This post is, as the title suggests, unfocused and without any real writing ties or any unifying theme. If you still feel compelled to read after that glowing bit of self-promotion, please, do so. I just thought I’d warn you beforehand.
I managed to get out another round of queries, mailing them off with not-so-high hopes on Saturday. The expectation of rejection is now the default emotion, and I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing. But, with this pessimism comes the toughened skin I’ve been trying to grow, as well as the general feeling that if I don’t get rejected, it’ll at least be a happy surprise.
The rest of my time has been devoted to dealing with the fallout from poor purchasing choices. Like Clark Griswold with the Family Truckster, I manage to do all the wrong things with big purchases. From another issue with the broke-assed car, whose engine we decided to replace instead of getting a new one, to spending hours of my days on the phone with a certain television manufacturer who promised us a nice plasma set and instead gave us a costly paperweight. It’s been problem after problem for the entire two years we’ve owned it, and has been essentially useless since May. Twelve weeks has passed since the glass-and-aluminum albatross stopped working altogether. They gave us the runaround when it came to repairing it, gave the repairman the runaround by sending him the same broken parts over and over to ‘fix’ it with, and then again gave us another turn on the merry-go-round of reaming with the fight to get it replaced. I’ve lost time, money and sleep over this, only to lose a good chunk of my original investment cost by being forced to settle for a ‘comparable’ set that is way less expensive because of ‘depreciation.’ I can hear the cash fluttering out the window as I write, or quite possibly turning to ash in my hand as I put a lighter to it. And turning on the Big Nasty that dwells inside me did absolutely nothing. As I mentally mourned the death of small companies that actually cared if they lost business, I swear I heard the so-called manager shrug when I said neither I nor anyone who would listen to me would ever buy one of their products again. He ended the call with a thinly veiled version of, “Are you going to get off the phone, or what?”
I think I’m going to stop making decisions for a while, at least where large chunks of machinery are concerned. There goes that new backhoe I’d been eying.
On the up side, this Christmas will bring a trip to sunny Florida to visit the in-laws, who are snow-birding it down there until spring. And, yes, there will be the short trip to the Cheesiest Place on Earth. What can I say? I need some synthetic cheer right about now, and the other kind just leads to poor hygiene and even poorer decision-making skills. Besides, it’ll be nice sitting there in the “Carousel of Progress,” watching those robots warble the virtues of The Future with optimistic exuberance (obviously, they’ve never had to deal with a company that’s name includes the letters L and G).
Still, the New Year brings promise, doesn’t it? Or, at least the soothing equivocation of a clean slate. And I’m all for one of those right about now.
December 10th, 2007 at 6:41 pm
Christina — I’ve been down that road, too. The worst is eschewing a favorite restaurant to try something new, and ending up with a dinner not fit for a sewer rat. But, coming away from a round of restaurant roulette without food poisoning still has to fall into the “win” category, right?
December 9th, 2007 at 1:08 am
I’m not making great decisions with food. Maybe I won’t make any decisions either, the last place we ate at the food was so gross! Stay positive! I’m reading “The Secret” and that’s what they keep saying. We’ll get there.
December 7th, 2007 at 4:46 pm
Steve — I wish the U.S. was built more bike-friendly. Even here, where it’s mostly rural, riding a bike means playing multiple-fracture roulette. I have a friend who nearly lost her life after a car hit her while riding her bike. We need more hiker/biker paths (or more competent drivers).Sqt — It’s so annoying, isn’t it? You just want to get in and drive, not worry about what might go wrong and when.
December 6th, 2007 at 11:47 pm
My car needs to go into the shop right now and I’m cringing at the thought of the cost and inconvenience. Sucks.
December 5th, 2007 at 8:29 pm
I’ve had my share of OldsmoBuicks as well. What finally worked for me was the $400 disposable car. I’d buy a car (guess the max. cost?) and drive it til it broke. *Anything* broke. Any repairs at all, it was gone. Sometimes I’d sell them for $1-200 dollars, others the junk man took ’em for $20. Sure, I went through cars like most people go through pens or lighters, but it worked. I’d usually get six months or so out of one of my bombers, which kept my running costs under $1000/year.Course, now I have a bike. My running costs now are reeeeaaaallllyyyy looooowwwww…I know, I know. I’m a freak whose solutions don’t work in the real world…
December 5th, 2007 at 7:16 pm
Jay — I try to keep that in mind as much as possible, but it helps to be reminded from time to time just the same. Charles — Thanks. Does your machine want to meet Agatha? They sound like a match made in rusty heaven.
December 5th, 2007 at 2:44 am
Good luck with the submissions. You’re machine troubles sound a lot like mine of late. Over 3,000 in car repairs in one month. OUCH.
December 3rd, 2007 at 10:31 pm
I know it’s disheartening, but remember – all it takes is one.