Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Why the universe sucks right now

They say bad things happen in threes. Call me an optimist, but I'm really hoping they just happen in twos, because then I'd be done.

Bad Thing #1
My great-aunt -- the one who just celebrated her 90th birthday -- passed away just before Thanksgiving. She was the matriarch of our family and to say we were all sad would be an understatement. However, it was a lovely funeral, my dad gave a beautiful eulogy (or did you not think I knew what a eugoogly was?) and we were all together in NY for a few days to remember Betty. She left behind a devoted husband, two daughters and more nieces, nephews, grandchildren and cousins than you can count.

Bad Thing #2
Upon on return from NY, Dave and I were gearing up for a festive Turkey Day in Chicago, but one phone call from Cleveland changed all that. This is one I won't go into detail about, but we rushed back to Dave's fam (with dog in tow) on Wednesday and spent the holiday there. As of right now, things are looking better and the situation is being handled.

Bad Thing #3... DO NOT WANT. Especially since I can't shake the thought that if there is going to be a Bad Thing #3, it will have to do with my sister. She's coming up on her 1-year anniversary again and, as we all know, the holidays are a tough time for addicts. Fingers crossed we sail through the New Year without any hiccups.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Goodbye, Big Green Monster

Some people find car shopping fun. Others find it painful. I went car shopping for the first time ever last weekend and, since I'm SO not at the negotiation stage yet, I found it pretty darn delightful.

Since The Big Green Monster is on its last leg (poor thing), we're thinking we might buy a car in the next month.

*cue panic attack*

But, despite being terrified of doing such a Big Girl thing without my dad by my side, we marched forward... right into the 4 dealerships in the city.

1. BMW

Our first stop was the BMW dealership to look at some used 3-series. And that's when we met the craziest man in the world.

I swear, he was like some sort of coked-out, ADHD ball of offensiveness. He asked us tons of questions to figure out our finances ("What do you two do?" "I'm a writer, he's a student." Translation: We will not be paying you 50k for a car.), said that some things were "gay" ("But it's okay because I don't mean it in a bad way.") and kept telling us that "it's all about me," meaning him. Seriously felt accosted.

When we finally got to look at the cars, I was hugely disappointed by the back seat. I mean, I barely fit back there and I'm all of 5 feet. How am I supposed to cart around my fam when they visit without their chins resting on their knees? I walked out of there unimpressed.

2. Honda

After looking online at some 2009-2010 Accords, I had convinced myself I wanted one... but a trip to the dealer made me do a 180.

First of all, when we walked in, we were completely ignored by all salespeople. Not the best way to win business, but whatevs. We wandered over to a 2010 Accord and poked around ourselves. Again, not too thrilled. The car itself was much, much bigger than I thought it would be and the console was fug. Dave and I exchanged glances and walked out of there as quickly as we'd walked in.

3. Audi

I know nothing about these cars, but we figured a used A4 would be just the right size for us. (I'm starting to feel like Goldilocks.) We didn't look at any used A4s in our price range, but based on the 2010, we're intrigued enough to explore some older models. I guess. I really don't care about Audis too much because....

4. Volkswagen

....I am totally in love with a Volkswagen.

I know, right!? VW has never been on my radar. Jettas and Passats always looked like bubbly sorority-girl cars to me and don't have Honda's reputation for reliability or BMW's reputation for fanciness.


I neeeeeed a 2011 Jetta.

First off, they added 3 inches of legroom to the back seat this year, so it's much bigger than the BMW. Second, a brand new, fully loaded Jetta is about the same price as a standard 2008 BMW (and, I'm guessing, an Audi). Third, have you seen how sleek it is?


Technically, there are a few more cars on our list that we told ourselves we'd look at (Mazda 3 and Mazda 6 are the only others I'd spend the time looking at, but the Mazda dealership is wayyy out in the burbs). But I feel like we've already found our car.

I never thought I'd get a new car because who DOES that when you could get a 1-year-old car for much cheaper? But, like I said, there are major improvements with the 2011 Jetta and I can't wait to test drive it.

Which I'm doing in an hour...

Here's hoping she doesn't let me down.

Um, I bought the Jetta.

Monday, November 8, 2010

I win.

You know how celebrities like to beat the gossip rags to the punch by blogging about some controversial story they're involved in? Or how they write their own autobiography rather than letting some unauthorized author put out a tell-all? It's all a way to take control of the situation and reveal juicy details on their own terms, in their own way.

This is kind of like that.

Minus the celebrity aspect.

You see, this morning, I found myself caught in the midst of a bit of a fib. Background: We have a big meeting every Monday morning at 9:30, which means folks start to head over to the meeting spot around 9:15.

Dave has always driven me in on Mondays after his bike ride with his cycling team (OMG, IS HE 12?), which means I typically got IN at 9:15. Even if you're not good at math, you know that this leaves me zero time to get settled, check email and mentally prep for the day.

So... I told him I had to be in by 9am sharp every Monday.

He thought that meant the meetings started at 9am on Monday.

I did not correct him.

This means that for the past few months, he's been skipping the mid-ride coffee break with his buddies in order to get home in enough time to shower and drop me off at work. WHICH I VERY MUCH APPRECIATE.

Except this morning, it may have slipped out that the meeting starts at 9:30. And always has.

His jaw dropped and he called me by my first AND middle names! "You lied to me!"

Well, no, technically, I did not. "Oh yes you did! A lie of omission!" he said.

We got into the car as he, mildly amused, continued to chastise me for this little discrepancy. I, of course, could not stop giggling. And because he wouldn't stop, I decided to do something to end the conversation.

"Look," I said, "take this $20." I reached into my purse.


"Just take it!" I told him.

"No way," he said. "You're trying to pay me off. This is dirty money. I'm not having it."

And so here I am, at work with $20 still in my pocket and a meeting about to start. Also, I beat him to the punch with this story. So there.

Lisa - 1. Dave - 0.

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