Monday, January 16, 2012


by Gina Sestak

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  I hope everyone is celebrating equality and freedom.

On the home front, my last post described how my car was wrecked on the final day of 2011.

Everyone who looked at it said the same thing:  It's totaled.

Well, it's official.  After having the car towed to a collision center and partially dismantled, the insurance company declared the car a total loss and wrote me a check.  I went out on Saturday and bought a new car.

I really liked the Saturn Astra and planned to be driving it for several more years.  I would have bought another Saturn were they still available.  Unfortunately, the near collapse of the American auto industry brought about the end of Saturn.  They just don't make them anymore.

One hold-over from the Saturn is my addiction to On-Star.  I never thought I'd like something like that, but once I tried it, I just couldn't get enough.  In addition to providing driving directions in a voice that issues from your rear view mirror (creepy), it allows you to call in and speak to a live person when those directions fail to work.   That live person will really try to help you, too.  And you can summon emergency assistance anytime you see a wreck by pressing a button.  Besides, it's fun to use.  Whenever it loses track of your car in a tunnel (a common occurrence around here) it will begin to BONG! BONG! BONG! and warn that you've left the planned route.  At first I used to argue.  "How the *$@^%$ could I have left the route?  I'm in a *&$@# tunnel!"  On-Star never argued back.  The calm voice from the mirror would only ask whether I needed directions to get back on route and, when I would answer, "NO!" it would go quiet until the car came through the tunnel exit, then pick up directions where it left off as if nothing had happened.

I love On-Star.

That's why, when I went looking for a replacement car, I wanted one with On-Star pre-installed.

I found it.  Meet my new car, a Sonic hatchback:

And yes, it really is Inferno Orange.  Go figure.  So, if you see something like this coming at you

it just might be me.

So what's all this got to do with writing?  you're probably wondering.  A lot.  Cars are part of life and life, as we know, provides the fodder for all writing.  Plus, it provided me with a topic for this post.

OK, I can't resist inserting another Bollywood car chase clip.  This one's from Don 2, the sequel to the one I inserted the car chase from last time.  This chase takes place in Germany.  The man driving the first car is an international crime boss.  The woman chasing him is an Interpol agent who wants him for personal reasons as well: he murdered her brother and her friend.  Enjoy.


Annette said...

Gina, as a fellow lover of Saturns (I'm on my second, and it would seem last one) I mourn with you on the loss of your Astra.

Who makes the Sonic? It's cute! And we'll definitely see you coming!

Gina said...

Annette -
Chevy makes the Sonic. It seems to be a nice little vehicle - mostly U.S.-made, drives like the Saturn - and, after applying the insurance money, I was able to get a whole new car for only $6,000! Seems like Saturns keep their value.

Karen in Ohio said...

Yay, for a new car! May it drive you safely where you want to go for many years, Gina.

Saturn's demise wasn't just because of the auto industry's problems. Or maybe it was, because Saturn started out as a no-frills, no-negotiation, product, with all the bells and whistles standard and excellent gas mileage. When they started veering away from that model is when they got into big trouble, just like all the rest of the auto companies.

It was too bad, too. They started out so well.

I have driven a red car, but never an orange one. Visibility is a good thing!

Joyce Tremel said...

Gina, orange is the "in" color for 2012. You're in style!

Jenna said...

I have my eye on a Kia Soul. I was supposed to get one last fall, but then DH totaled his car, and needed a new one, and there went my Soul. I'm still driving a fourteen year old Ford stationwagon. But it's paid for.

Congrats on the new car, Gina!

Dave S. said...

Gina, congrats on the new wheels. May they serve you well for lots of years to come.