Hey, McDonald’s, You Suck

bya Gabrielle at 4:26 PM

Yesterday, Phil and I went to McDonald’s, not because we particularly like eating there on any sort of regular basis, but because we were tired and hungry and it was convenient.  Cooking at home was not an option.  We wanted food to be prepared and handed to us.

A few days before this, Phil’s mom had given me a coupon for one of McDonald’s chicken sandwiches.  All, I had to do was purchase a medium or a large drink, and the sandwich was free of charge.  I couldn’t remember if I had ever had one of McDonald’s chicken sandwiches, so I thought it was a good time to try one.

When I stepped up to the counter to order, I told the lady standing behind the register that I had a coupon and went to hand it to her.  Before I even was able to move my hand forward, she promptly told me that they did not accept coupons.

This confused me.  I looked down at my coupon just to double check that I was holding a McDonald’s coupon and not one of their competitors.  I wasn’t mistaken.

“What do you mean, you don’t accept coupons?” I asked.

“We don’t accept coupons.”

“Okay,” I replied, “that’s ridiculous.”

“Our manager told us not to accept them.”

At about this time, another lady approached the register.

“McDonald’s is not corporate,” the new lady said.  “Each restaurant is individually owned, and the owner makes the decision on whether or not coupons can be accepted.”

“Well,” I said, “I want you to tell your manager/owner that he has made a very poor decision.  Because you can’t accept my coupon, I am going to take my business else where.”

“That’s fine,” the new lady said.  And with that, Phil and I turned and walked out and headed to the fast food joint next door – Hardee’s – Phil’s favorite place to eat.

Yeah, I know, I sounded like a complete bitch, but I don’t care.  It’s just that I don’t think I have ever had someone tell me I couldn’t use a coupon before – especially a legit, non expired one.  I once had a Domino’s take a coupon that I found in a city hundreds of miles away.  All they asked was where I got it from and then took it like normal.

And just so you know, it is the McDonald’s located at 7011 Parklane Rd Columbia, SC 29223.

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Globe Trotting Maple Extract

bya Gabrielle at 9:50 PM

When Phil and I lived in Fuyang, we really wanted some syrup to go with the pancakes we were trying to make.  Our attempts at making the syrup ourselves never produced Butterworth results.  So, we did the next best thing – we asked my mom to send us a bottle of maple extract to help give our concoction some maple flare.  We didn’t ask for a bottle of syrup because it would have made the box weigh too much and a heavy box sent to China isn’t cheap.  Sending just the syrup probably wouldn’t have cost that much, but our wish list always seemed to grow when we found out someone was going to be sending us some western goodies.  :)

The extract did help with the taste of the syrup, but we could never get the consistency we wanted.  Eventually, we gave up and decided we would just have to wait until we returned back home to get the good stuf.  When it came time to move to Shenyang, we packed it up with all of our other stuff.  We weren’t about to scarifice any of our western goods.

A week after we got to Shenyang, we were told we would be moving again.  Phil and I weren’t particularly pleased that we would be uprooting ourselves again, but we repacked all of our goods up anyway, including our maple extract, and headed to the beautiful city of Xiamen.

In Xiamen, we unpacked everything and refused to pack again unless we were traveling or moving back home.  And for the next three months our maple extract sat quietly on our shelf, unused.  When it came time for us to go back to the States, we offered up all of our western goods to our dear friends, Patty, Eddie, and their daughter Elisa.  We knew they could get some good use out it. Elisa swore it was Christmas when we brought all of our stuff over to them.  :)

Well, up until a few days ago, I would have thought that our maple extract had finally run out of gas and found a permanent home in a landfill in China or some other needy westerner’s cabinet.  Interestingly enough though, neither happened.

Instead, our maple extract jumped on a plane back to the States stashed away in a suitcase – destination Miami – when Patty and her family decided to leave China.  After a short stay there, it decided that it wanted to do some more traveling, and hopped on the next flight to Colombia – the country, not the city where I live.  For the next four weeks our maple extract took in the sights and then decided it wanted to settle down for a spell – somewhere else.  So, off it trotted to the airport and booked passage to Argentina, where for  at this moment in time, it still resides.  At least until Phil and I travel to Argentina next November, pick it up, and bring it back to the States with us.  :)

I don’t know how many miles our little maple extract has traveled, I just know it’s a lot.  Perhaps, there is a section in the Guinness World Records that it would qualify for.

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Note To Self

bya Gabrielle at 4:05 PM

The combination of 28 Days Later and 2 1/2 screwdrivers is deadly.

At least for Phil.

I had one my night terrors last night and took my fear out on Phil.

I lashed out and hit his back as hard as I could with my arm.

He woke up screaming, “Why in the hell are you hitting me?!”

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The Web of Lies WECL Weaves

bya Gabrielle at 7:00 AM

I remember faintly, while standing in the cold, dark corridor of Beijing WECL, Mandy, one of Yuli Guo’s(Richard Guo) lackeys, telling us how WECL had forged one of our coworker’s resume.  She said that it didn’t look very professional.   I thought at the time that maybe they had just added teaching experience or something like that and that it was rather hilarious that our school was lying to the Chinese government.  It made me wonder what they had done to my resume.

Well, a few days ago, I got a message from a guy who had contacted me about teaching at WECL.  He thought he would share some amusing information with me.

“Hey, I thought you would find this amusing.  I actually turned down the WECL job the other day but someone at the Qingdao office keeps bugging me for visa stuff.  Well they decided to “embellish” my resume and added an entire job as a behavorial therapist in Glendale, California back in 2007 while I was in college in Washington, DC.  I can’t believe they would just flat out lie to the Chinese government!  Talk about such a sketchy job!”

And now I know what probably ended up on my coworker’s resume.  Very interesting.

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Another Day with My Camera

bya Gabrielle at 7:00 AM


Me. Yes, I am vain.

Weird Creature

Some weird creature.  If I wasn’t lazy, I’d zoom in on him for you . . . but I’m lazy.

Tree and Fence 2

If I ever learn how to operate my camera properly, then I maybe I can learn how to take pictures with proper exposure.  I’m talking about the blanket of white behind the tree.  Grr.

Artistic Weed

Me trying to be artistic again. Yes, I took a picture of a weed.

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Trip to Atlanta Part 3

bya Gabrielle at 7:00 AM

Pictures.  Not a lot of words.

Stone Mountain

Stone Mountain.

Bubble at Stone Mountain

A bubble.

View of Atlanta


Sky in Atlanta

Blue Sky.

Gum Tree 1

What is that?

Gum Tree 2

A gum tree, of course.

Lights at Stone Mountain

Firework setting.  Glow sticks.  Cool.

Lights at Stone Mountain 2

More coolness.

Phil at Stone Mountain

One handsome man.

Fireworks Stone Mountain

I snapped this at the right moment.

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A Day with My Camera

bya Gabrielle at 7:00 AM

Robin in a Field

I wish the robin had let me a bit closer and that his face wasn’t as dark.


I don’t know what is was with all of the creatures I was trying to photograph, but none of them wanted to stay in one place for more than half a second and they all happened to be just a wee too far away.

Grill Art

Me trying to be artistic.

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I’m Alive, Just Busy as a Bee . . . He he

bya Gabrielle at 7:29 PM

Bumble Bee

You have no idea how long I have been trying for a good shot of a bumble bee.

Pretty Flower

A pretty flower I found up in West Virginia.  Stupid shadow.


It’s amazing that I got a picture of this little guy at all.  Every time I tried to focus he’d fly away.  He’s got such big eyes!

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