Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I am trying

Long story, but... In a nutshell, today I returned my loan car to the Honda dealership. You read that right…my loan car. As was mentioned, it is a long story.

A service light flipped on February 13th. I took it in at the same time I picked up my plates and 2+ hours later, the car was returned and I was told the light was “recalibrated” and would not come back on. Three days later it reappeared. This time it was 3+ hours and the car was returned with the original factory wheels. Ya know, the ones I asked for when I originally purchased the thing. Well, they replaced the ghetto fab ones with factory because ghetto “is not compatible with the vehicle” (duh!) and reimbursed me $1000. Despite the fact that they owned me $1500, I just wanted the light/wheels taken care of and to get out of there.

Sunday the light comes on once again. THE THIRD TIME in less than three weeks!! I had been holding my proverbial shit together for too long. It started to get a little ugly, but went sour REAL fast when the “relations manager” got involved in the deal. She spoke with me Monday before anyone else at the dealership to understand the situation. She has no clue what has gone on in close to a dozen conversations with no less than 6 people.

When they give me the loan car that afternoon with the dealership name emblazoned across the back, I sign the paperwork and tell the service guy, “just so you know, I am not a good advertisement for your dealership right now.” That is when relations girl says, “you know Ms. Smith*, there are two options. You can choose to be angry about the situation or let us help you.” I flip! I point to her and tell her that she is new to this and has no idea how nice I have been about the deal. I tell her I have opted NOT to say anything during my 5+ hours there when customers have come into the sales offices. I tell her I have NOT told each and every person I work for to boycott them, and I stop short of telling her that I have NOT called a good friend who happens to be an anchor for a prominent news station.

Through it all, I never once dropped a curse word to anyone at the dealership, and never once raised my voice. I did speak pointedly and firmly as a parent would, but did my best to curb the inner girl from The Exorcist. For those of you who know me in real life, you would have been very proud.

I have contacted a lawyer for a Lemon Law case, but you have to have documentation, and conveniently, the dealership has none. That was today’s ordeal. Basically, I left in tears and had to pull over because I was crying too hard to drive. It all just reached the breaking point. I feel dooped. I feel stupid. I feel beyond angry.

*not my real name.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Then my bubble burst

Don’t you just hate it when that happens?

You may have remembered this post about dear, sweat Gladys from Austin, Texas. Okay, well, today at work a girl was goofing on my computer after printing stuff out. She was showing me ridiculous YouTube videos like this greatness here…

It is not Parry's Soccer Ball, but it is a funny way to get LITTLE done in one hour.

Finally, I reclaim my technology domain and show her the Gladys video. That is when another girl comes in and says, “you know she is like just a comic in Austin, right?” WHAT?! ARGHH! Just like that ... there was bubblegum ALL over my face! 

Sure enough, Gladys has a website with CDs and t-shirts and beer koozies, the whole nine.

I do not care. She is freakin’ funny!

And damn that David kid and YouTube!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Loves 2

Continued from yesterday's post...

For Valentine’s Day, I figured I would highlight those that, no matter what, will always be in my life and that I love dearly. WARNING: It is super cheesy, but all true! And long! But I will split it in two just for you.

My family.

Sis is the second best mom I know. She does an awesome job as a single mother to a crazy chatty 4 year old. If you ever meet the little one, she will not talk to you, but will tell us EVERY DETAIL about you and what you said when you walk away. (She does remember you Eb and says thank you for the compliment on her boots.) Sis is also the most driven person I have ever met. Again, this can get a little annoying to me because I hate planning and she has 4 plans before I ever think to have one. Sis is always a phone call away when I am frustrated or excited about something. Despite never really seeing eye-to-eye growing up, I am glad we are buds now that we do not share a bathroom. She always seems to get where I am coming from and for that I owe her the world. Oh, and all of you that think you are good bargain shoppers? You got nothin’ on Sis!

Bro has taught me a lot about how to “love life”. While he is seen as the one that got away from the fam, I now realize that he had to do it to figure out and chase his dreams and life goals. Luckily, they have landed him close to the rest of us. His advice to me is always so simple, yet so timely and necessary. He has never judged me for being what he calls “kinda weird.” He easily has the best work ethic of anyone I know and it amazes me to watch him on the job. He is one of those guys that believes in the whole “you can sleep when you are dead” thing. He honestly works over 80 hours a week and still has it in him to discuss the newest or best obscure bands in the world and run down box scores of the English Premiere League with you. (Now is a stressful time to ask him about the EPL…Man U is in a tight race for 1st with The Reds.)

Because they are family, there are definitely aspects of each that get on my nerves, but I hope that as the youngest I have learned from watching them and taken their best traits to apply to my life. I know that I would not be the quirky, crazy, sensitive old soul that I am without them guiding my every step. If you ever have the privilege to meet one (or all—brace yourself) of us, you will quickly attest to the fact that we do put the FUN in dysFUNctional!

Friday, February 13, 2009


For Valentine’s Day, I figured I would highlight those that, no matter what, will always be in my life and that I love dearly. WARNING: It is super cheesy, but all true! And long! But I will split it in two just for you.

My family.

Mom is the best mother out there! Her life was, and is, all about us kids. She gives of herself even when she does not think she has it in her. She will drive 45 minutes at 9 PM to sit with me when I have a migraine and think I am going to die. She still sends me cards for every holiday with “just a little something” tucked inside. My dog also sends me little gifts in the mail, but I think they may come from my mom. ;) Her house is always immaculate and has a bowl filled with M&Ms in the color of the season. In the midst of it all, she does an awesome job at what I think would be the worst job in the world! Among other duties, she often sits with a doctor as they tell a patient that they have breast cancer. Somehow, when they are done talking, these women think they can go run a marathon thanks to my mom. They often call months later and thank her. Sure, she is a little crazy, like that one time she agreed to make 60 clown costumes for Sis’s dance team in two weeks, but it is the crazy that keeps her going. And I love it!

Dad is one of my best buds. We jokingly refer to him as Cliché Man because whenever any of us have a problem and ask him for advice he throws out a “well, Gandhi once said…” or the simple “I cannot tell you what to do”. He really has never told me what to do. He patiently listens and guides me through making the best decision for my own life and then applauds when it works or helps me pick up the pieces when it goes terribly wrong. I also call him The Mayor because he has never met a stranger. It gets a little annoying sometimes, but he does meet the coolest people that way. Like one time he started talking to a guy outside a hotel about the guy’s cool shoes. They talk for like 15 minutes when a kid comes up to the guy and asks for an autograph. He signs it and keeps talking to dad. Dad apologizes and says, “I really should know you, but I am sorry, I don’t”. The guy sticks out his hand and says “my name’s Dave Matthews. Thanks for the word on the shoes.” It was in 1995…AFTER Under the Table and Dreaming, which Dad owned at the time! If you ever meet Dad, he will ask you what you are into at the moment and give you a book recommendation based on that interest. Just take my advice and go get the book!

Stay tuned for Sis and Bro tomorrow...

Side note: Going through all the You Tube videos of Dave Matthews reminded me of how much I loved that guy in high school and college.  Seeing the footage of his concerts reminds me of how much fun I had at the five that I went to all around Texas.  His little dance, the contact highs, hmmm...large concerts where the artist actually them!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A laugh to start the week

Sis sent me this a year ago when I was knee deep in the hell that was my old job. It made me laugh so hard that I wanted to quit and stay at home with this little lady just to write down her one-liners.
It is SO worth the 7 minutes...HAPPY MONDAY!!

Also, her story about Austin getting "two flakes of snow" reminds me of two weeks ago when "they shut the whole city down" because of pretty much the same thing. Here is a picture of the only ice I could find that day.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Fun things

After spending 3 hours at the car place today trying to return my new car for one that is a better color, I have decided to embrace the gold as beige and the ghetto wheels as...well...I really cannot embrace those.  They will be changed out soon.  I swear I am not this indecisive normally, I mean hell, I bought my dog and my house after seeing them each for 2 minutes.  Here is a pic of my new ride.
Now, fun things...
First, I got a birthday present in the mail today from Columbia Lily!!  It is an awesome red purse and ADORABLE MINI coin purse.  I have not checked her blog in a week because I wanted to be surprised and BOY! was it worth it.  I love them both, thanks C!  Here is a pic of both with the clutch she made me for Christmas.  Is she crazy talented or what?!
And the insides always have fun patterns in my favorite colors.
Next up, Rangers Spring Training starts in one week.  That is right, the one team (out of 30 MLB teams) that has not won a playoff series goes to work on Valentine's Day.  I am not expecting much from this season, but I am ready.

Speaking of the Rangers, they have this thing where the mascot, Captain, will show up at people's work, home, or someplace else for Valentine's/birthdays.  Sure, he comes with roses, but more importantly, he comes with ticket vouchers.  I am just saying...somebody owes me! Tehehe! ;)  Hurry, orders only accepted until Feb. 11th!
Finally, on a totally different note, a friend of mine bought their first place today!  I have to admit, house hunting is far more enjoyable than car shopping.  One of my birthday gifts was actually intended all along to be a housewarming present for him, so I am glad that I can finally wrap it up and have a set date to give it to him.  I hope he likes it and the perfect place I found in the new casa for it.
(Yes, mom knows about it.  No, you may not ask her about it.)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Car shopping -- Day 2

So we left off on Saturday night with nothing.

I went home Saturday and, because my friends suck, decided to surf the internet for a car and go to bed instead of going out for my birthday. While searching, I found a 2007 Trailblazer with only 7,000 miles on it at CarMax. It was white, low miles, and cheap. I called my uncle who works for GM and he pulled up the carfax report and found that the car rolled off one of his lines in Michigan. I felt good about it and decided to take a look on Sunday and drive it on Monday.

After looking it over I thought if I liked driving it, I would just buy it on Monday afternoon. I left work early Monday for the test drive. I liked it. It was not too big, and again, cheap. I could have the sucker paid off in a little less than 4 years. Also, CarMax is AMAZING! They offer this 100,000-mile/7 year warranty from the date of purchase. It is awesome. No matter how many miles are on the car, you buy that plan for $1500, roll it into the loan at purchase and CarMax or the company that makes the car will service it for a $75 deductible. It is a really impressive deal if you think about it. The best part is that they do not haggle. I was never left for the infamous “15 minutes”.

But, I put the car on hold (yep, just like a pair of jeans) and walk away to sleep on it. By that I mean go home to make sure there is not a better deal on something else. The first site I pull up that night has a 2008 Accord with 5,000 miles on it for less than $19,000. I call on it to find out why it is so cheap and why the previous owner returned it after 5 months. (I love Carfax reports.) The guy at the dealership calls the old owner at home and finds out he had some “financial issues” and was forced to return the car...totally feasible in this economy. I tell them I will come and look at it Tuesday after work.

Tuesday, the Accord guy calls me during lunch to tell me that they have arbitrarily changed the wheels on the car and raised the price $2,000. WHAT?! I was PISSED! I told him to put the old wheels on and lower the price. He tells me they do not have the wheels anymore. I tell them fine, just lower the price. He says they cannot do that and I tell him I felt screwed and do not want the car. I was crushed.

Regardless of all of that, I make my dad meet me at the dealership anyway. I test drive the Accord and it is okay. We negotiate the price down $1,000 and my trade-in (sweet, sweet MINI) up $500 and ask for a 100,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty. I get all of it! So that night I drove off with a 2008 Accord. It is mine now. So all of you that have awed over how great yours are, will sleep better tonight knowing that I have joined your club.
So far, I do not really love it. In fact, I do not even like it. I am so hoping it grows on me.

Oh, and at the end of the night, the salesman takes me to the back of the lot to show me my exact same car WITH THE OLD WHEELS ON IT! After telling me that they did not have them anymore, he has the audacity to show them to me as I am driving off the lot with a more expensive car. Grrrr! I hate car sales people!

Because it is already late, I cannot get a good picture of it, but if you click on the Accord link it looks just like that one. I will try to get a pic of the actual car in the morning.  The interior does match Cooper quite nicely, and she looks very excited to go for a ride!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Car shopping -- Day 1

It is done! I have signed the papers, given up custody of my first-born, taken the keys to the new car, and called it a night.

You know my story cannot be that short. I mean really, are you new?! Let us start at the beginning and jump around a little.

First, if any of you are in the market for a Lexus, I went to the kindest salesman ever at the Lexus dealership. If you are in the market, let me know and I will pass along his name.  He actually got me into an IS 250 for exactly my budget. It was amazing! Except the fact that it was a lease and at the end of 4 years I would have nothing…little car savings (tires alone are $800 a year) and no trade in. But I would have free valet parking at Ranger games for 4 years! It was a tough decision, but I walked away from the gorgeous car and all the perks.

Volkswagen was next. Cate, I wish you had warned me earlier. It was awful! The Passat and the Jetta were not too bad, just a loud ride. The finance people on the other hand sucked ass. (I have abandoned my desire to watch my language when dealing with the car stuff.) They came back with a monthly payment of $125 more per month than the Lexus folks. WHO WOULD TAKE THAT?! I really thought my dad was going to rip off the guy’s head with his bare hands so we left…in a hurry.

Honda was third and this is where dad left me on my own. I felt like I was in good hands. I drove 3 different Hondas and really felt like I could drive off with one. As much I put up a fight, it was a nice car and could go until the wheels fell off. I go in to negotiate and an hour and a half later some punk comes out and refuses to give me an estimated monthly payment. He tells me he cannot give it to me because I may wait until Monday to buy the car. I look at his “bottom line”, which is $600 below sticker, and I ask for $2000 more. Completely prepared to take $1000. Basically, he is just a complete jerk about the situation and I quickly realize they have met their quota and do not want my business. I leave depressed.

Next up, the GMC place that is in the same family as the Lexus dealership. They took care of me in the morning. I know they will be nice in the evening. I was right. I drove the Yukon and loved it, but it was HUGE coming from a MINI. I drive another car, but end up just calling it a day. I had shopped from 9:30 that morning and walked out of the last place at 6:40 with nothing.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the new car!


Monday, February 2, 2009

Preview to an update

First, thanks for all the birthday wishes.  Who knew a gal could feel such love from complete strangers all over the world?


Holy crap!  I have not even logged into my blog in almost 4 days.  Basically, in the last four days I have lost complete faith in people, gained it back, been let down in a BIG way by a few good friends, patched up one of those issues, been loved by the people I work for, drank one too many mimosas, pigged out on Migas, watched football, watched commercials, and went car shopping.  

That brings us to Saturday.  The day I drove eight different cars, pissed away a perfectly good 70 degree Saturday, skipped Habitat, and sat in cubicles for "just 15 minutes" which turned into an hour each time.  I have learned that there is really no "great deal" in car shopping because it is all just a scam of schmoozing.  An art I have not mastered and have no intention of practicing.  EVER!

I really did not celebrate my birthday at all because of the car chaos.  I figured there is always next weekend or the half birthday or next year.

Oh, and I still do not have a car.  I will post about that tomorrow.  In the meantime, I will tell you all that I have caved and am trying out an Accord.  No, I am not pregnant.