I Wanna Kia!

December 16, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Posted in Around Boston | 2 Comments
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I recently said goodbye to the cursed car (that actually turned out to be a great ride once finally fixed), and bought myself a big girl car.  And yes, I say that with every bit of irony I can muster because, as we all know, a woman shopping for a new car alone is ill-advised, so my dad came to help remove the target from my wallet (while the hubs stayed home with the baby).  Annnyway…

At one of the local car dealerships, as RWFOTB and I waited through the “let-me-talk-to-my-manager” negotiation process, we overheard a curious conversation: A middle-aged woman (with her mother in-tow) was standing firm against a sales guy.  He was trying to convince her of the benefits of the Camry, but she wasn’t having it.

Even these rodents can get a Kia!  Step up your game, lady!

Even these rodents can get a Kia! Step up your game, lady!

“I wanna Kia!” she insisted.  “I don’t want no Camry, I wanna Kia.”

We couldn’t help it – dad and I tried to keep our laughter quiet.  But the woman was adamant.  She would accept no substitute.  And even though the sales guy was trying to be polite, we couldn’t ignore the elephant in the room… we were at a Toyota dealership! 

Yeah.

So we may have remarked, loudly enough to be overheard, “Perhaps she’d have better luck at a Kia dealership.” 

The woman just glared and continued her fight.  The salesman looked sheepishly grateful, before saying: “Well, I don’t have any Kia’s here right now, but perhaps we could consider the Corolla?”

“Yeah, but,” and here dad and I mouthed the phrase we knew was coming next,” I wanna Kia!”

Good luck, lady. 

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Jiffy Lube? Try Jiffy Screwed!

July 19, 2013 at 7:55 am | Posted in Around Boston | 6 Comments
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dishonest lube

Have you ever taken your car in for an oil change, had the mechanic recommend extra services, and felt like you were being taken for a ride, so to speak?  Well, I recently had just such an experience at the Jiffy Lube at 99 Worcester Street (Route 9) in Natick, MA.  I don’t know if it was because of my gender (women know nothing about cars, right?  Two X chromosomes means a genetic disposition for automobile idiocy), or my perceived age (I look younger than I am – I’m told this will serve me well come middle age, but for now it’s just awkward), or if they do this to all their customers (which would ALSO be shameful, just a different kind of shameful), but the fact is, these folks were trying to scam me, and I’m calling them out!

Shame on you, Jiffy Lube!

Filter This!

Most folks have experienced this – I know it’s not specific to me: you go in for an oil change and hear the pitch about how you need to change your filter, too… “You don’t have to do it now, but I sure wouldn’t want to breathe in that dirty air.”  Happens all the time.  But what I believe was specific to me is the fact that the technician told me I needed BOTH filters in my car changed.  Both.

The issue?  My car only has ONE filter.  Yeah… Dude tried to sell me a filter replacement for a filter that DOESN’T EXIST!

So once we got over that little snafu, I asked him to remove the (single) filter and show me how dirty it was, and when he pulled it out, VOILA!  It wasn’t dirty after all; in fact, I’d dare say it was clean!  His response?  “You could probably wait until your next oil change, but I wouldn’t go much longer than that.”

Thanks, buddy.

Transmission Failed

The next debacle: he told me that I needed to have my transmission fluid flushed and refilled because I was at 39,000 miles and that was “way overdue.”  In fact, he said, it is “dangerous” not to do it.  And even though I literally saw on his computer monitor that it said the service was recommended at 60,000 miles, and showed him my owner’s manual that also said 60,000 miles, he reiterated that I was late and could be doing “serious and irreversible damage to my car.”  We’re talking serious and irreversible here, people!

If he were in my shoes, he said, he would have the $250 service done and “not take any chances.”

Wow.   Talk about FUD!  This guy was, without a doubt, trying to rip me off. Again.

Screeching Halt

I was appalled by this experience; so angered, in fact, that I decided to report it to Jiffy Lube corporate.  I sent a message to them via their website just a few days later and was assured (by an automatically generated message, of course) that my feedback was very important to them and that I would receive a response shortly.

You guessed it: no response.  Jiffy Lube corporate ignored my message and this situation, so now I’m sending my story out on the interwebs.  Drivers of the world: if you take your car to Jiffy Lube, be prepared!  Do your research!  Don’t let them pressure you into services you don’t need!  Don’t let them rip you off!

Or, just don’t take your car to Jiffy Lube…

Apparently I’m Not a New Englander…

February 8, 2013 at 11:31 am | Posted in Around Boston, Pregnancy Fun Time | 4 Comments
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As I sit here watching the weather report (Read: emotionally preparing for impending doom), seeing the first signs of Blizzard Nemo (Bugging Andrew to come home early – pretty please – this is a dangerous fish!) and reading friends’ Facebook statuses about the joy of snowstorms (Bring it on?  No thank you – please keep it away!), I’ve come to realize something: I can’t be a New Englander! 

Despite our reputation for a chilly demeanor, I think there’s also a certain degree of machismo around winter weather in the Northeast, something like “stormchismo.”  We buy out the region’s supply of bread, milk, bottled water and, for some reason, Pop Tarts (ick); we stock up on flashlights and batteries (why did I buy 24 AAA batteries at Home Depot?  When will I ever use 24 AAA batteries???); we watch the weather reports and poke fun at those folks who worry with choruses of “We live in New England – get used to it!” and “Finally, a little snow!”

I'd probably be at home worrying...

I’d probably be at home worrying…

But not me.  I’m angsty about this storm, I’m fearful that we will lose power, and I’m already dreading the cleanup and dealing with the 24”+ inches of snow that will surely remain with us for days or weeks to come.  What gives? 

Sure, I could blame this on my pregnancy-induced proclivity to worry, but we all know I was a worrier before getting preggers and I’ll be a worrier after, too (less than 30 days left until we meet Baby L-ski!  Huzzah!).  That said, I used to love being home watching the snow, snuggled up with a cocoa and blanket.  And even though I’ve been in New England for most of my life, I was born and raised in Colorado – weather like this is something I’ve always known – no excuse there.  And it’s not like I have to commute in this – my boss is delightfully flexible about letting me WFH (that’s “work from home,” for those not in the know) during inclement weather. 

So what’s my excuse?  What’s the problem?  Is there hope for me or am I doomed to be a lesser Masshole?

And is it time to panic yet? 

Photo Phriday: Game of Thrones

November 9, 2012 at 9:24 am | Posted in Around Boston, Office Humor, Photo Phriday | 2 Comments
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Today’s Photo Phriday gem is brought to us by one of my colleagues at Dark Water Fowl.  As he pulled into our office parking garage this week, he had no idea he was entering a throne room!

Witness:

Toilets on parade

As he said, these porcelain soldiers were lined up and ready for battle!

You could get lost among all those loos…

Water closet?  Try water garage…

<Insert more potty humor here>

Pregnancy, Part One

September 24, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Posted in Around Boston, Office Humor, Pregnancy Fun Time | 8 Comments
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As you know, I’m fairly open about sharing news and life milestones, but for some reason, I felt REALLY awkward telling people about my pregnancy when it was time to share it.  Has any other mom-to-be felt this way?  Am I the only who couldn’t quite figure out a way to let people know?  Or who was content with people eventually figuring out that my belly was more baby than brownies (for a change) without my having to say it out loud?

Let’s just say I wasn’t quick to post ultrasound photos to Facebook… (“Not that there’s anything wrong with that!”)

But now that my pregnancy is “Facebook official” (thanks, mom!), I can blog about it freely and share my experiences thus far with a bun in my oven (icky expression).  Andrew and I are SO excited to be parents (g-d willing), but as you can imagine, there’s been a fair amount of awkwardness over these past 16 weeks, too.  Here’s a slice of the silly aspects of pregnancy thus far…

In the Dark with Morning Sickness

Because I work at a software company, the ratio of men to women is pretty skewed, so, despite the four stalls, the ladies room often feels like a private potty.  The plus side of that is, mid-first trimester when I spent a fair amount of time hovering over the porcelain throne, I could bank on being alone in there and easily hiding whenever I had to toss my cookies in the office bathroom.

However, this privacy also had a downside.  In an effort to save energy, the bathroom lights are on sensors, and after a few minutes without detecting movement, the lights shut off.  No windows, no night lights – it is pitch black in there when the overheads are off.  I can’t even begin to tell you how awkward it is to be locked in a bathroom stall in absolute darkness, on the verge of ralphing, praying you don’t miss the toilet while trying not to touch anything!

It should have been an event in London – I’d have won Olympic gold!


The Three Little Bricks and The Big Bad Microburst

July 25, 2012 at 8:24 am | Posted in Around Boston, Office Humor | Leave a comment
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My dear Factinis readers:

Today’s post is a special treat for me because my friend (and reliable Factinis commenter) Erika will be occupying my usual soap box!  So, in addition to helping with content (of which I’ve been embarrassingly negligent of late), she’s also making me feel better about my own life!  Let’s face it: a lot of crazy stuff happens to me, and knowing that it happens to other people, too, makes me feel a little more normal.  Or at least like there’s a community of abnormality out there that I’m a part of…  So without further ado, I give you Erika’s true tale of commuting madness!

I should start this guest post as my hostess so often does, with a snapshot into my life at work. I have on my desk, along with a pink feather boa, a plastic dinosaur and a veritable rainbow of fuzzy craft bears, a plastic model of the Weinermobile. While all these objects have stories behind them, I blame office gossip for the Weinermobile. You know how these things happen, right? A perfectly innocent event gets warped by the rumor mill and suddenly everyone at work wants to know how you got into a car accident with the Weinermobile.

oscar mayer weinermobile

The perfect desk accessory?

I didn’t. Yes, it was a car accident, and yes, it did involve processed meat, but it wasn’t nearly so dramatic as it sounds. A simple rear-ending by a sausage truck is all. I tell you this for two reasons. One, because I know you’re all mature enough not to snicker by the imagery of sausages and rear ends, and two, because it sets a nice context for what happened eight years later. A.k.a. last week.

Picture if you will a lovely summer evening in a town just north of Boston. And then, just as you’re settling in to enjoy the story, strolling down the country lane (okay, it was a major commuting route) on your way to meet your wife for dinner at your favorite Indian restaurant, imagine yourself up to your knees in water, suddenly caught in a dramatic torrent of wind and rain complete with downed trees and sizzling power lines. Do you panic? Of course not! This is all well and good because your clothes probably needed a wash anyway and hopping fallen branches while trying to dodge the falling sparks from the urban jungle above is kind of like a video game. And who doesn’t love a good video game at the end of a long hard day at work?

I hope you didn’t think that was a rhetorical question. The answer, as it turns out, is “my trusty steed.” Apparently my being drenched, nearly swept away by wind and rain and narrowly avoiding electrocution wasn’t enough for Mother Nature. No, she looked down on me, released a cackle of thunder, and said to herself, “I’d better get her car involved too.” So, when my wife and I went to the nearby parking lot to retrieve a bag from the vehicle, we discovered a pile of bricks surrounding it. Unlike similar scenes in Super Mario World, however, there were no gold coins or feathers of invisibility or extra lives awaiting us. Just a crowd of people staring up amazedly at a hole on the roof of the jewelry shop. Yes indeed, microbursts are all fun and games until someone loses a windshield from a falling chimney.

To be honest, I’m not sure if the odds are better for falling chimneys than for rogue sausage trucks, but either way, I’m concerned about what’s going to show up on my desk once my co-workers get wind of this. So to speak.

So what say you, dear reader(s), what WILL show up on our guest blogger Erika’s desk in the weeks to come? A big bad wolf, huffing and puffing? A wind-up Dick Van Dyke doll that sings a certain tune from Mary Poppins? Santa Claus with a little gray rain cloud over his head? We can only guess… but I’m sure she’ll report back with the answer!

Adventures in Urgent Care

June 28, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Posted in Around Boston | 4 Comments
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(To my readers in the medical profession who wish to avoid snarky, unsolicited tips on how to make the experience better for your patients, stop reading and check back tomorrow for a Photo Phriday that is guaranteed to offend someone – they always do – but hopefully that someone is not you!)

I recently had a run-in with this wild bitch and ended up in the urgent care center (in other words: sweet-but-still-being-trained Cadie accidentally gave me a concussion – oops!). I waited and waited to see the doctor (not unexpected on a Saturday), and while the wait didn’t bother me much, what did bother me were my surroundings. Despite my less than optimal state, even I was able to observe the ridiculousness of the situation.  And since I’m nothing if not judgy annoying helpful, I came up with three tips that can make future patients’ visits much nicer…

Tip #1: Remove Patronizing “Art”

As I lay on the crunchy paper lining of the pleather exam table awaiting the poor doc. who got the short straw that weekend, I gazed up at the ceiling and saw this:

Tacky Art

Really?

Yes, that cheap, thumb-tacked poster says “Fragile.”

Infuriating.  

I’m pretty sure that, once you’ve reached the point where you are in an urgent care situation, you know you’re fragile.  I certainly don’t need a reminder.  I also don’t need to be potentially impaled with a thumb tack!  (Don’t think I didn’t notice that one of the thumb tacks was missing!  I had HOURS to stare up at that thing.)

Tip #2: Tick, Tick, Tick

We expect to wait to see a doctor, but for heaven’s sake, don’t emphasize exactly how long we spend alone and uncomfortable in those dingy little exam rooms! In other words: having a clock in the room is fine, but please consider one that doesn’t loudly tick away every second we’re stuck there!  Especially for those with head injuries, migraines, etc…

Tip #3: Utilize Appropriate Recognition

To distract myself from the patronizing artwork and the sound of my life ticking away, and to relieve the call of nature, I ventured down the hallway to the W.C. and saw this on the wall:

Congrats to…?… on…?…!

Yes, that IS a blank certificate of achievement recognizing no one for nothing in particular.  On the bathroom wall.  Hellooooooooo!  Does anyone else consider this bizarre?? 

Editor’s note: apparently one of the symptoms of a concussion is being overly emotional… so… yeah…  

Photo Phriday: Of All the Starches in the World…

June 15, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Posted in Around Boston, In The Kitchen, Office Humor, Photo Phriday | 4 Comments
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Mmm, culinary awkwardness!  Today’s Photo Phriday is compliments of the usually-on-task café in Dark Water Fowl’s office building.  Notice anything odd?

This pairing just ain’t kosher…

How about a nice pilaf?

Of all the starches in the world, why they chose Israeli Cous Cous to pair with pork is beyond me!

Photo Phriday: There’s No Wrong Way to Eat at Reese’s

June 8, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Posted in Around Boston, Photo Phriday | Leave a comment
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I love all Reese’s candy – heck, I love most things involving chocolate and peanut butter.  What I don’t love is when people toy with my emotions, like when they make me think there’s said flavor combination involved in their completely unrelated businesses.  Take, for example, this barber shop I recently passed:

 

What?!?

What does hair cutting have to do with the heavenly candy treat?  And, for that matter, what is a “special Boston-style hair cut?”  Shenanigans, people.  She. Nan. I. Gans.

~Sarah

P.S. Apparently I’m in the mood to talk about hair styles this week!  New topics coming soon…

Puppy Love!

May 8, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Posted in Around Boston, Family, Married Life | Leave a comment
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On Sunday, Andrew and I welcomed Cadence (or Cadie, as we call her) to the L-ski family.  A sweet, beautiful, tiny Black Lab (she’s less than 40 lbs.!), Cadie is about two-years-old and was rescued from a shelter down south and brought into our lives by New England Lab Rescue.

I’ve wanted a dog for years, so when we saw her sweet face, we fell in puppy love and immediately decided to adopt her.  We knew she would be a lot of work, but we also know she will be worth it.

For those who love dogs, or for those who just want to chuckle at the craziness of our first 48 hours together, here’s a sample of what we have learned about dog ownership so far…

Ensure closed doors are really closed!  Yesterday I took Cadie out for her first morning walk as a member of our family.  She was energetic and happy, did her business like a champ, and I was feeling pretty good about our second day together!  Until she ran away…

I’m sorry I ran away and got your shoes muddy… but wasn’t it a fun morning? Huh? Huh?

After our walk, I brought her in the house, took off her leash and started to remove my shoes when she darted through my legs and managed to squeeze out the front door, which I thought was closed!  Apparently, she got to it in the instant before it clicked firmly into place, and I felt like a grade-A rhymes-with-glass-bowl.  I got in the car to circle the neighborhood and Andrew sprinted through yards until he caught up with her (she was happy and wagging her tail, assuming this was as fun for us as it was for her) and brought her home.  Phew!  I’m pretty sure this makes my husband a super hero.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch – unless you’re our dog.  When Andrew raced out to “retrieve our retriever,” he was in the middle of making his lunch, so naturally the two pounds of sliced turkey, bread, etc. were unguarded on the kitchen counter.  I say “were” because the second he brought her home, she darted into the kitchen, jumped up on the counter and brought a week’s worth of lunch supplies down in her slobbery (yet adorable) mouth.  Andrew, once again acting as super hero, managed to get the food away before she ate it (and it gave her a tummy ache), but we had to throw it away due to floor cooties and doggie slobber.

Sittin’ pretty!

Some dogs, like some people, make a list and check it twice. I understand that dogs are prone to “mark their territory, tinkle-style,” but apparently Cadie is fastidious about tasks like this.  On Sunday, she peed in her crate twice, and peed in the house by the back door twice, and… you get the picture, and I’ll spare you the details.  The good news?  Consider the territory marked!  The bad news?  We need more paper towels and cleaner.

The health care debate in Washington is incomplete!  That’s not a plug for or against Obamacare or any political statement.  But after my first vet bill (Cadie had an ear infection, needed to get a microchip, various vaccinations and tests, etc.), I am starting to understand the pull of pet health insurance, because if this is a sign of things to come, Andrew and I may need to start the Ramen regime.

(I’m kidding – of course we budgeted for vet bills, within reason, before agreeing to adopt).

I could go on and on about our new pup, but I don’t want to be one of “those mommies” so I’ll summarize by saying we’re head-over-heels in love with this little mischievous pooch, and have signed up for training classes to ensure we three remain in love for years and years to come!  And we’ve give her a new nickname; henceforth we shall refer to her (in certain circles) as “the Devil Dog,” both because she’s as sweet as the Drake’s cake and because she’s a troublemaker we love to love.

Happy tails to you!

My new people are exhausting! (And yes, I’ve been spayed)

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