Wednesday, February 13, 2013

2013 So Far

I haven't been here in a while. Whoops. For someone who's "a writer," I don't do that much actual writing. I should probably change that. In any case, here's what's been going on with me thus far in 2013.

I transferred to the University of North Texas this semester. I'm doing really well, and I'm really enjoying it. I'm very optimistic about the entire school "thing."

So. Back in mid-December, I hear a slight rattling/tapping noise in my car's engine. Not quite concerning, just a "what is that?" kind of deal. Considering it's a 1999 Sonata that's been totaled before, it might be something innocent and harmless, not necessarily serious. Cut to a month later, when I'm driving home and the thing sounds like it's going to rattle apart. It's pretty obvious that it's something tied to either a belt or a cylinder, since it has a very precise rhythm tied to the RPMs. Also, my car suddenly seems to have an upper limit on how much it can rev, so I can't gun the engine and expect much performance. It's like I'm driving on ice, but the ice is somehow inside the engine and preventing it from getting "traction." Even though I know little-to-nothing about this specific problem, it "feels" like one of the cylinders isn't firing correctly, and research tells me it may be a timing belt problem, which might make my engine basically implode if I drive it. But I don't have any guarantee that that's the problem, and I don't have time to find out because the next morning I have to drive 30 miles to a new school to start orientation.

So, the next day, I set out for school, make it about 20 miles, then the rattling goes insane, the engine heat goes way up (despite 70MPH worth of 40-degree wind blasting through it), and my speed gets bizarrely inconsistent. Sometimes I can barely make 60 MPH, the next moment I can reach 70. Then my engine basically explodes. I feel/hear a THUNK, the engine dies, and steam starts pouring out my tailpipe and from tiny cracks in the radiator (which were already there from an incident three years ago). So my car is basically dead.

On the plus side, from there things got better. I was able to call my mom, who drove from her work to pick me up and take me to my orientation (which I was only ten minutes late for). She handled the towing of my car as well. Orientation went really well; I got a lot of things done. I'm taking out a student loan to help pay for a new car, and I should probably have my new wheels in a week or two. Truth be told, that Sonata has given me little else but trouble since I got it, so if all trouble this means I get a new car, it'll all have been worth it.

I'm pretty psyched for a couple of movies this year.

Star Trek Into Darkness

That trailer is pretty slick, for a number of reasons. For one, it looks like the the movie is going to be a good bit more "serious" than the last one, with some good character-focused storytelling. For another, it looks like the Trek universe, normally restricted to voyages in space, is actually taking a fair amount of time on Earth. It's a very important aspect of the Trek universe that's oddly rarely touched on. It helps the audience to have a connection to Trek's future, making it all feel a little more real. This also looks like a Trek film where all the boundaries are being broken. The Enterprise, along with likely the entire fleet, comes crashing from the skies, while panicked civilians run for their lives in the streets. Add in some depth of character to make it personal and poignant and you've got a crazy level of awesome.

Man of Steel

Although the marketing for this movie seems to be pushing the "dark, tortured, and alienated" angle, what's actually been said by the cast and crew about the film makes me very optimistic. We might actually get the Superman movie we've been waiting for.

That's it, for the most part. I don't really have much else going on. School, car complications, and geek things. I'll do my best to keep up with the blog and write more when there's more to write.

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