Sunday, August 20, 2006

Pickin' Up The Motherfuckin' Car

After work tomorrow, I'm going to catch a train out to Connecticut to pick up the car from the shop. I had a nightmare last night that something else went wrong with the car and that we had to just leave the car and hope someone wouldn't charge us with dumping. I've found that no one has really come at me with a smug "I told you so" or plattitude about car buying. It's probably because most people I know have either owned a lemon or are too consious of their own karmic liability in degrading another person's eye for cars. Then again, most people I know, with the exception of Andrew, who owns a car with over 260,000 miles owns a car.

The car has cost us so much money, what with the transportation to and from Boston to get it, sales tax, inspection, windshier etc that it seems a tragedy to walk away from it having lost so much. I keep having this hope that there'll be some kind of "Smokey and the Bandit" job where I can make $5000 to just drive a bunch of moonshine up to the Canadian border then push the car off a cliff. That or some crazy person offering us $5000 for our car just because he's got a fetish for the smell of old Volvos and he wants to spend every waking hour gratifying himself in the back seat. If any of you know of any such opportunities HOOK ME UP!

Messenger 58

Went and saw "Messenger 58", a Fringe Festival play about "messengessengering" written and performed by Tony Mendoza, a real life Chicago bike messenger. Most of the dialogue was taken verbatim from conversations he had had and then strung together into a plot with some great song interludes. The whole experience was worth the while just for this exchange.

-So, what do you do in the winter?
-Well, last year I was dating a jewish girl, so I celebrated Hannuka.

The play touched on a lot of the same existential questions most messengers have to deal with. Is this more meaningful than an office job since we're just helping offices do their jobs? Do I hate office work more than I hate getting run off the road and treated like a second-hand citizen? What the hell is it about this job that makes it worth it, and how do I relate to people that don't do this job themselves?

What I did love were the wierdo exchanges that they had. There's one that was so fucked up I have to believe it was true. While waiting for an elevator, this older guy tries to sell him a frog then complains about having to cough up $500 to be in a gang-bang that weekend. Another highlight was a song about riding in the rain that sounded like it was composed over 8 hours of riding in the rain.

It's been a couple of years since I've had to identify myself as R567, but of course I do still make a good portion of my money biking in Manhattan.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Messenger Death

Bronx John, a messenger I've seen around a lot, talked to a few times and locked horns with once died this Saturday from injuries he sustained after getting hit by a car in Williamsburg this past Wednesday. It's always chilling to hear about a biker getting killed but this is the first time anyone who I've seen alive and biking through the streets has been cut down.

Here he is doing a song he wrote that was made into a video in the movie Red Light Go. A memorial bike ride has been planned for 8:00 by the Javitz center and will end at Rock Star Bar in Williamsburg.

Good God What a Two Weeks

From August first till my birthday on the 10th I didn't drink. I did it last year as a sort of cleansing before turning 28, did the same thing last year. Now think here, when was the last time you didn't have anything to drink for 10 days? It had been exactly a year for me. I found myself a little crankier at the end of the work day, feeling extremely good in the mornings and after 8 days, I was down about five pounds from the last time I weighed myself a few months ago. I developed this nervous tick that I haven't suffered from since I was in college (a need to click my teeth together and take shallow chest breaths), which has pretty much gone away since my birthday. I can't say that the absense of booze made me a mental or physical superhero, but it did improve my faculties a notch or two.

The birthday itself was a pretty low key affair. I haven't been training so much these days, so I just ran to work (5.5 miles), something that I think I'll do again soon. I would have run back, but I had to pick up the dog and drop him with Rose for the weekend as I went to Shannon and Tim's wedding on the Cape. After squaring the dog away, Laura and I went off to my favorite restaurant, Little Giant for an incredible meal.

Driving to the Cape was nice until it wasn't. We escaped the majority of incoming Cape traffic, but the car started leaking more and more. We dropped the thing at a place called Frank's Citgo near where we were staying and had Frank take a look at it. He told us that the coolant pump was shot, how much it would be and then gave us a lift to our bed and breakfast and walking directions to a good restaurant.

On the way home from the Cape, we again escaped the traffic only to have the whole enginge disengage on the highway, along with the brakes with just enough time for Laura to ease it off to the side of the road and for me to grind it to a halt with the parking brake. A tow, a taxi, a train, the subway and a 10 minute walk were all that it took to get home, eleven and a half hours after we left that morning.

Today I found out that the timing belt was what gave up the ghost. Generally, they're to be replaced every 60,000 miles, which would mean that this sucker will be the third or fourth that the car has seen.

There's a certain logic that might say that since we've replaced so many major mechanical things on the car and have had a wide variety of professionals look the thing over in the 1000 or so miles that we've driven the thing, that perhaps we've reached some kind of equilbrium. After this, 70,000 miles of free sailing, you've replaced all the big shit. On the other hand, Laura and I are leaning towards the logic used by pit bull owners whose dog has twice bitten their small child. Either through adoption or lethal injection, we going to get rid of the thing.

So, if any of you 8 people that read this have a friend of a friend of a friend who's in the market and is an expert tinkerer and/or licensed mechanic then steer 'em to me.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Everything's Coming Up Laura

Aside from the heatwave and worries about coming home to baked bichon, everything has been going right this week. It must be said that this is all Laura's doing. She managed a major coup when she found a lady in Hillsboro NC who is letting us live rent-and-utility-free for two months in exchange for looking after her dogs. The low cost of living down there is now significantly lower. In other news the invitations have all gone out and we got our first RSVP back from Alex and Laura who pointed out just how wrong we spelled both of their names. We might also be staying for free at a friend of Laura's mom's place on the Cape next weekend when we go to see Shannon and Tim get married. With all of this money saving, I feel that some huge expense will creep up on us and bite us in the ass, but for now our financial prospects are looking rosy.

As hot as it is outside, it is always hotter inside of my car. Our Volvo, which was made by Swedes to be used by Swedes has nothing when it comes to air conditioning. I read on the Volvo lovers' website The Brick Board that even new, these things didn't have a lot of cooling power. This weekend, when the auto parts store up the street gets the hose in, I'm going to shoot coolant back into the system and see if I can't get something better than dirty car breath to shoot through the vents.