Monday, October 31, 2005

Don't fuck with me, or I shall write a strongly worded letter!

Update on my car situation. I got a call from Toyota Customer Service in CA the Saturday after I sent the letter. This impressed me quite a bit. The woman opened a file for me and advised me she would like to put me in touch with someone from the dealership, who was the customer service liason for that facility. I said fine. Audrey from the dealership called me last week and left a message. I just got around to calling her back now, and they have agreed to do the next tranny flush at no charge when I need it done next.

So I think that's pretty cool. I'm also a bit impressed that they agreed so quickly and didn't try to argue, since I have no actual PROOF that the fluid was never changed -- I only had the observation of the Jiffy Lube guy.

Cool beans.

Damn it.

I'm trying to take some pictures of some jewelery so I can sell it. My camera is sucking at close up shots. And I can't remember for the life of me where my other digital camera is. [/frustrated]

*Insert maniacal laugh here*

The boy's been running around the house singing, "burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me!"


Sunday, October 30, 2005

Role call

I've been pleasantly suprised lately to find linkage to my blog from others' blogs. Example And it got me thinking. Perhaps I should add links to other blogs to my blog. I have a couple of handful of blogs I stalk...most of you know who you are. ;) If you would like me to add a link to your blog, or more importantly, if you specifically don't want me to, please let me know. :D

Saturday, October 29, 2005

This is so fucked up

On the last season of Judging Amy, there was a teenage former gang member named Graciela whom Amy was helping to straighten her life out. I remember she had very pretty eyes and she had some quality about her that I can't define, but I liked her very much. Amy got herself very invested in her, and the girl grew and flourished. Then she was arrested for a drive-by, but she wasn't voluntarily involved; she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Amy moved heaven and earth to try to get her out of jail. In the end, she was murdered in jail. It was devistating.

Today I read in the news that the actress who played Graciela, Tara Correa-McMullen, 16, was just killed in a gang shooting. They don't think she was involved; she just may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I am floored. This is life imitating art in the worst way.


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Take my love, take my land,

take me where I cannot stand.

My God, how many times have I heard that song since Monday? Been going nuts with my new DVD set. Example

I still can't get the boy interested in the show, aside from a couple of funny parts. But he does love the theme song. :D

First I watched all the shows with the commentaries, except for Objects in Space, because I hadn't seen it yet. Then I watched Objects in Space. Then I watched Objects in Space with the commentary on. Then I found the Easter Egg with Adam Baldwin singing "Hero of Canton". Example
That was great. Then I just started watching random episodes. Next is Safe.

I can't get enough. I changed my computer wallpaper to the Serenity Chinese symbol, and I made a slide show screensaver of a bunch of Firefly screencaps.

No power in the 'verse can stop me!


From outside in the parking lot

my neighbors' curtains look like they'll match my sofa.

I'll have to break in one time while my neighbors are at work and steal them.


Friday, October 21, 2005

Wow, my 100th post!

Who'da thunk I'd have so much to say? (Granted, much of it is either rambling, pissing and moaning, or uncontrolled outbursts.)

My thoughts on the latest episode of Firefly, which I just saw for the first time. I don't know the name of the episode because I couldn't be arsed to look it up, but (I think) it's the second to last episode, and it's the one where Inara's friend from the whorehouse asks Inara for help when some ass wants to take the baby of one of her girls. SERENITY SPOILER INCLUDED, SO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

  • Given that I've seen Serenity, the scene with Zoe and Wash talking about babies is now very, very sad.
  • The exchange between Kaylee and Wash was funny: "Tell me I'm pretty..." Once, long ago, someone on the WD had this whole quote in their sig. I didn't get it at the time.
  • Jayne not wanting to help them if he wasn't getting paid, then changing his mind -- VERY funny scene.
  • Jayne wearing a nice shirt instead of his usual t-shirt -- all dressed up for them --was funny.
  • Jayne...well, every scene he did was funny.
  • Inara actually breaking down a bit when she found out about Mal and her friend was...I don't know how to describe it, but it touched me. She's a strong woman, but she still has her moment of weakness. Like us all, I guess.
  • Found out I still can't listen to 'Amazing Grace' without bursting into tears.
  • And again, since I've already seen Serenity, I was spared the shock of Inara announcing that she's leaving.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

For crying out loud!

I already hate the 'new' TV Guide. Now I hate it more.

I got next week's issue in the mail, and I'm reading through it. There's a blurb about Nip/Tuck, about tonight's episode, and it just spoiled some serious plot points.


I may very well write another letter to them.


Sunday, October 16, 2005

Funny story, semi related to WD post

There's been talk of 'something being in the water' with the WD pregnancies, especially with Annika and Meghan being so darned close. Reminds me of where I used to work:

One day, several years ago, my friend A was counting days on her calendar. Then she asked me what date the Christmas party has been on. I immediately understood: This was a 'hmm..I haven't gotten my period and I think it's late, Dear God, what have I done!' calendar count. Sure enough, 9 months after the Christmas party, came her daughter.

Five years later, five Christmas parties later. Our 20 year old not-married temp discovered she was pregnant. Oh, dear. The next week, C, another guy at work (who's wife used to work there too, and both of whom were at the party) announced that his wife was pregnant, too! Both were suprises. Everyone adjusted, our temp married her boyfriend. But for ever after we maintained that C had knocked up both women. ;)

For our remaining years at work, we'd be apprehensive about company functions. The next year's Christmas party invitation even included, "contraception with be provided". We actually did wrap a few condoms up real fancy as a joke. And when we all went to a resort for a weekend in the summer, our bosses (including A) made up gift baskets for everyone, and condoms WERE included.

Then there was the Labor Day cookout. I brought my Spinach Dip (if you're trying to conceive, I'll send you the recipe). Beth and Al (Al worked with us) were there. Beth told us how they'd been trying for 4 years to conceive, they'd been to all the specialists, she even quit her job in case the problem was stress-related. Still nothing. As she talked, Beth could not stop eating my Spinach Dip. She loved it. She asked me for the recipe and bought stuff to make more on her way home that day.

Beth turned up pregnant soon after.

Another year, another Christmas party. This year it was a potluck held at the office. I brought my spinach dip again. And Beth got pregnant again.

I have refused to make that Spinach Dip again, as it's just too dangerous. Although I guess I could make it now, because I'm quite sure you do still need to have sex, too, in order to conceive. It is a very yummy dip.

Mood: bitchy

Just shot off a couple of letters to companies I have a beef with:

1. Letter to TV Guide saying that their new format sucks* and is totally useless to me, and I will not be renewing my subscription. I ddn't actually request any restitution, I just wanted to let them know how much they suck*.

2. Letter to Toyota saying that I found out that when I bought the car at 47,000, it had never had the 30,000 transmission fluid change done. Since I purchased the car as a Certified Used Vehicle and they list “Vehicle professionally reconditioned to Toyota standards” as one of the top benefits for purchasing a vehicle as a Certified Used Vehicle, I had a reasonable expectation that necessary maintence would have been done before I purchased the car. Furthermore, the independant servicer who flushed the tranny fluid this time recommended I have it done again in 15,000 miles instead of the usual 30,000 miles, due to the poor condition. This is neglagence on Toyota's part, resulting in MY incurring the cost of a whole extra tranny flush, and I request either a reimbursement for my service, or an offer of no charge service the next time I need it done.

I may or may not get anything out of it. I don't care too much if I do, but I just wanted to bitch at them.

*I actually did not use the word 'sucks'.
I actually worded both letters quite politely. I have 12 years experience in reading letters from irate or otherwise displeased customers. If there's one thing I learned, is that you catch a lot more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. Sometimes company policy does not dictate which way the response should go, and sometimes it will even lean away from the customer's demand/wishes. In cases where it was a judgement call, I was MUCH more inclined to help out a customer who politely and/or reasonably gave their point of view, rather than the one who was a total asshole.

Example: A broken TV remote control was sent in to be replaced. It was not covered by warranty. I sent an estimate for the replacement cost. Here are sample responses from customers:

Customer 1: Your Company sucks! This is a ripoff! I don't care if I dropped it in the fish tank and that's why it doesn't work, Your Company should give me a new one for free. I will never buy Your Company's products again, and I will tell everyone I know not to, either.

Customer 2: Dear ______, I received your estimate for the replacement remote. At this time, I cannot afford the new one because Christmas is coming and I need to get gifts for my grandchildren. Please send my old one back. Thank you for your time.

Now, GUESS which customer I fudged a date of purchase for, so that I could send a new remote to at no charge?

(And after she received the new one, she even sent another letter thanking us so much for the replacement. She was so suprised, we are so nice, etc.)

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Holy shit, they're at it again!

Last year I watched a TLC special about an Arkansas couple who were having their FIFTEENTH baby.

I just found out they're still at it!

The Duggar Family usher in 16th baby, will welcome more

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have done it again: Michelle recently gave birth to their 16th child, Johannah. All of the Duggar children have names beginning with the letter “J.” Beth Hoyt covered the family when they were pregnant with Johannah. Jim Bob Duggar, who dabbles in politics and sells real estate, said the same thing when child 15 was born as he did about his newest addition: “We both just love children and we consider each a blessing from the Lord.”

According to the Duggar Family website, they are often asked whether they are Mormon or Catholic. They are also asked whether they are aware of how babies are made. The Duggars laugh this off with the same good cheer they express on the rest of their website. The explanation is simple: they have dedicated their lives to the Lord and they have decided that they will accept every child the Lord sends them.

The Discovery Channel plans to do another show on the Duggar family in May; their first show was extremely highly rated. TLC is already doing a show on the Duggars’ new home, which Jim Bob and his two oldest sons are building. It will have nine bedrooms and four washing machines. I hope they threw in a few dishwashers, too.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I'm so bored!

Talk to me.

Tell me about your day.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I'm bored...

and I want to add some more junk to my blog sidebar.

What do you recommend?

Edit: Look! I figured out how to add pictures to my sidebar!

Saturday, October 8, 2005

My poor kitty was traumatized!

I feel like such a bad kitty mummy.

Last night the boy and I slept on the pull-out sofa-bed. I brought kitty boy up to sleep with us, and he settled on my pillows. (When in my bed, he sleeps on a pillow above my head, against the wall, no headboard.) On the sofa-bed, the sofa cushion sort of serves as a headboard, but there is a gap between the mattress and the back of the sofa, and of course the cushion is soft; so when poor kitty boy tried to lean back, he found himself slipping down instead of leaning against a solid wall (like he would in my bed). I helped him catch himself and he repositioned himself so he wasn't leaning back. The boy expressed concern that kitty would fall down in there, but I said that it wouldn't happen. Then we all fell asleep. During the night a woke up for a second, like I do a lot, and found the pillow empty. No big deal. Kitty boy gets up and leaves often during the night.

Come morning, the boy and I wake up, and the boy suddenly exclaims, "Kitty didn't leave, he fell in the sofa!" He had heard a soft meow. I pulled the top of the mattress and frame up, and sure enough, there's poor kitty boy helplessly trapped under the sofa! (With the bed pulled out, the underneath of the sofa is a big, empty area, so he didn't get squished or anything, but there's no way out!) Now, kitty boy is old and arthritic, and can't jump any more. So he sees that I've pulled the mattress up and sees the way out, but he can't get out. The boy had to go get a step stool and go in there with kitty and we both helped him out.

That poor cat. Imagine being sound asleep and suddenly finding yourself sucked into an empty vortex. And then you're just trapped for God knows how many hours! Thank God he wasn't hurt. Poor, poor, kitty boy.

Thursday, October 6, 2005

Does this mean I'm related to Iago?

You Are A: Lamb!

lambPeaceful and gentle, lambs have been used in religious imagery for millennia. Lambs are baby sheep, an animal tended by shephards since the dawn of history. As a lamb, you tend to stay together in a flock and graze on grassy land. Lambs don't mind being led and tend not to go off on their own.

You were almost a: Groundhog or a Chipmunk
You are least like a: Duck or a MonkeyWhat Cute Animal Are You?

I think it's rather significant that it says I was almost a chipmunk. The ex once found one in our backyard. He picked it up, after I warned him to leave it alone. When it bit him, he flung it on the ground and killed it.

There, but for the grace of God, go I.