Your appointment’s at 12, but we won’t be open

So for every good experience, there’s an equal and opposite bad experience.  Or something like that.  Maybe I just made that up.  But yeah, yesterday I had a good experience with my pedicure.  So naturally, after yesterday’s success, today would be a complete fail.  Because that’s just how life is.

So I had an online voucher for Ciao Bella Studios from Dealathons.  Yes, I know I probably sound like some sort of spa junkie or something right now.  Trust me, I’m not.  I just jump on the opportunity to buy a good online deal and then they pile up and then I have to use them all around the same time before they expire on me.  I’ll admit it’s a bit of a problem.  But I’m dealing with it.

So last week, I called them to make an appointment.  I made it for today because it was my day off.  When I asked her for the available times, she said 11:30am and later.  So I asked for 11:30.  And then she asked if I could come at 12.  So I said okay.  And then I thought, why tell me 11:30 is an option, when really it isn’t?  Why bother giving me a choice when clearly I don’t have one?  That should have been my first sign that there would be a problem.

Ciao Bella Studios is on Victoria Drive in Vancouver.  So it is sort of out of my way.  But it seemed like a good idea at the time.  A time when I bought more online vouchers than I should have and am now paying the price.  But nevertheless, I went there.  And I was early.  I’m always either super early or a little bit late for things.  But no matter, it allowed me time to scope out the area.  But when I found the place, it was closed.  Even though the times on the door and on the website said that they opened at 10am.  What the hell?  But I thought maybe that’s why she had asked me to come at 12, because maybe she wanted to just open the store at the time of the day’s first appointment?  But that’s still false advertising for anyone hoping to drop in.

They confirmed my appointment and then the store wasn't even open

So I gave them the benefit of the doubt and waited around the area until it was actually 12pm.  I went to a dollar store that was pretty crappy.  Didn’t buy anything there.  And I went to the SPCA Thirft Store as well.  Didn’t buy anything there either.  Though I was tempted to buy the Trump: The Game board game.  My family watches The Celebrity Apprentice, so it would have been a good idea.  I actually kind of regret not buying it.  Would it be worth it going back there to make that purchase?  There was no price tag and I didn’t bother asking how much it was.  Now I’m having non-buyer’s remorse.

Okay, maybe it's a good thing I didn't buy this

When I went back at 12pm, there was still no one there.  I had called them twice, which was pointless, seeing as there was no one inside to answer the phone so it went straight to voicemail.  I walked around a bit and when I came back there was another girl waiting outside.  She was waiting to go in for tanning.  She asked me if I was there for tanning as well.  I should have been like “Yes, because I’m so pale…”.  I think tanning is pretty much one of the only beauty regimens that I don’t need.  I was there for waxing, if you must know.

She said she’d been there before and they usually never open at 10, even though they’re supposed to.  Something about the person not being able to get up early enough to make it there?  But I mean come on, it’s a fucking business, you can’t just advertise your store hours and then not be there.  That’s kind of ridiculous.  And what’s more ridiculous is when you schedule an appointment for someone at a certain time and then don’t even show up to open the place.  I can’t even call it bad customer service, because I didn’t even get any service.  I don’t know even know what to call it other than complete unreliability.

The girl told me there were other places around there for waxing, but I explained to her how I had the online voucher so it had already been paid for and I needed to use it.  She thought about leaving, but she said the fact that I had an appointment must mean that the person would be showing up.  And so we continued to wait.  I called the Dealathons customer service line and explained the situation to a representative there.  He asked me if I was at the right place.  I assured him that I was.  He said he would try to contact them and then call me back.  The other girl remarked that he was probably just calling the store number, that no one was there to answer.  I agreed that she was probably right.

Because my phone is a piece of shit, somehow I missed his call back even though my phone did not ring at all, nor show any indication that I was receiving a call.  I checked my voicemail, called him back, and yeah, he had just been calling the store.  He said he would get in contact with them in the next few days and figure something out.  I told him I didn’t want to have to reschedule this, seeing as I’d come all the way out there and made the appointment in advance, and there was no way for me to guarantee that this wouldn’t happen again.  I’m hoping at this point that they will just allow me a refund, or at least a refund in Dealathon dollars so that I can make a different purchase.

So I completely wasted my time on my day off.  I could have slept in and not left the house.  But one good thing I got out of going all the way to Victoria Drive, was that one of the ways I spent passing the time before what I thought would be my appointment was going into Calabria Bakery.  All I bought was muffins, but they were good muffins.  The one I ate had walnuts in it and was really good.  If I’m ever in that area again, hopefully not because I’m giving Ciao Bella a second chance, I’ll be sure to buy some more baked good from them.

Now this is a good business

I finally stopped waiting and left around 12:40, and the other girl left shortly after.  And I’m pretty sure that no one showed up and that they’ve just continued to stay closed for the day.  Yeah, that’s good for business.  Because if anyone had bothered to show up and open the place, they would have received the two voicemail messages I left them and would have hopefully called me back to apologize.  But they didn’t.  So I can only assume that the place is still closed.  What a fail.  For them and for me.  And for the girl who wanted a tan.  Maybe this was a sign for me that I should only be redeeming one online voucher per week?  Or a wanring to stop buying them because bad things can happen?  Who knows?  All I know is I won’t be going back, regardless of whether or not they’re open.

At least I got some good muffins out of this

My boot broke

Say that ten times fast.  Actually I guess it’s not that difficult as a tongue twister.  But it’s an awful thing when it happens in reality.  The zipper on my left boot had been causing a bit of trouble for quite some time.  But we were able to make it work.  Part of me knew it was only a matter of time before it would all fall apart.  But I wanted to make it last as long as I possibly could and to cherish the time we had left, however fleeting.

My brown boots

I’ve had these boots for about four years, so they have had a very good run.  Or a good walk, I suppose would be more appropriate.  I didn’t do a whole lot of running while wearing them, unless you count running for the bus, which I suppose does add up over time.  They’ve lasted longer than expected, longer than any boot before them.  I can’t remember if it’s been four years or five.  I bought them in either 2007 or 2008.  All I know is that they were purchased during my time working at Shoe Warehouse.

Ever since working at Shoe Warehouse, I’ve come to appreciate footwear.  These boots were one of my greatest finds.  I bought them on sale in the clearance section.  But being in clearance does not mean they were low quality.  They are Santanas, which is a Canadian brand that I’d never heard of.  But they are leather and waterproof.  And comfortable.  It’s so hard to find a good boot that is all of those things and looks good as well.

Haven't seen this brand again

This was back when I was against rain boots.  And by rain boots I mean gum boots.  I wanted something more grown up and stylish.  And these were them.  I could always count on them for protection when it rained or when it snowed.  And even if it didn’t rain, they still worked with many outfits.  I had a pair of black boots, but they weren’t waterproof.  And they didn’t last as long.  The zipper broke on those about a year or two ago.  I still miss them.

And now it’s time for me to say goodbye to these brown ones as well. Why? The zipper finally broke. They always do. I really have a love hate relationship with zippers. I love them and they hate me. And that’s just how it is. I’ve lost count of the number of items I’ve had to part with due to broken zippers.

I wasn’t even going to wear these boots today.  I considered normal shoes, but then I heard it would rain.  So then I considered my red rain boots, but then I didn’t think it would rain that much.  Obviously I was wrong.  But I swear the sun was shining a little when I left the house.  And I didn’t want to look stupid wearing rain boots on a sunny day, as I’ve done in the past.  These brown boots have served me well whatever the weather.  Plus, if I happened to walk through mud, you couldn’t tell since they’re brown.

The zipper was bound to break eventually.  But of course it would happen early in the day, on a day like today when I so badly needed them.  And of course it would break while I was at work.  At least the zipper on my black boots had the decency to break before I left the house, allowing me time to change my footwear before venturing outside.  Maybe the brown boots felt that I had taken them for granted, and they wanted to teach me a lesson before they finally kicked the bucket.

I used tape to keep it together

When the zipper came apart, I didn’t have many options.  It’s not as if I had a spare pair of boots with me at the time.  I needed something to fasten it together, or it would just flop down and not stay on properly.  So I used tape.  A lot of tape.  Which worked surprisingly well for a while.  And no one noticed unless I pointed it out to them.  Why would I point it out?  I don’t know, as a conversation starter?  Because I wanted someone to acknowledge the misfortune I was going through?  Because I just felt like it?

I used scotch tape while at work and then packing tape when I left.  Somehow I feel like the scotch tape worked better.  I’m pretty sure on my way home people noticed the tape that was hanging on for dear life in desperate attempt to do what a zipper once did.  It was clear tape, but still.  At least I made it home.  But it saddens me to know that I will never wear them again.  I’ll never find that kind of quality at that good a price again.  I curse that zipper for ending our time together before I was ready.

My boot is dead

Dear umbrella

I lost an umbrella today.  But I don’t feel like talking about it right now.  So instead, I thought I would post a poem that I wrote two years ago about a different umbrella that is no longer with me.  I’ve had many umbrellas over the years.  Some have had tragic ends, and others, I know not what fate had in store for them.  This poem is a reminder and dedication to all the ones I’ve lost, and all the ones I’ve yet to lose.

dear umbrella,

i’m sorry i had to leave you outside neville scarfe
i did not want to
but i had no choice
for you were broken.
it wasn’t supposed to happen this way
i forsaw a good future
filled with rainy days
and you there to protect me
i wish i could say we had a good run
but there was barley any time
damn those ubc winds.
when you turned inside out i knew there was no going back
i tried
i did the best i could to make you better
but to no avail
you were broken
you opened up
and there you remained
unable to close
i could no longer take you inside
i had to leave you in the rain
you’re not the first i’ve lost
and you won’t be the last
but you were a favourite of mine by far.
i know not whether you still lie there
or whether somoeone came to take you away
either way
i miss you.

Why I hate alphabetical order


My last name is Vaz.  Which starts with a V.  Anyone else who has a last name which starts with a letter near the end of the alphabet will probably share my dislike of alphabetical order.  We’re always last.  And it isn’t fair.  I was last in enough things in school, like 3 blocks runs and being picked for group projects.  Did I really need the additional misfortune of being last for things simply because of my last name?  Apparently.

I’m taking a class right now at UBC, which is what reminded me of this today.  At the end of class, our assignments were handed back.  And our names were called out so we could go get our assignments and then leave.  And of course they were called out in alphabetical order.  What else is new?  And so I sat there.  Wanting to leave.  But unable to.  Because the people with C last names were still being called.  It was going to be a long while…

I’ve had to go through this in all my years of education, ever since I can remember.  When lining up for things, we would do it alphabetically.  Which meant you were always stuck in between the same two people in the line up.  And if you didn’t like those people, well, that was just too bad.  And sometimes that would be how groups or partners were assigned.  So if I didn’t like the kid who’s last name started with T, or the other kid who’s last name started with V, it didn’t matter.  We were stuck together.

When tests and assignments were handed back, I would always have to wait, much like I had to wait today.  And yes, people say that sometimes the teachers would mix it up and go in reverse alphabetical order instead.  But I feel like that rarely happened, if ever.  I cannot recall a time when it did.  Maybe my childhood memories are just biased and blocking out the few good experiences that may have occurred?

So I had to wait a little longer for certain things, so what?  Would I have really done anything important with those extra minutes that I spent patiently waiting?  Probably not.  But that’s not the point.  It’s the principle of the matter.  And sometimes it wasn’t just time that I missed out on.

In elementary school, we would have “hot lunch” every so often, maybe once a month?  This was basically when the school allowed us to order food, since there was no cafeteria or place to buy food and we would always bring it from home.  For hot lunch, we would have to bring in money and check off what we wanted days in advance.  They would order from places like Subway or Pizza Hut, or sometimes it was just hot dogs, catered from I don’t know where.  When the lunches arrived, guess what order they called them out in?

So I had to wait longer before I could eat.  But that’s not all.  You would also have the option of ordering a drink and a donut.  You could specify what drink you wanted, but the donuts were just a first come, first served thing.  And everyone wanted the long johns.  But there weren’t enough long johns to go around.  So when it was finally time for the girl with the V last name to get her food, there were only jelly donuts left.  And I didn’t like jelly donuts.  It wasn’t fair.

I suppose things could have been worse.  There were always kids with last names that started with W and Y.  But were pretty much in the same boat.  But at least since they were there, I was never dead last.  I guess at least that was something.  I think if I were a teacher and I was handing back assignments, I would just mix them all up and read them out in a completely random order.  That way no one is at a disadvantage.  Although then you wouldn’t know when to listen for your name.  At least alphabetically, you knew when it was going to be your turn.  Damn, I guess it is the most efficient way.  But still.  It wasn’t fair.

The things I missed out on.

Ode to the 98 B-Line

This is a poem that I wrote 3 years ago when they discontinued the 98 B-Line which was my main method of transportation at the time.  I thought I would share it with you now since I miss it today more than ever.

ode to the 98 b-line

i hate you
you are frequently noisy and crowded
leaving me standing many times
when i long for a seat
a few times i have fallen
that was your doing
jerking without warning
sometimes you even pass me by
claiming there is no room left
none at all
for me
you are never around
when i need you most
leaving me waiting
always waiting
you have wasted my time
provoked anger
and misery
and spite

and yet
when i take a different route
through no choice of my own
when i am forced to walk further
to take stairs
to board a mode of transportation
when i am forced to stand again
when there is no driver
when i have to transfer multiple times
to get to my destination
when i am lost somewhere on cambie
not knowing how to get where i need to be
when i finally figure out how to get there
only to realize i have missed the bus
when i walk all the way to granville
frustrated
because i should already be there
when i miss appointments
am late for important events
because you can no longer take me there
when the skytrain breaks down
leaving me stranded
unable to leave
when i look up at the sign
and 98 b-line is no longer listed
when i search for you
and they tell me you do not exist
when you are gone from my life forever
i will miss you

98 B-Line, the best bus a girl could ask for

I flushed peace down the toilet

I’ve been having a lot of trouble with toilets lately.  Don’t worry, it’s nothing gross.  I haven’t clogged one or anything.  Yet.  Things just tend to fall in there.  Things that have no place being in a toilet.  Things that I love.  And I find this very sad and upsetting.  I feel like life is implying that the things I love are crappy.

You may already know that my blackberry fell in the toilet last week, resulting in me spending two and a half days without it while it had the moisture sucked out of it by a bunch of uncooked rice.  It is now working again and I vowed I would never drop it again, at least not in the toilet.  It’s just a shame I didn’t extend that vow to any of my other possessions.

What did I drop this time?  Nothing valuable.  So it’s really not a big deal.  But I still can’t believe I managed to drop two things in a toilet within a span of six days.  Is this a new trend for me?  I don’t want to be that person.  How do I stop this from happening?

Anyway, what I lost in the toilet this time was an earring.  Luckily, it was a cheap earring.  I believe I got them on sale at Claire’s.  And I don’t wear them often.  They are one of my more childish pairs of earrings I suppose.  But I’ve always loved earrings and wearing random ones.  These particular ones are shaped like peace signs.  And I wonder if this is a sign of some sort, like an indication that I will never have peace in my life or something.

When it fell in, I hesitated.  With my blackberry, I reached in to retrieve it right away.  With the earring, I thought about it, almost retrieved it, then reconsidered, then thought about it again.  And came to the conclusion that it wasn’t worth it.  It was tiny, harder to pick up than a phone.  And I would have had to roll and my sleeves and just really didn’t feel like bothering.  I’m constantly losing and breaking earrings anyway.  I’d just never lost one this way before.

So yeah, I flushed the peace sign earring down the toilet.  The other one still remains, never to be worn again.  Although I suppose I could try and rock the look of wearing just the one?  I’ve done that before unknowingly when I’ve lost an earring.  But yeah.  I feel like this might be a metaphor for life.  Peace is often just within our reach, but we’re often not willing to do what it takes to attain it, and allow it to slip away.  Or in this case, be flushed away.

My remaining peace sign earring. Currently feeling lonely after losing it's partner to the toilet.