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The Replacement Car -- 10.30.06
(6:25 am) I don't know what happens in my brain that wakes me up this early. Today I'm going up to Bakersfield to pick-up my Dad's car, which he is giving to me to replace my ailing car. My car is pretty much on its last legs. I don't have the cash to buy a new one, and my Dad was planning on getting a new truck anyways, so he's giving me his old car. Thankfully he's giving me his old car because not only don't have the cash to buy a new one, I really don't have the cash to repair my current car.

I've been driving my car for over 10 years now. I've grown accustom to it, as grown to love it like a friend. It's strange to say that because it is an inanimate object and all. And you know what's really strange? The fact that I feel I'm betraying "our friendship" by driving another car. I mean I've spent a long time driving my car for a long time. In that time you get used to the little quirks.

(11:02 am) Well, I'm on the bus to Bakersfield now. In a little more than two hours I'll be there and my Dad will pick me up from the station. In the meantime I figured I would do a little writing for old time's sake, since it's been so long since I updated this journal. This weekend felt like it went on forever. I had an odd schedule, working 3 to midnight on Friday and Sunday and 2 to 11 on Saturday. Needless to say I had trouble waking up this morning because I got home late from work last night. It also didn't help that I went to sleep at around 2am and woke up at 6am for some stupid reason. I know my body has this internal clock that is crazy about waking up early when I have something to do the next day, but this was ridiculous. I tried to go back to sleep since I had set my alarm for 7:30. At first I couldn't fall asleep, but then I woke to my TV blasting (my TV is my alarm clock). What sucked is that I was dead tired and it took me about 15 minutes to get up. I struggled to get up, but it was SO hard at that point. Suffice to say I didn't get up until 8am. When I saw the clock I jumped out of bed and made my way to a shower. Well, the worse thing is that I have enough time to eat some breakfast. So now I'm sitting on the bus starving to death because I didn't even have time to grab a bite at McDonald's or something. :( I hope we don't have any big delays so I can maybe get something to eat by 1pm.

(Noon) The bus is crawling its way up the Santa Susanas. The last sign I saw, about 10 minutes back, put the mileage to Bakersfield at 74 miles. I know from driving this route that once we get past the mountains it's about a half hour until we reach Bakersfield. I suddenly wonder why my Father moved all the way up here. He must like it since he hasn't even hinted at moving back to L.A., but still. I always joke that even if some day I become rich that I would travel the world but still live in L.A. because no other place on Earth has Tommy's, but it's true. I love L.A., and as Graf�a Del Sol said last year, my photography reflects my love of this city.

Looking out at the mountains and the strata showing just amazes me. The pictures I'm taking don't do the view justice. Last year I got to travel up the coast and there were so many times when I had to hold back the mountain of awe that I felt when I looked at the beauty before me.

(12:20 pm) We just crossed the county line... Woo Hoo!

(12:35 pm) 25 miles from Bakersfield now.

(7:52 pm) Back at home now after a long day of traveling up and down the interstate. I'm not loving my new car since it�s nearly as beat up as my car. But, at least there are fewer worries. I�m pretty sure that my Father's car won�t overheat if I drive it to West LA. Still, I don't plan on having this car for very long. I'm going to see how much I can get for both cars (though I think I'm not going to be able to get much from my car), and use that money to trade up to a small car. Ideally, I would love to get a Mini Cooper or a Volkswagen. Although, right now I can't really afford to carry any more debt. So yeah, that limits my options.

Speaking of debt, a few of my credit cards have expired and the credit companies have started to send me replacement cards to activate. But I gotta tell you, I hate how these companies always have to squeeze every little dime from out of your (mine and yours) pocket. :( It's bad enough I'm paying them interest on this stuff, now they want to "enroll" me into some service protection plans. The other night I had to deal with someone that insisted that I TRY the protection plan. ARGH! No means no! Thankfully the guy the previous night just let me not start the stupid protection plan in the first place. They get you this way because they know the majority of people will forget that they get it the first month free. Then two months from now they skim their statements and don't realize that they have a new charge for these "protection plans." I didn't want to argue because I had homework to finish and because I was dead tired. So now I have to call them and cancel it, only to be reminded how great the plan is, and how I should keep it forever and ever. ARGH!

As I was leaving for the bus this morning I noticed that the city was tearing up the street in front of my house (pictured below).

I have no idea what they're going to do across the street, but I hope it's something good. The problem with the area is that people think of it as a dump. For a while there was a busted couch there, but most of the time there are shopping carts and other trash there. It's such an eyesore. Once a year the city cleans it up and two days later it's a dump again. Well, I guess I'll know what the deal is soon enough. For now I need to get some food in my belly.
End Communication.

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