Yes, it took a week for my insurance company to get back to me, but the car is no more. It is an ex-car, it has shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible. In other words, it's a total loss. However, the care and maintenance we have done on the car paid off handsomely. The payoff figure I was quoted yesterday was quite good. So now I have to dig up my title, sign it over and wait on the check. Hopefully it doesn't take them as long to provide that as it was to review the car. A week. I don't live in the boonies. I didn't smash up on a holiday weekend. There was no big disaster that caused a lot of personal property damage, causing it to be delayed, it's just they dragged their feet on this. I finally had to start making phone calls Monday night and into yesterday to get something out of someone. My first claim ever with my auto insurer, and this is what I get? So not impressed.
The worst part of the whole car accident experience is the consequences. For instance, I still haven't heard yet if my car has been totaled out yet. The adjuster is supposedly going to look at it today. Assuming that it would be, my spouse and I decided to squander one of our hard earned Saturdays by shopping for cars.
First off, test driving a car in snow sucks. I hadn't driven since the accident, and was now sitting in a brand new car I wasn't familiar with and forced to drive in snow. I only did that once. Too much pressure, and you really can't get a feel for the car since you're too busy freaking out.
Second, we came up with a story. The word accident wasn't going to be said. We came up with a story about how we're an one car household and decided it was time to have a car. Now, if you truly think about this...it's beyond far-fetched. Here we are, two professionals, in our 30s (had to show licenses to test drive), living in suburbia, with only one car. If anyone actually didn't believe the story, they didn't ask any questions and that's good.
Third, this time around we're leaving no stone unturned. No dealership is immune...save Suzuki and Kia...not feeling kooky enough for Suzuki, and I just don't like Kia. Attitudes in dealerships vary wildly. Nissan couldn't have been nicer...we spent over an hour there. Both Chevy and Ford were laid back, made you feel comfortable to be there. I like that. On the opposite end of the spectrum we had Toyota...really could have given a damn if we were there, and really didn't want to sell us anything. And even worse, Honda. We got the newbie salesman (first customers ever), and he couldn't tell us anything about anything. Asking about leasing got us nowhere. Me: "No, I don't want to lease a car for 60 months. We're looking at leasing, not buying." Him: "What are the chances that you'll buy a car today?" Spouse: "No chance in hell." We hadn't even driven one yet, what makes you think we're going to buy one. We then got sicked on the Manager. Manager: "Well if you'd driven a Honda before you'd buy one right now. These are the best deals we've ever had." No mention is made of any sort of figures, we're just supposed to take his word for it? "Why aren't you even going to drive today?" Spouse: "Because it's snowing and I'd rather not take a brand new car out in this weather." Manager: "Well, have a good day then." We were then shown the door. Never did find out what the deal was, if there was one. Yeah, not going back there even if it stops snowing.
In the meantime, we're still carpooling, but this car shopping is for the birds.
It's amazing what recuperative powers sleep has. I went to work yesterday. Looking back on it now, probably not one of my smarter ideas, but I had something cooking that I wanted to see through to the end. But by the time 4pm hit, I was done. I literally hurt everywhere but the soles of my feet. So the spouse left work early and brought me home. I was sound asleep by 8:30pm. Things I found out yesterday: Aleve doesn't not work for me...at all. Advil is a gift from above. The liberal use of Icy Hot will make your office smell menthol-y. The Target equivalent of that Icy Hot may not work so well. Attempting to draft a document while aching does nothing for concentration. There are some points in your life that you need to take a sick day from work. It is possible to have a one-car household, but it involves planning. Today is a much better day in comparison.
I guess I was a bit too self-absorbed yesterday. My day got much worse on the way home. Driving home, on a curve less than 5 minutes from home, I hit a patch of what must have been black ice, and took on an utility pole on my side of the road. Nothing worse than feeling the back-end of your car coming around on you and not knowing what would happen next. My trusty Malibu gamely took the impact but I fear that the car will be totaled. Both airbags deployed, though since I was moving side to side at the time, what I really could have used was side curtain airbags (not an option on a 2000). At the scene I was good, no visible injury, no reason to call for an ambulance. Very sore this morning, and my right knee isn't working all that well. Sleep was highly troubled, in that the accident was in permanent loop in my brain. Luckily, no one else was involved, but chances are I need to look for a new car now. Spouse has been an absolute dear, cleaned out my car before the tow truck arrived (down to saving my college license plate bracket), fed me soup and grilled cheese, and even altered the job schedule to take me and pick me up from work. My mother may never be the same though...she heard the whole thing over my cell phone via my headset.
I'm so tired of being blind-sided by requests for things I know nothing about. I'm so tired of not knowing what's going on and having to scramble. I'm so tired of spending my day wondering if I'm going to get hammered on a misplaced capital letter. I'm so tired of being tired. I try so hard only to make mistake after mistake. I don't want to get up in the morning anymore. I don't want to get up again ever.
I swear this last weekend evaporated when I wasn't looking. I got out of work late Friday, and the next thing I knew I was waking up on Monday morning. This isn't to say I didn't get anything done this weekend, but it's all the little nonsense that made the weekend disappear. I now understand why people have cleaning services once a week. The last thing I want to do on the weekend is clean up a week's worth of crap. The bathroom is still a mess, because I never did get to that. We did enough laundry to have clothes for work, and painted one little tiny bit of trim around a window. Oh, because we're getting new carpet you see...and it involves us tearing up the carpet, and painting trim, and fixing squeaks, one weekend at a time. Makes me yawn just thinking about it. I've been at work just over a month, and I already feel like I need vacation. *sigh*
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away (pre-law school) I used to be a paralegal. I wasn't a litigation paralegal, but instead did research projects as needed. I, on occasion, also drafted letters for my attorney. They were simple little things, but had all the standards, "Enclosed please find...", "Pursuant to our conversation of....", all very heady stuff. My goal in drafting those letters were to mold them as closely as possible to my attorney's mindset so that I would have as few edits as possible. I saw it as a bit of a game to see how little red pen would come back to me. Fast forward to today. I find myself drafting letters. They're a tad more complex, "Reference is made to...", "Further reference is made to..." and the like. But the goal is the same. Since I'm vetting everything past my boss, I try to make it so it conforms as tightly to the standard as possible. Like the game show Press Your Luck, my mantra has become "No whammies...c'mon no whammies!" And instead of the little red creatures, I'm fearing black pen these days.
Sometimes you just need a lazy weekend. Sometimes a lazy weekend is forced upon you. This 3-day weekend turned into a very lazy weekend due to weather. Luckily no power outages or any sort of nonsense, but it was just better to stay indoors and veg. Heavy on the football, lounging clothes, and random snacking. Hot cocoa? Check. Fire in the woodstove? Check. Not a thing to have to do? Check. It's been far too long since that has happened. And to appease the guilt monster...I'll admit some laundry was done. But that's it!
My grandfather died yesterday. He had been terminally ill with esophageal cancer for about 7 months. Prior, in the year that I was out of work after law school, I got to spend some time with him and my mother. We would go up and visit him once a week, and usually take him out to lunch. He used to tell stories about all sorts of things, and the Irish in him always made you wonder if he was telling the whole truth or embellishing for effect. It was always entertaining certainly. After he got sick, I used to bring him sweet foods that I knew he'd eat...cherry pie, apple pie...and finally last Saturday, the spouse and I stopped by and brought him a vanilla milkshake from Burger King. He ate the whole thing...which was surprising since he ate very little recently. After I had passed the Bar he started referring to me as Judge. It always made me smile. He used to wear the law school hat I got him to his doctors appointments, and people used to mistake him as a retired judge. Saturday, we've been told, was one of the very last days he was lucid. He declined very rapidly, but thanks to Hospice he was well taken care of until the very last. Like my grandmother, he too has given his body to the medical school. We refer to him as "doing his year at med school." So in the short term, there will be no service. Once we receive his remains, we'll have a small memorial on the farm and spread both his and her ashes together. That's what they wanted. I miss them both dearly. He was 85, and my last living grandparent.
In the days of my halycon youth, there were two meals that brought a smile to my face at lunch time. One was Spaghettios (with meatballs or sliced franks if you please), the other was Oodles of Noodles. Heck, who am I kidding, I still eat both, and they still make me smile. The reason I walk down the path of memories is that someone I really would like to thank just died. Momofuku Ando, the creator of instant ramen, died at the age of 96. And they say the stuff is bad for you...ha! I would take this moment to wax nostalgic about the noodles, and all their slurpy salty goodness, and think how many packages I've consumed over the years. It wasn't due to economics that I ate them. It was because I liked them. The cheapness is merely a bonus. I have some at home right now for that moment when I feel like some ramen. Because I know it'll happen...it's just a matter of when. So I salute you, Mr. Momofuku Ando, for bringing a moment of ramen into each of our lives. You will be missed.
When I was in law school, it was said more than once that the experience was supposed to break you down and rebuild you in the image of a lawyer. Your thought process would change and you would view the world differently. I never bought into that theory. I thought it was just an excuse for professors to harangue their students with socratic nonsense and feel the better for it. I felt no more lawyery coming out than going in. With this job though, I can see it happening. Maybe I'm just a slow learner, perhaps I was supposed to have gone through this in law school. I'm parsing language for commas, trying to draft sentences with purposeful language. And in a brief shining moment on Friday, I actually believed I might know what I was doing. However, there was a big possibility it was combination of Mountain Dew and birthday cake that brought that on. I'm leaning towards that version. In the meantime, I'll keep slogging and hoping that the language is altering my brain for the good.
Because I find my job rather stressful, and by stressful I mean stress I bring upon myself, I want to relax when I get home. Take a load off...let the mind shut down. So what did I do New Years weekend? Buy a PS2. Now I realize that this is old technology...but I really don't need a $600 PS3 (even if I could get one), and the Wii is nearly impossible to get. I needed instant cheap satisfaction. So we bought a PS2 and Guitar Hero II. For those of you who have never played this game, it is instantly addictive. I say this because I became instantly addicted at Circuit City. Of course it helps if you're good at it. Once I figured out that you had to strum and push the buttons, I was good to go. It's actually a bigger time waster than Elder Scrolls IV, and that's saying something. And now I have a mission. At Circuit City all the songs were available, which isn't the case when you first play the game...so now I'm trying to unlock enough songs to get a hold of YYZ for my spouse. Me, I'm happy with Foo Fighters and The Police, but we do need the Rush song to be complete. So as I drag my cramped hand and wrist to work, I can say I did it for something bigger than myself...it was for Guitar Hero.
Today is the first day of the rest of your life. The first of the year brings with it all sorts of thoughts. Excitement that this year doesn't include a bar exam. Trepidation about my new job. Happiness about having a job, a loving spouse, and a house to come home to each night. Here's hoping all the good karma from 2006 wasn't used up going into 2007. And most importantly, here's hoping that your year is happy, healthy, and productive.