My Life in Cars

1990 to 1990:

Ah…my first car. A 1979 Buick Regal. My dad/sister gave me this car in 1990. Lasted less than a year, mostly due to  doing “neutral drops” on I79 by the Millcreek Mall.

1990 to 1993:

Next was a 1986 (I think) Ford Tempo. My first manual transmission. I’m not sure if it was ever really mine, or if I just borrowed it from my sister for a couple years. Gray with a big dent in the side. Not sure where it went or why.

1993 to 2004:

A 1993 Cavalier. My first new car. I bought this in 1994 and drove it into the ground. Had it from 1994 to 2004. Also a standard. Lot of miles on this car – I moved to Kentucky while I owned it. Did the 900 mile round trip drive from Louisville to Erie many, many times.

1998 to 1999:

Along with the Cavalier, I also needed a family car, so in 1998 I bought this 1989 Subaru wagon, and used it until 1999 when the muffler fell off. I will never forget the day it started shooting billows of smoke, pure white thick smoke, out of the muffler. Not sure why – can’t remember what got repaired. But the smoke was so thick, you could follow my trail for blocks!!!

2002 to 2004

After getting rid of the Subaru, this was the next family car. An 89 Dodge Caravan.  I sold it when the repair bills started killing me. About 1998-2003

2004 to 2004:

Someone at church gave me this car after the Cavalier died. A 1993 Plymouth Acclaim. Drove it for about a month until the head gasket started leaking, and I was getting ready to get it repaired when I bought the Grand Marquis.

2004 to 2009:

A 1994 Grand Marquis. Probably my favorite car of them all (until now). I had this from 2004 to 2009. Many more trips to PA in this car, I was totally in love with it. I still miss it!

2005-2006:

Somewhere around 2005, the rear end broke on my Grand Marquis. Another couple at another church gave us this 1992 Crown Vic, so I didn’t suffer much loss for the four or five months it took me to repair the Mercury.

2009-2010:

I put in more money for repairs for this 2003 Ford Taurus than I paid for the car. I do remember trying to start it, and pulling the key out, and having the starter stick and continue turning the engine over until the battery died. That was memorable. Radiator died, water pump died, and the heater core went bad.  I drove to Erie, PA during an ice storm (for Christmas) with no heat. The 7 hour drive took at least 15 hours.

2010-2011:

I bought this for $400 on Craigslist. Awesome car. Standard. The windshield wipers didn’t work, and the stick shifter kept disconnecting, so I couldn’t shift. I pulled up the console, and tied it back together with cable ties. The ties broke once every couple of weeks, so I had to perform this repair often.

2011 to Present:

A 2005 Chevy Impala. I like this car. I really liked it, until we bought our new car in May, 2012.

2012 to Present:

Janelle has been travelling back and forth to Cleveland for work, and back and forth from Indiana, PA for school. So we needed a new car. We bought this VW Golf  TDI, Diesel. I am truly loving it. (and back to a standard!)

There you go, my life in cars.

Peace.

My Life in Jobs (you might live longer…)

“You might live longer, but you won’t outlive me.”

-Doug Stone

Society has been telling me for years that I need to have one, solid 40 hour a week job. Something that will provide for now, and for retirement. This is the same society that has been telling me that I can do anything I want to do, and be anything I want to be. I have rejected the first advice, and accepted the second. I imagine that no matter what happens, or how much money I have, I’m not going to retire, I’ll just work ‘til I’m gone.

I don’t mind writing for no personal credit, I don’t mind working on projects which put me in the background. I am living my life right now. I can’t see the advantage of waiting until I retire to travel the world and enjoy life. And what have I sacrificed? Just stuff, stuff that I don’t really need anyways. I could work my ass off, buy a $300,000 home that I cannot enjoy because I am not going to be spending any time there until retirement, or an amazing car that I just drive to work. These (and more) would be just social status icons that I wouldn’t really appreciate anyways.

I’m making my way doing more than simply existing. I still work, make enough money for my style. And I work on the beach. Or in my backyard. Or in another country. I do it anywhere. Anytime. While I travel, while I take care of things at home.  My house is full of guitars, keyboards, computers, books, cameras, paintings, things that keep me thinking in terms of creativity.

Don’t get caught in the American Dream. It’s a nightmare. Find what you love to do, and do it.

Here are the things that I have loved and hated until I got where I am today:

Mobile Mower Mender (Erie, PA) – Working at my dad’s business learning how to repair small engines and deal with customers.

Unnamed Rental Agency (Erie, PA)

McDonald’s (Erie, PA)- The one on Peninsula. Probably did this for about three months. I got chastised for dropping a bun. Never went back. Never looked back.

Giant Eagle (Erie, PA) – another short term. and my first union job.

Bello’s Food Mart (Erie, PA) – On West 8th. I got fired over a misunderstanding about paying for a can of soda before I drink it.

Festival Foods (Erie, PA) – The old Super Duper building. About 6 months?? I liked the job, but one of my friend’s wanted to go hang out one night, so he called in for me. He called in quit, not sick.

Cooper’s Kart and Engine (Erie, PA) – The old GoKart track where Lowes now stands on Asbury Rd.

Players (Erie, PA) – Barback

Lynch Music (Fairview, PA) – Started teaching piano when I was 19.

Fairview Hardware (Fairview, PA) – Mower repair, parts desk

Coyote Joe – My first professional band

Gerlach’s Garden Center (Erie, PA) – Mower repair, parts desk.

Sun TV (Erie, PA) – Where Best Buy is now on Peach

Sierra Rose – my next professional band

Rolling Fields Church (Jeffersonville, Indiana) – Worship Band Leader

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville, KY) – Film Crew, temp job

Bigfoot Gas Station (Jeffersonville, IN. Sellersburg, IN. Georgetown, IN) – Station Attendant

GE (Louisville, KY) – Administrative/Data Entry

Maryhurst (Louisville, KY) – Youth Counselor

Bales Motor Co. (Jeffersonville, IN) – Car Sales, when I realized I was no good at this, Service Writer’s assistant (which I subsequently learned was ALSO a sales job)

Skip Jacks – (A seafood restaurant)

State Street Baptist Church (New Albany, IN) Worship Leader

UPS (Louisville, KY) – Load Crew

The Capital News (Corydon, IN) – Investigative Reporter

Contractor Assistant (Jeffersonville, IN)

Fort Knox (Fort Knox, KY) – Computer Operator, project

Dunbar Armored/Dunbar Global Logistics (Louisville, KY) – Driver/Guard, Dispatcher, Crew Chief. Quit when I moved to Erie.

Freelance Piano Teacher (Louisville, KY)

Street Team

Magician (Louisville, KY & Erie, PA & other places)

Tutor (Jeffersonville, IN & Erie, PA) – Tutoring college students

Unnamed Rental Agency (Erie, PA)

Website Designer (Louisville, KY & Erie, PA)

Small Town Revolution – Band

The Fox and Hound (Erie, PA) – Janitor, Food Prep

Freelance Writer

Various Online Endeavors.

So there is my list. 37 Jobs in 39 years. (Started my first job at 16, so actually 37 jobs in 23 years.) This is not a résumé. In fact, I will never create a résumé again. Our society would say that this is irresponsible. But it’s made me who I am today. I believe that listing everything I’ve learned at these jobs is worthy information to fill a few books.

Cool Runnings,

Matthew