Quirk can kiss my dimpled white ass

Seriously.  I find dealership service centers to be immoral on a good day.  At times, criminal even.  Below is the letter I fired off to GM, the Better Business Bureau, and the dealership itself.  This reminds me of the Best Buy clusterfuck… dear lord, I am so exhausted.

 

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to express my dissatisfaction with the service provided to my Saturn vehicle by GM/Chevrolet. This service, or lack thereof, has cost me money and threatens my safety and well-being, as I am not currently driving a safe vehicle.

Here is what happened:

1) In June 2009, I purchased a 2008 Saturn Astra. The vehicle was brand new with 14 miles on it.

2) In 2011, my horn stopped working. On July 29, 2011 I brought my car to Quirk Chevrolet in Manchester, NH – the local GM branch that was servicing Saturn vehicles. They informed me that there was a technical service bulletin for this vehicle, and “fixed” the horn free of charge. According to the invoice, the bulletin doc id# was 2551417. (I have not yet been able to locate this bulletin id or its description anywhere online.)

3) Despite the “service” I received, I continued to periodically have issues with the horn, as well as the radio controls located on the steering wheel. I was reluctant to bring it back to Quirk because, when I called to ask about the problem, I was told that I would be charged a diagnostic fee until they could determine if it was the “exact same issue” I had before. Quirk’s diagnostic fee is $95 – a price I could not afford to take a chance on.

4) I noticed that, when the horn did not work, it correlated with the radio volume control on the steering wheel (right hand side) not working. If I tried to raise the volume and could not, I immediately knew the horn was not functioning.

5) At the start of this year, the horn (and volume control) ceased to work at all. I knew I could not put it off any longer. (Unfortunately, my mechanic was unable to do the work. He indicated that he thought it was a problem with the transmission between the horn signal and the modem of my vehicle. An idea that Quirk NEVER brought up, btw.) I went back to Quirk.

6) On March 8, 2014, I went to Quirk’s service center. I explained the situation, including the detail that when the volume control did not work, neither did the horn. I paid a $95 diagnostic fee, and they looked at my car for over 3 hours. I was told by my liaison, Fred, that I needed a switch in my steering wheel. I then paid another $54.98 for the “switch”. I had to wait for the part to arrive, so it was not until March 22, 2014 that my car was “fixed”. On that day, I paid another $66.50 for labor. Total cost to me was $216.48.

7) The very next day (Sunday), I drove to the grocery store. I tried to raise the volume on the radio and it did not work. Neither did my horn. I called Quirk the following Monday and was told to bring it back.

8) I brought it back in on March 28, 2014 and that is when I discovered, from talking with Fred, that the “switch” they replaced was for the radio control only. They did not do any repair to fix the horn because the horn worked when they looked at it. Fred also tried to charge me another $95 to look at my car again. I told him that I was not paying that amount because they obviously had not fixed the problem that I originally brought my car in there for. Quirk was unable to do anything at this time because, once again, the horn was working.

9) On April 22, 2014, my horn was not working (again). I immediately drove it to Quirk. Unfortunately, it started working on the way there. Once again, they could do nothing. But I was told that they would research service bulletins, etc. I am not sure why they did not do this from the beginning. I told them this was important, as it is a safety hazard. I have no idea when my horn will or won’t work!

10) I still have not heard from Fred or anyone else at Quirk.

At this point, I am very upset. I paid over $200 to have a “switch” replaced that I probably did not need. I say that because the radio control STILL does not periodically work. THE SAME EXACT PROBLEMS WITH THE HORN AND THE RADIO STILL EXIST.

The horn in my vehicle still periodically does not work. And I do not have time to drive to Quirk every time it happens. I have a job. Where I need to make money to pay for repairs I don’t need, evidently.

I am extremely disappointed with the fact that Quirk is unable to help me and seems unwilling to help. I am upset that my safety is at risk because Quirk was too lazy to look up technical service bulletins (I recently found one poking around on my own – SB-10276 indicates a problem with loose wiring in the Saturn Astra that could cause the horn to periodically not function properly). I am horrified I’ve had to shell out as much money as I have for a repair I most likely did not need. I am saddened that it is just this type of scenario that makes me despise dealership service centers. I can assure you, I will never set foot there again.

The exception would be if 1) you arranged for me to be refunded the money I have spent that I clearly did not need to spend because nothing has been fixed, and 2) you promised me the problem WOULD BE FIXED PERMANENTLY.

I recommend that you train your service staff to be more thorough and to care more about the safety of your customers.

Sincerely,

THIS BITCH (no, I signed my real name)

 

 

So much time has passed…

It’s been too long since I posted.  I have many updates, but I am too lazy to go into all of them.  I’ll only post about the biggest one.  My grandmother on my mom’s side (who I have mentioned in other blog posts) passed away in July of last year.  My grandfather had already passed away (also mentioned in blog posts), so her passing meant both of them were gone.  Which was a significant blow.  And still hard to believe.

I am too tired right now to make the effort of linking to the other posts mentioned above.  Go look through my blog.  Be an active reader and put a little effort into it, why don’t ya’?

Things have been surreal.  I have moments of sadness, moments of forgetting they’re gone (the most surreal), and mostly I just regret all the things we regret when someone is gone and we did not cherish them every single second.  Which is everyone, everywhere.  We’re human.

Sadly, my grandmother’s passing has brought on family drama having to do with “the estate”.  I don’t even want to go into it right now, except to say that my mother’s brother is a giant hunk of shit covered in shit sauce served next to a shit sandwich inside a shit roll.  Enough said.

Rather than blather on, I am including a writing piece I’ve been working on.  I might continue it, I might not.  The point was the writing, rather than the result.  But I hope it gives you a sense of what I want to say.

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The House in Fryeburg

Both of my grandparents on my mom’s side are gone now.  Their absence renders a gaping hole in my life.  Not necessarily one in the present, nor the future.  But it is a hole in my past.  It is a void in my foundation.  It is difficult to reconcile who I am, or adequately describe who I am to anyone else who has not met them, now that they are gone.  They had larger than life roles in my world.  For this, I am lucky.

I could recount many stories about who they were: as grandparents, as people.  I could illustrate how my grandmother was unforgivingly judgmental, yet equally as firmly supportive to those she loved.  I could tell tales of my grandfather’s rampant prejudices, and just as many tales of his faith in humanity.  These are real characters; human, flawed, and whole.  These stories could easily be told.  And I might do that some day.

Lately, however, all I can think about is their house.  There were two that they lived in during my life, and I remember both well.  I focus mostly on the one that they were living in when they passed away (two years apart).  I believe these memories of their home stay with me, not because of my age or impressionable times, but because of how my grandparents inhabited it.  Imbued with their personas, this house felt like an extension of my relationship with them.  It was not just a place, but an experience.  Another character in the story.

After my grandmother died (two years after my grandfather), I went to the house.  It still had all of their things:  appliances, furniture, clothes, photo albums, books, magazines, tools, dishes, forks, knives, and so on.  But it felt empty.  So very empty.  Empty like it had never felt at any other time, because, when they died, so did that house.
Currently, the house is being fixed up to be sold.  I have been told it looks great.  Worn linoleum is gone.  Floorboards are polished.  Steps have been fixed.  Yet, I have no desire to see it.  I have such a clear and vivid memory of that house – their home – that I cannot bear to tarnish it with a new improved version of something that is already perfect to me.

Memories come in flashes sometimes.  I see flashes of the way the sunlight hit the wooden floor in the dining room – playing up the golden brown, while casting tiny shadows in the nicks.  Nicks that were caused by a dropped utensil or a scrambling dog claw.  I can recall the sound of oil sizzling in a pan.  It might be cooking bacon or it might be frying up green tomatoes, or smelt.  The tomatoes may have come from the garden in front of the house, where lazy buzzing bees do not scare my very allergic grandfather.

Also flashing in my mind are seasons.  I made iced tea from the canister of powdered sweetened tea on the counter, while marveling at the way my grandparents kept their house cool simply by timing the opening and closing of drapes to coincide perfectly with the sunlight and breezes.  I can picture my grandfather carefully picking his way across the snowy driveway to throw birdseed on the ground by the large tree at the top of their driveway.

We’d watch the birds eating that seed while sitting at the kitchen table – a table with years of wear, scratches, and marks from the positioning of a meat grinder clamp.  My grandmother would leave her toast on the top of the toaster to stay warm, only taking it down when it was time for my grandfather to make his own toast.  I can hear the scrape of his chair on that old worn linoleum as he got up to tend to eggs, bacon, sausage, juice, you name it.

There was a step roughly halfway up the stairway that creaked.  As a child, when I heard this step, I breathed a little easier because it meant someone else was coming upstairs to go to bed.  As a teenager, I remembered to avoid it when I finally went to bed.

Holidays always felt right in their home.  The house kept the warmth and smells from holiday cooking and wrapped them around me.  I can picture the table set with good linens, and the good dishes, and my grandparents moving through all of this as expert travelers in their own realm.

When I look at their photos now, I still feel a sense of loss.  It is an ache that will not ever go away.  Nor should it.  But I also feel a rush of those images, and flashes of memories.  They don’t fill the hole, but they do color it in and decorate it and allow me to walk across the void now and then.

Seriously, scammers? Don’t bother calling me.

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This is a new one…

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Caller: May I speak with the person who would be responsible for using the computer in the household?

Me: That would be me.

Caller: I’m calling from Microsoft Office business (blah blah) and your computer has been sending error messages.

Me: Really?  So, Microsoft has been getting error messages from my computer?

Caller: Yes.  You will need to go and make sure your computer is on.  It has been receiving viruses.

Me: So, you have been getting these messages from my Microsoft Office applications?

Caller: Yes, I am calling from Microsoft Office services and we have been receiving these warnings.

Me: Just to be clear, you are getting these error messages from the Microsoft tools on my computer?

Caller: Yes.  Your computer has been breached and we need to act fast.

Me: You do know that I don’t have Microsoft on my computer, right?

*click*

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Do people actually fall for this shit?

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Why I Am Possibly a Bad Listener

The holidays.  What can I say?  This year was a rough one.  I am still unemployed and yet tried to be festive.  Forced gaiety is exhausting, by the way.

I drove a couple hours to see family.  And I did what I always do when I am around family -  try to figure out where my malfunctions come from.  I mean, I spent nine years of my life with a man who clearly, in retrospect, did not want me in his life.  (He was always searching for someone better.)  And to make matters worse, after I finally came around to this situation, I fully expected this guy to apologize and feel remorse for the years he kept me at arm’s length (years in which I missed out on having a real relationship and family).  The delusion continues to this day.  I am utterly stupid.  I am not blaming my family, but this shit has got to come from somewhere.  Right?

me

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Unfortunately, no light was shed.  But I do get enjoyment from seeing my mom, who is both unassuming and evil at the same time.

My mom and I went to visit my grandmother Christmas Eve day.  (Is there an easier way to say that?  The day of Christmas Eve?  Because it was not actually Christmas EVE, as in the evening.  Gah.  It was Monday.)  After being there for a while, I noticed that my grandmother’s thermostat had a plastic lock box on it.  Like the ones you’d see in an office, or a school.  I asked my mother about this and she informed me this was the solution to my grandmother’s excessive use of the heat.  Apparently, her home was like a sauna.  Because she is old and is always cold.

But now her thermostat temperature is set to go down at night and go back up during the day.  I asked my mom what my grandmother did if it was night and she got cold.  My mother replied simply, “She puts on layers.”  I started teasing my mom – “Too bad, Gram, you’ll have to wait until sunrise to get warm.”  My mom laughed the laugh of the bitterly resolute and we carried on with our day.

Oh, are you cold?  Tough.

Oh, are you cold? Tough.

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My mom’s laugh was a lot heartier when I said, “I think my glasses make me look smarter.”  She laughed too hard actually.

And when I asked her when she was going to quit smoking, I did not even let her reply.  I quickly said, “Just say you are not going to quit so we can stop having this conversation.”

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By far, the most interesting revelation this holiday was the truth behind my mom’s incredibly long conversational pauses.  When I say “long”, I mean LONG.  I’ll say something that should elicit a response or I’ll ask a question and, I swear to you, the pause from her is endless.  I’ll eventually just blurt out, “are you listening to me?”  She’ll usually say, “yes, I’m listening…I’m just processing”.  No.  No, mom.  You cannot possibly take that long to process a reply to, “So, what do you need in the grocery store?”  I AM NOT ASKING THE MEANING OF LIFE.

Even her boyfriend finds this behavior maddening.  She does the same thing to him.  And he also accuses her of not listening.

I finally reached the breaking point and said to her, “You know, it is weird when you do that.  It is totally like you are not listening.”

Her reply: “Yes, I’m listening.  But sometimes…I’m not listening.”

I KNEW IT.

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Happy Holidays, y’all.

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Rock & Shock ‘em

Yesterday I went to Rock & Shock.  I am not sure how to describe it, but it is geared towards horror fans.  It consists of vendors with goods to sell, celebrity guests signing autographs, plus panels and discussions.  I went with Shalisha and Corey – probably my only friends who watch horror movies.

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*Note: I can thank my mom for my love of horror movies AND my imperviousness to being scared.  And probably a few neuroses.

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I had so much fun!

First of all, when we walked in there was a huge booth dedicated to Troma merchandise.  Hallelujah, Redneck Zombies!!

It was so exciting that I found myself acting oddly cheerful.  For example, I saw a 3 3/4″ figurine and started squealing, “Look at the tiny Leatherface!  Look at him!  Who’s the tiny Leatherface, who is?” – as if I was talking to a toddler.

And not 5 minutes later, I beckoned to Corey to come look at the Extreme Horror booth’s featured movie “Fetus” and exclaimed, “Look!  It was banned in Germany!  You know how much you love movies banned in Germany!”

extreme is right

We were told Germans don’t take kindly to movies featuring decapitated fetuses.

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Other items seen at vendor booths:

a birdeater tarantula (fuck no)

legless lizards (why is that not just called a snake?  no idea)

tiny zombie gnomes (hell yes, I got one)

a giant tortoise (I don’t get it either)

a vintage figure of the Zuni fetish doll from “Trilogy of Terror” (and all I could do was keep screaming, “it’s life sized!  it’s life sized!”)

my name is "He Who Kills"

He may be small but he will ruin your night.

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The highlight for me was getting autographs!

The first one we got was Laurence Harvey – he of Human Centipede 2.  One of the most graphically disturbing movies I’ve ever seen.  It makes the first Human Centipede look like a Disney movie.  (I said that to Laurence Harvey and he looked at me and said, “Oh yes”.  Creepy?  Oh, yes.)  Shalisha almost cried because he scared her so much.  She took my picture with him, and, unbeknownst to me, he whipped out a stapler for the photo (see the movie to get the significance – if you dare).  This caused Shalisha to shake in fright and all the pics to be slightly blurry.

He was very nice, however.  At least, I think he was.  Here’s how he signed my movie:

what.  the.  fuck.

“I’ll be thinking of you (with barbed wire in my hand!)” – CREEPY
The heart was a nice touch, tho.

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I was the most tongue tied when I spoke with David Naughton.  This is most likely because I kept vaguely insulting him.

I love David Naughton – of “American Werewolf in London“, Dr. Pepper commercials, and a hardly watched 70′s TV show called “Makin’ It”.  In an attempt to express this love, I started off with, “I know I don’t look this old, but I watched your TV show Makin It.”  This old.  He gently said, “I don’t look that old to have made that show.”  Me: “No, YOU DON’T.”  Shalisha told him I made her watch the video of him singing the theme song (of the same name) so then I said, “You were a Renaissance man!” (were?  were??)  “You ARE one.  You are one NOW.”

Jesus.  Just shoot me now.

David Naughton, if you read this, I AM SO SORRY.

what a douche I am

David Naughton – very nice, and talented, and willing to pose with a douchebag

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I was equally as excited to meet Danny Trejo!  Who is so cute you could put him in your pocket!  Until Shalisha reminded me he might cut me.

He was very gracious.  He even insisted we get a group photo!  And I would not budge one inch from him when we did it.  I was gonna have me some Danny action.

squeeeeeeeeee!!

looks nice, kicks ass

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The last autograph I got was….are you ready?… ANTHONY MICHAEL HALL.

YES.  IT WAS.

Holy hell.  I was not prepared for him to seem so…. tall.  And soft spoken.  And genuine.

Seriously, his handshake was friendly.  His eye contact was unwavering.  Sincere.

Perhaps this is why, after he shook my hand and sat down, I blurted “I love you!”.  And I did it in a tone that said, “let’s just get this out in the open…I love you”.  He smiled graciously.

But.  I.  Kept.  Going.

Because.  Because I remembered how he was the iconic geek boy and then one day – BAM! – he was not.  I think it was when I saw “Edward Scissorhands” that I first noticed AMH had filled outIn a good way.

So, I said, “you know, as you got older, you got better and better looking”.

He replied, “that’s very nice of you to say”.  I insisted that I could not possibly be the only person who said this to him, but he still thanked me as if it was the first time he’d ever heard it.  Maybe it was.  I don’t know.  I cannot even think because I was talking to ANTHONY MICHAEL HALL.

And you guys?  His eyes are the most incredible blue.  Like, I may have visited heaven when I looked into them.

ANTHONY MICHAEL HALL!

What’s important here is that ANTHONY MICHAEL HALL IS TOUCHING ME.

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All in all, I’d say it was a great day!  Can’t wait until next year!

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7 Days of Positive Thoughts – Day 7

Gah!  I totally meant to do this last night.  I seriously sat down at my computer at one point with this in mind.  I fail.

Anyway…

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Day 7 Positive Thought:  A big Sunday breakfast is good for all kinds of things.

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I love a big breakfast on Sundays.  I love it because it feels ceremonial.  I love it because it reminds me of my grandfather – who loved a big breakfast every other day of the week too.  I love it because it’s delicious.  I love it because it makes the rest of my day full of possibility.  I love it because it gives me energy for the rest of the day.  I love it because it allows me the chance to try something new.  I love it because I made it.

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This concludes the 7 days of positive thoughts (on my blog).  Keep having ‘em otherwise!

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7 Days of Positive Thoughts – Day 6

Almost nearing the end of the 7 days!

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Day 6 Positive Thought:  When people band together towards a goal, they can do amazing things.

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Today, I participated in one of the Out of the Darkness walks that are put on by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  It is a sobering event to participate in because, as you stand in a crowd of hundreds of people, you realize that most everyone there has lost someone to suicide.

The fact that there were hundreds of people is sad.  At the same time, it is encouraging to see so many people support a cause that is often surrounded by awkwardness and overtones of shame (though it should not be).  By banding together, everyone at the walk I went to raised close to $50,000.  That is money that will go toward raising awareness and providing resources for people at risk.  It is incredible that shared tragedies can spur this much action.  That is really the beauty of the human spirit, isn’t it?

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So, the Day 6 post is going to contain a bonus.  I am also going to list some things from my day that reminded me life is worth living:

  • People singing openly in a crowd, albeit potentially embarrassing, is an act of pure joy.
  • Running is starting to be fun.  Especially when running away from the joyous singers.
  • I love my running pants.  I never want to take them off.
  • Fair food is awesome.
  • Fair food is awesome. (so nice I said it twice)
  • Animals are cute.  Baby animals are off the charts cute.
  • Watching little kids watch animals reminds you of what it’s like to just live in a constant state of wonder.
  • Napping with my cats is the best thing ever.

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7 Days of Positive Thoughts – Day 5

Wow.  I really suck at this posting daily thing.  I need to post for days 5 and 6.

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Day 5 Positive Thought:  Rainy days are perfect for relaxing.

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I love rainy days.  Yes, I love them for the wistfully romantic overtones of rain on the window while someone stares pensively into the cloudy sky.

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But I love them more because they give me the chance to putter around my house in fuzzy socks and lounge about reading a book without feeling any guilt for not being outside (which I distinctly feel when the weather is sunny and brisk).

The Carpenters were crazy to let rainy days get them down.  Eddie Rabbitt had it right when he said he loved a rainy night.  Go figure.

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7 Days of Positive Thoughts – Day 4

Okay, so Day 4 was yesterday.  I sat down to post and then got sucked into doing something else on the internet (big surprise) but then woke up at 3am this morning thinking “oh no, I forgot to post” and here I am.  Stop pressuring me!

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Day 4 Positive Thought:  Books are entertaining and don’t require a cable subscription or Wifi (unless you are using an ereader, but really, you can use Wifi at the coffee shop).

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I love reading and I have always loved reading.  From the time I was a wee thing and my mom would plop me in bed with a pile of pop-up books to now: an adult who makes sure to always buy a purse that is big enough to carry a book in it.

Yes, I usually carry a book in my purse wherever I go.  This is not, in any way, an attempt to convince people I am extraordinarily intelligent.  (I will do that in conversation. *wink wink*)  Rather, I do this because if the chance to immerse myself in a book presents itself, anywhere or anytime, I am ready.  It’s survival.

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What I like most about books is that there are no limits.  There are no limits to what you can read or envision in your head while you’re reading.  And when you have found a really good book – one you can’t put down – it’s more thrilling than any TV show or movie.

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Whether you read on an electronic device, or read the old fashioned thing with pages (as I do), go read a book.  Now.  You won’t regret it.

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7 Days of Positive Thoughts – Day 3

Ooh, I am hedging into day 4…it’s very late.  But, here goes…

Day 3 Positive Thought:  Sometimes I exceed my own expectations.

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I never thought I’d run.  For anything.  I figured I’d have to be chased by an axe murderer or running from a fire to… RUN.  But this is apparently not the case.

Today, I did more than I could have thought possible.  For me, anyway.  And it is truly amazing.

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Every time I think I know my limits, I prove myself wrong.

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