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Monthly Archives: April 2009

Fall classes

Just registered for fall classes and am very excited about the upcoming semester.

Here’s the lineup of fun things I get to learn:

*Brakes I
*Brakes II
*Basic Auto Electricity
*Battery, Starting & Charging
*Engine Removal & Installation
*Engine Repair & Rebuild

It’s odd. Registering for classes at community college is so very painless. On the Richter scale of educational headaches, my registering experiences as an undergrad clocked in around a 7.8 as an intense migraine. I’d usually have at least three alternative schedules drawn up because my choice classes would never be available. This time around it was a simple matter of going down the list and selecting what’s next in the lineup of required classes.

The good news for the blog is that by September I’ll have wicked cool hands-on things to talk about. Right now all I can really do for a car is an oil change and something that might resemble an inspection. In about five months though, all that will change.

Earth Day

Wednesday, for Earth Day, I wanted to post about some of the eco-friendly advancements in the auto industry. Maybe interview the Boulder garage about the 1965 Ford Mustang they turned into an electric hot rod.

Instead I went out and cleaned up the creek along the walking trail near our house. End result? I collected two bags of trash and three bags of recyclables.

So much for being timely and relevant.

The cars of Twilight

Right. So posting on a more frequent basis starts now. March brought me my quarter-life birthday and bronchitis. I keep forgetting the former happened while the latter set me back on my derriere for two weeks.

While having little else to do other than cough and drink A LOT  of orange juice, I had the opportunity to read like mad. The copy of “Twilight” I reserved from our local library finally arrived and thus I now understand what the hype is about (Or rather I don’t really but that’s another story to be told another time).

Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” pushed enough of my writer buttons that even though I’m miles behind the media bandwagon on this one, the cars of “Twilight” need to be addressed.

We’ll start with Edward, our “stupid shiny Volvo driver.” Given that this novel came out in 2005, I’d wager that our hero drives an S80. For ultimate speed and handling, I personally would have put him in the C70 convertible. Based on lines alone it is by far the sexiest in the Volvo family. But since Edward’s sister drives a convertible, that would just be repetitive.

Here we have a 2004 S80. And look, it’s even sparkling!

volvo-s80-t6

Which takes me to Bella’s car. The Thing. Early on Bella makes reference to her vintage Chevy pickup truck as “the thing” yet after that early mention it never receives that moniker again. The truck is one of the sadly overlooked parts of the book. It has character just reeking from its exhaust pipe and out from under the bulbous hood and yet, Meyer easily dismisses it as soon as Edward starts driving Bella to school. Poor Thing.

By my estimation, based on Meyer’s description of Bella’s truck, I’d wager it to be an early 1950s  model. The best picture I could put my hands on is this one of a very well-loved and restored 1950 pickup truck.1950chevroletpickup

Now I haven’t seen the movie so I may be out on the freeway and beyond the ballpark in my imaginings. The identity issue is this: Edward is reliable while Bella’s built like a tank.

What gets me the most though about the treatment of cars in Meyer’s novel is how easily her characters give up on their identities. Edward is old reliable throughout the novel, but at the same time he’s also presented as a ne’er do well. A Volvo is not a car that strikes terror into the hearts of parents everywhere. In fact, its crash-test ratings and the overall quality of the machine inspire confidence. To give Edward more of reputation as a hard-to-get bad boy I would have put him in Mitsubishi Lancer. At least it looks presentable with a spoiler.

Bella, is certainly not built like a tank. Portrayed as clumsy to the extreme she is the most fragile, dependent and submissive female character I’ve encountered in a long time. Maybe that’s why she works well in the Chevy. It provides the character she otherwise lacks.

My final bone it pick with the cars of “Twilight” is Bella’s indifference towards the one thing most teenagers covet above all else: HER car.

At one point Edward drives Bella’s truck to her house and she doesn’t so much as protest that he’s behind the wheel. It wasn’t long ago that I was 17-year-old girl, and if my boyfriend would have assumed he was driving my car anywhere – even if he knew the way better than me – he would have had another thing coming to him.

Chevy photos courtesy of: http://oldcarandtruckpictures.com/PickupTrucks/1950-1959.html

Volvo courtesy of: http://www.volvocars.com/us/tools/CertifiedPreOwned/Pages/default.aspx