Car Trouble!

The Friday before we left for NYC was quite exciting.  My 2003 Saturn VUE bit the dust.  6814010

I’d only had it for two years.  It actually was bought new by Adam’s mom and step dad in 2003.  When his step dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and couldn’t drive anymore Adam and I flew out to Idaho and drove it to Texas.  Four months later, after we’d moved to Maine, Adam’s dad and stepmom drove it from Texas to us, because his mom and stepdad didn’t need it any more.  The best thing about the car was that it didn’t come with a car payment.  A free car is always a good car in my book.  It also only had 85,000 miles on it when we got it in 2012, which was amazing.  I had planned to drive it forever.  At least to 200,000 miles.  It was in great shape.  The body was in perfect condition.  The interior was in perfect condition.  The only thing wrong with the car was that the air conditioner broke this summer.  Since we live in Maine I decided NOT to spend money on getting it fixed.  I’m super glad I made that decision now.  On the Friday before New York I was driving home and all was well.  I exited the highway, got to the stop light and as I turned right the car began to make the worst noise known to man.  AWFUL.  It was still running so I told myself I’d get it home and then go from there.  I managed to drive it about 2 more miles and as I stopped at the traffic light just before our apartment it died.  It wouldn’t start.  I immediately called Adam and he came the 100 yards up the street to help me push it out of the road.  I then called AAA.  It took the tow truck about 45 minutes to get there and he told me he thought it was the timing belt.  I had him tow it to our mechanic across town.

The next day I called the mechanic and he told me that it was indeed the timing belt.  It would take them a couple of days to know how much it would cost to fix it.  The problem was, that when a timing belt breaks sometimes it damages the engine.  If it didn’t damage the engine it would take about 700 dollars to fix it.  If it did, well it would need a new engine and that would be about 3,500 dollars.  It would take 400 dollars just to find out how much it would cost.

So we waited.

On Monday I called back.  They still didn’t know anything.

On Tuesday I called back.  They still didn’t know anything.

On Wednesday I called back.  Hurrah!  It was the timing belt.  The car started when they replaced it.  All was good.  700 dollars!  The car would be ready when I got back.  Since we were out of town and they already had the car I asked him to go ahead and look at the air conditioning, to give it a 100,000 mile check up since I turned it over back in the summer and do any other work that needed to be done.  He said great!

On Thursday he called me to say…Uh! Oh!  Turns out he’d spoken too soon.  When the timing belt broke it bent two of the pistons in the engine.  It needed a new motor after all.  To make matters worse they’d already started the 100,000 dollar repairs and had replaced the breaks, the spark plugs and about 500 dollars worth of repairs.  They were not happy when I told them to stop work and that I’d call them back.  The reality was, the car is only worth 3,500 dollars and I couldn’t justify putting more than 4,000 dollars in repairs in to the car.


Now I have to replace my car.

When we got back from New York, I rented a car so that could get back and forth to work.

On Tuesday Adam and I started our journey to find a new car!

I’ll continue the story tomorrow night!

Maddog’s Trip to NYC!

WOW.  Time certainly does fly.  I can’t believe it’s been 10 days since my last post.  A lot has happened in that time.  A lot.


Adam and I went to NYC.  It was a whirlwind trip with days going from 8:00 a.m. till way after midnight.  We saw friends.  Broadway shows.  Ate some amazing food.  Had a blast.  I’m exhausted a week later just thinking about it.

Day one:  Had to stop at the EZPass office to exchange Adam’s EZ-Pass thingy.  It had stopped working a few days before.  This put us behind about an hour.  Finally we were on our way.  We did not drive directly to NYC though.  Our first REAL stop was the Christmas Dove in New Hampshire.  It’s a huge Xmas store with the most Christopher Radko ornaments we’ve ever seen.  If you are not familiar with Christopher Radko, Google him.  The ornaments are beautiful.  Expensive.  And lots of fun.  Adam and I have well over a 100 that we’ve collected along the way.  We bought several more at the Xmas Dove and spent far more money than we should have…but what’s a girl to do.

Finally we are on our way to the city.  We get there around 4:00.  We head straight to our hotel The Best Western on 38th street.  Its a dump.  Actually it’s fine.  The rooms are tiny.  About half the size of our bedroom at home.  But it’s clean.  And the bed was amazing.  And it was the cheapest place we could find.  The biggest issue either of us had with the hotel was that they played Fox News in the lobby 24 hours a day.

From the hotel we were off to dinner:  Chereche Midi in the East Village.  The food was amazing.  We had steak tartare.  Octopus.  And lots of other fun stuff that was out of my comfort zone.  We really loved the food.  The service.  Meh.  It was fine.  The waiter was stand offish.  Aloof.  Even after we mentioned that we both worked in restaurants he offered no conversation other than asking to refill our waters.

We skipped dessert at the restaurant opting instead for gelato at il laboratorio del gelato.  Yuuuuummmmmmm!

Day 2:  Up early and off to have coffee at Gotham West Market.  Unfortunately Blue Bottle Coffee WOULDN’T make what Adam wanted and it was a coffee shop that does not offer fake sweetener so NEITHER of us was happy.  We also wanted to visit The Brooklyn Kitchen there but it turns out that they’d closed several months prior.  Adam was not super happy!  Neither was I.

Next stop Macy’s.  Macy’s in Herald Square has the best Xmas display of any department store ever.  It takes up a huge part of their furniture store on the 9th floor.  We wanted to check out their Christopher Radko selection along with every thing else.  Once again we spent more money than we should have, but what’s a girl to do.

Next, we were off to lunch.  We were meeting Adam’s best friend Kara who just happened to be in NYC at the same time.  She was flying home to Iowa later in the afternoon.  We were having lunch at Schillers Liquor Bar.  We get there at 11:30.  And just as we are about to step into the restaurant Kara texts to say that she’s just leaving Washington Heights.  It will be another hour before she gets to us.  We are hungry.  We have a reservation.  We say fuck it, go into the restaurant, sit down, order lunch and go on as if she’s not going to be there at all.  She gets there around 12:30.  She orders.  We have lunch.  It’s all yummy.  And we are off to our next appointment.

Shaves at the Freeman’s Sporting Club!  Adam had never had a straight razor shave and I hadn’t had one in years.  I was hoping he liked them as much as I did.  Turns out…he did not like it.  Actually we were both underwhelmed by the experience.  Especially for the cost.  Turns out the best shave I’ve ever gotten is from a barber in the East Village and a hole in the wall barber shop.

After the barber we were off to Astor Place Wine and Spirits.  It’s the best liquor store in town.  With a bourbon selection that rivals any Kentucky liquor store.  Adam and I have become connoisseurs of bourbon and we wanted to check out their selection.  We spent WAY more money than we should have.  But that’s a different post.   By this time the clock is ticking and we had to get a move on.

After the liquor store we were on our way back to the hotel.  In an hour we were showered, dressed and ready to go.  Adam had suggested we get our shoes shined like real New Yorkers so we headed to Penn Station where we got our shoes shined!!!   Then it was off to have drinks!  A  guy Adam used to work with is the bar manager at The Bar at the Nomad Hotel and he wanted to check it out.  It was a little complicated, with several actual bars.  Finally with some luck we found a stand up cocktail table that was free.  We had a great time, and while we were there had one of the most intimate, deep conversations we’ve had in forever.  Then it was off to my bosses dinner.

We got to the restaurant at 7:05.  According to the invite we were not supposed to arrive until 7:00.  Somehow though the place was already packed.  We checked in, and the way the space is set up you walk through the kitchen to get to the dining area.  So we made our way through the kitchen where we got to say to my boss and wish him luck.  I’ve never seen anyone look so calm.  Then it was out to the atrium for cocktails and appetizers.  Finally around 7:45 we were all seated for dinner.  The food was amazing.  Simply amazing.  The service was kind of lame.  The decor was lame.  But the food was to die for.  We were seated with the PR team for my restaurant and one of the four owners.  I felt like I had to be on all night.  Finally the owner got bored and convinced the other owner who was attending to switch seats with him.  As I told Adam later, they sort of made it clear all night that we were not equals.  Not really anything they did specifically, it was just how I felt.

After dinner we all stood around and congratulated my boss on a job well done.  And finally my bosses wife, a friend of theirs, Adam and I made our way to another restaurant/bar where everyone was going after ward.  We hung out there about an hour.  Adam was annoyed with the friend, and I was tired and a bit cranky so we had a couple of drinks and went home.  VERY long day!

Day 3:  First stop, breakfast with Chuck.  He’s the Chuck who was my roommate in NYC.  He’s even guest written a couple of posts on here.  We met at Cafeteria which is a restaurant in the heart of Chelsea that has great food, cute boys and lots of attitude.  We all had a great time, laughing and playing catch up.   After breakfast we checked out the thrift stores that are on 17th street in NYC.  And then we headed up town where we had theater tickets.

First show of the day:  It’s Only A Play.  It’s a great cast and it had such promise.  That’s about as good as it got.  Having promise.  It’s kind of a bad play.  That doesn’t really go anywhere.  That should have ended after the first act.  In fact Adam thought it was over when the curtain fell at the end of Act One.  Perhaps he was just hoping.  We both left feeling disappointed.  And the set and lighting were bad.  REALLY bad.

Next stop:  Shake Shack!  Always a stop for us.  It’s yummy and fun.  And the best part this time was while we were sitting there Adam noticed a friend of mine from my old job, Suzie sitting across from us.  She finally noticed us and immediately burst into tears.  I had not seen her in at least 2.6 years.  And she was SO happy to see us.  I’d known from Facebook that she was pregnant but it was great catching up and she kept apologizing for being so emotional.  She talked to us for about 15 minutes and then we had to be off for play 2.

Second Show of the Day:  A Delicate Balance.  Ugh.  It was worse than the first play.  Neither of us is sure what it’s about.  It was only the second or third preview so the actors still weren’t sure of their lines and it was just sort of meh!  The set however was beautiful.  The lighting was bad college lighting.

After the show we were exhausted.  It was pouring rain.  We walked to the McDonald’s for a huge diet coke and for Adam to have a snack.  and then  we managed to get a cab and we were on our way back to the hotel.

Day 4:  I’m exhausted just retelling the story.  First stop breakfast with an old friend of Adam’s.  She’s a hoot.  Older.  Works for a famous artist.  And is filled with fun stories.  We had a great time chatting with her.  I’d tell you what restaurant we were at but I don’t remember and Adam’s in the shower.  Breakfast was at 10:00.  We left breakast and immediately went to SOHO where we had lunch with Adam’s old boss.  Seriously it was about an hour between meals.  Lunch was at a restaurant called Parm.  It was yummy and delicious.  And they had great Diet Coke. We were there about 2 hours.

Then we were off to find buy Macarons.  NOT to be confused with Macaroons which are NOT the same thing.  NOT at all.  Adam had seen them at a bakery a couple of days earlier!  Then we stopped to buy a tea pot for our friend Julia who was cat sitting for us.  And then we were off to Fish’s Eddy to look at fun dishware.  It’s easily our favorite store in the city and we always make time for it!!!  We bought a cutting board there.  And then we were off to buy paper for our Xmas cards.  There is an amazing store in Chelsea, Paper Presentation that sells all things paper and we always buy our paper there.  For the past five years we’ve hand made over 200 Xmas cards each year that get cut and pasted etc together and then mailed out to 200+ of our closest friends.  So we bought most of our paper but Adam decided we should check paper store number 2 so we were off to do that.

THEN Adam had decided we should get manicures and pedicures.  So we stopped at a Nail Place in Chelsea and got pedicure.  The whole time I’m freaking out because I’m worried that we aren’t going to be on time for our show on Thursday night.  Turns out I was half right.  We didn’t have time for a manicure, only a pedicure.  We pay, pick up our car which we’d parked earlier in the day and fly up town to the theater district.  We pick up our tickets, run to the Edison Hotel for a sandwich and then back to the theater.

We barely get the food before we are running back to the theater to see:

You Can’t Take It With You.  It’s a crazy 1940’s play that was amazing.  Simply amazing.  The set was amazing.  The lighting was amazing.  The acting was amazing.  It was near perfect.  And as soon as it was over, we ran across the street to get our car (This took close to 30 minutes) and we were off.

Next stop:  HOME!

It’s now after 10:00 p.m.   I’m driving.  Adam’s in the passenger seat.  I turn on the radio.  Get settled in.  And I drive.  5 hours.  Adam is asleep by 10:30.  Seriously.  We aren’t even out of the city by the time he’s asleep.  We are actually only driving to my restaurant.  I’ve booked us a hotel room for the night.  We get there at 4:15 or so.  We are in bed by 4:30.  And thirty seconds later the alarm goes off and it’s time for me to be downstairs to open the restaurant.

I’m exhausted.  We’ve had fun.  BUT GODDAM am I glad to be home.

Whew!  As I said.  I’m exhausted just typing this.   I’m not proofing it or making corrections so please excuse any mistakes.  I’m off to be now!

Off to NYC!

Didn’t want you to think I’d disappeared again.  Have been working crazy hours after being on vacation and losing a manager.  It’s going to be crazy for the next month or so until I get the new bar manager trained.  That’s okay, though.  That’s why I’m paid the big bucks.

Won’t be posting again till the end of the week.  I’m going to NYC on Monday for four days.  It’s 20% work.  100% fun.  Yes.  I know my percentages don’t add up.  It’s not really a work thing.  My boss is cooking in NYC for a special event and Adam and I are going down to attend.  It will be a wonderful 11 course meal with drinks and wine.  It will be DELICIOUS.  After the dinner we are staying two more days to visit friends and eat at some fun  restaurants and see three shows.  We are driving back late Thursday night/early Friday morning.

Anyway.  I’ll catch you up on the trip, continue my KY trip and tell you all about NYC on Friday, since I’m off Friday night!

Have a great week!

Two men. One story.

So I drop my mom off and I race to Georgetown to a different O’Charley’s where I’m meeting two classmates from high school.

I chose the word classmate rather than friend because neither of the two people I’m meeting were my friends in high school.  One was an acquaintance.  The other I have never spoken to in my life.

I get there at 8:15.  I’m first.  I find at a seat at a table in the bar area.  I’m there about 30 seconds when Jeff arrives.

He looks just like his photo on Facebook.  He’s quite handsome.  And doesn’t look anything close to the 50 years old that he will soon be.

He tells me he wants a hug not a handshake.  We hug and then sit down.

At this point he tells me that we are about to have our VERY first conversation ever.  The entire time we were in high school that we never spoke two words to each other.  This doesn’t surprise me.  When he friended me on Facebook, I actually had to look him up because I had no idea who he was.

We continue to chat.

He asks if my family is still in Georgetown.  I tell him that my mom moved to Lexington in 2001.  My stepdad died in 2003.

I ask about his family.

He tells me his mom lives in Georgetown.

And that he never knew his dad.

There is a pause and then I ask him to clarify.

Seems that his mom got pregnant when she was a teenager.  The father was never part of the picture.  Jeff doesn’t know the man’s name or what he looks like.  Any attempts to discuss this with his mom have been thwarted.  He gave up trying to find out years ago.  He goes on to say that there was an evil stepfather for a while and then they got divorced and that was that.  He also explains that they were quite poor.

I’m stunned.

This is EXACTLY my story.

My mom got pregnant when she was 25.  My biological father was never part of the picture.  I don’t know what he looks like.  I do have a name but that’s all and it took a HUGE fight with my mom to get that much.  My mother married my stepfather when I was four and I prayed every day for 20 years that she would divorce him.  It never happened.  We were quite poor growing up, and were even on food stamps and welfare for a while.

He had no idea!  I had no idea!

What are the odds that a guy that I went to high school with had the same story as me.  It was crazy.

We’d just finished talking about this when our other friend M. showed up.  She gave us each big hugs and we settled in to chat for a while.

Two hours later we were still chatting.  M. had to leave first because her son would be going to bed soon.  Jeff and I continued to talk until they kicked us out.  It was such a fun night reconnecting with people I was never connected to in the first place.

I’ll post more on this tomorrow night.

Dinner with Family!

So I sit in my mom’s kitchen.  Under the squeaking ceiling fan for 90 minutes until it’s time to go to dinner.

Deciding on a place to eat was not much different than trying to solve the middle east political problems.  No one was helpful.  No one had a suggestion.  Until you recommended some place they didn’t like.  We finally decided on O’Charley’s.  It’s an old stand by!

We are supposed to meet at 6:15.  My mom and I arrive at 6:00.  I go in to see if they can accommodate a party of 10.  They tell me it will be a 15 minute wait and I tell them great!  Everyone is supposed to be here in 15 minutes.  My mom and I  sit in the car until 6:15.  I suggest we go in so I can get a drink.  Diet Coke.  I think bourbon might be a bad idea.  So they seat us.  It’s 6:15.

The rest of the group includes my brother, his ex-boy friend, his ex-boyfriend’s new boyfriend, my aunt and her three grand kids.

At 6:30.  It’s still just me and my mom.  This annoys me.  I run a restaurant.  I know how fucked up it is to have a table being held for a party that has not yet shown yet.  My brother and crew finally arrive at 6:45.  No apology.  No nothing.  They come in and get settled.  My aunt is still not there.

She doesn’t arrive until 7:15.  An hour late.  I’m furious.  It’s rude to me.  My mom.  And especially to the restaurant and server.  She also doesn’t apologize.


It’s 7:15. We are all there.  I tell them they have to oder immediately because I have to leave at 8:00, to meet friends.  We order.  But it’s not easy.   I don’t think I’ve ever been out to eat with such rude people in my life.  They are demanding.  Curt.  Insensitive.  My brother gets mad at the waiter because they forgot to bring his ex-boyfriend’s drink.  Only the waiter didn’t forget.  It’s on the table.  In plain view.  It’s just that the ex-boyfriend’s blind and didn’t see it.

No.  Seriously.  He’s blind.

My three cousins are just pains in the ass.  Demanding more bread.  More drinks.  More pickles.  I don’t remember the last time I’ve been so embarrassed while out to eat.

Finally dinner comes.  They eat like pigs.  Everyone talking with their mouth’s full.  And still being demanding of the waiter.  I’m seriously the most embarrassed I’ve been in years!

And people are still eating but it’s 8:00 and I have to go.  We should have had plenty of time to eat and finish dinner but when everyone was late it’s not my fault.  I’m having drinks with friends at the O’Charley’s in Georgetown.  We are currently in Lexington.

I sneak off to the bathroom.  I have to pee, but I also want to get the waiter.  I want to apologize for my family.  Pay the bill.  And TIP.  ALOT.

I find him and ask that he run my credit card and then just close out the check when they are finished.  He tells me that he can’t do that.  We are in the process of trying to figure it out with the manager when the waiter comes back and tells me they all said not to dessert.  I give him my card.  He runs it.  The bill is 100.  I tip 50.  Apologizing over and over about my family.

I go back to the table.  Tell everyone that I’ve paid the check and that I have to go.


They all just go about being rude and demanding.

I get my mom into the car.  Drive her home across town.

And by 8:20 I’m on my way to Georgetown.

It’s only the first day and I’m already over my trip!

Ceiling fans!

So this time last week my ass was on it’s way to sleep in The Red Roof Inn in Lexington, Kentucky.  Tonight, I’m glad to be home.

So last Thursday I get to my mom’s house.  It’s about 4:30.  We have 90 minutes to waste until we have to leave for dinner.

I had a video I was going to insert here but it seems that WordPress charges 90 bucks to insert your own video.

So I’ll have to paint the picture for you.

My mom lives in a 1970’s VERY small ranch house.  Three bedrooms.  Two baths.  One of the baths was an addition years later.  It came that way when my parents bought it 15 years ago.  I don’t think the house has had any work done on it since the 1980’s.  It’s in desperate need for attention.  The bathroom ceiling is collapsing.  There is mold.  It’s not in great shape.

All of this is beside the point.

The real issue I wanted to bring to light here (pun intended) is the ceiling fan/light fixture in the kitchen.

For years it was a pink ceiling fan.  With a bare compact fluorescent bulb.

As soon as I sit down in the kitchen I realize the ceiling fan is different.

It’s now a white ceiling fan.  With a bare bulb.


It squeaks.

Like nobody’s business.

Continuously.  Non. Stop. All.  Day.  Every.  Day.

Oh.  My.  God.

I wanted to rip it from the ceiling.

Now it’s note worthy to tell you about this because it’s annoying.

It’s even more note worthy to tell you about this because in 2009, Adam and I gave my  mom a brand fucking new Hunter ceiling fan/light fixture.


When I presented this to my mom it made her mad.


I have no fucking idea.  Probably the same reason my mom won’t let my aunt vacuum the spider webs from the ceiling.

So my mom got a new ceiling fan.  And the brand new fucking ceiling fan is still sitting in the living room in the corner, exactly where I left it five years ago.



The box is still sealed.

And yet.

She sits in her kitchen.  Every single fucking day.  Under a fan that squeaks and its  bare bulb.







Screen shot 2014-10-10 at 11.40.37 PM


PS.  The cutting board on the left I made in 7th grade.

PSS.  I still don’t understand why they painted the kitchen pink right after they bought the house!



Maddog’s Trip Home.

I’m sure many of you thought that I’d gone away again.  Well I kind of did.  But not in the way you thought.

I just got back from 5 days in Kentucky.  I went home to visit my family for the first time in four years.  It was a much needed trip.  It was a much dreaded trip.  I really don’t like being back home.  Especially the visiting family part of the trip.

So as is my typical tradition, I’ll spend the next few days telling you about my trip.

I left last Thursday.  Flew home on a 6:45 a.m. flight.  Got to Atlanta at 9:45.  Left Atlanta at 12:15.  Got to Lexington at 1:20.  It was a very smooth trip.  One of the smoothest I’ve had in a long time.  The flights were on time.  They were crowded but not annoyingly so.  The people I sat next to weren’t too bothersome.  They weren’t bumpy.  I hate bumpy flights.  And for the first time in years I’m not scared if the seat belt will go around me.  It fits easy.   All in all it was easy.

My mom and brother were waiting for me at the airport.  My brother’s ex-boyfriend was also with them.  I’ll tell that story sometime.  I got my luggage into the car and we were off.

First stop.  Enterprise Car Rental to pick up my rental car.  We get there and it takes me about three seconds to discover that they have no cars.  Not for me.  Not for anyone else.  I’m not happy.  I express my unhappiness.  There is little they can do for me.  I tell them I’m going to have lunch and to call me when something comes in.

Which is what we do.  While we were at lunch I proceed to call EVERY car rental place in town.  NO ONE has cars.  NO ONE.  I’m stuck.  So I call Enterprise back.  They have a compact car, but it’s not what I requested.  Not what I want to pay for.  Besides I’m going to be hauling people around all week.  I say no to it and continue to wait.

After lunch I go next door to buy ice cream.  I’m stressed.  But more importantly my five days in KY are cheat days.  I’m going to enjoy every one of them.

I’ve barely finished my ice cream when I get the call that they have a car for me.  We pack up and head to get the car.

We rent the car.  My mom and I get in and we drive cross town to her house.  We sit in the kitchen and chat while we wait for my aunt and her kids to get to Lexington.  We are all going out to eat.

Remind me to tell you about the ceiling fan in my moms house.

That’s enough for tonight.  I got home very early thing morning.  At 4:00 a.m.  My friend Michelle and I drove back.  17 hours.  It was a long trip made worse by the endless rain we drove through.  I’m headed to bed.

See you guys tomorrow night.