So, today I had another meeting with the LifeWork folks ... actually, I guess it was my first official meeting since I signed up with them. The lady they have me assigned to is only now realizing what a "problem" she has on her hands, as we spent most of the afternoon discussing my shamanic/cult stuff. I don't think they get a lot of that through there.
Anyway, I picked up the rental car at noon to get up to Wilmette (a northern suburb) by 1pm to have our accountant counter sign a check from my last penalty-heavy retirement fund. The car only had 1/4 tank of gas when I got it, but I kept thinking, "Hey, it's the suburbs, they have gas stations all over the place, right?". Well, if I had gassed the car when I first got up that way (it took me a while to find their offices), I would have been OK (I called from a gas station), but that was the LAST gas station that I saw for quite a while. Once done with the accountant, I had to cross several suburbs on my way over to the toll road which went more-or-less straight south to my other appointment. They USED to have "Oasis" things on this toll road that you could just swing into and get gas ... but NOOOOOOOOO ... they're all being re-built and are closed. By the time I got to the mid-way point my gas was riding the E and I was getting nervous ... so I got off right after a big toll plaza, assuming that there would be gas. Well, had I turned East instead of West I would have run right into a gas station, but ended up going another 10 miles or more in a futile search which left me way north of O'Hare (it did occur to me that had I just stayed on the toll road I would have been OK, since I drove farther out of my way than I had left to go) before finally finding gas. I called to say I was going to be a bit late and then re-traced my steps, assuming that I could get back on the toll road where I had gotten off ... WRONG! ... one entrance for the toll road, the wrong way, so I had to back-track my back-track almost to O'Hare again to get onto a road which eventually led to the toll road. I ended up being almost a half hour late ... and I'm one of those people who just dies if he's not on time!
After the meeting I headed back downtown. I simply do not GET traffic out there ... there was this inexplicable bumper-to-bumper 5mph slowdown for about 15 minutes on a road that was moving swiftly before it and swiftly after if ... what gives with that shit? I don't think that I could survive living where I had to drive constantly!
Anyway, I finally got downtown, swung by to pick up Daughter #1, ran her up to Dojo, then back downtown after her class. We miraculously stumbled over an open parking meter right across the street from our building (a very disgusted-looking valet driver cruised by us a few minutes after we pulled in ... those bastards are 70% of the reason we can never find parking down here ... so I assume they had just pulled one car out and were bringing another in there), and I then spent the next 15 minutes trying to parallel park the damn car so that it was reasonably close to the curb. If you drive all the time, you have no idea how hard this feat is for somebody who typically drives five or six days a year! Needless to say, in that time I deeply frustrated a good half dozen other drivers who were SURE that I was leaving a parking space rather than endlessly back-and-forthing to get over to the curb. Again, I think I'd be a homicidal maniac if I had to deal with cars all the time.
Anyway, I sure hope that these meetings out in the suburbs are going to get me a job soon ... since the cost of renting a car once a week is piling up and it's not doing anything good for my nerves!