is going to take a few more weeks to order parts, so I am back to square one.

Incident #3
I am convinced this is a case of "wait and see if they notice." We have had Verizon service for several years. One of the reasons we have had it is because we get a significant discount through Vern's employer.

I was straightening some files today and realized that somewhere around May our discount stopped. When I called to find out WTF was going on, it turns out that even though we are still entitled to the discount and it appears on our account, they just stopped applying it to our bills. No reason. Just stopped. It took several minutes to convince them that today was not the day that they wanted to tangle with me and that it would just be in their best interest to straighten it out and also give me a credit for the 5 months that they haven't been giving us the discount (which amounts to over one full month's bill). In the end, I got the credit and they increased our discount.

Seriously, this is not the week to screw with me. Vern is hiding in the shop all week. The dogs are begging him to take them with him. I suggest that if you see my name on your caller ID that you do not answer. Sometimes, I'm even sick of my own bitching.

Now, on to the next victim.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Someone Needs to Go on a Diet

I guess I've been lying to myself. Telling myself that he's not fat, he's just tall and muscular.

Unfortunately, our vet set me straight yesterday. Yes, that's right. My chocolate lab Jackson isn't fluffy. He's fat. He weighed in at a whopping 122 pounds. Now I should qualify that and say that he actually IS an extremely tall dog, but he still needs to lose about 10 pounds.

So, just in time for the holiday treats, Jackson is on a diet.

However, I'm not sure what the vet meant when she gently said "I know that when I have a few extra pounds, so does my dog."

Okay - I do know what she meant. I choose to ignore it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

How About a Little Dirty Dancing?

Yesterday Vern surprised me by planning a day in Chicago from start to finish (with some help from Ashley).

We drove into Midway and then took the El train into Chicago. That was a nice relaxing way to go, because really - who wants to drive in downtown Chicago.

After arriving, we walked a couple of blocks to Macy's. They had already started to decorate for Christmas, so it was fun to see the Christmas window displays.

We had dinner at the famous Walnut Room at Macy's.

Macy's had already put up the "Great Tree," a 45 foot Christmas tree that is right in the center of the Walnut Room. I'm glad they have to decorate it and not me.

The food was good and the service was excellent. Vern had the famous potpie and I had lobster bisque and Asiago crusted chicken breast.
We had dessert too. Unfortunately, there wasn't time for photos of that!

After dinner, we walked to the Cadillac Palace and saw the stage presentation of Dirty Dancing. The show was fantastic and the cast and sets were amazing.

Having spent all of my summers at resorts, Dirty Dancing has always brought back fond memories. Although I didn't find Johnny Castle at any of them, I did find a guy one summer that I'm kind of fond of.

Even if he can't dance.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Morning Wood

Once or twice a year, it happens like clockwork.

We get an early morning delivery of wood for our fireplace. We use our fireplace 24/7 in the cooler months, so one cord won't be enough to get us through the winter, but it will be enough to get a good start on it.

Always helpful, Lincoln carries the first piece in for the fire.

Morning wood. It's what makes the cold mornings bearable.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Seasonal Switcharoo

It's time once again for the purging of our closets and the seasonal switcharoo. We have very small closets and neither of us require a large wardrobe (although if you count the 74 grey t-shirts in Vern's closet, you might think he has some sort of a fetish for the color grey.)

Vern's clothes are always on black hangers and my clothes are always on white hangers. At least once a year we pull everything from the closet and purge through it. Anything that hasn't been worn in the past few months gets donated or tossed with only a few exceptions. This is the time that I have to fight with Vern to keep the two pair of decent Dockers and button down shirts that he owns on the slim chance that we actually will go somewhere that requires something nicer than a pair of jeans and a grey t-shirt.

It's also the time that we switch out the hangers, temporarily hanging my clothes on the black hangers and Vern's on the white hangers. Then when the clothes are worn and laundered, they are hung on the "right" colors and it's easy to tell what hasn't been worn in the next few months and needs to find a new home.

Not that I'm anal or anything.