Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Here We Go Again

And of course the expected news... something else is broken at the house. It knows. It all knows that it's paid for, now it will all die.

In this case I don't think it's dead, just being difficult. There's water accumulating in the floor in front of the cabint that holds the A/C unit. The last time this happened it was a clogged drain from the A/C. Great.

The worst part is that I'm too the point of feeling too bad to care. I think I'm going to be home sick the rest of this week. I feel like the bus hit me and it's not getting any better. If I'm coming to work, I can't take any of the meds I want to take because they'll leave me comatose. My solution is to go ahead and stay home a few days, drug myself, and hopefully by Monday be good as new. But that means getting a lot of stuff done at work today, which is hard to do when I feel like death. It also means I will miss my screen test on Friday. Dang it. So much for stardom.

Want My Autograph?

I'm a star!

Or at least I could be. I've been asked (read - was volunteered) to be an extra in a commercial. Or at least to do the screen test to see if they want me to be an extra in a commercial. And no, I don't actually get paid, it's for the medical practice I work for. Nobody else would do it so the lady in the office next to me and I were offered up. We're supposed to go to the screen test on Friday, although nobody has told us when or where. Maybe I won't be home sick with the ickies at that point.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


So what do we do for wild entertainment at our house these days? I have a rousing episode of hand washables going on laundry-vision and Greg's playing with his new toy, the long coveted, patiently awaited XBox 360, purchased last night. So what's Greg playing on his new toy? NCAA? NHL Hockey? The racing game he bought? Nope. Newly downloaded and online via XBox Live...



As the World Spins

The world is spinning, partially because I feel like a bus hit me. Woke up at 3am with a sore throat and have felt horrible all day. Greg's had a sore throat since the weekend, so I'm not hopeful that it will be short lived. I don't think I can deal with another 3 week crud like we had in April/May.

However, at least we have clean clothes! Watching the clothes turn in the new front-load washer is awesome, and the spin cycle goes so fast you can't hardly see the clothes inside. And the new dryer... sigh. Even the inside pockets of Greg's shorts got dry, on the first cycle. That's never happened unless I ran the extra long cycle and made a point to turn them inside out before putting them in. Even the little noise it makes when you turn it on is quite pleasant. I am a little nervous about all the sensors and computerized stuff on it. More to break. Greg asked if it had a hard drive. It probably does. Come to think of it, I read something in the instructions about customized wash cycles that can be saved in memory, so it probably does have a hard drive!

Meanwhile, my face hurts. I think I'm going to run downstairs and get some OJ so I can take more ibuprofen.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Bright Side

It's 10:30am on Monday and I'm at home, waiting for my new washer and dryer to be delivered, which was supposed to be delivered yesterday but wasn't. Thanks, Best Buy. I canceled a trip to see my parents, Saturday morning at the Fair, and Greg's birthday dinner with his parents on Sunday, as well as missed church, just to get this done over the weekend. But I don't want to let my extreme disappointment in Best Buy's customer service ruin the entire event. I'm over my "writing a big check" jitters and am excited about my first ever new washer and dryer. Every other one I've ever had was very much well used. This one is not only new, but cool. A front loader. Mom got one a few months ago when her 15 year old washer bit the dust, and she loves it. Says it cleans clothes, especially whites, better than you can imagine. And it barely uses any water at all. I've stood and watched hers for the longest time, in awe. If nothing else, at least I'll have a couple of weeks of entertainment via laundry-vision. If it ever arrives.

So I'm not going to be grumpy. At least not to anybody who isn't a Best Buy employee. And the real bright side? My laundry room is cleaner than it's been since I finished hanging the sheet rock and laying tile many years ago. Granted, most of the contents of the laundry room have been scattered all over the living room and dining room since Saturday, but still...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Argument for Pay TV

We're watching the National Scrable Championship on ESPN Classic. Apparently the US Scrabble Open comes on next. This is why we pay for DirectTV. I've never heard of half of these words they are playing. I'm starting to feel like an idiot. I should go give back my English degree.

Oh thank goodness, Greg turned on the Wii. As fascinated as I am by watching Scrabble on TV, I was starting to feel pretty stupid.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Visiting Hours

Greg's response to the washer delima -

"The sound is cool. Kinda like 'Errr. Wrong answer.'"

He'll be at UMC hospital, probably in critical condition. I'll let you know when visiting hours are.

Uh Oh

Greg got paged and just left to run up to the hospital to fix a thing while I finish up the laundry so I can pack to go visit the fam this weekend. I went to grab a shirt I'd thrown in the dryer to "iron," but when I tried to restart the dryer it wouldn't start. It tries to start, but it wouldn't. It makes that sound like your car engine when your battery's dead and the engine won't turn over. I'm hoping it was just some kind of weird thing where it decided to be difficult and when I go back in there in a few minutes it'll start back up like nothing ever happened. At least I hope that's what happens. If not, I'm not sure if I want to tell Greg or wait for him go to fluff the clothes and let him think he broke it. (Just kidding!)

I know I said I wanted a new washer and dryer, but I was waiting for the washer to die first. Preferably closer to the end of the year... Sigh. Hopefully it's just being difficult and isn't really dead. Hopefully. Please. We just spent almost $300 getting my car fixed this week. I don't want to buy a new dryer this month. I don't. I know, I can buy a clothes line for the back yard. It's certainly been hot enough to dry clothes outside... Sigh.

Update 9:58pm: Attempt #2 - Fail.

Update 10:12pm: Attempt #3 - Anybody got jumper cables?

Update 10:17pm: Ok Greg, honey, you know I didn't do it on purpose. I mean, I know we looked at washers and dryers at Best Buy a couple of weeks ago, but I'm the one who kept saying that I wasn't sure we needed to get the set, we could probably get by with just a new washer. The dryer's old but it still runs well. Or did. Remember? You're the one who kept saying we might as well go ahead and get the set. I'm just saying. I didn't sabotage it. Really. I didn't. I don't want to spend the money for new one right now. I don't.

Update 10:28pm: Anybody got an old dryer sitting on their front porch they want to get rid of cheap? Hey, it's Mississippi, I figure it's worth asking...

Update 10:32pm: Crap. I need to go hang up two loads of wet clothes.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Lunch Guest

I still haven't gotten around to pulling the rest of the pictures from our trip off my camera, but I wanted to go ahead post this one. You see, on Friday Greg was at his meeting so I was off roaming by myself and decided to grab some lunch from a fish and chips place on the Warf. While I was eating there were two moms with a table full of kids behind me. The moms kept yelling at a couple of the kids for chasing the gulls, but then the moms realized how annoying the birds were and started chasing them themselves. It was pretty funny to watch two grown (and grumpy) women trying to run off half a dozen birds who clearly have more experience in these skirmishes than the people do. Anyway, the next thing I know one of the ones being chased decided that he'd be less conspicuous if he could blend in with the diners, so he sat on the other seat at my table and pretended to be my lunch guess. I don't think the moms were very impressed when I started talking to him and taking pictures instead of chasing him away. He was cute, and wasn't bothering anything. He stayed for a while until somebody walked past and spooked him.


Please ignore this post. I'm just being whinny, and I don't really want to subject people to that.

I'm procrastinating like a champ today. Yesterday I was given a rather big project to do, which normally our Chief's admin assistant would handle but she's too busy doing the jobs of two other people since they can't seem to hire enough suport staff to handle our absurd growth in faculty over the past few months (or replace our medical records lady who left in June!). Anyway, it's the kind of project I hate doing, with all this coordinating of other people and planning several receptions and making travel arrangements for other people and scheduling several agendas... It's not all that complex, but it is the kind of thing that I'm just not good at and can't stand doing. It's put quite the damper on what I'd hoped would be a productive return from my time off.

Meanwhile, I scratched the daylights out of my glasses while we were out of town and while it's not bad enough for me to replace them (I've only had these a few months!) I haven't gotten used to the flaw yet so it's still a bit distracting. I keep reminding myself that I had my last pair for 3 years, and they are considerably more scratched up than these.

I need to go clothes shopping, for both me and Greg. He needs new work pants, I just need clothes. I'm probably the only woman on Earth who really doesn't enjoy clothes shopping. The last few times I went, Greg had to go with me and literally force me to buy stuff. I have no sense of what looks good, refuse to buy the expensive stuff that I know would look good on me, and am horribly stubborn when it comes to paying full price for anything.

On a much more upbeat note, it looks like I'm going to get to go to lunch with BFF Jen today and get caught up on the baby joy. I got to see the sonogram pictures of little Figment last night and I think he may look a little like me...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

By the Numbers

There were a dozen things I thought about posting while in California, but I was too busy being still and lazily roaming the streets. Here's a summary of some of things we saw that I thought about blogging:

2 car accidents, both of which happened while we were walking past on the sidewalk.

2 weddings (including one with entire groom's party in kilts, and a live bagpiper!)

2 otters. Merry and Pippin. At the zoo.

2 books finished, a third started.

2 rather useless ticket counter attendants and 500 people trying to get boarding passes. Followed shortly by two planes boarding at the same time from one gate. The SB airport is the epitome of chaos, as well as being the smallest airport I've ever been in. Yes, Sharonda, even smaller than St. Croix, and with a smaller outdoor baggage claim.

$25 million home real estate listings. Yes, multiples.

1 Double-decker bus, as in an old beat up bus with a full-sized van body attached to its roof. SB has a whole different world of homeless. I can't even explain the other van parked nearby, with every inch of paint covered with some type of bizarre decoration - sea shells, posters, jewelry.

Dozens of pups. SB was the most pup-friendly city I have ever been in, hands down. Casper would have loved it. They were all over the sidewalks, the beach, even inside some stores. All over the place they had little public stands with poop-scoop bags and mitts. Clearly, pups were very welcome there.

I have a couple of other pictures to post if I ever get them off my camera, including my most entertaining lunch companion on Friday, who sought refuge at my table after being chased around the Warf by two somewhat deranged women.

Birthday Fun

There are worse ways to spend you birthday than ten straight hours in airports or on planes. When I found out that we would be flying home on Greg's birthday I felt bad for him, so I made some special arrangements. First there was a huge party at the Santa Barbara airport at 5am with about 500 of our closest strangers, all in line with us at the check in gate. Then there were the awesome gifts - aloe gel for his sunburn, a pack of Delta Airlines Biscotti cookies and a small mountain range just outside of Salt Lake City (hereby known as Mt. Greg). And while we couldn't get a cake past security, he did get a hot Cinnabon at the Salt Lake City airport. I even suggested we stop for a nice birthday dinner once we got back into town. I told him to go wild and order anything he wanted from the menu at Arby's. Best of all, I didn't tell every flight crew on all three flights that it was his birthday and coerce them to sing to him over the intercom. Ok, so that would have gotten me killed, but still...

Ok, so pehaps today did mostly suck as a birthday, but I did tell him that we would go out for a real birthday dinner at the sit-down-and-order restaurant of his choice tomorrow night. What I haven't told him is that I'm planning to suggest a really romantic after-dinner date. Perhaps a trip to Best Buy, with a follow up visit to Game Stop, where we have a pile of trade-in credit he can use on anything he wants. I know, I know, it's a little over the top, but we are still practically newlyweds!

(And by the way, happy birthday, honey! Love you!)

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Taste of Santa Barbara

Mountains on one side, beach on the other. And Mediterranean style building everywhere in between.

Why do you think they call this Pelican Island? Hmmm...

I thought I'd throw this one in just in case you ever wondered what an $18 million yacht looks like. And yes, they mentioned it on the harbor tour we took. Apparently it belongs to the Firestone family.

These guys really made me miss my pup. He'd fit in with this group very well, except for the whole being on the water part.

And finally, a little story. When we first arrived we immediately noticed that our hotel had no air conditioning. It didn't take long to realize that it didn't actually need air conditioning, because it's darn chilly here in July. They just leave windows open all the time and the nice breeze plus ceiling fan makes everything very pleasant. We've also noticed that very few other places here have air conditioning, it's just not needed. Which is fine. Being too hot hasn't been a problem at all. But there is one other tiny little problem...

Did I say tiny? That, my friends, is a honeysuckle as big as my hand. This particular massive vine is located on the rail directly outside our hotel room window. That would be the window that stays open most of the time to catch the breeze, since there is no air conditioning. My allergies are hating me right now. For the first time ever, I'm sneezing and wheezing way more than husband. My allergy meds just can't keep up!


With all the craziness and traveling on Wednesday I totally forgot that it was Edwin's birthday! And yes, Lauren, his birthday card is still sitting on my desk at work. I'm a loser godmother and I'm totally sorry. I even meant to call him during one of our layovers Wednesday, but I didn't even turn my phone back on until today! I'd say I'd pick him up something cool while in California, but from what I've seen there really isn't much cool to pick up. Maybe I can find postcards for the boys on the warf today. I'm a horrible, horrible person. Please please please tell him I'm sorry and happy birthday and I love him to pieces!

Time Warp

Who knew that while it's July in Mississippi, it's late November in Santa Barbara, California??? It's cold here, people. The news said it was 112 in Palm Springs, which from what I gather isn't all that far from here, but it is on the other side of the mountains. Apparently the mountains control the seasons here, because it's darn cold in Santa Barbara. I'm waiting on it to warm up a bit before taking a stroll so I don't end up on the beach in my jeans. Brrr. And there's no way I'm getting in the water, I'd have hypothermia!

I can't get used to the time change. The computer clock says it's 11am, but it's only 9. It's even weirder at night, when my body says it's 10pm and the sun's still out! I'm sure I'll get adjusted about the time we leave on Sunday.

We've been having a great time, though. I've never flown over mountains before, and landing in Salt Lake City was pretty awesome. It was too dark to see anything by the time we flew over Santa Barbara. Spent about five hours yesterday just walking. It's not what I expected at all, but it's been neat. Met a lady at Greg's conference reception last night from Mississippi who now lives in Tampa, and another who is here from Nashville, which made it even better. Nothing like hanging out with fellow rednecks when you're this far from home!

I'll post a couple of pictures from our sightseeing as soon as I figure out how to work Greg's computer. He doesn't have my favorite picture editing software, or even a SD card slot. Yeah, I'm spoiled. And I like it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Here We Go Again...

Oh sigh.

The worst part about traveling is most definitely packing.
I've mentioned that before. Here. And here. And here.

Our flight leaves tomorrow. It's 9:50pm. I haven't packed the first thing. I still have to hit Walgreens and Walmart. It's gonna be a long night. I'm also hungry. Craving a big salty bag of potato chips. Maybe I can pick that up at Walmart.

In Between

It can't only be 10am.

Today is that weird day of being in between. The huge project that I have spent the past couple of months workin on was turned in 15 minutes before my deadline on Friday. It's done. Signed. In the mail. Put to rest until the actual date of the site visit is announced this fall. I spent yesterday trying to find my desk, which had been burried in a mountain of random things that had been pushed aside while I finished the reports.

Today is the challenge. I've caught up the little things, and since I'm going to be out the rest of this week I don't really want to crank up any of the other complex projects on the horizon. I'm trying to find little things to do, but I can't seem to find enough to keep my attention. I've been going full steam ahead for since February, I don't know what to do with a slow day!

I need a research project. Yes, I know it's not Friday, but it's Friday for me, so a Friday research project* is in order. I just have to figure out what it's going to be...

*Friday research projects originated when I worked at the bank and would be so beaten down by Friday afternoon that my brain would revolt. I'd spent the last few hours of my week on a Friday research project, such as figuring out why flamingos are pink (they're actually white, it their diet of shrimp that turns them pink) and other such nonsense.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Captain Obvious

There is one particular teller at our bank who is quite possible the slowest human on Earth. Every time I end up at his window I can feel myself aging. We know this, and try to avoid Snail Man at all costs.

Today I had no choice. I went to make a small deposit and get out some cash for our trip. The one other customer had already claimed the speedy teller, and I was left with Snail Man. After taking a solid 5 minutes to deposit my one check, he then started the withdrawal. After studying the slip where I had filled in an amount next to "Cash Withdrawal," he pointed at it and said, "Do you want this in cash?"

No, I'd prefer it in parking tokens, please.

A Whale of a Tale

One of the first things that came to mind when Greg first asked if I wanted to go to Santa Barabara this week was, "Whales!" The Santa Barbara Channel is prime for grey whale migration in the late winter and spring, but a little further out there are humpback and blue whales pretty much all summer. I should mention here that I'm rather fascinated by ocean life, particularly whales. They are amazing creatures and I love watching ocean documentaries about them. I know the most random facts about whales. Many of the most popular types of whales, such as humpbacks and blue whales, don't have teeth (baleen varieties) and feed on krill or tiny fish by filtering them from mouthfuls of water. The toothed variety, such as belugas, will feed on larger fish. The animal known as the killer whale, or orca, and whale sharks aren't really whales at all. Orcas are actually part of the dolphin family (they sometimes feed on large whales) and the whale sharks are, well, sharks, but they feed on krill like baleen whales. Ok, I'll stop with the whale trivia now.

The closest I've ever come to seeing a real one was watching the beluga whales and whale sharks at the Georgia Aquarium. My brother went whale watching off the East coast a couple of years ago and thought it was awesome. I was totally pumped about the chance to go visit the whales while in Santa Barbara.

Unfortunately, it's not going to happen. In the spring it's easier, with the grey whales migrating up the channel you can take one of a dozen 2.5 hour charter for about $30. This time of year the humpback and blue whales are on display, but much further out. I've only found one charter that runs trips in the summer, and they are all at least half a day, for $95 per person. Yikes. We're only going to be there 3 days at most, and Greg will be spending one and a half of those days with the robot people (I wasn't making that up, that's the whole purpose of the trip). Half a day to maybe see a whale is quite the time commitment. They do offer a guarantee, but since we're only going to be there a few days we wouldn't have time to use a raincheck. If we had a week, I'd probably be more inclined to fork over two hundred bucks. Or maybe not. That's an awful lot of money for a sightseeing tour.

Perhaps one day we can go back to California or maybe the East Coast during the prime whale season and take a shorter, less expensive trip to visit the whales. This time around I think I'll stick to visiting the Sea Center.

Where In The World Is...

Greg found out on Friday that we are going to be taking a little trip at the end of this week. Where are we going this time? I'll give you a little hint, here's a sample packing list:

Fire extinguisher

That's right folks, we're heading to California. Santa Barbara, to be precise. Home of a nice beach, year round whale watching, and wildfires. The good news is that the official Santa Barbara visitor's website has a link for Fire Updates. Comforting. Have I ever mentioned my total paranoia about fire in general? Over the weekend the site listed the air quality as improving, but today it depends on the direction of the wind as to how much smoke and ash they get. I'm going to take a moment and ignore these things so I can enjoy my trip and kick back on the beach while Greg plays with the robots. The weather is supposed to be sunmy, mid 70's with practically zero humidity. Do people really live like that in July?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Mocha, SweetTarts, and Tomatoes

It's 11:00pm and Greg's getting ready to go to work. He has to go in at midnight to do a (blah blah technical blah) and hopefully will get home about the time I get up to go to work in the morning. He tried to convince himself to go to sleep earlier but it wasn't happening, so I'm afraid he has a long night ahead of him. In anticipation of that, he make a quick run to Starbucks for a mocha and now he's bouncing off the walls. He said it's the equivalent of me eating two rolls of sweet tarts in one sitting. Dang. Me? I'm just awake, and probably will be until he leaves.

Speaking of sweet tarts, I really really really wished for a camera phone earlier this evening. We ran to Chick Fila for a snacker and as we were leaving two guys in this hoopdie car drove past. The car was painted like a sweet tart box. Seriously. Half was blue, half was pink, and it actually had "SweetTarts" painted across the doors. I'm not making that up, Greg was with me, he's a witness. They were driving toward WalMart and I considered going home, getting the camera out of my car and going back to get a picture, but I was pretty sure they weren't actually going to the Mart to shop, they were just cruising for chicks. I gotta get a camera phone.

Anyway, I took Jen's suggestion and played the mortgage card on the doc's questionnaire today. This morning I couldn't remember the other two questions for anything, but one was "Do you have any new problems since your last visit?" Which I answered, "How to spend the piles of money we won't be sending to the mortgage every month." The other one was "What is your biggest worry at this time?" I answered that one, "Surviving the heat. My tomato plants surviving the heat. My pup surviving the heat..."

Speaking of tomato plants, I picked my first roma tomato when I got home this evening. It's little, but I grew it myself so I'm very proud of it. I'd take a picture, but I think my camera is still in my car and the carport seems very far away right now. Maybe tomorrow I'll dress it up and take pictures like a fashion show. I'll have to contemplate what I could use as tomato fashion.

Here's The Question...

I have a routine appointment with my ADD doc this afternoon. I have to go every 3 months or so for what they call a med check so he can keep writing my prescriptions. Every time I go I have to fill out this dumb form before I see him that has the same four questions on it. Two of those questions are "What's better since your last visit?" and "What's worse since your last visit?" I've always been baffled by those questions. They're incredibly generic. What's better/worse with... what? My meds? My life? My allergies? World hunger? The Braves season? I've never had any idea what he's actually looking for there. It used to sorta stress me out, but over the years I've gotten bored with it, so I started contemplating silly answers to those two questions before I go. Things like:

My haircut.
The chance for rain.

So today I'm contemplating exactly what's better/worse since this time three months ago. I'm thinking maybe muffins, those have had a definate improvement. Or my shower curtian hooks - those are waaaay better. My gardening skills, not so much better, they would be on the worse list this time! My wardrobe, probalby worse. I need to buy some new stuff. Upcoming opporutnities to spoil other people's children? Much better. Any ideas? And what would the rest of you answer?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Memo to Wii Fit

Yes, I gained four freaking pounds since I logged in yesterday. And yes, I've eaten everything in the house that wasn't poisonous, then went back to the grocery store to buy more stuff to eat. HOWEVER, if you are going to sit there and tap your foot insisting that I give a reason for my sudden weight gain, the least you can do is make "PMS" one of the choices, you plastic piece of gym-equipment wannabe! If I wasn't already half crippled from the extra half an hour of aerobics I did on Saturday I'd walk over there and STOMP ON YOU. I ought to go to the store right now and buy one of those silicone balance board covers just so I can pretend I'm suffocating you, you little...


You know the worst part about a fabulous three-and-a-half day weekend is?

Going back to work.

And yes, I bailed out of here after lunch last Thursday after turning in the first drafts of two massive reports that had been making me insane for over a month, mere hours before the deadline. At least I don't have to look at that today. Tomorrow maybe, as there is still some tinkering work to be done, but not today.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Political Impact

There was much hub-bub about the President's visit to Jackson yesterday. And by hub-bub I mostly mean inconvience since the trip was nothing more than a fundraiser for a local candidate with no actual impact beyond creating a nightmarish traffic situation in one of the busiest parts of town. But wait... that's not entirely true.

While discussing this with Greg last night (and my desire to not watch the 10pm news coverage of the events) I realized the real, local impact of the visit. An extra half a million bucks worth of annoying television ads which we, the people of Mississippi, will be subjected to in the months prior to the election. I'm not even in the candidate's district, I couldn't vote for him or against him if I wanted to, but I'll get to see plenty of his ads, courtesy of our Commander-in-Chief. Thanks, Mr. President, for the long lasting impact you've offered us. I think I'll go home and shoot my TV. *

*No, honey, I'm not really going to go home and shoot the jumbotron. Nor the BATV. We can't afford to replace either of them right now and you know I'm not giving up my Wii time this week!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Tough Decision

I can't believe nobody asked The List and my goals concerning this, but I did go out and buy the first thing off of The List after dinner tonight. I pondered many options, debated, discussed with Greg, listed pro's and con's, and finally made the decision. I considered the monkeys, especially since we call Casper a monkey all the time. I considered the fishies, the beach chairs, the sea creatures, and all the other adorable garbage cans and towels and... well, it wasn't easy, but we made a decision:

But then I was overcome by peer pressure and made an impulse buy:

Sigh. I didn't really need a toothbrush holder, but the seahorses were just so darn cute! Greg kept saying, "Oh come on, we can put up the shower hooks in the master bathroom and the seahorses in the hall bathroom..." Sigh. The I realized that not only were they cute, but they all tilt forward.

They also have little springy tails that move when you flick them. Seriously, I couldn't just leave that in Target. I should be ashamed. Mere hours after becoming 100% debt free I'm already splurging and overspending my budget! I had $15 for hooks, but with the seahorses I spent $21. I have to get myself back under control!

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Dear John Chase Home Finance,

I apologize for doing this in a letter, but I'm letting you know that we're through. I've found somebody new. I'm sorry.

Perhaps I should have warned you about my prior relationships with lenders. Amsouth, US Bank, even that small student loan, all ended before their time. Let's face it, I'm just not cut out to be a borrower. I never should have led you on. I know I promised you 30 years, but I just can't do it. Really, it wasn't you, it was me. You did everything you promised for the past five years. I thought I could be happy, but it just wasn't enough. You were no longer meeting my needs, so I... I... I'm sorry, but I've been cheating on you.

The "other financial service company" is Vanguard, and they have offered us something you never could. They pay us interest instead of charging it. I know, that's asking a lot, but I finally realized that there really was another way, someone else out there just for us. There just isn't room in our life for both of you.

Don't be sad. I know you've seen this coming, with all those large payments we've been making for so many months now. Stop crying, you'll smudge the ink on this check. Yes, it's the final check. $13, 685.16. It's over. You were a good lender, and I'm sure you'll find other suckers to lend money. It just won't be us.