dchenes: (katana)
Last November I got into a minor accident in a Zipcar. Tomorrow I'm getting a Zipcar for the first time since then, and I'm nervous enough about it that I actually called Zipcar to find out if I was on a List of some sort and Zipcars were now going to cost a zillion dollars. They are not, and the lady on the phone was nice enough not to laugh at me for asking.

Now all I have to do is prove to myself that just because I had a small accident once, that doesn't mean I'm going to do it again every time I'm in control of a car. For one thing, I will not be trying to return the car to a parking lot on a one-way street, one end of which is closed off for utility work. That's what went wrong last time; I failed to look where I was actually going in favor of looking where I thought I was supposed to be going. I will not be doing that this time. Nothing is going to go wrong this time. Because I said so, that's why.

After months of waffling about it, I finally ordered a new living room rug yesterday. It's been time for that for about two years now, but I couldn't bring myself to spend huge(ish) amounts of money on a new rug and I couldn't really find one I liked for less than huge(ish) amounts of money. Enter overstock.com, which knocked the prices down to a level I was more comfortable with and had some rugs I thought I might actually like. (It's hard to tell whether the 1" x 2" picture on the computer screen will still be something I'll like when scaled up to an 8' x 10' rug.) If it turns out I don't like it as a living room rug, I'll put it in my office and use the office rug in the living room for a while, until I can persuade myself to spend money on another new rug. And I hope I got the timing right and the rug will be delivered while I'm between jobs.

I actually had to put blankets on the bed last night. I think the last time that happened was sometime in early June. Now if it would kindly quit alternating pouring rain with being so humid that it might as well be pouring rain, the weather might be getting somewhere.
dchenes: (Default)
Oof. Longer Service meeting day is always also P&R materials day, but it doesn't always also include two hour-long meetings in the middle. And the P&R agendas don't always consist of 52 cases between them (split 33 AM/19 PM). Which is the long way of saying I had a 12-hour work day today, and 12-hour work days are still long even when I'm used to them. However, since the other guy's insurance company has spoken and what it said was "$950", I can't complain about extra hours. (Zipcar decided not to charge me the $750 this month, because my account billing date is the 23rd and they only told me about what I owe on the 19th, so they're charging me next month instead. Thanks, I think?)

Oh well. Home now, ate something and am getting Purred At by one Hairy Beast and watched carefully by the other in case I happen to be hiding any cheese on my person anywhere. Things could be worse.
dchenes: (Default)
I'm not sure how much more of this week I could stand, if there were any more of it. Fortunately there isn't.

On top of the fenderbender, on Wednesday night I had to call 911 for a guy at the 66 bus stop. He was so high on something that he couldn't distinguish staggering around in the street (and bouncing off the side of a car) from staggering around on the sidewalk (and bouncing off a store window), and that was after he finished throwing up extensively. I decided he needed some help, whether he wanted it or not. He didn't want any help, but two paramedics and two cops finally did get him into an ambulance, so I hope he got some help anyway.

Yesterday I was absolutely shocked when I got home and nothing unsettling or surreal had happened yet. Zipcar decided I don't owe them any money because I didn't damage their car enough to need repair, and reinstated my account. The other guy's insurance company has six months to decide if I owe them any money. That seems like a long time to me, but I'm not going to spend all my spare time until May worrying about it. Mind you, I'm not driving home for Thanksgiving either.

Now that I don't owe anybody $750 before Thanksgiving, I'm back to paying to sing in the studio recital. This is an informal one where the students just sing for each other, as opposed to a formal one where everybody's relatives show up. (Which reminds me, I should get my suit dry-cleaned.) After having sung solo in public in front of everybody's relatives last April, I should be able to sing in front of my fellow students. I just wish I hadn't come back around to German art songs again, since that's what I did last time.

This weekend: fairly massive grocery shopping, and (at least tomorrow) massive avoidance of Harvard Square and environs. The Harvard-Yale game is at Harvard this year, so the entire area is going to be a serious pain in the neck to deal with. At least I knew about that before I got embroiled in it, unlike the Allston-Brighton Day parade every blasted year...
dchenes: (Default)
Zipcar accident report, pictures and Massachusetts accident report sent to Zipcar. Massachusetts accident report sent to Brighton police and Massachusetts RMV. (License probably OK, but will gain some points for moving violation.) I'm now waiting for an insurance company to tell me how much I owe. I've come down on the side of "it will be OK, everybody's done this once", which is much better than the side of "oh my GOD they're going to suspend my license because I don't have the other owner's information on these forms!" which is where I was on Monday afternoon. At this point all I want is to write a check and get it over with, and never do it again.

Cats speaking to me, and seem to have forgotten they went to the vet. Speaking to me more than usual, even; Lily is actually meowing about once a day. It's all good, though, because if they're speaking to me, I get Purred At. This week I'll take all the Purred At I can get.
dchenes: (Default)
Interesting, continued from yesterday:

I've discovered that I have another completely useless superpower. If I'm driving somewhere and there's a wrong lane to be in, I'll be in it. Boston wasn't designed for being forgiving of being in the wrong lane, so in the process of driving from Brighton to East Cambridge (six miles, according to Google), I went to Harvard, Watertown, Fenway, the Boston Common and Charles Circle, among other places. (Going to Harvard wasn't really a wrong-lane problem as much as it was a turned-the-wrong-way-onto-Memorial-Drive problem. But then I couldn't turn around until Watertown, and then I couldn't get back to Memorial Drive going the right way, and then when I finally did get back to it, I was in the wrong lane and ended up going downtown instead of to East Cambridge, and when I got back to Storrow Drive I was in the wrong lane and ended up going to Fenway, and...)

So anyway, it took me about an hour to get from point A to point B. But I did get there eventually, and the end result (two hours later) was that I've got a new-to-me GIGANTIC flat screen television and a new-to-me HDMI-capable DVD player (which I don't really need, but which was thrown in with the TV), and I think I know how to get them all to do the appropriate things.

Also good: in my wanderings about East Cambridge when I finally got there, I found the rug store I hadn't found yesterday. Now that I know where it is, I can go there next weekend (on the T, thank you very much) to look at rugs in person. I've decided that looking at them online isn't working. I can't tell if a teeny little picture on a screen would still be something I liked as an 8' x 11' rug. Besides, I'm not sure exactly what I want; I just know I haven't seen it yet.

How is tomorrow allowed to be Monday already?
dchenes: (Default)
It's hot. It is, in fact, so oppressively hot that I borrowed the air conditioner that was sitting on the first floor doing nothing. The Hairy Beasts, while appreciative of the cooler air in the hallway, are not impressed with the decibel level. (I wasn't either, so I turned it on last night when I got home and turned it off again when I went to bed. I'm leaving it on today since it was the same temperature indoors as outdoors this morning.)

I have my first ever professional voice lesson on Sunday. I'm excited about that, because I've been wanting to take voice lessons since I stopped taking trombone lessons. Someday I'll try the trombone again, but I was having a terrible time with the bass clef (what do you MEAN that isn't an A? It looks like an A!). I wonder how one gets over that? Learn to play the piano and be forced to read both treble and bass at the same time?

This weekend is going to involve spending a fair bit of money, because I'm out of everything I feel like eating and I need some various other inedible things. At the moment I'm inclined to spend money on a Zipcar as well, because it's too damn hot to be hauling kitty litter and various liquids and a mess of other stuff home on foot. I'll probably change my mind about twelve times over the course of the day, though. I don't know what my hangup is about doing my grocery shopping with a car, but I don't think it's the actual driving of the car at this point. Maybe I just listen too much when people start in on the "Boston Drivers Are Crazy" rant again.
dchenes: (Default)
On Saturday I did in fact drive to Maine and back. Having gotten all the nervous tics out of the way by forgetting my sunglasses and going back for them, and then forgetting the directions and having to go back again for those, I proceeded to get in the car (a Nissan Altima, with less oomph than it should have had) and drive off down Comm Ave. The idea was to avoid 93 by getting on 95 in Waltham. Didn't work that way, though; I got to somewhere in West Newton and Comm Ave suddenly looked like it was closed. So I ended up taking the Pike to 93 to 95. Fortunately 93 wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, bridge replacements notwithstanding. I think I'm over my irrational fear of driving, since I ended up doing all the things I didn't want to do and wasn't overly bothered by them.

Once I got to Maine, I met up with the Nashua contingent and spent a fairish amount of money on Calphalon pans and Smartwool socks and more peanut butter truffles than a sane person needs. Then I followed the Nashua contingent back to Nashua, and we ordered takeout Large Slabs of Dead Cow, and I drove back to Boston after dinner. (Route 3 to 95 to 93, and Storrow Drive to Kenmore.) Dropped the car off, got on the T and got home at about 10:00. The only thing I didn't do is top off the gas tank; I thought of it somewhere at the start of the Nashua to Burlington stretch, but didn't feel like getting off the highway when I hadn't hardly been on it yet. Oh well, so they charge me for half a tank of gas and the rental.

Yesterday, which was my actual birthday, I went grocery shopping in the morning and then came home and did a whole lot of not much. I did finish page 8 of the embroidery pattern, because I want to be halfway through page 10 by the end of the month. Half of page 9 is black, so it should go fairly fast. And I made some more kale and quinoa and lemon stuff for lunch this week. And provided companionship for the Hairy Beasts. All of which was fine, because I feel like I did enough on Saturday to make up for doing Not Much yesterday.

Today I'm wading through work-related stuff, and tomorrow is the last Longer Service meeting. After that I'm done with meetings until late September, and that is a lovely thought.
dchenes: (Default)
It seems to be Friday again, despite Snip's conviction that it's the End of Days because there was a small thunderstorm this morning. I wouldn't mind that so much, except that she's taught Lily to be afraid of thunderstorms too. So Snip goes and hides in the darkest corner of whatever room I'm in, and Lily goes and hides in the bedroom closet.

My irrational fear of driving is still there. I wish it wasn't. I want to be like everybody else, for whom driving is just a thing they do. I could probably get there if I were willing to spend the money and rent a car every weekend for about six months and drive all over the place and get used to it. As it is, once a year I suck it up and take the Hairy Beasts to the vet in a Zipcar, and hate every second of it. I have to be driving for about twenty minutes before I start relaxing, and the trip to the vet is shorter than that.

So I'm driving to Maine tomorrow. That's a long enough trip to let me relax before I get there, and it's also supposed to be fun. (Going to the vet isn't fun for anybody.) And, it's not supposed to rain tomorrow. So it's all good, and I wish I could stop being nervous about it.
dchenes: (Default)
I didn't have a driver's license until four years ago. Partly I hadn't needed one until then, and partly I'm scared of driving. I can do it, I have done it, I'm not terrible at it; but I don't particularly enjoy it.

I don't know why, but somewhere between learning to drive (the first time, when I was 17) and actually getting the license, I picked up a fear of causing a car accident. It takes me about half an hour to get over it. After that, when I haven't killed anybody, I relax. Unfortunately getting myself to relax when I'm driving really does take that long, so I hated pretty much every minute of the four ten-minute drives between home and the vet's office yesterday.

I know that the cure for this is to drive more, because for crying out loud, if the average 17-year-old can do this, so can I. That's how I passed my driver's test; I finally realized that the inspector's routine was designed to make 17-year-olds nervous, and I was 30 at the time, and therefore didn't have to fall for it. (It also helped that I had graduated from Kent State the month before, so I was feeling somewhat more invincible than usual.) But I'm not sure whether I need to just plain old Drive More, or whether I need some kind of lessons.
dchenes: (Default)
The HBs went to the vet this morning, in separate carriers because there was no way I was going to get them both in the big one. I'm sure we're all glad this only has to happen once a year. I had a couple of extra tests done on Snip, in case she has more problems than allergies. She doesn't get enough food to be a bowling ball with feet, but she is anyway, hence the tests. Lily, thank goodness, is indestructible, and not overweight enough to worry about. At least she still has hips if you look at her from above.

At least the Zipcar part worked exactly the way I hoped it would. I ended up doing a 217-point turn to get it out of the space without touching the next car, but I managed it. Not bad for somebody who hasn't driven in two years. (And thank goodness I didn't have to haul a combined 24 lb of cats around on foot. My shoulders would be even less happy than they are already.)

Insert placeholder for thoughts on driving in general here; I don't have time to write about it now since I have a meeting in fifteen minutes.
dchenes: (Default)
Next time I have a day off, I'm taking the day off. Yesterday was nice, but it wasn't hardly restful at all.
In which our heroine gets lost, unlost, fogbound and disconnected )

I'm not compos mentis enough to do much of anything today, which is of course why I'm spending the day writing letters that Must Be Flawless before they get sent.
dchenes: (Default)
Irony is alive and well and living in Kent.

See, this morning I was so nervous about the driving test that I forgot to bring my checkbook with me to pay the licensing fee. So I have to go back to Ravenna again and pay the licensing fee and get the actual license. My learner's permit and the two pieces of paper that say I passed are good for 20 days. The irony is that here I am, having passed the driving test, STILL stuck in Kent because the buses don't run in the summer. According to the bus schedule, such as it is, it's going to take me about four hours just to make the trip, never mind standing in line for the license. I wonder if anybody who drives is still here? [EDIT: Never mind. Apparently I can go to the deputy registrar in Kent and get the license there. Thank goodness.]

The other irony is in the fact that if I consolidate my student loans, I get a guaranteed low interest rate. Unfortunately it means I give up the grace period on my grad school loans, so I have to borrow some more money from my parents at one point above the prime rate in order to pay the government, until I get a job again. I'm not sure there's any way I can win in this situation.

C'est la vie; I just wish la vie wouldn't walk around snickering up its sleeve at me quite as much as it does.

vroom!

Jun. 7th, 2005 11:52 am
dchenes: (Default)
So now, 12 years later than most people, I have a driver's license.

Consider yourselves warned.
dchenes: (Default)
This week's version of soup has chicken and spinach and green beans and orzo and a little lemon juice in it. Good stuff.

I spent the entire driving lesson today doing right- and left-handed versions of parallel parking (aka the "maneuverability test") and getting an earful from the instructor about the one state cop I apparently don't want to have to take the test with. My take on it is, I held my own with my case study committee, and since I've done that, I can certainly hold my own with somebody whose major goal is to make 17-year-olds nervous. I haven't been 17 for quite a while now, so I don't have to fall for it. So there. (Now I have to keep telling myself that until Tuesday.)

It was supposed to rain last night, and didn't. It's supposed to rain today, and hasn't. It looks like it's thinking about it, though.

I wouldn't mind the landscapers so much if they did everything all at once on the same day, but they don't. Earlier this week they came around with the lawnmower and weedwhacker and leafblower, and today they're here with the hedge trimmer and the whatzit that digs out the boundary between the sidewalk and the lawn. (What is that thing, anyway?)

The ATA exam application went out in the mail yesterday. I actually did find a mailbox on a corner about three blocks before the actual post office. I would have used the outgoing-mail slot in the mailboxes here, but the envelope wouldn't fit through it.

I'm tempted to do laundry today, except it's just a tad too cold for shorts and all my jeans need washing.

surprises

Jun. 2nd, 2005 01:39 pm
dchenes: (Default)
It seems I'm taking the driving test at 11:15 next Tuesday morning.

My parents think my not wanting to live with roommates I've never met is a perfectly legitimate factor in apartment hunting.

I drove on the freeway for an hour without panicking about it. (The last time I drove on the freeway, it was in CT, I was 17, and I had to go across all four lanes of the Gold Star Bridge in New London in a hurry to get to an exit. Not fun.)

Olive oil and lemon juice and garlic and rosemary and salt and pepper makes a very good marinade for pork chops. It would probably be good with chicken too. (This is not a surprise.)

It is now time for lunch, followed by a trip to the post office, possibly followed by laundry (although that can wait until Saturday if it has to).
dchenes: (Default)
I just got back from my first driving lesson. Apparently some of driving is like riding a bicycle; I still remember turns and stopping distances and speed limits and stuff like that. Unfortunately I still hate backing up and I'm still somewhat right/left dyslexic. (Why is the back of the car not going the way I want it to? Oh yeah...)

Tomorrow, apparently, I get to go on the freeway. Next Tuesday or Wednesday, I take the driving test for the fourth time.

After I finish my sandwich, it's grocery shopping and laundry time. Good thing I still had almond butter kicking around in the fridge.
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