Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Just went up to my scrapbook room since the fiasco with the converter box on Monday. This was what I saw first and decided to show you proof that the print was too darn small to be read by any normal person and any number of pairs of glasses!
Monday, January 26, 2009
You know that video I sent out awhile back about the little old lady trying to change her converter box? I made the smart alecky remark about that being my mom? Well, I better eat my words, because that little old lady is ME!!!
I've spent a friggin' hour this morning trying to get one hooked up to the little tv in my crop room. When I took it out of the box and saw the remote control, I knew I was in trouble. We've been having problems with our remote to our sound system for a month now---and you can't watch tv without it. It's so darn frustrating. I came home after the Celine Dion concert to the television blaring. Butch had gone to bed. I fought with it for at least 15 minutes before just unplugging the darn thing. We couldn't get it to turn off or adjust the volume. It has been so aggravating---sometimes it works, and then sometimes it just won't respond. This weekend, I asked Butch to put new batteries in it. He said that he'd checked the batteries with our "cheapo" battery tester. I asked him to humor me as I don't think the stupid battery tester works. He replaced the batteries and presto, chango, the thing works again.
I just told that story to let you know that we are electronically challenged to begin with, so anything remotely complicated is darn near impossible. The kids can attest to that as we really "wig out" when they push a bunch of buttons and get the remotes (3 of them) all screwed up.
After getting all the wires hooked up properly (of that I was sure), it came time to program the remote control. The directions were so darn small that I had to get my mega stitching magnifiers to even see the print. The first thing to do was to select your tv brand and the corresponding 3 digit code. There were at least a hundred brands to choose from. Being that this little tv is so old, the brand was not listed. The alternate instructions (if you did not have a code) was to hold down the power button and press the "up" button once every second until the tv shuts off. If it doesn't shut off after holding and pressing 105 times (yes, you got that right, 105 times---hell, what's with that little extra "5"---seems like 100 should be enough), then hold the power button and press for another 105 times the "down" button. OMG, I nearly lost it. Here's the "rub". There are TWO power buttons. Have you ever seen a ****** remote with 2 power buttons? Of course, the directions did not specify WHICH power button to use. Sooooo, I had to do the whole friggin' thing TWICE. That's 420 presses and all the counting that goes with it. A couple times I got confused and wasn't even sure what number I was on. None of it worked. The instructions said that if that didn't work, then I had to go through each of the 3 digit codes to see if any of them would work. If that didn't work, then there was a special note at the bottom in microscopic print that says: "apparently, this tv is not programmable."
Oooookkkkkaaaayyy. I start down the list of the 3 digit numbers. Once I got to about the 6th one, I lost my place. After doing a couple of them twice, I said to myself, "f*** t*** s***" and planned to go out and just buy a new tv. I kept thinking, this is ridiculous that you have to have the remote to make this thing work. The tv has to be on channel 3 now, so using the channel selector on the tv is not an option. I'm getting madder and madder. Then I notice that there are 3 buttons on the actual converter box. One is the power---easy enough to see as it's slightly raised---and 2 other buttons with up/down triangles---flat to the box and just etched (if you know what I mean---barely visible). I pressed one and voila' the channel changed. Why in the heck was there no mention of those buttons in the instructions?
All of that hassle just so I can watch "Antiques Road Show"!
So, my big question---If a man can walk on the moon, then why can't we have SIMPLE electronics??
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Went to New Orleans this week for just a day. Mindy only has one day off a week, so it was a quick visit. It started off just fine. Since I'm an early bird, I always take the first flight. When I was going through security, the fellow ahead of me gave me my first chuckle of the day. He was in his mid-40's or so, nice looking, a well-dressed, businessman. The security checker, stopped at his bag. They pulled out his toothbrush and said, "oh, it's your battery in your toothbrush." To which he responded, "what?" while looking at his toothbrush, then said, "hmmm, I didn't know it was battery operated." Okay, not one to butt out, I had to jump in here and say, "so you didn't notice that it was heavy or had an on-off button? Or that the 12 buck cost might be a tip-off?" He laughed and said that his wife just gave it to him and he'd already been using it for 4 months. So I said, "Well, I guess your teeth will be a whole lot cleaner tomorrow!" We both laughed and told each other to have a good one. Nice start.
Mindy picked me up. When I went to throw my bag in the backseat, her car was completely loaded with crap, including the old battery that she just had to replace. I asked her if she planned to tote that around for the next 5 years as I spied the bags that were supposed to go to Good Will last JUNE when I helped her move. She apologized that she didn't get a chance to have the outside of her car washed. I told her that the outside was the least of her car problems. Ahhh, Mindy---nothing new there.
Our first stop was Stanley's---one of the two restaurants that Scott Boswell Enterprises owns---and where Mindy's "office" is located (I say that tongue-in-cheek as it's the office for all SBE employees). We had breakfast there. It's a 30-40's style diner---very classy (fresh flowers, marble topped tables), located on Jackson Square. I had the Eggs Stanley. They were the best eggs benedict that I've ever had---I think it was the fried oysters that put it over the top. While we were eating, one of the "lesser" managers came over to Mindy to tell her that there was a problem with the computer and what should they do. Mindy quickly told them how to fix it. I could tell she was feeling important as she relayed a story about a problem the previous day with the printer in the office. No one, not the director of operations, various people, nor the owner could fix it. They told her to return it and get a new one. Well, she fixed it---and everyone was impressed. Now I know the reason for her title of Director of Internal Affairs---basically, if you have a problem of any kind, it's "ask Mindy". Works for her (and us).
On the way to Mindy's apartment, she drove through the car wash to use the wash she bought when she got gas and didn't have time to get the wash (who does that)? She didn't have the receipt but had memorized the code. She does the same thing with airline confirmation numbers---just memorizes them and has no physical back-up. Makes me a nervous wreck.
We stopped for manicures---more for me than her, but still fun.
We went to her apartment to wait for the dryer repairman. Her dryer has been broken for months. I insisted she set it up for when I was in town because she keeps putting things off. I realize she doesn't have much time as she works 12-14 hour days with only 1 day off a week---when she usually sleeps the whole day.
I wasn't going to get a chance to meet her boyfriend, but I knew I liked him right away when he gave Mindy an alarm clock for Christmas. Remember she missed her flight because her cell phone battery died in the middle of the night? She told Mike she didn't need the clock as she uses her phone. He said, "Mindy, ADULTS use alarm clocks!" Loved that! He also lectures her just like we do: "if you would just grab a few things out of your car each time you go home, it would be empty!" She said, "yeah, my dad said the same thing." Last week, she said that he made a comment about her dark nail polish. She set him straight right away and told him that under no uncertain terms was he allowed to make fashion statements---compliments only are allowed. And he's still around....(could be for her parking card too---we Eads girls do love our parking passes).
The dryer needs parts, so we did some wash and then draped it all around to dry. We then went to the movie and saw Paul Blart, Mall Cop. Very funny---we love Kevin James. Another thing I noticed is that movies are cheap in New Orleans---$25.00 for both of us, popcorn and drinks.
We went back to Mindy's apartment to freshen up before dinner and to "drape" another load. On the way, she drove me by the house near Commander's Palace where Benjamin Button was filmed---right across the street from the attorney she babysat for with 2 little girls that were in the movie.
We had 7 p.m. dinner reservations at Stella's---SBE's flagship restaurant opened about 8 years ago in the French Quarter---4 blocks from Stanley's. The names were taken from Streetcar Named Desire which was filmed in New Orleans. I need to rent that sometime. I don't know anything about that story. Anyway, back to the food. OMG---and I mean Oh, My, Gosh! Unbelievable! Could possibly be the best food I've ever put in my mouth! The restaurant itself was very quaint and intimate with several tall, thin French doors lining one wall with the original vintage glass, fireplace in the corner, and a lit garden outside with lush flowers. The whole place was just gorgeous. The silverware and crystal sparkled. When I mentioned it to Mindy, she said that Chef was all about the details. Each piece of silverware and crystal is hand washed and polished. The actual dishes were so fancy and unique. Mindy told me about the plate used if you order the dessert sampler. It's a large limoges plate---$250 each (the plate, not the desserts). We had way too much food, but every bit of it was delicious. The squash soup was amazing---pureed squash, sweet potatoes, scallions, cream, bacon, and---are you ready for this---chocolate! Who would have thought to put chocolate in soup? It was incredible. Okay, enough about the food. The cost was astronomical, but luckily, Mindy gets a 50% discount and movies are cheap, so that almost makes up for it. Stella's has just jumped to the top of the list of my favorite restaurants. I'm making myself hungry just thinking about it.
We got home about 9:30 and decided to hit the sack. Mindy got ready for bed first. It was only 9:45 when I got in bed and she was already sound asleep. I read for 45 minutes. During that time, her phone (which was on the nightstand right next to her ear) went off 6 times and she never even heard it. The poor girl is absolutely exhausted. That worries me. Even though I remind myself that she's young and can handle it, I do worry about her health. But I guess for Mindy, it's not much different than college---late nights partying and pulling all-nighters to do papers and studying because she's such a procrastinator. She'll be okay. At least that's what I keep telling myself.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Connie took me to the Celine Dion concert last night (well, sort of---I drove---I think she uses me for the free parking!). We started with dinner at Amerigo's---she paid for that too---my birthday treat. After a lengthy wait---turns out half the people there were going to the concert---we had a delicious meal. I hadn't been there is a few years. As we were dining, we could see the traffic backed up on Broadway as far as the eye could see. When we left, we went downtown the "back" way. It still took us awhile to get there. Butch had arranged for our parking. When we pulled into the lot, we were told that an attendant had been saving our spot right up front, directly across the street from the back door. Cool! We entered and got in the Will Call line to claim our tickets, only to be told that we had to go all the way around the block outside in 27 degree weather to the main box office. It was cold. We got the tickets and hustled to our seats as the opening act had already started. We had two very "happy" boys (if you know what I mean) that were sitting in front of us. I took several pictures for them. When the concert started, those boys were on their feet and dancing---in sync! We thought they might be singing and signing at the same time. They (or at least one of them) were very cute. Isn't that always the way? They turned back to us and said we needed to get up and dance. Connie told them that we were old ladies (ahem, speak for yourself you 60 year old, you). They replied, "well, so are we"! How cute was that?
Celine was absolutely amazing. I had seen her in concert about 15 years ago in Denver for the opening of the Pepsi Center. She put on a good show then. This show was great. Plenty of theatrics that included one segment where the male dancers rose out of the floor while holding a female dancer over their heads. They walked the perimeter of the stage with them all wrapped around them. Connie said she'd like to see Jack and Butch lift us! Know way would that ever happen! Celine had 6 costume changes and wore at least 6 inch spiked heels with every outfit. The whole thing was fabulous. Actually, we were really lucky because with those "happy" boys in front of us, we got two shows for the price of one!
When the show was over, Connie directed us out. When we finally exited, we were once again, all the way around the block from the parking lot---so much for "right up front parking"! I'll be Connie's date whenever. She sure knows how to show a girl a good time! But she better leave the navigating and parking to me!
Sunday, January 11, 2009
My 57th birthday started off with a pity party. I was getting ready for church when I started feeling so bad that I had to lay down. I was sick on Thursday, but it turned out to just be a cold and I felt better already by Friday. As I was laying there trying to figure out what the problem was, it hit me. I was having a hive attack. Yesterday, I had one hive between my eyes and another on my right earlobe. Since I wasn't breaking out any further, I figured my body was handling it. Today, I recognized what was happening. It was so disheartening as I haven't had to take any prednisone since October 1st. I thought I was finally over all of this---it's been nine years now. Once I took my usual dose, I laid there and tried to think what might have set it off. I guess it could be the cold, but then, I'm really thinking it could have been some spice in the Indian food I had on Friday night. If it was that, is totally wasn't worth it.
Anyway, I just cried for a little bit feeling sorry for myself. I was finally feeling like I could get rid of this weight. I hate how I look and I hate how this weight makes me feel. Then I reminded myself that I should be thankful that it's not something much worse. I took a nap and 2 hours later, I was back to normal---still depressed, but feeling back to normal. I have to say---the prednisone is like a miracle---and I'm really thankful for that. I can't imagine what people had to go through in the "olden" days.
Sandy called to wish me a happy birthday, so we talked for nearly an hour. They have 18 inches of snow on the ground and are snowed in. Hard to believe when we had 63 degrees yesterday.
I had scheduled a computer lesson for myself at the Apple Store at 11, so I finished getting ready and left. After that, I treated myself to a pedicure. Due to the cold, I've entered into the coughing stage. Between the coughing and sneezing, I really need to wear a maxi-pad.
Mindy called me several times, but we kept missing each other. When I got home, Butch told me he had talked to her. Then, he "made" my day. Let me start by saying that Mindy has been loving her job---long 12-14 hour days---6 days a week and all. That is until this week. She called me on Tuesday and said she was exhausted and hormonal, but that she HATED her job! I talked her off the ledge. Well today, she called to say that she had finally been given a title---are you ready for this? She is the Director of Internal Affairs and HR. They are getting her business cards too. The best part----a $4000. raise---after only 6 months! Needless to say, she's on cloud nine and loving her job again!! I'm going to celebrate with here when I go to New Orleans on the 21st.
Steph called to wish me a happy birthday and so did Jeanne.
That's when it hit me. What really makes me the happiest is when all is right with my family and friends. Happy birthday to me!!
PS I think I'm starting to have "old woman" feet. They just don't look as cute as they used to.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
I'm going to the show tomorrow for the last of the movies for this holiday season. We're seeing "Doubt" with Meryl Streep. I've been anxious to see it. This will make a total of 6 movies over the last 2 weeks. I love to go to show during the holidays when the family is here and my friends are off work (well, those few that still do work). I won't see 6 movies total for the rest of the year. That's pretty much how it always goes.
We started off with our family movie "Marley and Me"---5 star in my book. Definitely bring the kleenex. My sister, Jeanne reported that our nieces, Devon and Madison got a kick out of her crying---well, my grandkids also get a kick out of seeing me cry---especially since they know that I don't even like animals!
"4 Christmases" was hilarious---especially the game scene. They were playing Taboo and the mother kept "beeping" her son even though he was supposed to be guessing. Makes sense if you know the game.
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" was absolutely fabulous. I didn't even want to see it, but there was a mix-up with the time of another that my friends and I wanted to see. I was pretty disappointed when we settled on this one---especially since it's 3 hours long. Worth every minute. I think Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchette should get the academy award for their performance. And Brad's Nawlins accent was dead on. Sad ending.
"7 Pounds" was another that I thought was really good---once I figured out what was happening. I leaned over to Connie about 30 minutes into it and asked her if she knew what was going on. When she said she didn't know either, I could relax and feel sure that I hadn't missed something. It took a long time to figure out what was happening, but it too seemed worth the wait. Another sad ending.
"Twilight" was a total surprise to me. The only reason I even went to this one is because Steph wanted to see it and it wasn't in her budget. I knew it was about vampires but had not read the books. Steph is on the 4th one. I actually loved this movie and can't wait for the next one. Steph was disappointed after having read the book. I'm going to read the books too---never anything I would have every picked.
And tomorrow, "Doubt".....
PS After the first two movies, I put a bottle of water in my purse and avoided the concession stand, so it just cost $7.00 for the matinee. I've earned a free ticket and a free bag of popcorn, so maybe I can get Butch to go.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
I decided a few years ago that I wasn't going to make anymore New Year's resolutions. For someone that takes follow-through seriously, it was just too much of a burden---and very demoralizing to constantly fail. But for 2009, I've decided to try again.
Here's my list and I'll admit upfront that I might not follow through with a couple---but hey, I can still start the New Year off with high hopes, big dreams and great expecations:
Lose weight (always at the top--but now that I'm off the Prednisone, I feel hopeful)
Excercise more (this isn't all that hard. I just need to get back into the habit)
Get the ironing caught up (just joking---I really have no intention of ironing)
Now to the more realistic ones:
Get Mindy's closet cleaned out (I've been postponing it for a year)
Spend more time learning stuff on my computer (as you can tell by my new picture, I didn't know how to make it small like Steph's)
Cut myself a break and realize that I don't have to scrapbook everything
Go to St. Louis at least 4 times in 2009 (fun to do, but hard to find the time)
Get the house re-organized from top to bottom (this should probably move up to the list that might not get done)
Do my part for world peace (whatever that is--just felt like I needed an altruistic goal too)
Quit smoking (oh wait, I already did that 25 years ago)
Quit drinking (I guess I better start first)
Continue with the duct tape (I've done great this year with keeping my mouth shut---really hard for a Zimmermann)
I hope you all have success with your New Year's resolutions too. After all if we never broke them, we wouldn't have to make them in the first place!
P.S. Well see there, I already figured out the picture thing. I'm leaving the "big" one for a couple days so you will know what I was talking about.