A Honda Odyssey meme

I’m inventing a Honda Odyssey meme for personal research and camaraderie.

If you own (or have owned) a Honda Odyssey, you are tagged! And if you DON’T own an Odyssey, but you have experience in these areas, please, join in!

What year is your Odyssey?
2000 (old and paid for)

What’s your mileage?
Approximately 147,500. The windshield sticker says I need an oil change.

How many times have you moved your perfectly adjusted seat on accident while exiting the vehicle because your leg hit the slider controls on the side of the seat?
Approximately 1,460 times. That’s every day for the entire time I’ve owned it.

How many of you can no longer adjust the volume of the radio using the knob and must instead use the volume up and down buttons on the steering wheel?
Been doing that for over a year.

How many of you have replaced the back door springs?
Yep. I think it was a recall.

How many of you got a new, free transmission under recall?

How many of you, when using the breaks first thing in the morning after parking outside in the cold, make loud, echoing screech noises as “the dew on your break pads is burned off by the friction.” (That’s what they tell me anyway.)
Yep. My neighbors LOVE me.

And lastly, THE Honda Odyssey question that brings out the stories:

How many times have you had the automatic doors repaired?

Once already, but I need them repaired again. Our current multiple workarounds are holding, hopefully till after Christmas:

1. Approaching the car with all the doors locked, I unlock the car with the key fob . . .

Side note. “fob?” I’ve said that word many, many times before without thinking about it. I have never typed it before and doing so prompted a Google search. Wikipedia says “The word fob may be linked to the low German dialect for the word Fuppe, meaning “pocket”, however, the real origin of the word is unknown.” okay, then.

. . . and turn on the automatic doors. I open the driver’s side auto door with the driver’s door control inside the van.

2. To get the passenger side automatic door open, someone has to open the front passenger door, reach back and unlock the auto door, and THEN pull the auto door handle from the outside of the vehicle – really hard. The door will then “automatically” open.

3. When I start the car, none of the dash lights indicate a door is open. When I put the car in gear, the buzzing begins. I can sometimes stop the buzzing by pressing the driver’s door control for that side to close the door. Lately, that has no effect and the buzzing continues.

4. So I turn off the automatic doors while the car is in gear. The buzzing stops and the doors won’t budge, even when I put the van in Park.

5. When we arrive at a destination, if anyone is sitting in the seat next to the passenger side auto door and wants to exit (Very rarely, these days. NObody wants to sit there.), the driver (me) must again turn on the auto doors with the driver control and sometimes the door can be opened from the inside. Sometimes not, requiring the passenger to climb out the driver’s side auto door or climb up to exit via the front passenger seat.

If the passenger doesn’t want to climb or if someone happens to be in the front passenger seat and has pity on them, they will get out of the van and pull the door handle hard from the outside, thus releasing the trapped passenger.

6. When everyone is to exit the vehicle, and the passengers have escaped using one of the above methods, the passenger auto door must be manually locked by reaching through the front passenger door.

Because this step is often forgotten, I have begun to turn off the auto doors, preventing movement.

7. Finally, I lock the van with the key fob and walk away.

Did I mentioned this van is paid for? That’s what makes it all worth it. I’m singing a little song to myself right now, to the tune of “nanny, nanny, boo, boo”

“I don’t have a car payment. I don’t have a car payment.”

And the back door isn’t broken. It’s just quirky. You have to unlock it 2 to three times with the key fob between trying to open it. Or, as FirstHusband has begun doing – use the key to manually unlock it.

“I don’t have a car payment. I don’t have a car payment.”

meme – page 123

I’ve been tagged for two memes within 24 hours! The first was a trip down memory lane and a peek into the future all in one post. Very fun. Relaxing. More than a few minutes viewing you tube videos of old McDonald’s commercials.

This meme is pretty cool. Michelle (the artist) tagged me with this one. Here are the rules:

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages.)
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Link back to the person who tagged you.
6. Tag five people.

So, the thing is . . . when I sit at my desk, i am literally surrounded by books. (I’ll have to post a photo sometime.) What to choose, what to choose. hmmm.

Office 2003 Timesaving Techniques. (yeahhhhNO.)
Mastering XHTM Premium Edition. (no again.)
The Bibliophile’s Dictionary. (too weird)
I could go into my daughter’s room and get Skippy Jon Jones (yeah, Michelle!)

Okay, here’s one:
The Story Factor, inspiration, influence and persuasion through the art of storytelling
by Annette Simmons.

This should be interesting. I haven’t even cracked the book until now.

“We have already covered the idea of touching our common humanity, but it may be a surprise to realize that the path to universality is via our uniqueness. If you want someone to think about their mother, tell a story that specifically describes your mother, a specific day when she took you to school, the clothes she wore, the model of car she drove, and so forth. Without effort, memories of their mother will surface.”

I think I’ll keep this one off the shelf for a while.

So, who to tag, who to tag. Lurkers. I tag you. You don’t even have to link back! Just . . . tag!

Christmas meme

I found this meme over at Lisa Writes and Lux Venit: The Christmas Meme and decided to give it a shot in an effort to jumpstart some Christmas spirit.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Wrapping paper for kids! There’s nothing like watching a kid tear into a present.
For grownups, I save a few trees and use gift bags, some of which I get back the next year. I admit, sometimes I wrap a gift in tissue paper before putting into a gift bag so there’s a little bit of a surprise left after looking or reaching into the bag.

2. Real tree or artificial?
Artificial. I LOVE the smell of a real tree, but I hate the kids on a nebulizer twice a day and I REALLY hate cleaning up cat vomit laced with chewed up pine needles. ewwww. Each kid has a small tree in their room. We had to get my son a new one last year and the cheapest one was 6 feet tall (skinny), so he has a full height tree in his bedroom now. I would have LOVED that when I was a kid.

3. When do you put up your tree?
The day after Thanksgiving.

4. When do you take the tree down?
Take the tree down? The first week of January.
When did the tree boxes get put back in the attic? Last year . . . I cannot tell a lie . . . sometime between Valentine’s day and St. Patrick’s day. It takes three very large boxes. I may buy smaller boxes this year. Boxes I can handle all by myself. There may be 12 boxes of Christmas tree parts, but if I can lift each one into the attic by myself, that’s fine with me.

5. Do you like eggnog?
yuk. My husband makes REAL eggnog and loves it.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
I can’t remember. I’ve thought about it for days and I can’t remember. Here’s the thing that came to me, time and time again. Christmas at my house, Santa brought everything. Everything was from Santa. Christmas afternoon at my house, I laid all my gifts out on my bed, so that my neighborhood friends could come see. Couldn’t see the bedspread, so much stuff!! I remember visiting my friend Cindy down the street. Santa brought her a cross necklace, a Bible and a doll. One doll. She had four brothers. Her mom didn’t work. Her dad owned a gas station. I remember asking my mom why Santa left me so much and didn’t give her hardly anything. I don’t remember the answer.

In my house, Santa leaves a few gifts, but mom and dad bring most everything. Santa is fair. Mom and dad are the source of stuff.

7. Do you have a Nativity scene?
We have two:
One is white bisque and sits on the middle of our dining table (the ONLY place the cats have learned NOT to jump on in the formal living areas).
The other is a tiny wood set I bought for my daughter to play with. She performs elaborate dramas which include everyone in the Bible Christmas story, all the Rudolph characters and all the characters from Santa Claus is coming to town. It’s quite interesting. Did you know that Rudolph gave baby Jesus a ride? This year, Hannah Montana is actually an angel.

Eclectic Nativity

8. Hardest person to buy for?
It’s funny. The people I find it the most difficult to buy for are the people who tell me exactly what to buy (and where to find it, how much it costs, etc). Sucks the Christmas spirit right out of me. I actually enjoy thinking about a person and finding a gift they might like. Sometimes I ask their close family ideas. I never ask them directly. Sometimes I’m wrong. But I think the real gift isn’t the thing in the wrapping paper, it’s the sentiment behind it. I’m teaching my children to be gracious gift receivers.

The same goes when people request that I tell them exactly what to buy for me (and where to find it, etc.).  I just try to pick something easy and fast.  If someone doesn’t know me well enough to pick out a thoughtful gift, I shouldn’t be on their to do Christmas list in the first place. Or at the very least I should be on a “gag gift” list.  Now that’s fun.

9. Easiest person to buy for?
Anyone who understands that buying a gift is not a functional, irritating, time sucking task. A gift is just as much for the giver as the receiver. Remember that saying, “It’s the thought that counts?” I get it.

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
hmmmm. I left this empty for a few days and still can’t come up with anything. Probably because I don’t just see the item by itself. I see the giver, not just the gift.

11. Mail or email Christmas cards?
Mail. With a Christmas letter in which we completely make fun of ourselves. No bragging here. We try to be as authentic as possible. Sometimes the letter goes out in January. Sometimes we send two years at a time because we wrote, but didn’t actually mail the previous year’s letter. Last year we didn’t even write a letter. Life is too busy.

12. Favorite Christmas movie?
Has to be “A Christmas Story.” “You’ll shoot your eye out!” “I can’t put my arms down!” “Daddy’s gonna kill Ralphie.” “Thtuck? Thtuck? Thtuck!!!!”

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
Usually I buy a few gifts all year long, but we really buy the majority of the stuff on the annual shopping day my husband and I usually take. He takes off work on a weekday, we shop together when most people are at work and we knock out a significant percentage of it that one day. We make time to have a nice lunch together, and depending on the child care situation, maybe a nice dinner too. This year, our son, is 12 and (we hope) is old enough to babysit his sister for $2 per hour. If they call us, fighting, we’ve already decided our response: “Well, okay. We’re at Best Buy, but if you really need us to come home, I guess we will . . .” heh heh heh.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Recycled? nah. I either return stuff to Walmart, sell it on ebay or give it to charity. But I’ve often given used items as gifts. Especially books! Everyone who knows me, knows I think used books are a treasure! If it doesn’t stink like cigarettes or mildew, and hasn’t been completely highlighted by someone else, bring it on!

15. Favorite things to eat at Christmas?
Our version of Toll House Cookies. I made a mistake one year and the cookies turned out wonderful! My husband dug through the trash to see if he could tell what I did wrong and – the engineer he is – he figured it out! We buy a 10 lb. bag of chocolate chips from Sam’s Club and make cookies for . . . everyone. Friends and co-workers beginning nagging the week after Thanksgiving. Last year, we had to switch to cookie bars because we just didn’t have time to scoop hundreds of balls of dough. Still great!

Oh, and Crown Royal with Diet Sprite. We only buy it in December. Soooo smooth. The buttah of whisky.

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree?
Both. A base of white programable twinkle lights and some retro looking colored LED lights. We program the twinkle lights to “dance” to the Christmas music. We tried C7s for the colored lights, but the heat they generate could roast a marshmallow. These LEDs look the same as C7s, but with no heat. (NOT cheap to buy, but easy on the electric bill.)

17. Favorite Christmas song?
One? Pick one? Not going to happen.
Christian: So many, but one of my favorites is O Come O Come Emmanuel
Kids: The 8 Polish Foods of Christmas (“What’s a kielbasa? Pretty much just meat”)
Traditional: The Christmas Song (but only by Nat King Cole).
I also like “Bleak Mid Winter” by Pierce Pettis.
All played to twinkling Christmas tree lights.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Stay home. Always Christmas morning at home. Used to do Christmas dinner at my parents, but a few years ago, we wanted to start making our own family traditions and memories, so we stay home for dinner now too. Everyone’s invited, sometimes they come, sometimes not. We always have a wonderful time. The kids each pick out a new recipe, we let them eat off china and drink out of crystal. My daughter decorates the table. It’s really wonderful. We’re making memories, not just dinner.

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
Well. Yes. I think. But is it Donner or Donder? I can’t ever figure it out! I’ve heard both. I bought some Christmas coffee mugs with a reindeer on each and it reads: Donner. I have no idea. I just sing it softly and hope my daughter doesn’t call me out.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
Star. I don’t get the Angel thing at all. Looks uncomfortable if you ask me. Definitely rude.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Well, we actually have a tradition we call “Twelve Day” at our house. It started out as a way to give gifts that get ignored on Christmas morning, due to the overwhelming amount of stuff. We give a single gift to our kids each of the 12 days before Christmas. We gave a globe to my son one year and he and my husband sat on the couch and rolled it around, looking at the world for 20 minutes. Never would have happened on Christmas morning. Also a great way to turn a seasonal purchase into a gift – like a Christmas CD or DVD, Christmas clothes or jammies, ornaments, etc.. This way we enjoy them all Christmas season.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
People who buy the hottest items and then resell them for a huge markup. What goes around, comes around. Big greedy scrooges.

23. What is the “corniest” family tradition you do, or miss doing?

Gotta be the Mickey Wreath. Still do it. Can’t imagine Christmas without it.

Mickey Wreath

24. Ugliest Christmas Decoration ever invented?
Plastic nose gays. Okay, maybe it’s just the ugliest NAME of a Christmas Decoration ever invented. The word “nose” should not be in the name of anything Christmasy.

25. Which looks the best, theme trees or homey trees?
Homey trees. Family trees. Memory trees. Unconditional trees.

26. What does Christmas mean to you?
When I was younger? Stuff. Lots and lots of stuff.

This year?
“Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know
that your Baby Boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
The sleeping Child you’re holding is the Great, I Am.”


“It’s still a mystery to me
that the hands of God could be so small
How tiny fingers reaching in the night
were the very hands that measure the sky.
Heaven’s love,
reaching down,
to save the world.
Son of God,
Servant King.
Here with us.
You’re here with us.”