Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday, Monday

 Maaaaaaan alive. I had a feeling the Monday following Thanksgiving was gonna be a rough one.  Let’s face it, there’s really nowhere but downhill and a snap back to reality when you’ve spent the past 5 days being spoiled rotten by the parents, taking naps every afternoon, getting tipsy on Martinelli’s Sparking Cider,  taking in majestic views of the Blue Mountains, and being showered in puppy kisses by my baby girl Elly. After a lovely getaway to the recently crowned “Nicest Town In America”, me and my 48 lbs. of checked luggage ( it was an early Christmas miracle I kept that sucker under the 50 lb. limit) took a jet back to my current residence of Texas where I rolled into DFW at midnight. That whole time change thing can be a real pain. Luckily I have a roommate who loves me enough to drop me off at both 5 in the morning and pick me up at all hours of the night.  Love you Vobbie! After hugs and the usual “never leave me again speech” Robbie laid down the cold hard facts that my car battery was dead. It wasn’t much of a surprise seeing as I had received a text from one of my neighbors when I was still in Washington, alerting me to the fact that I’d left my lights on. My neighbor is also the #1 smoker of our tiny apartment complex and seeing as he finds himself outside a majority of the time he usually knows what’s going on in everyone’s life; or in my case whether or not I remembered to turn off my lights. This was not the first time this had happened and I dare say it won’t be the last. The thing that was different about this incident was that the lights had been on for 3 days. I called Robbie to see what he could do and try as he and Bart may they couldn’t revive the Matrix.  Luckily my dad still has me on the AAA plan and Bart, being his usual giving self, let me borrow his car to get to work. Love you Bart! I made an appointment to have AAA work their magic earlier this evening and by God’s good graces the nice tow truck man was able to get the car started with no trouble. I decided to go for a ride and upon realizing I had nothing in my apartment to eat, I of course headed to my friendly, neighborhood Wal-Mart, because aside from Subway it’s the only place I have still have a gift card. I had driven the car for about 10 minutes so I thought the battery would be charged enough for a quick shopping trip. Mmmmm turns out I was mistaken.  Let me tell ya, it’s a pretty humbling experience to come back to a dead car battery in the middle of a Wal-Mart parking lot. I really couldn’t imagine a worse time or place for this to happen. It was 7 pm and you know that everyone just got off work and are probably about as happy about it being Monday as I was. There really wasn’t much I could do but sit and wait like a creeper for people to park around me or return to their mode of transportation before approaching them with my sparkling charm and shiny set of jumper cables . My first victim told me she would have helped me if she didn’t have a kid before hurriedly slamming her door in my face. I’m still trying to figure out what the kid had to do with anything but then again maybe she took my tearful plea for help as a pickup line in hope for a future date? Victim #2 was a quick one and on the spot came up with unlikely story that her battery happened to be locked up in her trunk. I had my suspicions she was lying but I also know next to nothing about cars so I didn’t push the issue. Victim #3 was holding an angel food cake and clearly didn’t see me coming because she turned around with a look of terror when I yelled out “excuse me maam!?”!As with the others, she had an alibi of having to get somewhere in a hurry and assured me that she’s usually the type of person to help others. Yeah, like I hadn’t heard that one before. By this point I’m looking around in my back seat to see if there are any warm blankets or possibly some kindling, in the likelihood that I end up spending the night in the hatchback as I play big spoon to my jug of milk that’s going bad by the second. All of a sudden, out of the darkness, comes my night in shining armor…driving a red Nissan. Well, in times like these one can’t be picky. Although I would have preferred an Audi. I didn’t catch his name but he is already my new favorite person and I may have come off a little too enthusiastic when he agreed to pop his hood. I told him he was the nicest person in this whole parking lot and that it’s moments like this that give me hope for humanity. Hopefully our paths will cross again someday, most likely at Wal-Mart and maybe I'll buy him a pack of gum or some Great Value yogurt? It’s the least I could do.

But really the biggest let down of my Monday came at work when I discovered that after spending every weekend here for 4 straight months, the ONE weekend I decide to leave Dallas, freaking Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez are in town!!!! WHAT. ARE. THE. ODDS?! Yes. THE Justin Bieber who I have supported and defended since day one. The same Justin Bieber who’s Christmas album I listened to 99% of my flight back to Walla Walla.  The same Justin Bieber who’s movie “Never Say Never” I rented from RedBox and was subsequently late to a birthday party because I was so engrossed by his inspiring tale of rags to riches. And yes, THE Justin Bieber who is arguably one of the most famous people in the world as we speak! The news was almost as heart wrenching as when I found out I had been a mere block from Aaron Carter in downtown Hollywood, which my friends all knew but had decided to keep from me because they thought I would pull over the car into the nearest no parking zone and take off running down the street in his general direction. Please. People don’t give me enough credit. As I told the woman at Wells Fargo who hooked me up with a free checking account, I’m used to being around fame. I mean Tanya from the Real World took her senior pictures in my backyard. NBD. My boss’s daughter is the one who filled me in on this tasty nibble of local celeb gossip because she’s actually the one who spotted the prince of pop at the movie theatre she was at, which I might add was a mere two minutes from my apartment. Him and Selena totally could have stopped by for an early dinner of fish sticks and cinnamon toast crunch (off brand of course). To be honest my friend may or may not have been tipped off that he was at the theatre and possibly that he was taking to Selena to see Twilight. Sadly Justin changed his mind last minute and ended up going to see The Muppets Movie. He’s so spontaneous! But I must say, it is ironic because wouldn’t ya know, I had also made plans to see The Muppet  Movie the same day…but opted out for a nap instead. BUT still!! It’s almost like our lives would have been connected for a small moment in time as we laughed at all the same jokes, chewed on our candy of choice( milk duds obviously), cried as Kermit and Miss Piggy had a falling out…you get the idea. But I haven’t given up hope that Justin and I will become friends. New Years is around the corner and I’m sure him and Selena will be back for another movie date and this time I’ll be ready!

P.S. Jess Miller: today’s voicemail where you serenaded me with Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called To Say I Love You” was by far the highlight of my day….aside from getting jumpstarted by a total stranger which came in a close second. I’ll call you soon.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


November really is the best month out of the year. I mean think about it. It’s the time of year when you finally get to bundle up in your scarves and sweaters, all Urban Outfitters tank tops are finally on sale, a Twilight/Harry Potter/Pixar movie is bound to be in a theatre near you, Justin Bieber Christmas music fills the air, pumkin spice latte’s are practically falling from the sky like manna from heaven, and of course it’s my Birthday! This year I turned the big 26 and as one of the cards I received said, “you’ve finally reached an age of no significance at all”. I couldn’t agree more. Gone are the days of having a birthday to look forward to. Birthdays that meant you would be able to drive a car, gamble away in a casino, buy a pack of smokes, enjoy a nice glass of wine, or have lower monthly rate on your car insurance.  More than anything I miss the days of my youth where threatening to uninvite someone from your birthday actually meant something. That was real power.  Reflecting back on my oh so recent life, I’m realizing that I seem to have trouble staying in one place. Over the last 4 years I’ve celebrated the day of my birth in both Washington, Iowa, and California and now Texas is being added to the list.  This time around I thought it would be fun to go with a theme for my party and what better way to ring in the 80 degree Dallas autumn than a Paul Bunyan party? Am I right?? Plus I’d just bought a pair of super cute Clarks boots and I was looking for any reason imaginable to bust em out.  I opted for the hipster Paul Bunyan look and paired my boots, suspenders, J Crew socks and flannel with a pair of cut offs and all I’m saying is the hipsters in Seattle would have been eating me up with a vintage and slightly overpriced spoon. Everybody got real into the theme and I even had a friend dress up as Babe the Blue Ox, complete with a nose ring he bought at Claire’s. It. Was. Awesome. Another friend was generous enough to buy me a birthday cake for the celebration and had even placed a special order with a bakery where he stressed the keywords of PAUL BUNYAN,  AXE, FLANNEL, LUMBER JACK when describing what he wanted the cake to look like.  Something was obviously lost in translation because come a week later, the lights are off, the candles are lit, my friends are singing happy birthday and I look down to see a giant Viking helmet and axe adorning the top of my cake. I mean at least they got the axe part right but I think someone at the bakery needs a little American folklore brush up before they attempt to take the SAT’s for the 5th time.

With all the love and surprises that came with this birthday also came the inconvenience of having to renew my Driver’s License.  Talk about a buzzkill. It was a huge pain in the butt because of all the paperwork they needed and registering of the car, etc., etc., etc. After hours of internet research, phone calls home, finding the perfect outfit for the picture, and picking out a DMV (or DPS as they call them here) I was finally ready to get er’ done. I made an effort to arrive at the DPS early but after my GPS decided to take me to an abandoned IHOP instead, I was only there 5 minutes before the place opened and it already looked like the line for a homeless shelter. After waiting in line for 45 minutes I finally made it to the front desk to get a number. I thought being an American and having to move to Texas sucked, but it turns out my Korean friend ahead of me in line had me beat. I’m assuming the poor man had just moved here from Korea and like myself he was also on a mission to get a license. Unfortunately he hadn’t been notified that his old Korean license had to be professionally translated before he could get a US one and therefore he waited in line for nothing. My heart went out to him….until it dawned on me that this meant that I had one less person to wait in line behind so I got over it real quickly. The next 2 hours that I spent waiting for my number to be called were pure torture. There had to have been at least 50 people crammed into the waiting area where one baby was screaming bloody murder for a majority of the time and somehow everybody was getting called ahead of me. I of course was alone with no reading material or smart phone to keep my mind occupied so I tried to make small talk with the lady sitting next to me. She was a nurse who had just finished working the night shift at the hospital, which lead to a lot of one-sided conversations as she nodded in and out of consciousness while I just looked like a crazy person.

Now as I previously mentioned, one of the best parts about November are the Twilight movies and I am happy to inform ya’ll that I have indeed gone to see Breaking Dawn: Part 1.  Seeing as I am quickly turning into an old man, I decided to turn down free tickets to see the midnight showing because the thought of getting 4 hours of sleep before work made me want to vomit. Had it been the year 2007 there is no doubt in my mind that I would have been there with my Team Edward t-shirt and body glitter that I picked up from Hot Topic. Many of you may be surprised to hear that I wasn’t too quick to join this whole Twilight wagon. For one thing I’m not much of a reader unless Oprah puts it in her book club, and secondly I thought Vampires were super lame. My friend Meghan convinced me to go to the first movie with her and within 10 minutes I was hooked. Set in Washington?? Forbidden love??? Sexual tension you could cut with a knife?!??!? Non-stop depressing hipster love songs??? Main actors name is Rob!?!?! Seriously, what’s not to love.? All I’m saying is, as usual, the tween inside of me won and since then I’ve seen all the movies, read the books, listened the soundtracks, set up a savings account to save up for my trip to Forks, and regardless of gender I plan on naming my first born EJ (Edward Jacob).  Speaking of first-borns; highlight of the matinee by far had to be the group of teenage girls who left the theatre shaking and crying with their hands covering their eyes as Bella gave what looked like the most painful birth of the century. Shit got real. That scene may just be the best form of birth control Hollywood has ever put out there. Now if only Justin Bieber had made it to an advance screening…too soon?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Car Troubles in Dallas

Wednesday, November 2, 2011
5:36 PM

Well I’m patiently awaiting the return of the stressed out looking Discount Tires man who is gonna tell me why my tire is flat and whether or not I’ll be spending my whole month’s salary on a new pair of tires. Happy Birthday to me…….*begins to sob uncontrollably* Ugh. Cars. Can’t live with em. Can’t live without em. My boss’s daughter was the one that first alerted me to the problem. I wasn’t too surprised after I remembered how a light with an explanation point had been lighting up my dashboard for over a week now. Maybe my car had been trying to tell me something? All I know is I’m already missing my Les Schwab Tire Store with their friendly service and endless amounts of popcorn. This is the second time this week I’ve had the luxury of lounging in an auto mechanic shop and my big question is how the hell does someone get a People magazine around these sorts of places!?? I ran into the same problem yesterday at Kwik Kar but wasn’t about the address the problem because I knew I’d be wasting my breath with people who not only misspelled the word “Quick” but “Car” as well. Public schools these days……You know it’s bad when your best option for light reading is Seventeen Magazine, but I was getting desperate because it was either that or ESPN magazine *shudder*. The funniest thing about the whole experience was that one of the guys working on my car kept taking mini breaks by coming into the lobby to watch whatever football game was on TV. He must have felt we had some sort of common interest in the sports because he kept talking to me about the game and would make loud cheering noises and then look awkwardly at me and await my response to the latest touchdown. Did he really think a 25 year old man who was browsing the pages of Seventeen with Britney from Glee on the cover and lightly skimming through the article that went into vivid detail about how Lauren Conrad died her hair 3 different colors in a single week gave a flying rip?!?!? Apparently I’m REAL good feigning interest.

All this has to be God’s way of punishing me for waiting beyond the 30 day limit in which a new resident of Texas is allowed to register their vehicle. It’s something I’ve been dreading. Both for financial reasons and pure laziness. Also it’s a bit of a thrill to drive through the freeway tolls for free thanks to my Washington license plates. I’m sure going to miss those moments. I honestly probably would have put the whole thing off longer if my license wasn’t about to expire in less than two weeks, thus making it very necessary.  Especially if I have any desire to buy a celebratory drink on my  B-day. I’m not totally opposed to the idea of getting a new I.D. card. Especially since I’ve run into several situations where people looked at me like I’d handed them a fake drivers license. Sorry big bouncer man at the Hard Rock Casino in Biloxi, 2006 was a long time ago and people change.  But it will be nice to have a picture that is more to my likeness. The lame part is that I have to retake my driving tests all over again which I think is just ridiculous. Pretty sure my grandfather was driving late into his mid nineties with no questions asked by the local government, and here I come all young, quick minded, with a perfect driving record having to prove that I still remember how to turn on my blinker when changing lanes. Where’s the logic?? And don’t even get me started on how parallel parking is one of my many if not most utilized spiritual gifts. Don’t even go there girlfriend, mkaaaaay.

Uh oh. The girl sitting to my left just started crying. She also must have noticed the sorry excuse for a magazine rack….

Thursday, November 3, 2011
9:19 AM

I’ve only been awake for 2 hours and I’m so ready to go home, lock my bedroom door, crawl into bed and hibernate till say mid March.  It’s been another Red Letter day and in my attempt at being a just, upright, and outstanding citizen I bit the bullet this morning and headed to downtown Dallas to get my car registered.  I should have taken it as a bad omen when I realized that the Dallas County Tax Office is located several yards away from where Kennedy was assassinated, but I had other things on my mind. Street parking was hard to find but I eventually found a spot with a parking meter. After ravaging my car for change like a meth addict I luckily found a quarter that I had missed during last weeks search for laundry money which meant I had enough change to buy me 23 minutes of time. I knew I’d be cutting it close but it’s the best I could do. It was all rather frantic as I was throwing all the necessary paperwork into a folder and wiping away the spilt coffee off my jeans (I’d left my thermos at work so I had to make due with my Paris Starbucks mug….found out the hard way there are a few potholes in downtown that need IMMEDIATE attention). Anyways so frantic was I that I failed to realize at the time that I was parking in a tow away zone. I swear I’m dyslexic when it comes to tow away signs in that I usually see the opposite of what the sign says. It’s happened before and I’m sure it’ll happen again. So I run like a madman into the building before catching my death of pneumonia because we had our lowest temperature for the year this morning which was a staggering 44 degrees as of 8am, which after a 110 degree summer my body is not prepared for in the slightest.  The whole process of getting the plates went way more smoothly than expected and I left with a much smaller bank account but an optimistic outlook on the day. All that went down the crapper once I returned to my car to find six minutes remaining on my parking meter and a whopping parking ticket on the windshield. I debated screaming and throwing garbage cans into the street but remembered I could no longer afford a fine for appearing to be intoxicated in public.  But seriously Dallas, I just gave you an ungodly amount of money for 2 license plates that probably weren’t even American-made and I’m giving you a full year of my life that I’ll never get back. What more do you want from me and what kind of grace filled community am I living in!?!??!?! And on top of it all I totally could have saved that stupid quarter, either for next week’s laundry or for my state quarter collection, which by the way is nearing completion.

In retrospect of this mornings events I suppose I have more in common with JFK than I ever realized? We both rocked the Ray-Ban Wayfarer, both shared a love for classic movie stars and we both got screwed over by the city of Dallas in the month of November. Guess we should have looked into that whole public transportation thing...