Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How I Kicked Corporate America's Butt... (the protesters should be proud)

So, I ran into a bit of a kerfuffle of sorts with both UPS and ConEd this week.  I was going to call them on Monday, but that just didn't happen.  Tuesday I was in an oddly good and productive mood (which almost never happen at the same time), so I took advantage of the situation and decided to handle these problems right then.


The issue with UPS actually didn't start officially until after I made this call.  I ordered a pair of boots that, SHOCKER, didn't fit around my calves.  I needed to send them back, and after reading the return instructions, it just said that the $8 shipping fee would be deducted from my refund.  Cool.  So I just needed UPS to come and pick up the package.  I tried to schedule a pick-up online, but it kept saying that a $9 fee would be charged for this package.  To which I said "no, no, UPS.  My shipping fee is already paid for and taken care of thanks to pre-printed labeling!".  So I call and try to go through their automated system, which is telling me the same thing.  So I ask to be connected to a rep who tells me, for the 3rd time. that it will cost $9.  So I tell her "No, the shipping charge is already paid for." to which she tells me this:

"The shipping charge is already handled.  But there is a $9 fee associated with package pick-up at a location."

So let me get this straight.  It's $8 for shipping, but $9 for package pick up?  So it costs more to have UPS scoop up the package using a local driver than it does to have them actually deliver it across the country?  How is that possible?  And I ask her "Isn't procuring the package a major part of the actual shipping process? Shouldn't that be included?"

"No, Ma'am.  You have some free options, though."

"Oh.  Well good.  What are those?"

"Well, you can bring it to a UPS location close to you.  Or, you can flag down a truck and hand it to the driver."




"Yeah, I don't think I'll be standing on a corner flagging down UPS men today or, like, ever.  Thanks anyway for that.  Where are there locations for me to drop off near my home, please?"

"There's one at 1623 3rd Avenue"

Now maybe this is just a city thing.  I don't know numbers.  I don't know where the 1600 block of 3rd avenue is.  I need cross streets.

"What are the cross streets for that location?"

"It's right around the corner from your house, Ma'am."

"Well... 3rd avenue is 2 blocks uphill from my apartment, so it's not EXACTLY right around the corner.  So I need the cross streets, please?"

"Is 1st Avenue closer to you?"

"Well... 1st Avenue runs the entire length of Manhattan, so... it might be, but... I still need the cross streets."

"OK, for the 1st Avenue location, starting at your apartment you would turn right on York Avenue, right on 81st Street and it will be between York Avenue and 1st Avenue."

"So it's on 1st Avenue and 81st street?  OK.... how about the 3rd avenue location?"

"Starting at your apartment you would turn right on York Avenue, right on 86th Street, right on 1st Avenue, left on 89th Street and right onto 3rd Avenue."

"So it's on 3rd Avenue between 89th and 90th?  OK great, thanks... I didn't actually need the driving directions..."

"OK.  Anything else?"

"Nope."  I've already gotten all the useless information I can stand for one day, thanks!

So, situation sort of handled.  I"ll be dropping the package off at their 89th and 3rd location after work...


I mean, ConEd is basically always a problem.  I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before how my electric bill for a 1 bedroom apartment in Queens was about $300/month.  Absolutely crazy.  Anyway, our bills over the summer have been completely reasonable, and I was pretty excited about it!  (By reasonable, I mean about $50/month for electric alone.)  So when I received our September bill and it was over $100, it sort of threw me.  We were out of regular air conditioning weather, so one would think it could only go down.  But then I realized we had also been in the apartment more in September, so maybe it wouldn't go down.  But it certainly wouldn't double!  So I called and asked what the deal was.

I was informed that my meter wasn't working, and that they had switched it out and adjusted our bill accordingly. 

OK, no problem.  We paid it in full.

Last week I received a letter stating that due to indicator lights on our meter, we had not been properly billed for our usage.  The meter had been switched out, and here you go!  It's a nice little breakdown of how much we are going to charge you for unmetered usage over the last 4 months. KTHXBYE!

Hold the phone.

That says $188.95!  I'm not giving them $200!  That's nutso!

So I called ConEd.  I explain that we had paid all of our bills, including the adjusted September bill, in full, and wasn't sure why I was being billed an additional $188.95. 

So the lady on the other end says to me, "So, what had happened was........."  And I knew right there that this was gonna be good!  All I had to do was keep my calm and enjoy the ride.

".... on August 22nd, our meter readers realized that there were indicator lights on your meter that meant that the meter wasn't correctly reading the usage for the apartment.  So on September 7th we changed out the meter, and adjusted your September bill.  Now we are going through and adjusting previous bills that were effected by the incorrect readings."

"But, then why am I being adjusted so far back if it only became a problem in August?  I see that I had an actual reading at the end of June, an estimated reading at the end of July and an actual reading at the end of August."

"Well, we don't know when it became a problem.  Our meter readers only noticed in in August."

"So, it could have been broken for years, or just a couple days, but you're going to charge me $188.95 to cover potentially wrong readings back through my move-in date?  I'm sorry, but I'm not comfortable handing over $200 for charges that you aren't positive I owe."

"Well, we just took daily readings and applied it to your previous bills, crediting you for what you already paid."

"But you aren't sure that those readings weren't already correct?"

"Well, we're pretty sure they aren't."

"Well, OK.  I'm not saying that we don't owe you anything extra at all.  And I know that you have a business to run and that you probably weren't paid for the amount of service you provided.  But I'm not really sure how it is my responsibility to pay for your meters not being maintained properly, for your meter readers not noticing indicator lights for, what you are assuming was, a couple of months, and for you not billing me correctly."

"Well, it wasn't just you.  This effected several of your neighbors and they were billed as well."

This is what we call "not helping your case".

"I'm not saying that you are singling me out.  And if they want to go ahead and pay the adjustments you sent them, that's totally fine.  However, I need to be sure that's what I owe before I hand it over.  So if you can prove to me that that was what I used, I'll pay it."

"What makes you think it's not what you owe?"

"My roommate and I were barely around over the summer.  Between working, being away on the weekends, going on vacations, etc. we didn't have the A/C running much, or the lights on, or the TV on.  All appliances were unplugged, computers traveled with us so those weren't plugged in.  There just wasn't much usage.  And in September we were at the apartment more.  So our average daily usage in September was much higher than our average daily usage in July."

"Well even if you weren't there, there's still going to be a bill.  Do you have proof that you weren't at the apartment?"

I should have just forwarded her the link to this blog, but instead I said:

"I do have receipts and tickets from buses and trains and flights and hotels, but I don't think that's my responsibility either.  I am paying you for a service.  Rather than my proving I DIDN'T use it, I think it's your job and responsibility to prove that I DID use your service.  Unfortunately, the bill you sent me is unmetered
"usage", so I don't know how you'll prove that I used any of that.  If you can, though, I'd be more than happy to send you a check right away."



...."I'll review your account and get back to you."

Ladies and Gentlemen, I call that a win.  I read the law that they said they were operating legally under.  While they didn't do anything ILLEGAL, and the law does state that they can adjust any bill for up to a year, it doesn't say it can be adjusted for some number they are basically pulling out of the air and have no proof of.  If that's the case, then I'd like to "adjust" my bills in Queens and demand a refund for the last year of my lease down to $100/month rather than $300 or $400... just... because.  It was OVER metered service, is what that was.  I feel if you can charge me for UNmetered usage, I can demand a refund for OVER metered usage.  Yup, seems fair to me!

I'll keep you updated on all that.  But if you are thinking about moving to NYC... beware of ConEd, and be sure you get into a place that has gas cooking, and pays for gas, heat and hot water.  Because otherwise, you are SCREWED. 

Just a couple of housekeeping things.

I totally forgot to wish Papa a VERY happy 90th birthday on October 17th!  I was able to celebrate with him and my family on the 16th.  But 90 years old deserves being blogged about! 

Congratulations to Joanne Haake on her nuptial to Ralph on October 15th, 2011 and for letting me be there to celebrate!

And official announcement:

Somewhere round about March 22nd, 2011 I will become an Anutie again!  My sister Jeannine is expecting, and that's news that I have been holding in since July!  Feels great to be able to tell everybody, since this blog is evidence of my not keeping quiet about much...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

Remember this book?  Yeah?  This kid thought he had problems.  I'd take his day any day.  Except for the part where they didn't have his choice of shoes.  That would never do.

Anyway... Monday was literally quite possibly the worst day of my life. 


OK fine, that was an exaggeration.

But it was pretty rough!

Allow me to commiserate.

My roommate has been late every day this week, and I think she was even late last week too.  She is supposed to be at work at 8am, which would mean she needs to leave our apartment at 7:30 each morning.  Well she apparently doesn't care much about getting to work on time because she just gets herself into the shower at 7:30, which is about the time I need to be getting in to leave at 8:15 or so.  So on Monday, I was of course running late.  No big deal, it's only 5 minutes (because I was a speed demon and I don't like to think about what I probably missed in the shower due to the rushing).  I'll grab the bus and save 10 minutes of walking and I should be good to go. 

So I wait a minute to board the bus, only to find out that my unlimited monthly pass is expired.

Now, I've seen this happen to a hundred people.  And each time, the driver is usually just like "it's expired.  Go ahead, it's fine." and lets them on the bus.  Does this happen to me?

Have you ever read my blog before?

Of COURSE it doesn't happen to me!  So now I'm running about 7 minutes behind schedule, and can't catch the bus to make up that time.  Awesome.

I finally get to the subway, and since my card is expired, I get to wait in the FOREVER long line to get up to the machine.  I wait.  And wait.  And wait.  I finally get to the machine.  I punch all the buttons as fast as I can and wait for it to "process payment".



"We're sorry, we cannot process your payment at this time.  Try again?"

HELL YEAH TRY AGAIN!  I have to get to work!

"We're sorry, we cannot process your payment at this time.  Try again?"


No.  I'll take a $5 card, which goes through.  On the same credit card I was using for the monthly unlimited pass.  Ugh.

Then I try to get through the FOREVER long line to get to the gates to get to the train to make it to work only DECADES late.  I say excuse me (because I get violently angry when people shove through the line, or push past me.  So rude.) 4 times and this girl just sort of stands there, or looks at me like "what?"  so I yell in her face "EXCUSE ME!!!!!!!!"  "You don't have to be rude."  "I SAID EXCUSE ME 4 TIMES, WHERE WERE YOU WHEN I WAS IN NICE MODE?!"

I will, from now on, be simply pushing through the line.  Forget this crap.

I get to the train, I get to work, I get into the office.  I take a deep breath, and dial the 1-800 number on the back of my Bank of America Debit card.

Now.  This whole declining payment thing has happened in the past.  I don't get it.  It's not over the daily limit, it's not a large dollar amount, it's not a strange charge, it's not out of my area of regular use.  Every month this happens, I get a call asking to verify that it was me that had tried to make these declined charges.  Nothing ever changes.  When I call this time, it dumps me directly into this automated system.  I foolishly thought that it would give me the option to talk to a customer service rep at the end of this crap.  I was so very wrong.  So I call back, and it tells me that it is "unable to transfer my call.  Good bye." 


So I call again, and lie to the automated lady, saying that I want to add some sort of service to my banking...

... And got a real person!

SUCKAS!  Connie 1, automated lady.. like 409309842.  But still.  I'll take the victory.

She answers the phone all jolly, and I say very slowly and calmly:

"Every single month, on approximately the exact same date, and approximately the same time, at the exact same machine, for the exact same amount, I make a purchase.  And every single month, you decline my charge, and every single month you call me and have me go through the automated steps, and every single month I tell you that yes it was me making the charge, yes it is a valid charge.  And still, every single month, you block my card.  And this not only makes me EXTREMELY upset, but it also slows myself and everyone in line behind me at rush hour down."  So she takes a look and can't figure it out.  Because it's not over the daily limit.  And it's not a large dollar amount.  And it's not a strange charge.  And it's not out of my regular area of use.


So she transfers me to some other group of people that... I don't know... handles all subway card purchase issues or something.

The guy says "OK, I've made a note in your file that this is an acceptable monthly charge, and shouldn't be blocked." And I ask "Can you tell me why it was blocked in the first place?"

This is his explanation.

"Sometimes when people use their cards at vending machines, like Coke machines, we block the charge because we aren't sure that it is the actual cardholder making the purchase."



"So you're telling me that if I am dying of thirst one day, and I try to use my card to buy myself a coke, that you might block my transaction because you aren't sure if this $2.00 charge is valid?"


"Sir, please.  Don't block these on my card.  If someone steals my card to purchase a Coke because they are dying of thirst, I will eat that charge.  Really.  It's fine."

This was all before 10am.

Work was a total madhouse.  My accounts payable team just despises me, apparently.  Also?  Nobody on my team can seem to keep track of receipts.  And although I tell them repeatedly to just give me their receipts after they charge something to their card and I can keep them filed for them, they refuse.  And then I'm left dealing with crap when receipts are missing.  So ridiculous.  So that was my day at work, summed up very quickly.  Because that's not something I wish to re-live.  Although Tuesday and today have been the same way. 

Moving on.

So I leave work.  Terri couldn't walk to the "new" Trader Joe's with me anymore, and I decide to make it a highly productive night.  I will go to Trader Joe's, make it home by 8 at the latest.  Then I'll do laundry (because I was down to my last pair of underwear, and only a couple pairs of mis-matched socks left.), and make some dinner intermittently.  Then I'll snuggle into the couch for an hour or two before bed.


Here's how that went.

I got to the 123 train, and tried to purchase my monthly unlimited card.  Because I had been ASSURED by Bank of America a solid 8 hour prior that this had been noted as an acceptable charge.  Guess what declined my card again? 


I use another $2.25 off the card I bought that morning, which will, in fact, get me to Trader Joe's, but not home.  So I get to Trader Joe's on 72nd and Broadway.  By the way?  Super nice store!  Completely packed, but I got everything I needed and it felt like they had a LOT more selection than the one in Union Square.  I could be wrong, but I don't think I am.  I think there's also supposed to be a wine store there that I didn't see yet.  I'll scope it out next time.  Anyway, I get so much stuff that it turns out needing 3 bags.  3 bags to carry all the way to the East Side is a lot, in case you were wondering.  But I need all this stuff,  so I follow Tim Gunn's advice and make it work.

Knowing that my stupid Bank of America card wouldn't be working (I am switching to Chase next week, just btw.) I stopped by the ATM and got $120, because ATMs only dispense $20 increments.  I get to the third Subway Card machine of the day, and remember they only give cold coins for change.  Ugh.  Nobody has change for a $20, so I say Eff This and just go for it.  I'm doing laundry that night, so it's not like I'll have to hold on to the gold coins for long.  I put in the $120.


Hold on.

People feed this machine money all day long, and the most change it can give me is $6?  Awesome. 

So.  I pick up my 3 heavy bags.  Walk back across the street to the Hallal truck and flirt it up with whoever that guy is to give me 4 $5s for my $20.  He does, and he is friendly, and was the one ray of sunshine in my shit storm of a day.

I pick up my 3 heavy bags, and go back across the street.  I get my freaking subway card FINALLY, and get onto the subway, struggling the whole way to carry the bags through the tiny gates, or down the tiny stairs.  Apparently you must be tiny to live or work at 72nd and Broadway.  But I get on the train.  I get to 86th and Broadway, which is where I will exit the train and catch the bus across town to 1st Ave.  I get off the train, and set my giant bags down on the bench to readjust.  I pick the bags back up and...

... I bet you called this from the beginning...

... no shocker here...

One of the bag's handle breaks. 

Well that makes it easier.  Thanks for that.

I somehow try to hold the two ends of the now broken handle together in my hand with 3 other handles, while also balancing out weight, and getting through gates and up two flights of stairs..... just in time to see the bus pull up to the bus stop half of a block away from me.  If I don't make this bus, there won't be another one for at least 15 minutes.  It's cold, it's rainy, I'm exhausted. 

I knew I wasn't going to make it.

There's no way.

Yet somehow, a line formed for the bus, giving me JUST enough time to rush (as fast as I could what with all the hobbling) up to the door just as it was closing and get on the bus.  Apparently, God had seen enough funny for one day and decided to smile on this one thing.

I get settled, and am rubbing my aching shoulders and back as we make our way across town.

Then a girl gets on the bus, and her card buzzes to say it's expired. 

Can you guess what happens?


Bus Driver: "It's expired, hun.  Go ahead, it's fine."

GAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!  (me: Shakes fists in the air)

We get to 1st Avenue.  I get off the bus, and have to set the bags down for a rest no less than 5 times on the way home.  I carry them up, 1 at a time, from my front door into my apartment on the 2nd floor.  I unpack them, and start to separate laundry.  It's about 8:30.  And I realize that I am completely out of detergent.

I sort of want to cry.

Instead, I change into sweats, grab my wallet and keys, and head back to Duane Reade to pick up some detergent (which is ungodly expensive, by the way.  When did that happen?!).  I walk home, pick up my load of darks, and head over to the laundromat.  I dump my clothes into a machine, add detergent, and take my new $5 bills over to the change machine.  Now.  The machine costs $6.50, and the dryers cost $.25 for 6 minutes of use.  Connie, if you only put in a $5 bill for change, YOU WILL NOT HAVE ENOUGH.  So I had to go back to the change machine.

I go to put quarters in the washer and.... what's this?  Oh.  It's TAPE OVER THE COIN DROP BECAUSE THE MACHINE DOESN'T WORK.

well that's just dandy.  Really.  So I put all of my clothes in the next machine, and try to forget about the two caps of detergent I just wasted in the first machine.

At this point, I'm horrified to go home and attempt to make dinner.  I mean, my God.  The way my day was going?  It's entirely possible that I might burn the house down!  Maybe even the block!  But I was starving and felt like I had spent plenty of money that day.  I think I can heat something on the stove successfully.  Thankfully, this went well, and I had some gnocchi and meatballs for dinner.  Thank you, Trader Joe's.  Jebus!

I go back to the laundromat, and pull out my clothes.  I separate them by what I want to hang dry and what I want to throw in the dryer.  After I have my clothes in the dryer and am about to start putting coins in it, a guy comes around the corner to check on his clothes and says "That machine's broken!  We already tried it!" 

Do you realize that this means in one night, I put my clothes in the only two broken machines in the entire laundromat?  What are the ODDS?!? 

Anyway.  When laundry was done, I put myself to bed.  That is ENOUGH!  I am sort of proud that I didn't give up half way through and just say Eff it.  Maybe I should have.  But whatever... thank GOD Monday is over.  I'd really like to know why Monday has it out for me!  I'm skipping them from here on out.  Next Monday you can find me in bed.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My God. How am I not just asleep right now?

I'm not going to lie... I have referred back to my previous post several times over the last week.  If I don't, I will DEFINITELY miss out on a show.  So I guess I'd like to thank myself with boring you with those details??

I'd also like to say, ABC YOU SUCK for getting me totally hooked on New Girl in just 3 episodes, and then cold heartedly taking it away from me in some sort of teaser to return at some point in the future.  UGH! 

Just a few things about this week, because it's been... well... wait for it.

So last weekend Alyssa was in town.  We had an AMAZING weekend!  The weather couldn't have been better!  Although her drive sucked, I didn't have to be part of it, and so I'm not including that in this blog.  Because it's my blog and I can edit as I see fit :)  We did it all!  Friday night we went to what is becoming my local watering hole... sans any trace of water of course.  It's called The BullPen and I have no idea why.  Anyway.  Did that.  Slept in WAY late on Saturday because Lady (Alyssa's adorable puppy) just couldn't calm down all night which kept us awake.  So we got up, got dressed and went and  grabbed a delish meatball sub from Luigi's (my go-to pizzeria) to eat in Central Park.  We found a nice shaded area and enjoyed.  Then we walked through the park.  I feel like we did it really fast, but maybe it's just that time flies when you're having fun!  We saw the boathouse, the lake, the Bethesda Fountain, the Friendship Fountain, the Mall (where movies have been filmed like Brown Sugar, Maid in Manhattan, Real Housewives of New York... that sort of thing...) and headed out of the park.  We stopped by Times Square for a quick photo op and then high tailed it out of that madness!  God I hate that area.  If you come to New York, avoid it.  It's expensive, overly crowded, and mostly retail now which is all over priced.  There are better things you can do with your time in NYC.  Such as.... cabbing up to 61st between 2nd and 3rd!  Know what's there?  Serendipity!  And Dylan's Candy Bar!  Both of which we visited and conquered!  Dylan's Candy Bar is a HUGE candy store that has everything you could want, and is owned by Ralph Lauren's daughter.  It's very cool, and hip with the under 13 crowd.  Then we enjoyed a peanut butter frozen hot chocolate and a "cowards portion" Banana Split of which Alyssa and I could only consume maybe half of... so does that make us double cowards?  That's sad.  Also!  There is an AMAZING boutique next door that I cannot remember the name of.  But if you have a few thousand dollars to drop you should definitely stop in!



I did stop in, and the clothes were just to die for.  They were beautiful and there really wasn't one thing that I wasn't interested in.  Something that is within my budget, but still a splurge, were suede teal or red heels with big bows on the foot strap. Holy lord they were adorable and really added a certain Je ne sais pas ce que... but God I loved them and will probably be going back soon.  And I think I'm getting the teal ones.  $128 and by far the least expensive thing in the store.  But they fit my feet like... well "gloves" seems inappropriate here.  But you get the idea.

That night we headed down to Reservoir Bar in Union Square and visited Miranda.  We had some DELISH burgers and enjoyed some libations.  Then Alyssa fell asleep on the subway home.  Epic.  The city just wears her out I guess!  Got home and crashed!  Sunday we were woken up at 9am by Alyssa's brother who lives in Brooklyn.  He was having some hefty car trouble and needed us to come save him and his dog from the side of the road.  This turned into a couple hour rescue, so we ended up going to a bar on 14th street between 1st and 2nd in the East Village.  Oddly, this pub didn't serve foot (say what now??) but we could bring our own in.  Thank GOD for that little rule because I have discovered a pizzeria that rivals Luigi's.  Actually, Alyssa's brother introduced us, so I can't take all the credit.  It is called Artichoke, and was located directly across the street.  We got a spinach and artichoke pizza pie.  This is not something that I would probably order on my own.  But it has become the thing I crave most in this world. It was just phenomenal.  I am lacking words to describe this pizza.  So I'll stop. But GO THERE.  SERIOUSLY.  They have 3 locations.  Who is surprised there isn't one near me?

We finished watching the game uptown, and got mani/pedis afterwards.  My toes are now electric blue and sparkly.  I just wanted sparkly.  The manicurist suggested I put a base color on first and then put sparklies on top.  OK cool, you can pick the color.  Well ok then, I guess I look like an electric blue kind of girl.  Good to know.  But it is super fun and totally unexpected.  When I changed my shoes at work today I was caught by surprise by it somehow... so fun.

OK, so Alyssa left on Sunday night.  Monday I woke up with SEVERE back pain.  Like, could barely move, bending and walking was awful, and I had no idea how to fix it.  So I trucked along... and then Tuesday was absolutely no better.  I was supposed to walk home from work with Terri and then have a late dinner with Davine.  The walking was definitely not happening. After 4 extra strength Tylenol and no relief, I knew it was bad.  I went home. Sat down on my bed.  bent over and placed my hands on the floor, then laid back and twisted and *POP*!!!!



Was that a good pop?  Or a bad pop? .....????? GOOD OR BAD?!  GOOD OR BAD??!  I sat up slowly and... miracle of all miracles... my back pain was completely gone!  I felt great.  I got up and walked around, I bent down to pick something up... I sat down and stood up again... I felt great!

Davine and I went to Blockhead's for dinner.  She was stressing out and needed some cheap delish drinks.  I just always am in the mood for TexMex!  And guess what everybody?????  Davine has been cast in the Broadway rendition of Ghost!!!!!!!!!  They are still in negotiations, but assuming all goes according to plan, the show will start after the new year!!!  She will be playing the part that Whoopi Goldberg played in the original movie.  I am just so so thrilled and proud of her!  If you are in NYC and get a chance to go to a show, see this one!  Davine and phenomenal!

Last night was my happy hour/dinner at home with Ana.  Ana was having a rough... day? week?  No no, month!  So we made some chili so she could have some comfort food, and drank a bottle and a half of wine and were pretty happy, watching my Wednesday line-up.  By the way?  PLEASE watch last night's Modern Family.  I was almost peeing myself, and laughing so hard I couldn't breathe when Cam and Marshall get in a hit-and-run accident.  Just listen for the words "He's getting away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"  I looked for the clip but it's not uploaded anywhere yet.  Holy lord it's epic!

So then, Ana finds out that her brother?  From North Carolina?  Is totally in NYC right at that very moment.  And actually was eating dinner at a restaurant right next to my office.  So we met up with him and his colleague after a bottle and a half of wine and shared 2 pitchers of beer at... again... my local watering hole.  The bartender is starting to remember me... which is cool?  I guess..? 

Anyway, super unexpected and such a fun week!  Tonight is dinner at Terri's!  We're having a crock pot meal which just screams fall and I am finally coming to terms with the changing seasons.  I guess.  Why yes I am wearing a tank top under my sweater in case of an extreme change in weather, why do you ask?

This weekend I head back to Hershey for Grandma Haake's wedding.  Just... stay tuned for that.  It's also Papa's 90th birthday party!  WOOP WOOP!  So should be a fun weekend.  Tomorrow night I have tentative plans with some old high school friends to meet at... the local watering hole in Hershey.... WHAT?!  Ugh.  I know, must slow it down.  Anyway, I'll be back with an update on that.

Just a few things from this week not mentioned because it didn't fit in the stories above:

I was verbally assaulted by a man that just MUST be crazy.  He was clearly a white man, and was walking down the street talking loudly about "look at all these miserable white people", and then started commenting on a girl's ass in a loud obnoxious way?  So I just looked at him and said "enough" to which he took as an invitation to tell me to "go back where I came from" which... I mean... I'm American?  And living here in the United States?  So... not sure what he was aiming for.  He also assured me that I wouldn't have said anything to a black man, because if he was black he would have smacked the... poop.... out of me.  Um.  For those people that know me, they know why that's funny.  But at that point I just started laughing at him because there was no where left to go with this and he continue spewing hatred at me and then stormed off.  Okey dokey then.

I am on a hunt for tall boots that fit me.  I have very thick calves and have a TON of trouble with this.  In fact, all of my boots are on the shorter side and scrunch boots because they won't ever fit up my calves.  So I started looking at wide calf boots.  One would assume this would fix all problems?  No.  I suggest you measure your calf.  If your calves are about 13 or 14 inches around?  You're good to go for normal boots.  15 inches require wide calf.  I have 18 inch calves.  Do you know what that means?  WIDE LEG BOOTS DON'T EVEN FIT ME!  So I had to go for EXTRA wide leg.  I was looking at a website.  I just want some sleek, cognac colored boots to wear over skinny jeans and leggings, or to pair with dresses.  Nothing crazy or out there.  Can't find them.  I ordered a pair and they zipped just up to where my calf muscle begins and just....stopped.  So that was out, and I have to return them.  Now, I found another pair that I actually like more and they go from size 7-12.  As the size of the boot gets bigger.... (get this).... THE ACTUAL BOOT GETS BIGGER!  It's a miracle!  They start at 17inches wide at size 7 and go up to 20 inches at size 12.  So I'm thinking these should work right?  Well I might try them. but the reviews say that people looking for a size 8-8.5 with 18 inch calves aren't having much luck.  UGH!  So that search continues.  Let me know if you have any suggestions. 

I guess that's it for now.  I'm going to heat up my leftover chili for lunch :)  Enjoy your weekend!  It's supposed to be beautiful and very fall and lovely!  You know... for people that like that sort of thing...
And it's been better ever since!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fall TV Owns My Life...

I am aware that it's popular to say that you just don't love TV all that much.  That it just doesn't really suck you in.  That you'd MUCH rather be doing something else, up and moving, going to the gym, doing charity work, helping children, rescuing puppies from abandoned buildings... I get it. 

I am the exception to this rule.

I LOVE me some TV.  And this fall lineup?  Is KILLING me!  It's too much!  There's too much scheduling!  Too much planning!  And on top of that, the Netflix that I still haven't canceled since they decided to double the cost continues to drop movies into my mailbox that I JUST CAN'T WAIT TO WATCH.  Ugh.

I would be lying if I said that this post wasn't a little selfish.  But I guess that can be said for everything I write.  Either way, I need to break down each day and what show is on so that I can keep my sanity and life together!  And yes I know you didn't ask, nor do you probably care what I think of all of these shows (Good God, there are so many), but if you continue reading you're going to find out anyway.

*Deep Breath*

Gossip Girl 8pm-9pm CW 
I am completely obsessed with this show.  Blair Waldorf makes me happy, and I want to marry Chuck Bass because he's not really as awful as he seems.  Plus, so much of this is filmed near where I live, or where I hang out, or where I work that it makes me feel connected to it.  I just love it!

Heart of Dixie 9pm-10pm CW
I haven't seen this yet, but I have heard good things.  I love Rachel Bilson, but only know her as Summer from the OC, so I am pretty excited to see her in something else.  I'll try to give this a try... sometime...ish...

Football 8pm onward, and this is only if a team in the NFC East is playing, or it's a good match up. 

This is also typically the day that I say to myself "Self, you have been a lazy bum all weekend, or you ate really terribly, or drank your weight in alcohol and you need to get some exercise" So I'll walk home from work or go to the gym (except not at all in the last 2 weeks.  Ugh.) which puts me home around 7:30pm or later anyway. 

Glee 8pm-9pm Fox
I admit I am not a die hard fan.  But everytime I watch this show I love it!  So I'm not sure why it hasn't because a must see.  I LOVE Sue Sylvester.  I only saw the first episode this season so far, (8pm is super early for me to be ready to watch TV) and it was ok.  the music was ok, whatever they have going on with Quinn is weird and not likely, even if she did go through a weird crises with the baby and all.  But in general, I like it.

Last Man Standing 8pm-8:30pm ABC
This is Tim Allen's new show, which doesn't begin airing until October 11th.  However. I do love Tim Allen and miss watching Home Improvement all the time.  The only thing I would love more is if they brought back Jonathan Taylor Thomas for an episode or two because my 5th grade self would jump for freaking joy!

The Middle 8pm-8:30pmABC
This. Is. Awesome.  Such a funny family and I love Patricia Heaton, except that she will always be Deb Barone from Everybody Loves Raymond.  I caught this show last week when the kids told her that their father was above her in the house heirarchy.  AMAZING!  So so cute, but not something I catch every week.

Suburgatory 8:30pm-9pm ABC
Just caught this last week and it's like my own nightmare realized.  It's about a teenage girl and her dad leaving NYC to move to the suburbs because he finds a pack of unopened condoms in her dresser drawer.  The girl is beautiful, but definitely a bit too edgy for the suburbs and she hates it.  She's fantastically sarcastic, and her dad is pleasantly hot, so it makes for a good watch. 

Modern Family 9pm-9:30pmABC
If you don't know what this is about, you're living under a rock.  Last week, Mitchell and Cam went on a liquid diet.  Cam got violent and weepy, Mitchell lost his ever loving mind, and Gloria tried to get the dog to hate everyone, not just her.  It was fantastic.

New Girl 9:30pm-10pm Fox
I love this show.  After the pilot, the character of "Coach" was done away with (he moved on to Happy Endings) and was replaced by Winston.  I still feel like Winston is an outsider, but I'm willing to give him a chance.  Zooey Deschanel is just freaking amazing and goofy and lovable.  I love the other two roommates, Schmidt (who I am fairly certain is gay but nobody is agreeing with me yet.  You'll all see.) and Nick who is pretty much my dream boyfriend until he starts drinking scotch in a photo booth... watch it, you won't be disappointed!

Happy Endings 9:30pm-10pmABC
I've only seen this once, but I liked it.  Not great acting, totally a sitcom.  But the girl Penny just bought her own condo and really feels like she's getting herself together.  But then finds that guys are intimidated by her, and that the condo may be cursed.  She comes home to find like 12 cats inside and she's horrified she's going to end up an old spinster/cat lady.  But with the help of friends she has a great house warming party and they all pull it together.  There's also a bit of exes trying to be friends, newly weds (an interracial couple *GASP*!) and lots of fun situations.  I'll keep you posted on this... (I probably won't.)

Revenge 10pm-11pm ABC
So this has Emily VanCamp as the main character, who played Rebecca on Brothers and Sisters.  This is kind of a dark show (you don't say!  The title certainly didn't give that away... geez my writing has gone down the tubes.) about a girl who learns the truth about her father and their sordid past, and she's back for... wait for it... REVENGE.  I know, who saw that coming?  So she is systematically ruining the peoples' lives who ruined her's and her father's.  Last week she financially ruined a hedge fund guy.  There's also quite a bit of eye candy in this show, and tons of intrigue with unlikely friends... I think this is a keeper.


Project Runway 9pm-10:30pm Lifetime
I forgot to put this in my original post, so I am updating it now.  I can't believe I forgot this!  I am rather annoyed that the show goes from 9 until 10:30, because that just throws off the flow of the other three shows that I MUST watch.  Last night I watched this, then switched over to the next show that was half way DVR'd watched from the beginning, and still missed two shows which I will catch up on... sometime...  Anyway, Project Runway this season is interesting.  I am not as blown away by one particular designer over another as I have been in past years.  I was very ahppy they finally got rid of the designer they did last night because he has been crap the whole way through and I think they kept him on for demographics.  Annoying. 

Grey's Anatomy 9pm-10pmABC
This is one of those shows that I have a loyalty to.  I've watched it since the first season and I'm obsessed.  Although I do feel like they are losing it a little bit and pushing for action, I still love these characters.  And that opening music gets me every time!

Jersey Shore 10pm-11pm MTV
Don't judge me.  I'm obsessed.  I've been watching this for so long that it has completely drawn me in.  I have a huge crush on Vinny and I'd love to be BFFs with Paulie and JWow.  I think Ronnie and Dina are incredibly annoying, and Sammy is just dumb.  Mike has literally lost his mind.  Snookie is a total train wreck.  Put it all together and it's an hour that I refuse to miss each week!

Private Practice 10pm-11pm ABC
And another one that I am loyal to.  I love Addison Montgomerey, and hellloooo?!?!  Taye Diggs is on my 50 inch every week!  You just can't argue with that.  Not a great story line, and seems pretty cyclical.  Charlotte has gotten too nice.  O shocker, Violet is running off again.  And yes we KNOW Addison wants a baby... we get it... my GOD someone just marry this woman and get her preggers!

Usually a night of bad decisions because work provides me with Beer Fridays from 5-6.  So I generally find somebody to meet up with to continue the fun for the rest of the evening.

I am usually out and about... children, puppies... you know....

Sunday: (aka The Bermuda Triangle of TV shows.)
Boardwalk Empire 9pm-10pm HBO
Fantastic show about prohibition in Atlantic City.  I LOVE Mrs. Shroeder played by Kelly MacDonald, and you can't help but root for the corrupt Nucky Thompson played by Steve Buscemi.  The scenary and costumes are spot on perfect, and the excitement of the show and time just draws you in.  I'll never stop watching this as long as it's on.

Desperate Housewives 9pm-10pmABC
Again.  Loyalty.  This is its last season and they are all doing what they do best.  My favorite girl changes from season to season.  Typically I like Gabby and Lynette best.  But they're all so cute and lovable in their own way.  The major conflict this season is that they all helped to cover up the fact that Carlos killed Gabby's abusive step father when he attacked her in their home.  Now they are living with the guilt and doing their best not to let anyone know... OOOO... Suspenseful!

Dexter 9pm-10pm SHO
Incredibly dark show, and not for the faint of heart.  Dexter and his "dark passenger" live a double life of solving and committing crimes.  You can't help but love him and all of his awkwardness.  You don't have to watch the first 5 seasons to understand what's happening now, but I suggest that you do anyway.  The Trinity Killer in season 4 is my absolute favorite.  But they are all good.

Hung 10pm-10:30pm HBO
This is about a highschool gym coach going through a divorce with two high school aged kids.  He just isn't making the money he needs to repair his home that was damaged in a fire, or to take care of his now broken family.  So when someone discovers that he has a certain... gift... oh, I'll just stop beating around the bush.  He prostitutes himself out to get the money.  He has two women fighting for the right to be his pimp.  And of course, things get complicated.  So we'll see how this season goes...

How To Make It In America 10:30pm-11:30pm HBO
This is not a show that I even really knew much about until Monday night at Ana and Josh's house.  They were watching it on demand and I sort of love it!  It's about young 20- or 30-somethings in NYC just trying to make it big.  Maybe I love it because I can relate 100%, and it actually speaks pretty true to what it's like trying to start from scratch in NYC...

PanAm 10pm-11pmABC
I LOVE this show!  I think I really like period shows, and this one is set in the 1960s.  It's all about the PanAm stewardesses and their lives of travel and intrigue and excitement.  I love the looks, and Christina Ricci made the transition to TV from the big screen.  I love her in this role.  It's really fun, and definitely worth a look.

Homeland 10pm-11pm SHO
Still giving this one a try.  Its first episode was last week.  Claire Danes is the main character.  If you've seen the previews, they basically give away the whole first episode.  But pretty good nevertheless.  An American Prisoner of War is found years after he is believed to be dead.  He comes home to a family that barely knows him, and tries to make it work.  Claire Danes' character suspects that this is the man she was informed about being turned, and illegally puts him under surveylance.  I'll give this a few more weeks to see but I liked it so far...

Football 1pm-midnight... but not every week.

So basically this all depends on when the Eagles are playing and what my plans are with other people.  But typically at least 4 hours of my Sunday are taken up with football games.  (This is actually down from last year where it was literally 11 hours straight without stops.)

So there you have it.  My literally impossible fall TV schedule.  At this point I am relying almost entirely on my DVR and On Demand.  I catch some, but not all.  Having this lineup will be helpful, but can we just look at Sunday??  I have three shows starting at 9 on three separate networks.  Then I have Three shows at 10pm.  I CAN'T BE IN THREE PLACES AT ONCE! Wednesday has 3 hours of TV watching and 5 shows, with one being recorded!

And of course all of these will overlap when Shameless, Nurse Jackie, United States of Tara and whatever else the networks decide to throw at me for these weird partial seasons while the real shows take their hiatuses until the spring.  What are they bears?  They hibernate through the winter?  THAT'S WHEN I NEED YOU MOST! 

Thank God I have no interest in dating... I don't have time!

**Oh right.  All those pretty pictures were found on Google Images, except for Last Man Standing which I found on Hey look!  I have small print!