I suppose the biggest development in the past month is that I got a new Mini Cooper. Well, I should say that I leased one. I was a bit worried about the haggling and the negotiations that I would have to go through with the car salesman, but it really wasn’t that bad. By doing a little homework beforehand to find out which bogus fees you can negotiate down (i.e. all of them) you can come in with the upper hand. I was also in a position where my car was perfectly fine and I could easily walk out the door, which also helped. I eventually negotiated down to agreeable terms, but long story short, a Japanese couple bought the car I wanted while I was waiting for the paycheck I was going to use for the down payment. I had to settle for a different red one with more packages and options, which ended up not being so much more expensive because the salesman just plugged in the same terms we had settled on previously.
I really love this car. I’m not a huge fan of driving, but this handles like a souped up go kart and it’s a blast to drive around.
Selling my car
I decided not to go with the dealer trade-in offer for my Camry because it was ridiculously low. Most people simply let the dealer completely screw them out of hundreds or even thousands of dollars on the trade-in, simply because they don’t want to spend the time and effort to sell their own car. It’s understandable if you have a really pressing schedule, but the dollars mean enough to me to go through the hassle. Besides, I figure I will learn a lot by doing this myself. Negotiating for a car was definitely a learning experience. I placed a classified ad about a week ago, getting around 1 call a day. Hopefully I’ll get it sold by the end of this month.
This past week was Golden Week, a string of random Japanese holidays. Basically the entire country shuts down for a week, and judging by the looks of Waikiki, comes to Hawaii. I basically spent my vacation catching up on reading and surfing. I’m still renting a board every time I go, but I’ve moved down to a 9 foot board. I think next time I’ll try out an 8 footer* and see how I do on that.
My tax return arrived in the mail the other day, and instead of prudently putting the money away, I immediately thought about buying my own surfboard.
Pop culture check:
Beck – Guero
Fiona Apple – Extraordinary Machine
Andrew Bird – A Nervous Tic Motion Of The Head To The Left
America (The Book)
McSweeney's Enchanted Chamber of Astonishing Stories
Michael Lewis - Moneyball
Jack D. Schwager - Market Wizards : Interviews with Top Traders
On the queue:
Haruki Murakami - Kafka on the Shore
Thomas Friedman – The Lexus and the Olive Tree
*= FYI shorter boards are harder to surf on, as it’s harder to balance and paddle. Shorter boards, however, are more maneuverable. Longboards (8’ and above) are better for catching smaller waves.