Monday, October 10, 2016

On Moving

One day, I will have a place to call my own for more than a 9-month period. That day is not today. But I lasted from May until October, which is pretty good for something that began in the summer. I was never that good at putting down roots anyway. The major reason for the move was monetary.  That is to say, my car and my gas tank and my wallet said a very firm no, we are not doing this until you graduate, do not even try.

I can put up with a lot, but I cannot put up with my gas tank eating up my food budget. I have needs. They include something other than rice, tuna, chicken and canned veggies. There is only so much rice I can eat before I am heartily tired of the flavor, the texture, and the everything else.

So I found a place!

I like it. The cat likes it. The neighbors are a bit noisier, and it’s not exactly a safe place, but they haven’t knocked it off the night time delivery list yet, and until I am out of college, that is my low bar of safety.

Once I am out of college, I may have a higher bar. I may wait on that higher bar until my student loans are paid off. It depends on how much I make out of college.  As with basically every other Millennial I know, there’s not a lot of hope there in making as much as people swear I can make right out of college with my shiny new degree and my basically bare resume. Still, full time work that is meaningful is kind of the most important thing to me. I’m one person, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. It’s a bit of a bummer, but I can keep my bills pretty low if I need to.

Luckily, about all most of my hobbies require is a connection to the internet and a computer.  I admit that I look forward to getting a powerful desktop so I can go back to making art again, but I’m pretty happy with my pretty little laptop right now.

Back to my moving adventure though. So. Here I am. My SUV, dear sweet beast that is, was packed solid yesterday.  For field of view reasons, and because there’s a distinct possibility that for some mysterious reason none of my friends trust my driving or my car, I was careful not to block my view out the back.

I swear I am a good driver guys. I haven’t nearly gotten into a wreck in at least five days.

So here I am, my car is full. My darlingest history major’s car is also full, and we’re on our way to the new place! I would have to make a second trip with my car, but we definitely had everything I needed for comfort packed! (Ha!)

I’m going a slightly less steep route, because The Beast doesn’t like gaining speed on hills on normal days when it’s just me in it, and everything is going fine.


About a third of the way there, there was a red light. It’s a nuisance, and I’ve never not caught it, but there it is. And of course I hit the red light again. So here I am idling at the light, waiting for it to turn, and speaking in baby talk to the cat who wasn’t fond of speeding up, slowing down, stopping, or really most of the ride at all. The baby talk soothed her. Or at least, it stopped the periodic confused meowing, and that worked for me.

And then.

And then my engine stops.

Oh lordy, lordy, apple pie and rhubarb sandwiches. Not again.  I hit the emergency lights button.  And I think about the dear old man who rescued me last time. What do I do?

First, crank it. Nothing is cranking. Bad Beast. Second groan in embarrassment cause the light is now green and your car is being a brat. Third, turn it completely off (park first!) and then turn it on again?

Yes! It worked.

Now mind you, my friend is supposed to be following behind me right now.  I lost her though, somewhere towards the beginning of our journey, because my faith in the time it takes two cars to turn onto the road was not, apparently, all that good. I am maybe not that great at estimating time. This is a distinct possibility.

The long and short of it is: she one hundred percent beat me there. One hundred percent. No contest.

We did get everything in the house though, and in time for her to go to class, which is good because my car and I were not going to go back there.  The Beast has Spoken. None shall defy the Beast less they wish to find themselves stranded an hour from their destination for the second time, seriously, one day I’m going to get a new car, and this same nonsense will occur.

Anyway, I like the new place. The cat likes the new place. I have a bit more bedroom room, and the cat is enjoying the freedom of exploring the upstairs of the townhome. She’s yet to figure out the stairs. Give her a bit.

And now I have to unpack everything tonight, so I can put more things in this place tomorrow.  Hurrah! Wish me luck, and cross your fingers that tomorrow’s moving part two won’t come with it’s own special brand of ‘seriously?’

One Final Byte: No mattress. No couch. One Bookcase. Innumerable books.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Surprise Adventures

I went on an adventure! And I’ve been talked into the occasional post on the little adventures I do also, as apparently they are interesting? Don't expect too many, but i'm told i need to catch you up on some adventures that I'm suppose have in fact happened.

So. An accounting of today’s Very Scary I Could Have Died Painfully adventure.  I am calling it that because it involves me driving, and let’s face it driving is something I do not like at all. Yes, it is freeing, and that freedom is nice, but have you seen how people drive? Terrifying. I don’t want to be on the road with them.  Plus, cars and I have an understanding. I avoid them, and I get a lot less car based adventures.

I prefer the adventures when I am on foot, which, I know, makes me a little odd.

Anyway. So. I’ve been having headlight trouble. Specifically, I burnt out the bulbs. This is a thing that happens. It’s okay. Easy fix.  So I grab a helper, because while I like doing my own car work when possible, I like a helper more. I promptly learned my helper, whom I shall thus forth call Mama Bear, due to her overwhelming Mama Bear status—She  isn’t my mom, but she’s become the pseudo-mom to the physics success center. She has lots of ‘kids.’ –well she apparently really, really likes working on cars. So it was more of me being the helper and her doing it. It isn’t what I intended, but I’m not going to say no. That part was easy.


Oh you know there’s always an until.

Until I accidentally knocked a screw into my hood’s lock, trying to move the screws so I will not, in fact, knock them into the hood’s lock.  What can I say? It takes a certain amount of ‘ah man’ in order to start an adventure. By this point, Mama Bear’s friend has shown up, and he’s helping to. Does it take three people to change a headlight bulb? No. But he was having more luck with the release tabs than I was, so it was fine. (To be honest, it really only takes the one.)

So we’re in the pre sunset stage of the day, and we lost the screw. I got to see if someone has a magnet, come back, and in the ten minutes I was gone, we have somehow managed to lose a hex wrench and a socket. I don’t want to know how. Twenty minutes later, we have retrieved the hex wrench. The socket, having fallen into a drain, in irretrievable. I should know. We tried.

This is bad news. I borrowed the socket set from Old Navy Dude. Now, I love Old Navy Dude to death, but now I have to go out a purchase him a single socket. Do they sell single sockets? I mean, I have no problem replacing it of course (Though I didn’t notice one missing from the set, when I closed it) but I don’t know if Lowe’s sells single sockets. I suppose I shall find out. If not, well. This is the internet. The internet will come through.

So here I am, one adventure under my belt, and little tired, but excited that my lights work. So I start to head home. It’s around a 30 minute drive, assuming there isn’t a traffic jam. Given that there is a construction site that lasts a good mile, there is a traffic jam a lot of the time. Not this time.

Not that I knew this when my Adventure, part two, began. You see, adventure part two occurred about halfway home. My dear sweet car, does not like the long steep hill it must climb, but it can climb it, with much encouragement. I am convinced I use the most gas on my journey just climbing that hill. At the bottom of the hill, I turn left. I like turning left. It’s easier than turning right, largely because let almost never involves a 90 degree turn that must be made in very little feet. I do not turn on a dime. My car does not turn on a time. I must slow down, because frankly, I really do suck at turning right.

Only, there’s a light at which I turn left.

Only, I got the red light.

Only, my car would not go when the light turned green.

I got honked at as I frantically pressed the gas pedal, wondering why the car was not doing the vroom-vroom. I have a car specifically so it can go vroom-vroom and I can go places. It was not.  But. But. I was at the bottom of a hill. So I was slowly, inexorably gliding forward.  At first fast enough I might clear it. Only I didn’t clear it. I did not clear traffic. The light changed.

By this point I have been honked at, had hit my emergency lights and was in the beginning stages of a panic attack.  I don’t know if you guys know this, but about the only places I ever have panic attacks are in cars. Cars and I, well. We just don’t get along.

I hit the brakes, freaking out, and trying to figure out why my car would not go. In my panic, and because I was pretty clearly not thinking at all, I managed to turn off my ac, turn it to warm air, and then hit every button on my dash I could think of.

That’s right. I panicked so hard, I thought turning the AC off and on again would fix my car. Oh Lordy. Panic is so weird. And then.

Yes there is an And then. There is always an And then.

And then the lights changed again so I had to try going forward.  I must have been a sight, slowly scooting forward, emergencies lights blinking, clearly panicking. See, here’s the thing. I was turning into a road that was about to start sloping up. That’s right. As soon as you turn, there’s a slight uphill gradient. It’s not normally a big deal. It is a big deal when the weight of your car alone is the only reason you are going forward. I made it…just past where the other lane could turn in. Not to the parking lot I was hoping to steadily inch to. See, even in panic, I know the procedure.

The car breaks down. Hit the emergency lights, get to the side of the road, call for aid.  I could not get to the side of the road. The car had inched forward all it would inch. Right. I was out of the way as I would get. Having determined this, and still panicking, I did the first thing I could do. I needed to call for help. Immediately, my brain goes through the list of who can help. Old Navy Dude? Too far away. Navy Lady? No, she was busy.  Mama Bear? I lost her number. Ah, but I have younger cohorts, and they are clever and smart and know things. That was it. I called...Physics Chick! Physics Chick is one of my best friends.  Other best friends who I could have called, I can in fact also refer to as Physics Chick. Won’t that be confusing, if I ever refer to all three Physics Chicks in one blog.

So I call, and she immediately susses out what’s going on. It isn’t the transmission, there’s no noise, no sign, and I’ve had one of those go out while driving before. I know what that is like and this was not that.  She and I try and work it out, and the entire time she’s talking me out of my panic attack because Physics Chick knows how, somehow, magically. And then, the scariest thing around happens.  Somebody in an official looking branded car pulls in front of me…and begins to back up.

I freak out.  I should not have, because this guy knew exactly what to do, he talked me through it, and he was all “Your battery just died. You’ll be fine.” And then he just gets back in his car and leaves after mine starts miraculously! I do not know who that old man was but he was the best, and he just confirms my love of old men everywhere, because old men know a lot, and I was on my way again.

So everything is mostly hunky dory, and I’ve promised myself I can finish my panic attack in the grocery store parking lot. So I continue down the road and to the local grocery store, and pull into their parking lot, and I can’t get my keys out.  I call Physics Chick back, because you guys know I don’t talk on my phone and drive. I like living too much for that, and cars are nothing but screaming metal death traps anyway. I don’t need to add to that.

She knew what was up. I completely forgot to actually park the car. Shush. All of you shush, because I know you are laughing at me, and you’ll laugh more at what happened next. I get my groceries, starving by this point, get in the car…and for some reason ‘the ac isn’t working….’ I swear, I got five miles down the road before I realized why I was so hot.  That’s right.

I had turned the heat on. In my panic earlier, I turned the heat on and never turned it off.  Y’all should all know. Some days, you just want to go home, cuddle your cat, and pretend cars never even existed in the first place.

I did make it home safely though, I promise. I had to get a neighbor to help me with the lock, because it got stuck. Again. But I made it! And now, I’m going to enjoy some pot pie and an ice cream bar, because after all that nonsense, I deserve it.

One Final Byte: Adventure, in its many forms, is often unexpected.