Saturday, July 02, 2005

... And the horsepower you rode in on.

OK, let's get one thing straight, this entire post is just an excuse to tout, the winner of Maxim's "best monkey Web site" a few months back.

That said...

I went out today to get my car washed. My baby and I have a love-hate relationship that borders on marriage. I don't understand her; every now and then, we upset each other; and she cost, and continues to cost, a shitload of money.

But it was a beautiful day, and driving around with my nice, shiny car, and the moonroof open and sun shining and radio blaring, I found myself thinking you can tell a lot about people by the car they drive, and how they drive it.

The other day, I got passed on the highway - doing close to 80 in a 65 zone - by a little shitbox import zipping across the three lanes and back to get around everyone. This trooper-bait was every bit as obnoxious as you might expect.

My car expert, Joe Lee, has jokes for most car brands (you know, Ford stands for Fix Or Repair Daily) and when he brings the Miata he races to the office, you can spot it a mile away - it's a convertible with a rollbar and a bunch of sponsor stickers on it. There's a man who knows a lot about cars.

I can't bring myself to deface my baby with stickers - even though I've managed to hit two different columns/posts in the past year, scraping the living hell out of her - or even a vanity plate frame, though that's tempting.

But I am tempted to get a "Trunkmonkey Inside" sticker. I guess I'm getting tired of fighting my genetic tendency as an Asian to completely rice out my car.

I say my genetic tendency as an Asian, because it's certainly not something I got from my parents (see earlier post). My father doesn't even drive, which made my 16th birthday the happiest day of my mother's life. She had me out at the Armory taking my permit test the first day I was eligible, with no preparation. In fact, she pulled me out of school early to go take the test.

And then, when I failed (lack of preparation, remember?), she did it again the next week. That time I passed, so it was back to eighth-period French III after that.

But the point was, now she wasn't the only driver in the family, and boy was she glad.

Dad's from New York, and plenty of New Yorkers I know don't drive. But sometimes I think they bought a house at the top of the steepest hill in town, across the street from Bloom U., where he worked for 30-some years, after living at the bottom of the same hill, simply because he got tired of climbing Spruce Street to get to work every day.

But to his credit, Dad walks into town just about every day, which is more exercise than I get. Of course, I make up for it by running occasionally.

I'm 30 years old, and I've never seen my father run. Ever.

He was in the military, so I know at some point in his life, he MUST have run. But not while I've been around. Late, early, trying to beat traffic across a street, I've never seen him move anything faster than a brisk walk.

He taught me everything I know about baseball, but when it came to playing, it was Mom who took me across the street and pitched to me. I never played Little League, and I think it's because to this day, I can't hit anything thrown overhand. (As my softball teams might attest - another earlier post - I really can't hit anything thrown underhand, either, but at least I've got a prayer.)

When I think of Dad, though, I'm often reminded of the line from my "Return of the Jedi" novelization that remarked: "Great men never hurry; great men make other men hurry."

I've never seen Dad hurry, and I've spent my whole life hustling to try and keep up with him. Take from that what you will.

But while Dad is content, seemingly, to ride in the passenger seat of Mom's car, I love to drive.

And if there's one thing I love about summer - and it's not the heat, that's for damn sure - it's driving with the windows down and moonroof open. No matter what car I replace my baby with, it's going to have a moonroof. Unless, of course, it's that new Mustang I've been craving; they don't come with sunroofs or moonroofs or any such thing. It's almost a deal-breaker, if I didn't love Mustangs so much.

My best friend's been driving a minivan since fatherhood, on the other hand, and he doesn't seem to mind. I've vowed never to buy anything with four doors until after 30 - and now that I'm there, it makes the Subaru Impreza eligible again; they did away with their coupe model, but I do love that car.

(And if you're wondering how someone who knows nothing about cars and has driven the same one for six years figures out what he likes, the answer is simple: Gran Turismo. The video game. They don't call it the ultimate driving simulator for nothing.)

So I was out there today, post-car wash, proving once again why you should never turn a munkee lose in an electronics store. I went to Best Buy to get a CD...

... It was Kelly Clarkson, of all people. Now I've never seen "American Idol," but I live and die, musically, by the three-song rule I learned at summer camp ages ago. It's simple: If you like three songs, you'll probably like the whole album. So when I found myself thinking of downloading three songs off "Breakaway" from iTunes - I'm a sucker for female vocalists - I decided to get the whole CD and take my chances. But my lousy taste in music isn't really the point. ...

... so I went in for a $10 CD and I walked out $100 poorer. That was mostly due to my recent interest in TV-on-DVD, where you can get entire seasons, and sometimes entire series, for $20-$100.

In this case, the main culprit in my budget-blowing was a show called "Firefly," which I've never seen and barely heard of. It's a Joss Whedon show, and his "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" is a show everyone's always told me I'll love (they called me "Spike" for a while because of my hair) and that I have enjoyed part of the first season of (also on DVD).

Now all I really know of Whedon is his mediocre draft version of "Alien: Resurrection," but he's certainly got a cult following, and the other day at "Land of the Dead" (another earlier post; you've got to pay attention here!), there was a trailer for the "Firefly" movie - "Serenity," I think - that looked awesome.

If it says anything, Stewie, the only person I know who's actually seen "Firefly," reacted thus to the trailer: When the first words came on (I think something like "From the mind of Joss Whedon," I'm not even talking about any actual images on-screen), he went from slouched in his seat to sitting bolt upright - with an expression and grunt that's tough to describe. I'll put it this way: Based on the only times I've ever made anything resembling that noise, I'm glad I was sitting next to Stewie, and not in front of him, if you know what I mean.

And since then, I've been pondering this show. Put me in front of the DVD, and I wind up $40 poorer. That would be the impulse-buying post.

Anyway, while I ponder how to get a trunkmonkey of my very own (they work best in Subarus, but I say one Japanese sports car's as good as another...), you stay tuned. In the next couple of days, I'm writing a nice patriotic July Fourth post. And then, hopefully, going to see some fireworks.

TrunkMonkey Racing: Trunkmonkey inside! (Complete with link to Maxim's article!)
Mitsubishi, makers of my baby and the redesigned-again, ugly-as-sin 2006 Eclipse
The oldie-but-a-goodie "Rice-Boy" page
Somebody who knows a lot more about Kelly Clarkson than I do
"Firefly" fan site
And the official site of the "Serenity" movie
And, of course, Stewie's blog

As my closing thought, I've been watching "A League of Their Own" on HBO while writing this, and isn't it weird how one of only two baseball movies that isn't really a chick flick is all about empowered women? (The other, of course, is "Major League.")

1 Comment:

Stewie said...

Firefly is the shiznit.