I sold my car last night. This guy called me yesterday and insisted he had to see it TODAY, then he came over and paid cash for it without test driving it. Sounds ideal, right? Until he drove it on the freeway and didn’t like how it doesn’t accelerate very fast and then called back at midnight to say he wanted his money back! We told him he had the chance to test drive it and didn’t want to, and now that the title is signed over to him, I can’t take it back. Sorry Charlie!
It feels weird to have sold my car before I have my new one. I am driving Martin’s old Saturn this week, but how nice to have gotten that overwith before the holidays. I love Craig’s List. Have I ever mentioned how much I love Craig’s List? One time I was trying to post ads from Poland and they were rejected. I thought it was ME being rejected, banned for double posting ads, and I was frantic. (It turned out to be the computer I was using that was rejected.) I can’t imagine life without Craig’s List! How would I get new students? How would I find editing jobs? How would we find new roommates? How would I sell my bread maker? How would I advertise my yard sale? How would I look for my lost cat? How would I find a used surf board? How would I sell my car? The list goes on …
I had a really hard time parting with Nelly, almost didn’t take the guy’s money. I had her for 10 years, bought her new from the Thousand Oaks Auto Mall with 23 miles on her and sold her with 148,224. She has taken me to Colorado and all over the Southwest (Zion, Bryce, Arches, Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde, Lake Powell, Monument Valley), up through Seattle to Banff, back and forth between SF and LA and SF and SB, down to San Diego and Mexico, and on many trips to Tahoe and Mendocino. I named her Nelly because that’s what my nieces were listening to on the CD player when she hit 100,000 miles three years ago. She still looked like new but the CD player, air conditioning, two windows and driver-side door spring no longer worked. I will miss her!
There isn’t really a ghost in our house (except the one who stole my things), but there IS a short in our stereo, which makes it feel like there’s a poltergeist living in the corner of our living room. When the stereo is off, it defaults to tuner, and on tuner, the volume is about 100 times as loud as when it’s on video. So when we want to watch TV (Lost) or a video (A Mighty Wind), we have to turn the the stereo to video, then crank up the volume. The key is remembering to turn the volume all the way off when we’re done. Otherwise what happens (which just happened and nearly gave me a heart attack) is the stereo turns itself on, defaulting to tuner, and I’m sitting here in a nice, quiet room working on my thesis when all of a sudden, Radiohead’s Creep is blaring at about 80 decibals. (Creep is one of my all-time favorite songs, but not that loud, not while I’m writing, and not without warning.) So I get up and turn off the stereo and turn the volume all the way down and five minutes later, the stereo goes back on, but this time no sound. Our stereo has been turning itself on and off dozens of times per day – oh, there is goes again – for the past week. It’s only bothersome when we forget to turn the volume down, so we continue to try to live peacefully with the ghost in our house.
An article in the New York Times yesterday said the average Thanksgiving meal is 3000 calories and that it would take a 160-pound person more than four hours on the treadmill to burn that off (it also said the elliptical machine is better for you and will burn it off faster, maybe even in four hours flat!) I have been on somewhat of a diet this past month, but broke it (uh, more like totaled it) yesterday. After a mushroom omelet and veggie bacon for breakfast, I went to Martin’s mom’s for dinner and ate:
Bread with pate – lots of it
Shrimp and cocktail sauce – quite a few
A deviled egg
Two glasses of red wine mixed with 7-Up (Eww, I know, but it’s a Thanksgiving tradition for me)
Lots of almonds
Bread with cheese – just one slice
Beet salad – Polish specialty
“Spring salad” – another Polish specialty
Carrot soup – made from scratch with grated carrots in it
Bread torn up into cubes and drowned in my soup
Turkey – white meat only
Stuffing – home made, very delicious
Stuffing – Polish style – mostly fruit, kind of weird
Cranberry sauce – mm mm
Mushroom gravy – on turkey and on mashed potatoes – mm mm
Green beans with bread crumbs on top
Bok choy and shiitake mushrooms
Two glasses of red wine
Pumpkin pie with whipped cream
Pumpkin bread with cream cheese filling
Cranberry/black cherry jello
Three cups of tea – one decaf black and two peppermint
Then we played Dominoes. Then we went to sleep.
Saw Death Cab for Cutie last Monday night. It was a good concert and I’ve got the T-shirt to prove it. They played from their their new album, Plans, their previous album, Transatlanticism, and the one before that, The Photo Album. My favorite part, though, was their introduction by Daniel Handler. I didn’t recognize him or I would have payed closer attention to his story about eighth grade, something about having a bad year. I love Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket, who writes A Series of Unfortunate Events, the best kids books I’ve read in a long time). The scary part was when I wore the T-shirt to school and one of my 18-year-old undergrad students said, “I have that same shirt!” And I’ll be double her age next year!
I had a dream about Bustopher the other night. I have one every couple of months. I dreamt that Bustopher came home after my mom inadvertently gave him to the pound. Despite his hardships among strangers and cat killers, Bustopher found his way back to me and we lived happily ever after. In case you’ve forgotten what Bustopher looks like (yes, I believe he’s still alive, living in the Berkeley/Oakland Hills, where he is served tuna, sparrow heads and rat torsos on silver platters while he lounges on a stack of newspapers inside a cardboard box), I have included a picture. And here is the poem by T.S Elliot that inspired his name:
Bustopher Jones is not skin and bones–
In fact, he’s remarkably fat.
He doesn’t haunt pubs–he has eight or nine clubs,
For he’s the St. James’s Street Cat!
He’s the Cat we all greet as he walks down the street
In his coat of fastidious black:
No commonplace mousers have such well-cut trousers
Or such an impreccable back.
In the whole of St. James’s the smartest of names is
The name of this Brummell of Cats;
And we’re all of us proud to be nodded or bowed to
By Bustopher Jones in white spats!
His visits are occasional to the Senior Educational
And it is against the rules
For any one Cat to belong both to that
And the Joint Superior Schools.
For a similar reason, when game is in season
He is found, not at Fox’s, but Blimpy’s;
He is frequently seen at the gay Stage and Screen
Which is famous for winkles and shrimps.
In the season of venison he gives his ben’son
To the Pothunter’s succulent bones;
And just before noon’s not a moment too soon
To drop in for a drink at the Drones.
When he’s seen in a hurry there’s probably curry
At the Siamese–or at the Glutton;
If he looks full of gloom then he’s lunched at the Tomb
On cabbage, rice pudding and mutton.
So, much in this way, passes Bustopher’s day-
At one club or another he’s found.
It can be no surprise that under our eyes
He has grown unmistakably round.
He’s a twenty-five pounder, or I am a bounder,
And he’s putting on weight every day:
But he’s so well preserved because he’s observed
All his life a routine, so he’ll say.
Or, to put it in rhyme: “I shall last out my time”
Is the word of this stoutest of Cats.
It must and it shall be Spring in Pall Mall
While Bustopher Jones wears white spats!
I bought new climbing shoes this week. The only reason I got them was because I am a tester and get them cheap. I bought a pair of Evolvs earlier this year and I love love love them, so I decided to get a second pair, this time Velcro. I tried them on once and they hurt too much. I can’t decide if I should send them back for a bigger pair or just endure the pain. Ah, the dilemmas of a climber …
So add spice grinder and fake Christmas tree to the list of “missing” things. Call me paranoid, but I think someone who has had a key to our house in the past (could be one of MANY people) robbed us. I don’t see any other explanation. Too much missing. Too much of a coincidence.
UPDATE: We found the Christmas tree, so I now have hope that my other things are just misplaced and not stolen. I mean, only the fake Christmas tree, the one with about eight branches, was really worth stealing.