Saturday, January 8, 2011

Loving it

I am really loving having a CD player/mp3 hook up in my car. I just finished "Trace" by Patricia Cornwell. Listening to books on CD is not my first choice, seeing as how I would prefer to hold the actual book and read it. But since I can't read and drive (at least not safely) this is a fantastic way to be able to enjoy all the books I don't have the time to sit down and read. Hubby hit the nail on the head with that gift this Christmas.

I went to our library to check out the books on CD. I could hardly believe that its been so long since I was last there that my card was no longer valid. I had to get that updated. And the last time I was there, they had one small bookcase of books on CD. But now? Now there are several long rows of bookcases. Seriously their collection has grown from maybe several dozen to a thousand or more. I was pleasantly surprised because I just do not want to buy them. Not only are they expensive, but its just one more thing to have to get rid of. I mean, you listen to it once and then most likely never again. I had looked into a rental program that works just like Netflix, but if I can find enough books to keep myself entertained at our library, for free....then I think thats what I will do.

As far as the "just one more thing to get rid of" train of thought, I am trying to be much more conscious of excessive waste this year. I won't say its a resolution exactly, but I want to try and do better. I have all but given up my magazine subscriptions. We still have a couple, and I dare say that Bruce would not want to give up his Popular Science. He really enjoys that. But as for the rest of it, most of that stuff can be read online. Same thing for newspapers, which I never have liked (dirty inky messy things). I am also trying to see if I can cut down my shopping habits, as well. I have been reading some green, eco-friendly websites that give suggestions on how to make do with less. Buy less, waste less. And while I am trying not to shop for clothing in particular any more than I have to (I probably wouldn't HAVE to for a long time), I have decided that when I have an actual need for something I am going to try to replace things with eco-friendlier items. It won't be as simple as running out to the mall, but having to search down and think more about a purchase would make me much less likely to buy something on impulse. I open to suggestions and would love to hear how you might be trying to reduce your impact on the environment.

But anyway, I worked today (Saturday), so my weekend starts tomorrow. I will be off Monday (yay). Stay warm and hopefully its not snowing wherever you happen to be right now.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

My Life is Average

A lot of people I know regularly read posts on the website "FML" (F**k my Life). I read it too, occasionally, but sometimes the things that happen to people are just sad. Some are funny, but some are just so terrible that it starts to depress me.

Excerpts from FML:

"Today, I found out my identity was stolen. The person got credit cards in my name and didn't pay the bills, which has ruined my near perfect credit. The worst part about all of this is that I can't turn the person in. It's my mom, and sending her to jail wouldn't really work out for anyone. FML"

"Today, while walking on the sidewalk with my boyfriend, I slipped and fell. Not only did he not help me get up or ask if I was okay, he got mad at me for embarrassing him in public. FML"

Today, I went to the store and ran into an old friend that I hadn't seen in years. We chatted a little, and just as I was leaving he grabbed his mobile phone. Later, I added him on Facebook. Turns out the last thing he posted was a picture of my back saying: "Look who got even fatter." FML"

Aren't those things just sad? I find myself feeling almost queasy after that. Like what the heck is that girl doing with a guy so cruel that he gets mad when she falls? Or how awful would it be to have a mother like that? I am sure that it happens, but its so tragic that I feel sick about it.

Recently I found another site where people post little things about their lives and these bits are just average everyday kind of things. I get way more smiles from reading this site: MLIA or (My Life is Average). A lot of people who post here seem to be young, still in school or college. Some are not, but the things I read on here are like this:

"Today I was installing updates on my computer, it was going really slow. So when I put my cursor over cancel it started speeding up. i think I scared it. MLIA."

" Today at work I saw/heard a grown woman make the brake sound while slowing her shopping cart down to quickly turn around. MLIA. "

"Today, a girls phone went off on the first day of class. The professor stopped everything and answered it and had a pleasant conversation with her mother. Later on someone fell asleep. He went and sat next to him and finished class there. I will be on my toes from here on out. MLIA"

"Today, while I was rushing getting ready for school, I threw my spoon in the sink without looking. I heard a *clink* and noticed it landed perfectly in my coffee mug. I'm a little disappointed nobody was around to witness it. MLIA"

Its funny, lighthearted, and much more relaxing to read than FML. I wish I had found it sooner. If you want to give it a browse, it can be found here:

My Life is Average

I promise you, you can't help but smile...... :)

My Life is Average

My Life is Average

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Update to previous post

I got my car radio installed. But the dishwasher just couldn't go without a hitch. Of course it couldn't. We waited until 3:30 for our "between 2 and 4" appointment, and I was getting antsy to go pick up my car so I got Bruce to call. I don't know what went on, what was said, but I did hear him rescheduling for Friday. What the bloody hell?

I waited until he hung up and asked, and it was something like they had left a message to cancel (oh no they didn't), or lost our appointment or some such crap. I felt a ping in my brain that left me seeing red. Oh hell NO! I was not waiting until Friday to be able to use my dishwasher. I snatched up that phone and called them right back. I told the woman that I had a confirmed appointment for this afternoon and rescheduling was NOT acceptable. She hemmed and hawed about not remembering talking to me but I was not backing down. Somehow she "rechecked" the schedule and "found" us on there. I don't know what their problem was but somehow a repair man showed up at our door about 20 minutes later and my dishwasher is working again. So, I have a radio AND a dishwasher, but not without, as my friend Sherry would say, "putting on a show".

There is no reason why you should have to resort to getting that angry to get decent service. I got it all accomplished, but I also have a headache from dealing with all the hassle. Whatever. I have determined that one more of my resolutions is that I WILL NOT accept terrible service anymore. I WILL stand up for myself and my rights.

Anyway, when the repairman showed up so quickly after my phone call, Bruce said he didn't know whether to be happy or scared. LOL. Be afraid. Be VERY afraid. This woman is through with being meek, mild, and too polite to argue.

Customer Service at Best Buy

Whenever service is particularly terrible I feel like I just have to broadcast it in public. I will do the same if service is especially wonderful, too, so I'm not just a grumpy complaining whiner. Ok, so hubby gave me a new car stereo for Christmas. My car is old enough to not have all the bells and whistles like a hook up for my MP3 player, or even a CD player. I know, right? Its positively archaic. But my new radio has all of these things so I can listen to books on CD, my music and whatever. The problem has been getting the thing installed.

Bruce started the day after Christmas. He called to get an appointment over and over again and got NO answer. Nothing. He was so frustrated. I called myself and got an answer right away. To be fair, the guy was friendly and helpful and connected me with the car installation department immediately. Thats when things kind of fell apart. After 5 minutes of ringing some guy finally answered. He was talking in this slurred, low voice like he had been lying on his deathbed for months and didn't have the strength to draw his next breath, much less take a phone call. I had to keep asking him to repeat what he was saying. The bottom line, "we aren't taking anymore appointments until after New Years". Of course it sounded more like, "Wa rakin ama por poi me tila New Years." I was able to get the New Year part fairly well.

Ok, so we let it go, got busy and kept putting off calling, and then I had a day off today to make up for the time I didn't get when my kids were home the past 2 weeks. That sucks, but I still never turn down a chance for some time off. So I called this morning around 10:30 to see if we could bring my car in this atfternoon. The phone rang around eleven billion times, and finally a girl answered and informed me noone was in that department and I would have to call back. Which I did. At 11:30 she (again after not answering for about 5 minutes)told me that noone was in that department. I asked her when exactly did the car stereo people drag their sorry asses into work? I didn't phrase it like that exactly but my tone impied it. She had the audacity to say 11am. I pointed out that it was now 11:30, and that I was completely frustrated, and then I hung up.

At 12....I called again, waited a long time for an answer again, and got the same girl again. Keisha, actually. I called her by name and asked if it was possible that somebody might be in that department by now, and if not I needed to speak to the store manager immediately. Somehow, and I don't know if asking for the manager got it or not, they suddenly not only had that department staffed, they told me they could take my car this afternoon anytime I could get it in. They were sorry for the problems and were going to take care of everything right away. What a difference!!! But we will see. When Bruce gets home in a while we are going to run it over. And then.....we are going to have to wait for the dishwasher repair guy who promises to be here between 2 and 4. I hope everything goes well and my dishwasher can be up and running by the end of the afternoon. But who knows. It may require another blog of crappy service.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A touch of the Post-Holiday Blues

I've got a touch of the blues. I know its because the kids all left this weekend. Erica left Saturday morning, and Stephen and Hannia left today. They are still in transit at the moment. I will be fine in a day or so. I know that from experience.
But its still hard to see them drive off to their lives that are so far away from us.

On a happier note, it was an excellent holiday though, even if it did have to come to an end. I don't know how long it has been since I had both my children and daughter-in-law home for almost 2 whole weeks. We had visits from Dad and Barb, Miguel, and Jeanne, Calvin and the girls. Lots of family and good times. Thats what the holidays are all about.

I have spent today feeling a little down, and probably more than a little tired so I have been taking it easy. I have been so lazy, sitting around reading one of my new books, sipping coffee and watching the drizzle outside. Its not a cold rain, since it has been almost 60 degrees for the past couple of days. We actually heard thunder at one point this afternoon. Isn't there some Old Wives tale of snow 7 days after hearing thunder in the winter? It wouldn't surprise me, since we started off this week with almost 10 inches of snow, and ended the week with spring-like temps. That is Eastern NC.

Anyway, the kids should get home to Indiana sometime around midnight. This warm spell was widespread enough that they should have clear roads and no snow or ice for the trip. I always feel better when they are home though. I have already told them that if they manage to find time to come home this summer, we will pay for airfare. It takes up 2 whole days to travel that distance by car. We are also hoping to make it out there for a few days sometime this spring.

I will wake up tomorrow, pick myself up by the bootstraps and get over my melancholy.
There are plenty of things to look forward to this year, and I don't want to miss anything because I am tucked away nursing the blues.