Thursday, March 26, 2009

One Thing Leads to Another

It had been dumping buckets of rain through the night, and now there was a river in the street in front of my house. Lily was taking Judah to a playdate with his two friends from school, Gus and Peter. A short while after she left, Lily called and told me the car died. Luckily she took my VW Golf instead of her VW Passat, because the Passat has the baby car seat in it while the Golf only has the kid seat. I quickly bundled up the little bundle of joy (that would be Blaise) and drove out into the rain.

The Golf was on the side of Manhattan Beach Blvd in Manhattan Beach. Lily waved at me as I drove by. I made a legal California U-turn and pulled up behind the Golf. Judah and Lily climbed into the Passat while I tried to see if the Golf would go. By my astonishment, the Golf started. I pushed down on the gas pedal and the car died. I turned the key and the car started again. This time I decided to just let the car move forward in idle mode, and off we went. At around 3 mph.

I turned the corner into some business park and looked for a place to park so that the AAA tow truck could get the car. Apparently the business park didn't want any random broken-down cars around, because not only were there NO PARKING signs everywhere, but a security cop lady drove up to me and said "You can't park around here." I told her that I understood that, but the car was about to die. She seemed resigned to the fact that the car would be towed soon enough anyway, so she drove off. About 10 seconds later the AAA guy showed up and checked out the car.

In my novice mechanic mind, I had pegged the thing as a blown spark plug, a distributor problem. The AAA guy asked "Did you drive the car through a puddle?" I told him that I wasn't the one driving the car when it died. He told me there was a good reputable mechanic in the area that he'd take the car to. But I wanted to try this little Swiss repair shop that was walking distance from my house, so asked him to tow it there instead. He hooked up the towing contraption and off we went.

As I drove the Passat following the tow truck and the Golf, I asked Lily "Soooo... did you happen to drive the car through any big puddles?" She said "Well, I did drive through this big one to make Judah laugh." Case solved. Judah really enjoyed watching daddy's car getting towed. We soon arrived at the Swiss repair shop, and they told me they'd call me when they had a diagnosis.

Late that afternoon I called the Swiss repair shop because it seemed too close to closing time for comfort. I figured they didn't get my number correctly. The mechanic told me they were still trying to sort it out, and they'd call me. About an hour later they called me and told me "I don't know what to tell you sir, but there's nothing wrong with the car. It runs fine." Wahoo! I walked over, picked up the car, and drove it home without repairing anything. Somebody up there must like me.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bless You Boys

Last Saturday I went to two kids birthday parties. One in the late morning, one in the afternoon. I didn't really intend on going to the first one, but Judah saw the bouncer in the kid's front yard, and we couldn't resist. As soon as Judah and I arrived at the bouncer, the boy who lives in the house - Brian - hurried out to start the energy explosion inside the huge bouncing castle. Every poor soul who dared venture into the bouncer was met with grabbing, punching, and general pummeling at the hands of Judah and Brian. Boys will be boys.

After Judah grew tired of the kicking ass routine, we went to the backyard for some refreshment. Pizza, fried chicken and Capri Sun was the menu of the day. The boy had two slices of cheese pizza, I ate a slice of veggie and some fried chicken to make up for the veggie. We returned to the front yard for more bouncing, and because the ass-kicking contingent of Brian and Judah had gone out back, the bouncing castle was full of new kids. There was a kid of about 5 years inside wearing Detroit Tigers baseball gear. Navy blue Detroit Tigers baseball hat, navy blue Detroit Tigers t-shirt. No sooner did I notice him than I saw a toddler toddle out from behind the view of the bouncer wearing a navy blue Detroit Tigers t-shirt. No hat, just a bald toddler head. And right behind the bald toddler was who I assumed to be his dad, wearing, you guessed it... a navy blue Detroit Tigers t-shirt and a navy blue Detroit Tigers hat.

I made the huge assumption that this man must be the father of the kid inside the bouncer who was wearing the Detroit Tigers gear. Possibly? The dad and the toddler walked up to the man in charge of the party and started talking about what I can only imagine was Detroit Tigers related when up comes a woman in a navy blue Detroit Tigers t-shirt. I put two and two together and... I have no idea where I'm going with this. Just an odd observation, I suppose.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Ring My Bell

We're hyper-aware of how much noise we make in our house. Mainly because to be unaware would mean waking baby Blaise, and thus, certain death of free time. So we try to keep the volume down to a minimum when Blaise is sleeping. Unfortunately the outside world isn't as concerned about noise or about waking babies. And because our house gets an inordinate amount of unannounced visitors, the doorbell rings an inordinate amount, which will almost certainly wake the baby. So Lily created a good old-fashioned warning sign (out of a blue post-it) to all who may think about ringing the doorbell: PLEASE DO NOT RING BELL, PLEASE KNOCK. BABY SLEEPING. Fair warning for those who might otherwise receive our wrath along with screaming baby wrath.

And the other day, I was on the verge of getting Blaise to sleep in my arms. Rocking her gently while doing the bounce, catching up on the latest in the Manny Ramirez saga (Should he take the $25 million? Should he wait for a better offer? If only I had those $25 million problems), when the doorbell rang. Blaise woke up and started crying. I had a sensation not unlike what The Incredible Hulk probably feels just before he turns green and explodes from whatever he's wearing into a pair of ripped blue jeans.

I decided to not answer the door in hopes that the violator of the doorbell rule would just go away. But nope, more doorbell ringing. Blaise and I went to the back part of the house - away from the incessant doorbell pressing - and let Lily get the door. It turned out to be her mom. She was bringing over some food for us. I couldn't be that mad about that, and Blaise went right back to sleep anyway. I put the baby down in her bed, and quietly left the room. I went back to the living room, and Lily's mom had already left. I told Lily that I was finished with the doorbell note experiment, and I was determined to disconnect the damn thing. Lily tried to stop me, but there was no stopping me at that point.

I grabbed a screwdriver and went at the doorbell button. I pulled it out of its housing to see if there was an easy way to disconnect and reconnect it, but it was just a mess of tangled wire. But in my rampage to get the doorbell disconnected, I accidentally rang the doorbell. And when I tried to put it all back, I rang the doorbell again. I went inside and Lily said "Blaise is crying". Great. If only I'd read the damn post-it.