New Year’s Eve. As fireworks crackle in the distance, Apple and I find ourselves ready to crash early for a good night’s sleep. It’s been a helluva month…or for that matter, a helluva year. With the enormous job of packing our belongings and selling our home now behind us, we move on to new challenges…but they are challenges that I am confident in our ability to meet. This relocation has already taught us much, and I’m sure we’ll learn far more by the time we settle into our next dwelling.
Today was probably one of the most “normal” days I’ve had in over a month, since the whole crazy moving ordeal really kicked into high gear. I got up at the usual time, did my usual job for the usual number of hours, and then Apple and I went out for dinner as we often do on Fridays. As our “sendoff meal” before we hit the road for Texas, we went to Loving Hut, a specialty vegan restaurant which has (as yet) no equal where we’re going. There’s just enough leftover food for our meals tomorrow, and then come Sunday morning, we’ll be off.
We took the GTO out this evening, the car’s last occasion for exercise before I park it in a garage for a month or two and come back for it (or have it shipped) later, after we move in. I was just noticing that I’ve only driven 28 miles on it since I last changed the oil approximately three weeks ago, when the “Service Engine Oil” warning went off for the first time ever. It was accompanied by a musical riff that I can only describe as the GTO’s electronic equivalent of the sad trombone. I’ve been forgetting to reset the computer when I change the oil, so as a final act before storing the car, I did just that. Tomorrow we’ll be wrapping up things here at our “interim home” (which has been very nice, by the way…thanks, Mom and Dad!) and preparing for the big road trip.
While out driving tonight, I found myself wondering if drivers in Frisco are going to be so into tailgating. I get tailgated almost constantly around here — on roads with speed limits of 45, I tend to drive around 50 MPH and watch as huge swaths of people go shooting by easily doing 65 or 70. I haven’t driven that much in Frisco yet, but it seems like the speeds being traveled there are consistently slower. The guys at work tell me that the cops don’t have any qualms about writing speeding tickets for anything more than 5 MPH over the limit. I’m not much a fan of hyper-sensitive law enforcement, but at the same time I’m getting a little tired of not being able to get out of anybody’s way fast enough.
The other day I went up to the post office for the final check of our mail, and as I pulled into the lot I witnessed something insane. An old woman was backing out of a parking space in a late-model Saab 9-3, and just as I was thinking that I was going to take her spot once she got clear, another woman jumps out of a white Mercedes right next to the empty space and goes running at the Saab, screaming “You almost hit my car, you dumb bitch!” She was waving her arms around and getting right in front of the Saab so the older lady couldn’t even move. There was this weird kind of standoff for a few seconds, then the Saab started to slink off and the pissed-off lady roared “Yeah, go on, get out of here!” She made one final lunge at the Saab with both middle fingers extended toward its driver before giving up and letting it go.
I decided to park in the back of the lot instead.
Seriously, the post office parking lot in this otherwise sleepy den of retired citizens has become a war zone in the last few months. This summer, on two separate occasions, I have actually witnessed a car smashing into another as it either exited or entered one of these same parking spaces. I mean, I was just walking up to the mailbox and BANG, an accident happens right in front of me. One time it was some guy’s brand new Buick Lacrosse that got hit as the blind fool next to him backed out and turned the wheel too quickly. I mean, drivers here can’t even park now without destroying things. Please, Texas drivers, have some sense. Please…be better than this!
Apple spent much of the day playing Plants vs. Zombies on our new iPad. I always enjoy seeing her become completely addicted to some game or another, because as a gamer I like to share the wealth with my loved ones. However, extended bouts of marathon gaming leave her pretty exhausted. She’s taking a break now, so I’m going to try my hand at the game once I get done writing this. I’ve gotten about halfway through the XBLA version of Plants vs. Zombies already, but now I want to start fresh. The game really is completely addictive.
That’s going to be it from me for this entry — and this year. Farewell 2010 — hello 2011! It’s symbolically appropriate that the next chapter of our lives can begin with this clean break between calendar years. I hope this New Year’s Day marks the start of a new golden age of success and fond memories — not just for us, but for all of my readers (that’s right, all five of you!) as well.
Sawasdee pee mai!