Saturday, October 03, 2009

Happy birthday, Mom

Warning: the following may be disjointed, rambling, and/or incoherent. Possibly all at the same time. Don't say I didn't warn you.

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The very first thing I should do - after the warning, I mean - is to wish my mother a very happy birthday. Propriety demands I not reveal the lady's age, but you wouldn't know it to look at her anyway. I guess it could just be me - a mother is always beautiful to her son - but my mother is youthful in appearance, wise in outlook, and loving in every way. She is very much the "eternal mother," and I love her very much. Happy birthday, Mom.

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I have spent the last few months looking sporadically for a winter car. My '97 Miata is a Southern car - it spent its entire life in Florida and Georgia before I bought it and took it to Texas, where it stayed a few months before I moved to Iowa. It is essentially rust-free and I'd like to keep it that way, which is why I've been looking for a winter car. I've been tempted by all manner of automobiles. They've ranged from pedestrian (Mazda Protegé) to unusual (a Volvo S70R, the turbocharged 5-speed model that looked like what Darth Vader might drive if he were on holiday in Sweden) to money pits (assorted Jaguar XJs and even a 5-speed X-type, besides the aforementioned Volvo) to uniquely and distinctively American (ex-police Ford Crown Victorias.) My dad amused himself by sending me ebay links to 70s-tacular cars that verged on the absurd - in particular a spectacularly plaid Mercury Bobcat. Okay, that one didn't just verge on the absurd, it went so far beyond absurd as to sneak up on it from the other side. If you could sneak up on somebody in a two-door hatchback with fake wood grain, a roof rack, and plaid seat covers, that is. I expected a picture of the owner in bell bottoms, mutton chops, an open-neck shirt, and gold chains.

It was a special time, the 70s.

(By the way, Dad, don't stop sending them. I enjoy them, as long as they're from a safe distance. Thirty years sounds about right.)

Anyway, none of these cars - awesome as the Bobcat was - were quite the thing. See, there's something about a Miata. Cars just don't come any more fun to drive. My Miata has spoiled me for anything else, and life is too short to drive boring cars. But I didn't want to drive my Miata year-round.

There was only one solution to this problem.

I needed another Miata.

Rescue from a winter of discontent behind the wheel will arrive this afternoon in the form of a Mazda Miata in British Racing Green, number 3417 of 4000 special edition Miatas (Miatae?) produced for the 1991 model year, and only that model year. I didn't set out to buy a BRG Miata - I don't like green cars, generally speaking, although obviously I'm willing to make an exception for a BRG sports car - but this one came along in good condition and at the right price. It has the optional hardtop, which is a definite plus for a winter Miata. It also has something quite unexpected - a supercharger installed by the original owner. I'm not usually a big fan of forced induction, but in this case it takes a great-handling little car and makes it a torquey little rocket besides, so why not? Something different.

So by this afternoon I will be the proud owner of two Miatas. Because in a place where they have winter, one is clearly not enough.

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And speaking of winter - you can feel it starting to approach. Fall has arrived in a cold fury (and I don't mean a Plymouth) of Arctic winds howling through the streets and tearing the leaves from the trees. Just the other day I had to break out the jacket for the first time this season, and I'm not happy about it. Why did I leave Texas again? It'll be in the 90s in Victoria this week. If we break into the 60s here I'll be ecstatic, and probably put the top down. I am in deep denial about the end of summer.

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The 2016 Summer Olympics (see, there I go again) were awarded to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil yesterday. The Olympic Games are a three-week party. Rio has Carnival. Can't miss. The president went to Denmark to support Chicago's bid for the Games, which strikes me as passing strange - since when does the leader of the free world go to Denmark to lobby the IOC? I mean, it's a lovely country and all, but doesn't he have better things to do? An unpopular healthcare plan to ram down our throats, a deficit to expand, a war to lose?

Wait a minute...any chance he could just stay there and lobby for Chicago to get the 2018 Winter Games?

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I think that might be enough rambling. There's laundry to do, a bag to pack, a Miata to buy. Have a great weekend!