it’s all building up to nothing

well, monday came and went. throughout the day, no call from the bank, no call from the mechanic. yet another day of misguided hope.
finally the mechanic called me around 5:50pm and said i could pick up my car. but… but the lifters were knocking, and they might need to be replaced. he suggested i drive it a few days and see if the lifters got better. i didn’t want to mess up the warranty somehow, so i said i wanted to call and see what the seller or builder of the engine said. i told him i’d let him know the next day.
a bit later i texted sue to see if she’d heard anything from tamara. she said tamara had sent a message on facebook and told her she’d called the bank and made an appointment for the next day (tuesday).
so yet another day where things were supposed to work out, but nothing did. more of the same crap. except things seemed closer to happening, but not all good like i’d expected.
tuesday morning i called jegs to see what they said about the lifters, and they told me to call edelbrock. i called edelbrock and they said to drive it a few days and call them back if it didn’t go away. so i called the mechanic and told him i’d come by to pick up the car.
at lunch a co-worker drove to my house with me and let me drop off my pickup, then he and i went and ate at house of pies. then he took me to the mechanic’s shop and dropped me off. the mechanic spent some time showing me the work he’d done, talked about various things, etc. he pointed out a couple of things that need to be done or adjusted after it’s been driven awhile. finally we were done and his wife gave me the bill. i was…surprised. no, i was shocked.
the original estimate, although he didn’t really want to give me one, was somewhere between $2k and $4k, depending on things. the bill i got was $7600. that’s right around the same amount of money i spent on all of the parts i bought for him to install. so getting this work done cost me $15k. i had planned to pay him with money i’d had set aside for some time, then use the leftover of it to help pay off the credit card before the 0% period expired. now i’ve had to give the mechanic close to all of the saved up money. hopefully i will have enough extra cash come in over the next few months to pay off the credit card in time. i’m not sure now.
as if that weren’t enough, i spent $15,000 dollars on an engine that is pinging — it sounds just like the engine that was in it previously. i know it should either fix itself or will be fixed under warranty, but it’s a huge stab in the heart. but wait. in addition, when i was driving it i started having a bunch of problems with first and reverse. like the clutch wouldn’t fully disengage the gears in the transmission, so when i’d go to try and move from neutral to first or reverse the gears would grind. eventually i had to just start forcing it, which sounds like sh!t and probably isn’t good on things. but wait. the speedometer wasn’t fixed in that $15k cost, so the needle bounces half the time and is off so i don’t know how fast i’m going. in my mind, when you’ve just laid out $15k, you expect things to be working and to feel happy about what you got. i did not.
after stopping by the house to put on the current registration sticker, then getting the vehicle a current inspection sticker, i drove it to work. the knocking/tapping is loud and sounds bad. it’s kind of embarrassing, as in drawing bad attention to the vehicle. and that shouldn’t be the case after paying $15k to have a brand new engine put in. the more time i had to think about things, the more annoyed i got. i gave up on work pretty fast and decided to just go home. when i went to pay for parking, the machine only took my first dollar partially, then hung. i pulled the dollar out, but it wouldn’t take my credit card. it also wouldn’t give me back my parking token. then smoke started coming out of the machine. i pressed the help button. the smoke got worse. electronics and plastic were burning. more smoke. then i could see a flame inside the box. finally the machine spit my parking token back out. the person answered and i told them their box was on fire. then i walked to another pay machine. dealing with the box with self-immolation issues and then walking to a machine not on fire cost me $1 though, because i was at 54 minutes when i started with the first box and past one hour by the time i got to the new one. as much as i enjoyed seeing something of tmc’s self-destruct, i think it’s just as much a sign of how cursed i am. oh yeah, did i mention it also started raining about the time i had to walk across the parking lot to a box not on fire? and continued while i walked back to my car?
the drive home sucked, as traffic was backed up and my windows were all fogging and i couldn’t really see the road for about 20 minutes. i suppose thankfully one of the things i got fixed was the heater core, because eventually the defroster managed to clear up the fogged up windows. maybe being stuck in slow-moving traffic wasn’t a bad thing.
so where does this all leave me with the car, you ask? all told, i’ve now spent probably around $40k on the car. for $40k, i could have gotten a nicely restored version of my car. instead, i’ve got a car with steel rims, a crappy old paint job, a possibly fscked-up transmission, and an engine that cost me ~$10k that sounds like crap. i’m going to have to spend at least another $10k to $20k on it to get it nice. not real nice, just nice. this was supposed to be a happy point, getting the car. instead, i feel utterly defeated.
oh yeah, back to tamara. i didn’t hear from the bank tuesday. i called the bank a bit before 5pm and left a voice mail, but i didn’t hear back. so i didn’t know if tamara did what she was supposed to do or not.
yesterday evening i was at a pretty low point, ready to concede defeat to life. it was just really disheartening to think about how much money i’d just unexpectedly had to spend on the car, and it is immediately giving me the same problems before i had spent a dime on it. granted, some stuff is fixed, and some new things are on it, but after the cash spent the problems just seem to be really big deals. plus knowing what would take tamara 10 minutes to do, she had managed to drag out for over 5 or 6 weeks and had still not accomplished… it was just too much.
finally today things got a bit better. having time to sleep on it, the problems with the car didn’t seem quite as overwhelming. although i’m still not happy. around 3pm i decided i was just going to leave work early and drive around, as my head wasn’t into work and i needed to drive the car anyway. but right before i left, i got a call from the girl at the bank. she said she had some good news…she’d just saved a ton of money on her car insurance. (no, she really said that. then she laughed.) then she told me tamara had come by and signed the paperwork. yea! so instead of riding around the freeways, i drove over to the bank and signed the paper. so thank G-d that’s finally dealt with. now i can post the entry i’d written over a month ago about that situation. i stayed at the bank for awhile and talked with the girl there, she seems pretty cool and i’ve enjoyed the several times i’ve had to talk with her due to tamara’s slowness in taking care of things.
because i’d left work early, and i was only at the bank about one hour or so, i had a pretty big gap before the radio show. so i went to niko niko’s and had supper, then i went by soundwaves and bought some used cds:

  • drive-by truckers – the dirty south (new west)
  • eurythmics – we too are one (arista / bmg)
  • kmfdm – ruck zuck (metropolis)
  • my little dog china – game face (fashionpop / diamante)
  • orbital – blue album (ato)
  • p.o.d. – snuff the punk (rescue records)
  • propellerheads – decksanddrumsandrockandroll (dreamworks / universal)
  • ratatat – lp3 (xl)
  • vigilantes of love – audible sigh (compass)

the drive-by truckers is a replacement, because my current copy was scratched. the eurythmics is a cheap upgrade to my cassette version. i like kevin clay, who was in my little dog china, so i bought that because i don’t think i have it. maybe i do. (it was cheap.) and i like bill mallonee and the vigilantes of love, but i never seem to be able to get into their albums. but i bought it anyway — it was very cheap. the most curious purchase is the p.o.d. album. i only got it because it was their first album, before they were popular, back when they were a sold out, on fire, no compromise xian band. (although this is a 1999 re-master of the original album.) i saw them play the new band stage at cornerstone that summer. i thought they were a good rage against the machine clone (although they were fairly early in the rapcore scene that developed, xian and not). they went on to big things, and developed their sound more. but the whole schtick about committing violence to satan/demons that the xian rap and rapcore scene used back in the day makes me laugh. (ask ash to describe xian rappers from that era, such as t-bone — it’s a good time.) that’s why i bought it. you know it’s good when the visual is of an angel (?) with a choke hold on a scared demon/satan, about to punch him in the face. back in the day at the cornerstone, the original version of the album had a thug/guy or angel with a choke hold on a demon/satan with a gun near their head. (original cover) “snuff the punk” indeed.

2 comments on “it’s all building up to nothing”

  1. Good news at last! Tamara actually took care of something. I still laugh at the box in the parking lot catching on fire. That is a little surreal, kind of like a candid camera moment!
    Stay warm!

  2. dont even make me bus a (holy) cap in dat (satanic) ah-uss! Das hard ta do when u so drunk (in da spirit). Wow. Someone remembers my t-bone imitation! And I thought my 15 minutes had passed me by! In other crazy news…. the first Red Ink demo was recorded in Nov. 1989…. yes… more than.. uh… (feeling faint)…. 20 freaking years ago! You remember 1989… Tiananmen square and all.
    Well… you finally did it. You finally went and beat my Hyundai story all to hell. Thanks man.

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