03-22-10 - Pleased

I replaced my engine air filter over the weekend, and it made me feel oh so pleased with myself. Oh look at me, I'm such a blue collar manly man, I'm all covered in engine grease and doing my own maintenance. Of course it's a very easy job, it should take 15 minutes or so, it took me an hour because I'm anal and I cleaned everything out (cleaned the throttle body too which I highly recommend, you should also clean the MAF on newer cars).

It also felt nice to give back a bit to the car. The car gives me so much, it gives me adrenaline rushes and erections and warm butt massages. If I just take all that pleasure and don't give back, I'm treating the car like a cheap lay. You have to show your car some commitment, do nice things for it, give it baths, buy it air filters, it shows you really care.

Working on cars would be pretty fun if you had your own garage with a lift and a full set of tools, including pneumatic drivers and impact sockets and all that shit. I'm kind of tempted to get into it, but it really doesn't make much sense. I could easily do my own oil change, it's quite easy to get to the oil drain bolt and the filter on my car, but then I'd still have to deal with taking the oil to a disposal site and all that shite. I changed my own spark plugs on my old pontiac long ago (which was easy and worth it), and I changed the pads and rotors on my Prelude with the help of my uncle (which was a huge pain in the ass and not worth it). It all would be pleasant and easy if things worked out the way they are supposed to, but there's always some fucking problem where you don't have a certain tool you need, or you bought the wrong part, or some bolt is frozen, or some screw is stripped, and you have to run to the auto parts shop or get a mechanic to help with something and it kills all your theoretical savings. Really you do it yourself not to save money, but for the pleasure of touching your machine, and also because you know that when you do it you take your time and do it right, whereas mechanics rush and fuck things up and don't take care; if some part doesn't go back together quite right the mechanic just hammers it in and then zip ties it down.

We live cheek by jowl with our neighbors. It's strange, we're in an old neighborhood, all the houses are from around 1910, and I've seen photos from Vintage Seattle of when the area was being built (bleh I can't find the photo I'm think of, but this is a decent demonstration ) - there's tons of empty space all around, but they build the houses right next to each other. I'm not sure why they did that exactly back in the day; it wasn't because of the cost of land, it must have been for some practical reason, like maybe running water or sewer lines was really hard, so you saved that work by putting things together? Dunno.

Our neighbors are mostly very quiet, in particular the directly adjacent neighbors are wonderfully quiet, so the proximity is not a problem. But lately one of the slightly farther neighbors has started to violate the unwritten code of neighbor conduct : thou shalt pretend that each other does not exist. You're supposed to close your ears when you hear neighbors talking; if they are outside their house doing something, you pretend you don't see it and you certainly don't go over and talk to them. (note : there is an exception to the "I can't see you" rule, which is when you are on the twilight hour promenade, in that case all neighbors may exchange in cordialities). One neighbor has crossed the line. When I go out on the balcony, sometimes they call out "hello" from their balcony. Fuck you, I won't say hello, I'm trying to pretend you don't exist! The other day N sneezed and neighbor yelled out "bless you". What !? That sneeze is not yours to bless. Fie!

There are also some neighborhood kids who have been playing baseball and other such hard-edged activities right next to my car. I don't have a garage, just a driveway, so I am not protected from the dings of mini basketballs. I feel like it's way too douchey to go out and say "don't play next to my Porsche", but I know it's just a matter of time before I get a dent from those fuckers. The car has got extremely thin body panels to save weight; the hood in particular is so thin you can dent it just by closing it if you aren't very gentle. Maybe I should get a Pit Bull and put it on a leash next to the car and blow a dog whistle any time a child comes near it.

Some of the neighbors are semi-hippyish. I love people who are anti-corporate, people who grow their own veg, people who are tolerant of different lifestyles, people who are into drugs and music, but the fact is most hippies are fucking dicks. Hippies/liberals are the worst kind of people - they act super chill and want everyone to get along - but only if everyone goes along with their idea of how things should be. They're extremely prejudiced and judgemental, if you wear "uptight" clothes they assume you're a square who will harsh their vibe. They're identical to "family values" conservatives in that respect who call for government to stay out of our personal lives, but what they really mean by that is they want government to enforce *their* choice of lifetyle. Hippies espouse "tolerance" but by that they mean tolerance for sexual variations and races, not tolerance for christians and capitalists. I guess extremists on the left and right are both rotten and inconsistent, however let's not get carried away with moral equivalence, someone who wants to force peace and love on everyone is not the same as someone who wants to force christianity and income inequality on everyone. Anyhoo, I can see the hippie neighbors scowl at me because I'm obviously a capitalist pig, and I'm part of the gentrifying yuppie force that is invading their old neighborhood.


Aaron said...

Seattle will take motor oil at the curb. Stick it in a sealed gallon milk jug. Seattle's recycling is frickin ninja. They must just be dumping it in Tacoma or something. Honesly if it weren't for baby wipes, diapers and tissue paper, there wouldn't be anything to throw in the trash.

I fucking hate people calling attention to sneezes in general. One of the greatest things about chinese culture is no one says shit if you sneeze.

I think I have a bubble in my radiator, making my heater not work unless I'm on the highway. I'm really looking forward to fixing it, or trying. The 'Amelie' effect that you alluded to is key. I want to take it all apart, clean it out, and put it back together again. Then again, my car has started growing moss. Poor thing is really getting no love.

cbloom said...

"I fucking hate people calling attention to sneezes in general. One of the greatest things about chinese culture is no one says shit if you sneeze."

Amen brotha. Fart, burp, sneeze, just ignore it and carry on your sentence like nothing happened.

When I was a child and a militant anti-religioust I would refuse to say "bless you" because it was a christian distortion of an old pagan superstition. Of course that objection is as juvenile as the need to say bless you.

Aaron said...

I still will never say bless you. I just can't do it. Makes my mouth feel weird. I just use gesundheit instead. We've inherited a couple childrens books that losely refer to 'god' also (they're actually hippie god/nature books, but I digress). Same issue. I just can't get the word out of my mouth. Jules isn't quite old enough for me to explain his imaginary nature, so for now I just read it as 'dog', and she doesn't seem to mind.

I'm pretty scarred by religion though. It's negative impacts have been too close to home for me to allow it anywhere near.

old rants