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The happy thing meme has been helpful. It's a good exercise to think about what made you happy in a given day. Sometimes it's something obvious, usually not; often when I think of it, it makes me happy all over again. I haven't been keeping track of how many days I'm doing it or how many I'm supposed to do. I think I'll just keep on doing it until entropy takes over, like every other running project I've done in this journal.

For my happy thing for Friday, I'm going to have to go with the easy rapport I have with my coworker Courtney. I think the people you work with accounts for workplace happiness far more than the actual work you do, at least for me. After work we drove (Alexis drove, I sat there trying not to make her nervous by being nervous, and failing) almost eleven hours through a snowstorm. Alexis did a great job, keeping us in the tiretracks of the car in front of us as much as possible. We pulled over 3 times to manually de-ice the wipers. At one point, while switching lanes, and therefore passing through deeper slush, we fishtailed to and fro for a bit. Alexis got us righted without losing control. We saw many other cars that were less lucky, including a two car accident caused by a spinout, right in the middle of the center lane. The conditions were so bad in Connecticut, that we resolved to pull out as soon as we found civilization. We decided to stop at a McDonalds instead, where a dozen or so frazzled travelers endured the piped in music and food substitute as we watched the storm continue. An hour and a half of intense fluorescent lighting and occasional Country xmas songs was all I could take, so I urged us back on the road, which had actually gotten a little better. I was ready to kiss a snowplow driver full on the lips.

For Saturday, my happy thing will have to be audacian's wedding. It was wonderful to be at a celebration of love. Alexis was the official photographer, I was her unofficial assistant. Mainly that meant staying out of the way most of the time, helping when possible (find which two batteries still have any charge left) and trying not to make a total ass of myself. It was open bar, so making a total ass out of myself was going to happen sooner or later. I think I kept it to a minimum, and besides, I'm clumsy whether I'm drunk or not. It was a nice cake until I knocked the flower girl into it. I'm kidding, there wasn't a flower girl!

Since this is already hidden behind an LJ cut, and I don't know where else to say this, here's my impression of Long Island: miles of strip malls, covered in slush. I did have a couple real New York experiences, too. At a gas station, I hesitated for a nanosecond when the guy asked "cash or credit?" and was berated loudly and at length for being such an idiot. Then I watched the same guy get in a screaming match with a pregnant woman in a disabled car. Over at a smoke shop buying cigarettes for the photographer, when I asked the man behind the counter "how are you?" or some bland variation on that, he replied "could be better" in a manner suggesting that my appearance in the store caused a drop in his mood. Maybe he got gas across the street, or maybe the slushy weather got him down. A lot of Long Islanders seemed unhappy about the weather, and especially the fact that we weren't speeding in it. A few honks, a lot of glares, but no fingers. I was a little disappointed frankly. Maybe if we had a red sox sticker on the bumper.

Also, traveling that route made me realize that Mega-City One is almost complete. There's some "empty space" between Hartford and Worcester, but Southwestern Connecticut is fully assimilated into New York

It feels safe behind the lj cut, I think I'll stay here.

I'm looking forward to today's happy thing! It might be the party for Jim at Alex's house in Cambridge, or it could be the wise decision to stay home and not try to drive in a snowstorm three days in a row. I'll let you know.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 21st, 2008 03:15 pm (UTC)
Oh, you would have gotten a lot more responses with a Sox sticker. Like, people ramming your car.

Long Islanders don't like snow. They freak out when it comes, and forget how to drive. But if somebody in front of them is being careful, rather than just trying to get it over with as soon as possible, I think it makes them even more nervous.
Dec. 21st, 2008 03:27 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed this entry. :)

One of these days I'm going to have to make the journey down to Long Island. We have no sports-related stickers on our car, but the kiddo is a Red Sox fan. He doesn't understand how people can get.

We're about to head out into the snow and slush for a 20-30 minute drive to the in-laws' place, then ride with them for another hour at least to a family party. It's snowing again outside. Which reminds me - I need to take my Dramamine now. And possibly a Valium. ;)
Dec. 21st, 2008 03:31 pm (UTC)
Long Island
An obscure Mark Leyner reference: It's always asshole season on Long Island.
Dec. 21st, 2008 08:30 pm (UTC)
I hardly ever go to Lawn Guyland, and take the LIRR on almost all the rare occasions when I do go. The driving is terrible there. Perhaps coincidentally, it's where they keep all the downstate New Yorkers who are Republicans and who can't stomach Staten Island.

Friday I took my mother to her 9:45am doctor's appointment about a mile from her house on Staten Island, and drove back like a bat out of hell at 20mph through a 32F "wintry mix" that looked like snow and felt like cooking grease. At the first stop sign, my brakes made a horror-movie noise that I'd never heard from them before and barely made it into the intersection. I was really really careful after that.

Almost everyone was going very slowly all the way back into NJ, except for a few SUV's that passed me. (20-25mph on the Staten Island Expressway is normal, but the scarcity of cars was not normal. Still, only those few SUV's took advantage of it.)

Just over the Bayonne Bridge, I noticed how fast the big heavy salt trucks were going, and wished I could do the same in my Honda. Then I heard on the traffic report that a different highway in NJ was bollixed up to the point of disuse because a salt truck hit an overpass and rolled over.
Dec. 21st, 2008 10:09 pm (UTC)
"Maybe if we had a red sox sticker on the bumper."

You'd probably just get fingers now, but back in October the reaction may have been a bit more intrusive and physical. :)

Thanks for coming down - it was great to see you have such an awesome time, and it was wonderful to meet you. We are enjoying your gift right now! I think I can hear the ocean, and it is making me hungry.

Stay warm!
Dec. 21st, 2008 10:14 pm (UTC)
hungry for seafood?
Dec. 21st, 2008 10:16 pm (UTC)
seafood is good!
Dec. 21st, 2008 10:19 pm (UTC)
sometimes it is!
Dec. 22nd, 2008 05:38 am (UTC)
Long Island is an interesting place. I've done a lot of work down there in the past. Driving the LIE is an experience. It's the only place I've seen high-end SUVs go offraod... on the MEDIAN to get around traffic. O_o

This was not an isolated incident either.

Strange place.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


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