duck-shaped pain

2000-10-23
Where I Think About Becoming A Heretic

Cold day today: the only remedies are echinacea tea with honey, buying new black turtlenecks, grilled-cheese sandwiches and His Name Is Alive on the stereo.

Today reached near-spectacular levels of boredom, I'm sorry to say. I woke up late (thanks to the Excedrin PM I took last night for leg pain), drank some excellent coffee [1], ate cereal and worked for a while on things for work.

It's been a pretty unexciting weekend. Yesterday was okay it would have been a lot better if I hadn't had to spend three hours of it buying a new tire. I got up relatively early, planning on spending my day going to yard sales, then taking a visit to the library, and topping off the morning's activities by going to the bagel shop to eat some soup and start reading Norwegian Wood. [2]

I went to one yard sale, an enormous charity rummage sale where they had a lot of nothing. Still, I managed to score a nice pottery mug and a high school physics textbook from the 1950s with excellent illustrations. As I was driving away from the sale, I heard the ominous whumpa-whumpa-whumpa sound of a tire in distress. After stopping to examine, I found my left rear tire was almost flat.

I drove it to the tire store where I originally bought it (four years ago). I hoped it was still under warranty (ha!) but was told it was nearly bald, so I would have to get another one. Which took three hours. During that time, I hung out a bit with my aunt and uncle (their store is adjacent to the tire store), sat outside watching people try to park, and made friends with one big brown dog, who seemed especially excited to be there. It wasn't the money required to replace the tire that annoyed me it was the sheer pain in the ass-ness of it all.

While I was there, some older guy came up to me and asked me where in Oregon I was from. I always forget that I have Oregon plates on my car until someone points it out to me (maybe it's time to change that, you think?). I told him that I wasn't from there, that I was from here, and that I had only lived there a year, all the while thinking, I AM NOT ONE OF YOU PEOPLE. He was originally from Pendleton, and had fled to here a few years ago. Nobody just leaves Pendleton, from what I've heard. They flee at the greatest speed possible.

The problem with my tire reminded me that I've been thinking of ditching my car completely if I move back to Denver. I realise that this idea is as close to heresy as an American can get, [3] but I'm still considering it. I don't know if I'd sell it right away, but I think I might give living car-free a try for awhile. I have a couple of reasons. One: I don't know if I'm willing to put up with the expense of having a car there. My insurance would double, the part of the city I'm looking to live in is not known for its generous parking, and gas is expensive. I figured it would cost me, with insurance, parking expenses and gas, about $200-$250 a month to have a car there. I know that's not a huge amount, compared to other people's car expenses (my car is completely paid for), but I can think of many things I'd rather do with that money. Second, I hate driving more and more each year. I don't know why exactly, but I do. Three, exercise. It would make me less lazy.

Now, to do this correctly will require some work. It would basically limit me to living and working in and near downtown Denver (this is where I'd want to live and work, though). It will mean I can't easily partake in some of my favorite activities: no more driving around randomly at night and no more impromptu visits to distant suburban malls. On the other hand, I won't have to give anyone a ride anywhere, which I've done many times before in my designated role as The Friend With The Car.

I actually don't mind riding the bus, unlike a lot of people I know. Sure, I've never had to rely on it exclusively for transportation except for a few times when my car was out of commission, but I like taking it. There are a few times when riding the bus is sort of inconvenient, like when you're coming home with a bunch of groceries or carting a tuba about town, but I think I can handle it. Plus, my mom will be living in the same metro area and she's offered to lend me her vehicle if I ever need one in an emergency.

(However, if someone dumps you and you have to ride the bus home afterward, you're guaranteed to feel like an even bigger loser. Same if you get fired from your job.)

Still, I haven't decided for sure yet. I still don't even know where I'm going to move to yet for sure. That might be a more important thing to consider.


[1] Excellent coffee these days I've decided to stop making it in the coffee maker (I never finish an entire pot of coffee made in it that's how good it is) and am now turning exclusively to one of the three stovetop espresso makers for my morning beverage. So, coffee has been just that much better lately.

[2] Finally.

[3] Especially for a westerner.

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