PSA: YIELD SIGNS AND STOP SIGNS ARE NOT THE SAME

There is nothing that irks me more than bad drivers. I can’t stress that sentence enough: bad drivers are my pet peeve! The reason I scream at my windshield and take my hands off the wheel to throw them up in frustration. The reason I usually show up at work stressed out (ok, this may be somewhat related to other circumstances … like the fact that I’m driving to work), but you get the point. I’m always amazed at how the overall quality of driving seems to decrease overnight. Every. Freaking. Night. Has the driving test gotten easier to pass? Is it now a pay-to-drive scheme where you just have to show up with cash and the person at the DMV is like ‘OK, let’s take your picture – you have 3 hours for that right?’.

I’m not going to say how many years it has been since I took the driving test, but for fun let’s say enough for my parent’s car insurance to drop down and they no longer have to sell their souls so I can drive. I almost failed my driving test before I left the parking lot because the radio was on and that is “distracting”. Literally turned the car on and the employee gave me this how dare you look and said ‘Really?! That’s how you want to start this test?!’. Being the clueless, snarky, idiot that I was, I replied, ‘Well, it’s hard to drive without turning the car on’. Which technically, is very true, but I should have known better and just brown-nosed it because my freedom (from having to be driven everywhere) was now in this (angry) employee’s hands. As you can imagine, it was a stressful drive and my every move was criticized. At one point when turning left, I looked left first, then right … is that incorrect? Not sure, but apparently it was that day.

Anyways, I digress. I have a lot of thoughts on the stupid things some drivers do, however, today I want to just put it out to the world that yield signs and stop signs are not the same thing. At all. In fact, they serve very different purposes. Let’s start with the obvious, one is an octagon that says STOP and the other is a triangle that says YIELD. That alone should be enough, but unfortunately, it is not so let’s go a little deeper.

The STOP sign (with 8 sides, remember from up there?) is where you have to come to a complete stop – wheels aren’t moving. You can safely look both ways and then proceed from 0 MPH as you please. Funny how people usually forget the one action item here, which, of course is to STOP! As much as I enjoy that moment of panic when I’m driving by a stop sign and the other car decides to read stop as roll (this isn’t a fire drill – it’s just stop, there is no drop, and there is definitely no roll), I much prefer the relief that comes with someone fully stopped and not moving at all. What does it say about drivers, though, that I now expect people to roll and get pleasantly surprised when someone doesn’t? I mean, in their defense, stop and roll both have four letters and both have an o in the middle(ish) of the word. So, yes, I guess I could see how that would be super confusing. If only the sign was clearer.

Now that we are through the complicatedness that is a stop sign, prepare yourself, because we are about to look at the YIELD sign. Unlike the stop sign, you do not have to stop at a yield sign if no one is coming. There’s a lot to break down here, so let’s start with part numero uno. I realize that the sign is red (like a stop sign) and has a similar shape being a triangle (almost like an octagon, just with 5 fewer sides), but you do not have to stop! In fact, people aren’t expecting you to stop, so when you do, someone has to slam on their brakes to avoid hitting your selfish rear-end. Look at it this way, stopping at a yield sign is basically the same thing as deciding to stop in the middle of the freaking road. Which is not safe driving!

But wait, there’s more to this epidemic: you don’t have to stop, IF NO ONE IS COMING. In other words, if someone is coming, you do not have the right of way and you have to stop. I realize this is very confusing for people – maybe that’s why they stop at all of them? Fewer things to remember. Keeping it simple, stupid as that is. Deciding to merge full speed into traffic is rarely a good idea and I do not recommend it. Especially if I am the driver with the right of way. Those people are the reason I have to constantly know who’s in the lane next to me, who’s behind me, etc. so I can know if I have an escape swerve option or not. Them and also the safe rules of driving.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If someone you know is suffering from stopield confusion then, by all means, share this post with them and help get them back to leading a normal, safe driving lifestyle. Thanks for reading!


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DEAR SUCCULENTS: IF I WANTED TO TAKE CARE OF SOMETHING, I WOULD GET A DOG

I have a confession to make…I have committed a terrible sin. Honestly, I’m embarrassed to tell you what happened, but I feel like we’re on that level now, you and me, so here goes nothing:

In an apartment, not too long ago, a tragic homicide happened. A human (let’s call them a restless professional) was living their best life, minding their own business, not giving a care in the world. Now this human had been gifted a succulent. Mind you, no one asked said human if they were prepared, or even if they wanted, to take on the burden of caring for another living thing. To commit to ensuring that this plant would be fed and loved. No, there was no asking just a bold statement followed by the heavy click of the ball and chain now trapping the free-spirited human into responsibility.

So now the human had an (unwanted) succulent. The human, tending to look for the best in any situation, thought: ‘Well, plants have lots of health benefits so maybe this will be good! Besides, worst case scenario, my roommate is growing a small, thriving, forest on our balcony so they can help me out.’ And so the human took the succulent and put it on the windowsill (because everyone knows that plants need sunlight. I mean, come on, the human isn’t that clueless!). There the succulent lived happily in the warm, direct sunlight for a day, then two, then three, then a week, then two weeks, then three weeks, etc.

One day (about a month later) the human came home from work to find that it was still light outside (apparently some people get home before dark every day, lucky duckies). Desperately wanting to enjoy the last rays of warm, direct, sunlight they went over to the window and basked in the Vitamin D. Feeling truly elated, and a bit invincible, the human glanced down at the windowsill and noticed a little pot with nothing inside it. Seemed strange that the roommate would pack a pot full of dirt and then put nothing in it…maybe they were finally losing their touch? Maybe it was the human’s turn to show the world that, although they still get nervous when having to actually TALK on the phone to make an appointment, and don’t buy groceries that either can’t be microwaved or aren’t immediately ready for consumption, in fact they were a responsible adult and their parents could stop worrying about having to clean out their basement for a make-shift bedroom.

Then reality hit. Like a ton of bricks strapped to the front of an 18-wheeler going 70MPH on the highway. That wasn’t the roommates pot! No, that was the succulent gifted to the human (who knows how long ago at this point). It was green and thriving when first handed over, but now it was so dead it looked like dirt. What does a responsible, caring, living their best life human do in this situation? Well the only thing that makes sense when seeing a dead plant of course – ran it to the sink and drowned it in water (because obviously it was thirsty or it wouldn’t have died).

Now, I would just like to point out that succulents, by nature, are supposed to need VERY little attention. Did I maybe neglect it for too long? Neglect is a strong word – I prefer the term forgot. I didn’t purposefully not water my succulent. In my mind, the succulent had been watered when it was given to me, therefore it would be a couple months before it was a thirsty hoe again. Turns out, I was thinking of a cactus. It also turns out that succulents and cacti are NOT one and the same (much to my disappointment).

There you have it! You’re supporting an (accidental) plant murderer. Well…actually, in a weird twist of fate, turns out my succulent is thirstier than I am because the drowning actually brought half of it back to life. I’m happy to report that the living half is doing great currently…and also that my roommate immediately took over its care.

Moral of the story is this, two things really:

  1. You can’t just be assuming that people are ready to take care of something. Chances are if they are only (barely) taking care of themselves it’s for a reason
  2. There needs to be better education around succulents – if I wanted to take care of something, I’d get a dog because they are 100,000,000 times more fun (but that’s for ANOTHER POST)
  3. (I lied, there are three morals – see you can’t be trusting me) Everyone and everyTHING gets thirsty at some point so please chill with the judgement

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who has mistakenly been entrusted with a succulent, or a fish, or another seemingly innocent living organism, please get them the help they need immediately. Thanks for reading!


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THAT QUESTION SEEMS VERY GOOGLE-ABLE

What makes you think I know the answer to your question? Does my face scream “walking encyclopedia of all the knowledge”? Because I’ve seen myself in the mirror and I’m giving off more of a “confused about what even APR is and why they can’t just say interest” vibe. I find it interesting that this is a massive problem in my life currently. Usually I’m dressed like the retired high school jock who isn’t able to quite move on from the glory days and yet somehow that tells people that I want to answer their questions…nay, I KNOW the answers to their questions.

Despite my best efforts to convince strangers that I’m not the source of all truth in the universe, I get questions like:

  • Which chemical elements have to combine to form magnesium phosphate? Mag and Pho obviously, it’s the newest dining craze
  • How many seconds are in 4.5 months? A lot
  • What is the secondary material in dry fit clothing? Fabric
  • How many miles long is South Beach? More than one
  • When was the DMV founded? At some point in the past
  • Are Oreos safe for a dog to eat? Probably not, but I’m not an expert here
  • Is it possible to eat a large pizza by yourself? Wait, I do know the answer to this one! Absolutely
  • How would I create a replica electrical circuit that turns on a light? Why would you want to do that?
  • If my car engine is screaming at me, what does that mean? Well, not anything good
  • Can you give me the exact number of people who attended the 1984 Super Bowl? Let me think…no
  • Did we leave the oven on? Unfortunately, no one knows the answer to this. We have a 50/50 chance
  • Who ate all the chocolate? I also know the answer to this … but if I tell you I’d have to kill you. Death by chocolate
  • How would one repair a shoe sole? Buy a new shoe

If only there was some technology that could help you out…just one, I’m not asking for a lot, but one thing that is so intelligent it’s slightly scary. Hold on, let me Google it and see what they have to say about it. Oh! My! Goodness! It’s Google itself those narcissistic little nerds! Not a Google fan you say? Their color scheme is a bit too primary for your tastes? Never fear, you can work with Watson, or Alexa, or Siri. Better yet, don’t just stick with one – call up several of these genius robots and see what their answers are.

In all my free time, I like to play a little game I call AI: Jealous or Nah? Here’s how it works: you put several machines right next to each other and take turns asking them different questions. OK Google, tell me when I’ll make enough money to retire? Alexa, will I wake up tomorrow craving oatmeal or eggs? Hey Siri, tell me a joke. Then ask the same three questions, but change the recipient. By the end of it you get a pretty decent joke and some fascinating queries into your future. My theory? They’re listening to you abandon them for the others so they feel an intense need to one-up the competition.

With so many options, I genuinely don’t get how the Internet is not everyone’s first place to try and find an answer. Not humans. Besides, you get an answer so much quicker that way. If you ask me, my baby peanut-sized brain will have to go Google it…or Alexa it, or Siri it, or Watson it. Go straight to the source, that way you can keep searching until you find an answer. Don’t get mad at me, I’m reading the top result for your sorry self – no way am I scrolling to page two of the results. I have better things to do, like Google ways to keep yourself entertained on a ship. Or how to propel down from a third story window (in case of a fire, duh). 

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who loves to ask questions, do everyone a favor and introduce them to Google. Give someone an answer and they’ll keep coming back, but teach someone to search and they will never speak to you again. Thanks for reading!


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THE OPTIMISM OF ROAD CONSTRUCTION CREWS

I’m all for optimism – it makes life so much more fun! Don’t agree? Alright, you pessimistic son of gun, clearly you need a hug and some Chewy Chips Ahoy (because they are everything that’s right in this world). Then you probably need to be slapped because no one else needs your negativity. Keep that mess to yourself.

Anyways, I digress, like a turn lane with no road to turn onto. Have you ever noticed how many turn lanes lead, well, nowhere? Who put them there? More importantly, what higher up approved the paving of said turn lane? And of course, who pitched the idea? Who woke up one morning and thought ‘This new road is going to be great, but if we put some random turn lanes in the public will think we plan to come back and maintain the road for future development’? Because that is what you think, right? Oh, clearly they are going to build something there, otherwise why put a turn lane in? And if they’re building something new they will want to make sure the road stays in decent shape to attract all the young, hip people to make this town a global hot spot for the yuppies .

The funniest part is you never see one of these stag turn lanes that have been freshly paved. They’re all slightly faded, the paint is cracking – clearly it’s been there for awhile and still it leads into the always desirable wooded area where a serial killer is probably waiting for you to wander in like the curious being you are. Or it goes to a swamp which is most intriguing because what on earth is being built there?! A water park?! A pool?! Last I checked solid structures on a liquid foundation don’t work…outside of Venice of course, which should be a wonder of the world.

I wish I could have the same optimistic outlook on potential future endeavors in my job. If I could go to my manager and say ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be great if I spent three months working on a project that will do NOTHING for our business currently, but if we decide one day down the road that it might be feasible for us to explore possibilities in that direction, I’d have laid the very first step by creating a Google Doc, putting a title on it, and formatting it to perfection…but nothing more’. What would the response be? Well, probably a drug test for starters, then some variation of ‘hell no, get back to work’!

So clearly my job doesn’t follow the optimism model that road construction companies do and what a shame that is. At the end of the day, those workers probably go home satisfied and feeling like a true team player. They set another crew up for success after all…at some point, maybe, in the future. Not only did they do their job, oh no! They went above and beyond and added turn lanes everywhere. Like Oprah. YOU GET A TURN LANE AND YOU GET A TURN LANE AND YOU GET A TURN LANE! EVERYBODY GETS A TURN LANE!

It could be worse though. There could be NO turn lanes. Then the whole country would be like Atlanta and everyone’s Google Maps would be purple during rush hour. Purple?! Yes, purple. I didn’t realize there could be traffic worse than the deep maroon color, but leave it to hotlanta to give us a new level of stoppage. They don’t even use the traffic lights because no one would move – there are traffic cops that man EVERY INTERSECTION to shut down the drivers who think that as long as they are in the act of turning it’s fine regardless of the impact it has on traffic going the other way. That’s a topic for ANOTHER TIME though.

Moral of the story: more turn lanes are better than no turn lanes. If nothing else they allow you to imagine what might be coming. And, as Albert Einstein said, ‘The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination.’ So these seemingly random turn lanes are making us smarter…wow are road construction crews thoughtful!

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who is frustrated about the never-ending road construction, share this with them so they stop complaining and start realizing that it’s all for their greater good. Thanks for reading!


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DOCTOR’S OFFICE DECOR STANDARDS v. EVERY OTHER INHABITED STRUCTURE

Today is a good day. A good day to dive deep into what on Earth is happening inside doctor’s offices all over the world. A good day to put on our detail-oriented, over-analyzing, heavily sarcastic hats and share some opinions on how the decor standards make us feel. Well, the last sentence was really just for me. It’s a good day for you to venture down this winding spaghetti path of my thoughts and feelings, sit back, relax, and smile knowing deep down that you agree this is a problem desperately needing to be addressed at some point.

Blue and brown. Tile and wood. Dots and stripes. Pictures of happy, peaceful places and daunting medical journals. Lollipops and stickers. Let’s not forget the fish tanks. I would love to say that usually only one of these cringe-worthy sentences applies per office, but that would be a lie. No, ALL of these contradicting things seem to be present in every single doctor’s office building. Why is that? Is there a special interior design degree for the medical profession? Because if I applied any of those options to my home someone might report me to the fashion police. Think about this fun brain bomb: those combinations are not socially acceptable, yet no one questions them at the doctor. Not only that, we find it to be modern and in-style. 

To be totally transparent, I’ve never once walked into an office decorated in this questionable way and thought ‘oh my lord, this is a crime if I’ve ever witnessed one’. Usually, I start with wondering how long it will take me before I can leave one of my least favorite places for the entire next year. But then I look around (during all the free time of my 24 hour waiting room visit…I feel a need to dive into wait times at another point in time – this is not that time, however) and think ‘wow, very tasteful, this place has clearly been remodeled’. It makes me feel like whatever chair I’m sitting on is clean, that the staff will take excellent care of me, that I will most definitely be getting a big kid treat on the way out, that nothing can hurt me, etc. 

Let’s be very clear, though. If I went to someone’s house and the following was true, I would get the heck out of there:

  • The kitchen was blue tile, the living room hardwood, the hallway white tile with pink and green tiles on the edges by the wall, and the bathroom was hardwood
  • The chairs were hard, colored, patterned, fabric seats with polka dot backs
  • There was “free” lollipops and stickers in a bowl in the kitchen
  • The walls were covered in pastel art of flower fields and beaches, but the bathroom was stocked with everyone is dying medical magazines
  • There is a massive aquarium with the ugliest fishes alive

That sounds like a lair for something I don’t want to know about. It sounds like the Hansel and Gretel of the medical industry. Lure you in with something you can’t resist, such as the chance to watch fish swim around in a confined area and free candy. Then out of nowhere, things get real super fast. Go to the doctor, they said. They’ll make you feel better, they said. It’s good for your health, they said. You know what they didn’t say? How if you want to feel better and be “healthy” you have to get stabbed with a needle. And have a popsicle stick stuck down your throat. And a pointy black plastic object shoved in your ear. And a freezing metal object put on your bare back without warning. All for what? A sticker and a lollipop? Stickers never last (I always lose them at some point, maybe the stickiness is not lifetime lasting?) and lollipops, well, eventually those get gone. Besides, I’m an adult and can buy my own for less physical pain.

Also, less emotional pain. I can’t say I’ve ever been giddy for a doctor’s appointment. Usually I put off making it until they leave me passive-aggressive voicemails every day for weeks. Then, I reluctantly call (ugh) and talk to a real person (ugh) and schedule an appointment for my annual check-up, but on a three-year rotation (because I’m responsible and understand that eventually I need to be assaulted with a needle). And they wonder why I don’t like coming back … no amount of rewards can make me forget the terrifying minutes of the will they / won’t they find the vein on the first try.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this and want to share it with them, that would seriously mean the world to me. Thanks for reading!


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TENTH-LIFE CRISIS, QUARTER-LIFE CRISIS, THIRD-LIFE CRISIS, MIDLIFE CRISIS, ALMOST-DEAD CRISIS…YOU GET THE POINT

Life is stressful. Like, I want to throw away all my tech, pack up my dog, and drive to a cabin in the woods kind of stressful. In the good old days, people would wait until around mid-life to have a crisis and make some (questionable?) interesting decisions. Father of four? Sure, trade in that mini-van and get a coupe because who needs to take kids places?! Walking is good exercise. CFO in line for an opening at a tech giant? No, I definitely understand that you want to be a mime and leave finance behind. I’m curious why one would voluntarily choose to enter the world of money anyways, but that’s a topic for another time. Money is so…complicated. There’s so many rules and regulations and expectations. It hurts my head – that’s why I just spend all of mine. Nothing left to deal with.

It’s at a point where I get concerned when someone doesn’t go through a midlife crisis. Do you feel nothing? Is stress just not a word in your vocabulary? Do you simply deal with things in a healthy, open manner instead of suppressing those feelings until the emotional bank is full and everything boils over at once? Teach me your ways stone-faced killer. Seems very un-American of you, though. Talking about things. Controlling what you can control and not worrying about the rest.

Doesn’t that sound nice? It kind of sounds like the future. A very distant future. As a millennial, I have not yet reached the age to have a midlife breakdown. It’s literally impossible. Even if I was born in the first year of our wave-making, life-ruining generation, I would be about 2 years shy. I have however, experienced my tenth-life and quarter-life crises. Both were eye-opening. Both led to drastic changes. Makes me nervous for my upcoming third-life crisis. Because surely that is what’s coming my way, right? There’s too much pressure not to have one. I love talking to my grandparents about life because their answer is always the same loving, caring, empathetic one you would hope to receive: You kids have it so easy today. You would never have survived back in my day because you’re all too d*mn lazy now. 

What?! I don’t think you understand that I have to constantly take perfect pictures of myself so I can make my life look a billion times more exciting than it is for all the randos that follow me on the Gram. Also, I have to “engage” with my followers online so that more people will want to follow me and I can maintain a high enough count to be deemed socially acceptable. On top of all that stress, I have to do this thing called work and they want me there from 9AM ALL THE WAY UNTIL 6PM! What even is life? There’s not even a good avocado toast shop near my apartment complex that has destroyed America’s housing market.

Just writing that I had a baby crisis. It’s a lot of pressure to single-handedly ruin everything the Baby Boomers and beyond worked so hard to create. If you’re blissfully unaware, take a quick hiatus from reading this and Google something along the lines of ‘things millennials have killed / ruined’. You won’t be disappointed. My favorite is napkins – how dare we care enough about the environment to demand non-paper napkins. Rude. Sorry, not sorry, that we want to live life somewhere without the word office in it. Is this actually a problem for the napkin industry? Are there companies out there who only make paper napkins and nothing else? Are we putting someone out of business here? I think not.

Lost my train of thought for a second, like a true unfocused, dare I say restless, young professional. My point is, that it’s the new normal to feel confused, lost, turned around, stuck, etc. wherever you are. Don’t take it personally, that goes back through ALL the generations and it’s something that we millennials have most certainly NOT killed off. In all seriousness though, it’s ok, no, it’s more than ok to express what you’re going through or voice your feelings before the volcano of tears and burning words appear. Take it from me, a well versed person in riding the storm of emotions that come when you let the air stir just a bit too long…that doesn’t even make sense. So let’s go with it – new age style!

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who has been through any stage of life crisis, pass this along so they can feel less alone in what they’re going through. If you don’t believe in crises, only exhilarating changes, well I admire your perspective. Thanks for reading!


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