Thursday, December 14, 2006

Holiday Travel!

I'm driving home for the holidays.

The distance between Los Angeles and Orinda, California is about 300 some miles. Close, yet annoyingly far away.

It's considered close because the drive can be made in a day. Depending on how fast you drive you can make it from Los Angeles, to Orinda in around 5 hours. Normally, it's about 6-8 hours, depending on traffic and how many times you have to pee. I often pee a lot if I make the drive because of the insane amount of energy drinks and coffee I have to consume in order to make it.

I hate the drive. I'll just say right now that the drive from Los Angeles to Orinda is one of the shittiest things ever.

(Side note. I read over some of my posts recently, and I am surprised at the amount of times I use the word 'shit' in each post. I use the word shit, a shitload of times.)

The difference in price between flying in driving is pretty much equal. It takes about as much to fill my tank up during a round trip drive, as it does a roundtrip flight.

So why don't I just fly up? If I fly up, then I'll be out of a car while I'm at my parent's house. Not having a car while I'm home with the folks is excruciating.

So, I think I'm driving up this year. Many of my friends make the drive with no problems. It's nothing to them. For me? It's a constant battle to stay awake, and stay sane.

Near the halfway point of the drive, at hour number 3, I start my descent into madness. I start yelling at the distance:




I start yelling at other drivers:


I start yelling at my music:


By the time I go through Gilroy, near the home stretch..( I take the 5 to the 152) I'm falling asleep. Numerous cans of Red Bull littered around my truck, I still can't stay awake. I get drowsy driving to work or to the store, and that's only a couple minutes.

I open all the windows, and just start making loud noises to myself to keep myself awake. By now, I'm just yelling just to yell:

"FUUUUUCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKK", and my other favorite:


By the time I get to 680, then onto Highway 24, I'm delirious. I'm flooring it. My back hurts, my ass hurts, I have no more music to listen to..

I feel bad every time I pull into my parent's driveway. My mom is always at the door, curlers in her hair with a big smile.

I'm in no mood for it.

I park the car, grab all my stuff, and grumble as I make my way to the door.

"Hi sweetie", she always says. My only response is much like the response Dan Akyroyd utters in Trading Places, where he's all haggard in the Santa suit.

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You know what I'm talking about, when he's leaving the party? Right...nevermind.

But that's how I greet my sweet old mom, who's probably been waiting by the door for me to get home for hours, leaping up when she hears my truck rumble by.

I'm a jerk.

"Hi sweetie!", she says.

"UGHHHHHH", is the only response I can muster. Mom follows me into the kitchen where I drop everything and start plowing into the food, she spent hours preparing for me.

"How was the drive?", she asks.

"UGGHHH blaurrgghh, it sucked..mfff arghhhh", I say in between mouthfuls of food.

By now, I feel like crap. My mom's all excited to see me, she cooked all this food, and here I am acting like a douchebag stuffing my face, barely taking the time to breathe.

But she's happy regardless. She just sits there at the table, with a happy look on her face, while I finish eating.

My mom knows that this is how I operate. It's been this way for years. I'm not home that often, but when I do come back, it almost seems like I revert back to my teenaged self.

Something about being back at home, sleeping in my old room does that. I think my mom knows this, and kind of likes it. She dotes on me, and I get annoyed. Just like old times.

My mom doesn't really do much. She doesn't have many hobbies, and she doesn't have a large network of friends. She looks forward to the times I call her, even though I should do it more often, and I'm sure she looks forward to the times I come home, shitty mood and all.

Perhaps this time around, I can try to be in a better mood when I pull into the driveway. Ughhh, probably not...did I mention that driving home makes me go crazy?

Wow, who knew my rant about driving up from Los Angeles, to the Bay Area would end with a sappy ode to mom?

Oh well, here's a pic of her that I've posted before. Just to show everyone how she cuts loose:

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And a pic of her curlers:

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006


In this day and age, people need to be aware of their surroundings. Men and women alike. Of course, women slightly more so than men I think. Yeah, that sucks for them, always having to be careful where they go at night, what they wear etc. but that's just common sense stuff that everyone should be wary of.

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Given all that, I understand that when it's late at night, women may have their guard up, especially when a man she doesn't know is walking behind them.

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I find myself in this situation a lot. Whether I'm leaving a bar, or a movie or whatever, more often than not, I always end up walking along a deserted poorly lit sidewalk with no one else around except a terrified woman walking in front of me.

It's awkward. I don't know what the proper thing to do in this situation would be.

Take last night for example, after I left a bar. Since my truck is large, I usually have to park far away, which means at least a five to ten minute walk. Of course last night, the sidewalk was dark, and no one was around...except for a woman in front of me.

After a couple of steps, the woman in front of me knew I was behind her. She tensed up. She doesn't know who I am. She started to walk faster, keys at the ready. I thought to myself: "Shit, she thinks I'm going to rape her." I can't have this woman think I'm a rapist. I had to do something to ease the tension.

I would have whistled some generic tune if I could. I've tried to whistle my whole life. I can't do it. Besides. Whistling may be an obvious cover. An obvious cover for a rapist. I can't do that. I can't act like a rapist who whistles as a cover.

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What if I crossed the street? No, that's the classic: "I'm gonna cross the street, to make you think I'm going somewhere else, but then I'm going to run around the corner and rape you" technique. I read the police bulletins in the local paper. I know what's up.

Meanwhile, as all these thoughts were running through my head. The woman up front was probably convinced that I was a rapist because I've been following her for the past three minutes, covering at least four blocks. Dammit where's my car? Shit!

Should I have blurted something out to ease the tension? "HI MY NAME IS ERIC, YOU HAVE NICE HAIR!", no by that time she'd be too scared to even register my compliment.

What if I shouted out some joke? "WHAT TIME IS IT WHEN AN ELEPHANT SITS ON YOUR WATCH? TIME TO GET A NEW WATCH. HAHHAHA". I'm undecided if I should laugh at my own joke. It would be best if she started laughing, but it's not a very good joke. I don't know any other ones either.

I tried different patterns of walking. If I synched my steps with hers, it sounded like "Clip, clip, clip, clip". I thought that was too suspicious, so I staggered my steps, but that sounded like "Clip, clonk, clip, clonk". By now she was sure that a peg legged rapist was following her.

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We got closer to our cars. I couldn't let the woman leave thinking that she almost got attacked. I'm a good guy dammit. She needed to know this.

"Shit, the car is coming up soon.", I thought to myself. In a last ditch effort to squash her fears, I took my phone out and made a fake call. I fake dialed:

"Beeboo baboo beep! ( One of my many fake phone dial noise), Yo Schmitties! What up!.... How was my day? Oh it was awesome. I volunteered all day. Yeah. Volunteered. At the cancer burn aids center. Yeah it was great. You know you really should volunteer like I volunteer. It's great to give some of your time to the less fortunate. These kids can't read because they're burned, and have cancer, and aids."

I checked to see if she could hear me. I hope she heard..

"All right Schmitty, I'll talk to you later. Call me if you want to volunteer tomorrow. I'll be there. Hey dude. I'm seriously thinking about adopting one of the kids....I'll talk to you about it later. Bye dude."

I don't think she heard me. Next time I'm just going to yell out "Hey! I'm not gonna rape you!", cut through all the riff raff and just let it be known, that this guy does not commit violent crimes against women.

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