Joel and I are out at a restaurant having dinner – that’s one of the benefits of living in the city, when it snows 20 inches you can walk to the movies, and then later to a bar, in effect going out more than you do when the weather is perfectly nice – and I’m looking at Twitter on my phone. I’m about to reply to Kristabella about the Vampire Diaries, and as I type “did you know that Stephen is Steve McQueen’s son”, Joel informs me that it’s actually Jason, not Stephen-with-the-big-head, and he’s Steve McQueen’s grandson, not son. Oh. Well. Backspace-backspace-backspace.
Then we get to talking about Steve McQueen, who I often confuse with James Dean. Joel explains that Steve McQueen is the dude in The Great Escape, which I’ve seen most of, and which I actually liked. Wow, I say, he’s like, all wiry and super-skinny, right? He’s cool like James Dean? Yes, he did boatloads of cocaine and was very skinny, Joel says. And he possibly died racing his car, which everyone knows is about as cool as you can get. Oh, like in that episode of Supernatural, I say, but no, again, that’s James Dean. I don’t understand how this guy is SO cool, I say, and so we do the sensible thing and turn to Wikipedia (have I mentioned that I adore my new phone? It’s quite handy to be able to settle these questions immediately) to find out just why everyone thinks this Steve McQueen character is so goddamn cool.
Ok, first of all: his photo is his mugshot. Second of all, he is making a peace sign. In his mug shot.
Further evidence of coolness: He was an avid racer of both motorcycles and cars, he performed his own stunts, he has a type of Mustang named after him, he was on Richard Nixon’s Enemies List.
And that’s where the conversation stopped being about whether Steve McQueen was cool or not and started being about how you know what I need? An Enemies List.
OPH Enemies List – last updated 12/23/2009
- The guy from the Free Credit Report.com commercials
- Kristen Stewart
- Whoever's idea it was to cancel The Unit
- The guy from the gym who calls my Pinky*
- Max’s (RIP) previous owner
- Car Accident Guy
- Sheila Dixon
- Catherine Hardwicke
- Our neighbor**
- Whoever leaked Midnight Sun
- Handicapped parking space asshat
- The dude who bought my Jetta and keeps getting it impounded***
- Calleigh Duquesne
- People who can’t parallel park (I mean people who park in the middle of two spaces and have no common sense, not people who can't nail a space on the first try. Although, I'll have you know, I can nail a space on the first try. As long as no one is watching and making me nervous).
- People who run to the store to buy toilet paper and bottled water every time the forecast calls for snow****
- Scooter thief
I have the feeling I might have to make this list into a permanent page, because I know there are more enemies out there. Douchebags: they're everywhere.
* Funny story about the gym. So, maybe I told you guys, but I got married and I was really busy doing all kinds of important marrying stuff and I sort of stopped going to the gym some time around, say, June, so that I could focus fully on biting my fingernails and creating superfluous Excel spreadsheets. And then there was the wedding, and then we were on vacation, and then my knee hurt and then I had knee surgery, and then I was recovering from surgery and long story short: I didn’t go to the gym for over six months. When I found out I was going to be having surgery, I meant to call and put my membership on hold so I wouldn’t be paying for my unused membership, but, well, I never got around to it.
So I went back for the first time last week, and I was really nervous. Would it still be in the same place? Would my card still work? Would I get stuck in an awkward conversation with my Gym Nemesis about why I’ve been gone for so long?
I walked in and I’d never seen the guy working at the desk, SCORE. Maybe Gym Nemesis doesn’t even work here any more, wouldn’t that be grand!
When I swiped my card it made a bad-sounding dinging noise so the new guy asked me to swipe it again. No dice. It turns out my membership had been canceled in August, when I changed my name and totally screwed up their automatic deduction system. Score one for procrastination! He said it was no problem, gave me a new application to fill out and said I could just bring it with me the next time I came. He waved me through, I managed 20 minutes on the elliptical, determined that everything was pretty much in the same place as it was six months ago, and went home.
The next day I returned with my completed application in hand. I turned the corner to see none other than Gym Nemesis working the desk. Maybe he won’t remember me! I’ll just pretend that I’m a totally new person and hand him this application and – - “Hey, Pinkie. Where've you been?”
** Funny story about our neighbor: for no reason at all, she hates us. Well, I should say, she hates me. She seems to have no problem with Joel, which is super since I’m the one who bought her a cute (not creepy) Welcome to the Neighborhood card and introduced myself when she moved in. Anyway, she doesn’t like us, her yappy dog doesn’t like us. So on The Great Snow Day this weekend, Joel is out shoveling the sidewalk (including hers, because he is nice) and she asks him if he can collect her mail next week. And then she elaborates, saying usually she asks her First Tier Friend, Mr. Old Man, but she really can’t ask him "to come out in this weather." Sooo... not only are we her second choice for vacation mail collector, but she hopes we slip on her (unshoveled) stairs and break a leg.
*** Funny story about my old car: apparently you can’t just sell a car, the car remains yours in the eyes of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration until the new owner registers it in his own name. If, say, he prefers to drive the car around unregistered and all unlawful-like, and then, say, he gets his car towed for parking illegally, you will get an Official Certified Letter from the Official County Government demanding that you come and officially pick up your car, even though it's officially not actually your car at all and you have neither the required proof of ownership nor the keys. This Official Certified Letter will threaten all kinds of official fees and penalties for failure to officially pick up your car and pay the official towing and storage fees.
I ignored the first letter because it came just before the wedding. When I got a second letter, I called every number listed on the damned thing, from the county police station (“nothing we can do, call the MVA”) to the MVA (“nothing we can do, tell him he needs to register the car”) to the impound lot (“nothing we can do, there aren't any Volkswagens here”). I noted all these supremely helpful conversations and filed the letter right next to the Bill of Sale.
And now I’ve gotten a third letter. This one says the car was impounded on December 3, which leads me to believe that Mr. New Jetta Owner is somehow retrieving his (my) (our) poor Jetta each time. I don't have any way to contact him, since we communicated only via text message and his number was erased when I got my new phone. The best I can manage it to call the County Police, the MVA, and the impound lot again, note the conversations and file the letter away, hoping to the Ghost of Volkswagens Past that when I go to renew the registration on our Mazda next year, the MVA doesn’t tell me that I owe some horrific amount in fines. I figure in that case, I can always “sell” the car to Joel. Or, failing that, we can move far, far away and change our names.
**** Funny story about people in Maryland: Every time it looks like a single snowflake might fall, there is a run on toilet paper and milk. I honestly don’t understand this. How long do people think they’re going to be snowed in for? Do they really not have enough toilet paper to last them through the weekend? If the snow really does pose an emergency (which it sometimes does, here, because of pure incompetence on the part of the city), really, toilet paper is what you’re putting in your survival kit?
And, well, just so this isn't the most bitter post in the history of Christmas, look! Snow!
If it's going to be cold, it might as well freaking snow. That's what I always say.
I like to call this photo "Nevermind".
Ok, I hate the parking situation, but I do love our neighborhood. Especially when it gets all snowy and I half expect to see a horse pulling a buggy down the cobblestone streets.