sistawendy: (eek)
I went out with the Tickler last night to see Cut Copy at the Neptune. But first, eetz: Since she really needs something gluten free, we went to Bol on 64th - the Tickler says not to go to the nearby test kitchen because it sucks several ways. Bol is a pho joint as conceived by hipsters: a simple, fairly ordinary menu with choice ingredients; good alcohol, appetizers, & dessert; higher prices; annoyingly hip utensils; and a smoking hot waitress with queer hair. Sure, would nom again, and not just because of the waitress, who the Tickler assures me is monogamously partnered up.

Minor problem: Bol is on 64th. The Neptune is on 45th. The Tickler resolved to drive us despite the pain that is parking in the U District. We were just a block from the Neptune in the fading twilight when she pulled over to let an ambulance by. As she was starting to get into the left lane, we got sideswiped by a black Nissan Leaf. I'm pretty sure it was speeding in the wake of the ambulance because its airbag deployed. Oh by the way, we hit an Uber in front of us, no thanks to Newtonian mechanics.

We're fine. In fact, ibuprofen last night was all it took for me. The Tickler may be shaken up a little worse, but she didn't do too badly either. She mulled seeing a doctor today, but I don't think I need to.

We spent most of the concert dealing with insurance & police, sometimes with me holding my umbrella over the Tickler. (Fun fact: the first cop on the scene, a UW officer, said he couldn't handle the case because the Leaf driver is a UW employee. Appearances, you know.) Once the Tickler's car, which isn't drivable but doesn't look that bad, got towed away, we walked one block to the Neptune in time to catch Cut Copy's encore. I'd planned to meet up with R & J there, but we never got closer than a text message. I got the Tickler a much needed whiskey, we peed, and we went back to her place. It occurred to both of us that our usual shenanigans were medically contraindicated; cuddles ensued.

I really did say this morning, "I had a lovely time crashing with you last night." How could I not?
sistawendy: (dolly)
But first, I promised to drive the Tickler to our date last night, which was a wonderful way of motivating myself to clean out the car that I've more or less bought from Ex. She apologized for how dirty it was when I first drove it away, and with good reason: it was full of six years' worth of gum wrappers, straw wrappers, suburban conifer needles, etc. No, she can't bend at the waist to pick that stuff up off the floor, but really? She could have done better than that, or she could have gotten our son to. It goes part way to explaining why my son still leaves a toddler's trail of mess wherever he goes.

Speaking of m'boy and the car, thanks to his running a red light and the accident on Halloween day, his insurance is more than double mine, and I'm paying for it. He's challenging the ticket he got for the accident, and I sure hope that he succeeds. Ouch.

OK, now I can write about the date. I took the Tickler to my company holiday party (yes, after the holidays) because she's a classy dame. I have to say, StartupCo did a good job of making the best of straightened circumstances: we ran out of the good Bourbon, but only toward the end of the night. Everyone looked lovely in their black & white, and by way of entertainment there was an audience-participation murder mystery thingy. (Personally, I'd rather have had good DJs like the first NYE party I went to. Those of us who'd been there all commented on how fab they were.)

The Tickler & I didn't close the joint; having the tail end of ick left me in not the partyingest of spirits. I'd even told the Tickler she could send me home with my germs last night without any hard feelings, but neau, there was much-needed cuddling and a surprisingly good night's sleep at her place, even if she did find my occasional deathly-sounding coughing fits alarming. And oatmeal with fruit & nuts for brekkies. ♥!

You know you're sick when your hunger wakes you up from a nap. That's pretty much all I've been capable of today. Goddamn this cold!
sistawendy: (hand staple forehead)
Got to the body shop in Sodo early (for me) this morning, got the magic stickers off the windshield, and signed away the remains of the Sanctimobile. I remembered to bring a copy of my divorce decree because I never bothered to get Ex's name off the title.

(Content warning: automotive sentimentality.)

It was a good, dependable car, taking me to Burning Man thrice with a minimum of trouble. But as I got a cup of tea at work this morning I thought of one particular queer makeout in the front seat as the electronics turned the engine on and off (a hybrid, remember?) on a cold night. Yeah, I'm that lesbian and yeah, she's all that.
sistawendy: (hand staple forehead)
The context: I did not have collision insurance for the Sanctimobile. It has been damaged beyond economical repair, so it needed to be emptied out and signed over to the body shop before it can be properly junked.

But first: Instead of sleeping from 0330 to 0700 today, I slept from 0700 to 1000. Arg! My point of no return for waking up is getting earlier and earlier as I age.

Looked for the title to the Sanctimobile at home. Didn't find it. Asked Ex to do same. No joy there, either. 'OK,' I thought, 'Maybe I did what you're not supposed to do and left it in the car.'

Spent much time on the phone or texting with Ex, and on the phone with the body shop. Got to work at 1515, worked a tiny bit, and got on the train to Ex's at 1600 because she now has the only car between the two of us, and the body shop closes at 1800.

Emptied out the Sanctimobile thoroughly, except for the things stuck to the windshield, which I forgot: my son's parking pass for school and my highway toll pass. And, of course, the title wasn't there. And what did my wondering eyes find on the driver's side floor but a ticket that the Seattle police wrote for my son?

The ticket says "too fast for conditions", for $187. It was raining cats and dogs at the time of the crash, and he was on a curving ramp, but it's a road he's driven dozens of times before. Did the front tire blow - as indeed it did, I saw - before or during the crash? Lying kid or jaded cop? Personally I'd bet on the latter; I doubt he even knew blowouts were a thing before he had one. Unfortunately, it would be just like m'boy to handle that kind of situation tardily and poorly. Ex is exploring options for fighting the ticket and leaving it up to m'boy. Regardless of what happens with the ticket, my son has been firmly informed that this is his last quarter of commuting across bridges for school; next year he goes to school in Seattle.

The dude at the body shop (who had a fascinating Farsi accent) said one look at the Sanctimobile told him it was totaled. It probably needs $15K worth of work, he said, which is out of the question when it's out of (my) pocket.

Silver lining #1: Ex is proposing to sell me her '07 Prius with 65K miles to me "for a song" and then get a new, smaller Prius of the sort that didn't exist until recently. This would be a mighty fine deal for me.

Silver lining #2: I found the stupid title. It turns out I had two folders in my little cabinet labeled "car". Not anymore.

Plan for tomorrow: I signed a release at the body shop before I left, so I need to call them and ask them to give me a chance to get stuff off the windshield. And, of course, go there with the title.

The kiddo has been at Ex's since the accident. Given the rigmarole above, that's a good thing.
sistawendy: (oh yeah)
I've been getting housework done and sleeping the sleep of the just the last couple of days, because there's a good chance I won't get to do either over the weekend. Der Plan:
  1. Tomorrow, a.k.a. Friday: Wear the costume pictured above (Perfect for this year, no?) to work, hand out candy to my co-workers' kids, and then bus it to the Norwegian's party.
  2. Saturday: the SEAF Seduction party with the Tickler. It's a pity I probably won't make it to other parties that night, but I already got spendy tickets for this. Geography is also unhelpful.
  3. Sunday night: clubbing to see Gnome again.
Three nights, three women. Not bad, considering. If I shake the tree on Halloween, does a pumpkin fall out? I like pumpkins.

Kiddo: not making me tear my hair out this week. However, he says a hit-and-run driver cracked our driver's side mirror in the parking garage where he goes to school. I'm perfectly willing to believe that, considering the sharp rise in the number of dings and scrapes on the car since he started driving there. That place is probably an epicenter of bad (i.e. teenage) driving. Le sigh.
sistawendy: (Prius)
You may recall that my son wrecked a tire on the car that he & his mother share a few days ago. Since she's out of town all week and I stayed over last night, this morning was the appointed morning to fix it.

And so I got to show the Wendling how to change a tire. Lessons learned, some by m'boy, some by me:
  1. Imminent Ex's habit of leaving piles of crap everywhere, including the trunk of her car, makes for one cranky nun. Seriously, I had to pry what I think were malted milk balls off the floor just to get to the jack.
  2. Set the parking brake before jacking up the car. Get in the habit of setting it every time you park.
  3. If any of the nuts are too tight to turn using your hands, try your foot. It worked this time.
  4. Mini-spares will hold enough air to be drivable if you leave them alone forever, but the scary low-pressure indicator may turn on.
  5. Les Schwab in Bellevue has moved recently.
  6. Don't. Drive. On your rims. That tire was cut to ribbons. I'm glad they replaced it under warranty. I could hardly have blamed them if they hadn't.
  7. It's possible to break a bolt with a pneumatic wrench, and Les Schwab did it. Getting it replaced added two hours onto the reasonable one hour that I'd already waited.
Another lesson that isn't tire-related: the women who look dreamy in impossibly sexy schoolgirl-meets-lingerie-with-motorcycle-boots outfits (seen in, of all places, the Kirkland PCC) and are better than I am with makeup are now my son's age. It doesn't help that I was un-showered and in my workout clothes with my booty still damp from changing the tire four hours earlier.

Believe it or not, I did get some work done today as promised. ¡Viva el internet!

Time to get clean & dry before my son comes home.
sistawendy: (Prius)
On the way back from Kirkland to Seattle last night, my Sanctimobile passed 100,000 miles. I tweeted this, and before long somebody in Zuckerberg's data mine asked just how much carbon dioxide I'd not emitted over the years. What follows is, I hope, a more precise accurate calculation than I did elsewhere.

The Sanctimobile helpfully tells me that it gets 43 MPG. This is about 20 MPG more than the average car, and certainly over 20 MPG more than the average car ten years ago. So how much gasoline haven't I burned?

100K miles / 20 MPG = 5000 gallons ≈ 19,000 liters

The specific gravity of gasoline averages 0.74 depending on the grade, so:

19,000 liters * 0.74 kg / l ≈ 14,000 kg

Converting that to raw carbon is where things get a little hazy. [ETA: No pun intended.] Gasoline is a mixture of many different kinds of hydrocarbons, with octane being about the mean by molecular weight. C8H18 has a molecular weight of 114 and change of which 96 is carbon, so that's 84% carbon in gasoline:

14,000 kg gasoline * 84% ≈ 11,800 kg carbon

Since the molecular weight of CO2 is 44 of which 12 is carbon:

11,800 kg carbon * 44 AMU CO2 / 12 AMU carbon ≈ 43,300 kg CO2, or 43 tonnes (metric tons). That works out to nearly 49 short (i.e., reg'lar USA) tons of CO2 not emitted by Imminent Ex, the Wendling, and me over the last ten years.

Not too shabby. I seem to recall [livejournal.com profile] gfish calling Priuses "faggotty" when I first got mine. Not that he was jealous or anything. I wonder if he'd say the same today.
sistawendy: (dolly)
But first: took the Sanctimobile in for an oil change, etc., and the dealer said my water pump was leaking. Better to find out now than on the way to Black Rock, so I've had it expensively replaced. I also got a car wash out of the deal, so I didn't have to drive a certain special someone around in a dirty car...
...And that someone is, of course, Temptress. While we waited for Q to open, we walked around the Capitol Hill Block Party and on an impulse went to Momiji; neither of us had been there before. Yeah, it's a little pricey, chi-chi, and new-Capitol-Hill, but they have a killer sake selection and the staff seems all right. We didn't notice the restaurant down a hallway from the bar until we got up to go. Temptress wants to go back for sushi sometime.

The main event for the evening was the Opulent Temple fundraiser at Q. It was my idea, because OT is my favorite place to dance on the playa, hands down. It doesn't hurt that Q looks and sounds like the Hollywood ideal of a nightclub.

It was a white party, with lots of sweet young things running around in revealing or skin-tight white outfits. (Temptress and I were in black and floral print, respectively. I don't own anything that would have been appropriate.) Temptress & I were all about the eye candy - especially the gay boy in the white fuzzy chaps - but she wasn't feeling the music nearly as much as I was. She eventually asked to go someplace with music that she wanted to dance to, namely the Merc. Since I'd known ahead of time that she just isn't the raver chick that I am, I agreed, natch. No offense to the Merc, but I wish we'd returned to my place earlier and with more energy. Not that we were completely wiped out. Ahem.
I had my last ever six-hour electrolysis session today. From now on, they're shorter. Hoo to the ray.

Once upon a time I wouldn't have been comfortable going out on a date with a fuzzy face, but these days I am - just barely. Temptress herself is a big part of that.
This evening in Kirkland, m'boy and I walked Bigpuppy over to where several municipally-contracted goats were wiping out a blackberry patch. The dog was surprisingly calm about it all, but the bugs nearly drove my son into the anxiety spin cycle.
sistawendy: (Prius)
I have been loosed upon an unsuspecting North America: I have a car to myself!

How'd it happen? Nibsdad has a job as a shuttle driver at Toyota of Kirkland. In the grandest tradition of Nibs' family, he got us a deal, if we moved fast, on an '07 Prius, minty green, with a leather interior. (The Nissan Leaf was out of our reach, even with my mom's help.) Nibs gets the new(er) car and I get our Sanctimobile, pictured above, an '06 Prius.

This has the potential to raise my quality of life almost as much as Full Time. How many times can my peeps remember me blowing something off because I couldn't get to it? The schedule Nibs & I worked out aside, I've been liberated!

I still need to clean out the car, give Nibs most of the junk in it, and get rid of all the boy spills and dog hair. Even dirty and hairy, though, I'm free.
sistawendy: (Prius)
I test-drove the all-electric Nissan Leaf at a mass test drive at Southcenter mall. First, some bullet points:
  • The range on this puppy is about 100 mi. (160 km), and of course wildly dependent on conditions, your driving, and the phase of the moon. Your range may vary.
  • The big, big upside is that the car gets just under 15 mi. (23 km) per kilowatt-hour, and since juice in the Seattle area is about $0.10/kWh, that makes it the equivalent of gas at maybe $0.20/gal. Non-US folks, the countrywide average is a hair over $3.00/gal.
  • Oh by the way, maintenance costs are much lower for all-electrics.
  • The navigation system comes standard, partly (as Nibs reminded me) because it tells you where the (now industry standard!) charging stations are.
  • Speaking of charging stations, there are three different kinds: the regular 110V outlet in any North American home, which can charge a Leaf in 20 hours; a 220V station which you can get installed in your house and charges the car in 8 hours; or a 480V DC commercial charging station that can charge you up in 30 minutes.
  • The production models will have electronic noisemakers to keep you from surprising blind people. They operate automatically at low speeds where tire noise is inaudible. The prototype I drove didn't have this.
  • Nissan is proud of its watertight lithium battery pack containing several dozen swappable modular cells about the same size and shape as a hardback novel.


How does it drive? Smooth as glass, especially compared to a hybrid whose gasoline engine shuts on and off all the time. The battery pack is under the floor and there's no engine, so it may not be as good in the snow as an ordinary front wheel drive car. The interior looks a bit smaller than a Prius, but it's not cramped.

Nibs & boy had to bail for shrink (about which more below) because we didn't read the fine print: they said it would take 60 to 90 minutes, and it took just over 90 for me to get through all the spiel and the lines.
And what did I miss while m'boy was at Kidshrink? He apparently won't talk about my transition, which happens in 27 days. He feels an anxious feeling in his stomach. He has one week of school after Full Time, and Nibs has warned his teachers.

I can imagine plenty of things he might be afraid of, all of which I'm determined to prevent.
sistawendy: (hand staple forehead)
Bump #1: I sent work mail with the new name on it. Nobody seems to have noticed. It may have had something to do with my being en femme on the bus at the time. Dr. Shrink has encouraged me to do more everyday stuff that way so I get used to it, which leads me to...

Bump #2: I'm not used to doing everyday stuff alone en femme yet. I get nervous, have trouble stringing words together, and talk quieter. Sheesh, this was just the Bellevue Pacific Fabrics and the only people there at 8:40 were the two biddies who worked there. Can anybody explain to me why the eastbound 230 is so crowded at 9:30?

Bump #3: And why was I there so close to closing time? Because I'm carless and bus service on the east side really sucks after about 7:30. Three hours round trip travel time, four buses, and twenty blocks of walking. (I think I'll be getting lower-heeled boots sooner than I'd planned.) Der Plan, now that the Sanctimobile is paid off, is for me to get it and for Nibs to get a new-to-us car. She wants a Leaf, but we'll see how the budget works out.
I've seen a bunch of the It Gets Better videos on YouTube. The best? This one by a young lady who goes by untitledsymphony.

I don't really feel qualified to talk to kids about bullying. I'm not out yet, and I never contemplated self-harm. I hid so well I even fooled myself, for a long time. The one thing I would say to the kids is, don't do what I did either. It caused a lot of needless pain to a lot of people.
sistawendy: (Prius)
But first: thank you all for putting your Harry Potter writings behind cuts; my copy awaits me at home. You're the classiest freaks on the Internet.

Sonoma county wineries visited: 3
wines tasted: 26
bottles of wine bought: 4 (!)
buzzes copped: Yup.
percentage increase in wine knowledge by whatever metric you choose: several hundred, but from a pretty low baseline

species of wild animal observed by the Wendling on Angel Island: about 10
meltdowns during camping: 0
meltdowns the morning after coming home from camping: 1

geographical extent of hippie influence from the Bay Area: about 250 miles

redwoods seen wider than the Sanctimobile: hundreds
redwoods seen wider than the Sanctimobile is long: several
redwoods seen crowding within a yard of the road with helpful reflective signs planted next to them to keep me from smacking into the fortunately fire-resistant (I've seen the evidence.) wood: alarmingly many
average age in years of coastal redwoods: about 500
awed humans in the Sanctimobile: at least 2

MPG: Forty-nine point eight. And that's with the A/C turned on much of the day. Nyeh heh heh heh.
sistawendy: (smoldering windblown Merc alley)
You know that smoke I didn't breathe at the Merc on Saturday night? I'm breathing it today. There's been a brush fire burning west of Yreka, CA for a couple of weeks now. (I pity the locals.) Neither Nibs nor I knew about it until we drove into it. Nobody seems worried here, but the first thing we saw when we got off the freeway was a staging area for fire crews. Why stay here? We had a reservation, and I gather that's a good thing to have this time of year near Mt. Shasta.

My boy held up surprisingly well to eight hours of confinement in a Prius. Having Potter #5 seems to have been a big help. I'm tempted to tell him horror stories from my youth of fifteen-hour one-shot drives from Florida to Arkansas.

Speaking of the Sanctimobile, we're up to 43.8 MPG combined, baybee, despite being full of luggage and climbing over Siskiyou Pass at 4300'. I've noticed a definite dearth of my beloved little jellybean futuremobiles outside urban areas.
sistawendy: (puppy love me)
Threw snowballs for Her Puppiness, of which she chased one or two, which is happy-making. She seemed more interested in sniffing & pooping in the yard of The Neighbors We Never See. She also seemed awfully glad to get back inside. Maybe she's getting old, but I'm hoping she just wanted more daylight.

Snow hasn't really affected big arterials (yet?) here in the burbs; it just makes side streets slick. Hey, I finally get to try out the traction control on the Sanctimobile. Seeing a new idiot light blink orange is like making a new friend.

Visited the sick friend in the hospital. She looks surprisingly good for somebody whose intestines aren't working. ביקור חולים, baby.
sistawendy: (dolly)
Jacob London was fun, but not as glitchy & unpredictable as usual, which from my perspective is too bad. I got to chat with [livejournal.com profile] xaotica, in apparent violation of a mutual exclusion principle, up on the roof of the War Room. Thank Bob I wore velvet.

Took Sanctimobile to Seattle dealership at 9 a.m. after a night out and this time got it checked out. No, nothing's wrong with it. Pounded downhill with the Wendling to catch the bus to pick up the car. This better be the end of that story.

Baklava is evil. Ee-ville.

ETA: I'm supposed to be at the 50th birthday party of a friend and former neighbor, but she's in the hospital. She's been battling multiple illnesses all her life -- she's been alive without permission for decades -- and they've chosen a particularly bad time to strike again. My thoughts go out to her. Nibs & I still have a sitter, so we're having a mellow date instead.
sistawendy: (Prius)
My average is now up to 47.0 mpg, baybee.
sistawendy: (stern nun)
Nibs calls up to share a woohoo with me: the Sanctimobile has reached a long term average of 46 mpg. Yeah, we're weenies, but we're weenies who are sticking it to the Man -- the oilman, that is.
sistawendy: (contemplative red)
Bad: Somebody scraped the Sanctimobile, apparently while it was parked. I'm convinced that the probability of damage to a car is inversely proportional to its age.

Good: Nibs is fully Bombed, and has recovered from the steroids that they put in the first drip bag to prevent an infusion reaction. (?!) Things should, in theory, start getting better now. It'll take a few weeks.

Bad: Nibsmother is in town until Monday, which blows any weekend plans I might have had to tiny, petulant smithereens. Of course this is the weekend that has eleventy-one fun things happening at the same time. Need you even ask?

Good: We got the house ready in time for the in-law BBQ. Ixnay on the jokes about grilling in-laws.

Good: I don't have to buy a new pressure washer, or even pay to get it fixed, says the owner of the dead one. She says Costco may replace it. Should I drive up the hill and sacrifice a goat to them? Which costs more, anyway, a live goat or a new pressure washer?

Bad: My Strawberry Blond Sister says she doesn't want to do presents for the kids anymore, and was kind of nasty about how her kids don't know who I am. She can bite me. If she wanted to see us, she could have come to D.C. where my other sister lives the way my mom did. Mom probably would have paid for at least part of it, and S.B. Sister has never been shy about bumming time or money from Mom.

Good: HPV vaccine, Tim Eyman, Al-Zarqawi.

Edited to add: Nibsmother may leave on Sunday after all. Nobody knows. That's neither good nor bad.
sistawendy: (plastic)
Good times at chez [livejournal.com profile] datavore. I shouldn't be trusted to mix drinks for anyone, especially myself. A fine sardine scene. As so often happens there, I wish I could have stayed longer. I tried out my voice, but it was hard to sound consistent even when my concentration was good. (See drinks above.)

[livejournal.com profile] eeyorerin said it first: the Prius is training me to drive more conservatively with its instantaneous gas mileage display. I managed to freak the software (?) out, though, apparently by switching audio inputs really quickly. It all started when my iPod cut out, probably because I forgot to lock its controls. After I got it going again, the display claimed the audio was off when I could hear it. It also told me to check the A/C connection when the heat was on. Eeyeah. All was hunky dory the next time I started the car, though, even the iPod.

Got some culchah by taking the family to the Lichtenstein exhibit at the Henry. The Wendling dug it, but I think I dug it more.

Also in boy news we finished a little Erector set "together". His close examination of the parts did save me from one mistake. I think Erector takes too much dexterity even for a typical 8-year-old, but he seemed to enjoy screwing the unused parts together. I think that's a win.

[livejournal.com profile] prncsmoonbeam & [livejournal.com profile] alexiarnps sang the siren song of sartorial surplus, which they know I'm incapable of resisting despite a car-cinched budget. Mm, socialness. Mm, clothes.

How good is MAC mascara? I can forget to put it on, and my lashes will still be longer than natural because of what I put on last weekend.

Crunch!

Feb. 3rd, 2005 05:19 pm
sistawendy: (cartoon)
I spent lunchtime getting involved in a three-car accident on the way to head shrinkage. I'm fine, and my Anonymobile is driveable.

How'd it happen? Well, I was on Columbia going west about to cross 13th Ave. E -- people love to speed on it because it's wide, and it's lined with parked cars. SUV, going east, pulls away from a yield sign and into the intersection, wherein it gets broadsided but good by a pretty, pale green '65 Mustang. SUV spins and bounces into the (stopped) Anonymobile. The driver of the Pony is conscious and unbloodied, but taken to the hospital. SUV guy has sore ribs and doesn't go to the hospital. None of us have any passengers. The Anonymobile has a foot-deep dent and torn front bumper panel, it's missing the left front signal, and the driver's side door doesn't open all the way. There's a rental in my future.

The SPD just called and informed Her Nibs that SUV guy has been found at fault: failure to yield. This ought to make dealing with insurance easier.

Fascinating footnote: adrenalin plays tricks with one's memory. I remembered SUV guy as being in front of me, which is what I told the cops, when in fact he was going the other way.

Let's be careful out there.

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