Category Archives: I ♥ My Miata

First Day.

Whew. I’m here to tell you that I’m tired. Or as I used to say when I was a little girl with a southern accent, “I’s tiiiired.”

It’s been awhile since I’ve used my brain AND stayed in an upright sitting position for a full day. Now that’s multi-tasking, right there.

Seriously, though, as far as I’m concerned, the first day went well and no one told me otherwise. I’m thinkin’ that’s a good thing, yes? There’s a lot for me to take in, a lot to learn. The typical learning curve of who’s who and who does what, as well as learning about an industry that I’ve not worked in before. I just need to be patient with myself and hope that they’ll see that I do have lights on in my head and that I am making the connections. There’s also the part where I’m used to being the person to whom questions are referred, and it’s a little odd to have the roles reversed.

I had quite the adventure getting to work today. I was told to report to work at 9, and I was all set to get there a bit earlier than that. Mostly because I wanted to avoid traffic. As it turned out, my “early” goal turned into an “on time” target, because there was a minor glitch with the cat’s litter boxes and, since they’re in the garage, those things are the last view I have of our home before I leave. Which means if there’s something wrong with them, I don’t see it until I’m literally getting in my car.

I left the top down on my car since rain wasn’t in the forecast. Well, wouldn’t you know it, I got in the middle of traffic AND a torrential downpour of rain. I kept adjusting the brim of my hat and muttering to myself, “Come ON, people! 35 miles per hour, that’s all I ask of you…” (35 MPH is the magic speed that aerodynamics kick in and send the rain over my car’s cockpit.) I swear, it must have looked like a movie set, because what are the chances the rain and traffic hit at the same spot on the freeway. Then when traffic cleared up, so did the rain. *shrugs shoulder* I guess a little rain never hurt nobody.

Beef stew in the crock pot for dinner, a few nice hours with my husband this evening, and I’m ready to call it a perfect day. Here’s hoping the rest of the week goes just as well.

One day at a time…



Filed under I ♥ My Miata, I Left Home for Awhile, Money Hump Building

Determination vs. Mountain.

After I took my mom to the airport on Friday, I decided to take that pesky tire of mine into my tire place… since I was driving by it, you know. In fact, I was so confident it was going to be a waste of time, I nearly got back in my car and left. But I persevered. Turns out, the water test showed nothing, so they took the wheel apart and found a small hole on the inner part of the tire, and a staple inside. The puncture, they said, was sealing against the wheel in certain positions, so it wasn’t a constant leak but a persistent one, when it did leak.

A relief, really, because that means I didn’t tick anyone off to the degree of anger it would take to spend time deflating a tire. So there you have it, tire deflation mystery solved.

Friday night we headed up to the local mountains, only to be turned away, along with hundreds of other people, by CHP and CalTrans. Something about an avalanche up the front way and the power company needing the road to restore power on the back way. We tried both ways a couple of times Friday night and finally drove back home and slept.

Since we had no plans for the weekend other than going to the mountains, we decided to try again the next morning. So we drove back up… checked the front way, then the back way… both were still closed. So we headed to the back-back way (and final way, except for aircraft) and waited in line with 5 miles of other people from 10:30 AM to 2:00 PM, which is when the road opened (they had to clear an accident).

It then took us an hour and a half to drive 9.5 miles because really, people, listen to the cop who had to drive up and down the line of cars — DO NOT STOP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD to adjust or install your snow chains, PULL OFF TO THE SIDE.

Seriously, when did common sense become such a priceless commodity?

BUT, we made it up to the cabin, shoveled out the driveway, spent the night, saw incredible amounts of snow, had the best breakfast ever, helped a friend shovel out her car, played with our friend’s dogs, including an adorable puppy (puppy!!!), closed up and winterized the cabin, and came back home.

Tony shoveling, before I got out and helped… and I DID help.

Best breakfast ever…

Look, I found a car under there…

Puppy love!

It was truly a grand adventure and I can’t wait to do it again next weekend!

More pictures can be found here: Link Oh, go on, click it, you know you want to…

Happy Birthday to my friend, Tamara, today (you lurker, you!!) and to my bestest-est friend, Grace, tomorrow. I love you both. *muwah*


Filed under Best Husband, I ♥ My Miata, I have Friends, I Left Home for Awhile

Love & Loathe — 01/21/10


* Somehow one of my rear tires on my car dropped to only 10 pounds PSI. I thought it was maybe a slow leak, but it hasn’t lost any pressure since I refilled it to the 26 PSI that it’s supposed to be at this morning. Not sure what that means…

* Of course, I discovered it this morning at 1 AM, when my intuition told me to go check my tire pressure. Which I did and then worried about it until 5 AM when Tony got up and I made him double-check my tire pressure taking skills.

* The reason I was worried was because I needed to drive (or row) my mom to the airport for a domestic trip. I’m glad I checked it, because I ended up driving roundtrip to the airport two times. Once to drop off my mom and once to pick her up when Southwest Airlines canceled all their flights out due to weather.


* Homemade waffles.

* Honey baked ham.

* Another evening with my mom… an unexpected gift, although there was a certain amount of stress involved and wasted time at the airport.

* It’s snowing in the local mountains. Like, a LOT of snow. That means we’re going up tomorrow. So, here’s to safe travels for everyone in the house.

* My mom and I have been going to the gym together, including the aquatic exercise classes, and they’ve been letting her in on our membership. I’m not sure if they’re supposed to do that, but I love them for it. In fact, it almost makes up for all the pool issues they have there.

One Last Thing:

Here’s something weird… when I have insomnia due to worry, I ponder really weird things that are unrelated to the worry at hand. For example, my “worry” last night was that my tire wouldn’t hold air and I wouldn’t be able to get my mom to the airport in time because I’d have to spend MONEY on a new tire, and how was I going to do that AND get her to airport? Turns out that the tire held air and her flight was canceled… so there.

Yet, one of the things I was thinking about last night, totally unrelated to the real worry, was whether people who wear hats cause themselves to have a thinning hairline or whether they wear hats to cover up a thinning hairline. Similar thought about glasses… if your eyesight starts to get bad, and you do start to wear glasses, does that cause your eyes to get lazy and then you need thicker glasses, and then your vision gets worse, and then you need even thicker glasses?

I think I should go to bed tonight. Oh, and I’m moving my Love & Loathe list to Thursday… even though you were too polite to say anything about it, I know you missed it on Tuesday. *muwah*


Filed under I ♥ My Miata, Love/Loathe, Sometimes Thinking Exhausts Me

Good Things.

I participated in a Miata run this weekend up to the mountains. Tony came along, too, but in his OTM (Other Than Miata). He followed behind all of us Miataphiles and I guess the run leaders forgot to tell the sweep car that he was with us, because the sweep car kept trying to shoo him past us.

It was the first time my car has been to the family cabin up there, and even though our visit was just for one night, it was a refreshing time for us. We surely do enjoy being with each other. *goofy grin* We watched the squirrels and blue jays appear and disappear with the peanuts we put out on the deck. The squirrels were burying the peanuts so fast, they were shrouded in a cloud of dust! The desperation of their attitude makes me wonder if it’s gonna be a cold, long winter up there. Also, we managed to get in our traditional visits to the candy store, our favorite breakfast place and to KMart.

When we got home last night, Tony pulled out all the Halloween decorations and started setting them up. He also bought some of those Pillsbury Halloween sugar cookies to make. Aahhhh, how I love that man.

For me, since I knew I’d be awake anyway last night (Sunday night insomnia), I decided to move Mr. White (my male fish) into the tank with The Ladies. We’re gonna try for some fish babies. It’s something I’ve been talking about doing for nearly a year now, but had to work up the nerve and get all my fish healthy. It was a project (you can read about it on my fish blog) and more traumatizing to me than to them. But all is well, for now, and it looks like they’re over there working on getting frisky with each other.

Not the best picture of him, but he’s “swishing” at the front of the tank…”

The weather has turned downright chilly and I’m loving it. We’re having crockpot beef stew tonight for dinner. The appetizing aroma of it is scenting the house right now. Maybe I’ll make some hot chocolate, too.

Right now, I have my cat on my lap keeping me warm, some gourmet chocolate from the mountains on my desk, a hummingbird contentedly passing time in my back yard, our bird just started a chirpfest upstairs and my fish are moving rocks.

For now, life is good.


Filed under Best Husband, I ♥ My Miata, I Left Home for Awhile, Kid Substitutes, We Love to Decorate


… or things I learned in traffic court this morning:

* You don’t really have to be there by 8 AM, and the courtroom’s doors don’t really open at 8:30 AM.

* Interestingly, what time you check-in has nothing to do with when your name is called once inside the courtroom. Really.

* There are a lot of really strange people in this world and the judge and bailiff really have heard everything.

* People don’t dress decently when they go to court and they really should.

* If you don’t have the money to pay the fine, and you don’t think you can get the money to pay the fine for exceeding the speed limitation of your car (which really made me wonder what kind of car the dude had been driving), you will end up handcuffed and spending the next 4 days in jail, courtesy of American taxpayers.

* It is not advised to write an obscenity on your fine payment check. It is also not a good idea to laugh about it (whether from nerves or amusement) when the judge points it out. You will find yourself in contempt of court. Really not a good idea.

* If you pay your fee for traffic school, have three months to take care of it, and then “forget” or “get too busy” to go, and then appear in court a month after the deadline, you won’t get an extension and will be out the extra money you paid… and it will still go on your driving record.

* It is really worth it to go to traffic court if you are only paying the bail amount or if it’s a non-moving violation (cell phone ticket, etc.). The judge will knock a lot of money off your fine, and you can make payments!

* However, if you’re eligible for and want to go to traffic school, the only thing you can do is ask for an extension of time. The fee is mandated by the State of California, so the judge cannot adjust it and you cannot make payments.

That’s what I did this morning.


Filed under Hmmm..., I ♥ My Miata, I Left Home for Awhile, Time Consumers, Weird is Fun

All Over the Place.

I have lists. Lists of things I need to do, lists of things I need to buy. Like groceries, for example… and ink. My printer is out of ink.

I got my ticket in the mail. It’s not going to cost me $134. Nope. Much, much more. Bail is $212, or traffic school is $262. That is insanely expensive and way, way beyond my $20 rule. I’m now thinking it might be worth it to go to court and beg for a lesser fee… because $262 for being maybe 20′ early in the bicycle lane? That’s just ridiculous. That’s $13.10/foot. I’m pretty sure penis enlargements are less expensive than that… I saw it in my spam mail just this morning. Not that anyone would want a 20′ penis…

I booked a round trip flight to visit my Aunt Marj, arriving just a couple days after her birthday in November. I am really excited about going to see her! And, if you’re interested, to put the airfare in perspective, I can fly 3,104 miles (round trip) for less money than driving 20′ in a bicycle lane. Yes, I’ll be doing cost comparisons for awhile.

I just looked out the window and saw my resident hummingbirds. They love my back yard and I love having them in my back yard. They sit out there for hours on end, perched on plants or the string of lights, I love having a hive of hummers.

Ohhh, I attended my community’s board meeting a couple days ago to request that they heat the pool in our section of the community until November 1 (instead of turning it off early or heating the small, heavily shaded kiddy pool). My swim friend/neighbor attended, too. I left the meeting after I spoke, and before they rendered their decision. She came by the pool this morning as I was finishing my swim and told me that the Board had been persuaded by my presentation, that they granted all my requests. She gave me all the credit and I was so shocked.

Well, the cats are passed out, taking their early afternoon nap and I’ve gotta get going to run my errands. Y’all have a nice weekend and STAY OUT OF THE BICYCLE LANE, hear?


Filed under I ♥ My Miata, I own a Home, I Stimulate the Economy


So, I finally plunged ahead and decided to face the cranky service adviser at the dealership I’ve been going to for over seven years and schedule an appointment for my overdue oil change. You remember me telling you about him? The one who, when I asked when my car would be done after 75 minutes had passed, argued with me that it always takes this long and I pointed out that I’ve always done the oil changes on my lunch hour and haven’t had a problem before and then he said “whatever” and walked out on me? Yeah. I don’t hold grudges.

So there I am, Wednesday, being brave and calling there, and wouldn’t you know, The Ass who was an ass three months ago answered the phone with an annoyed, loud, obnoxious “SERVICE!” Apparently, he’s still an ass. So I hung up on his ass without saying one word.

I was gonna go there only because I really like the Mazda mechanic they have, but to deal with The Ass? I think not.

So I called a dealer who is closer to my work, all scared I was gonna get yelled at again, but the lady who answered the phone sounded like she’d been waiting for my call all day and for a second I was scared I’d accidentally called a phone sex line. She was THAT nice. Not that I would know, understand, but I’ve heard things about things. Anyway, so I asked if they could service my car for the same “family” price the other dealer had been giving me for seven years, without any hesitation, she said “Sure, when do you want to come in?” And I almost asked, don’t I get more foreplay??

I ended up going in that day and, wow, even though they have construction going on and they’re set up in trailers, I felt like I was an honored guest. I was offered water by no less than three people, one of the employees came over and handed me the remote to the TV (even though I was reading a Glamour magazine). I was fairly certain that if I’d decided to take a nap, a pillow and blanket might have appeared from somewhere. You know how I love to nap while waiting for my car! Well, turns out, they CAN do an oil change in less than an hour. 35 minutes to be exact, and i require at least 40 minutes for a decent nap.

There was a minor hiccup somewhere in the communication, because I told them to check and top off all fluids that were low. When I popped the hood after the appointment just outside of their garage to double-check their work, I noted that they had not topped off the antifreeze container, which was well below the “low” line. What was funny about that was, everyone in line of sight came running and wanted to know what was wrong. Let’s just say it got taken care of in quick order.

The other highlight of the week was that I finally got up the nerve to go to the dentist and get my teeth cleaned. Overdue for that, too. The last cleaning I had was a deep scaling on all four quadrants and if that doesn’t sound scary, I don’t know what does. Basically the hygienist goes below the gumline and removes all build-up that is keeping the gums from getting all cozy with the teeth. It was scary, bloody and I had four half moon crescents dented into both of my palms afterward from my fingernails. So I was scared to go again because I really didn’t want to do another deep scaling.

Of course, not going is just the opposite of what a person should do. As with anything in life, the longer you wait, the worse it gets… best to just face the thing and get it over with. Fortunately, the news wasn’t too bad.

I’m facing some more scary stuff at work. Office politics reared its ugly head while my boss was out on vacation last week over things that I would normally brush off and be over already. But given the tenuous and fragile relationship we barely re-established just before she left, and the manner in which these things were handled while she was out, I’ve been a nervous, fretting mess with a gnawing worry monster in my gut all weekend, hoping that she sees and understands my side of things.

AND just to top it all off, I got my hair trimmed on Saturday. Always a big deal to me, even though the same woman has been cutting my hair since August of 2005, I always fret just a bit that she’ll cut it crooked or cut too much. But, as usual, she cut it straight and snipped just the right amount off. I’d show you a picture, but if you’re anything like Tony, you wouldn’t even notice that any hair is gone. Interestingly, she noticed right away at how much healthier my hair felt to her and asked me what I was doing to it. When I explained my baking soda/water and apple cider vinegar/aloe vera/rosemary regiment, she stood there with her mouth hanging open and then called the other hairstylists over to check it out. I think my hair was stroked by at least three people on Saturday.

Yes, I know how that sounds. And, yes, it was exactly like that.


Filed under Hair Can Be a Topic of Conversation, I ♥ My Miata, Money Hump Building


It all started with the hose. The pretty boingy curly purple hose that I use to water the plants in the back yard that aren’t hooked up to the spot spitter irrigation. I discovered two holes in the purple hose. I finally got around to buying a replacement hose yesterday at lunch and brought it home last night.

It had been a couple weeks since I’d watered the stray plants, so I happily watered them and then turned it off at the 5-way bib splitter. Except the plastic switch busted off and I got a face full of water. Wiping my eyes, I shoved my thumb on it and realized that the way it had busted, the bib splitter now needed replacing.

Except, neither of the stores I visited last night had the kind of splitter I needed for my irrigation timer. I figured I’d make do and bought an upscale bronze 4-splitter. Actually, since I needed more than a coupler, it was my only option. Of course I get home and learn that I need a new gasket or grommet or whateverthehell that rubber thing inside is called. So back to a different home improvement store today at lunch to look for it, except I can’t find it and none of the employees who worked there knew where they were. In the seasonal department? Nope. In the plumbing department? Nope. I gave up and went to Target and there I found a whole bag of them for $.67. What was so tough about that, I wonder?

I also bought a “kink reliever”, since the irrigation line out of my irrigation timer was kinked. Just now I put it all together and would like to tell you that the kink is gone, as in it’s no longer kinky, and it’s all unkinked and working unkinkedly. Just like it should.

Except now I have to solve the problem that is my non-existent radio antenna on my car. I have an auto-antenna that goes up and down when the radio gets turned on or off. The radio’s on button got pushed, I didn’t know it because the sound was down and it snapped on my garage door as I backed out of my garage. I’m thinking I’ll go with a rubber nubbin antenna instead of shelling out the boo-koo dollars for the OEM antenna assembly…

I suppose I should give an honorary mention to the exploding fish tank filter that floated pieces of carbon through the big tank, which required an extra tank change this week. One day after I’d done their weekly tank change, of course.

There were a couple of other things, too, but at this point I’m just amused at the craziness and plus, we’re off to see the new Harry Potter movie….


Filed under I ♥ My Miata, I feel Amused, I own a Home

Love & Loathe – 06/16/09


* The way our little birdy chirps when I cover her for the night. She sounds just like a little cricket. They are the sweetest chirps I’ve ever heard. Sometimes instead of her name, Yoda, I call her Little Grasshopper.

* How our coat closet smells, because that’swhere we store our thousands of co-mingled candles. Our coats smell like co-mingled candles. It’s a good smell.

* Our dishwasher. I enjoy washing dishes by hand on occasion, but I marvel at how clean all of the dishes get in the dishwasher, no matter where I stack ’em in there. Even way back there turned to the side, it still finds it and gets it clean. It really is an amazing invention.


*When people put ads on my car — under my windshield wipers or tucked into the weather stripping on my side window. The rule is simple: Don’t touch my car.

*Sometimes I think “adults” are really just a bunch of people with grade school maturity levels minus the youthful “cute” to distract from our juvenile behavior. We just wield bigger, more expensive toys, larger vocabularies and more emotional baggage.


One Last Thing:

One day a couple weeks ago, I returned to work from my lunch errands early and decided to sit in my car in the parking lot and read my mail. One of my co-workers pulled up and parked next to me and made a couple smarty remarks and as he opened his door, it accidentally swung open too far and it hit my car. It hit hard enough that it made my car bounce a little bit and it sounded terrible. I cringed, expecting a dent. He cringed as well and leaned over to inspect where it had hit and said in a wondrous voice, “There’s no dent!”

I inspected it when I went inside and he was correct, there was no dent.

Over the seven years that I’ve owned my car, it seems that as small as it is, people go out of their way to park too close, even to “share” my parking spot with me because my car clearly doesn’t need the entire spot its parked in. Or at least that’s what their parking style tells me. As a result, my car has suffered numerous door dents down its sides and I’ve spent at least $200 on dent removal services. All this time I just figured my car was easily dentable. But now, not anymore. Because as hard as my co-worker’s car door hit my car (I felt it!), the people who actually left dents in my car must have just beat the crap out of it.

People really can be something else, can’t they?


Filed under I ♥ My Miata, Kid Substitutes, Love/Loathe

Leftover Obsession.

(Note: Long post ahead, details are necessary… there is obsessiveness involved, after all.)

On Sunday, Tony and I decided to visit PF Chang’s to use the gift card I won a couple weeks ago. My delicacy of choice was their kung pao chicken. Nobody makes kung pao chicken like PF Chang’s. Tony ordered their sweet & sour pork dish. We were both exceedingly happy with our choices and all was right with the world.

Immediately upon receipt of my food, I removed the red peppers and mixed in the brown rice, and divided the dish in half. A bit like surgery, only at the dinner table. I ate half of it and requested a box for the other half. Our server carried out a little stand, took our leftovers and boxed them right there at the table. When we departed, we took our leftovers and went to the movies.

Monday night, things disintegrated a bit. I didn’t have the best of days at work, so I was a little stressed when I got home. A salad and kung pao chicken sounded just about right to me to make things a little better in my world.

Tony grabbed the bag of leftovers out of the fridge and, by weight, determined that his sweet & sour pork was in the lighter box. While I created our salads, complete with avocados and onions, he went about devouring his leftovers with gusto.

A bit later, when I opened my box of leftovers, I was puzzled to see white rice. I asked Tony if there had been another box in the bag. The answer to that was “no.” There were only those two boxes. The one he had emptied and the one I was staring at.

I may have, at that point, thrown a fit of frustration. The fit of frustration may have involved throwing the avocado seed that was left on the counter from when I created the salad. I may have thrown that seed at the trash can with a little more force than necessary to discard it. That seed may have narrowly missed my husband who had opened the trash can to gently discard something. To top it off, the seed may have ricocheted off the trash can (because of the speed at which it was thrown in my alleged fit of frustration) and bounced merrily across the floor. Bounce, bounce, bounce, it went, mocking my kung pao chicken loss.

I don’t think I’ve ever hated an avocado seed more.

I considered just letting it go… the kung pao chicken, I mean, not the avocado seed. That avocado seed was dead to me. Dead! The rational part of my brain (I know, I’m as surprised as you are that there was a rational part left) noted that it was just leftovers and it was a genuine mistake by our server. It’s not like he intentionally decided to add a sucky ending to my sucky day. So, it should have been no big deal. Except I really, really wanted those leftovers. I had been looking forward to them all day.

Tony suggested I call the restaurant, and for a moment I thought that was a good idea. Except, after that moment, I then realized that calling them would accomplish nothing except to let them know that some crazy woman in Orange County was without her leftovers.

And that’s how it came to be that at 8:55 PM on Monday night, I told Tony that I’d be back in an hour, or maybe longer. Because I wasn’t leaving that place without my kung pao chicken.

The drive there was 15 minutes and I needed every second of that, and the time it took to walk from the parking structure to the restaurant, to make myself into a presentable, rational looking person. Because I figured “reasonable” was an adjective that I was giving up in my pursuit of leftover kung pao chicken.

The manager listened attentively to my brief explanation, which was evidenced by the fact that he was completing my sentences. The end of the conversation went something like this, “Man, I’ve had a crappy day and the only thing I wanted for dinner was…” He grinned and said, “Kung pao chicken.” “Yeah…” I said. “Thing is, the disappointment was like… well, expecting kung pao chicken and ending up with white rice.” “Which wasn’t even part of your order.” He noted. “Yeah, I’d ordered brown rice.” I said.

He kindly offered to give me an order of kung pao chicken with brown rice, complimentary. Which was exactly what I wanted. And that’s how it happened that at 10 PM on Monday night, I was back home, removing the red peppers, mixing in the brown rice, dividing the dish in half, and then eating my freshly cooked kung pao chicken.

The thing was, I had gone armed with digital photos, receipts, ticket stubs, and even the box of white rice and I needed none of that. He took me at my word. Or maybe he was just scared of the 6′ tall crazy woman confronting him. Whatever. I’ll just say, it’s customer service such as that which I find impressive in a world where people just don’t seem to care anymore. He listened, he validated, and he resolved.

And I had more leftover kung pao chicken… and all was right with the world, once again.

Don’t you love a story with a happy ending?


Filed under Best Husband, Entertainment can be Expensive, I ♥ My Miata, Weird is Fun, Who I am