Virginia Is For Ranters
In case you all out there lost track of time, my relocation from Kansas to Virginia concluded more or less a year ago. For those of you who do live under rocks, try this post and then this one where I orally shat about the process.
With one year under my belt, I figured it was time for an assessment of my new area. I won’t say if this is a warning or a tourist post, because everyone’s idea of fun is different.
Weather – Overall, much better than Kansas. The humidity is higher and stickier, but even though it snows in the winter, it’s not the deadly blast of Canadian polar vortex that Kansas suffers annually… or maybe anally.
Traffic – Only those from Los Angeles will be thrilled with the DC traffic. The Beltway creeps for six total hours a day, but it does continue to move. The good news is that the area has a robust transportation system as an alternative. If you stay in the Northern Virginia area, you’ll find that virtually everything you need is 17 miles away and will take 26 minutes to get there. Such is the world according to The Google.
Parking – Don’t try it in DC, except on Sunday. Parking in the Capital region is free on weekends, but Saturday is just as crazy as Friday here. The lack of space is mind boggling, and it radiates all the way out to Virginia. Apparently, the area’s adopted the European idea of parking spaces in both size and availability.
Traffic Metering – This continues to piss me straight off every time I have to hit a store or something. Here in Virginia, they like to allow traffic lights to do the following:
- Cross traffic to the right, left turns proceed.
- Cross traffic to the left, left turns proceed.
- Cross traffic to the right proceeds.
- Cross traffic to the left proceeds.
- Oncoming left turns proceed.
- Left turns next to you proceed.
- Oncoming traffic proceeds.
- You may proceed, if you have any gas left.Customer Service – What the fuck is that? Want helpful staff? Drive to West Virginia.
I suspect an evil plot between the state government and big oil. I’m sure the Illuminati are in there somewhere, too.
Idiot Drivers – Road rage sufferers should avoid the area. I rate Virginia drivers as worse than Mass-holes and those from Connecticut and California. Nobody shoots at you here, but don’t count on the bonehead who’s locked into your blind spot to even be aware of the fact because he’s busy texting or talking or aligning his chakras. Nothing is intentional because nobody cares and they measure their situational awareness in negative units.
Wildlife – Holy squirrelmageddon. On the weekends, we toss peanuts out on the Massive Deck and watch the crows and squirrels and blue jays conduct their Octagon of Death for them. I like the chipmunks best because they’re helping me turn my compost pile and they don’t bother anyone.
Free Shit – I mentioned DC parking on weekends is free, and the Metro goes everywhere. The Smithsonian has so much shit to look at – for free – that my weekends are booked until I’m 93. I stood next to the Enola Gay, an SR-71 and the Space Shuttle Discovery two months ago. That’s a whole lot of freedom only thirty minutes away.
Beef – Maybe I’m spoiled on cheap, excellent, grain-fed Kansas beef. Then again, maybe Virginia taxes beef for some reason. Hell, they’ll tax you if not enough rain can fall on your property. The cost per pound on dead cow here is about three times what I’m used to. They also consider a one-half inch of steak to be “thick cut.” That’s pre-grill, by the way. Good thing I love pig. I know of one place with reasonable beef run by Koreans. That’s thirty minutes away.
Diversity – If you’re in the least uncomfortable with being surrounded by a smorgasbord of cultures, don’t come here. I’m cool with it because you can get great food of any kind you want. All of it is thirty minutes away.
Long post, right? Sorry. I’d put a picture of a potato up like internet people do but I have no idea why that helps. Regardless, there’s my assessment of Virginia after a year.