mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (m15m - polarbear)
 Have you ever walked through a door just in time to see another car hit your car? That's what happened to me earlier tonight. Luckily it turned out not to be nearly as bad as it looked. This guy (who I know by sight because he parks by us and apparently gets off work at exactly the same time we do) kind of sideswiped my car - he was trying to back out the wrong way, basically - the spaces are slanted one way and he wanted to go the other way, so he swung wide and my car was in the way. He has a pickup and my car is really low, so he probably couldn't really see my car very well - which doesn't make it any less his fault. Anyway, we opened the door to the parking lot just in time to see it happen. It looked pretty bad. But amazingly, it really did very little damage. Rob said he could see a couple of little fine scratches, but I couldn't see anything wrong. My car is ten years old so a couple of scratches more or less don't worry me. (I just hope it doesn't look a lot worse when I see it in the daylight!) He was very apologetic and I wasn't going to go to the trouble of filing an insurance claim for invisible damage.

I got home and there was a box of nail polish on the doorstep that I'd been feeling guilty about ordering, and I decided that I earned that nail polish (for my trauma, more or less) and I wasn't going to feel guilty about that one any more. It was cheap nail polish, actually, but it's really pretty and amazingly, none of the 12 polishes was broken despite being really really badly packed. (Amazon is notorious among nail polish people for just throwing bottles of nail polish into boxes with inadequate packing materials, and then being shocked when they arrive broken.) This one came with a dozen polishes in a plastic bag stuck into a way-too-large box, with like a couple of little cushiony things thrown in - not enough to make any difference whatsoever. Are they extra-frazzled because it's almost Christmas? The only thing that saved it, I think, is that the plastic bag that the polish was in actually was the right size. (Amazon needs a big button when you order where you can say, "I don't need this til after Christmas, thanks." They do have something like that for some things, but I've wanted it a couple of times in the last week when it was not offered to me.)

We have to work tomorrow, then we're off til after New Year's. Woo! Apparently the students are mostly already gone, because things have been dead the last couple of days. Tomorrow it's going to be even slower, presumably.

I had a doctor's appointment today, and it went okay, but she ordered blood-work because I hadn't had any in a while, and they took about a pint of blood out of me, it looked like. - Ok, well, it was five vials, it probably didn't actually add up to a pint, but still. And my old doctor had retired, and this was the first time I'd seen my new one. I was a little worried about that, but I really liked her, thank goodness. The other one was my age or a little older, and she talked to everybody like they were kindergarteners. It drove me crazy - I think she gave me flashbacks to my mom the elementary school teacher.

Anyway, the day could have gone a lot worse.
mellicious: pink manicure (spring flowers)
I copied one of those really long questionnaires from Tumblr earlier, and I answered this question and I might answer a few more later on. It's like, 99 or 100 questions so I know I will never answer them all. But I still seem to have a weakness for these silly things.

Do you drive? If so, have you ever crashed?
I live in Texas. There are very very few people here who don't drive, unless they're too poor to afford a car or their vision is too poor or something. We have no public transportation to speak of, except in cities, and it's not very good public transportation even there. So yeah, I drive.
I have had a several crashes, mostly minor. The worst one was when somebody ran out in front of me and I broadsided them. I guess that's what people nowadays call a "t-bone" accident, but this was many years ago - before airbags, I might add. They were in an F-150 pickup and my car was very small, or they would almost certainly have been killed. (Also I think I hit them right behind the cab, which would have helped.) My Toyota was totalled but I was not seriously injured - I had a lacerated knee. They were at fault, of course. I wasn't speeding.
mellicious: pink manicure (Default)

We had an impromptu department meeting this morning, and my boss said that the outlook has improved somewhat. Apparently all the other entities that have been having to treat all those indigent patients that UTMB normally treats are screaming bloody murder, and the powers that be (that is, the state government and the UT Board of Regents) are taking notice. That's not to say there won't still be layoffs, but maybe not as many, anyway. I have been worried because we have had so little work to do, but apparently - according to my boss, who got it from her boss, the CFO - this is because everything is on hold, basically, while we wait for somebody to make a decision. (Meanwhile Rob has gotten worried about the future of his job - it's ok for now, as we thought, but now there's some question about how they will handle student housing for next year. The fun never ends.)

[Originally this had a filter that took all the local people out.] I trust you guys with the work gossip, partly because you're further away. What do you care?

Maybe I shouldn't have gotten it, but I really like my new car. It drives beautifully and it feels just a tad bigger than Rob's (2007) Corolla. I've been feeling a bit guilty because the final bill was a good bit more than we anticipated, by the time you added all the tax and gap insurance and stuff, but I just have to think of it as a long-term purchase, that's all. I never really thought of the Ford that way - I certainly meant to keep it quite a bit longer than the year-and-a-half I ended up having it, but I never thought I'd be keeping it for ten years or anything like that. This one better last that long, and longer.

I went to Target yesterday (after I went home early because I felt sick - shh, don't tell my boss!), and I found a rug I like for the bathroom, which I hadn't been able to anywhere else. I am picky about bathroom rugs, apparently.

WoW has been cranky lately, and it's been making me cranky - [ profile] columbina too, probably, although I haven't actually talked to him in a couple of days so I'm not quite sure. They put in a new patch, and the new expansion is coming out soon, and everybody and their brother who has ever played WoW (i.e., the entire geek world, basically) is playing all of a sudden. And the servers can't quite handle the influx. Makes me a bit alarmed for what it's going to be like when the expansion actually comes out.

(This was written earlier today. Col and I actually had a very nice evening playing with no serious problems, for once.)

mellicious: pink manicure (breathe)
I have a new car! Woot! I actually don't go get the money from State Farm until tomorrow but I spent more than we're going to get, anyway - I decided that even with Carmax, who is supposed to be on guard for these things (such as water damage, I mean), I don't feel comfortable buying a used car right now. So I have a brand new green 2009 Corolla with ABS brakes and side airbags and all other kinds of bells and whistles. And a gray interior, yay! (I am just not a fan of beige.) Tight credit, smight credit - the dealer and the credit union were falling all over themselves to give us low interest rates. However, we took the somewhat-higher rate the credit union gave us - still awfully low - and a $500 rebate from Toyota instead.

Pictures of the car to come. Instead, here is a picture of my current workplace:

Temporary digs
mellicious: pink manicure (Narnia polar bear)
I paid no money down on the car, partly because I apparently am going to have to pay something to the estate lawyer on Wednesday.  (Or maybe not, but he said something about a check in the letter he sent, and I want to have enough money to pay him if I actually need to!) In any case, we are about to start moving forward on this and that's something I definitely want to do. I want to get this mess over with as soon as possible.

Wednesday is shaping up to be a fabulous day. Before I go to the meeting with the lawyer, I have to go get the original will out of the safety deposit box and get some papers from Art. (Which I'm going to have to call him tomorrow and ask him to gather up, 'cause I won't have time to do it myself. Anyway, he knows where everything is and I don't.) Then possibly a TWO-HOUR meeting with the lawyer. Oh joy. Then after that I get to go up to the funeral home (which is way up in Houston) and retrieve my mother's ashes. THEN after that I go back by Carmax and sign more papers. And then I'll probably have to go to the lawyer's on the way back and take them copies of the death certificate, I'm sure. Like I've been saying, the fun never ends.
mellicious: pink manicure (Buffy quote: Nancy tribe)

It's a Focus!
Originally uploaded by Mellicious.

I'm as surprised as anybody else, but I bought an American car. We wanted something low-mileage, and well, a low-mileage used Ford just doesn't cost nearly as much as a a low-mileage used Honda. And in the last couple of years, this car has started getting quite decent reviews. I did my homework, don't worry. And I really like the way it drives.

(The color is a gray-green which I really quite like. The interior is tan, which is boring, but I figured that was a silly thing to quibble over.)

Rob says he doesn't want to look at cars again for a long, long time.
mellicious: pink manicure (Calvin - not fair)
On my way to see my mother this afternoon, the check engine light on my car came on, right smack on the very top of the causeway - meaning about as far from anywhere as you can manage to be in a mostly-urban area - and before I could get to a good stopping place, it was smoking like crazy. If the engine has not blown up again, I will be amazed.

But you know what? I don't care. That car had clearly outlived its useful life, and we will just have to get another one. One thing about it, I seem to be in the way of inheriting a bit of money soon. (Quite soon, I'm afraid.) I had them tow it back up to the dealer, and Rob came and got me, and we went by to see my mother and Art immediately volunteered the loan of the (other) Honda - the one that we're supposed to be giving to my sister, whenever she bothers to come down and get it - and so I have something to drive for the moment, and we'll worry about the rest later.

My mother is in what the hospice nurse described as a "semi-coma" - she is still eating, though, if somebody feeds her pureed-type stuff. Art had called and told me yesterday that she wasn't eating at all, and that sent me into a tailspin that lasted most of the day today. It turned out not to be quite as dire as he made it sound, but it's bad enough, I suppose. Last weekend when I went in, she didn't really acknowledge my presence but she held on to my hand really hard. Not now. She might have sqeezed it a tiny bit, or it might have been my imagination. I'm not sure. In any case, it wasn't much.

(Oh, and my aunt, with her usual sure sense of timing, picked today to e-mail me to talk about funeral arrangements. Gee, thanks.)
mellicious: pink manicure (buffy quote - bad cop)
When I said in chat the other night that President Ford was dead, somebody said, "That's two" - presumably meaning James Brown was the first one. What I want to know is, does Saddam count as #3? Or do the deaths have to be by a more natural means than execution? I don't understand the rules of that business, I guess.

(I may have more to say about President Ford later. I started writing a massive brain dump about presidents, but that's the kind of thing that I may or may not ever finish. We'll see.)

In other current-events-related things, I am inclined to want to rant about Donald Trump, mostly because, in my interpretation of what he's said, his objections to Rosie O'Donnell are primarily that she's fat and she has a hot girlfriend. (I do not buy for a minute that Rosie O'Donnell is ugly. She's not. Donald Trump is, though, which may be why he's so damn sensitive on the topic.)

Also, I loathe people who call other people "losers" - ugh. I didn't like the man to begin with but I've just gotten a lot more vehement about it.

So, I've been meaning to write an entry all week that was about what I've actually been doing this week, and I keep getting off on other topics.

So here goes. )

Read this: the slackers of bedford falls. Somebody else doesn't like that movie! yay!

Holidailies gold


Nov. 16th, 2006 11:33 pm
mellicious: pink manicure (fall tree)
Of course you can't buy a car and have it really be easy, that just wouldn't be right. We had a very easy time on Saturday, on the whole, and came home with the car, but then on Monday it developed that the credit union wanted all the papers to be in both of our names, to match the loan which was written up as a joint loan. OK, fine, so we'll go back and re-do the papers, shouldn't take long. Well, it didn't, once we got there. But getting there was a problem - we left right after work and promptly got caught in traffic. There was a wreck on the causeway, which is the only major way off the island. (The two "minor" ways, for you completists out there who want to know - minor mostly because they go to very out-of-the-way places - are the ferry to Bolivar Peninsula and the San Luis Pass Bridge, which is way the hell off, 25 miles south(east) at the very end of the island.) Plus, where normally the causeway is two bridges, right now there's only one because they're in the process of demolishing the old ones and rebuilding. They built the one new span, which is meant to be 4 lanes (in one direction) plus a full shoulder on each side - but at the moment, meaning the next couple of YEARS, presumably, it has traffic going both ways on it, which means six lanes and no shoulder whatsoever. Which makes it hell on earth when there's a wreck.

OK, so anyway, we eventually got out of traffic, up to the Toyota dealer and got the papers done. No problem. THEN I ended up spending most of the day Tuesday playing go-between between the dealer's finance guy and the loan guy at the credit union. These guys could not get their shit together. All that needed to happen was that the dealer's guy needed to fax the purchase order to the credit union guy, and in return they would get their money. Instead I get this: "Well, I sent the fax." "Well, I haven't gotten any faxes from them." Apparently neither of them is too good at working a fax machine. And I don't think they ever actually talked to one another, that would've made communication too easy. But eventually the Toyota dealer finally got all the papers to the CU, so presumably they've gotten their money by now and I can quit worrying about that. It was just another bit of stress that I really didn't need this week. I was seriously teetering on the edge.


It didn't help that in the middle of all this, I get a call from radiology: I need to come in and have a follow-up mammogram. They called on Monday and scheduled it for Wednesday, which is a little ominous in itself because they usually make you wait longer than that. But then my OB/Gyn's nurse calls, and says, "Oh, I don't think it's anything to worry too much about, it just looks like some calcification," and so I relax for a while. So I go in yesterday, get it done, and the tech says, "OK, let me just go check the film real quick, I'll be back in a minute." 15 minutes go by and I'm starting to get worried. I figure the longer that takes, the more the chance that that means they're looking at something specific. And they were. They take me in to the room where the doctor is looking at the films - and she has it on a computer, too, I don't know if they scan it or what - and she shows me these spots with the calcification. She says there are some funny cells in there. 80% chance they're benign, 20% chance they're cancer. I can just wait 6 months and "see what happens" - which I think would drive me insane - or I can have a needle biopsy. So, I'm having a needle biopsy after Thanksgiving. I've had one once before, it's not a huge deal. I think wondering for six months if I have cancer or not would be a lot worse.


This is not going to be a very cheery journal to read through the holidays, I suspect. (Even assuming that I don't have cancer!!) Y'all are going to have to bear with me, because writing about it does help, it seems.

For a little comic relief, though, take a look at Lupin's wand, which is, well, sorta scary. Makes me inclined to think the set designers had been reading Snape/Lupin fanfiction or something.

(I forgot to say earlier that I called this "Complaints" because I meant to link to the Complaints Choir - even though I'm sure everybody who cares to has seen it by now. I don't normally watch a lot of YouTube stuff, but I like that one.)
mellicious: pink manicure (umbrellas)
It looks like it might rain. I bought some silicone to put in the rusty spots in the roof of my leaky car, but I haven't gotten around to actually doing it yet. I really should. Let's just hope it doesn't rain hard, because every time it has lately I have ended up with wet carpet. It's very annoying, and probably not very good for the car, either.

Speaking of cars, we are not supposed to be buying a new one for a couple of months, but Rob is really shopping already. Our budget is really limited, but we are looking at either a new small car or a "lightly" used one, hopefully not more than a year or two old. We were planning to buy my mother's, but she has decided not to sell it. Which I think is wise. She doesn't need a new one right now.

mellicious: pink manicure (Buffy quote: slight apoc)
Oh, I have never remembered to say that the thing that cost so much on my car repairs was a new motor for the condenser, or something to that effect. That was $500 or so. Then a new thermostat, at $200 and change. By the time we added the state inspection, which is no longer cheap, and tax, we were at nearly $850. Apparently if these things had stayed as they were it would have been Very Bad. I suspect that means as in might-have-burned-up-another-engine type of bad. (And please don't tell me about how I should have just bought a new car instead. We only have one car right now, and it needs to keep running. Even after we get another one, I would really like for this one to keep running. We certainly can't afford two new cars right now. Even if they're used.)

(GuildWars babbling behind the cut...)

mellicious: pink manicure (Buffy quote: joystick)

I would list everything that needs to be done to my car, except I can't remember all of it - I should have written it down! It was the thermostat and something else related to temperature-regulating and it's going to be at least $500. (I just need to remember that that would only be a month or so's car payment if I bought a new car...)
mellicious: pink manicure (Austin)
Well, lunch with the [personal profile] columbina family went off as planned. We met at the original Cadillac Bar, which is a mexican restaurant that's right on I-10 so was right on their way through Houston. (It is a Landry's restaurant now, but Landry's had the sense not to change it much from the way it was, thankfully.) It was very nice to see both of them. I hope it's not another two years before we get to do it again.

I was running early, for once in my life, so I dropped my car off at the dealer on the way up - they may be expensive, but at least they give you a rental car in the bargain. And unfortunately it's still there - I mostly needed the inspection done, but I also have had problems with the air conditioning not working properly and so I asked them to check it, and apparently that's the sticking point. I hope it's nothing too horribly expensive. (Probably a vain hope. Sigh.)

Meanwhile, after lunch and before I gave up on getting my car back today, I went shopping. I pretty much bought my summer wardrobe. Five pairs of pants and probably as many shirts. Maybe more. I bought so much stuff I lost count! (Also, some really adorable earrings, which were on sale. I am back on an earring kick lately.)

(Oh, and I got an e-mail from Col saying they made it to Austin okay. Which was nice to hear, because I worry. I am getting to be an old mother hen, I swear.)
mellicious: pink manicure (GW black logo)
(Except for the last paragraph, which strays from the GW theme a little bit!)

I was thinking I need to put up some more Guild Wars screenshots, because they amuse me. I think I got one last night that has both our lovely characters in it, while we were paused for something or other. Seriously, one thing about these kind of games, the female characters, at least, are not hard on the eyes. (Some of the male ones, too - I think the male Rangers are particularly hot. They have sort of an Aragorn vibe going.) My character's "armor" these days includes really skin-tight lavender-colored pants and a low-cut top, and Col's warrior girl Io has what appears to be a fur-trimmed bustier, to go with her Xena-style short skirt and boots. Also, I have just joined the Older Gamers' guild, and tonight they are doing a "group picture" - which should be interesting.

So we made sure I did more of the navigating around in the game last night, and it worked out very well. Col was also apparently worried that he was doing too much of the attacking, but that hadn't been bothering me. I do think maybe I have been too shy, or something, about starting fights - I think I worry that I will draw more enemies down on our heads than I need to. But most of the time it's fine, even if you do. (If you die in this game, your teammates can revive you anyway, or if everybody dies, you get automatically revived. You lose some energy for a while, is the worst that happens. I think the only time both of us died was the first time we fought Charr - which are big sort of walking-tiger warriors - back in the pre-Searing stage of the game.)

I do have a thing or two going on in my life that doesn't involve Guild Wars or quilts, believe it or not. But most of it is stuff I don't particularly want to talk about, like work and money. (Rob's pickup is dying a slow and painful death, for one thing, and it's still a couple of months before we were ready to buy another car!) At work, we have had Personnel Drama, which I don't really think I ought to say too much about here, and we have been very busy lining up a bunch of data for some consultants that are coming in. That has finally slowed down, though, at least for me. But yay, it's Friday! Tonight, more Guild Wars (of course) and tomorrow, quilting!
mellicious: pink manicure (Buffy quote: slight apoc)
I spent almost $900 to get my car out of the shop yesterday.

Every time I tell anybody this - either online or in real life - it seems to start a discussion on Fixing It vs. Buying New, with most people coming down on the side of buying a new car instead (or at least a newer used car). I still maintain that the several-thousand-dollars I have spent on this car in the last year will be worth it if I can drive it for two more years (or more), and I don't see why I can't. I need to, really - Rob's truck is in terrible shape, and it will be a miracle if it lasts the six months or so until summer, when my mother is planning on selling us her Accord. The Accord is 5 years old and has a whoppin' 36,000 miles on it, and has been perfectly maintained by Art, who has nothing better to do than wash the thing twice a week and take it in to get the oil changed every few months, so it's going to be practically like getting a brand-new car.

(Art needs to be canonized or something. I don't know what I'd do without the man.)

So anyway, we'll probably get a credit-union loan for the Accord, and it'd be nice if I could drive the Civic until that's paid off, see? So really I would like to keep it going for another three years and change, at least. A lot of people drive Hondas with 200,000 miles on them, and mine just hit 120,000 lately (and I'm not putting many miles on it at all these days, either), so I don't see why three more years is considered outlandish. I'm going to try it, anyway.


Jun. 24th, 2005 11:52 pm
mellicious: pink manicure (Las Vegas sign)
Bellagio fountains

TUS-Con 2 is this weekend, and even though I'm not really particularly upset that I couldn't go, it still made me nostalgic for TUS-Con 1, in Las Vegas a year ago, which was an awful lot of fun. I took a whole bunch of pictures of the fountains, and this is my favorite one. (The pictures are especially nice because you can't hear the Celine Dion song that they were blasting at you at the time.)

I keep getting e-mails from Expedia touting great 100th-anniversary specials to Las Vegas, and I am so, so tempted to get us tickets. But Rob would kill me. Besides, I spent almost $300 on my car today. (It wouldn't start, which turned out to have something to do with some kind of safety switch under the pedals, or something like that, so that was a very cheap fix. But I also got a C/V joint replaced while I was there - something I'd been putting off - and that was the expensive part.)

(More Las Vegas pictures here. Mostly of buildings and not of people, though, because I kept forgetting my camera at the times that the most people were around. Or turning unaccountably shy. One or the other. The back of Jette's and Debby's heads are in a few pictures, though. And maybe a sliver of Columbine here & there.)
mellicious: pink manicure (nautilus)
Once again, it's bedtime and I'm writing an entry. The only reason it isn't past bedtime is that I don't have to go to work tomorrow, so I can stay up a bit later. I'm getting my car worked on instead, oh joy. (Mostly routine stuff: inspection, oil change. But I'm going up to the dealer in Houston so that they can tinker some of their past work, which is still under warranty. Thus the need for a whole day off.)

I was talking to somebody the other day about how Galveston was still sort of seedy, but not necessarily in a bad way. (It was because of Columbine's Pensacolas Past entry.) I don't think it's in any real danger of losing that quality any time soon, but there are two large demolition jobs going on on the Seawall, and both of them make me sort of sad. One is the old convention center, which was ugly and unused, and I'll mostly be glad it's gone, except that it's where my uncle Ted (who's now dead) graduated from medical school back in the 60s. I was 6 or 7 and that graduation was one of the first things like that that I was allowed to go to. I remember feeling very grown up. I think UTMB has their graduation ceremonies on campus these days.

The second one was an old, very very seedy motel that had become a haven for prostitutes and drug-users, and so I probably shouldn't be too sad about it either, in a way, but on the other hand it was a very cool-looking hotel in its time - all retro-late-50s curves. (I can't even think what the name of it was - seahorse? sandpiper? some kind of beachy name like that - jesus, my memory is so terrible sometimes.) It even had a double-decker round bar. And I'm sure both of those places are going to be replaced with some sort of chain motel, or maybe a restaurant. Yeah, we need more of those.
mellicious: pink manicure (spring flowers)
We are still having fabulous, not-terribly-hot weather, although it has finally gotten warm enough that I am aware that my air-conditioner in the car still isn't working quite right. Luckily, it's under warranty and I'm already taking it in to the dealer Friday anyway (for inspection and oil change and so forth) so they can look at it then.

We had a jet that kept flying low over our house today, for no apparent reason. Rob, who usually knows such things, thought it was a MiG. There is an aircraft museum not far from us and they hold periodic airshow-type things on the weekends, so presumably that's where it came from - although usually they have things like B-17s rather than jets.

We went to see Kingdom of Heaven today, and I enjoyed it. Orlando Bloom actually seems like a grown-up in this movie, for the first time I can remember.

If you're interested in seeing all my zillion quilt pictures (ok, actually 49 of them, so far) that I've uploaded to flickr, they're here. And I don't know why I never remember to make livejournal posts except right at bedtime, but it is Sunday night, unfortunately, and I need to go to bed at a decent hour, so good night!
mellicious: pink manicure (umbrellas)
Yesterday it was beautiful - sunny and warm - and Rob and I drove down the Seawall to eat barbeque for lunch, and on the way back I passed a middle-aged guy in a hardhat in the parking lot, and he said to me, "Enjoy the sun, it won't last long." And I laughed and said I was sure he was right. And boy, was he. This morning it was gloomy and rainy, and the front blew in later in the morning and by lunchtime today it was cold.

I have my car back, and I am very broke. But at least it runs fine. (I even turned on the air conditioning for a minute, to see if it really worked. Boy, am I gonna be happy to have that in a couple of months. Today, not so much.)

I missed a retirement party this afternoon because I had to go up to Houston to get the car. I think the retiree forgave me when I called her and told her I was making her a quilt, though. (See the quilt blog if you want to hear more about it. There's even designs!)
mellicious: pink manicure (mermaid)
I called earlier to see if my car was ready and they haven't called me back. I guess that means I'm Sonata-ing it for the weekend. I don't mind - I really like that car. I'm getting accustomed to having a car where everything works!


mellicious: pink manicure (Default)

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