Exciting times at Brazza Coffee & Gelato

Adam’s mother is visiting us. I picked her up today at the airport, and we went to grab a late lunch at Brazza, the coffee shop near my apartment. We were just thinking about packing up to leave (or possibly get Gelato) and I was walking around the shop with Lyra. She enjoys walking.

I was looking out the window when I noticed a car about to pull out running in to the parked car behind it. As I watched, the driver realized that she had hit the car behind her and pulled forward quickly. Unfortunately, she then hit the car in front of her. She switched back into reverse quickly, and ran into the car behind her again. Then things got weird.

The driver switched back into drive and basically put her foot to the floor. She accelerated fast enough that her car ran into the little convertible in front of her a second time, this time hard enough to push it forward and out of her way. The convertible smashed into the car parked in front of it, and then rolled back into its own parking space as the car that was causing all the commotion was no longer in its way.

Post-accident outside BrazzaIt wasn’t in the way because she had driven up on the the sidewalk, still gunning the engine, and smashed into the patio at the Yaas Bazaar. I can’t really say how long she was there, wedged into the patio, but the entire time she was still pushing her foot to the floor on the gas pedal. A cloud of smoke and the smell of burning rubber was intense, and I started to worry that she would back up again and smash through the window of Brazza. I picked Lyra up and went towards the back of the shop, which was starting to fill up with smoke.

Someone got worried that the car was going to explode and told everyone to go out the back door, so we did, (but seriously, cars don’t explode except in the movies, unless something happens to light the gas tank on fire.)

Once the car had stopped and the engine was off, I went back through to the front of the store to see the aftermath. And boy howdy was it something else. She managed to take out three cars besides her own, plus a bike rack. If Kate (coffee shop staffer) had been working, her bike would have been wrecked, since the rack was wedged between the car and the Yaas Bazaar patio.

Fortunately there was no one sitting on the patio itself. The people sitting outside Brazza narrowly avoided getting hit, and it was also fortunate that no one was walking on that section of sidewalk at that moment. As it turned out, no one was hurt, although the driver was definitely in shock.

If we had decided to leave a minute earlier, we could have been on the sidewalk when it happened. Crazy to think of.

Since I saw the whole thing from inside Brazza, I went up to the police officer and wrote up a witness report. I also pulled out the point & shoot digital camera that I had on me at the time and snapped a few pictures.

It certainly made for an exciting afternoon. I wish I had my real camera with me rather than the point and shoot, but what can you do? Carrying the baby bag around means I don’t get the carry the big camera as much anymore. But at least I got something.

Post-accident outside Brazza

The promise of bananas and motor vehicles

I was at home with Lyra today, since it’s Friday and that’s what I do on Fridays. Just after lunchtime I was cleaning up the kitchen and rambling away at her while she played with blocks around the corner. I ramble at her regularly. I explained my plans to her about how we were going to go out and do some laundry, and maybe go pick up some fruit for her at the grocery store, like a banana or something. From around the corner I heard her squeal with delight, drop the blocks she was playing with, and sprint crawl towards me in the kitchen, excited about the prospect of a banana, apparently.

I have realized that I can’t offer bananas right now unless I actually HAVE one to give her. I wouldn’t say she was disappointed, but she certainly looked for it, and I felt a bit guilty to lead her on and not produce the fruit in question.

She is definitely beginning to understand language. Who knows what other words she recognizes but isn’t excited about, and thus doesn’t express any reaction to them… Time to make sure the boys watch their tongues around her, I guess. Even if it would be amusing to hear her swear like a sailor…

Tomorrow we are going to Ikea for Lyra bedroom things, and then stopping in at my mom’s to drop Lyra off for a bit while we contemplate car ownership. We’ve been without a car for nearly two years now, and we were doing all right with it, but the inability to go biking without depending on other people has just reached a point of making us crazy, and it’s affecting our activity level. It’s just sad that I’ve only been out riding three or four times this summer – not because I was tied up with Lyra, but because I had no way to get to the trails with my bike in the allotted time. It sucked. We’re also finding that we are spending a lot on the car co-op these days – nearly as much as a car payment, to be honest – and we can barely get cars anymore without booking far in advance because there are only six near us, one of which won’t hold a baby seat and three of which require transiting to (which is really hard with a single person, baby, and baby car seat, let me tell you.)

And so we are going to look at cars and see what we can figure out. The environmentalist in me is feeling guilty about it. The mountain biker in me is crazy excited to be able to get out to trails again. The road tripper/camper in me is crazy excited to go on road trips and camping. The mother in me is happy to have the option of driving to things like swimming lessons when time is short and buses are few and far between. And while it’s been satisfying to not have a car, it’s just not practical for us anymore. Again, this makes the environmentalist in me sad, but I’m trying to assuage the guilt by making sure that fuel efficiency is a top priority, within the limits of what our needs are. No point in getting a tiny fuel efficient car that can’t carry bikes.

The environmentalist in me has settled for internally raging that Canada is designed for people with cars.

We shall see how it goes. I’m excited and nervous, and I know it’s unlikely that we’ll buy anything tomorrow on sight, but part of me kind of wishes that’s how it’ll happen. Now that I’m committed to car ownership, I’m ready to have the car RIGHT NOW. When I make up my mind about something, it’s hard to be patient.

Oh, that’s what they mean by moody…

Had a bit of a breakdown in the car today. I got Lorne to jump the car battery just before he and Adam and Chris left for their weekend of biking at Whistler Bike Park. I let the car run for a good half an hour after they left, driving it around the alley a bit and testing all the electronic control things like fans and headlights and radio and so on. It seemed okay, although a bit weird – when I turned on the headlights, it kind of lost power for a split second before turning them on. Not a normal thing for Huffy to do.

After the half hour or so had passed, I figured I’d put the car back into its parking spot and shut it off to see if it would come back on again. I was hopeful, since I bought a new battery for it about two months ago. I put my foot on the brake after backing in, put it into park, and the car just went *poof* and shut off, completely losing power. I tried restarting it – it refused to even turn over. I have no idea why it would shut down so thoroughly like that – maybe the alternator or something? At any rate, I phoned Adam (who was already on the road in West Van by then) and told him it wasn’t working and had a bit of a panic attack on the phone and hung up on him, throwing the phone across the car. He called back (smart of him, really) to talk me down a bit and figure out if he needed to come back home.

At this point there isn’t really anything he could do anyway – I just want him to deal with the car, and I’ve wanted him to deal with it for many many months. I had a friend from work coming to look at it to consider buying it today, though, so I was just hoping that would be the end of us owning Huffy. The car not working just left me feeling utterly overwhelmed, so after I got off the phone with Adam, sending him off on his way to Whistler, I think I just sat there crying for about ten minutes.

I’m okay now, really, but would be thrilled if the car would just magically disappear. I should be able to find the battery receipt and get that warrantied, at least, but that’s not much good if the alternator’s dead, or if there’s more wrong with it that I’m not aware of. I emailed my work friend and told him what was up, but he still wants to come out and see it anyway.

So I’m sitting alone upstairs looking at the horrific mess that is my apartment, the giant pile of laundry that needs to get done, and worrying about baby things. I’ll be okay, it’s just a little overwhelming right now. I’m sure pregancy is amplifying the moodiness.

Great start to the morning…

I woke up and thought my headache that started yesterday at 2 was gone. I think it was until Adam came back in the apartment (having left for work fifteen minutes earlier) and told me he was ready to give up. As such, my headache-free time this morning was approximately thirty seconds of time between when I woke up and he walked back in the door.

We noticed the car was leaking again early last week before the trip. We brought it back in to the dealership on Tuesday morning, where they found two more leaks and fixed those. Theoretically, the car is no longer leaking (three holes patched? C’mon Huffy, you’re not that old.) Apparently this morning, however, the car had a flat, which Adam didn’t notice until he was driving. He took it to the gas station and put air in the tire, but apparently the hole is big enough that you can hear the leak. Joy.

Adam’s gone off to work via transit. He’s been driving the past few weeks for health reasons, since his mobility was pretty limited for a little while there. It has become very apparent to me that I suck at making him feel better (especially at 7 in the morning, since I am literally a zombie when I wake up.) Unfortunately for me, Adam is also aware of this failing I have, and when he’s upset about things he throws it back at me that I’m not making him feel any better. It’s not like I don’t try, I just say the wrong things, and then other times I’m afraid to say the wrong things so I hardly say anything, and then when nothing seems to be working at all I tend to get either angry or upset myself, and that just makes things collapse entirely. By the time he had left for work, I had either managed to do absolutely nothing to make him feel better (not for lack of trying) or somehow made things worse. I don’t even know. My head, though, it hurts.

After paying for the leak fix our account is down to about 8$, so we won’t be fixing the tire today. Maybe tomorrow after Adam gets paid, assuming we can fit it into the budget. I guess we have to, I know how bad it is to leave a flat for too long.

So far the leaky ceiling in the bathroom hasn’t re-started leaking, so maybe that’s finally fixed (it’s only been leaking since we moved in in January.)

I don’t know what’s up with our wireless network, but both computers like to randomly disconnect from it and then reconnect with an Excellent connection. Rinse, repeat ad nauseum.

I got maybe half-way through editing the pictures from the trip last night. I will try to get the rest done tonight, assuming I can get through all the crises. Of course, that will have to happen after my painful attempt at going to the gym. I am not looking forward to it. Hopefully by then my headache will be gone.

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It’s absolutely gorgeous out today. I should go out and get some pictures of things, or maybe even people. I could probably find a park somewhere and just sit and watch people for a long time.

I have to go pick up Huffy’s back seat today – it’s finally dried out, only took a week and a half of having fans and heaters pointed at it while it hung from the car dealership’s ceiling. While I’m there, I might stop by the gym and work out a bit. I finally went to the gym last night after work for the first time. That means I did two nights of fencing and one of working out at the gym. Am I losing weight yet? I guess I’d need to own a scale to find out. Meh. I guess I should feel good about going to the gym, but I don’t yet, and likely won’t until I can actually see results.

Eh, I’m just grumpy this morning I guess.

While what I really want to do is go out and sit somewhere I can watch people, at a park or a coffee shop or something, what I realistically should do is stay in and finish working on the multitude of projects that I need to move forward. Especially since Adam’s at work today, which means I can use his computer without feeling guilty about it. The whole point of all these side projects is to make up for the lack of money – the fencing project is for barter because I couldn’t afford the classes otherwise, the new website and publishing Eventide are to try and sell things to make more money so I can get a laptop (which would actually allow me to both people-watch and work outside/in a coffee shop.) Tied in to the new website are my printing and framing projects, although somewhat loosely. I will have a show before the year is out. preferably before the summer is out.

In the meantime, I think I’ll take some self-portraits before I head out to get the car seat.

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Four hundred and fifty-five dollars later, and our car supposedly no longer leaks buckets of water into the trunk and all across the back seat. The shop still has the back seat, as it was so soaked that it was dripping water a day and a half after they had removed it from the car. They’re going to try and dry it out over the next week. I’m hoping that they are successful.

Now we have to figure out what to have for dinner.

I opened a new bank account today for the sole purpose of taking online payments and email money transfers. Now I just have to set up my website so that I can sell things. I need more time.

Speaking of time, I’m going to play with swords tonight.

Huffy (aka the unending money pit vehicle that will be our financial ruin)

So our car, Huffy, has had a lot of issues since we brought it here to BC from Ontario. Broken belts, tires needing replacement, alternator parts that have given up on life, an entire front-end facelift after getting smashed in by an indestructible echo, and more. Most recently, Huffy has decided to leak. Unfortunately for us (well, the whole thing’s unfortunate really,) we were unaware of said leak for probably around a month, because it is somewhere towards the rear of the car. After something like 59 days of rain out of 61, the entire well in the trunk of the wagon was full of water. There was mold growing on the carboard underneath the carpet, and the car was starting to smell wrong.

Yesterday morning since it wasn’t pouring rain we pulled everything out of the trunk and then hauled up the carpet and cardboard to discover this lake in our trunk.

Well that explains the extreme condensation problems we’ve been having. And the fact that anyone sitting in the passenger’s side back seat was getting a wet ass.

We’ve since emptied it out, but we don’t know where the hole is. We’ll be taking it in to get it looked at – you can’t live in a rainy climate and have a leaky vehicle. At least Huffy doesn’t smell as bad anymore, and the condensation problem is fixed. We’ll be all right until it rains again (today or tomorrow, I guess.) Either way, it’s going in to get looked at, and hopefully fixed for not too much.

We’ve sunk so much money into this car now since we got it that we couldn’t even recoup it if we sold the thing.

I should just get a second job.

Sometimes I am speechless

Today was a good day until I left work, then I left for the extremely short drive home and got run into by someone who decided to beat the yellowthatturnedred.

I was making a left, and waiting for the light. It went yellow, a couple of cars went through, then there was a big gap and I thought the third car that was pretty far back was stopped. It went red, so I pulled out to make my left since I was in the middle of the intersection. The third car wasn’t stopped. I stopped when I realized that, but she didn’t, and smacked right into me. Her car was fine, as far as I could tell. The front of our car is cracked, possibly the entire front end has shifted an inch or two to one side. It’s making squealing noises again. We got it fixed a few weeks ago and it was fine.

I called the police, they told me to pull off the road assuming the car could move (which it could) and exchange information.

Her husband arrived and looked at the car after we exchanged info, and they left. I got in the car, put my head on the steering wheel and cried.

I was in the parking lot next to my work, so I went back there and got tea and just sat at my desk for a while. Adam left work early and came to meet me, so I waited there for him to arrive. He drove me and the car home, I was too weirded out. Never really been in an accident before.

Now that I’ve come down a bit from it, I have realized that my back hurts. I’ll go get looked at tomorrow. We reported it to our insurance. We’ll have to pay the deductible. I sincerely hope that they don’t decide the car isn’t worth fixing – the book value on it wouldn’t get us a new working car.

I really need rain pants so I can bike and not get soaked, cold and sick. Either that or I’m just going to walk in the rain every day from now on.

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I broke my UV Filter on my lens. It made me sad, but it’s still way better than having broken the lens. That lens is worth a lot. The filter is reasonably easy to replace, and I can use the Henry’s gift card I received this week to help defray the cost of it.

In other news, I picked Huffy up from Canadian Tire this evening. It only ended up costing $300 instead of $500 like Adam thought it would. It still hurts. Onto the credit card goes the charge!

Sometimes you have to laugh.

It’s a good thing, in the end, that we have two apartments for the entire month of January. It means we can move our stuff at leisure, none of this running around on the 1st / 31st to try and get everything moved. This is a good thing simply because we can’t afford to move everything all at once with a mover, which is what we had originally hoped to do. There isn’t a lot of stuff, perhaps two hours work at most, and we really wanted to get a mover to take care of it all this time, but it’s just no good. I guess we’ll just borrow mom’s van if she lets us and try to get the big things moved over with that, then move the little stuff in Huffy whenever we have time to do so.

All these little things piling up are making me emotionally exhausted.

mandamus, I will get around to doing a self-portrait some day that I’m home alone during the day and can use as much outdoor light inside as possible, and no sooner. Or something.