Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

A soul-destroying New Year’s Day

I started out 2009 by calling in a favor and having a good friend drive me all over town to look  at used cars.

I do not recommend this as anything other than an exercise in futility – unless, of course, you simply have too much hair and would like to thin it by tearing it out in frustration.

After perusing several car lots staffed by salesmen (one of whom I’m fairly certain was missing a few chromosomes) from hell, I had to take a break and get some lunch because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to cry or kill someone.*

Part of the problem is me. There’s a huge gulf between what I want and what I can afford.

The car I want:

bmw

The car I can afford:

wreck

It’s not that I can’t afford a nice car, it’s that I can’t afford a nice car right now – no one knows if the actors are going to strike and I can’t saddle myself with a car payment that amounts to much more than spare change if I’m going to be out of work for a few months. Again.

So although the really nice little German-made sport wagon is theoretically within my reach financially (I’m talking 2000 or 2001 models), I just can’t do it now and am going to have to settle for some econobox which I guarantee I’ll hate more than a trip to the dentist.

On the bright side, at least I won’t be sad if it gets stolen.

Said genetic-material challenged salesmen (and of course, they’ve all been men) have been no help at all. One showed me cars that were all $5,000 above what I told him was my maximum price, and another showed me a few cars that were in worse shape than my truck (you know, the one that doesn’t run), but were admittedly in my price range.

Ugh. I didn’t really even want a wagon, but the gas mileage on the SUV models I’ve looked at is so shockingly bad I can’t in good conscience buy one (shame, too.  I really, really like the Chevy Trailblazer, but it’s fuel economy is disgraceful at best). Although several manufacturers do make SUV type vehicles that get good mileage, they’re either not readily available or out of my price range.

No resolutions this year. I don’t have the energy and self-improvement can suck it.  Or maybe I’m just in a bad mood.

Here’s to ’09 being a damn sight better than ’08.

* Who am I kidding? I’d much rather kill someone than cry.

Filed under: Non-Work, , , , , , , ,

10 Responses

  1. JCW says:

    Lovely one,

    You’re in the same position as so many of us. I’m in the position of having a kitty dying of cancer and a refrigerator dying of old age, combined with about 10Gs in much needed dental work – all the while coping with the fact that acting work in the Bay Area has dried up more leathery than Nancy Reagan’s private parts.

    Perhaps sometimes we just have to take a leap of faith?

  2. Charli says:

    If you could only wait for a police auction and get one of those impounded vehicles, you’d save a bundle if not many people show up.

  3. k4kafka says:

    Down-sizing from a truck or SUV is traumatic, I know.
    I drove a 1992 Nissan Pathfinder 4WD which I loved. It was rapidly falling apart piece by piece, and with over 240,000 miles on it, I was afraid to drive it out of town. When gas hit $4. a gallon, I decided to donate it to a charity and took a tax deduction. Now I’m driving a much more practical 4 cylinder VW Jetta wagon which holds almost as much stuff. I found on Craig’s List.

  4. lighttech says:

    best time to shop is right now before all the banks open the wallets and let the deadbeats back in –so go look even new might be cheaper than you think

    work on the street from my union rep is the actor are not going to “pull the trigger” as the rest of the unions do not care or will not support a strike at this time for “extras” of income above the level already set –and he also said one union joking said “we’ll picket the picket line” if they go!

  5. nezza says:

    You just don’t have much luck do you sometimes? I hope it all works out and you find something decent. *crosses fingers and toes*

  6. geekhiker says:

    Ugh, car shopping is evil, pure and simple. Wish I could do something to help, but I’ll just have to settle for crossing my fingers for you…

  7. snarkolepsy says:

    I recommend the auction thing too. A lot of cities have them, and aren’t police impounds. They are repos. I bought my truck that way, and it has been a really solid car. Some of the auctions will send you an email list of what they are offering and you can check the cars out the day before. You have to do a little homework, but you can wind up with a really good deal. The only negative? People haven’t been able to get financing lately, so I wouldn’t expect to be alone there. Auctions can give you a little anxiety, but you are a smart chick. You’ll do fine.

  8. opus says:

    It may sound morbid but might I suggest looking at the obituaries.
    Another suggestion would be self storage facilities. When people quit paying their rent on the storage spaces the contents are auctioned off, you can get boats, cars, pretty much anything.
    Check the want ads,craig’s list and don’t forget friends or co workers who may be looking to sell their own cars.
    Car rental places hold auctions for their used vehicles.
    Lastly maybe you should be looking for a tempory vehicle, something cheap that only needs to last until the danger of the actor’s strike has passed, then get a car you really want.

  9. orangecounty says:

    Would this work for you?
    http://www.zipcar.com/

  10. that girl says:

    What about out of state???? For some reason, I get that impression LA or CA is kind of pricey. Don’t be afraid to negotiate as no one is buying right now that is why new is such a deal…0%, rebates, sale prices, etc…we’ve seen in the newspaper where new is CHEAPER than used on some models…and you get those bumper to bumper warranties with a loaner but that might just be here in the Midwest. Good luck.

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