Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Car Continued

So some of "my readers" out there know about the ongoing car trouble I've been having lately, so I thought I'd give an update.

It all started with a little puddle, something seemed to leak from the rear end of my car occasionally.

This little leak has turned into a $950 problem.

Who knew replacing a pinion seal (and "torquing" the nut on the "casing" a little too tight - I think those are the right words) could end up requiring a whole new "rear end" (that doesn't seem like a technical enough term when dealing with cars). Long story short, I've learned more about bearings and pinions and crush sleeves and casings than I ever intended, and my wallet is $950 lighter.

I was sick all day thinking about how much this thing was going to cost me, and now that the car isn't making weird noises or leaking rear end fluid, I'm sick about going back to the guy who messed things up in the first place and telling him he cost me an extra $800. Yuck!

One more rant.... on the love it or hate it show "The View." Good riddance to Star Jones. Merideth Viera will be missed (but I'm glad I'll get to see her more often anyway now that she'll be on Today rather than the 10:00 talk show), and I don't know that Rosie O'Donnell is the best replacement, but Star should have moved on awhile ago. I just hope (with her being a lawyer and all) that MSNBC doesn't pick her up to replace Dan Abrams on his old show!

*Breaking News (meaning I just heard it)* on Star Jones: Jones originally said that she would not be renewing her contract in the middle of July, implying she would be on the show for another couple of weeks. Looks like Babs has given her the boot effective immediately because her comments off camera have made it "uncomfortable for us to pretend that everything is the same at this table" - no more Star! (Her picture is nowhere to be found on The View's website - they're quick on that stuff!) It's down to three co-hosts. Rock on Babs, Elisabeth and Joy!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Birthday Thoughts

I turned 24 on Saturday. Having a birthday always brings the questions of "So, how does it feel to be __ years old?" Of course it never feels much different - except if you happen to have turned 16 and now have that lisence in your hand, or turned 18 and are "legal", or just turned 21 and are still hungover when you are asked the unavoidable question of how it feels.

This year, I can honestly say, my birthday felt different. Or at least I remember it differently than other birthdays. I didn't do anything terribly exciting, besides talking to a lot of friends, and spending some really good, really much needed, really relaxing time with my family. (If you want the details, feel free to ask, but the more important stuff will be discussed if you just keep reading.) This year, more than I can remember compared to any other year, it just felt like a day where I was completely, and totally loved.

Spending a lot of time with mom was something we didn't do that often, and when we did, it often ended up with one of us feeling hurt. Getting older, I have been so blessed to be able to learn how to relate to, spend time with, and love my mom - as my mom, as a friend, and really as an amazing woman who I can definitely learn things from.

My dad is the man I can always count on caring when I really need it, and who can always make me laugh by doing those stupid things that would embarrass me years ago, but now I appreciate so much because they are what make him my dad. He didn't fail to do both of those things this weekend, and he made me love him even more for it.

Matt is better than the best brother I could have ever imagined. He's a 16 year old, who looks forward to the weekends I can come home, and has passed up "chilling" with friends to spend time with me if we have plans - even if those plans are just running errands. The way he hugs me, and makes sure to say goodnight and tell me he loves me, are things that I've learned to value and appreciate so much lately, and have given me yet another standard (in addition to my dad) for the way I should expect to be treated.

I was also blessed so much this birthday to have a ton of friends who called just to say they were thinking of me and to wish me a happy birthday. (I'm sure this happens to most people, me included other years as well, but it hit me in a different way this year.) Those wishes and words became invaluable this year. Hearing things like "I hope you're being spoiled and loved on, because you most certainly are loved!" and "I just wanted to tell you I'm thinking of you and love and miss you!" was the best gift I could have been given. If I started to thank people by name, I would surely miss someone, so please all know how very much it is appreciated! I love you so much, and I am blessed more than I have sometimes believed. This birthday was an amzing reminder of just how awesome that feeling is! Thank you!

And another story of being loved on, in a way that doesn't really make sense today, but is incredible nonetheless.

I had the coolest thing happen tonight. At our Core Group meeting for the church launch (starting at the end of September! Yikes!), my pastor showed us all an incredible act of love, and a really inspiring example of having a servants heart. We had just read John 13, which finds Jesus in the day(s?) before his crucifixion, just having had a meal with his disciples. He proceeds to do something that seems crazy wierd to us today - he interrupted their meal,and washed the feet of all of his disciples. This act made sense in that culture, but the fact that Jesus did the washing was pretty much out of the ordinary. Long story short (and overly-simplified in an effort to keep you reading!), knowing that he was going to leave them soon, he needed to show them "the full extent of his love," and give them an example of having a servants heart - a heart that loves on people right where they are, as they are, needing whatever they do. After reading this passage, Jeff went on to explain to us all that he was going to wash our feet, as an expression of his love, and as an example of the way we ought to be loving others. Now it's a strange (and a little uncomfortable!) thing to have your feet washed by someone else! In this situation however, that strangeness was pretty easy to get over when I thought about and realized just what this act symbolized. It was yet another way of someone showing me how much they cared, that they would humble themselves before me in that way, just loving on me! What an awesome display of his appreciation and teaching, but even more, what an amazing reminder of the way God loves me!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

It's Wednesday night...

and that means it's time for the obligatory Wednesday night post!

This week has been the GPG finance conference, which has ended up being much more exciting than it sounds! You're thinking "Wow, a bunch of accountants sitting around discussing financial statements, I'm sure it was exciting!" Throw a trip to the spa and some food poisoning in there and things get a little more interesting!

Yesterday's lunch featured a Chinese buffet - sounds harmless enough. I've gone to those cheap Chinese, all -you-can-eats before, no problem! Now if it were Engines, I might have expected that we would be able to mess up something as simple as a Chinese buffet, but it was TAC - they know how to do these things, they serve food everyday, improving that level of gracious living! But...suffering through a morning and night of food poisoning isn't my definition of "gracious living."

To make matters worse, today was the day we finally got to play a little at the conference. After sitting through all those presentations by accountants, it was time to have a little fun - either in the form of golf or a trip to the Waters Spa. I wasn't about to let this little bout of food poisoning mess up my massage appointment. I was lucky enough to be feeling ok throughout the afternoon so I could enjoy my massage and time around the pools and hottubs. Napping in a soft terrycloth robe, taking a swim in the pool with the waterfall, and relax in the rooftop hottub, not to mention a 50 minute massage that was fabulous!

Somehow the timing of being sick was perfect, in that it let me enjoy my afternoon - but took me out all morning and night tonight! I guess it's better that way than the opposite.

One last note, the car is back at Gasper's for the real fix now! That saga should be over by tomorrow afternoon!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

You can't make these things up.

If the names Lark Voorhies, Elizabeth Berkley, Mario Lopez, Tiffani Amber Thiessen, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, and Dustin Diamond mean anything to you, keep reading.

Screech Powers, of Saturday morning NBC fame (and now TBS reruns) from Saved by The Bell is in the news once again.

Dustin Diamond has been living in Wisconsin these days, just down the interstate in Port Washington in fact. Problem is, his monthly payments for airings of SBTB aren't enough to make his house payments!

Screech's $250,000 house is in danger of being foreclosed. He has resorted to shameless self promotion in the form of t-shirts with his mug on them to make the payments, or lose his home. (He would definitely make my list of favorite homeless people then - see post from a couple weeks ago!)

Check out the story, but please, I beg you, don't buy the shirt!

One last, SAD, note: I have two Saved By The Bell posts in the last month. Pathetic.

It's the pinion seal of course!

A quick update on the car problems:

So anyone who has known me for any period of time, knows I have a nasty habit of worrying incessantly. That said, my car issues didn't make for a good few days. All that kept running through my mind was thoughts of hundreds of dollars going down the drain (or into a mechanic's pocket), and days on end without my car while they tried to determine what was wrong with my car and eventually fix it. To make matters worse (though I know they were trying to make it better), everyone I talked to had their own theory of what was wrong - ranging from condensation from my air conditioner, to a leaking gas tank, to some rear differential stuff that totally confused me!

The start of fixing this problem came with the last blog entry on the car - which ended up being well worth the time and ranting to post!

The first thanks goes to Droste. He read the post at work, and remembered that John R. was "a car guy." Well, I don't know John, so Droste took it upon him self to tell John that I had a "problem with occasional leaking.... from the rear axle of my car."

From here, the thanks goes to John, who offered to stop by after work the next day to "check out my rear end (or my car!)". So in the parking lot yesterday, John got down on the ground, crawled under my car, and got all dirty trying to figure out what was wrong. Even though he couldn't give me any definite answers (other than "The whole underside of your car has this film of oil on it. I've never seen anything like this."), the fact that he wasn't too worried gave me a little more peace of mind.

The next thanks goes out to Joel, who was just able to give me a good reference for a mechanic - who made Lori (his wife) feel comfortable being there. That was really my only requirement for a mechanic anyways! Dirty, gross garages are not my favorite places!

So the last thanks goes out to Brian at Gaspers Auto Clinic just off Union Road in Sheboygan! What a guy! I called this morning and he told me he was booked, and I guess he could sense the worry/disappointment in my voice, because he went on to ask me what the problem was, and tell me to just bring my car in this afternoon and he'd make time to take a look at it. (The added bonus in this little deal was that I had to leave work a little early to get it there in time for him to look at it - thanks for that too Brian!). When I got there this afternoon, he put my car up on the lift, shined a little light under there, and immediatly said "Oh yeah, no problem, it's just your pinion seal." Of course! Just the pinion seal! He topped off whatever fluid was leaking, told me to come back next week, that they'd fix it then (for under $100!), and that I'd be fine driving anywhere until then. What a guy! You're my hero Brian! See you next Thursday!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

It's a sad, sad day.

Big news. Big, bad news. Dan Abrams (the only "Dan" that really matters) has been promoted to general manager of MSNBC. Great news for Dan - a big promotion, but terrible news for me.

This means he's "giving up his cable legal show." Dan is no longer the host of The Abrams Report. This is huge. I'm going to have to settle for seeing him on those regular NBC news shows. The worst part is, his move was effective immediately. No goodbye or anything.

Jorie and Nicole would be the first to tell you what a blow this is. They lived with me for 2 years, being pretty much worthless from 5:00 - 6:00 (or at midnight if I happened to miss the first airing of the show).

Congrats Dan. You will be missed.

"For Good" - from Wicked

I've heard it said
that people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you.

Like a comet pulled from orbit
As it passes a sun
Like a stream that meets a boulder
Halfway through the wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good.

It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you
You'll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have re-written mine
By being my friend.

Like a ship blown from its mooring
By a wind off the sea
Like a seed dropped by a skybird
In a distant wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you,
Because I knew you,
I have been changed for good.

And just to clear the air
I ask forgiveness
For the things I've done you blame me for
But then, I guess we know
There's blame to share
And none of it seems to matter anymore.

Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
I do believe I have been changed for the better.

And because I knew you,
because I knew you,
because I knew you,
I have been changed...

Monday, June 12, 2006

So apparently something is wrong with my car. Or at least there might be something wrong with my car. Or maybe nothing is wrong with my car. But I don't know which one!

There's some "stuff" leaking underneath my car. It will randomly leave puddles of something in parking spots - but not always! And what is the "stuff"? I have no idea!

I understand the way to solve this little problem is to have someone look at the car. But who? I don't know that I know anyone here who would be able to help me (if you're anywhere near Sheboygan and know anything about cars, please let me know!), so some mechanic seems to be the only option.

Let's see.... dirty, gross, oftentimes sketchy car places (what do you call them?!) are not tops on the list of places a 23 year old woman wants to go! Talk about a good possibility of getting ripped off (not just for getting the problem fixed, but I'm definitely anticipating having to pay someone just to look at this stupid leak) and feeling completely out of place. This is exactly what some guy is supposed to be helping me with - or doing for me! If you didn't get this yet.... Not Happy About The Car Situation! Anyone want to help?

Sunday, June 11, 2006

I wish there were something exciting to report, but things have been a little boring lately, so this is my cop-out for not having updated the blog in the past week and a half. In honor of going to the Brewer game on Friday night...

Top 5 Favorite (personal) Sports Memories - Little League days through High School sports are fair game.

5) Wasting a whole day of softball practice learning to climb and jump fences - with lessons from Coach Walters after he was appalled at how we were doing it.

4) Comments like "This ain't no Jenny Jones Show!" or "This ain't no disco!" from the basketball coach (who was later "let go" for hitting on some girls on the team) when we were talking too much during practice.

3) Spending whole practices running laps around the fieldhouse after a bad game, and watching AB run right out of the gym to the locker room because she knew our coach (the same one mentioned in 4) above) couldn't come in there to find her. Looking back, he probably wouldn't have had a problem walking in.

2) Spending summers at the Kennedy Little League fields, either playing, umpiring softball, or working the concession stand, and thinking we ran the place (we were about 13 years old).

1) Golf practice at Yahara and getting hit in the head with a golf ball hit by Rachel Quinn from about 125 yards out, a mild concussion and black eye, and ZB laughingat me hysterically as I was caught blindsided by being asked to Homecoming (and agreeing to go without understanding what I was doing, or at least without being able to think clearly enough to know what I had done).

I know there are some LHS folks out there that remember these... Any other good stories? Discuss...

Thursday, June 01, 2006


My Top Five Homeless People:

5. Scanner Dan/Piccolo Man (not sure if they are really homeless, thus the co-number-5 spot)

4. The guy on Big Daddy - does he even have a name in the movie?

3. Brando

2. Igl

1. Droste ..... Too bad even Fox won't take you in.