the title, in case you're wondering, comes from the quarters i used to pay bus fare today.
there are a lot of stories that i meant to write up last week, things that were going on before the attacks on the 11th. it feels like eons ago now, and not that important. but i want to try to get some of them down, at least in fragments, because i want to come back to this in a month, two months, a year, and know what was going on.
the car thing... so i got the car inspected - the hard way. ChicaBeanie came over to help me take the car to the station for the insurance and safety inspections. seemed like the car was okay. but as we were driving, she noticed that the radio was cutting out every time she took her foot off the gas. uh oh. the nearest station was around the corner from me, but we had to loop around and drive up a very long hill. didn't really do the math to figure out that the battery was truly on its last legs, at least, if not the alternator, and kept going. fortunately, we made it up the hill before things really shit the bed.
so there we were, surrounded by Indians... wait, wrong story. ;) dead. dead, dead, dead. not even a squeak from the engine. CB managed to coast the car into a legal parking spot, and i called a few friends at the office on her cell phone. got a bunch of tow company numbers, and found a nice guy, not from Pat's, who came out in about 15 minutes. the problem with Pat's is graft. they charge higher prices and get away with it. so i was happy to get anyone that wasn't them.
of course, when you show up at the mechanic's with your car on a tow truck, you're fresh bait. they have you. because what else can you do? the guy seemed reasonable at first. then not so reasonable. then an asshole.
long story short, he jerked me around a lot because i'm female. i fully admit that i don't know much about cars. but i'm not dumb. i forced him to take charges for unauthorized parts off the bill, because hey, that's not legal. and then he fucked me over on the insurance papers. silly man. at that point, i was ready to wrap a tire iron around his head, and desperate to get to work. so there's still an outstanding problem. but i have friends, and i know lawyers. in some cases, one and the same. he's going to rue the fact that he screwed around with my insurance papers.
but most importantly, i have an inspected, insured, charged up car. i still can't drive the fucker, and the newest scale of car dependence is making me crazier than ever. it's one thing to mooch a ride. it's another to beg your friends to move your car so that you don't get a ticket on street cleaning day. and they clean each side of my street every other week, which means every single week, there's an illegal side of the street.
i've been telling the story to everyone i know, and lining up volunteers to teach me to drive. now, i think, it's just a matter of coordinating schedules and finding big empty parking lots. (i do see the humor in the whole thing; it is funny. just makes me cranky these days.) and if adam is willing, i'm going to ask him to pop the hood and explain everything to me about the engine. he's a complete gearhead (i mean that in the best way possible), and a few lessons from him will at least let me feel more competent should i ever bump heads with another bad mechanic.
i couldn't stay to argue with the mechanic because i was trying to get down to the first show of the opening Orpheum season. PJ Harvey was the first act in there this year. got four of my neighbors in to work/hear the show. we were a bit short staffed, but it wasn't too sold, so that was fine. i could have done without the opening band, tho. i've blocked their name, so i couldn't really tell you who they are. they sounded not too bad during sound check. but when they started playing? bad nasty squawky sounds that prompted me to look down to see if they'd plugged things in backwards (is that even possible?). and occasionally, for no apparent reason, in the middle of a song, they'd clip the amps. no reason. just a blast of distorted noise, then back to your regularly scheduled song.
and i must have pissed someone off, because i was banished to the upper balcony. seriously, i got it because we were short staffed. but i did wonder who i'd pissed off.
i'm dicey about heights anyway. the upper balcony pitches forwards. right. read that again. forwards. so if you lose your balance, you fall towards the front of the balcony. *frown* that's not right. and the railings that did exist (lots missing) were tenuously anchored, at best. and the seating layout up there is ... creative. nothing is numbered, and the rows aren't exactly even.
plus did i mention it was freakin' hot in there? there's no AC in the building. the orchestra must have been 85°. it only got hotter as you went up. no joke, it must have been close to 100° up there. after about five minutes, i looked like i'd stepped out of a shower, and felt like i'd been dragged thru a swamp. i gave up any pretense of looking human and stuck my head in the bathroom sink a few times, just so i could breathe. people would ask how i was, just to be friendly, and i'd say 'really freakin' hot!', which prompted a lot of double takes. people, i think, just expect the pat answer 'okay'. when they get something else, they often don't know what to do with it.
spent as much time as i could standing outside during PJ Harvey's set, so i can't say that i properly *saw* her. but she still sounded fine from out there. much kerfuffle, while we were outside, about Burrito Boy. he is in no one's good graces. you might gather from his nickname that i don't much care for him. he's pretty much useless, and was useless again during that show. and it's one thing to be useless and stay out of the way. but he's useless in an insulting, obstructive way. :( small confab with the powers that be, and we'll see what happens.
also met up that night with a boy with a bike. not just any bike, but a Harley. not just a boy, but one with a pony tail and and earring. i was actually able to talk bikes with him. whoo hoo! i was so proud that i knew what a suicide shift was (thanks, stu!). maybe if i ask nicely, he'll give me a ride. purrrrr....
dripped my way out of there at the end of the show, and meant to head over to the Gs (pit check confirmed that i wasn't too rank, and i hadn't had garlic recently, so it was probably okay). but it was way too crowded to get on the T just then. so i tried to hunt down the gang and have a beer with them while waiting for the crowds to disperse. things got all messed up, and i ended up drinking with Lee. if you know him, 'nuff said. if you don't... let's just say a pub crawl looking for my friends would have been a better choice. ;)
okay, i think that's all the bits i wanted to dredge up. doesn't seem so important, really. but it's nice to write about basic stuff.