Archive for September, 2010

Pause to rant

What I really wanted to post, what I intended to be my next post, was a love letter to the great state of Wisconsin and, specifically, a note to the city I call home, Madison.  But I have to hit pause on that while I complain about something going on in Wisconsin.  His name?  Ron Johnson.

Who is this idiot and why is he, supposedly, faring well in the polls?  I cannot understand this.  I get that the economy sucks, which is never good for incumbents, but Ron Johnson?  What in the hell is going on?

It goes without saying — though I will — that Wisconsinites should be extremely proud to call Russ Feingold their Senator.  There is no one finer.  At least no one who is willing to run for such a major office.  But even if he were merely mediocre, what is the meaning of the world when Ron Johnson is running a campaign that people are taking seriously?

Johnson’s latest?  Oh, this is good.  This is Onion-quality good.  He tells us that he is going to put a “cap” on federal spending in some areas.  Where?  Oh, he won’t say.  He doesn’t want to be “attacked.”  WHHHHHAT the WHHHHHAT?  So, here is a guy running for the United States Senate on the Republican ticket who tells the great people of Wisconsin, “I’m going to put a limit on how much the United States spends in some programs, but I can’t tell you which programs because I’m scared someone will be mean to me.  It’s a secret!  Shh!!I don’t want anyone to get mad at me while I’m running my campaign.  But once I get into office, BAM!  There goes education!  Or there goes infrastructure!  There goes defense!   But you won’t know until I get there!  For now, you just have to guess!  And vote for me!  Hee hee.”  How in the hell is this a serious campaign?

Once again, America, you have me baffled.


More miscellany

Aaron and I saw The Town yesterday.  I liked it; Aaron was not overly impressed; and Sarayu should think twice before she sees it as there’s a lot o’ violence.  I thought it was a pretty fun nail-biter, though the ending was a little…well, soft.  Ben Affleck has really turned out to be quite a good director, in my — sniff sniff — insignificant opinion.

There’s no one I really like on Project Runway this season.  At least not yet.  I don’t like Gretchen or Ivy, obviously.  I like Michael somewhat, but I can’t tell if it’s only because everyone is so mean to him.  But there’s no Andrae or Chloe or Leanne or Daniel(s).  There’s no certainly no Santino!  And although I don’t like Gretchen and Ivy, I can’t even get that excited about not liking them, which could happen from time to time with folks like Kenley or, you know, Santino.  We’ll see.

Also, a word on sighing.  Yes, sighing.  I looooooooooooooove the sound of Gracie’s sigh.  It’s just so adorable.  And so confusing to me.  Why does she sigh?  Ben once told me that she sighs for the same reason I sigh.  Hmm.  Is that true?  Why do I sigh?  Maybe I’m not aware of how often I sigh.  I think of sighing as a sign of exasperation or forlornment or resignation or fatigue or sometimes, contentment.  It also seems like something one usually does on purpose.  But Gracie’s sigh doesn’t seem deliberate.  It just seems…calm.  Like she’s really at peace.  Like she can really settle down and is letting it all go.  Like she’s telling herself, “Look, the mail already came so you are done with the barking job of the day, your people are both home and safe, the dog next door is inside his house and not in your backyard.  You can now rest.  Good job.”  So cute!  My favorite sound.

Music I like

I like this music.  Do you?  I hope so.  I especially like Her Dirtied Boots. Abbott Carter!

I heart sports

Last night’s match-up between the Saint and the Vikings wasn’t quite the super exciting game we’d been anticipating, but I’m pleased as punch with the result.

This is pretty much the best time of year for sports. Football season is just starting up, with all of its promise and pressure, and the US Open — my favorite tennis tournament — is going strong with the finals this weekend.

And then there’s a story like this, which reminds everyone that sports aren’t just for fun or for money or for fame.  There’s often really something important going on, as well. 


As some of you know by now, my awful Hyatt debacle has been cleared up.  At least that’s what some high-up man at the Hyatt told me.  To recap (and to totally repeat myself): We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee August 20-22 and had paid for the room in advance.  On August 31, I noticed that the Hyatt charged our credit card for $250, a charge that had been run on August 24 and had appeared on August 26.  I called the hotel and was told the charge was for smoking.  I protested my innocence and asked them to remove the charge.  [Note: at this point, I really thought this was no big deal.  Clearly they had made a mistake, they would take it off.  Oops.  My bad.]  Nope.

My call was transferred to someone else.  This time, I was speaking with the Fancy Director of Operations, Nancy.  She was rude and unhelpful.  She told me they had “evidence” against me.  She said housekeeping was emailing her photographic evidence as we spoke!  I continued to insist that this was impossible as there could be no evidence of something that never happened.  In addition, I speculated that if the evidence were some sort of photograph of a cigarette butt, it would not show anything.  I asked her if that were they type of evidence that she had, how did she know that that wasn’t from someone else’s room.  She told me the Hyatt doesn’t make things up.  I said that I don’t, either.  When she supposedly received these smoking hot photos (ha!), she told me she was standing by her claim!  I asked her to send me the photos, nope.  I’d have to subpoena them, says Nancy.

Fuming (ha!), I draft a letter to the hotel, the corporate office, the FTC and DATCP.  Letters sent.  I also emailed the Wisconsin State Journal’s SOS page, WISC’s “On Your Side” program, as well as the general tip line at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.  I called my credit card company to dispute the charge.  I waited.

On Thursday, my boss suggested I call the corporate customer service number to get some bigger guns on the case.  I did so, feeling really hopeful.  And this is when I really broke down.  They wouldn’t help.  They didn’t care, they didn’t want to hear it, they didn’t want to talk.  In fact, I got passed off to a “manager” and had only one option: leave a message on her voicemail.  My message was long, tear-filled and pleading.  I was really emotional at this point.  I honestly couldn’t believe this was happening. 

A couple of hours later, when my tears were dry, but my energy was at about zero, I got a call from a reporter at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.  I was tired, but I immediately brightened up.  He listened, he sympathized, he was completely incredulous.  I had an ear!  And the ear of someone who wasn’t my friend!  The ear of the press!  He asked me to email him a copy of my asthma prescriptions, which I willingly did.  Someone was on my side!

A few hours after that I got a call from the Hyatt saying that they had just received my letter (asking for a refund/threatening a lawsuit if they didn’t refund me) and that of course they would take me at my word and refund my money!  How silly it all was!  I emailed the reporter to inform him of my good fortune (aka someone doing the right and reasonable thing) and he replied that he had left several voicemails and emails with the Hyatt since we’d spoken and that they had not been returned.  He said they would probably still do the story.

I hope they do.

And, just a short note on the world of reality of televsion: it’s been a rough week.  Tiffany out on Top Chef and Peach out on Project Runway.  Yikes.

Here you go!

September 2010

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