Thursday, May 24, 2007

Random update

So, my car finally gave up the ghost. It was going to cost me well over $6.5k to get fixed and...well...I just don't have that kind of cash sitting around.

All things considered, taking out a loan for that kind of repair on an 11 year old car with 160k miles on it just made no sense. The maintenance on it was getting worse and worse as it got older. That is only to be expected, I know. However, I felt it was time to investigate a new vehicle. Enter TJ.

I contacted a company and got a very reasonable deal on an auto loan, with zero down, 5 years and a fairly low interest rate. Then I went for a drive around town to various dealerships.

As I zipped into one, TJ caught my eye. I zero'd in on it, spotted the sticker stating it was - indeed - for sale and made a beeline for the door. Understand - this is how I shop. One of the many things about myself A saved me from when we were together.

I walk in, snag a sales guy, tell him, "I have a pre-approved loan, all the paperwork you will need and I want that Jeep. Get me out of here in under two hours." He just looked at me - I think I temporarily shut down his brain functions.

I said, "Well, I could get someone else?"

He snapped to, and only three minutes over two hours later, I walked out the door owning a 2004 Jeep Wrangler Sport...with only 10k miles on it, and only one previous owner....a man in his late 70s.

I justify my purchase (gas consumption wise) by rationalizing that I ride my motorcycle the majority of the year....well, that and my TerraPass.

I've been knitting away at a pair of Jaywalker socks (toe up) in this really sweet yarn. I am nearly done with one sock and should be starting the other in a couple of days. No picture, right now; but, I'll have one up when I finish the first sock.

I took a break from knitting for a while when life was rather insane. Just buried myself in other and sundry things and ignored the world around me. Happens from time to time, but I'm back now. Watch out. *grins*

Gloria's shawl is still a WIP*, and I can honestly say I have no idea when I will finish it...though it is lovely. It just takes so much attention; and, I'm seriously lacking that, right now, since I'm knitting in rush hour traffic and while laying dead in my game waiting for the fight to end so I can come back alive and kick some more cartoon butt. Yeah, phear me.

I was in Aliso Viejo last week for work (I really do dig my current job). So, I hooked up with a friend while I was out there and we went to this restaurant called Claim Jumper. When we arrived, there was a fairly significant wait, but we were in no rush and just kicked back and chit chatted.

A while later we were taken to our table and ordered fire roasted artichokes. My first experience with this particular food, and I have to say that while it was not a bad experience...I can't make myself rave over it. It was tasty, but nothing to "write home about".

We ordered our main course and noshed more on our appetizer, not paying a lick of attention to the time ticking by.

The next thing we know, someone is coming up to our table and apologizing profusely. It was the restaurant manager. It seemed our meals were just then being prepared and they were just horribly contrite over the length of time it was taking to get our food to us.

We were startled, to be honest. We had not realized much time had passed and we still had more than half our appetizer left. We told them not to worry about it, and went back to our conversation.

We wound up with two people checking up on us from then until we were ready to leave - the meals themselves were tasty and very filling. I wouldn't have kept the name of the restaurant in mind, though, had it not been for how very solicitous they were and how excellent the service was...and...this is the kicker.

As we were preparing to leave, we asked for the bill and got informed that the restaurant was absorbing the cost. **blinks** We had run up at $120 bill...and they were covering it. Neither of us felt comfortable leaving without paying something since we'd enjoyed ourselves and experienced absolutely no discomfort whatsoever from the "unexcusable delay" in receiving our main course.

As a matter of fact, our main course arrived perfectly timed in our opinion, as we had just finished our appetizer when they arrived at our table. We left a significant tip and agreed that the restaurant deserved a visit again the next time we were in town.

Saturday, I went to see Shrek the Third. Oh my goodness! I want a plushy Dronkey. They are soooooo cute!!

It was an adorable movie, though there are aspects of it that I find myself wishing had been not so "moral of the story" oriented. But, as usual, Shrek had me laughing and enjoying myself throughout.

It doesn't hurt that I'd watched the "making of" a few weeks prior and so was spending a huge amount of time eyeing the movie and picking out various aspects that had been mentioned. It isn't a bad thing that I had some very nice company for the movie, either.

Overall, life is going well. I love my job, love my hobbies, love my friends and am comfortable in my skin (for the most part - need to tweak the whole workout thing again). It's a good place to be.

Maybe that's why I can't sleep - I keep waiting for the bottom to fall out from under me. *laughs* There's something wrong with a person when they panic when things are going well, and sleep like a baby when all hell is breaking loose.

Oh! By the way. I'm considering various ways of decreasing the inflow:outflow ratio of my finances (buying a car, no matter how well priced is expensive) and have cut a lot of things out of my budget. If it doesn't help alleviate the differential as much as I'd like, I may have to consider a roommate (per my landlord's approval and my ability to reduce my clutter at home). Any suggestions or such on how to go about finding a reliable, tolerable individual to share my space with would be greatly appreciated. *grins*

* WIP = Work in Progress