Chaos Attraction

Shpilkis In Its Genechtagazoink

2013-09-05, 4:21 p.m.

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How do I summarize yesterday? Most of it was quite terrible.

As per my usual body's reaction to (a) being freaked out about car stuff, and (b) knowing I have to get up way too goddamned early....I went to bed at 11:05 and woke up in a panic at 1:50 a.m. Lovely! I sat around watching Babylon 5 for a couple of hours until my body stopped the wankery and then slept for a few more hours, leaving me incredibly stupid rummy all day.

At six a.m., I called AAA for a tow. They told me it would take an hour to come from Natomas, but when the truck finally arrived (around 6:50), it had an address from where I live written on it. Huh? Anyway, the dude rigged up the car towing thing and drove me and it to the repair place by about 7:10. Luckily, the place was empty this morning, so I was done there in about ten minutes and went to wait for the bus. I even made it to work on time, go figure.

I spent most of the day at work (a) being busy, (b) being totally rummy, and (c) I got into trouble for something that, it turned out, I hadn't actually done wrong, but I am still in trouble anyway for having the ADD fidgets during a meeting. Speaking as someone who probably has ADD but won't be arsed to get diagnosed (I see no point in putting a permanent black mark on my insurance, especially since I am old and don't plan on taking drugs I can't swallow for it anyway), I have figured out over the years that if I am doing something that doesn't require much concentration--doodling, crossword puzzles, and knitting being the ones I do the most frequently--I will actually pay attention when someone keeps talking at me, instead of staring into space and drooling and all the words turning into noise mush.

For many years, I've had teachers that objected to such things. Most of them eventually realized that my fidgeting didn't actually interfere with my ability to yell out the answers and otherwise listen, but there's always a few people who just cannot get past YOU MUST SIT STILL AND STARE AT ME WITH RAPT ATTENTION.... and a higher-up at my work is one of them. Sigh. So now at those meetings I literally have to sit right in front of said manager, while sandwiched between the other two managers, for eternity. Sitting Still and Staring With Rapt Attention. Sigh. I don't hate the manager or anything like that, I like them otherwise. But it's frustrating on both ends--on theirs that I am not obedient, and on mine that there's no way I can get them to realize that I swear I'll be better in the meeting if I don't have to sit still and stare. At 8 a.m., no less, so that only makes the problem worse. I also got in trouble for speed reading--yes, really, I don't take long enough to read papers in meetings either and that also looks bad. Whee.

I also had some coworkers take guesses on what had happened to the car. Some thought the oil could just be filled up, but the longer the day went on, the less likely that one seemed. One person guessed it was the battery, another guessed it was the spark plugs.

Zipcar lets you cancel a reservation up to three hours before the reservation starts. My time for that was at 2:30. I did not get the call from the mechanic before then. Dammit. I finally heard close to 4 p.m. and ended up leaving work early to pick up the car--though he told me that I could make arrangements for after-5 pickups in the future, huzzah.

He said they'd spent all day going over the car...well, I wrote down what he said he did to it.
* "goofy connections to the oil center."
* "used some cleaner on the intake."
* it was carboned up."
I literally had him repeat to me what he did to my car for $123--cheap when it comes to car repair, I know-- and he followed up with:
* "cleaned intake manifold"
* "cleaned out spark plugs."

The chick who guessed "spark plugs" wins! On the other hand, another coworker of mine told me she didn't think my model of car HAD spark plugs, so....yeah. I... guess it wasn't the oil and was just the starting up? It did start up very quickly after that. I also uh, kind of figured out while starting to drive home that night that the oil light is on when the car is halfway started but not totally revved up. Uh.

I find it incredibly frustrating to literally have no idea what the hell he's talking about at any point in time. I literally had to write down what he formally said he did to it and put it in my iPod so I could repeat it to the folks who asked about it afterwards. I swear to god, to me it all sounds like the car had shpilkis in its genechtagazoink, for all the amount of sense it makes to me. I feel so incredibly stupid about car stuff and it's making me crazy, especially since I keep needing to get car repairs so damn much in the last few weeks. Dear god, I want to take some auto class--at least so I can understand what he's saying and make a better educated guess as to what's wrong with it. Oh yeah, and patch my own tire. Well, hopefully that class will run in winter and I can find out. My mechanic's response to my saying that was that he tries to not confuse people with all the possible things they could worry about. I can understand that, at least.

When I got home, I had most of an hour before I had to leave to go to writer's group, so I washed the windows of the car because they were hella dirty, and took a shower because I'd literally spent all day sweating about this, and got a call saying that my improv class staring the next day had been canceled. WAAAAAAAAAAAH on that last one. I'd thought that was a perfect setup--that I could take it and then not have it interfere with the CC class I am going to take. Hah, no. But...well, at least I get some money back, which will help with the whole car thing. I decided to just waste my Zipcar time because fuck it, I didn't feel like going over there to drive another car when I had mine here. Oh well on the waste of money there....but better safe than sorry if I hadn't made the reservation either.

I drove to writer's group, which went well except for my being idiot enough to pull into a parking space badly enough to take up 2 slots, and then every time I tried to recenter, some other car kept driving right behind me. Between that and the other patrons glaring at me, I finally just gave up, pulled out altogether, and parked in the back. On my way out, I slightly hit the back of the building pulling out and some random guy in the parking lot had to help me get out. And I got honked at on the freeway yet again, though I am at a loss as to what stupid shit I did to piss someone off this time because I thought I was doing fine. Maybe I was too slow for them, who knows. But by the time I came home, I really wanted the hell out of the car and I felt like I would never, ever get over feeling stupid about things behind the wheel. I have people yelling at me all the time to not say I'm stupid, but I do so MANY things that are stupid! Will I ever not be stupid on this topic?

Of course, I told this stuff to writer's group (my piece this week went over better than last time, thank goodness, got some good tips) and my friend Melinda was all, "Last week I drove into a pole." No good excuse, other than she's not used to commuting an hour to work and the sun was in her eyes and oops, she feels stupid now. I told her she made me feel better. People also told me about their heinous first cars-- "Mine had to have the oil refilled every time I put in gas" and "The fuel gauge didn't work at all and I had no idea how much fuel I ever had in the car at any time" were particularly choice ones. So hearing that stuff helped.

I went to bed early, and actually got a full 8 hours sleep, and was downright perky and staring exactly how the manager wanted it during that meeting. So there was that.

Since I have this afternoon off from going to class, I think I'll just go home and lounge and drink-- you know, the kind of day I needed to have yesterday. Hah.


I do need to drive home this weekend, since (a) I want to stop in at the CC party before I go home, and (b) I want to be able to LEAVE rather than to hang out with Mom's doofus ex-boyfriend. Who is visiting this weekend for a reunion and the America's Cup. Oh goody. He can't spend the night here because I am here, hahahahahahah, but so far he and Mom are doing breakfast Saturday morning and they are going together to America's Cup on Sunday. That last special detail makes me think I'll be heading home early Sunday morning.

I do not want to meet the doofus because frankly, I don't think I'd have much restraint if I did. I really wouldn't be around on a weekend when he is at all if pre-bought tickets weren't involved here. Mauricio wants me to chaperone her so that she won't be tempted to get back together with the doofus, but since he broke up with her, I suspect it is not under her control there. But....yeah. I told my shrink this stuff and let's just say I shouldn't have done it right when she was taking a drink. I had been sharing some of my stash of English candy with her and then she'd asked me to put it away so she wouldn't eat it all--after the spit take, she said, "I need more candy." You and me both.


Before I finish, I wanted to mention how my friends who have moved are doing. L is doing well--just got an apartment, went to a conference, started her new job. Monica, alas....had to throw out or store almost all of her stuff, her boyfriend's roommates are not thrilled with her being there, the place is boy-unclean, and her boyfriend's getting laid off again so neither of them will have any money.. Poor girl. Though it at least sounds like a few things are walkable/bikeable for her to get to, so there's that.


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