Friday, June 30, 2006

home sweet home (a.k.a. brokedown palace)

i feel like bitching. lots of things are breaking down on me these days and frankly it’s starting to piss me off. (and sorry, i just can’t manage short and sweet posts – i save all this stuff up and blurt it all out at once. annoying, even to me.)

the a/c in the car has been out for over a year now. after brian reminded me several (dozen) times that it’s under warranty, i finally dropped it off at the dealership for repair this morning.

i was so excited. no longer would i have to sweat the ride home. no longer would i have to subject my hair to wind-blown knots and the subsequent untangling hours (or days) later. no longer would i have to worry if my daughter would sustain third-degree burns from the buckles on her carseat. oh yes, the ride home in air-conditioned luxury. i’ve been fantasizing about this for weeks.

so this morning i run across a post in shakespeare’s sister about the global warming drama (finally) unfolding on the american stage, thanks to the efforts of our erstwhile shoulda been leader, al gore. this post mentions what exactly we as individual citizens can do to minimize our impact on the climate change, especially in terms of fossil fuel usage, etc.

the subject of air conditioning is the focus of the post. and i thought, well, hey, i don’t have to run the a/c all the time, right? anyway it’s usually cool in the mornings, so we really only need it in the afternoons when it’s unbearably hot.

turns out we don’t need it at all. i’d been puttering along this morning for a few minutes after i got to work, a little lift to my mood after reading about the SCOTUS guantanemo decision, looking forward to my air conditioned ride home.

got the call from the dealership. apparently the compressor has been perforated by rocks coming up from the road. (imagine that. living on a gravel road sucks in SO many ways.) this, of course, is not covered under the bumper-to-bumper. replacing the compressor, labor and two units of freon would cost about $600.

yeesh. Six Hundred Dollars.

needless to say, the work ain’t gettin’ done today. or this year. i mean, what’s the point? if we get it replaced, it’s just going to get “perforated” all over again. hey, if i win the lottery, i’ll not only get my a/c fixed (and run it moderately, of course,) i’ll pave the road for us and all the other folks who are stuck living on it. that will at least take care of the rock issue. (the first step in winning the lottery would, i think, be buying tickets. which i don’t do. and if brian does, he’s not fessing up to it.)

so i suppose i will have to continue to eliminate the impact of my car’s a/c. yay. no, really, i’m terribly excited.

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side note on global warming. oh this is SUCH a fun topic these days. the arguments against it are rarely well-reasoned. they have more to do with personal attacks on the “liberals” making the case for the climate crisis than scientific discussions, and i don’t think that many of them have actually seen an inconvenient truth. (i’m on the library list for the book, but I think I ought to go see it just on principle.)

here’s my take. let’s say the climate crisis is overstated. let’s say it’s all a liberal fabrication, a ghost story to strike fear into the hearts of the masses. let’s say it’s a bunch of b.s. anyway, and that climate changes happen on a regular basis, and haven’t caused any major problems yet. (unless you were a t-rex in a previous life, that is.)

even if you assume all these things (which i don’t, simply because i don’t trust the government and that’s who seems to be leading this argument,) look at the effects of our dependence on fossil fuels – specifically, oil.

can we really act as peacemakers in the middle east when we are so heavily invested in its resources?

NO. we can’t. we can’t even pretend to be impartial. any warmongering or invasion or “regime change” we effect is immediately suspect, if for no other reason than our dependence on oil. domestic or foreign, doesn’t matter. eventually domestic sources will run out and we’ll have to take over someone else’s resources to maintain our own standards of living.

until we stop nursing at the oil tit, we’ll never be more than a cranky, spoiled toddler on the world stage. which is not really a big deal, except that we keep pretending to be the babysitter. and that we’re armed with nuclear weapons.

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back to the breakdowns.

we got back from visiting dad and judy a couple of weeks back to find that we had no running water. brian went downstairs to investigate and returned to report.

“what do you want first, the bad news, the really bad news, the good news, or the really good news?”

i hate it when he does this.

“just lay it all out.”

“ok. bad news: we won’t have hot water for a while. really bad news: the water heater blew up. good news: we have running water, but it’s cold. really good news: the house didn’t burn down when the water heater exploded.”

it’s a tribute to the effectiveness of my medications that i did not freak out.

he said, “tomorrow i’ll talk to my boss and see what i can work out.” (he’s working on the surveying side of a contracting company.)

so he talked to his boss. said bossman got on the phone with his plumber (affectionately known as “leaky”), bumped his other jobs down, and we had a brand new hot water heater installed and running by the end of the day.

brian will be working out payment with his boss, incremental, taken out of his check once a week for a while.

it’s really hard to beat that. i made a large batch of extra gooey-chocolatey-nutty brownies and sent them into work with him the next week.

we are incredibly lucky.

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my cube’s not working. i’ve already sent it back to them for repair once; they returned it quickly, but it still doesn’t work. my computer won’t even recognize it. their customer service department is apparently smoking some really kind bud and not drinking enough coffee to mitigate the effects. in other words, they’re really freaking slow.

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and how could i forget to mention the eyewear saga?

i picked up my glasses last monday and tried them out. really not too bad, had a hard time adjusting, some foggy spots due, they think, to the cataracts. had them adjusted, dutifully wore them all the time, managed to not mind them after a while.

except i couldn’t see very well in anything but bright, full light. during the day was fine. but in the early morning and evening hours, there was hardly any point wearing them. i wouldn’t consider wearing them to drive at night – which was the whole reason i got my eyes checked in the first place.

i went in for an Rx check a couple of days ago and told the optometrist the problems i was having.

“is this normal?” i asked. “is it the cataracts?”

“not really,” he said, and promptly tested me again.

these tests are embarrassing. “can you read the bottom line?”

“uh… no. i mean, i could guess, but that’s all it would be. it’s totally blurry.”

“ok. what looks better, this—“ a blurry image appears, “or this?” another blurry image appears.

“that’s a trick question, right?” i said. “because really, they both look lousy.”

in the end he changed the prescription. so the glasses are on their way back to the lab for rework. i struggle for a week to adjust to the glasses and appreciate the improved eyesight. now i’m back to eyestrain for a couple of weeks, then when they come back (if the prescription works this time) i get to readjust. again.

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yoga practice has been on hold due to the fact that i can’t seem to practice without feeling like an overblown whale.

i went to a yoga class last weekend – community flow, it was called. the young woman who taught it was slim and willowy. i got there a few minutes early and set up my mat towards the front of the room. not a good choice. two or three other ladies showed up and settled behind me. so they all saw (if they bothered to look) my pathetic attempts at a twisted flying crow (i couldn’t even manage the “twisted” part) and my unexpected toppling on each side of praying twist.

so the next day i explored some stretches in erich schiffmann’s moving into stillness (a great book, very detailed and compassionate) to help open up the hips, as preparation for the twisted crow thingy. and found that even half lotus was difficult – mostly because the squeezed-together fatty part of my thighs didn’t like being assaulted by my foot.

and the “you’re a dork” voices would NOT shut up.

if i had my cube, some music would help drown them out. if i had my cube, i might get motivated to run again. i don’t think i would lose weight (it seems to be my fate to remain just on the overweight/obese border, despite how healthy i might be otherwise.) but i might be able to take a couple of steps back to some decent self-esteem.

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on the up-side, there’s a four-day weekend ahead of me. pizza, popcorn and movie night tonight (howl’s moving castle – thanks, james, i can’t wait to see it!) blueberry picking tomorrow morning. a wedding saturday afternoon, relaxing in the backyard sunday, physical and pap smear monday (ick, but at least the rest of the day is mine) and fireworks tuesday. have to remember to bring home some earplugs.

decompression trip to charlotte in two weeks (peach and raspberry pie, anyone?)

oh, and the thank-you gift for anyone who's made it this far: a stunning picture of my daughter, taken in a quiet moment by her grandpa or grandma. yeah, i know, i'm biased. sue me.

well, hell. i was going to post it, but the scanner's not working.

1 comment:

Guitar Master said...

I wish I could blog as good as you, but what I can do is give you a nice Guitar Lesson!