23 April 2015


It happens that I do not have to commute to State City tomorrow, which made today my last commuting day of the week. Because it was my last commuting day of the week, I drove alone.

It happens that every week, I stop at C0stC0 for gas on my last commuting day of the week. It is the only one that is on one of my regular routes, and I would rather just buy gas there once a week than have to think about which station to go to in town (and pay more). I put 6.5 gallons in my tank.

So it happens that I had just filled my tank with gas when I tried to start my car and heard a very slow chug, chuuuug, chuuuuuuuug sound and then nothing. 

It also happens that I have been putting off buying my car a new battery since, oh, January of 2014 or before, when I had my oil changed one time and the guys at the oil place told me that my battery was operating at 15% of what it should be, and would I like a new one? and I said no, thank you. 

It even happens that I priced them at C0stC0 a couple of months ago, and then still I waited, because sometimes my car struggled to start, but sometimes it started just fine! Fine, I tell you. Okay, a little slowly. But fine! Just fine.

Two C0stC0 employees tried to help me push start my car, but nothing happened. And I mean nothing. There was no sound coming from my car. (I do know how to push start a manual transmission, although for a moment there I thought I had forgotten.)

Instead, they pushed me to the nearest parking spot and I went into the store to buy a battery.

Now, it happens that C0stC0 does not install batteries. Further, it happens that I have no tools in my cur that would enable me to change the battery myself. However, it happens that people are nice, and two of them stopped to help me. 

One was a middle-aged guy with an accent who did not have tools but did have friendly. The other was a not-quite middle-aged guy with a huge, oversized truck that probably contained one of each human-made item invented since the beginning of time and it still had space left over. One of the things it contained, fortunately, was a set of pliers. 

He swapped out my battery, I returned the old one to C0stC0 for my $15 recycling fee, and my car started with a purr that I'm not sure I've ever heard out of the ancient little go-cart before. 

It occurs to me that I probably should look into the rest of my list of potential car-fixes: the timing belt, that funny noise in the right wheel well, the muffler. Preferably before they go the battery route of just up and giving up on me. I probably can't count on this level of good fortune and happenstance for every car problem that I let go on too long.

22 April 2015


Last night I wore my long arm brace to sleep because my golf elbow was paining me.

(If you were not around for The Wrist Saga, you can find it here. The long arm brace looks something like the long arm brace in that post, except that at some point a physical therapist decided that I would be better off with a brace that went over the top of my thumb and inside of my elbow so that my elbow was not compressed inside the brace. So it's kind of the inverse of the long brace in that post.)

It isn't super comfortable to sleep with the long brace on, but as long as I prop my arm up on a pillow, it isn't bad. I fell asleep quickly. 

At some point, well before my alarm went off, I woke up and realized that the brace was no longer on my arm.

It was lying on the ground next to the bed.

There are four pieces of velcro that hold that brace onto my arm. 

I have no recollection of taking it off. 

I don't normally sleepwalk, but apparently in my sleep I tear off my arm brace. Possibly in some sort of frenzy of uncomfortableness (even though it really isn't very uncomfortable). It's a mystery. Okay, a tiny little mystery, but a mystery nonetheless. 

21 April 2015


Girl, approximately 10 years old, walking into the grocery store with her dad: "Do you think I have a photographic memory?"

(My parents are cracking up right now, because this is so something I would have asked.)

Her dad: "No."

Girl: "Why not?"

Dad: "Well, do you remember everything from... [inaudible]?"

Girl: "Yes, I do. I remember the... thing. And the other thing."

She clearly did not remember whatever it was her dad had just asked about. 

I feel like this girl and my 10 year old self are/were kindred spirits. 

20 April 2015


The person who thought of the ceiling fan was a genius. Ditto the person who put a ceiling fan into a rental apartment. 

If I had thought of it, I should have been using the fan all winter to move the warm air (slowly) around the room, instead of just turning it on now that the temperature is rising to an entire 80 degrees F during the day. 

But I just remembered it yesterday when I came home all glowing (read: sweating) from my 27 mile bike ride, turned on the fan, and cast myself like a starfish onto my bed to gather all the breeze I could. 

I think I'll keep it. You will have to pry this apartment from my cold, dead hands. Unless they raise the rent. In which case, see you later, apartment. Then I'll just have to install a ceiling fan wherever I move, because now that I've tried the ceiling fan, there is no going back. 

19 April 2015

back on the bike

Yesterday I girded up my courage and rode my bike across town to a women's soccer game. (The girding part was for the biking in the city, not the attending of the soccer game, although when my roommate offered me the ticket, he said, "You won't be the only girl there. [Girl I'm seeing] will also be there." Yes, right. Because my primary concern about attending a women's sporting event would be that I would be the only woman there. I love living in a town where groups of men attend women's sporting events just for love of the sport.)

"I almost got hit by a car and then as I was looking at the car that almost hit me, I almost hit pedestrians," I announced when I got to the game. 

"The key word there is 'almost'," J. said. "You are fine."

After the game (we won! yay! and there were MANY other women there), the group of us raced through the city - it turns out biking is faster than the train in downtown - and ended up on a pier reaching out into the river, watching the sun set. Periodically kayakers would debark at the end of the pier, pick up their watercraft, and drip-drip-drip their way past us up to the parking area.

This afternoon I met two friends around the same spot, only we went south on our bikes, along the water, and then west toward the mountain. 

I wore sunscreen two days in a row. 

I might have a sunburn anyway.

In April.

"We live in California now," someone said at the game last night, and it appears to be true. California no longer has rain, and we have California's former weather.

I rode my bike for 27 miles today. My legs are sore and my butt is sore (I need a better seat), and it feels pretty awesome to be tired and sun-swept.

18 April 2015


Last weekend, I drove over the mountains to Sunny Ski Town with a couple of friends. We had lovely intentions of hiking and exploring the mountains, but when we got to downtown SST, there were sale racks of clothes out on the sidewalks, and we got sucked in. (Don't worry, we got in some outdoor time, too, and a couple of meals that were so delicious that I am dreaming of them right now.)

One of the stores sold used cowboy boots, some consignment clothes, a bunch of random cute little household objects, and a local swimsuit line. Local to Gone West, actually, although I've never shopped it here.

I tried on a swimsuit that wasn't right for me, and, standing in front of the mirror in the store, I pointed to the upper part of my stomach. "I don't like this," I said. (I usually try to avoid this kind of body shaming, and I'm generally happy with my body, but as a rule, that is the part that I would try to cover in a swimsuit.)

The sales person, who was sitting behind me at the counter with a big steaming cup of tea, said, very gently, "You look beautiful whatever you wear."

I heart her.

The next suit I tried on was perfect.

10 April 2015

week's end

Every Friday, on my way back to Gone West, I stop at C0stC0 to fill my car up with gas. I don't always need a full tank (today I filled it with 7.717 gallons*), but I drive my carpool on Monday, so I like to have it full. 

Today I called the Ethiopian restaurant while my car was filling, to ask if they would have enough injera if I stopped by to eat dinner before my friend's birthday party. 

They did, so I drove straight there and sat at the bar with my sudoku puzzle.

"Come on a Tuesday or Wednesday," P. said, so we have time to chat.

My food came quickly, which was good because after a day that starts at 5:30 am, I am ridiculously hungry by 6:45 pm. 

I never get tired of ye doro tibs and kik alecha wat. Never, ever. When my mom came last winter, when I was going to drive back to the Mitten** with her and then never picked up the rental truck because I could not leave Gone West, we went to the Ethiopian restaurant twice, and each time we got enough for leftovers. I ate Ethiopian four days in a row. Actually, maybe six, because I think I had it the two days before she arrived, too. I was not tired of it.

I had enough time to stop at home before the birthday party, which is where I am now. This is a problem, because I'm not sure I can move again now that I have let myself lie down.

* My old friend SHO from Universe City recently bought a hybrid SUV, and he proudly announced that he'd gotten 32 miles to the gallon. "Me, too," I said. "And my car is a '97 Civic."

** Random story: the Mitten license plate has always, naturally, been the one that is most familiar to me. (I have an inexplicable interest in license plates, the numbering thereof, so I pay attention to them.) The State of Happiness license plate, though, is catching up, and a few times recently I have caught site of a State of Happiness plate and, because of its familiarity, thought, "Hey, it's someone from the Mitten!" Only, of course, it isn't. It's just that the State of Happiness license plate is replacing the Mitten as the most familiar in my brain.