Top tier: stuffed peppers (recipe to come on Feisty Foodie)
Bottom tier: watermelon; peas; roasted zucchini salad
(There's actually more roasted zucchini salad just hiding under the peas, ha.)
So, this was going to be a happy post, bento #388. Unfortunately, I wound up not packing lunch on Friday, so it got pushed to Monday, and stuff happened that turns this into a tearful, unhappy, mess of a post.
I said almost 3 weeks ago now that I'd stop complaining about the car. I'm not here to complain about the car. However, I am going to update you with what's going on because some of you are incredibly, incredibly helpful and knowledgeable about cars, and because I need to let it out before I scream.
Last week, my lovely, loving boyfriend took the car to get inspected, and to figure out why the tire insisted on leaking all its air, to look under the hood as well and see what was going on with the battery. It turns out that the tire is fine; the rim was rotted (don't ask me, I don't really know how a metal rim rots but I'm not going to argue) and needed to be replaced. His father, who has been absolutely amazing to me the entire time I've been with my boyfriend and accepted me as family pretty much right from the start, went to the junkyard and found me a new rim, replaced it, so now the tire issues have been fixed. That made me happy enough as, let's face it, now I don't have to pump the tire everytime I want to use the vehicle. Yay! HOORAY!!!
At the same time, they took a look under the hood and decided to install a new battery. Remember that I was having trouble starting it? Honestly, it was still having trouble starting, but after a good 2-5 minutes of trying (not just holding the key in start position! but trying, trying, then trying again, waiting, trying again), it would turn over. Yes, this was annoying, but dealable because if my try/try/try again method failed, I had the jumper that I mentioned last night to help it start. It would start. So, new battery in place, ostensibly, my car should be workable and running well as can be considering the age and wear on the car. It should be good.
The post I'd been planning on making on Friday would have explained all this, and told you how unbelievably THRILLED I was to have a working car. Would have said how happy I was for such a "small" thing in other people's lives (some people, not everyone); how I am not taking for granted having a vehicle, when I have lived the by and large majority of my life without a vehicle and done just fine, thanks.
Of course, on Friday, I hadn't picked up my car yet (I was temporarily using my boyfriend's car). So, Friday night, after a lovely party at Robicelli's, I headed over to pick up my car from my boyfriend. I got in the car, turned the key, and the most beautiful thing happened: it turned over in one shot, and I drove home, parked, and went to sleep in anticipation of my 9am class the next morning.
I wrote about what happened next on Facebook in great detail, but you can't read it (or you shouldn't be able to, I have my privacy settings pretty strict) unless you're my FB friend. The basic gist is... the car wouldn't start on Saturday morning, and the jumper I had before wasn't in my car. I cried. Yes, I cried. I took car service to my class, and on the way, I saw a highway accident where someone must have died (they shut down part of the highway), and I reminded myself, "It isn't that bad."
My boyfriend lent me the jumper again, and we tested it together last night. He stood in front of the car, and I turned the key.
But even with the jumper, the engine would not turnover.
I could complain here, instead of just telling you the facts. But the facts speak for themselves. I've sunk a good chunk of money into this vehicle, and I need it to work. It isn't a matter of convenience. It is a simple matter of needing it in order to do the things I do. Hey, I went to school last semester Mon-Wed, without a vehicle. I can do that (although my CSA pickup is on Tuesdays, so actually, I need the car for Tuesdays as well this semester). It's Saturdays that are freaking me out. Trains and buses run funny on weekends. It may take me 2 hours or more to get to school... a school that is, by all accounts, only 15 minutes away by car with no traffic, 30 with traffic. My first class on Saturdays starts at 9am. Do you really mean to tell me that I need to leave my house at 7 - a full hour before I leave for work on weekdays - in order to get to school on time? A school that is closer to me physically than my office is, but my work commute only takes me 50 minutes???
The thing that I find the most frustrating is that I'm doing well in all of my classes - this is strictly a transportation issue. Despite taking two writing intensive classes and my third class being my worst subject, I feel like I have a firm grasp of the material, and that I have lucked out with good professors. By "good" I don't mean easy graders, I mean good professors from whom I will learn a fair amount. Maybe even more than that, which is awesome. I've never been able to get really into history, and this professor just really is so passionate about the subject it's hard not to catch that passion just a lil bit by proximity.
So basically, I am standing at a fork in the road, with a few options, none of which appeal to me as much as the impossible shut down road that is "keep doing what I am doing with the same vehicle because the thing will start." Because it doesn't start.
Here are my choices:
- Buy/lease a new car -
Pros: brand new car shouldn't have issues and if it does, proof that I'm a car jinx. (But then what???)
Cons: I don't want to (read: really can't/shouldn't) take on that financial commitment.
- Buy a used car -
Pros: I'll have a car that works... maybe... and I would only spend $2k or under, as much as possible under.
Cons: No guarantee that car will not have issues, if not now, then in a month or two, and then I'm back where I started.
- Start taking public transportation only -
Pros: Save a little bit of money (gas, tickets, repairs).
Cons: Waste a LOT of time (sleep less = more grumpy); push CSA pickup duties entirely to partner, which is unfair to her, even if she doesn't mind.
- Drop all of my classes for now until I resolve this transportation issue -
Pros: No longer need a car and can stop stressing over this.
Cons: Really, it just prolongs the whole getting-my-degree thing, and puts off this stress/worry since I have to go back eventually anyway. Plus I may lose my tuition assistance if I drop classes now - definitely won't get back all of my money, not sure if I can get back even some. Also, who's to say that I'll get as good professors again as I did this time?
Wow, when I began listing out the choices, I thought I knew which one had the edge; then I added the pros/cons portion and it seems things have changed. I'd be most interested in hearing anyone else's thoughts, whether you've been in a similar position or not, because I am sure you have invaluable insight into all of this.
Thanks for reading... and always
think outside the lunchbox~!