elemental

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alright, i am way behind on the posts, and i was so excited about the valentines day post that i had to get it out first, but now to the back-log. the back-log is thanks to the car saga, which i will tell you about now, so get ready for a big one… oh, and pardon the present-tense, but i started this post a few weeks ago already.

back on the big isle for another week of work, i find it difficult to do anything with my spare time but knit. i have made it to the bottom of the sweater though (still have to do the collar and arms), so the exciting addictive colour work has transitioned into the end ribbing, and that’s boring, so it’s time to write! my wrist was also getting sore from knitting too much, so i am trying to enforce breaks. this time around i again left the island on a super windy day (ese 27 gusting to 34), but this time, i was excited for it. i wanted to know if a new reality of non-motionsickness was going to take hold (unfortunately harry wasn’t working this shift so i have no new harry-ism for you). for this trip, lorde’s ‘pure heroine’ album was my accompaniment. this is an album that has remained in my rotation for the past two and a half years. the beats on this album, people, they are impossible not to dance to. perfect road-trip music. lorde was plugged in, full rain gear was donned, one ginger pill taken half an hour before, and i was good to go. and really – i was. glee came around again, flew in and bopped around with me on the back deck. this time it felt like i was dancing with the ocean, the swells and falls moving through me as i experimented with what i could do to dance with heaving water. luckily this island is used to, and generally encouraging of, people following their bliss. dancing around on the back deck is no big deal. about 2/3 of the way through the crossing, alex came over to talk with me, and i even managed to carry on a conversation with him and take my eyes of the water/horizon for stretches of time. this is a feat previously unheard of, that would immediately instigate quease in the past. the swells were smaller by this point, but the magnitude of the rocking was still enough that when i dropped a mitten and bent over to pick it up – needing to take both hands off the railing – i stumbled backward and fell over. much to alexs amusement.

arriving at the dock, i believe i was beginning to expect something to be amiss with my car each time i returned to it. a few trips ago it was the flat tire, then it was its disinclination to start. last time, amazingly, nothing was wrong. this time it started up first try, but the idle was awful. chuggy, like it wanted to quit, but didn’t. so i was beginning to become resigned to the fact that i should take it into a shop to get some diagnostics done. as you may remember from when i bought this car, it is my lemon. it has had issues from the get go. perhaps this is to be expected from old used cars (this is a 2000), but really, this cars just feel over the top. the truck i got last summer (a ’95 vintage) was basically fine. it did have a brake line go as soon as i moved it to the island, but that has been it (THANK YOU UNIVERSE). this car though. hoo boy. admittedly, this partly comes from my expectations. i expect a car that continues to run despite very little maintenance on my part. which is ridiculous. i am starting to realize that if i expect this, i should maybe buy cars that cost more than 2500$ and aren’t this old, with this much mileage. otherwise, i need to expect to put money in, and i need to expect unforeseen things to come up. so, the car is idling roughly, and running roughly, turns out. i make it about a km when the ‘check engine’ light starts to flash. oh shit. as you may also remember, my check-engine light has been on since i bought the car, thanks to the kind soul who cleared the codes, left the issues, and sold me the lemon. (sarcasm). i had the codes read after i bought it, and it was either the catalytic converter or the oxygen sensor, and the mechanic did not seem to think these were pressing issues, which made it VERY easy for me to ignore them and continue driving around with my check-engine light on. when this light starts to flash however, you stop. i did, but then realized i was about a km away from a service station, so i should at least continue on til there. the car made it, and i sat in the lot trying to figure out what to do. i was due at work in three hours, had a car full of stuff, including skis, and still needed to get to the place i stay in nanaimo to pick up my uniform before work. i didn’t have CAA, b/c i figured i’d just get it when/if i needed it. that is the route i decided to go. i needed both the car and myself in nanaimo, so i opted for that over the generic service station i had driven to. calling CAA i made it through an INCREDIBLY staticky phone call where i could sometimes barely hear what the rep was saying, and where she also had to re-start my application three times because the computer didn’t like my general delivery address. before the third try i offered to make up a street address for her, but i don’t think she liked the sound of that and figured some other way around it. so, after an hour of waiting, and my friend patrick coming down to offer his support and potential use of his CAA card (since, as it turns out, you do not get unlimited towing if you sign up on the spot and expect to use it right then), i got a tow and off we went to nanaimo. my new mechanics took the car from me, shuttled me home and thus began phone call after phone call of new things coming up. it started out innocently enough. it was the spark plugs which looked like they had never been changed. and a wire broken off in an ignition coil. turns out though that my control arms had failed and so the car was unsafe to drive, so i’m sure glad i went in there for something else before they failed catastrophically. they cleared the codes, then realized the coolant temperature sensor wasn’t working. along with that, the thermostat had been set to stay open. then after those things were fixed, they realized the fans weren’t coming on now that the engine was getting up to proper temperature. they noticed a fuse had been pulled, so replaced it, but with the fuse in, once the fans came on, they wouldn’t turn off, even after the engine was shut down. in the midst of this week of my bank account draining, i decided to call it quits. cut my losses and start again. i should’ve done this at the beginning maybe, but i didn’t foresee just how badly things would go. it looked so innocent at the start with just the spark plugs. so i quit at the control arms, in order to at least attempt to sell a car that isn’t going to kill anyone. all of that took a week and a half, and by the end of the second week, i found myself a new used car. a 2010 honda fit, with only 78,440 km. sweet. the things i forget in buying cars though, is that you have to pay tax on them. when i bought the golf i figured it’d get me through the meantime and then i’d just buy another, but then there is the tax, and it just kills you! so i had spent two weeks in town working and dealing with cars, fixing and looking for and buying, and therefore i got almost no knitting done! but i did find a super bike mechanic co-op where i went to give my bike a tune-up, and it now rides like a dream, AND with a bigger granny gear in the rear for all the hills in nanaimo. i still managed to get yoga in quite a bit, and at least one acupuncture appointment. i also took the weekend off of chores and ben came to visit and we hiked up mt.benson in the snow (soooooooo fun. we ran and slid down the steep parts at the top!) and then went wandering in the sunshine-y woods again the next day before he headed home for school.

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so i found the honda on tuesday, got in contact with the seller wednesday and went to check it out, had the mechanics check it out thursday, and it was mine on friday. friday was a little hairy, i had a full work day, then after work needed to get a bank draft, get the car signed over, get insurance put on it, pack it up and make it to the last ferry of the day (5:30), so that i could make it to the lantern festival that night back on the wee island. i thought i had time to spare, and i wouldn’t have tried it otherwise, but then we realized when the mechanics had the car to inspect it, they’d taken out the service records ALONG with the insurance papers and had neglected to put them back. oh boy. that set us back, but they came to drop them off and everything else went smoothly and i was on the last ferry with 20 minutes to spare. when i know things are going well and everything is generally falling into place, i do take great pleasure in the bang bang bang of getting things done. i just don’t like living that way all the time. as a result of getting the new car right before leaving the big island, i haven’t had an opportunity to spend a lot of time with it yet, but there is a road-trip planned up to the ski hill next weekend, so i will keep you posted. hopefully all good things from here on in… and don’t worry, i plan to maintain this one. i think part of the issue with the golf is just that i didn’t respect it as much as i do hondas or toyotas. i grew up with hondas, i know they are good cars, it is the car i should’ve gotten in the beginning.

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back on the wee island, valeria had organized a lantern festival at the southend. this was something i was really looking forward to because this is similar to what i had helped set-up for halloween, but then was super sick the next day and didn’t get to see it all alight and glowing. what a dream it was to drive in to the parking lot to see SOOO many cars and these orbs of light aglow with the city lights on the big island far away on the horizon. i expected maybe 20 people to show up, but there was at least double that. what a dream it is to live here. what a joy to come home from a couple of weeks of work and immediately immerse myself in community. i love how when you emerge into this community your plans just have a tendency to make themselves. the next day ben and i began a project that he dreamed up and i jumped onto – making backcountry skis!! he has a collection of beach-combed yellow cedar, so the process began by picking the piece with the straightest grain and splitting it, then planing it down to flat. i am excited for the steaming-the-wood-to-bend-it part, but i think that’s a ways off yet. we also managed to find a super tall doug fir to climb for sunset and were graced with sweeping views of the big island to the north-east and two different views of van isle. i woke up monday morning before dance class to more sun and calm and all i wanted to do was go paddling, but i also didn’t want to miss class, so i had to give up that desire. the bike ride was a delight, i just really really love living here. and class was wonderfull as usual. it was our second class in two days because we had a catch-up class on saturday, and it was nice to dance twice in such quick succession to ease the muscles back into shape after over a month of not dancing. then at lunch afterwards, i was gazing out at the sunny view and said to sho: do you want to go canoeing? and she said YES! YAAAAY!!!! we were both on our bikes, so we tore off to my place first to grab some gear and snacks and then to hers and onwards to johns beach where we had use of carsons canoe. it ended up being a short paddle because we are in a bit of a cold snap here, and the sun was sinking in the sky, but oh so divine to once again feel the motion of a paddle through water. this is my bliss.

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