Saturday, April 12, 2003

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shortly before we were instructed to go out, get drunk and make each other pregnant.


break out the tissue and the condoms.

i've got a triple date with conor oberst, aidan moffat and malcom middleton.

Friday, April 11, 2003

I'm here to end the suspense about traffic school.

firstly, there was indeed a dashing young man in my class. a dashing young frenchman. sure, he was at times an irritant, and he had a vastly overblown perception of his own sense of humor, and he asked the instructor if one could be ticketed for "having the sex in the car," but he was fine-featured with an enticing smile and a charming way of saying, "you sound so very smart when you speak." though, admittedly, i'm generous with my affections when it comes to people who compliment me on my intellect.

secondly, and perhaps most importantly, traffic school really wasn't so bad. the class (officially called "cheap weeknights comedy," interestingly, because i could see five movies for the same price, and unless one of them was rat race it would be funnier) was about what i expected: drivers' ed, but with older students. there were other major differences: no real curriculum per se, but simply a tendency to direct the conversation toward matters of the road; the instructor was much younger (looked about 70, whereas my drivers' ed instructor had to be wheeled in on a contraption marked "DEATH BED"); and the most surprising distinction -- more cooperative students.

i went to traffic school armed with notepad and pen, prepared to write down every single thing i could poke fun at later in conversations or web log entries. this i did, and don't even get me started on the mumbling truck driver, but i found that in a class attended by people only there to clear their records so that they could go back to their speeding ways, the conversation was remarkably courteous, at times interesting, and quite often very funny.

a man named bill was a sub-contractor who drove blood and body parts between here and LA every day. he regaled us with stories of his last four rear accidents (all within the past year) and with tales of traffic law breakage to which the rest of us could merely aspire. "back in '70 i was merging onto the freeway at a cool 120 mph, swerving around the corner and into the arms of the highway patrol -- and when they'd gotten me to the shoulder and come around to the side of the car, the hitchhiker i'd picked up said, 'i don't want to get you in trouble,' opened his trenchcoat, and pulled out a bag of pot!"

the mumbling truck driver (i said i wouldn't get started, but it's impossible to leave him out) gave us about three hundred and fifty tips for driving in front of, behind or near 18-wheelers, and i don't doubt that my newfound bible of knowledge is but a drop in the ocean of near-truck driving etiquette.

the instructor told terrible, terrible jokes, which i won't recant -- suffice to say that one involved dead chickens, their orphan chicks and foster farms.

there were the usual pitfalls to any 20-odd group of adults. there was the man (unfortunately seated beside me) whom i'd clearly bewitched and transformed into an oogling, drooling mess with eyes permanently affixed to my body. there was some very dull discussion of previous traffic offenses committed by students who were apparently proud of the bench warrants for their arrests in other states. most frustratingly, there was the group in the last row -- eerily reminiscent of the too-cool clowns of teendom -- which used the entirety of each four-hour class to bitch and bemoan the awful, horrid, really TORTUROUS punishment the class inflicted upon them. this was more than a bit bewildering to me, given that not only is the option of traffic school, the option to clear one's record of one's traffic offensives, something ultimately to be thankful for, but furthermore, since these juvenile excuses for grown people were ticketed in san diego county, they had at their disposal the option of taking the course by video or on the internet and thereby avoiding the PAIN and GNASHING OF TEETH they were caused here.

not that i was so annoyed that i wanted to turn around and tell them to shut up and stop behaving like spoiled children. or that i did. no.

but on the whole, it was harmless. on the whole, it gave me more to laugh about than complain about. the worst i can say of traffic school is that it took eight of my hours away. better that than my insurance dollars.


katekinks: ah, the burden of intellect
staaaaaaan: yeah.
staaaaaaan: if only i didn't win every time i had an argument with myself.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

things i wanted to yell yesterday in my frantic rush to get to traffic school on time:

and that was just on the way to traffic school. to be continued...

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

i'm about to leave work, drop by my apartment to pick up a book, and head to (ominous timpani roll, please) traffic school. in november i was doing 90 on the 73 passing newport beach, and a chp officer pulled me over.


side note: i totally passed an integrity test when this happened, something i'm way too proud of because, really, it shouldn't be exceptional to be honest. he asked where i was going and why. i told him the truth: "i'm driving to hermosa beach to get away." that week, my life had fallen apart in a few ways, and i needed distance. the officer inquired: "did someone hurt you?" i paused. (yes, i thought to myself, but not the way you're thinking, officer d. bradshaw. i wondered how much an innocent, whimpering "yes" would save me in fines.) i replied, crestfallen: "no."

so i got a ticket. officer bradshaw reminded me, repeatedly and condescendingly, "you were going 89, but i only cited you for 85." gee. thanks, pal. and now i'm going to traffic school so that the ticket won't mar my otherwise spotless record. (there are more stories to detail how that record shouldn't really be spotless, but that's for another time, at another campfire.)

in washington, where i grew up, traffic school doesn't exist. once a ticketed driver, always a ticketed driver. so in that sense, i'm grateful that the option exists for me. but i can't help feeling bitter. one reason for this stems from some bureaucratic chaos -- their fault -- that i had to deal with. for another reason, the 73, where i was driving, is a toll road. that means i paid $3 to drive on a wide, roomy highway, empty of the traffic i would have found on the interstate any old bugger can drive on for free. the way i see it, i paid for the ability to cruise up the coast as fast as i damn well please. and i'm punished for the exercise of my freedom by being charged $135 for bail (like i was arrested or something. hmph), $30 for the ability to use the traffic school option (again: thank you *so* much), and $30 to actually attend the damn thing (though i was assured that "it's done in a fun way!")?! that's like "liberating" a country and then letting anarchy make its fearful grip! (oh, wait.)

i want to keep a cheeful face, though. this class will be full of speeders like myself. hot guys speed, right? only the bone-headed, macho ones? shucks.


try this on for size.

sweet of heart and of tooth. just the way you like it.

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

two things.

Monday, April 07, 2003

now that a magnanimous steve w. has taken the time to pry more deeply into this blog's source than even i, clearly, was willing to do, and as a result you can see each and every precious post i've ever published, i am able to say something i've been wanting to say all weekend.

which i totally forgot.

but i was called "alluring and irascible" and compared to annie oakley, so that rocks and all. also, a child in the neighborhood has obviously discovered a piano, and that amuses too, until the point at which it makes me want to stomp and scream and weep. but that comes much later.

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