Thursday, December 1, 2011

Stupid Lawsuits

I understand the need for lawsuits if you are harmed in a substantial way. That only seems fair. However, people have really taken lawsuits to a new level like suing for coffee being too hot, or suing a fast food restaurant for making him fat or because someone didn't like a movie. Our legal system is really messed up if someone can get money because they thought a movie title was somewhat misleading. Although, if that lawsuit is actually successful, then I totally want my money back for Spice World. Wonder what the statute of limitations on that is...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Eating Phallic Foods in Public

I really like bananas. They are such a great food; delicious and high in vitamins, they're my favorite pre-workout food. I also really like string cheese and fudgesicles and cucumbers. But I do not like to eat them in public. It just feels.... inappropriate. I feel like everyone is watching me and judging me. I'm sure no one is but I am still discrete with my banana-eating. Or I break it into pieces with my hands.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Detours with No Conclusion

This is a problem I have noticed specifically in the Boston area. Oftentimes when there is construction, a race, or another reason for having a road blocked, the Boston Police Department will put up a "detour" sign. Usually, that is the extent of it. You are forced to turn right, instead of going straight, and then there are no additional signs instructing you how to get back to your route. If you're lucky, the cars in front of you will know where they are going and you can follow them, or maybe you had your GPS on and it quickly re-routes you. In most cases, however, you are totally screwed.

Boston is not Manhattan; it's not a convenient grid, where 3 rights makes a left. With the exception of a tiny area between Hynes Convention Center and the Public Gardens, Boston is a mishmosh of streets. I understand when there is an accident blocking the road, the police officers did not have the time to set up an appropriate detour, but if there is construction or a road race, chances are that was planned and there was sufficient time to figure out how to best redirect traffic.

When I first moved to Boston, there was a detour downtown that forced me to make a left I had not planned on. I spent the next 20 minutes just trying to figure out how the heck to get back to where I needed to be to get onto 93N. If you live here, you know what I'm talking about. I cursed a lot that day. Last week it happened again, in Brookline with construction blocking an intersection. Luckily I know the area well from being there for 4 years, but I felt badly for anyone who was from out of town or a new resident. I don't understand why it is so difficult to put up a few extra signs. Is there a shortage of "Detour" signs? If so, I'll help you make some. With glitter!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Slow Drivers in the Left Lane

I'm a medium-speed driver; I like to think it's just right. I'm never the fastest or slowest driver on the road and I adjust my speed based on the weather. I drive in the left lane if I'm passing people, but in general on a highway I prefer the middle lane. I'm like the Goldilocks of the highway. But WTF is up with people driving below the speed limit in the left lane??? If you drive slow, it's irritating but technically okay by the law, but stay in the right lane! That's where the slow people belong. It's kind of like not seeding yourself appropriately in a race. Just embrace your speed and drive in the designated lane. Likewise, if you drive 92mph in a 65 zone, don't be in the right lane!

This article by LZ Granderson is very well written and explains why it is so irritating, and why it's not your job to police the road with your own vehicle (unless you're a cop, obviously, because then that is actually your job). He also mentions a few other things that I hate like when people stand on the left on busy escalators.

Putting on Freshly Washed Jeans

I actually don't hate doing laundry. It's nice having clean clothes, and in the winter I love to put my still-warm-from-the-dryer clothes in a pile on my bed and lay in them. (You might be judging now but come January you will be tempted and you will love it.)

What I do hate, however, is putting on recently laundered jeans. Something about clean denim I find itchy and uncomfortable. It conforms to the body in a way that seems wrong. It's as if a really good friend went out and joined a cult and was now pressuring you to do the same. Okay, maybe it's not that bad, but it does feel like you're wearing someone else's pants. As a freshman in college I remember my roommate and I doing lunges around our room in order to stretch out our clean pants. It does help a little, but nothing can really be done until you re-break them in. The worst is when you just finish making them tolerable, and you spill something on yourself. Now that I really really hate.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Drunk People When You're Not Drunk

Is there anything worse than this?  After a long day of studying in the library, having to get on the subway when a baseball game is ending is just the most irritating thing in the world. You're exhausted, sick of studying and all you want to do is get home and eat dinner and go to sleep, but you're stuck smushed on the T with drunk singing people.  Or perhaps you went to a charity wine tasting and would love to relax on the bus ride home, but the people who brought bottles of wine onto the bus would rather sing "American Pie" at the tops of their lungs. I know the tables get turned sometimes, but right now I'd like to find the girl singing "R.E.S.P.E.C.T." and slap her face. I guess I should have gotten a bus bottle....

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Excessive Use of Laser Pointer During a Presentation

I was at a seminar earlier today, and while it was a fantastic talk, the speaker's excessive laser pointering (probably not a word, just go with it) was highly distracting. He could have burned a hole through the projector screen with his laser pointer. I began to sympathize with cats who become frustrated when they cannot catch the red dot bouncing around the floor and walls.

This presentation reminded me of a professor for one of my classes that would put approximately 1,000 words on the slide (size 18 font obviously) and then proceed to read the entire slide to us in our huge lecture, all the while following along with his laser pointer. It was so painful. It made me rue the day that PowerPoint was invented. Although maybe he was going for a "sing-along" and none of us joined in. I had not previously considered that possibility. That would have made anatomy lecture much more invigorating:
"Good morning class! Today we're studying cardiovascular embryology. It's to the tune of the 'Star Spangled Banner' so don't be shy about joining in! 'Oooh say can you see, the foramen ovale, when it clooooses at birth, the atrial septum is complete.' Everybody! 'Endocardial cushions, in the atrial canal....' "

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

When You Drop Something and it Vanishes

I don't understand how this happens. You drop something and immediately bend down to find it, and it's gone. WTF. I don't even understand how this is possible sometimes. You drop it and *poof* ... gone. It's like there are tiny elves living in my carpet and as soon as something hits the ground they scamper over and haul it back to their lair. [awkward pause] Anyway that's just one hypothesis.

I actually just heard a tip from How To Do Everything and the advice was to drop another of the same object. So if you dropped a nail in the grass (the advice giver was a carpenter) drop another nail to see where it falls. He said that it somehow trains your eyes to "see" the original object. That would have been very helpful last week when I dropped my earring and had to crawl around on my bedroom floor for 4 minutes trying to find it. It's not so helpful if you drop something that you only have one of, though, or if another one is not readily accessible. But maybe this advice will help me not hate dropping and losing things to much.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

When People Do Not Respect Seat Boundaries

I'm currently on the bus and the girl sitting next to me has continually hit me with her elbows, poked me with the edges of her economics textbook, and kicked me. I want to say, there is an arm rest here that deliniates the boundaries of your seat. Yes, you may fight for the rights of the arm rest, but you may not cross to the other side. This also goes for planes, trains, and movie theaters. Respect the arm rest! 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Stepping in Gum

Seriously, who spits their gum out on the sidewalk?? You know someone could step in it and then make a sticking noise everytime they take a step. Arrggg so angry right now. Just use a freaking garbage bin! They are everywhere, and if you can't find one immediately, find an old receipt or the gum wrapper, spit it in there, and wait until you find one. People are so rude and inconsiderate of shoes!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Whoever Controls the Temperature of This Building

It's absolutely freezing in here! I know I have a low tolerance for being cold, but it is really cold for a building. My fingers are cold just from typing, and even though I put on an extra fleece, I have the chills. One co-worker brought in her own space heater because she was so tired of being cold. And don't even get me started on how cold the lab space is! I should move my desk to the back where we actually get some sunlight.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Super Low Pants

This post is going to make me sound like an old fogey, but I'm going to say it anyway. I hate when guys wear super low pants, so low that you can see their butt cracks. Here is a picture of a guy I saw walking down the street recently. I was trying to discretely snap this photo with my cell phone, so it's not the best and doesn't fully capture how low his pants were (and how much of his underwear I could see). But it inspired this post, so I thought I'd share.



Remarkable similarities to a toddler who just pooped their pants...

I hate even more when women wear low pants and then sit down and you can see their underwear (or lack thereof). This is especially unnerving in a professional setting! There was a girl in my medical school class who always sat at the front of the room during exams, and every time she stood up to turn in her exam, the whole class got a pretty clear view of her butt (sorry, no photo of that!). I wanted to pull her aside and say, "Hey, have you heard of these things called belts?"

Thursday, September 22, 2011

When All the Funny Parts Are in the Commercial

I hate when you see a commercial for a movie or a TV show and it looks hilarious and so you watch that movie or TV show and realize that the only funny parts were put into the commercial and the rest of the movie sucks. We've all been there and you know you hate it, too. It should really be considered false advertising.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

When People Do Not Seed Themselves Appropriately In Races

I did a 10K in Portland, ME this past weekend. It was a great race with an awesome post-race party of pizza and Shipyard beer. The course was flat and fast and was mostly along a scenic jogging path around a cove. The one downside, however, is that the course was quite narrow. Most of the time you could run around people by running on the grass, but there were a few places where this wasn't possible, such as when we ran over a bridge.

In any road race, the first mile is a pain as it is quite crowded. At this specific race, due to the narrow width of the course, it was especially crowded. To alleviate problems caused by this, the race director put out signs so that people could seed themselves according to how fast they expected to run per mile (eg. 7:00, 7:30, 8:00....10:30, 11:00, etc). This is a great practice, because the faster people will have to spend less time running around people who will be plodding along at the back of the back, and the people who are going to be running slower can feel more comfortable running with people of their own speed. This practice is not to humiliate the runners, or to make them feel badly about the fact they are running 10:30/mile compared to the winner who did approximately 5:15/mile. It's simply to make the race more organized and to prevent giant clusterf*cks.

Granted, there are occasionally people who do not run their expected time because they either have a terrible race or a fantastic race, and I'm not here to hate on them. If you get a nasty stomach cramp and slow to 10:00-pace from 7:00-pace, that totally sucks, and I'm sorry. But if you were training at 9:30/mile, there is pretty much no chance of you running 7:30s for the next 6.2 miles. As such, DO NOT STAND THERE! Yeah, I'm looking at you, old guy in the sweatsuit with the fanny pack! There is just no way you're about to run 7:30 miles in your tennis sneakers. Or you, man in viking hat and pleather pants. Seriously, don't be ashamed, but get yourself to the back of the pack (or at least, to the part of the pack where you belong). I'm certainly not a speedy runner, and know I have no business being in the front, which is why I stepped into the pack at 8:30/mile, right around where I expected to run.

So the next time you're at a race, don't start next to your former college cross country star boyfriend. Separate for a few minutes, and find the 9:00 group. You'll be happy you did, because faster runners won't have to give you nasty stares as they push by.

Friday, September 16, 2011

When People Steal Your Stuff at Work

I am specifically talking about people who steal your stuff in lab (since that's where I work). Even if it's just something as small as your styrofoam holder for 50mL falcon tubes and ice bucket, or as large as half of your pipettes or your dissection scissors. It's annoying, rude, and disrespectful. Seriously! And if you borrow it, make sure to put it right back so the owner doesn't have to run around halfway through an experiment trying to find something that they keep on their bench. I'm sure people in offices have the same problem with pens and staplers. So the moral of the story is, don't steal other people's things, even if they are technically owned by the business or lab.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

When Stores Put Christmas Stuff Out in September

I was watching the news this morning, and apparently some large store chains (Target, Costco, etc) are planning to put out Christmas merchandise this month. I love Christmas. Absolutely love it. The decorations, the joy of the time between Thanksgiving and and December 24 while you wait with anticipation, the Black Friday sale kick-off of the official holiday shopping season.... but starting the "Christmas season" in September totally undermines the novelty of the holiday. If it were Christmas all year round, it wouldn't be as special, and people wouldn't appreciate it as much. Seriously, stores, you are ruining Christmas. It's not even close to Halloween and you're putting out stockings and Santa statuettes?? You should be ashamed.

Monday, September 12, 2011

When You Can't Give a Sarcastic Answer

There are times when I really wish I were meaner. You may think I'm pretty mean, since I write a blog entirely about things I hate, but I usually am pretty quiet in public. Sometimes I really wish I could just give the obvious sarcastic answer though. Like the other day on the T, a seat opened up in front of me. I wasn't blocking access to it, and the train wasn't super crowded, and it was very obvious that there was a seat available. I chose not to sit down partially because I sit all day, but mostly because I had on my backpack and was carrying something else and it would have been too much effort to remove all that and sit. A guy, who clearly wanted to sit down, came up to me and said "Do you want to sit down?" I said, "No thank you." What I wanted to say was, "Obviously not because then I would have sat down in the seat that is literally right in front of me!"

Or when I'm working late, and this particularly irritating person in my office says, "You're still here?" Typical response from me: "Yup." Desired response: "No, I left hours ago. What you are currently seeing is a hallucination. The fact that you can see me means you are very ill, and you should take an extended vacation. For about 2 years until I'm not here any more."

Or when someone you dislike asks you for a favor. I of course say, "Sure thing." In my head, however, I'm thinking, "Yes I would just love to do you a favor. I only ask you for one in return. Since you are the loudest eater in the history of man kind, can you refrain from eating when you are in a 1-mile radius of me? Okay great!"

I know there have been many other instances but that's all I can think of at the moment. Feel free to share if you have any good ones.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Litter

I was going to name this post "People Who Leave Garbage on the T" but then I realized all litter annoys me. It's just such a foreign notion to me to simply toss garbage on the floor, be it outside, in a train station or actually on the subway. Who are these heathens who were raised without this basic moral value that is imprinted on the other members of society?? You don't throw garbage on the floor/ground/grass/road/train tracks! It's that simple! There are garbage cans everywhere so just use them. Littering is disrespectful, dirty, and potentially dangerous. It also costs billions of dollars each year when cities have to pay people to pick up other people's crap. I once saw a man toss a can of diet coke out the window of his car. That was two offenses, because not only was he littering, he was also not recycling!

I am also annoyed by people who read the free Metro newspaper and then leave it on the seat next to them thinking, "Maybe someone will want to read it, so I'm really recycling." THAT IS FALSE. No one wants to read your newspaper. In fact, chances are, someone wants to sit there, but doesn't want to pick up your discarded newspaper and so they stand, even if their shoes are causing blisters on their feet. Here's what you do instead. Take your newspaper with you off the train, and either put it in the recycling containers that are in every station, or return it to another Metro stand for someone who actually wants to read the paper.

And don't even get me started on cigarette butts. Watching someone throw a still lit cigarette out of the window or down on the street makes me so angry.

I do have to say one final thing. A lot of people throw apple cores or other food stuffs out of their car windows while driving on the highway with the thought that they are biodegradable and that some hungry animal will eat it. This is just short term littering. Yes, it is worse to toss a plastic bag out of your window (or a soda can) but it is still littering to throw your orange peel or hamburger bun out the window. Plus, it trains animals that food can be found near highways which means they venture onto the roadways more often and get hit by cars more often and roadkill is gross looking, so keep your mushy grapes in the car until you get to a trash can.

We can work together to keep our streets beautiful! Or at least to keep me less angry.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sprinklers on When it is Raining

Why oh why do some people put their sprinklers on when it is raining and has been for 2 days? I mean, really... It's completely unnecessary and wasteful. I know most people with built in sprinkler systems have them on an automatic timer, but there are two things wrong with that. 1. You can turn them off for a night if you know there will be a lot of rain; and 2. It's not like New England is known for its droughts! We typically get plenty of rain, and you don't need to be watering your lawn every other day. Set your sprinklers if your lawn looks a little drab, but otherwise leave it alone!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Guys Who Play With Change in Their Pockets

I understand that guys like to have small wallets. If I had to sit on my wallet all day, I would want it to be small, too. Because of this size restriction, male wallets do not have a section for coins. As a result, males stash their coins in their pockets. And then they stand on the train, or in the elevator, or at the front of a lecture hall while teaching a class, and fiddle with the change, making a loud, obnoxious noise. So. Irritating. Just donate it to a homeless guy, because then you have done two good deeds: bought someone a coffee and not annoyed me.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Loud Music in Public Places

Last night, two young punks boarded the train with loud rap music blaring from one of their cell phones. It certainly wasn't music I was interested in hearing. In fact, I was just interested in reading my magazine, but I couldn't concentrate. I was much too distracted by all the profanity in the song. I just think it is really disrespectful and rude to assume that everyone else wants to hear your music. We don't! Get some headphones!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pronunciation Guides

I know these must be useful to people with a PhD in linguistics, but there has to be an easier way to educate the masses of people who do not fit into that category. For example, I was looking up a family of medications called the thiazolidinediones. The article provided this pronunciation guide: /θaɪ.əˌzoʊlɨdiːnˈdaɪ.oʊn/. I would like to offer up a collective, "WTF." If you showed that to me in a different context, I would assume it is a different language. In fact, I'm not 100% convinced it isn't. This would have been much more useful: thigh-uh-ZOL-ih-deene-die-ohnes.

(BTW that pronunciation is just a guess, because I can't understand the pronunciation guide.)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Graffiti

I'm not really sure what the point is of graffiti. Maybe some one out there can explain it to me, but from what I understand it's kind of like the gangster version of "Chaz wuz here." Oh, sure, some graffiti is pretty cool looking, but what I'm talking about are the scribbles of shapes that may or may not be letters. I mean, what is the point of advertising to everyone that you were there if they can't even tell who it is? Luckily I found these alphabet guides. I should bookmark them on my cell phone's browser so the next time I'm in the sketchy part of down I can whip out my smartphone and say, "Ooooh! It says 'Dis be Herb's hood, yo.'"

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Doctors Who Don't Care About Their Patients

This is the second time I am posting about something that happened to a friend, and not actually to me. But I love my friends and hate when something bad happens to them. This post is about my friend "Mary." Mary has a chronic condition that fortunately is well controlled with medication. In order to maintain control, however, it is critical that Mary take her medications exactly as prescribed (which she does). So recently, when she realized that her prescription was about to run out, she called the specialist physician who wrote the original prescription.

After 2 days of trying to get in touch with someone at the office, she was told they would have the prescription filled for her at an out-of-town pharmacy where she was going to be traveling on vacation. When arriving on vacation she discovered that this was not true and her medication ran out. Mary called her physician's office again, and was then told (a day later) that she had to have an appointment in order to get a refill. Keep in mind that Mary has run out of her very important medication. Mary luckily managed to get an appointment, only to be told by the doctor that he lost some of her paperwork (he blamed medical bureaucracy for the loss) and that is why he didn't want to refill the prescription. Even during the appointment, he refused to give her a temporary supply of the medication until they were able to sort things out (for those of you not in medicine, that is a common practice). He also told Mary that she had been non-compliant over the course of the last month because according to his files, her prescription was due to end in May (for the record, it hadn't run out and she was very compliant). Finally, Mary went to her primary care physician who immediately prescribed a two month supply so that she wouldn't have to worry about going without while the specialist dealt with his missing paperwork. Needless to say, Mary is going to find a new specialist.

I'm not a physician yet, so I can't say that bureaucracy wasn't to blame for the lost paperwork, or that the physician was just acting to the best of his knowledge. However, he was rude to my friend and her husband, irrationally stubborn, and refused to acknowledge that his patient was without a necessary medication needed to control her condition. He waived off all reasonable solutions suggested by Mary and her husband, even when his nursing staff pointed out the absurdity of his actions. Three separate hospitals and two pharmacies all agreed that his actions were not appropriate.

As a future physician, I am just appalled by this doctor's actions. If Mary had been a brand new patient, or if she had been looking for some kind of high dose pain killers, I would understand his hesitation. Neither scenario is the case. Additionally, without her medication, Mary's health was at risk, and she very easily could have experienced a set-back or had to be hospitalized. Mary and her husband are both obviously incredibly upset by the whole fiasco, and generally feeling let down by medicine. Doctors should put their patients' needs as the highest priority. That is the first thing you learn in medical school and it is a central tenant to our code of ethics. It is very upsetting when someone who you are supposed to trust to care for you does the exact opposite.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Excessive Booking Fees

This morning some friends and I went to book a campsite on one of the Boston Harbor Islands. It costs $6 for a campsite. However, when you try to book this campsite online, they charge a $9.25 booking fee! Now, $6 is mighty cheep for a campsite (in New Hampshire you can expect to pay $20-25 per night), so I'm not complaining that the total cost is expensive. What does irk me, however, is that the booking fee is 1.5x the value of the campsite! That just doesn't make sense! That would be akin to an airline saying, "Hey, this flight is only $50, but it's going to be a $150 booking fee." (I wouldn't be surprised if they try that, actually.) What I'm wondering now, is how complicated is this online booking process that you need to charge that amount of money? Why not just charge $15 for the campsite and a $1 booking fee? Is there another way to book these campsites so that I can avoid a $9 fee? I can't think of a cheaper way to book a campsite; I'm sure calling or visiting in person would require way more work. What a stupid system.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Watching Everyone Eat When You Can't

I just had my wisdom teeth out and since this past weekend was Memorial Day Weekend I was in the presence of people eating delicious barbeque food. Granted, as a vegetarian, I wasn't too jealous of the actual hot dogs and hamburgers, but missing out on the watermelon and corn and veggie burgers had me practically crying. It's been about a week and I'm still eating a diet similar to that of a 7 month old (well, except instead of drinking lots of milk/formula I'm eating excessive amounts of ice cream). Oh well... I am already mentally brewing up veggie burger plans for a few weeks from now when I'm all mended.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

When People Suddenly Stop Walking in Crowded Areas

This used to happen to me in high school all the time, actually, and was one of the reasons why I only considered small colleges. I didn't want to have to deal with trying to walk somewhere, only to have someone stop directly in front of me, and have me almost crash into them. Unfortunately, it still happens on crowded sidewalks all the time.

This weekend my friend and I were crossing the street with our ice cream when all of a sudden the guy in front of us squats down to tie his shoe. Yes I understand it's important to tie your shoelaces so you don't trip on them and fall flat on your face, but really, in the middle of a busy sidewalk, practically in the crosswalk?! No. We almost tripped on him, and in hindsight I wish I had. Or at least "accidentally" kicked him. Why is it so difficult to move just a few steps over to the side? Oh wait, it's not!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Poor Pool Etiquette

I swim one morning a week at the YMCA. There are 6 lanes at the pool, and nearly 100% of the time, you are required to share a lane with another person. Since not all people (myself included) grew up swimming on a team, not everyone knows that there is a set of etiquette guidelines that swimmers should follow. Luckily, because the YMCA is a public place with many users, these Lane Etiquette Rules are posted on the walls. They are simple, common sense things that include: Alert swimmers that you are joining their lane, Keep to one side of the lane, If you have to circle swim choose a lane with swimmers of your own ability... etc. Most of these things are so obvious, and on top of that, posted on the wall, that I get very annoyed when these guidelines are not followed.

As an example, proper etiquette dictates that you let any swimmers already in the lane know that you will be joining them. Last week I was swimming and as I was approaching the wall in the deep end to do a flip turn, someone jumped into my lane, practically on top of me. First of all, I was going to be on my way in approx 3 seconds. Your jump seriously couldn't wait?! Secondly, it totally freaked me out because I certainly did not expect someone to jump on top of me. It startled me and in a pool that can be dangerous. Letting swimmers already in the lane know you are joining in is as easy as putting your legs over the edge of the pool while the person approaches the wall. They just need to be aware of your presence prior to you sneaking up on them; you don't need to jump on top of them or stop them for a chitchat. A few weeks ago there was an old woman who just started swimming in the lane I was sharing with another swimmer. She didn't say anything, she just started swimming. (And I use the term swimming very lightly because it was more like floating with slight arm movements. I think she was averaging about 4min per 50yds if not slower.) The other woman in my lane nearly swam into her, and I wound up having to move since the old lady refused to comprehend what we were trying to explain to her.

Another pool rule is to circle swim when there are more than 2 people in a lane. (For you non-swimmers, that means people swim counter-clockwise, always staying to the right as you swim as opposed staying on one half of the lane as you would do when having only 2 people in the lane.) Although I see the necessity, I very much dislike it, mostly because it is impossible to find lanes with people of equal ability. Someone is always faster than the others. At the YMCA, since most of the people in the pool are over 60, I tend to be the faster one. There are times when I'm not, and I always make sure to check where the other swimmers are to know when to yield at the wall. It is proper etiquette to yield to a faster swimmer when they are close behind you. The faster swimmer can signal this by tapping the person's foot, which means that the slower person stops at the next wall to allow the faster swimmer to pass. I usually notice when someone is closing in, and yield automatically, probably because I have a heightened awareness of the problem. Usually, I wind up having to sprint passed people because they never yield. So frustrating, especially when you are trying to do fast sets.

There is also a rule about how you should actually be swimming laps in the lane. There is a woman who "swims" around the same time I do in the mornings. She takes the water dumbbells, stands in the shallow end, and does some kind of water aerobics. The YMCA I belong to has a special therapy pool for this purpose. It's about 4ft deep and perfect if you're not actually doing laps. So why this woman insists on taking up space in a lap lane is beyond me. Although, she usually shares a lane with super slow old lady that I mentioned above. Maybe they are BFFs.

This isn't one of the posted rules but it annoys me anyway, I hate when people swim breaststroke or butterfly in a shared lane. These strokes require a wide berth and are very disruptive to the person with whom you are sharing a lane. I have seen experienced swimmers switch to freestyle or one-armed butterfly while their lane-mate swims by; this is acceptable. It is not okay to smack the other person every 25 yards. Please, wait until you have your own lane or at least be aware of the other swimmer so you can adjust your stroke accordingly.

I am also annoyed when people do not swim straight. I have crashed into a few people because they strayed over the line and into my half of the lane. Do you know how much a literal head-on collision hurts? A lot. It also hurts to clonk hands or get kicked, so if you go to the pool, stay on your own side. And if you're going to cut across a lane (for example, if you are trying to get to the stairs) make sure the swimmers in the lane aren't approaching. I nearly killed a woman a few months ago when I got to the wall in the middle of a set and nearly plowed into her. I mean, really. You must have seen me coming. Did you think I was just going to stop halfway through that lap??

Finally, don't dirty the pool up. That means, take a shower before entering to wash off the sweat, lotion, deodorant, etc. Wear a swim cap if you have hair in order to prevent nasty hair balls that float around. And never, ever ever pee in the pool. Seriously.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Pedestrians who Cross the Street and Block Traffic

Before any Bostonians get all angry, let me say upfront I am not anti-jaywalking. I grew up in New York and like here, jaywalking is the rule. If there is an opening, you take it. When I moved to Vermont, it was the same thing, except that the cars would stop for you instead of just honking loudly and swerving. When I moved to San Diego my roommate and I were trying to cross the street at some point and I just started to walk when no cars were coming. She looked at me like I was a criminal. "What are you doing?! You have to wait for the little walk man!" she cried. Well, I can assure you that a year in SoCal did not change my jaywalking ways and as soon as I went to Boston I was back at it, dashing across the street in gaps between a Silver Line bus and a taxi. So, I hope I have made it perfectly clear that I am not anti crossing the street when the little orange hand is up.

What I HATE though, is when pedestrians walk through traffic. Nothing is more frustrating to have a little green arrow (and no "Yield to Pedestrians on Turns" sign) and have to wait through several light cycles for all the pedestrians to get out of your way. I want to yell out the window, "Wait your turn! It's my turn!" but I'm afraid I'll sound like a 5-year-old waiting in line for the slide at recess. It's just so terrible to wait in line at a light while it goes green several times and you can't go anywhere because people are crossing the street when they shouldn't be. Usually at these times I have to pee or I'm running late and that makes it all the more frustrating.

I also see crazy people who literally cross through oncoming traffic. Meaning, the light is green, you are trying to go straight, and someone just steps out onto the street like they are so self important that they don't care about you or anything else. They don't care that your adrenaline spikes, you slam on your breaks to avoid hitting them and your heart pounds for several minutes after. And you know that in court it would totally be your fault if you hit them, even though they pretty much pounced in front of your moving vehicle. Maybe next time I should just plow into them, you know, for the sake of our species and removing the lesser beings. All that natural selection jazz.

Finally, my greatest pet peeve in regards to pedestrians and jaywalking is when people cross the street, with no regard to oncoming traffic, and they have a small child with them. If you are pushing a stroller, you know that stroller goes into the street first, right? And your child would be hit before you?? Having a child is the most beautiful gift in the world (well, so I've been told by new moms) and seeing caregivers putting their child in danger makes me insane. Just for once, think about someone other than yourself!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Slow People in the FastLane

Last night I was driving on the Mass Pike and came up to some tolls. I went into one of the FastLane (aka EZPass) lanes because I have FastLane like any sane person should. However, for some reason, one of the people in front of me insisted on traveling through the toll booth at approximately 3mph. What is the point of having FastLane if you are going to essentially stop at the toll booth? The sign clearly says 15mph, and I know there isn't traffic in front of you since the lanes next to us are breezing through. Part of this is because I really like things that are efficient, and really really don't like things that aren't. Driving slowly through the FastLane is inefficient and causes traffic jams. Don't do it! It's like in NY when they have those orange gates that come down in between every car. You are barely speeding up the process. Let people go through at 10-15mph and you will significantly reduce traffic. Or do like Maine did on 95 and install a high speed toll. Not only is it efficient but it's also really fun to laugh at the people waiting in line to pay cash. Suckers!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Gas Station Prices

What the *bleep* is up with gas stations and their prices that all end in 9/10 of a penny??! Did 1/10 of a penny ever exist as a unit of currency? If it did it certainly wasn't any time recently, so why do gas stations insist on having prices like 3.499?? If I buy 11.291 gallons of gas that works out to be $39.507 (side note: wtf gas prices! Get back toward $2.799 where you belong!). Does that mean the gas station charges my credit card 39.51? If so, you owe me $0.003. If someone who commutes by car daily fills up 100 times a year, that is 30 whole cents. And over a 30 year career $9! Okay, it's not actually the money that I am upset about, it's just the fact that the gas stations assume we are so stupid that if one charged $3.499 and one charged $3.50 we would go to the $3.499 to save $0.001. Or what if a gas station started charging $3.498. Would any one be inclined to go to that place for the savings? And what happens if the cost is something like $39.504? The gas station looses money since (I hope) they only charge $39.50. I guess sometimes you get money from them and sometimes you lose, but why can't we just skip all the winning and losing and round gas prices to what they really are? Ugh, the stupidity is maddening!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Soap or Shampoo in My Eyes

I don't know many people who actually like getting soap or shampoo in their eyes, but for me it goes beyond that. It seems to question my ability to clean myself without adult supervision. I mean, how long have I been doing this on my own? At least 15+ years. You would think I would have gotten the hang of this a long time ago and wouldn't get soap in my eyes anymore. But nooo.... and it always seems to happen when you are having a terrible day. wtf...

Friday, February 18, 2011

When People Wear the Race T-Shirt During the Race

I'm sure this is not a widespread pet peeve except within the running community so many of you might not get worked up about this. At running (and other) races it is now the custom to provide all entrants with a race t-shirt. I am a big fan of this tradition since it has significantly increased the amount of clothing I have (although they usually don't have my size, but I'll discuss that another time). I especially love when they give you tech shirts or long-sleeved shirts, or better still, long-sleeved tech shirts. The Tufts Health Plan 10k has really nice ones and I recommend it.

But people... do not, I repeat, DO NOT wear the race shirt during the race. If you ran the race last year and you want to wear last year's shirt, that's fine, but you cannot wear the shirt for a race you haven't even completed yet. First of all, you typically receive the shirts on race morning. I have to wonder, all of you in the race shirt, did you forget to bring a shirt? Did you run out of the house topless and then count your blessings when the race director provided you with a shirt? I mean, really. Secondly, although some race directors will provide you a nice tech T-shirt, many of them are cotton, and cotton is not exactly the ideal racing material. Let's be honest here.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, it is practically the first rule of running that you never ever ever try something new on race day. I don't care if it's a dinky 10k. You never try something new on race day! NEVER! Not new socks, or new shoes or shorts or hydration schemes or paces or food or SHIRTS! Nothing new! Seriously! That is such a newbie mistake, and wearing the shirt just highlights your noobness.

Many runners agree with me, so you know it's not just me. You may change into the race shirt immediately after the race, however. That is totally acceptable. And perhaps preferable so you don't wear a stinky sweaty shirt around all afternoon. Gross.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Old Sponges

Old sponges freak me out. I hate their old sponge smell and the way they make your hands smell for 30 minutes after using them. I hate their old sponge appearance, with bits of food stuck in them that you then rub all over the dish you are trying to clean. I hate their old sponge texture, how they start losing little blue bits of themselves all over the place. I especially hate the office sponge, which is particularly nasty since people are relatively careless with the status of the sponge. It grosses me out so much that most of the time I bring home my dirty tupperware from lunch and just wash it at home.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

People Who Celebrate Stupid Anniversaries

Today is the one year anniversary of the start of this blog! And I still hate so many more things.... Did I mention I hate hypocrites?

Monday, February 7, 2011

People Who Smash Into Cars and Don't Leave Notes

This entry dedicated to my dear friend, Shemily (name changed to protect identity).

Some people are jerks. And I hate those people. Yesterday, while she should have been enjoying a lovely warm SuperBowl Sunday, my friend Shemily's car was involved in a hit and run accident. Her car was quite damaged, and there was no way for her to tell who the guilty party was. Luckily, an extremely wonderful person witnessed the event and left a note on her windshield stating that he would be willing to serve as a witness that a truck from one Rod's Towing in Putney, VT was the one who inflicted such damage to Shemily's car. Without the witness, Shemily would be out of luck because the driver left no note.
Yes, it sucks if you hit someone else's car, especially if it was something totally unavoidable (like you didn't look behind you while backing up). But that is no excuse to flee the scene! It's also a crime and you can get up to 5 years in jail! So don't be a jerk, pay the consequences for your actions. And for now, Shemily and I are going to make up horrible stories about Rod from Putney, VT and what the heck he was even doing way down in Boston. Dealing drugs? Seeing a mistress? The possibilities are endless...

Friday, February 4, 2011

People Wearing Bluetooth Headsets for No Reason

I understand the point of Bluetooth. You don't want to be bothered holding a cell phone up to your ear for a long period of time, you need to use your hands to cook dinner, or your state doesn't allow you to hold a cell phone in your hand while driving. I get it. What I don't get is why people wear their Bluetooth headsets like it is a piece of fancy jewelry. For example, there is a man who works at the IT desk in our library. But it's not the IT department, it's just the desk where you can drop off your computer if it's having an issue or check out a school-owned laptop. So I don't understand why he needs to wear his Bluetooth all day long. Plus, he works in a LIBRARY where you are supposed to be quiet and not having phone conversations because students are trying to study. Granted he doesn't work on one of the official "quiet" floors, but still... it's a library. There are other examples of this phenomenon like people underground on the subway where there is no reception or clerks at stores that sell technological things like phones and computers or people out to a nice lunch or at happy hour.
Here's my opinion. Take off the headset because you look stupid, and put it in your pocket. It's like the size of a Ghurken pickle. It won't take up too much space.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Outdated Links at the Bottom of News Sites

I'm not a huge news reader but I often go to Boston.com to read Love Letters, a major guilty pleasure of mine. Sometimes an interesting article catches my eye and I'll read up on it. At the bottom is a list of other articles that some computer algorithm thinks you might also enjoy based on your current reading material. However, sometimes these articles are seriously outdated. For example, you might be reading an article about the mayor's budget and at the bottom it says "Snow to Wallop the North East" and you're like "F*$@! Again!?" and so you click the article only to discover it was written 5 weeks ago (although, with the weather we've been having, they could actually just re-post that same article every week). There should be some kind of statute of limitations on recycling old articles. I find the same thing happens with celebrity news. It's very frustrating to think Zac and Vanessa are back together and were seen canoodling but really that happened a month and a half ago.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Unshoveled Sidewalks

Look, I hate how much snow we've been getting as much or more (probably more) than the next person, and I really hate shoveling it. But I still shovel and put down de-icer and all that jazz because it's the right thing to do. So I get really TO'd when I see that someone either hasn't shoveled or has done a seriously crappy job. It's not just an annoyance to me and the other pedestrians, it is preventing people with disabilities from being mobile. It's just plain irritating to me because you can't fit two people across in a partially shoveled sidewalk or you have uneven footing. But for anyone in a wheelchair, or for that matter any parent with a stroller, these sidewalks are completely impassable. In fact, last week a wheelchair-bound woman got stuck on the unshoveled T tracks at a crossing and several other passengers and I had to literally push her to the other side.
An additional problem is that the second it warms up above 32, the snow partially melts and then refreezes at night turning the sidewalk into a giant glacier/ice skating rink. I'm relatively young with decent coordination and balance and if I'm having trouble walking, imagine poor 84-year old ladies with canes trying to get to temple. Actually, one time I did have to help an old lady to temple on a snowy day. I guess a lot of people near me need help when it snows...
So home owners, I know you're sick of the snow, as most Bostonians are at this point (over 60 inches so far this winter with ~16 more expected this week! ARG!), but please for the love of Pete, shovel your sidewalks well with a path at least 42 inches wide according to Boston law. Your neighbors will thank you! (Also if you don't someone can report you to the state and you can get a fine, so just do it!)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

When People Don't Clean the Snow off the Top of Their Cars

Okay, I recognize that I have some (er-- a lot?) of irrational hates. This one, however, I believe is not only warranted, but it's also a dangerous practice (and illegal in some states). I hate (HATE!) it when people are driving down the road with a huge pile of snow on top of their cars. I know we have gotten a lot of snow recently and that it can be tough to get all the snow off the top of your car. Luckily I drive a short car and even though I'm not very tall I manage quite well with a long handled snow brush. But that shouldn't be an excuse for you to drive around with a foot of snow on your roof. My main complaint is that it is dangerous! That snow is not going to stay on there forever, and I can't even count the number of times I have been on the highway and seen a giant chunk of icy snow come flying off someone's roof onto the road. What if it hit my windshield? It could crack the glass or block my view causing me to panic and veer and crash into someone else. Seriously, this is not a safe practice. It could also slide down over your windshield if you come to a sudden stop. So if you are one of those tiny women in the giant SUVs, either get a step ladder, a tall spouse who can do it for you, or get a smaller car (preferably one with good gas mileage).

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

American Idol

I know American Idol was one of the first reality show of this type, but just because it came first doesn't mean it was the best. Now starting it's 10th season, American Idol has new judges because even Simon realized it's terrible. I have only seen a few episodes but I am tired of hearing and reading about it. Also I hate Ryan Seacrest and I think American Idol is how he got his start so that just makes me hate it more. Now, if you want to see some real talent, watch So You Think You Can Dance. Those contestants are incredible!

(PS- In the interest of full disclosure I should mention that I do like Kelly Clarkson. I am very glad for her but that was season 1 and now it's 10.)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snow in the City

Snow can be kind of cool. It's nice on a mountain, or in a big open field, or lightly falling on trees in the country side. And of course a bit of snow on Christmas is always nice. But snow in the city is terrible. It's one of the reasons I hate winter so much. City snow is terrible for many reasons, including, but not limited to, the following.

1. There is no room to put the snow. In the country and suburbs, people have lawns on which to throw the snow, or you can make some piles by the curb since people aren't really parking on the streets. In the city, however, this is a serious issue. There are no lawns, there are cars parked on every inch of the curb, and there is just no where for the snow to go. Because of this, it is always in the way causing serious inconveniences.

2. It gets dirty really quickly. Snow in the country or suburbs is pretty. It is white and fluffy looking and you can almost hear it calling to you: "Come roll in me and make a snow angel!" In the city this is not the case. The snow practically falls from the sky as brownish slush. It's so disgusting covered in soot and garbage and urine from dogs and homeless men.

3. The snow causes major traffic problems. A few years ago in Boston we got a major snow storm that started after the morning commute. While at work everyone panicked and left work early. And when I say everyone I mean EVERYONE. The traffic was so terrible that people began running out of gas and couldn't move off the highways to get to the gas station. Then all the gas-less abandoned cars piled up causing more traffic. A colleague told me it took her 5 hours to go 12 miles (she is a doctor and was on her way to the hospital). That's just ridiculous.

4. The sidewalks don't get cleared fully, then people walk on the snow and compact it and turn it into slush, then it melts a little and refreezes and turns to ice and then everyone falls. I will admit that sometimes it's funny to watch but not when people actually get hurt. And not when it's you doing the falling. In a suburb you would just avoid the ice and walk in the street but in the city you would get run over by a taxi.

5. People freak out and buy all the milk. I don't know why when a big storm is coming everyone feels the need to buy milk. If the power goes out, your milk is just going to go bad! Shouldn't you buy something more practical, like granola bars or canned tuna or something else that doesn't require electricity to enjoy? And how much milk are you drinking that you can't go without it for the next 24 hours if you happen to run out? I don't get it!

For these reasons and many more, snow within a city totally and unequivocally sucks.
Q.E.D.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year's Eve

NYE is one of, if not the most, over-hyped, stupid holidays. Honestly. Who wants to pay $150 to go to a bar that is packed full of drunk sweaty people. They say it's open bar and unlimited appetizers, but the place is so crowded that you can't even get to the bar for a drink or snack. And people think it's such a big deal if you don't do something totally crazy. So what if I don't want to stand outside in the cold for 9 hours squashed next to some strangers while waiting for a ball I can barely see drop for 30 seconds?? If I want to go to sleep at 12:04, what business is that of yours? Give me someplace warm with a few good friends and delicious food, and a bathroom I don't have to wait 15 minutes for, and I'm happy. And also don't turn on Ryan Seacrest because I don't like him.