Week of mechanical breakdown

Maybe it’s a good thing I didn’t go to Vail with Michael this week. Lots of things I own are breaking down. I discovered on Saturday that my DVD player–only about five years old–completely ceased to function. All the lights are off on the face. I rechecked the plug–even moved it to a new plug–and pushing power did no good. I guess maybe it got zapped in an electrical surge? Though, none of the other equipment running on the same power strip are having problems. I’d be pissed if my TV stopped working, for I got it just a few months before the DVD player and they are both JVC. Which is supposed to be good equipment. What do I know? That’s what consumer reports had said at the time I was looking at TVs and DVD players…

Disk 1 of season 3 of Roswell was stuck in the machine. I’d been watching the series, which I recently got for Christmas, to distract me while I’m exercising on the trainer when nothing interesting is on TV. Unlike computer CD/DVD devices, there’s no override trigger you can push by sticking an unbent paperclip into a hole. I had to take apart the top cover and face plate to get the damn thing outta there. In the process, I may have broken the DVD player more. I tried not to touch the components. I am certainly no electronics wizard. I couldn’t tell you what all those little colored, bumpy electronics boards do. It certainly looks like the inside of a computer in the DVD player… Vaguely interesting, but scary.

I was going to try to take the player to Best Buy or something to see if it can be repaired, but I’m not too hopeful there. I guess I’m going to have to buy another one. A year ago, my VCR finally gave out. It’s okay–it had permission since it was probably over 10 years old–but now I’m stuck in a media-less world. How depressing!! It’s a good thing I didn’t ask Joanna if I could borrow a few seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, like I was tempted to do when we visited Columbus last week. (I didn’t ask because I figured that she might miss the series, or forget where they are, since we see each other so infrequently. Besides, I still have my friend Penitz’s Babylon 5 season 5 DVDs. As my library record clearly shows, I’m not good at returning things in a timely manner.)

Anyway, you would think that’s bad because, as I’ve stated before, I wanted to use my tax return money for an iPod nano (the purple ones!). Now it looks like I’m going to have to get a new DVD player.

To make matters worse, I feel like a complete idiot. As I was driving into work this morning, I underestimated the distance between the side of my car and an orange barrel on Snowville Road. I ended up side-swiping the barrel and breaking my passenger side mirror. Actually, I’m totally relieved that that is all I did–the rest of side of the car is unmarked. Fortunately, the mirror holder has give and it moved to become parallel with the side of my car, but it didn’t come completely off. The mirror is cracked. And the mirror’s holder is not as secure as it once was.

I’m such a horrible, stupid driver. I’m constantly backing into things when I’m in reverse. I’ve dented my back bumper twice and the second time, I just gave up on getting it fixed. Derrick at Century Cycles always has to resist the urge to pound the bumper back into place (the side hangs out on the passenger side). I told him it’s fruitless to fix it because I’ll just pop it back out of place again, which is why it’s hanging in the first place. I’d had someone bang it into place before, but, of course, I backed into something again and it fell back out.

A few years ago, same car, I dented the front passenger side while driving forward into my garage. Yeah, even managed to ding the entry way of my garage, real brilliant. Everyone was baffled as to how I managed to dent my car while going forward. I never admitted, until now, that it happened because my attention got distracted by looking at package I thought I saw on the other side of the garage. I had continued to drive forward while not looking forward. I’m such an ass.

In my first real accident in college, I rear-ended another car when I was looking down to clean up coffee I’d spilled on my passenger seat. I was in stop-and-go traffic in Macedonia, on my way to Wadsworth to meet up with Gary to see the re-issue of the first Star Wars movie. The light turned green; the coffee sitting on the passenger seat tipped; I looked down for just a second to try to wipe it up; the next thing I knew, my car was crunched up against the car in front of me. The silly side note to this story is that when I got my first car after college, my dad installed a cup holder in it first thing because it didn’t have one.

The poor car I own now–an Acura RSX–has also been through one accident and repair in addition to the many little scuffs I’ve put on it. Another rear-ending incident, though not my fault, really, because I was in the middle of a line of traffic entering I-71 in downtown Cleveland from E. 9th when the stupid dippy girl at the very front of the line stopped suddenly. And this wasn’t rush hour, the highway was completely free of traffic. I realize, yes, it was my fault since I guess I was too close to the car in front of me. But I wasn’t the only one who got caught up in that accident chain, though my car was damaged the worst.

So, anyway, I think my next car is going to be something much cheaper and less flashy because I don’t feel I deserve to drive nice vehicles since I clearly cannot take care of them well enough. I am just a crappy driver all around. Even when I’m paying attention fully to my driving–as I was this morning!–I still manage to cause damage to my car.

I’m just feeling financially crunched this week after paying my bills on Sunday. I guess it’s probably good that I didn’t go to Vail anyway. I’ve got stuff I need to buy for the house too. I guess all this stress gives me an excuse to use the coupon for the free (up to $12) Build-a-Bear stuffed animal I got in the email yesterday.

My cat, Cleo, is having medical problems… When it rains, it pours, I guess. It seems like the Fates don’t want me to enjoy my own music on an iPod… I’m not going to get the mirror on my car fixed–it’s pointless. But I will probably need to buy a new DVD player. Not that I’m addicted to TV. Okay, I am. I think it’s okay, though, because I don’t watch meaningless entertainment; I watch literature in the visual format. Besides, if I don’t have access to my media library, I will never get on my trainer when there’s nothing–which is most of the time–on TV.


10 thoughts on “Week of mechanical breakdown

  1. Yeah, I’m feeling a financial pinch, too. Solo just had surgery to have a lump removed from his leg which was over $300.00. That’s on top of his $120.00 in vaccinations. Luckily, he has better medical coverage than I do. Unfortunately, I have to pay for that insurance, too.Better that you hit an orange barrel with your mirror than an unsuspecting cyclist.

  2. I know. I’m a complete moron. I deserve your mockery. That’s why I self-deprecated myself publicly. I’m so mad. I totally suck. I wish how I could express how deeply the physical damage of my own property hurts me… like I cant get it out of my mind or stop chastising myself for it. I hear my dad’s voice inside of my head, calling me a moron. Well, maybe he wouldnt call me a moron. He’d just shake his head and tell me I’m just like my mom… which must mean awkward and non-attentive. And, of course, he’s totally right. And now I have to live with the result of my non-attentiveness while driving. I am an ass. I wish someone would revoke my license… And I probably also further broke my DVD player while trying to extracate my DVD from it. Dont let me touch your electronics or your vehicles, people. I bring bad luck. I’m cursed.

  3. You’re not cursed, Mars Girl: it’s just that stuff happens, sometimes all at once, and it’s winter, so maybe if you’re like me, your coping level/ tolerance for remaining optimistic or positive about life when stuff happens is just lowered drastically by all the grey skies. It’ll get better when the sun shines, or when you next ski/hike! I’m not saying cheer up, but I’m saying that’s why things look a little less tolerable through winter-lenses.

  4. I am going skiing on Sunday with a friend I just reconnected with (used to ski with her all the time, back in the “Mars Girl was happily married” phase of my life). But that costs $$. So you can see why I’m still here freaking… I feel like I dont deserve to do anything fun because I was reckless with my car. That’s two weeks of going home straight from work and not spending any money on socializing as pennance. Dont I make a wonderful Catholic? Some habits die hard! ;) (no offense, Diane!)

  5. Hey, what do you mean your father says you are “just like your mom” and it means something baaad!Just slow down, pay attention more. We all get distracted at times. For every damaging inattentive moment there are probably 10-15 ‘whew’ moments. Take the ‘whew’ ones more seriously.You are not alone. Just look at the other cars on the road! Some are really marred, on almost every surface!It hurts to wreck your stuff, tho. I feel your pain. MOM

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