Me vs. The Beemer

I may have mentioned before that I have a long commute.  Because of this I have possibly more than my fair share of traffic related rants in my arsenal.

Today it became very clear to me that I have some anger issues with the BMW driver.

Why?  Well, let’s recap this morning’s events, shall we?

I have a four mile stretch of road that is driven twice a day that goes through a suburban downtown area.  This area has been on the “revitalization” track over the past two years – causing gridlock on this little stretch of road on a regular basis due to construction insanity.

INSANITY.

Right now eight lanes of traffic are being whittled down to two – because they’re repaving the road.  I’m glad that repaving is taking place as the multitude of potholes was getting obnoxious – but TWO LANES????

This morning while I watched the light change from red to green to yellow and back to red again (without moving my car a single inch) I saw a station wagon inch up the shoulder on my right – BEHIND the construction cones.  This vehicle then made a sharp turn into the six inches between me and the bumper ahead of me – and then they gave me a little wave out their window.

The vehicle?  Yes, that would be BMW.

Seriously fellow driver (aka Cutter-in-Line), I only let you in because you gave me no choice.  I’ve been listening to the futile honking of horns for 15 minutes.  I want YOU to wait in line and experience this fun just as much I AM.  (And just a note: your little wave infuriated me.  Passive-aggressive much?)

So – win #1 for The Beemer.

I wouldn’t get all uppity – except then my lane disappeared and I had to merge into the one on my left.  The person who wasn’t going to let me in?  Oh yeah – BEEMER.

I’m only slightly ashamed to say I muscled my way in.

Let’s just chalk a win up to me – even if it wasn’t earned with sportsmanship or good humor.

(It was right about this time when I got cut off again by a different BMW.)

Commuting is turning into more and more into a TRON race these days.  It’s kill or be killed.

My vote: make it home alive and sane.

I realize that’s pushing it – but it’s all I’ve got.

Its a Bit “LA Story”

I’ve mentioned before that I drive a lot.

150 miles a day a lot.

In that mileage I do a giant circle and have a pretty broad tour of the San Francisco Bay Area freeway system.  Here’s an idea for anyone who cares:

Highway 4

Highway 242

Highway 680

Highway 24

Highway 13

Highway 580

Highway 92

Now for the ride home…

Highway 92

Highway 580

County Road (aka Death trap) Vasco Road

Highway 4 Bypass

Home!

Large circle of fun with various sights to see along the way.

(Right now my favorite is a marquee in front of a retirement community that states: ELVIS SIGHTING! followed by the date and time *in the future*.  I’m not sure why this entertains me so much, but I’ve had a chuckle each time I’ve seen it over the past week.)

However, on to the reason for this post:

CALTRANS has been generous enough with the Calfornians’ tax money to provide large information signs throughout the highway system, kind of like the one in LA Story with which (whom?) Steve Martin’s character has a relationship.

These signs have the ability to be awesome.  Whoa!  It’s going to take me 45 minutes to drive the next 10 miles into Oakland?  There must be an accident!  Or, the also helpful warning on the bridge that the right lane is going to be closed in the next 1/2 mile.  (Note to self: move over now as no one is going to be kind enough to let you in later!)

But, more often than not I just have to laugh at what someone decides to publish for the entire commuting community to see.  Last week there was VERY heavy fog.  Fog so heavy I couldn’t even see the bridge from my office parking lot that actually butts up against the bridge base.  The sign at the base of the bridge was kind enough to inform me of this fog.  (I think that is what it was telling me anyway – it was really foggy….)

Then, there is my personal favorite message:  a message informing me that the Bay Bridge is going to be closed for the weekend – but not THIS weekend.  No.  President’s Day weekend.  The weekend 15 days from now.  EVERY single sign – including some extras that CALTRANS put out on medians, etc. – has this message on it.

(It’s actually kind of distracting.  Where are all these extra signs from?  Is there an emergency?)

All other possible helpful information has been bumped for this tidbit that I have no use for until month end.  (Or, let’s be real.  I don’t drive into the city on purpose for ANY reason.  I take public transportation.  I don’t care if the bridge is closed or not.)

If history is going to repeat itself my guess is that this message is on ALL freeway signs in the state.  So, even if I’m driving AWAY from San Francisco toward Tahoe or even the mecca that is Disneyland, I’ll have this information in my back pocket for future reference.  Seriously – this deserves a great big What The?….

Last year there was a giant freeway re-route/closure in the greater Los Angeles area.  I got those messages of closure during my daily commute.  I had no idea where the 205 freeway was.  Thank goodness for coworkers and local media who were constantly telling me about the impending “Carmageddon”.  Imagine my relief when I realized I could stop thinking about it – because it was taking place 350 miles from my life.  Whew!

I guess I just get to appreciate the effort that the state is going through to keep me informed and laugh at the result.  Now, if they could just put that much effort into patching up those potholes…

Evil, Evil Traffic

So, in stark contrast to my last post where I waxed poetic about the beauty of a string of tail lights before me, today I will whine about the vast amout of traffic I encountered this morning on my way in to work.

I have several “normal” areas of intense stop-and-go traffic both going in and returning from work each day.  However, this morning that stop started earlier – and was a true stop.  No go.  Just stop and wait.  This continued for several minutes – never, ever a good sign. 

(I’m sure the few of you reading this are both nodding your head AND thinking – why does she even bother writing what is so blatently obvious?)

But, I digress.

After sitting stationary for several minutes I turned on the radio to listen to the traffic update only to find that there was an *already cleared* accident ahead of me about 5 miles that was screwing with my ability to move forward.  I immediately went into rant mode.  The accident is ALREADY cleared?  Why am I not moving?  Did they close the freeway?  (Repeat, repeat, repeat.)  All in all, it took me almost 40 minutes to traverse that 5 miles.  That made my commute clock in at 2.5 hours.  Any time I go over the 2 hour mark I start getting cranky.

Let’s just say I’m not all that happy this morning.  Here’s to hoping that the ride home takes slightly less time.

Feminism F*cked Me

Full disclosure – this will be an angry and whiney post.

My upbringing has been a product of the feminism movement.  Both parents did well in ingraining into my phsyche that I could do anything and everything I wanted.  Both my parents worked – and I assumed I would go to college and have a full career.  From an early age I knew I didn’t really want kids – but I did want to work and have a happy home life – hopefully with a partner of some kind.

Enter my world.  I have the career – due to some serious mental health issues it is NOT the high powered-science centric-emotionally fulfilling job of my childhood dreams.  But, it pays the bills and I’m reasonably good at it.  I now have the house.  I have the partner.  I also have a version of the 1950’s playing out at my house each and every day.  Unfortunatley, it’s not the Leave it to Beaver version – it’s the Female = Cook/Maid version.

How is it that the great ideas of our fore-mothers to get equality into the mix have backfired so hugely?  I work all day.  I have a long-ass commute.  I’m reasonably intelligent.  I bring home more than 50% of the household income.  I pay a comparable percentage of the household bills.  But, while The Big Guy grudgingly takes care of the yard, the fish pond and the wild bird feeding I’m left with the rest.

What is the rest, you ask?  Cooking – check.  Laundry, Cleaning Bathrooms, Upkeep of Hardwood Floors (the bane of my freaking existance – WHY did I want these things?), Polishing of Stainless Steel Appliances – check, check, check, check.  Management of all technological items from setting up the TiVo, connecting the cable, and configuring the wireless network to posting all items on Craigslist – those are all mine too.  I also get to do things like make all the calls to credit cards, banks and those nice people on Craigslist who’ve got stuff we want.  The list just goes on and on and on…  Cat litter cleaning, grocery list preparation, meal planning, grocery shopping, returns to Walmart, coupon clipping, figuring out the best deal on birdseed per pound at which store with all deals tossed in…  THESE ARE ALL FREAKING MINE in our household.

How is it that I work outside the home just as much as my partner, but when he gets home in the evening he showers and cuddles up in front of the fire with some Netflix streaming and I’m scrubbing out the shower?

I must say that The Big Guy warned me when we first started dating that he was very traditional in household division of labor.  My housekeeping skills have *never* been superior to anything outside of a house-about-to-be-condemned hoarder.  I figured – I can take it.  My silly mind used turns of phrase like “it will keep me motivated!”  Silly girl that I was.

So, now it’s been nearly four years and our principal source of conflict is housekeeping – or more appropriately – my lack of it.  I usually have food prepped for the week and clothes cleaned, folded and put away.  But, things like clean bathrooms and floors often fall behind.  I just don’t care all that much – but I don’t live alone.  So, now while I’m running down my list of wants: dinner with girlfriends, a Saturday spent with my sister, a business meeting to promote my awesome direct sale business – the response I get is usually along the lines of: “You need to focus more on your home life and less on what *you* want.”

Several friends have suggested a housekeeper.  I’m warming up to the idea – even if my bank account isn’t.  I figure – if $200/ month will save my relationship and give me my life back is it worth it?  Yeah, probably.  But, right now I don’t *have* $200 extra a month to provide for a cleaning person.

So, what am I left with?  Anger at the feminist movement is what.  Sure, it got me closer to the pay rate for men in the workplace and provided things like maternity leave job protection that I won’t use, but is never-the-less important.  But, it also got me the expectation that I will bring in 50% of the income while never fully taking away the 100% responsibility of keeping house.  This leaves me with what feels like 0% time left for myself.

I know, whiney, right?  But, don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.  Grrrr…..