Friday, February 29, 2008

Auto Show, A Style

I went to the Milwaukee Auto Show with a couple of mechanical engineering students and a pre-law student who used to work at a racetrack last night, so let's just say I was inspired to write about cars. Of course, it takes some brainstorming to write about such a broad topic. Which cars should I write about? The pretty ones? The fast ones? The ones that look like someone attached wheels to a shiny box? The ones we almost got kicked out of the show for trying to see how many people we could fit in the trunk (2, they had to spoon. It was a very small vehicle)? No, no, and no. Probably a couple more no's in there too, but I'm too lazy to count the number of hypothetical questions I just asked. I will write about the god of all cars, the automobile that others try and fail to emulate time and time again. When this car goes tearing down the road, you'd better get out of the way or you're gonna get mangled. Show some respect...

FOR THE 1998 TOYOTA CAMRY. (Mine has better hubcaps.)

Although my ex-roommate used to call it "Toby," I refer to my 1998 Toyota Camry LE by the only real name that can reflect its awesomeness- "THE CAMRY." You have to say it as if it's in all caps. Now, I have no clue as to what the word Camry actually means and Wikipedia isn't telling me, so I can only assume that it's Greek or Japanese or something for "TOTALLY FUCKING AWESOME." This car ferries me to the far away town of Waukesha, Wisconsin on a daily basis, its Oregon plates with their expired tags proudly showing off that I ain't from around these parts.

"A," you may ask, using one of my 6000 nicknames, "but why is THE CAMRY so awesome? All you've really done for the past paragraph is state that it's awesome because it's awesome... you sound like you're running for president! Provide some facts."

Well, children, ask and ye shall recieve. In the form of a bulleted list, no less:

  • The Camry has an amazing gray foamy stuff interior that will trap in scents for years to come. Mine STILL smells like the coffee my Dad used to drink on the way to work!
  • The Camry can go from 0-60 in anywhere from 93 to 2.5 seconds. It really depends on how close you are to rear-ending the dude in front of you.
  • Once I hit an iron gate with the Camry. Its front plate got dented; the gate was totalled. Goodbye good driver insurance discount! Hello super front bumper plastic!
  • If it's below 0 out, the Camry sounds like an old man when it starts. Seriously, it'll tell you to get off its lawn. Silly car, you don't have a lawn, even though you are forest green!
  • Looks awesome when covered in road salt.
  • Apparently it doesn't need engine coolant because mine has been leaking forever and still no problems!
  • The trunk was first broken open. Then the Camry corrected things and magically broke it shut!
  • No anti-theft system because this car is so badass people are afraid to steal it.
  • Sometimes (but only sometimes) the tires will explode when you take a curb a little too fast. But then you get sweet ass tires and really cool hubcaps, so it's all good.
  • Assembled in Kentucky. KENTUCKY. Badass.

Seriously, if you want a dependable car that will live forever no matter how many times you decide to try and kill it, go for a Camry. The little bastard will not die. And that's good, because usually when your car spontaneously dies in traffic you end up not-alive to a certain extent too. Even when I eventually sell the immortal Camry and buy myself something sexy (like a Mustang or one of those new hot 2010 Toyota Camrys), it will live on in the hands of some poor college student like a 1980 Volvo that is too stupid to quit.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Various Things I Do at Work

Not going to school for a semester is a pretty sweet deal, especially when you're still technically counted as a full time student. I have all of the perks of a college student (free gym access, the ability to chillax on weekends, free access to our wonderful student-access programming so I can watch freshmen pretend to be sportscasters and fail miserably, etc.) with none of the responsibilities. In fact, the only real drawback of this amazing internship is the fact that the university doesn't give me a bus pass. The only reason that's a drawback is because I actually had to sit through an entire class period devoted to people whining about why co-ops didn't get bus passes. That's lame.

So what does yours truly do at work all day? Your tax dollars are indavertently at work providing me with gas money (and by gas I mean beer, the gas that keeps college students up and running. Usually in kind of a zig-zag pattern, because, you know, they're wasted. But I don't drink beer, so yeah actually gas.) because I follow this daily routine, or as the pros call it, workflow:

6 AM: Wake up, swear, hit snooze button, laugh at my roommate getting ready to go do pushups or practice killing babies or whatever people will have you believe it is they do at Army PT in the morning, go back to sleep. I think that they play foosball, but Kate insists that they do sprints and climb ropes and other things which are far inferior to the supreme sport of foosball.
6:30 AM: General OH SHIT I HAVE TO BE AT WORK IN AN HOUR freakout.
7:00 AM: Flip off someone in a minivan on the way to work. What? It's tradition.
7:30 AM: Arrive at work. Spend next hour "checking e-mail" (on Facebook).
8:30 AM-4:30 PM: Workin' on stuff for 8 hours. This usually means drawing up plansets, modelling roadways, cutting profiles and cross-sections, and screwing up and having to do it all over again. That's the life of a co-op. Work abruptly ends when I recieve a text message from a fellow co-op stating that either traffic sucks or the weather sucks or they're bored and want to go home and hang out with me and make fun of people doing homework together so it'd be a good time to leave.
4:45 PM: Almost get hit by a bus or semi truck on the way home from work. What? It's tradition. And I'm a very bad driver. Irony much?
5:00 PM: Come home, try to find where my roommate hid my giant stuffed chicken this time. I'm beginning to think that the giant stuffed chicken is a metaphor for my soul and/or dignity. Either that or my roommate is just a giant meanie pants.

So as you can see, it's a very hard life. And by hard I mean awesome. Rewarding, too-- I modelled a road yesterday that would absolutely kill anyone who drove on it. Like, car-in-a-burning-heap-after-running-into-retaining-wall killed. Apparently having a road ending in a large wall is a huge no-no. Who would have thought it? Oh well, that's why I'm a co-op.

Oops. My bad?

Someday driving on my roads will not result in death, I mean if you're lucky and my "large robotic dinosaur which chases and eats the cars of motorists driving too slowly" that I have a patent pending on doesn't get released into the interstate system during rush hour, when the average Wisconsin motorist drives roughly 3.stupid miles per hour. That's an exact measurement. We have it on file somewhere, probably under "useless statistics we can put into a brochure and give to angry people who are placated by useless statistics."

So in conclusion, it's a sweet deal. Discuss?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sasquatch '08

The Cure, Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie, the Flaming Lips, R.E.M., M.I.A., the New Pornographers, Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, Battles, the National, Beirut, Destroyer, Okkervil River, Built to Spill, Jamie Lidell, the Breeders, Fleet Foxes, White Rabbits, the Cave Singers, Tegan and Sara, Flight of the Conchords, the Kooks, the Hives, Grand Archives, Mates of State, Thao With the Get Down Stay Down, Rogue Wave, Sera Cahoone, David Bazan, the Little Ones, Kinski, Throw Me the Statue, the Shaky Hands

Ok I kinda figured this might happen. now we don't need to go to Canada.