Thursday, November 5, 2009

Zen Commute

(This is actually a photo of traffic in Tokyo, but it was a bit of what it looked like here this morning.)

My commute this morning was, well, a commute. There were 2 accidents on both the westbound and eastbound lanes of the highway I was on and strangely, at the exact same spot. Weird.

In one of the accidents on the opposite side of the highway, a huge semi-truck carrying one of those manufactured homes had slid into a little ditch and the manufactured home had partly come off of the trailer. Eeeks. Pretty sure that truck driver said a few words not meant for children's ears.

Then, on my side of the highway, two people got in a little fender bender and then appeared to have gotten a little too worked up about it resulting in some serious road rage. There were 4 cop cars and about 6 cops trying to calm the two men down.

What this meant for me was that traffic was BAD! Really, really bad. On most mornings, this would have driven me crazy and I would have been stressed about being late to work and annoyed at the people who made stupid driving mistakes that affected the rest of us, but today for some reason, it just didn't get to me. In fact, I couldn't have cared less about it. Perhaps it was the yoga I did last night or the vast amount of other things I have to worry about in my life (see: US Immigration), but my drive to work was almost like a zen experience, despite the chaos that surrounded me.

Where am I? What's my name? When's my birthday?

So, there I was, taking it all in stride as I sat in a parking lot on the highway, but one thing still rang true: I got bored. Bored. Bored. Bored. I had NPR going in the background, which I could listen to all day, but I needed something else to entertain me.

It is times like these that bring out the real weirdness within me, and it isn't all pretty, let me tell you.

By the time I arrived safely at my destination, I had, while in extreme traffic, done all of the following:

1) Practiced doing the different accents I was hearing on the NPR news broadcast.

2) Practiced doing other accents that appeal to me.

Since working at the company I am with, I have been surrounded by many, many different accents as they hire people from all over the world. I have become a bit obsessed with trying to copy them.

3) Practiced singing with an accent.

4) Tried to sing Edith Piaf's "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien" in my rusty, creaky and broken French.

5) Applied some new light pink lipstick that I got, which I love, by the way.

6) Noticed that I had a few little black mascara flakes on my cheek which I quickly wiped away. Ladies - do any of you ever have this problem with the mascara flakes? You look in a mirror and realize that you have little black speckles on your face and you wonder how long they have been there and how many people didn't tell you? Oh the trials and tribulations of being a mascara addict.

7) Took a quick look at my cuticles. Got frightened. Reminded myself not to look at them again for awhile, at least not until I am willing to do something about them.

8) Stared at the people in the cars next to me. Wondered what their life is like and where they were headed.

9) Stopped staring at the people in the cars next to me because they were starting to look back at me too and it's just weird to keep staring at that point.

Have you ever noticed that WHENEVER you look over at someone in another car they ALWAYS look back at you too? It is SO bizarre. It's like they can instinctively tell you are staring at them. This is a game I used to like to play on long car trips.

10) Thought about what I was going to have for dinner. It always comes back to food for me - shocking.

11) Gurgled some water from my water bottle. Don't ask me why. I like the way it feels.

12) Scanned the radio stations, found "...Baby One More Time" by Britney Spears, turned it up and started singing along to it at the top of my lungs. I was 15 when that song came out, therefore being the perfect demographic for it. I will be 85 and still love that song and I make no apologies for it.

13) Stretched. Yoga last night was tough and I am sore all over.

14) Saw that the check engine light in my car came on, which I will just ignore until it goes off again like I always do. That has been my game-plan for about 3 years now with my car, and it's still running, so it works for me. I am a bit of a head in the sand type of person about car repairs. I just really can't be bothered.

15) Stared at my engagement ring and moved my hand around so that it was sparkling all over the place. This is one of my absolute favorite things to do in the car. What the heck is it about diamonds? Why are they so enchanting?

With all that fun and entertainment I created for myself in the car, I was at work in no time, or at least it felt like it. I am proud of myself for staying cool about the traffic situation because I have a tendency to let traffic get to me. Hopefully tomorrow will be better however, as I do not expect this zen-like behavior to continue. It was good while it lasted I suppose.

Now I have a fruit fly that is flying all around me in the most pestering of manners and is driving me crazy. We all know how I feel about fruit flies.

Excuse me while I kill the little sucker. I hope you all have a lovely day :)



  1. You're too funny! That freeway looks just like ours down here in Southern California....luckily I don't have to take it to get to work (or hardly ever for that matter) But you did a great job of being a relaxed commuter....! Have a great day!

  2. hahahaha I love it! I am a freak in my car when I'm stuck in traffic!!!

    I love that I'm not the only one practicing accents. I love to do BBC voice. I also keep a recorder in my car so that I can sing then listen to myself!

  3. I loved this.. I have done many of these things in a car myself, including the moving of a ring to make it sparkle, and practicing accents. No better place!

  4. You certainly know how to entertain yourself :)
    I hate mascara flakes!

    My loneliness is killing me
    I must confess, I still believe
    When I'm not with you I lose my mind
    Give me a sign
    Hit me baby one more time

    Sorry, I got a little carried away.

  5. At least you kept yourself entertained. Ah ha. I do not miss my commute. Ugh. How did you car stretch?


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