Friday, July 6, 2007

No More Nice Girl!!

I have spent a lot of time on the blogs lately and I realized something...I have not been very true to myself here. I have written about things that I feel others will find interesting and I have always tried to keep it civil. Now anyone who really knows me knows that I am loud, obscene, opinionated and often so truthful it can be mistaken for rudeness. But for some reason here I have tried to be a good girl and where the hell is the fun in that?

So from here on out I pledge to be a more realistic version of myself. No more watching my words and hoping I don't offend too many people. I will be what everyone who matters to me loves....ME!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Can you go home again?

For Father's Day this year I flew back home to Oregon to surprise my father. I have not missed Oregon in the 15 years since I moved to Arizona. I love AZ. But being home and being with my family, those people who 15 years ago I did not get along with so well, really made me consider packin it up and movin back home.

There was a feeling of safety that I have not felt in years. Like I could let my children outside and they wouldn't disappear. All the neighbors that were there when I grew up are still there! 15 years I had been gone and I still knew almost everyone.

I miss being able to walk into my backyard and plant something without it having to be a cactus that will hurt like hell when the kids run into it. The cherry tree in my dad's backyard that I used to climb as a kid was still there and as I climbed it at the age of 32, sat in the branches enjoying cherries so fresh they melted in my mouth and spat the pits at whomever dared walk under my domain, I realized that this was something that my own children would never experience. All of the memories I have of growing up are things that my own children may very well never know.

I can't explain it but things just felt simpler there. More relaxed and definately cleaner. Taking in a deep breath of that wonderfully clean air was so refreshing. Looking out across the horizon and seeing beautiful skies and clear mountains, nothing obscured by hazy brown clouds. I wonder if these feelings were supported by the fact that Oregon represents the innocence of my childhood. Did it feel safer and cleaner because that is how I saw it as a child or is it really that way compared to the dirty, dangerous place I live now?

How do you move back home after 15 years? Where do you live? How do you support your family? How do you leave your family here in exchange for the family there? And what if after you give up everything here you get there and realize it was all an illusion?


DUI's & Traffic School

February 2006 I received a DUI (Driving Under the Influence). I was shocked and horrified. What would my friends and family say? I have to be honest and say that up until this point I had no idea what the real repercussions would be from this. I mean I knew it would be on my driving record for 5 years (now 7), that my insurance would increase and that I would have to pay a lot of money in fines. What I did not know was how it effects EVERY aspect of your life. My total punishment:

  • DUI on my record for 7 years
  • 24 hours in jail ($386)
  • 90 day license suspension ($45 reinstatement fee)
  • Alcohol evaluation class ($75)
  • Alcohol awareness class ($125)
  • Defensive Driving class ($65)
  • Traffic Survival class ($55)
  • Approximately $1900.00 in fines
  • License on probation for 2 years

I was pulled over last Friday night for making an improper right hand turn and speeding and to my dismay the officer informed me that my license was suspended. I did argue because I had paid to have my license reinstated after my 90 suspension because of my DUI. Unfortunately I found out (after pulling out every piece of paperwork I have ever received for tickets) that I had not attended one of the required classes. I had mistakenly thought that defensive driving and traffic survival were the same thing. Believing this I only attended the first. So yes, my license was indeed suspended. The officer assumed that it was suspended for my DUI and under Sheriff Joe's new laws they had to impound my car for a minimum of 30 days.

I called around Saturday morning and luckily found a lady who was willing to allow me into her Sunday class (you are supposed to sign up a week in advance). I took the class Sunday from 7:30am to 5pm. It was taught by a very charismatic young lady named Kristen (pictured above). She was entertaining and kept the class involved and awake. I did learn quite a bit in the class about the new DUI laws that passed only last month.

If in the next 2 years I get pulled over for ANYTHING I go back to jail for 9 days, my fines triple and my license is then suspended for 180 days. If I get pulled over for a DUI in the next 7 years then I go to jail for 90 days, license is suspended for a year, fines from $5,000-$10,000 and pretty much my life is ruined. Not worth it!!

So I took the class Sunday, went and got my license back Monday morning but unfortunately I cannot get my car back until I have an impound hearing which they have 5 days to schedule. What upset me was that they impounded it falsely yet I still cannot get it back. So now I am driving around in a like 1982 Corsica that my boss loaned me until I get my car back. It sucks but hey it gets me to work and back so I can't complain. Its better than riding the bus or walking.

The really ironic thing about this....when I got pulled over last Friday....I was the designated driver! Figures!