Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Driving forces

Yesterday while biking home, I was nearly run over by someone who apparently decided that stop signs don't apply to him. Since being nearly run over is about a once-a-week occurrence for me, it pisses me off. So I was seriously angry by the time I got home. Of course, two milliseconds of my dog's flip-out greeting was enough to right my mood, but I kept thinking about it for the rest of the evening. What is it about people who only drive (instead of biking or walking sometimes) that makes them such bad drivers? Drivers run red lights (I've been almost halfway across the road and had someone almost hit me that way), run stop signs, ignore crosswalks, and just generally don't look out for people who aren't in cars. It's kind of funny to think that my biking and walking has actually made me a better driver. I pay attention to everyone who might be out, not just the other cars. And it's made me less stressed when I'm in the car, too. Maybe it's the endorphins from all the exercise I get, but it's also partly due to the attitude of "I get there when I get there". That last part has been a tough transition for me, since I inherited my grandfather's sense of time. I can remember him getting upset with my grandmother for puttering around and making us "late" to the beach. (I miss them!) So while I never had real road rage, I did used to get angry while in the car if things were going to slow and I wasn't getting where I wanted to be fast enough. ("I should already be there! Argh!") Now, I don't see that there's any point to getting frustrated. There's nothing so pressing that I need to run red lights or potentially put other people in danger for. It's amazing how your attitude can change if you just get out of your own box.
I've also noticed that people who exclusively drive are the ones who get the most upset with people who don't always drive, or who drive things other than cars (like motorcycles and snow machines). As if we're the ones who are dangerous. I will admit that there are plenty of stupid bicyclists out there, but it's far too easy to be insulated from the world in a car and drivers don't understand how dangerous their behavior is to those around them. It's actually really sad.
When I bought new kibble for the dog, I changed the flavor. Apparently the dog doesn't like change because she'll eat all the "good" stuff out of her bowl and leave the kibble. Then bark at it, as if it'll change. Of course, the poor cat can't go near the kitchen if there's kibble left or she sticks her face in the bowl (still not eating) and growls at him. I'd be irritated if it wasn't so darn funny. But we took her out last night to play frolf for a couple of hours with friends, so she finally ate the last of what was in her bowl. And then collapsed with exhaustion.

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