Thursday, December 30, 2004

The long way home

We flew home December 29th and were supposed to arrive @ LAX @ 11:49am PST. Even though we were leaving @ 0 dark 30 Wednesday morning, at least we would be home early. Ah, but all the Gods were against us. Our 6:40 am flight from Edmonton to Denver was maintenance delayed until 8:30 which meant we'd miss our connection in Denver. All the other Denver/LAX flights were sold out. So, we were routed through Chicago on the 8:00 am flight. Then from Chicago to LAX, but we didn't have seats on the Chicago/LAX leg. That's bad you see. Even though you are confirmed on the flight, if you don't have a seat and its oversold then you could possibly not get on. Then it becomes all about status and hierarchy. Our trip to Chicago was uneventful and we even got the exit row but of course, we were anxious about ORD. Upon arrival to ORD we did the mad dash from terminal F to terminal C for our flight. We had 90 minutes but the sooner you get on the list, the better for seats, so off we ran.

Upon arrival at C19 the line for that poor customer service agent was about 30 deep. We were depressed. Finally, we got up to the front and I asked her where we were in the pecking order. Thanks to my status with United Airlines, we were 10 & 11 of 128 people. Don't let anyone ever tell you that status doesn't matter. We could have walked up 21 minutes before take off and still jumped to #10 & 11. That's the way the cookie crumbles. I sweet talked Elaine (the customer service agent), didn't get all uppity and pissy and magically we got on (even though the rumor in the boarding area was that there were only 9 seats to be had) and we were sitting together in FIRST CLASS. Yes that's right baby, first class all the way.

My faith in United Airlines was restored even though we didn't get home until 7:00 pm. At least we were home and we even received all our luggage.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

and here come the fuzz

We received a call from the alarm company last night. Out side door was open. Now since we've had contractors in and out of the house for 6 months I'd normally think nothing of it, but it was 10:30 pm. Who would be in our house that late. I called a neighbor and had him look over into the driveway. 2 LAPD officers were talking to a fellow with a toolbelt, and a grey pick up was in our driveway. That would be Gene then. I guess he convinced the LAPD that he was legit and they drove away sans Gene.

Gene was over working late on our heater vent cover in the new bathroom. He's a great guy to be doing this before Christmas. And we appreciate it.

Hope everyone is having a Merry Christmas. Its snowing outside right now here in Edmonton. A white, blustery Christmas is always nice.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Another setback looms its ugly head

We just found out that we didn't order the matte or non-slip pink custom color floor tile for the bottom of the shower. I had great hopes that the shower would be usable sometime during our friend Arlene's visit from New Jersey. But alas, she will have to learn to bathe, as we have. Even with paying the extra overnighting charges it appears the pink shower floor tile will be another 2 weeks. I suppose when you think about how much time we've spent without a shower, another 2 weeks is immaterial.

On the bright side of life, its wonderful and white up here in Edmonton. It'll be a white Christmas and it was snowing this morning. When it snows the cloud cover keeps the heat close to the earth and its quite nice and warm during the day. Of course, this is all relative. Its 70 above in Los Angeles.....

Monday, December 20, 2004

The Ralph Lauren adventure

My sister calls me on the phone to pick up something for her husband that cannot be obtained in Canada for Christmas. A pair of jeans from Ralph Lauren. Ah, a quick visit to the RL web site shows that there is a store in Beverly Hills on Rodeo Drive. Of course, why wouldn't there be? Now, to go shopping in Beverly Hills one cannot wear their Sunday sweats even if it is Sunday. You must dress up because if you look like a homeless person no one will pay attention to you.

So, off I go with my best jeans and t-shirt to Rodeo drive. I park my mommy mobile, minivan in amongst all the Mercedes, BMW's and Rolls Royces and trot over to Ralph Lauren. I turn the corner into the store and the entry way is bizarre. I stopped dead in my tracks. Stepped back a few steps to make sure I turned into the right store. Yes, it says Ralph Lauren on the awning. I bravely venture ahead through what can only be called a jungle/arboretim tunnelway and eventually come upon the actual store. The store is divided into rooms as if you were in a very large home that sold RL. Its very confusing. I staggered around all the finely coiffed shoppers and wondered who worked here. None of the people were wearing name tags. I suppose that must be tacky.

"Oh, there's someone with a name tag", I say to myself. I approach this hispanic woman cleaning a counter top and ask her wear the jeans are. Because I've been walking around this bizarre store for 10 minutes and cannot find any jeans. In her broken english this nice cleaning lady (as it turns out) points me to a sales associate. I'm sure I looked like I walked right out of Alabama, but she helped me anyway. I asked for the jeans section and she calmly says, "they are not displayed, what size would you like I will go get them." Why wouldn't they display them? Probably beneath the store to display them? Who knows, I thought they'd fit in perfectly with all the bright pink, yellow, orange and other loud colors that I cannot believe a man would wear. Matter of fact, my sister asked me that same question the other day. She said, "do alot of gay men shop at Ralph Lauren?" When I was walking around there were 3 guys standing around feeling boxer shorts and commenting on their softness. I looked and listened trying hard to determine if they were straight or gay. I couldn't figure it out. Perhaps the male Ralph Lauren shopper is a breed unto their own.

RL had the size I needed but she convinced me to go to the mall to look at the department stores. You see my sister wanted a specific style # which the saleswoman felt was at a department store. I'm not sure if she was just trying to get rid of me or if she was convinced of this. So off to Century City Mall I go, hitting 2 department stores, which had the same damn jeans they had in Beverly Hills but of course, not the size needed. So in a huff (as only I can do) I go driving back to the Beverly Hills store. I can't find parking anywhere! So screw it, I went home figuring I'd go back Monday morning.

Then I got this bright idea to look on ebay. Guess what I found! The exact jeans needed, perfect, with the tags and everything right on them, for 1/4 the price! Woohoo! I bought them this morning and they will be here tomorrow. Screw Beverly Hills baby! Online shopping rules!

Friday, December 17, 2004

Disappointment rules the day

I have literally been waiting almost 6 months to post something that says, "the color match tile is here!" Yesterday, I received the long awaited, official call, the tile is in. This is the pink and blue custom color matched tile we ordered 7/6/04 from Mission Tile West. We had to use B&W bisque with a Pratt & Larson color to get it right. And it took forever. Does it sound complicated? You'd think it was rocket science.

Incompetence reigns supreme as they would say on the Iron Chef. Some moron @ Pratt & Larson didn't read properly, or perhaps they cannot read, and glazed (?) our quarter rounds with the wrong color. Not a little off, glazed it blue instead of pink. I mean, come on.

So I have to admit something to all of you. When I was @ Mission Tile I was angry, thinking of where I put my Uzi and other such mundane thoughts while the stupid bitch salesperson who cost us 4 weeks called Pratt & Larson to see what could be done, so I was holding it together. But after she promised to overnight the B&W bisque to P&L and they would run it and ship it back direct to our house 12/28 I left, with this slight glimmer of hope. There's that friggin' word again. Hope.
Well, screw hope. All of a sudden as I drove down the street a monumentous sadness/frustration/anger came over me. I had to pull over. And I know this is going to surprise alot of you, I cried. Yes, me. I cried like a baby. Sobbed really. Uncontrollably. I felt a little better after that. Resigned I suppose you would call it.

I called Dena and told her the news. She asked me if I knew what we were supposed to learn from all this. You see, she believes that from adversity you are supposed to learn something. All these "tests" are to teach us lowly humans some lesson.

I threw a few lessons out there:

  • - Patience - the obvious
  • - Preserving the past is painful
  • - Preserving the past requires patience
  • - Preserving the past is not worth it, throw out the old and bring in the new <-- my favorite

What do you think? Is there a lesson here? And if so, what the HELL is it?

Its here! - except not all of it

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Life Coaching - here we go....

I have bit the bullet, siezed the day, broke the nut, grabbed the bull by the horns, I've done it. I've signed up for Life Coaching. How freaked am I? Very freaked. I met with my life coach and we've defined 3 major goals. Should I share them with you? Naw, not right now. You see, I have to mull over them, dwell on them, grind my teeth about them & most importantly, worry about them.

We do this thing when we meet, its called "clearing the space", which is kind of good, gets you focused and the big thing I was feeling when we "cleared the space" was fear. Fear of failure, fear that I wouldn't accomplish these goals. What is that all about? Why am I afraid? I've accomplished lots in my life, why do I think I'm going to fail? Do I have a self esteem problem? Is that it?

Oops, mind/time warp -- wouldn't it be cool to run a marathon. Now there would be a goal! Wow, I've always wanted to do that. Except my knees hurt when I jog. Hmm. Perhaps a marathon wouldn't be good for me, but then maybe it would. Wouldn't a marathon in Hawaii be even better? That would be so cool, running across the black beach of the big island, over the black barren landscape, across the plains into the rain forest and up to Mauna Loa, well, hmmm, maybe not. That uphill part kind of sucked, maybe if it was on Maui! Yeah. That would work. Hey, a girl has to dream. What would life be like if we couldn't or didn't dream? Think of how boring it would be. Maybe that's my problem, I don't daydream enough. Maybe I should take up meditating.

Wow, am I scattered today. Whew, I guess that's why this blog is called Dawn's scary thoughts. Well, Dena's on her way home for the last night of Hanakah. I think I'll make potato latkes.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Hope cometh and hope goeth

We left Sunday morning with the hope that the contractor would show up and get the bathtub piping fixed. We returned Sunday night with our hopes dashed. Alas, another disappointment. Frankly, what is so difficult about hooking up hot and cold water? I mean, come on, it's either hot or cold! Apparently, the "diverter" that diverts water from the faucet to the hand spray is complicated in some way. I don't know. Why did we need a hand spray anyways? We could have been using the damn tub by now.

I've just spoken with Eric, our brilliant yet phenomenally flaky tile guy. He was supposed to be here all day. Guess what.....he wasn't. He now cannot start until Thursday. I suppose that is ok since the tile is probably not even in the state of California yet, but it's on a truck somewhere!! Woohoo! See, hope.........hope is so important. Isn't it amazing how we cling to it and resurrect it even when it keeps getting squashed? Ah, humanity, so resilient. Not as resilient as cockroaches though. A cockroach can live a week without its head. The roach only dies because without a mouth, it can't drink water and dies of thirst. But I digress....she stumbles away from the keyboard muttering, "hope, hope, water, water......I'm dying of thirst. I thirst for hope...."

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Reclaiming our lives

Friday I'd had it. We were having the Chanakah party at our house Saturday night and with butcher paper still all over the floors (protecting from contractor boots and the like) and with plywood on the new tub the house just wasn't inviting. It was becoming tough to live here. If you play Sims or Sims 2, my "room environment" variable was in the red. I couldn't take it anymore. I ripped up the butcher paper and was thrilled that there was beautiful hardwood floor beneath it. Where had this been for the past 5 months? After cleaning (ok, well maybe not me but the cleaning ladies...) it looked marvelous.

Our contractor was over Saturday (and has just arrived today (sunday), and has removed the plywood from the tub and affixed the fixtures (teehee). I'm practically giddy. Soon I muttered to myself. Soon I'll be able to take a luxurious bath in the that deep, inviting, yummy tub! There are so many things to do yet and we are "not on the schedule". I mean WTF! How can we not be on the schedule? Apparently with so many delays we got off the "schedule" and never put back on. Well fuck that!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Amazing Race 6 - interesting show

Last night was the Amazing Race, my favorite reality TV show. I love this show. I'm normally against reality TV, but there are a couple shows that are entertianing and this is one of them. Rarely is there coniving or lying to people, mostly it is centered around adventure, travelling, and dealing with your travel partner. The long days and jet lag on Amazing Race make for interesting mental challenges between the partners.

The reason for my blog topic today is the place they visited yesterday, Senegal in West Africa. What an intriguing place. Unfortunately, the "ugly American" in a log of contestants reared its ugly head. Senegal is a poor country and quite dirty with probably raw sewage in some of the streets but the reaction from most of the contestants was one of distain. Its a shame these people don't learn to appreciate other cultures and ways of life. About a 1/3 of the contestants appreciated the experience. These are the people who I envy, they are exploring new places at CBS's expense and having fun doing it. The others are just ugly americans trampling over their own closed minds. The pit stop for this leg of the race was Isla Goree, the slave island.

The last to arrive was the old couple and they were allowed to stay in the race but all there money was taken away. How the hell are they going to get a cab to the airport and pay for the ferry with no cash in a poor country? Should be interesting.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

It's truly mind numbing

The closet factory "senior" designer (and I use that term loosely and sarcastically all in the same breath) just left. I mean, here's my office, a huge 10' X 15' room with a few little architectual challenges but all in all a dream to design an office in, for someone with half a brain. She was here for 3 hours and I'm exhausted. It took me probably 10 minutes to tell her how I envisioned the return on my desk and then she drew/designed it wrong anyways. My mind has that numbed out exhausted, "get the fuck out of my house" feeling right now.

Last week the Closet World designer was over here. She was here 4 or 5 hours the first day, then came back the next for another 3 hours. She was thorough and not quite as stupid as the first one. Where the hell do they get these people? She was the best of the two though.

Feng Shui? What's that! AAARRRGGGHHHH!!!

Monday, December 06, 2004

what remains?

Some of you may be thinking, wow, they have a sink and toilet, soon to be tub, what could be left? Well, jeesh, maybe the other bathroom. The one with the shower in it. So our modernistic new bathroom is so close I can feel the 32" deep tub with the lovely airbath now on my tootsies, but alas, it has no shower. I had a shower on July 6th. This year mind you, one must look at the bright side of things. But today is December 6th you see and that adds up to 5 months. That's way too long to be happy about showering at the gym. Do you know the disgusting things that float in the clogged up bottoms of the gym shower? Well I won't go into it. The only saving grace to this whole mess is that Muscle Under where I go on Tuesday's and Thursday's have beautiful showers that no one uses.

New bathroom punch list:

  1. -- install toilet paper holder
  2. -- grout remaining little areas around window and moulding - 12/11/04
  3. -- install bathtub fixtures for the 30th time - done 12/11/04
  4. -- fix cold/hot flex pipe cross causing backflow of cold water to other fixtures
  5. -- install handles or door pulls as some people call them on vanity
  6. -- install heating vent cover
  7. -- install threshold
  8. -- fix white grout areas
  9. -- cut access panels under house for future maintenance access - 12/11/04

A usable sink & toilet!!

It's a sink!!

Friday, December 03, 2004

Life Coaching

Have you heard of life coaching? I first found out about it while watching Nip/Tuck, that awesomely disgusting little drama when one of the characters was one. I found the entire concept fascinating and perhaps a way to focus and improve myself. I have always felt that personal improvement is or should be one of the prime directives of a human on this planet.

Why hire a life coach? You hire a coach to achieve your personal, spiritual, family and business goals much more effectively, more efficiently, more completely, with more fun, and in less time than any other human improvement process.

Life coaches assist you to:

  • overcome obstacles and fears
  • focus on solutions
  • have someone to bounce ideas off,
  • no matter how silly they may seem
  • discover truths about you
  • and how you can improve
  • accomplish more than you thought possible
  • achieve balance in your personal, work and family lives

I'll let you know how it goes.....

Remodel Update

Its so depressing. Some days you have to laugh because the progress and news is so bad but some days you have to cry. Do all remodels take this long? Why oh why????? I spoke with the assholes at Mission Tile West yesterday. I wanted to know EXACTLY where in the western US my tile was since it supposedly shipped on 11/29. Well, 5 hours later I find out it hasn't shipped yet, the tile is having "quality control issues". Now, in laymen's just tell me the truth words, that means that the fucking color doesn't match.

As some of you may remember this is custom color matched tile. This tile is being specially matched to match 1924 Blue and 1924 pink tile imported from England. Back then they used to use lead and other terrible, cancer causing chemicals in tile. These things cannot be used now, especially in California. You see, we're more environmentally conscience out here but don't get me on THAT soapbox. So, on the one hand I'm happy that they are being so conscientious in matching our special tile but on the other hand, all I want are all the contractors the fuck out of my house and me to be able to take an endless hot water shower. Is that too much to ask? I'm not bitter.