Friday, April 20, 2012

Seven Quick Takes mostly about how much I dislike city driving

--- 1 ---
First thing I dislike: Blogger's new layout/settings/what-have-you. I am a creature of habit. I just had to deal with Daylight Savings, and now my beloved Gmail and Blogger accounts are all messed up? WHY, GOOGLE, WHY?
--- 2 ---
Scott had a job interview this morning. It seems to have gone very well. I'll be more excited if he actually gets a job one of these days instead of just getting encouraging feedback about how awesome he is. (Then again, as I told him earlier, the very fact that he's getting encouraging feedback from his various interviews is a sign that he's on the right track.)
--- 3 ---
In order to get to the interview, we had to go Downtown. I give it capital letters because Downtown is totally a whole different world. YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR PARKING THERE. It's awful.

On the other hand, I can cross "knowing how to pay for parking with the little machine in the corner of the lot" off my Things That Make Me A Real Grown-Up list.
--- 4 ---
Scott's interview was originally scheduled for Wednesday, so on Wednesday morning I went and plotted everything out. I would drop Scott off at his interview, I'd go park at the library, and he'd come find me.

Almost as soon as this plan was formulated, he got a call asking if he could reschedule for Friday morning. So we rescheduled and it never occurred to me to recheck the library website. So instead of spending 8-9:15 happily ensconced in the library, I spent 8-9 sitting on the retaining wall outside the library vaguely paying attention to everybody else who was doing the same thing (Nobody talked to me except for when I first walked up and one of them said, "Doesn't open until 9." I like these terse downtown people.), and I spend 9-9:15 actually inside the library.

The other flaw with my plan was that the library does not have free parking; I ended up parking about halfway between Scott's interview location and the library and then walking to the library. (The entire area in question is about 5 blocks long, so it's not like I had to walk any great distance.)

The other other flaw in my plan was that that library was extremely large. I am trying to think of things to compare it to and coming up blank. It had a GIFT SHOP. What kind of library has a gift shop? Anyway, at about 9:15 I was looking at the map and trying to think like Scott. Because when he came to find me he'd not be able to see me browsing the books, so maybe he'd have the sense to look at the map and figure out where I was most likely to be...and then while I was contemplating the map he walked in, so I didn't have to worry about him finding me after all.

(We only have one cell phone between us, and I had it, so he couldn't have called me. There was a bank of pay phones, but he hardly ever carries cash so he wouldn't have been able to use those either.)
--- 5 ---
Oh, right. These are supposed to be quick takes. I'm out of practice.

Some random things I have learned about city driving:

1. Right turn on red is not an option, it's a requirement. I have been honked at more in the last 5 months than in the rest of my driving career combined.

2. You sometimes have to speed up in order to successfully merge onto the highway. Back in the middle of nowhere, where I come from, there are these nice long quarter-mile gaps between cars going down the highway. So if one of them happens to be anywhere in your general vicinity, you can just slow down and let him get ahead and then pop onto the highway behind him. (All cars are "him." Don't argue.)

That doesn't work in the city. For one thing, that two-car-length gap you see right there might be the only gap there is for ages. For another, you've got a stack of cars behind you that are all already going 65 miles per hour, so no way can you just hang out at the end of the on-ramp waiting for a space. (Note: I don't park there or anything. But I used to slow down rather a lot if it was a busy day and there were, you know, two cars on the highway instead of just one.)

3. If somebody is "letting" you change lanes, they will indicate this by...doing nothing. Again, back in the boonies on the rare occasions when you wanted to change lanes and somebody was there, one of two things would happen: 1. They'd speed up to pass you so you could get on behind them. 2. They'd slow down so you'd have a nice big open space to get on ahead of them.

CITY DRIVERS DO NOT DO THIS. It took me probably two or three months to get up the nerve to just pop on over into that itty-bitty space and have faith that the other car was not going to gun it and run me over.
--- 6 ---
I could complain more about city driving, but I don't feel like it. How about a happy thing: My ex-roommate/bridesmaid/household sister/awesome friend is coming to visit in a week! Nominally, she's coming for Liza Jane's wedding, but we all know she likes me better. ;) And she's staying here! In my apartment! SO EXCITED!
--- 7 ---
All of the frosting that I made for our Mardi Gras cupcakes is gone now. It was vanilla. Most of the chocolate cupcakes are gone, so I'm thinking of making chocolate frosting now. Chocolate frosting on vanilla cupcakes is awesome. For that matter, chocolate frosting on chocolate cupcakes is awesome. (I didn't make chocolate frosting before because Scott protests if I make things "too chocolatey." He is a very silly boy.)
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


Liza Jane said...

1) I think it's cute how you consider where you live now a city... remember, I'm from DC and James is from New York.

2) People here are very inconsiderate drivers. I'm learning that using my turn signal here is dangerous; no matter how far behind you they are, they will speed up to pass you as soon as they see blinking... even if you are in a merge lane.

3) The main highway you used to get downtown? Ya, almost died there the other day. They are doing construction on it and the lanes shift. I was in the left lane with a semi in the middle. All of the sudden, the semi was coming in my lane (he was clearly not paying attention to the lane shift). I came very close to getting smashed in between the concrete wall and this truck. Thank the Lord no one was tailing me (for once!) and I was able to jam my breaks and honk my brains out at this guy (dying 12 days before the wedding would have made James rather unhappy)

The Sojourner said...


DC makes me hyperventilate. I've never been to New York and have no particular interest in going, considering that I hear a lot of people live there too.

3. I used to (still do, sometimes) think periodically about how terribly tragic it would be if I died at a particular time/in particular circumstances. Tragic stories are SO FUN, after all.

the amusing and not quite serious guy said...

New York's not a city -- it's a State. How else can Manhattan, itself a city, be just a part of New York?

And DC? Even non-amusing people know that's a "District" (it's in the name, by George), which is a fancypants term for citystate-that-has-a-special-role-in-the-Union.