Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I Washed My Hair With Olive Oil

If you're a New York fashionista with giant curly hair, you are almost definitely part of the Devachan cult. This is no joke. Devachan is not a salon, but a Departure Lounge that changed my life! It's a - er - salon that specializes in curly hair therapy. It basically gave me control of what my head looks like. (If you have straight hair, I hate you.) Anyway, their method and products are legend amongst the curled, and they're totally unique. So, for someone for whom frizz can warrant it's own subway fare, this was a major improvement in my lifestyle.

The thing is, Devachan is on Broadway & Spring (another one just opened round the corner) so, I've had bad hair going on two years now. People don't use the devachan method up here nor sell their products, so what's a City girl gone Vermont to do with frizz? Live with it? HAHAHAHAHAHA!

I'd been mildly annoyed by the state of my hair for some time, and I think some of my new friends up here have probably never seen it down. But it was Sarah Palin that put me over the edge. No, I'm not talking about her own stunning tresses. For Christ's sake - the RNC pays for traveling hair and make up for her - I can't compete with that shit. What I'm talking about is that I dressed up as her for Halloween (it was scary). So I straightened my hair to do her junior prom beehive. This, friends, was the final bobby pin in the frizz.

So, I'm reading a lot of Italian literature lately and the idea hits me: olive oil. My hair is in a perpetual state of dryness. Aren't these $20/bottle products designed to put those oils back in my hair? Why not cut to the chase?

Alert: this paragraph is gross.
I dumped a 1/2 cup of organic olive oil on my head in the shower (talk about roughing it) and combed it through to the ends. (I have a lot of hair.) I'm not going to lie to you. The first day it was a little greasy and I was compulsively washing my hands. But now it's smoother and shinier than it has ever been and I don't smell like an olive press anymore. Hey - we've got to suffer for fashion - just don't tell my stylist.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Pre-apocalyptic Pics

Here's more fall pics as we prepare the garden for post-apocalyptic use.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Grapes, Shoulder Injuries and Sarah Palin

Yesterday I hurt my shoulder and it wasn't a result of an angry outburst after Sarah Palin informed me that I should rest assured she'd prevent Iran from creating a second holocaust. After all, who wouldn't want a fearmongering "hockey mom" to have a 1 in 6 chance in being president?

So, today I'm home healing. I'll be fine so don't bother worrying. But I took some pics of our Fall yard to share with you. They're pretty.

Beans are still rocking. Grapes coming in.

I'm doing some hardcore seedsaving this year. And not
just cuz there might be no stores by next year.

The Jerusalem Artichokes are like 20 feet tall.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Florida, yeah, I'm talkin to you!

I know you all read this. I'm not making you do it, but you obviously want to know what I have to say, so here you are. Maybe that says something about the Sun Sentinel, or whatever your newspaper is called. Maybe you just like to stay in touch with us wee ones. That's cool. Well, I'm getting in touch with you as part of a campaign to convince you to do something nice for you kids and grandkids, which, based on previous evidence, seems incredibly likely!

Now, you're going to see the video below and half of you are going to say, uh...we're not Jewish. Well, I have news for you. You kinda are. Here's how: a) you live in Florida and you're not Cuban. b) Green married into the tribe. c) if you're last name is such that people always think you're Jewish or it sounds like a German dessert, then you're in. Congratulations. We have gift bags by the door.

So my cause is about voting for a candidate who wants to keep your country out of debt, keep jobs, make it so the rest of the world doesn't hate us (which is really pretty serious if you think about it), create some oversight so we can retire one day too, and wants us all to have good health care, regardless of if we become doctors and lawyers. (Take deep breaths.) I only ask that you keep an open mind and remember a time when you weren't comfortable and you and your friends and neighbors struggled check to check and think about how you want your kids, grandkids, and beyond to experience that. Because it's not lookin' so good right now.

For like 10 jillion years people have been telling me I remind them of Sarah Silverman; I now see the resemblance and I think I worship her. Is that narcissistic? Oh well. Here you go:

If you're so inspired, please enlist others in the cause. Happy Voting!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Peeling Apples

In an attempt to be the cliche, we went apple picking this weekend. Here's Steve starting the applesauce.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


So, what could be more flatlander than buying a 100 year old house in Burlington, Vermont and then renovating it? I guess maybe turning it into a shoe store. Anyway, we're busting out our linoleum and Formica kitchen and making it pretty. I'll use this space to chronicle these adventures.

From kitchen renovation

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My mp3 Player & the Self-Destruction of the CEO of Mobiblu Electronics

I can be a little combative. I've been described as defensive or even arrogant. Sure. But this week I experienced a role-reversal so profound it could stun a team of oxen in its tracks.

I'm not really a jerk. I mean, talk a good game, but as a rule, when people come to me for help, I always give it graciously. It's just more satisfying than being an asshole.

So, I have a little mp3 player I bought online called the US2, made by Mobiblu. If you just clicked on the company's link you'll see the website is in Korean. I bought it in English. That is to say the site was in English when I bought the US2. It's not anymore. Do I think that's odd? A little, but I already own it, so there's nothing for it. Anyway, the mp3 player is only 2 years old and it's been a little flaky. So, I decided to download the driver and reinstall it. Except, for better or worse, I can't read Korean. So, I emailed the company. I tell them I have a MobiBlu US2 and I need the driver but I can't find it on the website. Could they send me a link to it? This, friends, is neither a difficult nor an unusual tech support request. If anything this is what we in the industry would call "low hanging fruit" because the customer can fix it themselves. I swear to whatever may be holy that the email correspondence I am about to relay to you is 100% real, truthful, and complete. You can judge it for yourself.

answer dude : can you find a model number or send a pix of it?

Yeah, it's a little unusual that the MobiBlu tech support parade themselves as "answer dude", so I check. The email address and website are legit.

me: It's a US2. Also, I need to get a new mini USB adapter. How can I get that?

Make a note. I'm now asking how to buy *another* product from MobiBlu. (A replacement part).

answer dude: we have the adapter on the website (accessories)along with the answers page for the firmware

Also note that, unlike the website, this conversation in not in Korean.

me: As the "answer dude" it would be your job to send me links as I obviously haven't found them myself. Please do so.

Now you might say that was excessive force. Maybe. But I think we've all had interns, trainees, or even children, who just aren't taking something seriously. I didn't want to play games. I just want the driver.

answer dude: thanks for straightening me out about my job! i will be in training for
30 days to learn this new part of my job...

Yes, I also thought that was weird. I triple-checked the email address and website.

me: Okay, well I don't really want to wait 30 days. No offense. Could you please ask your supervisor or someone to send me the links if you can't? If you know where they are on the just, please, copy and paste the links or have someone else do it.

answer dude: boy are you demanding, we told you they are on the website, you have to go to the site, the file is too large to send as an
attachment, we don't know what device you have and you have to do
somethings for yourself. I am the supervisor and I drafted the last email

Okay, why don't you know what device I have when I already told you it's the US2? Obviously, I've already found the main url, but can't find the link in it. You are the supervisor?! At this point I'm pretty sure I'll be purchasing and ipod sometime soon, but I have this hang up about wasting things - especially electronics. I really want to try and get my money's worth even though my effort is clearly futile.

me: Hello Answer Dude -

I have already told you:
a) I have the US2 model
b) I cannot find these things on your website and asked for direct links.

If you don't know where they are on the website please forward me to someone in your company who does. If you do know please include the links.

Sorry to break it to you, Dude, but as far as IT customer service goes, this is not even close to demanding. I'm in the business myself. Thus far you've only convinced me not to by another MobiBlu product.

I'm basically trying to get him to flip to the page in his script designed for dealing with an irate customer, to put this thing to bed.

answer dude: ok so why should we care if you aren't going to spend any money? we told you the link then the data page and go to your model, by
number...there are several models of us2,

also, we do not care what you think of us, we have tons of happy
customers and lots of raves about our customer service...but we believe
that it is better to teach a man to "fish" for the information he needs
instead of just hand him a mackerel....think about it

we do not know what "link" you want

Apparently he lost that page of his script. Along with his reading comprehension, short-term memory and common sense.

me: Is this a joke? I think you will have a lot to learn in your training.

a) You didn't tell me anything in the first paragraph below other than the main url which I obviously knew otherwise I couldn't have reached you to begin with. Read the emails for yourself.
b) You obviously don't even know where this fabled link is or you would've tried to help a customer find it.
c) It's much more expensive for a company to get new customers then to keep current ones. Criticizing a customer isn't the way to go.

You definitely didn't teach me how to fish. Nor did you teach me the language your website is in. Please pass me to another service rep. I have paid for this product and expect a driver. Thank you, Dude!

Why I actually continued to delude myself that I might actually get the driver at this point, I don't know. I just knew they must have it and it made me crazy that I couldn't just download it.

answer dude: read this very carefully, obviously you did not in the past, we are

go to that is the main site in Korea!!! the us2 is not the model number, there is a number on the back of the device, we never sold the US2 so we do not know what the number is. we can't tell you what we do not know. you did not find us there, we are only one of the links there! and, do not tell us your opinion, we do not care at all about your silly ideas.

I've actually *reduced* the size of the font he really used. I plead with you, the reader, to click on the url and learn all about Tom Chef's custom party menus. At least they're in English. Also, just FYI, MobiBlu really does sell the US2. I truly, honestly, wish they didn't. But they do. I *am* known to have silly ideas, however. Like, for example, thinking I could extract a driver from this wackadoodle.

answer dude:

this is the link, you could have found it yourself as we instructed but
you are an idiot

OMG, It's a miracle! They *do* sell the US2! *And* they figured out I want the driver! Thank Jeeba! *I* must be the idiot. Well, being an idiot, I had to get the last word.

me: good luck with your customer service career. You have a bright future there.

I couldn't resist. But I'm glad I didn't because of these last gems my comment elicited.

answer dude: please just buy an ipod, our products need owners with a minimum IQ of 75, Apple will hold your hand and lie to you and tell you how smart you are

answer dude: since your first nasty email, you have been emailing with the CEO of the company. we are doing just fine with our service

And there you have it, folks. The CEO. The CEO of MobiBlu called me an idiot and told me to buy an ipod. I wasn't sure what to make of it. So naturally, I forwarded it to all my friends and the logic breaks down into to two camps: 1) He's not the CEO. 2) He is the CEO. All my friends think he is not the CEO. They say this guy is a self-destructive wingnut speeding towards a bloody end. A total pathaloge who shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a headset. One who is bored and angry and should really choose an alternate profession. And maybe should consider taking up yoga or bird watching.

Then there's the other camp: me. I think this this guy really is the CEO. I just know it. I've always had a powerful intuition. Twice I've known someone was pregnant before they told me. It's the only thing I'm really naturally gifted at, to tell you the truth. So, I'll tell you why I think this guy is really the CEO. This is a small company. These days anyone can get some piece of shit built for cheap in China or India; you don't have to be Michael Dell. I could tell the company was small when I bought it; that didn't bother me - I've had mostly good experiences with electronics from small companies. Also who would hire this arrogant little shit to work with customers? He's got to be self-employed.

But I'm less concerned about how I know he's the CEO, than what it means for society at large, that a CEO of a successful consumer electronics company would actively seek to destroy his customer base. I used to work at the Red Onion Cafe on Church Street here in Burlington. We would try and keep the owners away from the customers because they were so mean to them. (We wanted tips!) The owners were burned out and just bitter and angry. They didn't associate social skills with success or failure financially. Is this guy just totally bitter and burned out? Could be.

When I first moved to Vermont working here was hard for me. Not the work, that was easy. But nobody used their Outlook calendars. We didn't get Blackberries. People took days to respond to email. Drove me up the freaking wall! But I had to admit that actually, physically speaking with someone did force me to think before I type.

A few months ago on NPR I heard a story about a woman studying a"Narcissism Index". She was gauging how today's generation is full of self-love, but failing miserably in relationships. They can't communicate with others. Blah blah blah. My generation's narcissism and digital dependence are a cliche, I know. But holy mother of god - to have our own caricature mirrored back at me - that's intense.

This guy doesn't care. He doesn't care about my happiness. He doesn't care about customer satisfaction. He doesn't care that he can't deal with other humans. He's a victim of the digital age. He knows that people nowadays will buy any piece of crap regardless. And he loves himself. He thinks his customer service is awesome!

I did, incidentally, eventually find their English support page on my own at It even offers to hold your hand.

Just in case anyone thought they changed their tune... Please see this thread on CNET.