maybe "rants" isn't the right word. these are simple thoughts about my life. some may be more colorful than others. some language may be offensive, but it depends on your definition of offensive. consider this your warning ;)

16 July 2011

Freeways, Free writes, Highways, and High fives

Friday’s date was 7/15/11. Three odd numbers, two of them prime. One of 15’s factors is 5. Five is the square root of my favorite number—25.

Someone once told me about the logistics behind enumerating interstate freeways. Those ending in even numbers and zero (e.g., 80, 264, 10, 280) run east and west. Those ending in odd numbers—which most of them around here end in 5—(e.g., 95, 105, 1, 91, the 5…) run north and south. Obviously these N/S and E/W designations aren’t absolute, but if you think about many freeways, it’s a pretty solid system.

However, streets are a different story. Driving up Studebaker Road in Long Beach, the road ends and forces you to take a turn, but in pops back into play further north. Somewhere around Atlanta and Dunwoody, Georgia there was an area where the street nomenclature was dominated by “Peach” (in Georgia?!?! No way!!!) Peach Street, Peachtree Ave, Peach Blvd, for a visitor this could get really confusing really fast. Not to say that Atlanta is the worst for confusing streets, anyone that’s driven through San Francisco’s one-way street maze, the circumferential I-495, or anywhere near a metropolitan area, you understand completely.

This next fact may seem random, but stay with me here…

So I’m an OU fan. Boomer Sooner. The athletic launch pad for Blake Griffin and Sam Bradford. When I was an Army contractor after separating from the Navy, I worked on a couple jobs at Ft. Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma. Right off I-44 (which, ironically, runs north-south right through Lawton), the city was easily accessible via four or five exits off the 44 (“the 44”? I’m so SoCal.) that run…wait for it…perpendicular to the freeway. Not only that, if you miss your turn on the local roads, there’s a good chance you can turn at the next intersection and loop around without fear of a One-Way Arrow monster.

If that town had a beach, I’d have moved there when I left Virginia.

Simplicity is something I enjoy when I go home. I can keep up in a fast-paced work environment, but when I go home at night, I want to go home—to a neighborhood. I’m not trying to say I don’t love living in Long Beach, because right now I do, it’s actually one of the reasons I applied to CSULB. I enjoy the fact that it is a (relatively) commutable distance from Los Angeles, but not in Los Angeles. I like that there’s a beach. I like that there are slower paced neighborhoods where I don’t have to drive around for 30 minutes looking for parking, and that there are city parks nearby. (Random fact #49: CSULB is the only university that I applied to. Good thing I got accepted.)

The date really sparked this blog for the day, but ironically, it comes at the dawn of Carmageddon—this (if you haven’t heard about it by now) monstrous closure of the 405 between the 10 and the 101 for two whole days. I didn’t plan for the Sepulveda Pass project to take place after 7/15/11, I just noticed it. Some people say life produces art, and others say art produces life. As long as there is life in art and art in life, then I won’t question this chicken-egg pairing. I’ll continue to enjoy the ride, because…life is a highway, and I’m gonna ride it…(you guessed it)…all night long.

(Random fact #57: “Enjoy the Ride” happens to be the title of the second album of my favorite band.)

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