Monthly Archives: August 2009

Roof Chaser?

Lately, I have experienced what so many may already have — the ambulance chaser but in another, completely perverse and weird form – THE ROOF CHASER. It is no surprise that Colorado has seen its share of bad storms this past year- between November of 2008 and July of 2009, Colorado has had some pretty intense wind and hail storms, tornadic activity, and thunderstorms that leave you thinking, “where do I live again?” Traditionally known as a drought-state, this year, Colorado has had plenty of flooding and hail.

So, it is not a surprise to see so many roof chasers descend on Colorado. We had such an experience this past weekend. Not only is our door step and handle inundated with flyers daily, we had the proverbial pop-in – a guy who walks door to door, handing out brochures, leaving his card, and trying to talk up his roof. Well, as any idiot who has an internet connection knows, it is not hard to get a decent roof on your house – the question is, “who puts it there.” That is where the comparisons come in. Who do you trust to be up on your roof installing a new roof the proper way? That is the key when you are deciding which roofer to use. You should (1) verify what product is being used (2) is it hail and impact resistant and (3) how is it being installed – what nails and how many per square. When it comes to new roof installation, workmanship and warranty is key. So, it is important to work with a local company and someone you trust.

The best way to find a good roofer is through word of mouth and then do research on them – through the better business bureau (bbb) and the internet. You can find out a lot about a company by their zip code. Many companies have descended on Colorado just to get some business and then they will head right back out – who knows if they will be in business when you need them again? I did some research on the roof chaser that came by our home and it turns out they’re Georgia-based. The guy who gave me his card had a Colorado number on his card but on his website, it was an area code local to Atlanta. Interesting. In any case, beware if you need a good roofer. Many companies pride themselves on getting you money from your insurance and claim to get $20K for roofs when really, you can do the job for under $10K and do it well. It is interesting how much they are willing to do for your business but remember, the key is reputation and workmanship. Do your homework – after all, it is a “roof over your head” and they do not come cheap.


Dressing Room Drama – I feel so violated

I feel so violated – today, I went to a sporting goods store to find that perfect sports swim suit and instead I got violated in a big way. So, there I was in the dressing room and I locked the door – so I thought. It was a busy dressing room area at lunch time and people were coming and going- some would knock and others like the guy who barged in on me did not…. I was trying on swim suits so of course, you can imagine my surprise when I heard the door rattle. I said several times, “someone’s in here. someone’s in here.” Before I could finish that sentence a third time, the guy had already pushed the door open and was staring at me. I was covering my naked, topless self but was completely shocked. I think he was too because it took what felt like several seconds for him to say sorry and run away. He was not laughing but I could tell he was shocked too. After all, there I was, completely naked. Holding a swim suit on a hanger in one hand and trying to cover myself up with the other. He probably heard me yell, “what the fuck and oh my god – didn’t you hear me say someone was in here?” What a mess!

I decided not to purchase anything and left the store but before I did I talked with someone about their dressing rooms. I informed him that they needed separate dressing stalls or a better system like they do at dick’s. For example, at some stores where they have co-ed dressing stalls, they have the sales associates come and let you in after verifying no one in there. Other stores have the stalls where you can at least see people’s feet. I am not sure what happened to common courtesy like just knocking and verifying before entering. All I can say is I am humiliated and embarrassed and this was an accident – I cannot imagine how people feel who are sexually assaulted or worse, raped. Those are intentional acts against the person and this was an honest mistake. But the way I felt just made me realize how horrific those events must be for a person. I also heard recently about stores taping people in dressing rooms without their knowledge and consent and I realized also what a horrible invasion of privacy that is despite same-sex observers. In any case, it was a horrific day and I hope never to go back to this store. I am debating how to handle this incident – should I call the manager and talk with them, write a letter, or just end it with this blog. I really want to advocate for a better system for dressing rooms but am not sure how to handle it.

In any case, for now, I choose to put this drama behind me and hope that someday I can re-enter a co-ed dressing stall … and come out without incident.


You want a tip? In this economy?

I recently went on a lunch outing with a colleague and had a not so nice server and I decided to not tip her the proverbial 20%… in fact, after the use of coupons, I think we short changed her quite a bit. Same goes for a pedicure I got the other day from the local neighborhood Asian nail parlour. I just decided she was not as good as my usual lady and I did not need to feel guilted into giving her the same amount. I know what people say – you should tip 20% as a starting point but to them I say, no way! 20% is not the starting point for me – it is not a guarantee. I think 10% is the starting point. While I used to be generous with my tipping especially since my husband influenced me a lot after I met him, lately, I think you need to do something good and be pretty dern good to get that. In this economy, why should I tip someone who gave bad or mediocre service. I once got a really bad arm wax and felt guilted into tipping 20% – not anymore! I am taking a stand against tipping bad service. Granted, there are times when the service is just that good…

For example, when we go to a restaurant with the kids and they are messy, of course, we may owe the guy or gal a little more than 20%, but I go to a buffet lunch with my work colleague and I am not going to leave more than a dollar. Why would I? What did they bring me? I had to get up and go get my food. I am not tipping you a lot just because you brought me a glass of water. Another time I think someone goes above and beyond is with the service- bringing out things on the side, special requests, and keeping my water or soda glass filled without me asking. I think that is nice. I remember one server bringing out nice things for my daughter to keep her occupied and her tummy full – that deserved 20% or more.

In this economy and with us going out to eat a lot more than usual, I have to watch how much I tip not just at restaurants but at service places- hair, nails, and the like. I think in the end it depends on what service you got and how the person did – 20% is not a guarantee. You have to earn it! You want a tip? In this economy? You need to go above and beyond. We all do.


Your daughter is so cute when she speaks Arabic

The other day we decided to check out a local ice cream/coffee shop in these new subdivisions that have their own restaurants, coffee shops, and so on. What a nice neighborhood and neat places to eat and do yoga and what not. It is quite convenient if you live in these premier neighborhoods to have all of this at your disposal.

So in any case, we wandered into this place to check it out and it was nice -sofas, games, newspapers and magazines and nice food and drink fare. But we were just looking. Our daughter, on the other hand, did not want to leave and made herself at home. She is a talker now – chatterbox of sorts but only we can understand her sometimes because she has her own lingo for saying things.

Anyway, she was asking for water and the guy behind the counter remarked, “Oh, is she speaking Arabic?” I was thinking, she might as well be cause you obviously do not understand that WaWa means water but … I could not help but look around a little bit. Sure, we are of Asian heritage but come on! Why would anyone presume anything these days. In any case, since then my husband and I have had some fun at this guy’s expense and now anytime we can’t understand our daughter which is more often than not, we claim she is speaking Arabic cause neither of us speaks that. I just find it humorous when Americans in this day and age of knowing what we know still proclaim their ignorance and make it known by idiotic comments like that one.


Goldilocks and the Perfect Day Care

Finding a good home care or day care provider for your kids (the most precious thing in your life) is akin to the story of Goldilocks. You need to find one that is “just right.” But, alas, therein lies the problem – finding the perfect day care provider is not a destination but a journey. It never ends. It started before my first daughter was born in the Spring of 2007, and has not ended. Here, we are, 2+ years later, now with my infant daughter and we are still searching for the perfect solution. We started with day care provider #1 after about 3 months of my first daughter’s birth but she could not care for my daughter well. My discerning 3-month old did not like this woman at all and we’d drop her off in her car seat and when we arrived after a few hours, my daughter would be there crying in her car seat. It was like this woman had no clue what to do. This home care provider was NOT right.

My older daughter actually picked the home care provider she is currently going to. At 6 months of age, she jumped from my arms into this lady’s arms when we went to interview her. No one else had this effect on her. In fact, she even cried with my husband and only liked my mom and me. So, it was set – it was destiny. But alas, as you know, this home care provider is less than perfect too – they do great with the kids and they kids love them and identify with them but their home is so far away from the house and far away from my husband’s employment too. It is a pain to take them there and we wish this provider would come to the house. But alas, they charge a lot and the pains to take them back and forth is starting to take its toll -plus, if they are away or have an appointment, one of us has to work from home or take the day off. This home care provider is right but not perfect. I should mention we tried our older daughter in a public day care near my employment last year- she was only 13 months old and she did terribly. She was sick all the time, and the thought of leaving her killed me- she cried and cried. It was too early to do that – That day care situation was NOT right at all.

So, now here we are delving into another home care situation – where someone comes to our home and watches both our kids. Pros- the girls get to stay home and do not have to weather road conditions or storms. But, alas, there are many cons – they are not familiar with this lady and the lady would need to learn where things are in our home, how to heat bottles for my little one and not confuse them with the Vitamin D milk we give our toddler. One HUGE problem – there is a communication gap. This lady only speaks Hindi and my daughter knows another Indian language and English. This is the biggest obstacle right now and I am not sure I am ready for this change despite the girls being more adaptable and flexible than I am. Someone new will have to learn all over what we spend months teaching the current home care provider- how to put my infant and toddler to sleep for nap times, what temperature both kids like their milk, and how to care for them. I am just not sure I will ever find that perfect day care situation …. unlike Goldilocks, I do not think I will ever be sated.