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driving again, temporarily

Hey look, I have a free half-hour or so left in the day, before I have to head to the airport to pick up Doug (whose flight of course is running late).

I am driving again! Temporarily. With Doug coming to town and staying for ten days, it made sense to rent a car; relying on buses to get us around simply would not work, especially given our late-night lifestyles. 

—and, I just spilled hot chocolate all over my computer. That really was not something I needed to do. I flipped it immediately, and got some napkins to wipe stuff up, and the keyboard seems to be still working properly, so I'm hoping it'll be okay. It's late enough that Bauhaus stops serving in regular glasses and only does to-go cups, which was fortunate as a lot less splashed out than would've happened otherwise. I sure hope there won't be any problems, because although I had some good news today that may mean more work coming to me, I'm still in no position to have to replace this laptop yet. 

Anyhow, so: rental car. The car's a Kia something or other. It feels roomier inside than my Corolla, but also just feels larger overall, which is disconcerting—I don't have a good feel yet for how big it is. I feel as though I were wearing a cardboard box model of a car, as for a school play, attached to me by wires. I'm sure I'll adjust as I get used to it.

It's also a little disconcerting how quickly it feels natural again to have a car. At first it felt kind of weird just to be driving at all, but I'm sure there was some unconscious nervousness contributing to that. I quickly relaxed into it and regained my reflexes, so aside from not yet feeling comfortable with this particular car, I'm feeling comfortable with driving.

The disconcerting part is not so much that, though, but more taking for granted the mobility and flexibility it provides. I've gone close to nine months without a car, and for the most part I've been managing fine. But last Saturday I went to a concert at the Rendezvous that, as always, ran really late; late enough that, because I chose to stay until the end, I missed the last convenient bus to get home, and spent most of an hour walking instead of waiting that time to catch the next bus, which would've dropped me off near the top of Queen Anne anyhow. And last night I went to the Electric Tea Garden for a friend's birthday, and I had to leave earlier than I wanted again so that I could get downtown to pick up the last convenient bus. I've been willing to put up with that because I'm not able to afford another car. Having the rental car, though, I'm immediately thinking about how easily I could get around again, and feeling like I do want to get another car. 

Seattle's transit system has worked okay for me in the past nine months, but I wish it were still easier and more reliable, and offered more late-night options. I've been leaning toward not wanting to get another car, despite that. Having the car option though, just for a brief time, may be changing my feelings back. 

Okay this is a bit of a jumbled mess, but I'm out of time. Spilling my cocoa didn't help my thinking, of course.

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The List: June 2011

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