Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Things I'm glad I did before I got married

Moved to two different states. Alone. Owned a red Mustang. Learned to carry nine bags of groceries up three flights of stairs. Skated in a rollerblade marathon. Twice. Took an Italian language class for no reason at all. Had some bad dates. Received a six-page long, typed, single spaced love letter from someone I met once. Lived in London by myself. Interned for a US Senator. Celebrated my 25th birthday. Had a job that involved constant travel. Stayed in a presidential suite and had wine and cheese delivered every afternoon. Rode on the Tower of Terror in Disneyland. Ate nothing but frozen vegetables and rice for a week. Met Dr. Drew of Loveline. Drank cocktails while standing on the Colorado Rockies home plate. Attended a pirate flotilla in North Carolina. Became friends with my parents. Learned to knit. Decided it hurts my hands too much. Got over my breakups. Threw away pictures of exes. Attended a World Series with tickets given to me by Jim Leyland. Learned to drive stick shift. Kicked a board in half. Smoked a cigar. Did a sake bomb while wearing an elf hat. Wielded a sledge hammer at a school in Mexico. Learned to put art on my wall. Slept in a Guatemalan cloud rainforest. Learned to love sushi. Traveled to Paraguay hidden in the back of a van. Voted for a Black president. Memorized 1,000 words. Took the GRE. Learned to love wine. Learned to love red wine more. Skipped a day of work because I could not dig my car out of feet of snow. Drove car into a ditch. Sold car with rear-wheel drive. Determined what I need in a relationship. Had my court case make it to the US Court of Appeals. Saw four Broadway shows, on Broadway. Threw a coin into the Trevvi Fountain. Lived without cable TV. Went to Starbucks so much I was greeted by name. Took a graduate course that made me uncomfortable. Attended the Winter Olympics. Figured out my favorite flowers are tulips. Went to a movie by myself. Cried everyday because of a job. Found my passion. Changed my mind and found a new passion. Drank a beer with Layne. Went to John Kerry's election night party. Worked retail during the Christmas season. Ate meat that had been cooking for days. Dyed my hair purple. Went four days without showering. Got a pedicure by a Chinese woman in New York. Fell asleep on a bathroom floor cuddling with Rachel. Became a fan of NPR. Celebrated Thanksgiving in Mexico with a turkey cooked in a bag. Cried until my body was void of tears. Learned to make my mom's lasagna. Spent a weekend on Cape Cod. Rekindled my faith. Learned to appreciate Kansas prairies. Saw the town in Sweden where my ancestors came from. Learned to love without holding back.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The cure for boredom: Photoshop CS4

My persuasive skills have landed me the Adobe Creative Suite at my last three jobs. Because, really, how can anyone do anything in Publisher?

Today, me = bored. So determined to learn something, I looked up things I could do to my pictures to make them look cooler and landed on a Lomo technique.


They remind me of the pictures from my Grandma and Grandpa's camping days. Also, check out my monstrous back muscles in the first picture. I need to work out again. Good grief.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Four years of Haven

We celebrated our friend Haven's fourth birthday today with a side dish of some (disappointing) K-State basketball. In the end, it seemed like a very good idea to have the game on mute and a super energetic and excited girl opening presents as the main event.


 Our make your own cupcake set was a big hit. Thank goodness!



And even Californian Ashley made an appearance.

 A weekend full of family. No complaints!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Pains of winning

I have a victory hangover.

Despite the fact my drinking Thursday night included only Diet Coke and waters, I cannot function today. The watch party was awesome and horrible. Awesome because it was one of the best games I've ever seen and horrible becausee it reduced me to nausea, constant standing, screaming, shocked silence and rapid heart rate. The hands-in-the-air jumping as the last buzzer sounded was an emotional release like none other.

We came home, showered off the nasty smoke smell and laid there. Staring at the ceiling. Limbs still shaking, heart still racing.

Unfortunately, the adrenaline rush did not last. I had to give up the coffee fast and it rescued me from my daze for an hour or two.

Hopefully the team recovers faster than me.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bleeding purple since kindergarten

Shortly after moving to Manhattan in 1987, we became huge Wildcat fans. Before the days of Frank Martin, Michael Beasley, and even the Powercat logo. Vintage Willie was the only Willie.

Before purchasing football season tickets, my dad and I would walk to the games and get in free during the second quarter and have the freedom to sit pretty much wherever we wanted. Later we got season tickets to both football and basketball.

My elementary school days are filled with memories of games. For basketball, sometimes we'd get lucky and be able to sit with our friend Carolyn who had floor seats. My most vivid memory of sitting there was catching a stray ball on the sideline and having point guard Anthony Beane (pictured right) lean down so I could throw the ball back in to him. I am positive I beamed for a week.

I prided myself on knowing the numbers that went with every player. Each fall, our church hosted a  basketball dinner where we got to eat with the team and get autographs from each player and coach. I'd leave with a huge sheet of signatures and if I was lucky, a little message. So began my scrapbook collection. Every game, I would cut out the main article and accompanying photos and paste them into my basketball scrapbook. Sometimes from multiple newspapers.

My mom and I would take bets on what lame headline the Manhattan Mercury would come up with: "K-State stampedes the Colorado Buffaloes." "KSU blows past the Cyclones." I could recognize bad journalism even at age 8.

Then on March 24, 1994, Askia "Ski" Jones scored 62 points in 28 minutes against Frenso State in the NIT. I remember a sports columnist writing the next day that many more people would claim they were there that day than actually were because the game was during the students' spring break. But we were there. And at age 11, I learned sports could move you to tears. After the game, Ski came out in his red practice jersey, sweating profusely, to thank his screaming fans. You can only imagine my frantic newspaper clipping and diary writing following that game.

Just as much as violin, softball and 4-H are interwoven throughout my childhood, so are K-State sports. I decorated my room with memorabilia, refined my scrapbooks, played make-believe games where I was adopted as the team's little sister (ok, I was a weird kid) and dyed my hair purple. I attended games up until college and then ironically found I had more fun at games before I was a college student. The players didn't quite seem as hero-worthy.

After years away from Kansas, I am relieved to have returned. And what great timing. I've only gotten to go to a few K-State games in recent years, but I'm a loyal TV and radio follower. And tonight you can be sure I'll be adorned with purple and cheering the K-State team on as they advance to the Elite Eight!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Meal planning experiment

Due to our financial, cooking, and health improvement plan, I've been trying to meal plan. I tried Meals Matter, but found I'm too lazy to do it because I have to enter in my own recipes. So now I just use Google calendars, which works out quite nicely, supplemented with some sticky note on my kitchen counter action.

We spend a lot less on groceries and the only thing we really have to snack on is mini-marshmellows and the occasional string cheese stick. Living the life of luxury.

I love my cookbooks but in the end, find a lot of new recipes online. My favorites: Smitten Kitchen, Pioneer Woman, Recipe Girl, Eating Well and Real Simple.

I try to do at least one crockpot (thanks, Grandma!) meal each week, one or two vegetarian, and one night designated to leftovers though we do pretty good eating them up at lunch.

Last night Shea brought home bruschetta pizza leftover from a work meeting. So I put away the healthy vegetables and brown rice for stir fry and we microwaved pizza.

Meal planning fail.

Next week's plan:
Monday: Turkey meatloaf
Tuesday: Moo Shu vegetables
Wednesday: Chicken Tetrazzini
Thursday: Black bean and salmon tostadas
Friday: Easter weekend!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Perspective on and off the court

“Next to my son, it’s probably the worst thing to happen to me in my life,” Sherron Collins said between bursts of tears.

I've been mad about this quote since I read it Saturday night after KU lost to Northern Iowa. I grew up 80 miles from University of Kansas, I get that KU basketball is big. I feel very passionately about my K-State sports, having attended basketball and football games since I was six years old. I've cried when K-State lost to Texas A&M in the 1998 Big 12 Championship. I cried happy tears when Ski Jones scored 62 points in one game. (more on this Thursday)

However, there is no way my love of K-State sports would be on the same playing field as my family.

In the above quote, Collin is referring to his newborn son who died during his freshman year of college (refraining from judgement here). In this Kansas City Star article, the writer points out that Collins also grew up in a gang environment, has an imprisoned father, and lost custody of his son. Yet losing a basketball game is worse than those events?

It hurts to lose, and the way KU lost is no doubt extremely devasting especially when evaluating the game they realized they didn't show up til the last two minutes. But please, get some perspective.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Breaking the chains of planning

For the first time since the wedding, I feel a sense of relief not to be planning one.

There are days when I really miss the wedding. A lot. I loved planning some of the unique details of the reception. I loved planning the ceremony to making it the most meaningful part of the day. I loved talking through it with my mom every day after work. Some days, I secretly get out the wedding video and watch it, cry a little and then put it back on the shelf. It was the best day of my life, no competition. And some days, my heart aches that I'll never get to experience that day again. Because it was perfect. I still remember almost every little moment. Those are for another post, however.

I thought when I heard the plans of the FIVE weddings we have this summer I would feel sad. Instead, I am so glad it's not me. There were so many decisions we had to make that neither of us cared about. There were too many times we had to remind ourselves that the only thing that mattered at the end of the day was that we were united, forever. There were so many people that tried to make our day about themselves.

Now almost seven months later, there is extreme relief of independence. At the end of the day, we just have to make each other happy. Nobody cares what flowers I buy (if I ever bought them..), what cake we eat, what dinner we serve, or if our beer is tasty.

Together, we can do whatever we want. So this weekend the most productive we were was the hour at the gym and the hour at church. Otherwise, we spent countless hours watching LOST and basketball while eating nachos and drinking beer in bed.

Because now we can.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Guess who came to dinner?

While most 20-somethings were out at the bars watching NCAA games, we were hosting our 69-year-old neighbor Eleanor for dinner.

I have written about Eleanor before, but she's our sweet, but very lonely neighbor. After getting our phone numbers, I get a regular call every few days with reports on her sleeping schedule, the book of the Bible she is currently reading, if she had enough energy to scrub her floors and just a reminder that we're a good couple and she loves us very much. And I am happy to listen.

So Friday we invited her to dinner. I made a new recipe of baked ziti. Like lasagna but cheaper and less time-consuming. Everyone had three servings so I think it's a keeper.

Eleanor got a huge kick out of Shea spending the next 20 minutes doing the dishes. He's good with the woman's work. But the big hit of the night was Wii bowling.



After a few bowling balls landing in the cartoon crowd, Eleanor got the hang of it. She gave me a hug every time I got a spare. And then proceeded to beat me by one point. Next dinner? Wii boxing.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Paperclipped skirts = brilliant children

I had to paperclip my skirt this morning.

Though I know half of you will hate me for writing this, it is not easy being small. I've got some baby birthing hips but a tiny, tiny waist. Making it very difficult to find any clothing.

I could go for the juniors/girls section but they don't have hips or a butt yet. But women's sizes don't come small enough. I HATE shopping for clothes, and avoid it as much as possible.

I lost weight for the wedding and then have lost a little more weight in the adjusting to marriage, moving to Kansas City, being unemployed, becoming employed, saving money on groceries (i.e. no snacks) and the usual reaction my stomach has to digesting food. So now my small clothes don't even fit leaving me with baggy dress pants and skirts that hang on my hips and hit at an awkward mid-calf length.

The only solution this morning was look like a baggy hobo, or use a paperclip at the back of my skirt to make it a few inches smaller. Luckily I still have my super sturdy legs and curvy hips to offset my child-size waist.

The good news is a recent study indicated that women with fuller hips and small waists give birth to brighter children. "The researchers say it has to do with omega-3 fatty acids, which gather around fuller hips and thighs, and are important for the growth of the brain during pregnancy. The curvier the hips, the higher the level of omega-3s." The formula: Divide waist circumference by hip circumference. The lower the result, the better. Based on my wedding dress measurements, I'm in good company.

Sweet. Bring on the genius offspring.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Migraine relief and bank-breaking drugs

I have suffered from severe migraine headaches since elementary school. Gradually Tylenol, Exedrin, Ibuprofen and every other over the counter drug has worn out their welcome and been rendered completely ineffective.

I remember sitting in my eighth grade social studies class with Mr. Pickler. I had a migraine coming on and forced myself to take notes until the words slowly ran off the page and I stumbled to the nurse. While interning in DC, I would sometimes throw up because the pain was just that bad. They can last a couple of hours or four days.

So after getting a migraine Monday and having it last until Thursday afternoon, it was time to do something. After vetoing my first choice of cutting off my head, I called the doctor.

I knew my new doctor was a good one after only two minutes. I described my pain accurately as migraines and not a brain tumor, and he said "well you definitely need some medicaton." Amen, brother. So I walked away with a prescription for Maxalt. I put it under my tongue when  I sense the impending doom, and it should knock it out.

On Askapatient.com, people describe it as "a miracle drug," and "changed my life."

Downside: $90 for 12 pills. Oof.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ideal Spaces: Family Room/Game Room

We have a lot of board games, and we don't even have any kids yet therefore our family room is going to have to be built around game storage. We want a place where we can relax, have fun and create a sanctuary for our family time.

This ideal family room will be located in a large, finished basement with built-in, cube shelves for games.

First, we'd start with this couch, which does require us to forbid pets from the family room. But, after the morning we just  had with Mac, it's clear a family sancutary is also a sanctuary from pets.


Then we'll add these accent pillows to above couch.
Which go very nicely with my K-State purple chair. (Luckily this ideal room has another sectioned off area that can display husband-required Minnesota Twins gear that unfortunately clashes with my color scheme.)

Add coffee table with storage for card games, barrel of monkeys and travel games.



And then this has to be in the corner. This is suddenly becoming MY sanctuary room. Again, see "ideal."

And since it's a game room, here is my wall decor:




The last picture can double as storage. See ingenious idea at Infarrantly Creative blog. I would probably use classic games for my walls but I love how Cranium looks on hers. And how fabulous to get rid of those flimsy game boxes that get crushed after one clumsy victory dance.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Puppy loving

We had a relaxing weekend in Hutch with our super great friends, the Rosses.

There was some Rock Band.
And manicures. Note: the purple nails did nothing to help K-State win the Big 12 Championship.


But the cutest was Mac and his new puppy friend Oscar who rolled, bit and humped their way through the weekend.

We had a blast. Thanks again for being such wonderful hosts!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Weekend with my favorite friend

This weekend we're driving to Hutchinson, Kansas.

Though Hutch does have the Cosomosphere, an underground salt mine museum and an exotic animal farm, the main attraction for us are our friends Edie and Seth.

Edie is my most favorite friend. In many ways, she knows me better than anyone in the world.

She helped me pick out my first apartment in Minneapolis. She and I traveled to her brother's high-rise apartment in Chicago on more than one occasion. We traveled to New York together - a city she desperately hated, though pretended for me. However, I do recall a very relieved face when I suggested grilled cheese and fries at the diner across the street from our Times Square hotel locale.


But more than our travels, Edie has been there for the highest and lowest moments in my last decade. She was there when 250 people on campus screamed at us with anger.

We haven't lived in the same city for most of our friendship. Yet, she has managed to be there through relocations, good jobs and bad ones, arguments, celebrations, and oh the ridiculous boy stories, which eventually led to an excel spreadsheet reference tool.

I was there for her wedding:


And then, she was there for mine:



I am looking forward to a much-needed weekend of meeting Oscar the dog, hearing about an amazing trip to Russia, spending girl time where something tasty is drunk and some of my nails get painted, watching K-State win the Big 12 Championship and mostly, just time together as friends who now have husbands and jobs where the conversations are about marriage, houses and babies.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Ideal Spaces: Living Room

My ideal decorating style won't really be realized until we have cash, square footage and the time to research how to fulfill our expensive tastes with reasonable furniture budget. Or if we stopped buying milk, I could have the couch I want in 14 years. However, by then I'd be too hunched over from osteoporosis to even sit on the once-desired couch.

The first thing I actually can add (with the help of some antique shops, flea markets and Hobby Lobby sales) is this display for our wedding pictures. Except with one red frame in the middle for our favorite.


or, on a smaller scale, it could look like this:


And then when the cash and square footage come,
I will add this couch.

and then either this chair or this chair.

And then a table like this.
 
And on our coffee table will sit this book. Because it's awesome.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

An ode to Molly

Four years ago this week I took this picture:

 
In case you can't tell, it's the red Mustang formerly known as Molly eaten alive by a Minnesota winter. I had only lived in Minnesota  a month and a half and I had to walk two blocks to a gas station to buy a retractable shovel. I failed to dig the knee-deep snow away from the tires and stayed home from work watching Gilmore Girls for the rest of the day.


A year later, I gave this shovel away to a neighbor man in exchange for him pushing Molly out of her icy parking spot.

Two years later, I met Shea. At Christmas time, I drove home alone from my grandparents only to have a six-hour trip take almost 12 hours due to Molly's inferior rear-wheel drive and Wisconsin's even more inferior roads. I gave up at 8 p.m., with tears and violently shaking hands and resolved to sleep in Eau Claire, Wisconsin because I had risked enough lifetime for one day.

My new boyfriend Shea, though, was already on the road coming toward me with a little dog in tow. I remember how my dad asked me to thank Shea, this boy he hadn't met, for saving me.

A few weeks later Molly was traded in for Burple the Mazda.

Four years later, Burple is sitting in a parking lot - away from the knee-deep snow and instead experiencing the thunder and lightning of a Kansas City spring.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Laziness, el fin

Today was my first day back at work after almost two months of lazing about. I am exhausted. I have had more interaction with people in one day than I have had in two months combined.

Things I will miss about my completely unstructured routine:

-   Having eight hours to think about what I might want to make for dinner.

-    Hanging out with someone who thinks I am so pretty, cuddly and fascinating that he wants to have his body as close to me as possible every second of the day. OK, he kind of smells like a combination of milk bone and dog pee, but whatever he thinks I'm awesome.

-   Cheap entertainment in the apartment lobby including man fighting with girlfriend on Bluetooth (“Do you think what you just said to me was rude? You really think what you just said to me was nice?”). Man who greets me with “good morning” at 3 p.m. every day. Eleanor’s daily mail reading. My neighbor who routinely tells the story to anyone who will listen about how he hates roosters.

-   Resolving that it's totally socially acceptable to wear snowman pajama pants and a huge sweatshirt all day every day for a month. Showering optional.

Things I will NOT miss:
-    Spending hours. Upon hours. Upon hours on the phone with AT&T. Though I do believe my tolerance for ridiculousness has reached a new high.

-   Responding to a little dog’s every want and need.

-   Being frustrated with my broken AC adapter and broken modems (therefore making my lazing about really boring) and blaming the ac adapter company only to discover that really it’s my old apartment wiring that is surging and slowly but surely ruining our electronics.

-  Feeling like my only contribution to the world is cleaning up poop because one of aforementioned dog's "needs" is to defecate on carpet.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Red carpet bash

Tonight we went to Oscar Night at the Uptown Theater's Conspiracy Room across the street from our apartment. They did a great job, and it's unfortunate there weren't more people there to enjoy it. We had a blast, and plan to go next year!

We dressed in our Oscar attire, and walked the red carpet. They had candle-lit tables and several screens for the watch party. Free food, too!




Pretty good for a Sunday night in our own neighborhood!

Oscar Predictions 2010

Tonight we're attending Oscar Night at the Uptown Theater, which is just a few blocks from our apartment. The Conspiracy Room will have free food and we'll enter on the red carpet in our Oscar attire.

We didn't get to see all of the Best Picture nominees, especially since they upped the category to 10, but here's what we thought of the eight we did see:

Up in the Air
Good acting (and hot) with a witty plot line. The previews, though, showed all the funny scenes and left out the sad, very depressing theme of the movie. Best watched with a glass of red wine and a bucket of chocolate. Grade: B-
 
The Hurt Locker
Not for the faint of heart. So glad we watched this on DVD rather than in theaters. I wanted a bullet to bite on for most of this movie. Sadly, I am anti-second amendment so I was left to dig my nails into Shea’s arm. Well done movie. And by a woman. Plus 10 bonus points. Grade: A

Avatar
The set design makes it movie of the year especially when you watch it in 3-D. The acting is only satisfactory and dialogue leaves much to be desired. Battle scenes reminded us too much of Lord of the Rings. However, the amount of breath-taking, gasp-inducing beautiful scenes probably makes it movie of the year. Grade: A

District 9
Shea says “Unique, creative and entertaining.” I didn’t watch it because I don’t like paying $9 for a shaky camera induced migraine. The plot was different than a typical alien movie but tough to believe the aliens are controlled by their cat food addiction. (Sarah: “um what?”) District 9 is only good because it’s different. Grade: B

Inglorious Bastards
Most importantly, I loathe Quentin Tarantino’s choice of fonts, embarrassingly showing my priorities in my movie-watching habits. Great dialogue, disgusting effects as usual. The mean guy, Christoph Waltz, should win best supporting actor. Didn’t appreciate the close-up shots of scalping. Grade: B

A Serious Man

We HATED this movie. And if it weren’t nominated for an Oscar I would have shut it off and not wasted two hours of my life. There is no ending. Not the usual, “Hi I am a Coen Brother so I don’t need to follow the rules” ending. But ZERO ending. Hate it. All of it. Every second. Grade: F-


Up
This is the only movie on the list that made me cry. Very timely with the economic landscape today as the main character faces his house being taken away by imminent domain. I H-A-T-E cartoons but loved this movie. It won’t win because the animated old man in this movie was a better actor than George Clooney, and there will be NONE of that on the red carpet. Grade: A

Blind Side

I lied, this one made me cry, too. Sandra Bullock far exceeded her acting skills in Speed. You’ll like it if you enjoyed Remember the Titans. It was good and even better knowing it’s a true story. Still, kind of surprised it’s considered Oscar caliber. Grade: B

An Education and Precious
Didn’t see them, falling short of our goal. Luckily they come to Redbox next week and we’ll watch them for free. Because we are masters at the Internets.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Again with the customer service

Once I start my job I will have way less time to rant about customer service. Specifically how the AT&T corporation is collectively trying to ruin my life.

I was promised that someone with a resume that includes dedicated problem-solving skills and unwillingness to ever give up would arrive at my apartment today between noon and 4 p.m. Right now it’s 3:03 p.m. and I have heard nothing. Leaving me in this limbo of being forced to call customer service and make sure he’s coming or spare myself the torture, have him not come and then have to take off work next week  to sit on my couch for four hours once again.

What I have never understood is this four-hour service window. It’s like the doctor’s equivalent of making you change into a backless hospital gown for a strep throat test. It leave you vulnerable, unable to move around freely and uncertain of what will happen next. Yet, even doctors make appointments. With actual times.

Update: Calling AT&T

3:39 p.m. Call tech support. Automated evil man will not let me talk to tech support until I make a payment on my bill even though I should not owe a cent because IT DOESN’T WORK.

3:42 p.m. Hang up. Call customer service line. You have 18 minutes, people.

Me: Explain situation with both bill and the fact no one of authority is standing near my modem.

CC woman: Would you like to make a payment today or just talk to tech support?

Me: Well, first I would like you to zero out my account because I have been assured we would pay nothing for something that doesn’t work. Then, I want to talk to tech support and make sure someone will be at my apartment in the next 15 minutes. (And, I would like an allowance for emotional damages, but that’s for another time.)

Success on bill. Transferred to tech support. More upbeat, taunting music. After seven minutes of music, goes to evil automated man who tells me to first try going online for help. This is super helpful.

3:50 p.m. Tech support tells me to “please wait.” No music. No irrelevant ads. Just “please wait” every 20 seconds.

3:57 p.m. This is a joke. My life is a joke. I hung up after SEVEN minutes of “please wait.” Called back, talked to billing inquiries b/c I can’t get to tech support except through them because of my FAKE past due amount.

4:02 p.m. Billing inquiry woman: Well you can talk to tech support if you have a past due.
Me: NO, it won’t let me get through. PLEASE transfer me.

At this point my voice is getting shrill and I swear I might just burst into tears for effect.

4:14 p.m. Just now speaking to tech support.

4:17 p.m. Now referred to line department in St. Louis, Missouri. This man tries to tell me it’s because our speed is too fast. WE HAVE DOWNGRADED THIS THREE TIMES. “It looks like it didn’t go through.”

Me in my head: ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I have called about five times to confirm this and complain since they supposedly downgraded it weeks ago. I talked to three different people in a span of two hours last week who all confirmed it was complete and my speed was lower. Lies, all lies!

4:47 p.m. Hang up phone. Conclusion: Something else is wrong. Again, shocking. Tech support will be here first thing in the morning.

1 hour and 8 minutes later, and I definitely feel like I’m sitting in a paper gown in a drafty room.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mr. Wonderful and my latest encounter with AT&T

Our AT&T DSL service still doesn't work. Shocking, I know.

So today I had to call AGAIN to tell them that although I haven't called in a week, it doesn't mean my Internet is working for more than three continuous minutes at a time. So "Shawn" from the great state of India and I had a chat.

Shawn: How are things with you today with you ma'am?
Me: Frustrating with your internet service but otherwise fine.
Shawn: Wonderful to hear ma'am. I am sorry to hear of your frustrations but I assure you, you are in wonderful hands and I will fix your problem.
Me: Um, wonderful.

Shawn: Well, I'd like to run some tests. Can you please unplug your modem?
Shawn: Wonderful, wonderful. Hmm, ok. Is your modem located on the carpet?
Me: Look, Shawn. I appreciate the fact you have a process for each call, but I have called no less than 10 times in a month and my modem is not on carpet, it is not filtered with a phone line, it does not have green lights, it is not interfering with a burglar alarm, and no, restarting my computer does not fix this two-month problem.
Shawn: Haha, wonderful. However, I do have to go through these questions. Is your modem on carpet?

10 minutes of tests later.

Shawn: Well, I will send a technician out. I have escalated the problem and we will send a line maintenance worker to your residence. What days and times are you available?
Me: Today, tomorrow or this weekend. We both work next week all day.
Shawn: Wonderful. Ok, how about 12 p.m. - 4 p.m. Monday?
Me: That does not sound like you are escalating my problem, Shawn.
Shawn: OK, how about noon tomorrow?
Me: Wonderful, Shawn. Just wonderful.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Somebody Get Jack! (Why LOST is not the best show ever)

We’re almost done with the second season of Lost. I admit it’s quite addicting but I also get eye strain from the need to roll them so much.

1.    Punching, poison and torture. There is so much of it. Why the reactive behavior? Those who don’t punch, shoot. There is heroin addiction, prisoner torture, kidnapping, intentional poisoning, cutting off fingers and legs. This is grossly out of proportion for 40 people, even stranded on an island.

2.    Black smoke monster. I don’t even know what to say about this. It’s ridiculous and completely unbelievable. I do not appreciate any part of this show that involves magic.

3.     Jack the doctor. This man has it rough. The punching, poisoning, torturing, kidnapping, shooting, spearing, chopping off body parts. They all end with “SOMEBODY GET JACK.” Luckily he’s the most emotional strong, intelligent, medically proficient, and brave person on the island. Just once, I’d like Jack to get shot in the stomach and see someone else step up and drain their own blood into his veins using a hollow twig while simultaneously pulling the bullet from his intestines with their teeth.

4.    Weak dialogue. SO dramatic. This is no Aaron Sorkin script. “There is a man. A man in the hatch. I beat him. I beat him badly.” Why are you talking in short, short sentences, Zahed? Why does your story end with …” dramatic pause….and you were strung by your neck and left for dead.”  Why are your pupils always so dilated?

5.    Inquisition. Or lack thereof. No one on this island is curious. Someone gets shot, and is bleeding profusely from the neck on a journey to the black rock, which you’ll note is not a rock at all.
               Supposed normal person: “What happened?! You are bleeding profusely from a major artery!”
               Profusely bleeding person: “Everything will be fine now.”
               Supposed normal person: “OK, cool.”
               Trek through jungle continues as normal.

6.    Music.  To keep with the theme of totally unnecessary drama, plunging musical chords strike with every vague comment, capture or discovery of a missing door/hatch/medical lab/stupid countdown clock.

7.    Back stories. Again, how could all 40 people have such dramatic stories? A mediocre rock star with a drug addiction. A torturer straight from Iraq. A man with a mysteriously cured paralysis. A magic 10-year-old. A mother with an ominous fortune reading. A petite murderer/arsonist. A heroin-smuggling priest. A morbidly obese lottery winner.

I will keep watching because I do not have cable. But I hate this ridiculous show more every day, and I hope that 108 minutes pass without notice and the whole island blows itself up.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Disconnected and powerless

Our Internet hasn't worked since we moved to KC. Thank you, AT&T. This left me with the options of frantically signing into my email when the DSL light turned green only to check one or two messages before that dreaded red light of death appeared. Or, I had to sit in the lobby where I had to work while pretending to listen to Eleanor's daily mail reading or the man who always greets me with "Good morning" no matter what time it is.

However, the Internet frustration was skillfully trumped when our universal AC adapter died. After less than a year of ownership. The original HP power adapter died after less than six months of ownership.

So even if I did have Internet, I don't have a working computer.

There is rage. In my soul.

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