Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I rule!

I can now drive any car you put me in.

I drove my mom's Nissan Sentra, with a MANUAL transmission, home from the airport today.  She took off to San Luis Obispo, CA, for her Oscar party, and, as we know, my car is now in Boston.  So, my options were:  learn the stick shift, or get annoyed by taking the bus everywhere when I've been driving in this city for almost 7 years and therefore KNOW how much shorter my trip is if I can hop on the highway and bypass half the city.  Guess which option I wanted.  Yeah, that's right.  Don't get me wrong, I'll use public transportation when it's the better option, Portland actually has really great public transportation, but let's face it, this is a Western city with a lot of "urban sprawl".  So the combination makes it seem really easy to survive without a car...until you have one.  Then you wonder how you ever got anywhere.

So anyway.  I learned the stick shift.  Yes, I killed the car a couple times on the way home.  Yes, I peeled out once.  The light turned green and I was on a slight hill.  Portland is hilly.  I can intentionally avoid the big hills, but that's about it.

I'll probably be a pro when my mom returns on Monday.

Anyway, time to relax for a bit before I try to take the car in some real traffic in order to make it to dinner at 6.
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tell me I don't have the cutest cat in the world...


From Living, Learning, and Loving the Law.

Just TRY...

From Living, Learning, and Loving the Law.

To tell me...

From Living, Learning, and Loving the Law.
That you've seen...

From Living, Learning, and Loving the Law.

A cuter cat...

From Living, Learning, and Loving the Law.

Than this.

Yep. I'm away from home, and I miss my adorable kitty.
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Sunday, February 15, 2009

And now the concert....

Now that most of you have read about the ordeal involved with getting TO the concert, I feel like I can talk about the show itself.

The opening band was called "Fun," and they were, well, fun!

As for Mraz, this was definitely one of the better shows.  It was high energy, he was "chatting" with us a lot, and he did some cute covers (only one of which I recognized so that's the only one included in the set list).

The set this time was:

Make It Mine
If It Kills Me (Here's where Jenn got her concert call)
Only Human
Beautiful Mess
Live High
I'm Yours
Lucky (No girl though, he just had the girls in the audience sing it, which was cute)
(Cover) Build Me Up, Buttercup
No Stopping Us

Aaaaand...I have pictures!  Here's a selection of the best ones.

From Mraz 021209

From Mraz 021209

From Mraz 021209

Playing with the zoom.  I like this one because you can see how fast his hand was moving.

From Mraz 021209

From Mraz 021209

From Mraz 021209
Nice tushy. ;)

From Mraz 021209

I took some videos too but I don't feel like futzing with them at the moment.  They might appear later. ;)

So, anyway, that was my general impression.  A nice, high energy night to counteract the rest of the bad luck I had that day.  Oh, and the audience was great this time.  No cranky people in front of me, no one pushing from behind me, just happiness and good times.  Definitely a good show.  =)
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Saturday, February 14, 2009

It was all about love for Mraz

Oh, Mr. A-Z, the things I go through for you. Really. Anyone else and I wouldn’t have gone to that concert last night. You want the story?

Well, you see, my car got picked up from Portland, OR on February 2nd, and was being delivered to my home Thursday, February 12th. after a long journey across the country to my current home of Boston, MA. I had been informed that my dear Nissan Altima (aka Calamity Jane) would be arriving between 8 and 11 am. So I thought, okay, that’s perfect, even if they miss the delivery window by a couple hours I’ll still be able to get to The-Middle-of-Nowhere, RI, to see the show at URI. Then my car would be safe and sound while I took off on Friday to go (of all places) back to Portland for a visit during a break from school.

So, it was about 11:30 am and still no sign of the car. I tried to call the driver to get a sense of the ETA at that point and all I hear is a message telling me the number has been temporarily disconnected. And thus began the beginning of my troubles. I immediately contacted the company I had contracted with, a wonderful company who does not actually operate any of the shipping trucks, they simply contract with the shipping companies to get the customer the best deal possible and help with any issues along the way so that the car arrives safe and sound. Well, when I told them that I couldn’t get through to the driver, they immediately took over and figured out where in the world my car actually was. This took a couple hours, so by the time I received a return call it was about 1 pm. The company told me that the driver said they would be delivering the car in 4 to 5 hours. 4 to 5 hours after 1 pm…that means 5 or 6. That means too late to get to the concert from Boston. And my roommate is not available to wait for the car while I drive down in a rental car. Uh oh. I can’t miss the show! I will find a way to you if it kills me!

Luckily, we fans of the Geek in the Pink like to stick together. We feel the Mraz love. I was able to call my friend Jenn, who I met solely because we both read Freshness Factor Five-Thousand (we realized later that we both live in the Boston area), and get it all figured out. Her awesome husband Matt was going to stop at my place and wait patiently for the car while I ran off to the concert. I spoke to the truck driver and arranged for a 7 pm delivery. The driver acted all put out that he couldn’t come right at 6 or so like he was planning, so I got my lawyer-speak going and said that considering the car was supposed to have arrived by 11, arranging for a 7 pm delivery was the best I can do. He said okay and that seemed to be that. I made sure Matt knew where to find everything he needed, my concert companion Megan arrived and we hopped in the Enterprise pick-up vehicle to go get our rental car. Things seemed settled.

But no. Of course not. Apparently instead of Friday the 13th, Thursday the 12th was going to be my unlucky day. We get to the rental location and through some interesting conversations with the guy I learn that you can’t rent a car without either a major credit card or proof of your own car insurance; I had neither. No credit cards out of personal preference, no car insurance because, well, my car was in Oregon, what did I need car insurance for? The car was being insured by my dad; once it got to me I was going to take over. But that didn’t help at this particular moment.

So why couldn’t I rent a car without one of those two things? Apparently it’s because the rental car is technically a loan and it speeds the process along if they verify that you have either a major credit card or car insurance, because you have to be relatively credit-worthy to have either of those. I personally might dispute the level of credit-worthiness to have either car insurance or a credit card these days, but that’s their policy, so, okay. Luckily Megan has a credit card. But that meant that she had to drive the car rather than me. I was the one ready to drive in Boston (a scary proposition to many people, to say the least) but this was the only way to get the car and thus get to the concert, so we decided to just deal with it and Megan would drive. It was a little disappointing since I’d hoped to keep the rental car until about 2:30 and simply drop it off at the airport before my flight, and a little inconvenient for Megan to drop off the car since the drop off location is actually in Quincy where I live, and she lives in Boston. But we figured we could just do a late night drop after the concert and I’d drive her home in my car that would hopefully be there by then. So we got our rental, made our way back to my apartment to get the tickets I nearly forgot, and then, after getting a bit lost simply trying to get to the highway (which isn’t hard from my apartment, but, well, we were stressed and not paying attention) we were on our way. It was a bit later than we would have liked, but we’d left ourselves a large window of time to account for traffic and getting lost. Now we just had to hope we didn’t get lost in Rhode Island and we’d still make it on time.

Well, once we got on the road we made it to the concert without a hitch. Except for the fact that at about 7:30 I got a call from Matt saying that the guy with the car hadn’t shown up yet. Great. So the driver makes a big stink about having to wait until 7, and now he’s not even there? I give Matt the phone number and also call the driver myself. Matt and I eventually work things out with the driver, and I go in to the concert. Megan and I are dancing and singing and having a grand old time, and I’m getting in the “no news is good news” mode. Until I get a text from Matt at 10 pm finally telling me the car is there. 10? He waited until 10?!? Now I’m just angry, because not only did they put me out, but they put out the person I had arranged to wait for them. AND, the driver had said it was going to be impossible to wait until 10 for my roommate. So why he wasn’t there until 10 anyway I’ll never know. Needless to say I am very glad that I’d already decided not to leave any money for a tip with Matt because if the driver didn’t deserve it before, he certainly didn’t deserve it now. As for Matt, well, don’t worry, I know how to appreciate favors from friends, Matt should expect a very nice Oregon gift from me upon my return. Probably some wine, that’s a specialty in my dear home state.

Anyway. The 10 pm arrival wasn’t the only problem. See, I knew from my dad that my car was having some various engine troubles before it left. He tried his hardest to get it in good working order before sending it on its way, but no luck. It should just need a tune up, but of course that takes time. So, anyway. When it arrived, it seems the battery needed a jump. Of course, my jumper cables died, I haven’t set myself up on my mom’s AAA account yet, and my roommate doesn’t have any cables either. Damn, so no luck driving Megan back to her apartment in my car after dropping off the rental. Now what? Quincy is really rather out of her way, she shouldn’t have to pay for a cab from there, but I’m not really supposed to drive the rental car. Hmm. Well, let’s just say we worked it out, the car made it to its late-night drop off, and the cab only cost $10. The rest of the details are in the fabric.

So. Do you see what I mean about the fact that I wouldn’t have bothered to go to the concert if it had been ANYONE else? It doesn’t matter that this was the 7th or 8th time I’ve seen you in concert. Every show is an experience, a treasure, something to be cherished. You emit an energy that makes the whole room burst with joy. We sing. We dance. We share the love. And this show was no different. So, even though I had a terrible experience even trying to get there, once I was there, none of it mattered. I was so filled with joy just being in your presence, soaking up your positive energy. I wouldn’t have missed that for the world.
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