Monday, January 29, 2007

Received wisdom

Here beginneth the reading from the first instruction of Jen to the Bostonian: Yea, thou hast hit upon it. 84, 684, yes, and Tappan Zee!, and also 287; Garden State, Jersey Pike, Delaware Mem, Fort McHenry, 95 and you're there.

Trusteth thou not to the Mapquest, for it will lead you straight through New York City across the GW at rush hour.

I was so, so pleased with myself on the drive down to DC. I figured out 84, 684, 287 and Tappan Zee, then the Garden State Parkway and the bliss of the Jersey Turnpike. (I cannot tell you how much I have come to love the NJ Turnpike. It's something of an obsession. I just know that if I can make it that far, the next hundred miles will pass quickly, there will be food and bathrooms easily accessible whenever my delightful children will have need of them, and all will be sweetness and light and I can gun it at 75 for a solid hour.)

Alas, on the drive back, I fell from grace. Verily, I proceeded - eventually - up 95 to Delaware (first sitting in two hours' worth of backup because of an accident or something), THEN we made our merry way to the Elysian Fields of the blessed Jersey Pike. And I got to the Tappan Zee, even, and then...oh, a sorry tale. My faith left me; I hesitated when I saw a demure little sign pointing to 684; and I was screwed, headed straight for New Haven. The one thing I most desperately wanted to avoid was 95 and north on 91 from New Haven, and here I was. What was the word? Oh, yes: Crap.

Fortunately, it wasn't all that bad, as by the time I actually hit New Haven it was almost nine p.m. and the only other cars on the road wanted to get the hell out of there as desperately as I did. I speak not ill of New Haven and its noble qualities, or of Yale, even; I speak of the traffic pile-up that New Haven seems to accummulate, like crud around the edge of the bathroom faucet. We got home at 11:15 p.m. Coulda been worse; NHCollegeDem's car was totalled at the end of their journey (so sad! poor dudes! nice dudes, too!). (Hi, David and Marley! and Becky! lovely to meet you guys, too!) (psst - this is slightly knitting related as NHColDem is a new knitter & David's Becky is interested in the knitting.)

So I'm cursing my hesitation and thinking to myself, as God is my witness I will not get screwed by the insanity that is Hartford. So I (of course!) started thinking about triangles. Things like, if I miss the junction for 84 in Hartford and get sucked into 91 to friggin' Springfield, I will be totally screwed, but in what way particularly, and to what extent? Well, I will be driving the two sides of a right triangle rather than the hypotenuse. Sides of 3 and 4, with a hypotenuse of 5, say, and I will be screwed to the extent that 3 + 4 exceeds 5. And then I thought, well, if we could move into another dimension, the 3 and 4 would be 3 squared and 4 squared, and rather than exceeding the 5, they would equal the 5 squared. So then I thought, hey, I wonder what the relationship is like, and if the phenomenon of unequal things becoming equal when seen in another dimension occurs in any other case. Or if Pythagoras thought about that at all. And, gee, I guess I have to look into reading some philosophy of mathematics. This is where I wistfully miss my husband, honors degree in mathematical physics, with whom I could have had this conversation.

And yes, I have been told on more than one occasion that under no circumstances should I ever, ever, ever take LSD.

Good night, all; way late again.

Hellos, and thank you for visiting, to farm_witch (ha!! groupie?? I have, what? 30 hits, max? welcome, dear!), and Jena and Lucia (and thank you again about the cats--folks, she looked after the cats. There are a lot of them.), and Lynne, and the transcendently tranquil Julie, and Carole, and hey, hi, Aimee, and hi, Becky! Waves and hugs to family, too. And so it goes.


Blogger Mel said...

Sweetie, it sounds to me like you don't need LSD! Looks like you got the lock on the best way to DC. The Beltway and 95 between DC and Baltimore are ever and always threatening gridlock, though. Having spent many hours crawling and creeping along through there, I just don't understand why more people aren't using the trains, or why they don't build up the train system, or why they don't work on pushing public transit more, or....

3:12 AM  
Blogger Carole Knits said...

Sounds like some of our drives home from Gettysburg. We've occasionally tested our luck and gone over the GW and it's certainly faster and more direct if there's no traffic. The signage heading North over the TZ stinks!

7:00 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

Sounds like the exact route we take down to my sister's house in Jersey only we peel off of 287 onto something else for the last little bit. After growing up in the south with pretty much just I-10 to worry about this rat's nest of interstate up here can be a wee bit overwhelming. Glad you made it home safe!

7:25 AM  
Blogger Ruth said...

The only times I've ever taken this route B has been driving and I've kept my head down and knit until we're past it all. I bow before your superior navigational skills (and your ability to hypothesize in Math ... I have to confess that my brain got all fuzzy during that bit).

Although I share your love of the Turnpike. After a lifetime of midwestern interstates, the NJ Turnpike is a wonder.

7:45 AM  
Blogger Lucia said...

You're quite welcome. (Folks, there are a lot of them, but I have more.)

I wonder if it's possible to use the Pythagorean theorem in knitting. If there's a way I have no doubt you will find it. (Did you know that if you knit a circle with a diameter of 1, it will take you 3 times as much yarn to make the diameter 2? 'Tis true.)

8:22 AM  
Anonymous Lynne aka Witchypoo said...

I could drive it in my sleep :) I cannot tell you how many times I've driven that route to New Hope, PA. Glad you all made it home safe and sound. See you Wednesday I hope.

9:15 AM  
Anonymous becky said...


I drive DC to Albany, NY (or NYC, or Long Island) almost once a month, so if ever you need directions....

I feel your pain. So acutely. (And no, don't do LSD.)

Welcome home!

2:16 PM  
Blogger Jena the yarn harpy said...

For future reference, if ever stuck in the abyss of NY/CT/MA, give me a call. I used to drive back and forth from Hamden (next to New Haven) every weekend and have a bad habit of driving straight into NYC when the whim catches me (straight up Broadway, through Times Square, baby!). :)

8:42 AM  

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