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Saturday, June 21, 2008

lots of friday fun

after dropping off the teen yesterday with her dad (bummer - always the lowlight of my week), the bean and i decided to suck up some free air conditioning at the mall. it was the first official day of summer - no shit. it was like the 9th fucking circle of hell in southern california, folks. i'm sick of it already and it's only just beginning. where the hell is our june gloom?? damn.

at nordstrom, i found these shoes:

and they were on sale, so i bought 'em. although i had buyers' remorse as soon as i walked out with them (along with a pair of brown havaiana flip-flops, yay!), because as much as i love the colors and the print, they're not really the kind of shoes i typically buy. i'm not really a heels kinda girl, and i don't usually pick up shoes with a pattern because most of my outfits already have flowers or polka dots or something on 'em. we'll see if i keep them or cheese out and take them back.

i'd seen some really cute havaianas that had sparkly rhinestones on them, and damn near choked when i noticed that they were charging $50+ for those things. i mean, plain old havaianas are only $16! so i decided to make my own. i knew of a great store in claremont's village area that carried swarovski crystals and rhinestones, so that's where i headed.

claremont is a cute little town - a mix of college kids, young families, and older folks who've lived there for years and years. and in the middle of it is "the village" - the downtown area filled with cute little boutiques and restaurants. and this is where international glass and bead was...or was it?

i walked up and down the damn street with the bean snoozing in her stroller - in 113-degree heat. i could've SWORN the store was on that street, but i sure couldn't find it. so what did i do? i picked up the phone and called my friend MommyBelle, of course. she grew up in claremont and was the one who'd introduced me to the magical rhinestone store years ago. besides, i knew she had a computer handy ;)

after laughing her ass off at me and my dorkiness (which she seems to do quite a lot), she looked up the store's website and read me the address. unfortunately, it wasn't there anymore. and then i called the phone number she read off and it was disconnected. poo. i was bummed, but then i found amelie, an adorable little clothing boutique, and went inside to check out the goods. heh.

as i perused their selection of juicy couture, tylie malibu, and other fun stuff, i asked the girl who'd greeted me if she knew what had happened to the rhinestone store.

"oh, they moved into the packing house," she said.

aha. that made sense. about a year ago, the packing house opened across the street, which brought in some new retailers, restaurants, and art galleries. it was the perfect place for the bead store to move into, and i was relieved to hear that it hadn't gone out of business after all.

after scooping up THREE more pairs of havaianas in pink, blue, and orange at a store called raku up the street, we turned the corner and crossed the street to get to the packing house. and there it was! whee!

inside, i picked out clear and rose-colored rhinestones and checked out the other stuff. they carry everything for making jewelry and stuff, which i knew the teen would love. i think i'll take her there sometime this summer to pick up some stuff to make.

when we got home, i plopped the bean onto the floor in her room to play while i sat in the chair to affix the rhinestones to my flip-flops.

and quickly found that i suck at it. no. patience. whatsoever. none.

so i took off my half-assed attempt at gluing the sparkly stones to my pretty pink havaianas, washed the glue off my hands, and took the bean to our bed to take a nap.

while she slept, i managed to get through some laundry and caught up on about 4 tivo'd episodes of wife swap. heh. and then it was time to get ready for dinner to celebrate my brother's birthday at villa sorriso in pasadena.

the hub arrived home to change, and was amused to see the bean snoozing on the bed. by then, she'd been asleep for two hours! i really wanted to fix her hair and put a fresh outfit on her, but we ended up having to pick her up and put her in her seat as she continued to sleep.

we arrived at the restaurant and joined the group - my brother and o, my sister (sans her hubby, who got stuck working late), and o's sister and her boyfriend. our server grudgingly brought us a high chair for the bean - and that's where it began.

the horrific service.

actually, when my brother and o arrived and checked in, the rudeness of the hostess was the first clue to what went on to be the very worst dinner we'd ever had, in terms of service. let's see:
  • the hostess insisted that we couldn't sit inside unless we had a party of 15. um, no. there were plenty of smaller groups in there, and my brother made her ass go in and find us a table. magically, it was set up for and seated 8. huh.
  • our sour-faced server was slow and completely unprofessional. everything we asked for (like bread, sugar for the iced tea, etc.), we had to request at least twice. and in between those requests, we watched him stand around and banter with his fellow servers in the corner, which were the only times we ever saw him crack a smile.
  • whenever we finally received what we were asking for, it was brought to us by a different person. i think we counted about six different people that served us.
  • o's sister's boyfriend ordered a beer and when he'd already downed half of it, he noticed a floater in it - i don't know what it was, but it was black and gross. when he alerted the server to it, he gave a half-assed apology and brought him another beer - but a different brand than the one he'd ordered.
  • my sister received her entree no less than 15 minutes before everyone else. poor thing - she was torn between waiting for us to be served, leaving her with cold food, and digging in (which my very polite sib was extremely reluctant to do). upon our insistence, she finally opted for the latter. and when we told our server that the rest of us were kind of interested in possibly being served our dinners too, all he said was "oh, sure, no problem." oy.
  • when we asked for a manager, out walked some dude who was clearly NOT a manager - he was wearing the same uniform as the busboys, for the love of poo. and when the hub asked him for a business card, he was conveniently out of his "personal" cards and instead handed him a generic restaurant card with his name written on it. he offered us a free dessert for our troubles - after being told that we were there for a birthday celebration. weak sauce.
  • my brother told the server to call over the general manager, or whoever was in charge that evening, and sour face had the gall to QUESTION us as to why we wanted to talk to a manager. uh, no. i'm a customer. if i ask for a manager, you hop your lazy ass to it and get me a real manager, no questions asked.
  • finally, we got a real manager to come over. i couldn't hear anything because i was at the end of the table with the bean, but i could tell that he was trying to keep it quiet and the hub, who was doing the talking by then, made sure to speak loudly. other patrons were starting to notice, and we could see our server, as well as that rude ass hostess, surreptitiously walking by slowly, trying to hear what was being said.
in the end, our bill was for half of the actual cost of the meal. we were all pretty bummed at the terrible dinner we'd just had, considering the fact that it was for my bro's birthday and that we'd always had great experiences there in the past. hell, my sister's wedding rehearsal luncheon was there. but with a zillion other restaurants in the area, we'll have no shortage of choices for future dinners.

i wished i'd had time to stop here, just across the street, but no such luck. they close so damn early.

before we parted ways, we stopped at 21 choices for dessert. as we stood in line and chatted, we laughed our heads off at the bean. i was holding her while the hub stood in front of us in line, and every time he moved over and blocked her view of the colorful displays of gummy bears, m&ms and other yogurt toppings, she put her hand out and pushed his ass out of her way. it was hilarious.

fun friday, indeed.


  1. You are totally returning those shoes.

    Now I wish I'd bought some Havaianas in that weird store we went to with The Teen. Two for $14 is a good deal after all, huh?

  2. I remember the nauseating heat of the 909. Summers in Claremont are DEADLY! Not that it's much better here in Encino. Thank god for A/C.

    So, what's the deal with the Havianas? Are you going to finish them? Maybe it's a project for The Teen?

  3. you should recruit one of those cake topper letter rhinstone-ers to bedazzle your havaianas.

    i was so not impressed with the packing house when i went last weekend. maybe because it was 11 and everything was closed.

  4. Did you leave two quarters on the table for the waiter? You know how happy that makes some servers ;)

  5. those shoes are so cute though. i say keep 'em.

    what a sucky dinner :/ i'm glad that the hubs insisted on speaking with a manager and a lot of the bill was covered.

  6. I say keep the shoes too...they'll look cute with a denim skirt and a white tee :)

  7. Boo to your dinner! And I agree that you'll return the shoes. I find myself torn with shoes that have patterns for the same reasons as you even though I love them.

  8. I'd totally bling up your shoes for you if I were in the west coast.


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