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Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

the end of the era of the learner’s permit

After the emotional let down of failing my first ever driving test in July, I wasn’t looking forward to this second attempt. Heck, I hadn’t even driven the car in a MONTH (because we just don’t use it much anymore!). When I got in the car on Tuesday night to drive us to the grocery store, I thought “oops, I never even practices parallel parking!”. I didn’t have much faith in today’s test. Not that I was psyching myself out, but mostly because with everything that has been going on lately, driving has been the last thing on my mind. I am depressed, in pain, stressed, tired, and all over the place mentally.

Maybe all of that worked in my favour, because today something happened that I honestly never thought would:

I. Passed. My. Driving. Test.

Of course I have to write about it here because I have been writing about my hate-hate relationship with learning to drive for oh, so many years. I got my learner’s permit in 2004 for crying out loud!

I knew two things needed to happen today.

1) over exaggerate checking those blasted BLIND SPOTS!

2) I was NOT taking a Yaris (hated that car with a passion when I did my first test)

Today, my friendly examiner, Guy, asked me what car I wanted to take. I said, “Anything but the Yaris. I hated that car!” So I could choose from Mazada, Honda or Toyota. I don’t know about cars, so I said “Let’s take this one, it has a 7 on it. That means it will be lucky!” He laughed.

This examiner made me feel a lot more comfortable, too. He chatted a bit and we did most of the test in French. He was a guy who laughed easily and just seemed friendly. I went through the entire half hour thinking that I was likely doing something majorly wrong and that the outcome wouldn’t be any different this time around. It was raining, and so humid and sweaty. I wasn’t the hugest fan of the way the steering wheel felt and I was still nervous about the guy sitting next to me and judging everything I was doing. I hate that!

My first lane change was really bad. I mean really bad. I even went “Well, ick!” out loud. I did a weird swerve thingy that startled even me. I have no idea what happened. heh I knew I’d lose points on that.

Turns out, that was the only thing I lost points for.


We stopped on a street and he told me to tell him what I saw. That made me nervous and the first thing I thought was “Did I just turn the wrong way on a one-way street? GAH! But I didn’t see a sign!!” So I sort of rambled something and he said ok, let’s go! I don’t know what that was about but it made me nervous. 😉

I was then told I had a choice – parallel parking or reverse parking. I said REVERSE! So he joked that he’d make me do the parallel. Ha. Very funny. I told him I wasn’t comfortable with either, but I’d take the one I knew I would be comfortable being uncomfortable with. Alto that I’d spent last night on YouTube watching “How To” videos about parking because I wanted to have reminders of what I had to do. heh We then had a lovely chat about all the errors people make and if he could only record things that happened in his many years on the job he’d have an entire channel.

He was a very nice man and made me feel at ease when I was already nervous about being tested. I hate being tested.

I did mess up the reverse parking though. Even the examiner hit his own brake (I really wasn’t too close to the car and was about to stop and adjust) I think he was paranoid. That threw me off though and I felt the panic rising about parking all over again. He apologized for doing that and said he probably shouldn’t have, but I should be more confident in knowing that I can adjust the car and do it more naturally rather than get anxious. I told him, yes. I was afraid I’d hit the car but I was too scared to adjust because I felt like I’d fail. He DID tell me when we got to the parking that I’d had a very good test, but not to take chances. 😉

I don’t know if he took points off for the parking or not. I do know that I lost a total of 6 for the lane changing debacle (the first two were just bad). So I think I only lost 6 points. I’m not completely sure.

One thing that worried me, was that my tires skidded at a stoplight on the painted arrow when we were advancing when the light changed green. I’d never had that happen to me before and I didn’t know if it would me a negative mark or not. It sort of shook me up a little and the examiner said something that I didn’t quite catch, but he laughed, so I guess it was all ok. It wasn’t a fun feeling at all. Blech. (This is why I have never driven in the winter!)

So, it’s over with, finally! I can legally drive on my own. Although, since 2010, they implemented probationary licenses for all new drivers, not just those under 25. I have less points on the license, have to have 0% alcohol in my system (which won’t be difficult since I get so sleepy with just one sip I wouldn’t drive anyhow! Also, I don’t like to drink!) and I can’t be the secondary driver for anyone with a learner’s permit. From the SAAQ website that’s all I can tell is different with the probationary license. I can live with that. (I could have done without paying for a full 2 years though. Ouch!)

I’d like to thank my parents as well for accompanying me both trips and staying with me while waiting for my number to be called numerous times and while I was out driving. I felt like I was that 16-year old kid getting her license.

Also, every wicket I went to, the person there commented on my hair. I haven’t posted about it yet, but yesterday I got it done all purple! Yay!

at least i didn’t cry?

The above title could apply to either my viewing of the last Harry Potter movie or my failed driving test.

Yep, that’s right. My failed test.

This time around the title applies to that. I’ll write down my thoughts on the movie later this week once I know more people have seen it.

I’m still trying to sort out my feelings after the test. I am very disappointed in myself, especially since I thought I was doing so well and the only thing I was nervous about was the parking at the end. Ironically I only lost a point in the parking for not putting my blinker on early enough. Where I lost all my points was by apparently not checking my blind spot.

14 points.

The handful of other missing points wouldn’t have been enough to fail me. The blind spot thing was the kicker. I thought I was checking it. I guess I wasn’t obvious enough.

I guess I should have called the driving school and paid an arm and a leg for a refresher course before the test just to make sure I was doing everything right. But I didn’t have the money and then I didn’t have the time. I suppose I’ll shell out the cash this time to make sure I look like I am doing everything right.

And to practice parallel parking since the examiner said I should practise that in case I get tested on it the next time. I’m taking that as a “you WILL be tested on it the next time” since it’ll be in my notes that it wasn’t done.

Thing is, I find I have no desire to drive anymore. What I thought was my best effort is obviously not enough and it really pisses me off that as cautious and good of a driver I have become, one who is courteous to other drivers and people around me and one who actually CARES about what’s going on around me as I drive (in a polite driver way, not a “focuses on everything else” way), all those people out there are constantly doing what they are NOT SUPPOSED TO BE DOING and yet I can’t get a stupid examiner to pass me because she said I didn’t check my blind spot every single time.

Also, I am slightly too fast on curves. By about 5km. Really?


Why should I bother to continue to try? I just feel like the exact same things will come up the next time. That I’ll think I was doing great and end with a sigh of relief and then be told I didn’t pass. My best effort isn’t good enough. I feel like I’m back in high school again trying over and over to pass a stupid math or science test and failing each and every time no matter how hard I try or how many lunch hours I spend getting help from the teacher.

I can’t do anything until after August 12th anyhow. And they don’t have any appointments left in August. Sometime after next week I can check and see what’s opened up in September. I don’t want to do this in September. I don’t want to be driving around a school area with school back in session. Also, I can’t take time off from work at that time. It’s too busy!! If I am lucky I can find a cancellation in August, but I still have to decide what I want to do.

No, I am not giving up because I failed. I’m giving up because I feel like I will always fail since I am doing the best I can and it’s not good enough. I feel like there is no point.

I don’t know. I am defeated. I hate when I think I have succeeded in something and then am told I suck.

It sucks.

2 hours 15 miniutes

Well, in about 20 minutes my parents will show up at my front door and we’ll be on our way to the SAAQ for my driving test – which is at 1:15, but with the amount of lines I’ll have to stand in, I want to get there early.

Barring nothing going wrong once I get there (read: I am suspicious of the blank form the driving school gave me for my car rental…it might not be accepted?) I will be out on the road doing my test for 30 minutes and trying not to freak out.

I did have some successful attempts at backing into a parking lot last night while out with my father. (Most girls have their father help them learn to drive when they are 15/16 years old. I waited 20 years just to be different.)


Also that shadow makes me look really all. See my Dad in the passenger seat there? He didn’t make me cry ONCE. (No, really, that’s a surprise. ;))

I am attempting to record my day with my iphone video camera, we’ll see how that goes.

The Day of DOOOOM has arrived, people!

driving progress

Hey! So today I drove to and from my in-laws’ house! Highway and other streety streets. Daylight, twilight and night, er, light. I know you all probably don’t care but this was a big deal for me. I don’t think I have driven in the dark since one of my driving lessons between April 2004 and November 2005, so you know. Big Deal.

As I mentioned in my other rambling post, my driving test is scheduled for July 15th. I still need to practice a lot and I have to practice the reversing and backing into a parking space and parallel parking (which I don’t think I should have to do if I can’t even spell the damn word right the first time) but I’m getting there.

I learned something today as we headed out – apparently the driver’s seat can go UP! What do you know! I was trying to put the seat back a little, so I wasn’t so cramped as I sit right on top of the stupid steering wheel and the lever I though reclined the seat brought it UP. Well! This is exciting because now I can SEE more. Woot! I managed to recline the seat a little bit, too and it made for a much more comfortable driving position. Now if I can only figure out how to make it so that my foot touches the ground when I press the brake. Sadly my tiny child-size foot isn’t long enough to do that and it is very uncomfortable.

Just realized that I put the seat back but not down. Shawn will be in for a surprise the next time he drives. Heh.

In other more interesting topics, here are some photos of my dogs from this evening. 😉

leaps and bounds

Today I drove from my home to my inlaws’ home. Per Google Maps that’s a 33.7Km distance. A lot of that distance is highway where I had to learn to drive at 100Km/hr. You  might scoff and say that’s a piece of cake, but I will tell you it’s very hard to keep the car at 100! I was either 95 or 110! It was driving me CRAZY!

Thankfully there were very few cars on the highway while I was driving, this made me feel much more relaxed as I tried to gage how to rest my foot on the gas pedal so that I could maintain the speed.

One thing I noticed was that my left elbow get VERY sore driving longer distances. I just couldn’t keep my arm at a comfortable angle and had to keep stretching it. Due to the fact that I have to have the car seat allllllll the way up in order to reach the pedals (shut up) my arms are bent at 90 degrees the entire time. I am too short to rest my arm on the window sill, so I think what I need to do it tilt the car seat back just a little bit so I can lean backwards. My back was also getting sore being so straight.

I know fretting about the seat placement is rather trivial but if I am not comfortable I am fussing over that and it makes my nerves a little more nerve-y because I just can’t find a comfortable position and pay attention to what I am doing.

The elbow pain was serious enough that I just wanted to pull over and fix the bloody seat, of course I didn’t. 😉

Either way, I did the 34km and I didn’t freak out and I made it through a tricky construction area and it was all good.

I need to remember to check my stupid side mirrors more. Especially the one on the right. I know that will come with more practice (or will I just forget about them completely like the rest of the world’s drivers seem to??) but I need to make sure I check them many many times since I will be tested on that when it comes.

Look out world, I honestly think this is the summer that I will get that blasted license!