Sunday, January 06, 2013

My first time ... getting pulled over

So, I had my first "run-in" with the law this past weekend (if you don't count cops coming to your door because of a noise complaint.) I was driving down Roosevelt Street to the Phoenix downtown farmer's market Saturday morning when my friend Leah said "I think that police car is for you." I looked into the rear view mirror and sure enough, the police car was very close and had its siren lights flickering. Crap! I pulled over and then a male voice said to pull into an empty driveway. I pulled into a parking lot. Then for what seemed like an eternity, the policeman stayed in his car (probably looking up your plates--according to Leah).
"Gawd, the weekend is already starting off sh***y," I said.
I have NEVER been pulled over in my entire driving-life. The only thing I know is to never get out of your vehicle. My father did that before -- thinking he was being helpful (sigh).
I rummaged through the glove compartment and got out my registration. Then I picked it and my driver's license up and stuck my left arm out the window. 

"I might as well be helpful," I said, giving Leah a good chuckle.
The officer finally walked up and I was immediately apologetic. Honestly, I would fold like a cheap party chair in an interrogation.
"Sorry, that intersection's traffic lights are shut down so I guess I just went through."
"Why do you think I pulled you over?"
"Because I didn't stop at an intersection where the traffic lights have been shut off?"
"No. The street before that you rolled right through a stop sign."
Oops. According to him, a car in front of me stopped and I didn't. That's what I get for talking while driving. The officer then glanced down at my open wallet and he noticed I had a second Arizona driver's license.
"Why do you have another license?"
Oh gawd, is that against the law too? I thought.
I hang onto my old driver's license so I have something to use should I ever misplace my current one. But for him, I just said "sentimental value." He seemed to find that a good reason and went back to his car again. At this point Leah's trying to soothe me and I see a second police car has showed up. A second officer decided to back up his colleague and came around to the passenger side. He had Leah row down the window so he could watch her. Two police cars for little me? Geez. Next time I pass someone on the street surrounded by two police cars, I won't assume the driver must be some no-good d-bag.
The officer came back to my window and gave me back my license.
"So, what do you do?"
"I'm a reporter."
"Really?! Do you know another word for 'manage' that also starts with M?"
My first thought: WTF?! You want help with your crossword puzzle?
Leah and I looked at each other and came up with "monitor."
"Oh, that's a good one," the police officer said. Then he explained how he was writing a project for his bosses that's titled TEAM. But he hadn't yet found the right word to fill in the M. He said the last project he wrote was called "Project PIMP"  (three guesses what crime that relates to) and had been chronicled in local media. Project TEAM is related to homeless outreach, especially along the light rail.
I didn't know what to say. So I said,"Say, have you ever seen a guy dressed as Superman on the light rail?"
"Yes I have. He's not homeless. He actually does it for parties and has a business card. I also think he does it for attention."
Leah: "Gee, you think?"
It is then the officer makes my feelings go from regret to relief.
"By the way, I'm NOT going to give you a ticket. I'm just wasting your time now."
Like the good girl I hopelessly am, I didn't want him to think I was happy as though I got away with something and I took our conversation seriously. So I said: "Give me your email address so if I think of a better word, I can let you know."
He actually wrote down his number and his email on a police interrogation card; I guess he had no business cards that day.
So, I still am not sure if my being in the media actually got me out of a ticket or this officer was just in a good mood. But it was by far the most random, odd conversation I've had so far in 2013.
Next New Year's resolution: watch out for those stop signs!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

!@#$% non-Asians say to me Episode 4

The other night, I had dinner with my journalist friend Tim. He's probably the most worldly guy I am friends with. No offense but if you think you should be in that category, just confirm to me whether you've ever covered stories in Libya or Afghanistan. Tim, who grew up in Bath, England, told me his mother used to tell him that she always thought Chinese people were "lucky." I was like "What?"
Here's a paraphrase of his explanation:
"She thought Chinese people were lucky. Whenever she saw one in the store, she would try to touch them ."
I couldn't help but laugh at the idea of this matronly British woman trying to more or less cop an (innocent) feel from a Chinese person. I figure maybe it seemed especially lucky as I doubt there were many Chinese people in a small town such as Bath (BTW, a lovely place to visit). Anyway, I'm sure there are millions of people in China who might not feel lucky all the time. I wonder how wide-spread this notion is. It could be a great excuse for a pervy guy with an Asian-girl fetish to pick up on a woman. Sorry, my mind always drifts to the darker corner. Well if someone ever tries that on me, he will find himself very UNLUCKY.

Can I buy you a morsel of food?

Let's face it. I'm inherently a good girl. There is a "nice" quality about myself that I can't shake. I realized this because twice in a couple weeks I've had men give me or insist on buying me food. It wasn't offered to me in a way like "hey baby, can I buy you a drink?" It was offered by way older men who wanted to feed me like a dad wondering if his daughter is getting enough to eat. For example, I went to Urban Beans, a local coffeehouse, which was celebrating a grand opening of its wine bar. My friend and I struck up a great chat with a guy _ Jewish and originally from Long Island _ and his girlfriend. The guy, Andrew, could not have been nicer and was refreshingly BS-free as Long Islanders tend to be. Before we left, I said I wanted a piece of Urban Beans' prize-winning Pink Diablo pie to go. Andrew wanted to get cupcakes and added my order onto his: "I got this for you."
Me: "You don't have to do that!"
Andrew: "I like you guys. You're really sweet."
This came a couple weeks after a random guy (older gentleman) at La Grande Orange offered me some of the extra bacon he got. (Without shame, I took some of his bacon; come on! It's the candy of meat!)
I always seem to attract older men and women wanting to take care of me or have me over for dinner. I went to my friend's aunt's house for Christmas. She doesn't live that far from me and said I could come over if I needed an interim mom.
I appreciate all this attention. But it amuses and perplexes me that a guy might not notice me at a part even if my hair was on fire. Yet, I have all these people doting on me in a parental way. Makes me wonder if I need to bring out my inner "vamp." Gawd do people even use that word anymore? But alas...then I remember, that is not part of my wiring. Well, at least I'll be well-fed.