Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Ring Pillow

As I mentioned before, my brother will be getting married soon. I thought I'd be all crafty and nice and make the ring pillow for the ceremony. This was my first attempt at a pillow and my very first attempt at embroidery. I think it came out great and you'll just have to excuse me while I pat myself on the back. You could too, if I can ever get the picture to upload.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Peep Show

This is so cool! The Washington Post's Sunday Source organized a Peeps diorama contest, with many of the dioramas showing famous movie scenes (someone even did a Reservoir Dogs diorama, we might want to keep an eye on him). This is such a cool idea. I love Peeps! I love movies! I don't have nearly as much time on my hands as these guys did.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Tax Time

Ahhh, tax time. That special time of year when everyone is stressed out. For those of you waiting until the absolute last minute to file, we get a couple of extra days this year since the 15th falls on a Sunday. I did mine way back in February (thank you, free e-file!) and since then have helped several people file theirs, including my mom, my brother, and a few friends. One of the oddest questions on the federal form is that space where the IRS asks for your occupation. It has absolutely no bearing on your tax status, so what gives? I can only assume it's for demographic purposes, but with the space left blank as a fill-in, I can only imagine some of the smart-ass answer they might get.

So, my mind being what it is, I thought of a few things that would be funny to enter in that occupation space, if only to get a song stuck in the head of some accountant at the IRS who reviews your return. Again, feel free to add your own
  • Smooth Operator (probably a better choice than Smooth Criminal)
  • Paperback Writer
  • Tourism Director of Funkytown
  • Advocate For the Right to Party
  • Yellow Submariner
  • Boy of Summer
  • Business Caretaker
  • Tambourine Man
  • Space Cowboy
  • Gangster of Love (those two would work best if your name is actually Maurice)
  • Banjo Dueler
  • Dancing Queen
  • Renegade of Funk
  • Master of Puppets

Monday, April 09, 2007

Happy Easter

Well, it's a day late, but happy Easter anyway. I'm going to celebrate this weekend with left over Peeps and diet coke. Ahhh, a lovely combination of sugar, caffein, and aspartame.

Cold and Damp

Damn weather! I'm just lammenting in general about the lack of sunny, warm, spring weather. It's April. The weather should be turning warmer, but instead its gotten cold. Of course, we didn't really have snow on the ground unitl late January this year and most of the winter was unseasonably warm. I didn't wear a coat while Christmas shopping this year as it was in the 50's.

The irony of the situation is that we had a brown Christmas and a white Easter.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Wedding Dress Saga (or The Evil That Is David's Bridal)

No, not mine, don't worry. My brother is getting married on May 19 and his fiancee, Jenny, has asked me to be one of the bride's maids. Jenny decided that she liked the selection that she had seen at David's Bridal online and decided that since she hadn't found a dress she really liked at the local bridal shops that we should trek down to the closest store. In our case, the nearest store happened to be 3 hours away in Nashua, NH. So last summer myself, the other two bride's maids and our lovely bride to be packed ourselves into a car and made the trip.

The sales staff at that time was fairly helpful, possibly because they work on commission and an entire bridal party walked in with credit cards, although they were a bit pushy with the accessories. Jenny found a dress she loved and we found dresses that went with it. We were then informed that all of the dresses that we had picked were discontinued and that if we didn't buy them that day, then the store couldn't guarantee that the dresses would still be available. And we took the bait and bought the dresses. They didn't have the bride's maids dresses in the sizes and colors we needed so the store would order them (yeah, I thought the dresses were discontinued, too.). Jenny walked out with her gown that day. It's important to note at this point that at the time of purchase, the dresses were supposed to be sent to Jenny's house and also the cost of alterations to the bridal gown was included in the cost of the gown.

The dresses did not get shipped to Jenny's house, instead they were shipped to the store, exactly what we didn't want to happen. The store refuses to ship them to us and required that we pick them up or they would be returned. Keep in mind, this is a 3 hour trip each way. This isn't running across town after work, it's six hours of driving. We really wanted to avoid having to do this and had explicitly asked that the dresses be sent to Jenny's house and not the store in Nashua. In addition to that, one dress came in the wrong size and mine was missing the shawl. We had to exchange the missized dress and reorder the shawl. I'm not sure if these actually got shipped to Jenny or if she had to make another trip to the store to pick them up.

In February we scheduled our fittings for alterations for Sunday, April 1. Upon arrival at the store, the woman at the front desk had no record of our appointment. She asked someone to check on us and after waiting for a while we discovered that that someone had gone to lunch before the mystery was solved. We eventually figured out that the front desk girl didn't understand that we were there for alterations and not to try on dresses. We were then directed to the alteration area at the back of the store.

The alteration area was small. It wouldn't have been too bad if we were the only party, but there was a long line waiting for alterations and people going in and out. It seemed like there was no order to process and it would have been real swell to have the seamstress's undivided attention. I thought that was the whole point of making an appointment. The seamstress's name was Evelyn and I soon discovered that Evelyn is evil. She told me that my dress did not need alterations. Now, I'm not a professional seamstress, but the dress felt way to loose on the bust and to be honest, I feel like I'm going to fall out of it if I happen to lean forward. Evelyn did not measure me, or anyone else. It seemed a little half-ass.

As I said before, Evelyn is evil. She made the maid of honor cry. I did not know what was said or how it was said, but I turned around and the poor girl was in the dressing room in tears. Apparantly Evelyn had made some kind of comment that her dress would look better if she lost a few inches. This just pissed me off. I'm a large person and I freely admit that I'm a fat chick. The other braid's maids are also large ladies. The girl in question has lost over 60 pounds and is doing very well on weight watchers but she will never be small and petite of frame. Like all large women, we all carry around negative body images. Some more than others and most women, large and small, are sensitive about their weight. Evelyn is a professional seamstress at a bridal boutique. She should know these things. Also, she is being paid to make these dresses fit wonderfully. If she has to add fabric, she has to add fabric and she should do so without making comments as to the figure of the wearer. Yeah, I'm a bit touchy about the subject.

In addition to that fiasco, both mothers wanted to try on some dresses. No one wanted to help us. The sales staff was all real young and seemed inexperienced. I understand that this was a Sunday, but if the shop is busiest during the weekends, wouldn't that be a good time to schedule more staff and maybe even your more experienced staff? We helped ourselves and then stood in line for the front desk girl to get a fitting room. We ran out of patience standing in a line that never moved while holding 4 or 5 dresses so we just had the moms try on their dresses in the alterations dressing room. On top of that, Jenny was charged for the alterations that needed to be done to her gown, the alterations that we were told would be free. And we have to drive back down to Nashua to pick up the dresses from alterations and steming on the 25th.

The whole experience was just irritating from beginning to end. We also had to wait at least 20 minutes to check out and pay for the Mom dresses and alterations. Jenny made a complaint to the store, but it did not get her anywhere. There was no manaager working that day and the girl at the front counter just said 'I wish there was something I could do'. Well, you know, honey, there is something you could do. You could not charge for Jenny's alterations as promised. You could give us a break on the cost of the other alterations or on the dresses we bought that day. Or you could go back there and give Evelyn a good bitch slap.

I'm planning to make a formal compalint to David's Bridal corporprate office. They did not list any contact information on their website. However, I was able to go through the Better Business Bureau to get some contact information. Again, there was no phone number, but there was an address for the corporate head quarters and some contact names, including the customer service director. A quick search through the Verizon Superpages with the business name and address finally turned up a phone number. Yeah, I was that mad that I spent that much effort getting the contact information. I'll let you know how it turns out. In the meantime, if you know of anyone who is getting married, steer them clear of David's Bridal. The whole thing has been a headache.