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Friday, January 6th, 2006

Time Event
Two of my least favorite medical professionals are the dentist and the gynecologist. I saw both in the last 2 days.

I hadn't had a teeth cleaning in 1.5 years. I get a LOT of tartar and really need to do it every 6 months. I finally called for an appointment Tuesday, hoping they could see me before Sundance (I need to be ready for my close-up; oops, that close-up already happened). They not only could, but had an opening Wednesday morning.

Everyone in my dental office is Russian. The receptionists were speaking Russian to each other while I waited, and I found I understood zero after 2 years of high school Russian except "spaceva" (thank you). Spaceva, Mr. Forster! The cleaning went fairly painlessly. It's so much better with electronic instruments as opposed to the agonizing scraping of steel in childhood. That steel thing is still there, but it's cleverly disguised as an attachment to a device that whirs and sprays. I closed my eyes throughout the whole thing.

Afterward, I went to the PO next door to mail packages before the rate increase (and got 2 cent stamps), and to the Times a few blocks away (this dentist was chosen to be near my ex-job in the "Good Morning America" building). The puzzles weren't ready (Will wasn't feeling well), so I headed home. I did several loads of laundry, including the acrylic sweaters I'd unearthed from the front closet. I still need to make the rounds of the dry cleaners. The Sunday puzzle arrived and I processed what I could from home (the computer guy needs to do the graphic for the second Sunday); the dailies weren't ready yet.

Patrick E-mailed with the tentative Sundance social plans. Parties galore. We get our ticket-buying time slots tomorrow, and actual buying is next week. I still need to look through the schedule. So exciting!

This morning I wasn't exactly looking forward to the gynecologist (a new one at Cornell). I left at 9:19 for a 10:15 appointment, transferred for the crosstown bus at 9:30, and then sat on 68th Street just past Third Ave. behind a garbage truck that showed no signs of moving. At 10:05, I finally got off and walked the rest of the way to York. I arrived breathless and late, and barely had time to start the paperwork when they called me in. The nurse took my blood pressure, and I told her it might be high due to that stress (and the stress of just being there), and sure enough it was. She was going to retake it later but never did. The GYN came in with a really nice resident and nurse. It was unbelievably quick and painless.

Next I went over to the Times. I called Will, who wasn't sure when the puzzles would be ready and suggested I work from home later. I knew I needed to shop and kept making excuses not to. "If the 10 bus comes before the 104, I'll just go home." The 104 came. On the 104: "I'm tired, I need to take a nap before working later." Still, I got off in front of the Town Shop - where I FINALLY got fitted for the proper undergarments. Also bought some thick tights.

When they were giving out the JAP genes for shopping, I didn't get one. After the Town Shop success, the rest of the excursion was unproductive. Easy Spirit, nothing. Talbot's, nothing. Filene's Basement, nothing (I saw the same tights I just paid much more for at the Town Shop, but that's the price for good service).

H&H Bagels, bingo. I never have a problem shopping for food. I ate the plain bagel (unfortunately, not hot but still fresh) waiting for the bus uptown. Research had shown there was an Aerosoles at Broadway and 104th, but I didn't see it. I walked down and there it was near 100th (I might have written down the wrong street). Aerosoles, nothing. Shoe Club, nothing.

Home again, I really wanted to take a nap but now the puzzles were here, so I got them out. Finally, naptime!
Those wacky celebs
Kenny Chesney 12/5/05 US Magazine, on all the attention his breakup with Renee Zellweger received: "It was like opening the door to your house and having someone come in and take your big-screen TV off the wall during the big game, and there's nothing you can do about it."


Then we have People mag's 11/28/05 Style Watch item on L.A.-based Jennifer Meyer, 28, who with no formal training in jewelry design left fashion PR 5 months ago to start a jewelry business. Already her line is being snapped up by some impressive Hollywood names. She was "inspired in her new career by her grandmother, who taught art and designed jewelry."

One thing is missing from this article. Jennifer is far from a struggling former publicist venturing out on her own, but the daughter of studio honcho Ron Meyer, and girlfriend of Tobey Maguire. At least the picture looks like THAT Jennifer, and the age and location match up. (If I'm wrong, oops!)

Maybe it's commendable that she's not flaunting her connections (at least, in print). On the other hand, what about budding jewelry designers like my cousin, who don't know all the right People.
Attack my character and I'll... I'll pay you!
You remember my Amazon buyer who requested Standard shipping but was still very anxious about the book arriving.

I checked my feedback today and found this: "The vendor was very unprofessional. I requested Stanard [sic] shipping, which permits tracking. She sent the book something like "book rate" or "media rate', which is cheaper and does not permit a tracking code. Although the difference that she pocketed was fairly insignificant, I believe this provides evidence of her character."

First of all, I did nothing wrong. I don't even know if the book was late (last I heard from her, we were still within Amazon's guideline of 14 business days). I found nothing on Amazon saying Standard shipping requires tracking, and they recommend Media Mail for books. So the problem, if there even is one, is that the mail might have been slow due to the holiday.

As for pocketing a profit, the purchase price plus shipping was $21.49, and I received $16.57 from Amazon. I also spent $2.20 to fax her the postal receipt to prove when I sent the book.

I started writing a note to her defending myself, and decided, screw it, I'll kill her with kindness. So I initiated a full refund. I believe THIS provides evidence of my character.

In the explanation for the refund, I wrote: "As evidence of my character, I'm requesting that Amazon send you a full refund. I was not seeking to profit by using Media Mail, but just following the method Amazon RECOMMENDS for standard shipping. In return, I hope you will remove my negative feedback."

You can leave feedback defending yourself, so there I wrote: "Buyer left negative feedback because I used Media Mail for Standard book shipping, which Amazon RECOMMENDS. Buyer said Standard shipping requires tracking; I couldn't find evidence of this. Buyer thought I was trying to profit and questioned my character. To show my true character, I asked Amazon to give her a full refund. I hope she will remove the negative feedback in return."

I'll remove that note if she removes her feedback.

Crazy, I know. But I am the LAST person who would penny-pinch on mailing methods. I care about my reputation a lot more than I care about money.

UPDATE: I called Amazon customer service, and spoke to a seller specialist, who said I did nothing wrong. Still haven't heard from the buyer and the feedback is still there.

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