I wanted to shake up my life and go sailing (or learn on the job, so-to-speak) so headed to Florida to crew on a catamaran. This is about how it went or, rather, didn't - and my life since. Hopefully it will lead to a catamaran on the clear aqua blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, watching the sunset, a coconut rum and coke in hand. You must START AT THE BEGINNING of the blog, April 2009, to get the whole story...

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Well it finally did it. My van died its last death yesterday.

I had a busy day planned. Up to Lynn Valley in North Vancouver for tea with an industry friend. After that, down to the production office to pick up my cheque for two of the days I did makeup, then meet Tana on Commercial Drive for a bite to eat.

All was going fine until the last hill up to Lynn Valley. The van wouldn't change into third gear. It did that the other day, while I was stop and go on the freeway for half an hour, but it would eventually clunk into third. Now it won't change. I make it to the house and forget about it while I enjoy a lovely two hours sipping tea and having a good yak. My friend shows me around her place, which is gorgeous and is also a B&B. You can see the house here.

It's worth mentioning that, while I am at my friends house, I get a call from the PM I worked with on Blood Ties and she is looking for a script supervisor for the second season of The Troop. She "wants to throw my hat in the ring" and I told her I would love that. So here's hoping I get it because it's union work from July to October. Which I could use because....

When I get into the van, I hope it will behave itself again for me but it isn't to be. Fortunately, the trip back as far as the bridge to Vancouver is all down-hill so I have almost no issues, other than through one traffic light where the road is flat for a bit before it continues down-hill. Once I get to the bottom, I don't dare go straight to the bridge, which is pretty much right there, as it's a hill to get on it and then up the first half of it. So I drive along some back roads to see if I can get it to change into third if I get up some speed. No such luck. After 15 minutes or so of trying I park the car and wonder where there might be a car repair shop. Not that I am getting this fixed, it would cost way more than the van is worth, but just to have them check the transmission fluid and make sure that isn't all it is. As I look around I realize I am parked across the street from a tiny shop that advertises tires. I had passed it earlier but now, reading the sign again, I see that they also do repairs. So I walk over and talk to the guy there but he barely speaks English and isn't the owner and doesn't have much of a clue. It takes me 5 minutes to try to get him to understand I wasn't manually trying to shift the gears, it's an automatic. I finally give up and go back to the van. I call my daughter, who lives close by, and she is just sitting down for a pedicure. She says she will come and get me as soon as she is done. I have a good book and my trusty water bottle so am happy to wait in the sunshine.

I think that perhaps I should call BCAA and see if they tow to a junkyard. Just as I am thinking about it... a BCAA tow truck pulls up beside me with a car for the little shop! Wow! So, once he has that car off the truck, I ask him about mine. He checks the transmission fluid and it is fine and he declares it a big expensive problem. I ask about towing it and he says they don't tow to junkyards. He says that it will be worth about $200 in scrap and cost me over $100 to have it towed to one. Bah! Then he goes to his truck and comes back with a name and number on a piece of paper. He hands it to me and says it's his name and that, if I want, he will take it off my hands and tow it away. I say that would be great. He leaves saying to give him a call if I decide to take him up on it. I go over to the shop and ask to borrow a wrench so I can take the plates off and the fellow comes over and does it for me. As he's working he asks what I am doing with the van and I tell him. He walks around it and looks under the hood. I start it for him so he can see that the engine runs pretty good. Apparently it's leaking some oil but I tell him it can't be much because I never have to put in more in between oil changes. He says his boss might want the van but that he's not in until tomorrow. I tell him to give him a call then, because I won't be here tomorrow. He walks off and I start gathering the odds and ends I have in the van and then sit and read.

As I wait, the guy from the shop comes over with his phone and says his boss wants to talk to me. I take the phone and he says that he is interested in buying it for $200 but he can't come and look at it until tomorrow. I tell him that I live in Langley and am now without a vehicle so I won't be back tomorrow. If he wants it, it has to be now or never because I have an arrangement to have it towed away. I give the phone back to the tire guy and he talks in some language I don't recognize and then walks off. And that seems to be that.

Ashleigh arrives eventually and I pile my bits and myself into her car and call the guy to tell him he can come and get the van. I leave the key in the ash tray and drive off without a backwards glance. It was nothing but trouble since the day I bought it and I am not sorry to see it go. I paid $500 for it and put $800 into repairs. So thirteen hundred for 7 months of car use isn't too bad, considering I paid $700 for three weeks car rental, albeit with a lot less stress while driving it. But now I am without wheels. I have no way to buy another one at the moment. And I can't work without a car. So, as I waited yesterday, I talked to God and told him... I can't do anything about this so I am looking forward to seeing what you will do for me. Because anything that happens to help me out with this won't be because of me. I have no options. And, I am very strangely unperturbed. I am looking forward to seeing how it works out. Because if I have learned anything in this past year or so, it always works out. It may not be how you'd expect it to look like, or your choice of solutions... but it ALWAYS works out. If it didn't, I'd be a bag lady by now.

After I spent another few lovely hours with Tana on a deck in the sunshine at a restaurant on Commercial Drive, I walked to the SkyTrain just up the road and bought my ticket at precisely 8:12 pm. After a long and somewhat anxious wait at the infamous Surrey Central Station for a bus, I didn't get into Langley until 11:00 pm and by then, the small bus into Walnut Grove was no longer running. These stupid politicians and tree huggers, who constantly harp about those of us in the suburbs polluting the earth with our cars and how we should be using transit, should give it a go for a few weeks. See if they like taking three hours to do by transit what they can do in 30 minutes by car, at that time of day. One could have driven to Kelowna in the time it took me to travel home last night. What a joke.

Oh, and when I get home I realize I left my water bottle (a new one because my other one got knocked to the floor at work and the nozzle broke) at the restaurant. I am more upset about that than I am the van!


Here's the trailer for a REALLY FUN shoot I worked on last year. I was promised a copy of the finished movie and I am really hoping I get it.


All photographs are mine and not to be copied without express permission from me (click on them to see the large version).
Some names have been changed to protect my butt.

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