Monday, October 31, 2011

"You have a funny face."

Saturday morning.  Yuk.  I think that that's most all I can say about it.  So I had TONS of planning and errands to run all day Saturday for my ward's big Halloween party, and the stress of it was weighing heavily on me.  My car needed an oil change, so I scheduled one for 8:30 am, figuring that that would give me plenty of to get everything done that I needed to get done before the party began at 7. 

I get to Firestone (I had a coupon, so of course it's the only option!) and give them my keys and whatnot.  They take it in and I'm thinking, awesome... timing is gonna be fine.  Well, they come out and inform me that I'm due for safety and emissions.  I go ahead and get it done.  I figured that I could save money somewhere else, but the convenience factor of just having it done right there made it worth it to just go ahead and get it over with.  Time goes by and the dude informs me that my car is in great need of a transmission flush, a coolant flush, and something else I can't remember... he explains it all to me and it was legit--no scamming or anything, my car really did need it--so I concede and let the bill ring higher.  What's my new total, you ask? 260 big ones.  Yup, what I was expecting to be a $20 visit then turned $45, all of the sudden racks up an additional $215.  Ouch... it's a good thing that I have some leftover student loan money!

 So an additional hour and a half goes by and I'm wondering when they're going to be done.  It's now 11:00 and I was supposed to be out of there over an hour earlier.  I passed some of the time by by reading ESPN magazine (yes, believe it!  Cameron actually opened a sports mag!) and "making friends" with a two year-old named Cameron.  I put "making friends" in quotations because halfway through my conversation with mini-Cameron, he looks at me and says, "You have a funny face."  The shop was packed and everyone just gave an uncomfortable look--you know, the kind where a kid says something and no one really knows how to react to it... do you laugh or scold or smile, or ignore?  Even I didn't really know what to say other than thank you.

Well I'm still sitting there, and finally, the mechanic man comes up to me and says, "So here's the situation.  The guy that was working on your car dropped one of your transmission clips down the drain, and we're trying to find a place that is open (it's Saturday, remember) that sells your part.  We're having one heck of a time finding one, so it's going to be at least another hour before we can start working on your car again."  What!?  I'm already way behind schedule.  I was supposed to have started all my errands and such started two hours ago! 

I call up Kyle and he graciously gets out of bed to come and pick me up (there's no way that I want to spend another hour in that place flipping through the same old pictures of football players about whom I couldn't care less).  We get home and while I start doing what little I can to get ready for the party, Kyle goes and becomes an even better roommate and makes waffles.  He's such an awesome roommate.  Well we go back an hour later and they found a place that sells the part, but it isn't there yet and they quote me at least another hour.  Ugh.  This is not good; not good at all.

This cycle goes on for another while, and I finally get my car at 2:00 pm.  Yes, that's right.  My hour-long appointment just turned into a 5 1/2 hour long appointment.

Once again, though, Kyle is my inspiration and guides me through what I should say to be tactfully displeased to get some sort of compensation for the inconvenience.  Mind you, I don't do this.  I just feel bad asking for a discount for anything like that; even though it was in no way my fault.  The guy is really nice about it all and he gives me the safety and emissions for free and a card for a free lube oil filter for the future.  It was only discounted to $218, but it was still something to make me feel better about the situation.  I guess it's a lesson to me to be assertive and tactful... 2 things that I'm not good at at all. 

The rest of the day was high stress with the getting everything all set for the party and all (I did lose over four hours of valuable time, after all), but it went unbelievably well and was a HUGE success.  I'll be blogging about it tomorrow (hopefully.... so long as I can find time to get the post set to my liking), so check in to see pictures and some of the drama that went down (not that much drama, but once again, I'm glad that there are some assertive people on my committee!).

Friday, October 28, 2011

Flashback Friday--Your Favorite Big Red Dog

A couple weeks ago I blogged about hula-hooping in Wal-Mart.  What I didn't tell you was that once we got back to Eric's place, I passed one of the best lawn ornaments I think I've ever seen--not because of how clever or cute or grandiose it was, but because of how it brought me right down memory lane.

Yes, that is most definitely a red dog, a miniature Clifford sitting on a front porch right here in Provo!  I may or may not have gotten really excited and made enough of a commotion about it that the people that lived there came out to see what was going on right as we were leaving.  We didn't meet them, but it made me laugh that they came outside because they knew that someone was outside talking about their conversation-piece lawn ornament.

  You see, my mom's a librarian, so the love for books has been instilled in me since before I can remember.  My parents really saw value in books and were consistent in making sure that the books that we read and the books that they purchased for our home collection were of the utmost quality.  If there was an option between hardback or paperback, hard won every time.  I guess that means that Clifford the Big Red Dog fell under the category of quality reading.  That, or maybe they just liked that Clifford's owner and my sister shared the name Emily.  Either way, I'm glad they approved because it was one of my favorites back in my picture book days.

Yay for good books and quality children's literature.  Where would we be without it!?