Friday, July 20, 2012

The Universe has Spoken

About that carfree thing...

So the plan was to return the SUV to McKay's uncle tomorrow and do it! We signed up for Zipcar and already reserved the car for going to church on Sunday. Well, McKay's signed up for Zipcar. They have been sitting on my application for over a week and haven't responded as to why it's been held up; I emailed them a couple of days ago with no luck. My California license was approved right away, I'm guessing it's related to the Utah one. Because I was using my Utah license until it expired last year, I haven't had my California one for a full year yet and so they have to check my driving record in Utah as well. Which is clean. Because I'm a pretty good driver. I gave them the Utah license information last Thursday and now it's the next Friday. ARG.

Ah, but I was writing in past tense, wasn't I? "The plan was..." Yes, it was. And we will be using the Zipcar Sunday, but not because we're officially starting our carfree life on Sunday. We're starting it today.

Last night we went to a ward potluck and saw The Fiddler on the Roof, which is playing at the Woodminster Theater. We paid for parking, unlike last year when we parked on the street and walked, and went in to the show at 7:30. At intermission, we decided to leave because the kids needed to sleep (and the second half of Fiddler is kind of depressing and all the fun songs are in the first half anyway) and got to the car. As I was getting Isaac in I noticed glass.

"McKay, there's glass on the floor here."

And then I realized the passenger window was broken. McKay's one-of-a-kind-only-Pixar-employees-in-his-department-have-one messenger bag was gone. The glove compartment was open, and the leftover salad from the potluck (which was from our CSA, so all fancy and organic and local) was filled with shards of glass. McKay informed his uncle of the burglary while I made a report with the police. By the way, if you ever have to call the Oakland police to make a report, you'll probably wait 10 minutes until you get someone.

When we came home, we put the kids to bed and cleaned away as much glass as we could. Two years of living in Oakland and we've finally been burglarized! And it wasn't even near our house, where you'd think things like this would happen, especially since we have to park in the street every night.

We think the thief was after McKay's bag because it's just the right size to hold a laptop. Except he never carries his laptop in it unless we are going on a roadtrip. So, plus!

While I was on the phone with the police last night, I walked around in the woods thinking the thief, after discovering there was nothing of value in the bag, would throw it into the trees. No luck.

McKay was really distraught last night. He played some World of Warcraft, which I figured would help him calm down, but when we went to bed he said he didn't even want to play and was only playing because Margaret had asked him to while I was putting Isaac down. Everything in the bag was replaceable, except for the bag itself. I set Craigslist alerts for "laptop bag" and "messenger bag" and told him I'd be on the lookout.

This morning after McKay took the car to a shop, he got a call from someone who found the bag next to their car (along with a couple of other bags). McKay's phone number was in it and the finder said he could take it to him today!

When McKay got it back at lunch today, his graphing calculator, headphones, Excedrin, and cough drops were gone. His papers, allergy medicine and even the Disneyland passes were still there. This thief wasn't too bright if s/he left those. Those are worth something! The graphing calculator had some sentimental value, since it's the first thing he started programming on. That'll tell you how old and "valuable" that calculator is. McKay promised the man who found his bag a tour of Pixar for him and his daughter next month as a "thank you."

So... The borrowed vehicle is in the shop to get a new window and we have jumped into the carfree life a couple of days early. I'm going grocery shopping today. The two closest grocery stores are the Berkeley Bowl and Trader Joe's, both on the healthier end of things. We will probably be eating better because of this carfree life: having to carry the groceries home on a bike or on foot is going to mean I'll buy fewer snacks and impulse purchases. Saving money in more ways than 1!

Also an unforeseen benefit of going carfree: no more car burglaries!


  1. Aw, I'm sorry about the theft. Hope your carfree life is less dramatic!

    We were just visiting the San Francisco area and my FIL's rental van had the window smashed and laptop-size bag stolen as well. Just as with McKay's, he got it back eventually (took about a month for him!) — with all his papers, prescription meds, eyeglasses, etc. I think his phone had been in there, too, and can't remember whether it was returned. Nothing valuable, but he had been bummed to lose all his notes. (He takes a LOT of notes.)

    Our old car had one thing wrong after another, and the last straw for us was the driver's side lock breaking. Just completely slipping down into the door. We didn't go carfree; we got another car. (Sorry…) But it's funny, because we had been all paranoid about getting our car and stuff stolen without a lockable car in the city. Then it took us several months to get around to donating our old car, so it sat in street parking unlocked that whole time … and no one stole it. Wouldn't you know it.

  2. We too have had a moment like this recently where God tells you to DO! I'm glad he got most of his stuff back and I cannot wait to hear how things go with the new lifestyle!


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