Monthly Archives: June 2007

Pink Plechiness

I was just checking the weather website (because I like to bemoan the heat even when I’m inside) and noticed a big side ad for Ford’s “Warriors in Pink” line of products. As you’ve probably already guessed, this is a line of items meant to support the Susan G. Komen fund.

So, you can buy a 2008 Mustang Warriors in Pink package, which is a Mustang convertible decked out in pink trimming and ribbons and stuff. And, if you buy this package, Ford will donate $250 to the Komen people.

I’m not going to go into the politics behind the Komen fund (read IBTP or Feministing or back articles in Bitch), I merely want to express my amazement of this measly contribution. Wow! A whole $250!!

Hey, don’t you think that if Ford really cares about breast cancer research, they could maybe just donate $250…I don’t know, thousand or million dollars? Instead they’re doing small beans fund raising $250 at a time (and the package is supposedly a limited edition).

Oh, but I guess you could buy some of their crappy-looking Warrior Gear, the net proceeds of which are donated to Komen. You know, Warrior Gear, t-shirts and hats with Ford’s stupid “warrior” logo on it…items most likely made by women in the Northern Mariana Islands (or elsewhere in Southeast Asia) who paid $1000 or more for a chance to make over-priced clothing for which they earn maybe half a penny a piece and will never have a chance in hell to pay off their mounting debt that they incurred securing a job and transport to a squalid island that they’ll never leave now and never get to see their family again.

So, you have two options to help breast cancer research via Ford: buy an expensive car, the making of which and operation of which pollutes the environment (and, I don’t know, perhaps increases the risk of breast cancer…especially if the cars are built in those wonderful EZPs just across the border in Mexico where environmental regulation is nil), or buy crap merch made by women who never get a bathroom break.

Thanks, Ford! You’re the best!

P.S.
Don’t you find US commonwealths like the Northern Mariana Islands fascinating? Since they’re a commonwealth, clothing can be labeled “Made in the USA,” yet US labor laws aren’t required.

We are so tricky here in the US! What will we think of next?!

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Sometimes I’m Amazed

So, I’ve had a few insurance-related pieces of mail sitting on the dining room table for a couple of days. I thought they were probably just EOBs, so I didn’t rush to open them right away. While cleaning off the table tonight, I opened them and was surprised to find that I had received a bill from a medical center for a visit in April (Disney sinus infection) and a statement from my insurance company confirming that I owed this extra amount.

After puzzling over this for a few minutes, I steeled myself for a battle. I called my insurance company and tersely answered the stupid automated operator (how I hate those things! I would much rather press buttons than talk to a robot!).

To my surprise, all was resolved in a matter of a few minutes!! Yay for the Rapid Resolution Department! Love you!

The Rest of my Day
Today started bright and early with another 7 am conference call, which I actually contributed to this time (beyond “Hi”). Things were hectic right off the bat when I got to the office around 10:00.

It didn’t help that the admin assistant was on vacation, so I had to do things like make 50 copies of something and prepare a FedEx package. ALSO, people who I NEVER see stopped by needing things. AND I spent 45 minutes on the phone buying plane tickets for someone. AND AND AND, after talking to someone at another foundation who was breathing down my neck the whole day for a document, a project manager (who I usually see every 2 weeks) called and started asking me questions about our university’s vision plan, WHICH I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT BECAUSE I DON’T REQUIRE VISION ASSISTANCE!!! Also, I WAS BUSY and the information is on the HR website. Then a student stopped by complaining about needing permission for some web folders because she needed to post something before she left today. To which I wanted to say, WHY DIDN’T YOU ASK ME ABOUT THIS MAYBE 5 DAYS AGO, but because I’m polite and courteous, I said, sure, even though I’m super-busy trying to finish something for a very important funder, I will try to help you with your folder permissions. Students! Seriously! Sometimes, no clue what-so-freaking-ever.

That is all. I need dinner now.

A Few Things

I didn’t make it to Local Harvest yesterday because washing 3 sets of mini-blinds required more time than expected (two hours instead of 45 minutes).

They were very dirty. Very, very dirty. Also, I forgot to take into account the time required to set up the washing area, the time to pry out reluctant blinds from their mountings, the time to scrub every individual slat, and the time to lay them out to dry.

The rest of Sunday was spent grocery shopping, trying to return keys to Home Depot (fruitlessly, because they were out of key type 66), and cooking.

I’m sore from the blind scrubbing and from yoga. Every time I tell someone that I do yoga and they say something like, “oh, that must be so relaxing,” I want to spit in their eyes.

Yes, yoga can be relaxing as you go through the different poses, but it is also hard. HARD. My ass is sore from various lunge series, and my abs burn a bit.

Seriously, what do people think? That yoga means rolling around in a field of daisies while listening to some pan flute music?

Anyway, I’m in one of my rare bad moods today.

Also, my right hand has been tingling since this morning. I’m worried that it’s indicative of some neck nerve issues.

*grumble*

I hope your Monday is better than mine.

Life on Montana Street

So, you know what freaks me out?

Hearing gunshots while I sit on the couch, updating my blog.

Yeah…

I’ve since turned off the front room lights and retreated to the bedroom. You know, I don’t want anyone to get the idea to send a bullet through my window or something like that.

Don’t worry, this is nothing new, really. We would hear random (as in, not on a holiday or after a Cardinals victory) shots on Arsenal Street, and one night, a police helicopter kept circling our area, shining its spotlight.

Anyway…there are lots of sirens in the distant, which is weird because the shots seemed much closer, but maybe they aren’t related.

Well, enough about that…

My day started with a 50-minute massage at Healing Arts Center student clinic (only $30) and is coming to a close with me eating cantaloupe and triple-cream cheese on crackers (and listening to gunshots). Not a bad way to bookend the day (except for the gunshots).

The rest of the day was generally frustrating with me running errands and trying to find things like curtains, shelving for the kitchen, and a kitchen cart. I found everything EXCEPT the kitchen shelving and kitchen cart. Why must these kitchen carts be so freaking expensive! I’ve finally found one that I actually like online from Home Depot, but it’s $190!! Grrr!!!

Porkchop could theoretically build one, but she has no time, what with working 7 days a week and all.

After spending my day driving around and looking at horrible “wood” things, I spent a good part of the evening unpacking. Again. It’s hard because I have to be so creative with storing things in the kitchen, which means it takes FOREVER.

Last night, while unpacking my teas, I considered replacing this box, which now holds miscellaneous teas, with something else:

But then I became a bit nostalgic and realized this box has been with me in 8 different apartments. I bought this box of rooibos tea in 1998 in Cambridge, where I spent a week at King’s College. Why replace it now? Why not just wait until it falls apart completely?

Scenes from the New Apartment

One of the few pictures we have of the new apartment sans furniture and boxes is this one of the windows in the living room:

Keetah loves the windows in this apartment because the sills are wide enough for her to lie on them. There was only one window in the old apartment with a sill wide enough for Keetah to lounge upon, so I think she actually enjoys this apartment more. See, here she is in the bedroom:

Since the place is still a mess, I will try to distract you with photos of plants…

Our crazy upside-down tomato plants, for example:

Also, our nice-smelling rosemary plant:

Tomorrow, I hope to check out the new local organic store on Morgan Ford….Local Harvest. Since it’s only open until 2:00 on Sundays, I’ll have to hurry!

Scenes from the Old Apartment

Before moving from Arsenal Street, Porkchop and I tried to take some family portraits with Keetah. Unfortunately, she would have none of our silliness. See…

The other photos are similar. I did manage to finally get this shot, in which Keetah is contemplating the world’s problems (or at least wondering why we’re not petting and brushing her):

Here are some things I miss from the old apartment…

The awesome fireplaces (we had another one like this, but with green tile) and window casings:

The speaking tube. The other end was by the front door; it was a very effective (and fun) intercom system:

The location! I am still so sad when the bus passes Arsenal, and I’m still on it. Also, having the park as a neighbor can’t be beat.

Good-bye super-pretty (yet expensive to heat) apartment!

One Thing Had

Sort of.

On the way home, Porkchop and I stopped at Ba Le so that I could get a red bean slushie.

It wasn’t quite as super-fantastic as the ones from the food cart on the UW library mall in Madison, but it’s quite close. I will definitely be returning for more. Yum!

We’re about to leave to meet a co-worker at Pho Grand. She’s treating me to dinner for all of the assistance I’ve offered for the upcoming conference. I wonder what the most expensive item is…

Things that I Want Right Now

  • A croissant filled with goat cheese and green olives.
  • A red bean cake.

I’m hungry.

More Blibbity-Blah

Last night, I was on a conference call from approximately 8:00-9:30. My contribution to the conversation was, “Hi.”

What a complete and utter waste. Fortunately, since I wasn’t an integral part of the conversation, I was able to multi-task and look at things on the Internet. It was still b-o-r-i-n-g, especially since Porkhop abandoned me and went out to play cards.

Today is more boringness. I have approximately 60 bios to edit and format for the conference. I started out with a fresh mind this morning and whipped through the first quarter (editing only, I’ll have to go back through and insert photos later). Now I’m slogging through it and hating everyone.

Anyway…

I need to make a BIG note to myself to NEVER stop at Kayak’s at the corner of Skinker and Forest Park again. Kayak’s is right by my metro stop, and the thought of a cup of chai at 8:15 in the morning always sounds like the perfect way to start the day. I’ve only followed through on this thought a few times, but I’ve had it. The baristas are the slowest people EVER and the chai is weak with gross gritty solids left at the bottom.

This morning, I thought I was the only person waiting for a drink, and I had been waiting for said drink for at least 3 minutes when a barista stepped back from the machine with a drink. When I stepped forward to accept it, he said, “uh, this is a decaf latté.”

I said, “OHHH,” with a falling smile and maybe looked at my watch with an agitated expression.

So, then, a DIFFERENT barista stepped up and made my drink and took FOREVER. And, it was more than a quarter foam! WTF?? Who trained these people? Guess what, I don’t shell out $3.50 for FOAM and CRAP.

NEVER AGAIN!

On a happier note, I have a new favorite drink for the summer…grape and lime Italian soda. This is also delicious made as a French soda, which has the added value of intimidating other people because it becomes a murky gray.

Project: Grow Hair

St. Louis is overwhelmingly and stiflingly humid in the summer, and this is an understatement at best.

Local readers need no other description, but how do I describe the humidity to those unfamiliar with this area?

Breathing is difficult, any movement leaves one drenched in sweat, and my face breaks out in tiny little pimples because my pores are so suffocated.

So, of course, the summer is the perfect time for me to grow my hair out a bit. Yes, I’m sure I won’t be at all annoyed with the frizziness that is guaranteed to ensue.

For the past 8 years or so, I’ve had short hair…sometimes a shaved head and sometimes hair approaching the 3-inch mark (long in my book, short in others’). So, I’m curious to see what my somewhat wavy and curly hair looks like now. Armed with the knowledge I’ve developed over the past half-dozen years concerning all sorts of hair products (paste, wax, pomade, clay, fiber, gel, foam, mixing products, I’ve done it all), I’m confident I can embrace hair that is longer than 3 inches and even enjoy its quirky little curls.

But, the real reason I want to grow my hair out a bit is so that I can cut it all off.

Just as it’s difficult to convey how freaking humid it is here during the summer, it is impossible for me to explain the joy I experience from getting my hair whacked off.

I LOVE haircuts, especially haircuts that give a very noticeable result.

I will suffer through months of trims and perhaps summer frizz-head so that I can experience a REALLY GOOD haircut.

Unrelated
We’re back online at home. Look for Keetah portraits and old apartment pictures soon!

Why is Housing so Hard?

Okay, so we’re settling into the new apartment and unpacking and ready to totally clean out the old apartment. Things are going well…no more bats or house centipedes. Also, the landlord is going to fix our continually running toilet next week.

Porkchop had also lined up rooming in Albuquerque beginning in August. The house was in the Nob Hill district (supposedly full of coffeehouses and natural food stores and the like) and had a bedroom furnished with a bed, a table, and lots of built-in storage. Things were looking up.

Unfortunately, the woman reneged on their email agreement and gave the room away yesterday! Porkchop called to discuss details today and was given a flimsy excuse of, “well, you said you weren’t sure if you were coming.” In reality, Porkchop had written that she wasn’t sure when she would be LEAVING New Mexico (probably May, but there’s always a chance she could stay for a second year).

I guess…what do you expect from someone who has pictures on her Myspace that totally show off her nipplage. Also, she seems a bit “quirky.” I enjoy quirky people, but not when the quirkiness is forced and is actually a front for “flaky” and “stupid.”

Anyway, it’s back to craiglist. It’s hard enough to find a decent place when you live in the town where you’re looking…it’s a million times more difficult to find a place in a town 1042 miles away.

If you know anyone in Albuquerque who needs a roommate, let us know.

Also, if you ever meet anyone named Ashleigh from Albuquerque, please kick her in the head.

Okay, maybe no kicking, but give her the stink eye.