A Giant Quantity of Nope

This morning, like most weekday mornings, I hopped into my trusty old Jeep, fired ‘er up and took off, careening toward my place of employment.

As I traversed one of my hometown’s very busy main roads, I glanced into my sideview mirror, as any safe driver would do.

As I glanced, I saw a little leggy burble and a pop and this thing emerged:

See the hinge for the mirror? It had somehow packed itself in there.

I should note that I was so startled that I had to pull over to the side of the street and consider my options. Also to take a photo to send to The Good Man. It was essential to document the situation in case my Jeep and I were later found suspended from a stop light, wrapped in silk and drained of fluids.

Let me zoom in a little closer for ya.

The Good Man refers to this time of year as “Chunky Spider Season.” It’s true, our current hometown is very, er, spidery. More than any place I have ever lived. And they are often quite big. And chunky.

At home, I park on the street near a tree and some brush. These eight legged demons seem to consider the Jeep part of their homestead. I often brush webs off every corner of the Jeep, including when they manage to string webs across my roof rack.

But this, today, goes beyond the pale.

How about an even closer look, because you need to know my fear.

After snapping photos, I cinched up, put on my determined face, then re-entered the roadway at speed hoping this sumnabitch would fly off in the wind. No such luck. It first hunkered down, then feeling carefree (I assume), it later spread all eight of its legs as though surfing the breeze.

Hitting speedbumps at a hard pace didn’t seem to help either.

Soon, I arrived at work and had to unroll this window to reach out and badge into the garage. Thankfully my new overlord didn’t seem to flinch much.

But it’s still there. Still hanging out like it owns my Jeep. Like I am just a pawn in its spidery game.

I am currently unable to exit the Jeep. This is my life now.

Someone please send help! To the passenger side, though.



The Good Man did some research based on photos and determined this is a Cross Orbweaver and that it isn’t poisonous. Fab. I’ll remember that when it singsongs my name and tells me to “come out and play.”

All photos ©2016 Karen Fayeth, and subject to the Creative Commons license in the right column of this page.

Little Miss Goody-Goody

Yesterday, after a long day of being a good corporate citizen, I climbed into The Jeep and pointed her nose toward home.

Near my office there is a very busy intersection located just near the entrance to 101. The intersection gets jammed up after work as everyone is trying to make it through at the same time. I don’t need to go on 101, but I have to pass by the entrance.

So in the busy 6:00 hour it’s all a matter of timing to get to the other side of the intersection while the light is green, hoping the other light another three blocks ahead also turns green so you don’t get left hanging out in the middle of the intersection.

Generally speaking, the local police don’t really find humor in people jamming up the intersections with their bad sense of timing and impatience.

Yesterday I just wanted to get home. I wanted some dinner and the chance to not think about work for several hours before sweet magical sleep.

As I rolled to the intersection, I looked at traffic, I weighed the odds of the light ahead turning green, and decided to go through the intersection and get in line. My front wheels made it into the lane, my back end was hanging out into the intersection.

I kept looking at the light, thinking “uh oh, this green is getting stale.” I mentally begged the other light to turn and save my bacon. As my light went yellow, I implemented evasive maneuvers. I was in the center lane, so I turned the wheel to move into the left lane, thus getting me out of the intersection.

Only problem was, there was something blocking my egress to the left lane.

A police car. With his lights on.

He had been headed the other direction and made a half u-turn, thus blocking the left lane. I looked at him, he pointed, I nodded, then pulled over to the far right lane instead, over to the curb and I stopped.


Then another car pulled in behind me, the guy who was ahead of me in line. Seems that nice police officer got himself a two fer one deal. A traffic ticket BOGO.

Damn. Damn. Damn.

The policeman approached the other vehicle first. I turned off my car, found my license and insurance and opened my windows to wait. I heard things like “Sir, are you aware that you….” and “…being charged with a moving violation…” on the breeze.

A moving violation? But I was standing still! Ok, I moved into the intersection. I get it.

The mind was racing: How long ago was it that I got my last ticket? Remember when I got popped by the stupid red light camera? If it was more than eighteen months ago, then maybe I can apologize my way out of this. Be calm. Be calm. Be nice to the cop. Say please and thank you. Say you are sorry. Say you misjudged the flow of traffic.

The officer brought a ticket back to the other guy, he signed it, took his copy, then drove off. The officer lingered near his police cruiser for a bit. He was on his two way radio. Must be calling in my plate.

I waited. And waited.

Finally the officer approached. I held out my documents like a sacred offering.

“Ma’am, are you broken down or something?”

“Uh, no officer. You pointed to me.”

“Oh, I’m so sorry! I just wanted you to know that I was going after that guy. You’re good. Have a nice day.”

“Oh? Thank you officer, you have a nice day too!”

Then I almost peed myself with relief. Holy. Crap.

When I told this story to The Good Man he said “you get good-kid karma points for stopping and not just driving away.”

I hope that’s true. I suspect I’m gonna need ’em.

Photo from FightSpeedingTicketsNow.com.

Sunday, Police Action Sunday

Yesterday I drove to the small downtown section of a small town to meet with a group of photographers. It was our scheduled monthly get together.

I pulled into a parking spot and as I put ‘er in park, I noticed a police car parked right behind me.

As I opened my door to exit the vehicle, I noticed a uniformed police officer approaching me.

Me: “Hello, officer.”

PO: (stoic) “Hello.”

Me: “What can I do for you?”

PO: “You can’t make that left turn you just made.”

ME: *puzzled look* Then I consider being a cutup and saying, “Oh, but I can! I just did! Wanna see me do it again?” But I rein in my inner smart alec.

PO: (looking at my puzzled look) “You made a turn across the lane to get into this parking spot. You can’t do that.”

Me: “Really? Oh shit.” (<- yes, I actually said oh shit to a cop. Not the brightest bulb that Albuquerque Public Schools has ever turned out.) PO: "Yes, really. It's painted there on the pavement (he points) and there's a sign on most of the light poles down the street. (he points again)" Me: (now sheepish because I really hadn't noticed) "Oh. Ok. Do you need to see my license?" PO: "No, that's ok. I'm just warning you. Don't do it again." Me: (quavering) "Thank you, sir. I appreciate it. Have a good evening." PO: (walking back to his car) "You too, ma'am." Me: (inside voice) shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit Once I got done quaking in my rain boots, I realized...that police officer did me a solid favor. See, my last encounter with the black and whites was less than 18 months ago. Why does that matter? In California, every eighteen months you can take an online driver's ed class which masks a point on your license. You only get one every 18 months. So if I got a ticket I was plum outta luck in terms of my insurance. I was a little down and dour that day while headed to my meeting, but the rare kindness of the police officer brought a little decency to my gray and rainy day. Plus, I recalled one of the few bits of advice I carry with me from driver's ed classes. A police officer came to speak to us. He said, "Always be courteous to a police officer. ALWAYS. It might make the difference between getting a ticket and getting off with a warning." Thank YOU, McGinnis School of Driving.

Photo by Nick Cowie and used royalty free from stock.xchng.

Literal girl takes things literally

Ok, so there we were on a day of running errands, The Good Man and me.

We pull into a crowded parking lot behind the store where we’ve taken our bicycles to get tuned up.

Fabulous. All good.

TGM parks the car and heads inside while I get out change to go see about the meter.

Muliti-tasking couple, that’s us. Efficiency!

Ok, so we parked in one of those lots where you have to “note your space number and pay at the machine.”

Sure. Ok. I’m in!

So I note “space number 6” and then I swivel my head around to find the pay’er machine.

I see a sign that says, “pay here” and I go toward it like a moth after a 60-watt bulb on a hot summer’s night.

I literally walk right to the “pay here” sign. Seeing ONLY the “pay here sign.”

I arrive at the “pay here” sign to find that there is ONLY a “pay here” sign and no sort of payin’ machine.

What. The. Heck?

Ok. A photo will probably explain this better.

It actually took me several moments to turn around and actually figure out how to get my parking fare paid.

The sign says, “pay here.” It DOES NOT say, “pay over there, like eight feet away.”

Pay here with an arrow means pay there! At the end of the arrow.

Very, very literal girl was really perturbed by this whole setup.

So perturbed I took a dang photo of it!

I totally need to take up yoga.

Or meditation.

Or something with plinky-plunky music that will help lower my blood pressure.

Literal girl is *tense* sometimes…..

An ode to my truck

Finally, an idea from the blog idea generator that I can sink my teeth into.

“Write a rhyming poem about your car.”


: clears throat, ready to recite :


Oooooh my Jeep, so shiny and black
At ninety three thousand miles, you still got my back.

When I slide you into wheels that drive four
Your engine drops an octave, more menacing than a roar.

You’ve got one blown speaker in the stereo
AM radio baseball. Homerun! “There we go!”

Your tires are getting a skosh toward worn
But your beautiful gray cloth seating, none of it torn.

Some parking lot craphead put a dent in your side
But your boxy lines, classic looks, no way they can slide.

You’ve always been my trusty steed on the road
I never worry that I can get where I need to go.

Together we’ve lasted almost ten years
I spent a little extra on you, despite all my fears.

Back in 2001, who would have thunk it
That in 2009 you’d narrowly escape being a cash for clunk it?


Yeah, I think that the word “craphead” makes this a classic bit of verse, don’t you?

Happy Friday! Have a great weekend!