Entries 175 - 151

ENTRY # 175
DATE:  09/17/06 (Sunday)
SUBJECT:  It's Not Gonna Happen...

     Well, trying to get this Blog updated this weekend isn't going to happen after all. I've come down with a cold and I feel like shit. I'm coughing, sniffling, and sneezing... and I also have a horrible sore throat and a headache. I'm just not feeling up to sitting here for hours typing. Sorry folks.
     It probably won't get updated next weekend either because I'm going to The Big-E (The Eastern States Expedition) in West Springfield, MA with some friends (as long as this damn cold is gone)...
     I've got lots of stuff to write about to get "The Dish" back up-to-date but - for now - it's just gonna have to wait a little while longer.
     So, if you're a regular visitor here, I'm sorry to keep you waiting. I WILL BE back in a week or two. If you're not a regular visitor here and you just happened to "surf in," feel free to explore the 170(+/-) entries that already exist. They should keep you busy enough until I get back.
     I'm gonna crawl back to my couch now and surround myself with boxes of tissues, Halls cough drops, nasal spray, some vitamin C, and my trusty bottle of NyQuil...


ENTRY # 174
DATE:  09/11/06 (Monday)
SUBJECT:  Been Busy. Sorry, Y'all...

     I know I've been "absent" for quite a while. I've been kind'a busy lately, and haven't had all that much time for the computer.
     I have nothing at all planned for this coming weekend, so I'm HOPING to get some serious blogging done.
     Type at'cha then!


ENTRY # 173
DATE:  07/27/06 (Thursday)
SUBJECT:  It's a Conspiracy! I'm Sure of It!!!

     Sweety Face has finally discovered that there's a real, live mouse living in the aquarium on the kitchen table. I know this because when I came home from work tonight I caught the two of them engrossed in some kind of communication process that was completely lost on me. In fact, they were so engrossed with each other, they didn't even hear me come in. This is highly unusual.
     Under normal circumstances, I can hear Sweety Face crying for her dinner as soon as I walk in the front door downstairs. By the time I make it up to the third floor, she's reached the DEFCON-5 level. Tonight, though, there was nothing but silence. Not a peep could be heard. Right away I knew something was up. I figured I'd catch her doing something odd, but I was in no way prepared for what I saw...
     I snuck in my front door and crept around the corner to the doorway that leads to the kitchen. Sweety Face was sitting right in front of the aquarium, staring into it. She was gently stroking the glass on the outside of the tank with her right paw. She did that for a second or two, then she switched to her left paw and continued stroking the glass. After a moment, the stroking stopped, and she held that paw in one spot (still touching the glass). And, again, she switched to her right paw and did the same thing. I couldn't figure out what the hell she was doing...
     ...until I looked into the aquarium. "Little Stevie King" was doing the exact same thing inside the tank. He was sitting up, staring out at Sweety Face, with one of his paws placed on the glass. Then he switched to the opposite paw, then back again.
     I kid you not, they were "mirroring" each other's movements. When Sweety Face touched the glass with her right paw, Little Stevie King would use his left paw. Whenever Little Stevie King touched the glass with one of his paws, Sweety Face put her paw in the same spot. Whenever one of them decided to switch feet, the other followed. It was the most bizarre thing....
     The first thought that entered my mind was, "Oh my God, it's Patty Cake. My cat is actually playing Patty Cake with a mouse!" Because, I gotta tell ya, that's exactly what it looked like!
     That thought was immediately followed by a more in-depth scenario... I figured maybe it was some kind of a weird "getting to know you" bonding ritual, LOL... I honestly have no idea what was really transpiring between the two of them. I mean, WHO KNOWS??? For all I know, Little Stevie King could've been using "mouse code," trying to convince Sweety Face to go for help!
     Whatever it was, it was obviously not meant for me to see because when I tried to slink off to get my camera, the floor squeaked, and they both froze. Simultaneously, their heads snapped in my direction. When they saw me, they both took off. In a flash, Sweety Face lept off the kitchen table and began circling my feet, crying for dinner... and Little Stevie King dove for cover inside his cave. I got the feeling they were pretending to "act normal," hoping to convince me that I had imagined the whole thing
     I dunno what to think. But, honestly, after seeing their "startled" reactions when they realized they were busted, maybe I'd be safer sleeping out in the car tonight, LOL. It's gotta be a conspiracy! They're plotting something against me, I'm sure of it!!!


ENTRY # 172
DATE:  07/26/06 (Wednesday) Midnight
SUBJECT:  "4 is the Loneliest Number..."

     Well, it's midnight, and I haven't caught another mouse yet. It's been over 24 hours and "#4" is still all by himself in the tank. This sucks. I feel really bad for him...
     Although, things are looking up. He's spending a little less time hiding in the cave. When I came home from work tonight, he was on TOP of the cave checkin' out his new surroundings. Trying to find an "escape route" is more like it, I imagine.
     He still hasn't had anything to drink. This is really bothering me. In fact, it was bothering me so much, when I went to Stop n' Shop earlier this evening to get my salad, I put together a smaller plate of fresh vegetables for him.
     Mice LOVE fresh veggies. And fresh veggies are loaded with water, so............ I actually made this mouse a friggin' salad!!!! Right now in his tank - along with the regular mouse food - there is also a small bowl which contains lettuce, cabbage, cucumber, carrots, peppers, and broccoli. He hasn't had any yet, I don't think, but I'm sure once I shut all the lights off and go to bed, his little face will be buried in that bowl! So there! He'll get some water one way or another, dammit!
     He has also acquired a name. He no long goes by "#4". When I was at the pet store yesterday, I also bought some locks for the tank's lid to ensure there was no "escape hatch." They didn't fit this particular tank though, so I couldn't use them. Instead, I put a couple of books on the lid to hold it down securely. The books I happened to grab were "The Green Mile" (the slip-case edition) and the anthology "999" (the trade paperback). And ever since, I've been calling him "Little Stevie King."
     Seriously.... I NEED TO GET A LIFE!!!!  :-)


ENTRY # 171
DATE:  07/25/06 (Tuesday) 11:30pm
SUBJECT:  Mouse Appreciation Day???

     To save myself some time, this entry is a little different. It's a conversation I just had (via email) with my friend Steve regarding the on-going mouse drama. He just visited "The Dish" and read all about the NO KILL mouse traps I purchased. The following emails will bring y'all up to date... so instead of spending time rewriting everything that's happened between last night and tonight, I'm just gonna copy n' paste our emails below for your reading pleasure...

From Steve, To Dove:
     I am so proud of you I'm about to plotz. No-kill mouse traps? Bless you.

From Dove, To Steve:
     Good Lord... it gets even better. I have to update my blog with all this, but here's a sneak peek... I caught another one last night, so off I went to Milford (for the third time, mind you) to release the little guy. I have decided that I can't keep taking these mice "for a ride" each time I catch one. So, today on my lunch-hour, I went to Purrfect Pets and bought a 10-gallon aquarium, a water-bottle, a food bowl, mouse food, an exercise wheel, wood-shavings for bedding, and a little thing for them to hide under. As I catch them, I am going to deposit them into the aquarium. Once I've got five or six of them "grouped up" in the tank, THEN I'll set them free. Instead of a half-dozen rides, it'll just be one. That'll be easier on me, my gas tank, and on the mice... 'cause if I set free a group of them all at once, at least they'll know someone once they're "out in the wild." They'll have some relatives to chill out with.
     The trip to Purrfect Pets cost me 83 bucks today... plus the 70 I spent on the traps and shipping. 153 bucks on mice!!!! And they're not even PETS. Am I crazy or what?!?!?!  :-)
     So far, so good.... I caught "Mouse #4" tonight. He's already in the aquarium, hiding under the little plastic cave I bought. I feel kind'a bad though since he's in there all by himself. I'm hoping to catch one more tonight so he'll have some company.
     Yup... I must be crazy.

From Steve, To Dove:
     Seriously, Dove? You're a movie. This is hilarious - you have created a temporary, fully-equipped rescue shelter in your house for field mice. I love it. We should collaborate on a screenplay about this someday.  :-)

From Dove, To Steve:
     *shrug*  I can't help it. It's the way I'm built. I'm an animal lover, through n' through...
     LOL, a screenplay? What would we call it? "The Shrew Tames the Woman" ???

From Steve, To Dove:
     Not to mention you're dismayed that the one you caught is lonely. I'm telling you, this is either a comedy film or a children's book: Dove and the Mice in the Aquarium. :-)=

From Dove, To Steve:
     LOL!!!
     I really DO need to get a life, don't I?

     So, yup, "Mouse #4" is temporarily living in the 10-gallon aquarium atop my kitchen table, directly under my ceiling fan. Right now, as I write this, he's chillin' in the cave. "Hiding" in the cave is more like it. The poor thing is terrified. I keep trying to explain to him that this whole "captivity thing" is only temporary, but he's not buying it.
     I even spruced up the mouse food I bought at the pet store to try to make him feel more welcomed. I added some of Sweety Face's dry kibble, and a whole container of her Pounce kitty treats... then I added some Honey Nut Cheerios to top off the concoction. He's nibbled at some of it, so at least I know he won't starve. I'm concerned about dehydration though. Since he's a "wild" mouse, he has no clue how to drink from a water-bottle. I've been monitoring the water level in the bottle for the last few hours, and it hasn't gone down at all... Hopefully he'll figure it out soon.
     And, yes, I am concerned about him being all alone in the tank. Mice are "social" animals, so I'm sure he must be miserable. Hopefully I can catch another one tonight so he won't be so scared. I've got my fingers crossed!!!


ENTRY # 170
DATE:  07/24/06 (Monday) 10:30pm
SUBJECT:  Mouse #3 Has Been Relocated!!!

     Well... there was nothing in the trap when I woke up this morning... and still nothing in the trap when I came home from work this evening. BUT, when I checked the trap forty-five minutes ago, BINGO! I snagged another one! This makes three, so far....
     Mouse #3 has been relocated to a quaint little picnic area in Orange. There's lots of grass, there's a huge wooded area, and there's also a small duck pond near by so there's water galore. And since it's a picnic spot, he/she will have plenty to munch on. I'm sure #3 will be very happy there....
     I just got home from the "drop off" a few minutes ago. And the trap is set... again.


ENTRY # 169
DATE:  07/24/06 (Monday) 2:30am
SUBJECT:  A Weekend at Mom & Dad's...

     Friday night I never went to bed. I was so "jazzed up" about catching two mice, I was too excited to sleep. I was hoping to catch a third one, but - alas - they managed to evade me (and the peanut-butter cracker baited trap) the rest of the night. By 3:30am it was too late to go to bed anyway. I was planning on arriving at my Mom's house by 6:00am Saturday morning.... which would've involved me waking up at 3:30am, so when I noticed the time on my computer screen I thought to myself, "I might as well just leave now." So I did...
     And, YES, I remembered to take the trap out of the drawer before I left for the weekend. I would've been riddled with guilt if I had come home to find a dead mouse.
     Anyway... I arrived at my Mom's house at 6:15 Saturday morning. I hadn't been there since March of 2005 because I didn't trust driving the old Rio that far... so it felt pretty damn good to pull down their driveway! Once the dogs (Max and Zoey) realized who I was they went nuts! I think they missed me just as much as my parents did, LOL!
     Over our morning coffees, I had both my parents in stitches while telling them my "Mouse Trapping" story. They both got a huge kick out of that little drama. Then we headed outdoors so they could inspect my new car. "Sally the Spectra" was a hit with them too! Cool!
     Shortly after that, my Dad had to go to work, so my Mom had me all to herself until 4:00pm Saturday afternoon. Our first excursion was out to the barn to see Nuggett (my Mom's American Quarter Horse), and her two barn cats, Tinker and Belle. I was really surprised that all the animals seemed to remember me. That made me feel pretty good. I guess I managed to leave a lasting impression...
     Once my Mom cleaned out Nuggett's stall, we headed over to Jan & Irv's place.... Jan & Irv live a quarter-mile up the [dirt] road. They're the closest neighbors my parents have. For the last year Jan & Irv have been building their new house, and they've been dying for me to see it. And with good reason... the place is gorgeous!!!! We visited with them for about two hours, then headed back to my Mom's.
     I brought three DVDs with me to watch over the weekend... one that I knew my Mom would like, and two that I thought Dad would be interested in. Since my Dad was still at work, Mom and I watched "Must Love Dogs" with Diane Lane and John Cusack. She loved it. Throughout the whole thing she kept saying, "This is such a cute movie!"
     When "Must Love Dogs" came to an end, it was time to visit my step-grandmother. I hadn't seen her since 1998 so this visit was long overdue. Until last month she was living in North Carolina. That's why I haven't seen her for so long. But, about a month ago, a spot opened up for her in the Assisted Living place right in town (where my parents live) so they were finally able to move her up here. She's eighty-something years old, but she's still in pretty good shape. She has to walk with a cane at times, and her handwriting is a bit shaky, but - hey - big deal! It could be a lot worse! It was good to see her again after all these years.
     When Dad got home from work we watched the other two DVDs I brought up.... "Flight Plan" with Jodie Foster, and "Derailed" with Jennifer Aniston. And I was right, he enjoyed them both!
     By 9:00 Saturday evening I was spent. Since I hadn't slept at all the night before, I was in bed before 10:00pm. I never woke up 'til 9:30 Sunday morning. I slept for almost 12 hours, LOL. I don't think I've done that since I was in highschool.
     Sunday we just hung around the house watching movies, talking, and fooling around with the dogs. Around 4:00 my Mom went to pick up Grandma so she could join us for dinner. She stayed at my Mom's 'til about 8:30, so that was nice. At least I was able to visit with her a little more. At 9:00pm one of my favorite shows came on (The 4400) so we watched that.... and when it was over, I packed up all my stuff and hit the road back to Connecticut. I was home shortly after midnight. It was a great weekend.
     As soon as I got home I put the mouse trap back in the drawer. It's 2:30am now, and I haven't caught anyone tonight.... not yet anyway, LOL! I'll be sure to check the trap again before I go to work in the morning...


ENTRY # 168
DATE:  07/21/06 (Friday) 11:45pm
SUBJECT:  These Mouse Traps KICK ASS!!!

     I can NOT believe these mouse traps! They are fabulous! I just got home from taking a second ride to release Mouse #2!!! At 11:15 I heard a little "snap" in the kitchen so I went out to check the drawer again... and, BINGO!, there was another one!
     I brought this one up to the parking lot at work too. But, this time, when the mouse was released it didn't run off right away. It sat in the grass for a moment contemplating the situation. It looked at me, looked at the trap, then looked back at me again as if to say, "Well? Don't I get the cracker?" I dug the cracker out of the trap and tossed it over to the mouse. It snatched up the cracker real quick then took off, LOL. It was kind'a cute.
     This is incredible. In less than five hours, I've caught two mice. These traps are worth EVERY CENT of the 70 bucks I spent on them! WOOOHOOOOOOOOO!!!
     The trap is back in the drawer now, awaiting Mouse #3. I can't imagine catching a third one tonight, but at this point, who knows... I just might. The peanut butter crackers I'm using seem to be irresistible.


ENTRY # 167
DATE:  07/21/06 (Friday) 9:15pm
SUBJECT:  I Caught One!!! I Caught One!!!

     OMG, OMG, OMG!!!! I caught a mouse!!!! The trap was only in the drawer for about an hour and I caught one already! This is too cool!!! I can't believe it. I thought it would take a couple of days, at least, before I finally snagged one, but, NOPE, it only took an hour.
     I was in the living room and I heard a funny noise in the kitchen. At first I thought it was just Sweety Face munching on some food in her bowl, but it wasn't. She was laying right next to my chair at the time. When I pulled the drawer open to check, I was shocked!!! I can't believe I caught one already. I am amazed. These traps are pretty cool.
     I just got home a few minutes ago from taking the mouse "for a ride." The instructions said to drive the mouse five miles away from where it was caught. FIVE miles! Can you believe that??? I didn't know where to take it, but I finally decided the parking lot at work would be good. There's plenty of grass there, and there's a small wooded area too.... and there's lots of water around that area as well, so I figured that would be a good home for him/her. As soon as I opened the trap it took off runnin'. It didn't even want the cracker, LOL.
     As soon as I got home, I washed the trap out, and set it up again. It's back in the drawer waiting to snag another one. I doubt I'll catch a second one tonight, but it's better to be safe than sorry I guess. It's worth a shot, right?


ENTRY # 166
DATE:  07/21/06 (Friday) 7:00pm
SUBJECT:  "Good Mouse Hunting"

     I finally remembered to bring the traps home from work tonight. I swear, if I had a brain I'd be dangerous, LOL.
     Anyway.... now that they're finally here, my big project for this evening was cleaning out Sweety Face's food/treat drawer. What a mess!!! Those mice have been partying hard in there!
     One trap is now set in the drawer, all ready to go... and I've been holding my breath waiting to hear it spring shut. I wonder how long it's gonna take to catch one? Or if I'll catch one at all?
     I leave for Massachusetts in the morning. I'll be spending the weekend at my Mom's house.... I guess I'll have to take the trap out of the drawer in the morning. I'm afraid if I leave it in there all weekend, and I happen to catch one, it could starve to death. That would totally defeat the purpose of a NO KILL trap, wouldn't it?
     LOL, good grief! I'm actually excited about trying to catch a mouse. I really need to get a life...


ENTRY # 165
DATE:  07/19/06 (Wednesday)
SUBJECT:  Got the Traps... Almost.

     The mousetraps arrived today. I had them shipped to my work address. BUT, I forgot to bring them home.
     How brain-dead am I? LOL. Good grief.


ENTRY # 164
DATE:  07/17/06 (Monday)
SUBJECT:  Order Is Placed!

     I called Abundant Earth on my lunch hour and placed my order for the NO KILL mouse traps. Since I don't know how many mice I'm dealing with, I bought five traps. The set of five cost me a little over 40 bucks.... and to have them shipped "UPS Second Day" was another 28 bucks.
     So... *ahem* ...for almost 70 dollars all I've got to say is, "These things better work!!!!!"  Damn...


ENTRY # 163
DATE:  07/16/06 (Sunday) 11:30pm
SUBJECT:  Unwanted Visitors...

     Ohhhhhh goody, goody!!! I have just discovered that I have a mouse feasting in one of the drawers in my kitchen. Hmmm... now that I think about it, the chances of having A mouse (as in ONE) are very unlikely. You never have just ONE mouse. So, let me rephrase that: I have just discovered that I have MICE feasting in one of the drawers in my kitchen.
     As soon as I made this little discovery, I immediately checked ALL my drawers/cabinets which contain food and -thankfully - nothing else has been disturbed. So far, they have only found the drawer designated for Sweety Face's canned food and kitty treats. All her food is fine since it's in cans, but her kitty treats have all been violated. Big time!!! Unfortunately, her treats come in little paper/plastic packaging, and the mice have chewed their way through most of them. Swell.
     Now, honestly, I don't have a problem with mice. They don't bother me a bit. In fact, I used to breed them a few years ago because I used to have a snake. Granted, the mice I bred were bait mice, but still.... some of them made fantastic pets. They're cute. They're extremely friendly once you tame them. And they are very easy to train (as strange as that may sound). HOWEVER, I do not want wild field-mice running amok around my apartment. That's just not cool.
     Some of you may be thinking, "What about Sweety Face? She IS a cat after all. How can you have a problem with mice, if you have a cat?" The answer is simple. My cat is NOT a "mouser." While I was breeding mice for the snake, my cat became so accustomed to having them around, she couldn't care less.
     When I pulled open the drawer to get a treat for her and saw all the shredded packages amongst all the mouse poop, I looked over my shoulder at Sweety Face and snapped, "Why didn't you TELL ME we had mice in here?" The expression of guilt that registered across her face was priceless... and I'm sure - if she could talk - the first thing out of her mouth would've been, "Damn, you found Frankie."
     I have a good feeling that - if anything - my cat has been trying to "make friends" with them all. I'm sure as soon as I leave the house in the morning Sweety Face trots happily over to her drawer, peeks in, and says, "Psst! She's gone. You can come out now. Try the Pounce treats. Those are really good, you'll love'm!"
     Again, I just won't tolerate mice running amok. I have to draw the line somewhere, dammit! But, the thing is, I hate the old-fashioned SNAPPING mouse traps. They're disgusting... and not to mention cruel, because they don't always kill the mouse instantly. Sometimes a mouse can be trapped in one of those damn things, suffering with a broken back, for HOURS before it finally dies. That's mean.... and even though it's only a mouse, I just can't treat them that way.
     And I definitely don't want to use poison. First of all, I don't want Sweety Face to get sick if she was to come in contact with it. And poison can be cruel too. It could take weeks for the mouse to die from it. Plus, what's worse? Live mice running around behind the walls, or dead mice rotting behind the walls? So, snap-traps are out... poison is out.
     I logged online and did a search for "NO KILL" mouse traps. The first site I found had exactly what I was looking for. The trap is shaped like a little house. You put a cracker in one end, and leave the door open on the other end. When the mouse enters to get the cracker, the spring-loaded door snaps shut - capturing the mouse inside - leaving the mouse completely unharmed. Then you just take the mouse somewhere and set him free, back into the wild, where it belongs. PERFECT!!!
     These traps are really cool. If you have a mouse problem, please visit this link:

http://www.abundantearth.com/store/mousetrap1.html

     As soon as I get to work in the morning I'm calling Abundant Earth to place my order! For now, until the traps arrive, I'm leaving the drawer the way it is, poop and all. I kind'a figure if I disturb it too much, the mice might not visit anymore... and I obviously need them to keep visiting if I plan on catching them, right? (*shrug*) Makes sense to me....


ENTRY # 162
DATE:  07/16/06 (Sunday)
SUBJECT:  A Quick Shout-Out...

     Just wanted to give my buddy, Steve Spignesi, a quick Shout-Out. It's his birthday today, so....

Happy Birthday, Steve!!!

Other Birthdays Today...

Corey Feldman
Will Ferrell
Michael Flatley
Bess Myerson
Ginger Rogers
Barry Sanders
Barbara Stanwyck


ENTRY # 161
DATE:  07/15/06 (Saturday)
SUBJECT:  On the Scale...

     Jumped on the scale today to see if I've made any progress. I'm down another five pounds! WOOOHOOOOOO. If I stick to this diet, I should be where I want to be by the year 2017, LOL. Seriously, though, I'm happy with the results so far. I've lost ten pounds in a week. That's not bad. Not bad at all!!!


ENTRY # 160
DATE:  07/13/06 (Thursday)
SUBJECT:  Our First Walk...

     Adrienne came over as soon as I got home from work so we could try out our "walking together" idea. It was fun, but it didn't last long. It started to rain so it was cut short. We ended up only walking for about twenty minutes. I've got my fingers crossed that next Tuesday will be a lot more productive.
     After eating nothing but salad for three days, I splurged today, LOL. For lunch I had a fat-free Colombo yogurt and a bottle of water... and for dinner I had ten low-sodium Saltine crackers with a little bit of peanut butter on them. And instead of plain water I bought a bottle of the lemon flavored Propel Fitness Water.
     I'll be really glad when my stomach shrinks a little 'cause I'm tired of feeling hungry all the time. If I stay active, I don't notice the growling as much... but by the time I get into bed at night my stomach sounds like a Yeti braying for a mate!


ENTRY # 159
DATE:  07/11/06 (Tuesday)
SUBJECT:  Step-Aerobics with Cher...

     I haven't given up yet, LOL. The diet is still "on."
     I ended my fast yesterday afternoon right in time for lunch. I went to Stop n' Shop and hit their salad bar... and I hit it hard. The salad I constructed was huge!!! It was loaded with just about every fresh vegetable under the sun! I ate half of it for lunch, and half of it for dinner. I did the same thing today. Salad for lunch, salad for dinner... and I'm still drinking water. NO coffee... NO soda... NO juice... NO milk. Just water.
     Today was supposed to be our first day of walking, but Adrienne didn't feel good so we didn't go. Instead, I dug out my old "Step" bench, and I stuck Cher's Farewell Concert in my DVD player. I did step-aerobics for an hour and a half in front of my TV watching Cher strut her skinny self all over the stage.
     After an hour and a half of that I thought I was gonna die... but by the time I got out of the shower I felt GREAT!!! I felt motivated, and I was brimming with energy! This is very cool!!! I just hope I won't be in agony when I wake up in the morning, LOL.


ENTRY # 158
DATE:  07/09/06 (Saturday) 11:00pm
SUBJECT:  Water, Water, Water...

     As I mentioned in my last entry, I started a "Water Only Fast" yesterday afternoon. So far, it's going well. It's been almost 36 hours and I've already passed the "hunger" phase. The remaining 36 hours should be a breeze...
     I just weighed myself and I'm down five pounds already simply from "flushing" all the water I've been drinking through my system. I know it's not real weight that I've lost, but seeing just that tiny difference on the scale is inspiring.
     I've decided that I only wanna jump on the scale once a week. I think if I weigh myself more than that I'll only get discouraged. I'm hoping that walking on Tuesday and Thursday will help a little. I have no set "goal" in mind, but another five pounds by next Saturday would be cool. We'll see...


ENTRY # 157
DATE:  07/06/06 (Thursday)
SUBJECT:  "Diet" is Die with a T...

  Good grief! I just got off my scale and I've gained even more weight. This sucks.
     If you're a regular visitor here, you might remember that my New Year's Resolution was to lose some weight. Ha-ha-ha. Of course I never stuck to it. In fact, if you want the whole truth and nothing but the truth, I never even attempted it.
     Now that it's seven months later, I'm even heavier than I was back then. This is not good! When I saw the number on my scale I actually felt sick to my stomach. If my scale is correct - and I think it is - I'm 200 pounds. Yes, you read that correctly. TWO HUNDRED POUNDS. My God!!!!
     After stepping off the scale, I immediately stepped back on it just to make sure I was reading it right. Then I stepped off and on it once again to triple check the reading. After that, I actually stripped naked and stood in front of my full-length mirror inspecting myself.
     I definitely don't look that heavy... and my clothes aren't fitting any different than they usually do either, but - regardless - I have got to do something about myself. This is awful.
     SO.... tomorrow, after I eat my lunch at work, I am offcially starting a diet. There are going to be some drastic changes made in my eating habits AND my "laying around the house" habits.
     I have decided to "kick off" my diet with a 72-hour fasting period. I will be eating and drinking nothing but WATER for 72 hours to completely flush out my system. Then I'll be sticking to salad, fruit, and low-sodium Saltine crackers for a while... combined with some light exercising.
     When I talked to Adrienne earlier this evening she asked if I'd be interested in walking together. Since exercising and walking alone isn't that much fun, I jumped at the idea. We agreed to start walking twice a week... Tuesdays and Thursdays to start us off. It's not much, but twice a week is better than not at all. It'll be some exercise at least... which is more than what I get now, so it's gotta help, right?
     For inspiration purposes, I'll be posting progress reports here for the whole world to read. I'm kind'a hoping that will keep me motivated enough to stick to a diet/work-out plan. Wish me luck! Please!!!!


ENTRY # 156
DATE:  07/04/06 (Tuesday)
SUBJECT:  Happy Fourth of July...

     Happy Fourth, y'all.... I hope you all had a very relaxing holiday.
     I spent my holiday over at Adrienne's house. Once her father fired up the grill we dined on hamburgers and shishkebabs. Side dishes included beans, pasta salad, corn-on-the-cob, and Kimmy's famous potato-salad. Everything was delicious! When it started to rain we put the picnic-table away and finished our holiday in the house...
     Relaxation, food, drinks, and laughs! It was a great day.


ENTRY # 155
DATE:  07/01/06 (Saturday) 10:30pm
SUBJECT:  Another New Baby!!!

     WOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Adrienne is now the proud owner of a brand new car!!!!! She bought a Spectra just like mine. There's only two differences... her car is "ice" blue, and it's got Cruise Control.
     When I walked into the Kia dealership earlier this afternoon I spotted her father right away. He was sitting in the Waiting Area reading a magazine so I sat and chatted with him for a few minutes. Paul and Jeff, the two salemen I dealt with yesterday, spotted me and they both came over to join the conversation.
     I gave them the jack for the Rio's spare tire. They were shocked that I actually cared enough to bring it in. Then they wanted to know the story about Adrienne, so I told them all about how I called her Thursday night to tell her about the $400.00 down-payment and the "very affordable" monthly car payments. They both got a kick out of my reenactment of Adrienne's reaction to the news.
     A few minutes later, Adrienne walked over. I said, "You're driving it home today, aren't you?" And she said, "Yup, just got off the phone with Geico. They're FAXing over my insurance card and the binder." Then she added, "Oh, look... there it is." When we looked out the window, the car was sitting right in front of the main entrance.
     We all went outside to do "The Walk Around," the tour of the inside, and the checklist. I dug my camera out of my purse and got pictures of it all.
     Half-way through the "photo shoot" the financial guy came over to me and asked, "Do I understand correctly that you're a high-mileage driver?" I laughed and said, "Yup, pretty much." He then apologized for not offering me the extended Bumper-to-Bumper warranty. I asked for the details and how much it would cost. He said it was $950.00, and it would increase the original "5 year/60,000 mile Bumper-to-Bumper" warranty to a "5 year/100,000 mile Bumper-to-Bumper" warranty. I said, "Well, that sounds pretty good to me. Sign me up!" We had to tear up some of my paperwork from yesterday and I had to resign some stuff, but the additional coverage was worth the trouble. And my car payment only went up ten bucks. Cool!
     By the time I made it back outside, the service guys were just finishing with the plates on Adrienne's car. The whole experience was very exciting! I'm so glad I was there to see it all happen. Buying a new car is always cool, sure... but what made this particular event so exciting was the fact that this is Adrienne's first car ever! She's thirty-six years old and she's never had a car before. This is her very first car!!! And it's a BRAND NEW car to boot, not some used "clunker" of a car. How cool is that?!?!?! I'm really proud of her! I'm so glad I had my camera with me. I even managed to snap one last photo as Adrienne drove it out of the parking lot to bring it home.
     While the guys were still putting the plates on her car, we made plans to celebrate with a pizza... so from the dealership I headed down to Adrienne's house. By the time I got there, Adrienne and her father were already outside inspecting her new ride.
     As soon as I got out of my car she said, "What happened? I thought you were right behind us. Where'd you go?" I told her I had to make a quick stop at home first so I could pick up her "Car Warming" gift, and I handed her a bag from AutoZone. In the bag she found "The Club" (the anti-theft device for the steering wheel), a gallon of windshield-wiper fluid, some Yankee Candle Air Fresheners to hang from the rear-view mirror, and a tire pressure gauge. She was REALLY surprised!
     So... today turned out to be a very productive day. I "Dove-ified" my car; I returned the jack from the Rio; Adrienne bought a new car; I purchased the extended warranty; AND we dined on pizza topped with sausage n' peppers. Life is good....
     Here's a shot of Adrienne's new baby...


ENTRY # 154
DATE:  07/01/06 (Saturday) 11:45am
SUBJECT:  Pictures of My New Car...

     Well, my first project of the day was to get the new car properly "Dove-ified." Which, in Dove-speak, means I had to lug all the crap that came out of the Rio back down the stairs and load it into the new one. While I was doing that, I came across the jack for the Rio's spare tire. Wonderful. I made a mental note to take the jack to the Kia dealership considering the Rio's new owner (I pity the fool!) might need it some day.
     My second project of the day was to take some new car pics and post them for all to see. With that being done, here they are:

Dove's New Car: 2006 Kia Spectra

     And now for the exciting part.... I just called Adrienne's house and spoke to her sister, Kimmy. According to Kimmy, Adrienne and their father left the house around 10:00/10:30 this morning to go to the bank, and then to the Kia dealership. It's almost noon, and they're not back yet. That's gotta be a good sign. I bet they're in the middle of drawing up all the paperwork for Adrienne's car right now.
     Since I have to take the Rio's jack to Kia today anyway, I'm gonna take a ride there now to see how Adrienne's doing. I'm taking my digital camera with me to capture the moment (just in case). :-)
     Stay tuned. Details coming soon!


ENTRY # 153
DATE:  06/30/06 (Friday)
SUBJECT:  The New Baby Comes Home...

     Since I was on the phone so long last night, telling everyone about the new car, I wasn't able to clean out the Rio. And because I was heading to the Kia dealership directly from work to pick up the Spectra, I had to get up an hour early (again!) in order to clean out the Rio before I went to work this morning. What fun! I had no idea I had so much crap in my car! Good grief! Between the stuff in the trunk, the stuff in the back seat, and the stuff in the glove-box, it took FOUR trips up all my stairs to get everything into my apartment. Oy!
     Gotta tell ya... today was the longest day in History. Seriously! The hours dragged by. It was ridiculous. And, obviously, the fact that I kept looking at the clock every ten minutes to see if it was time to leave yet didn't help much. All I kept thinking was, "I want my new car, I want my new car, I want my new car."
     By 4:30 I couldn't stand it any longer. I asked if I could leave and The Boss said yes. After a rather rushed "ThankshaveagoodweekendseeyaWedsnesdaybyebye" I was out'a there! I made it to the Kia dealership in six minutes, LOL! When I pulled into the parking lot I spotted Her right away. She was parked in front of the main entrance, all shiny and new, just waiting for me to drive Her away.
     Once all the paperwork was signed, we went outside to do "The Walk Around" to make sure there were no dings or scratches on Her anywhere. The "tour" of the inside was next. The salesman (Paul) and I climbed in and we went over all Her "features." During all this I was thinking to myself, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, just gimme the keys, dammit!" LOL!
     Switching the plates was an agonizing delay. After twenty minutes of trying to remove the rusty screws from the Rio, ("Oh, for the love of God, just give me the keys!!!!") someone finally came up with the bright idea to use a pair of bolt-cutters instead. Seconds later the plates were attached to the Spectra! ("Gimme the keys, gimme the keys, gimme the keys!!!")
     For the next ten minutes ("GIVE ME THE KEYS!!!") Paul went over his Checklist with me. The "checklist" is a summary of everything the salesman explained to the customer about their new vehicle. It was a very long ten minutes, but - FINALLY - he handed me the keys. ("Ahhhhhhhhhh...") She was officially mine! We were free to go!
     As I pulled out of the parking lot, I glanced in my rear-view mirror at the Piece of Shit Rio. I mumbled a "Good riddance" under my breath then swung onto Route 1.
     I drove back to work so I could show The Boss my new ride. He was very impressed. And I was impressed that he was impressed. This is a guy who drives a Jag as his primary vehicle; his secondary vehicle being a Porche. The fact that he actually liked my Spectra made me feel pretty damn good!
     My next stop was Adrienne's house. The Spectra was well received there too! Everyone "Ooohed" and "Ahhhed" over Her. I was so proud. ;-) And then I heard Her voice. The Spectra spoke to me. The words came to me in a whisper, but I heard them loud n' clear. She said, "They like me. They really, really like me!" And that was really weird because - just a moment before - Adrienne and I were talking about what I was going to name Her. Maybe I should call Her "Sally" (after Sally Field), LOL. We'll see....
     Oh, and guess what? I was right. Adrienne is going to the Kia dealership tomorrow afternoon with her father to take a look at what they have. I'm 99% positive she'll be driving her own car home. That would be just TOOOOO cool!!!!
     By the time I got home it was after dark so I don't have any photos (baby pictures???) to upload yet. First thing in the morning I'll take some. Hopefully by this time tomorrow I'll have a "New Car" page up n' running.
     God... I can't believe I finally have a new car. I am so relieved....


ENTRY # 152
DATE:  06/29/06 (Thursday)
SUBJECT:  Out With the Old, In With the New!!!

     Had an interesting day today. I woke up at 6:00 this morning so I could get my car to the garage by 7:30. All the way there the "Engine" light was on. I parked right in front of the main entrance and ran inside to let them know I had arrived. They told me to drive around the back of the building and to pull up to the Service door which would open automatically for me. As I was pulling up to that door the "Engine" light shut off. Figures.
     They had my car all day long and the damn light never came back on. At 5:00pm they sent their driver to collect me from work. The driver's name was Paul, and he turned out to be a really nice guy. He's also a Kia salesman. During the trip to the garage I told him about all the problems I've had through the years with the Rio. Eventually, he started talking about the new Kias on the market and how much better they are nowadays.
     When we reached the dealership (where my car was located) he asked if I had a few minutes to look at some of the new models, the Spectra in particular. Well, "a few minutes" turned into about two hours. We wandered around the Sales lot for about forty minutes looking at different models, and comparing prices, and then I actually test drove one of the Spectras. It turned out to be a nice little car. Much nicer than I had anticipated. It handled great, it was quiet, and the suspension was awesome. It was a much smoother ride than what I ever experienced with the Rio (even when it was new).
     Back at the dealership, after the test drive, Paul handed me over to another guy. This guy's name was Jeff. After a very lengthy discussion with Jeff (all about my "Piece of Shit Rio," and how I'd never buy another Kia) he began his sales pitch. A half-hour later, surprisingly, I was slowly coming around to the idea of buying a Spectra. Once he saw the change in my attitude he jumped. He asked if I had time to hang around a little while longer while he worked out some figures for me. I said, "Sure. Why not. Figure out what the down-payment would have to be to keep my monthly payments under 200 bucks." He said, "All righty," and went to work. Paul and I then stepped outside to have a smoke.
     Ten minutes later I was sitting in front of Jeff's desk again going over everything he had just calculated for me. The sticker price was $15,900.00. For the whole month of June they were offering a $2,000.00 rebate, so right off the top, that brought it down to $13,900.00. The trade-in ["book"] value for my Rio was $1,300.00 but I told him I wanted $1,500.00 for it and - amazingly - he said that was fine. That brought the price down to $12,400.00. If I gave him a $2,500.00 down-payment, my monthly car payments would be $191.00.
     However, since today is June 29th, the $2000.00 rebate is only in effect until tomorrow evening so he told me I had to "act fast." By Saturday, July 1rst, the rebate would be reduced to $1,500.00. At that point, our conversation went something like this:

DOVE:  "Oh, OK... well... I don't have $2,500.00 right now, and I know I won't have $2,500.00 by tomorrow either, so this isn't gonna work for me. But... at least I know how much I need to come up with."
JEFF:  "You don't have $2,500.00." [said as a statement, not as a question]
DOVE:  "Nope, not at the moment. Two weeks ago I sent my credit card company $750.00 to pay them off. Yesterday, I mailed out my rent payment for July... along with all my other bills for July. So, basically, I'm broke right now. All I have in my checking account at the moment is $433.00."
JEFF:  "Oh... really[?]... I see. OK, hold on a minute."
     He turned back to his computer, made a few key-strokes, and hit PRINT. After a brief moment he handed me the sheet of paper from his printer with all new figures on it.
     With a grin - a grin made famous by all car salesmen - he said, "If you give me a $400.00 down-payment, your payments will only increase to $228.00 a month."
DOVE:  "Gimme a pen. I'll write you a check right now."
     And I did. I bought the car. I pick it up tomorrow night after work. So.... I only have to deal with the Piece of Shit Rio for one more day!!! AMEN!!!
     Now I'm faced with "eating crow." In fact, I've been "eating crow" ever since I pulled out of the dealership's parking lot earlier this evening. For the last five years, I've been so unhappy with the Rio, I've told everyone I know to NEVER buy a Kia. I've also told everyone I know that I would never buy another Kia ever again, LOL!
     I got my first taste of crow about four minutes after I left the dealership. I didn't have enough gas to get me home, so I drove up to the Shell station that's next door to where I work. In the process, I ran into my boss. As soon as he saw me he knew something was up so I had to tell him all about it. When I told him I bought the Kia Spectra his reaction was exactly what I expected. He said, "You bought a WHAT??? You said you'd NEVER buy another Kia!!!"
     And it didn't stop there. When I finally got home, I called my step-father first... then I called my Mom... then I called Adrienne... then I called Jen & Mark... and I got - pretty much - the same reaction from all of them. Although, Adrienne was a bit more supportive than I thought she'd be. As soon as I mentioned my down-payment was only 400 bucks she went nuts! I have a feeling she'll be buying a Kia for herself VERY soon.
     So, yeah, I admit it. I bought another Kia. But at least it's not a Rio. And, actually, even IF this one turns out to be a piece of shit too, the warranty is fabulous. For the first five years I own the vehicle I'll hardly have to pay for anything. Check this out...
The Kia Total Protection Package:

- 250,000 mile/10 year Limited Powertrain Warranty:  covers the engine and fuel injection.
- 100,000 mile/10 year Limited Powertrain Warranty:  covers the engine, transmission, and rear end.
- 60,000 mile/5 year Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty:  covers everything except for "wearable" parts (i.e. brakes, belts, wipers).
- 100,000 mile/5 year Limited Anti-Perforation Warranty:  covers all body sheet metal against corrosion/perforation resulting from defects in materials or workmanship.
- 60,000 mile/5 year 24-HOUR Roadside assistance:  includes towing, and trip interruption insurance.
- 12,000 mile/1 year Standard Tire & Roadside Hazard Protection
- 2 year warranty on the battery.

     That "250,000 mile/10 year Limited Powertrain Warranty" makes the car worth owning as far as I'm concerned. I mean, damn, 250,000 miles??? That's impressive!!!
     It's not a Chevy, I know, but - hey - it's a brand new car just the same! I wish I could've driven it home tonight instead of waiting 'til tomorrow. Unfortunately, though, by the time we had everything figured out, it was "after hours" and my insurance company was already closed. We weren't able to make the transfer. All the banks were closed too, so we couldn't submit my credit application for the loan either. They're gonna do all that stuff tomorrow afternoon. By the time I get there [after work] all we'll have to do is take the plates off the Rio and put them on the Spectra!
     It is a nice little car. It's black, with light gray interior. It's got power windows, power locks, and power mirrors. It's bigger than the Rio so it's roomier inside. The engine is a little bigger too. Not much, but a little. The Rio was a V4, with a 1.6 liter engine. This one is also a V4, but it's got a 2.0 liter engine. Tilt steering wheel, lots of trunk space, tons of airbags, and great gas mileage. I can't wait to bring it home!


ENTRY # 151
DATE:  06/28/06 (Wednesday)
SUBJECT:  I HATE MY CAR!!!!!!!

     Good grief!!!! There's something wrong with my car. AGAIN!!!!! I can't believe this. I have no clue what's wrong now. On my way home from work the damn "Engine" light came on. Instead of coming home, I drove directly to the Kia dealership hoping they'd be able to take a look at it. I got there at 5:55, and OF COURSE they close at 6:00, so no one was able to help me.
     I'm now forced to get up an hour early tomorrow morning so I can get my car to the garage by 7:30am. Once I drop it off, they're going to bring me to work, then pick me up when my car is done. What a pain in the ass!!!!
     All they could tell me tonight was that they THINK it's just an emissions problem; maybe a bad sensor or something. But, obviously, they won't know anything for sure until they hook it up to their computer system and run all the diagnostic tests. The fee to find out what the problem is is 90 bucks. That's only to IDENTIFY the problem, not to actually FIX the problem. Wonderful.
     I HATE THIS CAR!!!! I CAN'T WAIT TO GET RID OF IT!!!! IT SUCKS ASS!!!!!!!!!!!!



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