Tuesday, June 30, 2009
We've tasted lots of value priced wine and found some that we actually like and are drinking at home. Then, just as we landed on this wine, it went on sale at Fred Meyer. By on sale I mean more than $4 off per bottle, so we ordered the four cases we'll need to supplement the beer, champagne and booze we're having trucked in from Colorado. (Seriously, folks - get a hotel room and take the shuttle to and from the party!)
Fred Meyer, like most places will give you 10% off when you buy 6 or more. Actually, their posted signage says "buy 6 in the Fred Meyer travel bags and get 10% off" We calculated the price of the wine and came up with one price. Last night when we went to purchase our wine the price written on the cases was more than we anticipated. (Not more, like no food for the baby more, but it didn't add up.)
We asked to have the wine steward paged and he came out and tried to explain. His math went like this:
Fred Meyer Cost + 10% on all custom ordered cases.
Our math went like this:
Posted price - 10% - per the signage in the store.
Turns out that the Fred Meyer cost and the sale price were EXTREMELY close together and thus the difference between +10% and -10% was noticeable. We asked where the custom order pricing information was posted (as it wasn't explained when we ordered it) and the WS got irritated with us.
So then we asked, what do we have to do to get the posted price for the wine? His solution was to unbox the wine, put them in the cloth 6 pack carriers and purchase them that way. So, for less money we didn't get the boxes from the winery (which were free) but got the custom made cloth bags (which Fred Meyer paid for.) Strange.
We unboxed the wine, used eight of the wine carriers and got our discount. We opted NOT to ask a clerk at the check out for boxes instead went to the liquor store and picked up new boxes.
We may use the wine carrier bags as party favors for the wedding.
I would order wine again from Fred Meyer as the cost +10% pricing is reasonable - but I would check on the price before ordering. Had we known this was the scenario we would have just pulled the wine off the shelf.
Monday, June 29, 2009
We'll mail the invitations after the holiday and there will be no turning back at that point. Actually, since we've paid the caterer for the Baron of beef, salmon and chicken - so there's no turning back now. Neither of us want to, but it is a big milestone to drop the invitations in the mail. They are packaged up all nice and neat. Seeing them on the shelf brings me joy.
Jason & I have been talking quite a bit about marriage and our chances for long term success. We agree that any marriage that implodes (see Jon & Kate, Britney Spears & Kevin whatshisname) is tragic, but we shouldn't fear failure, but seek a continual flow of communication and respect. (are you gagging yet?) I don't think the time we spend talking about how we'll keep this little union of ours on track is wasted. The rules of engagement have come in handy during our couple moments of aggravation - his knowing that I need a moment to form the correct words has been very beneficial. I do at times say the wrong thing and need to step back to get to the root of my point - especially when frustrated or feeling unsteady. We are (maybe blindly) optimistic that ours is the marriage that will be sustainable until we are ancient, old and saggy - but that optimism feels great. I'm thankful that there aren't any nagging thoughts of "ooh, are you SURE this is the right move?"
But - back to the point. Things are on track and I'm spending way more time in "wedding mode" than I thought that I would. Some of this is due to the first of the serious and official pre-event events. A small, but lovely soiree in the back yard of a dear friend. We are honored and humbled that folks want to celebrate our good luck and happiness at finding each other.
I know there's been lots of other news to comment on: have you heard that Michael Jackson died, or that yelling guy who pitches the ShamWow!? Bernie Madoff got 150 years in prison - good for him. Enjoy the chipped "beef" on toast - you dream stealing mof0!
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
We got a letter from Macy's the other day that signals the end of all humanity. Inside were twenty 20% off coupons for any item on our registry. The attached letter suggested that we hand out the coupons to our friends and family so they could "enjoy" the savings.
While I appreciate the option to save any money on the items on our registry, I will not be handing out coupons. Nothing says 'greedy' like "hey, here's a coupon for the gift you're now feeling obligated to buy me!"
Hey Macy's – brides aren't supposed to solicit for gifts! Registering is something we do to give folks an idea of what we would like should they CHOOSE to give a gift. We aren't technically supposed to even mention where we are registered unless we are directly asked. Putting the links to the online registries on our website was ok'd by Martha Stewart, the new Emily Post and the Wedding Channel, but coupons!? Not OK!
I may, if I feel flush this weekend review the registry for any limited availability items that we absolutely love and if the coupon is advantageous I may end up gifting myself – but frankly, I doubt it will happen.
I'm sitting in my hotel room ALONE (because I’m not the governor of anything) I made a list of all the little things that need to get done before the wedding.
These items are floating in my head and I think I have them under control, but the repressed project manager inside has decided it is better to get them on paper so that something important (or not important) doesn’t fall through the cracks.
I didn’t think the list was all that big – finish the favors, mail the invites, final number to the caterer… but alas as I started to dig into it the list grew from those three items to 45… 45! Of course, some things are optional or in the “If I had all the time in the world” category, but others like a welcome kit for the folks who are staying at the hotel with us is something I really want to do and haven’t put much thought into. I’m thinking once the invitations go out and we get a better sense of how many are staying the scope of that “to do” will be clearer. I’ve been to weddings where the B&G have left a gift bag with water, light snacks and information about the area and really appreciated it.
I put things on the list that are handled, but haven’t happened yet. For example, my first dress fitting is on the list but it is scheduled (for July 8th) so there’s not much “to do” there but show up with the correct undergarments and shoes.
The “mail the invitations” list is a bit more complicated, I started to assemble the invitations and it took two hours to get through the first page (of 3 ½) of names. Normally with “arts & crafts” I’m quick, but these are special, so I was slow and methodical. It will be a shame to put them in the mail, I don’t like the idea of non-wedding mail touching my pretty invitations. (OH MY GOLLY.. WHO AM I?????????)
While the list is large, thankfully there isn’t anything there that makes me want to throw up. Well, that’s not entirely true. It has become clear that I am the bride who will provide the wedding party a printout of where to be and when. It might be as simple as a little map to the “manor” and the totally optional Sunday family thing. Lucky me, I hired a wedding coordinator who gets to be the bridezilla by proxy. I get to stand around and make jokes while Melissa (my paid henchman) gives orders …oops, I mean “direction.”
One thing that is on my list that I think it super important, is to plan a post honeymoon event for Jason and I so that we don’t get back from our Canadian journey and look at each other and say “now what?” Truth be told, we’ll be busy doing the name change thing – bank accounts, credit cards, passports… that should keep me busy.
Meanwhile, we’ve got 86 days to get the to do’s completed so we can do the I do’s. Can’t wait!
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Golly, the news here (or anywhere) couldn’t be more exciting!
SLC Cheesecake Contest!
The Salt Lake Billing team held a cheesecake baking contest on June 18th, 2008, with three entrants. Michelle H**** was the winner, with her Citrus Cheesecake. Congratulations Michelle!
Seriously, Congratulations Michelle!
I guess it is time to confess that I purchased the new 3GS iPhone. It wasn’t a planned purchase, but one we had talked about. We found ourselves at the mall Sunday with time to spare and there were only four people in line outside the Apple store. Jason and I jumped in line to buy a new phone.
Jason and I had to have our nightly phone call on *gasp* the land line. It was horrid, I was trapped near the wall and couldn’t roam around the room while we talked.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Oh golly, to tune in or not tune in - that is the question on the table today.
Clearly, Kate is a nut job who is too clean and rigid - how she deals with 8 kids is facinating enough for a tv show --- TLC , but still.
Jon is a bit affable and prone to bad decisions.
TLC is promoting the fact that tonight they'll make an announcement that will affect all their lives. Is it divorce?
Is it any of our business?
Can I stop myself from watching? (Maybe) But, will that stop me from reading about it on the Internet tomorrow? (No.)
Friday, June 19, 2009
We just finished dinner, washing the dishes and who breaks a glass and bleeds on the carpet!?
My finger is fine; no emergency room is needed, but I feel like a dumb ass! Jason is now vacuuming the kitchen to get up the remnants of his lovely winery collected glass that I just killed with my "bull in the china shop" spirit. So much for romance...
Alley-Oomph - Similar to Alley Oop, which is an the description for an awesome physical feat like a half court shot or an excellent toss of a ball of paper into a trash bin. Alley-Oomph is where you attempt to toss something, but alas it is far heavier than you think and you end up dropping it at your feet, or worse, dropping it at your feet while throwing your back out.
PS - I was told by our Pastor that Rico shared many of the Fictionary words with the gentlemen who went on the recent "Men's retreat." Oh Dear God.... he shared with them Necrolepsy? Now they, like you, will know that I am wrong on many many levels.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
So, we're at Target yesterday (why I love Target and loathe Walmart is beyond me... same concept - different execution I guess) and Jason picked up two CD's. Yes, actual jewel cases and everything. We checked out and like normal I wasn't paying attention. (I was actually mentally giving it to the woman in front of us who took the two things out of her cart, paid for them and left the cart in the narrow space between the checkout stands. Come on, you rolled it up here, roll it the next 15 feet to the cart parking lot.)
Back to the point, we got to the parking lot and Jason was looking at the receipt and says "oh, he only charged me for one CD."
We stopped, looked at the receipt, looked at each other and then had to decide what to do. I'll be perfectly honest and admit that it was a decision. Of course, we turned and walked back in and paid for the other CD - but had we already crossed the street and were in our car, likely returning to pay would not have happened.
That split second of indecision is something I'm not proud of. I wish I had the moral fiber to have instantly spun and walked back in the store. I'm pretty sure I'm not a bad person and don't need to go to confession because I considered walking away with a free cd.
Oh well, honesty won out and I get to be a "good" person for a while. At least until I unfairly judge someone for being themselves.
So, it's book group night and I'm no where near done with my book so I need to get to reading.... er work. (See, no longer a good person - now I'm a slacker.)
I will not speculate on the reason(s) they seemed (insert word of your choice here i.e. shocked/surprised/annoyed/confused)but I think this is not a lesson in how you were judged but more a lesson on how you are judging them; "...we're in Nowhereville, Indiana population 1 Walmart..."
And what were you thinking when he offered you flavors? Doesn't sound like your mind was saying, "It's nice that they have a variety of flavors for me to choose from."
Maybe next time you can simply inform her that you're from Somewhereville that has a coffee house that knows what they're doing.
I have a couple retorts.
1) Feel free to chastise me on any point at any time. I try to comment on humorous events in my life and I know that my tone and my sarcasm can every once in a while hit a nerve or be taken in a way that is unintended. HOWEVER - have the guts to leave your name. Hiding behind the veil of "anonymous" is silly.
2) I myself am from a Nowhereville, USA kind of place. Little industry, few jobs and the best people on earth. I'm sure that "Nowhereville, Indiana" has a similar story. I wasn't commenting on the character of the gals behind the counter, but the absurdity that McDonalds is putting themselves out there as THE coffee place to go and yet a coffee flavored coffee was a new concept. (Honestly, she wasn't "offering me choices, she and the coffee maker gal both acted like I was crazy to order my coffee without flavor. Much in the same way they might have reacted had I ordered a Big Mac but without the meat, or a Pizza without the crust.
3) Customer service encounters are a common theme here - if you're offended, or think I'm not writing about important topics - find somewhere else to read. I've already established that this blog is trite and unimportant. I am a nobody with something to say and a free outlet to say it. I'm honored that anyone besides my mom reads this. I'm honored that my mom reads it too, but she kind of has to. (Hi Mom!) I'm honored that you read (or use to read) it - whoever you are "Anonymous."
4) You're not the first person to leave a biting "anonymous" comment. Someone misunderstood my bitching about the possible extra taxes on my severance and told me to quit whining and pay what I owe. I let that one slide because it was clear that I must have not presented my position clear enough to be understood. I will pay whatever taxes are due, but don't tax ME more on the same type of income that a former employee from any other company would be asked to pay. (I guess I didn't let it go.)
5) I'll take some ownership in not presenting my story very well, I ran out of time before a meeting with our pastor. But...I have never promised excellent or even clear writing. I'm a top of brain person, I try to edit for understanding - but in the end what you get is what you get.
6) I'm hoping no hopping (why can I not get that straight in my head - one P is to Hope and two P's are to Hop - right - Dave?) off my soapbox and back into my seriously unimportant day - and if I'm lucky something funny will happen and I can relay it here.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
I know there are lots of independent coffee shops and if there was an Uptown Espresso in the burbs I would send them a lot more of my business. Cafe Ladro... not for me.
Back to my point, we're in Nowhereville, Indiana population 1 Walmart and I'm jonesing for a coffee. I mean, badly in need. We had been in the car for hours and my energy was on the floor. We searched for any espresso places and found nothing. Alas, the kicky sign on the Red and Yellow facade of the McDonalds called to me. "We Have Coffee!"
I walked up to the counter and this is what happened:
Clerk 1: Welcome to McDonalds, can I help you?
ME: Yes, I would like a medium Latte with 2 splendas please.
Clerk 1: (looking down at the terminal) medium latte , two splendas
ME: and a cheeseburger
Clerk 1: hold it hold it, we're not done with the drink, what flavor would you like?
Me: (not understanding the question) um, coffee?
Clerk 1: no, no, no, we got vanilla, hazelnut, mocha and sugarfree vanilla, what flavor do you want?
Me: Oh, none, just a latte.
Clerk 1: (clearly thinking I"m crazy) Well, ok if you don't want any flavor
I pay and then step back
Clerk 2: (At the latte machine looking at the board, irritated) What flavor is this, you didn't put in a flavor!
Clerk 1: (calling loudly over her shoulder) She didn't want no flavor
Clerk 2: No flavor.... (eyes rolling) well alright
In the end, I got my strange coffee with no extra flavor, but I felt a bit judged...
Monday, June 15, 2009
Anyway - I am in the process of purchasing a policy that will set Jason up should I be gone - not too much though, I don't want to give him any incentive to "off" me should he finally figure out that I'm not as cute or as funny as he thinks I am.
I'm going with a 20 year policy - which means the annual rate is fixed for the next 20 years. It's a reasonable rate, but at year 21 - if I want to continue the policy is jumps in price to almost $9,000 a year. I guess if you knew at 61 that your days were numbered it would be worth it... but yikes!
It feels strange to plan for an event that no one would want to see happen and still seems 100% impossible to me - but these are the grown up things we do.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
So, while Jason and I were purchasing his wedding gift from me the sales lady was trying to compete with the quick 15 minute catch up between Janie and myself. It's funny how old friends can do the rapid fire talking in half sentences and completely get up to speed on everything that's going on.
We all had a big laugh about running into whatshisface. Last night we were at the 40th birthday party for a college chum, and had a nice time. The only bummer was missing the (what I hear is) super fun school auction for Becky's son. It's a private school so they don't have hangups about wine with dinner. Sounds like a smart way to get the pocketbooks open.
I'm excited about the wedding gift for Jason - a fabulous watch. We picked it up yesterday, but he doesn't get it just yet. We still have 97 days to go - so I've got it hidden in the same place as my veil, wedding shoes and (eek) special wedding undergarments. I am somewhat looking for the wedding to be over to gain back some closet space. Somewhat... I'm totally enjoying the anticipation.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
When we returned to our car the Architect was getting into his and there was an awkward wave and we were off.
I feel ill.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Sir, it is obvious that you fly more frequently than the rest of us. Your 'elite' status on this airline was hard earned by logging thousands of air miles. The airline appreciates your business and offers you lots of perks such as upgrades, discounts and early
boarding for flights.
To be honest I don't begrudge your premium seat assignments or your guaranteed overhead storage for your too big carry on. You earned it.
However! Your early boarding privileges end the moment they start to board the rest of us on the flight. If you are late to the gate wait your damn turn.
Pushing through the crowd of people patiently waiting to board yelling "I'm MVP" makes you look like the ass you are.
Remember this jerk face: Show up on time or don't cut the line!!!
Thank you for your understanding.
I might come across like a (semi)smart person, but alas… it is not true.
I sent a “good morning, I love you, can’t wait to see you” text this morning to Jason. It is a text that happens virtually every morning when we aren’t together. It’s a nice way to say I’m awake, call me!
Well, apparently you can’t just sent your text to the last person in your text window and expect the phone to KNOW who you want it to go to. This morning, Jason’s cousin Doug got the “I love you honey” text, because he was the last person I texted and in my still not out of bed bleary eyed state I didn’t look at the “to” very closely.
The response I got back was “I love you too, but you stink”
Before I could even contact Jason to explain what I had done Doug (kindly?) forwarded my message to Jason and my phone rang. Thankfully EVERYONE has a sense of humor but I’m pretty sure this won’t be the last of the teasing.
I wonder if Apple has a helpline for when you accidentally hit on your future in-laws?
Thursday, June 11, 2009
While in San Jose I typically do not rent a car. This limits my dining choices to the company cafeteria for lunch and for dinner the five places in walking distance from my hotel. They are:
Red Brick Pizza
Chipolte Mexican Grill
Pho Ha (noodles)
This is a reasonable selection and since I’m only here every other week or so I don’t get sick of them. But, today I’m in a meeting and the topic of lunch came up. The gang was deciding to either eat in the cafeteria or go out. I pushed for “out” seeking a bit of variety and to explore a new part of town that I might not find on my own.
I vetoed sushi as an option because rice is not a “terri-friendly” food and the team instead decided upon Mexican. I’m a fan of Mexican, and gosh – California should have some wonderful Mexican places. Imagine my sadness upon pulling into the parking lot of my hotel and entering the Chipolte Mexican Grill for lunch.
I’m thankful that I chose to have Subway last night instead of Chipolte…
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Usually in July I get up to Becky’s (sisters) cabin for a wonderful weekend of too much wine, too much sun and swimming. This year it just isn’t working out. MAJOR BUMMER. Jason needs the back deck fire experience after a day on the beach – maybe next year.
As you know I LOVE MY birthday, but this year there will be no fuss. Jason is still on the hook to come up with something for the two of us to do that day/weekend – but my wonderful friends and family are doing so much for us this year that a birthday thing is wrong.
My college roommate Andrew is turning 40 and having a BBQ where we are supposed to drag out our most wonderful (and potentially horrific) stories about Andy. My only issue is that there will be kids at this party and my best Andy stories are not appropriate for small ears. How to clean up a story with the punch line “So, I guess this is what they call boning the dog” I don’t think it can be done.
Ok ok… I need to quit bitching. It’s going to be a busy and fun summer ending with the biggest party I’ve ever thrown. Which, if you’re keeping track (and why wouldn’t you) is only 102 days away.
Friday, June 05, 2009
I've got 6 bags of "stuff" (decorations, ingredients for Sangria, gifts, clothes, shoes, water pistols) sitting at the door ready for whatshisface to get off work so we can leave. My mom use to pack for vacations this way too . Dad would work all day while she would prep for the vacation (usually camping) and when he got home he would get about 15 minutes to change clothes and get in the car to go.
We'll be meeting the 'rents for dinner at Outback tonight. (ymmmm meat!) and then cooking up a batch of sangria in the hotel. (no cooking, just slicing and chilling.) We're staying a new place this time and I hope the accomodations are a bit nicer than the "comfort" inn where we usually bed down. It's not a luxury vacation so the sleeping thing shouldn't matter much but... I'm spoiled.
Anywho... I'll be back Monday. Have a lovely weekend!
By the way, if you find yourself bored in a Bangkok hotel this weekend don't let your guests bind your hands AND your neck. (chose one or the other) RIP David Carradine.
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
I LOVE LOVE LOVE THEM!
The vendor "Kelligraphy" was a dream to work with and had very reasonable pricing.
This is a silly expense that makes me gleeful.
Kelli doesn't have a website. There is a kelligraphy.com, but it's a different gal. If you are interested in Ms. Reiter's work you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm trying to grow in this area and pay attention to the things that matter and be ok when the answer is no.
I mentioned that Jason and I put an offer on a house and it didn't work out. It was VERY disappointing and dare I say heartbreaking. The positive outcome is that we are in a stronger place about what it is we want and are solidly on the same page about how to get there. The next go-round will be more business and less "heart". I'll pour my heart into our future home when we have passed a few more hurdles. (Somewhere between offer acceptance and closing.) Next time, I won't jump to furniture placement and paint colors before the escrow & title people are hard at work.
I received a wonderful phone call today from a friend in the Risk Management space, whom I met through MegaBank and other security activities. We connected on a professional level and more importantly on a personal level. It was great to catch up with her to hear how things are going with her business (amazing!) and to share all my fun news. We talked on all topics and the door is open for a closer professional relationship down the road. No promises, no announcements, but a door is open. The exercise in patience is waiting for the door to open at the right time for both of us.
On a personal level, the waiting for 9/19 is like hearing the ice cream truck but not seeing it. I've got my change in my hand and ready to enjoy my NuttyBuddy but I have to wait for the truck to get to my block. I'm looking forward to the pre-wedding activities and am focusing on soaking up every moment. I accidentally referred to Jason as my husband at the dentist yesterday. I had to correct and call him my "almost-husband." EEK
It was my dad's 70th birthday yesterday. Happy Birthday Daddy! We're throwing a BBQ Saturday in Granger and it seems like things are coming together well. We'll have sunny weather, people are coming and Dad and I will share a small slice of Costco Birthday Cake! (Everyone else can have a huge sugary slice, but Dad and I will split.) I'm looking forward to it and have hit the party store for some fun outdoor decorations. My assignment for today is to get some water guns to use as prizes for the whiffleball golf contest my mom and Uncle Ed have cooked up. (Water guns on an 80 degree day will be fun!)
So, I've deviated from the patience thing... but that's ok. This is my world and I'll write it how I want. (so there!) Stay cool people.
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
I was investigating the death of some woman (all very CSI meets Law & Order) and someone handed me a letter. It was a 9 page handwritten letter from one of Aunt Martha's friends who had gone to Bellingham to the funeral home and wanted to see the "lovely spot" where her ashes were scattered. She was pissed that the paperwork showed that Martha's ashes were scattered in the spot provided by the funeral home and not a park, or in the mountains. (for the record, this is true.)
She went on for page after page telling me what an unloving, unkind and terrible thing I had done to Martha and how I had disrespected her life.
In my dream, I scanned the letter and then began to formulate my reply. I defended my actions and gave this 'friend' the details about the state of Martha's house, how I had cleaned it up, talked to social workers and tried to get her help before my surgery. Then I explained how in the time of two short months the house was worse than before, I explained about the unreported broken toilet, the "solution" and the months I spent going back and forth.
I woke up and was stewing in the issue. Clearly some part of my subconscious has residual guilt and is at odds with the reality of what that situation actually was (hell). No, I didn't have a lovely ceremony with her ashes, but I made sure she had health care and was working on housing. I wonder why I can feel that I did the right thing and yet beat myself up in my dreams.
Most of the bridges are off the main roads but we had our map and our GPS (which as you can see wasn't too helpful) and were able to visit ten of the historic bridges before "gee this bridge looks a lot like the last bridge" kicked in.
We made it to Rockville, the county seat where we had lunch under the watchful eye of a stuffed dear head, stuffed elk, stuffed pheasant, stuffed rabbit, stuffed boar and a mystery animal that may have been the mythical Jackelope. The funny thing about this mausoleum of wild animals is that the pub also had a huge Budweiser poster that said that every Bud you buy goes to support animal and nature conservation efforts in the local area. Hmmm... I wonder if the dear, elk, pheasant, rabbit, boar and Jackelope appreciate those efforts.
Off the soap box and back to the bridges. Most of the bridges were built between 1865-1920, but the one in Bridgeton was built in 2006 (we didn't notice the tin roof until we had crossed it twice.) Their original bridge was burned by an arsonist in 2005 and the entire county rallied to build a new one. (You never really think you need fire insurance on the town bridge, but I guess you do.) A local land owner donated the trees on his property, and the local mill produced the wood, an engineering firm donated the labor and plans and whmamo - replacement bridge. It's a good thing to because Bridgeton had two things - a bridge and a flour mill. The flour mill was no more than 10 feet wide and produces flour and cornmeal for the tourists coming to view the bridge.
Lastly, Parke County is Amish country and we had to dodge a few horse buggies. It was kind of cool and we refrained from taking photos of the Amish folk. I likened it to how rude would it be to take a photo of someone because they were black... pretty rude.
I'm glad we did it and not sad that we stopped at 10 bridges. I am thankful that we missed "the Bridge Festivals" because it was nice not sharing our photo ops with 1.5 million people who come during that 2 week time frame.