Help, I’m a Prisoner at the Auto Shop

I’ve been here since 7:45 this morning. It is now 1:37. For all you math-challenged people that would be almost six hours.

Six. Whole. Hours. They should pay me for working the entire day here.

It was recommended to me on Twitter that I just start writing. So here i am, writing and hoping that it’ll be like going to the bathroom in a restaurant so the waitress will come. I’m going to keep updating this post every time I write a section, so click back to see how long it actually takes me to get out of here. Ready? Set? GO.


I came here for two simple things: to get my struts replaced and to fix the thermostat (which is the reason my Check Engine light is on). I’m about to drive 8 hours to SC before Xmas and then 10 hours back to PA after Xmas, so I was going to be a good girl and make an appointment with my favorite Auto Doctors so I would have a smooth, worry-free ride.

I brought my laptop and CD envelopes and CDs to burn — that’s right, though belated there WILL be a Happy Holidays 2009 CD. If you receive yours after Xmas, you’re just going to have to forgive me. Life has been a little insane. It’s probably more insane of me to be trying to shoehorn CD-making into everything I’ve got going on, but this is my 9th year of making it and there would be too many disappointed people — including me — for it to not happen. So it’s going to happen.

I actually took Robin McKinley’s The Blue Sword OUT OF MY BAG before leaving the house, but I did have the presence of mind to take the apple I stole from the bowl yesterday afternoon in Awesome Kitchen.

See? I can be smart sometimes.


I originally had plans for lunch. I was going to have sushi with some of the girls from the office. Only I got an out of office message from the one I emailed this morning — a couple of texts and a few messages later I discovered that Tracy was incredibly sick, Lillie was at the doctor’s too, Shannan’s departmental potluck had been rescheduled for today, and lunch was rescheduled to Monday.

Which ended up being a good thing BECAUSE I’M STILL HERE. See? Everything does happen for a reason.


So the struts that we ordered, after checking the production date on the car and everything, didn’t fit. This was about 2 or 3 hours into the visit. They did make another size strut for the Volvo wagon that year, but no dice trying to get one here by Monday.  Shortly after it was discovered that the thermostat bolt had been stripped. Easy enough — pop across the street to the Auto Parts store and get one. Only…they don’t have one.

Kenny from the front office actually drove to the Hardware Store to get some bolts to try. He and another guy both offered to pick me up something to eat. (Luckily, I found some peanuts in my bag from last night — thank you, Southwest.) I thanked them both but declined, asking them to please just PUT MY CAR BACK TOGETHER.

This is my last weekend in TN for a while. I’ve been planning exactly what I want to eat and from where before I go. This afternoon was going to be Newk’s Deli. Tonight, Eddie and I are getting take-out from Taste of China. Tomorrow might be a stop by the Noodle House or Slick Pig. Either way, it’s definitely our bagel place for breakfast.

In none of these scenarios was McDonald’s ever an option. I’d rather starve. So I am. Kenny got back about 20 minutes ago. He seems to think one of the bolts he found would work. My fingers would be crossed if they weren’t too busy typing for warmth. (Did I mention it was cold in here?)


I finished signing all the CD folders and writing my website on them — I plan on posting the playlist online so everyone can check it out. Only I don’t like giving the songs away too soon — part of the present is the surprise of wondering which crazy song the princess is going to add next. I’ll hand off a box to the girls Monday at lunch, and probably post the songs and artists…how about Christmas! That would be a good Christmas present. Cool. I could even start writing that post NOW. Except I’m too busy writing this one.


Sweet!! Kenny just got an email. He can have official honest-to-god bona fide Volvo struts here by 1:30 on Monday. I would happily stay in TN another full day if it means I can get this all fixed up. It also means that I can go to lunch with the girls and then just come back here straight after. HOORAY! See? The universe does provide. It’s all a little bit of good magic.

Shame I’m not a more patient individual. Then again, I think 6.5 hours is pretty darned patient…


Christmas is going to be awesome, btw, and not just because it’s the second time in 17 years that I’ve had more than one day off for the holiday. (That’s a big factor, though.) If you happen to be in Charleston SC on Christmas Eve, we’ll be partying all day at Dixie Dunbar Studio with champagne and wassail and all sorts of other goodies until close. 192 King Street, Charleston SC. Bookmark it into your iPhone and come on by!

(And yes, if you bring copies of AlphaOops or the Dark-Hunter Companion or Beauty & Dynamite or anything else I would be happy to sign them. I don’t have a huge stash of my own to sell you, though, so think about picking some up before you come! If you order now on Amazon you could have them by the 24th using Standard Shipping…or ship them straight to the studio with a note including your name on it so we know to hold them!)


A guy just came in and started telling me about how his buddy had promised him all kinds of favors and then never fixed his car. It’s okay because he has a ride home for Christmas, and it’s been nice saving money while it’s been out of commission, but it’s nice to have a car, you know? Oh, and the dog winked at him.

Did I mention Murfreesboro was a college town?

We’re easing up on hour seven. How long does it take to replace a bolt? Scratch that. I don’t actually want to know. But if they want to lend me that classic black Impala just inside the door, I’d be happy to vacate their lobby and go run my errands. I need to stop by Wal-Mart and pick up better CD labels because the ones I got are crap. And I need another printer, because I killed my desktop before I left and the printer I have, though wonderful, is too old to connect with a USB cable.


HOLY CRAPINOLI, THE BOLTS WORK. *sob* When I come back on Monday I’m bringing CDs and cookies and hot chocolate. And one of the books I need to be reviewing for my next IGMS column. And a cushion for my tushie.


And you know what? I’m still going to Newk’s for lunch. And when Eddie gets here we’re still having Chinese. I can always skip the bagel place and have leftovers for breakfast.