All the glitter!

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C-C-Courage covered in Glistening Snow, both by China Glaze.

Both polishes are inherently sparkly, so combining them brings all the glitter.

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in which I get a new car

You may remember this post in which I explained what I’d been going through trying to get a new car. Well, I have some new developments. I came very close to getting a brand new mini cooper – just the car I wanted. I got partial financing approval from a bank, and the dealership agreed to finance the rest. However, there was some disagreement between the two about how that would be handled. While the mini dealership was very helpful and nice, the bank was unwilling to budge. Eventually it just didn’t work out, and I was disappointed.

But then not long after, I found a cheap 2003 mini at a dealership. It was like, really cheap. It was 10 years old and had 100k miles, but the carfax was clean. It was eerily similar to my old mini – same color, same year, most of the same accessories, etc. It was a Friday night when my internet searching led me to this car. I had to work all day Saturday, and then Sunday most everyone in the Bible Belt is closed for business, so I had plans to go on Wednesday, the next day that I worked late. However, I wouldn’t stop talking about it, so my boyfriend convinced me to go when they opened at 8:30am Monday morning and at least start the process before I had to be at work at 11.

So I did. I showed up at the dealership, found the car, walked around it, etc. and waited for a salesman. Nobody came, so I went into the office. Nobody was in there either. I hung around for a few minutes, knowing that they were technically “open,” as the office was unlocked, and lights, computers, tvs, etc. were on. So I got out my phone and called them. I was at the used lot, so maybe everyone was over at the new lot. As the phone rang, a car pulled up and Barry the Salesman got out. He apologized – they were having a staff meeting. He was genuinely sorry I’d had to wait, and it was only like 15 minutes, so it was ok. I was worried about him being the stereotypical used car salesman – at best being pushy, and at worst, talking down to me because of my gender. But he was perfectly nice, and he understood that I had done my research and knew what I wanted and I was qualified to buy it.

I pointed out the mini and he brought it around for a test drive. The dealership is actually right near where I used to live, so I knew exactly which road to take it on. I drove it hard down the windy road (which I’d always dreamed of driving a mini down) and maybe I was going 65 in a 35 zone. But it’s a road I drove multiple times a day for over a year, so I knew all the twists, turns, and potholes like I know my name. I also knew that it was not a heavily populated area, with cops or otherwise. I had such fun driving it that I was literally laughing. But then again, past experience told me that I would love it. I was very careful to listen to the engine and all the vroomy car noises though, just to be sure I wasn’t walking into a lemon situation. Everything sounded awesome. Way better than my current car.

I got back to the dealership and basically said “I’ll take it.” So we sat down to hash out the paperwork. He told me that they would take my old car as a trade-in, but because of all the problems with it (in other words – the reasons I was getting a NEW car) it would only be worth about $400. I thought it over and decided that a definite $400 was worth more to me than the cost and trouble of getting the car fixed and trying to sell it myself. We shook on it, and he faxed the info over to my loan officer at the bank (who, incidentally, had the last name of Cash because duh), and we waited for a response. He telephoned her, no answer. Then something on the tv sparked my memory. “Oh… today is President’s Day. The bank’s probably not open…” Well poop. I didn’t have any of my paystubs or anything with me since I already had pre-approval. It didn’t occur to me that it was a federal holiday and I wouldn’t be able to get that precious confirmation. It also didn’t help that I didn’t have the title to my old car with me. Someone once told me that one should never keep the title in the car, because then if they steal it, what’s to stop them from claiming ownership? Not that anyone would steal that hunk of junk, but I had taken the title out anyway. I was pretty sure I knew where it was in my house, but I had a momentary minor internal freakout.

The time was fast approaching for me to go to work and make the money that would pay for the car. I signed most of the paperwork, but couldn’t actually drive the mini off the lot yet. The dealership finance guy was working his magic, and one or both of them would call me later. (Side note: both the salesman and the finance guy were left handed. I found that odd.) So I went off to work, slowly, as I was still in my old car. My coworkers asked where my new car was, and I sadly had to tell them it was still at the dealership. When I finally got a break in my busy day, I checked my messages and returned the call to Barry. He asked if I could come to the dealership first thing in the morning with my financial info and the car title. They’d even show up before they officially “opened” so that I could make it to work on time. I happily agreed, and made sure that when I got home the first thing I did was find the title (it was where I thought it would be), put it with my financial info, and put that folder literally on top of my purse so there was no way I could leave the house without it. The next morning, I actually got out of bed early and left the house, ready to start driving my new (“new”) mini cooper.

Good thing I left early because I had a slight detainment. The fastest way between my house and the dealership across town is to take the Parkway. We haven’t had any snow this year, so the parkway was open with little traffic. At one point I passed a law enforcement vehicle stopped on the opposite side of the road. His car stirred, and I knew immediately that I was getting pulled over. I went ahead and pulled off before he even had his lights on. “Do you know what the speed limit is?” I thought it was 45, but was then informed that the 45 zone didn’t start until further up. Even still, I was going 56. In a 35 zone. The shock on my face was genuine, and I think he could see that. He let me off with a warning, knowing I picked up some speed coming down that last hill, and maybe feeling bad since I was literally on my way to get a new car. He made me promise to watch my speed, which I did, and as he walked away I breathed the biggest sigh of relief ever.

I got to the dealership on time, and Barry was waiting. We headed over to see Ryan the Finance Guy, and I played on my phone while he ran my numbers. He was able to get my approval, with slightly different terms than I had been told at the bank. The car was such a deal though, so the terms were still perfectly acceptable. Also, instead of the $400 for my old car I was expecting, they ended up giving me $1500, so that was way awesome. We did the whole “sign here, here, and here” thing, and finally I was allowed to take my new car home (or to work, rather). I said goodbye to my old car, though it wasn’t tearful. All was forgotten anyway as soon as I zoomed off. (I didn’t take the Parkway back, for fear of getting pulled over again.)

cattooed

Ever since I brought my tiny kitten Mecrutio home 11 & 1/2 years ago, he has slept on my chest in the same spot, same position, every night. He’s no longer a tiny kitten, but he still keeps his place. As such, I feel it fitting to get his pawprints tattooed on my chest. And I want them to be his paws, not just generic pictures. So, this requires him to step on a stamp pad and then on a piece of paper, which I will then bring to the tattoo artist.

Mecrutio does not like me stamping his paw, but he tolerates and abides. He’s used to me; This is why we love each other. However, his little paws are white, so even after stepping on the paper, his paw remained colored. He left a few pawprints on the carpet too. You can see it just a little bit in this picture – his paw is perfectly half red and half blue. (That was accidental, but it turned out cool.)

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Don’t worry, the ink is non toxic. He won’t let me wash it off though, so it just has to stay there until it wipes off naturally.

And I’d been thinking, just because I haven’t had Hadley as long doesn’t mean I love her any less. And her paws are definitely unique – she’s the one with 6 toes on each little kitty paw. But where to get the tattoo? Luckily, the last few nights have been a revelation. While Cru sleeps on my chest, Hadley wanders around for a minute until she plops down next to my hip. She doesn’t lay in the exact same way every night, but it’s a general enough idea that I’m willing to tattoo her big old giant paw on my hip.

So, I set out with my rainbow stamp pad to get her pawprint as well.

The thing about Hadley is that she was a stray for 2 years before I had her. I have no idea what her life was like, even though I like to make up stories. (Rumor has it, she fought wolves.) But when I put her paw on the ink pad, she flipped out. Mecrutio even came to check on her – that’s how bad it was. This is a cat that lets me give her pedicures all day long, but as soon as her paw touched that pad, she went into a PTSD-style freakout. Was she a member of a kitty concentration camp? Does this remind her of the time she spent in the kitty Big House for her many crimes? Until she learns to use those big paws for writing out her life story, we’ll never know.

But with some careful placement, I did get the pad of paper under her paw as she ran away. I couldn’t be more pleased with the result.

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That’s Mecrutio’s on top, Hadley’s on the bottom. Her paws are darker, so she doesn’t have quite the temporary dye job that Cru has, but it’s there.

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But I think that these will both make some nice additions to the permanent ink on my body, so I can always take my kitties with me. Shoot, I will probably get them in these rainbow colors.

in which I pay for convenience

So, I’ll tell you about an old job I had. It was my first stylist job right out of school, and in fact I was actually hired in before I even graduated. The place was a corporate-run mall salon, which I thought was great (even though I had previously vowed never to work corporate again) because obviously I didn’t have a clientele base yet.

I went in for the interview, and a good friend of mine came to be my model. I was hired on the spot, and totally super stoked about it. I was even excited to work in a mall – a place I never go. The work was ok. I was doing hair, so that was good. Most of my classmates still hadn’t taken their licensure exam, let alone gotten a job, so I felt like I was ahead. The manager of the salon went onto maternity leave about a week after I started my job, so I never got to know her. I never really clicked with any of my coworkers, but I figured that was ok. I had friends outside of work. I tolerated my coworkers – all except one. There was one I had an active feud with. But that is irrelevant.

I put in for a weekend off so that I could go to Dragon*con, which I already had my ticket to. Unfortunately, someone else had already gotten that weekend off, so I was denied. Which meant I had to sell my ticket. (I got all of my money back for it, but I didn’t get to go, which would have been so much better.) But I figured, new job, I can’t risk losing it so soon.

That company had a 90-day probation period, and if during that time, there were three “complaints” (re-dos) against you, you were terminated. I knew I had one complaint, because there was a lady who decided to take her child away before I finished his cut. I was still new at this, so I didn’t have the confidence or knowledge to stop her. But that’s beside the point. The real point is that I ended up moving apartments the weekend I was supposed to go to Dragon*con. Since I couldn’t have the weekend off, I would work a day and then go home and pack. It turns out that on my 90th day of employment, I just happened to be off. That was the day I was doing the actual physical moving into the new place. But then work called. No wait, sorry. They texted me, saying I needed to come in for a meeting. That’s never good news. But I told them I couldn’t come in since I was in the middle of moving. I only had the Uhaul for a few hours and needed to make use of it. They told me that it was mandatory that I come in. Now, keep in mind, the manager was still on maternity leave – there was nobody technically in charge of the salon. This was one of my coworkers ordering me to come in, apparently on order from the Regional Manager. So I let my roommate and my friends deal with moving for a minute, and I went to the mall in my dirty clothes, without my hair or makeup done.

When I got there, I was informed that I had had my 3rd and final complaint against me. Basically they had to call me in that day because it was my 90th day, my last day of probation. If they had waited until the next day when I was scheduled to work, I no longer would have been on probation and the complaints wouldn’t count against me like that. So I was fired. I’m ashamed to admit, I cried. But that is because I’d never been fired before. I was laid off once when the company went under, but this was different. I screwed up. I lost my first job in what I was hoping would be my lifetime career. I wasn’t upset about losing the job itself. I hadn’t planned on staying there very long, just enough to build myself a clientele base so I could move on. I was upset that I had failed. I wasn’t the one who made the choice to part ways.

However, that meant that at least I had some time to finish moving. Also in the back of my mind I resented them for not letting me go to Dragon*con, only to fire me anyway. I only started to freak out about being unemployed a few days later. I applied to a few places, had some interviews, and then got the job I have now. They hired me on the spot. I was unemployed for a whopping three days, so it turns out I needn’t have worried.

I thought I was done with that corporate salon. I knew I would have to wait on my W2 (for my whopping 90 days’ employment), but they are required to send me that by law. Turns out, they like to bend the law just a little bit. They make the W2s available online starting January 23, and then mail the paper copy January 31. I didn’t know anything about it being online, but luckily one of my coworkers also used to work for that company, so she told me how to get it. So I got it and filed my taxes like a good little American. When I filed, the tax program told me that this company had taken out too much Social Security Tax, and that they owe me $27. I should call their corporate office to get my refund. So I did.

What a nightmare. First off, they don’t make the corporate contact info easy to find. When I did finally get the number (it wasn’t even an 800-number), of course I had to press through a bunch of automated menus just to talk to a person. When I got a person, I explained my problem, but I didn’t give my name or anything. The lady didn’t even give me a chance to. She kept interrupting me, and then she said “Well I’m looking at your W2 right now, and you must have done it wrong.” She wouldn’t let me clarify anything or give additional information. I said I did my own taxes, and she just assumed that I am too stupid to copy numbers from one box to another. I had four W2s this year, yet the only one that brought back an error was the one from this company. The lady was so rude that I actually ended up hanging up the phone on her. I normally do not do that, I can usually talk it through and stay calm. But this woman was so horrible, and I already dislike this company so much, that getting a check for $27 was not worth having to try and get it.