Saturday, July 01, 2006

Fourth of July Weekend

I left work early (for me!) last night, mind full of the things I needed to do in preparation for some friends coming over for potluck/bbq on Sunday. (One of my friends is on a seriously restricted cleansing diet, my own diet has changed due to diabetes, her sister's on a wight loss diet, and her dad's coming along to bbq, so this will be a new recipe fest based on all of our restrictions.)

On the freeway, doing the usual 80 (I know, I know, but every one else was too) , but my car felt funny, like a tire was low or the alignment was off. Slowed to 70, the same. Moved over a lane, a definite pull the right. DARN. Moved over a lane, down to 60. Not good. Rush hour, Bay Area, trying to slow down and get to the shoulder, is like taking your life in your hands. So I get all the way over and pull onto the shoulder. As I'm slowing down, I now KNOW the right passenger tire is flat. It only takes one time in your life to know. I've had many times due to the many clunkers I've driven, but only once in this car, my semi-new Honda. I'm realizing that I don't have my cell phone with me, but see a call box several hundred feet ahead, so creep as far as I can to get closer, then my tired catches on something and I'm on my rim. ARGH. Immediate stop, wait for a break in traffic, get out, get on the other side of my car immediately, and look at my gloriously flat back tire. At least it didn't completely blow and shred while I was at higher speed!

The call box is maybe 50 feet away, thank you God! Now I also hope I have my road service card -- I'm 99.999% certain that I do. Very nice and helpful operator who contacts CSAA and tells me tow service is on the way (as I watch the same exact service drive past me on the freeway with a sinking heart, wondering how many other calls he has).

I'm pretty savvy when it comes to this stuff, so I go back to my car, sit in the passenger seat, windows up, doors closed, and play solitaire on my palm. I then wonder if I have a spare, so check, and--whew--I do. Back in the car, I have the fleeting thought that I should probably have my seat belt on but don't act on it. Then I'm aware of a presence behind me, move my rear view mirror to see the CHP. Nice officer knocks on my door, asks if service is on the way, I assure him it is. Asks if I'd like for him to stay with me, which I told him I don't think I need him to, since it's full light not dark. He says he'll stay until the tow driver gets here, reminds me to put my seat belt on (DOH), and goes back to his vehicle to sit.

The few times in my life that have involved CHP have always been really positive, always involving me just pulling over due to some car calamity or while waiting for road service. I'm grateful to know that CHP is out there trying to ensure our safety on the freeways!

So now I'm worrying that I'll be here until 8pm waiting for service. Lo and behold, it only took another 5-10 minutes, and he had my tire changed to my spare in less than 10 minutes. Also showed me how my back tires are completely out of alignment and my other tire will also need replacing.

BOTH of those tires are less than a year old. I'm seriously annoyed.

So, I crept home, scared to drive far on the freeway on a temporary spare.


Just made an appointment with my dealership service center for Monday (alignment sale, and I really really trust the service department head -- he's always done seriously right by me).

I still need to run errands today, will just have to do it very locally. I really don't want to drive on this temporary spare.

My grad school application is COMPLETE and has been sent to the department admissions committee for review!!! I'm excited!!! I'll be applying for federal loans this weekend! I also got my tuition reimbursement approval from work this week ($5,250/year, the federal limit for tax purposes)!

I have so so so much work to catch up on this weekend, I know I know, but I have a new employee (associate manager) that I've been training all week, and will be training for the coming weeks, which means I have to work more to keep up with my actual work, while she continues to take on responsibilities.

But, I first have to get my back yard cleared and ready for the BBQ, and clean my kitchen, bathroom and living room for company. YIKES. I'm not ready for company! But if I get the place looking good enough, I'll have some work company over next weekend for a simple BBQ. Maybe the boss and his wife, and a couple of others. I love to entertain, because I LOVE to cook for a crowd, but just haven't felt settled in enough to do so. If I get this place in good shape, I'll take pix. Have to keep up with Kris and Rich and their pavers! (Go get 'em, guys!)

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