Saturday, June 25, 2011

Lazy-Ass Librarian Saturday: Cars are still easy.

I'm in the middle of moving. I'm worn out, excited, overwhelmed, scared, and relieved. Mostly, right now, worn out. So I'm re-posting an excerpt from a post I did waaaay back in 2005. You read. I'll pack. Later we'll talk.

Cars are easy.

 I’ve been noticing lately how rarely I get to share my wisdom with others, and I do have so much to share. Since I could get hit by a truck tomorrow, I think I had better gift it to you here and now. I’ll begin with cars, since – as you will see – I have a lot of experience, strength and hope on the subject.

1. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to put diesel gas in a regular-gas automobile. You just have to try inserting the nozzle from a few different angles, and push and push on it until it finally goes in. Then, you have to hang on tight so it doesn't pop itself back out.

Huh... Sounds a lot like my first marriage.

2. If you suddenly pull the gas nozzle out of your car (say, because you realize you shouldn't be putting diesel in your tank), it’s really best to shut the nozzle off first.

3. It’s important to maintain your car on a regular basis, but for God's sake, don't go to extremes. Take brakes, for example: The dealership would like you to think the brakes should be replaced as soon as they start to squeal. Cow muffins! Here's what you do instead: Wait for the brakes to make a horrible grinding noise. That's when you're getting close. Now, start watching for a big round hunk of metal to fall off of your car. That’s when you’ll know it’s time to replace the brakes.*

Oh, there are plenty more tips I could give you, but sharing these pearls has left me drained. I must rest now while I await further inspiration.

* Uh, don't try this at home.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The universe, conspiring...

So I was having a conversation with myself a couple of weeks ago about my living situation. “Lynne,” I said -- that’s what I call myself -- “This neighborhood sucks. We need to get out of here.” 

I hedged defensively. “Whatever do you mean?” 

I gave myself a blank stare. “Seriously? All right. For starters, your house was robbed in October. They got two TVs, a computer, a camera...” 

“Oh, pshaw,” I said. “That could've happened anywhere.” 

“Yeah,” I countered, “anywhere in this neighborhood. Need I remind you that the house across the street has been hit three times so far this year?”

“Hey! Times are tough. People need stuff.”

“All right, then, how about when your car was stolen?” I demanded.

I shifted uncomfortably. “Cars get stolen all the time.”

I took a deep, slow breath to diffuse my irritation. “True. But how often do cars just appear out of thin air?“ 

“That was a little strange,” I admitted, puzzling once more over the wrecked  minivan somebody abandoned in my carport for no apparent reason. "Still and all…”

“And then there was the shooting in the park around the corner,” I recalled. “Remember? One of the bullets ricocheted off the house next door? Oh, and don’t forget about the sinkhole in front of your house. And the fact that your daughter won’t go outside because of the catcalls.”

Well, I had me there.  “Fine. Fine! But please tell me: Where in the hell am I going to find a place in a decent neighborhood, close to town, and as cheap as this place? One that'll let me have the animals and has no credit check or deposit?" I saw myself blink, and I knew I'd won. "Yeah! Good luck conjuring up one of those, missy!”

I dropped the subject. 

About a week later I got a voicemail from my good friend, Jim: “Hey, I’ve got a friend who has a basement apartment for rent. Sounds like the price is right, and he's fine with the animals.” 

Now, I've gotten friendly leads before, about a lot of things. They never, ever, ever work out. But I do like to follow up anyway, because I’m an old-timer and I know how important it is to lead by example...

Oh, all right. The truth is, my friends won't let me complain about stuff until I've at least tried doing the footwork.

Whatever. I did the footwork. I called the landlord who, as it turns out, is an acquaintance.

So, welcome to my new home. It’s a basement apartment, a cozy girl-cave in a great area. Two blocks away from my home group, and just two miles from work. The rent is a little less than I’m paying now. 

Pets are fine. No deposit, no credit check. 

No kidding. 

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

FOUND: One poor, lost, pitiful minivan.

Dark green. With a seriously shredded right rear tire. Oh, and impaled by a fire hydrant -- a hunk of which is still stuck in it.


The police won't remove it because it's on private property and it hasn't been reported stolen.

God. What a weird neighborhood.