Apr 10

What a difference a week makes

Last Sunday, panic ensued because it sounded like the MIL was ready to buy us a car of her choosing. I felt we didn’t need a car because our 8 year old MINI was running just fine, gets good gas mileage, is fun to drive and is perfect for city driving. To be sure, it was fun looking at new cars, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that an extra car would sit unused in most cases.

Thursday, we got an oil change on our car. Bonus to that, is that the oil change wound up being free because they couldn’t change the filter. Extra-extra bonus is that the power streering came back. I guess they refilled the fluid…I don’t know.

Friday, Adrian hopped into the car to go grocery shopping. The car died in the driveway. There’s something wrong with the gear shift. It won’t move. We can push the clutch in, but we can’t shift.

Now, this is unsurprising because as I’ve mentioned before, our MINI is a piece of crap on wheels. But to have it happen now, is just our kind of luck. If it’s the gear box, this will be the 3rd time it’s happened. I doubt it’s the gear box, because usually, we can move the clutch around. But that’s an $1100 fix. If it’s the transmission, that will mean, it’s the 3rd transmission to fail in the 8 years we’ve had the car. The price tag on that repair is about $2800. Either way, we don’t have the money. And considering the MIL does not like the MINI and wants us to get a new car anyway, we don’t see her help forthcoming.

A week later: We’ve missed the Festival of Books due to the broken car. Today we were supposed to go visit the MIL to celebrate our daughter’s birthday. And now we’re totally okay with the MIL getting us a new car.

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Apr 10

The comforts of a car

We’ve been offered a “gift” of a new car.  The string attached, is that the car must seat 5, comfortably.  You know, unlike our MINI Cooper. The last 3 cars we’ve bought were months and months of research and test driving. I think normal people do it much quicker. This “gift” is a race against time. We’re worried that if we don’t find a car we like, one that we don’t like will be purchased for us. Considering our lifestyle and the thing we want to do, but can’t due to our current car, we’ve been considering wagons. He wants an WRX. I looked at the Mitsubishi Outlander and the Nissan Rogue, but neither have manual transmissions. Other options are the Jetta Wagon or a used Audi A3. I’ll look into options from Hyundai since many of my friends drive them and like them.

Our MINI is 8 years old and falling apart; the glove box is broken, reading light buttons are broken, CD changer is broken, chairs are broken, sunroof is broken, windshield is cracked…and then there’s the small issue of the damaged panel.


I’ve written several times over the years on why our MINI is a piece of crap car. Oddly, it took just looking at websites of other automakers to fully appreciate what we do have in MINI.  I had assumed that 8 years later, many items that we have in our MINI would be considered standard in cars nowadays. Well, that’s not the case.

We’ve been spoiled by our MINI Cooper.

We have the sunroof/moonroof on our car and that has a built-in deflector and screening. There are audio controls in the steering wheel, which I love just as a safety feature. The car came with a 6 CD changer in the boot and a valet key. We have 4 carpeted floormats, 2 cargo nets and a cargo cover.

Needless to say, I love these features and thought that for certain cars, wagons to be exact, that some of these items would be standard. I was shocked to see that a sunroof or moonroof package on a car, was a separate fee from installing a wind deflector on the car.  Some cars we’ve looked at don’t even have screening for the sunroof.

So, as we talk, we find that features we have in our craptastic MINI are the ones that make driving enjoyable or safer. We each have items that we want/need in a car, but I’m afraid that under $25K, that car doesn’t exist…unless we get another MINI, which is out of the question.

Today, we test drove a Mazdaspeed 3. It’s interior was insanely ugly and boring at the same time. I asked the salesman if you could open the trunk with the key. I have that ability on the MINI and it’s great when carrying many things or heavy items. He said the feature is only available in the sedans. I was surprised at his answer.

My husband’s focus on a car is that it has power, AWD with a manual transmission and matches his personality. My focus is that it gets good gas mileage, the chairs don’t hurt my back and arms, and that the suspension isn’t too bouncy. I drive a lot for work purposes, often logging over 200 miles in day. We want a car that will make us happy.

The MINI is a joy to ride, especially when I have to log 200+ miles one way. The psychological joy we both get from our oversized sunroof can not be minimized. Most cars without a sunroof feel claustrophobic to us. I feel so much safer driving down the freeway, using my steering wheel to control the volume or mode of music, than I do jabbing at buttons while trying to watch out for other drivers.

Obviously, there are things about the MINI that I detest or that don’t make sense now that there’s 4 of us.  I can’t wait to have a car where I can put almost any sized cup in the cupholder. I crave sun visors that actually block out the sun and don’t block out the traffic lights. We do need more space, since all the gear we keep in the trunk takes up too much room. We now often have to pile grocery bags on top of the kids and the passenger. I can’t wait to be able to go to Ikea with the whole family without worrying about if we’ll need to have our items delivered or if a second trip back solo is in order.

Sep 09

NHRA Museum at the Fairplex

Did you know that there is an NHRA Museum on site at the Fairplex in Pomona? I didn’t. All these years and I had no idea. When we went to the LA County Fair on Saturday, we stumbled upon this place. It’s packed full of racing history. Admission was $1 for adults and frankly, should be more. The place is detailed in racing history, complete with roadsters, motorcycles and drag racers from the beginning of racing history on down to today.

Melrose Missle III

Melrose Missle III




Original Batmobile


Wally Parks


Bench with racing stickers



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Mar 09

Win a chance to buy me a car!


Kia Soul

Kia Soul

New for Spring 2009, the awesome opportunity to purchase a Kia Soul for my personal use.  Enter the Spring Faboo Mama Needs a Car Sweepstakes* for your chance to buy me a 2010 Kia Soul.  

Contest winners get the bragging rights to say they bought me a car.  I’ll highlight your blog/business in a post on and even let you put a banner ad on the site for a year. 

This opportunity happens like never, so hurry up and enter before the contest ends in June 2009!

CONTEST RULES: You must be 18 to enter and be able to pay the full price of the car. Contest open to everyone in the world. 2010 Kia Soul Sport (MSRP of $19,845). Deadline to enter is June 20th, 2009.  2nd place winner can pay my car insurance for 3 years  and a small button ad for a year. 3rd place winner gets to buy me a year’s worth of gas and will receive a text ad for a year.

*This is tongue-in-cheek.

Nov 08

Or you could buy a house

So you have an extra $495,000 laying around and you’re wondering what you can do with it. Well, why not buy a base model SLR? The 2009 SLR McLaren Roadster says, “I have money and you so don’t.” It is the ultimate in sportscar driving with a top speed of 206 mph, it goes from 0 – 60 in 3.8 seconds.  I spoke to a police officer today who said, “What’s the point of buying a roadster if you’re not going to speed? Just to let me catch you.”

Mercedes-Benz SLR

Mercedes-Benz SLR

Jun 08

Why MINI sucks balls

You can see the new car here.

May 08

Red Light Driving Scofflaws Beware!

Vlog on a recent LA Times article regarding red light camera tickets:


May 08

Hot Escort

Okay. Not really. I just found it hilarious that some would do this to an old Escort wagon. Did you check out the tail lights? Smokin’.

Mar 08

What $1400 looks like

The other day, when they got home, Ilia jumps out of the car, “Daddy hit something!”. Daddy said, “I just knocked the side-view. You know how loud that is.” Ilia kept saying, “We need a new car.” (For the record, she wants an SUV because she says we need more room. Who’s kid is this?)

We kept telling her to be quiet, so she loudly announced, “I’m going to look at it.” Daddy said, “There’s nothing to look at. I just knocked the window.” Screeches and Ilia said, “It’s BROKEN! We need a new car!!!” Daddy walked over to look and quickly stiffened. “Oh my…fu…sh…Dang.”

I walked over to see what the problem was. OMG. That’s not just knocking the side view! What the hell did he hit? I’m still unclear, Faboo Papa doesn’t take blame easily, so I got a lot of how it wasn’t his fault, but unclear as to what he hit exactly. That was Saturday. On Sunday, I had to shoot a site in Glendale. I drove there with the dangling side-view. Dangerous. Fast as I drive? And considering the car has a major blind spot on that entire side, even with an operable side-view, it was hair-raising on the freeway. I got back home after a few hours had to go back out. Needless to say, the side-view was still dangling, so I (you know the person not in the car at the time) had to get some duct tape and “fix” the side-view.

Monday and Tuesday came an went like we had a completely intact car. Pffft. I (you know the person not in the car at the time) took the car to the body shop to get an estimate. Found out that I can get an new paint job for $1100 too. I just may get my baby blue MINI Cooper.

Dec 07

Shorter Michigan Republicans: WAAAAAAAAAAAH!

I almost feel for the US automotive industry. I equate their leadership and marginalization to Black people in America today. Yay you! You did something great 40 years ago, but what about today? Are you going to keep moving forward or will you rest on your laurels for another 40 years?

You have your lobbyist in Washington and you get to write legislation. You own Congresspeople. Everything you do is to benefit you. You do nothing to help the American public. Naturally, it’s hard for me to care when Michigan Republicans get pissy because the new energy bill was delivered in a Prius.

The 2008 Chevy Tahoe hybrid was named Green Car of the Year. And you’re telling me that not one Congress critter, aide or Chevy representative thought of using the car? When I read yesterday that a hybrid was going to deliver the bill, I assumed it would be the Chevy. How did all you people who make the big bucks fall down on the job? Sorry, you can get pissy at Toyota, you can be mad at Pelosi, you can whine about it being a slap in the face, but this was on you Michigan.