(not the teenage kind)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Suri Double

My niece is going to be a star. Her former nanny submitted her picture for an HBO show which sounds like some sort of comedy. They needed a baby to play the child of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. There is no audition. They saw her picture and they picked her. She is being paid $120 for four hours. Of course, Hollywood is fickle and who knows if it will actually happen but how promising is this? I wish I could be there to take her to the filming!

It's All Happening In Des Moines

What a difference a year makes! I am writing to you not from Java Joe's (where I did have my coffee this morning) but from the brand new big and beautiful Downtown Des Moines Public library. You all would not believe how many computers there are here. And how beautiful the view is from the computers. And my mom right now is at a computer viewing a presentation from the Shoah foundation.

There is also a new area called the East Village which is the "hip" new shopping/living area near the Capitol building. Downtown Des Moines is the place to be.

And LAX is the place not to be. Our plane left yesterday morning at 7:12 am. We left my house at 4:45. We arrived at the airport a little after 5:00 am and we got to the gate as they were already boarding. It took an hour and 50 minutes to check in our bags and go through security. At 5 in the morning. The guy in front of us missed his plane. They only had one guy for curbside check-in and the line was way back to the Valley.

The flights were uneventful. At least I guess they were, I slept through both of them.

Aunt Mary's 98th (97th?) birthday is today. She is much the same as last year although a little harder of hearing. We are on our way now to the Dahl's market to get her some Russell Stover candy and get me a powerball ticket. I have a feeling I'm going to finally win this year and, when I do, the Des Moines East Village better watch out...

Sunday, August 13, 2006

My New Addition

Okay, we can call it my midlife crisis car. I have been thinking and doing internet investigations and trying to decide whether it was time to give up on my 2000 Passat. I really wanted it to last ten years but it was causing me much frustration as it kept doing really weird things. For example, a month or so ago I could not get the key out of the car because for whatever reason the car did not think it was in park. Until I could get it to the dealer, I had to just leave the key in the car. The dealer was able to fix it pretty quickly but what a weird quirk.

The last straw was on Friday. As my dad, mom, and I were stuck in traffic for an hour and forty five minutes on our way to Long Beach in the heat, the air conditioner just stopped working. And then on the way home from Long Beach, I kept smelling a burning smell. The car no longer felt safe to me. "I have a feeling I'm never going to see this car again," my dad said.

I found my dream 325i on Carmax.com. It was out at the airport and had only 11,000 miles. It was silver, the same color as my Passat. I made an appointment to go see it yesterday morning but on my morning walk I ran into the people across the street who seem to have a new car every six months or so and at one time had a BMW. The wife immediately told me to go buy one. The husband was a little more reserved. "I'm leaning towards Japanese over German these days." However, by the end of the conversation he remembered the great BMW maintenance policy (everything free for 50,000 miles) and suggested I go to the dealer a few blocks away rather than drive all the way to the airport. He said to show them the car I had printed out from carmax.com and ask them if they could match the deal. (Carmax is no haggle which was what appealed to me and the price was well below blue book.)

I continued on my walk. As I stopped at the ATM, a woman in a BMW 325i pulled into a parking space. She had recently bought it from the dealer near my house. It was a 2001 and looked brand new. She loved the car. She told me to "go for it."

When I got home, my neighbor Jeff was out front. His wife drove a BMW 325i which they leased and turned back when their baby was born. He said they loved that car and loved the service at the dealer. Thus concluded my market research.

I took my neighbor's advice and showed the dealer my flyer from Carmax. They had a similiar car with 17,000 miles which they gave me for less money than the carmax car. Plus, for their certified pre-owned cars, BMW extends the 50,000 mile warranty and maintenance to 100,000 miles. Plus, the salesperson mistakenly told me there was an alarm in the car so they had to install an alarm for free ($750 value.)

The people across the street came by to see the car. The wife gave me a big hug. They thought I had changed my mind and bought a brand new car. It is a beautiful metallic blue green. "I'm glad you got a different color," the wife said. "It's a good thing you went to the dealer because Carmax wouldn't have given you that 100,000 mile warranty," the husband said.

It is very nerve wracking to drive a brand new car but the radio buttons are now set. I drove it last night so I now know how to turn on the headlights, and I have a few more months to learn how to set the clock when daylight savings starts.

Friday, August 11, 2006

So Mature

A friend of mine went to a dermatologist who found basal cell carcinoma on her chest which was promptly removed. She then went to lunch with another friend of mine who had a similar growth on the same spot. This other friend went to the same dermatologist, was found to have basal cell carcinoma, and had it removed.

I decided to see the same dermatologist. Not because I had a growth on my chest but because I wanted a full body check for any and all skin abnormalities. I did go, however, knowing that things happen in threes so there was some trepidation.

I should be jubiliant right now because the doctor found nothing. Nothing to even keep checking on. Nothing. But my relief is a bit marred because at the end of the appointment she handed me a pamphlet that said "mature skin." And on the cover of the pamphlet is a picture of a man and a woman who, in my opinion, look at least fifty years older than me. Okay, maybe thirty.

The good news is that, according to the pamphlet, bathing too often would be bad for my old and decrepit skin so I will be saving lots of time in the mornings now. The pamphlet also says that itching could be a problem. Then it goes on to say:

Elderly skin appears to be more sensitive to fabric preservatives, wool, plastics, detergents, bleaches, soaps and other irritants. Certain days (sic)may also make the skin itchy.

This leaves me to ponder. Which days will it be? Will Saturdays cause me to itch? Or maybe it will be Wednesdays? The pamplet says "identifying and limiting exposure to the cause is important." I suppose I could sleep through whichever days turn out to make me itch but it better not be Tuesdays or I'll miss the next season of "House."

Friday, August 04, 2006

August Hates Me

If I haven't directed you to Crazy Aunt Purl's horoscopes, I have been doing you a disservice because she is amazingly accurate. Here is what she said about me for this month:

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20 - Feb. 18)
Home repair, car repair, footwear malfunctioning, even the sunglasses/handbag/new thing you just bought is askew. Fun, eh? How's it going over there, Aquarius? What's broken today in your world? I know it feels like it won't stop (oh, and by the way, for those of you who are not experiencing any technical difficulties at all, ah. yes. Well, sorry to break the news to you. August is "Stuff Breaks" month.) but it will stop, it will! even though it feels like the world has conspired against you. It hasn't ... it's just something in Uranus. Besides, whatever breaks can be replaced, and maybe you'll find something better anyway ... next month, of course, when it's likely to last longer than a day and a half.

So we all know that a pipe burst in my backyard and some of the landscaping was ruined and still has not been fixed because my gardener lies. Today the car started making a weird and very loud humming noise. Then there's my teeth which of course were already in bad shape but I went today to work with the dentist's office on my treatment plan. Good times ahead.

The other thing that seems to be broken is my credit card bill. I do not think I have ever had an erroneous or unfair credit card charge in my life. I looked online a couple of days ago and found three of them. Three.

The first was easily resolved and turned out not to be a mistake at all. One of the many wineries at which I purchased wine had forgotten to charge me for some of the bottles and had issued a correction. They sent a note about it in their delivery. So okay.

The second one was a charge from a place called "AF Online Inc" which was a company having to do something with computer networks. The charge was for over $300 and was made while I was on vacation in Sonoma. I put the charge in dispute and today received a letter that it had been resolved. My cognitive ability must also be broken because the way I initially interpreted the letter I thought that they had decided against me so I called the credit card company to complain at which point I realized that the statement "we have determined that the credit you requested is appropriate" meant I won....

The third charge is the one that really upset me. It was a $60 charge from the hotel we stayed at in Healdsburg. When I called the hotel to find out what it was for, the front desk girl told me that it was for the dog we brought. I told her we did not bring a dog, wondering if I had travelled with so much dog hair on me and my stuff that it left the impression that there had been an actual dog in the room. But, no, apparently the housekeeping staff saw us with a dog. The front desk girl would not reverse the charge without the consent of the manager who was not there so in the message I left for him I more or less threatened to go to the Supreme Court if this charge was not reversed immeidately. Really, I felt like our integrity was in question. We snuck a dog in to save $60?

August has just begun. Can't wait to see what other stuff will be breaking in my world this month.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

House aka Everybody Lies

When we last left off the plumbers had descended upon my backyard to replace a pipe , tearing apart the fairly new landscaping in the process. That was on Saturday. On Monday, I showed the gardener the disaster site and he said, "Jesus Christ. I better fix this afternoon." As I was leaving a little while later he told me that he could not fix this afternoon and would come back on Tuesday.

He did not come back on Tuesday until the evening. I got home from dinner and there was a note that said, "I see you on Thursday morning at 6 am please have the door open. Thank you."

This morning I got up at 5:30 am, made sure the dog had plenty of outside time, unlocked the gate, and made sure the sprinklers were turned off. Needless to say, it is now 7:32 pm and the gardener has not arrived. I have no Plan B.

I am now drinking a glass of Preston Vin Gris and watching the very first episode of House. I started watching House during the second season. House is based on a column I used to read in the New York Times which was written by a doctor who walked through hard to diagnose cases from the first presentation of the symptoms to the cure. House is a doctor who has excellent diagnostic skills. He is also an extreme misanthrope with a leg injury and a dependence on Vicodin. He has very acute observation skills and very unorthodox methods. In many of the episodes, he almost kills the patients in order to find the cure. Of course, this could be because the show is an hour long and they have to fill it up with something.

I did not know until now that the theme of the show was set up in this very first episode. House claims from the beginning of the episode that "everybody lies" an assertion that is proven in many subsequent episodes as patients hide facts from the doctors or their loved ones for whatever reasons and, well, in House's own personal life as well.

I don't know if it is true that everybody lies but I am beginning to think my gardener might.

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com