Here's how the apartment-hunting was supposed to go: Drive to Oregon,
pick out the perfect place to live, wander about aimlessly, drive home,
done in a week.
Day 1, Sat 12 Mar
Car starts acting funny after the first tank of gas. Momentarily lost in
Los Angeles and Clark tells me the transmission is slipping. We're "okay"
once we get above 40 miles/hour. By the end of the day Clark is giving me
a roll start out of gas stations... in Saturday evening traffic, that was
scary! But the other cars made way for us. Stop in Lodi, northern California.
Also discovered that my Palm handheld has crashed and all my data and
programs are gone. So much for all the phone numbers I needed and the
eBooks I wanted to read. fah.
Day 2, Sun 13 Mar
Car won't move out of it's parking space. Check back into our hotel room
and make phone calls. Tow the car to the only place with humans on a Sunday,
the Ford dealership. The city is pronounced Low-Die. The name of the
Ford place is unpronounceable.
Day 3, Mon 14 Mar
Call Ford and they will run a diagnostic. They don't call back. Hours
later, they say they will replace the transmission for 3600$, the rebuilt
transmission will be shipped from elsewhere, they'll call back in a few.
They don't call back. And they are no longer accepting calls from low
life customers like me. nice, huh.
Clark makes many calls and finds a certified guy who will rebuild the
thing for cheaper with better parts. Larry at Lodi Transmissions explains
everything in detail and doesn't mind the millions of phone calls he
gets from us! He's cool. We have the car towed to him.
Day 4, Tues 15 Mar
Got a rental car (actually a small SUV, evil and earth-destroying, but it
drove well) and drove up to Eugene. Got lost twice on the way to our
Day 5, Wed 16 Mar
Pick out our favorite apartments and go visit. Got lost once on the way
back to our hotel. We really like the tiny town house and we get
Day 6, Thurs 17 Mar
Pay deposit on our new home and get the keys!! Crash the rest of the day
because poor Clark is sickly.
Day 7, Fri 18 Mar
Drive back to Lodi. The little red car is done... but fails it's test
drive. Won't be fixed til Monday. ACK! Stuck in Lodi, part 2.
Day 8, Sat 19 Mar
Hang out. Visit the bird store next door. Neat. Clark likes a parrot
called Angel and I pick up a little yellow parrot named Willy. I've
never been introduced to a bird, and I'm intimidated! Their back room
has hundreds of exotic birds, parrots, doves, finches, toucans... They
make me sneeze. Yep, I've caught Clark's disease.
Day 9, Sun 20 Mar
We are supposed to be home today. Clark has called his work and told them
he's stuck and will be missing two more days. We go catch a movie,
Constantine, and we both cough annoyingly all the way through.
Day 10, Mon 21 Mar
Go buy a mobile phone in anticipation of the next car break down. Return
the rental car. The red car is fixed! at noon. Nap the rest of the day
because I don't feel good.
Day 11, Tues 22 Mar
Drive home. The fraud protection people have put a hold on my credit card
because they think I'm spending thousands of dollars too much. I agree, but
"I'm traveling," I tell them. "My car broke." Car drives great, and
there are no further problems.
Home. Tired. Sick. Very poor.
Less than a week to pack up and move.
Did I mention Tired?