Sunday, December 18, 2005

Someone is going to die

Growing up in central Wisconsin, I became accustomed to prompt and efficient snow removal. Our plow operators were top-notch – clearing the roads before morning rush hour, and before evening rush hour. People took it upon themselves to clear their driveways and sidewalks (well, there may have been a city-imposed fine hanging over their heads, I don’t remember quite that well).

Then I moved to Cleveland. Cleveland still gets snow and ice, just like any other city in the Midwest, but maybe even a little more so due to lake effects. For reasons that are beyond my comprehension, the city waits until maybe 8 pm before plowing the streets so as not to “interfere with rush hour.” I would think that 3-5 inches of snow would be more of a hindrance to rush hour than snow plows and salt trucks, so going out BEFORE rush hour seems like the better plan to me. But what to do I know, I’ve just always lived in places that get dumped on every winter. Add to that the fact that very few people shovel their driveways or sidewalks (there are a select few), and you can imagine a snowy, slushy city.

This creates quite a predicament for pedestrians. Because the roads do eventually get plowed, and the sidewalks do not, people choose to walk on the streets. And not on the side of the road, but just about anywhere they darn well please. Now, I understand that they’re mad at the folks who don’t shovel their sidewalks, and that they need to get where they’re going, but I don’t think I’d risk my life to get to Walmart. It’s no surprise that winter comes to Cleveland, and I see them wearing boots – they are equipped for walking in snow – why can’t they walk on the sidewalk? Or start a petition or something to get the city to enforce the shoveling of sidewalks? Something, anything, to keep them off the roads. The roads are dangerous enough as it is without throwing in the potential to cream some pedestrians as you slip and slide your way to work in the morning, or home in the evening.

Stupid Cleveland. If the science ever falls through, you can bet I’ll be applying for the “head of snow removal” job at city hall here in Cleveland. They need me.

Friday, December 09, 2005


Lately, I've been peeved. And I'll tell you why.

First off, the word "jaguar" does not have an "i" in it. It is pronounced jag-war, or jag-gwar, NOT jag-wire. If you don't believe me, look it up online at Merriam-Webster because they will even provide you with a sound clip of someone pronouncing it correctly.

Second, people who stare. I don't know if I have recently developed something freakish about me that’s unnoticeable to me, but for some reason people have been staring at me this week. Random people on campus, we’re passing in the hall or on the sidewalk, and they just stare. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD – say hello, say hi, smile, OR LOOK AWAY. But don’t stare. It’s rude and makes me feel EXTREMELY self-conscious. I don’t stare at you! I’m smiling, nodding, saying hi, doing something (anything!) and yet you continue to stare. Apparently we are not speaking the same body language here.

Third, people who are (consciously or not) in the way. And by this I mean people who are oblivious to those of us who are trying to maneuver around them – on sidewalks, in hallways, in the elevator, wherever. WAKE UP out of your little reverie and get out of the way. I have just as much right to be walking down the sidewalk/hallway that you do, and you and your punk-ass friends don’t need to be walking 4-abreast. I’d move for you, the least you can do is return the favor.

And lastly, people who interrupt me when I am OBVIOUSLY busy. Especially when they really don’t have anything important to say. I’m sorry (sort of) if you are lonely or bored, but I am BUSY. Play on the internet like everyone else. If it is something important that you must interrupt me with, I’ll get mad at myself for losing my train of thought. Totally my bad, but annoying nonetheless.

I’ll step off my soap box now.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Love despite annoyance

I lived (officially and unofficially) with the same 2 roommates all through college. We went through EVERYTHING together: the good, the bad, the ups, the downs, for better or worse, ‘til death do us part. All three of us went through bouts of extreme closeness tempered with loathing for each other. We often likened it to becoming sisters at a breakneck pace, minus the fighting over toys, we were pretty good about sharing our toys by that time. Candy, too.

Anyway, I think I’ve finally figured out when a friend ascends from the “friend” category into the “sibling” category: when I find that I simultaneously am annoyed by, and yet warmly love them.

And by annoying, I mean a recoverable type of annoying, one that has a 24 hour lifespan. There are some people that are annoying in an unforgivable way, or don’t have some other glowing personality attribute to off-set the annoying. Those people have little to no hope of ascension. But my friends are “quirky,” “individual,” “particular,” and any other adjective hiding a miniscule grain of insult only detectable with the right voice inflection coupled with an eyebrow raise or “air quotes.” And I can say this because I know full well that they would say the same thing about me, no pots calling kettles black here.

But the important part is the “warmly love” part. I quite literally get a warm feeling in my heart (ha! I rhymed!). We take care of each other, we look out for each other, we’re thoughtful for each other, we do each other favors, we give each other advice, we help each other out, we wish each other well and truly mean it… the list could go on and on, and I could if I wanted, but I’m thinking of your best interests. That’s the kind of friend I am.