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Sunday, November 11, 2012
Apparently I like getting lost
Listening to:Jellyfish, New Mistake
Reading:Mortality, Christopher Hitchens
Weather:70! Sunny!
Thanks for the prompt from my old friend Spud (he's actually not old, but I am) to dust off the blog. I think spending more of my media consumption time on a tablet rather than something with a keyboard is negatively impacting my media production. So easy to read and watch on a 10 inch portable touchscreen, less easy to create or write more than 140 characters. No excuse, just a bit of explanation or more likely rationalization. Admitting you have a problem is the first step, right?

I spent the last 3 days in DC at a conference for work. It's one I have been to many times over the years, so I get the added enjoyment of seeing colleagues there from other states whom I have known now since our now-grown-up kids were small. But also the sadness of news that another colleague has left the fold and taken some other job that will likely take him out of my sphere forever. Particularly a bummer since this guy was one of my faves, a long-haired composer and luscious hottie. Oh fuckin well, it was sweet while it lasted.

I stay with my mom rather than at the conference hotel for this one because she lives in Alexandria, a Metro ride from DC. I could seriously get used to riding a train to work every day, lots of cool things about it. The DC Metro is really nice, too, pretty clean and orderly, reliable, frequent runs so there's a short wait between trains. Nice to be able to chill, read paper or book or work, sneak a sip of coffee (eating and drinking on Metro strictly verboten), listen to podcasts or music, people watch. Some just close their eyes from the time they get on to exit stop. I did a little of everything, basking in the novelty of it. My mom is on the Yellow line which takes you across the Potomac, a lovely view on almost any kind of day. So I looked out the window some, too. I find it such a groovy way to ease into and out of the work day.

But the first day the end of the ride kinda sucked. I had driven to the station and parked, and had a very long day at the conf, leaving mom's house at 6:30a and not getting back until after 9p. My ass was draggin. So I chill on the last leg of the train trip back, get off train and head to car. . .dude, where's my car? Seriously, where my car be at? Walked around and around and around the parking garage, no car. It doesn't help that my silver 2004 Honda Civic looks like every other fuckin car on the planet that's not an SUV. So finally I realize, I can't find the stairway that I took this morning from car to platform. Heh. Ooooohhh, there must be TWO PARKING GARAGES. Brilliant. By this point my dogs are barkin, and I'm not totally convinced, but I decide to head back down to the platform and then I see it, the OTHER garage. Yoy. There's my damn car. Mostly all alone. Sheesh.

Relief to get in there and start'er up. As much as I love public trans and the greenness of it and the chilling part of it, I am at my core a car whore. No, I never need a fancy one, in fact I perfectly love a beat-up old car as long as she's still seaworthy and reliable. It's not only private transportation that goes EXACTLY where I want, EXACTLY when I want, but it's a giant purse on wheels. Need a different pair of shoes? There's on in the trunk. Need some quarters or a $50? It's in there. Lip goo? In the little dash shelf. Straw? There, too. A scarf for unanticipated wind or cold? Black on in the back seat, goes with everything. My car, I think I'll keep her.

Last day of conf, Saturday, mom suggests I drive in rather than Metro so I can just take off for home from there. Good idea. She writes me excellent directions. And I promptly take the wrong fucking bridge into the city. Never a good start, no. But I'm stubborn and damn sure am not going to go all the way back around to get back to the Virginia side to get back to the directions. No, I'm going to just find my way to Connecticut Ave. Yeah, there's Pennsylvania Ave, there's Florida Ave, how far can Connecticut be, right? Hehheh. I keep going out 14th Street. Then I get to the part I remember from childhood as where the whores used to hang out. Not so many whores now (now in 2012 and now at 8 in the morning), but progressively sketchier as I keep going. Oh fuck, Uncle. I find a Starbucks, pull over, will hit free wifi with my tablet to map my way there, cuz I'm apparently a total pussy. Got my pumpkin soy latte (holy shit, what a sugar bomb, I seriously couldn't drink half that thing). Wtf? No free wifi? Seriously? Oh for fuck's sake. Back in the car, luckily skeevy zone clearing back to yuppie zone where Starbucks flourish on every other corner. Next Starbucks free wifi. Just carried my cup in so as to avoid feeling like a I had to buy something else to demonstrate my customerness. Map, and sweet, I'm actually quite close! My strategy had actually almost worked! I'm about 10 blocks from Dupont Circle where I'll happily hop on Connecticut. Rounded the circle, wait was that Connecticut? Rounded again, yep, but wait the sign is over there that's one way the wrong way, rounded again, it must be a divided road at this point, too the unmarked one before, and in a couple blocks verified I am indeed on Connecticut! Sweet, I rule, I am not a pussy I am a fearless trailblazer! Dum de dum, what? Wait, where did Connecticut go? What? How did I get to H street? Oh fuckity. Started trying to head in the general direction I thought I should go, not easy because there are a shitton of one-ways and Connecticut is of course a diagonal street in a world of right angles. Yoy. Drove around. And around. Quite not finding my way. Well, I'm late for the first session now. Fuck. Yes at this point I'm sure you're chuckling about what a dipshit I continue to be for not having a cell phone all smart with GPS and chick to turn-by-turn me to my destination. WHatev.

Eventually I found my way there, too late to politely enter the first session so I aimed for the second, chatted up a few colleagues in the hall, bla bla bla. Saw some cool places and people along my second lost adventure and burned a little gas but I'm not much worse for the wear, honestly. Good for the brain to have to figure some shit out every so often, I'm sayin.

While in the last session I mapped my way home on the tablet (see, not a total Luddite!). Easy peasy. Didn't even get lost for a second.

Glad to get home, power back on after being off a week after Superstorm Sandy. Still snow on the ground in the yard, but the sun is shining. This morning I got back in the car and headed to Haymond Community Center for the monthly community dinner. This month it's turkey and dressing and all that. Delicious as always. Comforting to see all the same old people (I'm the youngest of the hundreds of people who go to these things by at least a decade, closer to 2). Yum. I give my leftovers to Larry for the kitties, as usual, and head back up the road. On this lovely day why not take the long way? And on the long way, why not take one of those roads I always wonder where it goes?

Done and done. Wow, lots of tree damage out in these woods, all from the roads by now but plenty of evidence of recent and prolific chainsaw work. Come to a fork, hmmm, which way? Take a right. Eventually that road starts getting a little rough on the old Civic, so I turn around and head back to the other fork. Righteous. Saw lots of cool houses, some new ones, some old abandoned ones, barns in various states of repair, birds, creeks, crossed a few questionable narrow wooden bridges with no guardrails, generally had a lovely drive. But I got to more than one more fork and eventually realized I probably couldn't get myself straight back the way I came. Gonna have to push on through, all roads eventually go somewhere around here. You guessed it, lost again, but again I found my way back to a familiar spot which got my home.

There's a little bit of anxiousness that creeps up when you're lost, but then when you find your way it's especially awesome. I look forward to getting lost again soon.

permalink posted by cat 3:41 PM

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Apparently I like getting lost