Friday, May 15, 2009

Money Laundering

Yesterday during my lunch hour I drove up to Sterling to get all of my stuff out of my car.
Back in 2002, shortly after I moved to VA, I was driving back to Ashburn after spending Christmas at my bother Brad’s house down in Chesapeake. Not really knowing the area that well, on the last major leg of my journey home I missed my exit.
Or rather, I should have missed my exit. Instead, I decided to try to make my exit anyway, and for my troubles I was rewarded with a collision with a guard rail.
That was when I said goodbye to my 2001 Kia Rio, that was a surprisingly nice shade of green, and, ultimately, hello to my hideously gold-colored 2002 Kia Rio, which I said goodbye to yesterday.
My point in mentioning this is that the body shop I went to yesterday was located pretty much right next to the body shop my 2001 Rio had been hauled to back in 2002.
There seemed to be an entire cluster of body shops. I guess it must be the body shop district.
While raiding my car I took note of all of the change piled up in cup holder, and the fact that the change wasn’t the only thing there, as it was also home to the sticky, nasty mess left behind by some long-ago spilled Coke.
The change was firmly ensconced in the congealed stickiness, to the extent that I considered just leaving it there. However, there was probably around five dollar’s worth of change there, and if I’m going to be buying a new car, every last cent counts, so, making The Universe happy – The Universe isn’t happy unless Jon is sticky– I set to work and freed every quarter, dime, nickel, and penny from the sticky nastiness like a paleontologist dredging up dinosaur bones from a tar pit.
When I got home I engaged in some literal money laundering, washing the coins in the sink, then setting them in some Lime Away to see if that would remove the rest of the nastiness. It didn’t, but where the coins aren’t covered with some hard black coating they’re awfully shiny.
When I got home I had an e-mail from my insurance company waiting for me. Turns out my car was worth much more than I’d anticipated – I’d expected to get maybe a grand – which was a very nice surprise, and will make for a decent down payment on a new car.
On Wednesday evening I picked Scott up from work, or rather, stopped at his work and ceded control of his car back to him, and we then headed to Enterprise to pick up my rental.
My rental is a Suzuki Forenza. It’s nothing fancy, but it’ll get the job done until I get something permanent, and the fact that it’s cheap - $17 a day – means that I’ve got plenty of time before I hit my insurance’s limit.
I am having a hard time adjusting to driving an automatic, but I suppose I should get used to it, as it looks as though my new car – whatever I get – will be an automatic as well.
Speaking of which, the car voting poll is open until the 20th, and it seems that I can’t view the results until then, but anecdotally it seems as though everyone is voting for the new Mazda, and I found a fully-loaded one online that I’m definitely going to be looking at, especially since I get a discount on Mazda’s through work.
The discount makes for a no-hassle price, and still includes any additional dealer incentives.
The one drawback to the one I’m leaning towards is that it’s black. That seems like an odd thing for me to say, given my fondness for the color, but black cars are a pain in the ass to keep clean, especially when your typical route home involves driving on a partially-unpaved road.
Still, it’s hardly a deal-breaker considering that the car has features like a navigation system, power moon roof, rearview camera, Bluetooth connectivity, all wheel drive, and remote start.
So yeah, I could deal with having to wash it every so often.
(Fun Fact: In the 6+ years that I had the Kia, I never once washed it.)
On Wednesday, while we were at Enterprise, Scott broached the subject of dinner, and pointed out that there was an Indian place just across the street.
I’d had no idea that there was an Indian place in Leesburg, and was pleased to learn of it, as it’s actually within easy walking distance of my house.
I really like Butter Chicken, to the extent that I once made it myself. I’ve actually been craving it for a while, but while it turned out really well when I made it, making it is an arduous two-day process that involves about a million ingredients. As I said to Scott, “I’ll probably never make it again unless doing so will get me laid.”Sadly, I didn’t see it on the menu, but I found something that looked similar, and decided to try that. However, Scott managed to spot it on the menu - under a different name – and I ordered it and it was delicious and much, much easier than making it myself.
So there was much rejoicing!
Well, some rejoicing.
Okay, so I’m not all that good at the whole rejoicing thing. Get off my back.

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