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January 3rd, 2013

Today I asked myself that. I was on my way to work, and today I drove, mainly because I wanted breakfast somewhere other than my being-worked-on apartment with a messed-up bathroom. (I stopped at what I thought was a 24-hour Denny's, but the one near Lloyd Center isn't a 24-hour Denny's. Still, a 6:00 a.m. opening was early enough for me to eat a chorizo burrito with hash browns and coffee and to get to work on time.) And I'd admitted to myself:

Driving's been annoying me. I don't do it all that much, and I'm becoming even more sensitive to bad driving -- mine and others'. Others', because I need to avoid getting hit by them; mine, because I need to be a better driver. Most of us think we're better drivers than we really are; maybe I'm overcompensating. Or maybe I'm really not that good a driver. (The first step: admitting you have a problem.) But I'm better than the two drivers in a row who turned in front of me when I had the green tonight, on my way home. The first driver, I could at least understand as trying to squeeze in as the lights changed; but the second? NO REASON. That driver got me to honk and yell. The yell was more for my venting purposes, because that driver couldn't have heard me. Thus, the honk. Yes, I honk.

Earlier, I made a quick turn off of NE Sandy, headed over to the Hollywood library branch, a quick turn so I'd get out of the way of an oncoming pickup. Good thing I then had enough room to stop for a pedestrian crossing mid-block on the block I'd pulled into. Also good that I SAW HER, and was stopped where I wouldn't hit her or have my car's ass hanging onto Sandy. She looked a little chastened (STILL A BETTER LOOK THAN SPLATTERED); I waved her across. It was simplest. It was less simple later when I had finished at the library, got into my car to pull out of curbside parallel parking, and a driver pulled up to parallel park as well...stopping right next to me right after I'd started the car. Was he hoping to pull into a spot behind me? Was he hoping for my spot? We had some failure to communicate somewhere, but finally he pulled back enough so that I could get out.

So I didn't find a non-annoying way home. But one mistake was my own, when I could and should have stopped for someone wanting to cross SE 11th a few blocks north of Division. I really especially need to be better about THAT. The walker made an arm-raising "What?!" gesture to (maybe) me and (maybe) the car behind me, and I felt bad. I walk enough -- and try to walk CAREFULLY -- to know it can be tough to do it safely. She was doing what she could to walk safely. That's not cancelled out by any walkers who aren't doing it safely. Or drivers not driving safely. (I barely encountered bicyclists tonight, so they're added to this rant THIS time.)