I'm at the Toyota Dealer again. Getting an oil change. It feels like I was just here.
I got my last oil change on Feb. 9. That wouldn't be such a big deal, except that I need oil changes every 5,000 miles and my "Maint Req'd" light has been on for a week now. Apparently, driving between Charleston to Miami and back a couple of weekends ago, my drive across country to Arkansas and back last weekend, and my usual 600+ mile roundtrip commutes have pushed me over the limit. Yeesh.
The good news is that the truck needs a good cleaning and a good vacuuming after what it's been through lately, and they take good care of me here. I make 7:30am appointments which makes for an early start to he day but makes for quicker in/out visits than when things start to get backed up.
This morning I was walking the dogs a little before 7. It's a cool, bright sunny morning here. Downtown last night was just crazy - the Charleston Food and Wine Festival is happening this weekend which attracts 20,000+ people, since it was the first Friday of the month all the Galleries are open all evening and serve wine/munchies which attracts lots of people to downtown, so the sidewalks were clogged until well into the night. But this morning, nobody was out.
It was quiet. Streets were empty. The only sounds were bird sounds. It was absolutely wonderful. As the sun peeked over the trees and buildings providing that early morning rich gold light there was a sense of peace. I took the time to close my eyes and breathe deeply to soak it all in. For a moment.
I remember saying last Friday that I wish I could fall asleep and magically wake up today. The week seemed to be an overwhelming one - with the drive across country, the dogs suddenly back in my life, my last week at work, getting to and from Raleigh, and general life "stuff" (I didn't foresee the CNN thing....) it all just seemed so daunting. But here we are....it's all past....and I've survived again
Last night, after getting home, I went to a concert at the Performing Arts Center. Last year, during the annual Spoleto Festival, there was a performance here by a ukelele player named Jake Shimabukuro. I'd heard that he was amazing, so when he came back to perform again I got tickets. It was a wonderful way to end a crazy week.
Here's a short clip of one of his songs taken with my iPhone:
I've never seen anything quite like it. He's won a Grammy, played for Queen Elizabeth, and seems to have no peers doing what he does. Anyway, the things he could do and the sounds he could get from that little four-stringed instrument were....well....amazing.
I'm in the process of answering the questions that CNN provided based on the comments to the article, and to the original story. I talked with the guy at CNN.com who apparently oversees the comments yesterday....I told him I wouldn't want his job for anything. He said that there were well over 16,000 comments on their original story at that point, and over 1,600 comments on my Op/Ed piece. Sheesh.
One thing I'll share is that the finished product is often a negotiated edit of the original wording. One example:
In the text I originally provided I highlighted a quote from Vice President Biden last October that transgender civil rights are "the civil rights issue of our time" (see source). In the edited version that they sent back they had softened that, removing the direct quote altogether. I don't think that affects the overall goal of the piece, though, so I didn't fight too hard about it.
My sister arrives tomorrow night for a 12-day visit. I can't remember the last time we spent 12 days together. She and my mom came to visit me for my birthday when I lived in Arizona, but I'm thinking this is a first. As part of her visit we're planning to visit with one of my cousins in Virginia who's turning 60 this month. We haven't seen one another since I was 10 or 11 years old. We stay in touch on FB, and I'm looking forward to it.
Well, my truck is almost ready so time to go. I'm off to enjoy a little down time. Later today I've got some errands to run and I'll see a certain someone who tends to make me smile. I plan to get back into the gym regularly. I've been holding off on some things because my schedule has been so crazed so I'm going to get back to doing them. All things considered.....I'm good.