Thursday, July 26, 2007

Wishin for good luck!

I was really hoping to post a “yay it’s all over – my car is back and the world is right again” type post.

But I can’t. :(

This has not been a good 2 weeks.

So my car is supposed to be done no later than tomorrow. (Originally I was told “Tuesday, but worse case scenario Wednesday.”) It’s not even that there’s anything WRONG they just got busy, people called in sick, etc. and they just haven’t started yet. (well, earlier they hadn’t started. Now they have.) That’s not been fun.

AND, one of my bosses is moving to a different team and I don’t get to go with him. I don’t know if he knows that I would really like to go with him, but it hasn’t been presented as an option, so I have kept my mouth shut. A co-worker that may know more is back tomorrow so we will see.

All in all it’s not been good. I’m trying to be positive, but it’s hard.

Every time I walk out in the morning to leave for work or when I’m actually leaving work and I see Jason’s truck that he’s letting me use, I feel so lucky.

One of my good friends growing up went to college in TX and has stayed there after graduation was able to visit this week. A group of us went out to the Cheesecake Factory to hang out with her/each other. It was good times.

(bottom left to right: Me, Marla, Laura, Becky J (aka Rachel Leigh Cook), Jeremy, Michelle, Karissa)

Also, my best friend from growing up and I had a big blowout a little over a year ago. We both said and did things we shouldn’t have (shouldn’t’ve?) but we haven’t talked since then. Over a year. We were both going to go to the dinner with our mutual friend and since we both got off work in Seattle before everyone else, we met up for a few hours before they showed up. We talked through a lot of stuff and while we can’t be the same way we were, we can be better off than we are now. That’s a positive. (She was in the group above but didn’t want her picture taken. She was sitting across from me and did a great job hiding)

Did you know that a Diet Coke at the Cheesecake Factory is almost $3.00? No joke.

Did you know that if you park in Pacific Place and go to pay for your parking and give the attendant your ticket, you MUST pay to get that ticket back? Parking is $4.00 flat fee after 5pm and I had pulled in about 5:03 (cell phone time), so I was shocked to see $12.00 come up on the screen. I asked the lady and she said the machine would not return my ticket or show the time I entered until I paid, so I paid and she showed me the printout: I entered at 4:59. I had to pay $8 for one stinkin minute. They don’t do refunds and they can’t check the time after it’s been inserted into the machine to process payment, so if you pull into the garage before 5:30 I would request a “time check” before paying the ticket.

This has been my life these past 2 weeks.

But I did have a rather delicious turkey and potatoes microwave lunch today. I am really on a turkey kick lately. And it was only $1.25 at Safeway. Not too shabby.
I look forward to a happy post (as I'm sure you do too)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Mind dumping

You know those days when it feels like the world is moving around you and you’re just watching it pass in a daze? Today’s one of those days for me.

Update on the car: We had thought we had found a great deal on a transmission that meant we would have to drive to Portland to get it. Turns out it was the wrong one (glad I checked motor size before we drove down). Now it’s looking between $1300 (used) or $19-2200 (rebuilt). Obviously, we are trying to keep it the lower end, but safety and quality cost more, so somewhere in the second one is the better option, just not sure we can afford that choice.

Yes, this is a we. Because my warranty expired 8k miles ago and since it was an internal problem not caused by outside circumstances (meaning it could be an insurance claim), I need to pay cash and I can’t do it by myself so Jason is generously helping me out.

He’s also been letting me drive his beloved truck while he rides his motorcycle. Of course after weeks of nothing but sun, the week we make this agreement is the week it starts to rain, making it unsafe for him to ride. So I was taking him to work in Redmond in the morning (at 4am), driving to work in Seattle, sleeping in the car, going to work a little early, getting off a little early, driving to pick him up, then driving to his house in Auburn. All in a truck that gets about 13 miles per gallon. This was not fun.

I sorta had a mental breakdown yesterday. Unfortunately these seem to be happening often lately. It’s just an emotionally bad time of the month, frustrating to have to depend on other people to fix my dumb car (that I don’t even like!), hard for me to let other people help me, hard to be tight on money in general, annoying for Jason to consistently try to help and have me feel like each offer inconveniences him more than the current situation, and it’s feeling like this will never be over. I want my car fixed, I want to be able to stay in my own house, I want Jason to be able to do the things he wants to do and not have to sacrifice his fun for my lack of finances. I think that’s what pushed me over the top yesterday – the big race this weekend is too much for Jason and I to go to like we had planned. Even one day seems like a lot right now. The radio station was giving away tickets and I’d been trying all day to win and didn’t and it hit me that I wouldn’t get to go, and that Jason probably wouldn’t go without me. We'd been looking forward to it for awhile and it just sucks. I did that gut-wrenching sobbing that everyone hates so much cause it physically hurts (on top of the emotional) and doesn't fix anything and now you look terrible.

Almost as soon as I was done crying – I get a call from the gal I house sit for on the Island – she wants to know if I can come up that night. That leaves Jason without his car for the whole next day and me driving back and forth to pick him up to come stay with me. But it’s money – only not sure it’s enough to pay for the gas it will use this weekend to do that. So I go up there (stopping at my parents house and having my dad yell at me there too – nice) and she leaves and I start to get sick. This has happened before when I cry really hard – it literally hurts my stomach to the point I start to throw up. Gross, I know, and unhealthy, but I can't seem to stop it from happening. So I went to bed fairly early and actually slept well.

So today I’m in a daze – a fog – and it feels like the work I’m doing isn’t me – it’s like I’m a 3rd party watching myself do it. That’s a weird feeling. And I just got a call that the housesitting lady isn’t feeling well and is coming home early so I have to go there on my lunch to grab my stuff. That helps, but it’s a bummer to not have that money coming in.

This is way more personal than I usually get on here, but I need to vent. I need to tell myself what I’m feeling by writing it out and I only do that through journaling which somewhere along the way became blogging. We’ll see what happens this weekend. Right now the part to fix my car won’t get here for 2-3 business days from the time we order it and when that happens is up to Jason. (He's trying to find the best option possible, which I REALLY appreciate, but in the meantime, it's taking twice as long as it could have had we just started on it right away.) Once we have the part it’s another 2-3 days to put it in. So there’s at least one more week of this.

I might just lose it. :(

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Blown Engine Nightmares and Transmission Dreams

First of all, in the last 2 months I have had 3 opportunities to take advantage of a situation to better myself.

The girl in front of me at the cash machine left her card in the machine. A less-honest person could have milked it. Me? I ran through the parking lot looking like an idiot just to give her card back.

I bought some shirts for Jason and one of the shirts was $9.99 and the other was $24.99. He rang up both shirts at 9.99. I corrected him. Could have "gotten a deal".

I ended up returning the 9.99 shirt (didn't fit). Instead of returning the item, the guy returned the whole purchase, handing me back $25 more than I should be getting back. I corrected him.

The joke lately has been that something phenominal is gonna happen and my honesty will be rewarded.

Well, not quite happening yet.

Jason and I were driving to his house today and we thought we ran over something or popped a tire, so we pulled over - as weird as it seems to hope for a popped tire, that's not quite it.

My transmission blew.
(That's ridiculously expensive, just in case you didn't know.
As in thousands.)

**LUCKILY Jason was with me. LUCKILY We were about 3 miles from his house. LUCKILY His brother was home and available and could tow us to their house. LUCKILY They have a shop that can lift up my car so they (and the mechanic-wanna be neighbor kid) can figure out what exactly is wrong. **

That's the good news. The bad news is that according to Jason, it's much more electronic than the stuff they've worked on before, so he's not positive they should be doing the work.

That. Sucks.

Oh, and we went to the dragstrip on Saturday so Clint could test his car before Nationals...and he blew his engine. No joke. So he's not racing in Nationals anymore (or for the rest of the season, probably).

I don't swear too often (especially in writing) but
this fucking sucks.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

May the Force be

Countdown: 7 days.
I first started dating Jason in October of 2005. (whoa - reality check of that feeling really long ago and not-so-long ago all at the same time). (Oh and we don't really know what day we should celebrate as our anniversary (that's a story for another day - remind me.)
ANYWAY. October 2005 - Unbeknownst to me, I was about to become part of the world of dragracing.

I totally thought I knew what drag racing was - that was when the guys at my high school and some of the local college guys would meet up on the weekends and race each other in dark alleys and stuff like that. Fast and the Furious was drag racing right?
Not really.

What I thought was drag racing is actually illegal street racing. (I knew about the illegal part.)
REAL drag racing takes place in cars like this:

Funny Car (don't know why they call it that): Jet Car (that's an actual jet engine shooting those flames):

Jason’s best friend Cling has grown up in a family of drag racers and his dad is fairly well-known in west coast drag racing. Coincidently, Jason’s family lives within walking distance of the largest raceway in the area. They hung out there a lot.

Clint now races a dragster, his dad races a car that looks similar to the funny car, but is actually a different class. We don’t know any jet car people.

CLint and his wife are at different races at least 2 times each month between May-August with races every weekend in July. So…of course, we went to the local ones.

I was so lost. I had no clue what was going on, why, and I hated being out in the 85+ degree heat we had last year. It. Was. Miserable.

This year, though, I know his friends MUCH better and am WAY more comfortable around them which makes a huge difference. I vaguely know what to expect at the track and have a year under my belt of remembering what occurs at a race and hearing about them and putting the 2 together. I get it so much more now. I actually like it.

Since Jason and Clint LOVE watching it and us girls don’t really care either way, it’s on. A lot. I learn even more. I grew to love John and Ashley Force - a father/daughter team that seemed to be everywhere and always did well. Lucky for me, they had just recorded a reality show so I saw that he actually has 4 daughters, 3 of which were on the show. He cracks me up.

John Force: Ashley Force (she's so pretty!):

Next weekend (the 21st - hence the 7 day countdown), John Force Racing will be at our local track for the National races.

I’m friggin stoked.

I know I probably won’t get to meet them, but I just want to catch a glimpse! It will be so fun!

Ashley’s only 24 and she’s already set major records in National Drag Racing for being the first girl to do a bunch of things. She wants to be the first girl to win a race (not just 2 cars racing – win the whole class - which is really hard to do!) and has a bunch of other goals which I think is rad.

I’m such a nerd. I’m gonna be total paparazzi at a boy’s event. :)

Monday, July 09, 2007

Booms, bangs, and birthdays

So I really have been meaning to post smaller posts and do it more often. I'm just bad at it.

So when I was housesitting, I found some of my new favorite plants. Aren't these cool?

This one's leaves start hot pink and turn green. Weird, but freakin rad.

This one looks like a weapon. :)

4th of July:
Awww...we're cute...

Jason, his brother and a neighbor spent TONS on fireworks. Like, a lot. A whole lot. So our day was full of fun. Early in the day we were entertained by them making dry ice bombs (put dry ice and water in a plastic bottle - it bursts. Hilarity).

You can see a video of it at this link (if anyone knows how to embed these, enlighten me. It's not working for me.) :(

And here's a video of about 30 seconds of the 3 hours of fireworks the boys put on for us. RAD.

On Thursday morning we left for Portland, Or. Yes, the wonder that is Oregon. Good times.
We stayed at the Hotel Monaco - it was fun but I got irritated with the front desk clerk (which, I am usually very forgiving of since I used to be one but this guy was an a-hole.) but it was okay. The hotel is fun and funky, so that's interesting.

We went to dinner at RINGSIDE - which...yum. So good. I wanted VERY badly to take pictures of the food (it looked amazing and tasted even better) but the place is DARK. And flash just seemed like more attention than we wanted. But it was very good. Visualize in your head. Good job.

We went back to the hotel and changed clothes, then went to a bar:

When we got back to the hotel (I had lots of fun at the bar. It was good times) Jason got to open his gifts - the boy made out like a bandit. I think his favorite thing was his new watch:
But he also got his XBOX 360 racing wheel, a racing game, new clothes, and some other fun stuff. It was fun seeing his excitement for the stuff he got. :)
When I was packing up to go the next morning, I found this "doodle" of Jason's - he didn't leave it out for me or anything, I just saw it. He's cute. :)

Friday we went and had breakfast and then set off to hang out with our friends that were dragracing at the strip about 1/2 hour south of Portland. It was nice and warm, but not HOT, so I was happy (I don't do well in the crazy heat. Just mildly warm as long as I'm prepared for it.) :)

We had a big barbecue and then stuck around for the GOLF CART NATIONALS! :) Tons of the drag racers have golf carts so this track decided the carts should race. They raise a lot of money for the booster club this way and it is LOTS of fun.
Jenn and Chewy were all excited to go:
We had lots (and lots) of competition:
Come to find out, you were supposed to have a human co-pilot, so I was recruited. It was fun! For our time-trial we got this whopping time (in seconds, going to the 1/8 mile mark):
Go speed racers!!!
We actually made it to the 3rd round of racing where we lost by .07 seconds. Sad. Oh well, it was great fun. See:

I'm a big fan of the shadow pictures lately, and Jason actually saw me trying to get one of us and did this (which we got mocked hardcore for. But he still loves me. Aww)
Then back home (I actually stayed awake most of the drive. That's amazing!)

Saturday was his family birthday party - we were excited that his brother and sister-in-law brought Jason's neice!! She's friggin adorable:

He really was excited. I promise.

There - that's better:

His brother got him a new Remote Controlled car - he LOOOOOVED it. Can you tell he's a car guy?

And just before my camera ran out of battery I got this. So cute. :)