Thursday, January 29, 2009

It is official

Well, the 4th and final mechanic has looked at my baby, Mini.  He was so incredibly nice!  He came to work, picked it up, drove it to the shop, diagnosed her, and returned it to work all while I was doing my job.  And, AND put $5 of gas in the car!  If anyone needs a car guy, let me know.  He is awesome.

I called him after work and his exact words were, "yes it is the pump, yes it is expensive, and if I were you, I would drive it out the door as soon as I could."  He told me that between 4-6 months a main part of the car (I will not get into the specifics) will go out and be thousands to replace.  So sad!  I asked him when he suggested I start looking.  His exact words, "I do not know your financial situation, but this weekend."  I have to give my baby up this weekend?!  SO SAD!!  

On a brighter note, a new car is an awesome birthday present!  Well, I am going to look at it that way.  I will not focus on the fact that I only lived three short months without a car payment.  I will not focus on the fact that I am ridiculously attached to this car and will shed tears when it drives away.  I will focus on the fact that it is a great time to buy a new car.  Crappy economy AND the end of the month...COME ON GREAT DEAL!!  

Other fun things...
1.)  I went to dinner with a friend from my old job tonight.  Every time we go out we try to get a free drink.  Usually, my boobs cannot be squished together to get me a free anything so I throw out the "it's my birthday" gig.  Well, the place we went to tonight has caught on to my ploy and denied the drink request.  OH BUT BEHOLD!  I bust out the license and BOOM!  Free drink.  And BeeGee picked up the tab.  Thanks girlie.

2.)  This one will seem small to most of you, but tomorrow (my actual b-day) I get to wear jeans to work.  This is such a small but joyous occasion!  Ah, sweet, sweet Chuck Taylors. :)

I have absolutely nothing planned, but let the weekend begin!

Pip~ Happy birthday buddy!  Seriously, I do not know why we were not better friends until now...oh wait, we analyzed this one night...yes I do.  Regardless, I am so glad we have reunited and you are back in my life.  You make me smile and "keep it real."  Thanks.  Hope you have a great day and a fantastic weekend!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Screw* you Mini Cooper

*I refuse to use foul language on my blog, so substitute the four-letter word of your choice in that title.

Now, I am writing this fresh from the Mini place, which I know is not the best idea in the blogosphere, but I am mad DANG IT!

For a little back-story on my car, go here and here. For some back-back-story, I special ordered my car 5 years ago next week. I picked out everything on it. It is my baby. If I had to pick one material thing I could not live without, it would be my car. I know that makes me sound self centered and materialistic, but it was the first big purchase I ever made after I got my first real job in the real world. I was so proud of myself.  Sue me!

Anyway, my power steering went out last week. I took the car to the people that fixed the window and they said it would be $830! CRAP! I call the Mini dealership and tell them that I need to come in to get the pump replaced.  They say $200-300 and they could fix it while I wait on Monday. AWESOME! I leave early from work to get it fixed.

Here is a little back-story on this dealership service place. They messed me around twice within two years of having the car for basic oil change issues. I hated dealing with them so much that I would often drive an hour or more to another Mini place just to avoid the ass hats at this place. Oops, let one slip.

So I show up and here is my conversation with Taylor. Yep, that is his real name and I do not care. I dislike him. I dislike him A LOT!

T: Hey, you here for the fan?
Me: No, the pump.
T: (looking confused) The pump? I thought it was the fan.
Me: Well that would explain the look on your face and the really low estimate I got from you.
T: Uhhhhh, yep.
Me: Well, can you do it while I wait like you said?
T: Nope. But we can give you a loaner.
Me: Well, can you do it for the estimate you gave me?
T: Let me check with the service guys.

He makes a few phone calls and writes on a piece of paper the numbers $150 and something around $873.42. Are you kidding me?!

T: So, the 150 is for labor and then this is the part. (points to the high number)
Me: (furious at this point) Well, what would it cost if it were the fan?
T: Oh, the fan has nothing to do with it. That would make your car overheat and then cut off your power steering.

For those of you that know me, I am sure you can just picture the look of horror/I-may-poke-my-eye-out that I am sure was plastered very visibly on my face.

Me: So why did you think it was the fan and tell me $200-300?
T: I just misunderstood you.
Me: Misunderstood me or did not listen to me?
T: Sorry for the confusion.
Me: So am I.  So. Am. I.

I then went to the sales people to get a trade in estimate because quite frankly, I just want to get rid of the damn car. (Another one slipped.) This was truly my baby. I thought I would have a Mini in my garage until I die. Now, I would rather take the bus.

So, for my birthday (which is Friday) I will be staying home because I cannot afford the concert I want to go to and dinner and drinks are expensive. I will not be going out of town as I had hoped over my 4-day weekend for Valentine’s Day. I may even have to cancel my trip to NYC for St. Patty’s Day. Just because of this damn car and a shitty estimate gone wrong.  (Sorry for a few more.)  SCREW YOU, MINI!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The little O's

Well, Election Day came and went. Then, 5 days ago, Inauguration Day came and went all without a hitch. I have to admit, I was terribly upset that I opted to work instead of go to the event, but I would have been there more for my state’s inaugural ball than to see the actual swearing in. I was content to be warm and toasty and watching on television.

I was so proud that day for so many reasons. Obviously, the fact that America elected our first African American president is exciting, but it was truly moving to see so many people from so many vastly different places, races, and view points come together in such a peaceful manner. It was impressive.

Aside from this momentous occasion and all of the “change” Obama will bring to D.C., I am also excited about his two little ones moving into 1600.

It has been so long since the House has had young kids running around. Just imagine the positive energy those two gorgeous girls will bring to that place. The fun they will have trying out new birthday presents in the backyard, the swim parties with friends in the pool, chasing after their new puppy up and down the halls, and visiting dad in his office after school. The fact that they have appeared to be, and intend to stay, as “normal” as possible gives me pause to recognize how all-American this family really is at its core. They seem so Norman Rockwell it is scary and hopeful all at the same time. Regardless of what happens over the next 4-8 years, with these children around, they will live up to the slogans of “change” and “hope” after all. I cannot wait to witness it all!

Here is a pic for Eb and a pretty good suggestion for first dog, too!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Six word saturday

I am stealing this from Cate via Julie.  

So proud to be an American.

I promise I will post something more legit tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

# 44

I have so much to say and just too little time to post.  This is just a reminder that today is Inauguration Day!!  So tune in at noon (eastern time) to watch the oath of office.  Whether you voted for Obama or not, it is so exciting to see a new guy step into the elite fraternity that is the President of the United States.  

So sorry I have fallen behind on posting and commenting!  I promise that I will visit yall soon...just after I dig out from under this pile of work.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Passion in progress

Do not get excited. That title is nowhere near what you dirty people are thinking.

As a resolution I wanted to find/rediscover a passion other than my work. (Government/politics is part of my job.) I just figured it would be dance again. I grew up dancing and still put on my shoes and go through my barre work 2 or 3 times a week. I have always loved it. It never seemed like “working out”. It allowed me to express every emotion I felt. It was better than therapy. Until my life fell apart and I really needed therapy. Then I stopped dancing. That is a whole other post that will probably never happen.

I also grew up immersed in the community. That is the politically correct way of saying charity work. My family was not incredibly wealthy so we were more of the “doers” than the “payers” and I always loved it. I would much rather tutor a child or serve food or build a fence than write a check. Plus it is less embarrassing to bend a nail than bounce a check.

Dad used to manage the major commercial center in my city so I was always “downtown” somewhere. The fact that my parents exposed me to so many different aspects of life from a young age has cultivated this need to help. This is a characteristic I have tried to fight because so many people throughout my life have taken advantage of it, but now I am old enough to know when to say “no”. (That does not mean to I have learned to actually say it.)

All of that to tell you I have found my calling in the community. There are a million great causes where I live and even more resources to help out those in need. In order to really be beneficial to the cause, as well as my own sanity, I want to focus on 1 or 2 this year. Again, I do not write checks, but I can give my time and energy. I have a few in mind and will be looking into them in the next several weeks.  Here...I think Ghandi said it best.
                                                         The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others
In the meantime, I had THE BEST TIME at Habitat for Humanity!! I will tell yall all about it a little later, but seriously! It was too much fun. Really, please go to the website and find one Saturday to commit. If you are not handy with hammering, do one later in the build when they need help painting and planting.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A little ingenuity

Hey, guess what? Our economy is pretty crappy right now.

As I have mentioned before, I really enjoy my job but given the current economic issues, we have been warned, “there will be adjustments and cutbacks”. I have not been with the company long enough to really know what that means, so I have decided not to worry about it.

However, in my initial “oh holy crap” moments following that announcement, I haphazardly tossed the idea out to my immediate boss that we should start to look at a project dealing with foreign political issues and concerns. He simply answered, “great. Write up a proposal and give it to me before we return from the holidays.”

My holidays were…well…let us just say the proposal from New Year’s Day was not stellar! So, I turn in a new one last Wednesday, get an email from a higher boss that they want to meet with me immediately, and set a lunch meeting with three of my bosses for that Friday.

Long story short, they love it! They ask me to write a simple description to publish, present to a large group whom I will work with, and present to financial backers. The program depends on numbers, and will not start until August or September, but the possibilities are super exciting! Not to mention they told me to look into some training this summer. So, it looks like my travel resolution will be solved with a trip to upstate New York in June. What is up there anyway? Vermont? Canada?

One of my greatest passions in life is government/politics (I can hear your sound of disgust people), and to work with this on an international level, combined with foreign policy, as part of my job is just more than words. On that note, just a reminder that Obama-rama is on Tuesday!! Get your party hats!

Only because I could not find one of my million pictures of the U.S. capitol, you have to settle for the

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Awfully quiet over there

Cooper, the sassy and slightly out of control Pomeranian that lives with me is rarely still when I am at home. She patiently waits at the gate of the kitchen when I am eating. Longing for that moment that I step over the gate. When that time comes, she jumps around as if she has not seen me in weeks let alone the fact that she has been watching me intently as I eat every last morsel of my meal. When I am working she entertains herself by flipping toys up into the air over and over again or jumping on the couch, off the couch, on the couch, off the couch, on the couch, pause to look outside………….that’s enough, off the couch, on the couch, you get the drift.

Tonight, I am minding my own business, working at the kitchen table as my dinner is cooking. Look at that, all eating at home and stuff. Anyway, Pooper is being a little too quiet, but I decide to savor the rare moment and get just a smidge more work done. I suddenly hear her paws on the cabinet and I holler out “NO!” Those cabinets are 1 year old and expensive dang it! Her paws drag down the side. A crash. A splash.

In my “disciplining”, it scared her back paws out from under her, she slid down the side of the cupboard and took the lanyard attached to my keys with her. The keys that were under the container of Tide detergent. AH NUTS!

It was everywhere. Her food and water bowls, a huge mound on the floor, and I do not know if you have noticed, but she has a lot of hair. Every time she sneezed, more of it shook off of her. Me and my mad parenting skills splashed some water on her face and threw (read: lightly put) her into her cage. I vacuumed and scrubbed the floor, threw out the old dishes and set out new ones, started a load of laundry (I mean, why not?), attempted to wash the front half of Coop again, and gave her a new toy for her pain and suffering.

When the Tide had settled, I smell something burning. SHOOT! Dinner was a little too over cooked to eat. After all of that, Spaghetti-o’s are just fine, and Cooper smells really good.

Maybe this post should be titled: Reason 254 - Why I Should Never Have Children.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

License to Thrill

Last night I was invited to go to a James Bond themed event. I was actually pretty excited to go with one hitch. I am NOT James Bond girl sexy. I will openly admit that fact. I am not the sleuthy seductress type. I am far more Mad Men sexy. You know, the unassuming-girl-next-door-and-then-whoa-where-did-you-come-from type. So I passed on my skintight black sheath dress with over the top jewelry (borrowed of course) and went with the 50s lace and satin cocktail attire. 

The event itself was a ton of fun. There was dancing, gambling, food, and drinks (I think…I did not really pay attention). It was all fun and the company was great!

Aside from all of that, one thing struck me. This was the first time in my life that someone turned to me with a straight face and asked, “whom are you wearing?” WHAT?! People really do that in real life? It was strange. Luckily, I threw out the name. Nanette Lepore, thanks. What about you? She then proceeded to name every designer she was wearing. Her outfit would probably cover a down payment on a new car. A luxury car. It was odd, but made me laugh. When I walked away of course. All in all, it was a fun evening!

This is the only picture I could find where the others could be cropped out. I had to change the color setting so you could see the true color of the dress. No, I did not get an orange spray tan. But some people did. ;)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Not too bad, right?

The first day of the resolutions was great. Got to work 32 minutes early. (I checked the clock as soon as I walked in the door.) I stayed late about 45 minutes, but it was for a meeting that was actually productive. Last night I even ate at home and hung out with an old friend. Oh, and I found a woman that would “like to see [my] dog” because she swears she is “trainable”. Overall, day one went well.

Day two? Not so much. Woke up at 7:28. Work starts at 8:00. Hmph. Luckily, I did not have to be there until 1, but I still wanted to get there early and get some stuff done. I did make it in by 8:40.

Tonight, I went out for dinner and spent too much money on a salad. I justify this by saying that it was with three girls that I used to teach. They are all in college now, and it was really nice to see that they have adjusted well and are still great kids. So that makes up for eating out, right?
To make up for the day of FAIL, I called Dad and set up a standing appointment with him for the next 6 weeks. And I am SO EXCITED! We will be building a Habitat for Humanity house together. I have always helped Dad with handy things around the house, so it will be so fun to work together to help someone else. I cannot wait!

So I guess the first few days of 2009 had some successes and some failures, but eh…it is a process.

At least I tried

The television gods hate me! Did they not get the memo that I went back to work today after a two-week vacay? Did they not realize that I have just caught up with a very long list of DVRed shows? Why then did they pick today to roll out new stuff? WHY?!

Seriously, I have just watched (albeit fast forwarded through most of them) countless episodes of Gossip Girl, The Hills, Brothers and Sisters, and One Tree Hill. Side note: I so struggle with Gossip Girl. I just cannot seem to “get into it”, but the people I work for LOVE it, so I try. I am pretty sure my IQ has depreciated at a rapid pace because of all of this, but I feel bad deleting them without at least watching part of each episode. So I felt accomplished when my availability percentage was hovering near 50% at the end of last week. And then BAM!

I had every intention of working tonight. Actually, looking forward to doing something intellectual. As always, I watched my nightly dose of three newscasts and looked at the guide to see if there was anything to record. DANG IT! There were four new seasons starting! So much for my 50%.

In case you were wondering, no, I did not watch the Bachelor, mainly because there was still football on. Good football, too.
Even if the Longhorns were not on TV, I have a hard time watching seemingly well educated, strong, pretty women reduced to tears on national television after knowing a guy for all of 10 hours. I just feel bad for them.

Alright, I did watch like 5 minutes of it and it had some girl cooking hotdogs. I want her to win. No idea what her name is though.

Long story just to say that now I have too much crap TV to watch on my DVR.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The list is lengthy

This is the 100th post of 2008, but technically, since it is 3 A.M. I guess this is a great way to start 2009!

I had never made New Year’s resolutions until last year. This time in 2007 they all centered around work. Seriously, ALL of them but one were career oriented. That one was to run a marathon. FUNNY! Other than that marathon thing, I succeeded in all of my professional goals last year. Now, I am sold on the NY resolution thing.

Yes, there are a million. I know. Yes, some of them contradict each other (hang with family more and avoid things that are stressful). I know. Honestly, if I just attempt like half of these, I will be happy. A resolution is normally very general. I know. But I do not do well with vague. I have to spell it out in order to get it done. Hence, there are 35 of them.

I was not going to post all of them, but when CL posted her few and seemed to feel a little bad about it, I thought I would help her feel better about my substantial list.


1) Go somewhere cool
2) Go somewhere I have never been
3) Visit out of town family

Family and Friends
4) Have the family over more often
5) Set up a standing appt with dad
6) Let go of people that do not support/care about me and my triumphs or failures
7) Concentrate on friends that are good

8) Avoid things I know are stressful
9) Take a cooking class
10) Cook at home
11) Eat less fast food
12) Cut down to 1 cola a day (or 2)
13) Eat some fruit
14) Sign up and actually take a dance/yoga class
15) Seriously attempt the running thing
16) Maintain a healthy sleep pattern

17) Get debt paid off again
18) Stick to a budget
19) Pay cash for gas
20) Stop saving for someone else’s college
21) Get a part time job

22) Manage work time better
23) Evaluate, rework, and plan new stuff for work
24) Arrive at least 30 minutes early

25) Clean on schedule
26) Recover the blue chair
27) Finish the guest room
28) Finish the kitchen
29) Rework the patio

30) Find a good Church home, go more often, and stop making excuses on Sunday morning
31) Train Cooper (HA!)
32) Reclaim a passion besides work
33) Read for fun more often
34) Look into/apply to grad school
35) Attend more concerts and Ranger games! (may not be “necessary”, but should be done)