Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year, 2011!

Yesterday when I was waiting on the exposed, windy train platform to go to work at 06:30, I was wearing a winter coat, gloves, and ear muffs. This afternoon as I left the mall to drive home, I threw my coat in the trunk and put the top down on my convertible.

This weather is bizarre.

Since the week before Christmas, I've been packing for my next move. Believe it or not. And I woke up at 5:00AM today, so I'm too tired to ring in the new year.

If I believed in having New Year's Resolutions, I would have to vow to quit moving. At least for a year. I sure hope my new place is quieter and has less (or no) maintenance issues than this place. The maintenance man may as well set up a cot in here because this place has had every problem imaginable. It's a miserable old, unkempt building. I've only been here 10 months, and I can't wait to leave.

Well, it's 9:00 and I'm off to bed, so happy new year to all! May you be "too blessed to be stressed" (as a gem of a woman named Merry at work says every day), and may you be blessed with happiness, health, and love throughout the coming new year.

And... most importantly, Happy Birthday to my adorable niece, Maddie!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Famous Last Words

I gave all my winter coats to Good Will this year because they were too big. When I was shopping for a new coat, my sister-in-law Judy mentioned, "You won't need a winter coat here [in Atlanta]."

At 6:30AM this past Monday when I got into my car in the open air parking deck at my apartment building, my BMW thermometer indicated it was 21 degrees. As I drove out from under the deck, the temperature dropped even more. The drive to the Marta train is only a couple minutes, so I don't bother turning on the heat. It would never warm up in time.

I was wearing a turtleneck, jacket, coat, scarf, gloves, ear muffs, and hat. Standing on the open train platform, the wind ripped right through me. It was very cold. The next day was even windier and colder, when my car registered the temp at 16 degrees! Waiting for that late train in the eye-tearing wind was the longest five minutes of my life. My gloved fingers burned as if frost-bitten when I got on the warm train. The wind chill factor must've been below 10.

The next day we had freezing rain and ice. I slipped on the ice in the parking lot next door while picking up my mail on the way home from the Marta. Big mistake. Traffic was a huge nightmare. Atlanta motorists had lost all sense of civility.

I live in a huge shopping district, where traffic is absolutely horrendous this time of year. Add ice, early darkness, and below freezing temps to that, and you get some pretty grumpy drivers.

Leaving the parking lot, I grumbled to myself about the monstrous SUV parked next to me blocking my view as I backed out of my space in my tiny car. So I backed out very slowly. I was halfway out and nearly jumped out of my seat when someone laid on their horn. I looked around the SUV, and there was a Jeep wrangler at least five full car lengths away, horn wailing at me for trying to inch out of my space safely. All they had to do was stop and let me out, as most Atlantans would in the same situation, but they'd come flying through the icy lot and were in a hurry. I pulled back in and let the jerk pass. Turns out, her "emergency" was that she needed to get to the sub shop at the end of the shopping strip; there she made a dangerous u-turn to whip into the space closest to the sub shop.

I had some choice words for her as I passed and left the lot assured that she will die early of clogged arteries from too many salami and pepperoni subs.

I finally got out of the shopping plaza to drive the remaining block home. But then I could barely make the left turn into my apartment building from the infamously dangerous Peachtree Road. The three lanes of northbound traffic was backed up as far as the eye could see. The challenge wasn't turning in (as it usually is), it was getting into the middle turn lane, which folks in the opposite direction had decided to use (illegally, mind you) as a driving lane. I have seen so many accidents caused by people driving in the turn lane in front of my building.

So I was facing oncoming traffic in the turn lane for the first time ever. This time, I was the one who blew the horn. Finally I got home and swore I wouldn't go out again until the temperatures were above freezing.

People get so antsy here when the traffic piles up. They block intersections, rudely jump from lane to lane to be "first" in line, and create a hazardous driving experience for everyone else. This week they went over the top. I really hate driving. It's much more tolerable in the warm weather when I can put the top down and enjoy it. It's times like this that I miss the NYC subway and bus system!

I gotta move off this road. It's bad enough that my apartment is an ongoing maintenance/noise nightmare and that the elevators are broken half the time; but it is just too dangerous to turn left in and out of my apartment complex. I suspected that that would be an issue, but I needed a place to live, so I took it.

Time to start packing for move #47. (I think. I lost count....)

On the brighter side, I'm tickled to death that I don't have to travel for Christmas this year! For once, it's just an hour's drive to my parents' house. Yay!