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Saturday, Feb. 21, 2004 - 4:56 p.m.

Ronnie is trying to shake fish blood off her head. I just thawed and ground up a piece of tuna; I have an old cast iron meat grinder from a flea market, and this is the first time Iíve used it. I set up a bowl for the tuna and a bowl on the floor for drips, and I began cranking the tuna through. Ronnie positioned herself right under the c-clamp, head over the drip bowl, watching carefully, and she was not pleased when she got a face full of watery fish blood.

The resulting tuna burger was pretty mediocre; Ronnie didnít like it much, either.

Iím still recovering from an angry adrenaline rush earlier today. I didnít even know my car had a security system; I found this out the hard way. At a gas station earlier I pumped some gas, left my car windows down, locked the doors for no good reason, and went in to pay. When I came out I reached through the window to unlock the door, and immediately my horn started blaring Ė apparently I have a security system, eh? I tried to start the car, and nothing happened. A man pulled up at the next gas pump, and I asked him for help, but he had no idea what to do. The horn continued. A woman expressed sympathy but didnít know what to do either. Had anything else been wrong with the car, Iím sure I would have dealt with it calmly, but the horn was so loud and incessant that I just became furious. I donít get angry like that: I wanted to punch the car, and I wasnít thinking straight. I raised the hood and disconnected the battery, which made it quit, but every time Iíd reconnect it the horn would start up again, and the car still refused to start. An annoying woman I work with borrowed my manual months ago and still has it, so I was stuck with no information. So after checking with the clerk about leaving my car at the pump for a while, I unplugged the battery a final time, locked the car, and walked home. I didnít even try calling L; I just wanted to get away from my car.

I was wearing flip flops, and after a winter of wearing shoes (dumb shoes; I hate shoes) my feet are weak and soft, so after ten minutes of walking I developed a blister. The walk took twenty-two minutes, and I was grumpy the whole way. A man whistled at me, and had he been nearer I think I would have told him to fuck off. Instead, I just kept stalking along; I think my fists were even balled up, like I was a cartoon character.

Back home, I looked up the phone number of the annoying woman, but she wasnít home. I called L and started looking around on the internet for information. Other people had had the same problem with this phantom security system, but most advice involved calling the dealer. Sorry, no. Finally I found what looked like a possible answer. L came by, and we went back to the gas station.

It worked. Here, my dear readers, is the way you disable the fucking security system of a 1991 Nissan Piece Of Shit Maxima: you unlock the door using the key. Yeah. You lock the door, then unlock it, and magically the car starts and the horn shuts the hell up, and you can then spend the rest of the day trying to calm down.

I am not impressed with my little foray into the world of Type A. Stupid, misplaced rage was neither productive nor fun. But until I rip that security system out by its scrawny little wires, I will continue to glare every time I look out the window at my car.

But itís a beautiful day.

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