For the past three weeks there has been the correct amount of cars commuting on the freeways of Los Angeles. Unfortunately, today the joy that was driving to work during the holidays has come to an end. The only pleasure of being in Los Angeles while everyone else is on break in exotic locations like St. Barts, Park City and Rhode Island is that they're not trying to kill you on the freeway when they're out of town. My estimated time needed to successfully cruise from my home in the 'burbs to my office in the valley was cut in half. Can you believe it? My commute time became an almost manageable half-hour. That's like nothing in L.A. You don't even have to pack snacks and an emergency bottle of water.
During these times of free freeway driving I forget that it is not normal. And I start daydreaming about doing things with all the free time in my life...free time that disappears the minute that the holidays are over and the incorrect amount of people are back on the overcrowded freeways of Los Angeles. The only silver lining I can see to the clogged freeways that greeted me as I ventured out on my commute this morning is that I did feel like I took my life in my hands a few less times than I did over the holidays. That's only because I'm inching along the freeway at less than 10 mph for a majority of the trip. That means I'm more likely to have a fender bender than a big smash 'em up. (Dear God, My preference would be for neither. I can't afford to have my car fixed, and I maxed out my health insurance for awhile with the surgery.)
I am bored with my commute. The dude I had been listening to on the radio doesn't like hockey...and for awhile I was able to overlook that particular character flaw...but his disdain for the Red Wings and the NHL Winter Classic was so strong that I can no longer listen to him in good conscience. I can't ever find a song I like on the radio in the morning because I'm in the car during morning drive time when advertisers know I'm trapped and they run back-to-back-to- back commercials for stuff I don't need. Or want to listen to. My CDs are old. I've been there, done that. I've gotten so good at singing along that I'm thinking of auditioning as a back-up singer for the Dixie Chicks. I may not have the voice, but I've got all the moves a middle-aged white girl could need. I used to listen to books on CD in my car. One time I got so engrossed in a Sue Grafton mystery novel while I was driving up north in Michigan that I missed my exit and ended up in Gaylord instead of Cadillac. Perhaps that doesn't seem like a big deal to you...but I assure you that on the road to Traverse City, going through Cadillac cuts a few minutes off your trip. For awhile I had a GPS system in my car. It was nice. She was nice. I say 'she' because it's a female voice that gives you driving instructions. When ever I made a decision that was different from the route she was planning for me, she'd say in the most passive-aggressive voice I've ever heard, "Recalculating!" It's obvious that 'recalculating' means something other than how it's defined in the dictionary. And so...I'm uncertain as to what to do in my car while I'm commuting to work.
Have you checked out the oral history of the Bush White House that's in Vanity Fair this month? It's worth reading...but very disquieting.
The guys who were supposed to be regulating the Securities Exchange are going to be questioned about how Bernie Madoff got away with his Ponzi scheme under their watch. It should make for some good television...maybe not as good as Top Chef...but seriously, what is?
Check this out! It's a novel published on the Internets in a serial form inspired by Charles Dickens. They call it a 'wovel.'