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Most Europeans I deal with in email do write in all-caps. It adds to the entitlement vibe when I think they’re yelling at me.

Of course the Americans yell too, they just use syntax properly but not punctuation.

Fun times.




Hello, I’ve sent an invoice with payment and shipping options on it. Thanks!





Hello Olivier,

Our accounting is not set up that way; I’ll need you to pay through the invoice, which has a PayPal option. Thanks.







Sir I apologize if I’m not being clear enough. We do not accept PayPal payments outside of eBay, if you wish to pay you’ll need to use the invoice, as it is three weeks late already.



PAYPAL EMAIL = ……….????




Monsieur, je suis désolé mais nous ne pouvons pas faire de transaction en dehors de la facture. Si vous éprouvez des difficultés s’il vous plaît n’hésitez pas à répondre en français et je vais essayer de faire de mon mieux pour vous aider.

(Translation: Sir I’m sorry but we cannot do transaction outside of the invoice. If you are having difficulties please feel free to respond in French and I will try to do my best to help you. )







Well that was classy. I’ll go ahead and turn this into the account manager; do not contact us again.

Do you have in 220volt Please for EUROPE


Hi Patrick,

I think perhaps you are mistaken – this isn’t the actual appliance, it’s a photo of the appliance that we’re selling.

Thanks and good luck!

It s a Blender kitchnaid
So yes is a 220volt Please
Hi Patrick,

We’re not selling appliances – we’re selling photos from a newspaper, and this is just a photo of an appliance.


No, because we aren’t actually selling a Kitchenaid. I think you must have put that into your search in eBay and our picture came up because we have the word in the title. But we are *only* selling a picture that ran in the newspaper, not the actual appliance. Would it be easier if I wrote this in French?


I GOT A jooooooooobbbbbbbb. Hot diggity damn.

And now I have to go. To said job.

More soon about that and moving and how much I hate hot muggy KS summers.


The shitty cold-calling-scheduled-bathroom-break-having-irritated-caller-screaming temp job is over. Did I mention I was miserable there? Huh.

Next the staffing agency directed me toward a company that brokers freight transport for the DoD. From my long and somewhat whirlwindy interview I can surmise (at this point) that it will be at worst a livable salary, and at best an opportunity to be making some serious commission in the coming year. Sounds vague, I know, but I want to get a feel for it all before I explain further.

The best part is that I get my own freaking office. With a door! And a window! You have no idea how many steps up that is from a week ago when I was sitting roughly 3 inches from a gal whose chair collapsed in the middle of a phone call. Support your local (or national) charities, folks. Good times.


Anyway, cross your fingers for me; this could be the break I need to use my yapping skills as a living.

I’ll probably be MIA for a wee bit; I got that jobby-job I mentioned before, recruiting volunteer donations for charity benefits. It’s.. um.. well, my co-workers are nice and it’s a paycheck. Last week I was hung up on by a postpubescent teenager, and had a Dr. Schawing on my list. That’s right.. Scha-wing. Four times I tried to call this guy before I gave up b/c all semblance of professionalism flew out the window and I couldn’t stop snickering.

There’s more, but it’ll have to wait. Methinks this experience will make a great narrative that I’ll title Things I’ve Overheard While Waiting For A Bathroom Break Like I Was In First Grade Again: “Hi, may I speak to NorMANDY? Oh..  it’s pronounced Normandy? Huh. That’s cool, I’ve never heard that before..”

Anyway, I saw it had been a week since I posted, so I felt obligated to at least tell you that my absence isn’t purposeful, and I won’t neglect you forever, I promise. Eventually I’ll have lots o’ things to talk about again.


D’oh, I knew there was something I was forgetting!



So my first appt with this potential company was just some testing. And I had a relatively eventful experience with all of it that I was already internally blogging about while driving home (something I fill my thinking-time with often, along with creating dance routines ala Girls Just Want to Have Fun, to be completely honest) when it hit me that.. uh… maybe it wouldn’t be wise to do, y’know?

So I’ll just smile and say I look forward to the interview.

But I CAN tell you that in the 5 years I’ve been out of the professional loop, I’d forgotten just how much congested traffic pisses me off. For those in KC, the company is located PAST THE STADIUMS, so it’s a freaking haul from my house. And the worst is that I encountered all local driving stereotypes rolled into one: a tail-riding Range Rover with blue plates. And as we rounded 435 E to N, I was having to use all my willpower not to slam on my brakes. I didn’t, partially because I’m trying to grow up and not get shot as a result of road rage, but mostly because I didn’t have time for a wreck. So he zoomed past me, I single-saluted him, and I went back to choreographing Outkast.

A few minutes later I saw a motorcycle cop on the side of the road openly gunning all of us. And as per usual I yelled SHIT and tapped the brakes. I do that instinctively, regardless of where I am or how fast I’m going. I just assume I’m speeding, because the vast majority of the time I am. And in fact I was going 77 in a 65. I hadn’t purposely gone 12 over, but I hadn’t bothered to figure out what the limit was, either. So knowing I was tagged, I waited to see the other cop. Sure enough, I saw him pull out ahead and start to slow down (me sighing in resignation) right about the time I saw him flip the lights. Turns out he wasn’t getting me after all.

He wanted my good buddy the Range Rover.

Ahhhh sweet, sweet justice.

And that’s my story. Not very worthy of a blog post, I know, but if I can’t tell you about Queen Bee yet, this’ll have to do. The job title is IT Systems Analyst/QA, but really it’s tech writing with some QA thrown in. I’m apprehensive, but excited. Keep sending good vibes and prayers, grazie.

I’ll write about my heart breaking thinking about the kids in daycare full time later; I need to wake up Uno so he’s not up all night.

Ciao amici.

I am done with my Bradley academic work. Finished, finito, done. DONE!

(I feel like a Senior in high school after the last final. Let’s go to Shawnee Mission park and grill out everyone!)

Here’s my not-in-the-least humble celebratory song, James’ “She’s A Star”:


Tonight, me, myself and I are going to snuggle down and watch my boyfriend in a little Goodwill Hunting, since H.Pimp will be traveling (and hey, it is Valentine’s Day after all). If’n any lonely hearts want to join me, you’re more than welcome.

I’ll provide the oatmeal cookies, you provide the wine.


Happy Thursday (and V-Day to those who want it), friends. I hope it’s a good one.


Happy Valentine’s Day, you little fart. Muahahaha.

(Side note: I think it’s a sign of seriously, seriously warped thinking that I saw it will hit 42° today and was excited. A warm streak! …Wait…)

How is everyone today? We’re well enough. We have T-minus one week until we leave, and not a moment too soon. I’m already in preparation mode, but despite the things I am thisclose to forgetting (like a playdate tomorrow and the fact Jack has a school conference today), I realized this week has been quite the media-filled one for me, so I’ll talk about that instead.

First, we have finally tasted the cocaine that is The Wire (pun obviously intended), and are now planning mid-week showings with Brandon, because waiting even a day after the Netflix gods have supplied the goods is just not an option. Those who think I’m being hyperbolic obviously know nothing about need. Fo’ real, the show is amazing. We’re currently DVRing this season, and will get through the first 5(?) seasons as quickly as humanly possible. Crack, yo.

I also finished Running With Scissors earlier in the week, and I am thankful it wasn’t as disturbing as I had feared. I think that’s more the author’s detached-but-obviously-survived voice that makes reading the account manageable. It’s so beyond comprehension that the unemotional narrative lends the reader -or at least me- the ability to choose to distance themselves also, as if it were simply fiction and not a memoir. At any rate, I’m glad I read it, I think life stories are fascinating. (Oh, and I’m almost done with Cholera, and it’s picking up, so that’s a good sign. And for those of you who are internally parenting me with questions about my Bradley work – I have one book report left. Trust me, you’ll know when that’s done.)

I’ve also been drowning myself in new music lately, which has been both overwhelming and very fulfilling. I dig discovering new things to love and add to my impossibly long and contradictory ‘favorite’ list. I tend to be the kind of person who listens to things for like.. weeks.. at a time, then up and moves on. So recently my brain has been a little frantic trying to decide what it wants to perseverate on, ha. That said, Jon bought an album from The Editors (An End Has A Start) and it’s been sort of relieving to listen to it, because it doesn’t bend any comfort levels for me. It’s not amazing, though it’s not bad at all. I’ve said before it’s like Michael Stipe’s less-angsty brother. Anyhoo, I know I’ve posted this song (Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors) before, but I think it’s the best one on the album. Listen, purchase, thank me later.

And that’s about it. Lo took a dive off the stairs while I was brushing my teeth this morning, and looks just awesome with the knot right in the middle of her inherited, gargantuan forehead. Please don’t call CPS, I don’t feel like being flagged for the no-vax thing. 😉 But obviously the drama is not lost on the child, so I imagine she’ll survive.


Aside from a quick, somewhat.. uh.. beer and basketball-inspired post on Wednesday, I’ve held out pretty long, wouldn’t you say?

But I broke my own rule, because it was stupid, and I’m not working on Bradley stuff during the times I write here anyway. Plus, I got the first monster book report done, which was easily 40% of it, so realistically I could tear through the rest this weekend since it’s mostly busy work.

So, how was your week? I wish I could say in the interim I had multitude of events happen worthy of talking about, but truthfully it’s been the usual. Except *something* is going on with Jack and I simply can’t figure it out. His behavior is going beyond autistic into.. orbit somehow. I know there’s often a regression right before huge developmental leaps, so I’m just watching him right now and trying to roll with it. But his illogic has morphed into complete nonsensical now. Yesterday in the car, after I decided the snow coming down was probably reason enough to go home:

“Sorry, sweet boy. We need to go home now.”

“No! Put the snow in the box! Home has gone away! Goodbye home! See you later!”

“Jack. You know that’s not possible. The house doesn’t leave. There is nowhere it can go.”


And I know he’s just trying to create a logical justification for why doing what he doesn’t want could be impossible. It’s clever and complicated thinking, and that’s good. But more than the personification of everything going places lately, it’s the almost-terrified look in his eyes during these meltdowns that breaks my heart. I don’t think he’s particularly scared, he’ll tell us when he’s ‘scary’ of anything. So, I don’t know.

(Hmm. Now I’m sufficiently bummed. Great Friday post, Jen.)

Oh well. It’ll be fine. Just another dip in our road. I’ll post something happy soon, I promise. Or, I’ll just sigh contentedly while looking at the picture of the game 8) .

And until I come back, here’s a link to a creepy trick my moms sent me. I don’t usually fall for these things, but this one has been right all eleventynine times I’ve done it, so I’m officially spooked now. I really want someone smarter than I to explain how it works, por favor, because I can’t handle the idea of cybersupernatural right now. Kthanks.

Later, friends. I *did* miss you!

For real.

No more blog posts until I get the Bradley academic work in.

So I’ll be back either.. tomorrow.. or in three weeks.


I’ll miss you.

I hate coming up with titles. Blah.

So I was driving along by myself today, enjoying our most awesome Christmas gift (a 13-disc collection of 80s songs our friend Mike made for us. 150 songs! Huzzah!) when REM’s “It’s the End Of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” came on. I promptly started doing my car dancing shoulder-roll move, complete with rhythmic fist shaking – the one that gets me openly mocked by people known and unknown. (I’m a thumb away from being Elaine Bennis if that gives you a visual.) And it’s been a fair amount of time since I’ve been able to really listen to it with no interruptions, so I was surprised when I found myself becoming competitive (with whom I have no idea) in singing the words properly. I must have started the thing over a half-dozen times in an effort to master it. No one cares if I know the words. But it’s always been such a point of pride for me.

This captaincy of dorkdom began in 3rd grade when I won a tongue-twister contest against Mark Birkinshaw (he of S+ for SUPER satisfactory gradecard prowess) and my teacher gave me a ribbon to wear. For a whole day I was the shit in that class, and I was certain I was the smartest person who ever lived. In truth it was that I can enunciate pretty quickly, but nonetheless it was my first scholastic success.

[It was a short reign: I nosedived soon thereafter in 4th grade when I got a D in math for long division. Too bad they couldn’t still use the “Needs Improvement” like the lower grades. So much more ambiguous and forgiving, that one is.]

And unfortunately that pattern started early with me. I simply didn’t care about getting good grades in school (thanks to besting smarty Mark Birkinshaw, surely), but I knew I was supposed to. So when I was voted Book Worm in junior high I figured that was a good enough niche. I settled into that identity and developed a really horrible trait of never attempting anything I didn’t know for certain I’d succeed at. If it involved words I was money. And if it involved math I was never going to get anyway, so I didn’t study. Basically I never taught myself to work hard. And because I never found any self-fulfilling reason to do well in school (i.e., try), my grades got worse and worse the higher the level. I barely wriggled a degree from college, and I still have dreams where someone informs me we have a final in a class I’ve never once attended. Seriously. It sucks, because the feeling of panic is still sharp somehow, probably because it wasn’t too far off from the truth.

And I mention all this because I’ve had a niggling reminder in the back of my brain that I need to get the Bradley academic work done. It’s been a month and I haven’t even started. I bet in total it would take maybe 7 or 8 hours to do – but I just can’t seem to make myself do it. And that’s dumb because I know the material. I love the topic. I chose to do it because I’m passionate about it. I mean, hell, I mentioned how my type-A woke up during the conference and I finally discovered the joy of being the teacher’s pet! Imagine if I could have taken my ribbon in 3rd grade and created a goal to win everything from there on out! I don’t know if I would be in a different place now, but I bet I’d have less regret (and less school loans. Damn.). So what’s been my problem? My behemoth notebook just sits there and mocks me, and I know I can’t teach until I get it done.


And then it dawned on me today that I think I’ve been subconsciously avoiding it because I’m scared I won’t really be able to be a successful teacher. Like the old pattern is slyly coming back and I hadn’t realized it since it had been so long since I’ve really had to try at something. If you had told me six years ago I’d want to do this I’d tell you you were crazy, so it’s when I stop and really think about it that I get nervous (or I guess if my subconscious thinks about it). I’ve never been lazy with anything else concerning this passion, so I really can see fear of failure being the reason. (Is it odd that I speak of the subconscious parts of myself as if they are another person I don’t understand? Did I just put myself out there by saying that?)

Anyway, that’s the point to this long winded, train-of-thought ramble. That I had this quasi-epiphany while singing a song with lots of fast words. I am being lazy because I’m scared and that’s crizap because I know I can do this. The end.

So I think I’m going to challenge my inner 3rd grade self to a tongue-twister battle. Here’s the song if you wanna join us. Me. Whatever.

I’ll let you know when I do the work.

But when I double checked the definition (I’m brain dead today) I discovered it didn’t quite mean what I thought. I had a vague idea of a mish-mash of useless facts, and it means that sort of (overabundance), but it also apparently means:

1: a bodily condition characterized by an excess of blood and marked by turgescence and a florid complexion

Huh. That’s gross. I even had to look up turgescence (root: turgid) and it discussed ‘swollen’, specifically in regards to language. So I guess I need to try and remember this in the future. I’d hate to imagine what people have been thinking of me all these years, regardless of which definition you choose.

Anyhoo, MY ORIGINAL POINT was to give you some of those random facts I learned at the conference. Maybe you knew these things, but I think it’s interesting to learn random trivia.

1. Dasani water has Magnesium Sulphate in it. This is important to note for pregnant mamas b/c that is what they give to women to stall pre-term labor. The body needs minerals more than anything else, but this is *not* a good thing for women to drink in pregnancy, despite what Coca-Cola may tell you. (Surprisingly, because they obviously have the ethics to make only the most nutritional products for today’s consumer, right?)

2. Fernand Lamaze (which Bradley is not affiliated with, to be clear) created his breathing methods by working with Pavlov and his dogs. Hut, hut, hooooo because you cool your body by panting? I don’t think so.

3. Arsenic is used to bleach maraschino cherries (b/f they are dyed back that garish red) and an entire jar could KILL a toddler.

4. Chickens that are not labeled antibiotic/pesticide free are most likely dipped in tetracycline before crossing state lines.

5. When breastfeeding, a baby’s saliva is what changes the nutritional makeup for the next feeding. Formula is static and doesn’t adjust, and those who for whatever reason must exclusively pump their milk will most likely lose their quantity faster because the mother’s body isn’t able to get that information to adjust the nutritional content.

Chew on those for a bit; I have to run. Fascinating, idn’t?


Forgetting to wear socks for your security check and walking barefoot a hundred feet in the Atlanta airport.

What’s grosser than that?

Having your left pinky-toe slide through something wet on the way. Yummo.


I’ll write more later if Lo naps during school.

Hooray for being home!



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