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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Commencement and Other Milestones

Trying to remain serious
Audience members of mine
I walked today.

With 550 or so of my Washington brethren and... sistern? Hmm... fellow alumni.

It was a seriously big deal, and I actually enjoyed the process, although there were a number of somewhat uncomfortable elements, like good old-fashioned acetate caps and gowns, and one bathroom stall for every hundred or so women.

So hot backstage!

That's me!
And although my new haircut is cool and cute and kind of breezy, it also does not take bobby pins well. So the cap kept slipping.

But oh, wow, I love how the University acknowledged the families of the graduates as well. Google knows mine were indispensable. I believe strongly that something like this - especially for those of us who were not fresh out of high school - requires major support from family, friends, roommates, whomever is your normal support structure, taken Up to Eleven. And I now feel more... I don't know, official, I guess... because I have actually done the walk.

And I almost had to do another one this evening, late, because the your-car-won't-start that we thought was super simple the night before (and therefore deliberately ignored because it was safely in my mom's driveway) was rather more complicated than we thought.

Battery old and corroded. Fine. Let's get a new one. I have a graduation gift of some cash and that's a good thing, and a new battery is only a hundred bucks or so. So  the good folks of ATT Roadside Assist send me out a tow truck, he gives me a jump and sends me down to the local auto parts store for a new battery. So far so good.

The battery guy - nice kid - takes out the old one (so corroded it's scary) and pops in a new one. He tightens the bolts and sends me on my way, with the instruction to drive for about 20 minutes to charge the battery.

Which worked great until said battery died again, this time in the middle of the road. With Abby (and we agreed while waiting for the tow truck that it was a good thing Lizzy wasn't with us or she'd run into traffic out of sheer boredom) and we can't get hold of Laston because his phone is charging and still off from the day's events.

So we get a friend who is also a neighbor to figuratively smack Laston upside the head and tell him to turn his phone on, Laston calls and comes down to where we are (Lizzy at Grandma's), to wait until the tow truck gets there and take us home.

Except he doesn't have to wait for the tow truck, because although Laston can't remember to turn his phone on, and he's not really a "car guy" he IS somewhat of a polymath, and that includes internal combustion engines.

He figures out that the problem is not the battery, or the alternator (thank Google). It's that the battery cables are not making the connection, even though they look okay at first glance. The kid at the auto parts store tightened them pretty well, but there's something wrong inside the cable attached to the positive thingy (contact?). Like maybe the battery acid corrosion ate through the cable somewhere and it's got a short circuit? So the battery didn't charge.

We got the car home without the help of the tow truck driver, and tomorrow I'm taking the van to work while Laston works on the car. And does the dishes, I hope. Happy Fathers' Day, honey!

In any case, it was a great day for power of one sort, and a really bad one for power of the battery sort, both phones and cars.

But then there's this, the sleepover at Grandma's. And that's enough for me.