How a Law Student Broke My Car

WARNING!  It’s a long post.

 

So a few weeks ago, one of my best friends from High School, who is now in her final year of Law School, decided that she needed to escape snowy Minnesota for her Spring Break and visit me here in Louisiana. She, of course, asked me if she could visit and if she did visit, if she would have a couch to crash on. Naturally, since I’m ridiculously Minnesotan, I went and bought a bed for her to sleep on, cleaned my house like crazy, and made sure that our first batch of beer would be ready for her visit.

Because she’s a law student, and a Law Student without booze is no Law Student at all.

Law School Lightweight

Law School Lightweight

So I had to drive about three and a half hours to Dallas to pick her up, because flying to Dallas is less than half of flying to Shreveport, and then we went back to Shreveport to drink and do other fun and wonderful things. Like drink. She helped me with my stocking job, we discovered Chili’s had a buy one get one free for Margaritas after five, so we had a lot of Margaritas one night…

Then we went to a Winery to sample some wines and bought a bunch of wine. Which was also delicious.

And I learned how to make a Pomegranate Martini.

Even with the Flamed Orange Peel.  What now, bitches?

Even with the Flamed Orange Peel. What now, bitches?

Between the drinking, gambling, board games and watching Veronica Mars, I have to say that her visit was much needed on both ends. Alex got to get to know another one of my very close friends, we had way more fun than should be allowed two girls in their twenties, and she discovered how much of a nervous fucking wreck I am half the time.

It was awesome.

So at the end of the seven day trip, I drove her back to Dallas, she gave me a hug, and we parted ways. And it was awesome.

So as I’m driving out of Dallas, I disillusion myself into thinking that I know my way around Dallas. Keep going east and I’ll find Shreveport. Those are basically the directions.

So I call my mom and talk to her as I’m driving out of Dallas. And miss the exit I needed to take to get to Shreveport.

So when I’m about a half hour south of Dallas, I realize that I went the wrong way. Great.

I hung up with my mom and found directions. Google Maps, you seriously need to work on your shit. I understand Texas is rural, but you got me even more lost. I almost had to use Apple Maps.

As I was driving towards Shreveport, I figured that everything was going well. It was insanely hot and sunny out, my car is usually dependable so I totally and completely ignore the check engine light, as well as the temp of the engine.

When I get to the town of Canton, Texas, I pull into Taco Bell to cheat on my diet and get a couple of burritos. Because I was starving from driving for seven hours with no food.

As I grab the bag from the lady in the drive through, my hood starts to smoke. A lot.

Panicking, I pull into the parking lot and turn off my car, only looking at the engine to realize that it’s far more overheating than it should. I take a drink of my coke and step outside… Only to realize that it’s really, really hot out. And that the engine coolant in my car was almost boiling and shooting out everywhere.

And nobody stopped to help me.

Come on Texas, you all pride yourselves on southern hospitality and when you see a woman with Alaska plates looking at her engine and pacing and very obviously distressed, you don’t just eat your tacos and stare awkwardly. (Hint hint, creepy old dude in the Dodge Durango).

I look at the horizon and realize that the sun is setting alarmingly fast. I finally do what I’ve been dreading.

I call Alex.

Alex is usually ridiculously warm and loving in situations of pure horror on my end, which is why I hate calling him. He’s the perfect, idyllic husband in instances of the car breaking down, the house breaking, the toilet flooding, you name it. He always comes to my rescue, he hugs me and tells me it’s going to be okay, and he calls a mechanic because he’s even more clueless than I am when the car breaks down. And I almost hate it because one of these days, I’m positive he’s going to do what my parents do when I break something: WHAT THE HELL DID YOU DO NOW?! YOU ARE GROUNDED FOREVER AND YOU ARE NEVER DRIVING AGAIN FOR AS LONG AS YOU LIVE, WHICH WON’T BE LONG BECAUSE WE’RE GOING TO GUT YOU LIKE A FISH!*

So he calls our insurance, who tell us that they’re sending a tow truck to tow the truck to a little repair shop.

I wait twenty minutes and talk to my friend Marissa, who informs me that because I have a uterus, I have no rights. Because, you know, Texas.

The tow arrives, and the guy sees the plug dangling from the front of my car. It’s for an engine block heater to keep the engine block from freezing solid in ridiculously cold weather. Like in Alaska.

“Is your car a diesel?” he asks me, totally and completely confused by the plug. I explain it to him and he just looks more confused.

“So, Alaska, they must get really cold, like forty degrees.”

I give him a blank stare and agree with him, just wanting my car to get fixed.

He takes me to the mechanic and I forget that it is a Sunday and NOTHING is open on a Sunday in the south.

Naturally.

I was planning on just sitting in my car, charging my phone via my car, and he informs me that he can’t just “leave me” in my car while my husband is making the hour and a half drive to rescue me (to which Alex hadn’t even left yet).

“People get kidnapped and murdered all the time. And a woman should never be left alone in a rural area.” The man’s wife was with him and she told me that they would drop me off at a café or something nearby where Alex could pick me up.

They dropped me off at Denny’s, where I drank my weight in coffee, charging my phone with a charger the manager let me use, and called my mom to tell her that I was stranded in the middle of nowhere in Texas. By myself.

She basically called me a dodo and talked to me for a while. I called my Grandma and told her about my troubles and told me that she’s so glad she’s not me. She’s british and she can’t understand southern accents, nor can anyone ever understand her. She would have been screwed.

After about an hour in Denny’s, Alex walked in and ordered enough food to feed an army (Or air force, ba-dum-ksh). I ordered food, feeling frustrated. I decided that when I got home, I was drinking my weight in beer. After I finished my homework.

I also told my friend that it was her fault my car broke down. She felt bad, and I get to rub it in her face for the rest of her life.

I found out later that my radiator basically exploded.** And since I had a foreign car in “God’s country,” it cost me $500 to fix. Apparently it was also President Obama’s fault too, because, you know, everything bad that happens is because of Obamacare.

*So I keep misrepresenting my parents. Both my mother and my father are very high strung and nervous wrecks when it comes to random situations.  And they tend to think the worst, which I can totally understand since I do too, but it has caused me to be terrified of telling Alex anything bad that happens.  Like when I flooded our toilet in Alaska by pouring hot wax into the toilet.

**The radiator broke, causing engine coolant to go EVERYWHERE and it looked like it had exploded.  I think it just decided to say FUCK YOU.

Ever have your car break down, leaving you stranded somewhere where you’d rather never visit again for the rest of your life? Is your car an evil little bastard like mine? Tell me in the comments!

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Don’t Wear Sweatpants on Sundays

So this last Sunday, in preparation for the Super Bowl Commercials, Alex realized we were out of beer.  Football commercials just aren’t the same without beer, so I volunteered to go to the store.

Since I never leave my house, I have a very comfy pair of sweat pants that are light gray, bleach stained, and show any type of wetness on them.  Strike one.

I also hadn’t showered yet this day because if I was going to be eating queso dip and drinking beer all night, I figured I didn’t need to shower quite yet.  Strike two.

And I get into my car, where I had left the windows open and it rained, so I sat down on a very, VERY wet seat.  Strike three.

I get to the gas station and everyone is actively avoiding me.  I know I probably don’t smell that pretty, I’m wearing sweatpants where the rear end was wet, and I looked like total crap because I hadn’t brushed my crazy hair yet and I was dressed like a hobo.

Seriously I had no idea what was going on.  Everyone in the store was actively avoiding me.  I get to the counter and the guy there, who is usually really friendly, couldn’t ring me up fast enough, then basically shoved me out the door.

I understand that it’s a bad idea to leave your house wearing anything but your Sunday’s best on a Sunday, but I didn’t think I’d be totally shunned.

So when I get home, I tell the story to Alex.  He hugs me, then pushes me away. 

“Are you wearing deodorant?”

I shake my head.  “No, I forgot to put some on this morning.”

“I hate to tell you love, but you smell awful.”

My eyes widen.  “Wait a minute… does my butt look wet to you?”

I turn around, and he starts laughing.  “Did you sit down in a puddle of water?”

I start laughing too, of course.

I’m pretty sure that everyone at the gas station thought I had wet my pants and was buying beer. 

This is why I don’t leave my house.

This Is Why I Can’t Have Nice Things- The Corset Story

I went to a beer tasting last night at the Home brewers association meeting, and I got to meet a lot of really nice people.  I’ve FINALLY experienced southern hospitality.

While there, I was talking to a couple of girls who were around my age and just a hoot, and as I progressively got drunker, they were talking about awkward situations, and since I have this horrible habit of one upping people, I tell them my corset story.

This is a two part story, and this results in an obscenely long post.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

First, how I got this awesome corset.

After I had lost around 30 pounds via Weight Watchers, I decided to reward myself by ensuring that I lost my weight in an attractive manner, primarily in my middle section, so I’d have an absolutely awesome hourglass figure.  When I was in high school, I wore a medium duty corset that ensured I filled out to my desired specifications, and I decided that this time around, I wasn’t going to mess around.

I shopped around online for a while and found this absolutely beautiful waist training corset .  I found it while Alex was in the room, and I have this terrible habit if having conversations with myself, and I honestly thought I told him about buying this thing, so this is how I remember it.

Me: Honey?  Would you mind if I got this TOTALLY BADASS waist training corset?

Alex: How much?

Me: Around $200.

Alex:… Only if you wear it while cleaning the house.

Me: OKAY!

Seriously, how can you say no to this?

Seriously, how can you say no to this?

So I ordered it.  I got an email from the lady who sold it, letting me know that for a little extra, I could have it custom tailored to fit my exact measurements  This made me super ecstatic, so I was like YES! YES YES YES! A THOUSAND TIMES YES!  So I sent her my very awkward measurements, and three weeks later my corset arrives in the mail.

When Alex is home and I am at work.

When I get home from work, the package is on the table and he’s standing there with his arms crossed.

Alex: What the hell is that package?

Me: It’s the corset I ordered.

Alex: What corset?

Me: You know that corset I ordered a few weeks ago.  I told you about it.

Alex: No, I would have remembered.  How much did it cost?

Me: Uh… well its custom made!

Alex: How much?

Me: It’s going to support my back and make me look super shapely!

Alex: How much?!

Me: IT’S PURPLE!

Alex: HOW MUCH DID IT COST?!

Me: Around $200.

Alex: ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

So for the rest of the week, I was his slave in order to justify the corset.  Totally worth it.

The people I was telling this story to were dying from laughing, then Alex cuts in and says “Oh, tell the about the time you wore it to a buffet.”

This is part two, and evidence that either my mom is an a-hole, or she has a very sick sense of humor.  I’m going with both.

When we were visiting Minnesota that particular winter, I was planning on going to a drag show at a known gay bar in St Paul, and I thought to myself, “Who would appreciate a corset more than a bunch of queens? Nobody, that’s who.”

So the four days before going to this bar, I was wearing it around the house at my mom’s house to break it in.  You see, when you have a corset, you have to break it in over the course of two weeks so you don’t have problems breathing.  It’s very stiff when you first get it, and by wearing it a few hours a day over the course of two weeks, the metal boning in it molds to your body so it goes from painful to extremely comfortable and helps support your back, causes you to not eat because it sucks in your stomach, etc., so I was wearing it very loosely at my moms.

One particular night, mom said we were going out to eat, which I saw as an opportunity to test out eating.  I was wearing this corset while getting ready, and my mom, who I’m pretty sure has more muscles than The Rock, sees me wearing this.

This guy seriously has no body strength compared to my mom

This guy seriously has no body strength compared to my mom

“Leah, are you honestly going to wear this?” She asks me, and I’m pretty sure she was plotting something.

“Yeah, I need to break it in.”

“Well come here, it’s way too loose,” she says, and while I’m about to protest, she pulls it so tight that she sucked me in over eight inches.

I couldn’t actually breathe.  I had a very breathy voice the entire night.   Also, since it’s a long line corset that goes to the top of my hips, I had to walk without moving my hips.  That is EXTREMELY DIFFICULT.

So she takes us out to dinner.

To an effing buffet.

In order to get to this plethora of food, I had to get in the car.  Since I couldn’t move my hips, I couldn’t sit down, so they laid me down in the back seat.  The entire drive, while my step dad was driving, my mom would look in the back seat and start laughing.

We get to the restaurant, and I seriously considered throwing stuff at my mom.  We sit down, and if you are unaware, corsets push your boobs up.  So my boobs were basically in my face.  Literally, I could rest my face in my boobs from how far this damn thing pushed them up.

So I’m sitting at the table, my face resting in my boobs, hardly able to breathe, trying to eat a freakin’ slice of pizza.

My mother was dying.  Alex couldn’t figure out why she was laughing so hard.  He thought the entire thing was getting old.  Finally he asks her why she’s about to hemorrhage something from laughing so hard, and her response, between gasps, set the mood for the evening.

“She… wore… that thing… to a buffet…”

Alex nearly fell on the floor from laughing so hard.  So did my step dad.  Step sister arrived shortly after and was laughing pretty hard too.

I ended up not wearing that corset to the bar because I feared that my mom would lace me in again.

I’ve only worn it a handful of times since, once outside the house, for a Halloween party.

Malice in Wonderland--- Awesome, yes?

Malice in Wonderland— Awesome, yes?

Of course, I made sure it was laced very loosely to ensure breath-ability.

How the Hunger Games Saved My Marriage: Part II (The drive from Alaska to Louisiana)

If you haven’t read part one of How The Hunger Games Saved My Marriage, then please go read that before starting this.  Otherwise you will be as confused as a democrat at a republican conference.

Also, very very long again.  Can’t say I didn’t warn you.

Upon leaving Takhini Hot Springs, we got into the actual town of Whitehorse, Yukon, and our breath was stolen from us.  Seriously, it’s fucking windy there.  Oh, and really pretty.  We stopped at a little truck stop and had an AWESOME waitress from Ontario who was more than helpful on the fastest route out of the area, what pet stores had the flea and tick medication for the puppies, and where we could take our dogs to run so they weren’t so anxious, to which we just didn’t have the time.  She basically just sat and chatted with us, wishing us luck on our trip.  We left her a great tip, and someday, I hope that she could be my waitress again.

Seriously.  Best waitress ever.

We used the leftovers from our breakfast to sneak the dogs the sedatives, to which Luna passed out and Sahara took a twenty minute nap.  We drove for the next 400 miles into British Columbia, driving on some of the most beautiful roads I have ever seen in my entire life.  At one point, we saw a lake where the mountains reflected perfectly into the lake, making it look like a perfect mirror.  So we ruined the perfect mirror lake by letting the dogs run through the water.

That's right, we ruined the picture perfect water... Bwahahaha

That’s right, we ruined the picture perfect water… Bwahahaha

When we were driving, we ran into another hot spring.  Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park.  It was perfect for us who had been driving for two days.  We tied the dogs up to the cables, not caring that they hated being on the cables, and took a dip in the hot spring.

We talked to a guy who told us he would never eat food in restaurants because he’s a raw vegan who doesn’t drink alcohol.  I tried to reason with him, saying beer is basically water so he could drink it, but he disagreed.

Seriously, beer hardly counts as alcohol.

We patched the hole in the air mattress with duct tape (note, duct tape is a horrible air mattress sealant).  We ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner, afraid to eat the chicken salad wraps.

There is something I really learned on this trip.

Chicken salad on bread or tortillas for more than a day is a horrible idea.  It tastes funny, it makes everything soggy, and it will even smell funny.  And when you’re driving through Canada where their public bathrooms are wooden outhouses where you supply your own toilet paper, you do NOT want the runs.  Those were HORRIBLE pit stops.

On the plus side, we were only half way through the Hunger Games books and no arguments… so far.  We were seriously disillusioning ourselves into thinking we were the best married couple ever.  Insanely long road trip with no fighting?  Definitely proves that we’re perfect soul mates.  We still had another three days until we got to Minneapolis.

We were awake at around 6 AM, we packed up the car, the dogs, and drove off.  Today, we were hoping to get at least 700 miles in.  We were determined to get to Alberta this particular day, but failed.

We stopped around 8:30 at night, after 13.5 hours in the car, only stopping to go to the bathroom.  We ended up in Prince George, BC.  We got there and decided that we needed a real bed to sleep on.

For you see, the military packed up our stuff a week before we left, so we had been sleeping on an air mattress for over a week.  We yearned for a soft bed.  We wanted a shower.  We wanted real food.

When we got into Prince George, we found, quite possibly, the only shady hotel in all of British Columbia.  Maybe even all of Canada.  I’m trying to figure out how we didn’t get shanked.  It’s probably because we were in Canada.  Nothing bad happens in Canada.

Where you'll be murdered politely

Where you’ll be murdered politely

Right next to our hotel room, about 200 feet away, was a liquor store.  We got a case of beer and some junk food, turned on Family Guy, and relaxed.  When I went to go take a shower, we found that the shower didn’t work.  Luna was hiding under the bed and we didn’t see her until morning.  Sahara had her head on the pillow, refusing to get up.  Our clothes were sweaty and dirty from sitting in the car, the room was tiny, the beer was warm.  The lady at the liquor store told us where the dog park was, even giving us a cheap map of Prince George so we could find it easily.

I really need to talk about the liquor store lady.

She was half Texan, raised in Canada.  Overly friendly, recommended us to go to Tim Horton’s for breakfast*, gave us directions to the dog park, then later knocked on our hotel room door to give us air fresheners for our car because she knew we had been driving for two days.  I don’t remember her name, but she was wonderful.  She was the true definition of Canadian hospitality.  Because of that woman, I seriously want to consider living in Canada.

Actually, I noticed every person I’ve met from Canada, including my Newfie friend Donna, are absolute joys to be around.  They’re sarcastic, caring, can drink me under the table, and don’t care that I’m not classy.  Seriously, more people need to be like Canadians.  There would be world peace if everyone was like Canadians.

Back to the story.
The hotel room was awful.  The room was tiny, the shower didn’t work, the bed was lumpy and hard, the lights were dim, we could hear the neighbors through the paper thin wall, we were right off a busy street… and because we hadn’t slept in a real bed for over a week and we were exhausted from not getting any sleep over the course of two days, it was the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in.
And for as long as I live, that was probably the best hotel room I’ll ever stay in.
I found out later that my mom was getting kind of mad at me for not calling her, but to my surprise, my phone did not work in Canada after the first three text messages.  Something about Sprint not wanting to work with our phones.  Thank God that we didn’t break down.  We finished the Hunger Games books about two hours outside of Prince George.

The next morning around ten, we checked out of our hotel and went to the dog park for about an hour and a half… but only after stopping at Tim Horton’s.  Maybe I’m a fatty (this is probably the case), but those donuts were awesome.  Coffee was great too.  I don’t understand why Tim horton’s isn’t in the states.  Seriously.  The dog park was fantastic, everyone there came over and were chatting us up, Luna was so giddy that she was shaking while waiting for us to take off her leash.  Sahara laid in the grass with a big, dopey smile on her face.  After an hour at the dog park, we were off.

So then we had to talk to break the silence because we were idiots for not downloading more audiobooks.  Oh, and if you’re not in a city in Canada, there is no radio.  At all.  So nothing but complete silence in the car.

This is where the bickering began.

Me: Alex, you should let me drive.  You’ve driven the past 1500 miles.

Alex: Nah it’s okay.  I don’t mind.

Me: Why won’t you let me drive?

Alex: Because you’ve flipped a car before.  And you hit parked shit all the time.

Me: I haven’t hit anything parked in a few months, I’ll be fine.

Alex: I don’t believe you.  And you refuse to sleep.  How about this, when we get into North Dakota, you can drive.

Me: Why not until North Dakota?

Alex: Because you’re from the fucking Midwest, I figure you know your way around.

Me:  Fine.**

We cross the US border around 10 pm, and it’s still two hours until we get to Great Falls, Montana.  The US border took our apples, but we were still able to bring Bananas through because we completely forgot we had them.

We smuggled bananas for you, Mom.

We went into the first once through the US Border and while I was going to the bathroom (the first rest stop with running water on this voyage!), fucking NPR started to blast the bathroom.

I was terrified.  I thought that someone had turned it on because they were sick and wanted me to die by torture.  I was certain that a serial killer was in the bathroom, about to dismember me horribly because my husband was already dead by his hands.

I was going to die at the hands of a Republican.  This was the only thing that ran through my mind.

I was terrified that I was going to die at the hands of someone who thinks rich people should get tax breaks.  So I screamed, pulling my pants up as I was running out of the bathroom, to see my husband waiting for me.

“Were you afraid of getting shanked too?” Alex asked me, just as freaked out as me.

“Why were Canadian rest stops less creepy?” I said, calming down, realizing that the radio in the bathroom just turned on out of nowhere, probably ghosts.

“Because Canada is nicer than fucking Montana.”

Touché, my love, touché.

This is the end of Part II.  The rest of it will be posted later this week.  Thoughts or comments?

*Now, if a representative from Tim Horton’s is reading this, please, for the love of God and all that is holy, OPEN A TIM HORTON’S IN LOUISIANA!  They were the BEST FUCKING DONUTS!  And the coffee was great.  And the service at every single Tim Horton’s we went to was amazing.  And it was CHEAP.

**Of course, I’m being unfair considering the actual argument involved a lot more cussing and arguing.  We both smelled bad, we were ready to be done.  Also, I was a lot meaner than I’m letting on, but I can’t remember what I said.

Please comment on what you liked or disliked!  Has anyone ever had a weird experience traveling?  Did you once fear being murdered by a Republican?  Let me know!