Monday, December 24, 2007

A pile of pizzelles

To get ready for Christmas, I made a bunch of pizzelles with the pizzelle maker I got at our White Elephant gift exchange last year. Here's me making pizzelles last year:

I don't have any pictures of me making pizzelles this year because you really can't beat last year's picture, can you? No. Instead, here are some pictures of the pizzelles I made this year.

P.S. My White Elephant streak of awesomeness remains intact. This year I got two bottles of wine (!). It was the second best gift available, the first best being a bottle of vodka. We get a real assortment in our gift exchange. About 2/3 of the gifts were the kind of crap we intended to be featured in a White Elephant exchange, the other 1/3 were actually decent stuff.

Anyhow, I made the pizzelles because I hate baking. Thus, pizzelles are the perfect cookie for me to make because essentially you are making tiny waffles. I am good at waffle making, bad at baking. Then I had a cookie exchange, which used to be an annual Lisa tradition, now resurrected. It was smallish, but fun. Some people from work and a few other friends from various places, including Annie of blog fame. A good time was had by all.

Now my parents are here, they arrived on Saturday night in time for Brian's 35th birthday, which was yesterday. Wow, I am married to a geezer. My brother Jim and his girlfriend will arrive on the 28th, in time for Owen's birthday! Which I cannot believe is less than a week away. Wow.

Friday, December 07, 2007

The endless season of sickness and some unrelated b$@%*ing

For some, the holiday season is a time of happiness, joy, *"cheer"...

(*note: I put quotes around cheer because we got an email from our department head today about our work Christmas party tomorrow, in which he said to 'join us for some food, fun and "cheer"'. WTF was the reason for the inappropriate quotes around cheer?? This is one of my pet peeves. Quotes do not indicate emphasis, people! If thats even what he was doing with them. Really, I am completely baffled by this totally inappropriate use of quotes.)

For us, the holiday season is apparently a time of illness. Yes, we made it through the horrendous stomach bug of '07. Rather, Brian and Owen made it through and I helped clean up. I never got it, thank god. Given the grumbling going on in my Mommy group, it sounds like this has been going around the entire Triangle area, so it wasn't just me. In fact, one of Owen's daycare teachers also spent her Thanksgiving vomiting. She said she particularly enjoyed that she had to do it repeatedly in front of her inlaws. Hee.

Anyhow, that finally passed.

Now we all have colds. Owen started getting his right around the time his stomach bug was letting up, and Brian and I both have it now. And I don't want to be all stereotypical about men being whiny sick people, so I won't.


I'll wait for Brian to dispute that in the comments or something... I know you're reading this!

The thing I hate most about having a cold is the red nose. Well, maybe second to the sore throat. I always get a bad, bad sore throat. I think its because I have ridiculously large tonsils. I don't know if those two things are actually connected, but it makes sense in my head so I'm going with it.

Anyhow, its time for the unrelated b$@%*ing (look at me keeping it all PG rated).

1. Owen has been on full time sippy cups for at least two months. This is great because those Dr. Browns bottles, as wonderful as they are, were a REAL PAIN IN THE BUTT to clean. Now we don't have to send anything to daycare other than a big bottle full of water that they can use to mix up his drinks. And soon, when he drinks cows milk, we won't have to send anything fluid at all. That will be a fun day. Anyhow, we have thus invested in a good number of sippy cups. We have a couple Playtex ones that have handles. These are about $4-5 per cup. I think we had about 4-6. I bought these first because I thought they would be easier for him to use, what with the handles and all. Then we started having some problems... Cat problems. Jasmine is obsessed with chewing on the spouts of his sippy cups if they have had formula in them. So she would find his cup that he had discarded on the floor and chew it. Or his cup that he had finished that was in the sink. I think she chewed 2-3 of these to the point where we had to throw them out. When we started getting low, I went to buy some more the next time I was at the grocery store. But all they had was girly colors, and even though we are getting Owen a play kitchen for Christmas (ssssshhhh, don't tell him), I didn't want to raise no sissy boy drinking from a pink cup. I didn't want his other baby friends to give him a hard time. So I got some of the Take-n-Toss ones that are essentially disposable. They're like that Gladware in sippy cup form - You can and will use them over and over again, but you won't cry when something happens to them. These were $2.99 for 8 cups, so way more bang for your buck. Except Jasmine still wants to chew the crap out of them, and since these are made of really thin plastic, even one good chew means death to the cup. In contrast, the other ones were still okay with a few chews because the spout was made of pretty thick plastic. So now I am trying to do the cost benefit analysis on sippy cups. And also on keeping Jasmine. No, I'm kidding. I'm not getting rid of Jasmine.

2. Yesterday I took my car in for its 30K service. Since my car is a fancy hybrid, we decided I should take it to the dealership for the service. Either I have been lazy about getting my car in for its regular service (possible) or we have taken it somewhere else (also possible) for at least one of these services, because this was the first time I had gone to our dealership for anything other than an oil change, and I only did that once too. Anyhow. I got the shuttle guy to take me to work. Later in the afternoon they called me to tell me that my car was done and that the shuttle guy was going to come pick me up. The dealership is only a couple of exits down from where I work, so this shouldn't have taken long. I still had some work to finish up and I also had to leave by 5 at the latest to pick O up at daycare. When I got there, the service guy was like, "Uh, we actually have a little bit of a problem. Something happened to your car and we're going to fix it, but it isn't going to be done in time for you to take it home tonight." Okay. I think what happened was they were pulling the car in or out of a garage area and the garage door was not up enough and they scraped the roof of my car on the bottom of the door. So they were going to get me a rental car. I thought this meant a rental car was going to come to me at the dealership. We went out and got all the crap I needed from my car...

(incidentally, the guy asked me what I needed from the car and I said "parking permit and iPod stuff (I mean, my charger and my iTrip - I had my iPod with me)". Then when I called Brian and told him what was going on he said "What are you going to do about the carseat?" Duh. The carseat!! I had completely forgotten about that. I forgot about my glasses too - I only use them when I'm driving so I leave them in the car. I am a fantastic mommy!)

...I looked at the damage and it was really just scratches that could be buffed out easily, not a huge deal.

The rental car guy came and it turned out he was going to take me to the rental car place. I don't know why, but they use a rental car place in Chapel Hill, which was like, 25 minutes away. Why they would do that when the airport is much closer is beyond me, but whatever. Then I got my rental car (a minivan! I felt like a real mommy!) and had to drive back to work - another 25 minutes. All in all I was gone for about two hours. By the time I got back I had time to do some lab stuff that desperately needed to be finished before I could leave and then ran out to go pick up Owen. I didn't think it would be a big problem, but it really turned out to be a fairly major inconvenience that I could have done without. I was irritated, but only slightly.

Today I went to pick up my car and pay for my service. This was a big service, so it was like, $500. Which is crazy, but whatever. Thats what I get for going to the dealer, right? I said "And I'm sure you gave me a discount, because the whole ordeal yesterday was a big inconvenience". He said "Oh, of course. Its about $100 off. And we cleaned and detailed your car for you"...

(okay also? Why do they call that 'detailing'?)

...I had had a coupon in my hand for $25 off this service, but I ended up not using it because he had already given me a $100 discount. My service came to $450. I paid and drove off.

As I was driving I started thinking "He gave me $100 off and I still paid $450? Is that right?" I stopped in a parking lot and looked at the bill, added stuff up on my fancy calculator on my fancy iPhone, and couldn't figure out where this discount was. I went back to the dealership and asked him to walk me through the bill and where my discount was. He showed me. It turned out he had taken 10% ($50) off. He had counted the price of the detailing in as part of my "discount". I was pissed. I didn't want my car cleaned (although it needed it for sure, so it was a bonus), I wanted MONEY back for my trouble. I explained that I had had a coupon that I didn't use for $25 off that I had found on their website. My point was that if they'll easily give $25 to anyone for having a coupon that they can just print out, when they screw something up the discount should be significantly more than that. I thought it was a little bit ridiculous. The guy was also bugging me at this point. I was not happy to begin with, and he almost instantly adopted an attitude with me that was making me even angrier, like I was just some crazy lady. He asked me, "What will make you happy?" The way he said it indicated that he meant: "What will get you off of my case, lady?" I told him that his dismissive attitude was not helping me be happy. In the end he gave me an additional $100 off, which is what I asked for, pretty much (actually, I asked for $100 total off, but he gave me an additional $100 off, so $150 total). In the end I was happy with how it was resolved, but not happy that I sort of had to argue for it and that they hadn't done that to start with (or at least something better than $50 off).