Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The whole "plotting death" thing and getting our affairs in order was a challenge. This was especially so since there were so many very, very, very important things that needed to be done.

For example, all of our favorite music needed to be converted to MP3 format so we could take it all with us.

Where does this fit on the priority list? Is it more important than packing? Or is it just part of packing? Is it any less important than bringing a folding chair or a credit card? And most importantly, if making these recordings delays our departure, will we still be able to stop at Trader Joe's?

We really had only one chance to do the Trader Joe's run and it had to be this first night out because THERE ARE NO TRADER JOE'S BETWEEN ILLINOIS AND NEVADA!!! The entire heart of the country is a Trader Joe's "black hole." There aren't even any in Colorado!

So, add another item on to our Monday night "to do" list. Our itinerary just keeps getting longer and as it does, our options for completing the list become more and more limited. We had to find a Trader Joe's in Chicago...

Have I ever mentioned how much I dislike driving anywhere near Chicago? Every road is under construction. Constantly. They are never done. And it costs about $100 in tolls to get through!

I'm thinking that if they're going to charge me to use the road, shouldn't it at least be drivable? And shouldn't I be able to do more than 15-20mph on an Interstate? Shouldn't the drive go a little easier than on a chip-n-seal through the corn field?

Give me LA roads and LA traffic and LA drivers any day... Please!

At least they know the rules there. For example, take the common "merge" where two lanes become one (or in the case of Chicago, where four lanes become one). In LA we take turns. It goes something like this: "A car from our lane just went so now it's your turn." Everyone understands that this moment of courtesy will cost us maybe 5 precious seconds off our far too short lives, but no one gets mad and everyone gets home ... eventually. Here it's more like: "My car's on steroids and you're just hoosier so I'm comin' over and there's nothing you can do about it so you might as well get the hell out of my way." Just trying to change lanes is like being in the live version of Celebrity Death Match. At least that's the impression I get.

At least we finished plotting our deaths ...

(Midwesterners could take a few "courteous" lessons from the seasoned traffic veterans in California.)