Category Archives: shopping

Cat Litter Boxes, Turning Cats into Ninjas

Recently I started looking at cat litter boxes.

We have three cats: Liggy, Monkey and Taku. Nobody likes Taku, she’s really an alien in a cat’s body. Liggy is 20 and that makes her 90-something in human years. Monkey, well her name says it all.

Sometimes, you just want to see what else is out there for litter boxes. Not that they need new litter boxes, I mean truly, what do they do? Hold the litter so you cat can poop & pee in peace in a dark corner somewhere. Then the human comes and collects the deposits, which is a little weird if you were to ask the cat.

Before I get on to the litter boxes. When you shop, have you ever noticed how many types of litter is available? It’s like the flavored coffee club but different.

Clay.

Clumpable.

Newspaper pellets.

Pine pellets.

Multi-cat.

Cloud control.

Silica crystals.

Biodegradable.

Bamboo.

Plant pellets.

Scented.

Unscented.

Non-trackable.

Corn.

Wheat.

Walnut.

Lightweight.

It sounds more like a recipe for an exotic beer than it does for types of cat litter. You would think cats wouldn’t care, but they do. I’ve tried the newspaper pellets, pine pellets and silica crystals. You know what I learned? Those marketing teams are aiming for me, not the cat. Cat just wants plain old gravelly litter. It’s better to track it through the house. Really gets in between their toes and is perfect for depositing into bed sheets and couches.

Seriously, Liggy, our eldest, she has Muppet feet. Long fur between her toes. She previously used to haul whiskey across the northern tundra in the dark months, helping fishermen find their way back home. Why else would she have these long haired feet?

Her feet are also perfect if she steps into the pee and then into the litter. She comes out wearing a little clay mask on her foot, leaving a trail of one footprint across the house. Have you ever tried to get cement off your cat’s foot? Right. Exactly.

Back to the litter boxes.

Of course we are all familiar with the standard rectangular pan. Pretty simple. Then you get into the ones with higher sides. Technically they’re supposed to help keep the litter and sprayers contained. Well, let me tell you, Monkey could challenge Tom Brady in distance for litter tossing. Could you get it any further across the room? Oh yes, just pack it between your toes and show me where you can put it.

Next there’s various sizes. Little tiny ones for kittens. Cause those last for about 2 weeks before they’re out grown, but boy aren’t they cute? There’s litter boxes with lower entries for elderly cats. We have two.

Cat boxes with lids.

Cat boxes inside furniture.

Round boxes.

Triangular boxes.

Self-cleaning boxes. (Yeah cause I want my cat to think the poop monster ALMOST got her. Smart.)

Plastic boxes.

Metal boxes.

Cardboard boxes.

Boxes that are mail order delivery to your house on subscription.

There’s spinner cat boxes, turn the box on it’s head and the poop goes into a receptable.

Boxes with lid guards.

Boxes with entry flaps.

Domed boxes.

Biodegradable boxes.

I should be so lucky to have as many shoe styles in my closet as cat’s have litter box options. Then of course, I came across several boxes where I just had to stop and say, “What cat is going to use that?” If cats read Stephen King, these contraptions were definitely fodder for their next series.

Take for example, the circular automatic cleaning box. At first, I thought it was a pizza crust maker. Or a kids version of the Easy Bake Oven for pizza crusts. Where is the cat supposed to turn around and get their butt in there? Is that a record player? Do cats enjoy tunes while pooping? No, no, wait. That is a grain grinder. You put your wheat in there to grind it up into flour. Got it. Got it.

Stone cold grinder litter box.

Next up, I truly thought they were selling tiny washing machines for cats. You could put their fluffy blankets in there or maybe their toys. Or it’s a hair dryer for after washing your cat, cause they just love that. You pop your cat in and close the door. Once I clicked on the link, I realized no, that’s a robot litter box. If the cat doesn’t get out in time they enjoy the spin cycle! If they aren’t perfectly balanced inside, does it dump them on the floor like a gyroscope? I’m sorry but Star Wars didn’t have these and neither did Star Trek, we can pass on this item. And I am certainly not paying nearly $1000 for a cat box. Sorry Taku.

And the marketing photo below is asinine. What cat is even able to get into the sphere inside that cabinet? Catdini? Cat’s face says it all, “Seriously? Stupid human.”

Tilt-a-Whirl cat box.

Finally, there’s the cat version of the “I’ve fallen and can’t get up” litter box. Get this box if you want your cat to be a jack-in-the-box. The cat, aka Jason Bourne, in the marketing photo has finally had enough and went to ask for a pay increase. Homie don’t play this shit. Go ahead, jump into a dirty box with no option for missing the mines. And if you’re lucky enough, you’ll be able to claw yourself out of it. And if you’re a fat cat or an overly fluffy cat ….what happens if you get stuck in the top? Little legs dangling…help….help! Or a short cat who can’t jump? “Help, I’ve fallen and can’t get up.” Whose idea was this anyway?

Jason Bourne Jack-in-the-Box.

The window shopping of cat boxes was an eye rolling experience. No doubt I’m sure there are hundreds of people with these boxes in their homes. The cats are silently cursing them and plotting their revenge through hair balls, vomit and random treats left around the house. Although we think we are superior to the cats, we’re not. The Egyptians understood this concept and worshipped their cats. Let’s use our common sense and put the cats back on a pedestal and not inside one to roll around.

Don’t Let the Cobwebs Gather in Your Elbows

Juneau, Alaska. Check.

Miami, Florida. Check.

Boston, Massachusetts. Check.

Restart…

“We want you both to come work for us.” That’s how the story began.

Girls, pack your cat nip. We’re going back to Alaska. Someone hit the reset button.

Sometimes, it takes you six years to figure out what you prefer in life. Sometimes you take wrong exits off the highway before you figure out your GPS has given you faulty directions and you have to get back on the highway. And sometimes, you have to go out there and see other places so you can extend your family and have more experiences in life.

We’re Off…Like Cats Looking for the Open Can of Tuna!

Once we fired off the confetti cannon and made our decision to go, we quickly packed up our three furry kids, dropped off the two lizards to the nieces and selected some creature comforts to get us through a couple of months of Alaska living. We will be back to Boston in November to remote work and pack up our house, then go back to Alaska in March for the next summer season.

Packing for a second household is interesting. Which garlic crusher do you take? What about cutting boards, one or three? Are we going to need the blender? Better take the mini food processor. Do you think we should take the Learn Spanish DVDs so we have something to do? How many pairs of jeans are you taking? Don’t forget the favorite cat toys. And whatever happens, don’t forget the cat treats. Better pack a Keurig and a bubbler (Sodastream, as I love my bubbly water.)

One would think, if you forgot something, just go to the store when you get there. Right? That’s the thought of 99% of everyone who is traveling to new locations. Except where we’re going, that’s not as easy as it sounds.

We’ll be spending most of our year in Hoonah, Alaska. Population 750 give or take. About 3 miles of paved road and 150 miles of dirt logging roads. Ever see that show, “Alaska Bush People” back when they were in Alaska? Yeah, well, they lived in Hoonah. And no, they were not really living in the wilderness. Talk about fake news.

Hoonah is the largest Tlingit community in Alaska and is located on Chichagof Island in southeast Alaska. It’s about 40 miles west of Juneau or a 20 minute flight. It also has the largest concentration of coastal brown bears in the world, although I have yet to see one. Lots of bear poop on the road, lots of poop.

(What is a coastal brown bear? Apparently, those in the know, decided to make a different class from the typical grizzly bear and classify the coastal brown bear. As I understand it, the coastal brown bear found mainly on Chichagof and Admiralty Islands eat mainly salmon and are therefore bigger in nature, therefore you get a different type of bear. )

Back to the story…

Anyhow, there’s no mall, no Walmart, no Target, no Walgreens, no Kohl’s. There’s a hardware store and small grocery store, whose motto is, “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it.” The other day I was desperate for a pair of plain old regular scissors for home. You know the kind with the orange handle? Went to the hardware store. Found them. $16.

I’ve ordered some things from Amazon, you know I’m a Prime member and all. An electric throw blanket. I thought I’d pick one up at Costco in Juneau, WHEN I FLEW OVER TO GO GROCERY SHOPPING, but they didn’t have them. Normally, Prime is next day delivery or two days, right? Here….it’s two weeks. My blanket should be here by September 27th.

Please Keep Your Claws Inside the Carrier at All Times.

Traveling with the cats is always an experience.

Liggy, our 20-22 year old is a pro. She’s been from Alaska to Miami to Boston. And now she’s gone back to Alaska.

Monkey and Taku, well…they’re a little unimpressed at the whole process. They joined us in Miami, so they’ve only done one journey with us. A flight to Boston. Needless to say, as soon as the carriers come out, all hell breaks loose.

Monkey sings the song of her people, which sounds more like someone who has just eaten a meal that hasn’t agreed with their system and their bowels are about to explode.

Taku silently glares at us. Placing what are undoubtedly triple strength, unorthodox feline hexes on our souls, cursing us into damnation. No snuggles for you.

We break up the flight, overnighting in Seattle as a cross country, to Alaska flight is too long to be stuck in a kennel. Going from Boston to Hoonah is a three flight journey, even with non-stop flights. The upside was once we got to the Seattle hotel and blocked access to behind the beds, the girls decided there was safety in numbers! STICK TOGETHER! Normally, they don’t hang out together….

Cats snuggled in at Seattle hotel, safety in numbers.

When we travel, the two youngest go underneath in the traveling pet cargo area. Which I told them was a disco for pets. I’m not sure they believed me entirely. I did tell them to go easy on ordering the Alaskan beer and mimosas on the flight as altitude can sometimes do crazy things with your alcohol consumption. Liggy travels as my carry on and goes under the seat, she’s a first class pet. Of course at her age, she should be.

However, when we got to Juneau and loaded up into our final plane, Liggy’s eyes were as big as golfballs as she was loaded into the back of our little plane. At least we were all together on this one, everyone was seated in the same compartment. I could turn around, look past the cargo net and see the three girls. Hang on everyone, here we go. One more flight. At least Monkey wasn’t serenading us. If only because Taku had her muttering out the unorthodox feline hex as well. Bonding at it’s finest.

Welcome to Hoonah-lulu

Ah, what a relief.

Not that we finally arrived after traveling for two days, with three cats and five pieces of luggage. One of which was the cat’s suitcase, I kid you not.

But we arrived back where we’re supposed to be.

A good friend greeted us with open arms at the airport, we dropped our stuff at the house, got the girls situated so they could find hiding spots inside the house, then we drove 2 miles of paved road to the grocery store.

It felt like a giant scratchy coat had been shed and cast aside.

I could finally breathe.

I was lighter.

I wasn’t stressed about having to drive down the Boston highway with 14,839 crazy drivers, making left hand turns from right hand lanes. Or taking 90 minutes to go 16 miles. Or swerving lanes as they text on their cell phones.

All of the frustrations of my previous job slid off like waves on a fine sand beach. No longer my issue. Not my problem.

The next day we went into work, doing what we know best…cruise tourism. People are excited about the future. Excited about the possibilities. Excited about the potential. There’s talking, laughing and sharing ideas. There’s big ideas, big plans and things are happening.

There’s no time to sit back. It’s time to jump in and see how we can help. What can we do? Where do we start? It may be the countdown to the end of the 2019 season, but the 2020 season is already in planning and new projects are unwrapping faster than birthday gifts.

It’s thrilling to be back.

Wait, did I mention the view from work?

Don’t be a Dick

Yep.

That sums it up.

Number one rule in life:  Don’t be a dick.

How difficult is that?

Apparently, it would be easier to count the grains of sand in an ant hill. Even counting the grains in a fire ant hill would be easier I’m thinking.

Shoot, taking a gallon of ocean water, waiting for it to evaporate and then counting any sea salt grains would be easier….than trying not to be a dick in to day’s world.

Being a dick, it seems, is second nature for nearly everyone.  Whew, now isn’t that a relief.  Except for those of us who aren’t a dick, then we’re annoyed as hell with you.

The problem it seems, stems from a singular mentality:

It’s all about me.  Me. Me. Me. Me.  It’s all about me.  Got it?  M.E.

Seriously.

Take driving for example.

It doesn’t matter if you are going 3 blocks to the grocery store or 15 miles to work or 100 miles for vacation.  Go the speed limit, go over the speed limit or drive in the far right lane of a 4 lane highway ….  it still doesn’t matter.  There are Dicks to be found.

Everyone has one thing on their mind – themselves.

Some days driving home after work,  it’s the driver game of Survivor.  It’s all about ME.  No, no, no…..really.  By all means.  Please.  Go ahead.  I was at the four way stop before you, but please, don’t wait your turn.  I’m sorry, yes, go ahead and run the red light.  Yes, you should definitely honk your horn as soon as the light turns green because the four cars in front of you obviously can’t get through the light fast enough.  I love it when you cut me off to turn left….From. The. Right. Hand. Lane.   If you could tailgate me, that would really make my day.   Since all of the traffic is doing 12 mph, you trying to climb my fender just makes so much more satisfying.  I like being able to see my bumperstickers in your grill.

All this before I even get out of the city!

Society has created a demand for instant gratification.  Everything NOW.  Impatience is rampant.  Common courtesy  has gone the way of common sense – right out the window.

Go to the grocery store and people will run you over with their cart.  Think they’re going to share the aisle with you?  Not a snowball’s chance in hell.  It’s all about me and I own this aisle, go get your own aisle, bitch.  Forever gone are the excuse me and pardon me moments that used to follow the moment you shoved aside someone to reach the ketchup on the top shelf.

If you come across a shopping carriage blocking the aisle, you have a decision to make.  Do you move it?  Do you wait impatiently?  Moving it causes the owner of said cart immediately to glare at you as if you were attempting to make off with her carriage full of Double Stuffed Oreos, iceberg lettuce, bananas, single-ply butt wipe, Rocky Road ice cream and Captain Crunch cereal.  If you stand there impatiently waiting, chances are she will continue to ponder for eternity which brand of ranch salad dressing to purchase….Hidden Valley or Grocery De-lite.

I’m not asking to see your license and registration.  I’m asking you to share the space and move the hell over.  Oh but wait, it’s all about Me.  That’s right.

In produce, people can’t wait for you to get out of their way so they can get their pick of the oranges, apples, grapes and bananas.  There are only so many times someone can swish open their plastic bag ….I get the hint, but you can wait your turn.  It’s called patience.   Give me 30 seconds, I will be out of your way.  However you never see them at the pineapple, starfruit, coconut, plantains, dragon fruit and kiwis….all those exotic and sassy fruits.  Instead, they’re busy thumping watermelons and squeezing cantaloupes.  I’m thinking I may take up the exotics next time….I could be on to something here.

Walking down the city sidewalk.  It’s the Wild Wild West.  Too busy on the idiot box, which used to be the TV and now are the damn cell phones.  People can’t get off them.  It’s as addictive as crack.  In the next 50 years, babies will probably be born with necks already bent to watch the idiot box perfectly in their hands.  Put it down and pay attention people.  But no. Nobody is paying attention to the world around them, regardless of the phone or not.  It’s all about them.  It’s the Me Bubble.

Side Note: My observation about the cell phone.  People are too damn busy taking photos  about the moment they’re in, so they can have a “look at me moment” to put on social media.  They’re missing being in the moment.

 

Living in the world of NOW,  patience level is nonexistent. Patience has gone the way of drive-in movies, tv dinners in tinfoil trays with the yummy apples for dessert, riding bikes without helmets, metallic wallpaper patterns, roller skates & roller rinks and Tupperware parties.

It doesn’t matter if you work in an office, school, medical center, factory, scientific institute, art and design establishment, recycling center or transportation industry.

There are days at work, when you think to yourself….

  • I’m going to have to lock myself in the bathroom and beat my head against the wall before I  loose my mind.
  • If I wander away, would anyone notice?
  • How much longer until 5:00PM?
  • Did I really sign up for this?
  • Who the hell are these people? They’re crazy!
  • Other duties as assigned?  Are you fucking kidding me?

I’m right…..I know.

It’s funny cause most of us are in the same boat.  Ask anyone.

We should all be living our dream, but chances are we’re grinding it out trying to get to our dreams.  In the meanwhile, we’re all trying to run each other down on the highways. Or run each other over in the grocery aisles.  Better yet, trying to knock one another out at work on various levels.

We live in a singular world.  It’s all about me.  I have to be first.  First in line.  First through the door.  First through the light.  First with the photo.  First to park.  Look at me.  Look at me go.  Get out of my way.  It’s all about me.  Me.  Me.  Me.  Me. Grocery, shopping mall, book store, coffee shop, hair salon, gas station, highway, etc.

Well, hair salons are different.  There, you are being sized up.  Women come in looking like they have just been rolled out of the bushes by some raccoon when they show up…hair is every which way, sweat pants and oversized shirts.  Or the yoga pants and they’re obviously not doing any yoga.  That’s a whole other blog.  What’s with the stretch pants?  Don’t get me started….

Fast forward a few hours, by the time ladies are ready to leave the salon,  they depart acting like they are in a Pantene shampoo commercial.  Every other woman waiting her turn to see her stylist is sizing her up as she leaves….seriously.  Better do the hair flip and make it look good. Or what’s the shampoo commercial where the woman washes her hair in the airplane bathroom and acts like she had an orgasmic experience? (Of course, on several airlines now she’d probably be charged a fee for that and then arrested.  Or she might be asked to do a show, who the hell knows anymore.)

The other place you don’t see people trying to run you over with the piss-headed idiot syndrome is the liquor store.  Honest.  Next time you go in, look at how polite everyone is to each other.  They know.  They get it.  You are just grinding away the daily work life.  The liquor store is almost like a therapy session.

“What you need?”

“We have a sale – two for one.”

“Have a good one.”

Is there any doubt why some states have liquor warehouses?

I think not.

 

 

Squeeze Me & Eat Me

Yep.

Squeezing and eating.

Feels good. A little softer. A little harder.
The taste…like it sweet? Or prefer tangy?
Big or small?
Plump and juicy?
Lean and tender?
Unblemished, touched by nobody.

Which one is right for you. For this exact need?
Did you find the right one? Ready to make a decision?
With so many varieties in life, it can be a tough choice.
So many options.
Go with your gut……..

It
Is
A
Commitment.

Deep breath.

Good.

Now put the fucking cantaloupe in the cart and move on!

Seriously. For christ’s sake!

I was at our local grocery store over the weekend. I don’t know if it was because of the holiday on our door step or what the problem was on Friday. Everyone was being overly selective on their purchase.

And these aren’t difficult choices people!

The fruits and veggie aisle. I get it, you want to pick up the best head of lettuce and unbruised peaches. Got that. But lady, seriously. Thumping cantaloupes….one after the other after the other after the other after the other….PICK ONE! Pick two if you’re unsure. They are all going to ripen up and let’s be completely serious, you aren’t honestly going to know what you get until you cut it open.

Kinda like baking a cake. You can continue to look in the oven, insert the toothpick for doneness….but until you cut it and eat it, you have no clue if you made a damn fine cake or not.

Notice nobody really cares what kind of lemon or limes they get. They don’t even worry about the oranges or grapes. Grab a few and dump them into the cart. Well isn’t that a pisser. They’re so common nobody cares.

It’s like people who are knocking on watermelons for ripeness.

Knock knock.

Knock knock knock.

Knock da knock de de knock knock.

Chucker

Get three or four people doing this at the same time and you have a percussion section right there in produce.

What I’d like to know, and I need to find out, how do watermelons stack up in a chucking contest?
Going to a big pumpkin chucking contest is on my Bucket List. I want one that has several chuckers, not just one. AND I want to to do some chucking.

Yep, I could be a Red Neck. (I also enjoy NASCAR……make your own conclusions.)

At any rate, next I found myself in the diary aisle.

Crinkle.
Crinkle.
Crinkle.

>>>> pause <<<<

Crinkle.
Crinkle.
Crinkle.

I turn to my left and find a lady standing a yard away from me.

She's holding….a package of string cheese.
She's squeezing the package of white string cheese. Moving the sticks all around in their package.

I wanted to say something like, "Yep. There are 12 sticks in there. Says so right on the package. They're sticks of cheese. Hence the name on the package: Cheese Sticks. They're individually wrapped. Kids love them. If this isn't the cheese you are looking for…and you need a block of cheese I suggest moving further down the aisle. If you need sliced cheese, the deli is on the other side of the store. Canned cheese, well, good luck with that."

She eventually put the package she squeezed and scrutinized into her basket and carried on with her shopping.

Next up: the bread aisle.

It's my lucky day.
Winner. Winner. Chicken dinner.

I wasn't stopping, but I drove right by them with my cart.

First up was a man, obviously sent to buy hamburger rolls for the cookout.
He had in his hands a package of 8 whole wheat hamburger buns, with sesame seeds.
And guess what!
mr-whipple-charmin
HE WAS SQUEEZING THEM! Along with a 20 yard glazed eye stare. It’s apparent hamburger buns are not his thing and the selection was way over his head. Buddy, whatever happens, never agree to go buy air fresheners.

You
Won’t
Make it
Out
Alive.

What are you squeezing them for? They’re hamburger rolls and they’re designed to be soft. If you are looking for a hard crusty roll, go to the bakery! The only thing that people should be squeezing in here is the Charmin! Ask Mr. Whipple, he’ll tell you!

I didn’t get a full shopping basket past him and there’s a lady standing there with dinner rolls.

My suggestion, next time lady, choose the King’s Hawaiian rolls. Each one is uniformly baked to a sweet goodness. And less stress for you and the bag of rolls.

Seriously, let’s think about this for a moment….

Kings Hawaiian rolls

Whoever selects that package of dinner rolls you’ve been handling like a Queen sized woman trying to put on A sized pantyhose….will have beautiful rolls with your paw prints mashed into them. Gee, whose thumb print is that? Please. Step away from the bag of dinner rolls.

Fast forward to Saturday.

Here we go.
To a local Farmer’s Market.

Three or four different local farmers were there with their freshly picked crops.

Fresh from the field, literally picked that morning.

Beautiful produce.

I stood next to a woman who literally picked through the snow peas. Trying this one and that one. To see if they’re any good. She didn’t just try one, she had four. This isn’t a salad bar! Then she told her son, they didn’t look so good.

Why keep eating them?

Next up she picked over the cucumbers.

Here’s the thing. This is real farm grown produce. In the fields. In dirt. Chemical free. Hand picked this morning for ripeness. She complained how the cucumbers had lighter colored areas.

O M G lady, they’re supposed to! These are NOT chemically engineered in a laboratory like a lot of our food. It’s not meant to look picture perfect. It’s farm perfect! They grow on the ground. The discoloration happens in nature.

As long as the cucumber isn’t soft and mushy – you will be fine.

Good grief.

Maybe it’s because I’m not a good shopper. I know what I need. I have my list. I’m in and out. Done. I have no patience for the namby pamby waffling of trying to make a decision on which burger buns I should get. If I have buns on my list, then the first package that looks good – is going in the cart.

Perhaps they’re contemplating what they’re going to do with these cheese sticks. Maybe it’s for a recipe and they only need one. Maybe their grandkids requested it and they never heard of them. I don’t know, but stop squeezing the cheese. If you are needing squeeze cheese, I think it’s in the potato chip aisle.

Lastly, if you’re going to a Farmer’s Market don’t turn your nose up at the produce. These guys worked hard to put this on the table. It’s as fresh as you’re going to get. Commenting you don’t like the color and then you keep sampling the food? You are an inconsiderate ass. And shame on you for not having any manners.

Melon Thumpers – keep on keeping on, cause I know you can’t help yourself. And depending on what type of melons you’re thumping, it might even be enjoyed by others.

Whole Foods…a Vortex to Acting Like 5 Year Olds.

I was thrilled when I moved here to discover a Whole Foods right around the corner from my house. Coming from Alaska, this was a brand new experience. I had heard stories about the LUXURY of shopping at a Whole Foods.

Vegetables are like diamonds encased in security sealed cases.

Cheese by the pound is on display by region.

Fresh meat all organically grown, petted daily and humanely put down for sale.

A salad bar worth drooling over.

Fresh this and wholesome that.

Vitamins, detox mixtures, tonics and fresh squeezed orange juice….oh my fucking my.

Seriously….people…this is heaven on earth.




Yeah, it’s heaven on earth if I want to be ignored by the staff, nearly run down by patrons and….on top of it all pay out the ass for a 4oz container of guacamole, of which I could make better at home.

What am I missing here?

I simply don’t get it. There are several things that slap me in the face when I go in there:

1. Their customer service SUCKS. Granted, they have good produce. Every time I dash in to pick up something, it always happens the produce guy has his little cart right in front of whatever item I need in the produce aisle:

Corn on the cob? Check.

Tomatos. Check.

Apples. Check.

Potatoes. Check.

Vegan salad dressing. Check.

Doesn’t matter, he is parked there and it never crosses his mind to MOVE THE FUCKING CART a foot to let me select my green beans, snow peas, broccoli or peppers. It annoys the hell out of me. I’m sorry. It’s common sense. You have a customer approaching, with a basket on her arm and obviously looking at the produce right in front of you.

Why yes, I would like some of those carrots with the green leafy tops still on….all five of them for $9.99. Could you excuse me?

So

I

Could

Just

Reach

The

Damn

Carrots?

Oh, no wait, I see the issue. You are too busy laughing it up with the guy who is stocking up the pineapples and grapes. Never mind. Don’t want to bother you. Let me climb over your cart. Who is the customer here?

Apparently the overhead they charge for the produce also includes a gym membership fee.

Who knew?

It annoys the shit out of me.

AND, the people who check you out never smile. Tonight, when I ran in to grab corn and tomatoes, the guy walked away from the counter without saying a word so he could go throw a paper out two rows away.

REALLY?

I always approach and say HELLO! HOW ARE YOU?! Nothing.

If you really hate your job so much that you can’t smile and greet your customers, such as Michael this evening at my local store, then you need to go work somewhere else. The lady at the corner hot dog stand has better customer service than these people. It never fails. Save the overhead and have self check out!

Wait! Do you think because people are paying $5.99 for a pack of gum….gives you the permission to ignore your customers and treat us like shoe leather? Oh wait, you thought we were the plastic shoe leather? Pleather? THAT explains so much then.

But should one of their friends come up to help bag, whoa! It’s all fun and games….my, how the tides turn. Did I just slide down the rabbit hole? Apparently you are just hard of hearing and you didn’t hear my greeting.

Maybe I should just start yelling at people.

Let’s move forward.

********* The Salad Bar *********

So the tremendous salad bar. They have a great selection of soups. If you enjoy soups.
I don’t.

The salad bar is a typical salad bar. A variety of leafy greens to select and toppings. Nicely done.

Then the opposite side is mixed salads, rice salads, weird shit and shit I wouldn’t eat as I don’t eat weird shit or limp shit, or shit I can’t pronounce.

I’m sorry but when you see zucchini and squash that has been sliced lengthwise and then grilled….placed under heat lamps….it’s not right. They’re limp. They’re gross. It’s veggie abuse. Same goes for the eggplant. It is a horror flick right there in the deli. I have to turn the other way as it makes my stomach turn. Kind of like smelling sour milk.

Imagine holding up a piece of limp grilled zucchini in your hand….it falls over. So sad. It was excited at one point, I’m certain of it. Who wants limp shit? Okay, maybe a starving Sasquatch.

But apparently someone out there is enjoying the limp shit. Desperate, hungry, rich people, that don’t know about crisp veggies. Imagine holding up a piece of limp grilled zucchini in your hand….it falls over. So sad. It was excited at one point, I’m certain of it.

The thing I hate about going around that damn salad / deli area are the people.

No

Sense

Of

Personal

Space.

Which brings me to another point of the experience at Whole Foods….

2. The regulars. Maybe it’s where I live. I think it’s a feeling of entitlement. I’ve started to wonder what’s happened to two things: personal space and common courtesy. It’s not like we’re on the NYC subway here….ass to coot-chy …. DAMN.

Bumping elbows, watches, shoulders, baskets, hips…..okay – BACK THE FUCK UP!

Unless you are planning on popping open a bottle of wine in aisle 9 and then taking me to dinner, you are way too close to me. Knock it off.

There is no reason for your shoes to be hitting my shoes – there is plenty of space to go around me. I am all of 5’2 on a good day and it’s not like I weigh in like a gorilla. I don’t even have a cart! There’s simply no reason to be up my ass, over my shoulder, climbing up my eyeballs to get around me.

Take a breath.

Take a step to the side.

Go around me.

SAY EXCUSE ME! It’s not difficult!

If I stop to look at something, you are going to have to adjust your plan and detour. Don’t roll your eyes and huff at me. I’m not your child and am certainly not your spouse. Life does not revolve around you, jackass. Get over it. I’m putting my basket down and looking at this colon detox powder for the next ten minutes or until you stop glaring at me. If you’re going to continue, I will pick up this anal itch cream and ask you if you’ve tried it.

Don’t tempt me.

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah….life sucks….get in line with the rest of us. Waaaahhhhhh.

Oh my god….if you are going to shop in here, suck it up and act like an adult.

That’s what I don’t get. To shop in Whole Foods, you have to have money, yet all these people in here act like five year olds.

They’re playing chicken with their carts in the aisles.

I’m not moving….you are going to have to climb over me if you want to get that hot sauce, fucker.

They will run you down to get to the salad bar – and block it. MINE! IT’S ALL MINE!

Missy is going to be a defensive blocker for the vegan cheese display and then at the organic wine area.

Sorry, did you want to get in the front door? I’m cleaning my cart handle off with the sanitary wipe. Sorry.

Clint is on his phone shouting about his latest trade while trying to choose what bread to get sliced. PICK ONE!

For the love of all things holy – concentrate – get your shopping done and move out of the way for the rest of humanity.

******* The End Result *******

I’m done with Whole Foods.

We have found a fabulous farmer’s market up north we go to every weekend. We can fill up bags and bags of fresh produce for just dollars. It’s fantastic. Right from the farms. I can go to our little guy and get what we affectionately call…”Hooker Vaginas”….but we have to get there early as he sells out. We get a quart for $10 and then I usually get my own for $3 and enjoy it in the car on the way home. Eric sometimes gets one as well. It’s good for us yumminess.

I would rather drive 30 minutes and go to a Trader Joe’s than go through the non-sense we continue to experience at a Whole Foods. I don’t get it. It’s not worth it. They’re not making me feel like a valuable customer and I’m not going to support them as a business. It’s ridiculous. Yes, they may be easy and healthy, but there is lots to be said about good customer service and feeling welcomed into the establishment.

Thanks for letting me vent…..I feel lighter…..like dandelion fluff or glitter in a confetti cannon.

Another Typical Day and I STILL Don’t Know Where to Look

I like people.

Wait.

No.

Scratch that.

That’s wrong.

I enjoy people watching.

They’re ridiculous.

What they are wearing.  What they are doing.  What they’re saying.  Truly the world is filled with the good, the bad, the funny and the down right idiotic.    Who said that was a good idea and why didn’t someone stop you? Gut instinct is not passé  but perhaps it needs more of a designer label before people begin to listen to it.

If you only knew what was going on inside my head, it would explain why there is a constant smell of a camp fire around me.  It’s hell’s calling card.  I’m on the fast track.

Friday, I was on my way into work.  I live north of Miami and work in the port.  (Don’t ask me why I chose this location.  I am now considering a closer location under an overpass by the Arena….I’m from Alaska and have a tent.  I hunt big game.  I’m not afraid.) When I moved, I shipped my car here.  You don’t see many of my car here.  And why are the Subaru an extinct species here?  Not that I drive one but good grief.  Odd.

Of course back home I only drove a total of 18 miles a day – round trip.  It took me maybe 15 minutes each way.  These lighted signs advising drivers it’s going to take 15 minutes to go 3 miles just about causes me to swallow my tongue each time I see the warning.  Certainly it has to be incorrect.

How can that be?

I won’t even go into discussion about the new….literally stop and basically turn left into I-95 traffic, forget about any sense about a practical merge lane from Ives Dairy.  While I am not an engineer….at least an actual on-ramp would have prevented that daily disaster.  It may be faster to actually get to the port by boat or even the blimp.  Has anyone considered this?  Is anyone thinking outside the box here?

Friday.

Back to Friday.

I finally get into the heart of town and make my turn by Will Call.

Which, by the way is that place open 24 hours?  Is it like the Miami version of a 7-11?  I have yet to go past there when there wasn’t some kind of drama unfolding.

A co-worker described it as a “rough around the edges” bar.  Well, Alaska has rough around the edges bars.  I’ve been in those local, rough around the edges bars.   I’m talking about the true local bars – not ones where the tourists go when visiting the Last Frontier.  Yes, they truly are ROUGH.

Don’t ask me the intersection location because, as we do in Alaska, it’s the “Will Call” intersection. Which as I am quickly learning here….people expect you to actually know the cross streets.  When I was asked recently which Costco I use,  I said the one in North Miami.  The lady rolled her eyes and said, “WHICH ONE?!”  I sweetly said in my friendly Alaska way, “The one in North Miami on Biscayne.”  When she wanted me to confirm the actual street address it was my turn to roll eyes and I took a stab in the dark and said, “Yes, that’s the one.”  Seriously, come on, I know there’s 4,000 Walgreen’s in Miami but Costco hasn’t become THAT popular.

As I wait to turn at Will Call I see to my left….coming down the stairs…. some oddly placed pink fabric, long black hair lots and lots of skin and what appeared to be fishnet stocking but could have been thigh high boots.  All I know….I thought to myself ….WTH is that?

Wow…..a hooker!

Note:  If she was working in an office that would have been one hell of an office.

Wow.

As I tried to pick my eyeballs up off the floor mats so I could get another glimpse of this lack of an outfit, I had my chance to turn right so I took it – to avoid the ever annoying honk of friendly Miamians.

Only to find two half naked men throwing punches AND CONNECTING those punches in the middle of the street.

My little car, Norman, was first in line to encounter these idiots.

OMG – NORMAN!  Get out of the way!  Horn was blaring, as much as Norman’s horn can blare.  If these guys fall and hit Norman he is going to get dented and I’m going to be pissed.

I get around them and then as luck would have it, they run up past me.  Still yelling and throwing punches.  Now more cars have joined the crowd due to the stop light.  Horns are  blaring…..why?

These idiots….instead of following what their gut indicators should be telling them, which is, fight or flight….keep running back AT each other.  They’re running back and forth across the street, around street poles, between cars …. like a woman trying to get the last pair of her most favorite shoes on sale at Nordstrom.  Good grief.

Commit.  Commit.  Commit.  Sharpen the elbows and commit.

Idiots, complete idiots these two.

One throws a punch and runs away.   The other runs after, catches up and throws a punch.  The other returns a punch and runs away.   It was the strangest mix of sissy girl fighting trying to be manly. Dana White would have been so disappointed.

Make a commitment!  Either stand your ground, be a man and fight like a man or accept defeat, put your dick between your legs and run away.

RUN THE OTHER WAY!

Miami, you’re killing me with laughter.

 

Apparently You’re Broken

I have a complaint.

Why have I not heard about the fundraising effort to assist cashiers across America?  Di you know, they have all broken their arms.  Shocking news isn’t it?

You must be kidding me.  Seriously, you can’t lift the head of lettuce, chili pepper, bottle of shampoo and loaf of bread out of my basket?  The basket is on the conveyor belt.  It’s waist high!  No, you still can’t empty it?  What on earth is wrong with this customer service world?   It’s not like I’m carrying around 50 pounds of cement mix in my basket…..if I can carry it with one arm, you would think the cashiers would be able to lift each item out individually to ring them up.

WRONG.  It’s happened to me at Target and now at Whole Foods.

“Is this your basket?”

No, I’m standing here to ask you if you prefer your orange juice with or without pulp.

YES, it’s my basket.  Who else would it belong to?

“Oh well can you help me empty out the items?”

A look of disbelief crosses my face like a tumbleweed in a desert ghost town.

I start to empty out the items and she turns to start talking to the bagger guy.  Since the conveyor belt keeps moving forward I have to pile all of my items together.  This is ridiculous.  After I empty out my plethora of heavy items she turns to me and asks how I’m doing today.

The only reason I can figure why this has now become the norm (I’ve had this happen to me both at Target and today at Whole Foods) is someone has undoubtedly thrown their back out by lifting out a can of chickpeas or a 4-pack of toilette paper out of a basket sitting on the conveyor belt.

Cashiers don’t even have to enter numbers any longer except when multiple quantities or a produce item comes across their stand.  When I was a casher in high school, at the local grocery, we had to actually ring in items.  Imagine that.  Then I had to walk home without shoes, up hill and in the desert sun.

At Costco here in South Florida, they unload your cart for you.  THAT’S service.  Of course, their management probably figures after heaving that overladen cart around their football field of items you’re arms are fatigued and you need help.

My purchases are finally rung through and as I’m preparing to swipe my card for payment (cashiers don’t even have to do that any more shocking) the cashier points to the basket and says, “Can you put this on the floor for me?”

Gobsmacked.

Are you kidding me?  Seriously?  Are your arms painted onto your torso?  What happened to customer service?  Here, move over and let me ring up and bag my own groceries.  Oh wait, I can already do that.  In fact, I did just that earlier today at Ikea.

What is it exactly that we’re paying cashiers to do these days anyway?  Drag items across a scanner that rings up the item.  Wow.  Difficult.

Imagine the qualifications for the job:  able to keep right arm bent at elbow for hours while dragging items across scanning device and shoving item with left hand to the bagger for packaging.  Smiling and pleasant chatting is not required or expected.  Prefer individuals with sour personality and frown hanging down to their knee caps.  If you can sweat sheer exhaustion and boredom, you’re hired!

Few cashiers are pleasant.  Most are annoyed you are standing in front of them.  Very rarely do they even greet you or ask if you found everything.  They’re too busy discussing with their coworkers when their next smoke break is and if they can borrow a cigarette.  TRUE, happened last week at Target.  If one should actually thank you for shopping at their place of employment, pigs would fly.  Actually monkeys would probably shoot out of my butt if good customer service was normal at retail stores.

Even the girl at Barnes and Noble was annoyed today.  When you are angry at the world, try not to take it out on me.  If being nice to customers isn’t your thing, may I suggest a job change.  You probably want to stay away from people so I would look into office cleaning in the evenings, back-room stock person or counting beans in a basement somewhere.  Maybe you could pass as a sultry 900 number operator, there you could wear a headset and not even have to use your arms at all.  There’s a bonus!

Seriously, I think owners and managers alike should do their own version of Undercover Boss and experience first hand just how rude their front line staff can be to customers.  It isn’t even rude as it’s down right anti-customer service.

I’m thinking of starting a rating system.  If you provide great customer service, I will thank you and give you a high five.  Actually, we have stopped managers in stores and restaurants to compliment a particular employee.  Maybe I’ll just start telling the anti-service cashiers, I hope their day gets better……let them ponder that one.

 

AN ADDENDUM:

I would also like to comment at this time that The Public should learn some manners as well.  The woman in front of me at Whole Foods today…..her son, maybe 8 years old, nearly ran me down as he was obviously hopped up on sugar and decided to run back into the aisles like a fox chasing a hare.  No excuse me.  No I’m sorry.  No pardon me.  NOTHING.  Even the man behind me raised his eyebrows and shook his head.

I don’t care WHAT country you are from people.  It’s never okay not to be nice.  Running down a stranger is not acceptable, unless they have a mafia hit on them.