Saturday, September 30, 2006

Ready, Aim, FIRE!

This week has been interesting. This week, Hubby's "new" car started on fire.

Picture this: You buy a new shiny car.

Granted, it is a used car, but it is not the rusted decrepit heap you (or Hubby, rather) have been driving for the past six years. It is shiny, and has a snazzy rear spoiler, and a PINSTRIPE, and a functioning AC unit, and a non-tinny audio system! OOOOH OOOH, and did I mention that it does not smoke copiously and overheat when driven farther than 4 blocks. THAT is super cool, let me assure you!

Like all used cars, the salesman told us that THIS WONDERFUL car has been driven for the past 5 years by a 90 year old woman, who knits doilies in her spare time, brushes her cat, and drives to church once an week to worship chastely, and drives to Publix once a week to buy crackers and sweet tea. This seemed quite possible (no, LIKELY) at the time, but perhaps that impression came from the noxious fumes from the engine of the overheating Subaru which addled our brains.

So we buy the sleek and pristine Saturn in all its Granny Glory (TM). We marvel at its spotless exterior which has never been backed into by my mother-in-law and we marvel at its spotless interior which has never experienced the smeary love of three children on a road trip. There are no hidden dirty diapers under the passenger seat and no footprints on the hood. It seems too good to be true. Perhaps we should have NOTICED THAT! (Foreshadowing stomps by and is ignored due to extreme exhaustion and the high of spending thousands of dollars we really didn't want to spend JUST YET.)

We drive the new green Granny Glory-mobile to and fro and marvel in its non-overheatingness and all is well. And the one day, the sweet new granny mobile won't start.

"Oh well" says Hubby. He gets a jump from a co-worker and doesn't sweat it. In the morning he jumps his new car again with the minivan and again that night after work.

"Hmmmm" says Hubby, "I think something must be wrong with the battery or alternator".

Others may have been more panicked at this point, but we are from WISCONSIN, and dead batteries are like MOTHER'S MILK to us. In Wisconsin, you send your ten-year-old out to jump the car in the morning. It's no big deal.

We agree that we need to bring the car back to the dealership to have the alternator looked at by a professional. We have a busy week (involving the fact that we have three kids and two full time jobs)and jump the car several time a day. Ho hum.

FINALLY, the day arrives when Hubby has 20 minutes of free time and I have 20 minutes of free time SIMULTANEOUSLY!! Whee!!! We are both at work. Hubby pulls the van up to the car and hooks it up to receive its customary jump so that we can drop it off at the dealership. He comes into my office to get the keys to start the new car. My assistant says "Hmmm. Look at all that smoke outside. I wonder what's burning?"

We look outside with interest and remark, "Oh, that's our CARS! ON FIRE! Awesome."

The End.

Just kidding. Not about the fire. About the "The End".

So we pull the firey melted jumper cables off the smoking melted remains of the Saturn's battery and engine. We ascertain that the fire department is not needed. We pry melted jumper cables out of the quarterpanels and front bumpers of both vehicles. We curse a bit. We remark on how fortunate it is that Hubby did not blow his hands (or his head for that matter) off. We CURSE some more, and with greater vehemence. We inspect the smoking ruin of the interior of the engine of the Saturn.

We consider what kind of voodoo the chaste and benevolent "granny" must left on this car that would cause this kind of ruin within weeks of purchase. Or else the car has absorbed her pure and benevolent ways and considers us to be crass interlopers with grubby-handed offspring. Which we are.

So now we have entered the hell (or purgatory) of negotiations with insurance agents ("Yes, you will have to meet your deductible on each claim separately and I will probably return your phone calls only after you leave 37 messages threating my life") and car salesmen ("What do you mean, our responsibility? You didn't buy the extended warranty which costs approximately half the value of the car. Too bad.")and so on.

Think of us kindly. And for those of you in Wisconsin, don't let your ten-year-old jump the car anymore. And for once and for all; NO, HUBBY DIDN'T SWITCH THE RED AND BLACK ENDS! It was freakish thing. The car is possessed by Southern Baptist offense with our Northern Heathenish ways.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Verbal Jazz and Politics

Hubby has the WHOLE WEEK off from work and tonight he has sashayed off to hear jazz and drink martinis, whilst I sit home and juggle children and fend off telemarketers.

Actually, the call tonight wasn't a telemarketer, but a political pollster and I gotta admit, I'm a sucker for pollsters 'cuz I just love to add my subversive views to the whole mix. Think of how my libertarian cum liberal cum fiscally conservative pro gun stance messes with their magic matrix. SQUEEE! Mom, stop reading now. I had to giggle when they asked if I'd heard of George W. Bush. Scary to think that they get some "no"s. It's always a good night when someone asks what your opinion of the president is and then writes it down and submits it to someone somewhere. Not that my opinion is all that original these days. They kept claiming the poll was "strictly for statistical purposes," which is like saying the war is strictly for checking out if our rifles work, but okay, whatever you sophisticated and savvy pollster tricksters. Mom, you can start reading again....I'm done talking politics.

So Hubby is off in Urban Male World after spending an entire week taking naps and entire days downloading music and reading Blink. Because September is "use it or lose it" time as far as compensatory time in our workplace goes. But you'll notice, I still went to work. I'd discuss why but I'm still trying to keep work out of the blog, so forget it. How's that for taunting?

Speaking of downloading music, how is it possible that we (Hubby and I) are in our mid thirties and haven't discovered Radiohead until recently? Sad isn't it when reality TV (Rockstar) is your entree to heretofore undiscovered music? How many sentences in a row can I write in the form of a question? (Ugh. Did you catch the finale of Rockstar? Lukas Rossi. Bah. King of Poseurs.) I guess you have to factor in that we both grew up in Wisconsin. Now that we are in Georgia, we are working hard to make sure our kids don't think Freebird is the national anthem. Gabe's current favorite is still Greenday but Quin is quite taken with James Blount and asks for Beautiful about 20 times a day. (Did anyone follow the logic of this paragraph? Jeesh!)

Gabe has now requested that I write an entire paragraph about him. (He actually called it a "long sentence thing" and I interpreted that as a wanting at least a paragraph.) His reading skills are taking off rapidly and we can no longer spell things in order to keep them secret. Damn. Since when do first graders have vocabularies which include "plethora" and "horrify"? Admit it. He's a veritable genius. He would like you to know that he also likes Jack White of the White Stripes and the Racontour's song "Steady as She Goes". Oh, and he's the master of Sonic Heroes on PS2. Okay Gabe, is this enough yet?

This post has become the opposite of a well-crafted writing piece and frankly, I gotta get Gabe through the tub and into bed in the next 15 minutes. So, suck on yet another sugary, meandering and strangely political puff piece. Yum!

Monday, September 04, 2006



Like anybody will even read this since it has been 40-some days since I last posted.

An entire month has come and gone. All of August in its sweltering beauty and daily afternoon thunderstorms,...kaput.

And now September has arrived. As uncrisp and un-fall-like as September can be in the Southland. We are looking forward to another 75 days of air conditioning.

And we are nearing the one year mark of being true country fried Southerners. We say "ya'll and fixin' to" with reckless abandon and nobody even hollers "Hey Billy Bob, we don't say fixin TA, we say fixin TO". In other words, we fit right in.

We attempted a pseudo-Brush Run party yesterday and gathered together the old crew which is near enough to attend (Peter) and a gang of students from the Chiropractic school and we ate garlic dip and enjoyed a few libations. But the whole thing was over by midnight and nobody sat around the campfire until it just wasn't the same. Maybe we'll do better next year.

I have a new job at the school, which keeps me even busier than the old one. But I am enjoying it immensely, and am even getting to travel a bit here and there.

I'd like to claim that my job is so crazy that I legitimately don't have time to blog...but I guess that would be a cop out. I don't have (or don't choose to make) the time to blog the way I really want to, therefore, I don't blog almost at all, except occasionally to pacify the six of you out there who check back here regularly because you KNOW me and you want to see what the kids are doing down here in the Land of Plenty.

My formerly growing audience of people who read this blog because it WAS an interesting place and my writing WAS actually compelling in some way has long since returned to dooce or some other person who posts well written things on a regular basis. So, in a way, the condition of this blog makes me feel like a failure and I never like to revisit the scene of my failures. So, hence, I never come here. Sad, but true.

So, for the six of you who miss hearing from me: here ya go. I posted.

Maybe I'll be in a better mood next time and I'll post some photos.