Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day and the Hallmark curse...

Some folks say that Valentine's Day is overrated.

In the past, I've been inclined to heartily agree and even solidify my agreement with a raucous "HELL YEAH!" I've been to anti-Valentine's Day parties, Single Awareness Day parties (side note: have you even noticed that the acronym for Single Awareness Day is 'SAD'?) and even penned a bitter girl's dream heart-hate post. Even last year I didn't really have the chance to enjoy it as the holiday happened to be in the middle of 80-hour work weeks for both BV and I. Sometimes, it can be overwhelmingly intimidating and there's just no use bothering with it. But this year? I went all out.

We bought gifts, planned surprises and created what was honestly the best holiday I think I've ever had. I cooked a gourmet breakfast (courtesy of Liz's jelly biscuit recipe and my mom's quiche) and B clocked out early to spend some serious morning time together. Champagne, roses, silly decorations and romance aside, it was honestly fun. I spent most of my night and the better part of the morning hours decorating and cooking, but the look on B's face as he ate was absolutely priceless... The cliche is true: his heart lies at the bottom of a full stomach.

A bowl of fresh strawberries amidst the decorations kicked off a wonderful breakfast feel (left); A very content man, BV just finished breakfast (right).

Due to a planning malfunction, the centerpiece I had in mind didn't manage to get done. Fortunately, a glass hurricane and some crepe stringing paper sprinkled with candy hearts worked out well.

B's giant Hershey Kiss. I couldn't help but buy it.

Diamonds, hearts and candy, OH MY! (left) Champagne and berries in the flute, berry-pomagranate julius in the other. (right)

Chocolates, champagne and heart-shaped candles: It much be February 14th.

On of my favorite pictures of all... And the one that started the brain wave for a blog.

My sister Liz's jelly biscuits -- with berry garnish and a sparkle gel on a wonderfully romantic platter I found at Pottery Barn.

"I didn't burn the quiche! I didn't burn the quiche!"


Pre-pig out...

 ... and post-pig out. HURRAH!

Two kinds of French preserves make for wonderful biscuits -- Bonne Maman tastes fresh, right out of the jar.

Can you even enjoy coffee on St. Valentine's Day without drinking it out of a red mug?!? (left)

Peppermint coffee stirrers only add to the excitement. (right)

While the feast was the main event, the gifts were a blast, as well as the greeting cards. Personally, I don't mind so much that this is supposedly a "Hallmark-created holiday". I just thank god that Hallmark exists. Who else would get me laid so often? Those folks make me actually sound eloquent. They make love sound genuine and help regular people sound like relationship rock stars. They even out the playing field between men and women, too. I know it's a large stretch of the imagination to think that the sayings inside those cards run through his head like the slogans at the bottom of the Time's Square Jumbotron, but it's a nice fantasy. So once a year, my imaginings are validated. What, may I ask, is wrong with that?

I ran out of ribbon, so the alternative was Christmas decorations, strung across both the mantleplace and the ceiling!

White roses make any breakfast taste a million times better. It's been scientifically proven.

Curling ribbon, white sewing ribbon and more Christmas ornaments created a decadent feeling under the chandelier.

Diamond ornament detail.

And yes, kitties love Valentine's, too. Of course! (Even if they are only interested in destroying the paper.)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Buying a used car is pure hell.

So BV and I sold our Jeep mid-January and have been searching for a new 4-wheel drive vehicle. While the car was in pretty solid condition and still running well, it was old enough and we were bored enough that we figured, 'Why not buy something new?' To us, that is.

I wish we had kept the damn Jeep because essentially, people fucking suck.

We have driven to Provo (twice!), Heber, Draper, Cottonwood Heights, Layton and Sugarhouse. We've called beforehand, had cash in our pockets and have meticulously planned out every detail so as not to be robbed, jumped, conned or under-bid. Every single time, the seller(s) have lied, conned, or sold the vehicle right out from under us after we've driven over an HOUR to look at their cars.

If you're selling a car that has no rust, IT HAD BETTER BE RUST FREE, GODDAMMIT. If it runs well, THE ENGINE SHOULD NOT TICK, TOCK, CLICK, BANG, OR SHAKE. I'm not buying a fucking clock, people. Don't tell me that "It's in great shape for the year." or that "it blue books for _____". BLUE BOOK IS A DEALER'S STANDARD, you idiot. When a car is 'Blue Book', it means that you've gone over every single detail of the car, making sure it is in tip-top shape for that year, for that price.

Being a private seller on KSL, you're not a dealer. Unless you're wearing a plaid suit in an ugly shade of shit brown when I stop in your driveway, you're not a used car salesman. Don't act like it. As far as we're concerned, if you don't have paperwork and receipts confirming the fact that you had a new transmission installed last year or that the engine has a factory rebuild, it never happened. If the paint is peeling or faded, the exterior condition of the vehicle is "POOR". Claiming that it's anything else is a lie.

If the brake lights don't work, the doors are broken or it won't pass emissions, please don't declare that it's in great condition. If your used 4-Runner is running on 5 cylinders instead of all six and you've been driving it for a year? Congratulations, asshole -- you've just run a car into the ground. DO NOT TELL ME IT'S IN GREAT CONDITION. When I ask why the entire front end looks as if it's been replaced, please don't insult my intelligence by saying that it's just been cleaned. THE BODY IS BUCKLED, MORON. Your radiator is shiny and new, as is the front grille that's been wire tied to that new radiator. The headlight joints don't match up, the paint is a different color and you're grinning as if you're an angry Arab selling me a nuclear bomb. YOU'RE A LIAR.

When you allege to be selling your car because your husband is leaving for Iraq in the morning (sob!) but have dropped the price of the car $800 to match what we offered you because it's been online for a month, only to sell it two minutes before we arrive... Your story has holes. You're not a soldier, you're a greedy bastard.

If we call you from Heber to make sure you're not selling the car that's been online for two weeks, don't sell it to the asshole who shows up with cash and then explain that you sent us a text message once we pull in. WE ARE DRIVING DOWN. Quick law-check: Did you know that in Utah it is illegal to text and drive? What's wrong with a phone call? Are you too scared to tell someone you've changed your mind?


Tomorrow, we're going to look at another car. I'll be carrying a weapon.