Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I Am Pretty Sure Its Cold In Hell

This is the worst time of the year. The fever of summer is breaking, and a subtle depression is falling over me at thought I am at the beginning of another long winter. I want to sleep for six months and wake up when the world is new and green again. There is nothing good about winter. Nothing at all. I hate it so much that I thought I would enumerate the reasons that I hate winter so much.

Blasted sore throat that makes you have to talk yourself into swallowing
Runny Noses that have you rub your own nose raw
The need for tissues, as mentioned above
Toes so cold that make me wonder if they are all still present and accounted for
Have to carry a jacket everywhere, and most of the time, you are already wearing on
Even if it 15 degrees out business still think it needs to be 60 degrees inside
How sad my Thanksgiving plate looks. Turkey, gravy, rolls.
The fact you won’t see my arms for 6 months
Arctic chill blowing up my church dress
No sunbathing, no swimming, no swimsuits. That should be enough to depress the boys.
Fruits just won’t be the same for six months
Red tips of ears and nose, like I am some kind of hyper-color shirt
Rain and consequently wet dog, wet dog smell, and muddy paw prints
The smell of coffee, ugh, I hate coffee
Figure hiding sweaters, and thus the built in excuse to eat and eat
Getting the end of your sleeve wet every time you wash your hands
Scrapping icy windows, so it makes your own personal snow storm in your face
Earmuff, mittens, and scarves. Where do you carry all this stuff once you get there?
Goosebumps that makes my shave this morning pointless
It is dark when you wake up, go to bed, all freaking day
Dry skin that just don’t go away no matter what you slather on it
Being inside all the time like you are literally winter’s prisoner
Moving from heater to heater in the house so much that you actually consider buying a Snuggie
Getting out of the car, getting out of the bathtub, getting out of bed
I blow through twice as much Chapstick in a week than I would in a summer month
Giving my asthma back its iron grip on my ability to exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen
Watching your beautiful tan fade back to pale like you are turning into a vampire very slowly
Everything in the world falls into a limited palette of dismal gray
Another freaking birthday

And the top five reasons I hate winter :

It's cold
It's bloody cold
It's effin’ cold
It's damn cold
and did I mention, it's cold?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Eye Of The Beholder

I love Halloween. I know there are many of you out there that also enjoy this grand holiday. It is full of candy corn, dances, and the opportunity to dress up like an idiot without anyone judging you. I tend to go a bit overboard on that last part. I love to dress up. I love to have people look at my outfit and immediately know what I am, and then take a couple of moments to see all the details I thought of. On Halloweens of yesteryear I have come up with several costumes that I am extremely proud of.

One year I was Carrie. I dressed in a vintage 70’s prom dress, made out of actual polyester, tiara, and made my own corsage out of silk flowers. Halloween night I had the pleasure of experiencing the shower of fake blood and then had to shiver in the yard for a full half hour while the blood dried. Just a note to everyone out there, polyester does not dry that fast.

Another year I was Marge Simpson. I had the full, blue, beehive hairdo that was so tall I could not even drive in it. I sewed my own green dress. Bought my first can of spray paint and made my own set of precious red pearls. Two pairs of yellow hose covered my arms and legs and painted my face yellow with grease paint. I was still finding yellow paint in my ears days later.

Last year’s costume got a bit away from me. I decided to be a flamingo. I ordered a pink leotard, pink tights, and dug out some of my old ballet slippers. Red helped sew a pink tulle skirt that we made wings and a tail out of boas. The feather wig, feather eyelashes, and feather accents around my wrists and neck might be what pushed it over the top. Then again the 8 inch beak I wore all night might have drawn a stare or two.

The list goes on and on. I hope you are beginning to get a picture of how much I enjoy Halloween. So much so that I will forgive the mortal sin of being held when it is not exactly warm.

I decided on the eve of last year’s Halloween dance that this year I am going to be Mystique from X-Men. I have been scouring the net to find a set of contact to turn my eyes yellow. I am not having much luck. The problem is that I wear real contacts and most novelty contacts do not provide vision correction. I cannot exactly put a pair of glasses on my blue face and am pretty sure you cannot wear two contacts in the same eye. The whole costume hinges on the eyes. If I cannot find the contacts I am going to have to switch. In the running for back-up are the Cheshire Cat or Anne Boleyn. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any other suggestions.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Out With The Old, In With The New

This weekend was monumental. I was forced to say good-bye to an old friend and hello to a new one.

For about a week, my car has been making a sound. You might be thinking this sound was in league of a rattle or a hum, but you would be mistaken. This sound was more like the sound an industrial machine makes right before exploding. The sound was so bad that if my car had shook apart and left me buckled into my seat and holding just a steering wheel, I would not have been surprised.

Wednesday night I drove it down to the mechanics, and dropped it off. I was hoping the verdict would come back as a simple $40 belt replacement, but was sure before I even got there that the news would be bad.

Not far into Thursday, my suspicion was confirmed. My car was dead and it would cost a mere $3,000 to resurrect it. I was now faced with a dilemma of fixing the old thing, or using that $3,000 to buy a new car. Now I have had my car for about 10 years, and it was showing it's age. One side of the car was side-swiped while my ex was driving it and so in addition to not looking great, it shimmied around 70 mph, there was a crack that extended the entire length of the windshield, one wheel could not keep a hubcap on it for anything, and the list goes on as any car 10 years old does.

Despite all of this, I had no intention of getting rid of the blasted thing. It was just fine for my three block commute to work and vanity played no part in the equation. I was crestfallen that I had to buy a new car, and return to the world of those with a car payment.

Thursday I struck out in my $35 a day rental car, less than pleased with the task before me. The first day of looking was a horrible experience. I knew what I wanted; a nice, reliable commuter car with low mileage and a lower price tag. Unfortunately, the Cash For Clunkers deal, has left every car dealer from here to Michigan with slim pickings. The Toyota dealership I stopped at won't even walk the lot with me, because there was nothing to look at. Lost and dejected, I looked at a PT Cruiser that was the only thing in my price range. It was not what I wanted at all, but was afraid that I would not find anything and have a $1,000 a month car payment because I was forced to keep driving the rental car.

I stopped by Red's house after a day of searching and got some really good advice from her and Frankie. Between them and a whole day of pep talking from the Peacemaker at work the next day, I was off for another night of searching.

After striking out at several dealerships, I drove down to the Kia dealership to look at a red Yaris I had seen on the internet. When I got there, it had already been sold, but, unlike many other dealerships, they actually had cars on the lot to look at. My overly, attentive salesman, Thad, and I drove several of them. I drove a Mazda 3 that I loved, but did not love the price. There was a very nice Honda Civic, but did not want a two door. After two test drives, I spotted a 2007 Toyota Corolla at the end of the lot. It was just in, and did not even have the window sticker on it yet. Test drive was perfect, and for the price, it was exactly what I wanted.

The next morning, armed with new advice from Frankie, I went down to make a deal. I was all ready to talk Thad down in the price, but before I could even broach the subject, he told me that he made a mistake in the price. The price that was posted in the car was supposed to be with qualified trade-in, but since we had already drawn up the paperwork with that price on it, that they were going to give it to me for that price. Looking it up later, I got the car for about $2,000 below Kelly Blue Book. Score.

Everything went fine at the dealership, except for a small, uncomfortable incident with the finance guy. While signing my paperwork in a closed office, the finance guy decided it was a good idea to tell me how my salesman had a huge crush on me. I don't know which was more awkward, having the finance guy tell me that the salesman told the whole place that I had an "amazing body" or actually having to look the salesman in the eye after all the signing was done. I could feel myself blushing the entire way out to my new car.

In the end, when I was driving home in my new car, I could finally relax. After the hassle, pain, and money associated with actually getting the new car was over, I could now enjoy it. I have a pride in my car that I have not felt in a very long time. I love the remote keyless entry, the clear view out the windshield, the fact the overhead light works, and that I am not drawing stares while waiting at a red light. To sum it up, I love my car. I don't think I have ever been able to say that. I am excited to drive it, and want everyone to see it. With all of this in mind, there is only bad thing, now how will I know if I am going 70 mph if there is no shimmies to tell me so? I guess there are certain sacrifices I will have to make to enjoy such a sweet ride.