Friday, March 30, 2007
  Goodness, how I love the Times (and how bad used car salesmen suck)
Reading the newspaper is really something I wish I had time for each day. Sometimes I do get a break at work and check out, though. And it never fails to disappoint.

It's Not You, It's Your Apartment

Looking at that top picture, I think, no, maybe it really could be him. Then again, a dead seal? I guess it could be both. :D

I dunno what's going on with getting a new car. The salesman at the car dealership has lived up to the used-car-salesmen reputation and been slimy and skeezy, assuming skeezy is a word. Every bit of polite Midwesterner in me has long since fled, and we had a heated discussion after work yesterday, my position being that a $500 dealer fee is bullshit. When we reached an impasse, I gritted my teeth, said thank you in the most fake way possible, and hung up. I sent them a fax afterwards, which included a printout of the calculations all his extra fees would make the final car cost be, the suggestion that he call if he were willing to get the car down to the price I was willing to pay, and a great deal of attitude.

He called last night. Twice.

But at this point, eh.. This has been stressful and time-consuming (I have been so distracted from school!), and a huge lesson in how low people can be. Chris, in true Chris fashion, offered me to use his Corolla for a little while if I was dead-set against driving my no-a/c Civic. I'm thinking I may take him up on it, and just put this off for a few months, at which point I will have more money in the bank, less credit inquiries on my report, and a much more realistic understanding of how all this works. I also think I'm going with a private party next time.. Using Carfax and trusting your gut, I think it is very possible to get a good one-owner car from a private party for a lot less than I'd pay at a dealer. Plus, as a bonus: no used car salesmen. I can get a nice Corolla for well under $200 a month through a private party. Yipee! :)
CarMax can be really good for used cars...

and did you have a VW when you came through Chicago in 2000-2001 or so?
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I'm Stacey. I'm a 31(!)-year-old Wisconsin girl living in sunny South Florida. The highlights in my life are my lovely boyfriend, my aloof cats, my adorable/adoring stepdogs, my two lumbering tortoises, select family members, being outside, being underwater, taking pictures, yadda yadda. Stay tuned for lots of babbling!

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States


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Making a difference

A small boy lived by the ocean. He loved the creatures of the sea, especially the starfish, and he spent much of his time exploring the seashore.

One day the boy learned there would be a minus tide that would leave the starfish stranded on the sand.

When the tide went out, he went down to the beach, began picking up the stranded starfish, and tossing them back into the ocean.

An elderly man who lived next door came down to the beach to see what the boy was doing. Seeing the man's quizzical expression, the boy paused as he approached. "I'm saving the starfish!" the boy proudly declared.

When the neighbor saw all of the stranded starfish he shook his head and said: "I'm sorry to disappoint you, young man, but if you look down the beach, there are stranded starfish as far as the eye can see. And if you look up the beach the other way, it's the same. One little boy like you isn't going to make much of a difference."

The boy thought about this for a moment. Then he reached his small hand down to the sand, picked up another starfish, tossed it out into the ocean, and said: "Well, I sure made a difference for that one!"

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