same_sky: (mood swing)
My niece texted me a couple of weeks ago to heckle me about the Extreme Couponing show on TLC. "Amateurs!" I replied. I had heard people mention it though, so I set my DVR this weekend to catch it. Evie and I are having a pretty lazy day at home today, so I watched it while folding laundry.

I hate those people. Or, I should say... I hate that those people let themselves be aired on television in a manner like this. You know what happens when you sensationalize your coupon usage like this?

1. STORES GET PISSED.
2. "Normal" people think they can coupon just like the people on the show and set out to make every last rookie mistake in the books, and what do you know? STORES GET PISSED.
3. and finally, you get all these dorks running around in your stores, clearing shelves and acting like idiots, and then YOUR stores get pissed. At couponers. AT YOU.

If you know me, you will know that I try to share the joy of couponing even if you don't necessarily want that joy. I like to see other people taking advantage of good deals. At this stage in my life, I only have so much time to be running out to the stores without my child (who used to be my shopping buddy but now hates it, so I had to scale my operation down). I don't get to do quite as much shopping as I'd like, especially since I live in a relatively rural area. I go to the same stores over and over because those are the only stores available to me unless I leave town (which yes, I do that too sometimes.) It's unavoidable that you will have incidents with certain coupons or certain cashiers, but the trick is to be calm and reasonable, or the next time you walk into the store, they are going to be all over you like white on rice. I am telling you this from personal and painful experience.

Newbies created from shows like this? They do not understand this. They walk in and have a deal fall through (it happens to everyone, but especially at the beginning) and they do crazy stuff, like throw twenty boxes of facial tissue on the floor, kick them around and yell obscenities at store personenel. You think I am making this up, but this actually happened at a Rite Aid store yesterday, according to someone on a forum I belong to. It takes time for people to learn the guidelines of extreme couponing. Jumping in and trying to get those insane deals in bulk is a recipe for disaster, and it trickles down to EVERYONE who coupons.

ALSO, what drives me REALLY nuts is that this is completely unnecessary. You can buy the exact same crap without drawing so much attention to yourself. I mean, I am not talking about unreasonably small transactions. It's not that uncommon for my pre-coupon totals to be $250. If I had more than two carts full of stuff, I would take my stuff to the car and then come back inside, or better yet, go to the next store. The people on that show--well, the first and the last one, anyway--were basically just showing off. You can do that kind of shopping, but you can't do it like, every day. 1,100 boxes of cereal? First of all--you are crazy, dude. Secondly, most stores have closer to 11 boxes of cereal in stock than 1,100... yes, some store managers will order things for you like they did for him, but it's not exactly common practice. It was done for effect and that's all.

So, thank you, attention whores. You have successfully made the stores get pissed and start trying to figure out how to prevent people from doing this kind of thing. You have made manufacturers think a little harder about what coupons they release. You have made store managers get wary of people coming in to use couponers. And most of all... you have created drama and competition for me personally to complete my stash of free toothpaste. :p

(I enjoyed the stockpile pictures, though. My stockpile room is not nearly as prettily arranged anymore, since it largely goes in tubs in the basement for yard sale season now.)

If YOU were inspired by that show and are thinking of getting into couponing, please coupon responsibly. And also, please stay out of MY stores. ;)
same_sky: (Default)
Have you ever been sitting on a plane, ages past boarding, and you’re waiting for the thing to actually move, and then suddenly someone bursts onto the plane looking disheveled and anxious, and you think smugly to yourself that these people should really plan better so that they don’t show up at the airport so close to their departure time?

Yeah. Welcome to our world yesterday.

Let’s put everything into perspective, though, and start on Saturday. We met my parents and niece for lunch, and then we brought my niece with us to the hotel near the airport, where we were spending the night. Both the girls fell asleep in the car on the way there. When they woke up at the hotel, Evie’s eyes were gunked up. YAY PINK EYE. We’re two hours from her doctor with an international flight going out the next day. I asked at the desk and found an Urgent Care center nearby, so we took off to the doctor. It was easily confirmed as pink eye—this is our first parenting experience with pink eye. It is not fun. So we pick up her medicine and drive around in circles for an hour looking for somewhere to eat. I finally gave up and picked the closest McDonald’s on the GPS. We drove for ten minutes and guess where it led us? To the ValuPark lot at the airport. Yes, the GPS was sending us INTO THE AIRPORT FOR DINNER. No thank you. That was really just a sidenote though because we finally ate and made it back to the hotel and the freezing ”heated” pool, where fun was had by all. When we get back, I am going to look into swimming lessons for Evie. She loved it.

After a restless night’s sleep, we get up and get our stuff ready to go. (This includes twenty minutes of trying to get Evie’s matted and puffy swollen eyes open and then medicated. Is this a good time to apologize to the flying peoples of the world for bringing pink eye onto a plane” Yeah, sorry about that.) We get to the airport, check in with minimal problems—although we did have go to through the security line twice because when we got up there, we found an issue with our boarding passes. Evie is grumpy, and none of us can blame her because HELLO, PINK EYE. We go through security, where I beep like mad. I was carrying all four passports and presumably they have a metal strip in them… according to the security people but I beeped several times later on so I have no idea.

After security, we have a couple of hours to kill and then I remember lunch. There’s only one place past security to eat in our general vicinity, so Whitley and I stood in line for 35 minutes. (Incidentally: after those 35 minutes, I waited an additional five minutes and then paid 22 bucks for two paninis, two bags of chips, two drinks, a one dollar orange that Evie wouldn’t touch after all and a bottle of milk. Whitley got a bottle of juice and a club sandwich for twelve, so I guess I can’t complain in comparison. The food sucked, too.) When we got back to the place, it was time to board.. or it would have been time to board if our flight wasn’t delayed. We had a few tense moments with thinking we were only going to have forty minutes to make it to our next flight, but eventually, a really nice gate agent really helped us. We decided to go to Newark and he put us in as backup on a flight that went out the next day. He even drew the route on a map of the Newark airport and told us how to get to the C terminal from A. We left before originally scheduled, so we had an hour and twenty minutes before the flight departed. We were GOLDEN.

HAHAHA. That is when this story takes a turn for the AWFUL. We get there and we are still rushing like mad because it’s a big place and we want to get to where we need to go as soon as possible, just in case. We ride the shuttle, we walk aaalllll the way through the C terminal to the gate, where we….. are told that we need to be in Terminal B. We’re not on that flight. We have 45 minutes at this point. M is pissed because he knew we wouldn’t have time to make it because of a Continental employee’s directions. The woman directs us to the Continental Customer Service, where we had to wait in line again. There, the woman ridiculed us for waiting at line (at yet another Continental employee’s direction) and basically just told us to run, knowing full well we wouldn’t make it. Yet, we had to try, so we ran. I mean, RAN. Two adults, one teen and one carried three-year-old, running like mad through a crowded airport. We get to the shuttle and we ride to the next terminal and can’t find the gate on the signs, so my brilliant husband heads to the SAS check-in counter. We were second-guessing that decision at the time, thinking that we might be killing precious minutes, but it was the only thing that saved us. They started messing with boarding passes and passports and affixed a beautiful green dot on our boarding passes that let us go through priority security lines, called the gate to let them know, and told us basically to run. I sent M on ahead at first, but we got back together at security, where we got to skip the mile-long lines. Then there was more running, still with the carry-ons and the Evie being carried. (We all took a turn, with M doing most of the worst of it, Whitley taking over in the middle and me finishing up. She weighs 40 pounds, by the way, and we stupidly decided against the mei tai, even though I was going to bring it for just this very sort of thing.)

And… we made it. After Security, M ran on the last few minutes to the gate—yes, the farthest one in the terminal--by himself, while we were struggling with the girl and the stuff, so that he could alert them that we were there.

WE MADE IT.

We burst onto the plane with everyone staring. We were red-faced, hot, sweaty, exhausted and really just operating in a state of shock, but we made it. Our reserved seats were apparently reassigned, but since there were two together for Evie and someone, and then someone behind that seat, we didn’t say a word about it. I got to sit in a window seat on the other side of the plane in the aisle behind them by myself, so M got to do baby duty for the entire flight. She was pretty good, he said, and she managed to sleep three and a half hours. The rest of us… not so much. But we made it, and that is all that matters.

I’m finishing this up at two in the morning (eight EST) because we woke up in the middle of the night with Evie, who woke up confused, and neither of us could go back to sleep because our bodies were thinking it was time to be awake. I think it’s time to go give it another try, though, because I have a feeling we’ll be up with her again pretty early.

We’re here… by the skin of our teeth. :)

(p.s. going to try to double-post while I'm gone.. sorry if it bothers you if you have the feed.)
same_sky: (Default)
I need a Mommy break. M asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I told him a babysitter. Ha! Like that would happen. The only person who has ever kept Evelyn is my mom. She does keep her occasionally so M and I can go somewhere by ourselves, but since she's 90 miles away, it just doesn't work out very well to drop her off for the day. When we get together she usually wants to see me too.. if at a lesser degree of importance than Evelyn. :) I don't want to actually find a babysitter right now. I just want a break sometimes. I want to sleep as late as I want---no, first, I want to stay up as late as I want, and THEN sleep as late as I want. Then I want to check the internet before showering, and then have breakfast with my book. I want the entire morning to take care of some paperwork, and the afternoon to play. I want to go shopping without getting Evelyn in and out of the car a thousand times and getting distracted by how whiny she is or making sure she has crackers or leaving before I'm ready. I want to get my eyebrows done, and shop for clothes that fit. I want to have dinner somewhere delicious, or even at home because I can cook something without enlisting the cooperation from an irrational human being. I also want to clean my house without said cooperation. And... I know, I know. I am running out of time in this one little day, but if I am daydreaming, then I should be allowed to dream big. The worst part is that this dream could happen. Say, for example, E could go spend the night with my parents. But the thought of her being away from me for so long is just... wrong. I don't really want her to be somewhere else. I just want a break. In two years, the longest I have ever gone without baby care responsibility is four hours. I think that's happened twice. Bah. I go in spells with this. Actually, I am feeling much better just by writing this because she has been playing well by herself, both in her room and in the computer room with me, and I have had a minute to breathe. Toddler care is mentally exhausting sometimes. I mean... it gets boring to keep them engaged in whatever's going on.

In other news, I am feeling guilty because I just totally ruined one of Evelyn's little dresses. It's too short for her this spring anyway but I was debating whether or not she could wear it as a shirt, but when I pulled it out of the closet, it was covered with stains. I don't understand how things are stain-free when they go in the closet and then I wait a few months and look at them again, and they're all stained up. Lots of her baby clothes did that, though in that case, I think it was spit-up that turned all nice and yellow. She was a very spit-uppy baby. These are food stains but I can't imagine hanging it back up like that. Anyway, I have like six or seven items with bitchy stains in the laundry room, going through endless cycles of stain-treating, washing, sunning, soaking, washing, etc. I got impatient this afternoon and broke out the bleach. Bye bye dress! The truth is that I wouldn't have risked it if I honestly thought it had a chance otherwise, so I know it's no real loss, but this way is relatively unrecoverable (I might have luck bleaching the whole thing... but I am doubting that will work out.) I had hope before. The other items I scrubbed bleach into were whiteish so we'll see how they turn out, but I'm not expecting significant damage at the least, and hopefully I'll be able to get rid of at least a few of those obnoxious items from my laundry room drying rack.

You know, I used to think I was really good at laundry stains. Apparently, I thought that only before I had a kid to stain-treat for. Or maybe I just had more time to work on them and fewer items and therefore more patience when I did. It drives me crazy that I'm the only one that gives a crap about getting her clothes dirty when there's something messy going on. I mean, sure, let her be a kid but for Pete's sake, take measures to prevent stains. I'm just saying. No one else is volunteering to scrub my laundry for me so I don't see why they get to laugh about how dirty her clothes get.

Well, that was unexpected. I had no idea I had so much pent-up laundry frustrations. Or so much frustration in general.

I am letting the munchkin play in her room (across the hall) while I type this. She's stomping around in a pair of boots. I have let her dress herself today, since she kept taking off the perfectly sensible matching outfit I put her in this morning. For most of the day, she wore a bright orange Halloween shirt with black sleeves, and a pair of white, pink and pastel blue capris. A few minutes ago, she insisted on disrobing and putting on a pair of bright orange capris that she found, but don't worry--she didn't keep on the orange shirt to coordinate! She said, "Elmo--pink! Elmo--pink!" several times when I asked her if she wanted to wear the matching dress that went with the capris. I finally figured out that she wanted to wear the pink Elmo shirt that was located in her closet, in another room, that she hasn't worn in weeks and therefore why would she even be thinking about it? It looks crazy.. but at least it's not stained...
same_sky: (mood swing)
You know, even if it's a rather entertaining piece of fiction, it also bugs the hell out of me that Hollywood thinks it's a logical leap that women who cannot have children will randomly buy an infant from a junkie and then later casually knife, dismember and stuff the body in a toy chest when the (reformed) junkie comes to collect her child.

Because it is completely the same thing.
same_sky: (Default)
How big are popcorn ball supposed to be? My dad always talks about this one lady who gave out popcorn balls at Halloween, and how they looked forward to getting them every year because they were so good. I want to make him some popcorn balls for Christmas this year--along with his gift, I'm not just being stingy--but I have never had them and the recipes that I've read so far don't say. My plan is to make them from this recipe but if anyone has a better one, I'm all ears.

This weekend was full--partially nice, partially too busy. Saturday, we had to go to the Lucia event put on by our Scandinavian Heritage group. M was the narrator again, and he did a very fine job again. My parents and my niece came, too. I'm not sure they were terribly impressed but we are always going to these events, so I wanted to invite them to one. We also threw in some shopping, some holiday photos (although you can see how those turned out!) and some hair cutting. Yesterday was brilliant. We slept in! And got some stuff done, but relaxed! I have determined that Christmas will be Saturday at the Yayer residence, and I want to have the house clean and everything done before then. Because really, why NOT add more pressure to my week? On Saturday, we are going to play with our toys (should they arrive on time) and we are going to putter in the kitchen and we are going to tickle our baby and we will listen to Nat King Cole and we just might dance. (Anyone watch Ellen? Wasn't that a just like a conclusion to one of her monologues? It wasn't even on purpose!)

In other news, NewEgg charged me $10 for shipping on an order recently. I paid it because they have good prices so it still worked out in our favor, but I was pissy about it. I generally don't even shop at online stores that charge shipping if I can help it AT ALL. Even at Amazon, I won't buy things that I can't get free shipping on. Yes, I know that it costs them money to ship items to me, but shipping something to a brick and mortar store ALSO has costs associated with it, and I am, after all, buying their products, so stop gouging me with shipping, online businesses! Buying from individuals online is different, but I still calculate shipping as part of the price and therefore I don't buy much from individuals, either. I can't believe how many people just ignore the cost of shipping when they figure out how much stuff costs online... but that was a completely random rant.

Anyway, I heard a thump outside this morning and I ran to the door to see UPS sitting outside and three packages stacked thigh-high on my doorstep, all coming from the same place. What could it be?! Now, granted, I am short, but what the heck? Each item arrived in its own box! Two of those items which each required these giant boxes were about as big as my palm and more or less flat--they could have arrived in a padded envelope with room to spare. One of them weighed an ounce, the other an ounce and a half. They were shipped from the same warehouse and would have fit nicely into the box that the larger item came in. (I won't say what it is because there is a minuscule chance that the gift-receiver could read this, but it was one item plus two accessories for that item.) Maybe I shouldn't care, but that is exactly the sort of crap that caused them to charge me ten dollars. I am thinking of emailing them to complain. And beyond the fact that it's stupid and wasteful and expensive... my UPS driver has enough to do right now without carting around two extra packages for no particular reason. THINK OF THE UPS GUY, NEWEGG.

And yes. I just told a very long story about receiving three boxes, and I didn't even tell you what was in them. Me = bad blogger. I will write about something more interesting. Eventually. But not right now, because right now I am going to talk about toilet paper and how my husband is very very silly. Last week, he stopped to pick some up on his way home, and for some reason or another, he bought the cheap stuff. A few days later, I remarked that the cheap toilet paper seemed to be lasting a lot longer than the expensive stuff does. "Yes," he says seriously, "because it's not as much fun to use." That really tickled me, and it keeps running through my head. Not as much fun to use! Ha! Although I guess maybe you'd have had to have been there.

On that note, I will take myself off to recline on the couch and complain about there being nothing on television. Fun times!
same_sky: (mood swing)
If you're going to make me leave a message for a patient account representative to call me back, do NOT make me sit here on hold for five minutes and thirty-seven seconds.
same_sky: (mood swing)
I suppose it is theoretically possible that the check I sent on July 27 to the billing company for the pediatrician's office got lost in the mail. Don't you think it is MORE LIKELY that it has gotten lost in their stupid office, which a) neglected to bill my insurance company b) neglected to post the money that the insurance company sent to them for three weeks c) forced me to leave messages to talk to "the next available representative" and never returned those messages and d) sent me a final fucking notice on a bill that I have paid, and threatened me with LEGAL ACTION? I HATE them. They are Evil. Now I get to take my sick baby to the pediatrician's office in one hundred degree heat just to pay a freaking bill because CLEARLY I cannot rely on them to actually process my payment before they send it to a collections agency, and the bitch on the other end of the line seemed confused as to why I am hesitant to send them another check for the same amount even if they WOULD delay the ten day collections to make sure it had time to get there (they won't, even though the letter was dated 8/16 and I just received it now). People. Eventually, you are going to cash my check, AND you are going to already have received this second payment. That is great for you and not so great for me, get it? And, no, I am NOT giving you my credit card number over the phone, because a) you are wildly incompetent and I don't trust you to use it properly and b) you want to charge me three dollars for the privilege! AND YOU CALLED IT A CONVENIENCE FEE. This is not, in any way, "convenient" for me. Also, you are rude.

Oh, and my chiropractor's office sent both M and me a bill last week, asking for $200+ from M and $300+ from me as copays we didn't pay. There are many things wrong with this. 1) At the time, we had to beg them to take our money at all, because they couldn't be bothered for weeks at a time, but we didn't want to have a huge balance to pay. Like now. 2) They insisted that we not owe them the full copay, since we were there so often and both of us were coming (I suspect this is why they're now saying that we owe them for the rest.) It was a really relaxed office in that way--she told my cousin once that they could really afford to treat a few people for free because of all the insurance money they get. They were sooo disorganized. 3.) These "charges" that we owe from are from 2003. Who the hell bills people FOUR YEARS LATER? Ironically, I have been talking about how I would really like to go back to them but the commute is a bit much. (Three hours round trip from here--why yes, we have moved TWICE since we were there.) Not so much anymore! I am not even sure where to start with these people. I'm thinking maybe M might want to call because when he puts his British English on (when he's angry) he is really effective at striking down stupidity.
same_sky: (Default)
Things That Went Wrong With Today
1. In an interesting choice of morning activities, I apparently decided to give my kitchen floor a nice olive oil coating. It's good for the shine.. or something. I was getting the cereal down from the cabinet and it tumbled from five feet to the floor. In a plastic bottle. And shattered. Anti-whine: the boy cleaned it up since I had to leave for work pronto. [Note: if you try this at home, make sure you use the extra virgin olive oil, like I did, because otherwise you just won't get that same fresh shine on your floor..]

2. Olive oil splashed on fresh-from-laundry jeans and favorite socks. Oil is a bitch to get out of clothes. Also, had to change clothes. (I guess an anti-whine is that we can wear jeans to work. Also, that they weren't my favorite jeans, and that I HAD other clean jeans due to responsible streak on Tuesday.)

3. I splashed milk on my shirt while eating cereal. Please note that item #3 is still before eight a.m. Anti-whine is that I decided it wouldn't stain, and it didn't.

3. Ten minutes late for work. Anti-whine is that I don't have to feel guilty because I stayed after half an hour late. HEY, WAIT!!! That was an ant-anti-whine, that sucked.

4. Have been busy with other project involving lots of other people and finally got around to finishing up--read, running a program twice and error-checking the results since it's due tomorrow. Only, yeah. That double-checking thing is a bitch, ain't it? I am hoping that I can figure it out tomorrow. Anti-whine: Smart Friend came up with a list of things that could be wrong and I had already looked into all of them, which is what I was doing staying late, so at least I'm not just dumb. (Other friend I talked about this with briefly is also smart but we didn't talk long and the one I just called Smart Friend is well-known for her problem-solvingness.)

5. Reached for a cashew, stuck fingers in Pepsi.

6. Reached for Pepsi, spilled on shirt. Anti-whine: still didn't stain.

7. Went to lunch. Got rained on.

8. Arrived back at work from lunch to very minor crisis that had people looking for me while I was gone. Cell phone rings insistently (forgot to turn off the ringer) while talking to my boss's boss. Anti-whine: that really isn't a big deal but I added that part for Dramatic Effect. Also, the minor crisis wasn't my fault or anything.

9. The itchies. Weirdo blister on arm oozes liquid for a full hour. Anti-whine: it seems to be healing now, and the other places are feeling better, too. And I wasn't awake all night scratching.. though it still has a long way to go, I think.

10. Did I mention that yesterday sucked, too?

11. Technically, I should have counted staying late at work as a separate item. Oops. Anti-whine: eh, really not that big of a deal.

12. You thought I was done since I put two lame-o not-real items in there, didn't you? Only, this is where it gets EVEN BETTER. Because I spent an hour and a half putting part of our dinner together. I have been in a real fresh-produce mood lately, and tonight's thing was the fanciest, most time-consuming thing planned all week: stuffed mushrooms and roasted cauliflower. The mushrooms are easy but they take a while, especially with only one person, because you have to fry bacon and chop onions and clean the mushrooms and destem them and chop up the stems and garlic and melt butter and make bread crumbs, etc etc, and it must all be done in the right order. You know what? Let's put "spending excessive amounts of time in the kitchen" on the list, too, because this paragraph is getting long.

13. After lovingly preparing the damned mushrooms, and sprinkling them with butter and caressing the bottoms and sides with butter BY HAND just to make sure there's an even coat, I put the beautiful mushrooms in the oven. Or, I attempt to do this difficult thing, and instead, the pan doesn't slide onto the rack correctly, and the mushrooms? They fall all over the open oven door, and the stuffing comes out and lands in heaps, and falls down into the crack at the bottom between the door and the oven.

mushroom disaster


14. I just accidentally clicked to set that stupid picture as my Windows desktop. NOT WHAT I WANT TO SEE RIGHT NOW.

15. Forgot to turn the power off on the VCR last night, so my timer didn't work and I didn't get my show taped.

Things That Were Right About Today
1. Umm.

2. My boy makes things better just by being him. Also, he cleaned up the stuffing mess in the oven and convinced me that I didn't have to throw it all out, pointed out the some of them were salvageable and motivated me to make some more stuffing to use in the others, and they turned out really well. The cauliflower didn't happen, though, due to the pissyness of the cook. In total, I spent two hours on dinner on a weeknight and made half of what I was planning to make. Great.

3. I called someone today that I haven't talked to on the phone in.. I dunno. Four years? We've had email and LJ and we both moved, and it really hadn't occurred to me in ages that I could like, call her. Happy birthday, chickles!

4. Tomorrow is Friday, and I have Monday off. TGI.. Almost.. F.

Citizen M

Sep. 9th, 2005 07:21 pm
same_sky: (rings)
During the course of our married life, M and I have done a great many stupid things. I know, it's a great surprise, but yet, there it is. However, in all of that time, I'm not sure I can say with any degree of certainty that we have ever done anything, ever, that was dumber and more unlikely than going on vacation and forgetting our car when we came home. Yes, indeed, we were in the driveway before M noticed that we had left it at his place of employment--and maybe this reflects badly upon me but when he said, "FUCK! The car!" and I saw that there was indeed no vehicle in the driveway.. because even then, I didn't remember that whole thing yesterday where I rushed home from work and packed up all of our stuff for an overnight stay, loaded it into the car, drove to Lexington, took a wrong turn (oh, the indignity, I don't even want to talk about what a moron I am) and then picked up my husband. I thought someone had stolen our dear 1994 Oldsmobile with a broken passenger door and a screwy transmission and a backseat full of empty bottles. HA HA HA HA HA. So, yes. We forgot our car. And you know, I can live with that, I guess. We'll go get it this weekend sometime--I'm just afraid that we'll have dinner or something while we're there and forget to get the car while we're at it.

So, yes. From the previous paragraph you might infer that we spent the night away last night, and you would be right! You're so smart! Actually, due to the magic of my state ID, we got a pretty good rate on an expensive (by our standards, at least.. we usually pay $39) hotel. Or, I should say, we paid more than we've ever paid before for a hotel but it was almost half the rack rate, so that was pretty neat. (Apparently this works in other states, even. I am eagerly anticipating trying it again.) The citizenship dealie was actually at a hotel, and that's the hotel we stayed at. This was an excellent, excellent idea. Seriously. It was so great to not have to deal with two hours of driving and morning Cincinnati traffic. There was a pool and a spa and we had a nice little evening last night, and it satisfied our "going somewhere" requirements so now we get to spend a quiet weekend at home. Except for going to Lexington to pick up the damned car, but I digress.

The ceremony itself was nice. Honestly, it was a little boring because after the oaths were sworn (consisting of everyone raising their right hand and saying "I do", which is something that we didn't even say when we got married, incidentally) there were speeches and they were mostly just boring. But the important thing is that he got his naturalization certificate, and his dime store American flag, and then we could eat lunch. At this point, all of us (my parents came) were mostly just interested in lunch. Citizenship, shmitizenship. ;) No, seriously, it was touching and lovely and now it's over and we are officially an American FamilyTM and it is fine.

Citizen M


And now let me segue gracefully into the next part of this entry--although I briefly considered letting it end here because that would be appropriate and continuous and all sorts of nice things. But, that's just not my style, so I need to tell you folks one more thing before I go. Automatic-flushing toilets. STOP WITH THE FLUSHING TOILETS. We went to Jungle Jim's (international grocery store) today because we were already most of the way there and all, and M bought some lovely cheese and some nasty smoked fish paste and more beer than you could shake a stick at, and I went into the bathroom, which is classily inside a port-a-potty entrance. Seriously. They cut the back off a port-a-potty and used the front of it in place of a door. Why would you do such a thing? But if you're in the market for a port-a-potty (aren't we all?) you just need to mention the Jungle Jim's bathrooms and you'll get 20% off. This made me laugh, because who puts port-a-potty advertisements in grocery store bathrooms? Yeah. Okay, back to the toilets. So I'm following the girly-girl protocol of putting toilet paper on the seat, and the toilet is on overdrive. It flushes THREE TIMES before I can actually manage to sit my bottom upon the seat. And then I sat down, and it flushed again, which gave me the heebie-jeebies because I can't handle sitting on a flushing toilet because it is weird and wrong and really gross and you don't want me to tell you why, okay? Because then you may end up like me and go through life unable to sit down on swirling water. So anyway, I'm sure you can figure out where this is going. I finish my business, stand up and.. Nothing. Nothing nothing more nothing. I am hopping around the stall, trying to make the thing go off. I pretend to sit, I stand back up (both of those things were wildly offensive earlier, apparently, judging fromt he flushing that it inspired) and it still refused to flush. I finally gave in and pushed the manual button in the end and that's what I just don't understand. Please just give us a button. Please. Toilets that flush by themselves, they make me cry.

June 2015

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