New-to-me car

17 06 2010

Ok, so here is what I believe the new-to-me car is going to look like. I say it’s what “I believe” because it was just purchased by the dealer the day I decided on it and just arrived there yesterday, so I haven’t seen it yet.

I did see the “CARFAX” report and the dealer info, so I know it’s good to go – it was a rental for 2 1/2 years and it has less than 40,000 miles on it. Not bad for 2 1/2 years (although the Midgie was nearly 5 and only had 58,900 miles).

I am way too excited for Little C and Me weekend to even get excited about the new car. I’ll probably face that on Sunday to offset leaving Little C and the family.

Oh, and I guess I need to find a name for this car, as Midgie just won’t work.

Car update & more

17 06 2010

Next week sometime (probably, hopefully Wednesday) I’ll be getting my new car. It’s the 2008 Chevy Cobalt LT, the one with the power windows, locks etc.


And it looks like it will end up costing less per month than the Midgie did. Woo hoo!!

Unfortunately, this means I’m stuck with the rental Kia Rio for the weekend. Yuck. I seriously do not like this car. But whatever, I’ve got to hang onto it for a few more days.

I leave tomorrow morning for Little C and Me weekend. I did some shopping today and finally got Little C’s birthday present, which I think she will LOVE. I also got a zoo coloring book, these crayons:

They are washable and triangular so they’re easier to hold. How cool is that?

I also got one of these:

No-Spill bubbles! So cool! And so perfect when dealing with Little C and Dewey this weekend!

Little C and I are going to have a blast. And I’m excited to see my sister & NE again. I can’t wait.

Exam #2

16 06 2010

Tomorrow is my 2nd exam. On the cell, its parts, cell membrane transport methods and mitosis & meiosis.

My grade has fallen a bit, and I attribute that to two things: 1) the material is getting harder and the professor is moving through it at light speed; and 2) the first quiz on this was the day of my car accident. Although the professor let me take the quiz even though I was late, my brain just wasn’t there. Nor was it during that class. Or last weekend whenever I tried to study.

And this week, dealing with the insurance company and the dealership has taken away from some study time.

But going over things tonight, I feel better about what I missed on the quiz – I took notes on the items I missed during the review after the quiz.

I’m still studying though.

Tomorrow I have to pack and clean up my place before leaving on Friday for Little C and Me weekend. So! Much to do!

Car Magic.

15 06 2010

I talked to the insurance company today. Apparently, my family and I were mistaken and I didn’t have a 60-month purchase plan (or whatever they’re called when you buy a car…) I apparently had a 72-month plan. Meaning I owed somewhere around $3,000 rather than $1,000 or so.  Yuck.

I end up with a payout of around $3,600. Is everyone nauseous along with me?

When I got the call from The GrandPa last night telling me he found out the Midgie was a total loss, he also told me his friend at Baierl was checking out used cars. I immediately assume I’m going to be driving a 1996 Buick or something, given the whole unemployment and $3,600 payout thing.

I’ve bought and/or leased my last 3-4 cars from the same man at Baierl, so I was interested to see what he came up with.

Imagine my surprise when The GrandPa called tonight at 5pm or so and said I had to go immediately to Baierl and clean out the Midgie. And then discuss a few cars…

I rescheduled picking up an important item from ClumberKim until tomorrow, and drove to Wexford…

I was given the key to the Midgie and told where to find her. When I did find her, I promptly started crying. I calmed down long enough to start removing my belongings, and contemplated taking more pictures, but I just couldn’t bear it. (She looked so broken. I miss her.)

Everything from the Midgie’s back seat & hatchback fit in my rental’s trunk. Wow. Maybe I miss having a trunk…

Anyway, I go back and I’m told we’re looking at three vehicles:

  • 2009 dark blue metallic Chevy Aveo sedan (i.e. NOT a hatchback)
  • 2008 blue granite metallic Chevy Cobalt LT
  • 2008 silver metallic Chevy Cobalt LS

The price difference between the three is around $1,000. And the mileage difference is somewhere around 5,000 – 8,000 miles.  The only really major difference is that the 2008 Cobalt LT has power locks, windows & mirrors.  None of the three had cruise control – the only thing I really missed from the Midgie.

Because I loved the Midgie, I really considered getting the financing numbers for the Aveo. But it is a 4-door sedan. And I had the 5-door hatchback. It be strange to me to drive the same vehicle in a different “shape,” if you will.

And then I remembered that I still can’t bring myself to drive on the Parkway yet. And that people braking in front of me still freaks me out. (All expected considering my accident hasn’t even been a week removed.)

Hmmm… Maybe not only a trunk would be good, but also a bigger car would be better for now…

So, I’ve asked them to work things out for the 2008 blue granite metallic Cobalt LT. I’m hoping “the numbers” work out to somewhere around my previous car payment. No, I’m praying – I don’t want to drive a 1996 Buick.

Please cross your fingers that my dealer and I manage to work this out so that this car – or some car – becomes mine sometime on Thursday so that I can drive to Virginia on Friday for Little C and Me weekend. And also because I can’t handle this stress.

Grill Master.

14 06 2010

Updated to reflect the correct title… GRILL master. Not gill master. This car thing is eating my brain. 🙂

I spent Saturday at the PRFC Steel City 7’s tourney. I wasn’t playing because I was still sore from the accident.

Instead, I hung out in the concessions/gear area and spent 99% of the day grilling. Burgers, dogs & Boca Burgers.

We then moved everything over to the social pavilion and I spent the next hour or two again grilling. This time with Giggles 🙂

The event was a success, it only rained for maybe 15 minutes during the time we were moving things to the social location, so that was great.

However, I was so exhausted from the whole day that I couldn’t manage to get myself off of my couch that evening and slept in really late on Sunday.

Overall, good weekend.

Total loss.

14 06 2010

The Midgie is a total loss. I’m so sad.

I only know this because my dad’s friend who works at the dealership went to the collision center and told my dad. The insurance company didn’t call me until just shy of 5pm tonight.

I have no idea what they’ll give me for her. The big deal here is that I’m still unemployed so my finding a vehicle is going to be very difficult, no matter what they offer me.

This also sucks because she had new tires, new brakes and just my luck, a full gas tank.

Not even seeing Little C in 4 days can cheer me up at this point.

The story.

11 06 2010

This is kind of long. Sorry about that…

Yesterday morning, on my way to my class I was involved in a craptastic accident that rendered my Midgie unable to drive. It’s been just over 24 hours, and OMG I miss my Midgie. I’m not kidding or exaggerating here. I miss her.

For some background: I enter the Parkway East/I-376 outbound at the Wilkinsburg on ramp. The road is three lanes there, the far right lane exiting to Churchill just at the top of the hill. It then goes to two lanes for a very short while, and a new third lane is introduced when the Churchill on ramp enters on the LEFT. (ie. No merging required immediately. Those from Churchill ideally just drive along in their own new third lane.) Also, just after this on ramp, there is the Monroeville/Business 22 exit on the right.

I-376 has been under some form of construction for what seems like FOREVER. And the brilliant minds that run PennDot decided that this year, they would not only plop a stop sign down at the end on the Churchill on ramp (the one on the LEFT,) but also nearly immediately block off that new 3rd lane.

I seem to spend an unbelievable amount of time lately on the outbound Parkway East towards Monroeville – for school (every Tuesday through Thursday,) rugby, shopping, and random other things… And nearly every time, I pass this area in the RIGHT lane… This brilliant combo of stop sign and traffic cones has resulted in one of two things:

  • The on ramp from Churchill is backed up to who-knows-where because people are cautious at the stop sign.
  • The on ramp is near empty because the drivers on the on ramp take chances and jump into traffic. Sometimes flooring it to get up to speed, and sometimes joining more slowly.This morning, as I joined traffic on the parkway and merged into the middle lane, there was a big ol’ box-type truck in front of me – driving below the speed limit. I signaled and moved to the left lane.

I was easily 300-400 feet or more behind the car in front of me. As we approached the Churchill on ramp, I happened to notice a car entering skipping the stop sign and VERY SLOWLY joining the lane of traffic I was in… And by very slowly, I mean OMG. WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING!? SLOW. Or simply, at a snail’s pace.

I quickly looked back to my right to see if I could change lanes. Nope. Too many vehicles, going faster than we were in the left lane. I turn back to see brake lights on the car in front of me. I used every ounce of pressure I had & weight in my legs & body to hit my brakes – I couldn’t swerve right or left – right was into that fast line of vehicles and left was either into the jersey barrier or another car coming from the on ramp.

So I rear-ended the guy in front of me. Great. (I drive a 2005 Chevy Aveo hatchback. Tiny car…. TINY. People call it “mouse” or “midget,” thus the name, Midgie… The car in front of me? A Dodge Caliber. Apparently it’s a very sturdy car. Midgie did nearly no damage to the rear bumper… It was dented, but still attached and no where near the damage the Midgie experienced in any way, shape or form.)

I then heard brakes screeching. I look in my rear view mirror and see a ginormous truck – something like a Ford F-150 or bigger/similar – barreling for me and then breaking right into that speedy traffic. Horns ensue… Right after that I see ANOTHER huge truck, same situation, but he breaks left and his maneuvering around the traffic on the ramp, the barrier and us was amazing.

I’m still in the left lane, so I manage, no idea how – Midgie didn’t want to move at. all – to get into that “protected” construction lane on the left, behind the guy I hit. I get out to make sure the other driver is okay, and an Einstein from the inbound lane tells me my car is smoking… No, really? Gee, I thought it was fog, just centered on my car… I didn’t notice that I just hit someone, my hood is buckled, and my car is not being driven anywhere, anytime soon. Moron.

Other driver is okay, apologizes for slamming on brakes because of the 3rd party entering the parkway at such a slow rate. I’m already dialing 911, and my car continues to smoke.

Oh, crap, I think, I might need/want some of the stuff in my car in case it blows up! You know, like my school bag (which today, of all days, contained my netbook, along with my wallet, iPod and all my class materials and such. Yikes.)

While I explain to the 911 operator what happened, I start grabbing any miscellaneous plastic shopping bags I can find and stuff anything I’ve left in the car (jackets, big a** rugby boots, my bio book on lend from the library!!, etc) or will need (insurance & maintenance info) that I can see that I might need/want/not want to burn in a fire… By this time, I’ve got two shopping bags crammed with “essentials,” have everything outside of my vehicle, and I have been transferred to AAA to arrange a tow…

As you saw yesterday, the Midgie was a hawt mess – she was also leaking fluids. I didn’t even think to take pics of the leaks or the sides of the Midgie… I was honestly happy to be alive… And, proud that I didn’t just burst into tears at any point…

I spoke to the guy I hit again – he’s from Germany and is here to do an internship for a company that happened to be right near CCAC Boyce campus. We talked and he offered to drop me off so that I could attend class, which he did and I am SO very grateful. He was a very nice guy, and I feel bad because he didn’t have a number for his office to tell them he was in an accident and was going to be late, especially because he took the time to drive me to my class.

I ended up lucking out and Mechanical Engineer was available to pick me up from class. It took forever to file the insurance claim, and my insurance company called 5 different rental car locations before they found a car. But I had to wait until nearly 5pm to have a vehicle available…

I’m so used to driving the Midgie that I’m seriously uncomfortable in this rental. I feel like I’m sitting on the street surface while I drive. Ugh.

I’m due for some awesomely good karma for the next few weeks, right??? Right????