Urban Retreats Day Spa

I like to get a massage once a month. I’d say it’s my one indulgence, but let’s face it–I have a lot of indulgences.

Massages are among them. I really do feel better when I get them regularly. However, I am too cheap to pay for a fancy spa with marble and a steam shower. (I went to one with some friends for our shared birthday celebration earlier this year, and it was fantastic. I’m not knocking those. I’m just cheap.)

Our apartment was right around the corner from a day spa that met my needs; it was clean, the massage therapists did a good job, and it was very affordable. Then we moved.

For starters, moving involves stress and muscle strain. On top of that, it is disruptive to the schedule. So I’ve needed a massage more than I usually do, and I haven’t had one in a while. Then I spent an afternoon spraypainting our fence, and gave myself something that felt like carpal tunnel (holding down the button on a spray can is not that easy, it turns out).

A quick internet search turned up Urban Retreats. It’s not right around the corner, but it isn’t that far, either. The waiting area is a little shabby, but the rooms are minimalist in a nice way. My massage therapist was thorough both in our conversation before the massage, and in her focus on the areas most in need during the session. She also suggested a hot stone massage, which is probably a good idea, but costs enough that I’ll have to think about it. (On the other hand, it’s a longer session.)

At the end, I felt much better. In fact, I think it was a better massage than I got at the corner place in our old neighborhood. So I’m definitely going back to Urban Retreats. Soon, I hope!

The Eagle Has Landed

Not quite, but not that far off, either.

Mr. Sandwich and I were getting ready to go bike shopping, when all of a sudden we heard (and felt, faintly) two sharp thuds. It sounded like something had bounced off of the roof.

No, it wasn’t an earthquake (those are quite different). It was the Space Shuttle Endeavour landing at Edwards AFB, some 50 miles away.

You certainly don’t get sonic booms on the Westside.

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday. Mr. Sandwich’s parents are coming over, and here’s what we’re feeding them:

creamed corn (recipe from Lawry’s)
roasted asparagus
cheesy potatoes
Triple Sec pound cake.

So what is everyone thankful for? I’m thankful for friends and family, and for our new home. Most of all I’m thankful, as I am every day, for Mr. Sandwich.

At War

This post is not about Iraq. Nor is it about AT&T. No, it’s about our landlord.

These are the people who, when I called to report a water leak in the wall, yelled at me for not calling sooner. And then, although they fixed the leak that night, took two weeks to patch the wall. And never painted. (So we painted.)

These are the people who lost our keys (!!!) and said that we could rekey the apartment and withhold costs from the rent–and then, when presented with receipts and an itemized invoice, demanded the remainder of the rent. (They didn’t get it.)

Now they’re the people who think it costs, among other things, $125 to clean a shower door that was clean, $95 for carpet they said they’d have to replace anyway due to poor installation before we moved in, and $21.50 for a wall outlet switch place (I assume they’re forging it themselves. Out of gold.)

When I called them late this morning to tell them we’d be in this afternoon, they said that I would have to come in between 9:00 and 11:30 a.m. tomorrow or the next day, because those are the only hours the manager is in. That’s some management.

So we’re at war. One day this week, between 9:00 and 11:30.

Salsa and Beer

Yes, it probably would be a weird combination if that’s all you ordered. But there’s plenty to order at Salsa and Beer. The meal began with chips and a kind of beany queso that was a touch spicy and all tasty.

Mr. Sandwich had the Steak Tampiqueno, and I had the combination #8 (cheese enchilada, chile relleno, taquitos), which was too much to finish–even without the rice and beans.

But it was all fantastic, and we’ll definitely be back. We’re already planning who we should bring with us.

Of course, it’s not for everyone. The restaurant is loud, and there was a bit of a wait. (So I guess it may not be for everyone, but it’s for a lot of people.) But if you like Mexican food, it may be for you.

AT&T: The Saga Continues

So I’ve been blogging about my problems with AT&T, and I started a Facebook group about it. One of my friends joined, and then someone she knows, who is also on Facebook, asked about the group. The reason? She works for AT&T. Her name is Stephanie (I’m not using last names) and she offered to help us out. I wrote her a long e-mail explaining the sequence of events, and she put us in touch with a group that would expedite our issue.

Two days passed. Nothing happened.

I e-mailed Stephanie again, and she said she would try another approach.

Yesterday afternoon I got three calls from Cynthia at AT&T–one while I was at work, and two during my commute home. The upshot? Free replacement modem, billing adjustment for the service we didn’t get, two months free service, and lots of apologies.

So I no longer hate AT&T. The past is not erased, but I’m moving on from it.

And that is the power of Web 2.0. Not just that it gave me another avenue to air my complaints (although it did), but that through social networking I was put in contact with someone who had the power to solve my problem.

So a set of big thank-yous goes out to my friend (who joined the group), to Stephanie (who volunteered to help) and to Cynthia (who persisted in reaching me). And another thank-you to Facebook, for providing us with a way to connect.

The correct modem should be here soon. I can’t wait.

Grillmasters, part 2

Steak, maple-glazed carrots, mashed potatoes, beans. Mmm…