Early Morning Wake-up Call

This morning at 5 a.m., I was rudely awakened by the phone ringing from another room. I stubbed my toe and banged my hip in an effort to get to it before the caller hung up. Tempted though I was to let him/her go to hell the answering machine, I sensed that a person who would call someone at 5 a.m. without blinking an eye, would never leave a message. Despite all the technology available to me—caller ID, simul-ring, call-forwarding, et al.—the call was gone and the name of the nefarious caller was “not available.” Grrrr.

Now I’m wide awake wondering about the call and caller that never came through and debating whether or not I should go back to bed. I’ve opted to stay awake for fear of not being able to wake up on time for my regularly scheduled Mom duties. So here I am, bleary-eyed and bitter, bumbling through another blog post.

I guess it wasn’t an emergency because the caller didn’t try calling again. It’s got me thinking… Continue reading

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Holiday Denial

The calendar is not my friend. How is it that I have less than two weeks before Christmas and none very little of my holiday shopping, not to mention the other shtuff linked with the holidays, done? (Gulp!)

At this point, I should be curled up in fetal position and sucking my thumb. Instead, I’m like Dorrie from Finding Nemo repeating to myself, “Just keep swimming, swimming…”

Continue reading

When 40% Off Means Nothing (and Other Shopping Pet Peeves)

I have a love-hate relationship with shopping. I love when I find something I really like and it turns out to be on sale. However, when I go to a store to take advantage of an advertised sale, more often than not I find nothing, or get too overwhelmed by the masses or the messes left by the masses, that I leave empty-handed.

This got me thinking about some of my other shopping pet peeves:

The Faux Sale. I love a bargain like anyone. But when I get emails to 40% off every day, it really backfires. Continue reading

Curse You, Automated Customer Service Rep (CSR)/Telemarketer

What is with this trend of companies trying to use automated CSRs—especially ones with sub-par voice recognition software? I tried to pay some bills the other day and was thrown into a hellish loop. No matter how many times I pressed 0—typically the universal code for “give me a living human voice, damnit”—I was sent back to the main menu. Someone mistakenly, or intentionally, left out the human option. I, who am generally a calm and patient person, came close to yelling, “WTF? Do you SOBs want to get paid or what?” Grrrr…. Perhaps I would have gotten somewhere if I had pressed 6-6-6 instead.

Do these powers-that-be think that people would rather listen to a robotic voice than a heavily-accented person from India? Continue reading

Is Nature Fighting Back?

One late night sometime last September, I happened upon an M. Night Shyamalan thriller/sci-movie called The Happening, which features people committing suicide for no apparent reason. At first, people think that it’s some kind of biochemical terrorist attack on Central Park that is spreading quickly along the eastern seaboard. Eventually, a Philadelphia science teacher (Mark Wahlberg’s character) notices that whenever there’s a large group of people around, the plants around them release a toxin which makes people want to kill themselves. People are scrambling to leave the city and into the rural areas, but it seems that the toxin has reached the country as well. Continue reading

To Asheville, NC and Home Again

Although I’m exhausted from the long hours in the car, I’m not quite ready to deal with the loads of laundry that await. Plus, I must keep my promise with April to try blogging each day this month. I figured I’d share some food notes from the trip while they’re somehow fresh in my memory.

For spring break, we decided to take a road trip from Chicago to Asheville, NC to see the Biltmore Estate. At first, it was touch and go. The Princess was getting over some kind of viral respiratory infection, and we weren’t sure if a roadtrip was going to a be a good idea. Fortunately, she was so thrilled at the prospect of staying at different hotels, she seemed to recover miraculously. Or maybe the long hours of sitting still/sleeping/doing nothing did the trick in helping her immune system get back on track. In fact, she’s fully recovered as we speak. Continue reading

Korean-Chinese Food Woes

The other day our family went to a nearby Korean-Chinese restaurant to get our Chinese food fix—jampong (noodles in spicy seafood broth), jajang myun (noodles in black bean sauce), tang-soo yok (sweet-and-sour chicken), pan-fried potstickers, Mongolian beef, among other dishes. I don’t know why we keep going there—the food is OK, at best, and nothing to rave about—but it’s the only place nearby that doesn’t require driving into the city.

From one meal alone I think I gained five pounds. What kept me eating that night is the fact that they were playing a Korean TV program featuring kkal gook-soo (handmade, knife-cut noodles)—one of my favorite things to eat in the whole world. I must have been imagining that the jajang myun consisted of those delicious-looking noodles on the TV instead of the limp, yellowy, greasy, industrial variety that were in front of me. Talk about major transference. Continue reading