On The Road Again…

So last Saturday, Sofia and I went to Tommy’s which is about a mile from my house and then on the way home we stopped for a total of about a mile and a half of driving and my car marooned us again. Luckily, my neighbor came to rescue us but when I went back the following day to start her up, the car wouldn’t start (Sofia was with me and I mentioned that we might have to junk the car, she begged me not to and actually kissed the car and said goodbye. Later that day and the following day, she pretended to call the car on a cell phone and say bye again. So, the inconveniences of getting stranded have become more frequent (and only after a mile and a half of driving) and more importantly, up until now, the car would start right up the following day. I took the car to my mechanic earlier and he said he couldn’t do anything because he couldn’t get it to not start and he tried about 100 times. All this together could only mean one thing… to engage in the biggest time waster of all and something I rather crawl naked over crushed glass than do. So onto craigsl1st and I found a t0y0ta out in the boonies. The guy who’s selling it is “selling it for a friend” and the bullshit begins. He’s selling it for a friend because his friend lives in an upscale neighborhood and doesn’t want people stopping by his house… sounds fishy to me. I don’t want people stopping by my house but hey friend, I know you don’t care because you’re not as upscale as me… I got a picture of that conversation. So he says come out at 4 and I say I can’t and he says he’s got 4 people coming out then and I say well, I’ll call you at 5 and see if it’s still for sale. At 5, I call and say, is it still for sale? He says he drove all the way downtown to pick up a potential buyer (I thought 4 were coming to his house) and the guy was a damn Pak1stan1 (his words not mine) that as soon as he got in the car asked him to lower the price so he let him out at the curb. So now, we got a couple stories that don’t line up and he’s a bigot to boot. So this dolt is familiar enough with middle easterners that he pegged him as pak1stan1 right off, he couldn’t have been syr1an, egypt1an or… irish. But I want to see the car and I don’t want to start all over again looking so I drive out and test drive the car. I like the car and it drives well. I tell him that I want it and he immediately says, hey I got some friends that work over at stand1ford f1eld auto sales (a used car lot) and I want to run all the paperwork through them… just so that it’s all on the up and up. I say, well I’m not gonna pay extra charges and he says it’s only about 100 bucks for all the paperwork but it’s all legal and on the up and up. I say, well the county clerk’s office is on the up and up and it doesn’t cost anything. He groans and takes out his phone and makes a call (it’s about 7:30 in the evening). I hear him ask, do you think we can waive the doc fees? Doc fees? Does that sound like a guy selling a car for a friend or a used car salesman using craiglist to “sell by owner”? What do you know, they can waive the doc fees. I say ok, I’ll meet him tomorrow but I’m starting to feel worse and worse about it but I really like the car and the lure of having it all over in 2 days is really strong. That night, lying there with insomnia, I keep trying to separate my liking and wanting the car with my understanding that everything this guy’s said is a complete lie. The next morning I am driving down to get a cup of coffee and on the side of the road I see what I’ve been pining for for years…

And it has a For Sale sign in the back window and it’s just old enough that I might be able to afford it. So I call the woman from the coffee place and go test drive it and decide to get it and have everything all wrapped up by late wednesday. I happily called the bigot back to tell him that I had second thoughts and he angrily grouped me in with all the other bad people that hadn’t bought his car so that he wouldn’t get mad and then he hung up on me. So making him angry was just the silver lining to the whole thing. Now that I have gotten rid of the old beat up car, the consensus seems to be that I finally have a grownup car. And all this time I thought I was being environmentally responsible by re-using a vehicle but more than that I was saving money which would allow me to be a potter and stay home with my daughter. Let’s just hope that now that I’ve joined all the other responsible adults that the damn thing doesn’t die on me within the next couple years. In other news of mechanical things breaking down, I went for a bike ride after 3 days of car shenanigans and 6 miles from the house my rear rim cracked (I was hesitant to put rear and cracked that close together in a sentence… you know those search engines) and by time I got home the tire had worn through to the tube. They told me wednesday night at the bike shop that it wouldn’t be ready til Monday and I was despondent because the weather finally broke and it’s dreamy cycling weather. (speaking of weather, are any of you n. carolinians experiencing hurricane related weather?) But fortunately, the dude at the bike shop came through with a used rim he found “in the basement” and my bike was ready yesterday. I went out for a nice 82 degree 28 miler. The only eventful thing on this ride was as I approached a young couple pushing a stroller with an infant next to the river, the mother twirled around like a shot putter at the olympics and propelled a big gob of spit toward the river and even though there was practically a gale force crosswind, the father gave the reins of the stroller to the mother and he did his best spittle attempt toward the river too. As I passed them I heard the mother say… “you didn’t reach it either”. But anyway, I’m back on the road with car and bike. Although this was an unproductive week, I did manage to get a good couple days in. I’ve gone down the path of knurling. Won’t it be great to have a knurled beer glass for that extra ergonomic grip…

Here’s some closeups of the knurling action…

And of course here’s last weekend’s dad and Sofia collaborative drawing…

Last but not least, here’s a little touch of evil…

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14 Responses to “On The Road Again…”

  1. Eugene Hon Says:

    God am I going to be the first to leave a comment on your blog – this cant be happening. What a fabulous encounter – buying a car is one of the most traumatic experiences even her in SA where crime is extremely high especially carjacking. I once had to sell a car and was apprehensive about the test drive – as it is exactly then when they strike. I decided to make use of the University grounds and the security guards at the campus to ensure the deal and my safety. Your story bring back memories – good luck, its looks great – especially for tours and for packing ceramics for exhibitions. Love the new decoration.

  2. Dawn Says:

    I’ve always wanted one of those too…..

  3. gary rith Says:

    YEP, we got us a new to us Subaru last week too 🙂 As far as the beer glasses go buddy, you talk about tedious decoration and holy shirt that looks detailed and…tedious…gonna be pretty though!

  4. ron Says:

    Hey we had one of those for a few years while Sarah was in grad. school. Pretty good little car, except we had to have the rear wheel bearings replaced and something rattled underneath, but it was fine. Buying cars is terrible!!! I hated it the one time I had to do it and got sick on my stomach every time we went to the dealer.
    Funny about the spitters. Ha. Very appealing what people do in public sometimes.
    Love the tumblers. Have a good labor day!

  5. soubriquet Says:

    Great word, that. I had to knurl a steel tool at school once. Gnurled? Knarly?

    Great car story… I’d have quit at the “Selling it for a friend point”. What a stressful activity it is. The new car looks a thoroughly cool machine for a potter, but it looks like you’ll have to learn a whole new way of interacting with your transportation. I mean…. this one might even be worth washing and polishing!

    Me too, by the way. People are still looking at me oddly, because they associate me with battered grungemobiles, and the current one is unbattered and shiny.

  6. ang Says:

    brilliant tale jim!!

  7. Spinning Earth Says:

    “Hear, hear!” on the used Subaru find, from this potter, cyclist, double old Subaru driver. That looks like a picture of my green ’98, which I bought with 97K miles, now has 250K, and going strong. Got frustrated this hot summer when the a/c quit, and had to go to the shop 6x for 1 piece at a time repair of this. I was looking, looking, for something old enough to afford (with a/c) as back up car, when suddenly this white ’01 with 135K popped up on one of my local small town lots. Good mojo, cuz the green ’98 also fell from the sky just when it was time for me to buy 5 yrs ago. May all the used Subarus see 300K. ( I don’t know what I will do next 5 yr stint, cuz I dont like any Subarus newer than ’01…. maybe then time for a bamboo bike?

  8. Peter Says:

    Hi Jim!
    Quite a relief that you didn’t get the first car…, mind you.., it would have been luridly fascinating to have found out more about its history, I wonder who its real owner was??? We had an elderly Subaru for a couple of years that had been rolled in a former life. The motor kept on running and running, but her poor old body and all the bad repair work that had been done in former times, finally let her down. Towards the end, a bi-monthly task was to dig out inch thick chunks of old epoxy filler from the widening cracks in the roof of the car, try to find some metal below it all, get rid of damp and rusty loose stuff, then pile in some more epoxy “bog”. Several thick coats of spray paint sort of blended the mess in afterward!
    Are you coming over to the opening in NC???????

  9. meredith Says:

    nice ride-good choice- or did it pick you- right time and place.
    that craigslist is getting scary.
    Tell Ms. Sophia thanks about the comment on our Mara-we are loving being the Grand parents!

  10. red dirt girl Says:

    Hi Jim. Short stop by to see what’s new with you and yours. I liked your comment over at soubry’s blog regarding men sexualizing every female they stare at. I wanted you to sort of finish the comment, cause it sort of left me hanging. Exactly what DOES transpire up there in your man brains?

  11. Mishmash Says:

    I hope you frame that drawing. Nice work on the car. Intuition is a great tool.

  12. Tracey Says:

    SUBARU!!! Could be the last car you ever have to buy! Wes is driving her dad’s old one with hundreds and hundreds of miles on it. We now have three of them in the driveway, we have owned seven Subarus since we have been married, you just can’t beat them!! They last forever. Congrats, I love it!

  13. cindy shake Says:

    HEY! Today you are the Ceramic Arts Daily featured artists! I just read there is a post on your Shellac Resist process! Very cool because I have always wondered how this process developed for you :o)

  14. Steven Root Says:

    I saw the Ceramic’s Arts Daily feature today too! Great article. I started following your blog about a month ago and it like the article is great. Keep making the awesome pots and thanks for sharing your thoughts and process as well as the stories about Sofia with us.

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