Tuesday, June 22, 2010

(Maddie) Highway to/from HELL!!!

Over the past weekend, I had to go to a bunch of networking events that were located 45 minutes to an hour away from my area of L.A. None of the other interns lived close enough pick me up and then drive there. So, I had to go through the annoying process of renting a car. Apparently, no one turns their cars in on time and I had to wait an hour after my scheduled pick up time to get a Ford Focus. I got a good deal - $30 per day. Woot. After they get me the car, they made me buy car rental insurance for $15 a day. Bugger. Then, they warned me to fill up the tank before I turned the car in, else they would charge $4.50 per gallon. Jerks. With that, I was on my way, clicking through radio channels until I settled on 91.5 KUSC SoCal Classical Channel:) Score!

When I got back home, I had to sit down and memorize the map. I would have rented a GPS if it didn't cost $25 a day to rent it. Snazzlefracken. Memorizing the map wasn't that bad. In fact, it helped me to get more familiar with the L.A. area and gave me the chance to soak in some scenery. (SIDENOTE: I think people rely too much on the GPS technology. Maps are great. It serves you better to be familiar with a paper map then to rely on a stupid computer that the government can hack into. I, Robot anyone? Thanks for allowing me a moment of paranoia.)

By the way, the scenery was absolutely gorgeous: rolling hills, small mountains, desert landscape, sprawling ranches....typical Southern California. Even though it was just 70F, the sun was beating down and airconditioning became a necessity.

I was rather nervous to drive on the L.A. highway system - people are crazy drivers around here. But, they are not nearly as bad a Massahussetters. Those people are nuckin' futs! Anywho, here are my Los Angeles traffic pet peeves:

  • Curves - The highways and back roads are very curvy. Many go through canyons, hills, and moutains...hence the curviness. Instead of slowing down, SoCal drivers like to speed up and weave in and out of their lanes as a part of their mountain-worship ritual.

  • Dust - We're in the desert. There is sand. There is also dust. Wind kicks up the dust. Dust lands on car. Someone writes "wash me" on the car.

  • Traffic - I knew that the infamous L.A. traffic would be bad. But, I did not realize how horrid it really was. People react to it differently. Some get angry and honk their horns, looking as if they are nuclear reactor about to explode. Others fall asleep, causing the angry people to honk more. Others seem to have had too much coffee beforehand: they lurch the car forward at every opportunity to move up an inch. Still others get on their cell phones and refuse to get off them when traffic moves...which brings me to....

  • Fake blondes - You know exactly who I'm talking about. Even if you haven't met one, you've at least seen one on TV. They usually have fake blonde hair, dark roots, big sunglasses, ugg boots, booty shorts, low-cut tank tops, and orange spray-on tan skin. They butcher the English language with the overuse of the word "like," a linguistic bastardization that can be traced back to the Valley. They tend to drive their BMWs while drinking Starbucks coffee and texting, often all at the same time. It is a wonder they have not succumed to natural selection. You have that image in your head now? They do in fact exist and are some of the worst CA drivers that I have encountered thus far. Stereotype win!

  • Car signals - Apparently, turn signals are optional equipment in SoCal, just as speed limits and lane lines are mere suggestions.

3-day car rental = $100
3-day rental insurance = $45
Full tank of gas = $22
Passing a texting blonde driver on a mountain curve (and thus avoiding death by idiot driver) whilst listening to a crescendo in Aaron Copland's Rodeo. = PRICELESS.

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