Friday, December 30, 2005

Mr. Clean

I just want to say that my husband is the best! He cleans like no body's business. Hmm, not sure if that is an accurate analogy, but it's what came out.

We are having friends over to play poker for New Years Eve and LA Barabbas is very nervous about our home being tidy and presentable. So, he has been cleaning like Cinderelly all day. I have done some, too, but it just seems like he is so much better at it than I. It must be my ADD. I get distracted by shiny objects and what not. But not LAB, he just gets right to the task and takes care of business.

I think I'll keep him!

Heil $

This is sort of random but I had to share.

I went to the Dollar Tree last night to get some rubber gloves and oven cleaner. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this phenomena, there are a million stores in LA that sell everything on their shelves for a dollar, or in the case of the 99 Cents store franchise, 99 cents. I love these stores for disposable things like kitchen sponges, gift bags and the occasional roll of duct tape. But I digress.

So, I'm at the checkout with far more than the 2 items I had intended to buy and I notice the checker girl's nametag reads "Nazi." Hmm. Interesting. Is she professing some sort of alliance to the party? Is she a fan of Hitler? What's up? Of course, I am not that stupid. I realize that she is of foreign birth - from where I am not certain. She has a definite accent that I would peg as, well, foreign. Maybe Armenian, maybe Indian, maybe anything but European or Spanish. So, I am certain that her actual name is totally respectable. But for whatever reason, when spelled using English phonetics it comes out as Nazi.

Now here is where I start to wonder why, when they first spelled out her name, someone didn't just say, "hmm, that's probably a bad idea. Let's spell it Natsi, or Notsi, or, Nahzi." Seems like a no brainer to me.

Just a thought.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Home Sweet Home - cough cough

Well we made it home safe and sound and STINKY. Everything we have smells like smoke. And I don't mean the scent of camfire. I mean dirty nasty cigarrette smoke. You know you'd think that losing one's mother/wife to lung cancer as a direct result of SMOKING would inspire one to FREAKIN' QUIT already. I wonder how many loved ones one has to watch wither away hooked up to tubes and wires in a hospital bed before one figures out how EFFING stupid smoking is? I wonder if these same people will be spitting out the same LAME excuses when THEY are the ones attached to said tubes and wires. And, I wonder if I will have any more sympathy then?

OK, I'll jump off my soap box. Oh, and please don't come back at me with comments about addiction and bad habbits and blah blah blah. I have no sympathy. There is no wiggle room. I will not be swayed.

OK, now, off the soap box. Must go start washing everything in the suitcase - including the suitcase.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Can It be? A SECOND (2 days after) Christmas Miracle

Well, I am certain that everyone must be bored with the minutiae of my package issues. Hmm, if I were a guy, one might misinterpret that sentence. Seeing as how I am WOMAN hear me roar, I must mean an actual package. And I do. It's the package I wrote about 2 posts ago. It was seemingly lost by the USPS or my imaginary homeless man. Well, not long after returning from my fruitful adventure at Sprawlmart, I got a call from my big bro telling me that the missing package was no longer as such, missing. It seems the postman delivered the package to the right street number, but the wrong street. My bro lives on C street and the package was delivered to D street. The tenant of the building to which the package was missent, figured out today that the box was not meant for his upstairs neighbor in unit 4, but to a neighbor a street away. He very kindly delivered the box to my bro and little Lizard is happily singing along with her American Idol Barbie.


In the words of Tiny Tim, God bless us everyone. And big ups to the neighbor over on D street.

A (2 days after) Christmas Miracle

OK, so I know that it is probably not very PC to extol the virtues of the meglomart giant we'll call Sprawlmart. It seems every day there is another expose of the retailer and how it mistreats its employees and I certainly don't want to endorse that. But, thanks to their mistreatment of said employees, there's no denying that Sprawlmart's prices are dirt cheap. So when trying to figure out what to get my big bro for Christmas, I headed to the big W in sky and bought a fail safe gift card.

Now, if you have been keeping up with this blog, you know that the box in which this gift card was packaged has gone missing in San Diego. While I can not recoup my losses on the American Idol Barbie or the handsome day planner, I thought there might be a possibility of getting my money back on the gift card. Thanks to my husband's OCD about keeping receipts, I still have my sales slip containing the serial number for the gift card. So, I called the Sprawlmart in Woodland Hills and they suggested that if I come in to the store, they may be able to do some sort of exchange. Of course, we are still in East Tennessee, but I am told you can make exchanges of Sprawlmart items at any of their 4.7 billion stores. Off to Jeff City to stand in line - which by the way was skillfully designated by a row of milk crates and a hand lettered sign that read "return start here." I waited my turn while the husband perused the UT paraphenalia. When it was finally my turn, the girl called me to the counter and I explained my situation. She immediately said, in a sweet southern belle accent, "I'm sorry honey, 'ere aint nuttin we can do. 'Em cards is same as cashe (long a)." Ug. Well, that's that, I think. But the large girl in the red shirt and nametag reading "Misty" butts in and says "you can check to see if it's been used, you know." Then she steps in and begins to type all sorts of things into the register, sticks in a key, beep beep beep, and then a receipt prints out. "Nope, ain't no one used it yet." Well, I guess that's that. She tells me that I can call the number on the back of the card and they might be able to do something that way. Of course, I don't have the card, I say. And she is kind enough to give me a blank, empty card to take with me.

Feeling a bit defeated, we head out toward the parking lot. Just as we pass the wall covered with "have you seen this child" posters, I hear a new voice saying "ma'ame - another girl thinks she can help you." Huh? A customer service rep from Sprawlmart actually chased me down to try to help me? Wow. So, we go back in, jump to the front of the now pretty long "returns" line and step up to a CSR named Paullette whose name tag says she's provided friendly service for 20 years. I suppose, she would be able to help with 20 years of Sprawlmart experience. So, she starts typing and keying and beeping and before I know it she's asking me if I have a preference as to what type card I want - "flower or Christmas or gas or just the logo..." I am not picky, so she grabs a big red rose faced card, does some more typing and beeping and then, to my amazement, hands me a new card with my balance fully transferred. She smiled, thanked me for my patience and, then, Missy actually thanked me for helping her learn how to handle that task. Wow.

Did I say Wow yet? Because, that's really what I feel I have to say. In a million years I would never have thought that I would experience a Christmas miracle in the bright fluorescent carvernous Sprawlmart. But, lo I say unto thee, it is true. And it was good.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

God Bless the USPS

Through wind and rain and snow my arse. I busted my aforementioned derriere this past Tuesday to get a giant box of presents wrapped and in the mail for my brother and niece. It's the first Christmas of joint custody and I wanted to make sure that she had equal representation of gifts from our clan as from her (eh-hem) mother's family. I wrapped each item in colorful paper and filled a box measuring 2.5' square. So, lots of pressies for Lizard. I raced to the post office at 5:30pm and stood in line for 20 minutes before getting to the cashier. "I need this in San Diego by Sunday, what do you suggest?" He recommended Priority with delivery confirmation. Done. Task complete and now I can fly to ET in piece knowing Santa was on his way.

Nope. I spoke to my bro last night on his first Christmas eve sans Lizard. Frozen pizza and vanilla stout but no box of gifts. Ug. According to the USPS hotline, the package was delivered at 1:03 pm on December 24. But, bro has no box. UG.

So, if you happen to be a dirty crackhead in the San Diego area and you stole my box of presents (it's the one with the American Idol Barbie and Bratz Lip Gloss) Freaking give it back you lousy piece of dirt. Come on, it's Christmas. Screw what you think about the religious or commercial sides of this day. This isn't about Jesus or Trump or teaching intelligent design or the Ten Commandments carved in the court house floor or Kiwanis or Chanuka or freaking Festivus. This is about an 8 year old girl who has had a shitty year and deserves for just one day to be the recipient of a ton of crap. Crap she never even knew she wanted, but crap she now knows she can't live without. So, stick your bah humbug up your bah bum butt and bring back my box.

OK, so here's where you see into my brain. Just as I am typing this, I begin to think about who might actually have taken the box. And up pops a picture of a guy in a gray overcoat, dirty gray jeans, boots with holes in the toes, a cap with a hole in the side and gloves with no fingers. He is the father of a little girl with whom he lives under an overpass off the 163. It's my favorite stretch of interstate or freeway or highway or just about any road in the world. It runs through Balboa Park and the overpass is made up of a giant archway surrounded by green - plants, trees grass - just mushed together to make this picturesque sight as you drive into downtown San Diego. It's out of place, and at the same time just peaceful and - mmmm - I love it. So, this guy in my head, he lives under the overpass with his little girl and they spend their days trolling around the park, digging out half eaten hotdogs from the garbage cans and he takes her into the museums in the park to teach her about history and science. And, on this particular Christmas, this man saw a box on a porch on C street and he took it. To his surprise, the box was full of presents Tailor made for a little girl. How fortuitous. It's like Santa led him to this porch. It's like God told the postman to leave the box on the porch rather than ringing a bell and asking a neighbor to take it in where it would be safe. It's, well, it's a bonafide Christmas miracle. So, good. Lizard seems to have gotten a goodly amount of gifts without this box and the little girl who lives under the underpass, well, she's having the best day of her year.

All is well. Gee, thanks USPS. You saved Christmas.

God bless us everyone.

This is the first day of my blog

Hmm, it's, well, huh. Yep. There ya go. Blog. Blog. Fun to say. And speaking of things you they say on the TV, stay tuned, more to come.

Merry Christmas Kelvis!

Well, this is not Kelvis, this is The Editor (no, not the weird alien kid in the shopping cart, I mean I'm The Editor, and not Kelvis), and I am here to welcome Kelvis to the blogosphere with her very own blog: Valley Grrrl.

I'm sure she will regale her readers with stories to make them laugh, share her scathingly brilliant ideas, and for the most part, be really cool.

Her husband is LA Barabbas, who has been guest blogging for me the past few days. I'm hoping he will allow me to set up a real live blog for him, since he so enjoys posting on my blog.

Today is Christmas Day, and I just made Kelvis a Peppermint Mocha--this seemed to highly please her. I also brought home a bag of little chocolate doughnuts last night. In this way, I bend her will. Little Chocolate Doughnuts folks--they are one of the few things that will cause the Kelvis to just plain like you.

Anyway, this blog is my Christmas gift to my little sister (and by "little" I mean younger, because she is certainly taller than me, and could probably take me in a fight, not that I'm a lightweight or anything...) so that she can be hip and modern and part of the 21st century geekdom.

Welcome her!

The Editor