Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Harry Potter Spoiler Alert
Don't click to my comments if you aren't up to chapter 7 yet.
Please don't tell me the end yet either.

Monday, July 23, 2007

I ran out of gas today for the first time ever.
Ultimately, it is my fault and I suppose I should direct my anger at myself. But I'm mad at Toyota too. Here's why.

I have a tank that supposedly holds 11.9 gallons of gas.
I have a computer read-out that tells me the mpg I'm getting on this particular tank: 47mpg.
Although my "add fuel" light was on, I had only driven @450 miles. So by my calculations - and I'm an English major - I still had at least 50 more miles 'til empty, leaving myself a cushion at that.

So my car just stopped and seven different dashboard panel lights came on. I thought it was a problem with the hybrid battery that appeared to be depleted.

No. The service techs said the Hybrid gas tanks are bladders rather than traditional tanks. Sometimes it doesn't "see" the remaining gas. So even though I've driven my Prius that many miles before, I shouldn't let it get below 1/4 tank.

That would have been useful piece of information for the salesman to have mentioned. Everything I've heard is that you get better gas mileage when the tank is low. Hybrid buyers are generally concerned with gas mileage.

Even if I had pushed my car to the gas station less than a mile away, I would have still had to bring it in for service to have the computerized dashboard alerts reset.

So it could have been worse. I have my car. I wasn't stuck on a sweltering day on a busy highway. But I lost 4 hours, $65, and a little of my pride. I didn't even have Harry Potter with me to read.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Shoulds vs. Wants

I should be working on my column, or that boat story. I have research for a couple of new projects to work on. I have several ad contacts to follow-up on. I have the cover story for the next issue that needs a ton of footwork. I'm behind on invoicing.

Dust bunnies are having an orgy under my kitchen table. The post summer camp & vacation laundry is piled high. Old food is crowding my 'fridge. Weeds & grass have taken control of my flower bed. There are 12 messages blinking on my answering machine.

But the new Harry Potter just arrived on my doorstep.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I am at my favorite local beach town: Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Every year here, things change - I guess just like everywhere. It is just that when you only come once a year, the changes seem so dramatic.

The shops and restaurants have all seemed to shift around this year. My favorite quirky store, Abizak's, is gone from the beach. It doesn't seem right. I had to drown my disappointment with a pitcher of margaritas from Dos Locos which is in that same space now. I suppose if it had to go, it was thoughtful of them to replace it with margaritas.

At least the candy apple stand is still there.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I meant to be more sensible tonight.

I just got home from the midnight showing of the new Harry Potter movie.
It was so fun! Four theaters were packed. There were capes, hats, and wands in the audience. The audience hushed, cheered, and jeered with enthusiasm.

It's been a while since I read the 5th installment. I know some things weren't exact, but I think most fans will find it wonderful.

I may regret this late night tomorrow, but for now, I'm glad I enjoyed the indulgence with my kids. It is summer after all.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Peggy & I went for a walk in the woods this evening with our daughters, Dawn & Suzy. The whole night was a great metaphor I can't resist sharing.

We two moms were on the same path as our daughters. Sometimes they blasted ahead of us and we hurried to catch up and sometime we waited for them to catch up when they were distracted by a swarm of ants, a frog, or lightening bugs.

Once, Suzy waited for us to catch up to her to point out a fatally injured squirrel, in its last gruesome throes. It's not often in our air conditioned lives we witness this moment in the circle of life. She was fascinated. I didn't want to look.

The path forked, with one path crossing a stream that was perfect except for the unnaturally orange water. Peggy & I watched as our daughters scrambled down for a closer look.

They were beautiful and daring, cooperative and challenging with each other. We moms watched from the bridge, murmuring our concerns to each other, but not really wanting to stop them.
That water looks rusty and the rocks look slippery.
New shoes.
Poison Ivy.
I don't want to go down there and fetch an injured one.

But we didn't stop them. We sometimes called out advice and encouragement,
Are you OK?
Try another route back.
Watch for leaves of three.

- but mostly we watched.

When the sun began to set, we waited for our daughters at the fork in the road to make sure they were headed down the path toward home.

Suzy tried Dawn's bike. She's still learning even though she's 9. I tried to help her balance. Dawn advised, "Relax and good things will happen."

I took that walk to relax. Dawn was exactly right. It was a good thing.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

I hope you all had a chance to enjoy your 4th of July.
To add to the excitement of the fireworks, I invited the new man in my life, Mark, to meet my children - and then 60 of my closest friends at my party. He was very graceful in such a large crowd of inspectors.
At age 42, I don't really feel the word "boyfriend" is appropriate. "Lover" seems unnecessarily shocking, or simply TMI, and "Friend" seems insufficient. Any suggestions? I'm sure my witty friends can solve this dilemma for me.
Here I am with a couple of other men I met in California. The guys I've dated in the last three years all fall somewhere on the spectrum between Groucho & Albert. I kept accidently saying Moucho Grarx. Either way, my kids had never heard of him, which does make him like most of the guys I've dated.

This is the Foucault Pendulum at the Griffith Observatory. If you look carefully, you can see I am trying to explain to my children how this pendulum shows the earth's rotation. My oldest appears to be listening. My son is enduring. My youngest is busy looking fabulous in her sunglasses.
The observatory cafeteria is called "The Cafe at the Edge of the Universe." It was a great place to watch the sun set over the Hollywood Mountains (although that is not the official name of those mountains, I'm sure.) The fascinating planetarium show did make me feel like a tiny fleck of stardust.

This is Venice Beach on my ankle and my children. For more on that parade of humanity, check out my mother's posts.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Finally home. Too bad a lovely vacation ends with such travel hassles. We were delayed significantly at DFW due to nearby weather that re-routed many flights into our airport. We only lost one suitcase, which I suppose isn't bad, but at 4am in Baltimore, I wasn't really feeling amiable about standing in the lost luggage line.

So now is the follow up day of groceries and laundry and jet lag, answering machines and backed up work appointments. The morning scale reflected the pier funnel cakes overdose of Southern Californian guacamole, so I need to re-install my diet and exercise discs. But first, I'm going to brew a pot of coffee and read up on my blogger friends.