(Click here for part 1)
Anyway, I could wax probably poetic for another 200 pages or so (except the middle 75-80 would just be pages full of "I bet you didn't read this far"), but I won't.
The car is dead. (Or traded in, same thing. Non-wastefulness issues notwithstanding, I kind of don't even want to think about someone else driving it because it just feels very wrong.)
Long live the car. Brand new Civic with all the fixin's. Still on its first tank of gas, having yet to be driven anywhere outside of the Westwood/Palms/Santa Monica area. We're definitely still in the honeymoon stage, so let's talk about the good stuff before I've driven it long enough to have things to complain about.
First of all, electronic gadgetry. I'm not going to start listing off specifics, because that would be boring, but let's just say I could pretty much drive around until I died of natural causes and still not run out of music (granted, I'd really be scraping the bottom of the barrel by that point... I'd have to save some good stuff for the end so I didn't exhale my last breath with, like, Kenny G in the background).
Then there's the navigation system, which made The Sparkler wonder if having that would force me to change the name of this blog. No, I replied, the car may be good with directions but I still royally suck with them. At least now it'll be fun to get lost because I just have to hit a couple buttons to get me home... then make a wrong turn, hit some more buttons, make another wrong turn, drive into a ditch, call AAA, get pulled out, hit another button, accidentally turn on rear defroster, finally find correct button just as HOLY CRAP I'M IN THE WRONG LANE and I veer off onto the sidewalk and hit an L.A. Weekly display case (this week's headline: Are You Edgy Enough? Here's Why Not) before finally realizing that I was only going out to get groceries and should have just walked. Plus the whole thing is voice-activated, so I don't really need to hit any buttons at all. Unfortunately, the voice-activation girl has a bit of an ironic streak because when I say "Display Audio" she says back, in her perfect your-call-is-very-important-to-us voice, "Display Hospitals" and proceeds to pop up a bunch of hospital icons on the map. Sometimes when I give her an order she just does nothing, which I think means she's giving me one of those "Eeeeh" faces usually exchanged by opposite-sex siblings. I'm sure we'll work out our differences, though.
Incidentally, my long-term linguistic project is to find some kind of trace of a provincial accent in the voice activation girl's voice. I think I can do it. Like I said, it's long-term. But she has like at least a several-hundred word vocabulary, so she's got to slip up at some point and reveal her regional upbringing. And when she does, I'll be there to blog about it.