yrmencyn: (vdub)
And, for all practical purposes, comes to an end.  I got a call back from Tom today, and he gave me the bad news.  My window that doesn't roll up (and therefore, you know, requires fixing) will cost 230 to fix, since the broken bit is an integral part of a much larger assembly.  The AC system -- vast swaths of which must be replaced, apparently, once you get air into the system, which will be unavoidable with a compressor replacement -- is looking to be about 925.  I just don't have 1145 lying around, waiting to be used, so the AC will just have to wait.  Sigh.  Poor little Coche.
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
This is a pity party!  Seriously.  So, I finally got a call back from Overseas Motors about the AC in my car.  Oh, Jetta, Jetta, Jetta.  What have I ever done to you but love you, coche?  So.  On the front of the compressor, there's a clutch assembly.  Or, I should say that there is usually a clutch assembly.  In Coche's case, however, the clutch assembly has broken off.  So... if I'm lucky, then Tom can find a clutch assembly.  And that'll be three to four hundred dollars.  If I'm less lucky, then he has to buy the whole compressor.  Possibly from the dealer (oh, dreaded words).  And if that's the case, I'm looking more at six to eight hundred.  Kill me.

So... the cheap option I'm not happy about, but it's about what I was hoping for.  The more expensive option, though... ouf.  I mean, I have that money in my savings account.  And this is, arguably, what savings accounts are made for, but... well, I was hoping to, you know, eat with that money during the lean month (I don't get paid between Aug 31 and October 31).  I'm sure I'd pull it together, and Kevin -- being an amazing person -- has promised to make sure I don't starve to death, but... I don't like it.  I fucking hate car repairs.

So to 'celebrate' I'm having a pity party.  I made ginger beer today so we could make Dark and Stormies tomorrow (more on that tomorrow), so I just... well, I'm testing them out.  In a papasan chair.  Parked directly in front of the TV.  With some leftover shrimp and grits.  Yeah.  Partay.
yrmencyn: (Default)
So things here in Columbus-town are interesting, as always.  Last weekend Kevin was in town for my birthday/Mollie's birthday/Liz's move-out/why-the-hell-not, and in a surprising turn of events we ended up moving all his stuff out of the storage unit and into the apartment, thanks to the unexpected opportunity to press a friend and his rented moving van into service.  Now K's back in DC, and I'm left here with this bizarre apartment that's gotten stuck in the middle of a transition.  Which is fun.  On the other hand, Liz's old room has undergone adequate conversion into The Study, so I'm sitting in here at my desk looking out over the sunlit front lawn.  And a shirtless man wielding a wheelbarrow just jogged up the hill.  So that's something.

I should really be working right now, but I spent a little time earlier typing up the poems I've written so far for my independent study of poetic repetition, and in the process discovered that I've written more than I thought I had.  That seemed like a good enough reason to reward myself with a little break.  This, by the way, is the reason the reward system has never worked for me as a means of self-motivation: I'm too good at rewarding myself.  I think, "I'll just reward myself with a half-hour of TV after I read these two 20-page article," and if I'm being surprisingly diligent, I'll decide after the first article that it was really quite dense, and I deserve a reward now (more likely, I'll decide I deserve the reward after about half an article).

I'm trying to puzzle out my new neighbors.  I mean, there's a big PODS thing sitting on the lawn, which is currently being unloaded.  But... the apartment next door isn't really that terribly nice, as far as I can tell.  And PODS, while not super-expensive, just strike me as a slightly higher-budget solution than the next-door apartment signals.  I also can't tell who lives there (as is common, there are a lot of people helping to unpack, but it's hard to say who the actual tenant(s) are).  I'm pretty sure the guy with the puntable dog lives there, but I'm at a loss for the others, if any.  Time will tell.

Elisa and Francis got married down in Nacogdoches on the 28th, which was very nice.  They both looked fantastic, and I felt rather honored to be able to contribute my voice to their wedding.  Although they did make it hard for me by choosing the most emotionally-charged song in the American Catholic repertoire, "On Eagle's Wings," which has been sung at more weddings, funerals, and other major milestone events than I can possibly express.  Nice and easy to sing without choking up.  But yes, a lovely ceremony and reception, all done in-house: no wedding planners or caterers.  I have the memories of making countless fruit skewers to attest to this.

What else is going on... poor Jetta.  The AC died about an hour into my drive from TX to OH, which I guess really makes it "poor me."  It's in the shop right now.  Hopefully Tom (mechanic) will get back to me soon about an estimate, and hopefully said estimate will be less than astronomical... AC repairs aren't really know for their cheapness.

That's most of the news from Lake Wobegon.  And now it is off to Pistachio with the inimitable [livejournal.com profile] merodi_no_yami and [livejournal.com profile] flohchica!
yrmencyn: (vdub)
Oh, finals week.  Why do you persist in existing, despite my repeated implorations?  I shouldn't complain, it's not really going too badly.  I've finished my portfolio and my box of manuscripts (I was reviewing submissions for the Journal (OSU's literary journal)'s poetry prize).  Remind me sometime to tell you about the manuscript of political limericks.  Of course, I still have two papers to write.  One is due on Wednesday.  The other is due Thursday.  But!  I thought the Wednesday paper was supposed to be around 20 pages, and it turns out it's supposed to be 3000-4000 words (that's 12-16 pages for those of you who don't think in wordcounts).  So go me, I might actually have enough material to do this without... you know... stretching.  Cheers to that.  It's going to be a mite confusing, though, since I'm writing it for crit theory class, but I'm using a primary text and a critical article from comics class.  And I might be drawing in some of my crit theory stuff for my comics paper.  I feel like I'm writing two papers for one hybrid class.  Gah.

And yet, I'm in a good mood.  Kevin's been around pretty much constantly for the past week, which can't help but raise my spirits.  I made an absolutely gorgeous pot of red beans and rice (pics on Flickr, soon), my first since coming back to Ohio.  I was a bit anxious... as if the beans would know they weren't in the right state, and not behave.  Madness.  And then a lovely potato and broccoli soup last night, with cornbread (us Southern boys, we love us some cornbread).  On a less fabulous food note, I somehow seem to have  bought a box of Entemann's donuts today at Giant Eagle.  I can't explain it; their siren call was both undeniable and subtle.

I think I'm going to manage to save myself a good deal of money on my car, since I sat down with my good friend the Interwebs today and rooted through its series of tubes to find out how to change my headlamp and taillight.  Yes, I know as an American male I'm supposed to know these things, but I never picked them up.  Luckily the net will help, since VW basically says "Changing headlights is hard!  Let's go shopping!" (<--- Barbie reference), and tells you to take your vehicle to an authorized dealer.  Plus, I'm lucky because my dead light is on the side where I don't have to remove my battery.  Score!
yrmencyn: (Default)
Ye gods.  I am so out-of-date in the updating.  It's unforgivable, it really is.  So I guess you'll be getting random bullet points, because I know if I tried to do a full-fleshed narrative I'd be here 'til next week.  So in the order they first crop up in my brain:
List! )

And that about does it.
yrmencyn: (Default)
I swear, I didn't disappear.  I just went to Texas for a bit, is all.  See, my license expires on August 3, 2006 (kind of weird to think of it expiring, since I've had it since I turned 18 in 2000; Texas has long renewal periods), and the online system was telling me my SSN didn't match my record (or something), so I had to go in person to a DPS office.  Hence I didn't go to work on Friday, and now I have a lovely slip of paper that will extend my current card until the end of September while I wait 2-3 weeks for the new card to be printed in Austin and get sent to Nacogdoches.  Add that to the registration sticker that I found waiting at my parents', and both I and my car are now properly accredited, just in time to drive to Kentucky on Friday (Fridays and Sundays are my travel days, apparently).

When I got to Nac on Friday afternoon, the parents were still out of town (they went on a big trip throughout Colorado and New Mexico, hitting a lot Silverton (I think?), Durango (?), Mesa Verde, and Santa Fe, among others), but both my siblings were in town, as was Elisa's boyfriend, so we went out to eat at Union Cafe to celebrate Elisa's birthday that passed earlier in the week.  First time I've eaten at Union Cafe, and the Yins have done it again.  It's crazy, it's like they can't make a bad restaurant.  They started out with Szechuan (Chinese) back in the early 90s, then opened La Carreta (Mexican) in the late 90s, and now Union Cafe (Italian) just this past year, and they're all quite good restaurants.  Although I do have to say, Union's grill guy needs to learn what a rare tuna steak is.  Still, medium well tuna is tasty, too, and the rest of the food was largely excellent.  Later that night Elisa named Kevin "Pie Boy".  She thus needs a suitable nickname of her own in return/response/retaliation.  Suggestions?

Celebrated Dad's birthday with a weird deconstructed lasagna I made (eh... needs some work, honestly, although I still think the idea's good) and the traditional World War I Spice Cake.  While Mom and I were waiting for the pictures from the trip to be developed, we went out into the Kimbrook neighborhood over by the high school so I could practice starting my car uphill.  See, it's scary to start a standard uphill, because it rolls backward until you catch it by applying the gas.  Apply too much gas and you'll peel out, but too little will just have you stalling out, and consequently rolling backwards into the car behind you.  Unfortunately, there's not much possibility to practice the skill in Baton Rouge, situated as it is on a coastal plain, but it's still a pertinent skill, since the exit from my neighborhood, inexplicably, is on a quite steep incline.  The only one like it around.  So I've been, since I got the Jetta, pretty much praying that I won't get stuck in the middle of a line of cars at that intersection, so I can just wait on the flat ground at the top. And on the occasions when I do get stuck, I've pretty much been making a spectacle of myself and peeling out.  The problem is that panic mode sets in when I feel myself rolling backwards, and so I overreact.  In a controlled situation in Kimbrook, I caught it fine, no rollback, no peeling, so I'm hoping that I can perform the skill in real-world conditions now that my conscious brain knows for a fact that I can.

Which is quite a lot of words to say, basically, "Look, it's like I'm 16!  Again!  Because I remember doing this with Dad in his truck back then!  Mein Gott!"

The drive back today was uneventful, dominated by two major mind-wanderings: contemplating the shrimp brochette at the Nacogdoches restaurant Clear Springs, which is far better than it has any right to be (Nac really does have some good restaurants, now that I think of it), and insistent sex daydreams that, while not unenjoyable, posed the maddening problem of a raging hard-on on the interstate, with little to do about it except listen to NPR and hope that would chase it off (it did).  This moment of TMI brought to you by my subconscious and a certain lack of internet discretion.

Erin-the-roommate quote, upon her seeing me in a purple Tshirt (Pétanque Louisianaise) and a pair of red nylon gym shorts while I did laundry: "Red and purple, quite daring!  Bold splash of color!  If I were gay I'd be excited."  Which is pretty much unparseable as to intent, really.

Watched Gattaca tonight, only 9 years after it came out. Good film, echoes a lot of my mistrust of natal genetic modification. Plus, immolation. Better, in my opinion, than Kinsey, which I borrowed from Rebecca et al. at the same time and watched Thursday night (?).
yrmencyn: (vdub)
Work today?  Ve-e-e-e-e-ery slo-o-o-o-o-o-o-ow.  On the plus side, none of the charts were running around like madmen with evil evil pernicious brains, so that was nice.  We even successfully matched a lot of random crap that was, well, being randomly crappy.  And homeless.  Unconscionably.

In other news, I have set a new record.  I bought my car on Saturday, here it is Tuesday, T+3 days.  What did I do this afternoon?  Lost the key fob*.  Couldn't find it for love or money.  I was fairly sure I'd set it on the table, but it sure wasn't there.  So I used the valet key to drive over to Erin's and figured it would show up soon enough with some judicious morning looking.  When I got home, what was on the table but the key fob!  All is well, though; I'm not crazy.  I asked Erin-the-roommate about it, and she said she had found it in the backyard while letting Sammy out to do her business**.  Must have fallen out while I was watering the plants; the pockets in my scrubs aren't big fans of keeping items contained.  Oh well, no harm done, lesson learned, must ensure that important items are safely placed inside on the dresser before doing, well, anything.

* A slightly confusing usage.  While many cars with keyless entry have the key proper and a separate fob with lock/unlock/iced-cappuccino buttons, the Jetta (and many [all? most?] other VW models) has what they call a 'switchblade key'; the key folds down into the rectangular fob, and the push of a mechanical (as opposed to electronic) button releases it to pop out, like a switchblade.

** I've always loved this euphemistic idiom.
yrmencyn: (vdub)
So.  Friday after work, we got in the car and drove to my parents' house in Nacogdoches.  The trip, I must say, goes a lot faster with other people in the car; takes away the monotony.  We got in around 11, at which point I spent another 2 hours searching through listings AGAIN before finally going to bed.  Poor Matthew, the girls all slept in Elisa's room, and I slept in his bed, so he had to sleep on the couch. 

So on Saturday, we headed off to Dallas.  I had intended to let somebody else drive while calling places to check availability/do basic triage, but that only half-worked.  Mandi did indeed take over driving after I had taken them on a brief driving tour of downtown/SFA/Nac HS/etc, but I had forgotten that you just can't use a cell phone in between cities in rural East Texas: there simply isn't reception most places, and when there is the hills cut you off.  So I sat in a Dairy Queen parking lot in Jacksonville and made a bunch of calls, narrowed it down.  Mandi continued driving until there was some trouble with the po-lice outside of Athens, at which point I drove.

For our first stop, we went up to Plano, where we saw the Jetta I referred to before leaving.  It seemed pretty decent, fairly clean, etc.  The sunroof was having some issues, but I was willing to try it out.  I had some trouble getting it in gear, but I assumed that was just a consequence of me not having driven a standard in a while.  So we pulled out onto Preston Rd. (people who know Dallas just went 'oh, shit!') and proceeded to drive.  Sort of.  But not really, because the clutch was not cooperating.  Even Mandi couldn't make it work, and she's been driving manuals the whole time she's been licensed.  And there was this smoking smell.  And then when I tried to just loop back around to the dealership I ended up on the PRESIDENT GEORGE FREAKIN' BUSH TOLLWAY.  I started shaking a bit at some point in there.  When we got back to the dealership, shaking and cringing (and not just the car, us too), we got out to the smell of burning petroleum products.  Why?  The left rear tire was molten and smoking.  Not to mention the clutch was all but completely shot.  As Mandi so aptly put it in a comment to the previous entry, OMG DEATHTRAP.  Needless to say, I did not purchase that vehicle.  Boo, Toyota of Plano.  In fact, we made a sign:
fuck plano

Lunch and a Shiner Bock at La Madeleine helped a lot.  Come to think of it, the fact that I had only consumed coffee, soft drinks, and a tamalito in the 12 hours previous to the DeathTestDrive may have had something to do with my frazzled nerves.  The oddly poofy hair we'll also blame on that.

The second place we looked was so much better.  Since we were in Plano already, I decided to go on up to Lewisville to Huffines Chevy-Subaru, which had been last on my list (Lewisville is past the north side of tomorrow).  Huzzah!  This place felt so much better.  The salesmen were warm and personable, gave me an exact list of what they had done to prepare the car for sale, and even gave me pointers on driving the Jetta (German transmissions are a little odd; I nearly drove into the dealership because getting into R involves movement in 3 dimensions; I hadn't ever had to reverse at the first place).  Once I got the hang of it, the car drove beautifully.  I am not a car person, generally.  I rarely turn my head to follow a nice car.  I just don't care generally; cars are a form of conveyance to me.  This one, though... it's sexy.  It is a sexy beast.  It growls and purrs.  I actually enjoyed the test drive.  So, yeah, I bought it.  Pix, I didn't read your note until after I got home, but I'm feeling pretty good about this one.  It's been well-maintained, has almost no cosmetic damage, runs very smooth, etc etc.  Though you may of course reserve the Right of I-Told-You-So.

The car is also fiscally handy!  I had intended to put $4k down upon purchase and finance the rest, but I got this one for just under $6k through a combination of luck and miscommunication among the pre-owned sales team, so the banks wouldn't finance the resultant small amount.  Instead, I put down $3k, and the TTL fees are rolled into the loan.  This means I still have $1,646 left over from the insurance payout.  I'm going to use the money to get the car looked over/tuned up (even though they had it looked at, always a good idea to have somebody do it whose only allegiance is to you and your money).  The remainder will help me get over the rocky gap between the end of summer and the first fellowship check.  The remainder of that remainder will then be applied to the loan, since there's no early payment penalty.

The drive home was largely uneventful.  Mom is a saint, and thus held lasagna for us (two kinds, meat and veggie, just for Katie's benefit), before shipping us off to an Econolodge for the night, because my aunt, uncle, their three kids, and Hannah's friend who came along had prior reservations at Chez Bierschenk.  We watched an ep of Entourage on the free HBO, and now I must see the whole thing (dammit). 

Sunday we had lunch with the whole big gang at my parents' (where the air conditioning had just crapped out, ugh).  Leftover lasagna, a huge amount of marinated, grilled chicken, squash casserole, salad, cake and ice cream.  Wowsers!  I now have tasty leftovers in my fridge.  Score!

Two pictures to leave you with.  Neither is a clear picture of the car by itself, ridiculously, because we never got around to taking one, and I keep forgetting until it's already closed up in the garage, at which point laziness takes over.  Nevertheless.

pictures )

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December 2009

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