Monday, May 12, 2008

Tires, Stitches, Greening America & Mommie Dearest

I took one look outside last Friday morning and decided to call in well ("I feel great -- I won't be there!") Actually, I knew I was going to blow off work by the time I left the office Thursday night. The weather was forecast to be shitty and it didn't disappoint.

I was seeing the eye doctor at 4:30 to get the giant stitch in my eyelid removed, so that gave me the day to kill. So I went in search of new tires for the car.

My Honda Element came with Goodyear Wranglers -- the biggest pieces of crap it has ever been my misfortune to own. They lasted exactly 32,375 miles. I do NOT recommend them.

I wound up at Sam's Club at 10:00 a.m. in a driving rain and found out they only had one set of tires in stock that would fit my car. And they did not come with any guarantee.

The $600 government rebate was burning a hole in my bank account so I crossed over Route 1 and dropped into the Firestone store. They had a lovely set of Bridgestones which were, frankly, less than I expected to pay and which came with a 60k mile treadlife guarantee. They were installed in a thrice and I was once more safely on the highways of New Jersey, in a monsoon.

The only movie of note which opened over the weekend was that trashy Vegas thing, which I decided to skip, so I killed time at home until it was time to see the eye doctor.

I'd spent all week thinking that he'd put two stitches into the incision. But I was wrong. It was one, giant, stitch, tied off at both ends of the incision, with the majority of the thread hidden inside the lid someplace. He snipped the ends and yanked it out and my eye, VOILA!, looks nearly as good as new (well, I no longer look like I'm winking at everybody, thank God!).

Saturday I drove up to northwestern NJ to personally inspect the construction site of a new home being built by really close friends of mine. It was amazing. It's huge. About 5,000 sq. ft. The ground floor is entirely his company -- he's an industrial designer. The upper two floors are the "living levels" of the house. It's constructed entirely of concrete slabs and industrial steel. Utterly fireproof. It's also green to the point where they'll always manufacture more electricity than they use (and will, eventually get a paycheck FROM PSE&G every month for the surplus juice they sell to the grid). The house is heated and cooled geothermally. They dug down 100's of feet to get to the permanent temperature line. Cooling tubes are embedded in the concrete slab floors and walls. The cantilevered roofs of the house and out-buildings will be totally covered with photovoltaic cells. There'll also be a wind-powered generator, about 100' tall, to crank out some power on cloudy days.

I spent nearly an hour there before I started feeling like a third-wheel at the construction site, so I left. I'm happy for my friends, but sad that they will be living so far away from me now. This couple has been there for me through thick and thin over the last 10 years, and I love them dearly.

I know I'll always be a welcome guest up there...

Sunday was a beautiful day, but....

I'm nearly 60 and I still have "issues" with my long-deceased mothers (my birth mom and her mom, my grandmother). You'd think I'd be able to move past all that by now.

It's amazing how we let people live, rent-free, inside of our heads. Even years after they've long since died. I guess I'm just one of those people who love to run a Hotel du Pain inside their head. Or at least feel compelled to do so.

I hope you all had a pain-free Mother's Day. I didn't.


Anonymous said...

A pain-free Mother's Day was had! I evicted my mother from my brain a few years ago. Best thing I ever did. And my delinquent child sent me the nicest Mother's Day card.

We're considering building a lovely green home, too... albeit considerably smaller than your friends'. I'm exhausted already just thinking about it.

Bev Sykes said...

Mine wasn't pain free either, but for me it was physical pain. Fortunately relations with the Mom are good (now Father's day is a different kettle of fish). Ned keeps getting angry at me for letting my father continue to "get" to me, but he had the perfect parents (she says, modestly) and doesn't have the kind of baggage that we carry. You can forgive, but you don't forget.

Of course Ned told me he's in therapy to get past the mess his parents made of him, so maybe he DOES understand.

~Sil in Corea said...

I was so hysterically happy at my tormentor's funeral that I hugged the undertaker. This was the woman that my younger brother called "Anathema." He had a way with words (snicker). That ceremony cleaned her out of my attic, Thank HP.