Monday, January 26, 2004

Sometimes a note's not enough, or how my car didn't get fixed right away 

So the title pretty much says it all, but rambler that I am, I have to give all the details.

On my way to work Wednesday morning, I ran a stop sign. I was halfway through the intersection when I realized it, so I slammed on the brakes. The back end of the car swerved to the right, which, I thought after getting over the humiliation of the misdeed, was weird. Luckily, no cars or people were anywhere in sight at the time--about 5:45, 6:00. I continued on my way to work, my mind reviewing how I blew the stop sign at this intersection that I cross twice every day.

The next day, Thursday, I noticed that when I braked, I had to push the pedal further than normal. I played around with braking and pumping the brakes until I was convinced that they weren't working properly. Then on a clear stretch of the highway on my way home, I had to apply the brakes quickly as the light I was approaching turned to yellow, then to red. Like Wednesday morning, the back end swerved to the right.

The weather forecast I had heard throughout the day called for snow and icy conditions starting Friday afternoon. So, after the second sudden stopping and subsequent swerving (such alliteration!) in two days and with the forecast what it was, I decided to take the car to the service station that day. I would ask L if I could borrow her car to get to work on Friday. She had offered it earlier in the week when my car didn't start on Monday--MLK Day, so I didn't have school, but it started on Tuesday, so I didn't need to use her car.

In the evening I left my car at the service station where we have had most all of our car repairs done for years. The station was closed for the day, but I would have B drop the keys off in the morning. This practice is not unusual. The guys there, T, the owner, and S, know us and know our cars. They treat us well.

B bowls on Thursday evenings. He wasn't home yet at 9:30 when I went to bed, so I left a short note on a piece of mail: "Please drop my keys off at the M station in the morning." I left the keys on top of the note.

Before I left for work the next morning and because B did not wake me to ask about the car and because I didn't want to wake him, I left another note in large writing on computer paper: "Please drop my keys off at the M station. The brakes are really bad and need to be fixed." I put the keys on the note and even moved his keys onto the paper.

I thought about calling him before or just after I arrived at work to make sure he knew what I had asked him to do. Sometimes I need to be reassured, but I thought, "Naw, he'll see the note and will follow through." So I didn't call him.

In the afternoon on my way to the service station, I called B at work.

Me: Did you take the keys to M?

B: Yeah.

Me: What'd they say? (meaning are they going to fix the brakes today?)

B: They'll take a look at it.

Me: What'd you tell them?

B: That you had trouble starting the car and it probably just needs a tune-up.

Me: WHAT? You didn't tell them about the brakes?

B: What about the brakes?

Me: You didn't read my note, did you?

B: Your note didn't say anything about the brakes.

Me: It did too!

B: There was no note about the brakes!

Me: B, I left you a note on printer paper that the brakes are bad and have to be fixed! The keys were even on top of the note!

B: I didn't see any note except to take the keys over there.


A few minutes later at the service station:

Me to T, the owner: So what'd you do?

T: Nothing. I couldn't find anything wrong with it.

Me: So-o-o, you...didn't...fix...the...brakes?

T: No, B didn't say anything about them. I thought they were bad when I pulled it into the garage, but he just told me you were having trouble starting it.

I related to T the notes and exchange with B. T said he and S would look at the brakes the next day.

Saturday morning T called and said, "It's not good." An image of me shopping for a new car darted from my mind barely before I registered it. He said, "The brakes blah, blah, blah on the back driver's side, and there's brake fluid blah, blah, blah, and blah, blah, blah. So it'll be about $300." Damn!, I thought. It's not that bad. Not bad enough to trade the car in.

T: I wish I'da known about this yesterday.

Me: So do I, but that's water under the bridge. So can you fix it today?

He said if they didn't have any problems, they could do it, but if I didn't hear from him by 1, he'd call on Monday.

I didn't hear from T at all, so I stopped at the station on my way home today, Monday. The bill was $350. He needed to get an adjuster he didn't account for in the estimate. That was fine. I was just happy to get my car back.

But then T had to tell me, "Oh, we had it done by 2:30 Saturday afternoon!"


Thank you, L, for the use of your car. ;) xoxoxoxox

Sunday, January 11, 2004


I'm very new to this blogging, which, by the way, has been around for a few years, unbeknownst to me until this past summer.

At blogger.com's home page is a link to the Fourth Annual Weblog Awards, aka the Bloggie. So this recognition of global blogs and bloggers is new to me as well. And, hey, it's awards season as it is. The People's Choice Awards program is on tonight. (The link, by the way, is not to an "official" People's Choice Awards web site, which I was unable to find.) The Golden Globe Awards air on Jan. 25. That's the Hollywood Foreign Press's recognition of the film and television industries. The Academy Awards nominations will be announced at the end of the month.

So this is what I know about the Bloggies: It is not produced or supported by a big organization, such as are those mentioned above. In fact, by all accounts, an individual, Nikolai Nolan, appears to be running this and is offering a $20.04 prize to the Weblog of the Year owner(s). The Weblog Awards ceremony is included in the South by Southwest International Festival, which is, apparently, a big deal in Austin, TX, March 12-16. The Bloggies will be awarded there on Monday, March 15, at 12:30 pm.

I also know, from reading at the Bloggies web site, that anyone can nominate blogs for these awards. Just go to the web site, read the rules and other info, and nominate! Don't put off doing so, though, as nominations must be made by 10 pm, ET, tomorrow, Monday, Jan. 12.

Now don't be thinking that I'm telling all about these Bloggies for a selfish reason. Oh, no, no, no! I'm too green at this blogging, not to mention humble, to think that I or blah hog could begin to rank among the wonderful tens of thousands of bloggers and blogs out there.

Okay, so I do have an ulterior motive here, and that is to recommend the blog One Good Thing which I have in my links on the right. If you've not already taken a look at it, do so now because the blogger, who I'll call flea because that's how I've come to know her via message boards, is a very good, very witty, very compassionate, and very intelligent writer. Reading her blog will be a real treat. Trust me, you will not be disappointed. To be perfectly honest, I have not read very many blogs. Hers is one of only a few that I read regularly.

So I've nominated One Good Thing in the Fourth Annual Weblog Awards in these categories: Best American Weblog, Most Humorous Weblog, Best-Kept-Secret Weblog, Best New Weblog, and Weblog of the Year because it is that good. I encourage you, if you are interested and willing, to nominate One Good Thing, too. Remember, nominations end at 10 pm, ET, tomorrow!

By the way, I thank flea for her superb writing and wit which have inspired me to try my hand at blogging. Thanks, flea!

Which western feminist icon are you? 

I did this survey (see link below) that I saw at a fellow blogger's site, Going Dutch, and found out that I am Emma Goldman!

Emma Goldman mugshot!
You are Emma Goldman! You are the mama of
Anarchist/Communist feminism and you inspired
millions to embrace the labor movement. Without
ever directly saying so, you directed efforts
toward saving wymyn and children from
exploitation. Oh yeah, you were also a total

Oh, what fun! But for more fun and to see what other western feminist icons are in the database, I took the survey another two or three times, varying the responses somewhat each time. Every outcome was Emma Goldman! Hmm! What about my real-life icon Matilda Joslyn Gage? I really do have a lot in common with her. I wonder if she is even in the pool? Yeah, it's just a fun survey, not scientific. Still I'm curious to know what other western feminists are included.

Why not try it yourself and share who you are in the Comments below?

Which Western feminist icon are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Friday, January 09, 2004

Top 10 reasons I love January 

10. The holidays are over.

9. Store merchandise is on clearance.

8. More attention is given basketball now that football is essentially over.

7. Networks are showing first-run episodes once again.

6. The awards season begins with the People's Choice Awards, followed by the Golden Globes and the Oscar nominations.

5. Snow is welcome, especially if it results in a school delay or, better, a snow day.

4. The school year is half over.

3. I enjoy remembering Mom when on her Jan. 1 always called home at 12:20 am, the time of her 1920 birth, to wish D, S, and me a happy new year as she and Dad celebrated the two occasions.

2. K's Jan. 14 birthday brings memories of her birth and is reason to celebrate.

And the number one reason I love January:

The days grow longer!

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Ah, technology! 

Yesterday a post card from the main campus of the university from which L graduated arrived addressed to a person who does not live here. My first thought was, "Now this isn't even one of the G family members"--a family who last resided at this address more than 17 years ago. For years, but not in recent years, we'd receive an occasional mailing addressed to a member of that family. And more often than is acceptable, on some occasions at a rate of one a week, we receive mail addressed to people whose house number is the same as ours, but obviously, the street, always in the neighborhood, is different. That really gets on my nerves.

The post card delivered yesterday, however, is different, and, well, because it's a post card, I read the message on the other side. I laughed! How funny! How ironic! I have to share the message:

"You may have recently received a mailing from ****** University with information about the upcoming University Residences Reapplication Campaign. We discovered a problem with the program used to generate address information and suspect the address information on the flier was incorrect.

"We apologize for the error - technology is a wonderful tool but at times causes a few problems. Please disregard the mailing and accept our apologies for any confusion caused by the mailing error.

"Have a wonderful holiday season."

Sounds like a major error to me, especially as the message refers to "the upcoming University Residences Reapplication Campaign." That's Reapplication! Ooooh, boy!

Just as soon as I finish this post, I'm putting the card in the mail with a note that [person named] does not reside at this address and that my daughter, [her full name], formerly of this address, was a student at ****** from 1997 to 2001.

L lived on campus only her freshman year, 1997-1998, six years ago! And this error is being blamed on technology?

I'm glad I'm not the student or the parent of the student on the other side of this mess! Or the person responsible for the mess!

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