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Just Simply Bella Sera

My Companies

I've written letters to the following companies.
é   Stride Rite Corporation
é   Discovery Communications
é   Kiddopotamus
é   bd's Mongolian Grill
é   SC Johnson and Son, Inc.
é   Panera Bread Company
é   Bravo! Italian Restaurants

My Shared Letters

é   Impressed with Skills and Attitude of Stride Rite Employee (Posted 11/23/08)
é   Don't Be a Dog Snob Animal Planet (Posted 6/12/08)
é   Kiddopotamus Saved My Sanity! (Posted 1/11/08)
é   BD's Mongolian Grill was NOT punishment (Posted 9/28/07)
é   A Big Shout-Out to Shout (Posted 9/27/07)
é   Please bring back the PepperBlue Steak Sandwich! (Posted 6/27/07)
é   BellaSera (Posted 5/8/07)
é   Bravo to Bravo! Italian Restaurants (Posted 4/4/07)

My Comments

é   I'm not denying it all, Jeishere. (Posted 10/8/10)
é   As I said to Jeshiere, (Posted 10/8/10)
é   The word "donate" (Posted 10/8/10)
é   Re: Once Upon a Child is unethical (Posted 10/7/10)
é   "Anybody can walk through it." (Posted 10/7/10)
é   Actually, if it's part of their property then they have control. (Posted 10/7/10)
é   I didn't read the comment about the accent the way you did. (Posted 10/6/10)
é   What good is that gonna do.... (Posted 10/6/10)
é   Re: Shady debt collection tactics by BellSouth (Posted 9/28/10)
é   Actually, I don't think the LW was referring to Walmart as being "local." (Posted 9/27/10)
View All Comments

My Special Interests

é   Rating, reviewing, or critiquing company "contact us" forums on their websites
é   Serving as a PlanetFeedback "mystery shopper" and periodically run spot checks on customer servic
é   Making myself available to companies for online or offline focus groups to help them improve products or customer service
é   Worked as customer service rep in both retail and business-to-business. Currently getting a second degree in English education.

My Blogger

by Just Simply Bella Sera Posted Thu March 11, 2010 @ 3:22 PM

I've been reading a blog by a woman named Lenore Skenazy. Ms. Skenazy, some
of you may remember, is the woman who let her nine-year-old son ride the
subway alone one day. She wrote about the experience in NY Times column and
suddenly found herself on every talk show in the country defending herself
against accusations of being the worst mom in America.

The introduction of Ms. Skenazy's blog reads: "We believe in helmets, car
seats and safety belts. We do NOT believe that every time school age
children go outside, they need a security detail." The blog entries and
various posts remind me of a letter that was written here several months
ago. I won't go into details of that letter, but basically put the LW let
her eight-year-old son visit the children's section of the bookstore by
himself. She was then pelted with the Internet equivalent of rotten
tomatoes for letting her son do this.

Since then, I've described this letter to many people and asked for their
opinion, including my own mother, my sister, several friends, and my
childless office mate (who lived in New York City and said young kids ride
the subway ALL THE TIME). Only one parent thought this was horrendous
parenting (but she also freely admits she is overprotective and won't let
her kids play in their own backyard by themselves). The rest really didn't
see a problem. One said, "The kid is eight; it's not like he's two."
Another said, "It's not like the kid is wandering the streets at midnight
while the mom's out dancing. It's a frickin' bookstore."

I know many people will point out that child molesters and kidnappers are
EVERYWHERE and no place is really truly safe. I agree. But, as one
commenter on Ms Skenazy's article put it, "In the interest of keeping our
kids safe, we are raising overprotected, sheltered dimwits who have no
ability to think for themselves or any ability to use common sense." The
poster went on to describe a child she babysits for who has never rode a
bike (his mom is afraid he'll fall and get hurt), never shot a basketball
(the ball might bounce back and hit him the face), or played in his
backyard without at least one parent hovering over him. (He's nine.)

Don't get me wrong. I believe in keeping our kids safe, absolutely. But
there's concern, and then there's OVER-concern, and personally I think a
child is missing out on a great value to learn how to think and use common
sense in situations. I'm not suggesting we should all let our kids roam the
streets at 10 p.m. to learn about common sense and bravery; however, I also
don't think it's bad parenting to let a kid ride his bike to the park or
walk a mile to school by himself.


She tried something else.. by Harleycat Fri July 2, 2010 @ 8:48 PM

Are you talking about "Take Your Kid To The Park and Leave Him There" Day? by Just Simply Bella Sera Thu July 8, 2010 @ 2:31 PM

by Just Simply Bella Sera Posted Thu December 17, 2009 @ 8:27 PM

I mean, I'm back for what - the second time now? It doesn't look I'm
leaving again, so I might as well.

Anyways, I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas (or Chanukah, Kwaanza,
I'm sure I'm forgetting a holiday in there) and happy New Year.


Merry Christmas, Bella Sera by LadyMac Mon December 21, 2009 @ 3:00 PM

Thanks Ladymac, and a Merry Christmas to you as well. by Just Simply Bella Sera Tue December 22, 2009 @ 8:08 PM

by The Return of BellaSera Posted Wed August 19, 2009 @ 10:39 PM

No, I'm not kidding. Sometime overnight, the pod people came in and took my
easy-going, cooperative, and rather congenial child. In his place they put
a negative, uncooperative, defiant, and cranky little boy who looks just
like my son but isn't.

Okay, I'm kidding. Well, not really. My son is now entering the stage known
as "terrible twos." "NO!" comes out of his mouth just as often as "yes" (or
"Mmmm hmmm" in his case). We frequently get into arguments about what he
wants to do versus what I want him to do. And yesterday, after telling him
"no" several times, he ran right out of the gate at the park we visited. I
caught up to him pretty quick, and for his antics he got a stern "no", a
quick whack on the butt, and a warning that if it happened again we were
leaving. (Note: I'm not normally in the habit of spanking my kid, but this
park is right off of a busy street in a nearby suburb, and I wanted to send
a message that is NOT okay to run away from Mommy to a busy street.)

On Saturday, he walked on to our deck and had an immediate meltdown. Why? I
don't know. The air? Trees? Maybe a bird flew by? He inhaled oxygen? Who
knows. All I know is I was thinking to myself just a couple of weeks ago
how easy my son was. I was wrong.

He's not always this contrary. I would say most of the time he's pretty
easy-going. But the "episodes", for lack of a better word, are getting more
frequent, which means I have to change my strategy.

Time-outs, here we come.


I have no advice by Venice Thu August 20, 2009 @ 5:12 PM

A friend of mine has a good strategy. by The Return of BellaSera Fri August 21, 2009 @ 11:00 AM

That is a very good reward by Venice Fri August 21, 2009 @ 3:00 PM

That's the other thing the author recommends: by The Return of BellaSera Mon August 24, 2009 @ 12:56 PM

That's like... by Venice Mon August 24, 2009 @ 4:41 PM

I know. by The Return of BellaSera Mon August 24, 2009 @ 6:46 PM

I remember by Michelle O. Thu August 20, 2009 @ 10:07 PM

Thanks! by The Return of BellaSera Fri August 21, 2009 @ 11:04 AM

by The Return of BellaSera Posted Tue August 11, 2009 @ 3:25 PM

As many of you know, I volunteer for our local Humane Society as a Small
Animal Socializer. It's something I've done for five years now, and I love
it. I especially like sitting in front of the small animal room with a
bunny or guinea pig and seeing a child's face light up with excitement at
getting to pet (and learn) about the animal.

But one thing I don't like is the lack of parental common sense I see on a
continual basis. Too many parents seem to think the sign above our building
says "WHS Playground and Petting Zoo." They'll let their children run amok
through the facility, unsupervised, while there are cages of live animals,
easily accessible to eager fingers. It shouldn't take a rocket scientist to
know that even the most docile animal can bite if provoked.

Unfortunately, this past Sunday I had the displeasure of meeting one parent
who wasn't blessed with the common sense God gave even the average billy
goat in understanding this concept. He had his three children with him -
two boys and a girl. The boy got bit by one of our rats up for adoption.
Even though I was close by, I didn't see the actual incident, but I'm sure
I know what happened: the kid has his fingers in the cage and got bit. I
mean, it's kind of difficult to get bit if your fingers aren't in the cage
in the first place, right?

What really pissed me off though was the parents acted like it was OUR
fault. They had to fill out a report (which is standard procedure in cases
like this), but then they insisted on taking pictures of the rat, the set
up in the room, etc. Two WHS employees then made signs stating that fingers
are to be kept out of cages because animals can nibble. The father was
upset: "These signs weren't here before! Why not?" Well, you see sir, we
erroneously assumed parents would have enough common sense to understand
that ANIMALS BITE and letting your kids stick their fingers in an
unfamiliar live animal's cage is A REALLY BAD IDEA. But you proved us

The kid in this case was old enough to know better, and if he didn't, the
should've been. So now this poor rat is being re-evaluated for
"aggressiveness" when really, it was the kid's and parents' own damn fault.
Frankly, I consider it a good lesson learned, one the kid obviously isn't
getting at home.

Oh, and thanks for proving Darwin wrong, Dad.


by BellaSera Posted Tue July 21, 2009 @ 3:06 PM

I just missed the lot of you. :) Plus, as anyone who knows me can attest, I
just can't resist sharing my opinion.

To be honest, I don't know how much I'll be posting here. In between being
very busy at work, having a suddenly vocal, active (and often
uncooperative) toddler, and my farm and Mafia Wars on Facebook, I don't
know how much I'll be posting. But I'll be around.

So, what' new? How's your summer going? Mine's going okay. Been kind of

Anything else? Okay, well see you later.


Welcome Back! by Harleycat Tue July 21, 2009 @ 3:13 PM

Thanks! by The Return of BellaSera Wed July 22, 2009 @ 7:52 AM

Yes.. by Harleycat Wed July 22, 2009 @ 8:24 AM

I just noticed! by Venice Tue July 21, 2009 @ 10:35 PM

Oh yeah. by The Return of BellaSera Wed July 22, 2009 @ 7:57 AM

And being so darn cute doesn't hurt either by Venice Wed July 22, 2009 @ 3:50 PM

The kid's got charisma, I'll give him that. by The Return of BellaSera Thu July 23, 2009 @ 1:56 PM

My daughter's eczema is acting up, too by Venice Sat July 25, 2009 @ 12:25 PM

I think his shoes were playing in a part in his foot eczema. by The Return of BellaSera Sat July 25, 2009 @ 7:56 PM

Don't tell anyone, but by Venice Sun July 26, 2009 @ 4:37 PM

Welcome back!!! by I'm back Sun August 2, 2009 @ 10:19 PM

by BellaSera Posted Mon April 27, 2009 @ 2:06 PM

So everyday I log in to my e-mail account, and everyday there is the big
screaming headline about "THE SWINE FLU." Normally, I just sigh and move
on, convinced it's more fear-mongering by our respected media, but this
time it kind of scares me. A national and international pandemic? In the
year 2009, who would think someone could die of the FlU?

My husband and I are going to Vegas in less than two weeks, and for once
I'm a little concerned about travel. I'm not worried about getting the flu
- my immune system is descended from German gods - but I certainly don't
want to pass anything to my son.

By the way, has anyone read "The Stand' recently?


Thanks for putting THAT thought in my head!!! by ♫Venice♫ Mon April 27, 2009 @ 4:40 PM

Every time I read an article about the flu, by BellaSera Tue April 28, 2009 @ 8:58 AM

Or drink more vodka by LadyMac Thu April 30, 2009 @ 7:27 PM

Just wanted you to know by ♫Venice♫ Thu April 30, 2009 @ 7:30 PM

by BellaSera Posted Sat April 25, 2009 @ 8:32 AM

Last year, I took my son to his three-month well-baby appointment. My
husband and I have been going to this clinic (an offshoot of a major health
organization) for a few years and love the care we receive from our
doctors. The problem was the staff. They were rude, disorganized, and
seemingly incompetent. We'd call to make an appointment and have to wait 10
minutes while the person on the other end figured out how to do this. (I'm
not kidding.) Then, it was a crapshoot on whether the appointment would
even register. I can't tell you the number of times my husband or I had to
reschedule an appointment because the staff made an appointment while his
doctor was on vacation, or on a day off, or canceled the appointment for
whatever reason, or made it for the wrong day...the list goes on.

We were both pretty fed up, but C's three-month appointment was the last
straw. I stood waiting for nearly five minutes while the staff finished up
a personal conversation about some janitor they thought was hot. Then, one
of the women looks at me like I'm some kind revolting bug that stepped into
her field of vision and asks, in the snottiest tone you can imagine, asks,
"Can I help you?"

Aw hell no. Most of the time I just let this stuff go, but after a year (or
two) of shabby treatment I had enough. I kept my cool, but during C's
appointment, I told my doctor what happened. I also said it was just the
culmination of her staff's attitude and lack of capability, and that, while
I loved the care I got from her, I wasn't willing to put up with her staff

Unbeknownst to me, my husband had the same conversation with HIS doctor
after having to reschedule an appointment no less than four times due to
their staff's errors. Both of our doctors said they needed to know this and
that our complaints were not the first they had received on this subject.

A year and half later, things are better. I've noticed there are new people
and while they may not be the paragon of professionalism at all times, they
are much nicer, easier to work with, and much more competent. I no longer
dread calling the doctor's office.


You went about it the right way by ♫Venice♫ Mon April 27, 2009 @ 4:46 PM

Thanks! by BellaSera Tue April 28, 2009 @ 8:56 AM

by BellaSera Posted Sat April 18, 2009 @ 7:48 AM

Many of you may have noticed that I've been taking the OP's side more. It's
not because I'm trying to be a pain in the ass or get everyone riled up
with my different outlook; it's because I've made a resolution to try and
look at the situation from the writer's point of view.

The reason is that while I've worked retail and know first-hand how
difficult certain people can be, I'm also a consumer and know how difficult
companies can be. I too have walked in a store and been treated like I
don't belong there. I too have waited on hold forever only to be given the
runaround or worse yet, been given really bad information. I too have
ordered something from a restaurant only to get home and find it's all
wrong. I too have tried to pay for a purchase only to find out what I
wanted to purchase isn't on sale due to a store's sloppy signage. I too
have been told something that isn't true by a salesperson and found out the
opposite. And I too have been confronted with policies that don't make any
sense and seem to change on an arbitrary basis.

In a lot of cases, there were things **I** could've done differently -
checked the order, read the contract, brought my receipt - but there are
also many things the company could've done better too: been a little more
pleasant, made sure the order was accurate, not lied to a potential
customer. In many cases, there is a better way to handle the situation.
Let's face it; in this economy, companies can't cherry pick through their
customer base anymore.

I'm not suggesting every complaint is 100% valid and a company should give
in to every demand, reasonable or not. I am saying, however, that in many
cases, there may be some validity in what the customer is saying, and
rather than say the same old thing of "you're wrong", I'd prefer to say
"Well, you're not 100% right, but...."

I'm also trying to be less judgmental. We're all guilty of it - some more
than others - but I think there's enough condescension on here without me
adding to the mix.

The basic premise of PFB is allowing people an outlet to give feedback to
companies (and, I think, to get resolutions for consumers). Without this
feedback, how will a company know what their customers are thinking? I may
not always agree with PFB, but I do agree with the essential point of the
site, and I'm trying to change my commenting style to reflect this.


Maybe... by ♫Venice♫ Sat April 18, 2009 @ 5:26 PM

"The hostility in the tone of the remarks." (Long...sorry) by BellaSera Sun April 19, 2009 @ 8:45 AM

I agree with everything you said by ♫Venice♫ Sun April 19, 2009 @ 5:58 PM

The Flip Side.. by Harley Has A New Cat Tue April 21, 2009 @ 10:50 AM

We didn't disagree all that much though. by BellaSera Wed April 22, 2009 @ 7:34 AM

by BellaSera Posted Thu April 2, 2009 @ 10:10 PM

So, my son starting "speaking" a couple of weeks ago. I put "speaking" in
quotation marks because it's not like he's ready for Masterpiece Theater
quite yet, but he is starting to converse in toddler-ese that I can

Now his verbal repertoire includes "nyah" (snack), "muh" (milk, along with
the hand sign for it), "hey you!" (when I greet him in the morning), "hi",
"nuh" (no), "dah" (that, as in "I want that...NOW!"), and "eiy" (kitty) as
well as his former favorites of "dada", "mama", and "uh-oh."

But one of the most endearing things he does is say "daddy." As soon as he
hears my husband come home from work, he'll rush to the back door yelling,
"Da-ee, Da-ee!" Or if he and I are in another room, and I ask, "Where's
Daddy?" he'll rush out of the room calling, "Da-ee? Da-ee?"

And I can tell him things, like "Let's get your jacket on" or "Okay, time
to go bed" and he listens. This morning I asked, "Do you want waffles or
french toast?" and showed him the two boxes. (He picked waffles.) It's
great being able to communicate with him but also a little disconcerting
that he's no longer a baby.

They grow up way too fast.


Ah.. an amazing time by ♫Venice♫ Fri April 3, 2009 @ 5:54 PM

We went to Babies R Us yesterday. by BellaSera Sat April 4, 2009 @ 9:11 AM

Good thing it wasn't Toys R Us!.. n/t by ♫Venice♫ Tue April 21, 2009 @ 3:30 AM

Wow by 3+1=4 Mon April 6, 2009 @ 10:30 PM

WAAAAY too fast! by MA Cunningham Thu April 9, 2009 @ 4:18 PM

My son has figured out the latches to the cabinets under the sink. by BellaSera Mon April 13, 2009 @ 8:40 AM

Magnets! by Michelle O. Mon April 13, 2009 @ 11:21 PM

I didn't know about those. by BellaSera Thu April 16, 2009 @ 11:05 AM

by BellaSera Posted Fri March 20, 2009 @ 11:38 AM

Natasha Richardson's death hit me pretty hard. It's not like she was best
friend or anything, but the circumstances surrounding her death really
shook me. She was only a few years older than me and her life was, in some
ways similar to mine. She was a mother, had a great husband and marriage,
and woke up two days ago never thinking it would be her last day on earth.

Since I became a mother a year and a half ago, these sort of morbid
thoughts will flood my mind at the most inopportune time. Last night I
thought to myself, what if tomorrow (Friday) is my last day and I don't
know it? What if my hugs and kisses goodbye to my toddler are my last?

But I think it has to do with turning 40 this year too. Half of my life is
over. Half! I'm now entering middle age. The term "middle age" conjurs up
images of dowdy women with bifocals and Betty White hairdos. Though I know
that's not always the case (Angela is "middle age" and who can picture her
with Betty White hair?), I just feel like I can't get away with all the
"younger" things I used to do. I guess I never thought I'd get older.

And now that I'm getting older, I'm starting to ponder my own longevity. I
shouldn't; I know I should be focusing on my son, my marriage, my job, but
I can't help thinking that this great shift in my life is occuring.

Gah. Maybe I can pretend it's not happening. Maybe I'll just lie and tell
people I'm 35.


Accidental death can happen at any age by ♫Venice♫ Fri March 20, 2009 @ 1:02 PM

A co-worker and I were talking about this at work. by BellaSera Sat March 21, 2009 @ 9:01 AM

That's true by ♫Venice♫ Sat March 21, 2009 @ 9:15 PM

I was half-joking about getting out more. by BellaSera Sun March 22, 2009 @ 9:45 AM

Paul and I by Miss you daddy Mon March 23, 2009 @ 4:10 PM

You don't have to be older to be more mature. by BellaSera Thu March 26, 2009 @ 7:02 AM

Her death affected me as well.. by Taz Has Joined Harley In Heaven Tue March 24, 2009 @ 11:23 AM

Here's another way of looking at things.. by Taz Has Joined Harley In Heaven Tue March 24, 2009 @ 11:28 AM

True. by BellaSera Wed March 25, 2009 @ 1:51 PM

This made me think of you by ♫Venice♫ Fri March 27, 2009 @ 5:46 PM

Holy Crap! by BellaSera Wed April 1, 2009 @ 1:54 PM

Haha.. I think the article says they're keeping young Dora, too by ♫Venice♫ Thu April 2, 2009 @ 7:14 AM

by It'saNewYearandNewBellaSera Posted Sat February 14, 2009 @ 9:06 AM

Yesterday, on my way to work, I was listening to the usual prattling of
morning DJs on a local radio station. They were talking about Valentine's
Day and how many people stay in bad or going-nowhere relationships just
because it's easier than being alone. Then they opened the phones to the
question "Are you afraid of being alone?"

Most people who called in said, "Oh no. It's better than being with someone
you'd rather not." I think they're lying. Well, maybe not lying, but
they're definitely in denial.

I think for most people it's the exact opposite: they ARE afraid to be
alone but are ashamed to admit it. Society places a lot of emphasis on
family, marriage, kids, etc. However, society also places emphasis on
self-sufficiency and independence and the unattached get the brunt of this
double-edged whammy. You're made to feel like there is something wrong with
you for being unattached, but then you feel like there's something wrong
with you when you admit it sucks.

I know this because, even though I am happily married now, I spent many
years (and V Days) unattached and alone. (I've also spent my fair share of
time in stupid relationships simply because it was easier than breaking up
and being by myself.) As one DJ said, "On the suckage scale, it ranks right
up there." I can't tell you how many people had the gall to ask me, "Why
aren't you married yet?" I was a bridesmaid eight times before I finally
walked down that aisle as a bride. I spent many V Days and Sweetest Days
watching friends and co-workers get flowers, gifts, dinners, etc. (And why
do we need TWO freakin' "holidays" about this anyways?) And I spent many
nights wondering, "When will it be my turn?"

But the horror if I ever admitted this to anyone. So I thought about that
question in different terms and came up with a slightly different answer:
yes, I **am** afraid to be alone because it sucks. But if I had to be, I'd
survive, just like I did before.

And I don't feel any shame in admitting this.


I don't think "afraid" is the right word... by ♫Venice♫ Tue February 17, 2009 @ 6:10 AM

That makes perfect sense. And I agree. by BellaSera Wed February 18, 2009 @ 3:53 PM

I like to think I'm alone by choice by RedheadwGlasses Tue February 17, 2009 @ 7:15 PM

Yes, I know you like to date. :) by BellaSera Wed February 18, 2009 @ 3:57 PM

It's not always that way by RedheadwGlasses Mon March 9, 2009 @ 12:33 PM

by CashFlowChallengedBellaSera Posted Sun December 21, 2008 @ 12:43 PM

I just wanted to wish everyone a great holiday season. That's really about
all I have to say.

Stay warm, stay safe, and enjoy whatever you're doing.


Thank you by Enjoying the holiday season Tue December 23, 2008 @ 11:16 AM

by CashFlowChallengedBellaSera Posted Sun December 21, 2008 @ 12:42 PM

I just wanted to wish everyone a great holiday season. That's really about
all I have to say.

Stay warm, stay safe, and enjoy whatever you're doing.


by NotPregnantBellaSera Posted Fri December 5, 2008 @ 10:38 AM

Our condo has been on the market since the end of October. Our agent has
held two open houses and guess how many people have shown up. Go

Okay, I'll tell you: nada. That's right, ZERO. Two open houses and not one
single person has come. Yikes.

I realize the real estate market is in the toliet, and the lack of even
passing interest in our place has proved that. I knew it would be tough to
sell right now, but I was hoping for at least nominal interest.

Then yesterday we got an e-mail from our agent that we have our first
showing tomorrow in the morning. Yay! I'm not hoping for much, but at
least maybe we'll get some feedback on layout, price, etc.

At least SOMEONE wants to see it.


I feel your pain by Not myself today Wed December 31, 2008 @ 10:04 PM

by Just Me Again....BellaSera Posted Wed November 26, 2008 @ 8:41 AM

I may actually venture out on Black Friday....VERY early.

There is an outlet mall outside of Milwaukee that I love. They open at
midnight, and some friends of mine want to go. The one friend did it last
year and said it was complete mayhem. And since I'm attracted to chaos, I'm
intrigued enough to go.

The problem is that I, like others, enjoy my sleep. I'm also not the most
pleasant of people when I haven't slept (just ask my husband), therefore
going out shopping when I'm tired and ornery may not be the best option,
particularly for other people.

So I'm trying to decide which is preferable: sleeping in and hearing about
the mayhem secondhand or experiencing it for myself. The other caveat is
that I'm fighting a cold and this morning I seem to have lost my voice. (My
son is quite happy about this as he doesn't have to listen to "NO
CHRISTIAN" all morning.)

But I do wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving, and I look forward to all the
Black Friday Sucks letters we're going to get. Who knows? Maybe mine will
be one of them.


Last couple of years by LadyMac Wed November 26, 2008 @ 9:31 AM

I love your avatar by Venice Tue December 2, 2008 @ 5:10 PM

by Just Me Again....BellaSera Posted Tue November 11, 2008 @ 1:18 PM

I can't believe Christian is ONE today.

Time goes by way too fast.


Happy Birthday Christian! by Just Plain Harleycat Tue November 11, 2008 @ 1:42 PM

I'm a couple hours late, but by Venice Wed November 12, 2008 @ 2:35 AM

by Just Me Again....BellaSera Posted Mon November 3, 2008 @ 10:02 PM

Just do it. If you know me, you'll know who I'm casting my lot with, but
I'm not going to use this blog to sway you. But as a former boyfriend once
said, "I believe people need to vote their conscious." I agree. So, whether
you're voting Liberatarian, Socialist, Democrat, Republican, Communist (no,
it isn't the same as Socialist), Green Party, or the League of Cats, just
get out there and pull that lever.

Just don't vote for the Nazi Party. That would be wrong.


I voted with my conscience by Venice Tue November 4, 2008 @ 8:23 PM

Conscience...that's it. by Just Me Again....BellaSera Wed November 5, 2008 @ 10:46 AM

by Just Me Again....BellaSera Posted Mon November 3, 2008 @ 9:58 PM

Well, I wouldn't know. But apparently my son thinks it's a delicacy.

The day before our big move, I took my son for his last walk in Kletzsch
Park (a park along the Milwaukee River and close to our condo). I decided
to take him to the playground but to do so I had to cross part of the park
where the geese had been roaming.

When we got home, it was well after 4 p.m., and my cats were starving
(because they hadn't eaten in like eight hours. The horror!) My son doesn't
like to be restrained for long, so I took him out of the stroller and set
him next to the kitchen. It only took a couple of minutes to feed my
fuzzballs, and I could hear my son next to the kitchen. Hearing is not
always seeing though because when I looked over the pass through, there he
was, peeling crap off his stroller wheels and eating it.

"HI!" he shouted when he saw my look of fright and disgust.

"Christian NO!" I yelled, but as usual, it fell on deaf ears because he
thinks "No!" means "Wow, Christian, you're the greatest baby ever!" He took
another little bite of whatever horrible mess was now on the carpet at
which point I grabbed him and moved him far far away from his stroller.

For the rest of the night, I was worried sick that he might have ingested
some terrible toxin, but he seemed like his normal self. And, save for a
slight cold the past week, it seems like his system processed it just fine.
But still, yuck.

Welcome to my world.


Haha.. it's amazing the things that don't make kids sick by Venice Tue November 4, 2008 @ 8:14 PM

by WasThatTheBoogieMan? Posted Mon October 20, 2008 @ 9:06 PM

Today, as I was putting dishes away in the kitchen of my new house, I
wanted to yell, "I finally have space!"

I know it's a small thing, but after living in a 1100 sq foot condo with
limited storage and no basement, I can't tell you what it means to me to
have actual places to put things. As I type this, I'm sitting in the office
of my new house. Yes, we finally have a room we can dedicate to the
computer. No more computer on the dining room table!

Other things I realized I'm grateful for:

Actual walk-through space in the living room.

A two-car garage. No more fights about whose turn it is to park outside.

Two large closets in the master bedroom which means I don't have to pile my
clothes in baskets on the floor.

Kitchen counter space that isn't taken up with C's bottles, formula, and
goldfish crackers.

Storage in the basement! OMG, we actually have storage!

My new house isn't perfect (oh the list I could make about the annoying
things here...like the doorbell), but right now the wonderful things far
outweigh the bad.

It's starting to feel like home.


It's great, isn't it? by WantToPlayAGame? Tue October 21, 2008 @ 6:32 PM

Christian LOVES the new house. by WasThatTheBoogieMan? Wed October 22, 2008 @ 4:39 PM

Sounds like everyone's happy by WantToPlayAGame? Thu October 23, 2008 @ 6:13 AM

I think so. by WasThatTheBoogieMan? Thu October 23, 2008 @ 1:33 PM

I know exactly what you mean by WantToPlayAGame? Thu October 23, 2008 @ 7:36 PM

Just be careful.. by Scare D Cat Fri October 24, 2008 @ 1:30 PM

My advice too... by WantToPlayAGame? Fri October 24, 2008 @ 5:52 PM

That is one thing we need: a lawnmower. by WasThatTheBoogieMan? Sun October 26, 2008 @ 9:52 PM

My husband loves his snowblower.. by Scare D Cat Mon October 27, 2008 @ 4:09 PM

by PrettySureI'mMovingOnUp..BellaSera Posted Sun October 5, 2008 @ 10:55 PM

In a little less than two weeks my husband and I are moving to our new
house. (Yay!) We close this Friday, will take a week to paint, install some
carpet, etc, and move all our big stuff in on Sat the 18th. So, we should
be officially living in our new house from the 18th forward.

As many of you know, I have two female cats, age six. Much to my husband's
chagrin, they are coming with us. (Ha ha...) Lately I've been so busy
planning the logistics of our move that I completely forgot about my two
furballs and when I will move them and how I will help them adjust.

When I moved in with my husband four years ago, it was a bit easier. I
moved them the day I officially moved in with him, and I had the time to
help them get used to their new place. It took a few weeks, but eventually
they settled in.

But this move will be more challenging because we have a lot more stuff,
and it will happen over a longer stretch of time. I also don't have as much
time to spend with them. I know no matter what the adjustment will be a
little hard(er) on them, but I still want to make it as easy as I possibly
can. Here are my options:

1). Board them the weekend of the 18th and 19th. There's a great cat/dog
boarding facility near our condo and house. I've used them for grooming,
and they're wonderful. But they're not cheap, and I'm a little nervous
about leaving my girls in a strange place overnight when I'm not there.

2). Move them the 17th and put them in a quiet room with their litterboxes,
food, etc. This would be the easiest on me because I can use my free time
to help Fred with the big stuff. But this would also require me leaving
them alone all night in a strange place (unless I slept on the floor), and
I'm not comfortable with that.

3). Move them the morning of the 18th and put them in a quiet room, etc.
This would be a little less convenient for me, but I will be sleeping in
the new house that night, so I'd be there for them.

These are the three options I have. Does anyone have advice on what might
work the best? Or do you have other options I'm not thinking of?


I Think Option 3 by Harleycat Mon October 6, 2008 @ 3:32 PM

I'm leaning towards Option #3 too. by PrettySureI'mMovingOnUp..BellaSera Tue October 7, 2008 @ 12:28 PM

cats by brookeanne Tue October 7, 2008 @ 1:21 PM

I thought about that. by WasThatTheBoogieMan? Tue October 7, 2008 @ 7:33 PM

I don't know anything about cats, but by WantToPlayAGame? Tue October 7, 2008 @ 3:07 PM

Thanks! by WasThatTheBoogieMan? Tue October 7, 2008 @ 7:31 PM

I think by LadyMac Wed October 8, 2008 @ 4:46 PM

Great avatar! by WantToPlayAGame? Wed October 15, 2008 @ 12:21 AM

by PrettySureI'mMovingOnUp..BellaSera Posted Fri October 3, 2008 @ 12:28 PM

Venice's blog reminded me that it's October. I love October. The leaves
turn colors, the air turns more crisp, and my wedding anniversary comes

But what I really love about October is Halloween and all the horror movie
marathons that get shown on TV.
So, I thought I'd recap my Top 10 all-time favorite horror movies (and I'm
sure Venice will be around to remind me of some more). They're in no
particular order, except for #1.

1). Halloween. For me, this movie wins hands down. I've seen it 20+ times,
and I'll continue to see it 20+ more times because it never fails to scare
the crap out of me.

2). The Saw. I'm not the type of woman to get freaked out by movies, but
this one did it. By the middle of the movie, my husband told me my face was
white (and in a darkened theater that must have been pretty white). I also
had nightmares after seeing it. That's pretty good for a movie.

3). Hostel. If ever there was an excuse to stay in five-star hotels in
Eastern Europe, this movie was it.

4). Pumpkinhead. Okay, this one gets pretty hokey at the end, but it's good
and creepy up until that point.

5). The Fog. I've never found this one particularly scary, but it stirs up
so many nice nostalgic feelings that I had to keep it on the list.

6). The Exorcist. Too bad Linda Blair peaked at age 12.

7). The Grudge. Who knew Buffy had it in her?

8). The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Reason #525 why I will never, EVER live in
Texas. You've never heard of the Wisconsin Chainsaw Massacre, right?

9). Seven. I have a confession: I think Morgan Freeman is dead sexy.

10). Hellraiser. I have another confession. I think Pinhead's accent is
dead sexy.

And because you can't just limit horror movies to ten, here are my five

1). Children of the Corn. Religion and rual corn fields. Need I say more?

2). Child's Play. I don't think this one is scary, but what it lacks in
fear it makes up for in humor. My best friend and I watched this a few
months ago. We were mocking it until we realized we sounded exactly Beavis
and Butthead.

3). The Ring. Let's see, watch the video..die. Don't watch the
video...live. Hmmm...I think I'll watch the video!

4). The Stepford Wives. I'll let YOU decide if you think this is really a
horror film or not.

5). Shaun of the Dead. No, it's not technically horror, but dammit Simon
Pegg is so cute!


Possible Additions To Your List by PlanetFeedback's Mr. Helpful Fri October 3, 2008 @ 2:01 PM

Okay, Greg by ♫Venice♫ Fri October 3, 2008 @ 2:53 PM

The Thing by PrettySureI'mMovingOnUp..BellaSera Sun October 5, 2008 @ 9:23 AM

"Halloween" by ♫Venice♫ Fri October 3, 2008 @ 2:58 PM

I'm not a big horror movie fan.. by Harleycat Fri October 3, 2008 @ 4:56 PM

scary by brookeanne Sat October 4, 2008 @ 7:39 PM

I didn't like the remake of Stepford either. by PrettySureI'mMovingOnUp..BellaSera Sun October 5, 2008 @ 9:28 AM

I loved the original Stepford Wives by WantToPlayAGame? Mon October 6, 2008 @ 3:19 AM

by PrettySureI'mMovingOnUp..BellaSera Posted Thu September 18, 2008 @ 7:54 AM

I can't believe Christian is 10 months old now. It seems like yesterday he
was just this tiny newborn. Now he's 25lbs+ of pre-toddler.

This past weekend he learned to pull himself up to standing. Since then,
he's gotten stronger and thus more efficient at it. Now, he pulls to stand
on everything: me, my husband, his toys, the couch. He babbles a lot but
can say "mama" and "dada" (but I'm not convinced he knows the difference).
He also can make rudimentary sign language gestures. (His daycare teachers
are working with him on that.) And a few weeks ago, he learned to clap his
hands and put them up in the air. So Big!

We're trying to make the transition to table food. He's been eating
crackers and Cheerios for awhile now with no issues, but we're introducing
him to more adult fare. He likes cut-up green beans (surprise!) and apples,
but isn't too fond of cheese. (One of my cats is thrilled with this as he
tends to throw it on the floor.)

It all moves so fast. In two short months he'll be a year old. I barely
get a chance to bask in a new development when he's on to something new.

Hopefully we can have his first birthday in our new house.


My friend's daughter.. by Harleycat Fri September 19, 2008 @ 3:06 PM

Congratulations to your friend. by PrettySureI'mMovingOnUp..BellaSera Sat September 20, 2008 @ 9:28 AM

YAY by LadyMac Mon September 22, 2008 @ 8:14 PM

Looks like you found the perfect house! by ♫Venice♫ Tue September 23, 2008 @ 5:49 AM

Thank you Venice and Deb. by PrettySureI'mMovingOnUp..BellaSera Tue September 23, 2008 @ 1:40 PM

by PossiblyMovingOnUp..BellaSera Posted Fri September 12, 2008 @ 9:24 PM

My two paternal grandparents intolerant of other viewpoints, to the point
where you are just wrong. No matter how many facts you trot out or
questions you ask, you are just wrong. Many of their beliefs are based on
paranoia, intolerance, and a very outdated view of the world. They practice
an it's-okay-for-me-but-not-okay-for-you philosophy of life that quite
frankly bugs the crap out of me. But I learned a long time ago that any
kind of two-sided discussion is pointless. They are never going to see my
point of view, and I'm never going to see theirs.

I try to practice that on PFB, too. If someone expresses an opinion that I
disagree with, I'll generally leave it alone. I do respond if I have facts
that contradict what that person says, or have a question or another
viewpoint that puts a new spin on theirs, but for the most part, I try to
move on. I've found in most cases that it just isn't worth it to start some
pointless argument.

So I can't understand those OPs/commentators who construe every
disagreement as "attack" or "rude." These are people who, unless you pledge
unmitigated allegiance to their cause, express hyperbolic outrage that
someone should actually - gasp! - have a perspective that doesn't agree
with their own. These are also the people that will accuse you of working
for the company, simply because you have an opinion that differs from

So what I want to say to these people is this: When you choose to share a
letter on PFB, you are opening yourself up to many different comments and
perspectives, many of which may not agree with your own. If you take your
cause very personally, sharing your letter may not be the best option for

I also want to say disagreement is not automatically rude. Sure, no one
should mock you for providing feedback, but providing a perspective that
doesn't share yours is not an "attack."

PFB is a community of many different people. We come from different states
and different economical backgrounds. We practice different religions (or
lack of one) and different politics. We work in diverse fields and have
different employment experiences. All of us brings to the table a wide
array of experiences and viewpoints, many of which can be valuable feedback
to an OP's situation. If you can't handle that, PFB may not be the place
for you.

I know it's been said before, but I felt the need to say it again.


I just noticed the new picture! by ♫Venice♫ Wed September 17, 2008 @ 7:48 AM

He can say "mama" and "dada" by PrettySureI'mMovingOnUp..BellaSera Wed September 17, 2008 @ 12:00 PM

by NotYetMovingOnUp..BellaSera Posted Tue September 2, 2008 @ 9:11 PM

Two weeks ago, we put an offer in on another house. We put the offer in on
a Tuesday night and gave the sellers until Friday to respond. In the
meantime, we were asking questions about the house to which they were
cheerfully responding.

We finally got the call Friday at 4 p.m. The sellers weren't just rejecting
our offer; they were taking it off the market completely! I was livid. Yes,
they have the right to take it off the market, it's their house, but geez,
maybe you should've had this should-we-keep-it-on-the-market-or-take-it-off
conversation BEFORE you got a viable offer.

So, now it's back to house hunting square one. I'm seriously getting tired
of doing this and told my husband that if we don't find something this
coming Saturday (our third trip out), then I want until spring to look

Ugh. Maybe I need to get HGTV involved in this.


Don't get discouraged by ♫Venice♫ Thu September 4, 2008 @ 7:24 AM

I'm actually looking forward to going out again. by NotYetMovingOnUp..BellaSera Fri September 5, 2008 @ 1:04 PM

I agree..don't get discouraged.. by Harleycat Thu September 4, 2008 @ 3:21 PM

We're going to see a house with a 4.5 garage. by NotYetMovingOnUp..BellaSera Fri September 5, 2008 @ 1:07 PM

Don't tell my husband! by Harleycat Fri September 5, 2008 @ 2:52 PM

I love the avatar! by RedheadwGlasses Fri September 5, 2008 @ 1:44 AM

Thanks! by NotYetMovingOnUp..BellaSera Fri September 5, 2008 @ 1:01 PM

Don't worry by I'm back Mon September 8, 2008 @ 10:49 AM

by NotYetMovingOnUp..BellaSera Posted Thu August 21, 2008 @ 9:24 PM

So, we put an offer in on a house this past Tuesday. We gave the sellers
until tomorrow to respond, but I guess we got spoiled with our last seller
(who responded in less than 12 hours), because we're both a little anxious
to hear back.

But here we sit...tick tock, tick tock....Every time the phone rings, we're
both like, "Is that our agent? Do we have an answer?" Fred is even walking
around with his cell phone, which he never does.

Is it a good thing or a bad thing that they're taking their time
responding? I feel like I'm on camera for HGTV.


by NotYetMovingOnUp..BellaSera Posted Fri August 15, 2008 @ 11:05 AM

So, we had our house inspection this past Wednesday. It didn't go well. The
house has a lot of issues, some of which could be easily fixed by my
husband and I; some, however, will need professional intervention.

What are the problems? Some are easily fixed, like a porch in disrepair, an
air-conditioning unit that should be level with the house, and backyard
stone steps that are loose. But some are more serious: mold, possible water
damage, asbestos in the crawlspace, evidence of pests (mice) in the attic
and crawlspace, and possible structural issues, so much that our inspector
recommeneded we get a structural engineer to confirm his supsicions.

We still like the house, and we still love the location. The house is
unique, which we like, but with a unique house also comes unique problems.
What really worries us though is that the inspector indicated some of the
evidence of the past problems may have been covered with the cosmetic

We're going to mull over the house this weekend and make a decision by
Monday. There is another house we were interested in, but the one we made
the offer on was more unique, so that won out. We may just pull out of the
offer for this house and make an offer on a #2 choice.

Grrr. Maybe we should just stay where we are.


decisions decisions decisions by brookeanne Fri August 15, 2008 @ 1:12 PM

Good thing you had an inspection.. by Harleycat Fri August 15, 2008 @ 2:57 PM

Home inspections by NotYetMovingOnUp..BellaSera Sun August 17, 2008 @ 10:12 AM

No, don't give up by ♫Venice♫ Fri August 15, 2008 @ 4:36 PM

I don't mind the advice from you, Harley, or anyone else. by NotYetMovingOnUp..BellaSera Fri August 15, 2008 @ 8:35 PM

I don't want to confuse you, but by ♫Venice♫ Sat August 16, 2008 @ 2:37 AM

We asked our agent these same questions. by NotYetMovingOnUp..BellaSera Sun August 17, 2008 @ 10:04 AM

Don't apologize.. by Harleycat Sun August 17, 2008 @ 12:17 PM

We have the condo to live in, by NotYetMovingOnUp..BellaSera Sun August 17, 2008 @ 7:52 PM

Paul and I by I'm back Mon August 18, 2008 @ 3:16 PM

It really looks like this worked out for the best by ♫Venice♫ Mon August 18, 2008 @ 8:17 PM

by BellaSera Posted Fri August 8, 2008 @ 1:01 PM

So, we bought the house, the one without a basement. We'll probably move
sometime in September or very early October.

Whoo-hoo! More space! No more nosy old neighbors who put their sprinkler
systems against our windows! An extra bedroom!

I'm excited. :)


Congratulations! by Harleycat Fri August 8, 2008 @ 3:59 PM

Thanks! by BellaSera Sat August 9, 2008 @ 9:01 AM

Move-in condition... by ♫Venice♫ Sat August 9, 2008 @ 5:44 PM

Thanks Venice. by BellaSera Mon August 11, 2008 @ 10:46 AM

Love your new name! by ♫Venice♫ Mon August 11, 2008 @ 6:39 PM

Congrats! by ~Fiナ-la-ネea~ Tue August 12, 2008 @ 3:37 PM

by BellaSera Posted Mon August 4, 2008 @ 4:41 PM

I think we found a house. It's got everything we want - contemporary style,
many updates, great location, big backyard, lots of trees, three bedrooms,
two-car garage - except one thing: no basement.

This may or may not be a big deal. We're currently living in a two-bedroom
condo without much storage space, including a basement storage unit. So,
we're used to not having a basement, and our limited storage has forced us
to abandon any packrat tendencies we might otherwise have. And in a flood,
a basement is the first to go.

However, because we haven't had as much storage space, we're looking for
houses that have it. And a basement not only provides extra storage, it
also allows some extra living space, should you feel like remodeling it.

Arggghhh. If only this place had a basement; we'd have an offer in already.
But I think we might make an offer anyways because we like the house so

By the way, one of these days I have to upload some recent pictures of "The


Basements by ♫Venice♫ Tue August 5, 2008 @ 2:32 AM

We don't really have our heart set on one. by BellaSera Tue August 5, 2008 @ 2:11 PM

If you live in a flood area by ♫Venice♫ Tue August 5, 2008 @ 6:00 PM

The house we like isn't on a flood plain. by BellaSera Tue August 5, 2008 @ 9:42 PM

None of the homes in our town.. by Harleycat Tue August 5, 2008 @ 9:43 AM

There aren't a lot of basements around here either. by BellaSera Tue August 5, 2008 @ 2:13 PM

I'm thrilled by ~Fiナ-la-ネea~ Tue August 5, 2008 @ 4:30 PM

My sister's basement flooded this past June. by BellaSera Tue August 5, 2008 @ 9:45 PM

That's another reason.. by Harleycat Wed August 6, 2008 @ 11:45 AM

My next door neighbor had by ~Fiナ-la-ネea~ Wed August 6, 2008 @ 2:30 PM

by BellaSera Posted Fri July 25, 2008 @ 7:40 PM

This past Wednesday, my husband and I went to look at houses. We decided to
take my car because it was parked right outside the garage, and I'd have to
move it anyways. Well, in the middle of our house hunting, my car
died...without warning. To be honest, I had thought it was running a little
heavy lately, but I kept forgetting to mention it to my husband.

Anyways, we get in the car to head over to the next house, and my car won't
start. Our realtor had to give me a jump. Since we were close to our condo,
we went back and switched cars. Later that night, my husband jumped my car
again, but it died right after turning it off. He figured it was the
battery, but since he had limited time the past week said it would best
just to take it to the dealership. The next morning, we took it over to the
dealership and asked them to take a look at the brakes as my husband said
they were "making noise."

Two hours later, our service rep called me back. Not only did I need a new
battery and accessory belt, I needed new front brakes, new back brakes, new
rear tires, a transmission flush, and an oil change (which I asked them to
do anyways), all to the tune of $1700. I immediately called my husband.

"What! No way all this is needed. I'll call the dealership back."

To shorten the story, he got it down to $750. It was certainly better than
$1700, but what pissed me off is that the service rep acted like this stuff
was needed immediately or my car wouldn't run, but once my husband called,
then some of this stuff wasn't so necessary.

This isn't the first time I've had to have a guy go to bat for me on car
issues, and it irritates me that they have to. But it's also partially my
fault: I know NOTHING about cars and have made no effort to learn.

I guess I'm just glad that the car didn't die when my son was with me. And
at least it's fixed now.


I realize by ♫♫Venice♫♫ Sat July 26, 2008 @ 6:27 AM

I have female friends who know quite a bit about cars, by BellaSera Sat July 26, 2008 @ 9:52 AM

I too think it's a control issue by ♫♫Venice♫♫ Sat July 26, 2008 @ 5:23 PM

by BellaSera Posted Tue July 15, 2008 @ 1:35 PM

And it isn't me.

Two weeks ago, I realized that I hadn't brushed my two long-hair,
continually shedding cats in awhile. I admit I don't brush them as often as
I should. From what I've heard, long-haired cats HATE the brush, and mine
are no exception. It takes two people to do it: one to hold the pissed off,
hissing kitty and the other to do the actual brushing.

So, I took Lolly to the bathroom (where I do the brushing) and found
several large, tight mats. She has very thick fur that mats easily. My
husband held her down while I went to work on her mats. Ten minutes later,
I only got a couple of them out, and my husband's hand was completely

"Forget it," I said. "It's not worth our skin. I'll pay someone to do it."

I've had Lolly groomed before, and they did an excellent job. So, this
Friday I'm loading up Tubcat and taking her there. I've already warned them
she's difficult. (I once had to pay an extra $10 fee for "difficult cats."
That's my girl!) They'll stick her in a harness and be able to get all
those mats out. I'll also get her a nice butt shave and nail trim. She'll
look spectacular.

If I really wanted to be an evil cat-mom, I'd have them give her a bath
too. Hee hee hee...


I've never had my cats groomed.. by Harleycat (aka Usual Suspect #2) Tue July 15, 2008 @ 4:57 PM

UGG boots are trendy. by BellaSera Tue July 15, 2008 @ 10:46 PM

My by ~Fiナ-la-ネea~ Fri July 18, 2008 @ 8:41 AM

by BellaSera Posted Mon July 7, 2008 @ 8:43 AM

As many of you know, I volunteer at our local Humane Society. I'm a bunny
socializer, which means I help socialize rabbits and make them more
adoptable. I had originally wanted to socialize cats, but the RS slot had
more openings. I thought that I'd do RS for awhile then move to cats, but
after four years I find RS very rewarding. The bunnies all have their own
unique personalities, and I admit I sometimes get attached. So, it's
sometimes hard when one gets adopted. Yes, that's the point of what I do,
but I won't lie and say it's not bittersweet.

However, it's really hard when we have a bunny that isn't doing well and is
probably not going to make it. That happened yesterday. I got to the HS at
my normal time to find the early a.m. socializer very concerned. One of our
bunnies seemed dizzy. She was staggering around and having trouble walking.
Unfortunately, we didn't have a vet on staff yesterday and the vet tech was
only there until 2 p.m. They promised to take a look at the bunny first
thing today. In the meantime, one of the senior adoption counselors came to
look at her. He felt a bump on her back, which usually means the bunny is
having back trouble. Bunnies have very delicate backs, so if they break or
even fracture it, well, that's pretty much it. That's not much we can do at
that point.

I looked at the notes from the previous day, and it looks like this bunny
was fine. She was running around, playing and jumping. But, notes from two
weeks ago said she was tipsy. So, I'm not sure what the problem is. I hope
they can fix it, but I'll be perfectly honest here: I don't have much

So I've been fairly sad the past couple of days. It's part of the process,
I know, but like I said, I get attached.


I'm so sorry.. by Harleycat (aka Usual Suspect #2) Mon July 7, 2008 @ 2:37 PM

Thanks Harleycat. by BellaSera Mon July 7, 2008 @ 8:57 PM

I can't stand to see animals suffer by ♪♪Venice♪♪ Mon July 7, 2008 @ 10:33 PM

That's part of my worry over what happened. by BellaSera Tue July 8, 2008 @ 10:07 AM

A bunny socializer - wow! by Donno Wed July 9, 2008 @ 12:50 AM

It's happened a couple of times before. by BellaSera Wed July 9, 2008 @ 3:43 PM

by BellaSera Posted Thu July 3, 2008 @ 1:37 PM

Doing anything fun?

I'm still on the fence about our plans. Some friends have lakefront
property north of here, and they invited us up for the day tomorrow. I want
to go, but the mosquitos have been horrible. If it were just us, I'd throw
some bug spray on, but I don't want my son to get eaten alive. And in the
wooded, grassy area their property is on, I'm not sure his all-natural
spray will do the trick.

Speaking of the boy, he's nearly eight months old now. He rolls everywhere
- across the room, on the changing table, off the bed. Diaper changes have
once again become wrestling matches as I try to hold him down for two
seconds so I can get his diaper on. He can easily turn around on his
stomach, and this past weekend he made his first lunging moves, proving
that crawling is not in the distant future anymore.

And he's a talker. All day long I listen to, "Da da da da da da...ba ba ba
ba ba ba..." He loves to yell, watch "Dora the Explorer", and trying to
grab the cats. He eats like a horse and is already in 12-month (and
18-month) clothes. I just wish he'd quit getting sick all the time and
passing it on to me.

So, whatever you do, have a safe and happy holiday.


Soon he'll fit.. by Harleycat (aka Usual Suspect #2) Thu July 3, 2008 @ 2:28 PM

He's getting close to fitting in it. by BellaSera Thu July 3, 2008 @ 9:14 PM

I got the box! by ♪♪Venice♪♪ Thu July 3, 2008 @ 6:28 PM

Forgot to say... by ♪♪Venice♪♪ Thu July 3, 2008 @ 6:42 PM

Whoo-hoo! by BellaSera Thu July 3, 2008 @ 9:26 PM

Leaving him with his grandmas was a great idea by ♪♪Venice♪♪ Mon July 7, 2008 @ 10:15 PM

He had a good time. by BellaSera Tue July 8, 2008 @ 10:10 AM

by BellaSera Posted Fri June 27, 2008 @ 10:15 AM

If you ever watch "Dora the Explorer" then you know what I'm talking about.
Swiper is a fox who "swipes" things. To prevent his thieving ways, you have
to hold you hand up and say three times "Swiper, no swiping!"

That's what I felt like doing yesterday when one of our condo's maintenance
men swiped my bug spray from my porch, right in front of my eyes. I was
sitting on the couch, talking to my mom, when the dude walked by and peered
into our porch doors. I was like, "What is he doing?" Then, he picked up my
OFF! and sprayed himself with it. Okay, no big deal. The mosquitos are bad;
I don't blame him. But then, he grabs the hose off the porch and walks off,
WITH my bug spray. What?!

I actually thought it was sort of funny, so I called my husband. "Oh my
God," he said, laughing with me. "Does he use our grill at lunch time? Come
in the kitchen and help himself to a beer?" But I also was a little pissed
off. I mean, this is MY bug spray, and my only can of it.

So, as I was leaving for work, I saw the guy in the front of the condo,
weeding flowers. I pulled to the side. "Hi, um, when you're done with my
bug spray, can you return it to my porch?"

The look on his face was priceless. I knew then he didn't think I saw him.
"Oh uh yeah...I was just spraying myself because..."

"I understand," I said sweetly. "The mosquitos are bad. But it's my only
can of bug spray, so if you could put it back on the porch that'd be great.
Thank you!"

When I came home, the hose, and my bug spray, were back on the porch. Geez.


by BellaSera Posted Fri June 20, 2008 @ 10:45 AM

Is there something you spend your money on that other people think you're
nuts for doing?

In my case, I spend $55 for a haircut. My husband, who has never paid more
than $15 for a cut, thinks I'm insane. But in my defense, I don't get
regular manicures or pedicures (I'm DIY), massages, or facials. A good
haircut is really my only vanity luxury.

I'm also a shoe fanatic. I LOVE shoes and handbags. I will not, however,
spend more than $50 on shoes mostly because I live in Wisconsin, where the
ice, snow, and salt can kill any decent pair of shoes within seconds. I
also don't spend that much on handbags because I get bored with them too

I won't spend a ton on lotions or moisturizers. Ditto for makeup. I would
spend quite a bit for a good winter coat though, one that could carry me
through several years.

And of course, I spend a ton of money on my son. :)

So, where does all YOUR money go?


Leather! by Harleycat (aka Usual Suspect #2) Fri June 20, 2008 @ 11:18 AM

There you go. by BellaSera Fri June 20, 2008 @ 10:32 PM

I've reached the point by ♪♪Venice♪♪ Tue June 24, 2008 @ 5:01 AM

Definitely write that review. by BellaSera Tue June 24, 2008 @ 1:06 PM

by BellaSera Posted Mon June 9, 2008 @ 8:55 PM

That's what my cats have found since my son was born. I used to lavish a
ton of attention of them, but lately I just haven't had the time. I still
love them, don't get me wrong, and I'd rather die than get rid of them, but
they just haven't had the attention they've to which they've become
accustomed and feel they are entitled to.

I know Lolly, my slightly older cat, definitely is lacking. I know this
because she's been sleeping with me every night, even in the hot weather,
and she doesn't sleep with me unless something is wrong (or it's bloody
cold out). She also has been jumping on the bathroom sink, looking for
water from the faucet. Again, she doesn't usually do this unless she needs
some kitty lovin'.

I also know one (or both) of them was peeing along the floorboards near the
utility room because the area had a definite cat urine stench to it. I
bought some Feliway, and that seems to have done the trick, but it still
worries me. I know it was (hopefully WAS) a territorial thing after I
brought my son home.

So, I decided that they need more "mom/cat play time." I'm going to attempt
to spend 15 minutes a night playing with them after we put the boy to bed.
This can be accomplished quite easily with a laser pointer or piece of
ribbon while I'm watching "Nova" or something like that.

Poor kitties. The food chain's a bitch, isn't it girls?


Urg, my cat is a little drama queen. by Blackrack Wed June 11, 2008 @ 1:48 PM

Right now Jezebel is staring at me. by BellaSera Thu June 12, 2008 @ 8:15 AM

Cheeto' by LadyMac Wed June 11, 2008 @ 4:03 PM

Cheeto's getting Feliway this weekend by LadyMac Wed June 11, 2008 @ 4:04 PM

Somehow I think Cheeto gets enough attention. by BellaSera Thu June 12, 2008 @ 8:17 AM

by BellaSera Posted Mon June 2, 2008 @ 1:55 PM

Hives suck. That's what I found out last week when I broke out in a
head-to-toe case of them.

I've never had hives before. In fact, I rarely have allergic reactions to
anything. I am only allergic to one thing that I know of - scallops - and I
avoid those like I avoid big stray dogs, canned spinach, and the color

So when I broke out in an all-body case of the hives last week, I had no
clue what they were. I thought I had some weird, contagious skin disease.
Finally, after putting my son to bed and completely freaked out by the
spreading redness, I hightailed it over to Urgent Care where I was given a
shot of Benadryl, a prescription for Prednisone, and a sympathetic "good
luck" from the doctor. By Friday, disturbed by the repeated breakouts and
unable to even care properly for the boy because of drowsiness, my regular
doctor switched me from Benadryl to Zyrtec and Zantac, two different
classes of antihistamines that finally broke the continual flareups and
intense itching.

Today, Monday, I'm off the antihistamines and Prednisone, but am still
loopy and tired, plus my sinuses are swollen. I'm also terrified of having
another reaction as I have no idea what caused this one. I suspect it was
either a reaction to the virus I caught from my continually contagious
infant son or my immune system was depressed enough that I had a reaction
to something I normally wouldn't.

Since having my son, I can say I have been more sick in these past six
months than I have been probably in the past six years. I'm not kidding.
Every other week my son catches some weird virus which then gets passed to
me, then my husband. My sister told me my niece was constantly sick the
first year, then her immune system perked up.

I think I'll put the boy in a bubble until November. Then maybe my own
immune system will rebound.


I hope you're better soon.. by Harleycat (aka Usual Suspect #2) Mon June 2, 2008 @ 3:05 PM

I'm much better, thanks. by BellaSera Tue June 3, 2008 @ 10:08 AM

Prednisone is wicked stuff.. by Harleycat (aka Usual Suspect #2) Tue June 3, 2008 @ 4:10 PM

I hope you are better also by ~Fiナ-la-ネea~ Mon June 2, 2008 @ 6:18 PM

Canned spinach is gross by ♪♪Venice♪♪ Tue June 3, 2008 @ 4:55 AM

I suspect by BellaSera Tue June 3, 2008 @ 10:12 AM

by BellaSera Posted Sun May 18, 2008 @ 9:14 PM

That's what my son looks like in this picture...cool. He just looks so laid
back, like he's chiiiillllliiiinnn. It was taken a little over a month ago,
on a Sunday. We were getting ready to take a walk to the store, and since
it was a rare sunny day here in Wisconsin, we put his brand new shades on.

Since then the weather has gotten warmer, and he's rapidly growing. He's
now a little over six months old, and it's amazing to me how much he's
grown. He's still pretty big for his age so sometimes it's hard to remember
he's still a baby...that is until 2 a.m. when he's in his crib yelling for
a bottle.

He's getting closer to sitting up without support and is sporting two new
teeth. Two weeks ago he discovered that if you take a toy and bang it on
something else it makes a really neat sound. He loves sitting in his
Jumperoo and bouncing, and now that the weather is actually perking up, he
loves to sit outside with me and listen to all the sounds.

The feeding of solids is also progressing quite nicely. He loves carrots
and sweet potatoes but isn't too fond of green beans. (I don't blame him.)
Today I gave him pears for the first time which went over REALLY well; he
ate the whole damn container in one sitting. (By the way, I was thinking
the strained version of squash would make a really tasty soup.)

He has several conversations a day with the various objects in our house.
He especially likes to chat with the kitchen stove and has been known to
"yell" at the cats when they actually get close enough. He likes to watch
"Dora the Explorer" and "Sesame Street" and often talks Elmo and Grover
when they appear. He also had a conversation with his feet. That's right
boy; you tell those feet who's boss.

He's such a wonderful little boy. It's so hard to remember that last year I
was pregnant with him, and it's difficult to imagine my life without him.


It's "Risky Business" all over again! by ♪♪Venice♪♪ Mon May 19, 2008 @ 2:36 AM

"Today's music ain't got the same soul..." by BellaSera Mon May 19, 2008 @ 10:33 AM

Happy Birthday! by ♪♪Venice♪♪ Tue May 27, 2008 @ 4:34 PM

by BellaSera Posted Wed May 14, 2008 @ 9:11 PM

I went to Boston Store (Carson Pirie Scott, Bergner's, and Bon Ton in other
states) to buy a spring trenchcoat. I've needed one for awhile, and as I
had a Bayshore (our local mall) gift card, I thought it would be put to
good use. So, I headed up to coats, found a well-made one with lining, and
it was on sale to boot.

But when I went to pay for the coat, I was told Boston Store doesn't accept
Bayshore gift cards.

"But you're part of Bayshore, right?" I asked. "Why can't I use my gift
card here?"

The cashier had no response to that, only repeated that it couldn't be used
at BS or Sears. Frustrated, I left. Later, I told my husband of the
incident, and he offered to buy me the coat as an early birthday present.
So, I did get the coat after all.

But the earlier incident still bugged me. And it didn't make any sense. So,
this morning I went to Bayshore's website and found the gift card section.
There was a list of stores that the gift cards couldn't be used at, but
Boston Store wasn't one of them. So, I called them.

"Oh sure," the customer service rep told me. "You can use a Bayshore gift
card here. It just needs to be rung up as a credit card."

I told the rep of the earlier incident with the cashier, gave a physical
description, and asked that management clarify the policy with her since
that cashier didn't seem to have a clue. All in all, it was a pleasant
phone call, and I was glad I got it sorted out.

I'm still a bit miffed, though. I didn't necessarily want a coat for my
birthday; I would've prefered to use my gift card. Ah well. Now, I have to
find another store and another use for the card.

But I do like the coat.


by BellaSera Posted Tue May 6, 2008 @ 9:59 PM

Every year it's the same thing: I struggle to find a gift for my mom. She's
difficult to buy for. She doesn't go anywhere, doesn't like to do stuff,
and, despite being retired, really has no interests outside of her dog and
now her grandchildren. So I find myself getting her the same thing year
after year (a plant on Mother's Day, a donation to the Humane Society at
Christmas) and while they're great gifts that she likes, I always wish I
could do something more.

Well, this year I could. She's been yammering for two years now about
getting an updated family portrait. The last one was taken in 2000; since
then, the remaining three of us (including me) got married and two of us
even have children. I agreed an updated family portrait was a must but
wasn't sure how to go about getting one. The biggest problem was my
youngest sister. Up until Christmas, her and her husband were living in
Europe, and even now that they're back in the States, they live in
Minneapolis, have no car, and aren't able to make the drive down whenever
they'd like.

But, I was bound and determined to get a family portrait so I made sure to
arrange it the one weekend so far this year that my sister and her husband
have been home. And I have to say it turned out pretty nice. Even the two
kids were well behaved. The best part is that even though she's wanted this
for years, my mom has no idea we actually went out and did it. She'll be
thriled, and believe me, it's hard to thrill my mother.

Misson one accomplished. Now we have to get an updated portrait for my dad
and stepmom. With eight siblings, seven spouses, three children (two just
infants), and four people living out of state, that will be an even bigger


That's a great gift! by ♪♪Venice♪♪ Wed May 7, 2008 @ 3:59 AM

That is a great gift.. by Harleycat (aka Usual Suspect #2) Wed May 7, 2008 @ 3:58 PM

Very nice by Donno Fri May 9, 2008 @ 1:11 AM

Perfect! by RedheadwGlasses Mon May 12, 2008 @ 2:03 PM

by BellaSera Posted Mon April 28, 2008 @ 2:13 PM

I always wished I had been born in a big ethnic family. Growing up, I was
friends with a girl who was Italian. There were eight kids in her family.
All of them were loud and in-your-face, but you could tell there was real
sense of togetherness. Her grandmother would cook traditional Italian
dishes made with real ingredients and love. They knew they were Italian and
were proud of it. To me, it was idyllic.

Later, in college I was friends with a woman who was Greek. Her family ate
Greek food, went to Greek festivals, and did Greek things together. Once
she told me she could never marry her then boyfriend because he wasn't
Greek; her father would disown her. I was shocked. I had no restrictions on
marriage, and I knew my parents would be happy with whomever I chose so
long as **I** was happy. It gave me insight into a family dynamic that I
didn't have.

See, my family is about as ethinically diverse as a piece of white bread.
We're German, Swiss, Polish, and I think Lithuanian. We weren't loud or
in-your-face. Although we lovee each other, our household was rather quiet,
and I didn't grow up with that sense of identity that I always craved. We
didn't go to ethnic festivals and we didn't have that sense of history or
heritage that others had.

So it was really strange to me when my Greek friend mentioned a couple of
years ago that she alwways envied families like mine. "It just seems so
nice. You don't have to **be** anything. You can marry who you want. You
don't have to live up to your **heritage**. Plus, you don't have to live up
or continually disprove those stupid stereotypes people have of your
ethnicty. I hate being Greek sometimes."

It was a new perspective. I had always envied their togetherness, and she
had always envied our separateness. I had always envied the sense of
identity her heritage gave her, but she felt it was a hassle at times. I
can't say I came away with a newfoudn sense of my own identity, but her
words gave me a different view on what I had always wished I had.

I think no matter who you are, the grass always seems greener on the other


As I was reading this by ♪♪Venice♪♪ Tue April 29, 2008 @ 6:09 AM

My upbringing... by Harleycat (aka Usual Suspect #2) Thu May 1, 2008 @ 4:16 PM

Being Greek by RedheadwGlasses Mon May 12, 2008 @ 2:08 PM

by BellaSera Posted Fri April 18, 2008 @ 12:11 PM

Much of the standard advice given on letters of complaint is, "You
should've talked to the manager at the time." Many people agree this is so;
some do not.

I know there are some situations where talking to a manager isn't always a
viable option, but here's why I think in MOST situations it is.

First of all, a manager's job is, well, to manage. Part of managing means
resolving customer issues. I don't think it's too much to ask a manager to
do his/her job, and I wish more customers felt empowered enough to talk to
the manager, because...

Second, feedback is most effective when it's given on the spot. I know as
an employee I'd much prefer my supervisor tell me right away when I'm doing
something wrong so that I can correct it going forward. Two weeks from now
I may not even remember the situation.
The sooner a manager knows about a situation, the faster he/she can take
the necessary corrective steps.

It also should prevent the problem from recurring. For example, if the
issue is poor food quality, this could indicate a problem in the kitchen.
Maybe a cook wasn't trained properly. Perhaps equipment isn't working the
way it should. In a case like that, a good manager can take steps to
rectify the situation and prevent others from having to experience it.

But one of the most overlooked reasons is that corporations need feedback
on how their managers are performing in their locations. Whether the
manager resolves the problem to the customer's satisfaction or not, the
company needs to know how that manager did. Good managers need recognition
for their abilities; poor managers may need retraining or even removal.

I'm not suggesting that not speaking to the manager automatically negates a
complaint. Most feedback, resolved or not, is good for the company. But if
everyone bypases the manager in favor of the more anonymous e-mail or
hotline, then the corporation is missing out on a valuable piece of
feedback from the customer.


I agree.. by Harleycat (aka Usual Suspect #2) Fri April 18, 2008 @ 4:46 PM

You're so right by Gino Sat April 26, 2008 @ 2:34 AM

by BellaSera Posted Wed April 9, 2008 @ 10:53 PM

One of my favorite in-my-head sayings when I'm irritated with some stupid
thing that someone does is, "Thanks for proving Darwin wrong (insert
favorite expletive)."

Well, this past weekend, Darwin was once again proved wrong...by me.

I went to Chicago to visit one of my best friends. When I go to Chicago, I
always take the Amtrak train because it's quicker and more convenient. So,
my husband dropped me off at the Amtrak station, and I bought my round-trip
ticket only to find out instead of leaving at 10:50 a.m. like the Amtrak
schedule said, it was leaving at 11:30 a.m. (or so I thought...more on that
soon). So, I settled down with my iPod and a book and waited. Soon, a
Greyhound bus pulled up outside the station; then, over the loudspeaker I
heard a call for boarding.

"Hmmm...that's odd that we have board a Greyhound bus to get to the
train..." I thought to myself. (Wait for it....) Then, suddenly, the
realization that I was not taking the train, but the bus, illuminated my
mind like a brand new lightbulb in a floor lamp. I quickly looked to where
I had purchased the tickets. They had remodeled the Amtrak station since I
had last been there (October 2007) and, unbeknownst to me, the Greyhound
station had moved in as well. So, the area that I used to purchase tickets
was from was no longer Amtrak; it was now Greyhound.

At this point you must be thinking that maybe the Greyhound area wasn't
well marked. Oh, bless your heart, but that stupid grey dog was plastered
all over the front - I just didn't look up - not to mention all over my
ticket and the brochure the ticket came in. There is no reason why I didn't
see this except that I simply didn't look...or put the obvious clues in

In my defense, I was exhausted. I had been up since 4 a.m. with a puking
infant, and I also was in a huge rush having not left much time to get to
the station. I just went to the place where I always purchased tickets and
didn't even notice the words GREYHOUND glaring at me from every direction.

After calling my friend to tell of my stupidity (and tell her to pick me up
at the bus station), I did manage to make it to Chicago. And we had a great
time laughing about the incident until Sunday when I caught my son's
stomach bug and had to throw up the entire way home...

by train.


I completely understand how that happened by ♥Venice♥ Thu April 10, 2008 @ 4:00 AM

You're being too soft on me. by BellaSera Fri April 11, 2008 @ 10:50 AM

Aww.. the poor kid by ♥Venice♥ Mon April 14, 2008 @ 4:39 PM

Thanks, Venice. by BellaSera Mon April 14, 2008 @ 9:54 PM

Hope you're feeling better by 8 days Thu April 17, 2008 @ 3:45 PM

I am Jane, thank you! by BellaSera Fri April 18, 2008 @ 11:54 AM

by BellaSera Posted Mon March 31, 2008 @ 11:06 AM

This picture was taken on March 11, his four-month birthday. It's really
hard to get a picture of him smiling because as soon as he sees the camera
he gets a look on his face that's one part "Wow, what is THAT thing?" and
one part "Oh what the bloody hell are you people doing to me now?"

But he's been wonderful. He's a smiling, cooing, giggling, babbling nearly
five month old boy. He thinks everything is HI-larious. He especailly
thinks my rendition of "Freebird" is the funniest thing ever. My husband
and I have no idea where he gets his joyful personality from. The two of us
are such crabasses most of the time; the boy certainly doesn't take after

Last week he learned how to squeal, and the week before he re-learned how
to roll over from his tummy to his back, making "tummy time" a thing of the
past. He's also three quarters of the way to rolling from his back to his
tummy, reminding me that in a few months he'll be mobile and that's when
the fun REALLY starts.

But where he really shines is in language development. The English major in
me does a little happy dance at this. He's a talkative little bugger. I
think it's because **I** talk to him all the time. I like talking to him.
He agrees with everything I say and thinks I'm the smartest chick on the

Every week he seems to pick up something new, and he's usually so fun
(except for this morning) that I want to spend all my free time with him. I
finally feel like I have this mom thing at least partially under control.

About damn time too. :)


Worth repeating... OMG! He is so cute! by ♥Venice♥ Mon March 31, 2008 @ 5:01 PM

Thanks Venice. by BellaSera Mon March 31, 2008 @ 9:45 PM

There's no question... by ♥Venice♥ Mon March 31, 2008 @ 11:47 PM

Lucky you by Getting there Tue April 1, 2008 @ 9:37 AM

Awww thank you, Brenda. by BellaSera Tue April 1, 2008 @ 1:21 PM

Awwwwww, Dawn! by MA Cunningham Tue April 1, 2008 @ 11:43 AM

Thanks Melanie! by BellaSera Tue April 1, 2008 @ 1:22 PM

What a cutie! by Harleycat Tue April 1, 2008 @ 4:12 PM

Thank you ! by BellaSera Wed April 2, 2008 @ 1:41 PM

Wow he got big! by ~Fiナ-la-ネea~ Tue April 1, 2008 @ 4:19 PM

He's huge. by BellaSera Wed April 2, 2008 @ 1:42 PM

Time for by ~Fiナ-la-ネea~ Wed April 2, 2008 @ 10:09 PM

What a smile! by Gino Wed April 2, 2008 @ 6:45 PM

Thank you, Gino. by BellaSera Thu April 3, 2008 @ 8:03 AM

Wonderful pic, wonderful post by RedheadwGlasses Thu April 3, 2008 @ 5:45 PM

Thank you Angela! by BellaSera Fri April 4, 2008 @ 10:09 AM

by BellaSera Posted Wed March 19, 2008 @ 6:38 PM

Have you ever left less than 15% on a dinner bill? If so, why?

The recent letter written to Bravo has an OP admitting she left not even
10% but less than that. The OP mentions in one of her responses that the
service was poor, and I agree that leaving a small tip for poor service is
appropriate. BUT, I also think that if the service was that bad that she
couldn't even leave 10%, a manager should've been contacted on the spot,
not two hours later.

A friend of mine told me years ago that he tips 20%+ for really stellar
service (food was excellent, waitstaff went out of their way, etc) and 15%
for good service (food was good, server was polite, etc). If he leaves less
than 15%, he always makes sure to tell a manager why he's doing so. It's a
philosophy that I've tried to practice in my own dining.

But I admit that most things don't bother me, so I haven't had many
ocassions to leave less than 15%. I can only think of one time where I left
no tip. It was several years ago when a friend and I ate at Perkins Family
Restaurant. Now, I admit Perkins isn't really the epitome of fine dining,
but I still think a basic level of service can be expected. In this case,
our waitress was so rude to us (ignoring us, "forgetting" items we asked
for, giving us attitude when we had the audacity to question where our
ordered items were) that my friend and I wondered if she knews us and
thought we did something horrible. Did we inadvertently sleep with her
boyfriend? Run over her cat? When we spoke to the manager, he just
shrugged. Great, thanks, buddy. That pretty much told me Perkins was not
the place I'd be eating at again.

So, I'm wondering what qualifies as bad service for others and how bad
would the service have to be to leave less than 15% or no tip at all?


The only time by ♥Venice♥ Wed March 19, 2008 @ 9:15 PM

I usually don't either, unless the service warrants it. by BellaSera Fri March 21, 2008 @ 8:54 AM

Because of the tax by Getting there Thu March 20, 2008 @ 11:55 AM

Poor tippers. by BellaSera Fri March 21, 2008 @ 9:03 AM

I don't think.. by Harleycat Fri March 21, 2008 @ 11:59 AM

My husband is more laid-back. by BellaSera Mon March 24, 2008 @ 3:09 PM

We took a cruise by Harleycat Wed March 26, 2008 @ 10:44 AM

I start at 15 percent by Gino Sun March 23, 2008 @ 12:17 AM

A friend of mine was a waitress for 12+ years. by BellaSera Mon March 24, 2008 @ 3:13 PM

I've left a zero tip just once by RedheadwGlasses Mon March 24, 2008 @ 12:50 PM

Waitressing is hard, but some people just aren't cut out for it. by BellaSera Mon March 24, 2008 @ 3:06 PM

That's good to know by RedheadwGlasses Mon March 24, 2008 @ 8:07 PM

OMG!.. He is so cute! by ♥Venice♥ Mon March 31, 2008 @ 6:14 AM

Thanks! by BellaSera Mon March 31, 2008 @ 10:23 AM

by BellaSera Posted Tue March 4, 2008 @ 9:42 AM

There's a billboard that I see every Sunday on my way to the Humane
Society. I'm still unsure what company or college is doing the advertising
because there is only one sentence on the billboard, and it bugs the crap
out of me. The sentence is, "What we raise is expectations."

Does anyone know what's wrong with this sentence? I'll wait while you think
of an answer.

(Insert Jeopardy music)

Times up! Do you know the answer? That's right; the verb has to agree with
the subject. In this case, "expecations" (not "what") is the subject, so
"is" needs the plural form "are." In other words, the sentence should read,
"What we raise ARE expectations."

(Note: if you're ever unsure of what the subject is, just flip the words
around. For example, you would never say "expectations is what we raise.")

I find it absolutely astounding that someone in the marketing/advertising
agency that came up with this slogan decided this was a perfectly
acceptable sentence. I'm not a purist when it comes to language; I think
it's wonderful that new words and phrases are continually being added into
English. The English language is flexible enough to allow expansion; that's
one of its pluses. I also know typos and mistakes happen; even I, grammar
goddess that I am, still make typos (you'll probably find some in this
post), and up until two years ago I would "orientated" instead of
"oriented" (it must be a Wisconsin thing). But subject-verb agreement is
one of the most basic elements of our language. How someone missed this is
beyond me.

I think this company needs to raise the expectations of their vendors.


It wouldn't surprise me by ♥Venice♥ Wed March 5, 2008 @ 2:48 AM

I think I'm slightly wrong, though. by BellaSera Wed March 5, 2008 @ 10:20 AM

I thought I was the only one by ♥Venice♥ Thu March 6, 2008 @ 2:53 AM

Every time we think we've adjusted, by BellaSera Thu March 6, 2008 @ 10:32 AM

I think he'll readjust by ♥Venice♥ Fri March 7, 2008 @ 4:52 AM

by BellaSera Posted Wed February 27, 2008 @ 10:34 PM

I lost my wallet this past weekend. If you've ever lost your wallet, you
know what a horrible feeling it is. It wasn't just my credit cards or money
that I was worried about (though I was concerned about my debit card. My
checking account could be easily cleaned out); I also had $250 worth of
gift cards in my wallet as well as my driver's license and insurance card.
The credit cards were easy enough to cancel, but I wasn't relishing going
to the DMV, and I certainly wasn't thrilled about the prospect of being out
$250 of irreplaceable gift cards.

I was convinced someone had stolen the wallet at a baby shower I was at. To
be honest, I had to lug in a purse, diaper bag, gift, and 15lb baby, and by
the time I got in the door, I just dumped my purse to the side and forgot
about it until the end of the shower. Yes, I thought the worst of people,
but I know people can do horrible things. At my sister's weddding seven
years ago, someone stole nearly $300 in cash out of my other sister's
purse. So, I know people can be callous.

I had also been to Target Friday night, and I called them when I discovered
my missing wallet on the off chance they had it. The girl that answered
quickly said they didn't. By Sunday, I was resigned to never recovering my
wallet again. But as I thought more about it, I realized the Target
employee sure answered my question pretty quick; chances are, she didn't
even check. I had something to return, so I went back to the store and
asked if they found a wallet. I was pretty convinced they hadn't (or if
they did, someone had already cleaned it out), but I was wrong. Not only
did they have it, it was completely intact - money, credit cards, driver's
license, even my $250 worth of gift cards were still there.

It kind of bugs me that Target didn't call me regarding my wallet; I mean,
I am listed in the phone book. But I'm just so grateful that I got
everything back, although I don't have easy access to money for awhile
(having cancelled all my cards). I'm also so grateful that the person who
found my wallet was an honest soul. I went from thinking the worst of
people to the best of people in a matter of 24 hours.

I also bought a new wallet.


Bella, I just went through this myself, and Mellissa S. did as well by Gino Thu February 28, 2008 @ 1:02 AM

I remembered your blog posting, by BellaSera Thu February 28, 2008 @ 10:31 AM

What a happy ending! by ♥Venice♥ Thu February 28, 2008 @ 2:57 AM

That's what killed me: the gift cards. by BellaSera Thu February 28, 2008 @ 10:41 AM

I know the feeling.. by Harleycat Thu February 28, 2008 @ 11:34 AM

I've never lost my purse...thank God. by BellaSera Thu February 28, 2008 @ 2:05 PM

I'm so glad you found your wallet! by RedheadwGlasses Sat March 1, 2008 @ 5:32 PM

It IS a great feeling. by BellaSera Sun March 2, 2008 @ 5:10 PM

by BellaSera Posted Thu February 21, 2008 @ 8:43 PM

Well, I hope not. I certainly don't want to teach my kid to be violent.

But man, is the boy big. He's so big that I have no relativity on which to
judge other babies' ages. The other day I dropped Christian off at daycare.
There was a little girl in a highchair, being fed rice cereal.
"Wow," I thought."That's really young." I asked the
teacher how old the little girl was. "Oh, she was born in July, so
she's about nine months old," the teacher replied.

Christian is bigger than this little girl, and he's only three months old.


He's already in 6-9 month onesies, and six-month sleepers. When I hold him,
his legs fall off the side. Some of his blankets had to be packed away
because his legs stick out of them, and I can't wrap him up. Everyone who
sees him comments on how tall he is. One woman in Target asked how old he
was. When I told her, she replied, "Are you sure?" (Um, yeah. I
think I would know.)

I think it's cool that he's so big, though. It's certainly a conversation


just wait...... by Michelle O Fri February 22, 2008 @ 12:45 AM

That's so true by ♥Venice♥ Fri February 22, 2008 @ 3:05 AM

Are you sure by ♥Venice♥ Fri February 22, 2008 @ 3:01 AM

Is that a new t.v. program? by Gino Mon February 25, 2008 @ 2:20 AM

Are you sure? by Harleycat Mon February 25, 2008 @ 11:00 AM

by BellaSera Posted Mon February 18, 2008 @ 7:10 PM

I just can't do it anymore. I mean, what more can be said? No receipt = no
refund/exchange. If you don't like that policy, you are free to shop

That's not to say that I don't have some sympathy. I too have lost receipts
and have received gifts I cannot use with no receipt attached (usually
courtesy of my MIL). But in the first case, I didn't blame the store for
having the policy; I blamed myself for having lost the damn receipt. In the
second case, again, I didn't blame the store. Instead, I sucked it up and
either returned the item to the store without a receipt (if allowed) or
donated the item to my local Goodwill or other thrift store. In a couple of
cases, I've regifted. (Feel free to call Miss Manners on me.)

Is Target's policy too restrictive? I guess that depends on your point of
view. Since I'm one of those weird consumers who saves all receipts, their
policies don't affect me. Also, my family and I understand the concept of
gift receipts, so there's no problem there either. But luckily there are
other choices - Walmart for example - so you can always choose to shop
there if Target's policies irritate you that much.

I know I will continue to shop at Target not because of their policies but
in spite of them. I love their merchandise, their stores are clean and easy
to navigate, and I can usually find whatever I need at one stop. Others may
feel differently, and that's fine. We are fortunate to live in a country
that allows other retailers.

That's all I've got to say on that.


I gave up awhile ago by ♥Venice♥ Tue February 19, 2008 @ 2:07 AM

Your cat is as cute as your baby! n/t by ♥Venice♥ Tue February 19, 2008 @ 2:08 AM

Thanks! by BellaSera Thu February 21, 2008 @ 8:18 PM

Hahaha n/t by ♥Venice♥ Fri February 22, 2008 @ 3:06 AM

ME too by 13 weeks... Wed February 20, 2008 @ 11:48 AM

Hmmm, Maybe you should have stuck to your word. by artstreet Wed December 3, 2008 @ 10:41 PM

by BellaSera Posted Fri February 15, 2008 @ 12:29 PM

I just want to extend my heartfelt sympathies to the students, faculty, and
residents of Dekalb, IL in regards to yesterday's shooting at Northern
Illinois University.

There's really nothing more I can say on the subject. I'm sure more details
will emerge over the next few days.

You're in my thoughts.


I really don't know what to say anymore either by ♥Venice♥ Sat February 16, 2008 @ 5:22 AM

I can't undertand it either by Gino Sat February 16, 2008 @ 6:23 AM

by BellaSera Posted Sun February 10, 2008 @ 6:31 PM

This morning, as I was volunteering at our local Humane Society, a woman
walked in with her Pit Bull. He was well-behaved, calm, and you could tell
the woman was definitely the one in charge. It was gratifying to see an
owner who took steps to ensure her dog was a good canine citizen.

Many communities across the United States are banning the ownership of Pit
Bulls. I used to think this was a bad idea.

Now, I'm not so sure.

Pit Bulls ARE a more assertive breed of dog. They were bred to bait bulls;
you have to be a tough dog to do that kind of work. This is not necessarily
a bad thing, and it doesn't mean that the breed is inherently awful. I know
Pit Bulls, as well as Rottweilers and Dobermans, can make wonderful
companions if given the right guidance and training.

But let's face it; the Pit Bull's more dominant and assertive tendencies
are what makes them the prime choice for dog fighting. Even beyond dog
fighting, they are also the first choice of owners who are looking for a
more "macho" dog. There's nothing wrong with wanting to own a
more assertive dog, but this breed needs more training, guidance, and a
firmer hand than let's say a Cocker Spaniel or a Golden Retriever. Far too
many people are not willing to put in the effort. And if even a
non-fighting Pit Bull gets loose, the results can be disastrous if they
have not been given the right treatment or handling. True, any dog can
attack, but the Pit Bull's bite power is what gives them an edge over a
Lhasa Alpso.

No, blaming and banning the breed is not fair to those owners who DO put in
the time and effort to train their PBs, but leaders of a community first
and foremost most ensure the safety of their community. Until ALL owners of
Pit Bulls can put in the committment to making their dogs good canine
citizens, there may not be much more a community can do.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I undestand why some communities
have chosen to ban PB ownership.

What's YOUR take?


I think the owner by ~Fiナ-la-ネea~ Mon February 11, 2008 @ 6:48 PM

As usual by ♥Venice♥ Mon February 11, 2008 @ 9:49 PM

I know what you mean by Gino Sat February 16, 2008 @ 6:17 AM

Agreed by MA Cunningham Tue February 26, 2008 @ 10:26 AM

by BellaSera Posted Sat February 2, 2008 @ 10:45 PM

First, I have to brag about my son again. He'll be twelve weeks old as of
tomorrow. At his two-month checkup, he weighed 12.5lbs and was 25.6 inches
long. The weight is normal for his age, but he's in the 95th percentile for
height. Yes, this is going to be one tall boy! Now that he's heading into
his third month, he's getting more interactive. He smiles, he coos, and he
even laughs if you talk to him in the right way. He's also a total Mama's
boy. That may change, but right now I'm lapping it up.

My husband and I don't get out nearly as much as we used to, but we've
rented some movies here and there. Here's what we've seen and what I've
thought about it:

1). I am Legend. We left the boy with Grandma and had a "date
afternoon." It normally isn't the type of movie I'd be interested in
seeing, but I really like Will Smith. There were some inconsistencies in
the film, but also some powerful moments. I'd recommend it.

2). A Beautiful Mind. I saw this on T.V. actually. I've never liked Russell
Crowe, but he did a good job. Incidentally, I looked up John Nash on
Wikipedia. If you can explain his theories, then you're way beyond me.

3). Sicko. Let's face it; you don't see a Michael Moore film to get an
unbiased opinion. He makes some excellent points (and I agree), but I'd
rather hear viewpoints on how to set this up and make it work.

4). Hostel 2. Eh. The first one was everything a good horror film should
be: pyschologically terrifying with lots of "Boo!" moments and
gore. But the second one was just blah, and the stupid music they had at
the end just made the whole film seem silly.

5). A Clockwork Orange. I have wanted to see this film for years, and it
was everything I thought it would be. Now I want to read the book.

6). The Black Dahlia. Well, we didn't actually see this as we fell asleep
halfway through not once but twice. I still have no clue how it ended. Too
bad. I thought it would be better.

7). Eastern Promises. The plot was kind of contrived, but it has a great
naked fight scene, and you get to see Viggo Mortenson's butt. What more
could you want?

Now I'm just waiting for the new Harold & Kumar movie (yes, I liked the
first one) and the next Batman movie. Christian Bale...mmmmmmmm.....


How about Saw IV? by ♥Venice♥ Sun February 3, 2008 @ 6:34 AM

Oh, and... by ♥Venice♥ Sun February 3, 2008 @ 6:37 AM

I've seen all Saws except for IV. by BellaSera Sun February 3, 2008 @ 10:16 PM

If you like the story aspect of Saw by ♥Venice♥ Tue February 5, 2008 @ 4:17 AM

by BellaSera Posted Fri January 25, 2008 @ 6:02 PM

Or have I just been out of the loop on interviewing?

I "unofficially" went back to work today. I wasn't supposed to start until
February 4, but because the full-time administrative assitant we hired just
before I left decided to not show up after Christmas, my employer has been

My supervisor had scheduled a second interview with a potential
administrative assistant especially because I would be in today and could
interview her. As soon as I got in to work, I reviewed the woman's resume,
made some notes, wrote out a few questions for the interview, and waited.

She never showed up.

In the grand scheme of the day, I don't care. I had such a backlog of work
to catch up on in just four hours that I didn't really have 30 seconds,
much less 30 minutes, to do an interview. But what bothers me is that she's
not the first one to pull an MIA act. When we were interviewing for this
position last fall, out of 15 potential candidates, nearly half were
no-shows for initial and second interviews. One even ditched us for a

Perhaps these women found other jobs. Or maybe they took one look at our
office and said, "No way in hell am I working HERE!" But whatever the
reason, it is only common courtesy to call and cancel the appointment. I
can't think of an interview I've had that I just blew off. In a case where
I couldn't make the interview, I always called to cancel.

I just don't get this. Maybe I'm too old.


I don't think it's new by ♥Venice♥ Sat January 26, 2008 @ 8:38 AM

It went okay yesterday. by BellaSera Sat January 26, 2008 @ 2:30 PM

Maybe by ♥Venice♥ Sun January 27, 2008 @ 5:55 AM

It's not new at all by Gino Mon January 28, 2008 @ 2:03 AM

by BellaSera Posted Sat January 19, 2008 @ 10:42 AM

The title of this entry refers to a restaurant here in Milwaukee. The
owner, Bella, actually has a fat cat.

And so do I. I had to take Lolly to the vet this past Monday. She now
weighs a whopping 16lbs, up 1.5lbs from last year. I knew she was getting
bigger; even my mom said, "Oh my God. Is Lolly getting fatter?" But I
supppose in the back of my mind I was hoping it was just her coat getting
more thick for winter.

Now, she's a big cat by nature. She's part Maine Coon (I think) and will
never be a petite little thing. She's long, and tall, with a big head and
big paws. But, as my vet said, "She needs to lose weight. Fourteen pounds
was pushing it, but sixteen pounds is definitely unhealthy."

The problem is, I don't know how to get her to lose weight. Admittedly, I
don't play with her often enough, especially now that I have my son, so
that's something I could step up. I've also reduced her food by 1/8 cup,
but I need to constantly watch her because she has a habit of sneaking in
the bedroom and eating the little kitty's food.

Sigh. I guess I'm not the only one with a resolution to lose weight this


I should be the last person by ♥Venice♥ Mon January 21, 2008 @ 3:16 AM

I'm not laughing at you, Venice. by BellaSera Mon January 21, 2008 @ 7:47 AM

and maybe by ♥Venice♥ Wed January 23, 2008 @ 4:55 AM

I know how to get her to lose weight by RedheadwGlasses Mon January 21, 2008 @ 10:13 PM

Ha ha.. by BellaSera Tue January 22, 2008 @ 2:55 PM

I'm just waiting.. by Harleycat Tue January 22, 2008 @ 4:04 PM

Lolly is almost six. by BellaSera Tue January 22, 2008 @ 7:47 PM

Laser Pointer.. by Harleycat Wed January 23, 2008 @ 9:03 AM

You're not getting any flack from me by LadyMac Wed January 23, 2008 @ 1:21 PM

I did that yesterday. by BellaSera Wed January 23, 2008 @ 4:57 PM

by BellaSera Posted Mon January 14, 2008 @ 7:14 PM

This picture was taken on November 21, ten days after he was born. We had
just got back from the pediatrician, and someone was NOT a happy camper
(guess who). It was our fault, though; he was due for a bottle, and we
didn't plan ahead and bring one along. In our defense, the pediatrician's
office is only ten minutes from our house, and we didn't realize we'd have
over an hour wait to get in. (Don't get me started on THAT one.)

No, I don't stuff my child in a car seat all day and let him scream. But he
just looked so cute that we couldn't resist capturing it for posterity.

Most parents would immediately take their child out of the seat. Not us.
Instead we're like, "Oh..we gotta get a picture..."

I'll be changing my avatar periodically as we take new pictures of him.

Stay tuned...


Can't wait to see more! by ♥Surprise!♥ Mon January 14, 2008 @ 8:41 PM

Thanks! by BellaSera Tue January 15, 2008 @ 7:58 AM

What a major cutie-pie! by StoicGrrl Tue January 15, 2008 @ 9:02 PM

Thanks! by BellaSera Wed January 16, 2008 @ 1:13 PM

He'a absolutely adorable! by ~Fiナ-la-ネea~ Thu January 17, 2008 @ 9:04 AM

Thanks! by BellaSera Thu January 17, 2008 @ 2:00 PM

I agree, he's perfect! by Gino Fri January 18, 2008 @ 3:13 AM

Awww....thanks Gino. by BellaSera Fri January 18, 2008 @ 2:00 PM

What a great way to keep us updated with new pictures! by RedheadwGlasses Mon January 21, 2008 @ 10:16 PM

by BellaSera Posted Sat January 12, 2008 @ 12:52 PM

I love my husband, don't get me wrong, but that doesn't mean I don't find
other men attractive. Here's a list of men I think are, in the words of
Paris Hilton, HOT:

1). Chris Cornell. Former lead singer of Soundgarden and now the lead
singer of Audioslave. He's everything I'm drawn to: dark, moody, intense.
Plus, he has an amazing voice.

2). Christopher Meloni. He plays Detective Stabler on Law & Order SVU. He's
not normally the type I'd go for, but I once had a dream about him and now
I find him sexy as hell.

3). Criss Angel. I know Venice likes him too. What can I say? If he were
president, he'd be Babraham Lincoln.

4). Johnny Depp. He's dark, he's intense, and he's a little strange. What
else would a girl want?

5). Scott Weiland. Former lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots, now the lead
singer of Velvet Revolver (and what a great name for a band.) He's got some
problems (mostly drugs), but I've always loved the bad boys. Like #1, he's
also got an amazing voice.

6). Henry Rollins. Again, I don't usually like the big brawny types, but
the mess of tattoos turns me on. Plus, he's kind of an a**hole, and for
some reason I find that attractive. Maybe there's something wrong with me.

7). Edward Norton. He's sort of my "dark horse" guy because he's not like
the others. But I think he's a phenomenal actor, and from what I've seen,
he's very intelligent which I've always loved.

8). Jon Stewart. He never ceases to make me laugh, even before he was doing
the Daily Show. Humor is another element that gets me going.

9). Christian Bale. It's the English accent; I know it is. Plus, he's
Batman, and I've always found Batman sexy. And no, my son Christian was not
named after him. :)

10). Eric Stoltz or James Spader. I lumped them together because they both
have red/reddish hair, which for some odd reason I like. I say "odd reason"
because normally I like dark-haired guys.

Honorable Mention: Julian McMahon who plays Christian Troy on Nip/Tuck. I
don't watch the show anymore, but my heart melts a bit whenever I see a
preview for it.

So, if you notice from my list, the majority of the men have dark hair. So,
you would think I married a dark-haired, intense man, right? Nope. My
husband has sandy brown hair, blue eyes, and is about as intense as a piece
of wheat bread. But that's okay. My husband will always be #1, no matter

Who are **your** favorites?


Don't get me started! haha by ♥Surprise!♥ Mon January 14, 2008 @ 8:38 PM

Oh my... by StoicGrrl Tue January 15, 2008 @ 9:00 PM

Famous People.. by Harleycat Wed January 16, 2008 @ 10:38 AM

Gabriel Byrne...mmmmm by BellaSera Wed January 16, 2008 @ 1:18 PM

by BellaSera Posted Thu January 3, 2008 @ 2:26 PM

I spent much of December cooped up in our condo with Christian, and I don't
think it did either of us much good. Now that I'm in my last month of
maternity leave, I'd like to get out and about.

I also think Christian will like it. Even as a brand spanking newborn, he
was ultra-alert and curious. My biggest fear in taking him out is that he
can get very fussy and nearly inconsolable, and I don't want to subject
other people to a meltdown.

But he seems to be doing better. I've noticed that he likes looking at new
faces and surroundings, and he seems to be much happier when exposed to new
He's not as fussy when he gets to go somewhere new.

A friend of mine is home on Mondays and Fridays with her own infant son, so
we can visit her. I can take him to the mall shopping (he's the only male
in my life I can do that with..ha ha), and we can visit the grandmas when
they're taking care of his cousin. (It will also help his cousin get used
to him.) Plus, there's a new parents support group at my local hospital
that I'd like to join.

So, that's my short-term New Year's resolution: get out more with the boy.
The other resolutions are a little harder to achieve!


One resolution by 16 weeks... Fri January 4, 2008 @ 3:06 PM

Going out is good for both of you. by ♥Venice♥ Sun January 6, 2008 @ 2:45 AM

by BellaSera Posted Sun December 30, 2007 @ 11:44 PM

First, I have to brag about my son. He now weighs 11.5lbs and looks it.
He's got a nice round face, a double chin, and a little "Buddha belly." He
also gave me his first smile this past Wednesday (no, it wasn't gas...trust
me, you know when this boy has gas), and he's beginning to coo. Also, he
can almost turn over from his back to his stomach. No, I'm not kidding.
This kid is STRONG. He fights me on diaper changes, can hold his head up
for a few seconds, and is constantly moving and grooving when you hold him.
I know I'm going to have my hands full when he gets older.

Anyways, I have a New Year's Eve dilemma. I was invited to a New Year's Eve
party by one of my close friends. Both Fred and I were invited, but we
can't get a sitter for the boy.

My friend told us we should bring Christian. But she lives quite a distance
from our house, and I don't want to drive home at 1 a.m. with all the
idiots on the road and an infant in the car. Plus, I'm really not keen on
introducing the boy to the alcoholics I call my friends.

Fred has already said he'll take over tomorrow so I can go to the party.
But I'm not sure I want to. Normally, I'd be excited to go; however, this
year it's different. Going to the party means I'll have to actually put on
an outfit that doesn't fit (because I haven't lost all the weight), put on
makeup, and figure out something with my hair. I'm not sure I want to go to
all that trouble. Plus, I'd like to ring in the new year with my husband
and Mr. Fussypants.

But at the same time, I'd get to see my "peeps" and hang out for awhile. I
don't get to do that too often anymore.

It's funny how having a baby changes everything. Everyone tells you your
life will change, but you don't fully realize it until it happens.

Whatever you do tomorrow, have a great New Year's Eve. I wish all of you
the best for 2008.


I'd Stay Home.. by Harleycat Mon December 31, 2007 @ 9:59 AM

Yeah, I think I'm staying home. by BellaSera Mon December 31, 2007 @ 12:14 PM

Happy New Year to both of you! by ♥Venice♥ Tue January 1, 2008 @ 9:42 PM

I was glad I stayed home. by BellaSera Thu January 3, 2008 @ 1:18 PM

Happy New Year by Gino Wed January 2, 2008 @ 12:08 AM

Thanks, Gino. by BellaSera Thu January 3, 2008 @ 1:13 PM

Just wanted to say by ♥Venice♥ Wed January 2, 2008 @ 4:26 PM

Thanks, Venice. by BellaSera Thu January 3, 2008 @ 1:15 PM

by In support of stoicism...BellaSera Posted Thu December 27, 2007 @ 11:44 AM

Was your Christmas "ruined" because you didn't get that one coveted gift?

I admit I didn't get everything I wanted, but I got enough. And everyone
went waaaaayyyyy overboard on Christian. He got a ton of loot. My mom
especially bought him much more than he needs.

The fun part was watching my niece open gifts. She's into Dora the
Explorer, so she got a bunch of Dora stuff. She went up to everyone opening
a gift and asked, "Aht's in dere? Aht did oo get?" I think Christmas is
more fun with little kids. Next Christmas will be blast with both my niece
AND Christian.

Usually I have that one favorite gift that I just love, but this year was
different. I liked everything, but honestly, I think my son was the best
gift I could've received. That and having my sister home from Europe.

So, what was your favorite gift?


Favourite Gifts by 17 weeks... Thu December 27, 2007 @ 2:49 PM

Letters by In support of stoicism...BellaSera Thu December 27, 2007 @ 11:28 PM

I got a Nintendo DS.. by Harleycat Fri December 28, 2007 @ 2:41 PM

My cats got me nada. by In support of stoicism...BellaSera Fri December 28, 2007 @ 6:22 PM

My favorite gift by Gotta New Job LadyMac Tue January 1, 2008 @ 5:41 PM

What a thoughtful gift! by Harleycat Thu January 3, 2008 @ 11:42 AM

What a wonderful gift from your son. by BellaSera Thu January 3, 2008 @ 1:06 PM

I got more than I feel I deserve by Gino Tue January 1, 2008 @ 11:44 PM

What a great gift, Gino. by BellaSera Thu January 3, 2008 @ 1:11 PM

by In support of stoicism...BellaSera Posted Wed December 19, 2007 @ 5:58 PM

There, I said it. So shoot me.

I'm just hoping I don't get sick this year. Every year around the holidays
I seem to come down with the stomach flu. Last year, it hit on Christmas
day. My husband and I spent the entire day either on the couch or in bed,
alternating between sleeping and bargaining with God to let us live.

It sucks to get the stomach flu, but it would suck even more to have the
stomach flu AND have to take care of a six-week-old newborn. God forbid our
son should come down with it.

But it will be nice to spend time with family. Not only do we have a new
addition to the family, but my youngest sister came home from Europe this
past Monday. Unfortunately, she has to leave for Minneapolis Christmas
morning, but at least she's only a seven-hour drive away (and a cheaper
phone call!).

So, have a wonderful holiday everyone, no matter which one you celebrate
(or don't). And if you're going to get drunk, please stay off the roads.
There are already plenty of morons (even non-drunk ones) running amok on
our streets and freeways.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ by I'm back Fri December 21, 2007 @ 8:35 PM

Our family tradition for years by ♥Venice♥ Sat December 22, 2007 @ 2:58 AM

We always get bugs around the holidays by Gino Tue January 1, 2008 @ 11:28 PM

by In support of stoicism...BellaSera Posted Wed December 12, 2007 @ 4:40 PM

If your Christmas tree falls down in your living room, but you're not
around to see it, does it mean the cat did it?

Every year I put up a Christmas tree, and every year it goes down at least
once during the season. This is because, although there is enough room for
both of their furry behinds, only one cat can sit under the tree at a given
time. The other cat, the one not fortunate to get that coveted spot, then
gets mad and decides it's her turn to sit under the tree and starts
screwing with the one sitting under the tree. A fight then breaks out and
down the tree goes.

Also, a cat, usually the little one, at some point thinks she is some kind
of wild jungle cat and tries to climb the tree. This also has been the
cause of a falling tree.

This year, my MIL gave us her old tree. It's a much sturdier, fuller tree
than the "Charlie Brown" we had. It also seemed to hold up better during
cat fights and attempted climbs. Until today.

I was in the nursery, changing my little bundle of joy, when I heard the
sound of jingling ornaments then something hitting our dining room table.
When I came out, there was the tree, lying partially on the dining room
table, ornaments strewn about the tree skirt.

"All right! Which one of you *#$%@! did this?" I yelled. Of course, neither
cat would cop to it. Instead, they hightailed it into the bedroom and hid.
They knew I was mad. Later, I was able to put the tree up, albeit a little

So much for me thinking the tree would last through the season.


I've been lucky so far this year by Stoic LadyMac Fri December 14, 2007 @ 3:42 PM

We haven't had any break this year....knock on wood. by In support of stoicism...BellaSera Fri December 14, 2007 @ 5:07 PM

We're Lucky.. by Harleycat Sat December 15, 2007 @ 9:34 AM

My husband doesn't want to go that far. by In support of stoicism...BellaSera Sun December 16, 2007 @ 11:44 AM

Our first Christmas with our puppy was fun by Gino Sun December 16, 2007 @ 5:45 PM

We Had Fun.. by Harleycat Mon December 17, 2007 @ 11:20 AM

I never had by ~Fiナ-la-ネea~ Mon December 17, 2007 @ 11:37 AM

See, we don't have this problem. by Blackrack Mon December 17, 2007 @ 8:09 PM

by In support of stoicism...BellaSera Posted Sat December 8, 2007 @ 7:44 AM

For once, Toys-R-Us may be the good guy. I received this e-mail from them
in regards to returning recalled toys:

"We believe that when a product is recalled, the most important thing is to
get that product out of children's hands. To that end, we have instituted
a "no quibble" policy when it comes to toy recalls. This means Toys"R"Us
will take back recalled product whether it was purchased at Toys"R"Us or
not - with or without a receipt."

I'm not sure what other retailers are doing, but it's good to see at least
one stepping up to the plate.


I'm impressed by ♥Venice♥ Mon December 10, 2007 @ 5:12 AM

I saw this on the news and thought it was a fantastic idea! by Gino Sun December 16, 2007 @ 5:40 PM

by In support of stoicism...BellaSera Posted Mon December 3, 2007 @ 6:04 PM

I'm trying to ignore these stupid
letters. Instead, I'm focusing on what the hell I'm going to buy my husband
for Christmas.

He's the worst to buy for. First of all, he refuses to give me ideas on
what he needs. (My dad is the same way.) Second, he has this really bad
habit of going out the month of December and buying what he wants thus
negating any ideas I might have had. A few years ago, he bought a DVD/VCR
player the week before Christmas. His brother, who had bought him one for
Christmas, was livid. I don't blame my BIL. A couple of years ago, I was
struggling on what to buy my husband for his birthday, then, like a miracle
from the deities, a South Park box set came out. So what does my husband
do? He BUYS it. Arrrrggghhhhhh.

This year I at least had some good ideas from him, but unfortunately I had
to share them with our families. However, I am in charge of trying to find
him a grey overcoat and Slayer's Reign in Blood CD. The latter is done
(Amazon rules) but I have no clue about the overcoat because he's so picky.
I'm tempted just to get him a gift certificate to Burlington Coat Factory,
but that seems so impersonal.

Every year it's like this. Every year I struggle on what to get him. Next
year I'm saying the hell with it and telling him my presence in his life is
gift enough. :)


My Husband.. by Harleycat Tue December 4, 2007 @ 9:29 AM

After years by ~Fiナ-la-ネea~ Tue December 4, 2007 @ 10:53 AM

My husband is bad too by Get well soon, Dad Wed December 5, 2007 @ 9:03 AM

That's exactly why we don't exchange gifts anymore by ♥Venice♥ Mon December 10, 2007 @ 5:05 AM

Your last line by Gino Wed December 12, 2007 @ 12:01 AM

by In support of stoicism...BellaSera Posted Tue November 27, 2007 @ 9:06 PM

So, how did you spend your Black Friday? Were you one of the thousands who
ventured out at 3 a.m. to jumpstart your shopping? If so, you should be
declared insane.

Just kidding. Sort of.

One of my good friends went to a local outlet mall at midnight. She said it
was out of control. There was a line off the interstate to get in. The
parking lot was packed. Someone got hit by a car and had to be taken away
by ambulance. A fight broke out in front of Coach. She loved it and said
it's now her after-Thanksgiving tradition. I told her they make a pill for
her condition.

It probably stems from my years of working retail, but you couldn't pay me
enough to go out on that day anymore. Instead, I (usually) sleep in and
spend the day in my jammies putting up my Christmas decorations. (I've also
been known to consume a bottle of wine while doing so.) This year I had to
forego the wine and the sleep, but I still managed to put up some
decorations while hanging out with my son. I sat back and watched all the
retail madness on the news. I really can't imagine doing anything else.

I'll probably still be scurrying around two days before Christmas trying to
tie up gift loose ends. At that point, I'll probably envy those of you who
had the courage to brave the Black Friday masses and get all your shopping
done. Until then, I'll bask in my decision to stay home.


Sounds perfect to me! by RedheadwGlasses Wed November 28, 2007 @ 12:37 PM

by Refusing to give in at all...BellaSera Posted Sat November 17, 2007 @ 2:21 PM

Wow. I go away for a few days and all hell breaks loose. I think it's a
damn shame we lost two valued members. I really respected both Nichole and
Tracy's opinions on this site, and it won't be the same without them.

But that's been done and talked about enough already, I suppose.

On another note, please welcome Christian James, born 11/11/07 at 4:52 p.m.
He was 7lbs, 11oz, and 21 inches long. (Anyone get the same feeling 11 and
7 will be his lucky numbers?) I have to say he's a cute little bugger. Of
course he looks like me..ha ha.

Yes, mom and baby (and daddy) are fine. We're all just a little tired and
still trying to figure each other out. It'll take time; each day gets a
little easier. I just wish he'd sleep in his bassinet at NIGHTTIME, when he
supposed to. :)

The cats seem to be adjusting fairly well, too. They're curious about him,
but so far haven't the courage to investigate him thoroughly.

That's about it for now. As you can probably tell, I'm too exhausted to
write much of any coherency or deep, pondering significance.

Take care for now.


Congratulations and Welcome Back! by ♥Venice♥ Sat November 17, 2007 @ 4:42 PM

Congratulations! by Harleycat Sun November 18, 2007 @ 8:51 AM

Congratulations! by Gino Sun November 18, 2007 @ 11:24 PM

YAY! by MA Loper Mon November 19, 2007 @ 4:38 PM

Congratulatons to all 3 of you. by calm Tue November 20, 2007 @ 12:00 PM

Congratulations by Jane, Paul and Elliott Wed November 21, 2007 @ 3:31 PM

Thanks everyone and have a happy Thanksgiving. by In support of stoicism...BellaSera Thu November 22, 2007 @ 2:52 AM

by Ding...It\'s Time! BellaSera Posted Wed November 7, 2007 @ 8:10 PM

I'll be gone for awhile. I'm scheduled for a C-Section this Sunday. I'll be
in the hospital until Wednesday the 14th, then home taking care of the
long-awaited bundle of joy. I'll still be checking in periodically but
probably won't be posting too much on my blog, unless I have something
really thrilling to say.

So, if I'm not back before then, I hope everyone has a wonderful
Thanksgiving. Enjoy the turkey (or tofu if you're a vegetarian). If you're
going to venture out on Black Friday, you have my undying respect. Ditto if
you're actually going to get up at 4:30 a.m. to do it.

And thanks to everyone who gave me advice on taking care of my little diva
kitty. She seems to be doing better, but I'm still keeping an eye on her.


OMG.. I just saw your name and thought you went into labor by ♥Venice♥ Thu November 8, 2007 @ 12:07 AM

You're more nervous about it than I am! by Ding...It's Time! BellaSera Thu November 8, 2007 @ 7:47 AM

I thought the same thing Venice did by Rising Above It LadyMac Thu November 8, 2007 @ 8:30 AM

Good luck by ~Fiナ-la-ネea~ Thu November 8, 2007 @ 8:16 AM

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving too. by calm Thu November 8, 2007 @ 9:16 AM

The Best to you... by Harleycat Thu November 8, 2007 @ 10:28 AM

Thanks and happy advance birthday to you! by It's Almost Time! BellaSera Thu November 8, 2007 @ 1:01 PM

Ciao Bella! by Gino Thu November 8, 2007 @ 11:39 PM

Just wanted you to know by ♥Venice♥ Sat November 10, 2007 @ 6:02 AM

Awwww.... thank you so much. by Refusing to give in to all this potato talk..BellaSera Sat November 10, 2007 @ 9:30 AM

by Tick Tock...Tick Tock...BellaSera Posted Sat November 3, 2007 @ 10:30 AM

My little cat is sick...AGAIN.

Some backstory: she suffers from recurrent urinary tract infections. They
started in spring of 2006; I spent quite a bit of time in the vet's office
last summer getting her medications, special food, etc. My vet was even
considering surgery as she had crystals in her bladder. Then, finally, they
cleared up, and she's been infection-free since.

Until now.

The other day I saw the telltale signs in my bathroom sink and knew another
round of vet appts was in our future. So, I had to find her, catch her,
stuff her in her carrier, and schlep her wailing self to the vet yesterday.
She'll be on medication for 13 days.

I know it's all part of having a kitty, and I don't mind doing what it
takes to make her better. I just wish she had picked a better time to do
this. She's my little drama cat; she always finds the worst time and then
lets go, whether it be coughing up a hairball, getting sick, or other

The worst is trying to give her medication. She's very skittish by nature,
so she doesn't like to be picked up or restrained. During her last round of
meds, we had to grind up her pills, dilute them with water, then inject
them in her mouth with a syringe. This time, I got her meds in liquid form.
I'm hoping it works better.

Anyone who thinks cats are low maintenance is just plain WRONG. If you know
of a place I can get a cat like that, let me know; I'm happy to swap.


I feel your pain by MA Loper Sat November 3, 2007 @ 12:47 PM

Boy cats by Tick Tock...Tick Tock...BellaSera Sun November 4, 2007 @ 9:27 AM

My Harleycat.. by Harleycat Sat November 3, 2007 @ 3:13 PM

I'm sorry to hear about your cat by ~Fiナ-la-ネea~ Sat November 3, 2007 @ 7:51 PM

Bella by Pink LadyMac Sat November 3, 2007 @ 9:13 PM

Thank you. by Tick Tock...Tick Tock...BellaSera Sun November 4, 2007 @ 9:23 AM

My cat by The New and Improved Brenda Sun November 4, 2007 @ 1:23 PM

Why didn't I think of that? by Tick Tock...Tick Tock...BellaSera Mon November 5, 2007 @ 9:49 AM

Brenda has a really good idea by Pink LadyMac Sun November 4, 2007 @ 1:54 PM

No special diet this time. by Tick Tock...Tick Tock...BellaSera Mon November 5, 2007 @ 9:55 AM

Baytril.. by Harleycat Sun November 4, 2007 @ 2:16 PM

And that needle by Pink LadyMac Sun November 4, 2007 @ 4:15 PM

Baby Food.. by Harleycat Mon November 5, 2007 @ 8:35 AM

We had a lot of animals over the years by Gino Mon November 5, 2007 @ 12:00 AM

by Tick Tock...Tick Tock...BellaSera Posted Tue October 30, 2007 @ 12:10 PM

My husband and I met on Match.com. We corresponded via e-mail first, which
proved to me he was well-educated, literate, could write a decent sentence,
etc. After three weeks of daily (sometimes more) e-mails, we finally
screwed up the courage to talk on the phone. (By the way, he has the
deepest voice I've ever heard, a smooth, late-night jazz voice. That's how
he reeled me in.) So, the phone conversations went well, and we decided to
do the IN-PERSON MEETING. (Insert scary Halloween music...)

A week after our first phone conversation, we agreed to meet at a local
nightclub in Milwaukee where a friend of his was playing in a band. I liked
him immediately. He was attractive, articulate, funny, just what I had been
looking for. He bought me a rose (awww....) and a beer (awwww....), and
after trying to converse over the thumping of a bass guitar, we decided to
go to another part of the club where we could talk. So, I'm walking in
front of him, swaying my hips a bit, because after all, I want to prove to
this guy that I'm a good catch. I mean, I'm an sexy woman of the world,

Yeah, right. I was so busy concentrating on being a sexy woman of the world
that I completely missed a step in the floor and fell on my knee...HARD. My
beer went flying; I doused some poor guy in the back. I have no clue where
my rose ended up. After helping me to my feet, my husband led me to a table
where I stood for the next 10 minutes, beet-red face in my hands. Finally,
he just said, "How about I just walk you to your car." I
half-laughed/half-cried the entire way back to my apartment.

The next morning my sister called. "How did it go?"

"Oh my God. It was the worst night of my life." I told her the story, and
she fell on the floor laughing. She even called her husband over to tell
him the story.

"So, do you think he'll call you again?" She asked when she finally calmed

"Nope. And I don't blame him. I wouldn't call ME either."

But he did call later that night to see how I was. (By the way, I really
did hurt my knee. It was swollen and purple, and I had trouble walking for
three days.) And -surprise, surprise - he actually wanted to see me again.

"Are you sure? I mean, you've probably figured out I'm not an easy person
to be with. I'm giving you an opt-out right now."

"Dawn, nothing worthwhile is ever easy."

That was it. He had me at that sentence, and I suppose the rest is history.

But he's never quite let me live that night down.


That is a wonderful story by Rising Above It LadyMac Tue October 30, 2007 @ 2:08 PM

I'm already naming him what **I** want. by Tick Tock...Tick Tock...BellaSera Tue October 30, 2007 @ 7:29 PM

Great story! by RedAppleswRazors Wed October 31, 2007 @ 5:42 PM

I remember that scene by ♥Venice♥ Thu November 1, 2007 @ 6:02 AM

The funny thing is, by Tick Tock...Tick Tock...BellaSera Fri November 2, 2007 @ 12:08 PM

Your story reminded me of something too by ♥Venice♥ Thu November 1, 2007 @ 6:47 AM

by BellaSera Posted Fri October 26, 2007 @ 10:48 AM

About three weeks ago, my husband realized he didn't send his credit card
payment on time. It wasn't late yet, but it would be. Normally, he doesn't
miss bill payments; he's very dilligent about knowing when his stuff is due
- we have separate finances - so it was surprising that this even occured.

But these things sometimes happen. So I suggested he make a payment over
the phone.

Him: "What's that?"

Me: "Uh...it's where you make a payment over the phone using your checking
account. You've never heard of that?"

Him: "I didn't realize you could do that."

Apparently he just landed on Earth from another planet, so, I explained
that you can set up a transfer from your checking account to your credit
card account, so that when the payments are due, you can just call it in to
the credit card company - you don't even need to talk to a live person. I
did explain, though, that there is a fee for this, usually $10-$15

Him: "What?! I'm not payiing a (expletive deleted) fee to make a payment!"

Me: "Well, a $10 fee is certainly better than a $35 late charge, don't you

No, he didn't think. Instead, he was insistent that he could get them to
reverse the fee; after all, he had never been late before. I advised him to
call ahead first; sometimes they're more willing to work with you if you do

So, the other day he got his credit card statement, with a $35 late charge
attached to it.

Him: "(Expletive deleted) They charged me a late fee!"

Me: "Well, did you call them ahead of time?"

Him: "Yes."

Me: "Did they SAY they were going to reverse the fee?"

Him. "Well, not really. I just assumed they would because I called them."

Insert huge, heavy sigh at this point. I've always considered my husband
highly intelligent - he's a high-level engineer with an IQ of 140+. But his
logic on this is lost on me. Maybe someone needs to go back to 5th grade.


LOL by ~Fiナ-la-ネea~ Fri October 26, 2007 @ 4:04 PM

He won't pay online. by BellaSera Sun October 28, 2007 @ 8:29 PM

I'm not commenting either way by Gino Fri October 26, 2007 @ 11:58 PM

Ha ha...that reminds me of by BellaSera Sun October 28, 2007 @ 8:31 PM

Conversations like that by ♥Venice♥ Sat October 27, 2007 @ 12:28 AM

My heart goes out to you. by BellaSera Sun October 28, 2007 @ 8:32 PM

I just noticed your new name! haha by ♥Venice♥ Sun October 28, 2007 @ 11:59 PM

Thanks! by Tick Tock...Tick Tock...BellaSera Mon October 29, 2007 @ 10:33 AM

That's the best part of a C-Section... by ♥Venice♥ Tue October 30, 2007 @ 2:19 AM

by BellaSera Posted Tue October 23, 2007 @ 8:31 AM

I admit that I hate Miller Beer products. (And yes, I'm from Wisconsin. I
also hate the Packers, the Badgers, kringle, and will never, EVER, wear
cheese on my head. But I digress.)

However, I love the commercials with the delivery guy who promotes living
"the high life." I think they're hi-larious. "$11.50 for a hot a dog? Y'all
must be crazy!" "You just your right to sell Miller Beer is what you did."
Just the other night, my husband and I heard a radio spot where the
delivery guy was hosting a call-in show. We were giggling the entire way

So yesterday, I was planning on writing a letter to Miller via PFB, just to
let them know how much their commercials made me smile. I did some quick
Internet research for the letter and stumbled across this:

Huh? I admit I'm an English/literature major, and I've had to make many a
creative leap of faith, but claiming that the Miller commercials are
promoting class-warfare, illegal immigration, and are pro-Marxist? As the
Miller delivery guy would say, "Is he out of his damn mind?"

I think the commercial is more about catering to a certain demographic that
would be more likely to drink Miller High Life and also celebrating that
demographic's unpretentious view of the world.

I think this guy needs to drink a couple of Millers and chill out.


He's probably a "Rolling Rock" type anyway...... by Gino Fri October 26, 2007 @ 11:52 PM

by BellaSera Posted Mon October 22, 2007 @ 12:47 PM

I won't post my favorite horror movies. I do, however, have several
favorite songs that seem to fit the holiday.

1). "Dragula" - Rob Zombie (He's such a freak. I love him.)

2). "Everyday is Halloween" - Ministry (Actually anything by Ministry fits
the holiday. Alain Jourgensen is creepy.)

3). "Blue Monday" - remade by The Orgy

4). The soundtrack from "The Crow"

5). "Slowdive" - Siouxsie & The Banshees (I have no clue what the song's
about, but I always seem to want to listen to it around this time.)

6). "The Time Warp" - Rocky Horror Picture Show

7). Anything by Type O Negative (campy goth/metal band)

That's all I can think of off the top of my head. Oh, and yes, I also like
"The Monster Mash" and M.J.'s "Thriller." (But I don't usually tell people
this. I have a rep to maintain.)


I never even heard of some of those by ♥Venice♥ Tue October 23, 2007 @ 1:58 AM

Bella! by TwinkleToes Thu October 25, 2007 @ 12:57 AM

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one. by BellaSera Thu October 25, 2007 @ 10:38 AM

by BellaSera Posted Fri October 19, 2007 @ 10:31 AM

Well, not really YOU. Right now, people are just bugging me in general. I
don't hate all people, just a few certain ones.

1). People who stand in line for 10 minutes to order food, only to get up
to the counter to order and not know what they want. You've been standing
in line for 10 minutes, and you couldn't figure this out? I hate you.

2). People who stand in line in the grocery store, only to take forever
writing out their checks AND THEN balance their checkbooks. You can balance
your checkbook at home, not here. I hate you.

3). People who talk on their cell phones while the cashier is trying to
ring their order, take payment, etc. I used to run into this at Kohls all
the time. They're so busy paying attention to their conversation that
they're not paying attention to the transaction and holding up the line.
Get off your damn phone. I hate you.

4). Telemarketers who don't take a firm "No!" for an answer. If I wanted
your paper, credit card, directory listing, I'd get it. I don't want it, so
leave me alone. I hate you.

5). People who tailgate and get pissed off because they're in a hurry. It's
not my fault there's a line of cars in front of me, and I can't go more
than 30 mph. Getting on my ass isn't going to make me go any faster. I hate

There's quite a few more people I hate right now, but this is all I have
time for.

And now that I read this list, I realize I need a vacation...bad. Maybe
I'll take a twelve-week one soon...ha ha


#2 by Harleycat Fri October 19, 2007 @ 2:53 PM

#2 happened the other day. by BellaSera Sat October 20, 2007 @ 4:12 PM

I was in the bank drive through by ~Fiナ-la-ネea~ Sat October 20, 2007 @ 10:04 AM

So true, #2 happens!!! by Gino Sat October 20, 2007 @ 11:23 PM

In order by ♥Venice♥ Mon October 22, 2007 @ 3:55 AM

Ha ha...I know I'm ready by BellaSera Mon October 22, 2007 @ 11:58 AM

I think it WILL ease up by ♥Venice♥ Tue October 23, 2007 @ 2:08 AM

by BellaSera Posted Mon October 15, 2007 @ 1:06 PM

My former manager at Kohls is what finally made me realize I needed to get
out of retail...STAT. There is nothing wrong with being customer-friendly,
but sometimes a manager can be customer-friendly to a point where it makes
the staff look and feel like schumucks for enforcing the store's own

Here's one of the most memorable stories. An older man wanted to return a
vacuum cleaner he claimed he bought at our store a year before. (He had no
receipt, of course, and no box.) He said the vc was "defective." Another
service desk employee worked with him and discovered the machine wasn't
defective; all it needed was a brand new bag. (See, you gotta empty the vc
bag once in awhile.) No, no no, this guy insisted the machine was
defective. My co-worker refused to return it, so he demanded to speak to
the manager manager. SM (store manager) bent over and gave the guy a full
refund in CASH. Yes, you read that right: a full refund in cash. He also
proceeded to give both of us "girls" a lecture in customer service, because
we - gasp! - did exactly what Kohls wanted us to do: make a judgment call.

There were other stories like this, but the final straw came one night when
I got a call from a cursing, screaming woman. I have no idea what she even
wanted; I could barely understand her. After her fifth time calling me a
f*ing moron, idiot, and "waste", I hung up on her. Our service desk manager
(a tough-talking woman who always defended her staff to the death) had
always told us, "You don't have to deal with an abusive cusotmer...EVER."

I'm not sure of the details, but apparently, pyscho woman called back later
that night and ripped SM a new one about me hanging up on her. (Of course,
she left out the part about swearing and calling me a moron.) Basically it
turned in to this big saga, with me having to tell my side of the story to
my SDM (while I was at my full-time job, by the way) and SDM having to
report the full account to SM. In the end, it was decided that while no
employee should have to deal with an abusive customer, I probably should've
just transferred her to a manager. And that I agree with; it would've been
the best recourse. I thought the matter was over until my next scheduled
shift, when SM felt the need to once again lecture me on "good customer
service" and how the whole service desk needed to practice a professional
demeanor at all times.

And that's what did it for me: that stupid, condescending lecture on a
matter that, to my knowledge, had been resolved. The next day, I put in my
two-week notice to my SDM, and I told her why. She was devastated; she
really liked me and didn't want to lose such a good employee. She also
relayed her disgust to SM about his silly lecture. To his credit, he did
apologize to me and tried to get me to stay, but in my mind, I was done.

I was done because I was tired. I was tired of dealing with snotty
customers who thought that because I worked retail, this was the only job I
could get and so deserved to be treated like crap. I was tired of managers
undermining the very authority they insisted I show. I was tired of working
long nights after working long days at another job. I was tired of having
to stay two hours after closing because SM decided to send half the store
home early on a slow night and make the remaining people spend hours after
closing cleaning up. I was tired of inconsistent policies and practices, of
being told two different things by two different people. I was tired of
coming into Kohls in a good mood only to have that mood drop 150 points
within an hour of working. The discount and extra money was nice, but I
didn't need this sh*t to get it.

That was five years ago. Sure, I went through a few tight financial spots
without the extra income coming in, but I dealt with it. Now, I like
shoppin again. I like people (well, half the time). And I can even listen
to Christmas music in small doses.

I also see retail issues from both sides of the fence. Customer service is
a two-way street: yes, retail stores need to have customer-friendly
policies, employees, and access, but customers also need to respect said
policies and employees and stopt blamign the store for their own consumer

But that's probably a whole new topic, for a whole new other time, when I'm
not so tired and crabby.


You had more patience than most people would have by ~Pepe-Le-Pew~ Tue October 16, 2007 @ 12:50 AM

I have no clue where all this patience came from. by BellaSera Tue October 16, 2007 @ 11:05 AM

When I worked at the bank by ~Fiナ-la-ネea~ Tue October 16, 2007 @ 3:15 PM

Whoops by ~Fiナ-la-ネea~ Tue October 16, 2007 @ 3:17 PM

Respect by BellaSera Wed October 17, 2007 @ 1:23 PM

that's so true by ~Fiナ-la-ネea~ Fri October 19, 2007 @ 9:54 AM

by BellaSera Posted Tue October 9, 2007 @ 10:28 AM

This past weekend was my 20-year high school reunion. Good God, twenty
years. I've been out of high school twenty years.

I wasn't going to go; to be honest, I hated high school. It definitely
wasn't one of the highlights of my life. I wasn't very popular (at a time
when popularity is everything), I was a walking emotional disaster case,
and I never felt like I quite fit in. However, in the end, my best friend's
persuasion won over my resolve, and I went. And I guess I'm kind of glad I

It was good to see a few people that I hadn't seen in a long time and to
discover what became of their lives. I ran in to one guy who confessed he
had a crush on me all through high school. He also got me drunk at the
10-year reunion, which he also confessed was his way of trying to ask me
out at the time. I think he was disappointed that I was married and knocked
up. It felt good to know I still sort of "have it."

One of the weirdest things was how well the women have aged (for lack of a
better word), but how not so well the men have. Most were balding (or
completely bald) and/or grey. Many looked like they had hung out with Iggy
Pop a little too long. By contrast, there were many women who barely looked
in their 30s, including, as I've been told, me.

And I wonder why that is. Is it because women are more concerned with their
looks and so we take better care of our skin and hair? Or is that the
products themselves have evolved and are more effective at combating signs
of aging? Or is it in the water?

Eh. Who knows. But no matter what, I'm glad in the end I went. I think I
would've regretted it if I didn't.


Both my hubby and I by - Leanne- Tue October 9, 2007 @ 11:10 AM

At my 10-year, everyone was getting married. by BellaSera Wed October 10, 2007 @ 11:34 AM

I just had my first by ~Fiナ-la-ネea~ Wed October 10, 2007 @ 4:09 PM

Maybe it's a little nip/tuck by ♥Venice♥ Wed October 10, 2007 @ 1:20 AM

I loved my twentieth... by Gino Fri October 12, 2007 @ 10:59 PM

You shaved your head? by ~Pepe-Le-Pew~ Sat October 13, 2007 @ 5:12 AM

lol that did sound strange on second thought.... by Gino Sat October 13, 2007 @ 10:00 PM

Funny story about laughing by ~Pepe-Le-Pew~ Mon October 15, 2007 @ 3:11 AM

You haven't hijacked anything. by BellaSera Mon October 15, 2007 @ 11:24 AM

Don't worry by ~Pepe-Le-Pew~ Tue October 16, 2007 @ 12:40 AM

And I'll help too;) n/t by Gino Tue October 16, 2007 @ 10:40 PM

by BellaSera Posted Wed October 3, 2007 @ 8:27 AM

As most of you know, I have two cats. What I find fascinating is that they
seem to live under rules that are feline-created and feline-enforced.

Rule #1: Lolly is dominant. I don't know if she dominates by being the
first cat or by sheer size. She's not overly aggressive about it, but she's
pretty good at letting Jez know this is HER house, and she only lets Jez
live here out of the goodness of her heart.

Because Lolly is dominant, she is the first to try new things. When I put
in a water fountain for them to drink, Lolly was the first to try it out.
Lolly also gets fed first, gets a treat first, and gets greeted first when
I walk in the door.

Rule #2: Also, because Lolly is dominant, everything belongs to her. A few
weeks ago, I bought a crinkle tunnel at Target for both of them to play on.
It is now "Lolly's toy." Jez can look at it and even walk by it, but she
can't play in it. If she does, she gets pounced on.

Rule #3: The one-cat rule. This is one of the funniest rules of the house.
It states that only cat can be in a given area at one time. If Jez is
sleeping in the bedroom, then Lolly sleeps elsewhere. If Lolly is curled up
by me on the couch, Jez has to find somewhere else to curl up.

Every year I put a Christmas tree up, and though there's plenty of room for
both of them to sit under it, only one cat can be under the tree at a time.
This causes tension, especially when one cat is hogging the space. The
other cat then must assert her turn to sit under it, at which point a
fight breaks out. At least once a season, that tree goes down.

There are exceptions, though. During colder months, both cats can be found
curled up on our bed. They won't curl up together, but will be close enough
for touching. Sometimes Lolly will allow Jez to sleep on top of the couch
while Lolly and I are curled up on it.

And sometimes there are downright flagrant violations. My MIL bought us a
stroller for Junior, and I put the open box in the middle of the living
room for the cats to play in. Just now, Lolly was sitting in it when Jez
decided it was her box too. BAM! It's Kitty Smackdown in the box.

Cats are cool.


Kitty Smackdown! by Harleycat Thu October 4, 2007 @ 3:56 PM

by BellaSera Posted Thu September 27, 2007 @ 1:14 PM

The annual International Film Festival is happening in Milwaukee, and last
night, after deciding my husband and I needed some culture beyond Law &
Order reruns, I dragged him to a local theater to see the movie "Control",
a film about doomed singer and writer Ian Curtis.

Some background on Ian Curtis: he was the lead singer and songwriter of a
British band called Joy Division. (After his death, the members reformed as
New Order.) JD wasn't too big in the U.S. (Curtis died two days before they
were supposed to embark on their first, albeit brief, US tour), but they
had gained quite a bit of fame in Britain.

JD was anything but "joyous." Curtis wrote a lot of dark lyrics about
death, alienation, isolation, you know, happy stuff like that. When I was
an angst-ridden teenager in the 80s, I listened to a lot of JD. Curtis was
a depressed epileptic who sometimes even had seizures on stage. Finally,
overpowered by the pressures of life, fame, and probably everything else,
he hung himself.

The movie itself was great. Filmed in black and white, it painted a bleak
portrait of a man who although he sought it was probably never quite
comfortable with his growing notoriety. The acting was dead on; my only
complaint was that not a lot of attention was paid to his earlier years.
And of course the music was phenomenal.

But later, as I thought about the movie, I thought, "What a frickin'
waste." Here was a very talented writer (not to mention singer), and he
killed himself. While probably lending to his enigmatic persona, I think he
did a disservice to himself, his family, his friends, and music fans like
myself, by depriving us of even more music. Jerk.

When I was in my last year of college, a good friend of mine committed
suicide. He was a talented artist, another "tortured soul" type, and again,
what a waste. What he could've accomplished had he lived.


Have you seen "24 Hour Party People"? by RedheadWGlasses Thu September 27, 2007 @ 7:51 PM

No, but I've heard of it. by BellaSera Fri September 28, 2007 @ 9:04 AM

I would probably like it by ♥Venice♥ Fri September 28, 2007 @ 4:35 PM

by BellaSera Posted Tue September 25, 2007 @ 6:54 PM

I'd like to compliment Mother Nature on creating fall.

Fall is my favorite season. I love the turning of the leaves and the smell
of those same leaves falling on a warm day. My favorite drive is down Lake
Drive in Milwaukee, the mansion-laden, long-winding road going around Lake
Michigan. The tree-lined streets are filled with color and the leaves
blowing across the street.

Also, this year, I really appreciate the cooler weather! :)

Next week starts October, my favorite month. This is the month where the
leaves really start to turn in southern Wisconsin. It's also the month I
met my husband, the month we got married in, the month of his birthday
(he's going to be 40..ha ha), and the month of my favorite holiday:

Soon my husband and I will carve pumpkins (yeah, we still do kid stuff like
that) and gorge ourselves on baked pumpkin seeds and scary movies. I even
thought of dressing the cats up, just to irritate them, but then decided
they're facing enough torture in the coming months.

And who knows? Perhaps October will hold another surprise...

The Milwaukee Bucks will soon be opening another basketball season. Go

Pumpkins and squash are now in season, and everything is made with
pumpkins: pumpkin pie, pumpkin shakes at Culvers, pumpkin custard. My only
complaint is that I can't indulge in my favorite beer: Lakefront Brewery's
Pumpkin Beer. (It's not as gross as it sounds).

Well that and I have to listen to everyone is Wisconsin talking about the
damn Packers for the next six months.


Fall by - Leanne- Wed September 26, 2007 @ 9:01 AM

Dressing Up Cats.. by Harleycat Wed September 26, 2007 @ 10:46 AM

by BellaSera Posted Fri September 21, 2007 @ 1:00 PM

I've heard people say (experts and laymen) that boy cats are more
affectionate than girl cats. I've also read articles that claim this same
thing, and I'm wondering if it's true.

I have two female cats. They're very sweet and affectionate in their own
way, but it's on their own terms. For example, I can pick both up but can
only hold them for short periods (like two minutes at most). They both will
curl up and sleep near me when it's cold out, but neither is what I call a
"lap cat" otherwise. Lolly will follow me around the house, but she'll
never just jump in my lap to be petted, and God forbid I try to hold in my
lap. I'm just asking for a clawing then.

Everyone I know with male cats swears their male cats are more affectionate
and easy going than their females. One of my closest friends said her males
have always been the sweetest, gentlest creatures, while her females have
been more aloof.

A few years ago, there was a feral female cat wandering around our
neighborhood who was constantly pregnant. I contacted our local
trap/neuter-spay/release group about getting her spayed so she wouldn't
continually bring unwanted (and ultimately doomed) kittens in to the world.

The group leader and I set up an appointment to meet and work on trapping
the kitty, but as she said, "The females are harder to catch. They're more
wary and tend to shy away from anything they're not sure of. The boys are
easier. They're dumber and just walk right in to the traps." ("Ha
ha...that's true of most species, isn't it?" was my response.)

And if this is true for cats, is it true for other animals as well?


It's true by LadyMac Fri September 21, 2007 @ 1:10 PM

One more thing by LadyMac Fri September 21, 2007 @ 2:14 PM

Now he's sitting here by LadyMac Fri September 21, 2007 @ 2:45 PM

Hi Cheeto! by BellaSera Fri September 21, 2007 @ 2:56 PM

I told you he was needy (n/t) by LadyMac Fri September 21, 2007 @ 3:08 PM

We only have females.. by Harleycat Fri September 21, 2007 @ 3:22 PM

Lolly also likes tummy rubs. by BellaSera Fri September 21, 2007 @ 3:48 PM

NEVER :) by - Leanne- Sun September 23, 2007 @ 1:53 PM

Yeah, I know. by BellaSera Tue September 25, 2007 @ 10:36 AM

by BellaSera Posted Mon September 17, 2007 @ 1:51 PM

My MIL has yet to give me clothing I've liked.

The problem is that she picks out clothing that SHE likes and that SHE
would wear. However, she's a 5'1", 72-year-old conservative dresser who
looks wonderful in pastels. On the other hand, I'm a 5'6", 30ish woman who
is NOT a conservative dresser, not to mention I have reddish hair and green
eyes and look like crap in pastels.

The first year my husband and I were dating, she gave me a purple
turtleneck sweater. Now, that's not so bad, except it was two sizes too
small, especially across the chest. After the holidays, I asked my husband
to ask her for the receipt, only to be told that she gets insulted when
asked for a receipt. Fine. Goodwill received a brand new sweater that year
as a donation.

The following year I received a pair of camel-colored pants with a matching
top. The pants weren't too bad except they were fleece. The top, on the
other hand, had dainty embroidered flowers going across the front. Does
anyone remember Garanminals? That's what the outfit reminded me of. She
couldn't have picked anything so far from my taste if she tried. Goodwill
received another brand new outfit that year.

Last year we went shopping, and I made a huge point of picking up styles of
clothing and colors I liked. She even noted that I tend to wear a lot of
darker colors. What did I get that Christmas? A high-necked sweater in
pastel blue. She did at least give me the gift receipt, so maybe she's
catching on.

I know that I sound bitchy and unappreciative; sorry. She does buy
wonderful non-clothing gifts that I've loved. But I just find it so
humorous that a woman who sees me several times a year, and even notices
that I like darker colors, can consistently pick out the one thing that I'm
guaranteed to hate and not wear.

I think she does it on purpose.


I understand your dilemma by - Leanne- Mon September 17, 2007 @ 8:37 PM

I Understand Too! by Harleycat Tue September 18, 2007 @ 9:27 AM

OMG by - Leanne- Tue September 18, 2007 @ 11:09 AM

I don't do "cutsie" either by BellaSera Tue September 18, 2007 @ 8:07 PM

Btw by - Leanne- Wed September 19, 2007 @ 12:07 PM

She won't by BellaSera Wed September 19, 2007 @ 1:09 PM

So she seems like by - Leanne- Wed September 19, 2007 @ 2:48 PM

Speaking of gifts from in-laws... by Blackrack Thu September 20, 2007 @ 9:36 AM

"I think she does it on purpose" by ♥Venice♥ Tue September 25, 2007 @ 4:55 AM

by BellaSera Posted Tue September 11, 2007 @ 8:33 PM

Or here we go again.

I admit I've only been posting a few months, and I'm sure I'm not the first
one to rant about this. But really, what is the big deal about Target not
allowing the Salvation Army on their property? Target is not the only
retailer in the world; there are plenty of others who let the SA in. And if
you really want to support the SA, you can always donate directly.

If someone really, truly opposes Target's decision to disallow the SA, then
they can exercise their consumer right not to shop there. What irritates me
to no end though is when someone, like a recent letter writer, gets all in
huff over a corporation's policies when their consumer choice is simple.
Target is not a church.

By the way, Milwaukee must be full of heathens because the Targets around
me are always packed around Christmas, SA or not. If they're losing
business, they have a funny way of displaying it.

As for saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas", again, what is
the big deal? I don't consider myself a Christian, yet I can handle hearing
and even saying "Merry Christmas" to someone. Heck, I even celebrate the
holiday as a way to spend time with my family. (Okay, fine; the presents
are a good incentive, too.)

I live in an area of Milwaukee that has a high Jewish population. You're
more likely to see a synagogue on every corner than you are a church. Yet,
despite the well-known Jewish population, our area is still adorned with
all the Christmas trappings and blatant advertising. Not once has any
Jewish person wrote a letter to the editor or protested outside a business
advertising for what is basically a Christian holiday. Yet, say "Happy
Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" to a hard-bound Christian and they
treat it like a persecution.

Sorry. I'm all wound up now, and it's barely past Labor Day. (LOL)

On that particular letter, Beercuda summed up my attitude perfectly:
celebrate (or don't) Christmas any way you want. Just don't expect others
to conform to your version of how it's to be done.


I really dno't get this... by Blackrack Thu September 13, 2007 @ 6:49 AM

It's back! by Its baaaaack! (Compliment Week September 23-29!) SiouxFan Sat September 15, 2007 @ 9:21 PM

I will definitely be a participant. by BellaSera Mon September 17, 2007 @ 1:31 PM

Thanks! by Its baaaaack! (Compliment Week September 23-29!) SiouxFan Tue September 18, 2007 @ 9:03 PM

I really don't understand it either. by Gino Sun September 16, 2007 @ 10:22 PM

by BellaSera Posted Fri September 7, 2007 @ 9:37 PM

I was thinking about birthdays the other day. I remember when I was a kid,
my birthday was a huge deal. It's at the tail end of spring, so it always
signified the beginning of summer (and vacation) for me.

Most of the time, my birthdays are rather boring. My husband and I go out
to dinner, have a few drinks, then come home. (Though I have to say he does
buy me nice presents.) This past year, we did nothing. I had stood up in my
brother's wedding the night before, and I was too exhausted to even put
clothes on to go to dinner. We got Taco Bell, and I was in bed by nine.

So I was thinking about my best birthday and my worst. I think my best was
when I turned 20. I don't even remember what I did; I think it involved a
party somewhere. I just remember how I felt. It was my "golden" birthday
(1989); I was young, hot, with a cute butt and fraternity boyfriend. I was
still in college, and besides my no-stress job, the Bank of Dad was still
footing the bill for most of my life. In short, I had few
responsibilities. Life was just ducky.

My worst came nine years later. I spent most of the day sobbing, and I'm
not exaggerating. All of my friends were engaged, married, having children,
and otherwise moving away from the party lifestyle I had enjoyed. I, on the
other hand, had just been dumped, HARD, by someone I (erroneously) thought
I loved and would marry. I was living in a different city from most of my
friends, in a job I detested, and though I was moving back to Milwaukee in
just a couple of months, I felt isolated and lonely, not to mention that I
was dealing with one of the blackest, depressive periods of my life. That
was the worst day ever.

I don't think I'll have as good of a birthday, or as bad, ever again, like
I did with these two. However, I'll take what I can get.

What are your best and worst?


My best birthday was probably my 9th... by Blackrack Sat September 8, 2007 @ 4:05 PM

I was lucky, most of my celebrations were happy ones by Gino Mon September 10, 2007 @ 12:25 AM

One of my worst... by ♥Venice♥ Mon September 10, 2007 @ 4:25 AM

by BellaSera Posted Tue September 4, 2007 @ 9:03 PM

And they'll stop going, too!

I wonder how many people actually do this. If I have a bad experience at a
company, I'll vent to my husband (poor man), but I'm not going to bother
calling every single person I know to tell them about what happened.

It takes a lot for me to completely write off a business. Usually, after
the initial incident, I'll cool off, and by the time I'm ready to go again,
the incident is usually forgotten.

Take last summer. I visited an upscale boutique in my area. One of the
sales associates decided my sister and I were thieves and followed us
around the store, even going so far as to have another associate follow us
around as well. After that, I decided that I would never darken their
doorstep...EVER. That lasted a good, oh, six months.

I also wonder how many people actually stop going to the business based on
someone else's opinion. For example, in the Olive Garden letter, the OP
claims everyone she knows will stop going there based on the "horrible"
treatment she received. Really? If a friend of mine told me it took a
whopping 10 minutes for them to get seated, I'd say, "Where is this
location? I'm going there now!"

I'm happy to tell my friends of the experiences I've had, if the business
is mentioned in conversation, but what they do with the information is up
to them. I probably wouldn't stop going to a business, so I don't expect
them to either. (Unless the employees were eating cats or something.)


The power of email by - Leanne- Wed September 5, 2007 @ 10:58 AM

What's wrong with eating cats?! by Blackrack Thu September 6, 2007 @ 5:01 PM

I never understood that mentality! by Gino Mon September 10, 2007 @ 12:02 AM

by BellaSera Posted Fri August 31, 2007 @ 9:39 PM

I really hate it when, upon finding out I am the servant of two felines,
someone will say, "Ugh. I HATE cats. They don't act like dogs." Well, DUH,
cats aren't dogs. Complaining a cat doesn't act like a dog is like biting
into an apple and complaining it doesn't taste like an orange.

So when people ask me why I like cats, I say, "I like cats for all the
reasons people don't." Everything is on a cat's terms. If a cat curls up in
your lap, it's because she wants to.

I also like cats because they have absolutely no reason to please you. A
dog does; you're top dog and his master. A cat recognizes no such
authority, and so, has no reason to go out of its way.

I love the way my cats stare at me, as if to say, "Wow, you're a complete
idiot." I often wish I could perfect this stare.

I love both my cats' curiosity and their laziness. I wish I could be as
willing to investigate the unknown as them, and I will always be envious of
their ability to lay in the same spot for hours, in a total state of

Cats know when to expend energy and when to just let it go. They know when
it's worth getting up from a nap or just pretending whatever it is that's
bugging them doesn't exist. But if it bugs them enough, they'll let you
know. (As my little cat did this morning by nipping at my hand when I was
blowing in her face.)

I love their arrogance and their sense of entitlement. In humans, I can't
stand these two qualities, but they're fitting for a cat, especially one
who feels he/she deserves to be worshipped.

My husband always tells me my cats are dumb. (I think he does this just to
annoy me.) I always say, "No they're not. They're actually quite smart.
They know darn well they don't have to come when they're called, get off
the table, or chase that ugly bug. They know all they have to do is look
cute, and that'll get them whatever they want."

This isn't to say I don't like dogs; I do, and other animals besides. But
I'll always have a special place in my heart, and my life, for cats.


Dogs have masters.. by Harleycat Thu September 6, 2007 @ 10:50 AM

by BellaSera Posted Sun August 26, 2007 @ 9:51 PM

I've always been a music freak. I know so many weird bits of trivia about
rock musicians that people think I'm a nutcase. My husband is also a music
freak, but our musical tastes differ. He likes hard-driving metal; if the
lyrics are indecipherable, it's a good song. He says the point is how the
music makes you feel. Maybe it's the English major in me, but I like good
lyrics. There's been many times I've heard a song and hated it but then
listened to the lyrics and reversed my opinion.

I tried thinking of my top 20 favorite songs, but there's far too many to
ever list here. So, I thought about my top 20 favorite bands/musicians, and
even they were hard to narrow down. The Stones and Led Zeppelin rank right
up there, as do 80s bands like New Order. The Sex Pistols will always old a
place in my heart, as do the Ramones. More current bands I love include The
Chemical Brothers and Tool.

So instead I thought of music, songs, and bands I hate. That list was
easier to compile. So here it is for your entertainment (and

1). Pretty much anything country.(Except for outlaw musicians like Johnny
Cash and Charlie Daniels. I've always loved bad boys).

2). Billy Joel. If I have to hear "Piano Man" one more time, I'm pulling
out my AK. And I don't even like guns!

3). John Cougar Mellencamp (or whatever else he's calling himself these

4). Slipknot. My husband loves these guys. They scare the crap out of me.
If I wanted to see Leatherface, I'd rent the movie.

5). Jazz. I don't hate all Jazz; I just hate the trendy Jazz that's played
in public parks where everyone brings wine and cheese and thinks they're
better than everyone else because they're listening to Jazz.

6). Jimmy Buffet. Where is Margaritaville by the way? I can't find it on my

7). "Brown-eyed Girl" by Van Morrison. My three college roommates had brown
eyes, and whenever this song came on, they would dance around and go, "Oh,
this is our song!" Since I have green eyes, I wasn't included. Therefore, I
take out my wrath out on this song.

8). Anything by Bon Jovi. Put Poison on here, too.

9). "Jesse's Girl" by Rick Springfield. Rick, she's with Jesse. Let it go
and get your own damn girlfriend.

10). Basically anything that everyone in the world says is great. :)


that's funny lol by - Leanne- Mon August 27, 2007 @ 9:03 AM

Years ago.. by Harleycat Wed August 29, 2007 @ 9:55 AM

OMG I used to listen by - Leanne- Wed August 29, 2007 @ 9:31 PM

Billy Joel is GOD. by Blackrack Fri August 31, 2007 @ 9:46 AM

I will never, ever have anything bad to say about Bowie. by BellaSera Fri August 31, 2007 @ 11:07 AM

What is it about Billy Joel by - Leanne- Fri August 31, 2007 @ 2:41 PM

It's not really him. by BellaSera Fri August 31, 2007 @ 4:01 PM

They do overplay his songs by - Leanne- Fri August 31, 2007 @ 7:36 PM

Country music by LadyMac Mon September 3, 2007 @ 11:16 AM

by BellaSera Posted Thu August 23, 2007 @ 10:19 PM

Right now I'm half-watching "Animal Precinct" (which I really shouldn't be
doing in my crabby, hormonal state). Some idiot abandoned his dog when he
vacated his apartment. It looks like the dog had a happy ending (it's an
update show), but still, if you could've seen this dog when the ASPCA
officers found her, you'd be heartbroken.

The other day my mom told me the (strong expletive deleted) moron who lived
across the street from her not only moved out, but left a young pit bull
dog in an abandoned truck and threw his two cats out to fend for
themselves. My mom hasn't seen the one in awhile (the cat followed a woman
walking her dogs, so my mom is hopeful kitty got a new home), and she's
trying to catch the other one.

I just don't get it. If you're not willing to care for an animal, fine,
but then DON'T GET ONE. I don't know what makes people think that it's
perfectly cool to abandon their animal(s) if they're no longer willing (or
even able) to care for them.

I know there are some circumstances that can prevent someone from caring
for their animals (sudden allergies, long-term illness), but there are
better alternatives than just dumping them.

I hope the idiot who lived across the street from my mother never breeds.
If he's so irresponsible with animals, I can't imagine what he'd do to


I Hate People That Hurt Animals!! by Harleycat Fri August 24, 2007 @ 10:08 AM

Two summers ago by BellaSera Fri August 24, 2007 @ 2:19 PM

I know.. by Harleycat Fri August 24, 2007 @ 4:47 PM

Speaking of fortunate animals by - Leanne- Fri August 24, 2007 @ 5:55 PM

I have trouble by - Leanne- Fri August 24, 2007 @ 5:52 PM

by BellaSera Posted Tue August 21, 2007 @ 10:08 PM

Or something.

Do you ever have those days when every little stinkin' thing bugs you? I've
had three days in a row like this. I think it's partially due to the
weather (it's been raining in Milwaukee for four days straight, and not
only that, but it's humid as hell outside). I also think it's due to sleep
deprivation; I'm getting a little tired of waking up every two hours to
pee, only to not fall back to sleep right away.

Plus, since our full-time admin assistant left, I've been working extra
hours at my job. In the end, it's good for the paycheck, but it means I
have to deal with my boss dumping stuff on me every hour. AND I'm beginning
to feel depressed because school starts in two weeks, and I won't be
returning this semester.

Right now I'm in "I hate everything" mode, and I'm not sure what to do to
get out of it. I can't have a drink, because I'm pregnant. I can't smoke,
because I'm pregnant. (Not that I smoked that much anyways, but still.) Not
only that, shopping isn't much fun either because I don't fit into anything
that isn't maternity (and everything maternity is too cutesy for my

So instead I'm going to vent here. Maybe that will make me feel better.


I've been in the same mood lately by ♥Venice♥ Wed August 22, 2007 @ 4:17 AM

We're going to paint the nursery this weekend. by BellaSera Thu August 23, 2007 @ 10:46 AM

You must be by - Leanne- Wed August 22, 2007 @ 4:53 PM

I'm seven months as of tomorrow by BellaSera Thu August 23, 2007 @ 10:51 AM

I've got the perfect cure for the blues. by Blackrack Wed August 22, 2007 @ 8:39 PM

I hate Johnny Knoxville, sorry. ;( by BellaSera Thu August 23, 2007 @ 10:52 AM

Awesome movie, Hot Fuzz. by Blackrack Thu August 23, 2007 @ 2:14 PM

I want to see that.. by Harleycat Thu August 23, 2007 @ 2:20 PM

Me too! by BellaSera Thu August 23, 2007 @ 3:07 PM

I have to get it on DVD.. by Harleycat Fri August 24, 2007 @ 1:41 PM

by BellaSera Posted Sun August 19, 2007 @ 11:45 AM

At least, sometimes,

I can't tell you how many times I've called a company only to be put on
hold forever (and having to listen to a message that says "your call is
very important to us") only to have to be transferred because the rep I got
didn't understand my question. I once was transferred no less than five
times when I called my credit card company. When I finally got to the fifth
rep, the first words out of my mouth were, "Please, DON'T transfer me. Just
help me!"

Better yet, I can't tell you the number of times I've been given outright
wrong information. I work for a financial services company and have had to
call investment companies to get forms, instructions, etc. I just spent
nearly a month trying to work with a well-known company on a client's name
change. I turned in the form their website said to turn in. I called the
company a few days later to get the status of this name change only to be
told the form was incorrect; I needed a different one. I had the client
fill out this form, and a few days later I called to get the status. Once
again I was told this new form was incorrect and round and round we went
for the next couple of weeks. To make a long story short, I eventually got
a rep who knew his stuff and told me the original form I sent in was
correct, but the accompanying paperwork was not. Thank God the client is a
patient one.

Recently my husband and I bundled our AT&T services together (phone, LD,
DSL, and my cell phone) and added a new cell phone line for my husband.
The whole process took 2 1/2 hours of a Saturday morning because the reps
either didn't understand what we wanted, and transferred us, or we were
given phone numbers to call that weren't correct. My husband was promised a
new cell phone, and when he didn't receive it after three weeks, he called
to find out where it was. After an hour and a half of being put on hold,
transferred, put on hold again, etc, he finally found out that AT&T had
never put in the order.

The reason why we call customer service is just that: for service as
customers, but the problem is that we're often given anything but what we
called for. I don't necessarily blame the reps; I've been one, and I know
what it is like to get wrong information from trainers. I also know what it
is like to be thrown in front of customers without getting proper training
from the start.

However, the people I really blame are us, for just sighing and saying,
"Well, this is customer service in American now. We have to just deal with
it." My husband I didn't write a letter to AT&T about our experience; we
figured, what's the point? But maybe we should have. Perhaps, the more
customers let companies know of our experiences, perhaps the more companies
will be motivated to change.


Customer service part 2: maybe we'll be writing that letter after all by BellaSera Sun August 19, 2007 @ 4:26 PM

Bella.. by Harleycat Mon August 20, 2007 @ 9:25 AM

Hey! by Evil Genius Erik Mon August 20, 2007 @ 9:46 AM

Ha ha... by BellaSera Mon August 20, 2007 @ 9:59 AM

Unfortunately.. by Harleycat Mon August 20, 2007 @ 11:31 AM

Okay, so I got it straightened out. by BellaSera Tue August 21, 2007 @ 8:42 AM

by BellaSera Posted Tue August 14, 2007 @ 12:23 PM

That's what my cats are. I swear to God, I have never seen such lazy cats
in my entire life.

The other day, my little cat, Jezzie, took a five-hour nap in the bedroom.
When I came home from the Humane Society, she was still in the same
position. A couple of hours later, she came strolling out into the living
room, looked around, squeaked, then flopped over for another hour-long nap.
I guess getting out of bed was too darn tough, huh?

Then yesterday there was a spider in our house. Lolly batted it around for
about, oh two minutes, then decided it was too much effort and went to lie
down on the couch. I tried engaging each cat in a play session but neither
was interested; they just wanted to lay on the floor and rest (because they
hadn't been doing that all day, I guess).

Right now we have a burgeoning family of mice living in the upper part of
our porch. My husband is concerned they'll decide to set up housekeeping in
our condo. At first I wasn't worried; we have two cats. Woe to the poor
mouse that enters our home. But now I'm not so sure. Now I think neither
cat would be willing to put forth the effort to catch a mouse. After all,
why work for your dinner when all you have to do is whine when you're
hungry and someone will feed you?

And I wonder why both are so chunky.


LOL by - Leanne- Tue August 14, 2007 @ 5:05 PM

If I died, I'd want to come back as my cats. by BellaSera Tue August 14, 2007 @ 9:18 PM

Years ago.. by Harleycat Wed August 15, 2007 @ 1:58 PM

I sometimes wish my cat was that lazy... by Blackrack Wed August 15, 2007 @ 9:16 PM

here is something for you by - Leanne- Thu August 16, 2007 @ 2:39 PM

Thanks! :) by BellaSera Sun August 19, 2007 @ 8:51 PM

by BellaSera Posted Thu August 9, 2007 @ 10:34 AM

A couple of years ago, when my sister was in the process of making the
decision to move to Europe, my grandparents tried to talk her out of it,
citing the high population of Muslims in Europe. (My grandparents belong to
a very fundamentalist, "uber-Christian" church that believes if you don't
practice their brand of weird Bible-literalism that you're going to Hell
and other fun stuff like that.) My sister tried explaining to our
grandparents that not all Muslims are extremists, many actually live in
America as citizens, etc. Of course, they didn't buy it. Later, I tried
to tell my sister not to bother. "They're in their 80s, B. They're not
going to change. It's useless to argue with them."

Then my brother-in-law asked a poignant question: "How far do you have to
go to tolerate intolerance?"

I don't know.

Last night, I was watching a show on racist, Aryan skinheads. Unlike the
stereotypical redneck, rhetoric-spouting morons, these people were
articulate and seemingly intelligent. Their views weren't born out of hate
or ignorance, so they said, they were born out of pride and protection.
Their message was protected by the First Amendment, they said. "Like it or
not", they said, "we have the same free speech protection everyone else

I agree, they do. While I abhor what they have to say, being the good
little liberal that I am, I would defend to the death their right to say
it. After all, we can't have one standard for one group of people whose
views we like but another standard for those whose views we don't. But
where's the line? It's one thing to SAY you hate black people, Jews, and
gays, but where does that line blur to where you're attacking black people,
Jews, and gays? The law protects your freedom of speech so long as you
don't incite violence, but again, where's the line between throwing out an
opinion and throwing out an opinion with the intention, subtle or not, of
inciting violence?

"They have to right to say it, and you have the right to ignore it," says
my husband. Of course I do. But does that mean I should?

At the end of the show, my husband made a rather unnerving comment: "These
loud-mouth whackjobs aren't the ones we need to watch out for, D."

Me: "What do you mean?"

Him: "The ones we really need to be careful of are the people who believe
as they do, but aren't as vocal. And there's plenty more of them than there
are of these guys."

Unsettling indeed.


It is something to think about. At some point we become what we want to stop. by Gino Thu August 9, 2007 @ 5:48 PM

I don't like the word either. by BellaSera Fri August 10, 2007 @ 1:30 PM

I really should have clarified..... by Gino Sun August 12, 2007 @ 12:39 AM

No offense taken by me. by BellaSera Mon August 13, 2007 @ 1:08 PM

If they don't like Muslims, they'd better not come here... by Blackrack Thu August 9, 2007 @ 6:30 PM

My grandparents would love you. by BellaSera Fri August 10, 2007 @ 1:39 PM

by BellaSera Posted Mon August 6, 2007 @ 8:51 AM

Well, with some people, anyways.

I volunteer at our local Humane Society as a bunny socializer. Basically I
take our domestic rabbits up for adoption out of their cages and into a
smaller room for some much-needed human contact and exercise. I've been
doing this for three years, and I love it; I can't imagine spending my
Sunday mornings in any other way.

We have a separate room for the bunnies and other small animals that is
open to the public and is right in front of the main lobby. Sometimes
people have dogs in the lobby, which is fine. However, we do not allow
dogs in the bunny room for the obvious reason: dogs, being natural
predators of rabbits, tend to stress the rabbits out. But of course,
there's always the person who doesn't get this and has to be told that dogs
aren't allowed in there. Most of the time, they just say, "Oh, okay" and

However, yesterday, as I was in the smaller room with a rabbit when a woman
came into the room with her dog.

Me: "Ma'am, we don't allow dogs in the small animal room."

Woman: "He's very well behaved. He's fine."

Me: "I'm sure he is. But we don't allow any dogs in this room."

Woman: "Well, it's not like he's doing anything to them! They're in cages
for chrissakes!"

Me: (Trying to keep my composure) "It stresses the rabbits out. That's why
we don't allow dogs in here. Please take him out."

Woman: "Well, I don't see what the big deal is." She then huffed out of the

Later, when I was getting ready to leave for my shift, I was told this
woman made a complaint about me. She said I was rude and that as a frequent
contributor to the HS, she doesn't appreciate attitude from
"workers."(Which is untrue; I don't WORK there.) The HS agrees with my
handling of the situation: we don't allow dogs in there, and I had every
right to tell her that.

But it still pisses me off. So lady, if you're reading this, here's what
**I** don't appreciate: I don't appreciate you being stupid enough to
bring your dog in there, I don't appreciate you actually arguing about it,
and I certainly don't appreciate you making a complaint about me when YOU
were completely in the wrong.

There. I feel better now. :)


LOL by - Leanne- Mon August 6, 2007 @ 10:20 AM

Thank you, Leanne. by BellaSera Mon August 6, 2007 @ 2:22 PM

My Dog Loves Bunnies.. by Harleycat Mon August 6, 2007 @ 10:21 AM

OMG lol by - Leanne- Mon August 6, 2007 @ 1:53 PM

The girls just stare at them. by BellaSera Mon August 6, 2007 @ 2:15 PM

This really reminded me of where I got my dog!! by Gino Tue August 7, 2007 @ 11:40 PM

by BellaSera Posted Fri August 3, 2007 @ 6:43 PM

I don't understand why OPs ask for a "written apology" from the company.
What are they going to do with it? Frame it? Send it as a chain e-mail?
Make Hollandaise sauce with it?

Okay, maybe it will validate their feelings for a few minutes, but after
that, will it really matter? Most often, companies write apologies out of
necessity, not because they are truly sorry. It's a sort of
cover-your-butt mentality. And unless the issue is resolved, what is the
apology really worth?

My last written apology came about two years ago. My husband and I stayed
in a Quality Inn that was anything but. When we got home, my husband wrote
an e-mail to the corporate headquarters alerting them to our experience.
We received the usual we're-sorry-about-your-experience form e-mail back
and considered that the end. A couple of weeks later, we received a
typewritten letter from the manager of that location. The letter was full
of typos and missed punctuation; it was clear he didn't bother to proofread
the thing before sending it out. This almost made it worse. Obviously,
corporate made him do it; the lack of time he took to even look it over
proved to us he really didn't care.

For me, it's enough that I let a company know about an experience; I don't
need extra validation to prove my point. Most of the time I think I'm right
anyways. :)


Hi Dawn by Venice Sat August 4, 2007 @ 10:05 PM

Thank you, Venice. by BellaSera Mon August 6, 2007 @ 8:52 AM

I'm sorry by Gino Tue August 7, 2007 @ 11:48 PM

by BellaSera Posted Wed August 1, 2007 @ 10:28 AM

We live in a condo complex where the median age of the residents is 75.
(And I swear, it's affected my husband's personality; he's become a grumpy
old man.) Most of my neighbors are nice people, especially my two upstairs
neighbors, W & E.

However, I've had a running problem with them for the past two years, and I
just don't get why it has to be an issue. The female half, E, plants
flowers along the sides of the unit, and she'll often run the sprinkler on
non-rainy days. This would ordinarily be no problem, except that on nice
days I like to have my windows open, and the sprinkler is usually
positioned so that the water goes right in the window and on to our
hardwood kitchen floors.

The first time I brought it to her attention, a couple of years ago, I
asked if she would just call me before running the sprinkler; I'd be happy
to close the windows. "Oh no, I don't want to bother you. I'll just
position the sprinkler so it's not by your windows." Okay, whatever, except
that she doesn't do that; she moves the sprinkler like an inch. Can she
really not see that it STILL is coming through the window?

Just the other week she rang my doorbell in the a.m. to ask if the water
was coming through the window. Yep, it was. I started to close it, but she
insisted she'd move the sprinkler. So she moved it no more than a
centimeter. Um....uh....that's not going to help, E. Now I've just taken
to checking the kitchen every now and then, and if the sprinkler is on, I
close the window. And I keep the windows closed when we're gone.

But now she's started watering her flowers by her front door, which is
adjacent to my front door. No problem, except that our weather stripping
is bad, and the water gets in through the crack. So, I had to ask her to
please not water our door. Again, she said no problem, but here it is,
10:00 a.m., and she's watering our door.

Sigh. I don't want to make a big stink about things; like I said, they're
nice people generally. It's just that on days like these, I long for a
nice, secluded house in the country.


OMG by - Leanne- Wed August 1, 2007 @ 4:29 PM

It doesn't happen that often, by BellaSera Wed August 1, 2007 @ 5:48 PM

LOL by - Leanne- Wed August 1, 2007 @ 6:59 PM

My husband is too nice. by BellaSera Thu August 2, 2007 @ 7:36 PM

Oh no that's not good by - Leanne- Fri August 3, 2007 @ 12:33 PM

by BellaSera Posted Sun July 29, 2007 @ 10:43 AM

Not for me: my cat, Jezzie.

I really hate taking my cats to the vet. Yes, yes, I know...if I want to be
a responsible pet owner, I have to do it. But being a responsible pet owner
is a pain-in-the-derriere.

First, let's look at Lolly. I can get her in the carrier; she's fatter and
easier to catch. But she wails the entire 20-minute drive, and I mean
WAILS. The first time I had to take her, I almost turned around; I thought
she was in pain. Then she wails the entire time in the vet's office. Once
she was crying so hard that the vet techs had to take me into a room before
others that were waiting. Apparently, Lolly was disturbing the other
animals. (That's my girl!) But at least they always know when Lolly

She's also very particular about what she'll let the vet do. She can be
weighed and give shots. She will NOT let the vet take her temperature (I
don't blame her, I guess) or test her reflexes. There's actually a note in
her chart that says "do not attempt to take this cat's temperature." She
also dislikes having her ears checked. (Yes, she has tried to bite the vet.
That's always fun.) Then she'll wail the entire way home.

Jezzie is a little better behaved, but it can take the patience of a saint
to get her in that carrier. I have to bring it out days in advance because
she's smart; she knows which carrier is her's, and as soon as she sees it,
she'll hide for hours. I have to approach her slowly and keep a strong hold
on her; she's squirmy, and if she gets out of my arms, she's GONE. Once it
took me over an hour to get her in her carrier; I had to reschedule the

Each of these ordeals will cost anywhere from $90 to $120, all for shots
and the statement, "they're too fat." But at least I'm done until January.

I can't wait to try this process with a newborn, a 15lb wailing cat, and a
squirmy little 11-pound feline.


Harleycat.. by Harleycat Sun July 29, 2007 @ 2:46 PM

Jezzie used to take her meds. by BellaSera Mon July 30, 2007 @ 8:50 AM

I feel for you! by - Leanne- Sun July 29, 2007 @ 7:17 PM

Thanks! by BellaSera Mon July 30, 2007 @ 8:54 AM

Can you say double stroller? by - Leanne- Mon July 30, 2007 @ 9:12 AM

I can just picture it. by BellaSera Tue July 31, 2007 @ 8:17 AM

Don't worry by - Leanne- Tue July 31, 2007 @ 1:36 PM

They don't really like children. by BellaSera Tue July 31, 2007 @ 5:05 PM

Well hiding isn't such a bad thing by - Leanne- Tue July 31, 2007 @ 8:52 PM

Harley hides.. by Harleycat Wed August 1, 2007 @ 1:21 PM

Oh by - Leanne- Sun July 29, 2007 @ 7:21 PM

Our Vet loved our cat to pieces. by Gino Mon July 30, 2007 @ 11:52 PM

What's with that? by BellaSera Tue July 31, 2007 @ 8:21 AM

You go to a lot of trouble by Venice Tue July 31, 2007 @ 12:38 AM

I just hope I don't get confused one day by BellaSera Tue July 31, 2007 @ 8:23 AM

by BellaSera Posted Mon July 23, 2007 @ 8:40 PM

Earlier today I read a complaint letter to David's Bridal. In this letter,
the OP says it was "the worst experience of my life" and was a "total
nightmare." I agree the OP has a valid complaint: the service sucked.
However, I think it's a little over the top to say it was the worst
experience of her life. If it was, I'd like to trade places with her.

But it got me thinking about wedddings in general and how so many people,
women in particular, get incredibly worked up about the event, to a point
where even a dress appointment can be a make-or-break, life-altering

I blame the media for a lot of it, especially magazines that continually
tout how this is "the most important day" of a bride's life. It is? To be
honest, I never considered it that. Don't get me wrong, I adored my fiance
(now husband), and it certainly was an important day in my life, but THE
most important? I actually think the birth of my son will be the most
important day of my life, because that's the day my life will REALLY

I also take issue with those magazines, websites, and T.V. shows that claim
it's "your day" and either imply or outright claim that you should have
everything you ever dreamed of. First of all, it sets people up for a
wedding that is beyond their financial means, but I think it also sets up
an undue amount of stress. Life isn't like your dreams. Sometimes things
don't go according to planned. I've watched so many friends, and more
recently, my SIL, absolutely freak out at the slightest little mishap.

Maybe it was because I was in my mid-30s when I got married, but I didn't
freak out over a lot. I wasn't stressed, I wasn't terrified, I didn't even
have any "disaster dreams" about the wedding. I guess I just had in my
head that it would all work out in the end. And it did.

That's the best advice I can give a bride-to-be: it's the day you're
marrying the man you love. No matter what else happens, that's all that


Excellent comments, BellaSera by RedheadWGlasses Tue July 24, 2007 @ 1:00 PM

Thanks Redhead. :) by BellaSera Tue July 24, 2007 @ 3:23 PM

I don't suppose that was "etiquettehell.com?" by RedheadWGlasses Tue July 24, 2007 @ 11:19 PM

As a matter of fact, it WAS. by BellaSera Wed July 25, 2007 @ 10:01 AM

I agree by RedheadWGlasses Wed July 25, 2007 @ 12:09 PM

I couldn't agree more.. by Harleycat Thu July 26, 2007 @ 10:26 AM

Your wedding sounds cool by BellaSera Thu July 26, 2007 @ 12:15 PM

We had a blast! by Harleycat Thu July 26, 2007 @ 1:12 PM

Forgot to add.. by Harleycat Thu July 26, 2007 @ 1:20 PM

Who doesn't love Steppenwolf? n/t by BellaSera Thu July 26, 2007 @ 5:34 PM

There was no incidents of hair being pulled out at my parent's wedding... by Blackrack Fri July 27, 2007 @ 2:43 PM

by BellaSera Posted Wed July 18, 2007 @ 9:15 PM

I'm asking because I've never been one before, as far as the stereotypical
definition goes. I hate Harry Potter, I think Star Trek sucks, I've only
seen the first three Star Wars movies, and I finally learned, at the ripe
old age of 38, just what a "tardis" is.

But lately I've been getting into cartoons. See, about a month ago I got it
into my head that I had to have the BBC America channel. So I convinced my
husband that, for $5 extra a month, he could make me happy. But everything
on BBCAm stinks lately (except for MI-5). So, while flipping through the
channels one day, I discovered the Boomerang channel. It's a sister channel
of the Cartoon Network, and they show old cartoons like "The Secret
Squirrel", "Banana Splits" (which wasn't really a cartoon, but man was that
show trippy - it gave me an acid trip just watching it), and "Hong Kong

But my biggest finds were "Wacky Races" and "Dastardly & Muttley & Their
Flying Machines." I used to love the reruns when I was a kid, and it has
been years since I've seen them. You'd think a couple doses of these shows
would be enough to satisfy me, but you'd be wrong. Because they're on at
times I can't watch them (1 a.m. and 7 a.m. respectively), I now have to
tape them and watch them later in the day. I've also been taping the "Pink
Panther." (As well as getting that damn Henry Mancini theme song in my

And that's not all. I actually had to look up "Wacky Races" and "Dastardly"
on the Internet, and now I know way more about these two shows than I ever
probably needed to. Soon I'll be joining Penelope Pitstop fan clubs and
writing Gruesome Twosome fan fiction.

I don't think my sudden interest in two old cartoons is enough to qualify
me for nerd-hood, but if it does, I at least want to know. So tell me the
truth. I can take it.

[Disclaimer: This post is in no way intended to offend those who like Harry
Potter, Star Trek, Star Wars, or those who know what a "tardis" is.]


One banana two banana three banana four, by - Leanne- Thu July 19, 2007 @ 8:46 AM

I think you are thinking of TV Land? by BellaSera Thu July 19, 2007 @ 5:05 PM

That sounds right by - Leanne- Fri July 20, 2007 @ 7:04 AM

I remember Hong Kong Phooey! by Peanut's Mom Thu July 19, 2007 @ 3:26 PM

I kinda wanted to be a nerd, though. by BellaSera Thu July 19, 2007 @ 5:09 PM

by BellaSera Posted Tue July 17, 2007 @ 9:41 AM

One of my bigger pet peeves was people who came in to the store just before
closing. Like I said in the Blockbuster letter, if a store is open until
10 p.m. (or whatever), then the store is open until 10 p.m. And if you
work retail, you have to accept a store's hours.

I didn't mind the people who just popped in for a couple of last minute
items. The people I'm talking about were the ones who came in at 9:55 p.m.
(or even slightly earlier) and decided it was their own private shopping
spree for an hour. I used to work at a bath & body store (no, not any of
the ones you're thinking of) in a mall. The store closed at 9 p.m., and I
once had a woman there until after 10 p.m. She actually had the gall to
tell me, "This is the only time I can shop."

Nope, sorry, ain't buying it. Most stores are open long hours. This
particular mall store was open at 10 a.m. until 9 p.m., Monday - Saturday.
That's nearly twelve hours, six days a week. If you can't find time to
shop in that timeframe, then you need to start shopping online.

Kohls was open even longer: 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. That's thirteen hours a
day. They were open even longer on sale days. When I worked the service
desk at closing, we had to wait for the "all clear" from the manager before
we could shut down the register. I can't tell you the number of times I had
to wait 15, 20, even 30+ minutes before shutting down.

I've heard people say, "Well, it's not like you get to leave right at store
closing anyways." True, but the more time a customer spends in the store
after hours, the later the employees get home. Here's another tidbit:
sometimes the employees aren't paid for hours they are working beyond
closing, especially if they are salaried.

I always wished we could run a store closing like a bar closing. I could
start ringing a bell and yelling over the intercom, "Last call! You don't
have to go home, but you can't stay here!"


Last Call! by - Leanne- Tue July 17, 2007 @ 9:54 AM

My sister also worked at a bank. by BellaSera Wed July 18, 2007 @ 5:36 PM

We got by - Leanne- Wed July 18, 2007 @ 6:01 PM

I have a similar retail nightmare. by Gino Fri July 20, 2007 @ 12:46 AM

by BellaSera Posted Fri July 13, 2007 @ 9:47 AM

My husband and I had a long talk the other day. He hasn't shown much
excitement for the coming bundle of joy, and while I understand he is not
the type to wear his heart on his sleeve, he has been even more restrained
than usual.

In the beginning of the first trimester, I let it go. I had a miscarriage
last fall, and I think it hit him harder than it even hit me. So I knew he
was afraid of getting too enthused and then having the same thing happen
again, and I figured once I was out of the "danger zone", he'd come around.
But no dice.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, I had my perinatal assessment. Everything
looks good, and I thought to myself, "Now, he'll get into the swing of
things. Now, he'll show some enthusiasm." But he still was
uncharacteristically quiet, even for him. So I just came out and asked
him, "What's the deal?"

He told me that while he is happy, his fears are overriding any excitement
he feels. And he has a long laundry list of these fears: that the child
will be uncontrollable, that the child will be a brat, that he won't be a
good father, that the child will grow up to be a drain on society, that the
child will die in a horrible incident, that he himself will die at a young
age, that there will something developmentally wrong, and that, no matter
what we do, our best won't be good enough.

What could I say? I understand these fears because, truth be told, I have
the same ones. But at the same time, I can't let my fears outweigh
preparing for a new responsibility. I mean, I'm also afraid that I'll die
in a horrible car accident, but that doesn't mean I should never leave the

So, what I told him is that while I understand how he feels, because I feel
the same way, in the end, we're good people, we have relatively good
values, and all we CAN do is our best. All we can do is instill our own
values in to the child, raise him the best way we know how, and hope that
he turns out okay.

This is something my husband needs to work out on his own. But I also
think he'll come around.


Aww!! by - Leanne- Fri July 13, 2007 @ 2:14 PM

Thank you so much, Leanne. by BellaSera Fri July 13, 2007 @ 4:27 PM

No problem by - Leanne- Fri July 13, 2007 @ 4:34 PM

I'm due November 16th. by BellaSera Mon July 16, 2007 @ 8:45 AM

A Scorpio Baby! by Harleycat Mon July 16, 2007 @ 9:21 AM

If he decides to come a day early, by BellaSera Mon July 16, 2007 @ 8:49 PM

That's funny by - Leanne- Tue July 17, 2007 @ 9:45 AM

I've dated a lot of Libras. by BellaSera Tue July 17, 2007 @ 7:11 PM

I believe I've only dated one by - Leanne- Tue July 17, 2007 @ 8:51 PM

I was supposed.. by Harleycat Tue July 17, 2007 @ 3:19 PM

I was a late baby too. by BellaSera Tue July 17, 2007 @ 7:15 PM

My brother and grandmother's sister by - Leanne- Tue July 17, 2007 @ 8:36 PM

Has the doc by - Leanne- Tue July 17, 2007 @ 9:42 AM

Nope, no nesting. (And no twigs!) by BellaSera Tue July 17, 2007 @ 7:23 PM

Bella, I really thought this was an excellent topic! by Gino Sat July 14, 2007 @ 11:46 PM

Thanks, Gino. by BellaSera Mon July 16, 2007 @ 8:53 AM

Guess what? by Venice Mon July 16, 2007 @ 4:06 PM

Thanks, Venice. by BellaSera Mon July 16, 2007 @ 8:53 PM

by BellaSera Posted Tue July 10, 2007 @ 9:16 AM

My brother is moving to a condo in a few weeks, and I just found out my
husband has volunteered us (yes, me too) to help him move. Apparently my
husband missed the memo I sent out, but I'm nearly six months pregnant!
(I'll be close to seven when my brother moves.) What is he thinking?

So, I decided to gently remind him that I was "up the pole" (as they say in
Ireland), since my pregnancy has caused his normally intelligent brain to
go MIA.

Me (using my most reasonable voice, which should be a clue to him that his
death is imminent): "Sweetheart, I don't think I can help S move."

Him (still clueless about his approaching death): "Why not?"

Me: "I'm PREGNANT. I can't do heavy lifting."

Him: "Well, you can lift a small box or bag, right?"


Don't me wrong; I'm not one of those women who feels she should be coddled
and pampered simply because she's pregnant. I'm not the first woman to give
birth; I'm sure I won't be the last. However, I do know my limitations
right now. S is moving from a third-story apartment (with no elevator) to a
second-floor condo unit (with no elevator). I get tired very easy. I'm
starting to have back issues. I can't move around as well as I used to.
Plus, if the day is anything like it was Sunday (95 degrees), there is no
way on God's green earth I'll be able to do it. This past Sunday my feet
and hands swelled like freaking Macy's Day parade floats. Non-pregnant, I'd
grab an old t-shirt and cut-off shorts and get to work. But this
year...sorry, ain't gonna happen.

So, I'm not going to do it. There. HAH!


My Husband.. by Harleycat Tue July 10, 2007 @ 1:56 PM

Some men don't see by - Leanne- Tue July 10, 2007 @ 4:55 PM

Thanks, Leanne by BellaSera Wed July 11, 2007 @ 7:44 AM

I'm not even married, and I know the feeling. by Blackrack Tue July 10, 2007 @ 9:07 PM

OMG by - Leanne- Wed July 11, 2007 @ 4:05 AM

My poor stepdaughter.. by Harleycat Wed July 11, 2007 @ 4:01 PM

That was really nice by - Leanne- Wed July 11, 2007 @ 5:20 PM

That WAS really nice by BellaSera Thu July 12, 2007 @ 9:01 AM

Time to "out" my husband by BellaSera Wed July 11, 2007 @ 7:40 AM

Dad 2 has no problem with stuff like that. by Blackrack Wed July 11, 2007 @ 8:53 AM

There is just something by - Leanne- Wed July 11, 2007 @ 5:26 PM

Too funny.. by Harleycat Wed July 11, 2007 @ 4:03 PM

My husband by Peanut's Mom Wed July 11, 2007 @ 2:01 PM

They all speed up by - Leanne- Wed July 11, 2007 @ 5:27 PM

Thank God by Peanut's Mom Wed July 11, 2007 @ 5:43 PM

Mine doesn't have a cell phone by BellaSera Thu July 12, 2007 @ 9:08 AM

Walkie talkies by - Leanne- Thu July 12, 2007 @ 6:37 PM

I've heard this happens quite a lot. by Gino Sat July 14, 2007 @ 11:59 PM

by BellaSera Posted Mon July 9, 2007 @ 9:20 AM

I was thinking about a question Blackrack asked in a thread (can't remember
which one) that dealt with another writer complaining about the obligations
of a contract they signed. The question was: are people getting dumber
these days?

That may very well be, but I actually think people aren't getting dumber;
they're just getting more lazy. They don't want to take the time to read
contracts because contracts are full of big words, and lots of terms and
conditions that are hard to understand. I admit that I have yet to read my
wireless contract in full for this last reason.

However, my decision to not read and understand a contract does not exempt
me from following it. There was a case on the People's Court just the
other day where a man decided not to sign a contract with a consultant;
however, unbeknownst to him at the time, his sales manager signed it
instead. The consultant sued for payment, and the defendent actually tried
to say that they didn't understand what they were signing. As Judge Milian
said, "If you don't understand what you're signing, then maybe you
shouldn't sign it."

I think that's good advice for everyone, including me. A contract is a
legal document; not understanding it is no excuse for not abiding by it.

No, I still haven't read my wireless one yet. :)


Ignorance of the law... by Harleycat Mon July 9, 2007 @ 9:46 AM

Actually, I have to thank you. by BellaSera Mon July 9, 2007 @ 5:33 PM

lazy by - Leanne- Mon July 9, 2007 @ 11:30 AM

That's true too. by BellaSera Mon July 9, 2007 @ 5:40 PM

Well by - Leanne- Mon July 9, 2007 @ 7:08 PM

Come to think of it, I can't remember where I posted that! by Blackrack Mon July 9, 2007 @ 12:25 PM

It was on (another) wireless complaint by BellaSera Mon July 9, 2007 @ 5:43 PM

I think it's more laziness than anything else by Gino Sat July 14, 2007 @ 11:36 PM

That's what gets me, too. by BellaSera Mon July 16, 2007 @ 8:59 AM

by BellaSera Posted Tue July 3, 2007 @ 8:28 AM

I regularly watch the show "The People's Court." Make fun of it all you
want; you probably wouldn't be far off. However, I just have a morbid
curiosity to watch the silly situations some people find themselves in.
It's my "trash T.V." time.

But one part of the show I really like is when Judge Milian says, "The goal
of the court is not to put you in a BETTER position than when you started;
it's to make you whole again." I think that can be said too for PFB. I read
a lot of letters on PFB about wanting compensation for "time spent", or
"inconvenience." Huh? Are the OPs serious? Do they really believe their
time is that valuable that they need to be compensated for it?

I have news for these delusional people: waiting is a part of life. Stress
is a part of life. If I were compensated for every time I had to wait, or
had to deal with a little stress, or was inconvenienced, I'd be a rich
woman. I could buy and sell all of you ten times over. (Ha ha...)

For a great example of people who think their time is so valuable, check
out the American Airlines letter from the woman who thinks that, because
she had to "endure" a little stress at the airport, she is now due a refund
on the booze she bought, a partial refund on airfare, and two FREE tickets
to Cancun. The arrogance is astounding.

Anyways, my point is that I wish more OPs would take Judge Milian's advice
and use it on PFB: the goal is to make you whole again (whether it is for
a refund or just simple feedback), but it should not be to put you in a
better position than when you started (i.e. compensation for time spent, a
bunch of freebies, etc). Anything more than what you are owed just makes
you look ridiculous.


I love watching them too by - Leanne- Tue July 3, 2007 @ 2:13 PM

I like her a lot..... but my favorite is Joe Brown and Judge Judy by Gino Wed July 4, 2007 @ 10:38 PM

I love Judge Judy. by Blackrack Thu July 5, 2007 @ 11:52 AM

Thank you, Gino. by BellaSera Thu July 5, 2007 @ 1:09 PM

You never know.... by Gino Thu July 5, 2007 @ 8:32 PM

My husband would love that. by BellaSera Fri July 6, 2007 @ 1:43 PM

I loved that movie! by Gino Fri July 6, 2007 @ 9:29 PM

by BellaSera Posted Mon July 2, 2007 @ 11:44 AM

I had my ultrasound evaluation for "Junior" on Friday. Everything looks
normal; the heart is healthy and strong, and "Junior" is moving all over
the place. I was so worried that the doctor would find something wrong,
but so far, everything looks good.


And yes, I know the gender. And the winner is.....a boy!

P.S. Poor Lolly. She doesn't really like men. Ah well. As long as "Junior"
feeds her, she'll like him just fine. :)


I am so happy for you! by - Leanne- Mon July 2, 2007 @ 8:13 PM

She's already in for some changes by BellaSera Tue July 3, 2007 @ 7:59 AM

Good idea by - Leanne- Tue July 3, 2007 @ 9:40 AM

I read.. by Harleycat Tue July 3, 2007 @ 10:08 AM

We did that too Harley, good idea :) n/t by - Leanne- Tue July 3, 2007 @ 12:14 PM

I've read that too by BellaSera Tue July 3, 2007 @ 1:26 PM

by BellaSera Posted Thu June 28, 2007 @ 12:36 PM

As I mentioned before, I used to work at Kohls, at the service desk. The
three most memorable returns were as follows:

#1: A woman tried to return an item, without a receipt. Kohls will take
items without receipts, as long as it rings in our system (you get the
current price and a merchandise credit for it). Only this wouldn't ring in
our system because...it was from Old Navy! It even had Old Navy tags on

Me: I can't take this back. It's not our merchandise.

Woman: Yes it is! I bought it right there! (Points to some random place in
the store.)

Me: No, it is not. It's from Old Navy.

Woman: That's one of your brands!

It took ten minutes of arguing, and me finally getting a phone book, to
convince her Old Navy was a real store. She left in a huff, but not
without threatening to call the corporate office on me. You go ahead and do
that, lady. Let me know how that works out for you.

#2: Another woman's mother had just passed away. In her mother's closet,
the woman found bags and bags of Kohls merchandise, all from the late 80s
to the mid 90s, with receipts and tags intact. Guess what. Kohls took ALL
of it back. It took nearly two hours to process this return as the
receipts no longer had valid bar codes (surprise, surprise). When we were
done, we had no less than TWO huge cartloads of outdated merchandise.

That's a generous return policy, my friend.

#3: We also had another woman who was serial returner. She would buy
craploads of clothes at different Kohls stores, then take them all back to
OUR store to be returned. Her excuse? She had a "multiple personality" who
"was an excessive shopper." I don't know if that was true, but I do know
that if it was, her "multiple" wasn't very bright. It turns out she worked
at a local Kohls store. Didn't her "multiple" know enough to use the
employee discount? (Hee hee)


# 2 by Harleycat Thu June 28, 2007 @ 4:16 PM

Me neither by BellaSera Fri June 29, 2007 @ 1:28 PM

That's why Kohl's is my favorite store! by Venice Sun July 1, 2007 @ 10:40 PM

No, they didn't. by BellaSera Mon July 2, 2007 @ 11:38 AM

Filene's by Venice Mon July 2, 2007 @ 4:13 PM

by BellaSera Posted Tue June 26, 2007 @ 8:16 AM

And I had a lovely time. Here are my general thoughts about the countries
we went to.

Ireland is very nationalistic. They take great pride in their country.
They walk around in green, and have Irish music ringtones on their cell
phones. All the signs are in English and Irish, and just about everything
revolves around Easter Rising in 1916. We visited a 300 year-old jail, and
the whole tour was about the Easter Rising organizers who were sent to the
jail and later executed.

We stayed in the Temple Bar area, which is the trendy, pub area of the
city. I probably would've liked it more had I not been, as the Irish say,
"up the pole."

And they really don't like the English. One of our taxi drivers said, upon
finding out we were going to London, "London is a nice city. It's just too
bad there are people in it." That wasn't the only U.K. comment we got
either. Most of the comments were said in jest, but yet, you could tell
they weren't entirely joking. We flew to London via BMI (a subsidiary of
British Airways) and there were several Irish individuals traveling to
London with us. They were all wearing some green in their attire, just to
piss off the English.

London has a ton of history. There is so much to see. I think you could
spend a week there and still not see everything you wanted. We went to the
Tower of London, National Gallery, Tate Modern gallery, the British Museum,
and Buckingham Palace. We wandered around Piccadilly Circus, and took the
Tube everywhere. The city itself is incredibly fast-paced, but after a day
or so, we figured out the system.

Then we went to Belgium via train. My sister lives in Leuven, a city just
30 minutes east of Brussels. I was under the impression it was French,
which I speak somewhat, but it was Dutch, which I don't. The architecture
in this city is amazing. On Saturday, the only full day we were there,
there was a street festival celebrating the Summer Solstice.

However, as wonderful as my trip was, I'm glad to be home. It's good to be
back among the familiar, and I missed my kitties. Now I have to go back to
work today. Hopefully I won't be "punished" too bad for taking a week off!


I'm disappointed by Venice Wed June 27, 2007 @ 8:18 AM

My dad was in Venice earlier this year, by BellaSera Wed June 27, 2007 @ 9:34 AM

Ireland.. by Harleycat Wed June 27, 2007 @ 10:06 AM

I'm German by BellaSera Thu June 28, 2007 @ 8:07 AM

by BellaSera Posted Thu June 14, 2007 @ 9:30 AM

Last week, I went to Boston Store to return a couple of things. Usually
the morning is an optimal time to return stuff; the stores are empty.

However, it was a little busier than normal that morning. There was only
one cashier at the counter (they get really mad at you if you try and
return an item from one department in another). It was pretty obvious she
was working: she was helping another customer. I got behind another woman
in line. We were waiting maybe two minutes at most, when the woman in front
of me started b*tching: "They reallly need more help here!" "I can't
believe we have to wait this long!" "Isn't there someone else who could
help us?"

In the meantime, another woman, who went to the other part of the counter,
was told that the line was by us. So she starts in with the b*tching too,
only she tried to pull a fast one.

Impatient lady: "I was actually in the line over there. I think I was there
before you."

Me: "No you weren't. You came after me. I saw you."

IL: "Well, I don't care! This store really needs more help! This is

Total waiting time at that moment: three minutes, tops.

A manager walked by and IL pounced on her. She was then escorted to another
counter. In the meantime, the cashier had started helping the woman in
front of me. The whole time, the woman is complaining about the lack of
service. When it was my turn, I said, "Geez, impatient people." The
cashier had the best attitude. She said, "Yeah, but you can't let it get to
you. It'll drive you crazy otherwise." You got that right, sister!

In all, I probably waited about 5-10 minutes, total. Hey, I hate waiting
as much as the next person (trust me; I am extremely impatient), but if
your schedule is so tight that you can't waste five minutes, perhaps
stopping at Boston Store is the wrong decision.

I suppose we'll be seeing a PFB letter any day now, complaining about the
wait time, and looking for "compensation for time and trouble."


What, you mean the world doesn't revolve around me? by Blackrack Thu June 14, 2007 @ 1:32 PM

It's fairly common and really brings out the worst in people. by Gino Fri June 15, 2007 @ 11:14 PM

by BellaSera Posted Mon June 11, 2007 @ 1:48 PM

At the request of Harleycat, I'm posting the story of how Lolly scared an

I used to live on the top floor of a duplex. My land-lady lived below and
had two cats of her own. One day an electrician my LL hired came by to
work on some wiring in the basement. He was outside working on another
project and told my LL that one of her cats "attacked" him while he was
downstairs, and he wasn't able to finish the job. My LL was worried. Which
cat was the one having an issue? She assumed it was one of hers.

An hour later, he pointed to the window and said, "That's the cat that
attacked me!" There sat Lolly, a 1 1/2 year-old kitty, not even quite full
grown. She was nonchalently licking her paws, quite unware of the fear she
instilled in him. Apparently, she backed him in a corner in the basement,
hissing and growling. My LL had to put her upstairs in my apartment and
close the door, so the guy could finish the work in the basement. She told
me the whole story, laughing, when I came home from work.

I still think some of the story is exaggerated; she's normally a nice,
people-loving cat. But then again, she's also the kitty who, upon being
picked up for the first time by my friend who gave her to me, hissed and
spit at him.

What can I say? That's my girl! :)


That's a great story! by Harleycat Tue June 12, 2007 @ 8:24 AM

That is pretty funny by Venice Wed June 13, 2007 @ 6:03 PM

Maybe.. by Harleycat Thu June 14, 2007 @ 8:54 AM

Haha... that's exactly how it was! by Venice Fri June 15, 2007 @ 5:26 AM

Another funny story by BellaSera Thu June 14, 2007 @ 9:12 AM