Monday, April 21, 2008

Red Box, Black eye

I have a low threshhold for Jackassery. It's even lower when a person's jackassery affects the lives of others. So, you can imagine what life is like for me to see lage amounts of jackassery every day. I spend most of my days balling my hands into fists mentally cold cocking jackassery committers. It's probably only a matter of time before The Hub's calming words cease working or he looses his grip on my shirt while I start flailing like a Springer guest.

Oh yes. Only a matter of time.

Some places I see jackassery more than others. I see tons of it on the road. But, now, in our constant quest to be cheap, I see it the most at Red Box locations.

For those not familair with the wonders of Red Box. They are housed in most Stop & Shops and you can rent a movie for $1. ONE DOLLAR. Genius. And if you forget to return by the 6 p.m. time the following day, it's just another buck so no biggie. However, failing to return it on time is not even an option to us true cheap asses. You are welcome to rent as many movies as you want at Red Box and as long as its in the machine, it can go home with you for ONE DOLLAR. GENIUS. And you can even rent it online, walk up to the box, swipe your card, grab your movie and go. Simple.

You'd think!

But the problem is, not everybody can work the Red Box. It's not even these poeple I get pissed off at. It's the people like the girl we saw on Friday night. The Hubs went to the Ghetto Red Box at at 9 where he reserved Walk Hard (because nobody in the ghetto wanted to watch that). When we got there, there was already a line of two people. I tooka quick cruise down the aisled to see if my crack sandwiches were on sale and I came back. It was still the same two people. I could have cruised again but I knew right then and there that I could do laps around that store before The Hubs even moved one spot in line.

Finally, the first person is finished and the next girl goes. She's going through EVERY movie, reading EVERY synopsis for minutes. The line has grown by two more people. She's standing there, one hip cocked scrutinizing like this is the hardest choice she's making. She gets a movie. She looks some more. The line grows another person. The girl in front of me rolls her eyes and says to me that they should have two (a good but fault plan as I will get into later). She reads some more. I let out a very big, loud sigh.

The line grows some more. Then, she takes out her cell phone and dials. I say out loud, "Oh, you have got to be kidding me, that is SO NOT cool!" It doesn't seem to phase her which irritates me even more. And we're in the ghetto so you can imagine what the line looks like. Most of them have little tolerance for little Greenwich girl on her pink Razr with her Louis Vitton bag dangling from her wrist.

The line grows (it's almost out the door) as Little Miss Douchebag reads the movies alphabetically. Again I said, "Ohhhhh no" and The Hubs shoots me a look to let me know he agrees but disapproves of my verbalization of the whole insane scene. She hangs up. Reads and agonizes some more. The line grows. Finally, she finishes but there's still one more person to go before us. Now, mind you, we did it all online. All we have to do is pick up. We'll be at the machine less than a minute. The girl in front of us is no speed racer but she's no Little Miss Douchebag so we eventually make it to the Red Box. We swipe, grab and go. The line is in amazement. They should see how efficiently we order food if they are so impressed by that.

I rage the whole way home and so does The Hubs. There is really no way to fix the Red Box Jackassery problem. Two machines, like the girl in front of us suggested would not work because each machine would have different movies based on who returned what at which machine.

The only way to really do it is to have a pick up/return slot on the side of the same machine so smart people who did it online didn't have to wait behind assholes who think this is Blockbuster.

Remind me to write a letter to Red Box about this idea. Otherwise, you'll be cruising the Police Blotter and totally see my name.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

You gotta fight for your right to fight . . . . and you just lost it.

Something is going on in our house. It seems as though we need a new . . . . everything. It started with the mattress. Actually, it started with the sofa but considering I spend more time sleeping than I do sitting ass on my couch, it became a mattress. Now, after springing for the Heavenly Bed (which, by the way, I bound for the phone iwhen it rings in hopes it's Nordstrom's calling to tell me they were wrong about the 4 to 6 week delivery and my bed is coming right now), talks are resuming about the sofa.

I LOVE my livingroom set. I LOVE my set as much as I LOVED my entertainment center. And noticed I said loved as in a past tense. Someone (and it wasn't me) wanted a GIGANTIC TV because my "broad tv" with combo dvd/vcr player offended all his machismo senses. My beloved entertainment center would not accommodate anything bigger than 30 inches so I had to forsake my FAVORITE piece of furniture in the name of love. Of course, that meant the new one had to meet my aesthetic standards and we did pretty well all things considering.

But, my living room furniture is like sitting down on a big hug and it's cute and girly to boot. Behind me, in my office, sits the tan leather one The Hubs had in his condo hidden away holding all the clothes I will one day list on eBay. That sofa is in fine working condition but this time, it offends MY senses.

It's not really that my sofa is that bad. It's only 8 years old. The back frame behind one of the spots is a bit sunken in and that caused the back cushion to get all screwed up. This was made worse by The Hubs who would not fix it first before sitting, but, rather let it fold under him and sink down so he was leaning right up against the sunken in frame.

My living room set is a set for a reason. The couch is blue, the loveseat is a pinkish reddish and the big overstuffed chair is a pale yellow. He wanted to buy a new sofa, a leather one, thus mis-matching my beloved living room set. The loveseat and the chair are still in excellent condition because nobody ever sits on them. Something would have to go. And who throws out perfectly good pieces of furniture? Sure, i could try and sell the loveseat and chair on craig's list but what a pain in the ass. I can barely stand the assholes on eBay. Not to mention we'd spend at least $2000 on a new set.

So, I had a solution. I would get the back cushions restuffed. Maybe put in some firm foam and make them new again . . . or at least hold up another two years. The Hubs wanted to move his ugly leather couch downstairs but that plan was dead in the water upon the words leaving his mouth.

His argument: "You should be concerned with function than aaesthetics."

Well, if that were the case half of his friends wouldn't be ruling out 98% of the girls they meet because they're not supermodels. But, I guess that explains why he was smart enough to marry me.

To get the pillows restuffed would cost me about $100 and then I picked up a sofa saver to put under the back cushions to give that sunken in spot behind The Hubs more support. $114.99 for two more years of use versus $2,000 and a big headache seems logical to me. He was against putting anymore money into it but i could see the big picture. I had a plan and when I have a plan, do not fuck with me.

And only a few short moments he would lose the right to ever debate me again. I finally heard something that I have been telling people for years. We were talking about a couple we know who just told us they're pregnant. She's only 2 months and I know there is some sort of safety 3 month rule. But, I didn't want her to think that her husband told us and we didn't acknowledge it so I told The Hubs we should get a card to send them. He was apprehensive that it was still early and maybe we shouldn't and blah blah blah. Then he said it . . . .

"Well you always do what's right anyway."

Glad someone finally noticed.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Yesterday, I pulled my car out of the garage of my very adult job, wearing my adult clothes, carrying my adult purse ready to go home to my adult life. I pushed the radio knob in waiting for whatever music to fill whatever station I left it on at 8:50 a.m. To my surprise, New Kids On The Block was coming out of my speakers. Whoa- whoa- whoa - whoa- hangin' tough. I looked up and into the mirror hoping to catch the decade in a laugh line. It was indeed 2008. I let a small smile pass across my lips and rolled down my window a bit. Suddenly, I was 16 years-old.

I'll admit something here and ONLY here. Well, okay, it's not really news to most of my friends but I was a HUGE NKOTB fan. HUGE. Like 10 times in concert huge. Like 267 (but still not the 293 of Duran Duran when I was eleven) pictures adorning my walls that i ripped out of magazines like Bop and Teen Beat that I always told the guy at the magazine shop I was buying "for my younger sister." NKOTB was my dirt dirty dirty secret and I was not alone. My bestfriend also joined me in this scandal and together we probably spent thousands scoring good seats to their shows and gas money to get there. We were among the few NKOTB fans that could actually drive to their concerts. An elite group and something one should not be proud of.

I liked Donnie Wahlberg. What could I say; I had a thing for bad boys. She was a huge Joey McIntyre fan which I found a bit worse because he just looked so young despite being a year older than us. Maybe she was onto something, he aged a helluva lot better than Donnie. However, she was a huge Richie Sambroa fan and have you seen how he's lookin' lately? Egotz!

So, here I was, 34 years-old, married, thinking about the whole baby thing. Sixteen years old was more than half my life ago. And all these memories started flooding back. All the ridiculousness of my teenage years. All the money spent. All the time spent. All the screaming and singing along to songs. All of it just the right stuff. Ahhh, you knew I was going to find some way to work that in. It is me we're talking about here.

I thought back to my funniest NKOTB experience. The concert where we ended up helping security collect gifts for the band from the fans who tried to approach the closer rows but got turned away. How all three of us held large black hefty bags that got fuller throughout the concert. And then, how we made off with them running back to the car with our loot to see what these crazy bitches were bestowing on our guys. It was kinda sad. The cards, the letters, the heartfelt poetry, the poorly constructed missives about how fans visited their hometowns. Requests for autographs, tons of gummi bears, Mets hats, Red Sox hats, pictures, stuffed animals. We divided the loot by the guy we liked. Kristen got all Joey's gifts, I got Donnie's and Jen got Jon's. All is fair in love and looting.

The story always makes me laugh.

But, then reality came crashing down. Why are they playing NKOTB? And why do I now think this is the shittiest music to ever hit airwaves. Some friends would say my musical tastes have not evolved that much. It is true, the New Kids on the Block are back together reuniting (torturing) us one last time so that people like me could play their CDs for their kids and hopefully breathe some life back into the NKOTB craze. No thanks. Once was enough guys. I mean, really, who is going to be your fan base now. Even your youngest fans are well into their 20s and hoped you had moved onto bigger and better things. Come on, Donnie, what about that booming movie career, the Sixth Sense and Saw II. You were about to grasp the brass ring like your brother. The once Marky Mark of the former Funky Bunch who once autographed a picture for me when he played Playland signing it, "Lisa, How's Greace" when i was unable to attend because I was in GreEce, has movie roles coming out of his ass. And here you are ready to break it down NKOTB style in 2008. Have some self respect, would ya? Fade into obscurity with some dignity, man. You'll more than likely never reach the level of stardom you had. Instead you're just making jokes of yourselves and forcing your wives to raise your kids while you're out on the road entertaining 10 year-olds and their moms.

Then before I could switch out of my rage-a-hol mode, they played the new NKOTB song and I bet it's going to shoot straight to number one in strip clubs everywhere. Suddenly, it all made sense.

Back to the Juno soundtrack.

Monday, April 07, 2008

How the Heavenly Bed became a fashion emergency

When I used to travel for my other job, I would have the luxury of staying in whatever hotel my boss stayed in so he could keep me close like a master would keep his slave. The hotels were usually pretty nice. When we traveled to San Francisco I liked staying in the Westin St. Francis because I LOVE Westin beds. After my first stay, I learned the fluffy goodness I couldn't wait to crawl into at night were trademarked, the Heavenly Bed. And I have to say, I LOVED going to bed every night. Usually when I sleep at hotels, I dread a night's sleep on a lumpy mattress with scratchy sheets. I'd stay out of my room until everything closed and I was forced to sleep. At the Westin, I'd do everything I could to stay in my room.

When I met The Hubs, I had to go to San Fran for business and I stayed at The Westin again. I called him the first night to gloat about being able to eat a cheeseburger and sink into fluffy goodness. In fact, throughout our courtship I told him about the Heavenly Bed often. Every hotel we'd stay in where the bed was suitable he'd remark that that was the most comfortable bed he's ever slept in at a hotel. I'd quickly correct him and say, "you'll change your mind if you ever stayed at a Westin. That bed was okay but it's no Heavenly Bed."

It became a game that ended the day after our wedding when The Hubs pulled up to a Westin. The king size Heavenly Bed was too much for both of us to resist. We quickly dove on it (for a nap, get your minds out of the gutter). Needless to say, it was hard to get up. We spent as much time as we could in that bed, eating breakfast, watching TV, even laying there as we waited for each other to get ready. Who needed the rest of Boston, we had that bed. The Hubs became a convert vowing only to stay in Westin's for the rest of his life.

So, after another restless night's sleep on a 15 year-old mattress, The Hubs and I decided it was time to get a new one. I couldn't just let the opportunity to suggest a Heavenly Bed pass by. To my surprise The Hubs was down with the idea. The real ones are only available on the Westin website and at select department stores. Sleepy's sells the beds only found in the W Hotels and believe me, THERE IS A DIFFERENCE. In our area, the select department store was Nordstrom's. After calling to make sure they had a floor model for us to try we went there Saturday night.

Furniture, of any kind, must be new to Nordstrom's because the beds were set off in a remote corner and there were only two kinds of mattresses. The Hubs and I were a bit disappointed to see the Heavenly Bed was all trussed up. I read somewhere when testing out a mattress to lay on it for five minutes. How could I lay on this without removing the comforter and 6 billion pillows? We immediately got to work despite the dismay of the salesperson. Hey, if we're going to spend that much on a mattress and make a ten year commitment to it, we were going to try it.

I got comfortable which made The Hubs wary because we were, after all, in a department store so people were walking by. Again, ask me if i care? I laid there and laid there and laid there. It felt smaller than our queen at home but we're not sure if it was just an optical illusion because the store was huge. So, I carefully took off the sheets until I found the tag that had the measurements. We left, without the bed because we had to go home and measure our bed and decide between a queen or a king. A king would be great but that meant buying a new frame thus turning an already expensive bed into a super duper expensive bed.

Oh. And of course we set the bed up exactly how we found it because The Hubs made me. I don't even make my bed at home.

The following day, we returned. With the help of the salesperson, we stripped the bed of its comforter and again laid on it. I flailed about tossing and turning and changing positions like I do in the course of a night's sleep. a few minutes later we found ourselves at the register. Nordstrom's, being the only department store with this silly policy doesn't give you a discount on anything the day you open a credit account there. The bed was getting paid out of the joint anyway but we were hoping to get a discount for opening an account with them. Nothing. However, they have a $20 bonus certificate and a totally silly points system. After statting it out, The Hubs deemed it worth the $40 in bonus certs/points we'd get buying it on their card rather than putting it on his regular card and only getting $14.25 worth of points. Plus, I was eyeing the down duvet insert so we could use it towards that.

They offer so many kinds of cards. So many different tiers all of which elude the salespeople. It was up to us to read the brochure and pick the best card to nickel and dime them - the platinum card. After that, it's broken down into tiers depending on your annual spending. With the bed purchase, we were placed in their tier II. Suddenly, The Hubs let out a chuckle and pointed towards the "benefits" list of Tier II. Emergency Fashion hotline that tier II cardmembers could call and get emergency fashion help. How great is that? I mean who uses that? Seriously.

Then, I started thinking about all those times I had fashion questions. Like, afternoon weddings requiring less formal dress. Suddenly, I was overcome with the desire to be a Tier II member just to call these people every now and then with some silly question like 'is it okay to wear black stockings and white pumps?" Or "I want an outfit that says available but not slutty." This is fun. This hotline is genius. All i know is whoever was answering that hotline better have more knowledge than these salespeople because the results could be disastrous. I'm hard pressed to believe that it's someone's full time job to hang around a red phone waiting for the alarms to go off that there is a fashion emergency. I'm more apt to believe the same person guiding me on fashion advice is also who gets called if they're short a cashier or need someone to wrap.

By the time we left the store, I was giddy with delight. Not only would I be getting my very own Heavenly Bed but now I got to go home and make up fashion emergencies to stump people with.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

F-ing Deli Guy

That deli guy needs a good swift kick in the ass. Yes, I am talking about the same deli guy who addressed me as sir a couple of weeks ago.

Today, I was overcome with a craving for deli sliced ham. Honestly, I am not much of a deli ham fan. That weird iridescent color it gets creeps me out. And all these nail salons have tons of shades of pink that have the same effect. I always cringe when I see it and think "ham toes. I'll want to eat my feet." So, yeah, not a ham fan. But, today I NEEDED ham. But, I also needed some more cranberry juice and creamer so it wasn't a one item trip like when I must have baked Ritz crackers.

Anyway, The Hubs' biggest fan was working and he wrapped up his last customer in enough time to help me. I didn't want to order the ham right off the bat so I ordered some Swiss cheese. My least favorite cheese. But, just like the ham, I had to have it today. Then I went to order the ham when he said to me, "you look like you had a bad day."

Okay. See, I DID have a bad day. A really bad day. In fact, I texted The Hubs around 3 telling him to forget wings, I'd rather drink my calories for dinner. He texted me back to tell me his day sucked too. Great, can't I just have this ONE THING? Ironically enough, both our days had to do with computer issues. But, he broke one, whereas I wanted to just break one over someone's head. Someone please remind me when I get another job to pretend like I've never even seen a computer before. Be in awe of its powers and afraid of it like everyone around me. Ignorance is bliss. Or, at least pay me like an IT person if I am going to be doing the job.

But, telling someone they look like they had a bad day is mean. Especially when I was trying so hard to forget about my bad day. I'm not sure what tipped him off. Maybe it was the fact that I forgot the word "ham" when I went to order it and looked visibly overwhelmed by all the choices. Sad. When did I become my grandmother? On bad days apparently. I guess I can't get pissed at my mom anymore when I get in her car and she completely forgets how to get anywhere in town. A town she's lived in for 40 years. A town in which she drives around all day selling real estate in. But, suddenly she forgets the quickest way to downtown when I get in the car.

"Um, is it that obvious?" I asked Deli Dope.

"Yes," he said without hesitation.

Thanks. Don't mince words. For that, I will make you cut my cheese extra thick and put a layer of paper between slices.

I came home and told The Hubs his new friend said I looked like I had a bad day. He didn't think I should be that upset unless he said, "you look like you had a bad day, sir." Wise ass. No cheese for him.