If you guessed me, you are correct. It was pretty funny, actually. I was on my way to pick up my friend, Criss, so that we could make the long drive to San Diego for the Con. No, not Comic Con, with its violence and mayhem, but Awesomecon, which lasts about three hours and included free Ben and Jerry's ice cream.
So, I've mentioned before that Sandy (the new car) is my first automatic transmission vehicle. I mean, I've driven automatics before, but never owned one. I prefer a manual transmission. With Jamie, well, I always knew how fast I was going by which gear I was in, and honestly, anything over 40mph caused her to shimmy wildly. My first day or two with Sandy I noticed that what felt like crawling was really pretty fast. That's because she's a smooth ride and I'm not used to that sort of thing. It's been an ongoing issue for the past 20 days. I feel like I'm barely moving, but really I'm doing 40+ mph. Yesterday, I was doing over 50mph.
I had just turned onto Fairfax from Santa Monica Blvd and was just going through the light at Willoughby when I thought to myself, "Oh, I'm going kind of fast." Then I saw the motorcycle cop on the corner. Then I saw him pull out and follow me. I didn't even wait for him to turn the lights on. I just pulled over to the side of the road and let him catch up.
Police: Good Morning, ma'am. I'm pulling you over today because you were going pretty fast back there. Me: I know! [aiming for surprised, but sounding incredibly proud of myself instead] Police: Uhhhh [I think he was expecting me to try to come up with an excuse so I explained] Me: See, it's a new car...well, new to me anyway...and you see, I've always driven a stick and you know, you know how fast you're going because you have to shift and all. But with this car, it's so smooth that I just don't realize how fast I'm going until I'm going really fast and then it's like "Whoa!" Police: [nodding] License and registration, please. Me: I don't have the registration yet because I just got it. See that thing on my window? Police: Okay, same address? and are you the registered owner? I nodded and he walked over to the side and wrote up the ticket. Police: Okay, it's pretty standard. I'm giving you a ticket for doing 53 in a 35mph zone. Me: Hey, would you believe I'm dyslexic? Police: [chuckling, but ignoring me] Sign here. There's instructions on what you need to do on the back. Police: [as I'm signing] You're not the fastest person I've stopped today. Me: Oh? At least I have something to aspire to. Police: [laughing out loud] Please don't. Drive safely and keep an eye on that speed. Me: Thanks! I'll do my best!
And I tried, I really did, but have you ever actually driven 35 mph? It's sloooow. Like, horse and buggy slow. I even tried to stay relatively close to speed limit on the freeway, but cars were just zooming past me and I confess, I may have crept up to 80 or so. I can't help it. Sandy just drives so smooth and easy.
Also, can I get a high five for nearly 30 years of driving without any sort of moving violation ticket? I'm going to have points! I'm going to have to do traffic school! Ah, crap.
San Diego was lovely, though. Not too hot, fun and games, and free ice cream!
I've been asking myself that question every day this week. I came in early on Monday, after having been in on Saturday, to a situation that then consumed my day. I had meetings, people! Don't you know I don't do well with chaos? So, Monday stretched on and on. At trivia that night, I ended up second guessing my answers and our team wound up in third place. Rats! I knew Canadian Doubles only had 3 people on the court. Fortunately, we aced the "Johns around the world" round, which we doubled, or we wouldn't have even placed.
Tuesday was spent preparing for today's meeting. Wednesday was more of the same, only with more furious typing and expedited additions. Oh, and last minute breakfast ordering because I completely forgot and I'd have been so royally screwed if they came in and there was nothing to eat.
So, this morning, the day of the meeting, found me waking up on the sofa at 4am, and choosing not to go back to sleep because I really needed to be out the door by 6:30. What does one do at that hour? Something productive, perhaps? No; one watches a History channel documentary on the bubonic plague. Nothing gets you moving like pustules and death. One long meeting, long clean up, and an overheated paper shredder later and here I am. My office, still a mess from the great office shuffle of June, is even messier from the chaos of Monday and the chaos of the meeting. Have I mentioned that I don't enjoy chaos? There is so much left to do, but I'm really tired and I have the rest of that plague documentary to watch. zzzz
Hey Kids! Did you miss me? I know you did. You may ask yourself, "Well, how did I get here?" Oh, no; wait. That's the Talking Heads. YOU may ask yourself, "Where's Laurie Ann?"* I'm still here, melting like the rest of you, except for the kick ass A/C in my new car, whose name has been changed to Sandy**, btw. So, why haven't I posted? Mostly because I had nothing to say, but partially because I spent the first few days of the week in a state of stomach-churning apprehension and the rest of the week busy as all get-out.
So here's what's been happening in my little world:
I went to Team Trivia on Monday and totally choked. There was a question-- "name the three types of Irony." My teammates all turned to me, the go-to person for all things writerly and grammar related, and I was all, "Um, there are three?" Fortunately, our newest teammate, Ian, came to the rescue. Then I missed two music questions, and I worked in a record store for crying out loud! I am so ashamed. We still placed second, but we missed first by only 1 point and I can't help but feel responsible.
So, while I was busy drinking and choking, the car dealership called and said they had to talk to me about my contract. I started panicking, as those of us with crappy credit tend to do, and thinking "they're going to take my car away." No, nothing like that. It was all good and I still have a car. Phew!
Last night, I saw a play at the Mark Taper Forum with my friend, the lovely Denise (aka MonkeyGrrrrrl). It's called "The Lieutenant of Inishmore," starring Chris Pine, and it was very funny...and bloody, but mostly funny. We went to the Meet & Greet afterward, but it was sadly short of meeting and greeting. They did have Guinness, so all was not lost. Plus, it was just nice to hang out with Denise.
There's a new Trader Joe's by my house! Yep, that constitutes excitement in my world. Seriously, though, it's walking distance away. Color me happy.
That's about it, folks. I have nothing exciting planned for the weekend, either, so expect more scintillating updates next week.
*Do you remember that TV series "Amazing Stories"? There was a segment called "Family Dog" and in it the daughter says, "Where's Mary Ann?" When I typed that, I heard it in my head in the voice of the little girl. Here it is. It's 6 minutes or so, but well worth it.
**because I bought her on the 4th of July, but not in Asbury Park.
Hey, now that Jamie is gone, I've got nothing to complain about. Whatever shall I write about? Oh, I'm sure I'll find something...like, have I told you about my awesome new car? She's a smooth ride. I felt like I was driving Grandma slow until I looked at the speedometer and found that I was doing 50. Yikes! Better watch that lead foot o' mine. Poor Jamie, in her you felt every mph above 30. Of course, I always knew approximately how fast I was going by having to shift.
So, do you play the Frontierville on the Facebook? I 'm trying to get a husband and every time I complete a task, that rat bastard sends a letter with another task. This time I need a set of clothes and two ribbons. What kind of fancy pants Lord Fauntleroy husband am I getting? I ain't a ribbons kind of gal. Anywho, today's weather forecast made me chuckle. So, apparently I don't need a husband to get tools...and bonus wood to boot. I accept! Anyone who knows me knows that I always giggle at the word "tool" (and balls...yes, I'm 12.)
In other news, I just heard something that I hope is belated fireworks but which sounded an awful lot like gunshots, because I live here. (not really, I just love that...you have to click to find out.)
The Fourth of July weekend has historically been good to me, at least as far as my Los Angeles life goes. I don't remember any major successes or failures from Pennsyltucky on the 4th. Oh, wait...was the Batman fiasco during the 4th weekend? Story for another day and best not to think about it.
As I was saying, the 4th of July weekend is when I moved to Hollywood in 1995. So far, it's been a positive experience. There was the 4th that Tami and I spent with our neighbors on the roof of our building, the tallest one on the block, watching fireworks in all directions and drinking good beer. Not a big deal, but still a happy memory. The 4th of July weekend is also when I met Slackmistress and Betheboy at Annika's 30th birthday party (Happy Friendiversary), and they couldn't be more awesome. So, okay, not a long list of goodness, but you know, it hasn't been bad. So, it was with great hope that I ventured out to Universal City Nissan in search of a new (used) car.
Long story short (not that long, surprisingly, and they had hot dogs and a bouncy house), I drove away with a beautiful black 2008 Nissan Sentra with low mileage, fairly low monthly payments, and a sense of accomplishment. Many thanks go out to my awesome boss, without whom this would not be possible, and Criss, who texted me through a nervous day.
Here she is folks. She needs a name.*UPDATE: Her name is Niecy. Thanks for the suggestions. Annika, it does have an ee sound.
Hey, kids, remember that time Laurie Ann got her car fixed again and again and then drove it home and the next day the check engine light came on--AGAIN?! Yeah, that was fun.
So Jamie has been left at work until I figure out what I'm going to do. I don't think they'll tow her, but I'll have to move her tomorrow. I went to a dealer on Monday night and talked to a sales lady. Things were looking good, she said. She just had to run it by the lender, who had already said they'd finance me if the conditions were right. She played with some numbers to find the right conditions and sent it through. Unfortunately, they decided they didn't like the conditions and wanted me to have more down payment, which I would have if....well, you know the story. So, I have to look at other places, but I'm not comfortable driving Jamie all over town with the check engine light on(I'm sure it's the #1 cylinder misfiring, since that's the only spark plug Max didn't change). I think I'll try to talk to a few places first before driving over there. I wanted to do it yesterday or today, but I've been helping out with our data entry department (way behind) so I've been getting out late. But it's almost the weekend, a three-day one at that, and I'm going to Ernie's Taco House on Saturday for margaritas as big as my head...and to celebrate Annika's birthday.
Then, Monday is the 15th anniversary of my moving to Los Angeles. Yippee!!! Tami (my former roommate) and I usually celebrate with a tattoo and a movie, but I think we'll skip the tats this year and just go for a movie. We used to always go to the Cinerama Dome before it became the Arclight and too expensive. Back when we moved here Bad Boys was playing at the Dome, so it became known as "the Bad Boys theatre," as in "Where's Gladiator playing?" "At the Bad Boys theatre." The day I got my moon tattoo, we saw Feeling Minnesota and the blood soaked through my shirt. That was lovely. Since Tami still works at a theatre, we're getting a freebie. I think she has one lined up that involves sparkling skin and rippling muscles on boys far too young for me to be noticing such things, if you know what I mean.