About Me, Sundry

Raver Kiddies

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/1998/10/06/raver-kiddies/

This last weekend just passed I went out to dinner with Sean and we caught “Ronin” which I didn’t particularly want to see, but that was actually pretty cool right up until the very moment Hollywood woke up and reclaimed the movie’s soul during a car chase scene that lasted way too long. After that, the movie didn’t quite make sense to me, and was acting pretty silly, imho. Well, Sean liked it, and I think the MST3k version should be quite stellar.

Practiced driving in dark rainy weather. More parallel parking, where a neighboring car was, in Sean’s words, “kissed by a Beetle”. I’m getting used to the ordeal, and growing to love driving my car, even though I’m still no stallion with the stickshift.

Saturday I slept a lot, washed the car with my hands, a sponge, a bucket of water, and some special secret sauce I picked up at Pep Boys, and after another evening nap Mark called and I drove down by his girlfriend’s place and we headed down to the south side for my first Rave.

Had a minor accident with a parked car as I too eagerly smashed the brakes down for a stop sign I noticed only late. Swerved out of control, making scary noises and a soft crunch. The other guy had a little paint on a part of his car which was in the process of body work anyway, and I’ve got a minor dent. Well, it didn’t seem like the sort of damage that anyone would care enough about to worry over compensation even if they did notice, so we continued on our way. I now pump the brakes for a sudden stop, and use “calm and controlled” as my good-karma mantra for drivin’ the Beetle – it’s calm and controlled that one needs as a motto to get off the clutch and into first gear anyway, neh?

Now picture a bunch of baggy-pants wearin’ house-music listenin’ hoodlum-lookin’ kids going into a smoky room to dance all night long, and possibly do some recreational drugs. That’s a Rave, as far as I can tell, and apart from the poor ventilation at this one, which let the smoke irritate the heck outta my eyes, the dancing is pretty fun, even if I’m not an all-night kinda guy.

The drug use didn’t seem too heavy to me … they were there but they weren’t particularly in my way. I smelled pot only once, and encountered far more pixie sticks and gratuitous candy-sharing more than anything. The peeps are pretty friendly, and the ones who rode in my car were polite enough to ask if smoking was verboten. I met Mark’s friends, members of the Brilliantly Mad crew, and got along quite handsomely with a nice gal named Misty.

The Rave finished a bit early by everyone elses’ standards around 0400h. I was longing for my sleep schedule, but chauffeured three new acquaintances, including Misty, down to the Belmont Harbor, where the Ravers like to go afterwards to party ’til dawn. After a short and reflective wander onto the cold pre-dawn lakefront, I arrived back at my car to find two of my passengers had managed to snuggle into sleep in my backseat. Well, I’m not about to kick anyone out, and didn’t have to be anywhere, so I snuggled up and napped in my trunk, which I imagine was quite a neat picture.

My front-seat companion, Jason, had pontificated about the Rave philosophy and seemed postulate that it was some modern incarnation of the beat generation and 1960s hippies. He didn’t quite sell me, but I was concerned with steering down Lake Shore Drive and appreciating the finer points of shifting a fully-laden car. Religion, as I see it, isn’t something I care to argue at such a time, especially with a relative stranger.

Around sunrise, only Misty was left sprawled across my backseat. She offered me money for a ride home, saying she was dreaming of her own bed. ’twas on my way, so I took off and dropped her at her place for free – the offer was kind but unnecessary. I think it’ll be nice to see her again. I dunno that I wanna get too much into the Ravin’ thing though. I’m not an all-night kinda guy. A good party though picks up the spirits, and I like to let loose and dance.

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Buggy News

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/1998/10/23/buggy-news/

So, last weekend, or was it the weekend before? Anyway, I was driving along and I realized once and for all that I really really needed brake work. I was turning a corner at one of those six-sided intersections and an SUV stopped suddenly in front of me for a pedestrian. Well, pump the brakes or not, can’t stop that suddenly. Dents in the hood, and a recessed headlamp.

The yuppy gets out, scrapes my paint off his spare tire, and offers that my bumper is awfully low. I was a little out of it, otherwise I might have offered to him that his vehicle is far larger than he needs to be driving about. I have felt terrible since because my Beetle is a classic, beautiful car that I am falling every day deeper in love with. At the price I got it, it is like a gift, an honor that has been bestowed upon me, and an honor I need to live up to. The car is older than me, and I’ve already neglected it.

Well, found a mechanic who is rather cool, after asking around on the ‘net. Nick’s Auto Repair over on Ashland by Irving Park. His is a one-man operation – a ramshackle-looking garage with a small lot out front packed chock full of old cars. This is the sort of mechanic I need – a geek who’s in it for the love of the job. Well, I got the car back today, I think he has a rough time getting parts. Brakes work. I asked him if he could hit the shocks as well, and asked him about body work. He said he could get the headlamp back into shape, and repaint the car, which would be cheaper than trying to find the right color mixture. The car already has these subtle variations in shade from different touch-ups that have been done on it. One factor is that it uses a different sort of paint or somesuch, because of its age and Germanness perhaps, which just goes to complicate matters, meaning it makes things slower and/or more expensive.

We’re starting to talk some money here – but like I said, I got the car on the cheap, and pouring money into this one to “restore” it is I think, a lot more fun than if I were to buy a new one. Money’s a bit tight lately though, but I’ve got plenty of cash waiting around in savings. I’m actually pretty glad I’ve been saving so well, even if it means the spending fund gets rather cramped.

I call the shop tomorrow coz he’s got to order a new brake light switch – that’s right – new brakes, but no brake lights. No parking brake either, though I think I’d like to find what part it is he needs and get that fixed up on general principle. The no brake lights was discovered by a guy next door to Nick. A Beetle admirer. I’ve met a few Beetle buffs now driving my little buggy around.

Great car – and it’s not the people. Driving stick, once you get the hang of it, just feels good. You know what the car is doing, you’re more aware, more in control, more competent. It’s the difference between watching Windows boot, and watching FreeBSD scroll it’s boot output past, as it describes which devices it’s probing and whatnot.

Augh, shut up now!

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