Thursday, June 28, 2012

Things I Never Want to Do Again

Drive a 15' moving truck.

It started off fine. Got in the truck, backed out of the space without incident, got onto the road. But then, the streets in Center City Philadelphia are narrow, and people park on the side. There are city busses, parked trucks driven by other people, and pedestrians and bikers coming out of EVERYWHERE. Maybe that's an exaggeration because I felt like I was wearing a giant, puffy coat in a tight wine store (a'la George Costanza).

Got to the apartment and trapped myself trying to park in the alley beside it. Panic attack and dramatic weeping. Moving guy bailed me out. I vowed right then never to drive a truck again, but oh wait! I still had 3 hours of driving ahead of me. Nevermind.

The New Jersey Turnpike. Construction. I probably didn't breathe the whole time, and I lost circulation in my fingers from gripping the wheel so tightly. Every time a "Road Narrows" sign came up, I said the F word. Bridges were the same. The Queens/Brooklyn Expressway was also the same. Yet, the whole drive, I did not scrape the concrete divide once, though my husband's favorite sentence the whole way was, "You're REALLY close over here..." To which I would calmly reply, "I KNOW!!! EVERYTHING'S CLOSE! I WANNA GET OUT!"

The highlight had to be when I was driving down Metropolitan and someone coming the opposite way was towing a car, and the car was sideways with its ass-end in my lane. At first, I thought maybe like a dream, it would just go away by the time I got to it, but it didn't. I slowed to a stop and lay on the horn (which sounded like this: beep?). Everyone gave me dirty looks, but I avoided hitting the car or getting my butt kicked.

In the end, most of our stuff was undamaged (but I'll tell you, the sound of boxes shifting and falling while you're driving as described above, doesn't ease the mood), and I'm finally home.

Important note: just because I've driven a 15' truck this once does not mean I'm "used to it" and that I will do it for myself or anyone else ever again. Not going to get a job as a trucker or bus driver. Not going to help you move. The biggest thing I'll be driving in the future is a sedan.

Monday, June 4, 2012

50 Shades of ...WTF?

Those of you who know me know I've been in a state of transition for about a year now. I took on a new career, moved to a new city ... temporarily without my husband. Let's face it: a girl's got needs.

When a co-worker was reading the book Fifty Shades of Grey, I asked her if it was good. She said, "It's porn!" That piqued my interest because I'd heard of this book and it did not look like a romance novel.

No good way to read this in public
Once every person I knew personally and professionally asked me if I'd read the book, I decided to give it a shot, if only to intelligently discuss it. After all, I just wrote a post about how to write sex scenes, and reading a steamy book might just .....(Censored).................

Oh holy hell. What happened with this book? I'm approximately 20% through the first in the trilogy and I've found myself sighing (audibly) with exasperation (in crowded subways, no less) at writing which I can only assume is the first draft. A recent review on Amazon sums it up perfectly. If I were laughing or cringing at things the author intended, that would be fine. But when your protagonists are caricatures, and serious moments make you snort with laughter, that's a bad sign. Not sure I can finish this one. A nice bodice-ripper doesn't sound so bad ...

Edit: Here's another article about someone who'd rather read this book with a red pen.
And another.