July 1, 2004

And if a double decker bus crashes into us

Filed under: Get your motor runnin' — tomemos @ 2:03 pm

I drove for the first time today! Julie took me into Emeryville in the wee morning hours, and I got behind the wheel in a big parking lot (parking lots occupy something like 75% of Emeryville’s surface area). There, observed by no one but Julie and several perplexed Toys ‘R’ Us employees, I drove around, tentatively at first but eventually working my way up to “kind of tentatively.” After a while, I drove a bit on surface streets in Emeryville and Oakland. I had one near accident (at one point I couldn’t find the brake pedal, but found the accelerator okay), and I rolled over one curb, but there were no catastrophes and my face will not be on the news tonight accompanied by the words, “..are still looking for the moronic driver of a red Dodge Neon.” Even when we accidentally ended up on a ramp that passed dangerously near the highway and other cars, I didn’t die.

So that gave me kind of a buzz. Actually, the buzz has lasted most of the day (it can’t all be the coffee I had this morning)–as pathetic as this will sound to you longtime drivers, I’m still struck by how little effort it takes to make a car accelerate, or turn, and I don’t yet trust myself to harness that safely (with good reason). At the same time, it’s exciting that, with the slightest pressure from my right foot, I immediately reach a speed it would take me thirty seconds to get to on a bike. So I regard the prospect of my next driving session with a mixture of excitement and dread.

The ultimate goal of my driving, of course, is to get to the level of comfort where I don’t feel compelled to write blog entries that are, to most of you, equivalent to descriptions of washing the dishes or making toast. Not there yet, though.



  1. Oh my god! We’re on the freeway, aghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by AM — July 1, 2004 @ 2:58 pm

  2. My first time driving on city streets I stayed at least 5 below the speed limit and told my mother (who bravely sat passenger with me) that I would never, ever speed as the very notion was absolutely terrifying.

    Now I get pissed off if I’m on the freeway going anything under 75. πŸ˜‰

    Comment by kindle — July 2, 2004 @ 8:14 am

  3. Two things:

    1) Making toast is not easy. Once, on the news, they said “…still looking for the moronic user of a 2003 Black and Decker…”

    2) Only dorks call it the “accelerator.” Cool people call it the “gas pedal,” or even just the “gas,” or even maybe even the “make car go now.”

    Comment by Bret — July 2, 2004 @ 12:23 pm

  4. cool people also always call it the blinker and NEVER THE TURN SIGNAL

    Comment by alex — July 2, 2004 @ 8:22 pm

  5. Mmmm. Accelerators.

    ryn: My sentiments exactly. I don’t care if these people’s views were formative! They’re boring and self-centered and impenetrable and useless! ARRRRRRGGGHHHHH!!!!

    Comment by Fae — July 3, 2004 @ 3:31 am

  6. Okay, i’ve been off the internet for a while, so i just read like a month of you at once. So, in order, good luck with roommate, good luck with finals, glad finals are over, glad you’re moved out for a while. Whew.

    I actually got that little rush the other day. I drove barefoot for the first time, or at least the first time in a half dozen years. For some reason, bare foot on pedals made it new.

    Go driving! Miss you Tom!


    Comment by Brian — July 7, 2004 @ 12:41 pm

  7. I’ve driven barefoot before. It’s really weird. The pedal feels much more wobbly.

    Comment by julie — July 10, 2004 @ 9:58 am

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