One Step Closer to Being Texan
For the last twelve months it has been non-stop inspections, fees, e-mails, correspondences, insurance quotes, registrations, more fees, and payments as I attempt to make our two cars legal to drive. It has been almost a whole year since we bought the Impala and US Federal Credit Union still doesn’t have all the necessary paperwork they need from us. First it took nine months to get my Minnesota title, and then we left Minnesota and now we are trying to get both cars up to code in Texas.

In Texas, one must get a state inspection annually in order to get renewed tabs for license plates. Or in our case, we must first pass a state inspection in order to get license plates for the first time. The Impala first failed due to tinted windows, but we peeled off the tint and it passed easily on try #2. The Grand Prix had no such luck due to a Service Engine Soon light that refused to go away. Even after Dad sent me his scanner to clear the codes it didn’t pass. I was told the ERG valve was to blame, so I got that fixed but the light still didn’t go away. Finally Dad found an article explaining a way to “trick” the car’s computer into resetting itself, and I was able to get the light to go off and stay off.

Today, I took it back to the shop for the fourth time and it passed. BUT… they ran out of “pass” stickers for my windshield and I would not be allowed to officially pass and would have to come back a fifth time. As I was dejectedly leaving the parking lot, a FedEx truck pulled in and the mechanic waved me down and called me back in as the stickers had arrived. The car underwent the thorough inspection and I was given the go-ahead. I suppose those mechanics certainly worked hard for the $29.95 it cost me to get the sticker.

Next stop, DMV for registration and licensing.

Softball Team Heats Up
I was told when I started that the company softball team was historically horrible, and after a demoralizing defeat in our first game, I had no reason to think things would change. But after a 22-10 last week and a 25-7 win tonight, the team is clicking on all cylinders! I wouldn’t necessarily say our team is the most gracious of winners, but after many terrible seasons I guess some excessive celebration is permissible. In the past two games I have gone 6-for-10 with a double, triple, home run, and 6 RBI while playing first base. We have had some comical moments on the field, like our first base coach getting drilled between the eyes with an errant throw last week. There was also a play where an older guy on the opposing team was running out a single and fell rounding first. I tracked down a bad throw and essentially spiked the ball into the ground trying to throw back to the pitcher covering at first for the out, and the ball ended up under the guy who was sprawled out on the ground. The pitcher threw the guy over and grabbed the ball from under him and tagged him out. Guess you had to be there.

Work Crazy Busy
I imagined that any other job I moved on to after MB would be a step up in workload, but I am still amazed at how much I have to do at any given moment at the new job. As the Interactive Merchandising Coordinator, I was recently overseeing a major product launch–two new putters, a new iron set, and 165 new apparel items. I entered descriptions, categorized, and prepared all the products for the website and prepared various on-site promos, banners, graphics, and several mass e-mails. In the end things didn’t go quite as smoothly as I thought they were; lots of problems and mistakes have arisen in the days since the launch which has been even more overwhelming than the preparation itself. CG has pretty lenient hours… I typically am the first one there and the first to leave in Marketing, working a pretty standard 8-5 shift. And I’m pretty much busy every second of the day. That is something I’m definitely not used to. But it makes the day go by pretty damn fast!

Aside from my day-to-day duties at CG, my contract work with MB is actually getting pretty demanding. I’ve put in over 25 hours this month at nights and weekends. Until Lauren gains employment, we’ll certainly happily take the extra money to put food on the table for our wee hungry beagle!

Other Exciting Happenings

  • Last weekend Lauren and I met up with her college… excuse me, University friends, Jessica and Shannon and Shannon’s boyfriend Cory. Jessica goes to grad school in Dallas and Shannon and Cory flew in from Vancouver to visit, and the three drove down to Austin for the weekend. We took in the scenes on Sixth Street Friday night and partied it up with the thousands of fans in town for the Texas/OSU game. Sunday we got back together to watch football downtown.
  • We were also guests at a co-worker’s housewarming party on Saturday night. The theme was “stock the bar” and we thought we were being original bringing some cake-flavored vodka, but several others had the same thought. The party was fairly tame until a rousing game of “flippy cup” started. No one could agree on a set of rules so it was decided the cups would have to be flipped right-side-up. This led to games of 15+ minutes and a lot of downtime. But we had a great night and Lauren drove us home safely.
  • We were very surprised and excited to see that Spec’s (the gigantic mall of a liquor store) sells St. Paul’s own Summit beer here in town! Didn’t know they distributed this far south.
  • After finishing off Cheers, Lauren and I are plowing through Frasier on Netflix. I was way too excited to see the episode where Sam Malone came to visit Frasier in Seattle. When Lauren is preoccupied with other things, I’m slowly pecking through The Wonder Years as well. Damn that was a great show, even if they have replaced a few of the songs. We really aren’t missing not having actual TV much at all. And we’re saving money!
  • Baxter continues to be quite the little handful. He still isn’t totally housebroken. We have him ringing a bell when he wants out, and we always comply, but he mostly just takes that opportunity to dig holes, chase leaves, and discover homeless families living under our complex.
  • We chased down and disposed of a cockroach tonight. I hope that was an isolated incident.
  • I’ll post some pictures sometime soon. But I don’t have the energy tonight. Someone come visit us soon!