Sunday, September 30, 2007

I also changed his desktop background to a picture of me while he was out. That also made me pretty happy.

I know I tend to complain a lot - either in jest or in Negative-Nancy-type-form - but more and more I'm realizing that it's the small things that make me really happy. Coffee and a paper in the morning. Campfires. A favorite song playing while I'm driving somewhere. Hooded sweatshirts. Reading something really great. Kissing. Some time in the morning to laze around before I have to start my day. Bacon. Jumping on top of and steam-rolling my little brother early on a Sunday morning when he's been out partying until late last night, and making him tell me what my breath smells like (hint: I had just had two of the edible items listed above).



Yeah. Life is pretty sweet.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Apparently tonight I'm in the mood to say "fuck" - or variations of - a lot.

So my ladies Karah and Chelsea talk a lot about being amped up on sports promos, esp. for football. And I kind of always nod and smile, because while I can get what they're saying, I'm not a total sports girl and therefore don't really tend to get all psyched out when I see season promos flash across my non-plasma, non-HDTV screen.

Except for this one, which had me staring, wide-eyed and mouth gaping, at the screen tonight when I saw it for the first time -



First of all, let me explain. What first caught my attention was the music. It's not just any fucking music - It's Promentory by Trevor Jones. Which is brilliant in it's own right, but it's also part of the soundtrack to my favorite movie of all time, The Last of the Mohicans. And if you've ever seen either of the two scenes where this song is used - the love scene while Cora and Hawkeye are at the fort, or the climatic scene that can still make me cry because it's just so fucking stunning - then you get it. And I don't have to explain it to you, which is nice because it's just one of those conversations that shouldn't happen without a beer, a campfire, and some unabashed fervency.

For the rest of you, though...let's just say that normally I would be super effin' pissed about a song that I love being used in a commercial. But this one? Seeing this song in this commercial means that someone over at Nike (or their respective ad execs) gets it (because when you watch this promo, you can totally tell that they were thinking about the near-to-end scene in the movie when Chingachgook, Uncas, and Hawkeye are trying to circumvent Magua), and if someone over at Nike gets it, I'm totally down.

Plus? It fuckin' works.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Rick Astley would never do that, I bet.


So as it often happens at work - because I work with 90% women and we can't seem to get through the day without some form of discussion on this particular topic - the conversation during lunch one day turned to weddings. One of my favorite coworkers told us this story of a wedding she went to in Mexico:

"It was this beautiful and intimate beach ceremony...just absolutely gorgeous, everything about it...and since the bride is one of my good friends, I knew that they had written their own vows. So she starts to say hers, and it's this amazing poem that she had written. I don't usually cry at weddings, but I was bawling, and so was everyone else. It was just so beautiful and heartfelt. So she finishes her poem and it's the groom's turn, right? So everyone is still crying, and we're like, "Oh, this is gonna be really good!" So he takes the mic, takes out this piece of paper, and starts reading from it: "I will never find another lover sweeter than you, and I will never find another lover more precious than you. You're close to me like my mother, close to me like my father, close to me like my sister, close to me like my brother. And you are the only one, my everything. All my life, I prayed for someone like you, and I thank God that I finally found you. All my life I prayed for someone like you, and I hope that you feel the same way too."

Fuckin' K-CI & JOJO.

Apparently, he had waited until the day before the wedding to write his vows. So he was listening to his iPod, the song "All My Life" came on, and he was like, "Oh wow, this is really good. I'll just write this down and then I'm good to go."

Please, god...I don't even know if I want to get married, but I know that if I do, I don't wanna marry a douchebag who will use a K-Ci & JoJo song as his wedding vows. I don't even want to marry a douchebag who listens to K-Ci & JoJo songs on his iPod ('cept for maybe "Crazy", 'cause I kind of like that song, too). I know you kinda hate me, but if you could just come through for me on this one little thing, I think we'll be cool...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

"Your mind makes me nervous..."


Fall is my favorite time of year*. Even though - or perhaps because - it's the precursor to Thy Most Hated Season, I love it so much that I try to suck the life out of every single day of the season. I'll eat or drink anything that is made with or consists of pumpkin, cinnamon, or cider. I'll spend every possible moment outside, especially when I'm up at my parents' house in the forest. Bayfield's Apple Fest is quite possibly one of my favorite events on earth. I can finally order and drink my beloved mixed coffee drinks hot and not have people look at me as if I'm a maniac. Even though the "super hot/super chilly" crazy weather of late causes me to cast a wary eye towards the sky, I go with it...plus, hooded sweatshirts with jeans and flip flops happen to be one of my favorite clothing combinations. Halloween is the greatest holiday of the year. You know this. We all know this. And what season is Halloween in? That's right. My favorite.

Because I love fall so much, and, since I'm a psych girl and constantly think about positive associations and crap like that because I'm a super nerdatron, I usually tend to have a certain playlist I pull up on my iPod whenever the leaves start to change. I'm going to share it with you. Not because I think you'll care, but because it's my blog and I can write whatever the hell I want on it.

Turnstile Blues by Autolux
I kinda have a thing for drummers (side note - the linked post now shows up in the top ten Google searches for Nic Fauchald...I would say that I hope it gets you laid, Nic, but I just saw you at the reunion and I don't really think you need any help with that...). If I go to a show and it's the worst music, the worst band, the worst whatever, but the drummer is into it, I'll still be all "OH MY GOD THIS BAND IS FUCKING AWESOME." There's just something about the drums and the guys who play them. The intro of this song is a good example of that.

Banquet by Bloc Party
I had just started the blog, and was coming down to Minneapolis about one weekend a month - about all the time I could spare in my 80-hour-a-week private practice workaholic schedule - to hang out with my friends. This song always felt like going out - that amped up feeling you get when the city still feels new and you know every night out is going to be fairly fantastic.

What You Want by John Butler Trio
Top Five Favorite Songs of All Time? This one is constantly battling it out for first place.

Party, My House, Be There by MXPX
The fall of my freshman year, I had this fun flirtation with a guy from my class. He put this song on a mix he made for me. It never really went anywhere, but sometimes it's fun to listen to a song like this and think about how, once upon a time, someone thought you were pretty great.

Niki FM by Hawthorne Heights
When the band harmonizes on the chorus line "I'm outside of your window/with my radio", it still just kills me.

No Hard Feelings (Birthday) by Bloodhound Gang
During the fall about two years ago, I was still doing private practice for B. Her husband, R, had XM Radio all throughout the house, so when I would be analyzing data and writing up programs, I would listen to the Ethel station. Bloodhound Gang came out with "No Hard Feeling", but even though Ethel was a satellite station, they still had to play a radio edit of this song, which, actually, sounded even cooler than the real thing. Anyway, I was so game on this song that I even wrote a post about how annoyed I was that it wasn't released yet, even though I wanted it now. Then it was released, I bought it, and listened the shit out of it.

Breaking Us In Two by Mandy Moore
This song makes me think of plum turtleneck sweaters, golden leaves, and pumpkins. My mind is weird.

Go Down Easy by Dan Fogelberg
In one of my earliest memories, I remember riding down the driveway in my dad's old blue truck, looking out the window at the autumn leaves and hearing this song on the radio. 20 some odd years later, I was still searching for it, it having been one of those songs that you can still hear perfectly in your head and it drives you crazy that you can't figure out who sings it. Then iTunes was created, and I found it. Yay for brilliance.

Degausser by Brand New
OH MY GOD I LOVE THIS SONG SO MUCH.

This is How I Disappear by My Chemical Romance
Almost every song by My Chemical Romance reminds me of fall. Maybe it's the fact that their stage costumes and videos are always a little gothic, or maybe it's because their last album came out last October...who cares. They're fucking great. This song in particular, however, reminds me of last fall and of doing Chasing Windmills. There was one night when we were filming an episode and I couldn't get a scene right - I think Juan Antonio did the "And...AGAIN!" thing about a hundred times - and I kept playing the guitar riff from this song in my head, trying to make myself all snarky and pissy. Whether it worked or not...I'm sure there about a billion CW commenters who would be willing to give their brutally honest opinion if you just asked...

All of This by Blink-182 & Robert Smith of The Cure
One of the most brilliant songs that nobody else I know has heard.

Romeo And Juliet by The Indigo Girls
I fell in love for the very first time during the summer before my senior year with a one Gabe Hillebrand. We broke up right before school started, and I spent the better part of that fall listening to this song in my "love is so cruel" angsty misery. I do still love it, though, and the line "And you exploded into my heart" is still so perfect for recalling that ultra intense, desperate way that love in your teenage years seems to feel.

A Perfect Sonnet by Bright Eyes
Bright Eyes is one of my favorites.

Sway by Bic Runga
My second year of bible camp, I fell in love with one of my best friends (who also happened to be a co-bible-camp-worker) the fall of that year. My other camp buddy, Jamie, and I used to sneak out onto the roof of our camp lake house to smoke (you can bring the girl to bible camp, but you can't make her stop sinning...or something like that), and I used to play this song all the time. Then he married Missionary Position Heather and I stopped being in love with him, but this song is still a bittersweet epitome of what that time felt like.

Smoke by Ben Folds Five
One of the pinnacle songs of my life.

Writings On the Wall by Album Leaf
When I started doing the Man Ban last fall, this was one of the songs I would listen to remind me of why I started doing it in the first place.

A Little's Enough by Angels & Airwaves
This song always reminds me of the fall when Munchkin was diagnosed with leukemia, and the long string of weekends when I would drive down from Wisconsin to the cities on Thursday nights, wake up at the crack of dawn on Friday morning, grab some coffee for B at Starbucks, then rush through the parking ramp of the Children's Hospital so I could spend as much time with Munchkin as possible until he had to get his next round of chemo (and would be so exhausted and sick afterwards that he sometimes wouldn't even be able to recognize me). It still makes me a little bleary-eyed every time I hear it...how hard that time was, but how determined I was to do anything for this little boy I loved so much.

Hey Man, Nice Shot by Filter
Hayward. The "Losing You" series. Put it together.

Possum Kingdom by The Toadies
High school. From Red Wing, still kinda naive, then started hanging out with this group of ultra-cool and already-jaded group of private school kids from St. Paul. It was a pretty heady time, and I learned a lot...like, for instance, that this song can be super hot while making out with a dark-haired upperclassman during a dimly-lit basement party somewhere off Grand in St. Paul.

Idioteque by Radiohead (no link to iTunes, which totally fucking sucks)
This song is kinda creepy. And I like it.

And thus concludes my trip down Autumn Memory Lane. Which, it should be noted, is different from Autumn (Dirty-Bird Noble) Memory Lane, which includes the time when we frolicked on Kentucky mountain tops amongst the wildflowers together, as well as the time we posed for pictures that included props such as Super-Plus Tampax tampons and port-a-johns. God I miss that girl...



* I enjoy pumpkin patches, apple orchards, hay rides, corn mazes, bonfire parties, high school football games, walks in tree-laden parks, and making out on multi-colored mountaintops.

"My life would suck a lot less if you were in it."


Yeah. Pretty much.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Am I the only one who absolutely loves this commercial?

I'll admit. Commercials can be some of my favorite TV. And I mean the funny ones...not the 'diamonds are forever' kind of shit (BTW, as a turnaround to the subject of this post, who doesn't hate that one "I love this man...I love this man...I looooove this man" dumb-ass engagement commercial? That piece of super-sappy-crap still makes me feel snarky with hate whenever I chance to think about it). But this one...it's probably been on TV for the past four months, but every time I see it I still kind of sigh with gushy wistfulness. Maybe it's the fact that it's a turn-around from the usual story where the guy says he'll call you and, even though she kind of hates herself for it, the girl ends up sticking to her phone all the next day as if checking it fifty times a day is the only thing that will keep her alive (and then he still doesn't call until five days later, which is awesome). Or maybe it's the ending - sadly edited out in all the online videos I managed to find - where he finally gets her call at the end of the night, says hello, then gets this huge look of relief on his face and throws his up arms into a V...but then gets back on the phone and is like, "Hey ___" all cool and shit like it's just business as usual. I love that. I think every girl secretly wants to think that a guy is doing the happy dance when he sees your number pop up on his cell phone screen, even though - or especially because - he always answers in this sleepy, non-nonchalant "Oh...hey, how's it going."

Anyways, check it out. It's probably the only time on here I've admitted to loving something along these kind of lines, so drink it in.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Love is a verb, motherfuckers.

Due to today's post - or more so, the comment section on today's post - on Jeremy's blog, I would like to talk about favorite terms for genitalia. The discussion seems to have come up a lot this weekend - also, kudos to Katy and I for bringing up the subject of Beef Curtains around 6:30 in the evening at Jeremy's party when there were maybe, oh, only four other people there - and I think it requires at least some sort of documentation. You know...for prosperity's sake.

I'll start. My favorite terms for lady parts include Vag, Snatch (to be pronounced as 'Snaaaaaatch'), and Sweet Poontang. My favorite terms for manly bits include Wang, Hot Beef Injection, Kielbasa Sausage (to be pronounced "Sass-age"), and The One-Eyed Anaconda (to be used sparingly and only in situations when it truly applies, of course).

I could go on like this all day, but I don't want to dominate the conversation. So give it to me.

Yeah. Give it.

Christina was right -


It is hilario.

For personal reasons, I already knew it would be great.

But lady, it looks THAT GREAT (aka, all caps so as to symbolize my giddy excitement and amazement). When you're pumped to keep watching the trailer again and again...god, you're so freaking talented (and funny, and warm, and a great karaoke singer) it kills me.

Check it out, y'all -

Saturday, September 15, 2007

It's a Rick Astley REVOLUTION!

When Kris and I were younger, my dad had a lot of work trips that he would take the fam on, which was important to my development because it meant that Kris and I spent a lot of Saturday and Sunday mornings watching MTV, courtesy of hotel cable. I learned so fucking much just from watching videos by Sheena Easton, Madonna, and Flock of Seagulls that it's unreal. It not only taught me that pushing a video arcade game off of a balcony means that you're fuckin' done with love, it also taught me that you can't just take a song strictly based on radio value. A great video can take a song from "just okay" to something that will define your entire life. Take, for instance, the video for "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley...

I still remember the first time I saw this particular video. I was in a red-heads phase at that time in my life, so Rick's smooth pompadour, chiseled features, distinct fashion sense, and mesmerizing dance moves were right up my 4th grade romantic ally. He also has these two blond back-up dancers in the video: As you might remember, it has been my dream to be a back-up/go-go dancer for the majority of my life time. These girls made it. They were living my dream. They were also obviously both dating Rick...the long-haired one probably got to see him MWFS, and the chick with the medium-length hair probably got to see him on the off schedule (I was partial to long hair. I believe it entitled you to more, much like how Crystal Gayle had crossover success while Loretta Lynn stuck it out at the Grand Ole Opry). Plus, Kris liked the video, too, and at that time in my life, anything Kris liked automatically made it cool. I still see that one guy do the flip off the wall and hear Kris say, "Isn't that cool, Amber?! I wish I could do that!" while I smiled, nodded, and inwardly vowed that one day I would be able to do a flip off of a wall, too, so as to earn limitless cool points with Kris (I've since settled for the limited cool points).

And so I loved it. I even had the record, which my mom probably still has, along with Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car" that she bought on the same day. Yeah. I remember stuff like that.

I'm not sure how it happened. Once again, my coworker Nic and I were hanging out, doing the thing where one of us would say something and the other one would invariably break out into a related song verse, and then suddenly the Rick Astley Revolution had begun. We sang it all afternoon, and as it usually happens - which they sometimes complain about even though they know they love it - fellow coworkers also started to get the song into their heads, and they began to sing it around the center, too. Which continued on for the rest of the week.

You're welcome.

Monday, September 10, 2007

We're all business.

The other day at work I found this when I opened my locker, courtesy of my Work Buddy Nic -

GOD I love my job...

Sad.


I missed the MTV VMA's last night, but this morning Matt Lauer let me know that Britney's "comeback" performance was not, in fact, amazing.

I'm kinda sad about it. I mean, I think we all know that Brit-Brit is still too close to the crazy to make a real comeback, but watching her lazy dance moves and her awful lip-syncing (it's pretty pathetic when you can't even get lip-syncing right) makes me feel as if I'm waving goodbye to an old friend...the one who used to rock the performances to the point where we would watch, mouth gaping, at her outfits and her slick moves. The one who actually put out a fun, catchy song every now and then. The one who was cute and fun and bubbly and not all that bright but that's okay because she's smokin' hot. That Britney. And I think she's gone. I think she's gone forever, and is never coming back, because crazy-train Brit-Brit just won't let her.

Bye bye, Britney...bye bye....

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Because I can't keep all of this to myself.

Listening To: Between the Bars by Elliott Smith & Pieces by Sum 41

I found a note from him the other day. I was cleaning out the glove compartment in my car, in search of an old obsolete map I wanted to archive. A blue envelope caught my attention as I sifted through the stack of papers, and I recognized Hansel's handwriting immediately. I rarely ever use my glove compartment for anything, so it's not all that impossible to think that I've only just now come across a note that has to have been in there for at least 3 years.

"I love you, and I always will", scrawled in black ink on blue paper. He used to do that all the time: I would empty my jean pockets after dates and discover small scraps of paper from him, tiny affirmations hastily written in my brief absences. When I lived in England, I was constantly finding notes tucked into my suitcase pockets, between the pages of books, folded into my shoes, all masterminded by him during our two-day stay in Chicago before I flew out.

It's interesting to think that his intention - for me to find it soon after he placed it there and greet happiness at the discovery - only gave me the opposite. How does it happen, I thought to myself...how do you pack everything else carefully away in hopes that it will help you recover, it will help you concentrate on the life you have here...and one small piece of paper brings you, crumpled and crying, to the floor of a garage.

I'm still suffering through this. It just never gets easy. I find myself on the receiving end of "therapeutic" conversations...close acquaintances of the family kind, all careful words and gentle eyes. All I want to do is grab my shoes and silently walk away, but I can't, and so I stare out the window at the rain and nod every so often. Intimacy issues. Yes, I know. Defense mechanisms. Yes, that too.

Sometimes I still get angry. It's not as bad as it used to be, but every so often, when I feel backed into a corner about how I'm doing, how I'm coping, I want to clench my jaw and narrow my eyes and say exactly what I'm thinking: That I had a boyfriend who died, and it was awful. And I wanted to die because of it. I feel as if I just finally got to the point where I actually want to be here again, where life isn't such sheer exhaustion, so could you please just cut me some slack. But I don't say that, because I never want to use him as an excuse, for anything. So all I can do is nod and look away, and wonder how soon it will be until I can escape, how soon until I can find myself alone so I can cry it out and then continue on with my dance with normal, with trying to be okay again.

We had a life together. Three years together, and everything was saturated with him. And so you either suffer the constant reminders, or you watch as he slips away from you. I know in some small way they understand that...that in the end, concerning love, you want nothing to do with it, you want nothing to do with anything that could ever possibly make you feel that way again. What I think they forget, though, is that I left, three months before he was killed. One weekday afternoon I got off early from work, drove to our place, packed up all of my stuff, and left, with only a note left on his pillow to declare why. I had planned it for weeks: Rented an apartment in the neighboring town, covertly moved things into my new place when he was out with friends, set up a plan when I could leave for good.

I wish you would have known him when we first met...this is what I think when people ask about him. A tall, impossibly handsome, rugged outdoorsman who was also a brilliant artist, who made a point of making a science out of every hobby and every interest. Everything I should have wanted...and thought I did, in the beginning. I wish you could have seen us, in the beginning. We were so happy, so delighted with each other. We spent three years tenaciously trying to keep that up, trying to get back to what we had had at the start. Despite our best intentions, however, it just didn't work: My stubborn independence fueled his insecurities, and in the end, all we were left with was fundamental love mingled with bitter disappointment.

I loved him so much. And yet, deep down, I knew it just wasn't in the stars...that if I stayed with him, I would end up that brash middle-aged woman who sat in the bars and bitched about her husband and how he had held her back from all the things she had meant to do in her younger years. That he would become that bitter old man who hated his wife for all the things that she wouldn't - or couldn't - give him. He deserved someone else, someone better, someone who was ready to build that house in the woods, live that life of domesticated silence. I was not her, then. So even though it tore me utterly apart, I left him, telling myself that though I knew it would hurt him now, later it would be better for him, that it would leave him free for the person he deserved to be with...and that if I stayed, all I would end up doing was bringing him more hurt, more pain, more disappointment.

And then he died. I don't think, even if you tried, that you can understand how horribly cruel an ending to our story that was. The last three months of his life were miserable, and it was all my fault. This is what I thought every single time I smashed something against a wall in a rage of grief: I killed myself in order to bring him happiness, and then he died. How could this be my life.

I know all the good sense that people sprout off in an effort to resolve the guilt, in an effort to make me see logic: That I couldn't have known, that I was only trying to do the right thing, that it wasn't my fault. But the only things I really know from all of this is that grief doesn't listen to logic, that the only lesson you really learn from death is that you would rather not have had to have learned any lessons at all, and that perfectly ordinary people are capable of ruining whole, entire lives.

And that is what keeps me here, I think. Whenever a gaze becomes longer than I'm used to, I still find myself looking away and thinking, "I will only bring you misery." Even after all this time, I still catch myself trying to burn bridges and pull punches, attempting to see if I can still say goodbye to certain people who have somehow gotten too close, subconsciously trying to show them that they would be better off without me. I used to think, before, what it was about me that wrapped so easily around others. Now I think, if I were the ship, who would ever want to get on. I don't want to hurt people. I don't want a three year walk to the exact same spot. And so I think, if you say what to do, I know enough to stop.

And what a sad life that is. And maybe I don't want that girl around anymore, and so I'm trying. Before, when I would either cut men off at the pass or attempt to morph them into 'guy friends', I would hear this small plaintive voice pleading, "Please fight me on this. Please give me a chance to show you that I wasn't always like this, that I won't always be." Yet one of the reasons why I stayed away from relationships for so long was because I never wanted to make someone else feel as if they had to be a cure, a coverall. I never wanted to effectively say, "Save me from this. Make up for this for me." And I still will never ever do that, to anyone....because it's not anyone else's responsibility to save me, and the only person who can make this better is myself.

I'm going on dates again. I have this ritual; standing in my bathroom, putting on my makeup, telling myself that an hour of drinks with someone is not going to ruin my life or theirs, that this is what normal people do...they go on dates, they meet people, they don't have anxiety attacks before or afterwards. It's interesting, though, when friends ask me how a date went. Did I have a good time? Yes. Did I still want to bail ten times during the course of it? Yes.

It helps to have friends who have been through this, too. I don't think I could ever describe the gratitude I feel from knowing them. I'm not a public cryer, but sometimes it's hard to stop the tears from filling my eyes out of relief that they know exactly how I feel, the knowledge that maybe I haven't been left so behind. And it helps to see them in new relationships, also: I watch them across the bar or across the yard, and I think, "Maybe soon I can be like that, too. Maybe someday I'll be able to sit next to someone, feel their hand on the small of my back, and instead of feeling panic, I'll feel happiness, comfort."

And even though I still find it difficult to not always be the first one to pull away from a hug, or to be okay with voluntarily opening my mouth when someone doesn't automatically ask me to share things about myself, it's the smallest victories I'm most grateful for. I no longer instinctively turn my head so that someone else's hands will fall away when they cup my face as they kiss me. I have actual crushes now: Great, big, butterflies-in-the-stomach crushes that I might actually want to turn into something real, as opposed to just wanting to have them because they're the closest approximation to normal that I can manage. Finally, there are pictures of myself where the smile actually travels up to the eyes. That used to be my point: When I would look at pictures of myself before all of this happened, I would stare at the expression captured in the photograph and think, "Oh yeah...that's what it was like to be really happy." After, I would see myself in photos and instinctively flick them away, almost in anger, after noticing that the smile just never seemed to reach the center of my eyes. "We're not quite there yet, are we?" I would think, frustrated at how all of my attempts to be okay again were so fake, even in photographs.

And what I think about now, as I lay in bed late at night, is that all of that has changed...and the fact that all of that has changed has given me hope that maybe all those other things will change, too, and soon.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Jay: wiseman, sage, computer expert, and now...relationship advisor.

Yesterday at work I found this note, from Jay, in my box:


Attached to his Post-It note was this, the aforementioned "Lesson #1" for how I can get - and keep - a man:

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A green light means "go".


Listening To: Eye of the Tiger by Survivor

Guess who just got her Wisconsin Drivers License changed over to Minnesota?! And only one year over the deadline! Who rules? I do, that's who!

I don't know if most of you know this, but even if you spent the entire summer of your sophomore year in Drivers Ed studying about Minnesota driving laws so you could get your VERY FIRST license EVER in Minnesota, you still have to take the Knowledge Test again if you move away and then come back. Personally, I don't think that's any way to welcome back one of your own into the fold, Minnesota. I don't see you requiring me to take a knowledge test on the taxes that you're super eager to give to me, but whatever, I guess.

However, I can now stand behind this somewhat since I not only passed the test with 100% PERFECTION but also, in fact, gained some very valuable knowledge from the Driver's Manual, which I will now share with all of you.

Valuable Tips from the Minnesota Driver's Manual

Horn
"Your motor vehicle must have a working horn. Bells, sirens, and whistles are not horns and may be used only by emergency vehicles. Use your horn when necessary to avoid a crash. Don't honk unnecessarily. Avoid honking for purposes such as announcing your arrival."
** Hear that, dickwads? "Avoid honking for purposes such as announcing your arrival". That means that maybe next time - even though I know it's excruciatingly exhausting for you - maybe get to the fuck out of your car, walk up to her door, and ring the fucking doorbell. The DMV gets it. I don't see why you don't.

Following Firefighting Vehicles
"Only vehicles traveling on official emergency business are allowed to follow within 500 feet of any firefighting vehicle making an emergency run. Do not drive over an unprotected fire hose, unless you are directed to do so by a law enforcement officer or fire department official."
** Now, you know they wouldn't have put this in here unless this had become an actual, recurring problem that the DMV felt the need to directly address to the general Minnesotan population. Which makes it really fun to think about the morons who make it hobby to follow firetrucks and drive over fire hoses.

Watch For Pedestrians
"Watch for blind pedestrians who may be carrying a white or metallic cane or using a guide dog. If a blind pedestrian is waiting at the crosswalk, do not use your horn or rev your engine, as this may distract the pedestrian or guard dog."
** I have nothing to say about this. It says it all for itself.

Bicycle Laws
"Bicyclists are not allowed to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic."
** Ahem.

Distracted Driving
Distractions inside the vehicle can include activities such as cell phone use, eating and drinking, adjusting the radio, talking to other passengers, and reading maps and other material. Even when you are watching the road, behaviors such as looking at a crash scene, or even daydreaming, can divert attention from your responsibilities as a driver. For safety, make sure you give the task of driving your full attention at all times.
** Hear that, Redirt? Daydreaming about me while driving your pink Mini Cooper could endanger yourself and others on the road.
*** Also, they forgot to mention roadhead. Have the authors of the DMV not heard of that one story of the guy who was getting roadhead while he was driving? The one who got so excited/distracted that he crashed into a tree, the impact of which decapitated his girlfriend with the steering wheel and castrated himself on her teeth? I use that story all the time to warn suitors and boyfriends of the dangers of roadhead. I would think the DMV would maybe want to do that same thing, being as they're so concerned for both the safety of the driver and the passenger.

Carrying a Projecting Load
** I'm sorry. I didn't get past the title long enough to injest the advice the DMV offers for those of you who are carrying projecting loads AHAHAHAHA!

It would be a little overkill for me to cite all the passages, but I did notice that almost every single thing that I read about passing, making a turn, merging, or exiting mentioned how important - and in fact, legal - it is to use your turn signal. Seriously, assholes, it takes a second to flip the switch and alert the drivers around you that you're going to make a change in your direction or lane. Don't be the douchebag I have to flip off on 94 because you almost caused a three car accident by not signaling that you were merging into the lane that everyone else was about to merge into, too. And I will flip you off. Also, I will probably insult your character as well as make you feel badly about fucking your mom.

So don't forget, folks: As Question 15 on the Knowledge Test - which I ACED - stated, driving is a privilege that can be lost if you fail to take it seriously. So even though I might make racing car sounds as I cruise around turns or imitate what my car would sound like if it were a manual instead an automatic when I'm accelerating on an entrance ramp, I take my rights and responsibilities as a driver seriously.

Next up: Renewing the plates and tabs that have been expired for almost two years...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

My body is a fuckin' WUSS.

Listening To: Stop Me by Mark Ronson, featuring Daniel Merriweather

So on Wednesday I woke up with what felt like a crick in my upper back...you know, that achy feeling when your back feels out of whack, and you can't quite pop or crack it back into place? Yeah, that one. So whatever, I went to work, sucked it up, etc. It stayed pretty constant throughout the rest of the week except for last night, when it started to hurt so badly that I couldn't even really turn my head from side to side. I had to swivel around in my chair or turn my whole torso when I wanted to look at someone, like those really awkward people that Katy and I make fun of all the time.

Then this morning I woke up and realized that I couldn't get out of bed. I had to do the face-up slip and slide thing, which, rather than easing the pain, just makes it kind of last a lot longer.

So I went to the chiropractor, fainted a little bit after his "let's see where it hurts" examination, and then found out that I'm having severe muscle spasms again and that my muscles are so tight they're probably pinching some nerve endings, too.

GOD DAMN IT!

If I were constantly getting the flu, or mono, or pneumonia, then I'd think, "Hey, I'm a hypochondriac, maybe let's not do that anymore." But to quote Brandi M. on Rock of Love, "This shit is gettin' fuckin' crazy." Let's do a countdown: Janky hips, check. Fainting spells, check. Hilariously weak ankles, check. Banged up (and now scarred) knees, check. Sprained thumb, check. Neck that feels like it's broken because my muscles won't just fuckin' relax, check check.

So I have to go back on Thursday, and then probably for twelve more weeks after that. The sweet thing is that he's going to set me up with a letter that will get my insurance to pay for therapeutic message, which is pretty rad since it's basically one of my life's dreams to get free massages on a regular basis from someone I don't have do any reciprocity with. You know how it's kind of a standard fantasy for guys to get a Blow J and then just be able to go to sleep right afterward? Yeah. That's kind of how I feel about back massages.

Actually, that's kind of how I feel about everything.

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