Namo amitabha Buddhaya, y'all.
This here's a religious establishment. Act respectable.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

First-World Marriage and Untitled Cars

Alert: This is the first blog post composed wholly on my Nook.  Yep, its a keeper.  I bet you didnt know that Nooks could compose blog posts. The typing is slow going because I am still getting used to the itty bitty keyboard but other than that, it is working fine. Which may spell the end of hauling my laptop around and, not coincidentally, my ceaseless quest fora new laptop case.   Hey, can somebody show me where the apostrophe is on this thing? Otherwise Im going to sound like Data. (Why no, sir. I cannot.) If you dont know who Data is, ask someone. I am given to understand that he is fully functional.

Last Thursday, Ramadan officially ended. This is significant, because yours truly is prone to hang out in a certain Muslim-owned restaurant. This is my first Thursday back in the booth, so to speak, and between my tiny keyboard and trying to remember how to wrangle pita bread, Im having an interesting time of it.  That, and the space bar on this thing seems to be stuck. I really have to whack it to get it to move. Ah, first-world problems.  In real life, Im here, the pita bread is here, someone a few booths back is speaking in fluid, almost lilting Farsi and I just found the damned apostrophe. I feel better than I have in days.

Sometime between the North Texas Tour and the hauling of a big branch off my lawn after a rainstorm, I managed to hurt my back. So the last couple of weeks have not been fun.  It's an annoying 4 gusting up to the occasional 6 on the pain scale, and while Advil helps, it does not solve the problem.  Luckily, I have a really good massage therapist, because otherwise I'd, like, have to seek actual medical help or something.  Don't ask me to go to a chiropractor.  I won't do it.  I've been to three chiropractors and had three miserable experiences, culminating in the last genius, who left me for 45 minutes, with my pants off, hooked up to a machine in a room with three burly  Mexican laborers (who all had very good manners and didn't look).

I thought I was on the mend, but apparently this is a trick with back injuries--make you think you're all better when in fact they're just getting warmed up. I have, however, made it through this entire work day with no Advil.  That doesn't mean I enjoyed it at all, though. When I get back on the stuff I will try to do 600 mg instead of 800. Just for variety.

So how am I, anyway, you ask.  Well, I guess I'm okay. Apart from the back, that is. I just Made the Big Mistake - that is, bought a ticket from Delta Airlines - and am going  to see my parents and   my sister over Labor Day. My folks don't know  how  lucky they are to  live  in a Southwest Airlines part of the world, where you can fly around for next to nothing on an airline that is not inherently evil.  Oh, I can do the same here in Texas, and the contiguous states, but not outside. Utah and Arizona are outside. So the trip to Salt Lake that would cost $400 on Delta or American costs $677 on Southwest. That's a hefty premium  for flying bags free.

Then I have a cousin getting married in September. I've already RSVPd Yes, so I better show up or  Shelley will probably kill me.  There are two options. I can fly to Fargo and stay in a hotel, like a normal person, or I can fly to Bismarck and hang with my parents and my aunt and uncle, who are driving to Fargo and back. If there's room for me, that is, which I don't know, and if they want me to show up, which I also don't know. It's cheaper to fly to Bismarck than Fargo.  I thought about flying into Bismarck and out of Fargo but that was even more expensive  than, say, a Southwest Airlines ticket. Almost twice as much as merely flying to Fargo.  It's the little dilemmas, by far, that are the most annoying.

Take retitling our car, for example.  We paid off Sloth, our red Saturn, three years ago, approximately. We should have applied for a new title then. Every now and then I remember that we never applied for a new title and print out the form from the Texas DMV Web site. And then I remember why I never filled it out and signed it. Because at the bottom is this little section where you  have to state whether or not you're married. Under penalty of perjury, no less.

Uh, hello? State of Texas? I have enough moral dilemmas already, okay?

It's not just an academic question, either.  If you're married, you don't have to pay this extra tax to get a new title if something God forbid happens to your spouse.  You get a new title free, or almost.  If you're not married, you have to pay the tax, plus swear up and down that you're not married to anyone else (even though this is Texas and not Utah). So it behooves you to be married in this particular transaction. And, of course, we are married.  In California.  And the Supreme Court never really settled the question of whether or not we're  married anywhere else.  The Feds consider us married, but one doesn't register a car with the Feds.  Unless one lives in D.C., and we
will move to D.C. when I can pry the Texas house key from Joan's cold dead fingers.

So how do I sign this stupid form? I either lie about being married, or I lie about being married in Texas.  Or I toss the form in the trash and forget about it for another year, which is the pattern so far.  It won't really become an issue until we either sell the thing or God forbid one of us gets in an accident and the insurance company totals it out.  But it's a lot of paperwork and hassle at a not-very-good time.

(Sighs, rubs forehead) First world problems.  Okay, to close out this blog entry we have two options.  A terrifying article on global warming or George Carlin's spot-on lament about modern manhood.  You kids enjoy one or the other while I try to figure out my state of matrimony.  Oh, and what to get my cousin for a wedding present. Is Waterford crystal too overstated?