cable guy etc 010

There are many things I am grateful for today; at the top of that list is remembering to take my “menopause” pill this morning. Ralphie is on a road trip – it’s the first time he has been away on his own (other than the four week stint with Kip touring the crack houses of Southeast Asia – just kidding – they only stayed in one crack house and it wasn’t on purpose). So I’m grateful for 511.org – providing minute to minute live updates on traffic incidents in Northern California.

Kip has moved into our Sausalito place (flew in yesterday from Lollapalooza concert in Chicago) until he finds a job and his own place. He brought his friend Bobby (“Dude, we’re in the ‘Sauce’”),  and his friends Timmy and Billy will be joining them over the weekend for a three day concert (Outside Land – ?) in Golden Gate Park. Have I mentioned the “cottage” (formerly “duplex”) is a very tiny place and these friends are his housemates from IV? I’m feeling very grateful for Magic Erase, Monster.com, and Craigslist!

Our car broke down today. A couple of days ago a light appeared on the dash, but like most people with their youngest child on his first road trip and their oldest child moving into their romantic empty nest (with three college buddies), we ignored the light.

Yesterday, the 4×4 light started flashing and then an orange wrench appeared and then the “check engine soon” light lit up the right side of the dash, but like most people on their way to their favorite San Francisco restaurant and then home to their romantic empty nest to watch Take the Money and Run (a new reality TV show that involves “real” people trying to stump “real” detectives), we ignored the light(s).

This morning, on the way back to “the ‘Sauce’”  from San Francisco in the far left lane of Doyle Drive, where one is separated from a head on collision (and certain death) by little yellow pegs that look like something you would find in a Lite Brite set (only these pegs are not illuminated), our car started accelerating on its own, and all of the lights started flashing at the same time. I was very grateful that Bobby was in the car because Bobby is brilliant (he has had a harder life than most people, but has outsmarted adversity). Bobby is getting a Masters in engineering (on a full scholarship), and he knew exactly why our car was speeding up at the most inopportune moment (unfortunately he was in the backseat so I had to continue operating the car).

That is when we decided to check the manual to find out what the lit up symbols on the dash meant (Bobby was right). I was so very grateful to be driving in front of Toscolito’s Tire and Automotive shop.  “Doesn’t automotive mean they do stuff other than tires?” I asked Tony hoping the answer was yes because I knew we were within walking distance of Lamps Plus, Best Buy, and Barbeques Galore.

After we left the car at Toscolito’s, I was very grateful that I was wearing my pants with the torn inseam because I was anticipating an unplanned visit to Lamps Plus, Best Buy, and Barbeques Galore. When we walked into BBQs Galore, Tony said, “How’s it going?” One of the two salesmen in the room filled with $3000 BBQs, but no customers, replied, “It’s Wednesday afternoon at Barbeques Galore”  and motioned to the deserted parking lot running along a weed lined freeway access road which parallels railway tracks that dead end into a chain link fence.

We quickly toured the store, mostly focusing on the price tags. I told the salesperson we were looking for a BBQ with a side burner for less than $300. The salesman (probably taking note of the safety pins between my legs),  informed Tony and me in the nicest way possible that “times were hard” and Barbeques Galore is a “high end” store and we were in the wrong place. He kindly gave us directions to Sears and Home Depot (I didn’t tell him that we were on foot).

As we walked along the railroad tracks, Tony looked at me apologetically, “I guess we aren’t high end people.”

Folks, you can’t make this stuff up.