A lot has happened over the past several days, and I've been too busy and/or too emotionally occupied to post anything here. So here's the beginning of an attempt to catch up.
We'll start with the bad day. Thursday started out like a normal day, in that I woke up feeling unrested and annoyed about having to go to work. But I got ready and headed out, as one must. That day was special, though, because my drive to work was accompanied by a terrible scraping/grinding/screaming noise everytime I touched the brakes. It was terrifying. As soon as I got into the office, I called the dealership to make a service appointment. I was so frazzled that I told the woman on the phone that I was calling because "my grapes are scraping." Despite my apparent inability to communicate, I was able to learn that they could take me right away. So I let my boss know that I'd see her tomorrow, and I headed out.
The guy at the service center was friendly, explaining what he was going to do and how much it would probably cost. He said it would take about five hours, and had a shuttle take me home. I was pretty relaxed at this point, as it was a nice day to be at home and I'd known that I'd have to pay for this sort of work eventually. Around mid-day, though, the service guy called me and told me that he'd found that the damage was worse than expected, and that I also needed my wheels realigned and my spark plugs replaced. The work would cost twice what he originally quoted, and would take a bit longer. I reeled at the price, but agreed to the work, and took comfort in his promise that I'd have my car back between 5:00 and 6:00. I needed to leave for DC by 6:15 in order to get to Ro's bachelorette tea party on time, but even if I ended up a bit late, I'd be OK.
So I went home, did not much through the afternoon, and then prepared for the party, so that I could leave straight from the dealership upon picking up my car. I waited for the call to let me know that the shuttle was coming. And at 6:00, the call came. Telling me that my car would be ready for me the next morning. I calmly accepted the news, then stomped around the house for a bit before calling Laura to complain. It was too late to get a ride with anyone else or to figure out alternate transporation options, so I spent the evening sulking. When Sharif got home, he went online to try and figure out if the price I was paying was reasonable or if I was being taken advantage of, but that just made me more upset. In future it might be helpful, but in this particular case it was just making me feel stupid and helpless. Once I started crying, he stopped. In this case, I needed hugs more than I needed research.
Friday was better. I slept late, Sharif was home in the morning and was able to give me a ride to pick up the car, I stuck around the house for a relaxed shower and lunch, and worked only the last four hours of the day. I had a productive yet unstressful afternoon at work, with a brief visit from Laura, who was dropping off my sari blouse so that I could try it on. It fit, and I got to show it off to my coworkers. I had a relaxed evening at home, playing the Sims and getting my stuff together for the Rennaissance Festival and Ro's wedding rehearsal/rehearsal dinner the next day.
Thus ends part 1. Expect two more parts to follow at some point.