Saturday, August 30, 2008

I Oughta Be Working

But I thought I take a few moments and share some Camo-isms with you. My grandson is seriously smart, the kind of smart that can get people around him in trouble, because it's dang hard to keep a straight face when you'll need to. Since you don't need to, I'll tell them to you.

A couple of days ago, Camo called his other grandma, who to him is Nonni, and informed her that he would like her to come over and play with him. She was in the middle of something and told him she couldn't come, but offered a raincheck of sorts. She told him he could come over the next night and spend the night with her.

Camo's response? I quote, "Hold on a second. That's not what I said!" ROFL Can't you just hear the indignation?

But one I enjoyed even more happened a couple months ago, around the time he hit the ripe age of four and a half.

Since he was in his second year, his mother, my DD, had him as her voice mail message. You could faintly hear her prompting him in the background as his little voice said, "We're not here right now. Leave a message, and we'll call you back." All with slight hesitations, but still pretty clear for his age.

I had mentioned to DD that as he got older, she should update the message, but still using him. So I was very surprised when I called, got her voice mail, and the voice in the message was her. I left my message for her, and expressed my surprise that Camo was no longer on there.

A couple hours later, she calls me back. First she responds to my reason for calling her, then says, "Oh, and you want to hear about my incoming call message?" Why yes, sez I. She then tells me that she too thought it was time for Camo to update. So she erased the old message, then asked him to come record a new one with her. He looked up at her, and informed her that he was "not in the mood."

Not in the mood? Not in the MOOD?!? How hysterical is that? I laughed until I cried...he's four years old, for cripes sakes. What moods does he have other than happy, sad, mad or frustrated? Oh, how funny! Not in the mood.

Maybe his muse just wasn't on him. You can't rush those things, ya know.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Freecycle, Redux.

I've posted before about my disgruntlement with my local Freecycle group. But over the last month, I've been pushed just about to my limit. It's probably my strong stubborn streak that's kept me going this long.

A bit of background, first. One of the main Freecycle rules is that you should not ask for high price items. It's a rule broken constantly and with impunity on our list. About six weeks ago, someone posted requesting a riding lawn mower, any condition as long as it runs. Her brother and her sons wanted to tinker with one for some kind of race you wouldn't catch me watching at the county fair. It so happens that I have a disreputable but running mower, and I offered it. Long story short, a week of telling me she'd be there, or her brother would...and I still have the freakin' mower. She claims to be in seriously ill health, her brother got stuck in traffic, yada yada. If she is ill, I'm sorry, and I've told her so...multiple times. Still doesn't mean that she couldn't have contacted me, or leaned on her brother to live up to his word.

Next, a woman posts that her new home only has wood heating. She wants us to donate deadwood to her, and she & her DH will pick it up, even cut down dead trees for the right to the wood. Okay, we have a couple of dead pines that need cleared out, so I emailed her. And heard nothing. One of our employees needed extra money for school, so we paid him to take down the most pressing one. Over five days later the wench writes back and says she THINKS they will take the wood, and she'll probably write to me at the end of the week for directions. I gave her a polite and pithy bit of advice - when someone offers you something, you doggone well have the courtesy to respond right away, and you do not leave them hanging!

Last, within the same month, I offered a lamp. It was too big, might need some wiring work, although it does work. A woman, who has been constantly begging for crap so we can all set her up in business in an ice cream parlour, jumped on it. Could be there the next morning. Fine, I gave her directions. I come home that evening, there it sits on my porch. No word from her, no apology, no nothing. I emailed the next person on the list, and she got it.

Now, we have seen a little more of the moderator than previously...BUT. She only appears when someone complains about an egregious violation of the rules, to scold the complainer! We should rest assured, sez she, that the rule breakers are being scolded off-list, and two strikes and they're out. I might buy that if I didn't see the same people doing the same crud over and over. Yesterday evening, someone had posted a service for hire, strictly verbotten, and several people (not I, I might add) jumped on her. The moderator, true to form, scolds them.

So, among others, I replied to that email today. I point out that if she told people ON the list when they were screwing up, others could take the lesson too, and maybe we'd have less of the violations going on. I also asked if there were something that could be done to cut down on no-shows.

I immediately got emails off list. First, from the tractor no-show, full of self-pity and sniveling that I should forgive her, and she'll buy me lunch. Of course, I really want to go to lunch and have this dingbat ruin my appetite. No thanks. If she were so worried about my forgiveness, she'd have emailed before, but not until I mentioned it to the list do I hear from her. I told her she didn't need me to forgive her; she'd taught me a lesson.

Another person told me that she found the onlist attacks more distressing than the original bad post...fine. Why tell me? I didn't post one! She then implied I was a moderator. Not. Any word over seven letters was misspelled. Having had enough, I informed her I wasn't moderator, I didn't respond to the original post, but simply asked the moderator a couple of questions. And guessed it!....snarky, I told her to learn to spell, or to get spell-check.

Next, a woman who has attacked me off the list multiple times now. In fact, I have an auto-response sent up for when she emails me. She took me to task for responding to the moderator's message on the list...which is where it was posted! I did a little research, and pointed out that I wasn't surprised that she disagreed with me. Over the last several months, she has asked for, I kid you not, a set of left-handed golf clubs, if you please, a lawn mower (no relation to the other one), a Game Box, all the supplies to throw her brat a party, and diving equipment!!! And that's only a fraction.

She writes back, full of rationalizations, telling me that she and her DH are volunteer EMT/Firefighters. As my BIL, a professional in those fields, would say, they're probably worth every penny. After maligning my character to a fare-thee-well, and informing me how morally superior they are to me, she finishes up with this (directly copied, so sic ad infinitum)...

"I sure hope you or your loved ones never need medical help from us, transportation to the hospital, are involved in a motor vehicle accident, or heaven forbid your house catches on fire. If only you gave as much as we do....and not materialisticIy.....I wish you continued bitterness....and may all the unhappiness, negativity, and sarcasm you spread come back to ou 2-fold!"

Now, that sounds remarkably like a threat to me, and to anyone with whom I shared it. She better PRAY I never find out what firehouse she is with, because I'll just bet they don't condone that behavior. All because she knows she's a greedy glutton, and worse, knows it's obvious to me, and therefore others.

If karma is real, and I happen to think it is, it's positively frightening what she may have in store for her. While I've let everything else go by, this I reported to the Freecycle moderator. If it were my list, and I run plenty, anyone threatening another member would be gone.

Let's see if she has the cojones to do just that. If not, well, I'm stubborn, but I'm not stupid.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I won!

Now on the happier side of things. ;-)
A little bit ago, a friend of mine had a contest on her blog. Rosemarie was getting close to having 20,000 hits on her site, and decided that whomever that person was, s/he would win a prize package. It took awhile to reach, and the day it got close, well, I was a person obsessed. I'm so damned competitive, and over the smallest things! Or, to put a better spin on it, I'm focussed and goal-oriented. Now doesn't that sound admirable? Does too!

In this case, it paid off. If you visit her blog, you'll see what I won. I loved it all, of course, but was most excited by two things. The first was a knitted silk bookmark with my initials. Here's a pic Rosemarie took of it. Isn't it lovely? So soft, too. The other item that set me drooling was my choice of laceweight yarn. We narrowed it down to my color palette (how pretentious is THAT?) and I selected a TWO POUND cone of heavy-laceweight yarn in raspberry. Rosemarie, being the wise woman she is and given that she was shipping from Canada, removed the cardboard cone to reduce the weight, so I now have a center-pull-mostly-cone-shaped massive amount of wool. The picture makes it look a bit brighter than it is...but not by much.

Isn't it gorgeous? Aren't you jealously gnashing your teeth with envy? Doesn't matter; I can imagine that you are, which makes me feel all the luckier. I'm a happy camper.

Time after Time

As my loyal readers (the check's in the mail) know, the DH and I own a photography studio. Thankfully, since we moved into the new place, a very busy studio, therefore one we run by appointments. Some appointments are made weeks in advance, and of course weddings, months, and sometimes years in advance. June 11, 2011 is already booked, right Becca? :-)

Not too surprisingly, time is important to us. We carefully schedule enough time for the type of appointment it is, whether a sitting for an executive, a full family, a senior, or wedding consultation, or get it. We make sure we allocate enough time to do a good job for our clients - and we do.

It would be oh, so nice, were the sentiment reciprocated.

As recently as yesterday, we had an athletic director for a major high school call and leave a message that he needed order envelopes - 250 of 'em - on Monday, and wanted to do all the fall sports pictures on Wednesday. Really? Less than five full days notice? We had a senior portrait sales appointment for one o'clock. The mother called at 10 after one and said they would be a bit late. Golly, really? She showed up after FOUR, saying, oh, gee, she couldn't get a ride. Really? You've had weeks to plan this, and it's our problem? Because no, we couldn't fit her in; we were booked up to closing, and even had one appointment scheduled to start at our closing time. One parent walked in, expecting us to drop anything we had going on to show her her kid's pictures, although she had no appointment at all.

We have people showing up over an hour before their appointments, usually with small cranky children in tow. They plant themselves in our reception area, where we have to try to field clients in person and on the phone against the background of their squealing child, or cell phones cranked to the max, or discussing intimate details of their lives to which, frankly, I do not wish to be privy. Always at a level far louder than required.

Then there was the senior whose mother decided they should not show up because it was raining. This in spite of the fact that they were told, both verbally and in written materials, show up no matter the weather, even if you have an outdoor session. May be raining where you are, but not here. May be just a quick summer shower. May be over by the time your indoor stuff is done, and if it isn't, well, we got your indoor work done and can reschedule the other. Much of our outdoor stuff has covering, anyway. But no, didn't show, didn't call, and the following week called to reschedule with not a word of apology. We were out two hours of our time. Thanks awfully, Mumsie.

And one of the most fun...we open at ten. Signs posted on the parking lot side of the building say so, so does one by the front door. We have a rope across the porch steps. All that would pretty much say to you, "Closed until 10," wouldn't it? But we have people brazenly remove the rope, and if the door is locked, hammer on it. A half hour before their appointment! If the door is unlocked (we had a UPS delivery, say) they walk on in, even though all the lights are off and that sign is STILL there.

It all makes me ache for a little common courtesy and common sense. As Mark Twain said, it's the least common sense of all.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sports Ratings

Watching TV and knitting on the body of my Gaelic Mist sweater today (the sleeves are done!) and of course we're seeing a lot of ads for the upcoming Olympics. I like the games, I watch my favorite sports, and do a little vicarious living, because this hasn't been an athlete's body for a long time.

Which might explain a bit of my green-eyed comments about the uniform of the women's volleyball team. I've owned hankies that are bigger. No kidding, a single diving dig in the wrong direction, and I don't see how they can avoid a 'wardrobe malfunction.' Don't you love the asininity of that phrase?

Anyway, I began to comment to the DH, "If those uniforms got any smaller...." and as I paused for dramatic effect, the DH instantly quipped, "I'd stop watching!!!"

I'm gonna enjoy spending that life insurance money.