Monday, June 30, 2014

Almost Yoga

To celebrate the Summer Solstice, I dragged Eddie to Yoga In Times Square: Mind Over Madness. I've gone a few years in a row, and this year, it happened on a Saturday, so Eddie was available. I got him a ticket. I gave him the option: You can come if you want I got you a ticket I'd really love it if you came with me it will be fun. First he asked if he could come and watch from the side. I said, But you have a ticket. So then he said he'd go as long as no one would touch him to help him in the poses and if he could sit and drink water on his mat if he chose. I agreed to those terms.

I figured free yoga on a Saturday would be wall to wall sweaty people on very long lines. Our train was late, so we hiked very quickly to the sign in point. The line was practically non-existent even an hour before the class started while in the past, I had to arrive at least and hour and a half to get on a line already wrapped around the block. Hmmm, maybe since the classes began at 5:30 AM and ended at 9 PM, everyone who wanted to go was spread out over the day. We were on line in the shade. Our tickets got collected quickly. We received our first bit of free stuff: Chia something or other. Very exciting. (My excitement faded on the train ride home when I tried it and almost threw up because I was not expecting it to be chunky. It's chunky.)

We then got our yoga mats as the line quickly moved forward. We'd brought a mat each because in past years, the mats they handed out were sticky mats with no cushion. This year? Real squishy mats. So we now had four cushiony mats to use between the two of us. I was in my free stuff glory as we were herded into the yoga practice area and Eddie was amazed at how close we had to get to each other. Then we noticed the couple next to us and agreed that the girl had dragged her guy there as well. That guy was sitting on a mat wearing jeans. Eddie had worn shorts and immediately took off his sneakers and socks to sit on his mat. This guy was all about not doing that. We were in the hot hot sun and this guy just sat in his jeans and sneakers and socks and t-shirt next to his girl who was all yoga'd out in yoga gear.

We waited for a pretty long time for the class to start. While waiting, a dragonfly wizzed by a few times and then landed on some girl's bag in front of us. The whole time, the two of us were ducking like children. Everyone else was in awe of how pretty it was. Clearly, we were not among people like us. We refrained from swatting at it. Instead, we silently cringed. Then I went through my free stuff we got in our goodie bags.

When the session began, the instructor started talking about her pregnancy. Amazingly, she was instructing the class while being like eight months pregnant. It's quite a feat. But then? She kept talking. Then she talked some more. What was she talking about? Mostly about being at one with the world and being separate from it and how being pregnant made her realize the difference. But then I tuned out. Eddie says she was also talking about giving light to the sun instead of taking light from it. Impressive! He listened more than I did.

Then she said, Let's all snuggle up and hold hands.

Clearly, this was a violation of Eddie's terms. I quickly whispered to him, I've never had to ever touch anyone else in all my years of coming to this! He gave a half sigh, and grabbed my hand along with the hand of the girl next to him who grabbed her guy who was still in jeans and sneakers and socks in the hot sun. The woman on my other side was very bubbly and happy to grab hands.

Finally, we got to some yoga. The sitting part was easy. The balancing stuff was easy. All the other stuff? Not so. Eddie was challenging himself in all the poses, doing really well for being the most inflexible person in the world. I was not doing well because my back was tweaking and I had to stop everything and not do the poses. The two of us pretty much laughed at each other the whole time, and it wasn't a very long time because the talking had taken up most of the session, so in no time we were seated again, during which time we were supposed to reach our arms out to the side and Eddie purposely put his arm across my neck, causing the woman next to me to crack up. Then we were laying down in savasana. It's Eddie's favorite pose. I like it, too.

Then we all sat up. Then we were told to hold hands again. Everyone take your grubby sweaty hands and touch each other. Fun times.

Then it was over and we clapped and we did our best to roll up our four mats and not appear to be bogged down by them.

We headed into the yoga village to get more free stuff. I skipped the line for the coffee and headed straight to get SmartWater and coconut water. I also got a Weight Watchers ice cream pop that I had to eat immediately before it melted.

That lady looks like she could use an ice cream pick-me-up, too.
I also got lip balm and some Luna bars. I threw it all into our bags which were already heavy with magazines, nail polish, and coupons. And deodorant.  I somehow got lots of deodorant. Sometimes getting free stuff is almost like a job.

The next day, my ass hurt. My ass hurt so bad that I could barely move off the couch. The pain was coming from the place in my back that's the tightest. I was happy that I'd made the appointment with the chiropractor because hopefully he'd help me climb out of this pain because yoga--something the ortho told me could help--clearly was not working. Still, I couldn't be upset. I was surrounded by free stuff.

Oh, and on the train ride home, Eddie made a friend. This woman could not wait to get off the train, and so her ass was in his face for a good five minutes.

Friday, June 27, 2014

I Am A Real Published Writer

This is my book.

It's a chapbook, which means it's short, which means if reading isn't your thing, you'll be done with it before you decide to give up on it.

Still interested? Visit Dancing Girl Press to take a more detailed peek and if you want one, you can pick one up there on the cheap.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Back Issue

Remember when Speedy Baddriverson whacked the back of my car with her car back in January?  Perhaps you've forgotten.  You know what hasn't forgotten?  My back.  Six months later, it's worse than it was. 

Originally, I went to an orthopedist. He gave me a booklet of exercises to strenthen my core even though I told him I'm pretty good with exercises that strengthen my core and stretch and relax my back.  I tried them, figuring it couldn't hurt.  I even incorporated Martha Peterson's Somatics of Pandiculation into my routine, something Eddie's back doctor told him to try for his back problems.  So the two of us rolled around on the living room floor night after night pandiculating.  That might sound dirty until you look up what pandiculation is.  I won't do the work for you.

When I returned to the orthopedist two weeks later, my thoracic back spasms and lower back stiffness had not subsided.  He gave me a prescription for physical therapy which included TENS, massage, and movement to gain core strength.  So I went to a PT that was a pretty small and laid back place.  Basically, appointments really didn't matter, and most of the stuff I could do on my own.  They had me lifting three pound weights for bicep curls. My normal routine is three sets of curls using ten pound weights, so the three pounders I could basically throw across the room pretty far.  However, I understood they were learning what I could handle and I wasn't going to throw myself into 10 pounds when I was injured. 

Some of the exercises made sense like the inner and outer rotations for my shoulders and the cable pulls for my shoulders, back, and core.  I couldn't make sense of why I had to ride a stationary bike for eight minutes, though.  That was dumb, but I approached the entire experience as being able to go to a gym and have a personal trainer.  The PT people are not personal trainers; they are medical professionals. But it was very similar, and I've always wanted to go to the gym and have a trainer.  I did have one on one attention at times, but when the place got busy, the PT would run between person to person, checking up on everyone at different times.

I liked the people there.  They were encouraging and knew their stuff.  I was on my own for a lot of the stuff after a few weeks because I clearly knew what I was doing.  Each session ended with fifteen minutes hooked up to the TENS. Ooooh, shoot electricity through my muscles any day of the week!  I fell asleep sometimes. 

In the meantime, I was taking muscles relaxers and anti-inflammatories whenever the pain and stiffness got really bad.  I'm not a pill popper, so for me to take something, it had to be bad.  At times, it was bad, so I took something, but overall, I laid off they pills.

However, after weeks of therapy 3 times a week and returning to the ortho, I was still having back spasms.  I got a new script and returned to therapy and got a massage plus what I call a sonogram but it's not a sonogram.  I can never remember the name of it.  It's something that sends some sort of magic deep into the muscles.  The therapist ran it up and down the spasms.  After that, the spasms went away.

I continued therapy, my back feeling stronger but still stiff.  One spasm happened over the course of a few weeks, which was a good thing because it wasn't one a day and it wasn't one that lasted an entire night, both of which had happened in the past.  I finished out therapy about two weeks later.

Two days after therapy ended, I awoke in the middle of the night, my back in a spasm and my lower back experiencing searing pain.  I had not been cured.  I had been temporarily faked out.

Before returning to the orthopedist, I was sent by my no fault insurance to whom I'll call Dr. Quack.  I got a letter saying I had to see an orthopedist approved by my insurance to evaluate my condition.  The doctor was nice enough, explaining that she was not there to treat me but to evaluate me.  She asked me to bend forward.  I bent forward.  She asked me to bend to the sides.  I bent to the side.  She asked me to bend backwards.  I said, No, I can't.  She asked me how far I could.  I couldn't do it at all.  My back was killing me.  A lump of gross muscle spasm stuff had developed in my lower back.  So gross.  So painful. 

A few days later, I went to the orthopedist and explained how the pain was mostly now in my lumbar spine and the surrounding muscles.  He asked if I'd taken any anti inflammatories or muscle relaxers.  I said that I hadn't, explaining that since the pain was different and in a different place, I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do.  He told me he could prescribe more therapy.  I said okay, but that it hadn't helped.  Then he said, I'm going to give you a packet of excercises so you can strengthen your core.

I'd been holding things together pretty well until that moment.  All this unexpected mayhem.  All this health-related chaos. I'm a relatively fit person, and in not being able to do my normal workouts, in not being able to wake up feeling like a normal person, in not being able to do yoga--something that's supposed to help back pain--I was slowly not myself anymore.  And it was pissing me off.

So I said to the doctor, I'm not sure that's going to help since I'm a certified yoga instructor and I've been doing all the things I'm supposed to do for core strength and back pain, and nothing is working and I just don't know what to do anymore.  His response was, I'll get you that packet.  He talked into his little tape recorder and his assistant came in with the same packet he'd given me months before.

I took the packet of core strengtheners, rolled it up, and swiftly beat him with it.

Okay, I didn't do that.

I took the packet, took the script, and then I left.

When I got home, I found a letter from my no fault in the mail.  According to Dr. Quack, I was perfectly fine, and so my no fault would no longer cover orthopedic treatment or any secondary treatment--like pt--under the category of orthopedic.  So on the day my own orthopedist, however idiotic he is, gave me a new round of PT and another packet of core strengtheners because my back issues were still present, Dr. Quack said the exact opposite.

I lost my shit.  I called the insurance.  I left a message saying exactly that: I'm not sure how your doctor says I'm fine when I'm in pain and my own doctor sent me to therapy.

I found out that while orthopedic treatment is no longer an option, I can still get treatment by other things like neurology, pain management, chiropractic, massage, and any other thing I can think of.  The trick is that you can't ask in advance, will this be covered?  You simply have to find a doctor that accepts no fault and have the doctor submit the claim to no fault and hope that it goes through.  If it doesn't, then technically you're not responsible for it.  However, when you go to any doctor, in the paperwork you have to fill out is a form that says you will be held responsible for any payment no fault does not cover.  So really, it's a crap shoot of medical finance gambling.  I'm thinking of moving to Canada.

Anyway, I started researching pain management until one of my friends sent me the info for her chiropractor, a doctor she raves about, and she's not a raver of the medical industry at all.  This past week, I went.

I've met Eddie's chiropractor, and he's a very positive, very energetic guy.  The guy I saw this week is just the same.  Maybe there's a special kind of person you have to be to work on people's backs.  When he took my history, he said things like, "that's not good," "I'm really concerned about that," and "ooh, you're too young to have that complaint."  But then followed up everything with, we are going to work on that!

Two days before my appointment, Eddie and I had gone into the city for Summer Solstice In Times Square: Mind Over Madness.  Details on that later, but for now, just know that I couldn't do it.  It was a slow vinyasa class and I couldn't do most of it.  Then the day after that, the day before my appointment, my ass hurt.  It got progressively worse throughout the day to the point where I couldn't move and just stayed on the couch. 

So when the doctor asked if the pain had radiated down anywhere, I grabbed my ass and said, Well I tried doing yoga over the weekend and now all of this hurts, and I feel how it's connected directly to the place on my back where it hurts most.  Then when he found out that I can't teach yoga, he was like, Wow so this is affecting your work too. I explained that yoga wasn't my primary job, but it was nice to earn some pocket change over the summers, and now I can't.

He listened a lot.  He was really sympathetic.  He even asked if it was affected my mood (yes: I'm pissed off) and my marriage (yes: I can now empathize with the husband's back pain).

Then came the assessment.  He had me lie down on my stomach and let gravity do its thing for a few minutes.  When he came back in, he said, You're probably feeling where you're having the most trouble by now.  Yup, exactly.  He touched all the places where I was having problems without my having to tell him where I was having problems.  It was like Pain ESP.  He bent my legs, asked me to turn my head, and then said, There it is!, following up by asking me if my neck hurt.  I said no.  He asked, It doesn't hurt in here?  And that small perfect touch in that one spot made me realize that yes, indeed, my neck hurt. 

He had me stand on two scales, one foot on each. I carry my weight three pounds to the right, which isn't so horrible, but within one pound is better.  He had me stand in front of a frame that had all different threads attached to it and asked me to look in the mirror: which ear is higher?  which shoulder is higher?  which hip is higher?

When he'd exclaimed, There it is!, he saw that when I turned my head to the left, my legs evened out, but with my head face down or to the right, one leg was shorter than the other.  He found every single spasm and place of inflammation.  One ear, one shoulder, one hip should not be higher than the other. 

He used some sort of instrument on my back to find inflammation. I'm not sure what it's called so I'll just call it the Magical Heat Seeking Gun.  He rolled the Magical Heat Seeking Gun up my lower back, mid back, and then neck.  On the computer screen I could see orange and yellow pop up next to different vertebrae.  That meant inflammation.  Then he asked, Are you on muscle relaxers?

Me, the girl who never takes a pill, had taken a muscle relaxer for the ass pain the day before.  I told him so and he said, It's still in your system because the inflammation isn't showing up right now.  Next time, we'll do it again and see what comes up.  And here I thought those things didn't work because they didn't make me feel any better.  Apparently, all they do is make me tired and screw up data.

He also asked me if I had scoliosis at any point.  Nope, not to my knowledge.  He said that the muscles on one side of my spine were smooth and the others were in a large mound.

Basically, I'm all fucked up.

I laid back down on my stomach for another few minutes.  He came back in to take X-Rays, triple checking that I wasn't pregnant.  Dude, if I'm pregnant right now, I'm just giving up on life.  Who can have a baby amid all this chaos?  (really, who can have a kid ever?  but that's another question for a different time).

He took a bunch of X-Rays, explaining to me what each one was for.  The only drawback of the whole experience were his instructions to turn left and right.  You see, I do not know my left from my right, especially in circumstances when I'm asked out of nowhere very quickly to turn in either way.  So that was a mess with me asking which way again? but otherwise, it was a pleasant experience.

When all was said and done, he told me to bring Eddie back with me so he could hear all the results, too, and we could discuss my plan to get me back to better.  He reiterated that I was too young and too fit to be having these issues.  Then he said, Now I'm going to offer you a hydromassage before you go.  I of course said yes because that sounded magical. 

I want a hydromassage bed in my house immediately.

The receptionist-do-everything-the-office-needs-person at the front put me on the bed and dimmed the lights and told me, Just be careful when you get up.  I don't know how long I was on it, but for however long it was, I was in heaven.  Warm water rumbled under me and gave my back a fantastic beating.  When it was over, I rolled myself off the bed all sad that I couldn't stay there forever.

And so I'm returning tomorrow to find out the news and the plan.  What exactly is going on with my back and where.  What exactly what I can do about it.  How much it could cost.  I'm pretty sure no fault will pay for at least some of it, but when I get that letter to go to Dr. Quack The Sequel, I'll know I'll be back at the crossroads of how much can I spend on my back to feel good while also being able to pay for things like water and lights.  Which means I'm pretty sure I'll be entering into a third world I've never had an interest in: the wonderful world of litigation--from finding an attorney to suing Speedy Baddriverson to hoping it's all over soon.  Well, I've already hoped it would be all over soon.  The hope doesn't seem to be enough.

Friday, June 13, 2014

What's Your Damage?

Dear Diary: Heathers!  The film from my childhood, one of S's favorites, has come to the theatre as a musical.  The premise of the production is teen angst gone murderous, so I went in expecting absurdity of the best kind, and it lived up to my expectations.  It was cheesy and corny and outrageous in all the right ways.  At intermission, S, trying to keep an open mind, said that Veronica was being played as more naive than in the movie and JD wasn't dark enough (I mean, he was wearing black, but he wasn't living evil).  I could see where she was coming from, but I was more distracted by the odd singing.

I'll start by saying that I can carry a tune in the confines of my own house, and that I can sing a pretty decent rendition of the following songs: "I Got You Babe" (Cher's part), "Close To You" by the Carpenters, "One Less Bell To Answer" the first verse only, and "Sweet Child o' Mine" up until the Axl screamy parts.  I know my place in this world, and I do not get paid to sing.  That being said...

The singing could have been better.  The cast gave me hope that one day I, too, could be in Heathers The Musical, if only they include one of the aforementioned tunes.  Every song called for a rather big note somewhere either in a bridge or at the end, and every time one of those notes came, it was more of a cringe moment than a moment of glory.  The first time it happened, I actually thought to myself, oh that poor actress must have just gotten over a cold. But then it continued, and it wasn't Broadway great, but it was entertaining, and mostly the music got so loud that the lackluster notes got drowned out. Plus the visual comedy distracted from it--the slo-mo, the facial expressions--they made up for it. And I didn't go for the singing.  I went for the fun.

 There were quite a few scenes that were stopped mid-action where almost the whole cast froze, and there were others that were slow motion.  Combined with songs about getting blue balls and how a father loves  his dead gay son and drinking slurpees to get brain freeze, Heathers The Musical wasn't just a play; it was on another planet. The Heathers were awesomely mean and the football players were amazingly douchey, and kudos to the latter for wearing tight underwear for half the play.

The distracting part about JD was that, really, he wasn't a convincing psychopath or evil doer.  When the cast broke out into song and dance, he did too, complete with Broadway sway hands, and perhaps the character would have been more convincing had he stood off to the side or sat down in protest.  Also, as I explained to S, Christian Slater is pointy, so his features allow him to easily do badass.  This guy was a good actor but not pointy enough.  I'd make a great casting director, huh?

S was sitting next to a very heavy breather.  I thought the guy was sleeping, and the girls sitting in front of us were clearly annoyed by it.  But S assured me that, no, he was wide awake and all breathy.  If your breathing is loud enough for people in the audience of a musical to hear, you may want to get checked out by your local respiratory therapist.

Speaking of the girls in front of us, they turned around in annoyance as S and I were talking about the 30 Day Ab Workout during intermission and how my back hurt.  Excuse us for having a conversation.  Go eat some corn nuts.

On our way out of the theatre, we overheard a guy say to the women with him that it was an interesting take on the movie.  S was like, EXACTLY!  It was interesting.  There were a few things missing, of course, but the elements were there, and creative license is creative license--they made a musical out of a dark comedy that was already slightly absurd to begin with.  It's a film that probably would not be made today in the same way because of all the murder in the high school, complete with gun violence.  But back then, it was a movie that gave the world all the catch phrases and nastiness of its time.  Lick it up, baby.  Lick. It. Up.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

What Can I Do To Get You In A Car Tonight Even Though You Already Said Nothing?

Car shopping is one of the most soul-sucking experiences, very close to completing education assessment activities (academics, can I get a heck yes?).  As the date of the end of my lease approached, I started cringing.  Eddie and I looked at every car on the rode every time we drove.  I was set on getting a small truck, a crossover, something that would keep me safe from the Speedy Baddriversons of the world.  Eddie's lease was going to end at about the same time, so he, too, was looking.  Our goal was to get two cars that we both liked that we could both drive.  Nothing fancy needed. Well, I didn't need anything fancy--and Eddie was going for a little bit fancy--and I don't consider having bluetooth being fancy, but apparenty, it comes with a fancy package.  Also not fancy?  Power locks and power windows.  Unless you're a car dealership.  Then those are considered fancy dancy doo.

Where did we shop?  Everywhere.  Online.  In dealerships.  How did it go?  Eh.

We went to Ford to check out the Edge.  The guy at Ford was the most professional and courteous car guy ever.  He let us browse.  We climbed into and out of cars.  We opened and closed doors and trunks.  We took home literature.  We went back and test drove.  I climbed into the Edge and climbed right back out because I couldn't see a thing over the dashboard.  We tested the Fusion and the Escape.  They were easy to drive, easier than I'd thought, but the Fusion felt too low and the Escape was just so big.  I know it's a smaller truck, but for me, it was big.

Ford? Maybe.

Since I had a Toyota Yaris, I figured I'd take a gander at the RAV 4.  I liked the look of the speedy mini trucks on the road.  Apparently, they don't make those anymore.  They make these colossal crossovers that should be called trucks but are not.  The sales guy told me it looked big because we were inside.  Apparently, I don't understand the concept of indoors and cramped space versus outdoors and into the great wide open.  Then he asked me if I wanted the car and how much I wanted to put down.  I was like, well, I'd have to drive the car and know the price first to tell you that. He said, Let's go for a test drive.

In the garage, the RAV 4 still looked big.  Maybe "in the garage" counts as being inside.  He was saying to Eddie that the older smaller version wasn't his favorite, and Eddie was agreeing.  But I was the one buying the car and wanting a smaller version, so he wasn't really fighting the good fight.

We took it out onto the road.  It still felt big, even in the outdoors.  The salesguy was touting the room in the back, completely contradicting what he'd said earlier about it not being that big.  He kept using words like spacious and roomy.  And then he said the go-to line that all salespeople say to me and Eddie no matter what we're buying--a gaming system, a television, a car, a computer--it's great for the kids.

And that's when I get to have fun.  Sure that line works wonderfully for those young couples who have or plan to have a bunch of bundles of joy.  However, we are not those couples.  So as soon as he said I could fit the whole family in the back, I said, Yeah, we won't be having any of those. Then Eddie followed up with, Yup, no kids, no pets, no plants.  It's our mantra.  That shut up the sales guy for a few moments.  A few awkward and stunned moments in which I delighted and squealed on the inside with glee.  Oh it's so much fun to fuck with people.

Anyway, when we got back to the showroom, he was telling us about free car washes and oil changes in perpetuity when he got to: so how much to you want to put down?  And I was like: What's the price of the car?  And you know he still didn't give me a straight answer.  Hours were going by and he wasn't giving me an answer and was going back and forth to a manager and I kept saying to Eddie, we could just leave now.  Every time he came back, he would say something about buying soon and getting a good deal.  I kept saying, I'm not buying anything tonight.  I told him that I was going to drive out my lease, and he checked it for mileage and condition and told me he could waive the restocking fee if I bought that night.  I was like, no thanks.  (BTW: The fee was waived anyway because of the year in which I leased it, so that wasn't a great incentive, now was it).

Then he said it.  He actually said it. "What can I do to get you into this car tonight?"

So then I said it.  "Nothing."

Then somehow the attention got directed towards Eddie and a great deal for that night.  They actually shook on it.  When the salesguy walked away,  Eddie was like, You know he's not coming back with any kind of deal that would make us jump.  And I was like, You know he shook on it with you and that has nothing to do with me and my not buying this car.

And the guy returned and did not have a deal like, Here take this roomy family fun car for free. Instead, it was more like give us a lot of money and we will charge you a 1.9% interest rate.  So Eddie started pointing at numbers on the paper and saying, Well this is a problem because...and this is not good because.... And finally, Eddie was like, Do you have a card? Which is totally code for: I'm done with you I'm hungry I'm tired I don't like your so called deals and I'm going to throw out your card as soon as we leave.

We had to meet the manager.  We always have to meet the manager.  The manager tried to get us to lease the car instead for a very low price, like 100-something a month.  We walked out anyway and Eddie said, That's actually a great deal.  And I said, Yeah, if you put down five grand on a lease.  And he was like, Oh yeah, that's probably what he meant.

Toyota?  Nope.

We went to Nissan to see the new Rogue.  Eddie's sister used to drive one and she loved it.  We walked into the showroom and no one said anything to us.  We looked at the Juke and some other cars and still no one approached us.  I kind of like not being harassed, but this was too extreme.  Finally, someone came over to us after five minutes and asked what we were looking for.  I said I wanted to see the Rogue.  He took me to the back of the showroom, explaining it was the brand new model.

It looked big.  Like super big.  I said so, and he said, Yes it's bigger than last year's.  We got in and out and walked around.  One of the doors was too close to a salesperson's desk and almost hit the people who were sitting there.  Because it's so big.  Or maybe because, as I learned at Toyota, it's big because it's inside.

Once we got out of the car without harming anyone, the sales guy actually said this: You don't want this car.

I shit you not.

He went on to explain that there were no deals on it and we should come back in a few months when we could get a deal, but we should definitely not get it now.

We agreed because how can you counter that?  Then Eddie spotted a new version of a car he used to own and made me sit in it.  I may as well have dug a hole in the floor and sat in it.  I disappeared in the driver's seat.  And then we left with the glee of what I like to call The Best Worst Sales Pitch Ever.

Nissan?  Nope.

I went back and forth over email with Subaru.  I asked about pricing for the Forester.  Basically, it was a reasonable price but the financing was something crazy like 4% AND that the Forester may not be available but I could get a different car.  I was like, no thank you--with excellent credit, I'm not paying interest at that rate, and especially not for a car I'm not interested in.  A few days later, I got an email from the same salesperson saying that I could get a Forester and the interest would be 0.5 to 1%.

Which proves that this entire car business is a SHAM. For shame, car dealerships, for shame!

Subaru?  Nope.

I became more and more interested in the Juke, thinking that all the mini trucks had been way too big, so the Juke could be a cute crossover. Plus, it reminds me of the Beetle, and I've always loved that car.  So Nissan was back in, but we went to a different dealership because if we went to the one we'd already gone to, the guy was going to tell us to never get a new car ever again.

The dealership we went to did not have the Juke.  They had a Versa.  I test drove it.  It accelerated weirdly, all the while the salesperson saying, It's got a great transmission.  Umm, no it doesn't.  I kept my mouth shut because I wanted to see what he said after the test drive.  As I suspected, instead of asking me if I liked it, he asked what I could put down for it.  Eddie was like, she didn't like it--which spoiled my game!

The guy, desperate at not having a Juke to sell me, asked if I wanted to try the Rogue Select.  It's a smaller version of the new Rogue.  We looked at it in the lot.  It was smaller.  I liked it.  We climbed in.  I liked it because I could see.  Then we took it for a drive and even though it was an okay ride, I felt like I was still driving the Versa.  If I'm driving a mini truck, I want to feel like I'm in a truck, not a teeny car.  The acceleration was the same odd acceleration, but it was easy to drive and I figured I could get used to it.

The salesguy promised me the world.  Free car wash.  Free oil change.  For life!  Discount for being a teacher.  Discount for being a public worker.  Discount for being a teacher in the public system! He pressed and pressed and offered lower and lower interest rates--but not as low as I liked--and wanted me to put a shitload of money down--which I wasn't going to do. The more he talked, the less I liked the car.

He said the deal he could offer me would be available only that night. I said there was no way I was getting a car that night.  Then he said, Okay can you meet my manager?  That took a good ten minutes of waiting for the manager to come over.  I told Eddie: we could just leave.  He was like, This is what they do--they think you're going to change your mind.  I said, I'm not like that.  He said, most people are.  I said, their usual plan works the opposite on me.

Then the manager showed up.  By the time we were all through with the discussion, I could have bought the Rogue Select for 18K complete with bluetooth, backup camera, and all the other perks of the package that I didn't care about.  The price dropped about 6K in five minutes.  Plus all the discounts and incentives, I was looking at a very cheap car.

Once again proving, it's all a SHAM.

We left.  The guy called a few more times.  I realized I absolutely hated the car and was thinking about buying it only out of desperation and despondence.

Nissan?  Nope.  Again.

We went back to Ford.  Deciding to lease one car and buy the other, Eddie got the Edge as a lease. Perhaps I'll grow in the next three years and be able to drive it. (I've driven it once--if I have to drive it, I can, and I'm really good with the backup camera, so maybe I'll just drive it everywhere in reverse). I told the salesguy I was still on the fence about car versus crossover.  He told me to take my time deciding.  I like this guy.

Ford?  Yup.

And then we went to Volkswagen. I'd emailed about the Jetta and found out there was 0% financing available.  I'd stayed away from VW because the mpg is not as good as other cars I look at, but since I'd been planning to get a crossover or truck that would use more gas anyway, I figured a car at VW with poorer mpg wasn't the worst thing in the world.

The salesguy showed us all the features of the Jetta, which included his punching the headlights to show how they were durable.  Eddie enjoyed that. Next to the Jetta was the Golf.  I'd never seen one, barely heard of one, and I liked it very much.  I'd already decided not to get a Bug because it was not practical, but this little Golf was adorable.  And so sporty--it had a bike on top of it.

Then I got my crazy cranking: could I get an incentive because I'm part German?  is it possible to throw in the bike if I buy a car?  I wanted a toy Beetle and a poster.  I wanted the little man on top of the car.

I'd been doing enough car shopping that I was ready to do business.  Everything else was kind of a dress rehearsal.  This was the real deal.  I drove the Jetta.  Then I drove the Golf.  The Jetta was less expensive, but the Golf was where my heart landed.  We haggled.  Eddie asked the salesman for his card.  We left.

At home, we crunched numbers. I serendipitously got an email from SUNY perks about a car program.  I did the research and returned to VW with these incentives.  The salesguy explained how they work and how they lie and I haggled more and more.  One sticking point was that to get bluetooth, I had to get a sunroof.  He said that they do not leak.  I said I didn't want one.  Eddie said he'd love a sun roof.  The salesguy took the incentive printouts to the manager and finance guy.

After all that, I got another 200 bucks knocked off the price.  I'm pretty sure because I was annoying.  I like being annoying.  In all the joy of finally finding a car, I forgot to set forth my demands of a German discount and throwing in show room items. I filled out paperwork.  Eddie liked the pen I was using, so he took it.  When the salesguy came over with a receipt, I had to find my own pen, and then everything else I filled out was in a different color ink.  Either he didn't notice or he figured he'd give up a pen for the sale of a car.

Free because Eddie took it
A week later, I went in to sign papers and pick up my car.  The Day of The Wrench.  Why?  Because I had to sit with a pushy finance guy who was explaining how the monthly price I'd settled on was not possible if I wanted coverage and if I couldn't spend a lot of money, then I should definitely raise the monthly price to have more coverage because I obviously could not afford repairs down the road and it's good to be covered.  I called Eddie, who spoke to the guy directly and then to me, and we decided not to take any extra stuff because we have a warranty and then we have good insurance.  After that, with every printout the guy asked me to sign, he punctuated it with: and no more coverage and that's your choice.  As if the decision I'd just made was the worst one of my life.  The only bad decision that day was refraining from socking him in the eye.

When I got back to the salesguy, he introduced me to the sales manager.  Because that's necessary if you're in a car dealership.  The manager asked how everything was, and I said, Everything has been wonderful except for today and your finance guy throwing numbers and prices at me without knowing that was going to happen.  He mumbled something about how they like being able to offer their customers the best service options, and I replied, Yes, but it would have been nice to know about when I set up the original price--but everything else was great!

Then we did more paperwork.  Then I got keys.  Then I walked outside and climbed into my car and drove away.  Yeay!
The series of pics my mom took while using my iPhone when I got the car home.
Volkswagen? Yup!

And now?  Eddie and I are one of those couples--not the kind that have kids, but the kind that match.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

It's Time For More Free Stuff

Wake up!

Corny packaging.  Top one smelled not so good.  Bottom one smelled better, but not great.

This was "free" as in Eddie took it from the car dealership and put it in his pocket.

I won this from Goodreads!