Saturday, January 12, 2013

Snow Part 2!

Hey, sweetie in the cute boots, the reason your feet are cold and wet and you're slipping is that your boots are stupidly cheap.  I know you're a starving student, but maybe next year, you could invest in some practical boots that are waterproof and warm.  Put some money aside, watch the sales, and please take care of yourself.  Cold wet feet are the worst, and I feel bad that you're hurting and miserable.

Also, tell your boyfriend to stop whining about how cold it is and wear a real coat instead of his gray hoodie.



Hey.  I spent most of my childhood in a very small town in one of the Big Square Counties in central/eastern Utah.  Our street wasn't paved until a couple of years before we moved.  We didn't have sidewalks.  We had to go to the post office to get our mail (imagine!).  I remember one year it snowed so much that the buses couldn't get from wherever they were stored and to our town, so school was canceled.  I remember one time coming home from somewhere, and my dad's old Dodge spun on the freeway, flipping us around so we were going the wrong way.  Fortunately, there was a break in traffic at that time and we didn't run into anyone or have trouble getting turned around.

When we moved to Orem, it snowed there, too.  I remember my wet hair freezing while I waited for the school bus in elementary school.  I think there were a couple of times it was so cold we weren't allowed outside for recess.  I took piano lessons from a neighbor who lived a couple of blocks away and since the lessons were in the morning before school, I mostly walked.  There were times it got pretty slippery.  One winter, the snow was deep enough, and the wind was strong enough, that we had really deep drifts in our side yard--I think one of my siblings made a snow cave--and church was canceled a couple of times even though our building was two blocks away.

I've had snow put down my back, I've slipped and fallen, I've been dumped in the snow, I've been so cold it hurts, I've had to leave my keys in the ignition and my car in neutral because it won't shift out of park when it's cold, I've had to wear fingerless gloves at work because I worked next to a drafty automatic door, but I've never been in a snow-related traffic accident.  Mostly because I drive like an old lady in the winter (unless the roads are clear and you're in front of me going 30 mph when you CAN and SHOULD be going 60 you jerk).

When I took Driver's Ed in high school, I went out on the driving range a couple of times, but didn't actually schedule my road training until Mr. Allred (rest his soul--he was a good teacher) called me out of the blue the winter after Driver's Ed and told me it was time I got in some road work.  In the snow.  And the ice.

So that, combined with learning from my dad's training as a long-haul trucker and my mom's extensive winter driving experience, has made it so I'm pretty ok driving in snow.  (Remember that one time I drove on Highway 20 to get from Highway 89 to I-15?  In a pretty good snow storm?  On an inch of ice?  In the dark?  Without a cell signal?  In the NIGHT?  It was pretty epic.)  (Seriously, Google Map it.  It's a cool drive.)  It's not so bad, really.  I (mostly) don't drive when conditions are obviously too dangerous, but I know how to handle a car in the snow.  I used to tell college friends from California or Oregon three simple rules:  If there's snow, always assume there is also ice; cut your speed in half; and give yourself twice as much time to get anywhere. If they wanted more tips, I would add the following:  if you slide, steer into it and don't slam on your brakes; the car's natural momentum is more useful than hitting the gas really hard when you're stuck; heavier cars generally are easier to drive (I drove a '78 Buick LeSabre and a '78 Chevy station wagon in high school, so I know); don't panic if you get stuck; if you can control your slide, steer into a ditch or onto a lawn because that's better than hitting another car; if you need traction, head for the snow or slush and not the smooth ice; be patient if you get stuck; and, bringing us to the rant, TURN ON YOUR STUPID LIGHTS.

Honestly.  Never assume that, just because you can see, others can likewise see you.  If you're driving a small dark car, it's really hard for other drivers to see you coming.  Just turn on your lights.  It's a little switch, right there next to your steering wheel.  Turn it.  It's not hard.  Unless you don't have arms, you have no excuse.  Even if you don't have arms, use your feet.  Turn on your lights so I can see you in the blinding snow, fog, and spray from trucks.  Holy cats, people.  Turn on your lights.

Have I made myself clear?  Turn on your lights. 


Also?  Everyone?  Calm down about all this snow.  Yeah, it's hard to shovel, and you might miss some work, and your power might go out (which is hard), and your furnace is dying, and you might slide off the road (which sucks, please don't get hurt) and you're going stir-crazy, but remember how everything was on fire last summer after that unnervingly mild winter?  Remember that?  Remember how half a MILLION acres burned in Utah alone, and there was ash in the air and Colorado Springs almost was no more?  Remember how we almost ran short of water to put out the fires?

Me too.  I'm grateful for the snow.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Small October Rant (in which I abuse parenthesis!)

Besides the fact that, apparently, October and I are best frenemies (forever!) (more on that later) (maybe), I have a couple of rants.

Remember That One Time (I really should trademark that) I was kind of glad last winter was pretty mild, but only because my car never had a problem shifting out of park because it wasn't very cold?  That was a relief, but the weather was too dry and caused a lot of problems this summer (2012:  The Year Everything Caught On Fire All The Time).  As it gets cooler, I look forward to crazy snow storms and below-freezing nights, but then I remember that I have this car with a rebuilt transmission (known as a tranny in the trade, and not what you might think a tranny is, although sometimes--like right now--I might think it's funny to give my transmission a drag queen name), and the rebuilt transmission doesn't like to shift out of park when the temperature drops below 20 for any appreciable amount of time.

The technical reason is that the shifter rod that engages the gears when you push the little button on my shifter, is a little too short.  Plastic shrinks in the cold, and when it's too cold, my shifter rod doesn't QUIIIITE engage the gears in the 6-year-old transmission.  The part is no longer manufactured by Ford (just one of many reasons to never buy a 1995 Taurus, much as I like my car most of the time) and a transmission guy I talked to said he could jimmy a part, but I decided not to do that because I figured eventually I'd be able to buy a new car.


Life got in the way, and I haven't been able to afford a new car, so I'm stuck with my trusty Ford (which EVERY mechanic who looks at is says is a great, solid, car with a good engine, and to whom I usually reply with a sardonic laugh and the reminder that it's only a good car because I replaced the transmission, which is worth more than the car is) for the time being.  I dread the coming of winter, because I know that I'll either have to leave the keys in my car and the car in neutral, or start it as soon as I get out of bed and leave it running while I shower and get dressed in the hope that it will get warm enough that it will shift the heck out of park.

Luckily for me, no one wants to steal my car.

But, man, I really wish I could get a new car.  A new car with a good transmission (possibly named Feathers) and good door panels that happen to be insulated (unlike mine) against road noise and a better stereo.

Maybe I can get one of those "Overhaulin'"-type shows to glam up my car.  Then again, who wants to see a glammed-up 1995 Ford Taurus?  (But I'm really curious to see what they could do to make it cool; maybe turn it into a Dodge Challenger?  That would be magic!)

Also, why were Mustangs SO DARN UGLY in the 80s?  Is there any logical explanation for that?  Because, really.

Friday, June 1, 2012

I liked it first!

So apparently rose gold is trending now.

I am angry about this.

Because!  I liked it first!  And I HATE IT when something I like suddenly become popular and people are all over it, because then I feel unoriginal and boring.

Remember That One Time I bought myself a pink sapphire ring for my 30th birthday?  And wore it as my engagement ring for a while?  And then decided that I didn't really want a diamond ring because I'm so terrifically bored by the vast majority of boring white gold and diamond engagement rings?  Even though I probably think yours is super pretty and perfectly suited to you?  Remember that time?

Also, remember how pink has been my favorite color since I was born?  Remember how I like pink sparkly things?  And how I want something pink for my wedding and engagement rings?  And how I've been looking at rose gold, pink sapphires, morganites, pink diamonds, pink topazes, and pink beryls for the last, oh, 10 years?

Stop stealing my ideas, media!  Stop it! 

Fine.  I'm going to like these things anyway.  I liked them before they were trendy, and I'll like them for the rest of my life.  I've spent a LOT of time thinking about this, guys, and I know that I will never regret my choice.  I will never buy into something just because everyone else is.  I only like things because I like them.

So there.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Birth Plan: Addendum

Please don't misunderstand me.  If you want a home birth and you have an awesome (and experienced) midwife, that's awesome!  Go you!  It is absolutely your right to choose that, and I applaud you. 

Birth Plan

I read a lot of blogs.  A LOT.  Some of them have to do with giving birth, and the majority of those involve home births.  I've also read a lot of horror stories about home births--stories about unlicensed midwives, women calling themselves midwives with no actual formal training, mothers who are so anti-Western medicine that they refuse to go to a hospital, midwives who don't call emergency services when the mother's labor extends more than 24 hours, babies who die, mothers who die, mothers who are so hung up on their perfect birth plan that they can't handle the idea that something might (and often does) go wrong.  I've read about awesome home births and tragic home births.  I've read about educated, caring, professional midwives who know when something is beyond their abilities, and I've read about midwives who insist they're right at the expense of a life.

Here's the thing.  Even though I'm not married nor am I pregnant, I am automatically going to have a high-risk pregnancy just because of my age.  I'm in uncharted territory at this point.  My cousin a couple of years older than me had her last baby (now 1 year old, fat and sassy) at great risk to him and to herself and will not be able to have more children.  My direct female relatives were done having children for various health reasons by the time they were 35.  I have no idea what is going to happen when I'm pregnant.  Things could be smooth and wonderful, or I could end up on bed-rest for six months.  I could have four healthy children, or one child with a birth defect, or none at all.   

I won't know until it happens.

My response to all those heartfelt (and sometimes psychologically/emotionally bullying) birth plans I read about is short and simple:

My birth plan, should I be lucky and blessed enough to actually have one, is to bring a baby into this world alive.  I will do anything it takes to bring a living, healthy baby into this world.  If that means my mom moves in with me while I'm on bed-rest, so be it.  If that means I'm in a hospital for eight weeks, hooked up to all kinds of equipment, consider it done.

And don't you dare try to bully or shame me into thinking I'm somehow a bad person for making this decision.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Hoooo boy...

I am so tired of people making assumptions about Mormon women based on flawed, sexist, and bigoted stereotypes.  I could go off for DAYS about how society is so messed up and true feminism is so misunderstood and how pr0n has infiltrated almost every aspect of our lives so we expect/assume certain things.

Right now, though, I won't.  It's enough, today, to say that sometimes I want to go totally off-grid and raise my future family in a yurt in the Montana wilderness to protect them from this horrible world.