Friday Gauge Check: 100 Post Edition

Friday means it’s time for our Friday rituals, the ceremonies of escorting one week out and preparing the next one. Which, around here, is the Gauge Check, where I take a look at my week and figure out where I’ve come from and where I’m going. Sometimes there are goals, sometimes I just talk about what’s going on in my life and my crafting. You are all welcome to join in in the comments.

Happy Friday, folks.  According to my stats, this marks my 100th post here at Ripping Back, a milestone worthy of celebration, I think.

There’s not much else worth celebrating at the moment.  This week has been intensely stressful in the way that only having an unanswered question hanging over your head can possibly be.  Well, that’s not entirely true, and I’m getting ahead of myself.

Jack and I both had to work on Saturday, which meant we didn’t have a lot of extra energy for Sunday.  We went to Ikea to do some research; he’s got some ideas about creating more storage space, including some much-needed hanging space, and say what you like about Ikea, they’re really good at making the most of a small space.

Tuesday was Valentine’s Day, and he took me out to dinner, which I enjoyed quite a lot, actually.  We traditionally stay home on Valentine’s Day, because neither of us are much for crowds, but (as he pointed out) we don’t actually have a dining table, so it made more sense to go out. He doesn’t get off work until 8:00, and we ended up finding a place that had no wait at all, which was really nice.

And then it was Wednesday, and I was driving home after dropping him off at work, when the car suddenly started shuddering and not wanting to shift.  This was a bad sign, so I took it to the dealership.  The car’s still partially under warranty, and having no experience in finding mechanics in the area, it seemed the most reasonable choice.  They also have an agreement with Enterprise, so I was able to rent a car for a considerably reduced rate.

When I described the problem, he told me it was probably the transmission, which would be covered by warranty, but he’d let me know as soon as they figured out the problem.

And then there was silence.  Now, he’d also told me that if it <i>was</i> covered under warranty, they’d have to get it signed off by somebody in Detroit, so there was a 4:30 PM cutoff for getting it approved.  When I didn’t hear back, I figured no news was good news, because that meant it probably had to wait to contact GM in the morning.

I called to get a report around 11 the next morning, since I still hadn’t heard back.  It went straight to voicemail, so I left him a message.  He called me back within half an hour, which was nice.  They’d determined that it wasn’t the transmission, so it was either something in the engine (that would be covered) or possibly a tune-up issue that should cost less than $200 to fix, but the card for the scan tool had failed, and he had someone out borrowing another one from a different shop. (It doesn’t help that I drive an obscure model of Saturn that was imported from Europe for two model years; there are fewer than 20,000 on the road in the U.S. Insert hipster joke here.)  Nothing else was reported for the rest of the day.

This morning, I get a call that they’ve finally tracked down what the issue is – my ignition coil isn’t firing on all cylinders, and it’s destroyed my spark plugs.  Repairs will run about $800 with parts and labor – the ignition coil in particular runs over $500 all by itself, lucky me.  Of course, none of this is covered.  Also (and this was the result of a second call, several hours later) there isn’t an ignition coil that will fit my car closer than Los Angeles.  He couldn’t even find a non-GM part.

My car won’t be done until Monday, because it’s Friday afternoon.  On top of the repair costs, we’re also laying out additional money for the rental car, since we’ll have to keep <i>it</i> until Monday too.  So much for doing anything with my tax return, like paying down the credit cards.  Fortunately we’re in a place where we can manage this, thanks in large part to the tax return – two months ago it would’ve been absolutely devastating.  But it’s still a lot of money, and it’s still going to be painful.

It reminds me, though, to count my blessings – it could be more expensive to fix, or we could be in a place where we didn’t have the money, or I could be with someone who didn’t understand my irrational feelings of guilt about having to spend this money.  (It’s my car, because I drive it, therefore it’s my fault.  Irrational, I know.)  Or I could be with Isabel, where scraping up that much would’ve been next to impossible.  Jack has been nothing but supportive and loving and understanding, and I know with Isabel it would’ve dissolved into a screaming match.  His attitude (and mine!) is that this is a challenge, but we can solve it together.

I’m knitting him a colorwork hat (a variant of this one), because what else can you do when you realize once again that you’ve made the best possible choice in partners?  When you’re me, at least, you knit.  A colorwork hat, and a pair of socks.  I’m still working on the swatch for the Through the Woods cowl, because, well, I got distracted by the hat.  I didn’t think it would take long – it’s a worsted-weight hat on size 6 needles – but I didn’t realize that black yarn had some kind of magical time-sucking powers, because I whipped out the ribbing (17 rows of 3×1) in an evening, and then it took me two days to get through the 22 rounds of stockinette.  Some of that was spent dealing with the car, granted, and spending time online, but still – slowest 22 rounds ever.  Currently I’m four rows into the chart and that’s going much faster.

I also started the Beekeeper’s Quilt, and hexipuffs are just as perfect for work knitting as I thought they’d be.  Two days at work produced three ‘puffs and part of a fourth.  Very satisfying.  I have a little Ziploc bag full of stuffing from when I was working on amigurumi projects, but I’m probably going to have to break down and buy some more shortly.  There was a thrift store find of a bag of roving that turned out to be fairly felted, and while I discovered that it’s possible to pre-draft it to the point where I can spin it, it also occurs to me that it might make decent hexipuff stuffing.  I must contemplate this.

That’s pretty much all the crafting I’ve finished this week. Hopefully next week will be better, not only for crafting but for my poor car.

Check your gauge, or tell me about your worst surprise expense, in the comments.

 

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~ by Amber on February 17, 2012.

One Response to “Friday Gauge Check: 100 Post Edition”

  1. Oh, suck on the car I’m sorry. That sort of thing always happens to suck up money that was set aside for something else. I swear it’s a law of the universe or something.

    Good luck on the knits

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