King Of The Traffic Lights

“At least for now, I’m going to continue to do the commuting thing, … It’s just become part of my life. Sometimes coming home I think, ‘What am I doing? I’m completely insane.’” — Scott Harris


I’ve started at VIU, and so far so good. I’m getting enough to do to keep me on my toes here, but I can see value in what has to be done.

But this post isn’t about the destination, it’s about the journey. Specifically, it’s about commuting. As soon as I realized I was looking for work I wouldn’t be doing from home, we realized that we had one car too few. When I worked outside the house before, Adella either was at home or was working close enough that we could carpool. But now she has a far ranging Zumba schedule, and I work too far away for her to be able to drop me off and pick me back up.

I hasn’t really wanted to devote resources to a second car, but there was no choice, and as the saying goes, when life give you lemons, make a whiskey sour. So I decided as long as I was going to get something anyway, it might as well be something fun, like, say, the Mazda Miata I’ve always wanted. Our budget on this was nowhere near that for a new one, or even a middle aged one, but fortunately they’re well made and they’ve been in production since the ’80s, so find one old enough that even I could sort of afford it was possible. I only had to go back to model year 1996 to accomplish this. Yeah, the car is older than my fourteen year old.

But like I said, I’ve wanted one of these for a long time. When I myself was sixteen or so, I went to the local Mazda dealership and asked whether I could test drive one. They let me, and it was awesome. Some of you might be wondering what sort of crack smoking car dealer would let a sixteen year old kid test drive a new car, but I grew up in an affluent area where some parents bought their kids new cars for their birthdays or graduation, so the dealer wasn’t as crazy as he might seem.

Anyway, it really is a fun little car. My mechanic looked it over and said it looks sound, so hopefully it will let me recover from the impact of having had to buy it before it gives me any repair bills.

The other thing is that I’d forgotten how cripplingly insane Northern Virginia rush hour traffic is. I’m “lucky” in that I commute the other way from most drivers, outbound in the morning and inbound in the afternoon, but even at that it’s been bumper-to-bumper both days so far on the Beltway. I’ve decided to give up on it and take local roads all the way. It’s twelve miles from my house to VIU, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but traffic lights have always adored me, turning red on my approach to be able to spend as much time with me as possible. Both days it’s taken forty-five minutes to get to work.

But hey, everyone else does it, right?

One Comment

  1. Comment by AU:

    I lived in DC for a bit, commuted from Old Town Alexandria to Dulles. Reverse commute and it was still a pain in the a$$.

    At any rate, enjoy the new (to you) car.

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