Tag Archives: San Francisco

Maybe You Can Drive My Car

As you can see, today I want to talk about cars.

Wait a minute. Wait just one minute.

Cars Karen? Really? We don’t want to talk about cars. That’s a guy thing. Let’s talk about shopping or something else more exciting.

Hold on, hold on. I see your point.

But what’s not to love about cars?

Did y’all not see that adorable Pixar movie?

Well, who was the star of the show?

That’s right. Cars.

And let’s just say it like it is girls. When you started dating your current boyfriend or husband, what kind of car was he driving?

I rest my case. 🙂

If you think about it, cars can say so much about who we are as a person or we wouldn’t take so much of our time pondering over what kind of car it is that we want to buy. What they look like and how fast they drive does have an influence on us and others whether we like it or not.

So then, what were they thinkin’ when they came out with this baby?


Do you remember this one? It’s an AMC Pacer, voted the ugliest car ever made. If you don’t, not to worry, it’s obvious you didn’t miss much.

Chick magnet?

I think not.

But what about the cars we drove around when we first started driving? What did they look like and what did they say about us? After all, most of us didn’t have much of a choice in the matter as we drove around in the family car.

After seeing that little number, I realized I really didn’t have it quite so bad.

You see, I think my Dad at the time was going through some kind of mid-life crises. He and my Mom had just come back from a trip. They had flown up to the San Francisco bay area and rented a car at the airport. They decided one afternoon to take a drive north across the Golden Gate bridge and cruise around the beautiful Redwoods along the Russian river. Apparently, the car they rented was loaded with plenty of spunk and style, and could really handle the curves. So on their return; they made the decision to purchase that same model at the local dealership.

It was a 1969 Dodge Charger.


Just so you know guys, I didn’t drive the RT model with a 440 magnum under the hood. Yet that 383 sure had plenty of attitude and zip.

But, the family car? Seriously?

Five people scrunched inside a two door? This certainly was not a well thought out idea. More like an emotional decision, which you have to know, was so not like my parents at all.

A mid-life crises? Ya think?

But hey, when it came time for this girl to get her driver’s license, I couldn’t be happier. Most days when I borrowed the car I had a blast. I could meet up with my friends. Drive to see a movie. Take a cruise along the beach. Race against all my guy friends. That’s right. And I had no problem keeping up with them. Ah yes, those were the days. It was awesome.

That was until I was told this…

Maybe you can drive my car…

If you go to the store…

If you take your sister to her violin lesson…

If you’ll pick up the dry cleaning…

If you go to the bank for me.

And this one was a real bummer.

If you take your brother and sister with you…

I know, boohoo. Life’s tough right? Yet, at the time, I would get really tweaked about it as I now became the family errand girl and chauffeur.

Maybe you can drive my car

Yes I’m gonna be a star

Baby you can drive my car

And maybe I’ll love you

Beep beep’m beep beep yeah!

So what do you think? What kind of car did your boyfriend or husband drive? Have any of you ever played that “Maybe You Can Drive My Car” game with your kids? What was the first car you ever drove? What is the name of the ugliest car you’ve ever seen?
Thank you everyone for dropping by and for all your wonderful comments!


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Bridge of Sighs

My post today isn’t about an architectural fantasy involving Antonio Contino’s bridge in Venice over the Rio di Palazzo, erected in the year 1600, connecting the Doge’s prisons with the inquisitor’s rooms of the main palace. Although it was Lord Byron who helped to popularize this belief by naming that water overpass, “Bridge of Sighs.”

Nor am I talking about a song with the same title written by a British guitarist in the mid 1970’s named Robin Trower.


Never mind.

No, I am talking about another world famous bridge that just celebrated 75 years of expansion over the San Francisco bay, the “Golden Gate” bridge. And it was just last weekend, on May 27th that the city celebrated with fireworks and crowning sun-bright sparkle enhancements.

Like a diamond set atop of the bridge’s own tower’s, it began flashing narrow beams of reflective light throughout the San Francisco Bay area in an installation matrimony of art and science—a project called Solar Beacon, all part of a yearlong celebration of the bridge.

Two sets of mirrors or heliostats sit on top of the bridge’s two 746 foot towers, two feet apart, swivel and tilt by motors directed by cellphone commands. They call this Art in Progress. “It’s never been done before and we don’t know what it’s going to look like,” said Mr. Vallerga, one of the volunteers.

Normally, they build this type of thing for astronomical spacecraft, including the ones bound for Pluto and Jupiter. That kind of work is very utilitarian and it’s not often appreciated for its artistic value. The idea started when Mr. Vallerga and his colleague Pat Jelinsky approached an artist-in-residence, Liliane Lijn at a space lab in London in 2005.

They wanted to build prism heliostats that would convert sunlight into refracted rainbow of colors that would beam from on top of a hill, like the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles or near the Griffith Observatory, but they were unable to drum up enough support. Thus the Golden Gate’s 75th Diamond Anniversary with a mountain ridge in France soon on the horizon.

So why the reference to the Golden Gate as a Bridge of Sighs?

Apparently the bridge is a public health hazard. Because it doesn’t have adequate safety barriers, it continues to be the world’s most popular suicide location. Since its opening on May 27, 1937, there have been an estimated 1,558 deaths by jumping. And that’s only counting those they’ve been able to recover. In other words, it’s estimated that every two and a half days someone tries to jump.

(Kevin Hines views an exhibit of 1,558 pairs of shoes during the celebration. The shoes represent known suicides that have jumped from the bridge. Hines, one of six people to survive a suicide attempt from the bridge, urges barriers be installed.)

The disquieting number of suicides speaks of a dark history surrounding this renowned public structure. With all its beauty and brilliance in engineering and construction, the question is asked, “How do we weigh its value against the reality of tragedy?”

Officials have voted to install a suicide deterrent to the bridge, but no money has been allotted. Then there are those who oppose a barrier because they think it will ruin the appearance of the bridge, yet the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Duomo in Florence, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and many other international landmarks have suicide barriers. But not the Golden Gate Bridge?

A happy anniversary to you Golden Gate Bridge!

Well, perhaps not. It is felt that only when the Golden Gate Bridge has a safety net will the day truly be worth celebrating. Until that time, it will continue to be thought of as a “Bridge of Sighs.”

So what do you think? Have you ever traveled to Venice, Italy and walked across the “Bridge of Sighs?” Have you taken a trip to the San Francisco area and driven across the “Golden Gate Bridge,” perhaps on a day trip to the wine country? Have you ever written a character that may have jumped off a bridge? Or taken a leap of faith?

Thank you everyone for dropping by and for all your wonderful comments!


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