Lessons in Driving

I’ll admit it, I’m not the best driver. I learned later in life and I’ve had my fair share of close calls. I was thinking about this while trying to fall asleep, last night, and I wanted to share it. Why? Just because.

1. First of all, I didn’t learn to drive until I was in my mid to late twenties. Why? Because I used to live in a larger town with an excellent transportation system. Owning a car and paying for car insurance was an unnecessary hassle. Besides which, during my teens and early twenties, I was undergoing quite the anxiety problem. I simply could not bring myself to get behind the wheel of a car.

A clipart picture of a city bus

City Bus

 

2.  Before all of this, however, I didn’t mind so much. When I was 8 or 9, I used to take the blue Topaz for a ride around the cul-de-sac of the neighborhood we lived in. It wasn’t a fast ride because I really couldn’t reach the pedals, so I pretty much coasted through the whole thing. I never remember getting caught, but I”m sure the neighbors noticed at some point. I forget why I stopped doing it.

3. The first car I ever owned and bought was a beat up Ford Taurus. I bought it off my brother who was going to sell it to a scrap yard because he had been T-Boned in it.  I bought it, fixed the door, and had a light blue car with a dark green door. At least I never lost it in a parking lot.

4. I did however run over a median in it. Not exactly a median, but a cement divider between two parking lots. The divider was the same color as both parking lots (not painted yellow) and it scraped out the bottom of the car.  It ran for another three days before finally dying. It was fun while it lasted.

A clipart picture of a beat up car

I can’t take anymore!

5.This story is something that certain people find amusement in reminding me of, even years since. It is very annoying as *everyone* has done something with a vehicle that is infamous. ( Like backing into someone else’s car in your own driveway.)

6. It took me a while to figure out that when you are at a two-way stop, the other person has the right of way if you are turning left – even if you got there first. Now, I yell at other people who don’t know this one.

7. I have road .. well, not exactly rage. I like to make observations about the other person’s driving skills, is all. I might pepper my comments with bold words, but I just do it to prevent road rage. It’s worked so far.

A comic showing a snail blazing past a turtle

John Bell’s Road Rage

8. My husband’s driving .. well.. drives me crazy. He is very cautious and often goes below the speed limit.  He likes to wait (and wait and wait) when making left hand turns into traffic. It has been the basis for several “discussions” in the car.

9. I am very selfish in the car and must listen to the music of my choice. It just drives me nuts to be contained in a metal box while having to listen to bad music. It almost makes me claustrophobic.

10. Finally, I don’t like hills anymore. I used to love going down those tummy tickler hills. Now, however, it is too much for me. I’d rather have a non-grumpy tummy than a cheap thrill.

That’s it. Some useless information about my car history, likes, and dislikes. Nothing special to see, keep moving.

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Useless Information

0: Height
– I am 5’6″ and three quarters! That’s closer to 5’7″, so for sake of BMI (evil thing) I tell people I”m 5’7″.

1: Virgin?
– I’m over 30 so I should hope not.

2: Shoe size
– I honestly do not know. I am a horrible female and hate to buy shoes.

3: Do you smoke?
– I never have and I hope never to try it.

4: Do you drink?
– As much as my husband teases me about being an alcoholic, I rarely drink. It’s just, when I do, I get very toasty 😉

5: Do you take drugs?
– Illicit drugs? No, I do not abuse drugs. Unless chocolate is a drug, then yes.

6: Age you get mistaken for
– I am told that I look younger than I am, though I don’t know by how much. If I ever put make up on again (that stuff is awful), I might look even younger.

7: Have tattoos?
– No, but I’ve been thinking of getting one. Hubby *hates* them, but I’m keeping my eyes open for a tastefully done tat.

8: Want any tattoos?
– Apparently, I do not read things through fully before starting them. This would explain why I tend to get frustrated half way through a project before breaking down and actually reading the directions.

9: Got any piercings?
– I used to but I have a weird healing factor. I swear. I should have a ton of scars that I do not. Because of this, my ears will heal shut around the stud while I sleep the night after getting them pierced. I’ve tried three times with different sized studs made out of different metals: no luck. But ow, no fun pulling them out. I had scar tissue scattered throughout my ear lobes, but they have healed as well.

10: Want any piercings?
– If I cut my hair super short, I’d want to get my ears pierced. That wouldn’t work, but I would *want* it to. Long hair + ears pierced = many tangled owies.

11: Best friend?
– Chocolate. It is always there when you need it, it never talks back, and it makes you feel so good 🙂 This is also true for crochet.

12: Relationship status
– I am married to someone just as stubborn and crazy as I am.

13: Biggest turn ons
– Humor, intelligence, compassion. You know, all that good human stuff.

14: Biggest turn offs
– Ego, vanity, opinions that are based off of the general consensus instead of being developed through thoughtful research and deliberation.

15: Favorite movie
– I am a sucker for Jane Austen movies: Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Persuasion. However, I also like good, old-fashioned blood and gore: Die Hard series, Batman: The Dark Knight, and Army of Darkness. Then again, I also love some gore-less suspense: Hitchcock.

16: I’ll love you if
– You give me chocolate. I don’t mean that nasty, brown colored wax that they try to pass off for chocolate. I’m looking at you, Palmer Company! I want the good stuff.

17: Someone you miss
– Every cat that has passed, family members that have gone, pieces of me that have died away.

18: Most traumatic experience
– I will most definitely *not* be talking about that here.  On a lighter scale, I recently got my finger caught while trying to unfold a step ladder. What? It hurt.

19: A fact about your personality
– I guess that depends on your definition of “fact”. What some consider to be a facet of my personality, I may completely see as a projection of their own personality. I am stubborn and overly analytical. I think that’s something that cannot be reputed.

20: What I hate most about myself
– “Hate” is a very strong word. It’s one I work hard not to use, let alone towards myself. There are aspects about myself I don’t like: I’m out of shape, I’m more lazy than I would like, and I have a tendency to be anti-social (I’m using this word right, trust me). Despite all of that, this pesky chocolate addiction seems to be the most troublesome. Did someone mention chocolate?

21: What I love most about myself
– I love to learn and do new things. I like to help others. I have a darker sense of humor that most people find disturbing.

22: What I want to be when I get older
– Rich. Seriously, they say money doesn’t solve everything, but I’m sure it would solve a lot of my current problems.

23: My relationship with my sibling(s)
– My brother and I get along alright.

24: My relationship with my parent(s)
– My mother and I get along alright.

25: My idea of a perfect date
– Good food, good atmosphere, good company. Lots of conversation with humor, intelligent opinions, and compassion. Some type of outdoor activity. A nice end with something sweet while we stroll and talk.

26: My biggest pet peeves
– When people treat other people (or themselves) as less than human. I believe that many of our current problems could be solved if we treated eachother with dignity, respect, and compassion.

27: A description of the girl/boy I like
– Funny, long suffering, compassionate, smart, has hobbies, likes to be around people, likes to be alone, likes music, is into the arts, can appreciate history and what it teaches us.

28: A description of the person I dislike the most
– Someone who mistreats other people. Just don’t.

29: A reason I’ve lied to a friend
– Because I either did not want to hurt them (not a good reason, still one that my mind thinks is ok) or because I was too damn lazy to explain everything so I just didn’t.

30: What I hate the most about work/school
– I do not like the status quo and the tendency to box everyone into quantifiable data. Seriously, let everyone learn in their own way. Stop discarding employees like they are replaceable commodities. Learn what each individual has to offer and use it. We all have good and bad qualities, it’s time we all learned to use both.

31: What your last text message says
– I can’t remember. I don’t have a cell phone. *gasp* I used to but I could no longer justify paying that ghastly amount each month so Hubby and I downgraded to just one cellphone. I haven’t looked back.

32: What words upset me the most
– Ones filled with the intent of hate, humiliation, and purposeful distortion of facts to puff up the speaker’s pride.

33: What words make me feel the best about myself
– About myself? When my husband tells me something positive about myself or when he says he is happy. What words do I like to hear the most, though? The words that are meant to encourage other people.

34: What I find attractive in women
– The same thing I find attractive in men. This may surprise some people, but I could give a rat’s ass what’s between someone’s legs. If they are smart, caring, and funny – I want to be around them.

35: What I find attractive in men
– I am not going to repeat myself. I don’t have the patience for that.

36: Where I would like to live
– In a log cabin that is nestled between a huge lake and a large mountain. Sprinkle in some evergreen/fir trees, lovely nature sounds, and a canoe – I’m set.

37: One of my insecurities
– I obviously have many or I wouldn’t eat so much dammed chocolate.

38: My childhood career choice
– I wanted to be a ballerina (of course, hello) or a veterinarian. I volunteered at a local vet’s office, but couldn’t handle watching the puppies die of parvo. Nasty illness.

39: My favorite ice cream flavor
– If you don’t know the answer to this after reading this much, you need to practice comprehensive reading more often.

40: Who I wish I could be
– I’m still learning to accept who I am, I don’t have time to wish to be someone else.

41: Where I want to be right now
– In a super comfy bed with a ton of pillows and blankets. Add Jane Austen movies, purring cats, and tons of ice cream – mmm..

42: The last thing I ate
– A cold meat sandwich and ONE dorito chip. I know, I’m allergic, I shouldn’t.. my cheeks and lips will swell up.. but mmm, so good!

43: Sexiest person that comes to my mind immediately
– I’m not one of those people that gets hung up on sex image. Seriously. I find it annoying.

44: A random fact about anything
– The word “anything” was from before 900; in Middle English, it was known as ani thing or eni thing. In Old English, it was known as ǣnig thing.

45. Selfie
– I don’t do selfies. You can thank me later.

Movie Review: Contagion

WARNING: Mild spoiler alert.

Image

I watched the movie “Contagion” (Kate Winslet, Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Laurence Fishburne, Jennifer Ehle) last night with Hubby.  I liked it, for the most part, and found it to be a satisfying psycho-thriller about disease, fear, and how our sociopolitical worlds respond to such things.  Hubby said he thought it was filled with action and drama in the beginning and then kind of “petered-off”.  I’d have to agree with him.

Despite that, I found it an interesting look at how we respond both individually and as different societies to such catastrophes.  The character development was subtle, so if you need someone to hit you over the head with their character descriptions, this is not the film for you.  However, there was plenty of “on the edge of your seat” goodness throughout 3/4 of the film.  The end pretty much wrapped up loose ends of the storyline.

One great thing about this film was that it was not lacking in the humor department.  There were several lines that were witty observations about certain circumstances as well as an overall feel of dark humor about the grim realities of catastrophes.  My favorite line is when the United States Government approaches the head of the Centers for Disease Control with a concern that someone may have weaponized the bird flu.  “There’s no need for anyone to weaponize the bird flu,” responds the CDC head, “the birds are already doing that.”

Along with humor, there was some gore.  It was not truly blood and guts, it was more hard hitting realism that death happens and certain procedures overtake our sensitivities towards death.

If you’re looking for a fast paced, action flick that has gore, sex, and violence.. this is not the film for you.  If you want to spend nearly two hours taking an edgy and somewhat humorous glimpse into the sociopolitical world of catastrophe.. this is a right fit.

Movie Review: “Horrible Bosses”

Is it fair to write a movie review for a movie you did not watch all of?  Yea, I could not bring myself to sit through all of this movie.  I found the immature behavior exhibited by the three main characters to be seriously lacking in entertainment.  It’s just not funny for me to watch a grown man who has low self esteem due to circumstances in his life get picked on by two of his so called “friends”.  I also found the behavior of the so called bosses to be extreme and just plain stupid.  Which is pretty much what I thought of the movie.  Stupid.

I was watching it with a couple of other people and expressed my opinion in a subtle way by telling them that I didn’t think the movie was for me.  I was kind of shocked when they said they were really liking it.  I guess I’m just weird.

The movie itself reminded me of those over the top After School Specials that were obviously trying to make a very specific point about something or someone.  The fact that the employees were being treated badly by their bosses was beat into the ground as if the writers were trying to dig to China.  “Can we still keep going?”  I imagined them saying.  “Sure why not?  Just keep pointing out how horrible the bosses are even though the so called “friends” treat eachother the same way.”  “Roger Wilco.”  I imagined this Afternoon School Special would end with that ever important tip at the end: “And remember kids, when your bosses are mean just try to kill them.  Don’t have any form of common sense or self respect about the situation.”

So Horrible Bosses was actually a Horrible Movie.  Kevin Spacey’s rendition of a greedy, overbearing bastard came across to me as though a SWAT team should have surrounded his house or his wife should have at least called the Police on Domestic Disturbance.  Jennifer Ansiton came across as such an overwhelming slut that I found it rather sickening.  Last of all, I couldn’t imagine anyone being stupid enough to do anything Bobby Pellitt said.  I would have told him to fire the people himself or walked out with the other two.  Self decency, people.

As the movie came to the point where the so called “friends” were doing their assassination attempts for the first time (I’m assuming it was the first time because they were so bad at it), I made an excuse to leave and quickly headed for the door.  I think that next time a good action flick will suffice.