Monday, May 19, 2008


The world is a better place. I know how to change a flat tire.

Although I am elated that I learned such a basic but essential skill, I only wish it had not happened in 90 degree weather. And without the involvement of any live animals.

And the story goes like this....

I had just picked up the kitty of a friend of a friend for a "trial" run for owning a hairy pet. I could tell within seconds of driving away from my rockstar parking spot that the tire was flat- I'd had a flat n my pickup a few years before. I wasn't that far away from my house, so I thought I might make it at least to a gas station or to a tire store that was close to my house, but I barely got down the street and I knew that was not the case. I got to a gas station (not full service) and put my 50 cents in the air machine (it amazes me that you have to PAY for AIR) to try to fill the tire up enough to get back to my neighborhood. 



Maybe I had placed it incorrectly on the valve stem. 



Ok, plan B: call Les Schwab. At about this time, I was really wishing I still had that roadside assistance from my insurance company. Or AAA. Or a handy boyfriend.

Les Schwab: 2 hours until they could make it to me. Let me remind you that I have a live cat in the back seat and he is already freaking out from the trauma of being taken from his home, put in a cardboard vegetable box and then put in a car on a scorching hot day. So, I put my name on the list hoping that they were doing the Domino's Pizza thing and telling me way longer than it would actually take them to arrive.

By this time, my blood pressure was through the roof. If this cat croaked in my car, not only would I have to explain to the owner that we didn't even make it to my house, my car would be cursed from the death. And I love my car. I also saw this as a sign. A sign that perhaps this cat thing wasn't meant to be. More on that later.

Plan C: call Andrew. Let me preface this next part by saying that I absolutely HATE asking people for favors unless they are my boyfriend. And Andrew is not my boyfriend. (I hate asking people so much that I payed movers for the first time in my life when I moved last time.) But Andrew is one of those people who will do anything for a friend- no questions asked. Boy, am I lucky he is a my friend. And that he answered his phone. He came out in 90 degree heat, got dirty on the parking lot and put my spare tire on for me. 

I made sure that I knew each and every step that he was taking so that when this happens again, I can do it myself. He even narrated and told me all the "tricks" like loosening the opposite lug nut instead of going around in a circle.... if you don't, it puts weird shear on the bolts and you won't be able to loosen the others. It makes sense!!

I suppose I am lucky that the flat didn't happen while I was on the freeway (I had just taken the freeway to pick up the kitty!) And I like to take the I-405 bridge waaaaay faster than I am supposed to!

So, back to the kitty. I have decided that owning a hairy pet is not for me. If I had a roommate to share the responsibility, that would be great. Not only can I not deal with the mess very well (I barely have time or energy to clean up after myself), my condominium is just not set up for containing a curious cat. So, I will be passing the kitty back this week. I feel a bit guilty because I arranged the kitty trial period before I left for Mexico and although I told his owner to give him away if he found a home before I returned from Mexico, he told me that I was the best candidate and that he was glad to wait.... it breaks my heart. The cat is so sweet and so well-behaved. And he's already bonded with me, which is why I want to give him back ASAP to prevent any more attachment. That sounds so callous, but I have to do it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Back to the Real World, again

Hola Amigos!

I really really really meant to blog while I was in Mexico, but there was so much to do: nap on the beach, work hard on my tan, eat & drink, play in the waves, sea kayak, visit some Mayan ruins, eat & drink, snorkel, get a mud treatment and massage, eat & drink... It just seemed that I didn't have the time for the computer this trip.

Actually, I could have blogged. The thing is- this wasn't really one of those introspective "finding Nicole" trips. I didn't go by myself and I really didn't want to spend a lot of time online. It was not difficult to not have technology at my fingertips and it was not difficult to disconnect from news and politics back home. It was rather refreshing to do pretty much nothing- just relax and have fun. I even got up early one morning and watched the sunrise...

Poolside in Cancun... my new favorite cervesa- Modelo Light- in my cozy....

Look what I found in Mexico!
The bi-otch in Tulum

Bicycles at Coba

Tulum Ruins
The cabana next door
My boys- Matty and Anders
I thought they were called boobies?
Fresh pineapple

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