Friday, March 27, 2015

Double Header in Northern California

This morning I woke up at 6:00am, giving myself one hour before wanting to hit the road. In that hour, I expected myself to wake up, take a shower, get dressed, make my coffee, take a picture of it, post it to Facebook, drink it, wash the dishes, walk River and give him enough time to do his business, pack up my bags and load the car up. Miraculously, I made it. When I started the engine, it was 7:01am.

The sun was coming up in the east as I drove east to my destination. I got to learn two things about Babe this morning. One is that I don't know how to control the brightness of the instrument panel. And I have all the lights set to dim automatically in response to the sun. For some reason, the effect this morning confused the sensors and I had a face-full of morning sunlight and a super dim dashboard. Net result, I couldn't see anything. I had to guess my speed and go entirely by sound on the navigation. Whenever I had a chance,  fuss around, looking for a knob or button or dial that would bring the lights back up. To no avail. I still don't know how to override that automatic brightness control. Add that to the list of things I need to ask the dealer about when I get back to Seattle.

The other thing I learned this morning was that I don't know how to turn the headlights on. As I said, everything is set to automatic. But I went through a 'Daylight Safety Corridor" with a sign asking "Turn Headlights On for the Next 12 Miles" which I had to disobey since I couldn't figure it out. By the way, this one I did eventually figure out, when I stopped. I searched high and low and finally found the headlight dial.

I got to the studio in Nevada City and was the first one there. So I took River on another little walk and took the opportunity to eat some fruit. Class today was at Core Movement Center and there were more belted students in class than non-belted. This makes my job as the teacher SO EASY! They knew all the moves and loved to move, so I had to only make the merest suggestion and the whole room was all over it. So much fun. And the floor in the space is delightful. Soft and squishy like a wrestling mat.

I know that people in California love to talk about the highways. So I made a point of remembering the route I took from Nevada City to San Jose where my next stop was. I-80, to 680, to 880.

Along the way, I saw a sign designating a Vista Point. I love those and unless I'm crunched for time, I will usually stop and check it out. But once I got off the highway, there were no signs pointing to right or left.  I went right, hoping to find it. I passed a power plant with smoke billowing out of the spires. And I passed a trainyard and ended up on a dead end street in an industrial business complex.

click here for video

River and I played with his toy for a bit. Then we just walked around soaking up the sunshine. We ended up just hanging out there in Benicia for an hour, and never did find any Vista Point.

I didn't hit any traffic, which was a nice surprise for driving in the Bay Area. But this is interesting...
On Sunday I taught two classes and I also teach twice today. On Sunday, going from my first to second gig, I noticed that traffic going the opposite way (into Portland as I was going out) was horrendous. It was stopped for what seemed like miles. I was so glad to be going west and not east. And then again today, going from gig number one to gig number two, I saw a parking lot on the highway going the opposite direction as me. I was glad not to be leaving San Francisco and headed east because many of those people were going to be late to wherever they were headed. 

I rolled the odometer over 1000 miles just outside of Vacaville today. At the 921 miles mark, I saw an alarming message on my display. It said "Drive Train Malfunction! Full Power Will Not Be Available. Contact Service." Well, that certainly did not fill me with confidence. I didn't feel anything change in the way the car was handling or responding, and the message disappeared eventually without a trace. Later, when I was stopped, I searched through everywhere I knew I might see a warning, but came up empty. I'll be sure to mention it to the next Mini dealer I drive past.

I made it to the Motel 6 just before 3:00pm. I had on my Motel 6 t-shirt, which usually gets a few raised eyebrows and comments. I would swear they often thing I'm from corporate, and I'm checking up on customer service skills.  (which is dumb. If I was checking up on you, I'm not going to announcing it with a company brand T shirt.)  And maybe it's just a co-incidence, or maybe they just feel a kinship with me, but it feels like whenever I check in wearing this t-shirt, I get over-the-top friendly customer service.  I think if he didn't have to stay manning the desk, he might have walked me (or carried me) to my room.

I showered and ate and rested up and then headed to the studio for my second class.

Teaching two classes in a day is a challenge for me. Not physically, as I could easily teach for hours, but it's more of a mental and emotional challenge. Mentally, I sometimes get confused, thinking "didn't I just say this?" Or in the second class I might make a reference to something I had said in the first class, and it falls flat because the students in the second class have no idea what I'm referring to. And emotionally, it can be a challenge if I find myself expecting for a repeat of the first class. I can sometimes catch myself not being in the moment the second time around, but comparing the two experiences.

Fortunately today, none of that happened. Today's second class was very different than the first one. There were a lot of belts in this class, too, which I love. The room was twice as big and the attendance about half of this morning. I had a great time with both groups today and learned things about the routine each time.

As I was setting up the stereo (I couldn't figure out how to plug in my microphone) I heard the sound of my phone's camera shutter going crazy. I must've been holding the button down and was taking picture after picture. As soon as I heard the shutter sound, I immediately faced the camera and smiled. The resulting picture is quite horrific and embarrassing.  This was not one of my better moments.



After class, Terre and her husband John took us all out to dinner at Rock Bottom Brewery. I had a burger with hashbrowns, cheese, bacon and a fried egg on it, with steamed vegetables on the side. It was so good. River sat with us without incident. The worst thing that happened over dinner was when I was talking about a Nia movement, using my arms wildly, just as the waiter walked up and caught a fist bump in his groin. I don't think I hurt him too badly, though.


2 comments:

terrepruitt said...

Ok, thank for reminding me about your Nia move at the dinner table. That was super funny. I saw it coming, but too late.

I also LOVE that you posted a picture from your moment of a bunch of them.

I was over here getting your address because I am posting about last night today!

Thanks again! (PS If you don't want to wait until you get home to find out about the controls Google can tell you. Google knows everything. :-) )

Allison Rivers Samson/Allison's Gourmet said...

We loved having you, Jason! Come back again any time. =)