The Cars in My Life

The first car I ever had was a hand-me-down from my mom’s boyfriend. It was a 1980 Dodge Challenger in grey. It was repainted black for me. I learned to drive stick on it and ruined the clutch once because I was doing circles in first gear while my boyfriend at the time was on the roof. I did this instead of going to the ballet.

My second car was a hand-me-down from my mom. It was a white 1987 Mazda 626. It was also a stick but had no power steering. I drove it from California to Eastern Canada. I didn’t take care of it and had to cover the engine with a blanket while it was parked so that it would start during the winter.

My third car was a black 1997 Saturn coupe. It was given to me by my stepdad. It was an automatic and was traded-in at the spur of the moment as my ex and I were coming back from an art fair in Florida. Oh, almost forgot to mention—it was traded-in by my ex for a truck that he wanted. It happened so fast, I didn’t realize what occurred.

To replace my car, my ex gave me his, so my fourth car was a black 2001 Jetta. It was a stick. When I moved from Florida to California, I drove it across country with my friend Ang in the passenger seat navigating and my greyhound dog, Cyrano, in the backseat. When Cyrano passed, my friend Karen and I loaded him into the car and I drove him to the vet’s office to be cremated. That was the saddest day of my life.

My fifth car is the one I have now which I got last year. It’s a black (of course) 2011 Mazda 6. It was the first car I ever bought. I spent eight hours at the dealership trying to find the right one. So far, nothing memorable to report.

Movie Quotes and Insight

This may sound weird but a good movie line can sometimes change my life. Okay, maybe not but it does enhance my perspective. What I’m referring to is not something often quoted like “Say hello to my little friends,” or “You complete me.” There are tons of those kinds of quotes and I’m not knocking them. They have their place. Rather, I’m talking about those pure nuggets—an exchange, a monologue, whatever, that stimulates mental activity in a viewer. Something cleverly crafted or ingenious in its simplicity. I’m not a film buff but I take words very seriously to the point that what one says/writes to me means more than what one does. And when I hear something in a movie that is thought-provoking, I am delirious with happiness.

For example, in The Opposite of Sex, there is a conversation between Sheriff Carl Tippett (Lyle Lovett) and Luccia (Lisa Kudrow) in which Carl asks: “What’s the point of sleeping with you if it doesn’t get your attention…Say the point of sex isn’t recreation or procreation or any of that stuff. Say it’s concentration. Say it’s supposed to focus your attention on the person you’re sleeping with like biological highlighter. Otherwise, there’s just too many people in the world.” And Luccia replies, “So while I’m sleeping with you, I’m not supposed to care about anyone else?” Carl replies, “Look for me first in any crowded room. And I’ll do likewise. Otherwise, a person ends up sleeping with somebody else.” Ahh, such creative dialogue which made me re-examine my opinions regarding sex.

In the movie, Celebrity, Kenneth Branagh’s character tells his girlfriend, Bonnie, played by Famke Janssen, that she’s the only thing that makes sense to him. And she responds by saying, “I’m not looking for someone to make sense to. I’m looking for someone to become irrational over me.” For me, Bonnie’s response is insightful and completely in line with my thinking—that the idea of being desired outweighs me being a sensible fit in a relationship.

Finally, in The Long Kiss Goodnight, Samuel L. Jackson’s character, Mitch Henessey, says to Geena Davis’s character, Charly Baltimore, “I never did one thing right in my life, you know that? Not one. That takes skill.” Regret, arrogance, and truth in three simple sentences. So good and in an okay action movie! That almost never happens.