Thursday, September 24, 2009

day fifty five

This has nothing to do with my riding, but I'm sad and must speak of this horrid event...the passing of my beautiful red car. Yes, it's true, my lovely red car is going away. My car has been hissing and howling and causing my husband much stress lately. I think she is a perfect representation of me. Anyway, Greg decided to get me another car, but don't worry, he's Buffalo born and bred and so his standards for everything are real low, thank God, and he made sure to keep the budget for my "new" car in the hundreds, which means I'm getting another piece of crap. But this new car is not nearly as interesting as my old car. I mean yes, it's ugly and all but it's nondescript in it's ugliness. It's grey. That's the only thing I can think to say about it. I'm not even sure there is a single thing about it that is appealing or noteworthy.

I think my bike is worth more than my old car. We are selling her for the low, low price of 450.00, so yes, my bike is definitely worth more than the car. The car has no redeeming qualities. It makes various noises and produces all kinds of leaky spots in the drive-way. The c.d. player broke awhile ago and there is a film covering the windows that makes driving at night give new meaning to the term "white knuckling." It's truly death defying driving that car in the dark - or the rain - or any kind of weather that requires clear windows. It shakes when you drive over 60, and it's so loud inside the car when you are driving that fast that it's not worth even trying to speak. Kate actually believes the car is going to disintegrate at some point and she really wanted to keep it so she could see it happen. Every time we are in it she says, "doesn't it seem like the tires and doors are going to fall off whenever we hit a bump?" Having said all this, I'm now wondering why I'm sad that we are getting rid of her.

I think this is the reason - I was on my way somewhere today and a car pulled out in front of me. The driver of that car ended up pulling into the same place as I did. She got out and I realized I knew her and she smiled and yelled over to me, "I saw the car and knew it was you, so I knew I could pull out in front." See, this car has an identity. People know this car by sight. There is never any second guessing about whether or not it's my car. People just know.

Well, I guess I'm left with no choice - I must bang up the new car. I'm up for the task. I'm good at leaving identify marks on cars. We had a nice car once. It was the car I drove when I was a paper carrier back in Albany. It was a popular make of car with nothing to separate it from the thousands of others just like it on the road. But I made sure to swipe plenty of mailboxes while I was delivering my papers and darn if you couldn't start to spot that car in all the parking lots. I'll make my peace with all of this soon, but really I am going to miss annoying my neighbors with the hissing noise.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

day thirty nine

I usually don't ride through downtown on my bike ride, but this morning I thought, hey Ann Marie, live on the edge, go through a different part of town! And all I can say is DE-PRESS-ING! I go downtown quite a bit but there are usually people there barricading me from reality. This morning no one was out because of the early hour. It seems that every other storefront in town is closed for business, permanently. Maggie's Attic, Hart's Store, The Irish Corner, all gone. And there are several others too and it made me question why I told the Gallop person who called with a list of endless questions last week that this town was doing better now than when I moved here three years ago. I mean for obvious reasons it is doing better in one sense - I'm here. I'm important and vital and exciting and wherever I go things truly are better but in other ways it most definitely is not better.

I feel sort of bad for telling the Gallop guy what I told him about my town. Maybe I can call him back. It was a fun phone call. They ask you all sorts of things about your health and your kids and your access to things like parks and medicine. And do you work, have you worked for pay in the past day, week, month or year. Finally, after saying no, no, no and no I started laughing and said, "I take care of my kids, please tell me there is a question that justifies me saying I haven't worked for pay in the last day, week, month or year because I have to be honest, I'm sounding pathetic." And there was a question about that. They even ask your weight and height and my husband heard me say 5' 4" and yelled out "okay, okay, who the hell are you on the phone with, hang up the phone, who the hell wants to know your height and weight." And so I mouth the words "Gallup poll" but I think he thinks I'm saying "@#$hole" and he keeps yelling to hang up the phone and finally I just say "IT'S A GALLOP POLL PERSON!" I mean this really was the most exciting thing to happen to me in a long time and there was no way I was going to hang up the phone.

There must have been a hundred questions and I answered them all, except for the one about my weight because seriously, how does that relate to anything? All of the questions are leading up to what they ultimately want to know which is, do you think as a country we are set for better days. To which I say yes, of course we are, because I honestly believe that to be the case. I still love my town, maybe even a little more than I did three years ago when we moved here and there wasn't a closed down store to be found, but I'll probably just skip riding through town tomorrow. Oh, and when you see the results of those polls keep in mind that people like me have answered them, clueless people willing to answer many inane questions all in an attempt to avoid having to deal with screaming kids who don't stop screaming for the entire ten minutes the poll takes place.