Saturday, April 08, 2006

oh yeah... i guess i am in texas

as i drove home from work today, a/c blasting in the 80-something-degree weather, i noticed an unusual sight in my little section of suburban paradise - masses and masses of flashing blue and red lights. what was it? an accident? construction? a massive drug bust? my curiosity was piqued even further when i saw a crime scene unit truck on the scene. austin doesn't exactly come anywhere near DC's reputation as the homicide capital of the world (especially in the boonies where i am living right now), so what could it have been?

i was unfortunately flying by on the opposite side of the road at ~60 mph, so an answer was not to be had at that exact moment. yet when i left my place 15 mins later to meet a friend for dinner (my first experience with ethnic food in austin - more on that later), i drove right past the scene. all of the same elements were still there - 4-5 police cars, orange cones blocking off the entire lane, crime scene truck. yet this time there was a dead deer on the pavement, circled in chalk like they do in TV.

my first thought was, all this for a deer? i mean i know i'm in TX and everything, but come on! it's a deer! i've had to drive past a dead fox on the side of the road for at least three days now, but they bring out the whole austin police department for a dead deer? and then i kept driving and saw random pieces of equipment strewn about, also circled in chalk. the final piece of the puzzle fell into piece when i saw a motorcycle on its side, also outlined in chalk. clearly something horrible had happened there, and i immediately felt kinda bad about my morbid interest in the whole thing.

and then i hopped on the highway and saw this stupid dude with tattoos up and down his arms flying down the highway on a loud motorcycle and a huge messenger bag, hair flying in the wind... that is, sans helmet. ahh, the glorious stupidity.

it's funny, b/c in the several wks i've been here (almost one month... wow) i sometimes find myself forgetting i'm in texas. it's easy to do that in downtown austin, i think, and also in my work environment. and then i see stupid shit like that and am reminded all over again. like the stupid person near my apt who parks their massive truck complete w/huge flatbed in the spaces marked "for small cars only." last time i checked, if you've got room for an entire tractor and several freeloadin' buddies in the back, you don't qualify as small. or the woman who drives this ugly-ass truck with a huge decal that says "real women drive trucks."

the worst is when i leave the safe mecca of austin and cringe with the constant reminders that i really am in texas. like the woman in the dallas airport who was standing in the public bathroom in her tie-dyed shirt, taking up the space of at least two sinks as she tried to flat-iron her rat's nest peroxide blond hair into submission. it was really hard to wash my hands without staring. or the airline employee who insisted on wishing every single passenger a safe flight by name and therefore holding up the line as she tried to catch every single person and pronounce their name properly as the rest of us waited in line impatiently. "hay-uve uh safe fliiight, mrs. cha... chatta... chattaranya?" (at least it wasn't "sammm.... ire.... naga... naga... not gonna work here anymore!") thank god she didn't butcher my name, but i was seriously tempted to interrupt her annoying southern drawl and tell her to just scan the damn boarding passes and let us get on the plane already.

anyway, TGIFFA - thank god it's fucking friday already. my wknd plans include taxes, a haircut, my boss's baby shower (what's up with children's books costing an arm and a leg these days?), sleeping in, brunch with my friend's joyce's cousin, and biking on the town lake trails... AND dirty dancing is on TV. i think that combination should be strong enough to erase the crappiness of this week. i'll get on it ASAP and keep you all posted on how it goes...


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