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Month: April 2007

A different point of Vue. (Saturn VUE, that is!)

A different point of Vue. (Saturn VUE, that is!)

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imageI am in the market for a new car.  Well, when I say “in the market” I mean that I accost strange people in parking lots when I see a vehicle I think would fit my family of five and immediately question them about how they feel when it comes to MPG, leg room, leather vs. cloth and of course, CD player sound quality.  I have only had one woman run screaming from me.  (At least, I think it was me.  It could have been my Doberman in the car growling out the window.)

So, when I was offered the chance to test drive a new Saturn VUE- Greenline, I jumped at it.  In fact, I jumped so hard that I think I knocked over the nice people offering.  I do love to test drive new vehicles.  That new car smell.  That clean car atmosphere.  The radio stations that I get to preset myself.  Let me at least give you a small disclaimer.  I own a Saturn.  I bought it when they boys were one and three years old.  Tiny little people.  People who had car seats and sippy cups.  A time when my daughter was not only not yet born, but not even an idea.  We knew for sure that a Saturn SL2 would work for us for years.  And it has.  For 10 years to be exact.  But you see, the kids have decided to grow up (not to mention we added another!) and now, well, the nearly 6 foot tall teen is a bit crushed in the back seat of the car when all 5 of us go for a drive.  If the car grew with the family, I would drive it forever.  Honestly, I have never owned a car that has been as good to us and as dependable as our Saturn.  Therefore, of course I was going to jump at the chance to test another version of a Saturn.

The nice gentleman dropped off the car and was very cool when I squealed and jumped up and did my “new car in da house” dance when he passed over the keys.  I raced to check out the VUE as soon as he left.  It was love at first site.  I loaded up the husband in the back seat.  (Hey!  The kids were in school and I had to check for leg room.  HE FIT!) We drove around and did what all people do when they are in a new car.  Played with the windows and honked the horn.  So far it passed my personal tests.  But, if I was going to actually consider buying one of these (or even giving my thumbs up for it), I was going to have to check out the important details that really do make a difference between having fun driving a car and really wanting to buy it.

The Saturn Vue Greenline Hybrid is the first GM vehicle powered by a new, more affordable hybrid system that delivers an estimated 20-percent improvement in fuel economy, depending on driving conditions.  It delivers an EPA estimated 27 mgp in the city and the best highway mileage of any SUV at 32 mpg.  The Vue’s hybrid system costs under $2000.  The full vehicle stats at less than $23,000.  Meaning, economical, efficient and you don’t have to sell a kidney to afford it.

Driving the Green Line is, well, just like driving any other mid-size SUV.  If I didn’t know any better, I would only notice the difference when I came to a stop. In fact, I am pretty sure most drivers won’t notice anything unusual until they’ve stopped at a red light or stop sign, too. In most situations, the engine completely stops

Reading makes you stupid

Reading makes you stupid

Is it possible to be so tired that your teeth are numb?  No?  What about so tired that your words slur because for the love of all things lazy it is too hard to actually use those muscles in your face and mouth to actually form the words?  See!  I knew you would get that one.  I cannot even blame it on a child as I did for so many years.  (Well, I could, but it would not be true.) I blame it on reading. 

I recently finished a few non-fiction “I Will Make Your Life Easier Because You Simply Must Know This NOW” books and was craving some fiction.  (Send fiction!  Chick Lit.  Mysteries.  Must have more books!  I’m just sayin’.) So, where was I?  Oh, reading.  So, I recently got Harlan Coban’s newest book, The Woods.  Let me just add this now.  If you have not read any of Harlan Coben’s stand alone books, you are missing out.  He has the style of writing where you absolutely cannot stand to stop reading because, I simply have to know what happens next! He has written some of my favorites, by the way.  Only a few authors (not counting authors I have made friends with) make me jump up and down with glee in public when I see a new book they have written.  Harlan Coben, Stuart Woods and Janet Evanovich are three of them.  Imagine my “Jenn’s gonna get some new books!  Jenn’s gonna get some new books!” dance that I did right there in the bookstore when I saw that both Coben and Woods have new books out.  And no, I am not ashamed that I do a special dance when I see a new book that I am eager to read.

So I stayed awake until 3:45am last night reading. 

Today I am stupid tired.

Which can only lead one to the conclusion:  Reading makes your you stupid.  (See?!)

I’m just sayin’!

Does reading make you stupid?  I mean, do you do things like staying up way too late reading because you cannot stop reading.  Let me know your favorite book.  It takes a day or two for me to fly through the ones I have, so I will soon be jonesing for more.

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Fresh starts in old places?

Fresh starts in old places?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about fresh starts.  When I was in college, I loved new semesters.  I loved moving.  New apartments.  New neighbors.  Fresh starts.  The longest I lived in one place was 2 years and we were so very proud! (More often than not, we signed 6 month or 0 month leases so that I–then we– could move.  Married with a toddler, we thought two years was a record of some kind.  Two entire years.  Of course, the only time we were living there that I was not looking for a new place to live was the 5 months I was on bed-rest pregnant with my second baby. 

We have now lived here for 11 years.  ELEVEN years.  It might as well be eleventy hundred in my world.  I think the formula for my living-in-one-place time frame is calculated similar to dog years.  Which means I have been here for about 77 years.  Thats a long time for someone who likes fresh starts and new adventures.  A long time for someone who likes to move.  Definitely time to make this house and this town feel like home.

But it doesn’t.

I was talking at length to my Dad and more than once I made a casual comment about “when I can come home” and meant to Houston where he and my sister are not here where my house is.  I realized that there are just so many things I never did or tried to do to make this town my home.  Many close friends have moved.  Others either will or are kept at arms length because our personalities are so different, I leave them feeling more lonely and empty than when I actually was alone.  Some I look at and want more than anything to be friends, but after 10 years, you would think it would have happened.

So, I can’t help but wonder, is it possible to get a fresh start in an old place?  Can you start over in a place you have been for over a decade or does it take an actual–physical–move to earn the right or ability for a fresh start?

Recently, I made friends with a woman I adore.  We seem to have so much in common.  And since we just met, I feel like I can have a fresh start.  But in this area, at the school my kids have been in for 8 years, do I get to have a fresh start with her or does the old baggage come around as quickly as the gossip train can get it there?  And speaking of schools, next year will be the first year I only have one at that school.  One who is still young enough that there will be massive turn overs in the parents that I have known forever.  Is it possible to start fresh again or am I stuck in the place where “everybody knows your name” but that is about as far as the connection goes?

I know.  A lot of questions.  And probably few answers.  I guess it all stems from the fact that I have been deeply longing (as in gnashing my teeth and crying over it) to move back to Houston and it just is not in the cards for me. (Husband thinks it is important to actually stay where his “job” is.  Men!) There in Houston, I have family, friends, friends of friends, a support system and it feels right.  Even after 11 years, I don’t have all of those here at “home” and I want them more than I can possibly put into words.

So tell me…can you make a fresh start in the same old place or do fresh starts only come with fresh locations?

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BlogHer ’07 dance off challenge

BlogHer ’07 dance off challenge

BlogHer '07/><noscript><img decoding=go register!) This is about a challenge.

You see, last year the infamous and oh-so-talented Yvonne of Joy Unexpected wowed the crowed with her amazing mad skillz with The Worm.  I mean, she is after all the one who can dance the dirty with the best of them.  In fact, she is going to become the queen of aerobic dance! I just know she will.  (Look for her monkey dance, too.  Because this woman, she does taunt me with her mad skillz.)

Okay, I admit it.  I can be competitive. (And a bit jealous!) So, for this year, I am SO working on a dance routine that will knock her socks off (and yours) and cause jealousy throughout the BlogHer world.  I mean, I am going to make the room rock with the rhythm.

I have watched the video of the dance I am preparing. I am not one to usually dance in public, but with moves that would make Paula Abdul proud and wish she had thought of them first, I cannot resist.  I have studied the choreography.  (And let me tell you, it it tough to move around this much, but I will find a space large enough.  I will!) I have even scoured the Internet to find the same song so that I can make it all perfect.  I will dazzle and amaze you with the moves.  I am so serious about it, I have studied even the facial expressions–because we all know the expressions can make or break a dance routine. 

I thought about not showing you the whole routine first because I hate to have someone out choreography me.  That would suck.  But because I want you to have an incentive to go, I shall share what you would miss if you were not there.

Now, here is the video of my Miracle Dance.  I shall study and study hard the moves of the master.  Right down to the gum. I am even looking into the same costume, but that may be a stretch too far. Are you ready?

Yvonne, it is SO ON.  I can take your monkey and the dirty dance.  But can you do the Miracle Dance?

So really, go to BlogHer.  If for nothing else, I will be teaching this awesome dance one night for those of you brave enough to try it.

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There is no crying in hockey! (part 2)

There is no crying in hockey! (part 2)

So if you read part one of this, you know that I like love am obsessed with hockey.  After following the Dallas Stars pretty much since they came to Dallas, I have developed hockey crushes.  Not like My Matt crushes, but “oh-my-gawd-that-check-was-awesome” crushes.  The sound of the players slamming into the boards makes my heart race.  The sound of a puck hitting the goal post and not going in (for the other team) makes me giddy.  Seeing the mouths of the players as they talk smack makes me want to get right into it with them.  Lady like behavior during hockey?  I think not.  (Which is probably why (a) my doctor limited my hockey watching privileges while I was on bedrest pregnant and (b) why Clint never got me season tickets.  Who knows what I would or could do.

Until this season.

This season we shared partial season tickets with a co-worker of Clint’s.  My first real live action game was this season.  Of course, we were on the third level in the 300’s, but any seat in American Airlines arena is a good seat.  You can still hear the board slams and the hockey puck being whacked clear across the ice.  You can even hear the sound of the quick stops the blades make on the ice.  I thought it was the best it could be.  I mean, those of us in section 300 are rather rowdy.  We yell as loud as we want.  It isn’t like Mike Modano is going to hear us.  We can boo the official.  He won’t hear and throw us out.  Hell, we would moon the other team and probably not be noticed.  Did I mention I love hockey?

And then we were gifted.  Gifted with seats just 7 rows behind the penalty box in the 100 section.  Where the big dogs sit.  (They appear much more sedate at first, but get the game going and get a few penalties and there are some fired up people.) You see, the area we were sitting in was like a little club.  They all pretty much knew of each other if they weren’t actually friends. I totally did not mind crashing this party.  Walking DOWN the steps to our seats (as opposed to up up up like normal), my heart began to race.  When we found our seats, I nearly passed out.  Oh sure, they seemed good, but could I really see the action as well as I thought I could?  I could not sit still.

I kept hitting Clint in the arm I was so excited.  Our conversation went about like this:

*hit* Oh My God. 

*ouch*

*hit* Holy Crap! 

*ouch*

*punch* I mean, really Holy Crap!

Stop it!

And then, they started the skate around.  I nearly fainted.  I am pretty sure I peed my pants.  I mean, they skated RIGHT THERE.  I could see their chin stubble.  I could see their expressions.  At one point when my favorite hockey player since he was a rookie (now captain) skating right in front of us, I pulled that “oh so cool move” where you point at them as if to say, “You are SO the bomb.” And he gave me that cool sports guy nod.  Brenden Morrow NODDED at ME.  I, of course, punched Clint.  DID YOU SEE THAT??! 

I might have passed out then.  I don’t remember.  But I got to see all of my favorites skate right by my face.  Modano!  Zubov! Turco!  Morrow!  Right there.  I could hear them shouting at each other.  At this is just the skate around.  The game hasn’t even started and I am about to have a heart attack (or an orgasm…one of the two).

Then they began their skate out to begin the game.  First out, Turco.  Ohhhh my lovely Turco. This is how close I am to the ice without any type of zoom.  and Exhibit A and then Exhibit B.

And then it happened.  This happened.  This awesomely, glorious, hockey-riffic moment occured:

And….and…I cried.  Yes, I cried at a hockey game.  You got me.  Wept.  Cried.  I felt like the chick on American Idol who wept over Sanjaya (except mine was for a GOOD reason).  The Stars…they were so close.  They were Right There.  The energy was high.  And I could see the whites of their eyes.  It was a moment worthy of tears, cheers and probably more enjoyment than is legal is about 27 states.  I might have even thrown my panties on the ice.  I am not sure.  And I am not ashamed to admit it, either. 

Although, Clint’s arm did get quite a beating the entire game.

*punch* Did you HEAR that?!  Oh my holy hockey hell!  I just heard him smack talk and it was BAD! They used words that are banned in English! I am SO loving this.

*smack* GOAL!  GOAL!  GOAL!

*whack* Did you see that fight?  Did ya? Did ya? It rocked.  Did you see all of those gloves thrown down.  Oh my gawd this must be the next best thing to sex ever!  (I said NEXT best.  I am not crazy!)

And we won.  6-0.  Oh yeah!  The only thing that did not happen that would have made me pass out, wet my pants and cry is if Brett Hull showed up.  The freakin Ambassador of Fun would have made my dreams come true.

I told Clint to tell the person he works with that hooked him up that I will so be his beyotch if he ever gets tickets like this again.  In fact, I may have to put this game in a tie with the awesomeness that occurred during the hockey game I talked about in Part One of There is no crying in hockey.  Okay, maybe birthing my child was a bit more awesome, but still this is a very close second, my friends!

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