My weekend

Friday, I played poker in the no-limit hold-em tournament that my friends have every Friday night. I made it through almost 3 hours, and then got out played by a newbie. Also, I had to sit at the table with a George Bush fan (!). Friday, the Shweetie also finished his Christmas medley for the SCC. He had an absolute puss on about it at the end, as I think he was thoroughly done with it. I spent much time on the phone on Friday trying to translate pouty jazz musician to flamboyant choral director and back. It was quite the translation on my part, I must say. However, said director is quite thrilled with it, and pouty jazz musician is bound to feel much appreciated, so all is well.

Saturday, the shweetie and I were to have gone to Bellingham for a singing lesson, but our teacher to be became a grandfather in fact, so he had to go see his new progeny. So, instead we left the house at 2 to head up to the Anacortes Jazz Festival. Well, my dears, I froze my titties off. I mean, it was lovely, out there on the water and all – and it is that view of the Puget Sound that I dreamed of before I had ever set foot out here, but Good Lord, did no one think about the fact that the weather might be miserable? There weren’t even any of those portable heater thingies about. However, it was very gratifying to see the shweetie both conduct a band not his own and play in his band. He loves conducting, and he was conducting two wonderful arrangements that he had done 6 years ago. It really is marvelous being married to such a talented person.

Today was “Director’s Night” for the SCC. It was held at an absolutely breathtaking waterfront home in Kirkland. Luckily, the weather was better today than yesterday. I quite enjoyed myself hobnobbing amongst the top 1%…I’m astonished that I feel more comfortable with them than I do when I visit some who are even lower middle class. I was brought up pretty solidly middle class, but I guess because of education or interests or whatever, I feel quite at home there even though they live in a way that I cannot even really imagine for myself. Well, I can imagine it, but I don’t know what good that does me. In any case, it was a lovely time, and I worked at putting out/putting away refreshments, so I’ve done my duty (I guess).

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Fridays

Fridays are still my second favorite days of the week (after Saturdays). Even though I no longer have the overwhelming joy of being done with my work week from hell, I’m still glad that the weekend’s almost here. I was born on a Saturday, and I sometimes wonder if my soul feels renewed on Saturdays for that reason.

I got new tires today from Les Schwab.  My car is over 60K, and think I only had 50K tires, so it was time, and since it’s starting to rain a lot around here, it was a good idea. I had my tires siped. I have a feeling that this is a religious thing, and some people swear by it, and some swear against it. Whatever, it’s done, and the tires were only $47 a piece, and they’re warrantied for 50,000 miles, so we shall see.

My friend Josh passed this tidbit along. Apparently this guy has spectacularly bad luck whenever he’s around liberals.

This week will be busy. We have SCC kick-off next Saturday, and then I’m leaving that night for NJ. So, I have to get ready for both. Pray for me.

Well, I have to go play poker now. Wish me luck.

Randomness

I still can’t get tabs for my truck. I can’t get anyone to call me back. THANK YOU WASHINGTON.

Speaking of Washington. For Chrissakes stop whining already about the Primary. The rest of the country has been doing it this way for years. What makes you so special? I’m voting for the first time in the Primary today. I never voted in NJ cause I didn’t feel compelled to declare a party. Now I do. However, I am so mad that the Kerry campaign continues to make Vietnam an issue. Shouldn’t he be able to stand up and say “Hey, this Boob is the worst President we ever had. Iraq is a disaster. Our economy is a mess. Vote for me.” ?

I’ve been watching the Al Franken show on Sundance. I find it informative, and helps me to feel my spleen is vented a little, but I’m disheartened because I know that the only people watching it are, like me, people that agree with him. We don’t get Air America out here, and I don’t have XM Radio. Yet.

The piano tuner is coming today. He’s only tuning one of the pianos (we have 3), because it’s the one we use most often. So, I’m preparing to hear the following for 2 or 3 hours “CLANG, squeak squeak, CLANG, CLANG.”

It’s been raining a lot. We live in the “convergence zone” (another term I hadn’t heard until I moved out here), so last night, when there was one little blob on the radar where there was heavy rain (and thunderstorms, natch), it was us (“HI MOM”). I had also never heard the term “sun breaks,” and I was unaware that “showers” were different than “rain.” PNW’ers are similar to Eskimos; they have 1000 words for snow, we have 1000 for rain. It’s so wet, my fish pond looks like it may overflow.

Tonight I have a tech committee meeting at the SCC. We are discussing, among other things, whether or not to attempt to purchase Tessitura. It is a very expensive proposition, but our ticket software is a mess – and this is so much more than ticket software. We are also looking at other alternatives, but any way we slice it, it’s a major financial and time commitment.

Today is apparently the MS Company meeting. Wow, there’s something I don’t miss. Moreover, most people aren’t invited this year, cause they’ve moved it to a smaller venue. More of “well, you’re not one of the elite, so you watch it on TV.” Or it might have something to do with the fact that after the meeting last year everyone got sick cause they had them sitting out in the cold for 6 hours. In any case, I’m glad I don’t have to attend the pep rally anymore.

Incompetence Abounds

With what shall I start?

OK, let’s talk about our truck. We own this piece of shit 1975 Chevy Truck that we bought solely for the purpose of hauling stuff to the dump and/or picking up large/heavy/dirty stuff from say Home Depot or our local bark supplier. We bought it in June of 2001 from some slacker youth in Maple Valley. I call him slacker youth, because when we went to actually go get the title, we found we actually had to go get it from the guy he bought it from, since he had never bothered to register it, apparently.

Normally, the tabs on the truck expire in June. Somewhere in August, I looked up and realized that hey, we hadn’t gotten the tabs for this year. I figured that perhaps I had lost the renewal notice somewhere in the piles of mail that come in here, so I went online and attempted to renew the tabs for this year. The website tells me that the truck has in fact been reported as totaled. Hm…I think…that must be an error.

I head over to one of our local privately licensed DOL offices to try and rectify the situation. She looks up the truck and tells me yes, it’s been reported as scrapped. So, I say (as the lady behind me in line is chortling at my hardship) “well, it hasn’t been, cause it’s sitting in my driveway.” She asks me if it’s ever been towed (it hasn’t). Well, she takes my info, and calls Olympia and says she’ll need to research it and will get back to me in a few days. A few days go by, and (surprise, surprise) no phone call. So, I call…well, I don’t happen to have my registration in front of me, and apparently she’s unable to look it up by last name, so I need to call back. I let a few more days go by and call back again…this time, the “person” who deals with that is not in, can I call back? (oh, and by the way, never again did anyone ask me for my license plate). I call back the next day, and ask for the “person.” There, is, of course, utter confusion at the other end of the line, and so I have to explain my story again. “Well, it says here that it’s been reported totaled.” Um, yeah, that’s why I’m calling. So, she says she has to call Olympia and call me back (where have I heard that before). So, finally she calls me back and says that Olympia has said that I need to take the car in for State Patrol inspection, and gives me a number to call. She also says that they will waive the inspection fee.

I call the State Patrol and leave my info (there’s just voicemail, there are no real people). They call me back that day and leave me VM that tells me to call them back and leave VM saying that I want an appointment, and where I want it to be, and that appointments are now out 6-8 weeks. So, I do. This next part is my favorite part of the story, because when the Officer called back, I explained my whole saga to him, and he looked up my info, and verified that yes, we are in fact owners of the truck, and how could someone else total it? So, he suggested to me that I shouldn’t have to go through all of this, and I should call the Auditor’s office and tell them to fix the problem, but that if they asked I had never talked to him, and he’d never heard of me.

I call the Auditor’s office and explained the whole saga to someone there. She told me to call Olympia directly and gave me a phone number.

I call Olympia. I speak to someone there who listens to the story and once again says those magic words “well, it says here…” We end that conversation with her telling me she’s going to do some investigation, and she’ll call me back. One Holiday weekend and two days later, she hasn’t called back. I call her and speak to her, and I have to re-explain the story AGAIN. She puts me on hold for about 15 minutes. She comes back and tells me that her manager has told me I need to speak to someone in wrecking, and transfers me (um, why couldn’t she have told me that 4 days ago?).

I get a woman in wrecking. She knows nothing of the story so I have to explain it all to her again. “Well, it says here….” By now, I’ve patented the “yeah, except it hasn’t been, cause it’s in my driveway.” OK, so she tells me that it was reported as wrecked/scrapped by a certain metals/scrap yard in Seattle and I need to call them directly.

I call the metals/scrap yard. I speak to the person who answers the phone who very quickly transfers me to someone else. I explain the story to him, and he tells me that Olympia has always told him that I have to just get the car re-inspected. I say, yeah, that’s nice and all, but then I have to spend my time and money making up for someone else’s mistake. He asks me who told me to call. I tell him. He says he’ll call her and call me back. So, now I wait for a phone call from him.

Tell me something, how is it that this happens? I mean, if there’s a typo on the VIN, and then it doesn’t match the make/model and/or owner’s name, shouldn’t someone catch that? And if this was a case of one of a multitude of former owners showing up with a duplicate title they had from years ago, why should they be allowed to total a car that’s no longer owned by them?

Ah, but that’s not all of today’s incompetences.

Today, I received this from my Ebay purchase. I’m happy enough with the service, but these bras are in no way a 40D. I’m guessing that they were seconds because they were tagged with the wrong size. So, I’ve just bought a dozen bras in the wrong size.

Yesterday, I picked up a medical lab slip from my nephrologist, who had requested I do a 24 hour urine collection. I took it across the courtyard to the lab, where I filled in all my contact info, and then also gave blood. Today, when I get home, there’s voice mail from my primary care physician. Apparently, the lab called them because THEY HAVE NO IDEA who requested these labs and are all confused about what they should be doing. Note that they did not question the lab slip at all when I walked in there.

I’m really tired of dealing with other people’s fuck ups.

Good movie after bad

Well, after a couple of weeks of bad movies, I finally saw a good one Friday…Garden State. But, first, let’s talk about bad. Now, I’ve seen bad movies in my time, but I get especially peeved at the ones I actually go see – I have come to hate actually sitting in the theater when my home theater is much more comfortable, and I can make comments out loud and not piss anyone (well, besides my sweetie) off.

I think the worst movie I ever paid money to go see was Body of Evidence.  I’m usually willing to suspend disbelief, but the dialogue in this movie was so spectacularly bad that I just couldn’t get there.

That’s what I think is bad. Let me tell you what I think is good. I *can* suspend my disbelief willingly for a good musical…if it is a good musical. For instance, I think The Band Wagon is the best musical of the 50’s genre, although, like everyone else, I love Singin in the Rain. But, that doesn’t mean I can sit idly by and watch every stupid musical that comes down the pike. Case in point, I was up in the middle of the night a few days ago and caught (again) A Chorus Line. Now, don’t get me wrong, I loved A Chorus Line on Broadway. I saw it twice. I had the anniversary poster in my room, I sang along with the record over and over and over, but they managed to ruin it with the movie. First of all, they chose to make it mid-80’s, which I know, the stage show struggled with too (should we leave it in the 70’s or make it current?). One of the issues making it current brings up is that the gay characters, because they were written in the 70’s, are struggling with their identity and their sexuality, but not with AIDS. Also, lines like “Can the adults please smoke?” are sort of passe now. But, the single worst offense, I think, of this movie, is that they removed “The Music and the Mirror” in lieu of a song that they wrote for the movie. This is heresy, IMHO.

In drama, of course Casablanca is the gold standard. I’m also a HUGE fan of Pulp Fiction and Forrest Gump, and I also get sucked in by The Shawshank Redemption every time it’s on TV. I love comedies too…Animal House may just be the funniest movie ever made, and I loved The Producers before the musical was a twinkle in Mel Brooks’ eye.

Now you know where I’m coming from.

Two weeks ago, I finally saw The Village, and I was somewhat disappointed. Although I found it to be visually stunning, I thought the story was far too contrived, and I saw the twist coming as soon as the movie started. I was very pleased with Bryce Howard’s performance though. So then last week, the shweetie and I saw Suspect Zero. This was awful. I love Ben Kingsley…how can you not? Oh, and Carrie Moss and Aaron Eckhart are usually great to watch. However, this script was awful, and the editing was confusing, and the movie was just, well, a waste of money.

Then, as I mentioned I saw A Chorus Line, and then the other day we were up in the middle of the night again and saw If Looks Could Kill. Terrible, terrible, terrible. I mean, I like silly movies as much as the next person, but there was just nothing redeeming in this one (BTW, Richard Greico looks, um, I don’t know at least 25, and he’s supposed to be in High School???).

Then, this Friday, we saw Garden State. Thank God. It was a beautiful movie. OK, OK, so I’m from NJ – maybe I’m biased, but this was just very well done from top to bottom. The music, the cinematography, the story, the acting…all just gorgeous. I have to wait and rent the DVD when it comes out though, because I was laughing inappropriately at several points in the movie. See? This is why I like watching them at home…

My mom’s at it again

Mom’s a dyed-in-the-wool conservative. We don’t see eye to eye on political issues – never have. Usually, I just try to avoid any conversation at all about it because, well nothing good can come of the discussion. We are never going to agree, and she doesn’t seem to think that I make my decisions or that my opinions are formed out of logical thought at all (I’m just a.parroting my father, b.going through a phase, or c. being swayed by the Liberal Media).

Soo, I thought we were going to avoid this conversation for the upcoming election, but today, she sends me the following email: