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2013-08-06_12-52-37_103So this past weekend I went and bought a car.  This is it.  It’s exactly what I wanted: the same make and model as my old car, but four years younger, well maintained, reasonable miles, stellar gas mileage, and a working sound system.  Plus, it’s really, really blue.  And the price was perfect – almost exactly as much money as I had been able to scrape together.  I didn’t have to take out a loan or figure out financing, I could just, you know, buy the car.  I kinda love it.

This is how it happened: I had been fretting and worrying about buying a car all week, trying to search out any cars within 100 miles that were even close to what I wanted and sorta near my price range, and feeling sick to my stomach every time I tried to work on my credit union loan application.  I was able to find about half a dozen, some in the neighboring big cities, some more nearby.  I was looking mainly on Craigslist after the big car search websites were completely unhelpful, but it seemed like all the really good deals were gone before I could even contact the sellers.  There were a few at dealerships that looked ok, but the prices were more than I really wanted to pay.

Pippi had agreed to go car shopping with me for a little while Saturday afternoon, and when I checked Craigslist again Saturday morning, I noticed a car had just been listed that sounded perfect.  So I called up the seller, got him on the first try, and arranged to see the car that afternoon.  Pippi and I took it for a test drive, got it checked out at Auto Zone (do you know their workers will come inspect any car, run diagnostics, and tell you what they think is wrong, totally for free?), looked it over pretty thoroughly ourselves, and decided that it looked like a really good deal.  (Pippi: I am highly in favor of you buying this car.)  We headed back to the seller’s house, had a brief negotiation where he knocked about a sixth of the asking price off, and just like that, I was the proud owner of this lovely blue car.  It was amazing.

I’m still getting used to this.  I wasn’t able to go to the BMV to get temporary tags until yesterday after work, so this has been my first day driving it.  It’s definitely got a lot more get up and go than my last car – I never realized I had a lead foot on the gas pedal until I saw the speed I’d got up to without realizing it on the way to work this morning.  I still haven’t figured out the sound system (the previous owner’s son had installed a fancy schmancy thing with more buttons than a computer keyboard), but I figure that will come with time, and with maybe googling the make and model to see if there’s a user manual online (Update: there is).

The next thing is to clean out my old car, still currently parked at the mechanics who pronounced it dead, so that I can sell it to the salvage yard.  This is a sad thing to think about.  There are still things in the car that were put there by Jacob, which I could never bring myself to move.  Like his sunglasses in the cubby hole in the dash, and his Bengal’s football hanging from the rearview mirror, and his little tub of car care stuff in the trunk.  There’s also his bumper sticker applied to the side wall of the back seat saying, “This car protected by WD-40” which I’d love to keep if I can.  But it has to be done.  I’m not rich enough that I can hang on to a whole car just because it used to belong to my brother.  It probably wouldn’t be a healthy thing to do even if I could.  So probably tonight or tomorrow I’ll head out to the mechanics’ yard with a box of tissues and get it done.

After that, the only thing left will be to name the new car.  Which brings me to another topic.  WordPress tells me that this will be my 997th blog post.  That’s a pretty big number, and awfully close to 1000.  So I thought I’d do a little giveaway/contest.  Given my current rate of blogging, it probably will take me a little while to get there, so you’ve got a nice, long time to enter.  Comment on this blog post by midnight on Saturday, August 17th, and you’ll have a chance to name my new car.

These are the rules: Every comment counts as an entry, and you can comment as many times as you like.  Only comments made actually on this blog will count – comments on facebook are nice, but will not be considered for the prize.  Once comments are closed, I’ll put all of them in a big hat (Johnnycakes has quite a nice top hat), and have some impartial third party draw the lucky winner.  The winner will get to name my new car whatever he or she would like, as long as it is not obscene, by which name my car will forever be known at least on this blog (I make no promises to call the car anything besides My Car in real life).  It would be nice if you wrote something fun in your comment – something about your favorite blog post, maybe, or a joke (I adore knock knock jokes), or, I dunno, a sonnet to my eyebrows, but any comment at all will be accepted.  Comments that are obscene or otherwise objectionable will be deleted and not accepted as contest entries.  The contest results will be announced in my 1000th blog post, whenever that comes.

Let the commenting commence!

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