You know I'm one of those
days when I'm listening to the non-socially-concious mix of "Diamonds from Sierra Leone."
In Wolf Motorsports Development, September 24, 2005
When in the course of martial events it becomes necessary for one family to dissolve the automotive bands which have connected them to the garage and to assume among the powers of the bank account, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of the third car entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the purchase.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that not all cars are created equal, that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of 35 mpg in the city.
We bought a 1989 Honda Civic sedan last night. Blue gray. Only 96k on the odometer. A fine specimin of Japanese automotive engineering. It's like we're replacing the beloved Civic I drove from the time I was a teenager until the begining of our marriage.
The body panels are dinged up, the vinyl's peeling away from the front bumper, and the paint on the boot lid's doing that bleached-out thing. The interior is immaculate. He's all-around perfect as a beater car to take some burden off the two Miatas.
There are a few adjustments.
"What do you do," Adam asks while we're taking it out for the maiden voyage. "When a guy in an H2 pulls up next to you at the stop light and sneers at you for driving a beater?"
I don't even have to consider it. "You roll down your window and shout 'forty-two miles to the gallon, bee-yotch!"
"Ah," he says. "You are truly wise in the way of the Civic."
"But you're not going to get the asshole in the H2 taunting you about the crappy car," I tell him. "Because that's the beauty of a 15-year-old Honda. They fly totally under the radar. The guy in the H2 will never even know you're there."
"Nuh-uh," he says, but then he notices that we're not getting looks from other drivers, that little kids in minivans aren't frantically waving from their booster seats, that the Honda isn't generating a stir like either Miata.
"Oh, this is great," Adam says. "Nobody's trying to race me, nobody's trying to cut me off. It's like we're invisible."
"I know," I say and I'm grinning like an idiot. "We're invisible."
"I could get used to this," he says.
It's been sort of scatter-shot around my brain lately. I've been trying to work on The Two New Projects but I can't focus long enough to make any sort of tangible progress. I've been distracted by numerous things...the internet, Headline News, are we going to buy a Mini this weekend, and what's going to happen to iPoddy if I plug him into the new OS?
That last one's been giving me the most grief. I've discovered iPoddy and the new version of iTunes loaded on the new and improved hard drive aren't going to get along any time soon. After a week (and stretching out the battery life across four work days), I plugged him in this morning and was promptly bitched at by iTunes.
I clicked no to everything and pretended this wasn't happening. As a result, iTunes doesn't have "Superstition" and iPoddy doesn't have the Ataris' cover of "Boys of Summer."
This may never resolve itself.
Dinner tonight was at a Mexican joint tucked away in a Rio Rancho strip mall. For the first half of the meal, we were by ourselves, being ourselves. And then, in trooped nearly two dozen teenagers on one ginormous group date. Some were dressed up in party frocks, suits and fedoras. Some were wearing very little in the way of clothing. There were cheery introductions of girlfriends and cousins who'd been caught up in the social vortex; the whole room buzzed with conversation and inside jokes across the long-ass table.
"It's like looking at our wasted youth," Adam mused. "I mean, if you knew then what you know now..."
"Wait," I said. "We've gotta lay some ground rules here. Am I seventeen then or seventeen now?"
"Seventeen now," he said. "No prior knowledge, no scaring the children with the second coming of Bush. No stock tips. No, you're just seventeen years old now with the lessons of a 27-year-old knockin' around the cranium."
"I'd be blind drunk weekend until I was twenty-three," I deadpanned.
Adam looked at the kids working through the intricacy of splitting a combination plate and the check. "Oh, hell yeah," he said. "You realize that right now we're that old couple in the corner?"
"Yep," I said. "And for once, I'm okay with it."
"We drive cool cars that our parents didn't force on us."
"We remember the first Clinton administration."
"We can buy booze without being hassled."
"We can rent cars
without being hassled."
(Please note that the kicker of being ten years removed from high school wasn't the wine, but the ability to rent a car. Oh, my God. We're such nerds.)
To continue the trip down memory lane, Adam popped in Clerks. The Doc Martins, the bloused jeans. The flannel. The pre-impeachment discussion of Is Oral Sex Sex? "You know what makes me sad?" Adam asked. "That those kids won't get their own version of this."
"Are you kidding me?" I countered. "Those kids don't even know what a video is. They think grunge is crap under their finger nails. Eddie Veder's always had long hair and Billy Corrigan's always been bald."
We weep for the future generation.
Another house on the street's up for sale. If it follows the pattern of the last year, the sale will go like this:
- House will sit on market for 2-6 weeks with an insanely high sale price. Like $100,000 more than what the original owner paid.
- "SALE PENDING" sign will be slapped on current For Sale sign.
- For Sale sign will be taken down.
- For Rent sign will become seemingly permanent addition to neighborhood landscape.
- Eventually, For Rent sign will come down and meth-lab-type tenants will move in, securing the mullet's death grip on the neighborhood hair styles.
I'm not going to say this was a nice neighborhood when we moved in, because it wasn't, not in the traditional sense. It's a working-class neighborhood filled with no-frills houses that were meant for first-time homebuyers. It was supposed to be a place where families could build a future in the safety of a suburb. Ick. We bought in because the house was dirt cheap and the interest rates were still in the basement, and we were seduced by the idea of ownership.
In the intervening three years, it has gone down. Gravel from the xeroscaped lawns is always in the street, plastic toys are left in random yards, bricks have been knocked out of the retaining wall near our property so many times that the neighborhood association gave up replacing them because, "they're just going to tear it down again." There are no trees.
Nobody owns, so nobody bothers.
Adam has taken to calling it the Tenaments at West Pointe. Lends the neighborhood a nice Dickensonian air (aire?). I take bets on when the HazMat team will be in and when a reporter from Channel 4 will do a stand-up in front of our house, begining with "Shots were fired..."
We've been tossing around the idea of a move for about a year. I want to move into a loft downtown, Adam wants an older, smaller house in the North Valley. Or we could toss in the towel and light out for Australia. Anything away from here.
We should totally never be allowed to watch Survivor when we've killed a bottle of wine in the first half-hour.
"Oh, God, now they're on a boat. Oh, what does Bobby John say about boats?"
"I don't like boats, they make me HOAAAARGGGHGHGK!"
"Oh, god. Now they're going to ram!"
"Wait a minute, 'ya-shaw' not 'yax-cia?'"
"The boat. It went up, it went down. It went hork. HORK!"
"Now this is based on the acient Mayan principal that Stephanie will not win."
"Run that log, bitches!"
"Give me more wine."
"I'm gonna hork."
"OOOOOOOHMIGOD! Stephanie won something! I might pee myself. I love her. If I was forced to chose between you and her, I'd have to pick...the kitty?"
My handbag's been at the center of several discussions over the last several days. First, Adam went pawing through it for some reason that's since been forgotten, and then spent the next two days making fun of me for all the "junk" I carry around. And then last night, I accidentally left it at my parents' house and felt jittery until I picked it up this morning.
So just what's in the bag? Let's look.
• Wallet — You'd think this would be self-explanitory. I've got a wallet. My wallet holds my driver's license, my debit and credit cards, my Satellite coffee stamp card (love!) and is a breeding ground for receipts. It's like any other wallet on the planet, though my wallet probably hasn't seen as much cash. Seriously. With the exception of a ten dollar bill I had a couple of weeks ago, I haven't carried cash on me since the trip.
• Travel sized Purity by Philosophy — My face is going through a second puberty. The only way to stem the tide is to get in a mid-afternoon scrub.
• Glasses cleaner — A girl's got to see, right? Right?
• Checkbook — Not so much for the checks as the balance book, though you never know when you're going to end up buying a Miata on a whim.
• Two Stash Earl Grey tea bags — Adam thinks this is proof of some sort of secret obsession with Star Trek: The Next Generation. Okay, so I can give a detailed plot synopsis of any episode after seeing ten seconds and I know that Data had a cat, but it's not like I ever in my life made time to watch the show or that I write Riker/Piccard slash fic when nobody's looking. Really.
• Four packets of Splenda
• Rescue inhalor — "You have an inhalor? Um, why?"
"Because I've got asthma."
"Um, this is news to me."
"You know that lung capacity toy you like to play with? That thing's supposed to tell me if and when I need to be suckin' on that thing you're holding, least I, you know, die."
• iTrip for iPod — Because you never know when bad radio's gonna strike.
• Cell phone — My version of the long distance plan combined with my version of the little black book.
• Kleenex — Man (and woman) was not meant to live in the high desert without a good decongestant and a lot of tissues.
• Allergy eye drops — and allergy eye drops.
• Clinique Moisture Surge Extra Thirsty Skin Relief — And extra moisturizing lotion
• Philosophy's Amazing Grace lotion — Okay, maybe carrying around two lotions is excessive, but it smells sooooooo pretty. I dig smelling pretty.
• Listerine breath strips
• Hair clip
• Smith's card
So not that excessive, but enough to make me nervous if it's not at hand.
son of lappy
Lappy's back and runnin' fast and quiet. Like a ninja.
I'm kind of bummed that the Mac won't be coming to Casa de Lobo for another...long time. But hey, I can type this from the comfort of my squooshy chair and the cat read over my shoulder and snigger at my numerous typos.
I'm a happy girl.
Okay, campers. Today's the day of Lappy's brain transplant. I totally expect Bruce Campbell to pop up before this is all said and done.
"Solder, solder, solder," the Big Damn Hero sang this morning. "I get to solder, solder, solder."
He's far too happy about this.
And then Peanut tried to steal the new hard drive to act as the brain of her robot. Screw my computing needs, she
needs a robot.
And no, we're not allowed to ask why the middle woozle needs a robot. It's far too secret, though I expect it has to do with tormenting the cat.
The Big Damn Hero rescued the hard drive before it could become robot brains, and tucked it into his bag. "I get to solder, solder, solder."
I hid under the quilt and requsted a mild sedative.
It has been sort of productive, this week in laptop limbo. For one, we cleaned out the upstairs office, stacking the books that don't have shelf space neatly on the floor. Oh, here's a little tidbit: candy-colored-covered novels breed.
They are the bunnies of literature. I have more than 100 of them at this point and I know where the rest are hiding. It's daunting.
BUT, the office is clean, and it's as if we got an extra 140 square feet added to the house. And then, to just add to his legend, the Big Damn Hero fixed the old desk top that had been quietly decomposing for the better part of two years. It's comforting to know if the brain transplant doesn't go well, I have a backup machine for the time being, and, oh yes, I've decided on my Apple Store order, if the patient doesn't survive.
I'll keep you posted.
Now I'm starting to get antsy without the comfort of Lappy to soothe me. Its comfortable weight isn't in my lap in the mornings. Now I have to give Steven Fraiser and his Headline News cohorts the full of my attention, and the news is so grim, I turn it off to play a half-hour of DDR, just so I can suck up the next eight hours in the newsroom. Damn you, Lappy.
The agent e-mails me, asking for a digital copy of the manuscript. Oh, well that's no proble-wait. Damn you, Lappy.
I call the Big Damn Hero and beg him to forward the manuscript to her. "I guess," he says, employing the tone of the long-suffering Big Damn Hero (ain't he just?). He's tired and headach-y and has a board meeting on top of everything else and now here's this helpless female trying to curry his favor yet again and he was fairly certain he married a girl who could stand her own in the face of adversity. He gets to be long-suffering for the rest of the month.
I make many promises that I do plan on keeping, but this poor guy. We've got to get through another two days of this before the new hard drive shows up, and then he's got to actually like fix it. I will swear it here in my blog that this year's Adam Tribute Month will be the biggest and most tribute-y we've ever seen. He deserves it.
somewhere in the Ts.
I'm tinkering with the sidebar for your entertainment people. I mean, we now have the official e-mail of Driving in Heels. I can't wait to see what sort of fetish porn turns up. And for the record, no, I ain't puttin' out.
And while you might say, "but Sarah (or Ticky, depending on who you are), Miatas don't have start buttons," I'd like to say au contraire.
Second to bottom photo. Look to the right. Little more, a little more. Yeah. That red round thing. Start button.
And while I'm at it, I'm going to pimp my friend Veed's new web comic, Bad Ideas. Pimp, pimp.
Oh, and who'd be into t-shirts, eh? Who'd like to wander around the world with a little piece of DiH or Wolf Motorsports Development emblazened across your chest? I've been toying with the idea, so if you're interested, drop me a line.
Try the veal.
gonna launder my karma
The computer situation progresses...
We went to CompUSA on the other side of town to play with Powerbooks. While I pounded on the laptop keyboards trying to figure out what wouldn't cripple me, Adam busied himself torturing desktops.
Here's the thing: he's a PC guy. He's always been a PC guy. The old Mac I ran in college was nearly a deal-breaker, he's so hardcore PC. He was dragging his feet about going to play with the Macs, spouting off the anti-Mac rhetoric that they teach in Intro to Computer Science. "You just want it because of the iPod. You're just freaking out because they're switching you to PCs at work. You're being a big baby. PCs are cheaper. You don't really want a Mac."
Imagine my surprise when I looked up from the notebook I was testing and saw my dear husband the PC-lover playing with the new G5 iMac. The really groovy G5 iMac with the 20" flat screen with the computer built right in, so it's all monitor, keyboard and mouse, baby. The platonic ideal of computer. My secret boyfriend computer. That computer. I slid up next to him. "This," he said after a minute of fooling around. "This is awesome. And it's so cheap! It's only $1,700! We should get one. But look at this!"
And he dragged me over to the Mac Mini. "Look at this!" he crowed. "Look at how fast it opens Firefox! And iTunes! And look at the cool little animated menu! And it's so tiny! I want one! We've already got the monitor! It'd make a great replacement for the office computer!"
This would be the dead computer that's been decomposing in the office upstairs for the better part of two years.
He will deny that he showed any enthusiasm, but I assure you, he's seen the light. He's already refering to the dead lappy as the garage lappy and urging me to skip the 12" Powerbook I like for the beefier 15" Powerbook. ("With backlit keyboard!")
But maybe it wasn't a permanent conversion. He spent the afternoon fixing the decomposing office computer and reports it's now up and running on a leaned-out version of Windows and fit for word processing. The new hard drive for my old laptop's due to be delivered on Thursday or Friday. And I would have to parcel out payments for any new computer over the next couple of years, which kind of sucks.
I don't know what's going to happen. I'll keep you posted.
My hard drive died last night. Just up and died. Everything I've ever written, downloaded or uploaded was gone.
I panicked. "AAAAAAAAAOOOHHHMMYGOD what am I going to do?"
Adam was as cool as a cucumber. "Relax, baby. I'll fix it. I'm going to need a ziplock bag, a couple of screwdrivers, a baby seal, some garlic powder and a cork."
I'm serious, that's what he said. I was like, "Baby seal?"
"My rubber chicken's at work. I figure, it's good enough for a quick fix."
So I gathered up the requested items. Ziplock bag, a cork, garlic powder and a rubber baby seal toy my mother-in-law brought back from a conference. With a completely straight face, Adam held the seal over my dead lappy and clubbed it with a Sharpie.
"Gotta appease the computer gods," he said. Club, club, club.
He threw a little garlic and burned the cork. "If only I had my chicken," he mumbled. I reminded him we had a package of chicken wings in the fridge. He pulled it out. "I'm showing the chicken to the computer," he explained with a straight face. "Chickens, both rubber or real, are very important in the process."
He put the chicken back in the fridge. "What about the ziplock?" I asked.
"I cannot reveal all of my secrets at this time," he said. He shooed me upstairs, it was time for bed. While I stressed over the state of my hard drive and moaned about the tools of my trade, he assured me it'd be fine. "Never doubt the computer voodoo."
I fell asleep eventually. The next thing I knew, it was morning and he was perched over me like a vulture. "It's working."
And it was! I worked long enough to save all of my downloaded music from iTunes, all of my photos and every document I've written since May of 2002. "Don't doubt the voodoo, baby," he said.
But, and there's always a but, the hard drive is a goner. A new one is winging its way from New Egg and the master swears he'll have a faster lappy up and running by the end of the week. So awesome! But it'll be a week. Damn.
The real vintage stuff