Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday disgusts me

Thirty-plus years ago, my mom and my aunt used to go shopping the morning after Thanksgiving, because that was when the Christmas stuff was first sold and because it was a little time alone for them, with their families sleeping off turkey hangovers.  Now, we have people camping out for a week, with generators, to buy things that will wind up in a landfill; retailers making their staff work on Thanksgiving night, and herds of people who need nothing and want everything trampling each other for the latest plastic crap.

My mother taught consumer education for thirty years, so I grew up with Maslow's Heirarchy.  I may spend like a drunken monkey sometimes, but at least I always know that I'm buying stuff I want rather than stuff I need.  I don't have a problem with people out there buying Christmas presents that would otherwise be smaller or non-existent, and I don't have a problem with people out there buying clothing or home goods that they need.

But people like the jackass with the generator?  They're disgusting and they tarnish what Thanksgiving is supposed to mean.

Book review

The Painted Girls: A NovelThe Painted Girls: A Novel by Cathy Marie Buchanan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Although this is a fictional account of the van Goethem sisters, it's realistic while being engaging.  While some of the supporting characters are rather flat, the main characters are fully realized and I came to care what happens to them.  Without descending too far into adolescent angst, the author nevertheless manages to convey the pains and joys of growing up.  Without delving too far into grossness, Ms. Buchanan manages to convey the dangers and fears of a life lived on the ragged edge of poverty.  And without crossing the line into erotica, the author manages to convey the joy of sex with a loved one and the shame of sex for money.

After reading this book, I am torn between wanting to know more about the van Goethem sisters, and wanting not to know, so I can imagine them in a happy old age, chortling together over cups of tea and surrounded by reminders of lives well lived.

This book was sent to me for review

View all my reviews

Thursday, November 22, 2012

...and then the princess turned back into a troll

Tuesday night was really lovely.  I got out, met new people, got my hair done and a goodie bag, ate lovely food and talked nail polish and techie toys, and just felt like a princess all evening.

Sadly, I woke up Wednesday morning at 3 a.m. with a migraine, too far advanced for me to keep anything down, including meds or coffee.   I relied on a hot shower followed by an ice pack until it was time to get dressed and go to work.  I had, I thought, brought home a bunch of documents that needed to be filed, so I headed for downtown Akron.  At the very end of my drive, a turnoff I needed to take was closed, so I wound up in an unfamiliar area and missed the detour.  Once I was done with a long trip the wrong way and back, I parked the car and went to put my wallet and car keys in the envelope folder where the documents were.  Ohshit.  I had picked up the wrong folder, and everything I needed to file was at Mom's house, 30 minutes away.

Head still hurting, I tried to do the rest of my errands.  I went to the bank, forgot to go to Office Max, went to drop off my vacuum at the repair shop only to find out that they didn't open until 10, and got lost trying to find the paper recycling dropoff.  So I went to the office, only to find myself in the middle of a shrill squabble between a nursing home and a ward's family.  By the time I left, driving home in the sunshine was miserable.

But at least after the Monday from Hell and before the Wednesday from Hell, I had a few hours of fun, and now I have a whole weekend under my bridge to nest and read and play before I have to go back out in the scary world, and I am thankful for that.

Of course, I am as always, thankful for my family, my friends, my dogs and my health, and I wish all of my US friends and family a very happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

From Hell to Heaven in 36 hours

Yesterday was Monday on steroids, a seriously horrible day full of angry clients, sobbing clients, drama-queen Wards, paperwork and even when I came home and called Mom in Dallas, she had to hang up immediately because Tinkerbell had fallen off her bike (Tink's okay, thankfully).  I wanted to hide under the bed, or yanno, in it, because when I'm depressed, I sleep.  However, I decided it was too late in the day to nap.

So I nuked a cup of coffee and turned on the computer, and checked my e-mail and found something that cheered me right the heck up--an invitation to a salon opening from Zoya Nail Polish!  I sent my HELL YES response immediately, told all my friends, and then spent the rest of the evening until bedtime fussing over what I was going to wear.

I will post details and pictures at Bubbles and Baubles soon, but I will say tonight started with a name tag, a shampoo and blow-dry that left my hair looking stunning, continued with gourmet food and a serious swag bag, meeting a ton of great new people, including several Zoya polish fairies, as they are known, and Zoya herself!   It really was the perfect antidote to Monday. :D

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The turkeys were an omen.

Gah, what a day.

My drive to work this morning was perfectly normal, right up until I had to brake for the flock of wild turkeys crossing the road.  That was when my brakes went almost completely out on me.  Fortunately, I didn't hit a turkey.  I drove carefully and slowly the rest of the way to work, and told Mom what had happened.  Oh, Mom and Dad were supposed to be en route to Dallas for Thanksgiving, but they didn't leave on Wednesday because of Mom's work schedule and they didn't leave this morning because Dad didn't feel well.  I will spare my readers a rant on the idiocy of people who do not take antibiotics that have been prescribed for them and who instead prefer to fix dental problems on their own.

At any rate, Mom was home, and she and I talked while she had her second cup of coffee, and then I checked the voice mail while she paid bills.  There was a message from the outside company we use to prepare QDROs (court documents dealing with the division of retirement accounts for divorcing clients) saying that they didn't want the form we'd sent to them for one of our clients, they wanted a different form, which, btw, we'd sent to them in April, at which time they rejected it.  So the first thing I did was call the client and tell him what we now needed.  Next, I tried the local tire & brake shop, and got a busy signal.  So Mom and I started work with a look at the payroll account and then doing a bunch of letters.  When I finally got through to the tire place, they said if I could bring my car in and leave it for the day, they'd try to fix the brakes for me.

With Mom ahead of me in her car, I drove very, very slowly down a main road until we got to the tire place. I dropped off the keys, gave them my information, signed the form and hopped in with Mom to go to the post office and then back to work.  Almost immediately the phone rang, and a semi-hysterical non-client tried to drag us into an estate dispute involving one of our incompetent clients.  I told her Mom was unavailable, took her name and number and wrote up my notes from the call.

Mom then decreed a short break, and we went to the Disney Cruise website to complete our pre-registration.  That's when we discovered that there is no record of transportation from our hotel the day of the cruise to the ship.  Mom was livid.  She sent an e-mail to the travel agent (who still hasn't replied) and then had to pick up all of the assorted paperwork all over the floor.  While she did that, I talked to a client in a divorce case where opposing counsel is ignoring us AND ignoring the judge's office.  Unfortunately, we can't send enforcers to his office to make him return our calls.

Then the phone rang again, and it was one of our clients who is involved with a nasty estate dispute.  Mom did her best to talk to the client and tell her what she needed to do so Mom could do her job, and when that phone call ended, it was time for lunch.  While we were getting lunch ready, the phone rang again and it was the semi-hysterical non-client again.  This time Mom talked to her, then we ate, then she wrote up her notes and I went downstairs to look for some paperwork.

While I was down there the phone rang again, and the tire place told Mom that my car wouldn't be ready today, that they had to replace two brake lines and that it would cost at least $300.

The rest of the day went downhill.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Dad's Road Trip

2 a.m.: Go to bed

4 a.m.: Get up, eat ice cream

4:30 a.m.: Go back to bed

6 a.m.: Get up, drink coffee, surf the web, chain-smoke

6:30 a.m.: Panic!  Load the car.  Repeatedly call your wife out to the garage to help you, only to let her stand there for 10 minutes before you say you're not ready for her.

7:30 a.m.: Ask for pillows, a blanket, sandwiches, coffee and snacks.  Get them because your wife is awesome and did everything but the coffee last night.

7:50 a.m.: Leave 

10:30 a.m.: Take first nap

12:00 p.m.: Call home, joke that the food Mom packed means he's travelling the Trans-Fat Highway.

12:30 p.m.:  Take second nap

Arrive somewhere around 4 p.m.

On Saturday, Dad and his friend were driving back from somewhere when Dad's phone rang.  It was his friend D, whose family has known our family since the late '60s.  D was in New Jersey too, helping out his daughter who lives there, and he knew Dad was in NJ because Jeeves posted it on Facebook.

Dad thinks it's funny, Mom thinks it's an invasion of privacy, and I think the world just gets smaller and smaller. :)

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Another hero (although this one's not soggy)

An old friend of my uncle's lives in New Jersey, and is without power.  Because my father is smart and caring and thoughtful, he purchased a generator today, and tomorrow morning he is driving to New Jersey to get it hooked up.  He just says that it's something he knows how to do and something he has the time to do, but I'm pretty damn impressed.