Saturday, January 30, 2010

All the Follow-Up Things that Went Wrong

Monday, August 31st

- Make the trek back to Oregon in the rental car. I'm tired of driving and it's getting late. I knew I wouldn't make it to Oregon so I look to find a hotel in Washington for the night. I look everywhere for one of those travel books that has hotel coupons in them. Can't find one anywhere. Finally just pick a hotel past Tacoma and cough over the cash.

Tuesday, September 1st

- I need to arrive in Oregon by a certain time. If I'm late I will get charged extra for the rental car and for parking at the airport. I plan to leave early.

- I'm so tired it takes me forever to get on the road. While driving I realize I have left way too late. I have such little time to spare. I have to hit drive-thrus and hope I don't have to pee.

- I have to pee...really bad! I try holding it, but it's too strong. I pull off at a truck-stop and pee as fast as I possibly can. It's then I notice those travel books with the coupons! I had been looking at gas stations. I forgot they were at truck-stops!

- Arrive just in time with literally only minutes to spare. I don't know if my car will even be running well so I'm not excited about this. It starts but doesn't sound so good.

- I find a Toyota dealership and leave my car there. They can't look at it today, so I'll have to wait. I need a ride to a hotel so they say the shuttle will take me when he gets back. I go to the waiting area. This guy walks in and mumbles something. A guy gets up and follows him. A little while later another guy walks in and mumbles. I look at him inquisitively wondering if he's my driver. He walks away. I'm confused. He comes back and mumbles again. I ask if he's the shuttle. He says he is. Unbelievable.

- I have a coupon from the travel book. He can't find the hotel. I'm trying to help him with my GPS, but they've shut down this overpass and it's not helping.

- We finally spot the hotel but there's all this construction and the road is closed. He can't understand how I'll even get over there. He says he has to go pick someone else up. He's pretty sure I can take a walkway through the park, but he's not 100%.

- He drops me off and drives away. I trek with my bags through the park towards the walkway where I see construction guys. As I get closer the guy tells me I can't cross! This sucks. I can see the hotel from where I'm standing but don't know how to get there.

- I have supper at a diner nearby. I use the phone outside to call the hotel to figure out how to get there. She says I have to go across the highway and walk across the overpass. The overpass is open, but just to access the hotels.

- There's no way I can walk all the way around. I'd have to walk to the next overpass and then walk back to this overpass and it's hot and I've got a heavy bag. Plus I'm exhausted and emotionally drained.

- I used my last quarter to call the hotel. I go to a nearby different hotel and ask them to call me a cab. I'm on the line and telling the girl I need a cab. She tells me to hold on. I sit waiting there forever. Finally she says, "Hello?" She didn't say to hold! I don't know what she said, but she was waiting for me!!! Oh haha, what a hilarious misunderstanding!!!!?!?!?!

- The cab finally arrives. Guess what? I don't have any cash. He has to take me to an ATM on the way there. We finally get to the hotel. The cab ride cost me $8. Unbelievable.

- After I called the hotel I must have dropped the coupon cause it's gone now! Thankfully the lady believes me and gives me the discounted rate.

Wednesday, September 2nd

- I get in touch with the Modesto Toyota that screwed me over. The guy is apologetic and wants to help. I tell him to call the Medford Toyota cause it's costing me extra to use my cellphone. I'm so pissed off at them. He says he will.

- That afternoon Medford Toyota calls and says they have my car ready. Guess what was wrong? The valve was dirty. Yes, the valve was dirty! He cleaned it and said it's running fine. I ask if the Modesto guys called him. They didn't. I hate them.

- The shuttle picks me up to get my car. The guy driving says he didn't have time to give my car the complimentary car wash. Thanks for letting me know. I didn't even know I would get a free car wash. Way to rub it in!

Thursday, September 3rd

- I drive all the way home. No engine light. No oil light. Those Modesto guys totally screwed me. I don't even think I needed that gear replaced, those idiots! I'm furious, but happy to be home.

Wednesday, November 19th

- I drive to Seattle to catch a flight to Atlanta for the National Youth Worker's Convention. 1.5 hours there the engine light comes on. Oh no.................

- I pull over and let my car cool down. After half and hour of playing sudoku I start it up again. The light is off so I drive again. After 15 minutes it's back on. I pull over and check my oil and wait again.

- The light doesn't come back on. I'm pretty close to my destination. The oil light comes on. I'm so frustrated I don't even care. I keep driving. The car isn't sounding good, but I made it to the hotel where I'm going to park and fly.

Monday, November 23rd

- I arrive back in Seattle, get my car and drive to a different hotel. I don't have time to take my car in on Monday so I'll have to do it Tuesday. Another night spent in a hotel $$$.

Tuesday, November 24th

- I bring my car to Burien Toyota. The lights aren't coming on for some reason, but whatever. I explain the situation (even all the Modesto and Medford fiascoes) and wait in the waiting room.

- The guy comes in and tells me, get this, I need to replace the actuator gear. What a dick! I told him that's exactly what happened to me before and that wasn't the problem. He backtracks and says I probably just need to make sure my car is full of oil at all times. As it burns away there isn't enough to get up to the actuator. He fills up my car with oil. I drive home with no more problems! Thanks for nothing $100 later. Well at least I know to always have oil on hand.

- I totally get lost trying to get back on the I-5 from Burien. It's rush hour and just when I think I know where I'm going I hit construction and have to take this wonky detour that is labeled so poorly!

- I stop at Best Buy to see if they have Rockband 2 for the Wii. I haven't been able to find it anywhere. They have it in stock! I take it to the counter and as the lady is explaining the warranty to me she stops talking. I ask her to repeat it. She starts talking and then stops again. Then I could see she was shaking. Next comes swaying back and forth and her eyes roll back into her head.

- She completely passes out right in front of me and hits the wall behind her. I have no clue what to do. I feel awkward touching this girl I don't know. I yell for the greeter person to come over. Finally she comes and calls people to help. I moved some stuff behind the girl so she'd be able to lie down. It was so weird. Then as their trying to revive this girl, another lady finishes ringing me up, haha. I felt so insensitive buying something while this girl is passed out on the floor. She was okay in the end. She came to and they took her to the back.

And that's the end of the oil light drama for now.
Although, I did manage to overheat my brother's car in Revelstoke in the middle of a huge snowfall.
Good times.

It's Late

Where have I been?

There have been a number of factors distracting me. The biggest one is definitely Amy. Here is why:

1. I would often write late in the evening. Now I'm with Amy pretty much every evening. And it's never just hang out with Amy. I can't do other things while I'm with her because she wants me to be present. I understand that. I want her attention too.

2. Most of the time when an idea comes to my mind that I could write about, I end up sharing it with Amy. Then it loses its fizzle. I don't feel an urgent need to tell others because I've already outed it.

3. It takes a lot of mental energy for me to write. It takes time for me to stop what I'm doing and just ponder and ruminate on ideas and thoughts. Most of my mental energy is being invested in Amy now. When I get home my mind just wants to shut off.

I don't think these are bad things. They are normal. This is the new reality. I am adjusting. I love Amy more than I do blogging.

I think I should be writing more though. Amy hates when I ramble on about mundane things (cross one letter in Amy Hales and you get Amy Hates). Previously I could vent all those things on the internet and she could filter out what she wanted to hear and what she didn't. Now she can't. It's time to start writing again.

I've got a lot on my mind. So many things are running through it. I need to share.

Amy isn't the only distraction. Everything with my dad's cancer and passing has had a profound effect on me. It's unearthed feelings I didn't realize were there. I've had many dreams where we freely converse with one another. It's been a very long time since we've been able to talk like that. I've also been having many other dreams regarding his memorial. This is a weird time.

And life as a youth pastor is not as cohesive as I'd like it to be. I feel scattered, flying by the seat of my pants, and spinning more plates than I can handle.

But I love God more than ever. I'm glad he pushed me when I fell. He's the only one in this room who really knows what's going on. I like to think I completely trust him.

That's all I have to say right now.