Chaos Attraction

Driving All Day

2010-04-19, 3:10 p.m.

So, this weekend was crazypants. It was ah, the biggest local day of the year on Saturday. Not to be all "oh, you young whippersnappers!" about it, but hoo boy, this was the biggest local drunkapalooza I ever saw. I was hearing cop sirens all day from about 9:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. I saw cop car chases. I saw cops everywhere. The neighbors down the street were screaming by 9 a.m. The bars opened at 6 a.m. I saw beer bongs out in the open in broad daylight on Fraternity Row, with cops nearby.

Y'all are crazy, people.

I suspect PD is one of those events that is being ruined for me due to Too Many People. You can't even go to the good shows any more (wanna go to the fashion show? It'll take you all effing day JUST TO WAIT IN LINE FOR IT. And there's a thousand people crammed into the hall and you can't even get close enough to see the clothes.), the free samples are something you'd better get by 6 a.m., etc. I pretty much gave up on going to anything (plus I was with a friend who didn't feel like attending any events), and just wandered around watching people. I always thought I'd go back to PD's once I move out of this town, whenever that is, but...maybe not. One of my friends said she was afraid to leave the house on PD, and I'll admit I was thinking along similar lines myself. Especially since I live in drunkapalooza central AND WAS DRIVING through it. Hey guys, crossing a busy street in a diagonal manner isn't safe!

But anyhoo... I spent the rest of the weekend doing driving practice. Elsa (driving instructor, in case I never mentioned that, can't recall) and her husband came up. Drove around the local towns Saturday night before going off to hang out with friends...until uh, 2 a.m. I wasn't too thrilled with that part. I suppose I should have demanded to go home (I did ah, have the car keys), but I feel bad about interrupting the good time of people visiting who don't live around here. That said, that was kinda stupid because of the 8-hour driving going on the next day...and I am so not sleeping before like 8 a.m. any more on a good day :P

I should probably mention that Elsa is a big believer in having her students drive around for a long period of time, like all day, at some point before the exam. We were debating doing a giant trip to SF (maybe later), but eventually decided on doing a giant loop up north.

Anyway, went to bed around 2:45 a.m. and got up by 9, eventually picked up all going on the trip and got them all coffee (alas, I don't like the stuff...awkward), and then headed off for a 4-hour drive to Willits, where Elsa's mother lives.

The first hour of that or so was relatively empty freeway, but the last 3 hours were through winding territory. I haven't been to Clear Lake in years (to be honest, the population there is...frightening), but driving through that area was very pretty. Or at least prettier the farther you go on. Driving around the mountains was...interesting. No cruise control there, I was gripping the wheel hard enough to feel like I'd given myself arthritis. I managed to handle all the turns pretty well, but was kind of annoyed at the speed limit (note: when I say "speed limit," it really means "bare minimum of speed you're supposed to maintain") being 50 mph when all the turns were at 30 or 40, and I kept pissing off the other cars for not going 75. Also, there was this dingbat who kept tailgating me for an hour, and then when she finally got around to passing me, she then got to tailgate the Airstream trailer (being towed) in front of me for another straight hour. Why are people stoopid?

It was a nice drive, though, visually speaking. And once we hit Willits and the speed limit wasn't so big, it was more pleasant driving. I think I'd actually like to go through the little hippie stores there sometime.

We spent a couple of hours at Elsa's mom's, having lunch, looking around at her property, etc., and then left around 6ish to go home. We took a less-twisty route back so I wouldn't have to negotiate the hills all in the dark, thank goodness. I was a little more wigged on the freeway going home--mostly when I was right up against the concrete barrier and having a hard time seeing it due to the glare of the cars--but I made it through without crashing! Got back around 9ish, then had to eat...Didn't get to bed till after 11:30 because once I got home I had to deal with a mom phone call. (She kept calling while I was driving until Elsa confiscated the phone and told Mom what I was doing.)

Anyway, it was a very successful day, so HUZZAH. I am really super sleepy today (and still chugging Mountain Dew). I am taking tomorrow off from work, so HOPEFULLY I CAN SLEEP IN. I swear I haven't actually fallen asleep before about 8 a.m. in the last few days regardless of whatever time I went to bed. I am hoping Elsa can get up here a few hours early for practicing before the test in the afternoon.

We'll see how it goes. I am trying to go into it with an attitude of "oh well, if I flunk it I'd still have to go through the retest process in a week now anyway," rather than insisting that I must pass noooooooooow. Not to mention how many people I know who flunked (or flunked multiple times) and still manage to drive. I actually think I'll be okay as long as (a) I remember all the bits of the car, including the ones I've never even needed to use like the defroster, and don't absentmindedly screw up trying to turn on the windshield wipers or something, and (b) don't make one of the auto-fail mistakes. If I can manage not to auto-fail, I think I could make it.

Though of course naturally after a week of nice weather it's supposed to be HAILING tomorrow... which makes you wonder what the gods think about me doing this :P

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