Black Friday

I don’t know if this was a dream or if it really happened but I have a vague memory of being dragged out of my home on the friday after thanksgiving and driven to a Walmart. It would have been my first (of only three) times in a Walmart and it was frightening. I do believe it was my friend Kristina who took me. This is the same friend who took me the casino last weekend so she does have a tendency to bring me out of my comfort zones. I survived Black Friday because I was a spectator. I had no skin in the game. No need for a flat screen TV or a Tickle-Me Elmo or carnival style popcorn popper. I felt like an anthropologist studying the ways and means of this strange breed of human who pops a tent on pavement and camps out for days (forgoing a delicious meal with family– indoors) all for the chance to nash an elbow into a fellow camper’s dentures in hopes of securing the last electric blanket.

I also remember working retail on Black Friday and loving it. Christmas music blaring, no sales goals to meet, Auntie Annie’s pretzel guy I had a mild flirtation with bringing me a dozen cheddar stuffed pretzel nuggets. (My mouth is watering.)

And yep- I’m dying here. Totally phoning it it. This month can’t end fast enough! No more daily blogging. I just want to scour the internet for a good deal on a toaster oven. Is that too much to ask?


I’m so full.

Yeah, yeah, I know I should finish that by saying “of gratitude” or something and I am, but really I’m full of Brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes and green beans and rolls. I’m not a “spend your calories on a roll at Thanksgiving” kind of gal but these ones just looked so good. In fact, thinking about them is making my mouth water. Why didn’t I pack one in our to-go container?

Anyway, I digress.

The internet today is full of gratitude and I love seeing that so many people I know and love have much to be thankful for. And I’m thinking of those who maybe could use a few more things to be appreciative of. The Thanksgiving I grew up on consisted of my mom working for a week straight preparing the feast. She did it all– every appetizer, every side, every dessert, and of course the turkey. And I’m not talking “here’s a plate of cubed cheese and some Ritz crackers.” My mom had a string of food delights parading out of the kitchen starting at 1PM until the last pant button was popped and the relatives all went home.

But it wasn’t just relatives. My mom always looked for those who didn’t have a place to go. Maybe their families were far away or their car broke down and they couldn’t get out of town. Maybe this was their first holiday post-divorce and they were planning on having dinner at the always-open Chinese buffet (which was never a bad choice. Never.) You never knew who you were going to sit next to at Thanksgiving or if they’d be there next year. I loved this. Only I didn’t know it then. But it’s a tradition I carried on in my adult life.

My friend Anna posted a note on my Facebook page tonight. She wrote, “I was thinking about one of the years that the orphan thanksgiving was at your place. And you made that crazy dip of peanut butter, ketchup, and onions.

Funny because I was thinking about her and those early Thanksgivings in Seattle. I loved that Thanksgiving. A collection of rag-tag 20-somethings living in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. We had the nights off from our bartending and telemarketing and retail (this was before Black Friday started on Thursday) jobs to come together and have a big, fancy adult meal. Yeah, we were adults, but it’s hard to remember us that way. I mean, I was probably making $6.00/hour. My friend Dan and I had a tradition of going out the night before and drinking way too much. Dan also wrote to me wishing me a “happy drink so much the night before you’ll spend Thanksgiving doing nothing but cutting grapes.”

I’m sad for the turkeys but I can’t help it. I love Thanksgiving.

And that dip Anna mentioned! I totally forgot about that dip! I probably still have it written down somewhere even though it was only 3 ingredients. Under no circumstances should that dip be edible and yet it was oddly delicious. I’m throwing up a little in my mouth right now thinking about it though.

I hope wherever you were tonight and whomever was around your table made you feel happy and full and reflective upon all that you have to be grateful for.

I Didn’t Blog Today

And I was going to be totally fine with that. It’s 11:40 PM. But I keep thinking I’m so close to done with this month, it would be a shame to give up now.

But I don’t have a real blog to post. I spent most of the day putting my kitchen back together. It’s gorgeous! And so functional. The very first thing I cooked in our new kitchen was cheese tortellini  for a couple of two year-olds. Neither would eat it.

Maybe I’ll do better tomorrow. With the blog– not cooking. Although I hope with the cooking too because it is Thanksgiving after all.

Good night!

Welcome, Baby Gorilla

The Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle recently welcomed a baby girl gorilla. Adorbs. Have you ever seen anything this cute?

Looks just like her mother. And father. And well, entire species.

Looks just like her mother. And father. And well, entire species.

No, you haven’t.

At least not until you see this.

Looks just like a baby gorilla.

Looks just like a baby gorilla.

I mean, right? Separated at birth? My own mother seems to think so as she’s the one who pointed out the similarities. I was freshly delivered here. That is pure, untouched, newborn baby hair. And it was fabulous.

And thank you, Des, for noticing that sweet big brother, Mike, appears to be pointing a gun and his baby sister’s back. Ah, the 70’s.

That Moment…

when you notice your kid has poop on the outside of his pants and you have to retrace his steps imagining where else in the house this poop might be.


Panda takes one for the team.

Panda takes one for the team.

By the way, the kitchen will be done tomorrow. I can’t even imagine what it will be like to use a stove again.

Taming of the Screw

Okay, two love letters is enough. This is a hate letter. Terrible customer service deserves a shout out just as much as good customer service.

Bought some new counter stools from Usually I love Overstock. Today… well, not today.



These are prefect for our new kitchen. They come in a pair so I bought two pairs as we need at least three, sometimes four if we’re having people over. I put together the first pair with no issue (and gotta say, was pretty proud of that. Let’s just say there is no “I” in Ikea. Well, okay, there is but not– you know what I mean.) Each chair involved just four tiny screws. I did think they scratched a little easy for my taste, but oh well. That just goes with their “industrial rustic look.” Also, I have a two year-old so you know. No more nice things anyway.

Moving on to the second pair, I was feeling pretty confident. Just four tiny screws. I put the first three screws in with ease but when I got to the fourth screw I ran into an issue. The damn thing wouldn’t go into the hole. As it turns out the side of the chair was bent just enough rendering the screw too short to do the job. Bart, crafty little fox and diffuser of wife who melts down in the presence of obtuse furniture design, got a screw and washer from our toolbox and fixed it, but it doesn’t match and I know I’m going to spend the rest of my life staring at that incompatible screw. But we decided we’d deal so long as the other chair in the pair was perfect. Guess what. It wasn’t. That one had a screw that just can’t figure out its lot in life. It’s lost. It’s rudderless. It lacks ambition. As painful as returning anything is, like a set of bulky counter stools, they’d have to go back. Our kitchen is Pinterest-worthy. We can’t accept shoddy counter stools.

I logged onto Overstock to see what my options were and was immediately invited to a live chat. I love chatting with customer service people! A guy named Victor jumped on, eager to help me. I told him the issue. He asked if I wanted a refund or exchange. I said exchange. He then informed me that the counters stools were out of stock. What?! I just ordered them!

I tried to explain to Victor that this was a problem. I need all four. If I return this pair, I have to return the other pair and that sucks for a number of reasons:

A. They are already put together

B. We won’t have any seating and it’s Thanksgiving

C. They go perfectly with our brand, new kitchen

D. I already threw out the packaging for the first two thinking everything was just fine.

I could hear Victor sigh across the interwebs.

I asked him for a discount if I kept the chairs. If we were in a store, this would be a very normal business practice.

So Victor, having never been in a store, responds with, “Can you take a picture of the defective merchandise?”

Hmm, I think. That’s not going to be very telling. I kindly remind Victor we’re talking about a screw. A tiny, little unassuming, ambition-lacking screw. But, I said. I’ll try. And then this happened:

Victor? Do me a favor and punch yourself in the throat.

Victor? Do me a favor and punch yourself in the throat.

In case you can’t read it, like Victor apparently, I said I was going to try to take some pics and asked him to hold on. He responds with, (granted, I’m paraphrasing here. Slightly.) “Oh, oh, oh, I can’t see you! It’s dark in here! Did someone turn off the lights? You’re gone! You must have solved your own issue!”

When I returned I saw that the little asshole was disconnecting our chat because HE DID NOT HEAR FROM ME!

But why didn’t he hear from me?


I’m sorry, Victor. Were you surprised that I actually had to leave my computer, go get my phone, take some pictures of a defective screw, email them to myself, download them and then attach them to your little shitball chat screen? Did you think I keep pictures of defective merchandise on my phone or on my laptop? I’m sorry, Victor. The defective screws are not my children. They will not be appearing in any Shutterfly calendars this holiday season. I DO NOT HAVE PHOTOS HANDY! I TOLD YOU THAT!

So yeah, Victor, didn’t want to help me. Victor wanted to go on break. Victor wanted to be a shitbag and douche out on Facebook and update his status to say something like “Just made a middle-aged lady freaking out about broken counter stools go take a picture of a screw and email it to me. hahahahahaha, Customer Service rocks!” Well, eff you, Victor. Screw you.

Oh man, I was livid. Jumped on chat again and get this– I was immediately connected with an agent named VICTOR!




Wide-eyed, dopey deer stare.

NOTHING! For two whole minutes! Just got the Victor is listening tell. No he’s freakin’ not, Overstock! “Victor” is not a listener! He never thought he’d have to deal with me again. Well, Victor, I got news for you. We may not come across the Overstock channels again but we’ll see each other one day. Maybe I’ll be in the airplane seat you really want or maybe you’ll see me checking out with the last box of Trader Joe’s Pumpkin O’s of the season. Or maybe I’ll be the last drop of your type of blood in a 2,300 mile radius. And I’ll be thumping my juicy, plump veins like, “Hey, you’re that guy who hung up on our chat thirty-two years ago! You still working for Overstock? What’s that? You need this here precious elixir, Victor?” And you won’t be able to answer with your voice because you’re withering away at my feet and I’ll be like, “What? SORRY I DIDN’T HEAR YOU, YOU MUST HAVE SOLVED YOUR OWN ISSUE, BYE!”

See how that works, Victor? Except it doesn’t work like that because I would probably give you my blood because that’s the kind of person I am. But I would find another way to make your life miserable.

So Victor #2 never answered so I hung up on him. That felt good. I connected with Karl who sadly had to bear the brunt of my wrath towards Victor and Overstock. I went through the whole deal again. The damn chairs, out of stock, screw won’t work, pictures. Karl was more helpful and offered me $20 off my next purchase.

“No way, Karl,” I said. “I may never be back to use that $20. I need a fix for this here purchase if I’m keeping the shitty chairs.”

So Karl comes back with this, bless his heart:

Karl: Okay, maximum I can help you with $30. if you are okay, then I will right away go ahead issue as in-store credit.

Umm…why tell you what happened? I copied the transcript of our conversation. Go ahead and act out “Shelly vs. Overstock” at your Thanksgiving dinner. (Obviously I’m the “visitor” which is totally the name of the horror movie Victor and Karl are going to pen after dealing with my wrath.)

Visitor: As I JUST said, I don’t want a store credit! I want the discount off THIS purchase. No guarantee I’m going to shop with you again.

Visitor: You have to make it right on THIS purchase, please. I know it doesn’t seem like a big deal to you but it is to me. I want a discount off this purchase. No future purchases. Make it right with this one.

Karl: Okay, since you are our valued customer I will issue $30 back to your payment method.

Fine. Dammit, fine. I’ll keep the stupid chairs. Bart will find a way to fix them and we’ll deal. But all is not right. And the first time one of my friends falls off these stools because the defective screw gave out (and not because they are drunk-ass lushes with the balance of a teenage shop-a-holic’s first checking account) I will shake my fist in the air and curse his name:


I know there’s a really good pun here about getting screwed but I’m too tired to come up with it. If you do, feel free to leave it in the comments. In the meantime, I have some chairs to fix.

Big Money, Big Money, Big Money

Short post today but because I’m committed to this NaBloPoMo deal thing I’m at least doing something.

I’m heading off on an adventure with one of the best people in the world– my bestie Kristina. Our birthdays are three days apart so as a treat to us, I cashed in a free night Bart and I earned on and brought Kristina to the beautiful Fairmont Olympia hotel for a night away. We drank in the bar, ordered room service, swam for hours in the pool. We thought we were going to get all crazy and stay up way too late and cause a big old ruckus in downtown Seattle. We were in bed by 10. But it was amazing.

This year she’s taking me to the Clearwater Casino. Neither of us gamble but we do love a fat buffet. And an indoor swimming pool. So that’s where I’m going today. On a ferry, with my cartons of wine and mini piñata stuffed with Godiva chocolates and scratch off lottery tickets. I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow.



Shelly & the Machine

Have you seen this machine?

Come here, little girl. I have candy.

Come here, little girl. I have candy.

If so, step away. It’s armed and dangerous and has a history of assaulting the confidence of adult women and causing irreparable damage to one’s self-esteem.

I’m not kidding. This robo-jerk is at work. We have a self-catered snack bar filled with delights such as pita chips, roast beef sandwiches, and Special K. It’s the stuff Dilbert’s dreams are made of. I too enjoy having a wealth of snacks available at my fingertips (literally. You can pay with your fingerprint.) But I do not appreciate the complexity and paralyzing fear I face every time I try to pay. (With money. Not my appendages.)


Oh my god, what do you want from me???

Oh my god, what do you want from me???

That’s not a reenactment. That’s my real face.

 First, I have no idea if I need to wake the sleeping machine by tapping it gently on the screen, waving my hand in front of it’s camera, or throwing my bag of Sun Chips at it. So I do all three. And then I remember I’m on camera (the whole room is monitored so, you know, some freaked out, panicky employee doesn’t run off with three ounces of cubed cheese and a pouch of ranch dressing.) Upon realizing I’m being recorded (by whom? I don’t know but what a fun job that must be) I immediately try to act all cool and composed and do so by muttering things to myself like “Oh ha, yeah, that’s right machine, wake the hell up, you must be broken, you dummy.” And then I sink even further into depression upon realizing I’m now on camera talking to myself. Or scratch that. To a machine. There. That’s not as bad.

Then comes the time when I seriously consider throwing my Fiber One bar down and just leaving. I don’t need it that bad. I can get the same damn bar from the vending machine on the fourth floor for $.60 less! I don’t need this harassment!

But dammit! I made it this far. I can’t let the machine win. And without the daily-recommended fiber intake coursing through my veins, I’ll never make it to the fourth floor. So I persevere. (This is what is known as a teachable moment, friends.)

I tap, prod, chatter, wave, brandish, whimper, play it cool, fail at playing it cool, nudge, poke, punch, pinch, and scan. Scan works every time. Why don’t I remember that? Wait. What were we talking about? Oh right, that’s why.

I (usually) walk away with a snack that is so overpriced even an airport newsstand would cry foul.

Does this happen to you? It does, right? Surely there’s an ATM or grocery self-checkout stand that’s got your number. All I can say is stand up for what you believe! You want peanut-butter crackers and banana crème Muscle Milk? Go for it! Don’t let any machine tell you different. Of course you could also bring snacks from home but where’s the fun in that?

So Cliche

I would be remiss if I failed to mention the epidemic plaguing Hollywood. An epidemic that appears to only strike men. An epidemic that is so freakin’ cliche it’s not even exciting in the most superficial of ways.

WTF is up with sleeping with the nanny? I mean, come on guys. Isn’t there a nice grocery clerk or teacher’s aid you could hook up with? The nanny? Really?

Mmm? Nanny? We have one of those?

Mmm? Nanny? We have one of those?

Oh Gavin. Okay, I hated your band and can’t for the life of me figure out what you’re doing for a living now but I’m still grossly disappointed in you. First, your nanny. Did you guys hire her because she looks remarkably similar to your wife?

Single, white female much?

Single, white female much?


Oh so they’re both blonde, what of it? you say.


Still not seeing it?

Still not seeing it?

Okay, then. And now?

Lemme guess. You both brought the same photo to your hairstylist.

Lemme guess. You both brought the same photo to your hairstylist.

This shit is creepy! There are lots of good reasons to fire a nanny. They drink on the job. They endanger your kids. They don’t like your kids. And she SLOWLY MORPHS INTO YOUR WIFE has got to be right up there. Guys, just because your nanny looks like your wife, doesn’t mean she is. You can’t sleep with her. I’m sorry.

And Gwen, what’s up? Did this not freak you out a little? Did you like it? Is imitation really the most sincere form of flattery when you’re Gwen Freakin’ Stefani?

And what is up with nannies? This doesn’t end well for you either. Or maybe it does. Ben Affleck’s nanny got all mouthy and started brushing her hair before going outside and then POOF. She vanished. No more sidebar is Us Weekly. Maybe she drove off in a brand new Maserati. Or maybe she realized “Ben Affleck’s Nanny (Yes, That Nanny)” isn’t as appealing a user name as she thought. Who knows? All I know is that these ladies aren’t getting into this line of work because they love kids. Nope. Don’t think so.

These guys need to get a grip. If you can’t be married, don’t be married. And for God’s sake, leave the help alone. Clearly they have no idea how hard it is to find good help.

Where has THIS Been all my Life?!

My love for Delta airlines isn’t a secret nor is my love of Biscoff cookies. Therefore I find it very disturbing that THIS PRODUCT exists and I did not know about it.

Marry me.

I ask you, where has this been all my life? Or in other words WHERE HAS THIS BEEN MY WHOLE LIFE?!

Christmas is coming. Get it while you can because soon all the Biscoff cookie spread will be mine. All of it. The end.