This cold has gotten ridiculous. I sound like I'm smoking a carton of Camels a day, I'm snotting on everything, and I can't hear out of my right ear. Really making a great impression on the new hires at work when I'm sneezing so hard my mascara is running down my cheeks. oof. At least Harry can walk again (he threw out his back this weekend and couldn't even lay down), Beerman's poison ivy is healing, and C-man's cold is mostly on the mend. Only 2 more days...
In between the parties and wine and dinners and coughing from this cold, I bought a car yesterday. A Ford Focus SEL hatchback in sonic blue with butt warmers and a moonroof that I should get toward the end of July.
It amazes me that with all that's advanced in the world of customer service, so little has advanced to make the car dealer buying process less slimy and annoying. I went alone so Beerman could work on the fish tank and C-man could just play and not have to sit in a dealership for hours. I learned a few things in doing so, or at least reaffirmed, about myself. And also about car dealings in general.
I am not a sympathetic person. Telling me you are only making a few bucks on this doesn't make me sad, it just tells me we still have a few bucks to go on lowering the price.
I do not appreciate people who are less than straightforward. Do not tell me it's your best price, and then shake my hand as I'm out the door and tell me there's still wiggle room on the price. And do not come back to me each time with a price that is configured differently (one with the taxes, without taxes on another, one not added up on one, just the monthly payment on another, with my supposed down payment included on another, one as a percentage of what the last price was) and expect me to feel you are trustworthy. I can subtract. And add. And that just adds up to a whole lot of shady to me.
I enjoy haggling over a car as much as I enjoy haggling over the price of a hammock at a fair in the street. It becomes a game to me. Because I don't NEED this. It's only a want. And I can tell the difference between the two.
A great portion of my work life is devoted to the issue of inventory control and making sure the customer gets the right size and color. So do not punish me and tell me I have to pay more because you have stocked the wrong inventory, or worse, push another model on me. This is not my problem.
If you force me to draw a line in the sand on my ultimate price, negotiations have in essence just stopped. So you'd better be prepared to meet me at my line, because I am no longer budging once I've shown my hand.
I am ABSOLUTELY willing to spend my whole day going from dealer to dealer for a couple of hundred bucks, so don't insinuate it's too much trouble "just for a couple of hundred bucks". Because it's my money, goshdarnit. And if you think it's that trivial, then save us the trouble and just lower the price.
C-man has Junior Olympics tomorrow at school. I'll be wrapping hot dogs for their lunches. I'm hoping I can get out of the hot dog duty for a few minutes to see him compete.
I was down 4 more flats of plants from the school plant sale when I got to school last night. And someone actually bought some catnip!
C-man insisted we get a flat of strawberries. Beerman planted them in a tiered pot. Now C-man wants more of them. I think the birds are going to be very happy with this situation.
Beerman's alleged poison ivy has spread to his hand. He also has it all over his leg. Hopefully it calms down soon, because it looks really painful.
My summer wardrobe for work really stinks. Everything I have is ratty and needs to be chucked. Time to do a little shopping.
I have a massage scheduled for tomorrow with my favorite therapist. I can't wait. She's hard to get into during the times I need. It'll be a fantastic way to start the weekend.
I'm needing less and less caffeine to get through the day. My only explanation is the huge boost of sun I've gotten recently. Hmmm...
The back of the fish tank is built and the next step is to paint it. I'm so impatient.
A girl in C-man's class won the hermit crab lottery to keep them forever. C-man didn't even put his name in the hat because after Easter break, he decided they were boring. Why am I the only one disappointed by this?
I'm so excited for the weekend to start. Sun, parties, relaxation, and technology fast!
I just realized this morning (after I got an email from the coach) that there's no baseball this weekend. How in the heck did I miss THAT delightful tidbit?
I have a new team under me at work. That makes me very, very happy.
In between our parties this weekend, I'm planning on powerwashing the patio and arranging the furniture. Ahhh... bliss.
My plants are selling like hotcakes now that I reduced the price. On Monday night, I watered 40 flats. Last night, I was down to 25. There's still a whole lot of fennel and catnip, but the flowers and herbs and tomatoes are moving. I feel good about the whole thing now that my back is done aching. Before it's said and done, I'll probably pull in about $1500 for the school. Not rummage sale money, but still more than they had before.
Beerman has a blistery rash on both of his arms. I think it's poison ivy. I don't know what's worse - that he has no idea how he got it, or that C-man was the one to diagnose the problem.
I'm only wearing tank tops this weekend. My farmer tan is so well established, that may not even resolve it, but I'm going to try.
I'm also going to try to go on a technology fast this weekend. Except for my camera. That would be cruel and unusual punishment. But the rest, I'm turning off.
C-man is unrelenting about his unruly hair. At least I've convinced him to shampoo and condition it more regularly so it looks shiny and curly.
I got a call from my rheumatologist's billing department for a bill I haven't paid since 2010. Kind of strange to have a 2 year old balance, since I'm pretty sure I've been paying bills since then, but whatever. Take my money. I don't care.
The plant sale plants are slowly disappearing. I really just want these things gone. $2 people. We're down to $2 a plant! Come and get 'em!
This is a 4-day work week. Have I mentioned that before? My goodness, that's a glorious thing.
Beerman has been working on finding a place for us to hang up north for a week before school starts in the fall. One of the requests was for a private island. Now if we only had a boat...
The fish tank back has been foamed and drilled and assembled. Now it needs to get painted. Thankfully, it's a long weekend. I forsee some real progress being made on the fish tank front.
C-man wants an eel in his tank. I'm kind of facinated and grossed out all at the same time.
I have a new team at work. I'm kind of digging it.
I'm also enjoying that it's sandal-worthy weather.
What a busy week. The plants from the school fundraiser are sold. Mostly. We made a decent profit for the first year, thanks to the extra hours post-masses, so I'm pleased. C-man's glasses are ordered, so hopefully we can stop his headaches sometime this week. We made it through a spring concert and baseball pictures. We made it through two ballgames (a tie and a giant win). And we celebrated our anniversary at the Avengers with our kid.
And now, I rest in the shade to secure my farmer's tan and wait for the storm to roll in. Well, in between loads of laundry, at least.
11 years ago today, I was not doing this. 11 years ago today, the weather was almost identical to what it is today. 11 years ago today, I was all dolled up in a beautiful white dress, eating cornish hens, and laughing and laughing each time my brand new husband called me his wife.
Ahhh, what a difference 11 years make.
Happy anniversary, my love. Each year just keeps getting 'funner'.
To say it's been a busy week is an understatement. And the weekend isn't making it slower. (How do these families with all these kids do it?) But to catch us up on the events a bit, we watched a Spring concert. As always, C-man sang his little heart out.
He's recently decided he wants to be a music teacher someday. I don't have the heart to break it to him that you have to be musically inclined. For now, he loves it. And who am I to squelch that?
The school plant sale I'm chairing started today at 10 a.m. with a 53' truck and 6 giant racks of plants and ended for the day at 7 p.m. with more plants. Today, I unloaded plants, I sorted plants, I helped people load their cars with plants, I sold plants, and I moved more plants. I am burned to a crisp in unique areas, like just above my elbows and the back of my neck. And I dealt with a couple of people who thought they should get a break on their orders because they ordered so much. (What part of fundraiser is confusing?) I am totally exhausted.
But people are happy with the plants and people are buying more plants. I didn't screw much up, which was my big fear, and when I did, people were more than happy to swap them out for something else. And we're raising money for the school. So pretty much, it's perfect. (Until I have to go back tomorrow!)
Now if I can just get people to cover for me so I can see C-man's Yankees games, it'll all come up roses.
Wow, this is a crazy-busy week! To give you an example, today I have to bail out of my non-stop meeting day at work by 2:30 to pick up C-man from school so we can go to get him a pair of black dress shoes that fit and make it to the eye doctor by 4:15 (he's been complaining of his eyes hurting, which is never a good sign) so we can change into a baseball uniform and get to his baseball pictures at 5:15 and change into a suit and tie so he can get to his school Spring concert by 6:15. Not to mention, the school plant sale I'm chairing is this week. And then it's our anniversary, about which I've not thought at all. Oops.
It's hard to come down off a pretty darned good day with beautiful weather and a whole family being happy and go to work. But alas, it's Monday. So let's savor just one more moment from Sunday. Ahhhh...
After breakfast (creamed spinach on top of poached eggs on top of smoked beef on a toasted croissant next to a kringle and fruit), we went to mass. And then we grabbed stuff for a picnic and headed north to a really amazing park we like. We ate, we geocached, we threw rocks in the lake, and we walked until we couldn't do it anymore (even Harry). C-man made me a gift, but since he can't seem to find where he hid it, I have no idea what it was. Oh well. The amazing day was more than enough to make up for that.
What a difference a year makes when kids are this young. Last year, I watched C-man excitedly get to the games and race around, occasionally throwing his glove in the air. Today, he had two strikes (the first was for a check swing that really wasn't a strike, but we won't be petty) and actually stepped out of the batters box, took a couple of practice swings (you could almost hear the mental self-talk going on), and then stepped back in to slug one hard down the third base line to drive in a run. (It would have been 2 runs, but the first run he drove in hit the 5 runs in an inning limit.)
I love seeing this kid grow. With it, of course, comes challenges. But he's such a special kid with so much to offer, I often question how I got so lucky.
It's Friday, so it must be game day. One of the few times of the year I look forward to a Brewers loss. Let's hope my little Yankee is able to settle his nerves.
I turned 36 last week, but my skin is now pretending I'm a zitty 16 year old. Time to change the skincare routine, apparently.
I'm so glad it's the end of the school year. C-man has no interest in remembering to do his homework, and I've lost all interest in making sure he does any of it. So it turns into a morning scramble to get it done. Sigh. I think we all need a summer break. We are all just tired.
Last night I woke up from a nightmare that I had shingles again. It was 1 a.m., but I went straight into the bathroom, flipped on all the lights, and checked my back in the mirror. I was so scared. My PSA of the day - If you can get the vaccine, please do it! Shudder...
Harry's back leg has been bothering him. I hate that my puppy is showing his age. Beerman made him a new batch of glucosamine peanut butter liver treats. (The house stunk for DAYS after) Maybe I should start giving them to him non-stop.
Yesterday, I got my morning latte as usual. I got about halfway to work and got a call from the coffee shop that I'd forgotten it. (I usually don't drink it for a bit because it's too hot, so hadn't noticed) I don't know what's worse - that I forgot my coffee or that the coffee shop called me about it.
Next week is the school plant sale delivery. What are the chances I did this right?
I've been on the road enough in my 36 years to have picked up a few tips and tricks along the way. So here are 13 tips I've gathered for domestic travel.
Carry on your luggage in something other than a roller bag if possible. Use a backpack or some other squishy bag that will fit in between the cracks of the roller bags to avoid having your bag gate checked.
Going for just a couple of days - pack several contact lens cases, each filled with solution. It doesn't take much solution, and you don't have to figure out the liquids thing with the carry on stuff.
Pack matte jersey clothing. It rolls up into a tiny, squishy ball, and doesn't really wrinkle.
Avoid the security lines with the old people. (Sorry old people) They can have trouble with the shoe thing and can often be seen complaining to TSA about it. This takes too much time. Follow a crew through if you can.
The key to packing light is in the shoes. Try to match all your clothes to one or two pairs of shoes so you aren't stuck with an extra set of luggage just for shoes.
Pack your belts, jewelry, etc in the front of your carry on bag. Do not wear it to the airport. Dress after security has cleared you and you have your latte in your hand.
When your stuff exits the x-ray belt, grab it and take it elsewhere to reassemble. It is quicker and less annoying to everyone else who has better things to do than watch you redress at the belt.
A small hand sanitizer spritz bottle is nice. Seatback tray tables and seat pockets are the germiest places in the plane, and it's always nice to use after you're forced to shove stuff in those.
Bring your own bottle of water. Good luck getting a beverage, and if you do, good luck getting more than a few meager ounces amidst the clunky cylindrical ice pieces.
The hotel irons are usually terrible and sometimes stick to your clothes, causing big problems and should be avoided. But they are good to substitute as steamers. Just leave your clothes on a hanger and keep pushing that steam button.
Get an aisle seat within 5 rows of the exit. They're the safest places on the plane.
If you've missed your connection, ask the first airline employee you see where the customer service desk is and run, yes I mean run, to it. If you've missed your connection, so have a bazillion others, and you do NOT want to be at the end of that line of ornery passengers.
Sit at the bar in an airport restaurant. The bartender is usually quicker with getting the food out and will give you more insight on what is and is not worth ordering.
It's Tuesday. And that's kind of nice. Mostly because it's not Monday. With the weather improved and as a result, my sleep improved too, it's a much better day today. So here's a toast to Tuesday! Bottoms up.
It's Monday. I've got nothing good to say, so I'm going to not say it at all. That was somebody's mother's golden rule, I'm sure. Instead, look at my kid and his cute little rump roast and too-long hair sticking out of his hat. Eat him up cuteness.
After presents and a Yankees win, and an afternoon of lunching and frozen yogurt visits and lawn mowing and hanging out, we capped it off with a lovely dinner. (Well, Beerman was all hocked up on Benadryal since his eye was all swollen up from something allergy-related, so maybe it was lovely for 2/3 of us) And it ended when I got a candle in my creme brulee accompanied by no singing. Kind of perfect.
The moon was not super, as it was so cloudy we didn't see it even existed. I'm hoping we can see it tonight, but the blanket of clouds overhead isn't looking promising.
At 36, I've got very few real complaints. I'm going to make this year about remembering that - that my life is really, really good. I think remembering that takes you a long ways toward optimism and happiness, especially when others aren't.
While it's my birthday today, and I was in Dallas until yesterday evening (I got home just in time via an unheard of on-time, direct flight - Clearly the baseball gods were with me), the day started like all Saturdays between now and mid-July - we had a baseball game to get ready to attend. I told him I wanted a good hit for my birthday present. Can you tell by his expression that he delivered? Such fun.
Today's the day I fly home. I'm skipping out of a few hours of meetings so I can get home to my Yankee's first game of the season. Let's say a prayer to the air traffic control gods that the flight is on time, because I'm just going to make it.
I'm off for Dallas today. It's supposed to be close to 90 degrees there. Not that I'll ever see it from a hotel conference room. At least I've remembered my knitting. Maybe this sweater will get knitted before its year anniversary after all. Maybe.
It's May Day. Which means it's my birthday month. Although I'm not sure that means much, since I've got to spend the next 3 days in Dallas and then Friday night and Saturday at baseball games. And since my birthday falls so early in the month, I always like thinking about the lead-up anyway. Once it's happened, it's kind of over. But I had a birthday event already, so hardly feel cheated. It just feels a bit weird this year - kind of like it's already happened.
I always like to set goals for myself for the coming year on my birthday. For some reason, it hadn't even occurred to me until right now to do that. Guess I should start thinking.
But one thing I am going to accomplish today is getting rid of the gray hairs popping out of my head. I'm not turning 36 and looking gray, after all!