Friday, August 17, 2007

Bedroom set

This is me, in my bedroom, dated May 1979. I was 3 1/2 years old. As of right now, that nightstand and its matching dresser are in the bedroom of my house, and I use them every day. This means I have been using the same set for 28 years. It's no wonder that sometimes I don't feel like an adult.

Today, I committed to buy a new bedroom set. With John moving here (eventually), we needed something that we both liked and that had more pieces to gain more drawer space. We have similar taste when it comes to this furniture, and we wanted something with a more contemporary design, clean lines, etc. I don't like bedroom furniture with scroll work or detailing; just not my thing. I was invited to a wholesale furniture show along with my Dad, and I saw this set. The design (and price) were winners, so I sent John some pictures. He liked it too, so I told Dad to let the wholesaler know that I wanted to buy it. It's in his stock, so I can probably get it next week. I picked out all of the pieces, with a nightstand for each of us. I'm so excited! Grown-up furniture!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Flight changes... for the better

On the last day of John's July visit, we called Aeroplan and booked his flight to come here for the wedding and return on our honeymoon. The return leg of the flight really stunk (in my opinion), as it meant leaving SJ at suppertime and arriving at LAX at 10:30 Pacific. By the time we would get the shuttle to his apartment, it would be the equivalent of 4am Atlantic. I was not relishing this travel schedule, especially as it meant the next day would basically be a write-off. We are not going to have much time for a honeymoon as it is.

I called Aeroplan again last week, just to see if any seat availability had opened up, but found nothing. The agent stressed to me that I should try in another week. I called back yesterday, and much to my surprise, I was able to change John's flight to leave SJ @ 11:35am and fly into Orange County, landing around midnight Atlantic. Much, much better.

Tonight I booked my own ticket, which also covers the conference I am attending for work. Because we booked the tickets separately, I had to make sure we'd be able to sit together. It's our honeymoon, so sitting together is pretty important. This is also the first time we will have traveled by plane together. I was able to pick seats on the Air Canada segments to be beside him, but our last leg is a United flight from Chicago to Orange County. Aeroplan had told me that I could call them, link our booking references, and then they'd ensure we'd have seats together. Not so when you have a United flight in the mix.

Aeroplan gave me the phone number for United, so I called them up to get myself a seat next to John. Like Aeroplan, United now has a voice recognition system. You have to say the letters/numbers in your booking reference one character at a time, then the automated attendant repeats it back to you. It even suggests you use phrases like "L as in Larry" to assist the process. After 5 very clear attempts to enunciate as much as possible, the stupid system still wasn't getting it. It would get one of the 6 characters wrong, making me start all over again. Finally, it realized I needed an agent and transferred me. The agent was able to understand me quite well, and was able to seat me beside John on our last leg of the trip. I also picked seats for my two United return flights, though the pickin's were slim. I ended up in a window seat from OC to Chicago, so as to avoid being 9 rows even further back. Hope I don't have to pee much. I opted for an aisle seat between Chicago and Toronto, it was only 3 back from my other choice. I prefer the aisle because I often have to go to the bathroom, plus I often end up having to run to make a flight. The aisle is just easier that way.

It still surprises me that I was able to get John's flight changed. Thanks for the break this time. :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Custom karaoke cd

My custom karaoke cd just arrived in the mail. It was expensive, but I did get to pick all of the songs on it, which rocked. I can't wait to try it out... I may have to drop by Jenn's house and try it on her machine so I can see the lyric screens. I'm listening to just the music right now, and it seems fairly decent for karaoke.

Buying this cd was a risk, as I basically just found this company online and hoped the versions they were selling were decent. The company is located in SoCal, and have a store in San Bernardino, where John went to college. We'll see how it turns out when I actually get to use it.

I am slightly annoyed at myself for not checking the list over carefully enough before I submitted the order. I missed applying a $5 coupon, and I also managed to add two versions of the same song, so I could have had an extra song on it. Oh well, too late now.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Score one for socks

The week began with having to work on the holiday Monday, after much debate as to whether or not I would have to. Last week I worked my ass off trying to get everything ready for Monday, so I didn't really want it to all go for naught. So Monday I did work, and it seemed to go well at first, but then took a turn for the worse. I ended up staying late, trying to make sure things would be ok for the next day.

Tuesday came, and the first half hour of the day was ok, but then I started to get the phone calls that something was wrong. I spent the morning working out those issues with our support vendor. I was supposed to have gone to Moncton for a meeting, but this problem trumped all, so I had to stay behind. I spent the rest of the week dealing with issues that cropped up due to a software version change that they snuck in without telling me. Wonderful. Things just didn't seem to go according to any plans I had set out for myself this week.

Today, in exchange for some help in putting together Regan's shower, I agreed to take my mother to Calais. I intended on leaving at 8am. I got up about 7:15, figuring I'd wash up, get dressed, eat, and be out the door a bit early. I ended up not quite sure how to dress for the inevitable warmer weather in Calais, so I spent too much time being indecisive about clothing and ended up being late. I pulled into Mum's place, and while she was getting in the car, I noticed my Blackberry flashing at me. A store was down. My co-worker just started his vacation, so I had to handle the issue myself. Since I was just about to head out of town, I called the store and asked if they were having any issues. I specifically asked if they needed their accounts unlocked, as I was just about to head out of town. They said no, we're fine. I left Mum's house and decided it would be a good idea if I took my laptop with me on the road, just in case anyone else called. We finally hit the road at about 8:30. I got as far as Musquash when my cell phone rang -- it was, of course, the store I proactively called to make sure they didn't need my help before getting on the road. I told him to try a spare account I had set up, but it didn't work for some reason. I ended up pulling over, booting up the laptop, connecting with my Blackberry, logging in to work, and unlocking the account. Issue solved.

I pulled back onto the road, got as far as Lepreau, just after where the highway turns back into 2 lanes. All of a sudden there is a deer running across the road in front of the car. I slammed on the breaks. If the deer had stopped in the road, I would have hit it. I was lucky.

We made it the rest of the way uneventfully. The border wasn't backed up too badly. While we were waiting in line, I left Mum in the car and took my laptop to the Canadian border office and got an ownership card for the laptop, just to avoid any potential issues with taking it over the border and back. As I was walking down the street, I went to go get something out of my shopping purse. I grabbed the zipper and it came right off. Took me a few minutes just to be able to get into my purse, great, now that's broken.

When we got up to the border agent for the US, she said, "You know you're trapped here today? The festival is going on." The usually boring "City" of Calais was abuzz with the International Festival, and a parade was going to start in about an hour. That meant lots of traffic issues to try and avoid.

We headed to Mardens first, then a quick stop at the Dollar Store. I took my US bottles & cans to the redemption centre. Then we headed for Wal-Mart. As we were walking in, I commented on how it was getting hotter. The woman ahead of me, who was walking with a limp due to a physical issue of some kind, turned around smiling and agreed with me. We headed on into the store and began shopping. I got to the aisle with kitchen stuff, and was pointing to a cutting board that I had seen last time I was down. It was a large wooden board with a groove in it, probably 1' x 2'. I grabbed one to pull out and show to my mother, and then another board fell out and dropped on my big right toe. It hurt so badly that I thought I was going to have blood gushing or a broken toe. I took my sneaker off to check things out, and then my sock; everything seemed intact and I could wiggle it, so it wasn't broken, but I was in a lot of pain. I got my sneaker back on and kept on going, though now I was limping quite a bit. A few minutes later in the store, we crossed paths with the woman whom we walked in behind... oh God, please don't let her think I'm making fun of or imitating her... I just dropped a cutting board on my foot, that's all!!

Aside: I am not much of one for being a slave to fashion. On a sunny, hot day, most women I know would be wearing bare feet in flip-flops or sandals. Knowing I was going shopping and would be walking, I wore sneakers and socks... well, that's pretty much my norm, to be honest. The point is, had I been wearing bare feet in other shoes, my toe would have gotten broken. Score one for socks.

I carried on shopping, being stubborn and wanting to finish out the day, despite probably needing to keep off my foot and have it elevated. We cleaned out all of the root beer at Wal-Mart, thinking we could get more at the grocery store. When we got to the grocery store, we discovered they didn't have any. The grocery dept clerk said they'd been trying to order it for a while now, but weren't having any luck. Great. To be sure they kept on trying to order it, I stopped at the customer service desk and put in a product request.

We finished the shopping and headed on to McDonalds for lunch. The parade was in the street, but I managed to get around enough back roads to get to McDonalds. We had a good lunch, and I decided I needed a Happy Meal toy because it was a small version of bears from Build-A-Bear Workshop. I had to get the purple bear. Couldn't resist.

Knowing that the parade was going on, and that they were crossing the main border, we headed back to Milltown to cross there. There were signs posted asking people not block driveways. Trying to be considerate, I followed their request. All of a sudden a gold Lincoln pulls up and cuts right in front of me, into the spot I was leaving for the driveway access. I proceeded to honk, shake my fist, give him the finger, and yell at him out my window, which elicited him giving me the finger back. It also likely resulted in my mother thinking I am just like my father, a fire for which she needs no more fuel, but I just handed it to her on a silver platter. She didn't say anything, but I knew that's what she was thinking. I felt pissed off at the guy in front of me and defeated at having lost my cool again so quickly after the Zellers incident last week.

I am apparently a lot more stressed out than I realized. So much so that my body is rebelling and a zillion cold sores decided to pop out overnight last night. Not only do I feel like a mess today, but I also look it. Mum gave me some ointment to attack them with, so hopefully I can get rid of them and try to destress a bit. My parents' wedding pics are marred only by the fact that my Dad had a big cold sore in every picture... I'd prefer not to repeat that visual.

I spent tonight at TotE and I was glad to have some laughs after my rotten day. All of the plays were good and I give kudos to those who wrote and performed. If I didn't socialize very much tonight, it wasn't anything personal -- it was just the end of my very bad day.

Tomorrow, as they say, is another day. Please let it be better than today.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Geosynchronous pork chop

was the subject on a spam I received today. I just thought it was really odd but funny.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

A Sense of Entitlement

I am growing increasingly frustrated with what seems to be a new disease - a sense of entitlement that appears to motivate people to do and say whatever they please, even if it results in someone else being hurt. When did this become something popular to do? I see it happening more and more often.

This is a free country and we have the right to say and do what we want, when we want, how we want. Why, then, is it fair/acceptable to express oneself and end up hurting people in the process? At times it is inevitable: if your opinions clash with another's, then someone is bound to be hurt. But what about those times where it is not necessary for you to voice your opinion? Opinions are not required 100% of the time, so why can't some people shut their mouths for a few minutes and have some respect for others?

I am finding this scenario particularly frustrating as I plan my wedding. Although I do not have an issue with too many people forcing opinions on me, I have been very cognizant of the fact that I want people to enjoy the day with us. This means, for example, that I can't serve a meal that mainly consists of chinese food because a large portion of the people attending the event may not like chinese. Instead we are serving turkey dinner -- a meal that should appeal to most of our guests. I am not saying "damn the torpedoes" and serving what I like to eat just because it's my wedding, without any consideration for my guests. I think it would be a pretty crappy wedding if all I cared about was myself.

It must be interesting to go through life doing exactly what you want to do and saying what you want to say, and if anyone doesn't like you for it, to hell with them. Do these people ever realize they have hurt someone? Do they have regret?

Dear Jackass at Zellers today

"I don't have to" and "Zellers owns the cart" are not good enough reasons for you to have rudely dumped your cart right in front of me at the checkout line. You walked right by the cart area in the store, yet you were too lazy to take your cart and drop it off as you exited the store. Your brains must have fell out of your head at the same time your hair did. Jackass.