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Warning: Pointless, wandering rant. May have exageratted a bit in parts. Too tired to remember. Take w/ salt, 1 grain.
You ever have "one of those days"? Those days that seem to long and too short at the same time, that are just trippy and bizarre and nothing makes sense? I just had two of those days.
Yesterday: Get up early because I have an eye exam scheduled for 10 am. Our optometrist/glasses shop is in the local mall. There isn't jack to do in the mall at 10 in the morning, you know? I have to get new glasses this year because of the cheap lense-cleaning wipes that scratched the hell out of my current pair. And the shop doesn't have any frames that will fit my face and give me the field of vision I need. And I get to listen to my sister harping the virtues of contact lenses and calling me a coward. Bleh.
A few months back, my folks got this package at a school auction: Tickets to the local opening night of Beauty and the Beast, plus that night's stay at the local tres chic hotel across the street from the theater. Four tickets to the play, but only one room for two at the Hotel Monaco. The plan was that I would drive the four of us downtown before dinner, then my parents would stay at the hotel while my sister and I went home.
Driving to and through downtown during rush hour is bizarre. The traffic is certainly hard to deal with, but also the bizarre, intestinal interchanges on the expressway (cordially known as the Leavitt Luge, after the dumb MoMo puppet we call the Governor) are a nightmare to navigate. But I made it downtown and to a relatively cheap parking lot without hitting anything. Always good.
The parking lot is wierd. Park your car, walk over to the little payment thing, and put your money in. Each numbered parking spot has its own little coin chute and a tiny litle hole. You have to fold a dollar bill several times and then cram it into this little hole. 1970's hi-tech parking. Madness.
Went in, got my folks checked into their room (nice little room; tastefully tasteless art-noveau decor) and went down to eat in the too-fucking-expensive restaraunt on the hotel's ground floor. Had this wierd pasta dish covered in goat chese that made everything kinda sickeningly sweet. Strange. Pricey.
The play was cute. Typical post-Disney fantasy fluff. Identical to the movie, save that there are more songs added to fill out the 1.2-hour film into a 2.8-hour Broadway musical. I spent most of the play thinking of how I could make a Shadowrun scenario out of it: having to kidnap and spirit away the two lead players after closing night. (Easy enough with the 5'6" human girl; not so easy with the 8'3" minotaur who plays the Beast and who could crush the runners' skulls like packing foam in his hands.) Heh.
Driving downtown at 5:30 is difficult; driving back uptown at midnight is downright freaky. Traffic is light, true, but visibility is nill, and it's easy to get lost. I located a few strip clubs I hadn't previously seen, before I finally got my bearings and got on Foothill Drive going home. But I managed not to hit anything. Always good.
Get home last night, tend to the puppies, log on to check my e-mail, manage to stay online until 2 am. (Damn you, DoomWorld. Curse you, DumpShock.) Turn my head around and sleep. Get up this morning, tend to the puppies. Get a call from my folks, who say they've enjoyed a nice breakfast and are ready to be picked up. I've gotta run through the shower and then get moving in time to run downtown and get them. No breakfast for me, which is a problem when the good drugz say "Take with food."
So I manage to get back downtown. This time, I'm part of the rush hour traffic, which is never fun. But I navigate the freeways and the downtown streets without hitting anything. Always good. I reach the hotel's entrance and my parents get it, and they've decided they want to go shopping. At Hill Air Force Base in Layton. Forty miles north of Salt Lake. Down I-15, which on a good traffic day is merely crazy. And I get to drive.
So I get out of downtown, not hitting anything, and get onto 15. I manage to navigate the tangles of 18-wheelers, aggresive nutcase drivers, and retards on cell phones (and a few combination cases) without hitting anything. I clear the several merging lanes and numerous pathces of construction without hitting anything. Finally after nearly an hour of busy freeway driving, I exit I-15 and head down the ramp to the stoplight and my turn.
The road I gotta turn on is extrememly busy, and I'm looking for a good, safe opening in traffic to pull into. Because I don't want to hit anything, which is good. I finally spot a large enough gap where it looks like I'm not gonna hit anything, and I pull forward just a bit so I can take advantage of this hole and not hit anything.
And I hear this hollow "thunk" from behind me, and feel my car lurch forward just a bit.
But not in so many words. The kid in the car behind me saw me pull forward and assumed I was going for it. He wanted to get out right behind me and do a fast-break into the left-hand lane. He was moving when I stopped, and the side of his car scraped across my read corner.
It wasn't a bad hit at all. The only damage on my car was a single smallish puncture right by the tail lamp, plus the plastic lamp cover is cracked and there's a big scrape across the side panel (near the gas tank). His car is only slightly worse, with the scrape across three panels and his side-view mirror bent out of shape. No airbags, no injury. He had a cell phone and was able to call the cops. We spent an hour standing in the sun next to the busy intersection waiting for the police officer to arrive. When he did, he had us fill out our liscence/registration/insurance info and written statements, got some digital photos of the damage (my mom commented on this), and took our verbal statements. Throughout this everything was easy, the other driver was calm, my dad was calm (incredibly), I was calm (miraculously), and the sergeant was fairly easygoing and professional. My dad got the kid's insurance info and the officer let us be on our way. The kid got ticketed, which will make the insurance process much easier, and I was cleared of responsibility.
So technically, I didn't hit anything. Which is good. Something hit me. Which still sucks a metric fuckton of ass, but hey, that's life.
So we did a light shopping trip at the commisary and BX/PX. Only two hours and a few hundred dollars, compared to out usual semi-monthly spending orgy, but my car can't hold as much swag as my dad's pickup anyway. I drove back, and managed to make it all the way from Layton back to Salt Lake without hitting anything (or vice versa). Got home, got unloaded, got put away, got back out, had dinner, came home for the night. And then I graced you kind, semi-sane folk with the bizarre, boring tale of my "weekend". (Considering I'm working the next four days, it is.)
Now I'm going to have to get all the insurance for the damage sorted out, which means a visit from the claims adjustor and all that fun. I won't be able to get the damage fixed in town; by the time they have all the parts and work orders in, I'll be headed back to Dallas for school. So I'll have to figure out who I can trust to do the work down there.
So, in summary: Baby's first car accident, and I'm too fucking tired to properly freak out about it.
"Chikuso" is Japanese: literally, "weird shit".
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