Blog Archives for category Rants & Gripes

Where are my iFly pictures and videos?! (Part 2)

This is a combined post with four days of waiting and replies.

April 10—4:34pm

The next day they replied that they had found them and emailed them all to me free of charge. Except they were all of Katie! (Looking on the bright side, I now had like eight free photos of Katie instead of paying $5 a piece.) Soooo I emailed back and asked about them again, saying I hated to be such a pain about this but this was my bucket list experience and I had really wanted the photo. They replied with links to pictures…but they were the same photos of Katie they had already sent! So I fired off another email thanking them for all the pictures but explaining AGAIN that they were not pictures of ME.

April 12—1:51pm

Two days go by with no response so I email them again, casually asking if there was any update. 

April 14—12:54pm

TWO DAYS LATER I get an email apologizing for the delayed response (she had been off work) and saying “Unfortunately I was unable to find your photos, but we would be happy to send you a voucher for you to come back and fly for free so that we may find your photos.”

April 14—2:05pm

I receive the email voucher for two free flights.

And then I proceeded to write this strongly-worded feedback for their survey—which I also emailed to their corporate office.

Our instructor was awesome and we all had an amazing time and I was thrilled to check something off my bucket list. I do, however, have two HUGE suggestions (I will also be writing corporate as I believe it would be beneficial company-wide).

One, kids under a certain age should be required to do a practice run on the bench in the classroom to get the feel of it. While there isn’t much to remember, even I (as a 42yo) kind of forgot everything the first moment I stepped into the chamber. So you can imagine what happens to an 8yo and 4yo! They did well and had fun, but my son had spaghetti legs one whole flight and the instructor spent an inordinate amount of time wrangling him. I think had he practiced on the table first, he may have had a better idea on what to do.

Two, guests with long hair should be strongly recommended or even required to have their hair braided, in a cap, or at the very least tucked up inside their helmet. You could even provide a cap (like you provide earplugs). I have long hair (to the middle of my back). I did ask the best way to deal with it and was briefly told a braid or a low ponytail. So I opted for the easy solution of a low ponytail. BIG MISTAKE. I didn’t realize until after we were done that my hair was a huge knotted mess. When I tried to deal with it the following morning, it was a nightmare trying to get 8″ of thick hair untangled. Granted I should have thought more about it and realized that wind was obviously going to mess up my hair and taken my own precautions—but with the excitement of the day and having asked and received a quick answer, I thought I’d be okay. I literally spent HOURS painstakingly trying to comb out all the mats and knots with a head full of conditioner, leave-in conditioner, detangling spray, coconut oil, olive oil, etc.—anything to help the process along. And eventually just gave up and used brute force and pulled out a ton of hair. This was a very disappointing end to an awesome experience which I believe could all have been easily prevented with a simple cap, helmet tuck, or requirement to braid.

Lastly, we had an issue with our videos and photos that we’re still trying to work out. We were a family of four and when we went to check out our media, my name was listed but the media was of my daughter (whose name wasn’t listed). A call to your staff had them researching the footage and I did eventually get my videos, but am still waiting to see if they can find my photos. I know mistakes happen but I have to say it was upsetting to realize I initially didn’t have any videos or pictures of my bucket list experience. I will say, though, that dealing with your staff regarding this has ended up better than I’d expected—emails were answered quickly and my issues thus far were solved efficiently. I am hoping to resolve the photo issue quickly as well. (I am wondering if there isn’t some way to scan your wrist band before each time you step in the chamber, which would trigger the recording with your name. It would seem you have some similar type system since the videos were mostly attached to the correct person…but then I’m not sure how my flights were all missing.)

All that said, I will say that overall we were very happy with our experience…and we will be back. But I would strongly suggest adding both the child-practice sessions and the long-hair issue to your pre-flight information and lessons.

Thank you!!

So, while there were some bad parts (the hair thing and the missing media thing), overall I would still recommend it…plus I get two extra flights during which my hair will be tucked so far up in my helmet it won’t budge. And I will have Tom taking pictures and videos the whole time.

My poor poor hair.

So, iFly was amazing…except my hair is just about ruined. Seriously.

I honestly didn’t think about my hair again until the morning after (this morning!) when I knew I’d have to really condition it in the shower and detangle it. I mean, I’ve had knots before, but you just really douse it with deep conditioner and then use a wide-tooth comb and yes it’s tedious but I’ve done this before and 20 minutes or so was all it took.



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My hair was SOOOO densely knotted in the bottom 8″ that 30 minutes in the shower with two of my best conditioners and a wide-toothed comb did almost nothing. NOTHING. I eventually turned off the water and just stood there freezing my butt off while trying to untangle. I eventually gave up, planning to try again later leaving the conditioner in for awhile before I tried to comb through it (of course I had a doc appointment this morning so I couldn’t do it right then).

Fast forward to later that morning and this was my hair saturated with spray detangler, coconut oil, and heavy duty conditioner…wrapped in a warm towel. I honestly didn’t have much hope.

I undid the towel and just stood in the bathroom trying to comb out the nightmare. I’ve had knots before…but this is a whole new level I’ve never experienced. Wind speeds from 85-180mph. It’s literally a full head of this. And you know how thick my hair is.

I would dip my hair in a sink of water, spray it with more detangler, add more coconut or olive oil…and nothing. I even got out a fine-tooth comb and tried to do tiny 1/16″ sections at a time. Nothing. Well, I made a little bit of leeway, but every time I thought I was getting somewhere, I really wasn’t. So after maybe another half hour, I gave up and just ended up going brute force on it because I just couldn’t stand it anymore and I wanted to cry—and I pulled out a crap ton of hair. And my head HURT. If I had been making any decent headway, I would have painstakingly continued, but I wasn’t. I was already scheduled for a trim with my stylist, but I can’t wait to talk to her and see how bad it is and if I need more cut off. I may not end up needing extra inches cut off but I definitely screwed it up. The iFly headquarters is definitely going to be getting helpful feedback about dealing with guests with long hair.

Where are my iFly pictures and videos?! (Part 1)

April 9—5:26pm

So we get home and I pretty much went straight to the computer to check out our photos and videos. If you recall, our iFly tickets each came with a free video and then Tom and I added on the High Flyer experience which came with a photo. So I login to get our videos and pictures…and guess what? There are exactly ZERO of either for me. Everyone else has a video (or two). Everyone else has a bunch of pics (Katie and Owen each had like 15). I HAD ZERO OF EITHER. The way their site is set you click on your location > date > flight time > name to see your associated media. Except Katie’s name wasn’t listed and my name showed all of Katie’s photos and videos! I flew right before her so had no idea how they could possibly have skipped me…twice? Including a high fly experience AND a double-length flight?!

I called them immediately and told them what was going on and they said they’d have to look into it and call me back. It didn’t sound terribly promising. They did call back within about 15 minutes to ask what color shoes I was wearing—I’m assuming so they could scrutinize the video feed and try and find my media. So I was a bit upset…but in a holding pattern hoping they would come through.

And what really gets me is that I didn’t take (or have Tom take) one single picture or video with my phone!! Why not you ask? Because I was thinking I didn’t want to keep it in my pocket while I was flying…but DUH I could have easily handed it off to Tom because we obviously weren’t flying at the same time. I was so pissed at myself about that for quite some time.

April 9—8:32pm

When we hadn’t heard anything back from them, Tom called to see what was going on. They assured him they were taking care of it.

April 9—11:24pm

I checked my email before bed and discovered they had sent the download links for two videos (so I actually got a free video!) but…they didn’t send any pics (!!) so I had to email them back about that. And after watching the videos…it’s two snippets from one flight and not a video from both flights! (Believe me, I’m very happy to have gotten the videos at all, but I am still very much hoping there’s a picture or two since they are much clearer than the video.)

Another reason why I say I hate people. 

It just pisses me off that people only think about themselves.

Pre-k drop-off has changed to the front of the building. There is a parking lot (off to the right in the photo) but for the literally two minutes it takes to drop her off (where the buses are in the photo), it’s nice (and much closer) to park in the fire lane. Other people do it, too, but these two asshats always take up the entire lane (where there is room for four cars) with their two cars. I technically fit at the end but it ends up to be pretty close to the driveway (still safe but encroaching just a bit). If only they would pull up to the beginning of the lane instead of just stopping in the middle this would be a non-issue.

Why can’t we all just be decent scofflaws together?! :lol:

I know I am not alone…

I know I am not alone, but please reassure me: I feel like I need a vacation from my kids because everything they’re doing lately is annoying me and I feel like all I do is get upset or frustrated and I’m becoming that mom that yells or gets mad at everything and I feel bad and I’m tired of it. #parentingishardletsgoshopping #parentingishardletsdrinkwine

This morning it was Katie practically screaming trying to turn off Alexa unsuccessfully six times in a row. Which I could hear clear as day from upstairs in my room. 

And Owen not getting in the shower when I asked and then blaming Katie for bothering him (wasting 10 minutes).

And Katie wanting to play songs on Alexa but picking songs that irritated me. 

And Owen needing me to wash his lunch container RIGHT NOW because he didn’t take care of it the previous night like he’s supposed to do. And his backup container is also dirty because he hadn’t taken care of that one, either. 

And Owen forgetting AGAIN that he needs to let the dog outside as soon as he lets her out of her crate (we’ve told him this 427 times). I told him if he can remember every thing about every Pokemon he can remember to let the dog out. 

And Katie whining when I told her her iPad time was over (after she’s been watching all morning from probably 6:30-8).

And Owen moving as slow as molasses in everything when he’s running late even though I keep telling him he has X minutes until his school alarm goes off and he has to be out the door to the bus. 

And Owen waking though the living room holding the grapes to put them away. WHY?! HE WAS LITERALLY FOUR FEET AWAY?! Oh, probably because he didn’t immediately see me and freaked out wondering where I was because that’s what he does which makes me INSANE on a good day. 

And Owen needing to hunt for his socks after his alarm has already gone off. 

And that was just from 7:45-8:45.

The day continued with almost everything that Katie did or said annoying me. Including her being nosy in my bedroom and ruining two Easter surprises because she couldn’t stop looking in bags and drawers—even after I warned her! (Which then resulted in lots of whining because she was upset that she ruined her surprises.) Lather, rinse, repeat. 

As soon as Tom walked in the door I was off duty and pouring myself a big glass of sangria. But then of course Daddy doesn’t do the playground (and it was nice out) so I was back on duty. :|

Thankfully days like this don’t happen too often but when they do they really really suck. 

Taxes are annoying. And water is wet.

Normally doing the taxes isn’t a big deal. Ever since we sold the house and have no rental income, there’s not much to them. But then. This year. Ugh. This year they gave me a headache.

I’m annoyed that since we got a tiny life insurance distribution mailed to our Virginia address instead of our home state (Michigan) and the company refused to reissue a corrected statement (that’s you, Principal Life Insurance Company of Des Moines, IA), we now have to file a Virginia state refund for $36. For all I care, Virginia can keep the $15 but you can’t mess with the IRS. (I’m also sure I could have completed the return without using TurboTax but that adds time and more confusion.) Consequently, I’m also annoyed that I now have to mail in said Virginia return because we have to include paperwork proving we are military and this isn’t our home state/state of record.

This is how I help earn my keep—Tom doesn’t touch the taxes. :)

On what planet is this a legit pizza?

The local pizza hut didn’t have good yelp reviews but Owen had a free personal pan pizza coupon for competing his February reading so we ordered. Yeah. Look at this pathetic Meat Lovers pizza.

Where’s the meat? Hell, where’s the cheese?! 

Never again. If Owen gets another coupon it will be just his pizza. 

Getting old sucks, part 27

I picked up Katie to put her in the cart while shopping and I tweaked my back. Thankfully I could still move and walking around helped loosen it up some. Earlier this week, while away for work, Tom bent over to get something and threw his back out bad enough he had to go to the ER.


I just can’t even. Kiss & Ride is NOT hard.

Front lady is wasting like THREE spaces by not pulling forward. WHY?!?! I eventually pulled in front of her (directly behind that car to the very left that you can barely see). If you’re going to be stupid and waste that much space, you deserve to have someone pull in front of you. (Sidenote: she did the same damn thing the next day and I didn’t waste ANY time parking in front of her immediately upon arriving.)

Never again. 

Going out on Black Friday? Never again.



I forgot how insanely awful it is. We tried to go to a movie and couldn’t even get IN the parking lot so we just came home. And then I got what I needed… :p


It’s time for new glasses.

It’s been two years since I’ve had an exam and I’m on my last pair of contacts so it was time. (I’m supposed to go annually but I made my contacts last extra long to save money.)

So I was trying to be cost-conscious and asked if they could use my old frames and they can but it would still be over $200! What? Yuck. So I asked about a clearance section and picked out the best [of the worst] from the very limited $199 selection. Can you pick the same ones I did? (Highlight the rest of this sentence to see which one: I picked #1.)

I picked # 1.

Then I looked around and of course found a regular-priced frame I liked a lot better. Gah.

This is me trying out different hairstyles to see how they looked to try and make my decision. I liked that they were plastic frames (versus metal) and that they had blue on them. And they just FELT right.

So, so much for being cost-conscious—after the military discount, the glasses were about $450. And I still have to buy the contacts. Now you see why I try to make them last longer than a year. (And yes, I could have just gotten new lenses for my old frames at that price point, but they’ve been stepped on and aren’t in the best condition. But had he price been right, I would have.)

But on a good note? My eyes have gotten slightly better. :)



Guess what happened? I am LIVID.

Standing in line for Brickfair in Dulles, I look down to see this:

What. The. Hell? My stomach dropped and my heart was beating out of my chest.

Needless to say I called the jewelers immediately. Remember, he had assured me it would be secure. Well, the first words out of the owner’s mouth were “I guess I owe you a diamond.” Long story, he will “make it right,” though the solution depends on if I find the diamond or not. If I find the diamond he’ll buy a totally new setting. If I can’t find the diamond, he buys a diamond…and I’m assuming a new setting because he’ll likely just F it up again…?! But his tone implied he was just incredulous that this happened. I think he thinks he’s better than he is…or likely he’s good at some things but not this. 

So we’ll see.

Breathe. Breathe.

I have no idea where the diamond is. It may be in the car or at home but…we won’t know until after Brickfair when I can search. I’m pretty sure I had it this morning so am hoping it’s in the house somewhere. 

I am just sick

I can’t imagine any normal person looking at that after doing it and saying “Yeah, looks great!”

I had heard good things from friends about a local jeweler so checked them out to resize my wedding ring after losing 135#.

It is a tension mount ring which meant it wasn’t a typical (simple) resize job, but after talking with the owner twice I was confident in his proposed solution of (basically) adding gold layers to the inside of the band to make it smaller while leaving the ring looking exactly as it started. This was critical as I didn’t want gold balls or bars soldered on. He told me he specializes in this type of fix and he’s the only one that does it in his shop. Great.

Strike one? They told me it would be done in 10 days, so when I hadn’t heard from them in 14, I called and they told me it was due “that day.” So apparently when they told me 10 days, they actually meant 10 BUSINESS days which is unprofessional at best. You should tell me the total number of days; the number of days you’re closed isn’t my concern and I shouldn’t have to do math.

Strike two? I called on Day 21 (yes, calendar day 21) to check on it and was told oh, it was done Saturday but at the end of the day [and they’re closed Sunday and Monday] so no one called yet. So, it was past due and no one bothered to call? Unprofessional.

Strike three? When I went in to pick it up, it was NOT what I was promised AT ALL—plus it was still too big!! They just stuck a tiny bar of gold on the wide band and it looked ridiculous!

And this is considered professional work from an award-winning designer?! And in talking with the jeweler on-duty, I found out that apparently the owner didn’t even work on it (so much for him being the only one to do that type of work in his shop)…?! The on-duty guy actually seemed offended when I suggested that the owner said he was the only one able to do the work.

So, needless to say they’re redoing it…but I’m not holding my breath. I’m envisioning very bad things and am trying to stay calm.

Edited Wednesday to add:

And then the more I thought about it that day and overnight, the more upset I got—I did NOT want anyone working on my ring until we were all on the same page. So I called and thankfully the lady that answered was the one who was there when I originally talked to the owner and turned over the ring so she at least knew who I was. She said the owner was out of town the rest of this week but she will email him and see what she can get figured out. I had her pull the ring so nothing will be done until I talk to him. I’m feeling SLIGHTLY better now, but my fingers are still crossed.

I need Xanax to drive through our local intersection.

They’ve been doing construction on our main road for almost the entire two years we’ve been here (widening a 2-lane to a 4-lane, redoing bridges, creating new portions of road) and it’s been pretty decent until now when they have it down to one lane right at our community entrance for most of the day.

At the nearest traffic light, they have a big flashing light truck set up in one lane (obviously indicating that lane is closed) so you either get in the left lane (to go straight through the light toward our place) or in the right lane to TURN RIGHT. It’s not a difficult concept. Yet every GD time I’m at the light, some asshole from the right-turn-only lane cuts across the intersection and wants to cut into the other lane to go straight.

This crap makes my blood boil. Seriously.

The intersection is a constant irritation to me anyway because the way it’s set up, the leftmost lane is straight through and the center lane also goes straight through but goes directly into a right-turn-only lane–but about 75% of the yahoos don’t turn right and cut off people in the correct lane who are actually following the rules. (I thought about alerting the police, but have seen multiple police cars do it as well!) And it’s not like this is new. This intersection has been set up like this, I’m guessing, SINCE IT WAS CREATED MANY MOONS AGO.

And it’s only gotten worse with the construction. Of course these assholes never even use blinkers—either to signal an actual right turn OR to signal that they were an ass and now need to merge back into traffic—so it’s always a surprise as to what’s going to happen. Most of them just force their way over regardless of who’s in their way, and I’ve almost gotten hit about five times. As in inches from getting hit. Because of course, most of these times, there’s plenty of room behind me to get into traffic, but god forbid the assholes wait for an opening due to their mistake. And lots of them flip me off as well because, you know, it was obviously MY mistake for following the traffic rules. And, if you actually decide to be nice and let someone in? No wave or thanks of any kind, because, you know who cares that someone did something nice for them because they deserved it.

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

Did the special flower read my post?

Because this is where she was today!! Not perfect, but a definite improvement! (The lead car could also have moved up at least another two car lengths.)


A Kiss & Ride Special Flower

Yes, this woman parks RIGHT HERE every day in the Kiss & Ride without pulling forward and it makes me insane. Apparently her special little flower couldn’t find her if she pulled forward three car lengths?! A friend said she apparently does this ALL the time and everyone is annoyed with her. People like this is why I say I hate people. 


Pizza stones don’t like us. 

Or maybe they don’t like being left in the oven. I guess the baking steel was a great investment.


This HOA newsletter blurb makes me sad.

This was in our HOA newsletter. It makes me very sad. I’m normally a rule-follower, but this is one that I won’t be paying attention to.

Technically I guess the HOA could fine us (there are signs at the playgrounds saying children under 12 must be supervised) but I looked up our county rules and there are only Child Supervision Guidelines. (See also: “Virginia state statutes do not set a specific age after which a child legally can stay alone.“)  So they’d likely have a fight on their hands if they tried to cause any issues. 

I’m all about being a helicopter parent when it’s warranted. But this is not that time.  I’m pretty sure I was cruising around my neighborhood by age 7 and biking to town by late elementary school. Blah blah blah things are different now blah blah blah but I refuse to be a helicopter parent over playing in the yard or going to the neighborhood park.

I’m sure nothing will come of it, and I’m sure those guidelines have always been there…I just overlooked them because we weren’t at that stage yet. 

What the bloody hell?! Ugh.

Owen’s baseball game was cancelled due to rain…and then this started. Yeesh.  


DC dinner with friends!

Friends from South Carolina came to DC for the weekend and we grabbed dinner with a bunch of other friends at a pizza place.

Of course, the kids were watching TV. (Guess how old the boy is. Just guess. Nope—he’s 6.5 and in first grade! I know, right? I told you we grow them big. :) )

Owen’s cool crayon sculpture!

As a sidenote. We had a perfect example of why I say I hate people. Parking in downtown DC is always a nightmare, but we were thrilled to realize there was a parking garage right next door to the restaurant. Except some asshat parked next to us in a NON-PARKING spot which necessitated a 23-point turn to exit our space. ‪(Parking is tight in the best of cases, so with him there it was ridiculous.)