So what is happening you ask? Well I’m just kicking through some of my unread comics today. That and running my fantasy football league’s slow motion e-mail draft. Neither is particularly exciting to write about but that is par for this end of August course. It’s hot and not much is going on.

I have been looking into buying a new car this week. That’s a challenge in and off itself. I’ve never bought a new car before so the process is unknown to me. I’m alternately nervous and looking forward to the challenge. Nervous will not win I can assure you. I’ll have to go out to a dealership and test drive some stuff.

The car I’m driving right now is a 1988 Ford Escort. I got it from my grandmother five or six years ago and though it still has only 40,000 miles on it I just don’t trust it anymore. It hasn’t broken down in a year but every time it does that’s $500 out the window. And it usually stops running about once a year. Things always need to be fixed during NY state inspection time too. I don’t drive it very far for fear it will break down. Nervousness wins out in this case and I hate that. What good is a car that you can’t drive?

The twenty one year old Escort also has the bad habit of not starting on some days. Ninety nine days out of a hundred it starts up fine. The hundredth day it refuses to. It will start up the following day though. But you never know when it won’t run. Since I only start my car up about every second day maybe it’s even forty nine days out of fifty. Either way doesn’t fill me with confidence.

The Escort was the first car I ever owned. How I got to be in my late thirties, living in the suburbs, and not owning a car is a wonder in itself. The Escort has served me well but it’s time I replace it. After all I don’t trust it to bring me places anymore. And I feel like going places.

Where you ask? I have no idea. Maybe just joyriding. Everybody goes joyriding when they first get a car. I never really did. Understandable since I got my first car in my late thirties and it wasn’t a “long distance” one. I can’t do any joyriding now since every time I turn the key I wonder if the car will start. And in the winter, let me tell you, that’s when I really don’t trust the old car. Not that it’s run any worse in the winter but the thought of breaking down on a twenty degree night will keep me from driving anywhere. Those are the thoughts that will keep a person locked up.

I’d especially like to get out on days like these. I got nothing going on (besides the draft and that is an unusual occurrence) no paying work to do, no plans, and am too burnt out to make any of my own art. That’s a fine time to get the hell out of here and go for a joyride. But not quite yet.

The thing about new cars is that they are freakin’ expensive. I can only afford the very low end of new cars and that is $16,000. And of course that has to be financed because who has that kind of cash lying around. That’s another thing I’m learning about, financing. Interest on a car loan specifically.

It turns out that when they lend you money at 7% that’s not really 7%. It’s 7% a year on what you owe them. If I borrow $100 and pay you back 7% then I give you $107. Right? Not when borrowing from a bank over time. That 7% ends up being about 25% of the original amount over it’s lifetime. Yikes! No wonder banks have been so eager to loan before the crash. They can make a fortune in interest.

The advantage I have going in to the dealership is not much money and not much credit. I’m a hard person to talk into doing something he doesn’t want to do and talking me into spending money I don’t have is nearly impossible. Plus with nearly no credit history they are not going to want to talk me into spending more than I want to. Not in this environment.

So that’s the dullness of my life today. My head is filled with thoughts of car buying instead of thoughts of making art or some such. No wonder I want to get out and go for a ride.