Monthly Archives: January 2010

The drive home was special

So here’s the tale:

We were driving along the interstate at 65 mph, about 100 feet behind a Ford F-150 pickup, when without any warning, one of the huge boxes the guy was hauling in his truck bed was catapulted into the air by the wind. In less than a second, a 3′ by 4′  furniture box (I was told it had a couple of chairs in it) was coming directly at us. At 65 mph.

Thanks to the Thriller’s fast reflexes (and the fact he did not freak and just swerve over lanes of traffic as a knee-jerk reactionary move, which is what I fear I might have done) and excellent driving skills, he was able to maneuver us out of the way enough so the box didn’t hit us square in the windshield, but instead on the passenger side of the front end, where it deflected off and tumbled over and over and over on the road behind us, causing other people to slam on their brakes. But at least they had another couple seconds’ warning before they had to react, which was more than the Thriller got.

We pulled off onto the stripes of an exit ramp — you know, that triangular place in between where the interstate continues and the ramp veers off? — as traffic kept whizzing by, amazingly, unnervingly close. The guy got out of his truck and looked pretty shaken. He apologized to us and got on his cell phone and called the law. They were there within five minutes, at which time one of them put on a yellow vest and went off to retrieve the box that was still being bumped around and grazed, although traffic had slowed a bit by that time. A police SUV arrived a few minutes later and stopped traffic altogether while the mess was cleared away.

It’s the game of inches that had me shaken up, you know? A few inches higher, and the box would have plowed right into the windshield. A bigtime direct hit on the driver’s side could have deployed the air bags, blinding the Thriller as he drove at high speed. It could have gone all kinds of wrong, is what I’m saying. And it didn’t.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences. The HP told us we could expect a repair bill that could reach $1000. One of the headlights was destroyed, and the hood is janked. The bumper is scratched up, and for some bizarre reason, the cruise control no longer works. Fortunately, the Ford guy’s insurance will have to pick up the tab, but that means giving up the F-mobile for several days. Fantastic.

Still, I’m delighted that nobody was hurt (or worse) in the whole incident. I was impressed by how the police took control of the situation and made sure the broken, battered box and its contents were cleared off the road before there was a *real* tragedy. But hey, ours was enough for me. I looked like this for awhile:

The Finkmobile didn’t fare too well, either:

I’m just glad to be home in one piece.


Cincinnati, Day 2

Gotta hurry here, fiends, before they shut me down.

One more meeting and I’m out. Just had to tell you, though. The best thing about this convention is not the good music or the nice people I met or the tres exciting subject matter we discussed. The best part about the convention is Hyatt’s Web Checkout.

Oh, yeah.

I guess it’s been a long enough time since I’ve stayed at a classy enough downtown convention hotel that I did not know this fantastic option existed. Know what I hate more than standing in line at the front desk on a Saturday at noon, with all my garbage next to me, moving at a snail’s pace to check out at the same time 2,000 other people had the same idea? Um…not much I can think of.

So when I awoke to an email this morning informing me that I didn’t need to bother with standing in line, I was delighted. Good thing the Thriller valet parked last night; now all we have to do is call for the Finkmobile, schlep everything downstairs, and tralala. On the road again.

What will they think of next…

Happy weekend.

Fink (almost) out

Cincinnati, Day 1

Yippy, first meeting in 15 minutes. Then I get to meet my good fiend Bando for coffee. Looking forward to that.

It’s a swanky hotel. When the Thriller and I arrived at the front desk at about 10:45 last night, the guy said, “You are getting our very last room, and it’s being cleaned right now. It’ll be about 15 minutes.” OK, fine. Why they said I was “lucky” because I was getting the “last room” when I’ve had reservations at this joint since November is beyond me. Oh well. I don’t claim to know anything about the intricacies of hotel overbooking practices. At least I’m in, and not at the Motel 6 on I-71.

As you can see, I’m in the lap of luxury here:

Heh. Happy Finkday nonetheless. On to the weekend we go. Stay warm, Ohio fiends — 5 degrees this morning!



Y’ know…I don’t ask for much.

Tonight, I’m leaving for Cincinnati to go to a music geek convention. Yesterday, after a particularly difficult day, I called the hotel down there to confirm, and I asked about WiFi. The nice gal said, “Yes, we do have internet access in the rooms — it’s $9.95 per night.”

“$9.95 per night!!??”, I shot back. “This is the Hyatt Flippin Regency fuh cripesake! Motel 6 and Super 8 will give you WiFi for FREE, but you are charging $150 per night for a room AND $10 to get on the web!??”

She apologized, then I apologized. I told her I knew it wasn’t her fault, but that somebody is getting rich off this and it ain’t the poor slobs who pay for the privilege of a bed and a shower. I know…I get reimbursed by the school for the expenses, but it’s the principle of the thing. Honestly. Find any little reason you can to rip folks off (sorry for the split infinitive; I’m honked).

*straightening hair and skirt*

Just saw these comments on a Toledo TV station news article about a woman who left her 3-year-old daughter on the side of a road:


Anyway. At least the day sucked and I had a really difficult tap rehearsal and got home at 9:30 and now every single school in the area is on a 2-hour snow delay — except mine. Ah, wait. Just got the call.


Time for more coffee…and time to pack! Happy Thursday, fiends. I will post to you tomorrow after paying $10 for the privilege.

Fink out.

Memory Lane Cinema

“They took the job I loved most. I just wanted to be a cop, and they took it away from me.”

Reading the Times yesterday, I had a “whoa, I remember that movie” moment. Sad story, too. It surprised me to learn that Frank Serpico — a zealous New York cop who blew the whistle on his corrupt colleagues back in the 70s — is now living in a cabin a hundred miles from the city. (Read the article while it’s still free — it won’t be for long.) It’s the basic disillusioned good cop story, but with tons more angst and righteous indignation. Frank Serpico was what the Times review called an “anti-cop cop.” He refused even the slightest insinuation of a kickback or bribe; he wouldn’t even accept a free meal out on the beat.

When he discovered that his fellow police officers were on the take, he was outraged. He tried to alert his superiors on several occasions, but the writing was on the wall: NYC cops don’t squeal — they just take the deal. When Serpico was shot in the face during a drug bust in Brooklyn in 1971, his fellow officers wouldn’t even call for an ambulance. He was taken to the hospital — bleeding profusely from his wound — in a squad car. Brutal.

While recuperating, he received cards from his colleagues, telling him to rot in hell.

I remember seeing the movie Serpico with Al Pacino (yaaay) in the late 70s. It was his first starring role, and he won a Golden Globe for it. I must watch it again soon, and I highly recommend it to you.

I just wish the real story was as satisfying. But hey…he appears to be happy, so it’s good. Living in a one-room cabin in the middle of the woods seems to suit him well. But he still carries a lot of pain (see opening line). His recollections are still, after almost 40 years, laced with bitterness and anger.

I say you should watch it sometime, if for no other reason than Al Pacino is dreamy.

Now, since my phone did not ring this morning, telling me I don’t need to drive into school in the snow, it is time to hit the shower and the frozen tundra.