Thursday, 9:30am, he's packing his clothes for tomorrow into an overnight bag, plus the camera, just in case the cab goes past the Statue of Liberty on the way into the city from JFK, and he's asking me if I need the Jetta. I'd like to have the Jetta this weekend, but he's driving into Toronto and it's very hard to park that truck. He says there's room in the parking lot. But I won't be driving any kind of distance this weekend. Just hanging around near home, as usual. And he should take the fuel efficient little diesel car into the city. It's enough of a drive that the truck is a huge waste of gas money.
He's flying into Noo Yawk with the producer of this extremely meaningful album, to attend the mastering session. Mastering means the final step before that album gets pressed onto disc. This is, to my understanding, the process ensuring that all songs are the same volume, the spaces between the songs are decided, and basically make sure there's nothing there that shouldn't be.
This one is the first major label album that he's worked on in a long time. He recorded and mixed it. He loves it. It's kind of a jazz album, by a singer who is so cool and so full of vibe that it could just knock you out. He and the producer are very protective of this baby.
On his way out the door I made the mistake of asking, "You are getting paid for this right?" and immediately found myself crouching, eyes squeezed shut, hissing, "don't wanna know! don't wanna know! zip it! zip it!"
You see, up until January of '05, after my "Little Breakdown", I spent almost three years being Jethro's Business Administrator, manager, secretary, schedule juggler, fire putter outter, babysitter, crappy bookkeeper, and Collection Officer. I was also shaggin the boss. Or maybe he was shaggin the boss. We were never sure which one of us was the boss.
My next question to him was, "This trip isn't coming out of your pocket though, is it?" which again led to me howling, "no, no, zip it, don't tell me!" Perhaps you can imagine the kind of arguments we had during our Ozzy & Sharon phase of our marriage.***
So, off he goes, airplane, studio, airplane, rock n roll, hello cleveland etc etc etc...and I wonder why we aren't living that wealthy music biz life that I keep hearing about...
and now for the bad news about my truck.
She's been smoking for a while now and we can't get her to quit. We have a thing called Drive Clean in southern Ontario which in theory is supposed to cut down on pollution. I'm all for that, please believe, except that there are people like me who figure we can't afford to spend all that money on repairs if our trucks fail, so we get an oil change and then take the truck out on the highway and floor the bitch, blasting every particle of unburnt hydrocarbon out the tailpipe. Theoretically, that is. After getting a Pass, off we go for another couple of years, trying to ignore that blue smoke every time we start up our trucks and feeling rather guilty about it, but selfishly relieved not to be paying out for whatever magical repair will stop the smoke.
The only real repair would be a nice shiny brand new small block Chevy engine.
Last week I spotted a puddle of anti-freeze on the pavement. Our mechanic told us the bad news: coolant is leaking into the top of the engine. We could take off the heads and rebuild it, except for the technicality that the bottom of the engine, the part burning the oil, is rather screwed as well.
Yesterday when backing into a parking spot, I detected the sickly-sweet smell of coolant drifting out of the exhaust, mingling with the slight burnt oil aroma.
Yep. Looks like we'll be forking out around 3 Grand for a new motor.
I know that I can get a safety checked, Drive Clean passed VW Golf, around the same age as this truck, for that price. But dammit, how am I gonna pull that horse trailer when I get it? And haul some of my old man's junk away this summer? And bring home fencing supplies from the hardware store? How do truckless people get through life???
Naked truth: I just like driving a truck. I like being up higher than the cars. I love stepping into it and hearing the roar of all 8 cylinders. I don't love parking it or filling the tank. At a buck a litre and with a 100 L tank it costs over a $100 to fill it but that lasts me a month during the winter when I don't really go anywhere. I feel the guilt of consumption, hell yeah. But hey, the buzz of sliding off the seat down onto the pavement is worth it. I am small. I have size issues. I love my truck. Isn't she magnificent! I gave 'er a good scrub yesterday and took these photos. (Notice the trees aren't in bud yet. Give it time.) I'm all for the fine German engineering but here's where American goes totally right. Look at those smooth, uncluttered body lines. It's as aerdynamic as a brick, sure, but it can haul bricks. Plus six bricklayers.
And it's paid for. I can't get a better truck for 3 Grand.
I do know that we won't be getting a wrecker motor. We did that with my first truck. Never again. For all the trouble why put in a motor that may be months away from being as bad as the original? My old man would let us change it in his shop but I don't think Jethro can take the time off to do it. What a life. I remember in the good old days when changing an engine was a healthy active part of our summer.
In any case, he doesn't think the truck will make the drive out to the farm. Uh huh. Is it good for a person with a panic disorder to drive around like that? Believe, I have driven some wrecks. I usually know, from experience, when to park it and walk away from it. It's just not a good feeling. The kids are disappointed that it won't actually explode in a loud boom when it goes. They are a couple of freaks.
He'll be back from Noo Yawk on Saturday afternoon. Until then, he assures me I'll be okay with the truck and he loves me very much so I'll trust him that I'll be okay. But I'm throwing the bikes in the back just in case.
*** I'm pretty sure Jethro is gonna end up looking just like Ozzy in twenty years, only y'know, without the shakes, the crucifixes, the tattoos, and the bats.
They both started off like this.