athelind: (Default)
I had a very pleasant Christmas with my family.

I got dress shirts and a splendid tie! They're wonderful -- my sister managed to guess my size from memory better than Quel and I have ever managed with me standing right there (XL, size 17 collar).

Dinner was excellent -- scallops something-or-other over pasta. And, of course, a wide range of alcohol.

Most of the day was spent introducing my stepfather to the wonders of YouTube as a source for music and film footage of old stars; he's a serious jazz aficionado, and kept coming up with more and more obscure performers to hunt down. The only times we couldn't find anything were when the performers in question had names identical to some other individual, more recent or better-known -- a very short-lived ensemble called "Matrix" was a good example.

We also watched a few seasonal treats, as well, including this duet between Bing Crosby and David Bowie; Bowie's lyrics have, to me, always captured what this time of year really means, and why my family of atheists, agnostics and pagans still celebrate Christmas -- it's not the religious aspect, but the mythic.







I departed around 19:30, though I was invited to stay another night. I probably should have; yes, I work tomorrow, but not until 14:00. Ah, well. Second thoughts are better served at the other end of a 50-mile drive.

Whatever you celebrate this time of year, I hope you had the best of the good and none of the bad.

Peace be with you, and with us all.

athelind: (Default)
I'm here in Berkeley, at my sister's place. My folks are here. This is the first time we've all been together for the holidays since -- 1982, at least, when my grandmother died right after I went off to college. My middle sister isn't here, but, still, with two of the three of us, it's a quorum.

Stopped off at [livejournal.com profile] quelonzia's place before work tonight, just to say hello to everyone who's crashing THERE for the holiday.

This is our first Christmas apart since we were married.

I miss you, beloved. Merry Christmas.

And to all our friends: don't worry about us. We'll work through this. Have a happy holiday, and blessed be.


athelind: (Default)
A statement like that might seem to need qualifiers, but really, it doesn't.

I don't know what the hell I'm doing.

About very nearly anything.


athelind: (Default)
After spending yesterday talking and laughing (and drinking) with family members, some of whom I haven't seen in twenty years, I'm feeling more positive about everything. The car? A setback and an annoyance. The job hunt? I've got prospects and directions I've never even tried before, because I didn't think I could do them.

I've spent far too much of my life not trying stuff because I didn't think I could do it. The only things I've ever done right were the times I dove right in despite that.

Joining the Coast Guard. Running off to Texas to move in with my Internet girlfriend. Going to a brand-new school that had only opened four years previously.

In the words of Virgil (and Scrooge McDuck), Audaces fortuna iuvat!


The secret, you see, is to
KEEP

SMILING!

athelind: (Default)
I just realized that I kind of left folks hanging after this post, so here's an update:




  • The Grape came back from the shop, a week ago Wednesday. The bumper is refurbished, the headlight replaced, and all is well. The hood kinda rattles a little when I idle, so I should probably give the body shop a call about that.
  • If you're in Silicon Valley, I highly recommend Kuykendall's Auto Body for body work. They were fast, efficient, and the car looks great.
  • Poppa spent two nights in the hospital as they ran a battery of tests. They offered to let him go home, but previous experience has shown that the same tests that get ordered immediately in the hospital will take a couple of months to clear insurance red tape if they're done on an outpatient basis. He's fine; the doctors gave him a relatively clean bill of health (the only anomalies were things they already knew about, and sum up to, "Dude, you're two weeks shy of turning 80!"). The surprise party is a go; my folks are already up there.
  • After getting the car back on Wednesday, last Thursday was spent with an early-morning doctor's appointment and a mid-afternoon dentist appointment. My cholesterol and related blood numbers are back in the target range, and I've lost a bit of weight, so I'm getting my health back on track.
  • Last Friday, I went ahead with the Santa Cruz Resume Run. I hit three places in Santa Cruz, and everyone was cordial. One civil engineering firm said that they'd actually been talking about getting a GIS guy in, in part to scan and convert old plans and records over to modern formats (something I've done in the past) -- of course, with the current state of the economy, they're not hiring at the moment, but they'll give me a call when they are.
  • I was thinking about heading out today and hitting some firms in San Jose and Santa Clara, but then I remembered what day it was. As amusing as it would be to say "Trick or Treat!" when I hand out resumes, I know people often dress up for Halloween in a lot of work places -- and sometimes even have active parties. The whole point of these hand-carry runs is to make personal contact; I don't want the memory of my First Impression getting lost 'midst costumed confusion. I'll spend the day emailing resumes and getting a better assortment of targets to visit before work on Monday.



athelind: (Default)
So, the plan today was to hop in the car, head first to Campbell and then to Santa Cruz, and personally deliver resumes to some likely employers. The hand-carry trick is what landed me the Schaaf & Wheeler contract back in 2007, after all.

I had everything carefully mapped out, via Google. I had minimaps of all the twisty, curvy confusion of Santa Cruz streets. I was steeled and ready for Hwy 17 -- brand new tires! What better time for it?

Naturally, I rear-ended another car on the El Camino onramp to Lawrence Expressway. For those taking notes, this is the major intersection closest to my house.

What happened? I'm still not entirely sure. There was a line of six or seven cars; I think I was at the back. We were all accelerating smoothly; the two onramp lanes had merged together, I was deliberately taking it easy because I had a long drive ahead.

I checked my side mirror, looked up, and SHIT CAR STOPPED BRAKE BRAKE BRAKE skreeeeeee slam.

We both pulled off to the side, and were immediately apologizing to each other and making sure everyone was okay.

According to the folks in the other car, someone three or four cars ahead of them had stopped abruptly, and, well, dominoes. They were, themselves, right behind a motorcycle, so they really slammed on the brakes to avoid taking him out.

Nobody was hurt, though the passenger in the other vehicle hit her head against the headrest on her seat. She seemed okay, though I know better than to assume that in such cases, and told her that, if she was still having problems later, she needed to get checked out. The other car had no visible damage.

The Grape's snoot is visibly crumpled, and the hood is popped on one side. At least one headlight looks misaligned.

The CHP arrived on scene after, oh, maybe half an hour after we called, since there were no injuries reported. Since we had no problem exchanging insurance information, they said they didn't need to write up a report.

This is, for the record, my second vehicular accident in my driving career -- the last one was twenty years ago, or more. As I said to the officers, if this happens so seldom that I'm never quite sure what to do, I must be doing something right.

Because the Grape is kind of old and scroddy, however, we don't have collision coverage, so this is all gonna be out of pocket.

Note, however, that Coyote does, indeed, love me: "For all the bad luck we have, we have a lot of good luck." On a day that I'd planned a drive over Highway 17, a twisting, turning route over the Santa Cruz mountains, with long stretches that have no access or egress, and traffic reports regularly show extensive blockages because accidents and mishaps can jam up the whole route for miles... my accident happened a block and a half from home, and nobody was hurt.



Meanwhile... my stepfather's in the hospital today, getting tests run. He had some dizziness yesterday, and the doctor sent them to Urgent Care, who in turn started running tests. When I talked to mom this morning, they'd done an EKG and were scheduling an MRI. Hopefully, it was just a head rush, and neither heart nor stroke.

Poppa turns 80 on the 29th. My sister's been planning a surprise party for him on Halloween, since that's the closest Saturday.


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