Friday, November 22, 2013

Chased by Vampires

Why did we have to set the clocks back? This time change has negatively impacted my life in the following ways (these are the same words that are used on the show Intervention when loved ones are trying to explain how their relatives addiction to Nyquil is a problem).

Well, there's really only one thing. I don't like driving in the dark. I find myself trying to get out of work just a little bit earlier each day while there's still a tiny bit of light in the sky--mostly, it's twilight by 4:45 p.m.  I race to my car and quickly zoom out of the parking lot. As the minutes tick by, it gets darker and darker and my anxiety increase. I find myself clutching the steering wheel and glancing at the sky. My goal is to get home or even just to Scudder's Mill Road before full dark. It occurred to me the other day that I was acting like the vampires are coming, the vampires are coming! If I don't get home and board up the house before nightfall, they will surely land on my car and haul me out into one of the pockets of tree covers near the strip mall parking lots on Route 1. Because that's exactly how I feel about Jersey drivers--they do not care about you, they want you dead and out of the way so they can get home in time for Judge Judy.

I swear to God, this guy passed me on the road last night as the last dregs of light drained from the sky:

Friday, November 15, 2013

Windows of New Jersey

Remember back in the day when I used to take pictures of kitties in windows on my walk in to work? I no longer have a walk in to work. I now have to a drive (see previous post...) and though I'm getting better at it every day (until I die in a fiery and violent car crash), I don't have any windows to satisfy my voyeuristic impulses. Instead, I have windows in a condo.

Here are four of them.

This is the window in the dining room with the ornate curtains still intact. They remind of that scene in Gone with the Wind when Scarlett decides to make a fancy dress out of ruined velvet curtains. I may do the same and show up for work on Monday with gold fringe on my skirt.

Another left-behind window treatment. We probably won't keep this one either. It has suede and two large tassels that could potentially be used as ponytail extensions.

The view of the parking lot from my bedroom window.

This is the best window view in the house--this is from the second bedroom and looks out on the forestry behind the condos. Nature exists.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Driving Anxiety

I had a dream last night that I owned two polar bears and the one trick they could do was to drive a car in the snow. I believe like almost all of my dreams, this one is indicative of my fear of driving--a fear that I have to face now that I'm living in Jersey and commuting across highways to get to and from work every day. In defending my scaredy-catness to Dan, I realized that most of my fear comes from not having driven very much at all for the last 17+ years. I lived for 5 years in Chicago without a car, then 6 years in State College without a car until my last year, and then 6 more years in Philly only using the car to drive to Acme and Target, essentially stop and go city traffic where you never get up past 25 miles an hour. So, making this adjustment to one of the worst routes in the country (Route 1) in a place with many of the most aggressive drivers you'll never want to meet (Jerseyites) along a stretch of road that has numerous places where people merge from strip malls and others fly across lanes because they're lost--the transition has been an adjustment.

Here is one irrational fear I have that I can't seem to shake: what if I suddenly go blind while driving? Hear me out though---my eye doctor has warned me that my retina could detach at any moment. Couldn't that happen as I'm trying to make a sharp turn to merge from Route 1 onto Skudder's Mill Road (another race-track like part of my drive)? Also, my night vision isn't great. Also, there are numerous suicidal deer along these roads. 

Helen Keller: What if I become her?

On another note, the CD player in my car isn't working, so I've been listening to the radio in the mornings, and there's music playing on maybe every 15th station--the rest are all morning shows debating dumb stuff. But I was reminded again of the need for a word to describe a particular moment that happens when you're flipping through radio stations. It's those few seconds of a listening pause between when you hear what sounds like rock music but wait to see if it's really Christan rock. You have to strain sometimes to discern the lyrics, but then you'll get a line like a man singing, "And then the water turned to wine..." and you know to keep going.  What's a good word for that?