Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Growing up

Meimei is walking. Over Thanksgiving weekend, she went from taking a few steps on her own to walking across the room and walking to most places (with the occasional plop! onto her butt because she lost her balance).

She's also in a growth spurt and some of her 18 month clothes no longer fit. Even the ones I just bought three weeks ago. We had to come up with something because she keeps getting her pants off, so we tend to dress her in coveralls or dresses with thick cotton tights.

And she's starting to talk to us and get some words. Here's what she's got:
  • Hi/Hello
  • Bye (or BYE!!!!)
  • Mommy and Daddy
  • Cheese
  • Num num
So we're getting all grown up here at el Casa del Pants.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

So close...

They came. DirecTV. They came. The guy called at 11:15 and said he'd be here in about 45 minutes. It was an hour and fifteen, but hey, he came.

He proceeded to spend over 3 hours switching out the dish. Apparently the guy who hooked us up was a hack, which we knew. But really, we kinda had places to go.

Anyway, so the guy leaves like his pants are ablaze because he is hours late for his next appointment in FARMINGTON already (for out-of-towners, this is at least a good hour from my house) and I turn the channel from the annoying DirecTV informational channel to an HD channel.

And... nothing. They did the whole install, but did something wrong. We get local HD channels, but none of the cable channels.

So now we have to wait for another service appointment for them to come fix it. Aargh.

  • Being half an hour later than you quoted, which was outside of the service appointment time we had anyway. I distinctly remember Orlando saying we were to be the first appointment.
  • Taking so damn long to do it.
  • Not checking the channels before you left.
  • Leaving the old dish for us to throw in the trash.
  • I guess you get a pass for actually coming. It's sad that service should sink this low that this is the best you can do.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Waitin on DirecTV

When we last saw our intrepid heroes, they had been denied 2 (3?) times for an upgrade to HD service. Can they overcome the satellite giant to live an HD life?

So I called Premier after the last post to get my appointment "pushed", or moved up to a closer date, as the best DirecTV could give me was December 3. Premier informed me that they were so busy that they weren't "pushing" any appointments for any reason. And the girl informed me she just had a customer yesterday that had been screwed over even worse than me, and they wouldn't push their appointment either. Yes, thanks, I feel so much better. Oh, and Premier can't give me a credit, I have to go through DirecTV.

And Dec 3? Not on a Saturday. I called back to get my appointment moved to the next available Saturday. I tell the operator, "If I take a day off and you stand me up again, that's a whole new kind of mad." I get scheduled on Dec. 15. And they submit a claim for the "On-time guarantee credit" and someone will call me in 48-72 hours about it when it's been reviewed.

Cut to Thanksgiving. It's been 10 days and I have not heard anything. I'm figuring I will have to call tomorrow to start the complaint process back in motion, when lo, the phone rings. It's DirecTV and they want to come this weekend. They want to come tomorrow (I'm on the cancellation list). Yes, I say, we will be here tomorrow between 8 and 12. Please come and upgrade my dish.

And no, they didn't come. They called at 3 and rescheduled me back to the Saturday I had before.

So I called DirecTV again and this time I actually got to speak to a supervisor. The kid who answered was so scared of me he got a supervisor immediately. I wasn't even being mean! I was actually laughing.

The supervisor offered me $10 off monthly for the next year and Showtime for 90 days for free, which I took. There was some technicality under which I could not get the On Time guarantee, but the money off is even better.

And then something strange happened. At 5:30, the doorbell rang. ("Pizza, mommy, pizza!) It was DirecTV! They're here!

"What seems to be the problem, ma'am?"
"Uh, no problem, we just need an upgrade to HD."
"We were told there was a service problem. You don't have a service problem?"
"No, just an upgrade."
"Oh, we're really sorry, we were told this was a service call that had been rescheduled 5 times, so we don't have the equipment for an upgrade. Let me see if we can get someone out tomorrow."
They call around and say someone is coming tomorrow.

This morning. 8 or 9. It is 9:06 as I write this and no one has come yet. I really thought they would come this time.

So let's go over what went wrong this time:
  • Refusing to push my appointment after they messed it up.
  • Not calling me back after my complaint was registered for the On-Time guarantee.
  • Coming out for a "service problem" when I just need an upgrade.
And here's what went right:
  • Getting me to a supervisor immediately.
  • Giving me the discount when it was clear I couldn't get the On-Time guarantee money. Also giving me the free movies.
  • Giving me a number to call if it happens again - personal voicemail!
  • Having someone come out, even if it was for the wrong thing.
  • Them calling around to get someone to come for today - although this will move into the "wrong" list if they don't come.
So, it's starting to go better. Even the Showtime will just drop off the account after the 90 days, we don't have to call to cancel.

The saga continues in our quest for... HDTV.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Scenes from a Walmart

Mom and 2-year-old in Children's Clothing. "Get over here now, Destiny, get back in the cart! You need to get back in this cart little girl, what if you got lost?"

5 minutes later in Bed & Bath. Destiny is still not in the cart.

"Destiny, you already have an Elmo just like that at home." Waits 2 beats. "If you hold Elmo, you'll have to sit down. Elmo needs to sit down. You should get in the cart together."

I turn the corner to see the 2-year-old, walking in front of the cart, holding a very large Elmo doll.

I wonder if Destiny knew as well as I did that her mother was not going to make her get into the cart. You think?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Conversations on Thanksgiving

"Are you cooking tomorrow?"
"I'm bringing the jello."

"I don't want to step on your toes if you want to have Thanksgiving this year at your house."
"I never want to have Thanksgiving at my house any year."

"Do we have everything?"
"Have the pickles and olives, just need to get the wine."
"It says Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Riesling, Chardonnay. I think I'll get a red and a white."
"Just remember your audience. You know..."
"I know, I'll get my mom some cheap wine and some good wine for anyone else who cares."
"Yeah, I didn't want to say it that way, but yeah."
"The nice thing is, my mom's wine will only cost about $4."

Monday, November 19, 2007


I'm sure you all have heard about the college girls who were hit by a car in Mankato, killing one and injuring in the other. Both girls were in the road, one lying down, when the car struck them.

It's tragic for the family that lost a daughter, and for the family who is trying to pull the other girl through.

But I feel for the 17-year-old boy who was driving legally, on the road, and killed someone through what appears to be no fault of his own. Although no one is commenting on whether or not alcohol had been consumed by the girls, they are saying everything but. It's pretty clear that the girl who was killed had tripped and was lying in the road, and the other girl had returned to pick her up.

Now, I'm no athlete, so I can understand klutziness. I have been known to fall off the sidewalk, although I was pregnant at the time. But Lord help me if I get a couple of drinks in me.

And now there are two families changed forever, and a young kid who will live with the fact that he killed someone for the rest of his life. That boy has to go home to his family, to his friends, and to his life with the questions and the guilt. What if he had been quicker to brake? What if he had seen them sooner? What if his high-beams were on? This boy will have to wonder for the rest of his life if he could have done more, even though the person he killed was laying in the street.

Best Holiday Commercials

Four kids with headlamps sitting in front of the fireplace waiting for Santa - inevitably falling asleep. -LL Bean

Guy painting wife's toenails, and voiceover comes on and says, "Because you're not that guy..." -Pants laughed so hard at this one he made me laugh. It's some jewelry company.

The little girl wakes up to the coffee brewing, and the college-aged son has come home to surprise the family for the holidays. Makes me cry every year. -Maxwell House? Folgers?

Friday, November 16, 2007

50 more

1. Do you like cheese?
Not obsessively, if that's what you're asking.

2. Have you ever smoked heroin?
No. I am remarkably straight.

3. Do you own a gun?
No, and I refuse to have guns in the house.

4. Your favorite song?

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments?
No. Doctors don't make me nervous.

6. What do you think of hot dogs?
Necessary evil.

7. What's your favorite Christmas song?
"I'll be home for Christmas" So sad.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?

Sweet, sweet coffee.

9. Can you do push ups?
No, can you?

10. If you were stranded on a desert island and could have 1 person
with you:
My husband. Or someone who could build a usable boat from palm fronds.

11. What's your favorite piece of jewelry?
My wedding ring. I knew it was the one - it sang to me in the store.

12. Favorite hobby?

13. What is your secret weapon to lure in the opposite sex?


14. Do you have A.D.D.?

Maybe, mildly? Probably not.

15. What one trait do you hate about yourself?
If anything comes close to hate, it's the depression. I'm really angry with it lately.

16. Middle Name:


17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment:
Why are The Soup and Best Week Ever still running during the WGA strike?
Am I getting some weird form of carpal tunnel?
Please don't puke on my head, cat.

18. Name the last 3 things you have bought?

tea and a new cup for work
Real Simple - Christmas edition
lunch and parking?

19. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink:

Coffee, water, tea

20. Current worry right now?

Removing the nukkies from this house. Or rather, the ensuing chaos.

21. Current hate?
Still Debbie Matenopoulous. And people who don't use blinkers.

22. Favorite place to be?

I'm digging my couch.

23. How did you bring in the New Year?
Don't even remember.

24. Where would you like to go?


25. What is your best Kashka memory?
Laughing so hard at night freshman year that the neighbors thought we were being killed. It was like a 6th grade sleepover that lasted three years.

26. Do you own slippers?

Several pair.

27. What color shirt are you wearing?
Pink/brown/white stripe.

28. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets?
I wouldn't know. I'm more of a flannel girl.

29. Can you whistle?
On the exhale and the inhale.

30. Favorite color?
Used to be green, but I think I've moved to the purple end of the blue spectrum.

31. Would you be a pirate?
No, I'm way too much of a rule-follower.

32. What songs do you sing in the shower?

I don't sing much in the shower anymore. Pity.

33. Favorite girl's name?
My kid's names.

34. Favorite boy's name?


35. What's in your pocket right now?
I'm wearing sweatpants.

36. Last thing that made you laugh?
Just now on The Soup, the clip was of a guy saying he was appalled. "Wait. That don't mean nothing good, do it?"

37. Best bed sheets as a child?
I had this super-cool blanket with a harlequin on it.

38. Worst injury you've ever had?
Do gall bladder attacks count.

39. Do you love where you live?

Love it. Love it. Love it.

40. How many TVs do you have in your house?
2 in the house. 1 in the garage.

41. Who is your loudest friend?

No idea, but I did know this girl once who was so loud everyone on the floor could hear the entire conversation when she was on the phone. With their doors shut.

42. Who is your most silent friend?

I think we've all known each other long enough to speak in each other's presence.

43. Does someone have a crush on you?
My husband, I hope.

44. Do you wish on shooting stars?
If given the chance.

45. What is your favorite book?

Beach Music by Pat Conroy.

46. What is your favorite candy?

Sweet Tarts. Chewy.

47. Favorite Sports Team?
Do ice skaters count? Then it would have to the Timberwolves for facilitating my courtship.

48. What song do you want played at your funeral?
I'll Cover You from Rent - the slower version

49. What were you doing 12 AM last night?


50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up?
I'm sure I can make it just one more Snooze.

7 Things

I was tagged, so here goes.

1. I want to set the record straight. When Pants and I were going through the process of adoption, I was asked if I harbored any ill will towards women who had abortions, given my new situation. I said no, but that I had a problem with women who abandoned babies into the trash.

I want to take that back, and I'm not even sure I meant it at the time. Women don't abandon babies in the trash out of malice or because they or sociopathic. They do it because they are in what they feel is a hopeless situation and someone has shamed them so much that they can't even admit they had a child. It makes me sad that anything could seem so hopeless that a woman would abandon a child without ensuring it will be cared for.

Also, regarding the abortion issue: it takes a hell of a lot of nerve to be angry with someone who is making the choice not to carry a child they will place in someone else's home. I hated absolutely every second of being pregnant and I would never presume that someone else had to take on that burden simply to fulfill my wish to have a child. We always considered it a huge gift that someone would ever consider this option, not an expectation that they should.

2. If I had it to do over again, I would be a pathologist. Except I probably wouldn't have made it through the Chem classes.

3. I have two pregnancy tests in the linen closet that expire in January. If anyone wants them, email me. I am very discreet and I hate to see $20 expire.

4. I have a refrigerator full of bad food that desperately needs cleaning/purging.

5. I don't know why, but these "tell us something we don't know about you" things always turn out as dirty laundry for me. I'm looking for every bad thing I can expose to the internet. Perhaps I need to go to confession.

6. So here's something good. I am awesome at my job. Of course, I make mistakes all the time, but I love my boss, and she doesn't hold a grudge unless you repeatedly screw up really bad. And I love what I do. I get to feel like I help people, get to interact when I want to, and get to hole up in my cube if I need to. And I actually get to use my college degree and get somewhat well paid for it.

7. I secretly think we're doing a really good job raising our kids. They're happy, they're funny, they're well-behaved, and they're smart. Kitten is so considerate, she says "thank you" and "excuse me" when needed. You can have all the theories in the world about raising kids, but the rubber has met the road, the chicken has crossed the street, and I have good kids. I really think we're doing some things right.

I tag...
No one. I don't really know anyone besides those who have already been tagged.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Lest ye be

Judge not... except for those hateful fags. They're sinning against God.

Judge not... except for poor people. Get a job!

Judge not... except for those who don't believe as you do. They must be misguided infidels and need to be converted.

Judge not... except for abortion doctors and those who choose it. They have no right to participate in something that's entirely legal.

Judge not... except for that asshole who cut me off this morning.

Judge not...

Judge not.

Monday, November 12, 2007

I am so into...

Big Bang Theory

"Will you see her again?"
"Why would I? I already have a dentist."
"I wonder when someone's going to tell your parents they're not going to have grandchildren."

I am so over...

The Christmas diamond commercials. Don't you blood-suckers make enough money without making men feel inadequate if they don't purchase something shiny for their spouse/partner/loved one?

Christmas is not about supporting African drug lords so you can prove you're the best husband on the block. Could you just do a couple loads of laundry instead?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Bevy of new stuff

Meimei went from 8 to 12 teeth. And took her first steps today that were deliberately unassisted, and not just an attempt to get from one piece of furniture to another by taking a step and falling into it.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Screwed again

So, we have a new BF TV. Which is lovely. But we want digital satellite to go with it, because you should get to enjoy the quality, right.

We made an appointment for an upgrade of our dish, and we waited 3 weeks because we needed a Saturday appointment.

Then, last Saturday, when our appointment time (8-12) we by, we got a call just after 12 saying they were still so busy with calls they didn't finish from Friday that they wouldn't be able to get to us. They would reschedule us for this week. Seethe.

They were supposed to be here between 8 and noon this morning. Pants and I both called separately to confirm our appointment. At about 1:00, I called DirecTV to complain and was transferred to Premier Communications, their outsourced tech company, where they "left the tech a message" and said they would get back to me when he checked back in.

I called them again at 4:00 because I had heard nothing back. They apologized profusely and said the tech would call me and let me know when he would be coming. They said I had an appointment "today". I confirmed it was supposed to be this morning and that they had not called or shown up. I think they said something about crediting my account, but I'm not entirely sure.

I received a call from the tech at a little after 7:00 tonight, telling me if he can finish the job he is on in 20 minutes he will come. If he can't, he will call. Again, I get nothing.

I called DirecTV again this evening after 10 p.m. to complain and to set up another service appointment, since clearly this one wasn't working out. Apparently, there is a $100 service guarantee that says if they aren't on time, we get paid $100. But then the guy tonight also said the tech was coming in the morning at 7:30, that he had confirmed that with me. I think he's trying to get out of the guarantee, so he's lying about confirming 7:30 in the morning, hoping I will think I misheard him.

And here's how we stand now - I am supposed to call Premier early in the morning and verify if the tech is coming tomorrow or not. I will also be verifying when my $100 will appear. We might get hooked up this weekend still, but I'm not betting anything on it, at this point.

Let's go over the service errors in this one -
  • Calling at noon when they are supposed to be here between 8 and 12. If they are so busy from Friday, didn't they know that at 8?
  • Not calling either week the day before to confirm the appointment, as they were supposed to do.
  • Not calling and not showing up today for the appointment.
  • Not calling me back as promised, even when the tech did not return their call.
  • Not calling me back again as promised.
  • Promising me to come or call in 20 minutes, and not doing either.
  • Asking me to call the tech company prior to 7:30 in the morning tomorrow, as if that's how I would like to spend my time on Sunday.
  • Not telling me about the On-time guarantee until my 5th call to the company today.
  • Not offering me credit on my account (I think?)
  • Routing all of my calls to India (oh, and they were definitely routed to a call center in India. Cyril, my ass. The calls kept cutting out and it was hard to understand them everytime I called.)
  • Sticking me in a voice recognition system that kept deciding I wanted to make a payment.
They still haven't completely gotten this one right. We'll see what happens.


As I suspected, Macy's did not have the dress I wanted at the store. So now I am either back to the drawing board, or I am ordering that dress blind.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Until it hurts

According to Target, Christmas is here! I'm a bit conflicted about Christmas. I don't know if everyone gets this way, or if it's just me, but I'm having issues with how to make the holiday more meaningful and less materialistic.

So to start, here's a list of things you can do this holiday season to bring some joy:

If you know a family who has lost someone:
  • Make copies of all of the pictures you have of that someone and give them to the family. It will cost you very little and will be priceless to the family.
  • Secretly adopt the family - anonymously leave them food, gifts, and mementos of their loved one. The last thing any family wants is to forget, or to think that others have forgotten.
If you know a family that is doing without:
  • One of the problems I have with Christmas is that my family doesn't really do without. So why should we receive gifts when we already have what we need? If you know a family that is going without, give them a grocery card to make a Christmas meal. Leave them some presents. Do something nice that will help them out this season. It means so much more to have something special when you usually don't.
If you know a single parent:
  • Offer to watch the kid(s) while they get out of the house. They'll probably do something practical, but encourage them to go sit at a coffee shop with a good book.
  • Anonymously leave a gift card for Target or Toys 'R' Us. Kids are expensive and I can't imagine how parents do it on one income.
  • Anonymously leave a bag of clothes in the child's size - hopefully you can free the parent up to buy them a special toy for Christmas instead of just the necessities.
If you go to a restaurant, shop, or store:
  • Leave a decent tip, especially if you live in a state where they aren't required to pay restaurant servers minimum wage.
  • Be nice. If your server or cashier is flustered, imagine how crappy a day they must be having. A few kind words could turn that around.
If you are planning to give toys for children:
  • Don't forget babies and teenagers. They need items too.
  • For each toy, buy a winter hat. Kids may want toys, but they need hats. Go crazy and venture into mittens, scarves, and socks, too.
If you are a big spender:
  • There's a great program that will donate a nearly indestructible laptop to a third world country if you buy one for someone - approximately $400. If you don't have a kid to give it to, donate it. You can save the world and the country with one purchase.
You're all smart people. Come up with some more.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The search continues...

If you're bored hearing about my dress woes, you probably want to tune out and come back next week - I'm on a mission and I have a mental disease.

Per AKJ's suggestion, I tried Torrid and that other one, but didn't see anything specific that I liked. I also looked at Alight and Jessica London and found that I had been to both of them already and selected some favorites off them. I absolutely adore alight, but nothing seemed to be quite what I now have my heart set on. I might go back for other dresses, though, because there were so many I loved.

So here's what I'm looking for: a babydoll dress or tunic top that has a black base (not brown, my boots are black and I don't want to have to buy another pair). I want something with a large, colorful pattern. Paisleys are a plus (I just have a thing for them). I'm very drawn to the colors and design of traditional Pucci fabrics. I can't afford Pucci, but anything Pucci-inspired gets an A in my book.

I am going to try to get to Macy's tomorrow to see if they have my dress. I tried one on tonight at JC Penney's, but the cut and fabric were awful.

And thanks to Pusher for correcting my math - I feel so much taller now.

But I'll have to wait an see about the bustline. Bill and Ted are bad surfer-dude noises in disgust, but maybe they can be swayed to make an appearance.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Amazon women from hell

So, I found a print I like better on a Baby Phat dress but I have a couple of concerns.

1. The information says the dress hits mid-though, which is perfect, but it also says the dress is 36" from the neckline. That's 3 feet. I am 5'3". That's 15 inches left over, which has to include my head. Who the hell does this dress hit mid-thigh on? Is it reasonable to think I could hem this dress if it hits mid-calf instead of mid-thigh? Is it reasonable to think I actually would?

2. I have two triple-D buddies, Bill and Ted, who are terrified of the neckline on this dress. Suggestions?

I'm being a bit obsessive here, but I get one dress for Pants's Christmas party and this wedding, I want to be comfortable, and I don't want to look fat. Last year at the Christmas party, I not only felt fat, but I felt like I was 65. I want to feel at least sorta young and hip. Maybe I can try it on at Macy's. The problem is, they never have this stuff in the store - only online. Like fat chicks can't shop in public, we just sit on our couches in mumus with bags over our heads and order more mumus, hoping they come wrapped in brown paper with the size obscured.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


I'm truly asking, so here goes:

1. Loud print babydoll dress with black tights and boots for a wedding? What if it was a softer print? Winter wedding, afternoon. Does Utah matter? They're not mormon.
2. Small bottle of my favorite green cleaning product, Mrs. Meyer's dishwashing liquid, as a hostess gift? It would be pretty.
3. Hand-sewing sock monkeys for my kids for Christmas?
4. Giving breakfast basket (pankcake mix, syrup, coffee, jam) AGAIN to step-sibling and family, although they specifically ask for suggestions (and purchase) off our list every year?

Thursday, November 01, 2007


False cyanosis.

K, so Kitten is not truly going cyanotic. Turning blue, yes. Oxygen-poor blood, no. They said everything came back normal and it appears she has what some toddlers get, especially those with fair skin, which is that the veins are just growing and configuring themselves and they are showing up closer to the skin. She'll grow out of it.