One and Done Sunday #19

Hey, Happy Fathers Day!

Welcome to One and Done Sunday. One picture, and five links that are worth your time.

First, your picture, from the what-the-hell-happened-to-me category:

How many things can you find wrong here?

1) mini van

2) with paving stones

3) and flowers; flowers that are still alive in spite of me owning them for an entire hour already.

The only two things in this picture I ever could have predicted are the zombie stickers in the window and the packing blanket underneath everything.

You know, minivans get a bad rap. Lots of people are all like, “Oh, I’ll never own a minivan. NEVER!” Whatever. I get it, stigma schmigma, your life is over when you get a minivan, you get stupider when you buy one, they’re so unsexy for God’s sake.

You know what else they are? They’re really goddamn convenient. We whipped that puppy from an 8-passengers-can-sit-comfortably-and-smack-each-other-while-listening-to-their-iPods vehicle to one ready to receive stone, cement and dirt in like 45 seconds. Bam, bam, bam.

But I don’t have a whole lot of my identity wrapped up in the car I drive every day like it seems most of America does.

Because no matter who curses my minivan for either going the speed limit in my neighborhood or cutting them off on the Turnpike, or what names they think as they judge me with a van full of kids making the school rounds, or if people automatically (and hilariously, knowing both my kids’ soccer skills and my own cupcake making track record) categorize me as a cupcake-making-soccer-mom, there are two things they can’t change:

– I dig the minivan

-I also have a ’66 Mustang convertible.

Here are your links.

A hilarious article from down under about mums: Mother Bashing- It’s All the Rage! (thanks Team Oyenyi for the link!)

You can’t hate a baby elephant playing in the ocean. I dare you to look at these pictures and try not to smile. Karyn at Kloppenmum Because Play is the Work of Childhood.

One very specific use for a dead cat.

I don’t drink, so this guy could actually be full of crap, but he has been great to me and writes this wine blog and he sounds like he knows what he’s talking about. Since there are a lot of moms here, and since a lot of moms drink wine, you should check out JVB Uncorked. If you’re a mom who prefers to drink bourbon, you should crack open another bottle of Baker’s and click his link.

Elizabeth Reep is a kickass stepmom who created Camp C.O.P.E. for children of deployed, injured, or fallen US service members. I started reading this article in my doctor’s office and had to stop and get tissues because I was openly weeping, and I had to finish reading it at home. I wish I was half the stepmom she is.

Oh, and one extra, because this is really frickin’ cool. 32,000-Year-Old Plant Reborn From Ancient Fruit Found In Siberian Ice.

Happy Sunday, and do something awesome for your dad today.

Service

Our minivan was due for an oil change this week. Okay, technically it was due for an oil change like two months ago, but we’ve been busy. Go ahead and judge, I don’t mind.

Wait, are you judging me for the not getting the oil changed part, or the owning a minivan part? Because we actually own two minivans. But I also have a ’66 Mustang convertible named Miss Lucy, so get off my ass.

Anyway, we dropped the minivan off for the oil change and to have them check out the power steering, and discovered it also needed practically everything else except for a new engine, a new transmission, and new headlights.

So I put up my 401k as collateral and they began working on it. It took a little while, which brings us to Friday. CC had to be at work early, #1 was going to an amusement park, and I was on my own to pick up the car.

Meanwhile #3 was down with Swimmers Ear and we were out of pain reliever so I had to be speedy. I decided to multitask, and jogged down to the dealership, which is only about two miles away.

I used to live in Arizona, and I used to run for real there. Outside. It’s hot, but dry, so as long as you don’t outright incinerate, you can breathe.

In New Jersey, it’s very swamplike. In New Jersey, I’m fifteen years older. In New Jersey, I jog/walk indoors on a treadmill. My little trek to the dealership yesterday was a challenge.

This is probably also the time I have to mention that I’m a sweater. It’s gross, I know, but pertinent to the story. I sweat far more than the average woman human when it’s humid or when I exercise. Lucky for all of us, yesterday both of those applied.

I go into the service center and it’s packed. Full of people mainly in business suits trying to get their cars together to take on trips for this holiday weekend. There’s a counter with juices and tea and bagels and toast. I grab a paper towel from the basket to mop my brow and go stand in line for Rick, my friendly service representative.

As I’m standing in his line, I begin sweating in earnest. People are starting to cast disparaging sideways glances at me. I’m kind of dripping on the floor and I’m afraid some of it is audible. I only wait about ninety seconds for Rick but during that time, my sad paper towel has become the size of a cotton ball, is totally soaked and shredding because I keep trying to use it in a futile attempt to not look like a completely inappropriate mutant.

I get up to Rick and he says, “Woah.”

I’m trying to act like nothing unusual is happening. “Um, I ran over here.”

He stares at me for a second and then says, “Oh, literally!”

Rick then politely ignores my little problem while going over all the fabulous expensive things they did to our car and I’m just dying a little inside because I can’t stop sweating. Have you ever tried to stop sweating? Totally ineffective.

By the time he’s done, I look like I’ve just completed a Bikram class. My only saving grace is that I don’t know anyone here. We get to the part where I have to write a check. I had jogged over with this little wristlet thing that could hold only my license, my phone, and a check. I need a pen.

So I ask Rick for a pen. Somehow, there are none on the counter. I can tell he is debating whether to offer me the pen in his pocket or go find another one. After the briefest of hesitations, he says, “Here, you can use mine,” and hands it to me. I joke back, “I’ll try not to sweat on it,” because we both know that isn’t remotely possible. Then I look down.

Rick, god bless him, has handed me his Montblanc.

Now that’s service.

Have you experienced any extraordinary customer service lately?

Remember to enter the inappropriate puggle caption contest. The fabulous prize is your very one, once twice viewed DVD copy of Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus.

#2, #3, and #5 watched it last night. #5 gave it this stellar review at several points during the action scenes: This movie is awesome!

Word.