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Saturday, May 8, 2010

"Car-ma" -- or the one where I totally go off topic...

SERENITY- the state or quality of being serene, calm, or tranquil; composure, peacefulness, peace. [Serenity week begins here. Click for this week's Bliss Initiatives.]

Yesterday I said, regarding my "Next post" was "what ever shows up!" I wrote that in a zen like way expecting some serene tidbit to show itself and some on topic post would come spilling out. That is how I do it every day, ok occasionally I plan a post or two ahead but it really is a pretty organic process. As you probably know by now, I abide by the  Earl Nightingale adage, "you become what you think about," and if nothing else, each week I think about the virtue at hand. If I am having trouble finding inspiration I usually look to my Bliss Initiatives and realize I haven't really taken anything on and doing so nets me a post.

Today would have been no different, I am behind on my initiatives this week, but  having had a comical and remarkable couple of hours I feel like telling you all about it! Perhaps when it is done we can all find the serenity in it together!

My Sweetie is out of town today so The Girl and I were free to find what ever diversions we wanted so when I heard my friend Jaye (I've mentioned her here and here in this blog) was doing a Quilting Exhibition  ("Stunt Quilting" as she put it!) at the De Young Museum I thought it was a great idea. We live about an hour away so to avoid the rush hour traffic we headed out early and stopped for supper at one of my favorite kid friendly, San Francisco Eateries - Q.  As I told our waiter, I order fish tacos at restaurants because of Q's fish tacos and I am always disappointed. Their's are out of this world and the tater tots (yes you read that right) are taken to gourmet status... they have other great food and when I lived in San Francisco I ate it, Now with infrequent trips I am solely loyal to those fish tacos. They did not disappoint! 

J and I head back to the car after the sumptuous meal and I see a dim head light. "Oh no! this can not be happening. AND FOR THE SECOND TIME IN ONE DAY?!!  You see I had already asked my neighbor to help jumpstart my car this morning. Little J likes to "drive" and I must have forgotten to check that all lights were off before going in the house so we woke to dead battery (and no Sweetie to help!) 

AND here it has happened again!! I rewind our departure from the car in my head. While we were searching the car for the last quarter the parking meter required The Girl WAS very near the front console of the car. Stupid mommy... will she never learn?? When I said "I can't believe I did it twice in one day!" meaning not checking to see that the lights were out. J soothingly (or was that gloatingly?) said, "You didn't do it, I did it!"

At some point during the day I had told Jaye that it  looked like a 70% chance of us making it to her show and suddenly, as I repeatedly turned the key over to no effect, I felt those odds dropping fast. I considered calling Triple A but we were parked on a busy street. Surely it would be faster if I flagged someone down. Besides someone was bound to want our parking spot!

I was right. In seconds someone stopped. When I explained that I would need a jump start in order to relinquish my spot a well manicured woman in an SUV told me she "didn't have time to help" because she was in a hurry and had an appointment, pointing to the salon across the street, and she drove on. 

I stood by my car as a few other cars drove past and I realized that it wasn't clear what I needed. I imagine my forlorn look was possibly frightening as I stood almost approaching the oncoming traffic when I thought it looked like they were looking for a parking space.  I decided to put my hood up and hold the jumper cables in my hands.

This worked like a charm. Immediately a woman pulls over. She says. "I'm so late... I'm sorry... no wait... I'll help." She looked worried. I told her I could wait for the next person but she said she wanted to help. Then she couldn't figure out how to open her hood. Ten minutes pass. Still no idea. She is clearly embarrassed by this but drives away saying she must get her husband to show her.

Seconds later another women pulls up in a cute mercedes sports car. She wants my spot so she is willing to help. "I don't know how to do it." she tells me. I assure her that if she can open her hood I could do the rest. Once again she has no idea how to do it. I am about to offer to help, not that I am any great car genius but I thought I might have a chance if I looked myself, when the woman in the car in front of me is about to pull out. My good samaritan enlists her help. Takes the freed up parking space and leaves.

My new roadside assistant is happy to help but is driving a rental car which she doesn't know much better then the previous two. Turns out it is a hybrid and since it wasn't hers, she wasn't willing to find out if it would work. She drives off.  I'm beginning to think calling AAA would have been the better choice when yet another motorist offers assistance.

This time it is a guy but immediately he also says "I never open my hood... I don't know how to do it." Once again I say "If you can get the hood open I can do it." It takes a couple of minutes (Really?! Three people can't open their hood!) but finally the hood is popped. We both look in. Where is the battery? Nothing looks like a battery. I am stymied. Suddenly a flash of inspiration... could it be in the trunk?  A minute or two of rummaging around back there and EURIKA it is found. The car is pulled up a bit and the guy says, "It is all yours, do what you need to do."  He stands back looking as if I have the power to explode his car on the spot. 

Everything works fine and in less then a minute my car is purring again. I thank him and his less then patient looking girlfriend for the assistance and pull out to give them my spot. As I pull away the first woman, who "didn't have time to help," was circling the block still looking for parking. I'm not particularly proud of how giddy that made me feel but giddy I certainly was!

[Not sure you know how to jumpstart a car? Head over to this amusing and informative tutorial at The Art of Manliness.  LOL love the title of this website!]

Next post: A book review and the serenity week wrap up.

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  1. I can't even drive, and I struggle to imagine not being able to work out how to open any given car bonnet in under a minute. But maybe I'm underestimating their complexity!

  2. What an adventure! I love taking my little S. into SF, too, for museum visits & my fav. restaurants. He's addicted to Charles Pham's Vietnamese cooking (he'll eat just about any kind of vegetable if it's prepared in the kitchen of "Out the Door!") How was the quilt exhibit? Is it there much longer? I'm thinking of going... Have you been to the Quilt museum in San Jose?

  3. There is an underlying lesson to be learned behind all of this. People aren't always willing - or eager - to help others in need. You had every right to feel as you did about the first woman who was in too much of a hurry to assist. It's rather funny that no one could figure out how to open their hoods...even I know how to do that! LOL I am glad, however, that you were able to get the help you needed. Enjoy your Mother's Day tomorrow! Theresa

  4. Wow. Glad you finally got some help!

  5. I am so glad you got help! The fish taco sound awesome as do the tator tots!

    I post my favorites every Saturday. That way I don't have to bookmark them. I am glad you enjoyed them to. Maybe I will see you next week.

  6. I confess, I laughed about the gal still circling the block...such is Karma:)

  7. Geez, what an adventure! But see, things always work out in the end (and even for that first lady who "couldn't" help) haha.

    I've been to SF and some other cities in nothern/central Cali once, about six years ago, and I absolutely loved loved loved it. I've been telling myself in each passing year that "I'll be going back this summer" but it hasn't happened I'm still waiting to return!

  8. Funny story. I can't believe that people don't know how to open the hood of their cars! It's very frightening. (And, I would have the same giddy feeling as you!)


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Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues

  • 1. TEMPERANCE - Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  • 2. SILENCE - Speak not what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  • 3. ORDER - Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  • 4. RESOLUTION - Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  • 5. FRUGALITY - Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e. waste nothing.
  • 6. INDUSTRY - Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  • 7. SINCERITY - Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.
  • 8. JUSTICE - Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  • 9. MODERATION - Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  • 10. CLEANLINESS - Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths or habitation.
  • 11. TRANQUILITY - Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  • 12. CHASTITY - Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or to the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
  • 13. HUMILITY - Imitate Jesus and Socrates.


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