Wednesday, September 27, 2006

New Car, New Me

I have given up the "luxury" of a 4WD standard cab pickup for the practicality of a fuel-efficient sedan. No more stuffing the contents of my life behind 2 bucket seats, sometimes having to move the passenger seat forward to stuff more crap behind. No more phone calls from my beloved friends to help them move!! Hip hip hooray!! I now have four doors, a moonroof, power locks/windows/side view mirrors and, best of all- TRUNK!!! It's like another ROOM!

My "new" car is not NEW, but it is new to me.

This is the first time I've had the opportunity to PICK OUT my own vehicle. I have been lucky enough to have had a step father and a father to provide my previous vehicles for me: My first car, Honey, a 1981 fuel-injected Volkswagen Jetta (compliments of Larry, my ex-step dad.) My second was a 1991 Toyota pickup, Lucy. (Compliments of Dad when I graduated from high school. I wrecked it shortly after moving to Portland.) My third was a 1996 Toyota Tacoma, Cooter. (Also thanks to Dad. He bought it and "traded" me for my wrecked (but completely drivable!) 1991 pickup which he fixed and then sold to my grandfather.) He always bought me what HE wanted or what he wanted ME to have. I will have a hard time letting go of Cooter when he sells, mostly because it was a gift from dad.

For the past 2 years or so I have known that I didn't prefer my pickup. When I went home in spring of 2004, Dad and I were shopping for cars for me. It makes me feel better that he knew that I wanted something else before he passed away. I don't feel as if I am betraying him by selling the vehicle he purchased for me and the vehicle that I am so grateful for.

I do believe that cars become a part of you though, they match something about you or your personality or vice versa. I definitely identified with the 4WD pickup trucks, they just aren't necessary here in Portland. Montana and for college, yes. Portland without a house to remodel, no. I always thought that my theory (I swear I came up with it before Honda did) about people "matching" their cars was only true when that person picked out their own car. That would have made all three of my previous cars have nothing in common with me. But now I think that is not true. I really loved all of my cars. I think that they defined (in some weird, perhaps backwards way) who I was/am.

The whole sedan thing is taking a fair amount of getting used to. The new car is so low to the ground compared to my pickup. No more driving up on curbs to park! I will really miss that... I was invincible. I could see everything from the cabs of my pickups too. I could see over the railing of the Ross Island bridge. I was looking over cars at their roofs and now I'm staring at exhaust pipes and I feel like I am blind most of the time. Today I went through my bank's drive-thru ATM. Now I know how midgets feel. Also today I filled up the gas tank. $25 for less than 9 gallons of gasoline. Yes, it was on "E." I used to pay up to $45 for a full (17 gallons) tank of gas in the pickup. It all makes sense as far as the math goes and all, but I guess I just thought all gas tanks were the same size or something. I am having a hard time getting used to shifting into 2nd gear at 15 mph... and I am not used to using 5th gear in town. Weird.

I somehow felt safer in my pickup too, though I'm not sure why. I guess I might be dead if I would have hit that deer (in 1996- driving home for my little sister's birth) with a Honda Civic. I suppose it is the height off the ground or something. I just felt more aware in a 4WD. I know Dad wanted me to have 4WD to be safer as well- winter driving in Montana and South Dakota can be brutal. I took so much for granted.

Whether you identify with your car or not, your car and the condition of it says something about you- how much money you have/don't have, how practical you are, if you are going through a mid-life crisis or not, what you do for fun, how much you care about your possessions, etc. You can sometimes even tell someone's political views, sexual orientation, religious beliefs and much more from the stickers on a car. Geez- I mean your car is like a billboard for who you are! Not that everyone is that observant to notice these things about strangers passing you in the adjacent lane but it is possible.

So I hereby shed the burly, tomboyish, outdoorsy, recreational reputation for the more practical and conservative image.

Oh yeah- if you know anyone who's interested in buying a 1996 Toyota Tacoma SX regular cab, let me know..... manual transmission with 118,000 miles. Tough character image included.

**Many, many thanks to my friend Larry for fielding all my stupid car shopping questions, for counseling me on what to look for and what questions to ask the seller and for replying promptly to all of my forwarded craigslist ads. Thank you! thank you! Thank you!***

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I HAVE Attached Photos Before!

I have attached photos before. I swear!
Here is my condo without all the drunk people. Sorry for the fubarred e-mail.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

At the Carwash

So, this morning on my way to work I made a pit stop at Car Wash Man. I periodically (every 1-2 years) pay the $17 for the much-needed interior/exterior clean up. They clean the inside of your windows, vacuum, dust all the dashboards and console. They take it through the car wash and use the "triple polish." When it's done in the soap tunnel they Armor All the tires and clean the exterior mirrors and dry it all off. I love it. It feels like a new truck!

While you're waiting for your new car to emerge from its rebirth you take your ticket inside to pay. They have a little store there- car mats, air fresheners, CD visor storage, etc. New this trip though was a soda case and a cappuccino machine so you can spill all over your clean car. They also have free popcorn for customers. I wonder how many kernels they vacuum out of cars per year? All in all, its a great way to maintain their business. I mean, people eat in their cars all the time- Americans can't move at the slow pace that Europeans do- we have to eat on the run! I fell for it. I got one of their over-sugared french vanilla capuccinos. It promptly swished out of the tiny hole in the lid onto my immaculate dash and spotless cup holder when I drove out of the Car Wash Man parking lot.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Letter to Jason Statham

Dear Jason,

How was your weekend? Mine was great. I saw your latest movie, "Crank" on Sunday. Congrats on it being the #2 movie for the weekend. I really like it when you take your shirt off and when I caught a glimpse of your buttocks in the hospital gown. I also really adored you in "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" and "Snatch" even though I didn't get a glimpse of much. I also like it when you just talk.... I thoroughly enjoy your accent.

Let's take a moment to review your work history (title, (year).... character):

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) .... Bacon (LOVED it! One of my all-time faves.)
Snatch. (2000) .... Turkish (Also LOVED it. Top 5 for sure.)
Turn It Up (2000) .... Mr. B (Looks bad baby. Sorry- never saw it.)
Ghosts of Mars (2001) .... Sgt. Jericho Butler (Wasn't your best picture but I like Ice Cube.)
The One (2001) .... MVA Agent Evan Funsch (Jet Li saved you here.)
Mean Machine (2001) .... The Broadhurst Monk (Haven't seen it yet though I want to- so many Lock, Stock actors can't be bad.)
The Transporter (2002) .... Frank Martin (Ok, except for that horrific acting by that GIRL.)
Red Faction II (2002) (VG) (voice) .... Shrike (Haven't seen it yet either. Anything with your sexy voice has got to be good though.)
The Italian Job (2003) .... Handsome Rob (Liked it a lot! Can't wait for the sequel!)
Call of Duty (2003) (VG) .... Sgt. Waters (Haven't seen it yet either. 9.2 stars out of 10?! I better get myself to the movie store!)
Collateral (2004) .... Airport Man (Not bad! I usually like Michael Mann flicks.)
Cellular (2004) .... Ethan (OMG. This movie NEVER should have been made.)
Transporter 2 (2005) .... Frank Martin (Not your best work. At least you got to drive a hot car though.)
London (2005) .... Bateman (I plan on seeing it very soon. Looks kinda good! Did they MAKE YOU grow your hair out a little?)
Revolver (2005/I) .... Jake (Four words: Guy Ritchie is God.)
Chaos (2006) .... Quentin Conners (I promise I'll see it soon, ok?)
The Pink Panther (2006) (uncredited) .... Yves Gluant (You have to be in the right mood for this type of movie....)
Crank (2006) .... Chev Chelios (Please read on.)

And in the future (post production):
In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007).... Farmer (I can't wait to see you in armor with that big sword!)
Rogue (2007/I) (post-production) .... Jack Crawford (I like the idea of you as the bad boy... I hope you don't die at the end.)
The Brazilian Job (2008) (in production) .... Handsome Rob (You don't like Charlize Theron, DO you?)

Ok, now I am writing to express my disappointment in your recent role and film choices. "Cellular" competes with "Crank" for absolute WORST movie EVER, although I know your part in that movie was a small one. I'm surprised either one of those movies made it to the big screen when they should have gone STRAIGHT to DVD. "The Transporter" wasn't a HORRIBLE movie except for that unspeakable acting by Qi Shu as "Lai." "Transporter II" on the other hand was the beginning of the end of your fabulous acting career. Were you just running out of money or what? Why couldn't you have just waited for the next Guy Ritchie movie? Or "The Brazilian Job?" "The Italian Job" was really good! But "Lock, Stock" and "Snatch" were definitely the apex of it all for you- beginner's luck I guess. Although I don't believe that you are a bad actor- you are actually an exceptional actor!- you have made some abysmal choices recently with regard to your films and for this I have to.... break up with you. I am so sorry. I hope you can understand. I hope we can still be friends.

I am crossing my fingers for your redemption though I fear it is too late.

Love always,