Jun. 16th, 2011

grrgoyl: (Dr. Horrible)
Nothing big happened this week. However, lots of little things happened instead. Have some bite-sized updates, plus some movie reviews.

I was driving home from work this weekend at 5 am when suddenly I noticed my car sounded a lot worse than it did a second before. It was quite alarming, but seemed to be operating fine. I prayed for it to just get me home (I had about 2 miles to go at this point). I eventually pieced together the engine that now sounded like a motorcycle with a peculiar dragging noise: obviously my muffler had fallen/was falling off. Whew, at least not an engine malfunction.

When I arrived I looked closer: Got it in one. Unfortunately it wasn't the back part hanging down but the front, meaning it was scooping forward like a bulldozer rather than pulling behind.

Tery told me how a similar thing had happened to her first car. She had put off fixing it for about a week, and was told when she finally got it in that she was missing her oil cover and the muffler had been throwing up sparks like crazy -- she had essentially been driving around a Molotov cocktail. She shouldn't be alive.

I got a couple of hours of sleep and then called Firestone. It just figures I was literally a month from paying off my last maintenance visit with them and looking forward to having that extra money in my pocket again. Still cheaper than a car payment, I told myself yet again.

They took me in immediately, which is why I love them. I gingerly drove the two miles or so, my car in obvious distress. At a stop light a guy shouted out his window, "Hey, your tailpipe is dragging!" I toyed with an ultra-sarcastic response, "REALLY? Is THAT the godawful scraping noise I've been trying to drown out with my radio?" But he was only trying to be helpful, so I assured him I was on top of the situation.

At Firestone the guy offered to top off my fluids for free, making it sound like he was doing me a real favor. I was really more concerned about this huge metal thing hanging off my engine, but sure, why not. Tery wondered if "fluids" included gas (of course not).

$650 later and I was on my way. At least it happened after I bought my bike, or else I wouldn't have been nearly so impulsive to get Mamba.

~*~

Ah, Mamba. She has already brought me much pleasure, but I have had my first crash, a much more traumatic event than any damage to my car that doesn't even have a name.

I put pedals with toe clips on her this week. I had these once before and hated them, but that was actually on Rogue Leader and putting toe clips on a mountain bike is a symptom of insanity, even if I had the experience back then that I do now.

The maiden voyage went off without a hitch, and I loved the workout they gave my quads that was previously missing without them. Then on day two I was stopped at an intersection waiting for two cars to pass. A cool parlor trick I do on the bike is balance on the pedals while at almost a complete stop.

Well, as I learned this day, I can do this for one car but not two. I started wavering. I got my right foot out in time but not my left, and WHAM! I went straight down on my left side, exactly like I did that time with the poison ivy. It happened so quickly I actually banged my head on the pavement, so three cheers for wearing a helmet.

I blame the clips (and user error) about 40%; mostly I blame other bikers who ignore traffic rules and barrel through every intersection without a care, so now motorists act like every cyclist is a deer that might unexpectedly leap in front of them (so they drive too cautiously and slowly for my parlor trick).

I took a huge gouge out of the handlebar tape on that side -- this is why I hate buying new things. But fortunately my body bore the brunt of the rest of the fall and nothing else was damaged. Abrasions and bruises heal: a scratched paint job or bent component isn't so easily cured.

And I did have my eye on some awesome handlebar tape, black with tiny white spirals, for the mixte anyway. Maybe it was meant to be after all.

~*~

In not so good news, Tery's friend is dying of end-stage liver failure.

Kristy was Tery's best friend from the bar she used to go to. Kristy worked as a waitress, was more or less an alcoholic (she says less; Tery says more. It looks like Tery was right), and her life was a mess back before Tery had to stop hanging out with her because she simply couldn't socialize outside of the bar setting.

Tery heard she was in the hospital through a mutual friend on Facebook -- also through Kristy, but Kristy is one of those Facebookers who loves to post cryptic, tantalizing hints of news that force everyone to comment, "OMG What's wrong???" (so VERY EXTREMELY annoying and a pathetic attempt to trick people into giving you attention, BTW, any of you who happen to Facebook). Kristy posted things like "in the hospital, guess I'll have to call in sick to work haha" and then "in ICU, now I'm worried. sad face"

Tery went to visit her before her 2-week vacation back home, and reckons Kristy won't live to see her return. She says she's horrifically emaciated with a distended belly full of ascites, and her lungs are filling with fluid as well. They can't give her pain meds because with 20% liver function she can't metabolize them. It's said to be one of the most painful ways to die. She was so disoriented no one told her she's dying; she thinks she'll be going home, going back to the bar and waiting a few months for her liver transplant (so she can get back to her party lifestyle. Even if she did survive this week, they don't waste organ transplants on people who refuse to change their ways) -- hence her flippant, coy little Facebook posts.

Kristy is 32 years old.

Tery is taking it extremely well, considering how close they used to be. Tery desperately wanted her to escape the bar life when she got out, but Kristy was stuck fast. A small irony is Kristy's father died of liver cancer in his early 40's, refusing to quit drinking even at the end. She was so furious with him, and look at her now.

Me, I have even less sympathy. As the mutual friend said, you don't wake up one morning with 20% liver function and go to the ICU. Kristy has had problems for awhile now, vomiting blood, etc. but refused to heed the warnings. At the risk of sounding smug, one night in the ER was all it took for me to change my entire life, and my problem wasn't even that life-threatening. How many times would you vomit blood before suspecting maybe something wasn't right?

With all the uproar about whether or not to legalize pot, I ask why the hell is alcohol legal when it's just as, if not more, dangerous? I guarantee it's destroyed more lives, even without a death involved.

So, yeah, pre-emptive RIP Kristy.

~*~

Dammit, I guess I'm just incapable of keeping my news truly "bite-sized."

Movie reviews!

::The Twilight Saga: Eclipse:: )

Did I say reviews? This one took far too long, I'm quitting while I'm ahead. But just you wait until next time....THEN you'll get it.

~*~

Last but absolutely not least: Got your package today, [livejournal.com profile] velmaneuwirth. You are the sweetest EVER. So much goodness crammed into such a tiny envelope! I can't wait to give Tery her medals, she's going to LOVE them. Andandand you gave me Rickman! (sort of) And BANKSY! LOVE LOVE LOVE that graphic! Thank you so much!! :D (also loved seeing your handwriting. More personal than words typed on a computer :)

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December 2011

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