Does anybody read these?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sad news in the search for XM radio

So, I never called last week about my XM radio because Chris took the car in for service on Tuesday and planned to ask about it then. And he did. And the service guys told him that he needed to talk to the salesman about it.

And when he told them our salesman was Chad, they acted kind of weird and said he wouldn't be in that day.

I've been meaning to track him down, but I haven't had time. That's probably a good thing, because we found out this weekend that Chad passed away.

I'm not sure of all the details because aside from an obituary in the Tennessean, everything we've gotten has been second-hand. But 27-year-old men don't just drop dead in their homes.

I am really sad. He was a good kid, and I felt good about helping him out by buying a car from him. I just felt like he was trying hard to make it in life, you know?

I'm not sure what happened, but I've had a heavy heart all weekend. I feel awful for his family.

And not to make this about me, because it shouldn't be at all. But I'm not sure what to do about the XM radio at this point. Chad's not around to say that he did tell me it was in there, so it's probably a losing battle. I also kind of feel like an asshole for even raising the issue.

However, I'm not sure how exactly I'm supposed to get the XM behind my dashboard if I don't talk to the dealership about it. I think I'll just call the sales manager tomorrow and see if there's anything they can do for me.

Chris kind of rolls his eyes at me when I wonder out loud if maybe the car is cursed. I just wonder how long it'll take for me not to think about that poor boy every time I put the key in the ignition.

I hope they figure out what happened and whoever was responsible is brought to justice. And people wonder why I try very, very hard to not get involved in anything that could cause me trouble. It's just not worth it.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Big deal

I paid my car off today. Well, my old car. My new car will be paid off many, many years from now.

But it still feels good. I feel like I did something very grown-up today.

Since I got the new car, I have been insurance shopping, because the number I was given by progressive to insure both cars was frightening. I had finally decided on Geico, who could increase my coverage and insure both cars for just $5 more per month.

So, this morning when I got paid, I called Geico and signed up with them. Then I called Progressive to break the news to them.

Now, I don't know if they just wanted to make a deal or if this is for real, but Progressive went back and said I never should've had an increase for that accident I had in 2006 and readjusted my insurance rates to reflect that. Then she told me that because they never should've done that in the first place, she was going to go ahead and put a credit for overcharging me for the last two years on my account. And, my insurance is going to be $12 less per month.

Even though most days I think I am a complete nutto to buy a new car in this economy, my new car saved me hundreds of dollars today. That was nice.

I'm trying to shave expenses where I can. I don't have the heart to cut off my cable, and the only way I can whittle my phone bill down is to text less (!!!), but I'm doing what I can.

I need some really good advice on maintaining a grocery budget now that I seem to have acquired a family.

I have to work tonight, and I am sad that I won't get to see Shelby until tomorrow afternoon.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Trunk Bay

The most-photographed beach in the world. Is anyone surprised really?

Happy Place

On the VIOL forum, someone asked us to share our "most perfect" memory of St. John. I decided to copy and paste it here for those of you who maybe haven't been there or maybe don't get why I don't want to go anywhere else for vacation.

Every moment on STJ has been so great, it's hard to pick one moment, but I think I might be able to.

The first morning of my first trip, after a horrendous travel day from Hell the day before, I made breakfast for all of the girls. Our kitchen had a beautiful view of the water and St. Thomas. I had Jimmy Buffett cranked up, and I was drinking pineapple juice and Malibu at 8 a.m.

I decided at that moment that this must be what heaven would be like. It was the moment I "got it," and realized that I was in a very special place.

As one of the girls on that trip said: With every moment, you think, "It doesn't get any better than this." But, on St. John, it always does.

Whether it's lounging with the chickens and my rum punch at Maho or laughing with my girlfriends over supper in the dark at Banana Deck, St. John holds many of my most treasured memories.

Song of the Day: "Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes" by Jimmy Buffett.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Two weeks

I don't think I mentioned this here, but I gave up chocolate for Lent. Yes, chocolate.

Surprisingly, I am still doing OK. I haven't slipped once, but I've come close a few times. At the hockey game last week, I ordered a twist soft-serve waffle cone, and I then I remembered. I think the lady is still confused about me saying "Oh crap, nevermind," and walking away.

Today someone brought chocolate birthday cupcakes and brownies and left them in the breakroom. I am DYING. Absolutely dying.

I love chocolate. And you don't realize how many things have chocolate in them. For example, the morning that it snowed and I wanted hot chocolate. That sucked, but I am managing. I have already made it two weeks.

But I am warning you all right now: On Easter Sunday, I am eating the biggest, baddest chocolate bunny that you ever did see.

Monday, March 09, 2009


Read this, and then go buy the damn newspaper!

It really sucks being a journalist. Could someone remind me why I bought a new car?!?

I really should look into getting some new career skills. Maybe it's time to reinvent myself.

But doing what? All I know how to do is write. It's all I've ever been good at.

Seriously, go buy your paper tomorrow. Go buy SOMETHING. That's the only way America is getting out of this mess.

The saga continues

Yesterday I was reminded, once again, why I just go to the dealership and buy new cars.

Of course, I was reminded of this while I was driving my certified pre-owned vehicle.

My car runs fine. Even though the white paint is merciless when it comes to dirt, it runs just fine. In fact, it's like riding on a cloud.

But where on God's green earth did my XM radio go?

There are some conflicting reports on whether or not the 2008 HHR came with XM radio standard. However, there are not conflicting reports on the following things: 1) It was included with the optional Pioneer seven-speaker, premium sound system, which my car has; and 2) I asked Chad (the shady used-car salesman) if it had it and he said yes, it did. In fact, he even gave me a little flier called "How to activate your XM radio on your pre-owned vehicle."

And that's how I found out that it's missing.

While we were on our big road trip to West Tennessee for Shelby's beauty pageant (more on that later), I said "Hey, let's go ahead and activate our XM while we're in the car." Chris turned on the radio, and I grabbed Chad's flier and my VISA card.

So, I call and I talk to this guy at first. He asks me what my radio ID is. I tell him I don't know, and he tells me how to find it. I tell him that when I hit band the XM doesn't come up, but it does come up when I hit a different button on my radio.

He said nothing and put me on hold. Next thing I know, there's a lady on the line and she's asking for my XM radio ID. I tell her the same thing I told him and asked if she could look it up by my VIN number.

That's when she tells me (you may want to grab a chair if you're not on one) that NO ONE INSTALLED THE XM RECEIVER INSIDE MY DASHBOARD.

Yep, that's right. My car has no XM receiver. This means that yet another option that I was promised is not on this boondoggle of a vehicle. It's supposed to have an XM receiver, so I'm not really sure where it's gone.

One thing's for sure, I'm calling Chad today and we'll see if he can find the receiver. I sure hope so, because I'm starting to get grumpy. Well, that and the fact that I'm still waiting for them to close out this purchase and if they haven't done it by my 15-day conditional sale period, they might just find themselves with a new used car. Mostly because they haven't given me the check to pay off the old one (the real reason I purchased this car), and if they don't do it before the 18th, my insurance payment will be outrageous.

So, the mystery continues. And needless to say, if Generous Motors makes it out of their mess alive, my next car will not be a certified pre-owned Chevrolet. I'll be going back to getting new ones. I thought this made sense on paper, but I'm not sure used cars ever make sense when you can get a new one with the employee discount and cash back.

It doesn't sound like it'd be hard to get a receiver inside the dash since the radio is equipped for an XM signal. I don't know if mentioned it, but about a year ago I bought a receiver for the blue car, and I never put it in because of the wires. I can't deal with all the wires for an after-market system. That's why I deliberately asked for it this time. I don't know if XM will be around for six more years, but if you buy a new car, why wouldn't you get it? Especially when it doesn't cost extra. Hello?!?

Of course, I have a suspicion the person who bought my car might've taken it out. Because I found the papers in the glove box where they had the OnStar taken out. I am thinking at this point, whoever it was did not like monthly fees.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Story time

I figured I'd tell you all a little story.

As you'll remember, I started dating Chris when my former boyfriend, who had been acting like a douchebag for months did his final, line-drawn-in-the-sand, super-douchebaggy thing. I don't even remember what it was, but I am pretty sure that it had something to do with our "anniversary," as I met Chris in mid-December. I just realized our relationship was completely and totally doomed and we weren't ever going to work out for whatever reason, and I put myself out there and moved on.

And I think I've done a helluva job moving on. I'm super happy these days.

Anyhow, everyone knows that the best thing that you can do for a relationship is to ignore a guy because that makes him want you again. I wasn't doing that intentionally, but I was off enjoying myself with Chris and Shelby and that meant that I didn't have time to send dirty picture messages to someone who treated me like shit for about 10 months, albeit with brief, periodic episodes of "good boyfriend-ness."

Well, all the ignoring must've reminded him it was time to string his Plan B along, because he's started sending and leaving me messages about how he loves me and he'll do anything (except buy a plane ticket or get in his car and head West, apparently) to keep me. I keep telling him I just don't see it happening for us and that I didn't really think I had any choice but to move on. But he sends his weekly text message to keep the home fires burning, you know.

I've always suspected there was someone else. The ignoring, canceling plans, the top-secret vacation where he shared a room with a mystery girl and her knock-off designer purse, the fact that he wouldn't introduce me to his friends or publish my comments on Myspace, no matter how innocent they were ... you know, shit like that.

Well, suspect no more. I am scrolling through my friends on Myspace the other day, and I notice that his PROFILE picture is him with his face buried in some woman's tits. Hello?! I don't care if he has another girlfriend. In fact, I would prefer it seeing how I am very happily attached to someone who is not him. However, this guy sent me a message saying he loved me and missed me about 20 minutes before he posted these pictures, which were in an album called "My bitch's birthday party." From what I can ascertain, this gal named Christine is his bitch and they celebrated her birthday with some body shots.

Why on God's green earth would you pursue another woman when you are posting pictures of someone who is obviously your girlfriend on your Web site? Why would you go out and get yourself a new girlfriend when you had a perfectly good one who loved you anyway? Whatever, it's over. I wouldn't date anyone who called his girlfriend "my bitch" anyhow. I guess I'm probably better off that he was too ashamed of me to admit that I existed.

It shouldn't hurt. He did me a favor by being a dick. I have an absolutely amazing boyfriend who loves me, and we are very happy together. But it still sucks when someone cheats on you. Especially when they are doing it right under your nose and think that you are still their best offer. I might not be thin, but that doesn't mean that I have to desperately hang on to the hollow promises of some guy because nothing better is going to come along. Chris wasn't the only person interested in me this whole time. I've had lots of interest. I'm pretty, smart, I have a good job. I'm kind, funny and I am pretty good in the kitchen. People are impressed by that. One of my friend's husband used to ask her all the time how I managed to stay single.

The reason I held on was not because I couldn't find anyone else. It was because I didn't want to. At least not until he started treating me like shit.

So, I guess the moral of this story is to never sell yourself short. You might have to kiss a lot of toads, but there are princes out there if we get out there and look.

Tonight, I think I'm going to go drink whiskey and listen to Vern Gosdin tunes with my boyfriend before (and maybe after) the hockey game.