About two months ago, we had our house painted. In the span of about a week, it went from the nastiest shade of light, lime-green to a completely acceptable and sharp dark gray. With that, we’ve now pretty much completely facelifted the entire house, inside and out, in the two years (almost to the day) that we’ve lived here. Sometimes I even forget what it looked like the day we saw it during that open house. Thankfully, Steph took lots of pictures.

Anyway, having spent all that money (shit adds up, you know), we were pretty psyched to chill out, dump something into savings and enjoy some time. Today, for instance, we spent some time swimming at Walden Pond, which was, uh, probably not as quiet as when Thoreau was there. Nonetheless, water was good. Refreshing.

Anyway, during that time when the house was being painted, our painters – oops – dropped a ladder on my car, doing $1800 in damage to the roof and rear-drivers quarter. The car was in the shop for roughly two weeks and returned to me shiny and fixed about a week ago. My plan all along was that as soon as I got it back from the repair shop, I’d bring it in for the 45,000 mile scheduled maintenance. I’ve been meticulous about oil changes and scheduled maintenance and this time was no different. Or was it?

Expecting to spend $245 plus tax for the maintenance and state inspection, I got a phone call a few hours later. I would imagine the look on my face was no different than Alan Embree’s all season long when he pitched for Boston as balls flew out of the yard at a merciless rate. Blank stare. Something about brakes, brake fluid, brake lights, blah blah. Instead of $245 for my scheduled maintenance, the bill will now read……..you guessed it, $1800. I have to wonder if the insurance company who paid for the ladder damage somehow got into cahoots with Toyota? Of course not, but the coincidence in strange, indeed.

And why did I buy a Toyota? Why, for it’s high respect in the auto market and its nearly impeccable maintenance, or lack thereof! Yet, here I am at 45,000 miles with brakes made of melted cheese. Then there’s the whole question of if I’m getting fleeced. What do you say to a guy who says your brakes are nearly gone? “Don’t change them, I’ll take the risk and save the money?” Nope. Ah well…..

Peter Jennings died Sunday. That’s sad. Ibrahim Ferrer also died – sad, also. Who will celeb #3 be?