fancytalk: (crotch)
Because the United States Postal Service SUCKS.

We moved in November. We signed up for the nifty Premium Forwarding Service. We never got mail. Our realtor found our mail shoved through the mail slot or tossed on the back porch. She was very kind and sent it to us twice until I put a hold on all the mail. In the meantime, we have called the Berkeley post 27 billion times and gone to the Redmond post for them to help us out and calling the USPS 800 number gets you no where except on hold with the Berkeley post office.

In January when we were in San Francisco, we went to the post office and basically ended up pitching a fit because they couldn't find and had no idea where to find two months worth of our mail. Thank goodness for the internet, at least I could go online and check to make sure no one was owed anything.

Yesterday, I got not one, not two but SEVEN!!!! packages from the Berkeley post office. And part of the mail isn't even ours. It belongs to the people who bought the house! Really sad was the box of Harry & David pears that had been sitting so long at the post office they had rotted in the box AND they were for the new owners. And somehow we also ended up with a good portion of an outgoing mail bag. Yep, hope there weren't any checks to pay bills in that stack. So I'm going to go drop all that stuff back in the mail slot so it can go on it's way to where it was suppose to go.

So great going USPS. Glad that you deliver in rain, sleet, snow and ice but you can't seem to get things where they're meant to go any other time.

Wow

Dec. 14th, 2006 10:36 pm
fancytalk: (Prevention)
That's about all I can say to this article.

Alameda County Youth Tops in Murder and Sex Diseases.

Personally, I'd like to see the breakdown of statistics by all the cities contained within Alameda County. Berkeley may be high considering that the university is there, but Oakland has to be way higher than that due to economics.

Yeah, this is the kind of crap I think about late at night.

Up yours!

Sep. 29th, 2006 01:01 pm
fancytalk: (crotch)
This is to Officer Burns (Officer ID #836) of the Berkeley Police Department who is obviously on parking violation duty for a very good reason.

How can you mark my car at 9:09 a.m. when it is parked in a parking lot almost a mile away?
I have receipts that show I was paying at one store at 9:03 a.m. and another at 10:02 a.m. As evidenced by both receipts, there was no way I was walking or riding my bike back home with that amount of stuff.

How rude of you to call me a liar when I say "I haven't been parked here two hours" and your response is "you know you were". Ummm, hello? It's now 11:28 a.m. and I've barely been home an hour. I knew when I finallly got out of the Berkeley Bowl parking lot that I would have just enough time to park on the street while unloading the car before I did the rest of my errands on the other side of town.

And how did you miss my front license plate? It's there plain as day. The only thing I can assume is that you are trying to reach your parking ticket quota for the end of the month. But I won't worry because not only am I going to contest both tickets, I'm filing a complaint against you.

(x-posted to my [livejournal.com profile] no_tip_for_you because it makes me feel better)
fancytalk: (blur)
It's hot!
I'd kill for some a/c.
I think I'll go stand in front of the open fridge for a while.
fancytalk: (Dancing Condoms)
I've observed a strange collection of people this weekend or at least encountered something linked to someone who probably is very strange.

First - the note left on the car telling me that by driving a SUV that I don't live up to the bumper sticker on the car. (The worst thing in society is ignorance.)

then, the chick driving the hybrid who literally passed me, got back in front of me and slammed on brakes for no apparent reason other than to make me notice her "SUV = Death" bumper sticker.

Here's what I would like to say to them - Ummmm, yeah, I drive an SUV. It's paid off. It's in good shape considering it's age. It gets better gas mileage than the Ford Focus I owned. It's also shared between two people and it gets driven a lot less than your hybrid. And I walk or ride my bike to most of the places where I've already seen your bumper sticker.

Lastly - I drove to Safeway yesterday afternoon to buy a few groceries for the next couple of days. I pulled into a parking spot and noticed that there was a man standing in front of the car across from me. I was very intrigued watching this man as he carefully pulled a cigarette from it's pack, lit it and began to smoke. What I found so interesting was that this man was smoking a pack of very American red label Malboroughs just as he was dressed very deliberately in what I would call the "American boy next door"fashion. Fascinating. It wasn't like he was just standing around smoking a cigarette and being dressed in a polo shirt and khakis, the style and brand was very deliberate. And he was smoking the cigarette James Dean style.

Then he pops the hood of his car. He's messing around under the hood (Look ma! more apple pie American details.) and he takes out this white filter looking thing. This is the point where I realize that I believe he drives a hybrid because under the hood doesn't look similar to gas engine cars, so I continued to watch him. (He was really fascinating) He starts shaking the white filter thing - far away from his body so he won't get dirty. It looks at it every so often and I guess it wasn't getting as clean as he wanted it to be. Yes, he is still smoking the cigarette. I see him get this thought in his head about how to get the filter thing cleaner. He looks at the car in front of him (the one parked beside me), looks covertly around and smacks the hood of the car with the white filter thing a couple of times. Oh no he didn't! Yes, he did. I guess he didn't notice me in my big American SUV. I couldn't believe that he decided it was OK to clean his filter on someone else's car. No, I didn't say anything to him, I was too busy being the fly on the wall observing. What can I say, people are strange especially when they don't think anyone else is looking.
fancytalk: (Default)
I think that I may actually be able to put an end to one of the recycling poachers, I got a license plate this morning. Ronette had just driven off and I was walking out to pull the garbage bin back behind the house when I noticed the little Asian lady going through the paper recycling. Then I see her open the back door of a car parked in front of the house. I grabbed pen and paper, walked outside to the end of my driveway in front of the car and started writing down the plate number. The driver realized what I was doing and drove off but not before I had the plate number. I'm feeling a little victorious. I called the poaching hotline and apparently she has been fined already. Yay me!
fancytalk: (Default)
How is it that nothing exciting happens around here until Ronette leaves for a trip?

Besides the parking lot of a street this afternoon, I can hear a couple of people out in the street having a yelling match. Something about "why did you honk your horn at me?" vs "I wasn't honking at you". No idea. But there is always some kind of mishap going on out there when I'm home alone. Weird.
fancytalk: (blur)
The holidays are doing me in. I completely understand why my dad wanted to cancel Christmas every year. I am sick of shopping. I am tired of trying to find an inspired gift or having an inspired gift idea and the item is out of stock and won't be available until January. I think the final straw is the fact that everywhere I go, the holiday spirit is non-existent and people are just plain rude and mean. Today, after coming back from dropping RTL off at the BART, some woman in the car behind me honked at me because I stopped at a stop sign. I'm not sure why the stop sign is there, but it is and it was 8 o'clock in the morning and there are little kids walking to school, so I stopped. And she honked. I stayed at that stop sign an extra few seconds because I'm tired of being bullied by people who are in a hurry.

I know that I personally have done a few things in disregard of others around me. I'm trying to be good and patient. Yet it seems that everyone else isn't trying at all.

And the dog! Either the dog is going to kill me or I'm going to kill the dog. Dexter decided that eating a bag of chocolate chips last night was the thing to do. No lectures on dogs and chocolate not mixing, I still haven't figured out how he got the bag. Not much sleep last night because of him feeling bad. I just wish he could learn his lesson. At least the cat isn't climbing the tree.

I've kicked the dog out of the house for the day. I'm going to clean my house and wash clothes and put myself back into a peaceful state of mind. I need to do a little shopping for RTL's stocking. I'll do that later after I'm regain my peace. And if anybody else is ready to give the holidays the finger, please feel free to rant and steam.

15 days until January 1, 2006
and only 373 days shopping days until Christmas 2006!
fancytalk: (Default)
First, I had to call the cops around midnight last night because there was a group of at least 20 college students standing in the middle of my street having an extremely LOUD argument. I thought that the apartment complex across the street was having a party. The parties don't bother me, but they usually don't sound like they are in my living room. I figured there was a new group of students who have moved in. The Nosy Nelly in me looked out the window when I heard someone say "are you ok?" at which point I went to the door with the phone and asked if they needed someone to call the police. Someone said yes and that some guy had mugged one of the guys in the group. Cell phones anyone? So I called, then I heard someone scream and someone else was yelling "OMG There he is! Catch him" A couple of the guys take off down the street and drag back this other kid. They were just holding onto him but I could hear one of the guys saying "look, all I want is the passport. I don't have any money, but I NEED the passport". Then someone said that the police had been called, he punched one of the girls holding his arm and took off in the other direction. The entire group took off after him. I heard the sirens a few minutes later. I don't know what happened after that, I wasn't crazy enough to follow.

After the Irish kids cancelled coming to the States in November, they are now going to be here the same time that RTL and I go to Australia. I love them, but the wishy-washy bothers me. We won't get into the psycho-babble that it's one of those things about myself that bothers me when other people do the same thing. For years they have been working on the dream of owning a coffee/art cafe and now things seem to be progressing into reality. Before the end of the year Elphene's should be up and running in Ennis (County Clare, Ireland). Very exciting, but boo hoo for me because now they won't be here in November.

And now for a funny story.
A friend of mine coaches his son's soccer team. He was telling me about a dork moment that he had with one of the fathers. Let's understand that Tom is synonymous with normal. He is the dad from the Dick and Jane books, he is Ward Cleaver in person. One of the father's came up to Tom and said something along the lines of "I'm so and so's dad, you're a good coach, etc" Tom described the other father as tattooed, tight jeans wearing, with cool hair - complete opposite of Tom. Then the other dad said to Tom "Great game" and put out his fisted hand to do what I would like to term the Tough Guy handshake. You know, the one where they give each other kudos, and knock fists together while saying things like "dude" or "man". Tom, being normal put out his hand for a handshake. Awkward moment ensued while tattooed dad realized that Tom is not hip on the Tough Guy handshake. That's not all! Tom's wife ran into tatooed dad's wife at the toddler park. Tom's wife comes back and tells him that he really is a dork because tatooed dad is none other than the lead singer of Metallica.

I'm a bit surprised that James Hetfield lives in the Bay area. I'm more surprised that he's a soccer dad though. Now I want to go to a soccer game.
fancytalk: (Default)
That almost killed me I might add. Geez. I walked because parking would be a bitch. I didn't take my bike because I didn't think I should operate a moving vehicle. Needless to say, I need to rest now. Good thing I picked up an extra book to go along with my regular fare.

The reason for more boring "I <3 libraries" talk is because I have to tell [livejournal.com profile] yarbiedoll about the Art and Music section. The 5th Floor. Yes, that's right, an entire floor dedicated to art and music. I actually went upstairs looking for a book on crocheting with beads, but I heard angels singing as I stepped off the elevator and went to explore. I don't think I've seen a library this well equipped in art and music ever.

Movies galore. It's better than any video rental store.
The vinyl records. I think they had just about everything.
A great assortment of cds.
The piece de resistance? An entire wall of sheet music. Scores of piano music. And I'm not talking a 5 x 8 rectangle of wall-space. Think D. H. Hill and think of one of the rows in the stacks, 9th floor is probably a good imaginary space. Imagine one of those filled from Brahms to Stravinsky with two rows dedicated to Haydn. Sheet music as far as the eye can see. I may have blacked out in the glory. I desperately want my piano here so I can check out music.

The Bowl

Aug. 15th, 2005 06:06 pm
fancytalk: (Default)
I've been grocery shopping today. What makes this a chore is that I go to two different stores for groceries. The other thing that tends to make me not enjoy grocery shopping is that it seems like everytime I grocery shop, I keep paying more and more for the things I need.
I've started going to the Super Target for the few processed boxed/canned foods that we eat - things like cheese slices for the dog and Cheese Nips. I stopped the real live grocery store route because things at the grocery store cost 2x more than Target and it's the same distance away. And I haven't been buying fruits and vegetables at the grocery store because everything always smells old.
For all the stuff that I don't buy at Target, I go to the Bowl, Berkeley Bowl. It's the mom and pop grocery store around here and it used to be in an actual bowling alley, hence the name. I love the Bowl and I hate the Bowl at the same time. No matter what time of day you go, no matter what day you go parking is next to impossible. The headache of stalking people to their car and hoping you can find a spot in the actual parking lot and not on the street. However, beggars can't be choosers when it comes to parking, you take what you can get. Now, why don't I just shop at the Bowl. Because if I thought that the chain grocery store was expensive, the Bowl is right in line with prices on the processed stuff. But the vegetables and the fruit and the fresh eggs and the fresh meat and the fresh fresh fresh stuff that you can buy there. Fruits and veggies that smell like they just came out of the garden. Ooolala. Twenty bucks will cover pounds of veggies for the week. I would love to go daily just to pick what I wanted that day, yet there is still the parking issue. I should just ride my bike. That would be a whole lot easier.
fancytalk: (smile)
So one of my errands yesterday was to go to the library. I still need to get my own library card, so I'm using RTL's for the time being. I forgot to take a piece of mail addressed to me to prove that I am a Berkeley resident. I'll remember when I return the books I checked out.

I love reading. I also like not having to pay for books that turn out to be no good. When I lived in Richmond, I went to the library all the time. The library was right across the street. The library here is a wee bit further away, but not by much. I forgot how much I like the library. Yay for the public library.

The other thing that I got to learn about yesterday was the new check out system. Berkeley has installed a RFID system to make checking out books faster and easier. However, this has caused an uproar among Berkeley residents. I can't decide if it's good or bad. After waiting in a long line, it took me 2 seconds to check out my book choice. However, do I really want to be riding the BART with an RFID sending out a small radio frequency? I think it falls into the same line as the government having access to my library records. Just because I check out Catcher in the Rye or The Anarchist's Cookbook does not mean that I'm up to no good. Knowledge is power. It reminds me of the place in Berlin where Hitler had all the books he didn't want other people to read burned.

OK, off that rant. I love the library (RFID system be damned) and now I'm going to go read while I fix my Season Pass list.
fancytalk: (Default)
I just caught my neighbor (the one who fights with his wife all the time) taking the cans and plastic bottles out of my recycling bin! Rudeness in spades. It also doesn't help that his English is not good, so I can't yell at him and tell him to go pick through his own recycling.

I had stopped putting out recycling at night because inevitably someone will start going through the bin at 3 a.m. However, recycling has to be out by 7 a.m., but it defeats the purpose if you put it out at 6:59 and your neighbor cleans it out at 7:01.

So why am I complaining? Because my recycling helps keep my city taxes low. Berkeley collects recycling then sells the material for funds that go back into the city. Therefore costs for schools, libraries, parks and other city services stay low. Which means my neighbor is stealing and causing my city/property taxes to go up.

So I'm just going to start recycling all the good stuff myself. Cardboard and the big bottles that no one wants can go in the bin, but the creme de la creme will be carted away by me and me alone. Hell, I might even take my soda cans to the place that buys them. That should be a couple of dollars a week.

Withdrawal

Jun. 21st, 2005 02:05 pm
fancytalk: (Default)
I haven't listened to JLC in about a week and I'm suffering from withdrawal. I'll have to make my smart playlist even smarter than it already is when I stop listening to my 80's flashback - all day and all night.

Been out doing errands this morning. Had to be up at the crack of still dark out this morning. RTL had to catch an early morning flight to Redmond, again. I'm thinking that Redmond should just be moved south a few miles. It would make it a lot easier for me to avoid early morning NPR wake up calls.

Then off to the floor store to return the floor samples we borrowed over the weekend. We had all the hardwood floors refinished before we moved into the house, but we didn't/haven't done anything to the floors that were tiled or the closet floors. We were considering installing some in floor heating for the bathrooms, but have since discovered cork flooring. So I think we've narrowed it down to cork tiles for the bathrooms, closets, and pantry.

And I went into the new Target that is closer to the house. OH MY GOODNESS! It's beautiful! Two floors and clean and not junky and it's very Berkeley.

Haven't been to the grocery store for people food or the pet store for Bella food. I'll get around to that eventually. I've got access to the car for the next couple of days to make running errands less of a hassle.

I've put on my junky clothes so that I can implement phase 6 of the juniper attack. Sounds like a B horror movie from the 50's.

The dog has been relegated to the back porch today. No cozy inside bed sleeping for him. Besides the toilet paper, digging through RTL's workbag for paper scraps, and the copious amounts of other mischief he finds; today he figured out a way to reach his treat bag in the pantry, ripped through the plastic baggie and ate what I believe to be approximately half of the treats in the bag. Not sure if the cat aided and abetted in the crime, but I believe that climbing the litter box was part of the plan.

Taking a break from RTL's freelance work briefly to do all of this. Let's consider though that I sat in front of the computer for about 13 hours straight yesterday to finish phase 1 of the task because RTL's freaking out about getting it done. Yes, I am having that moment when I want to ask "if we didn't live together would you be breathing down my neck like this?" I am semi-regretting that I agreed to help out. I keep reminding myself that it pays property taxes for the year.
Also taking a few moments so that the maid, dishwasher, laundress and gardener can get some work done around the house. They forgot to show up this weekend, so I had to giggle a little (OK, I laughed so much that I almost got the hiccups) when RTL couldn't find the clean clothes she wanted this morning. But the mess is driving me crazy, so I think some cleaning up is in order.
fancytalk: (Default)
I have mixed emotions about RTL going out of town for work - on one hand - PaRtY!!!!!!! I can sit on the couch and read without being interrupted every 5 seconds with "did you see that?", I can hog the bed, I can cook loads of onions and peppers, I can add spice to my taste, I can use up all the hot water, lots of good party time things; on the other hand - I can't sleep. Let's use last night as an example - I think I finally went to bed at 3, but I still woke up at 7. Which sucks when I've made plans to run all the errands I need to do.

Which is what I've been doing this morning. Did some grocery shopping at the Bowl. It's a local market that has some of the BEST veggies in the area. Fresh and not rotting already. Downside is that everyone knows this so it's packed no matter when you go. People are parked and waiting for hours before the doors open at 9. Which was me. And it was still a madhouse.

I did cheat a little and went across the street to Walgreens so that I could buy some shampoo and stuff. Which was a pain in the tushy. I used to be able to find a wide variety of brands at Walgreens, now I'm limited to about 7 or 8 brands of shampoo and it's stuff that I won't or can't use on my head. I just don't get it.

Went to B & N as well so I could get a trash book to read when The Secret Life of Bees starts weighing my brain down. I have melted chocolate for that little side trip. Just call me Blondie. The truth is that I was actually looking for a couple of other books which is why I stayed too long in the store. I should have realized that skipping the Berkeley store would have been a better option and just gone to Emeryville where I have three floors to choose from. Of course, because I'm looking for a specific book I'll still have to go to Emeryville.

Now that I'm back, I'm trying to figure out what my neighbor is doing. I think he's finally trimming the hedge between our houses. Yay! I did my side a while back.

And thanks for the smart playlist tip, although now I'm trying to figure out when I bought a Modest Mouse cd.
fancytalk: (Default)
Maybe hate is too strong of a word. I'd like to sit by the pool all day (if I had a pool) and sip some exotic drink with an umbrella while the cabana boy feeds me bon bons and fans me and the gardener makes my lawn pretty and rips out mean nasty juniper hedges. Thank goodness for daydreams.

It's not the work though that bothers me. I actually kind of enjoy that part. It's the creepy crawly things, specifically the spiders.
That sounds too girly.
I know that most creepy crawly things have a purpose. I like the fact that ladybugs devour aphids and bees make honey and spiders make beautiful webs. However, I don't want to play with the bees or the spiders. Add to that the fact that I have a spider bite from October that is still healing, the spiders can go find somewhere else to play.
So not so girly at all, I've got good reason to avoid things with more than 4 legs. And no I won't play with a spider who is missing 4 legs.

So I'm stuck outside with the long sleeves, long pants, gloves, and socks. Yuck! And it's hot today. I have half of my plant debris cart left to fill and I still can't really tell that I've made a dent in the juniper. Truck and chains are sounding really good about now.
I did look to rent a chipper because I thought that I could grind the juniper and spiders up and use it as mulch. But no one rents chippers because apparently they are cheap to buy. But I don't want to buy something that I won't need after I'm done. Of course my other option is to get a dumpster from the city, but I don't want to pay for that either when I can work at my leisure and have the city pick it up every other week as part of my garbage fees. slow but steady like the tortoise.

On the very happy side, our friend GM is sending a prolific tomato plant home with RTL today. Apparently his mom planted tomatoes and they were quite prolific in her garden so she donated to GM which in turn benefits my tomato tooth because he has too many tomatoes to handle. Happy Happy Happiness. I think my dog will be happy as well. Now I've got to find a good place so Dexter doesn't devour the tomatoes off the vine.

Contemplating - a nap and what to cook for supper
Ready for RTL to come home so we can watch the rest of the 4400 and Hell's Kitchen.
Back to fighting the evil juniper.

Dont' forget to call the vet.

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