Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sneak Attack Whines

I have a friend who is a great dad who does all kinds of stuff with his son. Last summer, he drove his son Up North for a scouting trip with a vehicle with a small problem of unknown origin. He then spent the rest of the summer trying to coordinate repairs with Cletus The Undermotivated Mechanic from his home base in the suburbs. It was pretty ugly and exorbitantly expensive by the time all was said and done. However, it was blogged hilariously for all to enjoy*.

I am driving Teen Son and a few friends to a big conference Up North this weekend. Up North is three hours away. Upon leaving, Spouse said, "Uh, you may want to check out the brakes. They seem a little off." He took my sporty little Vibe, which I had lovingly maintained the last two years I have been the primary driver of it, and left me with the minivan. Since Out East is rather spread out, it was a prudent choice on his part to exchange the large, gas-guzzling vehicle for the nimble, less-thirsty one.

Now that I have a college degree, I know to approach problems with smarts. Since I am old, I've learned it is often smart to learn from other people's mistakes so as to avoid making them myself. The brakes on the van were most certainly off and I had no desire to experience Cletus in the flesh so I dropped the van off this morning with my trusted mechanic.

Pixies, I don't suppose I need to tell you that "the brakes may be a bit off" turned out to mean "Ma'am, all four of your brake pads are shot, your front rotors are rusted and pitted, and you need new struts, shocks, and your tie rods are loose."

The original estimate was for $1500. Oh, and Spouse tells me that the car payment is very nearly 90 days past due. He hopes that I can get it straightened out with the stimulus check.

Four days ago, I was over the moon because I had bypassed obstacles left and right and earned a bachelor's degree summa cum laude with honors. Today, I used the $300 in graduation gift money I received from family to fix the front brakes on my van. The rest will have to wait for the stimulus check.

Rather than cancel the trip, I am going to borrow my mother's car. I will owe my mother a favor, Pixies. That is never a good place to be in if you are me.

So any sneak attacks in your neck of the woods? The Clue Stick Brigade is fully stocked up on cluesticks. For other whiners, we have the leftover margaritas from yesterday are in the blender, and I have some leftover blueberry cake and chocolate chip pancakes from dinner.

As always, prizes for Style, Old Skewl, and clever turns of phrase.

Let the whining commence!

*Sadly, I can't link because my friend no longer blogs.


kathy a. said...

congratulations on your graduation, miranda!!!! xoxoxo

well, obviously we need to bribe and/or thank your mom for lending the car with brakes -- flowers? cheesecake?

i just don't know that an ordinary cluestick posse is enough for mr. ex. we may need cluestick bazookas for this one.

kathy a. said...

antiwhine: had a GREAT weekend visiting daughter! her U had "mom's weekend" [theme: moms rock!], and it was great -- and, i got an extra daughter for some of the stuff, a friend whose mom couldn't come. :)

whine 1: some jerk used my credit card info to buy airline tickets to various middle-eastern countries. i found out when i tried to buy lunch, and my card was denied. how they got this info is yet to be determined.

whine 2: i can't explain here. but a project i've been cultivating since february dried up, and i'm back to square 2. at least it isn't square 1. but still. i was counting on some income by a month ago, and was i ever wrong.

Miranda said...

((Kathy A)) The combination of Whines 1 and 2 together make for a stressful time. I hope a more reliable project comes your way soon.

But your mothers weekend with your daughter sounds priceless. I can't wait to do that with my daughter.

liz said...

((Kathy A.)) I've had my debit card compromised before (and this is why I no longer have a debit card, only credit and actual plain ordinary old-fashioned ATM cards - you wouldn't believe how hard it is to get a bank to issue you an ATM card that is not a debit card).

Miranda, CONGRATULATIONS on you graduation. SUMMA!!! YOWZA!!!

And I'm on my way to your door right now to bang your spouse upside the head with a cluestick.

Now for my whines: Stats exam tomorrow and a paper due. So wtf am I doing here instead of studying and writing? I need a cluestick upside my own head.

Sue said...

Congrats Miranda!!! Cluestick posse on the way for the spouse. Sheesh.

(((kathy a.))) - those are two rough whines. Good news about the mom's weekend though...

Liz - Stats *shudder*. I'll send some good number vibes your way.

My whine: Mother's day. Not my fave day of the year. At all. It reminds me every year that my mother has been dead for a very long time. This year, my mother-in-law (whom I love) is away on vacation. Both of our sons are out of town. Sundays are hard enough without adding another hallmark occasion. Bleh.

Anti-whine: Group therapy. I was unsure about group initially, but it's turned out to be a great experience with amazing people.

Magpie said...

Wow - he left you with the car with bad brakes!?! Damn. But congratulations on your graduation.

Me - I am simply spread too thin. Things are falling apart at work, at home and with my mother. I need a sabbatical. Oh well.

That Mommy said...

Congrats Miranda!

((kathy a.))

I had a brief moment of panic this week when I realized that my own account balance was low and the credit card balance was high, convinced that my info had also been stealthily taken. Unfortunately, we've just had a very spendy month.

Antiwhine? It's only snowed once this month.

esperanza said...

Cluestick for Miranda's spouse, definitely.

AW: no bad news at major dr's appointment last week.
W: no good news either.
W: just more wait & see, now with bloodwork.
W: I'm sick of wait & see, and baboo was not amused with the bloodwork.

And I'm starting a "Mothers Against Mother's Day," if anyone wants to join in. Sue?

kathy a. said...

good luck this week, liz!

(((( sue )))) glad your group is going so well.

(((( magpie )))) oh, you have so much going on.

kathy a. said...

mothers against mothers day! esperanza, that is truly inspired!

kathy a. said...

p.s. to my credit card whine -- the fraud people at the CC company caught the "unusual activity," suspended my card, and called me. so i don't think i'm out for those plane tix, which is an antiwhine. but i want to find out how it happened -- there must be a weak link in one of my other transactions.

Anonymous said...

Mothers against mothers day...I would like to join, not technically a mom for this years version but next year, yes. For some reason, I am very ambivalent about mother's day-- I really don't want it celebrated in my honor. Eh, I guess it's the hallmark-ness of it. I can deal with other hallmark holidays more or less, but they don't focus exclusively on ME (although the sqvirrel maintains that V-day is supposed to be mostly for me but we ignore that anyway).

liz said...

Mother's Day was originally created during WWI to protest the war.

So it's cool in that sense. It has been made into a horror show though.

Elizabeth said...

Whine: It's way too nice out to be stuck in the office.

Anti-whine: Sat outside and had a grasshopper smoothie for lunch.

DevilMacDawg said...

The faculty I manage are being very, well, faculty of late. I empathize with them. However, I have to get some messages across including, but not limited to:
1) when we are running programs for external executives, please wait until after the participants (who pay thousands of dollars to attend) have eaten to help yourself to the lunches we provide;
2) no, we cannot pay you for your participation in a program until after that program delivery has been completed and your portion of the content has actually been delivered;
3) no, we cannot tell University payroll to cut your check a "few days early," as this is University payroll we're talking about;
4) when complaining to folks about not being paid for a day or that your rate is too low, consider that perhaps you make more in a day than the individual to whom you're complaining makes in a month; and
5) insert the various and sundry complaints of tenure/tenure-track/non-tenure-track/consultants/etc.

That is all. Life is hectic, but fulfilling and good of late. Except my dear sweet wonderful faculty. Whom I love. Really.

Anonymous said...

ooh, liz, I love that tidbit about Mother's Day to protest the war!!!! I am going to remember that one. Maybe that's how my family will celebrate the holiday, by protesting war.

kathy a. said...

FYI -- the star ratings just popped up on this blog and others. it seems this will be an optional feature, but blogger accidentally made it happen to a bunch of blogs. fear not, the Brigadoon crew has not gone all hollywood on ya.

Quinn said...

Congrats to Miranda! I'm kind of with the whole MAMD gang, but not so much this year. Because, anti-whine: my 5yo daughter is delightfully planning me some sort of Mother's Day surprise which involves me having to stay in bed late on Sunday. Um, yeah, I will be agreeable to that!
Whiny whine: I'm a cheapskate with heartburn (haven't had that since pregnancy -- the heartburn, not the cheapskate part) and I have decided that my generic store-brand Tums aren't nearly as inoffensive tasting as the real Tums I usually take.

Anti-whine: the matter of the creepy touchy student seems to have resolved itself without the necessity of an investigation. I'm actually quite proud of the ladies in the class, who have formed a seating cooperative of some sort that seems to relegate him (Thank Jeebus he habitually shows up late) to the front row, where such activities are, um, less convenient.

Real whine: annual Gyn appointment this friday, and I've got lots of weird genital-related questions. Nothing serious, just weird. But weird and genitals should not be in the same sentence.

Name Under Development said...

This day has been a roller coaster—I’m so glad it’s Wednesday and I have the pixies and a chance to whine. I’ve got big whines, small whines, mixed anti/whines—I’m even bringing the bodily fluids.

I woke up grumpy because I’m overtired—my students’ end of the semester projects were due Monday. I pulled a marathon grading session so I could warn any student in danger of failing the course—yesterday was the last day students could withdraw. Several of my students are at serious risk of failing, but I couldn’t tell for sure until I waded through the projects along with the overdue homework they gave me. I do accept late work (albeit with a penalty) and this class has more procrastinators than any other section I’ve taught. I was also grumpy because Auntie Flo decided to show up this morning after several months away. I’d been hoping that menopause had become meno-stop, but obviously Flo has just been messing with me. (She really didn’t have to go to all that trouble.) Bert is out of town, so our cat is discombobulated and pesters me constantly, and I have cold sore on the inside of my lower lip that will be filling out a voter registration card of its own any day now.

However, nothing compares to the way the search committee has messed with my mind. I interviewed ten days ago and the committee pulled out all the stops. I felt as limp as politician’s promise to tell the truth when I finished. I’m not sure how I did. Probably neither as well as I hoped or as bad as I feared.

Since then, I have heard nothing. Not one word. Not a peep.

There are no secrets on my campus, so I get asked roughly every 3.5 minutes if I have heard anything. I haven’t called any of my contacts because I didn’t want to seem pushy and I’m tired and hormonal (see earlier paragraph).

Today, though, I saw the one person on the committee who is my friend, so I asked her where things stood. Get this, pixies—they haven’t even met since interview day! My friend had no idea when they would meet next, let alone when they’d make a decision. She got the impression from the chair that it may be awhile.

Pixies, I don’t know whether to laugh, cry, or scream. I’d about decided that I was out of the running, so I’m delighted to know that I’m still alive. But I’m frustrated as heck to realize it may be weeks before I’m out of limbo.

Pass the virtual Margaritas—who cares that Cinco de Mayo was Monday? I need the whole pitcher now!

Congrats to Miranda on your graduation and to Kathy A on her narrow escape from financial disaster. Hugs to Esperanza and her sweet Baboo.


liz said...

(((NUD))) and I think you may have to get a whole new award for the number of contenders for elevated risk of mullet in your post.

Miranda said...

The awards are running late. They will be up later this afternoon.

Thank you for your patience!!!

KLee said...

Wah! I missed Wednesday! I've been so busy with play rehearsals that I've been, to quote an Aussie friend, "flat out like a lizard drinking!"

purple_kangaroo said...

Ooh, the thread is still open?

I had a great trip to see my sister, but still trying to recover from mono (on top of the FMS/CFS) and then traveling coast to coast has left me EXTREMELY tired.

And the kids are grumpy/whiny/difficult, and I simply do not have the energy to deal with them well.

Will I ever feel moderately functional again? I'm just so tired and discouraged right now.

Oh, and the neighbor girl who was supposedly available afternoons most of the time, isn't really. And when she is she shows up and then informs me that she can't stay long.

So far she's never been willing/able to stay longer than 2 hours. I thought we'd talked about having her here for 3 hours or more, but I guess I need to sit down with her and be more clear.

Yesterday she arrived a little after 1 and told me she had to leave by 2. That actually meant I had about 30 minutes to nap, because it takes her a while to get herself situated and be ready to take over with the kids after arriving, and she isn't very good at problem-solving things without my help (for example, the kids' coats are on the floor of the coat closet instead of hanging up in the closet, and the kids told her that they had more coats in the [unlocked] car, but the coats aren't hanging up in the closet and so therefore she can't take the kids for a walk like I asked her to).

Then yesterday I woke up an hour late and she was just sitting downstairs with the kids, waiting for me to wake up. She knew where I was and that I was sleeping, so why didn't she wake me up or send one of the kids to do it, as I've asked her to do?

Is it unreasonable of me to ask her to wake me or send the kids to wake me when it's time for her to leave? I can't sleep without earplugs when the kids are running around the house being noisy, but that means I can't hear an alarm to wake me up, either. Now I'm afraid to actually go to sleep for fear I'll oversleep and nobody will wake me.

To me it seemed more reasonable to tell her that I'm going to wear earplugs so that she doesn't have to worry quite so much about keeping the kids quiet, but that then I will have to be woken up. The other option would be to have her keep the kids out of the house or quiet the whole time I'm sleeping, which really doesn't seem reasonable with little kids.

purple_kangaroo said...

Vote for Kathy A for the card problem, and NUD for the descriptive writing style.

purple_kangaroo said...

Oh, and Miranda I'm glad you were able to borrow a car with working brakes.

Hugs to all who hate Mother's Day.