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Change of Scenery

August 15th, 2018 No comments

Joe and I are edging closer and closer to moving out of this godforsaken state. Between brother B feeling too ill to ever really get together, my parents and other brother acting like driving an hour to my place is like visiting Siberia, and Joe’s kids always being too busy to barely acknowledge texts, let alone get together in person, we’re (sadly) running out of reasons to stay here. Yes, we have some friends, but even they aren’t available as often as we’d prefer.

Plus we’d really like a house and it’s far too expensive here. We could afford it, but a) we like living below our means and b) we don’t really like the idea of paying this state any more money since it’s so corrupt. Also, a change is in order. It feels like time is passing by so quickly with the same old routine & scenery year after year.

The problem is deciding where to go. Right now the #1 city on our list is Fisher’s Indiana which was rated the #1 city to live in according to Money Magazine last year. The city is booming yet home prices (and more importantly, property taxes) are relatively low. We could get a beautiful larger-than-we-need new construction home for around $300k, or an older home, but still built within the past 10 years, for between $200k and $250k, and the annual taxes would only set us back between $2k-$3k instead of $12k here. We could still visit family a few times a year since it’s only a three hour drive from Chicago too. Plus we’d still experience all the seasons which, even though I abhor winter, I would miss spring and fall. While I’d consider living in Arizona part-time when we’re retired, I really don’t want to live in the desert full time. I need green grass and trees to be happy, plus I like cloudy and rainy days which you rarely see out there.

Categories: House & Home, Rants & Observations Tags:

Hair What?

September 29th, 2016 Comments off

Last Thursday (9/22) I decided to head to Great Clips to get my hair cut. I called them first from the parking lot when I got off work to see if the girl I like (R) was working that day and the lady who answered said yes. She also said something about checking in so I gave her my name and she kinda laughed and said “I can’t check you in over the phone”. Ok, then speak more clearly next time. She was nice about it, but still. Also, she could have told me I could check in via their app so that when I got there I didn’t have to wait over a half hour behind two other people who had checked in online and requested her as well. Not only that but she was seriously off her game. She usually cuts my hair perfectly but the right side was longer than the left and when I pointed it out she told me that’s because I wear my hair parted to the right. Uh, in that case that side would be shorter, not longer. She supposedly fixed it but when I got home it was still considerably longer and noticeable (although Joe claimed no one would notice but me) and was driving me crazy. Not only that but the left side was cut choppier so the two sides didn’t look the same at all. To add insult to injury it was the first time I’ve ever paid full price ($14 plus $3 tip) because I didn’t have a coupon.

The next morning I blow-dried my hair to see if the unevenness was still noticeable and it was, so I marched over to a different Great Clips with my receipt in hand. I got there before they opened and was standing outside with an older gentleman who was pretty friendly. Once we got inside I explained the situation to the woman (C) and even though she said it didn’t look uneven to her she could understand how it would bother me if it did to me. Then as she started brushing my hair and looking she remarked the back was uneven and basically just gave me a brand new overall cut. Obviously this made it a bit shorter than I was originally going for but it looked so much better once she was done so I didn’t care. I feel bad I didn’t tip her even though the cut was free per their guarantee. I took down her name and will be going to her from now on. It was funny because she asked me why I didn’t go back to the original location and laughed when I said I was afraid I’d run into the girl who screwed up my hair.

Later that weekend we went to Sally Beauty Supply to buy developer, dye, and some accessories like a new applicator bottle since we threw out the old one last time Joe dyed my hair as it was getting pretty nasty. Joe ended up dying my hair cinnamon brown on Sunday. I didn’t like it at first but it’s already lightening up a little and I like it much more now. I really think I’m going to go with a mousier lighter shade of non-red brown next time though since I think it would look more natural on me.

Categories: Rants & Observations Tags:

Poor Customer Service Week

August 5th, 2016 Comments off

It seems like companies just don’t give a shit anymore.

Example # 1

I emailed our association on July 25th about leaking we heard over the front door, inside the wall, when it rained really bad a few days before. They replied a day or so later saying they contacted the property manager and I’d hear from someone. Once a week had passed since my original email, I emailed them again to ask why I hadn’t heard anything. I got the same response, but the next day received a call from the vendor directly who basically asked me to describe the issue which I had already done in my original email. I had even included pictures. Was that information not forwarded to them? In any case, after that I was told by A (the representative I’ve been dealing with at the vendor) that she’d call me back to schedule a time for them to come out.

Yesterday she left a voicemail stating they would be out next Wednesday and to call back to confirm. I called her to let her know we wouldn’t be available and she was like, “well, can you have someone there?”. I told her no and that we’d be available Thursday and Friday. She said she’d speak to the scheduler and get back to me. This morning she called back to tell me they’d be out on Tuesday. Once again, this will not work for us, which I told her. She sounded frustrated with me and pointed out I said my husband works from home. First off, I don’t recall saying that, but I told her this doesn’t mean we don’t make plans. Furthermore, what kind of company just tells you when they are coming out and doesn’t at least give you a few options? I told her their scheduling is ridiculous after she told me that they have to “go where the work is” and made it like *I* was being unreasonable by not being available when they want to come out. Are you kidding me? You are providing a service. I get that they want to try and group jobs together geographically but it’s not like they are driving hours to get here. The call ended with her saying she’d check with the scheduler about another date/time.

While we were in the movies this morning she left a message basically saying since we aren’t available those two days they won’t be able to come out and would call me once they put together a new schedule. What kind of business operates that way? Fed up, I called the association about it. They called the vendor who basically told them the same thing so L (the rep at the association) said she’d speak to the property manager to see if there’s another vendor they can use. I sure hope so because I already hate this one and they haven’t even come here to do the work yet! I cannot wait to post a Yelp review for these people.

Example # 2

Last year I received a sample of Oscar de la Renta Flor perfume in one of my subscription boxes. I liked it so much that in January I purchased a full bottle on Amazon.com. Within less than three months, however, the smell changed, and not for the better. Now I feel like I wasted my money on a scent I don’t like anymore. I kept it in the box in the bedroom so light/moisture couldn’t damage it, so WTF? I have perfume that is years old whose scent hasn’t changed. I contacted the company through their website and a representative replied asking for the purchase info. I sent them a screenshot of my Amazon order and didn’t hear back, so I emailed them again. At that point I was told they only deal with orders placed through their website and I’d have to call their corporate office. I called them this morning and when I asked if I had reached customer service the girl asked me what my issue was. I told her I just wanted to make sure I had the right department before explaining and she insisted I tell her. So then as I start telling her, she cuts me off (which is what I was trying to avoid), and tells me I need to call a different number for the place that makes the perfume without giving me the company name. You’d think someone who works at the corporate office would be a little more professional! And of course when I call the number she gave me I get a fast busy signal like it doesn’t even work.

Example # 3

We’re planning a trip to Indiana Beach in the near future and I’ve been trying to call them to find out whether we can go back to the car and re-enter the park. That way we can bring food and not have to eat multiple meals at the park (although we’ll still get tacos). The problem is no one at that place answers the phone when I call to ask.

Garage Sale

June 27th, 2016 Comments off

Friday and Saturday we held our garage sale. Even though we were very organized and posted on Craigslist & Nextdoor, we didn’t get as much traffic as we were hoping.

The very first thing to sell, however, was my old Kenwood Stereo I purchased for $400 twenty years ago.

KenwoodStereo

It had it all (at the time) – dual cassette deck, 3-CD changer, and radio. The speakers were huge and sounded great (still do, actually) and it was in fantastic condition. But due to its size and how we listen to MP3s these days, it had been collecting dust in the garage for years. Imagine my surprise as the guy who bought it was putting it into his car and I felt this overwhelming sense of panic. I literally had to go inside to calm down – I thought I was going to vomit. I felt seriously bummed and overly emotional afterwards. I had no idea I had formed such a sentimental emotional attachment to it or I might have not sold it. I’ve tried to rationalize the feelings away with logic – it’s too big, I never use it, etc. but I still feel sad about it, although I’m sure that will get better over time. I don’t necessarily like having such a strong attachment to physical objects. Other than the blanket my grandmother knitted for me which I have slept with every night for the last 25 years, I didn’t think I’d feel such a loss without an item in my life. Oh well. I will never see it again (sob), so it’s best to try and get over it.

Anyway, shortly after that “traumatic” event Friday, my coworker called asking for help since our boss was off and he was being asked to do something he had never done before. Walking him through it over the phone wasn’t helping so I drove over to get it done since it’s less than ten minutes away and I really needed the distraction. I ended up working an hour so that will make my next paycheck a little higher which is nice.

Despite everyone telling us that Fridays are super slow and that Saturday would be much better, it really wasn’t. Overall we ended up making a little more on Saturday but not until 4 pm. We had shut down at 2 pm on Friday but extended the hours until 5 on Saturday in hopes we’d get more interest. When all was said and done we made a little over $100. I would have made more working an extra day at work so that’s not really worth my time. Plus we still have a bunch of stuff left that we’re going to donate and try to offload on Craigslist, including the stuff my dad asked us to sell for him that no one wanted.

One cute thing that happened was the neighbor across the street purchased a few old bookbags on Friday and her daughter (who I guess is around 12) came over Saturday with her friends and was wearing one of them. She also told us how much she loved it which was nice. It’s a mini bookbag I’ve had for over twenty years and really loved when I was younger. It was still in excellent shape because I take really good care of my things. Even one of the people who bought some stuff from us mentioned we had really nice stuff. I just wish it would have sold!

When I was lamenting on Facebook about the futility of having a garage sale one of my “friends” told me how it was because we should have had our sale in April and that when her organization had one they earned $1500. Um, how is that even helpful? I’m sure her organization had a lot more things for sale since multiple people contributed. I was so very tempted to “thank” her for her oh so helpful advice and let her know that I’ll just hop into my Delorean and go back in time to April to have my sale then. I am *this close* to unfriending her. Most of her comments are just irritating know-it-all things anyway and ain’t no one got time for that.

So will we ever have another garage sale? That would be a no. Even though the thing I dreaded most – people haggling – didn’t happen too much, I still didn’t enjoy it. Although this one lady got a steal on this purse I had that was brand new and sells for $79. I’ve been trying to sell it online for a year so I lowered the price to $25 for the garage sale. She wanted $15 even though I said $20. I gave in because a) I didn’t pay for it anyway and b) I just wanted it gone, but I’m kinda pissed about it nonetheless. And this is why I hate selling things and garage sales. Never again. I’d rather do Craigslist and sell stuff one at a time.

Categories: Life, Rants & Observations Tags:

Memorial Day Weekend

May 31st, 2016 Comments off

Friday we decided to see X-Men Apocalypse. It was ok, but not as good as Captain America – Civil War. Afterwards we went to Red Robin so I could get my free entree which was expiring on June 1st. I swear none of the people working there ever have any idea how the rewards work. Last time the waitress tried to tell me you had to buy two burgers to get one 50% off which was completely untrue. I had to read her the fine print on the email. This time the waiter told me the free entree never expires. Wrong again! On top of that, I had pulled up my account on the computer at home to make sure the free entree was showing next in line to be redeemed since the 50% off deal would also be in there, but the free entree was the only thing showing. I figured that was because we already took advantage of the 50% off and maybe you can only do it once. Yet once the waiter pulled up my info on the kiosk it was showing the 50% off deal. So while he and the manager tried to figure out how to switch it to the free entree, I logged into the website from my phone and was able to switch the order of the rewards since both were now appearing. Joe is skeptical but I swear they weren’t both there when I checked that morning! In any case, after that I was able to use my reward.

Rant time – Why can’t you adjust which reward you want to use directly from those kiosks? That’s so annoying! And why can’t they train their staff to handle these things? The guy was really nice and thanked me for teaching him something new (when I told him how I logged onto the site and was able to choose my reward) but come on. And lastly, are those kiosks really necessary? I’m supposed to tip someone for taking my order and checking on me once? They don’t bring out the food most times, and they don’t take your payment, so what the heck? Next thing you know there won’t be waiters at all and you’ll just have to get your food yourself. Yet the kiosk suggests I tip 20%. Oh, and I just loooove having to deal with those dirty touchscreens that probably haven’t been cleaned or disinfected ever. Ugh!

Anyway…

Saturday we took a trip to Costco to return the LED bulbs we purchased because it turns out they are too bright and the lighting from them couldn’t be less flattering. I’m not necessarily a fan of gazing at myself in the mirror to begin with but those LEDs really screwed with my self esteem. On top of that they had a low frequency hum that was driving me nuts. For now we’ll just stick with the CFLs.

The main reason for our visit to Costco was to enjoy the free samples. I like going around noon so I don’t have to eat lunch, plus I don’t want to buy anything in bulk there that I haven’t already determined is good, so the samples really help with that decision. People act like such animals, however! I’m standing there waiting for the lady to put out a tray of samples and the second she sets it down there are people behind me reaching over me to grab one. Calm your tits, people, it’s not that serious! I refuse to act like a barbarian just to try some brownies and ice cream. These people should be ashamed of their behavior. It’s why I refuse to go out on Black Friday. We are supposed to be an intelligence civilized species but some of us turn into animals when something is free. It’s disgusting.

Sunday we went to Target to take advantage of the free $10 gift card when you spend $50 on groceries. After dropping the food off at home we went to Savers since clothing and other items were 50% off. I’ve never seen it so busy! We arrived only 10 minutes after it opened and it was already packed. We actually had to stand in line for the dressing rooms, and being the bossy person I am I was directing the people behind me the proper way to form a line so we weren’t blocked foot traffic, or the ability for anyone to look at the row of purses nearby. Joe hates lines and actually suggested we just buy everything we had picked out (even though you can’t return stuff) but I said no way. Glad I did because I brought 8 items in to try on and only purchased 1 of them. He’s much better at picking out clothes; he bought both pairs of shorts he had chosen. I also got two fleece blankets for the rats since they are chewing up the ones I already have.

Sunday afternoon we headed to my parents house to celebrate Memorial Day early. B wasn’t there as he’s in Tennessee with his girlfriend. We mostly chatted but did end up playing Wits & Wagers which is a game I brought over. We left around 9 pm so we could be home by 10 and in bed by 11. I’ve been trying to go to bed at the same time every night even on the weekends which seems to help me sleep.

Monday we did some grocery shopping in the morning and spent the rest of the day sitting on the patio reading, snacking, and playing Disney Tsum Tsum on our devices (yep, I got Joe addicted to it now). Joe put up the big umbrella my mom gave us with the concrete stand which we had to keep re-positioning so we’d remain in the shade. Surprisingly, none of the neighbors had company over for the holiday so we were literally out there for 4-5 hours without being annoyed (if you don’t count the dog next door barking a lot since no one was home).

At one point one of the neighbors came over to gossip, which is amusing, since she’s deaf! She speaks, but it’s a bit difficult to understand her (although I seem to understand her better than Joe does). She also reads lips. It cracks me up that she knows more about what’s going on this neighborhood than we do, but then again we really don’t care either.

We grilled burgers for dinner on the George Forman since we ran out of propane and didn’t feel like running out to get more. We didn’t use buns since I’m trying to cut out unnecessary calories and lose weight. In fact, I had my burger wrapped in lettuce at Red Robin on Friday! I’ve also upped my usual 20 minute elliptical workouts to 30-45 minutes. Unfortunately my back has been bothering me a lot lately and working out makes it worse. I put arch supports in my workout shoes so I’m hoping I can continue to work out without any pain. That being said, today was $1.31 scoops at Baskin Robbins so I have to wrap up this entry to have some ice cream. Diet? What diet?

Categories: Family, Rants & Observations, Shopping Tags: