Thursday, July 22, 2010

Double Down and Zipcar!

ALRIGHT Blog-o-sphere we've got a lot to cover today!
First of all, pretty unrelated to my day (although I DID obviously pop into KFC for a quick lunch), we need to talk about THIS:

You guys.... it's real. This thing is REAL. I had heard about it before, when having a "grossest food you've ever heard of" contest with some strangers on the subway... and sure it sounded nasty. But nothing could have prepared me for the ginormous poster that awaited me at the counter of KFC in Herald square. THEY ACTUALLY MAKE A "CHICKEN SANDWICH" WHERE THE "BUNS" ARE REALLY TWO CHICKEN PATTIES. Is this like the "Go straight to clogged arteries-do not pass go, do not collect $200" card?? First I started to laugh, then I started to gag... then both simultaneously. I definitely threw up in my mouth a little, and all of a sudden my craving for fried chicken started to wane. It was already my turn to order though, so I had no choice. I opted for their much healthier/appealing "Get-a-grip" chicken patty in a sleeve. After placing my order I said to the unresponsive woman behind the counter "I just gotta ask you- do people actually ORDER that double down thing??" I awaited her response with my eyes bugged out already half laughing because clearly I cannot be the ONLY one who thinks that that sandwich is absolutely ridiculous. She just looked at me funny and nodded her head, while walking away to get me my chicken. Sense of humor must not be on list of qualities they look for in KFC employees.
I sat down with my overpriced lunch in the cleanest spot I could find (what a task), and pulled out my incredibly healthy choice. This made me laugh even more:

A chicken ice cream cone? Pretty much. It's as if my lunch were talking right to me. Because Lord knows, I REALLY do need to get a grip. Especially on the foods I'm consuming. You can bet your bottom dollar I ate the whole thing though. (Laughing pathetically with each bite and shaking my head at what my life has come to.)

OK now that we've gotten the lunch discussion out of the way, I want to tell you all about the BEST THING EVER. Yesterday on a whim (and after receiving a too-good-to-pass-up groupon in my e-mail box), I decided to join Zipcar. For those of you who are unfamiliar, zipcar is a company that parks rental cars all over the city. Anyone who is a member can take one of their cars for any amount of time (from an hour to days at a time.) You sign up, pay a one time annual fee, get a zipcard that magically opens the door to whatever car you reserve for yourself, reserve whichever car you'd like/can afford near you, and voila! Ready to drive at a moments notice. I have been contemplating joining for a while but don't really have any excuses for needing a car. But the groupon offered a $35 membership fee (as opposed to $75) and $50 worth of free driving so I figured it's now or never, and I joined!
Today I went to their office to pick up my zipcard, and instantly felt special and privileged having one. And of course, I immediately wanted to drive somewhere, just for the heck of it. I came back home and researched the cars around my area, and opted for a Blue Scion named Beyern that was parked literally down the block. I got it for an hour and a half for $20, and had a blast! It took me all day to figure out where I should go with my new car, and finally I decided, why not check out the new Costco up in East Harlem? So here I was... in a car I've never driven, in one of the HARDEST and craziest cities to drive in (which I've never driven in before), heading to EAST HARLEM-- there were so many ways this trip could end in my demise! But I was excited nonetheless. After a few blocks, once I had re-figured out how to drive... I plugged my iPod into the connector that came with the car and jammed to Lady Gaga all the way uptown. I was giddy the whole time!

(Don't worry, I probably didn't take this picture while the car was in motion....)

Several people have told me the same thing about driving in NYC- "Oh, it's fun! It's like a video game!" Which has made me cock my head to the side thinking "hmmm, that sounds kind of dangerous?" And they are right. It is exactly like being in a video game. Because there are no lanes in NYC. Every now and then you pass a faded line on the street and think "OH HEY! THAT MUST HAVE BEEN A LANE ONCE!" But for the most part, the streets are blank and you just estimate "hmmm there's room for about 4 or 5 lanes on this avenue but hell let's just see where the cars take me" and everyone weaves in and out of each other and it's pretty much insanity. PLUS there are 1000 obstacles to avoid! (Bike riders, pedestrians, flying construction shrapnel...) I felt like I was playing old-school Paper Boy again. Only this time I could really actually kill someone.

Once I got to the shopping plaza and made my way into Costco, I realized that you have to pay to be a costco member, and it's more than $5. I figured, I really won't need to buy in bulk like that until I'm married with kids or I finally become a crazy cat-lady. Then I saw someone with a target bag and realized that they must have opened up the Target upstairs that I thought wasn't opening until the end of the month. SCORE! I ducked out of Costco and ran up to Heaven.
This Target was beautiful, and huge. I fluttered through it in ecstasy like the Little Mermaid at a Garage Sale... look at this stuff! Isn't it neat?? This sucker even had a STARBUCKS, there is just nothing classier. Being in the Target in East Harlem was much like being back in Miami... English was definitely not the primary language. Me being rusty with my spanish and never having picked up the complexities of ebonics, I kept to myself and stayed quiet for the most part.
I once again found myself to be the only white person in the building. That's been happening a lot lately? I'm all for diversity but, where have all the white people gone?
Oh yea, the Hamptons.
ANYWAYS, I decided to do my grocery shopping at Target since I had a CAR with me and could stuff it's giant trunk full of months worth of nutritious goodies. Instead I ended up buying just 2 bags of stuff, mostly frozen dinners and cookie dough. (The essentials.)
On my 3rd trip around the store I spotted my impulsive buy of the day (aside from my "get-a-grip" chicken in a sleeve lunch)- a guitar. I've been telling myself for a while now that it's time to try and learn guitar (I've tried a few times in the past and it's always lasted about as long as it takes to tune the thing.) This was an all-inclusive "guitar in a box" that looked half the size of an actual guitar, but it came with 3 picks and a strap and we know I'm a sucker for package deals. Plus it was super cheap. So I threw caution and common sense to the wind and took it to the front, planning on telling people it was for my non-existent nephew if they asked. (It clearly looks like it's meant for 12 and under.) After making my purchases, I wheeled my stuff back out to my CAR, packed it up, and headed for home.
(My car "Beyern" parked in front of Costco. I made it out without getting mugged! YAY!)
I made it back to my place with like 10 minutes to spare so I decided to run my purchases up to my apartment. This required me to parallel park. In New York City. Where parellel parking is harder than getting Gay Marraige passed in Kentucky. Immediately I began fearing for my life/the life of my zipcar. I would just like to say that I am not a bad driver. On the contrary, I'm a pretty darn great driver and most people who have been in a car chauffeured by me will agree. (And those who don't are A-holes, don't listen to them.) But one thing I'm not so hot at is parallel parking, because I rarely had to use it in Miami. So if by "parallel park" you mean "park halfway into the middle of the street", then I was extremely successful.
Whatever, I was only gone a minute. And I only hit the car behind me once getting out, that's pretty impressive. I returned the car in perfect time and skipped home after what turned out to be an awesomely random day. I love those. As for my new guitar? It handles like a tinker toy and sounds a lot like what the "guitar" on my keyboard sounds like. (If you threw the keyboard into a bathtub first.) It took me about 2 minutes and 4 chords to remember why I stopped playing the first few tries- that crap HURTS your fingertips! So we'll see how long I keep it up before it ends up in the corner with the massive bag of clothes I've been meaning to donate for well over a year now. Start placing your bets...

Zipcar: wheels when you want them. Learn more.

(Here guys, join zipcar! If you join through that link, You get me free driving points! We both win! (well really I mostly win but, you get to join too yay!))

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