New wheels

Monday, November 28, 2005

Meet Penelope Cruiser.

Honda Held Hostage: Again

Saturday, November 19, 2005
Last Saturday I received a call around 5:30 a.m. from a police department.

The message, which I finally received around 11 a.m. said this: Hi. This is the police department. We just want you to know that your stolen car has been recovered. CLICK.

How nice and non-informative.

It took me a while to track down exactly which police department had contacted me. Then I had to figure out where the car had been towed. Then I had to drive to Desert Hot Springs, a town north of Palm Springs, which is where the car had been recovered.

I signed a release at the police department to get the vehicle back from the towing place. Beyond that, the police gave me little information. They said they have a suspect (and no, they wouldn't tell me who it is -- because you know I asked), and they didn't have any info about the stuff I had stolen along with the car.

This entire time I had very high hopes for the car. A woman on the phone had told me that the car hadn't been vandalized, burnt or stripped. She also said it had been recovered with a CD player -- something my car never had before. Sweet.

When I got to the towing place, Jason looked at the car while I paid the $300 for towing, gate fee, storage, etc. Within seconds Jason was back in the office, giving me a hug.

The car looks nothing like the Honda I used to know and love. It had been spraypainted blue, then black, like a big Civic-sized bruise. It was missing bumpers and license plates. The headlights didn't work. The taillights were gone. The inside of the front doors were ripped apart near the speakers.

The ignition was broken on the steering wheel. No longer was there a place to start the vehicle with a key. But if I wanted to start her up with a screwdriver, conveniently enough, I could do that.

There were soiled blankets in the backseat and a pair of dirty jeans in the trunk. The spare was gone. And that new CD player? Broken.

"You want to drive it away?" the lady at the towing place asked?

HELLS NO. First off, I would get pulled over within seconds -- with no lights and license plates.

Second, the whole thing made me too sad. It was one thing to imagine what had happened to the car. But to actually see what the thieves had done was like a big, cold piece of coal shoved down my throat. They just didn't care about the things that were so important to me.

I told them I'd have my insurance company stop by on Monday.

Then I went home and drowned myself in ice cream and tried to make all the angry, hateful thoughts go away.

Poor Honda

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Here's my poor stolen-and-recovered Honda.

I'll tell you the entire tragic story later.

Hot Kiss

Thursday, November 10, 2005

It took five days in ICU, 19 days in the hospital, three months in a wheelchair, 2 days in a walker, a 2,116-mile drive and a six-hour flight ...

But now Jason and I can kiss like this again every night.

Lovin' in the tubbin'

Wednesday, November 09, 2005
This morning Jason and I woke up early to splash around in the hot tub before I had to go to work.

ME: (suspicious) Why are you smiling? Why are you so happy?

JASON: What? I'm not allowed to smile?

ME: No. It's morning. What's wrong with you?

JASON: It's warm. We're in a hot tub. And there are palm trees and mountains all around us.

ME: Well, OK then. ... But NEXT time I'll know you're up to something.

On the road again

Monday, November 07, 2005

Oh, Hyundai Elantra. Thank you for getting my motor running again after the Civic's untimely departure.

The past seven days with you have been pure magic. And who knows what the future holds for us? I expect it will be 23 more days of sunshine and laughter, afternoon drives in the desert, music and dancing.

You've already seen me through 612 miles. I'm looking forward to the many other roads ahead of us.

DC-9 of Horror

Friday, November 04, 2005
I ended up having a fun Halloween anyway, stolen car and all.

I spent most of the weekend at Perris Valley, because my friend Lew said, "If you don't skydive, the thieves will have won."

And the terrorists too.

What choice did I have?

I pieced together enough stuff to jump. I borrowed an altimeter, used a demo helmet and went without a jumpsuit or any audibles. It's nice to know that in a pinch, your friends will still make sure you get in the air. It reminded me of when I first started jumping and borrowed gear from the dropzone and all the other jumpers.

That night was the big dropzone party. I hung out with an assortment of characters -- a flasher, a Victoria's Secret angel, a headless man, a cat, a mummy and so many others.

Me? I was Tippi Hedren from "The Birds." I wore a 1950s dress, a blonde bob wig, had fake birds attached all over my head and clothes and had blood running down my face.


Instead, people asked, "Are you a battered housewife?"

Uh, who lives in an aviary?

One guy said, "Are you a peckerhead?"

I guarantee that took more thought than my entire outfit altogether.

And one woman said, "Ooh! You're from that Hitchcock movie. The one ... that one with the lady. You're 'Psycho!'"

My God. You people don't know Hitchcock? Argh. You kids and your MTV.

The night ended with some of us partying in the cockpit of a DC-9 ... and then trying to fit into the overhead compartments. What a spooktacular end to the evening -- sitting in an old, dark, empty jet at midnight in the middle of nowhere. Very creepy. And perfect for my favorite holiday of the year.

Topping off the whole weekend, JASON CAME HOME!

My broken boy hobbled off the aircraft Monday night at the Palm Springs airport, a meowing cat carrier in one hand, a cane in the other. When he was about 10 feet away, my eyes gushed like a faucet.

I ran as close as I could, right up against the Homeland Security line. I don't think I've ever hugged someone so hard. I looked up, afraid my tears had made his face all wet -- and saw that he was sobbing too.

I didn't think it would be so emotional to see him walking after all this time, but just the sight of him upright made me all weepy. He walks with a limp, his right leg drastically swinging out with each step ... but who cares? He's walking! I'm so proud and so happy.

We must have been quite a sight at the airport that night, with Jason all limpy, the cat all meowy and me all dressed like a bee.

After all, it was still Halloween.