Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Being grown up isn't half as fun

Dang blurry camera. Sorry. I have clear pictures on CB's camera, which I'll upload as soon as he sends them. (Hi honey! I know you need to sleep and eat and work and all, but could you just stop worrying about feeding yourself and send me a bunch of photos for my all-important blog? Thanks!)

Things I like about the new* car:
1. Paddle shifters
2. Awesome mileage
3. High safety ratings
4. Ridiculous carrying capacity
5. Air conditioning
6. Functioning speakers
7. No more "Hey, you're going 60 -- I think I'll sputter and die!" moments
*Yes, it's new. No, generally brand new cars make no economic sense. We had two days to find a new car after the old one imploded, so our options were limited because I do not buy used cars without doing thesis-level homework. We should pay it off early, and we plan to drive it until the damn thing dies; hence, it should actually be worth the cost.

Things I dislike about the new car:
1. Payments
2. Did I mention payments?
3. Caring about scratches
4. Caring about muddy shoes
5. Having to remind myself that I no longer need to hope someone steals my vehicle to get it off my hands
6. Driving it to work

Oh my god, I feel like a caricature of an American right now. Get a new job? Buy a new car! *shudder* My British friends will mock me forever if they find out about this.

Seriously, after years of biking, walking, and bussing everywhere, the fact that I have to drive is painful -- but there's no way around it. My commute is 11 miles one-way. It takes 20 minutes by car; 45 to 55 by bus. I live alone, so all that laundry, cooking, running, and writing requires every last minute of my time. Adding an extra hour a day to my commute? Not really optimal for quality of life. I could bike that distance, but there's the matter of the bridge between where I work and where I live, a bridge so frightening to cyclists and pedestrians that even my bike club-crazy coworkers refuse to use it unless the weather is f'ing perfect. If you don't get blown off into the Columbia by high winds, you slip and slide to your death on bird doo, or some errant gravel flies off the back of a semi and rearranges your face. So yeah. I drive...and even though this car embarrasses me because I love it so, I still feel very, very wrong. I'm the kind of person people on bike boards hate. Hell, I'm the kind of person *I* disdain. I'm thinking about offsetting my emissions with TerraPass, despite harboring mixed feelings about carbon offset programs. Still, it's something, right?

It also beats my current method of alleviating guilt, which is to ferry as many co-workers around as I possibly can. See, if I'm carpooling, then I'm helping the environment. It does make work a little awkward, since I've basically started acting like a drug dealer:

Me: Need a ride home?
Jack: Um, actually, I was going to take the bus--
Me: It's really no problem.
Jack: You don't even live near me. Aren't you on the other side of the city?
Me: Aw, c'mon, it's brand new! You know you want to.
Jack: Really, I don't think I do.
Me: That new car smell? Smell that? Like a goddamn baby.
Jack: It's nothing like a baby.
Me: Just get in the car, Jack!


Anonymous said...

It sounds like you were car Jacking him.


Anonymous said...

I just *love* new car smell! And your new apartment; it's adorable. Ok. Back to my hell of studying. Only 4 more days until the test. Then my life will be good again....

Your stressed out Stanford Chum who truly, truly hopes she passes the bar on the first try (unlike a certain former dean of her law school - who, incidentally, was on Kerry's short-list for Supreme Court justice appointments -- yes, it scares me shitless that such a smart person can bomb the bar....) oh my...must go, as another panic attack rapidly approaches :)

Coalescent Boy said...

Bad puns will get you nowhere, BIL.

At least you haven't been called out TWICE IN A ROW!

Darling Sea Slug, I'll send the pictures as soon as I can get to my house without a canoe.

SUEB0B said...

You got one! You got one! How do you like it??

ecogrrl said...

SueBob, I love, love, love it! I'm a bigger fan of its highway mileage than city, but it's such a great car...and man, there's something about fitting into spaces that other, bigger cars have bypassed that just makes you feel good. :)