Friday, December 02, 2011

Welcome home and Happy December

Yesterday morning, at 7:30, I called the TriMet automated phone system to check to see if the 7:35 bus was running on schedule or its usual three minutes late. This is the difference between a leisurely walk to the bus stop or a sprint. In horror, I listened as the automated man read off the name of a different bus arriving in eight minutes, and my bus arriving sometime after 7:40. There was no 7:35 bus. There had been a pre-7:30 bus! It seemed as though the bus schedule had changed without my knowledge. Even though I am signed up to receive e-mails from TriMet about that very thing.

The bus that was arriving after 7:40 was going to bring me to work too late. That's okay, though, because I have a car!

Portland winters do not usually bring freezing temperatures. We have rain, not ice. But on this atypical morning, my car was covered in ice. My nice ice scraper was either stolen in the Great Car Break-In of January, left in New Jersey, or misplaced somewhere in my apartment. It took me a long time to scrape off my windows, long enough for the car to warm up so that it would not stall on my way to work or fog up.

Before I started my drive, I realized I still could not see out of my back windshield. This has been a problem for some time; the back windshield takes a very long time to de-fog. I climbed into my backseat to wipe off the windshield with the tail of my scarf. But the visual obstruction was not liquid condensation, but a thick, unmoveable solid. It was ice.

I successfully removed the ice from the inside of my car, giving it even more time to warm up. Then I started to drive to work.

As I turned onto Broadway, a busy street with multiple lanes, of which I needed to be in the farthest from where I'd entered, necessitating the deft navigation through a sea of buses, cars, bikes, and pedestrians, a slow white fog began to build in the corners of my front windshield, passenger side windows, and rear windshield. I turned up the defroster and frantically started wiping down windows--within reach, at a stoplight only--from the inside. The fog crept back with renewed speed. I quickly turned off of Broadway, praying no pedestrians were crossing in the space obstructed by my foggy windows, and looked for a parking spot.

The defroster is totally shot. Except on sunny, dry days, my car is currently undriveable.

I walked home and woke up Handsome Man so that he could drive me to work, to which I arrived half an hour late, to discover immediately that the computer program I need to do most of my work duties was stuck, giving me nothing but an inscrutable error message that flashed angrily whenever I tried to close the program, open another copy of it, or restart my computer.

Welcome home, Sarah, and Happy December. The bus scheduled changed without you, your car isn't working, and your computer isn't either. Three bad things. I declared myself pre-disastered for the day, resolved that no further bad things would take place until at least December 2nd, and folded mail and stuck labels on things until tech support called to free me and my computer from the error message.

The call came, my computer and I were both set free to do our work together, I had Cafe Yumm for lunch, and walked to class and then home from the MAX station in a rain-free city without incident or disaster.

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