I bought a new car this week. It's a blue Chevy Cruze. I needed it. My Dodge Neon was 12 years old, and only had 73,000 miles on it, but I honestly didn't think it had more than a few weeks left to go on it. Rather than dumping a truck ton of cash into keeping it running, I decided to spend a truck ton of cash over six years on this new vehicle. As an experience, it was interesting. I know nothing about cars. I know even less than nothing about purchasing them, so having a friend in your corner who knows all about them is key. And my buddy Brian was on it. When I first contacted him about the possibility of me getting a new car, he perked up. Actually, let me put it like this - On Sunday night, Ben from the comic shop called me and left me a message that I might want to take a look at the comic collection that he bought. So at 10PM, I drove to Carol and John's and stood in awe at a small collection of classic comics. Amazing Spider-Man, Captain America, Daredevil, and Fantastic Four. It was great. Ben got me out of the house, into a treacherous car, and up to the shop with a phone call. I think Brian had that same experience when I called him. This was what he lives for. On Monday, at the dealership, he was fully prepared - numbers had been crunched, logarithms had been calculated. It was impressive. It was so impressive, in fact, that the normal back and forth dance was a mere three exchanges. He gave his offer, we gave ours, and then he came back with a number that hit the number we wanted. Done and done. And I've driven it all of about 12 miles since then.
And for Brian, I know that was a great day. Like I said, this is what he lives for. I was actually happy that we got to basically sit around for 3 and 1/2 hours just catching up. But for me, as satisfying (and finally stress-free) as it made me, today might have been more personally satisfying. I got home from work, mowed the lawn with the "new" lawnmower I got last year (thanks, Bill!), and marveled at the fact that after 14 years I finally have a lawnmower that has a grass catcher. It really is a game-changer for me. Then I spent two hours reading comic books while listening to Debbie Gibson. Yep. Debbie Gibson. The last MySpace review I ever wrote was a review of a concert that I went to where she co-headlined with Tiffany (who was fine, but wasn't Debbie). So I say that with my head held high. But honestly, spending two hours reading comics was glorious. From Alex De Campi and Carla Speed Mcneil's brutal "No Mercy" to Robert Kirkman's return to "Invincible" (he's been writing this as long as "Walking Dead" and it might be even better than that), to a really great Beast and Dr. Strange team-up in the newest issue of All New X-Men (#8) written by Dennis Hopeless. It's been a while since I let my geek flag fly, so there you go.
After a couple hours of that, I decided to walk to Marcs and pick up a gallon of milk and some bread. But on the way, I figured I'd treat myself to some Chinese food. But what to watch when I got home? Two thousand movies and nothing to watch. Life's hard. I opted for a movie I picked up a couple years ago - Three Little Words. Starring Fred Astaire, Red Skelton, and Vera-Ellen, it told the story of songwriting-composing team of Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby as they crushed it on stage and in films (they wrote Groucho Marx's "Hooray for Captain Spaulding"). As I watched the movie, all I could think of was, that except for the two guys and the music, everything else was probably fiction. But I don't care.
The debate will always rage as to who people prefer - Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly? You can appreciate both (and I definitely do), but I'll always choose Fred Astaire. His dance choreography is just so on point, that I always compare it to the best kung fu movies I've seen where the fight scenes are just variations of dance moves. It didn't hurt that his partner in the film, Vera-Ellen, looks like she is having the time of her life or that Red Skelton plays it almost entirely straight, with next to no mugging at all.
And that was my night. It was glorious. I sit here typing this with my Pandora station on in the backround, and I feel content. There's any number of things we can complain about or bring us down, but sometimes you just have to have a night where you create your own happiness.