Monday, September 24, 2007

Big ambition = Big messes

 So I don't know if you've ever been six months pregnant and you get that crazy urge that some people refer to as "nesting" but I've got it... and I've got it bad. With that said we (and when I say "we" I mean "me", who then eventually talks hubby into it) decided to make over my bedroom. Our new recent obsession is Santorini Greece. The place looks like heaven. Perched high atop a 400 ft mountainous cliff at the rim of a dormant volcano surrounded by the ocean. This Greek white washed village with ocean blue domes can only be reached by gondola or pack mule. We decided to do our room in these colors (ultra white, blue trim, sky blue ceiling with clouds), which is quite ambitious seeing that we have this large room with a high vaulted ceiling, I'm 27 weeks pregnant, and afraid of heights to boot.

Now we're no painting novices. We've done seven other rooms in our house without a minor mishap. Light colors, bold colors, sponge painting, rag painting, you name it. Home Depot could hire us out practically. Now besides being a major decorative challenge we add into the mix a curious cat, a 2 1/2 year old that likes to "help", a climbing 16 month old. Are we CRAZY, you ask? Probably. Plus, you'd think it'd be one of these suspects to be responsible for some kind of a mess causing ruckus, but alas you would be wrong.

So we started with the bright blue trim around the doors and the indented frame in the wall above our bed. The name of the paint was "Mary's Robe" blue, which I thought was a good omen. How could you go wrong painting with the favorite color of the mother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? The other color we were looking at was called "Filth"... ok actually it was called Firth, but the other made us laugh harder. Most of the trim is done and we are about to move onto the sky blue ceiling. As we move the huge drop cloth over the bed and move the ladder, the entire tray of blue paint unbeknownst to us caught on the edge of the plastic and flipped over like a pancake onto the light beige carpet. We of course didn't discover it for a good 5 minutes when I looked down and gasped in panic. I lifted up the tray to find a GIANT 1 ft radius smurf blue stain on the carpet over 1 inch thick. I felt like throwing up.

Ironically only days before we had talked of buying a shop vac, but at the time had decided to wait. That was the wrong decision. So hubby takes off to buy a shop vac and I try to clean up what I can. Soon he is back and we set up the vac, get out some detergent and oxiclean and turn the bad boy on. To my surprise... the stain starts to come out! As we both watch the blue paint come up we get very excited. Suddenly, hubby says.. I'm getting wet! We turn around to find that there is a huge exhaust spray (blue of course) coming out the top of the shop vac, covering hubby and everything behind him in a 3 foot radius. So now we have stain number 1, which is coming up, and a very large stain number two now soaking in to the carpet. Grrrr. Needless to say it put our paint project on hold for hours as we tried to get the paint up. Two days later the original stain is totally gone, but the secondary stain (which must have gone down into the padding) keeps coming back. At the time I was like, honey, will this be something that's funny later? He's like... I sure hope so. So far we're still waiting.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Covered in Poo, Paste, and Cookie Crumbs...

This blog could also be called, "Jesus doesn't like scalpers". See this gigantic pile o' animal cookies? Well it's from a Costco sized vat (newly opened) that fell from the kitchen table and spread in a 10-foot radius all over my hardwood floor. This is the picture AFTER I had cleaned it up mind you. Who knew over 2000 cookies could make a 1-inch layer of mess over your entire kitchen, with your 2 1/2 year old marching in her bare feet just to hear the terrific crunching sound it makes. All while your 15 month old who has climbed up onto the table, knocked over a cup of water, and is smearing a nice thick paste of smashed cookies all over the table like some paper mache project gone awry. Oh and their both poopy to boot.

How did this happen, you ask? Well technically I could blame that monopoly Ticketmaster. So after the story below where I botched the presale, the sale to the general public was Saturday. My sis had got 2 tickets for the concert by going to an actual location, where I had bombed out again at home. After she noticed how high the tickets were selling on the black market she calls me and suggests the San Antonio concert is about to go on sale in a few minutes, will sell out in minutes, and maybe we should try to buy more tickets because she has "tons" of mom friends that will drive the extra miles to go to a sold out concert.
So I got the girls downstairs all ready for the 5 minutes I'd be strapped to the computer. They had snacks (cookies obviously), sippie cups, their favorite kid songs show in the DVD player and were sitting nicely on the couch whilst I raced upstairs to try and buy the tickets. Bam I got right in and just bought whatever the hell they offered me (crap seats at expensive prices) and wouldn't you know it, but I GOT them?! Sweet. I print out the receipt and call my sis in sweet victory while heading downstairs. When I approached the kitchen the above scenario is what I found. We weren't even planning to sell them on eBay at outrageous prices or anything, just to mom friends dying to go to a sold out concert. When I saw the mess I thought to myself... Jesus doesn't like scalpers. Wow imagine the mess if he ever went after Ticketmaster...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Ticket Bas$%*ds

Capitalism is alive. Capitalism is well. Capitalism is breaking the hearts of little 9 year old girls everywhere.

So it's been a few years since I had to use Ticketmaster (well call it TM for short - or should that be TB?). Heck most of the concerts I've been to were more of a first come first serve basis where you camp out and the earlier you get there, the better your seat. I was recently drafted for a mission from my dear sis to play the role of "super aunt" and help procure Hannah Montana tickets for my niece. She was a member of the fan club and had a presale password to buy tickets before they went on sale to the general public. Since I'm an online wiz I took her up on the challenge and the second the presale started I was clicking away. The presale tickets sold out in literally seconds, with the only offerings being the nose bleed sections with the most expensive ticket price of $66 per ticket. (tickets were suppose to be $25 - $70). Thinking my sis wouldn't want to pay that much I didn't buy them at the high price and sadly I had failed my cute lil niece. I felt jipped.

I started researching complaints about TM/TB and found they are one GIANT monopoly. They control 90% of all large venues and 79% of smaller ones. If you want to go to ANYTHING you will have to go through TB. They have jacked up the prices but 30-40% after the ticket price with mysterious "fees" like the "convenience fee", the "facility charge", and of course taxes and shipping fees. They offer the worst seats first it seems, and come to find out they sell most of the medium to good tickets to ticket brokers (aka professional scalpers) who then jack up the prices to outrageous levels, with one ticket costing hundreds of dollars.

So the day of the "public" sale comes today and my sis decides to go TO an actual TB store in person to get tickets. I am recruited to try the online version again from another state at the same time to see if one of us can get them. This time we luck out. Well I don't, they offered me the very last row in the very back of the arena for $50 a pop. I think, I'll refresh and try something better. Nope. 20 seconds in they are sold out. My sis calls and says she was able to get 2, and her friend got 2 as well. All the tickets are near each other.. would you think they costs the same?? Well you'd be wrong.

My tickets: nosebleed near last row: $50 
Her friends tickets: nosebleed near the last row $60 
My sis's tickets: nosebleed near the last row $40

Now remember my nosebleed tickets at the presale I didn't buy: $66
Remember people that's the price BEFORE taxes, and about $17 in fees PER ticket

Is there any rhyme or reason to these prices? Wouldn't tickets on the floor be the most expensive around the $70 level and the nosebleeds be at the $25 price? A quick check on eBay and Craigslist shows that even these now crappy seat tickets are selling for $200 a ticket. This is crazy, what 9 year old girl and her mom can afford a $400 concert?

A few popular music bands have tried to sue TB as a monopoly. They have slowly been buying up smaller ticket sellers until there are none left. They can charge what they want, back door sell to scalpers, promise tickets together that when you get them are not together but they are not refundable (even if it is their mistake), and make a HUGE profit in the meantime. Heck I'm not against profit.. I'm against gouging the general public out of their hard earned cash. Even big sports teams have tried to sue them with no success. They cannot be stopped. They say absolute power corrupts absolutely. They ain't kidding.

Here's a link to consumer complaints against TB
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