My Ride

So, I had a bit of an end of an era last weekend.    I upgraded my ride.

I bought my first new car (second new to me car) back in September 2002.   It was a bit of a rush job – my original car, a sometime in the 90s Honda Accord (91, I think) I had bought used in the summer of 1999 had succumbed to rust and time, and I wasn’t willing to put any more money into it.    I decided to buy a Hyundai because of the five year complete warranty.   (I was gun shy.)   I ended up with a white Accent that at least had AC, because there were pretty much no other power features in that car.     But you know what, it was exactly what I needed at that time, and it served me well.

But I was 25 when I bought that car.    I’m just shy of 39 now.    And I aged out of the car a while ago.   (As evidenced by the fact that the best picture of it I could find is below.)     But I really enjoyed not having a car payment.     And for a while, that was enough.

But two years of a thousand dollars in repairs just to be able to get a sticker were enough for me.    After my last sticker in December, I resolved I was getting a new car this Fall.   (I had a whole savings plan to pad my down payment laid out.)     And then, the little old man’s alternator gave out.    So last Saturday, I went car shopping.    I bought a Hyundai Tucson.   I’d never seen myself owning an SUV, but we’d been talking it over, and the extra cargo space (which we need about twice a year, but will be so nice for those two times a year), and having something more comfortable that we could bring on trips (we did all our traveling in BF’s car – he didn’t really like driving the little old man – he didn’t fit in it very well) made that my choice.    (BF also has a Hyundai – a Sonata – I do have to say, Hyundai has treated us well.)

Monday, it snowed.     The City of Portland, in its infinite wisdom, did not treat the Hill of Doom on Congress Street at Stroudwater.   As I approached, it was icy, and there was a Prius stuck in the outer lane (lucky me gets to go up the hill in my morning commute).    At this point, my stomach sunk, as it has for the past number of years in similar conditions.   But you know what?   I have all wheel drive now.   And I got up that hill with no problems.    It was glorious.

I’m also coming off a drive down to Boston this weekend.    (BF’s brothers were both in town, so we met up.)    I actually drove it all the way into Roslindale myself (I made BF take it into Allston when we decided to do lunch there – I haven’t had time to increase my intestinal fortitude that much yet), and drove it back from our hotel in Natick the next morning.     And it was also glorious for a road trip.

I love this car.    I do hope to drive this one into the ground too – so here’s hoping to at least another thirteen and half years.

Kharma

I’m by no means a religious person, but I’ve just had a couple of bookend experiences to my weekend of the kind that really make you feel that there has to be something out there watching over us, and I think I’d feel a little remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that I appreciate the extra help.

This started on Friday. Since I was going on a trip the next day, I stopped at the ATM on the way home, and apparently didn’t manage to reclose my wallet into my purse correctly. When I got home, the BF hadn’t left for job #2 yet, so I had to park on the street so he could get out. Somewhere in the midst of unloading my car, I manage to drop my wallet in the street. BF left for work about ten minutes later, and I still had my shoes on (very unusual with the amount of stuff we currently have on the ground), so I followed him outside so I could pull my car into the driveway. As it happened, a woman and her two daughters were walking down the street, and had found my wallet. They were just coming back down our walk, having tried the front door to see if they could return the wallet to me. I had an immediate someone was looking out for me feeling there because our front doorbell doesn’t work, and had I not come out at that instant, they may not have been able to find me, and I wouldn’t have known my wallet was missing until the next day. I’d just gotten out cash (which I don’t normally do), and I was planning on leaving early the next morning. The potential for chaos in various directions there is a little scary. I don’t know who that family was, but they are my heroes.

So, I was able to go on my trip to MA over the weekend. This of course involves some highway driving, and I’m a New Englander, so that involves some occasional travel at 75 mph. I mention this because of my lovely car escapade today.

I managed to get a flat tire that manifested itself about halfway to work, right in the middle of the hill of doom. Because really, nothing says Happy Monday! like that kind of vibration coming from your front passenger side. But you know what? It happened about three-quarters of the way on my low speed, ten-minutes-if-I-catch-the-lights-right drive to work. Not on I495 in the middle of MA, with my lack of AAA. One of my coworkers helped me get the doughnut on (my one problem with this: how do I show thanks to a man that doesn’t eat sweets or wheat? no cookies!), and I was easily able to get an appointment to have things checked out tomorrow. Heck, I’d been shopping for new tires anyway, and I need to have a blown headlight replaced, so I was going to have to make this appointment anyway. And the topper to the day? A AAA membership offer in the mail when I get home (which will be going back in the mail to them tomorrow).

So, thank you, universe. I really do appreciate you looking out for me this weekend. I’ll do my best to return the favor.

More Projects

So, during the, hmm, festivities (I hate to use this word, but it actually fits) surrounding my grandmother’s funeral, a boot-sized shoe box of old family photos was unearthed. And while pouring over said photos, my boyfriend casually mentioned that we could scan them all, and that way anyone could get a cd, and have copies of the trove. And thus was a new obsession born. The box arrived at my house about a week later, and I’m having a blast. How cool is it to get to see your great-grandmother at the turn of the last century? I’ve always loved old pictures, but they’re so much more meaningful when it’s someone connected to you.


The downside of this is that it got me thinking about the scanner. I’ve long been a collector of paper. I never saw a furniture catalog I wouldn’t happily rip apart to keep a few pages of cool architectural details in their room settings. And there are neat gardens and other random scenery from magazines. And cool jewelry and knickknacks.

So, I’ve got enough paper cached in various places to qualify as a minor fire hazard. And it suddenly occurred to me that scanning them would make those images much easier to store. So, I now have an enormous stack of miscellaneous paper to scan. Which I think is ultimately a good thing, but I’m really glad it’s about to get hot out again so I can remind myself that computer based projects are winter projects. Why do I never figure these things out at the right time of year?

Random Notes

I can tell it’s no longer vacation. I’ve been reading the same book for more than a week now. (Granted, the heat hasn’t made it very comfortable for hanging out and reading.)

I’ve also not taken any pictures for a solid week. Again, I think I’m suffering from a certain amount of heat apathy. I really wanted to go back to the beach today, but the potential for hail is keeping me in the house.

Tomorrow is suppose to be much more pleasant, so hopefully, I’ll soon feel like my summer is back on track.

Welcome

Welcome to my blog. I initially broke down and started this blog in a semi-desperate attempt to force myself to broaden my reading material. If it’s available online, hopefully I can shame myself into reading a little bit more non-fiction, or even regular fiction. Not that I have a huge problem with my fantasy habit, but I do occasionally find myself floundering with what to pick when I’m actually not in the mood for alternate realities (heresy, but true). If I get really brave, I may even try a challenge or two down the line.

At the moment, my biggest source of material is my enormous Amazon.com wishlist. It’s subdivided into ten categories at the moment, and contains somewhere over 200 books. I’ve got it cross-referenced to the main and branch libraries in my lovely city. (I admit to a certain problem with buying books I can’t preview first. One of many, many reasons I love my library!) Pretty much any book that appears interesting makes it onto one of the lists. I suspect I’m not an ideal Amazon customer, as I rarely actually buy things from the list, and I only share one carefully edited sublist, so as to avoid embarrassment for some of the stranger items on there. But it’s been great six year project, and I don’t know what I’d do without the handy storage 🙂

And, as long as this is available, I may use this blog as a convenient posting place for other random projects that are begging to be shared.