Monday, December 31, 2007

why do I care so much? because I'm insane

For the past few days, I have been engaged in a rather frustrating email correspondence with Replacements.com. They are a very cool company because one of the things they do is cut the handle off of a knife or whatever and attach it to pieces that aren't normally available in your flatware pattern. For instance, I have a punch ladle and I'm about to order a wedding cake knife and server (the actual set from our wedding is God knows where, it might have gotten lost in Hurricane Katrina, actually).

Anyway. I decided that I want two child-sized place settings. Oneida, apparently, makes a five-o-clock teaspoon in my pattern, which is a smaller spoon intended for pre-dinner tea or whatever, which can also double as a child-sized spoon. They also make a demitasse spoon, which is approximately toddler-sized. They don't, however, make forks in either size, nor do they make a smaller knife (except for the butter knife, the blade of which is not an appropriate shape to use for cutting food).

Knowing as I do, however, that Replacements.com cuts the handles off of things and attaches them to other things, and knowing also that they make several different kinds of forks (such as ice cream forks aka sporks, oyster forks, pastry forks, etc - presumably by cutting up spoons, I don't own any of these pieces so I can't say for sure), I sent them an email to ask if they could possibly make a couple of sets of child-sized forks and knives for me. They responded that Oneida never made a child-sized set in my pattern, and since they are not a manufacturer, they cannot make one for me.

I, in turn, responded that I knew that Oneida had never made a child-sized set in my pattern, but I was confused, because they "hand craft" pieces all the time (I cited my punch ladle as an example) and what I was really asking was whether or not they take special requests for which pieces to hand craft. They responded that the punch ladle had been made by cutting the handle off of a place knife (um, duh, an idiot could see that) and Oneida never made a child-sized set so they can't make one for me.

I could very easily have responded that there is a child-sized spoon available and they could take the handle from a child-sized spoon and put a fork on it...or they could even just cut the bowl of the spoon into tines...but I'm tired of my comments and requests zooming right over their heads.

So instead, I wrote an email to Oneida and asked if they have any plans to make a child-sized set in the Aquarius or Satin Aquarius pattern. I figure, they have been selling three different versions of this pattern (Aquarius, Satin Aquarius [which I have] and Golden Aquarius) for at least 6 years (I registered in late '01 - early '02), so it must be pretty popular. I cannot possibly be the only person who'd like a child set in the Aquarius pattern.

So if you found me through a random act of Google while searching for a child-sized place setting of your Oneida Aquarius flatware - do me a favor and write to Oneida, too. If enough of us show interest, maybe they'll actually listen. I mean, after all, they make Satin Aquarius steak knives now. That has to mean that they listen to requests, right?


(Here's a picture of the pattern for reference.)

ETA: This was the response from Oneida: "We've had some discussions on offering children flatware to the Pattern for a Lifetime Program. At this time, there is no short term plan. I will pass your comments on to our marketing staff for review." So I'm going to expand my request: if you have any pattern that is part of the Patterns for the Lifetime Program, and you'd like a place setting for your child, please write to Oneida and let them know. They won't know we want it unless we let them know.

toot toot

I like to be efficient with language. I always try to use the word that means exactly what I want to say, and I don't use a phrase where a single word would do better. If there is no one word to express what I want to say, sometimes I make up a new word, just to be more efficient.

Brandon is efficient with language in an entirely different way. If he recognizes that a group of objects or people or concepts all go together, he will choose one word to mean all of those things. For example, Mommy and Daddy are both "dah-ee". (Although he has been saying "mah-ee" occasionally for the past couple of days - finally). All colors are "gee" (green), all numbers are "sees" (six), all bugs are "bee", and peeing, pooping and tooting are all "pee". It's a little frustrating to change his diaper because he came up to me and said, "ah pee!" - only to find that his diaper is completely dry, and he was just telling me that he tooted. Still, I suppose it's a step in the right direction. I do appreciate his thoroughness.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

I'm sure I will find more examples in the future

Some people just shouldn't be allowed to write reviews on Amazon.com (or anywhere else). Even ignoring the people who review things they don't own ("this looks so nice", etc) and the people who use reviews as a forum to ask questions...there are some people who are just so stupid that they should have their keyboards taken away before they hurt themselves.

Like the guy who trashed John Mayer's Continuum because it doesn't contain any songs that he (the reviewer) identified with, as on past albums (because as we all know, our favorite artists should be writing about what's going on in our lives, not theirs) - and then went on to complain that the titles of the songs were too simple, citing "Bold as Love" as an example. John Mayer didn't write "Bold as Love". It's a $#^&@*& Jimi Hendrix song. Dumbass.

I thought that one was bad. Then I started researching blenders. Man, oh man, are there some stupid people out there. Somebody actually deducted a star because "liquid can seep out from the bottom without its rubber gasket." In other words: if you lose the piece that is there to keep it from leaking, it will leak.

Holy God in Heaven. I think my head's about to explode.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Lineup


Lineup
Originally uploaded by LavenderLily.

Santa (and Mommy and Daddy, and Nonna and Pop, and Grandma and Grandpa) went a little overboard with the Cars figurines for Christmas this year. From right to left: Cruisin' McQueen, Dinoco McQueen, Sally, Snot Rod, Wingo, DJ, Boost, Nitroade, Stanley, Buzz, Woody, The Fabulous Hudson Hornet, Sheriff, Flo, Green Ramone, Purple Ramone, Tex, Red. Yes, that's 18 cars. (And it took a footstool, a Cars carrying case, a flexible tripod, and 14 tries to get this shot.)

Merry Christmas, here's a recipe

I don't know if you can really call it a recipe, it's more of general instructions. I don't measure things.

Eggnog Pina Coladas
Put frozen pineapple chunks, a few ice cubes, and a handful or two of coconut flakes in the blender. Add eggnog to cover. Blend. Pour. Add rum if you're not pregnant or a child. (Lucky.) Enjoy.

Mele Kalikimaka!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

happy ho-ho-ho to you!

I would like to thank the following people for making this Christmas rock:
  • Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, for helping me feel like a theater person again. I never get to go see shows anymore - ever - so being able to go see Sweeney Todd made me very, very happy, even if it meant I had to go to the (big) mall on Saturday, December 23rd (it wasn't as bad as I was expecting). Thank you to them for doing a good job with it. I would have hated to have been disappointed like I was with the Rent movie.
  • David Lebovitz, for writing The Perfect Scoop. Your vanilla ice cream was a perfect addition to my Thanksgiving spread, and the chocolate that I just took out of my ice cream maker was already absolutely to die for before I even froze it. (Now that it's frozen, though...Holy freakin' God.) My hat's off to you, sir. You rock.
  • Rachael Ray, for the Venetian Shrimp and Scallops recipe I'm making tonight. I knew I wanted to do Shrimp and Scallops (since, as Giada and Mario taught me, a seafood feast on Christmas Eve is traditional in Italian homes - which struck me as a very, very good idea), but I had no idea what exactly to do with them. Ray Ray to the rescue! I puffy heart the Food Network. (ETA: very yummy. The crushed red pepper gives it a nice kick, and the lemon zest is very subtle. Yum yum yum yum yum.)
  • Hershey's, for making teeny tiny Peppermint Patties and Peanut Butter Cups for baking into cookies. Um, yum.
  • Brian, for coming up with the idea of staying at the Hale Koa (the military-owned resort on the beach in Waikiki) for three nights last week. A "Hawaiian Vacation" was exactly what we needed.

Monday, December 24, 2007

failing sucks

Since the first time I saw an American Idol audition episode, it has been one of my biggest, most repressed fears that I am one of those people. The ones who think they're awesome, but really, really suck. The delusional ones.

How many times does the world have to send you the same message before you start listening? How many times do you have to be unsuccessful at something before you finally give up? At what point does it stop being stick-to-it-iveness and start being self-delusion? How can you blow off a rejection when it comes from 25+ people all at the same time? How can that many people be wrong all at once?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

swing your razor wide, Kerry

I am, in general, very tolerant of toddler behavior. I am a mother, I have a 2-year-old, I know how they act. And that is why I don't bring my 2-year-old to the movies with me. Bringing a 2.5-year-old to the movies is rude to the other people in the theater. Letting them run loose up and down the aisle and "talk" to the other people in the theater is just beyond words.

But bringing a 2.5-year-old to Sweeney Todd...that's just flat-out bad parenting. The R rating should have been a clue. Murder, cannibalism, child abuse, spurting blood and people being burned alive. Fun for the whole family!!!

And in case you're wondering, I didn't let the wandering go on for very long. Pretty much the second I noticed it I said, "whose child is this?" - knowing full well whose child it was, since there were less than 20 people in the theater - and they actually kept the kid pretty quiet for the rest of the movie.

And another thing...don't go to a movie adaptation of a Broadway musical - a sung-through Broadway musical at that - and complain about how there's too much music. And for the love of God, if you're going to complain, don't complain to the person who obviously enjoyed the movie, silently mouthing the words to the songs. Because if you were to say to that woman, "A little too much singing, huh?" - then she will reply, "No, actually. It's a Sondheim musical. What were you expecting?" and walk the f*ck away from your dumb ass.

I'll write a review of the movie itself when I get a little more time. Maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

while hallucinations of talking shovels danced in their heads

I have watched a LOT of Blue's Clues over the past couple of months. At first I was convinced that Steve was high as a kite and hallucinating - talking soap? A talking mailbox? A talking clock? ...I don't think I have to go on to list all of the characters. I don't know what Joe's deal is, but Steve was definitely high.

Then I added this DVD back into the rotation. (We bought it last year but Brandon wasn't really into Blues Clues at the time.) At first, the episode "Blue's First Holiday" seems pretty cool - everyone watches home movies made by Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper back in the day (when Steve was a little kid and Joe was a baby), that show how they all met Blue and how the game of Blue's Clues came about.

Then you realize that poor 7-year-old Steve is taking care of his baby brother all by himself and receiving "holiday" presents by mail. No wonder he talks to his side table drawer. You probably would too, if you'd had a childhood like that.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

the saga of the baby doll

I have been looking for a baby doll for Brandon. A basic, but decent quality, little boy baby doll so that Brandon can practice holding the baby, being gentle, etc. I had no idea it would be so difficult.

I looked at the Navy Exchange first. They had one single boy baby doll, and it was the kind with the freaky eyes that open and close, which are of course a choking hazard. All of the dolls that were appropriate for children under age 3 were dressed in pink and had definitely girly features.

I looked at Price Busters this morning. They had a couple that were decent enough, but they were $15 and I knew I had seen the same ones (or the girl versions thereof) at the Exchange for $10.

I went to the Air Force Exchange. Almost every single baby doll they had was dark-skinned. I don't mean dark dark-skinned (of which there was exactly one), I mean kind of light brown, like Native Hawaiian. Which would have made sense at the Navy Exchange, which is off base, and where 80% of the customers are unauthorized civilians whose friends and family sneak them in because they work there - so therefore, mostly Native Hawaiian. No, this was at the Air Force Exchange, which is actually on base. I can't explain it. Maybe they stock mostly light brown dolls at the Navy Exchange, too, but they all got bought up. I don't know. All I know is I wanted a light-skinned baby boy doll, because that is what I am having. The closest I was able to come was a gender-neutral Fisher-Price baby doll in a yellow duckie outfit...which was $15 as opposed to the non-name-brand baby dolls that were all $10 and come with accessories. This one came with nothing extra but it has pale-ish skin, dark hair, and big brown eyes.

It wasn't until I got home and looked at the receipt that I realized this is supposedly an "Asian" baby. Doesn't look at all Asian to me (round eyes and a skintone with no yellow undertones whatsoever) - but whatever. Figures that the only white baby boy isn't even supposed to be white.

Oh and Brandon's reaction? It scares the living bejeezus out of him. We're talking screaming, shaking, running away, the whole bit. I had to lock it in a closet. $15 well spent. I can only imagine what would've happened if I'd gotten the one with the freaky eyes.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

oy.

When I had my 20-week ultrasound with Brandon, I remember still not being sure if I could feel him moving around or not. With this pregnancy, I could feel the baby moving at 14 weeks, which can totally be explained by the usual explanation of "you are more sensitive to the baby's movements the second time around, and you are more easily able to tell the difference between the baby moving and digestive sensations." But that explanation doesn't even come close to explaining why, at 19 weeks, I could feel him kicking from the outside (when I put my hand on my belly) or why, at 20 weeks, I could see him kicking - my belly is already moving.

I was convinced that Brandon was going to break one of my ribs by the time he was born. This little one is even stronger. Pray for me.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

beware of knitting patterns in blogs...

...because not everyone who posts patterns in their blogs knows what the heck they're doing. Granted, I say this as someone who hopes to eventually start posting patterns here, but I just knitted a hat for an adult that turned out approximately large enough for a toddler. I can't go into too much detail here, since it's a Christmas present, but upon unraveling about 30 rows (which sucks to do, let me tell you) I discovered that it wasn't the whole pattern that was to blame, it was just the last 30 rows that are completely illogical and not thought-through. So I have to re-write the end of the pattern myself and hope it turns out better. I don't have time for crap like this - it's December 5th and I only have about half of my gifts done. That'll teach me to find patterns by googling.

Incidentally, I do plan on posting pictures of all the things I've been knitting lately, after Christmas.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

more about those silly lights

I found them! At Walmart out in Kunia. They are strings of 50, so naturally I bought 8 sets. Yup, that's eight strings of random twinkle lights. I'm probably only ever going to use 2 at a time, maybe 3 or 4, but I've been actively looking for them for 5 years (and been keeping my eyes open for them since I was, oh, about 10 years old and saw them in a department store holiday display) and I want to make sure that I always have a backup supply. Sure, I could've waited until the end of the season and gotten them on clearance...but who's to say that there still would've been any left?
So since I found them yesterday, and we decorated the tree on Sunday, it'll be one more year until I'm able to use them. But next year...oh, baby my tree will be awesome. ... And surrounded by a big plastic play yard fence. *shrug* Oh well.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

too lazy to think of a title

How about a bulleted list today?
  • I am having another boy. We know exactly what his name is but we're keeping it a secret. There has to be some element of surprise. He is big (meauring six days ahead and his little thighs are already chunky), very active (I can already feel him kicking from the outside), and he has Brian's nose. I figure that since Brandon has my nose but yet looks exactly like every picture I've ever seen of Brian as a toddler, maybe this one will actually look like me? Maybe?
  • I have spent the last five Christmas seasons searching for twinkle lights - the kind that randomly dim in and out. I have a very clear vision of what I want my Christmas tree to look like but I've never quite achieved it: multicolored globe lights of varying sizes, and white twinkle lights. Last year I found the lights I wanted on the Ace Hardware website, so I went to every single Ace Hardware on the island (okay, I admit it, except for the one way up in Haleiwa) and they all only had rope lights - and a pretty dismal selection of rope lights, at that. Eventually at the end of the season I finally found twinkle lights...somewhere, I can't remember where, probably Long's...on clearance, and I bought four sets. I was so super excited - I was finally going to have the tree of my dreams this year. We took them out of the box today and...they have a white cord. D'oh! Back to the drawing board. I was so upset that I immediately went out to Walmart. At 4pm on a Saturday afternoon. On December 1st. I must be a masochist. At least Brandon fell asleep in the car and slept through the whole trip - yay for the elusive two-year-old nap. Anyway, they had twinkle lights...with a green cord...and multicolor bulbs. Arrrrrrrggghh!!! I will go to one or two more stores tomorrow but if I don't find any, I'll have to order off of the internet and wait until next year to use them (because we are putting the ornaments up tomorrow and it will be too late to put up more lights). Rats.
  • I went to Burger King again on Thursday. We got home from music class at lunchtime. I was planning on heating up some leftovers in the microwave. The power was out. Usually we are warned in advance about power outages - they are building new housing units on the next block so the power is out often. So since the power was out, I couldn't use the microwave or the stove (since it is electric), so I put Brandon back in the car to go get something to eat. I wasn't particularly in the mood for any kind of fast food, but I knew that he would like some chicken nuggets and french fries, so Burger King it was.

    I decided to get the new spicy chicken sandwich meal...plus one extra spicy chicken sandwich. I forgot to order them without mayo, that was my bad. I asked for a toddler toy with the Happy Meal, and they gave me the regular Spongebob toy with "not for children under 3" written on the packaging clear as day. Whatever, they only have 4 different toddler toys and we have at least one of each already anyway. By the time we got near home, Brandon was almost asleep (with a chicken nugget in his hand), so I decided to drive an extra little loop or two around the neighborhood until he fell asleep. I was starving, though, so I started eating french fries.

    Brandon's child-sized bag of fries was easier to find in the bag so I ate them (fully intending, of course, to give him half of my fries once he woke up at home). After I finished his fries, I searched through the bag to find my fries and - lo and behold - they were not there. I checked the receipt. Yup, there it was, "Med. Fries". I had paid for them. I looked at the two tiny spicy chicken sandwiches, listened to my stomach growl, and knew that there was no way those two sandwiches would ever be enough. I decided to go back.

    Now when I first went through the drive through, it was noon, which means that I waited in line for at least 10 minutes. It was now 12:30 and I knew that I would have to wait again, but I didn't even care. It was the principle of the thing. I was starving and I paid for fries, and dammit, I was going to get my fries!! I imagined all kinds of ways that they could give me a hard time and rehearsed my responses to all of them. "No, I cannot come inside, I have a baby asleep in the backseat and I am NOT going to wake him up and make him miss his nap because you can't do your job."

    I drove back to the base, waited at the gate again, showed my ID, drove to BK, waited in line for another 10 minutes, and finally got back to the speaker thing. It just so happened that the manager was out there at that very moment, fixing something. "I was here a little while ago," I said, "and I ordered a medium fry that you didn't give me." "We'll take care of that for you, ma'am," the manager said. He leaned into the speaker. "Make it a large." Not bad. But they still suck.