Friday, July 22, 2011

Oh My Lady Gaga!

I am rushing to write this, as it looks like it's about to Apocalypse (can you use that as a verb?  Boom.  Just did it.) outside my window.  We have now had two major storms here in Chicagoland, both of which knocked our power out at our new apartment.  I feel certain this will be the third.  The power is flickering as my fingers dance across the keys, but I will not be deterred.  Every light in my apartment is on, along with both the bathroom vent and the air conditioner.  If I'm going to lose power for the third time in a month, I'm going to soak in every last drop of electricity possible.

I don't actually have much news, but I do, however, have a proclivity for dramatics.  Firstly, I'd like to say that Matt took me to a Cubs versus Phillies game Tuesday night.  Our first game of the season (I'd only ever been to one at Wrigley before, about four years ago... in case you hadn't heard, I've been out of town for a while), it did not disappoint.  As I remembered from my previous game, there were lots of drunks running around in Cubs gear, but there were also a fair number of Phillies fans.  I don't know where they came from, but it sure as hell wasn't Philadelphia.  I thought (hoped) we might see a fight between drunken Cubbies and stone-faced Phanatics, but we did not.  I, forever the rebel, tried to incite tensions by wearing both red and blue. I've been told that if you can't wear Cardinal's gear, you cannot in good conscience fully support another team.

This is..... BASEBALL!
I thought I was being quite magnanimous and humorous in my wardrobe selection, but many others did not think it was so.  I had two old guys on the train comment in it, and they were not impressed by my rehearsed "I'm a walking contradiction" accompanied by a winning smile. Apparently you don't mess around with baseball.  I can't tell you the particulars of the game because I wasn't paying that much attention, but I can tell you the Phillies won.  Yay.  I was actually pretty star struck with the Phillies, as this is the only team my husband will watch or talk about.  Ever.  
Cliff Lee.  I'm allowed to root for him because he's from Arkansas.  

Shane Victorino - he of the crazy eyes.  I'm pretty sure he's a meth addict, therefore, he is my favorite.
See?  I stole this from Google to underscore my claim. (Because everyone knows pointing at your head means you're psychotic.)  

Boom.  Ryan Howard.  
Boom.  Seth Huber posing like an Asian.  

And that's about all I have to say about that.  The power is still on, and the storm seems to have subsided.  Wow.  This is a first.  As for my blog post title, I guess a bit of explanation is in order.  I just read an article in The New Yorker (I truly am that pretentious), and the writer mentions a Chinese youth who uses the phrase, "Oh my Lady Gaga!" to express surprise.  This seems such a very good depiction of Chinese youth today that I giggled over it for a good 20 minutes.  I can just picture one of my little Chinese students, 8-year-old Jerry, exclaiming "Oh my Lady Gaga," instead of the "Oh my God", of which he was so fond.  Ahh, China.  How I miss you.  

Also, I realized in my last post I forgot to mention that Matt is leaving me.  

For two weeks in August to to go Korea.  (See how I did that?  I told you I have drama in my blood.)  Someone should come visit me, because we all know I probably won't have a job by then, and while I will have a car, I won't have any company in my fancy new apartment.  Think about it.  

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


We've done it!  We finally have a sofa!  The lovely people from Crate and Barrel called on Saturday to set up a delivery appointment for Sunday, and then (and this is the really amazing part, guys), they actually showed up!  With the sofa!  Unbelievable.  I wasn't here when it happened (I was busy doing some important work at the lake), but apparently they had to take the door off to wrangle the beast in the apartment.  They left without putting the door back on, but that is beside the point.  My handy husband put it back in in a jiffy (or an hour).

How d'ya like them apples?  We have since rearranged and our living room doesn't look like this anymore, but I am too lazy to take a new picture.  
God bless that's a pretty looking couch.  Don't deny it.  Later, the woman who sold us the couch from Crate and Barrel called to make sure we were happy with our purchase and that it had arrived in a timely manner.  Can you believe that?  Customer service at its finest.  Take notes, Macy's.  

That is about all that is noteworthy in my life at the moment.  Our Fourth was pretty uneventful, although we did go floating on the Fox River that Sunday.  Then we "watched" fireworks at the lake on Monday (I use the term loosely because we couldn't really see many from where we were).  Oh, and we went to the Evanston parade.  I thought it would be a bigger deal seeing how everyone from the county showed up, but it wasn't.  

Still better than China's parade from 2009:  
Admittedly, this wasn't actually on the 4th of July, but somewhere near then.  They started marching like this at least once a day, every day, after the Urumqi riots.  Ahh, China.  How I miss you.

Last week I helped throw a baby shower for Angela, head roadwife of UOP, for her second child.  I hope she had a good time, even though I kept winning at the "Don't Say 'Baby'" game.  
Angela, her gifts, and Aunt Bit's "shower umbrella".  She is 8.5 months pregnant, by the way - not that you can tell.  
Oh yes, and Monday morning we had a storm, again, and lost our power, again.  It's starting to feel a little like Dumai, Indonesia, where we had rolling blackouts daily.  Luckily, we had it back by that afternoon, unlike most of the rest of the 700,000 homes who were reportedly without on Monday.  The stop lights were out as well, which caused Matt to have to work from home on Tuesday.  Boy, did he hate that.  The lights are still out today, but he went in anyway, because he couldn't stand to be away from the office for one more minute.  

Anyway, thus ends the Saga of the Couch.  Fear not, old friends, for next week I will probably have some new drama to tell you about.  My prediction is a "Saga of the Car", or "Saga of the Ceiling Fan".  This living in America and owning stuff ain't for sissies.   

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Curious Incident of the Missing Couch from the Furniture Store

The following account is a true story.  No names, dates, locations or times were changed to protect anyone's identity.

About three months ago (May 7th, 2011, 11:26 a.m., to be overly precise), we ordered a sofa, chair and ottoman from our dear friends at Macy's Furniture.  At the time, we were told this couch was not available just yet at the warehouse, and it would probably be available to us by mid-June.  We asked if we could buy the floor models and were told they were not for sale at this particular time.  Bummer, but everyone knows that we travelers are extremely laid-back and easygoing by nature (as a rule, we continually ooze nonchalance from our every pore), so we decided this would not be a problem. (Also, we were going on vacation and would be in glorious Spain for two of those four weeks.)  Done deal.

Upon our return from Spain, we received an email from Macy's stating that our delivery date would be pushed back to late June.  Damn!  We decided to resume our search for a replacement sofa, but didn't want to cancel the other until we found a new one.  Bought a new ottoman instead.  Canceled old ottoman.

Received another email from Macy's in which the date was pushed back again, this time to July 2nd.  Found out the floor models were finally on sale!  Called Odette, our saleswoman (I use the term very loosely at this point, as she seemed to be doing everything she could to lose our business), to ask if we could buy the floor models.  No, she'd already sold the floor couch to someone else.  Thanks for the heads up, Odette.

Received another email.  Date pushed back until July 9th.  Bought the aforementioned new chairs.  Called three times to cancel old chair.  Got no response.

Received yet another email.  Date was pushed back to August 19th.  Apparently Macy's not only did not have the sofa in stock, but they had to first grow the cotton, pick it, spin it into thread, make the fabric, dye it, and ultimately assemble and ship the entire couch before we would receive it.  Called and canceled the couch.  Went shopping in a last-ditch effort to find a new couch that we could have immediately.  Got depressed.  Went in one last time to Crate and Barrel, where we stumbled upon their End of Season Floor Model Sale.  Found a new sofa, which is even cheaper (therefore better) than the other one!  It will be here on Sunday.  Finally caught a break.  Boom.

VI.  (I know this is getting tiresome.  Imagine how bad it was to live through it.)  Our old friend Odette called to ask if we were sure we wanted to cancel.  Yes, Odette.  Yes.  "Well, we've had your sofa in the warehouse for weeks now, and we were just waiting on the chair.  If you like, I can sell you the floor model chair, and get you the whole set ASAP!"  Wow.  That information would have been useful to me yesterday.  Or "weeks" ago when the couch got to the warehouse.  Thanks, woman.  You have easily secured your place in history as the worst salesperson of all time.  Needless to say, we stuck to our decision to cancel the order.

Moral of the story:  Don't buy furniture from Macy's.  Ever.  Even if it's on sale.  Even if it's "de best" deal.  Even if it is a piece of Martha Stewart finery which only Macy's carries!  Just say no.

Secondary moral:  Don't buy furniture at all.  Buy lawn chairs.  Preferably from a yard sale.

I miss my hotel.