Get your own
 diary at! contact me older entries newest entry

11:56 PM - 10.02.16
As A Toyota Falls, A Honda Rises To Take Its Place...

As A Toyota Falls, A Honda Rises To Take Its Place...

"So cool to be with the entire cast watching the first episode of SEASON 7!!!!!"

That was one of the show regulars, tweeting about the premiere party at Bill Macy and Felicity Huffman's house tonight.

Even though it's the way I see things as well - I'm on the show, but I'm not part of the "cast" - that tweet cut like a knife.

Cause guess who wasn't invited to the big premiere party?



Mon 10/3/16 (7:12 pm)

Well, to use an appropriately vehicular turn-of-phrase, the past seven days have been "quite a ride".

It all started this past Tuesday...

I went to work, as I typically do, then had my weekly therapy session, as I also typically do, and was driving home when, a few blocks from my apartment, I felt the car do an odd little shimmy-and-shake as I turned a corner.

"Well that was disconcerting...!", I thought to myself.

I pulled into the parking garage, and when I got out, noticed a funny, something's-burning smell coming from the car.

I was looking around the car - I don't know why exactly (I'm the least mechanically-inclined guy ever) - and, sure enough, smoke started issuing from under the hood.

Then I noticed flaming liquid - I'm assuming oil - dripping onto the ground.

And I don't want to say I "freaked out"...but I sure didn't not "freak out".

Honestly, I thought "So this is how I die..." - Having seen a fair share of action movies (And being a worrier by nature), I figured the car was going to blow up, kill me, then the other cars in the garage were going to blow up in a chain reaction, and the entire apartment building was going to burn down.

I sprinted to the apartment manager's office, and said...I-don't-remember-what (Something to the effect of "There's kind of a 'burning car situation' in the parking garage, so...").

Then I went back into the garage (The car hadn't exploded yet, so I still had a few seconds left to live), and looked all around for the fire extinguisher I walk by every fucking day.

Finally found it, but it was in a locked glass case, with no little hammer-thingie to break the glass with, and whacking it with my elbow a couple times did nothing.

The apartment manager - from a safe distance away - said to get the one from the first floor, so I did, and went back to the garage. And because I was afraid I would burn myself on the hood (And it often takes me 5 or 10 seconds to open it under normal circumstances), or would open it only to be instantly burned-to-death in an explosion of burning oil and engine parts, I emptied the extinguisher mostly on the ground where the oil was dripping.

So my efforts did nothing (At that point, my worry shifted from the car exploding and killing me, to - somewhat more realistically, dying from smoke inhalation, because the garage was now full of smoke and extinguisher fumes).

But happily, I did not die - The Fire Department came and did their thing, and I thanked them profusely, a little embarrassed by how unnerved, ineffectual, and generally unmanly I'd been in the situation.

The rest of the week was spent getting rid of the dead car - harder than I'd imagined (Car salvage places didn't want it, NPR said they'd take it as a donation but never showed up, and Kars4Kids said they'd take it but it needed to be on the street, and I didn't know how to make that happen by myself), so I ended up selling it to a recycling place - then after that, figuring out what I was going to do for a new car.

And of course, I had to think about how I was going to get from one place to another in the interim...but thanks to my friend Hillary M., that was very quickly resolved - She offered to let me borrow the old Lexus she'd bought for her kids (One currently in college, the other not quite driving age) till I figured something out, so I was only vehicle-less for about 24 hours.

In terms of getting a new car, I flirted with leasing (In particular, leasing a Fiat 500e, the "e" standing for "electric"), or getting my first-ever used car from a dealership.

But I've never made monthly car/lease payments and found the very idea tremendously stressful.

(While leasing the Fiat 500e could have been very cheap - between deals at Fiat dealerships and a State of California rebate - it only gets 87 miles on a charge. And unlike my friend Tim, who recently leased a couple for him and his wife, he can charge his at his house any time he's not driving, while I'd have to cool my heels for 4 hours at a charging station who-knows-where, for a full charge. And beyond that, considering it made me realize I still have an "ownership thing" when it comes to cars - If I'm paying money for a car, I want it to be my car.)

So I ended up doing what I've done before - basically buying a car "off the street" (Or in this instance, off Craigslist) - though unlike the last time, this time I hired a mechanic to pre-inspect it.

So my 1990 White Toyota Corolla has morphed into a 2002 Blue Honda Accord - An old car still, but newer than I had, and unquestionably a step-up - nice color, good body, leather seats, air-conditioning that works, a driver's side window that works, six-cd player (And a plug-in for my smart phone, so I can play my Pandora app through the car speakers), and just a general pleasing visual effect.

The biggest potential issue was a little hitch in shifting that, transmission-wise, "could be something, or could be nothing" (Naturally, I'm pulling for "nothing", or at least a thing that manifests while it's still under warranty - the owners had taken it in on the 21st of September to be fixed, so if it craps out before December 21st, I can call them, and they can take it back to the place).

But the engine is quiet, the ride is smooth, it doesn't need a front-end alignment, and the electronics all work.

As I write this, I'm feeling some misgivings - maybe when I heard there "might" be an issue with the transmission, I should have walked away, or tried to talk them down or something - and I wish I'd gotten a more definitive "yea" or "nay" from the mechanic (He seemed like a good guy, but I was hoping for someone to tell me what my smart move was, not to say "There might be a problem, there might not,'s your decision", cause that kinda leaves me where I would have been if I hadn't employed him).

Okay, I'm going to stop writing now, because I don't want to send myself spiraling into anxiety and regret over this decision - I'd prefer to applaud myself for decisive action, and hope for many years of happy travels with my new wheels.


previous - next

0 comments so far
about me - read my profile! read other Diar
yLand diaries! recommend my diary to a friend! Get
 your own fun + free diary at!