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CarsMarch 19, 2007

Sometimes, when I have a day off, I think the part I like best is waking up early and thinking about all the things I'm going to get done. I think about the long, leisurely run I'll take with the dog, and the writing I'll do at some nice cafe, sitting out in the sun, and the housecleaning that I'll do while singing the standards, and the food I'll cook for the coming week. I lie in bed, and I hear Lala in the shower, and I think all these delicious thoughts. Then I read a chapter or two of whatever I'm reading and I GO BACK TO SLEEP for three hours. I got up at 10:30am today (as opposed to 4:30am on days I work) and now it's 11:30 and I haven't done anything except have tea and cereal and answer emails.

But really, that's okay. I would enjoy getting all those things done, and I enjoyed THINKING about getting them done. We find pleasure where it lives, right?

I was going to tell you about my car day the other day!

Last week, the station wagon started feeling funny. I pulled over a couple of times, sure that the tire was flat. Okay, no, I found that it wasn't flat, but OHMYGOD, I think TWO lug nuts have come off one of the tires. I dragged a really unwilling guy away from pumping his gas to the dark alley where the gas station hid its inflation station to see if he could confirm that my tire was about to fall off because it was missing two lug nuts. I really, honestly think he thought I was going to mug him back there. I've never seen anyone so jumpy.

But no, he showed me that I was only missing the lug nut covers, not the bolts themselves, so that wasn't it. The air pressure was fine in the tires, but at 30 miles an hour, the car wobbled and went whomp-whomp-whomp. At speeds higher and lower, it seemed okay.

The next day, unable to get to the auto-shop, it started making that sound and juddering between 20 and 40 mph. The next day, it did it quite a bit more, and then suddenly, on my way to teach my sock class, it did it at all speeds. I white-knuckled my way home on the freeway, going 30 as the the car went WHOMPWHOMPWHOMPWHOMP.

I didn't even feel safe enough to limp it to Big O Tires in Alameda the next day, so I called AAA for a tow. No worries, I could drive the old convertible Nissan for a day or two. But when I walked back to that car, I found THREE flat tires on that bad boy.


With some fast talking and a very nice tow-truck driver, I got him to tow out both my cars on the same flatbed. I even got to hitch a ride with him to Alameda (I love riding in tow trucks -- it's like the engine of a train or the cockpit of a plane -- somewhere rather mysterious that you know you don't belong so you get the best view you can, while you can).

Tell me I wasn't embarrassed though. I felt like shouting to the neighbors who were probably peeping out their windows, "THEY ARE NOT REPO-ING MY CARS!"

Turns out I had a bubble in my front tire that hadn't been visible to me, but was obvious when they pointed it out. That was what was making the noise -- the tire was beginning to separate. Also turns out that the car is ten years old, and the tires were eleven. Factory-issue, obviously, and high time for new ones. The car rides like a dream, and the Nissan drives again, and we're broke and that was a lot to tell you just to justify this picture:


    Both my cars, heading out

Now. What am I going to do with my day and my cars that drive? Dogs needs walking, and I'm thinking about Pt. Isabel. Maybe today's the day I'm going to multitask and take the computer with me -- grab a picnic bench and let the dogs go crazy with the other dogs while I write. I always mean to do that and then forget completely until I'm up at the picnic bench, looking over the entire bay, thinking, what a great place to write!

And you, you enjoy your day, okay?


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Yes, because I am literally knitting and reading your blog at the same time during my lunch hour, after having eaten a nummy plateful of leftover moo shu pork, one of my favorite foods. What more could a girl ask for?

Can I tell you how much I hate car stuff! That's alot of tires, I hope you got a group discount. And word to the wise, if they start talking "struts" (and believe me they will on 10+ yo cars) they mean $500+. Ask me how I know.

Ewwww! Tires are a drag. Who knew you needed air in them or to have them changed once in a while? Not me. I had a similar experience about a month ago. Please find cheer in the fact that now you don't have to worry about them for a few years. Wishing you well.

Oh, so YOU'RE the REPO girl I keep hearing about, who had both her cars taken by the man in one fowl swoop. Aha! Here I thought that that was just bus stop jibba jabba. ;)

ahh lady, so sorry about the tire woes. it's never fun to spend hard earned money on those; however, glad that you got both cars repaired.

on the other hand, your day off description sounds so wonderfully blissful. i hope you get one or several like that soon.

Glad it is sorted out. When Gracie was 1, we drove down to Hilton Head in our brand new Saturn wagon. It died on the way back on I-95 in MD. I forgot to mention that our last stop in Hilton Head was the emergency room where they suspected Gracie had the German Measles. It was a weekend and Saturn was closed. We got a flatbed tow back to NY with Merle. Gracie was illegal in our laps. He listend to Wilson Phillips the whole way and got a ticket about a half hour away from our Saturn dealer in NY. Oh yea. There were no cell phones back then either so Kevin had to walk to a pay phone to call my dad--in the middle of the night--to pick us up. Sigh. Fun.

You are brilliant (although this was already known). Taking your laptop to Pt. Isabel?! This makes my eyes sparkle! And I know what you're talking about: the just-woke-up-this-is-what-I'll-get-done-today fantasy. I had one, came downstairs with it fresh in my mind to write my list (I need lists), made coffee and went immediately to Google Reader. Now, I'm sure, when I get my pen and paper ready, half that great list will be lost. Oh well, there's always tomorrow....

Oh, I'm sorry about all the tire woes but on the other hand, thank goodness it was only the tires! (I know, a poor sentence after having to pay to replace all those tires. ugh.)

OK, so I am reading this on Tuesday and thinking . . . is she really going out to sit at a picnic table in this "rain"? Then I realized you wrote this Monday and even though it was crazy foggy in SF on Monday it was probably pretty nice in the East Bay.

Glad your autos are feeling better.

Oh, for a real day off. I'm not working right now (looking desperately though), but between the sheep and helping out with my daughter's HS production of Grease, there has barely been a minute to sit. Unless you count the time spent by the copier, making 3000 copies of the program (and yes, I took my socks in progress. Actually made some leeway with them too)

I've forgotten what it's like to have a day where I can do anything I want!

The dogs do not go crazy when you sit at a picnic bench at point Isabel. They curl at your feet, more placid than you have ever sen them in the living room. Then, because you cannot stand the idea that they are not running around, you throw the ball, and this starts a cycle of nose nudging to make you throw again. Fiannally, they do run off and, hey, where are those damn dogs? You get up to look for them, and then all the stitches fall off your needels/ the papers blow in the wind/ the book falls in the mud- you find them. They are ROLLING in a vile, evil mud puddle. Now you don't need to try and multi task at PI.

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