Archive for December, 2005

Mid-Break Update

Just because I feel like it, I’m going to give you a mid-break update. Christmas part A was fabulous. Christmas part B will begin in a couple days. Splitting holidays is complicated.

We came home from part A to find that our tree had pretty much died from about knee-height down. This made me sad.

The neighborhood dogs are all yipping and barking at each other at the moment in a bizarre symphony.

I haven’t read any other blogs or LiveJournals, so I have no idea what is going on in the world outside my apartment, and really, I couldn’t care less! I’m totally on vacation. With no cares or concerns for at least a few hours. So there.

As you can see, I’ve put absolutely no thought whatsoever into this entry. You’ll just have to deal with that, and then move on to read other blogs (which probably also have very short entries, if any, but then again, I wouldn’t know, because I haven’t looked).

December 28th, 2005 • 3:34 pm • dinane • Posted in UncategorizableNo Comments »

Wesołych Świąt

My dad can’t cook. Or at least, my mom doesn’t let him cook. There are only three exceptions to this rule. On Easter, he is allowed to make Easter Borsch, which is basically just kielbasa, black bread, hard boiled eggs, and copious ground pepper floating in the water the kielbasa was cooked in. It tastes better than it sounds. A few weeks or so before Christmas, he makes fruit cake. This is only because he’s the only one who eats it, and no one will be making it for him! And then there’s Christmas Eve.

Every Christmas Eve of my existence, with only one or two exceptions, I’ve woken to find my dad putting a pot full of the water potatoes had been boiling in out on the front porch to cool off. Most of the time, he’s already mixed the potatoes, pepper, and farmer’s cheese together, and we just have to wait for the starchy water to cool down. He then usually offers me and my sister one of the several kinds of special holiday breads for breakfast. I prefer panatone. He prefers poppy seed bread.

We prepare by getting out three cups. We have two identical (though different colors) ones that my sister and I like using and one other that my dad has used forever. We clear off the kitchen table, the kitchen counters, and the dining room table. The dining room table gets a layer of kitchen towels – this is where the pierogi will go when they’re formed. Flour is scattered across the kitchen table and the marble cutting board my dad uses. We briefly fight over which rolling pin is best and who should get to use it.

Then it’s time to bring in the starchy water. Babcia’s recipe is typed (as in by a typewriter, remember those?) onto a creased recipe card. In the corner of the card is my grandfather’s initials – he transcribed it for her at some point, probably having to force her to “measure” as she went. The recipe for the dough calls for “4-6 cups of flour,” one egg, “some of the water from the potatoes,” and “a heavy pinch of salt.”

But my dad’s been doing this enough, he knows what that means. Pile in some flour in a bowl with some salt on top. Put a dimple in the middle and mix in the egg with a fork until everything’s dry again. Then add potato water, stirring with your hands, until the texture’s right. It is completely done by feel, as it has been done in our family for generations.

We gear up for a fight with the dough as my dad hands us each a small ball to work with. Flour goes everywhere, rolling pins fly back and forth, the starchy, protein filled dough stretches and contracts despite our efforts to keep it big and flat. We cut circles with our cups, and at this point realize that my dad has all the filling. My sister and I then hijack the pot, and start filling our pierogi. The scraps go into a pile in the back of the counter, and we pick off another small ball of “firsts.” Rinse. Repeat.

When I was in middle school, I added some complexity to this shindig. I got the idea that blueberry pierogi would be super tasty and that I should make some for a school project about heritage. They were a hit with the other kids and my family, and we’ve been making them ever since. So the last couple batches of “firsts” get filled with 4-5 still-frozen blueberries.

My sister doesn’t actually like potatoes (no, none of us understand how that could have happened). So, she takes some of the “seconds” to make plain “pierogi-noodles.” She usually shapes them into different shapes, always including at least a Christmas tree, a wreath, and a candy cane. The rest of the “seconds” get the same treatment as the “firsts.” The “thirds” only get used if we forget to throw them away…

Each pierogi gets lined up on the towels in the dining room as they’re made. My dad and I neatly line ours up, and my sister tries desperately to disturb the pattern of half-moons lined up on the towels. My mom, who has been hiding in the shadows the whole time, usually comes out to take a few pictures as we near completion.

Christmas Eve mass is at 4:30, and by the time we’re done manufacturing pierogi like it’s our jobs it’s almost 3:00. At this point, we fight over who gets the first shower (usually me) and who’s stuck going after my sister (usually my dad). My sister takes epic showers. There’s only so much hot water in the heater. The third shower is always tragic.

My dad makes us remove our socks before leaving the kitchen, and cleans the flour off the floor while we shower. I’m not sure, but I think that may be his favorite part. He really loves vacuuming and cleaning in general.

When we get back from church, we put the big pot on to boil. Meanwhile, my mom puts frozen shrimp in the strainer to thaw. I melt down some butter and make a half-assed attempt to clarify it. My dad carefully sets the table with the Christmas Spode that he and my mom have been collecting one piece at a time since they met, making sure to set one extra seat, following tradition.

Once the several gallons of water come to a boil, the super-cooking-team-of-awesome gets back into action. All while we eat handfuls of shrimp. My sister transports pierogi into the kitchen, my dad submerges them in water, and as they come out, I coat them in butter “to keep them from sticking” (to say nothing of how good butter tastes…). This process continues for approximately forever, as we cook each potato pierogi and “pierogi-noodle,” even though we’ll never finish them all.

We do give it a valiant effort. They get slathered with sour cream and devoured in three pieces. Some years, I’ve eaten as many as a dozen or more.

When we have filled ourselves nearly to the brim, we put the water back on for the blueberry pierogi. We cook them as my mom clears away the sour cream-encrusted plates. My dad usually tries to keep his, claiming wastefulness, but my mom talks him out of it.

We eat the blueberry pierogi coated in cinnamon and sugar. Along side this desert we have hundreds of cookies and breads and cakes. At this point, our stomachs pretty much explode. We pack the now-solidifying butter-crusted leftovers into the fridge to be fried in future days. Food comas start up, and I really couldn’t tell you much else of what happens on Christmas Eve.

All of that adds up to Christmas Eve meaning far more to me than Christmas itself could. My Babcia’s recipe is the only thing I know of her, since she died two months before I was born. On her birthday. And I look like her. Yeah, I know that’s weird.

Moving on. Christmas Eve is awesome and full of tradition. And I’m looking forward to it eagerly.

I hope every one of you has a super awesome Christmas and Christmas Eve. And if you don’t celebrate such holidays, I still hope this weekend is super awesome for you. And on behalf of us Christians and Christmas-only-Christians, I appologize profusely for all the Christmas music you’ve been subjected to on the radio for the past month or more.

December 23rd, 2005 • 11:10 am • dinane • Posted in Christmas, Family2 Comments »

Happy ChrismaKwanzaChaYule

I was going to write a blog entry about my work holiday party last night, but it turns out it was pretty dull. I mean, the company was pretty good, conversations were nice, and the food was above average (though not superb), but it really isn’t story telling material.

So I deleted it.

But rather than change the title and start over, I thought I’d keep the title, and babble about nothing in particular until I get bored with it and publish the bugger.

My next-cube-neighbor and friend Matt has been taking some flack today. He may have arguably misused the word “build” when referring to his dresser, which he “assembled” from a kit. I don’t know why you’d care about that, but I’m telling you anyway. I kind of feel bad for him. But I’m also laughing.

I’m kind of a rough person. I mean, I am kind of shy, but once I get to know people, my mouth is like an open faucet. I don’t know exactly when in my life I started to tease and taunt people, but it stuck, whenever it was. So, I’ve now kind of got a group of work-friends, people I eat meals with and send bizarre emails to. And, since I’ve opened up, I’ve started the teasing. Most of them are pretty good at dishing it back, so it’s mostly fun. But one guy, he just laughs at his own expense and never throws it back! I’ve had to tone down my making fun of him because it’s just not fair. That’s sad.

My boss happens to be some form of Pagan. I wished her a happy solstice yesterday. I’m not sure if that was the right thing to do, but it seemed polite. She returned to me a wish of a happy Woden’s Day. My brain couldn’t put that together so I asked her to explain. Apparently that’s the origin of Wednesday. Woden is a Norse god. Thursday is from Thor. I probably looked like an idiot. But I learned something!

I like learning. I don’t do repetition very well. I get distracted. But doing new things and researching as I go is about the most awesome thing ever. I hope I never stop learning.

Tomorrow is our intern’s last day. Those who’ve followed me here from my LiveJournal might recall that when this intern started I gave him an official “approved” stamp. The reasoning for that was (1) his native language is English, (2) he eats breakfast and lunch with the rest of us, and (3) he’s not stupid. The opposites for those things were all true of our previous two interns. I’ve grown to have a healthy dislike of him as I’ve gotten to know him, but not a strong dislike. I imagine this is how I would feel towards an annoying little brother. I’m pretty sure I’ll miss him. I mean, who else will we make fun of for falling asleep in important meetings?

I have a matchbox car Lamborghini on my desk. She’s a pretty shade of yellow. Some day, I’d like to try driving a Lambo…

Another one of my favorite bloggers (Al, who may in fact have pointed you to this here website!) is on hiatus. So is one of my favorite webcomics (Melonpool). I can’t take this! It’s just not fair! Hiatuses during holidays are outrageous! And mean! And… and… uh-oh… I’ll probably do it too. After tomorrow, my posting is likely to be sparse, as I will be scattered across New England for various Christmas celebrations. And snowboarding. Eeee!

Yup. Bored now.

Have a happy Thor’s Day, then.

December 22nd, 2005 • 9:04 am • dinane • Posted in Uncategorizable2 Comments »

Saying Goodbye

It is done!

The Christmas tree is surrounded with wrapped presents. So many, in fact, that they have spilled out and have removed use of a fire exit. So, if our house is on fire, and we’re in the living room, and the front door is blocked by flames… we’ll have to stomp on the Christmas presents to get out. I think everyone would understand.

I got a bit bow-happy when I was wrapping. I really like sparkly presents. Mike makes fun of me. But I like putting a big bow… or three… on the present, and maybe wrapping several strands of ribbon around as well.

My first job was at Hallmark. It was a small family-owned store, really – it just so happened that they carried Hallmark stuff. I stocked shelves and did the register. Sometimes, though, I would get to wrap. I think I’ve always loved wrapping presents, but working at that store made it even better.

We had huge rolls of nearly every kind of paper mounted to the wall. Above them were the spools of ribbon and the tape dispenser. To the right of the counter was a selection of boxes. We wrapped presents as a convenience to the customers – no charge. So, when I was trained, the little old lady who owned the store gave me tips on how to conserve. Make sure to use the smallest possible box. Only overlap the paper by an inch. Any box smaller than a foot across can be wrapped with only two carefully placed pieces of tape. Larger boxes only required three. But for some reason, she let us use abundances of ribbon.

So the presents under my tree are wrapped in a variety of red, green, and blue papers, with ribbons and bows of every color of the rainbow. It’s a beautiful sight to behold. Or at least, I think so.

Last night, in the spirit of Diane is a Procrastinator, I finally finished (after having just previously finally started) the Christmas cards. I double-checked the addresses with our various mothers, and addressed them with my best handwriting (which is still chicken scratch – I can only hope they get where they’re going…). Due to my procrastination skills, however, yet another year has gone by where we didn’t send Christmas cards to friends. This will change for next year! I decree it! I will do my cards early! And maybe even print labels for the addresses… I really feel bad for the post office employees that have to read those…

This morning, with the sun still hovering behind the horizon, I walked out to my frost-bitten car. I lazily drove over to the big blue mailbox, popped Haley (my car) into neutral, and pulled the E-brake. I picked up my pile of 35 cards (not really that many, now that I think of it), and shivered as I walked over to the box. I opened the tray, put the cards in, and hovered there for a while, staring at the stickers I’d placed as seals on each envelope.

I always get nervous when I put large piles of envelopes in the mailbox. I think, “What if I mislabeled them?” and, “Did I forget a stamp?” and, “I’ll just double check them all.” I know that when I let go of the handle, the envelopes will fall into the pile below, never to be seen by me again (unless sent back to the return address due to the fact that the address was illegible…).

Eventually, though, I had to say goodbye, let go of the handle, and listen for the light sounds of the envelopes falling through to the bin below. I shivered back to my car, and got back on the road. The sun rose just as I was waiting at the light to turn left into the industrial park.

December 20th, 2005 • 2:25 pm • dinane • Posted in ChristmasNo Comments »

They’re Just Giving it Away!

I read Daniel Negreanu’s blog. So sue me. I think he’s interesting. He’s a professional poker player, and he’s pretty good at it. Anyway, I read his blog, and due to the ease of persuading me to do stuff, he got me (and several other people – like 3500 or something) to sign up for a “charter membership” to his website. I didn’t know what the hell that meant. I thought maybe I’d get entered in a contest to win a trip to Vegas or something. He did that once just before I started reading the site.

That’s not what it meant.

Negreanu sold his domain name to a company that turned the site from just forums and a blog into forums, a blog, and live poker. That’s right – yet another online poker site. But my “charter membership” at Full Contact Poker gave me a 100% match bonus on my first deposit! How could I turn down free money?

(Note – non-charter members get a 50% deposit match, which is still pretty good, from what I’ve seen.)

My first day playing on the site, I played for two hours and won $30. Please recall that the highest stakes I play are $.50/$1. That’s insane. The second day, I played for another two hours and won another $15. Crazy!

Oh, right, I forgot to mention. The site actually supports Mac users, like Poker Room. Actually, a lot like Poker Room, seeing as FCP is actually just a skin of that same network. And you thought skins died with Empire. Not that I’d know what it was like to play on Empire… But FCP is blue, which I hear was a benefit to Empire…

Anyway, the real excitement isn’t that they were giving money away on this network, it was on Friday. I signed on while Mike took a nap, and decided I wanted to play some Stud8. I suck at Stud8. But I’d won so much earlier in the week that I thought I could afford to practice. As soon as I started a table (no one was yet playing Stud8), KldPoker joined my table. I read it wrong the first several times I looked at it, and started wondering if it could really be Daniel. It made me nervous. It made me play stupid. Then I realized that it was actually spelled kLd, not kId. I stopped being stupid.

But I did start reading the lobby chat, where KLD was getting harassed for using such a similar name to the spokesman for the site. Then I realized that the real KidPoker was actually involved in the chat. He told everyone what table he was playing at, and we all started rail-birding. It was so cool to “watch” a professional poker player play at a $5000 buy-in NLHE table. That’s a lot of money. And so awesome.

Of course, it distracted me so much that I donked away the rest of my buy-in at the Stud8 table. I realized that was what was happening too late, and closed the window after going all-in with a pathetic hand and losing. I kept chatting in the lobby and watching Negreanu play, though. The person formerly known as KLD asked me why I left the table. I told him the truth. Oh, “formerly known as”? Yeah, that’s because FCP let’s you change your alias whenever you want to (so long as you aren’t currently at a table when you do it). That is a feature I’m pretty sure no other site has. It’s awesome, especially since only the FCP part of the network can do that. Poker Room members have to keep their names forever.

Back in the lobby, after everyone on Negreanu’s table busted or ran away, people started begging him to do a SNG. What do you know, he did it! He set up a $10+1 30-person SNG with 5-handed tables, and medium-speed blinds (12 minute levels). That’s right. You can set up your own SNGs and even scheduled tournaments, with your own rules and everything! Hint to any WPBT people who may read this page – you don’t even have to talk to or beg a person to do that.

By the way – no, they aren’t paying me to say this stuff. I’m actually this excited. Maybe they should pay me. I like money.

So, I joined that SNG. It was more expensive than any other tournament I ever play. It was full of people who chat in the FCP forums about poker all the time. It couldn’t have possibly been more -EV for me. But I was kind of making friends with these chatters, and I might even get to play against a pro and costs that don’t make me cry.

I lasted quite a while, I think, considering that I was probably in the bottom third of ability at the tournament. Actually, for a good part of the beginning of the tournament, I was in second to last place – and Negreanu was in last! He eventually vaulted ahead, just before I pulled out a huge suck out. Well, not technically. It was a bad beat, but when the money went in I was only a 4% dog or so. I had KQ-suited and he had a pair of 8s. He had me covered, but not by much. But then he flopped an eight.

Mike had just woken up and I told him about the tournament I was about to bust out of. Then I got running cards to make my flush. I wasn’t paying enough attention, and was in fact confused when the money came my way across the virtual felt. I apologized saying, “I already resigned to losing!” To which he responded, “I already celebrated!” The whole table laughed, but he was out soon after. I made it to 12th, which isn’t bad, again considering how bad I am at tournament play.

I had a lot of fun playing poker! And considering I have no delusions of actually being able to go pro (due to my complete lack of patience for things like reading books), what more can I ask for?

December 19th, 2005 • 9:21 am • dinane • Posted in PokerNo Comments »

The Eventful Weekend Conclusion!

Sunday morning was to be the Christmas Carol service at church. The chancel choir was singing five songs, in addition to the standard three hymns, and other bits of music. There was also going to be a variety of other instruments and choirs doing their things. That is insanity of it’s own kind, until you compare it with my very Catholic parents coming along that morning.

I definitely have a hard time reading my parents’ reaction to my joining a Congregational church. I know it was the right thing for me, and I think they more or less understand. But my mom was insistent in checking it out and seeing what it was. Through a series of events, they were coming up for the Christmas Carol service. I went in early for the last minute choir rehearsal, and my parents met up with Mike at our apartment.

Normally, the choir sings from the back of the church, up in a balcony. But this week, music was the center of everything. So right in front of the first row of pews, two keyboards were set up. In front of those was a row of bell tables, covered with the carefully arranged hand bells. In front of that was a small space where the steps up are. And then there was us – the expanded Christmas choir. We were all very much crammed in; there was just barely enough room. Of course, there wasn’t room for the ministers… or the weekly flower arrangement… but those things were managed.

The service was really awesome. At least I think so. The singing was fabulous, and the children’s choirs (yes, there are two, one for the little-little kids and one for the ones who can read) were adorable. The flautist was a professional, the violinist was only a freshman in high school (she’s going places!), and the bells were simply amazing. If you have never watched hand bells before, you really should find a way. They just… I mean… I can’t even begin to explain. It sounds beautiful, and the manipulation of the various instruments and people is like a dance. Amazing, I say. Amazing.

After church, my parents went on home, and Mike and I hurriedly wrapped the presents for the kid who’s name we pulled off the Christmas tree at church. They were due that day, but I’d forgotten! At least we had bought them already. And, in a fit of things that amuse only me, we had exactly the right amount of cute snowman wrapping paper for the presents.

We brought those back, ran around like chickens-sans-heads, and then followed in the path my parents took down to Connecticut. After all, it was my dad’s 60th birthday!

We were listening to the football game on the radio on the way down (“moving from the right to the left of your radio”). The Patriots didn’t suck! It was awesome. Mike slept through most of it. Oops.

When we got down to my parent’s, my sister was already there. She quickly signed the card, and I put the present with the other one from my mom. “Happy Birthday, Daddy!”

Much of the rest of dad’s side of the family showed up shortly after, and they were joined by some of my parents’ friends. The football game stayed on til the end of the party. It went rather well, I say. Yay!

Once that was over, we were actually willing to be sociable. My cousins’ kids (ages 11-14) occasionally played some Christmas songs on the piano, while we ate, talked, and generally made fun of my dad. My mom made enough food for several armies, and we all ate well. Music and talking continued up ’til dessert. Dessert included the most awesome thing ever conceived by mortal man (or at least by the Shady Glenn chefs) – egg nog ice cream. I don’t know if it was the fact that it was made of egg nog, or just the fact that I haven’t had real ice cream (as opposed to frozen yogurt) in months, but it was superbly awesome.

My dad opened his gifts, which were predominated by beer. His boss (who used to work for my dad…) and good friend gave him two pairs of Christmas boxers. Special. Definitely special. My mom gave him the new Seinfeld box set (complete with puffy shirt), and my sister and I gave him a photo printer. My dad loves taking pictures. Now he can make some real copies!

We helped him print his first picture, and made sure he knew what was going on. It is a pretty awesome little device. He seemed excited.

Then it was time for the drive home. Which was followed quickly by the falling asleep. Which was followed all to soon by the waking up to go to work. Ugh. Mondays.

December 16th, 2005 • 9:34 am • dinane • Posted in Christmas, Family, Music1 Comment »

It Has Begun

I got my first comment spam today. It’s a bittersweet feeling, really. I’m sad because spam sucks. At the same time, though, I’m excited that my site is spam-worthy. Silly spammers. We don’t need no stinkin’ tires!

I gotta go back and read some of Jon Abad‘s posts about blocking spam. I’ve previously just had the comment moderation set up. That may get old fast if these comment crazies get excitable.

Waitress: …or Lobster Thermidor a Crevette with a mornay sauce served in a Provencale manner with shallots and aubergines garnished with truffle pate, brandy and with a fried egg on top and spam.
Wife: Have you got anything without spam?
Waitress: Well, there’s spam egg sausage and spam, that’s not got much spam in it.
Wife: I don’t want ANY spam!

– Monty Python’s Flying Circus, series 2

December 15th, 2005 • 2:35 pm • dinane • Posted in Site3 Comments »

Is it Really the Long Way if There is No Short Way?

Some time between the parking lot incident and the adventures in 24-hour productions, a bunch of driving occurred.

After getting bumped out of the parking lot, the drive home was interminable. I had told Mike I was taking route 9, and the back roads leading up to it were a virtual parking lot. We did inch forwards a little bit at a time, over the span of fifteen minutes or so. When I finally got to the divided road, I thought I was going to be okay. My direction seemed to be clear of cars. And it was, until I got past the crest of the hill.

I slowed to a stop only a few hundred feet from the light where I turned on to route 9. Cars everywhere. We all inched forwards, slow as slow can be, over the span of the next forty-five minutes. I even saw a guy get out of his car to wipe down more snow. He wasn’t driving anyway. Why not? We were actually there so long that the storm cleared up and the sun came out. That was awesome, but it had no effect on the traffic.

When we finally got to the next light (which is barely more than a mile), I decided to bail on 9 and head for 30. I reached for my cell phone to call Mike. It still wasn’t there. I prayed that I wouldn’t get hurt on the way home, so Mike wouldn’t have to go on a wild goose chase looking for me.

I got cut off on the side road I took to hop over to 30 by a small white car that still had a foot of snow on the roof. As she took off, the snow fell down the back of the car and covered her back windshield. At the light to turn onto 30, she got out of her car, and waved her snow brush at me. I smiled, thinking she was going to knock the snow off the back, and maybe she just didn’t have enough room to reach it from wherever she was parked. However, she just brushed off something on her front windshield and took off when the light turned green. I hate idiots!

I did make it home rather uneventfully. Route 30 was relatively clear, and since the storm had died down, I didn’t worry too much about the winding roads. I was able to see them.

When I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed that Mike had already smartly cleaned off his car. He’s a bright guy :). I couldn’t find a shoveled-out space, so I just barreled head on into one that had no tracks in it, nor had it been plowed at all. It was at its full thickness.

I got inside, shook off the snow and spent a good couple minutes whining to Mike that it sucked and I hated everything about it. Mike said they had postponed the start of the holiday party until 7:15, but we decided we should leave more or less immediately anyway. I changed out of my sopping-wet clothes, and we took off.

Mike had gotten directions to the MFA from the internet both using the highway and highway-less. The museum is on route 9, however, so we thought we might as well just drive on the surface streets. I did encourage him to take 30 until it met up with 9, since I had experienced a better drive that way.

While on route 30, we rounded a corner, and in front of us was the side of the trailer of an eighteen-wheeler. Luckily, Mike wasn’t driving particularly fast, and there was plenty of room to stop. The truck was obviously stuck, and we waited patiently for him to get on off the road. It was kind of weird.

When we got to 9, we ended up right behind a plow. We, and everyone else on the road, crawled along. It was slow going, but it was still going. Until we got to Brookline. First of all, Brookline was probably the worst-plowed of any of the towns along the way. Second of all, traffic got worse. Next thing we knew, we were stopped. And we were stopped for a full hour.

During that hour, we did occasionally inch up. The inching, however, must have just been compression, as we never actually got anywhere. Mike seriously contemplated jumping the median, so we could take some back roads to move ahead a mile or so. Just as he worked up the courage to try out the very illegal U-turn, traffic started moving again. We got through the intersection where blue and red lights flashed, and made it down to the museum only an hour late. For the postponed time. Mike was not impressed. I was very hungry.

Luckily, they had food there. The details of the event, however, are not very interesting. I spent most of the time in a nervous state of shock. I’m kind of a shy person, and huge parties where I know literally one person are definitely not my favorite thing. They were very nice people, though.

After the event, we got back to the car, and drove slowly, along the highway this time, to get back home. Mike found a shoveled-out space on the other end of the apartment complex, and we rushed inside to bed. I did manage to set my alarm for 5:20 DT, which by the way, was about 4 hours after the time I got to bed.

The next morning, after a nice hot shower, I packed up my things for the day of acting, fully unaware of what I would be doing that day. I climbed over the piles of snow into my car, and managed to easily jerk out of the space. My car idled in the middle of the parking lot while I brushed and scraped snow and ice off the windows and windshields.

I finally took off, having just enough time to make it to Worcester. But as I got up to speed on route 9 (this post was brought to you by the number 9), my car started doing bizarre things. The steering was wonky and shaking back and forth, and a strange noise was coming out of… somewhere. I immediately got nervous that I had a busted tire, and pulled into the Dunkin’ Donuts (the one across the street from the other Dunkin’ Donuts) parking lot.

I got out and nervously took a look at my tires. They all seemed right. I kicked each one in turn to make sure they were solid, and they seemed to be right. So I nervously took off back on the road. Through experimentation, I discovered that the problem only showed up when I was going over 40 miles and hour. I also found that it had nothing to do with the engine when I got up to speed, put in the clutch, and pulled out the key (there wasn’t any traffic). So, knowing that, I hobbled my car along the 55 mph speed limit road at 40 all the way in to WPI.

At the end of the very long day, I totally had forgotten that my car was broken. Mike was driving me and a couple other guys back from dinner to the WPI campus where our various cars were hanging out, and I realized that I was in for a long drive home. Mike grumbled that he would have to drive down to Connecticut the next day. I sighed that I would have to call for an appointment with the dealer.

When I got to my car, I still had small hopes that it was a snow-related problem. So I went around to each wheel in turn and used my snow brush to clean off the tires and wheel-wells. With a prayer, I took off eastward. It wasn’t until I got out of Worcester that I was able to try going over 40, but when I did I was greeted by the happy sounds of a car that was happy to do what I wanted it to. I thanked God, and went home at my normal speeds. Mike was pretty thankful that I’d be driving the next day as well.

December 15th, 2005 • 9:24 am • dinane • Posted in Life, WeatherNo Comments »
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