No, not posting (though that is becoming a rare thing)… I got all 43 presidents! Twice! Today! And with a large gap in-between (as in, I took a break to go get boxes from the basement, picked up my dry-cleaning, and read some emails, among other things).
I’m feeling pretty good about that.
I can also name all 50 states and put them on the map with decent accuracy (last time it was 6 miles and 3 errors). If pushed, I think I could get most of the capitols.
I might become a social studies teacher yet. If I can pass my classes this semester, that is. I will be quite proud if I get A’s – geography and politics/economics/social sciences are not as straightforward as history. We’ll see how homework goes this weekend. Also, my classes this semester are not really lecture-based. I’m not sure how I’ll do with that. I mean, that’s the way I’d prefer to teach, but I’m not sure if that’s how I learn, if that makes sense. On the plus side, that should mean my arm, elbow and hand won’t hurt as much from note-taking. On the negative side, it means I won’t have notes to study from.
Also, the two classes I will be missing while we’re on our honeymoon… some of the best classes, or at least the ones I’d want to attend. In Politics, Markets and Civil Society, that class is the first of three with a guest lecturer who will be giving us the down-and-dirty version of economics. And in Geography, the case study we will be looking at is the spread of AIDS in the US. While the economics wouldn’t actually be interesting to me, I don’t actually know any econ and would benefit from being there. I’ll just have to borrow notes from someone, and read the book carefully. The case study on AIDS would definitely be interesting to me, though thinking on it now, it’s quite possible that the discussion would become heated and I wouldn’t necessarily enjoy that.
Don’t be confused. I’m not actually complaining. I’m quite sure that whatever I’m doing will be much better than being in class. Much better.
- Underwear: Pull up your pants or else! That’s the sentiment behind efforts in cities across the U.S. to ban droopy trousers that reveal men’s boxer shorts, and baggy sweats that reveal a women’s thong. In just the last seven days alone, city councils in Shreveport and Alexandria, Louisiana, and Atlanta, Georgia, have taken up measures in favor of banning fanny-flaunting pants. Do you think it’s okay for cities and towns to legislate apparel? I spent most of my summer in Arizona telling teenage boys to pull up their pants. I think it’s a stupid trend that has gone on far too long. There are quite a few other trends that I’d love to legislate away, but I’m actually kind of opposed to that. I’m very cool with schools having dress codes and uniforms, but I think legislation of apparel should be focused on indecency (though the definition of that could be… anything).
- Compensation: Richard Jewell–the contract security guard who was falsely accused of planting a bomb at the 1996 Summer Olympics, and who despite never being charged with any crime underwent what was considered by many to be a “trial by media” that took a great toll on his personal and professional life–died earlier this week of what appear to be natural causes. Nearly 10 years after his ordeal, in April of 2005, Jewell was completely exonerated when Eric Rudolph pleaded guilty to carrying out the bombing attack at Centennial Olympic Park, as well as three other attacks across the southeast portion of the United States. Considering Jewell’s situation, do you feel people who have falsely been accused of major crimes should be entitled to compensatory reparations, or is having to deal with such situations simply the cost we must pay in order to live in a society that affords us with so many freedoms? In my understanding, most of the pain caused to Jewell was from the media, not the police. Granted the police were the ones responsible for falsely accusing him, but I think that happens far more often than we know. And he wasn’t actually charged with any crime, so I’m not sure what they should be held responsible for. Isn’t that their job, to figure out who would be responsible? Perhaps if his character was actually slandered by the media there would be a case for that, but against the media, not the police. I don’t think it’s the cost we have to pay to live in a free society, but the cost we pay when we are a society so focused on celebrity and gossiping and are generally media whores. That has nothing to do with our freedoms and everything to do with… us.
- Make Room: What particular item of food, regardless of how stuffed you may be, can you always find room for? Chocolate. Perhaps only small pieces if I’m really full, but nonetheless I could always find room for a Hershey’s kiss or a Lindt truffle.
- I Insist: Growing up, I had a neighbor who was rumored to wear a brand new dress shirt each and every time he went to work. Never would he wear the same dress shirt twice. What is one thing that you are absolutely particular about? Clothing-wise, I’d have to say socks with athletic shoes. Or really socks with any kind of enclosed shoe. I recently had to wear a pair of enclosed dress shoes without nylons (due to poor planning) and I wasn’t a big fan. Not nearly as horrible as being barefoot in sneakers though. Ew. The other thing that comes to mind would be shoe-wearing while riding a bike. Closed-toe shoes, to be specific. There was a traumatic childhood incident. ‘Nuff said.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but that little count-down on the side of my blog says 7 days. 7! 7 days until very publicly and very permanently making a big commitment. Which I’m totally cool with, don’t get me wrong. But sometimes, I have to pause a moment and reflect on the magnitude of this. It’s not as life-changing as, say, giving birth. But getting married has to be up there on the list of life-altering experiences.
Last night went much smoother than I thought it would. It took almost no time at all to take stuff to Goodwill and drop stuff off at ‘s. I even stopped at the gas station on my way back (first time in over two years that I’ve been the one at the pump instead of just waiting in the car), which was made slightly confusing by the fact that I had cash and was on the phone the entire time, first with and then with the girl who was coming to get the couch. Trying to give directions while going inside to pay in cash in a gas station I hadn’t been to in a long time when there’s a long line… I don’t advise it. But it all turned out fine. And the girl picked up the couch at a decent time, just after I was finished eating dinner but before I started packing my car.
I filled up my car and was on the road by 7, which seemed like a miracle. I went tanning, which didn’t go as well as usual, but whatever. and I unloaded my car, and then amazingly enough I got to relax on the couch and watch TV for a while. Definitely that was the idealistic way for things to go.
I’m going to grab a few more boxes before leaving work tonight so I can pack up the random stuff that’s hanging around my house. I think I can get the kitchen done and probably the bedroom too before comes over. The fifth person who contacted me about my chairs is actually supposed to come over tonight, unlike the other 4 who have ignored me since their first “I’m interested” email. 7:30 she says. I might need to put her in the trusty hands of , because I would like to be done by then. We’ll see.
Once this moving part is done, life will be a breeze. It probably would have been better to be moved out at the end of July instead of August, but then I would have been homeless for quite a long time. And I didn’t have a car until last week, so that would have been terribly problematic. I don’t advise moving and getting married all at once, but I’m pretty sure that most people don’t do it that way these days anymore, so I guess that’s pretty worthless advice. Plus, I’m still not believing in the whole living-together-before-marriage thing, so I guess it’s the only way to do that. And, much to the delight of and , I’m sure, none of my friends have been solicited to help in this move, though I’m sure they would have been more than willing. However, there’s a bit of a trick in that, because we will definitely need their help to move out of ‘s into a different house, when the time comes. And that will be a bigger deal. And will happen over a weekend instead of a three-month period. So… they won out temporarily.
Work is mostly set to be without me for two weeks. I just have a fax to send (I’m waiting on a form to be filled out) and the vacation-response to set for my email. I’m sure some other piddly little things will come up in the next four hours.
Really, I can’t tell you how thrilled I will be to have the moving done, and how thrilled I am at the smoothness of last night. I realize that there’s an entire bedroom chock-full of boxes at ‘s house that will have to be dealt with, and so in that sense moving isn’t done. But… it is. All my stuff will once again be united, and in two weeks I will be re-united with it. And we’ll figure out what to do with all of it and… life will be good. Life is good now, barring the fact that I have been getting crappy sleep and have had a terrible crick in my neck since last night. The heat pad I put on it is helping dramatically – just poor timing to have neck/shoulder/back pains. And I can get caught up on sleep next week, right? In-between all the homework and last-minute wedding stuff. Right. I’ll at least get caught up the following week, when we’re on our honeymoon, in-between all the sex. Was that too private a comment to make on this blog? Like y’all didn’t know that was what was going to be going on. Like everyone doesn’t know.
And, to leave you with completely different thoughts than that… my Starbucks has been out of white chocolate for the last three days. Consequently, I have had several mediocre experiences. Today, however, I ordered the Cinnamon Dolce Latte (instead of the Caramel Macchiato that has been disappointing), and it’s pretty good. I’m not exactly in the mood for cinnamon, but it’s definitely more satisfying than the macchiato.
I was watching “The Closer” last night, trying to get caught up before having to return my DVR to the cable company, and last week we learned that Brenda was going through early-onset menopause (I figured it was either that or she was pregnant). This week, her doctor told her she thought that it was probably because she has PCOS. Always nice to identify with a TV character, even if it isn’t for the best reason. Anyways. [Editor's note: warning to the boys, girl parts are going to be mentioned shortly, and you may not want to read if you're squeamish about that sort of thing.] There’s this funny-and-horrifying scene where the doctor says that the method of treatment is… ovarian drilling. Brenda of course freaks out over this (it goes all slow-mo and the doctor repeats it like three times and it really is funny). And who wouldn’t? Those words should not be used together. I don’t care what they mean. That sounds freaky.
Last night, I learned an important lesson. Do not attempt to go to Target and find school supplies the night that most of the local colleges started classes. You won’t find anything, and you will be reminded that you are old. You may also have to deal with parents of kindergarteners attempting to decipher the school-supply list they’ve been given. And it will take you 45 minutes to find yellow Post-Its. I never did find the folders I was looking for, even after stopping at Office Max. Guess I didn’t need them.
It was a whole new world opened to me last night, when I realized that I needed Post-Its and it was after 8:30, but I could still leave my house and get them, because I owned a car. Being limited by the bus meant that trips to Target after evening rush hour generally took at least 2 hours, with the time in transit, shopping, and waiting for buses. No longer. True, I was still gone for an hour, but because I was trying to find Post-Its, not because I was waiting at the corner of University and Hamline at 9:15 pm. (No good can come of that.)
I also learned last night (from ) that bachelor and bachelorette parties are for the friends of the bride and groom, not the seeming-guests-of-honor. That kinda clears things up for me, though I am still confused about… why again? But whatever. I’ll just accept it at face value and move on.
Class tonight. Class yesterday afternoon went well, and we got out early, which meant I could file for our marriage license and get a student ID made. Right now, I’m going to pick up the Scrabble boards for the reception centerpieces.
My office smells like Taco Bell. And not in a good way. (Is there ever a good way for something to smell like Taco Bell? I mean, I love the Bell, and have eaten it quite a few times lately, but that doesn’t mean I want my world to smell like it.)
Spammers are killing my love for my blog right now. I get at least six email notifications a day that I have a new comment waiting for approval. How many times are those real comments and not spam comments? Rarely, as you could tell by browsing around for a while. It’s making me sad. I no longer get excited about emails that I might have a comment. This used to be a thrilling thing, you realize.
I can’t imagine that my blog is any higher ranked now than it used to be, so why the increase in spam, I’m not sure. They do all get deleted – it’s just a hassle, that’s all.
And what are all these spam-comments about? Mostly viagra. Sometimes about… enhancing or enlarging things. Or prescription medications. Boo.
Classes start today. In an hour and a half, actually. So in an hour, I’m leaving work, hopping a bus over to the Metro State Library (where my class will be held, oddly), and eating a Snickers bar I found for lunch (I’ll plan that better in the future). Two of my textbooks are in my bag (of 3, for today’s class), and I’m hoping I won’t have to carry them around with me. My shoulder hurts. I know, I’m wimpy. My shoulder is particularly sensitive to that. Can’t be helped. I’m also supposed to get my student ID today, so and I can go get a computer with the student discount.
And then I’m getting a haircut and highlights.
Posted my couch and the gold chairs on craigslist last night, and I’ve had a ton more people interested in the chairs than I thought. I really feared that… I’d have to figure out a way to get them to Goodwill on Friday night. The couch I wasn’t worried about, since I think I could probably leave it at the house if all else failed. Apparently, really ugly upholstered chairs for free are a hot commodity.
I could have quickly and easily described my entire weekend with a few well-thought-out photographs. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any, so you’ll have to suffer through my wordy description of my weekend instead.
Friday night, while was out getting drunk with his friends (Editor’s sidenote: can someone please explain the idea of bachelor and bachelorette parties to me? I mean… guy proposes, so clearly he wants to get married. Girl accepts, so she probably does too. So why the need to celebrate singleness one last time? Is marriage really such a hideously awful idea that drunkenness is the only way to cope? Do most people foresee marriage as giving up all of their freedoms so that they’ll never be able to go out and have fun with their friends again? I just don’t get it.), I went to ‘s to help her paint. She detailed that experience on her blog, so I’ll just let that be. (Editor’s note to : thinks perchance primer would have prevented peeling. I don’t have any solutions for peeled paint patching, however. Can you sand it down (once dry) and then you wouldn’t have the 3D thing going on?)
Then I went tanning, or rather got some fake tan sprayed on me (it was very cold for some reason, which is quite unpleasant when you’re already buck nekkid in a tiny booth with a woman’s voice talking loudly to you). And bought some chocolate at Target. And… watched some bad TV and crocheted a really ugly purse (that I took apart the next morning) and… probably some other boring things that I can’t remember because… they were boring.
A large portion of Saturday was spent waiting for to recover from his previous night’s activities. I kept busy with crochet/knitting projects, more bad television, and unpacking some boxes. There are now photographs on display in two whole locations. Still no candles, because, well, I don’t actually live there yet, and marriage is a stipulation for candle placement in ‘s house. So I refrained. Oh, I also spent a large amount of time cleaning the fish tank. It was gross. I took a shower shortly afterward to remove said grossness because I didn’t even want to touch myself.
Another large portion of Saturday was spent loading most of the rest of my possessions into ‘s dad’s Bronco and then unloading them into the spare bedroom, which is now very full after the addition of my twin bed. What’s still at my house? My mattress, laying on the floor. My television, also on the floor. Five outfits for work. My computer, on the floor. Two under the bed storage boxes, two other shelf-organizy-type-things, my jewelry, my wedding-day supplies including reception decorations, some files, my bedside table, and some bathroom and kitchen stuff. And .
Sunday we spent a lot of time (some would say too much time) at Ikea, and considerably less time putting two of these together (in black-brown, the wider version). also bought me a step stool for the kitchen so I can reach things on top of the cabinets. And he’s nearly done fixing my dresser. (It’s amazing how much time it can take to fix something that I lived with in its broken state for so long.) It’s quite wonderful, all the work he’s put into it.
So, yeah. See, wouldn’t pictures have been better? And much shorter. Oh well.
Classes start tomorrow. And I have a hair appointment, which will be sad because I won’t go back to my stylist after this, and I liked her. But she wasn’t like the world’s best hair stylist or anything. And Kari is now back in my neck of the woods, instead of being up in Rosedale (plus I have a car), so maybe I’ll go back to her. I never had any complaints with her, and trusted her implicitly with my hair. I’m sure I also have many wedding related things to do. That’s what I’m doing next, looking at my checklist.
- Uneven :: — (I’ve got nothing)
- Wonder :: Stevie
- Spider :: Man
- Emma :: Thompson
- Swing :: Set
- Orbit :: the sun
- Flirt :: -atious
- Donation :: jar
- Veil :: -ed, thinly
- Atmosphere :: -ic content
Last night, as I was loading up my car with things to take to Goodwill and ‘s, came home and announced that she’d just been fired. Being fired always sucks, but this was a particularly hideous situation. Why, you ask? Well, you see, she’d already given her notice, 20 days ago, and next Thursday was supposed to be her last day. So, essentially, they robbed her of the right to say goodbye to everyone. And got to pull a little power trip. Bastards.
I got all of my Goodwill stuff out of the house, as well as the last of the things I knew had to live at ‘s. I also set aside my work clothes for next week, packed my honeymoon luggage, and watched several episodes of Star Trek Voyager. And did 3 loads of laundry (which is impressive since I was gone from 6:30-10:00 taking stuff to ‘s and Goodwill). [Editor's note: Let's pause for a moment and take a little bit of joy in 's praise for the necklace I made her, and that her co-workers all loved it and were impressed that I made it, and told her that she should have me make more of her jewelry. Bask in that feeling for a moment. OK, I'm better now.]
Tonight, after helping will be out having his bachelor party, and I’ve been instructed to go to bed with my cell phone, lest the designated driver forget and I need to come and safely drive them home.
Our receptionist has been particularly nice lately, telling me stories and asking questions about the wedding. It was revealed by yesterday why – she set her retirement date. October 2nd. This, of course, fills me with mixed emotions. On the one hand, she has several habits that annoy me greatly. But on the other hand, her being gone means I have to answer phones more. reassured me that she’s going to fill the position, potentially before it’s actually vacated, and told me I don’t need to worry. She doesn’t actually want me answering phones, since it takes away from my other responsibilities. Since the new people we’ve hired lately have been efficient and competent and computer-savvy, this is an exciting time. Our receptionist can basically only use Word and Excel, and only in limited ways.
Anyways, I got a call back from a co-worker regarding an Access database question, and so I’m going to go try the solution she gave me. Such an exciting life, I know.
This is the sort of thing that makes brides cry, in case you were wondering.
So my aunt and uncle on ‘s side cannot come to the wedding because my aunt is doing chemo right now. She wrote me a very nice letter about it, and I totally understand. I know she wants to be there, so that’s enough for me. (Sidenote: I need to stop being sad on behalf of people who want to come but can’t. It’s not helping.) Well, emailed me and said that a friend of hers from back home said my aunt isn’t looking good. She asked if I would write her a letter, saying it would probably help her spirits, from her favorite niece and the bride (which is what my aunt called me in the letter she wrote). Initially I was frustrated that I was being asked to do something else. And then I was just sad about the whole thing. More motivation to go home for Christmas this year. After all, I can see any time I want, right? And I wouldn’t get to see him on Christmas day anyways. We’ll see how my grandpa looks at the wedding, and that could cinch the deal. But it means missing ‘s family’s Christmas Eve celebration.
Back at work for the rest of the day. Not much exciting going on there.
I know it’s so very wrong of me, but this email gives me great satisfaction.
I wore the necklace you made for me yesterday and I just loved it! I kept looking in the mirror at it and couldn’t believe you had made it. It does look nice with my dress yet I like the one I bought, too, so will wear them both over the 2 days of rehearsal and wedding. Thank you so much and please forgive my initial reaction, yet they did look very orange are LARGE in the photo you sent (what’s with that?) but were so small and pink in real life. I should have trusted you; thank you for not hating me.
I know, I know, I’m a horrible person.
In other news, I now own a car. Well, it’s not official on paper yet, but I am the sole owner of all of the keys, so that counts, right?
Everything is off of my bedroom walls, and all the holes are patched. Tomorrow night I’m going to sand them down and spot-paint. Hopefully the color I bought is the right one.
To try something new, I’m going to ‘s house tonight after work (driving there instead of taking the bus) and spending the night. Ooh, on a work night! And then I get to get up bright and early and drive from Eagan to Roseville. Whose idea was that? Oh well. Yes, I know that pretty soon I’ll be spending the night on all the work nights and weekend nights. I’m aware that that is how marriages work. I’ve been trying to spare the pain of dealing with me in the morning on work days. Hopefully, the name brand drugs will arrive from Canada shortly after we get back from our honeymoon, and that should definitely help.
I am an official student (though non-degree-seeking and not actually admitted to the University) of Metro State. And I registered for classes. Several times, actually. I’m glad I thought to look back on the spreadsheet of required classes before I took two classes that would have fulfilled one goal. Thankfully, several of the required classes that were previously full were no longer, or they opened up other sections, or something. So I ditched Macroeconomics (which had expensive textbooks anyways) and am taking Intro to Geography. Exciting, I know. It is a required course, however. Have I mentioned how bad I am at geography? Maybe this class will fix that. I have finally learned my 50 states (again), so that’s good. I could probably tell you where most of the countries in Europe generally were, but South America and Africa would get me into a lot of trouble.
This course introduces students to the methods, themes, theories and techniques used by geographers to understand where things are and why they happen in particular locations. Students examine the relationship between humans and their environment and how humans organize their actions in space. Geographers use this focus to answer contemporary questions of political, economic, social and environmental concern. This course is designed to help students think critically about the role human and physical geographies play in shaping individuals’ experiences and understanding of the world.
And instead of Macro, I’m taking Politics, Markets, and Society to fulfill that requirement. It sounded much more interesting and much more relevant to teaching Social Studies to junior high students.
This course explores the contrasts and inter-relationships between three approaches to organizing our public life: democratic politics, economic markets, and the multiple associations that make up civil society. Students will investigate the basic characteristics and underlying principles of each approach and apply what they learn to an analysis of contemporary public issues. Students will evaluate the basic strengths and limits of each approach to civic engagement and public problem solving, and reflect on the ethical dimensions of their roles as citizens, consumers and members of civil society.
So, there ya have it. Assuming my head doesn’t explode over all that knowledge, it’s all good. There were some others that I would have wanted to take, but they required that I have taken a certain number of credits at Metro first. That’s what next semester is for, right? I have 7 more content courses to take after this semester, and then however many for the degree. So I reassured my boss that I would be here for quite some time still. Oh well. Knowing there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, even if I can’t see it yet, is reassuring.
- Darling :: Dear
- Majesty :: Your
- Pebble :: Rock
- Fate :: -d
- Instant :: Gratification
- Screen :: Gems
- Unplugged :: Network
- Dairy :: Queen
- Benefactor :: Benevolent
- Market :: Place
I have a co-worker who’s getting married next weekend. He’s done this before, and as is stereotypical of most men, hasn’t been too vocal or stressed about his pending nuptials. Well, he’s leaving for the day, and I overheard this conversation:
Groom: See you Monday! Have a good weekend!
Co-Worker: Yeah. Hey, last weekend of freedom! Haha
Groom: Yeah. After this, life will be much more enjoyable.
Bet you didn’t see that one coming, did ya.
Now, I have no doubt that there are many men out there who think that very thought (or at least did at some point, since they shelled out some cash for a ring and proposed and thought it would be a good idea to be married). But how many times do you hear something so honest, especially at work, instead of the usual jesting about the ole ball-n-chain or a lifetime sentence or whatever.
In other news, yes, I am very glad that it’s Friday. Maybe not so much “glad” as “relieved.” You see, on Wednesday I could have sworn it was Friday. Yesterday too. So by today I feel like it has been a very, very long week. And I am much relieved that today actually is Friday.
For those of you who cared, I did almost no packing this week. And very little wedding planning (except for that whole hair thing). Why? Well, quite frankly, there’s not much to be done. And I was a little tired. I got the things on my list done, but they were kind of minor things. I cleaned off my bedside table and another side table so that they’d be ready to move. I have an ever-growing pile for Goodwill. We’re taking some things to ‘s this weekend so the stacks of boxes in ‘s spare bedroom will decrease. I went through the stuff on the last table in my room (that’s three tables, if you’re counting) and got the box of reception decorations all set to go. But that was kinda it.
And I keep having these thoughts like, oh, I’m going to need to go to Goodwill, I should email and and see who might want to go, or I need to go to a different Macys that has a bigger selection to buy this thing, and I should see who would like to take me, and then realizing that, unless things go horribly wrong with someone’s Visa to Korea, I’ll have a car next week and won’t need someone to go with me (not that I wouldn’t want someone to come with if they desired). It’s a whole mindset change I’m not really into yet. I have had some positive thoughts this week regarding my future car, like Wednesday night when I was hungry but it was too late to find food anywhere that was accessible to me, and I knew that if I had a car I could have gone to Cub which is open 24 hours. Or last night when I ran out of yarn for a hat I’m attempting (why, I’m not sure, because I’m guessing it’s going to look laughable on me and I’ll just have to give it away) and thought that it would be silly to spend an hour in transit on the bus to and from WalMart for a $1.50 ball of yarn.
Last night I was good to myself, to make up for Wednesday when I was apparently feeling that I needed to be mean to me. So I went grocery shopping. And then I made (and ate) dinner. And took a book and some crochet out onto my deck and sat in my hammock for about an hour until the sun disappeared. And when I got hungry, I ate again. I supplied myself with the chocolate of which my house had been completely devoid. I went to bed before midnight, and fell asleep quickly. So no more grouchiness today. (I’m sure is thrilled to hear that.)
Crap. I just realized I forgot to feed . Must go email .
Greatly improved yesterday afternoon. Which was nice. It’s really no fun to be crabby all day. And regardless of how much I may or may not have been annoyed with , she is having a colonoscopy today (no fun), and last time she had some complications, so I’m choosing to think kindly of her today.
Strangely, I ran across this post on Dumb Little Man, written today, which seems to address many of the issues I have when feeling snarky/grumpy/grounchy, whatever.
- Back Seat Driver: When sitting in the back seat of a car, do you have a preference of which side–passenger or driver–you sit on? What if you were the only passenger sitting in the back… would you have a preference then? Related question: As the driver, do you have a preference of which side a lone back seat passenger sits? Driver’s side. Because throughout my entire youth, that was the side I sat on, and sat on the passenger’s side. I think we switched once. It was weird. But in all honesty, it’s usually better for me to sit on the passenger’s side, because I have long legs, and have a better chance at leg room on the passenger’s side.
I don’t have good answers for any of the rest of those questions.