After 2 long hours at the dealership last night, we drove out of there with a 2005 Mazda 3 hatchback in excellent condition. I had been dreading the final stage of the car buying process, as we had a downright awful experience last time at Champion Toyota. Sneakiness, dishonesty, and oodles of pressure were applied previously, and it did not help that both of us were so obviously inexperienced and thus easily manipulated. This time around, we prepped ourselves, and made sure it didn't happen again. As soon as we portrayed that we were firm on our choices and knew what we were doing, the salespeople didn't give us too much trouble.
B loves the car! I like it too, and it would be inaccurate to say that I can love a car that I can't even drive. It's a manual, so I should probably learn sometime from a non-family member. The color and paint job is really beautiful, and it's definitely a much nicer car than we ever expected to own at this stage in life. As much as we loved the Scion, we both feel much safer in this. And the trunk space is enormous! Helpful for IKEA trips in the far future. B was itching to drive it around more last night, but if you noticed, the clouds had descended on Austin. There was only 30-40 feet visibility, which is crazy foggy. It felt like you were inside a humidifier when you stepped outside.
After that we accomplished that massive task, it was pretty late, neither of us felt like cooking, so we went over to New Oriental Market for some grub. Initially, I considered being offended by the name, but the market is run by Koreans who just named it themselves. At $5 a plate for Korean food in the attached restaurant, it may very well be the best deal in town. And it's a lot of food, too. Can't forget to mention the free broth/soup, and the handful of fermented, steamed and/or marinated banchan dishes that come with each meal. It's a stellar avenue for familiarizing yourself with the cuisine, as none of the dishes are too exotic. Usually we stop by the fridge for imported canned sodas, coffees or juices. I've been on a McCol kick- it's barley Cola. Pretty rad retro design too.
Been laying off on the natural craze lately. But, I have to make one comment about green dish soap. They are wretched! We bought two expensivekinds of "natural" dish soap and washing the dishes was agonizing. The oil never really left the dishes. Watch out for the offerings of J.R. Watkins and Earth Friendly. I recently read about a new line of non-toxic cleaners called Better Life that I'd like to check out. Walgreens has them in stock, which shocked me, since Walgreens specializes in conventional supplies and a lot of cheap, off-brand, made-in-China paraphernelia. It really is an odd store- I should know, as I have spent way too many 15 minute segments wandering around waiting for my film to print or prescription to be filled. Anyways, the line was started by these two dads concerned about their new childrens' well-being in the house. (No, they're not a couple or gay.) Here's a radiant review. I'm particularly interested in the floor cleaner, as my allergist advised that I stop using my vacuum on the hardwoods and wet mop. (But if you have to vacuum and you have allergies, keep out of the room for at least one hour so the dust can settle.) Well, on second thought, I might as well stick with white vinegar as the most economic and safe option. After I finish my bottle of Clorox Green Works.
On Monday, after a 2.5 hour test involving 40 or so pricks and 30 needles, I was informed that I was highly allergic to dust mites, cat dander, and a slew of pollens. Western Cedar, Mountain Cedar, Juniper, Mountain Oak, Bermuda Grass, Ragweed.. The unfortunate truth is that there are pollens I am allergic to every month.. so I might as well never go outside and keep the windows closed. I also learned that dust mites live in bedstuffs and that I have to get special encasings for my mattress, duvet, and pillows. Oh, and also wash the duvet cover, sheets, and pillowcases once a week in 140 degree water. Still trying to figure out what thermometer to use to test the hot water setting on the washer.. And "no pets in the bedroom." We've tried that the past few days, but Snorri is really hurt by this and mews pathetically all morning outside the door. I'll probably also get some anti-dander shampoo for the cats. Basically, my life just got a good deal more inconvenient, if I choose to follow this advice. An effective but stupidly expensive option is to get allergy shots. It's something like twice a week for 6 months, and then a more spread out schedule for 5 years. And it's like thousands of dollars. That's not an option for me, but it would be nice to be able to breathe clearly one day. My mom suggested that I look into natural/herbal remedies. Maybe. B is pretty skeptical about alternative medicine, and I must say that his skepticism has rubbed off on me.