Sunday, October 28, 2007

Need An Oil Change - I'm Your Girl

I promised another story this week about my somewhat masculine affinity for engines and working with power tools. The reality is, I have a pretty darned good set of power tools and can do some decent work with wood. I'm not a fan of sheetrock and wouldn't want to tape and bed an entire room, but in a pinch, I can do a patch that you probably wouldn't notice unless you're looking for it. But where I've really used my skills is with engines.

You see, my husband and I met at a motorcycle shop (he sold me my gear and told me he came with it - turns out he was right). We raced motocross for a lot of years, then shifted to competition watercraft, shifter karts and crotch rockets. All the while we did our own wrenching and I have to say, I'm not half bad. In fact, one evening I picked up my husband's new after market pipe for his crotch rocket and did the install myself because he had to work late and wanted to ride the motorcycle (with new pipe) to work the next day. My husband was thrilled and he got huge kudos from the other guys at his job (he works in the auto industry) for marrying such a handy woman.

But the story I want to tell is one from the beginning of our relationship and it points out how two people raised in the same household, who have the same parents, can be totally different. So here we go:

I had been dating my husband, Rene, for a month of so when I was getting ready to make a trip back home to Louisiana to visit my parents (we live in Dallas). So I was packing to leave the next day after work when I realized that I had meant to change the oil in my truck before I left. So the following conversation ensued:

Me: Darn it, I meant to change the oil in my truck before my trip home.

Rene: I'm off work tomorrow - I can do it. Who does your oil change?

Me: Me.

Rene: (looking at me suspiciously) Well, I'm not going to do it personally, but I can definitely have it done.

Me: Okay, but you HAVE to get the OEM filter from the dealership and you HAVE to use Mobil 1 synthetic.

Rene: (now looking impressed) Okay, no problem.

Now this might seem strange to some, but my dad is a petroleum engineer. I got my first motorcycle when I was five and have been lectured on the value of synthetic oils since I was a kid. I listened - I learned - I gave my vehicles (and other extreme sports equipment) no less than the absolute best. Not so my brother.

Flash forward four or five years later and Rene is at my brother's house and my brother is preparing to sell his truck. It's one of those small-sized ones and he's literally almost run it to death. Standing in front of the truck, the following conversation ensues:

My brother: It was a pretty good truck. I got 120,ooo miles out of it and only changed the oil three times.

Rene: Really? How many miles do you think you would have gotten out of it if you'd changed it four times?

So Rene comes home, walks straight in the house and says "you and your brother cannot possibly have the same father."

We still laugh about it today. So what about you? Any siblings? If so, are you different is some of the oddest ways?

In celebration of release week - yep, that's right, UNLUCKY officially releases tomorrow - I am giving away a signed copy of the book in addition to the gift basket drawing that will happen tomorrow! Just post on the blog any time today and you'll be entered to win. Happy Halloween!

- Deadly (with a wrench) DeLeon

35 comments:

Christie Craig said...

Jana,

I'm the only girl and I swear I'm adopted. That's the only thing that explains why I'm so different from my brothers. And I'm not talking about my breasts.

Thanks for the laugh girl.

Oh...I went to B & N last night and wanted to buy your book. They were out, but said they had more on order. Yeah!

Anonymous said...

My brother got the "neat" gene. I am the slob. Although neither of our parents is a slacker slob either ... and I have red in my hair which is unique to our little family. Hmmm ...

I had a VW bus in college that constantly blew vacuum hoses off of the engine. I always felt very "mechanical" with that car 'cause I could "fix it" by reattaching the hoses. That, sadly, is the sum total of my mechanical mojo.

Pink Pelican

Tori Lennox said...

I'm an only child, though I frequently think I'm adopted. I am NOTHING like either one of my parents. :)

Stacy S said...

When I first started driving, my dad made do all kinds of stuff to the car. I can change the oil, grease it, rotate the tires & a number of other things. He always told me if I had the hood up on my car and my brother came over to shut it & say I was just looking! So, I know what your talking about.

Jana DeLeon said...

Out????? How can that be when the darn thing hasn't even released yet? This business puzzles me sometimes.

I would think I was adopted too, but we look like my dad's family and my mom is real clear on the whole labor & delivery aspect of things. :)

Gemma Halliday said...

Congrats on your release, Jana! Must get to Borders tomorrow.

My sister and I are total opposites. Beside the fact that we look nothing alike (me - petite blonde, her- tall readhead) she's the outdoorsy snowboarder and I'm the girly shopaholic. Luckily, we still get along amazingly well.

~Gemma

Jana DeLeon said...

Hi Pink - I don't think either my brother or I got the neat gene. I wish I had. Not that I don't like everything neat - I just don't naturally keep it that way.

LOL on the hoses!

Shel said...

Jana -
I have 10 brothers & sisters (I'm the youngest) and we are all very, very different. Physically we range from just over 5 feet to 6 foot 3 inches. None of us look at all alike and our personalities are all very different. I swear you wouldn't think we were related if you new us.

lainey bancroft said...

Two small blond sisters. Me, not small or blond, and my dad is inclined to refer to me as 'his only son'. So, that should tell you how alike my siblings and I are.

Mega congrats on the new release, not to mention the new contracts, Jana! Hope nowheresville Ontario isn't as slow to get the new book as it was getting the first!

Jana DeLeon said...

tori - were you switched at birth, maybe - hey, there's a story in there somewhere!

Jana DeLeon said...

LOL Stacy - too funny! What does said brother do now????

Jana DeLeon said...

Hi Gemma - strange how that works with siblings. A lot of my friends are that way. How did the movie pitch go?

Jana DeLeon said...

Shel - 10!?!? OMG, I don't even want to think about using the bathroom at your house while growing up. Wow! Your poor mother.

Estella said...

When I first started driving , My Dad made me do all my own maintainence, including breaking down a tire, patching it and then inflating it with a tire pump. The old fashioned kind that really tires you out.

Jenyfer Matthews said...

Congratulations on your new release!

Loved your story. Reminds me of an old Corolla I had in college. I loved that car - in spite of its carburetor. It did not like cold weather - which you wouldn't think would be a problem in southern Louisiana, but from time to time it gets pretty nippy there and that darned car just would not start.

Picture me standing in a dark deserted parking lot after work spraying "carb starter" (eg ETHER) into my carburetor and then running around the car to start it really fast. Can we say fireball? Did the trick but I sold that car before I moved to Ohio...

Jana DeLeon said...

Hi estella - I guess we can't totally blame dad for preparing you. How was he to know we were going to all have auto club and cell phones in the future? :)

Jana DeLeon said...

LOL Jenyfer - I had a motorcycle that did the same...and a bass boat...and a three wheeler. There must be SOMETHING going on for all those problems to occur in Louisiana. Hmmmmm, maybe we have another mystery.

Dru said...

I'm one of five girls and I wonder who their parents were as I'm the extremely neat and organized one and they are not.

Lucy said...

I have two older sisters and the way we handle money is different. I think you should pay your bills first and play with what's left over - they both work it the other way around. Guess which one of us has the better credit...

cas2ajs said...

I am the only girl with 3 brothers. Personality-wise I am so different from them. They are all outgoing and make friends easily. I am quiet and don't mind being alone. And I am the only reader in the family (including my mom and dad).

Cheryl

lila n. said...

Hi Jana... I am just beginning to read Unlucky and I am loving it!

catslady said...

My sister and I are complete opposites in all but one thing - we both love to read! Otherwise she is shy, doesn't like people really, a homebody, clean freak - whereas I like to meet people, voice my opinions, travel, pack rat, etc. She used to tell me I was adopted as a kid and being the younger sister I believed her but we have the same hair as my mom lol. My daughters are opposites too. One is artistic and has those same opinions as me lol and my other daughter is preppy and tends to think like those around her.

Jana DeLeon said...

dru - where do you get that neat gene? I want to bottle that - well, and maybe see about some gene therapy. Do you think that would work on adults?

Jana DeLeon said...

LOL Lucy - so you're telling me I should see you if I need a co-signer but your sisters if I need a pair of hot, trendy shoes? :)

Jana DeLeon said...

Cheryl - I don't mind being alone either. I can got to movies, restaurants, pretty much anywhere by myself. Of course, I usually have a book in my purse......

Jana DeLeon said...

Hi lila - thanks so much!!! I'm so glad you're enjoying it!

Jana DeLeon said...

Hi catslady - interesting isn't it how you got one of you and your sister in your own kids. I think that happens a lot.

lila n. said...

You are most welcome... it should be who is thanking you!

My sibling is my brother... and he is a bit irresponsible and does no chores and I am younger, but much more mature, though don't like chores either!

Nathalie said...

I have a sister and we are very much alike... we even do the same thing in college, really not original!

Jenyfer Matthews said...

Jana - must be something in that swampy air, corrupting all the carburetors!! Fuel injectors are a very good thing...

Jana DeLeon said...

Hi Nathalie - oh well, originality is overated! And besides, if you got it right the first time, why should one of you change? :)

Jana DeLeon said...

jenyfer - I contend it's a the salt water in the air. :)

ellie said...

I have a brother and sister and I am totally different from them. We look alike but do not think in the same way at all. We are all neat, particular about our health, and small but that is all the similarities. I cannot do anything with cars except drive. My hubs does it all.

ruth said...

When people see my sister and me together they know that we are sisters but we don't look alike except for being very small.Since each of us has the different side of the family in looks our characters are different too. We do not really see each other and aren't close. I would like to be thought. I am incapable of mechanics of any sort, heaven help me.

anne said...

It is funny how chidlren do turn out in one family. Totally different types. Not one of us has the repairman gene but we are all neatness personified. Luckily I have the best repairman on earth living with me.