Ritual Confessions

February 26, 2008

Two aspects of today

Filed under: Uncategorized — elissakaren @ 5:11 am

1. Yesterday morning, I got into my car so that I could go pick up some bagels for brunch and found that it wouldn’t start. Nick came out with jumper cables and fired it up, but he was worried that it would just die again sometime soon and that the battery had basically been spent. So he bought a new battery and installed it toward evening. This morning, the car started without incident but the radio would not turn on. Apparently this is a security feature. The panel flashed a request for our code, but we don’t know it. It was eerie to ride in the car with no radio; it never, ever happens under regular circumstances. It felt as if I were in a silent movie, or as if I were deaf.

 2. This afternoon at about 2:00, I turned in my first assignment for this agency. It wasn’t due until tomorrow morning, but I wanted to make a point of finishing early. As I sent it off, I knew it was good, which was a wonderful feeling. It hadn’t been entirely easy to write. I’d been asked to assume a certain tone that is quite foreign to me: light, positive, and upbeat, with copy broken up as much as possible into very short sections. On the other hand, the permission to write very informally was a welcome relief. I liked doing the research and conducting the interviews; actually composing the article was the hardest part for me. What eventually freed me was telling myself what I always tell my editing clients: to write a horrific first draft. I am sometimes tentative as a writer, but I am nearly always very assured as an editor. Once I had the rough text in place, I could pretend it was someone else’s and fix it without much effort. Anyway, they responded within a few hours and told me it was great, thanking me for sending it “so promptly and so well done.” I feel very happy about that.



  1. 2) I’m so glad your assignment went well, and I hope they send you more well-deserved freelancing projects soon.

    1) My GPS as well as my radio goes off when my battery dies (that’s what I get for leaving my dome lights on all night) which horrified me until I remembered that the car dealership had given me a little card with the reset code. Amazingly, I remembered where I’d put it, when I needed it. I agree that silence in the car is strange. I hear the road noise, and it bothers me. It reminds me that I’m sitting in a machine, and that the whole act of driving is highly unnatural.

    Comment by davidrochester — February 26, 2008 @ 6:13 am

  2. Three cars ago I got this used car (2000 model)that had the security code written inside the manual. That was great except that whomever put it there for safe keeping also took the precaution of jumbling the numbers. I drove for two days with no music. When my son realized that we were about to drive 500 miles with nothing but the sound of our voices, he sat at the radio and input every single combination of the four digits until he got one that worked. He’s like that, mathematically oriented, and organized. It took him about 35 minutes til he found the right combination. I was amazed. I thought I was going to have to take it in and get a new radio/cd player, which is what the dealer said to do.

    Comment by Corina — February 27, 2008 @ 3:05 am

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