Monday, November 22, 2010

Red Robin (and other thoughts)

Four Random Thoughts

1. Melanie Names a Car
After purchasing the KIA Soul on Friday night, I was able to drive it off the lot... I love love love driving this car, no stinkin' joke.  Its such a great ride.  The issue was that Toni Rocki Honda was still sitting the garage of The Cabana. 

Red Robin's front end
The Lovely Steph Leann had a Creative Memories Open House on Saturday--by the way, have you seen the books that The Lovely Steph Leann does?  You give her pictures and an idea of what you want, she creates this incredible yearbook type book with your pics and your notes and memories.  Her email is, so make sure you let her know you need her services....

...So, she was out of pocket.  I call upon someone who is always willing to help, that would be Melanie Z.  She agrees to drive with me out to Center Point to drop off Toni Rocki Honda, and get a few of my questions answered, that being "Where is the hood propper upper?", "Can I get some washer fluid?" and "The owners manual shows you need a special KIA adapter for the iPod auxiliary jack, so I need to get one of those."

Melanie Z and her oldest, Jay Z, arrive, and they both love the KIA Soul.  I give Melanie Z the directions to Serra KIA "Up 280, down 459, back on 59, right on Roebuck Parkway which becomes Center Point Parkway..." then I ask her, "Do you want to drive the Honda?"  The fact that she stared at me with a "Are you freakin' kidding me?" look and then proceeded to get into the vehicle itself told me that she was, in fact, driving the KIA Soul.  Then I called out, "Hey Jay Z, you wanna ride with me?" which was also answered by the fact he jumped into the passenger seat of the Soul.  Melanie Z laughed and said, "Uh... what do you think he wants to do?"

Red Robin's back end
We drive out to Center Point, and I get my questions answered, that being "the propper upper is on the underside of the hood, not the engine", "parts department is closed" and "no problem, we will get it ordered for you".  I gave over the key to Toni Rocki Honda to an older guy named David, and that was that.  I nodded my goodbye to Toni Rocki, and walked back to the KIA Soul, with Melanie Z still sitting in the driver's seat.

"Alright, time to go," says me.
"Okay, hop in," Melanie Z replies.
"Um..." I start, waiting for her to get out of the drivers seat. "You like the car?  Like driving the car?"
"Yeah, I love it!" she laughs.  "So, get in."
"I'm driving, Melanie," I say.
"Fine," she grunts.  As Jay Z starts to say, "Mom!  I'm riding in front!" Melanie Z cuts him off... "Get in the backseat!"
"Mooooom!!!!' he stammers, as he gets out and climbs in the back.

By the way, the KIA Soul didn't have a name yet... The Honda was, as I've oft mentioned, Toni Rocki Honda, named for a combination of Toni Braxton and Pulp Fiction, and the Mercury Sable before it was my 1999 Pezochit, named because it was... well, you get it.

I share this with Melanie Z on the way back, and how I had mentioned to The Lovely Steph Leann that I thought of "The Hamster", for the commericals... though I wasn't sold on calling my car "Hamster" for the next four or five years.  She pops up with, "What about... Red Robin?  You know, like the burger place.  Reeeeeed Robin!" 

And as soon as she says it, it clicks.  Red Robin it is.

2.  d$ Gets a Seatbelt
I guess I should share one last Toni Rocki Honda story.

On the way back from Starbucks last week, after working a 12 hour day and doing Christmas set up, which is always a major undertaking, I just wanted to get home.  I had my iPod, hooked onto my belt, and was just finishing Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince (I zipped through Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows in the weeks leading up to the movie) and while driving, I was a bit irritated by the way the seatbelt buckle was sitting on the iPod on my waist.

First... I don't always wear my seatbelt.  Well, I didn't always wear it, now I do, but that's later.  I know, I know, you can give me a hundred stories of people who didn't want to wear their seatbelts and are now dead, paralyzed or have killer hangnails because of it.  I get it, its safety, its secure, its nothing you can tell me that The Lovely Steph Leann doesn't tell me a thousand times.  Cause she loves me, that one does.

So, I get it, don't innundate me reasons why I should always wear my seatbelt.

Anyway, that night, I WAS wearing it.  I pulled up to the red light, in the double turn lane from Hwy 280 to turn onto Valleydale Road.  I unbuckled my seatbelt, tossed off my shoulder strap, and then took the iPod off my belt, and placed it in the console.  I didn't see the police cruiser pull up beside me.

The light turned green, so I moved forward, and didn't buckle the belt.  I chose to wait until I was out of the turn of the major intersection, and when I was moving forward, straight onto Valleydale Road, I buckled my belt again... and thats when I saw the blue lights behind me. 

I quickly glanced down at my speedometer, and I was going about 35 in the 45, because I was still accelerating.  I thought quickly to things that had derailed me before, including my tag (it was fine), my license (I had it renewed three months ago) and any outstanding tickets (none, thankfully). 

There was a car ahead of me who I saw had immediately applied the brake lights.  The car turned onto  Inverness Center Drive, which is the road you travel down about a half mile to get to my subdivision, and I follwed.  The police pulled behind me, and as I pulled over, the cop did as well.  The car ahead of me floored it, and zoomed away.  I would have done the same.

I grabbed my license out of my pocket, and placed it on the dash.  The bright spotlight behind me kept me from seeing the officer approaching my car.  He shone his flashlight in my car, in my face, and asked for my license.  I reached up on the dash and handed it to him.

"Mr. d$, I don't know if you just put that belt on or what, but when I pulled up beside you, you didn't have it on."
"Yes sir," I sighed.  I opened my mouth to tell him that I had it on, and I had taken it off for a second, just long enough for him to pull up and see me with out it on, but I figured that's just like a speeder saying that he'd done the speed limit except for those 100 yards when he was doing 70. 
"Don't know if you were aware of it, but there was a major accident in Chelsea this weekend where three people were killed... two of them wasn't wearing their seatbelts, Mr d$."
"I didn't know that sir," I sighed.  Again, I opened my mouth to say something smart like, "Well was the third person wearing their seatbelt", but quickly closed it again.
"Can I see your insurance information?"
"Yes sir, its in my console here," I said, turning around and opening up the middle compartment, pulling out the little piece of paper and handing it to the officer.

He walked away and I just sat there waiting, in silence.  The officer came back, handing me a ticket, telling me that I had until December 15th to pay it... in Columbiana.  Its already been documented that I'm not a fan of The Glorious Road to Colombiana, so I had a feeling I would be sending this in, either by mail or online.  I asked him how much the ticket is, and he said, "Well, I know it was $10, but I think they recently raised it to $31". 

Of course they did.

So I got my ticket and drove about 200 feet to my subdivision's entrance. 

By the way, I totally wear my seatbelt now, in Red Robin, if for no other reason than that ding ding ding ding noise is really annoying when you start the car and don't buckle in.

3. The Laptop Gets a Cold
My laptop is down.  I'm using The Lovely Steph Leann's own laptop, and am cool with it for now, except I can't update my iPod, which is maddening. 

I've gone through three audiobooks--Harry Potter 5, 6 and 7--and have doubled back and am now listening to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkibahn.  Its a little strange, though, because I just got done hearing about the heroics of Sirius Black and how Harry dominates the Dementors, and in this book, Sirius is the villian and Harry cowers in front of the Azkibahn guards.

I hope my laptop gets better.  I really want to hear my podcasts.

4.  Starz Gets Some Color
Here's what I love about the channel Starz in Black... if you make a film that has like, one black dude in the background, your film is eligible for appearing on Starz in Black.  Right now, the Bruce Willis movie "Surrogates" is on.  There aren't a whole lot of black people in this film.  Coming up later tonight, a movie called "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt", starring Jesse Metcalfe, Amber Tamblyn and Michael Douglas, three very white people.  Seems like Orlando Jones is representin'...

Of course, also coming up later, is a movie called "Life is Hot in Cracktown", and judging from the cast list, they are overcompensating.

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