Join the Madness

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


We're in the market for a new car, which (of course) means we have to square off with that dreaded beast, the car salesman.  To our credit, I think our last few deals have been remarkably better than our first few were, but it's still a complete drag.  You have to watch every word you say from the moment they shake your hand because much like the justice system, every word you say CAN and WILL be used against you in the finance room.

So, we went to look on Sunday when the lot is closed so we could look in peace. My husband surprised me last night by suggesting we go to the lot to look again, knowing full well we'd probably be driving a new car home as our negotiating skills have improved over the years, but our general will power to walk away has not.

When we get to the lot, I set the stopwatch on my phone and we take bets on how long it will take for the salesman to accost us.  I've seen it happen in less than 30 seconds. Hell, sometimes my seat belt is still on when they are striding our way.  I guessed 2 minutes.  Hubs was a little more optimistic at 5.

We passed the 30 second mark safely, then the minute.  Wow.  We managed to scrutinize several window stickers without being harassed.  Two minutes come and go, then three and four.  I started feeling insulted.  What, didn't we look like viable customers?  I've never NOT been assaulted by a salesman on a car lot.  And we were clearly interested, with my daughter draping herself across the hood of one car or another and the man and I peering through windows and pointing out features.

Five minutes.  No salesman.  We head over to the used section.  We had planned to lease a new vehicle, but the car bug had taken hold and a recent model used car could be purchased for about the same as a new lease, monthly payment wise.  

At seven minutes, I put my phone away.  Up and down the aisles we went.  Finally, after narrowing it down to a couple, we decided to bite the bullet and go find a salesman inside. Twenty minutes had passed and no one had even said hello.  I was feeling miffed at being ignored and would have been happy to teach them a lesson by driving off, but no...the lure of a new car was too strong!

And that's when we realized the dealership closed at 6:00 (about the time we left our house).  I guess we just weren't meant to buy a car. LOL

Monday, August 11, 2014


I really did it this time, folks.  For an intelligent woman, I do some really stupid stuff sometimes.  Case in point:

We didn't over-plan our vacation, but we did have a few must-have stops on the list.  One was a tour of Paramount Studios and the other was a trip to the beach.  

If you've not been to L.A., let me give you one piece of advice:  if you find a bathroom, use it.  Every time.  Even if you don't have to go.  Back here in the Midwest, public bathrooms are a way of life.  Everywhere you go there's a restroom open -- and most are nice!  Not so L.A.  In order to keep the homeless away from their businesses, none of them let the public use their facilities.  In fact, they will look you straight in the eye and swear they don't have any toilets at all...but you know that can't be true -- who can hold it through an 8 hour shift at work?

So anyway, we had planned for a morning tour of Paramount, then lunch, then the beach.  I decided the most prudent course of action would be to put my swimsuit on under my clothes so I wouldn't have to hunt out a mythical restroom to change into it later.

Three of us had near bladder explosions before Paramount.  We searched for an hour but couldn't find a public restroom.  My daughter even downloaded a bathroom app on her phone!  I congratulated myself on the bathing suit scheme.  I was ready to go, even if we didn't find another restroom.

I had a little wardrobe malfunction when I took my t-shirt off in the beach parking lot.  This was a new suit, so I didn't think anything of it.  Just made a mental note to watch the straps a little more carefully.

But once in the water I noticed not only did the straps seem to be placed weird, they were SEE THROUGH.  Oh my.  But then, after bouncing in the waves for 10-15 minutes I figured it out.

I'd gotten dressed in the dark and put my swimsuit on BACKWARDS.  

I think I owe a public apology to everyone who was at Venice Beach that day.....

Friday, August 8, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things

It's Friday, that means it's time for another installation of VikLit's Celebrate the Small Things.  Go HERE to sign up or see a list of participants.

I've been a bad participant, but it's only because Fridays keep sneaking up on me.  If I listed everything I've been celebrating since my last post, you'd be here a long, long time.  So let's keep it to my standard 3 so you can be on your way. 

1. It took 4 years, but I finally heard from THIS GUY. (Keeping his name off the blog now, no need to harrass him for an eternity).

2. VACATION!  Got home Sunday night from a week in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. (Now if someone can please help me get that Walking In LA song out of my head....)

3. FAMILY!  While on vacation, I got to see lots of family, it doesn't get better than that!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Search Is Over!!!

If you've been with me for awhile, you may remember the crazy dream I had a few years ago about moving to Chicago and being invited by my new neighbor to go to Morocco for the weekend with him and his daughters.  I Googled his name when I woke up and discovered there really WAS a Craig Niedermaier in the Chicagoland area and so began my quest to lure him to the blog to leave a comment.

It took nearly four years, but the search is finally over. I'm officially declaring July 29th as Craig Niedermaier Day.  I think a celebration is in order, don't you? 

Mr. Niedermaier, if you're reading this, I just want to thank you for being a good sport!