Saturday, October 24, 2009

Auto Knitting

I was really doing much better with vehicle maintenance up until recently. In the past, I may have put off things like routine oil changes just a bit longer than is recommended. I figured that, eventually, the little picture of the oil can would pop up on the dash and that would be my signal to deal with the matter. If I didn't have time for it just then, a hard left took care of the problem. The light goes right out once the last dregs of oil swish around in there...

But this is not a responsible way to live. I was lucky for a long time, but knew that my luck would not hold out forever. My resolve weakened a little back when the truck exploded in a spectacular display of lemony excitement. I'd been quite good with the oil and it rewarded me by dying well before its time. Or before I'd finished paying for it. That seemed rather harsh considering my new responsible attitude.

I have stayed the course in spite of this betrayal, though. My new car tells me in no uncertain terms when it wants oil. It tells me when it thinks it might be wanting oil in the near future. There are no excuses with the new car. It doesn't have issues with getting its needs met.

That doesn't mean I don't slip every now and again. The message center does have a "reset" button, after all. If I don't have the time or the resources to get an oil change, I can always tell the car to shut up. And that's just what I did back when it started to complain a while back. After a fashion, though, even I couldn't reasonably delay an oil change. The car was only going to tolerate so much before it decided that "reset" was no longer an acceptable response on my part.

I headed in for my scheduled appointment this morning at 9:30 sharp. This was the agreed upon time. This was the time Mr. Fixit and I both felt would allow for the oil change and me getting to my 11:00 appointment with The World's Greatest Stylist And Life Coach. The matter was discussed at length in our Thursday phone conversation. In fact, I even got there early just to be on the safe side.

Sheepish Annie: Good morning! I am Sheepish Annie and I am here for an oil change because my car told me I had to.

Car Lady I Deal With Often: Hello, SA! Let me just look you up in the computer here...

(There is a great deal of clicking, followed by a smidgen of brow furrowing. Then there is more clicking. After that there is some lip pursing. And more clicking...)

SA: I probably should mention that I talked to N*** when I called.

CLIDWO: Ohhhhh! I see. That changes everything!

(There is still some clicking, but far less than before. The brow furrowing and lip pursing is replaced with rueful head shakes)

SA: I figured with all the clicking, you probably needed to know that I talked to N***.

CLIDWO: He can answer the phone all right. He just can't get things into the computer. I go through this every single, stupid time!!

SA: I know. That's why I mentioned it.

CLIDWO: I'm going to give him so much crap for this.

SA: Don't mention my name. He scowls like he has anger control issues. Plus he's the manager and all...

CLIDWO: No worries. I've never thrown a regular customer under the bus.

In spite of her reassurances, I knew that this was going to take just a bit longer than I'd planned. Thankfully, I remembered to bring the knitting along. It was a tough decision. The logical choice would have been to pack up the simple hat or the boring sock. However, neither of those appealed to me and I ended up toting The Invisibility Shawl. This, of course, is not a good travel project because it involves counting and I don't do that very well when there are distractions. My car on a lift is a distraction. The scent of new tires is a distraction. People chatting on cell phones and the sight of freshly pressed sales people wandering around looking for victims is a distraction.

But the shaw is what I brought.

If nothing else, it's good for some attention. The lady sitting next to me commented on how "fine" the work was and I had to be honest with her about the pattern. It's four rows. Two are the exact same thing. Another is a purl row. The last is a knit. Not brain surgery unless you happen to be me, can't count and are scared of car salesmen. There was no glory in the pattern.

Fortunately, she also mentioned the yarn and asked where I got it. On that point, I could be justifiably proud. When you spin your first laceweight, you don't get all humble about it. You hold your head high and hope that the audience is suitably impressed. She was.

An extended oil change is good for three repeats on The Invisibility Shawl, in case you are wondering. That's almost exact. It doesn't allow for the time spent going back into the dealership because they forgot to reset the "OH MY GOD YOU HAVE TO CHANGE YOUR OIL OR WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!!! message on the dashboard. That only takes the technician a minute to do and the rest of the time you are driving around trying to find your way out of the repair center because they don't move the car for you in that situation.

It all worked out. I even had time to dash into the used bookstore before my hair appointment. I got to chit-chatting in there and was a minute or two late, but not so much as you'd notice. Honest. My stylist was ready with very sharp scissors in hand and a smile on her lips. She may have taken advantage of the situation just a little bit because I let her cut off more hair than she ever has before. But I can't prove that...

The car is now happy because it has oil and I am happy because I was the only one in the waiting room who just got to pay and go. Everyone else was approached by a serious looking repair representative who wanted to "discuss" a few things with them. I almost felt guilty but then I remembered all the very serious discussions I've had in there over the years and decided that I was due for some smooth visits to the dealership.

Not to mention knitting props and four shawl repeats in the waiting area!



trek said...

Wow, you knit.

I think I remember how to do that.

You have a better system than I do with the whole "buff" thing, though: you pedal the little bike through zombie-infested graveyards while you knit.

I zing around tight corners at the local mall. You just can't knit well like that. Especially lace or cables...

catsmum said...

your dealership must be a whole lot cleaner than the waiting area at my last mechanic - I'd never take anything more important than a beanie there
the recent purchase of a new vehicle means that it will be serviced at the shiny clean dealership - hey, maybe I'll get to take good knitting too!!!!

Anonymous said...

I must check out that Invisibility Shawl pattern. Even a lace-impaired moron like me might be able to manage a 4-row pattern (that's exactly what the lace edging on the chemo hats was and I managed those (after a somewhat shaky start)).

Mia said...

Hmmmmm... I might have to look into that pattern if it's only four rows.. that's my kind of knitting :) Sure wish I could take knitting to my "new" job hehehe.


Anonymous said...

I just noticed yesterday that I need to get my car in for an oil change pretty soon. I like to take mine to the garage attached to the store though, so I can shop while it's being done.

Knitting Linguist said...

Wow. I had no idea a visit to the car people could go that way. Imagine... No serious discussions, no additional costs, knitting. You deserved that one after those other visits! :)

Karen said...

Oh I hate that serious discussion. It's bad news, always.

Donna Lee said...

I had to read a magazine at the salon while I waited for my daughter to get her hair cut today because I FORGOT KNITTING!!! I know! How did that happen? Fortunately, there was a relatively new Vogue and I could look at the pictures.

Jeanne said...

You knit your own handspun--that must be a very satisfying feeling!

My car? The Mothership (inherited Buick)? It went without an oil change (or oil added, for that matter) for almost 10 months before I noticed the sticker and mileage data on the window. (Oops.) Yet, the thing kept running just fine. Lucky me, eh?

It's had a "OMG FIX THIS OR DIE" light burning steadily for about two years. It swears if I don't fix the ABS right now, Armageddon will occur (so you can blame me for the Rapture). Mechanic says to ignore it until I feel like fixing it... just be careful braking in wet weather.

I hear ya on the distractions. At least I'm knitting again. Cat Bordhi has sucked me in.

Lorraine said...

You are far too humble, Sweetie. Take all the glory for beautiful lace. Unless they are a master knitter, how will they know how difficult it is. Besides, you do have to COUNT amidst distractions, after all.