That title got really long all of a sudden...
My car is in the shop today! We were driving a couple days ago when I noticed my brakes starting to get that You Need To Replace The Pads Right Now feel, so Patrick has chauffeured us to work the last two days and the brakes were taken care of at Honest Auto this morning. I actually think they are pretty honest about needed car repairs. Plus it really wouldn't do them any good to be dishonest, since their entire marketing ploy is based around not screwing people.
Apparently my front brake pads were nearly metal on metal (I knew I felt something), and my back ones needed maintenance, so those are now fixed, all for the low price of $350! Hah. Oh well. At least I'd only felt the brakes being weird for those couple of days and then stopped driving it, so no damage was done to the rotors and all is well. Fortunately Patrick's checks from a recording gig and the ballet will more than cover this cost. I think it's been something like eight years since the pads were last replaced. Maybe nine.
Anyway, I'm glad to have all that taken care of. They were very nice and polite to me, which I always appreciate. I wish I didn't have to fork over a big pile of money this afternoon, but what are you going to do? That is the way the car cookie crumbles.