Random Monday: New Car Edition

I have had a taxing winter and it’s not over yet (for one thing, I still have to do my taxes). These are the some of the thoughts I had this weekend. They’re not deep. Feel free to skip.

Driving a new car is weird. I dashed into Home Goods to pick up a rabbit–there are going to be rabbits in Haunting Alice and I really liked this one, he has a stony-eyed look that fits the story–and then went back out to the parking lot and realized I had no idea what the car looked like. Well, it was black, but beyond that? A small SUV? Maybe. Thank god for dealer plates. It was the only way I found it.

I was looking for the numbers for the house (I’d bought them long ago) and finally found two 2’s, one four inches and one five, and suddenly the whole thing wasn’t boring any more. I found a four inch 9 at Home Depot, so now all I have to do it put them together and spray them blue. And glue them on to my mailbox. One damn thing after another.

I need bumper stickers for this car so I can find it in a parking lot, one each front and back. Amazon has stickers that you can put anything you want on. I could get one that says “Nothing But Good Times Ahead.” And send one to Bob that says, “We’re All Doomed.” He’d like that. I like “Destroy the Patriarchy, Not the Planet” but it’s in wimpy light aqua. “Please Be Patient: Student Driver” appeals. I love “Make Orwell Fiction Again,” but maybe it’s too elitist? Do I care? “I want gay married couples to protect their marijuana plants with guns” is good except for the “guns” part. “Republicans for Voldemort” is another good one. Then there’s the “I used to be cool” now on minivans nationwide. One I’m REALLY tempted by: “I’ll Believe Corporations Are People When Texas Executes One.” I also like “Jesus would slap the shit out of you,” but it’s more aggressive than I want on my car. Sigh. Must keep looking.

I just downloaded several different versions of Alice in Wonderland including the movie with Johnny Depp. So I will be reading Alice, watching Alice and reading about Alice. I have no idea how that’s going to work into Haunting Alice, but the Girls seem very sure, so here we go.

This new car thing is very weird. I was in a drive thru and suddenly remembered I didn’t know how to roll down the windows yet. Fortunately, it was similar to the Prius, but still. I really have to go back to the nice salesperson and let him show me the car the way he wants to.

I found two bumper stickers on Zazzle I would have gone for — “In my defense I was left unsupervised” and “Clowns [arrow pointing left] Jokers [arrow pointing right]” but they wanted $15 for shipping. There’s no way two bumper stickers cost fifteen bucks to ship. So still looking.

Putting up a mailbox is not fun. Putting mismatched numbers on said mailbox is a blast, but the actual construction? Not so much.

I’m trying to find the title to Agnes, a car I bought sixteen years ago. I have found my first two diplomas and my divorce decree, so there’s that. A defunct will. A bunch of notes that are so obscure I’m not sure what they’re for (definitely not for a book). A nice Vera Bradley folding file. The manual for the stove I torched. It’s a real memory lane here.

[Much later] I went with two mandalas for the front and back windows and a red and blue “Make Orwell Fiction Again” for the front bumper and “Clowns/Jokers” from Zazzle for the back bumper because I googled and found out that you can choose lower shipping than their default. I also got the “In my defense” sticker as back-up. I’ll find something to do with it. The stickers won’t get here until March, but these are not emergency bumper stickers. If I can’t find the car with all of that, I’ll tie a Cthulhu doll to the antenna. If the car has an antenna.

OMG, Amazon has multiple Cthulhu dolls including a rainbow baby Cthulhu which is just all kinds of wrong. Off to find out if my car has an antenna. (After googling.). Evidently car antennas are a thing of the past, like GPS and CD players. This is what happens when you don’t buy a new car for sixteen years. (I miss you, Agnes, you were a good, good car.). But I want a Cthulhu for Nita (I was going to add “Nita the car, not Nita the book” and then I remembered Cthulhu is all over that book and now it’s a creative imperative). So I went to Ravelry and found this guy:


Perfect size for the dashboard. I’m feeling much better about this car. I just need it to be more ME.

Oh, and the guy who designed that pattern also designed Book Rat for those of you who want a rat for a bookmark (I kinda want a rat for a bookmark):


And then I went back to Amazon and ordered a window sticker for the back window just because it was haunting me. I know I already had a mandala for back there. But there was just something about . . .

I’ll sort it all out when everything gets here. But I will definitely be able to find the car come March.

I told Krissie I was going to call the new car “Nita” in order to inspire myself to finish the book and get the money to pay for her. This e-mail exchange followed:
Krissie: I think you should call Nita Maleficent. Calling it Nita might curse it.
Me: And Maleficent wouldn’t?  “I’m sorry I can’t leave the house today, my car is out cursing a newborn.”
Krissie: Oh, yeah, good point.

Just found a great T-shirt: “There are two types of people in the world. 1. Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.” I want it, but I’m on a strict budget now because of a new car. Rats.

OTOH, I’m going to the grocery now, and I’m fairly sure I’ll get there and back alive because this car has more safety features than a nuclear power plant. Car Nita wants me to survive, just like Book Nita wants people to be safe. I’m starting to think this was meant to be. (Yes, Jenny, a sixteen-year-old car in the northeast of the USA rusted out to send you a sign.) Whatever, I’ve decided I’m going to enjoy having a new car. And finishing the rewrite on Nita. It’s a plan.

76 thoughts on “Random Monday: New Car Edition

    1. Also look for “C is for Cthulhu”, which originally started on Kickstarter as a kid’s ABC book of that name. It is now many, many plush Cthulhu’s in different sizes and different plush, and many different kids books on that theme.

      I have a really weird Cthulhu keychain made of wire and string. I don’t even remember where I got it.

  1. Maleficent was unforgivable for cursing the newborn, if she’d just directed her wrath at the Dad for his crimes instead … I’d have called it a day, but I hate Collateral Damage. Also there is an Edna Mode sticker that says ” I never look back darling it distracts from the now”

    1. I want to make it for me. I have a “Cthulhu for President, Why Settle for the Lesser Evil” sticker and poster from somewhere in the 80s. I also have a PhD for Mystical Studies (or something similar — it’s in storage in Oregon) from Miskatonic University.

      1. I had the Why Settle for the Lesser Evil sticker from the Clinton/Trump election. After Trump won, I just didn’t have the heart.

  2. I love this post! I ordered a stretchable to 6 feet travel clothesline from the Rick Steves store because it was such a neat idea: twisted cords that you stick bits of wet clothes between. And it has Velcro “bracelets” at each end to tie or wrap around things. I probably won’t take this on a trip but it will be great for hanging clothes out to dry on the back deck. In warmer, sunny weather.

  3. One of my favourite versions of movie Alice in Wonderland is the miniseries Alice with Andrew Lee Potts as the Mad Hatter. He’s the best Mad Hatter ever, in my book.

    1. I’ve only watched the Disney cartoon version (loved it) and the Tim Burton Version (hated it) Not so much the acting, but the plot the so called Good White Queen was so much more bad then the Evil Red Queen. The Good White Queen wanted to keep her hands clean and force a stranger and outsider to their world to take back the throne for her. Also while under the reign of her evil sister, she got to live in peace and comfort in her lovely palace, but under her reign her evil sister got to be chained to a man who wanted to execute her.

      1. It’s always so interesting to see other people’s takes on something. I am a staunch fan of the Tim Burton version, and took the white queen’s reluctantly to act as internal fear on her part. That she was afraid that she would be like her family and devolve into abject violence if she started down that path and needed someone of purer purpose to help her. Galadriel fearing what she would become if she took the one ring, if you will.

        1. Oh, no wait, I forgot about the allegory in the Tim Burton version. The white queen is the underland version of her mother, trapped by etiquette and the rules of society, trying to offer her daughter support but also shackled by her own rules. And of course the ultimate choice of what to do with her life, i.e. the Jabberwocky, has to belong to Alice. No one can slay that beast for her, even though they may wish to.

  4. I looked at Car Nita and thought Carnita, the singular of carnitas, or Mexican Pulled Pork. You should name your vehicle “Carnita.”

    The dotter took me out for lunch. Golden Corral, home of the diet apocalypse. Afterwards, we stopped at one of the five FNFLs* not entirely out-of-our-way home. I bought water, and water, and more water. I’ve gotten used to the bimonthly “Hey, so, boil your water, because we screwed up again” messages on the answering machine, so I stock up. Also milk, because grandchildren drink more than 10 gallons per week. Also medical supplies, because grandchildren bleed more than 10 gal… that might be hyperbole.

    Whoopsie looks like every other grey compact car from every maker. We don’t locate it by bumper stickers. We set off the car alarm on the key and she signals us where we left her. Honk! Honk! Honk! = “I’m over here! I’m over here! Here I am!”

    Eating at Golden Corral (HotDA) has left me stuffed to… What’s a good word that implies narcolepsy caused by overeating? I’m that. So I’m taking a nap. TTFN
    * FNFL = Friendly Neighborhood Food Lion grocery store

  5. Whenever we are in Edmonton, I lose my Subaru in parking lots if it doesn’t have its hat (the Thule extra-stuff carrier) on. When it’s wearing its hat I can find it no problem. I really wanted it in a snazzy colour but I wanted the low interest rate more and dark grey was the only colour the dealer had. Bright copper I could find in the dark. I drive the only Subaru in town so I never lose it here.

    Unless it’s buried under snow which is a distinct possibility this year.

  6. Hooray for plans! And it sounds like you’re bonding with Nita which is important. One thing I loved when we traded in the minivan and got the Jeep Gladiator, I always know which vehicle is ours now.

  7. I drove the same car for 31 years, so I too was surprised by the lack of an antenna when my sister got tired of it and bought me a new one. My daughter thought it was hysterical when I asked her why I had a shark fin on the top of my new car. Apparently, antennas had become shark fins sometime during the last 31 years.

  8. I had a grey Subaru wagon, it looked like many other cars. I put a bit of day glow orange tape around the four corners of the rack. Then I could find it more easily. Also, beep beep! Especially good in the dark.

  9. There are ten types of people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who don’t.

    The maths geek in me thinks that’s my favorite two-types joke, but the extrapolate from incomplete data one is a close second.

    Personalizing Nita sounds like great fun. We got an almost-new car a little while ago and haven’t done anything like that. But I love the new car. Decent radio! Backing camera! Good brakes!!

    1. Nonono! You have to write “10,” not “ten.” Ten is 1010. 10 is two. The joke only works in writing, because you say aloud “two types” when it’s “10 types.” I like the extrapolation joke better.

  10. I read “Mandela” on the front and back and excited thought, “Wow, Jenny’s really flying her liberal flag high, she should get a South African flag sticker too just for the heck of it!” Then I realised you meant Mandala and promptly deflated. When you edit the post, go with strikethrough because the laugh is bigger now. Snicker.

    A rabbit sounds good. Don’t forget the “All the butterflies are dead” article because I need this information out in popular culture. Lol.

    My favourite bumper stickers tended to be flying related from the pilot shop in the pre-renovation teeny Lanseria airport in Johannesburg. “I’m not driving fast, I’m flying low” and “Flying’s not dangerous, crashing is dangerous.”

    I force the time to read the car manual and put index tape post-its at the different sections so at least I know where everything is at a basic level. I will try to Instagram a photo thereof later. 🙂

    I am happy about your new car, RiP Agnes. I really like the idea that it pricks the sides of your intent and we might get Arresting Anna, Haunting Alice, and Stealing Nadine as a result. Fingers crossed.

  11. I admit to using the car alarm more than once to find a car lost in a parking lot.

    We recently sent bumper stickers to some family members that said. ” The Earth with out Art is just Eh”

  12. If I used bumper stickers (by the time I’ve stuck on the local parking permit stickers, there isn’t much space), I’d go for this one:


    It says, in Middle Egyptian in hieroglyphs, “Honk If You Can Read Hieroglyphics.” As all readers of Barbara Mertz know, it should be hieroglyphs, but I doubt anyone trying to translate a bumper sticker on the fly will notice.

    CafePress will print you up anything you fancy, Jenny!

  13. I just bought a Cthulhu stuffie for my nephew’s second birthday. It was just too cute to pass up. And the bumper sticker that sticks out in my mind is ” This virus sucks. I wanted zombies”.

  14. I’m iffy on bumper stickers. If it’s too interesting I might get rearended. I paid extra for a bird on my licence plate. So that helps. Opening your read hatch or trunk is quieter then the car alarm. The plus side is I have gotten my steps in searching for my car.

    1. We do that, too, if we are sure we’re looking in the right row. Or unlocking the door(s). The doors or trunk flashes the running lights. The difference is that you can’t see that flash if someone with a van or even a big pickup truck parked next to you, but you can probably hear the horn.

  15. I used to have a black Cavalier back when everybody else in the world had a black Cavalier. After looking for my car and walking past FIVE black Cavaliers in a row before I found mine, I decided I needed something to make it stand out. So I bought this for the dashboard:

    Later I added an Ani DiFranco “Vote Dammit” bumper sticker.

  16. I once was sitting in my olive green Santa Fe when an older gentleman opened the door and started to sit in my lap. His olive green Santa Fe was parked one car over.

  17. The second last time I bought a new to me car, it was dark by the time we finished all the paperwork and ferrying cars around, etc and I took my partner out to dinner. Of course when we left the restaurant and walked down the long city sidestreet, I couldn’t even remember what colour it was, let alone where I’d parked it.

    That’s when I discovered the joy of a key that unlocks from a distance AND flashes the lights. (Yeah, my previous car was really old).

    Also, hitting the Lock button twice helps. It beeps the second time.

    As Phred sed, car alarm works well in a pinch. After all, you might be in a completely different section of the lot.

    Isn’t techonology wonderful?

  18. Favorite bumper sticker of all time:
    Nuke the Whales For Jesus
    I am an anti-nuke, save the whales, atheist but still…
    I am loving my new Kia Soul- Winchester. I got sick right after I bought them so I stll don’t have all the kinks worked out or I should say I don’t have all the things learned.
    Yesterday I spent some happy hours driving around doing errands, though.

    1. I saw one that said Nuke the Gay Unborn Baby Whales for Jesus, a very long time ago. One can always push it further. 🙂

  19. At a glance my car is easily mistaken for one of the millions of Priuses (Prii?) in L.A., so I’ve been known to use the Beep Me feature. There are really only about three blue Honda Insights in the city, of which (hilariously) two are on my block.

    No bumper stickers but I’m seriously considering getting a car wrap. Cheaper and potentially more fun than a new paint job (the roof is starting to get faded / bald from sun / pollution).

  20. My new(ish) car – I’ve had it two and a half years now – makes me a little unhappy. It’s such a boring color and it looks like every other car on the road. Except for the dent in the rear from when I backed out of the garage with the door closed. That’s the other thing that makes me unhappy about it.

    A boring dented car.

    This I found interesting – although Maybe I should go back and put it on Happiness Sunday instead. https://theoatmeal.com/comics/unhappy

    However, I have to say, that I feel happy when I’m immersed in a project, even if I’m also suffering.

    1. My car has scratches from me turning into the garage. Because it is bigger than my previous car I’ve never really adjusted. People tell me to fix it but I don’t. It adds character. I actively refuse referrals for panel beaters. Lol.

      It really is too much car for me. But it handles well and is safe for night driving. I’ll keep it.

  21. Ooh. A rat bookmark. I have to get back to my read-Discworld-books-in-order project. I’m just not quite mentally ready for The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents. Soon.

    My car is a blue-gray Toyota Corolla. There aren’t too many of them. I recognize it by the dog crate in the back seat.

    On another not really random note-the price of gas was $3.749 at 7:30 AM when I was walking Pixie and $3.799 at 12:30 PM when I filled the tank. Go figure.

    1. It’s just under £1.50 a litre here, so I’d guess that’s be nearly £4.50 for a US gallon? (6 pints; and a litre is just over 2 pints). DuckDuckGo says that’s $6.10.

      But I get that’s not your point.

  22. I am 100% here for random. In which case:

    – you know how some of us have, hmm is it a thing? Let’s call it a thing, for competence? Check out this journalist giving live cross reports from Ukraine in 6 languages. I don’t care what he looks like, that is hot as hell. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oLM2eDMBnSM

    – and on a similar theme (competence, hot as hell, but with dancing), first time all year I’ve been caught by the ‘if you see it you have to share it’s Tom Holland lip sync, and always always worth the watch. I wonder if he knew it would become the best thing on the internet. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jPCJIB1f7jk

    1. The guy with the languages was stunning, but Tom Holland? OMG, that kid can do anything. Including entrance Zendaya.

      You just sent me down a huge YouTube rabbit hole and then my computer died (on iPad now). I forgive you, that Umbrella dance was worth it.

      1. Sorry! But not, because yes, fabulous. There’s an unwritten rule of social media that whenever it comes up on your feed, you have to share it. It’s so great I never skip past. I love it all, Zendaya dying (I think they’re a couple now), that spin on his knees. That a generation of boys see Spiderman do that.

    2. Tom Holland and the Lip Sync Battle people prepared not only that act but another one – full costumes and choreography- because they didn’t get permission to use Umbrella until pretty much the last minute.

      And yes, it’s hot as hell.

      1. He commits so hard to that performance, and sells it. I’ve watched it so many times,and it blows me away every time.

    3. That Tom Holland video is one of my favorite things ever on the internet. Of course, every time I see it on Twitter I follow the rule and share it. I could literally watch that over and over for hours.

      I read an article that said that the producer of Spiderman saw the show and that was one of the reasons he offered Tom the role. I hope that’s true.

    4. The journalist is incredible. From what I got he not even has an accent – at least his German is fantastic.
      Stunned by talent and competence here….

    5. I love how gas is priced at 0.1 cents. I am waiting for other things to follow suit. Apples at $3.499 a pound. It is also interesting that with gas stations everywhere; we notice the price of a gallon of gas changing, but I have no idea how much a pound of apples should cost.

  23. I didn’t choose the colour of my red car but it is easy to find in a car park. Though my neighbour bought an updated model in the exact same colour so I’ve tried to open her car a few times.

  24. This post made me laugh all the way through.

    For years I have been enjoying snarky sayings on dish (tea?) towels in gift shops but have never bought them. Last November I found two that I just couldn’t resist. After I brought them home, I thought of all of the funny bumper stickers, t-shirts and coffee mugs that I love but just don’t need and realized that something I always need is dish towels, so I have started embroidering dish towels with my favorites. It’s very relaxing and a great craft for travelling (or meetings). Also, just thinking about them and deciding which one I want to make next makes me happy.

  25. Taxes. Cars. Computers. Weather. You should blame it all on a semiaquatic mammal with long, slim bodies, and short limbs. It’s obvious – if it’s not one thing, it’s an otter!

  26. I used to have a small dark green car (a Mazda Protege) that looked like every other small green car. I got myself personalized license plates, which helped. But when I got my most recent car, a Honda Fit, I ended up with a beautiful turquoise. Not a color I’d ever expect to like, but it made my heart happy, and it REALLY stands out in a parking lot. Which is good, because I always forget where I parked.

    One of my favorite bumper stickers says, “Things just haven’t been the same since they dropped that house on my sister.” (It’s a Witch thing.) I’ve always wanted to get the one that says, “Doing my bit to piss off the religious right,” but never quite had the nerve to do it where I live.

    I actually don’t like putting stickers right on my car. I used to have these great magnets–you put the stickers on them, and then they could come on and off the car. Of course, my new car has plastic bumpers, so that no longer works. But I’m really temped by the mandalas. They’re beautiful.

  27. I really want one of those rat bookmarks … And your post made me laugh. I used to have a very old Austin called Elderly. One day I found a card that people could stick on their front door if they couldn’t get there quickly – ‘Elderly person, please ring and wait.’ So that was my non-bumper sticker – it sat inside the windscreen.

  28. Jenny, I hope you solve your computer problems. I have this feeling that it would snowball into complicating all the other problems you’ve shared. I certainly don’t want that!

    Selfishly, I was looking forward to Working Wednesday, because I wanted to share a farm report. Farm Reports Are Boring But Must Be Endured has more pictures of green growing things. Given that some seed pods are round, there are even… crop circles. 🙂

  29. My mother had “Support your right to arm bears” for years on a series of International Harvester Scouts.

    I have two very local ones: “The Pigeon is not allowed to drive this vehicle” and “Montague Bookmill: Books you don’t need in a place you can’t find” and while I am yearning (YEARNING, I tell you) for “Militant Agnostic: I don’t know. You don’t know either.” I feel it would get me in trouble outside the state of Massachusetts.

  30. A friend in high school gave me a plastic stick-on toggle that was labeled “Warp Speed.” I put it on the dashboard of my very first car. What made it funny was that my car had absolutely no accelerating power. A Snail Speed toggle switch would have been much more appropriate.

Comments are closed.