Sunday, April 25, 2010

The sign of a true friend

This is the sign of a true friend. No, really. It is. Let me 'splain. We're going to take a trip Out West & we even signed up to be escorted around for 4 hours by a photographer from the Ansel Adams Gallery. Yeah, ANSEL ADAMS Gallery, in YOSEMITE. Only one problem with the plan -- we've got a digital SLR, 2 non-working 35 mm film cameras & an unreliable point-and-shoot. I had really hoped one of the 35 mm would work out & I could load it with black and white film & it would be most awesome, but it's not. And, let's face it, even if the point-and-shoot was marginally reliable, it's not going to give me the "wow" factor I want. So, this is where true friendship rears its beautiful head. My friend Barbara, upon hearing the tale-of-woe regarding my discover that the 35 mm option is out, says "Why don't you take my camera?" *blink* *blink* *blink* She's serious. And she's willing to entrust me with her Olympus D-SLR for the duration of the trip, provided she gets to see all of the lovely photos I take and I reacquaint her with this camera, which has been languishing in its case for a couple of years. So, will the camera pass muster? I shot the above photo this morning under cloudy, rainy skies. I think I am a happy woman. And I haven't even read through the manual or played with any of the features. Barbara rocks.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Plenty of time to decide on a car purchase

We have plenty of time to make a decision about buying a car. I mean, we need to do it in the next month or so, and we've been looking around since March 20th, but we've got time. Plus, we've honed in on the car we want, and the dealership we want to buy it from.

So, tonight we headed to the dealership so they could check out my sweetie's 1997 Honda Civic, get the VIN and give us a trade-in value on it.

Now, I know what I want in order to buy a classy new 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid. I also know it's patently ridiculous & there's no freakin' way anyone's going to meet my wishes. What do I want?

(1) A model that has just the basic options, what they refer to as the 500A package. No special bells & whistles. I don't need leather, a sunroof, a fabulous sound system, a full screen navigation system or anything of it's ilk. I'll be happy with air conditioning, power windows, and a CD player. Oh, and that ambient lighting is cool, too, but I'm not paying extra for it.

(2) The color needs to be not-white and not-black. Other than that, my honey can decide. The color's more of a big deal for him than it is for me. Same thing with the interior. I just don't care enough to make this a big issue.

(3) I'm happy to take something right off the lot if it meets our criteria, but I don't want it to be something they've managed to wrack up a thousand miles on. A couple hundred maybe, but not 1k. I KNOW the MSRP ($27,950), and if it's substantially higher than that, there's no way I'll take it.

(4) I want to feel like they're cutting us some kind of a deal. So, although my spouse said he'd like $1,000 trade-in value for his 1997 Honda Civic, I really want $2,000. (Yes, I'm insane.)

(5) I do not want to have to monkey around with complex financing. I want to do some simple math, for me to ask you to plug in some numbers for 60 months/72 months & for me to give you a few numbers for down payments & I want you to tell me what my options are. That's it.

So, yes, we have loads and loads of time, because I know what it will take for me to drive off the lot with a brand-new 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid tonight ... and I know damned well the dealership isn't going to meet it. We'll be done in plenty of time to get to the grocery store & cook tomorrow night's dinner in advance. LOADS of time. HEAPS of time.

As I mentioned, we drove my husband's car so they could get the VIN and try to talk us into getting a car tonight. But I am not GETTING a car tonight, because it is virtually impossible for them to meet my completely insane terms. Right.

Except ... they had a silver (acceptable color) model with a 500A package (yup) with a mere 166 miles on it. And ... are you ready for the mind-numbing part? ... they knocked the price down such that it worked out to a $2,000 trade in for the Civic. And they crunched numbers & fed them into a computer & came up with a financing package that was doable, but their finance dude, Kevin, is pretty sure he can get us a better interest rate if he speaks with a live human being in the morning, so they'll just have us sign everything except the financing and you can get all of your personal items out of the Civic and here are the keys and we hope you enjoy your car and we'll see you tomorrow to iron out the details and you really truly can take your car home and put it in your garage and it's your very own.

Holy freaking cow. We have a new car. And they met all of our terms. Inconceivable!

P.S. and the ambient lighting is really cool!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Fun with our nephew & niece!

We had our niece and nephew stay with us over the weekend & we had lots of fun with them! It was raining until about an hour before they arrived & then the sun came out, so we we were able to go to the Morton Arboretum!

They loved the Children's Garden & played happily together for almost 2 hours.

We went to an early dinner at Qdoba, then went to see How To Train Your Dragon, which the kids thought was wildly amusing, and so did we! Easter morning arrived with a loud thump, which I heard at 6:40 am & raced to investigate. Against our specific request, the kids had NOT woken us up when they got up, but had gone downstairs ... and our niece had fallen DOWN the stairs! Some reassuring words later (& some thorough injury checking), they found some Easter baskets & started hunting down Easter eggs. My sweetie cooked breakfast for us & the kids thought it was great!

He went back to sleep while the kids played with the cats & the xBox, and we watched WallE & did some papercrafting & made up some sugar cookie dough. We divided up jobs for lunch & their parents arrived early, so we all went to the park to play, then came back to decorate sugar cookies!

With 4 different colors of frosting and a bazillion sprinkles, who wouldn't have fun? We loaded up cars to head out for dinner at one of our favorite spots ... and while we had dinner, the rain started again in earnest. So, we got to have loads of fun with them during the sunniest part of the weekend! I was also nursing a nasty cold throughout the whole time (I still am!), so feel like I got a half-way decent experience of being a parent, at least for a 24 hour time period. Loved it. Now, we just gotta wait for an adoption to come through!!!!