Friday, November 21, 2008

Confessions of a weirdo

There's a scene in the Sex and the City movie where Carrie tells Mr. Big that she loves the smell of old books. She goes to the public library and takes out old books and reads them because she loves the smell of them.

I can understand that.

Except it's not just old books. It's new textbooks. New notebooks. Libraries...all of it. And I was reminded of this tonight when I went to the Windsor Law Library. (Big disappointment by the way, I was looking for some materials to write my paper on the rule of law, the constitution and why they're important to public administration...yawn!)

It's probably why I love going back to Western to Weldon Library to go through all the old stacks. I love the smell of the books.

There's something magical about the smell of books. The smell of libraries. It gets me every time I'm in them. It's like some secret place that holds all this knowledge.

When I was a kid, I fell in love with a part of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn where Francie says she wanted to go through every book in the library. I know how she felt. I want to drink in all the knowledge that's in those pages that smell so glorious.

Ok, enough from the crazy girl, she's off to finish her Human Rights paper and start on her Public Administration paper.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dexter Update

Seeing as Dexter has been with us for a month I guess it's time for an update. He's gotten bigger over the last few weeks and having a cat has taught me so many new and interesting things. Like how to avoid having a cat come flying at you while walking up stairs in the dark (that's not really a fun trick of his) or how claws feel when you're being used as a climbing post. Or just how great it feels to have lower jaws of a teething cat clench your chin.

I am no longer a vet virgin as we travelled to the vet for a booster shot and worm medicine (which has made his tummy very happy) at which time we saw the coolest cat walking around (it was the size of a small dog!).

Dexter has grown a bit but that hasn't stopped him from thinking he's still a baby. He still loves to chase his tail, jump around the table legs and climb up on your lap for a cuddle. We gave him the run of the house last week and he has proven himself a master at entertaining himself all day while we're gone.

He likes to eat people food and sit in the bathtub watching the water drip. He has this weird thing about being in the bathroom with you and walking along the tub while you're in the shower. He has tried to boot it out the door when we come in but he doesn't know what to do with himself once he gets out there.

And of course he likes to tell US what's going on especially when he wants to be fed. That's his normal morning chorus of "feed me Seymour". Oh and he prefers wet food not dry in the morning.

Yes he's a character but we love him. I wouldn't trade this crazy little furball flying squirrel for anything.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

File this under "you've got to be kidding me"

I'm still in love with my car but I've lost a lot of love for the whole process which has been a total and utter pain in the ass. I can understand completely why so many people were unhappy every time I went in to the dealership I purchased from.

It started the day I was on the lot and was looking at the cars. You would think that I would have run that day but I didn't. I really wanted this car and I was willing to put up with it. Who knew how much crap I would put up with. The saleswoman came running out to me when I was out looking at cars. I made a couple of comments about the 2009 Hybrid and the saleswoman was telling me the 2008 was the exact same car...uh no, but thanks. So she says to me...where did you hear all this information? Um, the Detroit Auto Show, in GM's press materials? Still didn't believe me. And her whole attitude was really not going far enough to keep me on the lot. It speaks volumes about how much I really wanted this car.

I went in the next day to order the car. She had a whole pile of information, did she read it? No. Did she have the information I wanted? No. One of the things that really ticked me off was that I wanted the Titanium leather interior but she just wrote down leather interior which lead to the factory just picking the colour for me. Why would this upset me? I paid an extra $1500 for this option for starters.

A couple days later I got a beautiful thank you card for the order...with my name spelled wrong. Which, ok, I can kind of understand if you spell my name wrong if I just say it to you, but it was on my order and she had to look at the address on the order and the name was right above it. Added to that, if you're going to go to the trouble of sending out a thank you card, at least go to the trouble to spell my freaking name right. It's called customer service, look into it.

After about two months I sent her an email asking about the status of my car. Turns out, she didn't have any info. I had to go through a contact at GM with the order number. They found the car. Suddenly, an hour later, she found the car.

Weeks went by and it was time to do the paperwork. I had to do all the leg work for the licencing, the ownership, the insurance, the lease termination etc. I didn't have time for that. Added to that, the saleswoman had little to no interest in doing anything but giving me exasperated emails and phone calls in answer to my concerns. She had absolutely no interest in helping me out or making this easy. I had to beg to be accomodated on the Saturday morning.

I finally got to the point where I just decided enough was enough, I'll just get the car and get it over with. There was a woman in the dealership crying hysterically over the difficulties getting her car. I picked up my car and left. Done. No more worries, no more hassles.

Except not really. She had spelled my name wrong again on the owners manual package so I see that every day. Then I got in my car three days later and realized I had the wrong colour leather interior. I got the cashmere instead of the titanium. Added to that, I wanted the sun roof but didn't get it either.

I know it sounds awful that I'm so nitpicky but this is not a little purchase. To me, this is an expensive luxury item. I invested six months of research on it. I worked hard to get it and I got really excited about it. This was important to me. The fact that there was so little interest in making me happy really spoke volumes about the customer service.

So when the customer service call came in to me that night I unleashed. Not yelling and screaming, just outlined what I was unhappy about and how awful I felt and how I would NEVER recommend Saturn of London to anyone in the future EVER.

Three days later my saleswoman called me to "clear up a few things". Just that alone really ticked me off. So I called her back and let her spin for a bit. She gave me all these excuses and made me feel bad for complaining. And when I pointed out what she did wrong, she insisted I was wrong that she hadn't done anything wrong. You can imagine how upset this made me. To say to me "well I didn't spell your name wrong all the time" and all of the other items really just put me off. So I finally cut her off and just told her flat out, her phone call was making it worse, her sales tactics were apalling and she was ridiculous to think that it would be ok to call me up and pretend to apologize and then make me feel bad for expressing how I felt. She didn't like that either.

The whole situation really left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I love my car. I am very happy with it, but I consider that GM's work, not hers. What she did and what happened at the dealership was just disgusting and I am going to be very careful in the future.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


I have spent the last year and a half watching the U.S. political race with baited breath. I was never really a "fan" of Obama and I wondered if it would be a case of people not wanting to vote for him for the racial issues. As things went along my "he's the lesser of two evils" became "maybe this is change to believe in".

Being in Canada, it's easy for us to say we don't have an interest in the election but we do in fact have a very vested interest in it. The U.S. economy affects us, the war affects us and the impact the U.S. has in the world affects us.

But more than the election, more than change, more than anything else, what really moved me yesterday was the sheer volume of people who voted. My biggest thing in elections is voting. It bothers me that more people don't exercise their right to vote. To see so many people voting for the first time and really believing they needed to be there made me so proud. For the first time in a very long time (if not ever) people believed their vote made a difference, that they needed to be there to share in history, that they needed to be a part of change. Watching the lines of voters just made me believe that people can work to change, people can stand up, people believe.

It will be interesting to see how the next four years play out. How he handles the change the U.S. (and possibly the world) needs will be fascinating to watch. I'm proud to be alive in this time. I'm proud of my U.S. neighbours. I'm proud to be a part of history.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


That sound you hear? Is me all giddy about my new wheels. It has been three months (well, really, four years of hell with the previous vehicle) to get here but I love it. More and more every day. And it's like I'm a proud momma or something but every time someone compliments me on it, I get all proud and loving!

When I registered with OnStar yesterday they asked me one thing I loved and I said the heated seats. But really, I love the whole thing. I love the engine, I love the colour, I love the interior, I love the exterior, I love the satelitte radio, I love the fact it has it's OWN FREAKING PHONE NUMBER! and I love that it sends me emails to tell me it's doing well. Love love love this car.

What a ride though. I ordered it back in August and it has been nothing but trouble from the get go. The salesperson was not the most pleasant and was actually borderline insulting. I mean, I was buying a $40,000 car and she treated me like I was stealing from them. I had to beg to find out when it would arrive, if it was built yet etc. Added to that, when it did come in, it was a big inconvenience for them to have me come in to get it. I couldn't get here on Thursday or Friday as we had originally agreed due to the other events going on so when I asked for a Saturday appointment they were not at all accomodating.

Added to that, I had to do all the work throughout. I had to call about my lease termination for my last car, I had to deal with GMAC for my payment information, I had to call the insurance company...the list goes on...I had to do all the work. Again, for a car this price, you would think that they would have done a bit more ass kissing and a little less of the "you're putting us out" attitude. I suppose I should have expected it though. The three times I have been in the dealership someone was in there unhappy. Including yesterday with the woman hysterical in tears telling them they could keep their car she didn't want it anymore since it was such a hassle.

I know people who have had additional problems with that dealership and I can guarantee that I won't be going back. Not that I want to be all spoiled and pissy but considering the treatment I got when I bought my little $12000 tin can, this should have been a little easier and not felt like I was hurting them. Especially with the economy the way it is and the fact that I brought that business from an economy that was hurting for this business more.


The good things insurance is actually $120 less a year in this car than it was in my five year old pop can. XM radio, which makes me laugh because I always make a new car CD for my new car and this time I started an iPod playlist but then realized, I have XM radio! So many good things. I'm excited to take it on the highway now because it's safer and drives better. I just love it. I haven't been this happy in a really long time and I'm liking it!