Her Ladyship

Notes from the gutter.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Vote early, vote often

Look, a non-scooter-related post! (Except this: I am not driving that thing at night until well into summer. I met friends for dinner on Monday and damn near froze to death on the way back home.)

Anyways, voting. The Texan and I did our civic duty and went down to the library to vote early. We unfortunately timed our trip right around lunch, which meant about a half hour wait. Which kind of invalidated the reason why we went early, i.e., not having to wait. But the voting, once it started, went like gangbusters. We have touch screens, so it just involves scrolling rapidly through the screens, double-checking to make sure that you pushed the correct box, and then hitting the flashing red button that says "Vote."

BTW, I voted for the JP who married us. Hope that makes up for stiffing her on the tip. (In my defense, it was one of the few things I'd forgotten to arrange ahead of time. The other was failing to make sure the DJ got to eat during his SEVEN HOURS on the clock. Uh, sorry dude.)

If nothing else has come out of this looooong election year, it's nice to see that it's driven voter turnout way up. Go democracy!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fully legal!

Well, I finally did it: I got a Texas driver's license. And it is a motorcycle license too, so I can drive our scooter with impunity. Hello, California rolls!*

There was only a minimum of drama in getting the license. I was worried they'd be anal about me having to have my social security card - no idea where the original one is - but I had my school transcripts and they have my social security number on it, so it worked out. Probably the first and last time I was glad to have my privacy violated by having my social security number splayed over non-official documents. Also, I had to wait nearly an hour before they called my number, and when I went up to the window, it turned out you had to use black ink, and I'd - GASP - used blue ink. And yes, I had to fill the damn things out again, but fortunately, they didn't kick me to the back of the line.

I'd taken the motorcycle riding school course and passed it, so I didn't have to do the behind the wheel portion of the motorcycle test. All I had to take was a written exam, which, thank you very much, I aced. Of course, of the 15 questions I was asked, probably three of them were things I learned in the riding course; the rest were just common-sense. But still.

So I had my picture taken - where they insisted on removing my glasses, even though I wear them pretty much every waking moment - and in two to four weeks, I'll have an actual license. In the meanwhile, I have a lovely piece of paper that indicates I am legal to drive in Texas.

This all happened Wednesday afternoon. By Wednesday evening, I'd had my first accident on the scooter. No, not what you were thinking. I'd taken my glasses off to get my helmet off - it's one of those that covers your whole head - and set the glasses on the scooter's seat. Unbeknownst to me, the wind blew my glasses to the ground, where I promptly stepped on them and broke an arm off.

The really strange thing is that while taking the eye exam for the license earlier that day, I'd gotten a 20/50 rating. I used to have 20/10 with my glasses on, and it made me realize that this pair was 4.5 years old and maybe the prescription needed to be changed. Breaking your only pair of glasses is a great incentive to hie yourself to the optometrist. Now I have an appointment for Tuesday, where I have to pick out a new pair of frames. O the pressure of picking a look for the next few years. And I found a good repair place that was able to temporarily weld the glasses frame back together so I don't have to walk around with scotch tape doing the job.

* I was very surprised to learn that people from other states also call it a "California roll" when you don't make a complete stop at a red light/stop sign. I thought it was just us Californians who did that. Come to think of it, it's kind of an insult...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Peace of mind

I got my wedding and engagement bands back (from having the prongs tightened and the missing diamond replaced), so all is right with my world again. Although here was the conversation I had when I called on Friday night to see if I could come pick them up:

Me: "Hi, this is Her Ladyship, I'm calling to see about my rings?"

Jeweler's: "Yes, I see that it's ready."

Me: "IT??? I dropped off TWO rings."

Jeweler's: "No, all I have is just the one here....Wait, is your first initial [X]?"

Me: "No. WHERE. IS. MY. RING."

Jeweler's: "Uh, I'll be right back......Okay, found both of them."

They look purty and as far as I know, they didn't swap any of the diamonds for fakes. Or grab a random ring willy-nilly out of the display case. But what a clusterfuck this has been from the get-go.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Feeling nekkid

So two weeks ago, I happened to glance down and see that one of the diamonds had fallen out of my wedding band. This annoyed me for two reasons: 1) it looked all sorts of shitty, and 2) I've only been wearing the thing for a year and a half. Come on, just because the divorce rate has skyrocketed in this country doesn't mean that wedding rings should be made to be disposable!

I took it back to the store, where I found out that my "diamond warranty" (free replacement of the diamond) would have been followed if I'd been taking it in to the store to get the prongs tightened every six months. Allow me to break this down: they take a week to get it back to you. So I'm expected to give up my wedding band for TWO WEEKS every year - keep in mind this isn't costume jewelry, it's something that is not supposed to leave your hand - or else *I* am the one at fault. What sort of crap logic is that? And what does that speak about their product, that it can't be expected to last longer than six months without needing to be tinkered with?

Anyways, I'm getting it fixed, and while I'm waiting for the jeweler to finish his work, my left hand is bare. There is a HUGE farmer's tan on my ring finger, which makes me feel like a sleazoid who's on a business trip and tucked her wedding ring in her wallet. Plus I keep startling myself because I'll realize it's not on and then freak out for a second, thinking it fell off. What I'm saying is, this is causing me duress. They said it should be back tonight. For my mental health, I really hope so.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Rolling with my homies

Am I totally dating myself with that title? Oh hell, what don't I say that isn't years out of date? (True story: J-Ditty and I still greet each other with "Wasuuuuup.")

ANYWAYS, this weekend I took the plunge and headed back to motorcycle riding school. Now, the first time I tried this, it did not go well. After an hour of sheer incompetence and boobery on my part, and hamhanded-ness on my instructor's part*, it was mutually agreed that it would be best if I left early. So I did. The Texan, being of heartier stock and mechanically apt, did beautifully at the school and was able to successfully complete it. He followed it by quickly getting his fully motorcycle license and thus being able to legally drive our scooter.

I followed it by ignoring our scooter for a few more months, and then, as the wounds healed (emotional, I never did fall off the bike during the class), slowly getting used to short rides around the block. I expanded it to the gym, and then my dance studio.

This was all in prep for a second chance at motorcycle school, which I had this weekend. Now, not everyone knows this, but you can use a scooter for the class, which makes it all sorts of awesome. Seriously. 90 percent of the class is teaching you how to shift from various gears at various speeds, so while all that's going on, a scooter's main job is to remain upright. Done!

I was the only one in a group of 8 riders on a scooter, and I thought that perhaps I might be mocked for my choice of riding equipment, because let's be honest, the reason why I was on a scooter for the class is because I could not hack it on a motorcycle. But my classmates couldn't have been nicer. I had told them that I have a scooter, hence my interest in taking the class, and people would surround me during the breaks to ask questions about it.

In the end, I passed the skills test in the respectable middle of the group, aced the written exam, and walked out of there with a certificate that will give me a discount on my insurance and allows me to skip the riding portion of the DMV test for my motorcycle license. Yay!

Of course, that does mean I have a trip to the DMV in my future, at which point I will need to switch over my DC license to a, sigh, Texas one. Well, I'd managed to put it off for three years, I guess I can't bitch too much.

While this was all going on, The Texan was involved in a scooter rally. If you were wondering why in the world there were hundreds of scooters on San Antonio's streets this weekend, well, question answered. They had several rides for the participants, one of which took them out to Hill Country (about a 120 miles round-trip, I believe), another which took them through San Antonio's Mission Trail. And talk about friendly - I have never seen such a happy bunch of people in my life. They really do love their scooters. In fact, we might even join a local group and go on weekend rides. It'll be just like the Hell's Angels, except, you know, for the meth and crime.

* I accept my part for the debacle of my first time to motorcycle school, but the way the school is set up, it does not deal well with people who have never been on the back of a bike before (despite what they say). And I would argue that the school has a nasty habit of pushing women toward the scooter if they run into trouble with their bikes, as opposed to working them through the issues. But that might just be some of the bitterness talking.