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July 2007 Archives

July 1, 2007

exercises in lifestyle

i would like to take a minute to say good-bye to my Volkswagen 2001 GTI. I bought it for the turbo, sports suspension, sun roof, and wacky hatchback functionality. I am going to get rid of it for the following incidents in loose chronological order, over the past 7 years (66,200 miles ONLY!):

- the plastic cap on the side of the ashtray comes loose, never to remain firmly attached again.
- the driver side window fell into the the door
- the passenger side window fell into the door
- the engine temperature sensor died
- I've replaced both headlight bulbs at least twice
- I've replaced about 6 lights in the back (brake, reverse, etc..)
- both sun roof drainage vents clogged, causing water to backfill in the car frame until it reached the roof at which point the water drained into the vehicle resulting in a month long ordeal to get the interior removed and replaced because of the water damage.
- the handles that control the seat movement come loose, never to remain firnly attached again.
- the sunroof stops responding to about 50% of the commands I issue with the controller.
- I get a recall for the brake light switch (note* I've actually taken the car back for about 3 recalls, I just can't remember them all anymore).
- the car alarm starts locking me in the vehicle after i get in and sounding the alarm when I start the car. I have to turn off the car and unlock it before the alarm shuts up.

That is about everything I can recall and I am never going to buy a volkswagen again. Starting next week, I'm going to do the following:
1. take my car to carmax to find out how much they will pay me for it.
2. Spend a week without driving my car to see what its like.

July 5, 2007

pekoe the wunder-muffin

today's entry will be written by my cat, Pekoe. Here is a little background info:
Pekoe was born in November 2001 and is a domestic short hair, with tuxedo cat coloring. And now, onto Pekoe's musings of the minute:

paw, paw, paw...

I'm pekoe and my butt smells... I am also missing some hair.. but that is because my parents left me alone all weekend. I like birds. I also like stomping around on momma's belly.

there are too many cats around here.

OK - enough of Pekoe's musings. They don't seem to be that coherent.

July 8, 2007

enlightenment

I read that in Tibet, children dream of growing up and attaining enlightenment. The point being that, in comparision, american children dream of growing up and getting on a reality show. Well, I obviously don't have any decent dreams to pursue because this week, I am test driving a new car. And by new car, I actually mean no car.

My current car started cracking up on me, and in a fit of anger, I decided to get a new one. A mini-cooper S in electric blue with racing stripes to boot! In my area, you have to wait about two months to get one, as the factory isn't keeping pace with demand. So as I considered the new car (and new price tag), I started to wonder. Do I really need a car? I live with someone who already has a car. I live three miles from work, a mile and half from my gym and the grocery store...

So starting tomorrow, I am going to live a week of no car. In preparation, I have looked over the bus schedule to get to work. In an added twist, I also have an appointment at the doctors that I will need to work in. I have little fear. In the worst case, I will wind up 30 minutes outside of town at the metro!

I estimate that tomorrow will cost me $4. $1 for each back and forth from work and the doctor's office. It hardly seems fair. I could buy a gallon of gas for that much money. But for fun, let's consider how much the car costs me, not including the actual purchase.

insurance - about $800 a year
maintenance - mostly oil changes, about $100 a year
gas - about $500 a year. I have good fuel economy.

which should put me at $1400 a year = $27 a week
??? damn, thats a little more than I realized and its really the insurance that is bumping up the numbers. So I guess I'll see how much it costs with no car, using the bus, bicycle, feet, and friends. onwards with the madness!

July 9, 2007

Day 1: Riding the bus is easy

Today I started a week long attempt to live without my own car. Its summer now so instead of riding my bike to work, which would have made me all sweaty, I thought I would ride the bus. I suspect that my mom may laugh when she reads this (Hi Mom!), but I actually have no good idea how to ride the bus.

Last night, I checked out the bus schedule and noted that it was possible for me to wind up 30 minutes outside of town at a commuter pick up. So this morning, I made it 10 minutes early to the bus stop, mildly concerned about where I would wind up. The bus showed up 4 minutes early and in a bonus for me, was free today due to shitty environmental conditions. Only 6 people were riding when I got on, so I don't know if this free bus fare on 'orange days' thing is really working, but its a speedy bus so who knows.

The sign on the bus said it was going the right way so I didn't confirm with the driver. While riding I saw a mom taking her kids to school, a fast food worker, and a geek squad employee. The bus driver was pretty neat. I think she was Ethiopian and had a habit of running stop signs with impunity. At that moment, I decided that I loved the bus! Cancel the car insurance and full speed ahead!

I was prepared to ride all the way to the end of the line since it stopped about a quarter of a mile from my work, but lo and behold! There are little stops all along the way and after witnessing one woman pull the stop signal to get out, I was all set. I successfully pulled the signal and was able to de-bus just twenty yards from work. Yay me!

So future concerns are now, how to get to the transfer point for my doctor's appointment and how to get home afterwards... do I really have to ride the entire route to get back home???

Current Status: I Love the Bus

Day 1: more bus

Well I am now fully familiar with at least 1 bus route as I have taken it for the full circuit to get to the doctor's office. There are some really different people who ride the bus.

This afternoon I sat next to a huge man who was wearing swim trunks as shorts. I suppose it would've been ok, but you could see through his pockets.. really unattractive.

a lot of old people ride the bus too.

and sometimes, the bus stops and waits so that it remains on schedule. When this happens, that Violent Femmes song runs through my head "Waiting for the bus".

Hey mister driver man, don't be slow
cause I got somewhere I got to go.
Hey mister driver man, drive this thing fast
my precious time is slippin past!

Current Status: Still lovin the bus.

Day 1: the end?

well, I made it home. no problems. so let's summarize our experience for the day.

I spent $0 riding the bus cause of the air quality incentive program.
the bus was on time, all the time.
people were interesting at best, kinda weird at worst.
and, i felt pretty good about riding the bus. I suspect that not having to drive might have removed some portion of stress from my day. but just to keep my hand in, i did curse at a few drivers while riding with the loml this evening:
"that dumbass"
"doesn't he know how to drive"
"rah rah rah"

I really think car insurance is a scam though. I called my company today to see what would happen if I wanted to stop driving for a couple of months. The woman told me that there was no way to go "inactive" for longer than 30 - 45 days without being declared having a "lapse in insurance". Once that happens, I become a "high risk driver" when I try to get insured again. The operator told me that my best course of action would be to drop as much coverage as I could (liability) and that would reduce my rates to about $150 per 6 months. Imagine that! For the privilige of not getting charged more later, I can continue to pay for something that I am not using now.

wow. that's just great.

July 10, 2007

Day 2: no car

well, looks like i got most of the adventure out of the way on day 1. I made it to work, on the bus, which was free, again. These code orange ozone days are something else. The only problem is that I am really tired today. must sleep more!

still trying to figure out how to not to incur a lapse in insurance coverage for cheap.

how i feel about the work cafeteria

my work cafeteria has no cute name. Its not the snack cafe or the food palace or anything fun. Its a plain boring ugly nasty little place populated with plain boring ugly nasty food. I hate eating there.

today, against my better judgment, reason, and intellect, I went back into the cafeteria. I had one hour and no car. I was about to walk my ass half a mile down to a panera but its very hot and I am wearing heels...

available today was nasty pizza, an absence of veg calzone, roasted veg wrap, burger line, and salad bar. I would like to take a moment to address the roasted veg wrap. There is very little roasted veg in the wrap. but if you like, they will squash it in a panini press for you. and you trust me, getting your veg wrap smushed in a hot panini press does not improve it.

since the selection sucked, i asked for a veggie burger with cheese. i ate that thing. I ate that nasty burger in the nasty cafeteria, loathing myself the whole time... loathing all the other soulless gutless corporate weinies who couldn't treat themselves to something better than nasty lunch with an occasional stare at yours truly who was the best looking thing in that place.

i felt like i was a corporate intern again who just doesn't know better. I must have chugged down that burger in 5 minutes flat before going back and grabbing a salad and a bag of chips to fulfill my basic need for nutrition and taste.

damn, i hate that place. Tomorrow: the triumphant return of my lunch box!

July 11, 2007

Day 3: no bus

my head is melting. I haven't gotten sufficient sleep for the last three days and I "woke up" with a smashing head ache. Now, I am ready to pass out and I want to go home. Unfortunately, the bus I catch to work is geared towards non-slackers. It doesn't run between 10am - 4pm. I checked the other routes and I can catch one at the local transfer point but there is a 15 minute wait at the town center, and then I have to ride almost the entire circuit to get near my house....

wahh.. i'll just try to stick it out til 4. On the upside, my headache has escalated so much, it doesn't even feel like pain anymore.. it just feels like that part of my body is dying.

July 13, 2007

into the weekend

well, i have to admit, riding the bus to work and to the doctor's is pretty damn easy and its almost fun. but now, onto the not-fun.

weekend with no car. I suspect this is where the suck will come in. On the upside, I have managed to substitute a lot of online shopping for going out. Probably too much shopping. In the last week i have spent:

$30 - jewelry supply store. You can check out a fun learning site at wigjig.com. As soon as my order gets here, I am gonna have some *nice* looking earrings.

$16 - hair supply store. I managed to locate the materials to make my own wedding veil. How fun is that???

$400 - clothing. ok.. i admit. this was a bad one. I don't like buying clothes online because I never seem to get the fit right. Well this time, there was a 60% off code online and I can make returns direct to the local store. So I bought everything I thought I might like and fit into. I am actually amazed the total is only $400, but at least I will be returning some stuff. Now I just need to catch a ride to the store...

July 20, 2007

I'm just sayin...

I sold my car last tuesday... and then i didn't buy another one.

and I must say... I'm enjoying myself immensely. It probably has something to do with the huge check that is just waiting to clear in my bank account. awesome.. money in, no money out.

what has it cost me so far?
- i have had to learn patience, when i miss the bus.. hey man, its a whole 20 minutes til the next one!
- i had to start carrying around an umbrella and tennis shoes, in case of bad weather, or if I decide to walk somewhere.
- i had to wake up earlier than normal for 2 weeks, because i thought that there was only one bus route that passed by my house.. Sucker me! there is a second route that runs ALL DAY!!!
- I have to say "hello, good morning" to friendly people at the bus stop.


BWA-HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. i am sufferring so much, i wish i had done this sooner.

of course, I'll probably stop laughing when winter hits. According to the info posters in the bus, they don't have heaters.

July 23, 2007

today, i am a loser

you know... I thought i was doing pretty well this year.

I had managed to totally re-direct my work lifestyle to 20% work, 80% doing whatever I wanted. I graduated with a Master's degree in psychology which work paid for, even though I am an engineer, working in telecom. The loml and I totally managed to arrange our wedding without going broke or crazy (yet). And the cherry on my cake was selling my car for blue book, and then not buying another one. Check me out, neo-rebel!

but no. because this is how my today went. at 5:20am, my little cat started paw-pawing me in the face. and continued to do so for 30 minutes... because i never get mad at my little cat and I knew she was hungry. i can't blame an animal for acting on its natural instincts. so i fed the cats and went back for a precious hour of sleep.. only one, because today, I had to wake my ass up to catch the 7:20 am bus!!

what is this hell??? what happened to my life?!? I can barely remember the bus trip to work because I don't start thinking until around 9:20am. though, as my dear friend Scott points out, seeing my work place bearing down on me as i ride the bus, is sort of like being on a vehicle to auschwitz. Thank god I wasn't awake yet.

So to conclude, a few points:
1) sleep is precious
2) having a happy lifestyle is important
3) I would like to thank the loml for an amazing job with the house in the last day. You are the best!

July 24, 2007

today, I am a winner

I don't know who read yesterday's blog, but the loml informed me that it sounded like a lot of pathetic whining.. who knew my innner-most thoughts and feelings could be like the puling of a small baby?

well, that's over now. today is better. Today I was at work watching a co-worker microwave her breakfast in a styrofoam container. I thought that just caused free radicals to be released in your food? or is this just something my parents told me growing up?

Either way, today is a better day.

July 25, 2007

the suck!

i got up this morning feeling humble. because of micheal crichton, if you can believe it. Last night I read Timeline, which is an adventure/fantasy about quantum travel. I picked up the book because when you ride the bus, you have to read something and my book of Taoist essays was getting too much for me.

I expected it to suck, suck bad. I didn't remember who the author was but I knew that my dad and the loml read it, and then i remembered that Crichton also wrote that dinosaur book... with the movie with Jeff Goldblum. and then I was holding a book which has a knight on the front and begins with a small groundwork of quantum physics. yes, bring on the suckage. I was ready for insipid descriptions of olde towne life.

but, I must admit, the book was pretty neat and I was entertained. My only problem is that I'm not sure how much liberty Mr.Crichton has taken with the historical details. So I'm not planning on going around saying, "you know in the 1320's there were no chimneys in france!"

but on to life now.. just as I was feeling humbled, i get to sit in an all-day meeting with people who suck. What would Buddha do? he would tell me that this is a good opportunity to practice. I assume that i need to work on compassion.

July 26, 2007

damn, michael crichton

you are one boring man.

after telling the loml what I thought about 'Timeline', he said that I should read 'Jurassic Park' because 'Timeline' was one of michael crichton's worst books . This would be in response to my comment that while I found 'Timeline' to be very enjoyable, it required as much thought to read as a romance novel. Sure the book revolved around quantum physics and history, but it was lite!

So this morning, I went looking for a copy of 'Jurassic Park'. I didn't want to miss my bus, so I grabbed 'The Lost World'. It had a dinosaur skeleton on the front so I figured that was it. But no, it seems to be some kind of sequel. I'm half way through, and amazingly enough, I have an opinion already.

All I know about Michael Crichton is from having read Timeline, half of Lost World, and I've seen the movie "jurassic park". And with that I am ready to judge, judge, judge! Obviously Crichton likes researching topics and then using them as a backdrop for a fantasy-adventure novel. yeah schtick, all these airport bestsellers have one (and Clive Cussler, I am talking about you).

but 'Lost World' is so damn boring. I award Michael Crichton loser points for abuse of two children as convenient (for him, not me) plot devices. Need a hacker? Ask the 11 year old. Need a way to baby talk your reader through a history of evolutional theory? Give the 13 year old an educational lecture. blech blech blech.

i hope those dinos eat everyone!

July 28, 2007

micheal vick day

i suspect every conceivable reaction to the michael vick story has been run through, and that's not what I want to talk about anyway.

What really bugs me about this story is how people are horrified that a dog would be hurt in such a manner. Of course people should be horrified, right before they go on to order that veal parmesean for lunch, drive off in a leather-interior BMW, or go on to thoughtlessly support (with their wallets and actions) some other ridiculous industry that just happens to kill and provide shorter miserable lives for animals as part of its business.

Get a grip people! I'm not telling you stop eating meat, buying leather, or supporting companies with questionable operational practices. I'm just saying "judge not less ye be judged". Cause like many people have noted "I didn't know what was going on" is not an acceptable response.

July 30, 2007

the news

A few months ago, I stopped watching and reading the news. The only things I read these days are a couple of compilation websites on consumer affairs, news of the weird, and Perez Hilton. This has resulted in severely skewing the topics that I can casually talk about. On the upside, I suspect I bullshit less and listen more.

Listening to other people more is weird. My friend nutter butter (note* not his real name) tends to talk about fluffy celeb gossip and then gets spot on for certain technical matters (like his HDTV). My sister doesn't like to talk about philosophy but loves to talk about the way people behave, which oddly enough resembles my mother.

I will have to ask the loml what I talk about.

About July 2007

This page contains all entries posted to daisyblahg in July 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

June 2007 is the previous archive.

August 2007 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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