Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Wonky Houses Published! Plus Rock Star Stuff! And a Rant!

(Usual spoiler stuff applies about Rock Star: INXS. If you TiVo'd it and haven't watched yet, or you live someplace it hasn't aired yet, or have been on retreat someplace with absolutely NO news and you don't want to know the outcome of the finale, then don't read this post.) But first, before we get to the RS:INXS stuff... Quilt News I got the November issue of Quilter's Newsletter Magazine in the mail today and my quilt, "Wonky Houses" is on page 83, top right corner. Yay! Pretty decent photo too! So if you subscribe to QNM, or you don't subscribe but you want to pick it up and flip through it at the grocery store, take a look at my quilt's superfantastic photo! (I was starting to think they'd never print it. They requested this quilt for photography at least two years ago!) And in other quilty news, the FedEx truck pulled up this morning returning my Mama quilt from a photography session in Houston, and the UPS truck pulled up returning my Queen of Cups quilt from PNQE. Here are the Judges' comments, as they were written (I can never resist reading them, even though they occasionally make me say Bad Words): "Color choices in water area are affective. Matching binding is a nice touch. More quilting in the body is needed." People who see that quilt in person always like the water. Although I assume the person writing the comments meant the choices were "effective" since I don't think they were affecting anything in particular. Judges always like my bindings too. How boring, but hey, a talent is a talent and I happen to make very good bindings. And they're totally right, she does need more quilting in the body. She probably won't get it. But she needs it. Not so bad, as comments go. Nothing I didn't already know, but nothing that made me screech in frustration. More of the Music Saga Speaking of screeching in frustration, want to hear the latest in my downloaded music saga? (You might as well say yes, because I'm telling you whether you want to hear it or not.) I finally, after about 3 tries, received an email that sounded like it might be from a real person instead of a generic form letter. This person asked for some more information, which I provided. And keep in mind here, every time I reply, I'm including ALL previous emails, my own and theirs, at the bottom so that they have the complete story in one document if they can be bothered to read it. So then I waited some more. And this morning I got another email and thought "oh good, now maybe I'll get some useful information". HA! Nope, back to another generic email that gave me totally UN-useful and UN-applicable advice. Here is my most recent reply: many times do I have to say this is NOT (!!!!!!) a WMP problem! Do y'all even READ the previous messages (all included below!!) before you reply?? I'm not going into it again because I've stated repeatedly exactly what the situation is and continue to get replies that completely fail to address the problem. Every time I think I'm finally getting a reply that *might* get me somewhere, by the next one I'm back where I started. Ok then, never mind. I will accept that I just wasted $26 + tax. But I will never buy music downloads from MSN again, and will tell anyone who asks about this experience. This is the WORST customer support I've ever encountered in many, many years on the 'net. Seriously. And that's just sad. Deborah Richardson, former customer
Haven't heard anything more since firing the above note off this morning. Imagine that. It really IS pathetic customer service. It's excruciatingly obvious from the emails I've received that they aren't even really trying to help me. And here I was trying to be honest and support the artists by buying legit copies of the songs instead of searching for free downloads. Their response doesn't exactly encourage me to be honest next time, now does it? Gggrrr... I wash my hands of them. With a little help from my friends I've finally managed to find downloadable versions of the six songs I hadn't been able to find on my own, and today when I was running errands I bought some new blank CDs. So as soon as I get time to mess with it, I will hopefully have the CD I've been trying to create for nearly a week now.
Now for the obligatory Rock Star commentary about the finale. No one was really surprised by the outcome, were they? I sure wasn't. A bit disappointed, yes, but not surprised. I knew as soon as MiG chose "Bohemian Rhapsody" for his final song that he'd just shot himself right out of the running. There were very, very GOOD reasons for him to decide not to do that song the first time it came up and those reasons were still valid, IMO. Then add to that the fact that the band loved Suzie's version a few weeks ago, giving her a standing ovation, many kudos, and an encore. That means that MiG had to TOTALLY rock this song to make it work. He had to do it way better than Suzie did or else INXS would be sitting there thinking, "Suzie did this as well or better a few weeks ago and we let her go last week. Why would we now hire someone who doesn't do it any better than she did?" Sorry, MiG, foolish choice. I thought Marty did a very good job with his two songs. But I always had my doubts about his style meshing with INXS. To me, he just seems too indie rock for them, and I think he wanted to take them in directions they weren't interested in going. I'm glad they offered to talk to him about opening for them on tour though. That was cool! I wish they'd extend that offer and make their opening show a small group thing for the last 4 or 5 performers standing, if they're interested. That would make a great opening act. Although anyone taking them up on it would have to put up with JD's post-win ego on the road. Oy. JD? Well, what can I say? Last night he rocked. He really did. I still don't like him much. I still think he's very immature. I still think his vocals are way weak compared to some of the other contestants (namely my beloved SUZIE!). But I will be woman enough to admit that his version of "You Can't Always Get What You Want" actually gave me chills. In a good way for a change, instead of in that "omigawd he's a half-note off-key and I feel like my skin is being peeled from my body with a grapefruit spoon" sort of way. Heh. The performances he's given in the past 2 - 3 weeks have been a good match for INXS's style. Maybe they can whip him into shape over the next year or so. I wish them all luck. And for once I'm not being a smartass about that. I'm So Fortunate! Finally, gotta share this with you. I brought home take-out from the local Chinese restaurant last night and there were two fortune cookies in the bag, so I opened them both. Here they are: Now THOSE are what fortunes should look like. I'll take these over pithy sayings cookies any day, creative spelling and all!