Monthly Archives: April 2003

DMV = 2, KarinaJean = 0

Well, They got me again, and managed to destroy my famed “patience of a saint.�

I had to renew my driver’s license, I realized on Saturday as I was (ahem) driving down to Atlantic City that it had expired on my birthday, and that I had never renewed it. Yikes! So today, like a responsible citizen (but I guess not a citizen so responsible I stopped driving my car this weekend) I went down to the License Express DMV location near Penn Station. The License Express is Express. It’s great, and I was excited to get a chance to go there! But after my 10 minutes of standing in line, paying people, and having my picture taken were over, well, I found out that they could not give me my new license because my old one? Was RESTRICTED.

Yikes. Here’s the back-story: NYS absolutely positively requires you to turn in your plates after canceling your insurance. It’s a good idea, I guess, it keeps cars off the road that shouldn’t be on there. The penalty is either a fine, or suspension of your license. Except I have a sneaking suspicion that people who don’t want turn in their plates because they want to use them for their own nefarious purposes don’t really care if their licenses are suspended. I think the scofflaws who go around slapping expired plates on stolen cars and driving them at risk to life, limb, and societies general happiness don’t really worry that they’re about to get picked up for driving with a suspended license.

OK, so in early 2001 my brother trades some speakers for a car for me. I insure it and when we pick it up, we realize it’s really truly broken. Like, it needs a new engine. So I cancel the insurance and my brother forgets to turn in the plates. Long story short, even though the car doesn’t run, and is off the road, and even though my sister uses the broken car as a trade-in when she buys her new car, NYS doesn’t care and my license is suspended for 117 days. Luckily I use public transportation almost exclusively. I did write two letters to George Pataki, which honestly, crack me up. They are so funny. So they’re linked for your enjoyment and also because they provide a very concise and well written (if I say so myself) timeline of events. (I derive a bizarre joy from writing letters to people like this. I mean, “Frankly, I am dismayed.� !!! So funny. Maybe someday I’ll share with y’all the fantastic letter I wrote to my landlord…)

So, anyway, after all of that, after having slipped through the cracks and been ignored by the governor and sadly, discredited by the DMV, I find that once again, I have slipped through the cracks. My restriction had not ever been removed from my license so I had to walk the looong walk over to the other DMV office, stand in the line outside that wrapped around the block and wait for them to open, wait in another line, get a ticket, see someone in “enforcement� (where can I get a title like that? “I’m Karina Jean, and I’m in Enforcement.� Cool.), and in less than 5 minutes they had cleared everything up and renewed my license for me. It was so easy, it’s a shame they couldn’t have done it right the first time.

OK, so until now I’ve always maintained that the DMV was full of mostly courteous, professional, and competent people. I don’t know that this is the rule. Every actual real life person I speak to is a courteous and competent professional, but somehow I have been tripped up twice. I’m choosing to believe here that there are malfunctioning robots behind the scenes at the DMV, like Rosie from the Jetson’s only really really slow and stupid, and that’s the reason I keep having these weird problems. Like, you know, when R2D2 tries to hack into the Death Star computer and gets zapped. That’s what’s going on in the State of New York Department of Motor Vehicles. The only that frustrates me once I come to this realization is the fact that I have to make out my checks to “The Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles� personally. That’s just not right.

My but it’s been a long time!

While I’ve been goofing off with the glamour of environmental engineering, it’s SPRING! And, also, I have turned 26 years old. Amazing.

A birthday story:

When we moved here from Tennessee I was the new kid, and I was (and am) very very shy. It’s a big surprise to everyone now, because I fake it pretty good, but I was so nervous about being the new kid, and having people over for my birthday. I can’t remember exactly what I wanted to happen, but I wanted to have a great party, and have an outdoor part, with the good smelling lilac bush and the cottonwood trees and green green grass. I wanted it to be a magical outdoors experience. So, I was waiting for people to come over for the party and I noticed something. It was snowing. Snowing! April 15, and it snows. Welcome to the northeast! That’s the way it is around here, I guess. Stinkers.

So I wasn’t surprised when it started snowing a couple of weeks ago. Welcome to the northeast! Where Mother Nature likes to tease us a little with good warm beautiful sunny weather, and then drop some snowfall on us. (A good thing about the snow was that parking rules were suspended and I didn’t have to move my car!)

An Easter story:

So usually I don’t do much for Easter. I have in the past had people over for Easter egg fun, boiling dozens and dozens of eggs and setting up an egg-dying table, raiding the neighbors garbage for paper to put down under the vinegary paas kits. At cooper we had a big “Spring� dinner one Easter, wherein we had 14(?) people at the dinner table and we ate and ate and laughed and ate. It was fun, and also hard to find seating for everyone. This year, I went back to Brigantine to spend the evening with Dad and Maggie. It was fun, they’re staying at a timeshare on a very different part of Brigantine than I saw. It’s grassier, more houses, and on the ocean side. I can’t understand how Brigantine stays so small town while the only car access is directly through Atlantic City. It doesn’t make any sense. Although, a fellow from the condo who saw us in church on Easter assured us that Brigantine was a very Catholic community, and actually, so Catholic that if all of the Catholics came to church they’d have to build 3 or 4 more.

Paul Harvey officiated over Easter Mass. No, really. The priest had a deep sonorous voice that boomed out, and his elocution? Full stops in the middle of sentences just like Paul Harvey. I honestly was waiting for him to end the homily with “and now you know…. The rest. Of the story.� He didn’t, though. Maybe because the Easter story isn’t too esoteric, and most people attending church on Easter Sunday already know the rest. Of the story.

Then in the spirit of Easter we went to Atlantic City and walked on the boardwalk. It was lots of fun, and early early morning is the best time of all to hit the Atlantic City scene. As in, not too many people. And I am still shocked by people smoking indoors!

After AC I drove up to my Beau’s Parent’s house for dinner, which was very nice. And I made a cake which seemed to go over very well. I think the cake is super-fantastico, a flourless chocolate cake with a chocolate cream topping and mini-chocolate Easter eggs floating on the chocolatly “nest.� It is a wonderful Nigella Lawson creation. That woman is so fine. And what a good cook! The cake is from the NYTimes, and I don’t know how long the link will last but I do think you should all read the “At my table� column every week because the way the woman writes about food is an inspiration. She alone is well worth the free registration required for viewing the NY Times.

A story about my nephew:

My brother used to date a woman who once had a dog named Sweetness. This dog was a wiry little boxer/pitt bull kind of dog, all coiled muscle and beautiful eyes. She was a sweet sweet pup. My nephew loved standing out in the yard and yelling “Sweetness! Sweetness!� It’s better if you imagine my nephew with a high-pitched baby voice and a habit of dragging out the vowels in the word so it sounded more like “Sweeeeeaaaaatnaaaaas!�

The Crafty void in my life:
Heck, but I haven’t been making anything lately. People ask me what I’ve been up to and I have nothing to say. Um, working? I go out of town a lot lately? I don’t know what I’ve been doing. This is what I NEED to be doing:

* Making use of the fun great wonderful beautiful embroidery patterns I have.

* Finishing dad’s Christmas mittens! And Maggie’s Christmas scarf! I am A Bad Gift Giver.

* Cooking at home more, and not eating out as much.

* Making socks! I have so much sock yarn and even the right size needles. I have good instructions for using the self patterned yarn. But do I have socks? No.

* Sewing aprons from my cool “how to get a husband� fabric. It’s neat and ironic. I love it.

* Knitting the Sitcom Chic cardigan from Knitty. Because I need it! Really! Plus, all of my other cardigans are falling apart. Especially in the elbows.

The Book I’m reading:

“Woman: An Intimate Geographyâ€? by Natalie Angier. It is so fantastic and interesting, like taking a tour of my woman parts. I have learned so many cool things that I had no idea about. The author is a science writer for the NYTimes and does a fantastic job tearing down our preconceived feelings about our bodies, based on old scientific theories since disproved, and rebuilding the concept of “woman” as an evolutionary gem. This book goes on my list of books that all women should read.

Um, maybe it won’t be so long until next time? Maybe?

Tony Danza Lives! Pictures for You!

Here is a big catchup entry:

The end of March weekend was the northeast glitterati retreat! Pictures are here. It was superfantastico fun, we rented a house very near Atlantic City and will stayed for the weekend, crafting, enjoying our gas fireplace and deck and bay-side view. And, Tony Danza was appearing at the showboat on Saturday night, and I think it’s safe to say that it was the closest I’ll ever come to him. We didn’t go, of course, because it was $35 and Atlantic City was scary. Not so much scary, but weird and creepy. Like the extra-oxygenated air really spaced me out, but didn’t distract me enough from noticing the casinos weren’t as fun and glamorous as I think they should be. I mean, if you’re building a whole culture (“America’s Playground!�) on gambling and showgirls and Miss America and big boxing matches, well, I think it should be a little glitzier. It’s cheap to make things look very outlandish and luxurious, and they could have gone that much further with the window-dressing. In my opinion.

It’s really hard to plan a get-together, actually. Everyone sort of vaguely wants to come, so you try to impress on them the importance of really truly coming. And then some people back out, other people confirm. So you make reservations, start to collect money, and actually put a deposit down. And then more people, confirmed people, back out. It’s terrible. Stressful. You can’t make anyone happy. The cost goes up. Luckily, however, the people who can go are usually sweet and cool and ok with that kind of thing. At least, that’s what happened for us!

I went to Pittsburgh last weekend to scope out the town and the school. It was very very good. I enjoyed it a lot. I learned muchly. I foresee big life-changes for me… And it’s scary, too. I am excited to move but at the same time when I’m really tired and let down my guard I get very nervous about actually moving. About moving so far from my friends, and so much further from my family. About going into debt. But I’m young, right? So even if this isn’t the right decision, and I honestly am sure it is (unless I’m on an airplane and I just finished a good novel and I’m feeling really tired and vulnerable), I’m young and this is the best time to make wrong decisions. It’ll all be just fine.

I still don’t understand the reasons people move, outside of the standard moving for a job, or for a school. I feel like I am moving for not exactly the right reasons, but I can’t figure out what the right reasons would be. Is it to be near other people you love? Is it because you need a change? You like the weather somewhere else better? You can’t afford where you’re living now?

I guess I think that people don’t move when they’re happy already. They move because they need to improve something, like their job, or their relationships with other people. They want to fix something that’s wrong. But that makes moving seem so terrible. You’re doing it because you HAVE to. Because you can’t stand the way things are now. I don’t like to think of it like that – I want to go into a move feeling very positive and excited about things, enthusiastic about what the future may bring me.

And, if you’ve made it this far, here’s an extra special bonus tip! Go to the Photos page. It’s updated! I won’t get any more google hits for “photos peeing behind,� which makes me a little sad, but, pictures for you!