Monday, August 22, 2005

The Hunt for Re-Boxed Turbos

Sorry, sometimes I can't help reeling in the lamest puns imaginable.

I am in the process of buying a 2000 Volkswagen Golf TDI (diesel engine). Though I am getting an amazing deal by purchasing through a wholesale connection of my brother's, this is still a somewhat anxiety-provoking situation: I have never driven the car. In fact, at the moment the turbo is completely blown and the car is inoperable. It sounds like I will probably end up putting at least $1000 into the equasion on top of the sales price before the car will be road-worthy. Sigh. I'm still getting the car for a very good price-- even with the necessary repairs it will be much less than it would have been through normal channels, which I truly appreciate. I think that once the car is running everything will be great, but in the mean time, as I call Volkswagen dealers and aftermarket car parts businesses, hoping to find a rebuilt turbo or a rebuild kit for the turbo that we currently have, it just feels like the antithesis of immediate gratification. Of course, it does give me something to do as a count down the days left at work. My desk is littered with cryptic post it notes such as 'AAA auto- no t. may have 2001 body- c/b tomorrow' and 'St. C. dlr $100 less-- need gaskets?'

Later. . .

Yay! I just found out that the timing belt was replaced not long ago, so that's one maintenance issue we don't have to worry about that for quite awhile. I also found out that a local salvage yard has a replacement cup holder, ash tray cover, and hub cap available, for much less than the dealer price on the same items. I am feeling a great deal more bouyant about the whole situation. I also found out, to my surprise, that the car, which was very dirty on the inside, was traded in by a priest! Hmph. Not what we had guessed at all. Well, let this be a lesson that, um, priests are slobs too.

Now to get the turbo fixed and the car running! And what should I call this new car? Write in with your suggestions.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Stepping into new territory (again)

After the wedding, after the honeymoon, (still writing thank you notes) life keeps shifting into new topography. Not the relationship aspect, which seems to be very much as it was, as it has been, since we first met. This is a good thing. I think we began as we meant to go on.

No, what is different is the long-term plan. Having one. And also that the plan starts now. So in order to create this life that we are looking forward to living, a few points need to be re-mapped. Thus, I am going back to college. This is exciting-- it's been seven years since I graduated. I have a completed degree and minor as it stands, but now I am going to practice what I used to preach while working as a college admissions counselor. I am going to build on what I have already done, what I enjoy. My English minor will become a major in Applied and Rhetorical Writing. My BFA in Printmaking will gain a Graphic Design emphasis. I hope to make it through in a year and a half.

Giving notice to my boss at the mortgage brokerage was difficult for many reasons, none of them unexpected or worth detailing. I purposely gave more than two weeks so that they would have time to post my position, and with any luck hire someone. I now understand why people give only two weeks. I don't mind this job, but I'm having a VERY HARD TIME being here. My mind has kaleidoscoped away from the minutia of loan applications, and concentrating on the details of a potential borrower's 2003 W2's is as easy as tap dancing in roller skates. I know it can be done, but I really have no desire to be the one doing it. And unlike roller tap dancing, I don't especially like to watch loan applications being processed, either. It's a much more subtle talent, let's say.

September 2nd, my beloved last day on this job, you cannot get here fast enough.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

From here you can walk to the light rail

One of the advantages of living in East Nokomis is the fact that the Hiawatha Line light rail (currently the only rail line in the Twin Cities) runs along the eastern edge of the neighborhood. Connecting downtown Minneapolis to the Mall of America by way of the airport, the rail line doesn't offer fabulous variety destination-wise, but it has enticed us to travel downtown with more frequency by eliminating the need to hunt and pay for parking. (Not to mention the fact that I harbor a made-for-TV-movie-inspired fear of parking garages, which make up the bulk of downtown parking opportunities.)

Returning from our honeymoon in Canada earlier this week, we caught the light rail to 50th street, and then walked the mile home through a sea of late-night humidity so thick that we were both thoroughly sweat-soaked by the time we reached our front step. The Mr. was heard to grumble as we trundled our wheeled suitcases up and down curbs and over the bumps of the poorly lit sidewalk that being the closest relatives to the airport is a little like being the shoemaker's children.

When I promise infrequency, by God, I deliver!

Well, here we are in early August, having fast-forwarded past all of the snow, home improvement projects that took place as we geared up to sell my Mr.'s bachelor house, and yes, even the endlessly fascinating wedding planning.

The snow has long since melted, the house sold after only three days on the market, and as of a week and a half ago, I have gained a husband, and thus, become a wife.

This has had very little effect on East Nokomis, at least so far as I have seen. It is possible that I will continue where I left off, so many months ago, telling about my neighborhood and its gems and dives, or maybe this blog will stretch in a new direction, even as I do the same. Until then, I remain your humble reporter, Lemony.