Saturday, October 27, 2012

Creepy Pervert Song

When S and I walked into the dance room, the lights literally came on.  Jean had already been teaching (probably for an hour or so since it was already 7:59) in the dark.  Sometimes the light simply aren't on.  When we walked in, they came on, so we were like, Hey you're welcome!  No one was impressed or seemed to care about our joke.  Yup, everyone loves us.

 In honor of Halloween, Jean taught us a song called Spooky Little Girl (of course after teaching us dances we already knew like Automoves, the dance I like to call Chronomatic).

The song selections weren't my favorites.  She chose a slow song and then an even slower one for Chronomatic.  Then the Spooky Little Girl song was slow too.  The dance was actually creeping me out because it has these hip gyrations that no little girl should be doing.  Kinda pervy.  What makes it a bit creepier is the way this woman walks into frame:

I felt like taking a nap with all the slow songs.  I kept screwing some of them up because they were so slow.

I also screwed up some dances that we did a zillion times over because S and I were having conversations instead of concentrating on the dances we already knew.  

We did Love Letter Waltz instead of the waltz we learned last class that S lost five dollars on.  She decided she does not like waltzes.  I enjoy them, though.  They actually are pretty intricate because of the three counts.

Oh, speaking of intricate, those two new women weren't there!  So there was no danger of someone getting hurt this time around. 

We did the other dances we learned the past two classes and then I hurt my calf.  I felt it pull and then the bottom of my foot was hurting, too, so I was left to dance flat-footed instead of on the balls of my feet which makes for pretty clunky dancing.  I sucked it up to do the Bossa Nova, which S pointed out was the first time she ever remembers Jean teaching it step by step.  I agreed because it actually was the first time Jean had taught it step by step.  Well, I mean, she's taught it in the past, but sometimes when Jean puts on the music, she doesn't call out the steps.

Which reminds me.....not only did she have the mic on full blast, she also had two fans on full blast.  Perfect.  All the instructions sounded like they were coming through the Lincoln Tunnel.  Which makes dance class that much more fun.    

Friday, October 26, 2012

It's Not Paradise By The Dashboard Lights

Every time something weird happens with my car, I think it's going to explode.  Really.  When the light came on that indicates low tire pressure, I immediately thought my car was going to blow up.  The only solace came from the fact that the light that indicates low tire pressure looks like a butt.  I'm serious.  Here, it looks like this:


Come on.  Tell me that doesn't look like a butt.

Anyway, on a high from winning a bike, I galloped down the stairs and jumped in my car to head to line dancing.  When I turned on the car, the dash lit up as it always does.  Then two lights remained on.

The car was obviously about to burst into flames.

Then I recognized that one of the lights looks exactly like a button that's right next to the gear shift.  It's the tire slipping button (also known as traction).  I thought, oh silly me I must have pressed it by accident.  So I pressed the button.  Nothing happened.  I pressed it again.  The light was still on.

Now I was sure--the car was going to explode.

Plus the other light was still on.  I called Eddie to come downstairs to look at the lights.  As he did so, I looked up both lights.  The first was indeed the tire slippage one.  The second one was under the heading Bring Your Car In For An Inspection Because... and the reason listed next to the symbol was Possible Electrical System Malfunction.  The manual doesn't have a translate column, but it should because that obviously translates to Your Car Is Going To Blow To Bits In Five Minutes.

I wound up taking Eddie's car and made a plan to take my car into the shop before work the next day.  On the way to dancing, S tried to console me by pointing out I had a brand new bike that I could ride while my car was in the shop.  I could also sell the bike and pay for the car repairs.  The bill would surely be enormous since putting back together an exploded car is no easy task.

After a round of idiocy with the folks over at the Toyota dealership (when asked if there would be a charge to bring it in since it's a lease, the girl answered, I don't know, and then expected that to be a good answer), Eddie and I took it to our good friend, Roland.  We actually don't know him well at all, but he's inspected both our cars and did the oil changes and he's so honest that when Eddie didn't have small bills and wanted to pay with a credit card, Roland was like, Naw you can just bring me the cash tomorrow since it's only ten bucks.  (later on, when I called to tell him I'd pay with a credit card over the phone since the shop was closing before I was leaving work, he was like, or you can pick up your car later and just pay me tomorrow--whatever you want sweetheart--and he said sweetheart in a genuine kind of way, not in a condescending kind of way, which makes me really appreciate him).

Panicked ensued on my part for the duration of the morning since I was sure Roland would be injured when the car blew to pieces.  Eddie eased my panic when he dropped me off at work, telling me Roland would fix it.  Then my mind was completely at peace when Eddie called at lunch and not only was Roland alive, but he'd found what was wrong with my car (which had not exploded, btw).

He said that Roland was incredibly apologetic actually and didn't want to charge us for such a silly thing but he had to charge us since he'd run a diagnostic on the machine.  What was wrong?  The code on the machine told Roland to check the gas tank cap.  So Roland checked it.  He then twisted it to make it tighter.  Then my car was fixed.

Yeah, that's right.  The cap for the gas tank was loose.

The best part of the day was reading my bill for the services.  Under recommendations, it read: Fully tighten gas cap after fueling up.  It implied, tighten the gas cap, you idiot.

Technically, my car could have exploded.  A loose cap could lead to a leak that could cause a fire that could cause an explosion.  Technically.

So I tell you that story not just to show my neurotics about dashboard indicator lights, but also to tell you this one:

The next day, my dad asked me what the problem was.  I told him about the gas cap.  He said I should take it to places that have more reliable people who close the cap right.  I just nodded in agreement.  When my dad saw Eddie later on and told Eddie the same thing, Eddie readily raised his own hand and said, I'm the guy who filled up the tank.   (See? see how I wasn't the one who ratted him out?)

So my dad puts his hands in Eddie's face and gives him one of those index finger shame shame shame movements and then tells him that he owes me money for getting the car fixed.  Ha!I think we're even now anyway.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Secrets Of Winning

My mom called.  "Your bike is here."

My answer: "I don't know what you're talking about."

She explained that my dad told her that my bike was outside.

I explained that I still had no clue what she meant.

We met each other outside.  At the side of the house was a box.  The box was addressed to me.  It had a brand new albeit disassembled bike inside.  It was a heavy box.  I opened it to look for paperwork.  There was no paperwork.

First, I panicked a little.  My computer had a virus and I thought maybe there was an internet order snafu or someone was using my credit card.  Then I thought, if someone bought a bike with my credit card, they probably wouldn't ship it to me.  Just in case, I checked my credit accounts and bank accounts and nothing showed up as purchased.

I then called Eddie and left him a rambling message about a bike appearing and needing to know if he bought me a bike or if he bought a bike for himself.

Then I went back outside and wrote down everything on every label including: 20th Century Domestic and How I Met Your Mother.

What the hell does the sitcom I watch have to do with a bike arriving anonymously at my house?  Well, everything.  Because I won a bike!

After searching for 20th Century domestic and then 20th Century, I searched for 20th Century How I Met Your Mother Bike.  All of that turned up nothing, but you can see what a wiz I am at Binging things.  Then I typed in How I Met Your Mother Sweepstakes and BAM!  There it was.

I had entered a contest at the end of the summer online because my laptop happened to be on my lap when I was watching HIMYM and the sweepstakes popped up on tv.  I'd entered because the grand prize was a trip to Hawaii.  I didn't win a trip to Hawaii.

But I did win the first runner up prize--a brand new Nirve men's cruiser. No one had notified me, but who cares?  Yeah, man, I got a bike!

Actually, Eddie's got a bike.  I got Melissa Etheridge tickets.

I'd entered some random contest on 102.7 Fresh FM after going to their free concert in the park.  I got a phone call on a random day from a random number (actually, I got two phone calls from two random  numbers on the same day--more on that in a second).  It was someone from 102.7 and she wanted me to call her back.

I called back and asked for her and she wasn't there.  The girl asked if I knew what it was about.  I said I didn't know because the message didn't say.  She asked, Did you win something?  I said, I hope so.  She put me on hold to check and when she came back, she totally called me very very very old.

Actually, she didn't say those exact words but she did say this:  You won tickets to see, um,  Melissaaaa, um, Eth - er- ridge, is that how you say it?

Yes, yes that is how you say it, girl who is too young to know who the hell Melissa Etheridge is even though you work at a radio station giving away tickets to her concert.

So I got Melissa Etheridge concert tickets AND a ticket to a scavenger hunt.

Scavenger hunt?  Well, you see, on the day I entered the Melissa Etheridge contest, I also went to PLJ as I do from time to time and entered a bunch of stuff on there.  When my phone rang with a random number and I didn't answer the first time, I got this message:

Uh, hey, Uh Christina?  Uh,  yeah, well, um you are going on a scavenger hunt and you should call back or just check your email.  Oh, uh, this is the radio station by the way, and uh, you won the scavenger hunt ticket.  Yeah.

Thank you, obviously first day on the job intern.

I checked my email and saw that I had indeed won a ticket.  I'd entered because I thought it was for two tickets.  Who the hell wants to do a scavenger hunt alone?  So I won that but skipped it.  Who needs a scavenger hunt when I've got tickets to an old lady concert (old lady here obviously refers to me, the old lady who knows who Melissa Etheridge is).

Everyone keeps telling me to play the lottery, but I don't think that's my kind of winning.  I'm really not that lucky.  I win stuff because I enter every single contest I see.  I know that there aren't specific odds that I will eventually win because they don't depend on each other (meaning my odds of winning each contest is the same no matter how many I enter--this is why I don't teach statistics).  I do know, however, that my odds of winning are much higher when I actually enter stuff.  So I'll save my money and not enter the lottery.  My luck is much better for odd items like turkey basters and pulse monitors (one of which I have actually won in the past and I'll leave it to you to guess).

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Traffic Day

Getting from Long Island to Brooklyn is no easy task. The Belt offers much excitement like closed lanes and stopped cars for no reason. Eddie and I got to SMM and AF in about an hour which should have taken about 25 minutes.

Getting from Brooklyn to New Jersey is no easy task. Along the way, we saw a demonic clown on the side of the road, at which point Eddie revealed my distaste for adults in costumes. It wasn't so much that it was a demonic clown, I explained. It was that an adult was in a costume and thought it was okay. We also passed by one of those tubey wavey things in front of a car dealership that I am also not fond of. I'm not scared of them; they just make me unsettled. So SMM did what anyone else has ever done upon finding this out. He drove closer and stopped by it so it could wave over the car.

We finally got to Battleview Orchards some time after noon. Donuts! Cakes! Pies! Cider! I was a happy girl. We got on line to buy a dozen cider donuts, which we ate hot. At first, I thought Eddie was nibbling mine because he wanted to make sure he liked it. Then I realized he simply didn't want to get his hands sticky. Thanks. It was worth the sticky. I ate two in a row. Actually, we all did. Mmmm. When we went inside the store, it was sugar overload. They have lots of sweets for sale. I went with a hot apple cider, my first of the Fall, and I was in heaven.

Unfortunately, I had to hit the ladies room, which in this case, was a porter potty. I made Eddie come with me and stand guard even though the door locked. I got inside and it smelled like ass, which I guess is appropriate considering. It also smelled like ammonia and pee. Also? Appropriate. I began to discuss my dislike for the smell very loudly, mostly by yelling out Gross! So gross! Then I looked up and started a new yell: Spiderwebs! There are spiderwebs!

Then Eddie answered in a hushed yell, You need to stop--there are people out here.

Big stem.  Heh heh.
As if I cared. So I continued...So grossssssss....ewwwwwwww....until I was done and came outside. Then I said to him, That was GROSS! He was like, Yes, I think I understand that by now.

After being attacked by some yellow jackets that were very interested in the cinnamon sugar residue from the donuts, we headed down to the pumpkin field where they were also giving hayrides, bypassing the apple picking field because no one eats apples except for me and I really didn't have a strong need to climb a ladder into a tree where there were most likely more bugs. I had visions of swatting at insects and falling to my death, much like how Eddie hit my several times in the head with a bag of pretzels to get a bug off of me when we were on the top edge of Bear Mountain. That's not my kind of fun.

The hayride was scary in that I thought they were kidnapping us and holding us for ransom. I figured a hayride would have someone from the orchard on board with us, pointing out what was growing where. Instead, we were corralled into a trailer of hay attached to a tractor and the worker from the orchard was in a black hoodie and was listening to his iPod. I'm not sure why he was there because his back was turned to us the whole time. Then we went around the field and saw all the dead and dying trees and rotting fruit. AF was attacked by a mosquito. I was attacked by a yellow jacket that almost went down my shirt, which SMM pointed out by saying, Um it's going down your shirt but I don't want to try to get it. Eddie took away my cider and it followed. I announced that anyone was allowed to touch my frontal area if I was in danger of having a yellow jacket go down my shirt.

We were on the trailer for a good fifteen minutes. The boys were half-hoping it would flip so we could sue. This was the fun of the hayride. We went well out into the middle of nowhere, and that's when I thought we were never making it back. However, we made it back and then headed into the pumpkin field that had the biggest pumpkins I'd ever seen.

Pretend apple picking
By the time we were through with the pumpkins, it was time to go home. I was hungry so I had another donut. Then Eddie was like, what's all over your chest? The cinnamon sugar was all over me, down my shirt and all. Seriously, you can't take me anywhere.

Getting to New York from New Jersey is no easy task. The road is a parking lot.

Getting to Long Island from Brooklyn is no easy task. The Belt sucks ass.

Getting to Garden City is no easy task. But we got there. Starving.

This is the part of the day I'd like to call Making Friends at Bobby's Burgers.  The menu is not that difficult to read, but just to make sure, Eddie asked, Do you guys make turkey burgers plain?  The counter girl looked at us, looked at the menu, looked back at us, and then answered, Um, yeah.  So I punched her in the face.

Okay, I didn't punch her in the face, but I wanted to.  I asked for a plain turkey burger.  Eddie asked for a plain burger burger.  When I ordered my iced tea, she lamely explained it would be brought out to me.  Thanks, Happy.  We found SMM and AF who were searching for seats near each other and not in the blaring sun.  That meant we were hovering over people who looked like they were finishing their meals.  You know, making friends.  Finally, two women got up and left, leaving us three seats.  A man with several hundred bags was waiting for food so Eddie decided he would sit when the bagman left.  We were unfortunately in the sunshine and SMM took to his sunglasses and Eddie was getting a tan. 

Note to Bobby Flay: Invest in some blinds, dude.

My iced tea arrived and then soon after the food.  The burger was good but also small.  That didn't matter because I was partially still filled up on donuts. 

This day was the epitome of nutrition: three donuts and a turkey burger. 

After the burgers and the actual quick ride home, AF and I set out to carve the greatest pumpkin ever.  We found a picture online.  I free-handed the stencil.  She carved most of it.  It came out pretty swell, I think.  Then we took naps as the boys played cards with a bunch of other boys who came over to play cards.  Then we woke up and watched The Newlywed Game because we're girls.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Someone's Gonna Get Hurt

Legs flailed. Arms flailed. Feet tripped over themselves. Dancing was scary as we learned not even a dance but two steps that would later be in the dance: an anchor step named so because it looks like an anchor (it doesn't) and a vine with a heel skip thing (not the exact name). Lady with the hair clip knew it already. She helped Jean figure out where the dance started with the music. She also became the woman the new women watched to get the dance. It wasn't very fast but it was a lot of steps and so there was a lot of everyone turned in different directions. At one point, Jean laughed to herself (out loud) and said to herself (out loud), if only you saw what I see. Then she said out loud, we should do that again since you're all facing different directions. The hardest part of the dance was not watching everyone else. Watching everyone else meant not doing the dance right since everyone was kind of doing their own thing.

This dance is in the top four line dances on Jean's mysterious list of all time world wide dances. She said next week we'd be learning number one. Exciting. We're on the cutting edge.

At one point, Jean put on the music and we started dancing. When we finished the first wall, everyone in front of me and S stopped dancing so we stopped, too. Then I saw the clique was still dancing. The blonde (of course) yelled out, Come on where are the girls, now?

Take note: one of the new women, the one who knows the woman who lent me the pen, brings her daughter with her. That would be a girl, right? So if S and I are girls, that would make the girl an embryo, no?

When people kept messing up, blonde said, Just because I'm in the front doesn't mean I know what I'm doing so don't watch me! That somehow caused some mumbling that somehow caused everyone to point to the back at S and me and say that they'd follow us. Great. This was just great.

We went over Martini Time again, which prompted S to ask, Where exactly is Yolanda? (listen to the song--I don't think there's an answer, but there is a lot of questioning).

We went over the second song from last week after that called This and That.

For some reason, the first time we step touch, Jean sways her arms back and forth over head. The rest of the step touches don't get any arm sways. The arm swaying really screws up some people. That leads to more flailing. I really thought someone was going to fall. I wanted to tell one of the women who stood behind us last week that she could probably improve if she just would make her steps smaller. S was like, maybe you should tell her that now. I was like, wouldn't that be rude? S answered, It would be safer. I wound up laughing and not telling her.

Then the woman danced into a wall.

We did the Latin dance from last session that we learned again the first class and then we did Come Dance With Me again, which is old but I really enjoy it.

I had to share this particular video because I need to get that woman's outfit for next week's class.

When Jean put on the music for Pontoon again, half the class decided it was time to stand around, check cell phones, and chat. It was really weird and distracting. After the dance Fun Hair Clip asked if I remembered any of the dances from last session. I said I'd remember them if Jean put on the music. She asked, Like Caballero? That was a good one!

All I remember is that Caballero was a really really long song, so I said so. She was like, Yes it is long! I guess she thought I meant long as a good thing as in it's such a great dance and we get to dance it a really long time.

Then, being ambitious, Jean decided to teach a brand new waltz. It was very similar to waltzes we've done before. S was like, You know this dance, to me. I was like, no, it's new. We went back and forth. She bet me five dollars. I was like, I don't have five dollars. She was like, You're good for it. So we bet.

When Jean came to the back to teach the second wall, I asked, Is this new? She said, Yes it is but it seems like the others, doesn't it? Then she laughed and walked away. I looked at S: You owe me five dollars. She insisted that the dance was not new even though Jean said it was. Then the music came on and she was like, Yeah, we've never done this one.

Meanwhile, the two women having a hard time picking up the steps were now forced to learn a three-count waltz. There was a lot of turning the wrong way. The front row had a lot of not doing the third step and holding instead of moving. However, no one danced into a wall and no one fell over, so that worked out well. Safety first!

With two minutes left, Jean was like, I'm going to put on a dance for those of you who know it and I'm not going to teach it.

Ha hah ah ha ha ha hah ha ha. I love Jean.

The clique turned to us and was like, Girls? Bossa nova?

I shrugged her back a sure and S smirked an okay. It's not like we had any say. They love that dance and we kind of know it. We never officially learned it but we catch on by the end. I fake it pretty well. Surprisingly, even the people who didn't know it at all picked up some of it. Well, maybe not, but they were turning the right way. Most of the time. We'll see how it goes next week because in addition to the top dance on all the charts of all time ever, Jean will be reteaching the bossa nova and perhaps burying Pontoon.

Friday, October 12, 2012

HOooaoooooaooor: Now That's What I Call Dancing

The highlight of dancing had to be the two seconds of French Toast that Jean accidentally played.  S hates that dance.  We did not do it, but everyone laughed about it.  Everyone, that is, except all the new people who didn't know what the song was.  And that's how we started dance class this session: introducing ourselves and learning about the new people, two of which Jean didn't even notice because she completely skipped them when we went around the room and the two Irish-Catholic sisters (literal sisters, not nuns) had to point them out and say, Them too!

The woman who had lent me the pen was in class along with her two friends and one of their daughters.  The other ladies were a bit older.  There were also two younger women, maybe five to seven years older than me and S, even though one of them thought we were 17 or 18 (okay, she thought S was 17 and I was 18).  I actually didn't even realize she was asking our ages because her guess was so low.

As S pointed out, our t-shirts didn't help the guessing.  I was wearing my lilac Little Miss Contrary shirt.  She was wearing her teal and pink Sugar U tee.  Yup, we're adults.

The women began talking to us because they were having a little trouble picking up the dances.  When we were all turned to the back wall, we heard the usual, Look at the girls.  Yup, we're still girls, too.  Then when a few dances were over, S was like, Now there's pointing, and before I saw the pointing, here came the two women, telling us, We're just going to dance behind you and you can laugh at us because we're retarded.  S told them not to stand behind us because they would have no one in front of them when they turned.  They answered that they would then run behind us.  Heh heh.  I like plans like those.  I told them that once they learned five basic steps, they would know the dances.  They asked, which steps?  We answered: grapevine, scissor, coaster, lindy, and step-together-step.  Of course, none of this will be helpful as Jean renames all the steps every session.

No, wait, the highlight of dancing was Jean walking in late.  Like really late.  Like 8:01 late.  She usually starts our 8:00 class at, oh, you know, 6:47.  So when she walked in, there was clapping.  Then lights came on.  Jean knows how to make an entrance.

The clique clapped the loudest and there was much conversation.  I grabbed S's yellow receipt to bring over to the pile on the side where they were being collected by the blonde woman in the clique because she'd just kind of started collecting them. Then the little Asian woman with the interesting shirts asked me to drop hers on the pile as well.  Oh, I hadn't realized we were that close that we ask favors of each other, but okay.

Ah, wrong again--the real highlight was Jean's adjustment of her microphone.  The mic pack never works ever.  She usually dances with it in her hand and calls out the steps not into the speaker part.  This night she had a different pack that she had adjusted to stream in static, so every time she asked if it was loud enough, S and I would say, Yup the static's just fine.  Her music had two settings, too loud and too soft.  You know, perfect for dancing.

We danced a few dances we already knew.  We means the people who were returning: the clique, the Catholics, the woman who wrapped the coat around her head that one time when the room smelled, the Asian woman who is apparently my favor friend, the woman who wore a hair clip that dangled off her head instead of holding back her hair, one of the angry dancers who S reminded me has chest pains, the woman who usually wears some sort of baseball shirt, and the woman S was convinced was new last session even though she's been dancing with us for at least two.  Ahhhh, it's good to be back with the gang.  The class was pretty full, and somehow, S and I kept getting pushed further back into the corner.  That's where all the moths hang out.  Yeah, perhaps the return of the escape of the moth is in store.

Okay, no. Hold. Everything.  The absolute best part of the night was Jean's instruction to HOooaoooooaooor. 

I shit you not, she made that sound.  We were doing rumba boxes and turning and then she said to HOooaoooooaooor.  It wasn't a problem with the mic.  It wasn't a problem with my hearing.  That's the sound that came out of Jean when she was teaching us a dance called Martini something or other.  She taught us two dances, but that's the only one I remember the name of and I can retain only so much in my head when I'm distracted by HOooaoooooaooor.  Which is my new favorite dance step ever.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fourteen What Now?

Some relatively new businesses dot the shopping district of Lynbrook.  After eating at Angelina's yesterday, I noticed one that I hadn't thought much about until I actually read the name of it.  At first, I thought it was called 14 Handies.  I asked, What the hell is a handie?

My brother said, No, I think it says 14 Candles.  Like 16 Candles.  Minus 2.

But no, when we walked in front of it, we deciphered: 14 Handles. 

What do they sell?  Handles for pitchers and mugs and jugs?  Handles for buckets and pails?  Briefcase and suitcase handles?  Cooler handles?  I guess it could be a legit niche business considering how many things in the world have handles.

The colors are all neon, though, so I'd thought it was a frozen yogurt shop or a place for smoothies.

You know you have a problem with your business model when the actual point and product of your store is a mystery.  Intrigue is great in movies, but not good for drawing customers.

Then, to top it off, in the front window, I saw this:

Uh, what the hell is a fist pumpkin?

Then I read it all together: Now Handling Fist Pumpkin.

Is this a sex shop?  I think it's a sex shop.  What else could that possibly mean?   14 ways to handle your sexual inuendos.  That has to be a sexual inuendo, right?  Like, you know, all those crazy names for kinky sex stuff--the Mushroom Stamp, the Rusty Nail, the Bill Cosby (I will admit, I know what two of the previous three actual mean, and I leave it up to you to wonder which ones).  Now we add to that the Fist Pumpkin.  Maybe it's reserved for Autumn only.  Or maybe it involves a Jack o'Lantern or a pumpkin patch or a hayride. 

In any case, I don't think I'll be dropping by 14 Handles anytime soon.  Ooh, I just realized--maybe 14 Handies is a better name.  Right?  You get me?

There's a slight possibility that this place is indeed called 16 Handles.  I could swear the sign said 14, but I was very distracted by all the pumpkins and the fists, so I could have misread it.  Still...weird.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

What That Large Arrow On The Ground Means

Seriously, this happened.

I was driving out of the faculty parking lot that's in the middle of campus.  Lots of people walk through it for a short cut.  I walk through all the time.  It's not an issue.  I know to drive carefully.  I expect people to be meandering slowly in front of my car, knowing that pedestrians have the right of way and not feeling the urgent need to get to class.  I get it.

So when I got to the edge of the lot to turn out, there was a kid standing there with his head down, staring at his phone.  He was standing about a foot away from the large arrow on the ground that shows the cars which way to go.  I figured he was checking his phone really quick and would move.

I don't like honking at people who are not in vehicles.  I fear I may cause someone to have a heart attack. 

After about forty-five seconds, I realized that this kid was not going anywhere.  I inched the car up a little.  I wasn't very close, but I was close enough for him to be able to notice a moving vehicle coming his way.  Just because he could notice didn't mean he did.   He, in fact, did not.  Still, I didn't want to honk.  I figured maybe someone walking by would give him a heads up.

You know, about five people walked by him and didn't even give him a Hey, you might want to move.  No nudging.  No elbowing.  No, Buddy get out of the way of the CAR.

Now here's another predicament.  The very large black truck that was parked right next to the exit came alive.  The reverse lights lit up in my face.  I wondered if the driver could see me sitting there.  I didn't see anyone get in so I didn't know if he or she had seen me waiting. 

Seeing that I was about to be crushed by a truck, I allowed myself one quick tap of the horn.  It did what I thought it would do.  It scared the shit out of him.  He simultaneously jumped, looked up, and held up his hands.  The hands weren't up in a "don't hit me" position.  They were in an automatic "I'm sorry My bad" position.  That made me think, hey, maybe he's done this before.

What made it even better was that an older guy from the English department whose name I can never remember was passing by at that exact moment.  He figured out exactly what had been going on: the kid had been standing in the middle of the road where people drive to check his text messages.  He looked right at me and started laughing.  I was already smiling because I was thinking to myself, This kid is so lucky the law is on his side.  I know plenty of drivers who would have simply drove over him, citing stupidity as their defense. 

Stupidity should always be a legal defense.  Unfortunately, it's not.

So I didn't run him over, but maybe I did teach him a lesson about paying attention to where you are when you stop to look at your phone.  That means I did my job today.  I am a teacher after all.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

No Male Dancer

Another October, another dance season on the verge of beginning!  Oh it's been so long since I've danced in a line!  Another sign that dance season is approaching?  It was raining.  It always rains when I have to drive to dancing.  Because S couldn't make it to registration, Eddie came with me.  They have weird rules, so I wasn't sure if I'd be able to register two people.  I figured Eddie could just hand in the second registration form.  They don't really read the name.  They just look at the check.

We walked in and the first people I saw were the Clique.  The most outspoken one spoke first, not surprisingly. She loudly asked, Is that your new dance partner???  She was pointing at Eddie.  He said nothing of course.  I said, No he's just here for the ride.  Then she and the quiet one who S calls Jan said something about no men in the class.  We all agreed that the guys never last.  Then Brown--the one me and S call Brown because she always wears brown--laughed, about a beat behind.  Then we awkwardly walked to the registration table where I saw people showing their IDs.

Shit.  ID?  Really?  Since when did they decide to do that?  Eddie's ID was not going to match what I wrote down as S's information.  So I texted S to tell her we might have a problem.  While I waited for an answer, I filled out both forms.  Well, I started to, but then my pen ran out.  I asked Eddie if he had a pen.  Nope.  Some woman had been filling out a form next to me, complaining that the registration people thought she was going to steal their pen, so I didn't want to ask them.  A woman next to Eddie offered to lend hers. That was nice.  I filled out my own form and a check for me and a form for S.  I figured she might be able to bring it back if I couldn't do it.  I gave the woman back her pen and then waited at the table.  They were calling numbers of people on line to sign up but they had already passed mine somehow.

I gave my form and check to the woman who asked me for my ID.  I then explained that my friend got stuck at work and I was going to register her but I obviously didn't have her ID.  They said, Oh that's okay, you can register her.  Then the woman got a little annoyed, saying I could have written one check, but since I would have written two checks anyway, I kind of didn't even let her finished because I quickly said, Okay I'll write another check and may I borrow this pen and I'll bring it right back!

The pen?  Didn't work.  I placed it back on the table in front of them and was like, This pen is dead, just to let you know, so I'll go fill this out over there.  I pointed to the original table I'd been at.  It was full of pencils.  Can you write out a check with a pencil?  I don't think that's legal.  Eddie still didn't have a pen and mine still wasn't working, so I sat next to the woman and asked her if I could borrow her pen again. Who knew this was going to be such a production?  The woman made me realize I wasn't the only one with problems.  She said, Sure don't worry about it because I couldn't fill out the form right at first.  Phew, I wasn't the only one in a little chaos. 

I finally filled out the second check and went to hand in the registration form.  It was then that my phone started buzzing.  I had lost service so my text had just gone through to S and she'd left a voicemail and two text messages.  Instead of checking them first, I handed the form to the guy at the table.  The form has a place for a signature, too, which I left blank since I'm not S.  The man had no problem making a scribble in that blank immediately as if it were signed.  He handed me the receipt and I told Eddie we were done.

I waved at the Clique on the way out.  We said we'd see each other next week.  Eddie asked, So are those your dance friends? as we made our way down the stairs to the parking lot.  Friends?  Hahhahahahhahaaaa.  I said, Sort of--they're the women who dance a lot. 

I texted S back that we were able to get it all done despite the ridiculousness.  Why were they checking IDs if I was able to sign up someone not there?  Why was there a space for a signature if a scribble by a stranger would do?  It was very weird.  Still, I came home beaming.  We'll be dancing soon!  Class starts at 8!  Meaning Jean will start at 7:51 sharp!