Thursday, October 27, 2011

Random things I obsess about on the highway...

So, anybody who knows me, knows that I can't shut up about the horrible commute I endure. Yes, it sucks. I take the Eisenhower Expressway from downtown to the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway (EOE, and it goes to neither Elgin, nor O'Hare), twice a day, five days a week. I just did the math, and I kind want to slit my wrists, but I spend 18.5% of my waking day (Monday through Friday) commuting. Thank God I don't own a gun. Unfortunately, I do own knives.

Anyway, the point of this blog entry: Because of the length of my commute, and the large portion of it that I spend moving under fifteen miles per hour, I tend to notice things that I wouldn't otherwise notice. I get bored. I look around me, I see things.

The other day, I had a woman following me home on the Ike starting from downtown until about 25th. This portion of my drive takes about 45 minutes (on average - trust me, sometimes it takes longer). Every time I glanced in my rear view mirror, she was chewing on her fingernails. This woman had her fingers in her mouth for 45 minutes straight. It started to drive me a little nuts. I've never claimed to be completely sane in the first place, but still. TAKE YOUR EFFING FINGERS OUT OF YOUR MOUTH! THAT'S DISGUSTING!

I criticize this woman while fully acknowledging that I am a nail biter. But I'm not being hypocritical. I may chew on my nails when I'm nervous or engaged in deep thought (it's been known to happen), but I do not chew on my nails for 45 minutes straight. While driving a car, no less.


And then there was this morning. While stopped at the Hillside Strangler, (because yes, there is always a portion of my commute ON THE HIGHWAY where I'm at a dead stop), I noticed a sign that I had never paid attention to before. It looked something like this:

The Eisenhower: Sucking it up since 1956

But not exactly. The internet failed me today, and I couldn't find the EXACT sign that I saw. I may have won the internet for seven minutes yesterday*, but those seven minutes are over. But I swear to God it's real. The sign I saw said something about I-290, 1956-2006, and patriotism.

So, all I could think was, "The Eisenhower stopped being patriotic in 2006? What's been happening the last five years? Is this why my commute sucks? Because the Ike stopped being patriotic? Oh, wait. The Ike sucked five years ago too. Nevermind."

Anyway, that's all I got today.

UPDATE - I found the actual sign with the actual wording:

The Eisenhower Expressway: Taking the "Express" out of "Expressway" for 55 years...

So I'm going to amend my previous statements. "A symbol of freedom." Right. A symbol of freedom from movement for 50 years?

*According to my friend Guido, I won the internet for exactly seven minutes when Voltron started following me on twitter (@phoenix_beth).


  1. You should take a picture of that sign with your cell phone while you drive. The irony would be complete.

  2. It's too dark at that time to take a picture with my cell phone. I drive before the sun rises. Which is even more depressing.

  3. OMG you found the sign. Awesome. And yes, it's pretty disturbing that highways have a symbolic freedom shelf-life of 50 yrs.

    Guess I gotta go build a highway. You know, to be free and all.

  4. Sorry - "symbolically free" and all.

    Carry on.

  5. @Dragonslayer - I love your internet handle. I shall tell you in person the next time I see you. ;)