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Is Road Rage Genetic?



If so, it's in my fam. I can almost guarantee it. Both of my parents are notorious for a lot of yelling, hand gestures, and creative name calling. And all for something as insignificant as someone not putting on their blinker, which most likely occurs every other lane change or turn. Obviously, this kind of road rage behavior is warranted for more serious driving offenses that risk lives. However, I usually find that my parents "defensive" driving is a tad on the aggressive side when it comes to their emotional reactions.

I've tried to tone down my own vehicular frustration down since I noticed friends feeling uncomfortable, even in situations where I wasn't driving. Constantly saying things like, "Sorry, I have road rage," sounds kind of like, "Sorry, I have hemorrhoids," and by that, I mean it's kind of lame and something you shouldn't be admitting to people. If you're easily frustrated while driving, take a deep breath and focus on something else (while focusing on driving of course...if you can't multi task, then maybe you should skip this step?). It's kind of like what you do when you run long distances; you know where you're going and when to stop and avoid others around you, but you're constantly in this secondary, auto-pilot zone where you can drift off into other thoughts.

I'm always reminded of my dormant disorder when I drive with my parents. Spending only a mere couple of hours with them on the road and I'm already susceptible to regaining strength in this inherited trait. My mother gets cut off at one point, and starts furiously flashing her high beams at the "asshole" in the beamer in front of us. She then decides that blinding lights in their rear view mirror could never equate to what they did to her, so she thrusts her middle fingers on both hands towards the windshield. Yet, you know you're really in deep shit when she sticks out her tongue and bites down on it, with this sort of animalistic grimace covering her entire face (my siblings and I are familiar with this look from our childhood). I laugh a little, shake my head, and explain that I didn't think her reaction was necessary, which is when she proclaims that it must've been from the head injury she suffered a few years ago in a bicycle accident. I tell her she should really stop using that as an excuse, because I'm 99.9% sure this kind of activity was never any different from how she would act behind the wheel before. At least the a-hole in the BMW got the picture and hopefully won't do it again.

On the ride back, I got to witness the glory that is my father driving. Now, I understand if someone has road rage and drives a Ford F150 or some outrageously expensive or large car. They need to make up for insecurities and therefore can cower behind their gas guzzler while screaming expletives through the four walls of glass and steel that wrap around a car. My father? He knows no such thing as the word insecurity even though no one should feel safe or secure in his pint sized Toyota Yaris. One has never seen a man so proud to be driving such a little and inexpensive car. The guy gives people the thumbs up any time he sees other Yaris drivers...seriously, every single time he sees one. Half the time, they think he's some creep commending their looks or something, but at least the other half nod back in agreement.

Onto the more negative side of his car skills, he also likes to yell at people for absolutely nothing. While doing so, he attempts to incorporate all of the latest "hip" slang, in an effort to practice adolescent jargon in order to impress the senior high school students he teaches. For example, as he drove onto an on ramp a few weeks ago, the car or two in front of him came to a crawl and almost stopped. Now, the first thing you'll learn in my family's driving school is that you never stop at a yield sign. I don't care if there are seven tractor trailers lined up in the right lane of the highway pushing 90 mph. You better make it on there, and it doesn't matter if that means eating up the breakdown lane, or even a lane made of grass and sand. As these cars slow to a halt, my father grips the wheel whiteknuckled, leans forward, and spurts out, "C'mon, peeps! C'MON PEEPS!!" I think he would've continued to express himself wholeheartedly, but I had to interrupt and explain to him that on the streets, "peeps" are more so your friends than random jerks who can't drive. He looked at me as if I had just explained addition to the dude from Good Will Hunting, and I soon realized I had insulted his intelligence. "Of course I know what 'peeps' means, who do you think I am?" I apologized profusely, for you never want all that pent up, motor vehicle fury to be transferred over to you.

The moral of the story is that if you ever catch me cursing while driving, or while in the passenger or back seat of your car, I'm sorry. But it's really not my fault. It's been passed down. Chill on the roads, kids, it's not worth the stress.
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I am a girl after all!

When my parents first saw me on ultrasound and realized, "Oh shit...we're actually going to have to stick together and make this work," the doc initially thought I was a dude. No, it's not because I had any other parts lying around, although it is still funny the 1000th time I hear that joke when I tell the story of my conception (not). It must've been the sight of my incredibly large head, which of course showcases my even more large and talented brain. Obviously, only men have these kind of brain capacities, so it's an honest mistake. Maybe next time, doc. Just don't misdiagnose the kid with severe birth complications. Could get awkward in the waiting room.

The original point of this post is about my tendency to swing with the gents and yet I demonstrate at the same time subtle hints of femininity. I was a bit of a tomboy growing up, and my high school was predominantly male (Seriously. It turned coed a year before I went there, and my father was forced to scrap together 25 females to begin a soccer team, of which maybe 4 had actually touched a soccer ball before gametime. No offense, those girls had heart and we eventually became a powerhouse in only a few years). The point is, I'm never really sure what to do around a gaggle of girls, but I have these hidden obsessions/collections with girly things like shoes and scarves. My neighborhood was mostly boys, and although barbies and American girl dolls were my thang, I was more often found outback digging up worms, playing spy games with my cousin, or unearthing secret xxx videos with the neighborhood friends under my brother's couch. I've got some sort of strange yin and yang balance in my head, where I don't understand the concept of being excited for the awards show season and yet I love my Laura Mercier sheer creme glow.

Here are some of my favorite guilty pleasures, in a his & her fashion to describe one multifaceted personality:

his.

     i have a penchant for douchey, alpha male tv characters



One of these things is not like the other one...sorry, Larry, you ain't hot. And yet, they are all successful, smart, interesting gents. Well done. Just don't pay attention to khal drogo's corset.



     mmm, the great outdoors

        


             
Bears, snakes, moose. The thrill of near death is always fun, while scrapes, bug bites, bruises, and scars leave some serious souvenirs (have you seen my chin? It's okay, you don't have to tell me it adds character). A girls gotta get dirty, as Xtina said. And scary stories are always a must. I was that asshole that scared everyone at the sleepover. I love getting yelled at by other people's parents (a big thanks to Erin & Eliza).


hers. 


     contrary to popular belief, i am not naturally this pretty all the time



Yves Saint Laurent's Faux Cils mascara is unreal. Trust me, I'm the type of person who would much rather buy drugstore brand make up for a solid $5-10 than splurge on something that does basically the same thing. That's how I felt until I met Yves (must be the French). It's kind of indescribable until you try it--it always goes on perfectly and doesn't clump. It lengthens, thickens, and basically does exactly what you want it to do. 

Laura Mercier's Sheer Creme Glow is something that was originally forced on me at Henri Bendel. I hate when sales people make you try things, since it's usually a product I would never buy or it's an item that doesn't ever wow me. This stuff is really neat though; it's basically an illuminator for your cheekbones (and corners of the eyes). You dab it lightly on those areas and it creates a nice subtle highlighting effect. Really cool stuff.


     omg, shoes!


 

 The pump is from Isola, a sub brand of the women's comfort footwear company Sofft. As a result, it is incredibly comfortable. I love the fact that it differentiates itself from the rest of the nude color heels out there with its gold speckled cork heel and lift under the toes. Anytime there's some height under the ball of the foot is joy to a woman's eyes, and feet, because it adds height to our legs without adding severe pain from such rigid angle. 

The flat is from FSNY and while it's difficult to tell from the picture, it has a snake print of sorts. I have been meaning to get a pair of these for a while, and I loved the extra lift in the heel and the intricacies of the subtle pattern with black on black. It makes it worthwhile to spend a bit more on a flat since it's not just your run of the mill black leather flat.




Don't worry though. I'll never cheerlead, get my hair dyed, or give two shits about whether or not my workout clothes match.
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Please stop posting the most intimate details of your life.

Because I don't care. And I guarantee that 95% of your Facebook "friends" don't give two shits either. Actually, I take that back. I am willing to bet that even your so-called best friend wants you to shut the hell up. Sure, we all over-share a tad here and there. It's the repeat offenders I'm thinking of. The one's who still have pages riddled with smiley faces and kissy pictures with their significant others. No offense to those of you I actually like as friends, but isn't that kind of sophomoric? Or maybe even high schoolic? Even though that's not even a word?



Here's a good test. Go on a friend's fb home page for a few minutes. Examine which of their friends are monopolizing their newsfeed, and with what kind of posts. Do you find your name to be a recurring theme? Do you feel agitated by your own actions? Maybe not, cause you're most likely oblivious to the fact that you of all people could be considered annoying, but you are. And I don't want to see a picture of the sock you bought for your dad down the street. I'm glad you think your life is thrilling, but the rest of us don't agree. A friend of mine had an interesting remark about how the 'book has transformed our behaviors into these secondary reactions to what we could potentially post on facebook. One might feel more prompted to snap a photo at Sally's birthday last weekend just to feel in line with the desire to be constantly uploading one's life. God forbid you only share the moment with the three or four close friends who were actually there.

I think we should all go back through the unfriending process. If you haven't done it before, you're either oblivious, lazy, or insecure about watching your friend count dwindle. Unfriending makes the social network slightly more authentic because you won't be showing pictures of you and your boyfriend half naked in bed to a kid you met once in bio freshman year. I know I am guilty of an overshare every now and then as well--but after freshman year I realized it really wasn't interesting anymore. If you have enough time to like and comment on 189 different wall posts and statuses, you clearly need to look into a part time job. And if you're thinking about putting something up? Refrain. Unless it's funny or actually intelligent (and please, please, PLEASE don't spell anything wrong), don't bother. You're wasting my time while I'm wasting my time, on this coveted virtual network we call Facebook.
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Why do I even watch TV

I don't even know why I watch television. Does anyone else feel the same way? I don't tend to watch that much of it in general, but anytime I turn on Bravo, it's like someone's eating away at my soul. Whoever pushed this reality TV craze off the edge should be burned at the stake. People are "famous" for being manipulated by dimwitted producers to stir up so-called drama within the superficial, inauthentic team of bimbos that they've recruited for these cracked out series. 

Not that Bravo's the only culprit; MTV, VH1, E!...they're all guilty. I feel like a shitty person for even knowing what channels they're on since it makes it pretty evident that I've actually watched a few episodes.  Television production companies create far too many projects and series that just end up under the "filler" category in my book. Not to mention, people don't need to watch this much TV anyway! I probably sound like my father, but you might feel dull and peeved after watching these shows because they're seriously not good for the brain. It hurts my eyes and ears to listen to Real Housewives' reunions. I flipped between that and Shark Week the other night for a solid 10-15 minutes, and I honestly couldn't tell the difference. Only, Sharks are silent predators, whereas the nightmare wenches of Bravo TV sound like screaming banshees. 

And then she talked behind your back.
No!!! How could she!!
Say it to my face. (Now, repeat)

You have to admit, it's outrageously aggravating and ironic that people curse our President and government for failing to keep our economy afloat, but most of the population knows more about Snooki and her counterparts than whether or not they've reached a final decision in the debt conundrum (final decision? no. temporary? kind of). Friends update their statuses and argue over Panera broccoli cheddar soup about how "the Republicans ruined their lives" or how "Obama has singlehandedly destroyed our government." In actuality, they haven't even bothered to dip below the surface of what everyone's Twitter updates have said about the Congress in order to investigate what's really going on. That would require reading or listening to major neutral news networks like NPR, or anything but Fox. 

There are so many creative, alluring television programs out there that are the results of someone's hard work and determination. We should support these series that are born from talented screenwriters and produced by people who appreciate the arts in all forms. Real, live actors are hired to play the various roles, and a plot line evolves from that first episode into a whirlwind of characters and bad decisions (sometimes good) that illustrates the vast array of human behaviors one could encounter in a lifetime. It's far more fascinating. Give me HBO and AMC, and I'll be all right. 

And don't even bother bringing up contestant shows. Don't waste your breath on another episode of American Idol. I shudder when I think about how it's probably true that more of the population votes for this dumb show's contestants than for the President or members of our House and Senate. Then again, I don't really trust Bertha's opinion if she's so sucked into the television set that she hasn't realized the Ben & Jerry's pint container is stuck in her ass cheeks. So she can keep her vote, but for the rest of you, do yourselves a favor and turn it off. 
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Hop on the Bandwagon

It's incredibly popular in our culture to proclaim intangible property rights on a new team, song, band, idea, movement...basically anything.

Bandwagon, literally

"I was there first..."
"But, I've been listening to them for over a year now..."
"I was wearing jeggings like, 6 months ago!"

Even though, there was most likely always someone else who beat you to it. You just don't know it. But don't worry, out of your insignificant group of friends who don't even care about your firsts, you were no doubt everyone's introduction to Florence and the Machine. I mean, you knew about them before Florence realized she even had a machine. Totally.

This is one of those cultural constants that has stayed with us since 3rd grade when it all started. "My mom bought Shark Bites first!!!" Ok, Billy, we get it. Your mom's the one with no career path who stays at home loading up the snack cupboards so your friends will pretend to like you. It's okay. You'll lose all of this supposed coolness much later in life. And yet, we never lose this tendency to claim that we're better than anyone else who wasn't aware of Nicki Minaj's new video last week. No offense, (and I do this, too) but doesn't that mean the latter have a bit more of a life? Not to mention, I don't always have the time to dig up weird music and follow every single sports team in the city of Boston. And yet, there's this negative term the "bandwagoner."

Here are some things I totally knew first...or at least followed from the start:
--the band Phoenix
--the iPhone (had that original gangsta back in '08)
--"American Boy" by Estelle
--Any music heard while I was abroad. That was all us before any American based folk caught on. Think Fedde le Grand's "Put your hands up"
--Any fashion I saw while I was abroad. Booties anyone? Leather jackets make a comeback?
--US men's and women's soccer teams
--Empire of the Sun's song "Walking on a dream"
--Game of Thrones

And, admittedly, here are the wagons I've snuck in on:
--The Bruins. I loved hockey in high school though.
--Shearling lined boots; I refused Uggs for the longest time. And still do--I prefer Minnetonkas
--Jewelry. Still can't find a desire to wear much of it, besides earrings
--Well, blogging
--Onions (Does this count? I used to hate them)
--True Blood, Mad Men (best decisions of my life)
--Running, may have something to do with my job
--Pizza with ranch dressing (second best decision of my life)

Trends I still have yet to pick up
--Twitter
--Twilight
--Most of reality TV
--Obsession with entertainment news
--Glee, musicals in general. Really make me want to die.


Be honest, what things have you pretended to like from the beginning, but really didn't care about until last week? It's okay, we understand that the video about cats was preoccupying your time for so long. I'm sure I'll only be bandwagoning more as I get older; I already find myself acting like my parents when thinking about the new technologies offered. Oh well.
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Do you believe in ghosts?

The Spalding Inn

This weekend I visited Northern New Hampshire to celebrate a bunch of 59 & 60 year olds' 40th high school reunion. My mom used it as a reason to get the family together, and I don't blame her. The White Mountain region up there is rich in vacation value. There's ample hiking, mini waterfalls, natural swimming pools, animals, warm sun, etc. I love it. My mom has constantly brought us there while weaving in folklore and family stories, so it's always had this warm family tie to the region and it always evokes nostalgia when I go.

Partnered with the stories, it's exhilarating to get riled up about New England's nature and history. You start to wonder about bears along the hiking trails and whether you're going to have to slam on the brakes at 11:00 at night to avoid getting killed by a moose through your windshield. You also strain to remember the semi eerie stories of avalanches, underground railroads, and the old days in general deep in the mountains. All the crazy things the White Mountain region experienced according to my mom.

We stayed at a nice resort plopped down in the middle of a luscious field of green grass surrounded by even more luscious green trees. When you show up to this type of place at midnight, however, it looks a little more like a snow covered, deserted, sprawling inn filled with ghosts, and you half expect Jack Nicholson to run screaming out of the front door. The next day, we headed off to the dinner down the street, at The Spalding Inn. This quaint, cottage type accommodation looked inviting, in it's old New England charm kind of way. We soon learned that the place was riddled with ghosts, to the point where the actual Ghost Hunters guys from the Syfy channel purchased the inn and proceeded to film one of the episodes there.

Apparently the carriage house in the back of the property has the most "activity," and I immediately looked out the back windows of the dining room as soon as I heard to see if anyone popped up in the windows. There's something about ghosts that I'm fascinated with and extremely frightened of at the same time. As long as I'm with a few other people, I could probably stick out a couple of hours in a decrepit sanatorium. The unknown aspects of hauntings and ghost stories make most people unsure about whether or not these things really exist, and you have to admit it's thrilling to discuss in various attempts to freak one another out. We didn't try to do much ghost hunting of our own, but it reignited my interest in exploring Salem and other places in Massachusetts this year. You should do the same.


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Beats Rhymes & Life -- A Tribe Called Quest Documentary

Wow. NPR usually depresses me (even though I love it) with their news briefings and saddened stories. Today they threw me a real zinger though--discussing the new documentary about the legendary hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest.

Hip Hop royalty

I was unaware of this development before now, so I commend you if you had picked that up earlier. What fantastic news. I wish I could fully articulate how elated I am just because of this movie's existence. Like Nas referred to them as "The Beatles of hip hop," they are the founding fathers. They solidified what real, true hip hop actually meant. Meant, in the past tense, because there's mainly garbage out there nowadays. At least in the mainstream. And yeah, maybe I'm a white girl from Maine, but I can recognize their passion, their wit, their poetics. Quest's music is timeless. It can compete with anyone who has ever surfaced and anyone that will. There simply is no competition. To know that starting tomorrow, I'll be able to watch an entire two hours or so unfold about their lives and why they disbanded, it brings hip hop tears to my eyes. Tears of lyrical joy.

The big question popped during the movie will mainly consist of whether or not they're going to make music history and start producing again. Honestly, I'm just happy to be able to watch Phife, Q-Tip, and Ali (occasionally Jarobi) in action. The money I would pay to see them in concert--and yet, you know they're not about the dough; they would never charge obscene amounts for tickets like the rest of the musical world.  I have goosebumps just thinking about it...check out the trailer for yourself, and visit the website to see when it will be available in your neck of the woods by clicking here.