Tough Week

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Apr 082006

Worked a ton in the yard today. We decided to ditch our pathetic garden and landscape that area as well many of the areas along our fence. I’ve a ton more to do, and maybe we’ll post some pictures at some point.

Also scored some Dave Matthews tickets today for the July 4th concert. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve seen him dating back to 1995. There’s no new album this year so no new songs to learn – just more of the old ones.

This last week was one of the worst I’ve had in a long time so I think the yard work has helped me blow off some steam. From troubles with my car to a rough week at work…well, I’m just glad it’s over.

Jun 022004

I have to start by saying that people who know me know that I love my little car. It is one of my most prized possessions because it is the first car I ever bought brand new, and it has been very good to me. Yesterday, almost 4 1/2 years after I bought that wonderful, dependable car, it broke down.

I am sure you are asking yourself what the big deal is because cars break down all the time. Well, because everything with me has to be as dramatic as possible, my car broke down in the middle of an intersection without any warning. Oh wait, I did have a warning. My check engine light came on, and about 10 SECONDS later while I was on the phone with Brian, every warning light came on, and then it died. Right after my car died, the traffic light turned green and there I was, stuck. I closed my eyes to get my bearings and brace for what was coming next – the honking of very angry motorists in back of me that couldn’t go even though the light had turned green. Is there anything more humiliating than that? Well, maybe standing up out of the water on a beach and realizing that the waves have washed away your bathing suit is more humiliating, but this is pretty close.

Finally I came to my senses and realized that Brian was still on the phone, and he was telling me to calm down, turn my hazard lights on, and call AAA. I hung up the phone, said a little prayer, turned the key, and my car started, but every warning light came on, and I knew that I was not going to go very far. I was able to drive the car onto the shoulder and out of the way of traffic, then I called AAA. I waited there in my little car for about 45 minutes before the tow truck arrived with a very interesting driver. He had the most tattoos and piercings I had ever seen on anyone. He had a “hell’s angels” look about him, but when we got into the truck, he turned the radio on and out came romantic country songs. Totally was not what I was expecting. Finally, as I was starting to get comfortable and just enjoy the ride, a cicada flew in through the window and landed on me, and I went into complete hysterics until I was able to get it off me. When I looked up the driver said “they don’t bite you know.” I looked at him and said “I don’t care if they bite or not, I don’t like 2 inch bugs landing on me”. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, we arrived at the car shop.

I dropped my car off and I gave them Brian’s number because car problem talk sounds like “blah, blah, blah, blah” to me, and it is all very expensive and I would not ask ALL the questions that Brian would ask. After everything was set, I started walking home. The day was so sunny and wonderful that I thought it would be a wonderful, healthy walk. Well, two minutes into it, I realized walking sucks, and every cicada in the universe was hanging out in Reston yesterday. They landed on me, flew by my face, I stepped on a couple, and I ran from others. I must’ve looked like a lunatic walking home. Anyway, 25 LONG minutes later, I was home.

My car was fixed in time to be picked up last night, and I was able to drive to work this morning like nothing had ever happened. Everything seems to be back to normal, but stay tuned. It is only Wednesday, and you never know what could happen in the life of a drama queen!

Left Turn, Clyde

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Sep 092003

When you think of a redneck, one of the things that ultimately pops into your mind is NASCAR. Lots of guys racing around constantly making left turns.

Yeah, lots of excitement.

So with that mind, we ventured last Friday down to Richmond to see the NASCAR Busch Series Funai 250, and you know what? It was actually fun.

I never knew that NASCAR races were so loud that you needed to wear ear plugs. You can also rent headsets to listen to your favorite driver communicating with his pit crew all through the race. And you really don’t get an appreciation for how fast they are actually moving until you’re standing next to the track; you just don’t get that feeling on TV.

The most exciting part is the crashes and the ensuing race for first place that occurs after the yellow flag-waving is replaced with a green one. There was even a red flag that occured (which stops the race completely) due to a messy crash that occured about five laps before the end of the race, I assume so as not to end the race under a yellow flag (in which all drivers must drive slowly and maintain their position).

The last three laps were definitely the most thrilling as the first two cars bumped into each other producing alot of smoke (from the tires) and making everyone think that they were going to crash. The driver in third ended up rear-ending the driver in second which caused him to spin out. I don’t know if it was intentional or not, but the driver in second surely thought so and drove up next to the other driver in the pit after the race to give him a piece of his mind.

So while we’re not exactly NASCAR fanatics now, we can certainly appreciate it as a sport and wouldn’t mind going to another race.

Monica’s family will be happy to know that she is the first Puerto Rican redneck. 🙂

Bumper Stumped

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Jun 272003

I had to stop by the local grocery store yesterday, so I pull into the parking spot, and I notice I’m a little close to the curb. I back up a little, and I cringe as really bad creaking and banging noises emanate from beneath my car.

I sat there for a few seconds, afraid to get out and look at the result of my bad parking job. Finally, I look.

Apparently, my bumper had caught on the curb and as I backed up, the right side of it pulled away from the car and completely separated from a piece of…something…that is in the front of the right wheel well.


I couldn’t do anything with it there, so I had to drive home. While driving, as I approach 30 MPH, I notice a whirring sound. When I get home, I see that the piece in the wheel well that had separated, was forced back by the wind and caused the tire to rub against it. It rubbed enough to create a hole.


I get home and start to really inspect the damage, and I realize that I might be able to fix some of it myself. I was able to reattach the piece back to the bumper and almost push the bumper completely back into place. The part underneath the bumper must be bent because it’s not exactly flush with the rest of the car as it was before, but it’s pretty close (most people won’t be able to tell). So that, coupled with the hole in the piece in the wheel well (which you can’t really notice), means I’m going to have to get it fixed.

At least it doesn’t look too bad and the car functions fine, so I can get it fixed at my convenience. After checking with the local body shop, I realize they always have the consumer in mind with their M-F 8-5 hours of operation.

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Feb 052003

Had a little adventure today when Monica locked her keys in her car. It was extra fun because she had no idea where her spare key is. AAA is king (a slow king, but still king).

Went to the doctor today, but all they gave me was medicine for my symptoms…no antibiotics. I understand that too many of those is bad for you in the long run, but I know this sinus infection is going to get worse, as usual, and I’ll need the antibiotics in a few days anyway. Oh well. *cough*

Made some more changes to the front page. There are now random photos that will appear above the blogs. I’m not sure if I’m done tinkering or not, but we’ll see.

That was some speech by Powell today, huh? You wanted evidence? Blammo, here’s enough for three Iraqs. Anyone that’s not behind us now is insane. Of course, France will still wuss out.

Jan 092003

Not much done with the site today; just some behind the scenes stuff.

One of the biggest pains in the neck with owning a car in VA is having to get it inspected every year. I usually go to a local gas station to get mine done, and invariably there is a problem. Most of the kinds of places where you can actually leave your car don’t do inspections on the weekends, which is exactly when I have the opportunity to leave my car. Makes sense, right? At the gas stations, they inspect cars during the week (and on weekends sometimes), and you can wait while it’s done. However, they usually start inspections around 8:00 am and there is ALWAYS a line of people waiting there for the guy to show up. And the inspection guys don’t seem to have the best work ethic so they kind of show up when they feel like it. One time I went to one by my job, and I’m waiting and waiting…and waiting. Finally I go inside and ask what the deal and they tell me that he had a family emergency and wasn’t coming in. Thanks for telling me that, jerkheads! I came back to that same gas station a few days later (I know, big mistake) and the guy didn’t show up because of a silly, little ice storm.

But I digress. This morning I had the great idea of going to a gas station by my job that actually starts inspections at 7:30 am (at least, that’s what’s posted on the sign). My first thought is that everyone else will have this same idea so I better get there early. So, I wake up extra early and even leave before the sun gets up. I pull up to the gas station and, what luck, there is no one else there yet. So 7:30 rolls around and no inspection guy. 7:45…no inspection guy. Finally at 7:52, the guy comes out to take my car. I’m not really angry because I’m the first one there, but it’s really bad if you’re behind a couple of other people and have somewhere to go. It totally sucks because it’s something you HAVE to do, it costs you money to do it, and you’re at the mercy of the no-work-ethic-having inspection guys. If you live in a state that doesn’t require them, count your blessings.