Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I hate cars (Part 125)

If I did a search on "car" or "cars," I am sure that would turn up a lot of posts. I can't seem to go more than six to eight months without having to put money into my car(s). And in the last 10 months, I have spent around $1,500 among tires, a couple of oil changes, an inspection, brakes and rotors, an AC quick fix (not what I really need for it to actually be repaired), and some oil pan or plug. Looking on the bright side, if I had a new/not-yet-paid-off car, I would have spent more on car payments during that time. But still.

I tend to go through a set of brakes and rotors every two years. In fact, every other June/July for the past six years, I have replaced my front set. You might be wondering what in the h-e-double hockey sticks I am doing. I kind of am too. But I guess when you speed up to a stop sign and then slam on your brakes, along with sitting in rush hour traffic in general twice a day, five days a week, well, that can do it. Plus I recently discovered Waze, a navigational/traffic app, and I tend to be on streets that I have not been on, which results in a lot of sudden turns. [Side note, I love Waze. Some days, I want to make out with Waze. I have cut 5-7 minutes off my 35-40 minute commute.]

Somewhat ironically, I just paid off the hubby's truck. Technically, it will be paid off by 6/26. But I felt so good when I made that electronic payment on Monday. That feeling quickly dissipated when my mechanic informed me of the rotor-brake thing. If only I had won my church's raffle. Of course, I say that every year.

I really think in the next six to eight months I will get a new car. I am not sure I will get that much for my Vue, since Saturn no longer exists, but I don't want to keep putting money into this car. But since I have put so much into it in the last 10 months, I would like to keep it for a bit. But it never hurts to start my research.

Here's hoping Silver (what I sometimes call my Vue) gets us to the beach and back, all nice and cool, in the next couple of weeks. If not, I guess my car shopping will start a little sooner.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Each t-shirt tells a story.

This evening I was trying to find a t-shirt to take to my mom's. I have a deep drawerful of shirts that I wear when I want to go extremely casual, as most of them are old, and at least a third are ill-fitting. 

Since I can barely close the drawer, and I had no idea of half of what is buried there, I decided to take everything out and see what I had. Surprisingly, I had remembered almost all of them, and many brought back memories, which is unfortunate as it makes it tough to give them up.

Here are some of their stories: 


This is probably my oldest tee. Twenty-two years ago this past February, I stayed awake and on my feet for 48 hours (plus about 10 more before and after) for Penn State's Dance Marathon. I am proud of that feat and being a part of something that helps so many pediatric cancer patients. The hallucinations I could have done without. Regardless, I wear this tee some years during THON weekend.


Depeche Mode was the first concert at the Civic Arena I went to without my parents. A couple hours prior to the show, my then-boyfriend and I were waiting at a McD's for our friends from Penn State, who had our tickets. They got lost, and never showed up, so we headed to the Arena, and walked around for quite some time until we found them (this was before cell phones). It was a good show; DM was one of the few groups I have seen several times (I am not a big concert goer). How can I get rid of this?!


 I think I bought this shirt at a resale/record store, either towards the end of college or a year out. I still remember being there with my friend Beer, who was bummed he had not seen it first. NIN is one of the other groups I have seen a few times. I have not worn this in years, but it represents a wilder time in my life (as well as a time when I wore a lot of black).


I bought this shirt at the Three Rivers Arts Festival, sometime in the early 90s. I loved tie dye (still kind of do), and even though it is big on me, I just can't part with it. I vow to wear it this summer!


I ran my first Great Race in 2001. It was a few weeks after 9/11, and patriotism was high. I ran with a tiny flag; some people ran all 6.2 miles with a giant flag. It was a great experience. I last ran it 13 years ago, and I hope to do it again, but the 5K version. 


For several years, I walked the 10 miles for the MS Walk, in honor of my now-late aunt who had MS. The walk took us all over Pittsburgh, which was really cool. The year of this shirt, I did the shorter 5 miles, as I was pretty sure the 10 miles would be too much thanks to having a baby eight months earlier and no longer being in awesome shape. Unfortunately, I have not done the walk since (and they no longer do 10 miles). I can probably part with it.


I have run the Race for Pace more than any other 5K (four times, I think). The year of this shirt, 2012, I had taken a couple years off from racing, and in this particular race, I ended up in 3rd place in my age group, for which I was recognized after the fact in a little ceremony with my friend Diane. I sadly have not seen Diane since. 


I bought this tee at Kohl's a week or two after the Pens won the Cup in 2009. I can still remember how soft the shirt felt. In fact, when I picked it up for the pic, I was surprised it was still a little soft. Unfortunately, many wearings of this shirt has worn it out (not to mention the unsightly deodorant stains). But I just can't give it up until I can replace it with another Stanley Cup shirt. I had my ones from the '90s for almost two decades. Let's hope I don't repeat that for this shirt!


Finally, I give you this shirt. For several years while I was underemployed, I went to this coffee shop at least once a month. A lot of the same people came week after week, and it was just nice to chill out there, drink my cappuccino and read the P-G. The shirt is not particularly comfortable or great fitting, but I actually still wear it from time to time because I have not only uttered "I'll sleep when I'm dead" various times, but also Vince closed the place about two years ago, so I keep it as a memento.

Note that for this post, I did not include any of my "nice" Steelers, Pens, Pirates, Penn State, or Pitt shirts. Sadly (or not), I have more than two dozen of those altogether.

But those shirts above? They tell a story. I bet some of yours do too.

Monday, June 1, 2015

THIS will give me the motivation

Because I have over 300 "friends" on Facebook (at least half of whom are not really friends at all) and only a handful of readers here, I tend to be more open in this space. Today will continue that trend.

If you know me well (or even if you don't know me at all), I can tell you that for the most part, I feel pretty good about myself, both physically and as a person in general. I think it started soon after I had a child, and really solidified once I hit 40. I just have been able to accept who I am, know that I don't have to be perfect to be a good person, and pretty much am okay with my body, even though it is not as thin and tight as I would like it to be.

Unfortunately, in the last six or so months, I gained a few pounds. Going to Baltimore almost a month ago and eating non-stop for several days and hardly moving put me a few more pounds ahead, and I am now the heaviest I have been for only the third time in my life. Unfortunately, because I walk a lot and I started to run again, I still feel decent about myself, so I was lacking the motivation to stop eating all the time.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday late afternoon, as I was getting dressed for my kid's performance at school, the hubby walked in to me in my underwear. And he said this: "I'm glad I am not the only fat guy in this house."

What?!

Are you freaking kidding me?!

What married man says that?!

He tried to back-peddle, saying I was the only person he wanted, he still found me sexy, etc. As if that would somehow make that awful comment be okay. In fact, before he found his way to that sort of compliment, he made another idiotic comment like, "Well, you are not a guy." Thanks for that!

I did not ask him how I looked (I know that is generally a no-win situation for a man), so there was no need for him to share his opinion. And I realize (oversharing again) that the underwear I was wearing kind of pushes things up. But still, dude, keep it to yourself!

The good news is that I had one beer at dinner yesterday instead of two. That evening, I broke out the free weights to do some arm work. And today I actually did not eat every 1.5 to 2 hours at work, as I do most days. [Coworkers often wonder aloud why I am not huge. I am fortunate to have a fast metabolism, but, eventually, it does catch up with me a little.]

I don't want to care about a number on the scale, because I don't. Too much. But when I couple that number that I don't want to be with the slight love handles I know have, well, I do care. So you can take this to the bank: When I go to the beach in a few weeks, I will be thinner.

I know I needed to get back on track; I was going in the wrong direction. Even the thought of being in a bathing suit was not enough to get me to stop stuffing food in my face. So here's to righting a wrong, even if it's delivery was, well, wrong.

Wish me luck. And you don't even have to wish the hubby luck. I am a forgiving person. :-)

But I sure don't forget...