Monday, July 30, 2012

Cars in a lifetime.

As I continue to mourn the loss of my car, I'm reminded of other cars that have come and gone in my life. This blog is a brief summary of all the cars that have been in our family since I can remember. I was born in '76, and I believe my old man had a sweet jeep of some sort up in Connecticut, but I am too young to remember that.
So, let's begin, to the best of my knowledge, these are all the cars I've had close ties to. Please note that these are not the REAL photos of the ACTUAL cars I've experienced, but they are as close as I could get, some look pretty much exactly the same, even to the color of paint of on the car.

1980 VW Rabbit / Diesel / 4 speed.
This was the first car I remember well. The old man bought it new. I think it was $7k, but I could be wrong. I was so small at the time, me and my older could both sit in the front seat at the same time. It was loud and not to comfortable. It made it's way to Connecticut and back a few times. Interior was black. It was loud. We, I, I didn't appreciate how cool this car was at the time. I was embarrased to pick up friends in wealthier neighborhoods because it made so much noise.

Memorable moments include, the drive to the hospital, in second grade, after was knocked out from a sled riding accident. I woke in the backseat and asked my old man what day it was. Also, my older brother teaching me how to drive stick in a parking lot. I was like in third grade! I got it up to second. Should've paid more attention. My older brother got his license in this car and we took it over, he drove that machine as it was meant to be driven. My first brief moments of independence, cruisin with friends and my bro with my no parents around, acting like assholes.

Probably the coolest car we ever had in the family. Only lasted about 100k miles. My dad beat the shit out of it and it got hit once, while parked.

1980? Volore Wagon (was actually tan) / Automatic This was probably the worst car in the family. My mom drove this one a lot. There was a horn problem in it once, where the horn kept beeping. It was driven a lot on Sundays to visit my ailing grandma who I never really got to know cause she had a severe stroke, I think. There aren't really any good vibes connected with this car. I think this turned my father off to buying used cars as this one was pre-owned. That's just a guess.

1967 Chevy S-10 / (baby blue, with white top, rusted) / Manual transmission.
This was purchased in the early 80's to assist my father with farming for a while. Made lots of noise, smelled like gas, but was always cool to ride in. Back in the days when you had a little freedom, me and my brothers were allowed to sit in the back during trips. No one got hurt, no one got arrested. I think my dad drove me and all my buds to the park, in the pick up truck for one of my birthday parties. It was also driven to farmer's markets. It always felt like an adventure in that thing.
This was another vehicle I really didn't appreciate or respect as much as I should have. Very cool ride. It ended up sitting in our back parking area for many years. Ivy was beginning to grow around it.

1980 Cutlass Supreme (the real color was Maroon) / Auto
We inherited this from my grandma, around the same time my grandfather had past away. This was smooth luxury back then. My older sister drove this car around a lot. It didn't have a tape plaer, so, she put her boom box in the car and we would drive around town cranking out def Leopard and Aerosmith (Ragdoll) - that's the closet I ever came to enjoying that genre of music. Looking at it's shape now, it seems completely frivalous and even strange, but at the time, it represented class. There were a lot of these around.

1992 Oldsmobile 88 - Royale (Same color - but no spoked wheels)
As horrible as the 90s were, 'specially the early 90s, this was kind of a bright spot, as the Cutless was getting old and run down, and borderline ghetto. Things seemed to lighten up, my father was beginning to mellow out, and we had this nice new car. My very first trip into Canada was made in this vehicle with me, my dad, and my younger brother. We crossed over near Calais, Maine into New Brunswick. Me and my younger brother would laugh at anything and my father was ready to kill us by the end of the trip. At one point we had to separated when we ate out. God bless the old man for putting up that shit, I would've left us in Canada.

This car also made it down to Dallas to visit my sister in 1994. That was a memorable trip. My father hit an armadillo as we were leaving Dallas. I have no desire to ever go back to Texas. This car didn't last very long.

The 1994 Chevy Cavalier was the car that I got my driver's license in. This was initially a car for my sister to drive around, but she then moved to Texas so it was just waiting for me. My parents bought this thing completely bare bones, there wasn't even a radio in it. I had this car for my senior year of college and my first internship. I ended buying a tape player and radio for it at Bestbuy. Yes, I was listening to tapes in early 2000. It once broke down on the Turnpike during bumper to bumper traffic, the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I was pulled over in the middle section of the road. Kind of a scary time. It was noisy and you could feel everything, but it was reliable until about 2003.

We had Oldsmobile loyalty rebates so this was the first new car I ever owned. It had a CD player and a Radio in it. It wasn't too bad. This thing was as fun to drive as the Mazda but it's reliability was decent for the first few years. It eventually got handed back to my mom and dad as I got another car in October of 2007. It has been to Maine, Montreal, Hilton Head, and Detroit and DC, among other places.

This was the first vehicle that I really that I got. I was looking into the Scion xD, even testdrove one. There was a used Mazda3 at another dealership that I tried out. That's when I made the decision. It's been to Quebec City, Montreal, the Catskills and has made numerous trips back and forth to Pittsburgh. Probably the funnest car I've ever driven. No surprise if you check out my list of cars. Two weeks ago the tranny went.

This is the 2012 Mazda 3 I will be picking up today.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Rise and Fall

This is what's on my mind this morning.

Just observations, nothing new or revealing, but just my awareness of what's going on in relation to the affects of prosperity. How the mindset and ethics degenerate. At least in relation to what and how I'm seeing things.

Probably a lot of grandparents/fore bearers if you will came from really shitty exploitative backgrounds where work really really sucked and they weren't living in anything close to the luxury that we have. The cliches are all true about those people. You know, they worked hard, didn't bitch, and hoarded their money. At least that's what I've seen in my older relatives that aren't here anymore. There was nothing of an entitlement mentality that I know I have, and many others do. They were bbuilding and saving for future generations. It was sustainable. They saw things were improving here and knew it could be better.

(We got fat and rich and then this happened to our heads)

To me, and I think many others too, more so than ever here, most of that's gone. The idea of reproducing is scary to me, let alone saving up and acquiring wealth for people I won't even see. I'm trying to think why that is, other than I'm a selfish bastard only interested in my own bullshit.

Values have changed I think, and I think we're all a product of that. But it does make me sad and I don't think it's something I can change. It's like most of us have dropped out and most of the people trying to be prudent end up messed up, though I personally know those who are doing it well and to see it in action is rather fascinating to say the least.

Government/Monetary policy certainly encourages this to some extent, if not a great extent. It's really not wise to save money anymore due to it's loss of value. Spending and credit is pushed. Most people are in debt. The job market is f###ed. If I ever lost my job I'd be screwed in so many ways with little options out there.

You can't depend on it. You can't depend on anything really. This why I'm intrigued and both admire those who can pull it off and haven't turned into lame assholes and are enjoying things. I can't see much enjoyment in being tied down to something or being responsible for people.

As it stands, I'm not living a sustainable lifestyle. I'm not expecting to make it much further than fifty, if that. This is how I'm living.
Though, it's still early yet, I'm sure I'll be a little more positive when I get some food in me' belly.

((ALL my blogs are the same))

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

RIP - Mazda3

I know it's shallow to be connected to a piece of machinery and even write about it in blog format, but right now this is on my mind. Discussing this most tragic situation will act as therapy and enable me to get over this major crisis. If this is the first time you're reading this blog and if you are an idiot, please understand I over exaggerate about my own small meaningless problems because I am a self absorbed shallow f###. Objectively speaking, I am well aware that this, in the scheme of the world, and it's disease, violence, poverty, and meaningless deaths, this is really nothing at all. But for the sake of entertainment purposes, I will nonetheless, gratify my needs to discuss and over dramatize my own stupid shit. Sorry for wasting your time explaining this, but I feel there are some, either ignorant, or overly sensitive souls that might find this post, like many of my other posts, to be just about a man whining about inconsequential nonsense. That's what it is. But I want you to realize that I realize that's what is.

Shall we move on.

Almost five years ago I purchased a car, via This was the first time I've ever driven and owned a vehicle that I had picked out, and that I wanted. The others were usually hand me downs, and all were American made (GM) pieces of shit, in my opinion. The car I chose was 2004, 5-door Mazda3. Driving this thing was a dream and felt like nothing I've ever drove before. I've lived a sheltered automotive life. The handling, the power, the interior, and everything felt so perfect. I bought it in King of Prussia off of an Indian couple who took great care of it. It might as well have been brand new. It was silver. I wrote a song about it.

I remember the stress of buying it. My housemate at the time drove me down to pick it up. I never had that much cash on me at a given time. I remember going into a bank and getting all these bills. It felt as though I was robbing a bank. I told the woman I bought it off of that too. She didn't get the joke, and by the look on my face, the nervousness of it all, she probably thought I really did rob a bank.

There was some minor issue transferring the title as I recall and the process took longer than I had thought. But, eventually we got it taken car of and the thing was mine. Initially, I felt unworthy to drive the it. It seemed too good for me. I was thinking I belonged in a Chevy or an olds instead. It just seemed too good. That night I drove it around to various Berks county bars feeling like a bad ass. I ended up at the Krumsville Hotel (scummy crummy) that night, and that's when I met a current good friend of mine. And of course I told her all about my day and the purchase of the car and the drama surrounding that whole deal.

Months passed and the thing grew on me. It started to fit pretty well on me, like an article of clothing or a glove. I'd walk towards it, sitting there in the parking lot, and was always just amazed at it's humble beauty. It stood there like a little tank, or a maybe even like a fat little beetle or bug of some sort. The body on it was strong and perfect, it handled well, looked good, sounded good, and got me to wherever I needed to be in five years with no complaints or problems. It was like a strong and faithful horse...well, 175 horses to be exact. It protected us, and aside from it's mediocre snow performances, it made us all pretty safe.

The Mazda drove me to the hospital, with my housemate, to find out our dear friend and other housemate had passed away. Probably the weirdest car ride I was ever involved in. I never want to have a drive like that again. That being said, the Mazda got us there and remained quiet and understanding during that horrible night.

The "3" drove us, and other band members to lots of gigs. Again, making us safe while we carried on about our music or just made childish jokes about various shit. The Mazda was all a part of that. The car provided the venue and comfort for such good times. The smoothness of the ride contributed, I think, to the banter and the vibes of the situations.

It was also there the night of a public drunkenness citation and other things I won't mention. The car never judged anyone or anything. It accepted all passengers regardless of anything. And how could it not, with me as it's driver.

One September day after my serious hip fracture, I needed a little road trip on the weekend. I remember being on my own again, with just me and the Mazda, exploring uncharted territories (in my simple head). I was using a cane at the time. The two of us drove to the Catskills and I remember pulling over at a look out, realizing my life was coming back to normal again. I was less dependent and doing things on my own as I was enjoying the beauty of New York State. We returned down the Hudson, just me and the Mazda, stopping off at West Point, at a bar. I was still thin from the injury and I remember getting dirty looks from the locals. As uncomfortable as that was, the safety and piece of mind returned after I limped back to the car to come home through New York City and eventually hit Rt 78 West.

Two years ago, on a whim, with some time off, we darted up to Canada, eventually Quebec City. The Canadian border guard made me pull the car over after I made some wise cracks at the border. After the background check, which cleared, we were well on our way. Just me and the silver car, through remote stretches of Quebec wilderness, driving though obscure towns, and even stopping at a redneck Quebec (yes they exist) strip club. I wasn't well received so we left. Me and a friend returned to Quebec just a few weeks ago, and again, the car performed beautifully.

The car gave me a huge sense of freedom to explore.That can be empowering.

I failed to mention the countless routine trips to Allentown and the Lehigh Valley, either to Wegman's or other good restaurants, or evenings out on the town, with friends, trying to run game on the local scenester chicks. It was there for all of that, and if I did ever have game, enough to lure a broad back to my car, I had nothing to be embarrassed about when it came to my wheels, accept maybe the mess, including the empty Tea's Tea bottles often sitting in the back. But I have the feeling the slick display in the car would soon distract any would be conquest from the horrendous disorder in the backseat. Fortunately for the ladies, I have little game, and 98% of my passengers on weekend nights were my male friends, who most likely left the drinking establishments just as disappointed as me. However, our chats, on the way home would always be interesting, discussing what we, or I perceived, as blown opportunities or potential vibes. The Mazda, again would keep quiet during this type of typical male bullshit which I still gladly partake in today.

Last Thursday, on my way home from morning classes, I was approaching a hill. This was a hill the Mazda always crushed with no problems or struggles. I noticed a surging power as I was in fourth gear. Things didn't feel right. As I got down to the bottom of the hill, there were issues with it changing gear. Something definitely wasn't right. The "AT" light came on.

I did some minimal research with my minimal car knowledge and tried to convince myself that it was just an electrical issue. I contacted my local mechanic, which then took it to the local transmission fixer-upper. They ran a diagnostic test on it. As the results came in, the mechanic gave me a look as though someone ran over my puppy. I wasn't feeling good. It'd be a 2,000$ job.

I called my parents, specifically my old man for advice, I still do that 'cause I don't have a mind of my own. He suggested I get a new car. I didn't want to, but I figured I'd look around.

Yesterday, I got in a new Mazda3, 5-door. I was told there was rebates. I had to make a decision. I made a decision.

I will be saying good bye to an old reliable, but run down friend. This is it. I'm saying goodbye. This won't be easy me, or any of us. This machine brought me so much joy, and even pride (if that's possible). Yes, a machine can bring joy to a life, don't kid yourself.

The era of the 2004 Mazda3 is over.

I will miss it. But life moves on.

Thank you Mazda3. I <3 u.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

disturbing thought patterns.

Years ago, not so much anymore, if I was in some formal and/or awkward uncomfortable social situation, thoughts would come to me about how to make the communication even weirder. Whether it was a job interview or just meeting new people, crazy things would fall into my brain. Does this happen to you?

For instance someone was showing me around their lovely house once, and being completely polite and friendly. These were people I didn't know all that well. Then I would think, what would happen if I just kicked them in the back unprovoked. What would they do? How would they respond?

During a job interview, how would the interviewer react if I just started slobbering all over myself and speaking in gibberish. I guess they have reality TV shows that do this sort of thing now.

It's as my brain was trying to find the weirdest thing to do in the given scenario. That's kind of stressful when you're in your teens. Sometimes you even entertain/obsess over these thoughts. I've never acted on any them.

I guess it's a good distraction if the conversation is boring and going no where. I guess it'd be really bad if I ever did any of this stuff.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Today was a floaty day

Only got a couple hours of sleep. No, I felt good, just couldn't sleep.

Tried to take an afternoon nap but my own snoring woke me up. Eventually I got up and did some productive things. Then walked to CVS for water and coconut water. The one clerk might be in her twenties and wears lots of rings. I'm not sure how I feel about her.

Ended up going to Chipotle again. That's a great place to go for quick food and if you don't feel like thinking much. Ran into three female co-workers. I tried to get gossip out of them. I did a little.

The weather remains hot and I remained drained and warn out. I really need to take vitamins and pull myself out of this rut.

Everything felt floaty and detached.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Another Average Day

Woke up about 5:30AM with the fan running. I'm still congested from allergies I think. the night before I had a couple beers and another thing to help me relax and that always makes me more tired the next day. I don't sleep well to begin with. I've been told I have horrible sleep apnea. So stop calling me lazy!

Drove to work drowsy again, but had enough time to grab one of those cold Starbucks drinks. Yeah, I know Starbucks is evil but I like the product they produce, plus it gives me a mini bump in the morning. I downed that on the way to work. I had enough time to grab another coffee at the Subway, within the cafeteria of the institute. The coffee here is okay. I drop a couple hazelnut cream things in it, and put in a couple ice cubes so its the perfect temperature. It's a routine.

On the first hour's break, I made a deposit in the restroom, this always helps the day along and gives me another little bump. I'm going to be re-designing the menus for the local fire company here in town, so I started thinking of some concepts/approaches. It's not a high paying or glamorous job, but I have a lot of freedom to do what I want and it keeps my mind busy. If it turns out great, it'll be a portfolio piece.

As noontime came closer I started thinking of what I'm going to do on the weekends. Staying in my apartment, loading up on green tea, big pharma, netflix, and this menu project, listening to Murray Rothbard or Milton Friedman lectures on Youtube, while walking around in my undies could be quite bless-ed and inspirational. A guy has to relax, right. I've grown used to relaxing alone and entertaining myself. As depressing as it sounds, it's really not that bad. In light of recent drama it appears to be a great option. The downside is you feel empty when Sunday night and afternoon come along.

Maybe I'll see if the GREAT rhythm section of TQI wants to practice as our ALL-STAR lead guitarist is out west for awhile. I actually enjoy the stripped down band practices. Not sure if the other guys do. We're in the midst of putting together some new steamy pop hits and it looks like more gigs are on the way. I know I always say this, but, if it weren't for band practices and gigs I'd be a very sad person.

It's early evening now, I'm on a work break, got about 2.5 hours left tonight, then probably off to the fire company. This is what I do, this is the cycle. I'm a social creature. I like small talk, I like bullshit, I like poop and sodomy jokes and I'm sorry if that's disappointing. Those things never get old, though I'm getting old and I've always been predictable if you've known me for more than a month. I'm sorry about that too. No, I can't reinvent myself like Bowie. The closest I ever came to that was getting a perm last year. I'm getting off track.

Tomorrow I'm out at noon and the glorious weekend starts. We'll see what happens.

<<<This blog and the last blog have turned into sort of diary posts....sorry if this bores you...I'm finding them easy to write because I like talking about myself.>>>

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

An Average Day.

Got up to take on the new term (quarter if you will). A new batch of students of coming my way. Rise and shine at 7am. There is something so cozy about sleeping and rising on Main Street, in my big warm comfy bed, stretched out at a 45 degree angle, listening to a Texas (AM) radio station (they're an hour behind us) with their local news as the cars drive by as I'm snapping out of a mediocre sleep.

I have no AC, I'm getting allergies now, my filthy bedsheets are almost off the bed and I have clothes sprawled out everywhere in my room. Hanging on the closet door is the red striped button down shirt I'll wear to work and I will look good in it. The night before I "cleaned" the kitchen but there are still some salt granules on the floor to be swept up.

Drove to work, almost falling back to sleep on the way. Got there fifteen minutes early. Enough time to grab a coffee and limp quickly to my first class with my ailing hip. It wasn't that bad. I have the routine down to where I look like I know my stuff, yet it's still awkward cause I'm conducting it. Work went from 8am to noon.

Headed back home immediately. Almost dosed off on the ride home. I'm far more dangerous as a tired driver than I am an intoxicated one. Somehow sleepers get a free pass while the drunks really get screwed by the law. The Eurythmics, Dire Straits (Twistin by the Pool), and that somewhat new Gotye tune came on the FM dial so that sort of gave me a bump. I imagined how that (Gotye) song could be covered by our band, TQI. I do that quite often with songs I really love. You know, you think about how you could pull it off.

The pharmacy is behind my house in a strip mall so I stopped off to pick up my anti-inflammatory medication that enables me to lead a pretty normal life, probably at the expense of my digestive system. Got to take the good with bad as they say. The short but fat lady at the pharmacy shares the same name as my mom, but this woman looked like a blond groundhog. She was nice though.

As I got back to my apartment for my afternoon, desperately needed snooze, my landlord came out to let me know he fixed the water heater. My landlord is actually a really cool dude, I believe he may have been a state congressman at one time, but don't quote me on that. I thought he might complain about how messy my kitchen was, but he didn't. I've been blessed with a lot of great people in my life really. I have little to complain about.

I checked my facebook account, then napped for like 2 solid hours. My initial plan was to make another fresh batch of pizza dough but my energy levels were just to low. I'll probably do that tonight. Pizza is good cheap eating, and I make my crust rather light and thin, so my dough intake isn't that bad. Once you get your system down, it's a rather quick process and is way better than ordering out. At least in this town.

After the nap, I put on my dress shirt and tie again, along with my lovely tan loafers and headed back to work. Grabbed a fat burrito at Chipotle (probably the best chain out there) then drove to the Institute (not the Total Quality one). About two more hours to go until my day is done.

I will probably not go to the Fire Company tonight. Probably.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Dainty bones: more self absorption

Dainty bones: more self absorption: What I used to joke about, about myself, has become kind of depressing. I never really took my self involvement seriously. I thought I was j...

more self absorption

What I used to joke about, about myself, has become kind of depressing. I never really took my self involvement seriously. I thought I was just acting and entertaining others. Narcissism is funny after all.

Well, it seems like all that joking has turned into reality. At thirty-six years old, being single 99.2% of the time, life takes its toll and you become set in your ways. And I'm set in my ways. I thoroughly despise any notion of having any kind of partner, which is good in that I don't think there's a whole lot looking to pair up with me anyway. Years of self programming have worked. The jokes about enjoying my big bed to myself have turned out to be really quite true. I'd rather check my Facebook interactions that converse with a live body in the middle of the night. I'd rather look at my own photos then of others. No joke. This isn't me trying to be annoyingly shocking or funny as usual.

The advantage is, you know yourself well, and you know what you want. That's about it. There is no future with anyone because anyone will get old and could never measure up. Doesn't matter who it is. What matters are my own thoughts and opinions, and projects if I get ambitious. Sure I'll nod and seem like I'm listening, but I'm really not. I'm thinking about a new song, or how certain profile pic will be received. I'm not joking.

Yes, this all sounds hilarious, and maybe sick. The full realization of this has made me quite sad, if not sickened because at it's core it's pure emptiness. Again, to my credit, at least I'm honest, and not trying to put anything over on anyone. I'm always upfront about who I am. And who I am is really just quite a selfish human being.

Can this be fixed?

I don't know, I've thought about volunteering some places. I have so much time I should myself to do, something that makes me feel good about myself. Until then, I'll continue to self entertain. I'm good at it!