Sunday, November 16, 2008

Everything I Don't Need!

Everything I Don't Need!

An Unfortunate Friday the 14th

The calendar disagrees, but calamitous clouds adopted "Everything I Don't Need" as a theme song, turned my Nov. 14 into a "Friday the 13th," and hung around all weekend.

On Fridays, I teach music lessons at an academy in another city. In spite of the Triad's monsoon weather conditions, I stuck to my cost efficient plan to incorporate a banking errand and a haircut en route to the first lesson.

Atrocious weather aside, with newly-shaped curls and Clay Aiken's On My Way Here CD blaring, I cheerfully departed the salon 10 minutes ahead of schedule. Picking up lunch at a drive-through, I parked in the lot between McDonalds and a car wash to eat a cheeseburger.

AAA to the Rescue

When I tried the car ignition, nothing happened. I turned the key again, and still nada. In all the years I have paid for a AAA membership, this was only my second time to really need assistance.

When asked for the address of my location, I could name the intersecting streets but not a specific number. The agent suggested that I walk to McDonalds to secure the exact address. I described the "cats and dogs" rain conditions and told her that people from this area would recognize my location, which was also part of a large Harris Teeter parking lot.

The AAA contact finally dropped the exact address request and informed me my wait would be up to 60 minutes. I immediately called the school and the parents of my first two students. Fortunately, I never leave home without a calendar and student contact info.

Post Mortem for Holiday Funds

The local towing/recovery establishment easily located me within 10 minutes. The mechanic checked my battery and promptly signed its death warrant. I am positive I paid more for the replacement under emergency circumstances, but I was assured that my new battery carries a six-year guarantee.

I later learned this means three solid years with the next three on a pro-rated basis. Whatever, this unplanned event cut deeply into my holiday shopping plans.

Then again, maybe I am being paid back for my first AAA experience years ago. I was on the way to Nashville, TN, when my car stopped running a few miles east of Cookeville. On my brother-in-law's recommendation, I had purchased a AAA-Plus membership prior to the trip.

Instead of looking into the problem, AAA towed the car and me 90 miles to a service station near my destination. I told my rescuers that I was running on fumes and aiming for the next exit. Sure enough, the only problem that time was being out of gas.

Bad Luck Stays All Weekend

I taught three lessons instead of five on Friday, and the rainy conditions continued through the evening. Soon "Weight of the World" was added to my playlist.

Wearily, I fell asleep relatively early on the sofa in my den. Around midnight I awakened to a series of "ker-plunks" bouncing off a cardboard box on the nearby love seat. I immediately moved the box of new USB cords, thankfully still in unopened plastic, and stationed a couple of bowls to catch the invading raindrops.

By Saturday morning, the rain and original leak had stopped. The den, a converted garage, has a flat roof; and in the afternoon, water blazed a new trail inside and my luckless litany continued. I set up another bowl to catch the invading drips and began leaving messages with recommended repairmen.

Sunday a roofer's estimate of $2,800 for a new rubber topping added an exclamation point to my weekend of bad fortune, poking further holes in holiday funds.

However, the forecast is sunny; and I look forward to a week without a "Friday the 13th"!

PHOTO INTERLUDE: Inspired by scenes from the recent TBAF Gala, Spamalot stage door gatherings in Shubert Alley, and Clay's latest UNICEF trip to Somalia, this clickable interlude features graphics by Amazing_CA, photo by Toni7babe, 1; ACA, 2; ACA, photo by Rhonna1, 3; Claystruck, 4; and ACA, photo by Dancerdad, 5.

Carolina Blog Greets 96 Nations!

Greetings to the Carolina blog's many new visitors! As always, the welcome mat is out for all who stop by this corner on a regular basis.

From the sidebar's
ClustrMap and Feedjit Live Feed statistics, you represent 96 countries -- roughly 20 more than in June when I last listed reader locations. According to these stats, a very successful worldwide tour is bound to be in Clay Aiken's future.

Clickable ClustrMap

By continent, countries represented are listed below with new sites in bold:

ASIA: Guam, Hong Kong-China, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Micronesia, Oman, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Qatar, South Korea, Taipei, Taiwan, Vietnam, Pakistan, Iran, Bahrain, Kuwait, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Cambodia

AFRICA: South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Madagascar, Seychelles, Somalia, Kenya, Nigeria, Mozambique, Algeria

EUROPE: Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Romania, Scotland, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Belgium, Poland, Russia, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Croatia, Serbia, Ukraine

NORTH AMERICA: Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, United States, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Bermuda, Saint Lucia, Guatemala, Nassau, The Bahamas, Grenada

SOUTH AMERICA: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, Ecuador

AUSTRALIA: Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania

The "live feed" not only indicates the graphics and photos readers open and save but also the wide range of topics -- Clay Aiken's career and new family, Martin Luther King Jr., Barack Obama, Loree oboe, trifocals, viral marketing, "Hurricane Kai," etc. -- that guide Google searches here.

Many thnx to those who leave comments with a screen name or as "Anonymous," the conventional moniker for non-Blogspot members. It's always great to hear from you.

Thank you, too, for the ongoing geography lesson. No doubt, you make "Teacher Clay" proud.

A Caption for Kai's Picture

In this interactive segment, you can help pen a grandmother's blog. When snapping the latest picture of 14-month-old Kai, his mother said she tried everything to get him to smile. Normally a happy little guy, Kai is walking and talking up a storm.

I asked some friends to offer caption suggestions, and clever is "in." Several have been added from the OFC and Carolina blogs; more are welcome.

I finished my cracker, Mom. Don't we have enough groceries yet?

My hands are in the cart, my diaper is dry, I'm not fussing. Now you want a smile, too? Give me a break, Mom! -- Sally

But I said I wanted Fruit Loops and chocolate milk! -- Margaret5828

Okay, now I'm bored. When can I get out of this thing? -- Barb55
Hey, I want to dance. Just 'cause I kept you up most of last night is no reason to hold me hostage in this cart. -- ShinehoneyShine

Ummm, excuse me, Mom -- the Sugar Pops are on the next aisle. -- cindilu2
How come you buy just food? How about a nice toy for ME? -- Marian1570
Wish I was at Toys"R"Us right now. This is boring! -- Amazing_CA
This supermarket music is putting me to sleep. We need some Clay Aiken in here! -- Sexycaliprincess
Look into my eyes, DEEEP into my eyes; I want the red truck, the blue ball, and cocoa puffs with whipped cream for lunch. -- SueReu

This is BORING. When's the fun going to start? -- Ashes

I'm going to start charging money to see my cute dimples. -- Margaret5828

You know what would go good with this milk? Chocolate chip cookies and the express check out! -- PromiseMe

Are you done yet? I want Grandma Caro! -- way2clay

Really Mom? The 'baby in the bathtub' picture wasn't enough? -- Kimmstarraiken

Mom, I'm tired of shopping. It's cookie and nap time. -- Crazy4ClayinTN

Now promise me ... are you sure this whole election thing is over? -- vibajajo

I will make this face and give all those woman in my grandma's blog something to ponder about. I wonder what they will think I am thinking. -- Aspiegirl

Mommy, are we done shopping yet? We need to pick up our airline tickets to go see Grandma Caro? -- Marlyne

Sounds good to me! Have an awesome week, Clay Nation!


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SueReu said...

ahhhhhhh, I kind of liked the 14th (it was my BIRTHDAY LOL!!!)

((( caro )))

and for Kai: "Look into my eyes, DEEEP into my eyes, I want the red truck, the blue ball, and I want cocoa puff with whipped cream for lunch"

Ashes said...

Ouch to your savings, that's enough of a hit on them. It wasn't Fri 13, but it was full moon time and that can be just as bad.

Kai sure is growing up fast, the captioning was fun.

Congratulations of the ever growing world visitors! That is awesome.

Here's to a good week.
Hugs :)

MissSally said...

Oh sweetie, I feel your pain...looks like Kai does too. g

Loved the blog!

Cindy said...

Caro, I can't believe how much little Kai has grown since my last visit here. He is a cutie-patootie.

Sorry to read about your run of calamities - I hope they're all over now. I know you'll rise up from the Ashes though ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Caro,

No More Bad Luck For You!!! You have had your share, for sure!!!

I am loving reading all the captions for Kai's photo...awesome idea you had.

Of course the blends of Clay, are sure easy on the eyes....LOL

Enjoy the rest of the week.