friday random eleven – “frustrated expense” edition

28 Jul

Every day this week has felt like Friday. Mostly because this week was when the universe decided that my bills had come due. Financially, it’s been rough (and it’s not quite over yet, but at least I know the final tally). First off, last weekend’s Fusion Fighters workshop for the ladies wsn’t exactly cheap, but peanuts compared to the other stuff.

Our Air Conditioning has been, shall we say, difficult, all summer long; with the crazy heat the last couple of weeks, it finally became obvious we had to get things sorted. After some examination, and some weird HVAC company employee drama and missing estimate paperwork (I don’t really want to get into it, suffice it to say it involved significant frustration), Wednesday saw the installation of a new condenser coil and the purchase of a five-year extended service agreement, to the tune of $2,200 or so. Ouch. At least I won’t have to pay a cent should anything go wrong with it for the next half-decade.

I’ve also hinted a couple of times, here, I believe, about our nagging check engine light issue with the van. That’s finally, after a month or two of drama, getting sorted out for good. TL;DR version? The check engine light popped on sometime in late May/early June. OBDII codes said it was “insufficient coolant temperature”, which in terms of the Mazda5, means a faulty thermostat 99.9% of the time. After some dealership drama (see below) and a couple of service visits to various places around town and two thermostat replacements, we find we’re in the elite .1%, since our problem is a faulty wiring harness that causes the code to pop when it jiggles right, which happens pretty much all the time. It’s expensive as hell, but is covered under my super-good extended warranty. Problem is, the dealer who’s doing the service can’t start the warranty process, because they’re not where we bought the car, because the original dealer decided all of a sudden without telling any customers that they’re not a Mazda dealer anymore (again, see below), but they’re the ones who are in charge of the warranty.

Anyway, after a bunch of crap yesterday (described herein in great, shaming detail; which I think may have eventually facilitated official resolution), we’re back in a rental while the van sits at the Mazda dealer waiting for parts to come in. Luckily, my warranty has a $50 deductible, so the damage isn’t horrid. However, while it was in, I got the state inspection done that was due, and unsurprisingly, it needed some tires. It made sense to do all four (rather than just the front two) – so I’m in another $600 or so for that.

So, that’s almost $3000 laid out in a couple of days. Ouch.

Oh yeah, I co-signed my kid’s student loan applications this week as well. Thank $diety for giant endowment scholarships, but go ahead, universe, twist the knife.

The weekend? Not much for me. The eldest is out to SBC on Saturday for some orientation and class picking stuff, but I’m probably not doing much except watching the rain we’re supposed to get and maybe take a drive over to the other side of town to hit Trader Joe’s, because I was also informed this week of the existence of Bacon Jam in this universe, and this is something I need in my life (also, I want to try the Jalapeno Limeade. And since I’m there, I’ll probably buy cheese, because damn, they have some good cheese…).

Also good news? I am so totally within spitting distance of my final weight loss goal. I currently weigh less than 230 pounds, down from 290. That kicks ass, though none of my clothes fit at all. I don’t care, it’s worth it.

Tunes: my favorite Tull tune, a bunch of alternative-ey stuff, and a bit of an edge. I’ll take it.

  1. “Variations on the Carlos Santana Secret Chord Progression (Live Guitar Solo)” – Frank Zappa
  2. “Private Eyes” – Daryl Hall & John Oates
  3. “Hunting Girl” – Jethro Tull
  4. “What Kind of Man” – Florence + The Machine
  5. “Romance” – Wild Flag
  6. “Wig Wam Bam” – The Donnas
  7. “Once In A Lifetime” – Talking Heads
  8. “Damn Damn Leash” – Be Your Own Pet
  9. “Here and Now” – Letters to Cleo
  10. “Polarnatten” – Vintersong
  11. “Because I’m Awesome (2012)” – The Dollyrots

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