Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Automotive Woes

First, the update on my automotive woes. I now have a rental car, a Hyundai Sonata in a very pretty shade of dark blue that is just about my favorite color. As with most rental cars, I'm convinced they put the controls in random places and mark them cryptically just to make things more fun. It took me about fifteen minutes at the rental car place before I could figure out how to adjust the seat so I could reach the pedals. I'm sure I'll have the car just the way I want it at about the time I have to turn it in. The other big adjustment is driving an automatic transmission, something I haven't done at all in about six years and that I've only done occasionally in rental cars in the past 20 or so years.

My own car is now at the repair shop. Thanks in part to a comment left on my blog, I guess my subconscious got inspired, and overnight I half dreamed/half imagined a way I might be able to get the car to a repair shop without having to call a tow truck. The engine seemed to be working fine. My problem was just that the car was stuck in first gear. Theoretically, if I could manage to get the car out of the garage, I could then drive the two or three blocks to the repair shop by creeping along in first gear. This morning, I went out to test the theory. I put my foot on the clutch and released the parking brake to coast backward a bit, then tried driving forward, and it worked. So I put my right foot on the clutch pedal and pushed back with my left foot and managed to back the car out, and then I crept to the repair shop in first gear. It was so cool! It really worked! The shop is in easy walking distance of my house. If I hadn't had places I needed to be this week, I easily could have dealt with all of this without even getting the rental car. My next adventure will be returning the rental tomorrow and then getting home, but since I used the airport's car rental place, I've figured out that I can get home via city bus. It will take a while, with a long layover between buses at the transit center, but I can bring a spiral notebook and do some of the brainstorming work I needed to get done this week. I might even get more accomplished when I have fewer distraction options.

And would you believe, I may have to sing in class today. I guess I'd better practice some.

My library talk last night was a lot of fun. It was a great group of teens and a librarian who really seemed to relate well with them, which is good to see because it means those kids are on track to be lifelong readers. I've even already received a thank-you e-mail from one of the teens. I talked to them about becoming a writer and what it took. It was the kind of talk I wish I could have heard when I was that age because while I knew it was something I wanted to do, I didn't know that I could do it. I'd never met an author in real life. To me, that was kind of like being a movie star. It wasn't something you could just do. (I have no idea where I thought movie stars or authors came from.) I don't know if my career would have gone differently if I'd had that information back then, but I know I would have been more encouraged by the possibilities. A big shout-out to the gang in Wylie, if anyone's here reading.

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