Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Personality

I pinched this from Laaw-yuhr's blog...

It looks like I need to get more organized and pay closer attention to detail.

My Personality

Neuroticism
30
Extraversion
60
Openness To Experience
79
Agreeableness
53
Conscientiousness
24

Test Yourself Compare Yourself View Full Report
Find your soulmate / pysch twin

MySpace Layouts, Ugg Boots and MySpace Editor by Pulseware Survey Software

Blog-O-Rama Menu, Part Deux

OK, so you guys gave me a couple of ideas; thank you. Now I only have to think of about thirteen more. I believe I'm up to the challenge. So, here goes:
  1. Review An Episode Of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Picked At Random By My DVR.
  2. How I Escaped The Trekker Subculture
  3. Allegedly, I Hate Science Fiction And Other Nefarious Rumours
  4. If I Were A Rich Man, I Would Totally Need A New Wardrobe
  5. Things I Hate, Things Grant Miller Loves
  6. Happy Throgsgafen!
  7. Hmm...
  8. Well...
  9. Perhaps something interesting will happen to me.
  10. Resolve, Part 5 (The End)
  11. God, Four More?
  12. I'm Sure My Kids Will Pass Another Milestone At This Point. I Can Write About That.
  13. When Did Justin Timberlake Become Hot?
  14. Everything I Need To Know, I Learned From The Movie Zoolander
  15. Reflection: How Participating In A Month-Long Blog-O-Rama Changed My Life

There, done.

Mind you, this list is flexible and, like it's author, prone to whimsy. I plan to stick to it as best I can, but I am generally not a girl who likes to follow the rules. I will, however, play your requests, so to speak. Those items you suggested will appear in the next thirty days.

I'll leave you with this quote from Walt Whitman (the only quote that adorns my desk, by the way):

"Do I contradict myself? Then I contradict myself! I am vast; I contain multitudes."

Monday, October 30, 2006

A List Of Ideas For November's Blog-O-Rama...

Inspired by Big Orange, as I often am, I've decided to plot a "roadmap" for my writing in November. I think I'll space out the ideas over the last two days of October: Today and Tomorrow (Yikes! I'd better cut down on my Spongebob Squarepants Diner Dash games.) So, I've got 15 ideas in me:

  1. Our Ninth Anniversary: The Gory Details
  2. Celebrities Who Have Appeared In My Dreams, Episode 104: Josh Radner & Clay Aiken
  3. Something You Should Know About Me, Chapter 2
  4. Resolve, Part 4
  5. A Review Of The Movie: A Prairie Home Companion
  6. Parallel Structure
  7. My Hometown: A Photo Tour
  8. Cute Things My Kids Have Said
  9. Official Revision Of Self-Improvement Goal 1: Improve My Handwriting
  10. Random Rant, ala I Hate Cheap Knee Highs
  11. A Meme I Will Invent In My Mad Writing Lab
  12. More People I'd Love To Shop With
  13. My Reactions To The Results Of The Ohio Gubernatorial Race
  14. Words I Love (free samples: kerfluffle, lugubrious, harbinger, akimbo, swarthy)
  15. Review Of The DVD: Yanni Live!

For the remaining 15 ideas, I'm going to need your help. Please let me know what topics are interesting and important to you and I will do my best to deliver a customized post, just for you. Yes, I'm taking requests. No, it's not a cop out. It's a challenge!

Workers in Flannery Alden's Mad Writing Laboratory

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Sorry I Haven't Posted...

But I've been a bit preoccupied with my new addiction:

I have plenty to say and lots to write. Just let me wait on one more table...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

What A Wonderful World

Doc and I were married nine years ago today. We both took the day off to celebrate. Here's the first song we danced to as husband and wife...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I've Picked Up The Gauntlet...

...and tossed it your way. Are you blogger enough to write everyday for a month? Join me for National Blog Posting Month or Nablopomo, for short. The only requirment: one post a day for 30 days (all of November). I saw the ad at Dirty's Place and decided to accept the writing challenge.

I think it's a great idea. Join me, won't you?

Update

I've posted something over at Culture of Beer this morning, if you're looking for something new. I'm working on something for Prone to Whimsy, but I have this job thing I have to attend to at the moment. Why not enjoy one of my best vintage posts?

Or are you in the mood for a poem?

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you check out the links above.

Sincerely,

The Shameless Self-Promotion Department

Friday, October 20, 2006

The New Simon & Simon

Recently, Doc and I have become very sophisticated at using our DVR. Ever since we gave up buying DVD's, we've missed watching a bunch of episodes of a TV series the most. So, we've started recording every show of every episode of M*A*S*H, then Unwrapped, then Star Trek: The Next Generation. By the time we'd run through STNG, Doc began taping an old favorite series of his: Simon & Simon. I'd never seen the show, and after a few episodes, I started to enjoy them.

But, I was also a little bothered by something. The show typifies 80's television. There are shoulder pads, skinny ties, and a Harry Anderson-esque mavrick side character. This time it's the coroner who's the off-beat weirdo. Ho, ho, ho. I was OK with all of that, once I reminded myself that this was probably pretty funny back in the day. The thing that bothered me was the relationship between the eponymous brothers: Rick and A.J.

If you've never watched the show, A.J. is the suave, debonair, and some other French adjective that escapes me. Mon Dieu! He's good with the wine and ladies, know what I mean? Rick is an ex-marine cowboy (straw hat and fatigues) who sports a moustache. Kind of whimsical and not so swift with the ladies. But he can handle himself in a fight.

As you might imagine, these two good brothers rub each other the wrong way. They spend a good deal of time bickering. Usually about Rick ruining A.J.'S stuff. So A.J. spends 45% of this time bitching about his curtains and carpet. 37% is spent arguing about money. And the remaining 18% of the time: he's shirtless.

"They are so gay," I exlaimed when I put two and two together.

"You know what," I told Doc, getting inspired, "they could probably remake this show today if they set it in Vermont or Canada and made them gay instead of brothers!"

"Huh," he said, noncommittaly.

I would totally watch that.

******

Word of the Day:

Hoyay!: abbrieviation of Homoeroticism, Yay! Coined on the website: Television Without Pity.

******

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Splash

You Are a Mermaid

You are a total daydreamer, and people tend to think you're flakier than you actually are.While your head is often in the clouds, you'll always come back to earth to help someone in need. Beyond being a caring person, you are also very intelligent and rational.You understand the connections of the universe better than almost anyone else.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

My Party Shuffle

I pinched this idea from Chris at Some Guy's Blog and I thought I'd share what ITunes selected for me from my work list:

  • Foggy Mountain Rock/Foggy Mountain Special, by Earl Scruggs with Marty Stuart
  • Porcupine Pie, by the Wiggles
  • Perfect Day, by Clay Aiken
  • Hear Me, by Kelly Clarkson
  • Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain, by Willie Nelson
  • Bluegrass Break-Up, by Tom T. Hall
  • Georgia on my Mind, by Willie Nelson
  • I Love to Have a Dance with Dorothy featuring Slim Dusty, by the Wiggles
  • The Caine Mutiny, by Charles Gerhardt and the National Philharmonic Orchestra
  • God Bless the Child, by one of the American Idol kids
  • Six Months in a Leaky Boat featuring Tim Finn, by the Wiggles
  • Shine, by Clay Aiken
  • Feel It, by the Black Eyed Peas
  • Sing with Me featuring Kamahl, by the Wiggles
  • Se Me Esta Escapando, by ABBA
  • Introspectre, by Depeche Mode

Who knew I had so much country at work?

Monday, October 16, 2006

Resolve, Part 2

He took three long strides to the counter top and began to reach for his grocery bag, but something caught his eye before he could begin to inventory its contents. To the right of the tidy sack lay his change and a hastily written post-it featuring Garfield:

Hey Babe,

I think I found everything you wanted. Here's your change. Don't forget to let me know if you'll be joining Phil and me for the Cruise.

Love,
Mom
xoxox

The Cruise. Rick snorted. His Mom and step-father had planned this Sunday to drive up to Cleveland and ride the Goodtime III, a cruise ship that toured Lake Erie. This particular cruise included the Captain's Choice buffet lunch and a narrated tour. He was sure the narrated tour would be as dry as the chicken served on the buffet. No thanks, he thought to himself. He enjoyed spending time with his parents, but two hours trapped on a "cruise" ship, learning about the salt mines and hearing propaganda about Lake Erie being "alive and well" was not his idea of fun. Besides, it would mean finding a date for the affair or, worse, being provided one.

He made a note to himself to cancel in the small notepad he kept in his shirt pocket. He would have to call Mom in the morning with his decision, lest she begin to hound him in earnest. Phil had won the tickets for the cruise in a raffle a month or two ago. They had originally planned to go with their neighbors, Frank and Patty, but Frank threw his back out golfing over the weekend. Patty didn't want him to fall on the gang plank and reinjure himself. Rick thanked his lucky stars that he would be able to cancel in plenty of time.

At last, he thought, tucking the notepad back into his shirt pocket, putting the change in his pocket and pitching the note; it was time for a treat. He moved in front of the bag and took a deep breath. The scent of the brown paper bag threw him momentarily back to his childhood. He recalled when he spent a rainy afternoon designing a costume for himself on the unlabled side of the bag. His Mom helped him cut arm holes in the sides and eye holes in the front. He could remember running around with that bag over his head, playing pirate.

He returned to the present as his stomach rumbled, remembering his booty in front of him. Grinning, he began to search the darkness of the bag's interior with his eyes. He made to move his hand into the bag, but paused, momentarily struck by the unfamiliar jumble of product and shadow. It was all angles and shadows and lights, full of possibilities. He typically did his own shopping and received no thrill when unpacking. However, his mother had an unreliable streak and a frustrating shortage of attention to detail. At the very least, he was in for a minor surprise and he was savoring the anticipation.

What's wrong with me? He wondered again to himself. Aggravated a bit that fancy kept getting the better of him. He hated to admit he enjoyed these little flights back in time. Oh well, he thought, What's wrong with a flight of fancy on treat night! Then he began seriously to unpack the items.

Potty Time

Last night, the girls and I were in my room watching The Incredibles. Riley and I were on the bed and Lucy was on the floor.

"I'm pooping," I heard Lucy note.

"You're pooping?" I questioned, as I got up to get a clean diaper and wipes.

"No," she said, straining, "I'm just relaxing."

She was pooping.

Friday, October 13, 2006

While you are waiting...

Why not enjoy this lovely blogcake, baked up by my husband, Doc. It's got intrigue, romance and adventure. I promise you, it's worth it.

Leave him some comments, too.

Sincerely,
Flannery and Doc's Shameless Promotions Department

Thursday, October 12, 2006

"Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf..."

OK, my blog friends, both commenters and lurkers. I've got a short story brewing. I plan to keep posting, but I will be spending the bulk of my time on the short story. Forgive me if my posts until then are brief. I hope it will be worth the wait.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Yanni Live! The CD: My Play By Play

Rainmaker

Didgeredoo. River Dance beat. African vocalists. Violins. Lovely celtic lady crooning. Then the Gypsy Kings chime in. Big Brass ending

Keys to Imagination

Wistful. Reminiscent of Starship Titanic music. Smooth strings, driving beat. Flutes. Some syncopation/time signature changes: like 3/4 to 4/4, maybe it's in 7/8 time. Freaky. Now, it's soaring...we are flying over Canada. I don't recommend jogging to this song. Bongo solo! Now it sounds Egyptian, oboe solo?. We are floating over an Egyptian marketplace...now we're in Russia, there is a violin solo straight out of Fiddler. And we're back over Canada. Soaring with the moose.

Enchantment

Lovely piano with gentle oboe. And warm strings. George Winston feel to it, though not as sparse. It's in three quarter time and it's got a very sweet lullaby feel to it, though there is some intensity and drive. Nice flutes, not obtrusive. The saxophone (tenor?) comes in bending notes to add some dissonance. Nice contrast. Nice layers. Piano arpeggio and strings build until, we're back in Canada, swooping again, then landing gently on a moose's antler.

Standing in Motion

Eye of the Tiger intro. With cymbal flourishes. Interesting: orchestra playing in unision across sections. Eye of the Tiger beat continues. Yanni must be doing something interesting; the audience cheers for no reason. And, it's over.

On Sacred Ground

The Celtic lady is back, with friends. Ah-ing. This more of an andante pace. It kind of swings. There's a pan flute solo, reminiscent of Zamfir. Nothing like a pan-flute solo accompanied by a swinging beat. Ah, "Creation song on sacred ground, ancient light shining ahhh!" the Celtic ladies implore. More pan flute. More crooning. More Ah-ing. Female vocal solo reminiscent of Pink Floyd (Dark Side of the Moon, I think). This is kind of a Floyd song. Mandolin solo! Sitar solo! Fabulous vocal solo returns. Annoying violin solo takes over. I'm sorry, my friends, violins don't rock. Fiddles do, but this is no fiddle. It's screachy and repetitive, more appropriate for a lead guitar solo. And it's over, finally. Not a fan of this piece.

Playtime

Funky dance beat. Oh, Jesus, soprano sax and cellos doubled? With a disco beat? Playtime indeed. Who let Kenny G in here? Good lord! 7 minute long song? Next...

Until the Last Moment

Another piano lullaby, this time with the sound of waves. Strings underneath. Three quarter time again. Shimmery cymbals. I like the piano stuff. Oooh...piccolo...violin...oboe/soprano sax (I'm having trouble distinguishing those two, maybe after I watch the DVD). Chimes...Nice. Very romantic. Then, it starts to sound like Iranian music, which I love. Mournful violin solo, sparse piano underneath. Very passionate solo. Lovely, piano and violin pairing. It makes me see Rudolf Valentino.

If I Could Tell You

OK, this is very Vollenweider. And Jimmy Buffet. In fact I recognize the melody, but I can't quite place it. Nice trumpet solo...very Maynard Ferguson. The rest is kind of twinkle-dink. OK, Bruce Hornsby-esque piano solo. Blech. Maybe a little Joe Jackson. OK, piano, enough. Gag.

For All Seasons

Another driving techno beat, something Brittney would use. People singing African-hindi or whatever language world music singers like to sing in. Celtic lady returns crooning and dueting with Celtic lady 2. This one sounds like Hooked on Classics, remember that? When they played classical music over a rock beat? Same feeling. And Maynard Ferguson is back. Nice harmony. Oh, no, another flute solo. Stop it, Jethro. Ah, bongo solo. Sitar solo. Love the sitar solos. Trumpet solo. More Chuck Mangione. Lower ranged. These solos sound ridiculous over the techno beat. Irritating. Cool drum solo, sounds a bit like Stomp...techno stuff seems to have been dropped. And it's back after the solo. Ach! Violin solo...gross...i'm skipping the rest.

The Storm

Dark, cello solo. It's smooth at first, then becomes harried, describing the approaching storm, I guess. Smooth again. Now it's raining...Plink plink. Two minutes of cello, now the other strings join in and pulse the rain out. And the techno beat returns. And the strings are doing some Mozart remix. Sigh. Ah, harp solo...freaky with the techno beat. Trumpet solo. Furious violin solo. Now they are all raining to a Hooked on Classics beat. And they're at the Mozart well again.

Prelude

Why prelude is at the end, I'll never know. But it's lovely Persian music again. Haunting violin. Maybe it's lost, so far from the beginning where it belongs. It's very still. Very Persian. I love this piece. Thank heaven, the techno button on the Casio seems to be broken. The violin has tons of reverb on it though. A bit much. The crowd loves it. Three minutes into it and the violin is joined by the string section underneath. Very fine. Kind of "Bravehart Remembers His Dead Wife" sentiment. Interesting that celtic and middle eastern tones seem to blend so well. Now we have a warm woodwind...not a clarinet. Maybe a bass clarinet? It's nice too. Very warm.

Nostalgia

Here comes the piano and the beat. Sigh. at least it's not techno. Just a really heavy downbeat. And we're soaring over Canada again. There's Sascatchawan! And Alberta! Ooh, look! A moose! I'm so nostalgic for Canada. We're pulsing over Canada. Enjoying the fields of wheat, the frozen tundra, the socialized medicine, and the absence of litter. Look! A Loon! A Francophone! Rush!

My Reactions

Yes, this is New Age. Yes, it's a bit twinkle dink for my taste. But these are seriously talented musicians. Some of the music is pure cheese, but it is executed to perfection. I like the more somber stuff, sans the driving beat. Though, I think Yanni can't resist the beat. He keeps coming after us with it as if we were Linda Evans. I kid. It is soothing. It's nice to have on in the background when I'm writing. I've found myself looking forward to listening to it at work. However, I will not listen to it in my sweet ass car, as Grant Miller has suggested. This music doesn't really touch my heart. It doesn't make me feel like my journey is improved now that I have it in my life.

It's nice music played by extremly talented musicians with an overfondness for reverb. B-

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Fabulous Four



FOUR JOBS YOU'VE HAD IN YOUR LIFE
  1. Assistant to a Blind Guy
  2. Print Room Technician
  3. Hardware Store Cashier
  4. Memorial Garden Plot Salesperson
FOUR FICTIONAL JOBS YOU WISH YOU HAD
  1. Auror
  2. Fashion Police Chief
  3. Mayor of Atlantis
  4. Hostess at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe.
FOUR MOVIES YOU COULD WATCH OVER AND OVER AGAIN
  1. Zoolander
  2. Love Actually
  3. Wallace & Grommit
  4. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
FOUR CITIES YOU'VE LIVED IN
  1. Canton, Ohio
  2. Cleveland, Ohio
  3. Newark, Ohio
  4. New Albany, Ohio
FOUR TV SHOWS YOU LOVE TO WATCH
  1. Survivor
  2. CSI
  3. Project Runway
  4. America's Next Top Model
FOUR PLACES YOU'VE BEEN ON VACATION/TRAVELED TO
  1. Puerto Penasco, Mexico
  2. Ottawa, Ontario
  3. Philadelphia, PA
  4. Boston, MA
FOUR WEBSITES YOU VISIT DAILY
  1. Yahoo
  2. Cleveland State University
  3. Blogger (I know, it's a cop-out)
  4. Television Without Pity
FOUR OF YOUR FAVORITE FOODS
  1. NY Strip Steak
  2. Bread
  3. Wedding Soup
  4. Barbeque Chicken
FOUR THINGS YOU WISH YOU COULD EAT OR DRINK
  1. York Steak House's Sirloin Tips (Do these restaurants exist anymore?)
  2. Nobel Roman's Deep Dish Sicilian Pizza
  3. Coffee
  4. Eggs
FOUR THINGS IN YOUR ROOM
  1. My knitting
  2. Print of the painting: The Philosophers
  3. King Sized bed
  4. Persian rug

FOUR THINGS YOU WISH YOU HAD IN YOUR BEDROOM
  1. Order
  2. 2 Persian Rugs
  3. Chaise Lounge
  4. A Vanity
FOUR THINGS YOU ARE WEARING RIGHT NOW
  1. White Sweater
  2. Cute black shoes
  3. Funky silver earrings
  4. Black skirt

FOUR PLACES I'D RATHER BE RIGHT NOW
  1. Home
  2. Disney World
  3. Tiki Bar
  4. Target
FOUR FICTIONAL PLACES I'D RATHER BE RIGHT NOW
  1. Avalon
  2. Madame Rosemerta's
  3. Brigadoon
  4. Lake Woebegone

FOUR PEOPLE YOU’D REALLY LOVE TO HAVE DINNER WITH
  1. Big Orange
  2. Chris
  3. Dirty
  4. Elizabeth

FOUR FICTIONAL PEOPLE YOU’D LIKE TO HAVE DINNER WITH
  1. Albus Dumbledore
  2. Hamish Macbeth
  3. Dr. Farruhk Daruwalla
  4. Wolverine
FOUR MORE PEOPLE YOU’D LIKE TO HAVE DINNER WITH
  1. Grant Miller
  2. Phil
  3. Frank Sirmarco
  4. Raven

I tag all my dinner date hopefuls...

Monday, October 09, 2006

Something You Should Know About Me

Quote from America's Next Top Model by Potes, a recapper at Television Without Pity:

It is night in Los Angeles. Michelle and Megan practice their runway walks in their in-house runway. I totally want one of those. However, if I had a life-sized runway in my house, I would surely never ever get a recap done. Or go to my real job. Or see my friends. Or sleep. But I would achieve a level of fierceness heretofore not known to man, so it would all be worth it.

Ditto.
P.S. This is dedicated to Elizabeth, who, by the way, does happen to have her own in-house runway.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Macbeth: The Rock Opera

Elizabeth and I have decided. We present the cast and composers for "Macbeth: The Rock Opera".


Rob Thomas as Macbeth




Kelly Clarkson as Lady Macbeth


Usher as Macduff

Peter Frampton as Duncan

Beyonce as Witch 1


Maya Arulpragasam as Witch 2

Fergie as Witch 3

And Introducing Billie Joe Armstrong as The Drunken Porter

Music by:

Carlos Fucking Santana

Lyrics by:

Paul McCartney

Nothing is
But what is not.





Friday, October 06, 2006

Twas A Good Day For A Deal

If there ever were a catalyst in my life, her name is "Mom." A week ago, I was talking to her on the way home from work.

"You know," she said, "You really do need to get a car."

"Yeah," I replied, "I do."

And I knew it. She went on to give me the reasons why, but her first sentence made all of the pieces of the stuck machinery of my mind fall into their right positions. I could see that borrowing her van was putting her out. She was borrowing her Mom's car and Grandma was left without a car. It was OK for a week or two, but I shiver to think of how long it's been since the Honda died. Tuesday, August 1, 2006. Shit. Two months. We didn't have their van all of the time, but we might as well have.

Two weeks ago, Doc got a great part-time job that fits our life. I'll let him tell you about his work, but from where I sit, it looks like it's going to work out. The people are nice and they are interested in seeing him succeed, which is a fairly rare experience for him on the job. It's challenging work but not laborious. Of course, this now means we can afford another car payment and insurance. So, I checked with him to see if I had the go-ahead to get wheels. He agreed it was way past time to get a car and trusted me find the right car.

Incidentally, I had spent some time hemming and hawing about bringing Stella back into my life. For a mere twelve hundred bucks, it could be done. I kept asking my Mom what she thought and her answer never changed: It would be cheaper to fix the Honda than to get a new car...in the short run. Then my thoughts would turn to Stella's faults: the leaky driver's side window, the rattle of the road, the need to pour oil into it twice a week (that wouldn't change). I'd shiver, remembering how it felt to drive that car in the winter.

So, last Saturday, the girls and I woke up and saw it was raining. I called my Dad.

"It's raining," I said, "Wanna go look at cars with me?"

"You know I do!" he replied and it was on.

In my family, it always seems like we go car shopping in the rain. The urge to find new wheels only finds us when three conditions exist: sufficient moisture accumulated in the lower atmosphere, reflected by high dewpoint temperatures; a significant fall in air temperature with increasing height, known as a steep adiabatic lapse rate; and a force such as mechanical convergence along a cold front to focus the lift. (Thank you Wikipedia). So, it seemed right that I would buy a car on this day.

I got the girls ready and we went over to Mom and Dad's. My Dad, ever the tester, asked me if I were sure I wanted to get a car. I was.

"Today's the last day of the month," my Mom mentioned casually, noting that salespeople are motivated to meet their monthly quotas. That fact, coupled with the rain pointed to good hunting for us. We all agreed: twas a good day for a deal.

Dad, Riley, Lucy and I piled into the van and headed on down the road. I had checked out a few cars online and talked with my bank. I knew what I wanted and what I could afford. We set off to the Saturn dealership first, where I test drove a Mitsubishi Lancer. It was a four-door and pretty square. It did not have cruise control or a tape deck, which I need for books on tape. It did have a five speed transmission. But it didn't really move me. So we moved on.

We drove around a Ford lot (gag) and a Toyota lot (too expensive). Dad suggested we head on over to Park Honda, where his old racquetball partner is a salesman. My Dad bought his Honda from Pete and had a great experience. When we got there, I parked really, way too far away from the dealership. We tromped through the chill wind and took a look at their used cars. There were three Saturns, a VW Jetta (had one), and some old fart mobiles.

And then there was a 1999, black Honda Civic, which was pimped out. It had tinted windows and an eight inch diameter exhaust pipe. As we were walking around it, admiring it, I tried the doors and found them unlocked, so I opened it up. Lucy climbed right in and started to drive. I popped the trunk and found a gigantic sub-woofer.

"Hmm," my Dad said, "Looks like he mighta raced this car." My Dad is a fan of the fast and furious type car make overs. He'd like to make-over the Del Sol, in fact. As we were smirking over the Civic, we were approached by Nathan who wanted to help us out. I suspect he was alarmed that we were making ourselves at home and letting the little ones climb all over the interior.

"Pete around?" my Dad asked.

"I'll go check." said Nathan and scampered off. He returned fairly quickly, letting us know that Pete was with a customer, but that he had paged him and could help us until then.

"So," he inquired, "What do you think?"

"Was this car raced, do you think?" my Dad asked.

"Did you look under the hood," Nathan asked back.

"Nope."

So we did. Not only did the thing have a huge exhaust pipe. But there was also some kind of air intake on the engine.

"Oh, yeah," he said, "He raced it."

"Have you ever seen anything like this before?" my Dad wondered.

"Yeah," he said. "This is pretty basic; I've seen cars that were way more customized than this."

"Can I take it for a drive?" I asked, unable to stand it anymore.

"Sure," said Nathan. He lead me through the paperwork to get me behind the wheel. He had to drive the car off the lot for insurance purposes but promised to hand over the car once we got to the movie theater parking lot. As we drove off, the radio pounded and Nathan changed the station and turned it down. The radio panel had an animated light show that reacted to the music. Nathan showed me the CD player concealed within it.

We got to the parking lot and I got out and walked around to the driver's side. Nathan said, "Uh, I think it has fog lights, though they may be just decorative." he pointed to a switch on the dash, definately after-market. He flicked the switch and we walked around to the front of the car.

"Yep," he nodded, "Just decorative."

They were these twee little purple lights that were on either side of the license plate. At this point, I just started to giggle. I got behind the wheel and Nathan started to tell me how to get to the express way. I pressed the clutch, put my foot on gas and began to ease out onto the street.

Oh. My. God. Was it loud! We're not even breaking twenty-five miles per hour and my ears are actually hurting. We get about a mile down the road. Nathan's telling me about this or that feature and I just start laughing.

"I am too old for this car." I said.

"Too loud?" he asked.

"Oh, yeah!" I replied.

"Yeah, I'm 37 and my loud car days are over too." he agreed, laughing too. "So, I take it you don't want to go out on the highway then?"

"Ah, no, I don't think so."

We both started giggling and as I pulled into the lot I turned to him and said, "I think I'll remember this test drive for the rest of my life."

When we got back, Dad and the girls were playing in the play room, watching the Notre Dame Perdue game and having popcorn. Pete was still busy, so Nathan and I went to see Jerry the used car sales manager. Nathan and I explained what I was looking for and what my perameters were for a car. Jerry poured and poured over his list.

"I've got a Saturn Ion and two Saturn SC3's," he offered.

"Nah," I said, wrinking my nose.

"What about a Jetta?"

"Nope," I said, "I had one before and the repairs were costly."

By the time we had exhausted my options Pete came up. He asked expectantly what I was looking for and we were about to decide that there wasn't anything here for me. But, I needed a car and Pete was Dad's friend, so I took a leap.

"Why don't I try that Saturn Ion," I offered. "I can't do the SC3, I need to be able to wrestle the kids in the back and those things don't have a roomy back seat.

"OK," said Pete and we headed out.

"I don't know much about this car," he admitted. He is a Honda man, afterall.

"That's OK," I said. "I do; I used to have one, an SC2."

He put the tags on it and got behind the wheel to drive out to the movie theater again. On our way, I was trying to figure out if the symbols and buttons on the steering wheel were for cruise control or radio control. I scanned the owner's manual and discovered they were for the cruise. I began warming up to the car immediately. It had both a CD player and a tape deck. It was five-speed and it was a Saturn, very safe.

When it was my turn to drive, I sat behind the wheel and I felt lik Harry Potter must have felt when he finally found the right wand. Angels chorused and the sun broke through the clouds. I didn't even need to drive it at that point. I knew I was going to buy this car. But, after all that paperwork, I figured I ought to go for the ride.

When we got back, we walked right over to Pete's desk to start the paperwork, which probably stopped my Dad's heart. Fortunately, Pete's desk was close to the play area and Dad and I could tag team on the negotiations. I sent my Dad out to look over the Ion. When he came back he started going back and forth with Pete over the scratches on the hood. Scratches? I saw no scratches. Then again, my last car had giant SPOTS on the hood, so forgive me my oversight.

Dad went back and forth with Pete and Pete checked with Jerry on the firmness of the price. When he returned, he said, "Jerry shoots from the hip. That price is the lowest he'll go." The offered price was a thousand dollars under the sticker. So, we went for it. And after much ado and flying paper work, I drove out of there with Mr. Lawrence five minutes after closing time.

Nearly every day since, I've called my Dad and thanked him for going with me and getting that car. He spent hours entertaining the girls while I shopped. He helped me find a good deal and a good car, which he has never failed to do. My parents are quite a team. One pushes, the other holds me up. Kisses to you both, Mom and Dad and I'll see you on the highway and thank you Grandma for giving up your car for so long.


Edited to add: Sorry for the abrupt ending, but I've gotta fly. Maybe I'll fill in the details later, but this post is already far too long.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Sorry For The Lack Of Posts And Comments...



I've been knocked down by a throat infection. However, I'm back. And I will back on top of things soon and be the ubiquitous Flannery you all know and have missed...

Monday, October 02, 2006

Meet Mr. Lawrence...

Yes, my friends, I have a new car (new to me, anyway). Here's some more stock shots for the purpose of drooling over...



The tale to follow...