What about my little key store? RIP, Leslie Nielsen.
My first experience of serious holiday travel (as in, not just a day trip) was not terrible, though not exactly pleasant. Take last Wednesday-- between Baltimore & Frederick (the first ~40 miles), I saw five accidents and four speed traps. Plus random backups (Frederick, the outlets near Hagerstown, about an actual mile of traffic trying to get off 70..). On the way home I only saw two accidents and avoided the Breezewood Turnpike-70 backup (thanks to my instincts proving correct). And my timing was spot on-- I got to Frederick just after the Redskins game started and before the Ravens game traffic picked up. Whew. I really don't mind the drive too much, but the heavy traffic and the bizarre propensity Marylanders have for forming backups in the middle of nowhere (let alone at actual interchages) for no discernible reason are taxing.
Of course, I was greeted by two extremely pissed-off cats. They weren't amused that I watched the (gasp! televised!) Steelers game with a Mancini's pepperoni roll (baked fresh the day before) with Penn Pils instead of begging forgiveness. Poor things. You'd think that I didn't drop everything in my arms to pick them up as soon as I walked in. Or that I left treats and catnip hidden around the apartment, the lights and radio on, new toys scattered around. Or greeted them with nauseating amounts of petting and treats. Though Pete did pull out a few hunks of fur (thoughtfully leaving them in the middle of my bedroom floor). Poor baby. I'm not sure which is more stressful on him, being left alone or being driven to a strange place for a few days. A strange place with a dog. I don't know. But he's currently nesting in my partially unpacked duffel bag, giving me a none-too-subtle hint that I'm either not going anywhere or not leaving him behind.
But it's good to be home. And it's good to have another W, even though we can't seem to pull ahead of the Ravens. We'll see what happens Sunday. It's a very tense time around these parts. A very, very tense time.
Speaking of tense, I have no idea how people commute to DC from Baltimore. The incredible storms today made everything that much more fun. And by fun I mean horrifying. I'm glad I wasn't driving. I'm home comparatively early from work, so I think I'm going to put up some Christmas decorations. But first, I've been tagged for the 15 authors meme. Let's see...
Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen authors (poets,playwrights and screen-writers included) who've influenced you and who will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes. Tag at least fifteen friends, including me, because I'm interested in seeing what authors my friends choose (To do this, go to your Notes tab on your profile page, paste rules in a new note, cast your fifteen picks, and tag people in the note.).
Kurt Vonnegut (precious few authors have defined irony half as well or warped my world view half as much)
CS Lewis (Narnia >> Middle Earth to me)
Stephen King (literary junk food is still literary)
George Orwell (those who would misappropriate 1984 should read Down & Out in Paris)
Leo Tolstoy (everyone should have a ponderous Russian novel to love-- Anna Karenina is mine)
TS Eliot (arrogant bastard)
Dorothy Parker (if only my wit were one quarter as biting)
Wallace Stevens (let be be finale of seem, the only emperor is the emperor of ice cream)
HP Lovecraft (eldritch! batrachian! squamous! noisome!)
EA Poe (the first short stories I ever read)
Oscar Wilde (see comment for Parker, Dorothy)
William Goldman (The Princess Bride is the best romance ever)
Lewis Carrol (first experience I can recall with logic puzzles, wordplay, etc)
Hunter S. Thompson (We can't stop here-- this is bat country!)
Sylvia Plath (predictably enough)