Monday, December 31, 2012

It's been real, 2012.

My NYE is going to consist of the following, not necessarily in order or at separate times:

1) Drink boxed wine.
2) Write/edit/draw/etc.
3) Watch "Lord of the Rings" appendices.
4) Clean.
5) Walk Zola.
6) Possibly have sex, depending on Three's level of awakeness.
7) Go to sleep.

Honestly, this anticlimactic shtick of mine has been going on since 2006, although at first it was due to a pretty traumatic 2005 NYE in which I was struggling from a deep depression that ended up lasting well into the first quarter of 2006. My roommate, as any wonderful friend would do, forced me out of our dorm room and into her car for a drive out to Manchester, where some friends of hers were having a NYE party. It was awkward, even with the roommate trying to keep me from focusing on bad thoughts, and it seemed like everyone at the party knew to kind of avoid talking to me. While a welcome respite from small talk, the embarrassment of being That Girl at the Party was enough to make me curl up on the couch, away from everyone else, and watch the TV with all its confetti and laughing and cheering and hopefulness. As the ball dropped, I found myself alone, holding a fluke of pink champagne that was mixed with my own tears.
It's the fancy version of the old country staple, "tears in my beer(s)."
Almost understandably, I decided to spend the next New Year's holiday by myself. I was living with my parents at the time, and they had invited me along to their friends' party. It was only a half-serious invite, since I would have been the only 23-year-old at a 50-and-above soiree, but I gratefully declined, instead curling up in my bed with a book and a cup of hot cocoa. I fell asleep before the final countdown*; I didn't come up with any resolutions that year; and I treated it like any other day, a set of actions that I believe actually helped complete the healing process I'd started the year before.

If 2012 has been anything for me, it definitely has been a year of self-discovery. I figured out that, yes, indeed, my job was slowly killing my soul. I realized that, yes, indeed, I am one who operates best with few if any outward constraints. It's the final act of what began as me trying to conquer depression in 2005. Now, I'm not saying that I have been in a state of depression since then, but I have been examining exactly what caused me to get there in the first place.

My longest relationship to date (although Three and I will have this beat by March 2013) ended in 2005, and it was particularly difficult, for several reasons. First, the only reason it lasted that long was because I let it. I was actually done with the relationship after about six months but kept telling myself that it was a phase and that he was the best thing I was ever going to find. It took nearly four years for me to finally admit that I never really loved him the way I should have. Sure, I cared for him as I do a close friend. But I was selfish and made the whole process of breaking up for him that much harder, because I do believe that he loved me. Second, we had taken a short break earlier that year at my insistence, but I, out of loneliness and insecurity, had come to him, wanting to try again. We treated each other horribly during these last few months together. We were both resentful for different reasons. His was because he subconsciously wanted me to pay for hurting him, and mine was due to me blaming him for my own lack of self-sufficiency. Neither reason healthy, he did the honorable thing of ending our relationship, which brings me to the third difficulty: he did this at 11:45P on the night right before my birthday, six days before Christmas. In one of my most pathetic moments, I begged for him to give me another chance. I actually cringe at this now. After hanging up the phone, I managed to go upstairs and put my head in my father's lap and sob. Of course, he had no idea what was going on, but he stroked my hair and just let me cry.

The rest of the holiday season was kind of a blur. I know that it was tedious for my family and friends, and I'm pretty sure I've apologized to every single one of them at least 45 times each. I was this weird shell of a person, and honestly, I'm surprised that I managed to graduate the following semester. It's a wonder that I ever got out of bed. But I did, and I was able to walk across the stage to get my diploma for a degree that I have yet to actually fucking use. And I started a tradition that I have basically kept since: I don't really like celebrating my birthday in any big fashion (we had a grilled chicken dinner at my parents' house this year) and NYE is so low-key that it might as well not even exist for me.
"That is the most lackluster ball I've ever seen. Where's my boxed wine?"
As the years went on, though, I realized that the breakup and my subsequent depression weren't really the heart of the issue and that I was avoiding the real reason that the latter happened. I had limited and defined myself by another person, another entity, which for a Sagittarius is the ultimate sin. I had singularly put my happiness into the idea that this one person, this one relationship, was going to keep me happy and satisfied because he loved me. Not because I loved him. And the New Year resolutions were the same: I was limiting myself to what the following year could mean for me, almost a sort of prediction of fate that I despise making. My mother calls me a free spirit, which I think is a partial insult, but it's fairly accurate. It's not that I am just a leaf on the wind; I trust that what will happen will happen and that, since I have little to no control over it, why worry? All I can do is live my life in the attempt to love all and to do what I am here to do. To try to do anything more just seems kind of silly to me.

So today will end, and tomorrow, the first day of 2013, will begin. I am actually very excited to see where this year goes, seeing as we managed to avoid at least three apocalypses this year**. I see what incredible things occurred this year, which yeah, is infinitely more awesome than the previous year***, and I'm actually excited for the future and its possibilities. I have stories nearly pouring out of me, a great set of friends, a wonderful family, plenty of art supplies, and it's going to be a good year.

Peace out, 2012.

* Because NO ONE ELSE WILL POSSIBLY THINK OF THIS! AI R JEENYUS. (Also, I cannot hear this song without seeing Gob and a knife in his mouth.)
** Don't get your hopes up yet, folks. Ronald Weinland has revised his prediction that Jesus will return on May 19, 2013. Because these guys just DO.NOT.GIVE.UP.
*** A final FUCK YOU to 2011.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


This gif has been me all morning, crossed eyes and all. You'd think that a Saturday would be the antithesis to stress, what with it being the weekend and all, but noooooooo.

And because the situation that is causing my distress really is a giant first world problem sort of thing, I'm just going to stop and take a breath because what I really want to be doing is this:

Friday, December 21, 2012


My brain is a crazy place to live most of the time, what with characters constantly talking to me and vivid images breaking in, like a damned musical number in a Bollywood film. I have developed the ability to multitask during the day, letting my imagination run wild and actually, like, doing shit. I'm not always successful in this, but I'm a hell of a lot better at it now that I'm older.
But that's my brain during my waking hours. My time spent sleeping or on the way there is a completely different story.

I remember most of what I dream, although the majority of it is just my subconscious randomly splicing together weird visual metaphors and quick, nonsensical cuts to whatever it thinks of next. It's like the regular me on hyperdrive. Sometimes it's dealing with the fears that I have yet to overcome. I cannot tell you how many times I have had Three cheat on or leave me since we got together. Shudder.

At other times, it's downright creepy. I've dreamed actual conversations that have later happened in real life, sometimes months later. Usually, they're nothing to write home about; they're more along the lines of, "Hey, can you pass the butter?" in excitement. However, they're very specific in word or gesture, and each time, I'm like, "ZOMG, I'M PSYCHIC." It just gets eerier when I dream of very ominous things; we're talking apocalyptic levels of ominousness. Once, I dreamed that I woke up after a cataclysmic event, among a bunch of rubble, only to realize I was one of the only survivors of whatever happened. Another time, there was an alien invasion of sorts: a giant storm with a red center eye beamed an energy wave of sorts over everything, but I hid. The next day, it was as if nothing had changed, except that everyone was treating me strangely, and I was able to switch to one of their perspectives and see myself with a completely gold aura.

That last one? Yeah, it has stuck with me. Kind of like my most recent dream*, which had me feeling amused, unnerved, and terrified at the same time when I woke up. There was a young kid that was the star of a reality show that's entire premise was him finding his mother. Unbeknownst to his viewers, the kid was really a type of Frankenstein monster and his adoptive father was the scientist who'd built him or whatever. And there was also cannibalism, complete with a human barbecue, which was not so fun. And somewhere along the way, I became invisible only to realize I was now an armoire. Because, DREAM.
Somewhere, in the far reaches of my brain, that makes sense. 
I'm one of those people that can't wait to get to sleep just so s/he can dream, and the last two are just reasons as to why. Sure, I love curling up in bed for much needed rest as much as the next person, but my mind can be a fun, if not baffling place. Most of the time, I'm able to bounce them off of Three, who sometimes has equally strange dreams, and he nearly always can tell me the possible deeper meaning of my brain wanderings. Sometimes, we both just shake our heads at the absolute randomness, and usually, those are the most fun.

See, now I am all excited to get to sleep tonight.

*I'm determined to use this dream as an inspiration. I've been toying with doing a screenplay for a really long time, and I'm kinda thinking that this could be It. When I had the unnerving dream about the alien invasion, I was just certain that it was the greatest movie premise ever. But the Franken-kid? I have different themes already running through my head (humanity, reality television, family, having children being freaking scary, etc.) that I'd want to explore. And it would actually be fairly inexpensive to film, so plus there.

Friday, December 14, 2012

My mother accuses me of screening my calls, which is only partially true. If I don't know what the number is that's calling, I don't answer. It's a habit I picked up when telemarketers first bought all the rights to phone numbers everywhere, or however that actually worked*. And now, since long distance charges seem to be a thing of the past - unless it's a land line, also a hopefully soon-to-be relic - I get calls from across the U.S. and once, Mexico. Just a few days ago, someone from Utah called me. They didn't leave a message, though, so I'm thinking either it was a wrong number or a telemarketer. Sometimes I get curious and google the number, and usually, I'm met with a website telling me that, if I pay them $10, they will give me all the information they have on that particular number. By that time, though, I've lost interest and decided to go about the rest of my day, which does not include paying someone to tell me that the person that just called me has an unregistered local number.
I'll keep my $10, thanks. For the good porn. 
Other times, though, people do leave messages. One guy bitched at me because I had cheated on him with his best friend and why would I even do such a thing when he'd been so good to me. Another person thought she'd hung up on the voicemail and instead went about complaining to someone that she'd been Faked Numbered. The local VFW once left me an invite to a karaoke night, and I kind of regret not going. A lady apologized profusely for wasting my time, and I'm fairly sure she thought she was talking to a real person. During the months prior to the election, I got prerecorded messages from various candidates, all of which made me roll my eyes. I mean, seriously, guys. You had commandeered my television, my radio, and then you decided to go after my cell phone. And then the telemarketers. Oh, goodness. They're usually prerecorded messages that I instantaneously delete, but occasionally, it's an actual human being leaving a bit of their corporate-indoctrinated** soul behind in audio form.
I've been there. Oh, I've been there. 
It's the prerecorded ones that really piss me off, though. I mean, I get that it costs money to employee these phone operators, but if a company was trying to show they know how to treat their customers, you'd think that they'd want an actual person on their end of the line. But apparently, you'd be wrong. Because ZOMG they'd have to hire people and that costs money.

Yesterday, I got a call from a 423 number and was a little confused as to why someone in East Tennessee would be calling me***, but as my habit insisted, I waited to see if the caller would leave a message, which unfortunately it did. And yes, I did call it an "it." Because guess what. It was an automated message.
Greetings and happy holidays! We here at Blue Cross Blue Shield know that the holidays can be a stressful time. A lot of our customers have noted that seasonal depression is at its highest during this time of the year, so we wanted to let you know that, through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, we have an extensive list of providers who offer various therapies to help you through these difficult times. [blahblahblah]
Now, this was greatly paraphrased and shortened, obviously; the message was about two minutes long, which huh? The last time I left a two minute message on someone's voicemail was by accident and consisted primarily of muffled cursing as I drove in downtown Nashville traffic. I was just so baffled by this that I actually listened to the whole thing before shaking my head and deleting it forever from my phone.
Seriously, what is this, BC/BS?
For the record, I am not trying to discount depression around this time of the year. I suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) because I am a special flower who needs sunlight and warmth to blossom. At least, that's what I tell myself. And the holidays aren't always the happy ending from "It's a Wonderful Life." Sometimes, your life is what would have happened had George not been born, and this particular time of the year tends to stuff its 'tis the season spirit down our throats like its job depends on it****. A lot of people feel alone around Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Yule/etc., too, and what does BC/BS do? Oh, they send you a recorded message from computerized person (which was made by a giant, impersonal corporation) telling you it understands the fact you are depressed because you aren't connecting with real people.

How meta.

I mean, I kinda have to give them props for using technology to spread awareness of something that people don't like to talk about or like to make fun of*****, but you know what? I have an email account for spam like that; you have my email address on file, and it's a lot easier to delete those. My mom forwards me stuff with more sincerity than this, and I don't really need a half-assed pick-me-up attempt from my damned health insurance company.

That is what booze is for.

And also SAD lamps.

* God, how old do I feel right at this very moment? I remember when cell phones were not called by telemarketers. I also remember using phone books. Why do they still print those now? TRADITION.
** I really do feel for telemarketers. Most of them are just regular people who are trying to make a living, and unfortunately, the only job they could find was dealing with people (read: all humankind) who hate them. If by the off chance I pick up, I try to be nice to them and talk to them about things other than the reason they called. Some of them can be rude about this, and those guys? Yeah, they can fuck themselves. I'll hang right up on your ass.
*** I learned a lot of random things as an eligibility counselor for the state of Tennessee. One was area codes. I now know all of Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Michigan. Yay, me.
**** And it kind of does. I was seeing Christmas decorations before fucking Halloween. Poor Thanksgiving.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

On being neighborly.

As far as neighbors go, I'm pretty great. For the most part, I keep to myself, don't have any wild parties, cook normal-smelling meals, ensure that my dog's feces remain in the proper areas, etc. I'm also fairly friendly; I'll interact with you politely and will, on occasion, even talk for extended periods with you. Sometimes, GASP, I will even become friends with you. The couple that shares a divided balcony with us is actual on a first-name basis with us, although Three frequently forgets the man's name*, which is currently a long-running joke with the four of us. However, I cannot say the same nice things about everyone in our complex.

I've been in the apartment scene since I was 19 years old, so having bizarre neighbors and terrible landlords is nothing new to me. Back in college, I lived across the parking lot from a drug dealer, who seemed to think everyone else was oblivious to the fact he had "friends" come to his place for fifteen minutes at a time. Now, apparently, the landlord had no idea what was going on (or else had Academy Award training) because, when the guy was stabbed and sent to the hospital after a drug deal went bad, she was all, "OMG, HE SEEMED LIKE SUCH A NICE GUY!"
"I mean, he had never left his apartment for a job or for a class or anything and yet always managed to have rent money. I just thought he ran an internet store full of Beanie Babies or something!" - actual quote
Then there was the cat lady, who had adopted all the stray cats in my college town. And also the LARPers who lived downstairs who held tournaments inside on rainy/cold days. Ahhh, the good ol' days.

Actually, I would take all of those people, plus other ones that I can't remember off of the top of my head, in exchange for the rest of the people I'm forced to live close to. Well, most of them, anyway.

I've already posted about the bitch who let her fucking rat terrier bite my dog, and she and I have regular run-ins on the tri-daily walks I take Zola on. She actually snarls at me, but mostly, she keeps herself and her little shitface of a dog away from me. But she's not the only one who has reactions about Zola. There's an Indian man who hates my dog. Not just dislikes, but actively despises her. I don't really understand it, either, since she's never once gotten very close to him. She just kind of looks at him oddly whenever we pass, and he scowls at me and then her and says, "You keep that bastard away from me." I've asked a couple other dog owners in our complex about him, and they roll their eyes.

"He's that way about every dog," another neighbor told me. He owns quite possibly the cutest dog on the planet, a little shih tzu that essentially looks like this all the time:
And he never barks and is scared of moving leaves. Seriously. From A Place to Love Dogs.
Neither of us can understand what this dude's problem is, so we both came to the conclusion that he's crazy. But then I start to wonder about a lot of the other immigrants who live here that are terrified of Zola (and all dogs, I guess). There's one lady from Iraq that will go completely out of her way to make sure that she is as far away from Zola as possible, even when she's carrying about ten bags of groceries. I mean, the asshole guy may just be insane, but the others, almost all of whom are women, will all but scream and run away whenever they see her. With them, I try to be polite and walk Zola because, from what I can gather, this is a cultural thing and perhaps a PTSD thing.

And then there's Neighbor A, who I have purposefully avoided talking about because he creeps me out that much. He loves Zola, almost to an obsession. He talks about her like she's his girlfriend. For example, this conversation:
Neighbor A: Ahhhh, hello! How's everybody doing today? How are you, Zola?
Me: We're fine. She really has to go to the bathroom, A. I just got home and she hasn't peed in about six hours.
Neighbor A: Oh, well, okay! I'll come with you! Zola, I just want to make sure that you get everything you need! You're a beautiful girl that deserves the best! Let's find you the best pee spot in the world!
Me: ...
Zola: havetopeehavetopeehavetopeehavetopeeaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
Neighbor A: (as Zola is peeing) Zola, when's your birthday? I want to get you something, like a diamond-encrusted collar. Does that suit your refined tastes?
Me: Seriously, her collar is fine.
Neighbor A: She might not think so.
Me: A, she's a dog.
Zola: Peepeepeepee pooppooppooppoop pet?
Neighbor A: Do you need me to watch her sometime? I could take her out on the town.
Me: No, thanks. We have to go inside now.
Neighbor A: Alright, Zola. Give me a kiss!!
Get away from me and my dog, you creeper. 
This man is ... interesting. Three met him first, while he was walking Zola, of course, and then I had the opportunity to do the same a few days later, also walking Zola. Neighbor A asked Three the next time he saw him if 1) I was his sister and 2) if he could play with Zola for an hour. I was definitely creeped out by him already, since he spent the whole time staring at my chest, but Three was determined to befriend the guy, who just seemed lonely. This determination lasted until Neighbor A told Three that watching Zola poop was the highlight of his day, since "she seems so happy," and insinuated that it turned him on. I can't remember the exact wording, but I nearly threw up when he said it.

Now, Neighbor A is also an aspiring music artist and has been trying to get Three and me to listen to his artistic endeavors. Since I avoid him at all costs, Three has been the one to actually agree to go over to his apartment. He was over there for about forty-five minutes, and when he came back, he closed the door and just started laughing hysterically. He described it as "black metal folk music sung in the style of Keebler elves." I feel a bit bad about mocking him on what he has called his life's work, but really?
How he got the lead guitarist of the band who played for Robert Plant and Alison Krauss to play on this album, I'll never know. (And Three verified that his claims were true.)
Anyway, moving on. Before we moved into our smaller apartment, we lived above a Pakistani family that, despite being some of the nicest people on the planet, had two major problems: 1) Their food at times smelled amazing and made me want to go down there to ask for a few pointers; other times? It smelled like feet that had been sitting in sewage all day. 2) Their children seemed to have this ability to run on the ceiling. To this day, I cannot figure out how they did it. However, I would take all of that in exchange for our new downstairs neighbor, who we'll call Frat Girl. How she hasn't been kicked out of the complex yet is beyond me. She has had more parties involving frat boys and her server contemporaries than I have had in my entire life, all of which take place at the most inopportune times. Like 3A. I have called our courtesy officer plenty of times, and she has had the gall to argue with him every time. Granted, she's been drunk and/or high each time, so whatever. Makes sense. Once, she was leading a Drunk Treasure Hunt, where they were basically making up treasures as they went along. One guy knocked on my door and asked for a pine cone, and when I told him I didn't have one, he asked for sugar for his absinthe. That wasn't so bad since it happened on a Saturday night when Three was at work, and it was a little entertaining to watch them scramble around for no reason. Also, she has some of the worst taste in music ever and sings (out of tune because, of course she would) it at the top of her lungs all. damned. day. Yesterday, it was Skrillex**, and how in the hell do you even try to sing to that, anyway? The other day, it was early 90s club music, and prior to that - and I think I was just angry because she was SO. BAD. at singing - she chose Weezer's blue album. But because dubstep bothers me much more than the others, I finally just went down there and was like, "Look, I get that you're home alone but seriously, if you're going to abuse my ears, at least take some singing lessons and choose better music." However, she was high, so she probably doesn't remember even talking to me. Or maybe she thinks it was a dream.
Lately, Frat Girl's been laying low, other than her at-home karaoke attempts, but I think that has more to do with the fact that the office called her father (who is her co-signer on the apartment) after four noise complaints. I've met her dad, who is a very, very imposing Russian dude. And I think her boyfriend probably nixed her having fifteen dudes (there were never any other girls at these parties) coming over to her apartment for drinking/drugging/sexytiming events. I can't say that I'm too upset about that.

And then there's our newest addition to the building, who we'll call Spikey Hair Lady. She moved in a few weeks ago and seemed okay. She was very friendly and super appreciative when we offered to help her move some of her furniture; she only had one other person helping her and Three is kind of built for this sort of thing. She was a little obnoxious and loud, but meh, I would be annoyed too if I bought a couch that didn't fit through the front door of my new apartment. But then what seemed to be straight out of some bizarre indie movie happened.
Juju has been napping and hears a knock on the door. At first, she ignores it, thinking the person will eventually go away. But he/she keeps fucking knocking. Seriously. Like every two seconds. And the person keeps getting louder and more insistent. So Juju gets up and fumbles to the door, opening it to see Spikey Hair Lady.
Juju: Yes?
SHL: Oh. Were you sleeping?
Juju: I was. Can I help you?
SHL: I need to come into your apartment. 
SHL tries to push past Juju, who just glares at her.  
Juju: I'm sorry, what?
SHL: I need to see how you have your couch set up.
Juju: We don't have a couch.
SHL: [pause] Why?
Juju: We just don't.
SHL: Where do you sit?
Juju: We have chairs.
SHL: Can I come in?
Juju: No. 
Juju closes the door and goes back to sleep.
Seriously. That is a true story. Both the actual thing and that we don't have a couch. Each time I manage to run into this lady, it's one more story of her intrusiveness. When we got the Lincoln, she tried to get into it. When my delivery Chinese came, she tried to invite herself to eat my one bowl of wonton soup. And she drives like an asshole, speeding through the parking lot like she's training for NASCAR. And she smokes like a damned chimney. Before she moved in, our hallway smelled like a normal hallway, albeit a little bit moldy****. Now, there's this lingering cigarette stench that makes me gag. She's not the only smoker in our building, but none of them smoke inside. They're courteous and go outside. She apparently thinks she should be able to make everyone miserable. Three and I have complained to the office, and we're not the only ones. I'm hoping they resolve this as quickly as they did with Frat Girl.

Even though there aren't a lot of really annoying people here, the sheer douche-ness of them kind of overshadow any other crap neighbors I've had. Now, Three has other stories (like the guys who broke into his apartment and stole all his computer and music equipment and ate his sugar-free chocolate pudding) but I don't know specific details on a lot of them. Hell, I may have him do a guest post one of these days. And anyway, we're definitely going to be moving elsewhere in March - closer to Three's work (and cheaper). I'm sure we'll have another group of annoying neighbors, but it'll take a lot to best these people.

God, I hope I didn't just jinx myself.

* This is not abnormal for him, anyway. He called me his ex-girlfriend's name for a while when we first got together, which amused me more than anything else. I mean, the guy was with her for four years, and I sometimes call him Zola, so we're even. He's just not very good remembering proper names of anything. For example, he went to see this Christian band and was talking about the performance with a friend, calling them Guitars of Light. His friend kept looking at him strangely and finally said, "You mean, Jars of Clay?"
** Okay, so I get that people have different ideas about what music is awesome and what isn't. I'm sure my mix of genres includes some music that is truly horrific to someone else. But dubstep. Really? I mean, really? I think Key and Peele describe it best: Dubstep is like "listening to music and then all of a sudden an alien tried to communicate with me." I have physical reactions to it, none of them good. Plus, look at this guy:
Even just looking at this makes me want to punch him. 
*** I don't actually know how scripts are written.
**** Our building is a unique one. The A and B buildings are connected by a common area that is basically an indoor garden, so when they water the plants, the moisture just kind of sticks around and ugh.

Friday, December 7, 2012

I sleep like the dead.

Three's work schedule has yet again changed, because hahahaha WHY THE HELL NOT, and he's back on first shift (6A - 2P). The last time he was on this shift, I was still working at DHS, and it was really rough. He was exhausted all of the time, since he's not so much of an early riser, so each time I'd come home from work, he'd just be about ready to go to bed. Second shift has been a big help to him, even though he kinda hates not ever being able to do anything socially. He'd actually prefer third shift, and not just because of the difference in differential pay. He's able to wake up more easily later on in the day; as it is right now, it takes him at least 45 minutes to completely wake up.

I, on the other hand, wake up within five minutes, if that. It's not that enjoy waking up; I hate it. Just ask my mom. She will tell you horror stories of forcing me out of bed and onto school. If given the chance to not have to sleep ever without any negative effects, I'd probably still give the option the middle finger.
But then I'd request that I be given the gift of flight instead.
Somehow, I can just spring up and be awake and *gasp* peppy. I'm that unwilling morning person, that person at the coffee maker in the office, telling everybody that she doesn't need coffee because she's caffeinated on LIFE. This was also a very useful tool in college because I'd wake up five minutes before class and be able to get there, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

That being said, when I go to sleep, I go to SLEEP. Good luck waking me, and if you do manage to accomplish this, expect a giant, cursing grizzly bear to rip your face off then proceed to cuddle back under the covers. However, I will remember none of it. 
Where's your right eyeball?
In the past, I have apparently yelled at the dog, talked to Three for an extended period of time (and made sense, which WHOA), mumbled at Bina when she jumped on my head, laughed at a joke in a movie, etc. Thankfully, I do not sleepwalk, which is actually a pretty big fear of mine. I don't want to wake up as I'm about to get hit by a car while wearing only socks. 

And this is just on regular nights. When I'm downright tuckered out, that's a completely different story, which brings us back to Three's new schedule. Half of me wants to write a pamphlet to employers on how to deal with diabetic employees, because every single boss that Three has had just simply does not understand that he needs a consistent schedule and time to take snack breaks. Instead, they push him to his furthest limits and are surprised when he doesn't perform as well. Anyway, in solidarity, I stayed up after he left for his second day of first shift suckage, after not being able to sleep at all the night before. I did a bit of writing, skimmed over Facebook and Twitter, read a few articles online and from a screenwriting book I borrowed from the library, and took Zola for a walk. I even tried doing a Jillian Michaels' workout after I noticed that I wasn't as tired when I was being active. I got about, oh, five minutes in before my body was like, "Nope, you crazy lady." So I changed, thinking I could trick myself, to a Firm video, and again, only a few minutes passed before I was just lying on the floor. 

I chose to congratulate myself, though, since I'd made it to 2:15P without going to bed. Three called me a few minutes later to let me know he was coming home. I remember apologizing to him over the phone for almost falling asleep and the next thing I knew, it was 3:45A and I was pissed that cold air was blowing in my face. Somehow, I'd managed to get up off of the floor and gotten into bed with no recollection of actually doing said action. Three was on the floor* and had turned on the air conditioner because he's insane. Well, he's just hot all the time because of a high metabolism, but also insane because he wants to live on an ice sheet. 
I don't wanna live at the South Pole.
As he climbed back into bed at my insistence, he explained that he'd tried to wake me when he got home but that I didn't even respond and he was kind of concerned that I might be dead. He apparently poked at me and I didn't make any noise, not even an irked grunt, so he leaned in and was relieved to hear my breathing.

Now, this kind of worries me. 

1) Would I wake up in an emergency? 
2) What if, when Three and I have a kid, it starts crying and I don't hear it because I am dead to the world?
3) Why am I weirdly proud of this?

These are all very important questions, I think. 

But here's the thing. I was even MORE awake than I usually am after this marathon death-sleep. I was chipper and ready to accomplish all the things. I was up before the sun rose, and I actually enjoyed it. It was bizarre. I consider myself a nightowl, and to be honest, I tend to get more done, at least creativity-wise, at night, since there are less distractions. But based on this new discovery, I may function better during daylight hours. 

I'm not sure what I think of this, although I'm secretly hoping that Three keeps this schedule. But that's out of selfishness, because he hateshateshates this. I'm kinda torn ...

Well, since I am, again awake prior to dawn and I have a cat staring at me over the computer screen, I'm going to go and start my day. Maybe vacuum to anger the bitch downstairs. Who knows. The world is my oyster. 

And tonight? Yeah, I'm probably going to again sleep like the dead. 

* In efforts to avoid disturbing me when he's restless, he has this habit of taking one of our blankets and either going to the floor or to the closet.

Monday, November 26, 2012

My Cyber-Monday in GIFs.

I am not so good with coordination when I first wake up. 
But once I am up? Yeah, I'm up for good. 
Me + oatmeal + 1A = pretty much this.
Oh, Zola. Just because it's another dog does not mean it wants to be A Friend.
Fuck, I am SO far behind on NaNo. See also: Christmas shopping. What? I like to get it done early.
True story.
How the shit did 5 hours go by? I have nothing to show for it!!
I'm never going to win NaNo. EVAR.
I'd like to get out of the house for sanity's sake, but there are people out there. 
I will watch a movie! :D
Thirty minutes in ...
Since I can't be trusted in front of a TV screen, back to good ol' writin'. 
 And here we are. And probably will be until the end of today and until the wee hours of tomorrow morning. Plus, Three has to work until 2A, and I have a hard time getting to sleep without him in the apartment.

Apparently, insomnia has me declared as its bitch.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

People be crazy.

For those of you not yet in the know, Three and I have been trying to get pregnant, well, for the past two years. We haven't been successful, as of yet, for what I can assume are multiple reasons: stress, missing ovulation, lack of implantation, not having sex enough, low sperm count, a hostile uterus, God hates us, whatever. We haven't gone to the doctor yet, mainly because money has been an issue, and you know what, the process of trying is really, really fun.

I try not to talk about this too often to people other than close friends or family because the crazies tend to come out of the woodwork and offer their bizarre tips at becoming with child. While Three and I were at dinner with my parents at an awesome Japanese restaurant, this lady decided that she needed to preach to us about taking baby aspirin every day to get pregnant.

"It worked every time for a friend of mine. I'm telling you: baby. aspirin. is. the. answer." She was as emphatic about this aspirin thing as I am about the proper pronunciation of "manga."

After we left the restaurant, both of my parents are medical professionals and were like, "Um, nope. That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard."

When Three was still working at Valvoline, so many women would, unprompted, offer their opinions on which sex positions were the best for conception and for what gender I wanted and ... ugh. According to a few women, doggie style is the best if you just want some good ol' fashioned baby-making, but if you want to have a boy, the women needs to not orgasm. Or something. I have never wanted so much brain bleach, especially after some of the women felt the need to, like, show me how to position myself. No, thanks.

Then there are the truly bizarre pieces of advice I've gotten:

"Go buy one of those really big turkey basters and shoot some up into your vagina. I swear, it works."

"You're a yoga practitioner; just stay in plow pose for about forty-five minutes to an hour and gravity will do the work for you!"

"Visualize having a baby in your tummy."

And when I don't show any enthusiasm for their little hints, they get all upset and like, "Oh, well, if you're not willing to try whatever, maybe you shouldn't be a parent." Because it's always awesome to treat people like shit when they don't agree with you.

I'm actually worried about what happens when I do get pregnant. And then give birth. Then I'll be lectured by the attachment parenting converts and breastfeeding maniacs*. Greaaaaaat.

* Not saying that there's anything wrong with either of these approaches. However, coming at me and telling me that it's the only and best way ever to raise your kids, um ... well, fuck you.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Funerals, Dead Deer, and Traffic Cones ... Oh, my?

According to our trip into rural Tennessee on Saturday, the southern small town culture is even weirder than I thought it was, and I have lived in the South for essentially my entire life*. The closest I have ever come to small-town life is Murfreesboro, which owed its existence and success to having a university there**, but it wasn't really "rural." It does have a hefty does of pretentiousness, though, but I blame that on the university, as well. Also, my dad does own some land out in the middle of BFE, where the closest civilization is about thirty minutes away. Honestly, I kind of love it. Three and I spent our first anniversary out there, walking the various deer trails. I'm a hermit by nature, and now that I know that rural areas have their own special kind of insanity, I can't wait until I'm able to live in it.
I love everything about this picture. 
Take the fact that we saw a hearse with a casket in it go through the drive-thru at a fast food joint. Was this the final wish of the deceased? Did the rest of the funeral attendants know about this detour? I don't know if anyone was in the casket, of course (I'm hoping there wasn't); maybe it was just for show. Which begs the question: who would the driver be wanting to impress? Was this their form of advertising? I couldn't figure out why they just wouldn't close the little curtains so people wouldn't ask that sort of thing, but I'm guessing that he just really didn't give a shit. And that's probably closer to reality than any kind of rationalization could be. 

Then a few minutes later, this bizarrely specific theme of death continued when we saw a ridiculously long funeral motorcade pull into what we thought was a cemetery, but as we drove past the entrance ten minutes afterward (seriously, it was a loooooooong line), we saw that there was only a barn and a little house. Somehow, the line of cars was disappearing into this barn, which appeared to be closed on the other side, and I was like, "ZOMG, it's a Mary Poppins barn!" and Three was certain that a quantum pathway to a different dimension was inside. That just goes to show how differently our minds work. I guess it's not so strange to think that someone would want to be buried on their property, but personally, I'd be a little weirded out if I knew that Grandpappy Jones' body was rotting out next to the garden. And then I'd stock up on zombie-killing supplies, just in case. 
This is Grandmamma Jones, in case you were wondering.
As we puttered along our way***, I was noticing how cute and quaint the little town we were passing through was. Adorable little houses, a few trailers with silly lawn embellishments, a swing set with children playing around it, a gutted deer hanging from a tree ... I did a double-take to make sure that this wasn't a leftover Halloween display, although it had been, like, two weeks. But nope, I was right the first time: there was a dead buck, spreadeagled and innards-less, dangling from a thick branch of a tree out in the front yard.

It sent me on this flashback to before Three and I were married, and he was basically living at our house. I had just grabbed my to-go coffee and had pushed the button that opened the garage door, which slowly rose to reveal my dad, elbow deep in the belly of a deer. Three was just standing there, sipping on his own cup of steaming hot coffee and talking to my father like you do when there's a dead deer in your driveway.
This would have been my reaction if I were my dad, but I'm not. 
Both of them found my wide-eyed stare hilarious and, to be honest, I was more annoyed that the scene was playing out right in front of my damned car and I had an hour to drive to get to work. But it was not what I expected to see at 5A on a weekday.

Anyway, I tried to shrug off the idea that the three major things I'd seen on our little trek out to Nowhere were centered around dying and instead focused on the hilarity of the redneck aspects of the situation. I mean, who does that? It's not like the house didn't have any trees in the backyard that could have been used for deer hanging. Three mentioned that it could have been a decoration for Thanksgiving, although I was quick to discount that because Thanksgiving is a traditional holiday that involves 1) turkeys, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and hams, not deer, and 2) Native Americans getting screwed over and sent to reservations because AMERICA. He wasn't sure what to do with number two, since it really had nothing to do with dead deer at least in a literal sense, so he just conceded that he was probably wrong.

I was terrified at what I would see next. Would I see someone actually in the act of killing something? Would the car we were currently driving become sentient and, in attempts to avoid us buying a new car, start trying to run over country pedestrians? Or, you know, dogs?
It's much worse to run over the cuteness that is a puppeh. And Chiquita would totally not even care, that heartless betch.
Thankfully, the next crazy thing we witnessed was a guy having a fight with a traffic cone and losing****. It was simultaneously the most hilarious and most anticlimactic event we saw that day. But at least it didn't end with the traffic cone killing the dude. I hope. 

* I lived for one year in each Savoy, IL, and Mesa, AZ and I don't really have a lot of memories of either. My most vivid memory of Illinois was when my sister and I were having a snow fight with my dad and I accused him of cheating because he was using a snow shovel against his two daughters, both of which were under six years old. I remember stories about Arizona but my only real recollection is that it was bad to go barefoot outside in the summer. 
** It also bears the distinction of being located on the geographic center of the state, which yay?
*** Yes, puttered. That's the noise that Chiquita makes when she knows we're searching for a car to replace her, okay?
**** So he kicked it over accidentally and was trying to set it back up with his foot. Well, that failed and it fell to the side. He tripped over the cone as he was trying to pick it back up and, after he set it upright, it fell over again because ... I don't know, gravity? The cone hates him?? He caught it with his foot and then tried to straighten it out, it fell down again. He tried five more times to set this cone up and each time, he failed miserably. He gave up and walked away, flipping the cone the bird. Three and I just could not stop laughing.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I Have the Worst Luck with Cars, Part X: A New Leaf???

Why, yes, we do still have the Chevy Aveo. She's currently sitting in the parking lot, pouting because this past weekend, we used her to look for her replacement. And the entire time, she was acting like a whiny bitch, sputtering and making weird noises that had not been occurring before or since. It's like she just knew.

Anyway, we woke up early to go look at a Subaru that both Three and I really wanted. It was pristine: 1994 Subaru Legacy, with only 170k on it, and for Subarus? That's amazing. A friend of ours had a Subaru that lasted up until 500k, and the only reason it didn't continue onward was because the damned tires literally fell off the car. I had texted the guy selling it the night before and said we would come look at it, cash in hand, in the morning, but by the time we were out and moving, the guy was all, "Haha, sorry, guys. I already sold it."
No caption really needed.
Oh. Well, awesome. We were functioning on less than 4 hours of sleep and now we would have no new car. Both Three and I were disappointed, but I think I was a little bit more. I guess I was just tired of dealing with Aveos. I mean, I couldn't really blame the man for selling to the first person who got there. But I was definitely slightly peeved. Thankfully, we had a few more options and, after eating a little breakfast, headed down to Lewisburg to look at a 1993 Lincoln Town Car that only had 94k on it.

The drive down there was hopeful, but all of that was dashed when we saw and drove the car. Seriously, it was ... bracing. The paint job was in decent shape but the windshield had a giant crack in it (that curiously wasn't mentioned in the ad, huh), and the interior was a little on the shabby side. I'm not one for appearances, particularly if the car drives well, but it was reaching my threshold of delapidatedness: the driver's side handle was ripped off and it looked like a pack of dogs had run through, tearing up the seats slightly, before they vacuumed it out. And then the actual drive. Ugh. Within the first few minutes, the car started swerving; at first, I thought it was Three's lack of driving abilities*, but it turned out the air ride had completely gone kaput. And then the engine light came on, and THEN the engine sounded like it was struggling to run. I looked at Three and we both just sighed. Square one. And it didn't help that the guy selling it was a total asshat when we told him we weren't buying the car. He all but called my husband an idiot.
You, sir, are an excellent salesman.
We got back on the road, headed home (and for Naptime), when Three saw the car he lusted for since his teens on the side of the road: an old school VW bug that is for sale. He essentially begged me to go back and look at it, and I'm not about to tell him he can't when we've just had two giant fails in car-searching. He called up the guy who's number is listed on the for sale sign and then gleefully told me that the seller wants exactly what we have for the car. I was a little skeptical, but Three was just so thrilled and child-like that I was just like, "Well, okay! Awesome!!!"

Now, there's a little backstory to this one. Three had bought a 1971 (I think) VW Super Beetle when he was younger that he'd completely restored to what he called "cherry condition." It was bright red convertible and he loved that thing. Then his younger sister stole it and wrecked it on a dirt road because she's an entitled bitch. Then he sees this:
Not this actual image. Because ha, we were in the middle of BFE and the car was at a gas station that had pumps with no credit card swipey things.
And all those positive memories of being a teenager with an awesome retro car come flooding back and, well, man turns into boy.

So, the guy, looking like a younger, camo-wearing Santa Claus, drove out to let us test-drive the Beetle, and I saw a side of Three that amuses me: the three-year old side. He was all giddy and excited and about ready to walk up to the guy and slap what cash we had in his hand. Then it turned out that Three misheard the guy on the phone; he wanted ten times what we had.

It's a strange thing to see your husband wilt, coming down from a nostalgic high, but the guy seemed convinced he had a sale, even when Three said, "We've got a few things we need to get taken care of, but we have your number." I didn't like lying to the guy, but after the earlier encounter with the creepy used car salesman, I wasn't about to change Three's story. As we pulled away, Three stared at the Beetle with this "It was not meant to be" expression, and we then made a pact that buying another Beetle was one of our goals in life. A silly little goal, but a goal nonetheless.

After a few more busts, Three suggested that we go back to the place where he'd bought Chiquita. I gave him some side-eye - I mean, come on, look at Chiquita, look at your choices - but he was quick to remind me that the owner of the lot had told him that the Aveo wasn't necessarily the best choice for reliability. I wasn't entirely convinced and continued to look at various vehicles listed on Craigslist within our price range. But, he was driving the car so whatever. I was ready to go home and rest in preparation for some more searching, since it seemed like I was seeking the damned ark of the covenant. Should it be that damned hard to find a car that wasn't eighty bazillion dollars or flat out a piece of junk?

Well, my question was answered:
Meet the Count of Monte Cristo, aka The Count, aka Edmond Dantes.
Neither of us was expecting any kind of decent car, at least not one that we could afford. After test driving another car (a Monte Carlo that I had picked out), we hopped into the Lincoln Town Car of our dreams. Seriously, this car is amazing. They took out the air ride apparatus (thank you, GOD), so it drives so smoothly. There's climate control and a sunroof**. And hahahaha, it has a tape deck and cigarette trays. Ahh, the 90s.

Since Three had purchased his last car with them (and consistently paid and was, like, friendly and shit), the owner of the lot gave us an awesome deal (lowered the price and the interest rate) and we'll be paying off the Count in less than two years. Three let me drive the new car to get some more gas, and OMG, it was beautiful. No smoke coming from the hood, no sputtering, no bouncing from the tire that consistently (and inexplicably) loses pressure. And the sound system? It actually sounds like music, instead of music as played through a tin can. And did I mention that it will be ours in less than two years? Because TWO YEARS. Possibly sooner, especially since we're planning on paying a little more each month. We've even redone our budget, like you do as a responsible adult, to compensate.


The moral of this story is I GOT MY LAND-YACHT, BITCHES. I don't even care about anything else***.

* I love Three. I do. But his driving skills are definitely shitty. How he has not been killed before now baffles me and only proves that God loves him.
** Remember that we have been driving Chiquita for two years. And Roxy, about six years younger than the Count, was thirty times crappier. So yes, climate control instead of on and off dials is a leap in the right direction.
*** I just noticed that this is the first car ever that I'm referring to as a "he." Is it too late to rename it Countess?? :(

Actual Conversation, Dated 11/21/2012 @ 12:14A

Me: Honey, why do you have a smiley face drawn on your arm?
Three: Huh?
Me: You have a smiley face drawn on your arm.
Three: Yeah.
Me: Why?
Three: Oh, because I was making fun of Don.
Me: ...
Three: He likes to show off his tattoos because he's intimidated by my arms*, so I decided to use a Sharpie to draw a smiley face.
Me: ...
Three: It was really funny. The guys all laughed.
Me: ... I'm sure they did. How long will that take to wear off?
Three: I dunno. A few days?
Me: Yay.

* His arms are pretty epic and were a definite deciding factor on whether or not I would like to procreate with him.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Life and Times After Bankruptcy

The mail has become a strange source of amusement this year, partly due to the fact that we filed for bankruptcy in the first quarter of 2012. In exchange for final notices (yay!), we are now getting loan offers and credit card applications (boo!). Damned vultures is what they are, knowing that you can't file for bankruptcy again for nearly a decade. Fuckers. 

Our lawyer and debt counselor* told us this would happen, and for the most part, we've been able to laugh about most of it. Within about a week of our court hearing, we started finding these overly enthusiastic post cards mixed in with our utility bills, telling us that we, too, could rebuild our credit! CAPS! BRIGHT COLORS!! EXCLAMATION POINTS FOR NO REASON!!! It was like all these companies hired Robert Ludlum to write their advertising. Then the auto loans came, and the various banks decided to get in on the action. See also: for-profit universities.
Because ... we obviously have money?
After the initial surge of ridiculous SPEND MONEY NOW THAT YOU'VE WIPED THE SLATE CLEAN shit, things calmed down a bit, but the amount of mail we get is still astronomically higher than before we filed. Before, we could go weeks without getting any new mail. Not even a Brookstone catalog. After? Ha. Our mailman actually came up to me one day and asked me if he could just drop our pile of mail in front of our door. To be fair, our mail boxes are about half the size of a child's shoebox, so anything more than about two letters is enough to force him to shove them in there. 

Honestly, it felt as if someone had, instead of giving out my email to these ass clowns, they gave my address and then said, "Onetwothree GO!!" I kinda wanted to point the finger at our lawyer but figured (hoped) that he wouldn't do that sort of thing. It's not like I couldn't just throw it all away, which I totally did, after I decided that my idea of making a cautionary visual tale to others who would file for bankruptcy might introduce a little thing called a lawsuit into my life and no, thanks. I've had about enough of court rooms**. Although I still kind of want to create a website or some type of educational pamphlet about our experience. Hm, food for thought.

Anyway, it was pretty easy to sort through the crap mail and the things we needed to keep, but Three and I still like to open a few of them, just to see what the company or whatever is trying. My favorites are usually the payday advance ones because they are just so incredibly ludicrous. I mean, come ON, dudes. I have no desire to pay you, like, 200% interest.
How about you burst into flame instead?
Three likes the auto loans, if only for the fact that he knows that they think we're just chomping at the bit to buy a new car***. That's what poor people do, obviously. Buy things we don't need. They're also the most obnoxiously colored pieces of paper, so they're easy to spot.

But the creme de le creme came in the mail today. The second we saw the logo on the envelope, Three and I erupted into laughter. Capital One was trying to get us to sign up for a credit card.

Capital One was one of our debts that was lumped in with our bankruptcy and one of the companies that Three had been tangling with for years. I won't go into the nitty gritty here, but let's just say that Three told them that they could go fuck themselves after the following happened: 1) they told him he could pay a certain amount to stay current and 2) the next day, they said he had to pay $2000 or else ... something. They weren't really too clear with the penalties, but Three stood his ground. He told them who he'd spoken to the day before and that he'd paid the smaller amount over the phone. He then tried to work with them to get a payment plan set up, but they were pretty firm in their "pay us this much or ELSE" stance. This argument, as repetitive as it was, was played out over about a six month period before Three basically said, "Fuck you, assholes. You aren't working with me here."  

They apparently don't keep records of people who tell them to fuck themselves, though, since at this very moment, I have a "NO ANNUAL FEE OUR LOWEST INTRO RATE****" letter right in front of me. First, hahahahahahahahahahahahaha, Capital One, you are dumb. Do you not remember our epic over-the-phone fights? Hahahahahahahahaha! Now that I have that out of the way, second, there is no way in hell we're getting a credit card right now. I've talked to our current bank about our options to rebuild credit in the future, but right now, we're fine doing cash only. We're not planning on buying a house any time soon, and credit cards scare me, anyway. 

This just baffles me, though. I guess I'm naive when it comes to thinking that people are basically alright. Sure, there are the scummy jerkfaces who get off on making other people's lives miserable or focus solely on themselves, but all in all, I think most people just try to do the right thing. And then companies, which all of us know are legally "people," come around and blow my theory out of the water. They are preying on people like us. Luckily for Three and me, we're fairly intelligent people who just throw them the side-eye as we rip up their letter, but there are people out there who will be completely oblivious to the fact that raptors have them in their sights. And that just makes me hate them even more, knowing that they'll screw those people over for a very, very small amount of money in comparison to what they have. Assholes. 

I'm thinking of sending the return envelope back with coupons for Summer's Eve douches. Because I'm, you know, mature and shit. 

* Okay, it was a poorly edited online program that we were forced to complete in order to file for bankruptcy, but I like to call it our debt counselor. It sounds less sad. And yes, I spent quite a bit of time reading over the grammatical errors and thinking, "How did this get approved for public viewing? This is atrocious."
** Between bankruptcy court, which is a whole other story, and the federal child pornography case I had to serve as a jury member on for two weeks back in 2006, I'm about done with our legal system. 
*** Which we kind of are, but that's beside the point. We don't want a "new" car because we're sick of the old one. We want a new car because our current one could crap out on us at any time. 
**** It goes from 0% introductory rate to 22.9% after one year, with a penalty APR of 29.4%. I have to give them credit here, though. On all of the other credit card offers we've gotten, this chart is really small, but I'm thinking that recent legal trouble has them all paranoid. Yep, that's three different links. And they all make me giggle with glee. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I Have the Worst Luck with Cars, Part IX: Yeah, I Am Officially Done with Aveos

So. We meet again, Bad Luck Car Fairy. I swear, I hate you and wish you were dead. And I don't say that about every fake fairy I come across. But you? You can rot in Fairy Hell.

Anyway, Chiquita's kind of been acting weird the past few weeks, but we were all, "Oh, lahdeedah, you are an Aveo and you could die on is at any moment and we drive on faaaaiiiithhhhhh!"
Three adds a seductive shimmy in between the jazz hands but he's a more daring physical artiste than I.
You kind of have to be that blindly optimistic when dealing with anything Aveo, as you can probably recall from my bitching about them at every chance I get.

Now, do not fear, the bitch is driveable*. It's just that there's a rag in place of the oil cap and oil nearly everywhere in the ... engine area. I don't know what it's called; I'm not a car person. Shut up. Moving on. I don't really know how the oil cap was misplaced. It could have been gone for months and I wouldn't have known the difference. Except that I probably totally could because I noted as I was driving Three into work that it was smoking a little bit more than usual**.

He pooh-poohed my concern with a, "I tell you every time what's going on and you're freaking out again," and I half-heartedly agreed with him. Ever since Roxy went out in a blaze of glory, I've been a little on edge with cars + fires, but can you really blame me? I mean, for fuck's sake, my leg caught fire once; I'm allowed to be a little skittish.

I dropped Three off at work and idled in the parking lot for a minute or two talking to one of his coworkers and one of our mutual friends, oddly enough about 1) the smoke and 2) the fact that our car is a piece of absolute shit. I made it about ten minutes away when I got a call from Three, who was a little uncharacteristically gruff.

Three: You need to come back to the plant.
Me: Now?
Three: Yes.
Me: Why?
Three: Because [friend] said that he saw a big puddle of oil left where you were sitting and the engine will lock up if you lose too much and just come back here so I can see what's going on.
Me: Are you mad at me? What did I do?
Three: I'm just busy at work and ugh. I hate our car.

After pulling into the parking lot, Three came out, looking not too thrilled with the situation, but thankfully, he's also a mechanic and yay***. With one look under the hood, he sighed, "Great." Like I said above, the oil cap has magically gone missing. I don't know who steals an oil cap or if the stupid thing just jumped shit. Maybe it's better if we're left in the dark. Anyway, the afore mentioned rag was stuffed into the hole, and we cleaned up the oil on the manifold as best we could.

Now, for some reason, I was tasked with finding the replacement oil cap. Actually, Three had to return to work, where he apparently does stuff for money, so I guess I really was the only choice. However, I am very limited in my car terminology knowledge. The only reason I know that there's a manifold (and I'm not really sure what exactly the manifold is?) is because Three told me so, and he wouldn't be on the phone or in person with me. Don't get me wrong. I can change a tire, my oil, check the pressure - you know, basic stuff, but that's about the extent of my car know-how. After spending my entire life as a woman, I kind of expect people at the car places to try and rip me off****. I do, though, have an ability to read people pretty well, so I've been able to avoid most scams. On the phone, it's a little easier to do, so I took to calling the various locations that all located at least fifteen minutes away from where I am. None are located in Cool Springs, where Three works, which is bizarre to me. They have literally everything else, but not auto parts shops. And guess what. None of them carry the oil cap. Not a single one. Not even the fucking Chevy dealer, and the dealer was the only one who could order it. Of course.
It's like they hate me as much as I hate them.
Luckily, I got all the words right and the guy didn't seem like he was trying to price-gouge me. I'm still letting Three pick up the oil cap on Friday, though. I'm planning on spending the whole day on the computer, catching up on NaNo*****.

But this just got both of us thinking about a couple of things.

First, we're trying to start a family and having reliable and safe transportation is kind of important. And Chiquita is not really either; it's small and could possibly just crap out on us whenever. I mean, look at what happened to Roxy. One day, she was working fine; the next? Dead and useless. Now, we have Three's old boss partly to thank for that, due to his shoddy work, but still.

Second, since I'm self-employed and just starting out my writing career, we're kind of dependent on Three's income right now, and if he can't get to work because of a crapped out car? Yeah. That won't work. It might be easier when and if we get a place closer to his job, but right now, that's not really an option.

So, to Craigslist we go. I've found a couple of options, all of which are awesomely 80s land yachts:
1995 Lincoln Town Car
1985 Oldsmobile Delta 88
Neither of these is the actual car we're looking at, but seriously, I get excited each time I look at them. I have wanted one of these giants since Gladys went to Car Heaven. For those of you who didn't have the pleasure of knowing the wonderfulness that was Gladys, she was a 1995 Buick Century that might as well have been one of these:
Say what you want about the Nazis; they knew how to build tanks.
It was a beautiful piece of machinery. And if I find a decent example of a Buick Century, I will probably try to persuade Three that we need that car. Except that now that I'm looking at the other cars, I'm a little torn. I love the boxy look, and the town car reminds me of my mom's parents' car when I was younger. That thing was as old as I was and it didn't stop working until ... I think I was almost out of high school? Now, it did catch fire in my grandfather's garage, but I think that was kind of a freak accident. That's what I'm choosing to believe, anyway.

And I'm hoping that maybe by buying a car that isn't necessarily prone to, oh, you know, suddenly break down because the manufacturers kind of thought it would be okay just to kind of throw some shit in a box and shake it around and then go, BOOM: CAR. Then again, my car luck tends to follow me, but I'm a positive thinker.

Damn, I just don't wanna do a IHtWLwC, Part X.

* Okay, so the stupid spellcheck on here says that both driveable and drivable are incorrect (or so say the squiggly red lines), so whatever. Ironically, so is spellcheck. :shrugs:
** For clarification purposes, a leaky valve cover gasket is the reason that the damned thing occasionally has a case of the oil-fume farts. We just haven't had the money or time to fix it. Mostly money, though. Sigh.
*** In details that will make my mother vomit, I find him incredibly sexy when he's sweaty and covered in oil. Goes back to Ye Olde Daiyes, when we were young and he was still employed by Satan R Us (aka Valvoline).
**** I'm looking at you, Firestone.
***** The election kind of kept me occupied on Tuesday, and then I spent all Wednesday trying to catch up on all the errands I was going to run before the oil cap went AWOL.
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