Monday, August 31, 2009

Movin' on up

Dave and I spent the better part of this weekend beginning the long process of going through everything we own. Everything is being categorized as either toss, sell, take to storage or move to the new apartment. That's right, we're moving!

It was time to renew our lease and the company that recently purchased our complex raised the rent by a lot. They plan to do a lot of cosmetic things to the outside of the buildings and they are even planning to build a new clubhouse and pool area. That's all fine and well but it's not in the budget for a grad student and someone working in the nonprofit sector. They are also inflexible in their lease terms and will absolutely not let us sign a lease for anything less than a year, and since we anticipate Dave graduating in May a lease ending a year from now would not be good for us. The best solution for us is to move, so we are.

We found a nice apartment in the northwest side of town and it will be a lot closer to Dave's job. He'll be able to come home for lunch and spend more time with Gromit before heading back. It will add some time to my commute but hopefully it won't be too bad. The new place is considerably smaller but includes all utilities and the price is right. They are even letting us sign a lease through the end of May with the option of going month-to-month after that so we should be all set if Dave does end up graduating!

So begins this process of going through everything we own to decide if it really has a significant place in our lives and if it needs to be moved with us for the rest of our lives... or at least for now. We didn't do a good job of this when we first got married and moved in together so this is going to be a long process - we have a lot of junk! Our new lease begins September 25th which is only 26 days away so we had better get back to work. Wish us luck!

Monday, August 24, 2009

I'm buying a tank

This summer I have not had good luck with cars and seriously, I'm considering the buying a tank. Both of our cars have been in accidents on I-25 within a month of each other and Gromit and I were in the car both times it happened- Dave was in the car for the first one. Combine these incidents with the April 2008 accident and I am what you could call "car kryptonite" (thanks for the title, Kevin).


We were driving on I-25 on our way to my very good friend Ashley's wedding reception on a Friday evening in July. She had gotten married the weekend before in Vail at a very intimate ceremony and was having a larger reception for friends. In stop-and-go traffic we were rear ended by a Ford Aerostar van which was rear ended by a Ford Explorer. The Explorer was going too fast and slammed on his breaks too fast and slid into the Aerostar which slid into us. Luckily, we didn't hit the person in front of us. It was a pretty hard hit and both Dave and I were thrown back in our seats and poor little Gromit was thrown from his car seat. After a visit to the doctor and the vet everyone was declared healthy. Thank goodness! Here's what happened to our 2006 Hyundai Elantra:

We unfortunately never made it to Ashley's reception. The damage may not look that bad, but apparently it was a lot worse after they took off the bumper to assess the damage. The trunk area was buckled and the frame was damaged. They ended up declaring the car a total loss. Bummer!

The good news is that we purchased a 2006 Honda Element that Dave and I (and Gromit) love and we took it camping this past weekend for the first time. It's a good, safe car and we're excited about the upgrade from the Elantra.


Four weeks later I was driving on I-25 headed back home from visiting my parents. Again in stop-and-go traffic I was rear ended by a Nissan Murano which was rear ended by a Ford Freestyle which was rear ended by a Freightliner truck. The big truck was going too fast and slammed on his breaks too fast and slid into the Freestyle which slid into the Murano which slid into me. Again, I didn't hit the person in front of me. I was thrown back in my seat and Gromit was safe and sound in his car seat thinks to the seat belt I bought for him after the last accident. Make fun of me all you want but I am now a huge advocate for dog seat belts/harnesses. Again, nobody was seriously injured. Here's what happened to my beloved Volkswagen Beetle:

Again, the damage didn't look that bad but once the bumper was off they found a lot more damage. Luckily it can be repaired and I am supposed to pick it up tomorrow after a trip to the detailing shop to get the strawberry boba tea out of my carpet and seats and off the center console and shifter. What a mess!

Here's the kicker:

I was driving my rental car home from work on Friday and just as I exited I-25 I got a flat tire and had to pull over at a gas station. I couldn't fill it with air (there was a hole) so Dave had to come rescue me and put on the spare. We drove back to the rental place and exchanged it for another car. We went camping that night and I was very excited to put my car stress behind me. Then, Saturday morning the battery in the Element died and we had to ask our neighbors for a jump. After blocking the exit road to the campground and holding up the departure of a few fellow campers we got the car going again and later thanked our neighbors for helping us with an offering of New Belgium beer.

I guess I should either avoid motor vehicles or just buy a tank. But if nothing else, don't get in the car with me without jumper cables, a spare tire, your seat belt fastened and the helmet strap tightened - I'm dangerous!

Friday, August 21, 2009

A new lappy?

I'm in the market for a new laptop. My current one is seven years old, has a 32GB Hard Drive, 512MB of memory, no internal wireless card and weighs a ton. I would love something smaller, lighter, faster, with more memory and more hard drive space, colorful and fun. All I would use it for is web browsing, blogging, social networking, photo editing, Office programs and playing Sims2 (don't laugh, it's fun to play).

My research has led me to the Dell Inspiron Mini 10. It has a 10.1" screen, is super light, more memory and hard drive space (which can be upgraded further by my husband and his friends) and is way cute. What do you think?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Above and beyond?

Yesterday I was commended by the "top boss" for going over to a staff member and their family who were sitting by themselves at the employee appreciation BBQ last week and talking with them and inviting (well, playfully insisting) that they come over to the table where I was sitting at and join us. I was told that as the event planner that I was doing my job well by making sure that everyone felt included in the celebration.

That's all fine and well but what struck me was that I was being pat on the back for something that I would have done no matter what the situation was - not because it could be perceived as a part of my job. I know what it's like to feel left out and to be sitting alone hoping someone would come to include you. I know what it's like to not feel comfortable walking up to people I don't know that well and trying to join their conversation. I know I don't like feeling like that so I always try to make it a point to make sure others around me feel included. Honestly, I was surprised that nobody else stood up and walked over to them and asked them to come sit with them.

I guess what I'm saying is that as human beings we should treat each other as we would want to be treated and doing so shouldn't warrant a public acknowledgment of going above and beyond. I don't do what I do for recognition, I'm just glad I was able to make that employee and their family feel included.