Home for my rants, raves and general sharing of 'insytes'. Some of you will enjoy this gathering of text - others will wonder how I tricked them into giving me a Blogger's license...

Thursday, December 28, 2006

I am officially out of the will.

You know when you make a decision, are happy with the decision, only then to have it eat you apart a couple days later for making that decision?

That is me right now, realizing I have truly pissed off my parents.

Well, pissed off is maybe not the right words to use. Upset, yes. Disappointed, yes. Pissed off? Well? Yeah, maybe.

You see, my consort and I just got back from trips to Miami and New York, and had planned to drive to Oregon to spend the Christmas holiday with my family. It is something Chris and I have been doing since we first started dating three years ago (Miami then Oregon), and being with my family during the holidays is something I have done my entire life. In fact, I have never known a Christmas morning where I woke up anywhere but my parents house. Ever. 38 years of waking up 100 feet from mom and dad.

But this year, all I wanted was to be in Tahoe with Chris for a little 1:1 love fest.

So, you can imagine the conversation that took place when I called my parents two days before Christmas to let them know we were not coming.

To say they were shocked is putting it mildly.

Of course, to be fair....I didn't give them much warning. Mom had already gone grocery shopping, dad had just finished prepping the bedrooms for our arrival, and they had plans set for the next three days for all of us. But I just could not put myself in the car for the six+ hour drive North. It is weird, but I just wasn't emotionally wrapped around the trip this year. I can't explain why, but I know there are reasons for it. Will they ever surface? Who knows. The fact of the matter is I did not wish to go to Oregon this year and telling my parents this was breaking their heart.

The initial conversation with my dad was hard. As far as he was concerned - you always come home for the holidays. No matter what. And though I tried to point out this rule only seemed to apply to me (neither my baby sister or my brother were going to be there and weren't getting any grief) - it didn't matter to him. I was the oldest. I had always been there. I was to set the example. #%&#@*%^#*%

I know my parents will eventually get over it. It is not the end of the world. There will be other years. But why do they have to pile on the guilt? Why do I feel guilty?

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Don't blame the shooter...

...blame the thing she is shooting with.

Over the last couple of months I have been struggling to get a clear shot at the events and gatherings I have been to. Most are inside, in low light, so I have been using our Rebel with the 50mm lens which should have been fine.

Yet, none of my photos were coming out clear. In fact, it got to the point where 9 out of 10 photos were blurry and I could not get the camera to auto focus 99% of the time.

Even more frustrating was seeing a couple of my friends using the same camera and lens combo and not having any issues whatsoever.

Settings were correct. The lens was clean. WTF?

It finally got to the point it wasn't worth trying to use it anymore, so I sent the camera back to the Canon factory for a lookie loo. Eight days later, I call in to their customer service to find out the camera has been fixed and I should have it back in a couple of days. The problem? The auto focus was bad.

Cool. I can't wait to have it back. But it bites a bit to know I had to call Canon to find out what was going on with the camera. I mean, you would think with all the technology they have to produce the incredible camera they have, they could have set up a better customer service notification system. But whatever...it was fixed and I am looking forward to getting it back so I can start documenting our life and our little adventures again.

Technorati tags: canon canonrebelxt camera autofocus autofocusproblem repair camerarepair

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The $500 oil change.

I took the old girl in for a tune up the other day (just FYI - I am talking about my car, not me, though now that I think of it, I am way overdue for a little pampering myself). Anyway, as I was saying - I took the old girl in for a $50 tune-up/oil change and much to my surprise, I came out with a $50 tune-up/oil change and...$450 in four new tires.

Crap. Didn't I just put tires on this beast two years ago I ask? The young fella behind the counter smiles big and says, 'well no Ms. Wells - our records show you put tires on four years ago and it seems you have travelled well over 80,000 miles since then. They are more than ready to be replaced - in fact, I can't in good faith let you drive home on the bald things currently holding your car up, so we need get you some new tread'.

I now realize why I had been hydroplaning a lot lately. DOH.

I have been coming to this Big O' Tires shop since I moved to the City 14 years ago so I know their records are correct - and I trust them when they say I am driving on bald tires, I am really driving on bald tires. But it doesn't lessen the surprise to have to invest money on a car I rarely drive anymore. I mean gas is one thing. And an oil change every 3,500 miles seems reasonable too. But $450 for tires on a car I have put less than 5,000 miles on over the last year sucks. Especially when I have been wanting to get rid of that car for many moons. So you couple those two items with the cost of insurance and registration, and I am left wondering if it really is worth while to own Bessie anymore. We have one vehicle, do we really need two?

As I roll this question around in my noggin, I realize if my consort is using his vehicle and I need to go somewhere, I could easily rent a car through City Car Share and/or Zip. And using one of these services would be a drop in the bucket compared to what it costs me to keep Bessie stored in the garage.

So it makes sense to get rid of her. Though at the same time - she is paid for and maybe having to spend a little to maintain her is worth the uber convenience of having a second car? I mean, the tires are on her so that cash is spent. Right? I should be good for a little while. But wait...she is nearing her 210,000 mark (we are at 208,000 and change now) and there will be major items that could be on the horizon (new motor, waterpump, belts, etc.). I am screaming over $450 now...what will happen when that number is more than what she is worth? Well, maybe that is when it is 'worth' letting her go. I don't know. I hate to make a rash decision. Guess I need to mull this one over for a little while longer.

P.S. If you are wondering what this photo has to do with anything. Nothing really. I just thought 'Fred' was prettier to look at than a stack of tires.

Photo credit: Herb Ritts (if you do not know his work, check out his website for an overview of his image gallery. He took some truly beautiful portraits in his time).

Monday, December 11, 2006

Big love to the Pirillo's

Congrats to Chris and Ponzi who said their "I do's" last night.

So wish Chris and I could have been there in person, just know we send our love and best wishes your way - and we have a bottle of bubbly with your name on it waiting patiently for you in our fridge.

And I love that everything is posted on your website...the ceremony, the vows, your experiences, all of it. So wonderful to share that with the world. And it gives me some ideas for our own upcoming nuptials...so thank you!

P.S. If there is a wonder why I picked this photo out of all of them out there, to me it totally symbolizes their relationship. They make each other laugh. Sure there is that love thingy, but the laughter...oh the laughter. *That* is what will keep you strong - in good times and those other moments.

Photo credit: kris krug

Technorati tags: pirillo pirillowedding chrispirillo ponzi wedding geeksinlove

Friday, December 01, 2006

Buy Amazon stock...I am making them rich!

I haven't been doing much reading lately. Well, I should clarify I haven't been doing much *book* reading lately. I feel like I have been glued to my computer over the last three months, only coming up for air for an event here and there as there is so much going on, and a million little projects I need to complete before year end. So my reading as of late has been solely that of the blogs I like to read (to help keep me 'in the know'). But honestly, most of it is starting to sound the same (sorry guys) so I have been backing away from that medium too in dire need of something 'meatier' - well, actually - I should say in dire need of something 'different'.

Enter: the paperback book. Or 'books' I should say. Time to make some quiet 'Kristie time' to engage the brain differently and allow the eyeballs to be glued to something other than the light of my PC screen.

So I went on to Amazon today and bought a good assortment of books. 12 to be exact. Some are silly, others are books that were recommended by someone I think the world of, and the rest just sounded interesting so I figured I would give them a whirl.

Want to know what I spent my allowance on? Here you go:

  1. Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro
  2. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln - Doris Kearns Goodwin
  3. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
  4. PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives - Frank Warren
  5. Thunderstruck - Erik Larson
  6. The Mr. & Mrs. Happy Handbook: Everything I Know About Love and Marriage (with corrections by Mrs. Doocy) - Steve Doocy
  7. The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game - Michael Lewis
  8. The Secret - Rhonda Byrne
  9. The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream - Barack Obama
  10. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou
  11. Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
  12. Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
I expect to start turning pages over the holiday as I find myself with much needed downtime. If all goes well, I will burn through a book or three per month (not getting too crazy with my goals) and will post a review of each one to let you know if I thought it was worth my time or not. And once this batch is read - I will order more. So buy that Amazon stock now, as I expect them to make quite a wad of cash off me in 2007.

Technorati tags: book books reading amazon lovetoread nomoreblogs