February 28, 2009

February 15, 2009

It's a facebook thing.

Normally I don't respond to the various solicitations on facebook ("See who has a crush on you!" "Click here to find out what people are saying about you!" "Download this app or risk becoming a social outcast!"), but I recently complied with one request asking me to post 25 random things about myself. A couple of friends had listed their own 25 things and tagged me asking me to do the same. I'm just sitting around in my housecoat doing nothing remotely productive anyway, so what the heck?

Twenty-Five Things About Me

1. I don't like being told what to do.
2. I get anxious about wasted time because old people have warned me that life flies by faster than you would ever expect. Gee, thanks a lot, old people.
3. Apparently I can never have enough pets, even when I have too many.
4. I'm so disillusioned, it's a wonder that I can still be disappointed.
5. I wish I had been born multi-lingual. I'm too bashful to endure being a "_.S.L." student.
6. I'm so odd, even my synesthesia is atypical.
7. Number 7 is stumping me. Try again later.
8. It amuses me that Connecticut has two trash museums and the largest display of Celebriducks in the world.
9. If someone would just cook and clean for me, I'd be happy to tend to the other household activities (such as eating and making a mess).
10. Oh yeah, I'd like someone to exercise for me, too.
11. I am quickly realizing that these 25 things are not going to be profound in the least.
12. I really like our wedding vows.
13. I doubt that Scott has even read our wedding vows, except for the part that he had to repeat during our ceremony.
14. I expect to get grief from Scott for writing #13.
15. I believe strongly in both individual rights and individual responsibilities, and I think it's a shame that more people don't feel the same way.
16. I'm afraid of burned-out incandescent lightbulbs, as they remind me of Fonzie's disembodied head.
17. No, I don't do illicit drugs.
18. I likely wouldn't enjoy my slumber so much if I didn't find it so difficult to fall asleep.
19. Food where it doesn't belong makes me laugh really hard. There was a baked potato on the corner of Yonge and York Mills and I could barely contain myself.
20. If I think about it I can see how much my personality has changed over the years, which is both good and bad.
21. I really, really, really want to find volunteer work that Scott and I can enjoy doing together.
22. I don't think that #21 is going to happen.
23. It is driving me batty to have my basement out of commission and to be unable to have hoards of people and their pets over.
24. I wish that there was a search function for physical objects. I would be searching for "SD card from my wedding" right now.
25. I hope that you don't do what I've just done and waste a perfectly beautiful afternoon sitting at your computer.

February 14, 2009

Romance? What romance?

When you've been married as long as Scott and I have (112 days), you can't expect the romance to keep flowing like it did when the relationship was young and fresh. That being said, it is our first Valentine's Day as a married couple, and I tried to choose the perfect card for the occasion:

I purchased that card quite some time ago. Scott, on the other hand, bought his card for me last night when we were at the drugstore. I sigh at his last-minute gestures, although I've heard that such timing is typical of at least 50% of men and shouldn't be taken personally. I have to admit, Scott did a darned good job of selecting a very fitting card:

Who needs romance anyway?

February 06, 2009

Road test

I promised to tell you about my road test, and I will. Before doing so, however, I should mention that my last lesson with Lino, my first driving instructor, had taken place almost two years earlier. When I subsequently explained to the driving school how little I had learned, they credited me for additional lessons with a different instructor. I took advantage of those free lessons in the weeks leading up to my road test. I was amazed at just how much one could learn from a dedicated instructor. I was also overwhelmed with the amount that I had yet to master.

Do I need to describe how nervous I was on the morning of my road test? No, I'm sure you can figure it out. I don't even remember the drive to the test centre, or parking in one of the numbered spots. I recall going inside and lining up in the wrong queue, lining up in the correct queue, registering at the desk and being directed to wait outside by the car. Standing in a parking lot full of freaked-out new drivers like myself struck me as a life-threatening activity. Imagine the possibilities.

After what seemed like an interminable wait (likely five minutes), a no-nonsense but personable examiner met me at the car. She had me demonstrate that the signals worked, and then we were off. As I left the parking spot, the examiner asked, "Do you hear that noise?" I did, but I couldn't identify it. "That's your emergency brake," she said. With my face as red as my brake lights, I released the parking brake. I admitted that I rarely used it and that, ironically, I had only engaged it in the first place to impress her. Not a good start.

My last driving instructor had outlined the most likely test route. She had told me that I would leave the test centre, turn right at the first major intersection, and then drive around a nearby industrial area for ten minutes or so. I had made a point of driving around the area with Scott a number of times, including the night before my test. That last practice run hadn't gone so well. At one point, flustered by an approaching vehicle while I was clumsily transforming a three-point turn into a twelve-point turn, I stomped on the gas pedal and reversed speedily right up onto the sidewalk. It was all luck and no skill that had me very narrowly miss a parked car and a tree.

Back to the road test. Armed with a familiarity of the test route, but with my confidence dashed, I proceeded toward the first main intersection with every intention of turning right. The examiner said, "Turn left at the lights." What?? Left? Seriously? Shit. I turned left. I then flipped on my other signal and prepared to merge into the lane to my right, as I had been taught to do. The examiner said, "I appreciate that you're trying to change lanes, but you may as well stay in this one. We're turning left again at the next lights." We weren't following the test route at all. We were heading the opposite way. I wondered if perhaps the examiner was just going to direct me all the way back to my house, remove the keys from the ignition, and instruct me never to drive again. At this point I was okay with the prospect, except for the fact that Scott would be stranded at the test centre.

Rather than driving through an industrial area, I was directed to a residential neighbourhood. There the examiner had me demonstrate my lack of prowess in a number of different maneuvers. At one point she had me pull up to the curb and park. There were no other cars around so it seemed simple enough. Too simple. I realized that this was supposed to be an exercise in hill parking, but I was so nervous that the slope was imperceptible to me. I wasn't sure if I should admit that I couldn't tell up from down or if I should just crank the steering wheel and hope that I chose the correct direction. I decided to confess that I was completely frazzled.

As we neared the end of the exam, the examiner instructed me to make a three-point turn at the next appropriate opportunity. Instead, I continued driving until the only remaining stretch of road between me and the end of the street was blocked by a delivery truck. The examiner directed me to a different street and gave me one more shot at executing a three-point turn before directing me back to the test centre.

As I returned to the parking lot of the test centre, I was convinced of my failure. My self-deprecating comments were interspersed with the examiner's wry remarks. I reached my parking spot and prepared to pull in front-first, as I figured that there was no point in trying anything tricky. "Reverse into the spot," the examiner said. "I dare you." I did as I was told. Knowing that I normally forget to look out the rear window when I back into a spot, I overcompensated by looking nowhere but out the rear window. "What do you see if you look out your side window?" the examiner asked. I checked. "I see that I'm just about to hit the car beside me," I replied. "You should correct that," she suggested. I did.

I turned off the ignition and waited glumly while the examiner reviewed her test sheet and tallied my mistakes aloud. When she reached six I groaned, "That doesn't sound promising." She shook her head. "It's when I have to take off my shoes to continue counting that you need to worry." To my great surprise, she turned toward me and offered her hand. "Congratulations," she said.

Passing my first road test meant that I was now permitted to drive alone. I can't say that Scott looked particularly pleased when I met him inside the test centre and told him that I had passed. Considering how my first solo trip went, I also can't blame him. But that's another story.