When autumn is called fall, it is indicative of the nature of falling leaves that occur throughout the early months of the season. Yet no one expects the type of fall that happens in Woodinville. There are trees everywhere and as it happened today, a great wind picked up amidst the rain shower we had, and leaves came swirling, crashing down. In a matter of two hours, the streets are literally blanketed in leaves and debris. Our cars after my nap look as though they've been sitting in the driveway under the trees for weeks, untended. Everything here falls all at once.
And so it doesn't surprise me that my car, which had been making strange noises lately and wobbling a bit, should prove even more dire. Actually, it isn't my
car, I've just been lucky enough to borrow it for a year. I've put hundreds of dollars into repairing it already, and when I took it to get a free brake inspection today (slight, disconcerting grinding noise when I hit my brakes), I was told that to make it safe to drive, I need $1000 worth of brake (and other?) work and another $1500 worth of other work done. It seemed rather excessive, but there's a laundry list of problems they handed me, and I'm sure it's not all. The car, while having been good and useful, has 226K+ miles on it. As sturdy as those little Accords are, there's not much to be done for it when it finally wears out.
Oh, and there's something living in the air filters. Perhaps a mouse. Ugh.
So, having spent a year listening to the car, driving it about, and very often driving it with the windows down or at least ajar (the windows fog up something fierce when it's raining and defrost doesn't do much for visibility). I'm already floored at the work that needs to be done, and as usual, my mind starts racing about plans to put into place. I'll look for another car, I figure out how much I can budget in my already fairly tight college student budget, and explain to Ana that Christmas might be rather small this year. I decide that I'll finish my errands in the area, drive home, and drive it a few days until I find a new car to drive. Except, as I'm driving home with my windows down slightly, I notice that the grinding noise that used to occur only when I hit the brakes, was CONSTANT. I took it in for inspection and they handed it back to me even less useable than before.
I called up the Firestone I went to and was told to bring it back and they'd get it working the way it was. Craig drives behind me with Ana in his car, and I get there to hand them the keys. The guy I spoke to when I first went there (not the same person on the phone who told me to come in) told me the sound had always been there and I just hadn't noticed and the only way they could fix it was to do the $900 worth of brake work they originally quoted me. I go outside, tell Craig what transpired and he's obviously livid. He gets out of the car and goes in to talk to the mechanic there.
Same spiel, same assumption that I don't know what noises the car does and doesn't make. We'd already had a discussion when I brought it in the first time what noises it made and that the brakes were worrying me. He only said after the second visit that they'd noticed it made noise all the time, and he refused to look at it unless we were going to pay for all of the work he had laid out. He wouldn't just put in brake pads or give us some temporary help so I could get it to a different mechanic.
So, now I have a car I'm afraid to drive, but I need to get it to Seattle one way or another to have it looked at by someone I trust implicitly to give me straight answers. I need a safe and reliable car to get between home and our various schools; to bus would mean to have a five hour commute every day, and have to drop all after school and extracurricular activities including my volunteer work with her school, the volunteer work I've offered to do at my school, and Ana's drama class that just started this last Thursday. That's highly unacceptable. I have money I put aside, and I can juggle our money and shave off enough to get something ... but I'm wary of what I might get next. I've already purchased a car that didn't even last a year, and while part of that was due to mishandling by a tow truck after an accident, I'm not sure how much of its life was shortened because of it.
If anyone knows of a car that's for sale in and around the Greater Seattle area for a price around $1000 (manual transmission preferred), let me know. I just need something that has reasonable gas mileage and will get us safely and reliably around the city and home again. In the mean time, I'll see if it's possible to salvage anything from the Accord, and if not, see what jodawi
wants done with the "disposable" car.
And this evening we went to Third Place Books as I swore we would and listened to another talk by Naomi Wolf. It was rather similar to her End of America
talk, but with updated information. Including the fact that Bush has amassed an army--the 1st brigade--that is entirely beholden to him and could be used to stage a coup. As Naomi put it, "the coup has already happened." As of October 1st, the threat of a military state is real. What will you do about it?Brigade Homeland Tour Starts Oct 1st.
This is exactly what we were supposed to be protected against. Someone at the event tonight suggested that the Governors of each state could use the National Guard or the police forces there but the former have been taken fully over by the Feds and the latter have been trained in Homeland Security methods to prevent our protests and have funding in the event that a citizen tries to take a police officer or station to court for misuse of power. It's been a rather upsetting day all around. We at least distracted ourselves for a time with Snappy Dragon food before heading home again ... and back to our worries.
Already I have cheated myself in my writing. I was so tired last night I went to bed early without writing and promptly couldn't sleep until 4am. Ugh. Need to write now, but feel rather distracted by everything going on around me and in me. Murr. Will push myself anyway.