jetsetgreen

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Just Driving? Really? That's it?

When my office moved a couple months ago my commute doubled from 10 minutes to 20. This is a big deal for me. I once lived in North Orem; it took me 12 minutes to drive to work and it nearly killed me. I’ve gone, over the past few years, from a 3 minute, to a 6 minute, 8 minute, 10 and now to the 20 minute.

I know 20 minutes isn’t that long, but it’s really pushing it for me. I’ve heard about extreme commuters that go more than 90 minutes each way to get to work. I’d rather lie down in the middle of the freeway than commute 2 hours each way. I can’t possibly think of a job that would be worth that kind of time. What are you doing? Knitting moonbeams with the Dalai Lama?

I’ve been trying to adjust to the doubling of commute time. It stinks because on some days I have to drive back and forth twice--entirely taxing and obnoxious. Yesterday I decided it doesn’t completely stink, just mostly. For example, just to pick something out of the air, if you need to have a good cry, driving in the car is a great place to take care of that. As long as you’re not a messy crier it’s still socially acceptable to drive and cry (thanks text message police!) The best is that you’ve cried it out before you get home so you can concentrate on fixing dinner, cleaning the pee off the bathroom wall, and wondering which imaginary elf will fold and put away the laundry.

Today I answered the phone and took a survey on green energy/renewable resources. It turns out I’m pretty happy about my electric utility. Who knew?

I’d bet that you could also have conversations with people you will never meet and be utterly charming and witty, or give them a serious tongue lashing (All of my state’s congressmen and Robert Mugabe.)

You can swear, if you’re uncouth enough to do that, when people ignore the meter lights or try to pass you on the on-ramp by going on the shoulder.

I keep trying to think of other ways I could maximize my commute. How about if I save my makeup application for the car? I bet I could master merging and mascara. I should play 52 Card Pickup; it’s the perfect solo card game for traveling, talk about no set up time!

Are there other things I could be doing?

I’d love to hear about them, gentle reader.

25 comments:

TheMoncurs said...

Books on tape! I listened to a couple when I was doing a summer temp job that was a 40 minute commute and I actually really looked forward to getting back in the car. I got all excited about going to lunch even because then I would hear what happened next!

seetheminers said...

books on tape...scriptures even come in books on tape...do it in the car and that's more time at home you can spend sleeping or cleaning pee off the wall...whichever appeals to you more :)

AzĂșcar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AzĂșcar said...

I have an iPod with plenty of music and stories loaded, I listen to NPR, I still feel like driving is an enormous waste of time and I could be doing something else.

Scrapbooking? I should take up mobile scrapbooking. Maybe Xhibit will get the guys at West Coast Customs to install a die cutter in my dashboard.

Emmie said...

One word: Macrame.

Fig said...

Sing showtunes and practice your British accent.

That's what I do.

Mrs. Dub said...

When I got a new job with a 40+-minute commute (with traffic), I decided I would use it to do one thing: hone my celebrity impersonations. After performing my "Owen Wilson" for my husband, he suggested I come up with a new way to pass the time. I settled for daydreaming.

cabesh said...

NPR.

Jen said...

Every try XM satellite radio? You can listen to all kinds of talk radio and music. It came with my car and I thought I would cancel once the free trial was over, but they then, I was hooked.

You might also try some podcasts for your ipod. The Satellite Sisters have a show they podcast a couple times a week that is wonderful....informative, funny, and CLEAN.

Geo said...

some really worthwhile commuter pasttimes:

•knitting
•play slug bug no-punch-back solo
•read (don't listen to) the twilight series
•enjoy your portable dvd player
•birding (binoculars required)
•get yourself one of those jumbo cigarette lighter adapters so you can bring along your microwave in case you need a hot snack while on the road

Melis said...

I communte about 60 minutes each way-- and some days I want to stomp my foot like a tired three year old and say NO! and some weekends you couldn't pay me to get in the car. However, I do think that those 60 minutes are good decompression time for me at the end of the day. Books on tape are a good use of the time- most of the time I just find myself praying. Hang in there!

Lisa said...

I'm big on the imaginary conversation rehearsals. Those are fun. Imaginary radio interviews are, too, and practicing your different voice over voices. (Have I revealed too much?) Also, you could draft, out loud, of course, your subsequent blogs. That way everyone wins!

citymama1 said...

Audible.com

You're not the only one with this problem, though. Checka checka check it out.

http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-43837

La Yen said...

Once, when my commute was Provo to WEST JORDAN, I listened to Moliere on tape, so that I could feel really brainy, but the Moliere I chose was the smuttiest title possible, so it was a double-win.

La Yen said...

Wait! You could pump breast milk while you drive!

Tonya said...

Have you thought about categorizing your photographs and sorting them into boxes?

Rachel said...

Ahhhhh I don't miss my commute one single bit! But when I did commute, it was about 20-25 minutes each way. I used it to practice my mad rock star skillz and, with the help of a hands-free headphone/mic, I also got in a lot of good chat time with my BFF.

c jane said...

Have you tried books on audio?

stephen clark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
c jane said...

If you haven't, may I suggest listening to "Knitting Moonbeams with the Dali Lama."

A real page turner, that one.

Laquina said...

Well, I like car games. I try and see if I can switch lanes without touching the painted lines which is challenging at freeway speeds. I also like to get wild and sometimes enter and exit the carpool lane when it's a solid line. And my favorite is waiting until almost the last second and swerving from the fast line across three lanes to just. make. my. exit.

Try those. 20 minutes will fly by.

fijiangirl said...

I know someone who pumps while on her 60 mile commute each day! She actually got pulled over once but was able to unhook herself in time.

Then I know someone who lives down the street from you who actually breast feeds while she is on her drive up to SLC! Yep she has the kid nurse in the car. Talk about multitasking.

Nate and Kelly said...

you're fabulous. let's do lunch soon.

Katie said...

In two weeks I'm goign to be spending two hours a day commuting. *ugh* I normally tell myself stories. Pretend I'm a great, published author.

So basically I fantasize my actual life away. Pretty sweet.

That or I think about the interesting concepts in school that I'm learning about...but that causes me to miss exits. I wouldn't recommend that since it makes my commute much longer.

Sue said...

I like to practice my eulogy, because I have decided that I am going to pre-record it on video, just in case I die soon. I figure who will make it more dramatic and touching than I will, right? Plus, TOUCHING.

Hope you are feeling better. Commuting SUCKS.