An oddly responsible day off

My days off of work are pretty sacred to me, in that I generally try to relax at least a little bit. Today wasn’t an exception to that rule of sorts.

Marceline the Adventure Bean, our third cat, had a vet appointment for her final vaccinations, and I had a very pressing need to find out why the Hell the Maintenance Required light was on in my car (spoilers: it wasn’t because it missed my bright, beautiful smile). I also had come to the realization that there’s not a whole lot by way of food in the new place, which was something I decided needed correcting. I wanted to get a haircut, but that didn’t quite manage to happen. We’ll get back to that.

My errands followed one another quite neatly, with the vet appointment going smoothly, the cleaning out of my car going well, and then the oil change & battery check-up for my car going poorly. Womp womp. Turns out the issues I’d noticed lately were because my poor ol’ Toyota’s battery needed replacing, but the folks at the Plank Road Jiffy Lube are the absolute best. Problem solved nice and quickly. Thanks to stopping there, I saw a recipe on TV for two ingredient chicken (skin-on chicken breasts; add garlic and herb brie or Borsin, then bake…For those interested, Google two ingredient chicken), and so dinner plans were set.

If this post sounds oddly responsible, that’s because it is. I wanted to get some writing done today, but that didn’t quite happen (it will be happening tomorrow instead, as I have self-imposed deadlines to meet). There’s a problem there, however, because I had plenty of creative thoughts rattling around that were left to wait. They seem to have conspired with my love of cooking. Something made me think of scotch bonnets, which are a type of very hot pepper similar to habaneros. They’re commonly, or so Google says, used for Caribbean jerk recipes and have a sweeter taste than their similarly-spicy pepper cousins. I suddenly found myself, a couple hours ago, wanting to use them to make something. I couldn’t figure out what.

My current idea? I happened upon a recipe for caramel sauce with cayenne pepper in it, and decided trying it with scotch bonnets could be plausible. I’ll have to post the results once this food experimentation invariably happens.

How do you other creative types seem to handle the untapped creative ideas in situations like this?

I’d say more, but I work very early tomorrow. Pretty sure this hundred days is almost up, but I need to verify that to be sure.

A Farewell to My First Car

I’m prone to oddly sentimental moments sometimes.  Like this post, for instance.

I’m not the kind of guy who named his car, or acted like it was a person.  It didn’t have a gender, but it had as much personality as an inanimate object can.

Now, to completely ignore all of that: my little blue 2010 Hyundai Sonata was a magnificent chariot, and it got me where I needed to be.  The news it was deemed a total loss was some very painful news indeed.  That part is a story I’d prefer not to get into, as I still have nightmares about it.  Nobody was hurt, thankfully, and that’s what matters.  The bruising to my ego caused by killing a car I’d had for less than a year, however, is its own sort of injury.

The Hyundai was my first car.  It was the car I drove between driving lessons, and the car I got my driver’s license (far too many years later than I should have) in.  It was the car that endured how many abrupt stops at stop signs and red lights.  It handled sharp turns and wide turns and many other manners of poorly handled maneuvering.  It was the soundboard for much swearing.  I mean a lot of really creative combinations of expletives, too, because people really like coming to, and remaining at, a full stop at green lights on William Penn Highway.

My first adventures in highway driving were made possible because of this little blue car that could.  Even the very first, pants-shittingly terrifying trip onto Parkway East (the Carnegie on-ramp is less of a driving experience and more of a gauntlet of anxiety and suffering).

I went on all manners of food runs in it, and it got me to a good number of good times.  Despite my still quite-novice driving (read as: relatively bad driving), it always kept on keeping on.

It’s also my understanding the accident should have, by all means, disabled my car.  The engine had been pushed upwards, and various other damages had been incurred I would like to not think about should have left the car stationary.  There’s a part of me, though completely irrational, holding onto the notion my car kept going just as long as I needed it to in this situation.  I couldn’t help feeling guilty driving away from dropping it off in a different Hyundai.

There was something truly painful about picking up the license plate and retrieving my belongings from the Sonata (as a side-note: I am sorry, mom and Tom, but I owe you two umbrellas as I forgot them in the backseat of the car; my bad).  Its neighbors had large pieces hanging off, or missing completely.  Out of all the cars there, it hardly seemed something worth deeming a total loss.  The reality happened to be very different from how things appeared at a glance.  The mechanic told me my Sonata was, in fact, the most badly damaged among all of those cars.  Competition included a very sad looking Mustang that was on its way out to pasture (or, far more likely, one on its way to be shot behind the barn) and a Toyota with a completely exposed engine.  Not exactly an honor I wanted.

It was, in the end, just a car.  It was one of the greatest gifts I’d ever been given, a means to further my life (by taking steps towards becoming a mature, responsible adult and moving out, for instance), and so I’d like to revise State Farm’s assessment of it being a total loss.  It brought good to my life.  I’d like to think it’ll end up being melted down into some badass throne I can use again, once my nefarious schemes for world domination come to fruition.  Meanwhile, this is a sad, oddly sentimental farewell to my very first car, the little blue 2010 Hyundai Sonata.  It was one hell of a car.