16 November 2005

Dear Guy in Romania who cleaned out my checking account:

I hope you're happy. I hope you're happy now. I hope you're happy how you've hurt your cause forever. I hope you think you're clever! Because you know what!? NOW I am not going to give anymore money to charities who might send it to Romania. You know WHY? Because I'll be able to tell them that I've already made a twelve hundred dollar, non-tax deductable donation to ROMANIANS!

You, Guy in Romania! I have to drive home after classes tomorrow, get a police report, go close my checking account and open a new one! All because of you! I have to get new checks! I JUST BOUGHT checks! They have Care Bears on them! And now I have to get new ones! Because of you!

The bank is going to replace my money, oh yes. But I have a paper due on Tuesday. You wouldn't know about that because instead of going to a nice college or something over there in Romania, you decided to be a thief! THIEF! And now I have to drive three hours there and three back again so that I won't miss my write-in on Friday and so that I can work on my research paper!

I hope you are doing some good stuff with my money that you got out of your Romanian ATM with your fake Romanian ATM card that you made out of mine! I hope you are feeding some poor homeless person on the streets of Bucharest! And moreover, I hope you are enjoying it!

And some day, when I am a grownup and have more money than you could ever steal out of my bank account, I am going to come to Romania! And I am going to find you! And you know what I am going to do? I am going to buy you dinner! Because you OBVIOUSLY are so very destitute that you need to steal my BORROWED money out of my bank account, so that I have to drive two hundred miles home on short notice when I have a paper due and AFTER I actually have a social life where I live! So I am going to buy you dinner so that you don't starve to death, and so that, in a final twist of poetic justice, you will get exactly what you want while I laugh at you over a glass of white wine.

And then, when you are done with your dinner, I am going to kick you in the shin.

Have a good day. Remember, we will always have Amazon.com.



The Weather Wins.

It's fifty-seven degrees out there today. So much for the nice, mild weather. The wind is blowing out of the north, and sadly, every single one of my destinations for today is...North.

Seattle's Best? North.

Austin Java? North.

At least when I go home, the wind will be at my back. But it belatedly occurs to me that I should have worn sneakers rather than flip flops because I cannot feel my toes at this time. So I am sitting in yet another yuppie establishment of which I am not terribly fond, waiting for my tutoring gig to figure out how to write a paper. Well, actually, I'm showing her, but right now she's listing things to support her thesis and coming up with statements to support them. Hopefully, this will work out for her, because I have a write-in in a non-yuppie place at seven.

Last night was scary. Borders. The mere mention of the name makes me shudder in horror. Giant mega corporation evilness...and no free internet. The independent businesses, hell, even Seattle's Best has free internet. But not the Fortune Five Hundred companies! Can't have that! So I'm sitting there, waiting for one helenathemuse to show up, on this poufy couch, feeling utterly awkward. It's quiet. The other NaNos are writing. It's nothing like the other write-ins which I have attended. We are always raucous and laughing and drinking. None of that here. I decide to leave and I am walking to my car when behold! the car of helenathemuse! Saved! And so we go back into the bookstore-which-must-not-be-named to type happily away...or rather, she agonises over whether Botticelli is gonna do it with this girl, and I play solitaire.

All in all, a productive evening.

12 November 2005

At about ten minutes past eleven this evening I was walking down Enfield toward Lamar and Austin Java to retrieve my bike. I had left it there in order to drive my somewhat inebriated friend back to her house (she then wanted to walk me back to Java, which I dismissed since she had spent the better part of the drive telling me that she hated me, ostensibly, for being nice to her) and so there I was. I got to the spot where Enfield forks and becomes a mystical half-Enfield, half-Fifteenth Street (sort of like the Green Goblin/Spider-Man's friend's dad) when, as I was crossing to take the Enfield route, a guy (UT shirt and all) in an SUV made the EXACT same noise I had been making to my friend's cat not ten minutes before.

Now, this could be me, but if you are a guy and you want to attract a girl to you, you do not call her the same way you would a cat, which, in this case, was by making little kissy noises. I resisted the urge to give him the finger and went on my way. I got my bike and began making my way back toward South Austin. At Sixth, I was met with two shirtless boys who might have been...thirteen. Now, when I was thirteen, I couldn't get boys to look at me twice. Now I am pushing twenty-two and pubescent boys think I'm hot stuff. These particular boys were on very small bikes and kept trying to talk to me and tell me I was hot. They probably just figured I'd buy them beer.

Coming upon the Fifth Street light, I had an important decision to make. Shall I cross to the east side of Lamar and go down to Sandra Muraida and across the pedestrian bridge, or shall I be lazy and take the scary "emergency only" sidewalk on the Lamar bridge? Naturally, you know already that I took the scary sidewalk because otherwise there would be no point in writing about it. My reasons are thus: it was late, I was (and still am, actually) hungry, and I was lazy. So I did, and every car that passed me did so in the near lane, and then AFTER passing me moved into the far lane. Of course.

The rest of my trip home passed fairly unevenfully. I have no other words. I have no more words in my NaNoWriMo novel. But it was overall a good evening. I'm going inside now, to fix my food deficit.

10 November 2005

There's nothing quite like the traffic on South Lamar. It defies explanation. It defies common sense. It does not defy gravity (only Elphaba can pull that off). In this way, it is sort of like the majority of the Texas Legislature (two months every two years. Brilliance at work.), or the central Texas weather. Not just any place can pull of ninety degrees in November.

In the ten minutes it takes to get downtown on my bike from my apartment south of Zilker Park, I can usually witness at least three near misses, six episodes of brake-slamming for no apparent reason, four ridiculous lane changes, two prize fights between someone's liberal-stickered Volvo and someone else's Dubya-stickered Suburban, and twenty-seven thousand, three hundred forty-six incidents of someone running across the street without looking to see if there's traffic.

Perhaps I exaggerate. But not by much.

The bumper stickers here are brilliant. You can almost tell a person's entire life by the make and model of their car and the stickers which adorn it. Take, for example, the above-mentioned Suburban, in any color, 1998 or later. It has a W '04 sticker on it. It might have a "These Colors Don't Run" or "Power of Pride" sticker on it. There is probably also at least one sticker declaring that a daughter or son is on the dance team/cheerleading squad/baseball team/football team/et cetera at X High School. This Suburban lives in Rollingwood or in one of the new housing developments around the outskirts of the city. The Suburban does not know anyone who is gay (or is in denial, or simply doesn't notice. Everyone who lives near Austin knows someone who is gay.) and voted for Proposition 2. The Suburban probably pays for the ninety gallon trash cart for curbside garbage pickup.

The Volvo. The Volvo has stickers from Wheatsville Co-op, at least three derogatory Bush stickers, a "Keep Austin Weird" sticker, probably a sticker from some Waterloo business or BookPeople, and more than likely at least one gay rights sticker. The Volvo lives inside the 35/71/MoPac/183 boundary and usually bikes, but might have been making a run to the grocery store or something. The Volvo has a thirty gallon garbage cart (unless it has roommates, then it has the sixty) and four recycling bins from the fire station. The Volvo can be found biking, rowing on Town Lake, or walking when it is not negotiating South Lamar. The Volvo might be straight, but thinks that Proposition 2 is idiotic and voted against it. The Volvo is way freaked out when it occasionally makes the trip north of town (for whatever reason), comes over that rise on 35 and sees the valley which is absolutely covered with houses that all look exactly the same and are one and a half feet apart. This is what is known as Pflugerville (not the historic part, which has its own charm).

There are many vehicles between these two extremes, and off on their own tangents. But the basic spectrum of Austin existence can be easily found in South Lamar traffic, any time between seven in the morning and eleven at night.