Sunday, May 30, 2010

Love, Happiness, and Magical Dragons

I've been wanting to write a new blog post for days now but I haven't because nothing exciting/funny/awkward/interesting happened and I couldn't think of any ideas because I fail.

But then I was like, "you know what? I'm just gonna write one anyway. And I'm just gonna post a bunch of random pictures I've taken on my phone in the past 2 days to distract everyone from the fact that I'm not actually writing about anything in this post and I'm just rambling to satiate my hunger for blogging because for some reason I've grown to kind of "like" it."

Brief recap of the last 2-3 days of my life:

1. My Maymester ended. (HAPPY FACE!)

2. I briefly/sort of/not really celebrated Maymester ending.

3. I came home to my parent's house.

One of the first things I did when I got to my parent's house was make a frozen pizza with Little Sister and then proceed to eat an entire half of that pizza.

20 minutes later, it felt like my esophagus had literally caught on fire. I was dying. What was happening to me?! It was like thousands of little fire-demons had set up shop in my throat and stomach lining and were throwing a kegger. But their keg was filled with fire. And they hated me and were trying to kill me from inside my own body.

Apparently this is called "heartburn."

I don't deal well with incurable maladies such as heartburn. I'm melodramatic and also a hypochondriac and when I couldn't locate a pill or a Tum that would immediately make the burning go away, I just got mad and felt sorry for myself.

After I had been complaining for a solid 2 hours, my Dad started taking pity on me. He also maybe just really wanted me to shut up, but either way, he went off to try to fetch something to help me out. This is what he came back with:

Yes that's Pepto Bismol. Yes it's in a wine glass. Why did he bring me the Pepto Bismol in a wine glass, you wonder?

If I had the answers to questions like that, I'd probably be famous and rich or at least not hiding out in Grad school because I couldn't get a job last year.

So I drank it down and the fire-demons evacuated my esophagus. I wasn't dying anymore. Life was good.

And then Little Sister gave birth to a goldendoodle!

And then Stella creeped really really hard!

Then Little Sister and I got bored out of our minds because America's Next Top Model ended and we decided to drive around until we found something we could both agree on to buy for dinner.

We ended up at Kyoto Express. We walked in and ordered 2 full dinner entrees to-go, and then we realized they were 10 minutes from closing. So then we felt like assholes, but at that point we were really jonesing for some Japanese and had to have it. We had to awkwardly wait it out while the workers swept the floor around us and glared as they dirtied up their just-cleaned grill with our food.

When little Japanese lady came over to give us our food bag, she muttered something in a slightly unintelligible Asian-y English hybrid but we couldn't really understand her. So we were just like, "umm can we just get a bunch of white sauces plz?" When we got home, this is what was in the bag:

EIGHT WHITE SAUCES! Is there anything more awesome? Except then we decided it was probably the Japanese lady's way of insulting us and telling us that we were fat because she was mad we dirtied up their grill 10 minutes before closing time. But the white sauce was still awesome.

Which brings me to this morning, when I woke up at 7 am to this:

Dixie wedged her way between my sleeping head and the headboard of the bed in order to achieve total pillow-domination and wake me up. Lucky for Dixie, Maymester sent my body into a skewed, off-kilter reality where it thinks it's okay to wake up at 7am on a Sunday and start writing blogs and internetting.

I'm gonna end this post with a final picture. I took this while sitting in the toilet stall of a public bathroom when I was in Asheville last weekend for a wedding. I often read toilet stall graffiti, but I don't often take pictures of it. This toilet stall graffiti was just that inspiring. I loved it.

here's to love, happiness, and the magical dragons that make it happen


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Only Thing to Fear is....

........a whole shitload of things other than fear itself. No offense, FDR.

There are PLENTY of things to fear other than that. In fact, I could rattle off quite a few things just off the top of my head.

Sharks.... Gila Monsters...... Serial Killers..... Wolf Spiders...... Ostriches..... Terrorists...... The sound the TV makes when the cable suddenly goes out and the static comes on the screen..... Aliens...... Unidentified noises coming from your fridge...... Possums...... White vans like the ones kidnappers always drive in movies...... The ocean...... The dark.

See? I am scared of all of those things, and none of those things are "fear itself." Some of these things are very natural; things that most normal, sane people are scared of. Like sharks. Show me someone who isn't scared of a shark, and I will show you someone who I think is a liar.

This got me thinking about all the things I'm scared of that are NOT rational, though, which is also a pretty lengthy list.

For example, many people are not still scared of the dark past the age of 7 or 8, but I am. (P.s. i'm 23). Perhaps most people are not scared of the noise TV static makes either, but I happen to think it is terrifying. "White Noise" or "The Ring," anybody? I've never been able to imagine it as an "ant race," as people have tried to compare it to in the past.

In honor of this avenue of thought, here are a few little anecdotes based on people in my life who are scared of some of the weirdest shit I've ever heard of people being scared of.

I'll start with myself...

Inanimate/completely harmless objects that resemble or have ever been associated with roaches:
This ever-growing list includes bathrooms, sinks, sponges, KOOZIES, and now, keychains. Little Sister went to Myrtle Beach last week, and came back 47 cents poorer after having spent that whopping amount on this for me:

This isn't a real roach. It's a keychain. It's supposed to be one of those keychains that you can press down on and it doubles as a flashlight. Only the flashlight part doesn't work. So instead I'm just left with this useless piece of crap plastic roach that has scared the shit out of me no less than 6 times since she gave it to me. I am not scared of FEAR, FDR, I'm scared of the roach shaped plastic. At least I haven't tried to spray it with Raid. Yet...

Serial Killers:

So maybe we're all scared of or at least dread the thought of one day being murdered. In all honesty though, how likely is it that we will ever actually encounter/fall victim to a serial killer? According to my brain, the likelihood is approximately an 85% chance or so.

Anyone I meet could be a potential serial killer. I've convinced myself that my neighbor 3 townhouses down from me in my complex is a serial killer because he fits the profiles I see on CSI: Miami, drives a rental car, and has an eerie fluorescent light he never turns off.

In 11th grade, my friend told me to bring a movie to watch when I went to sleep over at her house. I brought over the 2002 version of "Ted Bundy," chronicling his murder spree. I had/have a sick fascination with these movies, I guess so that I'll be more prepared when my unfounded suspicion manifests itself in reality one day? Whatever the reason, that is my irrational fear #2.

I think I will move on to people besides myself now. For instance, Little Sister....

Cotton Balls:

Little Sister is absolutely terrified of cotton balls. She is scared of them in the same way you might be scared of the clown from Stephen King's "It," or the way that I am scared of roaches.

She refuses to touch or use them, ever. She doesn't even like when the plastic bag with the cotton balls sealed safely inside of it comes near her.

don't let the happy face lambs fool you. they are harboring evil cotton balls. i guess little sister faked a stomachache during this activity back in first grade.

She once called me on the phone, sobbing, muttering through crying gasps that she had accidentally touched a cotton ball and subsequently erupted into a fit of hysterics because of it. There was no calming her down. I think it has a lot to do with the cotton ball texture. Either way, she's a weirdo.

Lined/Ruled Paper:
This one just came to my attention today. My friend, who lives in Kentucky, and who I shall call "Kentucky," messaged me from his class today lamenting that he had forgotten paper.

"Why don't you ask somebody for some paper?" I asked.

Kentucky's response was that everyone around him had ruled paper, and thus, he couldn't/refused to borrow paper from them. I guess this isn't so much a fear as it is a very strange, unshakable aversion to ruled paper, but I'm going to assume it's because this 24-year old male friend of mine is scared of the lines so that it fits into this blog post.

I found this absolutely hilarious. There is Kentucky, sitting in class, surrounded by potential paper-loaners, and instead he messages me all through class instead of having to subject himself to the monstrosity of lined notebook paper.

evil lined-notebook-paper skull: i kill you!

Shower Loofahs:
This one is also especially entertaining because the person I know with a fear of shower loofahs is also a 20-something year old MALE. And it's a SHOWER LOOFAH. I know of this fact because his girlfriend happens to be one of my best friends.

When he comes to visit her, he apparently makes her take her loofah out of the shower/throw it away before he will take a shower there. Perhaps this fear has to do with the texture, much like my sister's cotton ball issues. I can't be sure.

My friend has relayed to me that on numerous occasions, she has thrown a loofah over the curtain while he is showering as a good, clean joke, and been met with angry flailing and cursing instead of an understanding or self-deprecating laugh.

don't mess with a man and his loofah issues.

This next one comes as a joint past fear of both Little Sister and myself...

The Goop That Accumulates in the Corner of Dogs' Eyes:
That. shit. is. so. disgusting. It is so repulsive that you quickly move beyond the state of merely being grossed out by it to being all-out skeered of it. Like if, god forbid, it TOUCHES you, you will literally drop dead or burst into flames. It's that nasty.

My family and I always had poodles growing up. I don't know if it's just poodles as a breed or just our particular poodles or what, but they ALWAYS had eye goop. And they would try to wipe it on you whenever they got the chance (I'm looking at you, Nugget. RIP).

Suz would always be like, "Just get a napkin and scoop it out of their eyes." Not a chance, Suz. Sister and I would run fleeing from the room to avoid this horrible fate. The reaction that resulted from the terrible happenstance when the Goop actually GOT ON YOU was a spectacle to behold.

standard poodsauces must be notorious for eye Goop accumulation

Nugget and Holly the poodles would be on our shit-lists for weeks after they had the audacity to wipe their eye Goop on us. Suz has been on consecutive eye-Goop-scooping duty for decades now, but luckily our newest dogs (the doodles) aren't nearly as calculating and malicious as their poodle predecessors in their Goop-wiping tendencies.

That's all for now. Feel free to message me with any obscure/ridiculous fears that follow this same theme, and maybe I'll add them to the list......Cheers!


The People You Meet in Grad School: Part 5

Since finals week and May graduation transpired, many people are now enjoying an unfamiliar phenomenon known as "summer break."

Not this girl. And neither are my other 21 Maymester classmates.

In the Spring semester that just wrapped up, I had 100% English classes, even though I'm in a teaching program.

Understandably, my Maymester had me switching back into the realm of Education classes, with a course entitled "Foundations of Reading Instruction"...a.k.a, the Teaching of Reading.

(sidenote: i am glad i don't have to teach this bug.)

(another sidenote to define what a Maymester is: Maymester (noun): An evil, 3-week chunk of time during the month of May, in which an entire 3-month semester's worth of class and work is sardine-packed into 15 days of school. Obviously created by a sadistic dictator of collegiate administration of years past.)

On the upside? Maymester has spawned a new TPYMIGS post. This one is a little more specific than my previous posts, so I'm sorry if my fellow grad schoolers in programs other than Education can't relate.

Actually, no I'm not. Here she is folks....

5. The Overemotional Education Student

Okay, we get it. We're gonna be teachers. We're gonna be "making a difference." Does that mean we all have to transform into the biggest SAPS on the face of the planet to make it through our Education programs?

I like to think "no."

The Overemotional Education Student (OES), however? For them, not a day of class goes by where this person is not borderline moved to tears by some article that the rest of us thought was painful just to get through. This person also always--ALWAYS-- has some sentimental event/story from their past that they can very sneakily relate to the topic at hand.

...And that's why it's good for kids to read.

The OES: (interjecting by claiming that their comment will be "really quick" and proceeding to talk about themselves for 20 minutes) Well, this is just especially important to ME because I didn't learn to read until I was 15 and I somehow got into this graduate program anyway and I just know that I'm gonna connect with my students because of that. (tears forming in their eyes)


It's important to give your students positive feedback.

The OES: (again, blurting out comment without being acknowledged or called on) Well, when I was in high school, my teachers always graded in red pen and this really hurt my very fragile feelings and I vowed never to do that. They also corrected my grammar on my papers, which really got in the way of me expressing myself and my emotions and also this hurt my feelings again.

What's that you say? You had teachers that used red pen and....GASP!....corrected your dreadful grammar?!? Who are these neo-Nazis of the world of Education and how dare they try to impose the basic rules of Standard English upon you?

Cry me a freaking river, OES. (actually I probably shouldn't say that with as often as this person is on the verge of unnecessary optical waterworks).

Believe it or not, I go to class with plenty of people (professors included) who think grading in red pen is the work of the Devil and that pesky little things like grammar should be overlooked in favor of personal expression. The OES is the commander in chief of the anti-red pen squadron.

Overemotional Education Students really do believe that they are making "deep, personal connections" with every kid that they spend more than 5 minutes with. That's all well and good, except that in reality they are so swept up in their idealistic bullshit that they probably aren't accomplishing anything besides convincing themselves they are academic messiahs.

And their students probably all think they are a bunch of namby-pamby bleeding heart pansies. And I kind of agree.

This may make me sound like a heartless bitch, but I disagree. I'm not going to care any less about my future students. I'm just not going to cross into the Dark Side warped perception known as Academic Fantasy Land.

i think this is probably what Academic Fantasy Land looks like. you know, the same place where people shit rainbows and butterflies.

No, I'll stay right here in Reality and try to keep my distance from the Overemotional Education Students, lest they contaminate my views with kum-bay-ah delusions and incessant talk about their feelings.

Oh, and I'll be grading all of my papers with a big, huge, RED PEN. Future students beware.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday, Floody Monday

All of our downstairs furniture is haphazardly displaced in our TV room. The hardwood floorboards in our kitchen bounce and squish when you walk on them. There are about 6 industrial sized fans blowing at full steam all over the kitchen and dining area.

Why? You might ask.

My townhouse flooded today. It flooded.

My roommate left our little home, with all quiet on the townhouse front, around 1pm. Just my luck though! When I came home around 3 pm, I was the jackpot winner who found the flash flood mess.

I have never seen nor dealt with flood water in my entire life. After making the appropriate phone calls, I did what any normal person would do. I rolled up my jeans into highwaters, finally fulfilling a lifelong dream to wear highwaters in the actual situation for which they were intended, and waddled around our now-buoyant carpet.

I squashed around, "surveying damage" and waiting for the Flood Restoration people to arrive and rescue me and my home. This was the best picture I could get of the initial scene:

Just imagine a swimming pool with a thin layer of carpet covering it. I can only thank heavens the Brown Bathroom didn't flood. I don't know what I'd do without the Brown Bathroom.

When the Flood people got here, I discovered the coolest. invention. ever. Those fine people over at PuroClean have devised a gadget that is the ultimate love child of the Squeegee and the Segway. They rode this contraption all over my carpet, sucking flood water out at will and desiccating our doomed carpet.

Here is David from PuroClean tooling around on the Seg/Squeege.

Had to snap a second picture when his back was turned. They kept giving me really weird looks, like no one has ever tried to take pictures of him riding his Segway Squeegee hybrid before.

After about an hour of water extraction, you'd think the problem was solved. Apparently water is PESKY though.

David informed me my situation was merely "stabilized." Oh good. I feel better now, DAVID.

They would be back tomorrow to rip up every square inch of flooring (carpet and hardwood) from our downstairs. Hooray!

Until then, I get to listen to and maneuver around the colossal fans that are doing their darndest to dry the place up. They sound like an entire herd of elephants dying at once. And whatever antibacterial shit David sprayed smells like a cocktail of formaldehyde and Chloraseptic.

Here's the kitchen. There's rancid smelling water and garbage/dirt that washed in from outside underneath all that, in case you're wondering. Needless to say I haven't eaten yet.

The formaldehyde/Chloraseptic smell does nothing but remind me of Felix, the dead, preserved cat carcass I dissected in high school Anatomy. If that didn't rob me of my appetite, the gale force winds being produced by the fans would.

I decided to continue creeping them out by standing on my porch and waving them off. I'm sure they can't wait to see me tomorrow. (oh heyyy sup Tacoma?)

Anyone want a non-snoring, spoon-loving bunk buddy for the night?


Friday, May 14, 2010

Friend Zones

There are many different categories of "friend." Most of us have at least a couple of friends (hopefully), and they all land on different points along the friendship spectrum.

These are my conclusions about the friend zones I have conjured up. I guess I really like to stereotypically lump people into categories (TPYMIGS). Whatever. To steal a line from a fellow blog I read, sorry I'm not sorry.

The Class Friend:

This is the person you pretend to be BFFs with while you are sitting in class with them. You don't really like them that much, and would probably never speak 2 words to this person outside of the academic world. You tend to have NOTHING in common with them past the fact that you are in the same room as them on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2-3:30. If and when this person suggests an outside-of-class rendezvous, you give them an awkward laugh and an ambiguous, but friendly response that implies neither "yes" nor "no." No way in hell do you want to go to Cool Beans with them for a cappucino and a show-and-tell of pictures of their pet canary Herbert, but you still want them on your side when you feel like bitching about your most recent assignment.

You can't taunt me with your candy, Herbert. I still don't care about you.

The Group Outlier Friend:
You're friends with this person, but you would absolutely never hang out with them one-on-one. Just the thought of hanging out with the Group Outlier by yourself spins you into an awkward panic. They are part of your larger circle of friends that you meet up with downtown, but you really don't know them on a personal level past what drink they tend to order at the bar or whether they are the person who buys rounds for the group. When they are not there, you ask where they are because it seems socially appropriate, not because you really care that much. They are strictly a "group friend."

The Opposite Sex Best Friend:
Not everybody has one of these. But every so often, a guy and girl get along so well that it seems imminent that they should either get married and have babies, or one of them should magically transform into the opposite sex so that the inevitable awkward sexual tension that will ensue can be avoided. Shit will eventually hit the fan a few times when one person or the other gets a little too caught up in the game called "are we just friends? are we more than that?" These two individuals' other friends will also regularly ask questions regarding their relationship such as "What is yall's deal anyway?" or "Are you guys romping?" It is usually a dangerous, blurred-line friendship that no one can ever really figure out, including the two people involved, and they have a tendency to make everyone else around them feel uncomfortable with their ambiguity.

The Drunk Friend:
Somehow, the only time you ever see this person is when you are out drinking. It could be waiting in line for the bathroom. It could be that you happen to sidle up next to them to order a drink at the bar. But one thing is for sure--when you see them..... you. are. EXCITED. This person becomes your best friend in the entire world in a span of seconds. A hug is usually involved, and if you have a camera, a picture becomes necessary also. If this is two girls, there are shrieks of jubilant excitement. You usually lament that you "don't hang out enough," and make plans to see each other that you both promptly forget by the morning. You get this person's phone number for the 12th time, because although you get it every time you see them, it ends up in your phone as "Chlristortpher" or "Kid from English Class I Saw at Lucky's."

we are such bffs for life!! or till it's my turn to go pee.

The Internet or Text Friend:

You can't really remember the last time you talked to this friend in person. The entirety of your friendship plays out through Facebook chats or never-ending text message/BBM conversations, which is kind of sad in a way. You "talk" to this person on a regular enough basis that you feel like you know them as well as some of your real friends. Sometimes, it is even easier to tell this person embarrassing or personal things because you know you will never actually have to own up to those things in person. If you do ever happen to run into this person in real life, the encounter is so covered in awkward-sauce that you pray it never happens again. And you avoid them on the internetz for a while. Which is pretty easy to do. Because its the internetz.

The Family Member Friend:
Slightly self-explanatory, but this friend is a member of your family. You are friends with them because you sort of have to be, but oftentimes you happen to sort of like them also. The best thing about a family member friend is you can literally tell them anything. Or at least I can. They already know almost everything about you, and are still forced to hang out with you at holidays without TOO much judgment. You can use the family members you are closer with to gang up on and chide the family members you are not as close with, which is always fun. Also, (at least in my case), family members can make you look more popular on Facebook, etc. because they will always comment on your statuses and write on your wall.

And finally....

The Bowel Movement Friend:
Perhaps this sounds a little crass. However, I firmly believe that when you reach a point with someone where you can mention anything having to do with your activities on the Porcelain Throne, you have entered a whole new realm of friendship. Family Member Friends very often fall into this category. If you text message someone FROM the toilet, that person has become a Bowel Movement Friend. If you tap your friend on the shoulder halfway into the semester and mention your Irritable Bowel Syndrome, that person has become a BM Friend. If you find it completely acceptable to release your chocolate hostages at somebody ELSE'S house, that person is a BM Friend. And if you emerge from your bathroom while you have any guests over, and proudly announce that everyone should steer clear of the bathroom lest they die a slow, painful, death by shit-fumes, those people are BM friends. I find that it is one of the highest and most prestigious levels of friendship. Males often get to this level much, much sooner than females.

I might add to this list if and when I have more epiphanies about friends. But for now, that is all.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Cat Scratch Fever

Listen up Sports Fans. I wasn't going to write a blog today. Had zero intentions of doing so. But fate stepped in--- in the form of unadulterated feline malice.

My friend James BBMed me up and he's like, "Let's go to Pets, Inc". I pretty much nevah evah turn down an invitation to go to Pets, Inc. So he scooped me up and off we went.

All was well with the world when we arrived. We saw "Ray Ray," the totally baller dachsund mix with the totally UNballer-ish name. We chilled with Abby, who defied all laws of Pug physics with how fat her little sausage body was.

Then we went to the cat room.

Our first sign that the cat room was a bad idea was the stench. You know, that lovely combination odor of feces, urine, cat sick, and kitten breath? We should've turned back right then and there.

As soon as we shut the door behind us, James was accosted by a deceivingly adorable black cat with white paws. The kind of cat you would name Socks or Boots, if you were the kind of cat-namer that was unoriginal and boring.

(I really have no room to talk. I once left a cat nameless while I contemplated monikers for a good 2 weeks, and finally settled on "Whiskers." But this is my blog. Don't name your cat Boots. I'm going to call this cat "Satan Cat.")

Satan Cat then turned his attention to me. He scampered over, jumped up on his 2 back feet like a dog, and acted like he wanted to be picked up. So what did I do? I picked him up, like your typical everyday Noob would.


The next thing I knew, Satan Cat's ears were flat to his head and I could feel his entire body go rigid.

I was absolutely terrified. And Satan Cat knew it. In fact I think he was basking triumphantly in my terror.

....And then I was attacked.

That little manipulative, scheming bastard started out as this:

Puss in Boots. "pick me up unsuspecting human! i can haz bites of your flesh?"

Once in position in my arms, Satan Cat promptly morphed into something more reminiscent of Church from Pet Sematary than Puss in Boots:

Anyway, Satan Cat bit the shit out of my arm. It broke the skin. There was blood. We quickly fled the cat room and left Pets, Inc.

However, as I've mentioned before, I am irrational and somewhat neurotic. We hadn't been in the car 5 minutes when I began to wonder things. Like whether Satan Cat's little fangs had transmitted feline leukemia (yes I convinced myself I could contract feline leukemia), or whether or not I would be foaming at the mouth later.

I called Pets, Inc. to reassure myself that these things would not be happening to me later on tonight because of the brutal attack I endured. This is roughly how the conversation went down with Crystal at the Pets, Inc. desk:

Me: So I was there just a few minutes ago, and one of your demon-possessed "cats", a.k.a. Satan's little helpers, bit me and broke the skin. I'm just kind of wondering if I should be worried about any diseases.

Crystal: Um, no, I don't think so. Wait, do you know which cat it was?

Me: (starting to develop high anxiety over my impending Rabies) Well I don't remember exactly. But I can describe him to you. He was small-ish, black, and had stupid little white "boots."

Crystal: Um, can you hold?

*I am on hold for approximately 10 minutes

Crystal: Do you know what color his collar was?

Me: No. No I do not. I'm sorry that I wasn't paying attention to the color of his accessories while he was VIOLATING the begeezus out of my arm with his fangs.

Et cetera, et cetera. My lingering questions were many: Why can't homegirl just tell me I'm safe on the disease-front right away? Why does she only "think" I'm alright? And why the EFF does it matter which cat it was? Shouldn't they all be disease-free?!

Crystal got my name and number, and told me that they'd be calling back to get some more information so they could file a report with DHEC. Hold the phone! All I wanted was for someone to tell me I was absolutely NOT GOING TO GET RABIES for Pete's sake.

Instead, I'm having to remember the specifics of this little devil feline and talk to this idiotic Pets, Inc. employee 4 different times. All the while, all I'm doing is envisioning my funeral, where some pour soul/family member will have to say something like....

"Yeah, she got bit by a cat.....and got Rabies...... and croaked......from a CAT BITE..."

Meanwhile, every single one of my friends who showed up to mourn me would be stifling laughter and shaking their heads at my ridiculous fate, or at least I should hope they would be, and for good reason.

And Suz and Steve will be rolling in the dough from one spectacular lawsuit. I'm gonna go nurse my wounds and try to comfort my inner hypochondriac now.

I waited till the end to post the pictures of my battle wounds, lest you scoff at me or tell me I'm "overreacting" or some other nonsense like that.

And just FYI, a cat bite hurts worse than a cat scratch. I'm just sayin.


Debacle at the DMV

Last Monday, I scooted on out to my local DMV to acquire an updated license.

The DMV is never a pleasant experience. I don't care what you're going there for. It is inhabited by the dregs of society and smells like a foot. Actually it smells much worse than a foot. And the chairs are grimy. Did I say it smells bad?

I took my number and waited my turn. When I got to the counter, I re-took my vision test.

Typical. Expected. Passed with flying colors. My eyes are perfect.

Then Yolanda looks at me and says, "You know you have to re-take the other 2 tests also, right?"

UMM. NO, Yolanda. I did not know that. What are you even talking about YOLANDA?!

The tests she spoke of were the written test and the ROAD TEST I had taken the day I turned 16. Approximately 8-ish years ago. So I had one of my usual little panic attacks and called Suz.

Suz had absolutely zero confidence in me or my driving skillz, and suggested that I go back in a couple days after I had studied the SC driving laws book. I contemplated her suggestion, and then decided not to listen to her.

I told Yolanda I was good to go and she sent me to the computer that had been set up for my written test.

There were 30 questions. I had no idea how many I was allowed to get wrong. I tapped the 15-year-old who was taking the test next to me to get his learner's permit and asked him. He looked like he knew what was up. And also kinda like Justin Bieber. Fake Bieber told me I could miss 6 questions and still pass.

That.shit.was. HARD. When I took my original written test at age 16, I took it in Pennsylvania. So, NO, question 14, I have no effing clue what SC state law 102 mandates about appropriate highway merging procedure.

I wanted to cheat off of Fake Bieber so badly, but I was really scared of Yolanda at that point, and figured she might be watching me.

Somehow or another, I got 25 out of the 30 questions right. If you want to be on the road with someone who knows all the right steps for parking on a hill or what to do with your foot pedals when your brakes fail.....don't drive near me. Cause apparently I don't.

Okay. Then I had to move on to the road test.....

I am a self-proclaimed bad driver. It was raining. The DMV was getting ready to close in about 20 minutes. I was wearing flip flops. EVERYTHING was conspiring against me for this stupid road test.

Roland (my tester) came over, introduced himself, and told me where to bring my car around.

I frantically threw a solid month's worth of gum wrappers, receipts, Diet Coke cans, and empty 5-hour energies into the backseat to make room for Roland.

He got in the car, and explained that once we started moving, he would only be able to communicate with me by asking his sanctioned questions/instructions, or repeating said questions/instructions.

Based on the violations to protocol I apparently engaged in, here are my tips for passing a road driving test:

1. Do not make small talk with your cheerful test distributor. Do not continue in said small talk even after they have reminded you that they cannot participate in small talk.

2. Know your left from your right. Before we started driving, Roland asked me to turn on my left blinker, and then my right one. I did right then left. Fail # 1.

3. Turn your windshield wipers on BEFORE you start driving away if it is raining. Fail # 2.

4. Do not make a 3-point turn into a 4-point turn, and then blame it on your truck's lack of turning radius. Fail # 3.

5. Know where your emergency parking brake is located, and possibly invest in using that emergency brake once every 5 years or so. I hadn't touched mine since I once drove around with it on for 3 days straight because I couldn't figure out how to turn it off my senior year of high school. It showed.

6. Number 6 gets its own special paragraph down below.

Do not. And I repeat. Do. not. run over the curb in your sorry-ass excuse for parallel parking. Then, do not actually finish your parallel park job with your car parked ON the curb, tell your instructor you're done parking, and act like it's totally normal to be parked on the curb. And finally, when you are attempting to pull your car back out of the parallel spot, do not HIT ONE OF THE WOODEN BARRIERS YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE PARKING BETWEEN WITH YOUR FRONT BUMPER.

My performance in this road DMV test was absolutely dripping in failsauce. Imagine my surprise, then, when Roland tears off the sheet he's been jotting things down on, hands it to me, and says....

"Congratulations Miss Townes. You're a fine driver."

Excuse me, Roland, WTF mate? Have you been in the same car as me for the past 15 minutes?

Whatevs. I snatched the paper and thanked my new bud before he could change his mind. Or before he could go check out the damage I probably inflicted on that wooden barrier.

No wonder there are so many shitty drivers on the road, when people like me and driving performances like that get applauded and rewarded with shiny new licenses.

However, in the category of "small victories," I no longer look like a 10-year-old boy in my license picture.

Super blurry, but you get the gist.

Last thing. Quick shout out to Fake Bieber. I really hope he got his learner's permit. Poor thing was probably 75 pounds soaking wet and looked like he was 15 going on 8. Here's hoping he gets hit with a nice healthy dose of puberty sometime soon.


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