30 November 2007

The Post Where I Just Complain

You should be grateful that I waited 22 hours to post this. I'm just so tired of big corporations. I can't imagine working in corporate America. Here is a list of my least-favorites:

  1. PayPal. I HATE them. HATE HATE HATE. I argued with them for 35 long-distance minutes yesterday about why I cannot verify my account with them. And if I don't verify my account with them, I can't get paid. I did have a choice, however, that would let me get a PayPal credit card. Right, like that's what I'm going to do. A credit card through PayPal? Are they high? No thanks. Besides, any monies paid to me would be sent to the card unless I requested checks. CHECKS?! Again, who are they kidding. I'm still seething about this.
  2. TicketMaster. They're almost as bad as PayPal. I hate that you end up paying so much more due to their fees. Ridiculous. I also hate events where the only way you can get tickets is through TicketMaster. Don't they know how evil TicketMaster is? Why must you support the evil empire?
  3. Comcast. Why is it so hard to offer me good service at a reasonable price? And what is it exactly that should be worth $120 per month? You're not doing anything. Once you install the line (which is a matter of turning a switch at my apartment), you're done working for me. We know you're not going to provide any kind of follow-up customer service.
  4. Kaiser Permanente. At ultrasound one, Mr. Mullet didn't want to show us his spine. I was told that I would need to come in for another ultrasound. Fine. I got a phone call from the OB's office saying that I needed to schedule this appointment for some day before the 10th of December (which is only 10 days away). I call radiology and am told that not only can the girl on the phone NOT schedule the "urgent" appointment, but the girl who does do the urgent scheduling is just not available. She's there, but just not scheduling the urgent appointments. They'd take my name and return the call later. Really?! This is how you handle "urgent" appointments? I'm just glad that something isn't seriously wrong with me. UPDATE: I just got off the phone with them again and apparently the "urgent" appointment setter has 5-7 days to return my phone call. This is not 5-7 days until I'll have the appointment. It's 5-7 days until I can even set the appointment. How can Kaiser not see this as ridiculous?
  5. Any company that uses an automated phone system. My main complaint with this is that generally I'm asked to enter some type of ID. But for some reason, once I'm connected to an operator, that operator then asks for the same ID. Why did I have to enter it the first place if they're not going to use it?! How hard is it to transfer this information to the operator? Sheesh. I know very little programming but am pretty sure that even I could accomplish this.

And people think government is bad. I honestly don't know which is worse.

28 November 2007

It's Finally Open...

And just in time for Christmas (not coincidentally).

I did it. I opened and filled an Etsy shop. I have no idea if things will sell or not, but I guess we'll see.

So anyway, check it out here.

26 November 2007

Exploring the Naming Possibilities...

I know George Costanza wanted to name one of his kids "7," but I'd never before thought about mathematical symbols! It's a whole new world!

I have always been preferential towards the factorial sign, "!"

19 November 2007

Whale Softie

Perfect Weekends

Sometimes things just come together and go as well as planned. Two weekends ago, I had one of those times. It was one of the best weekends I've had in a long time.

Friday night C had to chaperone a football game at his high school. While he was gone, I took the opportunity of the rainy night to just sit on the couch and do nothing. Well, close to nothing. My sis decided that she wanted to start digital scrapbooking. For her birthday this past March, I bought her a copy of Photoshop Elements, apparently an easy program to use to do the digi-scrapping. But for some reason (two little boys and a very little girl, most likely) she has little time to devote to learning a new program. So I told her I'd learn it, and pass on my wisdom to her when we meet over Christmas. Therefore, Friday night was spent introducing myself to PE. And now I'm hooked. I'm throwing out all my old scrapbooking stuff and will focus strictly on the digi side of it. I'm excited.

Saturday morning C and I went to our newly-reopened Giant. It's awesome. It's bigger. It's brighter. It has a "deli" instead of a "delly." We love it. After grocery shopping, we spent nearly five hours with C's mom prepping her basement for her Thanksgiving visitors. Some of you know that one of my all-time desired jobs is to be the host of "Clean Sweep" and that's basically what I got to do. It was awesome. The basement is not only cleaned, but organized and now fully habitable. I was just so proud of the work that all of us put in. It was just so satisfying. But exhausting. We went home and ordered pizza, which we never do.

Sunday morning I decided that I better use some of the fresh raspberries we got on sale the day before. I found a recipe for basic muffins and folded in said raspberries and topped with an orange peel-powdered sugar glaze. YUM. Then we took Bruno to Roosevelt Island, as it was simply too beautiful to stay inside. We came home and relaxed and watch the very sad Redskins lose a very sad game. It's hard to be a Redskins fan. (I'm starting to become a Colts fan. That Peyton Manning, his commercials just crack me up.) I worked on a few projects (some Christmas so they'll have to remain a surprise) while C cried over the loss (not really).

And then Monday. Ahhh, federal holidays. Given it was such a special day (ultrasound day!) for us, I wanted to make it memorable. We started the day with a bowl of steel-cut oatmeal. Totally yum. Read the paper, watched some Today show. Then we left for our super-early movie. We saw "Lars and the Real Girl." HILARIOUS. I highly recommend it. Then we went to lunch and had Mexican food. (Notice how awesomely I ate this weekend?! I certainly did.) Then we had enough time to go home and get Bruno walked. Then we trekked back to the doctor's office for the ultrasound. Mr. Mullet was (1) healthy as far as they can see from ultrasounds, (2) ALONE in the womb, and (3) fully cooperating with us to let us see his gender. Ergo...it was perfect. We went home and enjoyed our Monday night.

Three days of perfection. When can I do it again?

15 November 2007

Roll Out the Red Carpet

And the winner is...Chris! For her prize, she is presented with this beautiful award.

Let's all congratulate her. Chris, feel free to download this fancy award and frame it for your home (or just post it on your blog). And if you're ever in my neck of the woods (which is basically your old neck of the woods), let me know. There will be a plate of cookies waiting for you.

Thanks to everyone for playing. You're all funny in your own funny ways.

13 November 2007

The Results are In...

Mr. Mullet it is!

I would have posted a picture from the ultrasound yesterday, but I didn't want to scare anyone. Honestly, the face-on shot was just too Halloween-y. Thankfully, Mr. Mullet fully cooperated enough to let us confirm that he is, indeed, a he.

And we couldn't be happier.

P.S. Thanks to the ladies at Sew, Mama, Sew for posting my placemat tutorial. I am LOVING this 30 days of tutorials and have printed far more than I'll ever get to. It truly is an honor to be there with so many talented artists. And welcome to anyone visiting from there! I added the above link to why C and I are calling the fetus Mr. Mullet for now. Don't worry; it won't be that forever. But feel free to snoop around here and here, the place for most of my handmade stuff.

08 November 2007

It Finally Came!

Isn't it interesting that it took my fall swap package two days to cross the country westward, but four days for Nicole's to go the opposite direction? Maybe not. Regardless, yesterday I received my fall swap package. I am in LOVE with everything she sent! (Note: I am realizing what a horrible photographer I am. I'm sure Nicole will have better pictures than I have, so be sure to check her blog later; I know she was waiting for me to get the package before she posted her own.)

Here's a pic of the entire loot. Again, nothing but love for it all. As I knew that she was a knitter (Crocheter? Is there a difference? Oy, I'm so ignorant in the ways of the two-needle arts.), I was hoping that she would knit something. And boy did she come through. I LOVE hats like this and didn't take it off until bedtime. And when it was 31 degrees when I left for work this morning, you better believe I was decked out in all my new gear. The workmanship is just outstanding, really beautifully done.

And how cute are those fabrics?! LOVE the colors. Now I just have to decide to do with it. Hmmm....so many possibilities. And the cute mason jar lid with the floss, sewing scissors, thread, and needles? So adorable. How did she know I was picking up my old habit of cross-stitching?

Nicole: Thanks soooo much! Everything is truly lovely. What a great way to start my swapping experiences!

Everyone else: Check out Nicole's Etsy shop. Trust me. The girl can knit.

07 November 2007

Fill in the Blank

Whoever can give me the funniest quote for Bruno for this funniest of pictures will win a prize! You have until next Tuesday morning (11/13/07). Good luck! (If you need to see exactly what Bruno is doing, just click on the picture to enlarge it.)

P.S. This photo was NOT staged.

05 November 2007

Fall Swap Goodies

Completely Random

Just a bunch of random thoughts.

First, check out this week's Bruno picture. Yes, that is Bruno foaming at the mouth. He had just finished eating his lil' smokies for the hot dog eating contest at last week's Pug-toberfest. This amount of foam is not uncommon for him during feeding time. And that tongue. Always with the tongue.

Second, my cute fall swap partner received her package on Friday so now I can post pictures. Check them out here. I can't wait for mine!

Third, only one week until the ultrasound. We're going to make an entire day of it, since I already have the day off. We'll see a movie, grab some lunch (at a real restaurant!), and then (hopefully) find out the Mullet's gender. At my last OB appointment the nurse practitioner said that the Mullet was such a good, strong kicker, that it has to be a boy. And at a much earlier appointment with an internal sonogram, she thought she saw testes. Given these facts, I'm pretty much convinced it's a girl. But let me say something about the Mullet's kicking abilities. Man, can this kid kick. Apparently, others don't usually feel the kicking of fetuses (feti?) until about the 23rd or 24th week. When we told the NP that C had felt them around week 19, I think she was a little doubtful, as was my sis. However, the little one came through and brought the kicking to the appointment, thereby validating us. Thanks Mullet!

02 November 2007

What I've Been Up to Lately

People are amazing. I recently found this whole wide world of crafters and their blogs. I used to think I was pretty good at what I do, but these people completely humble me. For example, take the Sew, Mama, Sew blog. Starting yesterday and continuing through the end of November, they are daily posting links to tutorials that people have created and placed on the internet. How cool is that?! I can't wait to see all the fun things that people have done.

A few weeks ago, I found a crafty blogger who was hosting a "Fall Swap." How it worked is that I signed up, was assigned a swap partner, created at least one homemade gift, packaged at least three total gifts, and then mailed everything to my swap partner. This swap partner, in turn, was doing the same thing for me. Sounds awesome, right? Well, maybe...

When I signed up, I was super excited about it. But then I went into ultra-stress-case mode, and I don't generally get stressed. What if she didn't like the things I make for her? What if I really suck at this sewing thing after all? What if my package is the lamest of all packages? And then I was hit with creators block. Sure, I have a bunch of things in my portfolio, but how to make them fall-themed? And why not use this time to try something new? It was all so scary.

Finally I was able to narrow down what I wanted to do. (I can't reveal what I did yet; I mailed the package on Wednesday and want to make sure that my swap partner sees it before everyone else does. But don't worry, I'll post pictures here sometime next week.) And now that it's over, I can't wait to do it again. Anyone want to join me?

P.S. I think my office is the only one in the entire universe where no one brought left-over Halloween candy. Honestly people. Sheesh.