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The Zen of Auto maintenance

Thursday, February 26, 2009

One day about 18 months ago, I was in the car with my graduate assistant. I explained to Rashel the difficulties that I had been experiencing in order to find a suitable route to work. I needed to repair a tire on my car and I had been avoiding rail road tracks. I had counted ten tracks along the path of the shortest route to work. By adding 4 minutes to my commute, I only encountered 4 sets of tracks. They were still too much. I had been racking my brain in order to find a route that had less tracks.
She gave me an incredulous look and said, “Why don’t you just get your car fixed?” I hadn’t expected that. I was hoping for some route suggestions. Instead I am made to feel shame. Darn her.
I scheduled the appointment the next week. While I am waiting, I speak to the salesman that sold to me the car. You know, just to be cordial and ask about the industry. While we are chatting, the service guy tells me they found some more problems with the wheel area it will be another $200. I had sadness but I continued speaking to the salesman about the new vision of the Saturn line. Three hours later I drove off with a new car. I still blame Rashel for that. I was doing fine with the funny sound under my wheel every time I went over a bump.

I hated my car for over a year. I am still kinda angry with Rashel but that is another story. If she had just kept her mouth shut. I felt tricked. I would have had the old car paid off by now. And besides, my new car is Foreign. I was told that it was an American car but it was not. It was a European car that was being sold by an American car company. I learned this when tried to order accessories like a bike rack. I was a sucker. I kicked myself for a year. It wasn’t until I started looking for a new car that I realized how much I had grown accustomed to the features it had. So, a year later, I like my car. It has Onstar which is hella cool. It has traction control which is ubercool.

I have noticed that my car likes to go extended lengths of time without presenting the oil change indicator light. Since I have always subscribed to the 3 month or 3000 mile rule, I have gotten used to just taking it in when the miles coincide with the sticker that the tire shop places on my windshield. I scheduled an appointment last week. I took the day off to take it in. Yes, I don’t like using my weekend time to get oil changes. It is either during lunch or on a vacation day.

An hour later, the clerk tells me that the mechanics do not have the correct wrench to complete my oil and filter change. I was stupefied. I could not believe it. He explained it to me again, slower. It seemed strange that a tire shop would not have the tools to give me an oil change. And, hadn’t I been there before for an oil change?

Hadn’t I?

The clerk said, “No, charge but be sure to schedule an appointment with your dealer. You need an oil change.”

Hadn’t I been there before for an oil change?

I get into my car. I glance up at the little sticker on my windshield. I compare the sticker with the logo of the store. I look in my purse for the oil change reminder postcard and compare the address on the card to my current location. It was all the same. I had been there before. I sat for a few more seconds before I understood.

Someone had stolen the freaking wrench just to ruin my day off.

I went home and found another postcard in the mail from Saturn. Apparently the Oil Change reminder signal does not work in my model car. Really? I guess I had noticed that. So I have to get this recall resolved and an oil change from the dealer. On the bright side, I did not have to worry about washing my car. They will do that for me.

A few days later, I tried to clean my windshield without fluid. It didn’t work. I guess when they did not change my oil they did not fill my critical fluids. I hoped that it wouldn’t snow until I had my oil change.

I know what you are thinking. “Oh, that is easy you just pop your hood….blah blah blah blah.” Yeah, shove it. I haven’t popped my hood in ten years. I see no reason to do it now. Besides it rained yesterday. See, someone is looking out for me. My oil change and oil light indicator recall appointment is today and guess what? It is raining again. No worries.

My Anti-Valentine

Saturday, February 14, 2009


My Happy Valentine

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I zoomed home to open my Love Bite Swap Package

I opened it and saw pink.

Then I saw chocolate. Yummy, chocolate.
And More Chocolate. And non-allergenic bath stuff.
And essential oils. And yarns. Chocolate candy.

And cocoa. A cool journal. And a fantastically cool cup. I love cocoa. It is comfort food during the winter blahs. But how did my swap partner know that? And how did she know that I would like a coffee mug with a cool phrase on it. My current favorite mug reads, "You can agree with me or you can be wrong." My new favorite mug (that she sent to me) reads, "Coffee, tea or me." She did not overtly focus on the vampire angle, which is what I wanted. I love it. She gave me post it notes that perfectly fit in my little note holder that has been empty for months while I found the correct size. How did she know that?
The Lindt chocolate freaking melts in my mouth. I think I could forgo men and just eat Lindt chocolate for the rest of my life.

Waiting Game

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I am waiting.
I am waiting for my swap package from my Vampire Valentine. I am waiting my my swap Valentine to receive her package.
I am waiting on three skeins of Berroco Zodiac in Aries to add to my stash. At least it will be combined with the three balls that I already possess rather than make more diversity in my yarn room.
I am waiting for an audit at my job.
I am waiting for 5 o'clock so that I can take off my 3 1/2 inch shoes and get some sushi.
I am waiting for my co-worker to get a hearing test so that he will hear callers to his cell and work phones.
I am waiting for payday.
I am waiting for a new episode of Fringe.
Recently that is all that I do

Perhaps a yarn diet

Sunday, February 8, 2009

I am struggling with a hoarding addiction. It has taken over my thoughts. Sometimes my dreams. I waste precious work hours researching different varieties and their effects.

Two weeks ago, I made a sale with a local dealer. I made a connection with her last summer. She had some of her stash with her. She let me sample it. It was yummy. This month, I called on her to provide for me a specific order for a client of mine. Originally, I was to meet her at her business but we worked out a plan for me to meet her at her home at a specified time. I went to the bank because she preferred cash. I drove around a bit completing errands and got a little turned around while trying to find her house. When I entered her home she explained that her stash was upstairs and that I should tell her what I am seeking and she will bring to me samples. Someone else came by while I was there. The other customer went to the back door. the seller excused herself for a few minutes. After about 15 minutes I left her home with my Conjoined Creations hank for my swap partner.

I would love to write that I haven't purchased any yarn since. I had forgotten that I placed a bid on a hank of Ebay yarn for the same swap partner. Within a week, I had two hanks of similar yarn for her. What a mess. I should also admit that I bought a third hank for the swap early in January. It was this super cool artyarn. After I received her questionnaire I decided to purchase a different style of yarn for her. So three hanks later, I have to decided which one she will receive.

I figured that last year I spent more than $600 on yarn. Just yarn. If I combine beer, vodka and rum with shoe purchases for this year, I fall short. The only costs that rival my yarn purchases are my allergy shots and related appointments and meds. I have seriously considered giving up on the allergy treatment regimen. Definitely not the beer, vodka, rum or shoes but I could do without the shots and just take the pills. Despite this, for 2009 I have resolved to significantly cut back on my clothing purchases. Oh dear. I am talking about money when I began talking about yarn.

There is a reason for that. I have rationalized that I could have in my possession a new ceiling fan, a new floor rug, a new hair color, and a paid off furniture bill.

So along with my resolution to refrain from buying new clothes until I lose ten pounds, I have decided to stop buying yarn until I buy things that I need for the house or pay off a bill. The third resolution was to begin to use my stash before buying more yarn.

One resolution will probably remain unbroken until the department store inventory sales at the end of this month. The second resolution was never considered as viable. The third resolution was a lie.

I suppose if I continue to buy yarn, I could take the money from my lunch and grocery budget. I would lose weight and still have my fiber.

Admittedly all the yarn I have purchased in 2009 was for projects for friends, family and swaps. So technically, I am not hoarding additional yarn for myself. Oh, I forgot about the glorious yarn I purchased from Japan. It is so pretty. Here take a look at it. One day, one day soon, i am going to attempt those gloves.

I am terrible at holding back. I wanted to make a Dummy Clapotis for my mother. Instead of using stash yarn of which I had a lot, I ordered extra balls of a yarn that I liked from and Ebay vendor. Of course, I forgot that I ordered the extra balls, decided to use another stash yarn of which I had plenty on hand. Now I have yarn arriving next week that will be added to my still growing stash.

This weekend my aunt who is recovering from knee surgery asked me to take her out of the house. Cabin fever had hit her hard. We went to a tea shop. I thought fiber artists had an expensive habit. Tea enthusiasts spend crazy money. My aunt spent $34 in half an hour on I loose leaf tea. She purchased two ounces of this fabulous blend for me. I am resisting the urge to buy more because I can't afford another passion.

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