Heart of Gold.

I used to be a car person.

No, that’s not entirely accurate. I used to be in love with my car.

I bought a used, light blue ‘85 Nissan Micra because I was dating a guy in Surrey. The car lasted. He did not. But that was okay, because by then I was in love with her.

I christened her ‘Heart of Gold’ and she was my freedom, my independence, and my giant moving purse. I didn’t really like to be at home much, in those days, so I would just go driving. For hours. I didn’t have to be Family Liz in her. I could swear and sing loudly and change the tapes and the radio as much as I wanted. In my car’s trunk were 473 cassette tapes, about five paperbacks, a towel, an old shirt, and some kleenex. I don’t know why.

I didn’t like to be at home much, so I logged a lot of hours. Just driving. Some nights I went out as far Coquitlam. Just for fun. I sang along to the custom stereo. I sorted through essay notes in my head. Sometimes I car-danced at stoplights. Just…being in the car.

Also, I loved to race. I am not proud of this now, as it was stupid and dangerous, but, man, it was a lot of fun! I used to roll up beside guys on dates and gun my engine, and smile. Sometimes I won, because their girlfriends were shrieking for them to slow down. Not cool me! When my boyfriend raced, I cheered him on. And wished I was driving. My boyfriend and his best friend and I would race out on the highways around Surrey and Delta. They usually won. But I kept up. The point was: I am not a sissy girl. I will do what they can do.

Because she was getting older, my girl needed a lot of repairs. I replaced her alternator with my own hands. I isolated the funny noise coming from the tire and fixed the loose bit. I also changed her oil myself.

She got older. My driving calmed down. But eventually, she was finished. Her time was done. Her head-gasket blew, and they couldn’t re-bore, because her engine was aluminum. There was no resurrecting her this time.

I asked my brother to be there when the tow truck driver came to take her to Scott Road, the vehicle graveyard around here. I sent her off with a Led Zeppelin mixed tape in her cassette deck. She loved Bonzo’s Montreux the best.

I grieved hard, but under the grieving was a kind of relief. She had been growing unreliable, and I never really knew what was going to happen or how much it would cost. And I came to the realization that I didn’t actually need a vehicle that much.

But there are days when I miss doing ninety five over the Alex Fraser Bridge, looking to edge out the CRX and the Corolla, Custard Pie coming through the speakers loud and clear.

Friday Confessions.

Wait, it’s February? How did that happen? I was busy taking pictures.

That’s my first confession. I have mostly stopped caring what people think as I merrily snap my way through the day. I have taken pictures of concrete, birds, knobs, rocks, flowers, cats, dogs, construction sites, and light bulbs. I don’t care that I look like some kind of obsessive woman. I am entertaining myself.

I did stop snapping long enough to get the Essay Clinic finished. I feel guilty that I’ve created another course that will propagate my students’ mothers’ thinking that if their children take enough essay courses, they’ll get into Harvard. It’s just not going to happen, but there’s no way to explain that.

I also feel guilty because I am deviating from the standard writing courses in a lot of ways. Namely, I am advocating that kids bend the truth. These kids come from a culture where they have very little experience thinking for themselves, and very little experience of the world. They’re too busy studying. How to get a better essay out of them? Get them to make up their own material. With a little coaching, I’ll have kids writing better than automatons.

And now, a PSA. Spenny is still back on January 11, and he informed me that yesterday, Spenny and Kenny were on Tomgreen.com for a live interview thingie on Tom Green’s internet show. But Tomgreen.com reports massive power outages in LA, so by happy chance, they’re doing the interview today, at 6PM. It’s TomGreen.com. Have a look.

Anyone else got anything to say?

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