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NewJune 22, 2006

Well, whew. It's been busy 'round these parts, and I apologize for my absence. There are several New Things, and I'll tell you about them, shall I?

Okay, really, there have been many new things this year. In the last seven months, I have had:
A new job.
A new house.
A new wife.
A new dog.
A new car.
A new hairstyle.

Yeah, you missed those last two, huh?

So. The car. Okay, it's not new, but it's new to us, and that's something. Last week, I drove to work from Oakland to Livermore, where the temperature has been in the triple digits. My convertible is a true California convertible -- no air conditioning. While on the coast that might make sense, out in the desert where I work, that sucks the big one. I left for work on Friday and sat in traffic that was. not. moving. 30 miles door to door -- it usually takes 35 minutes -- took almost 2 hours. I had put the top down, since that is the slightest bit cooler than leaving the black top up, so I had the added bonus of a sunburn by the time I got to work. As Lala said, it was like standing in a field in that kind of heat. No wind relief at all, and iced coffee only lasts 20 minutes or so. So I cried. Quite a lot, actually. I HATE heat. I especially hate it when I'm going to work where I'm going to sit in one place for 14 hours, all sticky and sweaty and rumpled and tired before the night even starts. (Also, when you're not moving on the freeway, and you're trying to listen to NPR, you are constantly subjected to people listening to their short-range iPod FM transmitters. People! Do NOT program your beloved Hootie and the Blowfish to play on 88.5, for the love of all that's holy. I'd pick up a song for 7 feet, NPR for 10 feet, and then get some other random song for 12 more slow feet. I wanted to strangle someone.)

So I told Lala we needed a new car.

She is a good sport, and loves me, and was probably just tired of hearing me blubber, "It's soooo h-hhh-hh-o-ttttt-ttt. Hic. Whine," so she agreed. I researched cars, priced out the new Mini convertible, and realized that I'd lost my mind. Can't afford it. Then I priced out the new Chevy Aveo. Came close to justifying that expense, and couldn't. Then I priced out BART/bus option, which would guarantee that I would be home on my work days from 8am until 3pm, seven hours total, including eating/sleeping/showering/dog-walking time. As it is, I'm only home for nine hours a day, but that's just enough. So that option was out.

Then we went car shopping. Found, almost immediately, a nice little 97 Saturn wagon, 87,000 miles, for CHEAP. And I mean cheap. It totally runs great, starts most of the time on the first try. And AIR CONDITIONING! Brand new condenser and cold, cold air. I drove to work today, and I chilled myself, I had it up so high. Blessed relief.

It's a pimpin' ride, too. Check it out, it's like this, but in stunning beige:


Of course, I might mack it out like this:


Maybe flaming knitting needles? Whatcha think?

So that's fun.

Also, I've been going gray (BIG time, probably almost 75% gray by now, at age 33), so I did a little work on that today:


And now:


It's not a mid-life crisis -- more like just plain fun, but it is kind of staggering how much change I've had lately. I'm just about ready to sit around and stare at the wall. Maybe I'll run out of Things To Do and get back to writing, hey? Now there's an idear.


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Flaming knitting needles down the wings and duelling sheep on the bonnet with shotgun toting sheepdawg on the boot me thinks - suspect the terms are different like pavement and side walk so that reads sides front and rear.

Mmm, grey hair since I was 16 with a white streak thrown in for good measure, been green blue and bright yellow but never when with the blonde though was ash blonde as a child, looks good on you but think it's a bit much what with you already having all the fun before the makeover:0)

Cool driving and cool blond eh.

Congrats on the wagon and the tresses! They're both stylin'. A car without A/C?? Do they even make those?? P.S. It is 95 degrees here most days, so I can't believe someone would subject people to such cruelty. Whew! Glad that's over for you.

saturns are super smooth to drive. at least that's what i thought when we used to go test drive them for fun. (we went so often the saturn guys sent us christmas cards!!) :)

hair looks great! :)

haha -- i see the hair and the car as changes that kind of cancel eachother out.

the perfect antedote to a sensible, suburban, soccermomish car is a fabulously bleached blonde hairdo.

Wooo hooo...stylin lady! congrats on all the shedding of the old and bring on the new, it suits you well!

I look at that wagon and think not thoughts of soccer moms, but rather how much FIBER you can fit in the back of that thing.

So...wanna pick me up on your way to Rhinebeck?

Dude, you're like a backwards country song!

The car I had out there didn't have a/c either, but I wasn't drivin' over the hills with any regularity. Nonetheless, I feel your pain. I just bought a new car and I am LOVING the a/c (DC wouldn't be possible without it)!

What an event filled year for you. Congrats... on everything.

And the flaming knitting needles are a *must*.

Great hair and air conditioning is a very good idea. I only spent three days in Livermore in July and I thought I was going to burst into flames at any second (but of course I'm a fragile northern girl!)

Well, clearly all of the sexy chicks are now married to each other and living in California with many small dogs.

It explains a lot.

I love the hair!

Blonde! Sweeeet! Are you having more fun yet?

Nice hair! I just changed mine too - went from black to strawberry blonde. Everybody at work is so amused :)

First the photos of you two fawning over the new baby, now a station wagon? Your mothers' hopes for grandbabies must be getting very high . . .

Love the blonde do. I have been going gray since I was 19 (I am now 40)so I am a slave to hair dye. Inherited trait from my Mom's side. Glad I got that rather than the high blood pressure. Congrats on the new to you car. Doesn't it feel great!! I recently got my first new (brand spankin) car ever in my entire life! Yee haw

You've had a lot of new changes, but you've handled it well. Love the new do and congrats on the new car. A/C is our friend! Live and love it!

I swear, summer has become more bearable out here in the desert with my new car. I love whoever invented AC.

Your hair looks great!

Congrats!! That's the best year for Saturns ever!! The best part is that the AC is routed through the cooling system, so it actually cools your engine down as well.

Love the blonde!! And you got the a/c just in time for apocolyptic heat conditions in Oakland...

A hot blonde in the summertime! Perfect!

My Saturn was a great car so good choice. I too want a mini in the WORST way and also cannot afford my whim...dammit. 9 year old Proteges are fab too...

Yeah, I'm sitting in Oakland at the moment with many fans and thanking God my car has a/c... and considering going out for a drive just to sit in it!

Great hair! :-)

WoW, love the new look! And congrats on the new wheels. You can pretend its a mini. I used to drive an old beater Fiat and pretended (and drove it like) it was a Ferrari.

Oh you poor sweetie, sitting out there in stopped traffic with no A/C! I am so sorry. I would have been crying, too.

I didn't have A/C 2 cars ago and Lordy, does it ever make a difference! A friend tells me folks in the outer East Bay all have central A/C in their houses. Central A/C! It's like a dream.

Congrats on your new, sweet ride.

Blame your mother for the gray hair. But I would rather have that than my mom's hypertension. (I actually have hypotension but that is so much easier to deal with.) I have been coloring my hair for the last 10 years and love it. I have really dark hair to start with so I can play with more colors. I love reds. And a new car and new hair color are enough to go out and celebrate. So go and have fun!!!

Oh, that Mini Convertible is *SO* cute... As it is, what you've got pictured in that there picture is darn near MY car -- color (red) and everything (including air)! It's 6 years old and still feels brand new.

I've had Saturns... loved them.

And, love the blond! I started life with mouse brown hair, and have had black, blond, red, eggplant, green (oops!), and then settled around variations on auburn.

I shoulda been born a redhead...

I hate being hot too--I can't fathom the misery of being stuck in bay area traffic with the sun beating down. That's a special hell.

I tried using one of those fm transmitter thingies (but not broadcasting on local public radio stations, you're supposed to find empty static) but they never work very well, all crackly and distorted, even with the little transmitter set right under the radio. I guess I should have tried listening to it from someone else's car. ;)

Congratulations on the new car, man! Yesiree, the transition from non-air-conditioning to air conditioning is the most lovely thing in the world!

Congrats on the new car, Rachael! I'm glad you found what you need. The old hair was hot, the new hair is hot - as always, yo looks fantastic. :)

Uh.. I meant, "you look fantastic". I'm not trying to start some new lame-ass slang.

Wooo! Congratulations on the new car & new hairdo! I am happy for you and your AC!
I am totally for tricking out the new car, but I'm kind of biased that way. Beige huh? Sounds like an alpaca-mobile to me.

Yeah! Cool air!

I'm digging the color too!

Oh, rawr! I fantasize about being blonde for about five minutes a week. I'll never go through with it though-- I know if I dyed my hair I'd be the queen of dark roots.
I feel you on that convertible-- my first car was a vintage convertible that not only didnt have AC but also had the heater stuck on low heat. It suuuuucked in traffic.

Oh yeah, and I think you should trick out your car as a lowrider that will hop up and down with hydraulics. I totally wanna do that with my Prius.

Congrats on the cool (!!!) car & the cute hair! I know every covered parking lot and shady spot in every place I go to on a regular basis because of that no-AC thing (my 20 year-old Mazda has a hole in a pipe and I haven't had AC in probably 10 years). Hate it when the car never cools down after being parked in the sun. Actually, I'm taking CalTrain to work tomorrow - Spare the Air day! - just need to find a shady place to park the car first.

Hmmm, flaming knitting needles 'cause that's how fast you knit, spinning wheels (both the fiber and hubcap types), and a sheep hood ornament!

That's a lot of change. It seems like you're open to changes and that the state of change doesn't make you anxious. But you didn't run out of change options yet for this year...you could adopt or have a kid and get a beach house!

The hair looks just great - and yeah, don't underestimate that positive change can be just as stressful as the not-so-good stuff. And yay for air conditioning!

I've been trying to convince my one little grey hair to grow into a silver streak a la Bonnie Raitt for years. Now I know the problem is -- all of you have scared my grey hair into hiding. Poor thing must think I'm going to slap dye on her whole family if they show up :-).

The blonde looks fab on you, Rach. More pics, por favor.

Yay for the new car! I would say you should totally trick it out, but perhaps you've had enough "new" for a while. That can wait at least until next month. :-) Love the new do, too!

Had a Saturn for 7 years - it was a great car. Seems only right that since I've gone from blonde to red, you should balance it out and be a blonde. And you're quite a fabu blonde at that!

Love the hair - you've inspired me to do something fun with my hair again (I haven't done it since before my second pregnancy).

Love the car, too. You'll enjoy having the extra room - you can go to Costco without having to worry about buying both the paper towels AND the toilet paper.

One thing I wanted to mention - I've known two people with Saturns, and both cars burned oil - about a quart every three thousand miles. One of them was my hubby, and he was really irritated when the guys at the dealer told him it was normal, that every car burns oil (he said - "not my wife's Honda!) Anyways, just check the oil regularly so you don't burn out that snappy new engine!


Hey, I also drive a 99 Saturn wagon! Mine is green, and I LOVE IT! Great gas mileage, never gives me ANY trouble! ENJOY!

Didn't you also get a new knitting machine in the past 7 months? Just checking, LOL.

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.


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