About rudeness

Just when I think I have come to accept putting up with rude people as a part of everyday life, I encounter another one that takes rudeness to a whole new level.  I realize sometimes people don’t intend to be rude, they just are.  However, the ones that really get me are the ones who say something so incredibly rude, you can’t help but wonder if they actually intended it to sound that way; No sane person would say some of these things, and you have to wonder if it’s a reverse psychological game they are playing.

For example, I was working patrol once and a call came in for Guy vs. Table Saw.  I happened to be only a few blocks away, so I arrived several minutes before any other officer or ambulance.  After I parked in front of the house, I saw the man holding his hand upright, blood running down his arm, pacing in front of the garage.   I saw  that he was missing parts of two fingers: his pointer and index.  I gathered up the amputated parts and wanted to get them on ice so they might be able to reattach them later.  I didn’t have any ice, so I ran next door to a neighbor’s house.  The door opened immediately.  I asked the 50-something woman if I could get some ice.  I held the two pieces of finger tightly in my hand, and explained that I would need the ice in a plastic bag.  She returned with ice and then I asked for a towel.  (A kitchen towel, a bath towel, a hand towel, anything.)

The woman looked at me, sighed, and with a serious face said, “All my towels are good towels.”

Really?!?

I secretly hoped that woman would be stuck somewhere bleeding profusely and in need of a towel and someone would have the audacity to say to her that all their towels were good towels.  Only then would she realize how rude she had been.

Another good example of sheer rudeness occurred to me yesterday.  I had an appointment to get my hair cut and colored at a salon here in town.  I had never been there before, but have several friends who go there.   I opened the door and stepped inside.  There was a stylist behind the counter that was not my stylist.  She was speaking with another client, and it appeared they had just finished a style or cut.  I assumed my stylist was in the back room cleaning up or taking a quick break.  I sat down in a waiting room chair and began to browse the magazines on the table.  The stylist popped her head around the side of the client and said, “Um…..are you in the right place?”

Seriously.  Who asks that?  What ever happened to “You must be Jessica” or “Welcome to *name of salon*, how can I help you?”  She just assumed that because she herself had never seen me before, I must be in the wrong salon.

I replied, “Yes….this is *name of salon*….I have an appointment with *name of stylist* at 11:30.”

“Oh, *name of stylist* didn’t get ahold of you? *stylist* is sick. You can call *stylist* on Tuesday.”  The other client then offered, “I’ll cut your hair” with a smile.  Nice attempt at humor for a stranger…at least she was trying.

I said, “It was a cut and color.”  I was so angry with the stylist behind the counter that I said nothing more.  I quietly put my coat on and was about ready to run out the door when the other client said, “Oh and I’ll bet you were really looking forward to it.”

“Yes, I really was.”

Not another word had been spoken to me by the stylist behind the counter. No offer to make a return appointment, no apologies, no fake smile, no explanation of her rude comment, nada.  I turned and walked out the door.

Maybe I should have checked if there was a sign in the front window that said “Rude spoken here.”

I can’t believe I hacked someone’s Amazon account

Yes, that’s right….I am now considered a hacker.  I didn’t try to…in fact, I wish I would never have stumbled onto this little mess.

Here’s how I became an unwitting hacker.

I began teaching my husband how to use a computer last summer (2010).  I first wanted to teach him how to use email, so naturally I created a free hotmail account for him.   Naive Jessica was not aware that hotmail had a practice of recycling old usernames and IDs.  YES, they recycle them.

If you had “Ilovebeer@hotmail.com” when you were in college and had a lengthy period of inactivity, they could inactivate your account and give that username to someone else.  Really scary thought…I know.

Fast forward about nine months to the present.  Tonight I wanted to score a diaper deal on Amazon.  Amazon is smarter than me and told me that I couldn’t score the deal because I had already benefited from a 20% coupon for diapers this month.  Dangit.  There must be another way…

This is where I took my first step toward hackerdom.  “I know, I’ll create an account in my husband’s name, and HE can use the coupon to score a great diaper deal.”  Or so I thought.

I navigated to Amazon and began the process to create a new account.  I would score my diaper deal yet, just you watch me Mighty Amazon.  I clicked “I’m a new customer” and I entered my husband’s email. (Remember the email we created nine months ago?)  When I pressed the button to create a new account, Amazon told me that there was already an account associated with that email.  What?  Had my husband had become internet savvy in the past nine months and created an Amazon account without telling me?  I seriously doubt it.

Step two into hackerdom: I clicked on the ‘forgot password’ button for Amazon.  Amazon sent my husband an email and directed me to check the email now.  I logged into his hotmail account and opened the Amazon email.  There was a clickable link to change his password.  I clicked on it, and typed in a new password.  Simple enough.

Next I navigated back to Amazon and signed into my husband’s account with his email and newly changed password.  **This is where I successfully became a hacker.**

At the top of the page it said, “Welcome eloy —- jr.”  Red flags immediately went up for me.  How did someone create an account with my husband’s email?  Did they have our address too??  I was determined to find out who was trying to ‘hack’ my husband.  I clicked on ‘My Account’ to check the name/address information.  There it was: this account was someone else’s account.   I was logged into someone’s else’s account….Oh no, I was the hacker!!

I clicked into the stored payment information.  There weren’t any credit/debit cards stored on the account. Gracias a Dios! This is when it dawned on me that the California dude wouldn’t be happy knowing I was in his account poking around.  Panic started to set in, and I immediately started searching Amazon for the ‘contact us’ section of their website.

Long story short: I searched online and discovered that MSN/hotmail  recycles old userids.  Someone had my husband’s email before him, and had opened an Amazon account during the time they had that email.  Amazon made it simple for my husband to change ‘his’ password, and thus granted us access to someone else’s account.

Shame on you, MSN/hotmail.  And shame on you, Amazon.

I called Amazon and explained what had happened. (I’m honest!)  They started an ‘investigation’ and closed that account.  They allowed me to open an account in my husband’s name with that same email address.  I told them I will NOT be storing any payment information on his account or mine.  So much for the Subscribe and Save discounts.  I also emailed feedback to MSN/hotmail about their poor practice of recycling user IDs.  I’m sure they won’t listen to me, but if I could become a hacker without trying, I’m pretty sure people a lot smarter than me could do some real damage.

I’m starting to wonder about any old accounts I have in cyberspace with old email accounts I thought were dead and buried. I can count at least eight that I’ve had over the years.   It really makes me wonder: Have I been recycled yet?


A small victory at Walgreens

Today I took my husband, baby girl, and mother to Walgreens for a quick stop to coupon a few items.  I didn’t really have a plan; I just enjoy shopping and love the excitement of the ‘hunt’.  With my coupon binder in tow, I headed into the first aisle.

Five seconds into the aisle, a cashier recognized me and wanted to see my daughter.   “My how she’s grown! She’s gotten so big.”   We spoke for several minutes while my husband casually strolled away.  A few moments later, I saw my husband at the end of the aisle. He was very intrigued by something.  I saw him pull something off the shelf, and then put it back.  Then I saw him pick it up again, and put it back.  I had better investigate.

As I neared him, I realized he located the clearance markdowns.  Good man…I’ve trained him well.  He found Gillette body wash marked down to $2 each.  I had a manufacturer coupon for $2 off any Gillette body wash.  Score.  I only had three coupons, so three would be enough.

I headed to the baby aisle to check a deal on diapers.  I was doing some savings calculations in my head and realized there was an even more incredible deal on baby wipes.  The 184 count Huggies wipes refill was on sale for $5.99.  I had a manufacturer coupon for $2, and a Walgreens coupon (from the Infant Care Booklet) for $2.  I also had a manufacturer coupon for “Buy one Huggies 180+ wipes refill, get one tub of wipes free.”  I picked up a tub of wipes.

A few other items into my cart: a walgreens brand shaving cream for $1.99….no coupons, bummer.  And…two pieces of chocolate.  One has to have some reward for a shopping trip this good, right?

At the cash register, the Gillette body wash rang up BOGO 50% off.  That means my coupons would create $1 overage.   Hubby scored even more points in my book for this deal.   My wipes refill rang up $5.99.  After the two coupons, they were $1.99.  The tub of wipes was $3.49, and the BOGO coupon made them free.  After clearance, sales, and coupons, my total spent on the five items pictured below was $.99!! (Of course I also had to pay for the shave cream and chocolate, but these five are worth bragging.)

For those keeping score :        The Laras – 1……Walgreens – 0.

Victory for us.

The best $.99 I ever spent!

Conchas….almost.

One of the things I love most about the blend of cultures in my family is the food.  It’s also one of the most challenging things about our relationship as a couple.

With Eloy being raised in Mexico, he grew up without the American ‘staples’ we assume everyone loves.  Macaroni and Cheese, spaghetti, meatloaf, casserole, maidrites, pizza, and brownies.   Mexican ‘staples’ are tortillas, rice, beans, caldo, lengua, and sopa.  (At least that’s what my husband says.)  He considers these to be comfort foods while I, for the most part, consider them to be poor man’s food.

My husband is a phenomenal cook (most days.)  He cooks entirely with fresh foods and keeps our refrigerator stocked at all times with roma tomatoes and jalepeno peppers, and our pantry with potatoes, onion, and garlic.  Most days you will find cilantro and limes, as well as a good variety of the fruit that is in season.  He creates masterpiece dinners with these on a moment’s notice.  However, he does NOT cook like the Mexican restaurants here in the United States.  He says these are American Mexican food….not authentic Mexican food.

I tend to think I’m a good cook…but my husband would disagree.  I grew up cooking meatloaf, spaghetti, stuffed pasta shells, maidrites, and every form of casserole you can imagine.  I attempt to cook these for my husband and inevitably he will go to the refrigerator and take out a jalapeno pepper and chomp bites off of it in between bites of ‘gringa cooking.’   With casserole, he opens a can of pickled jalapenos and carrots (another Mexican necessity) and covers….I really mean covers…..his casserole with them.  He says it adds flavor because there isn’t any.  I personally think he has no idea what flavor is.   If it doesn’t burn his mouth, he thinks it has no flavor.

I try to find recipes to cook Mexican dishes, but the problem with Mexican dishes are THERE AREN’T RECIPES!  It’s always a bit of this, a handful of that, and no one seems to write down how to do it.  Oh yes, I can find recipes on the internet, but they always come across as a Gringa version of a Mexican dish.   I have tried multiple times to cook something to his liking and have only succeeded once:  Pastel de Tres Leches or Three Milk cake.  He actually prefers my version to a local baker’s version.

So I decided yesterday to try to make Conchas.  Conchas are to Mexicans what Doughnuts are to Americans.  Frankly I don’t like either but that’s besides the point.   It was quite a challenge to even attempt them because it involved yeast and letting the dough rise….something I’ve never successfully accomplished in American cooking either.  I rolled out the conchas and was preparing to cook them when Eloy looked at them with a nonverbal disapproving look.  He said, “What are you making?”  I didn’t answer him.  I didn’t want him to laugh at me.   After awhile he said, “Are those conchas?”  I lied and said no.   I wanted him to believe they were some American treat so he wouldn’t tell me that I wasn’t doing it right.

When the conchas came out of the oven, they smelled delicious.  Eloy tried one and said they tasted ‘just like a concha.’  I think that was all the approval I needed.

Who’s afraid of the big bad blog?

And thus it begins…..

I must admit the thought of hosting a blog is daunting, frightening actually.  As a subscriber to dozens of blogs about saving money, getting freebies, online deals, and life in general, you’d think I knew a fraction of what it means to ‘be a blogger’.  Sadly, I do not.

So here we go, naivety and all.

Of course I have dreams of a huge blog with hundreds even thousands of daily followers.  After all, those that I stumbled upon and subscribed to had to start somewhere, right?  I’m going to dream big!

I was supposed to pick a theme for my blog, a genre.  How do I sum up everything important to me in one genre? It’s so limiting.  I am a multiplexed ever-evolving woman who has a passion for many things…why confine my thoughts to one genre?

That’s why my blog is going to be about….me.  Complex yet so simple.  Well, not just me…my family as well.  You’ll see posts about our life as a blended Mexican-American family, adventures in cultural differences, photos, the joys of raising our daughter,  my hobbies, my faith, my sorrows.  I’m sure I’ll post about coupons, steals and deals, and freebies.  You might even see a post or two about things like my thoughts of the day…maybe a story of things that ‘irked’ me that day….maybe things that made me smile.  You never know what you’ll get from my blog…but then again, you never know what you get from me in person either. :)

Blog on!

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