Interstellar Adventures

August 2, 2008

How’s that now???

Filed under: It's Me, Lass,Rants & Opinions — by InterstellarLass @ 11:11 pm

I spent part of another day at my mom’s house today, helping her reduce from a 3/2 home to a 1/1 apartment. The going, she is slow. But, we are making progress. One of the things I am taking from the house is my mom’s dining room furniture, china, crystal, and flatware. My mom is a little sad, because it’s the one ‘super nice thing’ that she has, but apartment ‘dining’ rooms are, let’s say, tiny, and it just won’t fit.

So, today I was there, helping her pack it all up. We did an inventory of all the items, looked up replacement values (for insurance purposes), and packed and wrapped and boxed. I quickly figured out the packing stuff I had purchased at my local UHaul place just weren’t going to be enough, so we went to the one by her house.

I had a long wait at both UHaul locations today. It’s 105 in Texas, and people still have to move. UGH! So, we grabbed the extra dish kits and glass kits we needed, along with the boxes, and stood in line forever. Please note my use of the word “kit” in the previous sentence. This is where it gets fuzzy.

On the packaging, the ‘kit’ says it includes the packing foamy pouch thingys, the box insert forms, and a box. The thing is, the boxes are also sold separately, which must have just caused a ton of confusion for our UHaul Salesman #2. Salesman #1 at my store was quite competent, and rang my purchases up, no problem, even getting the boxes for me that were included in my kit that I neglected to pick up.

I knew I was in trouble when Salesman #2 asked me how many boxes I had. “I have four boxes, one for each kit I bought” I replied. “Well, they’re not included you know, so I have to charge for those.” I raised an eyebrow. “Really? Because on the package here it says (pointing): Kit includes: Bullet Point 1 – foam pouch thingys, Bullet Point 2 – box insert forms, Bullet Point 3 – Box.” To which he replied, “Yeah, I know that’s what it says, but the box isn’t included.”

I was floored. Clearly on the packaging it said box included. Salesman #1 told me box was included, and did not charge me for box. Salesman #2 obviously has issues with interpreting the written word. “I’m sorry, but I really believe the box is included, so I need you to ask someone else about this.” So, he whipped out his cell phone and called his manager. “Are boxes included in the dish and glass kits?” he asked. “Oh they are, for reals?” I about fell over.

Yeah, for reals, they are included. But wait! There’s more!

While Salesman #2 and I are having our training session, a girl who had previously been at the counter interrupts our discussion, needing to provide whatever thing she didn’t provide before in order to vacate the premises with a truck. Salesman #2 finishes the call with the manager, hangs up the phone, backs out my entire transaction, and finishes off the young *ahem* lady, then re-rings me up. I still can’t figure out why he couldn’t back out my four boxes, charge me, and let me leave.

Customer service. Don’t expect it at UHaul. But hey, at least I didn’t pay an extra $20 for boxes.

September 16, 2007

Overheard in the makeup aisle

Filed under: It's Me, Lass,Rants & Opinions — by InterstellarLass @ 10:11 pm

I was doing some shopping at Target this evening. I needed a creme-to-powder foundation because a) my liquid foundation is a little too dark, and b) I’m flying to Cincinnati this week, and my liquids bag space limit is, well, limited. Sadly, my usual brand was out of the color I needed, so I was taking my sweet time, exploring the other brands and colors.

As I was gagging over the Boots No 7 foundation price, I hear a very loud, very obnoxious, very angry voice from the end of the aisle. A guy and a girl had a cart near the end cap, and he was yelling at her, telling her to hurry the f*ck up, telling her she was ‘stupidly’ staring at products and couldn’t make up her f*cking mind. At first I didn’t look up, but as the insults continued, I couldn’t help but turn to look at him and stare his angry ass down.

She didn’t see me looking, but I caught his eye and raised my eyebrows at him. He looked away and moved the cart to another aisle. Where he continued to bereate her. She asked him several times to leave her alone, to stop yelling, and to let her finish. But he didn’t. They moved again to another end of the cosmetics section, further away, and he was still going at her.

So, I turned my cart, approached them. “Are you all right?” I asked. She looked at me and didn’t say anything. Then he said “Yeah she’s all right. She’s my sister.”. Then she said to him to cut it out and stop being so loud. I still continued to stand there as he walked back toward her again. Then she looked at me and said “Yes, I’m OK.” And then they walked off.

I usually don’t stick my nose in other people’s arguements, but this went on, and it was loud, and it was very apparent that he was very angry. I thought maybe if I brought it to his attention that he was being obnoxious, he would quiet down. But then I thought, well, what if approaching him made it worse for her. I was 100% prepared to find a Target employee or security guard. I mean this guy was picking stuff up from the basket, leaning over into the girls face, and then slamming the stuff back down. This wasn’t just someone frustrated. This was someone that gets ugly. A little later, I was on the Eye Care aisle, and I saw the girl walk by again, with a case of soda on her shoulder. She smiled at me, although rather weakly.

My step-dad was a yeller. And so was my Ex, when he was drunk. I don’t like people that yell. It scares me and it brings up those feelings of smallness and helplessness that I used to feel in those situations. And to me, if someone is willing to exhibit that behavior in public, they’ll go even further in private. Whether he was this girl’s brother or not, there was no reason for him to be yelling at her in Target. I just hope I didn’t cause any further problems for her.

July 13, 2007

Just call me Princess Vivian

Filed under: Interstellar Casa,Rants & Opinions — by InterstellarLass @ 10:14 am

Wow. Being a contractor just must be the life. Work when you want. Show up when you want. Or not at all. These guys must be raking it in so much so that they can afford to just not show up for jobs, blow off estimate appointments, and just plain not call you back.

What happened to common decency? Not wasting someone’s time? Calling when you are going to be late? Letting someone know that you need to reschedule? One hour late is NOT on time. You say you’re going to be somewhere at an appointed time then you should be there. And if you know that you’re going to be late – a clue…you’re 30 minutes from where you need to be and not ready to leave yet and it’s say, 30 minutes before the appointment time: YOU’RE GOING TO BE LATE – then you need to pick up the damn phone.

I’m amazed at how people run their businesses. And I use the term business in the loosest sense of the word. They treat it more like a paid hobby.

I feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. I have money to spend and people won’t help me! You get paid by the hour right? I have work to do for which I will pay you with money. But you obviously don’t want my money. And Angie’s List isn’t any help. I’ve called contractors with A ratings, and they’re just as likely to offend as the guy from Craigs List or the guy from the flyer in the coupon mailer. Jerks.

Anyone know how to rip out a sliding glass door, reframe and install French Doors? I’ve got the money. Seriously. Just call me. I’ll even buy you beer when you’re done. Just please…call!

May 1, 2007

Thanks for your thoughts

Filed under: Family & Friends,It's Me, Lass,Rants & Opinions — by InterstellarLass @ 11:11 pm

I appreciate all the good vibes, well wishes, prayers and anything else you had to offer. That was difficult news to receive last night. I try to stay away from politics and my emphatic opinions because it seems to drive people away. Every now and then I spout off my thoughts, and now that may be happening more often.

I’m proud of my cousin for making the choice to join the USMC branch of our military. He’s a smart kid and was very sure of his decision. I will think of his safety every day. I will pray that his leaders make good decisions that keep him and his fellow Marines in good care.

Yet I can’t see the wisdom of the choices of the very tip-top head of his leadership. You know who. Initials start with GB and DC and CR and (formerly) DR. As time goes by, more and more comes out about the poor decision to go to war. The faulty ‘evidence’. The Plame scandal. Tenet’s sad little protestations. And now, the fact that the ‘rebuilding’ effort takes one step forward then, when we look away, two steps back. It’s like trying to clean up after toddlers. You fix one thing, then move on to the next, and they come behind you and break it again. When are we going to face facts that our ideas don’t translate? Their culture, their religion, their mentality, their priorities – none of it is even remotely close to ours. And what makes our administration think that these people want ‘democracy’ foisted on them?

And the thing that leaves me in even greater amazement is that Congress was fully ready to impeach Clinton for getting a blow job in the Oval Office, then lying about it. And the only thing Congress will do now is pass a half-ass resolution that they knew would be vetoed, with no hope of overriding said veto with the required 2/3 of Congress. The man led us to war on lies…and not just lies that they thought were true…lies that they knew were lies! And we allow him to continue.

I can’t figure it out. None of it makes sense to me. I’m dumbfounded. And it makes me wonder who is really running the show here? I surely don’t think it’s the people that are elected as officials to serve in the people’s interest. I’m starting to wonder if our system isn’t broken.

February 18, 2007

Called Out

Filed under: Rants & Opinions — by InterstellarLass @ 4:33 pm

My nice, sweet little bl*g recently received a comment on an old post. And the comment is one that ever-so-briefly steamed me. I do not set out to offend, but I’m sure that I can from time to time. It’s not intentional. I like to get along with people. Make friends, not enemies, that kind of thing. But when I am accused of (or given credit for) being the reason a stereotype exists, I’m going to have to correct that misconception.

ster·e·o·type [ster-ee-uh-tahyp] noun, verb, -typed, -typ·ing, noun Sociology.

– a simplified and standardized conception or image invested with special meaning and held in common by members of a group: The cowboy and Indian are American stereotypes.

ar·che·type [ahr-ki-tahyp] –noun

– In Jungian psychology, an inherited pattern of thought or symbolic image that is derived from the past collective experience of humanity and is present in the unconscious of the individual.

Stereotypes exist because people of a collective culture exhibit them. They do not exist because I observe them. I did not define the stereotype of ‘Latino gang-banger’. But when I see tear-drop tattoos, shaved heads, white K-Swiss tennis shoes with knee-high white socks, a white sleeveless t-shirt (also known as a wife-beater), and long blue jean shorts, that is a ‘look’ associated with that stereotype. Add in a flannel shirt buttoned at the top button only, and the ensemble is complete.

In order to identify with a particular culture or group, people create signs, symbols, fashions, etc. to call their own. They want their appearance to signify “I belong to this group and you can tell by the way I wear my hair and the clothes and shoes and tattoos that I choose.” They create their owns archetypes. Black culture does the same thing through fashion and music. “Goth Kids” do the same thing through fasion and music. People feel the need to belong. Stereotypes and archetypes exist because people give them life. They create them on purpose. They promote them through fashion, music, and culture. They live them.

Adam, you give me entirely too much credit for having the power to create, promote, assign and maintain “Stereotypes” among people. People like you like you scream ‘stereotype’ and ‘hater’ because you have nothing better to do. You want to create an arguement, but you have no arguement. Introspection is too painful, so you turn it on others. “OH yeah, well you…” fill in the blank.

And the fact that Nick and I were the only white people in the place…is exactly that. A FACT. We were. And we got looks and stares and attention. It wasn’t said but it was implied: “Hey Whitey…what are you doing in OUR place.” Welcomed and accepted? No, tolerated is the word I would use. I wonder what stereotypes were associated with us by the other patrons of Chicos? Because you KNOW they did.

Had I said they were bad people because of their ‘stereotypical’ appearance, that would have been one thing. I didn’t make any judgements on their character. Instead I described the scene in which I found myself and assigned it to an archetype with which I had experience.

Stereotypes will exist until we all end up wearing beige pant suits, we have the same hair, eye, and skin color, we all speak with the same language in the same tone, we all live in the same kind of house, have the same kind of car and on and on and on…in other words, always.

So, Adam, please. If you want to have a debate that’s fine. But only with a statement that makes sense. You can’t use the Chewbacca defense on me.

February 9, 2007

I could make millions

Filed under: Rants & Opinions — by InterstellarLass @ 9:32 am

If I could convince celebrities to pay me not to dress up as them for Halloween. In the past, I was both Anna Nicole and Steve Irwin. Sadly, both have passed. I admired Steve Irwin. I felt for Anna Nicole. But on the off chance…anyone have Paris Hilton’s number?

Seriously though. I am very sad for Anna Nicole’s baby girl. I hope that they get this paternity test done on her, and that they quickly determine which man she should live with. And then that person has a responsibility to keep this little girl away from the media. She already has her mother’s fame working against her. And if genetics play into addiction, she’ll have a tough road ahead of her. I’m personally rooting for the photographer. Howard K. Stern gives me the creeps, and evidently Anna Nicole has od’d in the past, and he’s covered it up. At this point, I blame him. Granted, she was one messed up chick, but I suspect that some people kept her purposely drugged up. I just hope that now she’s at peace.

January 24, 2007

Reading in lieu of Sleep

Filed under: It's Me, Lass,Rants & Opinions — by InterstellarLass @ 10:15 am

I’ve never been more happy with a book I just picked up and thought might be interesting. Last night at about 12:30 am, I finished Love Walked In. I didn’t mean to stay up so late. But once I got close to the end I couldn’t just put it down. It was getting too good. And when it was done, I didn’t want it to be over.

The first thing I liked about this book was the way the story was told from two perspectives. Each chapter switched between the two characters, Cornelia, written in first-person narrative, and Clare, written in third-person. The second thing I liked was that, despite the title, this was not a story focused on romance. Rather it focused on relationships. The descriptions of the characters are so vivid. The really come alive with each chapter. The author’s writing style is smooth and quick, which made it an easy read. Some of the plot was slightly predictable, but there are a few curve balls the author throws in to keep you wondering just a little. You’re more hoping that something will happen than knowing it will happen. There was a point in the story where I actually started to cry with sadness, and another point where I cried with happiness. When a book can make me cry, you know it’s got to be good. Each of the characters in the book are so well developed and you really get to know each one personally.

Marisa de los Santos will definitely be on my ‘watch list’. And there’s supposedly a movie in the works. Evidently Sarah Jessica Parker loved the book so much, she’s producing it. Now, I’m not a big fan of hers, and I’m not sure I can see her playing the character of Cornelia, but I think this book has the potential to make a great film.

I actually don’t have anything sitting on my bedside table to read next! What will I do?!? C’mon. Help me out. Tell me what you’ve read recently that I should read next!

January 16, 2007

Resolutions in Action

Filed under: Hobbies,It's Me, Lass,Rants & Opinions — by InterstellarLass @ 9:00 am

So, I’m making an effort to keep up with my resolutions.

Week 1: I made it to the gym 3 times that week. Week2: Only made it to the gym once. But I’d also like to count the walking tour of the Capitol and the several flights of stairs we climbed as exercise, so I’ll bump it up to 2. That’s not cheating, right?

I’ve also worked on the reading resolution. Last night I finished a book called The Sari Shop. It’s written by an Indian woman, Rupa Bajwa, and focuses on the experiences of a young man who works in the sari shop. The manner in which descriptions were made, and the course-of-thought was slightly different from the style of writing I am used to reading, and the prose was plain and simple. In all, I thought it was a good book. The story premise (which I wasn’t sure of until the end of the book) was to show the struggle of a working class person that experiences an awakening when he is exposed to a world outside of what he’s previously known. Some of the characterizations were sketchy at best, and some of the transitions left me slightly confused. There was only a conclusion for two characters, and there were several that could have been flushed out further for a stronger story. In the end, I was left hanging. It seemed like it shouldn’t have ended where it did or ended in some other way. I was also not clear, until quite late in the book, the time in which the story takes place. There was mention of movies and cars, so I thought OK, maybe 50’s-80’s, but then a computer was mentioned, and so I figured the setting was modern times. I think this was important to understand, especially to compliment the intent of the story. The back of the book has a ‘reading guide’ and discussion topics for a book club. In the reading guide, there was some mention of a comedy. I didn’t find the book or the situations funny at all, and there were some rather sad parts and tragic circumstances. I would still recommend this to read though. It was enlightening.

The next book on my bedside table is called Love Walked In. I picked it solely on the summary on the back of the book. This is how I pick many books. I read the summary, and if the premise is decent, I’ll give it a go. Sometimes the title catches me.  Some of the reviews are mixed, but I’ll give it a chance. I started reading it last night, and the first chapter is quite clever. I was impressed that in the first 9 pages of the book, the author has worked in The Philadelphia Story, The Thin Man, and specific references to Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart, William Powell and Myrna Loy AND made all references central to two of the main characters. So far I like the narrative voice being used to tell the story.

Sadly, I’m not yet doing much in the realm of ‘get more sleep’. I think that one is very important, but the easiest for me to break. I did manage to get to bed and get to sleep before midnight last night. And tonight, I’m going to the gym again.

How about you? Did you make any resolutions? Are you keeping up with them?

November 28, 2006

Tuesday Stew

Filed under: Rants & Opinions — by InterstellarLass @ 8:14 am

I’m back and I’m bitchin’. No, vacation wasn’t bad. I had a fantastic time. It was very relaxing for us to get away and hang out with Nick’s friends. But, Miss Laura at Vitamin Sea needed to get a bit of Thanksgiving steam off her chest, and I had a few tidbits to bemoan as well, so here we go.

I love my grandfather, but the older he gets, the more difficult he is to be around. Twenty-five plus years of diabetes is taking it’s toll on him, and about the only things it hasn’t affected is his hearing, his voice, his malice and his need to be the center of attention. You may recall the memory book I made for my mom’s birthday. My cousin, who hosted Thanksgiving, is also a scrapbooker (she’s a thousand times better than me). So, my grandfather had to do his own ‘book’ which turned out to be pictures placed in 4-per-page picture slots in a standard album. While my mom was showing the out-of-town family her book she got for her birthday, he had to sit down next to everyone and force-feed his book to them, often interrupting my mother’s sharing. I didn’t know she was bringing the book, and I said nothing but ‘thank you’ when people commented on it. When he wasn’t chasing everyone down with the book, he was complaining about Kelly Clarkson (she has the most off key-voice ever and he had to warble over her singing of the national anthem while everyone was trying to listen), telling off-color jokes that no one wanted to hear, and expounding on exactly what the offensive coordinator for the Cowboys is doing wrong.

During our airport experience on Friday morning, I got upset about two things. Thing the first – I took my knitting bag with me, and I inadvertently left my knitting scissors in the knitting bag. I wasn’t worried about the knitting needles – they were bamboo and blunted. But the scissors went through security with nary a word said. These are your standard ‘craft’ scissors, fairly sharp, pointed, and with 3.5″ blades and plastic handles. Plus, I discovered I had a perfume aerosol in my purse. Also got through. Instead, they chose to pull aside for examination the 70+ year old woman with such bad rheumatoid arthritis that she had lost all use of her hands. They looked like floppy rubber hands on the ends of her wrists, and she had elbow pads on to cushion what I assumed to be badly swollen elbow joints. They had to feel her up, squeezing her elbow pads and the rest of her arms, plus examine all of her medicines. Meanwhile, a man who looked strongly Middle Eastern, and that had ridden our car shuttle bus with us and seemed to be talking to himself and smiling strangely (I looked – no iPod or phone ear piece), was allowed through with a wave and a smile. Amazing. Oh, and the Kansas City airport really needs to set up a concession stand inside security. All their shops are outside the security border, so you can’t get anything to take on the plane.

I forgot my camera on our trip. I had to buy disposables. Pictures will be delayed due to processing, and will possibly be quite shitty in quality and quantitiy. My only excuse is we had to get up at 3:45 am on Friday to catch our 6:40 am flight. Oh, and one last thing. It was warm in KC during our stay. Dangit. It was supposed to be my taste of real winter, and I was in a t-shirt during the day. 😦 And when does it get cold? Thursday. My birthday. And it’s supposed to snow there. Waaa!

October 6, 2006

Adjectives for $1,000, Alex

Filed under: Rants & Opinions — by InterstellarLass @ 8:28 am

As in, I will give you $1,000 if you can come up with another adjective other than f*cking. During our monthly sabbatical to Starbucks last night, Nick and I sat outside, enjoying books and lattes. Meanwhile, some teenagers sat outside having a competition. Must have been. And the competition was: Who can use the word f*cking the most to modify their other curse words?!? We had:

f*cking a$$hole
f*cking $hit
f*cking bull$hit
f*ucking d*ck
f*cking c*nt

In addition to other streaming obscenities, mixed in for good measure, of course. I wanted to rip my eyes out their tongues out their mouth and beat them with them. If you’re going to be so crass, at least put some creativity into it.

There I was, basking in the brilliance that is Tom Robbins, and my accompaniment was a waterfall of profanity. It’s bad enough that the patio is balanced on a sliver of pavement between the parking lot, the drive thru and the store. But this! It was unbearable, unendurable, intolerable and downright calamitous!

But what do I do? It’s a free country that offers free speech to all it’s citizens, right? There’s no law against profanity, is there? Perhaps I could claim verbal assault against my ears and my soul. File a complaint with law enforcement. Sue to have their mouths washed out with soap. And perhaps a sound spanking for good measure.

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