Tag Archives: driving

Still the Same [dating story]

Haven’t poasted one of these in a while, eh? Don’t worry, there are more. That’s a threat and a promise. Better keep checking in. 😉

As always, names are changed to protect the guilty.

This particular story is an example, as if one is necessary, that people don’t change. My vast amount of experience haz taught me very little, but I finally glommed onto that nugget. It’s not 100%, but it’s damned close. If someone does a thing once, chances are good that is who they are. There are exceptions due to extenuating circumstances, but they’re rare enough that we can feel safe using this rule of thumb. Well, I can. Do what you will.

Early into my dating adventures I met a man on OKCupid I clicked with. Let’s call him Bob (for Bob Seger’s song “Still the Same“). Bob was handsome and intelligent. He lived in Los Angeles, but unlike every other man in L.A., he didn’t freak out about the distance and driving on the 405 to meet me. In fact, he approached me on the site. Also, unlike most guys, Bob enjoyed texting and emailing. We exchanged loads of messages without him bugging me for the first phone call. Finally, we did chat on the phone and it went really well. But he confessed something: he wasn’t actually divorced, not even legally separated (though “emotionally” he had been for ages, natch), and he hadn’t even moved out of the house he owned with his wife cuz their finances were “complicated” bla de bla. If I had a dollar for every one of these guys, I could buy a house. Well, maybe a condo. Okay a steak dinner for two. At Morton’s!

I told Bob that I was legally divorced and not interested in dating a married man (BTDT, didn’t get a tee shirt). He understood, but said we should meet anyway “just to see.” I didn’t want to see. What was there to see? I didn’t care how much chemistry we might have over lunch ~ why did that matter? He was still married; he hadn’t even filed papers yet. He said that was imminent, as soon as his wife would cooperate on the money things. Sure. I got that. I said when this happened, and he had his own place, we could haz lunch. We kept interacting online and via text because we had built up a good rapport. But finally he faded away, as they do.

Jump to a year and half later. I was back on OKC. And… so was Bob! At first, I was happy to see him. He had a new screen name and photo. I thought maybe he had divorced and all was cool ~ I remembered our great rapport in writing and got my hopes up for a mo. We began to chat. And… guess what? He had become entangled in an almost identical situation! He was divorced. He had bought a new place. And now he had a new girlfriend living with him, they weren’t happy, and he was already on dating sites behind her back. Ughhh! WTF? Why would he do such a stupid thing to himself?

Because people do what they do. They can’t help it. They don’t change. Except for me: I gave up dating sites and am an exception to my own rule. You can take that to the casino.

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MP1: Book Club

Book Club

My handy dandy MoviePass came in the mail on Friday, so naturally I activated it that night and ran right out to see my first movie on Saturday afternoon. I decided to see Book Club. It was first on my list of current movies and playing right near me in Triangle Square, where (strangely) I never go, even though it’s actually the closest theater to my apartment. I guess that’s because I always see movies with friends and that’s just not a convenient central location. I could literally walk there, not that I would (what, are you nuts?).

Anyway, of course parking was a major hassle, as usual. No wonder we don’t go there. What a pain in the butt. I left in plenty of time but began to worry I’d be late. I will never understand why people simply don’t drive up to the top of a parking garage when the bottom levels are full. WHY DO THEY HOVER AND WAIT? All you have to do is go around and up and up and then, viola, like magic, there are a zillion spots. It happens every time! Finally, I got a nice top spot away from the maroons and then like an even bigger maroon I couldn’t figure out where the theater actually was. This is a geometrically confuzzling architectural construction with staircases that don’t connect to all the things and just ugh. Lots of restaurants are smushed in the levels and people sit outside being noisy and irritating.

Okay, so finally I found the theater, hurrah! There was a bit of a line which was fine cuz it gave me a chance to open the app and check in for my first time. Wait, what. This is an e-theater only. What’s that mean? I haz to select my movie and seat and I’m not allowed to change my mind. If I screw up, I’m done for the day, boom. No more movie for you! Well, geez. I stood there in the blasting sunshine trying to peer at the seating chart on my phone and stab at an aisle seat toward the back. Bam. No takebacks!

I get up to the window and the guy says I didn’t have to stand in the line cuz I already have the ticket code thingie on my phone. Well, aren’t I a dumbass. He doesn’t even want to see the MoviePass credit card. Fine, whatever. I go in, show my phone to the otter guy, and he tells me theater two. I stumble around, find my seat, and some fat man with a vat of popcorn is sitting in it. I ask if that’s G5 and he moves over one seat. Apparently the whole row is a group of friends, all jabbering excitedly, great. As I look around, I see the theater is stuffed with old people, all happily waiting for this old person’s movie. WTF am I doing here? Oh, right. I’m old too. Forgot.

The lights go down and an ancient biddy shines a flashlight in my face. “Those people are sitting in our seats, Mildred,” she huffs.

“We are not!” grumbles Popcorn Man. “These are our seats.”

“We’ll just sit over here in these empty ones on the side.” Biddy and Mildred plop down in the clearly inferior seats.

Popcorn Man chuckles. “This whole row is ours.”

Damn right, Popcorn Man. You defend our honor! Fight for Row G. This is our turf, bro.

It was quite an experience for my first time I must say.

Oh, the movie? Book Club. Enjoyed it! Funny, poignant, not as cliched as I had expected. Highly recommend. That’s my in-depth review.

In Which I Beg a Big Corporation to Take My Money

When I deleted Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram, I wiped all the history, cookies, etc. off my devices in an attempt (probably futile) to rid myself of their tracking and crap. Until yesterday this was no big deal, but then I tried to buy a song for my Nutty Playlist on iTunes and all hell broke loose. I had to re-enter my info and every time I tried to put in my credit card stuffs, the program shut down. Fine, I said, I have an iPhone meow, I’ll do it that way. NYAAH!

I went to Apple music on my iPhone and said hai can I haz a song? They said only if you sign up for our music thingie and pay. WOT? I don’t want to pay for a whole program ~ I just want to buy a song sometimes like I do for my cool themed playlists. They didn’t care at all about my cool themed playlists. Rude. I didn’t know what to do except I did know I was going to get what I wanted and finish my Nutty Playlist and put it on a CD to listen to in my car because well I just had to! They shalt not thwart me and my OCD! (Especially when a CD is involved.)

I went to Shazam on my iPhone where I remembered it offers the option to buy a song. First, I had to play the song on YouTube on my laptop so I could Shazam it (it was “Angie Baby” by Helen Reddy, if you must know, which no one suggested, but I chose later after googling songs about insanity which I do not recommend because it can really flip you over the edge into severe depression). After the song was up on Shazam, the buy option appeared, so I clicked it. Next, I was flooped over to the iTunes store where it let me buy the song with my fingerprint. WOT? I didn’t have to sign up for the program? Nope. I could buy “Angie Baby” for $1.29 like I had wanted to in the beginning. I did that. I also bought a couple more songs for Nutty and also some for another playlist that had been sitting around called Dating Sucks. Burned them to CDs. Now I have two new CDs and am working on two more themed playlists. I’ll pester you guys about those later.

The coolest part is that it only took a few seconds for the song to show up in my iTunes library on my laptop after I bought it on my phone. Isn’t technology AMAZING?! Actually, one of them took like 45 seconds and I started to get angry. WTF??? The otter ones only took 10 seconds. I can’t bear all this waiting. I have things to do! OMGGG!!

I still don’t understand why Apple allows you to buy an individual song via Shazam but you can’t simply click into the Apple store on your own and buy one. That’s so weird! More likely I’m misunderstanding how to do it, but whatever… I got what I wanted. Yes, in a very roundabout strange way, but hey.

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~*~

The Daily Prompt: Thwart

Notes to Self

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Betrayed by expectations once again. Relearn. Remember. Keep the bar of wanting low. Desire little from others. Rejoice in small accomplishments and don’t agonize over failing to reach the stars. The stars will still be there tomorrow. Savor every cotton candy sunset. Nothing is more important than taking a minute to play with a kitty. Stay in the car to finish listening to a song. Jot down every poetic thought because you never know when one will take your hand and lead you to a path filled with starlight in the dark forest of the night. But don’t expect it.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Betrayed

Chasing Sunsets

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It’s been a good month of sunsets
Outside the conference room window,
Splashing down behind the old Hyatt–
A riot of violet, indigo, crimson.
As the days lengthen
And storms malinger,
The sky waits for my drive home,
Candy striping on my commute–
Watermelon, apricot, grape.
I stop at the fairgrounds
To take a shot of butterscotch
Streaking out of sight.
Summer will soon push them later,
After I’m inside for the night.
I tire early now;
One day I’ll see my last.
I wonder which kind it will be–
The glorious burst of final savage color,
Or a slow unremarkable fade to black?

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Wonder

Color Wheel

The first color I remember having a decided preference for is turquoise. When I was in third grade I had a plaid jumper I adored because it had turquoise in it and I could wear a turquoise shirt underneath and also turquoise socks. It was my most favorite outfit in the world. Also I loved turquoise jewelry in any form (real or beads).

Two years later my favorite color was purple and my mom did my room all in violet with flowered wallpaper when we moved to New Jersey in 1970. It was gorgeous! I also had a purple leotard I wore with a lavender skirt and white go-go boots, and this was really cute, around 1973. That’s about the time we departed for Illinois, where the official color is forty below zero.

When I was 20 a Chicago coworker remarked that I wore a lot of blue and brown. I did. I’d just gone from being a college student to a full-time office worker and had a limited budget for shopping. Blues and browns seemed practical to mix-match and they all went with my sensible brown shoes and boots. Obviously I would layer over that with parkas and scarves and leg warmers, mittens, hats, yada. Still have two coats from my Chicago years because they were very well made and come in handy occasionally. One is blue, one a brownish pink.

Decades later my wardrobe expanded to all colors of the rainbow. I went through phases: sunflower yellow, lime green, candy pink, violet, and always turquoise with everything. I could wear any outrageous color combo when I was a young mom. I painted my own tee shirts and had tie-dyed leggings.

Then I returned to full-time office work and gradually began to ditch the crazy colors in favor of blues and browns again. Also, like most women, I discovered a love of black, which goes surprisingly well with some of my bright stuff, toning it down enough to be acceptable in an office. One of my favorite combos is black pants with a turquoise shirt and an ivory or beige sweater. Browns and pinks work nicely together too. I don’t wear much lime green or sunflower yellow these days. Still adore lavender and violet.

As I’ve mentioned I am simplifying my wardrobe as time goes by. New purchases are in solid colors for ease of matching. I shop more sensibly now rather than grabbing what catches my eye. Shopping online is good for this method, since you search for what you need (blue pants, forex) rather than wandering into a store and allowing yourself to be seduced by a sequined kitty sweatshirt.

One thing that’s funny though ~ through all this my cars were blue, brown, blue, brown, blue, brown. In order, just like that. The first car I owned was blue and the car I have now is brown. Yes, a constant in my life since my move to California has been my love for the colors of the earth and the sky, the sand and the ocean, from biscuit to chocolate, from ice to navy. I’ve moved from one coast to another, liked many things about Chicago, but never felt “at home” there and have never gone back to the midwest for even a visit. Although I don’t hang out at the beach much, I like knowing it’s nearby (wouldn’t want to live super close because of earthquake/tsunami, which is a win because of the price of oceanfront real estate).

Though I must say I recently heard of a writerly town in Montana that’s totally piqued my curiosity…

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~*~

The Daily Prompt: Constant

Honk

Honking

Most vehicular honking is stupid and pointless. People are just expressing outrage for a fait accompli. They’re mad that someone cut them off, so they honk. They’re frustrated that traffic isn’t moving, so they honk. This temper tantrum does nothing except create unnecessary noise and annoy me. The purpose of honking is supposed to be to warn someone to prevent a dangerous situation, not to express your childish feelings. It’s okay to tap your horn to remind someone to move if they’re distracted with their phone or radio. I’ve done that and vice versa. Don’t get me started on alarms.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Honk

In Which I Force Myself to Pay Attention

Some days I get down in the grumps and wonder why X keeps happening. Depending on the day/month/year, X could be any number of things. Which is why we’re using X…

I remember once thinking that I was really unlucky with tires and got way more flats than other people. Maybe there was something weird about the way I drove, like I was a nail magnet or something? When I mentioned that to the tire guy, he said, oh, everyone thinks they’re unluckier than normal about their tires. That was pretty funny. I haven’t had a flat since (now I will since I wrote this).

There are days I think I’m in horrible pain all the time, like this morning (when I was in horrible pain from a migraine with stabby neck throbs and nausea), but that’s not true. It just seems true when I’m suffering… and then when I’m not, I forget to notice. Why? Because though I have chronic pain, it’s actually normal for me not to be in horrible pain ~ there’s a difference, and it’s important to acknowledge this. I need to notice the times I feel OK, like now, and remember them.

I’ve said I’m a magnet for certain types of people, but I’ve noticed others saying the same thing. You know the types we mean ~ the drama royals, the narcissists, the nutcases. If you’re not one of these, and even if you are, you’ve surely encountered them. After a few instances, we announce, “I must be a magnet for them!” Well, no. But our interactions with the “types” are so much more vivid than our interactions with ordinary folks that we focus our attention on the types. Hence we decide we’re a magnet. If I force myself to recall more interactions, it turns out that I’ve had many more with ordinary people than with the types. They just aren’t as memorable.

At the risk of sounding a little bit woo, I need to focus my attention more on things that bring me pleasure (writing, good health, organizing plans, etc.) and less on things that make me unhappy (flat tires, horrible pain, the “types,” etc.) It’s just common sense.

Next up: crystals and aromatherapy.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Magnet

4AM

I watch from my window
While your tail lights vanish in the rain.
The streets smearstain
Into a red and green fingerpainting,
Flickering with the traffic signals,
As fickle as your interest in me.
Blurred and tearstreaked,
The wet masterpiece
Stays illuminated
By a cold lemondrop moon.

I know I’ll never see you again.

All the frothy promises
And cottoncandy plans
Dissolve in the morning mist.
My lips still hum from your kiss,
But I feel your vague disappointment,
Your perpetual darkness
Guarded by barbedwire.

I wander outside to feed the ferals—
Two slinky shadows, silhouettes cut from coal;
Crunchy nuggets clink into the cats’ dish.
How I wish I could make a wish,
But there are no do-overs here.
I always fail with a complicated man;
I don’t respond well to the tortured genius soul
Who needs the perfect femme fatale,
A Marilyn to his Al.

I fail with the uncomplicated too.

You told me I was nothing like her,
The ex who depressed you—
I thought that was a good thing;
But now I imagine you search
For her likeness,
In hopes of recreating some sick
Woody Allen type lobster scene,
To find catharsis
And absolution.
And though I sneer and snark,
I want to play a part
In this execution.

I gaze up at that judgy stone face,
Unflinchingly—
In my disordered state:
Jammie pants, damp coat,
Tangled mass of bedhead.
“Is it something I said?”
Yes.
I ponder this relationship chess;
I might just be on the precipice
Of finally understanding
Something,
Anything,
A small piece of this
Jagged, glassy, bloody puzzle.

“Is it something I didn’t say?”
Also yes.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Precipice

Blowin’ In The Wind

Last evening after work I headed from my office in Irvine toward a poetry meetup in the city of Orange. I had my navigator on and was listening to oldies tunes in between the directions. Nav was telling me to get on the 55 in some convoluted way, but I’ve learned not to argue with her. Just follow along, like a sheep, baaaa.

As I was driving on Warner, I noticed there was something taped low on the passenger side of my windshield. An ad? Not sure. Usually ads are stuffed under the wiper on the driver’s side to make sure you see them, plus this looked too small to be an ad. I didn’t think it had been there in the morning when I drove to work ~ surely I would have spotted it then. But perhaps not, who knows.

I remembered that the homeless dude who keeps his stuff in one of the storage cabinets at my apartment complex left a note on my car a few weeks ago thanking me for letting him use my cabinet. First, I haven’t “let” anyone do anything; I simply didn’t shriek at him to go away like my neighbor did when she encountered him. I just shrugged when I saw him and got in my car. Second, it’s not my cabinet he’s using. Third, when he left a note, it was on a ripped piece of cardboard sitting on top of my trunk, not something taped to my window. This of course doesn’t preclude a leveling up of note-leaving by said homeless dude, so we can’t rule it out.

I didn’t go out at lunch yesterday, so the note (or whatever) couldn’t have been left from an advertiser in the shopping plaza nearby. If it was from someone like that, s/he would have been sneaking around a private garage during the workday, which is unlikely, but not impossible. Someone who has legit parking privileges could also moonlight as an Avon rep or whatever and be leaving ads on cars in the garage, I guess, though it’s probably against the rules.

Or… it could have been a nastygram from someone who found fault with my driving or parking, sort of a prelude to the guy who yelled at me later in the evening for parking on a street near the poetry place without a permit. I had to get back in my car and repark on a different street. What a pain in the ass that all was, but… pomes!

But my favorite idea is this… imagine that some man has had a crush on me (shaddap! it could happen!)… he sees me in the garage at work from time to time. Maybe he he’s even been in line with me at the cafe for a coffee or lunch. Perhaps he’s held the door for me and I’ve said thank you, but haven’t really noticed him. We may have taken the same elevator together, or possibly he works on a higher floor and uses the other elevator bank. Could be he doesn’t always get to work at the same time every day like I do, but he does know my car now. He decided that the next time he sees me he’s going to say something, but our schedules haven’t meshed for a while. So, he left me a note! It was something cute, witty, with a pic, contact info, whatever, idk. Nothing creepy.

All the above went through my mind in about two seconds and I decided I should pull over and retrieve the note. Because obviously it was from a secret admirer. Right?! Yes, yes. But I was in the left lane, and before I could move to the right and find a place to stop, the note detached and blew away.

The end.

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