06 December 2011

Winter in the DMV

Continuing on a theme from last Tuesday, here's what the weather was like today in Savage.

I know what you're thinking, but my wipers do actually work.
This is what winter's like here in the DMV.

Recently, I learned that apparently some people are starting to refer to the DC Metro area as the DMV (DC, Maryland-DPR, Virginia).

I know what some of you are thinking: DelMarVa. No, this is to be understood as different from the DelMarVa, which is the traditional name specifically for the Eastern Shore peninsula and generally for these three states (no one actually cares about DC).

When I was growing up, DMV stood for Department of Motor Vehicles, the government agency most normal people least want to interact with short of the IRS. Now in my native New Jersey, it's known as the MVC (Motor Vehicle Commission), because nothing says progress like changing the name of an agency that will, no doubt, function more inefficiently for it. In Maryland, it was already the MVA (Motor Vehicle Administration) when I got here.

So that's dumb.

My first instinct on learning of the use of DMV for a nickname for the local area is to say that this is stupid.

On further reflection, it's still stupid but is at least accurate in conveying the daily sense of despair and frustration with mindless government bureaucracy that permeates the lives of those who live in this area.

Also, the Beltway (told you the wipers work).
All that to say it rained today, as it rained last week. The difference this week was that it rained more on my trip to Northern Virginia than it did last week. Interestingly, the most dangerous part of my trip was not the Beltway itself, but the first intersection after I got off the Beltway.

Whoever designed what is currently going on at the Braddock Road exit in Springfield needs to be beaten with a wet swimming noodle until long after it actually starts hurting. When I get off at that exit, I'm shunted automatically into the right lane on Braddock Road, which is a two-lane road for the first 500 feet. There is a light after that and the left lane is supposed to turn left to exit on to the Outer Loop. After that light, then, Braddock Road is a SIX-LANE road. The best part is that about 500 or so feet after that light is the intersection with Port Royal Road, which, for our purposes, we shall call my turn. There are two left turn lanes there.

Here's why it's the best part: remember when I said I'm in the right lane? That means I have to cross five lanes to get to my turn lane (which is the leftest lane really). In theory, this can work because only the right lane is supposed to continue on after that first light. In practice, this means cutting in front of five lanes that have suddenly opened behind you because everyone in the left lane kept going straight through the light instead of turning.

And then death.

My intention is to continue The Hills Have Diapers series tomorrow. I had hoped to continue it yesterday but then found myself out of the house from noon to 11 p.m. and my writing groove completely gone when I got home. Today was no shot because I won't be home until after 10 (and dead), and something like The Hills Have Diapers requires thought, planning, and preparation I simply can't afford to give today.

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