Irony, Defined

My efforts yesterday to avoid the Bridge of Terror in my travels around and about Charleston, SC were an utter, complete failure. Looking at a map, I chose a route that circumvented the BOT and went over what appeared to be two relatively small river crossings.

How terribly, horribly wrong I was. I had to travel over not just one but two monstrosities on I-526. One of them, the Don Holt Bridge, was the site of an accident in which an SUV plunged over the side just three months ago. A tire blew, the vehicle flipped multiple times, and then went over the guardrail. This confirms my belief that your car CAN direct itself toward the edge of a large bridge and fling itself over the side. It’s also a sound testament to my decision to reduce my speed to about 45 mph, enter the middle lane, and turn on my hazard lights in hopes that a tanker truck wouldn’t rear-end my tiny Honda Civic and send it flying into oblivion.

Perhaps it’s just best to stay home with the cats.

If you’re at all interested, someone actually took a video of their drive over the Bridge of Terror. Maybe if I watch it multiple times I will be able to cross it one day without fear.

The Bridge of Terror

Today I’m in Charleston, South Carolina on business. Only those people who have never traveled for business will be jealous that I get to visit beautiful cities like Charleston as part of my job. As for food, I don’t get to pick the best restaurant in town and take our donors there–I go wherever I’m invited. (Today’s choice: Longhorn–no complaints, but it’s not quite unique to Charleston.)

And I have to face things like the Bridge of Terror, otherwise known as the Arthur Ravenel Bridge, which is, according to Wikipedia, “the longest cable-stayed bridge in the Western Hemisphere.” How do people face this monster every day, when their car might at any second direct itself toward the edge, fling itself over the flimsy concrete barrier, and plunge them 186 feet into the murky depths below? Why do they have to make it so TALL? And put such enormous cables on it? It’s like driving along one of those South American roads in a tiny bus with a cliff on both sides.

I hyperventilate just at the thought of going over this thing. Luckily for me my hotel this evening is at the absolute total last possible point it can be without actually taking me over it. And I’ll have to go out of my way only 10 miles to avoid it tomorrow. So I suppose I’m luckier than I realize.

We’re Back!!

We are back–back on the Internet, back on the blog, back in an apartment that we can call home for at least a little while, until the sub-prime poo that has constipated the housing market gets cleared out and our house . . . well . . . until our house sells.

Moving on, so to speak, from infantile metaphors, I’ll give you a brief update on what’s been going on. During that little holiday towards the end of last month, which raised its feeble hand from the rubble of the consumer-crazed train wreck we call Christmas, Fred and I a) moved and b) visited our respective families in an odyssey across the Southeast. Our journey culminated in a six-hour drive with four sullen, mewing creatures in the back of a rented SUV as we continued the transfer of our worldly goods from Atlanta to Durham. (Poor Louise’s bladder gave out about an hour from Durham, so her first experience in her new home was a bath. She has since recovered–as I look at her now, she is sprawled out on the living room floor, just waiting for one of her kitty friends to stroll by so she can give her a good swat.)

The first part of the transfer was effected by Jamie (no relation) and Chris of Two Men and a Truck. They began in Atlanta at 9:00 a.m. and arrived in Durham that evening. They then spent a heroic four hours lugging furniture, and boxes and boxes and boxes of books, and painting after painting after painting, across roughly one quarter mile and then up three flights of stairs, finishing at 1:30 a.m.

Since then, I’ve been unpacking books, hanging paintings, and generally reveling in the arboreal splendor of our new home of a large, impersonal apartment complex smack in the middle of Duke Forest. As I type this, I’m perched on the third floor, staring out of a large window across our screened-in porch at . . . trees. (And the outline of a nearby condo, but you really have to be looking to see it.) No buses. No earnest, fat-eschewing thirty-somethings jogging along as they push the baby stroller and walk the Golden Retrievers. No drunken, meth-addled neighbors knocking on our door to ask for “bus fare” or a chance to mow our lawn for five dollars. No construction workers ripping down the small house next door to put in a half-million dollar monstrosity that will only CLOG UP the housing market even more and keep our house from selling.

I am beginning to like it here. Now we just need to get the Fred to join me. He continues to live in a vegetable-free house with a futon, a couch, and a TV, with the buses, the earnest joggers, the meth addicts, and the construction workers just outside the door. If you are one of our Atlanta friends, please do invite him over for dinner, or take him out somewhere besides Twain’s.