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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Do you Groupon?

No, I have NOT been living under a rock but lately, this whole Groupon thing has really piqued my interest.  I am finding all kinds of things that I want to do!

First, I want to go and see the play about the Lost Colony here in North Carolina.  It's a day at the beach, a little history lesson for Michael...it's a win/win situation!  Then, today, I see a Groupon for ziplining!  What the what??  Every time I see someone zipline on Amazing Race or something, I always think that I want to do that.  

Then Frank reminds me of my fear of heights...

But I say "SO WHAT??"  I think I want to do this and I think that Frank should come with me and that we should just do something crazy together!  I'm going to wait for the weekend to broach the subject with him and see if he's on board with it.  Actually, I thought about surprising him with it but even with the Groupon, it's not cheap.

So I think I want to explore this more.  Maybe go for a mani/pedi...perhaps a massage.  And then I am going to sail over the trees and scream like a lunatic!

Hopefully...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Seriously, Dude, it's over...

So I took the advice of a friend and decided to do my car shopping on-line.  I literally had a dozen dealerships vying for my business and each of them willing to work some sort of deal.  Only one came close to getting me exactly what I wanted.  Unfortunately, because we do not use credit (which seems like a good idea, but clearly is not), our credit score is not desirable to the financial department.

I talked to this guy yesterday both by phone and via email and when he gave me the final number (after getting my credit info back), I told him I needed to think about it.  He called me today and left me a message and then immediately emailed me to see if I've made my decision.  Well, I had.  We're not going to do it.  The monthly payment he offered is only $30 more than what I wanted but the more we talked about it, the more we decided that we needed to wait.  I emailed the salesman back and thanked him and explained the situation and told him when we were ready, we'd be in touch.

I have been getting emails damn near every 30 minutes from this guy.

First it was: 

I wanted to shoot you over a email seeing how you are doing. I'm sure you are extremely busy at work if your day is going like mine. Let me know how to move forward. The Elantra is fueled up and ready for delivery.

Thanks again


To which I replied:   

Thanks for getting back w/me.  I couldn't grab the phone when you called earlier.  I want to thank you for all that you did for us to try and get the car but we are going to wait.  I know it's only $30 more a month but we decided to try and do what we can on our credit before committing to anything.
 
Thank you again for all of your hard work and honesty.
 
have a great day!
 
Nice, right?
 
He comes back with: 

Let me ask you this. I'm not even sure that I can do it but if I can get you close to $180 a month will you consider it? It's a stretch but I'll go see what I can do. 
 
Seriously...couldn't he just let me bow out graciously?
 
So I responded (because I can't seem to leave a question out there dangling):
 

Really, I thank you for all that you did but one of the reasons we've lived w/o credit is so that we stay within our means.  At the 163 we were going to be ok, I don't want to go anywhere above or beyond that b/c there's still insurance and whatnot to deal with.
 
It just wasn't meant to be for right now.
 
Thanks, again!
 
And we're done...
 
Not...

I have one last chance here. You think you could put an extra $500 with the $2,000 that you are already putting down now? I've spoke with Hyundai Credit and the Hyundai sales manager and I think with an extra $500 we can put this together. If you can't do the $500 let me know what you can do and I'll see about the amount too. I'm here for another 45 mins so just let me know when you can.

Thanks
 
Now I'm mad...

Thank you, but it's not going to happen right now.

You can feel my wrath, right?  He didn't...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't you looking to lease an Elantra for $169 a month? With the extra $500 I can get you there. If you gave me the $2,000 now and needed to wait an extra week before giving me the other $500 that would be fine. I'm trying to assist you here not worry you. I have the car here, the color is what you wanted and we can get this done for you today. What has happened? Where did I go wrong?
 
At this point, I wouldn't lease from this guy if someone gave me all of the money to do it because he's whiny, needy and clingy!  My FINAL message to him: 
 
You did not go wrong.  We do not have another $500 to put down - not just right now, not next week or this month or next.  If I could do it, I would.  You have been very helpful but now I am feeling slightly harassed.  You've seen our credit score, I've explained to you our situation and I know, for me and my family, this is not the right choice to make at the present time.

Thank you.
 
Let's hope that I am done here because this is just too much for my afternoon... 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Vote for MOTRENDUS!!!

Okay, so with all of the working in the real world and finally feeling like we are coming out of the abyss, there has still been time to be a part time rock star for my husband.  

Last week it was announced that Frank's band, Motrendus, was nominated for a Carolina Music Award!  Think the Grammy's on a local level.  How cool is that???  So here's the thing, they need people to vote for them.  Follow this link HERE to vote for them.  They are in the "Rock" category.

Help make 2012 a great year and vote in the Carolina Music Awards for Motrendus and help Frank and the guys achieve a life-long dream!  Go MOTRENDUS!!!  You can also like them on Facebook

 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Disappointment...

So at the end of this week I will be at my job for a full year!  I cannot even believe it!  In that year I went from being a part-time employee to a full-time one and I have learned so much.  I love just about every one that I work with (there are a couple of exceptions) and for the most part I am just beyond thankful to have found such a place to work.

Until today.

I am bumming so hard right now that I have spent a large part of the night crying.  When I was hired, part of my employment required me to work at least one Saturday a month.  This was not a big deal because originally there were four of us in the rotation and really, once a month isn't a big deal and when I was working part-time, those extra hours came in handy.  

Then, when things were really bad for us and we were struggling so much financially, I took two sometimes three Saturday's a month and no one seemed to mind that at all.  Those extra hours really helped out a lot during those scary months.

Well now, fast forward to the present and when I got my promotion, one of the first things I said to one of my bosses was that I wanted off of the Saturday rotation because that would have me in the office six days a week.  NO ONE in the office does six days a week.  

NO...ONE.

Well, it couldn't happen right away because there wasn't enough coverage and so to compensate me (or rather, to shut me up a bit) it was decided that on the weeks that I work a Saturday, I could leave early on the Wednesday.  It all sounds good but really, it's not.  Frank isn't home, Michael isn't home and so I'm still missing family time and then, on the flip side, there's not enough time to truly enjoy no one being home because 90 minutes after I get home, Michael is getting off the bus.  It's a sucky situation.  

So I sat down with the other two people on the Saturday rotation (because the fourth person was lucky enough to be able to opt out of them) and I still got stuck with more Saturdays than I wanted because the other two are slackers.  I was livid.  These two are young and while one is married, neither have children.  I was working THREE jobs and still got stuck doing the damn Saturdays but I was assured that this would be temporary.

At the end of June, it will be three months.  So today I sat down with my office manager and told her that after June, I'm off the Saturdays.  She understood, I thanked her and I felt really, really good.

That lasted all of three hours.

I was then told that what I wanted was not an option and we will all sit down with the calendar again and work out the next couple of months.  I was devastated.  I mean, these other two slackers sit on their lazy asses and say "Oh, I can't" and when I say it, I'm told I have to??  That is beyond crazy and unfair and you know what?  I HATE saying something is unfair because I sound like an 8 year old!

In the year I've been there I've worked any and all extra hours they've asked for, I've covered on people's vacations I help anyone that needs help and now that I am asking for the help, I'm told no?

The warm fuzzies are now officially gone...

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Week the Music Died...

Although I am a huge 80's music fan (see the previous post), I still loved a lot of the music of the 70's in its disco hayday.  I danced like everyone else to the Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack and to pretty much all-things Donna Summer.  Within the last week, the world has seen the loss of Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees and the great Donna Summer.

While a lot of today's music is so different from what these great artists performed, it makes me sad because their music was that of my childhood.  Neither was, in my opinion, old, and both succumbed to cancer.  It just goes to show that it doesn't matter how famous you are or how much money you make, none of us are immortal - only their music will live on forever.

So to these two great artists I say thank you.  Thank you for the wonderful music and memories you have given me and thank you for being the kind of artists that we were proud to listen to and can still put on our iPod's today to enjoy - even with the kids in the car (most of the time!).

Rest in Peace in Rock N Roll Heaven... 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Duran Duran...

So in my constant need to keep a good part of me in the 80's, I was THRILLED when I learned that Duran Duran was coming to North Carolina this summer.  I put out a blanket email to a bunch of my friends asking "Who wants to go???" and got several yes responses.  By the time tickets went on sale?  Not so much.

So I purchased two tickets and now NO ONE wants to go with me!!!  Everyone has plans, can't afford it, blah, blah, blah but now I don't know what to do!  Frank was like "Don't look at me" and honestly, in all fairness, he SHOULD go with me!  Remember when I had to go and see "Zappa Plays Zappa"?  I mean, seriously?  Did I enjoy that?  Um, no.  As a musician, he should WANT to go with me just to hear music!  But will he?  No.

Nick won't go.

Michael won't go - and really going with a 12 year old would not be a fun time.  I could traumatize him with my big hair and dance moves while singing "Hungry Like the Wolf"!

My buddy Cathleen said she WOULD go, but then finished that statement with "While wearing ear plugs".  See, I listen when you speak, Cathleen!  And I won't torture you with this concert!

I have three months to find someone to come and be ridiculous with me.  Who knew having a girls night listening to 5 hot british guys sing would be so damn difficult???

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Looking for a car...

Can you believe that six months ago I was fearing we were going to be homeless and now I am car shopping???  Crazy, right?  Actually, we are looking to lease a car.  Frank's job requires him to commute quite a distance every day and he no longer needs the big cargo style van because he no longer has to cart all of his tools and equipment.  That thing is a HUGE gas guzzler.  

We're not prepared to buy a car but we figure we can lease one.  With the lease we have to put less money down than if we were buying and we can find a brand new car that will fit in our budget.  The main problem?  Me.  I don't want a compact car.  I like my SUV.  I like sitting up higher (probably because I'm so short) and I just like the looks of it.  For the monthly amount that we want to spend, we have a wide variety of compact cars to choose from.  Whoopee!  

Frank will take my SUV because we aren't limited on miles that way; with the lease you can only use a certain amount of miles before you get charged for them.  Bummer.  The reality is that it would be better for HIM to drive the compact because of the fuel economy but with the amount of mileage he'll need to use, it's not practical for us.  Plus, with him being on assorted construction sites, I fear something happening to the car.

So I am searching lease deals.  I am going to hit the Kia dealership this weekend and see what kind of magic they can come up with for me.  After that it's the Ford dealer and then the Hyundai.  If I can keep payments at $169 a month or under, I will feel like I won the lottery.  Plus, our days of sharing cars will be over!  Since right now Frank still has the work van, he tends to take my car whenever he has something other than work to do - like play with the band - and then I am left stranded because I can't drive the van.

My fingers are crossed that I can find something good, fast...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Whirwind wedding weekend

So this last weekend Frank and I took a trip up to New Jersey (with no kids!) for his nephew's wedding.  We left Thursday night, drove to the Maryland/Delaware border, stayed the night at a hotel and then took the ferry to Cape May, New Jersey and drove the remainder of the way where we stayed the weekend and came home on Sunday.

It was fast and wonderful.  We spent time with Frank's sister and her family who we have not seen in almost 17 years!  The nephew that was getting married?  We hadn't seen him since he was 10!  I feel truly honored that we were even included in the guest list and it was an amazing visit.

First off, the ferry.  Why had I not heard of this before?  It's so ridiculous but we had so much fun!  We drove the car right on and it was an hour and 20 minute ride but for two people who haven't been on the water in almost 20 years, it was damn near paradise!  I took a TON of pictures like an idiot.

Then there was my black dress.  If I do say so myself, I looked fabulous.  I would have preferred to have been about 10 pounds thinner but that's my own fault for not making more of an effort to make it happen.  I tried really hard that last week to be extra good and work out a lot and all I managed to do was gain 2 damn pounds!  I hate the scale.

My husband looked so handsome all dressed up and I realized that we just never go anywhere that lets us dress up.  I'm going to have to do something about that because we look good dressed up!  At the wedding we were voted the cutest "older" couple by his nephews and their wives/girlfriends.  Sort of a backhanded compliment but I'll take it!

We had a big breakfast out with the family before getting on the road on Sunday and while I know that our moving to NC was the right thing for us, seeing the nephews and Frank's sister again made me realize how much we missed.  Our boys weren't with us and so I realize that they (meaning Frank's family) missed out on a lot of stuff in our lives, as well.  I was a little sad getting in the car.  We all promised not to let so much time go by before seeing each other again.

we'll see...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Good parents, bad advice

I am the first to admit that sometimes I may not have the best advice to give my children.  Why?  The reasons are endless.  First off, they are boys and therefor, think like boys.  I am a girl.  We think very differently.  So there have been times that they have come to me for advice and Frank has heard what I had to say and then said "What are you out of your mind???"

Sad but true.

As someone who has lived more than 40 years and experienced the life as a child of divorce and of a teenager and gone on to be the parent of a teenager, I felt, at many times, that I had a right to comment or advise when things were getting floopy.  When bad behavior was being committed (and not only by my child), I spoke up.  What surprised me more than anything is what other parents consider bad behavior and what they do not.

If your child is in an unhealthy relationship - whether it be a romantic relationship with the opposite sex or a friendship - why would you encourage them to stay in it? I get the whole "We're all human" and "We need to extend grace and forgiveness" but when these relationships are causing your child to lose friends and to act out in ways that are a danger to themselves or others around them, why would you encourage them to stay in it???  I don't get it.

If someone treats your child poorly, causes them physical and emotional pain, again, why would you encourage your child to endure that?  If your child's heart is broken, why would you tell them to stay with that person?  I'm no psychologist or anything but I certainly know what it feels like to have my heart broken and I've witnessed many relationships that left someone devastated - it's a natural part of life - but why would you tell your child to continue to endure that pain???

From a Christian standpoint, I get where you might POSSIBLY feel like you are doing the Christian thing and extending grace and forgiveness but to what end?  If the person who is hurting your child does not have your child's best interest at heart, shouldn't YOU the PARENT have that???

I'm baffled;  I truly am.  I've watched my son begin and end relationships.  Friendships come and go.  Again, it's a natural part of life.  For years he just seemed to attract people who were not good for him.  It took some time but he eventually walked away from the toxic ones.  He extended grace and forgiveness, but he CHOSE to not continue the relationship and Frank and I encouraged that.  

Shame on you parents who tell your children to stay in situations that are bad for them, where their hearts will be broken and where you are forcing them to endure heartache needlessly.  Get off of your pulpit because our jobs as parents are to love and guide our children in a way that will make their lives better, not sit back and make them suffer needlessly.

Again, I am baffled.