Lots of ground to cover. Once you get through this NOVEL, you'll understand why I haven't blogged in a while.
We're going to start at the most recent and work backwards:
So, I finally caved. I traded in my 2000 Ford Contour (more like - tied a brick to the accelerator and drove it into a LAKE) for a 2003 Grand Jeep Cherokee.
And now I rock.
I resisted a car payment for so long...but at what cost? I had to draw the line when the timing belt & pulleys blew on the I-5, in the between the desert and NOWHERE.
In the dark.
Me and Chester.
I waited 3 1/2 hours for a tow, and $625 later (plus $200 for the towing)! Can you say...DONE?
I have to send a HUGE shot-out to my baby brother, Sebastian. This is how it went down when I walked into the dealership:
"Hi Toma...sign here. Here's your keys...take care!", and I drove away. No negotiation, no NOTHING.
Seb did EVERYTHING. He wheeled the deal and made it happen, way before I got there, since the dealership is right around the corner from his house. And it is a GREAT deal, I am very blessed. Thanks, Sebby. You keep it OFFICIAL...like a referee with a WHISTLE!!! ;o)
Chester's never been so happy - he has the entire cargo area to snooze away. Driving home from L.A. this past Saturday (6 hours), I think I saw him sit up a grand total of...um...twice. The rest of the time, he was being driven like Miss Daisy.
Is it wrong that I buy a car based on my DOG'S needs, vs. mine?
Last weekend, my very best friend from UM (let's not EVEN get started about my 'Canes...come back, boys...COME BACK, ANYTIME NOW!!) came to visit me. Doctor Vinny has been a friend of mine (and my family) for 14 years. We lived in the same dorm in college, and we also both worked for the football team (he was on the training staff, me on the recruiting staff). Then he moved over to Holland to do his PT (physical therapy) schooling, while I lived in Germany and worked for the Army. We ran around Europe for 2 years, traveling to Italy, Switzerland, and countless others. Some would say that the forces of nature meant for us to be together for so long, even though it was on a completely different continent. Me? Well, I just call it simpatico.
Vinny and I - St. Anthony's Basilica - Padua, Italy (circa 1997)
When I left to return to the States, Vinny decided on med school.
Fast forward 6 years, and he's now an MD, and about to start his residency. I wish I could explain just how proud I am of him...Docta Vinny Boom-Botts! He had one of his three board exams out in L.A., so he decided to make a trip of it and come to see me in Monterey, then we'd head down to south. We covered a lot of ground in 5 days; his Great Aunt Lena in San Francisco, then Big Sur, Pebble Beach, and Monterey, then on down to L.A., and Orange County.
One higlight is Kayla meeting Vinny for the first time. While we were waiting on our table at the restaurant, Kayla asks, "If you're a doctor, do you give shots to kids?" and "When do you have to wear gloves?"
As I'm sure everyone is wondering, I'll give the Reader's Digest Version of 'my side of the story'. My mother will tell everyone that the Good Doctor has always been 'The Chosen One'. I laugh, as does he. As much love as we have for each other - it's a love that will never grow old, never go away, and one that will enrich both of us for a very, very long time.
But it's not the marriage kind of love. The deepest of the friendship-but-he's-really-a-fantastic-catch-but-we-don't-feel-that-way-about-each-other love.
And that's the best kinda love there is, if you ask me.
Plus, when he was using me as his 'pretend patient' before his exam - as in, asking questions about my health and diagnosing - he asked me how regular my menstrual cycle is.
Oh yeah, and the most important of the 'why we're not together' factor? Yeah...I would drive him crazy within 2 weeks. That's how I know our friendship will last forever. I spaz out, and he just laughs. Thanks for a fantastic time, Vin...you are my heart...my insides...and I love you!!
We're working, progressively, backwards....
The weekend before the Good Doctor arrived, I was in L.A. (for those keeping count...yes...that is 3; count them, THREE...weekends in a row, I have been in L.A.), for Chuckie & Kit's wedding. Chuckie's been a friend of mine for many years...and it was a fantastic time!! I was lucky enough to see some old Disney friends that flew in from Orlando; along with some old Disney friends that live in L.A. Chuckie and Kit put on one helluva party, and a good time was had by all.
I took my brother as my date. No, no, not pathetic. Not at all. Hi.
Congratulations, Chuckie & Kit! Mazel, mazel...goodthings, goodthings!
Lastly - this just in...everyone welcome to the world - Mikayla Renae - brand new daughter of my friend, Melissa Kruszewski. 30 hours of hard labor, and an emergency c-section...Kruszewski gets a medal. Congratulations on a beatiful baby girl. It's only the beginning of a beautiful adventure, my friend! I love you both!
Toma's Favorite Song Today: "Love in the Library" by Jimmy Buffett (for you, Vin...)