I had an email from my sister the other day to tell me how when she had called for my father the other night, Lori had answered the phone. Lori then proceeded to tell her about the 75th birthday party she's planning for my father near the end of September. She then tells Jen (my sister) that they all (Jen, her husband, and the kids) are invited to the party, but that Jen has to be there. Uh, my sister lives in freaking Oregon! (My father & Lori live in New Jersey). Lori then proceeds to brag about how she is flying her own daughter in from Kansas for the party.
Now, Lori knows:
A) That my sister, etc. were all out East in Vermont for a family vacation just three weeks ago (she and my father even visited them there). B) That my sister works. That her husband works. That the kids are back in school (and have about a bazillion activities and commitments). C) That their trip to Vermont in August was basically their travel budget for the entire year (they had also paid their share on the lake house the my brother-in-law's family rents there every year up there). D) That my sister's mother-in-law in Vermont is right now in hospice care and is not expected to live much more than another couple of months (so they are all going to have to pay for another trip back East sometime in the near future).
One might also ask, why didn't Lori mention something about this shindig when they were all together three weeks ago? Or mentioned even earlier, maybe money could have been saved, plans could have been made. Or (even better) a party could have been planned for the time that they were all already going to be here. My sister is pissed. I wonder if it isn't some conspiracy to illustrate to my father what horrible children he has ("look, my daughter TANYA managed to come all the way from Kansas!" -- I should also mention that she just flew her daughter out to NJ for a visit two weeks ago! And why shouldn't she? It's not like she contributes any of her money towards food or electricity or running the house or (heaven forbid) the 200K of improvements and renovations they want to do to the stupid house, no that all has to come out of my father's income and also by cashing in our inheritance).
Oh, and before you ask, I have not yet been invited to this party at all. If my sister hadn't emailed me the other day, I still wouldn't know about it. Maybe I'm not meant to be invited at all (I don't know which day the party is on, but at least one of the dates around that time I have to be in Boston for work anyway).
Well, so far I'm loving having a treadmill in my home. Take tonight for instance, I was tired and hungry when I got home, so by the time I felt really ready to do some exercise, it was almost 8 PM. Too late to go out for a walk or a run, and no way am I talking myself into going to a gym by then either. No problem, got on the treadmill and did 40 minutes of fast walking at varying inclines, interspersed with one minute intervals of running (hey, I've got to start somewhere!) while watching last week's Rescue Me episode that I had recorded on the DVR. I feel good now, did something positive, got some endorphins flowing and didn't have to add any extra travel time to my day. And Lola got to watch, and we all know how entertained she is by that!
I don't know if this weather we've having here in New England is a fluke, but you can really feel Fall coming, especially at night and in the morning. There is this cool, crisp, seasonal change thing going on. Autumn is pretty much my favorite time of year anyway, and I just love it when the Summer starts winding down and you can feel it coming. Those cool mornings & evenings when it is best to wear a light sweater or jacket, with days that are still warm enough to feel like Summer. It seems a bit more marked here in New Hampshire (Summer somehow likes to hold onto NYC in a death grip most years), so I am enjoying it even more than I ever have in previous years. I love New England.
So, my dog totally freaks out when I use the treadmill. First she stood beside it and just stared at my feet. You could just see her eyes clocking back & forth and back & forth. Then she suddenly made this growl/bark, spun around, tucked her rear-end under her and started racing in circles around the apartment, low to the ground, hell for leather, what I call, "The Pug-tona". Totally cracked me up.
So, I ordered this treadmill, like, way over a month ago. When I spoke to the delivery company to arrange the delivery, I was informed, "Oh you don't have to be home, they just drop it off outside." WTF??? I responded, "Uh, it weighs, like, 300 LBS." (And I live in an apartment on the 3rd floor, just where do they think they're going to "drop" it?) Basically, it turns out that this was not their problem (after getting back in touch with the treadmill company, it turns out it was not their problem either). So, I make sure I'm home when it comes and convince the delivery guy (well, I convince him with a $20 bill) to bring it up to my apartment for me. Anyway, so I finally have the thing, I put it together (no easy task by myself either) and turn it on and nothing happens! ARGH!!! So after a call to customer service and (once they determine that, no, I am not quite going to be able to tip this machine on end and remove the hood over the engine -- sheesh!) they decide that they will arrange to send out a service technician. So, this of course now takes another couple of weeks. Anyway, the guy finally came today. Turns out the problem was a detached wire or something in the motor. Whatever. Anyway, it now WORKS! I now have a treadmill ... IN. MY. HOME. This has always been a huge wish of mine. As Julia would say, HAPPY, HAPPY!
So, I've been worrying and worrying that I'm not doing a good job here at New Company. I mean, to the point of actual depression and loss of sleep, etc. Well, today I received my manager's review that is meant to go with the small raise I got last month and I was shocked to find that it was almost all completely positive. Ironically, the only thing about it that could be taken as a negative is that I need to have more confidence (now, where I have I heard that before?) I just really, really need to learn how to relax.
Have I ever mentioned how much I'm loving having a car? People who haven't lived in NYC maybe can't fully appreciate what a thrill it is for me to be fully mobile as I am now. Today it was a simple trip down to just over the Massachusetts border (about 20 mins away) to Trader Joe's (which was another first for me). But being able to hop in my car and go someplace on a whim like this is still a novelty and thus a complete thrill. You would think I would be the completely jaded NYCer at this stage, but I am goofy with joy over stupid, silly stuff that most people completely take for granted.
Oh and I love my car even more now that it is completely paid for (nothing drives better than a car for which there is no lien).
Annabelle is a sweet, Jack Russell Terrier who lives in my building who somehow got out of her apartment and was found wandering the grounds on Sunday. One of the office ladies found her and thought she belonged to the apartment here on the second floor (wasn't positive), but nodody happened to be home, so I offered to take her for the afternoon. She ended up being such a nice little dog who got along very nicely with Lola (which was a relief because sometimes JRTs don't like other dogs, especially same-sex dogs) and ended up curling up on my legs on the couch and sleeping there (I think Lola was a little jealous). She stayed with us for a few hours and I was almost disappointed when her owner showed up at my door to pick her up. So sad. We enjoyed having her so much more than Lucy (my father's dog), who doesn't have the greatest disposition (and is also loud and very spoiled).
Now that I've paid my debts and am making some more money, and since I don't plan to have children of my own, I want to try and help out my niece & nephew where I can. I decided that I wanted to buy a computer for the kids (currently, there is only one computer in the house that everyone has to share) and I told my niece that I would start a savings account for her and that I will match anything she saves on her end towards college (I'll of course add more as I can too). She has apparently been saving babysitting and other money for college and already has $500 (she's twelve).
So, anyway, I know that my sister has been disappointed that my father hasn't stepped up and offered any financial help (or plans to help) for the kids, especially as these are his only grandchildren. So I mentioned the computer thing to him when he was here, mostly to see his reaction. I was then talking to him tonight about the savings plan for my niece. This is how the conversation went:
me: "So, I told S that I would start a savings account for her and will match whatever she puts into her own savings account." him: "I thought you were going to buy them a computer?" me: "I want to do that too." him: "You know Lori" [his wife] "has this old Compac Presario. I was telling her that we should add her to The List." WTF???!!! me: "WHAT?! You can buy her a computer if she needs one. Lori is NOT my responsibility!"
So, I mailed the pay-off for my car via Express Mail on Monday. By noon the next day the package had been signed for and by 5 PM my car loan account showed an online balance of 0. (Man, that was fast!) I was so giddy about it that I probably logged onto my account about 5 times or more last night just to look at that big fat ZERO. By this morning, the entry was already completely gone, like I had never even had a car loan in the first place.
When doing laundry, it's best not to wash and dry ALL of your bath towels with the blanket your dog has been sleeping on for months. Not unless you don't mind a film of dog hair spread across your damp face, etc. Blech.