I don't think any of you guys would be surprised to hear that I want a new(er) car, especially if you're Facebook friends with me, considering how much time I spend whining about cars on my timeline. The problem is that I don't *need* a new car. At all. Not even a little.
I'm still driving my trusty 2000 Toyota convertible, and the damn thing won't die.
Jeff and I agreed years ago that we would buy cars when only we need them
(and when we can pay cash, if possible). Since that time, Jeff has had 2 new(er) cars (both purchases were need-based and paid for in cash) but
I'm still chugging away in my old Toyota. This will not stand, people. In fact, if you include the old trucks he's restoring, Jeff has bought 6 (SIX!!!) cars since I've had my Toyota. *Somebody* needs to learn how to say "no" to her husband.
The problem is that there's absolutely nothing wrong with my car. It's mechanically sound, the body is pristine, and when you step on the gas it takes off like a rocket. Even the mileage is relatively low. Crap.
My car may be "fine", but there are a world of sexy new convertibles out there that make my car look like a turd. And I want one of those sexy new cars. Badly.
Last Sunday I thought I was finally going to score a new car the hard way: by Totaling the Toyota (ahhh...alliteration). It doesn't take too much damage to total out a 13-year-old car, and I thought Sunday was my day. W00T!!! I've never been so excited about the prospect of being hit by a moron.
I was driving to the mall, and when I came over a hill a fire truck was pulling onto the road and traffic had stopped. While I was waiting for the road to clear, I looked in my rear view mirror and saw an old beige Chevy Caprice hauling butt over the hill in my lane. There's no way he would be able to stop in time. A collision was imminent.
I'm not going to lie, people. I was thrilled to see him. All I could think was "Bring the pain, Chevy, and score me a new car!" Who's the moron now?
The only barrier between me & the Chevy was a little old lady in a Lincoln behind me. She was getting hit for sure, and I was confident there was no way she'd be able to keep from rolling right into me.
I relaxed my shoulders, took a big breath, exhaled and put my head on the headrest. Standard car wreck prep. Then I waited.
I heard the squeal of tires and watched in the mirror as the Chevy nailed the car behind me. And then.....nothing. Grandma in the Lincoln kept her foot on the brake, and instead of ramming into me, the back of her car lifted off the ground and then came back down on the Chevy's hood. Dammit, Grandma - hook a sister up! Car parts flew all around my car, but nothing hit me. Nothing whatsoever. Double crap.
I jumped out to make sure everyone was OK (they were), and then went about my business. In my old-ass car.
I know what you guys are thinking: "Jesus, LAB, what kind of dumb ass gets excited about getting in a car wreck?"
Well, *raises hand*, this girl does. I never claimed to be smart. But I'm an excellent driver! Unfortunately.
Pretty sure I've mentioned by now that the Freaks Come Outat Nightwhen I'm alone in the office. On my regular day alone in the office (a day which I'm not going to announce here because I don't trust some of you folks not to drive out here and screw with me), I normally stick a gun in my purse, even though we're technically closed on that day and the door stays locked.
Anyway, the last time I was alone in the office a crazy teenager who stank of alcohol pounded on the door until I opened it (my mistake), then tried to push past me into the building and when I blocked the door with my body, he asked if I had "any candy he could have." Sorry kid, only Jeff gets my candy these days. When I finally pushed him out and locked the door, he paced the front porch for 15 minutes until he finally left. Nice.
So I've been a bit on edge about being here alone. Especially on days like today, when my coworker has a sick child and I'm alone all day unexpectedly. We're open today, so I don't have the option of keeping the door locked.
This morning I went into the ladies' room, and while I was in there I heard someone enter the men's room. So I came out and waited behind the front desk (to keep the desk between me & my unexpected guest) to see who it was. And....nothing. The men's room door was closed and nobody came out. Ever. Now I was completely skeeved out, even thought it could have just been the FedEx guy or a legitimate customer.
I went back to my office and grabbed a panic button and a bottle of mace from my desk. Although I'm not quite sure what good the stupid panic buttons do around here. They don't prevent anything from happening, they just call the alarm company in God knows where USA and have them notify the police to come find my dead body. So my hopes were really hung on the mace at this point.
Armed with my mace, I made a quick pass through the back offices and then headed to the men's room. I knocked lightly on the door, no response, then harder, no response, then I tried the handle. The door opened and the men's room was empty. PHEW! Another crisis resolved. I really need to quit watching scary movies at night.
I headed back to my desk, mace in hand, to resume working. That's when I looked down in my hand, and noticed that instead of mace I had grabbed a travel size can of Static Guard. I was protecting my life with damn fresh scent static eliminator.
Only one of these things can save your life.
Guess I need to rethink my threatening speech: "STOP! Or I'll smooth your flyaway hair!" That should keep the bad guys at bay. I feel safer already.
It's been a long time since I dated. Really long. Like 16 years. So when my brother re-entered the dating pool recently, I learned the most amazing things. Here's a sample:
If a girl tells you she "used to be a stripper", it means she was stripping last night. And possibly this morning.
Based on an informal survey of my brothers' (male) friends, the appropriate age for a man's second wife is half his age, plus 7 years (e.g. a 40 year old man's 2nd wife should be 27). Although I question the methodology used to come up with this equation. And the intent.
No matter how many times you demand that your brother turn gay because you've always wanted a gay brother, he won't do it. Even though our mother always said "If you don't try something new, how do you know you won't like it?".
When meeting your brother's date for the first time, if she says "My ex's sister was the biggest psycho I've ever met", the appropriate response is not "Challenge accepted."
If you try to pimp out your brother to all the hot chicks in a bar, he'll start introducing you to people as his "agent".
Bonus dating advice: Here's a little nugget that our sister shared with her college-aged son: "Always go for the girl in the white shorts". You know why.
You're welcome, people. You may now return to your regularly scheduled Monday activities.
I was throwing away our Christmas cards this week, and I noticed that on fully half of them the sender had spelled my name wrong. Including two from members of my extended family. Really, people? You've known me my entire life and you still can't put an "e" on the end of Anne? Somebody needs to buy a vowel!
It reminded me of my Name Game post from a couple of years ago. Apologies for the recycling, but the post pissed off so many of my friends, I just can't resist reposting it.
If you read this, and it hurts your widdle feewings..It's because you just realized that you CORNHOLED YOUR OWN KIDS FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES (shouty capitals intended) thinking you were being cute when you named them. I guarantee it's not cute to them. Trust me on this one.
Without further comment, I give you a repost of "The Name Game":
This entry is dedicated to my good friends Lelok and Chappell, both of whom
share my pain.
It kills me how people with easy names (like Jennifer or Steve or any name
for which the spelling is common) give their kids unusual names or names with
crazy spelling or refer to their kids by their middle name. You people
have no idea of what it's like to go through life correcting people or spelling
your name all the time. It *sucks*. A lot. Not that I'm
You may think it's a minor inconvenience to have to spell your name for
someone. But imagine doing it time after time after time for 40+ years
(and counting). Over and over and over. It's a pain in the ass, and
my name isn't even that hard! I don't know how people with really unusual
names make it through the day. I wonder if there are any statistics on
the depression rate of people with screwy names vs. the general population.
Somebody call the Freakonomics guys!
Which leads me to my theory of how hard-to-spell or unusual names always
skip a generation. If I had a child (not likely, but I'm writing
theoretically) I would never give him or her a name that isn't easily
understood and spelled. I'd give them names like Peter and Jane. Or
may be even Pete and Jan. Nobody could screw those up! Although being named Peter probably comes with it's own set of problems. You can't
give your kids many guarantees in life, but I could damn sure guarantee that
nobody would screw up their names. Ever.
Here's an example from my own experience. My parents were Mary Lee and
John. Pretty easy, right? Bet they never had to spell their names
for anyone! But instead of spelling my name Lee Ann (or the "easy
way" as I like to call it), they spelled it Leigh Anne. Thanks, Mom
and Dad. I know it was the '60's, but damn!
Not only do I always have to spell my name for people, but if someone sees
the spelling of my name before they hear it pronounced they assume my name is
Leah. Especially if they're not from the South. I still don't know
what that's about.
And don't get me started on that damn "e" on the end of Anne.
That one letter is the bane of my existence. That "e" is the
reason I dropped my entire middle name for 10 years of my life (until I decided
I really needed it for the sake of the extra syllable). I'm just not a
Leigh. May be I could have been a Lee, but I'll never know. Just call me LAB.
But as sure as I'd name my kids Pete and Jane, they'd probably name the next
generation Schawnne and Ginefar. Because they'll have no idea what
they're doing to their kids. They'll think they're being cute and clever,
but all they're really doing is condemning their kids to a future of wasted
time correcting people when they get the spelling wrong. Schawnne and
Ginefar, however, will name their kids Skip and Tina. And the pattern
would continue generation after generation. Ad nauseam.
You may think I'm making a big deal out of nothing (and if that's what you
think I can guarantee that you have an easy name), but giving your
child an unusual name has been proven to make them statistically less
likely to be selected for a job interview based on their resume as
compared to the resumes of more traditionally named candidates with
similar education and experience (refer to the first Freakonomics book
for the methodology used). So nice job giving your kids a leg down, parents. And sending your daughters one step closer to the pole.
I'm not the only one who
feels this way. There's even a Facebook group called "People Who
Always Have to Spell Their Names for Other People". I'm pleased to
say that I have one of the easiest names in the group, which makes me thankful
for my very ordinary last name.
And to those of you who have difficult names and who also gave your children
difficult names I say this: What the hell is wrong with you? Douchebags.
I'm not saying we should go so far as to follow the Icelandic method of a government approved list of names, or that names should be selected from the rack of readily available coffee mugs found at any airport gift store, but seriously people. Think about what your doing. Use your head. It's that round thing two feet above your ass.
These days, when someone asks me how to spell my name I just say
"however it's easiest". I gave up years ago.
Ladies, ladies, ladies. I don't know how many times I have to tell you this, but here it is again:
If you have a problem with a man...and you attempt to solve that problem with the assistance of another man...you end up with two problems.
So ends the lesson. You're welcome.
Speaking of bad decisions, I've been feeling the urge to do something stupid and reckless lately. I don't have anything specific in mind (yet), but I'm feeling awfully domesticated these days. And frankly, it sucks.
How domesticated, you ask? The wildest thing I've done lately is apply a generous amount of curly hair product to my hair and then straighten it. Somebody stop me! Last night I turned on the TV instead of reading and Jeff said "Holy crap! You're watching TV! You're a wild woman."
I can't even remember the last time I was kicked out of a bar. Oh, wait. Yes I can. But that was years ago. And It's been months since Jeff and I have had to drive around on a Sunday morning looking for my abandoned car at a local watering hole (the best decision I ever made was to buy a house close enough to bars that I can walk home).
I'm feeling an awful lot like a grown up these days. This, my friends, will not stand.
I may have to get a girl gang together and stir up some trouble. Who's in?
I try not to post things that make Jeff look like anything less than the Superhero he is, although clearly I fail at this effort regularly. I wasn't even going to share this story, but Jeff assumed I already had and since he already gave me hell for it I'm pretty sure it's fair game now. So here it is.
Last week Jeff was working nights, which means he's less Superhero and more Grumpy Bastard. But I deal with it, because when you don't get married until you're 32 years old you tend to overlook the small stuff. It also meant that he slept all day on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and then left for work as soon as he woke up, which isn't exactly my idea of a fun, old-fashioned Holiday but at least he gets a paycheck.
When he finishes with a week of working nights, he usually elects to stay up all day following his last night of work to get back to a normal sleep schedule as quickly as possible. This means that a few times a month he's awake for 36 hours straight. His behavior at the end of this 36-hour period can be unpredictable (at best).
We were finally at the tail-end of last week's Grumpy Bastard 36-hour streak and he took a shower and got ready for bed. I was sitting in the den watching TV, assuming he was asleep, when he shot through the room wearing sweats and a jacket. Here's what transpired:
LAB: I thought you were in bed? Jeff: I was, but the squirrels screwing in the gutters woke me up. LAB: *blink* *blink* Jeff: I could hear them. Screwing in the gutters. LAB: Squirrels? Jeff: Screwing in the gutters. LAB: How do you know they're screwing? Jeff: I COULD HEAR THEM! LAB: *blink* *blink* *then thinking about moans of squirrel ecstasy* Jeff: I'm going out there to pull off the gutter guards. LAB: In the dark? In the rain? Jeff: Yep. Then they'll leave. LAB: Are you messing with me? Jeff: Squirrels. Screwing. Gutters.
At this point I had two choices: Tell him he was having a psychotic break and try to convince him to go back to bed, or let him go outside, get on a ladder in the rain, at 9 p.m., after no sleep for 36 hours and pull the gutter guards off the gutters. I selected Option 2. Because at the time it was Jeff vs. the imaginary screwing squirrels, but if I had tried to intervene it would have been Jeff vs. the screwing squirrels and me. This is how you stay married, people.
He really did go outside and pull off the gutter guards. And I really did let him. Apologies to any squirrels who may have actually been screwing at the time. Guess they'll have to find another spot for their rodent relations. Apparently our gutters are off limits.