Posts Tagged ‘driving’

Our killer truck

Tuesday, March 21st, 2006

This’ll be the first non-grief entry since my mother died. I’m hoping there will be more of these after this one.

I was driving a new truck down Skyline Blvd, and I came less than a foot away from hitting a deer. I saw it on the other side of the road and started to slow down not really sure if it was going to bolt or not and if so in which direction. So I’m slowing down and the deer’s sort of going in one direction, then another, then it bolts in front of me. I brake with all my might (the trucked performed excellently), and stopped the car just in time for the deer to run in front of it, practically brushing it’s fur against the grille.

Now, relieved and impressed that I didn’t kill the deer and the truck handled so well, I immediately hit and kill a raccoon. I didn’t see it fast enough to even begin to react. You can’t imagine my horror. I wanted to turn back – I know I probably didn’t want to see it, but I was afraid it might still be alive and need help…I know, stupid. The truck is now known as the death mobile.

Log, log, log

Thursday, October 6th, 2005

i rode right into a log the other night. we decided to go for a night ride down skyline blvd. but i was freezing my ass off not too long into the ride, so i was hunched over hugging my gas tank and watching the road and next thing i know, there’s a stinking log in front of me. i whacked it with my tire and drove on my merry way. the bike was fine and hitting the log didn’t even startle me.

tonight as i was riding home, the back end got all squirrelly on me — squirming around as i was braking — and it didn’t even phase me. which is probably a good thing. it’s got to be better to stay calm and under-react then freak out and over-react, right?

i was walking towards the elevator this morning and a co-worker said i had a nice bike. yeah, i heard it was a good beginner’s bike. Oh, you’re a beginner? yup. Tell me more. And I did — I told him where to take his MSF class and about the bay area riders’ forum.

i love my bike. and i’ve ridden it all summer, but it still happens to be early enough in my riding career that every single time i ride, i love it more and more. riding to work, i zip along the freeway and wish it would never end. and i used to hate the freeway. i used to take surface streets when i could. which i think was good for me and good practice, but now i just want to tear down the freeway and not have to stop. i still ride carefully. i don’t go too fast. my bike can do 80 comfortably, but i haven’t pushed it past that. and let me tell you, the ninja ex250 is an awesome bike. i love it and think it was a more than suitable choice as my first bike. i just need to find warmer gear now that summer is slipping away…

Butt stoked into flaming SUV

Thursday, February 17th, 2005

I’ve been waiting for one of these stories for a long time — it was one of my constant fears when I smoked that I’d burn my backseat upholstery. Even when I didn’t throw my cigarette butts out the window, I always dropped the cherry out the window and every single time, I thought, what if the wind blows this into the back of my car where I can’t reach it. Still did it. That’s the amazing power of smoking. I can laugh about this guy because he wasn’t hurt — but he burnt up his cute little SUV just because he didn’t want to dirty his ashtray and stink up the car.

New car

Friday, February 11th, 2005

I bought my first car, a used Audi TT. I’ve been driving that Escort for 10 years — anything would’ve been a step up and I was thinking of getting another little affordable hatchback, but we’ve got a Subaru already, so I got myself a fun little car instead. The only complaints I have about it are 1) backing out is a little bit of work since rearward visibility is partially limited due to the placement and shape of the C-pillars, and 2) it’s too easy to shift into 4th gear when I’m trying to shift into 6th. I’ve only done it a couple of times and now that I know about it, I pull the shift knob to the right and down when I shift from 5th gear instead of straight down. Other than that, she’s quiet and smooth and handles beautifully. And she’s easy on the eyes to boot.

I also start a new job in a little over a week after President’s Day. I’ll be leaving my group and joining another, but I will finally be a full time employee again. I’m very excited about the change though I’ll miss the hell out of working with Ed and probably spend less quality time with him than I already do. But he’s got exciting things coming up for him, too.

LA traffic

Saturday, July 31st, 2004

I drove down to SoCal with my son this morning. Left at 7:30, made excellent time for the first three hours, got a ticket for going 100 mph in a 70 mph zone, then crawled along at 80 miles an hour until we hit the 405 freeway. And the last 60 miles took us two freaking hours.

The cop who pulled me over asked me why I was in such a hurry and I didn’t have a good response — I wasn’t in a hurry and I didn’t mean to be going that fast. What I wanted to tell him was that I wasn’t used to driving a car that could go that fast and not feel like I was going that fast. Sometimes I’d just be whizzing past cars and only realize how fast I was going when I looked down at the speedometer. My own car just doesn’t go that fast…and if it did, it wouldn’t do it that smoothly. The cop informed me that had I been going 1 mph over that, it would’ve been an automatic 30 day driver’s license suspension and 2500$ fine. When he gave me my ticket I wanted to ask him if he thought I could go to traffic school for it, but I just assumed I couldn’t. I haven’t had a moving violation in too many years for me to even remember. Which sucks because I was just starting to seriously consider buying a motorcycle again.

But I love driving sometimes. The hills were beautiful (even if brown), the sheep were shorn, the baby calves were eating grass, the windmills eternally and patiently spinning, Pyramid Lake had quite a bit of recreation activity on it (I’ve never seen that — I thought for a while that it must’ve been off limits to the public), KROQ on the radio, the 5, 405, 101, 10, 105, 110, 710, 605, 22, 55, Redondo Beach, Seal Beach, Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach — years and years of memories spanning a two hour long stretch of the coast. Besides San Francisco, this is the only other place in the world I call home. And I’m always amazed at how much it feels like home as I’m driving in. Though after two hours of sitting in traffic on the 405, I sometimes wish it weren’t.

Traveling through Vegas and back

Wednesday, July 7th, 2004

I spent the long weekend in Willow Valley, AZ (just past Laughlin/Bullhead City, near the Colorado River) with my son and his family. I couldn’t find a direct flight out there so I flew into Las Vegas and drove through to Laughlin (which takes less than 2 hours). I haven’t done any traveling in a long time and when you don’t do something for a while, you forget how much you love it. I arrived in Vegas in the evening just after 7, and it took 2 hours to get a rental car and find my way to the highway, but once I got on that highway it felt so damn good. The moon was full (thank god, cause it was would’ve been dark as hell without it), and I didn’t really know how to get to where I was going when I first got on the road, but I worked that all out. Being on a highway I’d never been on before, driving through the occasional small patch of lit up town — I felt like a little girl — so excited, so adventurous. And I remembered again how much I enjoy seeing new places for the first time on my own. Traveling with friends and loved ones is fun, too, but there’s something slightly more raw about going by myself — I process things differently without someone else around to influence my mood or my perceptions.

And I had so much fun hanging out with the family. That part of my family is something of an anomaly in my life. Everyone they know seems to think it’s weird that I’m such a part of their lives (ex old lady hanging out with the new wife). And from an outsider’s view, I don’t quite fit in (just look at the photos :), but I have so much fun with them — I don’t get to do it very often so every time I do it’s like realizing for the first time (again) how much I enjoy being with them. We had a giant brawl on Saturday night, but by Sunday afternoon were sitting on the beach again, by the river, enjoying ourselves (almost) as though nothing happened. And I love that we can do that — talk through the worst shit and still be friends. And that my son gets to see that — not that I want him to see that — but I like that he sees that we work through our crap together because of him. Because if it wasn’t for him, they wouldn’t be a part of my life in any way.

Josh is getting so mature. We had our little sex talk. And we talked about drugs and alcohol and smoking (I’ve been hearing so many commercials lately about how kids whose parents talk about it are less likely to do it :). He told me about a friend of his who’s fucked up beyond anything I can even imagine — at 11 years old his father kicked him out of the house one night and he slept in the driveway of a dairy by Josh’s house cause he couldn’t wake anyone up at 2 in the morning. How can you do that to an 11 year old child? It breaks my heart.

But besides all that seriousness, we had fun in the water, chasing uncle Casey around on the Seadoo, playing games in the sand, throwing rocks. It was hotter than anything I’ve experienced for a while, but even that was novel and enjoyable.

And on the way back — I couldn’t drive through Vegas without at least stopping once and playing roulette so I spent 20 bucks in New York New York after having a nice breakfast on Monday morning. There’s something about Vegas, too, that’s so exciting — leaving there on Friday night, the lights got to me. It’s not so impressive during the day, but the hotels are so big, there’re so many people wandering around — you can’t help but be drawn in a little. It took me over 12 hours to finally get back to my house from the time I started out in the morning. That breakfast and the really sweet old dealer at the roulette table flirting with me, was the best thing that happened all day.