Solid Tips For Making The Right Car Choice

5255840704_4942b03e26_z
Are you looking for advice on shopping for a car? If so, then you have come to the right place. The goal of this guide is to make you into a master at shopping for a car. All you have to do is read the advice below and follow it!

Do not buy a car just because it is a good deal. You have to live with this car after you take it home, so it needs to be something that you really like and that works for you and your family. You also need to make sure you can really afford it.

Do your research online in order to find the best deals. You can save a lot of money by doing online research. Once you know which vehicle you like, you can drive over to the dealership to purchase, or arrange for your local dealer to obtain it for you. If the source isn’t too far away, go get it yourself.

[Read more…]

Two-Thirteen

Rent was ten days away. Rent was not impossible. It could be earned in ten days. Non-stop work, lots of hours, overtime hours. Six hundred dollars wasn’t really that much money. No, rent wouldn’t be a problem. The problem was that at that exact moment Mitchell Donnelly had only two dollars and thirteen cents to his name.

13541011994_038b35020b_o

He hadn’t eaten all day nor had he eaten the day before. He was weak and sore all over his body like you get after a long workout. Only he hadn’t been working out. He hadn’t been doing much of anything other than lying down watching old DVD after DVD. Movies he had already seen a hundred times nevertheless replayed to kill the boredom.

[Read more…]

GAZE

“Jack, I really think you should come over.”

I rubbed my eyes. I’d been dreaming about using a piano as a raft during a flood. I didn’t even remember picking up the phone.

“Jack?” It was Audrey.

“I’m here. What’s going on?”

“It’s about Julie.” As if in confirmation, I heard a low moan in the background. “It happened again.”

I didn’t say anything. In the back of my mind, I pictured the three of us at Ed’s place last night, and tried to remember if there had been anything out of the ordinary. Nothing came up.

“Jack? Are you there?”

“Yeah, I’ll be right over.”

“Thanks.”

“Audrey-” I began.

“Yes?”

“We’ve got to figure out a better way of dealing with this.”

“I know.” She paused. I could hear her breathing. “But you’ll be here, right?”

“Yeah.”

“Thank you.” I grunted, and put the phone back on the hook. It was going to be one of those days.

I got up, got dressed, and got out. It was eight – in the morning. And I was on my way to my ex-girlfriend’s apartment to make sure a mutual friend wouldn’t turn herself into any more of a wreck while no one was there to watch her. A hell of a way to start a Monday. But this was it. I’d drop by, make sure she wasn’t dead, and never set foot in that apartment again.

Three years ago, when Audrey and I started dating, everything in the city was new. The day, the night, the work, the life. I’d just graduated from college, and like most people who’d gone to school in small towns, I was ready for something new. Boston was two hours away from Sheffield, and it looked better than anyth

“Jack, meet Julie.” Audrey introduced us the week after we broke up. I’m not sure why she hid her from me for so long – we went out for three months before we decided we worked better as friends – but she never saw it that way. I let it go.

“Nice to meet you.” We shook hands. She was pretty, but it was out of the question. At any rate, I wasn’t the kind of guy who picked up where he left off with his ex’s friends. So Julie and I became friends – good friends. I guess you could say the three of us found one of those rare forms of balance, where none of us slept with each other or envied the other for doing things we weren’t supposed to do. One year passed, then two. It wasn’t until Julie started drinking that the city started losing some of its charm.

“How long can you keep covering for her?” I asked Audrey ten months ago, after the second or third Monday in a row I’d had to come over. “You know I can’t stay past ten, and you’ve got to be out by eight every morning.”

“I know, Jack.” She was pacing about the room in pajamas, glancing at me intermittently from the corners of her eyes. I’d seen this before – we’d had this entire conversation before – but this time, I wasn’t going to let it go.

“Just give it some time. I’ve spoken to her about it. She’s trying.”

“People at work are already starting to ask questions,” I said. “I’ve been putting everyone off for a while now, but once they catch on, it’s not only going to put her out of a job, you know.” I checked my watch. It was seven. Julie was in the other room, passed out. “They’d have every reason to fire us both, Audrey.”

“Don’t you think I’ve thought-” she cut herself short and lowered her voice. “I’ve thought about that too, Jack. But…”

I turned away and went to the sink. All of a sudden, I felt sick. Not physically sick – just tired.

“Can I make you something?” Audrey came behind me and rested a hand on my shoulder.

“This isn’t going to go away,” I reached for a glass. I couldn’t think of anything else to say.

We stood together and made coffee, eggs, toast. We ate on the couch, all the while talking in low voices. The weather report predicted cloudy skies with a chance of snow. Highs in the twenties. I don’t know why I remembered this while on my way to Audrey’s, but I did. It was ten months ago, and ten months later, we weren’t much closer to a solution. It wasn’t that we hadn’t tried. We did the Al-Anon, the tough love, the interventions – all of that. But short of throwing her out of the apartment, which neither of us were willing to do, there didn’t seem to be anything capable of snapping her out of it. And I was tired of waking up early on Mondays, on Fridays, on the occasional Wednesday – merely to take care of a friend who didn’t seem interested in getting better.

“Julie?” I pressed the intercom, Apartment 27. It was strange. I had a pair of keys – Audrey and I never traded back after we’d stopped dating – but no matter how often she told me to let myself in, it always felt like I was entering a world that wasn’t mine. It reminded me of when I was a kid, and my sister and I would sneak into my older brother’s room to use his playing cards when he wasn’t in.

“Who is it?” the voice was low and hazy. Definitely Julie.

“Jules, it’s me – Jack.” I rubbed my hands together while breathing on them. My gloves were somewhere in my apartment; I’d forgotten them in the rush.

“I’ll buzz you in.” A moment later the door clicked open, and I went inside. It didn’t take long to reach her. Up a flight, to the left, down the hall. I knocked, knowing she wouldn’t answer the door. I walked through the kitchen, closing the door behind me, and saw her through the curtain Audrey had put up when the two of us used to spend entire afternoons in the bedroom, so we wouldn’t smell whatever food we’d left on the stove. The room carried the unmistakable scent of cheap champagne.

“Hi Jack.” She sat on the side of the bed, staring at me through her hands. I felt oddly overdressed in a pair of jeans and a winter jacket. She wore a shirt with a painting of someone sailing a piano through a storm. I didn’t realize what it reminded me of until much later.

“You’re going to leave, aren’t you?” She said it so flatly. Then she started smiling. “Are you leaving me, Jack?”

I looked at her, and was about to launch into the argument to end all arguments when the phone rang. Julie picked it up. She toyed with brown hair by her ear as she spoke.

“Yeah, I’m fine, Audrey.” She looked at me blankly. “Yeah, he’s here.” She lowered her gaze. “Yeah, I’ll give it to him.”

I was halfway to the door when I heard her trying to explain where I’d gone. That was all it took to show me I didn’t have the will to leave. She crawled back into bed and handed me the phone. I flopped down beside her and picked it up. Julie pushed a pillow under my head, and started to kiss me. I held a hand over the receiver and whispered.

“We shouldn’t be doing this.”

I said it over and over again, quickly, sternly, softly. But no matter how often I said it, it never sounded convincing – not even to me. She just kissed me again – lightly, on the forehead.

“Then why are we doing this?”

I turned, but when her hand reached for and twined into mine, I didn’t push away. I turned back to her, and she just kept staring at me with that hypnotic, melancholy gaze. In spite of everything – or maybe because of everything – I tried to listen to Audrey. Her voice was a distant buoy, tinny and tossed aside by waves of static. She kept repeating my name.

“Jack?”

“Yeah, I’ll be here.”

Tips On Getting The Most Out Of Your Home Mortgage

4893848354_8f731d1af1_z
So you’re in search of that dream home and wondering what it takes in order to pay for it. That is where the home mortgage comes in, and you will want to understand how to get one. The tips in the article below are simple to follow, and will show you what it takes to secure your new home.

Save enough money to make a down payment. Lenders may accept as little as 3.5% down but try to make a larger down payment. If you put down 20% of your total mortgage, you won’t have to pay private mortgage insurance and your payments will be lower. You will also need cash to pay closing costs, application fees and other expenses.

Prepare yourself for your mortgage application early. If you plan to buy a house, you have to get your finances ready as soon as possible. That means building up a nest egg of savings and getting your debt in order. You run the risk of your mortgage getting denied if you don’t have everything in order.

[Read more…]

You Don’t Have To Live With Stress Anymore

6072966411_0510d162c9_z
If you feel stressed out, strung out, or just plain fed up, then keep reading this article for advice on how you can deal with the things that are currently giving you that stress, and ways that you can avoid stress in the rest of your life. There are plenty of things you can do.

Take time for a mini self-massage. Taking the palm of your hand and simply massage it with the thumb of the other hand in a circular motion can help to relieve your stress. You could also use a massage tool to do this. Massage works wonders at getting rid of stress.

A very simple way to reduce stress is to start your day ten or fifteen minutes earlier. By giving yourself that extra few minutes each day, you’ll have time to sit and enjoy your cup of coffee or give you a head start on your commute so you won’t have to battle traffic, therefore reducing your stress level. That extra time also gives you a chance to catch up on things that might not have gotten done the previous day. It’s amazing what a few short minutes each day can do for your stress levels!

[Read more…]