Saturday, November 20, 2004

Our Night Out on Friday

On Friday, I was working at home (as usual) in my comfy sleepy pants and shirt when hubby IM'd me and asked if I wanted to go see "National Treasure" with some of his co-workers.

A.) I HATE Nicholas Cage
B.) Glowing reviews such as "a half-hour too long" and "utterly ridiculous" don't compel me to spend a handful of money and mortgage the house for popcorn to see a movie.
C.) I'm in my sleepy pants, this would require me to actually get dressed and go out.

I ask who is going, hoping that it was just some guys from work, to which I would tell him to go have a fun "guys night out" while I go blow money at Costco (if I managed to get enough strength to change out of said sleepy pants and go somewhere). He replies that it will be two co-workers and their wives (one wife I happen to know, and all she does is bitch about her ex-husband). On top of that, after the movie we're all going out to eat. Oh, crap. It all hinges on one co-worker arranging for a babysitter.

A.) This will require me to be nice to people and chat about the movie
B.) This will require me to listen to the one wife bitch about her ex-husband (who she's been divorced from for about 10 years)
C.) This will require me to listen to them talk about their kids, where all I have to offer is a detailed explanation about Nova's ass mass and how he took a healthy poop today.

I call on friends to cross fingers and sacrifice anything to the babysitting gods to strike all available babysitters dead where they stand... to no avail. It's a go. Friends tell me to come up with excuses: migraines, spleen attack, anything. I do point out to hubby when he gets home to pick me up that our 15 year old dog Nova hasn't eaten all day, and is very creaky. That's the truth, he was creaky and acting stiff, and he hadn't eaten all day (not for a lack of me trying).

A.) The theater we're going to is at a mall
B.) It's almost Thanksgiving

Parking took for freakin ever, and the walk to the theater was exhausting.

We get our tickets and get refreshments ($2.75 for a normal sized bag of M&Ms, bite me) which consisted of stale popcorn and a coke that turned out to be diet coke (ack).

The movie, as predicted, could not suck enough and it wasn't a half hour too long, it was two hours too long. I had brought my iPod along, but out of consideration, I didn't plug it in, but wished I had. Two hours of my life I'll never get back. I won't go into details, other than saying IT SUCKED!

We get out of the theater, and start making plans for dinner, and I turn to Gil and say "I'm a little worried about Nova", and that's all it took. We bowed out of dinner to go home and check on him, I waved some soup, we all watched tv in bed and life was good again... with my sleepy pants on.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Not So Instant Gratification

I wanted a nightstand. I actually already had one, but a large fan was sitting on it, which meant nothing else could sit on it, therefore I actually wanted a larger nightstand.

Having purchased one at Lowes Home Improvement a few years ago (which my hubby snagged somehow, leaving me with a small nightstand with a big fan on it), I figured I'd check to see if they still had them.... and they did, according to their Web site.

Lowes is great, because they have a way for you to purchase the item on-line, then go in and get it. This is great for me because I HATE driving all over the world looking for things. I see that the nightstand is available for in store pickup, so I buy it, and as instructed, I wait for the confirmation e-mail, which arrives, and then we decide to go run some errands then pick it up, because their Web site says to give them two hours to get it to the Customer Service department.

We run our errands, then head over to Lowes. I hand the printed receipt to the customer service woman, she taps some numbers in... makes a phone call, then informs me that Lowes no longer carries furniture in their stores, it would take two weeks for it to get to the store. Excuse me? She points to the small print on the printed receipt that says "special order".

We've had this problem before with Best Buy. When the new Unreal Tournament 2003 came out, we found a copy at Best Buy on-line. It said they had two of them "in store". We waited for the receipt to get sent and then took off for Best Buy, where we stood in line (a big line) and were told "oh, it's not actually IN the store, it's actually IN the warehouse and it'll take 3-5 days to get it IN the store".

A.) When did "in store" change its meaning from "sitting in the store", to "anywhere BUT in the store"?

B.) In this day where packages are sent overnight, why does it take something anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks to get somewhere? I can see if I was buying a hand whittled yeti tooth in the form of a rhino that had to be carried by a yak led by sherpas through the Andes mountains why it might take 2 weeks, but a nightstand that's mass produced and sitting in a local warehouse down the road?

C.) If customers came to a store and looked at an item, then wanted to buy it and were told "Oh, I'm sorry, we don't have that in the store, it'll take 2 weeks to get it here", there wouldn't be a lot of repeat business at that store, and yet merchants can't seem to grasp that this is exactly what they are saying to people who "purchase " items for in store pickup.

The only company that has mastered the art of "in store pickup" is Circuit City. You order it on-line and they even tell you if it's in stock, you drive over to the store, a conveyor belt spits out your purchases, the cashier scans the bar codes, bags it and you're out the door. PERFECT.

So, after telling Lowes to shove it, we drove around looking for a nightstand (which is the very thing I was trying to avoid), and came home empty handed. I then stole back my original nightstand, gave hubby the smaller one, and now have room to sit a cup of hot tea or a water bottle beside me at night even with the fan.

The only problem is... now hubby wants a bigger nightstand.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Normal Routine

Hubby has sufficiently recovered to go back to work tomorrow (whew, that 70% Short Term Disability payment really sucks... if we ever get it), and soon we'll be back into our normal routine:

Starbucks/Work/Puppy duty/work/home.

I can't wait.

Kaiser Rant
To continue my rant against Kaiser, last week (two weeks after hubby had been booted out of the hospital by Kaiser), a Kaiser representative called and informed him that he needed to see a doctor as soon as he was discharged. Hubby informed them he had been discharged two weeks ago, and they told him that they just found out.

Whatever, so he makes an appointment. We go to the appointment and are told we owe 10 bucks for a co-pay. The beauty of being covered under two insurance plans is that whatever one you aren't using will pick up the co-pay. Oh, but not Kaiser. The receptionist snootily informs us that "they don't deal with other insurance companies, you'll have to take that up with them". Fine.

Hubby gets called in, and his version of the visit goes something like this:

1.) he's handed a pile of forms to fill out
2.) doctor comes in and looks at the wound and says "wow, that's a big wound"
3.) doctor then asks him when he last had a complete physical, because it's important to make sure that he's healthy. Doctor gives him a form with phone numbers to call to schedule his physical.
4.) Hubby reminds doctor that Kaiser was suppose to supply us with medical supplies that have never arrived.
5.) Doctor tells him a nurse will bring some in, nurse comes in and hands him 2 tiny little packets of gauze.
6.) visit over.

Bank Rant

After our helpful Kaiser visit, we deposit some checks via the drive through ATM machine. 90% of all americans now own SUVs. 90% of all banks think that 90% of americans drive Cooper Minis. There's nothing like leaning halfway out of your truck window to jab at buttons and try to hit the slot to make a deposit. Of course, another check came in the mail when we got home from the bank, so I have to shlepp out AGAIN to the bank to deposit that one.

Just An Observation

We go all over the place and pay by credit card. It's very simple now, you swipe the card and sign the screen. Drugstores, Home Depot, Lowes, Office Depot... everywhere you sign the little electronic pad... but not at CompUSA. CompUSA makes you sign the receipt, even though it asks you to sign the electronic pad, they don't do that. Is it just me, or is there something strange about a computer store that doesn't trust electronic signatures?

Stop the Stupid People

At Arundel Mills Mall, if you go into the mall through Bed, Bath & Beyond, exit the store, turn right (heading toward Starbucks), you'll see a line of kiddie carts in the shape of race cars. Kid sits in cart, parents can put their purchases in a mesh bag in the back. The mesh bag says (in big, white print)

"DO NOT PUT CHILD IN BAG".

Do people really need to be told this?