Monday, November 19, 2007

Cars, Trucks and a New Dog

Okay, I've gotten into the habit of sleeping till at least 5:30 AM, but today I was up early. 3:30. The reason is that my beautiful bright blue-green 1994 Ford Ranger XLT with the extended cab (274,000 miles) which was running so perfectly two days ago slipped a clutch plate. Which means I can't shift gears. If I reverse I have to turn off the engine to get out of reverse and put it into gear. And once in gear I can't change gears. So I'm stuck in 2nd going between 0 and 30. Taking it into the shop today. Hope it's not a big job. That translates to Hope it don't cost too much.
But Marco, who's been using my 1998 dark green Ford Ranger, had to give that back to me to use. Still, he had to get to work. And he's working at 4 AM. So I was the chauffeur.
Now I wanted him to use Italo's car since Italo quit his job last week and doesn't need to get anywhere daily at the moment but then Italo is pissed off that Marco has used his car for a couple of days but didn't change the oil. So Italo took the keys when he went to stay at Chepa's last night with Sarah, his live-in girlfriend. And he didn't answer my call asking him to come back in Sarah's car to bring the key back.
Italo and Sarah were staying with Chepa's because she's about ready to have her new baby. It was thought to be due at Christmas but the doc recently revised that to Late-November, first week of December. So Sarah is sleeping over there with Italo till the baby comes.
And Italo doesn't mind because he's still in the running for a spot on the semi-pro soccer team (five cuts so far and he's still with them. Good Luck, Italo!) and my cigarette smoke bothers him just enough that he doesn't want to take a chance on getting short-winded. I understand: Despite leaving the window next to my desk open and a fan blowing the smoke out--as well as restricting my smoking to just this front office-living room--I do smoke a lot and some must get elsewhere in the house. If I had any guts I'd quit but I don't.
So there I was waking up at 3:30 to drive Marco to work. And man, it was fog soup out there. Luckily I didn't hit anything, didn't miss any turns on these winding roads that ran me into a tree.
And I got back and there was Boots, the wonderdog, looking for affection. He's been jealous for a couple of days because Sarah, who is as addicted to shopping as I am to cigarettes, bought a new dog. He's a pup and his name is Charlie for some reason. He's a Basset hound (with papers dontchaknow!) and he's going to grow up to be fantastic. I love Basset hounds. Short, tough, friendly. Gonna be a great pal to Boots. That's if I don't kill him for shitting everywhere. Sarah, conveniently, has been at Chepa's nearly every moment since she bought him and so it's been up to me to clean up after him. We'll get that fixed in a couple of weeks. Once he's comfortable outside Boots will show him where to go take care of his business.
So that's it. Did go to the Shriner Circus with Madeleina, Marco and Marco's girl the other night--all was well until Madeleina got it in spades that elephants are trapped and shouldn't be in circuses. She got it while having an elephant ride, one of her favorite things at that annual circus. She came back after the ride and her eyes were streaming. I asked What's wrong? She said she could feel the elephant's backbone under her butt and it made her realize that elephants should be in Africa eating from trees and not in a circus having people sit on their backs. She sobbed quietly for the whole second act of the circus and then not so quietly on the way home. I'm crying now just remembering how badly she felt. I did what I was supposed to do: I told her that if those elephants were not in the circus they'd be dead. Zoos, even decent ones, can't just take extra elephants. And if we shipped them to Africa somehow they'd be dead in a week, not knowing how to survive in the wild.
She wasn't buying it. She wants me to get rich so we can buy a lot of land and make a home for circus elephants and old lions and tigers. I told her it was a great idea--and it is, cause I'd love to do it--and that maybe one day we'll get lucky and be able to. Wouldn't that be great? Have a couple of thousand acres in maybe Montana or Idaho with enough scrub on on it and enough savannah to take in elephants that nobody wants? Just trying to live that fantastic dream ought to be enough to get me to quit smoking before it kills me.
Coming up on 6 AM and dawn's gonna break soon. If I'm going to get an hour's sleep before it's time to make Madeleina's lunch I'd better do it now. Of course, now that Madeleina's figured out the elephant thing it won't be long before she gets the idea that the tuna in her sandwich didn't actually volunteer. And then we'll get to the Why did God make a world where everything has to eat each other thing. And there will be more tears and I'll have to explain that I've been asking that question ever since I found out that wild horses were caught for dog food when I was a kid. I don't think there have been enough wild horses to do that with for 45 years but there were when I was Madeleina's age.
And then we'll both cry and try to come to terms with the fact that the world just isn't fair.
Nuts. Now that I'm thinking those thoughts no way I'm gonna get any more sleep.
So I guess it's good morning everybody. Have yourselves a fine one.


bamboo said...

Damn, 3am, 3:30am, its all crazy!
My son is pushing through his molars and wakes prompty at 4:30am every morning but really thats a dream compared to your deal.
All that AND you get to train a new dog? Man, I have no clue how you do it all.
Best of luck.

Peter Gorman said...

Unfortunately I do most of it badly, and need a couple of Jim Beams to wind down at night, another habit I should toss with the cigarettes. But then I love both those habits.
And having your son go through molar pain is no picnic either.

Graccus said... of my first serious psychonaut buddies up here in New Mexico was a big cat rescue fanatic. Once he waylaid a small circus and took their cats because they were being seriously abused and underfed. In his trailer he had a "pet" leopard and for a while a young Siberian tiger. Would see him in the market buying a dozen whole frozen chickens at a time. Getting in trouble with Game and Fish he eventually found a place in Indiana where he now has, I believe, 150 rescued big cats, lions, tigers, leopards, etc... Great character and probably worth stopping by if one should ever be near Indiana.