12 December 2005

Snow is a four-letter word

In further explanation of my stress, today was the wrong day for the flaky white stuff. Ole' Clunk & Bang had a windshield wiper issue before we left on our trip, and surprisingly enough, sitting in the airport parking lot for a week didn't fix it. Not a problem Saturday or Sunday when the weather was nice, but today it snowed. All day. Not a lot of snow, but enough that every plow was out salting the road. Enough that there was massive spray when you followed or passed another car. Enough that you needed windshield wipers, which we did not have.

Since we are still at 1 working vehicle, I rode with K to work (90 minutes each way, see earlier post on waking time) so that I could bring the car back and do the approximately eight thousand errands that needed done, and eventually go to work. It was reasonably frightening to drive up there with no wipers, even though I was just a passenger. When we got to his work, I decided I was going to go the local dealer (because OF COURSE we found out Sunday that the part we need is a dealer-only part) and get it fixed. Basically, at this point, I was in a money-is-no-object state of mind. Just fix the stupid car so I can get where I need to go. K strongly disapproved, but he was at work and I was in the car, so he lost. In case you're wondering, the shop labor rate was $75/hr and it took them an hour and a half, plus parts, plus tax, and now I can see what is going on more than 2 feet in front of the bumper.

After this came the joys of auto financing as I sat in the credit union and waited for the loan guy to actually find the loan application we sent in before our trip. I would have thought a week and a half would've been enough to get it in the system, but somehow, he couldn't find it. Eventually he tracked down someone who knew what was going on, and all is pre-approved for when our new car actually arrives from wherever it is coming from (Timbuktu, or outer Mongolia, or whatever).

I have never actually done business with this credit union before, and K had mentioned their bizarre teller system, but he took it in stride. I find it is something that must be experienced or at least have some further explanation. They do not have teller windows at any branch. They have teller screens and video cameras. You have to talk to the TV in order to get them to deposit or withdraw money - or if the sound is broken like today, you have to pick up a phone to talk to them. You have to send your paperwork through the tube like at the drive-thru. I suppose if I were a teller, I would like the system because it would be impossible for someone to shoot you - the customers don't even know where you are. I'm betting they aren't even on the same floor as we are. If it wasn't for me being able to see her pull my paperwork out of the tube less than 5 seconds after I put it in, I wouldn't have even thought she was in the same building. All very surreal. I'm a huge fan of ATMs because I don't like to wait in line at the bank, or even drive to one actually, but when I do bother to show up, I'd like to see a real person. And what the heck are they doing back there when the cameras aren't on? Maybe I don't want to know.

Then 5 more errands, including picking up a week's worth of pre-Xmas holiday catalogs from the post office, before I got home for a brief rest and a quick turnaround back to work. After work, I got the joy of grocery shopping for the list of things K wants so we can start the holiday baking. I'm hoping "we" really means mostly he this year (as it was two years ago) because I'm neither in the spirit nor feeling as though I have the time.

There is also a long list of things I was supposed to do today that I never quite got around to. Including calling/emailing people who had expressed an interest in buying our house and looking for a new job. Minor details. Also, I'm almost-subconsciously worried about taking Watson in for surgery on Wednesday for this eye-lid-duct-tumor thing because it got bigger and nastier looking while we were gone and I still haven't figured out the transportation issues for that. So if I look like I might spit nails at you, now you know why.

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