Tag Archives: cars

Shallow and a “Little” Scared

prairie-roads-1220316Well enough time has passed and I think I can talk about it. You know by now that, come January, we gravitate to more moderate climes. In past years we have done so using the most efficient if not, admittedly, the most environmentally friendly mode of transportation and it takes about 5 hours, give or take an additional hour or two in some airport lounge along the way. Flying may not be my favourite activity but barring extended and extensive periods of turbulence (in which case all bets are off), deep in my heart I’m pretty sure that when I board that airliner I’m going to debark safely at my intended destination. But that was not the case this year. This year one of us said to the other “so how about we drive down south?” to which the “other” foolishly responded “good idea”. Because while this “other” doesn’t mind hitting the road, especially since we are doing so in the cutest little buggy ever, she (that’s me) really only likes to drive the blacktop when the sun is shining and the roads are clear and dry. And believe me, that was not the case on any of the seemingly many days we spent making our way down to where the turf meets the surf. Which, and this is not an “alternative fact”,  made me just a little scared mostly because I happen to like being on this side of that pearly gate.

Now people are going to tell me there are lots of things to be scared of that are much worse than driving in the rain, ice and snow in a tiny little car. Like spiders. Lots of people seem to be afraid of spiders. I’m not sure why. To me spiders are just little creatures, with lots of legs, who make quite lovely and intricate homes for themselves. Ok, I suppose they do use those homes to catch unsuspecting other bugs who unwittingly venture into their webs and, I imagine, quite unceremoniously become delectable morsels to be enjoyed for a late night repast. But unless you’re my friend Wade who has chosen to live among some of the more treacherous members of the species, you’re probably not going to suffer any harm from an encounter with that Daddy Long Legs who decided to take up residence in your basement. Certainly (and this is from my perspective) it’s not worth stomping out his rather precarious life when we know full well that doing so will no doubt result in the proverbial downpour I’ve mentioned above. At least you won’t find me making that trade-off any time soon.

Then there are clowns. I’ve mentioned this in the past but that’s no reason not to include them here. Some people are afraid of clowns. So much so that there’s even a name for it. Coulrophobia. You can look it up. This fear I kind of get. Let’s face it. There have been some pretty scary clown like figures around in our time. Like the Joker. Not the nicest guy and unless you are a superhero of some sort, probably not one you want to bump into when taking the garbage out at night. And more recently, those people who for some unknown reason decided it would be a hoot to dress up as creepy clowns and scare the bejeezus out of little children.  But let’s put those aside for a moment. Most of us encounter clowns under happier circumstances. Like at a birthday party, or the circus, or even at the rodeo, which, if you ask me, has much scarier things going on than clowns. These are happy clowns. They do tricks, hand out balloon animals and generally do their best to make people laugh. Given the choice, I’d rather watch a clown slip on a banana peel than find myself sliding my way through a sea of black ice.

Ok, I know. There are plenty of people in this part of the country who will tell you there are way scarier things than spiders or clowns or even driving in the rain. The fellow who has taken hold of the reigns in this neck of the woods seems to have sparked a whole new level of fear amongst the people. In many cases they are scared because they don’t really know what he will do. Then there are those who are scared because they do know what he will do. Certainly women are scared they will lose control their bodies. Immigrants are scared they will have to leave the country they love and call home. The LGBTQQIP2SAA (I do my best ot be inclusive) are scared of losing the rights they fought so hard to obtain. Some people will tell you they are scared that they will no longer get the facts but rather something called the “alternative facts”. Others think the “real” facts will be scary enough. Everyone is scared about how the world will react to the policies that are designed to keep America great again. You don’t have to hit me over the head. Millions of people right across this world of ours are marching in the streets to let us know just how scared they are. I can honestly say that, even though I’m a shallow person, it has become quite clear to me that at this moment in time there is no shortage of things to be scared about. 

With that said, I’m starting to think that maybe driving in the rain and snow isn’t so scary.  I’m also starting to think that perhaps I should be more than just a “little” scared.

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Sometimes we have to say “goodbye”

Once again you’ve been wondering where in the world I have been. Usually it doesn’t matter where in the world I am because no matter where that big bird in the sky takes me I always have my trusty computer by my side for the sole purpose of writing this blog. And playing games. But here’s something I may not have mentioned in the past. Not only do I pride myself for being shallow, I am also brutally honest. Well most of the time. So you should believe me when I tell you that while I have been a little busy lately the truth behind my rather prolonged absence is that I’m having some trouble coming up with things to write about. I suppose that’s not surprising because it’s been two years now and I am a shallow person. How much do you really think we have to say? At any rate, I’ve come up with something so here I am.

We bought a car. Now for most people that’s nothing to write home about. Or certainly to write about in a blog unless it’s one of those blogs about cars. Which this isn’t. But for us, buying a car is an RBD! (Really Big Deal!) Because you see, it’s not something we do everyday. Or every decade for that matter. Over all of the years we have been buying cars (and that’s quite a few) I can count the number we have bought on one hand. Along with a couple of fingers on another. And since I actually am counting we’re talking seven cars over five decades. Most of the time we have two parked in our garage at once. At least one of our cars lived with us for almost twenty-one years while our current boarders have clocked in twelve and fourteen respectively. Suffice to say, for us walking into an automobile dealership is akin to travelling to a foreign country. Bluetooth? Lane assist? Nav what? We simply don’t speak the language. Hence the RBD.

Wait a minute! I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “I thought she liked cars!” “Small, foreign ones.”  “How can this be?” “What kind of enthusiast drives around in a twenty-one year old car?” Well therein lies the problem. I do love cars. So much so that once I get one I don’t want to let it go. I know that for some people cars are just a few thousand pounds of steel and rubber (with a hint of plastic depending on your taste). Transportation, plain and simple. But give that hunk of steel a name and a birthday and now you have a horse of a different colour. Now you have a relationship, a bond of sorts. A new friend. Which explains the longevity. I mean who gets rid of a dear old friend just because they get a little rusty or find themselves with a dent or two? Well, to answer that rhetorical question, every once in a while we do. Because sometimes we just have to say “goodbye”.

Now this outpouring of affection may seem a little strange coming from the shallow gal but keep in mind that we’re talking about a car here. So I’m comfortable with it. We’re pretty sure we’ve found a good home for our “Little Fella” which makes us all feel just that much better about the whole thing. And now we wait, just a little anxiously, for our new arrival, a red and black Mini. Or as our mini loving friend DB would have it, a Bini. Unfortunately it will be a few more months before our new friend pulls into her (his?) new home, but we’re nothing if not patient. Besides, I figure it’s going to take us just about that long to come up with the perfect name for our shiny new friend.

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Things That Irritate Me (Part 2)

carandbikeI made my bed so I’ll have to lay in it. It wasn’t much of a leap really from “stuff I don’t get” to “stuff that irritates me” and clearly I have managed to close that gap. Before I go on though, I have a confession to make. In my last post I believe I may have suggested that I could be “5 foot nothing and just shy of 105 pounds”. Well that’s not exactly the truth as anyone who knows me knows. It’s easy to see that, even in my bare feet I hug 5 feet and two inches. Slightly more problematic though is that “105 pound” thing because what would have been more accurate for me to say is that I would like to be just shy of 105. Which is why I’m back in that basement of mine sweating it out on the treadmill each and every night. Now it’s not being on the treadmill in and of itself that irritates me because, to be honest, it’s not a bad place to do a little thinking. And in some people’s homes it’s also a not a bad place to do a little watching, but not in my place. You see, in my basement there still exists a 27” flat screen TV. I’m not talking LCD, or LED or even Plasma. There’s no HD or surround sound in my basement. Nope, just a 27 inch, CRT flat screen TV which I’m sure you might still recognize if you bumped into one. And when I’m trying to get through that last kilometer for the sole purpose of shedding two (ok maybe three) of my extra pounds, I find watching that TV mildly irritating.

But not as irritating as the times when I’m driving down one of our roads paying close attention to the speed limit because in my city of choice, they have a nasty habit of playing “guess how fast you can go on this block” and I just hate getting my picture taken. Almost without fail, some yahoo (that one took some thinking) in what they think is a hot car, decides I guessed wrong and takes advantage of the opening to whiz past me most often on the inside lane, likely to make sure I’m paying attention. To cement his (well it usually is) superiority, he’ll subsequently cut in front of my car with just inches to spare. Now you and I both know what’s going to happen next because as kids we all read the story about the tortoise and the hare. He’ll weave in and out of the traffic for the next four blocks or so while I carefully make my way along the blacktop, and we’ll both end up spending about a minute and a half waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel to turn green. Which, I am pleased to say, will irritate him way more than it will me.

Before I go there’s just one more “thing” to check off this list of mine and I do so at my own peril. But I’m putting my cards on the table ‘cause this one’s important, so listen up. By now you’re aware I have a deep seated belief that it’s not only important to know who you are but to be true to your convictions. Let’s face it, that’s not always the easiest thing to do but if the shallow gal can, well anyone can. I’ve said it before, and I’ll very likely say it again, I love my car but I know not everyone shares my enthusiasm for the horseless carriage. And because of that, I don’t mind that the road has been divvied up for those of you who prefer a non-motorized form of transport in an effort to minimize your carbon footprint. Don’t get me wrong, I reduce, reuse and recycle whenever I can. But when you hop on your ride, here’s the question you need to ask yourself. Are you a pedestrian or are you a vehicle because you simply can’t be both. You see, when you pull up beside me in the “right turn only” lane the only assumption I can make is that you, like me, are going to turn right because when you’re on the road you obey the rules of the road. When you don’t, well that’s not just irritating, it’s downright dangerous. So let’s make a pact. I’ll watch out for you if you watch out for me and we’ll both come out of this ahead. Because the alternative isn’t going to go well for either of us.

Well that’s that. The end of the “things that irritate me” series. I can’t say I’m sorry because, this whole exercise has been a little intense and the subject is, quite frankly, starting to irritate me.  Makes me think it’s time for this shallow gal to get out of that bed. Besides, to tell the truth, it’s starting to feel a little lumpy.

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Things I don’t get

jeansIf you have spent any time at all reading this blog over the past year and a half you will have gathered that, as a shallow person, there’s not a whole lot in my day to day life that troubles me. Sure, there are some things that make me sad, lots that make me happy and even a few things that make me want to … well I should probably just let those things go. All and all, if I had to put a label on me, I’d say I’m a laid back kind of gal. Except at four o’clock in the morning when I’m waiting for one of my kids to get home from the bar. No one would call “that woman” laid back. Or when I’m shopping on Boxing Day. Which is perhaps a story for another time. Nope, I can honestly say at this stage of the game I simply don’t come across too many things that irritate me. Which doesn’t mean there’s not a whole lot of stuff I just don’t get.

Like jeans with bling. You know how it goes. You’re sifting through a rack of what appears to be perfectly decent jeans. Sure some of them are darker than others but there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. And you’re wise enough to know that no good will come of trying on the “skinny”ones so you just pass those by. Anyway, you’ve been wearing jeans long enough to know exactly what you want. Something with 5 pockets, no holes (when you’re from my era you have to come by those honestly), just the right weight of denim and straight legs that glide effortlessly over the “Fryes” you just added to your coveted boot collection. As your hands work their way deftly through the rows of indigo they stop on what appear to be that perfect “made in heaven” pair. Until you turn them around. Astonishingly, right there, on the back pockets. Bling. In whose world does bling belong on an otherwise perfectly tailored pair of jeans? There’s nothing about it that makes sense. I can’t think of one reason I would want to have rhinestones sticking into my backside every time I sit down. Nor can I imagine pulling out my jeans the next time someone invites me to their kids Bar Mitzvah, one of the few occasions where bling might be part of my fashion repertoire. Jeans are about comfort. Rhinestones are not.  It’s simply incongruent and, if I may say so, borders on offensive because there are places for bling and places where it is quite simply wrong. And the back pocket of jeans is one of those places. So I just don’t get it.

Or one size fits all. Really? Let’s pretend I’m 5 foot nothing and just shy of 105 pounds. I go to my local department store to pick up a pair of leggings, mostly because they’re rather fashionable these days. As I sift through the myriad of options I notice a particularly attractive pair that meets my fancy. On closer scrutiny however, I find myself cringing at the “one size fits all” pronouncement prominently displayed on the front of the package. So you’re telling me that this single pair of leggings is going to fit both me and the long legged beauty who at this very moment is standing behind me, virtually reaching over my head to pick up the very same pair that I have cradled in my own hands. Who thought that one up? Please tell me how one can possibly make sense of this. Which fashion honcho came out of a meeting where a group of geniuses decided that the same amount of fabric would suffice for my legs and hers? Let’s face it. One of us is going to have to make some mighty uncomfortable adjustments to make this happen.

Maybe this was a mistake. The more I think about it the more it seems to me that while I don’t really get this stuff it is entirely possible that this “stuff” causes me just a tiny bit of irritation. And as I emerged from the shower (have I mentioned that some of my best ideas come to me in the shower?) it occurred to me that I might be on a bit of a roll and there are, in fact, even more things that cause me a tiny bit of irritation. Like car salespeople who ask me for my favourite colour . And squirrels that eat my car. Not to mention people who “like” my blog for the sole purpose of getting me to like theirs. I hate to say this but it seems to me that this just might be “Part 1” of a many part series. Well at least now I’ll have something to do while I wait for the kid to get home from the bar.

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What’s My Favourite Colour?

colour_paletteI don’t really like to rant about stuff because, one thing I know for sure is that a lot of people have a lot more to rant about than I do. But there’s a time and place for everything and when I tell you what happened to me this weekend I’m pretty sure you’ll cut me some slack and agree that even for a shallow person like me, this is the time. However, before I continue, perhaps it would be best for me to set the stage.

Late last week the engine light on my car came on. It’s a solid, not a flashing light, so it’s entirely possible that this situation will turn out to be “no big deal”. The thing is, over the years my car and I have developed a symbiotic relationship of sorts. I take care of her and she takes care of me. So when a light like that comes on, it hurts not only because we have become so close but because you gotta know that an eleven year old car from the old country has the potential to cost a boatload of cash to fix. Which is why I started thinking about the possibilities and next thing I know I found myself standing in the middle of my local Dodge dealer’s lot.

Now I know you’re thinking “but she said she likes small, foreign cars and there’s no truer statement than that. Which means that at this point, and rightfully so, you may be wondering why I was meandering my way through the rows and rows of “Avengers” and “Challengers” cars, I might add, whose names belie their character. Well, as difficult as it is to believe, this particular lot is also home to the auto of my most recent dreams, (don’t get too excited, these “cars I can’t live without” dreams come and go like the goldfish I had when I was a kid) the Fiat 500. And there’s nothing smaller or more foreign than that. So it was with some anticipation and more than a modicum of excitement that I approached the nearest salesperson to see about taking one of these cute little puppies for a spin.

And now I’m afraid, I have a confession to make. As much as I openly celebrate my shallow way of life, the one thing I am not, nor ever will be shallow about, is cars. Perhaps it’s as a result of spending my formative years living with a couple of older brothers who routinely parked something cute and sassy in the driveway. Or perhaps it’s the fact that one of the two came by his nickname “Crash” quite honestly. No matter, whatever the reason I don’t take my cars lightly and I don’t expect others, especially those tasked with the job of hawking them, to do so either. So you can only imagine my disdain when the first question that emerged from my salesperson of choice’s mouth was “what’s your favourite colour?” Really! Did you really just ask me that? About a car? I mean if we were talking about a jacket, or paint or even my preference in cats, which by the way is black, orange and white, I’d understand. But cars? Not a chance.

Needless to say there was nothing left to do but leave. Oddly enough this evening I read about a new Fiat 500L due to come out this summer and it looks pretty cool. I can’t wait to take it out for a drive, and hopefully when I get to the dealer, they’ll have something in a pearl white for me to try.

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