I had a rather challenging day.
I woke to a bathtub plumbing problem that could no longer be put off until another day. Every time I showered, it rained in the basement. Fixing plumbing is one of my least favorite things to do, but I'll admit I love being able to do it myself. I have the proper tools, I plumbed most of my house anyway, so if it's not new plumbing, it's old plumbing that I know fairly well.
I had plans to meet a friend for lunch, so before I left the house I took Wilson for his walk and enjoyed the increase in temperature over yesterday. It was beautiful out. Really. Bright, sunny, 38 degrees.
Lunch was nice. We tried a place neither of us had been.
When we left the restaurant, I had agreed to walk down the street to look at Christmas trees with my friend. Unfortunately, I spotted the car that had completely parked me in first, and I set out to figure out how to get my car out instead. Back in to the restaurant, and no one there claimed the car. I walked around the corner to another restaurant at the suggestion of the waiter. In that restaurant they told me to try the tavern next door to them, as they were often the culprits.
At the tavern, I was met with a scribbly note on the door stating that the tavern was closed. Peering through the door, you could see people sitting around. My friend knocked on the door and reported that several people turned around and glared at her. Soon, a wrinkled up woman unlocked and opened the door, letting out a wave of smoke that rivalled the ashtrays in a 1972 El Camino. The woman said, "You parked in? Let me see if I can figure out who it is."
At this point I was furious, and pretty frustrated with her casual response to my inconvenience. I said to her, "Please tell them I am having it towed."
Her head whipped around like she was Linda Blair. "Hey! We all have to park where we can, you don't have to be rude about it." She wagged her nicotene-stained finger at me and added, "And you WILL NOT have it towed." I realized then that they had encouraged their guests to park that way, as my car wasn't the only one trapped.
The man who darted out the back door to move his car, called me honey. I ignored him. He moved and I left.
Later, I went to see Werner Herzog's newest film, Into the Abyss. Capital punishment is a hot-button issue for me, and I am never disappointed with a Herzog film. This documentary is a slight departure for Herzog, as he handles it different than some of his other films, but I thought his treatment of the subject matter and the people he interviewed was simply perfect. He didn't talk down to his viewers - he presented his case and left the conclusions to the audience. His footage spliced in between narrative was stunning. He is a true artist, if you ask me.
On my way home, in the dark, with the temperature dropped to a brisk 27-or-so degrees, I had a flat tire.
I pulled into a well-lit parking lot at a business that was closed, so getting the flat off and the spare on wasn't too bad. Incredibly inconvenient, but like plumbing, I am pretty happy that it's something I can handle myself. It would take longer to call for help than to put the spare on anyway.
My fingers frozen, I drove home slowly on my space-saver spare. I emailed work to let them know I would be having the flat fixed and therefore would be late in the morning. I hate to do that, especially with my dwindling hours and work (read: BROKE) lately, but I refuse to drive around on that donut with all the road construction in town. And the winter.
My problems are few, though. I learned that one of my favorite authors and bloggers lost one of his dogs this weekend. It's strange that because I read about him and all of his animals, and his farm, I feel as if he is a friend. A friend of a certain description, yes. I so enjoyed his most recent book, Going Home, Finding Peace When Pets Die, that the thought of him losing one of his pets hadn't occurred to me. I cried for him and his wife when I read the eloquent post about his beloved Rose. I thought of Olive. I thought of Basil, too, so many years ago.
I thought of another blogger that I admire and how just days ago she posted that her beloved dog Darby had died. It really is such a brief amount of time we have with pets we love, with people.
Into the Abyss showed an interview with a Team Leader in the Death House in Texas. The man explained how his entire attitude changed with the execution of Carla Faye Tucker, which he oversaw. His perspective changed so much that he quit his job and changed his entire view of the death penalty. He said that people started telling him to live his dash. He admitted he didn't know what that meant. He then explained that there are two dates on your tombstone. The day you're born and the day you die. It's what you do with the dash that matters. It may seem a little simple-minded to put it that way, but it is entirely true.
How will I live my life? As well as I can live it. I will seek to make the dash more abundant not only in my own life, but in the lives of my pets, my family, my friends. Maybe even the next time I encounter a nasty lady like I did at the tavern today, I will wonder if I made her dash better or worse and I will curb my actions.
What a Day! I can't wait for tomorrow. My dash should be full.