“You and I will meet again, When we’re least expecting it, One day in some far off place, I will recognize your face, I won’t say goodbye my friend, For you and I will meet again.” ~Tom Petty
Me circa 2001 standing between my first car (left) and my new-at-the-time car (right).
It’s been a fun 12 years Mr. Green Car. In that time, you helped me get to two different jobs (not at the same time), traveled to Canada, Iowa and Gettysburg (not to mention Toledo and back about 6 times) and were a faithful companion for all of your 113,000+ miles.
~You were the first vehicle that I bought and paid for all on my own.
~You were the sign that I was actually an adult.
~You took me where I needed to go, up until the end when your transmission broke and you started to self-destruct.
I hated to see you go off to a scrapyard, but you won’t be alone. There are other broken-down cars there as well. Although my brother-in-law graphically explained what happens to the cars in the scrapyard after they’ve been there for a while, I prefer to think that you’ve retired to the vehicle version of Florida to bask in the sun for the rest of your days.
Here’s a quick overview of the good, the bad, and the just plain strange things that happened this year:
I reviewed some great books.
And identified Goose-squatch.
My husband and I adopted a new cat, and then lost two to old age (Abby) and kidney disease (Loki).
My car broke down, was fixed, broke down again, was fixed, but still isn’t running right and I decided that I REALLY need a new one.
I hit Josh in the face with a snowball.
Floyd D. Computer broke and was replaced by Floyd D. Computer Jr.
I posted my first YouTube video (of my cats, of course.)
And moved into a new apartment.
I reviewed some awesome pet products: T-shirts for dog lovers, some kick-ass pet products, catnip-filled cat toys, and a Gamma2 Vittles Vault.
And some cool cell phone apps: Snapbucket, Let’s Eat and Krispy Kreme Hot Light.
I redesigned this blog.
And… posted LOTS and LOTS of cat pictures.
So, what’s on tap for 2012? I’m moving AGAIN sometime within the next month, my husband (finally!) starts school, and the best news of all… I’M GOING TO BE AN AUNT (courtesy of my sister and her husband.)
Beyond that, who knows? I’ll live it and you’ll end up reading it. There’s nothing more simple than that.
I hate to say it, but its days are numbered. My poor car, the one that I bought brand-new back in 2001 and paid off 5 years later, is on it’s last set of tires, so to speak.
I’ve had nothing but problems with it since the beginning of this year. It all started with new tires, which I received as a Christmas present from my mother-in-law. When the tires were put on, it also needed a new tie-rod end and wheel bearing. No big deal, right? Right. And then it happened: two weeks later, its timing chain and serpentine belt went. Once those problems were fixed (along with a new water pump – WOOOO!) I was driving it home from the shop when my other wheel bearing started whining. I still haven’t fixed it. I’ve had too many other problems.
And then its transmission started leaking fluid. My husband repaired it – and then it started leaking again when the new section of hose gave way. And then it started leaking a third time. Finally he replaced the hoses on both sides with one long piece. Problem solved.
Until he took it for a test drive and the serpentine belt slipped. It turns out that transmission fluid had been spraying all over the engine when the car was in motion. Something about pressure and other such things loosening the belt. As he was fixing the belt, he knocked into a rusted radiator line, causing coolant to leak all over. One problem solved, another created.
Finally, with the radiator line replaced, my car ran decently for about a month.
I was pulling into the Giant Eagle parking lot when the serpentine belt slipped again. Do you know how hard it was to drive home without power steering? It took every ounce of my non-existent arm strength to wrench the wheel every time I had to turn. But I made it! (I’m kind of proud of myself.)
So now, my ten-year-old, 115,000 mile car is sitting in my parking lot broken. Again. I give. The car wins.
I want one of these:
The fully-loaded 2012 Ford Focus of my dreams.
I’ll start off with the update: I finally got my car back! After two weeks in the shop, $400 in repairs, and a new serpentine belt, timing belt and water pump, she runs like new. Only now I think another one of my wheel bearings is going, but I’m not surprised. Three out of the four of them are original, so they’re ten years old and have 112,000 miles on them.
Now for the news: due to my newfound interest in football (BTW – my husband says “FINALLY”) I’m declaring next week to be Superbowl Week. I’m going to be posting party tips, football party cookbook reviews, and other related information almost every day, on top of my regular stuff.
Also, this is for those of you who love camping as much as I do. If you’re a camper who brings along your fuzzy friend, Kampground of America is holding a contest that you may be interested in. Here are the details from the press release:
“With all of KOA’s sites being pet friendly and campers being so wild about taking their pets, KOA has just announced its Picture Paw-fect Pet Contest. Pet lovers can submit photos of their pet dressed up for a special event, showing off or just looking cute on a camping trip, up until February 9, 2011. The top 10 will photos will then be featured in the February edition of KOA’s Kompass magazine, where the audience will vote for the most “Paw-fect Pet” beginning February 16. The winner will receive $250 in great pet gear and two nights of free KOA camping anywhere in the nation.”
The link to enter is here: Picture Paw-fect Pet Contest.
I haven’t left my apartment in almost 48 hours. That sounds weird, right? Well, it helps if you realize that I currently don’t have a car. Mine went into the shop two days early – Tuesday – to be exact, when the problem got worse and it started stalling out every time I had to stop at a red light or stop sign. My husband thinks the problem is an O2 sensor, so we’ll see if he’s right. Either way, I’m car-less through next Tuesday or Wednesday.
Another reason I haven’t gone outside is due to the giant blizzard that hit yesterday, but since I have no where to go right now (not to mention no way to get there), that doesn’t really bother me. It can snow all it wants right now! Ha ha ha!
My books from Barnes and Noble arrived, finally. They came Saturday, the same day I received an email from them letting me know that they were shipped. So, at least I have something to do besides write and watch the snow fall.
As far as work goes, I’m currently writing a bunch of book reviews, posts on sports for both of the blogs I write for, and a few restaurant reviews and news updates, so be on the look out for updates. I’ll post links to them once they go up.
Isn't Osiris HUGE? She's a 5-lb Calico Bundle of Trouble.
And now I’ll end things with kitten pictures. Can you believe that they’re both over five pounds already? Yikes.
When she was at the vet last week for her final kitten shot, she didn’t want to leave her carrier. Our vet had to forcibly take her out of the cage. She isn’t much of a lap cat, unlike her brother, who’s much calmer and snugglier.
- You can see Horus’ “transition paint job” in the picture.
Horus, on the other hand, is funny. He tries to beat up the other cats (even the ones much larger than he is) and runs around “meowing” and trying to swat at things that no one else can see. Weird, huh? He won’t like us much after he gets neutered next month!
My New Year got off to a cruddy start: my next-door neighbors decided to stand on their balcony (right outside my bedroom window) and scream “Happy New Year” loudly over and over for an HOUR after midnight Friday night; the check engine light on my car decided to turn on, no doubt letting me know that more expensive car repairs are imminent; and stupid Barnes and Noble still hasn’t sent the books I ordered on the 28th of December with my Christmas gift cards. ARGH.
The B&N thing worries me, since the books had a ship date of 1/3/11. I keep picturing my box of books sitting on the floor of their warehouse, unlabeled, getting stepped on. This may be the last time I buy anything from them, since their customer service apparently cannot help me. (Maybe complaining will spur them into action.)
Needless to say, I was badly in need of a good laugh when I discovered Cracked.com. Remember the magazine? Cracked? It’s not published anymore, but it was sold alongside MAD. I used to read them both back in the day.
Anyway, I was looking around Cracked.com and found this: 8 Stupid Amazon Products with Impressively Sarcastic Reviews. It’s similar to a NY Times post from a few weeks ago, but equally funny. Sometimes reading funny things that other people wrote will cheer you right up. It worked for me.
BTW: Cracked also has a book out, called You Might Be a Zombie and Other Bad News. I haven’t read it yet, but if it’s as funny as the website (and magazine) I’m sure it’s good for a laugh or twelve.
Now I’m going to go back to worrying about my car. And my books. And hating my neighbors. ARGH.
About a week and a half ago, one of my cats had kittens. Isis had two of them – one calico and the other black and white. We named the calico one Osirus, and the black and white one is tentatively named Horus. If it turns out to be female, it will be renamed either Athena or Andromeda.
It’s been a crazy week and a half since half of my cats came down with upper respiratory infections at about the same time the kittens were born, so forcing antibiotics and keeping them away from the babies has been tricky. Fortunately, the kittens parents (Hercules and Isis) seem to have recovered, but now Osiris is sneezing so I have to keep an eye on her.
Hercules is in the cat bed with Osirus, while Isis is on the floor with Horus
Here’s the whole family relaxing together in the closet. So far the kittens have opened their eyes and are trying to wander out of the cat bed – both things that they shouldn’t be able to do yet, since they aren’t even two weeks old! They’re going to be trouble. I’ve been making sure to spend some time holding and petting them every day so that they grow used to being around people. I want them to be lap cats.
We’re planning on moving the kittens into either a box or the bedroom later on this week, since there are too many places for them to get stuck in the rest of the apartment.
But enough about my many cats…
On our way to Randolph on Saturday, my husband and I came upon this really cool car – according to the antique number plates and chrome logo on the side, it’s a 1958 Chevy Avalanche. According to my dad, that’s a precursor to today’s SUV’s. The flame paint job was all custom, as was the exhaust system. It’s pretty cool, isn’t it?
I’ve never been a big TV watcher. I prefer to read (this shouldn’t come as a big surprise.)
However, there have been some decent TV shows on lately. I adore the sci-fi channel (or SyFy as they now call themselves.) Nothing will ever come close to my beloved X-Files, but Warehouse 13, Eureka, and their new show, Haven, all come close. Haven, I think is the closest. It has an FBI agent and a local cop trying to figure out the mysterious problems that plague a small town. Plus it’s based on a Stephen King short story.
Do you need me to elaborate on my love for Stephen King books? I will. But that’s for another post.
Anyways, back to TV. My husband and I have discovered that BBC America shows reruns of Star Trek: The Next Generation every day at 8pm. We’ve kind of arranged our days around it, sad to say. After that is a cool British show called Top Gear, which involved really fast sports cars and a host who does crazy things like drive through an indoor mall. Apparently Great Britain has more than cool car number plates – they also have sports cars that aren’t yet available over here.
I don’t just like sci fi shows. I also like Bones, House and repeats of Friends, but I still prefer to read.
Yes, I realize that’s been a month since I’ve written anything. I’m slowly but surely getting back in the swing of things. I have a HUGE backlog of things that need writing, as well as new projects that are underway (more on that later.)
What have I been up to? Well, among the more important things – I turned a whopping 31 a few weeks ago. The thing that annoys me the most about my birthday (and no, it isn’t the fact that I’m getting older – that doesn’t bother me, really) is having to renew my license plates. I HATE having to go down the BMV, stand in line for fifteen minutes while 3 employees who are clearly doing nothing stare at the wall, and then give away $50 of my hard-earned dollars for a tiny sticker. I considered shelling out an extra $11 for the pretty new plates that Ohio has, but decided against it. One of these years I might go for personal number plates, something along the lines of “SMILEY” but I think that other cars may rear-end me on purpose for being too optimistic.
Anyway, I’m making it my goal to write on here every day this week, as I have a lot planned for this little blog. So Stay Tuned!
I still have the license plates from my first car. I found them in my closet this evening when I was looking for a pair of slippers for Josh. It doesn’t matter though – I know those number plates by heart.
I had a lot of fun in that little car. There was one time, when I was a senior in college, that I fit six people into it. (Picture six people in a tiny hatchback – 2 in front, 3 in the back and 1 in the trunk. It resembled a clown car!)
The furthest I ever went in it was Cincinnati, and it’s a miracle that the car made it that far – that it didn’t run right, it just didn’t have a whole lot of horsepower. It didn’t like driving up big hills or picking up speed quickly. My dad used to joke that I had to wind it up before I started it.
It lasted me all through college, and then the transmission started to falter not long after I finished college. The poor car only had 65,000 miles.
Although it pained me to get rid of it, I took advantage of the post 9/11 deals and got my current car on a no-interest-for-five-years loan.
If circumstances were different, I would still have the Ladybug. I miss that little red car.