Archive for Life

Southwest Airlines’s deteriorating customer service

I recently earned a new Southwest Rapid Rewards ticket. We have two weddings to attend this year (3 including our own) that require travel. I decided to use the free ticket to book a trip to Chicago over Memorial Day weekend for one of the weddings and found that there were no (free) seats available. This trip is three and a half months away so I found this discouraging, but attributed it to being a holiday weekend. I then took a look at the schedules to Washington, D.C. where we have another wedding to attend. Again, no flights. This event is four and a half months away and there are 2 different airports we could fly into and still there are no rewards tickets available. What makes this even more frustrating is that you were not even able to book flights on Southwest past May 9th until 1 week ago, so in 1 weeks time all the Rapid Rewards seats available for the two trips I need to take are apparently sold out. I remember the days when you were able to book virtually any flight with a rewards ticket. I understand that the company has to make business decisions to remain profitable, but Southwest’s whole manifesto has been discounted fares, great customer service and an easy rewards program. It seems that discounted airfares (you may have noticed recently that the maximum prices on flights has increased considerably) and easy rewards program has gone out the window and customer service is teetering, so what is left?

I called customer service to inquire about my inability to use my Rapid Rewards. I was on hold for 11 minutes before my call was answered and the woman was short with me, cut me off repeatedly and offered no consolation to my plight. Even if she knows she cannot help me, the least she could do is offer some word of apology and understanding. I asked her to speak to someone else and was referred to their customer relations department. I called them promptly and the representative there explained some of the reasoning behind the changes (revenue, of course) and also informed me that some flights have as few as 3 Rapid Rewards seats available. Although he was not able to get me any closer to a Rewards seat, he handled the call with care and understanding, which I did appreciate.

Well Southwest, now that your manifesto no longer seems to fit your business model, I wonder, what will you do to separate yourself from your competitors?

On a lighter note, when I did fly Southwest last week, I did find their in flight staff to be as delightful as ever, so at least they still have that going for them.

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Will the fake chipmonkey please sit down

I was googling myself recently to see what other Chipmonkeys are doing out there and clicked on the “video” tab of the google search only to discover this gem of a video. Between his voice and the subject matter, it had me giggling so I figured I should share.

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Turning Water Into Wine (alternately titled: Turning Delicious “Chik’n” Nuggets into Coal”)

I stepped into the house this evening and it smelled as if someone were cooking. Knowing that my man was not home, I thought it curious. I walked into the kitchen and happened to glance at the toaster oven, noticing small black chunks inside it. Upon further inspection I recognized the shapes to be my favorite Morning Star Farms Chik’n Nuggets. Apparently Mike put these babies in the toaster oven last night only to be reacquainted with them when he was running out the door this morning. It’s a wonder the house didn’t burn down. I guess this is why he generally leaves the cooking to me 🙂

The best part is that they actually kind of sparkle. I wonder if we left them in a little longer if they’d turn from coal to diamonds.

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How low can you go?

Observe:

And the calorie count you ask?

If 2.5 calories per piece is not low calorie then what, pray-tell, is?

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Ode to a Suby

Last night I was caught off guard at the sea of emotion that overcame me when I cleaned out my car. The little Subaru that could has been more than good to me, despite my being a somewhat negligent car owner and I feel a little bit like I am abandoning a great friend who has always been there for me. She put up no fuss when I had a hitch installed on her rear end. She held strong and dragged a Uhaul trailer the 1,200 mile stretch between Salt Lake and Chicago. The winters in the Midwest were tough, but she always got me where I needed to go. When I decided to load up the Uhaul again years later to head out west, I heard no complaints about the 2,100 mile trip ahead of us. Since I’ve been out here in the great city of San Francisco, I realized that life is easier on public transit. The only time I spend with her now is on Sunday and Tuesday nights when I have to move her from one side of the road to another for street cleaning. I decided she would get the attention she needs if I take her back home to Salt Lake where my folks can take advantage of her gung ho attitude towards life…

Here’s to our last great adventure together!

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Mos’ definitely

The other night I stopped by the coffee shop before I went to class. The 2 girls behind the counter were chatting and one said she was going to see Mos Def. The second girl inquired further because she did not know of Mos Def and the first girl replied “Oh its punk rock.” I thought to myself that I must have misunderstood who she was talking about because 1. I had not heard that Mos Def was touring and 2. Even if you take into consideration Mos Def’s “The New Danger” album (snubbed by many Mos fans, not including myself) or his band Black Jack Johnson you still could never categorize one of hip hop’s best MCs as punk rock.

Much to my dismay the coffee girl, althought wrong about his genre, was right that Mos Def was playing here. The show was announced the same day it was performed and still sold out. What a heartbreaker.

Coincidentally, I have “Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme” sitting at the house waiting to be watched which features Mos Def among many other amazing hip hop artists. While it will not replace the show I missed, it might help ease the disappointment.

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If not for your health, then do it for the gas

As our recent history shows, Americans in general don’t seem to get angry about much other than rising gas prices. Perhaps the additional cost of hauling their oversized butts around will encourage them to lose some weight since the looming onset of cancer, heart disease and diabetes does not seem to be doing the trick.

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The history of books

I am currently reading “All Families are Psychotic” by Douglas Copeland. This is a hand me down from Afterlife, as many of my reads are. I enjoy reading books after him be because he underlines and annotates things and it is always interesting to see what parts of the story impacted someone else. I like trying to figure out why something was worth underlining. Today I saw a slip of paper peaking out from the rear cover and opened to find a jackpot of boarding passes and plane tickets. San Francisco, Chicago, Washington D.C., Detroit, Charlotte and Las Vegas. All of these trips within the weeks it took him to read the book. It makes me feel good to hold onto something that accompanied him while he was away from me.

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Nerdcore

It looks like my outter nerd and my inner hip hopper found something they could both love equally, meet MC Frontalot and the Nerdcore movement.

Here is a little glimpse at the upcoming documentary…

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Graduatin’ Grammies

Josephine Belasco graduated from high school today. I know, I know, millions of folks did – so what’s the difference? Hmmm, roughly 80 years. Just goes to show that it’s never too late to get things finished (or started for that matter). Congratulations Josephine!

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Sov ‘n Slow

Look who was on the front page of Yahoo this morning…

As you may know already, Zach Slow raised his $10,000 and got the girl, as they say. You can find a recap of the night (with pics!) here.

And here are a couple pictures from the show that I took…

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It’s a group effort (alternatively titled If you love Lady Sovereign… and you know you do)

That crazy Zach Slow is up to some joyful new sheeeeeenanigans. And it is worth checking out. It is even better to participate. Besides who wants to miss the latest from the one and only Jelly Donut?

http://helpmegetrandomwithladysovereign.com/

I am issuing a challenge grant… (I should probably set a maximum on this amount, huh?) any of you folks who make a contribution to these efforts, I will match your contribution dollar for dollar so let me know if you donate.

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Digital depedence

I have recently lost two of my closest (digital) friends… first the iPod and now… oh god, I am tearing up as I even think of it, I have lost my laptop. To make matters worse Southwest Airlines is responsible for both of these unfortunate events (OK, the iPod was clearly my fault, but that is not as much the point here as the fact that it was on a Southwest airplane). I was flying standby this weekend on my way back from Seattle and in turn the last person to board the plane. As you know, if you have done any bit of traveling, especially on Southwest, that there are people who decide that “one larger carryon in the overhead and one smaller one under the seat in front of you” really means both these items plus their guitar case, three large shopping bags, the “lap” riding baby, and their full length down coat with scarf hat and gloves should all go in the over head bin – god I hate those people. And because of these overly courteous folks, first I had to leave my bag at the gate to be “checked” and then I had to endure nasty glares and huffs from the lady who had to move her other 2 bags that were sitting on the last available seat on the plane in order for me to have a place to sit. Who the hell do I think I am making her move her bags? I know, I am terrible. Anyway, I return to San Francisco to find that my suitcase did not. That was Sunday. It is now Tuesday. Let’s all say a little prayer in hopes for the safe return of my suitcase (with laptop!) and maybe even someday, my iPod.

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Seattle is closer to France than to Texas

I am off to Seattle this weekend to see my home sister from way back in the day. She is rockin’ creative and talented which is why you should spend some time on her website and her tube. Upon the agenda is general tom foolery and rockin’ out to The Primate Five. This is my first trip to the Pacific Northwest, which is part of the country I once thought I would move to even though I had never been there. I wonder if it will live up to the reputation it has earned in my head.

I am in love with my city right now. I feel flooded with inspiration. I have a million things I want to be doing and I am managing to actually work on about half a million of them, which leaves me feeling satisfied and happy. I miss you Chicago, but San Francisco is doing right by me.

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Let ‘er jip!

I never realized until I tried to write it today, that jipped (as in- I got ripped off or missed an opportunity) is not an actual word. I kept typing it and it just looked wrong, and Microsoft was affirming this. It is a word I hear (and use) in speech, but do not see in writing. While Merriam-Webster may not acknowledge this red headed step child of the English language, Urban Dictionary does and that is enough for me.

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Green and blue and music and art… lovely

I am off to Coachella this weekend… should be a good time. Kanye West mysteriously showed up on the schedule although he isn’t listed on the fliers or in the lineup – a pleasant surprise I guess. I will send pics from the phone to the flick account as the weekend progresses. And then I will post better pictures from the real camera when I get home.

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Knit Wit

While my days of constantly wandering through alleyways and train yards in search of the latest pieces may be over (or at least seriously reduced), I still follow what I can of the graffiti world thanks to my friend the Internet. I recently stumbled upon this creative new take on street art. Read all about the Knitta Please crew.

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The Great Quake

I got off the BART this morning and was heading to my office when I see a woman standing next to me in period clothing. I did a double take, but didn’t think too much of it, I mean I am in San Francisco. As I got further down the street I was passed by another woman in period clothing. It is 8:00 am for crying out loud, what the hell is going on? Ah yes, today is the 100 year anniversary for the great San Francisco Earthquake and I guess they had folks gathering at Lotta’s fountain for a remembrance.

I have never been in an earthquake and I am fairly confident that will change now that I am here. At least I hope it will.

Update: Looks like the SFist has some better coverage on the event.

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(anything but a) Beautiful day in the neighborhood

Looks like another lovely week coming up… last I checked I was living in San Francisco, not Seattle. Bah!

The rain is breaking levees and breaking records but it is also breaking my spirits.

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Playa haters

Apparently you won’t find the Bahamas in any of these books. According to Reuters “The Bahamas has banned the gay cowboy movie “Brokeback Mountain,” triggering a new controversy over the island chain’s reputation for homophobia.”

I guess they also stripped Miss Teen Bahamas of her title after they discovered she was a lesbian. What a bunch of ass holes. Well, I think I will spend my vacation dollars on less homophbic places such as Playa Del Carmen, Mexico (which is where we will be going at the end of May!).

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