Apparently, the US was called "stingy" (rightly so) and now the Bush administration has pledged a total of $35 million towards the earthquake/tsunami relief effort. (In other news, Washington is offering $25 million for information leading to the death or capture of Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who has been hailed as the head of Al Qaeda in Iraq.) $25 million, easy come, easy go- for certain causes that is.
OK, so here's some organizations that are mounting relief efforts to help with the crisis in Asia. I just tried calling a few to get more information (Like, if I donate to you, what percentage of the actual $$ will be sent for aid?), but there were long wait times to speak with representatives from the organizations that I called. I haven't chosen the one that I will donate to, but when I figure that I out, I'll post it (assuming that one is better than the others.) And if anyone reading this has any inside knowledge, please pass it on!
— American Jewish World Service: 800-889-7146, http://www.ajws.org
— American Red Cross International Response Fund: 800-HELP NOW, http://www.redcross.org
The devastation occurring on the other side of the world right now breaks my heart. Yesterday I was able to hold back tears as I was reading news updates, today I could not.
I feel quite useless at my sedentary desk job....I have no even distant family member or friend affected by the earthquake and tsunami, but I still have this need to do something. The best I could work up at the moment, was a call to the President to request that he scale back the $40 million dollar inauguration bash and donate more than the $20 million in aid that will be sent to Asia. Maybe you could call, too?
Here's the number:
So, I don't like my landlady.
She is one of those types that takes on projects, like owning a house and having tenants, as if it were a pet. And she is a terrible pet owner: not one of those loving, dog-owner types, but rather a goldfish-killer, forget-to-water-the-cactus-to-death, types. Let's call her Homeowner extraordinaire or HE for short.
I have many quibbles about her negligence, but really not quite enough patience to document it all here. So I'll just give the highlights of the "good times".
1.) The Mold.
So, the back corner of the house looked like godzilla had been snacking on it. I mean there was a chunk of house, just gone. You know, I mentioned it at the lease signing and was told that it was, "Not my problem". Well, post-remnants of hurricane, um, which one was it?, Bob or Waldo or something, mold began growing in the corner of my daughter's room, about 3 feet from where her head rests to sleep. This was the beginning of the saga that involved many phone calls and a very convoluted path to resolution. (yes, this ends well.)
2.) The Glass
Somehow HE got it in her head that the house needed to be painted (Although how painting could resolve the godzilla snack problem was and is still a mystery to me. I don't think logic is one of HE's better traits.) So during the painting process the newest immigrant, $2-an-hour workers that HE'd hired removed all of the storm glass and put them *inside* my house in front of every window. For 2 months.
And it was *only* two months because I removed them from inside my house myself, following several futile phone calls and broken promises (She's not a call-returning-type of girl) which incited me to take matters into my own hands. I decided that I didn't feel like sueing her after my 2-yr-old fell into a pane of glass (oh, wait, 2-yrs-olds NEVER trip or jump...I'm just overprotective. ?)
3.) The Call
Dec. 1, 8:51am
HE leaves a message on my work voicemail complaining that I was 2 months late on my rent, due on the 1st of the month. Following my blood pressure spike, I confirmed via on-line banking that not only had I mailed my November's rent, but it had been cashed and cleared by Nov. 8th. So I was late on December's rent as of Dec. 1, 8:51 am?!? Um, hmmmm.
4.) The Current State
Well, I returned her call and finally laid into her, in contrast to all the nice, positive-reinforcement type calls that I'd made in the past. It felt good and apparently is the right way to handle this woman: She said "thank you!" right before I slammed the phone down. So, I'm prepared to be neglected for awhile, again. The storm windows are still not in (yay, expensive heating bills!!), but at least they are not sitting ducks for a 2-yr-old crash. I'm just hoping that my bathroom ceiling leak doesn't start up again...HE will decide to have Spanish only-speaking cheap labor plant new bushes instead of sending in construction workers, while my ceiling caves in (but, goddamn-it the neighbors will think the house looks great!)
OK. So here's Delta's response. I thought that they were nice, but not abundantly overflowing as they should be, with their compensation. You can decide for your self, though....
Dear Dr. B,
Thank you for your comments regarding your recent flights. I am disappointed to read of the service you were offered as you describe, and appreciate your taking time to let us know your concerns.
We are striving to become the world's greatest airline, that starts with becoming number one in the eye of our customers. More importantly, our team is well-trained to be sensitive and caring in assisting you with any needs you may have, especially under such circumstances. While there are many different things that can interfere with our operation, we realize that the way our people respond is what will ultimately determine how our customers will feel about us. Knowing this, it was very disturbing to have your report about how poorly we handled the circumstances you described. Please accept my sincerest apology and rest assured that we will make every effort to ensure that things are handled differently in the future.
While I cannot recreate this specific flight, I have authorized a transportation voucher for $75.00 to be sent to you, which you can use toward the purchase of a future Delta flight. You should receive this voucher within the next 2-3 weeks.
Again, I am very sorry for any hardships we may have caused. I realize you have a choice when making travel plans, and hope you will give Delta another opportunity to be of service.
Thank you again for your feedback.
Woooowho! Sweet! I'm going to the bank with my $75 bucks! Oh, wait, I can only use it for 'future Delta travel'. Bugger that. I get 1/4th of a ticket paid for and they get more business? How about a refund on the money I already dropped for a lousy, puke-seat. And re-reading that last bit made me think of two words: COOKIE CUTTER. Um, yeah, have they had to use this form letter much?
To Whom It May Concern,
My experience on Delta flight 446 from San Diego on November 19 was very
upsetting. As the aircraft was preparing for departure and we were
instructed to fasten our seatbelts, I reached under the cushion to find myseat belt and discovered that the belt was in fact covered with ordorous
puke. The passenger next to me flagged down a stewardess and the
stewardess was informed of the situation. She returned five minutes later
and hurriedly snatched my belongings, as I grabbed the hand of my 2 year
old daughter. The stewardess shoved my belongings that had been
underneath my seat into an overhead bin, including a plant that has been a
gift. Then she proceeded to lecture me that I needed to voice any
problems or concerns earlier in the takeoff process. Another stewardess
then came along to discuss how apparently all airlines are having a
problem cleaning planes due to short turn around times and also confirmed
that a young passenger on the previous flight had been sick. Neither
woman was sympathetic to the fact that I had come into contact with
another person's bodily fluids and have a decent chance of contracting
disease. Neither were apolgetic to the fact that the entire situation
arose because of Delta's incompetant cleaning service, while I innocently
and unluckily had been issued a very dirty seat. Another passenger did
have the fortune of being upgraded to the first class area, which begs the
questions of, "Why was I not compensated by a seat upgrade for being put
out considerably?" More importantly, I wanted to make Delta aware that
their flight cleaning services do not meet the minimum standard of removal
of potentially hazardous substances, which could be a liability and will
certainly convince passengers to find other airlines or methods of
So, watching "Super Size Me!" really brought home some ideas that had been laying dormant in my mind. Firstly, cities are good. Yeah, they can be smelly,dirty, loud, and busy but goddamnit, people WALK. And you can tell the difference, too, just by observing the people. Apparently the residents of NYC walk 4-5 miles daily, while the distance that most Americans with desk jobs walk can be measured easily in feet. The people of NYC *look* like they walk- they look trim and fit and GOOD. While, I get pretty grossed-out watching people in other places jiggle their asses around-I guess it's lucky that I don't even see most of them since they don't venture from their homes or work or cars.
Recently it's dawned on me how important sidewalks are. Connecticut lacks reliable sidewalks. You can be walking along just fine and then find yourself all sidewalk-less stuck on the side of a road, hoping that you're not sideswiped by a car. And it's even more fun if you're say, going all wild and trying to push a stroller or something. It's near impossible, and I'm sure not a fun time for the passenger, either. Anyways, how are you supposed to keep up your cardiovascular health and try to live longer, when likely the only way that you can give your legs a workout is by some gopher-machine that you pay >$100/month to ride? I think it's time for sidewalks, CT.
So a review of my past blogging reveals that apparently my blog is the dumping ground for any bit of unhappiness that my mind musters. I mean, it's pretty sad...anyone that reads this site must think that I am a miserable, self-confidence-free chick. The reality is really less extreme. So in an effort to promote that spin (and we all know that perception=reality) I am going to try and write only when my words are fueled by happy stuff; we'll see what that produces. Hopefully it won't be boring. ;)
I plan on being in a food coma for the next couple weeks, so maybe that'll make for some happy posts. Or maybe that'll make for no posts at all because I'll be supine and low on inspiration to move off the couch. (Which may lead readers to assume the worst about my happiness level.)
And to support this bit of positivity, I'm providing a link with a ray of hope, although it may be foolhardy to invest too much hope.....
And I just got back from a nice mid-afternoon walk intended to a.) jostle my brain into waking up and b.) take care of some not-worth-detailing errands. Amusingly enough, upon entering the YMCA building I was asked if I was going to be part of the Conga line...I apparently need to frequent there more often.
OK, and ya'll are about to have the fortune of ready access to some solid-blog-action (as opposed to this wanna-be, more like a diary of random thoughts-style blog.) It'll be interesting to see how long it will take before my boy tracks my link to him...(The interconnectedness of webs and the ability to track a person's web meanderings is astounding and scary at times...)
So I've already cried and that hasn't made me feel better. I certainly already tried the technique of overabundant swearing (pretty much all last night) and that also got me no where. So where to go from here? I'm really thinking about moving. Disowning all the fuckers that think that Bush is a good thing. How can I be associated with a country that I am completely embarrassed about it's leadership and foreign policy? Anyways, if anyone has a solid lead on how I can constructively deal with my anger at being given another four year sentence, then I'm all ears. Lay it on me.
And if you are a person that doesn't approve of Bush and didn't vote, then fuck you. Especially if you live in Ohio. You better have been trapped under a heavy rock for the entirety of November 2nd.
So the real indicator of how terribly I view the world right now becomes apparent when I look at my thighs. Right now to me they look so chunky, despite my 5'71/2 and 124 lb stature and the fact that I am dressed entirely in black today(a nice thinning color, although that had absolutely nothing to do with why I picked the outfit I chose). I just think the world sucks right now. I'm curious to know how long these dark feelings will last.
I feel like my world is slowly crumbling. The bricks that form the base of my stability are being removed. I guess it's good that I'm given a small forewarning before it happens...little hints here and there that things are not going to work out. Too bad it coincides with less daylight: it all conspires to lessen the probability of my emergence from bed in the morning. How will tomorrow add or detract from that? I'm anxious to know and really the polls just fuck with your mind and don't give useful clues to the outcome. My one consolation is that it'll be decided tomorrow; although the back of my mind tells me that likely, that's not true either. I'm old: I like blue cheese and care about politics. I miss the days of being annoyed at my parents for making us sit through the news and then watch MASH. I was the most clueless of little girls...my straight A's were marred by current events quizzes where I would even miss teacher gimmees like "Who ya gonna call?" I was so uncool. Should I be using past tense?
It's so strange to see peeople post things like their condom purchasing experience on their blog. Are they trying to incite offers? Have fate strike at them by making the next time that they need them be so far in the future that they've gone bad? And the purchasing of condoms without a real intent is strange to me too. Like any birth control that I've ever procured has had someone's name all over it. It's never been, "hmmm, I wonder who will get the pleasure of using this with me?" ;) And if I ever random shop: ya know, buy crap that is an afterthought and had no connection to any goal or need other than to subjugate some other thing that I felt was missing in my life, then I wouldn't buy condoms. How about some nice smelly candle or a lipstick (or chapstick, if that person were like me) or some good, new music? OK, so back to posting personal stuff on a website. I guess electronic words are more impersonal than I thought because many of things that I read I would blush at if it were just me re-reading old stuff in my own diary. But I've begun to think of myself as uptight and maybe this just adds to the evidence.
Really, there's no time for this new pet. But it's so irresistable...
And blogging has GOT to increase my hip-rating (yo, just rationalize away...)
You, know, the East coast smells so much more than the midwest, and I don't mean in a pleasant way. Why must there BE so many frequent, unpleasant odors? OK, ok. Yes the midwest does have it's manure issues, but at least it's limited to a specific time of year. But in the east coast's favor, grocery stores of the East coast completely *rock* the buildings that they're passing off as marts in the midwest. The food is just so much more yummier and interesting, and not even stupidly priced, as you might expect. One request, though, East coast marts: can't you have a nice grid pattern? You're so screwed if you follow the windy paths of certain unnamed stores and have the late epiphany that you've run out of carrots. You're stuck redoing the entire trip, if you neglect to pick up something (such as carrots) which were placed near the entrance of the store. Maybe East coasters don't even know that there is a better, more logical way to set up their stores because they're so used to that crap when they're out driving. There's no use even trying to muster some sense of direction or use logic when navigating the streets. It can be pretty ugly without a nice, lovely grid pattern (props, Chicago!)