Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Day at the DMV - a short play in three acts

Act 1

After a normal day of errands, work and shuttling kids home from school a road weary mom, in remarkably good shape for her age, walks to the curb to get the mail. Always hopeful that today I will be getting the 1 million dollars that Ed McMahon has promised to ME for the past three decades I carefully pull the bundle from the box. Quickly rifling through the "junk mail" I discover a plain white envelope with the return address - Dept. of Motor Vehicles aka DMV. Allowing only a few seconds to elapse, I rip open the envelope and read the short letter. " You must renew your license on or before your birthday" Okay. You must bring a valid ID and $26 dollars. Okay. You must get your picture taken AHHHAAHAHAHAHA.

Act 2
Realizing the magnitude of the problem and it's long lasting effects I devise a plan.

1. Read and re-read the letter for any errors or loop holes.

2. Schedule appointment online to avoid hearing, "Hold please", which we all know is code for, "Suffer fool".

3. Post appointment to calender and carefully pin letter to bulletin board - so that you won't forget and it won't get lost.

4. 10 days prior to appointment get hair cut. 7 days before color hair. 3 days before get a facial.

Act 3

Rising early on the big day, I decide to go for a run, believing that I will accomplish two things; work off my nervousness and get the blood flowing so that my skin will glow. After a long relaxing shower I carefully apply my make-up, put hot rollers in my hair and drink a cup of green tea. Everything is going as planned. The phone rings - Yes, NO, Yes, well no, NO, No, NO gotta go. Okay Okay The wardrobe selection proceeds with no problems.

Out the door and on the road with the DMV letter and the navigation set. Everything is going as planned. Until - What happened?

Where is the DMV??. The nav. keeps saying, 'recalculating, recalculating. I'm looking at the map. They moved?? Must follow voice commands. Must do as I am told. Must not be late. Arriving at destination on left. Re-check face for signs of terror, re-apply lipstick. Good, Good.

There are 150 people here. Excuse me , Excuse me, I have an appointment. Fill out form and WAIT. NO NO NO NO! I sit down in the molded plastic chair that can't possibly be comfortable for any human and my heart sinks. I have not brought anything to pass the time. I don't have a magazine, I don't have a book, I DON'T HAVE MY KNITTING???? Why didn't I pin that to the bulletin board?

I slyly check the other peoples faces. I hear a lady arguing with the clerk. She must be crazy. They have a robot voice announcing over the loud speaker, "now serving number 273 at window c14" Where am I? Have I left the planet? Am I in tomorrow land? Must stay calm. 10 minutes, 20 minutes. I check my purse for an emery board. I clean my wallet. I sort through the receipts. 30 minutes. There are no magazines anywhere. Not even an old Car and Driver magazine. Shouldn't they have that one? I HAVE AN APPOINTMENT!! 33 MINUTES. "Now serving 315 at window c17" Hey that's me. I'm cool. I'm walking through the sad people waiting, and I am trying to find window c17, only I'm lost. It's way in the back and unlabeled. I decide not to complain.
Yes, Thank you. Okay. Yes. Wait a minute those people in the corner are taking a test. Do I have to take a test? I thought it was bad enough that I have to get my picture taken
No, next time. I consider this an act of mercy. Do you take a debit card? Yes, Good. Okay. Thank you., wait in the next line.

Waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting. I am watching a lady grade tests. She stamps the forms as if she were killing a large bug and then calls out names, you passed, you passed, I'm so sorry you didn't pass. I have now been standing in this line for 15 minutes. There isn't a mirror anywhere and the bathroom is on the other side of the building. I don't dare get out of line. Even my vanity loses to standing in line. Must remain calm.

The lady finally calls my number and I step-up. This is the moment I have been suffering for a month now. The five second challenge that lasts for five years. Yes I got 5 seconds to stand on the line, smile please, click. You should get your new license in the mail in about a week. Thank you - NEXT.
My only clue was that she smiled after taking the picture. She looks like a nice lady and has a sweet voice so I decide that she isn't evil and secretly laughing her head off at my goofy picture.
Today I got my license in the mail -
Although the picture is very good I couldn't get a picture of the picture that was good. :(
I have overcome the might DMV forces and I can now live in peace whenever I am asked to show my license. Bartenders, policemen, store clerks and other strangers that I never see won't be able to make jokes, snickers or sneers about my bad picture. I feel mighty!

I have a suggestion and a way for the state to make a lot of money.

Have two picture lines. One with the regular lady who gives you 5 seconds and another line with a professional photographer, lights, mirrors and a computer to show you the pictures. For a mere $20 one could have the option of guaranteeing a successful picture before they walk away. Now wouldn't that be money well spent? I am certain that added revenue would balance the budget, pave that bumpy street in front of my house and buy school lunch for a lot hungry kids. It could be called, "Vanity for humanity at the DMV"

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Just another Day?

Sometimes the best things in life really are the simplest. It was especially true for me today. Today is my birthday and it's the half way marker - 50. I can barely say the word and I have been dreading the day for a long, long, long time. I mean how in the world can I be old. It feels like just yesterday I turned thirty. I was having fun and life was pretty good. I thought about all the things I wanted to accomplish and then I remembered that I was a single parent and I had a six year old, so I decided that I would have to settle for being Queen of my own universe.

The next thing I'm turning forty or is it thirty-nine again, any way I 'm like, better take this one seriously. So I stocked up on anti-aging products. I thought I could trouble shoot that problem and never look a day older. Just spend lots of money, never go in the sun, drink massive amounts of water, and only laugh on rare occasions. That plan didn't last. I knew it was seriously flawed after my fifth trip to the bathroom before noon. I washed my hands looked in the mirror laughed out loud and thought, " I can't live like this".

Then I turned forty-nine and I thought, now that I know how to use the Internet I will Google - best anti-aging methods available to the common person who doesn't have a lot of money. Evidently, best equals money and common equals dumb. I decided to save lots of shipping and handling charges and so I went to Sephora instead. At my age I can handle the snippy salesperson who can spot a freebie-er (person who does not buy, just tries on everything and pretends to look as though she might buy). This was a meaningful event because, under their fluorescent lights I thought I looked pretty good in navy blue eyeshadow, burnt orange blush and brown lipstick. I even tossed my hair with some $44 dollar goo that looked a lot like Aloe Vera. I proceeded to walk around the mall thinking I looked like Jacqueline Smith (smart Charlies angle) until I got to the cheap jewelry store. There I caught a glance of myself in the mirror and thought OMG who is that strange woman with the clown face make-up? At that point the magnitude of the problem began to sink in to my stubborn brain. I wasn't going to be able to change anything with anything I could buy in a jar. I went home to re-think my plan against aging.
Aging is all in the mind. I decided I needed a good book on anti-aging. I bought the Yoga method for anti-aging, the All natural Chinese method for anti-aging and Facial exercises from the Orient. I was really excited - I was going to read my way to being young and beautiful. The books came a few days later and I unwrapped them and then some how they ended up under my bed. I tried facial exercises but I began to worry that I was making wrinkles while I was exercising my face to get rid of wrinkles. I am now dreaming that osmosis works through mattresses.
Then I decided that spot exercising doesn't work. I needed to work-out and then my whole body would be young and my face would glow from the increased blood flow, which would make my wrinkles look smaller. I carefully developed an exercise plan. I was going to run on Mon, Wed. and Sat. Palates on Tues and Fri. This plan actually worked pretty good until I caught a cold, my kids caught a cold and I lost my carpool.
Now I was stuck I had run out of plans. What to do? What to do? How was I going to stop getting old. Then it hit me - it's just a number, who cares? Why make a big deal out of it? No one in their right mind is going to Ask me how old I am. And if they do I'll just say, I am one hundred fifty years old or some facsimile thereof , next question.
Today is my birthday and some really lovely things happened that surprised me. You'll never guess what happened. I got up, I went out and did my thing and then I came home. Yeah it was just another day. Only my daughter called and wished my Happy Birthday( she also gave me that beautiful handpainted picture of the flower fields), and my son gave me a card (handmade) it says, "Dear, dearest, dearstful mother...Let nothing stop you from having a wonderful day. My friend baked me carrot cake. Yummy, Yummy, Yummy. I LOVE CAKE. We had a lovely evening of Cake, Coffee and conversation. Oh and I laughed a lot. Earlier I got a navigation system for my car - it works great I just have to learn how to obey commands and since I have never been trained properly it might be a while 'til I have that mastered. Until them I love the maps.
As my friends left I smiled and my heart grew three sizes because I learned that birthdays are not about numbers ( because I'm not 6 years old) and no matter how old I get that sometimes it's the little things that are the very, very, very best. You know the little things like having wonderful moments with family and friends that add up to a life time of memories.


On Saturday I celebrated with my brother and his family at a very special restaurant. They gave me a digital picture frame. We then went on a boat ride across the bay. I love little sparkly lights, dancing water and moon light. I imagined that the environment was wishing me a happy birthday. I can easily say, a good time was had by all, especially me.

Friday, April 11, 2008

MMMmmm I'ts a Great Feeling

This morning at 8am I met my dentist who greeted me with pliers and for 30 minutes he cut wires and pulled brackets off my teeth. The metal ones came off in one piece but the ceramic ones shattered and pieces flew. The next hour was spent sanding off the bond. That was real torture. Many times my teeth got sensitive to the vibration and it felt like the nerve was being touched. But I survived.
I can't stop smiling and I can't stop swiping my tongue across my teeth. The feel so nice and smooth. Next week I am getting them whitened. I can't wait 'til someone says, "Hey you got your braces off.

What I learned and what I want to share.
1. NEVER have your teeth pulled. I "needed" four teeth pulled in order to correct my overbite. This is an dated technique and now usually the readjustment can be made without pulling teeth. Aside from the pain and expense of having teeth pulled there is another major problem. When you pull teeth the shape of the face is changed - well mine changed. My cheeks sank in and I don't like it. Really, really, really think long and hard if your dentist wants to pull teeth.
2. Braces are a big challenge everyday. Food gets stuck in them. It's hard to brush and clean your teeth. It is really hard to floss. I tried to floss once a week but rarely met that goal. You have to use a threader and loop the floss inside the wires. It's a big long hassle.
3. Braces are expensive and time consuming. I have spent many, many hours at the dentist and I really wonder if it made that big of a difference.
4. Braces make your teeth look yellow and ugly. This is the greatest irony and true of most projects - progress isn't pretty.
5. Today is a great day.

A guy at the office turned and congratulated me as they were taking my picture. He asked, "How long have you had them on"
"Don't ask. How long have you had yours?"
" I just got them on yesterday"
"It takes as long as it takes, and then it's over and you smile"

Now isn't that true with most things in life?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

24 hours and counting....

Less than 24 hours until I am freed from the tyranny of wire and brackets and rubber bands. In less than 24 hours I will sit myself down and open wide for a couple hours to have my mouth released from it's prison and when I get up I will be smiling - hopefully very pretty.

Tomorrow I get my braces off!!

After almost three years and only a few decades of wanting straight teeth I will have accomplished my goal. I can't totally explain the glee that has overcome me. I want to dance in joyful expectation. I want to sing. I want to hug everyone.

But first I am off to buy Rembrandt toothpaste, a whitening kit, a new toothbrush and some red lipstick.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

When you Know something is NOT right

About a week ago I finally got my mail order prescription that I was a week late reordering. I immediately popped one of those sweet babies and thought ah, that'll cure those raging hot flashes, but wait something is different. I looked at the pills and thought these aren't the same, but the bottle said,

"This is the same medication you have been getting, color, size or shape may appear differently"

Well, now okay. I continue taking the pills but with that tender voice in the back of my head saying"

This is not the same medicine.

Last night I woke 3 times completely drenched, throwing blankets off and drinking water only to suffer a wave of chills. My head hurt, my body was shaking, I was weak, I was crying and I felt like throwing up and then it really hit me -

This is not the same medicine.

This morning I called the pharmacy completely ready to be told what an idiot I was and that they were the same pills, but a miracle happened, I spoke with a real person and you know what he told me -

This is not the same medicine

Yeh - I know I feel terrible.

I knew it the minute I opened that bottle and saw those little pale purple pills. What happened to the green round ones? The ones that work like magic and make me feel alive again. I stared at the bottle only to read,

"This is the same medication you have been getting, color, size or shape may appear different"

Lies, all lies.

I felt vindicated that I have triumphed over the written word and that indeed I was right but now I felt ANGRY. Who messed up my order? Who sent me the wrong pills? I remembered a great 60 minutes show on how prescription drugs are filled by robots and that it is much safer because it's all done by computers and programmed - BY A HUMAN.
I called my doctors office, pushed 1 for English, 1 for my doctor, and 4 to speak to someone about a prescription refill, waited the mandatory 15 minutes that felt like 45 and spoke with Vicky.
Vicky has a sweet soft voice and she sounds so nice that no one would ever get mad at her. She is great at her job. She is going to pull my chart and call me right back. Oh No.
The phone rings, it's Vicky. Sure enough my prescription WAS and now ITS and somehow IT was refilled with the WAS instead of the ITS and no problem she'll fax and call right away,
--- Is there anything else I can help you with?
Ah wait a minute - I'm supposed to let you know that these mistakes can't be tolerated because I could have had a heart attack and died last night, leaving three children and a helpless husband, and the rest of the world without my services and IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT!!!!
---No. Thank you very much. When can I pick-up my medicine?
---Wait about an hour and call first.

I stared at the bottle again thinking, how can I prevent this from ever happening again -
Check the bottle with the old bottle
File the prescription refill orders AND VERIFY with the new order.

Dear sweat little voice in the back of my head I need you to

Thursday, April 3, 2008

And The Winner Is...

Sorry for the late announcement. I just jetted in and ran straight to my computer to grab a random integer ( that is where there are isn't it?) so that I could end this long drawn out silliness.

But first I really must say what a wonderful group of fun gals you bloggers are. I thank, thank, thank, thank you for playing along with my contest to honor bad yarn and funny colors and of course knitting.

To recap the fun- it all started in a far off land of intrigue and mystery where one lady bedazzled us all and stunned herself by buying, man-made yarn in a wonderful shade of shocking yellow. Yellowy orangy yellow or more precisely - Kraft Mac and cheese color. With all the chatter about macaroni buttons and cheesy hues my appetite picked up and there I was grating cheese and stirring up my own M&C. In the never ending quest to find something to write about I ran with the idea and posted my recipe. Sophanne stepped it up a notch by suggesting the contest and well the rest is history.
The winner is KmKat, who is on her own winning streak because she won her election. Congratulations. And don't forget you get some lovely yarn from Sophanne's stash.
It really makes me sad that I can't make everyone a winner but wait - maybe I can. If you would like your own autographed box of Kraft macaroni and Cheese then please send me your address and I will mail it off ASAP. Dinner is on the house. Hope you got that bad joke. He he.