Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Intake Manifold

Brandon and I went out to some bars downtown. It was snowing pretty hard, but we live fairly close by and can walk home if need be ("if need be" meaning "if we are drunk"). At every bar, there was always at least one guy crowing over and over, CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT NO ONE WILL DRIVE IN THIS! It went without saying that he would drive in this. Because, it was implied, he is not a pussy.

With me, there's always a little roulette game regarding what's going to irritate me in a huge, disproportionate way. (One of the character traits that, in fact, led me to try to be better and happier in the first place.) I whispered something snotty to Brandon about Mr. Lugnuts. What did these guys want drivers who are uncomfortable in bad weather to do? Get in the car anyway and cause accidents?

I'm a nervous driver now, but I was once much bolder. Whenever it snowed or iced, my mother would call my high school and warn me not to try it. Often, at the end of seventh period, I and the rest of the school would hear: JENNY AND ERIN NIESSLEIN--YOUR MOTHER CALLED AND YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO DRIVE HOME. I REPEAT: JENNY AND ERIN NIESSLEIN, YOUR MOTHER ...

More recently, before I became simply nervous, I was a panicky driver. That sad saga's in the book.

I've been thinking a lot about transportation lately because it looks like my book tour is firming up, and, although I'm pretty much over the moon about it (how champagne wishes is the word "tour"?), I'm going to be moving myself from Point A to Point B quite a bit. I don't mind flying and I plan on using cabs and public transportation, but since I'll be visiting cities I've never been to (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Atlanta, more TK), I'm a little worried about the car culture. Specifically, I'm worried that I'll find myself in a scene from Steve Martin's L.A. Story.

If I were still keeping a gratitude journal, the obvious thing to write in it would be: "I'm grateful that at least the weather will be nice." But really? It's going to be late spring/summer when I'm doing this. I think it's reasonable to take it for granted that the weather won't include snow or ice.

I've digressed. Just... be safe. And Happy V.D.


BarbaraCA said...

We'll show you a great time on the central Coast! Everything in bloom and wide, smooth highways.

Jennifer said...

I can't wait! I should have the dates for the west coast soon--June-ish, I think!