So, my car

Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 5.02.01 PMI done fucked up today, I think.

My current car is a 2001 Ford Escape with nearly a hundred and seventy thousand miles on it.  The fabric on the driver’s side door is mostly peeled off, there are big patches of rust inside all the doors, and there’s a big crack in the rear bumper.  The radio intermittently decides it needs to take a rest and won’t turn back on for anywhere from a few seconds to a day.  It leaks oil from a leak so deep in the engine that repairing it is an absurdity.  And its gas mileage… well, leaves something to be desired.

That said: it turns on when I need it to turn on and it gets me where I want to go, and while it’s loud as hell at speed it’s not an uncomfortable ride by any means.  It’s just that at 170K it is only a matter of time until something breaks that will be pointless to repair.  To get ahead of myself a bit, I was offered $1200 for it as a trade today and I think it was probably a pretty generous offer, all told.

The boy has named the car Joey Car Kristofferson.  I will very much miss having a car named Joey Car Kristofferson, to the point where I will probably insist that its replacement be named Joey Car Kristofferson II.  (My wife’s car, incidentally, is called Lisa Car James.  Don’t ask where the boy got the names.  No one knows.)

So anyway, I took that car up there for a test drive earlier today.  It’s a 2016 Kia Soul in the + trim level, with 28,000 miles on it.  It’s immaculately clean and seems to run beautifully.  It’s small– trunk space, in particular, is kind of a joke– but it fits my main need in a vehicle, which is that it rides high enough that I climb into the seat and slide out, rather than the other way around.  I refuse to struggle to get out of my car, which means I’ll never own a sedan again.  I’ve started to seriously hate them.  I test drove a brand-new Ford Escape a few months ago, and loved it, but financially I think it’s a better idea to go for a lightly used vehicle right now rather than a new one.  Unless I lease, which I might choose to do but <insert every website and argument about leasing ever> and my brain isn’t set up for that right now.

It’s just under fifteen thousand bucks, that car, and with the financing I’d expect to get I’d probably be making payments of just over $200 a month.  Which is in the neighborhood where I’m thinking Yeah, I can swing that rather than I can afford that.  To my mind, that’s a real difference; you can swing a new purchase if you can come up with some ways to cut costs that would absorb a lot of the new bill and figure you’ll be okay.  You can afford something if you don’t have to think at all about what you’ll do to pay for it.  For example, I can afford to spend $25-50 pretty much whenever I want so long as I don’t, like, do it every day.  But if I want to buy a new shirt or something?  I don’t have to think about that.  A car payment means I’m thinking things like well, I do eat out way too often anyway and I’m spending too much fucking money on comic books every week while I’m considering what it would do to my budget.  And the down payment would have to come out of our mutual savings, which my wife will likely have something to say about.  We did just drop three and a half grand on a new bed, after all.

I’m not sure I have a point here, and I don’t know if I’m asking for advice or just talking.  I just need to decide how quickly I think I need a new car, and whether I should buy a new one before I need a new one.

Go buy some of my books and make this easier, dammit.  🙂

Adventures in Lexapro, ch. 325

Jeremy-Renner
The title of the .gif claims this is Jeremy Renner. As I have never seen him smile at any time whatsoever, I have reason to doubt it.

You will not believe what just happened.  I woke up this morning– before my alarm went off, a full half hour before my alarm went off– and upon discovering, to my extreme surprise, that I was awake and refreshed, got out of bed and started my day.  It is ten minutes before the boy and I have to leave for school; he is dressed, I have had breakfast, the dog is fed and let out, the cat is fed, his backpack is packed, a spot of Monster Legends has been played, and I still have time for a short blog post.

I have been tired, 100% of the time, for a year.

Is this what life was supposed to be like before Lexapro?  Is it the new bed?  A combination of both?  What the hell is going on here?

Three quick anecdotes

dd7065d25a40c3ebc3df5c394d80aab9.jpgNone of these are really worth posts on their own– well, one, maybe– but I wanna record them, so here you go.


Driving home from dropping the boy off at school one day last week, a bird happens to catch my eye at a traffic light.  It’s probably a blackbird, but it’s a bit too far away for me to be sure– crow-shaped, and black, but too small to be a crow unless it’s a juvenile.  So, sure.  Blackbird.  As I’m watching it, it abruptly does a tight 270° turn and heads straight down to the ground, wings out.  I think at first that either the bird has been shot and what looked like a turn was actually a tumble or I’ve literally just seen this bird die in midair— which has to happen to birds sometime, right?  Surely once in a while a bird just has a stroke or a heart attack or something?

At any rate, it pulls up right before it hits the ground and lands and then I lose track of it. If it had dove down at an angle, I’d not have said anything about it and just assumed it was going after a mouse or something, but 1) it looked way too small to be a bird of prey and 2) I have never seen a bird fly straight down before.  It was weird as hell.


I’m at work, and I notice a spider perhaps two feet above my eye level and maybe three feet off to my right.  The building I work in has very high ceilings, and my first thought is where the hell is his web attached, because if he’s coming down a string of silk it’s gotta be thirty or forty feet long by now.  Then I notice that he’s coming straight toward me, which is not something I’d expect a spider coming down a strand of silk to do.  He’s a tiny spider, and I’m not frightened of them, so this provokes fascination rather than oh god kill it fear.  As he gets closer, I realize that he’s not attached to anything and he’s not acting like he’s climbing a web– he’s got his legs curled up underneath him, in fact.  The damn thing is floating.  I even wave my hand above him to check, and the breeze from my hand stirs him a bit but I clearly don’t break any strands of web.  I try to film him but he’s too small for the resolution on my phone to handle.  I watch him drift onto a sofa and crawl away.


Yesterday, first customer of the day.  He waves me off at first, saying he’s only looking, which is just fine.  I tell him everything in the store is on sale (which is true, and is useful information, I figure) and that the way our current deal works is “spend more, save more.”

He looks dead at me and says “You mean Jew more, save more?”

It takes me a second to process yeah that’s what the fuck he said.

“No,” I reply, shifting into my Teacher Voice.  “I said spend more, save more.”  And then I walk away and let my manager know that this fucker will be receiving no help from me whatsoever while he’s in the store and that if he speaks to me again we’re all lucky if the only thing I do is refer him to another salesperson.

The man and his wife circle the sales floor and leave without speaking to or being spoken to by anyone else.  I spend the rest of my day with half of my brain proud of me for not losing my job by lighting this fucker up and the other half of my brain ashamed of me for not lighting the fucker up anyway.

I am, much later, trending toward the second option, for the record.  How the fuck are you so fucking comfortable with being a bigot that you’ll just say shit like that to random fucking strangers in public?  I shoulda thrown his ass out.

May as well tell the whole world

tmi.png.htmlI thought, for reasons that will quickly become quite obvious, that maybe I ought to not go ahead and fill the Internet in on certain recent developments in my life.  But I’ve been pretty open about being on anxiety medication since they put me on it, and this is related to that, so to hell with it.  A warning: if you know me personally, it’s possible that you might not want to read this.  Certain of you I’m giving license to never ever stop mocking me again, which… eh.  It’ll be okay.

So, to get straight to the point: I’ve taken myself off of Lexapro.  If I were a more intelligent human I would probably be weaning myself off Lexapro, but I’m not an especially intelligent human and I was on a pretty low dose to begin with so I’m cold-turkeying the shit.  I had several reasons for making this decision.  One of the big ones was that I’m not in the environment (teaching) that led me to need Lexapro in the first place, so the direct cause of my anxiety issues is gone.  The biggest one, though?  It turns out that one of the rarer side effects of drugs like Lexapro is…

…this is the part where you stop reading, if you ever want to not think of this when you see me or talk to me again…

…urinary incontinence.

I have had, perhaps once a month in the past six months, what I will describe as a “bloop” and assume that your imagination can fill in the details.  They have always happened when I was asleep, always when I was on my back, and have always instantly awakened me, at which time I’ve cleaned myself up, swearing profusely under my breath, and gone back to sleep.  Last week, it happened twice in two days, and what was previously merely an excessively irritating thing that I was attributing to getting older abruptly had me Googling things like “prostate cancer.”  There’s never been an issue when I was awake, although I feel like I’ve been having to race to the bathroom more urgently in the last year than I had previously.

Now, it’s a rare side effect.  But I was seriously considering calling a doctor and scheduling a prostate exam, and if I can just go off a drug I already don’t want to be on rather than enduring a prostate exam, I think maybe I’ll try that first.(*)

So I did a couple things:  I stopped taking my Lexapro and also stopped drinking pop, since caffeine and sugar have also been linked to urinary incontinence.  Not only have I had no nocturnal issues since then, but I’ve slept through the night most of the nights since then.  It has been months since I slept through the night five nights in a row; waking up at 3:30 in the morning needing to take a piss five or six times a week was also something that I had previously attributed to getting older that may have been caused by the drugs.  It’s only been a week, mind you, and until last week this was not a thing that happened frequently, but the absence of further bloops and being able to sleep through the night have me thinking I’m probably on to something.

Negative side effects of stopping Lexapro have been minimal; I was weirdly dizzy today and that’s been about it.  I haven’t noticed the anxiety coming back, really; I did let everyone at work know that I was off my brain meds and that if they thought I was behaving strangely they needed to let me know right away.  Predictably, this has led to every fucking interaction I have with anyone now involving someone accusing me of being overly emotional, because the people I work with are caring and serious grown-ups.

(*) The word first means “first,” not “only,” just to be clear.  I have since discovered that they’re recommending annual prostate exams start at 40 now instead of 50, so I actually will be talking to my doctor about that soon, and I’m not as het up about the idea as most men seem to be.  I’ll tell you about it if it’s a funny story, but I don’t expect it to be a big deal.  Just be aware that I’m not ignoring it.

Praise Jeebus

There will be no Batman v. Superman tonight, thank God.  It spares all of you a profane and intemperate movie liveblog but also prevents a blood pressure spike to me.  So instead I’m going to hang around on my sofa and watch Property Brothers on Hulu.  The greatest thing in the universe right now is that Hulu is showing some HGTV shows.

My mother-in-law’s funeral service was today, and yesterday was a crazy-long day because I was cleaning the hell out of the house in preparation for guests, which explains some of the quiet lately.  I’ll try and be entertaining tomorrow.