Thursday, July 31, 2008

Stick a Fork in me

I had my last (hopefully) cardiologist appointment today-- the dreaded stress test.

Seriously, you may know that I'm totally out of shape (i.e., a four-year old could outrun me as I said earlier this week), so I was not looking forward to hoofing it on a treadmill in public.

Luckily, most of the patients that go to the cardiologist are a). Old, b). Overweight, and c). Sick so they were very impressed by my ability to rock that treadmill for 20 minutes.

Anyways, I walked in there and she told me to strip off on the top.. fabulous. I swear, in the last three appointments, more people have seen my boobs than I would like. Then she made me lay down as she stabbed me with the ultrasound thingamajig and smacked her gum very, very loudly. After that, my doctor came in and put me on the treadmill... it's not the speed that was so bad, but it was the slope. The thing was honestly at a 45 degree angle (at least) and it was near impossible to keep up. Never mind the fact that every few minutes the nurse was taking my arm to check my blood pressure.

Twenty minutes in I was huffing, puffing and sweating up a storm. When they put me back down to do the second echo I was seriously panting (embarrassing).

Anyways, they said that everything looked fabulous, and that my heart rate went up slowly and that it came down perfectly. Great news. However, she gave me my chart and told me to bring it up to the front desk after the exam. Obviously, I peeked at the first page and noticed that she did give me a diagnosis-- Mitral Valve something or other disorder.

Of course I wrote that in my phone and came home to look it up. It doesn't look like anything too bad, so I'm not going to sweat it until my next appointment (August 11th), when we are going to discuss all of the results. However, I did notice that this Mitral Valve whatever causes anxiety attacks. Gee, maybe that explains my neurotic problems. I'm certainly going to ask about that at my next appointment.

I think that this counted as day three of exercise. I'm on a roll.

Additionally, I'm pretty stressed about the moving factor, which is turning me into a flaming cranky pants. I feel very bad for boyfriend because I could explode at any minute.

I'm hoping that it's just the stress of moving, the thought of the school year rapidly approaching, and the fact that I'm going to be old--before I know it.

26 was a great year-- I met boyfriend, I started my first real job, and I adopted the kitties. I'm hoping that I have something to look forward to at 27 (b/c right now I'm doing what I do before every birthday- wishing I owned a house, had fifty kids and of course wishing that I was married to boyfriend)!

Boyfriend was a total sweetie and sent out the Evite for my birthday party today. Ironically, I'm all about birthdays (hello, birthday month) (It's ironic b/c they depress me, yet I live it up when it comes time). He wanted to surprise me, but I think that he forgot that I'm neurotic and that I would ask every 2 hours on the hour how my birthday plans were coming along. Sorry boyfriend for ruining the surprise, but seriously... did you guys think that you could get anything birthday related past me? I love you anyways.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

So Far So Good

I worked out again today! I walked/ran in five minute intervals. It's progress. I'm starting a new revolution.

We will ignore the fact that I shared a giant Hibachi lunch with Lori today.

Blonde

I'm having haircare drama.

I was born with platinum blonde hair (as most blondes are). It was translucent and it was blonder than blonde. I was mistaken for an albino on more than one occasion.

However, as time passed, my hair darkened a little bit. By high school it was dishwater blonde or mousy blonde. I didn't want hair that resembled last nights dinner dishes, nor did I want to resemble any type of rodent. So, I did what any other blonde would do and went for highlights.

Highlights are freakin' expensive, so in college I perfected the at home highlight. I must say, that I'm pretty damn good at doing them as well. No one has ever told me that my hair looks like ass, and more often than not, they ask me where I get it done.

Duh, it's me!

Anyways, I've been using the same highlighting kit for the last five years. Same color, same technique, same everything. However, in the fall, winter and spring, my hair is a lovely caramel color with honey highlights. In the summer, it's totally platinum. How is that possible? It's the same box, same color all year.

I'm sure it's all the time I spend by the pool, but I'm seriously over the platinum look. I prefer honey, I prefer caramel and I prefer medium blonde (as the box promises).

I may bite the bullet and pay for highlights again in a few weeks. I usually can't get my hair darker until at least October when I do it on my own (thanks to being miraculously platinum all summer).

Oh and in other related news, OMG, OMG You Guys! I'm going to see Legally Blonde when it comes to Baltimore in October. I'm so excited. It's my favorite movie (tied with Clueless) and I'm going with a big group of girls. What could be better than that?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Crap!

Oh Snap!

I totally quit Ann Taylor Loft at the WRONG time.

Their late summer line is off the hook fabulous!

If you know me in real life, you know three things:
1. I love purple (seriously devoted)
2. I love dark jewel tones
3. I love tribal, funky, ethnic prints.

Of course the Loft has to go off the hizzy and sell all of the above this season.

Here are a few of my favorites (from the jewel tone line, I've already purchased my favorite tribal inspired items... and maybe one tourquoise item...).....






Seriously, Birthday Month is approaching soon (3 days people).. feel free to send any and/or all of the above my way.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Good Intentions

Well, I had good intentions about whipping up a post yesterday, but I refrained. Turns out that the only thing that I could think about typing was a ridiculous rant fest about parents. More specifically, the parents of plain ol' average children who demand early kindergarten admission assessments because they are too cheap to go private and feel as though they are entitled to early admission (i.e. free daycare), even though their child isn't actually old enough for school.

See, that's a boring little story, so I didn't write it up.

In other news, I've been a sewing machine (pun intended). The curtains were a really great idea when I purchased the fabric, but it's really getting old now that I've finished the first pair.

Boyfriend and I move in exactly 12 days. I'm not even remotely packed, and he actually has to be out of his place by the 31st. I'm a organization freak, so I'm anxious just thinking about the pile of stuff and boxes that is slowly creeping into my apartment.

{Interestingly enough, I'm more anxious about stuff laying around my place, than I am about moving in with boyfriend. That must be a good sign}.

We finally bought some new furniture today. I've lived alone since I was 22, so I've accumulated my fair share of stuff. However, I was ready to upgrade a few things, but not too many because in my ideal world, we will own a house by next year.

We bought a super comfy couch for our "office/spare bedroom/or if you ask John, "Man-Room." We also bought a new coffee table and two side tables for the living room. I'm very excited about these because now I can toss the 15 dollar piece of junk side tables I've been using from Ikea. Lastly, we bought the dining room table. If you've been reading this blog, you know how I feel about that (yay).

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Classic First Born Child Syndrome

I worry.

I've always worried.

I think that I worried that I was going to suffocate around my own cord in the womb.

I probably also worried that I would get stuck on my way out.

You may think that I'm exaggerating, but I assure you my friends, I am not.

As a child, I would longingly look at stuffed toys and dolls placed carefully on the shelves in fancy stores. However, I could never bring myself to actually pick one up. Instead, I would ask my parents to take me to another store, where they sold the dolls and toys that no one wanted. I'd agonise over my final decision, trying to find the most pathetic looking doll to take home and to care for, because I knew that no one else would want them. Although I now know that these items lack feelings, emotions and/or thoughts, I couldn't stand the thought of leaving one unwanted toy with gnarled red yarn hair behind.

When I was 10, I cried every time I saw an older lady or gentleman eating alone at a restaurant. I was upset every time I saw a leaf fall from a tree, because I knew that although my ugly dolls may not feel, leafs were once a living thing.

My worries were irrational, but never overboard. After some time, I would forget about the dolls left behind and move on.

As I've aged, my worries no longer revolve around inanimate objects, but are instead powered by the need to please, the need to keep everyone happy and the need to be in control of myself and my surroundings.

I have classic first child guilt, regarding almost everything. I'm confident that many others are afflicted with this as well.

But I digress.

This weekend, my sister, boyfriend and I were going to drive to Virginia Beach to visit my brother and his girlfriend. He called on Monday and told me that if the weather was bad, that we should postpone our trip. I emailed everyone on Wednesday asking about the weather, and the plan for the weekend. My brother noted that his girlfriend had to work, his friends would be away, and that there was a chance for thunderstorms. I desperately wanted to reschedule this trip, but I felt so guilty about cancelling at the last minute.

Boyfriend has recently started a new job which would mean that we could not leave Maryland before 7pm. We had just returned home from the beach, and I was incredibly discouraged about spending another weekend in the car. Additionally, I just wanted to be home considering the fact that we have only two weeks left to move out of not one, but two apartments. Of course I waffled and hemmed and hawed when trying to make up my decision.

Finally, today, I emailed my brother and sister and requested that we postpone our trip until August, after my birthday and after we move.

Although I'm pleased with my decision, I'm feeling incredibly guilty about postponing the trip. Thoughts akin to, what is my brother going to do this weekend? Will my sister be upset? have invaded my head.

Like I said, it's classic first born guilt. I feel the need to make everything okay and to please everyone regardless of whether or not it pleases me. Recently, I've become much better at saying no in the workplace and in other areas, but I'm still weak in regards to my family.

My sister has no problem changing plans and does not appear to feel guilty, but I feel guilty regardless of the choice that I make. If I choose to go, I'll feel guilty about leaving boyfriend behind, leaving the cats again, and for leaving a long list of things that need to be accomplished before the move. If I don't go, I feel guilty about ruining my brother's weekend, cancelling so late in the week, and putting off what I could do today until another time.

I'm so scared that I'll upset someone, that I actually upset them more (unintentionally of course) with my inability to make a decision. My brother was more annoyed with my waffling than he was with the fact that we had to postpone the trip.

So now you know a little bit more about me, in addition to the fact that I'm a ditzy bitch. You may think I'm crazy, but luckily I'm a psychologist, and if there's one thing that I've learned, it is that crazy people never think that they are crazy.

I'm blessed to think that I'm crazy at least once a day.

Cantankerous Curmudgeon

I have several talents. One of which, is sleeping. I have never had a problem falling asleep, staying asleep, and/or going to bed earlier than your grandmother.

Since returning home from the beach, I've suffered some serious difficulty falling asleep. Despite sheer exhaustion, I've tossed and I've turned in every direction for the past several nights. I'm not sure what the cause of my fit less slumber is, but it's growing on my nerves. Fast.

Eventually, I do fall asleep, but when I do, I have had some pretty crazy dreams. I cannot remember many of them, but last night I can vividly remember Sage giving birth to two kittens while I was out of the house for the night. I remember questioning my companion (which may have been my mom and/or boyfriend) about the spay performed at the SPCA and asking them if I should call and demand a refund. I remember Snap prancing around the house like a proud father, herding his orange, blue and electric green kittens to a bowl of food underneath the dishwasher.

-------------------------------------

In other news, I've hit the reading jack pot this summer, and just finished another fabulously entertaining piece.

How to be Lost, by Amanda Eyre Ward

To their neighbors in suburban Holt, New York, the Winters family has it all: a grand home, a trio of radiant daughters, and a sense that they are safe in their affluent corner of America. But when five-year-old Ellie disappears, the fault lines within the Winters family are exposed. Joseph, once a successful businessman, succumbs to his demons. Isabelle retreats into memories of her debutante days in Savannah, Georgia. And Ellie’s bereft sisters grow apart: Madeline reluctantly stays home, while Caroline runs away.

Fifteen years later, Caroline, now a New Orleans cocktail waitress, sees a photograph of a woman in People Magazine. Convinced that it is Ellie all grown up, Caroline embarks on a search for her missing sister, armed with Xerox copies of the photograph, an amateur detective guide, and a cooler of Dixie beer. As Caroline travels through the New Mexico desert, the mountains of Colorado, and the smoky underworld of Montana, she devotes herself to salvaging her broken family.

With dark humor and gorgeous prose, Amanda Eyre Ward brings us a spellbinding novel about the stories we are given, and the stories we embrace.

I did however have one serious reservation about this book. The main character has a pet cat that she carelessly leaves behind on her search for her sister. That's been bothering me all day.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Vacation Wrap-Up, Part Two

On our last night at the beach, boyfriend's parents agreed to watch the baby, so boyfriend, his sister, brother in law and I went up to Dewey for dinner and drinks.



We planned a big night out, but boyfriend was about ready to fall asleep in his plate of fried shrimp. After dinner, we decided to engage in a photo shoot, drink one more beer on the water, and headed back to Bethany.





Not to be outdone, Boyfriend's sister and Husband took part in the shoot.



Good news of the day- the kitties survived the long weekend without me and were more than happy to see me upon my return. =]

Vacation Wrap-Up, Part One

And I'm back! Actually, in all honestly, we got back last night. I was just way to tired to blog. It was one of those vacations where you need a vacation after your vacation. Additionally, I actually had to do work at work today. I know, the nerve of some people.

On Friday, Boyfriend and I went to Bethany Beach with his family.




We ate like pigs, and I successfully gained five pounds over one weekend. Friday night was pizza, Saturday night was scallops, a crab cake, and a lobster tail (that was just my dinner), Sunday was fried chicken, spiced shrimp and crab legs, and Monday night we had an all you can eat sea food buffet (more crab legs). Seriously, the boyfriend family knows how to eat.



There was also a lot of drinking. I think that overall, I finished off at least one thirty pack and a gallon of Margaritas, myself, in four nights. I can attribute my shakes (which I've had today) to drinking withdrawal. Okay, maybe I don't have the shakes, but I cannot even think about putting a beer up to my lips anytime in the near future. That picture above was taken at a local Mexican Restaurant in Bethany. I read that they had the top five margaritas in the entire nation, so of course we had to try them. They were good, and worth every penny of the $11.00 price tag.



It happened to be about a trillion degrees out every day that we went to the beach (seriously, this area sucks in the summer in regards to humidity), but we tried to soak up the sun for at least a few hours each day. Boyfriend prefered shopping on the boardwalk and drinking milkshakes.



Boyfriend's sister and brother in law were there with their daughter, and we got to witness her first beach trip. The brother in law managed to wipe out and lose his glasses in the ocean, which was quite amusing. Have I mentioned that he's quite blind without them? That little mishap resulted in a trip down to ocean city for new ones.


Friday, July 18, 2008

And We're Off

To the beach. I'll catch ya on the flip side!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Almost Off

Boyfriend and I are going to the Eastern Shore this weekend. It's our big vacation of the summer (ha, all four days of it). We're moving, boyfriend's starting a new job, all of which make a vacation difficult to work out.

Anyways, I should be thrilled about leaving and excited about the beach, but mostly I'm just feeling anxious about my cats. I'm terrified to leave them alone for four days. I'm sure that they'll be fine, but I always look to the worse case scenario. Although I've only had them a year, I'd do pretty much anything for either one of them. I've got a friend coming to check on them, but only for about 10 minutes each day.

If I get this worked up about leaving my kitties, I can't even imagine how neurotic I'm going to be when I have kids. I'm going to require an I.V. of Xanax at all times.

Poor Boyfriend

We live pretty close to D.C.

For all intents and purposes we can get there in 30 minutes. Easily. On a Saturday.

Boyfriend started his new job downtown this week. Yesterday and today an accident left him in a gridlock on the highway for 2 hours.

If you are a RL (real life) friend and know any short cuts, tips and/or tricks for the trip from here to G-town, please, email me. For the sake of boyfriend

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I'm here...

I just don't have much to say (imagine that), but apparently Ms. Lori from My Mid-Mid Life Crisis thinks that a daily post is necessary.

I intended on writing something, but then Noelle called and invited me over for some wine on the patio. Clearly, wine beats blogging every time.

In other news, does anyone else feel as though although the days are longer, they are flying by at a rapid pace? I feel as though I can never accomplish anything (whether it be folding my laundry, finally or doing the dishes), yet I'm not really sure what I did with the hours between work and bed. I really need to start working on my domesticity.

Monday, July 14, 2008

And it's back

The VW is back in my possession.

I may be scared shitless to drive it (in case it happens again on the highway), but it's in my possession.

Avocado Salad

This is a simple (and not too awe inspiring recipe) that really jazzed up some grilled flank steak last night.

I highly recommend....

1 small avocado (peeled and diced)
1 small can of corn
1 small can of black beans
Juice from one lime
1 tsp of jalapeno pepper (I used dried jalapenos)
1 tsp Cilantro (I used dried)
Salt and Pepper

Serve this over grilled flank steak and enjoy!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Video #1

The dreaded zipper... Boyfriend made me do it!

I'm generally game for every and all rides at the fair, carnival, amusement park, where ever. One bad experience on the zipper creeped me out. Unfortunately, single riders were not allowed, so I had to suck it up and go...

Oh and please ignore all of my yelling about the cell phone. I'm usually much sweeter to boyfriend but I was afraid that boyfriend might lose his phone through the cage. See, just looking out for him. =]
video

Phew...

It's been awhile since I've actually contributed a meaningful post. After all that car drama, I kinda ran out of steam.

*In regards to the car, my bitchiness paid off. On Friday, there was more B.S. Apparently, my service tech forgot to tell the rental car place that I was going to need to car longer (as he had promised)...sooo.. I got a call at about noon from a crazy man wondering where the heck his car was. I went straight to the VW manager (I wasn't gonna F around anymore) and I got them to pay for the rental from day one (yeah I may have let the gotta go booze comment slip when talking to the manager).

In other news, I still won't get my car back until Monday... or Tuesday (at the latest ha).

After returning home from work on Friday, I found out that my apartment complex was sold to another company. The entire staff disappeared into the night and has not been seen again since. Now I'm going to need to come up with a new name because "Melrose Place" just doesn't flow with the new complex name anymore.

On Friday night, we ended up having happy hour by the pool. We coerced the Serbian life guard to keep the place open later (hell management had disappeared), grilled up some hot dogs and got our drink on.

On Saturday, boyfriend and I ran errands, ate a ton of crab legs (okay, maybe that was just me) and went to the local carnival. I had so much fun and didn't even run into a single kid from one of my there schools (phew). We ate hamburgers, pizza, fried oreos (him), sno-cones (me), cotton candy (me) and a few beers. I love carnivals, and it was a great date night out with the man. I'm lucky that I've found one that shares my excitement for scary carnival rides and junk food.

Today, I planned on being productive. You know, grocery shop, do some laundry, clean etc. However, freakin' Noelle brought a bucket of margaritas to the pool at 2 and I'm just coming home right now (yes, after 8 hours). Usually, I go to the pool every Sunday for a little bit and come home shortly after. Today, everyone and their mom happened to stop by, so I had to hang around and socialize. I have a feeling that I'll be asleep quite soon tonight.

In the meantime, boyfriend took some pretty silly videos of us at the carnival yesterday and I'm trying to convince him to upload them on my computer for your viewing enjoyment... Stay tuned...

Adult?

Am I still an adult if I can easily sleep until 10-11:00 am when there isn't an alarm to wake me up- regardless of what time I went to bed?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I'm a little slow...

Yes, I'm blonde, but hot damn, the new Blog roll tool is fabulous.

It was a tiny bit annoying having to transfer my old roll to the new roll (just keep old roll up, click, copy, paste to new roll, obvious right?) but it was worth the effort.

Now, when I click a link on my page another window pops up. Score. No more exercising the back button for me.

Plus, instead of checking blogs incessantly and being frequently disappointed by the lack of updates, this baby will let me know where I need to go and when.

If you are slower than I am.. I highly recommend.

Sidenote: Oh and Lori, for some reason the auto updates won't work for you. It says something about your layout reading. You may want to make P look into this. =]

A Little Help Please

Okay, as you all know, I've had car drama lately! I'm incredibly dissatisfied with the service that I have received and I have prepared this letter to send to the company and/or anyone else that will listen. Of course I'm going to wait until after I get my car back to send it, but I wanted to post it on here to see if you all could think of anything that I should add and/or remove.

I'm not sure what the point of doing this is and I hardly ever complain, but this service is despicable and I think that the company needs to know about it. Let me know what you think...

To Whom it May Concern,

On Wednesday July 2, 2008 my 2003 Volkswagen Jetta (37,000 Miles) broke down on the road while driving. As a result, I had the car towed to XXX in XXX, Maryland. I have been using this service station for routine oil changes and miscellaneous service since purchasing my car in 2006.

Upon arriving at XXX, I was told that I would not be granted a rental car, due to the fact that I bought my car at a VW dealer in Boston Massachusetts (where I was residing at the time), rather than this particular shop. As a result, I decide to hold off on renting a car until I received further information about my car.

When I arrived at XXX, I was informed that XXX would be my service provider. He was running out the door when I arrived, and asked a coworker to check me in and to gather my information. He informed me that he would call me tomorrow to let me know the status of my car and/or any repairs that were necessary.

The following day (7/3/2008), I did not hear from XXX at all. I finally called him to ask for more information regarding the car. He informed me that they had yet to look at the car, but that he would call me when they had a chance. He finally called me a few hours later to inform me that they were able to turn on the car and confirm the problems that I reported when I had it towed to the shop. He thought that it may be a simple fluid problem and/or a transmission problem and informed me that they had to let the car cool for the entire day and would not be able to check it until Monday (7/7/2008) due to the temperature of the fluids. When I asked him how much a new transmission would be, he told me that he could not give me a quote, because they had not done one in a long time. I found that quite perturbing, considering the fact that this is a VW service center, and I would assume that they would know how much a transmission repair could be. At this point, I informed him that I may need a rental car, and asked him how long he would be there that day. He replied, "I will be here until 4:30 today. Actually, no, I want to start drinking early tonight so I will be here until 4:00." I found that to be very unprofessional behavior. If I had informed one of my clients that I had to go home early to start drinking, I would have been reprimanded and/or fired on the spot.

The following Monday (7/7/2008) I waited hours for XXX to call with an update on my car as promised. Once again, he failed to inform me about the status, and I was forced to call him for more information. The first time that I called was around noon. He told me that the car had yet to be looked at. I called again at 4 for more information (seeing as though I had not had access to my car for 5 days now) and he informed me that the "transmission specialist" did not have any information yet. I was growing increasingly upset and asked him when he would have any information about the status of my car. He said that they would look at it that day, and that he would call me back. He called back at around 5 p.m. on Monday to inform me that they still hadn't look at my car, but that he promised that the transmission specialist would look at it first thing in the morning and that he would have all of the information for me by 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday (7/8/2008).

At this point, I could no longer hold off on a rental car, so I informed him that I would be in within one hour to pick up a car. He agreed and told me to come right in (and that I would have to pay for it all myself). When I arrived at XXX on Monday evening, I went to XXX and informed him that I was here for the rental car, as we had discussed. When he went to collect me a car, he was told that there was only one rental car left at XXX and that I could not have it. As a result, he told me that I had to drive down the Mazda dealer to pick up a car. He was not apologetic about this, despite the fact that I had previously arranged this pick-up with him only an hour before. Before I left, I asked him about the status of my car once again. He said that he had talked to the "transmission guy" and that he was "pretty sure" that my car was covered under the warranty (he couldn't be sure and/or check, but he was pretty sure).

Upon arriving at the Mazda dealer, we were informed that they did not have any rental cars for us either. Luckily, the service manager there was accommodating and was able to find a me a car to use for two days. This entire process took about two hours.

On Tuesday (7/8/2008), 10:00 a.m. quickly passed without a call from XXX at XXX. At about noon, I finally received a call from him. He informed me that I did not have a warranty that would work anymore, and that the total bill would be 6,900 dollars for a new transmission (labor and parts). I found this to be an astonishing amount, especially considering the fact that I called several local garages for a second opinion, and they all provided pricing below 3,000 for a new VW transmission (parts, service and tow). Regardless, I could not afford $3,000 dollars, let alone $6,900. I told XXX that I would call him back after I discussed this with my family.

Minutes later, I called VW USA to talk to a customer care advocate. The woman that I called was named XXX, and she was incredibly helpful. She was empathic, understanding, and fully listened to me. She told me that she would investigate the case and call me back later in the day. Within one hour, XXX returned my call and had some very good news! I did in fact have a warranty on my car until July 2009. She told me that she had already called XXX at XXX to inform him of this, and had the entire thing taken care of. She gave me her name and her extension and told me to call her with any problems.

About 2 hours later, I called XXX to confirm that he had heard this news (seeing as though he did not take it upon himself to confirm this with me). Upon answering my call, he told me that he had checked two times before and that I did not have the warranty, but informed me that XXX had told him that I did and that he would talk to his service manager about it to authorize the service. He also told me that "this is 100% not his fault." I didn't care who's fault it was, I just wanted my car fixed! He told me that he would call me tomorrow after he talked to his manager and his transmission specialist.

The next day, (7/9/2008) he once again did not call as promised. As a result, at 3 pm we called XXX and asked to speak to the service manager for an update on my car. The service manager was completely unhelpful and quickly transferred the call to XXX. We asked when we would finally get my car back seeing as though a week had passed with no progress. He said, "Well, we need to order a part, and maybe we'll get it tomorrow. She'll probably be back in her car by the weekend." Still not a straight answer in sight! It's not like I dropped my car off at Joe Schmo service center. I brought my car to a VW service center where one would assume they would know how long it would take to get a VW part. He seemed very annoyed by the fact that we were "bothering" him so much about the car.

It is now Thursday (7/10/2008) and we have yet to hear anything, yet again. I would call to ask how long it would be, but I'm afraid that if I bother him again, I may never get my car back. Instead, I'm paying 30 dollars per day for a rental that I'll be borrowing until who knows when. I'm incredibly dissatisfied with the fact that I was promised a phone call regarding my car five times, and was only called once. I'm also very upset that they found it so difficult to tell me when I would be getting my car back, and to this day, no one can give me a straight answer. One single phone call to your customer care advocate XXX, fixed the entire situation, yet it has taken XXX over one week to even order a simple part for the car that they sell there.

Although I am incredibly pleased with the service that I have received from VW USA, I am incredibly dissatisfied with the service provided by XXX. From now on, I will be taking my car to XXX VW, where they actually respond, listen and provide information to their customers.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Book Review #3

The Island of Lost Girls, By Jennifer McMahon

About the Book

One summer day, at a gas station in a small Vermont town, six-year-old Ernestine Florucci is abducted by a person wearing a rabbit suit while her mother is buying lottery tickets. Twenty-three year old Rhonda Farr is the only witness, and she does nothing as she watches the scene unfold – little Ernie goes with the rabbit so casually, confidently getting into the rabbit’s Volkswagen bug, smiling while the rabbit carefully fastens her seatbelt.

The police are skeptical of Rhonda’s story and Ernie’s mother blames her outright. The kidnapping forces Rhonda to face another disappearance, that of her best friend from childhood – Lizzy Shale, whose brother, Peter just so happens to be a prime suspect in Ernie’s abduction.

Unraveling the present mystery plunges Rhonda headlong down the rabbit hole of her past. She must struggle to makes sense of the loss of the two girls, and to ask herself if the Peter she grew up with -- and has secretly loved all her life -- could have a much darker side.

__________________________________________

This was a really great book, and I highly recommend it. It is a little bit disturbing, but it will keep you hooked from page one. I could not put it down, and when I had to, I could not wait to pick it back it. The twists and turns kept me interested.

What is your Guilty Pleasure

In the summer, it's common knowledge that T.V. sucks.

Seeing as though I still require entertainment in the summer, I'm going to fess up to the tragic T.V. shows that I am addicted to...

Bridezillas
Bridezillas
This show is off the hook hysterical. Boyfriend watches it with me every once in awhile (okay once) and we look over at each other every few minutes and promise not to do whatever the hoodrat on the show happens to be doing. We've narrowed things down quite a bit...

Denise Richards: It's Complicated
Denise Richards
The kids are beyond adorable, and she's actually quite different than I thought that she would be. Yeah, she can be a little tragic, but she can also wrestle pigs and build play houses for her daughters. Plus, I actually quite adore her home. The decorating alone is divine.

The Real World: Hollywood
The Real World Hollywood
I may be older than 99% of the cast of the real world, but I still find it incredibly amusing. Just last week, there was a foursome (yes, two girls, two guys, one bed). Where else can you find a show that features one stripper, two alcoholics, one kid that thinks he's funny, one kid that is funny, and seven people who are very, very sad?

Legally Blonde: The Search of Elle Woods
legally blonde the musical: the search for elle woods
I can't sing, I can barely act, and my dancing is mediocre. However, that doesn't mean that I didn't spend half of my childhood trying (and longing to be on Broadway). I'm living vicariously through them.

and of course....

John and Kate Plus Eight
John and Kate plus eight 8
I watch this because I like to pick out childhood disorders. Okay, just kidding. However, I find it incredibly strange that they have eight kids and none of them have problems. I've got my eye on them, and you'll be the first to know when I detect something....

A Pearl for Every Girl

I was going to mention this awhile back, but with all of the drama surrounding my life in the past week or so, it was put on the back burner.

However, it's a common fact that every good preppy girl needs a pair of pearls (or four for that matter).

I reluctantly ordered a new set from Amazon.com a few weeks ago. The set included four pairs of earrings for less than 30 dollars (with free shipping). The earrings can be found, here .

These babies are gorgeous! Of course they are freshwater pearls (b/c face it, I'm not a millionaire), but the coloring is amazing and the size is perfect.

The arrived within a week with a certificate of authenticity, wrapped up in a beautiful box, and inside a darling bag (think Tiffany's but cheaper, and a tacky Rosy pink color). But regardless, for 30 bucks, that is some service.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Just Breathe

Someone was watching over me today.

You may have noticed my freak out below, but well, everything may be okay after all.

I mentioned previously that I called VW USA to discuss the problem with a customer service rep. The lady that I talked to was incredible. She was empathetic, she listened to me, she sympathized and she noted that if this were her own daughter, she wouldn't know how to handle the situation.

You may also remember that she mentioned that I shouldn't get my hopes up, but that she would call me soon.

When she called me back she said, "I am so happy that you called me today. I have some good news."

Apparently, when I bought the car, it still had it's original warranty. Additionally, when I bought the car used, it had a two year warranty (apparently in addition to the regular warranty). I don't know, it all seems very confusing, but she somehow figured out how to ensure that my vehicle was under warranty until July 2009. I still don't understand it, but I could drive there and kiss this lady.

She told me that she called my mechanic already to tell him the news. I called him later to confirm and he was a d-bag, as per usual. He said that when he checked the warranty, nothing came up the first two times, but that the lady told him the news. He said that it was "100% not his fault" and that he would talk to the transmission specialist tomorrow about this.

Cross your fingers and say a little prayer for me tonight. I think everything may work out.

Oh, and look at the beautiful flowers that boyfriend brought me today. What a sweetie.

Losing It

I am going to lose it.

They called today to give me the verdict on my car. It is a $6,900 verdict.

Although they told me last night that I still had the warranty, it did in fact end in April 2008. Approximately 60 days ago.

I've been sobbing since 11:30am and finally made it home from work.

I called VW USA, and they are seeing if they can do anything, but warned me not to get my hopes up, considering the fact that my warranty ended two months ago.

I should hear from them in about an hour.

You do the math.

My car was worth 8,000 dollars for a trade-in in April 2008 (when I asked).

I owed a little less than 10,000 dollars on the car in April 2008.

I now need a new transmission which will set me back 6,900 dollars (sidenote: seriously, wtf kinda transmission costs 6,900 dollars? This one the mechanic man says).

If I try to trade it in now, I'll be lucky if I get one dollar without a transmission.

What a difference two months can make. I should have followed my gut then and traded-in. In the meantime, I'm going to fall into a semi-depression about this.

I don't think that i'll ever get ahead. I can barely afford groceries, let alone a 6,900 dollar transmission.

Do you know how depressing it is to work your ass off, go to college and grad school for seven freakin' years to work a job where I make a lot according the the f*cking tax bracket, and never come out on top?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Holy Monday

As per usual (or at least since last Wednesday night), I was without a mode of transportation. Obnoxious much? I took another day off of work and awaited the two calls that I was supposed to receive last Thursday; the heart and the car.

First things first: My heart. I called, again, and the lady had stepped out of the office. An hour later, she called me back to tell me that the holter monitor reading was essentially normal. She also informed me that the Echo reading was in transcription (?!?!?), but that I would find out more in the coming week.

Essentially normal? Well, I assume that that is essentially good news. I still have the stress Echo next week, and I have an appointment with the doctor in August that will tie it all together, but from this point on, I'm thinking that I'm normal. Essentially.

By 12pm, I had yet to hear from VW (I have now renamed VW, Vicious Wankers- and FYI, not all VW places suck, just the one that I happen to frequent. I've had amazing luck elsewhere). I caved and called them, considering the fact that I dropped off my car ON WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON. The service tech didn't know anything, but said that he would let me know when he did (again). By 4, they still hadn't called so I decided to be annoying and call again. He said that he had no news, but that the transmission "specialist" would be looking at it soon. I said, "Today?" He said, "Yes, of course."

He called me back at about 5pm (while working out, ugh) and informed me that they still didn't have any news, and that the transmission specialist would be looking at it by 10am tomorrow morning. I lost my cool by this point and asked them why it is taking so long to look at fluids when they should have checked it when I had my oil changed there a month ago. Apparently, VW's have very high tech transmission fluid holders which require god (or someone very similar) to open up and refill. And no- they don't check transmission fluid during an oil change because VW transmissions are super special and hidden away in a secret place, sealed with super glue.

Whatever, I finally bit the bullet and told him that I'd be in within an hour to pick up a rental (at the rate they are going, I would miss a year of work). One might think that they would say, hey, you know what? Your car has been sitting here for 5 days and we haven't the slightest what is wrong with it, so here is a free loaner. Oh hell to the no. I have to pay.

Anyways, so boyfriend brought me to the VW shop at 6, as I had informed them. When we got there, the car rental lady informed us that they only had one car, so I would have to to go the Mazda dealer down the road to get one- and to tell them that the VW place sent us.

Fast forward 1 wasted hour of my life and a complete asshat representative who didn't speak comprehensible English and I'm finally home with a Chevy Cobalt (without automatic windows or automatic locks) for a mere 30 dollars a day. Ha.

If I didn't think that I would lose readers by cursing out the world right now, my next two sentences would include seven "f" words, four "b" words, and sixteen "s" words.

In other news, they day wasn't a total wash. I was able to sit next to the pool and read my book (it's amazing), and I finished one set of curtains for the kitchen (yay).

My saving grace right now is the fact that boyfriend is going to relinquish control of the TV and allow me to spend the next 2-3 hours watching the bachelorette finale.

Go Team Jason!

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ETA: If you shop online every once in awhile and if you haven't signed up for Ebates yet, check it out (the info is on my sidebar). Between now and August 14th, they have a special promotion and if you sign up, you get 10 dollars credited to your account, and I get 10 dollars credited to mine.

I know it sounds like a scam, but I've honestly recieved legitimate checks from them!

You probably need the money, and I certainly need it. If shit keeps breaking around here, I'm going to be relocating to 12304 Cardboard Box Lane, Homelessville, Maryland very soon.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Fourth of July Like Woah

And it's already over.

My weekend consisted of partying on Thursday, partying on Friday, and trying to party on Saturday.

On Thursday night, Boyfriend and I decided to head down to the local bar with our friends Noelle and Mike. The bar happens to have half price bottles of wine on Thursday nights, and since we weren't working on Friday, it seemed to be the best idea in the world. Fast forward four hours and one entire bottle of wine later, I was hurting.

On Friday, boyfriend and I headed to Northern VA for his sister's fourth of July party. Boyfriend beer ponged, and I drank with his mom. I also spent a lot of time holding the baby.

I didn't get any pictures of me holding the baby, so here's the next best thing (that is not me).



On Saturday, boyfriend and I made our way back to Maryland, but made a pit stop at Ikea. While there we loaded up on new art for our new place and frames.

After that we headed to Koyaanisgatsi's house for another fourth of July BBQ. I had a lot of fun because a) I got to hold the dog (this weekend was all about holding dogs and holding babies) and b) because they always have the most amazing food.



They outdid themselves as usual, and prepared the most amazing fourth of July feast! After dinner, we went down to the dock and watched the fireworks over the Severn River.





After the fireworks, we headed back to their place and set off our own Maryland style fireworks (which did not include airborne fireworks). After that, we partied on around the fire pit and at about 11:45 pm, I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer.

Today, I was a total P.O.S. Boyfriend had to work, so I had to drop him off (cause mama's got no wheels) and then spent the day cleaning, lounging by the pool and crafting. Now, I've got lasagna in the oven and a few shows on DVR that are calling my name. I hope that you all had a fabulous fourth!
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ETA: I really need to work on those tan lines!

Project of the Day

Expect a full weekend wrap up later..

but in the meantime, I'm tackling more projects.

Here's what I have so far today...



The frames used to be plain ol' wood. I took some craft paint, a brush and went to town. I think that they will make a fabulous addition to our new kitchen.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth of July!

Don't we look Patriotic!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I got nothing..

I stayed home from work today to await the news (and cause I was stranded).

While waiting, I scrubbed the kitchen from top to bottom, did some laundry, and finished a bunch of other miscellaneous chores.

By 12, I was getting annoyed, so I called the car dealer and the heart doctor. The car dealer had no information yet, and the doctor was at lunch (I left a message).

At about 1, my car dealer called to tell me that they were able to confirm the problem that I was reporting. Well, no shit Sherlock. Did you think that I was making this up? They informed me that it could be the transmission fluid or it could be the transmission. However, because they turned on the car to confirm the problem, they had to wait at least five hours for the car to cool before they could test the fluids.

As luck would have it, the car dealership closed at 4:30 today. "Oh wait," he said- "I am actually going to leave at four because I want to start drinking early."

Guess who has to wait until Monday to hear anything vehicle related?

I don't know what to do. The trade in value on my car (with transmission) is about 8,000 bucks. Unfortunately, I owe 10,000 on it. At this point, I'm not sure if I should just say screw it and get something new, or bite the bullet and invest another 2,000 bucks into it.

Please cross your fingers that it is only the transmission fluid.

So, here I am, without a car for five days.

At about 3, I had yet to hear from the cardiologist. I called back again, and they told me that the doctor was called out twice this morning to deal with two heart attacks. Understandable. They said that they had downloaded my information and that the nurse would check with the doctor and call me before the end of the day.

By 5, I had heard nothing and I decided to call them back and ask what's up. I got the answering service. They were closed for the day and would not return until Monday. How fabulous. I'm trying to be positive and I am assuming that my heart is okay, but I think that it's slightly (or more than slightly) unprofessional to leave someone hanging for five days without at least calling to tell them that there results were not in.

Nice start to my long weekend.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Nail Sticks


In an effort to forget about my BS car trouble, I decided to paint my nails with my new nail polish.

Painting my nails is a serious chore, but I need to look good. When I first heard about nail sticks, I had to jump on that train.

However, I've already jumped off of it. Save yourself the 7 dollars. These things suck. My nails are streaky and the brush is far too large to do a good job. Plus, actually getting the nail polish from the bottle to your nails is quite the chore.

What a bummer, it appeared to be a good idea.

It started off well...

My day started off well. I rolled into school at a leisurely hour, shot the shit with the secretaries for a few hours and then met my friend Lori for lunch. It was beautiful.

After lunch, I was off to my cardiologist appointment. The echo was strange to say the least, but I was incredibly relieved to remove holter monitor. The person doing my echo was a man, and he was more than a little bit socially awkward. Nothing quite like getting naked from the waist up with a weirdo. He poked, he prodded and he took pictures of my heart. He said that he didn't detect any major problems (that didn't make me feel good- I would prefer no problems at all). I should hear from my doctor tomorrow with a little more feedback (after she examines the holter monitor and echo pictures). Cross your fingers for me.

This is where shit gets bad (although in reality, I should count my blessings because it could be way worse, but I have a tendency to get really worked up over any car related issues). As I was pulling out of the parking garage, my car started to make really bad noises. After stopping at a stop sign, I put the pedal to the metal and was met with a completely stalled car (it's not stick) and a roaring engine. I turned it off and turned it back on. Couldn't move more than a few feet. After turning it on and off about two more times, I managed to get over to the side of the road. When I put it in reverse, it went forward. I turned if off again and managed to get to the light. There, it stalled again and the engine roared. Tears were streaming down my face (I don't cope well with car issues) and I called the VW dealership. They were complete assholes and told me that they wouldn't tow me, nor would they give me a loaner since I didn't buy my car from them (gee, sorry I lived in Massachusetts when I was car shopping). I then called the tow place that they suggested and cried some more. My mom didn't know what to do, my dad told me to call the tow place, and my boyfriend saved me by coming to my rescue.

In the meantime, every Tom, Dick and Harry making a right turn laid on their horn and yelled at me. Look at my hazards you shit for brains. I have never beeped at someone that is clearly stuck on the side of the road and I never will. If you happened to pass me today and blew your horn, I hope you realize that I hate you.

Apparently, VW has never heard of a problem such as this (f'in awesome), and as luck would have it, I'm pretty sure that my warranty is expired. The car is a 2003, but has only 30,000 miles. There is no need for this.. no need at all.

So yeah, I'm fuming. Did I mention that less than 15 hours ago I was discussing my poor finances with boyfriend. The timing could not be worse.

Tomorrow should be an interesting day. Heart results and car results.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Stone Age, No More

We got a Wii, We got a Wii

Well actually.. boyfriend got the Wii, but I'm paying for half of it.

I know.. it's about time right? We may be the last ones left without it.

However, in all fairness we've got video game consoles covered with a PlayStation 3 and an X-Box. I don't play either.. well, with the exception of three games- American Idol Karaoke, Sing Star, and Dance, Dance Revolution. Sadly, I don't play them very often, because boyfriend will not oblige willingly unless drunk.

Does anyone have any Wii game recommendations for me (and think in terms of what I actually like to do- sing, dance and play Wii sports)? =]

Holy Crap

I almost forgot to mention the Bachelorette!

If you don't want to hear it...close your eyes and scroll down 'cause you're about to encounter a SPOILER!!

*Rant*{what's with the asshats who are all like, "oh my gosh, you spoiled it for me!" Yet got to my blog via the Google search- bachelorette spoilers}*End Rant*




I am SO happy that Jeremy is gone! He was about as much fun as my pet rock (in second grade). Yeah, he was certainly the hottest of the remaining fellows, but he was NOT FUN. If you have a connection with someone, why do you need to laugh through the awkward silence. I agree, he was pretty perfect, but as we all saw, perfect is quite boring.

Moving on. I like Jesse okay. I like rooting for the underdog, but I don't know how I feel about her marrying someone that calls things "Rad" and says "I'm stoked to see you." I swear, I'm on the edge of my seat just waiting for "totally tubular" to shoot out of this man's mouth. But anyways, he's alright. Or as Jesse would say, AIGHT- but certainly not my fave.

As for Jason, he's awesome. I hope that she picks him. He's cute, he's funny, he's fun, and he lights up whenever he sees her. Seriously, I kicked boyfriend on the couch and told him to start drooling whenever he sees me as well. I'm jealous. Anyways, the kicker is that not only does he light up, but she absolutely beams. She looks so incredibly happy with him, I'm actually quite shocked that ABC is showing those scenes.

Obviously, I hope that Jason wins. However, being an avid bachelor fan, I have come to learn that 99% of the time, they make you think that she's more in love with one.. and then she picks the other. 99% of the time, the other, happens to be my personal favorite. This time.. not so much.

I'm just crossing my fingers and hoping that ABC is trying to pull a good old switch-a-roo on us. You know, like how every third season they make the winner walk out of the limo first to receive their fate.

Moving on to After the Final Rose.....

Chris Harrison rocks my box. When he starting talking about Sean's mullet, I almost died laughing. Who knew that the same man that overuses the phrase "most dramatic rose ceremony ever" could be so incredibly funny.

Sidenote: I also enjoyed his, "Well Played" comment.


Not feeling witty

Well, I made it through my first day with the holter monitor. I have approximately 20 hours, 23 minutes and 31 seconds left until I can take this sucker off. In approximately 20 hrs, I will also have my first echo test. I'll keep you updated as soon as I hear anything.

Boyfriend successfully managed to wash my hair over the tub last night. I decided that yes, he is a keeper. Plus, if anything goes wrong with his current job, I now know that he has other skills.

Additionally, I managed to find an outfit that hid the "beeper" very well! This is the one time that I can praise getting "fat"....at least I have bigger clothes that hide things well, especially the stomach area.

I called my mom to tell her about my appointment and if I could have kicked her ass over the phone, I would have. Mom seems to think that maybe my heart is hurting because of the weight that I've put on in recent months. Gee, thanks mom! She wasn't trying to be mean, and she assured me that I'm neither chubby nor overweight, but just bigger than she's used to. Apparently, mom says, "I'm used to seeing you all scrawny. I mean, you know you could lose about 5-7 pounds Ash." Who knew that seven pounds could influence your heart, SO MUCH?

Okay, now I seriously need to diet. As I told you.. I'm technically signed up for weight watchers, but I'm not actively participating. Obviously, that must change. Pronto. It's just annoying- smack me now- but I don't like having to try to lose weight. When did my body decide that making me try is a good idea?

I came home today and the cable and Internet were out. Since I can't go to the pool, and I'm not an attention whore that wants to show off my electrodes, I decided to whip out the sewing machine and go to town. I have finished 3 out of the 4 seat covers for the new chairs (which has yet to be purchased). I would have done all four, but I ran out of fabric (hey, I'm still new at this).

I would love to go out and shop for more fabric and/or to pick up the tiles necessary for the mosaic (I got the lazy Susan in the mail today and painted it white), but funds are a little tight and I don't get paid until midnight tonight.

Although I'm sad that it is already July 1st, my step change and 5% raise is effective tonight, which is more than a little bit exciting. Unfortunately, taxes suck my ass, so it will probably result in a five dollar upgrade.