blogitto ergo sum

March 1, 2011

#169 – a day in a life

It was meant to be a nice Friday: work from home ‘till noon, meet team for lunch, head to office for rest of day, swap monster with Lexus, courtesy of John, and end the day with beta tasting/testing of Mohamed’s [Via Mia] latest innovation – a Middle-Eastern calzone.

All plans go to heaven, and we are stuck with life as it comes our way.

Working until dawn, Eran’s phone call woke me with a start.

“I have a red oil light on” he said. “and the engine is not responding properly.”

“Shit.  What happened?”  It’s Eran’s move-in day; movers and Comcast are on their way… and he is stuck.

“Should I come with the truck to load the bike, my car?  what do you want to do?”


“I have your car.”

“Oh.” Eventually I closed my mouth.  “I guess truck it is then.”

“Got to go, the police want to talk to me.  I’ll call you right back”, Eran cuts off my thoughts.

In truck, with location SMS’ed, I call for AAA tow truck.  AAA showed up within 15 minutes. Impressive.  “Take it to its master” AKA Sears Cupertino auto shop, I tell the guy.

Off we go w/the monster; SFO here we come.

“I have a parking spot.  it comes with my apartment” Eran reassures me.

“And I’m driving a car that can’t make a u-turn over less than 4 lanes.”

We tried.  Monster fits width wise, but is too long.

sometimes size does matter

Back out.  Comcast won’t give Eran his appointment back, but the movers are most definitely coming.  So we go for lunch, and I get a first look of the neighborhood.  Only two blocks to Fillmore.  I like the area.  nice.  the  hair salons/people ratio is higher than one would expect.  as for coffee shops?  it seems that the street’s moto is “all you can drink coffee”.  will take a while to check them all out. one supermarket that is high on the yuppie scale with the mandatory starless coffee on-site.  design your hair, home, pet, nails, shoes and whatever else stores; no “design your nose” was spotted.

my loyal mechanic calls with an update.  AAA truck dropped the car, they tested it and can do nothing.  in other words, they run diagnostic and found what caused the alarm…  and it’s outside their scope.  i’m so happy they didn’t say “it’s above my pay grade.”

“we’ll talk when i get there” i end the call. “thank you!”

Fillmore St.

Eran took us to La Mediterranee, which he defined as fusion Mediterranean with a twist.

Lamb Moussaka

After sharing a very tahini-based hummus, Eran had the lamb moussaka; i opted for a salad that had lots of health and a whole garden in it.

Walking back to the apartment, the movers are 1o minutes away, and i realize that my shoes are not made for SFO streets; not if i want to enjoy the walk.  Pacific heights is anything but flat.

the front man hand shake is my clue to leave.  have been through enough moves to know it’s very personal.  before my fingers will cramp it’s time to let the Torch keyboard rest for a bit and shift to laptop.  so i went back to the Peet’s we passed on our way to/from lunch.

as i leave, i see the beginning of the move.

a latte, some sweet calories and i was ready to respond to the emails that required longer answers and attachments.  as my battery died i figured it’s time to go back to the move-in scene. did i mention that before the end of the day the monster is suppose to be returned to its rightful owner who needs it for the weekend and that i have yet to check on my own car under Sears’ care?

Move is not yet complete, though at this point some of the cross-country trip damages are coming to light.  i work very hard on keeping quiet.  all i need to know is when we can hit the road.  no way I’m gonna keep John waiting. assured they’ll be done shortly, i sit w/my by now chilled latte, exercising my right to be quiet.

monster, here we go.  Friday afternoon drive from Pacific Heights to Santa Clara.  no fun.  and we are only 15 minutes late after feeding the beast both gas tanks.  now with a much more maneuverable car, we are off to check on my poor Hyundai.  we are taken to the sanctum of the mechanics.  3 committed mechanics gather to let me know that they did their best to figure out the problem.  all i get is a piece of paper w/the error code that came up when they run the diagnostic.  something that has to do with the gas/air mix, the sensors determining it…  the things i don’t really want to know anything about.   but it’s my car.  and i need it.  “so,” i ask, after thanking them for doing above and beyond their pay grade and job description, “where do i take the car since you guys don’t deal with it?”  one brave soul admits that they take the cars to a small shop not far from here.  “Address?  are they still open?” i ask without much hope.  it’s Friday night, 6 PM, I’m tired, exhausted, hungry… and i was planning on picking my bike from Hayward the following day.  the extremely helpful guy comes back with yet another note.  it has a name, an address and a phone number.  and guess what?  they’ll wait for me if i head their way NOW.  Eran gets to drive my car, i get to drive John’s and we are heading to the BUSIEST parking lot of any car shop I’ve ever seen.  i park creatively and walk in.  a nice warm lady welcomes me.  “i called about a car, from Sears”…  i mumble as i hand the note with the bug #. “Oh yes”, she smiles.

This place is different!  Keystone Auto Services, on 2525 Keystone Avenue, Santa Clara, CA 95051-7118.  SAVE the name!

Eran points out the women magazines on the rack.  i look @ the couple in front of me, who seem to be hanging out without much of car issues.  with one look @ the code, the lady knows to tell me that they’ll have to run more diagnostics, since this code is too general for them.  “please do.”  she goes on and on, TMI on.  I fill the form, not without warming up.  the lady is just too nice, caring, knows her stuff…  “do you own the place?” asks Eran.  “yes,” she answers proudly, with my son and daughter, we’ve been here for over 20 years.”  Did i mention the lady is Asian, petite, full of energy and while taking care of my car also manages to answer a mechanic’s question, reassure a regular customer and process whatever?!  I’m in love with the place.  “we should be able to get you back the car by Monday or so.” “no rush, you can keep it until Wednesday” I’m happy to be “generous“.  surely enough, by Sunday night they were done.  it took 2 more days and Julie to come pick up the car.

down to one car,  we are off to grab a bite.  not much talking is going on.  @#$%! i still have the Middle-Eastern calzone try out tonight i suddenly remember.  by the time we get to Via Mia, all i am capable of is walk in, apologize for a day well-planned yet not so great as it turned out and get the AMAZING calzone to take home.  later it turned out to be an amazing meal, once warmed up in the oven.  but that’s a whole different story.

Have a wonderful [planned/unplanned] day!


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