Thursday, June 14, 2007

One...

I like to count things. Not in an OCD kind of way (not usually anyway) but in a this-drive-is-really-long-and-I-need-to-occupy-my-time kind of way. It started when I lived in LA and it took me over an hour to drive the 15 miles from my place in Hollywood to my job in Santa Monica. As you might imagine, there are a lot of Mercedes-Benz in LA, especially in Beverly Hills. And, as luck would have it, my commute took me right through Beverly Hills on occasion. So, I began counting Mercedes on the drive. I once counted upwards of 70 on a five mile stretch from Beverly Hills to mid-Hollywood. Mercedes were an easy target because 1) They were plentiful, but not so much that it became difficult to catch them all (like VWs or Hondas) and 2) They have a very distinctive grill and the nice hood ornament which made them easy to pick out (thus avoiding the awkward explanation to the police officer as to why I crashed into the car in front of me...I was counting?). It was a fun driving passtime, similar to the alphabet game or slug bug (which I would also sometimes play...though much less thrilling when you're playing by yourself). And, because I'm ridiculously competitive, even with myself, a tiny little bubble of excitement would well up in my throat as I approached higher and higher numbers. Ted can tell you about evenings spent crusing LA's various neigborhoods counting Mercedes, wife-beaters, and hasidic Jews (please don't judge me).

I would also, at times, count UPS trucks. That was an exciting venture because it was less about getting a cumulative count on the duration of the drive and more about counting how many I could have in my perview at the exact same time. Between the hours of 9 and 10 am UPS trucks would decend on the stretch of the 10 freeway between La Brea and the PCH en masse. There were times that I could see more than 10 UPS trucks at once (including those I could see in my rear view mirror). You might not think that sounds like a lot, but if you figure you've got about a mile "visibility" while driving on a slightly curvy freeway in rush hour traffic, getting 10 UPS trucks is like hitting the jackpot! Where were they all coming from?? I was determined to discover where the UPS depot was located, in hopes of attaining the thrill of seeing UPS trucks by the hundreds...all at the same time! I was pleasantly surprised to find, when I moved into my new apartment on the corner of Missouri and Overland, that one of the UPS depots was located just a block away! Only they weren't stored there by the hundreds...so somehow UPS is this perfectly timed machine wherein trucks from all over the city coordinate their entry onto the freeway in such a way that it is like a swarm of big brown boxy bugs taking over the freeway. But I digress...

Now that I'm in Portland, I have a similarly long commute, though this time I cover a much longer stretch of freeway. On my drive home today, I was getting a bit sleepy, so I decided to start counting...only this time it's Subarus, which appear to be the state car. I began playing the game quite late on my drive, but counted 30 in the 5 mile stretch from around Wilsonville to my house (including the Winco parking lot). Subarus, I fear, are going to be much harder than Mercedes, and definitely harder than UPS trucks. They have no distinctive hood ornament, and blend in with the many other all terrain vehicles that dot the freeways in this state. This could make it a much riskier game than I'm used to, but I think I'm up for the challenge (though don't tell Emily, as she seems to be appalled by distracted drivers these days). Perhaps I'll need to stop looking at the exterior of the car and focus on the interior which is quite distinctive in that they are ONLY ever occupied by bearded outdoorsy men or lesbians. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

9 comments:

Venusatellite said...

outdoorsy men!! don't they have an endless supply in oregon?? now...i appreciate reading your updates, because it's always awesome to know what's going on with you, ms. renee. however...where are your posts about your love life up there? come on, now! give us something we can sink our teeth into! :)

Emily said...

I'm not appalled at this one. If you are actively looking at other cars, I'd say you are being a much more aware driver then someone who is say, reading a book. If you have to choose a distraction, I deam counting cars acceptable.

Ginny said...

Subarus... that's so Oregon. Is it bad that I really REALLY want you to dress up as The Count next halloween and go around counting things with a maniacal laugh and lightning crashing around you?

courtney: said...

Hilarious! Especially how you compete with yourself...that's so Renee. The whole time I was reading this I had the song "Ex-girlfriend, Black Jetta!" in my head (why does no one seem to remember that song but me?).

Renee said...

I remember, I remember!

jbeany said...

Nae Nae! I love this blog... I love counting things too... but I do it in the form of the alphabet game when I get bored. A = Auto Dealership, B = Bank, C = Cadillac, D = Dog, etc.

Let's chat about blog designs for you... I have a couple ideas. :) Miss you!

Dora said...

Counting. Reminds me of that day we took Cogan to the Mann's Chinese, and you two played What About That Guy. I had no idea who would get into ten strangers' pictures first. But when that double decker busload of Japanese tourists pulled up, and you boldly stepped right in the center of their view, I knew you would be the winner.

Ted said...

I promise not to judge you for counting UPS trucks.

Molly said...

Ummm...Vic and I just bought a Subaru Outback. I'll tell Vic to grow a beard right away. And as for me--remember how I always ooh and ahh over your great muscle tone? And I've learned it's ok to have a "healthy female crush" on a girlfriend...but...am I really? Oh, my. Thank you so much for letting me know!