Wednesday, February 18, 2009
  To Potty

Sarcasdad & I took the CP to see "Dora the Explorer Live". The Nickleodeon show was terrific. If you have a Dora or Diego fan in you life I highly recommend it. There was plenty to amuse us both on and off the stage.
Crowd control was handled by "Big Guy" who held a stance in front of the stage, arms folded across his chest, eyes on the arriving audience. "Hey little guy, did you get a star?" he inquired of the CP. "If not I got some in my pocket" Big Guy was ably assisted by Drummer Dude, a younger guy who kept the beat by pounding on the chairs,on the stage , on the speakers and on anything else that was stationary, stopping only to show people to their seats. Judging by the tattoos and the bling I pegged him as the drummer for a band with a Satanic reference in it's name. Big Guy made sure parents knew that the seats had a tendency to fold up on the littler kids and sheepishly admitted he was used to larger fans sitting up front. He also told us the kids were welcome to come up front and dance. And they did. By the time the finale was reaching it's peak, the floor between the first row and the stage looked like a pre-school mosh pit. In front of it all, laying stretched out on the floor was Big Guy, imploring the kids to take a step back and giving them a thumbs up when they complied. Not because they posed a threat to the actors on stage, but because they were small enough to actually walk under the stage where there were wires and cables and speakers. Big Guy was working hard. I wondered how he compared it to the Slipknot concert over the weekend.
There is a scene in the show where Dora and Boots hope to gain entrance to the number pyramid by answering questions posed by the numbers 1,2, and 3. First question? What is the greatest city in the world? Dora's answer? Philadelphia Pa, even though we were at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden New Jersey. This only validated the perception commonly held by most Philadelphians, that anything south of New York City and north of D.C. is a suburb of Philly.
When the curtain came down, signalling intermission, the CP asked if we were going home. I started a longer line of reasoning but Sarcasdad cut to the point by likening it to a commercial break. A thread that was taken up by the father behind us. "Yeah, it's like a commercial" we heard him explain , so either he read the same father's guide to short explanations, or he was eavesdropping. I invited the CP to accompany me to the restroom Since he is still young and cute I can take him in the ladies room. Our second row seats were closest to the facilities. When the CP saw everyone pouring out the many doors and heading in the same direction he said "Is everyone going potty?" "Pretty much" I told him. We secured a stall and the questions continued. "Is Dora going potty?" I said she most likely was. "Is Boots going potty?" Even though I thought it more probable that the guy who had spent the last 45 minutes in a monkey suit, swinging upside down and dancing, in front of stage lighting was trying to re-hydrate, I just said "Probably". The CP , gesturing like a man about to have an epiphany said "Mom Mom. Is the whole point of the break to potty!!?"
I never heard it used as a verb before.


Monday, February 16, 2009
  And, It Was Friday the 13th

So, I was already on my way to work the other day when this thought popped into my head.
"Did I unplug the straightening iron?"
A couple of months ago I called Sarcassis and asked her to go to my house on her way to work because I couldn't remember if I had unplugged the iron. Sarcassis said she had known me for 30 plus years and in all that time I had never forgotten to unplug anything. But she still checked.
This time when I called I got her voice mail, told her it was her crazy mother and that I wasn't sure I had unplugged the straightening iron. That I wasn't unsure enough to turn around and go back home myself, but unsure enough that I would ask her to check it out . That I had actually gone into the bathroom right before I left the house and I was pretty sure that had I left the straightening iron plugged in I would have seen it, and unplugged it. Pretty sure, but not definitely sure.
By the time she called me back, a major crisis at work, followed by a ripple effect of minor crisises at work had put the plugged/unplugged straightening iron out of my mind.
"Go ahead" I said. "Just tell me the house burned down" . The way the day was going it made perfect sense. " I haven't been there yet" Sarcassis replied . "I just wanted to tell you this. Last night I had a dream that I was at your house and I went into the bathroom and your straightening iron was plugged in. So I unplugged it"
How come she couldn't dream that I won the lottery?
Just for the record, it wasn't plugged in.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009
  What Else Can You Get For a $1 an Hour ?

You know the saying "the buck stops here"? Of course you do. Well, the forward stops here. Most of them anyway. There was a time that if I received an email promoting an urban myth, I would take the time to go to Snopes.com and research it. Then I would attach the proof that the email was bogus and and reply to all, confident that I had performed a service for the public good. Eventually I realized that nobody cared. In fact, they were probably re-forwarding that email. Resigned to an overflowing inbox, I just hit delete. The emails that promise me I will have good luck if I forward and bad luck if don't also hit the iconic trashcan. And I have yet to see anything dance across my screen when I forward and email to everyone in my mailbox in under 30 seconds. Now I know some of you are thinking that you have gotten a forward from me now and again. Every once in a while I get one I realy like. And I share.
My sister-in-law sent me this one. I'm glad I read it.

The Price of Children
> > > > This is just too good not to pass on to all. Here is something absolutely positive for a change. I have repeatedly seen the breakdown of the cost of raising a child, but this is the first time I have seen the rewards listed this way. It's nice. The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140.00 for a middle income family. Talk about price shock! That doesn't even touch college tuition. But $160,140.00 isn't so bad if you break it down. It translates into:
>
$8,896.66 a year,> >
* $741.38 a month,> >
* $171.08 a week.> >
* A mere $24.24 a day!
> Just over a dollar an hour.
>
> > Still, you might think the best financial advice is: don't have children ifyou want to be 'rich.' Actually, it is just the opposite.
>
What do you get for your $160,140.00?> >
* Naming rights. First, middle, and last!
> >Glimpses of God every day.> >
* Giggles under the covers every night.> >
* More love than your heart can hold.> >
* Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.> >
* Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.> >
* A hand to hold usually covered with jelly or chocolate.> >
* A partner for blowing bubbles and flying kites.> >
* Someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day.> > > >
>
For $160,140.00, you never have to grow up. You get to:> >
* finger-paint,> >
* carve pumpkins,> >
* play hide-and-seek,> >
* catch lightning bugs,> >
* never stop believing in Santa Claus.> > > >
>
You have an excuse to:> >
* keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh,> >
* watch Saturday morning cartoons,> >
* go to Disney movies, and> >
* wish on stars.> > > >
>
You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets> >
and collect spray painted noodlewreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in> >
clay for Mother's Day, and cards with backward letters for Father's Day.> > > >
>
For a mere $24.24 a day, there is no greater bang for your buck. You get to> >
be a hero just for:> >
* retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof,> >
* taking the training wheels off a bike,> >
* removing a splinter,> >
* filling a wading pool,> >
* coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and
* coaching a baseball team that> >
never wins but always gets treated to ice> >
cream regardless.> > > > > >
>

You get a front row seat in history to witness the:> >
* First step,> >
* First word,> >
* First bra,> >
* First date,> >
* First time behind the wheel.> > > >
>
You get to be immortal. You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you're lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren and great- grandchildren. You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality that no college can match..> > > >
In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there under God. You have all the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits, so one day they will, like you, love without counting the cost. That is quite a deal for the price!!!!!!!> > > >
Love & enjoy your children & grandchildren & great-grandchildren!!!!!!! It's the best investment you'll ever make!!!!!!!!!


Wednesday, February 04, 2009
  Snow Day

Today is a snow day for me, in as much as it snowed and I was off from work anyway. I didn't name this blog Wednesdays Off for no good reason. I already shoveled and am looking forward to possible snowman making activities with the CP later today. The weather person said we got 8 inches. I don't think it is quite that much. But it is all light and fluffy and pretty. Not so bad as snow goes.
Last night Sarcasdad & I joined Sarcassis, the CP and some friends in celebrating restaurant week. We were supposed to dine at Paradign in center city last Tuesday night, but the outing was cancelled, due to snow ! We rescheduled or last night. Wondering if Mother Nature was trying to keep us on our diets, the more intrepid of us defied the weather and went to dinner.
We had a very nice time. The food was good, although I would not say outstanding. The service was fantastic, which may have been due to our group of 9 being the only customers except for a couple seated in the corner.
On the walk from the restaurant to the parking garage, the CP had a great time pelting us all with snowballs. One we got to our house, he and I had a one on one in the backyard. He has amazing aim for a 4 year old.


Sunday, February 01, 2009
  Customer Service

I got a phone call at work early on Saturday morning. A neighbor identified herself and quickly assured me that nothing was wrong as in the 30 years we lived here we have never spoken more than when we meet on the street. You may remember her from this conversation. She is the aardvark/ anteater participant.
"The newspaper guy broke your window" she said. The bow window in the front. She was out walking her dog and she heard the paper hit and the glass break. Then the guy walks up to her and hands her the paper. She said she confronted him and made him go back and look at the window. He didn't seem to care much.
The not so bad news is that the window is divided up into 9 panes of double paned thermal glass. He only broke the outside pane of the middle window so at least the Arctic wind is not a blowin through the living room. Also on the upside is that I display china that I collect in the window, and nothing was broken. As Sarcasmo Jr. pointed out, you almost have to be impressed. The window is shaded by an open porch with a roof and the porch is framed by 2 large pine trees. Odds of making that shot are slim. Sadly, he was tossing the Sunday edition compleat with ads, which gave it some weight. I doubt the daily edition would have broken the glass.
After thanking my neighbor I called the local paper. Of course, the call was answered by automation. It was quick to inform me that if I had customer service issues, the customer service desk is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 1pm. Do you get the feeling they would rather not hear from you? This was not acceptable so I pushed #3 for "delivery issues". I held because my call was important to them. When I finally got Sonia on the line she took my info and said someone would call me back. When I pressed for details, like when I would get a call she said she didn't know but I should feel free to call them back and let them know the status of the situation.
When Sarcasdad got home he took pictures and cleaned up the glass. and he emailed the paper which responded with a stock "we will look into it email".
Sunday morning rolled around and we had heard nothing. So I called again. I only had to redial (why do I say re-dial? there's no dial on my iPhone. ) 3 times because apparently if you hold for six minutes while all operators are busy it just disconnects you. When John answered I told him that while I didn't expect the window to be fixed today i thought that a big gaping hole in my front window deserved a response. A personal response. Just to say "we got your call and we are addressing it". John said that the Saturday call had been logged and a District Manager would call within 72 hours. I told him I thought that was pretty shoddy customer service.
What do you think ? Is 72 hours a reasonable amount of time to respond to a complaint? I'm pretty sure it wouldn't fly where I work.


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