February 27, 2011

That's gold, Jerry. Gold!

One of the prettiest things I saw on my trip to Japan, the Golden Pavilion.





Golden Pavilion; Kyoto, Japan

February 26, 2011

Riding With Strangers

The thing I hate most about being single is that there's no default person to hit up to drive me around when my car needs service. If I also didn't have any of my friends to pick me up from the service center, I'm left with two options. Sitting in the waiting room for who knows how long till it's done.


Zzzzzzz...
Or you can use their "concierge" service (offered at most dealerships) in which you get into a car with a dude you've never met and he drives you to work or back home.
The latter choice is usually favorable because you can go about your day, watch TV, eat, sleep, all of the above...
Yes, I often eat in bed because that's where I watch TV.
But there are some draw backs to the second option.

1) You have to awkwardly sit in the car with dude-you've-never-met and feel like you have to make conversation with him, even though the only thing you know about him is that he works at the service place. Unless you also work or worked for something car related, there's not a lot of material there. 

2) When your car is done, one of these guys has to come and get you. 

If it's the same guy he might remember where you live.
But sometimes it's a different guy.
And all this guy has is an address and a GPS navigator.  And no one thought to verify that your address hadn't changed. And you didn't think to tell them it had. And this guy doesn't have your phone number. 

If  you were wondering why it took so long for him to show up, that's why. Oh actually he didn't. Turns out, using the address he had, he couldn't even FIND the town house you used to live in.  Not that that would have helped, So yeah, smart dude. Even though it's one of the easier addresses to find in a town full of apartment complexes and the house number is right there on the door. He was probably looking for a house. Then you're told that after driving back and forth down your old street, which happens to be adjacent to your current street, he called the other dude, the one who dropped you off, and returned to the dealership so that that guy could come get you.

At least the debacle can give you something to talk about on the trip back to the dealership.



Or you could have waited and then gotten in to a scuffle with one of the mechanics over a Twix bar instead, to fill the time.

February 23, 2011

Non-Uniform Expression

The results are in! Sunday I asked my readers to post some questions the have for me and the response was OVERWHELMING. Okay not really. But I did get three requests... which were all the same. Everyone wants a "my most embarrassing moment." I decided that, especially since I haven't really pinpointed my MOST embarrassing moment since I've probably repressed it, so I will write one embarrassing moment story for each request. That means... Three embarrassing stories! I will spread them out over the next three Wednesdays so if you like today's story make sure to come back for the next two!

A Uniform Tale

When I was in middle school I was a cheerleader. For those who read regularly, this may come as a surprise because my normal demeanor, which I'm sure comes through in my writing, is not that of the cheerleader stereotype. That's not what's embarrassing. I loved it and I was fucking good. I was even the captain one year... yeah. 

On game days, as you may have seen in your school or on TV, we were required to wear our uniforms during the school day to promote school spirit *cough* to make people aware there was a game that day and maybe get more people to go *cough*. With things like that which make me stand out I always feel self-conscious and paranoid. Every game-day I would have the irrational fear that I had gotten the day wrong and there was no game and I would be the only one wearing my uniform. I would walk to school in absolute terror that didn't subside until I saw one of my squad-mates (I'm not sure that's what they're called), also in uniform. Then I would go about the rest of my day feeling awesome because I actually loved my uniform when I wasn't terrified by it. 
One day, maybe a Thursday, but I really have no idea, I was feeling less paranoid than usual. I get to school in my uniform and feel fine until I start seeing the other girls. I ask one why she isn't in uniform.

The game had been canceled. Somehow, I was not informed of this. I think an announcement was made while I was in gym class where you can't hear announcements. I. Was. The. Only. One. Well almost. One other girl didn't know either but she had sweatpants in her gym locker so she wore her gym clothes for the rest of the day. Me, no. I think my gym clothes consisted of boxer shorts or something, and therefore did not have anything appropriate that I could change into. 
I went through the rest of my day, people snickering at me because I was unnecessarily in my uniform. It may not have been such a problem if I wasn't already the favorite person for the "popular" girls to bully. 

It never happened again but I made sure to keep bring a pair of jeans with me every game-day for the rest of the basketball season.

February 21, 2011

Turtle Turtle


Sea Turtles at the Kyoto Aquarium, Japan

February 12, 2011

"You Pulled Me Over For Doing What??"

Everyone has bad things to say about New Jersey. I disagree with most of them having come from one of the many nice parts. I do know that there are bad parts like Camden and Newark which are no-so-nice. It's the places like that which give Jersey a bad name. That and our dirty beaches due to New York dumping garbage into the ocean. But that's besides the point.

I was still in high school. And it was the first time I was driving myself to a concert out of town. It was kind of surreal actually since my parents never liked to let me do things that were fun. And driving to south Jersey with one of my guy friends they'd never even met seemed like something they would have a problem with. But I asked and they said "sure, why not!?!" Except probably less excited.

We bought the tickets, I printed map-quest directions and we were on our way!
Yes I know it looks like I'm by myself in the car and it's steering itself, just go with it.
We made it there with no problems and had a great time. Actually, now that I think about it I didn't have the best mosh pit experience because we were against a wall which must have been coated with stucco or whatever you call that lumpy, jagged stuff they put on walls. And what happened is that the crowd would surge back and I would get pushed into the wall and scratch the hell out of my bare shoulders and arms. Other than that tho, it was an awesome show and tons of fun.
WOO! Fun!
We left having had great fun and were confident that we would have no problems getting back. And we wouldn't have. If not for a) Poorly planned highways and 2) my lack of observational skills. It was dark ok? So the street system.
Someone thought it would be a great idea, when exiting the Garden State Parkway onto I-78, to not have an exit that takes you west bound. So what you have to do if you want to go west is take the one exit, go east for a mile, exit into whatever super sketchy town it is, and then get back on 78 going the other way. I did already know about this fun little trick they play on you. My parents warned me the first time I was to encounter it when I went to Six-Flags the year before. Though that time, there was still some daylight when I got all messed up.
I was warned again before I left for the concert. I successfully take the exit off 78 and follow the sign that says "78 west that way!" I then looked for more signs that said "now go with me." Point "A" above, denotes where I was supposed to turn to go the right way. Now the sign must be hidden by some shrubbery or tree out of the Mesozoic because I didn't see it this time either. Last time I turned down some street and drove until I saw a "78 this way"  sign, and apparantly used a different on ramp (that one all the way in the upper right hand corner)  and that's why I was looking for one of this time. Point "B" was where I did a K-turn, right in front of a cop car (whoops) so I could find the turn. I, again didn't see any sign telling me to turn so I drove right by point "A" again and kept going straight. Then I saw that the cop car was behind me still. I turned down a street somewhere near point "C" and that's when the lights come on. "Fuck! What the hell? I'm already lost and confused and now I'm getting pulled over?? FUCKKKK!" The Cop walks up and I tell him "I know I wasn't speeding, I'm just lost!"
HAHAHA I just want to get home :) !!!
I thought it was the K-turn and then the slow driving, and the other turn and he was trying to be helpful. Oh no-no-no-no-no.

Cop: What are you doing here?
Me: I'm coming home from a concert and coudn't find the 78 west ramp...
Cop: What concert?
Me: [mind goes blank, I look at Jeff] Uhhh
Jeff: Catch 22...
Me: Yeah, what he said!
Cop: Are you sure you're not here buying drugs?


Me: What? Um, no? Why would I be buying drugs?

He of course doesn't know that I've never so much as smoked a cigarette, drank, nothing.

Cop: Because when a couple of white kids are in this town, they're here to buy drugs.

Yeah.

Me: I've never bought drugs EVER, I'm just lost. 
Cop: Are you sure. 
Me: Yeah?
Cop: Well I'm gonna take your license and just check this out.
Me: Ok?





Yeah, so I'm completely freaking out now. It's getting late. My parents are expecting me back soon. And this cop is running my license to see if I have any priors.


Holy fuck-balls I couldn't make this shit up. Oh and yes he racially profiled me for being white. That one I kind of found funny because of the irony. What I did not find funny was potentially being arrested on suspicion since this dude clearly didn't believe me. He returns with my shit.

Cop: Ok, well you seem to be clean.
Me: Yeah, I know.
Cop: Are you sure you're not here buying drugs? 
Me: What? No! Do you want to see our concert ticket? [I hold them up for him]
Cop: Uh, no that's ok. Alright, I'll show you the way back to the highway.

I guess he thought that if he asked me enough times I would be like "actually, yes! I am here to buy drugs! Please arrest me!" I'm also pretty sure that he wasn't convinced that I was telling the truth.

I got back on 78, called my parents to inform them that I was on my way and that I ended up got getting arrested, and then didn't stop for anything. 

February 05, 2011

Ring of Fire

About once I year, usually near the end of winter when I've lost any residual traces of summer tan, I partake in what I'm going to call Reckless Tanning. I get tired of of being all pasty and since I even pre-paid for like 15 tans three years ago thinking "One tan is $10 but 15 is only $75, what savings! I'll use those up in 15 weeks or less!" So I go in after not seeing the sun for weeks and weeks and weeks and say Yeah! Gimme the MAXIMUM TIME!

She's also very excited.
Some how I've forgotten that I haven't seen ultra-violet rays since August and I walk into my designated tanning booth and get into the tanning bed.

Yay tanning!
As I lie there blissfully ignorant of what is about to happen, I sing along to whatever music they have playing and think about how great my new tan is going to look. As 20 minutes go by I get hotter and hotter but I stick it out because I want the most for my money and I want to be as tan as possible as soon as possible. I get out and I'm already a bit reddish but "That's just from the hot lights....?" And as I dress, and pulling on jeans hurts my skin, I realize what I've done.
Ow.
Then I realize AGAIN that I've done this every year for the past few years because the mindless college student employees are too dumb to say "Uh, you look like a ghost, maybe you should go for 1/2 the time, and work your way up." And I have gone to tanning salons where I grew up with employees (high school students who are thrilled to have a job as opposed to the college students who stand there begrudging their parents for making them get a job) who point out my lack of a tan, regardless of how they may or may not insult me, and I say, "Oh, right, I'm just used to going for the max time. Thank you for saving my life!"

For the next week or so I go about my life popping Tylenol like tic-tacs so that sitting down or lying in bed don't cause me to go into shock with pain. Eventually my bright red (the illustration is barely exaggerating) skin starts to fade and then peels, and I am left with my original skin color only one layer down. 

Sometimes I go back and try to have enough self-control to go for less time or do I not go back due to the trauma of the past three weeks. 

The time is coming this year for me to once again embark on a tanning adventure. The only question is: Will I remember to plan to go a few times, dialing back the time until my skin can take a stronger dose of UV poison? Only time will tell.


This video got cut pretty badly but it's the best I could find for you to enjoy a TV tanning adventure which is amazing. There's a better non-embeddable one here.