Thursday, January 7, 2010

History of my weather-induced driving paranoia Pt. 2

I've already hit a pole in an ice storm, and been rear ended in a parking garage while waiting at a stop sign. Maybe I was feeling invincible? Perhaps looking for a thrill? Nah. Just ignoring my instincts, which never turns out well.

This is my second winter in upstate NY and I must is wildly unfortunate. The small difference in temperature and precipitation between here and say, Westchester is significant enough to make me hate the season. I try not to hate, too much negative energy expelled...but there is no doubt that I absolutely DESPISE winter here.

It was the first snow of the season that surpassed simple flurry action. I currently live in an apartment complex and was afraid they'd tow my car if I left it there for the workday. I cleared off my vehicle as it slowly warmed up. By the time I'd finished, there was already a fresh layer waiting to be brushed off again.

I got inside and started my ten minute journey to work. This isn't so bad, I prematurely mused while exiting the parking lot. My tune changed rather quickly as I almost wiped out going around a traffic circle. I am unsure what road engineer decided that mitigating speed in the form of confusing and obnoxious traffic circles was reasonable for upstate, but I'd like to personally tell them they had a TERRIBLE idea.

I quickly start to panic after my almost-incident. I should turn around, my practical side urged. An SUV is driving behind me close enough to hop into my trunk. This makes me uncomfortable so I drive at an even slower pace. Suddenly my car jumps off the road into a small ditch. Seconds later I hear a "smack" as this SUV plows into me. I look in my rear view mirror and see a young woman only a few years older than I on the phone. So let's get this straight, she was tailgating AND on her cell phone during a snow storm. I get out of the car as she continues to talk on the phone.

She finally climbs out and we exchange the typical niceties. "Are you OK?" etc. She waits for her husband to arrive and apparently has a toddler in the car. They push and prod my car out of the snowy canal. The damage is so minimal we go on our separate ways.

Looking back, I should have called the police because a small crack in the bumper is still a small crack in the bumper that I did not cause. Perhaps I was just thrilled my bumper did not fall off completely as it did during the parking garage incident. Whatever the case, I recently purchased some new tires but am trying my damndest not to drive during any severe weather...ever again.

History of my weather-induced driving paranoia

I have a problem. I hate driving in snow and ice. It all began at the age 0f 18. I decided that an ice storm could not stop me from picking up my friend and venturing to the local mall. I was (and still am) driving a tiny Honda Civic. This should have been the first clue pointing to a reoccurring theme of "danger".

I knew I had an inkling of uncertainty when I asked my father if it was ok to drive, rather than my mother. Opposites on every level, my father is about as laid back as a corpse. My mother on the other hand? Let's just say her reaction would have delivered in shrill tones, asking me if I was insane.

Looking back, did I REALLY need to hit up the Phillipsburg Mall with such urgency? No. That mall was not worth my time on a sunny day. But for some reason I had set my mind to an evening of retail disappointment. A small ice storm was not going to deter me. No way.

I bundled up, stepped onto the driveway with care, started the car and was on my way. Sliding all over the road after the first turn I thought "well they haven't salted yet...I am sure the main roads are fine." I continue along until I hit such a major road, which is conveniently a steep hill. I see cars attempting to go up the incline, most are stuck completely. A cop car attempting to bring order to chaos was parked nearby. I immediately felt at ease for virtually unknown reasons. Was this policeman going to prevent me from getting into an accident? Would he be able to erase any damage incurred? Of course not.

I inch along, further down this slick boulevard. Passing my old pediatrician's office, I suddenly lose control. In slow motion I am spinning off the road closer and closer to a light pole. A sense of calm came over me which drowned out the sheer terror I initially felt. I had lost control of the car but was going so slowly in the first place that I didn't think I would be seriously injured. I was right. Before I know it my driver's side has attached itself to the pole with a loud smack. I sit stunned for a second, but quickly rifle my phone out to call my house. Half in tears I tell my mother what happened. She didn't even know I had left the house. I crawl out of the car with the policeman's help and wait for my frantic parents to arrive.

My family rushed the four blocks to the scene. (My dad took a little longer..he's uh..methodical in his actions) My mother was at first angry but glad I was ok. My brother was in wonderment of it all and I just wanted to go back in time to make a better judgment call. The officer was helpful with filing a report for the insurance company and keeping everyone calm.

It turns out that total damage was $4,000. They did not total the car because it was a Honda. I think twice before driving anywhere in sub par conditions. This has kept me out of trouble, until last month that is.

Friday, December 18, 2009

So wrong...but so right

Is it wrong that I love these:

via Opening Ceremony.

I think they could work with a very simple outfit. Perhaps a casual black dress or chambray shirt/black jeans.

These No. 6 clog boots are like walking on air.

via Totokaelo.

I need to start my shopping ban, after the holidays, of course.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Personal "Don'ts"

Things I will never embrace:

*Sweaters with zippers
*Ugg Boots
*Bright yellow attire (Including yellow "leather" bags...but excluding the adorable yellow woven purse Kat got for me while abroad)
*Hippie skirts (Though they are probably comfortable.)
*Flared jeans (Not to be confused with a wide-leg trouser jean)
*Most polyester garments
*Excessive use of "jewel tones"

I'll revisit this list

P.S. How could I forget denim on denim?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

As the Capital Region turns...

An "All America City" indeed. I still find it rather irksome that they chose not to include an "n" at the end of America. I suppose this illustrates my relationship with the area perfectly.

As it turns out we ARE moving. (I think) It's a lovely (cheap) apartment complex with parking spaces. Dear Lord I will rejoice every time I don't have to turn around on a busy street when I want to park near the front door. So back into boxes we go. I'll be sure to eat at Sue's Place one last time, feeling unbearably awkward as I am stared down because I am not one of the family. The Lansingburgh family, that is. Maybe I will take a trip to the disgusting Price Chopper on a day when I am both bloated and hungry. Instant appetite suppressor. Perhaps I will even grab a drink at the Troy Bar. Simple name for such a majestic place.

I don't want to curse myself, but I think we are finally out of the 'Burgh. What a cultural eye opener. I have learned so much about what NOT to do. And as a final hurrah, when we are pulling away for the last time...I really want to yell "GET A JOB!" at the porch sitting fixtures on the corner. I really hated them.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Out of Lansingburgh...

it has become more of a saga than "Out of Africa". I feel like I will never leave Troy. Sure the bathroom is bigger than most bedrooms; and the authenticity of its architecture is just so charming. But in reality the domestic disputes, unsavory porch dwellers & literal gifts of garbage left on our front stoop have left me yearning for a more civilized neighborhood. Hell, I miss the days of living in a dorm. Sure most of the people I was surrounded with had the same level of class, but that's youth at an art school for ya.

Early on in the search we were charmed by an over-zealous woman looking to rent her "in-law" apartment in the coveted Latham area. She seemed to love us. She clearly had empty nest syndrome as her own children had left the capital region for bigger and better things.(Don't they all?) Her warm demeanor and spotless apartment seemed too good to be true. I envisioned coming home to fresh baked brownies and simmering stew left on the counter just for us. We expressed our interest with utmost sincerity. The place was practically guaranteed. We called and left a voice mail after not hearing from her in a day or so. That should have been a clue, because we never heard from her again. This left me rather perplexed. It even put me in a funk for a few days. What had I missed about our interactions? Was she just a 50 year old flake? Did she not receive our messages? Or maybe she is just certifiably insane and its all the better because I didn't need a surrogate mother anyway. No, I am not bitter about the one that got away.

The second attempt was thwarted when the ceiling in our new dwelling literally caved in, or rather fell in. Not to mention the mice droppings, potential black mold and the crap left behind by the landlord. Just as we were about to meet with him and tactfully let him know the conditions were not sanitary upon further inspection, we walked into a kitchen of fallen ceiling tiles. One in particular had held on for dear life. We could see it swelling with water, about to burst over our heads. He tried to make the place look livable, but in the end a heavy rainstorm that seemed to last the entire month of July had its way with the roof. We had already relocated our belongings because of the aforementioned "issues". Thankfully nothing of ours was damaged, besides our sense of relief when we foolishly thought we were out of the 'Burgh. We ripped up the lease and got our money back. With our lives in boxes we were back at the starting point.

We have looked at several places since. None of which have wowed us, but at this rate...location location location. As captivating as the Budweiser drinking men on our front steps are, it's time to go. The way they naturally slur their words indicates they have been drinking since they woke up. They probably haven't even slept. They seem harmless and thankfully keep us informed of what's going on in the 'hood. They were particularly descriptive about the scooter accident on the corner. (That is, when I could understand them.)

I could also elaborate on the train wreck of a basement left by our former room mate who has the maturity of a six year old. Let's leave that tragedy for a different day. I can already feel the ulcer forming.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hungry hunger

I think my problem lies within the fact that I am far from being inherently "Type A".
I need to get a fire under my a**.