Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A (long) day in the life

Today was a really long, tiring day. Fourteen hours from the time I left my apartment in the morning until I got back this evening.

It probably started at 5:00 when my first alarm went off, but what I really remember is the emergency back-up alarm going off at 5:15. (At least I knew I'd need a backup.) Then it was eat, shower, dress in fancy-yet-comfortable-enough-to-drive-in suit, do hair and make up, put on sneakers, grab heels, bag, cellphone, BlackBerry, and Diet Coke and head down to the garage.

At 6:05 -- five minutes behind schedule -- the little blue car and I were on our way. Five minutes later, I realized that I was heading in the wrong direction, out of habit.

Forty-five or so minutes later, I was heading west on I-270, watching the backed-up traffic in the other direction. Man, it must suck to live all the way out in Damascus.

In the midst of this, I'm listening to the traffic reports and thinking that there must be some kind of correlation between people being tired and people being in car accidents. And how the world would be better if we could just schedule things according to our own circadian rhythms. Friggin' genius, right? I should get some kind of grant or something to study it further.

Anyway, once the DC radio signals and their traffic reports started getting weak, I put in some CDs, and raced along my merry way. I was in Pennsylvania before 7:30. I barely saw any other cars until I was basically at my destination -- Harrisburg. Man, it must be nice to live in a place where the ten cars that are waiting for the light count as "traffic."

I got to my final destination by 8:45. In and of itself, that's noteworthy because there are a heck of a lot of days when I don't even manage to leave for work that early. Anyway, while at my destination, I got to see a former co-worker, educate his interns, and -- while waiting in the appropriately-named waiting room -- read a five-year-old Sports Illustrated with Jason Giambi on the cover, proclaiming him "the perfect modern hitter."

No, really:

And yes, I did feel slightly suspicious taking this picture with my cellphone in a Federal building.

Shortly thereafter, I did my lawyer-y work, which involved going to court and winning a case. All that, and it wasn't even 11:30. So, I got in the car to head back.

I even took a picture out the car window. You can almost make out the Harrisburg skyline in the distance.

I meant to get on the highway and get off on Route 15, to go back home through Gettysburg and Frederick -- I would have stopped for lunch somewhere along the way -- but somehow, I wound up on the real highway instead, heading towards York and Baltimore. Later, I'd find out that this miscalculation was a good thing, based on my former coworker's email to our other coworkers describing some kind of accident involving a horse. Forget about my earlier comment about the ten cars constituting traffic -- it's even better if you imagine nine cars and a horse and buggy. Livestock rules!

I got stuck in a little bit of traffic in Baltimore -- there was an accident -- so I read my BlackBerry emails. And when I got to my office around 1:15, there was no parking available in the garage. So I drove home. And changed out of my suit, checked my email, Twittered, grabbed lunch, and metroed into the office.

I got home just after 8 -- which was fourteen hours, almost to the minute. And now, I'm eating dinner. If I'm not too exhausted, I'll probably watch last night's Heroes when I'm finished.


honeykbee said...

Sounds like a nice little jaunt, buggy tragedy aside.

dara said...

Sometimes even busy days are good days. But 5 hours of driving for a 30-minute court appearance is never quite worth it.