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Survivor Journals

Bob of If I Die Before I Wake has invited nine journallers to participate in a Cyber Survivor Adventure.

Every couple of weeks, the group will be issued a "challenge entry". The site will post a excerpt from the challenge entries, as well as the link to the complete entry found on the journaller's own journal site.

After the challenge entry is posted, the nine journallers will vote one of the writers off the site.

The "ousted" journaller will actually remain on the site, but rather than posting further challenge entries, they will act as a judge and commentator.

The first challenge entry has been issued, and can be found at the Survivor Journal website. The actual entries should be completed by
October 1, 2000.

Please take the time to visit, especially once the challenge entries are posted. There is a message board to post your thoughts/comments and also a instant poll where visitors can vote for who they would want to see kicked off the site.

The reasons behind Survivor Journals are simple.

1. To try something new.
2. Increase the interaction of the journal community.
3. The challenge.
4. Increased exposure to all journals involved.

So take a look around, explore all the journals involved.

If you would like to take part in Survivor Journals, Year Two, let Bob know!


December 3, 2000

There seems to be a growing phenomenon among some journalers, and that is letting their friends, relatives, and fans know they have established a wish list to help in the selection of gifts for Christmas. Not to be left out, I too have a Wish List at in case there is anybody who is dying to buy me a gift for Christmas or my upcoming birthday. Feels kind of crass and materialistic to do so, but I’ve discovered that it’s kind of fun to look over other people’s wish lists. It kind of gives you an insight into their personality from looking at the things they’ve added to their list.

There are people who will get a huge belly laugh from discovering that I’ve added “Talking Dirty With the Queen of Clean” to my list. Me? A book on cleaning?? But probably nobody will wonder why I’ve also added Bill Bryson’s “In a Sunburned Country.”

“What I want for Christmas” lists have always been difficult for me. In truth, I’m pretty content with the material things I have now. I’ve never been a person who has to have the biggest... newest... best... whatever. I don’t go in for a lot of gadgets and am slow to replace old things with new (people who are still waiting for me to completely convert from the old to the new computer will be happy to agree!).

I get such use out of my “old” things that I was surprised to discover that in the Smithsonian Museum of American History there is a display of kinds of Tupperware, which I am currently still using here in my own house.

It was a huge trauma to consider replacing our 1987 Toyota Camry a couple of years ago. I knew the time was coming when we had to consider a new car, but the old Camry and I had bonded for years. It had served us long and well. It was comfortable. And I was going to be very sad when we went off in search of a new car. We never had to deal with the “when” question. One night we were going to a movie in San Francisco, decided to take the BART train in, parked our car in a lovely suburb of San Francisco, went to the movie, and when we got back to the parking lot, the car had been stolen.

Other than the violation you feel when you think of somebody manhandling your “baby,” we had to go out and search for a new car when I wasn’t quite mentally prepared to have a new one yet. I let Walt make the decision. I was still grieving the old car. “Just go and pick something,” I said. “I don’t really care.” He came home and asked me to come and help him decide between two different cars. Reluctantly, I went along. What did it matter? As long as it had wheels, a tape player, and air conditioning, I didn’t care at all.

When we bought our first car, after moving here, I magnanimously said it didn’t matter if we had air conditioning or not. We had moved from the San Francisco area to the inland valley and we were buying the car in the winter time. I knew it got hot here, but for the cost of air conditioning, I could ride around with windows open. And then I experienced a summer of valley heat and those fun triple digit days. When it came time to buy the next car, I told Walt, "I will go through menopause in this car. I. want. air. conditioning." We managed to find the Camry and the rest was history. It was the lot’s loss leader. It had 70,000 miles on it, but we knew from driving our old Corolla that Toyotas handled lots of miles without problem. And so we bought it. At the time it was stolen, it was registering nearly 300,000 miles and still going strong, though starting to let us know that it was going to be time soon for some major work. The car thieves probably did us a favor by stealing it.

Walt had found another Camry which would do just fine. But he had also picked out a Honda Accord as well. We test drove the Camry. It was ok. Not as plush as the old one, but it would do, and I really didn’t care about all the frou frou on the Honda. “This is fine,” I said. “Let’s take it.” “Well, let’s just try the Honda,” he suggested. I got into the plush leather seats. Hmmmm...this was rather nice. Then the salesman pointed out that there was a 6 CD changer in the trunk. Ohhh...even nicer. It ran well. The engine had a bit more oomph than the Camry did. Walt did the obligatory thing like looking at the motor. Yes. It looks all there. Silver is a very nice color for a motor (what do guys do when they stand around an open hood and look at a motor?)

In the end, we decided that we would buy the Honda. It took a few days before it began to feel right, but now I love it. I hate to sound like a “girl,” but it really was the CD player that completed the bonding process. Yeah, it’s nice when I hit the gas going up a hill and it doesn’t respond like a wheezing old man. But getting into the car in Davis, starting with Lawsuit and wending my way through John Denver, Steve, and whatever else I decide to put into slots 4, 5, and 6 takes me all the way to Los Angeles without really being aware of the miles passing by. And that’s certainly worth the price of the car right there.

This journal entry was going to be about materialistic things, the magic of Christmas, and a bunch of other stuff. I certainly never intended to get off on car-buying experiences. But I like my little car. And it’s just about a year since the Camry was stolen and we had to go hunting for the Honda (if you’re going to steal someone’s car, be sure to do it right before Christmas. It’s so much more in keeping with the spirit of the season, don’t you think? Especially if you can make it the same year that the victim’s kid also died. Might as well really make sure to make the year memorable.)

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created 11/28/00 by Bev Sykes