Testing, Testing

I'm writing my state driver's test today. Part of me doesn't want to vocalize that in case I have to gloss over impending failure.

But this other part of me wants to make it public, if only to help electric prod me to the Dept. of Morons and Vehicles or whatever it's called.

And then, once I pass the test, I need to book to do my road test. Which should be fun. I've come a long way in 20 years, which is only as long as I've been driving. I remember one hung-over incident, driving good-ole Ed, our white, Turbo boogie van a tad too fast down the rather steep Young Street hill in north-end Halifax and taking the left turn on Devonshire on two wheels. I grew up watching Starsky & Hutch you see. But in some ways, I'm still doing Starsky & Hutch tricks. I still drive too fast and I have a tendency to hug a little so slightly to the left in traffic....minivan optical illusions, if you will.

The worst thing will be having to parallel park, though. I haven't done that in 20 years. And I've survived perfectly fine in all six cities I've lived in these subsequent two decades. So hubby is going to take me out, show me the fine art of parallel parking (since I don't happen to have a vehicle that does it on its own), and while he's at it, subtly remind me of what a crappy driver I am.

Anyways, parallel parking got me thinking about my deficiencies and proficiencies. It appears I have way more of the former than latter, to the extent that if I was ever stranded on a desert island with an eclectic bunch of people, I would undoubtedly be voted off first.

For instance, here's a small, assorted list of things I cannot or have not learned to do in this life, owing somewhat to the fact that aforementioned hubby, my helpmate of some 23 years, can do all these things and more with great skill and finesse; and/or to my absolute lack of ability in this particular arena. So, some things I have not mastered include but are in no way limited to my inability to:

  • light a propane barbeque
  • drive a standard transmission vehicle
  • change the oil in my van
  • curl my tongue
  • keep a plant alive
  • find a missing item in the house (usually one I put away somewhere)
  • operate a power tool
  • flip an omelette without splatting it all over the pan
  • choose the correct answer in a multiple choice test
  • mow a lawn with a power mower
  • skate, golf, ski, or play tennis
  • paint a room
  • do a men's push-up
  • make tea
I do, however, have a number of miscellaneous talents that while not necessarily labeled as transferable skills, lend themselves to occasional and eclectic moments in life. For instance, I have been known to exhibit the unique ability to:
  • go it alone in a game of euchre or go for power in Hearts
  • procrastinate
  • play the "I'm not sure how things normally work" card with some success on committees
  • tune out the lovely melody of my screaming children while in public
  • find obscure information that others cannot
  • bend both arms at a slight backwards angle
  • blow bubbles with my spit
  • eat, drink, apply mascara and lipstick, talk on the phone, read Mapquest directions, and tickle kids knees in the backseat while driving (yes, that's me you saw in traffic that day)
  • drink zombies with zest
  • flare my nostrils without blinking
  • sweep floors
  • make a farting sound if you pull my finger
  • burn food without meaning to
  • make cool, pig noses to scratch my throat when it's itchy, which is often
  • trance dancing a la Snoopy spin without falling over or hitting too many people in the process
While these lists are in no way exhaustive, you've probably noticed that they do hint at my express lack of capabilities in most areas as measured in the annual surveys of magazines such as Popular Mechanics, Home & Garden, Outside, Parents or Gourmet.

It's rather a shame, not to mention a cruel and unusual punishment that this has turned out to be my lot in life ~ having to depend on the generosity of others to do for me what I cannot. But I guess it's as they say: rough life, someone's gotta do it.

of course, being the people who can do all the things and then some on the first and foremost list, while not seeming to possess a list of useless traits that run those of us who have rather long useless talent lists the risk of earning a place in the freaks and sideshow entertainment section of society.

So, now that I have shown off my procrastination talent once again, I will take my bow and go cram for this driver's test. I wonder if there'll be a question about multi-tasking in the vehicle while driving. I could totally ace that question. But what is it they say (they also being the smarty farties who get perfect scores on multiple choice exams) - always pick (c) if you don't know the answer? I suspect I'll have an awful lot of (c)'s.

OK, so true confession time is over on my end. It's time to spin the bottle elsewhere.

Tag team: you're it. What special talents - be they good, bad, ugly, or weird and wacky - do you possess that you're willing to admit to? If you can't think of any, click here and the universe will assign you a random talent.


** 4pm Update **

I passed the test with only two wrong but I was nervous as heck and visibly shaking while going through the touch-screen motions. Pretty hilarious. To be fair, I messed up on the one question, which was something about DUI penalty, which I didn't study because it's not my schtuff.

So now I'm scheduled for my road test tomorrow a.m. at the ungodly hour of 0745. The DOL dude winked at me when I asked if I had to take a vision test - his logic being, I'm guessing, that if I could catch his covert wink under the glare of the fluorescent state government lighting, I had damn good vision. The same dude is doing my road test assessment. I hope he's feeling equally generous tomorrow.

I may even have to wear a skirt for good measure.

** Saturday Update **

Well, I passed the road test so I'm now the proud owner of a Washington State Driver's License with one of the more hideous photos I have ever had the distinct horror of displaying on my driver's license in all its many incarnations.

I didn't wear the skirt but I did spritz on some of my Jessica McClintock perfume and I did listen empathetically when the assessor - nice guy - explained to me about the challenges of living with diverticulitis. I wanted to say, wow, that's shitty, but I didn't, owing to the small matter of a road test I had yet to pass.


ITCM said...

Ok... here's mine: I can roller skate backwards w/crossovers around corners. Try not to be jealous. :)

(Hope the test went well?)

Jeri said...

The test is a bit of a bugger - I remember from when I took it. Hope you aced it!

I am a woman of diverse and strange talents. I can repair an underground irrigation system but not keep houseplants alive either. I can identify most common rocks, minerals, shrubs, and garden plants but not my neighbors at the grocery store. I can make my own network cable but I can't bake bread. I can write an eloquent rant on paper, but can't effectively convince my teens or husband that the sky is blue.

SIgh. Have a great weekend!

HOLY said...

CM: If you were in a line-up with a bunch of other guys and gals, I would totally peg you to be the backwards rexing, crossover corner, roller-skating type. Right on - and yes, I am jealous.

Jeri: oh that is too precious - I totally identify having one kind of knowledge but not the neighborly kind - and especially with the written vs. verbal rant. Maybe we should sign up for a Toastmasters course together somewhere and meet halfway!

Jorge said...

Good luck with the driving test. As far as talents go, my feeling is that God gave lots of folks special talents, and who am I to deprive them of the enjoyment in exhibiting the same? I'm more of a generalist than a specialist. I can pull together a lot of disparate elements of relatively arcane trivia, but have no outstanding talent in any one area that would cause me to concentrate my attention on any one part of life. Good luck with the driving test.

Lynn said...

I can't drive a car anymore, but I can change a flat, or the oil or tune one up for myself, no problem. I know whether it's the alternator, battery or distributor that's the problem. I've fixed my own brakes (and dear heavens, that's SO MUCH cheaper!). I can make a flogger and tell you where to use a violet wand and where NEVER ever to put one. I can't remember my kid has a disease unless I'm reminded. I can't curl my tongue either...I think that's genetic. But I can curl one side of my lip up into that disdainful or sexy snarly thing, depending on my mood and what I do with my eyes.

Congrats on passing your written! I'm sure you've passed your Drivers with no problem by now too. They still test for parallel there? Wow...they stopped doing that here in this neck of the woods ages ago, lucky for my kids...they are still working on hitting the space correctly with straight lines!
Did ya wear the skirt?

Oh jeez, Holy...The word verification is 8 damn letters long! You should know i LOVE you or I'd never try to do this every day.
And try two...

HOLY said...

Jorge: so what you're saying is you're multi-talented? That's a good thing, of course. And so is arcane trivia a marvelous thing...

Lynn: I've taken word verification off for your benefit although your two, three attempt game is a fun little ritual, is it not? (not) ...and I'm a willing to bet your list of talents is WAY longer than mentioned, although that's an impressive list of proficiencies...cuz you can't be a mom and have done the single mom stint with 5 girls without having a massive list of talents...and you forgot to mention that you jump through the Holy word verification hoops - that's a talent in and unto itself.

PS - I didn't wear the skirt but the guy did share his bowel disease challenges with me (verbally, not literally)...and I passed with only one mistake (forgot to signal to pull over to the side of the road to park - like who does that anyways?) I'm just shocked that I managed to parallel park - I think Jesus took the wheel...no other way to explain that one!

hatrock said...

After reading that post, I never realized how much you and I are alike, except I can curl my tongue with the greatest of ease.

And you can't drive a standard?!!! Next time I drive to the Bell in my PT, I'll show you how. It's difficult at first, but once you got, you got it for life.

KC said...

OK.. I think we share a few of the same useless talents but here are a few of my 'other' talents that drive friends to call me 'wacky'
- I can meow like a cat, more specifically, like a female cat in heat
- I can crow like a rooster
- I can roll my tongue
- I can roll my 'r'
- I can parrallel park with great ease (but I was never tested on that one sadly)
- I drive pedal to metal... but can make all my friends fall asleep as I drive.

Not much but its a start!
Congrats on the test... I hated that test!!! Although I'm pretty sure I should get reacquainted with the new rules of the road... much has changed since that day!

Take care!
Ciao bella,

The Beast Mom said...

I love your list. It made me laugh out loud. Esp the pig noises one. I can picture it, but I also can't picture it. I'll need a full blown demo next time I see you.

I also want to see that driver's photo. ;)


Natalie said...

I'm so glad you are finally driving legally. I was driving (all day today and half of yesterday; just got home from the beach) and was listening to NPR and some woman said we shouldn't call illegal aliens, "illegal aliens" but rather "undocumented workers" and I thought, 'What if they aren't working?' And then I laughed out loud. And then, this woman, during her dumb little argument said, "Well, people speed all the time. You don't call them 'illegla drivers' do you?"
To which, Mr. Neil Conan said, "Only when they get caught."
HA! True that.
Okay. I'll do the listy thing manana porque I am very, very sleepy and need to go sleep in my own bed for the first time in days.
The beach was great, btw, but I'm sure glad to be home!

Natalie said...

"illegla" is spanish for "illegal"
Actually, that's typo-ese.

Lynn said...

Congrats on passing the drivers! Legal at last!
I'm pleased, touched, and perversely saddened that you've taken Word Verification off for me, Thank You. It was my Brain Twister Challenge for the day, that's for sure: all those different fonts, the slants they switched up with each new bizzaro combination of letters. It was a feast for the eyes, unless they used lime green. Then my poor eyes just went screaming into the back of my head. Sometimes I'd type rude letter combinations in there just to fail it when the letters were lime green (but that's our little secret). I appreciate you switching it over for me. I feel so special now, in that not-needing-the-helmet kinda way!

Jungle Mama said...

Congrats on passing the test! Now I just have to get off my booty and get my eye exam done so I can get my Dutch license. Easier said than done. So, here is my special talent, as I could not think of any:

Your natural talent is interpersonal relations and dealing with people.
You communicate well and are able to bring disparate groups together.
Your calming presence helps everything go more smoothly.
People crave your praise and complements.

I agree with all but the last one. I instead crave other peoples praise and compliments. Maybe that is why I give so many out? Well, actually, I can't say I always have a calming presence either . . . No, I'm sure I don't. I think I bring more chaos with me more than anything else, unless I choose to harness that chaos and turn it into something of the above nature. Which can be done. Just not today. I'm quite scattered, can't you tell. Probably still the Queen's Day celebration atmosphere wearing off.

KC said...

I love love your newest Thought Du Jour... on politics... interesting but oh so accurate way of looking at it!!!

Thanks for the giggle!

Ciao bella,

HOLY said...

Hey Bro: how come you can curl your tongue and I can't? Yer my brudder from my udder mudder and we have the same nose...sung to the tune of I'm My Own Grandpa and all that. Weird, that.

KC: I've never met you and yet I believe your list to be true blue. Where are you? I can't get on your site anymore - e-mail me at holy dot schmidt at hotmail dot com so I can come visit.

PS - I'm not the least bit cynical about politicians, am I? :)

BM: Have I never done my pig noises for you? Oh you just wait. You'll wish you'd never asked. And the pic is just hideous. Only after some wine will I show it. So maybe Oregon.

Nat Sprat: She's baa--aack! How was your trip - I bet divine...but the boys and S would have missed you like crazy which is always a good thing. OK, you sleep and I'll sneak by later to hear all about it.

Lynn: Just for you...no crash test helmet - but you may end up on outhouse cleaning duty an extra shift or two...just to let you know.

JM: you can't think of ANY talents? Oh come on....baking cakes, communicating with the Dutch, taking awesome pictures, juggling much many balls and kids and monkeys, ....the list goes on and on... blogging with the comments box enabled goes hand in hand with compliments methinks (they should rename it "add compliments here") - so I hear ya on that one.

Anonymous said...

So did you pass?

I remember getting my drivers' license. My father taught me how to parallel park with two broom handles in the driveway. In his infinite wisdom, he saved time by having me just back up into position after each try.

Hence, I was able to parallel park perfectly during the test. The administrator then told me to get the car back out on the street.

"Get... out..." I said thoughtfully, tapping my fingernails on the steering wheel. I ended up backing straight out and losing about eight points, but still passed.

Anonymous said...

So my weird talent definitely isn't parallel parking.

How about my fairly useless talent of being able to write/tie shoes/apply makeup with either hand?

Anonymous said...

I'm cluttering up your Space with comments, I know-- but I just saw that you passed your test and wanted to offer congratulations.

alison said...

Scrolling Scrolling Scrolling Scrolling...

Aha! The end of the comments. I am days and days late, of course, and many have come before me.

Holio (cause you said you missed it)...Tell me something, and tell me true. In the first list, all those things are things that somebody can and most likely does take care of for you. What I want to know is...how does curling your tongue fit into that list? Or do I want to know?

The second list...well, that just makes me proud to have you for a friend. Mostly it is your unstinting honestly in owning up to the pull my finger bit.

Also...didn't you mean 'wow, that's schmidtty'?

p.s. congrats on the pass. Now, you will know Washington really loves you when you have to show ID somewhere and they refuse to believe it is really you. I am always completely offended when I show my hideous picture to somebody and they accept it as me without question...

KC said...

I will email you as soon as I get home... I have been attacked by Space and non-Spaces bloggers so I had to go private. But if you log onto your Spaces account - you should be able to access my site since I never removed you from my friends list.... I have become extremely selective as to who can access my site ... at least for the next little while. Somehow, even with the restrictions I still manage to get attacks from idiots out there... making me reconsider this whole blogging thing....

None the less - I will email you...

And yes, my list is true to the core.... I forgot one - funny thing is I can grow plants like there is no tomorrow and I have no clue how or why!! I am known as the plant healer at work where even the directors bring me their dying plants to bring them back to life or give them a proper burial... strange eh??? LOL!!! I dunno... one jokes that I work at the company as a front for the 'co-op' that I have going on at my cubicle - he swears that underneath all the foilage he might be able to find something to roll up and smoke - that might be why he keeps coming by here... LOL!!!

Ciao bella... have a fantastic day/weekend!!!

HOLY said...

Manda: Your parallel parking story is a scream but your dad (or was it your uncle?) walking into the stranger's house - that's still right up there as one of the funniest things I've ever heard. And yes, I now have my first official Washington State id....assuming that my QFC and Albertson's cards don't really count.

A (as in Eh): To be honest, curling my tongue is something I need help with. I can do it only if I stick out my tongue and hubby curls it with his fingers ) takes three (since the question that follows would naturally be, "How many fingers does it take to curl Holy's tongue?" Answer: Three. One to press down in the centre and two to curl each end up.

And ahh, you noticed my deliberate use of profanity. I've moved to Blogger so I feel like I can and should swear now...plus schmidty would have ruined the punchline.

But my d.l. picture...it's awful - I just can't show it to anyone.

KC: I finally found your site again - I was never logged into Spaces - that was the problem. Always Spaces fault, dontcha know. Have you read Celestine Prophecy - your plant healing reminds me the book - still need to see the movie, which reminds me. Anyhoo, that's a gift. Plants look at me and they whither. Sad but true.

Mud Duck said...

Hi Schmidt....Been reading all your posts, and am enjoying each one. I haven't posted here, or on my site for a while.....back out of wack.....can't sit long right now, just want you to know i've been here...please keep writing,so I can keep learning and enjoying.

Lynn said...

I don't mind the outhouse cleaning duty...I brought the freshner anyway, I'm thinking and the cleaning products as Outhouse Warming presents, and I always carry Lysol with me...La is a messy, messy, messy Spirited child.
Thank you for the hug...it is the touch that means so much, cyber or not. And all that cybering has brought how many couples together through the years? Hugs count.
I'm-a-gonna get through this too. With a little help from my friends. Thanks for being one of them.

c said...

great post. congrats on passing both tests! I took my driving test on my 16th birthday. My mom drove me to a town 40 miles away since our DMV had the reputation of failing everyone the first try. I think her being 5 months pregnant had something to do with her eagerness to have her eldest (me) become a licensed driver. I was immediately handed keys, gas money, and my sister and brother's sports and work schedules ;)

As to off talents... I know more random history and geography facts then most people I know. I seem to know pretty much every local musician for some reason... I devour books faster then most, I can curl my tongue (ha!), I only need to hear a number (phone, address, bank account, etc) once to have it memorized.... i think that's enough embarrassing facts about me for now.

KC said...

Holy - I was supposed to meet the author of the Celestine Prophecies when I went to the Hay House seminars in March but it conflicted with The Laws of Attraction - therefore I chose the later. I do have the book and I have not finished reading it - in fact your comment is a reminder that I have some unfinished reading to do!

I also really want to say thank you for the beautiful comment you left on my Space - it was really touching. I have read it over several times and it has truly put a warm smile over my heart. Thank you. Your vision of the boats and how it symbolizes me as they are docked... very touching. It was humbling honestly - in a very good way.

I think that because of my time crunch - I will have to resume - or start from scratch - reading The Celestine Prophecies... in my new house... new surroundings... calm and loving place. I will let you know what I think of it!

Have a fantastic week!
Ciao bella,