Tag Archives: Driving

Just stretching my voice…

3 Jul

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The other week, Alan and I were driving home from somewhere when I started to yawn, then – because it felt good – made some sort of gurgling noise with my throat. When I finished, Alan was looking wildly around the car.

“What the hell was that?” He looked panicked.

“My yawn?” I asked.

He turned to look at me. “That was YOU?”

I nodded. “I was stretching my voice.”

“You were doing what?” he asked.

“I don’t know – stretching my voice. It felt good.”

“It sounded like a mechanical noise,” he still looked dubious. “I thought something was wrong with my car.”

“Nope, just me.” I smiled. “Did I sound like Chewbacca? Because I kind of felt like there were a few different pitches coming out.”

He just shook his head and continued driving.

I tried to recreate the noise.

“Please stop,” he said, his eyes on the road.

I obliged, but continued to silently contort my mouth, thinking about how I might be able to make that sound on command.

Alan raised his eyebrows and cast a sideways glance at me. “Seriously?”

“You need to be more supportive of my hobbies.”

Long silence.

“Are you trying to tell me that ‘stretching your voice’ is a hobby?”


“Since when?”

“Since I just discovered it.”

I don’t know how Alan can drive straight when shaking his head that hard.

I suppose seatbelts are a moot point.

7 Nov

I can’t believe I lived in DC for 14 years without taking the bus. I love it. It’s always an adventure.

Why, take Thursday morning, for example. I usually walk to work for the exercise (1.5 miles each way, thank you very much), but that morning I was running late. (Let me qualify that: when I say late, I mean, I might have arrived only 45 minutes before my co-workers, rather than a full hour. And because I’m OCD, it’s important to me that I get there an hour before anyone else. STEP AWAY FROM THE LEDGE.)

So Thursday morning I hopped the bus to save time. Now, I don’t know if it was the chilly weather, or if the bus had been delayed, or what – but the bus was PACKED. It was so full that half a dozen people were standing in front of the yellow line that says “stand behind this for your safety,” and lining the steps; my face was pressed against the windshield for at least three stops.

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If you live in Manassas, you might be a Manasshole.

16 May

In the DC area, outside the Beltway off of Route 66-West, there is a place called Manassas. It used to be considered the sticks and DC dwellers generally assume the people who live there are red necks. (This is an out-dated assumption, however, as evidenced by the “Northern Virginia Barbie” spoof that hit email in-boxes a few years ago, which described Manassas Barbie this way:

Manassas Barbie
This recently paroled former “Porn Actress” Barbie comes with a 9mm handgun, a Ray Lewis knife, a Chevy with dark tinted windows, and a methlab kit. This model is only available after dark and can only be paid for in cash. Preferably small, untraceable bills. Unless you are a cop, then we don’t know what you are talking about.

Regardless, people who don’t live there find it fun to call anyone who does a Manasshole.

Alan and I passed through there on our way to go camping this weekend, and we’re pleased to report that the locals are doing their best to guard their cherished moniker. As we pulled into the parking lot of a 7-Eleven, a Dodge Charger was starting to back up. Worried that the driver hadn’t seen us and might continue to reverse, Alan tapped his horn to make him aware that we were behind him.

When we got out of the car to head into the store, the guy – a thick sort of fella sporting a Nascar t-shirt and flipflops – was standing outside his car, screaming at Alan. It took me a few minutes to clue in on the exchange, but his side of it went something like, “Hey Asshole! Don’t honk at me. Hit your brakes.”

Alan calmly started to explain that he had simply honked to make sure the guy saw us. The guy was having NONE of that, however, so he continued his stream of  profanities with his car  safely standing between him and Alan. Confused, Alan started to walk over to him to figure out why he was so hopped up and angry… but the guy must’ve thought Alan was en route to hand him his ass, because he quickly jumped in the car and sped off. Sadly, all of this was witnessed by two small girls seated in the backseat of his car who – presumably – have seen showdowns of this sort before.

You know how sometimes after an encounter like that, your adrenaline is pumping and you’re busy trying to think of comebacks you wish you’d said? Well in this case, Alan and I were both just scratching our heads trying to figure out what the hell had just happened, when it occurred to me: the only way to make sense of it was to call him what he was. A Manasshole.

If only you would do what I tell you…

16 Apr

Some people call me bossy. (You know who you are.) Maybe they’re right.

This is *exactly* what I looked like.

Today I was standing in Thomas Circle trying to cross traffic when I heard sirens blaring. An ambulance was bearing down on the circle, hellbent for leather, and the traffic was gridlocked. The ambulance driver tried to pull a slick trick and bypass traffic to get to an inner-lane of the circle, but ended up stuck, with only his horn to lean on.

Fewer than 20% of cars in the District are tagged with DC plates on a weekday, so there’s a solid 80% of drivers who (presumably) crap their pants when faced with a traffic circle. Even savvy DC drivers sometimes go slack when faced with navigating a circle, what with its flashing arrows and tricky yield signs. Add in a frenzied ambulance and expect IQs to plumment as  otherwise intelligent people to freeze in terror.

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Michigan: Just needs a little CPR and a set of earplugs.

3 Apr

Talk to the hand.

I’ve been in Michigan this week for work. For some reason, people always apologize when they hear I’m here. The conversation usually goes something like:

FRIEND: Where are you this week?
ME: Michigan.
FRIEND: I’m sorry.

Poor Michigan gets an undeserved bad rap. Aside from Detroit (and the flat southeastern corner where I happen to hail from), the state is actually quite pretty. Last time I checked, it was the only state bordered by fresh water on three sides. What’s not to like about that? And the people here are ridiculously nice. Strangers actually say hi when you pass them on the sidewalk, or wave if they’re in a car. Definitely NOT something that happens in DC.

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