Thursday, September 29, 2011

No BYOP Here

After exhaustive, dizzying discussions which Chad politely endured, I've decided not to host a BYOP (Bring Your Own Pumpkin) Party this year. The reasons for not hosting the party are many and varied. At the risk of sounding like "The Grinch Who Stole Halloween", I'll list my top three reasons.

1. Overall, less people carve a pumpkin each year at the BYOP party. Last year guests mostly stood around the kitchen or sat in the living room drinking and chatting. Which is fine, but kind of frustrating when I put so much time, thought, effort and money into throwing a pumpkin-carving party.

2. The record-breaking drought this summer left our yard with huge cracks, craters and exposed rocks, many opportunities to twist an ankle, or to trip and fall on one's face. I'd hate for a candy-fueled child to get hurt running amok in our yard. Plus the backyard isn't a pleasant place to congregate currently, unless you like the dust bowl aesthetic.

3. I just don't have the energy this year. I'm tired.

My curmudgeonly ways do not affect your ability to carve a pumpkin at your house. Have fun. Be safe. Send photos.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Car Chat

My first Saturday free from working in many months was spent test-driving cars with Chad. The day started with a slightly used 2011 white BMW 128i with 15K miles. I was bored. It drove like my current BMW. It had a backseat, but should not have. I'd rather make a few minor repairs to my current car than drop the major coin to drive a smaller version of my current car in a boring color. Plus the older man trying to sell me the car called me "young lady" which brought all negotiations to a screeching halt. You're not my (dearly departed) dad, and I'm not in trouble. Don't dare call me "young lady", unless I may call you "old man jerkface".

Next we popped up the block to the Mini Cooper dealership and drove the Mini Cooper S-coupe, or I should say Chad drove the six-speed manual. What a fun, gorgeous, FUN ride! I need more practice before I confidently drive a stick shift, but I'm in LOVE! No pretense, no fuss and no backseat, because who are they kidding?

Fed, caffeinated and properly medicated for allergies, Chad and I both had the energy to continue the test-drives at Volkswagen. I drove the 2012 Beetle. Charming exterior with glimpses of old-school Porsche made me drool just a bit. Unfortunately, the ride was bumpy with a bit too much road noise. Like the BMW 128i, the new Beetle has a nearly useless backseat, but for much cheaper than a BMW.

Chad test-drove a new GTI. (Full disclosure, Chad drove a GTI a couple of years in the past, and I loathed that car.) In a nutshell, I think we both found this newer GTI quick-footed, but claustrophobia-inducing with a rattly ride.

Verdict: I want to make a few minor repairs to my current BMW and leave well enough alone. I love the color of my current car, the handling, the safety features, the non-dead leatherette interior with a semi-comfortable backseat.

I want Chad to sell his car to buy a new Mini Cooper S-coupe with all the custom bells and whistles. He works so hard, and deserves to have a car that is both safer and much more fun than his current ride. Plus, I get to ride in the fabulous new Mini Cooper and learn to drive a manual transmission.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Seasonal Affective Disorder and the To-Do List

Here it is. That point in the summer when I'm so sick of relentless drought and record-breaking high temperatures that I wilt like the dead plants around my yard. I'm very tempted to hammer a "For Sale by Owner" sign into the front yard. Seattle sounds like a nice place to live. The plants there get plenty of rain! I enjoy clouds and cool temperatures!

To-Do List:
• Rip out all the dead plants from yard and planters.
• Rake and bag dead, dry leaves.
• Remove the dead baby tree from front yard, dead tree from back yard and dead bush from back yard.
• Replace the melted automatic timer for the landscape lighting.
• Be thankful our house was not affected by recent wildfires.
• Pray that some motorist or pedestrian does not toss a smoldering cigarette butt into our parched yard.
• Buy gravel and cacti for that huge patch of dry sand around our house.
• Buy "For Sale by Owner" sign at hardware store?
• Buy condo in Seattle?

Sunday, September 04, 2011

But we are...

When Chad feels stress in his jobs over the years, he often says, "We're not saving lives here," as a way of putting the situations into perspective. When I worked as a professional pet-sitter with The Furry Godmothers for a few years, I couldn't say that. The pets depended on Jody, Merry and I for food, water, medications and bathroom breaks / tolerable litter box conditions: life functions at or near the base of Maslow's Hierarchy. In my current position at the Tarrytown location of Austin Pets Alive!, I also can't borrow Chad's comforting phrase. If Shorey, Erin and I complete ten adoptions in a week to good and lasting homes, we've saved some lives. If I have a slow weekend like this past Labor Day weekend in which I don't complete a single adoption, I feel as though I'm failing to save lives, when I very much should be saving lives.

My terribly honest admission to you, gentle readers: in my next job, I don't want lives to hang in the balance. I just want to make things pretty in my next job.