Tuesday, February 27, 2007

ketchup, catsup, catch-up

Blogging has been put on the back-burner lately in my little world. I have been so busy and it's really been fun, but wow ... am I tired!

This past weekend I was a guest of a guest at a wedding in Savannah. That means I knew nobody at all except Chad, who only knew the bride and groom, the groom's parents and two of the groomsmen. It was a rather large wedding, and we pretty much felt lost in the crowd at the reception.

In total, we were in the car 10 hours in a 24-hour period. It was not fun, and I believe we had each lost a little bit of our sanity by the time we arrived back in Chattanooga on Sunday.

But, at least we spent a little time walking around the squares of Savannah, had a couple drinks at Kevin Barry's Pub on River Street and had a little time to enjoy the city we spent many nights partying in when we were at Georgia Southern. (Here's a picture of a seagull who didn't mind at all that I took a half-dozen pictures of him up-close.)

It was nice to be back in South Georgia, but our time was so limited that it was really a whirlwind trip. Another night or two would have been much better.


And now, I must say thank you to everyone who showed sympathy for me and my bad luck with my car. I wrote that post in 2 minutes-flat because I was so frustrated, and looking back I feel very ungrateful. I was lucky enough to have the money to have the alternator replaced ... if it had, in fact, needed replacing.

Yep ... the part was NOT going out on me. It was just fine, if you can believe it. My luck has changed, and I couldn't be more thankful.

To spare you the long story, I'll just say that I took my car to a local mechanic bright and early Friday morning, waited 30 minutes in the cold for him to come out and hook my car up to another meter, listened as he told me there was not a darn thing wrong with it, asked him if he was sure, listened to him tell me the guy at Advance Auto Parts apparently didn't know how to read a meter and then drove my car home and went back to bed. A day later, I still couldn't believe it was true - that my luck had changed course, but I've finally come to grips with my fortune. I'm so happy, and the money is still in savings. Woo!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Getting ahead is impossible

Overtime is a glorious thing when you know the extra money has nowhere to go except into savings. There aren't any bills that need to be paid; there aren't any must-have items that the money needs to be spent on. For once, the extra money can go straight into a new car fund that hopefully will have enough for a good down payment at the end of the year.

... Yeah right.

I'm the proud owner of a VW Jetta that knows when I have extra cash. It knows that I'm ready to sell it up the river, and therefore it works hard to show me who's boss ... on a monthly basis. I can't ever seem to get ahead with this car, and I'm about to lose my mind.

Last night, I had to have my car jumped off after work. That seemed to do the trick, because this morning my car started just fine. I had some monster corrosion on my battery posts, so I figured that was the problem. Nonetheless, I took the car to Advance Auto to get the battery tested.

After cleaning the corrision off, the man hooked my battery up to a meter. Everything checked out just fine to my relief. But I knew it could be something worse, so I asked if he could check my alternator. He did, and of course, the news was bad. Instead of the 60 amps it should have registered, there were only .4 amps.

He asked if my battery light had come on recently. I said no. He asked if I had restarted it since it had been jumped. I said yes - five or six times since then. He scratched his head and hooked my car up again.

... Again, the meter read .4 amps. So he told me to come back in four hours ... that maybe the corrosion affected the alternator. It may work itself out, he said.

So, that's what I did. After running some errands all afternoon, I dropped back by Advance and had my car hooked up again. This time the news was worse ... only .1 amps. Yikes.

The guy was puzzled as to how I could have driven all over the city today, starting my car and stopping it and starting it again a number of times without having to be jumped off. But, there is no doubt that the alternator is bad. Very bad.

So, from what I can tell, I'll be handing over about $350 to get it fixed tomorrow.

What I really want to know is how can I buy a new car if I keep digging into my savings to repair my old one? I am so frustrated.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Da, dum, de-dum

2007 is shaping up to be the year O' love for several of my friends. Three weddings in as many months is, well, a lot.

It's a lot of good times, celebration, happiness - and one big, fat dose of reality for this girl. Everybody seems to be slipping rings on their fingers and waltzing down the aisle, vowing forever and ever to the ones they love while taking that gigantic leap into for-real adulthood.

But I'm not one to jump off a bridge just because everyone else is doing it. My momma tought me better than that.

But still. There's that weird feeling I get every time I hear of another singleton biting the dust. It's that nagging voice inside my head (that happens to sound a lot like my dad), reminding me that life is short, children are a joy and a dual income would rock the party.

When inquiring minds aim the word "marriage" in my direction, my reply is always something along the lines of: "Oh yes, I definitely plan on getting married. It'll happen one day." That is typically followed by: "Yes, I know. Children are lovely. I'd like to be a mother one day, too."

One Day.

Those two little words have begun to haunt me.

I once prized my single adulthood. It was sort-of a big middle finger to those people who thought it was a bit strange that I didn't marry straight out of college. The horror!

But now I'm looking back - which I know is wrong, wrong, wrong - and wondering if my attitude has been too negative. I mean, if everyone is doing it, then it must be a good thing, right?

All of my friends can't be wrong, can they? ... Nah, surely not.

I know marriage isn't all fun and games. And I know there are difficult times that can really make you question your decisions. But isn't that life, in general?

I guess what I mean is that it would be nice to know that the one I'm with is (hopefully) the one I'll always be with. That one day children will run about a home that I own, instead of rent. And after a bad day at work, I'd be able to come home to someone who offers a hug and an encouraging word.

Maybe that bridge isn't looking too bad after all.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

MIKA in the ATL

Crammed into a space no larger than my father's living room, about 100 lucky people got the chance to see MIKA last night in Atlanta. I still can't believe I was one of them!!

Although I've only known of MIKA for a couple months, I was hooked from the first time I heard "Grace Kelly" on the radio. His music has been compared to Freddie Mercury and the Scissor Sisters, and I can see the similarities - but he's definitely got his own sound, too. Holding the No. 1 spot on the UK charts for the past 3 weeks, this guy is going places, and I feel so lucky to have had the chance to see him in such a small setting before he makes it big in the states.

After a brief introduction (interrupted for a few minutes by an amazingly loud fire alarm), MIKA jumped over the crowd sitting on the floor and took a seat at his keyboard. He opened with "My Interpretation," a slower song. Next up was "Love Today" - one of my favorites on the album, and then of course "Grace Kelly."

Three songs was it, but that's better than none at all. His voice is incredible - his range is fantastic and the energy he radiated was unforgettable.

After his performance, I joined every one else in line to meet him. When I told him that a co-worker of mine had agreed to work for me so I could see his performance, he said he'd be happy to autograph something for her, too. He thanked me for coming and was so incredibly gracious. I guess I'd figured he would be a little cocky - but he was the furthest thing from it. It was almost like he was surprised that we all were there to see him.

The whole thing was such a great experience - definitely a Valentine's Day I'll never forget! Actually, I think I've still got a huge smile on my face!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I met MIKA

... and, yes, I'm a ridiculously giddy girl.

I'll have pictures and more later. All I will say now is that it was an amazing evening and that I could not be happier!!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Doctor, doctor!

I've never been one to go to the doctor ... unless, of course, I feel as though death or something horrible is eminent.

With that said, I'm calling my doctor tomorrow.

My physician and I have a sensible relationship. He knows I'm busy; I know he's busy. I tell him my symptoms, he writes a prescription at rapid-fire speed. I'm typically in and out in 10 minutes. And that's always been just fine with me. Like I said, I'm no fan of the doctors office ... they have sharp things in there that poke people, you know.

But now I feel like I really need someone to take a good look at me. My shoulder feels like there's a knife lodged between my shoulder blade and my spine. I can turn my head about halfway to the right - any further and an incredible pain shoots up my neck and down my arm. Sometimes my fingers tingle if I move a certain way. Overall, I feel pretty craptastic.

I'd like to say all this fun stuff could be blamed on my fantastically ridiculous tumble down a flight of stairs last week. While I can agree that the fall probably contributed to this series of aches and pains, I have to admit that my shoulder never feels normal. There's always a weird twinge that may or may not get worse on any given day.

There's clearly something wrong, but I don't really want to know what it is. And I certainly don't want to go through more pain to fix it. But it's to the point that any kind of relief is welcome.

Sorry for listing my aches and pains like an old lady. I promise this is it. :)

Friday, February 09, 2007

So very excited!

Remember my post with MIKA's song "Grace Kelly" on YouTube?
(Scroll down, it should be the last visible post on this page.)

Remember how much I said I loved MIKA?

Just think how excited I would be if I were to get the news that I'd be going to a private MIKA show in Atlanta with only 150 other guests.

Yep ... I'd be ecstatic.

And guess what?!?

A local radio station gave away 150 passes into a this show at some condo in downtown Atlanta. I was lucky enough to have access to two of those tickets. Can you believe it?!? I know I can't!

So, so, so happy. So happy!

Tagtastic: Five things you may not know about me

Mike over at absent.canadian tagged me last Saturday, and it's taken me all this time to come up with five things you guys wouldn't know about me. I'm pretty much an open book, so this one was quite difficult. Please try to forgive me for the lameness of my five things. His were much better.

Here it goes:

1. I've never broken a bone, had stiches or stayed in a hospital overnight. - Unless you count broken toes, which I don't, or a 22-hour stay in a Mississippi emergency room thanks to a pretty awesome asthma attack when I was 6. My general good health is a wonderful thing, considering needles make me woozy and I'm not a fan of medicine in general.

2. I was born in Omaha in 1977, but only lived there for the first two years of my life. I've been back once since then, but only to play the role of the flower girl in one of my parents' friends' daughter's wedding. If that makes any sense. The point is, I don't really remember the town where I was born. I'd love for that to change, even though I have no real family ties to Omaha.

3. Old people and animals have the most effect on my emotions. It takes a lot to make me cry most days, but show me a little old lady having trouble doing something, and I'm all welled up. And if there's something wrong with an animal - cat, dog, horse, lizzard, bear, etc. - I'm a wreck.

4. On a less-serious note, I never ever paint my finger nails. And the toe nails are only painted in the summer - when the sandals are in full effect. I love sandals. I hate sneakers.

5. And lastly, I refuse to eat only one thing ... mushrooms. I've never understood why people think they're so good. They have little to no taste, and their consistency kicks my gag reflex into full swing.

Now, don't you feel enlightened? ... I didn't think so.

I won't tag anyone, but you should do this. Really, you should.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

You asked for it

It really is a small world afterall.

Thanks to my new pal Stuart, whose friend Dave is the guy on the left swinging his shirt in the air, you all now can see that there was a little madness going on that night at the dueling piano bar.

And to keep Dave's name from being too soiled, he was NOT the dude who bared all ...


On another note, I'm convinced that this horrid pinched nerve I've got going on in my right shoulder is going to kill me. This is the second one in the exact same place in less than a year. I blame it on the big 3-0 that's coming up next month.


Monday, February 05, 2007

I'm too sexy for my ...

You know when a pair of dueling piano players begin pounding the keys to that tune, something's gonna happen - especially when you've got three birthday boys lined up onstage waiting to shake what their mommas gave them.
It all began with an innocent ...
I'm too sexy for my shoes.

But what's the fun in taking off only your shoes ...
I'm too sexy for my belt.

Then it progressed to ...
I'm too sexy for my shirt.

(are you singing along, here?!?)

And because all the birthday boys were wearing T-shirts ...
I'm too sexy for my Teeeee-shirt.

While we're at it, what's wrong with ...
I'm too sexy for my pants.
And that's where it was supposed to end, but there was one guy in particular who was taking great joy in stripping in front of his group of friends.

Cameras were clicking left and right, and I believe he was blinded by his sudden fame ... or the flash from about a half-dozen cameras that kept going off simultaneously.

Now that I think about it, all those flashes must have given him the bright idea to jump on top of a table and PULL HIS BOXERS DOWN while shaking his white badonkodonk for all the world to see.

This wasn't a quick flash ... he shook his tail feather more than once, let out an amazing shriek and turned around to make sure his booty was being digitally recorded - for prosperity, I would ass-ume.

Finally after each of his friends snapped a picture of his *ahem* in various poses, the boxers were pulled up and the show was over.

And thank goodness ... it was not a portrait of bootyliciousness! Ha!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Oh joy, it's the weekend!

That wonderful two-day stretch where most grown-ups get to de-stress, kick back and relax, meet up with friends, knock back a few adult beverages and let loose some of that tension brought on by the 9 to 5 daily grind ... all that usually means nothing to this girl.

My 5-day work week could mean Wednesday-Sunday, Thursday-Monday, or even Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. You just never know with my schedule.

If I'm fortunate enough to have a true weekend - or some semblance of the experience, I'm on cloud nine.

But tomorrow I'm off. And tomorrow is Saturday, therefore, I'm quite happy. ... Ecstatic, actually.

I get to be normal ... to hang out with friends ... to go out Saturday night without having to use toothpicks to prop my eyelids open (OK ... I've never actually done that, but I've considered it).

Tomorrow night will be filled with yummy food at the Cheesecake Factory and dueling pianos at Olives Waterside in Atlanta. And wonderful friends. That's the best part of the whole night.

I can hardly wait. ... A Saturday off. I will be in heaven!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

One benefit of insomnia ...

... is that I got to see the snow before most people! ... It's the little things, right?!?

Click on the photos to enlarge ... they're sort of blurred, but who cares? It's snow!

I suppose I've turned into a true Southerner, because I was so excited to see the white stuff when I looked out my window! I even went to the grocery store last night when I got off work ... just in case.

But, hey, how often does it snow here? The last time I can remember was two or three years ago!

Apparently, the snow has turned into sleet, which isn't good. And, as you can see, the winter weather is leading the morning newscasts - they even put a poor guy outside to measure the snow with a ruler!

They're saying we got about an inch of snow, but on my balcony, it looks like at least 2 inches.

Very cool.

OK! I guess I should get back to sleep ... Be safe out there if it's wintery where you are!