Dec 24, 2010

Slick Maneuvers Edelston

I have a learner's permit. I got it in March, but I never get around to driving, and I don't have time for driver's ed, so I'm nowhere near getting my license. I've driven a total of six times or so, and can't get back on the road until I get a new permit (it went missing in Pittsburgh last month). I'm about as good a driver as you might think. Which is to say, an EXCELLENT driver.

Before continuing, I should briefly mention that I have clip-on sunglasses that I wear while driving. And I wear them every time. Just in case. You know. Priorities.

So the first few times I drove, I was exclusively confined to parking lots. Not lame small ones, but interesting school parking lots with turns and things. But then one day, I was given the fantastic offer by my dad to drive around my neighborhood. (I only ever drive with my dad, because my mom says she doesn't think her heart can handle being driven around by me.) I of course eagerly took him up on this offer.

So here's how my neighborhood looks:

Those are all roads. So basically, there are a lot of cul-de-sacs. It's a terrible place for having friends who live near me or for being able to walk to a store to get food in a short amount of time, but it's a fantastic place for being as smooth a driver as I am.

So I was driving on the middle cul-de-sac, when I encountered quite the terrifying foe: a rival car. It was unoccupied, but when you encounter a sleeping bear, do you just say, "Well, that's a nice bear, but I'm not afraid"? Hint: no you don't. You said "OH LORD THAT IS A BEAR. I'd better move carefully lest I get EATEN ALIVE." Except that the caps would wake the bear up, and you would get eaten alive, because you are very foolish and not good at avoiding bear attacks. Point proven? I think so.

So there I was, sitting behind the wheel, moving upwards of ten miles an hour faced with one of the most menacing beasts I've seen in my life. I knew I had to act fast, lest I run into it and awaken its fury. So here's what I did: I drew out my battle plan in my head. I didn't even tell my dad what I was going to do; in high-pressure situations, you don't have time for democracy. Sometimes you've gotta take control. I planned to go AROUND the car, staying on the road, and just keep on driving; then, when it was passed, go back onto the main road.

Sure enough, it worked. I was quite proud of myself. As I exited back onto the road, I triumphantly announced, "Aww yeah. Did you see that slick maneuver? That's why the call me Slick Maneuvers Edelston." My dad lovingly responded, "Greg, keep your eyes on the road."

Dec 1, 2010

Mission: Vocal Rest. Status: Failure.

As you may recall, today was supposed to be the day that I go on vocal rest. I woke up this morning and felt like my throat was a little better, but really not superbest. My back was no longer in extreme discomfort - it was about a 1/10, but pain was still present - and I could mostly speak. However, I decided that my voice would heal better if I went through with the vocal rest anyway.

I went downstairs and found a piece of paper, and wrote on it: I'M LOSING MY VOICE, SO I'M TRYING TO SPEAK AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE TODAY. PARDON MY RUDENESS. I stuffed that in my pocket, along with a notepad in case I needed to tell any longer sentences to anyone, and went on my way.

The first thing that I had this morning was a meeting of the Latin club, which went pretty well. I had to read one line of Latin about four times, but I decided that that was a worthwhile loss, and just refused to talk the entire rest of the time.

I then had physics. I spent the majority of physics not speaking at all, instead furiously scribbling on my notepad and running across the room to tell people things, but later decided that whispering is really just breathing while moving your mouth, and that I could therefore whisper. I began to whisper sentences where necessary, often pretty loudly.

At this point I had basically stopped writing on my notepad, so I'll take a brief interlude to describe a few of my favorites:

  • But then it would be moving the wrong way, NERD.
  • Except light can have higher amplitude w/ same period, you nerd
  • In AoM, it's code 028.
  • [A tasteful depiction of Connor the Derailer, Connor being a kid in my physics class. CtD is wearing a gladiator helmet and a Math Team sweatshirt.]
A few hours later, I had a fantastic realization: I only strained my voice when speaking in  my standard register or any higher. If I spoke in a bass range, there was no problem. Thus, I began to speak in a low sexy Barry White register. (Well, I thought of it that way. It probably came off as more of just a low register.) The reasons that this was excellent were twofold: I got to be sexy, and I was able to talk!

Well uh, that worked for about two hours, and then I just completely forgot to speak in a low register, and instead starting yelling and screaming and singing just like usual. I sang quite a fair bit, which was pretty amusing, half due to the strain and half due to my inability to aim resulting from my illness. I also at one point need to girlishly shriek for comical effect, which simply did not produce any noise at all.

So, conclusion: I can't not speak.