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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Feeling Guilty

For technically spending over $250,000 in 30 days.

But my car payment is actually lower now. As is my insurance. Justification is so easy.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Chances

I vow never to take my luck for granted.

A week ago today I dealership-hopped with Brent and Shelly. I'm so grateful for them. They took their entire Saturday and dedicated it to helping me find not only the exactly perfect car for me, but also the fabled phenomenal car deal.

I was sure I wanted a BMW. I love the 330ci but the convertible is extra nice. The handling, the style, the intuitiveness of the automobile as a whole. But I was also sure I didn't want to pay an exorbitant amount of money for 3 simple letters. I didn't even know how to spell exorbitant.

Our grand rounds included Infiniti, Volkswagen, Audi, and the beloved bimmer.

We started out with the G35. Aaron Finger greeted us and immediately offered us Infiniti branded water. Before I could blink I was on the road in a 2006 automatic. I was taken aback with the smooth acceleration - that V6 moves! Could I really be looking for an AT? We discussed features, availability, and Aaron was respectful when we told him we had other dealers to visit.

We drove through the Audi lot but the A4 1.8 liters are really the only Audis in my price range. I can't imagine stepping down in engine size. Besides I had that BMW on the brain.

Volkswagen was next. Shelly really wanted to drive the new 3.6 liter V6 Passat too so we took one out. Cute features like an air conditioned glove box for transporting lunches and the umbrella storage is clever, but overall, there was road noise and it seemed like they cut some corners on the interior. Cheaper looking buttons, etc. No complaints about the ride itself though - one fo the smoother shifting automatics I've ever driven.

Have you seen the new BMW body style? I love it. But the coupes don't come out until next fall! The salesman pitched his "Ultimate Driving Machine" 4-door as sporty enough for even Richard Petty and gave us a 6-speed manual tester complete with the sport package. The seat was awesome. Adjustable in a million ways, hugged in all the right places. But I couldn't shift that thing without the threat of whiplash to save my life. Brent had trouble too so at least I didn't feel quite as bad. The automatic was nice, but not nicer than the Infiniti and at $43k without navigation... even used with 20K miles, they were asking - and getting - over $30k.

With the 330ci fresh in my mind, we made our way back to Infiniti to check out the G35 once more. I talked to Aaron again about options and asked to drive the 6-speed. As soon as I released the clutch, I knew I had to have it. We drove, I giggled, I almost ran a stop sign. It was a perfect match. We started talking about cost, options, rebates, discounts, things that only Brent and Aaron understood. The differences between the 05 and the 06 are distinct, but not worth the extra $3k to me. The 05 is already more car than I need. My cell phone isn't even blue tooth compatible and I don't know that I want to risk my key being more intelligent than I am. Plus, I like the taillights on the 05 better and the one on the showfloor was fully loaded and calling my name. Loudly. It wasn't a color I would have picked out of the brochure, but it grew on me quickly tempting "luxury" while the body screamed "speed". I was contemplating the attractiveness of ordering my own color and hand-picking my options when someone else opened the car door and gushed over it as he lowered himself into the driver's seat. I found my heart in my throat while I silently pleaded with him to "Get out! Now!" Yes, I was ready to make the deal. We started working numbers, they test drove my Prelude. We were about $1k off of where I wanted to be with my trade. They met me in the middle but Brent was smart and led the way out. "For now" he whispered as the door closed behind us. I was sad, but knowing it was closing time, making the car safe through Monday, helped. Was even thankful for another ride in the Honda and hurried home to get ready for Josh & Becky's party.

Thankfully, I had no time to wallow in any amount of disappointment that I wasn't going to show up glitzed, glamoured and G35'd.

The party was nothing short of perfect. I'd found a great dress, I was greeted with a friendly familiar face (Todd) and Josh & Becky's friends proved to be interesting, enlightening and fun. Some great connections were made, Texas Hold 'Em played and wine and delicacies enjoyed. I even met a wonderful gal who happens to sell blinds! I was worried I'd feel uncomfortable and sure I wouldn't stay long but I didn't leave until after 3am. A sure sign of cocktail party success!

Sunday = Slipknot = the first metal concert I went to and nearly fell asleep during. Another indication of a successful cocktail party :)

Monday: further negotiations + bowling intermission + more negotiations + papers signing = new car owner!

I absolutely LOVE it.

Thank you again Brent & Shelly. You made this whole experience fun and for the first time ever, I feel like I got an absolute steal at a car dealership!

And Navigation? The option I swore I didn't need? How in the world did I survive without it? It will even highlight the nearest shoe stores. Or more importantly, gas stations. I might be frequenting the local fill-up stations more now. I think the V6 comes standard with a straw.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Birthday Wishes!

It's Shelly's birthday today! I'm wishing you the best day ever because you're the best friend ever. We will have Champps wings soon.

I'll drive :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Omission

Oops... I forgot the link that made the last story the home run that it is!

An unrelated 2 words:

Serengeti Sand

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Remember

This actually brought a tear to my eye.

Thanks Mighty Girl! You've restored my faith in mankind and made me remember what's really important. It's great when somebody just gets you, isn't it?


10.21.05 THIRTY IS THE NEW THIRTY

I turned thirty today. To celebrate this, my best birthday ever, I have a story for you.

When I was 17, I got a summer job and saved up a modest amount of money for a car. I was searching, fruitlessly, for a VW bus that didn't smell like pot or konk out on the test drive, when I happened upon an incredible, candy-apple red Karmann Ghia. My stomach hit my shoes.

I'd never been interested in cars, beyond their practical applications, but if I were a car, this was the car I'd be. The thought of owning it made me want to go-go dance in the parking lot, yodel from atop the highest peak, grab startled strangers and kiss them on the mouth.

My mom said no.

She called it a little, red, moving coffin. I pleaded, reasoned, cried, and finally wandered around forlorn for a week or so. Then she had to take an unexpected trip, I had no car to get me to school while she was gone, and she acquiesced.

As I've often said since, when you're a seventeen-year-old girl with a red sports car and a matching cheerleading uniform, there is very little you can't have. I drove the car through high school and into college, replacing practically every part along the way, until a tree branch fell on the top and broke most of the windows. I was way too broke to fix it, so I sold it to some guy for $400 and fought nausea when they towed it away.

To this day, I recognize the distinctive putt-putt coming up a street, and I make Bryan stop and watch them go by. Then I wipe a single tear from my eye, and we continue on our way.

This morning, Bryan and I decided to have a birthday breakfast together, and he went to fetch our car, which was parked several blocks away. He came upstairs to get me, and as we descended the stairs, he asked if I wanted to drive. "Not really," I said. We opened the front door, and he said, "Are you sure?"

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Prognosticator

Make that the 99th percentile of the 93x.com football picks pool. 100% last week... if only I'd have gone to Vegas!

Also, I'm ranked 22 of 2,443.

Coincidence?

Monday, November 07, 2005

Feeling Guilty

For missing Jolynn and taking it personally. :)

22

I'm not talking guns.

But it is a nice round number.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Another Weekend Bites the Dust

Turns out they aren't Japanese beetles. They're just lady bugs. JBs have white tufts of hair under their shell that is visible towards the rear. Beetles with tufts of white hair. Gross.

I haven't had anything to drink since Halloween. Having a house is improving my liver health. Strangely though since I have at least 2 cases of beer on-hand plus a liter of Jack, Sapphire Gin, Vodka and the appropriate mixers. Come on over and party! Because it's good to be the sober-cab when you're already home.

Dad helped me get my mattress inside. We set up my bed and I started getting my clothes organized. I'd gotten so used to sleeping upstairs I nearly forgot my queen bed awaited! While I didn't mind sleeping on the twin, my subconscious self must have felt trapped as I found myself this morning all wound up and taking up the entire bed.

I went shopping today. Replaced the white ceramic kitchen hardware with brushed steel from The Brass Handle. They were patient even though it took me 3 trips to close the deal. First a test, then the final cut, then the 8 that didn't pass the Berger QA. Sure they were small (ok miniscule) knicks, but I would konw they were there and damn it, they were $8 each. That's almost a sandwich at Champps.

Well, I set a goal to have my clothes done before I go to bed tonight and if I sit here a second longer, meeting that goal will mean I won't go to bed tonight.

Vikings win = Purple apparel at the bowling alley tomorrow. Also I'm still in good shape at the 93x.com football picks contest. In the 97th percentile - not bad! Makes up for my floundering in fantasy football. My excuse is that I haven't had time to keep up on the waiver wire. I'm injury ridden. Owens' suspension doesn't exactly help my cause either. What I'm really sad about is that I've only thrown my football 73 times this year.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Groan

I only had 10 trick-or-treaters! I was looking forward to meeting some neighbors. At least enough to make the last minute $11 stop at Walgreens worthwhile!

Jolynn, Edwin and I hit up the Quest for Fear Factory. See, Jäger is good for me. Without it, I wouldn't have her! The Quest does not serve Jägermeister. We bowed our heads in shame. And we met up with Russ and Luke. It was a great show! My recent reduction in drinking has caught up with me. 3 beers and I don't recall paying my tab. In fact, all day today I was pissed at myself because there is no good way to go back downtown just to pay-up and collect my card. Luckily I thought to check my wallet before making the journey and low and behold: paid tab and credit card. I'm not even sure why I'm admitting to this.

I got a lot done tonight. I worked late but got straight to it when I got home. Did my first loads of laundry in MY washer and dryer. Love not having to travel with my hamper. Got most of the pantry set and more work done in the kitchen. I can't believe I still had 2 boxes of kitchen stuff to sort out.

Time for bed.

I will close with this thought.

Whoever is responsible for the Japanese beetle import should be reprimanded. Harshly.

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