Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Lie Which Refuses to Die - Black Tape for a Blue Girl

This week I'm taking on the issue of those pesky ambiguous traffic signs. I think I only have two to discuss, so it won't be quite the diatribe that the grammar post was.

The other day I was driving in Royal Oak and saw someone turn from the far left lane into the right lane. This might not seem to be a problem to you, except that the second left lane also can turn left…I think you see the problem.

I'll set it up for you. There are five lanes of eastbound traffic at this particular intersection (I696 service drive & Woodward). I was in the fourth lane with my turn signal on to indicate that I was turning left at Woodward (that lane can also go straight to turn at Main Street). The car that had been in front of me got into the fifth lane (i.e., far left lane), where he didn't have a choice, he had to turn left or hit a curb and cement guardrail doohickey. I made my turn into the far right lane as I wanted to head up Washington. I notice that the dumbshit in the car that had been in front of me made an exceptionally wide turn into the right lane, thankfully behind me. But, really, people. If two lanes can turn left (or even right), let's think about where we're turning. Far left lane into the far right lane is STUPID!!!

My other issue is the Yield sign. This sign actually means something!!!! It's NOT the same as NO SIGN!!! My problem location for this is the Southfield service drive southbound at Michigan Avenue. It means you're supposed to YIELD to traffic coming off the freeway. They aren't supposed to YIELD to you! And sometimes with a YIELD you actually have to STOP. I swear damn near nobody on that service drive even *thinks* about yielding. They just go and people coming off the freeway have to slam on their brakes to avoid hitting them. Dumbshits. I really wish they'd put a STOP sign there (like the Ford Road exit), because then people would at least contemplate YIELDING!

Monday, my sisters, niece and I took Grandma out for dinner for her 89th birthday (isn't she just the cutest?). She got to pick where we went and she chose The Olive Garden. Just an explanation for what follows.

Open Letter to The Olive Garden

Dear Olive Garden,

I just wanted to send you an FYI: Budweiser, Bud Light, Miller Lite, Coors Light, Michelob Ultra & O'Doul's are generally not considered to be "premium" beers – by anybody. Just because you call them that on your menu doesn't fool anybody. I'm guessing it's just so you can charge "premium" prices.

That is all,

I've almost done with my Christmas shopping. The only person left is my 17-year-old niece. I know what I'm going to get her, the problem is that I try to avoid malls this time of year and I've decided on a gift card to The Body Shop. I refuse to buy the girl clothes. I'd like to give her money for the college fund, except that as far as I know there is no college fund and she'd just use it to buy clothes. I'm hoping that she'll buy more than just make-up at The Body Shop and start taking care of her skin. Maybe I should just buy some skin care products, instead of the gift card, eh? My mother didn't teach me at all about skin care, so I want to rectify that wrong. I didn't get Grandma done until late last week when I ordered her a beautiful silk scarf from National Geographic and it's already arrived! It's a combination b-day/Christmas present as her birthday is so close to Christmas and she's impossible to buy for. She's been known to tell people what she wants for Christmas, but then buys it for herself before Christmas. I even got to the post office yesterday to mail presents off around the world. I had bought the LB's (little brother) Christmas present back in Sept. or Oct., but getting to the post office is a complete chore for me, so I had to make myself go yesterday so that it would get to CA before Christmas Day. I also mailed out a scarf for my aunt – it's technically her b-day present which was in October, but again, I'm not so good at getting to the post office. And lastly, there's a box heading to Iraq and Blue Meany. Nothing spectacular, just a little something to remind her that there are people stateside thinking about her.

This weekend is going to be hectic, starting with a Christmas concert Friday night. Saturday is Fucking Cookie Day followed by a party at Martha's. Sunday is church, followed by brunch at Grandma's country club, after which we all go to Grandma's and hang out and complain about how full we are while Grandma putters in the kitchen trying to put out snacks. She's so darn cute. I'll sit in the "knitting" chair because I'm still knitting furiously trying to get everything done that needs to be done. Although if Aunt Joanie suggests a game of Scrooge, I will put the knitting down because there's nothing as fun as a high stakes (pride) game of Scrooge (although if Mom plays, it's automatically less fun as she takes after her father – we all loved Grandpa, but he was a well known poor loser – and she's an even worse winner. She's lucky I don't slap her as she whines her way through the game.).

I just told you about two family traditions (F'ing Cookie Day and Brunch) – do you have any family traditions you either hate or absolutely love?

P.S. I swear FWG, I'm working on the book post.

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At Thursday, 13 December, 2007, Blogger Dave said...

They are about to turn on signal lights on interstate entrances here. "One car per green." I can't wait to see how many accidents there are the first week.

At Thursday, 13 December, 2007, Blogger LL said...

F'ing Cookie Day? I can hardly imagine the cookie cutters that you folks use for that...

At Thursday, 13 December, 2007, Blogger fermicat said...

I think you should write my complaint letters for me. Nice job. Succinct and to the point.

And dave is right... once they turn those freeway entrance signals on, chaos will ensue. People in Atlanta can't even obey a "no turn on red" sign. What makes the DOT think they will come to a dead stop on an interstate ramp?!? Makes me glad I commute on the back roads.

At Thursday, 13 December, 2007, Blogger Sal said...

Love that you used the word "doohickey" it's underrated and under-utilized. Last year I tried to trick my mother into cookie day when she was visiting, you'd have been proud at how well she avoided it leaving Coy and I in the kitchen. The worst family tradition is spending Ronnie Lynn's (Miss Gay SF 1977) birthday with him at the Mr. and Ms. Gay San Francisco Pageant, can you imagine anything worse than a banquet room full of drag queens?

At Friday, 14 December, 2007, Anonymous yelayna said...

Yeild signs? Is that like a give way over here? With dashed lines and a little red triangle?

We don't have many family traditions other than my sister and I make the christmas cake. This is one that we cling to but mum and dad aren't bothered by: they sggested last year that they buy one and we caused such a fuss they didn't even try again this year :o) When I was at uni I would get the £90 pound train fare (food for almost 3 weeks!) and travel the 300 odd miles to come home for one day to make the cake with my sister - it's often difficult to get us both in the same place!!!

There was more brandy than usual in this years, so we'll see how that pans out.

Boxing day we all stay in our jamas other than dad who prunes the trees in the garden, and then we all have bubble and squeak for lunch. Mmmmm.... lefovers.... :o)

At Friday, 14 December, 2007, Blogger Kathleen said...

Dave - We had those on a few ramps way back when on I-94, but they're all gone now. They have them in Milwaukee which cracks me up because their rush hour traffic is hardly bad.

LL - No cookie cutters, thankfully. If we had to make sugar cookies, use cookie cutters and decorate I would boycott, for sure.

Fermi - Thanks. I wanted to use the word "morons" but thought that wasn't very polite. There's a light near my house that has a No Turn On Red sign and I think I'm the only person who obeys it.

Sal - I usually like to follow doohickey with thingie. I'm very proud of Mom for avoiding Cookie Day! I can handle a drag queen or two, but a roomful?? Dear heavens. You get extra points in heaven for that. ;-)

Yelayna - This is the States...we don't believe in using International signs... but actually, yes, same sign, I think.

I think it's nice that you and your sister get together for the Christmas Cake...I object because mine is enforced, it's not something I want to do!!! I wish we celebrated Boxing Day.

At Friday, 14 December, 2007, Blogger Heather said...

We have the same problem here: people flailing about in lanes they shouldn't be when they turn. I had a rash of people last year who constantly went from the left turn lane into the right while I was turning and cut me off then couldn't understand why I was honking and flipping them off. One lady flipped me back then I saw her husband turn to her and with hand gestures show her why I was mad. When I passed her a while later, she refused to look at me. *sigh* Bad drivers are everywhere.

At Friday, 14 December, 2007, Blogger Scott said...

I'll go a step further and say that all those beers listed are glorified piss water. How 'bout them apples?

At Saturday, 15 December, 2007, Blogger dr sardonicus said...

No equivalent to the word "yield" exists in the Southern language.

We have too many drivers down here who watch too much NASCAR and consider traffic laws to be an affront to their individual rights.

At Saturday, 15 December, 2007, Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Driving. My pet peeve. I hate drivers in general. But yeah, those scenarios would piss me off too.

Ok, here's one thing I don't understand. I know a lot of beers have specials where all the beers are the same cheap price during a certain time period. So I order something good, and the guy next to me orders a Coors Light. WTF! Drink a real beer, wimp!

Olive Garden sucks by the way. The one thing I hate hearing is some guy saying "I don't like Italian food" and I ask him what experience he has with Italian food and he says "Olive Garden." No, you stupid moron! Olive Garden is not Italian food. It's a really bad cheap imitation Americanized version of what Italian food looks like in pictures.

Real Italian food is quite good, and is in fact one of my top five cuisines.

An idea for a gift for your niece - a subscription to National Geographic. If she doesn't go to college, it's the next best thing.

At Saturday, 15 December, 2007, Blogger Fantasy Writer Guy said...

Lucky for you, I'm not docking any marks for lateness.

Wow. The Olive Garden's spun. Half of those beers are considered bargain brands around here. Or water. Or unusually cold urine.

Honest to gubgnpen...

At Sunday, 16 December, 2007, Blogger Beth said...

Aww, your grandma is a cutie.

I had to laugh at the premium beer thing. SO true!!

I hate the tradition where I cook the entire meal then wash up all the pots, pans, and dishes. Yeah, that part sucks.

At Monday, 17 December, 2007, Blogger Kathleen said...

Heather - I love that scenario!!! They do something wrong and get pissed at me!!! That usually gets my blood raging.

Scott - Oh, indeed. I was trying to be polite. ;-)

Dr. - NASCAR has so much to answer for.

ZombieSlayer - Without a doubt Olive Garden sucks... And the niece is definitely going to college. That's not an option.

FWG - Here, too. What complete dreck.

Beth - Thanks, I think she's darn adorable, myself. Oh yeah, that's a tradition I hate. I also hate the one where the men get to sit at the table while the women cook and clean.

At Monday, 17 December, 2007, Anonymous Jorge said...

I know this is a little late, but I was looking at the read/watch list and I have to ask about Neverwhere.

I love the book and reread it every now and then. I keep hoping that Gaiman writes a sequel.

Anyway, is the mini-series any good?

At Tuesday, 18 December, 2007, Blogger Kathleen said...

Jorge - I think it's worth the effort. Give it a chance. I really found the commentary by Gaiman quite interesting.

At Thursday, 20 December, 2007, Blogger Ben O. said...

You go girl! I was wondering about that "premium" labelling thing myself.

Ben O.

At Sunday, 23 December, 2007, Blogger Beth said...

Had to pop by again to wish you a very happy holiday. I do hope you have a great day with zero traffic altercations. =)

At Tuesday, 25 December, 2007, Blogger dr sardonicus said...

Merry Christmas, Kat!

At Thursday, 27 December, 2007, Blogger fermicat said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I hope Fucking Cookie Day was bearable (and now you are free of it for another year- w00t!)


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