Saturday, March 28, 2009

Life Skills I Lack

I cannot drive a car. As such, I cannot parallel park, or change a tire, or even pump gas. I’m pretty confident I could figure that last one out, in a pinch, but the rest remain elusive. I don’t live with my parents, so I don’t have access to a car on which to learn (or any local, easily coerced relatives willing to teach me). Car school is really expensive, and I am equally lazy. I’d need a new license, since I’m from out of province…It’s an intricate tapestry of excuses.

During my second year of university, my boyfriend was driving me to meet his parents. He still lived at home - we were in his mom’s SUV. He looked at me earnestly as we discussed making a good impression: “Just don’t mention you can’t drive, okay?”

I should probably be ashamed. I can hem and haw and argue about sustainability and urban living - but, truth be told, those reasons do not hold up in court. I’m finding my way around the non-profit sector, and not having a driver’s license (or access to my own vehicle) has been the largest obstacle in landing jobs. This seems odd, next to my lack of B.A. (or MSW, which looms ahead as an abbreviated foreshortening of my future). But education is a composite of lot of things, and a driver’s license (and vehicle) is not. It cannot be substituted for. It is the most reliable way to get from Point A to Point B.

It's also expensive. It’s a bureaucratic, annoying process which will literally take years. And it’s not like I can afford a car, anyways - I work in the non-profit sector. It’s all very Catch-22.

On the other hand, the new sky train line is opening three months early - Yay! True, these three months are the difference between September and the start of November (the previous estimate), which my limited math skills tell me is only two months early. (What do I know, I can't even drive). AND the November estimate was a eight month delay on previous estimates, which promised the line would be open by Spring - er, now. Those were the estimates in place when I signed the lease on my current apartment, which is blocks away from the line - so all twelve months of my year long lease will reap only construction, and no actual rapid transit. But enough of that - beggars cannot be choosers, and in the world of mixed driving metaphors, non-drivers and beggars are one in the same.

Note: I now know how to spell ‘bureaucratic’. It’s kind of like ‘burro,’ which is Spanish for donkey - I like it. Also, the Dutch word for donkey is ‘ezel.’ Now you know.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Drought of Blog Posts, Flood of Angst

Apologies to my invisible (and pretend) readers, or I really should say my former readers, because when you only write for a month and then take almost two weeks off, you probably kill whatever following you have.

(Special apology to my self proclaimed Biggest Fan - your flattery makes me want to be a better writer, and live out my life on a Hawaiian island with a goat named Darwin and do nothing all day but sip pineapple wine and write about angst. And really, I suspect you are my only fan, so the 'Biggest' is entirely unnecessary. You could have declared "polite interest, if there's nothing good on tv and I'm especially bored," and I would have been thrilled.)

But on to my excuses: I was sick. Really, actually, I was...I got a cold. And then I convinced myself that my cold was pneumonia, because I get increasingly angsty and fatalistic when I'm sick. And then I got a headache, right where my (fictional) brain tumor, Steve, is likely located. And then I was sick and had a headache and began to convince myself that my fictional, symbolic brain tumor was an actual, malignant brain tumor, and panicked. I imagined myself disabled and dying for a prolonged period of time - five years, at the least - while I underwent radiation again and again and eventually died of a bedsore in my cramped childhood bedroom, my family members financially and emotionally exhausted, brimming with resentment, my Vancouver friends all but forgotten... Anyways, the point being: Not Fun.

I realized that, in freaking out (especially after my neurologist appointment was rescheduled, leaving me anxious and waiting for an additional month), that I was acting like a crazy person. This realization, however, did not make me feel better. In fact, telling someone that they're acting like a crazy person, when they're genuinely acting like a crazy person, is just never a good idea.

So, I cried, and felt crazy, and worried about my future as a hypochondriac with brain cancer. When my headache kept me up all night, I finally booked a doctor's appointment - I bit my tongue and did not mention Steve by name. The doctor did a basic exam and declared: Sinus Infection. I blinked, and nodded, and took some free drug samples to make it go away. It eventually did. I spent almost an entire week dozing on the couch, and then begrudgingly returned to work today.

And that, readers, is why I haven't been blogging.

Apologies, again...I can and will do better. I have a lot of rants built up, just for you. Stay tuned.