Archive for September, 2009

Nordstrom’s vs. Macy’s

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

Granted, Macy’ can be cheaper, but their customer service is just horrible.  Yesterday while returning a couple of items purchased online, I had two experiences that will cause me to pause the next time I have a choice of Macy’s vs. Nordies.

1. In the bedding department, while the woman behind the counter begrudgingly exchanged my mis-purchased item for the correct one, she commented “I never buy things online, because in my experience, all people do is return it.”  Thanks a lot lady.  Do you have any idea how much I have spent ONLINE at Macy’s and didn’t make a return?

2.  In the shoe department, where granted they are on commission, so not only am I an inconvenience, but a possible lost sale, it was even worse. When the salesman found out I had a return, he processed my request without making eye contact ONCE.  And said nothing as he handed me my processed receipt.  I sheepishly walked away feeling like I had done something wrong.  What a good sales person would have done, was asked what was wrong with the shoes, and helped me to find a better option.  And I probably would have bought. Shame on you Macy’s!  You lost a potential sale, and worse, my good will.

Conversely, at Nordie’s the same shopping day, the girl behind the makeup counter helped me even though it was “appointment day only”, and went so far as to not only pick colors for me, but showed me how to apply them!  I walked away spending more than I intended and much more loyalty for a return trip.

Feb 24, 2010 – update on this. I actually ended up returning shoes at Nordstrom’s a couple of weeks ago. The sales person addressed me immediately, asked if I had a return, when I mentioned the shoes were too narrow she apologized and asked if she could help me find a replacement.  EXACTLY as I said Macy’ should have!  It is amazing how two very similar retail companies, but run so differently, can produce such polar opposite results.

Breaking Up with Heroes (and other misguided wastes of tube time)

Friday, September 25th, 2009

I tried this summer, really tried, to ween myself off the tube.  I made it through a several weeks of limited TV, and spent my time reading and making a lot of homemade baby food (I was particularly proud of my extremely popular blueberry puree).  heroes_title_card

Then the inevitability of the Fall 2009 TV season rolls around, and I immediately, shamelessly, fall off the wagon.

What I realized, is that I am just too tired to fight the temptation.   However, I did manage to get several hours of my life back by breaking up with a few shows.

1. Heroes.  What happened to this show?  What started off with so much promise, is now rote and repetitive.  I don’t care about the carny characters, I don’t care about whiny Clair, and I don’t care about Syler popping in and out.  Ugh.

2. CSI (the original).  It was bad all last season.  Bones and Criminal Minds are so much better.

3. Mad Men.  This show can be very clever, and is subtle and well acted. It just doesn’t move quickly enough for my reality-TV-junky taste.

4.  Numbers.  I never really watched this one, but hubby did.  I still won’t watch it. The main character is so annoying!  “Math can solve anything!” The only math I am interested in is the math that will pay off my mortgage.

5. Law and Order. Still a great show, but it didn’t make the short list.

6. Dancing with the Stars. I miss this one. But we can’t watch it while Tom Delay is on it.  It is disturbing enough to see the clips on The Daily Show and Colbert Report.

What was I not strong enough not to give up? Survivor (love this show AND Jeff Probst’s blog), Amazing Race (can’t wait for Sunday!), Biggest Loser (this show keeps me motivated while spinning at 5:30AM), Bones, Criminal Minds, and Glee (I love that this show is unabashedly corny, while still well written) .

Happy watching, or for those much stronger than I, happy not-watching;-)

Best Friends Forever, by Jennifer Weiner

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

I usually love Jennifer Weiner’s work.  In particular I enjoyed Good in Bed and In Her Shoes. They were authentic, believable and most of all, the characters were likable.  I feel bad even writing this, but I just can’t finish Best Friends Forever.

I cringe while writing this post; after all, who am I to judge?  It is easy to cast stones, especially within the anonymous abyss of the internet.  I was really trying to finish the book, so as to have a complete review.  Perhaps it is my exhaustion at working full time with a 10 month old.  Jennifer, certainly you can understand that one!

In general, I enjoy Ms. Weiner’s work, loved seeing her when she spoke here in the Bay Area, and I think her blog is HILARIOUS!  I do however, recommend her earlier works more.

Up next – a book on the psychology of influence (similar to Made To Stick, but backed by some science), then Dan Brown’s new one.  Yea I know.  It’s going to be formulaic writing to the core, but it must be read!

best friends forever

LeapFrog Learn and Groove Musical Table

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

We set out to Toys R Us in search of something to both help our 10 month old daughter learn how to transition from sitting to standing safely and easily, and to help her gain better fine motor control.  After browsing the aisles with much nostalgia (they still make Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs!) we picked up LeapFrog Learn and Groove Musical Table (also available on

She loves it!

The table plays such a wide variety of tunes that we are still hearing new ones a week later.  Even better, there is a singing mode where it will sing the ABC’s and 1-2-3’s in BOTH English and Spanish (we play the English one since mom can’t sing along that fast in Spanish 😉 as well as a music only mode.

When Caitlin finds a new sound, she looks to us with a big proud grin on her face.  Priceless.  The time it gives mom and dad to casually read a book or write a blog post while baby is otherwise occupied isn’t too bad either 😉

Caitlin at Activity Center