Disclaimer: There is whining here. Big, ugly whining that has very little to do with the pursuit of any points except the ones I get for actually making myself get out of bed today.
So grab some cheese. And another cup of coffee for me. Or the whining will be worse.
On Wednesday, I noticed my brakes felt funny. I thought: I need to get the car in the shop in the next couple of days, this is new and weird and I don’t like messing around with brakes, I’m fairly emotionally invested in having a car that stops when I want it to.
I am funny crazy like that.
At 4:00 in the afternoon, the car forced the issue by overheating on the freeway. It turns out that my engine light really does have illumination behind it, which it proved by lighting up like a tiny, menacing Christmas tree on my dashboard. On the freeway. I may have mentioned that part. I scanned the dashboard, once I noticed the angry engine light, and couldn’t help but also notice the temperature needle, which was all the way into the red and waving like the arms of the “DANGER WILL ROBINSON!” robot.
I cranked the heater all the way up and thought “DO NOT CATCH FIRE!” thoughts to the engine while I worked my way off the freeway. (I was actually in a car that caught on fire once. However, I was young and stupid and once the fire put itself out, I actually drove the car to my friend Diane’s house. Where her dad advised me that I was young and stupid.)
The car did not catch fire. I let it sit for a while to see if it would cool down enough for me to either 1)drive it home, 2) drive it to the shop. It was not happy with either of these options, and the needle zoomed all the way up to “Salsa Dancing On the Sun” immediately after I turned the car on.
So I had it towed. Then I hoofed it across the thoroughfare in our town where all the ladies of the oldest profession have their union meetings – and was not offered membership a single time, I might add – to wait for Himself at a Starbucks.
I decide I will ride my bike to work on Thursday. This is good, I’m training for a triathlon and all. The triathlon includes biking. Or snake-charming, I can’t always remember. But I have a bike, I never forget how to ride it. I live 5 miles from the hospital where I work. This is nothing but good!
Summer arrived yesterday.
We haven’t really had summer yet. It’s been weird here, unseasonable cool. Downright cold some evenings and mornings. But yesterday, I think for no other reason other than I had to ride a bike to work, summer sauntered in and parked its 90+ degree ass down on Nothern California. GO BEARS.
Also, the dumpster arrived yesterday. And although I asked for a morning delivery, the young lady’s cavalier response to my request left me fairly well convinced that we were not going to be seeing the dumpster any time before dinner. I have many years experience with service and delivery windows. But I am going to be all Zen about it, and the dumpster will get here when it gets here, and I am not going to think twice about it.
Which means of course that dumpster delivery guy will arrive when I am sitting here in my jammies.
Which are pink.
I throw a sweatshirt over my pink jammies and head out to sign for the dumpster and suggest where I want it put. Where I REALLY want it put has a car parked in it, so I take my second choice, which is almost in front of the mailbox. Our mail people do not like to get out of their trucks. If someone parks in front of the mailbox, you get your mail when they move. Maybe. But, I sort of the need the dumpster to be parked in front of our house, I don’t know who owns the car that put itself in my Preferred Dumpster Location, so if we win a sweepstakes, we may not hear about it ’till August.
As I’m standing outside in my pink jammies signing for the dumpster, I notice how warm I am. I glance up and see a big, bright, blinding light in the sky that for the past month has not been making an appearance before noon. It’s nine-thirty, and it’s already well past 70 degrees. I typically get to work at around 12, but I’m thinking that if I’m going to ride, my tuckus needs to be on a bike fairly soonish.
By 10:30, I’m on the road.
The ride to work wouldn’t be bad except that the construction in front of my hospital diverts me away several counties. I’ve never wanted a GPS to get me to my place of employment before.
The ride home, however, is clear testament to my occasional lack of anything resembling common sense.
Last year, as I got close to the race, I rode my bike to work once a week and rode around the small lake on the way each direction. This turned a 9.5 mile daily ride into a 16.5 mile daily ride. The race is 22 miles. Yesterday I think that I’m not quite ready to circle the lake twice, but I can circle it once. I decide that on the way home (when it’s HOTTER, for those of you who – like me – sometimes don’t string thoughts together in a way resembling anything any more highly evolved than your average sea cucumber) I will ride around the lake.
I am so brilliant sometimes it is frightening, in a “why on earth is she even licensed to drive a car?” sort of way.
The ride around the lake is a little hilly, but right before my house is a motherf*@#ing steep hill, and I don’t have a gear low enough.
But I make it. And ride up to my dumpster-adorned house a sweaty, nauseated mess.
The kids think I am having a stroke.
I think I am an idiot.
At 4:00 the phone rings. It is the autoshop, who has called to advise me that I am old and stupid. I decide that this is not really an improvement over being young and stupid. The brakes? Apparently I don’t have any. I’ve been stopping the car for who knows how long with the power of positive thinking. And the overheating is being caused by the broken (ie, cracked and holding no liquid whatsoever) radiator. Also, the front axles are about to fall off and hitch-hike to Alaska.
Total damage: $1200.
I am so tired by the time 9:00 pm rolls around that I fall asleep. With my contact lenses in. I never do this. Which means this morning my eyelids are stuck, probably permanently given the current state of my biorhythms, to my eyeballs.
Oh, and the car won’t be ready till this evening.
Which means I’m riding my bike to work again.
I am so going to be in the mood for a major demo project tomorrow.
Truly. I am oozing enthusiasm.