Friday, September 16, 2011

Greg/Alexis: The Wheels Come Off

So the blog's been a bit dead for awhile, and I dont know what everyone else's excuse is but I've been a little bit preoccupied.

About 5 days after my last post the Northeast part of the US was hit by Hurricane Irene. Dont worry , I'm safe. Its not anything like Hurricane Katrina which was a category 5 storm when it hit land. Irene was barely a tropical storm when she got to Vermont, that doesnt mean it wasnt rainy and windy as hell though.

Of Course, being from Chicago I'd never seen a hurricane (Oxford didnt get any last year) and I was freaking the fuck out. I was boarding up windows and putting what I thought were valuables in safe places.

Malinda is from Texas and had seen quite a few hurricanes and wasnt at all worried about Irene. She would look at me watching the weather channel and tell me to calm down. It was a weird contrast to what our lives had been up to that point, with me helping her adjust.

When the storm finally hit Burlington it was still very windy and rainy. The condo doesnt have a basement so I went to an interior room and started playing on Alex's 3DS.

And then, the power went out and I screamed like the girl that I was. A minute later Malinda came in with a candle to check on me. She distracted me by telling me stories of her childhood and other trivial stuff about her. I think my paranoia was getting on her. It was maybe the first time she treated me with something other than disdain or mistrust, not a major breakthrough but one nonetheless.

The storm was bad and there were a lots of crashing and howling as trees and debris flew all over town. I fell asleep on the Laundry room floor and woke up when the power came back on the next morning.

The house was still intact, in fact most of Burlington was fine. Most of Vermont got flooded as hell but we were still above water. It was mostly debris and downed powerlines, except in our front yard.

One of the trees had fallen down, missing the condo and keeping us safe, but landing smack dab in the middle of the Range Rover. Crushed it right down the middle like a hotdog bun. Keep in mind this was a big tree, and it hit it right in the sweet spot.

It didnt entirely flatten the cabin, which makes me wonder if I wouldve been OK if I'd been driving it. Its weird to think about but that shows just how much I'd grown to love that car. I was always a bit of a car nut and when My Mustang got left with my old life I had to drive Priya's BMW, which was pretty good but after a year with Dee's boring car I had an awesome Luxury SUV to enjoy and I was getting used to taking the scenic routes.

The thing was fully covered and we'll eventually get a new one, but that requires a lot of insurance paperwork. Since the tree wasnt on our property, it was on the condo associations's property, the car insurance company needs to talk to their insurance company as well as a ton of forms from me.

Anyone who's ever filled out an insurance claim will tell you what a nightmare it is. Its even harder when youre filling it out for someone else because at first I filled it out incorrectly. Certain details about the car loan and where and how it was bought got screwed up and the claim was denied. This of course meant I had to start over and was not able to get a rental car.

There are a lot of little details that dont get included in a "Trading Post Inn this is my life" letter that you dont need unless youre doing something like this. So the form filling out was contingent on getting the Real Alex enough time from the family she lived with to have a lengthy phone conversation about someone elses vehicle details.

During this ordeal I found myself relying on Annabelle for rides because Burlington's public transport isnt nearly as sophisticated as what I grew up with. She was actually really cool about it, although it did lead to her coming over to the house, being nice to Malinda, and getting the cold shoulder. I apologized for my fake wife and blamed it on artist's block.

Then about a week and a half ago I was bitching to Annabelle about the insurance companies and she asked me why I didnt start riding my bike places again. Apparently Alex is an avid cyclist and hardly ever drove until about a year ago. She's got like a 2000 dollar bicycle as well as a much more fancy and expensive one that she takes out in the woods on trails and stuff.

This solves my transportation dependence but its not without it's problems. For starters I can only do it during the day time. I dont care how athletic I am, ever since I became a girl I'm scared to be out riding my bike at night in an unfamiliar town. Second, it takes FOREVER. Like 3 times as long as with cars. Which means I have to leave earlier for things, get up earlier in the morning, and basically budget my time a lot closer. One of the reason's I havent updated, its hard to blog when youre pedaling.

Compounding those problems is the fact that in the last couple of weeks Burlington's gotten a lot more crowded. Home to the University of Vermont, The Queen City get's about 25% bigger once school starts. Navigating certain parts of town on a bike gets difficult with a bunch of doe eyed little freshmen Catamounts in your way.

Hopefully the car thing gets settled soon so we can get a new one. Malinda wants a Camaro but we're getting one exactly like the old one. Leave the life like you found it and all that. Plus a Camaro is gonna suck when it gets snowy soon. Better than a bike though.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's good to hear from you! Thanks for the update.