Friday, December 25, 2009

Your Love is the Greatest Gift Of All...

So, Christmas has come and gone.

And I'm not sure there is a way to keep this post succinct and to the point, but I am going to try.

I have a good relationship with my Grandmother; the woman who isn't biologically related to me, but who married my Grandfather when I was three or four years old. She has been an enormous influence in my life and I have an enormous amount of respect and admiration for her and for what she has done in her lifetime.

My Grandmother has a flask that my cousin Kim and I have had our eyes on for years. I remember seeing it for the first time when I was sixteen or so and laughing hysterically that this flask even existed.

My Grandmother informed myself and Kim, when we were around twenty years old, that we had not, in fact, invented the world. Oh, sure, I'd heard that old line about each generation thinking they were the first to discover everything, but she told me plain and simple that my generation was not anything special. She has regailed me with tails of her youth that sound wonderful: Not as harsh or unruly as the nights of clubbing that I have been exposed to; but wild and crazy in a way that I think is respectful and fun.

I don't really know how to describe her because on one hand, she is this elegant, wonderful woman with a soft tone and a polite manner. And then there is her louder side, the side of her that she lets loose now and then, demanding a drink and a cigarette and being sarcastic and hilarious.

This flask has travelled with her through the years, taken her to many a party, been there with her in her appartment long after my Grandfather passed away. We've talked about the flask many times through the years, giggling together over it. I've begged for the flask to be mine one day.

It was a day or two before my Grandfather's funeral that Grandma came to each of the grandkids and said "Now LOOK. This is a DRY funeral and I don't want a single one of you showing up with a flask!". And I said, "Ok, Grandma, no flask, but what if I show up with an eyeglasses case?"

Since we were about twenty, my cousin and I have been arguing over who would get the flask. We have each demanded that she leave the flask to us in her will, that one day it be ours (Well, one of us would have the flask.)

And this Christmas, my mother handed me the package from my Grandma, and it was just a simple affair wrapped up in tissue paper. And before I opened it, I felt around and in a single moment, my heart dropped and I knew.

And I saw the familiar brown plastic and I knew more.

And I opened the rest of the gift and there it was, the flask, all for me, a gift from her, something I will cherish my whole life because it has known so much. It isn't about being a wild party animal: It is more about having a history that I don't know anything about. It is about keeping things secret and then letting things out when people need to hear them the most. Maybe it's about my Grandma sharing some common ground with me, and maybe it's just a gift. Perhaps it's a joke between us and perhaps it's that she wants me to know that she and I are connected through our histories, together and apart, we have much in common, much that we can laugh over, and many stories to share.

I called my Grandma after opening the gift. I called her on her cell, because that is just how cool she is, she keeps a cell phone on her at all times. And I was kind of choked up because, you know, this was supposed to go in her will. It wasn't supposed to be given to me this early in my life. I wasn't ready to open it because I wasn't expecting that she would give it to me before her time with me was through.

And the only thing she had to say about this is that she wants me to have it long before she is gone and wants me to enjoy it and use it.

My Grandma knows about my blog in the vaguest sense possible. My Aunt mentioned it to her once and following that conversation, she asked me what a Blob was and what I did with a Blob on the Internet.

I told her that one day I would write about her.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

I Will Not Flip Out On Christmas...

I feel like I need to write that out two hundred times and then I will be calm.

Apparently insurance companies are difficult to wrangle with. I have now purchased a new car. It is sitting with my license plates on it at the dealership AS WE SPEAK.

Why not go get your new car, you ask?

Because in order to pay for the car, I must first pay off the Jeep, and in order to do that, I need a check from my insurance company.

The check was supposed to come in on Monday.

Then Tuesday.

Then Wednesday.

Oh, look, it's Thursday!

So, I called my insurance just to ask about my check. And I was totally fine with it not coming in.

Until they told me that from that day forward, not only would they not be allowing me to buy another vehicle, they would no longer be paying for my rental.


I was under the impression that the reason these people have been taking money from my account each month was to pay for contingencies such as traumatic accidents that leave you without wheels.

And now I would have to pay for a rental because they can't get their act together and give me my damn check?

There was some yelling.

And some swearing.

And perhaps some phone-throwing.

I called my insurance broker, that lovely gent that he is, and complained loudly to him. He called me back and said that there was nothing he could do, I would have to give up the rental or pay for it.


So this morning I woke up at work and made a Christmas resolution that I would do no yelling, swearing, or phone-throwing on Christmas. And then I carried on with my morning rituals and drove home in the rental I had accepted that I would be paying for.

And then a Christmas Miracle happened, and the insurance company called, and all of life got better because they are agreeing to pay for my rental for seven more days.

Hallelujah, it's Christmas!

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Are you KIDDING me?

So, throughout the months of September and October, I wrote a number of posts about an individual I named The Moosehunter.

And then I consulted Joomy and a number of other people on issues with The Moosehunter and was given quite a bit of advice and then I had to move on.

And I cried over this Moosehunting character because he made me sad and also because the tires on his car were just so large.

And then I went out with a dining companion and moved on entirely with my life and was living happily ever after, having totalled my Jeep and accepted that now, when we see each other on the road, he won't know that it is me because he won't know the vehicle.

And then?


After I had worked so hard to move on and gone to dinner with a dining companion?

Do you KNOW what happened?


What the fuck?

(Also, I've noticed that I swear altogether too much on my blog lately. Something I will need to remedy in the future, for sure.)

But in the meantime?




The funny thing is that my mother (You know the woman I'm talking about. The one who dated like, ONE person and then married him at the age of eighteen and then thirty seven years later offers advice to her single daughter? Yeah, that's my mother who I'm talking about here) told me this would happen. She told me that he would be very busy with his thirteen hundred acres of corn and that he would call in January when the corn was done.

She told me to take it as a good sign that he called so soon into the corn being done with.

I might call him tomorrow.

Who's kidding who, I practically had to be restrained from calling him the minute I saw his name on my phone.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Fare Thee Well, JEEP...

The end has come.

Perhaps a dramatic way to let my Blog know that my most prized posession has been written off, but let me tell you, I have been feeling dramatic as of late.

I went to pick up my license plates and search the Jeep for any final belongings. It was full of ice today, as the slush inside it has frozen solid. I had planned to sit down in the driver's seat, depress the clutch, and run through the gears one more time while weeping. However, the mechanic was there with a screwdriver to take my plates off and I couldn't very well be seen in my finest attire (complete with makeup, a dressy coat, and high heeled boots) weeping at the wheel of my Jeep.

I shed a few silent tears and walked away, doing my best not to fall and break my neck because I was wearing high heeled boots. I handed him the keys and left.

And I had to try really, really hard not to cry behind the wheel of my rental car.

I've done an awful lot of crying behind that wheel lately. Driving has become rather scary now that I know that vehicles that can be one minute completely under the control of their driver, and the next minute flying through the air. The sight of the ditch, the pull of the Jeep as it began to roll, and my arms flying to protect my head and face as we made our first tumble is something I won't forget very soon.

But I've been driving. Driving lots. Slowly. Very, very slowly. If I was holding up traffic with my slow driving on the night of the accident, I am definitely holding up traffic now. If it is snowing, if there is dampness on the road... I am going slowly. If nothing else, I am not at risk for speeding tickets any time soon.

And now begins the quest for my next vehicle.

When I was buying the Jeep, I was full of elation and joy that I was getting a vehicle I'd had my eye on since I was seventeen years old. SuperNan and I reminisced the other night about the first time I saw one for sale in town, how I raced home and wanted to split the cost with my dad, share the supercool Jeep with him. And then this past summer, I killed his truck, and suddenly, eight years later, we were sharing a Jeep.

Am I being a little too nostalgic?

I fucking loved that vehicle.

Excuse the profanities.

I don't want to search for a new car. I don't want to wrangle prices and deal with financing and figure out interest rates. I have no desire whatsoever to walk onto a car lot and ask to test drive cars. I feel like walking up, hands in pockets, head down, and demanding whatever piece of crap car they have because whatever it is won't be my Jeep and I won't like it as much.

And also, I want to get a Saturn because I'm angry at this car, whatever this car may be, and I feel like I am going to kick it an awful lot.

If nothing else, the insurance company gave me good money for the Jeep. I'm not losing money and I will have a down payment available for my next car. So, Hurray! Happiness and Glee!

The truth is that I could afford to buy another Jeep.

But that accident scared me. No, really. Like, it SCARED me.

And I don't ever want to fly out of control like that again, and so the short wheel base and the rear wheel drive are not something I can deal with at this anxious point in my life.

I feel like some day I might get another. A summer car, something I can take fourwheeling. I want to tear through the gravel pits and spin around on back roads when no one is around.

And maybe some day I will.

But for now I'm car shopping and I'm going to try and be happy and try to get excited and not be a big old downer. I'm planning my first drive home, much like I did with the Jeep. (Only this time without burning out my emergency brake). I'm going to drive around for an afternoon listening to my favorite songs and programming the radio and driving aimlessly and learning to love my new car.

And I'm sure that, eventually, I will.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

And Then There Was Goat Cheese

Only, no, it was not goat cheese.

I went to dinner tonight at a steak house and didn't order steak. I'm sure I'm going to hear about this from one of my regular readers who doesn't comment (Hi, Dad!) because who in their right mind would go to a steak house and order chicken? And not only was it chicken, it was mediterranean chicken with goat cheese and rose sauce, served with rice pilaf.

So I ordered this chicken and my dining companion (who owns a saddle decked out with 24 karat gold. I'm not making this up. GOLD. PLATED. SADDLE. Hi, Dad!) ordered steak, rare. And my ridiculous chicken creation appeared and I was kind of excited because I have become a fan of goat cheese lately.

And I dug into my glorious creation of chicken to find a taste that I was not familiar with. But that I have tasted before.

It was CREAM CHEESE and oh my Word, if there is anything I detest in this world it is cream cheese. I hate it when there is cream cheese in the fridge, or even cream cheese in my house. If cream cheese touches me, I have a strong emotional reaction and I have to wash whatever part of me that the cream cheese has touched.

And here I was, dining with a dining companion and thinking, I can not be That Girl, the one who flips out and carries on and acts all neurotic all the time. (I try to keep that side of me under wraps. Occasionally.)

So I had to overcome this reaction I was having to the cream cheese and eat it anyways and I THINK I DAMAGED A SMALL PORTION OF MY SOUL.

But I ate it and I survived.

And that's the news I am updating my blog with, that I ate cream cheese and didn't break out in hives.

I know, my life is just too exciting for most people to keep up with.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

I Have No Information

Wait, that's a lie.

I went in to discuss my rental car with the people at the collision shop today to try and figure out how long I can have it without paying for it because my insurance only covers so much of the rental (Which I dumped a cup of coffee on today. Glory.)

I got some more belongings out of the Jeep, which has been sitting outside with a smashed roof and no windows through a 25 centimetre snow storm. There is about six inches of slush and snow in it. My beautiful, wonderful Jeep is smashed and full of snow and the sight of it made me want to vomit.

The body guy said he was ninety five percent sure I should start looking for another vehicle because he is telling the insurance agent that it is a total loss. The insurance adjustor now has the opportunity to contradict that claim and come and view it himself if he is not satisfied with the body guy's opinion. So I am waiting to hear from the adjustor.

In other news, Tia's baby belly is ridiculous and her winter attire barely fits over her. My parents have left me to my own devices here at The Ranch. This always seems to be an adventure as Tia, that beautiful little wonder, always seems to get up to some shenanigan or other while they are away.

Tonight I was bringing them in from the field and since Zydeco is a bit of an asshat, he usually tries to chase Tia out of the gate and then a person can't catch either horse. So in a wave of genius, I snatched up Zydeco before he had a chance to chase away Tia, and made my way to the gate. I was snapping at Tia to get back and away, which usually she listens to, but today she was all "Tally-Ho!" and took off across the yard.

Let's stop for a second here. Thus far this week I have already potentially written off my most prized posession and I was standing there watching my father's most prized posession gallavant across our yard into the wild blue yonder. FUCK MY LIFE. That was my thought process, a pretty simple conglomoration of words. Just that. FUCK MY LIFE.

My own wonderous steed was jumping up and down and hollering beside me. I managed to snap Zydeco into obedience and get him into his stall, which he started pacing and hollering in. I suppose he figured that if she got to go on a jaunt, why shouldn't he? All of life should be equitable among horses, let me tell you.

Tia was quite interested in all that our yard had to offer and I've never seen her investigate so many things without spooking in all the time I've known her. She sniffed out my rental car (And then even went so far as to turn her nose up at it. Hmph). She then meandered over to the snowblower and gave it a good once-over. At this point the pidgeon coop seemed rather intriguing, so she wandered over and stepped in to the doorway of it.

I clucked at her a few times and held out my hands as if to say "Look how nice I am. Please don't dive away from me and break your leg in our yard. I smell good and I'm wearing this selection of beautious plaid jackets."

Apparently Tia accepted this because SHE WALKED DIRECTLY TO ME and allowed me to put a lead on her.

Praise be to God.

Of course after this traumatic event I called my mother and informed her that Tia and Zydo now need some stall rest as their day out and the ensuing panic attack it caused me would take them a day or two to get over.

Because it takes everyone a day or two to get over my panic attacks, let me tell you.

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

No News and Good News...

When I got home last night I cried openly over my lack of awareness over my insurance situation. I had no idea at that time if I had collision insurance, coverage for a rental car, coverage for the fence that my Jeep busted up.

(Fortunately the fence belongs to a family friend, who came out to see if I was ok, and said that he wasn't worried about it. He said his concern was more for myself and my vehicle. I love that there are good people in the world).

Speaking of good people, I don't know the name of a single one of the people who stopped to help me. About ten cars in total stopped, and about fifteen people ran to my aid. Ten of them stayed to ensure that I was ok, and about five people waited with me until the police arrived. I have no idea who they are or why they did such a nice thing for me, but it was nice to have them with me at a time when I needed people the most.

My insurance premiums will be going up despite the fact that the police determined that the accident was not my fault. I suppose this is the least of my worries right now.

In a stroke of genius, my mother convinced me this spring to have the Jeep fully covered by insurance. This also means that I have a rental car until the Jeep is either fixed or I buy a new car. I never had this insurance on my Little Chevy and I am so, so relieved right now that I have this coverage that I will not ever go without it again.

The shop that my insurance wants the Jeep to be at is currently full of vehicles to appraise and fix, so it could be a few days until I know anything about my Jeep.

My body still hurts, my mind is still whirling. The enormity of what happened keeps on going through my head and I can't stop picturing the oncoming truck, myself in front of it, and the sight of my Jeep and all the debris from the accident in the ditch.

I did get back behind the wheel today, four times, once in my mom's car to pick up my rental and then I made three more trips in the rental car. I'm happy to say that I'm not having any anxiety while behind the wheel, so I suppose this falls under the good news category.

I wish I had some answers about the Jeep and my vehicular future but right now I'm so happy to have insurance for my rental and for the collision that I'm not focusing on anything else.


Monday, December 07, 2009

All Shook Up

Less than a month ago, I wrote this post.

A few short weeks and one snowfall later, my Jeep spun out of control and rolled a disputed number of times before landing swiftly in a fence row.

I drove home in snow and ice this afternoon, driving rather slowly, holding up traffic on the highway that leads from the City to Cowtown. People were passing me left and right but dammit, I was driving slowly because it was icy.

Then I went over a small bridge, and began to fishtail for seemingly no reason at all. So I took my foot off the gas and brought it back under control, when it spun out the other way. I held on, made no jerky movements, and was considering downshifting to slow the vehicle without the brakes when we spun out again.

This brought me into the lane of oncoming traffic. There was a large cube van, or maybe it was a truck, but either way it was no Smart Car and I was not willing to take it on in my Jeep.

Time was limited and choices were slim: Spin into a donut in front of a large vehicle, with a lineup of vehicles behind me, or steer into the ditch.

I chose the ditch thinking I would drive in and stop. I was completely calm when I hit the shoulder and all of a sudden I was airborne and there was an awful lot of noise.

There was a Reba McEntire song on the radio, for those of you who were wondering.

I don't really know what happened because as I began flying through the air the only thing I could think to do was cover my face and head with my arms. The sound was deafening. There was crashing, banging, thumping, shattering glass, and loud crackling.

When the vehicle landed I was incredibly disoriented. I ripped on the emergency brake, stuck it in neutral, and began running out of the ditch.

I was then faced by a crowd of about fifteen people all yelling at me, so I turned around and ran back to the vehicle. I got my purse and began screaming incoherently at the older gentleman who first approached me. I couldn't get my purse open, so he held it for me while I got my phone.

I dialed the number under my own steam and the man asked if I was calling the police. I shrieked at him that of course I wasn't calling the police, I was CALLING MY MOM. I shrieked into the phone at my mother for a few minutes before she snapped at me to stop screaming and tell the people around me that I wasn't hurt.

Right. First things first.

A crew of roofers descended into the ditch to examine the damage while the original man went and called the police from his own phone.

The roofers all had fantastic things to say about my spill: They were arguing loudly over whether I had rolled twice or three times, if they should go and get some coffee, or if I would have continued rolling if not for the fence my vehicle was tangled in. They discussed the probability of the one foot in diametre fencepost my vehicle had broken in half causing how much damage. One of the roofers began saying "Fuck, yeah, she's completely written off, Man, that sucks so bad" while another gave me a lecture on driving a vehicle with such a short wheel base.

I commenced smoking and didn't stop until the very kind police officer arrived and began filling out paperwork.

Eventually the roofers left with many thanks from myself as I had asked them to stay 1. for company and 2. to assure the police that I hadn't been driving recklessly. My parents and the tow truck showed up and it took some cursing, praying, and heavy machinery to remove my Jeep from the fence. The fence was completely wrapped around the drive shaft. We then waited at the garage for an initial report from the mechanics.

It doesn't look good at this point in time.

I feel entirely disoriented and unfocussed. I haven't been able to sit still all night. My neck and back are killing me, my left shoulder hurts, and there appears to be a small bump on my head.

I don't really know what to say. There were six additional accidents on the same stretch of highway tonight. Thank God that I am ok, that I didn't take out anyone else on my way to the ditch.

I suppose tomorrow will be a day spent dealing with the insurance people: Is the Jeep written off? Do I have collision insurance? Do I have coverage to get a rental car while the Jeep is fixed or while I find a new car? Do I need to find a new car?

Questions are whirling in my pounding head, my neck is killing me, my thigh hurts to the touch where it crashed into the steering wheel, and I feel like a bit of an emotional wreck.

I do believe I will post some pictures of a cute puppy and a jealous beagle on Facebook before retiring for the evening.


Friday, December 04, 2009

And Now, I Need to Lather, Rinse, Repeat Nine More Times

So I have been working on courses to upgrade my degree so that I can eventually get my Master's. A Master's in what, I have not decided, but I want a Master's in something.

So first the Honours. I need ten fourth year classes: Three in Sociology (My major), three in Psychology (My minor), three electives, and one in statistics. The last course will probably make me cry on numerous occasions as I am what I call Mathematically Retarded. That is to say, I can not do math in any capacity and basic addition tends to do me in. I don't know how I will get through the stats course, but I'm not focusing on that right now.

I finished my first course over a month ago and have simply not gone back and checked my marks.

In order to get in to the program I think I want, I need to have an eighty or above in the last ten classes of university. Which means that all ten of these classes I need to put my all into.

I need to get straight A's here.

And I'm terrified that I don't have what it takes to be an A student. So I haven't checked my mark because finding out that I didn't meet my goal this early in the game would have been very upsetting.

I put a heck of a lot of effort into the first half of this course, and then I hurriedly wrote up the last portions of it, having friends prrof read my essays in states of semi-sobriety and hoping that it would do the trick because I had procrastinated so much.

So with much wariness about me, I checked my grade last night.

And I got an 88% in the course!

Relief. Oh, sweet heavens, the relief.

My current course is a developmental psychology course, which is appearing easy now but requires a bit more work as there is a formal exam and another term paper included in it.

Let's hope that it doesn't end up being fifty pages of work crammed into the last two weeks before the course deadline.

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