Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Drivers License Despondency

Those of you who read this often know that it's been time for me to get a new drivers license, and most importantly a new drivers license picture. I went in to do that early on but when I tried to get the license I tried to have the extraneous "W" taken out of my name on the license, which couldn't be done without my original birth certificate and marriage license, which I spent about two weeks trying to find. I figured that was okay though because then I could make some preparations, get a haircut, pay attention to what color shirt to wear, stack the deck in favor of a good picture this go-round.

For two months I've been waiting for that good hair day, the right shirt to be clean, that scratch on my forehead to heal, the perfect day to get my picture taken. Then yesterday was my last day to get my new license and I was out of days. I was forced to go in just as I am. The anxiety was terrible. With my file of legal documents with my name all over them (none with a haphazard "W") I took my little tissue paper number and waited my turn.

First of all, they won't take the "W" out. It's there because the name on my birth certificate is Alice Ananda Weaver Seyle. I don't know what the marriage license has to do with anything because the name on there is my maiden name, thus the same as the one on my birth certificate. The name on my social security card is Alice Ananda Seyle Spear, and that doesn't have anything to do with anything either. They explained that they stuck the "W" in there because they couldn't fit in the full "Weaver" and understandably so, that would be five names. It would look ridiculous. They insist on representing the "Weaver" though because they claim that it's my middle name. I don't understand it and I don't feel like getting a court order to change it as they suggested, so what I've ended up with is, again, "Spear, Alice, Ananda, W, Seyle," like a huge dork and a picture that looks like this:

It's better that what I had before, without a doubt. It's still an embarrassment but at least I'm smiling. The shirt that was clean yesterday was a button-up cream-colored one with faint red flowers. It's exactly the same color as my skin and I see now that I look weird in it. In the picture I look like I'm not wearing a shirt but have loose skin and the plague. My hair is a mess, much puffier that I imagined it to be, kind of like Roseanne Roseannadanna. When you look at the picture you see just dark hair with a tiny smiling face punched in the middle... But at least I'm smiling.

On my way out the door to go to the DMV I told my manager how nervous I was about this picture, he said I should just refuse to have the picture taken, "like Russ," who is our delivery driver. I didn't think that was legal, so I cornered Russ up this morning and demanded to see this alleged no-picture license. Apparently it is legal because right where his picture should have been are the words "legal without picture." He said he had to make a trip to Little Rock to get that done. I'm going to do the same thing in 2014, this is too much for me.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Open letter to my high school friends on facebook

Obviouly I've done something wrong. There are those of you who still seem to have fun and do things. I see the pictures, the ones of you all smashed up with about 100 of your friends, with the funny expressions and the nonsensical comments at the bottom like "RKR Infinity!" followed by a bunch of L-ing OL. How have you maintained your youthful abilty to be entertained? How have you found so many friends and where do you guys go? Even if I had a million friends, and some cool little place where we know the owner, I wouldn't have anywhere to go with Story. What do you do with your kids? I know you have them because the picture right after the one of you dancing on a table is the one of your little darlings all dressed for their first day of school.

I guess I'm just confused. Did I age twice as fast as everyone else? Is it this place? If I move back to Missouri can I dance on tables too? Where are you making friends? Once I got out of school and wasn't forced to interact with people my age I must have gotten complacent, whereas you stayed dilligent. Come to think of it, where are all the people my age in this state? This is the weirdest place, a land of the old and young with nothing in between. I could either go hang out with my skateboard in front of the movie theater on Friday night or I could go to some sort of party where someone is selling something cute.

I like to have fun, I was never too good at making my own fun, just kind of tagged along with you, facebook friends. I like looking at your pictures, don't get me wrong. I just can't figure out why I feel so old and weary and you look so young and vibrant. One of these days I'm going to make my way up to Missouri, you know, where the party's at, for a visit. Get my table ready. Love you, friends.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A creative way of getting the point across that you don't like your neighbor's dog

An old man called in on the local radio station this morning. He was angry because someone was messing with his dog. I think I've mentioned before how everyone here just lets their dogs run free, so when one person gets a dog everyone in the neighborhood gets a dog whether they were included in the decision or not. Someone obviously thought that they should have been considered when this guy decided to get a dog because they did some real thinking about how they were going to address the situation. That or they don't really mind the dog, they just do a lot of sitting at home, not working, and "thinking." Instead of the pellet gun shooting spree which is the preferred unwanted-dog-handling method around here, this person actually approached the dog, maybe fed it a little bit, made friends with it, put a t-shirt on it and sent it home. I thought that was hilarious, but this guy was not laughing when he said "My dog keeps coming home in T-SHIRTS! And I want whoever is doing this to stop!"

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Musical Windows

I work in a very small office at the back of the auto parts store. Trish and I are in the front office. Larry, the owner, has the one adjoining. I was nervous at first about sharing such a small work environment but it doesn't bother me. I like Trish. We laugh and discuss last night's America's Got Talent (Way to go Michael Grimm!) and listen to music. We're in a metal building so we can't get regular radio so Trish has the satellite radio set up on her computer. She pretty much keeps it on classic rock. She's moved on from her Pink Floyd phase and we get a steady stream of everything from Creedence to Janis. I like it. Those aren't the kinds of songs I purchase, but they're the kind I listen to if I'm forced to listen to actual radio. I will typically choose classic rock over the dated pop, Southern gospel, or contemporary country that rock the airwaves down here.

What is funny, as I sit here at my desk, is that Larry has got the satellite radio going in his office too. He keeps it on the golden oldies station. At one point today I was hearing Elton John's "Benny and the Jets," with Jimmy Soul's "If You Wanna Be Happy" (for the rest of your life, don't make a pretty woman your wife...) in the background. There's one song that they play over and over and the chorus is so loud and I had never heard it before I started working here but now every time it comes on I turn around to Trish to find her using her finger to pantomime shooting herself in the head. It is pretty bad.

I went through an oldies phase when I was little, so I know a lot of the songs I hear all day and I like classic rock, so neither of the stations bother me. I like the idea that the three of us are sitting here in the same place, with our own soundtracks. Larry who now likes to go to Green Egg conventions, who has worked in auto parts stores from the time he started working, who still dresses like he might have been the type to grease his hair back and roll a pack of cigarettes in his white shirt sleeve, who might have skipped school but would never have skipped work. Trish, who had boyfriends in biker gangs, who had to use pliers to zip up her jeans, who once had a beer with one of the guys from ZZ Top and kind of insulted him, who still likes a cold beer and a night out at the races. My computer doesn't have speakers, but I'd probably be listening to something by Massive Attack, with some Gillian Welch on the side. I wonder what that says about me, what people might imagine of my past based on my music? For now though, I like the combination of the oldies and the old-but-not-so-oldies and the little window it gives me into the former lives of my coworkers.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Park

It's finally cooling off here. The days are really nice and people, the lazy ones like me who don't like walking to the car in 100-degree heat much less jogging in it, are starting to come back out again. I took Story to the park today. It's a nice park, by the lake and it's got lots of that pea gravel with which Story likes to fill his pockets and inadvertently my washing machine. There's not much of a story here, just a nice day. There were decidedly few people at the park considering it was a Sunday afternoon and the people who were there were the kind of people you like to see when you show up at the park. All the parents were kind of watching all the kids, nobody looked at you like you were a bad parent if they had to rescue your child from getting knocked over by another child coming down the slide, everyone made sure that the little ones stayed away from those drop-offs where the fire station-type poles are, and we all tried to say things like "Wow! That was so fast!" when one of the kids would go down the slide and look indiscriminately to one of us adults for a reaction. It was fun to watch Story. He's like I remember Adam, my soon-to-be-seven-year-old, being. He just did his own thing. He didn't mind the other kids following or copying him, but it never occurred to him to follow or copy. He was talking and people besides me could understand him, he laughed and showed me things, and despite my frustration at him sneaking and eating half a package of Certs that I had in my bag, we both had a good time. We might go to the park tomorrow too.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Small World

There is a new tab where I write posts called "Stats." It will show me how many people have looked at this page, what kind of operating system they were on (you guys are reading this on your iPods?), and where they're from. Of course most people who are reading live in the United States and are related to me. But just under the US, in terms of readership, is South Korea. I have no relatives in South Korea, in fact the only connection I have with Korea is one that I made in the first grade.

Ms. Kim was my favorite teacher (Lyndsay, you remember her). I remember trying to make her eyes pop out. I thought that if I did a lot of work and filled my folder up really full she would be so impressed with me that her eyes would literally pop out of her head. I didn't want to hurt her, but in my first grade mind a person's eyes popping out was the only way I could imagine a person expressing real amazement, and I wanted to amaze her. One time some of her friends visted her. I remember them only as "The Korean Nuns." They wore the black habits and everything and I loved them. I don't know now how long they were there or how often they visited but it seems like they were around a lot and that was good because they always seemed really impressed with my drawings and would let me sit in their laps whenever I wanted.

That's all I know about South Korea. My favorite teacher is from there and there are kindly Nuns with comfortable laps who like my artwork living there. I'm amazed that there are people living so far away, who don't know me, reading these words. It makes me wish I had something interesting to say. If you do live in some far off land, and you are reading this, I, and all my relatives and friends reading this would be amazed to hear from you. You ought to post a comment just so I know you're really out there. My eyes might just pop out.