Thursday, March 09, 2006

If it's pretty, buy it

I pick up my new car on Saturday. I’m pretty excited. I love cars. Ever since I was little I could tell what a car was from its headlights. Not a particularly useful skill, mind you it will come in handy if I ever get run down by a hit and run driver. I’m not sure where my love of cars comes from. My Dad likes cars, but doesn’t love them. Growing up my best friend, Jeff, was obsessed with cars. We used to quiz each other while waiting for the bus every morning. Not on the engines or anything, just the makes and models of anything from European to Japanese to American cars. I’m sure this is all Jeff’s fault. What other woman who wears Jimmy Choos does this?! That said, I don’t drive a flashy car nor do I feel a personal attachment to my cars. They are machines, plain and simple. They can be pretty machines, but they are machines.

My Mother, on the other hand, forms personal attachments to her cars. It 1982 she bought her first car, a Nissan Stanza, that she paid for all with her own money and picked out by herself. She wept when we sold it in 1994 to a friend of my sisters. In 1987 my parents bought a Peugeot station wagon and in 1997 when my parents moved to England my Mother wouldn’t move without shipping the car over with them. Not kidding. In 2003, when they moved back to the States guess what came with them? You got it, the old Peugeot wagon. It might not run when it’s damp outside (how they got it running AT ALL in England is still beyond me) but my Mom couldn’t leave it behind. What with all its memories from how the huge dent got in in the hood, (from when Mom passed a local school’s softball practice and a ball landed on it) to the huge dent in the back of it (from when my sister backed it into a telephone pole) and they certainly couldn’t leave it with my high school and both my and my sister’s college stickers in the back window. Oh no, in almost 20 years that car has seen two continents, taught me how to drive and still has dog fur in it from our family dog, Daisy, who died while I was in college. How could they get rid of it?!

Now that I’m the one doing the buying I’m more practical (not as practical as keeping a rambling 20 year old station wagon but practical all the same). As cute as I would look in a Porsche Boxter, I’m not about to buy one. Not with two dogs, a house, a huge garden and well, the paycheck I currently receive (while still expecting to actually eat everyday). I currently drive a VW Passat Wagon. It’s great. I can go to Home Depot and fill it with insulation, plants, trees, potting soil, whatever. The dogs can get into it with muddy paws and its great for loading us all up into and spending the week away. I love my current car but the monthly payments are more than I want to spend now and so I’ve been doing some shopping.

I needed something cheaper but that is still big enough to carry all the crap the dogs and I lug around. I would love a Prius or even an SUV hybrid but since I only drive a couple of miles each day to the train station, I’m not so worried about that. So I pick this up on Saturday.

I just hope to hell George the Jack Russell can jump into it because I am not going to pick him up and put him in it every morning. Lucy the Lab will love it and me, well, it suits me just fine and it really is pretty. Mine will be in silver.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Paint, plaster, carpet and LOTS of Advil

I’ve been working on a lot of home improvement projects lately. Granted they were New Year’s Resolutions but the real reason for the painting and the carpet being pulled up is that I am hosting our next Neighborhood Gathering.

I did plan on doing all these things but there is nothing that gets my ass in gear faster than the fear that company is coming. Do I REALLY want my neighbors to know that I live like this? That I actually find it “normal” to have boxes stacked half way to the ceiling in my spare bedroom? That my “study” is just a dumping ground for all things that can’t be shoved into the back of the closet? No. So off I go painting walls, ripping up carpet, hanging curtains and generally finding ways to have my paycheck directly deposited into Home Depot’s account.

I still have a few more things to do but it really does feel good to have these couple of things done. The paint is almost all out of my hair now too which is good because I’m meeting Train Guy’s Mother tonight*.

*From now on “Cute Septa Kid” will be referred to as “Train Guy.” There are a couple of reasons for this: One, we’ve been dating for awhile now and so calling him a “kid” makes me feel like a pedophile and two, I have repeatedly been asked what “Septa” is; the SouthEastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. He apparently referred to me as “Train Girl” to his friends so he will now be “Train Guy.” I’m sure he’ll be disappointed by the lack of the word “Cute” in his name but he’ll get over it. Thank you.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Things that should be outlawed

Using nail clippers to cut one’s fingernails IN.THE.OFFICE. What the fuck, people? It’s a Monday, couldn’t you have done that over the weekend? In the privacy of your own home? Why the office? And what’s EVEN WORSE, you work in a cubicle and so it’s not like you are behind a closed office door. Oh no, you are clipping away to the extreme, cringing discomfort of those who sit in a 25 foot radius around you. Here’s an even better question: how many fingers do you really have because you have been clipping away for about five minutes! Please tell me you aren’t doing your toes now……