Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Crazy, Crazy Week!

Last week was one of the craziest ones I've had in a long time.

Start with the good:

New Car - I finally got myself a new car: a Hyundai Sonata SE.

My New Sonata
So far I love it. My favorite feature: Bluetooth, which allows me to wirelessly stream music from my iPhone to my car stereo. In fact, I can stream Internet radio from my iPhone to the car. One day last week I was actually listening to a live news program from Israel while driving at 65MPH down 101 South. Sweet.

I paid cash for the car since I don't believe in financing consumer purchases. My philosophy: unless you are talking about a house, if you can't afford to pay for it with cash, you can't afford to own it.

Old Car Donated to NPR - after 11 years of faithful service, I donated my old friend, the Geo Prizm 1997, to our local NPR affiliate. According to Kelly Blue Book it was worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $800, but since I listen to NPR all the time and am not currently a member, I thought this would be the right thing to do. Besides, I get to take an income tax deduction at the actual price NPR gets for the car AND I didn't have to deal with the headache of selling it. The donation process took a single call and a 3 minute meeting with the tow truck driver who gave me the paperwork and took the car.

A bit nostalgic seeing my old car getting towed away, but hey, I GOT A NEW CAR.

John Mayer Show - Alpaca and I went to see John Mayer perform at Shoreline last Friday. Mayer is one of my favorite artists and he gave a great show. My only concern - which is not new - is that the food at Shoreline Amphitheater is slightly worse than the most horrible food you can imagine. I paid $6 for garlic fries that stayed with me until the next morning (my nickname for them: "disgusto-fries"), and another $6 for a tiny cheese pizza that tasted like someone had pre-digested it for me.

Shoreline @ Night
If you are going to go to any entertainment event in this country, you are going to get overcharged for food and drink. That is pretty much a given. However, my plea to entertainment venue managers everywhere is a simple one: if you are going to charge us an arm and a leg for snacks, could you at least make them half way decent? Is it really so difficult to make a semi-edible pizza?

Three Days Without the Kids - My in-laws took the kids for three whole days and nights last week. This means that Alpaca and I had three whole evenings to ourselves. We got to go out three nights in a row and get together with friends. If you don't have kids, you have no idea what a big deal that was.

Much fun was had by all.

So where's the bad stuff?

Trouble at Work - Well there was really only one bad thing, but it was a big one. My company laid-off 15 people. Now only 20 remain (down from about 50 only a few months ago). The company's survival is very much up for debate. It is entirely possible that the company will be shut down by the end of the week. Yes, that's pretty depressing. Going to the office these days is a really dismal undertaking.

The situation is currently beyond my control. In fact, it is beyond the control of anyone on our company's management. Some of our investors are trying to work out a deal under which they will continue to run the company. If that works out, I have been assured by reliable sources that I have a key position with the firm. If not, well, I guess my job search will need to move into higher gear...

On the job hunt front, I have a number of leads, none of which appear very appetizing at present, however, I am encouraged by the fact that there seem to be opportunities out there. The question, which is probably a big enough topic for another post, is whether I should hold out for the right opportunity or take the first semi-decent offer that comes my way. More on that dilemma in the future.

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James said...

too right, if you can't afford it right now then you shouldn't have it. Shame we don't think like that about houses too, then we may be more realistic about what we can afford.

Anonymous said...

I have a 2006 Sonata and love it. Good luck with yours.

Sorry to hear about your work.

Pretty Unfamous said...

Congrats on the new car!! My first car was a handmedown 1991 (yes, '91!) Prizm. It's still going strong, surprisingly, even though I don't drive it anymore.

I also saw John Mayer back in March (I think) in Ohio. Good show!!