Tuesday, October 28, 2014

i DIDN'T lock myself out of my Cadillac...

1959 Cadillac Coupe DeVille

There are days where I am extremely stressed. When I get extremely stressed, I do one of three weird things: (a) eat hot cocoa powder at midnight; (b) attempt to run from the basement to the loft, leaving me wheezing and breathless. (I'm really out of shape...); (c) lose my keys.


Four weeks ago, it was the first night of practice for the musical that I am playing piano for. I had rushed to work five hours earlier after sitting through a 90 minute Anatomy class, and honestly, my brain was close to frying. Seriously, the bags under my eyes were dragging on the ground. (Okay, maybe that's exaggerating. And morbidly gross.) But you get the idea. I had been through the ringer, and it was only Monday.

I'm crossing the street, digging through my bottomless pit of a purse, searching for my keys.
They weren't there.

Shoot, I'm thinking, this is just my luck. I have locked myself out of my Cadillac.

(Hence, the picture above...it was a cool picture...apologies for my Pinterest obsession.) 

Thankfully, I remember the sound advice that my older sister had given me earlier in the summer, regarding a spare key: zip-tie it to the tailpipe. So, after reaching my car, I look under it, expecting to see my key. All I see is an unadorned tailpipe.

(Insert minor panic attack here.)

I call Mom and tell her the situation. She laughs at first, and then tells me that zip-tie-ing the spare key to the tailpipe wouldn't work because the pipe gets hot. It probably melted off. Mom tells me to check again, go back to work and look under my desk, keep an eye on the sidewalk (maybe I dropped them) while I'm walking over there, etc. I do all of these things. No keys.

So I text my older sister, teasing/chewing her out for letting me ZIP-TIE my spare key to the TAILPIPE. She responds, confused, and then calls me, laughing hysterically, (although I can't hear that because it's her silent laugh) because she just realized what happened.

"Dani, I can't find my keys." I can hear bits and pieces of wheezing on the other end of the line.
"Did you check your purse?" She tries to pull herself together, successful on the second try.
"Yes, it was the first place I checked."
"No, really check it. Dump it out."

I dump it. Nothing. (Well, let's define nothing as no keys. My purse usually contains a notepad, my Kindle, my phone, my lunch container, several pens, chapstick, and whatever other crap I need or can fit into it.) As my chapstick starts rolling away, I consider crying. Would throwing a tantrum fix this? I decide it would only help me look even more like a fool, so I finish the conversation with Dani.

And call Dad.

"Can you come pick me up? I locked myself out of the car."
A deep sigh on the other end. "I'm at work now. Call Triple A and I'll come get you."

Let me tell you something about the people at Triple A. They have developed a beautiful callus to people on the verge of tears. They are nice, but you can tell that they deal with stuff like that ALL THE TIME. In my case, the conversation sounded like this:

"Hi, um....I locked myself out of my car. Is there any way you can send someone out here tonight?"
A slight pause, not completely silent because of the echo of a pair of eyes rolling (not mine).....then, in a monotone voice:

"I'm so sorry to hear that, Ma'am. I hope we will be able to assist you this evening. Please tell me your location so I can estimate the time frame in which we will be able to send a driver to assist you."

My eyes almost bugged out of my head, mostly because it took her about 30 seconds longer than it should have to say those three sentences. So I tell her my "location", and she says it'll be about 40-50 minutes, and gives me my call reference number. I give her my Triple A card number and name and what my car looks like, and everything else. (I was a little disappointed that she didn't ask my favorite color...)

Deep breath. It's going to be okay, Sami. 
My dad pulls up right then, Thank goodness.
We look for my keys again. Under the car, in my purse, EVERYWHERE.

And then, FINALLY, my dad asks the stupidest and most brilliant question EVER:

"Did you check all the doors?"

And I am suddenly bombarded with a flashback of 6 hour old memories. The noise of my keys hitting something, but that noise isn't muffled by the sides of my purse. My backpack sliding off the back seat. Slamming the door shut, but not using my fob to lock the doors, just thinking that I had locked it from the inside, before I closed any of the doors.

I'm standing next the the back door now. I close my eyes, exasperated with myself, because I'm thinking that I just had THE BIGGEST BLONDE MOMENT IN HISTORY. The door opens when I yank on the handle. Puffing air into my cheeks, I hold my breath and allow myself the tiniest of temper tantrums.

Yes. A temper tantrum. And I'm being sarcastic when I describe it as "tiny". I stomped my foot and everything. Kicked the air, did a tiny scream, extreme sounds of exasperation, even the bend-over-and-hold-your-torso-while-grunting gig.

Dad watches, then grunts, and I hand him five bucks because he had to drive into Hamilton to come help me open my already-unlocked car door.

He was happy about the five bucks. "Coffee money", he calls it. And then heads home.

So I call Triple A, and cancel my call. Of course it was a different person that answered, so I have to tell them my reference number. Guess what? THEY USED THE SAME MONOTONE VOICE. Seriously, if it wasn't a girl the first time I called, and a guy the second, I would have thought that they were using the same voice on a recording and a computer to figure out how to answer my request.

"Oh, I'm so glad that you were able to work out this difficulty without our assistance, Ma'am. We hope you will call us next time you encounter any problems. Have a very nice day."

My eyes are bugging out of my head again.

Oh, well...at least my car is unlocked.

This was quite an adventure for me. (I know. This means I have no life.) But hey, it was a bit of my day that, while it was agitating and a bit depressing (when you consider how I completely blanked out on locking my car and making sure that I had my keys), I was able to laugh at. It was enjoyable because it was kind of stupid. In a blonde sort of way.

I mean, come on. It's hilarious when you think about it. I thought that I lost my keys, called my mom, my sister, AND my dad. Then I called Triple A, and THE CAR DOOR WAS UNLOCKED THE WHOLE TIME.

I did laugh.

This is improvement. Normally I would be extremely embarrassed. Do you think the stress is taking its toll?

Seriously, though. Laugh at yourself. They say that laughter is the best medicine. That laughter is the fireworks of the soul. That life is better when you laugh.

So laugh! Even at the most inopportune times, at the awkwardest moments, and at the stupid stuff. Because those are usually the funniest.


Friday, October 3, 2014

Sleepless in ......... Musical Montana

So, I'm playing the music for Young Frankenstein the Musical. My town has a little playhouse, and volunteers go to be actors, stagehands, directors, musicians, costume people, etc., etc., etc.

And guess who got roped into "volunteering"?  

That's right...I did.

Let's just say that by the time I get back from practice, ready myself for slumber, and say goodnight to Mom and Dad, it's WAY past my bedtime. I'm not complaining. It's great fun, this musical. But it does result in late evenings and the music is like caffeine for me.

Now I know why no one drinks coffee at 9:00 p.m.

Anyway, while I lay in bed trying valiantly to turn my brain off, I usually get some pretty good poetry/writing inspiration. This is what I came up with last night, as I was trying to...well...catch sleep.

Ironic, isn't it? That one would write a poem about catching sleep while they were trying to catch........never mind. I'll just give you the poem.


     Catching Sleep

     Darkness fills the air.
     I create a cocoon around me
     with blankets
     and burrow my face in the hollow.
     I breath hot air and
     wait for sleep to take me
     for a walk
     like it does every night.

     It sits there,
     but whenever I reach out
     to take it, it
     And I am left
     with nought
     but a handful of darkness.

     I reach for it again,
     but it dances away
     and perches on the
     branch of a memory.
     I crash into it,
     wanting so badly for sleep
     that I've lost
     all coordination.

     But still sleep eludes me.
     Always just beyond my grasp,
     blending with shadows,
     waiting for me to catch it.
     My mind spins circles.
     It only wants rest.
     Just when I collapse into
     that void

     sleep pounces.

     And it catches me.

     I must remember that.

     To sleep, one must be
     because sleep is a huntress,
     waiting for the next exhausted soul
     to sleep.

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