Monday, November 3, 2014

How do you pimp your ride?

I've been trying to figure out how I want to make Scout my own. Right now, she's very non-descript. She could be almost any blue Chevy Sonic. I have a scraper and an umbrella in the window. I have Giles's vet records in the back seat pocket. I have a USB cord in the mini glove box. I have an apartment building permission parking tag hanging from my rear-view mirror,  but it's very small. My sunglasses are in the console. And I have a magnet bumper sticker that reads "My Greyhound is faster than your honor's student." There is nothing else I have that is significantly expressive of who I am.

(An aside-- also, if you look in my car or the trunk, there is no trash, no paper bits, no cups, nothing. It's spotless and trash-free.)

I don't want to do anything until I feel like it just says "me." I look around at other folk's cars and think "uhhhh no" I don't want that. People put all sorts of bumper stickers on the cars. I saw a car with a giant pink fuzzy mustache on the front bumper. Some hubcaps are pretty fancy in color or every spin. Some people jack their cars up or they bounce or have a glowing light under it. People hang all sorts of crap from their rear-view mirrors or put something on their antennas. Also to be notes are fuzzy steering wheel covers, fuzzy seat covers, and fuzzy dashboard covers. Uhhh- no to all that is fuzzy.

But there is also a part of me that says I should come up with something because I want to be able to find my car in a parking lot. The other day I was at Panera Bread and when I left I tried to get in a car that wasn't mine. I NEED something that, perhaps, makes it stand out a bit to me? Not sure what that would be.

Do you pimp your car? And if so, how? Suggestions welcome.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Where am I going? Where have I been?

I'm very thankful that Scout came with a trial subscription to OnStar because I get lost all the time in the city. I have zero sense of direction to start with and then to have a new city... well, I get lost. Often.

I know basics like certain landmarks are on X side of town. The pyramids are on the west side, a certain mall is on the north. I live on the east side. That helps. A little bit.

I've always had a certain issue with direction. When Mac was small and we'd go somewhere new and get lost, instead of getting upset and freaking him out, I would tell him it was an "adventure", a chance to see something new and unexpected. To this day, if he's with me in the car and I get lost, he asks, generally with a smirk, if we're going on an "adventure". I generally reply, with forced cheerfulness, yes. Then he pulls out his smart phone and GPS's us in the right direction. (I have a smartphone with GPS as well but I'm usually driving and it would involve pulling over to figure out the directions and such).

Overall I don't often mind being lost but if if being lost is going to make me late for an appointment or meeting, then I'm irritated and OnStar can come to the rescue with just a push of a button and uttering the words, "I'm lost. Could you give me directions, please?" I sometimes get a little freaked out if I'm lost and there is a LOT of traffic. I hate "big city" traffic and it must raise my blood pressure to be bumper to bumper and unsure if I'm headed in the right direction.

I get the most lost downtown, which I know doesn't make a lot of sense, but it seems that's the way I'm wired. There a market I go to at least one time a week all winter long and I still get lost when I leave. I'm ridiculous in that sense. Yes, I sometimes get lost coming home from places I've been before. Ugh! I KNOW!  And do I even need to go into details about how many times I get on the interstates that makes a circle around the city and I'm going the wrong directions? If I want to go north, and my options at that exit are west and south, which way to do I go? I always go the wrong way.

Once I decided to print directions on a piece of paper, only because I needed those directions ASAP and didn't have time to make the OnStar connection and wait for the download.  I knew when I left the office I had no idea at all where I was going so I figured paper would work. It was fine except for being in the wrong lane to make my left turn and had to go around the block and then there was a one way street and then a round about and... yeah, I asked OnStar for help...

TheGuy doesn't always help. He thinks in guy format as far as directions do. If we're going to eat at a burger joint we both like, he'll go there one way and then take us home a different way so I can see all of my options to get there. I've barely remembered 3streets to get there let alone a whole new way. I want some repetition to ingrain it in my cerebral cortex before giving me some options. I wouldn't say I'm a creature of habit but as far as going somewhere to not get lost, I certainly am. I figure out one way to get there and I go that path over and over again, which doesn't always make sense or isn't always the shortest/quickest way, but it's the WAY I know without getting lost!

And when there's construction or if the city has closed off streets I know and use often for some reason (a marathon, a parade, a festival), then I'm screwed. I'm usually stuck in traffic with a million other cars who didn't know THAT road was closed and we're all being forced left onto a one way street I've never seen before. And neither have the other half of the people so we're going slow and brake slamming. The other half who know where there's going are horn honking and yelling, and driving around me like idiots which don't help matters. Oh, the joy of being lost and thank you OnStar for letting me just tap, tap, tap a button to easy directions!

What would help me most is if I invested in a paper map and could get a visual, overall view of the city. I want to highlight/circle places I often go and home and the office and then I could see the big picture of how it ties everything together. I'm a big picture type of person and it helps when I can see the whole and not just a piece.

Getting lost has taken me on some cool finds. I found 2 different coffee shops that I didn't know existed, a cupcakery, and a vintage clothing shop. I found some beautiful homes that were lovely to drive by, and I actually discovered a more direct route for me to get to the art museum from my house... all because I got lost.

I suffer from wanderlust and my feet are itchy right now so getting lost does feed that part of my soul. But, overall, getting lost just ticks me off... but not too badly because I do have the magic OnStar button. At least for 2 more months. After that... back to having "adventures"!