The Boy and His New Wagon

Good while it lasted

Blue Truck

Well, he drove it for roughly three months and now it has been more than four months since The Boy’s 1995 S10 finally went cuputz; leaving three active drivers with two functioning vehicles. Oh yes, the S10 has certainly seen better days, but nobody loved that bucket of bolts truck more than The Boy.  He had dreams of decking it out with a new “this” and a modified “that.”  He would spend a rare afternoon together with his older brother while looking at automobile parts books and discussing what would look way rad or awesome cool (not words they used but that is how my mind translated what I was hearing) on the truck to personalize it a little and make it his.

New Year, New Wagon

After several months of sharing my car with him and trying to figure out how we were going to acquire a dependable vehicle, I finally decided to just do it.  A few weeks ago we started perusing the internet looking at all types of cars, Honda, Nissan, Chevrolet, etc. researching their reliability and durability.  About ten days ago we actually ventured out to car dealerships and braved the bombardment of annoying salespeople.

At one dealership, I was not even out of my car before a salesman was shaking The Boy’s hand and asking him what brought us to the lot. (Duh, a need for a vehicle.  Here’s your sign.)

Several emotionally painful visits to various car lots, I was done…poke me with a fork DONE! Problem was, a car had not yet been identified or purchased. Knowing I was growing tired of searching, The Boy’s older brother “J” offered to go with him to see what else was out there. I was ever so grateful it was a week day and I had to work.

Low and behold, about 90 minutes after their departure, they pull up in the driveway with a test car. I stepped outside and looked it over.  “J” said he checked it out and it seemed to be in good shape and mechanically sound. I asked The Boy if he was comfortable with the vehicle and would he be happy with it ; I was assured he was and would.  I called the dealership and made an appointment to go in the next day and sign the papers.

It’s A Deal

The next evening arrived and The Boy was chomping at the bit to pick up his car.  We arrived and were quickly greeted by the “new” used car sales guy who helped the brothers the day earlier.  Used car sales guy asked me to go with him to fill out documents and sign some papers.  No problem.  After signing several forms/documents that were not carbon, I confirmed that I would be getting a copy of everything I signed.  New used car sales guy replied “I’m not sure if we can do that.”  MOM’s response “you can and you will or we’re gonna have a problem.”  New used car sales guy checked, they could…they did…no problem.

An hour after driving onto the lot in one car, we are pulling out in two. The Boy was beaming from ear to ear and made the comment at dinner a short time later that “all was just right in his world.”

So, how does “The Boy and His New Wagon” come into play? The new (used) vehicle is a Subaru Impreza Wagon. He’s good with that and after looking online, there are many cool mod kits (kid lingo) out there that will jazz (mom lingo) it up and make it really cool!

2002 Subaru Impreza Wagon

2002 Subaru Impreza Wagon

I am impartial to what it looks like, how many doors it has or its color. I just want it to be mechanically sound, and starts when the key is turned. I am happy to have my car sitting in the driveway when I want it and not having to schedule my time with it.

In the end The Boy is uber happy with his new wagon and his friends like it too, probably because they’re not crammed in a little pickup truck; and mom is ecstatic to have her wheels back. (All is right in my world tonight.)

This is so hilarious, I couldn’t pass up sharing it with my readers. If you have slow-poke teenagers, this is a parent’s PERFECT weapon!!!!

All of a sudden, it hit him.

Ten down, two to go!

Considering the time of the year, can you guess what I am referring to?  Yep that’s right…school.  We will be clothes shopping this weekend in preparation for The Boy’s high school junior year which starts Wednesday.  He and I were talking a little while ago and he said “Mom, it hit me like a slap in the face; I’m gonna be a junior this year, I’m almost an adult”, haha…he just turned 16.

I must confess, he is not the only one who is a little excited about the “2-to go countdown.”  I have had kids in school since 1988 and find myself a bit giddy when thinking about not having to rise early (and continually check on The Boy) to make sure he has moved from his bed and not just readjusted on it every school morning.

Focused on the Future

He’s a bit nervous about his future, but is happy about seeing his old friends again, the new year, and the good times that await the Class of 2014 this year.  He understands the need to buckle down and diligently apply himself these next two years in preparation for college.  Not that he doesn’t have okay grades to start with, but if he applied himself, his report cards would reflect A’s & B’s instead of B’s & C’s (with a barely passing D in English).  Seriously, ENGLISH???  How can you barely pass English… when you speak it?   

Ahh…college, now that is another story AND a quandary for The Boy.  He has stressed about his future career since freshman year.  At one point he was pretty set on being an Architect; however, after some serious consideration he has pretty much decided he does not want to live his career indoors and behind a desk/computer.  He has aspirations to do something with his hands, yet seeks a career that will afford him a comfortable lifestyle.

This year we will be requesting college brochures from around the country, hoping that something will strike him in the way of the career options and direction.  While The Boy is finishing high school and preparing to enter college, I will be completing my bachelor’s degree.  I think its pretty cool that the same year he graduates high school, I will be graduating from college.  Pretty awesome, huh?  We think so!  Well, here’s to another great school year, and if you still have kids in school…I wish you continual strength to get up and do it again and again, every blessed morning.  Let’s face it, our leisurely summer is OVER!

Warped Music with a Good Cause Served on the Side

Warped (huh?)

For something that “apparently” has been in existence and roaming North America for some 18 summers, this is the first year I have ever heard the words “Warped Tour”; and find myself rather surprised my two older sons (28 & 30) have never mentioned this event to me before.

Since that first time hearing about the summer event several weeks ago when my 16-year-old asked if he could attend, the words Warped Tour, Warped Tour, Warped Tour have been repeatedly repeated in our house daily.   I have come to this conclusion…if I never hear those two words used together again, it will be too soon for me.  For that reason, I am happy today (Tuesday, July 31, 2012) has finally come and gone.  Woo hoo!!!

Band: Falling in Reverse

Warped Tour 2012 literally “screamed/slammed” into Cincinnati’s Riverbend Music Center for today’s outdoor concert(s), consisting of 9-1/2 hours of continuous aggressive music genres such as: punk rock, metal, screamo, pop punk, rockabilly (seriously…rockabilly?), alternative, hardcore, reggae (I like reggae), indie, goth, grunge, and rap music (yeah…really….that’s what they called it…music).

The boy arrived home this evening wet and stinky from a day of sweating and full of excitement and stories to tell about bands he loved and I never knew existed.  Some of those band names are: Cold Forty Three, Blood on the Dance Floor, Falling in Reverse, Hostage Calm (WTH???).  The boy said he went crowd surfing (I know what that is), was in the “pit” during a couple of sets, and watched other concert goers jump, sing, and “slam-dance”.  Go ahead, use your imagination on that last one…it IS exactly what you’re thinking and during the dance, injuries are common and the effects of said are clearly visible (well, red rather than clear, but still very visible).

Although I would not sum the day up as “one of the greatest ones…EVER,” that’s how the boy described his day.  In his defense, Luke comes by his enjoyment for a variety of music genres honestly as we have a line of generations who were (and some still are) multiple genre music enthusiasts.

Good Cause Side Dish

While up to my eye-lids in internet research about this “Warped Tour” thing, I found out that the concert organizers give free merchandise, backstage passes, jump the line passes, tour posters and much more to those who make canned-good or cash donations at the event’s “donation tent” which is set up at each location.  Those donations are then given to a local charity for community distribution.  WOW….what a fantastic way to promote a super cause by introducing and involving teenagers (typical “Warped” audience) in community service and helping others.  Thanks Vans Warped Tour organizers…..great forward thinking!!! 😀

Looking Forward

Not that I am looking forward to next summer and WT2013 (and hearing about it for weeks on end); I know at least a kid, three, or sixteen who will start surfing the web as soon as school is out next year, to see when their town pops up on the 19th year WT radar.  Maybe I’ll check out the Reggae bands and people watch next year; then again maybe I won’t…time shall tell (but don’t hold your breath).

Wake Up America…

…we’re not in the 1970’s anymore!

Houston? We Have a Problem!

Below is a selection from my recent research paper “Drivers of the Adolescent Brain” which takes a look at our young drivers and some of the contributing factors that lead to fatal crashes involving 16 & 17-year-old drivers.

Raising Cain…Lucas…Mary…and…(your child’s name)

“If you have ever raised teenagers I am sure you would vehemently agree with Floyd-Bann & Van Tassel (2006), when they wrote “Parents, teachers, and psychologists all agree that the mind of the typical adolescent is a strange and complicated place” (p. 1).  As I am currently raising my third teenager, I could surely add a few more adjectives that would better describe the teenage mind and how it operates, but for now that topic will have to wait.

To better identify “who” these fatalities were in the tracked accidents, Shults & Ali (2010) using Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), detailed the following victim statistics:

Of the 11,019 persons who died in these crashes, 4,071 (37%) were drivers aged 16 or 17 years; 3,428 (31%) were passengers of those drivers; 1,987 (18%) were drivers of other vehicles; and 805 (7.3%) were passengers of those other drivers.  Another 728 (6.7%) persons were other road users (e.g., bicyclists or pedestrians). (p. 1330)”

One of the statistical pieces of research used in my paper was the “Teenage Driver Fatalities by State: 2011 Preliminary Data” prepared for the Governors Highway Safety Association by Dr. Allan Williams.

During research I found that nine U.S. states allow children at the age of 14 to obtain their “learners”.  According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, those states are: Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, North and South Dakota.

I spent a great deal of time researching this topic and decided to write the paper because one child dying due to the lack of  thorough and proper drivers training, is one child too many.  After reading the complete paper, I would be interested in your thoughts, comments or opinions.

Please take the polls below.