big news in del mar! i got pulled over tonight for not having my tail lights on while “it’s pretty dark right now…” my excuse?
“i thought my lights were on! i don’t know how to operate this thing. it’s a rental [with roll down windows].”
no ticket! not even a moving violation citation. this is the bigger news, the most remarkable, given:
- i did not have a copy of my car insurance (!).
- my drivers license still has my san diego address, which caused confusion re: why i was renting a car, where i live, if it is cold in chicago (huh?), why i still have a california license if i live in chicago.
- my rental has nevada plates, which was nothing of consequence except that i bet he thought i was some tax-savvy rancho santa fe’er, familiar with partial residency for tax purposes laws but driving rules notsomuch. but what rancho resident would be driving a car with roll down windows?
- i got bit by the only mosquito in san diego while my window was rolled down for the duration of this moving violation discussion.
- the interaction ended with his, “any questions for me?” in the same tone as if in the last five minutes of a job interview. i imagine my eyes went dead at that point, because flashbacks took over.
but it’s true. i really thought my lights were on, because my owned car’s lights turn on automatically. apparently it’s all DIY with this mockery: roll down windows, turning on and off my own lights, manual locks … and i really struggled with the windshield wipers the other day. what is this? fred flintstone’s car?
despite being pulled over twice in the span of two months, you should know this is not the common rate. i have only been pulled over twice before, though both for speeding:
- this one on the big drive from san diego to chicago last year and
- circa 1998 right after getting my license, caught “speeding” at 40 in a 30 zone on that huge empty road where every other car was going far faster than i was. i’m quite certain the cop was pulling me over to find out if the rumors were true (that my ’85 aries station wagon had power windows).
so this four-year old has bad parents. she’s still a better driver than most. see her checking her blind spot?
i question whether she’s four or two though, as she babbles but does not form words. maybe the driving skills take away from other development? even more disturbing. i also question whether that’s a normal car, one with steering and brakes on the passenger side, or a fred flintstone car, powered and controlled by her parents’ pounding step.
and about that …
- aggressive driving (socal): weaving. i used to hate when i saw other drivers do it due to the palpitations i suffered while watching, but i admit i occasionally do it too. anything to end the drive faster, even if only by two minutes, even if it means offending or scaring other drivers.
- achieved average speed: ~80-85mph.
highway idiosyncracies (new)
- socal: empty carpool lanes
- chicago: left lane exits
- omaha: open windows, sub-limit speeds, weaving — within the same lane.
driving song (new)
- socal: red hot chili peppers – under the bridge. i’m calling this the socal driving song because of the shout-out to LA, but it’s universally appropriate. turn it up!
- chicago: kanye west – flashing lights
- omaha: as if you didn’t know.
not even ten minutes into driving here and my dormant californian driving aggression has already stirred. perhaps it is because i am driving a red car for the first time in my life and i kind of love it. the color, not the car, which amazingly has roll down windows! why is this still an option? i thought it, like scrunchies and my high school ride (below), went the way of the dodo.
- what moms drive: lexus RX 300/400 while texting
- commodity car: toyota corolla / hyundai accent
- average driving skill level: 7 or 8 on a scale of 10
- aggressive driving means: speeding
- actual highway speed vs posted limit: 75 mph vs 65 mph
- achieved gas mileage: 30 mpg
- a car wash is required: every two weeks due to dust and the fact that it never rains in socal
- bicyclists: think they own the road and ride side by side in packs for all of 101, far beyond what the bike lanes allow. generally hated by drivers.
- pedestrians: pffff. as if.
- what moms drive: toyota sienna while eyeing kids in rearview mirror more than the road
- commodity car: chevy aveo
- average driving skill level: 5 out of 10. not sure what an average 5 in driving actually is but this 5 is the weighted average of a bunch of 2’s and 8’s.
- aggressive driving means: cutting off the line of waiting cars at the 90/94 & 55 merge. everyone else is doing it — why can’t i?
- actual highway speed vs posted limit: 30mph vs 60mph, due to traffic at all times of the day. we’ve concluded that no one in chicago actually works because everyone is on the road, all the time.
- achieved gas mileage: 20-25 mpg
- a car wash is required: once every three months. plenty of city dirt, but it rains.
- bicyclists: respected, yet overwhelmingly feared by drivers, due to narrow lanes and potholes that must be suddenly averted (without signalling) by drivers and bikers alike
- pedestrians: know to look both ways before jaywalking. check plus.
- what moms drive: minivans of all sorts, even overpriced american-made ones
- commodity car: dodge neon
- average driving skill level: 6 out of 10 (4 out of 10 when it rains). people know the rules but execute them sooooooooooooooooooo sloooooooooowly that i take a few points off.
- aggressive driving means: driving at the speed limit. merging when the sign says you must (less than 500 feet from merge), as opposed to merging at the first warning sign two miles out.
- actual highway speed vs posted limit: 55 mph vs 65 mph
- achieved gas mileage: 30 mpg. no traffic! ever.
- a car wash is required: only after a long distance drive, just to get the splatter of dead insects off the grill.
- bicyclists: so few i barely noticed them
- pedestrians: walk as if in fact blind. check minus.
this just in: driving in the rain is the same as driving on a clear day. just turn on your windshield wipers. i know those giant, pretty drops are distracting you from your routine of plowing along freeway at 45mph in the leftmost lane, periodically tapping the brakes when there is nothing in front of you, one arm hanging out of your MPG-slaying open windows, riding the right lane line as if you don’t believe the lane is wide enough for your defiantly american-made vee-hick-cle. however, extreme conditions like a gentle drizzle call for drastic measures.
i can already picture you swerving, braking, and swerving again trying to find and flip the wiper switch, but it’s really no different than flipping from the local journey radio station to the other local journey station, i promise. a quick scan and an even quicker tap/twist. you got this.
i) great song and ii) i like that cover. i don’t say that often.
separately, i wish i had bess levin’s job. can someone hook me up?
be quiet and equity analyze, you say? ohhh fine.
i just won a free courtesy citation!
yes, friends, i was pulled over for not signaling a lane change. what? who gets pulled over for that?! oh man. i hope i make the nightly blotter! pretty sure my blinker is the biggest news in this town since… this guy decided he is thinking about maybe moving but might not.
this sure was a “moving violation.” nearly teared up, laughing out loud when i saw that box checked. i had assumed that i was getting ticketed for grossly speeding not two minutes before my failure to blink it up. but let me tell you i was blinking up a storm in confusion, sitting in the dark, sweating it out in those six minutes that he made me wait before the big courtesy slip reveal. i always wonder why it takes cops so long to write up those few lines of text. i understand the VIN is, like, really long and stuff, but what else? are they scanning my license? thieving my identity? calling into “base”? if i had to guess — and you should know that guessing is prominently listed on my resume, next to C++ programming — this is close to what he was thinking:
omg an asian person! a real live one! this is like that one time i saw an alien…omg, just breathe. and don’t show any sign of fear — i read that they can sense that. i gotta text my friends.
poor alien. no wonder she was going 70 in that construction zone that blatantly said ‘FINES DOUBLE’. probably doesn’t even know how to drive. she’s doin’ pretty darn good for not knowing how to drive. i’ll just write her this nice courtesy reminder. oh gosh, which box do i check? “no turn signal”? “improper lane change”? which one sounds nicer? where’s the box that says, “shockin’ my eyelids“??
man oh man. tonight’s gonna be a busy night in the crazy town that is my diary. an aZn! just like i seen once in that movie on TBS.. you know, the one with that other south asian fella who talked for two hours about going to white castle! this town is kinda like a white castle. bwahaha!!! uh oh. did i just laugh out loud?