Thursday, May 29, 2008

It's the little things in life

Dudes...John Hiatt just played at my office. It's days like these when I really like my job. What other place can you get up from your desk, watch a living legend play 5 songs and then just go back to work? My phone is horrible for pictures, but he looks pretty good, huh?

And just in case you don't know who John Hiatt is...he sang/wrote many many songs that you just never heard his name. For example;

Brokedown Palace

This Link was on my Google Hompage today under "How to of the Day."

Fitting, huh?

I need some serious fun this weekend.

Picture from

Saturday, May 24, 2008

My Buddy and Me

It seems as though owning my very own Stella was just not in the cards for me.

It started when I got to the dealer Saturday morning. I arrived 15 minutes before they were open and immediately began drooling over my Stella in the garage. She was beautiful. She still needed some cleaning up, but I was anxious. Before we did any paperwork, I asked to ride her to make sure that I would be able to deal with the manual transmission. I figured, I can drive stick in a car, how hard can this be? Turns out, it was really hard.

The guy began by detailing the start up process. Stella is essentially a total replica of the 1960's Vespas, and was made with all of the 1970's technology. In order to start Stella I had to;

a) Turn the key
b) Turn the Gas knob to "on"
c) Pull out the choke
d) Pull in the clutch
e) Give her gas (but not too much or too little)
f) Push the start button
g) Let her idle for a few minutes to warm up, paying close attention to the sound she makes - give her a little gas until it sounds right.

Basically, right off the bat, Stella was a temperamental little bitch. This was strike #1. Still, mesmerized by her beauty, I was convinced that I could learn to do this. I would just get used to it. She was worth it.

The guy showed me how to get her into first gear and I hopped on. I pulled in the clutch and switched her into first gear. I let up on the clutch and gave her a little gas. Stella hopped lurched forward about 10 feet and died. This was strike #2. I felt like an idiot, but maintained that I wanted this scooter and tried again. Again, I lurched forward, but the salesman said that was normal. "She gets moving pretty fast," he said. I was off - I headed down the road on my test drive, jerkily shifting gears and contemplating whether so much beauty was worth so much trouble. Stella was nothing like the Scooters I rode in Scooter school. Would I be able to get used to her?

I got the answer to my question at the next stop. Being new to Stella's pain in the ass mechanisms meant I was a little slow about the stop to start procedure. The driver behind me honked. Startled, I accidentally hit the foot brake (back wheel) just as I was giving Stella gas. She reared up in protest and I ended up in a position that could only be described as a pretty sweet "wheelie." I'm guessing it was a glorious sight to behold because everyone was watching me intently from their yards and homes. Panic set in and I reached for the kill switch, accidentally giving the Scooter more throttle as I tried to maintain some control. Stella lurched forward and I fell to my knees as the bike flew upwards and forwards through the intersection (it was residential) landing hard on the other side of the street. Strike #3.

I had crashed the scooter on the fucking test drive. I wish I had pictures to show you the damage, but you will just have to trust me when I tell you that I messed her up bad. I checked myself for damages first, I was fine. I scraped my knee up a bit, but it was the bike that I was concerned about. I picked Stella up off the street and got her started again. Luckily, she was still running and I took her back to the shop, embarrassed and feeling terrible about ruining a brand new scooter (a stupid bitch of a scooter, but still a brand new scooter).

Feeling horrible, I hung my head as the salesman assessed the damages I had inflicted on his beautiful merchandise. He touched the bumper (which had been re-located about 8 inches higher from where it was before I took off). First thing out of his mouth? "I have never seen anything like this before." Somehow, I managed to wreck the bike to the point where it shocked a person who has been selling and working on Scooters his whole life. This man has seen scooters after they have been hit by cars - and I managed to shock him.

When I do something stupid, apparently I do it with gusto. Need something ruined? I am available for children's birthday parties and bar mitzvahs.

The guy ended up being really great about the whole thing. He was more concerned about whether or not I was hurt than the condition of the bike and he ended up making me feel a little better about the whole incident. I offered to pay their $500 insurance deductible - and he accepted. I know I didn't have to, but it was the right thing to do. He even helped me pick out a scooter that was more my speed and let me take it on a test drive. He is a brave man.

I returned scooter #2 without incident and decided to go with a friendlier bike since Stella and I obviously just did not get along. Internet, meet my new "Buddy" Scooter.

I'm having it delivered. Somehow, I felt that I was maybe not quite ready to ride with the big boys yet. I'm going to practice near my apartment and maybe someday I can work my way up to something more temperamental. In a way, I think that the accident was a good thing. I was really determined to get the Stella and figure out how to ride her later. I was a bit over-confident and the results could have been a lot worse. The lesson may have cost me $500, but it was well worth it. Besides, the Buddy was super-affordable and even with my $500 "oops," I saved $800 overall by not getting the Stella.

By the way, I am taking applications for my Scooter gang. The accident obviously gives me extra "street cred," right? You wanna join?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Hey Stella!

I passed my Motorcycle permit test this morning and have scooter class tomorrow. It's excellent timing because...

Stella is here!!!

I just got the call from Steve at True Imports and I will be able to pick her up on Saturday! He says she is beautiful & I cannot wait!

Bet you can't guess what I will be doing this weekend!

I'm going to be screaming like Brando until Saturday at 10am.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Me: If my new roommate has a Harley and we go riding together, am I going to look like a total lamewad on my scooter?

Friend: I don't know if "lamewad" applies so much as "Chach"

Me: What if I ride up on a motorcycle gang? Do you think they would let me join, or will I have to form my own scooter gang of hoodlums and debauchery?

Friend: I don't know if the words "Scooter" and "Debauchery" should ever be in the same sentence. Ever.

Me: Well, not until now, anyway. I'm going to single-handedly make scooters hardcore.

Friend: How is that possible? You are so not hardcore.

Me: That hurts, man. I am wicked-crazy hardcore. I mean, just last night, I totally threw caution to the wind and drank a regular Coke instead of a Diet Coke. You scared?

Friend: Trembling. How are you not in prison?

Me: I have a lot of practice running from the law. Outlaw for Life. Oooooh, I am totally putting that on the back of my Gang's leather jackets.

Friend: Do Scooter riders wear leather?

Me: Good Point. What about on the back of a windbreaker?

Friend: Or a cardigan!

Me: I could crotchet our outfits!

Friend: You are such a loser.

Me: You love it.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sadie - The details

Sadie was the kind of dog that could make you smile whether you wanted to or not. She had a ton of energy and would climb all over you, licking any bit of exposed skin that she could find. She was the happiest dog you could ever meet. She didn’t have a mean bone in her whole body.

Sadie wasn’t conventionally beautiful. She had a smooshy pug face and her tounge would hang out as if it didn’t fit in her mouth. Thing is, you didn’t have to look at her long to fall in love.

She was content when she could lay on my mother’s lap with one of her toys stuffed into her little mouth. She would look up with her big ole eyes and melt your heart in a way that no other dog could ever do.

On Monday, May 12, 2008 my Mother took Sadie in to have a surgery that was supposed to open up her air passages to make it easier for Sadie to breathe. This sort of surgery is fairly standard for pugs, and my Mother chose a specialist in her area.

On Tuesday, my Mother took the day off work to pick up her dog. When she arrived, Sadie was still really “out of it” and didn’t even act excited to see my Mother, which is highly out of character. The vet assured my mother that Sadie’s condition was normal and that she may act strange for a few days as she recovered. Taking their instruction, my Mom returned home with her dog and kept vigilant watch over her best friend.

Sadie continued to be extremely lethargic and was vomiting often. Concerned, my Mother called the Vet Clinic several times (once at 3:00 in the morning) expressing extreme concern for her dog’s condition. Tuesday night, my mother barely slept, worried that there was something wrong. The vet continued to encourage my mother to hang tight – she would pull through. They said vomiting was normal and that she should not worry about Sadie’s extreme lethargy. They told her that all of it was normal recovery for the procedure.

Leaving Sadie for the FIRST TIME since picking her up from surgery, my Mother went to a meeting at her place of employment. She was gone for 2 hours. Upon return, Sadie was dead.

My mother is devastated. She feels responsible as though if she had not gone to work, Sadie would still be alive. She feels like if she would have trusted her intuition and FORCED the clinic to look at her regardless of what they said, Sadie would still be alive. She feels like if she had never taken Sadie to get the surgery, she would still be alive. She feels like she paid $2,500 for a vet to kill her dog.

I know that none of this is my Mother’s fault, but she is understandably feeling responsible. I told her that Sadie was lucky to have her as a doggie mom and that she did everything she could do. It makes me sick that she made so many concerned calls to a clinic that ignored her pleas. If they would have told her even one time to bring Sadie in, my Mother would have been there in a second.

I blame the clinic and I am fucking furious. I will be damned if they take my Mother’s money after being so negligent. People pay good money for specialists in order to rely on their expertise. These people dropped the ball and I am so angry…and sad. My mother doesn’t deserve this. Sadie didn’t deserve this. Hell, Mojo doesn’t deserve this either ( I brought him over to keep my Mom company last night and we both bawled as he looked for Sadie).

She was a good dog. I’m going to miss her.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

R.I.P Sadie

My Mother's dog passed away last night. She was the happiest, sweetest dog I have ever met and she was Mojo's best friend in the whole world.

For those of you who believe in prayer - my Mom could use some right now. Sadie was like a child to her and her loss has been really hard. I will update later - but for now, I just hope that Sadie is snorting around heaven, licking everyone's face and making people smile.

On a related note: Fuck You 2008.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Stella Blue

I don't buy much for myself, in general. This birthday, however, is turning out to be a rough one. Between the breakup, my job and loneliness, I have let myself turn into a sad little hermit. In order to turn things around, I have committed to a new attitude and a fresh perspective.

To me, fresh perspective is about a new look. To facilitate my new look, I am getting my hair done tomorrow & plan to have a manicure by the end of the week. More importantly, today, I put a down payment on a sizeable gift to myself.

Meet Stella Blue (tell me I'm not the only Dead Head), isn't she beautiful?

I should get her by the end of the month! I have also enrolled in motorcycle classes to get my Class M licence. Keeping busy will have never been so fun!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Ask the Internet - Birthday Ideas

So, my birthday is coming up next Saturday, May 17th. I will be 27. Ack. It's the official entry into my LATE TWENTIES and I am terrified. However, I am determined to enjoy my day and avoid feeling sorry for myself at all costs. The problem is that I have waited until a week before my birthday to actually attempt to plan anything. So what's a girl to do? Is it acceptable to throw myself a party at a bar? What do you guys do for your birthday?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Why is it called a Meme?

I have been holding off on responding to my Meme tags from both Aunt Becky and Paisana (PS - Thanks for hangin' last night. It was fun). Luckily, they tagged me with the same meme, so now I can kill two birds with one stone.

Here are the rules:
1. Link back to the person who tagged you.
2. Post these rules on your blog.
3. Share six unimportant things about yourself (things/habits/quirks).
4. Name some of your favorite blogs.
5. Send an email/comment on their blog letting them know they have been tagged.

1. I don't like chocolate. It doesn't make me sick or anything, but I just prefer not to eat it. The taste doesn't do much for me unless it is in the form of white chocolate covered pretzels or a mocha latte - and even then - I could care less. Brownies repulse me though. The smell makes me cringe.

2. I hate checking my voicemail. When I get to work and the red voicemail light is lit on my phone, I become immediately agitated. This carries over to my cell phone as well. I go weeks without checking my messages because they are usually boring.

3. I can't type. I mean, I have fingers and stuff, but I never bothered to learn how to do it correctly. I think the feminist in me decided early on that typing was for secretaries (where did I get that idea?), so I refused to learn. I was going to be successful and have my minions type for me. I now realize that I am retarted. I have graduated from the hunt and peck method, but I still only use 3 fingers on each hand when I type. It's actually kind of embarrassing.

4. I am physically incapable of sitting through a meeting without doodling all over my notebook. I draw people, I write my name, anything to keep me from sitting and listening like a normal person. It's a terrible habit. I also only use sharpies (the thin point) or mechanical pencils at work. I hate pens. God, I'm weird.

5. I actually like Richard Simmons. When I see him on television, my heart is filled with glee. I consider his enthusiasm to be contagious and I admire his optimistic spirit. The fact that he is so passionate about what he does for others is inspiring to me, even if he is completely crazy.

6. I hate the smell of cigarettes. This is only notable because I was a die-hard smoker until October 2007. I have turned into a huge asshole about it and I am SOOO happy that bars and restaurants in Chicago do not have smoking sections anymore.

I am supposed to tag people, but I am going to take a cue from Aunt Becky and invite anyone reading this to share an unimportant quirk about themselves in the comments section.

Happy Thursday Bitches!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Hello, May I help you?

*I am depressing myself with the posts about the breakup. It's somewhat therapeutic to write about it - but today, I need a break. I imagine you do too. Thanks for staying with me even though I have been down.*

Due to the nature of my job - I travel. Not a whole lot, but enough. I was in Boston last week, and I am headed off to St. Louis for the day tomorrow. Like most professionals, I have a corporate card - an AmEx. It's everywhere I want to be - or is that Visa? Either way, I abuse the hell out of it. At hotels, I order $30 room service breakfast followed by a Venti Starbucks latte in the lobby. When my luggage gets lost, I expense the "good makeup" from CVS to get me through the next day. I take a $45 cab ride home from the airport instead of $2 public transportation via the blue line. The way I look at it, if I have to be away from home, I am going to find small ways to enjoy myself on the company dime - ESPECIALLY if it cuts into my weekend.

Before switching to American Express, my company used Diners Club. Diners Club had it's perks (i.e. no late fees for paying the statement late - even though if I was reimbursed in a timely manner it never would have been late to begin with - thank you very much), but it also sucked because who-the-fuck takes Diners Club? Nobody, that's who. When nobody takes your card, it becomes more difficult to expense stuff, making KC very unhappy.

In addition to the trouble just using my card, I had numerous problems with customer service. If, God forbid, there were strange charges or a problem with my statement, I could forget about speaking to a rational human being. In fact, I am pretty sure that Diner's Club customer service reps are actually patients at local mental hospitals. They are shuffled into a room under the guise of "arts and crafts time" and are forced to listen to angry customer complaints about their statements while they make cotten ball bunny rabbits. An actual conversation may look like this;

Rep: Hello, Sunny Acres Mental hosp- I mean - Diner's Club - how can I help you?

Me: Hi, I have a question about my bill.

Rep: I can tell that the government has been speaking with you. It's clear you know the secrets.

Me: What? No, I just am confused about a charge on my bill. Can you help me with that?

Rep: When was the last time you spoke with the president?

Me: ....

Rep: *Whispering* Help me get out of here.

Me: What? Do you need help? What is going on?

Voice in background: What are you doing? Get back here! :::ZAP:::

Dial Tone

So - you can see why I hate calling these people. I was so excited to cancel my Diners Club Membership when I got news about our company switch to AmEx. I paid my last Diners Club bill and breathed a huge sigh of relief. After all, one less corporate card held by me might mean one less mental patient forced to complete "Arts and Crafts time." I am a freaking humanitarian - always thinking about others.

I wish I could say that my Diners Club relationship ended there.

Apparently, I over payed my bill by one cent. ONE CENT! Oh the humanity! When you overpay your bill, you get statements telling you that you overpaid. You get these statements twice a month...for 5 months.

Upon receipt of my first notice, I called the crazy farm customer service to inform them that I cancelled and should not be receiving statements. They recognized my cancellation and informed me that they would be sending me a check for the over payed balance. Rather than discuss the obvious idiocy of paying to send me one cent, I let it go. I figured I could keep the check with my countless $0 checks from my time as a waitress. Besides, the poor customer service people go through enough without my logic making their crazy little heads explode. See? Humanitarian.

After about 10 more statements reminding me that I was owed one freaking cent - I called again.

Me: Hi, I cancelled my card, but I keep getting statements saying that I am owed one cent.

Rep: Ok.

Me: The last guy told me a check would be coming, but I really only want to stop receiving mail from you.

Rep: But you owe us money.

Me: No, you are not listening. You owe ME money.

Rep: Oh.

Me: So how do I get you to stop sending me stuff? Can I gift you the money? I will verbally authorize you to keep my one cent as a donation.

Rep: We can't do that.

Me: Can you just send me the check for one cent, then?

Rep: We can't do that.

Me: Well, what can you do?

Rep: Can't you just throw out the statement?

Me: Sigh. No. I am sick of receiving statements. Not only is it a waste of paper, but you are spending 41 cents on postage every time you send me the statement for ONE cent. Don't you see the irony?

Rep: God I hate Arts and Crafts time, the damn Easter Bunny keeps eating all my paste.

Me: What?

Rep: I said we cannot write a check for one cent - that would be a waste of money and resources. You can disregard the statement or you can re-open your account and we will apply a credit.

Me: This is pointless. May I speak to a supervisor?

Rep: Sure

Supervisor: You are cutting into Macaroni and Popsicle stick time ma'am. What's the issue?

Me: Never mind.