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24 August 2004 @ 12:29 am
Alas that I waited so long to write this up!  
The city is full of countless encounters lasting only seconds, all of which quickly fade away to something beyond memories.

We took the South Shore to Chicago this weekend, and although the city made me feel proud of what people can accomplish (large shiny sculptures, oooh), it also filled me with a strange sense of unhappiness. There are so many beautiful people in large cities, and there are countless more people of a more average nature who can be found attempting to be perceived as beautiful through gadgets, new clothing, and new possessions. There is an unbelievable amount of money in this shopping area. I'm always impressed that things can get "refined" to a point where you need handsome, tie-clad men to help you navigate through four floors of matching furniture, vases, and kitchen dishtowels. And yet ... there are still so many people in Chicago who live in poverty while "the media" tunes them, causing many to aspire to these ridiculous heights. Is this really a satisfactory situation?

Just how ridiculous is this glamorous retail district? If you enter Nordstroms, you can find a number of the newest fashions of sometimes dubious taste. I was not impressed, for example, by the dresses with unfinished edges to them (think of all the unraveling! Ick!). I did, however, find a cute, fitted little purple corduroy jacket. It is unlined, meant for the warmth of the early fall, and has plastic smiley-face buttons (these appealed to me immensely). It costs almost $800.

We all know that despite being twenty-one years of age, I lack a driver's license. Driving has never been very important to me, and as I used to live in the city, I could easily walk/ride a bike to where I needed to go. My family, however, believes that despite my inclinations to the contrary, it's high time I learned how to drive. Because I am so old (... in respect to most people who are learning to drive), we opted for a private instructor. He happened to be my seventh-grade algebra teacher.

On the first day, I prayed with all my heart for a cheaparse car. I was scared that putting me behind the wheel of an expensive vehicle would be making me faaaaar too responsible for a helluva lot of money. I just didn't want to deal with the risk of putting the first dent in something someone invested a lot of funds in.

I got a shiny new, painfully yellow Ford Mustang.

The second day, we were going to practice the most intricate aspects of parking, from straight, to angled, to even the dreaded parallel. We were also going to rehash the art of backing up, which I (still) have issues with. Worried, I prayed for a small car.

I got a big sky-blue SUV.

In this hella large vehicle, I parallel-parked in the downtown area. I am pleased to announce that although I did, at one point, bump into the curb, I never went over it.

On the third day, I finally got the small car of the sort that I would most likely drive if a car proved necessary in my life. We went on the Toll Road, which was quite an experience for someone who once considered ten miles an hour in a parking lot quite quick.

Since undergoing driver's ed, I have developed a (peculiar?) habit of talking to everything in my range of vision as I drive. "What are you doing? What are you doing?? You didn't signal! That's bad! Hooligans in an SUV! Er, please don't pull in front of me, that is a very bad idea. OH MY GOD. I am so sorry, dude!! I didn't mean to cut you off, I swear it!! I apologize for going the speed limit! OH SORRY! SORRY! Okay, I need to turn, so right up left down! Woo! It's my turn to go."

All trees, mailboxes, small children, puppy dogs, and road signs are still intact. No car took damage.

Since my college days are coming to an end, I've been somewhat obsessed with the concept of making some sort of change, especially visually remaking myself (by some method other than wardrobe, which would be expensive, annoying, time-consuming, depressing, and a lot of other adjectives which are not positive). Thus, I got my hair cut. It didn't turn out as expected. Unfortunately, I think I look like a badly coifed soccer mom, and my mother thinks I look like a twelve year-old. Fortunately, my hair grows quickly.

LJ keeps reverting to the blue and white layout that I hate.
Current Mood: discontentdiscontent
Auturgist: Ryosuke Takahashi fandom DYING TO DRIVEauturgist on August 24th, 2004 01:03 am (UTC)
I don't know if it's a GOOD idea or BAD idea they put you behind the wheel of a Mustang. Those cars are pieces of shit when it comes to handling... nothing but near-wheel drive horsepower for the straights. If you aren't careful turning, you can slip those rear tires out really easily. But that might be a good thing... forces you not to be going or trying to go too fast in the first place. ^_^;;

I hate driving SUVs. I hate being that far from the road. The center of gravity in an SUV is so high and I hate that... it feels like flying more than driving. Ugh. I want to be close to the road. >_<;;

What was the small car you drove? Remember?
One Who Wanders: stupidabiona on August 24th, 2004 06:03 pm (UTC)
Trust me when I say that going too fast was not an issue!

Eeeehhhh, er ... I can only remember that it was green. >.>;
LionBoogylionboogy on August 24th, 2004 04:35 am (UTC)
Driving all sorts of vehicles is good knowledge. You're gonna hate it, but at least you're prepared in situations where you WILL have to drive them, say, if you're a driving someone's vehicle home from a party after he/she got blasted drunk. Or if you're helping someone move and you need to drive a U-Haul truck. We can be picky about a lot of things that don't fit our comfort zone but we can't choose a perfect vehicle world, especially in a chaotic place like downtown Chicago.

Oh and don't worry about the whole Driver's License thing. I mean, I have friends in hilly crowded San Francisco in their 30s and 40s who don't have a DL because they've always taken the bus or BART to get around. In SF, there's no parking at all so no reason to even own a car.
One Who Wanders: hummerabiona on August 24th, 2004 06:14 pm (UTC)
A perfect vehicle world exists only on paper, or in the driver's manual.

Maybe someday I'll drive a stretch limo. Or, I do live where Hummers are made!
Gauze: Gauzegauzey on August 24th, 2004 12:49 pm (UTC)
I need to move to a big city. >:| ::wants to:: I'm 19 and don't have my license yet, but the thing is...I need one. T_T Austin is big, but I live on the outskirts and nothing is in comfortable walking distance. 9_9

Good luck with drivingness and everything. ;o;
One Who Wanders: priestessabiona on August 24th, 2004 06:07 pm (UTC)
RO quuuuuuuesstions!

Would UFO Catcher mind having a level 70 Crusader named Parsley? XD;

And ... do you want to do chara exchange art sometime? : D
Ahvia, Leader of the NPC Rebellion: Dreamy Gauzeahvia on August 30th, 2004 10:00 am (UTC)
OMG I'm such a loser, I didn't see this message till I checked my mail 6940 days later I'm sorry ;o; Hi.

UFO Catcher would be hooonored to have Parsley. *O*///

And exchange art sounds lovely too! :3 I've never done it before~~ <3
Ahvia, Leader of the NPC Rebellion: Ahviaahvia on August 30th, 2004 10:01 am (UTC)
oops and also this is my real LJ. :<
Ng-Master.  I prefer Dave, David, or DN.ngmaster on August 24th, 2004 08:23 pm (UTC)
I agree with lionboogy about being exposed to different vehicles; it definitely will be a good experience. To this day, I have yet to master the intricacies of a stick shift vehicle... something my friends claim drives faster and has better fuel economy. Also, I hear tell that yellow cars (like your Mustang) are supposed to be safer. And having a large car to do the intricate stuff, like turns, would probably help you more for that sort of thing. Both cars are from the same instructor?

When I was learning to drive at the age of 19, in lovely Long Island where the car is King, it was pretty frightening... ran stop signs all the time, jumped curbs regularly with parallel parking (the one skill I find COMPLETELY useless in everyday driving) and got intimidated by parents who didn't want their shiny cars ruined. I now drive said shiny cars (dulled with age).

As for the waning days of college, I suggest you enjoy them while it lasts! In all honesty, I think you look like a perfectly normal 21 year old college student, and your visual image will follow along as you progress in your years.

Good luck with the driving, pal (just don't let that add years to you!).
Katenyxdae on August 25th, 2004 10:07 am (UTC)
When my band took a "band tour" we stopped at an area that had one of the biggest malls I have seen...It depressed me...Maybe for the same reasons...I felt really small, and really out of touch with what a lot of people in this country are in to. There were WAAAAYYYY to many people there and WAAAYYY to many silly things.
Emily: smoothetoileeyes on September 2nd, 2004 03:04 pm (UTC)
Yeah for finally learning to drive!!! I'm glad that no one was injured in the process and I hope that you are enjoying the experience. I love driving... only wish I had a car... or a computer at this point... ah well... soon though it will be mine. mwahahah... anyhow yeah for comments