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.

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.