Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Boo J. Crew!

Jemifus doesn't understand why I'm so worked up about this. But I'm sure Meddlesome or W can empathize. Who doesn't love the deliciousness that is the J. Crew catalogue? I almost cried with joy at the spectacularness of the issue shot in Paris. Oui Oui!

So imagine my anguish, disappointment and shock when I placed an order that racked up a shipping charge of $15 and did not receive my package. The thing is, a confirmation email was issued promptly to me after I hit the "Order Now" button...kindly reminding me of the exorbitant costs of the items I purchased. Well, a few days later I check JCrew.com and see that my order has shipped. So I patiently wait for my 'final sale' cashmere sweaters to arrive, pretending that I don't see the mailroom delivery guy bypassing my office every day and dropping important looking packages to my colleague next door.

Skip to present day - which is 11 days after my online purchase - I email Jcrew customer service. My first note is very matter-of-fact, merely inquiring for details on the status of my order. The response I receive makes my blood boil. Apparently UPS was unable to deliver because they didn't have a suite number. That is such bullcrap. I can't tell you how much I hate UPS. I'm sure www.UPSsucks.com already exists but if it doesn't, somebody should set that up. But I digress. So the response email also says that I can either write back with my complete shipping address or contact UPS directly. Isn't it interesting that J.Crew can be so conscientious about sending me a confirmation email telling me about all the money I owe them for my purchase but isn't so good about emailing me when there are delivery issues for items I've already paid for?! My next email to Jcrew customer service is as follows:

"Dear Angela (J Crew rep),

My shipping address is: blah blah blah.

Can you please expedite my shipping without charging me extra? I think it is unacceptable that noone contacted me about this. First of all, I work for a company that can locate me in the system with the address provided sans building number. Second of all, what would have happened if I did not contact you? Would you never have delivered my package? Lastly, I order frequently from Jcrew.com. What incentive do I have for continuing to shop online if I can't trust the shipping service?"

So I ask those not named Jemifus, do you think my note was too harsh or a bit melodramatic? I think not!

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Last week, I introduced Jemifus to Mijares, an old Pasadena establishment, that was introduced to me by fellow Pasadenians. Jemifus had just returned from a long business trip. I had just made it through another atrocious week. And it was TGIF. I decided to let loose and deviate from my usual beverage of choice, Diet Coke, and tagged on a Corona light to my order. Our waitress paused and before writing my order, asked to see my ID. I was annoyed that she asked for my ID b/c if I were underage, would I really order a diet coke and a beer? Wouldn't I order like a sex on the beach or something? I hate when people don't exercise logic! But I obliged and received the oddest compliment. Our waitress said "Wow" when she looked at my ID. And since I have high self-esteem, I assume the "Wow" was as in "Woooooow girl, you look damn good for your age!" Note: I haven't been 21 in over 10 years. What was even more delightful was that Jemifus had ordered a margarita before me and our waitress didn't even blink.

And for the record, I began this mostly non-gripey post before Jemifus' unauthorized guest post. That's right...I'm not all gripe, all the time.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Gripe Train

This is an unauthorized guest post from Jemifus.

Did you notice that V-Train just added labels to her blog, and that the label "Gripes" outnumbers the runner up by nearly two to one? Sometimes I think she only calls herself V-Train because Angry Little Asian Girl was taken.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Against the Norm

It's official; Norm Chow has gone over to the dark side. That's probably why he looks so distraught in this picture.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Grody Neighbors

I generally dislike people. So it's not surprising that I have less than love for my neighbors. Don't we all have crazy neighbors in our 'hood? But mine aren't just crazy - they're grody! I'll call them the Grodies.

I live in the middle unit on the first floor of a condo complex. Also important to know is that my unit is in between the elevator and the grody neighbors' unit. This is significant because quite frequently, they lug crap from their luxury import car to their unit via a stolen Target shopping cart. Oh yeah, the floors are tile too. So picture me, lounging peacefully on my couch perusing my People magazine and then the jolting "BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM" coming by. It takes me a few minutes for my heart rate to go down and back to enjoying the "Stars - They're Just Like Us" section...okay you got me, I'm really reading US Magazine but I thought People sounded more respectable. Anyway that's not the point. As I'm back in my blissful state, "BOOM BOOM BOOM" again! And though it's annoying to be jolted twice, it's better than the alternative - the Grodies have a tendency to leave the shopping cart in the courtyard instead of taking it back to the underground garage. Even more annoying than that, they sometimes have the nerve to push the cart in front of other people's units so it's out of their way!

There are just so many wrongs there that I don't know where to begin. It's inconsiderate to make all that noise. It's lazy considering they could just make multiple trips; they are both able-bodied very fit, bordering anorexic people. It's totally criminal and don't think I haven't considered reporting them to the Shopping Cart Association. And the worse I think is that they're causing our place to look ghetto! I moved out of L.A. proper into the burbs of Pasadena. And for that sacrifice, I expect to live in a picturesque setting!

And if it was just that shopping cart, maybe I could deal. But what really puts me over the top is that they treat our common courtyard as their own. All of the units have huge patios; they're about 400 square feet. Yet the Grodies insist on wining and dining in the courtyard, which is annoying enough to see their stupid faces when I come home at night. But it gets worse, they leave remnants of their eating behind. WTF - this is not a hotel!

Actually what REALLY pushes my blood to boil is the Grodies have grody cats! Keep in mind, all of the units are around 1100 square feet. That's pretty good for a couple and maybe one medium-sized pet. But the Grodies have THREE ginormous cats. I've never seen cats like these - they are each easily 3 times the size of a chihuahua. Do you even dare imagine what the Grodies' unit smells like? And the Grodies let their creepy cats out in the courtyard unattended all the time. Can you imagine how frightening it is to step out of your door at night and see 3 pairs of crazy cat eyes staring at you. And these cats don't scare easily. YUCK YUCK YUCK. Even grodier than the unattended freakishly large cats is when they are being attended by their anorexic owner who likes to comb their feline hair in the courtyard.

I'm pretty sure the Grodies know I have contempt for them. I've been pondering what the appropriate behavior is when I see them...currently I don't acknowledge them. But I feel like my silence means I'm tacitly condoning their grodiness. Any tips would be much appreciated.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Happy Birthday to Meddlesome Addendum

For those who may not be getting the significance of the inedible fruit tart - ever since we were young girls, Meddlesome's parents always bought her a fruit tart for her birthday. And as tradition goes, she always closed her eyes, made a wish, blew out the candles and then got her pick of which slice she was going to have...uh not so much. She did all those things except the last. Her parents didn't allow her to eat her bday cake. For as long as I can remember, her parents always had Meddlesome on a diet. And no, Meddlesome was not fat. She wasn't close to being fat. But this was just one of those things that seemed normal to me. Now that I'm older and have shared some of my childhood stories with my friends, I've been told that, in fact, it's not normal for a 5' 2" 105lb 12-year old girl to be enrolled in Jenny Craig.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Is "overweight aerobics instructor" an oxymoron?

Meddlesome has joined 90% of the rest of the nation with her New Year's resolution to shed some inches. Disclaimer: For those who don't know of Meddlesome's tendencies, she begins every new undertaking with 110% gusto; it's quite admirable to hear her speak of her passions and beliefs in whatever cause she's behind. But then something (usually pretty minor) happens along the way that completely derails Meddlesome and just like that, Meddlesome is back to her usual ways.

I am SO not hating on Meddlesome right now - in fact, I am really proud of her and am totally rooting for her because she is going about this the right way. In the past Meddlesome has dropped poundage by going cold turkey on food. I've always envied her ability to function at work on no food. Anyway I digress. So this time around, Meddlesome is on the Zone diet and has started working out. GASP. DOUBLE GASP. Sweating and meddlesome do not belong in the same sentence.

But I sense she might have reached a tipping point...as she waited for her yoga class to begin, she observed that the turbo kickboxing class currently in process looked super fun. There was just one slight problem...the instructor was fat. Now I didn't see the instructor myself so I'm taking Meddlesome's word when she says the insructor was "disgusting." And as I began to get on my soapbox and lecture Meddlesome that you don't have to be thin to be healthy, I did wonder...is it okay for an aerobics instructor to be aesthetically unappealing? Especially considering that most people are working out to look good more than feel good...can an overweight instructor be motivating?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Shockingly, Not Everyone Hearts Tom Brady

As Meddlesome and I were watching the Patriots pull away from the Jaguars last night, she said "Tom Brady is annoying." In my mind, I was thinking "Huh...I actually really like Tom Brady. I think he's such a class guy...a true gentleman." I figured there was something he did that I hadn't read about. I usually form my opinion of celebrity athletes based on some character flaw. For example, I don't like Peyton Manning because he's super goofy-looking yet acts like he's all that. If I have to watch another stupid Priceless Pep Talk Mastercard commercial...! So of course I ask Meddlesome what her beef is with Tom Brady. "Because he's not with Bridget Moynahan. And I like Bridget." Totally ridiculous reason, right? But maybe Meddlesome is onto something...doesn't Tom look much better and happier with Bridget than Gisele? I'm thinking the whole Victoria's Secret Supermodel thing is way overrated.

Tom with Bridget

Tom with Gisele

Friday, January 11, 2008

Anne Geddes rip-off / wannabe?

So there's been a lot of controversy around Jill Greenberg's "End Times" photography exhibit. Her hook is that the pictures are of crying babies. She gets the babies to cry by giving them lollipops and then taking them away. Yeah, you would cry too! Anyway this article gives a little more background of the controversy.

I'm wondering if possibly I could capitalize on some of this Anne Geddes type activity. Do you like my first attempts?

The hook is depicting babies appearing drunk. My secret? Use a horrible blackberry cameraphone to attempt photographing a smiley but really squirmy baby!

Not All Moms are Friends

For those who don't know, I am a member of the DINK (Double Income No Kids) society. However some of my friends have left DINK-dom for SIYK (Single Income Yes Kids) land. So I benefit from gaining lots of valuable tidbits of this lifestyle that could potentially be very useful for when/if I have little tykes of my own.

Recently at a New Year's party, I was part of a conversation with my childhood friend aka Tall Girl and Karen (Tall Girl's cousin in-law). We were talking about something light like the interesting martini drinks the bartender was serving up and all of a sudden the conversation took a sharp turn towards serious fare. Karen asked Tall Girl (not in these words but the gist) what her deal was - living in New Orleans raising 2 young kids and not working plus not having any family around...YIKES!

At this point I was all too familiar with what was going to happen. I was going to quickly become an observer adding zero value to the conversation while the two moms who've gone through the same life experiences were going to connect and have lots of head-nodding moments of understanding each other. While I couldn't join in the head-nodding, I found the conversation pretty interesting. Tall Girl remarked that all of her activities revolved around the kids so things like going to the park, zoo, museum and other Mommy & Me type stuff. Of course when you do these things, you're bound to meet a lot of other mommies. And much to my surprise, Tall Girl said she wasn't interested in being friends with most of those mommies because either they had different philosophies on child-rearing or their kids didn't get along. (Btw, Tall Girl is one of the most open-minded accepting people I know, so there is no snobbiness in that statement. If I made that statement, yes assume I'm being elitist).

All this time, I thought there was an automatic Mommy club and that kids were such a strong commonality among women that all moms were content to hang out with other moms. Obviously now that I think about it, that's just ridiculous. I have made comments myself like "So and so would never let their kids do that..." which clearly indicates not all parents are created equal.

Anyway I was grateful to be part of the conversation because it gave me an insight into Tall Girl's life that I don't think she would have told me if it was just the two of us talking. I was a little sad though because it made me realize how much I'm missing of my friend's life while she's going through things that will never repeat themselves and I'm not there to provide support or just experience them with her.

It's commonly believed that knowledge is power. For me the jury is still out. I sometimes wonder if I'd be better off going through life blissfully ignorant. Btw, was that a total non-sequitur?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Happy Birthday To Meddlesome!

It wouldn't be a Meddlesome bday, if there wasn't a bday fruit tart that you couldn't eat. So cheers!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2008 is off to a TROYmendous start!

I just shamefully stole "TROYmendous" from an espn.com headline. But I am sure if I hadn't seen that headline, I'd have come up with it myself. After all, after marketing family DVDs for 2 1/2 years, I am the queen of corny puns. Think "ogre the top" corny...

Anyway - WOOT WOOT big ups to the Men of Troy. Thanks for bringing me such overwhelming joy. What a Troyriffic way to ring in the new year!