Friday, August 27, 2010

Yes My Car Is Possessed. But You're A Jerk. And I Can Fix My Car

So I'm snoozing away, minding my own business, when I get a call at 1:53 a.m. from a number I didn't recognize.

"Mr. Clem, this is Officer Miller with the Plymouth Police Department. We are here on the scene at *my address here* where there has been a noise complaint because your car alarm is going on and off all night."

"Ok, I'll be down to take care of it."

My car pisses me off sometimes. Ever since a small leak developed in the seal around my sunroof, anytime it rains, water seems to be collecting in the fuse box area inside the car, which is wreaking havoc with my electrical system.

Sometimes the door locks will just lock and unlock randomly. Sometimes the dome light will just decide it wants to stay on all night, no matter if you have it in the off position. Sometimes a taillight will work, sometimes it won't. And yes, sometimes, the car alarm decides to go off randomly.

I've been meaning to get it fixed, but was somewhat reliant on receiving my tax refund for 2007 and 2009 from the government. Now that that has FINALLY happened, I've got an appointment scheduled for early next week to get it repaired.

But back to the problem at hand. It's 1:58 a.m., and I can't find my flip flops. I knew I left them by the front door, but the kids must have moved them. I wander around in a sleepy haze, trying to find them without turning on the lights. Then I decide I'm just going to shove my stinky feet into my stinky hiking shoes because I really, really, really want to go back to sleep.

As I go out the front door of my apartment building, I notice not one, but TWO squad cars parked next to my vehicle. As I walk closer, one squad car peels away and parks about 25 yards behind, shining his lights on me as I approach the other police car. As I get within 5 feet, the female officer in the squad car looks jolted, and jumps out quickly as if she is preparing for me to launch a vicious attack or something.

I explain to her that I was the owner of the car she had just called, and was going to move my car to the unattached underground parking for the night, where nobody would be able to hear my alarm.

After a lecture about proper car maintenance and telling me I needed to update my DMV address, she moved aside so I could move my car to the underground parking.

And then I saw the notes. Two of them. Stuffed under my windshield wiper on the driver side. I pulled them out and read them. The top one said "RUDE! TOO LOUD!"

The bottom note read "Your Car Alarm is TOO SENSITIVE! It went off all night. I reported this noise pollution to the office. One more night & will report to police."

One more night, my ass.

And let me clarify, oh anonymous note writing neighbor. Despite the rumor to the contrary, not every man thinks of his car as an emotional attachment, or as a means to make up for a lack of height, size, or girth. I don't control my car. I don't like it when the car alarm goes off. So please stop calling me rude for my car's actions.

Secondly, oh note writer, you may want to edit your time frame for calling the cops before you leave it next time.

Thirdly, I'm getting my car fixed next week. When are you going to do something to fix your approach to life and people? Why don't you leave a note on my car to let me know.



Monday, August 16, 2010

I'm ready for the boom

I don't know when exactly I fell in love with the Iowa Hawkeyes.

I know it was before Hayden Fry came along to save the football program from near death.

Because I remember walking to school wearing my Hawkeye shirt, and getting made fun of by my Cyclone and Nebraska fan classmates.

But I will tell you that my love affair with the Hawkeyes has not waivered in over 30 years. Not once. It's in my blood. Win or lose.

My ex-wife, well, she probably wished she was the Hawkeyes at some point, I'd imagine.

Luckily for me, I've created two monsters in my sons. They both have their Hawkeye #12 Ricky Stanzi jerseys. They both talk about the Hawkeyes and the state of Iowa as if it is a religious experience for them. When we drove past the Gophers' TCF Stadium (The TCF stands for Terrible College Football, fyi), my kids yelled out "That's where the Hawkeyes are going to smash the Gophers this fall!"

I mean, come on, my oldest son is named Nile. (If you don't know who Nile is in Hawkeye lore, read

I'm happy that I get to share that experience with them, the same way I got to experience it with my parents. Growing up, Saturdays meant get the chores done so we could listen to the game on the radio, or watch it on TV (which was much less frequently back in the old days).

And they've learned very quickly that as a Hawkeye fan, we don't whine about losing. Only Nebraska fans do that.

So, my blog tonight has very little in the way of a point. Except that we're now less than 19 days away from the kickoff of the 2010 Hawkeye Football Season...and me, I'm ready for the boom.


Not excited enough? Then click this link now.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Silver Lining, I Kan Seez It.

I refuse to let this crap get the best of me.

I will not let the negative energy drag me down.

I'm focusing on the positives, such as:

  • I am 93.6 percent sure that I'm more knowledgeable about head lice than everyone in North America except for whatever guy did all the research papers I read online.
  • I've learned that my sons really, really, really, really, really don't want me to move away from them. Given some tough times in the last few years with my youngest, in particular, this brought a tear to my eye.
  • I know who my friends are. And they make sure I know they are there.
  • I still have my sense of humor. It's my medicine in life. If you can't laugh at the crap in life, you're going to be pulling a Mona Lisa for the vast majority of your life.
  • I'm employed. I have a roof over my head, and more importantly Nile's and Grady's heads. I have my car and the repo men aren't anywhere nearby.
  • I have two awesome sons. I mean we're talking 101.2 percent awesome. They're far from perfect, but they know I don't expect them to be. I just expect them to learn from their mistakes in life. As I am still doing.
  • I am not as schadenfreude as some people. Which is nice. And schadenfreudian.
  • I'm pretty sure that I'm going to survive pretty much anything at this point in life. Which makes me a ninja.
  • I still haven't been arrested, so I'm doing something right."
  • Football season is only 28 days away.
GO HAWKS! And remember to accentuate the positive!