Saturday, July 27: First things first: I must get a pedicure. I head out first thing this morning to take care of this essential piece of business. I have to explain to the Vietnamese ladies at Paradise Nails where I’ve been the last year, as I had to do last year when I was home and the year before. I’m a regular there, but obviously not too regular in the last 3 years.
Then I head to the Apple Store at Reston Town Center to find out about getting more space on my hard drive. All during my last months in Oman and my entire trip through Spain and Portugal, I’ve been receiving messages on my MacBook Pro: Your startup disk is full! I have been deleting files right and left, but I’ve now reached the point where I have nothing else I want to delete.
The Apple Store directs me to go to Micro Center in Fairfax, as they are the authorized service dealer. Oh dear, here begins my driving to and fro in northern Virginia to do annoying errands! To buy the new hard drive costs me $80 and to have them install it and clone all my stuff to the new hard drive will cost $150. Already, my hard-earned money is flowing right out of my pocket into things I don’t want to buy! But these are the necessities of life and the money must be spent. There are so many other things I’d rather spend money on; this is certainly NOT one of them.
It will take them about 3 hours to do this process, so I’m without a computer for a while. Throughout the rest of the day, I keep getting phone calls from Micro Center telling me it’s taking much longer than they anticipated; apparently there are a lot of pictures that are very slow to transfer over. Surprise, surprise! It turns out the computer will not be ready until tomorrow morning.
Meanwhile, Mike has gone on an 88 mile bike ride with his biking club and I am still trying to fight my way through the disaster in the basement. This will keep me occupied for weeks, so it’s a good thing I don’t have to start work yet!
When Mike returns home, he does a bunch of research online about the list of cars I’ve told him I’d be interested in buying. He wants me to buy a slightly used Toyota Corolla because he feels it would be the best value for the money. I have told him I’d be interested in a Fiat, or a Toyota Matrix or Camry. We already have a 1997 Toyota Camry and a 2004 Toyota Sienna, and so we head straight to Ourisman Toyota, where we meet the very laid back salesman, Kofi from Uganda. I’m immediately attracted to a black Toyota Corolla; the new ones are so nice! After test driving the Corolla, I think it’s perfect. Especially with the new touch screens for audio and the Bluetooth! 🙂
We decide then and there to buy a brand new 2013 black Toyota Corolla. I’m never one to linger over car decisions; every time I’ve ever bought a car, I’ve just gone out in one fell swoop and bought one! We take the money I got from the sale of my GMC Terrain in Oman and Mike contributes the same amount again, and we sit for hours buying the car.
As you can see, Mike is not very happy with the time it takes to do all of this, mainly because he hardly ate anything today after his 88-mile bike ride and is starving.
I drive the Corolla right off the lot. We also bought, suckers that we are, the Environmental Protection Plan, which means I will need to bring back the car for treatment one day this week.
Sunday, July 28: Today, I must run more errands. This seems to be the nature of my life in Virginia. Oh how I remember this, and hate it. I have to go pick up my computer, which is now cloned. The only problem is that a product key is needed to activate Microsoft Office on the new hard drive. I search the house high and low and can’t find the packaging for the Microsoft Office I bought in 2011, so now it looks like I will have to buy it again. So irritating!
The rest of the day, I spend tackling the basement. Unbelievable. This clutter and disorganization is so annoying and claustrophobic after my nice clean and spare house in Oman. Things are piling up in the garage right and left as I dispose of anything and everything in my path. I figure anything I give to charity will benefit someone else, and any money we spent on this stuff is a sunk cost anyway. I can’t debate or tell myself maybe we should keep this for a time when we might need it. It simply has to go! I’m on a rampage.
Tuesday, July 30: Next thing, I must get my hair fixed. It’s a mess. I spent tons of money in Oman first getting a cut and highlights and low lights. Six weeks later, I had it straightened; the chemicals from that process basically destroyed the original highlights and low lights and turned my hair yellow. It was too late to do anything about it before I went on my holiday, so I had to live with it during my entire trip. Today, to remedy the situation, I head to my trusty Diane T Salon in Vienna to get a decent cut and highlights and low lights again. I tell her to make the low lights darker and chunkier, instead of in fine strands like she usually does them. She follows my instructions and I personally like the effect, but when I get home, Alex says, “Wow, nice hairdo. You look like a zebra!” What?? Oh my gosh! Kids will say the darndest things, but I run into the bathroom and look in the mirror. I guess he’s right, I slightly resemble a zebra. 🙂
Out in the front yard, I take a picture of Alex with my new car, and then he takes a picture of me, the zebra, with my new car. Joy. 🙂
In the afternoon, I attend an iPhone class at the Verizon Wireless store, where I discover the thrilling things that I can now do on my new iPhone. Welcome to the modern age!