Friday, November 13, 2009

Turkey 101

Pay close attention, Vee!

Quickly Vanishing Cash

My mother would have loved QVC. A self-made hermit, she rarely left the house unless it was absolutely necessary. If it weren't for mail-order catalogs, her holiday shopping lists would have fallen to my sisters and me. Several trees' worth of catalogs cascaded upon Laurel Lane every autumn, and my mother browsed her favorites and selected all sorts of goodies for the people on her list.

My stepmother, Hon, introduced me to the addiction that is QVC (aptly dubbed Quickly Vanishing Cash by my dad). I watched her order a ring for Precious Daugther and was astounded at how quickly her transaction was handled. She didn't even speak to anyone! Call the 800 number, hit a button or two, and her credit card number on file was billed. She was off the phone in under twenty seconds . Good gravy. I could easily see how this could become a problem.

QVC sells just about everything (no men's or children's clothing). Their prices are usually pretty good, and they pride themselves on good customer service. If you don't like an item, send it back with no questions asked. My only gripe is that they don't carry enough American-made items.

QVC offers one service that I greatly appreciate: Easy Pay. I don't have to shuck out a bazillion dollars all at once, I can spread the pain across a given number of payments, and that is the reason for this post.

This year, Santa is bringing our children a Wii system for Christmas. (Sshhhhh!! Don't tell!) It's something we've been dangling in front of Mighty B.'s nose for a while in hopes of eliciting some more mature behavior on his part, and he's been doing very well. Cutting to the chase, I bumped the remote to QVC and happened upon a sales pitch for a Wii system with a bunch of extra doodads. Whaddaya know! I look at the price and notice the Easy Pay option, and I can't hold back. I was going to be a good girl and call The Oracle first, but this was Easy Pay, of all things, and I took the plunge.

Today I check into the online banking and I notice that our account was hit this morning for the full purchase price of the Wii. WTF?!?! I can't let that happen!! I have checks outstanding!! I know we jokingly call it Quickly Vanishing Cash, but this is a little too quick!

Once again I call QVC, and I am blessed with "Martina," a very friendly representative. She explains and apologizes for what happened and agrees to conference call with my bank to remove the charge. Really?

I call Bank of America, and Martina and I sit on hold for the better part of ten minutes before a BOA representative picks up the line. Sheesh. This is one thing I hate about BOA. Once the rep is on the line, my account is corrected in moments and I can breathe again.

I don't buy much from them, but when I do, I love QVC.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Bill Cosby - Natural Child Birth Pt. 2

This is for Cort and Brian! Pop on over to Cort's blog (in my following list) and wish them a huge CONGRATULATIONS on the birth of their beautiful baby girl!

Monday, November 2, 2009

I Survived Another Halloween!

Why do I get myself into this stuff? Why can't I leave well enough alone?

Halloween Rule 1: Kids are not allowed to discuss Halloween costumes until school starts in September. Why? Because they'll change their minds a dozen times and drive me insane with it. (If you care, I have a similar rule regarding the enjoyment of Christmas music, books, and movies.)

Halloween Rule 2: Once I buy a prefab costume and/or supplies to make one, there's no turning back.

Halloween Rule 3: Do not poopooh The Oracle's predictions that Precious Daughter's costume will not be completed until moments before heading out to mooch candy, and it will require a monumental amount of swearing and aggravation on my part.

Mighty B. wanted to be a soldier. He originally wanted to be a skeleton until I casually mentioned seeing a soldier costume in the store. He wanted it. I went back and took a closer look, and it was cheesy. I wasn't going to spend all that money on a cheapy costume. I thought I'd try making one instead, but I couldn't find military-styled camouflage fabric, just the kind crosshatched with printed trees and twigs for the outdoor sportsmen. I procrastinated and didn't buy the cosume until 10/30 (the day of his school party, source of the below picture) and was rewarded with 50% off.

Forgive me for gushing about how handsome my son is. He says he wants to be a soldier when he grows up. We'll see. I think what interests him right now is the weaponry.

Precious Daughter first decided that she'd like to be Eglentine Price (name that movie!), but I told her very few would remember the character without a lengthy explanation even if they remembered the name of the movie. She then said she'd be either Sharpay Evans (High School Musical) or simply "a Diva." My head resounded with cries of "BOR-ING!" especially when she dressed as Hannah Montana last year, and she'd pretty much look the same this time around.

(Give up on that movie name? It'll be at the end.)

Poking around online, I spotted a simple-looking pattern for a magician's cape and hat. Hmmm... I suggested it to Precious Daughter, and she liked the idea. We picked black satin for the exterior and a pretty black fabric with irridescent stars on it for the lining.

Star fabric was hideous to work with. My sewing machine hated it. The needle made an awful thock-thock-thock sound with every puncture. It even got jammed in the feed dogs (those metal treads that move the fabric along) and down inside the machine where the needle dips to pick up the bobbin. Horrid stuff. The costume was supposed to include a cummerbund, but working with the star fabric sans the satin was even worse, so I ended up (Heaven forgive me) using red duct tape to hold the cummerbund together and tying at the waist.

The felt hat came out really soggy looking despite my efforts to stiffen it up. At least it fit. Oh. See that wand? That stupid wand cost eight bucks. The packaging promised a dozen magic tricks. I thought the thing would open into a cutesy little bouquet or conceal a scarf. Nope. it includes instructions for a dozen tricks, the creeps. The wrapper doesn't say "instructions" anywhere.
But the stars on it glow in the dark.
I didn't have a costume for Kryptonite. I simply ran out of time. I feel a little guilty, but it's tempered by the fact that she spent our entire trip in the stroller beneath a gigantic black umbrella. Nobody would have seen it anyway.

Trick-or-treat time was solid rain. It drizzled as we left, and it drizzled for 90% of our walk around the block. As we turned the corner onto our street, it started raining buckets, so we decided to skip the side street we would have otherwise visited. Even so, we still had over six pounds of candy.
I am glad we didn't canvas the side street. There's enough here to last us until next Easter.

Movie title: skcitsmoorB dna sbonkdeB (read it backward).