Monday, Aug. 01, 2005
I made the drive to 00's house and back last night - which was itself an adventure. It was raining when I left home and I recall thinking, "Darn... I hope that the roads aren't flooded and unmarked."
Oh yeah - did I tell you what flash floods can mean in Arizona? And how you get virtually NO warning before walls of water come slamming down on you? The desert isn't a place for wussies, and driving in the mountains during the monsoons even less so. But intrepid (some people call it "stupid") driver that I am, I resolved to navigate my way through more passes than your average singles bar and drive the approximately 80 miles each way, setting off so late in the afternoon that I knew I'd be late getting home, too.
The mush-brain thing isn't limited to uncensored ramblings on diaries, I'm telling ya.
Fortunately yesterday's rain wasn't the gully-washer sort, so other than some puddles in the road in a few places, there was nothing that could be considered flooding. Unfortunately there was another factor I hadn't considered: my windshield wipers on the truck began disintegrating when I was about halfway to 00's place. And while it wasn't (thank God) during a raining-cats-and-dogs deluge, it was definitely raining too hard not to have operable wipers.
I don't know what it's like in other parts of the world, but the usable life of a windshield wiper in Arizona is directly proportional to the heat in summer - so a wiper blade can die in no time flat. One or two seasons is about the max you can expect without replacing the blade assembly. I did check the assembly when I bought the vehicle, but the deceptive part of sun damage is that you don't always see it until the sucker comes flying apart.
Now mind you, I'm driving in the middle of nowhere, on a Sunday evening. Even if I'd had money (which I didn't) and even if I'd found an auto parts store (which I couldn't) there's nothing opened that time of day on a Sunday in rural Arizona. They fold up the sidewalks on Saturday night most parts of the state, and don't reopen until sometime Monday. And where I was driving, they don't even have sidewalks.
I waited until I could find a relatively clear place to pull over, and managed to cobble things together enough to get to 00's house. She was teasing me mercilessly (I would expect no less) but was snapping photos until the memory was full on my digicam. She took a few shots of me with her dogs, including the now-rotund little puppy she nursed back to health a few weeks back. The canine brigade there is representative of the long-and-short of things. I'll dig up those pictures and post them, but for now I'm just posting my favorite of the shoot. I converted it to black and white for a couple of reasons - since I didn't get there until late, we were functioning with flash, which meant that for any close-up shots, my face was washed out. The black-and-white format helps offset that at least somewhat.
I managed to drive home - still raining, by the way, and a couple of stops along the way - in the dark - to try and hold my crumbling wiper blades together - and when I got home, cranked up the computer. I flipped on instant messenger because 00 wanted to be sure I made it home without killing myself or some other, unsuspecting, innocent driver on Arizona's highways. Once she knew I was alive and well, the topic changed to, "I want to see ALL of the pictures!"
That's 36 photos to upload from the camera, reduce to a manageable size, cull out the ones that were too blurry to even mess with, save, upload to my website and put on a page to which only she has (and better ever have) the url, and we did a quick critique to decide which images were not hurl-worthy. There were many that were but not many that weren't.
Fortunately I'm fairly quick at building a webpage with notepad. I did a quick ftp of the photos and the page, let 00 point out the photos she thought most acceptable (which agreed with my choices out of the batch, by the way.) We were still arguing the questionable merits of a couple when T signed on, too. I just sent him the links to the acceptable ones (the ones that both 00 and I agreed were best.) And he in turn sent me a couple of more pictures - including one with one of his children that is just wonderful - very disarming.
00 cracked me up while I was there. She was bemoaning the fact that in my photos she realized I look like her sister and her. (Well DUH, child... I gave birth to you.)
I look at my pictures with a critical eye, but I guess considering I'm pushing 50 - will be 48 before the year's out - I don't look too bad. I can tell I'm losing weight again, too, by the way my clothes fit. Thank T for that, though, as I haven't really been dieting like I planned. When I am involved with someone, if it's a happy arrangement, I lose weight automatically - no dieting, no change in what I eat. Scientific aside - I can't speak for anyone else, but for me personally, my biggest weight issue is stress. Reduce the stress levels, I lose weight.
Well, time for me to get back to work. You may proceed with the raised eyebrows now, print out the above photo and use it for dart practice, and otherwise point and laugh. Heck, I am.
Before - After
In the grander scheme of things, no soul can truly be replaced. Each one of us has a place in the universal tapestry. We each contribute our own color and texture. When one thread is snipped too soon, it distorts all the threads around it. Other lives can unravel and tear. If the wrong thread is ripped away, the whole fabric of life becomes dangerously fragile.
- LeiLani, aka Radiogurl aka Bright Opal (1957 - )