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Thursday, December 31, 2009

My New Year's Wish

Happy New Year! May all good things come your way in 2010. I wish for good health for my loved ones, a peaceful world, and happiness. Oh, and for someone to remove this empty jar that has been sitting on top of the mailboxes on the corner of Traveler's Trail for at least two months.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Something screwy is going on here.

OK, so if you can see this picture of the frog that jumped me this evening, TERRIFIC! I don't mean terrific in the sense that I almost had a coronary, but great, because that means I am still alive. But I am getting some weird gobbly-gook when I try to post a photo on my end. So be it.

Moving onward.

Nice monsoon today for all of the holiday people. Boyfriend came over, then I had to move a car, so he gave me a near-death's ride to E&C to pick up my car. One windshield wiper, thankfully, it was on his side, and ridiculous puddles and hysteria on Jacob's Ladder. And then to return home to this thing lunging at my right arm.

Oh, and my phone is down, repair will be here after the New Year, STX Carnival, and Three King's Day.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

WWE? Should be WTF?

Yesterday, I awoke at 3:00 a.m., with such a high fever that my teeth were chattering. I was too afraid to take my temperature for fear the thermometer would melt down. So I didn't get a chance to go to town to snipe any holiday tourons.

My other half came over this evening, and still feeling delirious, I relinquished the remote. To watch WWE, also known as World Wrestling Entertainment, formerly WWF, World Wrestling Federation. Got that?

It was like watching a train wreck, comprised of some of the things I like the least:

*Wrestling; need I say any more?
*A wrestling midget; double ewwww.
*Held at what was formerly known as The Hartford Civic Center; didn't part of the roof cave in years ago due to heavy snow?
*Crowds. I mean, SRO.

This is the stuff feverish nightmares are made of.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

No Dumpins!

The saga of the heaps of trash thrown on the side of the road continues...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Day One

Starfish Market, St. John
4:00 p.m. on Saturday, 12/26/09

Today is a huge arrival day. It seems that most people choose to stay home for Christmas, and then arrive the day after Christmas. I shot this photo of that black rental vehicle in my side view mirror, idling behind me as I tried to back out of my parking space. I waited and waited for him to move, tooted the horn a few times, nothing. I mean, listen up! Shit or get off the pot. I beeped the horn again, and again, and again. And again. I am not kidding. I got out of my car, all pissed off, and the man was on his cell phone, oblivious to the world.

I guess I really am a No-See-Um, so I shouldn't complain!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Too much information, people!

6:00 p.m., Christmas Day, at the check-out counter at Pine Peace Market.

I was purchasing some groceries, and the woman in line in front of me was holding a wineglass (glass,not plastic) half full with red wine. She and her girlfriend were purchasing two bottles of champaign and a home pregnancy test. Her friend said, "Let me buy this for you, girlfriend, I'm there for you", as she patted her friend's belly. And you wonder WHY I don't want to leave my house?

Now we're talking!

Realistic Depiction Of Fireplace Travel

My Idea of a Christmas Wreath

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

DCLA? DLCA? Yes, I have a "complaint".

Dear Santa,

Greetings. I've been good this year, and I'd like two things for Christmas. First, for it to be over; and next, for the Virgin Islands Daily News, previous winner of a Pulitzer Prize, to hire a proofreader. I would have continued to highlight the other typos in this story, but my pen ran dry. So maybe you could leave a new one in my stocking? I guess that's three things.

Merry Christmas,

Fed Up

A friend had a credit card sent from South Africa to St. John. It took three days to reach St. Thomas, and another three days to reach St. John. That's about 6,136 miles from South Africa to St. Thomas, and only about ten miles from St. Thomas to St. John.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Parking, again.

Email from building manager to all of the tenants:

Please be aware that the parking lot is for the customers of the XXXX - your customers. Tenants are not allowed to park in the lot overnight - and please do not even consider parking for an extended period of time. Many of you are going away for the Holidays - we wish you well. If you want to find your car when you return, we strongly suggest you park it somewhere other than the XXXX parking lot.

Have a wonderful, fun-filled and prosperous Holiday.

Reply from one of those tenants:

Might I suggest a more diplomatic approach when communicating with your customers, threats are seldom appreciated.

Sort of humble reply from building manager:

My sincere apologies if it seemed to be a "threatening" email. It was not intended that way but more of a reminder of the parking lot rules that often get overlooked. I thought people would appreciate a reminder rather than a surprise when they returned to find that their car had been towed. I appreciate your comments and will be more careful in the future.
Happy Holidays, XX

My Jeep

OK, so I recently had my car serviced. Oil changed and radiator flushed, plus one other thing. $307 later, I start my car, and oh, looky here! "Check Engine" and "Check Gauges" lights are on. Mind you, they weren't on when I dropped my car off, and I was shocked that the lights actually worked.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dumpsters, again.

I imagine you people think I have a fascination with dumpsters. Well, not so much the dumpsters, but what is left behind. Yesterday, this rusty old file cabinet appeared, and today, there was the addition of a half-empty bottle of Mazola Corn Oil, just baking away in the sun. Yum, yum!

From Mazola's website, it reads:

Product may be stored up to one year under normal storage conditions (70°-80°F). Storage below 45°F may cause clouding and exposure to ultraviolet light can cause off flavors.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Family That Plays Together, Stays Together

Cruz Bay, Saturday, 12/19, 4:15 p.m.

Seven people, in a two door Jeep Wrangler, headed to Woody's:

All tucked in, comfy and warm:

Mom and Dad are so out of the picture now. Seriously, people. Personal hygiene begins, and ends, at home:

Did ya hear what I just said? Stop brushing your hair, you're just going to Woody's:

Friday, December 18, 2009

The integrity of YOUR agency? My word.

Thanks for your reply and assistance so far ..I am glad to tell you that we have concluded payment.
However we are going to send you my Visa Credit card details that will cover the cost of our trip,and the necessary arrangement.
Moreover, we also made an arrangement with a logistic traveling/ticketing agent. we have decided that only one person will have to handle the credit card information.
So once you are in receipt of it,you are required to charge the credit card,confirm the amount of ( $ 5,000 ) in your account then deduct the cost of your services ( $1,000 deposit ) and send ( $ 4,000 ) via western union, to the Logistic traveling/ticketing agent whose information will be forwarded to you once this is confirmed in your account.

Use the rest for the expenses.
So confirm this as i said and and provide me with your full information.


2) ADDRESS....

(3) PHONE NUMBERS for office records....
Please remember that the integrity of our agency is involved, so this business requires prompt response. I also hope the stay of the couples will be made comfortable.

Kind Regards,

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Parking Monitor

No, this is an empty chair, enjoying a cool Perrier. Taking up a parking space.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Trash Disposal for Dummies

1. This is a dumpster, where you throw your trash:

2. This is not a dumpster, this is the side of the road:

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

He's kidding, right?

I booked my trip for STJ for December 29th - January 4th. I started calling for rental cars and there are absolutely none available on the island. That's not my main concern. My Main concern is that if no cars are available, that must mean the island will be busier than usual, which I totally expected. But how busy is it? Are the beaches crowded?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Travel Forums

About ten years ago, I learned about travel forums from a guest of mine. She and her husband rented a home that, unfortunately, was broken into during their stay. I was the person who greeted them and took them to their rental home, and during my orientation, I was quite thorough in advising them to lock up. I think her answer was, "We know about locking up, we're from New York City."

Once we found out about the break-in, we jumped through hoops to help them, including moving them to another home, lending them cash, and obtaining a copy of the police report.

They thanked us for our help while they were here, and no sooner did they get home, they went on one travel forum, and ripped us to pieces. We were "unresponsive", "couldn't care less", and "did nothing to help them out." In all fairness, the moderator of this website deleted her post. But after that experience, I began reading them on a daily basis, a combination of curiosity and damage control. And funny how this guest was the one who told me about this forum in the first place.

People are strange. They share such personal things online, writing about a week spent in a drunken, bloody blur. Recent comments from some trip reports:

  • Our trip down was uneventful. I do recommend the Delta Travel Treats package. For $5 you get a really nice snack of salami, crackers, cheeses, chips, Mint Milanos, and dried cranberries. We bought two extra for beach snacks the next day. {Buying extra airline food? Blech.}
  • I hit my head and had to go to the clinic. LOL. We had a great week and will perfect it even more next year. We need less and less booze, and more soda, water and juice! {No shit.}
  • Needless to say, the place was deelish. We all unpacked-(which is secret code for "having sex")-(at least it was for me & Amy)- and then we actually unpacked. {What is wrong with you people?}
  • While our cohorts were "unpacking", I decided to check out the rest of the home, the 3rd bedroom. It was equally coupled with yet another Roman Styled Orgy styled shower.-These bathrooms were huge. Lots of space. Strange, and wonderful...{Roman Styled Orgy styled shower? No, YOU are strange.}
  • Can't wait to til you hear about me & Bobbys' hike!!! {Golly! Me & My Friends' can't wait to til hear!}

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Septic Tank

A few years ago, I managed a brand new villa. Meaning, not quite ready for rental guests. The contractor never hooked up the septic system, so the tank became a holding place for unprocessed human waste, and the scent became unbearable. And of course, the owners ran out of money, so were unable to properly fix this problem.

And, so here was their low-budget solution:

Got an email from xxxxx and also talked to the manufacturer of the waste system. They are more inclined to think that the problem with the smell is with the holding tank and stagnate water. If the system was not working properly, then you would hear the alarm, which is a beeping sound. First dump the holding tank water with a submersible pump and then use vanilla extract to sanitize the walls. The vanilla extract will cut any odors, all you have to do is spray or splash it around the inside. When we get the landscape done we will have an irrigation system put in that uses that holding tank water and will keep it from stagnating. In the mean time you will just have to keep an eye on it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Rockin' Chair

Some owners checked out today. Here are their deck chairs. Maybe that pile of rope below the right chair was going to be used to fix both chairs?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

A few years ago, here on St. John, Jane Doe invited a group of friends to her house for Thanksgiving dinner. She asked each guest to bring a dish, and her friends were happy to help.

Imagine their surprise when she also charged them $15 each. I wonder if that included a tip?

Happy April Fools', errr, Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Spirit Airlines Can Kiss My Ass

In July, 2007, I booked a flight to Florida on Spirit. At the time of booking, I prepaid for two checked bags, both ways. Once I checked in at St. Thomas airport, they had no record of payment for my checked bags, and so I was forced to pay another $44 so I wouldn't miss my flight.

A week later, my nieces, aged nine and twelve, were flying up to spend a week with me. After literally hours on hold with Spirit, I was informed that there was no fee for the two girls traveling alone, since the twelve year old would be responsible for her younger sister. I was shocked by that, but I went ahead and booked their tickets.

We had a great week shopping, eating, and just hanging out. When I took them to the airport for their departure, I was informed that there was, indeed, a $100 fee for each child, since they were flying without an adult. Ah, this was more like the Spirit Airlines I've come to loathe. And again, I had no choice but to pay it.

Getting nowhere with "customer service", I protested the charge on my American Express card, and also filed a complaint with The Better (or worse) Business Bureau of Florida. And then I received this email, just last month:


Re: Complaint #xxxxxxx - Spirit Airlines

We have formally processed your complaint and sent it to the above named company. We will send you a copy of their response as soon as we receive it. Please allow up to 30 business days for a response to be received before you inquire about the status of your complaint.

If the company contacts you about your complaint, let us know. This will help us to keep our information current and take timely action on your complaint.

Thank you for using the Better Business Bureau.

Seriously? Over two years later? I did some research on this airline, and apparently, I am not the only upset customer. And more to the point, the CEO truly does not give a damn.

"We're the Wal-Mart or the McDonald's — not the Nordstrom's — of the airline industry," Baldanza says. "No one walks into McDonald's and gets disappointed when they don't see filet mignon on the menu."

Consumer advocate Kate Hanni says Spirit's problems with fliers cannot be explained away so easily.

"They are the absolute worst airline in the country," says Hanni, executive director of "If it costs a little more, take the other airline."

Among other problems, Hanni says, three flights from Fort Lauderdale to Atlantic City were diverted to Philadelphia because of bad weather in mid-May, and passengers called police after not being allowed to disembark for many hours.

If any Spirit passengers feel they've been treated badly, "They should fly someone else," Baldanza says. "That's the way the free market works," he says. "I don't eat at some restaurants when I'm treated badly. Our job is to make sure that doesn't happen to a majority of customers."

Two years ago, Baldanza accidentally replied to an e-mail from a customer requesting a refund for missing a concert in Atlanta after a flight delay.

"We owe him nothing as far as I'm concerned," Baldanza said in his e-mail. "Let him tell the world how bad we are. He's never flown us before anyway and will be back when we save him a penny."

Read more:

Sunday, November 22, 2009


As a property manager, I really do not like brides, grooms, weddings, or honeymooners. More often than not, the brides lie to you, the rental villas are trashed, and the neighbors are pissed and call nonstop to complain about the late night, week-long parties. Just a few months ago, I had a groom fall out of a tree, crack three ribs, and spend the last night of his honeymoon in the clinic.

One of my favorite blogs to follow is

Several years ago, I received the following inquiry, and what do you think my answer was? NO.

My fiance and I saw the pictures of your Villa and we have fell in love with this Villa! We are getting married next year, and we would like to hold the ceremony on the beach in St. John's,and have a small reception at the Villa afterwards. (Of course we will be staying for the whole week). We have some questions which we have listed below...

1. The website says no kids allowed. There will be 2 children attending, both will be 18 months old next year...Is there anyway they could stay at the Villa? If not, would they at least be allowed at the Villa for the wedding reception?
2. How close is the nearest hotel, because we would have a few guests staying there.
3. The website says maximum guests is 10 people, but we have 12 people that would like to stay there...Is there anyway we could accommodate these 2 extra people? They are both 14 years old, so they could sleep on an air mattress or a pull out couch.
4. Is there someone that can help me with my wedding plans?
5. Are there any chef/housekeeping/bartending service available? (If so, can I have a price list for these services.)
6. How far is this Villa away from shopping, clubs, beaches, etc?
7. Are there rental cars available?
8. Which weeks are the off season summer rates? How is the weather during those weeks?
9. Is there a travel agent here in New York that can work with me more closely? If the questions are too much, you can feel free to call me.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009


I told you people to slow down!
Friday, 11/20/09, 10:45 a.m.
Gifft Hill Road

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Dear Scotiabank,

On 11/5/09, I used my ATM card to deposit a check. This check cleared the Merchants' account on 11/15/09 (why did that take so long, anyway?). However, this deposit still has not been credited to my account.

I went to the Scotia branch on St. John this afternoon, and I was asked by four different customer service people, "Did you use the ATM machine outside to make this deposit?" After the fourth person asked me that, I stepped back from the counter and read their big sign out loud to them: "Why stand in line? At Scotia Bank, you can save time by using your ATM card to make deposits and other transactions".

After lots of sucking-of-teeth and rolling-of-eyes, the decision was made for me to come back with a copy of the canceled check from Merchants in the morning, but they don't see that there will be much more they can do for me, even after I bring that in.

Oh, and I forgot to mention. The amount of this check is $1,355. And four cents. Ms. Audrey White, I have a feeling you will be hearing from me very soon.


How to Resolve Your Complaints

Do you have a complaint about a Scotiabank product or service? At Scotiabank, it's our aim to find a fair and timely solution - we put customers last.

Your First Step

If the person you speak to at the branch/service centre where you do business is not able to resolve your concern to your satisfaction, please speak directly to the Manager, who can further assist you.

Your Second Step

Contact Customer Service.

If the Manager has been unable to resolve your complaint satisfactorily, please respond to the undernoted via any of the contacts.

Att.: Audrey M. White
Telephone: (340) 774-0037
Fax: (340) 693-5994
P.O. Box 420
St. Thomas, VI 00804

Pond Bay

Now, who said the Pond Bay project is dead? There's LOTS of activity there the past fews weeks. Oh, wait! That would be all of the subcontractors removing all of their equipment! Bye, bye, container. And please tell your driver to slow the hell down, all right?


I am in Innovative hell right now. Spotty Internet, going on two weeks. The recording the other day announced: "At this time, we are experiencing intermittent service with most of our customers on St. John. This issue is being worked on, and should be resolved {LONG PAUSE} shortly."

In the meantime, this is me:

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Three days ago, I asked for a copy of a year-end 2008 mortgage statement from Scotiabank. Yesterday was a holiday, so I gave them an extra day. I picked up the "statement" today, and it is a letter, which reads exactly as follows, but the name and amount have been removed. (I need a scanner!) Here you have it:

Dear Ms. XXXXXX,

We advised that Interest Paid on your Residential Mortgage for Calendar year 2008 is $XXXXX.

Yours truly,


Now that is one well-written letter! What's up with the "we", as well as the bold print stuck in the middle, and the liberal use of capital letters? Soon come, the saga of helping a 9th grader with a history project, and a critique of a very poorly written advertisement for a rental home on St. John.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Parking, again.

Between the wide school bus, the police car, and the taxi, there go three and a half parking spaces. Wrong, wrong, wrong!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cruz Bay Parking Spot

Now this one perplexes me. This parking spot is unsure if it is for 30 minute parking, or for use by taxi drivers. Hard as it is to see, the top arrow points to the right, and the bottom arrow points to the left. Me no know!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Are There Doctor's in the House?

You Can Make Money While Being a Couch Potato!

Last night, my couch spit out a diamond. Seriously! I Googled "Is this diamond real or fake?", as dollar signs flashed though my head.

One test is to make a dot on a white piece of paper. Place the stone upside down over the dot, and if you can see the dot through the stone as a series of broken lines, you may have a real diamond. If the dot instead appears exactly as the dot you drew, you've got a fake.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Department of Finance

I went to pay my taxes today, and waited all day for someone to show up. Oh, wait! Their office moved months ago, but I guess it was too difficult to take this sign down. And, oh, yeah! We haven't had to pay property taxes for three years running now.

I was a bit concerned about taking this picture, until I realized the guard on duty was too engrossed in his word search puzzle to notice.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Infernal Revenue Service

Dear IRB,

Good day. I have received three threatening letters from you, during the past month, demanding to be paid for Gross Receipts for the month of January, 2009. And each time, I have called (nice how your main phone line can ring straight through for anywhere from five to seven minutes) and faxed, to show that I do not owe anything. Learned that lesson a long time ago! Make copies when paying any taxes here, and get them stamped, and then hold on to them for the rest of your life.

I cannot renew my business license until I get a tax clearance letter from you. And I swear, you must try to wear people down, until they just pay it in utter frustration.

Imagine my thrill to discover that there is a tax payer's liaison at IRB! And imagine my shock when she called me after receiving my fax (yes, I had to fax these papers yet again) within an hour to state, "You don't owe anything." And by 5:30 that afternoon, she had my tax clearance letter, and mailed it on Friday, and here it is!!!

I am current in the filing and payment of my tax obligation! Neener, neener, neener! So now you may not seize my paycheck, bank account, auto, or other property, nor may you file a Federal Tax Lien, as per your letter dated 9/24/09.

Have a good day,

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hurricane Season is Over!

Well, we made it through another season with no storms. Which leads me to ask this question. Why did Worst Bank put up a hurricane shutter just a few days before season ended? Was it a really late fire drill? Or did someone go postal in there? Both questions make sense.

Perhaps it was the disgruntled customer who, last month, went to the ATM to get $50. The first machine didn't work, nor did the second. So off this person goes to Scotia Bank, got his $50, with a $2 fee. And was shocked, but not surprised, to see two $50 debits on his Worst Bank statement. After protesting it, the response from the bank was something along the lines of, "After investigation, we find no error on our behalf." So his $50 now cost him $102.

Hurry, Merchants! We can't wait to welcome you to St. John.

Friday, October 23, 2009

What happens...

...when a WAPA bucket truck hits a parked Dodge truck? Stay tuned for the whole story.

Edwards' Driving School

Dear Mr. Allen and Mrs. Edwards,

I saw the recent advertisement for your driving school, and read that you specialize in parallel parking. In the almost twenty years that I've lived here, I can't recall too many times that I have needed to parallel park. However, I do have some suggestions on other driving skills you may wish to teach.
How about teaching a class at the Red Hook barge dock to educate people on the proper etiquette for lining up in order, and backing on to the barge? Or the always delightful beeping while passing on a blind curve?

Another helpful exercise would be to teach us how to maneuver around a $1 safari taxi, when they stop at just about any place that pleases them. How about a lesson on getting a low rider sedan over a speed bump? Or, driving without spilling your Heineken?

And it would be AWESOME to show the drivers of St. John how to maneuver through our new round-about. As a friend of mine said, she'd like to stand in the center of the round-about and chant, "May the Circle be Unbroken". That means, you do NOT stop in the circle to pick up or let out hitchhikers, nor do you let incoming traffic yield to you. Keep moving, people!

You can sing along here:

I know the economy is hurting all of us right now, so perhaps these suggestions could increase your business.

Kind regards,

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Community Calendar

Check it! Lee V. with the latest on the community calendar. A reminder to all teachers, paraprofessionals, and school support staff to report for a mandatory back to school meeting on Wednesday, August 26.

That would be two months ago, because no way is the V.I Government that organized to get the 2010 dates announced!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


This is so very wrong. Four police cars taking up four precious parking spaces. My brother is going to kick my #@%@! if I don't start writing more. I have a feeling more of my posts will be titled "Why?" As in, "Why do I question these things?" Soon come, the tale of filing a claim with WAPA's insurance company, as I pose as my brother's wife. But I am not writing about that until the check clears!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Worst Bank

FirstBank: Together we are one
This should read, "Together We Are None."

I do some of my banking at Worst Bank, and ALWAYS use the ATM machine for deposits, withdrawals, and payments. This morning, at 8:30, I stood in line to get change for a friend's business. I never stand in line. Lines are dead to me.

I was the second customer. I felt like I was in The Twilight Zone. Seriously, eight people behind the counter, and one (friendly, I'll give her credit) teller working. All of those people behind the counter were fascinated by CNN News, and I don't think they cared about Senator Kennedy's death. They were more glued upon Michael Jackson's cause of death.
Fifteen minutes later, I was done, and didn't even double-check my transactions. They were all fine, but more on Worst Bank, later.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

An Excellent Day!

OK, so today went great. It smelled like my dryer was catching on fire, and the appliance man was here in EIGHT MINUTES! "Just" a dead mouse on the heating element. Got my hair done, had a quick lunch with a friend who wishes to remain anonymous, had an excellent doctor's exam, scored a parking spot in town and did not get towed, and I GOT MY 2008 TAX REFUND CHECK FROM THE IRB! With $16.10 interest for being late.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How in the World?

How did these guys back this dump truck into the crater at The Great Cruz Bay dumpsters? Oh, I know! They wanted the day off.
Photos are blurry since I was sort of, well, not really sort of, driving when I took them.

Monday, August 24, 2009

What is this?

An Easter egg? Waa? Why would you want not one, but two, of these things at the top of your driveway?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Going Postal

Check it out, an actual piece of mail received, which was run over by some vehicle while laying upside-down in the road. Which reminds me of the cargo plane carrying our mail, which caught on fire, and much of the mail was destroyed.

I did receive one piece of mail salvaged from the fire, with a little scorch line across the top, and water damaged, and smelling of fire. Kind of like "Scratch and Sniff Mail".