Monday, August 23, 2010

UCR A&E Factory Service

My dishwasher broke. After several weeks of washing dishes by hand and using the dishwasher as a nonfunctional kitchen decoration, I finally called Kitchenaid to ask about getting it repaired. They recommended A&E Factory Service. I called them, they made an appointment for today, Monday, August 23. The repairman would be there some time between 1 and 5 pm. Okay, fine.

At 5:01 pm the repairman, Jimmy, called and said he still had another job to do in San Rafael and that he would be here between 6:15 and 6:30. Okay, fine.

At 6:15 pm the repairman called again. "I'm here but I can't find a parking space. You'll need to reschedule. Do you know how busy your street is today?" I asked him to wait a second, was he serious? Was he really leaving because he couldn't find parking? Yes. Unless I could PROVIDE a parking space, he would be leaving and I would need to reschedule. I started sputtering about how that didn't make any sense so he told me to call the company phone number.

I called the company's 800 number and the woman I spoke to (in Texas) told me she had no idea how I expected someone to come fix my dishwasher if I didn't provide a parking space. I explained that I live in a big city and that it had been my understanding that he would park in a loading zone or something. I also told her that when I had called to make my appointment, no one had mentioned the parking requirement to me. "Well, (sigh)," she said "what do you expect to happen how?" I told her that I thought the repairman should park in one of the several pay garages on the street and the company should pay for it. The woman said she would make a note on the account and that someone would call the local branch and then call me.

Five minutes later, the repairman called again and told me that the company had called and told him to leave, so he was leaving. "When would you like to reschedule?" he asked. Full of bitterness and rage, I laughed. "Oh no, I won't be rescheduling," I said. "I'm canceling."

I live in San Francisco. San Francisco is a big city with lots of cars and very little parking. It was my understanding that deliverymen and repairmen and movers and whatnot were used to finding loading zone spaces or using their tricks of the trade to find a place to park....? I mean, I see repair trucks and delivery trucks and moving vans parked on busy streets every day....? Am I the crazy one?

So. To sum up, I am HIGHLY unimpressed with A&E Factory service. Their repairman arrived an hour and fifteen minutes outside the original 4 hour window I was given, and he left without looking at my dishwasher. Because I didn't provide parking. IN SAN FRANCISCO.

Now. Does anyone know a good dishwasher repair service?

Staying In

Today I am staying in.
I am staying in this morning because I will inevitably spend money if I go out and I really shouldn't.
I am staying in this afternoon because I am waiting for the dishwasher repair man to come.
If the dishwasher gets repaired early enough, I am allowing myself 1 (one) trip to the Goodwill donation station. But that is ALL.

Today I am packing.
I am packing for a mini road trip that I am planning to take to Southern California. Just for a couple days, just to see a couple of important people while I'm still in this strange limbo of summer break/working part time.

I have my audiobooks. I have my new hot pink duffel bag. I have clean tank tops and undies and my swimsuit and flip flops.
I don't have an itinerary.
My plans to stay with my friend M fell through because of the construction at her apartment so now I'm not quite sure about lodging. I texted a couple of people but have yet to hear back. I'm not worried, though-- something will work out. It always does.
The last time I drove down to LA on my own, somebody (you can probably figure out who) flaked on me at the last minute and I called my friend Nicole at 11 pm from a Safeway parking lot off the I-5. She had to work at 7 am the next morning but she gave me directions to her house and promised to have a vodka cran and some cheese ready for me when I got there.

So I don't have a plan, but I have a very long car ride and a cell phone to figure it out. I would like to see my friends. I would like to eat at some of my favorite restaurants. I would like to wear my sundresses.

It is actually a little bit surreal to be going to LA. I used to live there. For eight years, I lived there. I considered it my home. And now I hardly consider it at all.
LA is big and loud and dirty and inconvenient. It is full of people looking at you, looking at each other, dressing up to go to the grocery store. It is full of people who are something else. Bartenders are actors, waitresses are singers, singers are poets, celebrities are a nuisance.

LA still has a special place in my heart, and I think it always will. I don't want to live there, but I want to remember what it was like to live there and the kind of person I was. I recently showed my SF friends how I would sway my hips when I walked in my heels and fancy jeans, tossing my hair and pouting because I knew people were looking. Someone was always looking. I never walked anywhere I could drive. I would drive across the street to Trader Joe's to buy a salad for lunch. But after a night of drinking, my friends and I would walk home a mile or two from the bars. Because it was warm enough. And because we were too cheap to pay for a cab and none of us had the phone number for one anyway.

I lived there for eight years and the last time I was there was in the middle of last December. The last time I drove down there on my own was almost one year ago. My my how things have changed in one year.

I wonder if going there this time will feel different. I try not to wonder what my life would be like if I hadn't left.

Today I am packing and tidying up. I am waiting. I am staying in.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I'm irrationally afraid...

... of Ferris Wheels.
I don't remember the exact beginning of this but I do remember specific terrifying trips on the Ferris Wheel. Like the time I went with my sister and my dad on this big one where you rode in this round capsule thing with seats all around and I spent the whole time crouched on the floor in the center. And then there was the time that Jenny made me go on the one at the Boardwalk where you're in a cage and there is a lever that you can pull to spin the cage around and upside down. I remember we were 10 or 11 and I remember that Jenny was in charge of pulling the lever and I was in charge of screaming hysterically.

... of people in big costumes.
If you want to see me have a panic attack, invite a big be-costumed person to come over and hug me. Seriously. I RAN the other direction when I saw Elmo walking toward me at Blogher.

... of Giants.
Whenever I'm, like, driving at night or see something weird out of the corner of my eye, the creepy thing I think it might be is always a GIANT. Like: Aah! A giant! Oh, no, wait, it's just a lamppost with a tree behind it. Thank goodness.

... that one of those highway overpasses is going to come to life and start walking around like an enormous centipede.
That's what I think about every single time I drive under one like this.

So, uh, your turn?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


If you have ever been a child or spent time with children you probably know that they can be finicky eaters. It's amazing-- without ever having tried something, somehow young children just know they don't like it! "I don't LIKE that stuff" my niece will say, pointing at the offending freshly grated parmesan cheese atop her pasta shells.

But I really have no high horse when it comes to this subject. I was the child who went through the "only white foods" phase wherein I refused to eat anything but white bread, cottage cheese, marshmallows, and rice. And I spent a long time (I'm talking years) not liking certain foods just because I hadn't really tried them. Olives. Pickles. Shrimp. Cashews. Lentils. Broccoli. Swiss cheese. Oysters. Mushrooms. Jalapeno Poppers. Onions. Custard. Sushi. I decided I didn't like these foods and so I didn't eat them.

Over the years I managed to take off my crazy hat and realized that I, in fact, DID like these foods. That pickles are saltily delicious and Sushi is bite-sized and nummy and Jalapeno Poppers WERE SENT STRAIGHT FROM THE HEAVENS.


On Sunday my mom took me to Gayle's Bakery which you should totally visit if you are ever in the neighborhood. Becauase uh mah guh, you guys. The pastries! The breads! The cookies! The sandwiches and cakes! The num!

I decided on a ham and brie sandwich on french bread and started eating it with great enthusiasm. It was delicious! Or was it? Something was... off. I stopped to examine the sandwich before I took another bite.
And I saw them.



I had always unconsciously classified Capers into that category of "foods I just ignore." Sure they might be on some chicken dish I ordered at a restaurant but I could just scoot them out of the way and forget about them. I didn't think I cared too much either way about capers but I preferred not to eat them.

But then they were right there smooshed in my sandwich! All green and glisteny with hairy-looking stuff squishing out. GAAAAH.

So. Capers. Capers have now been reclassified into the category of FOODS I DO NOT LIKE. Or perhaps FOODS THAT ARE TRYING TO STEAL MY SOUL. I don't know what precisely it is about them but on Sunday I discovered that capers reduce me to involuntary twitches and shudders and I have to put my hands on the back of my neck and rock back and forth and squeeze my eyes shut and hold my breath and I can't even look at my sandwich anymore because, seriously CAPERS ARE EVIL.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Because pale is the new HAWT.

I am VERY EXCITED about this birthday present from my mom. Check it, yo.
It's one of those ridiculous, long sleeved rash guards that I used to laugh at people for wearing on hot, sunshiny days!
I wore it to the waterpark with my sis and her kids and some of their cousins and I was the only one who escaped completely sunburn-free. It protects my skin, it protects my tattoos, and it keeps me warmer (I'm always cold).
I used to like to be tan but now that I've decided to embrace my pallid alabaster skin, I also embrace the rash guard (which is easy to do because it has arms).
Maybe next I'll get a parasol.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Jules vs Crisps

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen a photo I posted yesterday.

I was walking in the fair city of San Francisco yesterday, listening to my ipod and daydreaming. I was walking briskly and not paying too much attention to my surroundings but I happened to glance up at a building on 3rd street and notice a banner advertisement for Pretzel Crisps hanging from it. And then I did a double take. So I took a photo and uploaded it to Twitpic. And the people, they were rightfully outraged.

Here is the slogan Pretzel Crisps chose to advertise their product:

Yikes, right? I mean, GAH. What were they thinking?

Actually, here's what they were thinking:
They're a thin pretzel cracker!

They're using the word "thin" creatively!
People are interpreting the ads in their own way! Silly people!


But you'll notice that last tweet was dated on August 4 and I saw the ad yesterday (August 12).

A Pretzel Crisps rep has also stated:
"We hope people noticed what isn’t in the ads: No extra thin, scantily clad female models; No mention of dieting programs, points, etc… Our website and facebook page are all about EATING. We talk about pairing our product in different ways for appetizers. We want people to eat. Our health benefits section details how we can be part of a healthy eating regimen. We in no way advocate unhealthy weight loss or want to promote a bad body image.
We appreciate your feedback and apologize if the ad offended people. We are listening to feedback and making some adjustments to the campaign."

Okay, so. The company points out that they never meant for their ads to advocate unhealthy weight loss and that they never even mentioned dieting.

But that's not really the point.

That Pretzel Crisps ad is just plain offensive, whether or not it is MEANT to be a direct and obvious statement about weight loss, dieting, anorexia or whatever else has been speculated.

"You can never be to thin" is just a douchey thing to say. Period.

After I posted the photo yesterday, I received a message from this blogger who has successfully encouraged Pretzel Crisps to change their ads in New York. He asked me where I had taken the photo and forwarded the information on to the Pretzel Crisps company. They responded and said the ads in California would be taken down on Monday. You can read about this here.

So. Hooray for the internet! I'm really glad so many people noticed and RT'ed the photo and that it generated so much attention. Obviously my piddly little tweet wouldn't have done much on its own (especially since I have a protected account).

If you see any more offensive Pretzel Crisps ads up in your neck of the woods, be sure to tell on them. Teh interwebz iz powerful, homie.

New Jeans HAY-OH!

I have been wearing the same jeans for a rather long time. Since, oh, sophomore year of college I think? So that's eightish years.

They are Hydraulic brand and if memory serves I believe I bought them at Nordstrom. They were probably around $60 which seemed like and AWFUL LOT to pay for a pair of jeans. Especially since I decided I liked them so much that I went back and bought a second pair. They've faded over time and the hems are frayed and torn. And for some reason the back pocket buttons on ONE pair have fallen off. But I can't give them up. Because other jeans have come and gone but these babies have LASTED.
Here they are. I took the following pictures of them in a dressing room where I was fruitlessly trying on other jeans.
From the front:

From the side:

I don't know if the photos do those jeans justice for how much I like them. They are comfortable but still look pretty good. At 97% cotton/3% spandex they have enough stretch to give a little if my weight fluctuates. And did I mention they are EIGHT YEARS OLD? Maybe that's not SO long but it's eight years of heavy use-- of wearing them at least a couple times per week, in the rain, in the snow, in the mud, and throwing them in the washer and dryer.

I have certainly bought and worn many a pair of other jeans within the past eight years. But none of them had the staying power. They either would get too small or too big at some point or they would have some defect I failed to notice when I bought them: like too thick of fabric or too long of a crotchular region.

It took me a long time to realize that if I wanted new jeans that I would wear all the time, I should be looking for replacements of THOSE SPECIFIC jeans. Not that there's anything really WRONG with them right now, but just in case both pairs get torn or lost or we just stop getting along as well as we used to. And actually, I probably should retire them soonish anyway... I tend to hang onto things long after the magic has faded and all that's left is bitterness and frustration.

Anyhow! I don't want to speak too soon but I think at long last I may have found them! At Charlotte Russe, for $34.50, with 98% cotton/2% spandex.

Here are some photos of them (taken on a different day from those above, though I do seem to be wearing the exact same shirts).

From the front:

From the side:

I think (hope) we have a winner! (But I'm definitely hanging on to the old ones for as long as we can stand each other).

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Blogher10: In No Particular Order

The vodka is gone. So is the jerky.

Taking the red-eye has its pros and cons. Pros include having the entire day to dither and run errands and pack before you head to the airport. Cons include half-assed beverage service on the plane and passing out on the NYC Hilton lobby couch because your room isn't ready but you can't keep your eyes open anymore.

I am so glad I bought gold flats before I left-- I wore them to all the cocktail parties. Except the one where I wore my sliver shoes (to match my sliver jewelry).
Yes, I have oddly long toes.
The evenings were a blur of cocktail parties, dancing, nummy snackies, random jaunts to nearby bars, ending up in someone's hotel room (or bathroom) for an afterpartyish type thing, and finally falling facedown into bed in the wee hours of the morn.
All the Single Ladies....
 Bibliosaurus attack!
At the Irish Pub, up very late.
Past our bedtime.
Gots ta get her sugar.
I met, uh, A LOT of people. A lot of awesome, fabulous people who were made up of more than just their avatar photos, strangely enough! I don't know really how to describe it properly but it's like this: You get an IDEA of people based on their photos and what they write and who their (internet) friends are. But then you meet them and it was like OMG YOU'RE ACTUALLY A REAL PERSON! At least, that's what it was like for me. Real people! ACTUAL, REAL PEOPLE. It was... surreal.
Jenny(Grace) explained to Jenny the Bloggess that she didn't get any drink tickets because she didn't RSVP to any parties. Jenny was rightfully outraged. Because WTF?

I only had a pass for the Expo hall an cocktail parties. I might have liked to go to a session or two but I very much enjoyed having plenty of time to relax, wander around the city, and see the sights.

I went to the Museum of Natural History on Saturday. Apparently me going to a museum on my own = crazy obsession over animal horns and the twistiness thereof.

And also whether or not the female of the species was behorned.

Where are all the recycle bins in NYC? Seriously, where are they? Also, I'm sorry Blogher, but providing compostable coffee cups doesn't make the conference any "greener" unless you actually compost them.

Most of the people I was introduced to (or introduced myself to) were wonderfully gracious and lovely. But a FEW would just smile and say "nice to meet you" and then I would have to say "And you are....?" Most times it seemed like people just forgot to introduce themselves so that's totally fine, but SOMETIMES I got the distinct impression that someone wasn't introducing him/herself because I was just supposed to know who s/he was. Which, COME ON.

I made an entire meal out of freebies from the Expo hall. A sandwich from Hillshire farms, Baby Bell cheeses. A cupcake from Pillsbury.

I also got into a long and in-depth conversation with the Hillshire farms lady about my ZEN ORGANIZING. I was very! excited! to! share!

One of my favorite moments was the packing/snarking party I had with Jenny and Leah.

My room was the best. My roomies were the best. Look how adorbs!
We clean up nice.
We had another roomie, too. But it seemed like every time I came into the room she was just leaving or had just left or vice versa. Or I was sleeping in and she was getting up early to actually participate in the conference.

Hanging out with Lora was totally bittersweet. Sweet because she is about five hundred times better in person than she seems on her blog and she's already pretty funny, interesting, cool, nutty, and thought-provoking on her blog. And bitter because DAMMIT LORA why don't you live nextdoor to me?!

Jenny and I make good travel buddies because we both have no problem running for the plane if it means we can eat Panda Express at 10 am. Also because we share a similar hatred of everyone at the airport. Also because we both think taking a photo on the plane after 4 days of partying and staying up late and subsisting on snackies and booze is a good idea.
We were trying really hard to smile pretty for the camera. Photo from Jenny.
In case it wasn't already clear, I had a really good time. A really, really good time. And next year is apparently in San Diego. See you there?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Blogher10: Touristy Stuff

I didn't have an actual conference pass, so I had plenty of time to wander around and see the sights. Here are some photos I took:
Times Square
Pretty Church (I can't remember it's name but it was near all the high end shops...?)
Rockefeller Center
Central Park
Central Park
Museum of Natural History
Museum of Natural History

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Blogher10: Bassackwards

Oh, man. I don't quite know how to talk about Blogher. I sorta can't believe it's already over. It was such a whirlwind of fun, excitement, anxiety, laughter, and snark. But let me start over and begin at the most logical place-- the end.

And by the end, I mean my ass.

Saturday night was the Sparklecorn party! Could there have possibly been a party that was more right up my alley? I think not. Because sparkles and unicorns just happen to be two of my very favorite things. Seriously. SPARKLES AND UNICORNS!

So, I wore a sparkly dress and a unicorn.
With Jenny
See how sparkly? And unicorny?
With Lora
It was this sparkly dress that inspired Jenny to introduce me to people backwards.

And I mean that LITERALLY. She would ask "Have you met my friend Julia's ass?" and then turn me sideways to introduce it.
Photo from Califmom
Some people suspected that it wasn't real and that maybe I was wearing a booty pop or something. Which means that a lot of lovely ladies groped my tush at that party. Lucky me!

Of course, then there was the conversation I had with Miss Britt's hubby. It was after the party and a group of us were standing outside the hotel lobby. He told me to be careful when I was out there because I might be mistaken for one of the hookers. "They look really nice, though! I mean, they're dressed really nice," he said. "I'm just saying, you look good."

Good like a high-class hooker?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Blogher: Ready to Go!

Well, almost. Sorta.


Here's what I've packed so far:
But those are pretty much the necessities and everything else is negotiable.

I'm a little nervous which might because of one or all of the following:
(a) I need to decide what clothes to bring and pack them, paint my toenails, load up my ipod, charge my electronics, print my rsvps for everything, check in, and fill my snack bag for the plane.
(b) I have to drop off my car with my friend who will be babysitting it.
(c) Social anxiety: full tilt.
(d) I had a crazy dream last night wherein I was waiting for the dentist because I had an appointment to have all of my teeth, which were painful and throbbing, REMOVED. And this dentist was big. In SIZE, I mean. A giant, of sorts.

Uh. Anyhow. Blogher! I will be there with bells on. Come say hi to me, won't you? I'll be the one anxiously wringing her hands and gnawing on beef jerky. Hmm. Did I just describe half the people in attendance?