So, trash is out, air-conditioning got fixed yesterday -- or at least recharged; there's a tiny leak somewhere and it's probably in the condenser coil -- and my car is repaired, also for a given value of "repair" given its age and condition.
Which is not to impugn the mechanic. Based on the symptoms, he had much the same first diagnosis I had, "something gone awry in the exhaust," but rapidly discovered my car was, in fact, only running on two cylinders thanks to a toasty ignition wiring harness. He odds-and-endsed that back together (instead of the $900 all-the-copper-under-the-hood replacement kit the manufacturer sells) and it's back to running as well as it ever did.
I do have about a mile-and-a-half bike ride between the U-haul place where I'll be renting the rental and the car-repair shop, much of it on busy streets, but I think I have a route mapped out through parking lots* and secondary roads that should avoid the very worst of it.
Everything's going according to plan-- Walking through the kitchen yesterday, I reached up and pushed my hair back behind my right ear. When I brought my hand down, I discovered I'd snagged the climbing-silk of one of those tiny, translucent "ghost spiders" that spin gossamer webs in ceiling corners in search of nearly-invisible insects -- and a visit by The Broom. It was swinging to and fro, climbing back up the line knuckle over fist as quickly as it could go, unaware that at the top awaited not the ceiling but my hand. (I gave my hand a flip and spider and web-strand sailed away; I'll broom 'em later, probably, but for today she's free.) Think about it from the spider's perspective, something like a scene from one of those spy or crime films:
The Spidress has carefully rigged lines so she can drop right down over the museum exhibit of The Treasures of E. Nugatoria and steal the Crown Jewels; the museum is quiet, empty and right at the stroke of midnight she begins to rappel down. It's all just as she had planned and she relaxes as the cable slides through the rappelling brake. Then, suddenly-- Earthquake! She's swinging like a pendulum, frantically braking to a halt, rigging ascenders, and climbing back up, unaware that agents of The Museum Board have grabbed the cable in the window-washer's crane and nothing but handcuffs await above.
You're never more vulnerable than when you figure everything is right in the groove.
* Originally, "parking lost," which is what happens to me nearly every time I go to the mall.
4 months ago