Jul 31, 2006
Here comes a good curve ball.
Earlier this week, Hubbs has been talking about some BBQ joint he thought we should try on Sunday..Out in Ontario, CA (about 40 minutes from Casa de Us). Hey, no problem. i'm all about good BBQ.
So yesterday, we had a busy day: my stepbrother wanted to have breakfast with us before he left to move back east. We drove down to Oceanside. After coming home, i finally printed some pictures from Philadelphia.
Then about 4, Hubbs wants to know if i'm ready to go eat.
Are we so old now that we're trying for the Senior/Early Bird special?
Oh, and take your camera & is that what you're going to wear?
Now i'm pissed. Since when has he ever cared what i wear to dinner..Unless we're going to Ruth's Chris'. Apparently, jeans are better than the cargo pants i'm currently wearing, so i change. And, we're off.
On the road, Hubbs keeps checking his watch. Weird. He's usually late to everything, so why suddenly the concern with time? AND WHY AM I BRINGING MY CAMERA??
We arrive at Ontario Mills, a HUGE mall. It's a summer weekend, so, of course, it's packed and parking is a mess. But, we finally get parked, and start walking to the mall, passing by the entrance to the Improv comedy club. On the marquee, i can see a comedian we like and i comment on it...And Hubbs says, "yeah, but look who's here tonight."
Christopher Titus. Cool.
And he walks me towards the box office.
Well, bowl me over with a feather.
See, Titus' website had him in Brea around my birthday, but the schedule got changed, so when Hubbs tried to buy tickets, it was all for naught. Then - last week, he just went on the website, and saw Titus coming to Ontario. Tickets were purchased.
And i was surprised.
So, the moral of the story - just when you think you've got it (and them - guys or girls) all figured out, surprise!
May all your surprises be good ones. Happy Monday!
Jul 29, 2006
he installed my new photo editing software on the laptop. it totally rocks!
my favorite function: editing out unwanted things in my photo.
like this: in the background, was some telephone wires, and a drainage pipe.
but, with this super-whammy software, i can just edit it out.
can't even tell where it was, can ya?
this SO rocks.
but now...the new laptop isn't recognizing my color printer.
hmmmm. let me think: no photos, no scrapping.
no scrapping, no happy.
i know. i can go to Wal-Mart, or Target, or anyplace that develops photos.
i'm just spoiled & i wanna print from home.
me no like. bad medicine.
but in other entertainment news...CMT is showing Hee Haw all weekend. boy don't that take me back.
gloom, despair and agony on me. deep dark depression, excessive misery.
if it weren't for bad luck, i'd have no luck at all.
gloom despair and agony on me.
Jul 28, 2006
Tips for Handling Telemarketers by Andy Rooney~
(1) Three Little Words That Work !!
The three little words are: "Hold On, Please..."
Saying this, while putting down your phone and walking off (instead of hanging-up immediately) would make each telemarketing call so much more time-consuming that boiler room sales would grind to a halt. Then when you eventually hear the phone company's "beep-beep-beep" tone, you know it's time to go back and hang up your handset, which has efficiently completed its task.
These three little words will help eliminate telephone soliciting.
(2) Do you ever get those annoying phone calls with no one on the other end? This is a telemarketing technique where a machine makes phone calls and records the time of day when a person answers the phone.This technique is used to determine the best time of day for
a "real" sales person to call back and get someone at home. What you can do after answering, if you notice there is no one there, is to immediately start hitting your # button on the phone , 6 or 7 times, as quickly as possible. This confuses the machine that dialed the call and it kicks your
number out of their system.
Gosh, what a shame not to have your name in their system any longer !!!
(3) Junk Mail Help: When you get "ads" enclosed with your phone or utility bill, return these "ads" with your payment. Let the sending companies throw their own junk mail away.When you get those "pre-approved" letters in the mail for everything from credit cards to 2nd mortgages and similar type junk, do not throw away the return envelope. Most of these come with postage-paid return envelopes, right? It costs them more than the regular 37 cents postage "IF" and when they receive them back. It costs them nothing if you throw them away! The postage
was around 50 cents before the last increase and it is according to the weight. In that case, why not get rid of some of your other junk mail and put it in these cool little, postage-paid return envelopes.
One of Andy Rooney's (60 minutes) ideas. Send an ad for your local chimney cleaner to American Express. Send a pizza coupon to Citibank. If you didn't get anything else that day, then just send them their blank application back!
If you want to remain anonymous, just make sure your name isn't on anything you send them.You can even send the envelope back empty if you want to just to keep them guessing! It still costs them 37 cents.
The banks and credit card companies are currently getting a lot of their own junk back in the mail, but folks, we need to OVERWHELM them. Let's let them know what it's like to get lots of junk mail, and best of all they're paying for it...Twice! Let's help keep our postal service busy since they are saying that e-mail is cutting into their business profits, and that's why they need to increase postage costs again.
You get the idea! If enough people follow these tips, it will work -- I have been doing this for years, and I get very little junk mail anymore.
You're cute! And, when you're not, it's not pretty. Sure, you like girly stuff, like pink frilly outfits, flowers, adorable baby animals, tiny boxes that you can't fit anything in, and tiny doll-sized clothing, but you're also quite the firebrand! People who scorn you, and just plain stupid people who get in your way, often pay dearly. You are nearly as likely to jump up and kiss someone as to drop an anvil on someone's head! You are not the sort to be trifled with. You are, after all, Princess Angelina Contessa Louisa Francesca Banana Fana Bo Besca, the Third.
Jul 27, 2006
just the bloody password to our computer.
so i can install my new photo editing software, that's why!
i realize that it's not that important in the Grand Scheme o Things. famine, tsunamis, bombs, this sort of thing is important.
BUT I AM SERIOUSLY JONESING TO DO SOME SCRAPBOOKING AND I CAN'T DO A FLIPPING THING UNTIL I GET THESE NEW PICTURES, MODIFY 'EM AND PRINT THEM!!!!!
ah. i feel much better.
i bought Microsoft's Digital Suite last week - it looks like a much less expensive (and probably does less) version of Photoshop, but it looks like it's gonna do what i want to do. tried installing Monday & the computer asked for the password.
password? what th'...
so i asked Hubbs for the password. his answer "password? what th'..."
so what the dillio? i can't install anything until we get the password, but no one seems to know what the password is. i've tried our usual suspects for passwords - but all for naught.
hate to think my $60 software just became $60 coasters.
help me. i need to be creative and i got nothing.
except $60 coasters.
no? well how about this one: Fly the Friendly Skies of United.
still nothing? what about: US Air...begins with u suck.
OK - i may have slightly altered that last one.
but it's true...at least in my latest experiences with them.
USAir has merged with America West...and neither has what i would call stellar customer service. see, about 9 years ago, Hubbs & i were on our honeymoon in Sedona, AZ. an absolutely beautiful place. peaceful. has an almost zen quality to it. oh, and Hubbs also ate sushi there & got a raving case of food poisoning.
well, duh. eating raw fish in the desert? but, that's another post for another day.
coming home, we were flying out of Phoenix's Sky Harbor airport on America West. Hubbs, still recovering from his sushi experience was making one of his frequent trips to the Lil' Boys room, when i hear the airline make an announcement regarding our flight home.
as in, we're canceling your flight.
oh, but it's OK, because after an hour or so delay, they're putting us on other flights, none of which are going in to Long Beach (where my mother-in-law will be picking us up), but into the OC. where they will bus us to Long Beach.
only problem, is we can't reach my mother in law. this was in the day when most of us don't have cell phones. she's not at our apartment (and it's useless to leave a message, she won't work answering machines).
long story short, our luggage was stuck in Oakland before finally making it to Long Beach, where it was then delivered to us. we were stuck in the OC until we finally got a taxi to go back to Long Beach as well, where my mother in law was freaking out.
fast forward to 2006.
on these last trips i've been on to Philadelphia, we've flown US Air back to Long Beach...MUCH easier than flying in & out of LAX. we've had delayed flights, but the customer service was mediocre at best.
then yesterday, my boss calls me at work. she was flying back from her jaunt to PA, and should've been home Tuesday.
she was still in Phoenix. at 7:30 in the morning.
the weather has been such around here, that there's been a lot of thunderstorms going on. and in Phoenix, it was worse. she sat in the plane, on the tarmac for 35 minutes before they decided to cancel the flight, because it was just too dangerous to try & take off.
here's where US Air's customer service doesn't come in to play.
first they inform my boss that her flight out will be Wednesday a.m. and she will be routed into the OC, instead of Long Beach. so, she asks that her luggage be routed into Long Beach because she has no one to pick her up in the OC (don't get me started on why she didn't call me or anyone in her team to pick her up), and she doesn't want to schlepp her luggage.
they say no. they do, however, let her know that she can pick up her luggage (as soon as the storm lets up) from baggage claim, and then go through security again.
did i mention that her luggage was soaked?
so then she asks the Friendly Customer Service Rep if she can have a bottle of water, as most of the kiosks at the airport have closed because of the storm.
nope. it's against Company Policy.
however, another rep hears this and comes over to tell my boss he can give her the little 8oz bottles that the company gives the employees.
hey - it's better than nothing!
so, she spent the night at the airport, because all the hotels were booked. that stressed her out but she came home safely. and weepy.
OK - i'm good with the fact that US Air has no control over the weather. but come on...you can't even spare a bottle of water? or reroute luggage and not offer any explanation?
no wonder so many airlines and businesses in general are in trouble. everyone talks customer service, but very few put it in action. it's just a small gesture, but like the old saying goes - if you have a good experience, you only tell a few people, but if you didn't, you'll tell everyone.
besides - there's that little thing called the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have done unto you.
and a little thing called Valerie's Rule: Karma's gonna get you, if you don't watch out.
let's be courteous out there.
Jul 25, 2006
if you were a celebrity, wouldn't you be nervous when fellow celebrities starting cacking off?
just before i fell asleep at night, i'd probably jerk away wondering "am i next?"
and i wonder if other celebrities do, and if you were one, would you worry?
and where the hell is TomKat's kitten? seen hide nor hair of that child.
or could it be that the spaceship took her away to safety?
OK - so it's two questions: if you were a celebrity, would you worry when your fellow club members died and where is Sari Cruise?
i'm also going through withdrawls. i have a ton of pictures from my last Philadelphia trip that i want to scrap, but can't.
i have no photo software downloaded. so i have raw pictures. pictures that need help.
i got nothing.
so all i can do is read scrapbooking magazines? woo-hoo.
needing some creativity, y'all.
the highs in some valleys here in Mostly Sunny So. Cal. is around 108.
eh. no big, right?
but it is still SO humid. that's what's killing us.
and it still ain't right when it's 5a.m. & already 76 degrees.
in other news...
took a half day yesterday, but wasn't planning on it. our system was down when i got in @ 7, and at 10:30, didn't look like it was coming up for many more hours (our networks are based in Dallas). so, we were given the option of taking half a vacation day.
i, of course, took it.
after Hubbs got home from the gym, we got some lunch - went to the bookstore - saw a movie.
"Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest"
funny stuff. Johnny Depp never did much for me, but i did think he was an incredible actor. still do. and funny.
and Orlando Bloom? yum.
Kiera Knightly? Hubbs says yum. even though i read someplace that she swears worsen' a sailor.
but what makes me laugh is that movie theater owners complain that attendance is down. well, let's glance at the facts, shall we?
1) general admission on average here is anywhere from $9-11
2) matinees $8-9
3) snacks? sheesh. one of the "specials" was two medium drinks & a large popcorn for $14.
$14? gimme a break. we opted for an extra large bottle of water, small popcorn & a box of Raisinettes. that alone was $12.50.
this could be why attendance is down.
but considering how hot and humid it was yesterday (and will be till next week), i'd gladly have paid twice that, just to stay in the air conditioning.
Jul 24, 2006
"clear out the hookers, honey; Mama's coming home!"
we started out this a.m. with our production site hardware (based out of Dallas) being down. first estimates to be back up was 10 Central time. then it was 11. next, an email was sent saying they didn't really know how long, it could be more hours.
and no one had an answer as to how long.
so - the Big Boss called in. told the supervisors that if people had vacation time, they could take a 1/2 day off. if they didn't, well...you're stuck. get ready to do some dusting.
ummmmm, no. i can do that at home. but at least at work i would be in the air conditioning.
so i opted for the 1/2 day.
it really works well, especially since this is Brendan's day off.
so clear out the whores. Mama's coming home.
Jul 22, 2006
it's not possible for me to post without whining.
i know - it's hot other places, but it's so freaking hot.
that's what sucks, i believe. the heat would be OK if it weren't so bloody humid.
it was bad enough to force me into my new bathing suit & go down to the pool.
along with about 3 teenagers.
and later two guys in their 20's.
whatever. if they haven't seen a fat chick in spandix by now, then they haven't freakin' lived.
now, i'm even sucking up & turning on the air conditioner...which is useless, in a way, because where it's positioned, it's across from a wall. so it really does NOTHING to cool the living room.
however, if you stand a foot away from our fireplace, you can feel it.
yup. nothing but the finest in efficient appliances for us.
however - i do believe that the heat has effected my step-pop. he is now officially insane.
my mom just told me that they were having salmon for dinner. and he's cooking it in the oven.
not in a microwave. not in a toaster oven. not even in a brick oven. but a gas oven in the house.
oh, they don't have air conditioning, either.
i'll call the asylum. stay cool.
Jul 21, 2006
never mind the standard answers: for food. rent. mortgage. bills.
and also how did the whole concept of one person working for another come about?
why do i ask impossible questions?
maybe because it's Friday, and i've got to go in tomorrow.
maybe i'm just wishing we could win the lotto, and pay off everything for everyone we know, then travel the world.
maybe because it's soooo bloody hot here. and humid. miserable does not even begin to describe it.
maybe because i feel i'm losing my mojo on all things creative - and work has been such lately that there's not much time to be creative, much less think about it.
maybe i'm just rambling.
i need a creativity break.
but it's toooooo dammmmm hottttttttttttt.
think i'll imagine myself out on a snowy hillside. icy cool breezes blowing. me wishing i had another sweatshirt.
dang. THAT was a buzz-killer.
happy Friday, y'all.
Jul 19, 2006
it's all things to all people. it ROCKS!
and i forgot how cool it is to type on a new keyboard...lotsa spring to the step.
but...lately in the a.m., i've been online. checking email. checking blogs. checking stuff out.
and losing time.
now see, the smart thing to do would be to get ready for work, then spend the time on the 'net.
but noooooooo. i goof around on it until it's so late that if i don't get moving, i will be late for work.
this. must. end.
i'm too old to tell my boss that i was late because i was on the internet. it's not like it's a new thing...especially for me.
oooh. gotta go. "Dog" is back on.
you are an obsession...you're my obsession...
Jul 18, 2006
how boring would life be, if we didn't have something we could enjoy...something that can't hurt you but brings you joy.
ladies & gentlemen: i present to you my latest guilty pleasure...
Dog the Bounty Hunter.
it's a train wreck of a family, but i cannot look away.
started watching it last week in PA. see what you'll do when you're lonely?
but it is a cool show. it's weird, too, too see this family form a prayer circle, then after they get their fugitive, to be dropping F-bombs just seconds later.
cool show though.
i got a spray on tan.
you may laugh now.
my arms & chest look great. it's just light enough so it looks natural (well, as natural as color will look on someone as lily white as me), but my legs & feet....not so much.
it's kinda walnuty-bordering on orange.
flashbacks to junior high & QT & orange palms.
really got nothing else to add.
but i guess some color is better than none, for us transparent chicks.
Jul 17, 2006
there is something sooooo "princessy" about having the "staff" make my bed, clean my bathroom & generally straighten up.
gotta love that.
got in Friday, had lunch with Husband before he took off for work. didn't do much of anything yesterday except nap (soooo nice. except when it's hot & humid like it is here, then you end up sweaty & gross). unpacked & straightened up yesterday, got a pizza for dinner & watched a movie till all hours.
life is good, no?
took today off to spend with Hubbs, now it's a matter of deciding what to do. Disneyland? movies? mini golf? ah the choices are endless, and with neither of us capable of making a decision, well, we're probably screwed.
oh, and did i mention we're watching "Amazing Stories" on SciFi?
if you've never seen the show, it was Spielberg attempt to bring back the old comic book version of basically the Twilight Zone, but much lighter. sometimes downright funny.
oh, and season one comes out on DVD next Tuesday. hmmmmm.....there might be a shopping trip in my future.
but not today. today is all about us.
ain't i the selfish one?
peace out. i be representing the sweaty contingent here in So.Cal.
Jul 12, 2006
granted, i live in California, the Nirvana of Good Weather. we have the occasional earthquake (Mother Nature having cramps, is what i call it), but for the most part, weather here is good.
hot in the summer, but good.
here i am in Philadelphia. highs have been in the upper 80s.
with 80% humidity.
now, as Cyn will remind us all, dry heat is better than humidty.
amen that sister.
see, a thunderstorm just moved through here. and with it, came a short, cloudburst. big heavy ass drops the size of, well...my ass.
hmmm...let's take 80% humidity and add rain!!!
nice joke. i ain't laughing.
this was 15 minutes ago. everything was soaked.
it's half dry now.
i leave the office in a few minutes.
it sucks to be me.
but on the bright side - Hubbs sent me a bouquet of flowers here in the office. my husband. he doesn't do things like that much any more.
he made me cry. the big lummox.
and the chick who brought them to me must think i'm crazy. i kept telling her they couldn't be for me. why? (and i don't believe i actually said this)
"my husband's too cheap."
tacky, tacky, tacky. but he doesn't do this. a wonderfully bright spot to an otherwise really hard, lonely, crappy week.
you rock, baby. i miss you. i can't wait to see you Friday.
the rest i will leave to your imagination. stay dry. stay cool.
Jul 7, 2006
here in Valley Forge, PA. it's bee-u-tee-full out today, very little humidity, the breeze is blowing AND I'M FREAKING STUCK INSIDE AT WORK!!!!!
just counting the hours till i'm outta here today, then begins my frantic tourist trips. feel free to call me crazy, but here's what i wanna do within two days:
* Independence Hall/Liberty Bell
* Philadelphia Musuem of Art (hey - can you say the "Rocky" statue? i'm such a hick)
* Valley Forge National Park
* Hershey Chocolate World
* HersheyWorld (yep, like DisneyWorld)
* Amish Country
ain't no way. well, at least i've got reservations for Independence Hall & the Liberty Bell. across from all that is something called the National Constitution Center but i have no idea what that's all about & their website doesn't offer the info i'm looking for. so, if you know, leave me a comment so i can check it out.
oh...and I SAW DEER YESTERDAY.
hick, thy name is Valerie.
i know, i've seen deer before, zoos, petting zoos, etc. but live out in the open romping through the forest deer? naah. so i saw two of them. scampering. just like Bambi, but without the rabbit, skunk & owl. oh and a huge flock of geese. just moseying like they've got nothing else to do.
wait. they probably don't. wish i was a goose. ;o)
back to work. happy Friday everyone!
Jul 4, 2006
sheesh. you'd think i was important. not.
i'm off again to Valley Forge..a week & a half this time. all by myself, too, so i get to be a big, brave girl - - i hope. the one good thing about this is that i'm staying over a weekend (if you can call that good) but THIS time i'll get to go someplace: Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Hershey (hey - you gotta love a city that has the top of their street lights shaped like Kisses). i'll get to see something besides the office & hotel, with a restaurant in the middle.
sad that Hubbs won't come out for the weekend. oh well. there's a lot on his plate with the family, his mom's passing, and well, i think a little PMS-ing to boot (him, not me).
so forgive if i'm erratic in postings. say a prayer for me flying (i hate it!) and that i won't let anyone down in either of the offices. i'm a little nervous about being on my own out there.
peace out. hope your Glorious Fourth was Safe & Sane.
Jul 1, 2006
here's a quick giggle for you: sister-in-law was talking to her husband about the cremation, the urns, you know. well, the 3 yr old was listening & asked mommy what an urn was.
mommy explained it was a little container so she could always keep a little of granmama with her. she further explained that it looked kinda like a salt shaker.
the 3 yr old thought about it for a minute.
"mommy - i don't want granmama on my eggs."
'nuff said. peace out.
it's OK if you rat someone out. i'm pretty non-confrontational. i wouldn't stalk.
but on the other hand...
first, let me clarify. i really love fireworks. don't care for sparklers (they scare me for whatever stupid reason), but ground blossoms, fountains, heck, i even still miss snakes. (remember them?)
where i live, here in humid-as-the-jungle So. Cal., is across the street from an amusement park called Knott's Berry Farm. Hubbs & i got married there. the couple who started it, actually started it as a real berry farm with a roadside stand. then, as people gathered to buy their produce, Mrs. Knott's started selling her fried chicken dinners on her wedding china. then as the lines grew even longer, Mr. Knott started a little "Ghost Town" with gunslingers, can-can girls, the whole enchiladas - to entertain the folks in line.
heck, he even built a replica of Independence Hall. it's currently right next door to the new water park Knott's recently opened. something not quite right about that, but that's another posting.
back to the fireworks.
now, about 5 miles or so from us, is Disneyland. yes, the Happiest Place on Earth, that does fireworks every night during the summer. sometimes, i can see them from our bedroom window. tiny, but there. we can also hear the booms...nice & quiet.
can't say that about Knott's.
Knott's only does fireworks on the 4th & on New Year's eve @ midnight. but, being only a 1/4-1/2 mile from them, it's like they're going off under my apartment. the place shakes. the air reeks. they seem to go on forever.
just like the hundreds of car alarms that go off as the fireworks do...and stay on way after the show is done.
don't get me wrong - it is a cool show. i love watching it, but haven't for the last few years. see, we have an epileptic cat. not full-blown, though. our vet doesn't want him on Phenobarbatol since he has them so infrequently.
when we lived downstairs, the other cats would sit outside our patio door, tormenting the little Furrball....then the kids would start. seizures were more frequent. but once moving upstairs, all those distractions disappeared. and, as he has grown older, the seizures are almost non-existent.
yippee!! i hate cleaning pee from the carpet.
but, as you know, fireworks scares animals. they don't understand. they get scared. they run. they get killed.
simple solution: keep your animals inside. tranqulize if need be.
i just make sure i'm at home when they go off. Elvis won't run (like he used to), but lays near one of us, ears pinned back & tail a-flappin'. he ain't happy about the whole boom-boom thing, but will tolerate as long as someone is near to talk to him in even soothing tones.
part two of WHY I HATE FIREWORKS
oh, first, i should say that last year when the fine City of Buena Park voted on keeping fireworks legal, i did vote for it. all the stands around here are non-profit groups. having been part of one years ago, i can tell you we cleaned up on that stand. honestly made enough to clear our budget for the year.
what i hate are people. (not again with the "i want to live as a hermit." please.) see, they shoot off their fireworks all around the driveways here.
then they don't clean their mess up.
let's talk about something that irritates me more...wait. can't think of any.
how hard can it be? bring a bucket of water, after the piccolo pete has shot its wad, put it in the bucket. then, after everything is nice & soggy, you toss it in the trash.
it's so simple why both Forrest Gump & Slingblade could do it.
but apparently they are both geniuses compared to the residents at our complex.
so. if you've read this far, i congratulate you, Gentle Reader. if you take nothing else with you (besides the fact that i rant occasionally) then take this:
1) take care of your animals on the Fourth, and other times during the year.
2) clean up your firework messes.
3) stay tuned to Random Thoughts.
you never know what i'll bitch about next.