Tag Archives: Childhood

Cars, Beautiful Cars

A little known fact about me (well, maybe not little-known to anyone who has ever had to wait for a cab with me outside a bar while I drunkenly call out car models that pass by) is that I love cars. I can identify car makes and models by the shape of their headlights, I think car shopping is one of the most interesting things in the world, and I once ended a relationship because the guy I was dating mixed up a Hummer and a Tahoe. It was more of a tipping point, you know, the “straw that broke the camel’s back” since I’m not that cold-hearted, but still.

It’s not like I grew up in a world of antique car shows or even a world where my parents bought more than one car every 15 years. My friends’ parents all drove Sunfires and Corollas.

I’m sure it all spawned from listening to the dinner table talk, where my autobody-shop-working dad told stories of hilarity about rich people who kept wrapping their Corvettes around poles and whatnot. Do you even know how much paint costs for  a Bentley?!? Here’s a hint: Watch out for poles when backing your 150 thousand dollar car up.

So I took a passive interest in cars. It’s not like I sat there with flash cards every night trying to memorize the slight differences between a Blazer and a Jimmy, but I still knew that your parents drove a Ford Winstar, not a Dodge Caravan you idiot.

I even had my own dream car growing up! A very specific one, too:

Although, I would have to update those rims.

I remember almost crying when we got a flyer in the mail advertising the new 5th gen Mustang. The front grill! What did they do? Oh my god!!

Crying over pictures of cars? Normal 12 year old girl behaviour, right?

I learned to accept it eventually.

Although I can out-do, or at least keep up with, any of my macho guy friends when they talk about cars, sometimes my knowledge makes for an embarrassing moment.

Every industry has its own slang, I presume. Sometimes you don’t realize that maybe not everyone grew up learning about cars from a blue-collar father who worked in a body shop. Not everyone.

In grade 11, I rolled into my math exam looking extra frazzled, I suppose. There is a certain amount of frazzled-ness appropriate for writing an exam on advanced functions, but I guess I surpassed that because everyone was asking me what happened.

“My tranny died,” I replied.

The night before my car had broken down (at 11:30 pm, no less. I didn’t do so well on that exam.) Apparently the radiator went bust and the transmission seized since it was getting no fluid. I pulled over quickly so the transmission turned out to be okay, but at this point I was still under the impression I was going to have to pay 3 grand to fix a car that was purchased 3 weeks before.

My curious friends looked at me with blank stares on their faces and said nothing.

And that’s when I realized that to the minds of 17 year olds with bankers as parents, a “tranny” is not a transmission.

Oops.

—-

I’m looking forward to the Canadian International Auto Show this week. There’s something about shiny new cars that I’m able to sit in that makes me so happy. It’s the small things in life, isn’t it?

If I can somehow spin a post about the CIAS without making it some boring bueller-like “look at this car, now this one, this one, this one is black, this one is pretty” post, you’ll be seeing that soon.

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“What do you want to be when you grow up?” Revisited

Every time I stumble upon some old journal, I’m amazed at two things.

1. What the hell was I even thinking? I wrote one entry in a school journal about why I want Pokemon to be real.
2. Wow, my attention span was short. There’s always about a week or two of everyday entries, followed by a 3 months of nothing, followed by an entry that starts “wow it’s been a while.” Predictable me.

Here are some answers to the fateful question about my future career I’ve found or remembered:

Veterinarian, like every other 10 year old girl.

Video game tester. Is that even a thing? Wow. I dreamt big.

Graphic designer in advertising. More recent. This persisted until I figured out that really, I’m not that clever.

Art director in print.  Also extremely recent. This one was crushed by the dwindling print industry and my reluctance to learn anymore HTML or web design beyond basic tables.

Journalist. Again, quashed by the “dying art of print” idea going around.

Surgeon. Inspired by M*A*S*H and ER. They just made it look so cool. And then, high school chemistry came along…

Psychologist. Grade 11 anthro/sociology/psychology class was probably the only interesting class I’d ever taken in high school. I figured I’d be good at listening to people’s problems. “Psychiatrist” was in the running, but you need med school for that. We all know med school needs chemistry. *gag*

Nurse. This was born out of my love of medicine but hate of chemistry. The fact that a lot of employees at my mom’s workplace, aka hell on earth aka the largest phone company in Canada I don’t want to name, had degrees in things like psychology is something that lead me to nursing. I did not want to get stuck at a shitty job with a useless degree because I couldn’t find anything else. It’s my worst fear. Oddly enough, it looks like a lot of nurse graduates from the program I was in had hard time finding full time work. Oddly enough, since the province keeps crying that we don’t have enough nurses but apparently they won’t hire any more? Hmmm…

I’m sure we all have crazy lists like this. Please share! Growing up, no one hopes to become a senior analyst (what is that, even?) or a marketing coordinator. Well, maybe some kids do.

Matilda: Remember This?

I caught the old adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Matilda on TV the other night.
Do you remember it?

Photoshop in 1996 just wasn't the same.

Yep, this was the movie.

If you aren’t familiar with the book or movie, Matilda’s a young girl with horrible, straight-from-the-middle-class-trailer-park parents. They hate books and spend most of their time eating TV dinners and watching Wrestlemania.

When she gets to elementary school, there is this principal who is even more horrible than her parents, “The Trunchbull”

Perfect name, I always thought.

Basically, Matilda somehow (It’s been a while since I’ve seen it) learns she can move shit just by looking at it. So she fucks shit up for both her parents and the Trunchbull (in family-friendly ways) and eventually Ms. Honey, the sweet teacher, adopts her, which her parents are totally cool with.

Aw, just look at them.

Oh, shit, I didn’t mention the chokey, did I?

Suddenly, our elementary school principals didn't seem so bad.

This was the thing kids would get thrown in, for hours on end, if they misbehaved. Nineteen ninety six was apparently a dark year for the public school systems.

I watched this movie every single day as a kid, and spent the rest of my time trying to move things with my eyes.
Ah, childhood.

I wish I was still at that age where the movie seemed perfectly logical. Dammit.