Phoenix drivers remain phucking bad even in pandemic

The natives are getting restless.*

*as I predicted in prior post

Many are squirming out from under quarantine / lockdown / stay-at-home orders. A tamp-down of Life by any other name is still a tamp-down.

It’s particularly evident in the increased traffic.

Where IS everyone going?!

Yet people here in Phoenix, Arizona are definitely on the move!

In greatly reduced numbers, yes, compared to the norm. Think California.

What baffles and repulses are the accidents!

Phoenix roads and freeways look as they did maybe 30 years ago — before first Sprawl then Californication swallowed up vast desert land.

Wide open roads … little traffic … ample space to maneuver … change lanes without slamming into the car in front … or getting slammed from behind.

Driving now is as enjoyable and comfortable as it will ever be in Phoenix thanks to the pandemic. (For that reason, I hate to see it end but that’s another post.)

In near-perfect driving conditions, it’s reasonable to expect there’d be near-zero crashes.

Uh-uh, nope, negative, not happening.

Must be written:

I loveloveLOOOOOVE to drive on open roads and travel. Was born for them.

I take my driving responsibilities and the safety of others (and self) very seriously. Always have. Recklessness is not in my nature on the roads.

Driving is not a right. It is a privilege and an honor.

So you can see why I’m beside myself digging for answers to why all these crashes in the Best of Times on Phoenix roads!

Possible theories:

  • Assholes remain assholes, regardless of conditions.

To my thinking, perfect driving conditions reduce stress, in turn increasing opportunity for safety, attentiveness, alertness, responsiveness. May be true for some but certainly not all, as accident numbers indicate.

  • People won’t put down their phones, regardless.

Universally self-explanatory.

  • Some people see clear(er) freeways as opportunity to really lead-foot it.

This surprises (and disturbs) most. I’ve had to really think this one through because it is so fucking foreign.

See, for me, even if there’s zero traffic and cops (NEVER happens!), I’m abiding by the posted speed limit — no more than 10% over.

However, some drivers see less-crowded roads not as opportunity to enhance and enjoy safety and ease but rather to damn the torpedoes, full SPEED ahead. Let loose. Use the freeway as a personal racetrack.

Example. Phoenix freeway speed limits are 65 mph (104 km/h).

The other day I observed a driver weaving past obstacles (called cars), gunning it at about 90 mph (144 km/h) — and even that seemed too slow for him.

There’s an accident waiting to happen and good god it will not be pretty.

For the record, Phoenix has a very high rate of high-impact crushing accidents and fatalities.

We also hold the national dubious claim of high numbers of wrong-way drivers — most impaired — on freeways.

All in all, driver stats in Phoenix are quite grim.

And the pandemic has not made better men of drivers.

On the contrary, it has laser-lit what ails Phoenix.

Very sad for now’s the opportunity TO truly enjoy city roads.

But as in most things, for every good apple, there’s 2 or 3 bad ones to ruin it.

Closing thought:

Once everything reopens and this (BS) shutdown retreats in the rear-view mirror where it staunchly belongs, it is certain that Phoenix drivers shall reclaim their dangerous and deadly ways en masse.

I’m sorry I have to be here for it. A genuinely passionate and responsible lover of the roads deserves better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Breaking Silence

You ever go to a job slightly toasted hoping that the boss might notice and fire you on the spot?

A job that is that you’ve no business being in. A Lame Crap Job — aka LCJ. A menial service-industry job at minimum wage or thereabouts that you do when you’re 16, not 59!

Anyhow, only two things stop me from showing up slightly tipsy.

  1. My impeccable work ethics. Damn work ethics! Bite me in the keister every time!
  2. My bosses. They’re decent folks, from what I can tell. No reason to screw ’em over by a forced firing. They’re already short-handed and can’t keep people.

Anyhow, 3:12 p.m. I’m on beer 2. Not much save I’ve not eaten. Must be at work in about 2 hours. The buzz’ll be silenced by then. Bummer. Some jobs are better endured in an “alternate state of mind.” Lives too. 🙂

Like Gum on the Shoe

Not exactly stuck. But dealing with a whole lotta grief, anger and other emotions in the sudden loss of my job last month. The death of a dream job. The bad guys, aka the dangerous duo, won.  Still need to finalize a letter to my (former) boss, a good guy, to enlighten him to things of which he’s unaware.

I’m dragging my feet on completing it. Though joyful and relieved to be away from the Dangerous Duo and a toxic situation, I dearly, sorely, deeply miss the job … when it was at its best. I miss working at something I love. Miss making money. Miss … so much.

I’m grieving. I don’t grieve well or quickly or thoroughly. Like gum on the shoe, I try to scrape it off and if it doesn’t all come off, I “just learn to live with it.”

The trait of Endurance is a fine one. But lets you accumulate WAY TOO MANY TOXICITIES AND BAGGAGE!

My final words on the subject. For now.

The Good Thing …

Good thing is, losing my job (ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch) set me free from a bad situation and let me travel! Which wasn’t possible while working 7 days a week!

So I hit the road pretty hard.

Logged some 1,500 miles (2414 km) in 5 days of driving … across northern Arizona into New Mexico then far into southern Arizona at the border then northward back home.

Soon as I got back (after returning only for the aforementioned dumb job, two days a week, 10 hours total, it’s that … ridiculous that I’m even doing it!),  I was itching to go again.

Planned to — for only a coupla days — ’til the roommate (yes, at 59, I’ve a roommate again, obviously can’t afford to live alone) — gave me terrific news.

He was going to his other house for roughly 2 weeks. Leaving me ALL ALONE.

HOME ALONE: Not the Movie

Waaaay better! I’m ALONE ALONE ALONE ALONE ALONE ALONE and ALONE!!!!

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!

Remember your teen years? When the parents announced they were going out for an evening?

Mine seldom did but when it happened: THE UNIVERSE GLOWED BRIGHTLY!! White Light FLOODED my life, my being. In those 2-3 short hours when THEY WERE ABSENT!!

Really has more to do with a temporary reprieve from the war zone that was my family than desire to “party it up.”

Roommate George isn’t my father or mother obviously! But there’s definitely a suppression happenin’ (even if only on my end) to keep the peace.

He’s a good guy. And I LOOOOOOVE that he’s away!!! I can breathe!

So, due to his absence, I postponed the road trip. Obviously. No pressing need with him gone for 13 days. Once he’s back, I’ll head out weather permitting.

Where’d Time Go?!

Can’t believe it’s been like a month since the last post!

Yet I can.

Been a lot on my plate to deal with. A move. More than a move, a move from living solo to a roommate situation again (suppressed ugh).

Followed immediately by a sudden loss of job and income. That Lame Crap Job I’m tryin’ to drink myself outta – hahah

Flare-up of health issues.

I dunno. There’s a LOT about me, incl. all the good, nee great, stuff, that I can suppress. Repress. Deny. Refuse. Reject.

Travel. Therapy. True Joy.

Yet the one thing, ONE thing that just won’t be stuffed into a box shoved to the back of the closet … that essentially REFUSES to be buried alive … is the love of and need for travel.

The open road. The wheels rolling on pavement … the wind … the emptiness of a road …

it’s my therapy

my passion

an intrinsic need

the wind is my breath

the turning wheels my body in motion

my Subbie, we’re united, we’re bonded.

Wanna hit the road again so badly, roommate presence or otherwise

I’ve not written (or blogged) as I should or been on the road as I need.

Dunno how to achieve it with the chains of a dumb job ’round my ankles.

I’m down. Depressed. Done for today.

And gotta cheer myself up to go to a job I’ve no business being in.

“Life, why do you forsake me?”

“Girl, why do you ask for so little, so very little, for yourself? Why do you accept yourself as a piece of ant shit when you could be great? When you could shine?!”

“It’s complicated. Not for blogging.”

“Of course.”

“I got issues. Baggage. A mountain range of crap to clear. What does it take?”

“One word. Write.”

“I’ll think about it.”

“Excuse. Always excuses.”

“You’re right.”

Then an angel breathed into my lungs: “The Word is your breath.”

That’s all s/he and I wrote … today, for now.

a springy home that’s a sight to see

Time flies when you’re having fun.

And sometimes when you’re just sitting at your laptop in a friend’s house.

Or simply an altogether different environment from the usual or familiar.

Seems like yesterday when I arrived at Bill’s place here in southern California, stumbling in late, fried and frazzled from a 3-hour logjam in the desert followed by California’s evening commute.

A mere 38 hours ago it was.

Since, and through this visit, I’ve been uncharacteristically disinclined to get in the car and go anywhere.

I’m happy simply being at their dining room table (since they got rid of their kitchen table) with my laptop while their lives go on around me.

Bill going to work, Bill returning from work.
Bill and Carleen culling dinner from an array of leftovers.
Bill and Carleen talking about their day, dropping names, planning activities.
Carleen going with her son (19) to the passport office and then lunch.
Carleen running errands. Going to yoga class. Returning from yoga class.
Their youngest son coming in, hugging both parents, chatting, then turning around and leaving.
Rat terriers Max and Bonnie playing ruff rough ‘n’ tumble, mouthing and chasing each other through the house.

With two college-age sons and their buddies, their own friends, two lively dogs, there’s rarely a dull moment. Or enduring quiet one. In fact, I’ve suggested he put wooden lettering across the front of his house reading Bill’s Community Place.

I love my old college friend and I love being here for these very reasons. A lively, engaged and highly-interactive family dynamic is wholly foreign and unfamiliar. (as a comparison, mine’s best described as isolating, dark, warfare environment.)

I learn simply by being here and I leave enriched by the experience. By observing, I learn about a different way of interacting within the family, one friendly and invested in one another’s well-being. One of communication where people listen to one another and invite others’ opinions, thoughts and viewpoints. One where the kids willingly share about their lives and too the parents.

One of laughter, levity and affectionate teasings. There’s affection and concerns for one another’s health and life choices. There’s actual hugging that happens! Whoa!!

In simplest terms, it’s family where the left hand knows what the right hand’s doing.

By no means do I mean to paint a picture that it’s the Beaver Cleaver household free of conflicts and issues! They have theirs like we all do. They “simply” navigate them quite differently than both my family did and I do. Less embedded in controls, rage and toxicities, more flawy and expressive — so it seems to this outsider.

Delightful’s a good word to summarize my visits.

Whatever the scene at the time, I’m delighted to be in their home, exposed to and learning from that wholly different dynamic. Delighted that amid busy schedules we’re able to carve out a few days for friendship and fellowship.

Delighted to be in a home so lively, a home where even in the quiet moments, something’s about to spring forth again soon. It’s a springy {poing! poing! poing!} home.

Tomorrow a visit all too quick to pass comes to a close. No extended chatty goodbyes alongside the car this time, he’ll be at work by the time I hit the trail back to Arizona. Though too short, a visit at Bill’s is the pause that refreshes. Who’d a-thunk that all this lively activity and continual comings-and-goings could invigorate rather than drain?!!