The Boredom & Beauty of Interstate 5

I really really hate making that long trip from San Diego to Vacaville (and back) all by myself. Especially when I don’t bother to burn a few CDs to listen to on the 8 hour+ drive. Yeah, I have tons of old mixes that are TOO GOOD, but I’ve heard it all before. I’ve gotten used to making the trip without any natural supplements now too. They may make the drive smoother, but its such a waste! Ah procrastination… you slay me once again.

Another thing that really sucks are the stinky parts of the stretch that fills the car with Eau de Cow Poop… YUK. (Hint: blast the AC and put it on recycle BEFORE you hit those patches. Drive “The Five” (as SoCal’rs say) enough times and you’ll know develop a sense of where they are. Oh, and breathe through your mouth).

For speeders: The cops. Such a long drive and so few blue&reds, it gives you a sense of false security. Sure you can speed through 80% of the trip at 90+, but that one time you get caught is enough to make it all not worth it. And besides, think of the gas! Luckily, I’ve never been caught (on I-5 at least), but I’ve had a few close calls. Nevertheless, on every trip I try to push my car to the limit (around 110 mph) at least once, for good measure.

For non-speeders: Those damned speeders think they own the road! Honkin’ their horns, blarin’ their lights. Damn! Calm the fuck down! I fall into this category these days, mostly cuz of gas prices. But man… I sure miss making it home in 6 hours (or less!).

For both: Trucks. Damn they’re slow. And don’t you hate it when a truck attempts to pass another? Seriously, what’s the point of that!?

And of course: LA Traffic. This is gotta be the worst part of the drive by far. Get a bad lot, and you can add another 2 to 4 hours to your trip. In the smog. Normally I schedule my trips around rush hour, but with LA, you just never know. Man LA sucks.

But there is one thing that I do enjoy about the drive:

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Moments like this make me take a deep breath and remember that I’m happy with my life. I’ve always wanted to be a passenger and work on my light/dark drawing skills with the hills— aka the other reason Cali is known as the “Golden State”. The hills, the sky… so beautiful when there’s nothing else around to spoil the view (cept for the damned infinite stretch of pavement, but I’ll take what I can get). Though I’m all for beautiful lush foliage and greenery, growing up in a valley surrounded by these golden brown mounds has led me to appreciate and respect the beauty of the seasonal cycle.

The song in the background is Ryuichi Sakamoto’s “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence“, from the movie of the same name. Chances are you’ve heard this beautiful song from somewhere, but don’t know where; The somewhat mystical, somewhat haunting melody has been used in many an ad/trailer I’m sure. I’d do the research, but I should be doing homework now anyways, so that will have to wait.

Anyway, this has been a favorite song of mine ever since I was a kid. I’m sure I must have seen the movie when I was little, as it deals with East/West relations in a Japanese POW camp, but I can’t remember it at all–only the song remains. Though it stands by itself fine enough, I’m a sucker for context, so I’ll have to watch the film. I hear its pretty good though, so if you have any interest in Japan’s relationship with the western world, you should take some time to watch.

On every trip, I usually have at least one of these moments, where music, mood and scene come together perfectly and gives me a sense of peace and calm. Though I would still prefer having a passenger, I know that I would probably miss these moments if I had someone to talk to. Then again, who knows. Maybe these moments are meant to be shared with a special someone…

PS: Please forgive the shaky crapiness of the video. I was driving! (!) …UH I MEAN…

About Terry McCall

I'm currently working on everything. INcluding this blog. For the past few hours, I've been keeping some of my typos. In what I write that is.

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