Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Off Season Post 8: Loose Ends

Hello again, Readers, and welcome to this week’s installment of my simple little blog. Of course, you’re technically getting two for one this week but that’s due to my lack of punctuality over the past two weeks—well, that and my hard drive’s decision to ignore me. Nonetheless, I’m happy to be inching closer to my usual Tuesday post and I hope that you’re happy to have me back.

Thank you, as always, to my solid and steady commenters and emailers. I’m going to ignore the fact that I’ve received an inordinate amount of Katy Perry and Ke$ha YouTube links and emails and, yes, I’m now painfully aware that Ke$ha has been photographed in various compromising positions. “Thanks” for sending me the clips and pics. It’s not like I didn’t ask for it. She’s dirty. Not good dirty either.

The truth is I’m starting to like both “Take it Off” and “Hot and Cold.” Listening to these songs, I was reminded of that Petri dish experiment we all see in various biology films in high school when they put two cardiac cells into the same dish. Eventually, the cells meet, join together, and begin to beat in unison. I found myself wanting to beat up the beat or whatever it is that The Situation and Snooki and the rest of those terminally drunk, gelled, and spray tanned fools on that show do when they hit the dance floor at a night club. In short, I’m officially a victim of the American pop machine.

This week’s shout out goes to Lauren the expatriate Texan who lives in England. She emailed me to let me know that she dressed as Ke$ha for a Halloween party. I assume that entailed rolling around in the gutter and dousing herself in hairspray and neon paint, but I’m happy it worked. Thanks for the email, Lauren. Post a pic of the costume on my Facebook fan page so we can all enjoy it. I’m sure that party was a dirty freak parade (yes, I’ve officially quoted Ke$ha).

The second special shout out this week goes to my good friend, Lincee Ray, the delightfully funny author of November 4 was her birthday and she was overwhelmed with joy when I presented her with her gift. What was it? Well, nothing but the best for my friend, Lincee. Thanks to my immeasurable generosity, she is now the proud owner of two tickets to see Wes Hayden in concert.

Where, you ask? Toyota Center? Reliant Stadium? The Astrodome? Nope. Finger’s Furniture Store on the Gulf Freeway in Houston. That’s right. Wes is playing a furniture store on the side of the freeway on Friday, November 12 from 5-7 in order to kick off their “Main Event” sale. Oh, and it’s also a free show. Don’t believe me? See for yourself.

Amazing what being on a reality dating show can do for a music career, isn’t it? Good job, Wes. Congratulations on your furniture store gig and congrats on being the prequel to the main event, which happens to be a furniture sale. You’re welcome, Lincee. I’ll look forward to getting your birthday gift to me next month. Have fun.

Speaking of terrible music, one more word about Katy Perry and then we’ll get to the subject of this week’s post. Someone sent me the lyrics to “Hot and Cold”—a song which apparently launched Ms. Perry to superstardom. It begins, “You change your mind like a girl changes clothes. You PMS like a b*tch I would know.” I believe it was Leviticus who first extolled the virtues of decisiveness and consistency. It’s refreshing to see Katy Perry hammer those points home. God help us all.

I will say a final word about pop music—at least until I write about it again. Regardless of the inane content, meaningless lyrics, and the shameless over production, auto-tuning, and remixing that goes on in the studio, that music has its place. I suppose we can debate this all day long, but as Voltaire said, “a long dispute means that both parties are wrong.”

I once went to Britney Spears concert before she went nuts and it was super fun. Granted, it was fun for me because I’d spent the hours prior to the show at the Hooters across the street from the venue drinking pitchers of cheap beer. My eyes are often bigger than my liver. When I got to the show, everyone there was too young to drink and there was no line at the bar, but it was fun nonetheless. After two hours, ten beers, and a thirty-five dollar concert shirt—which I still wear from time to time—I can say that she put on a good show. Who did I go with? You guessed it---Lenny.

At the end of the day, pop music is mindless, fun, and catchy and we all know that there are few greater pleasures at the end of a busy work day than getting in our cars, turning up the radio to an ear splitting volume, and singing along with a catchy song. It’s like a mini therapy session. Sure, Ke$ha’s lyrics will never compare with The Ego and the Id, but then again, history hasn’t been so lucky with overanxious Austrians, has it? For the record, I think that’s my first ever Freud/Hitler reference. I’ll throw in Schwarzeneggar and Falco for good measure. And yes, Hitler wasn’t German. Oddly enough, Napoleon wasn’t French either. Annnyyyyhoooo . . . .

As always, the last few days have left me searching for a topic to entertain you with this week. While thinking about it, I realized that I have a few loose ends to tie up. Granted, “Loose Ends” could have been the title of last week’s blog entry, but that’s an entirely different story. I owe you answers on my mattress purchase, so I’ll start there. With that said, let’s get to it.

After my bedding/mattress post a few weeks ago I received overwhelming responses from you readers containing various money saving tips, suggestions, and shopping advice. After amalgamating all of that into a cohesive list, I decided that the real money should be spent on the mattress and the sheets. Off I went to Mattress Firm to secure my heavenly purchase.

Clever, punny name aside, I found the Mattress Firm right up my alley. The floor plan was wide open unlike Ikea, Star Furniture, and other stores of that ilk that are designed with the sole intent of getting you lost and keeping you in the store. It’s like a Vegas casino without the prostitutes and free booze. If there was a fire or another like emergency in Mattress Firm, I am confident that I could make it out alive. I was also confident that if the salesperson pissed me off I’d have no trouble finding the exit. At ease, I walked toward the showroom floor and was immediately greeted by “Dan” the Mattress Salesman.

Dan was very “mattress salesman-ey.” He sported cheap, gray slacks that fitted poorly and fell just below his ankles but high enough above his Payless loafers to see his socks. I wondered if he’d grown since purchasing them. Look, I’m not judging. As you’ll see, Dan turned out to be competent, honest, and extremely helpful. I just think that if you’re going to buy cheap slacks, you might as well buy the right size. That way, when people do make fun of you they can say, “man, those slacks are really cheap, but they fit so well.”

Dan’s ensemble also included a white oxford shirt and a slate blue tie which he secured to the aforementioned oxford with a tiger eye tie clip. When was the last time you saw one of those? Exactly.

In an obvious attempt to fan the flames of the sales guy stereotype, Dan rounded off his get up with a gold bracelet pleasantly complimented with the standard sales guy gold Cross pen. You know, the one that comes with the gold Cross mechanical pencil that every person to every retire from a middle management position in a Fortune 500 company from 1979-1985 received as a parting gift. When was the last time you saw one of those? Exactly.

Dan was clearly a Wayne Newton fan. A gold bracelet? Honestly, for a moment I wasn’t sure if Dan was a mattress salesman or if he had plans to enter the adult film business. I wondered where he parked his sports car and I wondered if he backed it into the space.

Pleasantries exchanged, I cut to the chase. “Look, Dan, I don’t know s*it about mattresses and I need a king sized one for myself. What can you tell me?” I find that the direct approach works best with sales people. Also, swearing lets them know you’re not going to engage them in their witty, insincere “I’m building a rapport so I can close the sale” banter. Dan got the hint.

Dan told me that the three mattress types they offered were soft, firm, and plush. Without asking what it was I said, “I want plush. Take me to your most expensive plush mattress.” Surprised, Dan led me over to the mother of all plush mattresses. He first asked me if I wanted a King or a California King. Huh? Dan explained that a California King is longer, yet narrower than a regular king bed. Go figure.

I suppose that makes sense considering the fact that the actual state of California is much longer, yet narrower than all other states. Come to think of it, so are their lines at the Sizzler. That rule, however, does not apply to their Governor, who is undoubtedly much wider but not as tall as other Governors. Odd.

There it was, the Simmons Black 1000 Density Beautyrest Matress with Super Pocketed Coil Springs. Dan let me know that it had the maximum single layer of Super Pocketed Coil springs available in any mattress on the market. I made a note to use that line with the ladies at a later date. Apparently, that feature is good for refined motion separation, conforming comfort, and support. Meaningless, but it sounds good.

In addition to those fancy coil things, the mattress featured total Surround Beauty-Edge Foam Encasement with QuantumLock technology for a maximized sleeping surface and increased durability. It’s not every day that a person experiences foam encasement in addition to having the benefit of QuantumLock technology. I immediately felt important.

But wait, that’s not all. Dan let me know that the Energy Foam support base adds stability as part of Simmons’ patented no-flip construction while the Triton foundation with the PowerBeam brace provides greater strength. Was I buying a truck or a mattress? Finally, Transflexion Comfort Technology ensures the bed will feel consistently comfortable throughout its life. Holy sh*t. That’s a lot of fancy stuff for a thing you sleep on. Transflexion? That sounds like something you’d find in a cross dresser’s underwear.

“Great,” I told Dan. “If I buy everything I need for one of these, what’s it going to run me?” I asked. “I can get you out the door for around $3,750.00,” Dan said with a straight face. “Man, that QuantumLock sh*t is pretty f*cking expensive,” I thought.

“You got one of these Black 1000 things on the clearance rack?” I asked. We walked over to the clearance rack and after inspecting several mattresses, lo and behold, I found a Black 1000 one. Dan explained the clearance rules and let me know that there was no warranty on the clearance mattresses. I was fine with the lack of warranty because, as a lawyer, I was confident that if anything went wrong I could think of a whole bunch of ways to sue someone for a free mattress. Trust me, the last thing I’d ever want to be remembered for being is a lawyer, but the degree does come in handy at times.

Tidbit: all lawyers are secretly upset that in spite of the fact that a law degree is a doctorate, they don’t get addressed as “Dr. Whatever.” As I mentioned before, I’m not into titles, but I see the point. It’s the only doctoral degree going that doesn’t come with a fancy title. I suppose I’ll have to stick with Some Guy in Austin, Esquire.

At any rate, Dan let me know that I was in luck. Apparently, “The Firm” (really?) was running a sale which allowed me—after taking into consideration all of the available discounts and letting Dan “see what he could do”—to get that $3,750.00 mattress for $799.00. “Perfect,” I said. “Ring it up.”

For some reason, those words baffled Dan. Confused, he paused, looked at me, and said, “Don’t you want to lay on it or something?” I told Dan that I trusted him and we proceeded back to his “office” (read: desk in the middle of the showroom) to seal the deal. I did, however, have two important decisions to make before I was able to sleep the sleep of angels on my new mattress. First, I needed to decide if I wanted the standard 9 inch box spring or if I preferred the shorter 5 ½ inch kind. Preferring to minimize the risk of a broken ankle when getting out of bed, I opted for the latter.

Next, I had to pick out a bed frame. “The Firm” (really?) offered three choices: a cheap one, a better one, and one with wheels on it. Why in the world would I need wheels on my bed frame? I’m not in an old folks home and I don’t foresee myself wheeling it out of the bedroom in front of the fire place in order to impress the ladies. Besides, the wheels would irreparably damage my bear skin rug. Was Dan crazy?

I opted for the fancy, wheel free bed frame and made a mental note to go headboard shopping when I mustered up the patience to do so. All in all, I walked out of Mattress Firm for just under $1,200 including tax and delivery costs. The entire process—listen to me, ladies—took me 17 minutes from start to finish. I could have left a day old puppy in the car with the windows up on a summer day and still returned in time to spare him any harm. I could have started Stairway to Heaven on my iPod and made it back in time for the guitar solo. I could have put a baked Alaska in the oven and returned in time to . . . oh, you get the picture. Let’s just say that I like my mattresses like I like my women: affordable, easy, and comfortable to lie on. Alright, lighten up. That’s a joke. I was going to go with a Transflexion joke, but I thought better of it.

After leaving “The Firm” (really?), I decided that I needed some fancy sheets to go on my new bed. Of course, I still needed a headboard, duvet cover, comforter, pillows, perhaps a mattress cover, and all of the other junk that goes into making a bed into a heavenly bed. For now, I needed some sheets. After all, my Simmons Beautyrest was being packaged for delivery and I was determined to sleep on it that night.

Down the street from “The Firm” (really?) was a store I’d previously entered in my Stuff Chicks Like series in order to complete the ingredients to my now infamous Diaper Cake. Bed, Bath, and Beyond was in my sights and I prayed that my friend Helen was there to help me. I entered ready to drop some coin on some high thread count.

I wandered aimlessly through the various sections in search of Helen like Tony searching Spanish Harlem for Maria in West Side Story or a crack addict searching for change in the cushions of his couch. Unfortunately, my search was for naught. My sweet, wonderful Helen was not working. Undaunted, I approached the first person I saw with a nametag on in order to bother her into showing me some sheets. “Kim” turned around when I tapped her shoulder and immediately I ascertained that Kim was a big b*tch.

“Can you help me pick out some sheets for my new bed?” I asked politely like a 4 year old asking his mommy to fix him a grilled cheese sandwich. I instantly received a Joan Crawford Mommy Dearest YOU PUT YOUR NEW DRESS ON A WIRE HANGER?!! look from Kim. She pointed simultaneously to the sheet section. Rather than call her on her freaking attitude, I walked toward the sheets alone. Sometimes it’s appropriate to pick your battles, I told myself. Besides, it’s not her fault. She’s probably got a really bad bladder infection and the AZO Standard she’d been popping in her pie hole for the past three days wasn’t working. It was the weekend now and she’d have to wait until Monday to get a real antibiotic. At least that’s what I found myself hoping as I trudged on in solitude toward the bedding department.

I made a mental note to send over a case of cranberry juice to Kim when I got home. I smiled to myself picturing the utter confusion on Kim’s face as she opened the package in the BB&B break room and read the card. If I followed through on my plan, I committed to include a haiku on my card to Kim.

Dear Kim,

Bladder infection
Big Fat No Help With My Sheets
Drink Up, Crankyface


P.S. (F You).

I decided to go with white sheets since I had no idea what color anything else I knew I’d be picking out would be. These would be perfect starter sheets. I could worry about the fancy stuff later. I immediately selected the Palais Royale 630 Geo Sheet Set, 100% Cotton, 630 Thread Count sheets. They screamed comfort. The label told me that these “Supima cotton sheets with a faint geometric pattern have an anti-crease finish that reduces wrinkling.” In addition wondering if the chemical used in their anti-crease finish is carcinogenic, I wondered why my sheets should be wrinkle free. Don’t they go UNDER the comforter or am I missing something?

Also, what in the hell was Supima? I wondered if that meant “expensive” in Latin or some other dead language. I also thought it could refer to the name of the tribe of the 5 year olds who are tied to stake and forced to manufacture these sheets all day. Regardless, I hoped they were comfy—the sheets, not the children; although, I hoped they were well fed. I told myself that making sheets was probably easier than making tennis shoes and that learning a trade at a young age was important. Ironically, this belief will help me sleep better at night.

For good measure, I decided to look at some pillows and comforters in order to get a better idea of what I liked. “Sarah” was there and, thankfully, she did not have the bladder infection that Kim did. For a moment, I was thankful that bladder infections are not contagious, but then I realized that they are, in fact, contagious, but was certain that Sarah and Kim would not be engaging in the type of behavior that would provide the optimal conditions for the transfer of the aforementioned infection—at least not while I was in the store. I revised my thankful thoughts and limited them to being thankful that bladder infections were not airborne.

I told Sarah what I was looking for in my own words. She looked confused. “It sounds like you need an accent pillow,” she said. Without skipping a beat, I put on my best Some Guy in Austin smile and playfully retorted, “Accent pillow, sure, I’d like a Spanish one that speaks broken English.” Sarah developed a bladder infection.

Unamused, Sarah pointed to several options but suggested I wait until I had my sham covers picked out so I could bring them in and compare them to the accent pillows. “For crying out loud, does it ever end?” I thought to myself. No wonder women disappear for hours at a time only to end up sloshed at a wine bar belting flights of chardonnay, pinot grigio, and sauvignon blanc surrounded by bags full of things they will ultimately return.

Ultimately, I settled for the sheet purchase and, as I write this, am awaiting the delivery of my new mattress. Realizing that you’re probably all sick of my bedding adventures by now, I’ll stop writing about them. However, I will post a picture of the finished product on my Facebook page when I get it done. As always, thank you for taking the time to read today. With a full week between this post and the next, I’m certain I’ll have time to develop a much better topic for next week’s TUESDAY posting. Keep writing, commenting, and reading. In the meantime, if you need me, I’ll be camping out in front of the Gulf Freeway Finger Furniture Store saving Lincee a spot in line. DP


  1. Don't stop writing about your bedding shopping adventures! Just please get a nice, normal girl to go with you and help you pick out things... and at a reasonable price! You can do it!

  2. Ok I wanna know if you sported pearl snaps & boots (we call em sh*t kickers) to the Brittney Spears concert full of teeny boppers? Also, a spanish accent pillow that speaks a little broken english..LOL! From now on whenever someone is unplesent I will tell myself they too have a bladder infection. Thanks for the laugh:)

  3. Some Guy, Esquire (or is it Sir Some Guy, Esquire?),

    Again some great laughs. I had to control myself reading since I was in a room where random outbursts are frowned upon and one of the walls is all glass for tourist. It's true, inside giggles are the hardest to control.

    I agree with Kerry, we are wondering what you wore to the concert out here. But since Lenny was involved, it sounds like an interesting story to share. Just saying.

    I think Dan is cloned for most mattress stores. And yes, he backs in his sports car, but does so directly over the white line, thus taking up 2 spaces in the back lot to insure no one will part next to him to dent his precious.

    I need to remember you card words for the Kim's cranberry. The PS line is the best. If I was ever to get angry with an ex, I would love to use that line.

    Thanks again for the muffled giggles,

    Post-It Girl

  4. Stacey C., Good idea. I just have to work on the nice, normal part now. I've already recruited a helper, so we'll see how it goes. Thanks for cheering me on. Kerry, of course I had on boots and a pearl snap. That's like asking the pope if he wore a funny hat. Oh, and you can't go wrong with a little UTI humor either. Thanks for reading. DP

  5. Found your blog through Lincee's and have been following for a few months. I have to say, you are hilarious! I'm an attorney as well and completely agree with the "doctor" comment! I couldn't stop laughing about the part where you'd find something to sue over... so true.

    Saw the billboard for Wes' appearance at Finger Furniture here in Houston and was wondering if you'd hear about... hopefully Lincee will attend :)

    Keep up the great work with the off season posts!

  6. With all of this thought you are putting into your new are bound to have some takers!! Hehehe =)

  7. alisa, unfortunately, i found out about the Wes concert on my way to Hobby Airport the other day. Mary Beth, let's not get carried away. I'm shy, after all.


  8. Haha - The loose ends title could apply to last week - nice. I can relate to your mattress store description. Holy mother of pearl snaps, you are a funny, funny man.

  9. DP, you outdid yourself today. I was laughing so hard, tears were streaming down my face. The line that finally did me in was..."Accent pillow, sure, I’d like a Spanish one that speaks broken English.”. As a fellow Texan, I totally get that. Keep up the good work!

  10. "Sarah developed a bladder infection." I seriously almost peed myself. I also loved that your eyes are often bigger than your liver. I too have that same problem! And now it's time to shut down my computer and go home. Perfect ending to a not so productive afternoon. Well done DP!

  11. Oh Some Guy, you always entertain! I am so excited to hear about the trip to the furniture store to see Wes (He Who Must Not Be Mentioned, Thanks Lincee). I will never be able to look at an accent pillow again without thinking I wonder what language it speaks or does it just speak English with a Spanish accent. Keep up the great off season blogs!

  12. Hilarious! Although, I need to remember not to read your posts over a glass of red wine...I honestly spit a bit out and choked during my first (of many) crack ups. That one happened when you were telling of your gift to Lincee. That Wes..he does create great fodder to discuss. And, love your paint quite a remind me of me. Thanks!

  13. DP, your mattres buying exploits have been hilarious. Can't wait for when you post the picture of the finished product, I expect it to be prettier than the one in the Bahamas I emailed a few weeks ago.

    OMG, the part about the UTI had me laughing so hard, I had tears running down my face. You were spot on!

    Well, I'll miss Wes's concert Friday at Finger's parking lot. I already have plans, otherwise I would be there looking up Lincee :-)

  14. I'm just curious what a "finger furniture" store is. I keep envisioning that it's a place that sells little mini-barkaloungers for fingers that have had a long day clicking the mouse. :)

    Adore the haiku! Good job!

  15. true, always good to see you comment. Fingers is a furniture store in Houston owned by a guy named Robert Finger--really. It's a family business. In fact, I recall my parents buying our living room furniture there in 1978.

  16. "Transflexion? That sounds like something you’d find in a cross dresser’s underwear."
    And the whole Kim-Sarah-Bladder Infection/contagious/airborne thing was spectacular! I'll revisit that later today when I need to laugh again!!
    Gracias (accent pillow talk?) for the weekly laugh!

  17. So funny! Favorite LOL moments: Lincee's birthday present (I might have gasped a little bit too, for Lincee's sake), your haiku, and the accent pillow! :)

  18. "Finger"...what an unfortunate last name. Thanks for clearing that up for me. ;)

  19. DR. SGIA,
    Great post! One of my favs so far. I will revisit this later today when I have more time to soak it all in. Although, I am still waiting for your promised take on Womack.

    I'm off to look at the link for Wes's performance tonight. This is one of those days i'm bummed that I don't live in Texas. Cheers to a good weekend!

  20. You had me at "Loose Ends" as an appropriate title for last week's post! And then kept cracking me up throughout. Hilarious, as always!!

  21. tiffany, Patience. My Womack take will come soon enough. As far as you being bummed becasue you couldn't go see a Wes Hayden show, well, I'm not sure how to respond to that one. I'm sure he'll be coming to a retail store near you very soon. jessica, thanks for the feedback. I'm glad my bathroom humor is a bright spot in your day. DP

  22. Ask Lauren the expat if it's spelled K£sha in the UK!

  23. Maggie, that's hysterical. I should also ask if Ke$sha is 1.75 times a tramp in the UK. I suppose that fluctuates depending upon the current exchange rate, but it would be helpful to know. DP

  24. DP, I just posted on lincee's blog that you need to take a picture with a Dr. Pepper in a Bed Bath adn Beyond store for her contest! That would be soooo funny and all of us woudl love it. Her blog was great on the Wes concert! Who needs friends with enemies like you! HAHA

  25. lol @ the "Stairway To Heaven" it!!

  26. I have to admit I just Googled "What is a pearl snap?". I try to learn one new thing every day, so I'm done now.