Category Archives: Blunders and Absurdities

Weekend Recap (The Opposite of Clean Eating)

Hi, friends – ready for the start of another week? 🙂  I just dropped Adam at the airport and realized on my way home that with the exception of a trip to Target for an ingredient we needed to make bread, we only left my apartment to eat.  So, for today’s post: my weekend in food.

On Friday, some of the finance group left work a bit early to watch March Madness at a pizza place near the office.  I didn’t even fill out a bracket this year – decided I should save myself the 20 bucks after an impromptu trip to Nordstrom last week – but felt relieved after Michigan State’s loss that it would have been busted anyway.  Did not see that one coming!

mellow mushroom beer

A smidge more relaxing than work

Adam’s flight came in that night, and we stopped for Shamrock Shakes on the way back to my apartment.  My favorite item on any fast-food menu by far.

shamrock shakes

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Road Tests #2 and 3

I wasn’t going to write a post about my second and third road tests – at first, I thought I might have enough shame to conceal the fact that there was a third test.  If you’re seeing an inconsistency between this and the fact that I think it’s fun to write about myself on the internet, well, here we are.  If you’re wondering how I lost my driving privileges, you can catch up here and then here.

I spent the time between failing my first maneuverability test and my next attempt at home for Christmas, unsure if this would be a blessing or a curse when it came to practicing my maneuvers.  On one hand, I knew the area and could probably think of a parking lot where I wouldn’t awkwardly run into the parent of a high school classmate.  On the other, I have like five friends in Columbus and we all live in one of two neighborhoods, so maybe I had better odds of staying hidden there.

I eventually decided on an old Blockbuster Video location.  I borrowed a tape measure from my dad, found a stack of soccer cones in the garage, and off I went in boots with a three-inch heel and no gloves.  I careened around the alley behind the building setting up the course and then narrated each turn of the wheel to myself as I navigated it in my car just to be sure anyone who happened to see me thought I was crazy.

When I returned to Columbus and the BMV between Christmas and the New Year, I was an old pro like all the people who kept getting their licenses taken away for actual crimes.  I went straight to the correct desk to check in and sat down in the waiting area.  A much friendlier employee than the one who administered my last test called my name after less than five minutes, and we made our way to the maneuverability course.

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New Orleans Trip

Some friends and I celebrated New Year’s Eve in New Orleans this year.  We stayed in the French Quarter and did nothing productive, which is about as nicely as I can put it for us.

Thursday (New Year’s Eve)
I arrived at Louis Armstrong International Airport and took a cab to our Airbnb, a one-bedroom apartment on Esplanade Avenue. The owner had decorated it with beautiful art.  I think you can now pin this image to Pinterest, if you like.  There would be seven of us staying there.

 New Orleans Art 1

The Airbnb actually worked out just fine. The location was great (we didn’t have to take a cab the entire time), my share worked out to less than $60 a night, and there was absolutely nothing of value that we could ruin. This guy had like ten pieces of rusted silverware total and no microwave. Continue reading

Guess What? I Still Don’t Have a Driver’s License

About two weeks ago, I was denied an Ohio driver’s license because I was  too busy to go to the BMV for the previous two years of weekends.  For example, this morning (I’m writing this draft on a Sunday) I woke up around 8:30, made coffee, read in bed for three hours, and took a nap at 11:30 A.M.  No idea how I’ll ever have kids.

I had to take a road test last Saturday if I wanted a license.  I should have practiced for the maneuverability section (which tests applicants’ abilities to back up and judge distances), but it took me several days just to understand the explanatory diagram on the BMV website.  My spatial intelligence is horrendous.  You know the standardized tests in grade school that showed folded pieces of paper with holes punched in them and asked you to imagine where the holes would be when you unfolded the paper?  I never had a clue, even on the easiest ones.  I like words.  I didn’t understand why anyone cared.

So I watched a YouTube video some dad posted of his teenage daughter practicing the course, wasted a few minutes of my life reading the nasty comments people had felt compelled to write to this guy because they thought he’d left too much space between the cones he’d set up, and drove to the testing center. Continue reading

How I Made Things Complicated for Myself This Week

I moved to Ohio from Michigan two and a half years ago but could never bring myself to visit the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and switch my driver’s license. I’d compare the effort to trying to make coffee before you’ve had coffee – not that hard in theory but overwhelming at the time.

But with my Michigan license about to expire last week, I had no choice. One afternoon at work I clicked around the Ohio BMV website and found the documents I needed to bring, reset forgotten passwords so I could log in and print bank statements and W-2’s, and looked up the office closest to my apartment. My work was almost done, I thought foolishly.

On Friday morning, I pulled into the quickly filling BMV parking lot at a few minutes past eight. I waited in a short line to get one of those numbered tickets they have at grocery store meat counters and told the clerk why I was there when I reached the front. “Okay, do you have all of these four documents?” she asked, handing me a half-sheet of paper. I did not, because the website hadn’t said I needed proof of citizenship.

“I don’t have my birth certificate or passport. The website didn’t say I had to bring either of those,” I said.

“It shouldn’t. We’re not responsible for that content; the Ohio BMV publishes all the information to the website.”

The clerk met my blank stare with an equally deadpan expression, and after a few seconds I accepted the apparent irrelevancy of the fact that I was standing in an office of the Ohio BMV. I left, drove home and grabbed my passport, and drove back to find twice as many people sitting in the waiting area with similar murderous looks.

I presented my passport and other documents, got a number, and was pointed vaguely over to another area to take a vision test. After waiting in the wrong line for about five minutes, I figured out where I needed to go and a chubby police officer-looking guy set up the test, which I passed. I literally had no idea why he asked me to identify the color of all those little yellow, red, and green circles, but just now realized they represented traffic lights.

Next, the police officer guy told me to look into a camera while he asked me some yes-or-no questions. On about the third one, he told me he’d already taken my picture. I thought he had to record my answers for some reason. So I had just stared into the camera and made no eye contact whatsoever while this guy asked me things like whether I had any mental impairments that would prevent me from driving.

Police Office Guy started entering all the information from my old license into his computer and abruptly stopped. “Uh oh,” he said. “I have bad news. Looks like this license is expired. That means I can’t do this transfer today.”

I had noticed when I first arrived (which seemed like hours ago) that the half-sheet of paper I’d been shown specified that my license had to be valid, but online I’d read that my license had to have expired less than six months ago (which was the case), so I’d just gone with it.

“Okay…”

“You’ll have to take a written exam and a road test.  If we can’t get you on the road today, I’ll be able to give you a learner’s permit.” He clicked his mouse and tapped at his keyboard for a minute. “You can take the exam right there on computer number 16.”

“But I’ve been driving for, like, five years.” (Does anyone else still calculate years assuming it’s 2010?  I actually started driving in 2006).

“This says you were born in 1990.”

“Oh.  Yeah.  Okay, more than five years.”

He looked pointedly at the computer and turned away to help another customer.  With a sheepish grin, I plopped down in the plastic chair at the computer and read the instructions on the screen. I had to answer 30 out of 40 multiple choice questions correctly to pass. At least if I fail I can go home, I thought as I touched the screen to bring up the first question. Thankfully, most of them only required common sense – What is the safest way to drive at night? A) Reduce speed and proceed with caution, B) Maintain the posted speed limit at all times, C) Leave your brights on throughout your trip, D) Honk to let cars know you are approaching. However, I soon answered a whole string about the meaning of road signs wrong. What does this sign mean? A) The road curves to the right, then the left, then back to the right, B) The road curves to the right, then it is straight, C) There are sharp curves in the road ahead, D) The road curves to the left, then the right, then back to the left.  With five questions to go, I couldn’t answer any more incorrectly or I’d fail.

Incomprehensible

But dumb luck came through. I passed the test with the minimum score needed. I triumphantly returned to the desk, where Police Officer Guy sent me back to the check-in line up front, where I was sent back to wait in the rows of plastic seats until my number was called. After all that, I had still somehow managed not to miss it. I sat back and read a few pages of the book I’d brought, shooting up like a rocket when a voice called, “363?”

I approached the desk and said “I guess I’m here to get a learner’s permit? Apparently I can’t get a license because mine was expired.”

The woman behind the desk raised her eyebrows and said “That makes no sense. How long has your license been expired?”

“Thank you! Only two days,” I exclaimed. Maybe she’d set me up with an actual license and I’d finally be on my way.

“Oh…maybe it’s because you have an out of state license. I bet that’s it,” she shrugged. “Sorry about that. We’ll get you your permit today and schedule your road test.  We have a cancellation next Saturday at 10:15 if that works for you.”

I don’t know what anyone thought I was going to do with a permit, and half-expected someone to follow me out into the unusually mild air and arrest me when I left to drive home without a 21+-year-old in my passenger seat.  That didn’t happen, but due to my laziness over the past two and a half years and subsequent failure to read a website correctly, I really can’t afford to get pulled over before next Saturday. Wish me luck on my road test, because I haven’t tried to back into a parking spot since the one I took nine years ago.

IMG_0361(1)

Not sure how I’ll ever replicate that signature, considering I didn’t form any actual letters