Such a Cheeseball



Enjoy the Silence

Back last November, a mountain of reasons fell on me and forced me to buy a car. I had zero interest in doing so, which was in no small part because I knew I wanted another Nissan Rogue. I happen to lurve them very much, but I don't lurve the fact that basically all of the dealerships in Pittsburgh have switched over to Cochran. Let's just say I'm not a fan and I became even less of a fan after the last round of car purchasing. That whole thing is a long story that's not any fun, but the point is it ended with me buying a just-turned-in lease instead of brand new because why not? Let's go ahead and save $10k and get a car that's only 2 years old.

I was pretty happy with that choice until Sunday. On Sunday I had to take Alexis to dance and then tumbling. The first trip was fine, but the second trip left me wondering. SOMETHING wasn't right with my now 3-year old car that I've had for 10 months. It was just a little not right, though.

And then I drove back home. That was when it became SUPER not right.

Fast forward 12 hours and I had the Rogue back at Cochran. Yay! My favorite place! EXCEPT NOT. Long story short, the transmission on my car - the one with less than 50,000 miles - is shot. WOOOOO!

Not WOOOO! I'm actually super pissed about it, even if it is going to end up covered under warranty. It went from fine to trashed in less than two hours and it's all very grrrrrrrr.

That brings us to the part of the story where I feel I can impart some wisdom. So this thing happened where I dropped the car off to be fixed, the service guy didn't bother to call me all day, and then when I was riding the dealership's shuttle back to pick up my car at the agreed upon time, they called with, "Oh. Hey. It's the transmission. We're going to need to keep it a few days. You cool?" As in, they literally forgot that I was supposed to pick the car up at 4:00 and was taking their shuttle at 3:30. The shuttle they sent to my office. To pick me up. To take me to the car that was supposed to be done at 4:00. They called me at 3:45 to say "we're keeping it" when they should have known I was already en route. o_O

So after a few minutes of confusion, the service guy asked if I had a way home, which led me to, "Uh, I need a rental," and him going, "Oh."

An hour later, I knew why his reply was, "Oh." There weren't any rental cars available anywhere near that location and all of the service department loaners were taken. I'm not really sure how any of that is my problem given the situation, but that's where we were.


Picture this.

I'm standing in the service department. The guy has just said he can't get me a rental or a loaner, and has reiterated that he needs to keep my car for 2-3 days. He says, and this is a direct quote, "We can give you a ride home, though!"

My brain exploded. All of it. Little gray matter splattered here and there and everywhere. My brain exploded so thoroughly that I couldn't remember how to form words, so I just stood there and stared.

And stared.

And stared.

Total silence.

It went on for a solid minute or two, all the while the bearer of stupid news looked more and more scared.


I had a loaner about 10 minutes later, without every raising my voice or making any sort of demands. It was magical, and immediately I set out to try the whole silent treatment thing in more situations. IT TURNS OUT IT WORKS! I was charged wrong at a restaurant for lunch yesterday, but when I quietly glared, it got fixed! A guy was a total douchebag in a parking lot at dance tonight and tried to mansplain to me how it was my fault he nearly hit a car and two kids, but when I quietly angry stared, he apologized!

TRY IT! The silent stare is so amazing!


She Kissed the Toad

There's this weird phenomenon that happens every evening in the summer and fall around our house - at sunset, hundreds of toads emerge and find their way to the sidewalks. I assume they are clinging to the last bit of warmth as the sun sets, but it's SO weird. If you go for a walk around the neighborhood at the right time, you'll nearly step on at least a dozen toads.

For real.

Recently, two of them have decided to not bother with the main sidewalk around the neighborhood. Instead, they have decided to warm themselves on our patio, just outside our back door. Which, that's a GREAT place for them. I have nearly stepped on the smaller of the two no less than a dozen times because I forget that it's probably there and go to walk outside, only to sort of lunge and twist and perform some acrobatic feats as I try to maneuver my foot around it a few seconds later than would be ideal. The thing is, the toads don't move. I don't know why, but whether it's a bike or a foot, they stand their ground. They are perfectly willing to die for that warm spot, thank you very much.

Except for that one time that one toad was a little wiser.

Mila and I were going outside for a quick walk around the neighborhood. For what it's worth, that kid bursts in and out of every room. There is no quiet entrance or exit. She explodes onto the scene, throwing chaos around her as she goes. It's the same when she simply opens the back door and steps outside. She's a spectacle, to say the least.

The toads must know she can't be stopped. Last week, one of them decided it was not a good idea to stand its ground and decided to leap out of Mila's way. The only problem is that it leaped into the house. You know what is even more dangerous than an exuberant 5-year old? A house with two dogs and three cats. Let's just say there are a million places that would be safer for a toad than inside our house, and I think in the middle of a fire pit might be one of them.

The good news is that I managed to see it happen. I don't know how I caught the toad leaping out of the corner of my eye, but I did. Even more impressively, I managed to get the attention of another adult and the toad was escorted back outdoors without any creatures catching wind of the potential calamity. THANK GOODNESS.

All was well and good, but then Mila and I went for our walk and ran into about 10 other toads. I'm not joking when I say they are everywhere. They range in size from barely bigger than a quarter to double the size of my fist. I'm a fan of the big ones, of course, because I can see them clearly and have plenty of time to avoid them. That's not the case with the small ones.

None of the toads are scared of me. Ever. I nearly step on them ALL THE TIME. Mila, though. Apparently she emits pheromones that make toads fear her? As we were walking along, ANOTHER toad tried to jump out of her path. This one wasn't fortunate(?) enough to land inside the house, though. On, no. It landed in Mila's lap. One second she was happily rolling along in a stroller, and the next she was EVEN HAPPIER OMG.

It took a very long time to convince Mila that we could not keep the toad. Not even for one night.