Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Autumn Commeth

Signs are popping up all over the place that summer is over and fall is on its way. There are a handful of leaves on the ground. The farmers market has pie pumpkins, sweet potatoes and gourds. There is pre-season football and we had our fantasy football draft. Halloween stuff is going out in stores. There is rumor that the pumpkin latte is about to return to Starbucks. Most of these signs are welcome. Unfortunately, the sign of fall that I most look forward to just does not want to come -- cooler weather. Today was over 90 degrees. I walked out for lunch and immediately felt like I couldn't breath (I am not sure if that is the temperature alone or the air quality warning). I want the cool bite of frost in the morning and the fresh crispness of fall. I boo this heat.

Fall means a few other things as well. September 1st means that we are about 2/3 of the way through 2010. I think its probably a good time to evaluate how I am doing on my new years resolutions. After all, there is still time to make progress.

(1) Get Organized!!This was my biggest goal of the year, and I knew it would be a big challenge, but I did not realize how difficult it would be to even get started. I am not ready to give up on this though. I have four months left, I should make atleast SOME progress on it. I still hardly know where to start though! I am just not an organized individual. I don't have a plan for how I am going to work on this, but I am going to try again.

(2) Cook More, Eat HealthierWhile I have been cooking more in the past few weeks, I overall have been failing at this. Part of it is the above - ORGANIZATION. Part of it is our current social habits. There is typically at least two nights a week where I am meeting people at a restaurant. However, I hope to continue what I have been doing the last two weeks (and perhaps improve upon it).

(3) ReadingI was kicking this challenge's butt, now I am just keeping pace. If you recall the goal was to read 40,000 pgs this year. My latest stat is that with 64% of the year gone I have read 62% of the needed pages. This means that I am about 800 pages behind. I am confident I will catch up and do fine on this goal. I have taken a "break" from reading somewhat this summer because I have been busy with other things, but I still am going along at a decent pace, and usually the start of the new season motivates me (new seasonal reading challenge). I am currently in the middle of two books, which if I finish them quickly will be enough to catch me up.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Yesterday Sucked, like a Dyson

I am my parents child.

My parents have massively different sleep habits and requirements. While my mom requires lots of sleep and tends to have a relatively early bedtime, my father has had various arguments with insomnia throughout his life and frequently gets up ridiculously early, yet still remains fully functional.

I say I am my parents child because like my Dad, I don't require THAT much sleep. 7 hrs is ideal. 6 hrs is OK. But, like my mom, I do NEED it. If I don't get a full night of sleep, lets say 6 hrs, I become ridiculously nonfunctional.

Wednesday night we went to trivia. We got home around 10:15pm and took River out of the crate. As expected, even after a late night walk she was not quite ready to settle down for the night, even though Aaron and I were. The result was that I was up half the night - stepped on by the puppy, keeping puppy from playing with the cat door, keeping puppy from chewing thing she shouldn't, trying to get puppy to lie down. I am a bit ridiculously patient with her, I really should just crate her on such evenings, but I feel bad doing that when its our fault that she has extra energy. Anyways, I did not get much sleep, and not much continuous sleep.

When I woke up in the morning I did not feel that grumpy or that tired, but within a few hours my minor sleep deprevation would raise its ugly head. By 11:00am at work I wanted desperately to go home sick, to just walk out, because of some minor things going wrong that would normally not phase me. I took lunch early and struggled through the rest of the day, arriving home ready to collapse in a heap and not deal with anything else. My poor judgement continued after work. I proceeded to take the dogs to the park, as planned. When there, River had one of her incedents (resource guarding), and in another show of poor judgement I did not immediately remove her. The result was a dog fight. Both dogs actually in the fight were fine once we got them seperated, but someone, a third dog that I did not even notice near the fight got bit in the ear? I don't know if this third dog stuck her head into the middle of it when I did not notice or what. I of course left the dog park at this point, even more distressed, and of course River cannot go back to the dog park, at least not that dog park where she has clearly shown the resources are an issue. I may still take her to the swimming dog park where she has never shown any resource guarding issues (the resource she guards at the closer dog park is the water bowl, which is not an issue when there is an entire lake there...) We will see. I also hope to (1) get river into doggy daycare on Wednesday's where they will help work on her behavior issues and help burn off extra energy and (2) start taking her to my cousin's house who has a fenced yard and lots of dogs so perhaps we can specifically work on the water guarding thing in a more controlled environment.

It took me a long time to calm down after the dog park. On a normal evening I would be pissed (mostly at myself), but would get over it quickly and move on, but I was so overly tired that I just totally over-reacted and broke down over it. It was a mess. I was a mess.

When I did straighten myself out I continued my evening as planned. I went to the library and picked up a new audiobook (A Great and Terrible Beauty), I called my friend T who I had not seen in ages to see what was up with him and if he wanted to do something, and I went to the fabric store and got supplies for the next three blankets I am making for my two helpers and coworkers. Back at home we took the dogs for another late walk (which is sort of becoming habit, a good habit I think as it gets both us and the dogs moving), and headed to bed very early. River snuggled up and slept. I slept. I feel much more well rested today, and hopefully today goes much better. So far, its looking good.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Birthday "Surprise"

It occured to me this morning that I still have not posted about last weekend and my Birthday Surprise for DH!!

DH does not like surprises. This *does not compute* for me. My family does surprises, and we are the kind of family where finding out about a surprise in advance (like finding your christmas present, or even guessing them for example), is something to feel guilty about. However, DH is totally different. He hates surprises and he stresses until you cave and tell him. I remember one time I told him I got him his present about a month out and he made me tell him right there and then (it was a video game, nothing to stress over!). Anyways, so when I told him 6 weeks ago I was planning a surprise for his Birthday I expected he would waste no time in getting me to tell him. However, he held off. He did not comment on it, did not seem to be thinking about it too much, and I was impressed. Turns out this attempted at ignoring it was only a temporary measure because about a week before his birthday he went over the edge and started begging to be told. I ended up giving in the night before. I almost wish he had just begged me to tell him months ago so it wasn't SO CLOSE to being a real surprise.

That aside- it was a good weekend. Saturday, after dropping my little sister off at the airport, we headed north to Canton to go to the Pro-Football Hall of Fame. It was pretty exciting. I wore my Vikings Jersey and DH wore his Lions jersey. We spent about 3 hrs there. Overall, it was a lot of fun. They had some really cool stuff. Of course, being the critical person I am I also had some complaints. They have a theater that plays a video called "Road to the Super Bowl". While the video turned out to be interesting, it wasn't what I expected and was the most ridiculos waste of technology I have seen. Someone must have built it in the 70s and said "this will be SOOO cool!". Basically, half way through the movie the theater roated 180 degrees to a different screen. The new screen was playing the exact same video and quality as the first screen, and during the turn you missed part of the video. Ridiculous. Also, with the title, I thought the video would be about the hx of the Super Bowl or what it takes to get there. Instead it was a recap of the most recent NFL season for the Saint's and Colt's, which, by the way included a painful recap of the Viking's playoff loss last year. Besides the ridiculous theater there were some other shortcomings. There were some unlabelled displays, and displays that looked like they were meant to rotate so you could see a different part that did not work. They also had a tendency to start the narratives as if you already knew what was going on, which was rarely the case. "Team X, who is famous for the scandal in 1906, had a second problem in 1910 when blank happened", screw 1910, I want to know what the scandal was!! DH's main complaint was that they did not provide much information that is not readily available online - he was looking for anecdotes and interesting stories about the famous players rather than just stats. As I said, overall it was very interesting, it just could have been better.

After that we headed off to Pittsburgh. We had tickets for the Pre-Season opener between the Detroit Lions and Pittsburgh Stealers. My previous experience with Pittsburgh is limited to briefly driving through and stopping at the Carnegie Mellon campus back in 2001 during my grand college tour of the Eastern US. In that 2 hrs, I formed the impression that it was a beautiful city with awesome views and built-in green space. This second visit confirmed that, and showed me that its a very active city w/lots going on. We stayed at the Radisson just throught he tunnel from downtown (great location, but based on some other problems relating to food and elevators, I don't recommend it). We parked downtown about 2 hrs before kickoff and walked around, across the bridge, and along the river to the Stadium. I was very impressed with the carnival atmosphere surrounding the game - everyone was having a great time, and there were so many people out celebrating the start of the season. The stadium is impressive and beautiful. It includes a hall of fame and houses the Super Bowl trophies (which they have several of). It overlooks the river. DH only got heckled once in his Barry Sanders jersey. We enjoyed the first half of the game. 3/4 of the way through the first half I went to the bathroom and heard on the radio that big storms were moving in. Shortly after that a rumor went around that they were going to have to call the game for lightning. Shortly after that, it started raining. DH and I got soaked. Shortly after that, they put the game on hold. DH and I, as wet as we were, decided to call it a night and head back to the car and hotel rather than waiting to see if the game would restart. By the time the game did end up restarting we were back in the hotel bar in dry clothes, and did not regret the decision. In the morning we ended up hitting up a place for brunch and heading back to Columbus.

It was not exactly the way I planned it, but it was still fund and I am sure we will remember it for a long time. I am never going to try to surprise DH with more than a small present again, and he owes me a surprise in return for not letting me surprise him!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Questions and Answers

Here is a MeMe going around. Thought I would jump in.

Hi, my name is Amanda. Duh.

I've never been to a night club, and I don't have a desire to try.

I hate it when I forget to do something and have to admit to people how disorganized I am.

The one person who can drive me nuts is Bob Dylan. LOL. Actually, lots of people drive me nuts, I am not a very patient person.

When I'm nervous I am fidgety and bouncy

The last song I listened to was something country on the radio when I was driving home from Pittsburgh.

If I were to get married today my maid of honor/best man would my older sister LEKT (still)

My hair is long and brown, I think I am growing it out again. I think.

When I was 5 I loved Kindergarten, I got my first pet (a white rabbit named Buttercup after a picture book), I started playing the Violin.

Last Christmas was spent in Duluth and was tons of fun. We bought mom a gajillion Agatha Christie books.

I should be doing dishes, doing laundry, being a responsible adult.

When I look down I will probably run into something.

The happiest recent event was having my little sister visit for 2 weeks

My current annoyance is not being able to get Sunday Ticket unless I agree to pay Direct TVs high prices for atleast a full year.

I have a hard time understanding how people can be so irrational.

There's this girl that I know who lived in a tree, Knock Knock!! (inside joke...)

The thing I want to buy is new flooring for the front room.

Most recent thing I've bought myself feta cheese and cous cous to make a yummy lunch!

Most recent thing someone else bought me was caribou coffee, thanks MMK!

My middle name is not something I post on the internet, especially since its also my maiden name.

Last night I was watching Giants vs Jets, then my guilty pleasure - Secret Life of the American Teenager, while reading Middlemarch

If I was an animal I'd be probably a Panda, because I love them so much and they have easy lives as long as they are on a preserve.

Tomorrow I am going to trivia in the evening, should be fun!!

Tonight I am doing pretty much nothing, and doing it well.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sister's Stay in Review

I haven't posted in a while, besides that aside. I have been too busy showing my little sis a good time. We packed A LOT into two weeks. In lieu of a normal linear summary, I have reviewed all of the places we went and things we did. Enjoy!!

Frankie's Cafe ** Had Nestie Dinner hear on Tuesday night. We went to this as it was advertised as a Mexican restaurant, but on all the websites I can find on it, it is called an Italian restaurant. The menu was a bit schizophrenic. The food was not bad, but I think they need Chef Ramsey's help.

Lucky's Grille **** Trivia on Wednesday night. Always decent food, good game, great service.

City BBQ **** We just love BBQ and this is a Columbus classic

Rock Band ***** I managed to get my sis addicted very quickly. Incedently, when I went on this website to make this link, I also read up on the upcoming Rock Band 3. I am SOO excited. It is going to have Crazy Train and Smash Mouth and other good things, and it adds a Key board, and harmony, and a play game feature that actually teaches you the instruments.

Ohio State Fair **** My sis enjoyed this so much we went back for a second day. It was a lot of fun, though a bit hot and I can't help but think its not as good as the MN fair.

TGIFRidays **** I had a really delicious tropical salad and Hurricane, and my sis's salad was good, but they did not do very well with DHs ribs - not really a half rack, and my shrimp was much better than his!

Columbus Bowling Palace **** Clean and friendly, my first time bowling here in Columbus and I am sure we will be back more often now that we know its a good place. Dh and sis liked it so much they went back for some after-midnight bowling the night before sis left. I was in bed.

Zoombezi Bay I am torn on the rating for this, they have some really great rides, I would say ***** for ride quality, but unfortunately it got way overcrowded as the afternoon progressed and their line management was horrendous (like having to wait in the same line as a popular ride for a less popular ride). I think it would be a great weekday activity.

Bamboo Cafe ***** Inadvertant discovery on Bethel Rd when my sis vetoed the vegitarian Banana Leaf Cafe we were headed for. It is in the same strip mall, and is surprisingly relaxing and posh given the surroundings, and the food was deliciously fresh.

Gallery Hop **** We also inadvertantly did this, guess it was an inadvertant night. We went down to the Short North and then realized it was the first Saturday of the month. It was a particularly good one, with lots of street musicians and a generally jovial atmosphere.

Jeni's Ice Cream ***** Always a good decision, even with the crowds the employees were great about giving samples and the summer selection was amazing. After sampling the Cucumber Sake and a number of other flavors, I went with Goat Cheese Cherry and Queen City Cayenne, a wonderful conversation if I may say so. Everyone got something delicious.

Sugar Daddy's *** This is a brownie store. I am only giving them three stars because they have short hours and we had some issues getting to them. Sis ended up picking up three brownies for us - Rasberry, Mint, and Peanut Butter. The rasberry and mint were delicious, but the peanut butter was too strong and we did not even finish it.

Tranquility ***** This is where my little sister took me for a surprise massage and I was very impressed with the atmosphere and service.

Caribou Coffee ***** Sis and I also indulged in this a few times. I heart their Campfire Mocha!

Red Robin ***** This has become my ideal burger. So delicious!!

Chili's Resteraunt ** OK, so their queso is still tasty, but we were disapointed with pretty much everything else we got.

Scioto Downs ** Yes. We took my 16 yr old sis to the track. She was better at picking horses than me or DH!! I always have guilt trip issues with gambling, so only two stars.

Pig Iron *** normally Pig Iron gets 4-5 stars, but their corn pudding was too bready this time and they lose some points because of it, as that is my favorite part of any bbq restaurant!

Magic Mountain *** Went here for mini golf. A bit overcrowded, but a challenging and fun course, inside they had a kids playland that I would have gone gaga for if I was a kid.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Political Science Aside...

In political science they sometimes study the difference between what people learn and what people remember, between what people know and what they think they know. In general, a lot of results show that people remember only the facts that support their position, and construct views around those "facts" they do know, or whatever information stuck with them best. This, by the way, is an argument AGAINST democracy - it is essentially impossible for people to be fully informed.

Anyways, the reason I bring this up is because I am a living example of how this happens. Not in politics, where I try to stay relatively well informed and keep an "open" mind when it comes to facts. BUT, I am a good example of this at work. Three times recently I have had one "fact" stick in my mind about a case and had it cause me to construct a reality about the case that simply was not supported by the totality of evidence. In all three of these cases there was some exam of the claimant that's report made me feel like the claimant's condition but surely be very severe and they would likely be allowances. In all three cases, when I went to meet with a DR about it, or sent it to be reviewed by a doctor, they asked "where is the evidence that they are telling the truth?" or, in one case "where is the evidence they have ANY medical condition?" I had completely neglected the fact that despite one exam where they were presenting as in pain/very psychologically distressed, there was no evidence of an ongoing issue or of it being severe as the claimant alleged. I had constructed a reality of the case around the idea that the claimant was suffering. Once the Drs pointed out my errors, thorough review of the evidence showed that in all three cases, everything besides the one "fact" I had picked out indicated the case was not that severe and that these people could work.

I feel like I need to step back, take a breath, and return to looking at the totality of the evidence.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Family Ties

I apparently don't talk about my family enough, because at the recent nestie dinner I went to a couple of people who read my blog did not know that I had a brother. Family is a fitting topic for today anyways as my mom just underwent a total knee arthroplasty (replacement) a few days ago and is home recooperating quickly.

The knee surgery has been coming for a LONG time. She wrecked her knee cross-country skiing when she was pregnant with my older sister LEKT some 28 yrs ago and has been dealing with it ever since. While surgery is never fun, my mom sort of has an advantage over some other patients- she is an orthopaedic nurse at the hospital where she is having the surgery. This means that she stayed on the floor she works on, and as far as I can tell, they gave her the royal treatment, starting with giving her one of the nice rooms with a lake view. (I love Duluth, you can get a hospital room with a lake view!). All reports indicate the surgery went well and now she just faces some boredom while she is stuck waiting for it to heal, and then some hard rehab. I really hope everything goes smoothly. I am in the awkward position where 95% of what I know about joint replacement surgeries comes from cases that went wrong. Hopefully my mom can teach me about what it is like when the surgery goes right, which it does in most cases.

With that as a prompt, a bit about my family:

My parents are both from Ohio, they met at Kent State University, got married, and moved to Northern Minnesota for my Dad's job. My dad is a professor of Sports Physiology. He is 6'4". He loves basketball. When I was growing up he ran Grandma's Marathon in Duluth every year. I like that he is tall because it maintains the same physical father-daughter relationship that I have had my whole life with him. He will always be literally the "large" figure in my life, completely different from giving DH a hug. He likes Garrison Keilor, what I call "old time" country music (ala Willie Nelson etc, which he has pointed out was not old when he started listening to it!!), and makes fun of pop music. His midlife crisis consisted of having my brother install a really loud exhaust system in his Mazda 626. He spends a lot of time mowing the lawn and fixing fences, which he claims to hate, but I think that if he tried to live somewhere he had less of it to do he would miss it immensly, just like the way he claimed to not care about the cats until we had gone without one for a year or so, and then he wanted another. (Unfortunately there are no cats anymore because they are up to 400 lbs of dog in the house, 75 lbs of which enjoys chasing cats up trees and has even been seen climbing the trees after the cat!).

My mom is an RN. I have her skin - I don't burn, I tan, which is nice. She has been riding horses since she was a kid in Cleveland and bought two horses this year that she claims are her last, but I don't believe it. She likes big dogs because you don't have to bend over to pet them. She likes John Denver, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Mandy Patinkin and Jason Mraz. She shielded us as children from pretty much anything that involved swearing or sex, and still seems to despise shows and movies that have these as prominent themes (which is a lot of them by the way). She imparted such philosophies to me as: "if you swear all the time, then when you are really angry you will have no way to express it" and "don't use the word hate unless you want that thing or person to die/be removed from earth". I think these are both good lessons and even used one with my younger cousin last week when he told us he hated us because we played a Draw 2 Cards on him in Uno.

My older sister, LEKT, is a Veterinarian specializing in large animal. She just moved back to Minnesota. I don't think I need to provide too many details because I wrote a pretty in-depth post about her not to long ago. We are very much alike in many regards, and very different in others.

My brother MAK is three years younger than me, exactly. We share a birthday. I always used to joke he was the worse birthday present I ever got, this was mainly backlash to people telling me he was the best present I ever got. That is not what a 5 yr old wants to hear when she now has to share her birthday. Now that we are both adult types, sharing a birthday is kind of fun, makes for some good jokes. For example, this year he claims to have gotten us the Chrysler for my birthday, where as I claim to have bought him one of his jalopies. Speaking of his jalopies, my brother is a car-buying addict. He is mechanically inclined and is net +6 cars on the year. He buys them because they are cheap and he thinks he can fix them up, or use them for parts to fix other things up. As far as I can tell, sometimes this happens, most of the time it doesn't. MAK is the family comedian, and I have listed him as the funniest person I know on multiple surveys. His humor is totally random and wonderful. He lives with a great girlfriend and two dogs on a rural lot outside of Duluth.

My little sister, MMK, is 16. I was almost ten years old when she was born. When she was little I played the role of the live-in babysitter by choice. I took care of her SO often, and I loved it. I liked the responsability and I liked taking care of a baby. She is not so much a baby anymore, though she is still the baby of the family. Both my parents and she openly admit that she is spoiled because she is the youngest. She seems to be turning out well despite this... I mean just the fact she realizes how spoiled she is shows she is pretty bright and reasonable. She is a soccer fiend, still rides horses (unlike myself who dropped this sport around 8th grade). She likes to drive a lot. She is much more aware of fashion and makeup than I ever was. Her brain works a bit different than mine - more spacial I think. She is better at geometry than I was (my worst class in high school), and she is better at learning directions by driving places (whereas I prefer maps).

That is my entire nuclear human family. We won't even get into their 8? horses and 6? dogs, numbers which are relatively current and therefore do not count the vast number of pets I have had in my lifetime. (now there would be an interesting number to try and calculate....)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What exactly makes a day bad?

I did promise one more post, eh?
The other thing I wanted to talk about is what constitutes a "bad day" at my job. Yesterday was a bad day. Here is what made it bad:
- I spent an hour in the morning trying to sort out an issue in which an interpretter who was scheduled to attend an exam had to cancel last minute. This process consisted of me making alternating calls to our scheduling department and a very irate claimant who did not understand why we could not call every random interpretter in the state of Ohio to see if anyone was available instead of rescheduling the appointment.
- People just kept calling in. I would start to do something and get interrupted five times before I would give up and move on to a simpler task.
- Late in the afternoon I took a call for a coworker who was gone for the day. He was lucky he was gone and he owes me big time for taking the call. It consisted of a client that that clients father. The client was alleging learning disabilities. I needed to get a lot of information about treatment, daily activities, and willingness to attend an exam. It was one of the unfortunate and all to common cases where it is obvious there is a genetic connection between the clmt and their parents, in that despite being the "responsible party" so to speak, the parent is not capable of answering most questions or even holding a normal conversation because their mental status is so impaired. It was a long call and I got as much information as I could, but it was very frustrating.
- I found mistakes. When you have 150+ cases, even someone who is good at the job will make mistakes, and as a rookie I make slightly more. Yesterday I found a case that had been going on since March that appeared that I had wasted quite a bit of time pursuing records that had not come in. This means the case will be delayed even longer because my over-optimism about source cooperation means I did not schedule an exam as early in the process as I could have. Finding a case like this makes me feel guilty and worried and puts me in a bad mood, even when I am told time and time again that it happens and cases slip through. It is not something that bothers me all of the time, but when I do encounter it I always feel like I should find a way to do better.

Little Sister, your the one...

OK. Now thay we got that vacuum cleaner issue out of the way, I can tell you more about my little sister MMK being here. She is 16. She got in late Monday night w/Southwest. They unfortunately lost one of her bags and we had to stay a little late in order to put in the report. She had to survive her first 24 hrs here without her shoes and rollerblades. She somehow managed. Anyways, on the way home we stopped at Steak N' Shake for some delicious ice cream. It made for a fun but late evening, and a short night.

While MMK is here she will be spending most of her time home alone unfortunately. DH and I still have to work most of the time. We may let her drive herself around a bit later on in the stay (when we have had a chance to show her around the neighborhood a bit and given her a chance to drive the boat of a car we have), but fo now she is housebound. On top of that, its been rainy so she can't do the rollerblading or running she planned to. I think she should have enough to do with TV, video games, internet, and books for a couple of days at least.

Last night I took her to the monthly Nestie Dinner to meet my Internet Peeps... all of the women I talk to on the Columbus Nestie board. I warned her that we would likely talk about things uninteresting to her (Jobs, Kids, medical problem - old people stuff). But, she said she had a good time and that "it wasn't as bad as I made it sound". She actually said the most boring thing that we talked about all night was our brief discussion of the book Middlemarch that a couple of us our reading together. Back at home we kidnapped DH from his on-callness and walked with the dogs over to DQ where we all got another tasty treat. At the rate we are going, it will be icecream every night and a couple pounds gained before she leaves. I don't mind for now. After that I introduced her to Rock Band. Apparently she has never played, though in my head she has. She has played a little guitar hero, so she knew the general idea. We enjoyed playing together for an hour or so and then I needed to head to bed to make up for my lack of sleep the previous night. I have a feeling she will be doing a bit of practicing on Rock Band over the next couple of days. I know when she was here last time she would practice Mario Kart during the day so that when we got home she had a chance of beating us. Rock Band is not technically competitive, but we sort of make it that way.

I will probably post one more update today, I am in a talkative mood.

Door to Door

My little sister has arrived.

Actually (of course) that was two nights ago, but yesterday was NOT a good day at work, so it did not get posted. BUT before I post anything about MMK coming, let me post about something else.

There is a story about before my little sister arrived that I wanted to comment on. I made the mistake of inviting a door to door Kirby Vacuum Cleaner salesman into my house. I really did not know what I was getting into, and he was offering to clean our front carpet for free, which is something we have wanted done for a LONG time. So, he came in and started doing his spiel. I did not mind sitting there and listening to him, and the vacuum cleaner was impressive.

The problem came when he got the mistaken idea that we had already agreed to buy it. We thought it was a tactic at first, he said lets go over and sit down and talk about the paper work, and we figured this was the part where he told us we were going to get a great deal and offered us some sort of financing that we would then turn down and say we ultimately were not interested. As it turned out, he thought he had made the sale, despite the fact that "we want to buy it" or "we are in" or even "we are really interested in the possibility of buying it" never crossed our lips. We, of course, are not the types of people that impulse purchase anything that is two hundred dollars, let alone anything that is two grand (which was the price of this vacuum). He went so far as to call his boss and say he had made the sale (which we also thought was a tactic). When we voiced our lack of willingness to purchase, he was all shocked, as in actually shocked, not just trying to acted shocked to make the sale. I felt bad, but seriously dude, ask if people are going to make the purchase before assuming they are.

The funny part is that as the beginning of the whole thing he actually said "at the end of this I am going to ask you for a yes or no on whether you want to purchase this, I don't care which answer it is, but I will ask the question just so you know." He never asked that question, he just assumed yes.

Anyways, so he went back to cleaning the carpet, then called in the big guns, and someone I assume was a level above him showed up and started helping him clean the carpet and talk to us. She was nice enough, but we of course told her the same thing - we don't do impulse purchases like that. She offered us a greatly reduced price ($799), but we still said no, and they started to pack up. She sent him outside with the first box while she finished up and then took the opportunity to ask us what the guy had done to piss us off, saying she would be expected to explain to her boss how he had lost the sale. We tried to explain that he had not lost a sale so much as thought he had it when he didn't, so hopefully he did not get into too much trouble because he seemed like a nice enough guy.

One other comment on this experience. At one point, after having vacuumed up a ridiculous amount of pet hair from one little section of that carpet (he said it was the worse he had seen... oops!), anyways, after doing this, one of his little "trying to make the sale" comments was "So, you agree that cleaning is a priority for you". We both had to fight the urge to burst out laughing. Um. Do you think if cleaning was a priority for us that you would be able to get that much hair out of our carpet? That we would have this many stains? I don't think so. We pointed this out to him, but agreed that perhaps cleaning should be MORE of a priority. Honestly, while I am sure none of our carpets are great in terms of pet hair, I am also sure that that carpet is by far the worst in the house (hence why we had him work on it). Rather than making me want to purchase a new vacuum cleaner, the whole process made me want to take that 2K and pay to have wood or laminate floors put down in that room. That carpet needs replacing.

And that, folks, is my door-to-door salesman story. I did get some benefit out of it - my stairs look better than they have in probably a year. But, from now on I am adopting DH's motto - turn door-to-door salesmen away on shear principle that we don't want them coming to our door, even if the product is interesting

Monday, August 2, 2010

11 Hour Work Marathon

Today, I have the great pleasure of working 11 hrs. That would be 7:15 AM to 6:45 PM with a half hour lunch. That is a LONG day. And why am I putting myself through this? For the love of a sister. Tonight my little sister is flying into town and staying for 12 days. I am super excited, but unfortunatley I have to work the whole time because I do not have vacation days yet. In order to make up for this a bit, I have flexed my schedule to get some time off. I figured the best way to flex it this first week would be to work as long a day as possible today when she is not here so I can take time off later in this week when she is hear. My 11 hr day today (along with some other adjustments), will make it possible to only work 2 hrs on Friday morning (7:30 - 9:30 AM) and basically have the whole day to do something. It will be a long, tough day though, and it does not help that I got a migraine overnight.

I used to get migraines ALL OF THE TIME (of varying severity). However I have not had big problems with them for quite sometime and they had even become somewhat predictable, with only the rare migraine coming "out of the blue" so to speak, so I am not amused by this headache. When I woke up at 3:45 AM with pain I figured there must surely be a big weather change or something, but today looks exactly the same as yesterday, and the weather map does not show any sort of system moving in. So, I guess I just have the pleasure of a random headache. Its not too bad right now. I treated it this morning with a hot compress in the form of a cup of hot water from Starbucks. (normally I would just use my Latte from Starbucks, but I figured if they would give me the extra cup of hot water for free, why let my tasty drink cool off?). A starbucks cup is pretty much the perfect hot water compress available. It holds heat decently, they seal it with those little green sticks so it does not spill when I tip it, and its easy to hold and the right shape to press into my eye ball and nose. Best of all, its refillable if there is hot water available. Granted my coworkers may think I am a bit odd when I walk around (OK, actually just sit at my desk), with a Starbucks cup pressed to my head, but I do what I gotta do. The only thing better than a starbucks cup is pressing my face into DH's neck. That would be even more awkward to do at work though, eh? Someone needs to invent an eye patch heating pad. Now THAT would be heaven on earth during a migraine for me!!

So, this post was actually going to be about the weekend. Maybe I should get to that. The weekend passed REALLY quickly. Friday night we took the Dogs to swim at Alum Creek dog park. When we got there, there was one other lady there with 6 black labs! Quite the pack. They were pretty well behaved and our dogs fit right in with them, though River's coloring stuck out quite a bit!! They both clearly enjoyed the water. After that we rented The Informant w/Matt Daemon. It was pretty good, made most interesting by the fact its a true story. Pretty crazy!

Saturday morning I headed to the farmers market with M and J, nice and early, so we could make an early start for Burton, OH, where my sister was hosting a family BBQ. We got up there around 1:30pm. Other people came around 4:30PM. It was a lot of fun, pretty much everyone came. We ate well, had good conversation, I found out about this grill my uncle has that used to be my Grandpa's, its pretty neat. Despite having tried to plan it so we could stay nice and late, we ended up being some of the first people to leave. Always the case. We need to host something at our house so they call can see it and so that we are not the first to leave!!

Sunday I slept in a bit (it had been a long night, we did not get home until very late due to traffic and then River was hyper from being crated all day). In the early afternoon I went to see Inception with M and W. This movie, if you have not heard, is growing rapidly in popularity and pretty much everyone I talk to on a regular basis here in Columbus either has seen it and recommends it or wants to see it. After seeing it, I can understand why. It is a very good movie, and very original. That said, while I did enjoy it, and I do recommend it, it did not quite live up to the expectations I had set for it, which were admittedly quite high. My biggest demand on fiction, especially sci fi or fantasy, is internal consistency. So you say dogs can fly? Great! I believe it! Just make sure its consistent about which dogs can fly and how high!! This movie lacked a tiny bit of that, and it was enough to fail my expectations, but its still a good movie, really creative and quite beautiful to watch.

Unfortunately when I came out of the movie I did not feel well and started my decline into migraine-ness. I did not get anything done I had planned that afternoon, and as a result, I hope my little sister can tolerate a bit of a mess!!

Thats all that I have got going on. Oh, and my recent addiction to Lego Harry Potter for Nintendo DS (thanks again ILs for supporting my DS dreams). Mmm. Harry Potter.