Does anybody read these?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


The proverbial shit has hit the fan in these parts.

There's disaster with the house, and I'll probably have to move. I'm really not happy about that. We'll see. I'm meeting with a realtor today to look at other houses in my neighborhood. I like my neighborhood.

Really, if I have to move, aside from a zillion man hours re-packing all the shit I just unpacked and moving it, what have I lost? Some money, which would be made up with a lower purchase price. A couple of gallons of paint that I will need to repaint the new house (and the old house). A few fixtures that I've replaced - new faucets, new lights...although I haven't ruled out swapping those yet. I am very partial to the track lights in my kitchen, and they don't seem to have them at the store anymore.

I'm very upset about the whole thing. It's nothing I did. I've worked my ass off to be a homeowner. It's more the fault of all those folks who got loans they couldn't pay. The foreclosure rates are so high that no one's property has value right now. That really, really sucks.

But, maybe it's time for stainless steel appliances and new kitchen counters? Glad I hadn't done that yet. Not looking forward to repainting the pink bathroom or Michelle's teal bedroom OR an entire new house, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

After all, I won't believe that any housing deal will go through in this market until I see it with my own eyes.

Wow, our country is jacked up. Kudos to the folks occupying Wall Street, not that I think Wall Street really cares who they're screwing over.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

The mom-mobile (and other cars)

Today is the 100th anniversary of Chevrolet.

In case you're new to this blog, I will let you know right up front that I am highly biased when it comes to Chevy cars and trucks.

I am from Detroit. My father and his siblings worked for Generous Motors, as we always called it.

I have only driven two cars that were not Chevrolets. One was a 1986 Plymouth Horizon that my grandma lent to me when I got a job at the local newspaper, which was five miles from my campus apartment. The Ho-ho, as it was called, got me around town, was easy to park and went like a BEAST in the snow. It was a good little car.

After graduation, I drove a Pontiac Sunfire for nine months, until it met its untimely demise at the hand of a lady who was apparently absent on "red means stop" day of driver's ed. I bought the Sunfire because the dealer where I bought it neglected to tell me they had no Chevy Cavaliers with automatic transmissions. It was pretty much the same car, anyhow.

I learned how to drive a Cavalier, and I pretty much drove Cavaliers until I bought my HHR in 2009. I love my HHR. It looks super cool (although the white is kind of hearse-like), it has tons of room. I can haul stuff, I can go camping, and I still get 26 miles to the gallon.

Everyone in my family has a Chevrolet. We're not big fans of biting the hand that feeds you, and dad's employee discount makes it hard to say no to GM. Our trucks are Silverados and our cars are Cobalts. And then there's me with my crossover vehicle. (Actually, Grandma wanted an HHR but settled for a Cobalt, and my Aunt Lil bought an HHR after riding in mine.)

Yesterday, when I drove by my local Chevy dealer, I noticed there were not nearly as many HHRs on the lot as there usually are. When I sat down in front of a computer, I read that GM has phased out the HHR after 2011. Apparently because the PT Cruiser has been phased out, they feel like there is less market for my little retro station wagon/SUV.

That makes me sad. The HHR is a great car. I actually had someone ask me about one yesterday and I recommended it wholeheartedly. In fact, the only real issue I've had with mine is that my salesman told a little fibbaroo about it having XM radio.

It's tempting to replace mine before they're all gone, especially when I think about the great deals they are sure to offer on the remaining inventory. But, at the same time, I know that there will be another great GM car that will come along and it will be waiting for me when I am ready for a new one (which I hope will be a long, long time from now).

When I bought my car in 2009, I worried that GM might go bankrupt and I wouldn't have anything to drive. If there were no General Motors products, what would I drive? A Ford, I guess, since I am committed to buying vehicles from American companies made by union workers. And I do catch myself looking at the Ford Fusion once in a while...

GM is stronger today than it has been in years. Gov. Jennifer Granholm tweeted yesterday that Michigan is second in the nation in economic recovery, in large part due to the automotive sector. Buying American (not just cars) helps. Yes, you can get foreign cars for less money, but I've seen Kias and Hyundais that don't last nearly as long and are built to be disposable. As someone who has been driving GM products for 20 years now, I don't see the quality lag that people always blame for buying Hondas and Toyotas instead. My Cavalier, which I sold at 6 years old to a friend, only needed a replaced fuel pump before it met its untimely demise at the hands of a Mini Cooper. And, even then, it was sold to someone who planned to fix it. My dad's 1989 Silverado, that he sold seven years ago for 500 bucks, is still on the road today.

Happy Birthday, Chevy. Here's to 100 more.

Song of the day: "Like A Rock" by Bob Seger.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Mother knows best

I don't know if I've mentioned this here, but I talk to my mom on the phone everyday on my way to work. It helps me keep in touch with her, because I miss her and she's my biggest cheerleader.

Today I tell her that I am going to Weight Watchers, but I am dreading it because I am sure I gained weight. (It was much worse than I imagined, for those keeping track at home.)

She tells me: I know you hate it, but you just need to write down everything you eat. Not just because you need to keep track of what you're eating, but why you're eating. It can be not only a food journal, but a real journal too. So when you lose 100 pounds and people want to know your story, it will already be written.

I thought about that for a bit, but then I realized a few things. First of all, I'm not a huge fan of other people's inspirational stories. Yes, I have tons of friends who have had success with weight loss and they do have inspirational stories. My TOPS pals have been huge inspirations for me. But, as we all know, my journey to become the super-sized version of me really started when I found myself surrounded by people with disordered thinking about their bodies and their eating habits. So, I try to avoid first-person testimonials most of the time. And secondly, the readers of my blog did not sign up for a play-by-play on my weight loss journey (which, to date, has not really left the parking lot). I hate when folks get on some sort of idea and their blogs go off on some crazy tangent to Uninteresting Land, and I am not going to do that to you all.

Don't get me wrong, there may be a post or two about my internal struggle with a cupcake, especially if I can make it funny. But I won't be telling you how much lettuce I ate, how many points I get or if I went to the gym. Unless, of course, there's a story there. There aren't many stories about lettuce, and rightly so.

I have huge, major hesitation about Weight Watchers, and I have a feeling my time there will be short-lived. I paid $99 through the end of the year, and that will be fine, but it really is expensive. I don't really dig how much money people make off me losing weight. It kind of makes me feel skeevy.

But, I need accountability and TOPS is not that convenient here. Still, maybe I will try to find a meeting that works for me. Maybe I will find a group of "diet buddies" that don't cost $12/week. I know what to do; I just need folks to hold me accountable. If no one asks about me going to the gym, I won't go. Even though I know I NEED to, losing weight and becoming healthier just isn't a priority for me, no matter what I do. Yeah, my knees hurt and my pants don't fit, but I don't hate myself anymore, and that's worth way more than $12/week to me.

Sometimes I wish I did. Maybe it would all be easier then. Maybe I'd be looking for that magic pill.

I don't know. I'm going to start working out again, so that will help.

Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


And with the turn of the calendar page, my favorite holiday has faded into memories for another year.

So, I'm doing what any person distressed by Halloween being over would do: I'm planning Thanksgiving.

The evites are sent, the menu is planned, and I'm still on the hunt for some more plates.

If only I had a table...

I'm also hoping, although this may be a long shot, that The Money Pit will officially be mine by Thanksgiving. Even if it's not, we'll still have champagne, but I'd really like to be done with all this house-buying nonsense. It's very time-consuming. If I have to fax or email one more document, I may scream.

But before we can finish purchasing the house, we'll need an appraisal. So, that explains why I'm going home to clean and move furniture tonight. I need the house to look like it's worth what I'm paying for it.

I think it will be fine, but I do want to paint the bathrooms a) to give myself peace of mind and b) because I finally picked out colors for the damn things. Maybe that will be this weekend's project.

This morning I saw a tweet that said there are eight weeks left in the year, so now's the time to start working on all those New Year's promises we've neglected.

If only I had that kind of time.

It's also the beginning of National Novel Writing Month, but I'm not even going to try. I know I won't have to crank out 50,000 words. But I promise I will write my book someday. I'm just not sure when. Maybe I'll at least get some more thoughts out. Maybe I'll find the handwritten missing chapter that's on a legal pad when I unpack those last few boxes.

Yep. There's still lots to do. Just as soon as I get the Halloween decorations packed in the attic for next year...