Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Driving Myself Crazy

My parents were here last week for a visit. They drove out to Las Vegas from Chicago in February for a couple of months and then came to spend a few days with us. My mom wanted to get the oil changed in her Lexus, so I called the local Lexus dealer and asked for the service department. "How much is an oil change?" I asked. "$74.95" was the answer. Um, no. We Midwesterners think a $74.95 oil change better include a pedicure at the very least. So the oil change would wait. We had a lot of fun, went to Santa Monica, the Farmers Market--my new favorite place in L.A.-- and had lunch with a friend of my dad's at Mel's Drive-In, a retro-y diner. I plugged the address into the GPS in my car, and we were off. The friendly voice of the GPS directed us up La Cienega. I could see the street getting steeper as it approached the hills in the distance. Have I ever mentioned that I have a recurring anxiety dream where I'm driving up a hill and it gets steeper and steeper and my car starts rolling backward? Anyway, we are driving up La Cienega and I can see that there is a stop light almost at the top of the hill--just where we have to make a left turn onto Sunset. Of course, I am the first car that is stopped at the light, still headed uphill, having to make a left turn when the light changes. And there is a big truck in back of me. My heart is pounding. My dream has become my reality. The light turns green. I take my foot off the brake and put it on the gas. In the few seconds between those two actions, my car starts to roll backwards a few inches. Now my heart is really pounding. I step on the gas and thankfully, start going forward and make the turn. I hope this lunch is good, because I'm never going back to this place again. My dad's friend gets there and my heart has returned to a semi-normal rhythm. I ask him if all the streets leading to Sunset are that steep. "No," he says, "that's pretty much the worst one. I usually try to avoid that one." Now he tells me.


Anonymous said...

this was a really tame comment re hill. just paid 42$ for abve described oil change. was told i needed 940 worth of work, now it's time to take a walk to a beach; at least, there is a lot of open space there!
When you arrive, maybe you can fix color printing. er

Anonymous said...

Try it in a small convertible with a stick shift :-)

Martwork said...

No thank you.

Hilary said...

I was going to say, I always avoid La Cienega up there too. Traffic sucks, and the hill is always backed up.

Let me know if you're ever looking for some good places to eat. I have tons of suggestions!

And which Farmers Market did you go to?

Robin Design Group said...

I lived in Montreal for a decade, and they have some streets that are as steep as those in San Francisco. I've lived that reality where the transmission falls out and rolled backwards three times in that decade. Nothing like confronting your fears rolling backwards at 70 MPH.

Martwork said...

Oy vey. I'll never get to sleep tonight.