Procrastination (But I Digress)

Monday, May 31, 2010

Oh La La

Great weekend of tennis. What we lacked in quantity, we made up for in quality. It is too bad that Venus had Petrova in her draw, but it was so great that Petrova played so well. In the last part of the second set, I actually saw Petrova smile--a beautiful sight. I really like her. I would not mind at all seeing her in the final against Serena. On the other side of the draw, I so do not like Henin. I'm glad that Sarapova gave her three tough sets, but I wish that she had the game to beat Henin. That would have been sweet, Henin going down in the 3rd. Oh well. Nice to see Jankovic advance, not that NBC actually showed any of the match or even told us the scores, but I digress.

So NBC is showing the Nadal/Hewitt match. Thank you very much, I was very happy to see that match, but then the commentators told us about Ginepri--the last American standing--going to a fifth set. A qualifier against a seeded Ferrero--not an easy feat. So why are you wasting my time showing Nadal dominate poor old Hewitt, I'm screaming at the tv and then magically, as if they heard me (and the millions of other people in America who were all screaming the same thing), they switched over to show the Ginepri match--SCORE..........(the way they say it in soccer). Sweet match. So I'm just over the high of the end of that match when they show us the end of the Verdasco match--oh my, oh my. Great tennis. So I shouldn't complain too much about NBC's coverage (or lack thereof) because they really did go to the best parts of the key matches.

So we are back to ESPN2 today for Ginepri and Djok. Djok is just that. He plays, 'oh, I'm hurting, I can't play in these conditions' BS. I don't like that guy. Not that Ginepri really had a chance, but still. And Murray is out. No one even showed any highlights to show how he was beat. So Djok has a pretty easy field to get to Nadal (who will wipe the floor with him), but Fed has to get through Soderling. This will be a real test for Soderling. We shall see.

On the women's side, Peer is playing Serena now and it is by no means a given that Serena will beat her. I'm loving Petrova's game and I wish she was going to wipe the floor with Henin, but they are on the opposite sides of the draw, so I'll just have to hope that Petrova can stay consistent. I think that she has Jankovic in her field--that would be a great match.

So it occurs to me that all I'm doing is dropping names and that I don't really even know how to play tennis. Therefore, my blog cannot be used for instructional purposes, but only so that you can sound semi-informed in amateur discussions about tennis. Be careful with your pronunciations.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Clay, the Rain, the Dark

Oh my, oh my the drama of the French Open. I am struck by how empty the stands are--I want to go (well not actually, because I like my tennis from my sitting room the best, but figuratively, I can't understand that out of the billions of people in the world, there are not more people in the stands.)

So there was no coverage on Wednesday on my Tivo. That was very sad, but there is a web cite that gives you a kind of blow by blow what's happening. So I started at the bottem, early in the day and there were a few upsets, but nothing dramatic. Taylor Dent didn't score a single point in a whole set--I think that's what the commentor was saying--that is really bad. Then the Roddick match was stopped for darkness and then another match (I think it was Ljubicic and Fish) was stopped for darkness and then the Monfils and Fognini was NOT stopped for darkness--it was later and later and the players couldn't see the ball and Monfils saved two match points because Fognini couldn't see the ball and just hit them out. OMG just in the comments it was such a dramatic end to the night. The game was finally stopped 5 - 5 in the fifth set!

So on Thursday, there was coverage on my Tivo. They started by replaying the end of the Monfils/Fognini match from the previous day, so I did get to see the excitement. I got to see Roddick get back on tract and take care of business, but I fast forwarded Ljubicic and Fish--for some reason I cannot stand Ljubicic's bald head. It looks like it is out of a monster movie. I guess that is how some people feel about Venus's lacy bare look, but there it is.

Safina is out early--heartbreak. I really thought clay was good for her power game, but she never recovered from being the number one woman player last year--she's been going down hill ever since. Same with Ivonivic--she's out early. She also never recovered from being number one for a little while. Meanwhile Henin is out of retirement and playing with a vengence. The Williams sisters are still as tough as ever (and now I've looked a little more closely at Venus's sexy pajamas--she does look a little more sexy and a little less angular--I guess it kind of softens her look--I like it and I really like how well she is playing.)

I saw a little Fed against Falla--I'm kind of hoping someone takes him out early. I want to see Murray (another player I love to hate) against Nadal in the final. Roddick has to get through Djok, but I don't see it. I think that Djokovic has a much better over all game then Roddick. On the women's side, I see a Sister's final, but I'm glad that Serena has to face off against Henin (or Sharapova--that will be another fun match) and not Venus.

P.S. They play in the rain in Paris. The ref asked the players if they want to keep going and they just keep playing in the rain. I can't decide if I'm for it or against it. I guess that I really like that they mostly let the players decide (except for playing in the dark that they did to Monfils and Fognini--that was awful).

Friday, May 21, 2010


I like lists. I've been trying to make my life less complicated and so I've been getting a little lax at my lists, but I do so at my own peril. I put things on my calender and in my little electronic notepad on my iPhone, but I am so used to seeing the important things on a list, that I forget to look.

So I make my plans to get a pizza. You may say to yourself, self, why does Kathy need a plan to get a pizza? Simple. The best pizza is at Little Ceasars. There are two Little Ceasars near my house (ha, ha, not exactly near--if they were really near, I'd have pizza everyday, but I digress). One is all the way over in Burbank next to a Vons and the other is all the way on the East side of Glendale (opposite direction) next to a Blockbuster. Further, the pizza has eight slices. The most that I will eat at any one meal is three (but I usually limit myself to two). That means at least three meals from one pizza. It is so disheartening to watch perfectly wonderful pizza go to waste in the fridge if I haven't planned the meals to eat them. If I wait too long, it is not good (really--terrible stomach aches--really not worth it). Further, Tuesday and Wednesday are no dinner at home days and Monday through Friday are lunch at work days (microwave, no toaster over--pizza has to be warmed up in a toaster oven--forget it in a microwave). So planning is a must. Friday is the best time to get pizza, however, Thursday works too, especially if I have to work on Saturday (which makes Saturday a lunch at work day, but then I have dinner on Saturday night--pizza--great incentive to work on Saturday).

[Now you may be saying to yourself, self, I have great advice for Kathy regarding pizza that she can heat up in the microwave or cook at home and not have to drive sooo far or well whatever other advice there is out there. But self, I have tried it all and nothing in the world tastes as good to me as Little Ceasars pizza. Actually it is pretty awful. But I must have had one taste every six weeks or so that was wonderful, because that is what I expect with every bite and until it tastes like dirt, I'll probably stay with my same old routine.]

So the thing that got me started on this blog was my dilemma--I'm planning to have pizza tonight. I have tonight (three slices), tomorrow dinner (two slices) and possibly Sunday lunch (two slices) which leaves one slice left over--a perfectly acceptable breakage. But I might not be home for lunch on Sunday which would leave three slices--what a waste. Now sometimes Adam will help me out and eat some and as long as he leaves two slices for the next meal that I have planned, that is a lovely solution to my pizza dilemma, but sometimes he doesn't leave any and then I am compelled to yell at him for eating my next meal and then he won't eat any for a long time leaving me with pizza breakage that breaks my heart. Life is so complicated.

My dilemma is should I make a list. Pizza tonight, Pizza for dinner tomorrow, possibly pizza for lunch on Sunday. Then I can add take cans in on Saturday, but get to work by 11 because my students might be coming in and I have a bunch of stuff on my desk and laundry tonight and the hairdresser and there is a movie out I haven't seen--should I work that into a plan and then Sunday is an 8 a.m. graduation, but I don't know how long it will take and now I've planned so many things for Saturday, I should try to fit going to work on Sunday too, but that might negate the pizza for lunch on Sunday which was the whole point of making this list in the first place.

[We have chocolate cookies at the office today. I am limiting myself to two, but I could put some in the drawer to bribe myself to come in this weekend. Chocolate chip cookies will trump two day old pizza any day of the week and twice on Sunday--list or no list.]

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Hot Flashes

So I was on the phone with an investment company trying to get copies of statements for an estate and the person who had died. When I cleared out the account a month ago, I asked whether I would be sent the statements and the representative said "of course". Silly, silly me--I almost believed her.

So it is a month later and I have no statements. I need to see what happened before the person died and I need to see what happened in the estate. Yes it took me four weeks of fighting and letters and many, many calls to get the account cleared out, so I should not be surprised or even slightly phased that it will take more than a simple phone call to get a copy of the statements. Silly me.

So I get a letter (not a statement for the account--oh no) that tells me (the generic account holder--even though I have now closed the accounts) that I can get a copy of my statements on line. Yippee, right? So I go on line and I input the name of the estate. It doesn't really have a first and last name and nothing comes up under the tax id number, so I look back to the generic letter for a phone number. There is no phone number on the entire letter. There is no address on the letter either. That letter is completely useless except to frustrate and annoy me.

So I google the company. Very generic web cite, but I find one phone number and I call it. After a long route of trying to get a live person, I finally get one. He cheerily says "How are you?" Silly, silly man. "I'm pretty darn frustrated, that's how I am." "Oh no," he says oozing with fake costumer service charm and then as though he is talking to a four year old (I talk to four year olds--I know what it sounds like), he says "let's take care of your problem--how can I help you?" I felt oddly comforted. Even though I recognized mentally that he was fake and rehearsed and talking down to me and probably staring out the window at a beautiful waterfall (long story), emotionally the four year old in me thought, oh good, he will help me. Silly me.

I gave him the tax id number, the deceased person's social security number and after a really long time that he took to find the accounts, I told him that I needed a copy of the statements. "Oh, I will have to transfer you to that department, but don't worry, I will give them the information and they will be able to help you." He said it so positively--I think he really believed it. Silly me.

The next person on the phone needed all the information again and was extremely short with me, because I was short with her. She was not amused by my frustration that I had to go over everything again--after all--it is not her fault that I was stupid enough to believe that last guy.

After a frustrating TEN minutes waiting for her computer to get her the right information to open the accounts, I asked for a copy of the statement. Of course they were just mailed yesterday, but she will be happy to send me another one. Is there anything else she can help me with? Yes--I want all the statements for the past year. Big sigh from her--what did she ever do to deserve this customer from hell. "Well then I will have to cancel the last order and resubmit a new order for the statements for the past year, hold please" And she's gone........(she does not have a waterfall--she's in a cinder block cubicle--she has taking mini breaks while customers are on hold down to a science--she probably has a great computer, but maybe not--a company that doesn't put it's address and phone number on its letters probably puts absolutely no resources into customer service).

When she comes back she said, OK the order has been placed for the estate account, can I help you with any thing else (rushing the question to a, 'no--thank you very much for all of your assistance--I'm going to call and give your boss a commendation at how well you ordered those statements--you are the best customer service person on the planet') "YEAH, I want something else--I need the statements for the person who died also for the past year." "Hold please" and she's gone.......Just from the "hold please" I could hear the utter and complete hatred that she had for me, but she is stating over and over in her head--'I will not let this awful person make me lose my temper--I will do my job so well that even this awful person will have to agree that I am great at my job.'

When she comes back on the phone, she states in a very controlled fake positive voice, that the statements have been ordered and they will be going to the last address of record for the deceased person. I right away interrupt her and state that house has been sold--I need the statement to come to me! In her best stern teacher voice she says, "will you let me finish. The only place that we are allowed to send the statement is to the last address of record." And I interrupt again--silly me--"I need to speak with your supervisor." "Hold please" and she's gone.....this break is longer--I imagine it involves a cup of coffee and laughing with her manager over the crazy customer on the line. Yes, I imagine that her manager is going to be a slightly more oozing fake charm person than she is, who will tell me exactly the same thing, but at least I can complain about Ms. Rude pants. It will go on her record--no raise for you Ms. Rude pants on your next review--el cheapo company that you work for only needs the tiniest excuse not to pay you any more money.

She comes back on the line and says that her manager is unavailable, would I like to speak with a research specialist who will tell me the same thing--that I will need to put my request in writing. " WHAAAAT? That's it, that's all I need to do is put the request in writing." "Yes," Ms. Rude pants says, "you interrupted me before I could tell you that. Would you like the address?" Ummm, yeah, I say sarcastically. She gives me the address (with no zip code), so that I have to ask for the zip code which she then gives me as though I am physically harming her with my animosity and she must bang me with her shield to say 'hey, back off.'

Then I say, that I'd still like to speak with her manager. "Well my manager is unavailable, but I'll give you to a research specialist. Hold please..." and she's gone....three minutes, five minutes, eight minutes....And I start to feel sorry for Ms. Rude pants. What if that really mean company is just looking for any excuse to fire people because they have to pay unemployment if they lay them off. What if they are deliberately under staffing so that customers will complain. What if I'm just in a bad mood because I'm going through menopause. I don't want anyone to lose their job. She's staring at cinder blocks for goodness sake.

I hang up. I write a letter (in which I can't stop myself from describing their customer service person as rude--I didn't know her name so maybe their computer system is so crappy, they won't be able to tell who waited on me--as if they give a crap about customer service--silly me).