Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Almost 1 year out

October 30 last year., I had my stomach shrunk to the size of a small coin purse, if you may. Almost a year later, and I am going in tomorrow to egt my gall bladder removed. I even saw the big shiny stones on the MRI.

But, that's not really what I wanted to talk about. We went to Six Flags on Sunday for a Lockheed Martin employee picnic. I got on rides with my sister and for the first time since we went to Busch Gardens in 2006, I felt comfortable. What I never mentioned in that post on June 2, 2006 was that they had to ask me to sit back just a little more so they could tighten the restraint and they asked a gentlman behind me to get of the ride because he wouldn't fit in the seat. That whole ride, I was scared my restraint would give way and I would fall to my death. And last year, when we took my dad to my company's picnic, I did not get on any ride because I was embarrassed I wouldn't fit into any seats.

Not so this year. They even pushed the restraints down all the way and I was happy. I enjoyed the rides without fearing the belts were going to open up and I was going to die a splattery death.

I had forgotten how much I lvoe roller coasters!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Interesting CAPTCHA

The little things

This is why I love my husband so so much!

Y'all probably read about my foray into American Eagle Outfitters on Sunday.

Yesterday, Jeff walks into the house after work with a pair of brand new jeans for me from Penney's. He spent his luch hour looking for the widest legged jeans, since they didn't have any flares.

Isn't he the absolute best?

I love you babu!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Happy, shiny post!

It's time for a shiny new post about family outings and vacations, to get my mind off other things that have happened. Jeff and I made it out to our very first vcation since getting married in India, that involved no stress, just relaxation. Vegas. My first time. Came back a little underwhelmed but thoroughly enjoyed the time with Jeff and some of the shows we saw. We stayed at the Ex Calibur, which was at one end of the Strip, closest to the airport. It was a decent enough hotel, large room, nice clean shower, Starbucks in the hotel ... Jeff was in heaven. Getting a taxi at the airport to get to the hotel was interesting. You have lines setup like at Disneyland rides and you wakl up and down the roped off rows till you get to the front and a guy asks how many and sends you to a numbered pole where a cab picks you up.

The first night we got there, we had tickets to a dinner and a show at the Bellagio, for Cirque de Soleil's 'O'. The hotel and the theater were both amazing. The roof in the foyer of the hotel is made of hand blown tulips that are backlit. The hotel also had possibly the largest chocolate fountain I have ever seen. I wanted to break through the glass and stick my head under the stream. We had dinner at their asian fusion restaurant, Sensi, and it was amazing food.

The second day, we had a tour of the Hoover Dam and Ethel M. Chocolate Factory. The Hoover Dam was amazing, probably the highlight of our trip. You feel really small when you look down on it. We got to go down into the tunnels and see the generators. Then, we stopped at the chocolate factory where we saw gourmet M&Ms and the most delicious liqour and cocktail chocolates. On the way back from there, we stopped for lunch at the first casino over the border and saw Lake Mead, the world's largest man made lake.

On the way back to Vegas, our tour guide made a little detour and showed us a group of Big Horn Sheep, which are apparently on the endangered list. We also saw how sudden rain in Vegas turns into flash floods and is really bad for traffic.

That night, we took the train down to the other end of the strip to the Treasure Island and watched the Sirens of Treasure Island, which was like a Risque Revue thrown together with the boys from Stomp. Not that good. On our way back, we stopped in at the Hooter's Casino to see if their Dixies Dam Country Bar was open. No such luck, so we just ate there; the food was worse than at regular Hooters'.

Our third day there, we took the train again to the Imperial Palace for the The Auto Collections. Jeff might pick this as his favorite part, even though we spent less than an hour in there. Then we went to Harrah's for their Flavors Buffet, which was possibly the best $15 we spent per person. We also had complimentary tickets to a comedy magic show which included2 drinks but you had to pay 10 bucks for the drinks; it was all weird but it was semi-entertaining.

What I forgot to mention about Cirque's 'O' earlier was that we were both a bit underwhelmed. It was really cool; it was done with water and people diving off from wya high etc. But, we got tickets to another show, KA, which was at the MGM Grand. It had a little more acrobatic stuff but between the two, 'O' was definitely more interesting but KA had a better story line. I'll go see another Cirque as long as it's not in Vegas because I think that inflated the prices a lot.

Math problem?

I am at the McDonalds' drive thru. I get a small coffee and my total is $1.06. I hand the young lady $1.26. She looks at it, looks at her screen, enters something on her lvoely touch screen, opens her till, puts my money in there and closes it. She looks at me like, "can I help you with something?"

I ask politely, "My total was $1.06, right?" she nods. I say, "I'm sorry but I gave you $1.26." It's only 20 cents but now it's an issue of principle. The cash register would have told you what my change should be if you'd punched in the right amount.

She tries opening her till unsuccessfully and tells me to ask the guy at the next window where I get my food. I drive up to the next window and tell him she owes me 20 cents but told me to ask him yadda yadda yadda. He yells back at her in Spanish; they have some sort of back and forth and he comes back with change in his fist. I take it and start driving away.

I open my wallet to put it in and notice they gave me 16 cents back. It's not even the 4 cents; I mean really it's not going to break my bank. But, WTH?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

AE, you've lost my business forever. And my family's.

Back story: The mall near our house, The Mall in Columbia sends me emails of various specials going on there. Last week, it had a mention of American Eagle Outfitters. You could go in and try on jeans and get a free movie ticket; if you bought the jeans, you got 2 tickets.

What I did immediately: Went online to their store to see if they carried my size. Habit from 80 lbs ago, need to check if they even have my size. Well, they carry up to a 14 online, and since I am anywhere from a 10 to 14 now, I started looking at different styles. Initial plan was to just go try on some jeans and get free movie tickets. But, I saw a pair of dark blu flares for $30 that looked nice and I could justify the price by the 2 free movie tickets I would get.

At the store: Jeff, my sister and I walk in and there are 3 salespeople at the front door, talking. One of them truns to us and greets us. I asked him what sizes they carried in men's since I forgot to look online and he says "upto 42." Me: "Ok, do you have 38 or 40?" Him: "Oh no, you'll be better off ordering that online but we can ship it to your house for free if you order it here." Then, he turns around and goes off to do something very important. Now, having worked retail at Bed, Bath and Beyond in the last 6 months, I have learned that you get that sale if you can. You don't let the customer walk away. You ask if you can help them place the order right away etc. But, whatever.

Dressing room: My sister and I find some jeans and walk over to the dressing rooms. The same guy opens them for us. We try stuff on. I realize the size 14 I picked up was the wrong style so I try the size 12 flares and find them just a wee bit tight. Like, if I didn't want to eat or breathe, they'd be perfect. The guy comes back and gives us a movie ticket each and walks away as I am standing their holding the pair of jeans in my hands, mouth half open to start to ask a question.

The end: I walk out of the dressing room area adn the guy turns to me and asks if the jeans worked. I asked him to help me find 14s in the same style. He walks over to the jeans. while he's walking, I ask: "There was a pair of flares I saw online that were $29.50 and I don't see them here." His response, said with a really insulting tone: "I don't understand what you are asking me." Me, slightly flustered because I thought I spoke in perfect English, without mumbling: "Ummm there was a pair of dark blue flares I saw online ..." He cuts me off with: "Well these must be it," pointing to a rack of $50 jeans. Me: "No, they were $30 online." Him: "well, then you should just order them online." He then looked at the rack where I had originally pulled my jeans from, for maybe 10 seconds and points to my hands with: "I don't see those in a 14." He then walks away.

Just remember to read his words with a slight teenager like angst mixed with an insulting undertone.

I walked out of the store and I really just wanted to break something. Instead, I started crying. I wish I had gotten his name. I wish I'd had the nerve right there and then to tell him he was being insolent and insulting and that was no way to treat customers when you are in customer service. But, I didn't. I let him make me feel fat, unimportant, worthless.