Sunday, October 23, 2016

Yup, I Did It.

It really was a bit traumatic to say goodbye to my faithful old Subaru. It was also time. It had reached that stage of hard decisions about fixing expensive things vs. admitting that it wasn't suiting my needs anymore. Everyone I consulted for guidance about this decision told me to get the damn Rav4 already, woman! Except the guy who fixed the Subaru's issues. He really wanted me to keep it. ;-)

Bye, faithful Baby. You were a really good little car. I'm hoping you will become some teenager's first car, and you will be sturdy and safe, after your various issues are fixed.

Welcome, new Baby, who will get a name of his/her own once I identify its personality. It's flashy and much techier than Baby was, so I'm trying to think of something literary and technology based. I bought this Baby, like the two vehicles before her, at Carmax. I did shop used cars at dealerships, and didn't find any with the combination of age and mileage I was looking for, in either a Subaru or a Toyota. (And how the hell do people put 68K miles on a 2014 car??? What the hell did they do for a living???) New Baby is a 2015 with 16k miles, and some flashy features. I have a backup camera, Bluetooth, and a touch screen for audio I have no freaking idea how to operate. I need to replace the preset radio stations and had to look online to figure out how to do it. It's not in the manual because this is the "Entune premium audio" package, minus navigation. New Baby and I definitely have a learning curve. Old Baby had a radio and a CD player, and I'm not even sure that still worked.

I do love the way Carmax presents your vehicle:

I drove it home feeling distinctly weird, not just about having a car payment again, but about driving something that is so smooth and quiet. The Subaru was neither. It's home now, and I've already put my Publix reusable grocery bags and Delaney's booster seat inside. (The gray and pink booster seat looks great with the two tone gray upholstery, btw.)

But it wasn't really official until I added the finishing touch:

I'm freaking exhausted. Between the hurricane and two busy weekends that followed, I feel like I've had no down time forEVER. I'm really looking forward to next weekend at Disney, where I will park this lovely new(ish) car and spend days immersed in vacation mode. But many good things have been accomplished, and life is good, and I'm only mildly panicky about taking on a car payment again. It will be fine. Really.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

I'm fine. Really.

No, I really am, just busy at work and unable to form many words after I get home. I haven't knit a stitch in days, and that's bad, because I ordered the really primo catnip from my source and need to be ready to stuff catnip mice or figure out where to hide the stash. Because the last time I bought this catnip was years ago. The box was on the porch when I got home from work, I carried it in and left it on the floor in the kitchen while I dropped my stuff and went to change into non-work clothes (back when I actually had two wardrobes). I came back to the kitchen to find the cats obsessed with the box and a puddle of pee on the floor next to it. Someone actually lost control of his bladder (I'm saying his, because I'm sure it was Boris) after sniffing this box of magical goodness! It's been years, but I'm hoping the 'nip is as good as it used to be. I work in a cat owner environment, and felted catnip mice will be everybody's little Christmas something this year.

I need knitting, I need color, I need FUN, because I swear to GOD this election is making me insane. We are counting the days until we inventory our imbeciles, check the weight of the basket of deplorables, and weep for the state of our media and our educational system and everything else that made this atrocious election possible. Right now, it appears that we are safe, and enough sane people are seeing through this pro wrestling atrocity and have identified the qualified and competent and SANE choice, but seriously??? Many scholarly books will be written about how in 2016 the presidential election and a major political party was hijacked by a lunatic and not even very bright narcissistic orange clown who developed a following among people living in an alternate reality.

I have no idea what will happen on November 9th when the dust settles, but I do suspect these people will pivot gracefully from racism to misogyny without bothering to learn to spell it.

On the plus side, a lot of people are purging their social media friend lists of people they now know are not worth knowing. I've seen successful luxury home realtors posting about how they've finally had e-fucking-nough with some people,and are now throwing former business contacts overboard and future business consequences be damned, and I really respect that. My friend list is small and fairly well curated, so I haven't had to do a mass unfriending, but then, I'm not selling real estate anymore.

FUN! I need FUN!! And I'm going to have it! The last weekend in October is the weekend at the French Quarter, and holy shit do I ever need it. The weather is glorious now, low 80s during the day and 60s at night, and OMG, I'm looking forward to this escape.

Oh, and I might be buying a new(er) car. I've been thinking about it for a while, since the AC in Baby got a bit overwhelmed in hot weather and a freon recharge helped but didn't completely fix the problem, and replacing it would be a commitment to keeping her for at least a couple more years. Driving in FL without A/C is simply not an option, unless you are okay with showing up for work dripping sweat. I am not okay with that. I do love Baby, but newer cars have so many things I long for, like a way to plug into an audio jack and listen to a book (yes, my needs are simple and I don't even have the ability to do THAT). So I've been toying with the idea of a new car, and long story short, Carmax is transferring a 2015 Toyota Rav4 from a South Florida store even as we speak. Low miles, lots of bells and whistles (Backup camera!!! Fancy Screen Thingie!!) and yes, I can afford a car payment. I am not looking forward to one, but I can do it. I looked at new and newer Subarus and they are scarce on the ground in FL, and the Rav4 is very comparable. Not AWD, but I really don't have to have that now, I'm not driving dirt roads or in snow anymore. So there is a shiny white Rav4 on its way to the local store, and I'll go visit it and drive it and pet it and maybe take it home. No commitment yet. But I went out to adopt a kitten and came home with Ellie, so it follows that I would start searching for a Subaru and come home with a Toyota. Maybe. And I won't have to rush around to buy it a litterbox.

Friday, October 07, 2016

Right Outside My Door

And yet, that's absolutely nothing at all compared to the damage at the coast. My beloved St. Augustine took a hell of a hit from a huge storm surge. In Flagler Beach part of A1A is gone. These are places I love and roads I've driven/walked on for many years, so though it's not my neighborhood, I am sad. My relief at my own easy time of this isn't exactly happy. We were just lucky. It's a fluke that the power stayed on, really - there are downed trees all over, including one flopped over and denting a car in my daughter's neighborhood barely a mile away. Half my friends don't have power right now. Call it luck, call it random fate, this was a bad storm that "could have been worse," but it was slightly surreal to see the neighborhood damage of spotty cases of downed fences and trees, and go to Publix at 4 today and it was open and busy and fully restocked with bottled water (but the bread aisle was totally wiped out, and they were restocking the peanut butter when I walked by) and realize how bad things are an hour or so away.

The media keeps using the tired phrase, "Dodged the bullet," but we really did. This is nothing to be smug or comfortable about, and the first person to say, "I prayed and God turned the storm," will get punched very hard in the teeth by me on behalf of my beloved St. Augustine, which apparently wasn't worthy of God's magical redirect.

St. Augustine.

So far, so good.

Matthew is just drawing even with my area now - it was a wet and blustery night, but other than a few small branches down, so far no damage in my immediate area. Other counties aren't so lucky, of course. I still have power, though a lot of my FB friends reporting in via their phones do not. I had hot coffee this morning!

The forecast now is for sustained winds of 40+ mph in my neighborhood, which is far better than the 70+ mph called for yesterday. It's going to be rainy and windy as hell for the next 10 hours, because as I said, this thing is moving slowly, and it's very, very bad at the coast, not too many miles from here.

And look at the projected path:

We could do this again by the middle of next week.

Sophie actually asked to go outside to pee, and we managed to dodge the next downpour by a few seconds. She's just going to have to deal with the potty pads for a while.

A slight jog east...

Which is really good news for my area, though the coast is still going to be devastated. I still have power and wifi, obviously, though I carry a flashlight from room to room just in case. One Facebook friend not far from me lost power already, but he has a generator and is just fine. (And BTW, though so many people love to bitch about Facebook, in situations like this Facebook is absolutely invaluable as a means of getting information and keeping in touch. Zuckerberg deserves his billions.)

I took a nap earlier and now that I've heard the forecast I may be able to nap again for a couple of hours later. We will see the worst of it tomorrow during daylight, and the worst for my area is now looking like a bad tropical storm here, vs. the apocalypse predicted a few hours ago. Yay for that slight jog east, but I can't be too happy knowing what's happening along the coast, just 45 minutes away. Cross your fingers that Matthew stays offshore. We won't talk about the bizarre loop the models show it doing, where it will form a perfect circle and come back to hit FL again next week. No kidding.

I'm celebrating still having power by toasting a bagel, and then I'll try to nap again.

Sophie has potty pads. She doesn't like using them when I'm home because I'm home and why can't we go out? But the rain is both heavy and steady and the wind gusts are unpredictable, and I'm not inclined to take any chances with branches of the huge oak trees that make my neighborhood so pretty coming down on us in the dark. She is very good about using potty pads so she'll be fine. Otherwise, it's fairly quiet here so far. Very wet, but fairly calm.