Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A serenade at North Star Mall

As I use the Apple Store's WiFi and munch on an overpriced pretzel from Auntie Anne's. The band can't decide if it's hard rock or soft, but seeing as how huge numbers of the people in this mall are 1. older and 2. couples with families, somehow I don't think the heavy pounding drums are going to go across well. I've already heard two kids start screaming in fear when they started their first set. But that just goes to show the disconnect in San Antonio (which is HOT and not in a good way). I'm SO glad I no longer live here. The people running this place have absolutely no idea what they're doing.

For example -- there's a stretch of 281 north of Loop 1604 that is one of the worst traffic snarls in the country. It even puts the Wilshire/Santa Monica Boulevard intersection to shame. Why? Because for some stupid reason someone in the city's planning department decided it's perfectly all right for some idiot developers to denude the hillsides of trees, slap a few thousand homes on there, put in some of the ugliest strip malls ever...and do absolutely nothing to improve the traffic flow. They just put in a few traffic lights. And the last time I was here and had to go through that mess at 3 in the afternoon, it took me an hour to travel 1 1/2 miles.

So...what's the great solution they've FINALLY come up with to assist in bettering the traffic? They're putting in turn-around lanes. With lights. So people can do "U" turns. Into thick, backed-up traffic. In several spots. And a bit of widening on the left turn lanes at other spots. I can just about guarantee, even without having a degree in engineering, that this will not only make the snarl worse, it will double the number of wrecks because, like everywhere else in this country, any idiot can get a driver's license and 90% of drivers are in a rush, and rules of the road are, "Get the fuck out of my way because I need to be where you are to do what I need to do.)

Reminds me of when The Grove was built in LA, over by the Farmer's Market, and the developer swore it wouldn't add to the traffic problem there. And it only doubled the number of cars trying to get past 3rd and Fairfax. I got to where I wouldn't go anywhere near the place unless I was meeting people.

Anyway, enough griping. No writing done (nor will much get done while I'm here, it seems) because I'm working on other things -- like getting my mother to agree to keep her doctors' appointments next week so we can get some of her problems dealt with instead of running off to Lubbock to see if her latest great-grandbaby is here (my nephew and his wife are expecting on the 2nd but she's already had her first contraction). And trying to get my youngest brother to see a dentist (since he's not working and could probably get the dental school to work on his mouth for free). And figure out how to get my other brother and my sister to actually take proactive care of our mother instead of wait for her to call them for something (which she will rarely do because she doesn't want to bother them).

Okay...I'm getting back to bitching. This ain't for that.

I read an advance copy of Kyle Cicero's latest "Mark Julian" book, and a really like the way he delves deeper into his characters' psyches on this. He's yammering about not publishing it and I hope he changes his mind. It's almost like a coda to the rest of the series.

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