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Archive for September, 2009

I made an impulse purchase today

October 1st, 2009 at 03:42 am

Yesterday I took the bike I'd gotten for free off of freecycle about six-years ago to a bike shop to get tuned up. For the past 3 1/2 years it had been locked up on the balcony outside my apartment, and exposed to all the elements. The bike guy took a look at it, and told me that it needed a lot more than just a tune up, and that he'd suggest starting over with a different bike. (rusted chain, rotted/dried out tires/tubes, etc.)

So, this morning while I was at Wal-mart getting a new tire on my car, I checked out the bikes. I ended up getting an 18-speed trail bike for about the same cost as revamping my old bike (10 speed cruiser.) (I also purchased a helmet and a little carry all bag that attaches to the handlebars.)

I took it out for a short spin this morning, and started to get my bike balance back, but not quite all the way yet.

I will definitely need to get a better bike seat soon, if I want to do anything more than a short bike ride. Smile

*I am planning on looking for a place/someone to teach me basic bike care and maintenance. Now that I have a new/nice bike, I'd like to know how to keep it nice for as long as possible.

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This move is benefiting me financially, emotionally (related to not having to worry so much about stretching min wage dollars + going to school), and also physically since I have two good excuses to be active every single day.

At my new home I have been taking the landlady's two dogs out for a walk everyday. One of the dogs is quite overweight, and only goes for a short bit. The other one though, I can't seem to tire her out!

So, once I get a bit more steady/confident on my bike, I'll take her out on a short bike ride and see if I can manage to finally tire her out.

In fact, the dogs have come to expect it. Tonight I got caught up watching a television program on TLC that my landlady was watching. Both of the dogs kept paying attention to me - wagging tails, etc. Finally, when the program was over, I stood there talking with* (not really with, more like nodding head and being polite) the landlady.

The larger dog kept staring up at me with her big Beagle eyes, and the hyper one started jumping up on me while wagging her tail. Finally, I managed to get away to the restroom. When I came out, both dogs were laying in front of the door waiting for me. LOL!

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*In case I don't have a chance to read and comment on others blogs until this weekend - I'm working two long days in a row, so may not be able to catch up on blog reading till Saturday afternoon.

Murphy Teased Me

September 27th, 2009 at 08:35 pm

So yesterday I was heading to my mom and stepdad's. We were going to go see "The Promise." I was hungry, so halfway there decided to stop at Sonic and get a grilled cheese. (I love grilled cheese.)

I pulled up a bit too far and managed to hit the cement stop - not hard, but a good bump.

When I finished eating, I started back on my way. I heard a scraping sound. At first I thought it was just the scraping sound you hear sometimes when the bottom of your car somehow manages to get too close to the ground. But, it continued as I began to accelerate onto the highway.

So, I pulled off onto the shoulder and got out to take a look and see if I could figure out what was going on.

Here's what I saw:


I tried putting it back into the wheel well. At first I couldn't figure out how to get it back in at all. Finally, I did manage to get it back in (sort of.) Then I drove slowly along the shoulder - still heard the scraping sound.

Luckily I was very near an exit, so kept my emergency blinkers on and slowly drove towards the exit. With all the car troubles I've had in the past few months, I was worried that the scraping sound was BAD NEWS.

I managed to get off the freeway and parked onto a shoulder on the frontage road. At this point I called my roadside service. (Thankfully, my year began again on September 23.)

During this time I had also called my mom and stepdad. Not knowing how long all of this would take, they went ahead and released our tickets for the program. My mom was planning on coming to pick me up in case my car had to be towed.

Finally the tow truck driver/roadside assistance person showed up. I showed him what the problem was.

He told me that it was the inner fender that had broken out of its proper place, and that there were two options. One, take it to repair shop and have them rebolt it into place, or Two, take a knife and just cut the hanging part off.

I opted for option number two. So, he took a knife and cut it off. I asked if I needed to sign anything, but he told me I didn't. So .. I am thinking that this may not count toward my 4 calls for the year.

So ... thanks Murphy for just teasing me a bit. I guess even he's got a sense of humor. Big Grin

Lost bag - Need Pants

September 25th, 2009 at 02:24 am

During the time I was doing my packing on Friday, I made sure to put a change of work clothes and a pair of workout clothes in my gym bag. That way I would be ready and raring to go Monday morning no matter how much had or hadn't been unpacked.

Unfortunately, that bag has not shown up anywhere yet. It may be in the garage - but I just haven't come across it.

In it, is the only pair of non-jeans pants that fit me right now. It is getting cooler here in Texas, and so I am probably going to be wanting long pants sooner rather than later.

Also, the pair of jean capris that I wear to work a lot are starting to wear out. I've had them 3 or 4 years I think.

So, probably this weekend, I ought to look for a new pair of pants - but I don't think I'll replace the capris just yet.

I hate shopping for pants. It is SO hard to find ones that fit me. I might just start off at Lane Bryant (where my lost pair came from) and hope they have some great sale going on right now. Ugh!

Of course, as soon as I buy the new pair, the bag is going to show up. That's how it works. :roll eyes:

Moving and Midnight Parties

September 23rd, 2009 at 01:53 am

I have been quite busy the past few days, and am just now having a few moments to sit down and check in with ya'll.

Midnight Parties:

Friday night about 12:15 p.m. my downstairs neighbors decided that was a perfect time to have a party. Music with a steady beat vibrating my floor, and of course, the best place to congregate was in the foyer. The foyer which is tiled. And in which sound carries easily up the stairs.

After about 20 minutes of this, I finally called the police. About 40 minutes later the music was somewhat turned down, but of course they continued their constant drunken chatter in the foyer. (I could hear the lids of of their bottles clink on the floor.) I finally managed to get to sleep, and was able to sleep in.

Saturday I spent from about 6 pm till midnight packing. I realized I still needed at least a few more hours to be ready, so set my alarm for 5:45 a.m.

At 12:15 p.m. the music started again, although at a lower volume, and the chit chat group began again. About 1:30 I had enough, so I went out and said, "Senors, por favor, ustedes hablamos en el apartmento." (Sirs, please talk in the apartment.) They looked at me like I was loony. Then they responded in rapid fire Spanish. Uh... yeah. Didn't get that, sorry. Pretty much exhausted my knowledge of Spanish just now.

So, I went back to my apartment and had the pleasure of listening to them continue to talk loudly in the foyer until 3 a.m. Then I finally was able to go to sleep.

Needless to say when I woke up Sunday morning, I was dead tired. So, of course I needed some good music with a loud beat to wake me up. :snerk: (I made sure my music could not be heard outside my door - but I do have a subwoofer - so lets just hope the downstairs neighbors weren't light sleepers.)

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The Move:

Somehow, even with all the stuff I gave away recently, I still have WAY TOO MUCH stuff! It took me way longer to pack then I thought it would - and I even had to ask my mom and stepdad to help me - and we still didn't get everything before the movers arrived. (And the movers arrived an hour late!!)

I've gotta say, it was really, really, nice to not have to carry any boxes down or load up the truck. The three guys got everything taken care of boom, boom, boom!

On the way to my new home, I got us lost. Frown I knew exactly how to go, but somehow I managed to get this idea in my head that we had to take the left exit instead of the right exit!! Luckily I figured it out right away, so it only added maybe 15 minutes (by the time we got turned around.)

My mom and stepdad arrived at the destination well before we did. Mom told me she likes my landlady, and is satisfied with the neighborhood. (She *hated* the apartment complex where I'd been living.)

The movers got everything moved in pretty quickly. The one that I paid at the end was extremely honest. I accidentally gave him an extra $100. He came back and asked me if I'd meant to give him that much. Whooh! I'd meant to give him a $40 tip (they really did a great job.)

I just love the dogs and cats. They are so sweet. Smile Maybe tomorrow I can get pictures of them. (My landlady keeps the lights off pretty much all the time - and doesn't seem to use the a/c either.)

Here is a picture of my room. What you can't see in the picture is my dresser. But I think this gives a pretty good idea of the size of the room. Big Grin



My drive to work is virtually the same distance and time as before. So, that is good news to me. Smile

Tomorrow I don't work, so I'll be going back to my apartment to try and get the remainder of my stuff and start working on cleaning it. I still need a box large enough for my pictures, so will have to go back again probably on Friday after work. Hopefully at that time, I will be able to turn my keys in.

Ok, I better get going. I still have classwork I need to get done before tomorrow night.

We Don't Do It Your Way

September 18th, 2009 at 01:00 am

Remember when BK had the slogan "We Do It Your Way"? Well, apparently they don't adhere to that anymore.

Tonight I stopped by BK because I was wanting a veggieburger, but since I'm moving in a few days, I didn't want to add to my freezer contents. (by buying a box of them)

Well, they have the Mushroom and Swiss steakburger. I LOVE Mushroom and Swiss. When I was in highschool in Minnesota at a boarding academy I would walk into town twice a month to Hardee's and get their Mushroom and Swiss - hold the burger. Smile Texas doesn't have Hardee's. Frown

Anyway. I ordered a BK Veggie Burger and asked them to put mushrooms and swiss on it. I was told they couldn't do that. So I said, well then, could you give me the steakburger, but just switch out the veggieburger for the steakburger? Nope, can't do that.

Arghh!!! Seriously, how hard is it to add mushrooms and swiss to a different sandwich??

So at any rate, I've made some progress on my getting ready for Sunday's move. My freezer is completely defrosted, and all my books are packed up. I've tossed some clothing that needed badly to be tossed. Next I need to get my kitchen all packed up.

Tomorrow I'll be working from 6 to 11, and then I have to do a library observation from 3 to 5 (for one of my classes) so I'm going to have to pack fast. Most likely I'll end up leaving some of it to be packed Saturday night and early Sunday morning before the movers get here.

RIP Patrick Swayzee :(

September 15th, 2009 at 03:06 am

A great man and talented actor has lost his battle with pancreatic cancer tonight.

Tomorrow night I will be watching "Dirty Dancing" in his honor.

Tonight, however I will watch this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RajNvJ3bCU

Patrick Swayzee and Chris Farley on SNL doing their Chippendale skit. Laughing through the sadness.

The bed is gone ... Finally!

September 13th, 2009 at 10:41 pm

The person who was supposed to come pick up my bed this morning never showed - and never responded to my email asking exactly when they'd be here.

So, at 2 pm today I posted an ad on Craigslist stating I had a free King size bed, etc. The first person to respond to my ad who told me their name, a phone number AND an exact time they could come pick it up - would get the bed. Any responses without all that info would be deleted.

I ended up getting about 20 responses. Of them, I deleted 10 due to not including all the information. The first person who responded actually hadn't included all the info in their first email, then I guess they must have reread the ad. Smile

They just now left with it.

My place is really, really empty now.

I have my couch/futon, my stereo, my elliptical, my freezer, my computer desk/computer, a stand up pantry, two dressers, two nightstands, 4 bookshelves, treadle sewing machine and of course my clothes and kitchen stuff. I could easily fit in a 500 sq ft or smaller apartment now.

Wow, when I list it that way, it still sounds like a lot of stuff doesn't?

So now I guess I can really start packing my stuff up in earnest. Although, I think I may try to pare down my kitchen stuff a good bit (maybe give a couple boxes of it to Family Place). Any kitchen stuff I keep will be in boxes for the next two years or so - so I need to decide how much is really worth keeping for two years in boxes.

One week from today I will be living with two cats and two dogs. YAY! No vet bills or food bills for them - just all the loving and scritches they'll put up with from me. Big Grin

I'll also have cable - I wonder if I'm going to get rehooked on Army Wives. (****whistling***) That reminds me, I need to call and cancel my dsl service. Big Grin

*So far, so good with the car. My iPhone came in real handy on the way home Friday. I had to get off the highway to get gas, and ended up missing my connection. So, instead of turning around and hoping I'd get back going the right way, I used the Maps function. It gave me a new route from my then current location. It took me through some areas I normally would have tried to avoid, but it was mid-afternoon, so not too bad.

If I Couldn't Laugh, I Would Cry

September 11th, 2009 at 01:15 am

So today I was updating someone on my whole car situation. They asked me why I had a big smile on my face. I asked them what was my alternative? Cry? Stomp my feet? Throw things?

Later on in the day after having yet another update on my car, I resorted to maniacal laughter.

My car's fixed and ready to be picked up. (Will be picking it up tomorrow after work.) My radio however is fried.

The mechanic told me I should think about getting a less expensive radio. The radio that fried is the factory radio. (I had a different one in there years ago which got ripped out of the dashboard by some people who needed it more than I did - so lived without a radio for two years until I found someone who could fix the broken wiring and reinstall the factory radio.)

I think, with my iPhone, I will just do without a radio for now.

Very generous offer today. My dad and grandma have picked up on the fact that it more than likely would be very difficult for me to find a bank who'd be willing to give me a car loan. So, they've offered to pay for a car (2 -3 yr old) and then once I'm graduated and have a job, we'd work out a payment schedule.

I can't do another week like this. I think I am going to start seriously looking at possible car options.

Until you are without a car, you don't truly realize just how much freedom and mobility a car gives you.

Maybe get back with Hyundai's? My first car was a Hyundai - it was a good little car. I drove it for three years, then sold it to my parents and they drove it for another two years. (I put on about 20k miles in 3 years - my dad put on about 60k miles in 2 years. He was a pastor at that time. It started with 33k miles.)

What I Let Go Of Today

September 9th, 2009 at 06:12 pm

Here are pictures of what I let go of today (taken with my iPhone camera.)

I haven't gone through my kitchen items yet. Today though the main thing was to get the furniture/big items out while their driver was someone capable of handling furniture.

Box of various items - makeup bags, box of notecards, etc.



Tivo (Dual Tuner, 80 Hr)



Entertainment Center, TV, Bean bag



Recliner, Corner shelf



2 laundry bags of clothes, a box of clothes, a box of various items (2.4 ghz answering phone + extra phone, stuffed bears, photo frames, alarm/radio clock, plug in night light, iron, etc.)



Table & chairs (ironing board not in picture)



Video and CD shelves, Bed recliner










Impending Move Getting More Real - Car

September 9th, 2009 at 02:53 am

Today I got a phone call from the place I'm going to be donating a bunch of stuff to. I'd wanted them to come next Wednesday so it'd be closer to my actual move date. But the lady told me that their driver (male) who could handle furniture would be on vacation as of the 11th.

So .. he's coming over tomorrow afternoon to pick up the furniture and whatever else I have ready to go. (I can have their other driver come again next week to pick up non-furniture items I don't have ready.)

Today Mr B who was my teacher's assistant years ago drove me home from work - the second time this week. (He's probably going to pick me up on Thursday night as well.) I wanted to do something for him to thank him. So I asked if he'd be interested in my vcr/dvd combo or my rolling office chair. He was very interested in both - so they are now gone!

Tomorrow evening my apartment is really going to start looking empty.

Sunday afternoon after my bed is removed, it will look even more emptier.

It really hit me today that a week from this Sunday I will no longer live in an apartment, nor will I be living alone anymore. Weird feeling.

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So, a car update. Le sigh. Screaming my head off and throwing random objects. (Okay, okay. Not reality - just a fantasy.)

Anyway. S, the original mechanic, checked out my car today. After being told over and over and over again that it is NOT the alternator --- it IS the alternator.
Oy vey!

I expressed to him my great frustration with everything car related and money outgo. I asked him if there was anyway to tell what damage was done by Saturday's explosion. Nope - not until the alternator is fixed.

So ... I told him to go ahead and fix it. He's also going to keep the car for a few days for testing - make sure it is running right before handing it back to me.

Thankfully I don't work tomorrow, so I don't have to come up with rides to and from work. Thursday, E has said he'll pick me up again (6 a.m.) and Mr. B will bring me back home. Friday morning ... I'm not sure yet how I'll get there - maybe E again (5:40 am.) Then hopefully after work my mom or stepdad can take me to get my car.

One thing I can be very thankful for right now is that I'm taking my classes all online. Otherwise I'd have to worry about how to get to and from classes as well as work.

Sigh ... Car Update

September 7th, 2009 at 07:51 pm

Well ... Friday afternoon I got a ride home from work. Called the tow truck people at 2:40 p.m. Tow truck finally showed up about 4:45 pm. Mechanic shop was closing at 6 - I was starting to panic.

Even with a few traffic snarls, we made it to the mechanics by 5:30. Mom and stepdad picked me up from the mechanics.

Saturday I called at noon to find out what was happening. Was told they'd call me when they knew more - but that it def. wasn't the starter or alternator.

I knew they were closing at 3 - so I called them again at 2:50. Was told to go ahead and come to get the car - it should be ready to go in 30 minutes. They said there'd been an electrical short in the front and back, and my 3 week old battery was burnt out. So, I'd have to take my car to Firestone to get a replacement battery.

Mom and I got there about 3:30. They pulled my car up to the garage with a car starter thingy hanging off the battery. After taking it off, they shut the hood and told me it was fine to go to Firestone. (Paid $85.)

Got in and gave it a little gas. Weird clicking noise. Gave it a little more gas. POP! BANG! Smoke starts pouring out my middle console.

I immediately turn around and take it back to the garage - they've already closed up tight. So I beep my horn and they come out.

My car gets put back in the garage and I'm told they'll look at it on Tuesday.

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Nearly 4 days spent at my mom's reminded me why it would NOT work for us to ever share space for more than a few short days.

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So, tomorrow E is picking me up in the am so I can be at work. Then depending on the car verdict, my stepdad or my mom will pick me up and take me home, or take me to the car mechanic to pick up my car.

Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. This was NOT how I wanted to spend my long weekend.

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Oh, both my mom and stepdad hated Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. They just didn't get the humor - thought it was the stupidest movie they'd ever seen. Oh well. To each their own, right?

We did see The Librarian: Quest for the Spear of Destiny with Noah Wyle (sp?) of ER fame. It was really good/funny. Sort of similar to Indiana Jones, but a lot less intense.

Not Again!!!!!!!

September 3rd, 2009 at 12:32 pm

So, this morning I go out to my car to head to work. The car doesn't start.

I'm waiting on a cab right now. $32 one way + tip.

When is this going to end???

I hate to say it, but taking my dad and grandma up on their offer is sounding more and more appealing - though I don't know that I could even qualify for a car loan right now.

Ugh and double ugh!!!!

I Succumbed :) - Library furlough??

September 3rd, 2009 at 01:39 am

I thought about it and thought about it. I took everyone's thoughts and opinions into consideration. Then, I made the decision.

I upgraded to an iPhone. Big Grin

It made me almost faint seeing the total bill for the phone + a protective case I got for it (will be reimbursed by dad and grandma - put it on my cc so I get reward points.)

I am in lurve.

The GPS function I haven't really used very much yet - and so far I'm holding off on doing the $10 extra feature GPS. (You have GPS functioning w/turn by turn directions for free - the fee is for spoken out loud directions.)

The internet though, and a bunch of apps, I am making a lot of use of.

One of the first apps I bought ($2) was iTreadmill. Basically it is a pedometer. You stick the iPhone in your pocket as you walk or run. The app counts your steps and measures your distance/time/speed/calories burnt. When you're finished, you can then save the results into a history log. Then you can see your progress (or lack thereof.) Big Grin

Next I got the free Pandora app. I love Pandora.com and have really missed it working at the gym w/no internet access. For those of you who don't know what Pandora is, it is a website where you can pretty much create your own music stations, based on names of songs you input and then the website finding similar songs and your giving thumbs up or thumbs down.

Tonight as I was driving home I was getting annoyed by the endless chatter on every radio station I listen to - so, I pushed on my Pandora app, and listened to music all the way home. Big Grin

I have some other free apps too that I really like - one for Facebook, another one called Yelp! which helps you find stores, etc that are close to you, etc.

It took me some trial and error, but I have figured out how to get into and use the Blackboard site where all of my classes are located. I am able to open and read the discussion boards, open and read the powerpoint lectures, as well as other needed functions.

That is probably the most valuable aspect.

Right now I'm still in the infatuated phase and am probably spending way too much time on it (using up a full charge 2 x in a day --- Big Grin )

Today I spent way too much time watching youtube videos. Got my fill of cute kitties. Big Grin

I have experienced a few annoyances with it though - such as I bought one song from the itunes store (Colbie Calliat - Bubbly) and then when I synced it with my computer today, the song was taken off my iPhone and put on my computer only. Frown The other thing I haven't been able to get to work yet is the voice activated calling system.

If I get off at 3 tomorrow, I'm going to stop by the store and see if someone can help me figure out what's going on.

What can I say? I'm hook, line and sinker - hooked!

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The Dallas libraries are closing on Friday for a furlough day. (There's a second one later, can't remember when.)

While that makes me sad that the libraries are having to do this, I am also a bit confused as to their reasoning.

What do I mean? Well the branch that I go to most often is always closed on Thursdays. All the other branches, except for the Central location, have always had at least one day where they are closed each week on a rotating basis.

So guess what they're doing? All the branches except for two, are going to be open on Thursday. That just means that my branch will be closed this week on Friday instead of Thursday. Huh? It doesn't make a lot of sense to me - but, I guess that is government for you, right?

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I stopped at the library today and picked up a copy of Hitchhiker's Guide. My mom has never seen it, so this weekend she's in for a treat. Big Grin

Soon she'll know why I grin like mad when I say: "So long and thanks for all the fish." And won't look at me like I'm losing it when I tell her, "Today is towel day! Where's your towel?"


42 everybody!