duck-shaped pain


Where I Get The Stick

One thing that's greatly improved life these last few days is the new turn signal stick in my car.

I've gone without one for a while -- almost four years. I broke it off, accidentally, when I got into my car one night and the pocket on my overcoat snagged on the signal stick. Something had to give, and unfortunately, it was the car (it was a pretty crappy coat, so I would have been glad to see it lose).

So, you might be asking, why didn't I fix it? A couple of reasons. First, it was too expensive -- $150, an enormous amount of money for me at the time. Second, the turn signal still worked. There was enough of it left that I could still signal, and I could take the jagged end of the broken half of the stick, press it firmly against the half still left on the car, and join them together long enough to turn the lights on. So, I figured, I didn't need to fix it. I rarely used my turn signals, anyway.

Time went on, and it got harder and harder to use the turn signal with each passing year. I had to make sure I didn't lose the broken half of the stick -- without it, I couldn't turn the lights on. So, I trained myself to put it away in the exact same place every time. Not having a real turn signal had some nice consequences: no one else ever wanted to drive my car, and it made it look so crappy that no one wanted to steal it.

I tried to sell the car once, when I was in Oregon. The lack of a turn signal was a big turn off to most prospective buyers, which was, in hindsight, a blessing. If it had sold, I would have no car.

The guy my mom works with right now owns an auto shop, and last time I was down there visiting, it was decided all of a sudden that it finally needed to be fixed.

I had forgotten what a turn signal for my car looked like. It just looks weird, sitting there, attached to my steering wheel. I'm still not used to having it there. When I need to turn, I reach down to find the stump of the old signal, and there's a big new plastic thing there. I am usually confused for a split-second, then I realize: hey, new turn signal.

On my way home after I got it fixed, I celebrated by changing lanes as often as I could.

Looks like I'll be flying up to Oregon this weekend. We decided that would be the easiest way (although not the cheapest), and would give us time to mess around in Portland.

I've never flown on a plane with my dad before. I don't know what it's going to be like. I do know that it's his fault we're leaving on the earliest possible morning flight, which is doubly wrong considering it's on the weekend. This is because he doesn't want to fly when anyone else is around. I can't say I blame him, but I still don't want to get up that early.

Trips with my dad can be interesting. I remember than most of the ones from my childhood were sort of unpleasant, for many different reasons. Ones with my dad were marred by his determination to get wherever we were going as soon as possible, with no stops to eat or pee or see anything. That is, unless we passed some interesting rocks. Then he would stop, we would have to all get out of the car, and spend way too much time standing around while he went out looking at this rock. Trips all too often became long science quizzes -- my dad would shout questions at me like "So what formation are those rocks over there?" or "What type of rock is that?" After awhile, my standard answer became "That's a brown rock" -- no matter what the question was. After a while, he stopped asking. Then, after that, we stopped taking family trips, and I only got to go on trips with just one parent or the other. Camping with dad, shopping with mom. I usually preferred the latter.

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