Monday was horrendous, but hope came on Tuesday

My biggest fear as we went through the day yesterday was the ching-ching that kept blaring louder (in my head) with every new development with our car.

When we piled in the car this morning, Matt turned it on, put it in reverse and…normal. Everything was normal. No dancing lights. No thunk. No wipers. He grabbed some papers from me that documented what went on the day before and threw them in the dash to give to the dealership later. As he did this, he said to me that he wonders if the problems have anything to do with our windshield being replaced last summer.

The short version (so you don’t have to click my link) is that a rock hit our windshield hard enough to chip it and cause some pretty wicked spider cracks that spread like wildfire across the glass within hours. I had to leave work early that day to take Brandon to the doctor and I was not one bit comfy about driving the car. Also, there was an earthquake while we were on the way home from the doctor. (How is it that this always happens to us? The raining and the pouring and all.)

Matt’s innocent question made me go A-HA! That kinda makes sense.

Windshield gets replaced, seal doesn’t work properly, so water gets in and mucks up the electronics causing all manner of weird things to happen as time goes by. As we all know, water and electronic stuff don’t get along very well.

Further proof that we have problems with the windshield: Remember those papers Matt put on the dash? They were wet by the time he got to the dealership to drop off the car.

So, if the insurance company’s repairs cause additional damage, does that mean that the ching-ching I hear is really for them?

Stay tuned…

An epic case of the Mondays

Monday, Monday

So cruel to me

Monday mornin’

Didn’t turn out as it should be

*****

Yeah, these are my new lyrics to The Mamas & the Papas hit song after today. It was a fail of epic proportions - that is, many small, medium and large fails all combined to create this epicness of which I speak, er, write.

The day started with great optimism. I checked the weather and saw double-digit positives forecasted for the afternoon. Ignoring the not-so-sunny rainy weather, I happily took out my spring pants, shirt and sweater. I cheerily ironed out creases and bends, looking forward to the day despite my usual bleery-eyed haze.

I was ready in record time, though my coffee-making - to combat the aforementioned haze - did make me a few wee little minutes late. No worries. It’s Monday and life is good after a fabulous birthday weekend!

Brandon was in a great mood, excitedly carrying his birthday present down the stairs to take with him in the car. Matt and I were thrilled that a Monday morning could go so well. Usually they are a nightmare, with screaming, crying and fits thrown in that would scare most people celibate.

On the bus, I finally started reading a book I’ve been wanting to read for weeks, but hadn’t yet made the time. The commute flew by and before I knew it I was having to drag my eyes away from the book and walk to work. One day, someone’s going to have to come up with a way for me to do both without killing myself.

As I walked down the street, I realized that my scoffing at umbrella use is fine when my walk to work is a whopping half a block. When it amounts to a few blocks, with numerous street crossings, an umbrella is actually quite handy. I learned this morning that even drops I can dodge build up a bit like compound interest adding up to a soaked Karen by the end of my trek.

When I arrived at the office, my co-worker and I had our usual Monday morning chat and began a discussion of work issues for the week. It was about this time that I turned to my desk, intending to turn on my laptop. But I couldn’t.

IT WASN’T THERE!

I left it at home. This is a problem I have. Any change in routine, I end up screwing some minor little detail up. Like the one where I need to have my laptop at work to be able to work!

So, I called Matt at home - he was taking the day off to run errands, do some projects, etc. and I was about to ruin his day plans. He agreed, because he is the most awesome husband on the face of the planet, to go all the way downtown and bring my laptop to me. 

Thirty minutes after agreeing to bring me my laptop, Matt called to say that he was stuck in horrendous traffic and had made far less progress than he should have. What’s worse, there was now an array of pretty lights entertaining him on the dashboard of our car. Of course, bringing me the laptop was now out of the question. He turned around and headed to get busy trying to get new tires and figure out what was prompting the dancing lights.

I proceeded to pack up, don my still wet coat and head over to catch a bus. It was a quick two-hour trip back home. Waiting for the bus out of the downtown core. Getting back to the ‘burbs. Waiting for my local to arrive. Sitting through the interminable ride through every neighborhood but mine, which is at the end of the route. Realizing that the route has changed, I’ve missed the stop I should have gotten off at and I’ve added about 10 minutes to my already 20 minute walk home. (Yeah, my neighborhood’s closest local bus stop is about 20 minutes walk from my house. Awesome, right?)

I finally got home and it took hours to warm up. So much for spring arriving. But enough about me. My drama was pretty much over. I worked the rest of the day at home and got a lot done - a lot that didn’t work, but that’s a boring story.

Matt, however, was still living the drama. In the form of not being able to find a single place that had the tires we needed for our car. With a slow leak in one that needed replacing anyway, we were understandably eager to get new tires as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, Matt was stuck waiting at Canadian Tire to find out about all those pretty lights. 

For 5 hours. 

The result was nothing. They told him to go to the dealership. Which he did and scheduled service for Thursday. Three days away. And while he waited, he was able to find tires for Wednesday. Two days away.

When Matt came home everything seemed to be sorted, even if we felt uneasy about all the delays. Our unease was justified. Matt left to go pick Brandon up - while I continued to work - and that’s when things got even weirder. He put the car in reverse and it thumped or bumped or something. 

And the wipers turned on. The wipers that weren’t on, turned on without help. So, instead of coming home he went straight back to the dealership, where he showed a dumbfounded repairman what was happening. So, our date with the car dealership is moved up to tomorrow and I’ve rescheduled Brandon’s three-year checkup that we were supposed to go to tomorrow. The date for new tires got moved, too - just in case more than a day is needed for the repairs.

The more I hear what was going on throughout the day, the more I hear a ching-ching in my head with each new problem. I’m hoping the ching-ching is only imaginary and not actual echoes of foreshadowing a bill with far too many digits left of the decimal. Ching-ching.

Should I mention the epic battle we had with Brandon at dinner time? Oh yeah! There’s this little phenomenon that occurs at Chez Wilson. Good morning = bad evening. Bad morning = good evening. I’m honestly not sure which I prefer. It’s nice to start the day off easily, but I’m not a fan of ending it with a fight. Today’s fight was about the birthday present that he thoroughly enjoys (so glad about that) and how he wanted to have it at the table, which we’re not cool with. There were tears, screaming and fits the likes of which would drive most people celibate - Brandon was pretty upset too. In the end, dinner was eaten and the birthday present was played with and all was calm and peaceful again.

Tomorrow’s a new day and I’m going to hope for the best. 

Ching-ching.

Public transit adventures


Now that I'm working downtown again, I am reminded of all the really interesting things you get to witness on the commute to and from, as well as throughout the day. Naturally, this is partly due to taking the bus. The demographics of those who use public transport cross every age group, most income levels and every race - especially since Ottawa is such a diverse city. For me, taking the bus has reminded me what a small world we live in.

Just a couple of weeks ago I bumped into a former co-worker who is one of the nicest, most genuine people you could meet. We lost touch with each other when I parted ways with our once mutual employer. When we ran into each other at the bus stop, it was the first time I'd seen her in almost 9 years. It turns out that she lives - almost literally - around the corner from me.  Her life and mine have both changed dramatically in the years since we worked together and I'm thrilled to have the chance to reconnect. 

One thing about riding the bus that makes me curious is how riders will often have very personal conversations on the phone or with other riders they know. Okay, it's not that they have personal conversations - I would too, to an extent. What gets me is how many people have conversations of that nature that are so loud the entire bus can hear. I'm just a very private person (I say as I blog away). I don't really want to know others' business either so I usually escape to my music and other activities on my phone - like blogging about riding the bus.

One of my favorite activities I do to entertain myself on the bus is people watching - when I'm not reading, gaming, texting or blogging. I'll often look at someone and then invent a name for them and a whole life story just based on how they look. It isn't about judging them - sometimes it's the look on their face for a split second that activates my imagination. In truth, I don't know them, so I guess it's more a way for me to flex my imaginative muscles.

Every once in a while, I see someone or something that makes me stop and wonder.

Recently, I was sitting absorbed in my little world when a passenger got on and sat next to me. Nothing at all unusual about that. I probably wouldn't have even given her a second thought except for the scent that she seemed to have bathed in was making me think twice about staying seated.

There are three things that have motivated me to get up and move to another location on the bus - the nauseating scents of a really heavy smoker (today, I landed beside a really heavy smoker who also smelled like beer - at 7:00am), someone with really bad hallitosis who is also a mouth breather and people who dip themselves in a vat of bad perfume, cologne or whatever. I don't do this to be rude at all; I'm extremely sensitive to certain smells and all of these make me feel ill.

On the day that smelly lady sat next to me, I decided to stick it out as I wasn't far from work when she got on. Besides, sometimes I can breathe through my mouth and manage to keep the smell from bothering me too much. (I just hope I don't have really bad hallitosis!) In this case, I was surreptitiously checking out this woman. She was in her late 50s/early 60s and I noticed when she got on that she was wearing a fitted coat that looked good on her. Because her hair and makeup were perfectly done, at first glance I would have pegged her to be an executive type. Then I happened to spot the white leather cuff secured to her forearm over the sleeve of the black fitted coat. It was an odd accessory choice, so I thought she might have a little eccentric streak.

Her hair was the dark, dark red that would be auburn, but it's too red to really be called auburn. She had a short, stylish cut that was well suited to her petite frame. Everything about her seemed to indicate that she cared about her appearance and spent time on it. I can respect that. It feels good to look good. She had well-manicured nails - painted quite perfectly with black polish...yuck! (I'm sorry if you're a fan of black polish, but I'm not and never will be. I don't like dark nail polish of any color, mostly because dark colors all look stupid on me because I have such fair skin.)

When we were approaching my stop, the woman next to me went to the door just ahead of me and I saw - for the first time - the rest of her outfit. Black flats, black leggings, a pleated skirt - gray, with a fine plaid pattern that hit her just below the knee, and peeking out from under the fitted (and also fairly short) coat was a long, flowery, flowing blouse. I really don't care about fashion - making sure my clothes match each day is the most effort I'm willing to put into my wardrobe. But even I could see this was a fairly odd combination that made me wonder how it could be pulled off. The really crazy thing is that she might have been successful at it! This woman was very confident. She walked and acted as if she knew who she was and had no fear. Perhaps she's very fashion forward...though, I would request that we leave pleated skirts in the past or for girls under age 10. I used to love them 20 years ago, but I'm not such a big fan anymore.