Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Working And Trev Buy A Car: Part II

We fully expected to buy a Hyundai. We’d read so much about Hyundai’s top quality, high resale value and non-inflated pricing. Thing is, Accent only comes in a two-door hatch and the Elantra hatch is just plain ugly (sorry if you own one, it’s all about personal taste and so on).

Trev called me at work, “I found a nice 2003 Mazda Protégé 5. I drove it, too. I like it.”
“Really?” I replied skeptically. I still had visions of Honda Fit’s dancing through my head.

The dealers are only open late on one night in the week. I asked my boss, please, miss, can I be excused early?. She’s a nice boss and she said yes so off we went to what is affectionately known as “car alley”, a string of dealers along one street. We basically parked and walked the length, test driving car after car after car.

I. Hate. Car sales people. What is their deal? Why can’t they just be normal people? One dealer was so desperate to follow up with us that he actually called the Communications Department of the rather large media corporation I work for looking for the “girl named Working with the short, brown hair whose husband is an editor.”

By 8PM, we were discouraged and tired of the whole process. I said to Trevor that I would give all our money to the first sales person who offered to help us buy a car rather than try to Sell us one. I wouldn't even care what kind of car it was or how much.
“Let’s just go see the Protégé,” he said, “I think you’ll like it.”

Bob was the sales rep Trevor had been dealing with. “I like Bob,” Trevor said, “he reminds me of Roy on Coronation Street.”
Indeed he did. In fact, he was really familiar.
“I know you,” Bob said.
“You do?” I replied.
“Yes. Didn’t you used to be on that (local entertainment show) like, a decade ago?”
“Yes. Yes I was.”
“I was in (rocker band)! I was the drummer!”
“Oh yeah! I remember you!” We shook hands and joked about how our hard living lead to our current day jobs.
“So,” Bob said jovially, “When are you due?”

He actually pointed to my belly.

In tomorrow’s episode, Bob’s head is suddenly and viciously separated from his body, splattering blood and bits of internal matter all over the shiny brand new Mazda 3’s. But did Trev and Working go with the Protégé? Stay tuned!

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Snuck Some Time

Sigh. I say I’m going to keep updating and then I fall off the map again. Let’s face it, I’m having trouble 'adjusting' (sneaking illicit updating time into my workday).

I went out on Saturday night intending to have a nice, simple meal with a friend. It was my stupid idea to get a bottle of sake, then go for a pint, then another. And another. Somehow I ended up crashing the wrap party of a show I don’t even work for, have never worked for. My only qualifier was our shows air on the same network. That’s not a lot.

But it was enough to get me in and drunk. Oh yes, I became a boozing mess and then drunk-web-cam’d my husband. “Hey, look what I can do with this thing!” He had a 9AM flight to London.

In other news, I returned to the same martial arts program that lead to my uber-fit self of days gone by. My body is 50 lbs heavier than it was and I feel the extra weight driving my bones into the floor. It crushes my arms into their sockets during simple pushups. All in good time, all in good time, I chant to myself when I feel like giving up. Which is often.

Another thing I’ve learned: sore muscles last quite a bit longer than they used to. So do hangovers.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Link: Blackle

I know, I know, the car buying story. I keep getting distracted by lovely things, like this:

Something about the screen being black saves energy. So I've decided to try it instead of Google.

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

From Away

I was sitting in a freshly cleaned room reading a Robert Goddard book that Notional Past gave me ages ago (I love the book, by the way, NP. Definitely on my list). Suddenly, I found myself thinking about living away. More specifically, coming back after having been living away.

You know how you sit across the table from a person who’s been away for a long time and you can just read that different place in their mannerisms, their way of speaking? It’s like they want to be entirely of the new place because, oh my God, it’s where they were real.

Yes, I’m making fun. I can because I was that annoying tit. I’m thinking specifically about the last time I came home after being away for a long time. It was 2001, I’d gone to teach in Estonia for half a year. It was only half a year but wow, what a half a year!

When I got to Tartu, I was so completely lost. Entirely alone for the first time in my life. The first three months were absolute torture; I would lay awake at night and listen to the party going on down the hall but have no courage to leave my room. I didn’t know you could just joined in.

Then, it all changed. I found things I liked: kickboxing, A. Le Coq beer. Seljanka soup and üks, koks, kolm. And I made friends: Alex, my elegant friend with the white blond hair and the fabulous taste in clothes and clubs. Siret, with the sharp blue eyes, had a fondness for Russian champagne and a cheeky way of mouthing “shweetie” when she addressed me. Anne, a gorgeous and very fun Danish girl who went from boyfriend to girlfriend to boyfriend. Jamie from Calgary, someone who got my jokes and helped me get over the ‘Canadian rah-rah’.

Soon, we were throwing the parties. I became the most social of social butterflies, which I’d never been in my life. I remember one party that was so good that I was still finding pancakes under my bed a full week later.

Suddenly it was April and my contract was up. It was time to leave. I panicked. My friends were supportive and loving but a bit confused at my strong aversion to returning. And when I finally got back, I felt completely out of place. I hated being home. I didn't want to be my old self.

I’m sure people could tell I’d been somewhere. Hell, I’m sure people rolled their eyes at my faux-euro ways. But it didn’t last very long. I settled down and went back to work and soon it was like I’d never even left. Only I had left and I didn’t want to forget who I’d been for a brief half year. “I shall always think of Estonia,” I vowed to myself one particularly sad night.

And then I promptly forgot. Well, it took some time and I didn't completely forget. Every once in awhile I smile with fond remembrance. Especially when I think of my friends. But I’ve packed away the pictures and flags.

Toronto was a foreign experience in a different way. Maybe I did bring a little bit of ‘away’ back with me. I'm not talking about the times I say, and so annoyingly, "back in Toronto we (fill in blank)". I mean something else that I still can't quite put my finger on.

For example, I actually experienced a panic attack this week over suddenly having so many family and friends to visit. I left a perfectly lovely get-together early because I suddenly felt overwhelmed and needed to go back home to my room. Crazy, huh? Toronto sure wasn’t like the Euro experience, but it was an experience nevertheless.

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