City Driving: It’s You They’re Honking At

City Driving: It’s You They’re Honking At

I drove in San Francisco recently for the first time in years. It didn’t go well. I spoke (yelled) exclusively in swear words, and I’m surprised I didn’t break off the steering wheel. Here are pointers to make your trip smoother than mine.

1.) Be sure you have the right address in your GPS. There’s a big difference between 70 Santa Rosa Ave, San Francisco and 70 Santa Rosa Ave, Sausalito.

2.) You’ll zoom off one freeway and swoop across four lanes in under a mile to get to your exit. You will miss this exit.

3.) Calling the car in front a jackass for not turning (even though they’d get t-boned if they did) does not make traffic move faster.

4.) When you go left and need to yield, pull into the intersection anyway. It’s like calling dibs.

5.) One-way streets are god’s punishment for tourists.

6.) Threatening to make your navigator drive does not make them less cranky.

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Weddings: Why Love Needs Patience (and Appetizers

Weddings: Why Love Needs Patience (and Appetizers

My dad got married last weekend. I got a migraine and puked in an upstairs toilet during the reception—should have rethought those bobby pins.

Dad isn’t the only one walking down the aisle. Two co-workers have children tying the knot, and two high school friends had weddings last year. Everyone is looking for an affordable honeymoon. Here’s what I’ve learned.

1.) From my co-worker: A mother of the bride dress is hard to find. They’re all beige, and designers assume you’re entering a nunnery or a nursing home.

2.) Speaking of dresses, don’t assume your jogging bra won’t show under yours. And don’t pack only one bra. You’ll have to borrow your sister’s, and your boobs will spend the day making a break for it.

3.) You do a lot of striding in heels. Sit when you can.

4.) Fluids are your friend, until you need to pee. It is physically impossible to pee in a wedding gown.

5.) If there’s an awkward pause after you’ve finished 1 Corinthians, don’t ask, “Is there more?” There isn’t.

Last but not least, loose the bobby pins. You’ll thank me later.

Wrath of the Desperate: Electronics and You

Wrath of the Desperate: Electronics and You

You’ve turned your computer on and off. You’ve clicked on “Devices and Settings.” You’ve gone into “Printer Properties.” You’ve watched the little bar at the bottom of your screen turn green. And nothing happens. You will not be getting any hardcopies this millennium. We can all agree that the next logical step is to throw the computer out the window and dance on its remains (after yelling and swearing at your loved ones first of course).

Here are some ways to avoid that. It’s not fun thinking, “I’ll have to apologize for this” as your saying/spiting something.

1.) Exercise helps. Instead of hitting the computer, hit a punching bag. Your fingers will thank you.

2.) Meditation.  It’s as corny as it sounds.

3.) Stop—give up on having paper documents ever again. You keep thinking you’re this close; you’re not. Seventy-seventh time isn’t the charm.
4.) Find something funny. I recommend “Best of Tyrion Lannister” from Game of Thrones. Stay away from world news.
Lastly, these don’t work all the time. I’ve screeched myself hoarse at my computer and will again. Tea with honey is always good for a sore throat.

When the Weather Inside is Frightful

When the Weather Inside is Frightful

I live in Washington, and it’s February, so I spend a lot of time shivering in my apartment. I’m in my twenties and too cheap to pay for heating. I have a $23.98 electricity bill and numb, purple toes. Here are a few creative ways to get warm when, like mine, the inside of your house is somehow colder than the outside.

1.) There’s no limit to how many blankets you can have. I’ve piled seven on my futon so far. Raid your parents’ place if need be.

2.) Get a neck pillow, microwave it for two minutes, and feel your skin turn red. You can also use an electric heating pad.

3.) Your hot shower is now the highlight of your day. Especially if your landlord pays the water bill. For me, the warmth runs out after ten minutes, so it’s a short highlight—but still.

4.) On that note, don’t go to bed with a wet head. Dry it when you have the heater on unless you want to get sick.

5.) If you do get sick, either leave your house or make yourself into a human puff ball of sweaters, blankets, and pajamas.

6.) Lastly, don’t be a cheapskate like me. Turn up the damn thermostat before your fingers drop off.

Advanced Advocacy: Food for Legislators

Advanced Advocacy: Food for Legislators

Humane Lobby Day happened last week, and I spoke with my legislators’ staffers to advocate for animal welfare. I learned that politicians really like pictures of themselves with middle school classrooms and what my representatives’ names are. I also learned how to get those politicians to listen to you.

1.) Don’t freak out if you can only speak with their assistant. Legislators are busy (as their staff will say more than once). It’s their people’s job to tell them what they need to know from their constituents.

2.) To get on that need to know list…bring food. If you attach a piece of candy or a cookie to a document, it adds an extra minute to the time they look at it. Think of it as a micro-bribe.

3.) Only contact your own representatives. If you call someone else’s, they’ll listen to you, nod politely, and do nothing.

4.) Know where your bill is in the process. Bills need to make it through their subject committee and the rules committee before they come to vote. Then they go over to wherever they didn’t start (senate or house) and travel through those committees.

5.) If a bill fails once, it can still be reintroduced.

Turning a bill into a law can take several years. Bring snacks, and not only for your legislator.

Jabba the Hut Meets the Protest Pup

Jabba the Hut Meets the Protest Pup

It’s been a year since the last women’s march on the day of Trump’s inauguration. Since then, Trump has decreased protections for women’s healthcare, defended sexual predators, and been his usual offensive self. The time had come to march again.

In a county being run by Jabba the Hut, you have to stand up for your rights or spend four to eight years getting slimed on (please let it be four).

This year, my experience at the march was mixed. It was a great cause and a great movement, but the event itself was poorly run. Here are some of the do’s and don’ts I’ve learned about protesting.

Do’s

Show up. In Democracy, as in high school, you get participation points. Also, vote (with your ballot, your presence, and your pocketbook).

Bring your cool signs. “Grab them by the midterms” is a winner as is “Hell hath no fury like the 51% minority.”

Take your dog (if they’re calm enough). Your pup will look adorable in a pink baby blanket and pussy hat. Complete strangers will want to take pictures (I know because we did).

Don’ts

Make your audience listen to over an hour and half’s worth of speeches before the actual march. Common sense, people.

Insult said audience. Trust me no one likes being shouted at to take off their pussy hats (because they’re trans exclusive) and join a real protest. This is a real protest. Respect our dedication and that we took the time to be here.

And finally, if it is cold and rainy (like it was for me), you can huddle with fellow protesters and use them as blankets. Provided your related to them that is.

Climbing: Have Fun and Don’t Lose Your Grip (or Else)

Climbing: Have Fun and Don’t Lose Your Grip (or Else)

The first time I went climbing was up a sharp rock crag—at night. We were college students and thought this was a good idea. I wore special pinchy shoes and tried not to freeze halfway. Turns out you can still be afraid of heights even if you can’t see the ground.

The second time was in a climbing gym last weekend—much easier. Here’s what I’ve learned from that little excursion.

1.) Rocks—natural or manmade—hurt your fingers. If you’re outside, wear climbing gloves or say goodbye to your palm

2.) Everyone there is fit enough to be in an AREI commercial. Try not to think about it.

3.) You’ll get to the top, smile at the view, and think “Ow, my forearms.”

4.) The belaying rope will hold you. You will not plummet to your death if you let go. Assuming they maintain their equipment, which I urge you not to wonder about.

5.) Go somewhere where they take care of their equipment (see above).

Lastly, if the eight-year-old on the next course can do it, so can you.