Marry Wrench.

I learned some really good life skills in high school. There are the obvious things I use in my day-to-day life, like logarithms and how to sew pajamas pants. But, no one explained to me what a ‘handle’ was or how much gas one car could realistically consume in a four week period.

College was a similar experience, I quickly caught onto alcohol-related definitions, how to bat my eyelashes and what the best midnight snacks were…are.

However, seemingly small lessons seem to have been passed over, and as it happens there are various things I have recently encountered that make me stop and think, “wait, who was supposed to teach me that and when?”

Recently I explained to a male how there is an obvious buffer built into the suggested oil change time line, made specifically for women like myself. First off, I am very busy and driving aaaaallll the way to the dealership where they will give me a loaner car to avoid me wasting an hour waiting around seems like a hassle. Secondly, when did an oil change become a monetary priority in my life? I like spending money on things like shoes and wine, not an oil change. Seriously, could anything be less sexy? However, as it happens, on the practicality scale these two points of rationale are irrelevant when speaking to someone who is obnoxiously auto-literate.

J: Didn’t your Dad teach you anything about taking care of your car?
Me: Yeah, he did.

::pause::
J: Well?!
Me: He TAUGHT me his phone number.

…yah, I said it.

So, on Tuesday after avoiding the tire pressure light that had been on in my beautiful Lucy (don’t act like you haven’t named your car, too) for a week plus, I grudgingly accepted that J was not going to actively help me out and pulled over at a gas station. Air pressure, how hard can you be?

At the risk of sounding like a total idiot, I will tell you this, hard. There are so many rules when you have a car with a dent-free (knock on wood) finish. For instance, I am pretty sure dragging the air hose across the hood is a definite no-no. Which means I had to position it around and under the front bumper, while also unscrewing the tire cap, checking the beginning pressure, inserting the nozzle, learning that the hose pressure gauge is unreliable, fumbling for my own pressure gauge (thanks, Dad!), rechecking, pulling my shirt down/pants up to ensure no passer-by confused me for a plumber, realizing I put too much air in, panicking, realizing I could let some air out and checking it again with my own gauge.

Tire one, check.

At this point, you might think “ok, so she went to the next tire.” If only. No, no, because I was convinced it was just the one tire, I got in the car, turned on the engine and DAMMIT THE LIGHT WAS STILL ON.

Repeat.

After the second time of the light not going off, I finally thought it best to check all tires.

Then my three minutes ran up, and I couldn’t reach the last tire without dragging the hose all over my mostly unblemished paint. More quarters, followed by pulling my car forward.

Absolute mess. I am sure the guys at the tire center got a real chuckle from my absent-mindedness. They will never know I grew up with Tim the Toolman Taylor and a garage full of wrenches, engine lifts and…stuff.

Four tires, two dollars and one Americano later I was back in the car driving away from the Hellish place that will inevitably cause nightmares. I made sure all the PSI or PPS or whatever matched what they were supposed to match. And, guess what. THE LIGHT WAS STILL ON.

Turns out, you have to drive for a few minutes before the freshly filled tires register. Err…at least I think that’s what happened because now the light is off.

Growing up, women are told to marry rich. I know I can make money, so I say, women marry a man with a wrench.

In other news, I have recently started editing a blog for the above mentioned J, even though he refused to fill my tires with air. He will be documenting his snowboarding adventures, skill progression and terrain coverage. Check him out here.

Philadelphia :: A City of Moops

2010 has been a year of travel for me. I spend a minimum of one weekend out of town, if not two. The past four days, I have been in Philadelphia – a city responsible for many things I am found of, including but not limited to the show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia…ok so that’s the only immediate thing that comes to mind.

Everyone is so friendly in Philly, except for – ironically – the girl at Starbucks who wouldn’t change my $20 bill. Really? Next time, I’m paying with a $50 and you better get some small bills because I want ones. I didn’t fly all the way from Seattle to go to Starbucks and have you be rude to me. I’m telling Howard.

To start, we rented a car – because 1) it’s paid for by my company and B) rental cars provide for endless hours of comical relief. This time around we got a Nissan Versa which is similar to a matchbox car but with less power. It’s the same size as a Hybrid, has the same horrible pickup and sounds exactly the same. Yet, it is not a Hybrid. In theory, it’s a waste of a car. Per my usual, I declined the insurance because I am “economical,” sure let’s call it that, and overly confident I won’t get into an accident.

For the record, additional insurance is probably statistically a good idea. I thought I was aggressive driver. Enough so that I could handle Philly and Jersey – combo pack! – without peeing myself. False. Driving a matchbox that whirs when accelerating on the on-ramp, while also checking my blind spot to make sure I don’t get run over like Mario Kart creates all sorts of panic within.

While chugging my Americano (appetite suppressor + mood accelerator = bliss) and stopped at a light, the Queen o’ Sportscenter and I were exchanging our typical useless conversation. Really, nothing we every say is funny except to us, but we banter continually. The light turned green, and whaddaya know, I hit a pothole hence spilling my venti all down my front.

Me: DO SOMETHING?
QoSC: What do you want me to do?

Coffee drips down my jacket

Me: SOMETHING

Still driving because it’s an on-ramp, and I can’t stop.

So she grabs the wheel. Obviously, of all the things I am holding the wheel is the most convenient. Not the coffee that I’m holding in the hand closest to her. Hell, she could have wiped the coffee of my boob (freebie!) and I wouldn’t have cared. Meanwhile, a crazed Phillies fan with a car that had real horsepower – probably a Ford – came up fast on my left.

QoSC: OMG look out!
Me: DO SOMETHING!

To be honest I was so concerned that my favorite jacket was absorbing my Sbucks to think of a different phrase. Clearly, verbalizing myself wasn’t going well and I was secretly hoping she would read my mind. Jedi.

QoSC: I CAN’T BREAK FOR YOU!
Me: OMG TAKE MY COFFEE!
QoSC: Oh.

(Also, did you know after you pass through a toll, there are no lanes? NO LANES. It’s one big fishbowl of cars with either NJ or PA plates, again with actual horsepower, racing for the exit. For a girl that cries, I am not sure how I made it out without tears.)

In addition to the driving escapades, we also decided it best to create a word – just in case people didn’t already think we had twinsies-terrets. They do now. We spent so much time saying “MOOP” that I am guessing they thought we were saying “poop.” (Philly isn’t the cleanest place.)

Moop = Man on Stoop. We made it our personal goal to find as many stoop-sitters as possible while driving from South Philly to City Center. Mostly because movies tell us that people sit on stoops on the East Coast.

As we are college graduates (four years, in a row), we had to go out at least one night in Philly. And being advocates (read: cliché tourists) of It’s Always Sunny we of course went to Mac’s – a pub owned by Rob McHellerny and his wife, Sweet Dee. It was here that I made the strongest $10 investment of my life. For $15, we had the opportunity to purchase a Philly foam hat, and get a free beer! with said purchase.

Me: Hmmm $15. For a beer? That’s pricey.
Him: But you get this hat! Plus you’d spend AT LEAST $7 on a beer.

::contemplation::
Q o’ SC: I’m never going to wear that again.
Me: BUT IT’S AWESOME.

I was never a strong negotiator. I show emotion too quickly. Dangit.

Him: Ok, ok. What’s your name?
Me: Tami. With an I.
Him: Ok, Tami, how about I give you two for $20 with 2 free beers.
Q o’ SC: Um…uhhh…
His ‘friend’: That’s such a good deal. We’re not even making a profit on that.

::blink.blink:: Friend leaves.

Him: Ok, ok. While he’s gone, how about I do two for $20 and 4 free beers.
Me: SOLD.
Q o’ SC: Basically, we are paying $10 for two beers and getting a free hat?

Me: GIve me your purse.

Needless to say we ended up with said fantastic hats. See photo below. They are shaped like bells, with giant cracks, and say “RING IT.”

Later, after refusing to wear hers all night, the Q o’ SC gave hers to a homeless man who proceeded to try and bum a smoke. At least he got a new pillow.

PS: yes, that does say ‘Crack Head.’ Glasses not included.

Sitting Room Only?

Currently I am 10,000+ feet in the air, elbows at my sides – replicating a pushup position, but while sitting. Am I doing bicep curls? No. The gentleman in front of me so kindly reclined his seat so far back I could probably cut his hair. Or shave it. (If only I could travel with a razor.) It seems Delta really went all out for the ‘commuters’ traveling cross-country. Though I rarely complain about airlines, ask anyone I know (who you might also know, if you know me. If you don’t know me, it’s best you keep questions about me to yourself.) and they’ll tell you Southwest is my airline of choice. No seat assignments, comfortable spacing, and best yet — affordability. However, this time around we opted for Delta. A major provider for mass air transit, well established and the cheapest.

I feel as if I am riding on a Greyhound Bus complete with shotty drop down TVs but with less stench. Which is debatable as my sinuses are completely dried out from being awake at 3:30am.

Update: the stewardess just walked the entire aisle harping “excuse me, excuse me, excuse me.” As a curvy woman myself, I understand sometimes hips don’t lie, however in this instance Ms. Size Two was indicating that elbows should move so she didn’t RAM them with her drink cart. In addition to massive seating space, we also sprung for the wide aisles, eh Delta? I’m glad you gave the 8 people in first class free elbow pads, because you can’t already lay across the aisle up there or anything. Let’s be extra safe with the people that paid a smidge (read: what I cant afford) extra. If I would have known I was hindering the ability to move and risking a broken funny bone, I probably would have upgraded. Lucky for me I am in the coveted middle seat, so the worst that can happen is an elbow to the boob as my fellow travel buddy attempts to dodge a drink cart assault.

Don’t try to blame Boeing on this one. You pay for what you get.

Continuing on, the man, I’ll call him Stewart, since that’s what his hat says, seems to be paired with he woman on his right. Fantastic. Do you think you could sprawl her way a little bit champ? I would like to respond to some work emails; however space-infringement has broken my pervious writers’ block. Stewart has given up on sleeping and is doing…nothing. Unless he is planning on popping out a child anytime soon, I don’t think it’s necessary for him to take up 1.5x the amount of space given to him. The good news is it looks as if he plans on ordering some food, which means he will likely spew crumbs up and over his seat. Sounds impossible, but I wouldn’t put it past him.

This vendetta is beginning to feel personal, no? If I could retaliate by kicking his seat and put stickers on his back without him noticing, only for him to go walking the streets of Philly with “I am inconsiderate” plastered against what I can only imagine is the back of a t-shirt that says “Nascar” on the front, I would. Unfortunately, I can’t move my legs, and I forgot my “Suck It” stickers at home.

I always forget something when I travel.

In other news, the gentleman to my left is very friendly, and my travel-companion, known in prior entries as The Queen of Sportscenter isn’t obsessively explaining the important of Fantasy Football to me. Yet. Since it seems her eyesight is worse than that of a legally blind person, it is safe to say friendly-man and the 6 rows behind me all know that Stewart has a light case of dandruff now.

Sorry bud. What can I say? It’s karma.