Wednesday, February 20, 2013

twinkle twinkle little star

Greetings from a very busy Jenny!

I am currently hard at work, eating a kids meal bean burrito from the fancy vegan place down the street and fixing the button on my peacoat. I'm going to New York City in the morning and one must have a button on one's peacoat if one plans on being warm. My clothes are roughly packed at home-- laid out in little piles on my bed. I am questioning my shoe choices at this time... relatively new boots and converse. Well-- if those boots aren't broken in now they sure will be at the end of my six walking days in the Big Apple. I apologize for my lack of writing. I've been pressed for time balancing everything that needs to be taken care of before I leave!

That and I had the most traumatic Saturday... ever. 


The most traumatic Saturday... ever

I made it out alive though. In true Jenny fashion, I have already blocked most of the unpleasant day from my memory. I'm good at that-- maybe too good at that. But it was bad. The day, which started out pretty casual--- escalated. Quickly.

I drove my car over to my friendly mechanic, only to find out that the heater core did crack (see! I told you!) and would cost about $800 to fix. Woof. I've been thinking about upgrading my car for a while, so I thought that taking a looksie around town before fixing it might be a good move. My car isn't worth all that much as it is and putting in that amount is a big commitment. So I called up my mother and we decided to take a look at a few places.

The first stop was a pre-owned Toyota dealership, where the manager (who looked as if he had never left the confines of the small asphalt parking lot in the last twenty-five years) suggested that we take a look at the President's Weekend Sale--
$134 on the 134! 

The dealership was right off the 134 and was promoting a lease on a 2013 Corolla for $134 a month. Whoa. Crazy, right? My mother and I-- who are the kind of people who pay for a car in cash and drive it until it's on the edge of self-implosion-- are usually wary of leases. Pay them money--- every month-- and then at the end you still don't have a car? Doesn't really make sense.

But then again... I'm not sure where I'm going to be in three years. I might not need a car. And a brand new car obviously sounds great. For $134 they had my interest. Even if it was a sedan.

Noted. Time to keep browsing. We headed to KIA to test drive the Soul.

Eh. Not that great of a drive and they put all of the focus on making it look cool. The comfort wasn't there. Not interested. (But of course that hasn't stopped them from calling me once a day and leaving weird messages on my phone).

We were hungry. Drove home, walked into the house. And then.

Poor little Thomas the cat had gone to kitty heaven.

This was not a surprise. He had been slowing down for the past few months and was laying very low the days leading up to it. I had said my impossibly difficult goodbyes and tried to make my peace. He didn't want to go, either. He was fighting all the way to the end, trying to lift his little kitty head and trying to meow when he heard his name. It was heart-wrenching.

I have known Thomasina since he was born in my closet when I was five years old. We thought for the first several months that he was a girl, hence the name Thomasina-- after one of my mother's favorite films, The Three Lives of Thomasina. Then one day as I was playing with him, holding him high above my head, we realized this fluffy little kitten was most certainly a boy. Thomas it was.

I don't remember a time without Thomas. If you knew him, you know he was an incessant meower. All the time-- when he was hungry, cranky, wanted you to pet him, while you were petting him. Noisy and adorable. He'd come running the moment you called him and if you took chicken out of the refrigerator, he could smell it in less than ten seconds. He was a super-cat.

Here's a video of me and Thomas singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star-- recorded by my dear friend Laura. I was hardly a month into my freshman year of college. Eeks... six years ago... This video is a classic.

Precious, yes? 

I love this kitty and I am going to miss him everyday. Till later, little Thomasina. I will always sing "Frère Jacques" with your name in it instead. 

My mother and I took him to the vet, as we don't have a big yard to bury him like we did back in Tucson. That made us sad, too. We were sad and still hungry. So naturally we went to Tony's Darts Away and split a sausage and grilled brussel sprouts and told Thomas stories.

If all of that wasn't draining enough-- we continued car shopping, for some reason.

We made an incredibly awkward stop at Honda to hear their deals. They wanted us to jaywalk across the street, in a bad part of North Hollywood, to look at cars in their dark warehouse.  "Well... uh we're in the middle of building a bridge over there..."

Yeah, no-- you crazies. So we left and went right back to Toyota. Where we spent the next six hours.

I test drove the 2012 and 2013 Corollas. That was wonderful-- smooth drive, luxurious seats, a moonroof, auxiliary outlet... car heaven. Then I came back and we talked details. This is where my blocked memory comes in and I only remember things in large block generalizations.

We talked. I liked the car. I was unsure about leasing. They talked me into it. I was totally car-sales-men-d. And double-teamed. I was pressured. They tried to coax me with fresh popcorn. It worked. They printed out a number that was not $134. I got angry. They lowered it, told me it was a good deal. It probably was. I was going to trade in my little Jimmy and put down some money. Started to look like an okay deal. Signed off on numbers. Agreed to bring in diploma and pay stubs the next day. Went into financial room. Burst into tears. Tried to keep it together but way too stressful and scared. Listened as they suggested five different kinds of insurance that is recommended for leased cars. I really needed all of them. Price went up to almost $300 a month. Tried not to throw up. Shook hands, walked out, got in car. Drove home. Crumpled on couch.

I was a mess. I had developed three canker sores over the course of the evening and I was emotionally exhausted. As soon as I laid down on the couch I realized I couldn't do it-- and luckily-- I didn't sign anything substantial.  I called them in the morning and that was the end of it. Looks like I'll be fine not using the heater in the 'ol Jimmy after all. Brrr... in this cold LA weather...

The truth is-- I live in a town where fancy cars are the status quo and spending two hours a day in your vehicle is quite normal. I have been wooed by the fact that seemingly everyone else is paying to drive in comfort here. I, however, have decided that I will not succumb to LA appearances and I shall not spend so much of my income on a fancy car. My money is best-spent on adventures and trips and delicious hamburgers, not car payments. Car payments are so five years from now. 


And now, if you'll excuse me, I will happily go spend my money in New York City.

I can't believe I'm leaving so soon! This means that I won't be writing for a while. I get back on Wednesday and will have to play some catch up at work. I hope that I can at least post some pictures from my iPad while I'm there. We'll see...

Have a wonderful weekend. Send me happy warm thoughts!

And now-- because I just can't resist...

Lots of kisses,


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