Wednesday, November 23, 2011

wednesday thoughts

At neighbor's house trying to feel comfortable while using their service.  It just feels weird but I am tired of waiting for them to address the issue.  I want them to feel my frustration and so I forced myself to come over and use their ether cord. 
Yesterday was a wash.  I spent most of the day out with friends and lazy.  I think I needed it.  I needed a day to just be.  Of course, I did some work related tasks.  Met with Justin to discuss how things are going at the bar and research other restaurants.  Spent happy hour with Jan and skipped the necessary run.  I have a head cold, now, and so that was smart, I think.  Trying to run congested doesn't sound appealing.  It sounds like a struggle. 
I believe yoga and strength training is the way to go.  I suppose it is great that I scheduled a massage, too.  Today, an 80 minutes session with Brandon.  I cannot wait.  I hope to schedule a  massage in Las Vegas, too.  Last year the massage toasted the marathon effort.  This year, it will celebrate Shari's first half marathon.  I am so proud of her.  I admire her tenacity to set a goal and go after it.  She is truly an inspiration.  I cannot wait to run this race with her. 
My friend, Jennifer, also will be running her first half marathon.  She, too, is an inspiration.  Crazy like a fox with home renovations, motorcycle restoration, MBA aspirations and nonstop mobility.  I cannot wait to see her in Las Vegas, cheer her on and celebrate with a fantastic meal at Tao or Olives.  My typical celebratory place, Bouchon, closes at ten pm.  I think it will be a pre-race destination.  I must dine there.
Thanksgiving should be interesting this year.  Do I dine with friends, head north or try something completely different?  I know that it will be wine inspired wherever the destination is.  I am not concerned with where I drink wine, only, that I have a day to truly give thanks.  I have much to be grateful for.  It's been an eventful year with many positive changes.  It will be nice to slow down and enjoy the changes.
In other news, if my internet service does not improve, I am going to have to do something to change it.  I can no longer wait for my neighbors to take action.  Sitting in their house is unpleasant too...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

woes of parking and internet

Starbuck's.  Again to use the internet.  Christmas music, packed coffee house and me, trying to get current with my technological fixations.  Day off and too much to do. 
The other day, I went home to find a car parked in my parking spot.  I think this is probably my number one pet peeve.  Truly annoying to me when someone takes my spot.  Since it was Sunday, I sort of figured that it was one of my neighbor's friends.  I knock on their door to see if they know whose car it is.
No response.
I text two of the guys and ask if they know who owns a blue Prius.  Ten minutes later one of them texts back that he might know whose car it is and that he would have to check.
I block the car in, write a note and wait.  Twenty minutes later, I head out for work.  I run into the third neighbor (whom I had not texted) and innocently ask--do you know whose car this is?
Yes.  It's one of my friend's or his boyfriend's car.  Sometimes they need the spot...what?  They need the spot that is my designated spot.  I tell the kid that I left to go to Starbuck's to use the internet since mine wasn't working.  I continue with, this is my spot that I shouldn't have to fight for and implied if your friend needs a parking spot, well, then, give him one of yours.
The cherry on top of this story is that as I am driving to work, I run into the other two neighbors with their friend who is currently parked in my spot.  I made sure that they saw me and drove off. 
How can someone feel so entitled?  This is what I don't understand.  What happened to respecting other people's property and yourself?  I mean, obviously, the boys next door understand that I have one of the carport spots.  We have been neighbors since September.  I have been parking next to them for three months.
Parking in Tempe on Sundays is free.  Why is it necessary to park in my spot off street? 
I am hoping to have the internet situation resolved by Friday.  I am considering my options.  Should I wait for the boys to finally get service up and running for me?  Or, begin my own account with Cox?  I believe that I will wait until Friday and make a decision then.  I must have access to the internet.
My sister, Jasmin, had a healthy baby girl yesterday.  Emma Raine greeted the world.  She is gorgeous and they sent me a very sweet photo of Jasmin and Emma.  I look forward to meeting her.
Day off with many tasks to accomplish.  With Thanksgiving around the corner, I see myself stocking up on wine, cough drops and a nice outfit.  I think I feel it necessary to dress up for the holiday due to my upbringing.  I cannot tell you how many times I found myself wearing the exact same dress as my sisters for thanksgiving.  (No, I will not show any of the visual illustrations).  It's tradition.  I must wear something besides shorts. 
I am off to begin my day.  Hopeful for service at home (soon) and a clear throat....

Sunday, November 20, 2011

still no service....

I still do not have internet service and my neighbors remain indifferent.  I have been working, a lot, and so my hours of interaction with them are limited.  However, I did almost run one of them over last night since he cut in front of me on his bike.  When I arrived home, I told him that I thought it was him on the bike and he agreed.  I continued with--by the way....I still do not have internet service.  His response, yea, I have friends in town and they were unable to access the wi-fi, too.  I don't understand it.  I would like to say that it will be fixed soon, but I don't understand why it isn't working...
Then, he ran away.
I had the night off and so I went to a local restaurant to be a "civilian" again.  I was unimpressed with my meal and exhausted.  Otherwise, I would have pushed for a different establishment.  I just didn't have it in me to be persuasive.  Moreover, there was a big rivalry football game in Tempe which further limited options.  In hindsight, I should have insisted driving into Phoenix to have a nice glass of wine.  Post game, my sleep was interrupted by car alarms, fire trucks and the train.  Long night, indeed.  I considered standing outside to figure out whose alarm was going off every ten minutes for an hour.  Who does that?
Today, in an attempt to use service at home, I went to my neighbor's house to borrow their ether cord.  The other night, they offered to let me come over whenever I wanted to use this cord.  Keep in mind, these are three college students.  Their place reeks of cat and boy.  Not a great combination to relax in.  The one that answered the door seemed surprised to see me and then handed me the cord and shut his door.  Surprise.  Surprise.  No service with the cord either.
Instead of bothering him, I unplugged the cord and am now in a starbuck's.  Of course, I love coffee but this is not going to be my solution.  The christmas music is a bit much.  I can't freely write or relax.  No cat smell, thanfully, but still, not a solution to my issue.
I am going to have to break down and get my own service established.  Tomorrow or by the end of the week.  Must have service so that when I want to use the internet, I can.  Friday night I closed the restaurant and walked into my place at 3:40 am.  I showered and think, I fell asleep at 4:30.  My day shift started at 8.  Tough turnaround to say the least and really, all, I wanted to do when I got home was check some things on line. My neighbors cavalierly suggested me using their cord whenever I wanted...until I pointed out my current hour's situation.  Then, they didn't seem as interested in helping me.
Work has been fantastic.  I love it.  I must take time to care for myself though.   Laryngitis is an indication of how poor I have been treating myself.  Dehydrated, poor diet and lack of running created my current state.  Running the Las Vegas 1/2 should be fun in two weeks.  I am hoping that Jennifer and Shari will be kind to me with my finish time.  Bellagio Spa here I come.
I need to buy plane tickets.  Not planning on doing it at the Starbuck's though.  Yet, another reason, I need internet service at home.  I am annoyed with this situation.....
Beautiful Sunday and I am able to blog now.  Must stop complaining about things I am unwilling to change til later next week.  I remain hopeful that the boys will fix the internet situation.
Until later....

Friday, November 18, 2011

why I haven't been posting lately

Laryngitis, no internet at home and lack of sleep.  All things that sound fun, right? 
Work has been time consuming as of late.  Long hours and not truly taking care of myself caught up with me on Monday night.  Literally, I walked in my door and couldn't speak.  I drank some hot tea and prayed for a voice in the a.m. 
As Tuesday progressed my condition worsened.  Eventually, the owner looked at me and said--why do you sound like crap?  Well, not eating, sleeping or drinking enough water created the laryngitis for sure.  It's been fun to say the least.
Last night, I tried the hot toddy remedy.  Didn't really do it for me.  I switched to a glass of red wine.  Some habits are hard to break.  After a quick bite to eat, I returned home to try to use my lap top.  Since Tuesday, I have been unable to use the internet at home.  Apparently, there was a power outage on Tuesday night in southwest Tempe.  By morning, the problem had been addressed and it was business as usual for my neighbors.  I attempted to go on-line only to find that I was unable to.  I marched (literally) over to my neighbor's house since we share the internet at 8 am.  I figure they are college students--at least one of them should be awake.  I write this note--Hi.  Sorry so early.  Can't talk.  Have laryngitis.  Why no internet?
My neighbor was sweet about it.  Still not able to help me out.  The tech savvy roommate was asleep.  This kid slept all day.  Meanwhile, I went to work and tried to not sound as raspy or worse, not able to speak at all.  I returned home hoping that I would be able to use my laptop.  Still, no service.
I text two of my neighbors and inquire about the situation.  They mention that I could come over and use their computer if need be.  That, to me, isn't a solution.  I pay a portion of the internet service and do not want to hang out in their house.  It reeks of cat and boy house as it should.  The boy part that is.  There are three boys living in that house.  I don't feel comfortable lounging on their couch or in their space.  I want to lounge on my own bed, chair or the floor.  Why don't they understand that?
I am seriously considering setting up my own service.  Currently, I am sitting in a starbuck's getting my internet fix.  The problem with shared service is is that it is limiting.  I cannot purchase plane tickets or check a few other password necessary sites.  I need internet in the house.  Must get it figured out and asap.
I am happy to be productive and working again.  Only, I need to make my health a priority too.  Laryngitis is no picnic.  I never realized how much I talked until I was unable too.  Right now, it isn't terrible.  Last night I sounded like a robot according to a friend of mine.  I didn't appreciate that comparison.  I was trying to go for the smoky, hazy voice of Kathleen Turner.  Robot reminds me of Lost in Space or the Jetson's.  Sexy?  Not really.
So, I will hopefully have internet tonight.  Or, I will find another wi-fi area to update my livelihood via blog.
Happy Friday!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

the last few days

Busy week and I have neglected my creative outlet.  I suck. 
Running has subsided.  First of all, I wanted a few rest days from last Sunday's 1/2 marathon and then when I arranged a running date, my friend canceled and (honestly) I was extremely relieved to put it off.  Now, I look back and know how much I benefit from that activity.  This morning, I woke up, and forced myself to go outside and greet the day.  I walked to coffee, bank and market.  Running would have been preferred but I know that I have a full day of being on my feet.  Running will have to wait until tomorrow or Monday.
I am finding it difficult to get a good night's rest as a result.  Plus, my mind races each night.  Some anxiety, excitment and knowing that I have a lot on plate to accomplish before Tuesday--opening day of the new restaurant that I am working at.  I have odd dreams of previous restaurants and random occurrences in general.  I tried counting sheep or multiplication tables and neither remedy worked.  Finally, I watched an episode of veronica mars to settle my mind.  Still, I couldn't sleep.
My food intake has suffered as well.  The last few days, I have eaten whatever is put in front of me--french fries (multiple times), greasy gyros, etc.  However, it's food and I need it.  One day, I think I ate a banana before I left for work and then ate twelve hours later since that was the first opportunity I had to find something to eat.  I opted for a slice of pizza--yummy. 
My car was in the shop which lengthened my commute and reliance on public transport.  In the past I have relied on friends but it isn't their responsibility to get me to and from work.  Thankfully, I found a bus that could get me near my mechanics instead of hiring a taxi.  I don't even want to think of what that would have cost.  When the mechanic called to tell me what I owed him, I was surprised.  About $200 more than projected--ouch.  The idea of a cab for anywhere from $50-$70 was not an option at that point.  Bus, walk, light rail--what have you---needed to work.
Last night the minute I put my head on the pillow, I was out.  I slept until about 8 am and am so thankful that I finally got a decent night of sleep.  Maybe I am realizing that everything is going to work out.  That we are going to be successful and a positive addition to the neighborhood.  Of course I have always believed this and the doubts just make me try all the more. 
I will update more later.  I am late for work~

Saturday, November 5, 2011

My idea of Friday

Siesta seems necessary today.  Quick rundown of my Friday.  I used public transport for the majority of my day.  Didn't really have any other option since Veronica is back in the shop.  I took the lightrail to the airport and waited.  Lindsay's flight was delayed due to winds, here, and light departure from Denver.  I opted to meet her at the security gate since I knew that her phone was no longer functioning.  Long story and not really the point. 
I listened to my ipod and waited.  She arrived and we took a cab to Mill Avenue.  I wanted to go to a wine restaurant that has great ambiance.  I was hungry and felt like checking it out with Lindsay.  Unforuntately, they were no longer serving food and my least favorite bartender was working.  This person is really unattentive which surprises me.  She has a rockstar job and doesn't seem that interested in customer service from my last two visits. 
Regardless, we enjoyed a few glasses of wine and then walked back to my place.  I offered to get us a cab as it was raining, but, Lindsay seemed determined to walk.  In all honesty, it wasn't that bad.  Cold, sure, but I do live nearby.  We arrived, I gave Lindsay a tour of my place and then arranged a plate of tapas--guacamole, chips, salsa, vegetables and cheese.  Opened some wine and gabbed.  First time entertaining in the new rental.  I miss my platters that I left in Denver with friends.  I will buy some soon.  I love drinking wine and entertaining. 
I think, we finally, went to bed at 3:30.  I am so tired, but I woke up at 8ish.  Why do I do this?  Instead of fighting it, I opted to make coffee and let Lindsay sleep.   She needs it and I didn't want to toss and turn and wake her up, too.  Nap sounds awesome.
Tomorrow, we have a half marathon to attend.  Today, will be slow motion to ensure a good experience for the event. Otherwise, I would tour more of the Valley and engage in day drinking.  Optimal idea for a Saturday. 
Excited to explore more of Phoenix with Lindsay.  Will update later....

Update on Car while listening to Corinne Bailey Rae and thinking of a recent 1/2 Marathon

Sounds odd, I know.  Last year, I ran a 1/2 with the Goddess, Sara Jo and Sipper.  Thinking ahead, I brought cd's to listen to while driving around Napa.  Forward thinking until I left them in my bag in the trunk except for one.  For a few hours, we listened to Corinne.  I love her...I do.  Just, it was a little much at the time.  Now, I always think of that particular trip when I hear her cd.
This morning, the new shop called me at ten til 7 to apologize for not calling me back last night and following up with my service call.  I avoided it since I wasn't ready to drive over yet.  Hopeful that I could arrange a tow without involving roadside assistance or a cab back to Tempe after dropping Veronica off.  Plus, I needed to do laundry and get supplies for Lindsay's visit to AZ.  I drove and ran errands and eventually called the shop.  The man had called me, again, to see what my plans were.  I was impressed with his tenacity.  I called him to explain that I knew I needed service but had been unable to arrange a ride back to the East Valley.  He told me that they would drive me back once I dropped Veronica off.  Hello, talk about service!  Already an improvement from the last shop I found.
I drive about 6 miles and realize that I could go no further without damaging my engine.  I call roadside and arrange a tow.  Not run especially since my insurance only covered 9 miles of the drive.  Stupid in my opinion, but, I got over it and quickly. 
I met the owner of the shop and was on my way.  His employee drove me home and explained some of their history.  Local shop, lots of family and exemplary customer service is what I deduced from the conversation. 
About an hour later, they call me and say, yes, you need a new head gasket.  This is what we project it to cost and sorry to be the bearer of bad news.  Still, I believe I should be able to get my car back early next week. What a difference from the other shop I had been using here.  I miss Sweden Pride in Denver.  They are honest, fair and always, communicated, what needed to be done in a quick fashion.
I consider the pro's and con's of continuing to service the Volvo.  On the positive side, I have had this car since 2005.  She's been awesome until recently.  And, it's an older vehicle.  Things break.  Not that I want to sign on for more heartbreak, financially.  I just am unwilling to say goodbye.  There is still a lot of miles in this car and I know it.  And, no car payment which is what I prefer.  The idea of finding another used car is daunting.  I do have friends that could assist me in this, but I am not ready to let go. 
I took the bus to whole paycheck and picked up some wine for Lindsay's visit.  I had white but the red factor was light.  Had to fix that and quickly.
I figured out how to get to the airport via public transport to pick her up, too.  I love city life and how accessible resources are when you want them.  Her visit will be interesting without a car.  But, I will make it work.
Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Words I keep uttering. of 2011

My car is in the shop.
Seriously.  I have said those words, too many times, this year.  I just got Veronica back from the mechanic after I failed emissions.  Talk about costly fix for the emissions requirement.  The best part of that experience was when I returned to have the re-test, I handed the technician my proof that Ihad had the work completed and he looked at me and said (verbatim)--I don't need that.  I was furious.
Yesterday, I was driving to work and and I noticed my temperature gage had spiked.  I called a trusted friend and knowledgeable car guy and asked why your car would overheat.  His response, either you are out of anti-freeze or your fan is not functioning.  Do you want me to turn around and help you?  YES.   Please.  I tell him where I pull over and pray that my car is not seizing up.  He arrives and adds some anti-freeze and we wait.  He checks the fan out and suggests that I would be fine.  Quick fix.  Add anti-freeze and presto, problem solved.  He takes off and I head out to work.  But, the gage remains in the hot zone.  I call him and ask him what I should do.  He tells me to keep driving and watch the level.  Eventually, I pull over, again, and he rechecks the fluids, fan and then says--it's probably your water pump.  I would do it for you, but, I don't have time.  Take it to any shop, not just volvo specific, and they will be able to fix it. 
I call a mechanic that I have used in the past and arrange to drop Veronica today.  I knew that I could take public transport back home without too much walking.  So, today, everything goes according to plan.  I wake up, shower, and drive to Phoenix to drop my car off.  I mention what I think it could be and head to the light rail station.  Four hours later, I get the call.  It is not the water pump, but, potentially, the head gasket.  This mechanic feels uncomfortable working on foreign vehicles so he suggests finding a different shop and having it reassessed.  He feels this is the issue as to why my car is overheating. 
At this point, I consider my options.  Returning it to the shop that I have frequented, numerous times, this year.  The shop that has frurstrated me and made me crazy.  Everytime I drop Veronica off for a short visit, they keep her for 8 plus days. Not to mention, they do not communicate or make me feel confident with their services.
No.  This would not be an option.  I met a neighbor when I moved in who also has a Volvo.  I asked him which shop he used and he handed me a business card and explained his relationship with a shop in the east valley.  I figure--why not?
I call them today and immediately felt that this would be the shop.  Getting the Veronica there without overheating might be troublesome.  I called my roadside assistance through my insurance and they told me they would cover six miles and the remaining 17, I would be accountable for.  Seemed ridiculous that they would only cover six but the nearest volvo dealer was six miles away from the original mechanic shop.  The roadside would take me there if I wanted.  I don't.  I have no allegiance or feel for the nearest Volvo shop.  Moreover, I drove Veronica home and now have no idea the mileage coverage.  I can only hope that I make it there safely.
Tomorrow the Goddess is visiting.  I cannot wait to see her.  We will tour the Valley on public transport or I will beg for rides.  I think I know someone I can bribe with my local eatery.  Will update this later regarding the car situation....

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Monday Memory (late)

Love this photo from Sonoma last year.  The Goddess, Sipper, Sara Jo and I (connector) winery hopped to celebrate the accomplishment of a half marathon the previous day.  I talked them into running with me and chose this particular race, the Healdsburg Half.  The next day, we checked out a few wineries between the valleys--Benziger, Imagery, Enkidu, VJB, St. Francis in Sonoma, and Failla in Napa.  I wish we had had more time to explore Napa, but, there will always be future visits to one of my favorite spots in the States.  Food entices, too.  Ahhhh, I miss Napa.
A lovely memory and a hope that we will choose another 1/2 2012.  I suggest either Santa Barbara or the traditional Napa-Sonoma route.   Of course, I am drawn to the Willamette race since I could see my sisters, too.  The possibilities are endless in terms of running a race with friends.  Fond memory, indeed.