Entries in rantalicious (11)


net neutrality ftw




welcome to the right side of history, oregon

“Where will this all lead? I know that many suggest we are going down a slippery slope that will have no moral boundaries. To those who truly harbor such fears, I can only say this: Let us look less to the sky to see what might fall; rather, let us look to each other…and rise.”

-- Concluding paragraph from the federal judge’s decision striking down Oregon’s same sex marriage ban. It’s taken 10 years to reverse what should never have passed in the first place, but love still wins in the end.


dear internet: i've missed you

Sweet holy Batman, we have internet again!

We've been without internet since an outage on Wednesday morning that subsequently scrambled our modem and wireless router. Wednesday was bad news bears from start to finish, really -- internet down on a work-from-home day, news that the neighbor's insurance company was quibbling about paying for the damage to our yard from the neighbor's fence*, our first mortgage payment since the refinance not getting paid electronically as scheduled (and thus late), and bumping up against the data limit on our phones due to the lingering effects of being without computers for weeks on end. And to top it all of, I was fighting off some kind of bug thing, secretly worried that it was the flu.

*(Not the neighbor's fault. She argued on our behalf, and wants to make things right; it's not her fault her insurance is being a shithead.)

Wednesday was primarily lost to dealing with Comcast's phone tree hell and "technical support". For future reference, trying to get your internet up and running while simultaneously juggling your job duties, all while using only your smart phone AND checking your data usage every 20 minutes to verify that you haven't gone over your alloted amount? Shortcut to a panic attack.

The bug got the best of me yesterday, after a night of not-good sleep, and resulted in yet more lost time for some really pressing work stuff, not to mention cancelling my evening plans. And still no internet, but I didn't have the energy for eating, let alone for arguing with the internet provider about IP addresses and modem serial numbers. Never mind poor Sal, who had spent his entire morning on the phone trying to get it fixed while also trying to get all of his final grading done for the last day of class for this term.

But, as I said, hallelujah, we have internet again. It took three more hours of phone calls this morning with five different technicians at two different companies, along with some petty extortion – excuse me, “short term warranty fee” – from the last company in order to get them to fix the router remotely. I guess I should be glad it didn't involve a ritual sacrifice or something. Of course, our neighbor’s back fence is still laying across the back bed of our yard, her insurance company is now adamant that they don’t have to pay for the damage to our side, and that flu/cold bug is digging in deep just in time for the 3 day weekend Sal and I had planned.

But by god, at least we have internet.


doubting your committment to sparkle motion

I am not a coffee drinker. My husband, the poor dear, is a connoisseur of the stuff and living in the The Coffee Bean House of Worship (aka Portland, Oregon, or the Pacific Northwest if you want to mollify Seattle) means that he essentially lives in Nirvana, Shangri-La, Eden, and Valhalla all at once. Which also means that I, the non-coffee drinker, spend a lot of time in coffee houses, bakeries, cafes, and bistros.

The good news is that these places all recognize the non-coffee drinker, offering alternatives of chai, tea, and hot chocolate.  Some even offer a variety of each of those things! Which means I, too, can enjoy the experience of reading a book or surfing the 'net whilst sipping from my goodwill mug in some esoteric little place with paintings of radiators and bird feathers by local artists decorating the walls and a mix of indie, rap, and 80s pop (played ironically, natch) in the background.

I order the hot chocolate*. I love tea and chai, but I almost always order the hot chocolate. With whipped cream. And a pastry on the side. It's the small luxuries in life.... And after countless cups of hot chocolate in a countless number of aforementioned coffee houses, bakeries, cafes, and bistros, I have learned that coffee places cannot make hot chocolate for shit.

*(Yes, yes, I know. It's not hot chocolate, it's hot cocoa. Hot chocolate is actual melted chocolate, generally served in a demitasse cup because no one could possibly drink 8 oz. of it at a sitting. I have enjoyed the ecstasy of actual hot chocolate -- drinking chocolate -- and I agree that the distinction is important. But I have grown up saying "hot chocolate" not "hot cocoa" in the same way I have grown up saying "pop" not "soda" and these language differences are a signifier of regional nuances and cultural variations make us a tapestry yada yada and some things you just can't beat out of a person.)

I'm pretty sure that 90% of the coffee people who put hot chocolate on their menus have never actually tasted the hot chocolate they serve, and they universally labor under the delusion that a squirt of chocolate syrup in a mug of warm milk, stirred until it's no longer white, is all that's needed to call it hot chocolate. I get that coffee people do not deign to sully their palates with the plebeian tastes of the great unwashed. Nonetheless, it seems sensical to taste the items you're selling. If for some reason you cannot, then perhaps it should not appear on your menu. I have been tempted on many occasions to march back to the counter with my mug, hand it back to the barrista, and say, "I ordered hot chocolate. This, sir, is tinted milk."

I am utterly baffled by the dearth of a decent cup of hot chocolate in this town. With only a handful of exceptions, every hot chocolate I have ordered has been an exercise in disappointment variance. You would think, in the gastronomical mecca that this city has become famous as, in which we have elevated the donut to a performance art, beer to an elixir of the gods, and bacon to a freaking staple, that we might have mastered the simple combination of chocolate and milk. I'm frankly surprised that we don't see the same experimentation with hot chocolate that we see with waffles, ice cream, and potatoes, but I would just settle for mastery of the basics.

So to the coffee joints of this city that I adore, a simple request: please, learn to make hot chocolate. Taste what you're selling -- you don't have to be a fan of hot chocolate to know that what you're serving isn't cutting it. It doesn't have to have the consistency of sludge to be considered chocolatey enough. "Pale brown" is not a signifier that you're done. Topping with a big dollop of whipped cream does not transform a crappy mug of hot chocolate into a gourmet treat. And the bitterness of straight unsweetened chocolate and no sugar whatsoever may please your coffee-conditioned taste buds, but for a non-coffee drinker, it just makes me hate you.


official memos

Dear January,

You are officially fired from 2013. Please collect your things and turn in your keys, HR will have your final paycheck.



Dear 2013,

You have not gotten off to a good start with me. As you'll recall, I had some reservations about you before you even started, so it's in your best interest to try to gain my favor. You don't want to follow in 2012's footsteps -- that path doesn't end well for anyone. So step up your game, 2013, and consider yourself on notice.



say hello, wave goodbye

Goodbye, 2012. You weren't my worst year ever, but I'm not sorry to see you go. You weren't that deadbeat 2008 crashing on my couch and playing Halo all day in your underwear, but you didn't do much to distinguish yourself, either. Not that you all have to be like 2006 and 2007 and being a mixed bag isn't necessarily a strike against you. But you started out a better friend than you ended up being and the more I got to know you, the less I liked you. Plus, you were kind of bitchy-nice. At least 2009 had the decency to just punch me right in the face instead of this passive-aggressive bullshit.

As for you, 2013, your reputation precedes you and it is not reassuring. Turmoil, disruption, chaos...those are generally the characteristics of a toxic personality that I could not wait to be rid of. But maybe all those rumors about you are mistaken. I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, but don't push me, 2013. Ask 2003 and 2004 what happened when they ganged up on me. If you can find them.

Of course, you're bringing me the big four-oh right off the bat. That's a gift I have mixed feelings about, though not for the reasons you might assume. But I'll keep an open mind and see what you bring me. You might be one of those challenging friends that's hard to get to know, but one worth having just the same.


dear asshole in the truck in front of me

Despite what you may have been told, ownership of a truck the size of Mongolia does not, in fact, entitle you to drive like a meth-addled monkey. Indeed, neither your state license nor the vehicle title conferred on you the entitlement of squashing everyone in your path as if playing your own real-life version of Frogger. Perhaps that was a feature advertised to you by the salesman at time of purchase, in which case I would advise you to file a claim of fraud against him, since trying to run me off the road isn't going to be of much help in that regard.

It may also surprise you to learn that riding 2.57 centimeters behind my bumper for three miles and flashing your brights at me doesn't actually make me go any faster, especially when both I and the cars in front of me are already going faster than the speed limit. I apologize that five miles an hour over the speed limit simply isn't fast enough for you, but since my vehicle doesn't possess the capability for, you know, physically pushing the vehicle in front of me out of the way, your efforts at getting me to do so are sadly ineffectual.

And although it might have seemed temporarily satisfying to cut around and in front of me as soon as traffic opened up, it was not necessary to attempt to remove my bumper when you did so. You may be under the mistaken impression that my bumper was an optional and unwanted accessory on my vehicle, but I assure you that I do actually wish to keep it attached. Interestingly, bumpers mitigate the damage to the vehicle in the event of collision, so that makes them a very nice feature to have.

Lastly, I realize that flipping me off in the rear view mirror was your way of providing feedback after all that you had suffered while driving behind me on that stretch of freeway, and while I applaud free expression, you may wish to reconsider how you choose to make your opinion known. In fact you may wish to follow my own example of a smile and a wave as I passed you a few minutes later when that nice highway patrolman pulled you over. Just a suggestion.


The Driver You Harassed On The Way To Work This Morning


the continuing douchebaggery of douchebag developer

So Douchebag Developer is back and making me hate him.

Two weeks ago (while my dad was here, actually), we returned from an afternoon outing to find "No Parking" signs blocking both sides of the street on our block. The signs were placed there on behalf of Douchebag Developer's project, which requires sewer improvements before work can begin. In 12 pt. font that's oh-so-easy to read when you're IN A CAR AND AT LEAST FIVE FEET AWAY FROM THE SIGN, the signs further informed us that the street would be blocked from October 12th to October 27th, Monday through Saturday, 7 AM to 6 PM to allow work on the pipes under the street.

You'll remember that we have no off-street parking at Hall House.

The first night, we parked the cars just past the end of the block. Someone broke into the Camry and stole the ashtray (which we use for change). We don't leave anything in the car so there wasn't much to steal -- they sifted through the few CDs in the console but didn't take any and rifled through the papers in the glovebox, but that was about it. They didn't even take the car kit we keep in the trunk. I could swear that I locked the car -- I'm obsessive about such things -- but since none of the windows were broken and there was no sign of tampering, I can only surmise that I left it unlocked.

Now, I realize that I'm partly to blame, and that Douchebag Developer isn't responsible for the criminal acts of other people. Our neighborhood is actually very safe and close knit, but transients sometimes migrate through on their way from the railroad tracks at the bottom of the hill up to St. Johns. They're harmless, and you know, whatever few dollars of change was in that ashtray is worth far more to them than it is to me, whether it was used for a fix or for food. In the scheme of things, it's hardly worth mentioning.

But I know that it happened because our cars were parked out of sight of our house and the streetlight that they normally sit under. And for that, I do blame Douchebag Developer. (We've been parking our cars down the corner since then, since that street gets more frequent traffic and is more exposed, as well as being right in line with the neighbor's security light.) And I wonder what we're in for when this cursed development is finally finished and suddenly there are a bunch of cars parking on the street -- cars that will each have their own garages, but thanks to Douchebag Developer's douchebaggily planned development, are almost impossible to actually park in.

And there's the usual inconvenience you'd expect with such work: jackhammering and big chunks of asphalt dropping into gigantic metal tractor buckets at SEVEN O'FUCKING CLOCK IN THE A.M.; dust everywhere, and the smell of diesel, and pipes stacked on our nicely landscaped sidewalk strips; loud equipment and pounding that makes the whole house vibrate all damn day. Hauling groceries is a challenge already when you have to haul them up the seventy gajillion stairs from the street to the front door, but add having to park down the block to the whole expedition and suddenly the prospect of saltines and some grapes for dinner seems much more appetizing than having to get groceries.

But, you know, this stuff happens, and streets and sewers need work, and a couple of weeks of inconvenience aren't that big of a deal, my self-indulgent pissing and moaning aside.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday -- the day before all of this was supposed to end -- there was a flyer on our doorstep that new sewer work (sanitary sewer work, as opposed to to the storm sewer work that was apparently being done this last two weeks) commences today with the same restrictions, but will continue until "approximately" November 18th.

And that was the moment when my loathing for Douchebag Developer sharpened to a surgical precision.

lunch, Paris slimline:

  • smoked sausages
  • peas and carrots, corn
  • molded egg
  • dark chocolate-covered raisins
  • Starkcrimson pear slices
  • yogurt-covered raisins

and the anchorperson on tv goes la de da de da de diddy diddy da

the opening act for Saturday's concert, a group called Mountain Man; they were absolutely phenomenal

(Yes, that is the opening line of the chorus of "16 Military Wives" and yes, it will be relevant later.)

I have the worst headache this morning. I think my brain is melting from all the fabulousness of the weekend. Totally worth it.

Friday, Sister and I met at my office for a Girls' Night. My office is not-quite-halfway, and its proximity to various restaurants and shops makes it a good meeting point for these evenings. I showed her around my office, then took her to George's Giant Hamburger, my stomping grounds for workday lunches with Kurt, ProcrastiGirl, and K back in the day. ProcrastiGirl and I still make the occasional pilgrimage, but it's just not the same since Kurt moved away.

Anyway, I was excited to introduce Sister to the George's love, which she duly appreciated. Unlike Sal, who was unimpressed the one time I took him there. Sister and I determined that he is clearly cracked in the head.

We walked it off by browsing through Michael's, doing our best to quell the art supply wants despite the enticing discounts and generally solving the problems of the world while we were at it. As one does. Then it was a nightcap of sorts with a trip to Peachwave for a frozen yogurt toppings bar bonanza, where we decided that pomegranate frozen yogurt and chocolate sauce aren't the best combination, but pretty much everything else is. We lost track of time talking and laughing and crying (in a good way) and finally said our goodbyes well past her usual bed time.

Sal spent Saturday at the Expo Center judging desserts for a high school cooking competition so I spent my day mostly in the studio making a grand mess with every art supply I own while I waited for Sal to get home and then for The Decemberists concert later that night.

And you guys. YOU GUYS. Okay, I'm biased, I admit. I love them utterly, it's true. And I have seen them in concert repeatedly, including not even six months ago when they played MusicFest NW. And every time, they are A.MAZ.ING. So I am predisposed to swoon over them, I can admit it.

"Down By the Water", from their latest albumHowever. Saturday's concert was, hands down, my favorite of any time I've seen them. We had seats in the balcony and were even closer than we were at Pioneer Courthouse Square. The Schnitz is a great venue anyway, and showcased them perfectly. It was a sold out show, of course, and they have such a diverse and dedicated fanbase that the energy is electric and they feed off that well. They played most of the "The King Is Dead" (which I got for my birthday from Sally), as well as a nice selection from the rest of their discography (set list at the end of this post).

"The Mariner's Revenge". Live. O. M. G.But the best part? OMG YOU GUYS THE BEST PART. The encore. Okay, so they made us really wait for the encore, like I thought people might start rioting, the cheering and chanting was so loud. And then finally Colin comes out just by himself and does a sweet acoustic rendition of "Red Right Ankle", and Jenny popped out just long enough to do the keyboard bit. And then he sort of left the stage and the lights went down like that was all they were going to do. AND THEN. AND THEN. They all came out, and they're all clustered right there in the front of the stage instead of taking positions at the keyboard and drum kit and everything, and Colin says that this next song requires a bit of participation (which we'd already done on other songs), and I turned to Sal and squealed, "OMG MARINER'S REVENGE" and then Colin said, "You'll need to sound like you've been eaten by a whale" AND THE CROWD WENT COMPLETELY APESHIT.

They put that song on hiatus for live shows sometime during the tour for The Crane Wife, and Sal and I were starting to despair that we'd ever get to see it live. AND THEN WE DID AND IT WAS OUTRAGEOUSLY FABULOUS AND OMG I MIGHT HAVE DIED REPEATEDLY FROM JOY. Greatest concert experience ever*, Y/Y? IN CONCLUSION THE DECEMBERISTS HAVE MY UNDYING DEVOTION FOREVER AND EVER AMEN.

*WITH ONE GLARING EXCEPTION. And seriously, this is a lesson on "What Not To Do At A Concert Lest the Person Behind You Have A Smartphone And A Website". There was this woman sitting in front of me, you see. Now, you should understand that there's some sort of law of the Universe that because I am short, I am forever doomed at any venue -- whether it's a concert, a movie, a play, whatever -- to be seated or stand behind the tall person, or the kid who stands in the seat, or the moron who doesn't take off their hat, or the chick/dude who has teased their hair ten feet above their head. Sal and I will usually switch seats, although even this doesn't always solve the problem -- the person will move, too, or all of a sudden the person sitting next to them will decide to kneel in their seat or some other sort of fuckery.

Anyway, the woman sitting in front of me was a little taller than average but not a lot, and since the balcony is stadium seating, it shouldn't have presented a problem. Shouldn't have. However. This woman was apparently desperate to participate in the concert and demonstrate just how truly into it she was because she kept leaning forward in her seat, thus screwing up the entire eyeline/angle purpose of stadium seating, AND, rocking spasmodically left to right for Every. Fucking. Song. so I couldn't even just lean to one side to see around her. Her companions seemed to be mildly horrified by her behavior and her husband appeared to ask her to settle down repeatedly, but she was all, "I'm in the groooove."

I persevered, however, and managed to enjoy the show despite these perturbances. Not content to somewhat detract from the concert experience for everyone around her, though, she spent the second half of the show intermittently raising her freakishly long tentacle arms above her head and clapping OUT OF TIME with the music in a motion that spanned the chair widths on either side of her. Still, I managed not to rip her tentacle arms off and beat her with them.

my view of the stage when Tentacle Arms stood up for the first half of "16 Military Wives"And then. The first cords of "16 Military Wives" started up and she...stood up and dancing like a brain damaged jellyfish. She is clearly blocking my view and is the only person in our entire section standing up**, and the entire time, I'm wondering to myself why she isn't bleeding to death from the daggers I have stared into her back.

**I love dancing at a concert as much as anyone, but when it's a seated venue, you expect that you're going to spend at least part of the concert with your butt in the seat. Sure, you'll be rocking out, but unless most of the crowd stands up, you do your rocking out WITH YOUR BUTT IN THE SEAT.

She did finally get the hint that the rest of the section (or balcony or crowd, for that matter) wasn't going to take her lead and she sat down. But there was a moment, right when they were getting going on "Mariner's Revenge", when she acted like she was going to stand up again and I said, "Stay down". I don't think she heard me, but I was ready to pitch a hissy if she made any motion to stand up. Because if she had in any way blocked my view of the stage during the song I've been waiting literally years to see live? Oh yes, there would have been a throwdown. Thankfully, she kept her inconsiderate ass in her seat and her tentacle arms mostly in check and no one had to die.

lunch, black strawberries

  • panko-breaded chicken breast, steamed broccoli, carrot sticks
  • Bosc pear, with dried cherries and cashews as gap fillers
  • yogurt-covered raisins

Set list:

  • California One / Youth and Beauty Brigade
  • Calamity Song
  • Rox in the Box
  • Los Angeles, I'm Yours
  • The Crane Wife 3
  • The Sporting Life (with a bit of "This Charming Man" by The Smiths, which I had to look up because I couldn't remember where it was from)
  • January Hymn
  • Won't Want for Love (Margaret in the Taiga)
  • The Rake's Song
  • Don't Carry It All
  • Down By The Water
  • Rise to Me
  • 16 Military Wives (with an audience participation bit from "Black Water" by the Doobie Brothers)
  • This Is Why We Fight

1st Encore:

  • Red Right Ankle (acoustic with Colin Meloy and Jenny Conlee for the keyboard bit)
  • The Mariner's Revenge Song

2nd Encore:

  • June Hymn

up next: locusts

I'm fairly certain the Apocalypse is nigh.

Monday, when we were leaving for work, we noticed the street in front of our house (running under the Subaru) was wet. Not standing water, but like when a hose runs over a little bit. Didn't really think anything of it until we got home and noticed that the same spot was still there. We go up to our water meter box thingie (in the sidewalk strip) and there's water pooled a little bit in the rocks around it. Sal lifts the cover and the meter is submerged in water. Great.

It wasn't like a major leak or anything, but obviously, Something Was Not Right. We called the City but they couldn't come out until yesterday, and they determine that the leak was on our side of the meter, not theirs, so it was up to us to fix it. I call a plumbing company we use at work, they're great and are willing to give me our work discount, but they can't come out until today. And they didn't know what time today, which necessitated me working from home so I could be here. Hooray for telecommuting, at least.

Well, they came around 1:30 and have determined that we need to have a new main line run from our meter to our house. The leak is somewhere behind the big foundation wall in front of our house (our worst suspicion) and to repair it would involve tearing down that wall, digging down to freaking China, and having a structural engineer oversee rebuilding the wall, not to mention having to replace the sidewalk. In other words, it was cheaper to replace the entire line (they can just bore alongside the old one and without having to dig anything up, thank goodness) than to try to find the link and repair it.  The good news is that they'll be able to start and finish it tomorrow. The bad news is that Sal and I are going to have to sell a kidney. It's probably my turn, since he sold one of his for the last major financial disaster.

So I stay home today and just because today couldn't possibly be any worse, I woke up this morning to a house with no heat. In fact, that's why I woke up AT FIVE AM A FULL HOUR EARLIER THAN MY USUAL TIME BECAUSE THE ICE ON MY PILLOW WASN'T VERY CONDUCIVE TO SLEEP AND MY NOSE WAS DEVELOPING FROSTBITE AND I THINK I SAW A DUSTBUNNY ICE CUBE. Something's wrong with the thermostat, although I gave up trying to figure out exactly what around 11:30 and have since been working from the dining room table with a space heater and blanket wrapped around me all day. As of right now, it's slightly warmer outside our house than inside. Sal's going to try to get that fixed tonight so hopefully we won't freeze to death. But if you read about a couple of Hall-sicles in the news, you'll know what happened.

And finally, my cable modem was down not once but THREE SEPARATE GODDAMN TIMES today, although I was able to get that working again AFTER MUCH SCREAMING AND HURLING ABOUT OF THINGS. Poor Sally, who had to listen to me have a breakdown over the phone and who cut his day short at work to try to save me from our house, which is trying to kill me. But, BUT! I have been working diligently on my work stuff.  DEAR EMPLOYERS NEVER FEAR I HAVE BEEN A PRODUCTIVE EMPLOYEE DESPITE ALL THE DRAMA THAT IS MY LIFE AT THE MOMENT AND SERIOUSLY YOU SHOULD TOTALLY BE GLAD I'M SO DEDICATED BECAUSE OMG WOE KTHXBYE.

I fully expect the Four Horseman to show up for dinner.


in which i give the f word a workout

And so anyway, Target.com is the Evil Dead and I hate them.

I'm actually still pretty fucking livid, but I've calmed down enough to at least tell all you kind and lovely people why exactly I was all **FLAIL** last night and came close to CAPS LOCKing myself into an anneurism.

Okay, so we busted our asses for the better part of the spring and well into June working on our yard, trying to get it to a point that we could enjoy it this summer for the first time since we moved in. I don't have the pictures up on the website yet (surprise), but the house looks like a million bucks and the yard has been entiredly redone. No plantings -- that'll have to wait until next year -- but everything's been shaped, cleaned out, and barkdusted within an inch of its life.

During all of this, we were on a quest for a patio table and four chairs that A) we liked, B) could afford, and C) were comfortable.  We trekked all over Portland, to Target, Lowe's, Home Depot, and various indoor/outdoor furniture stores (even though those were all out of our price range).  When we couldn't find anything that met all three criteria, I started looking online, even though I don't usually buy anything big like that on the internet, especially when we need to be able to sit in it.  But Target.com, as it turned out, had a million more sets online than on the floors of their stores, and we ended up finding a great set. So we ordered it.  On June 26th.  That's going to be important later.

I get an email a couple of days later that both shipments will be delayed -- the table until July 10th, the chairs until July 17th.  So much for our two dinner parties over the 4th, but eh, whaddya gonna do? On the 14th, the freight company calls to say they have our table, can they deliver it on Monday? And I'm all, um, can't you just deliver it today? Apparently, no, because that would require efficiency and competence. Fine. I say yeah, Monday's fine. She tells me we have to be here, which means we have to take a day off work, until the lady finally says we can leave a note saying that it's okay to just leave this TWO HUNDRED POUND PACKAGE on our front step to absolve them of any liability in case someone just randomly, you know, decides to give themselves a hernia hauling the damn box down our front steps.  Again, whatever, liability, I get it. As soon as I get off the phone, I walk over to the door and tape a big note in black sharpie on our front door. Because it was windy, I taped it on the inside of the door, where it was plainly visible through the glass. Okay, so blonde moment, I should've figured out on my own they would need to take it with them. Mea culpa.  Monday (the 17th), we get home, no table. Another voicemail that we get when it's too late to call them, which means I have to call them the next day for delivery the day after that. Fuckity fuck fuck. Finally, finally, the goddamn thing arrives, we unpack it, put it together.

To save ourselves all this misery for the chair delivery, we put the note out pre-emptively and call the freight company to tell them to skip calling to make the appointment, we've left a note so just bring the chairs when they get here so we can shave a couple of MONTHS off their little delivery process. They say they can't do that, they'll still need to call when it arrives, yada yada. Of course they do.


Well, I didn't tell them that, I was very polite, if irate, and the young man who helped me was actually quite helpful. And I didn't even have to sit on hold that long, either. Whoop-de-freakin-do. Anyway, he orders another set of chairs to be delivered, tells me to hang on to the broken ones in case the next shipment has any damage so we can cull out four intact chairs, if need be. Sal had already repacked them by this point so we decided to just leave them all packed up instead of getting out the two useable ones. So we now have this big hulking box taking up space in our living room, no chairs on our back patio area, and two more dinner parties. Good times.

They send an email on the 24th that the chairs have shipped and will arrive, and I quote, "within 3 to 5 business days". Now, being generous and giving them five days, and not counting the 24th, that means we should get a call from the shipping company no later than the 31st, right? Of course not. Sal calls them on the 1st, they say hmm, sorry, the chairs are in Ft. Worth, should be here by Thursday (the 3rd). Thursday arrives, no fucking chairs, no fucking voicemail. He calls them again, they say, hmm, still sitting in FUCKING FORT WORTH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

I call Target AGAIN. Still polite, somewhat more irate, I tell them to figure out what the hell the problem is, straighten it out, and get them on the next slow moving oxcart to Portland and that they're going to credit me the shipping charges because I could've DRIVEN there and back for the money they're charging me and had my chairs before I was fifty. They agree to credit the shipping, follow up on the problem, and expedite the shipping so the chairs will arrive in Portland on Monday (the 7th). Which they do. And Sal, calling to verify that they've arrived, learns that they won't actually deliver them to us until Wednesday (yesterday) because they're not going to have a truck in our area until then. DEAR FREIGHT COMPANY I HATE YOU KTHXBYE.

By this point, I'll believe that the chairs are actually going to be here when they say they will.  But yesterday, we get home, the big hulking box is waiting for us. We start unpacking the box and get the chairs in place so we can maybe have dinner on our back patio FOR THE FIRST TIME ALL GODDAMN SUMMER NOW THAT IT'S AUGUST THANK YOU NOT AT ALL. At least we'll get to use them a little bit.

Out of the two boxes of eight total chairs? FIVE of them were broken.

Yeah, I'll let that sink in for a moment.

I call Target. I'm now livid. Still polite, though. The girl tells me that they're not supposed to do second replacements, but she can see if her supervisor will let her make an exception if we want. You better hope so, kid, because I am this close to crawling through the receiver and beating you senseless with it. The supervisor grants the exception, but the girl tells me it's going to take three to four WEEKS to ship, which means we'll get them sometime around Thanksgiving based on their previous history, and I'm just going to go ahead and say what the fuck ever to that.


She said she'd credit our account (oh how to thank them for their kindness)  and make arrangements for the BOXES OF BROKEN CHAIRS to be picked up.  In the meantime, we now have two boxes the size of a small country taking up space in our house, which we have no room for, no chairs, and another dinner party next weekend in which we'll have to come up with some creative seating solutions. We're going to take another stab at trying to buy some chairs locally, but most everyone's already packed up their summer inventory and I'm not very hopeful at this point. Oh, and those two boxes full of BROKEN CHAIRS? Yeah, they'll pick them up in one to two weeks.

Clearly, we're being punished by karma for continuing to shop at Target after they announced their crazy wingnuttery policy of allowing pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions because perfectly legal medications that let a woman control her own body make the baby Jesus cry. If we'd done as we should've then, this whole stroke-inducing nightmare could've been avoided.