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Tinted Crosstrek

August 13th, 2018 Comments off

On Joe’s birthday I took my car to Chicago Auto Pros in Glen Ellyn to have the windows tinted. I ended up getting 35% all around which, if the back windows weren’t already dyed (not actually tinted to block UV or heat), is considered legal in Illinois. As such, technically the front windows should only be 50% but it wasn’t very dark so we agreed to take our changes with the 35%. I drive past a LOT of police officers on a near daily basis (definitely daily on my work days) so this make me a bit nervous but I was told they typically don’t pull people over JUST for suspected tinting violations. Since I’ve never been pulled over for any reason I’m not terribly worried, but the shop guys did say if I am just to roll down the front windows as the whole tinting law is so police can see into the vehicle when approaching it.

So I’m a bit of a rebel, you could say. Or a baller, as my friend Angela on Facebook remarked on the photo of my car with the new tint applied.

Oh, two things that happened in regards to the tinting that irked me:

1) They asked for a tip when we were paying via their iPad. They wanted $60 but we only gave $30. Then I was kinda mad we gave anything at all. Since when is that kind of work considered tip-worthy? It was $450 as it was!

2) A few days later it was raining and I went to use the back wiper and they had placed it on the incorrect side so it started swiping the hatchback instead of the glass. I had to take it in the following day (after Joe’s colonoscopy) for them to fix it (which was quick at least).

Categories: Car Tags:

I Photographed A Wedding!

June 4th, 2018 Comments off

This past weekend was spent getting sh*t done so it wasn’t as fun compared to previous weekends.

Saturday (6/2) morning we took my car in for its first oil change and went out for breakfast while we waited. I nearly always regret grabbing breakfast anywhere but a fast food place because it’s very expensive for what you get. Our bill after tip was $35… for BREAKFAST. All I had was pancakes and hashbrowns and Joe had a platter of some sort. Blah.

Later that afternoon Joe accompanied me to photograph the outdoor wedding of my friend’s son. I truly didn’t want to do it when she asked but she kinda wore me down until I eventually agreed. Apparently her son and his fiance were fond of my photos but those are nature ones, not people. I don’t consider myself a people photographer and due to my introversion I find it hard to deal with strangers. I was super anxious about it especially after taking some test shots of Joe on Friday to re-familiarize myself with my digital SLR which I haven’t really been using lately. Most of the photos were not coming out well and I was convinced I was going to f*ck everything up. Thankfully the wedding was quick and even though I totally sucked at directing people, my more extroverted friend took the lead to help set up shots. When we got home I was supremely relieved to find that 95% of my shots came out great. I was so worried my friend was going to pay me for out of focus blown-out photos since it was pretty sunny outside. I opted to stick to a single lens for the entire shoot (my 28-135mm zoom) and leave it on programmed auto so that the camera would by and large choose the proper settings in the moment. Thank god it all worked out.

Speaking of pay, my friend gave me a card which I opened once we got home and inside was the agreed upon fee in cash, but also a Target gift card in the same amount. So in a way I was paid double. My friend explained that the gift card was a personal thank you for taking on the task which I thought was very generous, if unnecessary. Now I just need to motivate myself to work on her photos this week.

Sunday (6/3) we headed back to Visionworks so I could return my new glasses which were giving me headaches. I’m bummed they didn’t work out because my current pair are several years old and I do need new ones with an updated prescription. It’s so hard to find frames that don’t overwhelm my face which is why I opted for frames meant for children. Unfortunately they were a bit too tight and hurt my head to wear despite feeling comfortable when I initially tried them in the store on more than one occasion. I also didn’t like how they cut the lenses as they weren’t smooth around the edges. Plus I purchased an anti-reflective coating but I was noticing more reflections while wearing them than my old pair. When I mentioned that on the day I picked up the lenses they tried to tell me it was because of my prescription verses the size of the frames but I’m not quite sure I buy that. Plus they didn’t assist me whatsoever in picking the right type of frames for me which I think sucks. In fact, I shopped around at all the regular glasses places and no one could even show me petite frames and instead told me I would just have to find them by looking around. Great customer service! I’m just glad Visionworks has a 30-day unconditional money back guarantee because those glasses set me back $473!

Unfortunately, now I’m back to square one. If I could find a pair identical to my current ones but with a slightly short arm so they don’t keep slipping down my face I would be overjoyed. This is why I rarely buy new glasses – it’s such a pain in the ass and I hate the entire process. I wish I could just go back to wearing contacts most of the time but my eyes just aren’t having it anymore.

We also did some more organizing of the garage yesterday and threw out a ton of empty boxes. As if we’re going to pack stuff in their original boxes if/when we move. Not likely. We still kept some, especially for current electronic gadgets in case we try to sell them, but still freed up a lot of space. Now if only Joe can motivate himself to reorganize his tool area. That part of the garage is the messiest but I can’t help much since it’s his space.

Categories: Car, Friends, Health, House & Home Tags:

Volkswagen Jetta 05/2000 – 01/2018

January 30th, 2018 Comments off

The Saturday before last (1/20) I said goodbye to the Jetta when we brought it to the DMV and had everything transferred into Joe’s daughter’s name. I’m not gonna lie – I’m going to miss that car. I know it was time to upgrade but I loved how it accelerated and it had the best heated seats. My new car only has low and high. Low seems a bit too low and high is too hot. Such is the life of an overly sensitive person such as myself. I didn’t cry seeing the car go, though. Maybe it helped having it sit out in the driveway for the past few months while I got used to my new car. I dunno. I try not to think about it too much because I do get attached to inanimate objects I’ve owned for a very long time and that Jetta was like giving birth to a baby and watching it go off to college. Yikes!

I can already tell that I won’t be keeping my Crosstrek nearly as long because I really HATE how it does that jerky movement when you’re slowing down. It’s so stupid and annoying and I’m really just cranky in general today so I was feeling sorry for myself about how I’m not as thrilled about the car like I was initially. It probably didn’t help that I messed up the passenger side mirror recently when I hit the shelving unit pulling into the garage. Now there’s some paint missing on the mirror and the plastic molding on the wheel well is jacked up. I was so worried about someone else messing up my car and I did it myself. FML

Categories: Car Tags: ,

Crosstreak Gripes

December 22nd, 2017 Comments off

Ok, you knew this was coming. Things I don’t like about my new car:

1) Doors do not automatically lock once I start driving. I’m still not used to that or the fact that if I do remember to lock them that I need to unlock them before I can exit the vehicle.

2) The car will warn me if a vehicle is crossing my path while I’m in reverse but it has no problem if I attempt to run over a person (we carefully tested this by having Joe walk behind my car while I was backing up).

3) Seat warmers on low aren’t quite warm enough but on high are too hot. I need medium heat, damnit! The Jetta let you pick between 1-5 and I kept it on 2, sometimes 3, since 4 and 5 were way too hot.

4) Head unit can be slow to respond when the car is first turned on and the backup camera glitches a bit.

5) No USB port in the cubby area directly underneath the head unit. The only port is in the center console which is awkward to access and then where am I supposed to put my phone? I can leave it in the console but then I need to be careful what I store in there since there’s no tray and it’s just a big “hole”, or I can thread the cable and stick my phone in a cup holder. Not a fan or either option so I’ve just been accessing my phone via Bluetooth since I really only need Apple Car Play if I want to access maps on the car’s screen.

6) Cup holders are not as deep as in Joe’s Escape so when his taller one is in my car it moves back and forth making noise. There’s also no cup holders for backseat passengers unless you count in the doors but who uses those? You’d be surprised how ofter we take advantage of the fact that Joe’s Escape has four cup holders in the center console area. With us bringing our water bottles everywhere and then stopping for a coffee or something we do make use of them. Won’t be able to do that in my car unless we relegate the water bottles to the doors.

7) Sometimes the car accelerates or brakes strangely, almost as if it’s deciding what to do instead of responding to my input. It’s not consistent, and I think it may have to do with the CVT and the all-wheel drive which is very different from my Jetta. I do miss the acceleration of the Jetta, but I’m also babying the Crosstrek while I break it in so it might have more pep if I pushed it. I’ll find out once I get above 1000 miles. I’m just around 420 now.

8) The trunk space is small compared to the Jetta.

None of these are deal breakers and I still love my new car but I figured I’d document them here for myself, plus as a warning of things to keep in mind when I buy my next car 15+ years from now!

By the way, Joe convinced me to buy all weather mats for the car and they do look nice. Originally we were going to get Weathertech which is $180 for front and back but went with Husky for $140 instead. They look almost the same so I’m happy.

Categories: Car Tags:

Thanksgiving Staycation

November 27th, 2017 Comments off

I took the week of Thanksgiving off from work, and since I normally only work three days, I only had to use 2 vacation days to do so.

I was all set to stop at the library Thursday (11/16) after work (I drive right past it daily) but before I reached it my car gave a warning that my back right tire pressure was much lower than the rest of the tires so I headed straight home instead.

Joe was out walking Wookie and I stopped to tell him what happened. That’s when we found a screw in the tire. We immediately took the car to Discount Tire to see what they could do. They suggested since the car was so new (less than 300 miles on it) that we call the dealership and see what they would do for us. The answer to that – absolutely nothing. Typical. I didn’t even write about how my salesperson harassed the hell out of me recently for not giving them perfect scores on the survey Subaru sent me even though they did nothing to deserve them. I’m done with that dealership and will take the car elsewhere when it needs service.

Anyway, once we informed our Discount Tire rep how unhelpful the dealership was being he suggested we walk over to Portillo’s and have dinner while they took a look at the tire since there was a pretty long wait (hour and a half it turned out). Luckily, despite the screw being at an angle it missed the sidewall and they were able to patch it. They didn’t even charge us. Now that is good customer service! This isn’t the first time they’ve repaired a tire for free – I don’t know how they make money. I was just relieved I wouldn’t have to fork over $100 and come back the next day to buy an identical tire (since they didn’t have mine in stock).

We finally made it to the library on Friday (11/17) after Joe got home. I got a handful of books and we both got CDs. Then we headed to Ace Hardware so Joe could pick up a shop-vac they had on sale since his died over the summer. It was his dad’s so it was pretty old. From there we stopped at the cleaners so I could have them fix the seam on my dress pants which came apart. The woman who does the tailoring happened to be available and fixed them right there in less than five minutes. She’s the best and we always come to her when we need clothing repaired. We picked up a pizza from Lou Malnati’s next door and brought it home for dinner.

The weather was cold and rainy on Saturday (11/18) so we didn’t do much after our two hour shopping trip at Target. This time of year they always have a deal where you get a $10 gift card when you spend $50 on groceries so we had to take advantage of that. We picked up a few Christmas presents for Joe’s kids as well.

Sunday (11/19) we headed over to IKEA (to return a bath mat) and Bed Bath and Beyond (to return the outfit Wookie didn’t like). It was pretty crappy outside so all I wanted to do was go home and veg afterward. Joe made chicken and dumplings in the crockpot for dinner which came out delicious.

Monday (11/20) was just my regular upstairs cleaning day, but Tuesday (11/21) I had an endoscopy to check my esophagus since I have frequent acid reflux. My doctor was running behind schedule so we waited about an hour longer than normal. The procedure itself is only 10-15 minutes but man they must have used a particularly strong sedative because I don’t remember the doctor coming to speak to us in recovery AT ALL and I kept telling Joe the same stuff repeatedly throughout the day. I also took a nap when we got home and went to bed early that night.

Any procedures I’ve had done in the past 15 years or so have always been at the same hospital but my doctor is in a different network so we went to a surgery center instead. Luckily it was very modern and all the staff were quite nice and caring. The only snafu I ran into was when they gave me a bell to ring when I was prepped but still waiting to be taking into the procedure room and no one could hear me. When the nurse came back to get me I explained I had been ringing it because I needed to urinate and she was very apologetic. I hate how when I’m cold and nervous I have to pee like crazy even though I hadn’t drank anything since 6 am (and at this point it was around 11:30 am). Also, unlike the hospital they don’t let family members hang out with you until right before the procedure so I was freezing, lying in this bed all alone attached to an IV, and really had to pee. So that sucked. My discharge paperwork says I have a small hiatal hernia (which I already knew from the last time I had this procedure) and esophagitis (which is irritation or inflammation of the esophagus). They took a biopsy so I’ll know more in a week or so.

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Categories: Car, Health, Holidays, Shopping Tags: ,