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Friday, January 21, 2022

keeping that jobros love alive

 the jonas brothers love lives on.

when they announced their "remember this" tour, the old lady and i made sure to block off the l.a. date on our calendars because - well, let's face it.  we're never gonna outgrow jonas brothers concerts.  now, her undying love for nick jonas has waned quite a bit over the last couple of years.  but that doesn't mean that that undying love has come to an end for their music.  i don't think that's ever gonna stop, and if i'm being perfectly honest that goes for both of us.  their songs are always so catchy and fun to sing along to, and they're tied in with a lot of fun memories from the old lady's formative years.

we were excited to return to the hollywood bowl for the show, nearly two years to the day after our last jonas brothers concert.  we hit up the park & ride shuttle in pasadena again because it's just easy.

and we were extra amused when we caught our first glimpse of our ride - a school bus.  it was like going on a field trip.

it made for a slightly bouncy, bumpy ride - but hey, still better than driving ourselves and dealing with finding parking.  and before we knew it, we were there.

of course, we stopped for merch.  remember?  always merch!

somehow our tickets included some sort of VIP merchandise, which i hadn't even realized until i went back to figure out where our seats were.  and after asking around, we found the tent where we were supposed to check in and pick up our extras.  we received lanyards and this little pouch that contained a reusable face mask, a pop socket and some stickers.  bonus!

because we're now spoiled forever, we had box seats which are always nice because they offer a great view and folding chairs with a table instead of those uncomfortable wooden benches.

the other perk of box seats is that you have a dedicated server who will bring you all the food and drinks your little heart desires.  while we'd packed our own meals (and i'm sorry to say, i don't remember what we ate at all), we did have that server bring cocktails and a bag of rob's popcorn - the official jonas brothers snack.  while we weren't super impressed at first bite, we both found ourselves reaching into the bag again and again.  it had a curiously sweet-salty combo that was actually really addictive. 

they had not one, but two opening acts.  first up, jordan mcgraw.

and after he was done, kelsea ballerini.  she's super cute and wore lots of fun sparkly outfits.

and finally, the guys took the stage to lots of cheering and screaming.  their fans may have aged a bit from the teenybopper years, but all of those sets of lungs only got stronger over the years.

they performed a really fun mix of their old and new songs, plus some of nick's solo tunes and some from joe's band DNCE, during which he brought out their guitarist jinjoo lee.

someone rolled out a bar cart, and the guys poured themselves some shots of - what else? - villa one, nick's own tequila.  they toasted the audience and downed those shots to celebrate the final show of the tour.

a few more songs and then that was that.  they took their final bow and ran off the stage while waving to the audience with fireworks exploding above our heads.

the next morning, the old lady came over so we could head out to run some errands and we were super amused (but not surprised) to find that we were both wearing our new shirts.

jobros for lyfe, man.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

never too late to recap halloween 2021, right?

as the bean gets older, i find that our collective interest in halloween is less and less every year.  i think most of us love to costume it up (even the hub, to a point!), but halloween really isn't a thing for us.  although this year, her cheer team decided to put on a "trunk or treat" in the parking lot of the gym, so we decided to join in the fun.

well, sorta.  i'd picked up a "peanut butter and jelly sandwich" costume for the bean that we thought i'd be able to alter so that she was the peanut butter on one side and jelly on the other.  but when we opened it up i realized it wasn't very easily doable, and so i offered to wear one piece while she wore the other.

"that's weird, mom.  it's like a couples' costume!"

and so instead, she picked up the tortilla blanket i'd just ordered on amazon for shits and giggles, wrapped it around herself and called herself a burrito.  hey, whatever works, kid.

she and the hub had run into party city on our way to the gym, leaving me in the car to continue listening to a zoom meeting about one of the high schools she's interested in applying to.  and when they came out, it was with a cart full of all kinds of halloween supplies to decorate the truck.  the only contribution i had was the mickey-themed halloween banner i'd just thrown together with that new embroidery machine, and everything else was all them.

there was something for everyone.

the hub and i threw on that peanut butter and jelly costume, and he'd also picked up a "k-pop star" wig that he happily wore the entire evening.  so weird.

they had a pretty good turnout, and the car next to us went all out with an elaborate setup.

the bean spent some time with some of the girls on her team, running around in the gym, along with one of her oldest friends from school.

when we got home, she wrapped the dogs up in the blanket.  stevie wasn't really having it, especially when cocoa decided she was gonna hop on for a ride.

we didn't really have plans for actual halloween, but had managed to score tickets to mickey's not-so-scary halloween party for the night before.  the girls had decided to dress as characters from "the emperor's new groove," which is not one of my favorites but i didn't really care and went with the flow.  i'll be honest - my costume was pretty half-assed.  i'd ordered an actual costume, but when i tried it on i found that it really wasn't comfortable, and definitely not so for walking around a theme park.  oh well.

didn't matter.  we still went and had a good ol' time. AND we got to see "zombie captain america," which is kind of a novelty since disneyland isn't really known for scary characters.

and that pretty much sums up halloween 2021 for the house of wan.  exciting stuff, ain't it?

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

finally upgrading...times two

i'd gone a really long time without firing up the ol' embroidery machine.  this didn't mean that i wasn't keeping up with all the fun stuff my favorite designers were cranking out, though.  and since we were approaching the holiday season, i was on the lookout for ideas for what might become my 2021 hustle.  you know - like that one year i made a ton of mermaid blankets, or the crocheted pumpkins and trees, the elf quarantine kits from last year, the grinch elf sweaters...you get my drift.

so when i saw my friend jen of parker on the porch post her newest design for some super cute mug rugs, i decided i'd bust out the machine and give it a shot.  and what exactly is a mug rug?  well, it's basically an oversized coaster.  you can put it on your desk or side table or wherever you're hanging out with a drink and a snack, and it'll protect the surface from condensation or heat from the mug or whatever you're using.  and it's totally customizable with different fabrics, text, colors, designs.  not to mention, she found the cutest little wooden trays that the mug rug fit into perfectly - at dollar tree.  see, like this:

and because they were such a quick sew, they were really addicting.  i had a blast making a bunch of samples, like these:

as soon as i posted a few pictures on my facebook page, i had a good number of friends who were interested in picking some up.  i took orders from my mom, one of my junior league friends, one of my mom besties, a friend whose brother i was really good friends with in middle school who also happens to be married to the fiancĂ©'s cousin.  nothing sells my handmade goods better than facebook, i tell ya.

anyway, i started working on those orders but remembered pretty quickly why i'd put the machine away for so long.  it's a starter machine and it served me well for quite a few seasons, but after having to fish out shredded thread and breaking several needles and other annoying problems, i decided i was finally ready to suck it up and get an upgrade on my equipment.  i did a little checking around for the next machine up from mine, called my usual shop for availability and cleared my space to make room for what i knew was going to be a much bigger machine than my old one.

and a couple of days later, i came home with this:

she was very pretty, and super easy to figure out and get started with.

in fact, she was so easy to work with that in no time i had this stack of mug rugs all done and ready to send out to their new homes:

i stitched out this one too, and made some mini cookies to display with it.  i thought it was adorable, but it wasn't a big seller.

this thanksgiving-themed kitchen towel made me laugh, and when i posted it i ended up making a few sales too.

and then as i was getting started on an order of - gulp - 40 total mug rugs, disaster struck:  my brand new machine, just a couple of months old by then, locked up completely.  like, i couldn't figure out how to fix it and nothing i did helped at all.  i panicked and then made myself calm down enough to call the shop i'd bought it from.  after all, it was practically brand new.  they had to be able to help me, right?  hmph.

the guy i spoke with on the phone, who i was 99.9% sure was the same one who handed me the machine when i drove down to pick it up, was super condescending and rude as i explained my dilemma.  

"it's a 3-4 week turnaround time for repairs right now," he said.  "they won't even look at it for two weeks."
"do you offer loaner machines?  it's my peak time right now and i have a lot of orders to get done," i pleaded.
"no, we don't have anything like that.  and that's a domestic machine, but you're telling me you're filling orders and that's technically not covered under your warranty.  you did buy the extended warranty, right?" 
"that was never offered to me, and i called them 'orders' but they're for friends.  i don't own a shop."

it didn't get any better from there, but i didn't have a choice and so i just arranged to drop the machine off the next day.  i went back to panic mode, had a meltdown and called the hub, who said "just go buy another machine and we'll figure out out.  it's okay."

he went with me when i took the machine to the shop and lo and behold, the same guy was there to receive the machine.  i gave him the vinyl sample i'd been using and he made a big show of inspecting it and saying "this material is really thick, i can see why your machine locked up.  it might not be covered under the manufacturer's warranty because the problem probably isn't due to a defect, so it'll be $299 for the repair."

what. the. fuck.  i told him i'd been working with the same material for years using the starter machine i'd traded in and that i'd never had a problem before.  i really wanted to punch him.

i asked him if they happened to have a comparable machine in stock that i could take home that day, and while they did indeed have the same exact one under a different brand name, we left emptyhanded.  the hub and i agreed that we didn't want to give that store a single penny more, and so when we got home i started making some phone calls.

luckily, i managed to find another sewing shop right down the street from that one that had what i needed in stock, and i could already tell just from the phone call that the customer service was superior to the first store.  i went in the next morning, met the owner of the store who was absolutely wonderful and helpful (and he also told me that if i ever needed repairs that were out of warranty it would take about a week and cost me half as much as that other shitty store), and brought this home:

thank goodness, i was able to fulfill the last few orders i had.  and then i even had time to stitch out some little purses to give the bean's dance friends at our annual cookie party.

the old lady happened to be in the area when my first machine was ready for pickup, and so now i find myself with two identical machines.  that sounds awesome because it means i have a backup machine OR can run two hoops at the same time, BUT i don't have room in the office for two full-sized embroidery machines.  that room is busting at the seams as it is, much to the hub's irritation.  

pffffft.  such a dilemma, right?

keeping that jobros love alive

 the jonas brothers love lives on. when they announced their "remember this" tour, the old lady and i made sure to block off the l...