Lunaya Pravda

28 June 2007

Tagged - a meme

I've been tagged with a meme.

The Rules: Each player starts with 7 random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to write their own blog post with their 7 things as well as these rules. You need to tag 7 others and list their names on your blog. Remember to leave a comment for them letting them know they have been tagged and to read your blog.
  1. Since Dare2bFree asked when she tagged me, the new car is a white Honda CR-V EX with 4WD. It's awesome as only a new car can be, though I admit with as old and funky as my Camry was getting, it wouldn't take much for any car to seem shiny. But the new wheels are several steps up in improvement, and I'm quite happy with my purchase. Since I'm not one to buy a new car every 3-5 years, I splurged and got what I really wanted.

  2. I hate sharing an elevator, and if I'm in a particularly bad mood, I'll go out of my way to get an elevator to myself. I'm not keen on idle chitchat, and for some reason, I seem to attract folks--and even total strangers--who feel compelled to break a perfectly satisfying silence with inane bullshit. Weather, not awake yet, getting off work late... blah blah blah. Unless you're a good friend, just let me have these 30 seconds to myself, please.

  3. Three and a half years ago, I got drunk at the company Christmas party and broke my leg right above the ankle. Well, I broke it AFTER the party, but still in front of several friends and coworkers. High heels and an open bar don't mix. Fortunately my car has an automatic transmission, and through sheer luck I ended up in a walking cast, so it wasn't a horribly traumatic hassle. Even after all this time, I still feel the humiliation over that bonehead fuck-up--I can almost feel my face flushing as I'm typing this. That level of public drunkenness is not happening in my life again again... EVER.

  4. My first job out of college was a paid internship at an oil refinery. I worked in the environmental department, and came in on weekends to test and monitor the wastewater treatment system. Despite the unpleasant odors, I truly enjoyed donning coveralls and climbing around the system taking water samples. Got me in great shape, too.

  5. FRNs must be organized a certain way in my wallet--numerically increasing in denomination from front to back, with the heads right side up and facing me as I open the wallet. Anything else is perverse and wrong.

  6. Arches National Park is my favorite national park visited to date. I've visited three times--the first during my six-week college field session. I've made the hike to Delicate Arch each time, hiked the primitive trail through Devil's Garden, and gone on the guided Fiery Furnace hike. Whenever I go back, I intend to get a day pass to hike in the Fiery Furnace without a guide. My worst experience there was a trip during which I acquired many itchy mosquito bites, and took some Excedrin PM to stop the itching. Little did I know that Excedrin PM not only lacked the caffeine of it's daytime counterpart, it contains a mild sedative. It stopped my desire to scratch those pesky bites, along with the desire to do anything else. The unfortunate part is that it kicked in around 10AM during the arduous hike up a completely exposed slickrock face toward Delicate Arch. Imagine the worst l-tryptophan drowsiness you've ever had, and multiply it by 5. If we hadn't been baking in the hot sun, I'd have sprawled out and taken a nap.

  7. When I was first learning to ride a bicycle (oh-so-stylish blue with a glittery silver and white banana seat!), I ran squarely into the back of a parked car--not a sideswipe, mind you--and severely scrunched up my front fender. Then after dad straightened out my fender, I came extremely close to hitting the exact same car on the exact same turn. Not one of my more graceful moments.
I don't really have anyone I'd like to tag--mostly since Dare2bFree tagged the folks I'd have tagged, so I'll violate the rules of the meme and leave it at that.

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19 June 2007

Some good news

I still keep waiting for the other shoe to smash me like an insect, but in the meantime, there's some good news on the car front.

Figuring that life was giving me a giant, flashing neon sign that it was time to replace my sad aging car, I went out and purchased a new one over the weekend. Good credit gave me a good interest rate, and I'm very excited about and happy with the new wheels.

And then yesterday the police in another suburb called me to tell my car had been found. This morning, I trotted off to pay the impound fees (@#!*), get whatever I could out of the vehicle, and make arrangements to have a salvage yard buy the title and pick it up. To my surprise, the car was completely drivable, and other than a damaged ignition that now allows one to remove the key while it's still running, you'd never know someone else was driving it. The thief made off with a full tank of gas, and I expected it to be bone dry, but there was still 7/8 of a tank left. My only missing CD was still in the CD player (the detachable stereo face was with me--haha!).

I can just picture the thief deciding that perhaps he'd picked a bit of a lemon and abandoning his joyriding quest. A car that old is anything but a joyride. Several of the dash warning lights are permanently on: the unfamiliar driver is constantly warned that his brake and reverse lights are malfunctioning and the battery isn't charging (none of those are happening, mind you). Of late, there has also been a problem with the temperature gage telling the driver that the car is heating up to redline, particularly when stopped at a light or in heavy traffic. It's not overheating, so far as I can tell, but again, if you don't know the car's quirks as well as I do, why doubt the gage or the warning lights?

Finding the car drivable was NOT something I'd expected. Fortunately, my good friend L. (thank you, L.!) was kind enough (and available on such short notice) to come back with me to the impound lot and drive the poor thing back to my house. I'm still going to sell it for scrap, but this way I might be able to sell the stereo and the new tires separately and get a few more bucks out of it. And at least now I have the time to deal with it without pressure. Hurrah!


12 June 2007

Scanning the skies for locusts

One day I really will be able to start a blog post without an apology for my bloggy silence. I've been remiss, I know, but this time I really do have valid reasons, not the least of which is an entire week out of town without internet access.

A little over a week ago my grandmother--my only remaining grandparent, in fact--passed away. It wasn't entirely unexpected; she'd recently been moved into an assisted living facility in southern California, and between the emphysema and the possibly cancerous mass in her abdomen, she wasn't doing well at all. She took a fall, and though her injuries were fairly minor, they were just too much for her taxed, weakened body to take. Within just a few short hours, she was gone. Actually, having watched her quality of life dwindle so severely these past few years, with her ending up on oxygen 24 hours a day and still gasping for breath after simply sitting up in bed, though I miss her, I'm relieved she's no longer suffering in that miserable, smothering half-life to which she'd been relegated.

I spent the past week down in California with the rest of the family while arrangements were made for her funeral and interment next to my grandfather, who predeceased her by almost 31 years. Family relations on that side are... complicated. While I've mostly made my peace with the fact that my grandmother preferred to stay down south to care for my cousin A.--who grew up with a largely absentee mother, a completely absent father, and a series of not-so-nice boyfriends my aunt brought home--everything A. had to say at the funeral filled me with so much anger and envy I thought I'd burst. She had the grandmother who was a mentor and a friend. She got the early mornings bullshitting over coffee, the crazy shopping outings, the laughter...all the attention I never got from her. Grandma tried to make up for it over the years with letters and such, but even now, I wonder how much I really knew her. I'm really pissed off that I didn't know her well enough to have anything to say at her funeral.

My head (and most days, my heart, too) tells me how blessed I am NOT to have been cursed with A's childhood. I had parents who were home at night to cook dinner and hear how my day was. Parents who cared enough to see me get into a good college, even if it put them in some financial strain for a few years. A. had a mom who gave higher precidence to drinking at the bar than she did at buying groceries so her daughter could eat. I look around at so many of my friends who have such tense, unpleasant relationships with their parents, and feel nothing but gratitude at my sheer luck not to be born into a family like that. Were trading places even possible, I'd never want to have taken A's place down there. Grandma was all A. had for so many years.

And most days I'm completely content with that knowledge. But every now and then, there are days when the envy gets the better of me, and one after the other have blindsided me this past week. I'm sick of struggling with it. I've never been one to dwell much on material things out of my reach, but it's dangerously easy to dwell on those irreplaceable one-of-a-kind desires no money can purchase. I just wish taking the high road could be easier. Right now, I'd settle for just one damn day.

So, after the stress of familial emotions, the funeral, the travel, and merely BEING in LA--a horror even when you're NOT there for a funeral--I arrived home and called in sick to decompress from everything, get some errands run, and relax. And while I was in buying groceries to replenish my empty fridge, my '85 Camry was stolen. In broad daylight in the middle of a crowded, busy parking lot, leaving me stranded with a cart full of groceries. It wasn't worth insuring for theft; what I'd have gotten wouldn't have amounted to even a fraction of a down payment on a new car. So my aunt, bless her heart, left her job early and came to pick me up, took me to the rental place so I'd have something to drive over the next week, and treated me to dinner.

Right now I'm just hoping they DON'T find the car, because it'll be more expensive for me if it turns up, what with towing and all that. I had planned to replace it towards the end of the summer, so it looks like I'll be doing that sooner than expected.

But bad things seem to happen in threes, so here I sit under my little black cloud, scanning the skies for locusts, lightning, reigning fire...the usual signs of impending doom.

I just hope all this is an acceptable excuse for not blogging.