Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Working And Trev Buy A Car: Part I

“Regina Mazda, Karl speaking.”
”Hi Karl. My name is Working. I bought a car from you two days ago and the engine light just came on.”
"Did it, now."

* * *

Trev has no great passion for cars. He drives, but he’s been happily sans auto his whole adult life. So it’s kind of funny that he came for a weeklong visit and I decided we’d spend the entire time trying to buy a car.
His first week off since Christmas.
Plus, I basically threw Lemon Aid guides* at him and wished him luck while I went and hid at work.
I know.
I’m such a great wife.

I’m not the type who can show up on the lot, get a good feeling and buy a car. I have to obsess and worry. I have to eat, sleep and dream cars. Aveo’s, Matrixes, Civics, Fits and Versas dancing through my head for a week solid. People who asked me how I was doing were treated to lectures on leases, loans and extended warranties.

The resounding advice from, like, everyone is we’d be crazy to buy new. Cars these days are apparently made well enough to run upwards of 300,000 Km without needing major repair work, so why waste your money just for the privilege of driving it off the lot new?

And so we entered the murky world of used car sales.

In tomorrow’s entry, Trev says, “I don’t know why I said that! It just came out of my mouth!”

* car buying BIBLES

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Wait! I'm Here! Keep Reading!

Oh, lovies, it’s been too long. I’ve missed you terribly. So many things to talk about that I’ll have to do it in a series so that I can catch up:
  • Working And Trevor Buy A Car (or, How Not To Negotiate)
  • How To Party In Saskatoon (or, How I Avoided A Fist Fight At Lydia’s)
  • The Cutest Kids In The World (or, What I’ve Learned About Birth Control).

But let’s get started with the basics – the setting. I’m successfully back on the prairies, working at the Corp. and ensconced in my parents’ basement. Down the hall lives my stepbrother, who is a full time student and rarely ever there. He’s a nice kid and his new girlfriend is a darling. He often lets the dog out to pee when I call at lunch to say I’m too lazy to come home.

Upstairs live my parents, my stepsister and her daughter, the granddaughter. The granddaughter, my niece, is seven and she enjoys My Little Pony and Barbie, hates ice cream and has a busier social life than I do.

But that’s really it, which is unusual to me. The big house really is more quiet than ever. My parents have eight kids between them and the place has always had a revolving door of kids, boyfriends, girlfriends and friends. You often only knew who was dating who just by seeing who showed up to Sunday brunch. Not so much anymore.

It’s extraordinarily comfortable, though. The downstairs fridge is always well stocked with beer and pop. The upstairs fridge is full of leftovers made up into plates. In the freezer, there are fudgesickles and frozen blueberry pancakes. In the cupboards, chips and cookies and soups. A veritable abundance of everything, bought in bulk. I came here to lose some weight and I’ve gained five lbs..

Sassy, their semi-feral cat, refuses to come into the house since my Charlie moved in. She’s staging a protest by living under the deck. It’s getting colder out. She better give it up sooner or later. Charlie is fascinated by her, which doesn’t help. She has had a reputation for years of being a fierce biter and slightly crazy. I miss my Kiwi.

My parents’ dog, Annie, is part husky and a real talker. Every morning I throw on my running gear (in which I have yet to actually run) and boot the two whining dogs out the back door to wait for me while I assemble leashes, baggies, balls and chuck-it’s. A five-minute walk away is a great dog park, the only one in the city. It’s basically a prairie field enclosed by a chain link fence on one side, a winding creek on the other. Not many people use it early in the morning. Annie is finally not huffing and puffing as much as she did when I first started taking her out. She is also starting to look more like a side table than a coffee table.


Living at my parents' is pretty posh. Tonight I actually have to go home, eat the supper that's been made and clean my room. I feel like a total teenager. At the same time, I also feel like a visitor. I still am, really. This wasn’t ever really My House. I was in my twenties when my dad married my stepmom and I’ve lived away for a lot of that time.

It will take me awhile to relax and find my groove. But I promise I’ll blog more.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Random

I just spent a very lovely lunch hour at my desk catching up on Corrie Canuck episode updates. Gosh, but I love those guys. They make me laugh. In related news, PVR’s are back ordered two months in this town. I’m drinking more pints than usual, a classic symptom of Corrie withdrawal.

Trevor arrives tonight for a 9-day visit. Back in Toronto, there is a six year-old black cat sitting in the middle of an empty house going, “WTF.” My poor boy.

So, are you any good at your new job, you ask? I’m not sure. It’s hard to tell with these things. No one has really yelled at me yet. They gave me my own email address. So that’s something.

It's worth noting that I work in the same general space as French Television, full of beautiful women journalists with Quebecois accents. You know the look: slim, elegant, so very je-ne-sais-quois. If I swang that way, I'd be enjoying myself. As it is, I only glare at them jealously (usually as I reach for another piece of licorice or spiced carrot cake or cheese).

I had my identity stolen last week. No, that's not fancy talk for my feelings on leaving Toronto. And actually, I don’t consider my credit card my identity. But it was stolen. And whoever stole it spent $500 at Claires. Claires! Come on, people!! I honestly thought I would attract a higher class of thief. 18 or older, at least.

I had two weblog celeb sightings last night: Reality Faker and Schmutzie! Both as wonderful in real life. It’s good to be back.

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Map Of War

Fascinating.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Office Work

There’s something about working in an office environment that wants me to grow my nails longer so that they go click-click-click on my keyboard.

There’s something about working in a building with a cafeteria that makes me want to buy black licorice and coffee three times a day.

There’s something about working in a newsroom that makes me want to have my own mug, complete with a smart-ass saying like, “the more you complain, the less I help.” Or, “I try to take one day at a time (but sometimes several days attack me at once).”

In other news, when you’re out of debt, employed and married, wow, do banks ever treat you differently. I remember trying to get a consolidation loan a few years ago, one of many. I was really on the edge. If the loan didn’t come through, I honestly didn’t know how I was going to make rent or buy food.

It was a squeaker and the bank let me know it. They even made me cut up several credit cards. I felt like a horrible person and vowed to get myself out of the financial mess so I would never have to make that call again.

Today I looked into getting us a car loan. It was a very different experience.

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Sorry, I've Been Overwhelmed

All is well, all is well. The family politics have eased. For the first time in a long time, I can truly say, what tension? It's like when a storm finally breaks.

I'm not used to the new routine yet and despite the very comfortable and familiar surroundings of my parents' house, I'm not sleeping so much. But Charlie is settling right in. She enjoys long prairie grass, ducks, beavers and gopher holes. Haven't seen an actual gopher yet, which is odd. Did they, er, 'take care of them'?

This blog is truly misnamed because I'm thousands of kilometers from home and I no longer work five feet from my couch. I now have to rush to walk the dog, eat breakfast and find wearable clothes because I work with people. Actual other people. In an office. And not just an office, an open newsroom. I'm too scared to check Facebook or update my blog because local television and radio celebs keep walking by and can see exactly what I'm doing.

So I can already tell I'm going to spend a lot of time looking very busy. I'm grateful half of my days are in the field. So actually, I'll be working from other people's homes.

Oh, for God's sake, why is CBC is playing Nickelcrap? This is exactly what I'm trying to avoid.

Speaking of the Mothership, here's some breaking news:

Many parents think they're helping their baby's language by letting them watch a Baby Einstein DVD, but the opposite might be the case, according to a study out Tuesday.

The study found that with every hour per day spent viewing baby DVDs and videos, infants between the ages of eight and 16 months learned about 10 per cent fewer new vocabulary words compared to babies who never watched the targeted programming. Link.

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Arrived

(First, an editorial note. Notional Past corrected me on the term “projection” versus “displacement” when it comes to loving pets like children. I totally meant displacement.)

So here I am. Back on the prairies. It turns out this city is not is not so strange afterall. As my sister drove me to our parents’ house, I saw the lights of the summer Exhibition, immediately thought of mini donuts and salivated. Pavlov’s classical conditioning in full effect.

While I thought I saw evidence of some urban expansion as the plane circled, it is still seems very much the city I remember. There was left over pizza in the fridge, too. I swear, Toronto needs to send representatives to learn how to make this stuff.

Charlie-the-dog has had enough. It’s been a harsh week for the animals. First The Boo took her leave, then Charlie and I took ours. We left behind Kiwi, who is known to howl for days over loss, and of course Trevor, who may at this second be reaching for the ibuprofen and a shotgun.

Poor Charlie. Picture this: you are shoved into a box and then hurtled to 40,000 feet in the bottom of a steel tube. You sit for 8 hours in your own urine. You arrive, terrified, in a place that smells completely unfamiliar. And you have no idea what just happened or why. You can only wonder how your owner could be so cruel (okay, that might be projecting).

Exhausted, we both slept through the night. I woke up at 5:30 AM and took the girls (my parents also have a dog) to the park. It was cool and crisp. I breathed deeply and gazed at all of that sky.

Charlie jumped into the creek.

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Leaving On A Jet Plane

Thank you for all of your sympathy. I means the world.

I get on a plane in a few hours and I haven’t packed and here I am writing to you. Avoidance, anyone? It’s not that I’m not in love with the plan anymore. It’s just that yesterday’s events completely finished me. I want to curl up in a ball and sleep for a month. Instead, I’m about to leave my husband, return to a complicated family and start a new job in a city that is practically a stranger to me.

About the only thing good that has come out of Boo’s death is when Trevor said, “maybe we should have a kid.”
“Say what?”
“Well, if we’re going to project this much love and devotion onto our animals, maybe it’s time to think about projecting it onto a human.”

He also said the following this morning:
“I’m sad you’re leaving.”
“I’m sad I’m leaving, too. But we’re going to still have a relationship. It’ll just be different. Virtual.”
“Futuristic. Hey, we could pretend we both part of the Federation and you’re on one ship and I’m on another and we’ll meet up in the Neutral Zone. And we have to call each other Captain, okay?”
“Say what?”
“Never mind. I’ll go make some coffee.”

He bought me a Where The Wild Things Are puppet to cling to on the plane. I’m not a great flyer. And I’m flying with Charlie, so I’ll be the one shoving mothers and babies aside to hound the head flight attendant to check with the Captain AGAIN that the air conditioning is working in the baggage compartment. Wish me luck.

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Friday, August 03, 2007

Boo

I am having trouble typing this. But I need to do this.

I lost my cat today. Literally lost her, then I found her. She looked like she was sleeping. She wasn’t. I picked her up, wrapped her in the yellow towel and brought her home. I’ve just buried her in the back yard.

K. and J., you entrusted her to me and I have failed. I can’t properly express my grief.

Goodbye, my sweet, sweet, stinky little Boo. I am so sorry.


Limey Boomer A----

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