CoolPopTees Sucks!

My son asked for a very unique t-shirt for Hanukkah. When the package arrived, I was very excited to see what it looked like. I had also (thankfully, in this case) ordered a one for myself because it was just that cool. This is how they arrived…

Notice how the one on the top is so much more faded than the one on the bottom?  You can see the black part of the t-shirt bleeding through a lot.  Well, I took exception to that and decided to contact the company.  I wrote:

I received my order and the design on one of the t-shirts (the large) was very faded, especially when compared to the other. See attached pic. I need to see if I can return this and get another.


Here’s their response:

Hi Linda

Thanks for your order. Sorry that you are disappointed in the quality of your shirt. There is a $7.00 “restocking” fee associated with all returns or exchanges. If it was a mistake on our end, such as the wrong size was sent then the replacement would have been free of charge of course. So you have two options for exchange/return, you can return the shirt to:

Super Sports Tees
15 Collier St
Barrie, ON
L4M 1G6

We will issue your refund (less the restocking fees) as soon as we receive the products from you. Alternatively, if you would like to just keep the shirt as a gift or something, I can send you a replacement shirt for $14.95 and that way you save the restocking fee, postage fee and return hassle. Please let me know what you’d like to do!

NOTE: The name of the company is different in their email.  I ordered from CoolPopTees.  In this email, they are listed as Super Sports Tees.  Also noteworthy is that the email from which these exchanges took place referred to  When I looked up I went to their contact info and used their telephone number to get a location and that number was a listing for  All of the companies are located in Ontario, Canada, so I’m fairly certain they’re all related.

I don’t have the money to replace that t-shirt and I have zero sympathy for companies that don’t take enough pride in their merchandise to do the right thing.  I did, however, feel compelled to tell you all that you should really take into consideration whether you would purchase something from these companies with the knowledge that they may send you substandard products and ask YOU to pay for their mistake.

Difficult Life Decisions

It’s been an interesting few weeks. I don’t know how to put all of my emotions down here without going into elaborate detail, but you are welcomed to ask me any questions about what I’m about to share.

Being a mom: I used to have very professional goals for myself. I still had them after having Ari and worked my ass off to finally graduate undergrad after 15+ years. I had them after Joshie too and felt really good to be going to grad school. And then one day I was coloring with the boys and began to cry. I wanted more of that. I felt, and do feel right now, incredibly distracted with my life as a student. I’m burnt out and I have changed to the extent that I just want to be a mom for a while. That alone spreads me pretty think because a lot of daily stuff falls to me. But at least that would be my only “job.” So, we’re going to try it. I have put in a leave of absence for grad school which is extended to me for a whole year. If the mommy thing is not working out, I can always go back.  Read more


During my pre-teen years I was short, twiggy and wore thick Coke-bottle bottom glasses. I felt painfully awkward in social settings, so I usually could be found with my nose in a book. Bully fodder. That was what I was growing up.

In fifth grade, I was singled out by one girl in particular. She went to great lengths to find me alone to whisper threats into my ear. I ignored them. She’d give me long, lingering, menacing stares. I ignored them. Inside, I was terrified, but I tried my best to stand my scrawny ground. I never said a word. One day, she decided to push me off the sidewalk leading from the playground back to class. I didn’t say a word as I picked myself up and continued walking, but our teacher saw it happen. She asked me what happened. I said nothing. She asked her what happened and she said the same. Our teacher marched us both into the library and told us we were not allowed to leave until we were friends. She left me alone with my tormentor. The funniest thing happened. She and I became friends. She had lots to say and I was a good listener. She had lots of opinions and I was non-judgmental. She hated our teacher and I humored her complaints. She and I were friends until she graduated early in 1988. During middle school, we saw each other through some serious personal trials. Hers centered around her mental instability and mine around some serious family dysfunction. We held each other up when others could not understand. We were completely loyal to each other.

My senior year of high school was particularly stressful. By this time, my friend had graduated and we’d drifted apart. As soon as I graduated and went to college, I left my home city and never looked back. I didn’t abandon my family – they moved to a different city too, so I had no need to return to the site of such painful memories. I finally went back for my 10 year high school reunion. I looked for her, but she wasn’t there. I didn’t pursue it further. I recently went back for part of my 20 year reunion and was shocked to find out that she committed suicide sometime before our last reunion. I felt like a part of me was ripped away when I heard the news. The saddest part? Nobody could tell me what happened. So few of them really knew her. It’s been several days since the reunion and all I’ve carried away from it is that somebody very important – to me – is missing… forever.

I am doing a lot of reconciling right now. It has been over 20 years since I’ve thought about a lot of things, happy and painful things. I find myself in a position right now that I have to re-experience everything. You see, my husband, children and I are moving back to the same city (the same area to be more precise) where all of this occurred. I see familiar faces and places and memories explode into my head. I reconnect with old friends and my high school sweetheart and I feel ashamed that I abandoned them. So much time has passed. How can I explain that I had to get away to heal my bullied soul? How will my healed and stronger self face all those painful memories?

The Breaking Point

I have to tell you, I’m becoming very stressed out about some of the interactions I’m having with people recently. I’m no stranger to debate, but it has become very uncomfortable for me lately. I find myself being a bit bothered by the viewpoints of some people for whom I care a great deal. By no means is it their fault. I’m simply growing tired of things that use more energy than I have, taking that energy from the things I love. I’m bothered by a lot of things that used to give me pleasure, like blogging here and The Boerboel Blog.

I put a post up on the Boerboel Blog that I’m closing it down. I had a contest for Halloween and ever since it ended there has been controversy, hearsay, and a lot of time and energy being a mediator for something that used to be so much fun. I swore that I would not make another post until the issue was resolved. It resolved the day I put that notice up. Nearly 5 months of resolving issues! I can’t afford that kind of time.

I’ve been spending more time with my kids doing puzzles, coloring, playing games and I’m finding I like that so much better. I wish that were my only job…MOM. I also wish I could devote a bit more time to The Hot Zone with Joe, but I’m so worn down by everything. I take care of the kids (transportation alone is 2 hours/day), the dogs, the house, my grad school almost single-handedly.

I try to keep up with everyone and I like having personal interactions with them, but anyone online who is talking about the taboo topics just turns my stomach to knots. I can handle my own and I do, but I’m not diggin’ it, if that makes any sense? Furthermore, I’m looking to have more things in life that I’m diggin’, because there aren’t many right now.

No, I’m not depressed. I have just finally reached my limit. I guess it’s boundary drawing time.

I’m sure you’re wondering about this…yes, I have thought of closing this place down as well. I don’t know if I will do that yet, but I am starting to cut some things loose. I have to for my own sanity.


I alerted my friends on Facebook that there was a new post up on this blog written by me, making sure to tell them several times that it was very short, not long at all, and did I mention short? hoping that some folks would give it a click.

I ignore many of the “requests” and “invitations” that I get on Facebook, because I don’t really understand the point of them, but for some reason I expect that people will read my blog material just because I ask them to. It sort of worked this last time though, and when I mentioned that I had a bonus story for the first person who asked, my old college friend M stepped up and asked for it. Thanks for paying attention and giving a shit, M! Here’s your bonus story.

Pumpkin likes for me to hang out in the bathroom with him when he’s going number two. (He kind of likes me to hang out with him every minute, actually.) The other day, he was sitting on the can, and he reached over and pulled a magazine out of the holder. Then he asked:

“Is this a dirty magazine, Mama?”

Of course, you know what I thought he meant for a shocking moment. My 3-year-old son knows what’s hidden in the closet behind those barriers in the bookstore racks!! But then I figured it out. The magazine holder is actually a plastic wastebasket. So, he thought he was taking a magazine out of the trash, and that maybe he shouldn’t be.

(The magazine was Allure, and often Allure has tasteful pictures of women not wearing anything. But he didn’t know about those. I swear!)

Missed World’s Worst Mother By *That* Much

I was making dinner. Sweet & Spicy Turkey Cutlets with a side of Roasted Asparagus; fairly easy and yum. I’m more than happy to share recipes! Wait, what was I talking about? Oh, yeah….

The kids were left to their own devices, because the hubs must have forgotten that when I was awarded World’s Worst Mother in the past, the WWM Authority removed my ability to see around corners. As many of you know, when you are cooking, you are usually already multitasking, with two timers going as you chop the next ingredient, or as you frantically search for the spice you were sure you had and actually do have but keep missing it somehow as you repeatedly pick up the Turkish Oregano thinking that you’re looking for a green top when you are really looking for a red top, and … oh, sorry, right, the kids.

I was trying, without much success, to referee the boys’ disagreements in the living room from the kitchen, generally by yelling “Okay, WHAT’S GOING ON?!!” every time 3-year-old Pumpkin started crying again.

But then big brother Einstein appeared in the kitchen doorway, looking a bit concerned, and said, “I think Pumpkin needs an ice pack!” Oh, lord, I thought, I am never cooking while the kids are still awake ever again! My neglect has resulted in a terrible injury!

Before I had time for full panic survival mode to kick in, however, I heard a voice pipe up from the living room, calmly declaring:

“Ice packs are vewwy cold!”

Not even slightly hurt. Also, prepped and ready for Chem 101.