Friends with Kids

To my friends with kids (and that's just about all of you now):
I miss you.  I'm inexplicably proud of you and excited for all the positive changes in your lives. I haven't been there for you like I thought I would.  But life, in many forms, gets in the way.  I know we're on different planes of life now and it's selfish to ask; but don't forget me.  It scares me when I see us getting so far apart.  I know you often don't know what to do with me, and that's okay.  I don't know what to do with me either.  I don't want to lose touch for the next 18 years and then catch up when they leave for college.  I want to know your kids.  I want to be in their lives.  It's been an honor to see you all become parents and I want to be there to see you all become great ones.  Maybe one day, you can pass your wisdom on to me. 
I want to see if they get your sense of humor, or your beauty, or your creativity, and I don't want to see it on facebook.  Most importantly, I want to be there for you, and I don't want you to think for a second that I don't.

So, a humble request from your single friend:  I don't want to force myself upon you or cramp your style, but let's hang out sometime that's not a birthday party or special occasion.
That's it.
Oh, and by the way, I can change a mean diaper. 

One Second

This afternoon on the way to work, I was tailgaited on the highway.  The kind where he was so close I couldn't even tell if he was flicking his lights at me, though I am sure he was.  I was already going 10mph over (which is plenty) and I was passing someone.  But, the more I could see him getting angry, and the closer he got to me, the longer I lingered in the fast lane.  Yes, this is dangerous, and playing into his hands, and lowering myself to his level, but if he thought for one second that tailgaiting me would get me to go faster, he was wrong, and I wanted him to know.
I did eventually move, gave him the two finger salute, and was left in his dust, pondering how silly the whole thing was.
It is people like that whom I would love to have a little chat with.  A chat about how one second can change your life, or, I'll say at the risk of being dramatic, take it.
One second of inattentiveness, anger, aggression, and, yes, passive aggression can make all the difference. On top of that, one message, one playlist, one mile per hour can really change your day.

Of course, I've been late, in a rush, frustrated by sunday afternoon drivers, lost, and distracted.  I've done unsafe things. (Just today, in fact.) But I feel what qualifies me to share my thoughts on the subject, is my job.  I've seen the worst case scenario of that one second of bad driving.  I know where the driving while tired, the driving while texting, the driving with four teenage friends scenarios go.  And they don't go well.
At the end of the day, it should be easy to decide how to react to an aggressive drive like the one I encountered.  Is 'making a point' worth it?  Is getting to your destination five minutes sooner worth it?  Is that message worth it?   While I fear becoming a preachy paramedic, I find this of immense importance.  Otherwise, I wouldn't bother sharing it with you.

I will try to drive more sanely and maybe one day, one glorious day, that asshole who tailgates me will be pulled over just miles ahead and I can gloat, gloat, gloat.  

British Dentistry (reprise)

Back in August 2010, I had my most recently dental emergency, outlined in this post.  It turned out to be no big deal, and for about 75 bucks they cleaned, xray, and fixed my broken tooth.  They also filled another one. 
It took less than two years for that filling to break and I had a similar panic when I realized it.  Feeling the hole in my tooth was shocking and concerning (and gross as it meant that I swallowed the filling).  I, of course, as a responsible adult, have put off finding a new dentist for almost two years.  After carrying my insurance card for six months in order to find a dentist, yesterday I couldn't find it. 
So, I had to call work to get the name of the insurance company.  Then call the insurance company, get my numbers, then find a dentist.  This sounds easy, but when faced with a list of faceless dentists, how does one choose?  Luckily, my sisters dentist was on the list and I am now left to wait with my holy tooth until Monday. 


There are two situations in which you can see me acting a fool.  1.  improv class  2.  in the presence of insects.

I went up to my attic this evening, I forget the reason now, as when I got there, I discovered a small but growing bees nest in the corner of the old skylight.  Cue my first panic dance.  I took stock.  The window opens, reluctantly, when you push on the end in which they are currently habitating.  My attic has dressses, luggage, skis and a bow and arrows.

It wasn't until I was attempting to push the window open with a ski pole and shoo the bees out with an arrow that I remembered that I had some bee spray in the kitchen.  Forget about it!  This will totally work!  I reiterated to myself.  I got the window open and attempt to push the hive out of it when it broke off and just fell on the floor.  Cue the panic dance and run away shouting.  I abandoned my weapons and ran downstairs to retrieve the spray (as I should have in the first place).

I crept back up the stairs all of my senses focused on not encountering a bee.  It wasn't until I was climbing the attic stairs that I thought I should probably have shoes on.  Forget about it!  Who needs shoes!  I reiterated to myself.  I made it to the scene and sprayed at the confused bees who had conveniently not scattered.  I grabbed my ski pole and brandished it like it was actually an effective weapon against bees.

Once the danger passed (I threw a box on the last struggling bee), I felt victorious.  Only now I realize that my attic is now strewn with bee carcases, ski supplies, and arrows.  Not to mention a fair puddle of poision that I will get to clean up tomorrow.

Oh, my simple life! 

Mini WAP

Back in October I eluded to a 'new' 'commuter car' that never came to fruition.  Some of you may know that I have lusted after a classic mini cooper for some time now.  I have spent years trolling ebay and looking for one in a reasonable radius at a reasonable price.  I stumbled upon one very near to my house and almost bought it.  That was, until it was hit by a state snow plow.
So, the search continued.  A passive hobby, every once in a while scanning the sites until one popped up in Rhode Island.  That's not too far, and after my years of research, I know what the going rate is, and this one was cheap.  So, sight unseen (save some bad pictures) I decided to buy it.
Last week I drove up there, and before I knew it I was sitting in the most adorable car ever produced by man.  I was very happy to see that it did in fact exist, was drivable, and that the seller was really selling it and not planning to murder me at all.  Every wild ass plan comes with moments of clarity and terror, sometimes simultanously.  Sitting in his driveway behind the wheel of a car I could barely drive was that moment.  It is the mark of a good wild ass plan to think to yourself, "How in the hell did I get into this situation?"

Before I got there, I had driven a manual car four times and I guess we can safely say I am much better at it now than I was a week ago.  I asked the seller not to think less of me when he saw me drive by his house 22 times before I actually left.  He laughed, but then I actually did.

I drove it from his house to NH that evening and it was an adventure.  I had some highway time, some back roads time, some stopped in traffic time and it was a success.  Now, I can't pretend that I know anything about cars, so any noise or smell I experienced while driving filled me with terror.  Also, the gas gauge is broken, and the seller wasn't clear on how big the tank was, so, in 100 miles I stopped for gas three times because not knowing made me very nervous.  And yes, that was three times too many, and yes, it does feel stupid to buy one gallon of gas.

After a long and sordid story, my parents escorted me home.  It was nice to have them behind me as they gave me a wide birth on hill starts and if anything happened it was comforting to know that they were right there.  And whether he admits it or nor, Dad knows a lot more about cars than I do.
In many, many miles of non-highway driving we had only one overheating incident and other than that the mini performed admirably for a car of its age and lineage. 

I've now had it vetted by a professional and the results were as expected:  it needs a little work.  But not as much as one might think.  I ordered the parts and the immediate problems will be addressed as soon as they come in.  It has been fun trying to find basic things like light bulbs and lug nuts.  Overly helpful auto parts stores insist on attempting to find the bulb numbers in the computer.  The problem is they start by looking under BMW.  I try to explain that this is a 'real' British mini and if it were there it would be under Morris, British Leyland, British Motor Company, Rover, or Austin.  "Oh,  yeah, check under Austin Martin." one guy suggested.  I just smiled and nodded.

POTD 2012

I know that all three of you will be relieved to see that I've all but sorted out the picture of the day project for this year.  What a relief!  But the most astute of you will see that I still owe you a day for the 30th of May.  All I did that day was drive, have a meltdown with the mini, and go to sleep.  Trust me, it wasn't that interesting.  Though, I did see a number of Amish in horse carts, ate some chocolate, and traveled down the first concrete mile in New Jersey (exciting, I know!).  But, I'm back and sorted, and the whole mini wild ass plan will soon be detailed.