Interior Trunk Release: Not Just for the Kidnapped, Apparently!

Everyday Adventures

I can’t be the only one that thought that was the sole purpose of those get-out-of-trunk-free pull tabs under the lid, right?

I'm sure this is one of those features you never hope to need...

I’m sure this is one of those features you never hope to need…

Sole purpose until Wednesday night, that is.

You see, I did something fairly dumb on Wednesday: I left my lights on and completely drained my battery. It’s not the dumbest thing ever, of course, and I know people do it all the time, but this is the first time in all my years as a car owner to do it, and yes, it’s dumb.

Especially because I’m usually religious about checking the lights when I get out of the car.

But Jenn, isn’t your car new enough that it makes noise if you open the driver’s door when the lights are on, I hear you ask?

Yes, yes it does. It’s also the same chime that the car sounds when you open the driver’s door with the key still in the ignition. And Electra and I don’t always agree on that fact.

See, Electra is a 2007 Saturn Ion 2. And Electra gets very possessive over the car key, often not wanting to give it up, especially in the summer when the steering column gets overly warm. It’s just the way she is. When she got her ignition replaced as part of that big GM recall I thought that would solve the issue but, no, apparently the attachment goes deeper than that.

To convince her that it’s okay to release the key, there’s a dance that involves recranking the car, jiggling, jostling the wheel, or releasing the car from Park and putting it back, sometimes forcefully, to give her peace of mind.

At any rate, more mornings than not, key in my hand, Electra still tells me with that strident chime that the key is still in the ignition and no I will not let you use the power locks to lock the driver’s door, you don’t want to be locked out of the car, do you? And more mornings than not I manually lock the driver’s door and make sure the light are turned off just in case.

Except that morning, obviously, and the poor battery was so dead I wasn’t even getting clicks. And I was the last to leave the office. Of course.

But it’s okay, I pay for roadside assistance as part of my car insurance, so I’ll just call them up and make use of it.

Or not, as the muzak that played while I was on hold was some Lovecraftian love-child of a 14.4 modem and a cassette tape being played backwards. It squealed and squelched and assaulted my ears. Just in case someone was listening/talking I shouted into the phone that I couldn’t understand anything over the caterwauling. But I sat there on hold for 5 minutes before it cut out on me.

So I called back, went through the phone tree again for another 6 minutes of less-screechy “music” before getting disconnected. There’s also been a voicemail from the insurance company trying to figure out if I needed assistance or not, so I called AGAIN and held for 23 minutes. Long enough for their ‘you’re call is important to us, please hold/higher than normal call volume/we’ll keep playing music til someone picks up but won’t keep making these announcements’ spiel three times. Judging from my phone history those are 8-minute loops.

About that time, though, one of the guys in the building behind my office came out to move his car and I flagged him down and asked for help.

Him: What side is your battery on?
Me: Neither, it’s in the trunk.
Him: Really?!

Do you know that it never occurred to me that the trunk release button on the underside of the dash required at least a little juice from the battery. I mean, you can use that button without the car being on at all, the key nowhere near! But apparently the Ion2 puts the car in severe lock-down when the battery dies, because I was also unable to remove the key from the ignition. And that aforementioned dance? Yeah, I couldn’t get the stick to move. No matter how hard I pressed the break or pulled the shifter, it wasn’t budging.

So, um, how was I going to get into the trunk to the battery?

That once-ridiculed interior trunk release, that’s how!

Granted, I had to get into the trunk to use it, but my backseat folds down in two sections so it’s possible. Except for the fact that the latches that keep the seat backs in their upright and locked position are released from–you guessed it–the trunk.

Thank your celestial deity of choice that the last time I put the back seats back up, one had not fully engaged its latch. And then blame Murphy for the fact that it was the smaller of the two sections that would open so that I could shimmy through. A barrette and a piece of my dignity were the only things lost in the process.

Because sometimes the thing you most need a picture of take place when no camera is handy...

Because sometimes the things you most need a picture of take place when no camera is handy…

Let’s also say a thank you to whatever still, small voice prompted me to wear pants that day–the first time in weeks. If I’d been wearing my usual dress or skirt ensemble… well, it’s probably best not to go there.

Tuesday Reviews-Day: People I Want to Punch in the Throat

Tuesday Revews-Day


Oh, come on, tell me you wouldn’t be at least a little curious about a book with a title like that!

Blogger Jen Mann gives us one of many short lists of people who rouse her ire on a regular basis:

• anyone who feels the need to bling her washer and dryer
• humblebraggers
• people who treat their pets like children

Look, everyone has their hot button issues, it’s just that most of us are too polite to talk about them in mixed company or splash it around the Internet. Mann has no problem with that. Or, as she puts it, no filter.

In People I Want to Punch in the Throat we get to read her unvarnished (and sometimes unflattering) experiences with online dating, the wedding that was the result of those AOL days, their move to the suburbs and the kids they are raising there. Once kids are in the mix we get the real meaty stories: everything from playgroup politics to room mom megalomaniacs.

Now, I’m not a mother nor do I have any aspirations to be one, but I’d like to think that–were I ever beamed up to the mothership–that this is the type of mother I’d be. Snarky, witty, and usually ready to call people on their bull. I wouldn’t necessarily keep my craft stash hidden in the basement, of course, but a lot of the other stuff I could so see myself saying/doing.

Of course, that’s what makes ‘People’ such a delight to read: seeing ourselves, or at least the selves we’d hope to be, in someone else’s words makes us feel slightly less different-in-a-bad-way. Know what I mean?

The essays in this book are quick reads, so you could really draw it out and savor it. At the same time, each one is so entertaining that I found myself tapping to get to the next page, and Jen’s next exploit, the advancing clock be damned and my need for 7 hours of sleep forgotten!

So mark your calendars, ladies, because People I Want to Punch in the Throat is set to be released on September 9th and this is one you’re going to want to pick up.

I was provided a digital copy of People I Want to Punch in the Throat for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own.


Holiday Fun: Puppy Love

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning

With the holiday taking center-stage this week and 2 sets of guests to get ready for,
let’s have a little photo-fun today, shall we?

In the eternal battle of cat vs dog, on which side do you generally fall?

Todd and I? Are dog people. Even though we are currently sans canine companionship and laugh at the LOLcats with the best of ’em, we swoon over some floppy-eared, waggy-tailed goodness.

And combining bow-wows with the vows? That brings the ‘awwwww’ to a whole ‘nother level. Take a look at these pretty pooches hamming it up for the wedding photographers:

Photo Collage of dogs in wedding photos

Sources: Style Me Pretty 1, 2, 3, 4

Photo Collage of dogs in wedding photos

Sources: Style Me Pretty 1, 2, 3 and Flickr

Photo collage of dogs in wedding photos

Sources: Style Me Pretty, Offbeat Bride, Lauren Kinsey, Style Me Pretty

What I find interesting, though, is something I stumbled upon while researching wedding traditions (ages ago, for a writing project): it was considered bad luck for a dog (or any creature, really) to walk between the bride and groom at the wedding so dogs used to be absolutely verboten at weddings! This harkens back to a time when it was thought that evil spirits would routinely inhabit animals, thus the spirit walking between the bride and groom was a very bad thing.

It’s a lovely thing being enlightened and not having to worry about those things anymore, but a great man once said not to work with children or animals as both are unpredictable. If you do choose to have your 4-legged friend as a part of your wedding, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Designate a handler for Fido, someone who’s already in the wedding party or maybe a House Party member, that Fido knows and is used to taking orders from.
  2. Do not entrust the real rings to your canine ring-bearer (dogger?) as even the most obedient dog is still a dog. One good “Squirrel!” at the wrong time and you’ll be borrowing bands for the ceremony.
  3. Be prepared. Scout out of good spot for Spot to take a walk both before and after the ceremony and have your designated dog walker equipped with baggies, etc. Wet wipes are good if paws could get muddy pre-pictures (don’t make the photograph Photoshop paw prints from the wedding gown).
  4. Remind all small children that chocolate is very dangerous for dogs and not to feed any groom’s cake to them, no matter how much they beg!

But if you’re the superstitious (or just cautious) type, you might want to save the furkids for the family holiday card.

And if you’d like to see more picture-perfect pooches, check out my Dogs in Wedding Photos board at

Pretty Book and Flower Icon

Meanwhile, Todd and I will be checking out the National Dog Show hosted by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia after the Macy’s Parade. We’ll be rooting for the Basset Hound, the French Bulldog and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Will you be watching?







Won’t Do What?

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning

Over on the Wedding Bee forums there was a discussion that came up about the well-known Meat Loaf song: I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That). Exactly what, the poster wondered, wasn’t he going to do?!

Well, I happen to be a pretty big fan of the Loaf’s work, especially his collaboration with Jim Steinman on the Bat Out of Hell Trilogy which is where we get this sweeping production of a 12 minute (album edit) song.

So I thought it would be fun to figure out exactly what is it the singer isn’t going to do. (Oh, like you haven’t had those days where you spend a few hours idly contemplating the meaning of song lyrics. We can’t all be striving for the Nobel prize with every waking thought, can we?)

Just from a careful listen to the lyrics we find out he specifically will not

      1. forget the way you feel right now
      2. forgive himself if they don’t go all the way tonight
      3. do it better than he did it with you
      4. stop dreaming of you every night of his life
      5. treat you like a fling and move on
      6. screw around on you
Not a bad list of don’ts for any dude, come to think of it.

Those sorts of things also remind me of another song, one more on the tell end of the show don’t tell theory of wordplay.

Yes, I just Rick-rolled you. But not at all sneakily, so I don’t think it really counts. Remember, there was a time when we thought this song was good without it being a meme!

Pretty Book and Flower Icon


What song did you just never “get”?

Loosen Up and Laugh

64 Arts

“Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing.”
~William James

Doesn’t that just paint the neatest picture?

When I was growing up, Mom claimed that while I had a genius-level IQ (140-something, for what it’s worth) I had absolutely no common sense. Granted, this was during the teenage years when mothers and daughter are notorious for not seeing eye to eye. I wonder, then, if I was really as clueless as I seemed to her, or if our respective common senses were just moving at different speeds?

If the opening quote is to be taken as true, then my common sense spends a lot of time dancing.

Common sense (aside from sometimes not being all that common), is kind of boring. Of course, it comes in handy every day. Every little decision we make takes common sense into consideration. It’s sort of like breathing or walking, that way: we have to do it, so let’s get on with it, already.

Meanwhile, our sense of humor likes to look at things differently, it says, if we have to get from here to there, why walk when we can skip or, better yet, electric slide our way over? (Yes, I went there, you know you want to… go on, it won’t hurt anything).

Dancing in general makes us laugh. I mean, what’s funnier than catching sight of yourself (or someone else, even better) gyrating to a song in a mirror or passing window? If it doesn’t make you at least grin, maybe it’s because you wish you could be that free?

Do some dancing today, mentally and physically, and laugh–not at yourself, but with yourself. I will if you will!