Long day yesterday. Decided it was really time I forced myself to do some things I've been putting off, but doing them was kinda exhausting, even though none of them took long.
Contacted various dealers about rental cars. The Honda dealer I talked with (via email) indicated politely that it was obvious that no dealership would ever rent a car (paraphrase from memory: "As I'm sure you can imagine, letting someone drive one of our cars for an extended period would reduce the car's sale value"); the first Toyota dealer I talked with said that they do rent cars, but only a few, and they don't have any available right now; various local rental agencies don't carry hybrids; the second Toyota dealer I talked with (the one closest to my house) has a Hertz rental agency on-site, and they do rent Priuses, but only a limited number. They said they would call me back to let me know when one might be available. It'll be a 2005 model, but without the fancy navigation system.
Finally called Grandma; she's back home from the hospital, and I managed to fail to call her the whole time she was in the hospital. (Every couple of days I would decide it was time to call her, and then someone who'd seen her would send email saying she was too tired for phone calls, or it would be too late at night, or I would just get sidetracked.) She's happy to be home; unfortunately, her phone makes a loud clicking noise every couple of seconds, which makes it hard to carry on a conversation. Anyway, relatives were visiting her so I didn't keep her on the line long.
Also called for an appointment to see a counselor. I've been putting this off for weeks. I'm twitchy about mentioning it publicly, but doing so may force me to follow through; my previous public mention did help in that regard, even though it still took me a while to take this step.
Just calling for the appointment really threw me. A two-minute phone conversation about scheduling an appointment and I was a wreck. The person on the phone asked if I wanted to talk to a counselor by phone immediately, but I decided I couldn't cope with that.
Anyway. Kam came over after dinner and gave me a back rub and hugs, which helped. Then I went to sleep, totally exhausted, and got about 7 and a half hours' sleep (though interrupted briefly at various points by noise or something, I'm not sure what). Still tired, still tense, but a little more capable of coping this morning.
In car news, I posted to a mailing list at work asking (in very neutral terms, not even saying what my involvement had been) if anyone had seen the accident, and got back a very helpful response from someone who had. (Not someone I knew; the insurance person initially told me that a co-worker wouldn't count as a witness 'cause it would be someone I knew, but I pointed out that my company employs lots of people and I only started recently and don't know many of them.)
His description clarified something I hadn't understood. I almost always, as a matter of long habit, look left-right-left before starting across an intersection (if I was stopped before entering the intersection, I mean), but this time I didn't see the other car coming until it was about to hit me. I was puzzled as to why I hadn't looked left; I know there was a bicyclist who I had watched turning right ('cause I was wondering if he was headed for a semi-secret pedestrian/bike tunnel under the freeway that I recently learned about), but that was a second or two before the light turned green, so there was no good reason for me not to've looked left before going. Turns out there was (as I had half-remembered) another car in the lane next to me (to my left), and they also started to go when the light turned green, only they saw the other car and stopped in time. So probably I looked left, saw that the vehicle next to me (which may've been a pickup) was going, and couldn't see through it, so I half-consciously figured it was safe and went forward.
Anyway. I later talked with my insurance person, who said that the other driver's insurance had initially called her and said that the other driver wasn't at fault. Then the other driver's insurance talked to my first witness—the one who voluntarily came forward at the scene and gave me his contact info—and then they called back my insurance people and said that they were no longer contesting the claim; basically agreeing their driver had run the red light after all.
So my second witness from work turned out not to be necessary after all. Still, it gave me some peace of mind and a little clarity to see a description of the scene from a different point of view—he'd been traveling in the same direction as the driver who ran the light, so he had a fairly clear view of the whole thing.
Btw, if any of you find yourselves (heaven forfend) in a car accident, assuming nobody's injured, if you have a camera with you I recommend taking a whole lot of pictures ASAP. If there's any question about greenness of lights, take immediate photos of relevant lights if you can, though I doubt those would be useful for resolving disputes (but they may help you feel more satisfied with your belief about what happened). Take photos of other cars in the area; especially get license plates of cars whose drivers probably saw what happened (especially if they don't stop to talk to you or the police). Again I don't know if this would actually help, but I can imagine it might. Take photos of the condition of the cars involved and of where they ended up and so on. And of the lanes involved; my insurance person asked how many lanes in each direction, and I had no idea. In my case, none of that turned out to be necessary, but I bet in a lot of cases it would be very useful to have those photos. Of course, it would also be useful to have the presence of mind to think of taking them.
Oh, and if you see an accident, I highly recommend giving your contact info to someone relevant at the scene; the guy who did that saved me a lot of stress and time. And possibly a little money, and possibly a higher insurance rate, hard to know.
Anyway. I have a feeling there was something else I was gonna talk about here, but I don't know what, so I should get going.
Oh—here's one quick unrelated thing: I dropped a note to Scott R the other day, and he kick-started j-walker again, so it's updating again. But he says he may not keep it going much longer, since most of the journals there now have RSS feeds, so anyone with an RSS aggregator can make their own equivalent system. I'm trying out the new RSS stuff in Safari (in Tiger); I like the general idea (you can effectively make your own LiveJournal-style "Friends" page), but I think I'll only keep using it if I can figure out how to set up my own stylesheet, 'cause I find the default format nice-looking but hard to read.