Thursday, November 19, 2009

A disco ball that's just hanging by a thread

I have a car again at last! I settled on a dark blue 2007 Honda Civic LX coupe with 19,000 miles. The saga is finally over, as I just recently solved the last kink in the story: It needed new tires. Of course, I hadn't realized this when I got the car — I trusted Darren's evaluation that the tread seemed OK. But when we took it down to Rhode Island a couple Saturdays ago to have it checked out by Darren's trusty (and trustworthy) Honda mechanic, that was the only problem he found. It was a great relief, considering I had worried myself sick that there must be some catch to finding such a great car and getting it for such a great price though it had been sitting on the lot at the Subaru dealership I got it from for longer than a year. But what seemed too good to be true mostly wasn't, because try as he might, Darren's mechanic couldn't find anything besides the tires and the fact that I needed a new pollen filter.

It's a big relief that I once again am in possession of a car, and a really great one at that! Boy, am I sure glad I got new tires before the snow set in, though — ever since the accident with my poor Focus, I've been hell-bent on avoiding another one at all costs. And slipping and sliding around with bad tires on the snow and ice is one of the scariest scenarios in my mind. As if I didn't need another reason to utterly loathe Northeast winters ...

On the work front, I'm excited at how close we're getting to finishing up the Bowling project. I successfully coordinated and participated in a shoot in our studio with a pro bowler, the footage of which is being used in the graphic animations for our interactive project. It installs in Texas the second week in December, so we're getting really close. I've realized lately how much of my job is really about dealing with clients, explaining things, hearing their requests and finding solutions to fulfill them, all while keeping them happy and confident they made the best choice in awarding us the job. It's something I'm sort of new at, and it's a challenge since I kind of jumped in headfirst, but I feel I'm learning and have already gained some great experience that I can carry forth as a producer and project manager. I've got a way to go, however, and a lot more to learn, but I'm well on my way.

As the final leaves shrivel and weakly plummet from the trees, finally ceding prominence to the evergreens for the rest of the year, I realize how close I am to turning 24. I could hardly believe it last week when I was watching CNN and realized the date was Nov. 12, because I got this sudden realization that there was exactly one month until my birthday. Now, of course, it's three weeks. Each year, these holidays sneak up on me more and more. Someday it'll finally hit me on the actual holiday itself, and then I'll know I've finally lost it for good!

Speaking of holidays, Darren and I tried for weeks to find decent flights to Memphis to see his sister and her family for Thanksgiving, but to no avail. Flights this holiday season are just too expensive, and we didn't even consider driving; it just wouldn't be worth it. We visited them last Christmas, and I got on so well with the kids and the dog, Caleb, that I was pretty disappointed this year that we couldn't visit them for Thanksgiving. We had semi-promised over the summer that we would be there, but I think we're going to have to put off our plans until midwinter or spring. I definitely want to go visit them within the next couple of months!

My parents plan on going to Buffalo to see my nana (my father's mother, the last surviving 100% Sicilian member of the family) and my uncle at my uncle's new house. We're all pretty proud of him that he finally owns his own home, and I think my two cousins are pretty excited about it as well. He seems to be enjoying it so far, and I hope he continues to for a long time. Of course, Darren and I were more than welcome to join them, but Buffalo is a pretty long drive from Boston, and I've already explained how flying is also a no-go.

Aunt Mo, Grammy and Grampy are celebrating together in Richfield Springs, and we were welcome to join them as well, but then I thought about spending the holiday with just the two of us for the first time, cooking and spending the day together, enjoying a great meal and relaxing. It excited me so much that I wrote up a menu, detailing the ingredients needed, as well as the cooking "hardware" we'd use. Darren was equally excited about this prospect, so it was decided. It'll be different without the rest of the family for the first time, but we're a family, too, so we'll enjoy Thanksgiving together.