Here We Go Again

I was rummaging through the console of Pee-Tah’s car on my way to work and called him to ask, “Is this a tooth in your car?”

“Yes,” he replied. “It’s a long story.”

I don’t know about you guys, but I want to know the story.


No, I wasn't kidding

No, I wasn’t kidding

Oh. You want to know why I was driving Pee-Tah’s car. Right. Because this.




This is my sad, forlorn, pitiful wreck of a car sitting at the mechanic’s shop waiting for a new alternator.

Oh. You want to know why I have to have a new alternator when I just got one last year? Yeah, me too.

Before I bought my Sonata, I drove a used Isuzu Rodeo until it had 240,000 miles on it. The belt squealed every time I turned it on and the gas pedal would get gummy and stick in the rev position until you reached down and yanked it back into non-rev mode, but it never gave me this much trouble. That Rodeo set the bar for all other vehicles – how long and how far I should be able to drive one. This Sonata only has 150,000 miles on it and is being a baby about it, quite frankly. I’d give it a swift kick to the tires but I’m afraid that will just anger it further and it will retaliate by dropping the entire undercarriage on the freeway.

I suppose the good news here is that I’m pretty adept at diagnosing a problem with my car. I’ve had nearly all of the traditional car problems so I’m recognizing the signs. I was getting an oil change when the alternator made its final hurrah. I flicked on the windshield wipers and noticed they were slow so I asked the guys at the shop to check the voltage (I knew the right terminology and everything!), and then had to ask for a jump when it wouldn’t start. On the way over to the mechanic’s, my car backfired, bucked, revved and then de-revved, flashed lights and generally acted like an asshole, much to my humiliation.  I like attention but not that kind.

Pee-Tah asked me later, “You knew it was the alternator before anyone told you, didn’t you?” Yeah, I did, and I’m inordinately sad that I did. I never wanted to be a mechanic. I never wanted to know so much about cars. That was never my dream.

Other car stories here, here, here, here, and here.  Oh, and here. And also a weensy one here.


And Then The Alternator Died

image 3

You see that second hood up, there? The blue one? That’s my car, in the shop again.

image 4

When does one decide to call it quits with a car? This is not a rhetorical question. I’m really asking. At what point do I say “uncle” and quit spending money on this car that is determined, it seems, to break every part in itself? Thus far I have spent 2/3 of the yearly money I would have spent on car payments. I guess if I come out even $5 less than what I would have spent in a year, I’m okay? I was rather hoping that I’d have time to actually save the money over the year and THEN put it back into my car but I guess that’s what I get for hoping.

While I’m in this lovely mood, I’d like to remind you that it is winter. You probably already knew that, what with all the blizzards and the snow and the busted pipes. And the electric bills that send you to the poor house. Because of winter, I’m behind on my posting. I’d like to tell you that lately I have had a life and have had no time for writing but that is a big fat lie. Lately I have had library books and a cozy sofa and warm blankets. Because it’s been cold, instead of going out to find some life, I’ve stayed home with Murphy and Seamus and read some really good and really bad books. It just sounded better to say I’ve had a life.

I am over winter. Over it. Winter can go F itself. It is the middle of March and I’m tired of the whiplash I’ve gotten from the wardrobe changes lately: fuzzy socks and a scarf! Shorts and a t-shirt! Two layers of sweatshirts! I’m roasting in these long sleeves! I’d like for the weather to pick a season and gradually work its way towards it, doling out each temperature range in small but steady bursts, like how nature was intended to perform back in the good old days when I was a kid.

At this point, when all of you are feeling mighty sorry for me, I suppose I should go ahead and tell you that my girls and I are going on a cruise soon. Woney, Squash and Nurse Bananahammock planned a trip to somewhere tropical for the four of us, but since I didn’t really plan it, I’m not sure where exactly we are going. One morning we were emailing and someone said, “Hey, we should go on a cruise.” The rest of us said, “Sure, let’s start looking at options.” I said, “I’m going to lunch. Be back soon!” Off I jetted and when I came back an hour later, they had all emailed and said, “Great, I’m glad we picked a place. Let’s book this afternoon?” Of course I said “Yes!” and then mailed off a check and just last week, I thought, “Huh. Perhaps I should see where we are going so that I can ensure I pack the appropriate clothing.” You know Woney and I never get the weather right so I don’t even know why I’m planning a seasonal wardrobe.

I keep thinking of the cruise with longing (and for the record, I just looked it up and it turns out we are going to Mexico – ooh, tropical!), and then am reminded of other trips I looked towards with longing: the tropical cruise Woney and I took two years ago that was not tropical at all, the trip to Ireland that was tropical much to my dismay, the drinking party that was my 40th birthday in Miami with my sisters.


Actually, I didn’t intend for the Miami trip to be one giant drinking party. I intended for that to be a lazy, lie on the beach kind of trip and when I look back, that is what I fondly remember. What I had forgotten was the fish bowl margarita the three of us split, and the shots we took, all million of them taken in one night. I also forgot about our photo shoot on Ocean Drive and our text messages. Wait, here:


Y’all, I sent that to Coach the first night we were in Miami. I did do a recap of that trip when we returned, but realized that you got the Pollyanna story and not the “Jimmie, Martie and The Squirt Had Some Drinks And This Is What Happened” story.

This is what happened.


Martie is good at taking pictures. That is the caption for this photo.


The Squirt found a car she liked. Bow chicka wow wow.


Perhaps we liked the shoe? I wish I could explain it.


This was what the whole trip was like. Laughing, just like this. And also, the trip was like this:


Warm. Sunny. Relaxing. I’m mourning the loss of that while I look at my frozen, brown yard and/or my broken car. I do love me some hoodies but I’m ready to not wear them every day. While winter is just ripping through here like a kid in a candy store, I’m dreaming of fruity drinks and swimmy suits and tanned legs. Until I go spend the rest of the money I don’t have on my third car repair of the year, I’ll sit here in this fancy schmancy McDonald’s and dream of my tropical respite. Please, God, let it be tropical. I just want it to be tropical.

UPDATE: My car repair was only $250! I can afford that! I took it over to 5th Gear Automotive in Hermitage and I Highly Recommend them. I offered to kiss the owner right on the mouth but with his wife sitting there ringing me up, I decided to withdraw my offer and hand over my debit card instead. I’m not destitute!