Things About Driving that are Different since the Last Time I was a Driver
* SUVs (like, everywhere) * Air Bags ("10" and "2" is no longer the "ideal" hand position) * iPod/iTune technology (sweet!) * Mapquest (still want a GPS someday though) * Cell Phones: it's amazing how many people I see driving around with a phone held up to their ear. Although, there is one positive to the ubiquitousness of cell phones, I can sing along to the iPod and people can assume I'm just talking on a hands-free cell phone call (you just have to watch that head bobbing, etc.)
Things I had forgotten:
* How much tail-gaters annoy the crap out of me. * Constantly amazed at how few people actual signal to turn or switch lanes. * How easy it is to speed (and people were telling me to buy a turbo, have enough trouble keeping to the speed limit as it is) * How much fun driving a stick is (except in Boston bumper-to-bumper traffic)
I signed up for the gym at New Company today. Now let's see if I can make myself go and use it. No spinning there though, although they told me that it's coming soon.
Weird weather tonight, coming home it was sort of raining, sort of snowing, sort of icing. Between the weird globs of falling ice/snow/rain, the headlights and the reflective surfaces, it was really hard to tell where I was in the road. It was a strangely stressful drive home, I almost felt a little drunk & disoriented.
I still haven't bought an ice scraper thingie for the car, so I went outside just now and drove the car around to the back to put it in the car port since the weather is kind of weird and I'm not sure how much snow or ice is supposed to fall tonight. I usually just leave it in a parking place outside my apartment, the car port is all the way around the back and on the other side of the building, so I don't usually like to park it back there. Anyway, I took Lola with me for a "ride", she was such a freak shaking in the back like she's thinking we're about to move again or something. In the meantime, the "drive" was literally 1 or 2 minutes long. Freak. Walking back to the building from the car port, I almost fell on the asphalt four times (in all of about 50 feet). Totally black ice everywhere, I'm so glad I don't have to drive anywhere tonight.
At work they've migrated our reporting software over to a new release and now a bunch of stuff is really screwed up. The front-end html interface tool is now completely different from how it worked with the older release. Not only am I now going to have to learn how this new interface works, but it seems that I can't even open the html files we've created with the older release without changing some fundamental properties. I have no idea of what the impact is going to be on this work and I can anticipate that there will now be a new complicated element to my job that I'm going to have to deal with. Ugh. So right now I'm dealing with two different development environments and I'm beginning to feel a bit crazed about it all. It's always something.
Things are going along well, but I really am so glad it's Friday. And, a long weekend to boot! (at least I think it's a long weekend, I've got to check and make sure we have Monday off here). I'm just so tired by the time I reach this end of the week, and I think I'm also a little mentally over-taxed by Friday too. Yesterday we had a meeting with our client on this project that I am working on and we were going over all the enhancements and progress that has been made during the week. I can talk about all the reporting and functionality, etc. 'til the cows come home, but when bond traders and various money people start shooting questions at me about data and calculations, etc. I kind of get this deer in the headlights thing going on. I mean, I take the input I get from the business and from the datamart people and what's been done so far and go from there. But I don't know enough about the business and the data yet to feel really confident and it the scares beejezus out of me.
Yesterday morning I was working away and making some progress on this reporting program that I'm writing. I had been responding and contributing to various team members consistently, my new car was sitting outside in New Company's parking lot and I realized all of a sudden that, wow, I'm actually happy. Or at least getting there. I feel like I'm getting a bit of a handle on the job, I'm getting along well with the team, I'm speaking up in meetings, I have my license and a car now and my money situation is not desperate (for a change) and I really like this area that I'm living in. So I feel that things are beginning to come together nicely.
I should say that I was happy until I found out that the chick who supposedly was buying my apartment in NYC has been jerking me along for the past five weeks and it turns out that she doesn't have the required deposit after all! ARGH! So now I've lost a lot of critical time in this process. The good news is that I already have another offer for the same price, but who knows when this closing will ever freaking happen? Dealing with the management company and co-op board alone can take forever. Seriously.
After having my little loaner Suburu for the past 24 hours (sidebar: I even drove myself to a Target, the first time I had ever been in one!) I drove it back to the dealership and ended up leaving with a brand new car. A 2006 5-speed "steel gray metallic" Forester. I didn't really think this was going to happen so fast, but there you go, yikes! We're supposed to be getting this gi-normous snow storm tonight and I don't even own so much as an ice scraper! (Guess I should have picked one up at Target). Oh well, at least there is a car port that I can use around the corner. Anyway, so now that I'm home I can sit here and start to freak out about the money and second guess my decision to get a new car. Well, at least I won't have to rely on the Taxi Guy any more (although I really should give him a call and thank him for all of their assistance to me over the past few weeks).
Oh and my stick-driving skills are pretty damn rusty (after all, it has been at least 10 years, and I think actually it's more, since I've driven a stick), so I need some practice. I'm pretty rough at the moment (at least I didn't stall or back-slide anywhere on the way home, so I guess that's something).
Speaking of Taxi Driver, a couple of the taxi guys at various times have invited me to join them for karokee night at a local chinese restaurant! Can you just see me hanging out with the taxi guys doing karokee??? Too funny.
So, two of my immediate goals have now been accomplished:
* Get driver's license -- check * Get a car -- check
I'm so glad it's Friday, I'm just exhausted. Each week I seem to be a little bit busier in my new job. This is a good thing as it means that I am getting more and more involved. So, the highlights of my week:
Got my NH license! (as stated previously) This was such a huge relief. The whole process was a whole lot more pleasant (I'm sure) than the experience would have been in NYC. First, I didn't have to get a learner's permit. In NH (if you're over 15 and 1/2) you can just go ahead and drive, as long as you are accompanied by a license NH driver over the age of 25. Weird. So, I was able to drive around with Driving School Lady right from the start. When you go to take your test, you take the eye, written and driving test all in one shot. The guy who gave me my driving test was so nice, he just sat there and chatted with me the whole time while I just tooled around on some of the surrounding streets. He didn't even bother to write anything down while I drove and when I was finished, he handed me a piece of paper and said that he didn't even mark off any demerits for anything. Such a jubilant feeling to know that I now once again have a license.
Went to Boston for meetings. My group had this all-day meeting/seminar/class in Boston on Wednesday, so Julia & Joe kindly invited me (and Lola) to stay at their place in the South End. So, that was very nice of them and it made the trip easier on me (and Lola got to play with their dog, Cassidy). I just love Boston.
Meet the Team. Having the meeting in Boston gave me the opportunity to meet and interact with the team that I am now a part of. A lot of these people I had not even met yet, so it was great opportunity. All of them just seem really great and I feel very lucky to be a part of the group.
Lots o' Meetings. Lots & lots of meetings this week. There are generally a lot of meetings anyway, but there were even more so this week. I think I'm getting used to it. A couple of the regular meetings I have to be a significant player in, so I am making an effort to be a strong contributor, I hope I'm doing okay (I'm speaking up a lot anyway).
Take a Drive. So, as I mentioned earlier, I picked up a car from a local Suburu dealer to have for overnight. It was such a great feeling to just drive around by myself in a car. I felt... normal. I didn't even really go anywhere, stopped at a pet store on the way home to pick up some things for Lola, stopped at home to take her out and then I went to the grocery store and home again. But it was wonderful. The Suburu guys said that I can bring the car back anytime tomorrow, so I have to think about where I really want to drive around here before I do so.
Oh yeah, and I now (finally!) have internet access at home!!! Thank GOD
Anyway, things here are settling down and I'm settling in. Work is still scary, but I'm getting used to things and am hopefully becoming more of a contributing member. I have that license, now the next step is to get a car. Then I can start concentrating on getting a home. So things are a little bit more comfortable. Little by little I'm making progress here.
I Have a License, I HAVE a License, I FINALLY Have a LICENSE!
I can't believe that after all these years & years, I finally have a driver's license again. I can't tell you how great it feels. And it will feel even better once I have a car to go with it. At least this past decade or so of drama can finally be put to rest (and I now no longer have to go through the whole damn long story to people on why I don't have a license. That certainly is a story I am completely sick of telling.)
My father called me last night and asked me if I had "made any friends yet". What is this, summer camp??? I felt that same old guilty feeling that I had when I felt that I had to lie to my "parents" (to protect them or me, I'm not sure) about what a good time I was having when I first went off to college. Yeah sure Dad, there's a party every night.
Not having a car is beginning to wear me down. This weekend I started to get really depressed about it. I know that it is a temporary situation and that it should change (for the better) relatively soon, but the longer this situation goes on, the more depressed I'm going to be. This morning I was in the cab almost all the way to work when I realized that I had forgotten my corporate id badge. So, we had to turn around and go all the way home for me to pick it up and then all the way back. It cost me a total of $40. Sucks.
I received an electric bill for my NY apartment over the weekend and, even though I hadn't even been there for three of the four weeks the billing period was for, the bill was $64. Sixty four dollars for my little two-room apartment to sit there in the dark! The only thing that should really be running is the refrigerator! I mean, WTF??? So, I called Con Ed and they said, "well, our rates just went up 30% because of hurricanes this year and stuff." Yeah, but. Thirty percent??? Sheesh!
On a lighter note, I went to see a bunch of condos yesterday. I saw a lot of them, some I didn't like at all, a few that I kind of liked, a couple that I liked and one in particular that I really liked. It's probably a little too early for me to be looking at places and getting excited about what I see since I do not even have a signed contract on my NY apartment yet. And we can expect the whole process of closing on the co-op to take another few months at least (damn blasted co-op bastards). But still, I really liked that condo! It was in this nice complex that was spread out over these hills, the back on the unit overlooked woods (so you're not looking into someone else's bedroom or something), there are all kinds of walking/running trails over the property AND it has three bedrooms. I liked it a lot. I'm not sure if I'll even qualify for a loan though and, if I do, how much of a mortgage I can get. Plus there is this stupid business of waiting for the co-op to close. ARGH! I guess I started looking too soon. I just wanted to start to get a feeling for what is out there, for what money, and what I like, what I want and what I definitely don't want. Plus, I don't have a whole helluva lot of stuff to do on the weekend anyway and I can get the real estate lady to come pick me up.
Lastly, the consultant who is working on this project with us here at New Company told me this morning that he is being reassigned next week. I am kind of freaking out because he knows what he is doing here, he knows the data and the environment and the project and I'm still learning all this stuff. AND I met the guy who is taking his place this morning and I'm just not sure what kind of replacement he'll be. I haven't really had any time to talk to him, so he may be fine, but I'm worried. Apparently he not only has never worked on a project at New Company, but he is also new to the vendor company as well. He is here to work on a couple of concurrent projects, I think, my stuff is only a piece of what he is here for, so it's not like I could have any influence anyway, but I'm a bit worried. I don't mind saying.
So, I was hoping to have internet access at my apartment by tonight, but the part the management company left for me to hook the modem up with the cable is not going to work - ARGH!!! So frustrating (I'm writing this via BlackBerry).
Anyway, I otherwise had a pretty good day. Had an appointment w/ Driving School Lady and, in addition to all the driving around and practice parking, she took me to the local DMV so that I could talk to them about what I need to show them to prove NH residency. So, we then also took a trip all the way up to a Town Hall a few towns away to get a letter of residency. With this now in hand, I should at least be all set in that regard. We're going to shoot for next Tuesday for me to take the test.
Managed to also get some work done this afternoon. Each day I feel a little more comfortable in my new job, in my new position. I'm still out of my comfort zone, that's for sure, but I'm beginning to feel a little more comfortable in my new role.