Thursday, January 29, 2009

Going back to the Start

I realize, before I say anything, that I am very well off, and lucky, and all that, but I might do a little bit of whining in this blog...but only a little bit.

SO. Everyone knows about my computer/makeup/bike mishaps. One week it was the car break-in, the next week it was the bike stealing, and this week it is my car breaking down on me. Tuesday night, on my way home from school, my car began kind of shuddering, skipping, and lurching a bit. My check engine light flashed at me as if to say, "Why are you making me do this? Can't you see, I'm sick?" I shifted very quickly into panic mode once I realized that I did not have my phone with me, and my panic turned to terror when the sky opened up and a bizarre torrent of rain exploded all around, mocking me. I made it home, and quickly relaxed, until Wednesday (when I SHOULD have gotten to stay home) when I drove to Southwest with the same horrifying shuddering and lurching. I almost lost my mind. I called my dad, in my disgruntledness, and blamed him for everything, said a lot of bad words, and then cried out loud while alone in my car after abruptly getting off the phone with him. MY DAD....who bought me a new computer when mine was stolen. I am horrible. He told me to shove the spark plugs into their, I don't know, spark plug holes, and the other end of the wires into, I guess, the wire box thingy. So...did that, and made it home without any flashing of the engine light, and lurching of the car. However, I am still afraid to drive it, worried that it will die, and I will never be able to revive it again.

All of this, bad luck (I suppose), has prompted me to think about ways to improve my way of life now that I don't have access to all the luxuries that I used to have access to. For instance, yesterday, I was staring at my horrendous hang nails, which I have been chewing on for pretty much most of my life, and I thought, "perhaps, now is the time to stop this nonsense. My fingers look terrifying." And they do. They are terrifying. Then I thought today, "but I've been doing it so long. What if I stop, and there's this giant hole in my life?" Smokers have a million options to help them quit smoking, but nobody thinks of those of us that are addicted to chewing on our hangnails. What do we get? Some bad tasting crap to paint on there? I've chewed threw that stuff before. I'm going to need something stronger.

Okay. I'm kind of kidding about improving my life through kicking my hangnail chewing habit. I'm also just a little bored because I'm ahead in my lesson planning, I don't have any papers to grade yet, and I don't have any money to run around spending.

Also, I was driving down Humphrey's Blvd today on my way to get my mom's car to her, and I noticed one of those giant, telephone(?), electric (?) poles that's made to look like a really big tree. Those are so weird. I mean...they kinda look like trees, but at the same time, they are just so totally not trees. It kind of freaks me out a little bit. I have trouble concentrating on driving when those things are around.

Seriously. I have NO conclusions.

Monday, January 12, 2009

2K9 From Behind

SO. The new year has begun, and I am already getting my ass kicked. It started in the parking lot of a lovely little Italian restaurant in Dallas, Texas. NO. Not that. I came out to my car after some pasta and wine to find the window of my rental car broken in, my back pack dug out from under the pile of clothes I thought I had cleverly hidden it with and whisked away to, I don't know, Ebay or something. I lost my computer, my copy of Emerson's Nature and Other Writings, my phone charger, my camera battery charger, my house keys (along with my Kroger plus card), my favorite jeans, and ALL (yes) ALL of my makeup. Granted, I never had a lot of makeup, but I had enough, and now it's all gone. I know. I KNOW. It should never have been in my car, but it was, and I can't go back and change it. I can only learn and grow and be miserable about it.

And, as if that wasn't enough, I returned home to find that my bike has mysteriously disappeared from the LOCKED foyer of my duplex. Tell me, if there is no broken glass, how did someone get in to take my bike if they were not let in?

In any case. My new year's resolution to ride my bike more is down the drain. I feel violated...and not in a good way. I feel powerless. I pretty much feel like the only thing I can do is sit here and be a little pissed about it, not a lot pissed because what does that do for me? I had a big long sad day on Sunday, and now I'm just trying to make sure that I am teaching enough classes to pay my bills this spring. I sure wish I had a bike though. Man.

What about a computer? Well. I feel lame. I feel like a crappy 29 year old. But, I let my dad buy me a new one. I'd like to make payments to him to pay him back for it over the next few months. I bet I could probably do that. I had this moment this morning (and this "moment" becomes more and more frequent the older I get) where I just broke down into this pile of mess crying about how I'm twenty-nine and I'm struggling to take care of myself. My dad was sweet and tried to tell me that he remembers struggling to take care of me and my mom when I was just a baby. I made the point that I can't take care of MYSELF, much less a wife and child. My ability to pay my bills is more solid at this point than it was this morning, but still not entirely guaranteed. At times the starving "artist" (teaching literature is totally an art) is a real inspiration, but there are times when it's kind of ridiculous not being able to pay for things...ever.

I am going to build my new bike. I'm going to the Co-op, and I'm going to build a new bike. 2K9 is not the boss of me. It's not my real mom so it cannot tell me what to do.

Can I borrow some money?
Just kidding.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Sun is Setting in the West

Here I sit, at a coffee shop in Denton, Texas, the only place, so far, I can find with free wi-fi. What happened to the freedom of the American west? The great wide open spaces? I'll tell you what's happened: They've been filled with apartment complexes, highway interchanges, shopping malls, and chain restaurants. It's not all bad. I've managed to find (be introduced to) a number of bars sporting gigantic beer lists, and you can imagine how happy that made me. It's also like, 75 degrees with glorious sunshine.

What the hell are you doing sitting in a damn coffee shop?!?!! Satiating two addictions, my friends.

I drove to Texas in a Ford Focus that listens when I talk and obeys my commands. I also drove in the ice. It made this "error" sound when I asked it to make the ice go away. Technology can't fix everything.

It's funny being back here, and driving around old streets I used to drive down every day. It comes back to me gradually. I don't know the way when I leave so it's like playing the original mario brothers, the path becomes clear to you as you continue down it. Kinda like life. Blah blah. I've been taking a lot of pictures, trying to capture the essence of "my" Texas. I've taken entirely too many pictures. It's had a tiny mind clearing effect. That may be just the time away from Memphis.

Let's look at some pictures:
This is a minor monstrosity on one of the millions of different freeways that zig-zag through the city.

Here is the great western expanse: Filled with telephone poles, strip malls, and apartment complexes.

This, my friends, is the very first apartment that I lived in an paid for on my own. I was 22. I painted it green.

This is my good friend Isaiah amidst the glowing welcome of the Galeria Shopping center.

And here's the city as seen from White Rock Lake Park. Fitting for the title, eh?