Comic-Con should have a villain called ‘Check Engine Light’ man. It would strike fear into the hearts of all who laid eyes on him.
Thought that was an apropos way to start since another Comic-Con is happening without me.
So that stays uncrossed on my bucket list.
Anyway! I digress.
Driving home from the grocery store last night and “DING!” said my car.
Now, this happened last year too. Car wouldn’t shift, RPMs climbed sky-high … I ended up driving 10 miles per hour home, shaking, heart pounding – then having my Cruiser towed to have an ignition switch and Solenoid replaced.
Shortly thereafter, “DING!” Turns out they put a bad solenoid in.
And my car was fixed.
And my bank account was broken.
Little over a month ago – same issue. “Ding!” Light back on, won’t shift, high RPMs – had car towed again.
(I like to think of a tow as a nice little ride for my car. Wind in its wipers, watering headlights as it enjoys the whoosh of air. A fun piggy back ride. Takes my mind off the ‘how the hell much is this going to cost me’ thoughts.)
Mechanic could find nothing wrong with it.
They reset my engine light and for the past month or so, I’ve been driving it like it has a bomb taped under the hood.
Now, we know I ‘worry too much’. I’ve heard it enough. But I seriously have a 6th sense about things. And so when the “DING!” happened last night – and it repeated its symptoms, I stressed the heck out.
Decided there was no point to that. It is what it is right?
So I had a plan.
Get up early, go to Auto Zone for a diagnostic check – pray it coded with the same thing as last time so even if my car decided not to perform badly for the mechanic, I would have proof.
And it did.
It coded!!! With the exact same issue as the first go around.
I’m holding that diagnostic ticket like it came out of a Wonka bar and after laundry, I’ll set my car off on another adventure and pray the mechanic honors some sort of warranty.
Cars. They’re the bane of my existence. My kryptonite.
Seriously though, Marvel? Consider ‘Check Engine Light’ man.
I have to say, I had the most ah-mazing birthday weekend ever!
First of all, I’ve never had a ‘birthday weekend’.
I know people who celebrate birthday MONTHS – birthday WEEKS – I’ve only ever done the one day.
So, this year, not only did I get to have fun on the day of with co-workers and then my family at home, but the next day more was to come!
Saturday, it was planned that we’d all head over to my moms and enjoy the company and the pool and sashimi! Nic’s girlfriend met us there and the four of us were in swimwear in no time.
Played Marco Polo – tried to dive (I can’t dive) – laughed, a LOT, while my parents and Jim chatted poolside.
Then came the surprise.
I was handed a card containing coveted tickets to the Led Zeppelin Experience concert that night – (With Jason Bonham) it was then announced by my honey that, oh, and by the way, we had a room for the night.
Everyone had known about this for 2 weeks – and had done a VERY good job at keeping mum about it.
It’s hard to surprise me – but surprised I was.
Here’s some photos of the weekend.
Only downside? On the way back from my moms, the damn ‘check engine’ light came on in my car and the exact same problem I had late last year, was happening again.
Nothing puts my stomach in knots more than car issues!!!
Car not shifting – RPMs trying to hit new heights.
My car is back at the shop … and I’m PRAYING the parts are still under warranty – because there is nothing in the coffer for repairs.
My honey told me he was “sorry for all the unneeded stress.” In a recent IM
“Stress is never needed … and car problems just happen – no one deserves to deal with it. There are people who woke up today without their children or their honey … I’m a lucky girl. We’ll get through this – somehow.”
And we will.
After such a gorgeous weekend, I have nothing but gratitude and amazing memories to get me through.
And I’ve got ‘A Whole Lotta Love’.
When it rains, it pours. Seriously – the universe sometimes has a mean streak and when you’re down it puts its kicking shoes on.
Or, more likely, the depleted positivity of the person in an emotional fetal position is exuding ‘kick me’ vibes.
I’ll preface all of this by acknowledging that yes, a lot of people have it a lot worse.
You can’t say you’re having a bad day anymore without someone pointing out that someone, somewhere is on their death-bed and so ‘get over it.’
I know this – because I was one of those people. Until I read something that made me chuckle a little and change my point of view.
“Saying someone can’t feel sad because someone else has it worse, is like saying someone can’t feel happy because someone else has it better.”
So I don’t discount bad days anymore.
Oh, I’m also notorious for the whole ‘there are no bad days’ quote – yeah well, sometimes a day has enough suck in it to call for a write off.
The entire past week has been ‘one of those days’.
From the aforementioned heart-break – to car problems – to the timely ‘discovery’ or ‘landing’ of Freddy Kreuger in my uterus on Columbus Day.
I’ve been miserable. And no one likes a miserable person.
They skirt around you like you’re carrying a new strain of the plague and nothing beats alienation to cheer a miserable person up. (Sarcasm: I’m still capable of it.)
Then they make it worse by continuing to ask ‘How are you?’ to which, you’d better answer ‘fine’ or ‘good’ because that’s all they want to hear.
It takes time to get over something! So stop asking how I am unless you want the truth!!!
My son asked me the other day how I was feeling.
My answer was ‘Lonely’ – which is SO not me. But that’s exactly how I was feeling the moment he asked.
I was home alone with the dog at the time – who is currently nursing her plastic ‘babies’ again –so even she was busy. (Yes, yes I know! I have to get her spayed – but I had the whole jobless situation for a while and life got in the way)
Back to the phone call.
So I answer “Lonely” and he responds to that in a slightly irritated tone: “What are you going to do when I leave for college??”
We ended that call.
I’ve faired quite well on my own – and while I’ll miss my favorite person on the planet – I won’t shrivel up and cease to be. Sorry son – you are my world and I would lay down and die for you, but I do have other resources to survive on the planet.
Like ice cream … and cake … and … Oh God, don’t GO!
Started out pretty good.
Late morning, I saw a friends’ status that had me in tears literally laughing out loud.
I often laugh for no apparent reason at my desk – so much so, that one of the owners has named ‘uncontrollable-outbursts-of-desk-laughter-that-no-one-knows-the-source-of’ after me.
I know this because late in the day, she burst out laughing and followed it up with ‘I pulled an Amanda’.
(To be fair, and to avoid suspicion of insanity – I do not actually laugh for no apparent reason – I’m usually remembering something funny.)
The status that had me doubled over in hysterical laughter was this one:
“Just shared this with a friend to cheer her up and decided you lot should share in the joy.
I have just lectured a boardroom full of execs on something and as I sat down with a satisfied 'That told them' feeling I farted. Not quietly. Not short.
I may move countries. My career is dead here.”
Of course everyone able to see her status loved it and wanted to know more, especially what she did afterwards – which turned out to be following it up with an embarrassed wink.
So perfect. I can imagine that entire scene in a film.
I’m shaking with laughter just typing that out.
I love that she shared it – I love that we were all laughing WITH her. No doubt recollecting our most embarrassing moments and commiserating.
We’re all human – anyone that doesn’t find that funny has issues with their own bodily functions.
Okay – so far so good right? Good tummy aching laugh and productivity.
Next up, “Field Trip!” I needed to take my car to a mechanic for the big assessment and one of my bosses has a shop he trusts.
Plan was, he would take me home to fetch my car – then follow me to the shop to be sure I made it there, then we’d return to work.
Bonus was that there were work related errands on the way! (No sarcasm) It was nice to get out of the office and out in public on official business.
He introduced me to the office supply employee as his friend from work – and went on to add (after I could not stop touching things at the counter) ‘special friend’ as in – helmet kind of special.
At the locksmith, I played with the various locks and devices while we waited for a key to be cut. “You don’t get out much do you?” It wasn’t a question. He was right. Couldn’t argue with that one.
So I just kept playing with safes, pretending I was cracking the combinations and said ‘Shhhh’.
Got the car safely to the shop and back to work we went.
Shortly after was when my body said “Done!” The stress of the past week or so finally hitting me and physically exacerbating my heart condition.
I sat with my heart thudding and breathed through dizzy spells. I did all of this while sitting at my desk after it was time to go not trusting myself to be behind the wheel of a car.
I wanted to be home. But there are other people on the road that don’t want me to be home at their expense.
I do care about others.
Half an hour later I felt confident enough to navigate a car.
I arrived home and noticed the dogs bowl was almost empty of water.
Put my purse down, filled the bowl and stood up –
The sound of my head meeting a very hard edge of my hutch.
Bells rang – tears sprang to my eyes.
I staggered from the middle of the kitchen to the freezer, grabbed 3 ice cubes, and somehow through my blurred vision, managed to find an Easter treat bag to put them in. (Note to self: Buy sandwich/freezer bags.)
I stood in that kitchen and cried.
My head hurt – a lot. I was dizzier now than before and just … done.
I sobbed for a few minutes before shuffling to my son’s room.
There he sat with headphones on.
He looked up at me, holding an Easter Bunny compress on my head – my face streaked with tears as I said “You’re useless with those headphones on.”
I returned to the kitchen and he followed me there.
That’s when I did the ‘Can you look?? I don’t want to look!’ thing.
I get a little unsettled having a wound revealed – and was not going to be the discoverer.
He checked and said he saw nothing.
“I know the answer.” I said. “The answer to what will you do when I leave to college” .
We both said the answer at about the same time.
Which was ‘die’.
I’ll probably trip over something and go unnoticed for days.
I did end up with a cherry sized knot on my head – ok, maybe it was blueberry. But my head hurt. I was ready for bed and it was only 6pm.
Then the locust came.
I’m terrified of unpredictable nature. Not lions or tigers or sharks … not that kind of unpredictable. I mean, flying, leaping, rapid crawling or fluttering nature that gets up in your face. Moths, spiders, wasps, cockroaches, beetles, the entire Solifugae order… and locusts.
One had found its way into our home and was thudding loudly in my lamp shade.
They seriously THUD. Creeps me out.
They can’t weigh that much can they??
To make that much of a thud – seriously – how much energy is being put into that hop/fly motion? There’s an inertia formula that probably would come in handy here. Algebra – it DOES have a place in everyday life!
(IS inertia even the right word? Doesn’t matter – you all know what I mean. Velocity? It matters – I can’t move on until we have this right. I think it’s right. We’re moving on.)
I remember in India – there was a flying beetle that if thudded into you, could actually leave a bruise! One landed on your arm and it was like getting hit by a bug brick. Ginormous freaking winged beetles. No wonder I’m traumatized.
Anyway – I didn’t want it getting me.
I also didn’t want to get off of the couch – but could not settle with it jumping and flying and thudding. I fetched a cup and an envelope and caught it on the wall and put it outside.
I was done with the living room – wanted my bed.
Nature called first – and as I sat, vulnerable, mid tinkle – I noticed out of the corner of my eye – another freaking locust on the wall. Above me. To my left.
Literally caught with my pants down.
I was thinking at that point, f&%* it.
Land on me and just end my beating heart.
You know you’ve had a crappy month when you’ve ended your day stuck on a toilet, with a knot on your head, mascara stained cheeks and a locust threatening to attack.
I managed to finish unscathed – capture the flipping thing and release it back into the wild.
Face washed, teeth brushed, I hit my knees to pray to the God who’s probably still really pissed off about my blasphemous post and then hit my pillow.
Butters nested next to me with her babies.
Sleep found me quickly.
I’m out of most everything – but get paid today. Although, depending on the diagnosis of my car’s transmission issue – there may not be any pay left for such frivolities like food and coffee.
Head still hurts.
Oh! And I managed to super glue my thumb to my shoe.
I’d shake my fist at the Universe – but I’d probably end up accidentally whacking my arm on something in the process.
… to be continued
I’ll let it tell its own story. Prologue goes like this: my son took his girlfriend to the movies. Son and car returned at 10:30 pm.
I probably shouldn’t have joked with another lady in the waiting room (after we both noticed the ‘shock’ poster) that ‘knock on wood – I’ve NEVER had to buy those!’
Man announced (as I was now 2 hours late to work) “Your back shocks are dead – they are not doing a thing”.
Not today buddy. Today I have spent 3/4 of my paycheck on these flipping tires.
Had to giggle when the salesman told me they would last 50,000 miles. I wanted to say that was probably longer than my car would last. But didn’t. It wasn’t that festive of an occasion and I was afraid my jesting would come out bitter.
I am totally, utterly, completely car cursed.
But! I am VERY blessed when it comes to my son coming out of them unscathed (twice now)
And when it comes to food product vandalism (mustard vs egg yolk)
So! I’ll count my blessings and avoid looking at, let alone counting, my bank account.