Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Burying the lede

Here's why I like having friends. At last Satudays (super) long run, Deanna met me for the second half, and asked me how I had enjoyed my last day at work.

Naomi: It was great. Except... Dude, I'm unemployed! I'm not sure this was a good plan.
Deanna: Nuh-uh. You're SELF-employed.

See? Much better.

I've got to admit, I'm loving this carefree, work-at-home, go-to-Pittsburgh-to-hang-out-with-friends lifestyle. On Monday I didn't get out of my PJs until at least noon. This morning, my friends (Kate and Pat) and I went out for the world's most delicious crepes (filled with chocolate and bananas and pure joy). And yet? There is work getting accomplished. I am a contact-making, email-sending, freelance-work-looking-for machine. Part of me (a very small but insistent part) keeps thinking that this is going to work, this stringer thing. And the rest of me doesn't care, because whatever it is I'm doing, it's way more fun than going to work.

Of course, eventually I'll have to face reality and figure out how to earn a living. But for now? I'm loving life.

And this is when you should start to get suspicious. Or at least, this is when I should start to know better.

Naomi: Wow. Things are awesome. I am awesome. Quitting your day job RULEZ!
Universe: Oh wait. What? Sorry, that's totally my cue.
Naomi: Seriously. I've been gloating for like three days over here. What's going on? Hey, wait, are you... drunk?
Universe: NO! Okay, maybe a little. But it's the holidays. Champagne for EVERYONE!
Naomi: Dude. It's January 10th. It's time to get back on the wagon.
Universe: Nawwww. Aw. Fine. Anyway, I heard you, and I've taken care of it.
Naomi: THANK you. I was getting worried. Wait. What did you do.
Universe: Nothing. Just... Do you remember where you parked your car?
Naomi: Yeah, right in front of Kate and Pat's house. Total rockstar parking.
Universe: Mmhmmm.
Naomi: No, really? It's gone! My car. Is gone. It was parked there, and now it's not. Where the HELL is my car?
Universe: Later!

On Monday, when Kate and I went out for our run, the car was there. We double-checked the signs, determined that street cleaning wouldn't be an issue, and went on our way. On Tuesday, I was returning from a solo run, and there my car... Wasn't.

I walked further up the block, but still... no car. I went back to where I was pretty sure I had parked, and... it really wasn't there. For real. Not just making this up over here. Car was gone.

So... it was... stolen? Look. I have a bit of a reputation for losing things among my family. Things that I have lost, include (but are surely not limited to):
every single spring jacket I owned in middle school
my wallet (twice. or... three times? does it count if it everntually gets returned but you've already cancelled the credit cards?)
a contact lens (or two)
socks (in singles and pairs)
my college ID card (but I think it was probably in one of the lost wallets, so it totally shouldn't count twice)

Of course, we should contrast that with things that i have (surprisingly) never lost, including:
my keys
my glasses
my sanity (debatable)

and—until this afternoon at about 4:45 pm—my car. (Although, there was one time when I forgot what street I parked it on, and panicked for about five minutes, until I found it a block over. But that definitely doesn't count.)

But today? The car was not there. (Are we clear on this plot point yet?)

I was cheerily panicked and pissed, and already contemplating how I was going to get home from Pittsburgh (bus?) and, on a scale of 1 to 10, how much it SUCKED to have your car stolen, right when you needed it to do stuff, like drive home from Pittsburgh, when Kate pointed out that there was a fresh tree stump directly across the street from the (now empty) parking spot. Maybe the car had gotten towed?

Kate decided to keep walking around the neighborhood to see if it had been towed around the block somewhere, while Pat and I returned to the apartment to call the police. 9-1-1 promised to pass the message on to the local precinct and have them call me, and I resolved to take a shower.

Twenty minutes later, the police hadn't called back, and Kate had returned empty handed. But I was determined. My car hadn't been stolen. It had just been towed. So back out the door we went, to knock on the door of the house with the tree stump and see what we could find out.

And, although there was no one home when we rang, another neighbor across the street informed us that she'd seen some signs that morning about the tree and about the no-parking. Riiiiight.

So... We eventually tracked down the tow pound (if I hadn't picked up my car in a week, would they have had to put it down?) where I was able to ransom it for $110. The woman claimed I could contest the ticket for $90 that I would find on my windshield, but with the whole, not living in Pittsburgh-thing, and the whole leaving-the-country-thing, I'm not sure how practical that will be. Of course, it's complicated, because there actually was no ticket on my windshield. Curiouser, and curiouser, I say.

My heart wants to believe that I just didn't get a ticket, and the $110 towing fee is the only penalty I'll have to pay for not checking on my car HOURLY, which is apparently what you have to do in this RIDICULOUS town. But....

Universe: No, totally. That's EXACTLY how it works.

Yeah, I didn't think so.


Blogger Anna said...

Damn, I miss you!

12:33 AM  
Blogger Scooter said...

Made me think of this,

10:34 AM  
Blogger jeanne said...

well, congrats on quitting the job and yeah for sitting around in pjs and eating awesome crepes, and a LONG RUN btw, but um, sorry about the whole car thing. that REALLY sucks.

I so want to do what you are doing! if only this mortgage thing wasn't so freakin' insistent..

welcome back. I was ready to send out a search party.

1:37 PM  
Blogger Rae said...

Glad to see you back in blog world! That totally sucks about your car, it's a very strange feeling to walk out and **know** that's where you left it!

Enjoy your free time, I'm so jealous!

9:41 PM  
Blogger a.maria said...

oh i miss your stories! love it. at least it wasn't stolen!?

12:01 AM  
Blogger Deanna said...

At least running shoes was not on your list of items once lost :) that would be a scramble at 5:00 am Sunday morning!

1:40 PM  

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