Thursday, June 03, 2004
It Has Been Said That Things Sometimes Fall Apart-- Something About the Center Not Holding Up Its End of the Bargain...

Anybody who is still reading this thing must have an appetite for navelgazing that borders on the masochistic. In an attempt to win back the readers already lost I'll make a shift back to the concrete and bitch about a simple external physical fact:

Everything I own is breaking.

First off my car. Having gotten through the winter months apparently intact, it nonetheless refused to start. Beyond that, the battery would not take a charge. It was while attempting to charge the battery that I noticed something else: that the right rear tire was completely flat. A few weeks later I took off the tire and affixed the spare donut, after which I removed the battery by hand. I took that battery to AutoZone, where they confirmed that it would not take a charge and sold me a new one. I installed the new battery successfully, and without electrocuting myself. The next step was to replace the tires, which I did the Monday morning after my sister's birthday, which I spent in Annapolis with my family.

My father dragged me out of bed very early in the morning (especially so since I had been completely unable to fall asleep until shortly after sunrise) and we went to the Annapolis NTB. He convinced me to buy four new tires by offering to pay half the cost. After this I headed back to DC and went to work, and worked all night on two or three hours of sleep. Longtime readers of this 'blog may be interested to know that The Girl, with her usual genius for timing, showed up that afternoon. Being too exhausted to avoid her, I was sucked into the last actual conversation we've had, which revolved around an absurd debate over the pronunciation of a musician's name.

Just how I want to remember her.

Now we fast forward to my recent move, which left me neglecting this dear internet-based log for a bit of a while. Given permission to pile boxes in the living room at the new place, I had the luxury of packing things over the course of a week or so and bringing them over in loads. It was the last Wednesday of April. I had brought a second load of boxes over (books mainly, and computer equipment) and was catching my breath on the couch when I realized that I needed to get to work. I hopped in my car with plans of driving straight over.

At the intersection of 3rd St NW and Rhode Island Ave I was rear-ended at a red light by a big white van. My car has been at the body shop for the last three weeks having its bumper replaced and the dents banged out of the trunk (which would not open, making moving a delightful experience... stay tuned on the off chance I some day decide to narrate the extra-delightful culmination of my moving experience). I do not know the state of my car, because the body shop only has my mobile phone number, and the phone is the latest victim of my EVERYTHING! BREAKING! spree.

But first... I decide to go retro.

I've always had a bit of the mid-century in my sartorial aesthetic. Neo-boho one friend called it. Clothing that a young Bill Burroughs might have worn. Trench coat, fedora, long umbrella. Throw in some half-reformed grunge and a healthy dose of indie-rocker dork and you got me pretty well.

So when some horrible bastard planted the idea of retro shaving in my head, I decided to spend an embarrassing amount of money on a new razor and accessories.

They didn't arrive until after I had moved, which forced me to chase them through the annals of FedEx, a harrowing tale that randomly involves a sixteen wheel truck trying not once but twice to run me off the Beltway on my way to the ground shipping depot in Beltsville, MD. I tried to take down the offending insane person's license number, only to find he had no rear plates.

You see, my car used to try merely to bankrupt me, then it moved on to trying to make me lose my mind. Now it has moved on to actually trying to kill me.

But on to my exciting first experience of shaving... with a straight razor! I shuffled through all the new fun stuff: brush, mug, soap, strop, wetstone, the same aftershave my grandfather used to use. I sharpened the razor, I stropped it, I worked up a lather with the brush and spread it over my face... somewhere along the way, I managed to chip the blade. I still don't know how. My first time using it, and...

But now my phone and my credit card have both stopped working. My card has all of $140 on it, so don't go thinking I'm in financial trouble or anything. The card has merely stopped working, and people are starting to yell at me about it. The phone not only has stopped synching with my desktop, it refuses to recognize any memory cards and will not find the Sprint network. PalmOne and Sprint continue to give me the runaround, and it seems that tomorrow I'll have to visit the Sprint store in DuPont for the third day in a row... because the best thing some bastard could recommend was some cryptic scribbling about downloading a new PRC... which makes no sense, given that PRC is not a program at all but a file type. And even if I could figure out what I'm supposed to find and download and find it to download, how would I get it onto a phone that WON'T SYNCH WITH MY DESKTOP!?

All of this has left me with a sincere desire to break something on purpose.
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