Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Guilty Pleasures

When Nip/Tuck first premiered we were living in a different city, where we actually paid for cable. I was addicted to the show. Then we moved and I haven't watched an episode or really even thought about it since. Until I caught an episode (I think they are now into season 6) accidentally the other night (we now have cable). Despite being crude and at times a host of other derogatory terms I found myself wanting to get caught up.

So, I reserved them all through Netflix and have started watching again from Season 1. The show is like a train wreck. There are parts where I think, "This is so wrong, how can I watch this." Yet I can't turn away or shut the show off. I watch a few shows like that, where I find the people reprehensible yet also vulnerable and tragic.

Anyway, there's no real "lesson" other than I suppose I love TV shows where the characters are hard to love (Entourage, Dexter, Weeds, etc.)

What are some of your guilty viewing pleasures?


When we bought our current "family" car we bought it from a large dealership here in town (that my husband used to work for). Part of the promotion was "free maintenance for life." So, every 3-6 months we take it in for lube, oil, filter and a general looking over. The thing I hate most about this process is that every single time we come out with a laundry list of work that needs to be done.....immediately, lest we be driving down the road and our wheels fall off, roof rips open, engine explodes, or the variety of other scenarios presented.

We know a lot of this is exaggeration. Like "your belts are showing some wear" isn't necessarily a lie, but it also doesn't mean they need to be changed right then and there as the service guys like to claim. So, every time we leave the dealership we end up taking our car to our trusted mechanic, giving him the list of what the dealership claims is wrong, and having him assess it for himself.

Without fail, we leave almost every single time without an ounce of work being needed on our car. Every once in a while maybe one of the things they suggested was accurate or needs to be watched with a close eye.

It's the deceit that bothers me. I know by nature of the business that the more services they sell the more commission they earn, so of course they want to find every little thing wrong with the car. But in doing that, they lose credibility and essentially lose customers. We NEVER take our car to the dealership to have actual work done. While they may be great at what they do, the fact that I don't trust them means I will never let them work on my car or make suggestions on the type of work they think needs to be done.

It's just frustrating that they try to sell me a minimum of $500 worth of repairs every 6 months when in actuality it ends up costing maybe $100 with the mechanic I've been going to for 12 years now. Trust really does go a long way and if more people operated under this assumption they'd probably get a lot more business. (The service drive at this dealership with eerily empty).

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tornado Warning! In Arizona?

We are having some incredibly uncustomary weather here over the past few days. In fact, we are currently under a tornado watch, which is unheard of in Arizona. They are advising all people to stay indoors and sleep away from the windows and as someone who was out hiking and then driving in the wind earlier today (before the tornado advisory) I can tell you I really thought the wind was going to lift my car off the highway and plop me down somewhere along the yellow brick road.

Aside from the 60 mph winds right now I think the weather is gorgeous. It's rainy, cold, gloomy. To me, that's perfect. (I should probably consider moving to Seattle). But honestly, this wind is freaking me out. It's howling, rattling the windows. There's been a ton of structural damage in our immediate area, thankfully not to our home though.

In recent memory we have not had anything like this and while I complain about the heat of Arizona a lot it is rather nice to live someplace where we don't really have to worry about earthquakes, floods, tsunamis and other natural disasters.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Why TMobile and Blackberry Need Better Customer Service Plans

My month old Blackberry decided to quit holding a charge a couple of days ago. Literally, it would be charged to 100 %, sit for an hour and be completely the point it would shut off. Today I took it back to the TMobile store where I purchased it originally. In what seemingly took forever, the "solution" is that Blackberry will send me a new battery (ground shipping, taking 7 to 10 days) at which point I can test that out. If that new battery still doesn't hold a charge, then they'll send me a new phone, taking another 7 to 10 days. So potentially, I could be without my phone for the better part of a month.

In the meantime, TMobile offered me a "loaner phone", which they charged my account $53 for (which I will be credited back when I return the piece o' junk). Oh, and it's water damaged, which you better believe I made them fill out paperwork stating I received it in that condition. I'm fairly certain the phone they gave me is the original cell phone. It has huge buttons and does nothing but make calls. Here's the rub. I pay good money for a BB Data plan. When asked if they'd prorate or credit my account for the days I will be unable to use my BB, I was told "no, we don't do that."

So, by no fault of my own, I have a BB that I can't use, a basic cell phone that doesn't perform the functions that my BB did and which I am still being charged for. Something doesn't seem right with that. Further, the fact that BB ships ground unless I want to pay $20 for UPS to replace a defected battery that their company produced seems ludicrous to me.

For now, I'll just have to suck it up and deal, but I have a feeling by this afternoon I will have decided to call Blackberry, TMobile, Better Business Bureau and anyone else who I can think of. Deep breaths....I just keep telling myself, "Deep Breaths!"

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mr. Sandman

I cannot even begin to tell you how much I have missed naps. In the four and one half years since we had our first kid I have not slept through the night. Our son still wakes up multiple times throughout the night, which makes sleep not really that restful.

Anyway, my husband has been home since last Friday. So, four straight days. On each one of those days I got at least an hour nap. On one of the days it was closer to two hours. It's amazing what getting a little extra sleep can do for a person. I have got to find a way to start sneaking naps into my days when neither of my children nap.

Any thoughts?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Best Invention Ever

One of the best creations as of late, as least in my mind, is the new Almond Joy Pieces. Looking like m & m's but tasting like Almond Joy candy bars. It doesn't get much better.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Why I Love Being a Mom: Reason 44,538

This morning we woke up to a rare chilly and overcast day. With our plans to the park delayed for today I asked the kids what they wanted to do. After a bit of discussion we somehow settled on my son "doing my hair" which consists of him pretty much running his fingers through it and then piling it all on top of my head while occasionally asking, "You like it?" with his voice going an octave higher on the word "like." Then for my "entertainment" my daughter has decided to perform an opera for me. So, here she is wrapped in a blanket, as her gown, holding one of those little New Testament Bibles that missionaries hand out, pretending that is her music while she warbles and makes up unintelligible words for her opera. Pretty much like the real thing.

Monday, January 11, 2010


My husband and I have a very complicated relationship with his family. This past week, however, we got a phone call from his mother informing us that his grandmother had been hospitalized and was not expected to make it. (I won't get into the fact that she had been in the hospital 10 days before they decided to let us know). So, as usual we put our differences aside, which really means we act like they haven't treated us horribly over the past seven years and do what we need to do. So, my husband called and spoke to his grandmother. She wasn't able to speak but at least he was able to say what he needed. This was after we were told that she was going to basically die right then and there.

A few days pass and we hear nothing, until today when I get an email from his mother letting us know that she is still alive. Which is good, assuming she's not in horrible pain which we wouldn't know since the information we've been given is limited and a bit cryptic. So, we are pretty much just waiting around to see what happens.

Here's the thing, though and this sounds awful, but anyone in our position would understand. We get a phone call at LEAST once a year from his mother telling us that someone has some fatal condition and has mere moments to live. Then inevitably we either a)hear nothing about it ever again or b)get notice that "a miracle" has occurred and the ill person is now completely cured, more than likely a result of his mother's claims of a direct line to God. Like last year we get a phone call from her telling us my husband's father has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and it didn't look good. She then calls my mom hysterical that her husband is dying of cancer and their wish is that we all reconcile, etc. My husband called his father right away who tells us that he doesn't have cancer but his PSA (?) levels were elevated and they wanted to run some more tests, which eventually revealed that he did not have cancer. When confronted, according to her he did have cancer, but God took it away.

So, with this history we are not sure what to believe or not. My husband's grandmother in her mid-eighties so death is certainly within the realm of not only possibility but likelihood. But during the course of our marriage his grandmother has been moments from death close to a dozen times. However, in case this time is for real, as usual, we treat it as if it were the truth. While my husband doesn't like to be caught up in the drama I think that if she is telling the truth and my husband didn't talk to his grandmother and she really did die he'd regret it. So, we tolerate the escapade. What else can we do?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Because I Love You

There are days when my kids say and do things that seriously just melt my heart. This afternoon I was hugging my daughter really tight, preventing her from breaking loose. She said, "Mommy let me go."
Me: I will never let you go.
Her: But I will come back.
Me: How do I know you'll come back?
Her: Because I love you!
And then she kissed me.

It is moments like these that make me want to have dozens of babies.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Gut Feelings

I tend to be what could be viewed as a bit pessimistic or glass half empty type of person. I prefer to look at it as a realist versus an idealist, but I won't go into the whole issue of semantics. The point is when a situation presents itself or a scenario unfolds I tend to explore, research, analyze the negative outcomes first and solutions to those before i allow myself to consider the possibility that they'll have a positive outcome. The benefit to this is that I am usually pretty well -equipped to handle bad news, trying situations and the like.

With having kids I've masked a lot of that natural pessimism and instead focused on the positives, because let's face it...I don't want to skew my kids' view of the world. Who does? Despite the rah-rah positive attitude I still often get premonitions or gut feelings about situations or circumstances and rarely am I wrong about those. So, to say I rely on my gut heavily is an understatement. I'm still Type A to the core with my flow charts and spread sheets and risk analysis summaries but if I have a gut feeling about something, even if it looks good on paper, I'll usually go with my gut.

That explanation leads me to this relatively new gut feeling. A positive type of anxiousness or anticipation that I can't quite put my finger on. It's not nervousness or excitement, really but more of just a sense that something big (in a good way) lies over the horizon. It's strange because it's not like I am waiting on specific news that I have a good feeling about. It's totally abstract and completely vague, but I can't shake the feeling. It's just this undercurrent that seems to be saying that things will be okay, better than okay, that something is going to happen to make a positive difference. I guess if anything good happens I could attribute that to the feeling, but I think it's bigger than that. That IF something does happen, I'll know. I'll be able to feel a sudden calm of the anxiousness and anticipation.

Do you ever have feelings like this? Do you tend to pay much attention or dismiss them?