Well, the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Obviously, that would have more meaning if I were referencing any particular Lord, but c’est la agnostic vie. I’m back from Spring Break! Six or seven days without posting – that’s a record for me this year, particularly as I was/am trying to post daily. The break was good though, I think.
I drove to Hutch Friday (after some waffling) and spent the weekend with my mom doing basically nothing. I mean, we went to see 50 First Dates on Saturday because I was getting kind of cagey about not having seen my traditional Friday night movie. I laughed in exactly the places I was supposed to during that movie, but I did laugh very hard. What does it say about me that I enjoy watching Rob Schneider get beat up with a baseball bat? Sunday we watched the KU game with my grandparents and all was generally well. Mom had taken off every afternoon during the week just to play, and we started planning a trip to Wichita or somewhere during the week. If I had to stay near home, at least it looked like it could be moderately fun and relaxing.
Then Monday. Grrr. First of all: I was parted from my baby. There’s a long and probably rather demonstrative story about why, but the short story is this: I took my car to Salina, KS to have it fixed at my dad’s request. The ONE GOAL I had for all of Spring Break was to get the damn car fixed, because the leaking is getting kind of old (and also, I had my new radio installed and now feel quite protective of its greatness). Dad, of course, has been concerned about the fact that the paint is peeling off my back bumper, so he was eager to get that fixed by this guy he knew in Salina. I dropped off the car and drove back to Wilson with Dad, anticipating a one-day stay for the car and a similar stay for me.
Tuesday was spent in Wilson. There was NO JOY in Wilson. Not only was I carless in the dead middle of Kansas, but:
1). My step-mom had been sick for 2 days, and, well, the house smelled just terrible. Really, if anyone who’s ON THE ATKINS DIET invites you over when they’re getting over some kind of stomach bug, run, my children. Run like the wind.
2). There was no cat, and, as of yesterday, there will never be a cat again. The minor sickness he started the last time I was home turned out to be liver cancer. Sad. No more Max. He was a very good cat.
3). My step-grandfather, Ed, has been in the hospital all week in Salina, after a gall bladder surgery gone slightly wrong. So add to the grimness and confusion my step-grandmother, Rosie, leaving the house at 5 every morning to shuttle over to Salina.
4). Dad had been on call for 5 days straight prior to my arrival, and was working on organizing his taxes. His mood was somewhere south of pleasant.
So. The car was not ready Tuesday. The car was not ready Wednesday, either. In fact, the guys were just *starting* on the car Wednesday. I threw a tiny little fit, and Dad loaned me their suburban to drive back to Hutch. Fabulous.
Except Mom had church and a haircut scheduled for that night, so I was on my own for entertainment. After taking a trip through Hobby Lobby, I settled in to make myself a bracelet out of green glass beads and rewatch (parts of) Zoolander. After that 15 minutes was over, I was still bored and getting sort of twitchy. I wound up at the movie theater where, with a choice between Dawn of the Dead, The Passion of the Christ, and two movies I’d already seen, I made trip #3 to Starsky and Hutch. I should just write Todd Philips a check now and get it over with.
Today, I got a call from Dad around 11:30 (or what I like to call “dawn”). His brand new pickup truck had stopped working (in front of his office – he wasn’t stranded), and he wanted me to drive up to Ellsworth (1:15 away), pick him up, drive to Wilson to get Jen (:20 minutes), and then take them to Salina (:50 away), where we could get my car. Salina, by the way, is 1 hour from Hutch, and at the point that Dad called me, he still had the option of riding to Salina on the tow truck, but he didn’t want to ride over there. He also didn’t want to just get Jen to take him to Salina. And also, though we could go and pick my car up, the GENIUSES at the body shop swear that the car isn’t leaking. In fact, their best guess was that “sometimes, kids like you don’t close the sunroof all the way and don’t notice the sound because of the air guard.”
At this point, I nearly set the phone on fire.
After explaining that this was a load of shit because nothing in the area of the sunroof is ever wet (say it with me: the big leak is ON TO THE FLOOR UNDER THE DASH), I went out to lunch with Mom. Eventually I called Dad back and explained that it would add almost 2 hours to my drive to pick him up and then go to Salina; he agreed and called my step-mother, who apparently has taken the month off from working at her store or something, as she’s never there, who drove through Ellsworth and took him to Salina.
Met them there at roughly 3:15. The bumper – which I would have never cared to fix on my own, but it’s important that we keep up that “nearly new car” appearance – looks fine, though it doesn’t seem to exactly match the rest of the car (new paint vs. somewhat faded paint, I guess). The guy did mention that I shouldn’t take it through a car wash anytime soon. My reply: I can’t take my car through car washes anyway, BECAUSE IT LEAKS.
Then I (finally! finally!) took off for Lawrence, enjoying the hell out of my new stereo.
After arriving home, I unloaded the bags, then climbed back into the car and drove to KC to catch the 8:00 showing of Spartan. There were only five people in the theater, including four women together, sitting a row in front of me, and me. I liked it well enough. Val Kilmer was pretty solid, though some of the lines were definitely awkward. I think Mamet must be a stickler for everyone saying their lines exactly as scripted (which is a vast departure from my week-long Owen Wilson “that was all improv” film festival). It showed most in lines where Kilmer had to address someone as “baby,” not really believable jargon from his character, or where he had to scream or even casually drop “motherfucker,” which always sounded too wordy. William H. Macy has the talk down perfectly, though. The ending left me a little turned around, but hey – that’s Mamet, right? Kind of dark and strange, never gives anything away. Apparently he believes everyone in the world goes to work in a suit and tie and brown pants.
On purchases: I bought three Sheryl Crow CDs for $13 from amazon.com, and bought 4 books for $2 at the library in Hutch. The Nanny Diaries ($.50!!), Wonder Boys (so I can finally return the library’s copy), The Big Bounce ($.25, why not), and some other apparently forgettable title. I’m now 75 percent of the way through The Big Bounce. I can see why there’s a comparison between Elmore Leonard and Raymond Chandler, but Chandler was definitely more fun.
And boy am I glad to hear that Jon Stewart’s going to be around as long as my car stereo.