Almost owned (0wn3d/Pwn3d)!
Tonight as I was driving to Bible Study Fellowship in San Gabriel, I almost got into an accident on the East LA Interchange (10 East to 5 North to 10 East).
I was trying to merge into the #3 lane from the #2 lane in front of a red BMW E46 M3 Coupe who was going from the #4 lane to the #3. I was traveling about 65-70 mph. I passed him safely and had my right blinker flashing the entire time. I began to make my lane change and the car that been in front of the M3, a white late-1980s to mid-1990s Mitsubishi Galant (I think), started to come into the lane I was already moving into. The fine fellow driving the car did not signal whatsoever (or it did not have a working one). I already was well in front of the chap–his left front fender was adjacent to my right rear door. Because I was looking over my shoulder while making the lane change, I was able to quickly snap the car back to the left to return to the #2 lane to avert what seemed like what was bound to be sure contact. I’m glad that the car didn’t get unsettled at all during the sudden maneuver! I didn’t hit the brakes at all (which probably would’ve unsettled the car by shifting the weight to the front while it was accelerating laterally) and only had to steer the vehicle to avoid the other car. It happened so quickly that I didn’t have time to think, just react. This reminds me of a line from my favorite movie, Top Gun, where Maverick (Tom Cruise) says as he’s getting critiqued in a debriefing session, “You don’t have time to think up there. You think. You die.”
I was able to safely make my lane change in front of this guy 5-10 seconds later once I was totally in front of him. I will confess I raised my right hand to gesture, “What are you doing?!” after I had safely taken up the position in front of the car (I know. Shame on me!). He then made another lane change to his left to get into the #2 lane and sped off in what I think was an unsafe manner.
Thanks to God for watching over me in this incident! It also makes me think again about the “gut feeling” I sometimes get when I feel like something is going to happen (refer back to one of my mid-August 2006 entries).
You know you’re a part of the rat-race in your commute when…
- You regularly see the same vehicles traveling on the freeway in the opposite direction
-There was a blue 1998-2001 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS Coupe I would regularly see in the #1 lane of the 10 East. We would always wave to each other when we saw each other. Sadly, I haven’t seen this “brother” in a few weeks.
-I still see a red 2003-2006 Mini Cooper S Mark II with a red with white stripes livery and a rally racing-style number on its doors
-I used to see a red 1993-1997 Chevrolet Camaro with a dent in its front bumper area everyday
-I spot a red 1994-1999 Toyota Celica with a USC front license plate frame, a USC parking permit in the left front corner of the front windshield, and a license plate number starting with “3K.” When I first saw it, I thought it might be Lisa Higaki (Xanga: higakichan), but realized she wouldn’t be driving that way at that time. The lady inside it also doesn’t look like Lisa.
- You see the same vehicles traveling with you in the same direction
-Motocycles who ride by – I can tell the fellow “rats” in the rat race because they zip by me regularly with the same riding jackets (Alpinestars, Red Bull Moto GP, etc.)
-Other vehicles with stickers on their rear windshield and/or license plate frames I recognize I’ve seen before
So even though I’m a part of the rat-race in my ~24-mile (old tires…new tires ring up about 23.65 miles on the odometer each way) commute, I don’t mind being one of the rats since (by the grace of God) I am usually looking forward to going to work that day!