Archive for January, 2013

Lead with the positives…

It’s good advice, no? Still…. 

Ridiculous. Seriously, car problems in San Francisco are ridiculous. I mean, the thing is, I don’t even NEED my car here. I walk to work on the days I’m at the school and I take an easy 15 minute bus ride on the days I’m at the hospital.


Wait, let’s not start there, on that complaint. I know it’s been a long time since I posted – since I left for San Francisco, actually. Maybe I’ll start on some positives. I love the Bay area. I mean, I really do. I feel very comfortable here, almost as much as Milano.

My work life is great. Which is not to say it is easy, or that it always flows smoothly. I don’t even mean that it’s always fun. What I am saying is that it is a great fit for me. It is difficult and I’m learning a lot. It is emotionally draining and fulfilling. It is just what I wanted to do that I didn’t even know I wanted to do.

My social life is pretty good too, in that there are always things available do when I want to do them, more than enough. I have made a few friends (including my roommate, thank goodness) and am finally starting to feel less lonely. I even went out on a few dates recently!


My Spanish is getting better and better. I have to say thanks to ConversationExchange for providing me with conversation partners and also a new friend. Yes, I’m still a fan of Meetup but I really have gained more from the one-on-one conversations that I’ve been having.

Just last night I went out on my first run in a while, so I’ll count that as being positive these days too. My first excuse was the hills, then I wasn’t running because of the rain, but that only lasted a couple of weeks. I’m thinking I’ll get back on track now, maybe just suck it up and run at night. I always think it’s better if I do it in the morning, but that hasn’t been happening…better to do the next best thing, which is running after work. At least then I’m running.

 (here’s where I’d post a screenshot of my endomondo but apparently it doesn’t do that)

I guess, really, the only part that isn’t quite coming together is the money thing. That bums me out, but it’s just real. I thought I’d be much better off once I got here, but dude, it’s expensive to live in the Bay area. AND my wonderful car, the one my dad left me and that I really, really love has had one problem after another since we got here. I’m not ready to get rid of it, I really do love that car. But man. I’m totally considering putting it in the garage for a few months. If I could get it started, that is. Which gets me back to where I started. Having car troubles in SF is a joke. I mean, if I were in MN still, not having a car would be much, much more difficult. I would be stuck in several ways. Luckily, I live here, where transit is great and not cost prohibitive for me. In fact, one of my job perks is that my transit dollars are taken out pre-tax. So that’s awesome, right?

But I have been attending church in Oakland (I love the East Bay Church of Religious Science!) and while I can probably get there by BART, I’ve enjoyed driving over. I sometimes stop on my way home at Rainbow or the Berkeley Bowl once a month or so, which is also awesome. So not having my car is a minor bump in the fabric of my life. However, when the gauges up and stopped working, I forgot that. I also forgot that I am still making very little money (since it’s more than last year, it’s easy to forget) and that I don’t have much to spare. I did remember that I have that cool warranty on my car and decided to take it to a dealer and have it checked out and hopefully fixed under that warranty.

Ha! Yeah. No. 300 diagnostic dollars later (note that nothing was repaired, and only one problem was diagnosed) it seemed my warranty didn’t cover a thing, nope, not even the diagnostic work. To fix the battery cable problem, which MAY be where all the other electrical problems are coming from, would cost another 600 bucks. Uh huh. Yeah, so, can I have my car back, please? They told me to come get it (after some haggling over the cost of the diagnostics) and after borrowing some money (thank goodness for good hearted people) I went to pick it up. Ha! again! Seems my car was locked up and they couldn’t get it out. Sheesh. So they gave me a loaner to drive. Which was coool – but then not cool because that meant I had to gas that bugger. My car gets much better milage than the Caddy they gave me. Plus, driving the Caddy meant I had to come up with the toll money – which in my car is paid by my pre-tax dollars. Good grief.

I finally went to pick up my car and guess what? It wouldn’t start for them. I mean, I hate to dog the dealers, but can I say that there is a brand new battery in the car (that’s where last month’s “buffer” money went)? Yeah, when I took it to the dealer, the problem was NOT, it doesn’t start, but that the gauges don’t work. The guy told me that the negative connector wasn’t on tightly enough and that a shim would probably do the trick. I drove it home without any problems, but tried to start it Friday night and no go. Today I thought, “hell, I know how to do stuff like that, I’ll just replace the connector!” Uh huh, which would be fine if I had $5. I did go out to put a shim in there rather than sit here depressed. I managed to get the connector on quite tight without a shim, but now the key is stuck in the ignition and there is no power at all – like, I can’t open the trunk or click the locks. Now I’m waiting for someone who can give me a jump. I hope that the connector really was the problem, because now my big issue is that if I can’t get the car off the street, I will be the proud owner of a $62 ticket every Wednesday morning until I can.


I’m planning a happy follow up post for this. It will say something like this:


Hooray! Once I got the jump, the car started right up. I managed to get it into the garage and will just wait awhile before attempting to fix the gauge problems. Also, I managed to find an extra $50 so I can make it till Friday (payday). I had a nice free day at the park and everything is well with the world.


Just putting it out there, you know?

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