Monday, December 10, 2007

Laundry time

I had put off doing laundry for too long, so it was back up to Connecticut over the weekend. Usually I stuff my largest suitcase full of my dirty clothes and take a taxi to Grand Central. But this time around I had so much crap that I ended up booking another Mini Cooper through Zipcar.

OK, actually I just wanted to drive the Mini again. Can you blame me?

Unfortunately I needed a 24-hour rental and the two closest to me were booked. I had to go down to Central Park South to pick a different one up on Saturday. The garage was right near the Time Warner Center and I was very tempted to shop. Another time. I got there a bit early so I admired the horse carriages on CPS and missed my horses. It might not be a sight to see for much longer; NYC is considering a ban on the carriages. Finally, it was 1 PM and time to pick up my car. It had been a bit of a haul to get down there and the wait was killing me.

The trek was completely worth it though. First of all, it was a kick driving through Midtown. I felt a bit cool cruising in my little urbanite car as the pedestrians strolled the holiday-themed streets. On 3rd Ave I cruised from right to left lanes while making my way uptown.

When I got back to my apartment to load up, there was no parking. I had to park illegally in front of a hydrant and run back and forth. The stress led me to miss a few items that needed to be laundered. But who cared? I was eager to be in a car; where I could sing as loud as I want, drive as fast as traffic would allow and enjoy a quiet, serene, solitary travel experience.

Once I hit the road, the FDR sucked as usual but I was able to weave effortlessly between lanes. After I cleared the Triborough Bridge it was smooth sailing. It was amazing to me as I sped along that cars were still passing me as though I were standing still. I-95 is crazy like that. I hit the predictable traffic in Greenwich, Stamford and just before my exit in Norwalk.

Since I had a car, I brought "Guitar Hero III" for 360 with me. This made me my old roommate's hero. We watched movies, played some games, and generally chilled. I laughed that our house seemed so huge to me now that I live in a tiny apartment. And it's true -- my friend's studio on the UWS once seemed so small to me and now it also seems big by comparison. Having a whole house to explore was like being in a mansion.

Saturday night I cleaned Kohl's out of tights but forgot to get new sunglasses. I lost mine somewhere in the Brooklyn Target a couple of weeks ago. I cruised around every suburban store as my one-stop. I was loading up while I had a car at my disposal.

Early Sunday morning, I was drifting off to sleep when I heard the dreaded sound of a car alarm. Living in the city you'd think I'd be used to the sound but I jerked awake, worried someone was breaking into my rental. It turned out to be a car down the street but the alarm went off all friggin' night. Sometimes I'd fall asleep only to have the alarm wake me up again. It was pretty miserable and I barely slept. I missed my room and was a bit tempted to kick the current roommate out -- I'm the guest, you may sleep on the futon.

On the way back to the city two weird things happened with the car. First, I couldn't get the gas card to work. That was annoying. Secondly, my EZ-Pass which had worked fine on the way to Connecticut didn't work at the toll entering Manhattan. It's illegal to back up in the toll lane, so I had to wait until the attendant came over.

"Where's your pass?" The attendant asked me. I pointed to it, right below my rearview mirror. "Yes, thank you, it's the white thing on your windshield. Gimme it," he snarled. So I did, all the while thinking that was pretty rude of him. Sometimes New Yorkers are jerks. He held the pass up to a sensor and it worked fine. He gave it back to me and told me to move along. I resisted the urge to retort in kind.

I made it back to the city in time for NFL. I was meeting up with friends at Ship of Fools to watch the Packers game. I cheered excitedly as Greg Jennings and Ryan Grant ran up the points for my fantasy team and was happy when the Pack won. (I am the worst 49ers fan ever.) We ended up staying for the Pats-Steelers rout, and afterwards I stumbled home drunk and tired.

After a quick nap, I started unpacking my laundry. I like to use good-smelling detergent and in my drunken state I was all about the smell of my clean laundry. In fact I was so all about the smell that I dumped my suitcase out on my bed and laid down in it. The things you do when you're drunk. I drifted to sleep dreaming about Colorado...

...but woke up a few hours later feeling not so great. The combination of wings, beer and Mountain Spring Tide made my stomach uneasy. Ever wake up with that pukey feeling? I struggled to make it out of my bed, desperate not to throw up on my nice clean laundry. Now when I smell my laundry, I feel a bit pukey. It's that not so fresh feeling.

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