Wednesday, August 18, 2010

So Beautiful It Could Only Be Real

http://www.pbs.org/pov/dannyandannie/watch.php

What Would James Bond Do?

So I'm settling into my place and routine just fine. But one of my roommates annoys the piss out of me. It's the Male. The Female is fine, we chat sometimes when he's not at home, and she's much more mature than he is even though he is three years older than her. But the guy... He gets on my nerves! Maybe it's the fact that he's 23 and from a small town and never had any sisters and so doesn't really know how to handle living with a woman who isn't his mother or wife. Every time he's home and I interact with him I end up annoyed.

For example, the other day I had just taken a shower and was wearing a giant thick warm bathrobe that is long, past my knees and wrapped myself in it so securely that the only thing that showed was half of my shins and my feet. I walked from my bedroom to my bathroom and back again while wearing the robe. On my way back to my room he shouted, "Aahhh!" in a high-pitched voice (I guess he was imitating a girl screaming?) and then said, "Sorry, I couldn't resist." I didn't say anything, didn't look at him, just scowled and continued on to my room. Then he asked, "Bad day?" to which I stonily replied, "No." Doesn't he realize how rude that is? I mean it definitely could have been worse, but how immature do you have to be that you can't handle the sight of a woman in a large, non-revealing bathrobe without making some kind of a comment? Ugh. A little respect is all I ask. I live here, I should be able to be comfortable wearing a long bathrobe without having to worry that someone is going to notice, let alone say something about it.

I have full use of the kitchen and often use it to cook and such. If he's out in the living room and sees me emerge from my room, he'll keep glancing over at me and try to get my attention while I'm cooking. I usually say a cordial, "Hello," and then go about my business. He'll either make noise or start blasting the pathetic excuse for "music" he listens to, or even start whistling as soon as I'm around. A terrible, tuneless whistle that gets under my skin and makes me clench my teeth. He's like a child who doesn't know how to make normal conversation with a person and resorts to noise-making to attract attention. I avoid him at all costs, but it got me to thinking there needs to be some sort of a role model for young men to learn how to act like Grown Men.

But then again, who are their role models today? Movie stars and rock stars generally just celebrate the money they have but don't necessarily deserve, and are themselves celebrated for living like pigs. Immaturity and stupidity is the new "cool". These guys need someone better to look up to. Someone like James Bond. You may scoff, but even though James Bond was a womanizer he was always suave, courteous, and mature. We need more Grown Men like this around, and for more young men to aspire to be like him.

For example, yesterday on my way home I stopped by the grocery store to pick up a few things. As I stood alone in one of the aisles trying to decide on an item, two young guys entered the same aisle, but at the opposite end. I guess they noticed a female (me) nearby, and so they suddenly started talking in UNNECESSARILY LOUD VOICES and began what I can only imagine was an attempt to use humor to make fun of each other and attract the attention of the Female (still me). Nothing they said was funny, they just used foul language to try to make each other sound like idiots but in the end only made themselves sound like idiots. At this point I was trying to find something else in that aisle and couldn't leave yet, but they actually became so obnoxious that I literally hid the side of my face with my hand, like you do when you're trying to avoid being seen by someone you know in public. At that they finally quieted down and moved on. But then later when I stumbled upon them again in the parking lot they started right back up with TALKING UNNECESSARILY LOUDLY and trying to be funny.

Would James Bond do something like that? No. First of all, he would be shopping in either a sport coat or a perfectly paired turtleneck and trousers. Then he would casually walk up to you, recommend the beluga caviar and invite you over to his place for dinner and a cognac.

Quiet confidence. Gentlemanly behavior. It goes a long way. I'm just saying.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Here And Now

Auto Problem and Solution
Ok, I'm here in Idaho. I have a job or two, I have a place to live, I unpacked all of my stuff within 48 hours of moving in which I have never ever done. Smooth sailing so far. Then the little battery light in my car came on. Oh great. It's the alternator. However, something strange happened. First of all, I told my cousin (my only cousin on my dad's side of the family, who lives here in Idaho along with my aunt) what was going, hoping that she would know a good auto mechanic who wouldn't charge me an arm and a leg. She did. Her husband can do all of the repairs himself as long as I'm able to find the parts I need. So, like any modern woman who is new to an area and knows nothing about cars, I did an internet search for used auto parts in Coeur D'Alene. The first place I tried has an alternator for my car (assuming it's exactly the right kind which we'll find out later) and it only costs $45!!! (Icelanders, that's about 5.625 kronur!) Unheard of! My last alternator that I had to get in 2008 when my car broke down in Albuquerque, New Mexico, cost me $125 plus the labor to install it!

I told the man on the phone that I had to talk to my cousin to see when he could get off of work to come help me out. Then something incredible happened... The man on the phone told me that his store was only open until 5:00 p.m., but that he lived in the town right next to where I live, and if we needed him to he could just bring the alternator home with him and meet us in town so that I can get my car back on the road today. ... Wait, what? Not only is he charging me a fraction of the cost of what I paid for this same part two years ago, but now he's going to make my life easier by meeting up with me and my cousin after hours and selling me the part on his own personal time??? Is this a trick? Have I stumbled into the Twilight Zone? Then he reminded me to bring the original alternator with me so we can make sure it's exactly the right one and I don't have to be inconvenienced. I'm sorry, I'm confused. Aren't you supposed to be charging me exorbitant prices and telling me to come back first thing in the morning if I can't make it to your shop by 4:59 p.m.? What on earth is going on here?

Apparently it is possible for people to be friendly and helpful, even if they work with cars and have the power to torture you and drain all of your funds because you need your car and they hold the key to making it go. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, but there you have it. People are friendlier here in the West. Everyone! Go to Coeur D'Alene Auto Recycling for all of your auto needs! They're human!

My roommates
I found a bedroom to rent in an apartment that is down off the mountaintop where I was staying with my aunt for my first two weeks here, and closer to everything in town. I miss the greenery and being near my "kinfolk" but it's really nice not having to wake up two hours before I have to be at work in the morning, and not having to worry about forgetting something in town, because once you're back up the mountain you definitely don't feel like going all the way down again.

The roommates are friendly, they're married. The girl is 20 and the guy is 23. This room, with laundry, internet, all bills included, my own bathroom, and full use of the kitchen and living room, AND a month-to-month lease, is a really good deal. I can pick up and leave whenever I want, and it's clean and comfortable. The room came furnished with a (tiny) bed, a little shelf thing, and a desk, but it's fine. It's only short term anyway, and I fully unpacked all of my belongings for the first time in... well, over a year, that's for sure. It feels good to be settled down for the next little bit.

I had to sign an agreement to keep the bathroom clean (because it's also the guest bathroom), and to not bring drugs into the house, and agreeing on the rent and when it needs to be paid, and also that I wouldn't have any overnight guests of the opposite sex ("if applicable") in my room. I know, I know. They seem to be mega-Christians who don't believe in doing the horizontal polka before marriage. Whatever. Not only do I not want to get tied down in a relationship here, that bed is so tiny, what would be the point?!?!?! Plus, the obvious loophole that they didn't consider (being that they just got married in February of this year and all) is that nobody has to stay the night in order to get down to business, know what I'm saying? But what were they going to do, make me sign an agreement not to have sex in my room? Give me a break. They didn't say anything about animal sacrifices, howling at the moon, mud wrestling, etc. The apartment is on the ground floor, I almost wish I did have a boyfriend so I could sneak him in and out of the window like a teenager. I'm going to have to make some friends around here soon so I can stay the night at their houses and then stumble in the next morning wearing the same clothes as the night before, hair messed up, makeup smeared, reeking of the night's depravities, just to make the roommates sweat.

No but really, besides that they're very nice. They sent me a text before I moved in asking me what my favorite color is. I told them teal (I like lots of colors but figured teal was the safest), and when I moved in they had bought me a set of teal towels and put teal sheets on my bed! How cute! The girl introduced me to her mom last night, and they're both sweet kids. Also, yesterday before I left the house to run some errands I put on some nice smelling lotion that I have. I talked to them for a few minutes in the living room and then I left. As I was walking out the door, I heard the girl say something to the guy, but he couldn't hear her over the music he had on. She shouted, "I said she smells good!!!" Hahaha! I didn't let them know that I heard them and just kept walking.

Yesterday I woke up to the sound of organ music. When I emerged from my bedroom, I saw the guy playing the keyboard in the living room. He switched it over to piano mode while I was brushing my teeth and played a few songs. He plays very well, I was impressed. Maybe he's in their church's band or something. He told me his brother is in a band, I think it's a Christian one. Hey, as long as they don't try to burn me at the stake for witchcraft, I'm fine with them. After all, I'm technically Lutheran. And I was never brought up in a strict religious environment, so I was never traumatized by religion, I have nothing against The Man Himself and think all those wonderful things he said about peace, love and healing is right on. Just because I happen to incorporate lots of other spiritual paths into what I believe doesn't mean I have anything against "El Salvador". So if they don't want me to have a guy stay the night in my room, that's fine. I won't be here forever, and they bought me towels.