driving · Photography · Radio · Redonkulous

fragments of Redonkulous*

I was at Target a week ago to buy a personalized license plate cover. I wanted to put something funny on there like “Enjoy every taco” but they were out, or never had it in the first place. So someone taking over (inside my brain) got me to purchase a stupid floor mat with the closest thing to a pedestrian sign on it: a pink “ladie’s room” icon. Now I’m sitting here on a Saturday morning, contemplating my day, and I have to go return the misguided idea to Target. I feel I spend my entire life buying crap I dont’ want at Target and returning it. In fact, I’m getting so good at it, that I now can park in the strategic spot, return the crap and be out of there in 10 minutes flat, if not less. Sick thing to be good at. Anyway. I’m at the register, looking for a new brand of gum when I see…”Snickers Bubble Gum”. I audibly gasped and told the clerk: doesn’t bubble game with a flavor of peanuts and chocolate defeat the purpose of gum? she responded “people like it because the flavor stays a long time, but it’s really gross if you’re standing next to someone who’s chewing it”.

Since these are fragments, they’re just going to be all over the place. If I have to organize this I won’t write it.

Bits and pieces heard on the radio: The police chief in Kewaskum, Wisconsin, passed a school bus with red lights flashing because he was distracted by a truck. When he realized what he’d done, he pulled over, and wrote himself a $235 ticket and a 4-point penalty on his license! People were so moved by this all the way to Russia, that he started getting money to help him pay for the ticket. Some Saab owner in Wisconsin drove his car 1 million miles in 17 years.

Driving bits: on easter, I was on the 210 when I hear the traffic report (…”and a refrigerator is blocking the middle lane on the 210 East-bound past…” On the way to work the other day, and I hear “..and great news for banking! Finally (this bank) is open on Sunday for banking! So you’ll never miss a day of business!” and I’m thinking…this is GOOD news? Why!?!?! You don’t even have a valid reason for taking a break. No one already gets to take vacations, now weekends aren’t sacred anymore.

My boss is leaving work next week, she’s moving to…PARIS. Oh..the IRONY of the universe. why!?!

I’m taking an amazing photo class this quarter with a tandem professor team of Father-Son. They’re great. Except you all remember I went to Vegas and hated it? Well, I keep meeting these people who love Vegas. Student in my class: he spends 3 days a week in Vegas, drives 100,000 miles a year, and he’s the one who has done all the indoor and outdoor swimming pools in Vegas hotels since 1991. LOVES Vegas, says it’s an amazing place, the food, the night life, the casinos. Co-worker: “I’m going to Vegas. Can’t wait. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, baby. I’m driving out after work”. I’m meeting my cousin from Germany for the very first time. We meet at a restaurant in Pasadena, and I walk in, and they’re having a conversation with the manager. I hug and kiss her, her mom, politely say hi to employee, then we start talking. I say, “so, how long are you here for?” “well, we’re going to be here for a week, then we’re going to Yosemite, San Francisco, Vegas and back” “Oh, cool! You’re going to LOVE Yosemite! I wish I could go… Vegas is ok, I think you should see it once in your life at least…” Restaurant manager INTERRUPTS! “once in your life?!? What are you talking about?!? Vegas is one of the greatest places in the world! I go there three times a month! Everything’s there, best food in the US, best restaurants, best hotels, best entertainment!” I’ll spare you. He went on for literally 15 minutes. And of course, being part-French (which is like being part-bulldog) I couldn’t help but jab and make snippy comments about the tackiness of the place, which sent him on a wild rant even louder and longer than before. AWKWARD. He reeled cousin and her mom in closer, (away from me) and whispered sweet nothings to them, his insider tips about Vegas. So that was my first meeting with my cousin. Hijacked by a Vegas freak.

Redonkulous recycling. I have this amazing connection with Caltech, the university that’s in Pasadena. If you’ve never heard of it, it is one of those mythical places. Einstein used to come here and when he did, he ate at the Athenaeum, the campus restaurant. It is a very small campus, but exquisitely beautiful, with sun streaming onto the patches of grass, stately graeful trees, wisteria coated building walls. The campus is peppered with arches, and an eccentric mix of architectural styles that’s a pleasure for the eyes. So the natural and architectural beauty, the fountains, the perfect size, have made it my favorite place in Pasadena. Not only that, there is SOMETHING about it that just soothes me. I want to be there, all the time. Additionally, it is an incredible institution. It’s a university called nicknamed “the MIT of the West” and only has about 900 undergraduates and 1200 grads. 32 of its grads are recipients of the Nobel Prize. Anyway, great place all around. Great vibe.

I like being in Caltech so much…I volunteered to take the recycling from our flat (and we produce an insane amount) JUST BECAUSE the community recycling center is on the Caltech campus. Oh. and MOST ridiculous? Remember how I was poking fun at Germans for being so precise in their little recycling cubbies that were locked with a key?

Caltech recylcing center is locked outside of opening hours. We have () bins divided this way ( THIS IS NOT A JOKE):

-Newspaper ONLY
-Batteries
-Soda cans
-Cardboard boxes and brown paper bags
-White paper
-Colored paper
-Mixed paper (post it notes, envelopes, junk mail)
-Chipboard: most food containers and cereal boxes (milk cartons, egg crates, boxes…)
-Glossy magazines ONLY
-Telephone books ONLY
-Tin cans
-Plastic milk bottles ONLY
-Lab glass ONLY
-CRV glass (most beverage containers)
-non-CRV glass ONLY
-Number 1 plastic
-Number 2 plastic
-Number 3 plastic
-Number 4 plastic
-Number 5, 6 and 7 plastic
-Plastic bags.

Because I all love you so much (and because recycling methods and categories are one of my darkest hobbies) I’ve posted up a JPG of the layout of Caltech recycling center. Petey, feel free to tease me mercilessly now.

Predictably, once I get to the recylcing place, I have to sort through the trash because the bins are so far apart and eerything is so complicated. (click on the map to see it in it’s full-sized REDONKULOUS glory)

So many redonkulous things happen in the place of employment, but for fear of retribution, you will not hear of them. I’m out. Have to go buy film. And go to the recycling. And return the stupid pink bathroom-icon floormat to Target.

*Redonkulous = ferret word for something so ridiculous, it’s redonkulous.

6 thoughts on “fragments of Redonkulous*

  1. They recycle plastics numbers 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7?! That is awesome. I have never seen a place that does that. Lucky. I want to live near CalTech. And CRV glass? Like if I ever break a window in my car?

    I too am an expert at returns, and Target is a popular place. I’ll get you the license plate cover if I see them next time I am there.

  2. Oh – I’ve got a license plate cover for you! Hell, we have 3 of ’em!

    Thanks for more clarification on Redonkulous – I love the recycling thoroughness (and recall a discussion with kurt or beth about why they make it so hard to recycle batteries when you’re not supposed to just throw them away). Sweet.

    Loved the random nature of your post. College campuses soothe me too. Almost as much as bookstores.

  3. I’ll do you one better on the Target shopping… last week I bought something, had a snack at the snack bar, and then returned my purchase without ever leaving the store. I call it shopping bulimia… I buy some super cool junk for the thrill of buying cool junk (which Target is very good for), come to my senses and realize that its only going to add to the clutter, so I go back and return it. binge and purge.

  4. Redonkulous recycling.

    Holy snapping ducks! but where does my pizza box go?

    To keep up with Caltech, the Berliners have now allowed us to throw out small appliances (toasters, hair dryers, iPods I guess) with the Gelbetonne, which is all kinds of plastic and tin cans. I’m told a human sorts through them. Talk about a garbage job.

    I should find a link.

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