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August 16, 2005

Wherein I tell a story. or two. Or, you know, THREE.


Story 1: The Back Story

There is traffic on Encino surface streets even at 6 a.m. I am not kidding ya'll. I never kid about traffic.

The main road I take leads directly to the freeway, so there's always a loooong line of cars waiting at the stoplight where I need to turn left.

And there is a left turn lane. You can SEE it. It's WAY up there. Empty. But you're in all these CARS, and they are keeping you from getting into the turn lane of your dreams.

And while it may be TECHNICALLY illegal, I find that it is most EXPEDIENT and also SMARTER to go ahead and get in the left-hand turn lane waaaay earlier than perhaps one should, if one were going by those lines painted on the road, and then you just pass all the stopped, backed-up traffic waiting to go through the light and onto the freeway.

And if I make this slight little change in driving patterns, which is LOGICAL and also SAFE, since there is a turn lane, sort of, and no one is in it, and every car on the road is going in the same direction I'm going, NOT that I am JUSTIFYING this because it does not NEED to be justified, as we are a nation of INDIVIDUALS, but anyway! So.

With this teeny, totally insignificant detour, I get to turn left earlier and it saves ten minutes off my morning commute to the bus stop, which is? By the way? Only 4 miles away*. Yet it takes me 17 minutes to get there. And if I worried about those silly yellow lines that sort of make it hard to drive in the long left-turn lane of my own making, it would be a 27-minute commute to the bus stop, which is FOUR MILES FROM HOME.

And REALLY. Unless I am riding a lawn mower, I can't possibly FATHOM spending 27 minutes of my life to drive four miles on surface streets. And, in an unrelated factoid, did ya'll know it is illegal to drive a riding mower while intoxicated? IT IS. And that is all I have to say about that. For now.

So! Morning traffic. Boring. Bus won't wait for my ass ... must turn left. I always peek behind me for the Law and then me and all the other Los Angeles drivers who ignore marked lanes and posted signs get into the turn lane about eleventeen miles before it is actually a legal turn lane.

This concludes our back story.

* I know what you're about to say. But walking back home in the dark in my hood? BAD idea.


Story 2: My Luck

On any given day there are two or three of us making the trek down Not-Quite-A-Turn Lane.

This morning, for example.

In front of me is a Toyota, and behind me is a big white SUV, one of those huge things that totally eclipse my bucket of a Jeep. And we drive up to the light and we turn left, and we rejoice in our ten minutes saved, and then.

Then... I see lights. The kind of lights that are most frequently seen when one is drunk driving a lawn mower to their cousin's house.

This is BAD.

And yet...




But no! Ya'll! I was AWAKE, and the law was bringing its full wrath to bear upon... someone who was NOT ME.

So you know. I almost pulled over and cried tears of happy joy. I say ... almost ... because I am not an idiot. I got the hell out of dodge just in case another one of those police cars was hiding in the bushes, and the law was communicating with each other, and they were sending out ghetto birds and squad cars to get the runaway Jeep.

Which they did not, and I did not get a ticket, and I will find a new route to the bus post haste, because I cannot afford a ticket, and I am never, ever one to press my luck. Even if it is good luck.

Totally Unrelated Story

While I do enjoy living in a real house where the cats can look outside at neighborhood cats who taunt them with their freedom, and their fleas, and I can grow a garden and so on and so forth, there are times when I long for the modern conveniences found in nice, up-to-date apartments.

For example, closet doors that work. And don't weigh 37 million pounds. And aren't covered in lead paint from 1942 and probably made entirely of pressed asbestos.

And I had the BRILLIANT idea to remove these doors and replace them with something that actually fuunctions. Yet removing them? Right. Looks easy! Sounds easy! But we're talking about doors who have lived on that closet for sixty-something years here, and they are NOT GOING WITHOUT A FIGHT.


And I had so much help:


But me and Frankie the Cat eventually got the doors off, by using a power tool and some swear words and a whisky sour and what I did not realize at the time was the power of LUCK. The GOOD kind.

So, in conclusion. This is what Roy has to say:

Or, conversely, my opinion:

Ya'll have a good day. Filled with LUCK! The good kind! And stay off your riding mower when intoxicated. Just a tip.

Posted by laurie at August 16, 2005 10:28 AM