Trying Something New: The Automotive News (Weeks 9 & 10)
I knew these two weeks would be a little limited in what I could do. It was Emerald City ComiCon. I was in a comic shop eight out of ten days. Only so much a guy can learn sitting in a store. However, I did my best.
Week Nine- Car Trouble and Bus Flirting
I would not say that I cheated, but I broadened the scope of my plans. The whole point of trying new things is to push yourself, right? Do something out of the ordinary or be a little daring?
The engine light on my car went on. I fear breakdowns. Happily, my car has never left me stranded. (Which only makes me want to continue the trend.) I called a tow truck. They wanted me to ride with them. It was eight o’clock at night, I had no one to drive me home, I told them I would call them back.
A phone call with a friend later convinced me to be bold. “Be cautious, but don’t worry too much”, he told me. Driving a possibly impaired vehicle mildly terrifies me, but it was only a few miles. What could possibly go wrong? (Dun dun dunnnnnn.)
Short answer: Nothing. My jaw got clenched. My knuckles had their period of whiteness. The car behaved fine. If anything had happened, I would have simply pulled over an called the tow truck like I had planned. Fear lost to practicality. I call that a victory.
After dropping off the car, I hopped on a bus that I would not normally take. That put me in a seat across from a certain woman.
Now, I tend not to hit on people on the bus. People simply want to get home. Attractive people can have long days at work, just like anybody else. It is not like you can have a private audience. When I am on the bus, I want to be left alone. I treat others the same. But this woman. Sigh.
If I describe her features, she might come across as looking like a Roswell alien. Big eyes. Exaggerated, quite triangular nose. Unlike those famous guys, her skin was far from gray. Also, her nose was of a large nature as well. And yet, it all paired fabulously. One of those compositions made up of extremes that work.
Sitting on the opposite bench, I tried to keep my eyes to myself. Nobody likes a creeper. The brave side of me was quite keen on chatting her up. The civilized, reserved, introvert thought I should look at the pretty trees outside and go home.
That little voice that spoke first did a little dance when she got off at the same stop that I did. And it started to shove me onto the dance floor when we both ended up waiting at the same crosswalk light. So I flirted with bravery.
I turned around, approached her, and said, “I don’t mean to bother you, but your face is amazing. Especially your eyes. So kudos.”
She took out one of her earbuds, smiled, and said, “Oh, thanks.”
And then I turned around.
“Chicken!” “Wuss!” “Why didn’t you get her number?”
First off, at a guess? She was probably ten years my junior. Let the poor college kid be a college kid. Second, the goal of the interaction was not to get a date. If she wanted to chat with me, that would have been delightful. First and foremost though, I wanted her to be appreciated for being herself. No catches, no demands; just a guy complimenting a woman. The end. (I still give myself points for venturing out of my comfort zone though.)
Week Ten- Reading the Sunday Paper
Growing up, my family always got The Seattle Times delivered to our home. There is an episode of Mad About You where the two of them sit around the apartment reading the entire Sunday paper. The local library apparently gets free copies of the advanced version of the paper and sets them out on a rack, free for the taking.
Hence, I decided I would take a stab at reading the entire Sunday newspaper. (Not counting ads, puzzles, or classifieds.)
Short version: I failed. It took me three days, and I attempted, but I harbored this notion in the back of my mind that I was not going to make it. For one thing, there was no news in the newspaper. It was one big collection of features; more like my definition of a magazine than a newspaper.
Yes, I understand the logistics as to why. The advance version carries the idea that it cannot be up-to-date. (It is probably printed Friday afternoon. Hard to be current in that setting; that is what online editions are for.)
Still, I like to think that I gave it a valiant effort. Parade was a silly collection of fluff. The color comics were amusing (but all are pretenders to the Calvin & Hobbes throne. C’mon now). And hey, I found a few new books to read thanks to them, so that is all well and good.
The obituaries were interesting for their accumulated effect. It fascinated me how many notices were three months late. How many folks had been born in the 1920s. And happily, how many people deferred any flowers or bereavement gifts in lieu of donations to causes. Well done.
The national news consisted of four articles. Anti-fake news in Ukraine, hiring problems in Denmark, and a dance study in England. Nothing to earth-shattering.
There are sections I knew would bore me. Sports- NASCAR. Oh joy. Fashion- I shall never visit your featured blogs. (Also, your headline referenced seven blogs. Your subtitle discussed six. Decide! The two lines are right next to each other! -spoiler: there were seven-)
Pacific NW magazine was fine. An interesting article on the viaduct, but I will never cook the fancy recipe. Vacation made for an interesting enough travelogue. Four pages are about all I can take and I still do not have the urge to hop on a plane, but I feel like I received some culture.
I tried. I attempted to read every section. So I can now say that I have sat down with the Sunday paper and gone through it all. But I cannot say that I read it all. (Perused: sure. Glanced: you bet. Read: Eh, not so much.)
Hey, nobody said I would succeed at all 52 new things I would try.