Thursday June 14, 2007

Watching me re-acclimate to driving is much like watching a retarded puppy try to find his way to the doggy door. 
I haven't driven a car regularly since moving to Minneapolis (and by "not regularly" I mean that I drove someone else's car on possibly six occasions a year), so while my basic driving skills are quickly coming up to speed (right pedal = gas!  left pedal = brake!), the whole process of navigating the cities is going very, very slowly.  For seven years, I've gone through the streets with the eyes of a biker, which knocks out any knowledge of highways, exits, or other very useful things to know when trying anywhere via nonresidential streets. 
Last week, I drove to St. Paul for the first time, and had to turn around three times and figure out where the hell I was and where I was going.  Wednesday night, I drove to St. Paul again, and had to ask Noah where I-94 was in relation to the street we were on- no matter that I took I-94 to get there.  Poor boy is in the passenger seat, stifling comments like "you can merge now!" and "what do you MEAN, which way is north?" and "just let me park the car this time".  He knows every back street from here to Chicago, though, which makes him an excellent navigator.
The one thing that pisses me off to no end is my lack of parallel-parking skill.  Granted, I never had to learn to parallel park during the formative car years; the only parking on my driver's test was angle parking, because in the middle of the prairie, you can build all the five-acre parking lots with wide, wide rows that you could ever need.  Why would you need to park on the side of the street?  That's what your four-car garage is for, silly.  So:  my parallel-parking experience was limited to a few very jerky, crooked attempts prior to the purchase of the Civic.  It frustrates me so much to not be able to back in, straighten out the front end, center myself, and be done with it.  No, I'm pulling in and out of parking spaces, hitting the curb, inching backward because I have zero depth perception and think I am thisclose to hitting the car behind me when I actually have a foot and a half of room, and generally making noises of 'why the fuck can't I parallel park better than a stoned seventeen-year-old'.  It will come as no surprise that last night, after doing the interminable scoochy-scoochy-hit-the-curb dance, I got out of the car and wailed to Noah:  "I just want to do things right the first time, all the time!"
omfg, I need these shoes.  Blue and pewter Choos will take away the sting of reliving my driver's ed years, right?  $600 is only what, two months' rent in Cincinnati?  Shit.
I've been leaving bitchy messages on the slumlord's answering machine all week, boiling down to "either you bring me white paint, or I don't paint the apartment".  I didn't think that he'd actually get around to delivering paint to my apartment, but there he was at 8:45 am today with a five-gallon bucket.  I have sixteen days to paint my apartment (dubbed "bulimic rainbow" for the mix of lavender, purple, blue, acid green, bright red, and neon yellow) back to white. 
What will make this arduous, lung-strangling task bearable?  TEQUILA!

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