Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Scuba Winding Down

Last Monday was our last scuba class. Admittedly, I didn't study as hard as I should have. I mostly read over the study guide. I had Nivens and Nightmare on, and their broadcast was distracting. All that talk of shaving delicate parts and whatnot.

At any rate, I go to my last class, which is classroom lecture, followed by the test. Some 85 multiple choice question test. As we sat in the little classroom, that weird guy kept clucking throughout the entire thing, but worse. This time, it was cackling. Periodically, he would call out letters, and then at one point, he started laughing. It even alarmed the children. The adults just had to work harder to ignore him. I resisted the urge to go stab his throat with my ink pen and toss him into the swimming pool.

I think it was safe to say that what his problem was had little do with ADD, and more to do with stuff that only Librium can help with.

Needless to say, I passed. And so did Stewie! We decided to strike while the iron is hot, and book our open water dive for next month.

Hopefully, The Clucker won't be in our group.

The Latest and Greatest Car Saga!

So, I still don't have my car back since it decided to host a car-b-q two weeks ago. I swear, I'm going to have to get it detailed just to get the smell out.

Anyway, the garage called me yesterday. The garage guy said, "Well, the good news is that is was a bad blah-de-blah switch and we can fix it."

Great! Oh, but wait, there's bad news. The announcement of "good news" always comes paired with "bad news". Like they have make sure you are aware of which is good, and which is bad.

Mechanic: Good news! It's a blah-de-blah switch and we can fix it.
Me: Good...er, what's the bad news?
Mechanic: That part is on back order.
Me: For how long?
Mechanic: Indefinitely. Chrysler has about 3000 of them on back order.
Me: So what does that mean???
Mechanic: It means you are going to have to go without headlights.
Me: I can't do that! I work nights, for crying out loud!!
Mechanic: Well, I was able to locate a used one for you.
Me: And?
Mechanic: It's going to cost you just under $300.
Me: Sheesh! Do they provide complimentary lube?
Mechanic: No, an oil change is extra.
Me: ...

So, it is agreed that they will put the used part in the car when it comes in, because used is better than nothing at all...especially since there are over 2000 other schmucks out there waiting for the same part.

The weekend rolls around, and I pick up the car on Sunday. I have working headlights, but no turn signals. While in Johnson County this wouldn't be seen as an issue, not having turn signals make me nervous. I call the shop on Monday to report my findings, and I can literally hear the mechanic deflate on the other end of the phone. I am told to bring it back to the shop the following morning.

Wednesday, I speak to the mechanic who tells me that another hard-to-find part they procured was also faulty, but they have found ANOTHER part, and it will be in two days. Magic!

Friday, I call the shop and mechanic tells me that the part came in, but it was the wrong part and we are now back to square one waiting for a part to be shipped from somewhere. Anywhere. He is as exasperated as I am. My only option is to drive my car around JoCo style and wait for the call that my Holy Grail of parts has arrived.

Which happened to be 30 minutes after I got off the phone. The mechanic is ecstatic that the car is now fixed and he can now get it out of his shop and I can stop calling to harp on him. I'm just happy that I will be getting my car back and I can quit borrowing Mom's car.

So, I picked it up this weekend. The headlights work, the turn signals work. However, my fog lights don't work because the multifunction switch doesn't have the turn-cranky option for fog lights.

I quit.

Damn you, Chrysler! Damn you to hell! For all those bailouts you just got, the least you can do is give me a new car that you don't make replacement parts for because you can't afford to because no one is buying your overpriced turds that break down once you get one mile away from the dealership. Not to mention you owe so much money, that your vendors refuse to make even one rubber band for you until they get what you owe, and other vendors won't even touch you because they know you have an aversion to paying your bills.

It's sad to think that I wouldn't have nearly the problems if I owned a foreign car. Which will probably be my next vehicle purchase.

And the one after that.

And the one after that.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Night That Goes Downhill

Had scuba class again, and this time, it was all classwork. We worked on dive tables, went over gear...and overall good class. Save for that one person who kept chattering during the entire thing. I refer to it as "clucking"...where the words coming out of your mouth are just partial words, you don't make much sense, and it goes non-stop.

The guy came this close to having me go over and poke him in the eye with my ink pen. Stewie guessed he had ADD. I surmised that he was probably going to have a nurse-induced head injury by the end of our scuba training.

Afterwards, Stewie and I went to the Blue Grotto for beverages and snacks. Because it was a Monday, and later in the evening, it wasn't that crowded. We opted for a table inside. Ordered some food, and spent the rest of the evening chatting about life, scuba, lamenting relationships, work, and a host of other things that escape me for the time being.

The food was great. The ambience was great. The place was gorgeous. The establishment had a mod and trendy feel with coming off all douche-baggy. However, at the bar, a butterfaced blond wearing clothes that would have looked better on a Hannah Montana fan, was completely hammered and had wrapped herself around her boyfriend. When someone behaves so inappropriately at a place where you expect to see grown-ups behaving like grown-ups and not strippers, it's hard to hard to not look...but I found my eyes wandering over to her and her apparent disregard for decorum. Her eyes met mine a couple times and apparently thought I was going to make a play for her boyfriend, because then it got worse. At one point, she pulled up her shirt and flashed him (mine are bigger), checking his tonsils to make sure they were still there, and I think she may have started dry humping his leg.

At some point, he reached his hand up under her skirt. Maybe he was studying to be a gynecologist and needed practice. I don't know, and I don't care. I only hoped he would wash his hands thoroughly before touching anything else.

Now, I don't consider myself a prude in terms of sex and sexuality. On the contrary, I have pretty impressive freak flag. However, I come from the school of "Lady on the streets, freak in the sheets". There is a time and a place for everything, and playing Finger bang in someplace other than Erotic City...not cool.

Have some dignity and save that crap for a venue that doesn't serve food to it's patrons. Or at most drinking establishments in Westport....I hear they like that sort of thing there.

After we watched Skanky McButterface being carried out by her boyfriend (of the evening), we stayed and gabbed a little more with the other staff...all of whom witnessed the behavior, and admitted that it was standard for her. And that she was married. But the guy who was checking for pubic lice wasn't her husband.

This just gets better and better!

Other than the Porn Show, my experience at Blue Grotto was pleasant, and I would definitely visit again. The establishment can't be faulted because some of it's patrons might have the couth of Funkhouser's wife, so I'm sure my experience was an isolated incident (I hope).

At any rate, Stewie and I said our goodbyes, and we got in our cars. Mine smelled suspiciously like burning wires, and my headlights wouldn't turn on. Because I'm terrified of being in a burning car, I flag Stewie down and she drove me home. So, in the morning, I have to go take my car in the shop and hope they have it fixed by the time I have to go to work.

Electric work on a car is rarely cheap. I'll make sure to take some extra lube when I go to pick it up.

Meanwhile, I'll just hope and pray that it doesn't spontaneously combust in the parking lot.

AND I'll practice relaxing my sphincter muscles.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Under da Sea!

Well, so maybe it's more like Under the Swimming Pool.

I've always wanted to take proper scuba classes since I did a resort dive during a visit to Cozumel. A resort dive is basically where you get a 30 minutes crash course hitting the hot spots of scuba. Then, you go an do a dive that may be 30 feet underwater...tops. All while you are being led around by your "dive master" who has to babysit you because in 30 minutes, you can't possibly know what the hell you are doing underwater. Our "dive master" Pedro spent move of the dive staring at my chest. The other guy could have ran out of air, and I'm fairly confident that Pedro wouldn't have noticed.

At any rate, as crude a dive as it was, I was hooked on the whole idea of venturing underwater. I've been blathering about taking classes since then, but then life would always get in the way, and my plans would go back on the list of crap I wanted to do, whenever I would get around to doing it.

Recently, my friend and coworker Stewie and myself decided to pull the trigger and take scuba classes. She finally put foot to ass and now we are in the midst of learning what could be the most expensive hobby I have ever decided to take up.

First night, I was expecting it to be strictly classroom stuff, but found out at the last minute that we would be venturing in the pool. I was forced to shave my legs, which wasn't overly terrible when you compare it to the fact I'd been eating baked beans all weekend. I'm sure the bubbles and the smell would distract from the fact that you look like the missing link.

We strapped on 1000lbs of gear and ventured into the pool. Now, when I say I'm not a mouth-breather, I'm not making a statement that I don't belong in the unwashed hippy demographic. I breathe in and out of my nose...usually. Scuba demands you become a mouth breather because your nose is holed up on some mask that fogs up every two minutes because chlorinated water and diving masks are not on speaking terms.

Mask on my face, I pop the regulator in my mouth and submerge. I immediately have a small panic attack and am hyperventilating underwater. Apparently, I'm not alone as my entire class is producing copious amounts of air bubbles. The instructor observes that we are using our air at an alarming rate.

The second night is strictly pool time, and I do much better with the breathing. However, the water is cooler for some reason, and everyone is blue by the time the class ends, some 3 hours later. We learn the art of jumping into the water from the side of the pool while packing a bazillion pounds of gear. It doesn't help that we carry some extra weight to weigh us down because some of us are more buoyant than others.

Boobs float. Who knew!

I also discovered that I have the talent that enables me to jump out of my fins and leave them on the side of the pool.

The instructor (cute but unfortunately married) is somewhat of a hardass. I can appreciate it, though. Scuba is one of those things that if you miss the smallest detail, you drown. He gets annoyed when our attention strays, so I try not to piss him off. I get the impression that the guy has a fury you don't ever want to be the lucky recipient of. Sort of like mine.

Right now, I'm looking for a wetsuit that won't make me look like 20lbs of sausage stuffed into a 10lb neoprene wrapper. It's a daunting task as most wetsuits are designed for women who still have to wear training bras...even into their middle age. The world is not kind to women with large sweater kittens, unless you are a porn star. From what I understand, they prefer to spend most of their time writhing around on a beach naked, rather than going underwater to look at brightly colored fish.

Now, we are almost halfway done with our classes. Stewie and I are already talking about open-water dives, possible adventures we can go on. I'm trying to talk my mother into taking classes, and I think she wants to. I'm trying to talk all my other friends into taking classes. More than one dive buddy is never a bad thing.

Come dive with me! I promise I won't eat any baked beans before we go.