Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Back in the Saddle Again

Got my truck back yesterday... fuck, I missed it. I had forgotten how much fun it can be to drive.

Also, I forgot how much I depend on my XM radio to get me through the day... because of my job and the traveling I did this month, I haven't been able to listen to, for example, OnA in a MONTH.
A MONTH.
I try to be out of the hosue at 6am so I can listen to the show for 90 minutes before slogging into the office...
A month... there's $13.99 Nationwide owes me.

Wild Kingdom

It's been many years since my life has been complicated by the wilds of nature. Not since the apartment in the hood have I been kept awake at night by the vocalizations of the rodent family.
Until last night.
Last night I was shaken from my slumber by a loud squeak... it sounded across between a bird and someone squeezing a large rat with vice grips - so, yeah, not a pleasant sound. Azmo was immediately out of his crate and bolting downstairs.
This was 2:45 in the morning.
I tried to ignore the whines of the dog for the next 20 minutes, but I eventually gave up and stumbled downstairs to let him out. Upon reaching the bottom of the deck stairs he tilted back his head and began to bark. All along the right-hand side of the yard, like a caged beast (which, technically, I guess he is) he ran the length of the fence - 180 feet of it - barking.
At 3:10, I finally got him quieted down and inside, where he ran to the dining room and whined at the window. Eventually, he tromped upstairs, jumped between Kate and I, and put his head down.
At 3:25 the squeaking began again, and off went the dog bounding from living room to dining room alternating between piteous whines and full-on growls. Being a sucker for punishment, I let him back outside and followed him with a flashlight. While I didn't see a fucking thing, he apparently did and once again went about trying his very canine best to wake the neighborhood. Being the conscientious neighbor and dog-owner that I am, I quietly smoked my cigarette and let him get it out of his system.
If I wasn't going to sleep, no one was going to sleep.
At 3:45 he was back in his crate with the door closed. I never close the door. I like the idea that if he hears something suspicious, he can get out and deal with the situation. He sees the closed door and assumes it's locked, so I figure this time I can get some sleep.
3:47AM - SQUEAKCHITTERCHITTERSQUEAK
3:47:02AM - Azmo through open the door of his crate and took the stairs 4 at a time. Well, I don't know that he took them 4 at a time. I was in bed, after all, and not counting how many steps he was skipping on his way down to the first floor. I rather like the image of this red 75-pound blur barely touching pad to every fourth step in an effort to rush to defend his territory.
I'm building this up too much, aren't I?
I tried to ignore the whining this time, but every time he would quiet down the SQUEAK would re-appear and set him back off. In addition to that, there's apparently a large owl that hunts around our house. He joined in the chorus about 3:50...
4:00AM - Dog in crate. Crate closed. Crate LOCKED.
4:02AM - SQUEAKCHITTERCHITTERCHITTERCHITTER
4:02:01AM - The dog whines. I growl something esoteric about the dining habits of some of our Asian cousins and Azmo FINALLY quiets down for the night...

In retrospect, I guess I could have closed our bedroom windows so we wouldn't hear the animals outside and saved myself a lot of sleeplessness and you a lot of time having to read this.
Look, I never claimed to be the smartest tool in the she-... erm... yeah.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Rise of the Ranger

So... lots to report.

A couple of weeks ago I took the day off from work to take care of a few things before heading out of town for two weeks. Unfortunately, as I drove about my merry way that rainy Thursday, some cunt decided to rear-end my truck at about 30MPH.
Needless to say, her 1990 Celica or Camry or Whatthefuckeveritwas was fucking totaled. My truck... well... we'll get to that.
I was happily uninjured and was able to drive my truck home, pack, and take off for a luxurious two weeks in lovely Beaumont, Texas and Davenport, Iowa.
Beaumont is a smoking hole in the ground.
Don't go to Beaumont.
Ever.

Davenport was a pleasant place in a pleasant state full of pleasant people. Meaning, of course, that it was fucking boring. The interesting thing was, though, that when I went to pick up my rental at the airport, they did not have the car I had reserved. The wonderful woman behind the counter gave me a convertible Mustang instead of my 4-door Impala family sedan.
Tragic.
I got in the car, dropped the top, and turned on the radio. It had the ability to scroll through terrestrial stations by categories. I found a classic rock station in commercial and settled.
As I pulled out of the airport and onto the freeway the commercials came to a blessed end and the opening riffs for "Jessica" blared out at me.
I came.
After the glorious song took me across the Mississippi, "Highway to Hell" took over.
I came.
Next was "You Can't Always Get What You Want."
I came.
"Sweet Caroline."
Came.
"Freebird."
Glot.
"Don't Stop Believing"
Glot glot.

You get how the next 5 days went, right?
Well, let's jump ahead. I come home and get my rental from the insurance company and I drove directly over to the body shop where I was informed "It looks like it may really be totaled."
I'm pissed about that. I really am - I love my truck and it's really close to being paid off... so, we're talking real Love, here.
I began to look at some vehicles. My first stop was a Ford Dealership where I learned I am able to buy a new Ford vehicle with deep and drastic discounts because of my familial connections. After all the discounts and rebates (and with the down payment coming out of the possible check for the FMV on my truck), I'd end up paying about 19K for a 2009 Mustang GT.
I spent the remainder of the week trying desperately not to think too muich about that car. The sounds it makes. The feel of the seats that (to use a Neal Stephenson line) "wrap around you like nymphomanaical gymnist."
Ok, so I thought about it a lot.
And then Friday afternoon came the call.
"The truck is fixable."

More to come...