Let’s go shopping already

Happy bday to Dave Smith today (not the wendy’s guy, my coworker Dave). On a totally unrelated note, check out Vindibudd, Superhero in Training, a new biweekly comic strip i found thanks to fark.

My last bits of paperwork on the Maxima should be arriving today, so i can finally put that whole stupid sale and registration process behind me. Hopefully by saturday i can start shopping, and you’re all free to help me look. Here’s our target:

  • Nissan 300zx (Z32)
  • 1991 to 1994
  • Preferably Black or Dark Blue. I’d also be interested in Cherry Red or Silver. Yellow or Dark Green would be third choices.
  • Black or charcoal interior
  • 5spd manual
  • Twin Turbo (spotted by the integrated rear spoiler)
  • Coupe, not 2+2 (no backseat, gas filler door is behind the rear tire)
  • Less than 70,000 miles
  • T-top – no hardtop or convertible

So if you see one, call me so i can go look at it. Or just buy it for me and give it to me for Christmas. Or really any holiday would be fine. 😉

A day marked by triumph being crushed by disappointment

Meeting the car-buying folks after work today in bellevue. I’ve been stressing and not sleeping and running around haphazardly trying to get all the paperwork in order, calling the insurance company, faxing things for Dad to sign. My parents have been graciously patient with my franticness, and Patrick has been so generous as to lend me his jeep today so i have i ride home from the bank. I’m going to drive it around for a week getting his for-sale signs some eyeball time, since Clint’s honda is having water pump issues and i can’t borrow it just yet. I’m hugely in debt to both of them for being so generous and for being such solid guys about the whole thing.

I really need all of this to be over, as it’s turning me into a freak show. Yesterday i raced home after a visit to the DMV to pick up title transfer forms, only to call my buyer and find out i had the wrong forms and had to go back. So i booked it back down the sidewalk, only to reach the car and remember my keys were still lying where i’d thrown them on my bed. And the door was locked. Neat. Both Josh and Kim wouldn’t be home for several hours. I spent a bit pacing around the house, studying screens and doorknobs, looking for an opportunity, but despite its age and generally poor maintenance history, our house is actually pretty secure (as Kim and i have confirmed one other time, too). I did luck out, however, that my bedroom windows weren’t latched, although in my paranoid-neurotic way they are still secured with sash locks that prevent any more than 2″ of free movement. So, standing in the bushes (getting wet until i turned off the stupid soaker hose – i hate our landlord’s watering scheme), i could pull the curtains back and see the keys there on the bed about 8 feet away. Struck suddenly by inspiration, i scoured the yard for small sticks, of which there were of course none. But i did find a bundle of bamboo plant stand thingies under a zillion cobwebs by the back door. After floundering about the yard yanking randomly at longish grass for a bit, i found some that seemed pretty sturdy, and in a very boyscout/macguyver fashion i lashed together a long pole out of three of the plant brace stick things and some colorful (and very sharp) weeds the landlord probably paid a small fortune for at some yuppie greenhouse. And on the first try, the keys were in my hand, but not before the window sash left some nasty cuts in my arm (metal window stripping – what were we thinking in the 40s??). And i was back on the road, giggling at my own success and trying not to bleed on the clean car.

I have the correct forms now, and all the paperwork in a nice pile. I just need to pretend to work for a few hours to pass the time and try not to think about anything on my todo list. Is it friday yet?

U P D A T E:
Okay, that completely sucked. Leaving home in the Maxima for the last time. Parking it at work for the last time. Someone noticing my plates were changed and asking about it, so of course i had to tell them, which led to a whole discussion of why i had to sell it, prompting stories i didn’t need to hear about everyone else’s cars they’d wished they’d kept and what good deals they’d found in the past, etc. Thanks so much, gang, for the pity and the jabs. Then unlocking it for the last time, driving to bellevue and parking for the last time. A perfect parallel parking job, too, 2″ from the curb on the first try, no hits, in free street parking in the middle of downtown bellevue; good parking karma on an otherwise karma-free day. Locking up for the last time, walking away for the last time – looking back, of course, at how great it looks parked there, shiny and black, sleek and powerful, curvy and… not mine. Signing the papers, blah blah, handling huge wads of cash, feeling cold and detached like how bankers must feel when they forclose on their friends or put a family on the street with a flick of the pen. Walking the buyer to where his Maxima is parked. Emptily demonstrating the valet key, the trunk release, the jack tools, like a disheartened car salesman who’s earning someone else’s commission. Sitting on the curb while he drives it away. Shiny, curvy, sexy, sweet, rolling past me, mirrored in the glass of the buildings and the welling in my eyes. Slumping there on the curb, feeling the concrete drain the warmth away. Watching the taillights fade into traffic, sliding away into anonymity and eternity. Yeah, that really sucked.

My reality toll has come due

The Maxima is no longer mine. Its new owners gave me earnest money last nite, and i’ll meet with them on tuesday to hand over the keys and process the paperwork. I’ll wash it one last time this weekend and then park it until tuesday. Clint has been nice enough to lend me his honda while i shop for something.

I feel it only fair to warn you that i haven’t slept much lately for so many reasons, and that when sleep deprived i tend to the melodramatic and verbose. So with that in mind…

I’ve sold my baby, my brand new car, my Maxima. I’m torn between rejoicing that i’ll be free of the burden of that debt – from the monthly expenses and the upside-down value and the years of payments remaining – or being overly sentimental about the loss of a dear friend – one that has served me faithfully and tirelessly for the last three years; that has never failed to start or left me stranded; that has carried and protected and spoiled me asking little in return; that has been one of the few bastions of peace, order and stability in my life in the last couple roller-coaster years; that has always been a safe place, a private place and a comfort zone for me, no matter how un-comforting my home, work or personal life has become; that has played such a defining role in my identity and been my connection to a community of people i have come to greatly value; that has been an endless source of hobby, enjoyment and fun; that has provided me with such pride in its newness, niceness, and beauty; that has treated me so well. All the late nights in bad weather that it brought me home safely and without worry. All the cold mornings when it started without hesitation, and all the hot days when it worked so hard to keep me cool. The damage, wear and weather it has suffered because i couldn’t provide a very good home, and the loving detail with which i have endeavored to counteract those forces. I can’t believe i’m losing my brand new car, and not because it ever failed me, or because i have any complaint about it or desire to see it go. Rather, simply because our cruel world that is run by accountants and tax collectors dictates that the magic numbers next to my name don’t have the means to keep something this nice. Because my career is a joke, that expensive degree isn’t paying off at all, and because life is never what we plan or hope or dream – always what happens in the meantime when we’re not paying attention. Somewhere in the last three years i’ve been too busy living a dream to pay attention to reality, and now reality has come to collect its toll, and the price is the only major thing in my life i’ve really been proud of in a long time. That i couldn’t even sell it for enough to pay off the loan is only icing on a cake i would rather never have tasted. Maxima, you have been a true friend and i will miss you a great deal – i wish you many more happy miles in a home with the means to treat you as you deserve.

“MAXED” no more

Yawning but happy, thanks to homemade pizza and a slice of gooey chocolate pie. Must-see tv was pretty funny tonite, although ER really creeped me out. I don’t need to be reminded how much war, death, rape, and savage people are out there in the world. I like my happy plastic bubble.

I’m showing the Maxima to a guy tomorrow after work, hopefully that goes well. You wouldn’t even recognize it; without the personalized license plates and glovebox full of starbucks napkins it’s hardly even my car anymore. 😉 Hopefully by next week, it’ll be his…

Long weekend yeah!

Short weeks are good. Long weekends are better. Explain: i have tomorrow off, so today is my friday. And that’s very good. It’s been a stressful week.

But Lance gets here tonight at 8 for the weekend, and i pushed my expense check thru in time to have it today so i won’t be broke for his visit, and i’m going to have a long, enjoyable weekend with him and forget that i work here. And a lady emailed me about the Maxima today and sounds interested in it, so things can only get better. How many more weeks until my vacation??? Too many.

Healthy is a subjective term.

Got an sms from John from Kalispell today, he’s on midterm break so went on safari. [sarcasm] I’m sure that will suck. [/sarcasm] Seriously, John, have a great time, and be careful of the hippos, i hear they’re really mean. I, meanwhile, am sitting in front of a poor-quality crt monitor wasting my mid 20s pretending to care about windoze printing issues…

Still no one interested in buying the Maxima from me. Starting to get frustrating… i hate getting all emotionally and mentally prepared for things and then having to wait for them to happen. Guess i need to stop anticipating things i cannot control… What? There are things i cannot control? I never said that was okay!

It’s monday, so hopefully there’s a new Strong Bad Email today. And i’m on my first day of a resolution to eat better (gonna be broke anyway, might as well file bankruptcy with a full stomach) and i’m already feeling the benefits of a healthy diet… more energy, better mood, increased typing accuracy. It’s just a win-win! 😉

At least i can be thankful that i don’t have a pair of forceps lodged in my abdomen like this poor woman in Bangkok, that were left there by surgeons in 1997… and have been there ever since. If micro$oft ran the medical community, that’s the kind of stuff you could expect… 😉

Jazz and Jello

It’s a good thing there’s jazz and jello, or i’d be tempted to be in a bad mood today. Don’t get me wrong, most of the day was great. I met Cara from Loyola for lunch – it was a perfect day for clam chowder on the peir, what with the wind blowing thru the city streets and the clouds threatening to rain all day. We caught up and talked shop a bit, i hadn’t seen her since a chance meeting at a madison park starbucks. And most of the day at work was pretty pleasant, visiting with my office staff and appreciating the Max’s efficient heater (and lamenting that i took the good windshield wiper blades off!).

Stupid micro$oft had to go and ruin my day, tho, with their lousy software. As if the last time wasn’t fun enough, there’s another security hole, another patch, and another headache for everyone in my line of work. In an effort to avoid the madness that ensued last time, we’re actually applying the fix before a new virus is released exploiting it (i know – a proactive IT dept, wonders never cease). Kevin asked me to update my 12 corporate office servers at minimum, but as i’m not interested in any more chaos i voluntarily bumped that goal to include all 120-ish machines in my offices. Now i know what you’re thinking – how can i complain about work i’ve piled on myself? Well let’s just remember that this is the sort of work that shouldn’t have to be done if things were done right in the first place. Or if john l scott had some sort of update procedure or plan for this sort of thing, but now i’m just daydreaming… Anyway, so i have two laptops spread across the kitchen table (my work one, which is a junky dell with a demon-possessed trackpad, and the lovely powerbook i’m using to talk at you all), some good techno mixes on shuffle, and i’m logging into a zillion stupid windows computers all over the state to give them their stupid update since stupid micro$oft can’t get their code right the first time. I’d also like to point out that while there have been over 50,000 worms and viruses for windoze and dos, only about 40 known such viruses exist for MacOS, and most of those are for the pre-OSX systems. Expert programmers have been launching heavy artillery against BSD for years and have made it a rock-solid core for MacOSX. I don’t even have virus software on this powerbook, and never have – eat that micro$oft!

Okay, i’m done ranting. The point is, i’m listening to some nice jazz now, and eating the last bit of jello and cool whip (isn’t cool whip great?) that Mom made while she was here, and slowly but surely feeling much better about everything.

1 Car is not really a collection

Geez, it’s been like a week! Sorry about that, Danielle and i have been spending all our free time with our Mom, who’s been visiting since, well, my last entry. 😉 She flew back home to MT today, after spending all week pampering us with homemade meals and general mom-ing. It was so great having her here, so relaxing for both of us to have her around and so much fun sharing our favorite city places and things with her. I really hope next time Dad can come too, as it’s just not the same without him. Danielle and i are hoping to head home to visit and see the new house sometime next month, and spend some time with them both.

I’ll have a few pix of some of our random adventures, including lunch on the beach at Ocean Shores (the western coast of washington) and some quality time with Danielle’s cat, Ferris. I also have a few more shots in the bumbershoot gallery from monday, my second day at the festival, and baseball with the gang last week, that will be up once i recover… 😉

Still no bites on the maxima yet, but i know the price is a bit high. Can’t really help that, my price is dependent on the loan. I dropped it again, tho, i can’t believe it’s worth so little compared to what i paid for it three years ago. Stupid economy, i shouldn’t be having to sell it anyway – i was supposed to be collecting cars by now…

Some days have all the luck.

The strange little lego freddie-looking alien guy on top of my monitor is staring at me today. Normally i’d stare back, but i’m really tired right now and i just don’t think i’d win. Here’s a funny story for you. Last nite when i got home i noticed there is condensation inside my right light bulb, probably a result of my changing all the bulbs this week and cleaning the engine bay in preparation for selling it (the car, not just the engine bay). So i took the bulb out, along with the rubber seal around it, and set them on top of a nearby fuse box, so the bulb housing could air out last nite. This morning, because i’m stupid, i got in the car and headed for work. About 6 blocks from home i remembered the carefully-balanced parts under the hood, and pulled over. Of course, the bulb was totally gone. At least the rubber seal was still there. I poked around in the splash guards and whatnot, but no bulb. Closed the hood and drove two more blocks before i decided it would be a good idea to grab the rubber seal out of there before it, too, fell thru the cracks. Again, reference my stupidity. Pull over, open hood, grab rubber seal, back in car… people on sidewalk rather curious. Got home, of course bulb is not in the street in front of my house. I had a few spares (at least i didn’t have to go buy one!) and after testing a couple found one that worked. Assembled and ready… oh, wait… rubber seal is still sitting in the cupholder. Okay, re-assembled and ready. Head back to work. Two blocks from home, shiny metal thing catches the sunlight at an intersection. Like a mad person i jump out of my car to rescue it and… it’s an empty pack of dentyne. No, just kidding, it’s the bulb, and no one’s driven over it yet. But i felt pretty weird picking up shiny garbage in the street with cars behind me, it might as well have been a pack of gum. So moral of the story is… if you take your car apart and then go to bed, put a post-it on the dash first so you don’t drive off in a disassembled car in the morning. There is now a pack of post-its in my car.

At least it’s friday, so i only have a few more hours of being behind the wheel or around sharp objects where i risk injuring myself at the hands of my own stupidity. This weekend is Bumbershoot and i have tickets for two days, saturday and monday. There’s several bands i want to see saturday, but i couldn’t get anyone else to commit to going, so i just bought the ticket anyway and i’m gonna go regardless. They’re only 15 bucks, for a full 16-hour day of concerts on a half-dozen different stages. Not exactly a bank-breaker, don’t know what people’s excuse is. But i’m gonna go see Macy Gray and Kinky and REM, and if no one else wants to, well, they can fall through the splash guards too for all i care…