I’ve moved and I have new contact info. Here goes:
PO BOX 241
Avon, CO 81620
(nine seven zero) 949-5140
My new home in West Vail is a small bedroom with two twin beds, a wardrobe, a chest of drawers and night stand in the lovely three bedroom condo of Roy White from Zimbabwe by way of South Africa and his lovely wife Lilla Asmund who is half Icelandic (she likes to say “Viking”) and half Native American. Roy has his own painting business and Lilla works for the new Ritz-Carlton over in Beaver Creek, about 5 miles back west down the valley.
The condo is about 4-5 miles from Lionshead Vail where I’m working. I could drive in about 5 minutes or less but parking is expensive, so I take the bus. Vail, so I am told, has the most extensive system of free buses anywhere in the country. Not surprising, really, when you consider that 73 dollar a day lift tickets buy a hell of a lot of public services.
The bus stop is about a 3 minute walk down the road. There are two buses, West Vail Red and West Vail Green that make reverse 30 minute loops around the area so it never takes too long for one to show up nor to go the three or four stops up the road to where I can cross the pedestrian bridge over I70 into Lionshead.
I’m still getting settled, but I’m very comfortable and happy to be here. Roy and Lilla seem to have taken to the kittens. They even moved their bird cage from the main room upstairs into their bedroom to avoid an iminent Slyvester-Tweety moment between Fil and their cockateil.
I just arrived back in Sedona after spending the weekend with one of my oldest friends Peter, his wife Lili and their 3 week old baby, Amelia. I haven’t seen the Townshends in more than a year since they moved down south from San Jose. As always, it’s great to see old friends, especially after such a long hiatus.
Pete now lives in Rancho Santa Fe in a beautiful Spanish style home. Rancho Santa Fe, in case you’re not familiar with the town, is in the hills north of San Diego and is one of the most exlcusive zip codes in the country. According to a survey on Forbes.com, the median home price in RSF is a mere $1,700,000. Interestingly enough, one of my old zip codes, 94010, is right above Rancho Santa Fe on the list. I managed to hold down a tiny stuido apartment for 800 bucks while I was working at Electronic Arts in Silicon Valley.
The township has tons of restrictive codes and guidelines, including no neon and no chain stores. So there’s no Starbucks in the quaint two street downtown, but there are exclusive restaurants, cafes and shops.
The little strip is also one of the best places in the world to go car shopping. Not because of the dealers, there are none. But because the residents like to show off their brand new shiny vehicles. We saw a Mercedes-Benz Maybach, one of very few in the world, with a sticker price north of $350,000. Sounds insane to pay that price for any car when you can buy a house almost anywhere in the country with the money. Then again that sum wouldn’t buy you a garage in Rancho Santa Fe.
The list is here is you want to check it out.
…why I hate coming to Los Angeles. It’s not the smog, which I’m used. It’s not the people, which I can avoid. It’s the traffic and the way people drive like mindless morons that drives me insane. Not once, not twice, but three times driving through the little town of Rialto west of San Bernadino, stalled cars on the shoulder caused traffic to back up for miles. There was no accident. There was no blood. No fire engines, cops or ambulances. Just stalled cars. Yet people feel compelled to slow down, crane their necks and get a better view. Personally, I think this should be a capital offense with sentences to be carried out on the spot. Anybody who willfully creates more traffic, especially in a major urban center known for congestion problems needs to be drawn and quartered.
Then there’s those people who drive the speed limit in the passing lane. Where did I put my gun again?
Sedona is a small, sleepy town but it does have it’s far share of western conveniences including KFC, Burger King, Starbucks and, of course, McDonalds. But the McDonalds in town is different than every other McDonalds I have seen in the world, and I’ve seen a fair few from Samoa to Somalia.
Who ever heard of the “Turqouise Arches”? Shit, is nothing sacred in this world?
We’re about to experience a harmonic convergence of sorts here at the Sedona household.
Not five minutes ago a FedEx trucked pulled up to my house to deliver the loan check, which is a minor miracle considering how difficult it was to deal with Captial One and their medieval sense of communication.
About and hour ago, Tom, my used car dealer, showed up with the car. Of course, it’s too much to ask for the check to arrive before the car, but you can’t have everything. Tom is grabbing a sandwich but should on his way back here any time now.
When he comes, we’re going to zip up to Flagstaff, sign the papers and I’ll be on my merry way.
It’s almost enough to make me swear off atheism and dedicate the rest of life to the service of the lord, but not quite.
Incidentally, the car is a 2000 Subaru Outback (with heated seats). It’s light green with beige interior, soon to shredded, no doubt, by my affectionate but mischievous kitties.
I just rode down to Arizona Water where the nice customer service rep by the name of Pat not only added me to the account without any ID but also faxed the the new bill with my name and address on it to Capital One Financial (a toll free number).
My lungs were burning as I made my way up the hill in the chilly afternoon back to the house, but I could take it because this whole fiasco was behind me. Or so I thought.
When I got home and checked my email, there was one from Capital One:
Dear Andrew Hecht,
Thank you for submitting your fax. However, we are unable to use the
documents sent for verification for the following reason(s):
We are not able to accept a print screen as verification. We would
need to view an actual bill as received in the mail.
In order to verify your physical address, we would need for you to fax
an itemized mortgage statement, gas, water, electric, cable, or
landline phone bill. Please note that the bill must be within 30 days from
today’s date and that it verifies the service or property location you
have listed on your application.
With the ways things have been going this morning, it’s hard for me to say, I couldn’t believe it. I called them. I told them I would not be able to provide them with an actual mailed bill until the next cycle. They came back and said that if I just had Arizona Water fax them a letter on their letterhead stating that I had indeed been added to the account, then that would suffice.
I called Pat back and told her what the deal was. She said no problem, she would handle it. Now I just have to wait for Capital One to get back to me. I’m expecting them to tell me that it won’t suffice, at which point I’m heading on a plane to Wilmington, DE or wherever the fuck the are and I’m going to personally strangle the CEO. Maybe that will grant him some simulacrum of how I’m feeling at the moment, though I doubt it.
Dear Andrew Hecht,
Your vehicle loan application has been approved!
Based on the type of loan and terms you selected, your interest rate
will be 4.99%.
We can mail your Capital One Auto Finance Blank Check® Loan Package to
you as soon as we have reviewed your loan terms and confirmed your
mailing address. Please contact us at your convenience during our business
hours at (800) 689-1789.
My faith in the system is restored. Sort of. I applied for this loan on Sunday through Lendingtree. It actually works. Lenders fought over me and Capital One was victorious. Now here’s the rub. I need to verify my address to get my Capital One Auto Finance Blank Check® Loan Package. They need a paystub or a utility bill or a credit card statement or a bank statement, none of which I have with this current address. Is this for real?
I’m trying to buy a car, which, when you don’t have car to begin with and you live in a tiny town with no cars for sale, can be a really pain. For many reasons I’ve decided I want a Subaru Outback. I’ve wanted one for a long time. When I bought my last car, a Saab 9-3, I really wanted the Subaru, but the deal on the Saab was too good to pass up.
Yesterday I test drove 2 Outbacks. The first was a ’99 in a place somewhere north of Phoenix. It had 60,000 miles and was in decent shape. There were a few nicks and scratches here and there, but nothing major. It drove like a dream. They are asking 11175 and I wouldnt have to pay sales tax because the deal would take place on eBay. I’d be all over it, except the color. It’s red.
The other Outback was a 2000. It was green. And it was offered by Bob Elliot Ford in Flagstaff. Yesterday afternoon I test drove it in the snow, which was disconcerting buy fun. The car is immaculate. It has 53K miles. The price tag is 13,898 including sales tax, which is a great deal. That’s almost 2 grand below what they think is wholesale, but when they ran the numbers, they didn’t include the fact that it had an in-dash CD player and heated seats. I’m leaning towards this car in a big way.
My FICO score is 797, so getting financing shouldn’t be a problem, even though I don’t have a job at the moment. They quoted me interest rate of a little more than 5 percent but are going to work on getting it down in the high 4s which would be excellent.
I’d feel so much more comfortable buying this car from an established dealer than the other one from some guy with a business on eBay. Either way, despite the problems with Equifax, I should have wheels by the end of the week at the latest.
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