Saturday, January 02, 2010

Starting the New Year Off Right...By Losing My Car Keys!

EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J.—Happy new year, everybody! I rang in 2010 in, um...interesting ways.

If I've learned anything from the films of the Coen Brothers, it's that, when you experience unbelievable bad luck, sometimes you just have to stand back and have a good laugh over it. Haha! Oh the vagaries of Fate! And my carelessness!

Last night, when I returned from ringing in the new year at the Lit Lounge in the Lower East Side—a night that included a random kiss in on the lips; a bit more on that anon—I suffered through my second car-related epic fail in as many weeks.

You all remember the first fail, right? During that raging snowstorm in the metropolitan area a couple of Saturdays ago, in which I came back to New Brunswick, N.J., from a dance performance at BAM, only to discover my car nowhere to be found at the spot on the street at which I had parked? Yeah, that one.

What could possibly be worse than being stranded without a car in a blizzard? Well...granted, discovering, just as you're about to step out of a train at about 2:40 in the morning, that your car keys are no longer in any of your pockets—that's not quite as bad. I mean, at least you still have a car to get home; you just can't get into it, is all. Nevertheless...coming not even two weeks after my last major car snafu, losing my car keys felt, in the heat of the moment, like a Serious Man-like piling on of misfortune. (Instead of desperately saying "I haven't done anything," however, I simply cursed out loud and muttered angrily to myself.)

Keeping in mind the objections my mother lodged, at the least constructive possible time, against my occasional penchant for staying out too inconveniently late for her and my dad during the days of the week when I need to be picked up from the New Brunswick train station, I really tried not to involve them in my desperate attempts to get help for this situation. Eventually, though, I was forced to rope them in after a call to AAA lead to a call back from someone saying it'd be better for me to wait until the sun came up in order to get a cheaper price on a new key for the car. They were going to charge me a little over $400 for a new key at that time of night, but if I waited until daylight, they would only charge me a little over $200. Not sure how I should proceed—I certainly don't want to spend double the price for a new key if I don't have to!—I broke down and called my parents. My father came to the rescue once again, this time coming to pick me up in Edison at around 4 a.m.

As my mother pointedly said to me earlier this morning—though, thankfully, in a less overly frustrated tone of voice that the one that greeted me after my towed-car-in-blizzard disaster—"you seem to have bad luck with cars." Apparently so.

On the bright side: At least it wasn't snowing last night; it was just really cold. At least my car didn't get towed. And at least I didn't get an annoying parking ticket out of it.

Still, what a way to open up 2010, right? And, if I really wanted to take a more negative outlook on all of this: I can't help but wonder if these two incidents, happening as close to each other as they did, aren't signs of something? A sign of more bad luck to come? A sign to finally move out of the parents' house, once and for all?

What do you all think? Or should I just listen to the overachieving Korean kid in A Serious Man and "accept the mystery"?


And oh yeah, the kiss.

Last night—before Car Fuck-up No. 2 occurred—I ventured into New York's Lower East Side and met up with a couple of friends at this bar/hip music venue called the Lit Lounge to celebrate the coming of 2010. A few minutes before midnight, a porn star—yes, folks, you read that correctly—named Joanna Angel got up on the stage in its basement/performance space and basically implored everyone to "look to your left and give the person next to you a kiss" to ring in the new year. Looking to my left, all I saw were my buddies, both of them, I figure, no kissing action for me. But that was before some blond chick came up behind the three of us and decided to give all three of us a quick, celebratory kiss on the lips.

I didn't really talk to that young blond woman after that, but hell, for someone who hasn't gotten much kissing action recently, I'll take it. That and the nearly-nude woman gyrating in the Lit Lounge basement.

So, for those who follow me on Twitter, that explains—in more depth than I could possibly pack in a mere 140 characters—my tweet from earlier this morning: "Happy New Year! 2010! I greeted it with a kiss. How about you?"

I also greeted it by losing my keys and getting locked out of my car in the wee hours of New Year's Day, but never mind.

By the way, I was supposed to publish the last installment of my "2009 (and Earlier) in Review" yesterday, but I felt a more immediate desire to put these anecdotes out there for your, um, enjoyment; that, and I volunteered to cover for a fellow Wall Street Journal news assistant Friday—because I'm a team player like that, you know. (I was reasonably rewarded with delicious free pizza.) I hope to get to that final installment sometime next week. In the meantime: hope you all have been enjoying my 2009 round-ups thus far!

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