All posts tagged Car

Never complain that you don’t have anything to write about, because your car will die. 

Published September 29, 2016 by Malia

Okay, I can’t guarantee that’s the reason it happened, but it is kind of suspicious that on Monday I was feeling annoyed that I had nothing interesting to blog about, and then on Tuesday the good car died.

There are two cars in my life.  The boy’s car, which is a beautiful Subaru, is the good car.  My car, a 23-ish year-old white minivan I call the pregnant cow, is the bad car.  The bad car gets me around town, is very temperamental (it works correctly when it feels like it), and isn’t exactly what I’d call trustworthy.  The good car does everything that’s asked of it and more.

So, the boy’s job requires him to work long hours driving around the eastern side of the state.  It’s nothing for him to put in 150-250 miles in a day.  Obviously, he takes the good car, because if he tried that with the bad car I’m pretty sure it would just freeze in the driveway and go, “Nope, not happenin’.”

I went with him on Tuesday.  I do this occasionally.  If I don’t, then the majority of our married life interaction is him coming in between 11:30 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. and collapsing on the bed to sleep.   Funnily, enough, I like to have conversations with my husband that don’t involve snoring.

His work had sent him up to the Sioux City area for the day.  He had done the lion’s share of the driving, but by the time we grabbed supper and were ready to head home, he was absolutely dead on his feet and he asked me to drive.  So, there we were, headed home on I-29, when the car began having problems.  About five miles north of Onawa, the car began vibrating violently.  We agreed to try to make it to Onawa, because at least then we’d be able to park at a gas station.  Unfortunately, the car didn’t agree with our decision.  Instead, not quite three miles north of Onawa, I heard a “ping” like a snapping rubber band, all the warning lights briefly flashed on, and the the car had no power.  I glided us to the shoulder of the road, and there we sat with a dead car.

That’s Onawa circled in red.  We were so close, and yet so vey far away.

We sat there for about an hour trying to get the car to come back to life, but it was all for naught.  Fortunately, the boy got a hold of his folks, and they willingly drove up to where we were  and rescued us from the side of the road.  We finally got home just a little after 2 a.m.

The car was towed into Omaha yesterday, and we found out that that “ping” was the car throwing a rod.  Apparently, for a car to run, it needs a working engine; and for an engine to work, the rods need to be not thrown.

I spent the better part of today with a phone glued to my head, calling one auto shop after another.  My spiel of, “Our car threw a rod, and now the engine doesn’t work.  Is this something you guys can fix?” came out of my mouth so many times, I began to work on autopilot.  I got a pile of estimates (starting $2500 and going all the way up to $8000.  Apparently, there’s no standard price list that everyone works off when it comes to this sort of thing.), and then had to sit down and relay all the information to the boy as he was at work.

Ultimately, we narrowed it down to two places, and the boy left the final decision in my hands.  A very scary thing to do to someone who struggles with decision making as much as I do.  I did make a choice, though, for better or for worse.

So, off good car went this afternoon, to a place that will make it all better!

I’ll be honest, I’m scared right now.  I have absolutely no idea how we’re going to pay for this.  We’ve already sunk a ton of money into maintenance of this car this summer, plus we had to replace our house a.c., and I’ve had some “fun” with my health.  Please, please, keep us in your thoughts and prayers (and if you want, check out our GoFundMe: Help Fix Our Car).

‘Tis The Last Brakes of Summer

Published September 22, 2015 by Malia

It’s the last day of summer and I thought the perfect way to celebrate the end of a summer filled with car trouble would be to have my brakes completely go out.  Okay, they’re not completely gone…yet…  I’m sure in some parallel dimension they’re working absolutely perfectly, but this dimension saw me driving to work this morning, scared to death, wanting to cry every time I rolled through an intersection.   You never realize how many lights there are on your daily commute until you find yourself unable to stop and praying, “Lord, don’t let anyone hit me, and PLEASE don’t let me hit anyone.”  Let me just say, I am super thankful that I don’t work nights anymore.  Going to work in the early morning means minimal traffic to deal with. 

It’s hard to believe that the summer is at an end.  This year is just going by too fast.  I know when I was little I always found it funny when adults would talk about time going quickly, or something happening not long ago (15-30 years is apparently not long ago to old people).  Time passing quickly is one of the things I truly dislike about getting older. 

You know what else goes quickly the older you get?  The flavor in gum.  When I was little, I could chew a piece of gum for hours before it lost it’s taste.  Now, I’m lucky if the flavor lasts more than thirty minutes.  Is it just me, or is gum less high quality these days?  Plus, to get any decent bubble blowing done, you have to chew 4-5 pieces.  That’s just wrong.  And yes, I’m almost 31 and I still blow bubbles (soap and gum). 

So, good-bye summer.  Hello fall.

It’s Not Worth More Than Life

Published April 3, 2014 by Malia

I have a lot of things I’m scared of.  Snakes, spiders, snakes, heights, snakes, anything in a scary movie, snakes…well, you get the idea.  However, the two all time scariest moments of my life actually took place while I was driving (and neither involved snakes).  One, of course, is when I went off the road in a blizzard.  Granted, I didn’t get scared until after being rescued, and I realized that I should have died.  The all time scariest moment came in December of 2009.

It was noon on Saturday, December 5th, 2009, I was with my parents, and I was driving on West Center (a main road here in Omaha).  Being the noon hour, traffic was heavy.  We were sitting in a long line of traffic waiting for the light at 120th & W. Center to change.  I remember looking up in my rear view mirror and seeing a car coming up behind me.  I could tell that it wasn’t slowing down, and even though my foot was already on the brake (because we were stopped), I put as much pressure into holding the brake down as I could.  Right before the car slammed into the back of my car, I saw that the driver was just chatting away on her cell phone, completely oblivious to the fact that she was about to cause an accident.  The impact came, our car was pushed up into the car in front of us, and then unexpectedly the car behind us hit us a second time.  It took a moment, but when no more impacts came, it was time to see what had happened.

Turns out, the woman who hit us wasn’t the only one on her phone not paying attention.  There was another woman in the car behind the woman who rear ended us, and she too was on her cell phone.  You read that right, both women were talking on their cell phones not paying a whit of attention to anything.  Not only that, but it ended up being a paramedic who witnessed what happened who called 9-1-1.  I didn’t have a phone at the time, and the gentleman who’s truck I got pushed into didn’t have one either.  Neither of the two women who caused the accident bothered to ever use their phones to call 9-1-1.

Miraculously, no one was killed, or injured; which considering the fact that both women were going at least 45 mph when they hit is pretty amazing.  (Although, the stress of the event triggered a nightmare medical situation with my mom over the next week, but that’s a story for another post.)

Ever since that nightmare day, I’ve been very anti using your cell phone to text or call while driving.  That accident should never have happened.  So, you can imagine the rage I felt yesterday when I got on Facebook, and saw one of my acquaintances had written that when a guy honked and shook his finger at her for texting and driving, she proceeded to flip him off and continue texting at the same time.  And to make it really great, she hash-tagged it “multitasking.”

Cue Seth and Amy, it’s time for “Really?”.  Really?  REALLY??????

Last time I checked driving is not the time to be “multitasking.”  A car is an incredibly dangerous weapon when used irresponsibly.  And yes, I consider texting and driving to be just as irresponsible as talking on the cell phone and driving.  If you don’t care about your own life, show respect and care for other people’s lives.  People in the cars around you are human beings.  Every single driver is someone’s daughter or son.  Every single passenger is someone’s daughter or son.  This isn’t “The Sims” where you can just recreate the character should Death come knocking.  There is no pause button, and the game doesn’t reset just because someone died.   Those other drivers don’t deserve to have their lives taken away or messed up badly because you don’t have the patience to wait until you’ve reached your destination to use your phone.

At the end of the day, life is too valuable to destroy so recklessly and irresponsibly.

How I Angered The Sea Witch…and Other Randomness In My Life

Published March 30, 2013 by Malia

-I love my job!  I really, really do.  However, because of the sensitive HIPAA (HIPPA?  I’m too lazy to actually Google the acronym right now), regulations, I can’t really talk much about my job.  I’m not 100% certain what qualifies as invasion of privacy.  Yikes!  Maybe just mentioning that I have a job that I love is invasion of privacy.

Probably not.

Anyway, much as I love my job, it has it’s own unique moments.  For example, yesterday.  There was an issue, with a situation (vague enough?  no one feels I’m invading their privacy?), and it resulted in this:

Okay, it wasn’t really Ursula, but there was this moment where I was sitting at my station, and all of a sudden this gal from a different department stormed into our department and came and towered over me.  She’s a very tall, big gal, and even though I’m heavy she makes me look minuscule    When I saw the wrath on her features that were looming over me, all I could think was, “Oh crap, how have I angered Ursula, the sea witch?”

Now, equating someone you work with to a Disney villain/villainess is hardly kind or fair.  However, I wasn’t looking to be fair at that moment, I was too terrified to be logical.  Anyway, much like a predator can smell fear, this gal seemed to sense just how freaked out she was making me, and she used that to her advantage.  The situation did get resolved-ish, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens Monday.

-One cool part of my job is all the different types of bodily specimens I get to see in a day.  I see things removed in surgery (I don’t do anything with those, but they come in our department so I usually see someone else working with them), and all sorts of bodily fluids and other things that normal people run far away from.  However, there is one specimen that it’s going to take me a while to get used to dealing with.


About once a week I’ll have to ferry a cup of this stuff to another department.  I know that in light of everything else I see, this should not ook me out, but there’s just something creepy about having to handle it.  Maybe it’s because of the way it’s obtained.

And I’m thinking that’s probably about all I should say about that (before absolutely everyone stops reading).

-Camp NaNoWriMo starts on Monday.  Basically, this is kind of a practice for NaNoWriMo in November.  This is the first year I’ll be taking part in Camp NaNo, and I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to write about.  So far the only useful suggestion I’ve been given has been, “Anything with dragons.”  Which, as everyone knows, dragons automatically make any story better, so that was something I’d already been considering, but it was nice to have it affirmed.

-I’m starting to seriously think about getting my own car.  I know I need another thing to pay on like I need another hole in my head, but it would be nice to have my own vehicle again.