Friday, January 23, 2015

Big Beef With Boston Chicken

Take one look at that sad plate of crumbled corn bread and tell me that you wouldn't be upset.  I dare you.  I mean, the food at Boston Market isn't gourmet, but it's good home-cookin, and the best part is the corn bread.  So when you get a bag of corn bread crumbs, there's reason to be upset enough to tweet a picture of it to Boston Market to say, Hey Boston Market, what happened to my cornbread?  And then they should tweet back, We're so sorry--Free Corn Bread For Life!

Okay, I'm not expecting free corn bread for life, but I'm a little bitter.  Back in September--which is now last year--Eddie and I decided we should pick up some Boston Market for the family.  We put our order in ahead of time online as we always do, and then drove to pick it up.

We got there and the place was pretty empty. We went right up to the cash register and said we were there for our order.  The cashier called out to one of the workers, Did you get that order set up for me hmmmmm?  There was a distinct condescending tone in her voice, but I don't know what goes on there all the time, so maybe the benefit of the doubt is that the worker doesn't listen and the cashier gets exasperated.  Maybe.  Really, I don't care.  I just want my food and I like when people respect each other, so I was itching to get out of there already.

The server pointed towards the back of the kitchen and to the counter behind the register.  Our food was sitting out, uncovered, in both places.  The cashier, whom I think was a manager because her shirt was a different color, covered all the plates and then asked us something about gravy.  She suggested we get the larger size for cost effectiveness, so we agreed.  That's when she asked the server for a family-size container.  The server handed her a container.  The cashier would not take it from her.  She simply repeated, Family-size.  The server held out the same container.

You'd think it would stop there because Eddie and I both caught on that the container in the server's hand was not family size, and that clearly she didn't know what it meant.  So instead of saying, No, the bigger container, the cashier kept repeating, Family size.  She kept saying it more loudly as if volume was both the problem and the solution.  Finally, she grabbed the bigger sized container, held it up for the worker, and said, Family sized.

Meanwhile, a line of one person formed behind us.  Her plate of food was ready to go.  The other server set it out next to the register.  Uncovered.  Sitting there.  So while the container size debacle was occurring, the woman behind us rightly pointed out, My food is getting cold!  Sing it, sister!  So was ours!

No one responded to the woman behind us.  Instead, the gravy and container took precedence, and finally we were able to pay and get the heck out of there after twenty minutes.  Twenty. Minutes.  Isn't speed the reason for online ordering?  For shame, Boston Market, for shame!

The drive from Boston Market to my parents' house is about five minutes.  Either the food had been sitting out a long time in the restaurant or my car acts as a flash freezer because by the time we got it home, it was lukewarm at best. For shame, Boston Market, for shame!

I separated the meals and found that my dad's meal contained spinach as a side, which is not what he ordered.  Now if we'd ordered in person or over the phone, I'd understand that someone can mis-hear an order, but we'd ordered online.  All they have to do is read and check off what they do.  My dad is on blood and heart meds, so spinach is basically poison for him, so I took the rest of his food out and put it on a poison-free plate and gave him my side of lukewarm veggies instead.  I could get all slippery slope here and say, For shame for trying to poison my dad, Boston Market, for shame! But I won't.

While we weren't over the moon about our meal, it was still a meal.  We could heat up the cold parts (though I'm not sure if that rids the food of possible salmonella).  Then Eddie asked, Where's the corn bread?  And I was like, Oh, yes, that will save this meal!

So I opened the bag of corn bread, stuck my hand in, and pulled out what looked like a corner of a mini-bread.  Then I dumped the bag and got what you see up top.  A pile of corn bread pieces and crumbs.  That. Was. It.


I got my phone, snapped a pic, and tweeted at Boston Market:
Lukewarm meals, the wrong sides, and then we empty the bag to find this.

They tweeted back at me a number I should call.  I called the number and left a detailed message because no one answered.  Then I went onto their website and submitted a complaint there.

Then? Nothing.

So in November I tweeted again since it was the only way I received the first response:
In Sept, I tweeted. You gave me further contact info. I emailed. I called. No response. Disheartened.


Well, I'm writing this, right?  Which means I got nothing.  Except bitter.  And now I'm done.  Except for this:

For shame, Boston Market, for shame!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Speedy Baddriverson and Me: One Year Anniversary

It's not surprising and quite fitting that my hip hurts today. Every day, it's something new. One year ago today was a sunny crisp day with clean, dry streets, quite different from the day before that brought about a snow day for the first day of Spring semester 2014. Before one year ago today, I was active, healthy, on top of the world. So this was the second day of school but the first day we had classes, and I was driving home, content, and then, Speedy Baddriverson rear-ended me.

2014 turned out to be a year of dealing with doctors and therapists and no-fault insurance. It was all ice packs and heating pads and stretches and stupidity. I got advice like, You should stretch and strengthen your abs, from doctors whom I'd just told, I taught yoga before the collision. I got advice like, Take tumeric. So I've added tumeric to everything. I've learned that too much tumeric can lead to heartburn.

The orthopedist did not help my back spasms, but physical therapy did.

The pain moved to my lower back when the spasms stopped. The physical therapy ran out then, anyway, so I went to a chiropractor.

My summer was consumed by three appointments a week, going to see the chiropractor for adjustments. The stress of slow results and pain moving from lower back to mid back and then back down again wreaked havoc on me. I got pains in my stomach. I was always tired. I was always achy.

I got a second chiropractic opinion that offered less aggressive adjustment, more alternative experiments. The drawback: he's in Brooklyn, and in traffic on the Belt, that means traveling 40 minutes to get there. But he was positive and determined to get me better, so I went. He sent me to get an MRI, something I swore I'd never do, but I did it (and it really was not as confined as had been described to me). I did cupping. Oh, the cupping. I got gentle adjustments. I got electro-tingly therapy. It was good when I was getting it. I was still achy, though.

Basically, if I tried to go back to living the same way I was with super duper workouts, I fell back into pain.

And then the insurance ran out. The no-fault doctor told Geico that I was fine. It's fine to be in pain every day.

I keep stretching. I keep moving. I can't get into the full yoga positions I used to, but I don't stop. The elliptical finally arrived from the old place and it's now in the home gym for me to use for a low impact high results workout. And I've been on a Whole 30 nutrition plan aimed at reducing inflammation, the culprit the second chiropractor was after. He told me I'd get better.

Here I am a year later, and I am not cured. However, I'm 22 days into Whole 30 and there are less aches, which means that I might possibly have less inflammation. Eddie says I've been complaining less, which means either I've simply gotten used to feeling this way or I'm getting better. I'd like to think I'm getting better. The aches move between my lower back and my hips. Because I've had so much of a problem with my lower back, I haven't been able to stretch out and open my hips the way I used to, so basically anything attached to my pelvis still is not back to what it was.

But it's better. A year later, I don't wake up with spasms in my back and I don't ache every minute of every day. For that, I'm thankful. Now if I can get my insurance company to cover chiropractic care, I can go back to the second chiro just a few more times and maybe make some magic happen. Until then, I'm continuing the Whole 30 to day 30 and then while I won't keep it as strict, I will not go back to the malnutritious well of inflammation I'd created.

As for Speedy Baddriverson, I hope she's taken some lessons in How Not To Crash Into Other People's Cars.

Back to me, here's where I'd like to be, and I'm getting there.
Finished P90X twice! Check out that bicep.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Book Giveaway!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

For the Girls, I by Christina M. Rau

For the Girls, I

by Christina M. Rau

Giveaway ends February 14, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Kicking Off The Year With A Recent Free Stuff Round Up

I won this over the summer, and since then, I purchased: a microwave, a doormat, salt and pepper shakers, a potato masher, a basting brush, a board game, and detergent. I still have some cash left.  Target has good prices.

I bought some boots and some sneakers with a gift card, and the website told me to click a button to get a bag.  I clicked a button.  I got a bag.  $50 bag for free. 
It goes so well with my jammie bottoms.
Found this in the garage.  I've mentioned this before, but I'm still trying to find out if it's worth anything.  I don't know if it's an original or a reprint.  It could be worth five dollars.  It could be worth five hundred.  The frame is also very fancy.
Antiques Road Show?
I have no idea how I got this in the mail, but I did.  Eddie is enjoying it.
Serve hot or cold

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


As experiences are the best gifts, my Christmas gift from Eddie was a surprise event: going to see the Harlem Globetrotters.  I'd mentioned it to him once in passing that I'd never seen them and might want to some day.  Yeay!  My some day came.

Attention anyone who goes to Nassau Coliseum: park in the cheap parking area if you can.  It was only 8 bucks.  The guy at the gate stopped us before we paid to make sure we knew we'd need to walk about a minute longer to get to the building.  We were okay with that.  Once we got inside and found our seats, we kept our coats on because it was freezing.  We were not okay with that.  We kept them on the whole time.  I suppose because it wasn't a packed house, the heat of the crowd was not warming up the arena.

We noticed that there were other adults there without children.  We were not weird.  Yes, those adults were like senior citizens, but still, we were not weird.  There were, of course, hoards of children there, and at one point, one was kicking the back of my seat.  However, Eddie and I understand that if we go to an event for children, we cannot be annoyed that children are actually there.  And for the most part, they were not annoying.

Globey, the mascot with the most noncreative name, entertained the crowd for a while.  He played Musical Chairs and cheated a lot.

Globey's brother, however, is the best mascot ever.  He dances and then falls flat on his face.  It's Hil. Air. Eee. Us.

After the pre-show of Globey fun and a local dance team, the Globetrotters appeared through smoke.

We were ready for them to stomp the Generals yet one more time.
And for perhaps an appearance by Barry Manilow.  He writes the songs, you know.
There were lots of stunts.  The tallest man alive is on the team, so he was fun to watch.  I mean, they're all somewhat tall, but he was like over seven feet.  All of them danced and did tricks. The first female team member ever was playing, so they needed to play songs about women every time she touched the ball, though they never did break out into "I Am Woman Hear Me Roar." They all bickered with the ref, not in the way the NBA players do after every single call, but in the way that only the Globetrotters could do.  It was my kind of basketball.

They followed a dragged out storyline about the ref being biased, but tied it all together and they gave us our money's worth.

Really, what we realized is that being a Harlem Globetrotter is the best job in the world.  You get to play basketball without all the pressure of the NBA.  You get to travel and entertain.  If you can't do tricks, you might be on the Generals.  Eddie is totally trying out for the team, and I'm going to look into being the MC--or maybe there's a Globey costume that can fit me. I'm not a fan of adults in costumes with big heads, but I'm not going to miss a shot at hitting the road with the best team ever.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Elvis (Kinda) Lives!

The best kind of Christmas presents for my parents are experiences.  Stuff is great, but they've had enough of stuff for the most part, so my brother decided we should see Elvis.  He's a BB King's guru, so I put all my Christmas faith in him that we'd see a good show.  Not only would we see Elvis, but we'd also get brunch, and I'm a big fan of brunch. 

I'm not a big fan of crowded trains, however, and for some reason, the train from Jamaica to Penn was almost unboardable.  One reason was that everyone in the tri-state area was traveling on that one particular train with luggage.  The other reason was that many of those travelers did not know how to move down the aisles, and so they stayed tightly packed where the doors were.  You know, where people attempt to get on the train.  Eddie and I left my parents at one car and we jammed ourselves into another.  Once the doors closed, we got situated pretty well.  Some poor kid was crammed between me and some large person with a large suitcase as his dad stood across from him, caught between a couple.

It was hot.  I was under some sort of vent, so my face was cool, but everything else was sweaty.  The kid told his dad he was thirsty.  The dad somehow bent down to grab water from his backpack without hitting into anyone too much.  Then the kid started leaning on me all weird.

Oh, wait, not leaning.  The kid was passing out.  Fainting right there.  The dad dropped the sack and lunged for him while I braced him against my hip so he would slide straight down on his butt.  Then he woke up.  The couple surrounding the dad asked if he wanted water, but the dad already had it.

I always always always carry snacks with me.  Except for that one day. I told Eddie--I wish I had a snack for him.  Eddie was like, I was going to ask if you did.  Nope, no snacks for the fainting boy. 

We all shifted so that the kid was sitting next to his dad for the rest of the ride, and he was pretty content chugging down the bottle of water.  When the doors opened, we met up with my parents and found that their ride was not as eventful.

Taking the subway to Times Square was not eventful either.  I mean, there were people singing and dancing and chanting and yelling, but no one was passing out on top of me.  We walked to the club and met up with my brother, and we were able to go in right away.  He showed us all the upcoming acts listed on the walls, and we saw that the guy from The Voice would be playing there soon.  Ooh, we watch that show.  We are so on top of pop culture.

We ate brunch while the room filled up.  It wasn't cramped as I thought it would be, and I fell in love with my sandwich.  As we ate, Eddie caught first sight of Elvis.

Elvis has a cell phone.
Later on, Elvis ditched the cell phone for some fancy duds.  The entrance was interesting because the music was louder than the actual introduction, but we knew the lady was yelling something about Elvis coming to the stage.  And did he ever.

He sang Elvis tunes.  He sang non-Elvis tunes.  He could carry a tune.  Women were fawning over him.  During one song, he was wearing a scarf and gave it away.  Women then lined up to get scarves. 

Between sets, he would talk to us, and he was really funny, especially when one woman from France was talking over him and he called her out and she had no idea what was going on, and for the rest of the show, he kept referencing France and she had no clue because she spoke very little English, but she, too, got a scarf.

I did not get a scarf.  I was content with my napkin.
Go ahead.  Tell me what that is.
Additionally, I was more than content with how the show wrapped up.  Though Elvis (aka Gene DiNapoli) refused a lot of requests because the band hadn't had enough time to learn the gamut of Elvis songs throughout time, he did play "Suspicious Minds," which is my favorite Elvis song ever.  More importantly, my mom and dad enjoyed it.  They were bopping around in their chairs.  My dad was clapping off-beat.  My mom was whooping after every song.  My brother, Eddie, and I enjoyed it, but the two of them were like over the moon enjoying it.  It was as close as we could get to getting them tickets to see Elvis himself, so I'd say it was a Christmas gift done good.