August 15, 2008

Benchmarks and Informalities

It turns out I really like my commute to work.

I have a little clean linen scented air freshener in my car, and I've come to associate my commute with the smell of laundry and morning fog. And though I've only been doing this drive down I-280 to Los Altos for two weeks now, I'm learning all the nuances of the road and the 41.4 mile journey.

When I'm passing by San Francisco State University by 15 minutes after the hour, I know I'm on schedule to arrive on time. When I pass Half Moon Bay, I'm leaving the fog behind. At the sign that says "Los Altos Hills - 17 miles" there is a huge dip in the road, and I have to flip the little cover on my coffee lid to keep it from bouncing out. [Brief aside: except today I hit a dip in the road that was not properly catalogued in my brain, and coffee splashed out onto my right boob. With the pale pink sweater I'm wearing today and the brown spot that's now on it, it feels a little like I'm announcing to the world, "Please look at my nipple, won't you? Thank you."] At the sign that says "El Monte Road - 6 1/2 miles" I know it's time to get serious and picking the last song I want to listen to before I arrive. At the Arastradero Rd. exit, I know it's time to get serious about getting into the right lane to make my exit. On Foothills Expressway, I start turning my music down as I'm preparing to turn into the neighborhood of fancy houses and shops in which my company is situated.

It's a very comfortable process, actually.

I love driving and I especially love listening to music when I drive. Some days--like today--I need to hear the same song LOUD and OVER AND OVER AGAIN. You can't do this with anyone else in the car. Even with people who share my musical taste, it doesn't really work to say, "We're going to listen to this song a dozen times in a row. That cool?"

It turns out I really like my job, too.

One of my favorite things about it is that the hours that I work are flexible. There's not a set start and end time, and I love that. My eccentric sleeping habits can make it difficult to arrive anywhere at the exact same time every day, so this fits me perfectly. This morning, for example, I was awake at 5am and thought, "I might as well get ready and go to work and get it out of the way faster."

With my arrival there are 15 of us in the company--almost all women. Everyone kicks off their shoes in their offices and walks around in their socks or, in my case, barefoot. I love that.

In two weeks I'll start teaching in the Sociology dept. at SFSU. I've never taught in that department before, and so far the faculty members I met seem fantastic. Just yesterday I got an email from the department chair announcing that there would be a happy hour at a bar near the campus a couple days before school started "to squeeze out the last few drops of pleasure from the summer." Another faculty member responded: "Finally. There is an executive decision in the country that I can fully support." Amen.


I'm just me... said...

This sounds like a great office to work in. I too like my commute to work, even though it's only 15 minutes. It gives me a little time to unwind with the windows down and the radio turned up. Then when I get home I'm refreshed and ready to chase A around the yard or play baby dolls.

Bree said...

As a Southbayer, born and bred, I must inform you it's "Foothill Expressway" - not "Foothills." I wonder if that was just a typo, or if some of your commute has yet to sink into your bones. In any case, I'm thinking I'll need to make you a mixed CD for the road!

Toad's Lair said...

D....I want to come home and play baby dolls, too! It would probably weird if I came home and did it alone, though. I guess no one has to know...

Bree....Ah, you got me. It was not a typo; I incorrectly added the 's' onto Foothill. What an eagle eye you have, amiga. And, yes, I will most gratefully take you up on your offer to make me a mixed CD for the road!