Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Vroom Vroom

We bought the truck last night.
It's silver...but I'll try not to hold that against it.
After coming from a family that owned several red cars in succession, and then going on to buy a red car, and then watching one's mother and sister go on to buy more red cars, not red was really my only color requirement.

I've never bought a new car before. And I know that they lose their value the minute you drive them off the lot but seriously, how can you resist that smell?!? The "new car" smell is awesome - it's the smell of hopes and dreams and clean plastic - like a weather girl who's had one too many cheek implants.

If I ever get a brain tumor, I hope one of the symptoms is that I keep smelling "new car." (It's almost an even trade-off)

So the truck is beautiful and shiny and quiet and everything a new truck should be. We also negotiated free maintenance for two years, free tires for life, and an 8-year bumper-to-bumper warranty, which means that we'll pay the truck off long before we have to pay for any repairs.
All in all, we got a very good deal.

But you want to know what the best part of last night was? It wasn't when they handed us the new keys or when we finally drove the truck off the lot.
It was when we turned in the titles to our POS, falling apart hunks-of-junk trade-ins.

You guys.
These cars.
Oh, these cars.
The work we've had done to these cars would have paid for our new truck, hands down. We've replaced radiators and axles and shocks and belts and computers and all kinds of doo-hickey mechanisms that make the cars run.
We've been stranded on the side of the road more frequently than I care to remember.
We've lost sleep and money and our sanity to these cars.

Yesterday, during the day, I found out my A/C didn't work.
Brian almost lost a wiper on the way to the dealership.

Clearly, it was time to say goodbye to these cars.

As we drove to the dealership, I wondered if, despite our long, stormy past, I'd feel a pang of remorse as I saw my car, the Red Rocket, being driven away.
Turns out the only pang of sorrow I felt was for the dealership, because now the Red Rocket was THEIR problem.
And Brian? Well, let's just say that his car was named after his ex-wife, "because," he explained, "it gives me so much shit."


So Hasta la vista, cars.
You'll be missed a hole in the head.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sigourney Weaver, Adult Beverages, And A Prissy Horse Show

My apologies for the long span between posts. I seem to be suffering from a serious case of writer's block.

There were a few times when I almost had something to blog about.

The other night I was three beers deep after a long day of horse show (I'll get to that in a minute), screaming at the television because Sigourney Weaver was going back for the whiny kid in Aliens (plural) and I was all, "What is WRONG witchu, girl?!? She ain't even yo' baby! Drop that shit like a bad habit and GET ON THE SHIP before that Alien eats yo' BRAINS!!!!"
... and for, like, a hot second, I had though of the most brillant thing to blog about.
But, as is often the case when I indulge in a few too many "adult beverages," I wasn't sure if the idea was that brilliant...
or I was that loaded.

C'est la vie

And yeah, then there was the aforementioned horse show. I usually go to these things because there are a million kiddies from our barn trying to show and if my friend, the owner and head instructor, were to attempt it on her own, she would most likely end up, at worst, killing a child (or parent) or at best, putting a kid in the wrong class (which she did anyway but it worked out fine in the end).
These shows are your typical hunter/pleasure/equitation classes. You go in there with your horse all clipped and shiny and clean and your boots all spit-polished and your blouse and hunt jacket all fresh from the drycleaners and try to look as good as you can.

Needless to say, this is NOT the type of showing that I used to do.

I used to ride Jumpers, which means that it doesn't matter how you look - all that matters is that you do your round of jumps clean (don't knock 'em down) and fast (you're racing the clock). In jumpers, you could do the round backwards and as long as you did it faster than anyone else, you win.

In short:
Hunters: Frou-frou nonesense where whoever has the most money usually wins
Jumpers: Real riding

Still not convinced? You know the stadium jumping portion of the olympics? That's jumpers. There are no hunt classes in the Olympics.
I rest my case :-)

But then my friend needed one of her horses - the horse that I've been training since the winter and hope to buy eventually - to go in the ring so she could see how he behaved before she put kids on him.

A lot of begging and one thrown-together hunt outfit later, yours truly was in the show ring prancing around in hunt seat and trying not to roll her eyes in front of the judges.

(And PS - the answer was not well-behaved at all. I've never seen that horse move so fast in my life. It was like riding a nuclear weapon that was locked on a target)

So I was going to blog about it, and then it honestly didnt seem like it was worth the effort, but in explaining why it wasn't worth the effort, I blogged about it.

Now I've gone and confused myself.

In other news, Brian and I are going backpacking this weekend, and we're bringing my sister (ie, the opera singer) with us.
...And this is after I explained to her that you have to go poo in the woods.
Surprised that she's still game?
I certainly was.
We're also bringing Milo for the first time, namely because A) we're going a very short distance on account of the newbie backpacker, and B) The newbie backpacker is a third set of hands with which to strangle...I mean...hold Milo while we're out in the woods.

And if anybody else sees this trip gearing up for something you only see in the movies, that makes two of us.

A husband and wife
An opera singer
And a retarded dog
head out into the woods for the adventure of a lifetime.
They may not have the skills.
They may not have the know-how.
But what they lack in experience
They make up poo.
This summer.
Backpacking hits a whole new octive.

So I'm sure I'll have some kind of hilarity to report on when we return. Make sure you tune in for THAT post - it's sure to be worth your while.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Woman, Running

About a year and a half ago, I started running.

Before that, I was not a runner. I was the antithesis of running. The Anti-Runner, if you will. In fact, I used to tell people that I only times I could be caught running is if I was being chased by a killer...or if there was an ice cream truck.

And then people would laugh, and I would just stare at them, and they'd kind of stop laughing and I'd keep staring, and they would cough and things would get generally uncomfortable, but hey, I really like ice cream, okay?

Well, since that fall of 2008 (documented here in this delightfully saucy blog post), I've made great strides with my running...and yes, pun absolutely intended. I haven't mentioned it much because this blog is generally intended to be funny (not that you'd know it if you read any of my recent posts), and running is decidedly *not* funny.
There is nothing funny about gasping and hauling yourself down the sidewalk, cursing the gods and convincing yourself that people giving birth can't possibly been any more uncomfortable than you are at this moment in time.
There is nothing funny about tasting the contents of your stomach as you round a corner and think to yourself, oh, well, I only have one more mile to go, as if a mile is a small and easy thing, because a mile is NOT a small and easy thing, and mmmmm, here comes that PB&J you had for lunch!
No, there is nothing funny about running.

And yet, I keep going.
This year, I ran 6 miles for the second time in my life, the first being only after a summer of pretty regular training and possibly an act of God (I'm not certain, I blacked out for the last two miles).
This year, I've also pushed my "regular" runs to the 3 to 4 mile range, compared to the 2-3 mile range I was doing last year.
And this year - well, tonight, to be exact - I beat my all-time 5k record by 4 minutes, running 3.2 miles in 28 minutes flat.

*cue Eye Of The Tiger, and commence musical montage of me running and sweating down various sidewalks and wooded trails*

For some people, this is no big deal. Some people would read this and kind of raise their eyebrows half in amusement and half and pity. Some people can run 5ks in their sleep, and I'm not saying that I hate those people, but if I ever meet one of them at a party, I immediately scan the room for items that I could use to make a shiv.

But Brian (a seasoned runner) has pointed out that when it comes to running, you can't compare yourself to others.
Well...unless you're acutally racing or something...but you know what I mean.
I can't compare my abilities to those people out there (god, I hate them so much). I can only compare what I did today with what I did yesterday and the day before that.

And if I do say so myself...I am clearly superior to who I was yesterday.

So I guess I'll take this accomplishment as a sign that I'm kicking ass and taking names, if only because I can do today what I couldn't do yesterday. All I know is I'm running farther and faster than I ever have in my life. And I'll be damned if it doesn't feel good to do something better now than I ever have in my 28 years on this planet.

And my pants fitting better?
That's just a side effect of all this running.
An awesome, SPECTACULARLY AMAZING side effect.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

On Growing Up, And Growing A Pair

Brian and I almost bought a truck last night.

We were just looking, wanting to kick some tires after spending the better part of a year shopping and comparing online.
(and when I say "we," I mean "he," because lord knows I can barely tell a windshield from a tailgate).
We're getting a truck because apparently we're that know, that obnoxious couple who is (or at least wants to be) constantly dragging around kayaks and bikes and skis and camping equipment, and when you see them in the office elevator at the end of the day they've already changed into spandex and lycra and fingerless leather gloves to "squeeze in a few hours of basejumping" between work and dinner, and you kind of hate them because they obviously have too much time and energy on their hands, and why don't they just go home and watch American Idol like everybody else?!?!?!?

That's us.

Add to that one impossible-to-shake horseback riding habit and a closet love for satellite radio and yeah, we're gonna need that extra long bed, 6500-lb payload, roof rack, and audio package, please.

(PS, I like green)

So we're in the dealership, and Brian's impressed with the V6 engine and gas mileage, and I'm trying not to squeal because when you shift into reverse, a little video screen pops up on the rear view mirror so you don't accidentally mow a child over coming out of your driveway (oooh, it's like MAGIC), and before you know it, we're haggling with "Frankie" over financing rates and trade-in values.

And here's the thing:
I have a vagina.

I bring this up because A) I know little to nothing about cars (and it shows, people. It shows BIG TIME), and B) I wear my emotions on my sleeve.

In other words, if car salesmen are sharks, then I'm that overweigh, near-sighted seal with a boarderline IQ and a missing flipper, if yanno what I mean.

Or at least, I thought I was.
I certainly was when buying my first car at age 22 (and PS, 2 radiators, an axel, and countless miscellaneous parts later I finally figured out why that man at the dealership wouldn't look me in the eyes).

But last night?
I totally grew a pair (and I don't mean ta-tas)

His sales schtick rolled of me like water off a duck's back.

MP3 hookup?
That's nice.
Tires for life?
Okay, how's the warranty?
Side airbags?
What about rollover?
Silver streak mica?
I was hoping for pyrite.

You get the drift.

Even the haggling went well.
When he came back with a price for our trade-ins, I looked at the price, looked at him, raised my eyebrows, and told him in no uncertain terms that our two cars, even at reduced trade-in value, were worth twice what he was offering.
(I even turned away from him like I was thinking of walking, just to make him squirm).

Ooh, it was fun.

And then he came back with some financing options. I had to interrupt him to point out that the APR rates weren't listed.
"Oh, they're back in my office."
I stared at him, frowing.
"They're not high"
I continued to stare.
"Should I go get them?"
Because what kind of idiot would agree to finance without finding out the APR?!?
Well...I guess I would have. 6 years ago.
But not today, buddy. Not today.

In the end, we didn't buy the truck. Their very best offer was still not quite worth jumping into a quick sale before thoroughly shopping around.

We smiled, shook their hands, thanked them for the hour and a half they had spent wheeling and dealing, and left without a hint of regret or guilt.

I guess for some people, this is a normal "car shopping" experience.
But for a woman who, 6 years ago, was swindeled into buying a lemon because she was too afraid to speak her mind and ask questions?
Last night was a pretty big deal.

So I guess, despite my best efforts, I may be growing up a little bit.
I may not be able to handle a horse quite as well as I used to, but at least I can finally handle a car salesman.

Now, all I need to do is "handle" one of those pretty trucks (green, please) and I'll be set.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From The Tree

I was going to celebrate Mother's Day with a long post proclaiming all of the numerous reasons why my mom is too cool for school.

But sometimes being a good writer means knowing when a good picture will speak volumes louder than any words you might conjur up:

Happy Mother's Day, mom!

Keep on rockin'!!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

A Return to Optimism

I wanted to thank everyone for their supportive comments to my last post. Talking about infertility is in no way an easy thing to do, but I'm finding more and more people who are having the same problems that Brian and I are having, and it does WONDERS to know that we're not alone.

Not that it gets us any closer to a bun in the oven, but hey, misery loves company, right?

I also wanted to point out that, while I am indeed fairly heartbroken that the road to pregnancy is looking less like route 66 and more like the NJ turnpike in rush hour, with landmines, the no-baby situation is a small cloud in the otherwise brilliant sky that is my life right now. I can honestly say that my life is good. Very good. My freelance writing has been wildly successful, I'm happily enmeshed once again in the world of horses, Brian is kicking ass and taking names in his job, and even Milo is starting to come around (knock on wood).

Keeping perspective is a difficult things for us humans to do. It always seems like, no matter how good things are, we always focus on the few things that are causing us to be dissatisfied. Even rich people, who shouldn't have a care in the world on account of the fact that they will never, ever have to worry about food, shelter, clothing, always seem to be unhappy. It's like our species is designed to manage a life that is equal parts good and bad, and when there's nothing to be upset about, we'll blow a hangnail out of proportion until it blots out half the sky.

Or something like that.

My point?
Is that despite the fact that we're having fertility issues, I can honestly say that my life is the best it's ever been.

...I just need to keep reminding myself of this when my little problems start blocking out the sun :-)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sensitivity Training 101

By nature, I'm not a secretive person.

My approach to most things in life is to get as much feedback as possible, whether it's from the grocery store check-out girl or the cop who just pulled me over.

"Oh man, officer, I totally didn't see that speed limit sign, but while you're here, I was wondering if you think I should have a doctor take a look at this rash..."

Brian, on the other hand, is Captain Secret.
It's not that he has nothing to hide - seriously, I've never met a man with a closet so devoid of skeletons - he just...doesn't offer up information easily.

This divergence in personality isn't usually a problem, because even when I DO tell everybody everything, there isn't really much to tell. Does that make any sense?

Of course, this blog has put the spotlight on our opposing preferances for revealing information. For example, when we first got engaged, Brian wasn't technically divorced from his first wife yet. So naturally he wanted things to be pretty hush hush until the paperwork went through, and seriously, have you ever been engaged and not really been able to tell anyone?!?!?

It is hard, my friends.


So now I'm having a problem and I really, REALLY need to vent.
After all, isn't that what blogs were invented for?
Personally, I don't mind if everybody knows about this problem. But Brian? I'm not so sure. Of course, I could just ask him, but I know he'll tell me "you can blog about whatever you want" whether he actually feels that way or not, just because he doesnt want me to feel controlled, because he's that kind of guy.
(Love you, Babe)

So now, I'm running a mental list of everybody I know who reads this blog. Seriously, as I'm writing, I'm going through this list. Is there anybody - ANYBODY - on that list who I just couldn't let in on this problem?!?
Not really, mostly because A) it's only a big deal to me, and B) nobody really reads this blog anymore, save for a few fiercely loyal followers (Hi Guys!).

Whatever. I'm tired of second guessing myself.

We're having fertility issues.
(Oh, snap, she just DROPPED it like it was hot)

I'm not going to get into the details, because even I have some limits on what I'll put out over the interwebz.
But needless to say, it's been a long, humiliating, sometimes painful process and thus far?
No bambino.
14 months, and no bambino (but who's counting. Oh, you are? What's that you say? I've only been married for 6 months but we've been trying for 14 months? Well guess what... It's 2010, bitches. Get with the now)

Infertility is a terrible problem that nobody...NOBODY...ever thinks about until they're getting bitch-slapped by it like a redheaded stepchild.

And while there are SO MANY THINGS to be grateful for - like the marvels of modern science, and the fact that Brian and I have some kick ass medical insurance that covers the whole gamut of treatments - these things are doing little to soothe my aching heart when we hit YET ANOTHER we did the other day.

I guess my point is this:
When you encounter a newly married couple, perhaps the first thing you should ask them is NOT when they're going to have a baby. It probably shouldn't be the second, third, or fourth thing that you ask them either.

So let's reinforce this with a little exercise.


"Oh hey there! You just got back from your honeymoon? Wow, congrats! When are you going to have a baby? You should have a baby right now. Why aren't you pregnant? Babies are great. Babies, babies babies. Have a baby."


"Oh, hey there! You just got back from your honeymoon? Wow, congrats! It must be nice to be able to travel. I haven't left my neightborhood since I had my baby. I also gained 50 pounds and lost my will to live. Wow, you look great - so thin and rested. Your life must be awesome."

All joking aside, I guess I'm just trying to raise some awareness here.

And maybe stop the barrage of questions that can drive us "pregnancy-challenged" people to tears.

And maybe remind all of the "happy couples" who got pregnant instantly that it doesn't happen that way for everybody, so maybe chill the fuck out a little bit and stop talking nonstop about how having a child was the best thing to ever happen to you.

And maybe vent a little bit so I can go on with my day without that dark cloud over my head, because I'm getting all cold and pruny from the rain and I could REALLY use some sunshine right about now.

You know...metaphorically.