Monday, March 31, 2008

Notes for a car dealer

One of the things that my mom wanted to do while she was here in Colorado was buy a new car. So for the past couple weeks, we've been researching cars ... more specifically small SUVs.

My mom needs an SUV, or at least a car with all-wheel drive, simply because of the conditions she drives in in California and here in Colorado. She also likes the cargo room that SUVs offer.

The first step in the mom's-buying-a-car process consisted of going to the dealerships and sitting in the cars. Sitting. That's all. Not driving. We sat in the driver's seat, the passenger seat and the rear seats. Then we inspected all of the cars' nooks and crannies.

It was then that we got to meet some car salesmen.

I have some advice for car salesmen: Women are not stupid and do not need to be talked down to. Just so you know.

I mean, the world of the Internet has opened up a plethora of information and all we really need of you, dear car salesmen, is to unlock the doors. We can deal with the rest.

Things we liked in cars (not considering safety — because all cars are pretty safe these days — and fuel economy — which was very important to my mom) is a place to put your purse while driving. As women, we take our purses with us most of the time and it has to go somewhere.

After going through the "sitting in the car" phase, we moved on to the "drive the car" phase. This is an important step. We learned a lot about these cars.

Probably one of the most important things is seat comfort. All those safety features 'n' shit are important, but if the seat is uncomfortable it's going to suck driving that car. We found that several of the small SUVs have small seats. Seats designed for regular to small people. We are not regular to small, we are big people and therefore big seats.

Also, while leather seats and millions of doo dads are nice, my mom wasn't really interested in that. She was interested in comfort, reliability and fuel economy.

After driving many cars she finally decided on the 2009 Subaru Forester. Yes, in March of 2008 we were looking at the 2009 Forester. She sat in the 2008 Forester and found the interior too small and confining. The salesman was quick to comment that Subaru had redesigned the Forester for 2009 and they just happened to have a couple.

She finished test driving the other SUVs pretty much knowing that she wanted the 09 Forester in blue ... with the sunroof that she didn't want until she saw how big it was in the Forester.

And she was right, she liked the pep of the Subaru four-cylinder better than the other and the Subaru's interior was head and shoulders better than the domestics. She had made her decision. Now came the negotiation.

Here's another piece of advice for car salesmen: If you make with a customer, be on time. Twice my mom had to wait for a salesmen when she had an appointment.

One of the times was when she was going in to actually buy the car. So she was already annoyed and when the dealership wouldn't negotiate and were uncertain when they could get the exact car she wanted, she walked.

My mom's awesome that way. She walked out of the only Subaru dealer in town, despite the fact that she really wanted that car.

So we took again to the Internet and I found her car ... in Longmont.

My mom called the Longmont dealer and the dealer in Glenwood Springs. And because my mom was going to write a check for the car, she held all the power.

The Glenwood Springs dealer didn't have the blue one, but they said they could get one. The Longmont guy had the car but was 200 miles away. The Longmont guy agreed to my mom's price AND to drive it to our house.

Then the Glenwood Springs guy agreed on the prise and promised the car would be at their dealership the next day.

My mom told the Longmont guy we were going with the Glenwood Springs guy; he offered more money off.

Now she was just having fun.

After weeks of research and getting treated both bad and good by dealerships, she was the one with the control. Then she started feeling guilty. I told her that this is they way that the car dealerships made it with all the bickering and dealing and bullshit. She had the power and she should take advantage.

She told the Glenwood Springs guy of the Longmont guy's additional discount and he matched it. And it was done.

We drove the next day to Glenwood Springs and bought her car. But not before she got calls from other dealers offering more money off other cars.

So we learned a valuable lesson and one more bit of advice for car dealers: We're on to you. We know how you deal and we don't trust you no matter how big your smile. We're going to wait you out until you call begging to give us a better deal.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Too much, really?

My stomach is upset and I can't, for the life of me, figure out why.

For breakfast I had two pieces of Easter candy. For lunch I had a large piece of Pablo's la Chupacabra pizza, three stove-top (aka unbaked) cookies, a piece of chocolate spice cake and a brownie ... oh and a whole can of non-diet generic Dr. Pepper.

I wonder what it could be? I'd better go eat some chili to make it feel better.

Eyes have it

When I retire or become independently wealthy, I'm going to conduct a study of eye color. There are so many different colors. We need more categories than brown, blue, hazel, violet.

This, of course, has come from the fact that we've been mystified by Margaret's eye color since she was a baby. At age 7 we are confident that they are greenish hazel ... to be specifically non-specific.

This interests me so much because I have blue eyes and Bill has brownish eyes. I expected either blue or brownish for Mar. This blend Margaret received is very cool, but surprising.

I want more information on how eye color is determined, please.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Austin fashion

Last year at SXSW it seemed that everyone had skinny jeans and emo haircuts. This year we noticed a different trend among the ladies:

Skirts or dresses with boots.

I took the pictures of these 12 boot'n'dress wearing gals during legendary punk band X played their set at Spin magazine's at Stubb's.

Last year, Bill finagled us into that same party where the Buzzcocks were playing. This year I was the one who got us in ... but with far less finesse.

We were standing outside the venue and it was hot and I was tired and I didn't want to be standing around there anymore. Bill tried to get in and was told that we'd have to wait. I saw a guy giving out passes and I walked up to him, held up my hand and said "five." He looked at me and said, "That's aggressive." And I shrugged my shoulders. He gave me five passes.

Sometimes you just have to ask.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Can it be real?

Do you think spring is really here? I hope so. We really enjoyed the mild weather this past weekend.

Click over here to see pictures of us carousing.

Like father, like daughter.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I saw the quirky and low-fi gal

One of my favorite moments at SXSW was seeing Kimya Dawson play at a record store.

For those unfamiliar, Kimya did many songs on the Juno soundtrack and I've been listening to that soundtrack non-stop for more than a month now. I love Kimya's music so much, it inspired me to make this video which I posted a while back.

And I've said "quirky and low-fi" so much that one evening when I was at band practice and Bill and Mar were visiting neighbors, Kimya's name came up in conversation and Margaret immediately said, "Oh she's low-fi and quirky." Awesome.

The record store was a LONG way from Sixth Street and most of the other SXSW goings on. We had to hoof it a LONG way in 90 degree temperature to see her. We got there late, but Bill and I still managed to squirm our way to the front and stand there all hot and sweaty, but it was worth it. Seeing her made my trip, fo' sho'.

We've listened to Kimya's music with Margaret a lot, so I was excited to learn that she's putting out a children's album with songs that talk about gorilla farts and such. Double awesome.

Oh and I posted over here about Margaret's addiction ... hopefully she won't be going all Amy Winehouse on us.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Riveter's Invasion of the GoGirls – SXSW 2008

GoGirlsMusic — I love this organization. GoGirls is the brain-child of Madalyn Sklar and this chick rocks. Fer reals.

She knows all the ins and outs of the indie music scene and works hard to provide information and services that are geared toward helping musicians reach their goals ... and not about lining her own pockets.

Invasion of the GoGirls is a showcase featuring 60 acts over three days and it all takes place during Austin's famed South by Southwest music festival. So Austin is already chaotic and full of musicians, but that doesn't stop Madalyn from running a tight ship.

Over three days, she runs four shows featuring over 60 singers, groups and bands. Just getting picked to be part of this showcase is huge for us, but then getting picked for the Saturday night event was even more huger (yes, "huger" is a word ... in my mind).

The shows ran on time and they rocked. We witnessed some acts that were truly unlike any acts we've seen before. You'll never be bored when the GoGirls are in town.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

We're not in Texas anymore

We got back into town a day later than we expected, but we had a great trip and I'll have pictures and more to write about that. Now I'm just playing catch up.

In the meantime, I wrote about Margaret and how she's coping with her grief over here.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Why I love San Antonio - Part 2

San Antonio smells AWESOME!

Some parts of town smells like delicious Tex-Mex or bar-be-que, other places smell like fragrant spring flowers and our hotel smells like herbs or something that inspires me to say "I love the smell of our hotel" every time we go to our room.

The part of the city we're in is clean and wonderful for walking. We're next to the Alamo and the famed riverwalk. And I mean right next door to both.

And you can get giant margaritas with Sauza tequilas with Hornitas. I don't know what Hornitas are, but I love 'em. Mmmm ... Hornitas!

Oh and even though it's been rainy, it's warm enough to be comfortable with a hoodie. It's like paradise after the brutal Grand Junction winter.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

South by Southwest, baby!

My band getting ready for our show Saturday night and then Bill and I are off to Texas.

After relaxing for a few days, we're going to pick up the rest of the band at the airport and then take South by Southwest by storm.

We're going to be writing about our experiences on's community page and we'll be posting photos and video there as well.

We're also being featured in The Daily Sentinel's entertainment magazine, Out and About, tomorrow. We had a photo shoot for that.

Check out these pictures:

We're giving stuff away

Click over here to enter to win a super-cute, hand-crafted handbag. It's easy and quick and and you can win a free bag.

Free stuff. Who doesn't love free stuff?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Linkity Links

Garfield minus Garfield: It's so much better this way.

Almost plane crash: So much better than an actual plane crash.

Did you know ...

that I love the Supersuckers? Because I do. If I didn't there's no way I'da hauled my cookies out on a Sunday night to see a show.

A Sunday night.

And it was awesome.

The picture of Bill and I standing in front of the stage is during Eddie and Jordan Shapiro's version of Peace in the Valley ... that they played because I asked in a most enthusiastic way.

Awesome. It was a great show and I'd totally go out on a Sunday night again to see them.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Spring cures many ills

Margaret played piano in a sonatina festival Saturday. She didn't win, but she played well and we're super proud of her. You can read more about that over here.

It was a gorgeous spring day (despite the fact that winter reared its vicious head Sunday). While we were waiting for the other performers to finish, we walked around the college's campus.

It was glorious. Then we bought gummy bears. Awesome.