Wednesday, October 19, 2011

An open letter to my fellow commuters

Dear fellow commuters,

I know that the drive from Vancouver to Portland sucks, and the return trip sucks more.  I do it every day, as you do.  This does not mean, however, that you should vent your frustration on your fellow commuters.  There are some "rules of the commute" that, though unwritten, are no less important than the posted regulatory signs.  To remind you, since it seems you've forgotten, please refer to my handy list below:

1.  When all three lanes are stop and go for miles on end, you must pay attention.  This is not a time to check your e-mail, find the CD you dropped under your seat, or reapply your makeup.  As a driver who has been rear-ended twice this year by drivers who were not paying attention, I will say it again for the record: Watch where you're fucking going.

2.  The carpool lane is for cars containing 2 or more people, or buses, or motorcycles.  You, single guy  talking on his phone, are no more important or entitled than the rest of us. Get the hell out of the carpool lane.

3.  It is not only polite, but legally mandated, that you use your turn signals when changing lanes.  I know that your 40-thousand-dollar car is equipped with them, because my 1997 P.O.S. is.  Use them, toolbag.

4.  If you must smoke (you should quit!), then smoke.  It's your right.  But realize that not everybody in the 3-car radius that can smell your noxious exhalations enjoys that carcinogenic cloud as much as you do. And for the love of god, when you're done sucking on that cancer-stick, don't drop that smoldering butt out of your window.  I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that someone willing to damage their own body wouldn't give a second thought about the environment, but it's still extremely fucking rude.

5.  Merging is a fact of life.  If the cars on the road alternate 1-for-1 with the cars merging, we should have no problems aside from the inevitable slow-down.  But when you cut over in your jacked-up pickup with the TruckNutz hanging from the tow hitch and push your way through traffic, you fuck up the flow.  So knock it off.

6.  Big rigs require a lot of room to maneuver, get rolling, and (especially) to stop.  That giant space between them and the car they're following?  Not there for you.  I wouldn't feel sorry for you at all if you cut in front of a tractor/trailer that suddenly couldn't stop as fast because YOU'RE there and it ran into you.  That would be your fault, you stupid twat.

7.  Speaking of following distance.  That extra space between MY car and the car I'm following?  Also not there for you.  1 car length is not enough room to stop if dude in front of me slams his brakes, so I allow a little more than that.  This is not a space for you to squeeze into.   If I see you thinking about squeezing in, I might purposely close that gap a little more to block your move.  Just saying.

8.  Changing lanes in an intersection: illegal.  Driving up the shoulder to avoid traffic and cutting in at the top of the line: douchey.  Swerving left before making a right-hand turn: retarded (and dangerous).  Red lights mean stop, but not in the middle of the intersection. 

If we all follow the "unwritten rules of the commute" I feel like we'll all be happier drivers.  At least, maybe I won't feel like going all demolition derby next time I-5 turns into a parking lot. 

I've got my eye on you , smokers.



Thursday, October 6, 2011

"Plus Size"

Halloween is right around the corner!  I love this holiday, but I'm feeling kind of melancholy about it this year.  I think this is because I'm having a heck of a time finding a costume.  As a size 16, I find myself in that dreaded PLUS size category.  The costumes are made for "bigger" girls, but they're still as skimpy as the ones for those size 4's out there.  Also, there are fewer options.  I had my heart set on the red "Um" dress from Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.  I found it at a costume shop online and was SO excited... Alas, the largest they run is a 14, which in costume land probably fits closer to a 12.  So I kept looking.  I've found a few other acceptable choices, but I'm not excited about any of them.  I wish I was excited about my costume, but I haven't found anything that great (in my size) and it seems like even the so-so choices are too expensive.  Why drop $50 on something I'm ambivalent about?

In happier costume news, I picked out what Kawika will wear trick-or-treating.  He won't really understand it all, but that's OK.  We're going in a group with our cousins and their kids so it'll be fun regardless.  I get to show off my cutie-pie and daddy gets candy.  LOL.

Because I'm excessively practical, I couldn't bring myself to spend $40 on something he will wear exactly once, no matter how cute (darn you, tiger costume!) so I bought this:

So snuggly!
 It has little ears on the hood to make him look like a teddy bear, and it will keep him warm when we're out strolling the neighborhood.  I think I'll put a little waterproof black eyeliner on the tip of his nose to make it more "bear-like" on Halloween.  It only cost me about $25 at Old Navy, AND he can wear it when we go watch his cousin Anthony (13) play football on the weekends.  It gets cold in those bleachers, and I won't be bringing K to sit around outside unless he's super-bundled!

Meanwhile, I'm down to 2 choices of my own.  I'll be wearing whatever it is at work (and I could wear something much skimpier if I chose; our work atmosphere is... very relaxed) and also at my SIL's annual Halloween Party.  I put it in caps because it's kind of a big deal.  Everyone gets really into it, and you're expected to show up in costume & in character.  I'm leaning toward Gretchen, but my short hair might work better with the flapper. *shrug*  Short and curly would be cute on either, though, don't you think?