07 December 2010

Banging my head on a wall

You know those instances in which you are so completely misunderstood that you wail, "What?! Noooo....!! That's not what I SAID!"?

Yeah.  This is one of those.

I recently received a new (replacement) credit card in the mail, simply updating the expiration date and security code on my current card, which meant that before I could get rid of my old card, I had to... simply update my expiration date and security code on a handful of websites which pull my bills/donations directly from my account via the card.  Not so simple.  I had almost completed the update form on their website when I noticed that it said in fine print that I would be charged once when I submitted the form, and then monthly, thereafter, according to what I signed up for.

My email to customer service: "Hi, I am currently [using your online transaction service] on a monthly basis and simply need to update my credit card information. I was going to use the online form on your website, but I don't want my card charged twice, and I don't want a payment to come out until December 15 (which would be the next regularly scheduled monthly payment coming up). Can you please assist me?
Thank you!

My phone rang shortly after, but it stopped after one ring.  It was a number I didn't recognize, so... I didn't answer it, per my personal protocol.  Besides the fact that it only rang once.  And they didn't leave a message. 
Pretty soon, I received an email response: "Thanks, [Ri], for your recent e-mail to [our company].  We felt a phone call would be the best way to get back to you, but we weren’t able to reach you. We hope this e-mail is helpful. Please be assured that we have removed you from the Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) [payment] program as you requested; this change will be effective immediately. As you may realize, it’s not possible to guarantee the security of e-mail. As such, we’d request that you send your name, address, credit card information, withdrawal date and amount via fax or postal mail..."

Noooo!!  That's not what I said!!

This is why it took me 2 months to even think about activating my new credit card.  Sigh...

06 December 2010

October Farmer's Market Adventures

Yes, the following pictures are from OCTOBER. 


You should be used to this by now.

So, in October, some friends and I went to the farmer's market, as per my usual Saturday morning tradition by now.  The party included Catherine, Tori, and Taylor.  We were strolling along, minding our own mini-doughnut-eating business, when out from behind the hum of the crowd we heard a haunting and ethereal sound.  It floated around, high and low, dreamy and chilling all at once.  So of course we had to follow it.  We found this couple playing their instruments and occasionally singing along, on the sidewalk.  (The Saturday Market includes a program that allows upcoming musical and performing artists to obtain a cheap, 1-day sidewalk permit so they can gain more exposure in front of the thousands of people walking around downtown Boise every Saturday.)  The female of the duo was playing a saw.  I've seen people play saws before, and I remember hearing a Sarah McLachlan (saw comes in at 0:23) song in which the saw is played, but hearing it in person again was incredible.  It's unlike anything else you've heard. 

This couple (and piggybacked baby!) had a very homegrown, bluegrass look and sound. They sure had it down. Her voice was strong, clear, and slightly twangy.  His was earnest and a little gruff, just like a good hillbilly should be.  All of their instruments were homemade, with the exception of the guitar.  We saw her play the saw (with violin bow) and a sort of bass made out of an upside-down metal washbin and a wooden broom handle with a string attached at a triangular angle.  Oh! She also played the washboard by strumming it, I think.  Tori bought a CD, hoping to catch some of the woman's voice, but sadly it was an earlier album of his and she wasn't on it at all!  Very disappointing.

We moved on past the outdoor market to Anthropologie, a truly unique and subsequently overpriced boutique store.  Catherine found a nifty little neck warmer just a few steps inside the door.  She's been knitting recently and we needed photographic guidelines for her next project.  The salespeople were not happy to see a camera, but it's a free country.  Especially when their neckwarmer costs upward of $40.

Each side looked similar, with a cinched portion in the middle, but one side had a solid cinch, and the other side had  hollow cinch, if that makes sense, so that one end pulled through the other.  I bet my mom could knit this. :-)

Catherine was so excited about her new project that she had to immediately go home and get to work.  There may have been nursing school homework thrown in there before she could get to the knitting, but we know where her true priorities were.  Tori and Taylor and I continued drooling our way across the store until we finally reached the sale room in the far reaches of the back corner.  Even on sale, most of the items are in the $30-60 range, so we were surprised to see a rack of dresses for $15-30.  I found this one in my size and had to give it a go.

It would have been perfect for the Christmas party I'm crashing next weekend, but sadly it was a no-go.  I would have to make so many adjustments to it (straps, neckline modesty patch, etc.) that I would have created an entirely new dress by the time I was done!  Tori and Taylor had similar luck.  But it's still fun to try things on and get ideas for the day when I do finally decide to sew my own clothes.

Let down by our Anthropologie failures, we decided to go somewhere we would be guaranteed success.  The good ol' standby, Old Navy.  I'll leave you with a picture of what's supposed to be a Halloween costume, but actually describes the two sisters in real, daily life.  They're quite a pair.

01 December 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

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