Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Left out to Dry: the next installment

I promised to keep you updated with the happening and 'goings on' regarding my dress. Well, the story continues...
When I last blogged I had just dropped my dress off at a cleaners which assured me that they could help. I found out, less than 24 hours later that that was not the case.
Candace's phone rings at work around 12:30.
"Hi, Candace. This is Bryan from the dry cleaners.'
"Hi, Bryan."
"Hi. I was calling to tell you that we can't clean your dress."
"What do you mean you can't clean my dress?"
"Well, the care instructions say that it needs to be cleaned with a petroleum solvent which has actually been outlawed in America for 20 or 30 years."
"My dress is a year old."
"It obviously wasn't made in America. Is it really that important for you to preserve your dress?"
"I am not preserving it. I haven't even worn it yet. My wedding isn't until the end of April."
"Oh. I don't know what to tell you."
"So, Bryan, hypothetically speaking, what happens if we send it through the cleaners with the current solvent?"
"Um, discoloration, chemical burns, shrinking. I wouldn't risk it."
"Great. I will be in this afternoon to pick it up."
After work I drove to the Dry Cleaner's. When I walked in, I was greeted by another sixteen year old, wired from ear to ear with braces, and thoroughly eager to help me. Maybe it was her first day. I handed her my ticket and she began going through the men's shirt. "It's a big wedding dress," I called to her, thinking that it might be helpful. The girl walked the length of the entire store two times and she finally came back to the counter with my dress in hand.
"That will be $105.47."
"No, " I said.
"No. This hasn't been cleaned."
She looked confused. "Yes it has."
"No, it hasn't. The owner called me at work today to let me know that it couldn't be cleaned here."
"But the total is on it. If the total is on it that means it has been cleaned."
"Sweetheart, believe me. It hasn't been cleaned. Now, I am going to take my dress and I'm going to leave now."
"Ok, well, I am going to have to make a note about this and tell my supervisor!"
"You do that. Good day."
I had already called my friend Juli to ask her advice. Juli (who is a God send and a fantastic woman) located a cleaner in Ogden that could help me. Elated, I left early the next morning and made the hour drive to Ogden. I pulled into the Dry Cleaner's parking lot, pulled out my dress, and prayed that the fourth time will be a charm (since the third obviously was not).
I walked in and was greeted by a very nice older man. "Hi! I am hoping you can help me. I have had one heck of a time finding a place that can clean this wedding dress. I was told that it needs a type of solvent that has been outlawed or something."
"Interesting. What kind of solvent?"
"Petroleum based?"
The man thought a minute. "That is the only solvent we use. It certainly isn't 'outlawed'. Whoever you talked to was an idiot."

So, my dress is now in Ogden. The adventures continue. I am supposed to pick it up on April 11...we'll see what happens next. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Left out to dry

So, apparently it is really difficult to get a wedding gown cleaned.

My adventure began on Monday. I called a few places to price the actual cleaning. First of all, everyone was baffled that I wanted the dress cleaned before the wedding. Secondly, the employees had difficulty understanding that I didn't want it preserved, I wanted to wear it. Thirdly, the prices spanned from $90-$130 depending on the dress. Fine. That was what I was expecting.
After doing my homework, I found that every place I checked was around the same price. Because of this fact, I decided to save myself the driving time and take the dress to the cleaners near my apartment. Andy uses this establishment and has never had a problem. I drove up and was met by a very nice girl who really was trying to be helpful.
"May I help you?"
"Yes, I need to get this dress cleaned."
"Is that a wedding dress?"
"Um, I don't know anything about those. You should come back tomorrow around 10 so you can speak to my supervisor."
"I work all day. I can't come in at that time. May I leave the dress here and call your supervisor in the morning?"
So, I left the dress with the girl and told her that I would call in the morning.

Next morning: First call made to the cleaners, 10:00: "Oh, our boss isn't in yet. She was supposed to be in at 10, but you can try again in a half hour or so."Second call, 10:30: "Yeah, she's still not in yet. No, no one can help you except for her. Try again in an hour or so." Third call, 11:30: "I don't know where she is. She hasn't called or anything." This is the point when I told her that I had no confidence in their business and that I would pick up my dress that afternoon. "That's a good idea," said the employee on the phone.
I picked up the dress around 5:30 (realizing that they had stolen my nice strong hanger and replaced it with their crappy, flimsy hanger) and decided to take it to the dry cleaners up the road that calls themselves 'the wedding gown specialists.' I figured they would at least be able to point me in the right direction. I pulled my gown out of my car and walked it into the cleaners. I was greeted by a nice old woman.
"May I help you?"
"Yes, I need to get this gown cleaned. The last place I took it to had no idea what they were doing and they stole my hanger."
"Oh that's too bad! Of course we can do that for you! The total will be $247.43. If you want it boxed, it will be another $150."
I almost fell over. What the hell?
"May I ask why you charge that much?" My dress is not complicated nor is it adorned with lots of crap.
"Well, our guy is really good at what he does."
"I'm sure he is. That must be one heck of a steamer. Thank you for your time." With that I picked up my dress and walked out of the store of rape. Strike two.
As I drove home I came upon another dry cleaner. I pulled in, left my dress in the car and marched up to the counter. The adorable sixteen year old looked up at me.
"May I help you?"
"Do you clean wedding dresses here?"
"How much do you charge?"
"$95 hung or $120 boxed."
"Great." I walked out to my car, grabbed my dress, and hoisted it onto the counter. "I would like it cleaned and hung. I don't want it boxed and I will be back one week from today to pick it up."
"Sounds good," said the teen.
I will let you know if anything happens when I pick it up. For now, I am a believer that third time really is a charm.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Through the Shredder

My darling friend Hilary is letting me borrow her Jillian Michael's 30 day shred (known to me as 'The Shredder'). This workout video from hell is 20 minutes long and is guaranteed to kick your ass.
When Hilary first told me about it, I snickered...after all, work out videos are a piece of cake. No. I learned my lesson. The 20 minute video includes a warm up, cool down, and three cycles of 3 minute strength, 2 minute cardio, and one minute abs. The video offers three levels which get progressively harder. Not too bad, right? Wrong. Give me a five mile run anyday.

I experienced the Shredder for the first time last week. I was smug and used my 5lbs hand weights instead of the suggested 2lbs hand weights. I began the video and quickly found that Jillian is a force to be reckoned with. About 1.5 minutes into the strength training...I had to take a rest. Obviously my deltoids aren't where they shoud be. Fair enough. I continue, my body kicking and screaming the entire length of the video. Every time Jillian told me 'You have to want it!' I had to restrain myself from putting my fist through the television. Truth be told, by the time I got to that point, I didn't have the strength to put my fist through the television. After that work out, I showered. I was ashamed and embarrassed that I did not have the ability to raise my hands over my head to wash my hair. Pitiful. I gave up the Shredder.
After a 7 day hiatus from the Shredder, I decided to try again. I jazzed myself up all day at work and decided that it would just be degrading if I was bested by a workout video. Screw the results, I just want to say that I can work out for 20 minutes without turning into a limp, crying mess. I could do it! Especially with the help of my very kind fiance.
Andy's reaction was similar to mine when I told him about the video. He had no idea what he was in for. I didn't hide anything from him. He heard me cry out in pain for four days after I finished the video. He knew but didn't really know. That all changed last night.
About 30 minutes after a delicious dinner at Red Iguana, Andy announced that he was ready to attack the Shredder. Note to self for future reference: DO NOT do this workout with a full stomache.
I gave Andy my hand weights and I grabbed a bottle of Ice 101 and Bicardi Rum. It served a purpose. The video began. It was just as bad as I remembered, though, I was able to make it all the way through without stopping. Andy was a trooper and stuck with it; however, he mentioned that the video was terrible and he never wants to do it again.
I plan to continue with level one tonight...with Andy. :)If you are wondering how I feel today? Shredded.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The World According to Mort

In honor of Mort Goldman's (assumed) six month birthday, I thought I would write a blog about him.

My quirky little kitty lives his life by a very specific list of rules that may seem more or less retarded to the average passerby.

Rules of Mort:

1. You may not touch me unless you are standing up.
2. It is my unwavering belief that human food tastes like poop.
3. If your toes come within five feet of the bed, they are fair game. I will attack as I see fit.
4.3 AM is the optimal play time for me.
5. I will only become cuddly while one person is in the house.
6. If two or more people are present, I will hide under the bed for two hours then proceed to sit as far away from the humans as possible. Do not attempt to touch me.
7. I maintain the right to sometimes forget who my owners are, thus become unbelievably frightened when a tall redhead enters the apartment.
8. If it rolls, it is fun.
9. I am often not sure of what I want. If this is the case, I will sit in a room of my choice and meow until you guess what it is that I want.
10. Anything round in shape that can be carried in my mouth must die a painful death of drowning in either the toilet or my water dish.

Mort’s law states that, “If it moves or can be considered new, I must encounter and watch it at least fifteen times before I know that it will not kill me.”

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The real countdown

March 1st hit me like a bag of happy hammers. I say happy because it made me dance around, skip, and break into joyous song. March 1st marked the day when I realized 'I'm getting married next month.'
To many brides, this is the time of panic and last minute planning; not for this girl. Luckily, I have had a year to get the hard part out of the way so I can enjoy my last 52 days of being engaged. From here on out it is all about parties and payments.

Up to this point, when people asked me, "Are you excited? It's getting close!" My answer would always be, "Not yet." Not yet because I tend to get debilitatingly excited, so I tried to fend it off as long as possible. Well, friends, it is no longer possible. I have reached my excited state of mind where I have trouble functioning and focusing in a work environment. I have difficulty sitting through church without daydreaming about the wedding that will take place there. I wear my wedding shoes around the house and tell myself that I am not lame...I'm just 'breaking them in.' I practice dancing and clean my ring like a person with OCD. I have my invitation hanging up at my desk and I spend a solid amount of time of my work day looking at it. I obsessively look at my check list to go over and over what has been done and what needs to be done. What can I say? I'm just excited.
I fully understand that I am obnoxious at this point. My apologies.
Geez, I am this excited now. What will I be like when I realize that, not only am I getting married, but I am going to Australia four days later!