Tag Archives: driving

8 weeks, no rain, you’re welcome

29 Aug

My windshield wipers stopped working a while ago. I can’t remember exactly when, but it was one of those days where I saw them start to die and knew there wasn’t a thing I could do to stop it. Lucky for me, they went out in style – a slightly upright position that caused many a question and comment. “Yes. Thank you. I know they’re up.” At least on the driver side they were somewhat down, but the very few passengers I did have commented that their view was ‘infringed upon’. I’m sorry. Did you need me to drive you somewhere?

The initial quote was $200. The final bill was not. Oh well. At least they’re fixed … which officially invoked Murphy’s law. Because the final bill was actually (monetarily, only) equal (roughly) to another major (Major) fix I need to do for the Jetta Pit, I am guaranteed to not need the windshield wipers until I pay for the other fix. Basically, if I went ahead and did the second fix, it would rain non-stop – however because they ARE fixed, it’s not going to rain until October. You’re welcome. Unless you have a garden, then I apologize.

The only boo-hoo (or so my mechanic thought) was that someone at some point (re: not me) glued the black plastic seal/cover to the windshield glass. To get to the bolts he tried everything he could think of and then brought me into the garage to take a peek.

He wanted to know if I’d be ok with a few extra holes in my car – which oddly felt as if I was giving permission for him to pierce my kids ear.

Me: You tried everything else, right?
Him: Yep. It’s glued. Nothing else I can do.
Me: Ok. Drill!

Then I got ‘the look’, almost as if he had some last trick up his sleeve in case I said no to the drill. It was part confusion – because i was ok with a small bit of damage to make a major repair – and part Kid-on-Christmas-morning – because I said he could drill.

In the end, I got two matching holes in the plastic, two working windshield wipers and one big smile on my face. I just wish it would rain so I could use them!


Southside Lights

25 Aug

I broke the Hipstamatic camera out again the other night after dinner with my Aunt and cousins at Hofbrauhaus. I was driving around – mostly because I was confused on which street I needed – and managed to find my way back past I house I really like.

It’s a huge 3-story house in the slopes that looks like it should be situated in a French vineyard, not Pittsburgh. The outside is a pretty red brick/white wash that ages it enough and it’s got 2 wrought iron balconies that each have a beautiful view of the skyline. (Not to mention a building-wide deck that looks great for hosting the 4th of July!)

I thought I’d take a few pictures but I knew that my phone’s camera was going to be too dark … so the Hipstamatic came out and, with a couple of clicks, I thought I had a few nice nighttime exposures. None of them saved to my phone.

So I started the app again and, as this truck was coming up the hill, figured I could time the shutter so that the truck’s lights would illuminate the house against the steeple. My timing was a bit off, but I really like what turned out anyway!

I got back in the car and continued up the street to see this light wall. I think it’s a map of the South Side Slopes, but I could be wrong – and I haven’t yet found information on Google. Let you know what I come up with.


Almost forgot!

This photo is of the bottom left corner of the light wall:


27 Aug

driverVhen vas the last time you vent vahoo?

Mine was just about 10 minutes ago. And I’m still pumped!

Working with Joe Appel has been a lot of fun. As I’ve written before, not only is it a crash course in what to do and not to do when it comes to planning a wedding, this past Saturday, I had another crash course with Joe – he had me shoot!

Now, I was a little scared at first – probably because he handed me the camera, showed me three things to do and said “Go!” – but I got over it. I remembered the first few things I was taught in college about and shooting – thank god! – And when it looked like I was going to have to shoot some super important shots, I said a little prayer that I wouldn’t disappoint Joe or the bride and started pushing that shutter button. Turns out, I did alright!

The wedding was at Green Oaks Country Club and, at one point, we were able to load up a few golf carts and take the new Mr and Mrs to an overlook of the Allegheny River and get a few dozen gorgeous photos. I was kind of psyched – ok, really psyched – to get to drive my first golf cart and Joe captured that on film, too.

When Joe posts the gallery (lot of work to tone all those photos!) I’ll show a couple shots of my handiwork. Until then, I’m gonna bask in my little “hidden talent glory pool” until my hands get all pruney.

Just Batty

25 Aug

If you’re going through hell, keep going. -Winston Churchill

Things have been a roller coaster ride lately. Up then down. Then back up. Then one of those downs that you have to let go of the roller coaster and try and get rid of the fear and enjoy the “look ma, no hands” moment.

Since last Wednesday – the 19th – I have been trying to get it together and write a post but I’ve had too much going on to even begin to think about turning on my home computer – it was a record that ended last night at a whopping 18 days.

Wednesday morning – back to the 19th – while I was getting ready to leave for work I set my hair straightener down on the bathroom sink and somehow hit the cord just right to send the iron flying through the air. My bathroom has barely 3 feet between the plug and the sink – situated on opposing walls – so I’ve knocked the iron off before and survived – but somehow, in a death defying leap I landed with the hair straightener around my foot, top and bottom. I have no idea how I didn’t burn the bottom of my foot, but that’s where saving grace ended. I got a whopping 1 inch by 3 inch burn on the top of my foot.

I went to workout as normal that evening and the pain was pretty minimal. I had already made an appointment for Thursday morning with the dermatologist to tell me how bad it was, but I was feeling pretty good and needed to clean up. So I decided to take a bath.

*chorus sings* MIS-TAAAAAAKE!!!!!

I put my right foot in and I screamed out loud. I jumped out and turned myself around. And – Oh hot damn did that hurt, and the water was barely even tepid. Lesson No. 1: Do not submerge a burn in water with a temperature above freezing.

After my dermatologist diagnosed my now swollen foot with a 2nd degree burn, he said I would need to keep it under wraps for a while. Past the point of blistering and even if the skin turns black. Wait. What?? My skin is going to turn black? (At that point I didn’t believe him, but a week later I consider a genuine possibility.)

After a bit of self-medication (only in moderation. I swear.) that evening, I started to doze on the couch. I have a nice couch. It’s big. It’s white. It’s an L-shape. It’s even a sleeper sofa. And I love it. I also had a candle burning. Needless to say dozing turned into 26 winks and I woke up to realize the tv and all the lights were still on, not to mention the candle. I turned everything off and blew out the candle and went to bed. The next morning I woke up to find that my reflection looked a bit different in the mirror than usual and that’s when I realized that, having fallen asleep while a candle with a lead wick burned black, my nostrils had taken some of the soot. Yuck.

And that’s when I started thinking. If my nose was black from the candle, what else was? And the answer was two white couch cushions, the base of the white couch cover, a white throw and a purple silk sweater. Damn. After a lot of washing, almost everything is back to normal. But that’s Lesson No. 2: Do not burn candles while self-medicating. Do not fall asleep while burning candles with untrimmed wicks.

Saturday was a fairly good day and I really felt like I was on the up and up. Joe and I got to shoot another lovely wedding at the Green Oaks Country Club. The photos turned out ridiculously well because – well, Joe is a pro, so of course they did – but the overlook portion of the golf club, over the Allegheny is In. Cre. Di. Ble.

After an evening of dancing and drinking – erm – photographing all that – I left Joe to head to my moms place. Armed with the directions and a full tank of gas, I missed the first lousy turn and ended up in New Kensington – she lives in Plum, total opposite direction – and then somewhere out near the Beaver Run Reservoir. Over an hour and a half of faulty driving only to learn that, at one point – after New Kensington but before Beaver Run Reservoir dueling banjo extravaganza – I was just two measily miles from where I was supposed to be. But the roads aren’t labeled well and it’s Pennsylvania. Lesson No. 3: No driving new routes after dark. E-V-E-R.

I was so frustrated by the time I got to my Mom’s place that pizza and M*A*S*H took longer to work than normal. I finally said screw it and got into a good mood. But then I woke up Sunday with a huge swollen foot. I could barely get my flip flop on. Yikes! The rest of sunday was fun but relatively normal – cupcake fiasco later – and Monday seemed like it was going to go off without a hitch.


Late in the evening, clearly past my bedtime, I was laying on my freshly cleaned couch trying to get drowsy by watching some late night show when out of the corner of my eye I saw something. Fly. Of course I freaked out until I realized it was a bat and then I just freaked out more.

I ran into the kitchen to grab a colander, which I now recognize as totally ridiculous, but when you see this:


doing figure eight death swoops in your living room late at night, you’ll grab just about anything that you can think of as a possibly sane implement to take the bugger down. I opened all the windows and hoped like hell that he flew out one while I wasn’t looking – and waiting for my rescuer! – but I stayed up til 4, completely expecting another death swoop. Lesson No. 4: When you’re going through hell, keep going.

So now, it’s Tuesday. And I’m really hoping that when I get home, I have no visitors. I’d like to sit and fold laundry. Maybe even put it away. I dunno. I don’t wanna do anything too crazy. Who knows, though. All these crazy things happening might just mean something good is on its’ way to me. Crossed fingers.

The Drivers in PA

21 Jul

femaledriversIt’s not hard to get on my nerves while I’m driving. I like to move as quickly – albeit safely – as I can from point A to point B but driving behind, next to and even near some PA drivers can send me up and over the concrete barriers.

And cell phone drivers are even worse.

Ok. I’ve talked on my cell phone before, whilst driving – I’m not going to cast stones without calling out my own faults but puh-lease! People!

If you are not a good driver and are only able to give 75% while operating a car period – DO NOT use your cell phone while attempting to drive. OR merge onto the highway.

I don’t know why it is, but Pennsylvania drivers tend to make up their own rules about how traffic should flow. They also assume telepathic abilities in that other drivers should know, hence predict, what their next move will be.

One of my least favorites is the wave. This one came about because no one in PA understands right of way, so even when a driver gets to the intersection and makes their full stop first, they will wave you through the intersection because they believe they are being courteous. So I simply sit. I don’t acknowledge the wave. I do not move forward. And it irritates the hell out of them while pleasing me. I know. Inevitably, they will wave two or three times and I still don’t budge. Then, as they drive through the intersection, they all shake their heads in disbelief that I didn’t take their courtesy.

Drivers in PA do this at stop sign intersections and – worst of all – intersections with traffic lights. If you get a green light and pause to let the opposing driver make a left you will be the one at fault for any ensuing accident. Know why? Because you’re not following traffic laws. No where in the PA driving handbook does it talk about hand-motions as an acceptable way to skirt traffic laws. The wave should be reserved for sporting events where the game has become the least interesting thing to watch and police officers working at a downed light.

This state is full of intersections with No Turn On Red signs. And I can’t help but wonder why? If I am at an intersection and I have the opportunity to pull out into traffic safely, I should be allowed to do it, but I think those signs are spawned from the aforementioned hand motions.

Traffic lights in this city are also too long. But they’re too long because they have to let the opposite direction go because it has become backed up because the opposite direction’s light was too long. Make sense? Yea, I thought so. It’s a vicious circle that will never end, even with a hand wave.

Which leads me to the merging incident I had this morning.

Usually, when merging in PA, you need to haul ass down the on-ramp and gun it at the end because the guy already on the highway has seen you coming and has sped up – while staying in the right lane – to meet your speed so you have to either go faster or slow down in order to merge. He would prefer you slow down because he was there first. Duh.

But today’s merging was something I have never encountered before. The car ahead of me seemed to be making a relatively good attempt at getting onto the highway – constant speed and all – perfect for merging into the gap in traffic on the highway. Three quarters of the way down the on-ramp I noticed they weren’t picking up any more speed.

I gunned it to the left (re: attempted to hit the speed limit) to pass this unsure merger and get slightly ahead of the oncoming car pack, when I noticed the driver was batting 1000.

I am a female driver, so I hate when people say women don’t know how to drive. I can out drive a lot of the men I know. But this ‘girl’ – there is no way she was over 20 years old – was attempting to merge while holding a cell phone up to her ear and have a conversation with her friend in the passenger seat. I know this because she was neither looking at the road to the side or ahead of her, rather at her friend.

Like all the disillusioned drivers I encounter with the courtesy wave, this girl looked at me – like I was the crazy one. And I had a hand wave I wanted to show her.

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