Tag Archives: cars

Today: New car smell.

I alluded to a Valentine’s Day and early birthday surprise last week, and then sort of forgot to tell you what it was.  Rude, I know.  Welp, ready your best Price is Right voice, because I am currently driving a newwwwwww carrrrrrrrrrrr!  Nick lied and said he needed to take my car to FedEx/Kinko’s last Wednesday.  I knew he was lying (with a pretty weird lie, at that), but had no idea that he was actually selling my old car and buying a new one.  I am a human lie detector, but not a psychic apparently.  Needless to say, I am beyond grateful.  And drivin’ around with a giant trunk permasmile, enjoying that new car smell.

I’d had my old car since 2005.  It survived three years of commuting to Rhode Island, the time I rear-ended a visitor fresh from Japan (he was driving a rental car and had just left the airport… welcome to America… BAM!), and several breakdowns (or things breaking, like the frame).  After serving us so well, it was bittersweet to say goodbye, but man… was I excited to get behind the wheel of our new ride.  Before I put the pedal to the metal though, we had to clear out the Ford.  Eight years makes for quite a bit of junk in the trunk.  And in the glove compartment.

With the exception of the aforementioned bumper tap, I kept pretty good care of my first car.  I was religious about oil changes and kept record of all work done on the car over the course of its 130,000 mile life.  I think someone must have told me to do this.  I also kept all of its inspection reports.  And car wash receipts.  And parking tickets and traffic violations I must have been saving for my non-existent scrap book.  Who knows.  It helps to have a little document pouch, complete with a stock photo of your car, to keep all these things tidy.

The new car is much lighter on stuff.  For one, there are fewer important documents.  Mostly because nothing has happened yet.  There are no dented wiffleball bats in the trunk, no Motorola flip phones in the glove compartment.  Just the necessities: plenty of quarters for parking meters, the code to our storage facility gate (I cannot, for the life of me, remember secret codes), a paddle ball set (you never know when you might need to have fun), Clark’s travel crate, and a lightning cable for our iPhone jams.

Oh, and that new car smell.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s in your glove compartment? (10 points if there are actual gloves in there)

Today: Minivanity.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]At 2 o’clock on Friday I got a panicked email from a colleague regarding the fundraising event we were hosting this weekend.  The majority of our beer, wine and liquor had not been delivered, and we had until 5 PM to acquire a vehicle large enough to hold all the hooch… and then drive to the distributor in Avon (wherever that is) and pick it up.

I don’t normally ramble about work On Tap, but this situation seems like it warrants an exception.  Mostly because it involves me driving, trying to park, and attempting to inflate a flat tire on a minivan.  And because I got a total of three hours of sleep last night, and I am nothing if not overtired.  And crazy-feeling.

When you get the “holy crap, we have no beer” email, you have a few options:

  • Ignore it, and hope that someone else replies first.
  • Reply with a weak “I suppose if no one else….. maybe… possible I could borrow my neighbor’s station wagon” and then really hope someone else responds in the affirmative.  Mostly because your neighbor doesn’t have a station wagon.
  • Attempt to ignore it for 30-60 seconds until your anxiety spikes so high that you can barely see straight, and then take the reigns.  Something needs to get done, and you should probably be the someone to do it.

My car is too small to hold a six pack, let alone a 5 million pack, so the first objective was acquiring a vehicle.  The rental place near my condo is sort of overrun with creepers, but they usually have SUVs available.  Except when you really need one, apparently.   I tried the branch closer to my office, which was also fresh out of SUVs, but had a giant pick-up truck available.  Seeing as how the adult beverages would be sitting out overnight (in a garage, but still) this didn’t seem to be a viable option.  Unless I wanted to essentially give away the booze, and then have grounds for firing myself.  Next option: a painter’s van, most commonly driven by kidnappers and other social deviants.  They have no rear windows.  No thank you.

All that was left: a minivan.

[Image source]

The coolest, chicest part of my soul died as I was handed to the keys to the Silver Bullet (yes, it came with a nickname at no additional charge).  That same part continued to rot and fester over the next 48 hours as I schlepped to Avon and back, picked up the kids from violin practice, attempted to park in a city alley alongside our event venue, got yelled at for not knowing how to park in minivan, got wedged in between a dumpster and what can only be described as a monster truck, creeped across the city at 2AM with a nearly flat tire, attempted to return the stupid thing only to find that the key drop was broken at my local rent-a-car branch, and so on… and so forth.  When someone asked if they could put an auction item in “Elizabeth’s minivan,” I was overcome with a wave of nausea.  It is nooooot my miiiiiiiini vaaaaaaaaaaaan.

I suffered a serious case of minivanity this weekend.  While plenty of people can make a minivan look good, I am not one of them.  (I will admit I was intrigued by the self-opening sliding doors, and those stow-and-go seats were pretty awesome, too… but mostly because I feel like you could hide  a lot of stuff, or escape from things… or whatever.)  Wondering if you’re ready for that next stage of life?  Rent the corresponding vehicle.  You’ll figure it out quickly.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Having my parents (who made minivans look infinitely cool in the 80s and 90s) and Nick’s parents over :)
  • So cute: hot cocoa ornaments!
  • Catching up on sleep

Let’s play MASH.  What’s your dream car?

Today: The Mmmbop! Mobile.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false] Welp, we were on our way to Whole Foods (River Street, holla!) when this little nugget of a sedan Mmpbopped its way into our lane.  I chose not to beep or bird them because I assumed a thirteen year old from the late nineties was driving.  Instead it was a middle-ish aged man.  I suppose I shouldn’t judge a driver by their vanity plate or sweet window sticker.
Except for the people with the “It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” bumper stickers.  I’ve made it my life’s work to cut those people off, or at the very least, dent their bumpers, right where they’ve affixed that awful message.  Oh, and I freely judged the driver of the Godblessmobile to be awesome. Okay, back to Hanson.

Dooobeeedoobammmbop. Crap! The engine light's on again!

Bold choice, sir.  Bold choice indeed.
Also On Tap for Today:

Do you have a vanity plate?  Or a favorite bumper sticker?

Today: Unfashionably on time.

Cruisin' in the rain

I pride myself on being punctual.  As the ancient Roman saying goes, Early is on time; on time is late; and late is unacceptable.  And now we must feed you to the lions.  In the Colosseum. Every once in a while, though, I get sidetracked and loose sight of that saying.  And the clock.

What not to do, five minutes before you’re supposed to leave to meet your significant other and his new co-workers for a harbor cruise:

Practice hairstyles for your brother and future sister-in-law’s wedding. Yes, I’ve mastered the inside out french braid, a style whose coolness peaked simultaneously with mine.  In seventh grade. The Zohan, I am not.  And I need to be seen in public very shortly.  Back away from the Elnett.

Attempt to Krazy Glue something (in this case a brass tack embellishment) back onto your shoe.  In fact, one should probably avoid Krazy Glue altogether.  In opening a fresh tube of the magic adhesive, I somehow got it on several finger tips, the marble counter in the bathroom, and the area between several finger tips and the marble counter in the bathroom.  I then had to single-handedly (literally, using one hand) open a bottle of nail polish remover and hope that rumor I’d heard about Sally Hansen being Krazy Glue’s kryptonite was true.  There’s been a lot of “news” lately about criminals removing their fingerprints to avoid leaving evidence behind.  The implication is that their fingerprints were mutilated on purpose.  After last night’s close encounter with Krazy Glue, I wonder if these so-call hardened criminals weren’t trying to bedazzle a pair of flats on their way to the bank… robbery.

Waffle about whether or not to bring an umbrella. There are days when the hourly forecast indicates a 30% chance of rain.  Thirty is more than ten, which may as well be zero, but it’s less than fifty, which may as well be one hundred.  You might bring an umbrella, but you might not.  And it might not matter either way.

Then there are days when the sky is actively raining buckets.  Yesterday was one of those days.  Why I wondered for a solid minute or two whether or not to bring an umbrella, is beyond me.  Why I ultimately decided not to bring the umbrella, is waaay beyond me.  I made it to the street with just enough time to hop on the T, when I faced the harsh reality that my creatively coiffed hair would be Donald Trumpified if I didn’t find someway to protect it from the monsoon.  But then I couldn’t find my dang umbrella.  By the time I realized it was in my car, the window of opportunity to travel green had long closed, and I was forced to drive to the waterfront.  In my car.

Have your car hit by someone in even more of a hurry than you. (I’m fine, my car’s fine, the guy who hit my car is fine, his car is not fine.  All is right in the world.) I had mere minutes to meet Nick at the dock before the boat cruised off, so I took the most direct route possible.  A fellow driver tried to make his route even more direct, whipping around a turning vehicle.  His passenger side widow smashed into my driver’s side window, making a noise so loud it blew some of the now rock-hard Krazy Glue right off my middle finger.  He proceeded to drive off (mind you, we’re in traffic, so he didn’t get far).

My initial thought was, if he flees the scene, I won’t have to get out of my car in the pouring rain to exchange insurance information, which would be good.  Because, you know, I don’t have any waterproof paper in my car.  The offending driver, however, pulled over at the next light, and I was able to pull up alongside him and his side-view mirror, which had been blown clear off.  He rolled down his window, so I took his lead and did the same.  After being smacked in the face by wall of rain, I gave him my best “What the f… “ hands.  And then I used the automatic side-window mover thingy to scan the length of my car (which, in hindsight, seems kind of insensitive, seeing has his mirror was dangling by a thread wire).  Not a single scratch.

I think he genuinely felt badly.  I genuinely felt shocked that my humble Ford withstood such an assault.  I could be in one of those “Buy American” ads.  My mirror brought his mirror down to Chinatown.  Literally.  We were on Atlantic Avenue.

I arrived mostly in one piece, and enjoyed a lovely cruise of Boston Harbor with Nick and his colleagues aboard the Martha Washington.  According to BHC Captain William Sanchez, “The moment you cross her gangway, it’s as if you’ve stepped back in time.”   Which is only possible, if you’re on time.

Also On Tap for Today:

Do you arrive on time?  Or do you find it fashionable to be a wee bit late?

Today: The Godblessmobile.

Happiness on wheels!  I haven’t seen this little car since we moved (hence the snow on the ground in this photo, safely snapped at a red light), but once I tried to follow the Godblessmobile.  It’s a speedy little thing and it got away from me.  It had places to go and people to bless.

Also On Tap for Today:

What makes you happy in your neighborhood?

Today: Window shopping.

Want to see something totally weird?

What an amoosing hat.

Just kidding.  This post is not about me (wearing a moose hat, and not wearing makeup).  This post is about a strange face that appeared, quite literally, on my car window this week.

Ahhhh!

Do you see it? It’s as if someone pressed their face up against the glass and the heat or um… natural oils attracted various pollens and dusts.  My other theory is that this is a miraculous apparition.  Either way, I am creeped out.  And I am about to cash in my free wash at Super Shine.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • A very special Happy Birthday to The Dad Man! :) I love you, Dad!
  • Christopher’s graduation
  • Plan meals/workouts for the week

What the strangest thing you’ve witnessed lately (besides, welp, me…)?

Today: Hit the road

road tripThis weekend, 2/3 of my family made a short road trip for my cousin’s baptism.  My parents, my younger brother and I enjoyed a nice 4 hour car ride (round trip, let’s be honest) to semi-scenic CT.  My sister and older brother were otherwise occupied, which means they missed out… and that we had ample leg and elbow room.

The same four of us once drove (more accurately, my dad drove and we were along for the ride) to Virginia.   For that venture, I really got my act together with the iPod playlists and trivia books.  Mom packed snacks and my brother pretended to not want to put me in the trunk.  This time… not so much.  This was sort of like the Def Leopard reunion tour of road trips.  We’d traveled more miles and visited more cities before… now we’re too washed up to make it past Connecticut.

Under-prepared, I pressed random buttons on my iPod Touch the night before, resulting in our shuffled play list including such jams as Santa Baby and Let it All Hang Out.

I guess a two hour trip doesn’t warrant snack packing, especially when your children are 21 and 27, but… downgrade nonetheless, Mom.  Otherwise, excellent temperature control and navigation assistance.

Christopher played Word Mole on my Blackberry most of the ride.  Lame.  He did advise me against wearing my giant black bow headband, so I guess he gets points for that (Mass is not an avant garde hair show).

Dad got an A+ for… well, driving.

When Jackson Browne’s The Load Out came on for the sixth time, it was evident: I was the weakest link.  Goodbye.

Also On Tap for Today:

What are your ultimate road trip songs?  How do you rebound from being a total dingbat?