As a Californian, I take for granted the many amenities associated with the state. I complain when there’s a drizzle and scold the sun when it reaches 80 degrees. I’m irritated that the cyclists take too much road space and discontent when immersed in traffic. When September 15th arrives, I’ll be saddened that I now have to pay sales tax when ordering from Amazon.
As a Californian, I pay anywhere from 7.25 to 9.75% tax on items purchased. For many years Amazon was the loop hole that allowed me to save hundreds of dollars. My recent Macbook Pro purchase netted me a savings of $214.oo alone. It’s a substantial amount considering the number of purchases I’ve made through the online giant.
Though the state is due to see roughly an $83 million dollar boon from Amazon by itself, I am one tight Californian. This could potentially be an enormous positive for the debt ridden Golden State but right now all I see is an Arnold look-a-like in a ridiculously huge Unimog.
I’ll be stock piling on supplies before the 15th, will you?
I’m going to rewind back 4 days. Needing to obtain smog certification for my truck I do a quick search online, find a coupon, and blaze out the door. The test only station greets me with non-english speaking workers who point me out to a barely-english-speaking inspector. My coupon doesn’t work, I won’t fight it.
I hate small talk. A lady walks in needing a smog certificate as well. I’m polite but completely uninterested in talking to her about her kids. I had nothing against this lady, I’m just selfish, insecure and jealous that they’re graduating college and that I never went. I give her my coupon and tell her to try it out. It works for her, since she had a regular car.
Mr. Inspector comes in and I know something’s up. He does his best to explain why it won’t pass smog and is struggling. I’m at annoyed level 8 when he asks me if I speak spanish. He’s armenian. I’m asian. So I’m going to rewind back a few sentences. I’m at annoyed level 8 when he asks me if I speak spanish. He’s called Sol and basically there’s alot of work to be done in order for it to pass. Damnit.
I get a call half an hour later from the lady at the smog place. I left my Macbook Air there and she’s holding onto it until i get there. It’s a good thing i gave her that coupon i suppose. When I arrive, I see Sol on break and convince him to suggest a place for repair. His relative owns a shop in a gas station near my mom’s house. I’m going there.
The asian with the cigarette hanging from his mouth is very knowledgeable. So much so, he questions Sol’s inspection skills. Don’t tell me that, it makes me feel worse. I mean, I’ve never paid anyone $50 to tell me I failed. My mom does that for free. Chow Yun Fat tells me it’s a big job but his buddy Jackie Chan promises he’ll get it to pass for $250. Fine. Deal.
Or no deal, since he called back with news. Apparently, Hidden Dragon was right. Lot’s of work, big job, three days, and $550. Hmmm. How am I going to work? I’m not going to rent a car, I can’t bear the thought of adding another $200 to this ordeal. All in all that would add up to like a Macbook Air. The new ones with the i7. 128 SSD. Nerd. Bully.
So I made the decision to ride a bike and take the train to work for the next three days. It has finally sunk in. And I am dreading it. The 20 minute bike ride that early plus the 20 minutes back in the heat? Say it ain’t so Bobby Brown. Which is weird because straight out of rehab I did nothing but walk. An hour and a half starting at 6 am. Everyday. Then I got a bike and couldn’t imagine how i walked everywhere.
It’s not just that. When I walked everywhere I felt better and loved it, but I still thought I needed to lose a few more pounds. Then when I started biking I gained another five but thought I was still in pretty good shape. Since driving I think I’ve gained 20 pounds. From my condo in Downtown San Jose to a bed in rehab. From walking to driving. When the perspective shifts, certain appreciations get skewed out of focus. Even forgotten. Walking and biking was great at the time because I was just happy to be alive. I gotta remember that.