Thursday, April 30, 2009

Irrational fear #382:

People throwing their cigarette butts out the car.

That's not the part that scares me. See, I'm convinced that, one of these times, I'm going to drive over their discarded embers, and my car is going to explode. Maybe my fuel tank is leaking, and a drop hits the still-lit pile of ashes, ignites, and follows the stream of fuel back up to my car. Maybe I'm just crazy.

I know it doesn't make any sense. That's why it's an irrational fear.

But still, I cringe every time I drive over those stupid little orange bouncing embers. Every time.

It's probably just a result of too many action movies.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Good news and bad news.

Yesterday I did laundry and got ready to go to bed early in preparation for my early wake-up, because I was starting a 4-day this morning. I logged on to crewweb to check my trip schedule, as I always do the night before I start, and was surprised to find that I did not, in fact, start my trip on Friday, but rather on Saturday.

With my unexpected day off today, I did some more laundry, went to the grocery store and fully stocked my lunchbox, read some of New Moon, watched Twilight the movie with my sister, and went out to dinner with my parents. All in all, a very productive day.

I'm not in bed nearly as early as I'd like to have been tonight, but I'll survive. Tomorrow will be long, though, at a 13 and a half hour duty day. Ouch.

The bad news: I found out one of the turns on the trip is on the 900, my least favorite plane.

The good news: It's just two flights, and they're long, so I'll have plenty of time to do service for all those people. And there's a new rule that says probationary flight attendants can't work first class, so I know I'll be in back, which I prefer. Oh crap, except I just checked, and the other guy's seniority number is lower than mine, which means I HAVE to be the one to work the front, even though I'm probationary, I'm still higher up than him. Le sigh. But I do need the practice, I'm sure I'll survive. *crosses fingers* Anyway, my other good news point was that, since getting hired, my seniority number has gone from 821 to 552. Nice.

Status Updates:


... 's shin hurts.

... is a genius. The four-day she was sure started tomorrow actually starts on Saturday. Hooray for an unexpected day off!

... had a delightful lunch at the 50s Grill today.

... finished Twilight for the second time, just in time to watch the movie tomorrow.

... misses her cat.

... has a lot of laundry to do.

... needs to get laid.

... has sparkle power.

... enjoyed laying out in the sun today. Three cheers for 85 degrees!

... is far too obsessed with vampires.

... is thinking too much these days.

... misses you.

... is in desperate need of some chapstick.

... needs to get her bangs trimmed, and is too scared to do it herself.

... composes these in her head ALL THE TIME.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

One of those days.

Today, as I was walking from the grocery store to the car, the cart I was pushing encountered a crack in the parking lot. A fissure, a chasm, even. The cart wheels immediately stopped their progress, sending the cart front tipping up into the air and my shin colliding with the bottom bar.


You know how some people can't have a coherent conversation until they've had coffee? I don't drink coffee all that regularly, but I do know that you should probably not talk to me in the mornings. When there's nothing in the house to eat and I take a shower instead of scrounging, it's probably still a good idea to hold off on idle chatter. When we go to the grocery store, and I am surrounded by food, and it is 1 in the afternoon, and I still haven't eaten all day, you should really probably not talk incessantly.

If I lived in a place by myself, my life would be much different. Sometimes it might be lonely, but I think I would be much happier. I would not be confined to a freezing cold basement. I would not be judged on the length of my showers. The cupboards and the pantry and the fridge and the freezer would all be mine, and I would stock them well and much, much differently.

Some days I'm perfectly content with my current situation, and some days, I can't wait to get the hell out.

This is one of those days.

Monday, April 20, 2009


I'm officially crazy. Or beyond help, or something. I just went to Target and bought Twilight the movie, chips and dip, two impulse chick flicks (how can they expect me NOT to buy Sleepless in Seattle and 13 Going on 30 when they put them on sale for $4.75 right next to the register?!), and kitty litter. Crazy cat lady indeed.

At least I didn't buy chocolate.


I have something of an obsessive personality. I latch onto things easily and with an iron grip. Until, inevitably, I tire of them and move on.

As previously mentioned, I was the crazy cat girl. Proof scenario one.

Proof scenario two: Harry Potter. Those of you that actually know me in real life know the gravity of those words. Those of you who don't, well, you'll just have to take my word for it. As some convincing evidence, here's a picture of me and a friend at the midnight release of book 7:

Dressed in HP shirts, with Gryffindor-colored scarves (conveniently also my college colors) (though the scarf on the right can't even masquerade as college-wear, because it has a tag that says Harry Potter. I bought it in York, for five pounds.) (Yes, that means BOTH of the scarves are mine.), holding my lovingly hand-crafted wand and a framed polaroid of friend and I with a cardboard cutout of Harry (I still have that framed polaroid. It sits on my bookshelf, propped up against my HP books. I'm not ashamed.) I think I read book 7 in a day or two. I know when book 5 came out, it was around my birthday and my friend made me a "Harry Potter Survival Kit" that included bottled water, a book light (in case my electricity were to go out), chocolate frogs and acid pops and the frappuccinos that you can buy at the store (to keep me awake), a jump rope (in case I got too slothy and needed some exercise), some cheese-and-crackers (for sustenance, obviously), and probably some other things. It was awesome and well-thought-out, but I didn't end up needing any of it because I read the book in something like fifteen hours. Whatever. Next.

Proof scenario three: The internets. In general. I live on them, and have for years and years and years. There's no way to even explain the enormity of this obsession, this addiction, so I'll stop and move on before you think I'm entirely crazy (though maybe you wouldn't be wrong).

There are many, many more proof scenarios I could throw at you, but, again, I'll stop and move on before you think I'm entirely crazy (though maybe.. well, you know), and I'll jump ahead to my most recent obsession: the Twilight saga.

Oh, my friends, please don't judge. Young adult fiction has always been my preferred genre (remember Harry Potter, from a couple of paragraphs ago? Add to that author Tamora Pierce, trilogy His Dark Materials, and really, half the other books on my shelves.), and will probably remain so for a very long time. So Twilight comes out, and some people notice and read it. And then more people read it, and then more, and suddenly there's all this hype.

I like to try to resist hype.

I don't know why.

I didn't start reading HP until book 4 was almost out, because there was hype, and I didn't want to get suckered in. But then I caved and read it and immediately understood the hype. But apparently that wasn't enough to teach me, because I am still always resistant to hype. I can't help it, it's like a defective gene I've got, or maybe it's just because I'm friends with so many judgmental elitist snob types (love you!), and we are above hype. But no, not me. Take me out of that "we." I'm so below hype it's crushing me. What? Anyway.

The point, I think, is that I finally caved and read Twilight. Devoured it, even. And then, since it was a borrowed copy, within hours of finishing it, I went to the store and bought all four books. And then I read them, within six days. It would have been fewer, but I was on a trip when I finished book 3, and I hadn't brought book 4 with me, so I had to quietly suffer through two Twlight-less days. I seriously considered buying book 4 at the airport and returning the other copy later. The only thing that stopped me was knowing I'd get zero sleep, and I had something like seven legs the next day.

Are you beginning to sense the scope of my obsession?

I'm looking forward to re-reading all the books, since I probably missed quite a bit, having read them so fast the first time around. I want to finish the other book I'm working on reading first, though (Three Dollars, by Elliot Perlman. It's a little beyond me at times, but some of the lines are just so.. so perfect. I'm enjoying it.) (I already finished the other book I was in the middle of when Twilight seized me, which was Christopher Moore's Fool, which I will no doubt discuss another day.). And I need my sister to finish the fourth book first, so that there's no chance she'll still be reading it when I, once again, so desperately need it.

I don't think the point of this post was "whoa that girl's crazy and you should probably stay away lest she get obsessed with YOU next," but I fear that's what you've gotten from it anyway.


Maybe the point was, when there's hype, it's generally deserved, and I should stop stupidly trying to resist it.

Or maybe.. maybe there was no point.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Little punks.

Last night, I got a phone call saying my license plates were in. Wahoo! For some reason, I've been very anxiously awaiting my license plates. My dealer plates made my car seem obnoxious, noticeable, a target. Too shiny, too good to be true, not mine. So I happily made my way to my dealer today to pick up my plates. They're nothing good or funny or awesome, but they're plates, and they're mine, and they make me happy. I went over into service, and they put them on in about three minutes, took the temporary paper out of my back window, and I was off and away! Of course, they put dealer plate holders around my plates, which is probably why they want to put them on for their customers themselves, but whatever, I'll get rid of those soon enough. (Sure, they've been great to me, but really, I don't need to be a driving advertisement for you, thankyouverymuch.)

I needed to pick up a couple of things at Target, so I toodled over there, feeling pretty fancy with my new plates. Middle schools had apparently just gotten out, so there were buses EVERYwhere. I didn't think anything of it; why would I? I pulled up next to the back half of a bus and waited at a stoplight, trying to find a good song on the radio. I heard kids arguing and talking, which seemed standard. Then I heard someone yell "Bitch!" at someone else, which was jarring coming from a middle schooler. But whatever, kids grow up faster and faster all the time; just because I didn't start swearing until high school definitely doesn't mean that that holds true for anyone else. And then, just as I was getting tired of the darn light already, somebody from the bus threw something at my car.

Now, I have no way to prove this. I don't know who it might have been, or what they might have thrown. But I do know that I was at a standstill, as was all the traffic around me, when something hard and loud hit the side of my car.

I was pissed. A brief inspection at Target showed no scratches or noticeable damage of any kind, but still, I couldn't believe some little shit had that kind of audacity. What has become of innocent children? What would possess someone to throw things at a stranger's car?

I really have no point. I was just angry.

At least my windows were closed.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Long overdue, but mostly just long.

Oh dear. Where to begin?

My car was dying. Leaking oil in two places (one halfway up the engine), leaking coolant, it had an ever-expanding crack across the top of the windshield, and it was sixteen years old. I'd been talking about getting a new one soon-ish anyway, so we decided it wasn't worth it to put the necessary funds into it, and instead, I would start looking for a new car. Well, I decided that, and my parents were surprisingly supportive. I thought they would try to talk me out of it, say it was silly, tell me I couldn't afford it. But they were all for it.

So I started researching. I got recommendations on cars, makes and models, I searched dealer websites and consumer reports and manufacturers websites. (Did you know that in AP style, the proper way to write it is Web sites? Now you do.) I decided I like hatchbacks better than anything else. Probably because of this little girl:

Ahh, my first car, my first love. She was a 1987 Honda Civic Hatchback. Two shades of blue. The turn signal played a tinny version of "Love Me Tender." And oh, did I ever love her tender. She fit all my friends, she had lots of storage, she was easily recognizable in parking lots. She didn't have a radio, so I bought a mini boombox, like this:

and we bungie-corded it into the dash, in the empty space where the radio should have been. One day, when my dad was changing her oil, he found an extra-long philips-head screwdriver nestled in the front bumper, long since lost and forgotten. She could make a u-turn on any street. In short, she was a treasure. Pure sassy delightfulness.

She died on me one April day as I was driving up 19th in Duluth. Any of you who may be familiar with Duluth know what a steep hill 19th is (for those of you unfamiliar, it's one of the main drags up and down the big hill towards campus). I was driving up the hill, trying to go to class, and she just up and died. Nothing. Not even a stutter or a putter, just dead. I managed to steer her over to the side, kind of. I had a moment of panic, and then I put her in neutral and backed her down the hill onto a side street, and called D, who had Triple A. That was the last time I ever drove her.

I got a new car in June. A 1993 Toyota Camry. I would post a picture, but I'm really just not sure I have any. It was a car, and it was a decent car. But after the love I felt for my first car, what could possibly compare? The camry had no sass, no personality, no turn signal music. But it treated me pretty well, and it drove me everywhere I needed to go. It didn't have air conditioning, which we decided was going to be a problem when I was scheduled to move to Arizona, so while I was down there, my parents had the AC system overhauled for me. Bliss. I didn't move to AZ after all, but I sure did have a nice, temperature-controlled car.

But then, it started leaking oil. Everywhere. I could be parked at Target for an hour, and there would be a little oil spot in the parking space when I drove away. We took it in and found out how much it would cost to repair, and even our trusty mechanic said it probably wasn't worth it. He told me that, as long as I was good at checking and adding oil regularly, it would last me a few more months while we looked for a new car.

So, as I said, I researched. I made a spread sheet. I debated. I search carsoup. I knew I wanted to take my dad test-driving with me, which I knew was going to be difficult. My dad is the kind of guy who will outright ignore any question you ask him until he feels like answering it. That could mean twenty seconds, or two weeks. I kept asking, and then hinting, and then almost begging. "Hey dad, I have ALL of next week off. Wouldn't it be fun if you took a day off and we went test-driving? Yeah, that'd be awesome." He'd just sort of chuckle and turn back to the TV. We both had a Saturday off one day, but he didn't even mention the possibility of car shopping until I had already made plans to visit Duluth for the weekend. Talk about infuriating.

Finally, one day he tells me, "I took a half-day on Friday." VICTORY! My mom had left town on Wednesday, and so knew nothing of our upcoming adventure. Knowing we'd actually be shopping soon, I intensified my carsoup searches, and found a few specific cars that I wanted to go look at. A Honda Fit, a VW Golf, and a couple of Priuses. I knew a Prius was likely out of my range, but oh, how I loved them.

Friday came, and the Golf was no longer on carsoup, so we decided to skip the dealership it was at. I took my lovely father to lunch, and away we went. The first car I got in was a Fit, and I didn't like it. I felt like I didn't fit in it, strangely enough. Also, the windows were uber tinted, which threw me off a lot, and turned me off of the car even though I knew it was removable. It just didn't feel like the car for me.

Then I got into a Prius. I loved it. It was smooth, and magical, and even though the pedals would take some getting used to, it just felt right. I didn't like the particular one I was in, however, so we bid farewell to our salesman and headed to an actual Toyota dealership.

We got into a Prius. It had a back-up camera, an audio jack for my ipod, heated side mirrors, cruise control, a smart key system (which means you never have to get your keys out, they just have to be in close proximity to the car and you can get in and start it, like magic), and it was blue. Not two shades of blue, but a beautiful, rich shade of dark blue.

I drove it around some side streets and took it on the highway. We got back to the lot and just kept wandering around the car, looking in the trunk, sitting in the back, sitting in the front. The salesman left the car for a second and I told my dad, "I want this car." When the salesman came back into the car, I asked him, "So, what kind of a deal can I get for my trade-in?" He looked a little surprised, probably not expecting me to a buy a car at all that day, much less the first one he showed me. "You want to see what we can do for you for this car?" "Yes."

By 7.30 that night, I had my old car emptied, my temporary license on my new car, and was home with the keys. When my mom came home a few days later, completely ignorant, the first thing she said was, "What did you do?" Luckily, she said it with a smile.

I had to leave on a 4-day for work on Saturday morning, and it was the longest trip ever. All I wanted to do was get back home to my new car.

My friends call it my spaceship.

Home, in my driveway, with SNOW on it (I was very offended about that):

Me and my new baby:

Blasted wind.

I smile every time I see it, I think it's adorable, and I love that it's both a hatchback and a normal-ish-looking car. I just feel so happy and lucky to have a car that I love again.