wanna know what i did last night? i had a minor breakdown of the nervous variety... and then i passed it on to chad, so now i feel better. you see, due to the nature of the graduate fellowship, i don't get paid when university classes are not in session. so, i get paid on cinco de mayo then no dinero para mi until the middle of june. then i get to go through all of that again in august, when i won't get any money. allow me to remind you that i'll be heading to maine in august (when i don't have any $$$), and then at the end of the month, i'll be going to spain (when i still don't have any $$$). plus, chad and i have to pay off our pilots tickets by sept 1 (that's about $640-something)... and there are the $346 in university fees that i have to pay out of pocket every semester.
why didn't i freak out about money this way last summer? well, last summer i was working as a TA for summer school classes at the sea lab. this summer, i am not. TAing those two classes provided us with somewhere in the neighborhood of $3,000 that we won't have this summer. why can't i be a TA again, you ask? well, because it kind of got in the way of real research last summer, and by george, i have got to get the bulk of my experiments done this summer. so, no TA position for me... and all of those nasty tropical systems that haunted me last summer/fall had better stay far, far away from the gulf of mexico. they will if they know what's good for them... or they shall face the Wrath of LaTina. it's painful, trust me.
enough about my finances. it is now time for me to enlighten all of you wonderful folks out there in internet land about my current freak out. it is a much more immediate concern than being penniless in a couple of weeks... and then again a couple of months after that. the special guest star in today's episode of The Things That Make LaTina the Nut That We All Know and Love to Bits is my car. i suspect that it has some sort of horrible disease whose only symptoms are pain and discomfort so intense that it makes my poor little kia cry. not tears, mind you. these are more dry sobs. as far as i can tell, the atrocious noises spewing from under the hood aren't having any adverse effects on the actual getting-me-where-i-need-to-go (and back again, even)-even-if-it-is-33miles-from-home power of the car. it's just really noisy. but what the hell do i know about cars? it's probably something really and truly horrible, and when i get around to shuffling it over to a mechanic, he will probably (after asking me the best way to catch red snapper in the gulf - which i don't know) tell me that i shouldn't have driven it all the way to dauphin island and back to mobile with it making that crazy sound. in my defense, the car made that god-awful noise when i cranked her up this morning, continued to sound as if it would explode at any moment for a couple of miles, and then, miraculously, the sound was gone when i started the car after stopping for gas at the BP station down the street. no flashing lights or jumping needles that would indicate a problem presented themselves, so i figured that all was well, and there had just been something stuck somewhere in my engine and had worked its way out between my humble abode and the gas station.
but i was wrong. upon arriving at the sea lab with my lovely little kia making only the normal car sounds, i still thought my gas-station assessment was going to hold up. but like i said, i was wrong. when i got back in my car to leave the sea lab and drive the 33 miles back to mobile, the turn of the key in the ignition was once again greeted by a devilish, howling screech that continued for a while. but eventually it stopped... *sigh*
chad isn't home from work yet, or i would have had him out listening to my car and its kooky sounds already. as it stands, the sounds probably won't manifest for him. because my car, she only likes to freak me out.
2 days ago