Is it my imagination, or is this "Spring Forward" thing happening earlier than usual the past couple years? Don't answer that, actually. It is not my imagination. Starting Daylight Saving Time three weeks early was yet another brilliant idea from the Bush administration, and now as a result, every spring and fall when I make the tour of my house to reset my clocks, I say a special thank you to my least favorite ex-president as I reset the ONE clock that previously was smart enough to reset itself on its own. That would be my VCR's clock, which, while an ancient and archaic appliance according to most people, was actually advanced enough to know when Daylight Saving Time was supposed to start and end and adjusted its time automatically. That is, until George W. got his hands on it. (Daylight Saving Time, I mean. Not my VCR. Even now that he's out of office, I'm pretty sure Bush has better things to do than rifle through my humble home.) This may be the least of the legacies of the Bush presidency, but it's an especially annoying one to me. Grr.
Speaking of annoyances, I started my weekend off on a fantastic one by getting into a car accident on my way out to meet friends Friday night. I am fine, and I'm well aware that is the most important part, but it's unsettling anyway. The jerk who I hit was making a left turn at an intersection where I was proceeding straight from the oncoming line of traffic, and he claims that since the light was yellow, HE had the right of way. I don't actually remember learning that rule in driver's ed; I'm pretty sure that in lieu of a green arrow signal, the rule is always "Left turn must YIELD," but this guy also said it was legal for up to two cars to turn left on a red light if they don't have a chance to make their turn before the light changes, so clearly he's working off a different manual than the one I received. Let's just hope our insurance company goes by the same manual I'm familiar with and not the wacky "make your own rules" one that jackass seems to own.
On the up side, while the delusional jackass's fancy silver Mustang has a giant dent in its right side, my car sustained almost no damage at all. People may malign my aging Saturn, but I'm telling you, it may in fact be invincible. The bumper is clearly made of titanium, as it has sustained notable impact and force from other vehicles at least four times now and has nary a crack or scratch to show for it. My license plate is mangled, yes, and there's some silver paint from the jackass's side body mingling along with the red paint I still hadn't touched up from that mishap last summer. But actual damage? None, as far as my untrained eye can see. So... GO Saturn, I suppose. Could the Honda Civic a friend of mine recently told me I should be driving instead promise the same?
While I'm looking for silver linings, I could also mention that I finally figured out how to file my taxes almost for free this year, and I was happy to see that my refund was already in my bank account, mere days after clicking "Send return." I saw that, and I promptly did the least fun and most grown-up and responsible thing possible with it--I made a second payment to my credit card bill this month, and I paid my $596 medical bill in full. And then I transferred the rest to savings, because my savings account and I have had a rather unbalanced relationship lately, and I thought it would be nice to give a little for once instead of always being a "take, take, take" sort of girl.
The medical bill, by the way, was for an echocardiogram I had back in January, which I don't think I actually blogged about, despite the fact that a strangely flirtatious Middle Eastern cardio technician slathering goop on my chest and then fondling me with a plastic wand while making uncomfortable small talk would ordinarily spell prime blog fodder. If I worked for a larger company (or lived in Canada), that test would have cost me nothing, of course, but since I do not, $596 was my portion of the bill. Frankly, I am tired of all the criticisms about national health care. In this case, Socialism sounds like a fine plan if you ask me.
I did allow myself at least one small impulse purchase knowing that tax return was in my bank account, though. I've realized it might be time for a new handbag, but rather than let one of my experienced handbag mentors guide me to a proper all-leather investment with a three-digit price tag, I bought this one at Target instead. Carrie and Angela, I'm well aware that neither of you would approve of this PVC, polyester-lined purchase, but at a mere $19.99, I promise I'm not opposed to investing in something more appropriate under your guidance as well.
Let's see. What else have I been up to lately? Well, Tuesday I put on my civics nerd hat (kidding; I actually look terrible in hats) and went to my precinct caucus. I wasn't feeling committed and ambitious enough to volunteer as a Ward or City Convention delegate, but I did volunteer to help with some data entry work this weekend. My friends Amy and Mark, who live 12 blocks and one precinct away, are both delegates, and had I been in the same room as them, perhaps I would have stepped up to that plate as well. As it happened, the only one egging me on in my precinct room was an egg-shaped guy in an R.T. Rybak shirt, nodding and pointing at me in a strange but encouraging way as our caucus leader asked for delegates. Naturally I assumed he thought I was cute and wanted me to be a delegate simply so we'd find ourselves in the same room again sometime soon, but alas, it quickly occurred to me that he probably saw the Rybak sticker on my sweater and was just trying to load the delegation in his candidate's favor. Pish posh.
So I will not be attending this year's Ward 1 or City convention, but I did spend most of the day yesterday helping to enter caucus attendee details into the state voter database. A surprisingly small number turned out, and a few hours in, the woman in charge started slightly badmouthing a few other active party members for transgressions during the caucus. When I said goodbye that afternoon, she thanked me for my help and said that she hoped her catty talk didn't dissuade me from getting involved in additional future events. I didn't have the nerve to say, "Au contraire! If anything, cattiness makes me MORE inclined to participate!" but the sentiment was in my head nonetheless.
And I guess that's about all I've been up to lately. Please tell me that your weekend was more positively eventful than any of that.