donut and spaghetti in New Paltz
Tuesday, February 23 2021
Powerful's new girlfriend down in Newburgh lives with her brother, so she doesn't have a great place for them to get together. And since Powerful lives with us, he doesn't have a great place to get together either. So they'd arranged to have an overnight date tonight at the Hampton Inn by Hilton in New Paltz. This afternoon Powerful called from the Hilton parking lot to report a "situation." The Prius had a flat tire. Gretchen was going to immediately set him up with a tow company to deal with it, but I insisted that knowing how to replace a flat tire is an important life skill that Powerful should attempt. I tried walking Powerful through the steps of removing the lugnuts (including finding and using the special tool for removing the anti-theft nut) and also for finding the jack point and raising the jack. A lot of things I take for granted about my knowledge of such things were things Powerful didn't know, such as how a screw-powered scissor jack works. But he seemed to know enough to proceed, so I got off the phone and did other things.
Powerful called back a short time later to say that he was giving up on the tire replacement project, that his hands were cold, the jack wasn't easy to operate, and he needed to be on a Zoom call for one of the organizations he works with. He wanted us to call a tow company, but no, I said I would drive down to New Paltz and do the tire replacement myself. Meanwhile Gretchen having trouble giving herself a haircut, so I stepped in to even out the back. At about that time, my brother Don called to say he was about to walk into town to get food with the meagre $11 left of his allowance. He said our mother Hoagie claimed to have lost her cash and wasn't feeling up to going shopping even though there was little food left in the house. The fact that Don isn't completely in control of the full amount of his month SSI check when our mother is being forgetful, neglectful, and lazy enraged me, and I urged Don to leave a message on his social worker's phone describing the dire nature of the situation.
I drove down to New Paltz with the dogs, the snow sloughing off the car with every minor bump in the road. Powerful was waiting for me next to the Prius when I arrived, and it only took me about five minutes to replace the flat tire with the donut, though Powerful helped, mostly with the lugnuts. Looking at the old tire, there was no obvious leak, though the rim was a little chewed up and there was a divot of rubber peeled up on the tire's sidewall. But that could've happened when Powerful wasn't yet aware he was driving on a flat tire. I never did see Powerful's new girlfriend, though I did see the lobby area of the inn when I went looking for a bathroom to wash my hands. (Both public bathrooms were "out of order" and I had to use a covid-19 hand-sanitizer station and a water fountain to wash my hands.
While in New Paltz, I wanted to pick up dinner somewhere, and I'd hoped Gretchen might call in an order somewhere. But she was wrapped up in a web conference about how to promote the re-publication of her book Kind. So I drove to the Plaza diner to get two big orders of spaghetti marinara (they came without soup) and a large order of fries. The last time I'd been there was right before pandemic.
Gretchen was still on her conference when I got home, so I put the french fries next to her, since they were the thing with the shortest window of deliciousness. They were really good even after 20 mile ride in the Subaru.
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