Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Another Post About Driving

Guess what? I’m hosting a blog party, and you’re all invited!

Since I am currently home for winter break, which makes the gathering of my friends for a spontaneous celebration considerably more difficult, I decided that the blogosphere would be a universally convenient place for us all to congregate.

What is the special occasion, you ask? “It can’t be her birthday,” you wonder, “she turned 21 just over a month ago. Perhaps it is an unbirthday party?” No no no. It is, in fact, a celebration of my braverism (ten points to anyone who gets the reference).

As follows: faithful readers will recall my freeway driving experience of a few months ago, and the elation I felt upon achieving that milestone. Those of you clamoring for an update are in luck: another milestone has been reached. Several, in fact.

Today I drove: (a) without a thorough (or even cursory) knowledge of how to get where I was going, (b) on seriously long expanses of freeway, and (c) through feet of snow and ice. No I am not joking; those of you who know me can pick your jaws up off the floor now.

Right, I deserve a party?

Admittedly, I did have Erachet in the passenger’s seat navigating and providing moral support, but since she is no driver herself, and had even less of a clue about where we were headed than I did, I still consider it quite a feat.

No matter that we skidded a little; that the steering wheel took on a mind of its own a few times; that I made a sudden swerve across three lanes; that I had to focus all my energy merely on clearing the windshield of foggyice for much of the trip; that I drove most of the way home as night fell without my headlights on—I made it, all in one piece, and so did Erachet, and so did the car—and that is what really matters, right?

Oh, and speaking of braverism, we also successfully faced a demon squirrel, and came away none the worse for wear, and with our lunches intact. Stop laughing, it was seriously scary—ask Erachet!

Now that you know why we’re having this party, come in, relax, put on some music, help yourself to some virtual ice cream, and start a deep philosophical conversation in the comment thread (what better party activity, after all?). Or write me something very creative or amusing. Or just say hello. Let me know you’ve come, in any case. It would be a shame to have a party without any guests.

Oh, and since I’m legal, let’s drink a toast: to conquering all our fears!


Ezzie said...

Cheers and Amen! [raises glass]

Personally, I'm flabbergasted, though imagining Erachet as the most encouraging and enthusiastic front-seat passenger in history somehow does not seem all that farfetched. :)

Philosophical, mmm? All right - your post and some other pose I read today have made me think about weather and how we react to it. Some people are calmed by a beautiful sunrise... some by blue skies. Some love the pitter-patter of rain on a metal roof... while some prefer the soft snow falling and softening and quieting all that's there before morning. And yet all of those will also bother or upset us if they come across differently, say being caught in a downpour, or trying to sleep in in the morning, or driving on a cold night...

It made me think of a wonderful line Corner Point said to me just this week that I decided I loved:

"I also think it's fascinating that everyone's lives operate according to how they expect and perceive them to", to which I responded "which is why our perceptions and expectations are so important".

Is that it? Is life and all its opportunities primarily what we make of it, or do the situations have a greater effect than we give credit for? Think of your driving escapades - was tonight's a completely different experience because it was different or because of how you reacted to it (perhaps with some help from a friend)? Or both? Or neither?

So much to ponder...!

(Hey, it's late here, even for me! :) )

Erachet said...

I know where braverism is from (it's the same place as confusifying and disgustigified)! But I won't give it away because, for me, the answer is just TOO easy. :D

HELLO SJ!!!! I CAME FOR THE PARTY!!!! We should put on the invitation - NO DEMON SQUIRRELS INVITED. And then make that symbol with a squirrel with a line through it. Y'know what I mean?

I am back in NY now!!! It's suddenly so quiet! I miss your island!

And, wow, this comment was very exclamation point heavy. :D I guess that's what happens after getting off a plane ride through the night that you BARELY slept on and spent the entire time watching The Flintstones and The Jetsons!

Masquerading Acorn said...

A Party!!! Woohoo! This is my second party on blogosphere, so let's just pretend I'm confused about the rules and think that all bloggieparties are masquerades.

Why do you give out so many points for easy questions? Are you surreptitially implying that your friends are uncultured louts? (true story: I reread the sentence and realized I had accused you of calling us "uncultrued louts". Whatevs.)

Snow? Ice? Isn't that not supposed to happen where you live?

I could write you an e-mail, but as long as I'm at your party, I think I'll tell you here: I came upstairs today, and Mother said (paraphrase): "My, what big acorns you have on your ears." All the better to be nutty with, my dear!!

I get a special something at the party, but not alcoholic, because I too will do braverisms today: I will go sit for my permit test. Driving Permit. My heart rate did not just go up as I typed that. I must... ummmmmm... grmbl.

Yay S.J.!!!!!!!!

M.R. said...

@ Ezzie:

Was that long post about perceptions also a response to S.J.'s use of braverism?

Ezzie said...

M.R. - Alas, I am not nearly that wise, and must respond in the negative...

Jew from the Desert said...

What wonderful milestones to achieve!

Personally I've never driven in LA (my home) even when we get rain, everyone seems to forget how to drive...

I'd also like to add a quote, partially responding to ezzie, partly because it has such an amusing context:

"We don't see things as they are; we see things as we are" The Talmud, Quoted in an Intro to Psychology Book(!).

Party On!

SJ said...

Ezzie - thanks for getting this party started right...
As regards weather (and life) you are right--so much depends on mood and perception. Yes, there are things that are objectively bad or good, but most of the little things that make up our lives are whatever we choose to make of them. Often, those big, objective events will be what colours our perception of the little things. For instance, if I had gotten in an accident (ch"v) my view on the entire driving escapade--and probably past and future driving experiences--would be very different.

Erachet - Great to see you again! It's been a while! You can be our squirrel bouncer: stand at the door and beat up any demon squirrels that try to get in--and don't be fooled by fake IDs!

Acorn/M.R. - (somehow I figured out your identity) Snow and ice are more prevalent in these parts the closer you get to the mountains. And I am super proud of you for your driving milestone, too! Look out roads, the acorn is on the rampage!

JFTD - Welcome to the party and to the blogosphere! It's great to see some new faces (metaphorically speaking, of course). As a former LA resident (many years ago) I remember what a huge event it was when it rained...but isn't driving in LA always just a mess?

Madd Hatter said...

Okay, where is braverism from? And cool party. I especially like the decor. I hope you don't mind, but I brought a friend. I had originally planned to come alone, but he followed me the whole way here, and one look into his cute brown eyes and I just couldn't say no. Even the foam around his mouth doesn't take away from his cute bushiness. I've named him fluffy. Oh, I should probably mention that some crazy lady tried to stop us from coming in, but you don't have to worry about her. She left in a hurry after fluffy bit her. Do you have any water? Alcohol is so bad for the system. I wouldn't want to get sick.

SJ said...

Back off! Back OFF! Get that rabid squirrel away from me! Listen to me--Mad Hatters this party can handle, but Mad Squirrels are where I absolutely draw the line! Next time, why don't you bring a dormouse or something?


I apologize most sincerely to you all for that unfortunate intrusion...but now that it's been taken care of, you may all resume your normal party activities. Go ahead, talk amongst yourselves.

Northern Light said...

As long as your braverism keeps you and the car (ahem) safe, then we can raise a glass of Starbucks liquer. But it's rather quiet around here for a party...What music would you suggest I listen to, to give the proper ambiance?

Masquerading Acorn said...

Rabid Squirrel? AAAAAAAAACK!! Let's have some veeeery high-pitched music that will hurt squirrely's ears. Grrrrr...

jackie said...

WHAT did you do?

I'm afraid that the circumstances for this party will require a much more detailed explanation in real life.

But I'm proud of you, whatever you did! Next time, try to keep the headlights on.

mink said...

To toot your own horn for you (though not on the freeway) you forGOT, in your modesty, to mention to your admiring partyers that you got to go 70 - yes 70! - miles an hour, where you were going. And that's legally. Take that, New Yorkers (which I can say, cause I am an expat one). Love and kissies.... and come back for more adventures soon!

Ezzie said...

Eh, 70. :P Here's scary - looking down and going "OH ****!!!" when realizing that what you thought was 90 was more like 114. [yike]

SJ - Good points all, and that's what I'm wondering (since you wanted philosophical) - ARE there any big objective events? Or is everything relative?

the apple said...

No I am not joking; those of you who know me can pick your jaws up off the floor now.

Still on floor.

Just kidding.

Sort of.


SJ said...

Northern Light, Apple, Jackie, Mink - Thanks for coming! Don't worry, the squirrel is gone.

Ezzie - I think that there are some things that are generally agreed to be good/bad; for example, a wedding is good, cancer is bad. Of course, there are ways to look at even those "objective" events from another perspective, but generally, it isn't done. Even when people try to see the good in horrible things that happen to them, they acknowledge that overall the event is negative, but that a truly strong person will be able to learn from every situation.

Scraps said...

L'chaim! [raises glass, clinks]

You are FUNNY.

I hereby award you a Medal for Braverism!

BrooklynWolf said...

Ooooh, I know!

Wicked!!! (I loved that play -- I've gotten to see it twice!).

In fact, we once had a Wicked Shabbos.

The Wolf