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Notes From A Walkman Junkie:  I Sure Am Thirsty 

July 15, 2010

Ever have one of those days when all you want is a simple diet coke so you walk down to the lobby of your apartment building with seventy-five cents in hand only to find that the vending machine is out of diet coke — but, you still really want one and remember that there is a vending machine by the pool in the courtyard so you walk out there to find that this fancier machine requires fifty cents more than you have on you so you walk back up to your apartment to gather more change and walk all the way back down to the courtyard — this time in the opposite way around to avoid seeing all the people by the pool who saw you staring longingly at the vending machine for ten minutes the first time?  Well, it has been just that kind of day for me so I thought why not top it off with a trip to the Department Of Motor Vehicles to renew my tags.

Now of course, the renewing process is never simple for me — mainly because I always forget some things (paying my property tax, where the courthouse is, how weird the court house is, my phone number, how to spell, the correct pronunciation of the word documentary — usually just when I am nervous and/or faced with an authority figure).  No matter how many times I have done it, I never seem to remember all the steps involved in paying a property tax and naively think that I will just breeze in the courthouse, pay, and get out.  Regrettably, I am never correct in this assumption and must repeatedly grapple with the many winding levels and mysterious tiny rooms in the building.  After entering the courthouse and making several laps around — with an abundance of awkward pauses and back-tracking — I found the seemingly appropriate mysterious tiny room and informed the woman at the desk that I wished to pay my property tax.  The woman promptly gave me a form and instructed me to take it to another room where Betty could stamp it and send me to another room so Bill could put a sticker on Betty’s stamp before sending me to yet another room to have Terry stare at it for a minute–then finally send me to the room where Steve was waiting to fold my form into an origami Pterodactyl.

Eight rooms later, I was eventually able to pay the tax, obtain my receipt, and make my way to the DMV.  This went surprisingly smoothly (it is a relatively new and clean DMV where the employees have yet to build up years of inexplicable pain, misdirected anger, and palpable resentment). I handed all my proper forms to the woman and she asked me a few standard questions:  “Is Margaret your first or last name?  Do you want to renew these for one year or two?  Are you Russian?”  and I in turn answered her inquiries:  “Neither.  Two.  No.”   In addition, she threw in a couple other formalities:   ” I have a lot of Russian friends. You look Russian to me” and I obliged her in these formalities:  “I don’t know what that means.”  This verbal interaction was followed by several odd glances in my direction from people surrounding us — I am guessing to make their own assessment on whether or not I do in fact look Russian — and then at last completing our transaction.

The good news is that in the end, I had my new car tags and that bottle of diet coke was delicious.  I am attaching “Endless Part 1″ by Phosphorescent as it seems fitting.



10 Responses to “ Notes From A Walkman Junkie:  I Sure Am Thirsty  ”

  1. Pancake on July 15, 2010 at 7:43 am

    Anne The Lost Princess of Russia.

    It’s nice to hear that the Springfield DMV has removed the (somewhat arbitrary) step of setting the origami Pterodactyl on fire before obtaining your receipt, they seem so streamlined now.

  2. Greg on July 15, 2010 at 8:00 am

    You are wonderfully awkward.

    The license thing sounds way worse than what we do up in the Great White North. One building (although it seems to change locations every 6 months), one line. Or the automated kiosks they have in malls here which takes about 5 monutes to get your plates renewed. No origami though.

    The blog ended on a happy note as I was glad you got the Diet Coke. Very important. Although, Coke Zero is still better.

    I can’t believe I know a Russian Princess.

  3. anncine on July 15, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Yes, thankfully the flaming origami was not necessary due to it being an even year. Greg, you have the awkward part right…and the Russian Princess thing.

  4. Nat on July 15, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Have to agree with Greg on the Coke Zero–though my own preference is for Coke Zero Vanilla-Cherry-Lime-Admiral-Nelson-Pheasant-Blood (you can only find it in the back alleys of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula).

    This sounds eerily similar to the immigration offices of the Livingston airport in Zambia, of which your father spoke rather harshly.

  5. Robert on July 15, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Your new name is Natalia Grigierova…ski.

    But you’ll always be Natty G to me.

  6. anncine on July 15, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Could you score me one of those Coke Zero Vanilla-Cherry-Lime-Admiral-Nelson-Pheasant-Blood jobs?


    Natty G

  7. Jackson on July 15, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    “you looks russian” translates today as, “many american men would spend good money to have you shipped over here.”

    i think it’s meant as a compliment mostly.

    i’m glad to hear Steve still works at the courthouse, i always enjoyed his work. but not as much as i enjoy reading ms. Anncine.

  8. anncine on July 15, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Well, I just want to know what “Russian” looks like. Many thanks doll, I told Steve hello for you.

  9. Shondra Vieira on July 30, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    Well written, novel take on this subject.

  10. Anne Almirall on July 31, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Thanks so much, Shondra :)