Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sixty Miles per gallon highway!

Jumper one started freaking out on me a few weeks ago, so I took her into Firestone and had them do a pretty decent overhaul/upgrade. Nearly a grand later she was purring like a new born kitten again. They didn't look at the battery connections, which landed me in a bit of trouble last week. Battery hadn't been charging and when I went out to start her up, grrr, grrr, click, click, click. Oy!

Today was almost spring like, so I pulled those connections today, cleaned them pretty completely and replaced them. I was going to wait till one of my neighbors came home and get a jump, but then decided I'd try it myself with just Reiki. She came right up, and I figured okay, take her out for a run so I could get the battery good and charged up. It was a nice day for a drive, and I'd really not seen what the new highway mileage was since the upgrades, so I set course for Dayton and ran her up and back.

61.2 Miles per gallon highway with just me in the car doing 70. Woot! I think a camping trip in Colorado is in my near future. Spring time in the Rockies? Hello, it's me! Seventy five dollars in gas to get to Colorado and back, to spend some time in my mountains isn't such a high price to pay! Who knows, maybe I'll be really crazy and make it a bit longer trip and head out to Muir Woods and Napa for a little bit, with a stop in CO of course.

Time will tell.

All in all, not a bad day, and really nice mileage from a ten year old car with 82,000 miles on it.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Life, The Buddha, and Sound Bites.

The Buddha says we spend our lives pretending to be someone else. The question of course becomes then who was the Buddha pretending to be? Maybe the Buddha was pretending to be the Buddha, which considering his history is actually correct, as he was born a prince. Of course it begs the question, who are we each pretending to be?

As Detective "Doc" Reese on Life said tonight: "Maybe I'm just pretending to be myself?"

Which made me think. The person I was pretending to be was popular enough, actually pretty popular really, but he was distant and disconnected from folks. He was amusing and not exactly pretending to be some sort of alien superhero. He'd never hurt anyone except in the line of duty (His words, not mine) and he wasn't joking. He was everything, everyone I couldn't be, and was (though I'm still not certain how that worked) super human. For those familiar with Stargate SG-1 and the race of symbiotic beings known as the Tok'ra, he was exactly that.

The great joy in my life now, the great freedom, is that "I'm" not pretending to be anyone save maybe myself. Unlike my snake, I'm not perfect and I don't try to be. As someone imperfect and growing into my own life, now that it is mine and mine alone, I find it interesting to see how people see me. While I was swapping email with a good friend of mine, who's views I respect and trust, she said:

"Besides, you may have anxiety that would put a squirrel to shame, but you are vivacious and fun and get along with people."

I read it a couple of times to be sure I'd read it right, and when I thought about it, it really was a surprisingly good sound bite about me. My sister-in-law added "kind" to the list when I mentioned Christine's comment. Having spent so many years hiding, terrified I'd never be accepted, let alone that people would want to be around me, it's kind of nice. It's also so very different than the past. It's taking some getting used to, but it is well worth it.

When and where possible, I try to live a life close to the teachings of Buddha, because it just makes sense. And I've long since given up pretending to be someone else, and you know, It's nice to find out that I'm doing a great job of not doing. In working to touch my own life with kindness and love, I'm being really messy, so it's getting all over the place. There are worse things I could be doing with my life. After so many years of trying too hard, and not really making it, I'm glad to find life easier and more fulfilling just being me. It's almost counter-intuitive when you think about it. For all the bad things and pain he brought to my life, I can't help but be amused by something he used to say: "You know, when you try to be funny, it just doesn't work. When you're not trying however you're so funny and great to be around."

Yeah, right. Problem was, it was kind of all or nothing. And neither of us were ready for that kind of investment in life. My life. But it really wasn't my life then. I'd willingly given it up when I was a child in exchange for the safety and protection that this alien superhero could provide. So now, for better or worse, it is mine and I'm not soon going to allow someone to take it from me again. Be it the person I invented to protect me, or someone I thought, believed even, loved me. Life is just a bit too precious to throw away.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Snowy Tuesday's and Doppelgangers...

Today was fun, and different. First of all, for the second Tuesday in a row, we are getting some serious snow. It's been snowing all day, and it's expected to continue. What started out as a watch, has been escalated by NWS to a Warning with expected totals in excess of eight inches. Yeah, as if last Tuesday's storm wasn't enough? People just south of me are still without power and have been since LAST Tuesday or there about. Last week, well that was so much fun. Four inches of snow, then two solid inches of ICE on top of that, and finally, six inches on top of that when all was said and done. Needless to say, we didn't go anywhere.

We? My sister-in-law drove out here from New Jersey to see my new house, and spend a week seeing the sites of Cincinnati. We spent a goodly portion of the time inside watching movies and TV as the snow fell. Thankfully we DID manage to do some of the things she wanted to on Thursday of last week when the temperature went up a goodly bit. Some of the most important things to her were to see the stretch of I75 I call Stargate Mile, and she wanted to at least walk from Ohio to Kentucy, to Indiana. Now that's not as strange as it sounds, since I live in the Tri-State area, in the southwestern corner of Ohio, and those two states CAN be walked to from my part of Ohio. So we got those things done, which made her happy, and after I towed her ouyt of the parking lot where she got her car stuck, she made it back home safely. So we had a week of hanging out and it was pretty good. Obviously I didn't post much or anything then.

So today, before the snow got to bad, I had to run some errands. Like getting the bills for the month out, buying some stamps, and picking up some groceries before I got snowed in for the next two days. Yes, I grew up in New England, and so far what we;ve had here doesn't even really count as snow. The folks around here, well a whole bunch of things they may be, New Englander's they aren't! So during and after a snow, I give them a wide bearth.

Anyway I'm on line in the post office to buy some stamps and from behind me I hear "Hey Sam, how are you?" As I'm turning to see who it is, I see Tony from Firestone standing there with a big grin. Not one to ignore people I said "Hi Tony! How goes it?!" with a big smile on my face. Mind you I have no idea who he is except that his jacket says Tony with the Firestone logo on it. He presses on with "Wow, you look amazing, you haven't aged at all, how did you do that? For that matter what are you doing here? I haven't seen you since College."

I turn my head quick looking for Alan Funt from candid camera and cautiously say "Why thank you, I take good care of myself when I can, good living you know and a regular glass of white wine. That's said I think you have me confused with someone else?"

Oh, Sam, I'm hurt! You don't remember me? We went to college together, I kept trying to get you interested in the soccer team but you weren't into sports? Wait, if you're not the Sam I know, why did you turn right around and say 'Hi Tony!' the way you always did? If your not my friend Samantha, how did you know my name and answer to 'Hey Sam' when I walked up behind you? You look and sound like my friend Sam? So who are you then?"

Wow, I'm someone else's Dopple? So we talked a bit, and I finally showed him my ID to prove I wasn't his friend Sam from School. All my life I've been mistaken for other people, or people feel like they've known me for years, but I figured, what with such a radical change in my life, I'd leave those days behind me. So while the line moved up we talked and he told me about his firend Sam from school. How we could be twins and that I look and sound just like her. It was just so funny to me, and such an out of the blue thing. He found it amazing that there were two beautiful women named Samantha in the world that looked like we could be twins. I just couldn't help but be smiling (though I tend to do that anyway) ear to ear as he talked about his Samantha (different last name) while we waited on line. This was a major first for me. Obviously I didn't bother to mention that when he was in College I was pretending to be a 40 year old guy. Didn't want to rain on his trip down memory lane.

So the old saying is we all have a twin somewhere, turns out mine is named Samantha too. I can hear "It's a small world" playing in the back of my head as I get ready to send this. So here's hoping you've all been having a great day!