Friday, March 23, 2007

Dear Phil C.,

Ok... this morning, I was absolutely giddy. And all it took was ordering 24 plastic shoe boxes in which to store my 35+ pairs of shoes. The leather shoes here get moldy---ew. And all shoes no matter what are totally dusty. This place is dustier than a desert, I tell you! Plus, with the invasion of my little roach friends, I've become a bit neurotic about my shoes (amongst other things). So I was just thrilled. All day I was imagining myself in less than 2 weeks, stacking up my beautiful shoe boxes. Everytime someone said, "How are you?" I said, "I'm getting plastic shoe boxes!"

Then, I checked my e-mail. And Phil C. from Customer Care says I can't have my plastic boxes. What??? He says The Container Store won't ship to APO. some patriotism, Phil.

If Phil knew me, he'd know better than to mess with me on a Friday. All the week's worth of stress is all piled up and just ready to be ranted and raved right out And what better way to channel my stress than in an e-mail to the mean man who's going to try to deny me my plastic boxes?

So, if you want a laugh, if you want to raise your fist in the air and encourage people to fight for those who fight for you, if you are having one of those days and you need to know that someone out there is a little bit more maniacal than you are, if you've ever had a run-in with some customer care person who seemed like he really didn't care at all... read on.

Dear Phil C.,
Due to the fact that I reside in Japan, there is no alternate address to which I would like the items shipped. What is the reason that you do not ship to APO? The same shipping rates apply as they would to ship stateside. The only difference is that one would need to fill out a customs slip including the addresses being sent to/from and a brief description of contents: "plastic boxes" would suffice.

It is highly disappointing that your company does not ship to APO/FPO. Overseas troops and their families are not afforded many of the "luxuries" that the general population takes for granted. We cannot run out to Target or Wal-Mart...and certainly not to The Container Store... to pick up plastic boxes in which to store the shoes that are gathering mold and dust due to the climate here. Our Base Exchange is very limited in selection and is frequented by over ten-thousand troops and their families, so you can imagine that, during the blue moon when there is something that one would want, it goes out of stock rather quickly. It's our only option for American merchandise!
I apologize for being so harsh and negative, it's just that it's rather tiresome to think that not only can I not see my family for years at a time, not only can I not see my deployed husband for over a third of the year, but also I can't even have some plastic shoe boxes. I wouldn't think that that would be too much to ask for.

So many wonderful companies make our overseas duty stations feel a little more like home... why can't The Container Store be one of them? If you could only see our housing, Phil, you'd recognize the need for lots and lots of organization aids! I realize that, short of taking my package to the post office and mailing it yourself, there may be nothing you can do to drastically change The Container Store's policy on patriotic shipping. However, I do encourage you to forward this e-mail on to someone who can. The members of my social circles are downright frustrated with the number of online retailers that are unwilling to fill out a slip of paper for us (heck, we'd even fill them out and mail them to you if it meant getting merchandise that we want!) and believe me, when there is a store that IS willing to go that extra inch for us, word gets around.

Please consider changing your shipping policy, or at least bending it for me (wink, wink). As you may have gathered, I really want those plastic shoe boxes.


Rebecca S

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

12 of 12 already??

06:20- Skype w/David. The voice-over-internet thing is really great with David being away! We get to talk just about every night and all for the low low price of FREE! (Well, plus the $100 he's got to pay for internet...but that's reimbursed!)

06:45- This morning, I put all of my clean clothes away. I've been using my bed as a "I don't really feel like hanging my clothes right now, so I'll just set them here" zone. See the little bear with the Bears hat? Well, the bear was part of my valentine from David, and I wore the hat to bed last night so I could sleep with all of the lights on...see the 7:30 photo.

07:10-We got new neighbors last week or the week before maybe. I hadn't met them until they came ringing my doorbell at 7:05 this morning. Luckily I was already dressed and ready to go. Anyway, they needed their car to be jump started. The guy came and rang the bell and asked if I would jump start his car. I pulled up to their car and my new neighbor took care of the rest. I guess he didn't trust that I would be very good at car stuff. Maybe he got that impression when I couldn't find the little latchy-thing with which to pop the hood. But anyway...that's the heroine of our story there in front of my window (the reddish one). Notice that the parking space across the lot, next to the silver car is empty. Thanks to me and my unbelieveable auto-skillz.

07:30-I wasted no more time calling Entomology to get someone to come out and spray for roaches! I had never seen a 2-3inch roach in our house before David left. There were SIX dead ones in my house this morning. I never want to live in a tropical climate again. And I thought the Indiana variety black ants and elder bugs were bad...

18:30-I forgot my camera at home this morning. I thought about turning around to come get it, but I already feared I might be an hour late to work because I didn't know if I was supposed to change time(I wasn't). Anyway, the bug guys got here at 16:15 (and I forgot to grab my camera AGAIN!) and then I had to leave the house for 2 hours. So I put on my running shoes, ran a mile to the gym, went to some crazy step aerobics class, ran the long way home to make it 3 and a half miles. By that time, it was safe for me (but not the roaches!) to return inside.

18:45-Logging on to SparkPeople(dot)com. I heard some girls talking about this on Sunday and I wanted to check it out. Although I don't necessarily think I need to lose weight, this is a fun way to be more aware of what I'm doing and what I'm eating. You earn points and you can join "teams" and track your calories, etc. There's recipes and articles and it gives you exercise demos too. If you haven't been there yet, check it out! If you decide to join, tell 'em "BeccaSuze" sent you! (I'll get 10 points!)

19:18-Looks like this picture should've been taken 12 hours ago, doesn't it? Do you ever just want a bowl of cereal instead of eating something else? I do. Tonight I had breakfast for dinner and it was delicious.

19:30-On Sunday I started knitting my first pair of socks using the Magic Loop method. I took the beginning apart just once and now I'm this far, just finished the toe increases and ready to knit the body of the foot.

19:56- 60 Minutes comes on here on Mondays. I always think of my grandma when 60 Minutes comes on because I used to be at her house a lot at 6pm on Sundays I guess. I love 60 Minutes and all the other news-magazine type shows. But I especially love 60 Minutes because Andy Rooney cracks me up. And I never cease to be puzzled by the fact that Andy Rooney has looked the exact same age since I've been like 6 years old or something. Sometimes I wonder if they taped millions of Andy Rooney segments a long time ago and just air them now. But he does always have some hilarious things to say about George W Bush and other current he must still be making the segments, he probably uses a really great moisturizer or something!

21:45- I'm calling knit a night and stopping here. I guess I made a decent bit of progress on my socks tonight. But still not enough... I'm going to have to wash some socks to wear this week because these just aren't going to be finished on time!

21:53-Picking out my clothes at night really helps my mornings go more smoothly. I used to waste a lot of morning minutes sitting in front of my closet wondering what to wear, wearing it, changing my mind about it and wearing something else. Sometimes I still end up changing my mind and wearing something else, like on the 13th, I wore that shirt (I love that shirt!), but not those pants (I don't love those pants).

22:04- And that's the end of my day.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

No Idle Hands Here!!

My friend Stacy is having a baby! Stacy teaches 2nd grade and we've spent many of our prep periods talking and talking and talking...without realizing that we had used our whole 40 minutes talking and none of it working! She is so great.

When she told me at the beginning of the school year that she was pregnant, I knew I wanted to make her something special! Her mother-in-law is a scrapbooker, so I figured she'd take care of things on that end. I came across this adorable baby sweater pattern on It's the Quickie Baby Sweater and it really was QUICK! I made it in one weekend, except for sewing on the buttons and weaving in the ends, which always seems to take me longer than the actual project to get myself to sit down and do it!

There would be a shower for her at school, but I would also be invited to her personal friends shower. So I decided to make 2 gifts! I started this blanket using the same yarn as the sweater so the gifts would coordinate. Here's how far I had gotten as of February 9th.

I put my knitting down for a while in a fit of housecleaning. I didn't have the energy for both, I guess. On February 25, the day of the marathon, I realized that Stacy's school shower would be in just a few days...and that her other shower was only 2 weeks after that! Well, the good thing about running a marathon is that your legs and feet hurt afterward, but not your hands. So I spent my recovery period on the couch with my feet propped up and knitted up this blanket. Actually, it took me the entire two weeks to knit the blanket and only a few days to recover. But it was still nice to hang out on the couch so much!
It was a close call, but I finished the blanket last night---the shower is today!

If any knitters out there are wondering, the pattern for the blanket is the Basketweave Blanket from the Storey Publishing book, Knit Baby Blankets. Yarn: Some Red Heart baby-type white, Patons Astra Hot Green, Lily Sugar n' Cream Rainbow. Same yarn on both projects. I used a total of 4 skeins Sugar n' Cream, 6 skeins of the green and about 1 skein of the Red Heart-the skein had been partially used before, and I did run out just before the top border of the blanket. (I spent over an hour removing the iridescent string from a ball of white/sparkly yarn to finish the project!)

Against the advice of my SV friends, I did ask Stacy if I could borrow the sweater back to give to her at her other shower. She doesn't know about the blanket! I want to give them together to up the "Wow factor". The shower is in about 2 hours... I can't wait!
And I hope my next project will be much smaller than a baby blanket!
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