But, really. The DMV has jumped the shark yet again.
First it was a fairly specific and isolated behavior I took issue with, not that I didn’t appreciate the logic behind it. States like Florida and Arizona began lengthening the timeframes of their driver licenses. In most cases it was a move from somewhere in the ‘hood of 3 or 4 year terms and they extended it to 7 years.
I get it. A lot of those drivers would die.
Good strategy for the long lines at the DMV. Not sure the practice itself doesn’t simply indict licensing people past a certain age.
Then I turned fifty-thrive.
Well, that dubious accomplishment of my persistent survival had nothing to do with it. It’s more a matter of the practice of driver licenses expiring on birthdays, regardless of the age the driver in question may be.
However, the great state of Oregon had adopted the whole extended validity practice. I knew this when I moved back in 2016 and got my license reissued. Well, learned it during that process. So it wasn’t a surprise that my license expired on my birthday last month.
Knowing this was coming down the pike, I spent some downtime in traffic researching how to go about renewing my license shortly after the first of the year – I know, such a planner, me…two weeks before it expired. Let’s not talk about me justifying using my phone while I’m the driver’s seat but not actively driving. Regardless, I went into the renewal situation fully expecting my proChristination would result in me having no license for several weeks, if not months.
Imagine my surprise when I finished – yes, still in traffic – filling out the online form and was told my license would be mailed to me within two weeks.
I was fully expecting to be required to rub some unwashed elbows as part of the renewal process. Gourd knows, my eyes haven’t gotten any better over the past 7 years. Might be worth pulling me into the office just to keep a night-blind menace off the streets, right?
Not that I didn’t appreciate being able to dodge my age-induced camera shyness. Seriously, though…I no longer – regrettably – look like this strapping young fella:
Not that I don’t admit to looking like my own soap opera evil twin in that pic. I also appreciate that my looks – evil twin or not – held into my late 40s.
But now I look more like The Dude after a long week of getting by, man.
Best part? My new license expires in 2031…8 years from now.
Is the Oregon DMV expecting me to die before my new license expires? Gourd willing. I’ll keep you posted on that…
She looks pretty good for 164, dontcha think? And I love how she’s not so set in her ways – unlike me, still gendering genderless things – and can make progress toward being a better version of itself. <- I did it!
Anyway…that’s what’s going on in my world today, February 14th, 2023.
What’s everyone else up to? Anything exciting going on for you all today?
Ok, ok…before I get lambasted; yes, I know it’s Valentine’s Day.
I’ll be marking the occasion the usual way, with my annual Valentine’s Day three-way. It’s practically my favorite day of the year!
Get over yourselves you big pervs…what other possible meaning could three-way have? At least for me.
I started off my Saturday rip roaring and ready to go. Mainly thanks to a full 8 hours of sleep, brought to you by the perfectly managed cross-fade. IYKYK.
So, naturally, I stayed in bed reading for three hours. But then I was totally going to get up, exercise and then do more pre-potential-packing purging.
An hour later, I ordered lunch and settled in to watch Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Because I watch all of the Oscar nominated films, and Angela Bassett is up for her role as Queen Ramonda.
And I cannot lie, she kicked ass in that role., so good luck everyone else.
Also, I lied. I don’t watch all the Oscar movies. That would be boring beyond belief. Plus, I’ve been meaning to watch RRR for three weeks now – by all accounts, not boring and a lock to grab a few of the gold guys – but it’s 3 hours!
Don’t get me wrong, I can kill 3 hours like nobody’s business – and did, just waking up today. But to plan a block of 3 hours is another thing altogether.
Gets me in the mood to proChristinate – which is how I really ended up watching the Black Panther sequel. Not to worry, I was still able to cover all my top line goals for the day: exercise, pre-pack organizing and making some of that gig money.
Imagine my surprise when after all of that I ended up learning something!
It started out innocently enough. I wanted to relax a bit with a movie. I’ve been burning through The Mindy Project, but today wanted more than a 22 minute plot line to kind of offset that. I popped over the Amazon Prime because I thought I recalled something dropping there this weekend. Either I was wrong or just didn’t find it, because I ended up with something definitely not new.
I’m always down for something filmed in my home state. And I’ve been feeling guilty with all the Goonies house news lately – because I’ve never seen it.
While not The Goonies, Kindergarten Cop was filmed in the same town: Astoria, Oregon.
Fun Fact: Astoria was named for John Jacob Astor, who famously died on the Titanic’s maiden voyage.
I have seen Titanic, if anyone was curious.
Anyway, there I am, minding my own beersness, watching an Oregon movie and out of nowhere my mom texts me asking what episode of Grimm I was in.
Well, mom, I was in a couple. I told her what episode my most visible shot was in, she said they were a ways away from that storyline and that was that.
Back to Astoria.
And, no, it did not escape me that my parents and I ended up watching Oregon-filmed shows on the same night.
I make it all the way through this movie – all I really wanted to see was the “It’s not a tumor” part, which came far too early in the show. But I was able to amuse myself with the 90s class of Where Are They Nows that popped into a shot here or there.
Park Overall and Heidi Swedberg both played school moms. As did Jayne Brooks and Cathy Moriarty. And, we can’t forget Penelope Ann Miller as the love interest!
Seriously, where are they now?!?
But it wasn’t until the credits that I learned I’d missed seeing someone whose current professional whereabouts I am well versed in:
Angela F Bassett!
Ok, the F was added for fucking emphasis.
But there she was, playing a one-line Flight Attendant on Alaska airlines in this 1990 movie.
Way before playing Ms. Turner. The novel Waiting to Exhale probably wasn’t even a draft yet. Marvel, obviously, had the Black Panther comics in print in the 90s, but the man who would bring them to the big screen was still 4 years old!
I don’t know why I needed to know this, other than idle curiosity. It amuses me to see stars in basically extras roles before they were famous. Don’t even get me started on Mary Louise Parker’s diner waitress part in When Harry Met Sally!
Regardless, now that I know, I felt it was important for you to also know. What are the odds we ever end up on opposing trivia teams?
If you’ve followed along on these misadventures for any length of time, you know I’m a fan of that jaywalking life. But I’ve recently begun to notice that it’s not for everyone.
It’s more of a skill than I’d realized.
Definitely not a privilege.
Jaywalking is a scofflaw life.
A crime of opportunity – although, I admit to some off guard moments of necessity where I wanted to be home quite urgently. If you get my drift…
The short of it is, if the coast is clear, you go. That italicized verb was referring to the stride of Sir Jay, not the thinly veiled bathroom reference that preceded it.
Key words: clear and go.
Here’s my bitch, people are fucking up this shockingly simple transgression. They’ll dart out into the street without so much as a cursory glance in the direction of traffic. Better yet, they’ll just stand at the edge of the street or on the traffic side of a row of parked cars and wait.
And people stop and let them cross! Classic Portland. Also, classic Wrong of Way.
If I stop for those idiots, it’s gonna be to tell them that they’re doing it wrong. I’ll suggest their attempt to save a few steps is wasting their time.
Not that they’ll listen.
Seriously, though…what’s the thought process there? They aren’t making it across quicker if they have to wait. If they’d walk to the corner, they inherit a right of way, especially if there’s a traffic control. But all they’re showing me with their technique is laziness or stupidity.
But the folks that really get me going? Two different groups, but similar imagery. Think: Beatles album covers. Here, I’ll make it easy for you:
The first group that raises my ire is the group of people who are clearly together, but can’t get together – no, wait, if I’m gonna cite Beatles references, it’s got to be come together! – to cross the street as a group. There’s the de facto leader, simply by virtue of being the only one focusing on the task at hand. There’s invariably someone struggling with a load of shopping or an over or underaged person that needs extra care to cross and then trailing the toddler or infirm entry in this parade is the person with their phace in their fone.
Abbey Road, they are not.
Even worse than this group is the group of strangers recreating the pic at a 90-degree angle, so there’s just this line of failed jaywalkers lining the side of a street. They may get an F for their misguided misdemeanor efforts, but they pass social distancing with flying colors. Inadvertently, I’m sure.
And as I pass them, I mentally mow them all down. Thunk. Thunk. Thunk. Except any of them that went to a corner, mind you.
Is there a Nobel non-Peace Prize? Fine, I’ll start my own.
I was out driving a bit tonight and got a split order – food from two restaurants going to the same address.
How’s that for a solution to the age old relationship struggle of agreeing on what to have for dinner?
I don’t usually take orders that involvemorethan 10 miles of travel or fall too far beneath my $10/order earnings expectation, but I’ve been in a bit of a Yes Game mood lately and couldn’t help myself. I don’t know what it is about the start of a new year that makes me want to affirm and confirm. So, there I was, picking up food and hauling ass across town for $14.
I pick up the first order and drive a block or two to the next place – pizza. I notice that I’m not particularly affected by my usual feelings about this place, either. They usually piss me off, so I don’t go there anymore – it’s good for my grumpy old man heart to stay away – but this is their food, not mine and I don’t really care.
“Yeah, that’s got about 10-15 minutes left in the oven.”
“Seriously, how long does it take to cook a fuc” – nope, never mind. Not my food.
I shoot the customer a message to let them know and get a “No worries” reply, then sit down to play my Words With Friends while I wait. Once it’s done, approximately one millennia later, I hop back in the car and anon my ass up to NoPo.
The order had booze with it – a six-pack of beer and a bottle of bubbles, someone knows how to Sunday a holiday weekend! – so the customer had to sign for it when I arrived.
A small face appears behind the sheer blinds on the door a little less than 2 feet up from the floor and disappears. Moments later, a second face appears a little higher up and then pulls the same vanishing act.
I debate knocking again when a dog pokes its head through, stares at me a moment and runs away. That’s really not good for one’s self esteem, getting dissed by dogs.
Finally, a full sized human appears at the door, opens it and announces, “Epic fail!”
“Yeah, that pizza joint is always a bit of a shit show”, I catch myself just before my adjectification of the pizza place and drop my voice to a whisper to avoid accidentally teaching the diminutive humans any blue language.
The customer explains that he wasn’t worried about the food, announces that he should get me some extra cash for my wait time while walking away from the door and then careens back to his point. He has been trying to teach his kids about stranger dangers and had heard from the big one that the little one had been trying to unlock and open the door when he found him.
“Well, I hadn’t noticed”, I tell him as I trade my phone for a few unnecessary folded bills.
He signs my screen with his finger and shakes my hand after he hands my phone back.
I had noticed the denomination of the top bill when he’d handed it to me and laid it out while waiting for my salad to arrive at dinner for a lil pic for you, my abhorring public.
Like the title says – if you know, you know.
If you’re not a native of or current resident in the city with the highest number of strip clubs per capita in America, let me spell it out for you.
With one exception, every strip club I’ve been to in Portland gives cash customers an inordinate number of $2 bills as change. The intent is to drive up tip income for the performers, which I’m all for. One particularly raucous (in a good way) club even has the emcee occasionally seed the crowd vis-a-vis a toy gun that shoots $2 bills into the crowd.
It’s kind of fun to watch, but I’m not much for the strip bars these days. Occasionally I’ll stop off at the lesser of the two gay strip clubs since it’s on my way home from another one of my local watering holes and open two hours later.
Shit beer, though, so I’ve got to be in a mood in order to drop in when I leave the other place.
Anyway, I have always thought that spending these $2 bills outside a strip club was indicative of one of two flexes:
A) it’s a particularly empowered performer making a declaration; or
B) it’s a client who is throwing those $2s around like au unhumble brag.
I like both options.
What I’m not as crazy about are the bills that have clearly been in circulation a while. You’ll notice my handful was fairly crisp. The alternative is – what’s an alternative to a “handful” of “fairly crisp” bills? – a crotchful of nearly dry bills?
Oh, and best part?
The customer’s wife must’ve edited the tip while he was talking to me. The order from the first restaurant was only base rate + peak pay, which came to $5 – believe me when I say that the money you make in this work comes from the tips! – so this $14 deliver ended up being $30.64 from the app and another $10 in cash.
I love when the Yes Game rewards my efforts to bust out of my grumpapotamus shell.
It’s short for “a bag of dicks” and it’s usually preceded by the words “go eat”. It’s applications are nearly as versatile as the word “fuck”, but that’s not what prompts this post.
I’ve become increasingly amused by the appropriation of the “D”.
The other day, I walked into one of my locals and was asked the usual question-with-an-obvious-answer upon finding a place to squat at the bar. Instead of giving the <ahem> straight answer, I deployed a little bit of my usual Xtopher fuckery.
“Just thought I’d come in to try and get a little D”.
Bartender: <glances around uncertainly> You know we’re not that kind of bar, right?
Me: You’re a hotel bar. You’re exactly that kind of bar.
At this point, the bartender gives me a look that strongly suggests one of us has been misinterpreting what they’ve observed in the environment over the years. I can tell he’s also slightly uncertain as to whether I have previously unshared first-hand knowledge on the topic (I do) to which he thinks I’m alluding. I know he’s told me that he’s been room-keyed be patrons before…but that’s not what I’m talking about at all.
Me: Well, if you’re going all in with dry January here, I can go somewhere else for a little drink.
The mixture of relief and I-can’t-believe-I-fell-for-it was pretty enjoyable for me. Assuming he enjoyed it, too, I stiffed him on the tip.
But he had to have known there was another shoe just waiting to drop. This is the bar where the other bartender spent weeks asking everyone if they’d seen the Hot D, referring to HBOMax’s Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon.
The very next day, I shit you not, I witnessed the same phenomenon occurring in the wild.
The wilds of my coffee shop.
I’d just finished my set order at the counter, having ordered drinks for me and my perpetually tardy friend. At first I’d declared her as being on her own for coffee. Having a split second to rethink it, I opted to get her a two-shot version of my quad order, riffing as I did, “So I guess I’m removing her coffee agency since she was late!” This amused the woman taking orders, so I stiffed her on the tip.
More kidding. But could you imagine?
Not to be outdone by some old man, the young buck barista asked if I wanted her drink to be “half D”, meaning two regular shots and two decaf shots. I told him no, not seeing the point.
“Yeah, that’s the thing, it’s really whole D or nothing, if you ask me!”, says he with a puckish cock of an eyebrow.
I decided responding “Don’t you gay-bait me, son. You play with this old bull, you get the horn!” Instead, I did the dramatic laugh and point, adding, “This one, with the jokes!”
Does anyone else do/witness this type of prurient wordplay? Letterplay? Whatever.
I’m tempted to think this is the type of thing that would only happen to me or because of me, but who knows, maybe people are just feeling playful in general these days. After all, this is the town that I am fairly certain came up with the business that allows you to anonymously mail someone a literal bag of dicks.
Welp, it’s 8:38 on Sunday morning. I’ve been up since 5. 4:30, really – I got up to pee and optimistically tried to sleep more before I had to get up at 6:30 to take the Silver Fox to the airport so he could anon to Tahiti.
8:38 on Sunday morning and I’ve been up since 5.
I’ve read the news.
Completed said airport run.
Filled Angela’s tank.
…and called myself a dumb bitch three times. I’m averaging once an hour today. I suspect it’s having nothing to do for the foreseeable hours remaining in the day.
So I thought I’d do something productive to snap myself out of that self-effacing doldrum.
Can you have a single doldrum? Maybe that’s a torpor.
Neverthemess…I debated asking my parents to breakfast, but I don’t want to drive in this halfhearted rain, so I’m not going to make them do it.
That kind of leaves writing. Am I going to finish my Christmas week post? Finally? No. No, I am not.
I’m jumping into ‘23!
I’m not one for resolutions – or proper English simply for the sake of proper English, hence the nonsense title of this post – but at the same time, I realized in the shower today that I was presently living out a fairly common resolution.
Call it wasting less or doing something for the environment, but that’s what I’ve found myself in the middle of. (There’s some more bad English for ya.)
As I was heading out to pick up The Fox, I had the thought that I should take my redeemable recycling with me to drop off after. I had to stop at Freddy’s anyway to get Myrtle more cat food on my way back from the airport – her breakfast sounded like only two or three kibbles when the feeder went off at 5. Then I surprised myself when I realized I was short of my two bag usual for a trip to recycling and decided to leave it. Besides, who knew whether the Silver Fox would have bags that needed to go in Angela’s cargo area? Best not to risk it.
This is when I realized I’d left my fob to The Fox’s building in my car last night, so I’d have to have him meet me at the door to get in. That was dumb bitch #1.
Then as we were driving to the airport in the dark, drizzly wee hours, I was struggling to see clearly and remembered that I’d intended to bring my glasses so I could see better, but didn’t have them: dumb bitch #2.
On my way home, I took backroads to avoid the blurry freeway. This also took me right by the home of the bi-guy I’ve been banging out with lately. That was kind of a fun realization – but now I’m horny. Sadly, I’m withholding with him because last time I saw him he left a mark like we’re fucking high schoolers.
Do I seem amused?
I stopped off for gas before hitting the grocery store. I’d been at 31 miles to empty when I left for the airport and was at 11 when I made it back to my ‘hood.
Then I forgot to stop at the store for cat food: dumb bitch #3.
Crap! I just realized I’d miscounted my dumb bitches, so that’s dumb bitch #5!
#4 was walking to the RiteAid up the street for cat food and not realizing they don’t open until 9 on Sundays. Staffing issues.
So, yeah…I need some positivity this morning. That required reflection, so I reviewed my day.
I had a shower victory this morning. Two, really, if you count showering so early in the day as a victory (I do). But I finally figured out the “right” number of swipes my shampoo bar requires for a good lather. It’s two.
I’d picked it up at Trader Joe’s last time I was there – purely on a lark. I’d been looking for a candle and struck out. But right next to where candles should have been was their personal care section and for $3.49, I figured why not give a shampoo bar a try? I knew I was getting close to empty on my current shampoo bottle at home., so this was also an opportunity to be proactive versus finding myself shampoo-less in the near future.
The first time I used it, I gave myself three swipes on each side of my head.
Waaay too much. I looked like a shampoo commercial on crack.
Plus side: this bar produces an insanely rich lather. I noticed this as it covered my shoulders and oozed toward my navel.
For the next week or so I regrouped at two swipes per side. Still too much, but I wasn’t mad since it smells so good! It also does an amazing job of pulling the prior day’s product off my hair, so why under-do it?
But this morning I was in a hurry – I know, up at 5 and end up rushing my shower to be on time, can you believe that didn’t earn me a dumb bitch? – and shaved a second or two off my shower by giving each side of my head one swipe.
Realizing that two swipes total was plenty left me looking at the bar in amazement. It looks barely touched after a week+ of daily use. At this rate, if it only lasts me six months, I’d be surprised. But in that half year, it’ll keep three plastic bottles out of my (non-redeemable) recycling.
Looking back on that made me feel pretty good. I felt even better when the reason behind me not having enough redeemable recycling to merit taking it with me when I left the house hit me.
I bought myself a soda stream late last year. I’m actually rather enjoying it. At first I was conflicted about it for political and environmental reasons.
It’s a company based in Israel, which is ire-some to some.
Plus, I don’t like bubbly water just for the sake of bubbles. Hence, the flavoring syrups in front of it. The Bubbly brand concentrates come in glass bottles and make around 12 liters. The larger containers say they make up to 9 liters, but I’ve only been using 3/4 the recommended dose, so they’ll each get me around 12 liters, too. So for the environmental price of two plastic bottles, I’m keeping about two dozen plastic bottles out of the system. Add another dozen for the glass bottle of flavorings and you’ve got quite an impact.
I’m ok with the return on that trade off.
I realized that over the course of a year, that will be hundreds less plastic containers coming out of my home. That made me feel pretty good.
And it all happened without setting out on a resolution spree.
It’s frustrating on multiple levels. The work is sucking my mojo away lately, leaving me with a piss-poor reserve of energy for the rest of my life.
Exercise and writing…<pffft!>
So I’ve been trying to come up with short-form ideas for writing and exercise to recharge my mojo.
Exercise was easy – the Peloton app has loads of 5 and 10 minute classes that I can wedge into my day. Gourd knows I’m not bouncing out of bed these days to do a ride or a couple of strength classes before work. My lunchtime rides have – well, I’m at my desk shoveling food with one hand and processing data with the other at lunch, now, ain’t I?
So I do a shorty strength or stretching class during a call or while watching whatever I simply cannot miss on TV.
Writing, though. That was the tough one. If you know me, you know I’m not one to say in 5 words what I could say in 500. That makes short-form writing ideas…a challenge.
Case in point, I finally came up with an idea I want to try and here I am a couple hundred words in on just backstory.
So here’s the notion, and I think it works for me: random – because it’s me, obvs and who knows where or when with me my ire muse will strike? – entries about just the most Gilbert Gottfried conniption inducing things I observe that people do.
It’s genius. Match made in whatever the secular version of heaven – oh, still heaven? Really? That doesn’t seem right – is. It’s so genius, the only non-genius thing about it is how long it took me to get there.
Just think, up til now I’ve been wasting this genius on life extras who end up sitting next to me at the bar, substituting for friends.
Still not getting there, am I? Bit of a failure to launch scenario, innit.
Ok, ok…here we go!
I mean, it’s just that this is sort of a big deal. I’ve been resting on or avoiding the laurels of past themes – some good ones like Today I Learned/TIL, The Red Shirt Diaries, and Dating Into Oblivion – so this is…phew!
Ok, for realz…here it is:
Have you ever been a decent human being driving down the freeway and seen someone come up behind you? It’s best if you’re in the fast lane in this scenario, but any lane works.
What do you do?
Because for me – when I’m in the fast lane in particular, but even if I’m just in the middle lane – I usually move. I can guarantee you I’m not going below – not in a nefarious or scofflaw kind of way – the flow of traffic. Even if the next lane to my right is doing a slick, but law abiding 55 MPH, I’m cruising along at (at least) 58.
But who am I kidding? It’s usually closer to 70 – which in some areas is nothing but in Portland, with its rain and curvy hills and bicyclists and leaves and strange 50 MPH areas on interstate freeways – and that’s a lot oh Ms per H here. Ok?!?
So when someone comes up on me? I tend to get out of their way. After I switch up my passive passing of the car to my right to something slightly more aggressive.
That perfectly describes Portland natives, BTW. Passing people is a slow but steady proposition. Just let cruise control take care of it. But when someone’s I your rear view and going faster than you, you gotta punch it. You can’t slow down to get behind the car you were at mid-pass on because that slows down the speedier than you demon behind you! Then it’s all very, “I’m so sorry, I’m not usually this aggressive – but the guy behind me!” And, really…they were the problem, right?
It’s a real exercise in doing what’s right for everyone: getting out of the way of faster traffic, apologizing to who you’re passing, and then abdicating responsibility by acknowledging you were perfectly happy to basically coast by this person at a minimally higher speed until this (let’s be real here) Californian came up behind you.
There’s only so much you can do…when everyone has to be happy.
So you juice it a few more MPH to get by, clear a respectable few car lengths and then change lanes.
Good driver. Very respectful. Letter of the Rules of the Road even.
And what happens next?
The micropenis that was in your rear view mirror jets past you and then careens into your lane. Like…WTF?!? You came up in my rear view like your ball hair was being singed but as soon as you’re past me, you pop into my slow lane?!? Just to be sure I don’t miss the smell of burning hair heating the pheromones from the glands in your…area?!?
Easy there, grumpy old Xtopher…maybe they were trying to get to an exi – nope, that was not the reason for their Mad Max style driving since they have now passed the exit I am taking to exit this sideshow of selfishness the freeway.
Why do people do this? Is it some sort of animal brain display of dominance?
Just pee on my car as you go by. Don’t do something that could induce a stroke as my thinking brain tries to assign reason to your whatever-passes-for-thinking-in-your-reality actions I just had to witless witness.