My car is repaired!! And all for under $350 (200 of which were my new front tires). Anyway, we brought it over to Robert and his roommate Chris' place to see if they could help me out. They put on new brake pads, flushed my transmission, gave me new wiper blades, changed my cracked serpentine belt, fixed two tail lights, and fixed the latch on my hood which apparently broke some time during that whole process - all for about $120 and a batch of cookies!
I was shocked at how little it all cost, especially after getting prices from the auto place (example: $159 to change my belt - but the belt only costs $25). I even tried to help out a little bit by snapping in one of the tail lights myself, but ended up creating more work because I apparently didn't snap it in far enough and the light bulb fell out when I tried to push it back in the hole. We (meaning Chris while I stood back and watched) had to take out the whole tail light to try to shake the light bulb back out and from then on I kept my distance and just watched.
After all that, my car passed the state inspection!