All right. I promise to get caught up by Friday.
2003. I turned 39. I continued to drive to and from work, mostly in Patricia's car. She and I still worked in the same building.
My own car was rapidly aging. I had to spend quite a bit of money to get a piece of the floor replaced. That wasn't the end of the work that the car needed. By the Fall, it had reached the point where it barely ran. I was throwing good money after bad, a lot of bad, to keep it running. I spent hundreds of dollars to get it through its annual inspection. Drove downtown for something. Drove home.
The next morning, the car, parked in my driveway, wouldn't start, no way, no how. Turned out, it had slipped its timing, whatever that means. It was towed away to my brother-in-law's and sister's, and I wouldn't see the car for several months. I was without wheels for the first time since I had got my driver's license. At least this way, nobody thought I was home. Ahem!
The ultimate, though, was the car radio. Speaks to the symbolism of the problem. The car was so old, and the parts so worn, that I had worn out the car radio. The presets were nearly impossible to use. A sharp left hand turn actually caused the radio to reset itself, so the clock wouldn't work, and the hard-to-punch-in presets all were reset to their default factory values. I managed to find a car radio for cheap at a yardsale and had it installed professionally, but that radio wasn't much better than the one I had before. Sigh.
I'd take the bus to Patricia's place and then we'd drive in together. She'd drive me home at night and sometimes come in and sometimes wouldn't.
The year moved along slowly. By the end of September, we had got some tix to the 75 anniversary of the Halifax Forum. For some reason, it was a corned beef dinner with potatoes and carrots and cabbage. Strange meal choice, but it wasn't bad. There was big band music in keeping with the spirit of the history of that remarkable building. Peter Kelly was there, as he is everywhere, and I asked him to consider going to my Toastmasters' upcoming 35th anniversary meeting. He agreed. That was Saturday night, September 28th.
The next day was the annual Word on the Street event. I was in the habit of going every year to that fine event. I introduced some authors, who read from their works.
The weather reports had been sounding ominous for a few days. They began to sound shrill and frightening by Sunday. A hurricane was on its way. Its name was Juan. And Halifax was in its path. Most of us didn't care too much.
I got home from the Word on the Street. Settled in for the evening. Watched the news where they repeated that the hurricane was going to hit us and hard.
I was watching an episode of "Alias" when the heavy winds came. I looked out one of my upstairs windows, facing the street, and saw stuff blowing around. I heard the winds bearing down, and then my power went out.
The next morning, I went outside and noticed a piece of siding was hanging off my house. My neighbour Don showed me how to put it back in place. That was the extent of the damage to my house. BTW, years later, that piece of siding still gives me trouble. A couple of times a month, I have to climb up on top of my shed and pound the siding back into place.
My power remained off until Wednesday. Power was off at my work for a few days as well. We didn't have to go back to work until Wednesday. There was quite a bit of damage to one section of our floor.
Patricia had just acquired Cindy. Cindy went missing during the hurricane and didn't show up for a couple of weeks. Nowadays, Cindy is perfectly content to stay in the house nearly all the time. Back then, she loved to roam around Patricia's neighborhood.
In other news, work remained unfun. I was deeply unhappy where I was working and found it difficult to hide my disappointment. Like I said before, unless you fit in that clique from Day One, which I didn't, you were at a disadvantage in that place. I went to the Christmas party that year, but that was the last one I would attend. I didn't feel like being a hypocrite any more.
2003 was an interesting year for me. I had to learn to get by without a usable car. I pee'd away too much money keeping my old bucket of bolts going. I endured my first hurricane.
This was all preparation for the mother of all snowstorms, realizing that my car was a goner, and making other arrangements. That will all be discussed tomorrow when we talk about... 2004!