The nightmare of blown tires, donut wheels and driving 80 all the way home on fresh snow

I decided to test the hypothesis that going to a concert the night before a stats exam would improve my performance, seeing as how, being tuckered out from being rocked so hard, I would sleep like a baby through even the most unpleasant schizophrenic episode (not my own, of course).

Methodology: Going to see The Dears and The Blood Lines the night before stats exam #2 and rocking owwwt.

(as my friend Gillian put it on her blog: “They were SOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOD. I got 12 boners and lined them up and the dears knocked them over like dominos. That good.”

Findings: I did fine on my exam. I probably didn’t hit it all the way out of the park, but I do know that I felt confident up until I handed it in (only one blown question to my knowledge, though knowing that I was blowing it (quit blowing it!), I executed my master-plan with precision by adding “doubt” to the validity of the question in question).

After the exam there was much nervous energy, and it is always interesting to see how this plays out. The stakes are so high, and things can get somewhat volatile – the nervous uncontrolled laughter, the chain smoking and effie popping, hate-ons and other magical happening that occur when a group of people get together and are forced to perform well on things they only barely understand.

Though I have always been uncomfortable with Durkheim to one degree or another, I think he was on to something with the whole collective effervescence theory (that is, the energy formed by a gathering of people that can cause people to act differently than in their everyday life).

To make a long post longer, after leaving the University, I went over to Dr. Frank’s house for some tea, wonderful conversation, and six boxes of LP’s. I always say you can tell a lot about people by the condition their records are in (i.e. mine get played so often as to be unlistenable before long), these records are in AMAZING condition. It is also an interesting insight into someone’s taste and history. To be expected, I am now the proud owner of a tonne of good Classical and Jazz rec0rds, there was a lot of other oddities that I didn’t expect, including Richard Thomson (this is good), Grateful Dead, David Byrne solo albums, a Bob Dylan LP box set (!!!), all of the early Peter Gabriel records, Neil Young and lots more (almost 500 records in total!). What I got most excited about was the Velvet Underground and Lou Reed albums! My respect for the man just increased ten fold.

On my way home (around 2-230?), I blew a tire right by the Brentwood C-Train station.

To make a long post longer, I tried to change it, but the lug nuts would not budge due to the inept little thing they included (this was the most ridiculous little lug-nut loosen-er thingy I have ever seen – it was TINY) Luckily, it was my mom’s car (mine is STILL at the shop (#$#%@#), and she had roadside assistance so I waited forever for someone to come help. They did, and I was off to find a new tire to drive home in!

However, at this time it was HIGH rush hour traffic and Calgary was a parking lot, and so getting from one place to the next was impossible, and EVERY single tire/automotive place in between the University of Calgary and the edge of the city was unable to even look at putting a new tire on the rim until “sometime in March,” or the two places that could fit me in didn’t have any tires that would match the ones on this car.

This is where the emotional breakdown happened. From the stress of the test, the blown tire, the EXTREME traffic and the fact that every store in Calgary has a total of one staff working at any given time and forty people waiting in front of you. I lost the plot there for a few minutes, sobbing uncontrollably like the day that my dog Steak got hit by a car when I was ten.

I don’t mind admitting to this, because I feel that it captures perfectly my state at the time, and that I don’t think that emotions should be kept a “secret” to the degree that we all keep them.

Finally I gave up on this godforsaken place and drove home, on a donut wheel. The manual said that I could go 80 max, so thats what I did. Needless to say, it started snowing, which added a surreal element to the day. On my way home, I listened to Foucault lecturing about “The Care of the Self” (it is so strange listening to the man after having read him for so long and having my own “Foucault” voice in my head), and Noam Chomsky lecturing about class war.

I made it, barely.


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