Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Cynic

For me, today is just another day. A Tuesday where I woke up at 5:45am, rolled my lazy ass out of bed, got ready, and went to work. Other than the fact that's it's Tuesday, it's no different than yesterday or tomorrow. 


When I was younger, I LOVED today....Valentine's Day. I looked forward to the candy grams delivered to each class, in hopes to get one from a boy I liked. I loved making the boxes for other classmates to fill with homemade Valentine's (or made by their mom's). 


As I got older, I become more and more disappointed by this day. It seems like every year, right around this time, something bad happens. I'm either single (bad enough on it's own), about to be dumped, about to be dumping, just dumped, or just jumped someone else. I don't know what it is! It's like fate knows it's coming and feels the need to throw some negative feelings my way. Like it says "hey..Britni...you really don't like him do you?" or "It's okay he doesn't want to be with you...you're better off" (every girl hates hearing this. As much as it may be right, it's never what we want to hear right after being added to the population of Dumpsville). It's just not. 


The only thing that's stayed consistent is the box of chocolates from my mom. :) That said, no more lovely, dovey GAG me Valentine's Day celebrations for me. 


Instead...


I'm going to celebrate Tuesday, and remind myself that there should never be just ONE day dedicated to love... it should be every day. I'm lucky to have some pretty fantastic people in my life, and I will try as often as I can to let them know that I love them!


Photo Credit

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Living in New Pool Hell

Let me start out by saying this: I'm in the market for a pool. My situation may be unique, and I have the information I need to back it up. I have been hunting down every pool company in Arizona for the past few weeks, have met with several, and received shitty customer service from nearly all of them. To this day (almost three weeks later), I still only have ONE design. What I can't quite understand is why a pool company, that could potentially earn $30,000+ from my business, would want to treat someone so horribly. 


Is it because I'm just a number to most? Probably. 


Does that completely let them off the hook for treating someone with respect? Absolutely not. 


I'm the type of person, that, before ANYTHING happens that's locked down for good (like moving into a new home, or building a pool in the current home), I want to know everything. Thus... I sent the email below to Tom Moebius, from Arizona Pool Builders.  I may have stretched the truth a tad with how far along we are in the process, but nonetheless, he knows no different.


Email I sent to him yesterday:

Hi There!

I've been having a rough time getting estimates for a pool and some landscaping, and I'm hoping you can help. 

Here's the scoop:

We're building a house, it will be completed in June. It hasn't broken ground yet, but we do have a plot plan. The builder has given us permission to build the pool before COE, so it can be done in a reasonable amount of time after we do actually close. 

We're looking for this:
  • A unique pool, geometric or free-form, with fire-wok pots, room to lay 4 large chairs, and some form of water feature (not a fan of rock waterfalls). In-ground cleaners, pebbletec (or sheen), LED lighting, and a cartridge filter.
  • We also need front and backyard landscaping. In the back, we'd like a place for a firepit, and grass for the two pups. In the front, we are hoping to add to the pavers the building will lay to extend the patio, and do NOT want grass in the front. 
I'd love to have you out to our current home, to talk some numbers, design, and get an estimate. We're available in the evenings (6pm and later), or on the weekends. Let me know if you have any time available.

THANK YOU!

Britni

And HERE ladies and gentledudes, is the email I received back from Tom this morning:

Hi Britni...

Two items: XXXX HOME BUILDER will not allow another pool company outside their own contractual signed pool company, to build prior to a C.O., {Certificate of Occupancy}. If  another pool company does build, the house does not close, the pool company who built the pool is paid by whom?   XXXX HOME BUILDER  will not pay, and what happens if in the next 5 months you may not have the funds to pay and close escrow?  The pool company loses. The bank or finance company for you will not pay the pool company until they have a certificate of occupancy.  That means during construction the pool company is really financing your pool until they are paid, and pool companies are not in the finance business; especially when there is no guarantee they will ever get paid.

Two: If  XXXX HOME BUILDER  actually does allow an outside-pool-company to build prior to the C.O.,  XXXX HOME BUILDER would have to subordinate the land ownership to the outside pool builder.  This would protect the pool company; the pool company otherwise may never get paid. Why?  Because any new buyer of the land, other then you, may not like the pool, and want it changed or removed.

XXXX HOME BUILDER  gets paid a fee from the pool company they use and suggest; that pool company has that fee in their bid to you.  You will pay the additional dollars then if built by another pool company after your house is completed. Common pool companies are like Shasta, Presidential and Paddock who have signed contracts with Builders, and chances are that you are just comparing the price they have given you already.  This also applies to landscape companies.  There are 'tons of landscape companies' out there who will really discount the cost after the house is completed, as they have no business going on right now.

I hope this helps you out.  As far as my company, Arizona Pool Builders, I only build high end pools.  Meaning, my last 2 pools built in other states, Texas, were $1.2 million and $780 thousand. Currently build one on the Gulf of Mexico.  I do not build pools under $300 thousand.  Appreciate the offer however... Good Luck... Tom 

My response to that (OKAY, OKAY, I'll admit.. I got a bit snappy...)

Wow. 

1. You're an asshole. 
2. It's not what you know, it's who you know, and I happen to be friends with one of the executives at  XXXX HOME BUILDER 
3. You have no idea what my budget or financial situation is. 

Thanks for proving to me that customer service is dead. 


His response, yet again:

Subject: Re: New Pool & Landscaping
From: britni.jackson@gmail.com
Date: Tue, 7 Feb 2012 07:56:29 -0700
To: tommoebius@hotmail.com


Wow. 

1. You're an asshole. You must be a democrat.. or very young and stupid, immature in your language.
2. It's not what you know, it's who you know, and I happen to be friends .... WOW ... with one of the executives at XXXX HOME BUILDER. Oh, that will provide security for a pool company... did they tell you how the pool builder is protected when you do not own the land?  Prime example, it should be 'what you know'....
3. You have no idea what my budget or financial situation is. If buying a XXXX HOMEBUILDER home, you are not building a $300,000 pool...
Thanks for proving to me that customer service is dead. Why I use to build only expensive high end pools, the intelligence level of the customer; well you get the point.

Good luck.... Thanks... I do not need luck, like you do... it is because what I know  that puts me in the top 1% of income in the USA and the World... AND, I was just trying to help you out ... I did not tell you I retired and shut the pool company down 3 years ago; was no need to, as I explained my minimum cost on pools.  I have 4 homes in different countries, no mortgages ... just because it is what I know.
What does COE stand for, below in your writings??? Certificate of Education?


Britni


Me again:
Britni Jackson
12:06 PM (44 minutes ago)


to tom
Feel better about tooting your own horn there? 

You certainly make a LOT of assumptions about someone you don't know.

See here:
What is Close of Escrow (COE)?
Close of Escrow, COE for short, is the conclusion of a real estate sale when all the requirements of the contract are met by both parties. At COE the title of the property is transferred to the buyer and funds are transferred to the appropriate parties (seller, brokers, seller's lender, etc.).

Thanks.

Now... what in GOD'S NAME gave this guy the rights of sending an email like that. He has absolutely no clue what our situation is, what my budget is, who I know, etc. 

For the love of all things good and holy, please... no one use these people. This is horrible. Thank you, Arizona Pool Builders for proving my theory: we are just a number. If anyone has an incline to prove my otherwise, be my guest. 


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Difference between work shoes and hooker heels…

Where I work right now is right on Mill Avenue, next to a bank office, next to some restaurants and full of Mill Avenue interesting-ness. Lately while making my morning walk from the parking garage to my office, I have noticed an up rise in the hooker heels being re-purposed as work shoes. I was walking behind this lady this morning, she was rather large, was wearing a really nice business dress, and NEON GREEN PUMPS WITH SPIKES ON THE BACK. Dear. GOD. I almost stopped her to ask what on earth she was thinking, then quickly decided not to because she could undoubtedly kick my ass to Texas.  I do feel though, since I have an extreme addiction to passion for shoes, that I can comment on this in a nice way.

WHAT THE F&*^ ARE YOU THINKING WEARING THESE TO WORK???!! Okay, maybe that’s not nice. But really? I will say that I like these shoes (maybe besides the first pair), but would NEVER EVER consider wearing them to work.

 

Now, let’s outline what is work appropriate, what is not, and why. Ladies, you’re welcome. Here is your quick checklist to see if your shoes are work appropriate.

Do not wear any of this to work:

  •      Studs
  •      Spikes
  •      Neon colors
  •      Obnoxiously odd or high heels (if it has a platform bigger than an inch, you shouldn't wear them) OR if the heel is in the shape of a penis, you shouldn't wear them. 
    Like these:

2.       What is OK to wear to work:


  •      Modest animal print
  •      Jewel tone color shoes (see examples below)
  •      Shoes with a heel UNDER 5 inches
  •     Neutral colors
  •     Red shoes… so long as they follow the UNDER 5 inches rule



Photo Credits:






Wednesday, November 23, 2011

10 tips to survive the "Black Friday" Crowds

1. Watch “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” for a purely factual account of the behind-the-scenes happenings beforehand.

2. Make sure you wear close-toed or steel-toed shoes. Nothing beats being trampled on by raging mothers and bargain hunters. Bitches are crazy.

3. Wear pants. You don't want to be scraped on the legs by the two-year old carrying around their my-size rake for the [lack of] fall leaves.

4. Wear bright colors. That will make it easy for your lost loved ones to spot you in a sea of madness.

5. Stay caffeinated. We all know the consequences when you don't.

6. Sneak a flask into your jacket pocket. No further explanation needed.


7. Bring snacks. We know how cranky you [I] get when you're [I'm] hungry.

8. Brush up on your tackling and hip-checking skills. You better not disappoint your kid by losing out on the LAST toy of the season.

9. Keep a list of bitchy phrases to use while you get knocked down, kicked, punched, and yelled at by fellow shoppers. Phrases that work well:
  •     Yeah, you're right. You do need that last set of 75% off hand-weights more than me.
  •     Are you sure your kid NEEDS that extra bag of 3 for 1 candy-canes?
  •     Instead of buying that iPod, you should consider expanding your vocab with a   book.
  •     Go ahead, cut me in line. You look way more tired than me anyways.
10. Learn to juggle. This will help you when you've ran out of room in your cart, and you REALLY need those boots that are 50% off.

Happy shopping! :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Why High Heels Suck.

1. Finding a comfortable pair is about as realistic as snowfall in the desert. If they fit in one area, they slip around in another. If they feel awesome in the store, they WILL kill your feet automatically once you leave. I love that my toes can fall asleep and my heel constantly slip out of the back all in one shoe. NOT.

2. The hazards.
They make walking on Mill Avenue a living hell. When you work on Mill, this becomes more apparent. I can't tell you how many times I have been walking along and all-of-a-sudden my heel gets caught between some POS UN-evenly laid brick. I either twist my ankle into a knot, fall, or my shoe flies off. Whichever happens...none are fun and ALL are extremely embarrassing.

3. Blisters. Need I say more?

4. Overall pain. I love walking to lunch with clients or co-workers (mostly men) and having to tell them to slow down because my feet hurt so bad that I cannot bare stepping any faster. They just don't get it. Every time I get the same look, as if they are saying "Why did we have to bring her?"

5. The height difference.
Some might view this as a positive...but when the heels come off, they realize you aren't that 5'7 beauty they met at first...you're an average 5'3. *insert disappointed man face here*

6. The cost.
It is no secret to anyone I know that I have a severe shoe addiction. It runs in my family (really). My predicament with shoe cost comes here: The cheaper the shoe, the bigger the blister. The pricier the shoe, the smaller the blister. I don't like spending $200 on shoes, but every time I do they are 100 times more comfortable. Hello, massive dent in my wallet.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

21%....kickin' ass and takin' names!

Happy Thursday all. After a week of no posting, I decided I should give in and let you all know how things have been going. Best way to do that…recap my issues for becoming a “wheat free me” and let you know where I stand with each!

1. Headache Demon. Normally, I’m very aware of my headaches, how often I get them, how bad they are, etc. This morning I was trying to remember the last time I had a headache that was not alcohol induced (because that was Sunday). To be honest I really can't remember! I can't promise you this is because of wheat but quite frankly I could care less about the reason and more about the fact that I don’t have a headache.

2. Old woman
. The joint pain. I have not taken any Advil, Tylenol, Vicodin (kidding…I don’t really take Vicodin, it gives me the drunk spins) for joint pain in quite some time. Usually after a good workout I will need to take some because I feel my aches coming on. I had kick-ass workouts two nights this week and didn’t take a thing. Now again, I can't tell you if this is the wheat, but really that’s the only thing that has changed.

3. Sleep stealer.
  I haven't woken up in the middle of the night in more than a week (which is awesome for me).

4. Cranky Biz-natch.
My notorious "crankiness". I would like to think my mood overall is improving for more than one reason. This week was a tough one, and this weekend even more. BUT, I will keep on trucking to get rid of this biz-natch.

5. Snack Monster.
I really can’t say I have much of a desire to snack much at all (the dark chocolate I ate yesterday doesn’t count. Blame PMS, hormones, whatever you’d like, I can't control it).  But usually I am constantly hungry. Can’t say that I am anymore.

6. Energy vampire. During the day, I see a significant difference. At night, I would still prefer my 9pm (10pm when I can make it) bed time. Sorry to disappoint…J

7. Flubby Buddy. Let me start by saying this one is the most exciting. I am not going to tell you how many LBS I have lost, but I will tell you there has been significant change in my body and body fat percentage. Here’s a quick recap for you:
  • Starting body fat percentage (the beginning of this whole weight-loss thing..not just Wheat Belly): 29.5%
  • 1 month later: 26%
  • 5 weeks ago (keep in mind, this was PRE no-wheat me): 24.6%
  • Yesterday: 21.2% <<<HOLY CRAP!!
So not only have I lost 8% of my body fat since I started all of this back in July, but 3% of that was in the last 5 weeks. I have impressed myself. It may not be as impressive as 5% in one week on The Biggest Loser, but damn it still feels good. All that being said… are YOU going to give yourself a no-wheat month? I’d say it’s worth a try.

This is pretty much how I feel right now: