5.25.2006

Speed Racer says...

As we prepared for our road trip from hell, I told my sister I would set my cruise control for 78 mph and she could follow me. She said, "Oh, I don't believe in cruise. I go 80 when my gut tells me it's safe, then I slow down when it tells me it's not."

I'd laugh, too, except she has zero speeding tickets and I have...well, you know.

I called the Mayor's court office in Arlington Heights, Ohio today to find out how much the fine for my ticket was. While it was relatively cheap ($142), I was informed that it was due by my court date...uh, May 18th - a week ago.

5.21.2006

Michigan to Alabama: the drugs don't work

Pre-trip meltdown
Sunday morning, 6:00 a.m. phone call from my sister:" I haven't slept in three days, but if I take a sleeping pill I'll be out for ten hours and I won't be able to fininsh packing...I've had the flu and have been throwing up...I can't get ahold of my friend with the pickup truck to help me move my entertainment center and I have to be out of here by tomorrow...but I haven't closed out my bank account yet. What am I supposed to do? Follow you? Our dad yelled at me...and everyone thinks I'm a flaaaaaaake."

Me, in my calmest, no-you're-not-a-crazy-lunatic voice: "Um...no one thinks you're a flake. Did you take one of your little pills? (my sister has a history of serious anxiety attacks - one that required a trip to the hospital in an ambulance, which was the main reason we were driving together as she moved her life south).

Tuesday morning, we met at a gas station in Lansing, Michigan located halfway between us (within about twenty seconds of one another). She had given her cat a tranquilizer to calm her for the sixteen hour car ride, which seemed only to work as a bladder relaxer, as her carrier was soon flooded with cat urine. We decided the cat should ride with me, since I'm calmer (or as my friend said, "the lesser of two fruitcakes") and perhaps the MEOWING wouldn't be so incessant. This worked only in theory, since my ears were bleeding by the second hour.

Our trip was relatively uneventful as we arrived in Bowling Green, Kentucky to stop for the night.

Mistake #1: we stayed in a hotel that had a bar.
Mistake #2: the bar closed before we could finish our last drinks so I suggested she shove those last two in her purse so we could take them to our room. I think I was being a smartass, since she had ruined two phones using this specific method of drink removal in the past, but she grabbed the drinks anyway and killed another innocent phone.

We got off to a late start Wednesday, but I wasn't too concerned since I didn't have to be home until the following morning by 7:00 (I had to take my son to school and go to work). We ate, hung out at rest stops, exchanged cds and puttered our way south.

Murphy's Law dictates that her anxiety attack should occur at the most inconvenient moment possible. Crossing the Alabama State border, still having seven hours of dark, construction-coned road ahead of us, was it. She eventually calmed down, but could no longer drive so we found a hotel room and picked up some food. I gave her my cell phone, took her cat, and resumed my drive home - pulling in the driveway at 4:00 a.m. I was just in time to round up all my cats that were sitting out in the driveway (my ex-husband had stayed here for a week and decided to make them all outdoor cats - GRRRRR!), sleep for an hour, take a shower, and get to work. I'm definitely going to need a few days off to recover from this vacation.

5.15.2006

78 in a 55 (Déjà Vu)

I've lived in: Michigan, Texas, Washington, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, and Germany.

I've gotten speeding tickets in: Michigan, Washington, Kentucky, Tennessee, Germany, Indiana (twice)...and now Ohio.

In my own defense, there were four lanes of cars, all speeding. I just happened to be in the middle with an OUT-OF-STATE license plate. Ass.

Funniest get-out-of-a-ticket story: my mom was working for an extremely particular boss who didn't tolerate tardiness. She left the house a little late, was pulled over by a policeman for speeding, and asked him to write a note so she wouldn't get in trouble once she got to work.

5.14.2006

For whatever I've done to enrage the gods of the airports and travel, I'M SORRY!

Southeast Alabama doesn't have a decent airport, so I generally drive to Tallahassee or Atlanta to catch flights (roughly a four hour drive to either). Of the four times I've driven to Hartsfield-Jackson airport in Atlanta:

1. my friend from Milwaukee missed her flight, so I stayed in a nearby Holiday Inn and picked her up the following morning.

2. I left my house late, got a speeding ticket, missed my flight, rebooked the ticket for the following morning and stayed in the same hotel (extra cost total: $300).

3. Yesterday, I was stopped on I-85 for a few hours because of a police car crash after a high speed chase and/or sections of an overpass collapse and missed my flight. To reschedule for the following morning would have been an additional $230 (more than I paid for the ticket, I might add) PLUS the overnight stay. It's not necessarily the money, but the principal. Well, that and my credit card is maxed out. Again. So, I did what any crazy, impulsive woman does: got in my car and headed north to Michigan. Fourteen hours north, as it were.

I was supposed to fly one-way, then drive back to Alabama with my twenty-three year old sister so she wouldn't have to make the trip alone. I called from I-75 to tell her the change in plans, and she said I shouldn't even bother coming and that I'm "such a man". What the hell does that mean?

5.04.2006

Itty Bitty Baby Steps

"What do you want from life? Where are you going? What do you hope to find?"
"Um...well, I was wondering if we had time for another round during lunch, or if we should just stay here all afternoon instead of going back to work."

Apparently, some people plan their way through life. College, marriage, kids, retirement...they have GOALS. Me? I wait for life to happen to me, stumbling through on a whim, assuming it will all work out in the end (so far, so good).

Today, for the first time in my life, I planned for my future. I signed up for a 401 k plan through work, which may not sound like a big deal, but is a monumental event for someone who doesn't have a savings account. Granted, I'm already planning on taking the money out early and splurging on a trip to Italy in a few years, but it's a start, right?