Fandom in Media

Monday, March 21st, 2011 09:14 pm
forchancookie: (Default)
I love Castle. It gives me dorky English jokes and tonight they're doing the crazy shipper angle for murder.
forchancookie: (OMG What?!)
I finished watching the Initial D anime and was surprised to find the manga on Mangafox. It was licensed by Tokyopop, but they dropped it some time ago. Anyway, I am now reading through the manga and Mach 5 by The Presidents of the United States of America just started playing. I just had to stop and appreciate the dorkyness.

Desktop Meme Thing

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011 11:09 pm
forchancookie: (Peachy)
I just changed my wallpaper and icons tonight, so I figured I should do this meme that Dae did the other day.

Desktop Meme thingy )

6. Now minimize everything and show us your desktop.

- And finally, my new wallpaper. I had the Nyanko macaroons up, but I needed a change. So here's San-x's Berry Puppy...with Nyanko macaroon icons >_> I can't escape the nyankos!
forchancookie: (Bring an Umbrella)
For anyone who might be concerned about various Japanese mangaka, actors, or even Nico Nico creators, here's a link to several lists compiling people who have confirmed that they're ok.


Sunday, March 6th, 2011 07:40 pm
forchancookie: My Boston Terrier as a puppy <3 (Niku says "RAR!")
So, mom got a puppy for her birthday. Here's a video I took of him a little after he and Niku met. Niku is more interested in his toys than she is in him. His name will probably be Ziggy, but mom is still deciding.

I have a few pictures but they're all fuzzy. I'll post a few later anyway. Little Ziggy has puppy breath and keeps nomming on me. And his nose is sooo flat. Smooshy face!

ETA: WTF! 13 views on my video and some jackass already "disliked" it! Normally I don't pay attention to that shit, but that's dick. Nobody should dislike new puppy videos.
forchancookie: (Alllways)
So, Lady Gaga's new video got released yesterday and man, it's fucking weird. And yet I agree with a review I read of it the other day. For all it's weirdness in the beginning, it simply isn't weird enough. You have all these alien birth scenes and then it just trickles off into your standard group dance video in really normal looking leather and latex outfits. I shouldn't be able to say that anything about that video is normal looking, but in the end, after the alien weirdness, it just trickles out. Oh sure, you have the weird cheekbones and skull guy, but meh.

Now that that's discussed, let's move onto another video. This video is particularly brilliant because it brings together some odd things that the internet loves. Recently, James Van Der Beek has made a viral come back on the internet with a few Funny or Die videos and the James Van Der Meme website. It takes advantage of the popularity of the Dawson crying .gif and well, he's gone crazy and made all sorts of emotional .gifs. It's really fun. Way to harness the internet James! And so, we take James, who is now an internet sweetheart of sorts for his sense of humor and ability to make fun of himself, and we add in some unicorns and rainbows, also beloved staples of the internet, and we make a music video. That music video is "Blow" by Ke$ha. No matter what you might think of her and her music, whoever conceived this video was very smart. They had an audience in mind and that audience was the internet.

Something else that I like, while Lady Gaga is covered in makeup to look perfect or alien or whatever look she's going for, Ke$ha doesn't have much on at all, mostly some shadow but more importantly no sleek perfect layer of cover up. You can see all her freckles and possible imperfections. You can see her face. Her real face! That's so rare that she gets many many props. Isn't it sad how the smallest bit of real is such a shock? She's getting trashed in the comments for her lack of makeup and bad skin, but we all know that youtube comments are full of stupid. She gets a little respect from me for being just a regular woman.

ETA: Speaking of Funny or Die, Ke$ha was in Disney's Princess Ke$ha. The girl has a sense of humor about herself.
forchancookie: (Snack Time)
Mom took a month long vacation in Rhode Island and I was left with some interesting ingredients in the fridge. I've yet to touch the fennel bulb. I hate fennel seeds and fennel bulbs are supposed to have a licorice-y flavor, which I also do not like. It may well go bad before I attempt to use it. The quinoa on the other hand piqued my interest. It's like a grain, but it isn't. It's seeds.

I poked at various recipes and finally decided upon this one, Quinoa and Black Beans. It had good ratings and a lot of rave reviews. I didn't follow it completely, so I'll just put up my little version here. A lot of reviewers noted that two cans of black beans was too much and I only had one can anyway.

Quinoa and Black Beans )

My Anime List

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011 09:22 pm
forchancookie: (Hikikomori)
Last night, I remembered that I had a My Anime List account and started poking at it. It's hard to remember everything that I've watched. But it's easier to remember the anime than the manga. I read a looooooooooooot of one shots and then promptly forget them. Looks like I drop a lot of anime after the first or second episode. But some of them really don't need to be delved into much farther than that. They're just that bad.

Also, all this cold weather is gonna give my frostbite! My feet are so damn cold!

And finally, I can't stop watching this Star Trek AMV! )

Mosaic Meme

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011 09:26 am
forchancookie: (Hello Kitty Japan)
I stole this meme from Daeva.

The Rules:
1. Answer each of the questions below using the Flickr Search engine.
2. Choose a photo from the first three pages.
3. Copy the URL of your favorite photo into this site:
4. Save mosaic to some form of photo hosting thing and share w/world.

The Questions:
1. First Name
2. Favorite Food
3. Hometown
4. Favorite Color
5. Celebrity Crush
6. Favorite Drink
7. Dream Vacation
8. Favorite Dessert
9. What I Want To Be When I Grow Up
10. What I Love Most In The World
11. One Word That Describes Me
12. My LiveJournal Name

My Mosaic

Can you guess what my answers were? :) Below are the photo credits and my answers.  )
forchancookie: My Boston Terrier as a puppy <3 (Niku says "RAR!")
Cause there can never be enough Niku videos. Opie is in this one too. I was trying to take pictures of some wrapped gifts for a contest on Menewsha, because I am a dork, but the dogs wanted to play and ended up bounced all over my photoshoot.

There you have it. A dose of cuteness to send you into 2011. Happy New Year guys!
forchancookie: (Thpppppt)
Usually around the holidays I post yummy recipes. Today I'm going to post a disgusting one. Mom saw it on Good Morning America and decided to make it. Just hearing her describe it made my stomach turn. This horror is in the vein of Sandra Lee and her semi-homemade stuff, in fact, Sandra Lee was on the tv segment with her own semi-homemade recipe. But her thing actually sounded palatable!

What is this thing? Brownie Cheesecake Peppermint Bars. I like Brownies. I like cheesecake. I like peppermint! I do not like these bars! It's just a giant slab of store bought sugar cookie dough. On top of that you add brownie and cream cheese glop (brownies that you've crushed and mixed with cream cheese). Then you cover the whole thing with white chocolate peppermint bark. The result is a horrific clash of flavors. The store bought cookie taste rubbing elbows with a salty chocolaty cream cheese taste and then on top of that there's a hard layer of white chocolate and peppermint. Urgh. No thanks. Just eating two bites had my stomach in knots.

I don't know how all the reviews on these horrors are positive. Oh wait, they probably have some poor schlub sitting in front of a screen deleting all the comments about how disgusting they are. Well, as long as they don't have to actually eat these things. It's just a hot mess.
forchancookie: (Default)
Hope it's full of good things for everyone :D
forchancookie: (Angry Chibi Viral)
Usually, when a recipe fails, it is because the person cooking/baking didn't actually follow the recipe. Every once in a while, you run into a recipe that just sucks. This is a story about one of those. A week ago, I was flipping through some Southern Dessert compilation magazine and they had a recipe for teacakes. Teacakes are not actual cakes, they're cookies. I guess they're a Southern thing. The only time I can ever recall having a teacake was when I worked at Cou-yon's. Our boss traded a guy a plate of BBQ for the teacakes he was selling. And they were good. They weren't crunchy, a bit soft, but still crumbly. I remember commenting at the time that it'd compliment a sweet potato filling really well. So when I saw this recipe, I had that in mind. However, the recipe called for seven cups of flour and I thought that'd be a bit much to make for this house hold with two people in it.

I looked for another recipe and came across Paula Deen's Southern Teacakes. When I look up recipes online, I always like to read the reviews, see who didn't follow the recipe, see how many reviews there are. I mean, a recipe with one five star review isn't necessarily as good as a recipe with 50 reviews adding up to 4 1/2 stars. I always poke around and look at alternatives and compare. I decided to stick with Paula's because of all the "It tastes like my grandma/aunt/church lady's teacakes" comments. I was hoping I'd get similar results.

Well, I didn't. I should have been suspicious of the brevity of the instructions. They're barely a paragraph long! No mention of creaming the butter and sugar. It reminds me of asking a kid to write instructions for a peanut butter and jelly. Put the peanut butter and jelly on bread and you have a sandwich. Ok, but how?

The recipe calls for two sticks of softened butter, 2 eggs and a half a cup of buttermilk and only four cups of flour. It mentions that the dough will be soft. More like completely unworkable for what comes next. There was just no way in hell that soft sticky dough was going to be turned out on a floured board, rolled, cut with a cookie cutter and put on a pan. But, skeptical as I was, I tried it anyway. The dough stuck to everything. I floured my cookie cutter, it stuck. I criscoed my cookie cutter, it stuck. I wasn't even able to get the excess dough from around my shapes because it was too soft! Clearly, it needed either more flour or to be chilled in the fridge and with that much butter. Though, I still couldn't see it working well after chilling without more flour.

Now, the funny thing is, I went back to the Southern baking magazine and do you know what their recipe calls for? Everything that's in Paula's recipe with the exact measurements, except it calls for 7 cups of flour instead of 4. I should have gone with that one to begin with. I had to work in more flour and stick it in the freezer and I'm still not sure if I will have anything worth eating. I wasn't very thrilled with my test batch of sticky dough. The two cookies I had came out so gooey. The flavor is pretty much standard sugar cookie. Basically, it's disappointing in so many ways. It's not like I changed any part of the recipe. I did add a bit of nutmeg, to attempt to get that spicy taste I remembered, but that's it.

I'm baking up the fortified dough that I had in the freezer now, but I'm already so disappointed with these teacakes, I don't know if I want to eat them. I hate it when a recipe falls through. The last time I had this happen, it was also a cookie recipe and also had issues with the butter. Basically, it was all butter and a ridiculously small amount of flour, and the cookies, if you could call them that, turned into melted puddles of butter in the oven. I had never been so pissed at a cookie recipe before. But now I'm having similar feelings of disgust. Now I'm going to mope around being grumpy all night. Stupid teacakes. Now I'll be stuck on the hunt for the perfect teacake recipe. The "perfect" recipe of anything can be so elusive!
forchancookie: (Hardcore Bubbles)
It’s Fall, time for new anime! I’ve already watched a bunch. I’m going to have to split this thing up. So here’s the titles coming at you in part one:
- Iron Man, the Anime
- Bakuman
- MM!
- Star Driver Kagayaki No Takuto
- Otome Youkai Zakuro
- Shinrei Tantei Yakumo
- Samurai Girls
- Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai
- Yosuga No Sora
- Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt

There will be some spoilers, click if you dare! )
forchancookie: (Hikikomori)
I have a review of new anime coming up later, but I thought I'd follow up with the stuff I watched last season. There will be some spoilers, I'll keep them mild.

Kuroshituji 2, Occult Academy, Nurarihyon No Mago, Live Action Moyashimon, Ookamisan, Durarara, Baccano, and Initial D )

And now, a bit of a rant. A trend that’s bugging me lately is anime being made from light novels. It’s not that they’re bad, it’s that there are often very broad stories to tell in an abbreviated amount of time. If it’s a manga, someone has probably translated it and I can go read the full story later on. If it’s a light novel series, the chances of someone translating it are slim to none. Even if it does get translated, I’ve discovered that I hate most Japanese prose. It’s very simple. It’s been a while since I’ve read the few novels that I did read, but I didn’t enjoy them. At any rate, you’re left wanting more of those characters and you’re sort of adrift.

Durarara is based on a light novel. Somewhere down the road, one of my favorite characters, Mikado, stabs someone in the hand with a pen. That’s not something you’d see him do in the anime, even in some of his more intense moments, but somehow, he develops into someone that does. There are a few scattered translations of the novels, but only one volume has been completely translated and that’s the sixth one.

Ookamisan is also based on a light novel series. There seems to be a large plot at play and they poke at it but ultimately, the series ends far too soon for it to go anywhere because there were only 12 episodes.

Ghost Hunt is a series of light novels that was never finished. The anime just sort of ended and there were quite a few things that weren’t addressed such as the nice version of Naru that kept popping up in dreams. I guessed that he was the Naru’s dead twin brother and only by reading the wiki entry did I learn that I was right.

It’s just frustrating. The animes rarely dives into the stories properly. There's so much more to what you get but it's inaccessible. At least try to do it properly. There are so many loose ends that it's been bugging me a lot lately. I'm fine with making anime based off of light novels, but quit dropping the ball anime companies!

Anyway, that's it for now. I'll be posting about the new Fall anime soon.
forchancookie: (Grrrrr!!)
Have a Facebook? I need you. I'm currently engaged in a bitter battle to win an ipod. Only, for me, it's not about the ipod anymore. It's far more than that. The forum website that I frequent, Menewsha, decided to attempt to boost posts with a friendly contest where you created an interesting thread and the most liked thread would win the above mentioned ipod. Everything was all nice and friendly for the first half of the contest. And then people started paying others for votes. Previously, people had been leading with low votes in their 20s. In a few days, the highest paying person had created a thread that jumped up to 90 votes. It's been a trainwreck ever since.

Paco was helping me get more votes on Gaia, but my thread is still behind. I'd like to show that cheating jerk who's boss, but I need help. I have a day to try to pull ahead. So if you have a Facebook, please help! All you have to do is visit my thread, The Wallflower Corner and click the like button. There's a green arrow pointing to it, can't miss it. You don't have to sign up or anything. All you need to do is like it. If you can get friends to like it, that would be awesome. I don't know how far I'm behind because any time we change our thread title, our votes reset. The owner is keeping track individually. So I could be anywhere from 10 votes behind to a hundred. I hope it's not a hundred because then I'm screwed.

Either way, every little vote counts. My thread is officially the biggest thread on the website, yet we're losing out to someone who is rich and leaving the site. It's just not cool. So please help! Thanks!
forchancookie: (I Wanna Rock!)
Let me introduce you to my newest addiction. I lay a lot of blame for this at the feet of Bento who randomly introduced me to the interesting world of Vocaloids quite some time ago. Vocaloids are voice synthesizers used to sing songs. And since it really took off in Japan, they have cutesy mascots for each specific singer. And since there's a cutesy mascot, there is a big fandom.

What's fascinating about Vocaloids is that it's users who create the music and then have the vocaloid sing it. But then it gets more interesting. Fans of the songs will make art and create videos to go along with their favorite songs so you have a very organic sort of music experience. It's just some guy that composed the song and just some fan who drew the art and created the video.

The thing about Vocaloids is that they're just programs. They work really well in Japanese given that all words are composed of smaller syllables. The English language ones are far more lacking. Even so, while sometimes they can fool you into thinking you're listening to a human sing (and indeed the vocaloids are sampled from real singers) they still have a distinct computerized sound. It's pretty cool, but I could only take it in certain songs.

Circle Me, Circle You ended up on my favorite list because it's a pretty creepy song where the haunting computerized voices really work well. It really gets stuck in your head! The video is quite macabre if you do decide to watch. Another one that I liked, more for the video than the song is Trick and Treat the Reborn version. Someone took the video and changed the characters from the vocaloids to Reborn characters. It's very cool. The song is pretty catch too.

At the time I listened to a few other songs, but it didn't really catch on with me and I moved on. But Bento kept favoriting stuff and I found Nico Nico choruses on her favorite list on youtube. Nico Nico Douga is a Japanese video sharing site where vocaloid videos and pretty much every Japanese video gets posted. It's their youtube. Fans weren't content to just listen to music, they wanted to participate. They all record voice tracks or even instrument tracks and post them and people mix them together to form Nico Nico choruses. So now you take the very organic user generated music add in regular fans singing put it on a video that is remixed for that particular chorus and you've got a really unique music experience.

When I first listened to a few, as before, I was like "This is pretty cool" but it didn't really catch me. That's probably because Bento has an obsession with the Black Rock Shooter song and I was about ready to shoot myself in the head after three or so choruses of that. ^_^;;

But recently, I was poking around on Crunchyroll and they had this video posted Just Be Friends by Rapbito & Zebra. It's a rap remix of a Just be Friends sung by one of the Vocaloids. The video just happens to be very poignant I think. The art is really pretty. The Rapbito video was similarly remixed and it's really awesome.

After watching that one, various choruses were suggested for me to consume and consume I did. And that's when it happened! I found some really good Nico chorus singers and suddenly I'm addicted! And even though you end up listening to the same songs over and over by dozens of different people, you can't stop. You want to hear the other versions. Some of them make you wince, but some are really good.

I've started compiling a decent sized playlist of some of my favorites. There are a few repeats and a few flat out Vocaloid songs mixed with some choruses and single chorus singers. One of the first ones that really sucked me in was a chorus version of Imitation Black sung by Clear, Dasoku and Valshe. Having pretty bishies singing about a love triangle in the video helps (even if Valshe is a girl, she's singing a guy's part).

I sortof went crazy with Clear. He has a really nice voice. I think he showcases it well in Last Night, Good Night. It's usually sung by females. I heard him in a chorus version, but the horrible girl voices had to go. Glad I found the single version. It seems that Clear will be putting out an album of his covers soon. Valshe already has one. I guess it's the thing to do once you've got enough popularity.

Anyway, moving on, the fun thing about having all these individual voice tracks to play with is that people can make duets (or choruses) that wouldn't usually happen. So when a sexy song like Magnet comes out, it's easy to hook two gorgeous voiced young men together for a scintillating duet! *purrs* And let us not forget the ladies. There seem to be about a million versions of Magnet out there, some better than others.

Those are all songs with only a singer or two. For larger choruses, they'll choose a photo to represent each singer and have them flash on the screen when they sing, like in this super catchy song World's End Dancehall that I stole form Bento's favorite list. That's a pretty simple video. Some of them get pretty complicated. The sheer amount of musical mixing and keeping the tracks straight and matching them up with their photos is amazing, especially in the larger choruses. This version of Fire◎Flower is pretty involved. I can't even keep track of how many people are singing in this version of Meltdown x_X

And the Japanese can't keep all the fun to themselves! Here's a Russian girl belting out Love is War in Japanese. I'm trying to find some English translated covers that don't make me wince....I'll keep working on that. This version of Just Be Friends has decent singers. The main problem is that singing it in English makes it really awkward. They lyrics don't fit the music as well and the singers try to cram them in there. The guy's solo version of this song is better. I think I'll stick to the Japanese ones though. I don't need to understand the words to enjoy the pretty music. Not to mention a lot of these lyrics are nonsense anyway >_>

There are some down sides. Singers with different singing abilities being the obvious one. Just one bad apple can ruin a good chorus song. Singers can be out of sync since their tracks are recorded individually and then put together. There can often be a noticeable difference in sound and mic quality from singer to singer that is sometimes distracting. As mentioned, sometimes the songs don't make any damn sense if you translate them. Regardless though, I can't stop! I even hunted down a handy dandy website that lets me rip mp3s of songs of Nico Nico Douga :D I already have a program to rip mp3s from saved youtube videos, but Nico Sound is so much more convenient. ♥

So there you have it folks, I am strangely addicted to nico nico singers and choruses and to a smaller extent, vocaloids. Not that I'm complaining. Musical addictions are delicious. I leave you with this very pretty video I just stumbled upon.

Virgin Victory

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010 02:56 pm
forchancookie: (Pierce the Heavens)
After more than a month, seven phone calls, a desperate attempt at twitter and an email that resulted in a bullshit non-response, I sent a very angry email to Virgin Mobile consisting mostly of the contents of my last post on the issue and they have finally put my money back where it belongs! Victory!

I got two emails, one specifically about the refund and one from customer service.

Thanks for contacting Virgin Mobile Customer Care.

I am very sorry to hear about this terrible incident.

After carefully checking your account, I found that have already disputed $18.60 + $5 we have placed in your account before for at total refund of $23.60.

You have a total balance of $19.60

Moreover, we have opened up a trouble ticket so our specialists can check why you were rated incorrectly in order to avoid future issues like this one.

In addition, we have made the complete refund for the issue you had. If you have any other questions or issues do not hesitate to contact us.

Yeah, ya damn well better figure out what you messed up. I can't guarantee that I'll stick around if this happens again. In the depths of my despair, I was looking at other phone services and ran across a site with cell phone service ratings. It looks like I'm not the only one with serious issues with their customer service. A lot of people have trouble with the dropped calls and other crap.

Unlike them, I've had excellent service otherwise. It might have taken them for-fucking-ever to get their heads out of their asses but they did, so I'll stay with them for now. Which is good because I think the endless repeating of my phone number has finally made me memorize it, which I hadn't done before, so changing now would be a pain XD

Anyway, I don't know why I'm awake right now, but I am.
forchancookie: (Angry Chibi Viral)
I can't even begin to tell you how FRUSTRATED I am at the moment! My cell phone company clearly hates me. I don't know why! I've only ever been with Virgin Mobile. It's the first and only cell phone company that I've ever been with. I've gone through three different cell phones. I've switched numbers three times in three different states. I've never had trouble like this. Never ever! But this is so distressingly problematic, I'm just beside myself!

I don't talk a lot on my phone. I talk very little really, so a pay as you go phone is a perfect fit for me and when I first got a phone, I decided to go with Virgin Mobile. With my plan, I pay .25 cents a minute for the first ten minutes and then the prices reduces after that. I usually put $20, sometimes $40 on my phone per month, depending on how much I've talked and it's always worked out well. Until now!

On June 26th, I topped up my phone with $20. Over the next few days, my phone proceeded to charge me $1.05 per minute instead of my usual .25 per minute for the first ten minutes.

6/27 - 7 minute call charged $7.35. Should be 1.75. Difference of 5.60
6/27 - 1 minute call charged $1.05. Should be .25. Difference of .80
6/30 - 1 minute call charged $1.05. Should be .25. Difference of .80
7/01 - 8 minute call charged $8.40. Should be 2.00 Difference of 6.40
7/03 - 6 minute call charged $5.95. Should be 1.50 Difference of 4.45

I only noticed this on the July 3rd and quickly called the support line. They said they'd look into it for me. A week later, the problem was not resolved and I called again. I was told that some service requests were taking up to 72 hours (though I'd waited a week) and given a $5 credit for my trouble. Half of the credit disappeared, presumably sucked into the deficit that my phone overcharging me had caused.

The problem persisted as I was once again overcharged on July 13th.

7/13 - 1 minute call charged $1.05. Should be .25. Difference of .80

By 23rd (finally) charges were back to normal, but I have not received credit for being overcharged. I called at the end of July but the Advisor was rude and insisted that there wasn't anything that he could do to help me because systems were updating and that I had to call back.

Beyond frustrated, I waited before calling again on August 7th, well over a month since the problem started. My first advisor didn't seem to understand my problem at all and kept returning to the fact that I received a $5 credit. But that was merely to compensate for inconvenience and does not cover the $18.85 that I was overcharged. After repeatedly trying to explain the situation, she asked to put me on hold and promptly dropped my call.

I called back and my second Advisor was sympathetic and clearly wanted to help fix the problem. It took a while, but he said that he'd gotten a credit for the $18.85 to go through and that it would take four hours to go through. That was over 24 hours ago. I decided that the absolute last thing I want to do is call and talk to an Advisor again. While some of them have been helpful, many of them have been skeptical and unhelpful. I don't think they're even looking at the same information that I am. How can they help me if they can't see the length of my calls versus the charges?

Over all, from June 27th to July 13th I made or received 6 phone calls and totaled 24 minutes. I was charged $24.85 for these calls. With my plan, I should have been charged .25 a minute or $6 total. I was overcharged by $18.85. It's taken over two weeks just to fix the overcharging and far longer than that to try to get my credit back. This is well past the point of inconvenience as I refuse to top up the phone without being credited for being overcharged. I haven't been able to use my phone properly for over a month!

Rather than call again, I composed an email, but Virgin doesn't give you a simple contact address, you have to fill out their email contact form, which I did. And when I went to send my email? "The specified URL cannot be found." What does that even mean? What's the point of having an email form if you can't email it?!

Now, my only course of action was to call back again! I have to keep a text file open with dates and charges because nobody seems to know what I'm talking about. I'm armed with information and I keep getting sent through the eternal troubleshooting loop because the advisors have a script they must stick to and don't seem able to access any of the relevant information! But I keep trying.

Today, I called again. I rambled a bit. The Advisor looked at my account and asked to put me on hold. I agreed, though I was wary of being cut off. The hold music played, so I though I was safe. But no. They hung up on me after a few minutes on hold. That's the second time I've been hung up on! But my problem still isn't fixed, so I called back. I immediately asked to speak to a manager. The advisor wanted to help me, but I insisted on a manager. It was, after all, the seventh time I've called. That's six times too many. I gave her my information and explained my problem so she'd have something to tell the manager before I was transferred. That's fine. Annoying to repeat myself yet again, but they have procedures after all. She asked to put me on hold while she looked for a manager and then....I bet you can guess what's coming next. I was hung up on.

On my seventh phone call, I was hung up on for the third time! The third time! At this point, I'm half convinced that they've put a mark on my account saying not to talk to me because I'm making stuff up. I'm probably being paranoid, but come on. Two hang ups within five minutes of each other? It's not like I'm yelling and screaming and cussing at these people. I might get a bit rambly, but I answer all of their questions over and over and over. Even when they ask them twenty times. And I have proof. These are screen shots of exactly how this information appears on my account. Clicking them makes them bigger.

When the problem started.

When the problem ended.

So seven phone calls, three of which mysteriously dropped, and three failed attempts at an email later what are my options? I can call back again and wait to get hung up on. Sure, they could fix my problem, but if they really wanted to do that, they have access to my alternate contact number. They could have called me back and they haven't. At this point, I'm convinced that they don't care and absolutely do not want to fix this problem.

Who cares if I've been a customer with them exclusively for over five years? I don't think that gets me any sort of special treatment by any means, but basic customer service that WORKS would be nice! I'm tired of the run around. I don't want the run around any more. I want this fixed. I want this fixed like last month! I want to be able to use my phone again. I don't want to have to switch companies! I might not have had any problems with them in the past, but if my very first problem takes over a month to fix, multiple phone calls, rude advisors and hangs up, I don't have any faith whatsoever in their ability to fix any other problems that might arise! I'm not asking for the world on a platter! I'm asking for the return of $18.85 that was wrongfully taken from me. I paid for it. It is mine. Yes, a compensation for my frustration beyond $5 would be wonderful too, but at the heart of the matter is $18.85. Is it really so much to ask that they fix what they screwed up? Really?

I should call back. I really should, but I have lost the will to talk to them. I think in a last ditch effort, I'm going to link this to their twitter. At worst, nothing will happen. But I'll hold out a tiny bit of positive thinking that someone at Virgin with a heart will read this and email me.

And so this won't go out on a completely bitter note, here's a picture of Niku chilling in her chair.

forchancookie: (Peachy)
I really need to post more often. My posting as of late has been pathetic. I still haven't really talked about the wedding and such, but that is just a big old ball of drama. Instead, let's go with something a bit light hearted ok? :D

I just read this article about Guilty Food Pleasures. Saveur magazine editor and Top Chef judge James Oseland talks about his top five guilty pleasure foods. I'm so there with him on the Dr. Pepper, Hershey Bars and Filet o Fish sandwich. I pretty much never eat McDonald's, but when I do, I'm there for one thing and one thing only, that damn Filet o Fish. It's so bad, but so good! But to avoid being redundant, I'll not put those on my list. So here is my Top Five Guilty "How the hell can you eat that?!" foods.

1. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese
I know that many people consider this a crime against macaroni and cheese, but I love the stuff. There are conditions though. It must be Kraft! It can't be X-store brand or anything like that. It must be made with butter. Margarine sucks. It can't be microwaved! That destroys the texture of the macaroni. My favorite variety is the thick and creamy, which has extra cheese sauce! Although, the shapes are fun sometimes too. Eat some pokemon shapes? Hell yeah! There's just something about the salty, slightly sweet orange cheese sauce that is so good. Recently, I tried the new Explosion flavors of Kraft Mac and cheese that use less butter and more milk. They are so bad. Sooooooo bad! They're so terribly salty and that slight sweetness that I love in the regular stuff is not there in that new crap. No, I will just stick to my Thick and Creamy thanks.

2. Taco Bell
Even having worked there as long as I did and knowing many of their secrets (none of which are deep dark ones), I still can't resist the call of the Bell. I love Mexican Pizzas, tacos, crunchwraps, gorditas, quesadillas, burritos, zesty chicken bowls, et cetera, et cetera ad nauseum. Having worked there, I've tried everything on the menu and plenty that's not. I just really like the food! I was really in love with their Caesar Grilled Stuft burritos. Damn them for being temporary! They were delicious! But anyway, Taco Bell is such a guilty pleasure. Those $5 boxes they have at the moment are so evil and tempting and good.

3. Sugary Sweet Breakfast Cereal
At a time when everyone is growing up and settling down with their Special K and Fiber Clusters, I am still eating that sugary sweet nutritionally vacant nonsense that's marketed to hyper children with taste buds for all things sweet. Cocoa Puffs, Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Smacks, Captain Crunch, I just can't quit you! I know it's like dumping candy in a bowl and adding milk, but that just doesn't stop me. I love cereal. Oh sure, I love that healthier stuff too, like Rice Krispies and Cheerios and plain old Corn Flakes, but there's nothing like an indulgent bowl of Cocoa Pebbles to start your day.

4. Deep Fried Vegetables
I'm eating vegetables, so they're healthy right? Why do these things taste so good? I love Tempura. Dip my veggies in Tempura batter and fry them up and I'm in love. Broccoli, zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes. Mmmm. And then there's deep fried mushrooms and green beans. Oh man! So bad for me, but they are so delicious! I love the hot juicy pop of a freshly fried mushroom in my mouth. I already love vegetables on their own merit. But deep frying them in batter or breading makes them so bad, yet so irresistible!

5. Grape Jelly/Jam
You can't have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without it! Of all the infinite varieties of jellies, jams and fruit preserves out there, the only thing I want on my pbj is grape jelly. Sure, I've made them with apple jelly and strawberry or blueberry jam, but what I really crave is that cheap trashy globular grape concoction. The same goes for my crepes. I could put peach and apricot preserves on them or some nice cream cheese and strawberry jam, but I keep reaching for that damn grape jelly! I'd rather have grape jam over grape jelly, because grape jam spreads better than that globby gelatinous jelly. I still prefer the more grown up, fruit filled jams and preserves for toast and english muffins, but grape jelly/jam holds a special place in my heart.

So there you have it folks, five of my top guilty pleasure foods. That is by no means all of them, not by a long shot, but those are the ones that popped into my head right off. Please don't judge me for my weakness to these things! You're not innocent! What are your guilty pleasures?

September 2011

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