Friday, February 27, 2009

Get Animated!

Car insurance can be such a nightmare sometimes.

Take, for example, trying to get real quotes that actually reflect what you'll be paying. Stephen and I have had to get new insurance because our old company doesn't exist in California, and we've been shopping all over. Little did we know that car insurance premiums are based on the most at-risk driver, a.k.a. the youngest driver.

That would be me.

Unfortunately, I have a "not so good" driving record. About two years ago, I rear-ended the trailer hitch of a full size van in the snow because the plows hadn't been out (no damage to their car whatsoever, while ours had to be in the shop for over a month). Also, I was cited for speeding in downtown Provo last summer. Now, Center Street in Provo is 15 m.p.h. through downtown, but by my street it changes to 35 m.p.h. Apparently, it's a big deal to start driving faster until after you pass the sign, even if you have a screaming baby in the car who was just immunized and needs to nurse as soon as possible.

Well, I went to driving school like a responsible citizen and successfully completed it, resolved to change my evil ways. Six months later, here we are, trying to get insured, and that speeding ticket is still on my record. Turns out, I must live through a nine month probation period from the time I plea guilty to my heinous crime, and the citation will remain there until the period is over. This isn't until June! Meanwhile, it looks like I have 3 points on my record. This is a big deal. The price difference changes from around $105/month to $215/month. Insane!!!

So, what could we do? We could try to get documentation, but there just isn't time because we only had 30 days to get insured after registering our car in California (from January 27). So, we decided to try Esurance as a temporary policy until we could get my speeding ticket resolved.

Guess what? Esurance rocks! They were WAY cheaper than everyone else, even with my icky record! Granted, everything is done online (bills, statements, etc.) but that works for us and our lifestyle. We have a local agent, and we can still contact them 24/7. Esurance was such a pleasant surprise! Plus, they have a pretty rockin' mascot (her name is Erin, by the way). I just wish their site had a way to create your own animated character that looks like you, or something. :D

Here's hoping to more pleasant surprises for everyone, even after many headaches. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Reading and Working . . . Then Reading Some More...

Lately, I've been pretty busy. Just, not with anything that important! I've been working at Houston's about 4 times a week, and I can't believe how much money I can make there. I thought I was doing well in Utah, but this takes the cake! In Utah, I made 2.13/hr + tips. Here, I make 8.00/hr + tips. If that weren't enough of a difference, Houston's is quite high end (wine, prime rib and the like), so you can imagine comparing that with the tips I got at a family-friendly Mexican restaurant. I loved Los Hermanos, but I love the income Houston's is giving me.

Stephen and I have also been doing a lot of reading lately. Our new favorite author of the moment is Brandon Sanderson, a fantasy writer (who is also a BYU creative writing professor, though I never took a class from him).

Elantris is a stand-alone novel, while Mistborn is the first book in a trilogy. He's a captivating writer with interesting plots, refreshing, and invents his own fantasy worlds. It doesn't feel like he's "borrowed" settings, characters, or concepts from other authors. He's original, plus he's fun to read. Both of these books are page turners. As of now, my life is consumed with reading the sequels to Mistborn. I'm stuck reading these until the end . . . I must know what happens! :)

Ben is doing great. Yesterday we found two more teeth coming in - the top incisors next to his two front teeth. He's been drooling like . . . well, like an erupting fire hydrant. He hasn't been this drooly in a while. Take it this way- we can't go anywhere without a burp cloth right now. He's starting to get more brave while walking, and he's taken a few steps on his own! He's still a bit too chicken to walk without help, though. He's becoming the stair climbing expert and scampers up and down now!

I've been trying to find the cable that connects the camera to the computer so I can update some pictures for you all, but I think it's in storage. Our storage unit is packed to the top with furniture and boxes . . . I should have made a map of where everything is! Well, hopefully we'll find it soon. Have a great day!