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Tag Archives: shopping

Let it snow. Just not THIS much. I know, I’m really picky.

Just a quick update. I am not dead; I am still coughing up a lung and my nose is running, like, a LOT, but otherwise? I think I might be on the mend. Maybe. Seems everyone’s got some sort of crud right now; I’m not alone in my sick nasty suffering.

I learned a very smart thing in that I could not sleep for days, and one night I totally ragequit my bed and decided to sleep on my couch and it worked like a CHARM and I couldn’t figure out why, until I figured out that I was weirdly propped up on a bunch of pillows and maybe THAT had helped with all the coughing, so I put a billion photos on my bed and the next night I slept MUCH better. So apparently the tuberculosis or whatever I’ve come down with likes me to sleep at a weird upright angle. I WIN, TUBERCULOSIS OR WHATEVER YOU ARE!

Also, if you live in New York or the northeast area, you may or may not have woken up to THIS on Sunday morning:

HOLY COW!

We totally got a foot of snow over a 24-hour period. I was at work on Saturday and the drive home from work was NO BUENO. But that was only a few inches of snow; when I woke up the next morning, we’d gotten probably 9 MORE inches. And I had to dig out from it. Which took about an hour. A sweaty, terrible hour, in which I wondered how I had been sent to a Soviet work camp. But I got my poor car unburied and moved it to an empty spot that had been cleared and then went back in and collapsed on the couch and went pant, pant, pant while my jeans dripped melty snow on the floor.

Ha! Yes. Shoveling snow ALWAYS looks this dapper!

Ha! Yes. Shoveling snow ALWAYS looks this dapper!

I love you, New York! I don’t want to leave you! But oh, that was a lot of snow! And I am not much of one for manual labor, hence me working in a cushy office job!

(I did giggle a little watching people get stuck. The problem is that people didn’t think they had to shovel MUCH snow to get their car out of the spots. The main areas had been plowed, but you had to clean out, like, behind your tires and such. Or your tires would spin and spin. And people were being lazy, and thought, “I will just clean away a LITTLE snow!” and then they totally got stuck and were all “WHIRRRR!” and stuck. It was their own damn fault. I wouldn’t have laughed otherwise, promise. I was the MOST anal about shoveling all the snow away from my car, because once I got stuck and it was the worst, and who’s going to help me get out, Dumbcat? I think not.)

Christmas is almost done; I am currently waiting on ONE GIFT and I can mail everything out and will be FINISHED. (Hurry up, one gift!) Some people have gotten their gifts already and I had many grins getting messages from people who’ve received things this weekend. I have a pile of gifts for Mom and Dad and the extended family that I will give to Mom and Dad when they visit next week, and they will give ME gifts, and I will save them to open on Christmas day so I don’t feel so bad about being that sad lonely person on Christmas. AND, The Nephew’s mom invited me to her house for Christmas brunch, so I get to give him his gifts in person, and see him on Christmas day! That was a happy unexpected surprise. I love that I get to spend a few hours with family on Christmas day that I wasn’t expecting. That makes me so joyous.

Shh, don't tell him, but I bought him a remote-control plane. He's going to flip.

Shh, don’t tell him, but I bought him a remote-control plane. He’s going to flip.

I am so pleased with Christmas this year. I’m so happy I was able to get it all together and make Christmas happen after the nightmare that was last year’s non-Christmas. And Christmas is only ten days away! Huzzah!

(And shh, I totally bought MYSELF some gifts; I think that’s allowed. Some new clothes, and shoes, and some various accessories. Sometimes you need to treat yourself just a LITTLE. Plus I needed some new clothes. Don’t we all? Sometimes?)

Also, aren't these the CUTEST, and they were 50% off! I HAD TO HAVE THEM!

Also, aren’t these the CUTEST, and they were 50% off! I HAD TO HAVE THEM!

I know I keep telling you more posts are coming, and they really are, I promise; they’re being worked on in draft form as we speak. There has been some posting going on on my review blog, if you’re so inclined. I haven’t disappeared. I’ve just got a million irons in the fire right now, I guess. Oh, and maybe also tuberculosis.

Hope your Decembers are all going well and you’re staying warm and dry and such. I’ll be back soon. You won’t even notice I’m gone. Promise!

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I’m a daisy if I do.

I really did have plans to write some things this week. I had a schedule and everything. But sometimes plans fall by the wayside when you are hit by ZOMBIE DEATH SICKNESS.

SICK SICK GROSS AND SICK

SICK SICK GROSS AND SICK

Fine, I just had a really terrible cold, but I do so like to exaggerate. It’s just about all I can do, as I am stranded on my couch surrounded by Dayquil bottles and used Kleenex and the sad, sad sounds of hacking up a lung. Which, by the way, Dumbcat does NOT approve of. They are loud and they disrupt his 20 or so hours of sleep a day he seems to need. How do I know he sleeps this much? Because we’ve been hanging out a lot over these past few days, and he’s not at all amenable to my pleas of “OMG PLEASE JUST GO GET ME SOME ICE CUBES WHY ARE YOU THE WORST?” because he’s too busy sleeping. SO MUCH SLEEPING. Why do I have a cat if when I feel icky he won’t get me ice cubes or more Kleenex or soup? Oh, because he’s my best fuzzy little guy and I love him? Fine. That’ll do. I guess.

So, yes. I have been struck low by a cold. I’m fairly sure it’s just a cold. It’s not the flu. I had that last year and I thought I was dying. Plus this year I totally proactively had the flu shot and everything. Some sort of crappy cold that seems to have settled into my lungs. I woke up Friday night coughing and haven’t stopped since. I also have had a fever, a nose that won’t stop running, I’ve lost my voice on and off over the past few days, and this morning when I woke up I was all dizzy. Dad keeps telling me I’m a lunger like Doc Holliday in Tombstone so I keep telling him “You’re a daisy if you do!” and he says, “I got two guns, one for each of ya.” We like Tombstone quotes, we do.

I'm your huckleberry.

I’m your huckleberry.

Being sick when you’re a grownup is NO FUN. Well, it’s not fun when you’re a kid, either, but at least then someone brings you soup and things. When you’re a grownup you can (well, hopefully) take a little time off work and sleep, but you still have to get up and get yourself the soup and the tissues and such because the cat just WILL! NOT! DO! IT! FOR! YOU! Even though he TOTALLY has thumbs, so you KNOW he could get me things if he just WANTED to. Sigh.

I also had to do things over those sick days. Christmas is coming and if I just sat around on the couch sighing and such, Christmas would not arrive on time. SO! Over the past four days, when I’ve been running a fever and coughing like a TB patient, I:

  • went to five different stores (as well as various places online) and finished my Christmas shopping (as well as did grocery shopping and TOTALLY bought myself the best purse ever…I couldn’t even help it. I needed a new purse and it’s gorgeous and it smells richly of leather. SWOON.)

    It looks like this but a little darker brown and I LURVE it.

    It looks sort of like this but a little darker brown and I LURVE it.

  • wrapped approximately 47 billion gifts. Give or take. I mean, I didn’t count, or anything.
  • packaged up the gifts that had to be mailed (except for the three that I can’t finish because I haven’t gotten the stuff for them in the mail yet.) Lots of brown paper. Lots of packing tape. Lots of addressing.
  • went to the post office. Stood in a line that stretched out the door. Was at the window for forty-five minutes because it takes years and years to mail anything overseas because I assume we might be terrorists? I don’t know.
  • And, just in news of OMG, this morning I called out of work and when I went back to bed, I slept until ELEVEN A.M. Without even moving. When I woke up I was all, “how is it 11?” and “do I eat breakfast or lunch WTF?” and “people sleep til 11? This seems suspect.”

Now I am going to go to bed because I need to get up early tomorrow and sneak into work and carefully put my Secret Santa gift onto my recipient’s desk before they get into work. The first day went well; yesterday I had a top-secret plan and had my boss put it on their desk for me; tomorrow it’s up to me again. I am not saying who my Secret Santa recipient is. THAT IS WHY IT IS SECRET. But I am giving this person a very, very good Secret Santa year. (So far as my own Secret Santa gifts I’ve gotten lotto tickets, and I won nothing. But that’s par for the course for me with lotto tickets. I swear tickets could be winners, and I’d touch them and POOF! they would immediately be losers. I have bad lotto-ticket mojo. However, when I GIVE lotto tickets, like as gifts, people tend to win. It’s strange. I have personal-loser gift-winner mojo.)

I should, hopefully, be back one of these days with actual content that’s not OMG I AM HACKING UP A LUNG related. I mean, how long can a cold last, right? Urgh.


Old friends and new friends and adventures and SO MUCH FOOD ZOMG

I am far too tired to function at the moment. However, I really want to blog about the weekend of adventure, preferably before I FORGET about the weekend of adventure, so I’m going to soldier on. I’m intrepid, I am.

This weekend was crammed full of things. SO MANY THINGS. I don’t know if I’ve had a busier weekend in ever. HAPPY busy, but INTENSELY busy. I don’t know if you know this about me, but I’m honestly quite lazy. When I’m not doing things (and let’s be honest; I’m quite often doing things) I am sitting around blogging or watching television. I’m not much of an adventurer, for the most part.

This weekend? SO MUCH ADVENTURE. Sincerely.

So on Friday, I left work early and went to the doctor and then ran a bunch of errands. Because that night…that very night…it was LAURA NIGHT!

Yes, Laura came to visit for a whole weekend! This was a plan we hatched a while back when talking about shopping. See, the lovely Laura is a thrift store shopper extraordinaire. And we have a LOT of thrift stores here. So we came up with a plan for her to come visit and we would do all the shopping, plus I would show her around Albany and we would have a grand adventure.

So I went to the train station! And waited most (im)patiently! And then like 47 trains came in at once! (OK, fine, two. Two trains came in at once.) And I was afraid I would not see Laura, but then there she was! And she was ADORABLE and she was IN MY CITY!

TRAIN STATION TOOT TOOOOOT!

TRAIN STATION TOOT TOOOOOT!

(This is kind of unprecedented. I usually go TO people. People do not usually come to ME. This felt very grownup and fancy.)

We decided the first night we would chill out and just hang out at my place. So back to Casa del Futbol we went!

The first bit of surprise: DUMBCAT LOVED LAURA!

I mean, he likes people EVENTUALLY. But he doesn’t usually love people right AWAY. So I warned Laura he would probably run away RUN AWAY, as he does, and maybe hide under the bed, or in the pots and pans cupboard. But NO! She came in, and he didn’t run away at all! He actually was all “PET ME, WOMAN!” and headbutted her for MORE petting and was all filled with purrs! Now, this is unprecedented. He runs away from EVERYONE. (Well, except me, unless I’m trying to clip his nails or touch him when he’s not in the mood for such nonsense.) This made me very happy.

I actually made FOOD. Like, real live food. With INGREDIENTS in it. I didn’t even warm it up in the microwave. Like, there was COOKING, In the OVEN. True facts!

This doesn’t look as good as it turned out. I made enchiladas! With chicken and beans and much cheese and spiciness! (Because I’m a freak, I got all the things to make them, then was like “ZOMG WHAT IF LAURA’S A VEGETERIAN OR HATES BEANS OR MEXICAN FOOD” and then had to text her and say, “Um. Is this ok? Will you eat this?” and she WOULD. Whew.)

Enchiladas are not the PRETTIEST food but they are DELICIOUS. These were super-good. And I have leftovers for two more days, so that’s nice.

So we ate and ate and talked and ate and laughed and talked MORE and finally went to bed kind of late because all the talking. I do so like talking to Laura. She’s the best of talkers.

The next day was DAY OF ADVENTURE!

We woke up and first went to my favoritest of diners where DELICIOUS WAFFLES WERE CONSUMED! The best part of this (well, other than waffles) was that Laura was trying to find out what kind of sausage came with her breakfast. “Is it patties, or is it, you know…” she said, and then mimed something that looked very much like either a hand- or blowjob. Without missing a beat, the waitress said “They’re sausage links. Are you a teacher?” and it was SO PERPLEXING. How did she get teacher from that? When Laura asked, she said, “Oh, you explained that like a teacher.” WHAT KIND OF TEACHERS DID THIS WOMAN HAVE. This made us giggle. A lot.

My favorite diner YAY! Seriously, I'd been dreaming of waffles for WEEKS.

My favorite diner YAY! Seriously, I’d been dreaming of waffles for WEEKS.

Then we went to our FIRST thrift store, which was the Salvation Army. It is a big Salvation Army and it is pleasingly arrayed in color order. We saw many things there, like a jar opener (if you are very weak?), and one orthopedic shoe for sale (I guess if you only have one foot), and a framed mirrored piece of artwork with Eminem in it. Thrift stores make me wonder about the people who dropped off these things. Why did they EVER have them, and why did they get RID of them?

SALVATION ARMY, BABY!

SALVATION ARMY, BABY!

Laura found a couple of things, and even I found some things, which NEVER happens! I found a few shirts and a very cute skirt and a nice picture frame with beading all over it (because I have photos I want framed but don’t have the frames for them.) We also found a million copies of the Twilight saga in the book section. That made me irresponsibly happy.

Then, on to thrift store #2! This one is more expensive but has more clothes straight from stores with tags on them and everything. I tried on so many clothes that I think I might have started a minor riot outside the two dressing rooms. SORRY HUMANS. But I bought SIX new shirts that I am VERY excited about and a very cute nightgown. No, you can’t see it, not even a little.

Goodwill! It is mega-huge,  yo.

Goodwill! It is mega-huge, yo.

Then it was time for lunch. Because we eat balanced meals, we had…

ICE CREAM! Kurver Cream was right across the street and is closing for the season soon and I was excited to bring Laura to my favorite ice cream stand. These cones were DRIPPY, you guys. We got MESSY.

Then it was time to take a quick tour of Albany. We were running out of time and had things to do that evening. So I planned a little excursion to my favorite place in all of Albany when you want to show someone the fantasticness.

The Empire State Plaza!

Laura seemed VERY happy with the beauty that is the Empire State Plaza. Weird shit was going down there this weekend. I have no idea what it was, but there was loud music and all the streets were closed and we had to hike across the Capitol lawn and we saw two wedding parties which was nice.

Laura at The Egg! Those ducks were cool. But we kept getting attacked by cheeky weird pigeons.

We then jetted home and got all dolled up for our ladydate. We totally forgot to take photos of ourselves all fancy, but we were wearing dresses and had pretty hair and makeup and we were the PRETTIEST. People were impressed.

First, we went to dinner at one of my favorite local restaurants, which is New World Bistro Bar. It’s where I take people when I want to show them the coolness. It’s got fun delicious food and a wonderful atmosphere and we were very impressed with the sexiness of all of the employees. We ate until our faces almost fell off.

We wanted dessert and even though the waitress was like “I warn you, that thing, it is HUGE” we totally ordered this ice cream sandwich which was rootbeer ice cream and rootbeer whipped cream and rootbeer cookies and listen. That waitress wasn’t lying.

I know, right? They weren’t screwing around about how huge. My word. We couldn’t finish this. We gave it a good try, though.

Then it was time for the theater! Originally, I was supposed to review a show that night, but that got moved to another night. So instead we went to my old theater to see Big Maggie, which I really wanted to see anyway, and was glad I could bring Laura to for many reasons, some of which were that she could meet my friends, and that some of my favorite local actors were working on this show.

And it was a total hit. We were IMPRESSED. The acting and the set and the direction – all of it was fantastic. And I saw so many people and got to introduce Laura to so many people and it was just the best time.

But THEN, a very bad thing happened which was the little headache I’d had all day got worse and worse and WORSE and then I was like, huh, it seems this is turning into a migraine. And by the time I got home, it was bad news bears. I took some aspirin, and the aspirin was the last straw and my head told my stomach “nope, we’re not accepting that” and then I had to go to the bathroom and fight the urge to vomit for many minutes because if there’s anything I hate it’s throwing up. Yuck.

So then it was time for early bedtime, which meant I went to bed but couldn’t fall asleep for a while because OUCH OUCH OUCH and then finally fell asleep and then when I woke up I felt all hollow like I had no brain, so that’s nice. But at least my head didn’t hurt anymore. Because it was HOLLOW, you see.

Then it was time to rush around and get ready to bring Laura back to the train station so she could go home. Sniff.

Back to the train station! Many hugs! Sad goodbyes! Laura was the best visitor. I don’t have many overnight guests. This was an excellent experiment in visitations. If it always went this well I would always have visitors. I MISS YOU ALREADY, LAURA!

Then it was time for the SECOND adventure of the weekend. I mean, with the second PERSON.

Not too long ago, one of my oldest friends contacted me and said he was coming to town for a few hours on Sunday, and did I want to get together for lunch? Yes. Yes, I did.

I have known David since the first week of college. So therefore, we have known each other since we were 17. SEVENTEEN. Can you imagine? That is a very long time ago. I barely remember that girl. I remember David, though, and I remember meeting him that day, when I was scared and homesick and a very nice boy smiled at me and held the door of the dining hall and told me I looked pretty that day, and then I ran into him again a few days later when visiting a friend at his dorm and we were friends from that point on. I’ve known David longer than I’ve known almost anyone. It’s funny, when you have that much history with someone. They know all of your things, and you know theirs, but then when you move away from each other, you still know those things…but then there are all new things you DON’T know, so that person’s still in there, but it’s also a new person. It really is a funny thing.

As you can see, this train station wasn't as awesome. (Obviously I did not take this photo today.)

As you can see, this train station wasn’t as awesome. (Obviously I did not take this photo today.)

So I then went to ANOTHER train station to get David, who was coming in about an hour later, and hung out in the parking lot like a creeper and wrote email and made phone calls and such. Then when the train was coming in I waited outside my car and I heard “AMY!” and there was David. And he looked like my David, even though I hadn’t seen him in ten years in person. (I thought it was just five years or something, but we figured out it had actually been ten. That’s a very long time.)

So we went to the restaurant, and talked and talked and waited for the restaurant to open, and David was in town because he is a very fancy talent agent and was there to surprise one of his clients who was starring in the tour of Ghost, but we ruined the surprise because she saw us on the street and she was so cute and surprised to see him and then she gave me a HUGE hug and she was teeny-tiny and full of all the excitement and I liked her very much. So I got to meet the star of Ghost! Which I am reviewing on Tuesday! So I certainly hope she’s good because how awkward will it be if she’s terrible and she was so adorable and filled with hugs? (Damn, but it’s tough being honest sometimes. Let’s just cross our fingers she’s wonderful.)

Then we went to lunch, only the restaurant wasn’t ready for us even though we had a reservation. “Can you come back in an hour? We’re cleaning up from a party last night,” said the man at the door. “Um. No? Because of theater reservations?” we said. After much sighing, he agreed to let us sit outside. So we had lunch and talked and talked and caught up and it was just nice, you know? If you’ve known someone that long, catching up with them is a nice thing. (And behind us, the people kept bringing trash and ice sculptures and such out of the restaurant. The whole thing was very strange. I don’t know that I’d go back there.)

Then we walked around town a little and then it was time for David to go to the show and for me to go home and crash out because WHOO WHAT A WEEKEND but we totally took some photos which I do not have explicit permission to post here but I’m doing it anyway.

This is us being…shocked, I guess? We are making FACES here, yo. Also I like how the Ghost poster looks like it’s telling David a secret.

Now we look happy and relaxed and beautiful. This is one of my most favorite photos of my whole life. Seriously. This makes me beyond happy. This is a photo of two people who have had a very good day and love each other.

And when I got home I had blogging and a weekends’ worth of internet things to catch up on and emails to write and a freelance job to do and now I am GOING TO BED, dammit. SO SO TIRED.

Best weekend. Just the best. And more wonderful things upcoming. So many things happening. So happy.

Hope you all had the best weekends filled with adventure, and all the delicious foods and friends and laughter.


…mermaid dancing…is a little different. You usually start on the ground.

I have no time to blog this week. MY MOST ABJECT APOLOGIES MY FAVORITE PEOPLE.

Also next week is the worst. But after that I think I get to breathe again. Maybe.

Well, ok, not the WORST. They’re all things I WANT to do. There are just a LOT of things to do. Fun things, but a LOT of them. One that requires – are you ready for this – THE PURCHASING AND WEARING OF A DRESS.

I KNOW. Please stop gasping and fainting. I can wear dresses. I’m allowed. I am a lady, even if I really, really like wearing khakis. Like, so much, guys. SO MUCH. They are beyond comfortable.

So, without further ago, because I am running out of time and trying to write this while watching a movie and also emailing and also doing a million other things…

THINGS THAT HAVE MADE ME HAPPY THIS WEEK SO FAR

(What, you were expecting things that made me miserable this week? I COULD do that, but how depressing would THAT be to read? No. Let’s stick to things that made me happy. Thanks.)

SHOPPING SUCCESSFULLY!

Now, as you all know, I am not a good shopper. I often lose at shopping. QUITE often. And it makes me frustrated. And itchy. And a little sweaty.

HOWEVER, I had to go to the mall this week for a VERY EXCITING THING. Ready?

Here was me on Monday…

(Well, my hair didn’t look like that. My hair only looked likes like that when my hairdresser does it. This is only for a comparison.)

And here’s me NOW:

QUICK WHAT IS DIFFERENT?

No, not the hair. Or the clothes. Or the necklace. Or the makeup. YOU CAN DO BETTER THAN THAT!

What was that? Someone in the back?

YES! CORRECT!

I GOT NEW GLASSES!

I am crazy in love with them. They make me so much happier than the last ones, which were Transitions and scratched and an annoying shape and I hated them. These are flattering and pretty and stylish and ZOMG they are totally Dolce and Gabbana. I KNOW. (People say that’s a fancy thing, right? Like, they make purses or something, right? I don’t know such things. I think the fanciest name-brand of anything I own is like Fashion Bug brand or something.)

ALSO, I had an eye exam and the optometrist told me I was VERY PHOTOGENIC. He was talking about my eyes, but I took it as a total compliment. (He also told me I had EXTREMELY healthy eyes, and showed me some photos of NON-healthy eyes which were TOTES ICKY, you guys, and made me squeal disgustedly and delightedly. I liked him a lot. He told me gross stories about working in the hospital and was VERY entertaining. He won optometry.)

So after an epic win of glasses-buying (which was kind of expensive, despite my eyecare plan), I went dress-shopping. Gulp.

Now, I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to find anything, because I have the WORST LUCK with shopping. But I have a wedding to go to on Friday. And it’s the wedding of friends K. and A.! And I would very much like to look like a pretty lady at said wedding!

So I tried on dresses. Trepidaciously.

AND YOU WILL NEVER GUESS WHAT OCCURRED!

I found THREE PRETTY DRESSES!

I had to narrow it down to two, because they were not CHEAP dresses. But I bought two dresses. One for the wedding and one for when Laura visits in September and we’re going to a fancy dinner and then to a play at the fancy theater like LAY-DEEZ.

This is the wedding dress (because it’s going to be HOT that day, yo, and the wedding’s outside):

SO CUTE. No, I’m not wearing heels with this. Don’t ask. I have shoes with a PRACTICAL SLIGHTLY-RAISED RUBBERY HEEL. That’s as good as you get from me. I would tip, otherwise.

And for my lady-date with Laura:

SUPER-SEXY. Also the cleavage in this dress is INSANE. Laura, we’re going to be the HOTTEST LADIES ON THE TOWN, sincerely.

Other things that have made me happy this week that are NOT spending-money-related (because there are some, I don’t JUST spend all the money all the time, just SOMETIMES):

  • Dad’s coming to visit next week! We’re totally spending the day together!
  • I get to have dinner with The Nephew and his mom next week! He starts school after Labor Day. Can you imagine? My best little guy is SCHOOL-AGED! Whoa!
  • Making Dad laugh until he dropped the phone by dropping a random (albeit, very funny, she says humbly) sexual innuendo in conversation (when Dad says “that’s a good one!” I feel like I won an Oscar)
  • Watching Pitch Perfect. SHUT UP. It is funny and quirky and heartwarming and A CAPELLA, you guys. I have all the love for a capella. Plus it stars this chick:

    This is Rebel Wilson, who I fell crazy in love with in Bridesmaids and she only had a LITTLE role, and look at her in THIS. She is WONDERFUL. She made me laugh SO SO HARD, you guys. She wins everything.She is CRAZY FIERCE.
    I have a total crush on her.

And I want to be her character in the movie. See? I even told Twitter last night.

(Her character in the movie’s name is Fat Amy. WATCH IT. Sincerely. I thought it might be awful, too, but it was so much fun. Except sometimes it was stupid and there was vomiting. I don’t care for stupid sketch-comedy vomiting.)

OK. I am going to bed because lately I have not been sleeping properly and also I’ve been gritting my teeth a lot which means I’m stressed so I think I need some downtime, yo. I’m going to go to bed early and see if that helps. Happy day, all! I hope all the things made you happy this week. If not, just stare a little at Rebel Wilson. She’s the most sensational.


Why Walmart is no longer dead to me (and FedEx now is)

Gather ’round, children, because it is STORYTIME! Do you have your blankies and your snacks?

SIDE NOTE: once, during storytime at the library, the girls were all braiding each other’s hair, and I had such long pretty hair then, and when it was my turn to get my hair braided (and it was a FRENCH BRAID, which my mom couldn’t do) the librarian was all “STOP THAT AND PAY ATTENTION” so I never got my French braid and I was so, so sad.

It is The Nephew’s birthday on Monday, and he is four. I know. That’s a very prestigious age. On Sunday, we are having his fourth birthday party at his other aunt’s house. It is a pool party and there will be many adorable kiddos running around being cheerful and all hopped-up on cake and such. I haven’t seen him since February so I’m looking forward to seeing him. He grows quickly, that little guy. He’s all legs. He’s going to be a tall one.

So Mom’s coming up Saturday afternoon, spending the night and we’re having all the adventures, and then Sunday we’ll go to the party and then she’ll head home.

Now, the question was: what do we get for an almost-four-year-old we love more than anything in the world?

Mom spoke to The Nephew’s mom (K.) and K. said that he wanted an iPad. Well, he’s only four. I don’t even have an iPad. And I was worried that maybe that’s too much of a thing for a kiddo. I knew that sj got LeapPads for her kids for Christmas, and they love them and use them all the time, and they’re LIKE iPads, only for adorable kiddos…so I said, hey, Mom? Ask K. what her thoughts are about LeapPads. She did, and K. researched them and said, “Yes! LeapPads are a VERY good idea!”

So I researched the best deal I could find for a LeapPad and various accessories and the best deal was from Walmart.

Now, I’m boycotting Walmart, because many Christmases ago, I went shopping there (and it was stupidly crowded, as it is) and I was trying to get something off a very high shelf and had to ask for help and the employee was SO RUDE to me. And that was the straw that broke this particular camel’s back, because every time I went there, I had some sort of issue. Rudeness or price problems or people shopping there being weird or things not being on the shelf or hearing about their practices with employees…so I decided, nope. No more. I have randomly bought things from them online, when I didn’t have another choice and that’s the only place a thing was sold (you know I love to win gifting) and if I was in a place where Walmart was the only shopping option, well, of course I had to shop there.  A person can’t go without deodorant or jerky. But otherwise, it’s Target or Kmart for me.

(Also, Dad worked there for a brief period of time when it first came to his town and then he quit, but he likes to say “WALMART FIRED ME! Those bastards” and he also hates to go there more than he has to, so he’s down with my Walmart boycott.)

But I like to win birthdays, especially for The Nephew…and I like to save money…and Mom and I were splitting the cost of the LeapPad…so I bought it from Walmart. It came with a green rubbery skin thingy and a recharger and an adapter so all I’d have to buy was a pair of earbuds and some rechargable batteries and WE WOULD WIN BIRTHDAYS. (Mom also bought him a bunch of other things, like clothes and toys, but you can hardly blame her. He’s her only grandchild.)

I ordered on a Monday. Walmart said it would arrive a week later. I kicked back and lived life. At the end of the week, I got a package with the charger and the adapter and the recharger. “Huh,” I thought. “That came early. Where’s the LeapPad?” So I went online to check it out.

According to the site, the LeapPad had been delivered to my front door days ago. Funny, because I never got it.

I called FedEx, a touch panicky, and explained the situation. “It’s been delivered,” said FedEx, very helpfully.

“No, it really hasn’t. And I’ve been here for years and no one’s ever stolen a package from my front door. Plus my neighbor sits in his front doorway all day long and watches everything that happens and when I get home and I’ve gotten a package, he says, ‘you have a package!’ as if I’m blind so I think he’d notice if someone nefariously stole my package.”

“Well, we can open a case about this. It’ll take a few weeks.”

“Um. My nephew’s birthday is a week from Sunday. Can…anything we can do to speed that up?”

“Well, ma’am, since it’s been delivered, you’re lucky we’re opening a case, honestly.”

I managed not to scream “IT WASN’T DELIVERED AS I’M NOT HOLDING IT IN MY HAND!” and wrote down the case number.

On Monday, I called them again. They still knew nothing. They did, strangely, ask me what color my building was. When I told them red and cream, they asked “Are you sure?” Um. Pretty sure?

I asked them what, exactly, they recommended I do about this. “Maybe call Walmart? I don’t know,” said the very helpful FedEx lady.

Listen, this wasn’t Walmart’s fault. I wasn’t even sure it was FedEx’s fault. It was either delivered and stolen, or misdelivered (that happens here a lot), or not delivered at all. But I love my nephew, and LeapPads are expensive. I really didn’t want to have to buy another one. And I couldn’t ask Mom to halfway-reimburse me for ANOTHER one. It wasn’t HER fault.

So I emailed Walmart. I explained the whole situation. I poured on the pathos. I mentioned The Nephew. I mentioned he was the best. I mentioned he was four. I mentioned I like to win birthdays.

They sent back a form letter explaining how much their delivery options cost. Sigh, I thought. Of course they did.

But at the bottom, it said “if this doesn’t answer your question, respond to this email and explain your problem again.”

So I rewrote the whole thing. Crossed my fingers.

Not five minutes later, I got an email back.

“It sounds like your package was lost after delivery. We’ll start another order for you at no cost to you.”

Whaaaa? Lost after delivery? They accepted that was a thing? THEY WERE RESENDING THE PACKAGE?

I emailed back. Thanking them. PROFUSELY. I said I only needed the LeapPad, not the accessories; I’d received those. And I asked if I could pick it up in the store, since it was now less than a week until the party. And I thanked them. Again. And wondered amazedly over their customer service.

I got an email back, stating they’d expedited shipping and I’d get it in no more than two days. APOLOGIZING FOR THE INCONVENIENCE. What? WHAT? Holy crap. Asking if, somehow, I ever received the original package, to send it back to them at their expense; I could print a return shipping label from their site. And? AND?

“Please wish your nephew a very happy birthday from all of us here at Walmart.”

Hear that sound? It’s the sound of my self-imposed Walmart boycott slipping away.

We do not live in a very customer-service-oriented society. And when a business goes out of their way to help someone who needs it – I am loyal to that business. My garage treats me like a human being, not a stupid girl; I will never, ever, in a million years, get my car worked on anywhere else. My hairdresser is the coolest, funniest person, and a single mom struggling to make ends meet, and works around my schedule to get me in; I’ve followed her to three salons and would follow her to a dozen more. Walmart just sent me a product that FedEx lost (or was stolen) at their own expense, when they didn’t have to. And put a personal touch on it. It might be their policy, but it’s a damn fine one.

I will no longer boycott Walmart.

And? AND? When I got home from work Wednesday, I had a message from FedEx. I was trying to find a way to embed it here, but it had my real name and address on it and that’s how you get stabmurdered, so I stopped trying to do that.

Here’s the message, paraphrased:

“Hi, Amy. This is FedEx. We’ve investigated your case, and found out what happened to your package. The deliveryperson brought it to your home, but was unable to find you. He then gave it to someone he assumed to be a maintenance person in the parking lot, who said you no longer lived there, but he would take care of the package for you. So…that’s really all we can do about that. We suggest you contact Walmart and see if they can help. Thank you for using FedEx.”

OMG FEDEX WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL.

You gave my nephew’s LeapPad to a random person in my parking lot who may or may not have been a maintenance person? Is this your policy? To just give packages to strangers? Did you even TRY to find my home? Because a couple days later, you found it just fine and delivered the other package there! WHO DID YOU GIVE MY PACKAGE TO? And did it strike you as odd that the person said they’d “take care of it?” And how did that person know I no longer lived there? Did I move out in the few days between ordering the package and getting it delivered? AND, why did you write on the website you’d delivered it to my front door when that’s a flat-out lie? And WHY ARE YOU TAKING NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR THIS, as if this is a thing that just HAPPENS sometimes?

I listened to this message three times to be sure I wasn’t misunderstanding it. Dad is FURIOUS about this. Mom just doesn’t understand how this could happen.

Dear FedEx: you can be assured that, if I’m even given the option of shipping, I will not be choosing you. It’ll be UPS or the post office from now on. That’s what crappy customer service and giving The Nephew’s LeapPad to randoms in my parking lot will get you.

In happier news, I got the new LeapPad Wednesday after work; it was waiting for me, all shiny and packaged and wonderful. Mom and I will win birthdays and The Nephew will be happy with his new technology and all will be well in birthday-land.

So, in summation:

  • Birthday: won.
  • Walmart: customer service win.
  • FedEx: WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL.

Happy Friday, people of the blog. I hope your weekends are good and randoms in your parking lots don’t steal your LeapPads.


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