Friday, July 23, 2010

Don't Trust the Po-lice, No Justice No Peace

Last night, Husband and I went out to dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings. I had a nice, fruity alcoholic beverage and a delicious wrap. He had a water and some wings. We had a nice time, punctuated by witty conversation and me continually trying to put the balled up wrapper from my straw in his ear, as is our behavior.

Living in the middle of nothing means nothing is close by, so the drive home from the restaurant was about half an hour long. As we were arriving back in town, Husband driving, he noted that there seemed to be a whole lot of police around, all of them state cops. We pulled up to a stop light, preparing to turn on to the main road of our little town, when he remarked, "And another one!" as a cop fell in line behind us.

We made the left hand turn on to Bridge Street, when next thing I know the car is lit up red from the flashing lights of the police car behind us. Husband groaned and pulled over. I was pretty confused--all we did was turn, what could he be pulling us over for?--when I realized I wasn't wearing my seat belt. I know that in some states, you have to be pulled over for another offense in order to get a seat belt ticket, but not in New York. So as casually as I could, while Husband opened the glove box to begin searching for his registration and insurance, I strapped myself in. Good thing, too, or I'd have two tickets on my hands right now.

The police officer came strolling up to the driver's side, cocky as all get-out. (Yeah, I just used the phrase "as all get out." What of it?) Husband stopped rummaging through the glove box and handed him his drivers license. The officer took it, but then leaned down to look through the window at me and said, "I'm actually more interested in her ID.

Me: "Me?" I tried to sound as puzzled as possible, as if I'd done nothing wrong.

Officer: "Yes, you."

So I reached down into my purse, pulled out my wallet, and slid out my ID. As I was handing it to him, I tried to figure out whether or not it was a good idea to lie and say my seat belt was on the whole time and that he was imagining things. As I settled on no, he started talking again.

Officer: "Do you have a driver's license?"

Me: "No."

Officer: "Are you sure?"

Now, I'm pretty sure if I had a drivers license, I'd be the first to know about it. Especially since it would mean I'd overcome my debilitating fear of operating a car, finally gotten the glasses the DMV told me once years ago I'd need if I wanted to be allowed to drive, and grown a couple of inches so that I didn't have to stretch to reach the gas pedals. I hate stretching.

Instead of telling him all of those things, I simply said, "Yeah, I'm sure." That's when he dropped this little doozy of a question:

Officer: "Why'd you throw your cigarette out the window?"

Me: "What?"

Having been so distracted by the whole being pulled over deal, I'd completely forgotten that I finished my cigarette as we made the turn. Could that seriously be what this was about?

Officer: "Why'd you throw your cigarette out the window?"

Me: "Because I was done with it." I tried, and failed, to keep the snark out of my voice.

Officer: "Well does this," he motioned around him, "look like a trashcan to you?"

Instead of answering like I wanted to, which would have been "Yes, because I am, as you can obviously see, exceedingly stupid," I settled for a simple, "No." I may or may not have said it in the same tone in which a child would say, "Duh."

Next came Husband's favorite part of this experience. He, at this point, decided to take over the conversation, since my attitude was becoming more apparent, and he just wanted to get home.

Officer: "So, where are you guys coming from?"

Husband: "Buffalo Wild Wings."

Officer: "And where are you headed?"

Husband: "Home."

At this point, even my husband's tone was starting to show his annoyance. Why the fuck did the cop need to know these things? Seriously. Because I unthinkingly threw my cigarette butt out the window, were we obviously menaces to society? Obviously, since she littered, those two are on the way to commit a murder. Or coming from committing one. Never mind that the ID I gave him was a spousal military identification card. Even though my husband DEFENDS YOUR FREEDOM, that cigarette butt is proof we're obviously degenerates that need to be questioned. Anyway:

Officer: "Where's home?"

Husband: "Ten minutes that way."

Officer: "What's the address?"

Husband gave it to him.

Officer: "Any problems with your license? It's not suspended or anything?"

Husband: "No, sir."

Officer: "All right, let me go check that out and make sure."

So the officer when back to his car, where he hung out for what felt like three years.

Let me just say that I know I did something wrong. I acknowledge that. Littering is bad. I don't want to live in a world where the streets are covered in trash, and neither do you. Should I have thrown that cigarette butt out the window? No. Does that really warrant being pulled over and grilled by a police officer, though? Seriously? IT WAS A CIGARETTE BUTT! I didn't toss out a bag of trash. It wasn't a plastic bag or Styrofoam cup that will be hanging out on that street forever, never to decompose. It was an inch long piece of paper and cotton.

Is this really what police officers concern themselves with? Especially state troopers? Do they really think it's an effective use of their time to stop us because I littered? I may live in a pretty rural area, but is there really no other crime to be stopped? Someone somewhere was speeding down one of the county roads, putting the lives of others in danger. I'm sure someone around was driving drunk. There must be drug dealers or prostitutes somewhere around, though I haven't seen any.

My point is, this can't really be what police need to concern themselves with. In today's world, there's plenty of dangerous, illegal things happening all the time. Go save some lives, police. Leave me alone.

The police officer was in his car checking us out long enough for dusk to turn to twilight, and when he came back, he walked up to my window, carrying his flashlight. Which he used to take a peek around the car, obviously, because it was totally his business what was in there.

It's important that, as you read on, you imagine that the police officer is speaking like you would to a very young child. Since I am, as you know, exceedingly stupid, as evidenced by my not knowing the difference between the street and a garbage bin.

Officer: "We don't like litter around here. Now, have you ever gotten a ticket?"

Me: "No."

Officer: "Well, I wrote you up for a traffic violation. The court date is August 3rd, it says that here." He pointed to it on the ticket. "You can mail in your plea instead of going to court, by filling out this back part here." He pointed again. "The address you mail it to is here." More pointing. "Do you understand?"

I just looked at him and nodded. I may have rolled my eyes. At this point, I just couldn't help it.

Officer: "You know, you're lucky I wrote you up for a traffic violation. Otherwise, if it was just a littering citation, I'd have to take you in and fingerprint you and everything."

That's right, ladies and gentlemen. You can be detained and fingerprinted for LITTERING. I have never heard a more ridiculous thing in my entire life. I know I shouldn't have littered. I understand that. What I did was wrong. But FINGERPRINTING? BEING BROUGHT TO THE POLICE STATION? REALLY?

At this point, I almost lost my shit. I took the ticket from him. Before he was done saying, "You folks are free to go; have a nice night," my window was rolled up.

Good job "protecting" and "serving," there, officer. Commendable, really. Hope you feel good about yourself. You're making a real difference in the world.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I am 100% positive that I have adult ADHD.

I've been reading up on it here and there, and I have every symptom. All of them.

This is a good thing because it explains a lot about my life. Why, despite having the IQ of a genius (not to pat myself on the back, or anything), I've always been a terrible student. Even in elementary school, I wasn't completing homework assignments. I got decent grades and was able to get into college, but mostly because teachers always "saw my potential" and I managed to stay in the Honors program at my high school despite my mediocre grades. I did well on most tests and whatnot, but every assignment that I ever did was turned in late, if at all.

Then I got to college, and apparently it mattered a lot more that I go to class and do homework. I can't soak up the information that's taught in order to regurgitate it later on the exam if I'm not there. And homework seemed to count a lot. So my college career was short lived.

But that was okay, because all I've ever wanted to do with my life is write, and I don't know how much a degree would help with that goal. Problem is, I've never finished anything that I've started. Not because I didn't believe that what I was writing was good, and not because I don't have the time for it.

It's because something else would come along and capture my interest. Always. I'd be about 10,000 words into whatever I was working on when a new video game i bought. So the novel would fly straight out of my mind make room for Final Fantasy X. Which I never finished because a week after I bought it, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out. Which I did finish, but only because I refused sleep until I was done, and also because Harry Potter is my soul mate.

Eventually, I became complacent with the fact that I'll never finish anything, EVER, and embraced it. Except that Husband does not embrace the fact that I can't seem to get my shit together long enough to clean the living room or write the rent check. (Note: Husband is totally not the You're the woman, it's your job to clean and cook type. He works thirteen hour days, and I sit at home on my ass, and spend the money he makes on various things I don't need. It should be the least I can do to meet him half way and have some responsibility in this relationship.)

Seriously, though, this is my living room:
The mess is out of hand. But it never crosses my mind to clean it. Or if it does, I'm immediately distracted by something shiny and I begin doing something else. It's ridiculous. Another example: when I really wanted to go visit my family when he had has block leave, but never seemed to get around to buying the plane tickets. Our cell phone service gets shut off every other month because I can never remember to pay the bill.

For a long time, I just considered myself an unmotivated person. That never really seemed quite right with me, though, since it's not like I don't have ambitions: I'd really, really, really like to write for a living. And I don't want the electricity to get shut off in my apartment.

I shared this all with my mother last time I was home, after about a bottle and a half of wine. A week or so later, she e-mailed me an article on ADHD in adults. I totally have it.

It's really hindering my ability to, you know, be a functioning member of society. Problem is, getting help is really hard for someone who is easily distracted and forgetful. How is a person supposed to remember to make a doctor's appointment she needs because she's forgetful? It's not easy.

I blame my mother for not noticing this problem in my youth, when she could make the appointment for me.

I also blame the US Army, because Tricare online is down right now, and I won't remember to make the appointment later.

PS: In case you don't believe that I have ADD, I'd like to let you know that it took me two days to write this post, because I kept getting distracted by the TV or by Lindsay Lohan. She's in jail right now. I bet her hair is going to look terrible when she gets out, since I don't think hair dye is a luxury you're provided in prison. Her roots are going to be awful.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

How to Achieve Eternal Bliss

Being twenty-three and unemployed, with no degree and no marketable skills, may seem daunting and depressing, but it doesn't have to be! I'll show you how to make the most of it with one screen shot:

Let's analyze:

1. Slingo  - You remember Slingo, don't you? It's from back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and AOL was the best way to get online. While America Online may be lying on the floor, clutching its heart, and clinging to its last breath, Slingo lives on through both cheap online imitations and mostly terrible desktop versions. Slingo Quest Hawaii, however, captures the moderately fun original well, and takes you on an island journey as an added bonus. It provides hours upon hours of sort-of entertainment.

2. American Pie - Fearlessly belting out Don McLean's classic--the best song in all of ever, in my opinion--is a guaranteed way to put a smile on anyone's face. It's true, I promise! Try it now. I'll wait............. No, no, no. You didn't do it right. You have to put your heart in it. Really yell the words: "NOW DO YOU BELIEVE IN ROCK-N-ROLL AND CAN MUSIC SAVE YOUR MORTAL SOUL AND CAN YOU TEACH ME HOW TO DANCE REEEEAAAAAL SLOOOOOW?" See? Pure joy, that is.

3. TV on DVD - When clicking matching numbers becomes too monotonous, and your throat starts to hurt from screaming the words along with your "Songs Your Mom Probably Likes" playlist, it's important to have something to occupy you while you rest. TV on DVD is the perfect answer. I should add that it's important to choose a show that's already ended, and I'll tell you why: When you reach the end of your DVD's, if you know there's more story and you have to wait until September to see what happens, you will be monumentally frustrated. Trust me on this, I speak from experience. And frustration runs contrary to our goal. I've chosen to watch ER in this screenshot. Some of my other suggestions:
  • Daria 
  • Alias
  • Arrested Development
  • The West Wing

4. Computer Customization - If you're going to spend hours a day on your computer, it'd better look pretty. Otherwise you'll just begin to resent staring at it all day. This, as you can imagine, would not be conducive to the rest of our activities. My desktop uses CD Art Display, MiniLyrics, and Rainmeter to enhance my computing experience and make my computer environment more aesthetically pleasing. You don't need to take it as far as I have, but be sure your wallpaper, at least, is attractive without being too busy or too jarring.

And there you have it: My foolproof guide to fulfillment. Your mileage may vary. But probably won't, because I know what I'm talking about.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How Google Reader Has Ruined My Life

I have this ridiculous need to know everything.

Well, not necessarily know everything, but at least have the opportunity to know everything.

Also, by everything, I mean news about pop-culture, gadgets, and sports. And lolcats. Don't forget the lolcats.

Once upon a time, I used my bookmarks toolbar. I had a couple blogs and other assorted regularly updated sites up there, and when I wasn't doing anything else (read: "all day") I'd click on one, read until something else grabbed my attention, then move on.

This was a pretty peaceful existence. I got my fill of the internet, and still had time in my life for my other interests, i.e. playing Monopoly on my computer, drinking excessively, and occasionally paying attention to Husband when he talks. Until one day everything changed. And it's all Perez Hilton's fault.

There I was one day, contently browsing Perez (don't judge me, you know you read it too) (besides, I also read smart things like mental_floss, so there), when I saw a post about Lindsay Lohan. I can't remember what exactly it was about, but I'm pretty sure it was from the "So is she a lesbian or what?" times in her life. Problem was, the post referenced about a thousand different things about her that I had never heard. I have always had a fascination with her boobs, so I was really upset that all this news about her had passed undetected by me.

And who knows what else I might've missed? What if Gizmodo posted something awesome like a full bar in a suitcase and I didn't know about it? Or there were new ads listed on the Best of Craigslist and I hadn't read them? And the lolcats! There might me thousands of lolcats I hadn't seen!

So I started using Google Reader. And then things got Out. Of. Hand.

I don't know how many subscriptions other people have in their RSS reader, or how many posts a day said subscriptions amount to, but I have to be on the higher end of the spectrum. I know this because getting through every new item that finds its way on my reading list takes a good portion of my day.

I'm talking hours upon hours reading things. And I don't even read the entirety of at least a quarter of the posts! If it doesn't really seem interesting, I just hit next and move on to the next one. Even so, the majority of my day is spent sifting through items. Not, you know, doing things that people with lives do.

Other people can't possibly have feeds with this much in them. Not necessarily because I believe most other people have lives, although I'm sure some do. Mostly, it's because other people have things like jobs. Or kids. Or bother to pick up the mound of paper plates from their coffee table and put them in the garbage.

None of those things are true about me, and I still have trouble finding time to read all the posts that show up. I even bring my iPhone outside with me whenever I have a cigarette so that I can keep reading. I almost had a panic attack after Husband and I came back from vacation and my computer delightfully told me it was showing me the 1,000+ new items that had cropped up in my absence.

I know what you're thinking: Just don't read them, you crazy person.

But I have to. Because what if The Drunken Moogle posts a drink based on Pokemon and I don't see it?

So now my life has become entirely about my Google Reader feed, and I no longer get to enjoy the simple pleasures in life, like Gilmore Girls reruns on ABC Family and coloring in my gigantic Winnie the Pooh coloring book.

Google Reader has ruined EVERYTHING.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ideas! Are! Happening!

I've discovered the secret to starting a blog.

Write one entry.

It doesn't have to be about anything, it just needs to exist.

Because a little bit of writing is just what you need to spark more ideas for writing.

Right after I posted my last entry, the ideas just started coming to me. It was like my brain was exploding with possibility. So I grabbed the notebook sitting on my coffee table and started jotting them down.

Then, I took a picture of them, because that notebook is inevitable going to get lost amongst the garbage on my coffee table. And photography is obviously the most efficient way to preserve them, not typing them in a notepad file or anything.


PS: I may or may not be drunk. Don't judge me, internet.

I Need to Go Buy Some Deet.

My blog needs content. Obviously. Sitting in my living room staring at the walls didn't seem to be sparking any brainwaves, so I decided to take this show on the road. And by "the road," I obviously mean "the tiny unlit balcony outside my apartment."

That brings us to where we are now. My plan is to type until I come up with something to say.

La la la, I like cake, la la la....

Got it! This post is now about:

Why It's a Bad Idea to Bring Your Laptop On Your Unlit Balcony at Midnight When You Live in the Wilderness.

I currently live in a part of the world colloquially known as "North Country," New York. Seriously. I have proof. Having grown up about twenty minutes from New York City, in a New Jersey suburb whose population you only have to multiply by about 5 to get the population of this entire region, I find the fact that it's called North Country to be pretty abhorrent on its own.

When we moved up here in February, there were approximately 47 feet of snow on the ground. There are lots of farms in the village (yes, village) we live in, and I'm willing to bet the cow to human ratio is at least 2:1, although I have no proof of this. Trees are plentiful, as are wide stretches of completely unused land.

This is the wilderness.

God and the U.S. Army must both really, really hate me to force me to live in a place like this.

In such wilderness, winter is filled with snow, and summer is filled with more bugs than you could possible imagine. I seem to have forgotten this fact, because I thought it was a really good idea to bring my laptop outside.

Since my balcony is unlit, as are the balconies of all my neighbors, they don't believe in things like street lights in the wilderness, and it's midnight, my laptop is really the only light in sight right now. And every idiot but me can remember that bugs are fucking attracted to light.

Every idiot but me would also have retreated back to the safe, relatively bug free indoors by now, too. But not me. I shall persevere.

This is totally gross, guys. (By "guys," I obviously mean no one, since this is my first real entry and no one is reading my blog. And probably never will if I don't think of something more interesting to write about than bugs.) The bugs that aren't hanging out on my face and arms are landing right on my screen. When they do, I squish them. Now my screen is a cemetery for little, gross, flying bugs.

This was a terrible idea.

I'm going back inside.