Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Short, Beautiful Dreams, Road Raging, And I Wish I Could Think of Something To Make "Everyday Italian" Sound Dirty

Sometime last week I realized that it had been a while since I’d heard the dog upstairs barking.
Then I realized that it had been a while since I’d heard it moving around upstairs.
In fact, it had been a while since I’d heard any kind of noise from upstairs.
Further, I realized that it was after the first of the month, and for a little while I dared to dream.
Of course the dream was shattered when I was lying in bed one night before work and I heard the unmistakable doggy dance of joy at her amazing return pounding down through my ceiling.
Oh well, it was a beautiful dream while it lasted…
On my way home from the class today I found myself doing the “so close to my exit” crawl. You know, when you’re almost to your exit so naturally traffic slows down to such an extent that it takes you a half an hour to move fifteen feet? And if you could just squeeze past them you’d be free of this tangle, but no, you’re stuck.
As I was parked there I got a good laugh at the sign that said, “Speed Limit 35 MPH.”
As if anyone gets to move that fast there.
Getting closer to my exit I found that, for a change, there actually was a reason for the slowdown: there’d been an accident.
I was kind of amazed as I went past because I can’t imagine how anyone managed to get up enough speed there to do that much damage to someone’s car by rear-ending it, and all things considered it was actually kind of ironic.
With all of the driving frustration I went through today, I was really goddamn sick of being on the road by the time I got close to home.
Getting off the Greenway to get to the last stretch of my drive can be kind of hectic at that time of day, as I have to shoot across two busy lanes of fast-moving traffic and then get over to the left turning lane, where I invariably have a lengthy wait behind a long line of cars. It’s a long light to have to wait for if, as I usually do, you get there just after it turned red, and when there’s a lot of cars I frequently have to wait through two cycles.
Anyway, pissed off and distracted, I got off the Greenway, managed to move over one lane despite the “I’ll kill us both before I let you get in front of me” attitude of the driver to my left, and then started to make the move over to the next lane, when I got distracted by the car ahead of me, which was also switching lanes, slamming on the brakes, so I didn’t notice the driver that I narrowly avoided hitting as I inadvertently and unintentionally cut him off.
Still, no harm no foul and shit happens, so I just gunned it as much as I could and continued over to the turning lane and, remarkably, found myself at the head of the line.
Then I noticed that the guy I’d cut off had pulled up behind me, gotten out of his car, and started walking up to my car.
He came up most of the way, shouted “Something something mirror!” then started to turn back before I’d finished rolling down my window. Seeing that I had, he came back and said, “You didn’t see me, did you?”
I said, no, and apologized as insincerely and irritably as possible, and then he said, “Next time look in your mirror before cutting someone off!”
I thought, “Gee, thanks for the tip. I guess it’s okay to cut someone off just as long as I look in the mirror first.”
He then got back in his car, pulled back into his lane and was left behind when I finally got the green arrow and made my turn.
All things considered, it didn’t go as horribly awry as it might have, and sure, the whole thing was my fault, but honestly, what was the point of pulling over just to yell at me? I mean, first of all, nothing happened. He had to slam on his brakes for a second. There was no collision and no one was hurt. Basically he was momentarily inconvenienced.
And who hasn’t cut someone off every once in a while? Shit happens on busy roads. You just honk your horn and give the person the finger, be grateful that nobody got hurt, then forget about it. If I got out of my car and went up to everyone who pissed me off I’d be better off walking everywhere because I’d spend more time out of my car than in in.
Of course, maybe it wasn’t about venting his anger. Maybe he thought the stoplight at a busy intersection was a good place to deliver a Public Service Announcement.
Oh well.
Still, it kind of reminded me of something that happened many years ago back in Michigan.
It was shortly after Lorie and I had split up and I’d moved back in with my mom and dad.
I didn’t have a car yet, so I had to use my grandpa’s old truck.
I was on my way home through an area that’s one long no passing zone stuck behind this slow moving old boat of a car. I’d made a couple of abortive attempts at passing before we hit the no passing area, but had been blocked.
In any case, everything about my attitude as I drove behind this person said, “As soon as I get the chance I’m passing this motherfucker,” which is exactly what I did.
There was a motorcycle behind me, the driver of which apparently wasn’t able to pick up the message, and I gather that he’d been unprepared for me to pull out before him as I made my way around the car.
So I’d cut him off as he’d tried passing me and the car ahead of me. At least I’m guessing that’s what his beef was as he pulled up alongside me and started yelling and gesturing at me wildly a bit further down the road.
There were actually two guys on the bike, both of them older, grey-bearded types, who lost whatever biker cred and intimidation factor they might have had by the way that the guy in the bitch seat was holding tightly onto the driver like a nervous schoolgirl.
At first I thought they were simply trying to tell me something, like that I had a flat tire or something, but then I noticed how angry they were and realized that they were telling me to pull over.
That wasn’t going to happen, so I just shook my head and turned forward to watch the road. This only made them angrier as they kept driving alongside me yelling and swearing all the while.
It soon became clear that they didn’t understand the situation.
First, there was no way in hell that I was pulling over. Second, they were two old guys on a motorcycle, threatening someone who was driving a pick up truck.
As I allowed the thousand+ pounds of steel that I was barreling along in to drift ever so slightly towards them, the the situation suddenly became crystal clear, and they hauled ass the hell away from me.
At that point in my life, I was extremely unhappy, and was at the start of a long period of self-destructive behavior which was marked by a decided lack of concern for my own safety of the safety of others, so all things considered, it’s a good thing they saw the light.
Anyway, thinking about that encounter with Heck’s Angels made me realize that if I were the same person I was 11 years ago, today when I saw that guy getting out of his car there’s a very good chance I would have put my car into reverse and gunned it.
So think about that Mr. Public Service Announcement! You never no what kind of ticking time bomb might be waiting for you, so next time stay in your fucking car!
Anyway, that’s enough road rage for one entry, I think.

Message To The Movie Going Public Department:
On the topic of Public Service Announcements, I’d like to take this opportunity to talk to everyone who’s planning to take in a movie this weekend.
While the fact that Pirates of the Caribbean 2 and Superman Returns are still in theaters helps to destroy its chances of being the number one movie in the country, I have to ask that you all to go a step further and ensure that Little Man doesn’t even get a place in the Top Ten.
For the love of all that’s holy, do not see this stupid fucking piece of shit of a movie. Send a very clear message to Wayans Brothers everywhere that this just isn’t funny.
You let me down with White Chicks. This is your chance to redeem yourself.
Make sure this movie tanks and is tossed out of theaters quickly. If we all stick together we can make a difference!
(Okay, we can’t really make a difference, as there are dozens of other equally stupid movies just waiting to take its place, but at least we can make sure that the producers take a bath on this one.)

I’m really not learning much of anything in this class. For one thing, I have zero ability to retain knowledge these days, and for another, it’s boring as hell.
Basically I’m spending my day sitting there trying to pay attention but finding that my mind invariably drifts to thoughts of doing all sorts of things that I won’t discuss here to Giada de Laurentis (AKA the oft-mentioned Crazy, Hot Italian Chick, star of the Food Network show Everyday Italian).
Why Giada? Why not? I have to think about performing lewd acts with someone, and Giada’s as good a candidate as anyone.
(And yes, I actually do “have to.”)
Not sure why she popped into my head, though, as I haven’t watched the show in a while.
Thinking about her did inspire me to make one of her recipes for dinner tonight, though.
Actually, it was more like an improvised amalgam of two very similar recipes, but either way she was the inspiration.
In any case, I guess I’ll bring my rambling to a close for tonight.

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