Monday, March 7, 2011

Commuting Fun

Driving to the office this morning I put in an old, scratched up CD that I made when I lived in NYC.  I used to go home to PA most weekends, and one of my favorite things was to drive out into the countryside, blasting my favorite music.  I've always been a big fan of driving.  And mixing driving and music is just about the best thing in the world.  I still remember the first time I drove on my own.  Even after I passed my license test, my dad wouldn't let me drive by myself until I had logged something like 2,000 miles with him.  We reached that on a daddy-daughter vacation in Canada.  We were at a hotel outside Quebec, and he was in the shower, and yelled out asking for me to drive down to the gas station down the road and get him a coffee.  I was like, "by myself?"  And he confirmed that I was allowed to drive by myself to the gas station, procure coffee, and drive back.

The Colt Vista Partyvan!
I went out to the silver Colt Vista, and the first thing I did was root around my box of tapes, trying to find the Perfect One for my First Solo Drive.  After much deliberation, I finally settled on The Cure's Friday I'm in Love.  I drove about 3mph to the gas station, just to make the drive last longer.  It was exhilarating!  I imagined all the places I could go in the Colt Vista.  I could just leave my dad in the hotel room if I had wanted, and I could drive to California!  Or Alaska!  Or Chile!  OMG, the whole world was practically available to me now.  What a rush.

When I lived in cities where I didn't drive, I really missed that feeling of freedom.  When I lived in London, I used to take cheap weekend flights to Lubeck regularly, just to rent a VW Golf that I would drive around the Autobahn to random places like Bingen (as in, Hildegaard of Bingen - one of the first famous women composers, and a crazy mystic chick from 1000 years ago).  Bon Jovi's, "It's My Life" was popular then, and I remember one early Sunday morning blasting the radio in Munich, screaming along, and waking up all the sleeping Germans.

It's ironic, because you're much more free, in many ways, when you don't need to rely on gas, or car insurance, or a license to go places.  In Europe you can just hop on trains and go anywhere.  But it's really and truly not the same.

So, the point is, I love driving and driving with music.  So when I used to come home for the weekends from NY, the first thing I'd do is take a CD out to my dad's car, and go for a nice long drive.  I was on a Robbie Williams kick then, and I thought I was ever so poetic, driving along the river, singing about coming undone.

But that brings me back to today.  Driving to the office, I randomly grabbed a CD from 2003 that I used to play on those weekends home.  The first song was U2's Beautiful Day.

I'm not a huge U2 fan.  Went through a phase around 1992 where I really liked them, but then Bono started taking himself really seriously, and one thing I can't stand is people who take themselves too seriously.  So I stopped liking them.  But I liked this album.  I like this song especially because it was used during the introductory montages for football matches in the UK, so you'd see these awesome goals set to this song, and it really worked.

And I was driving down the mountain, singing along, drinking my tea.  It's raining up there, and it was super-foggy.  I came out of the fog, and saw the entire LA and Inland Empire basin, spread out before me, with light streaming in through the clouds, and the hills all green and lush because of all the rain, and I thought to myself, "Self, it really is a beautiful day.  There's stuff that sucks right now, but that doesn't change that it's still a beautiful day."

So with that, I'm taking a lunchtime walk.  How's that for a long random story?


Rebecca said...

I totally and completely agree! Sometimes it's all about the small wins.

Enjoy your beautiful day!

Heather T. said...

The small wins rock. Thanks for all the good thoughts :)