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A Random List of Pet Peeves

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

In the light, non-philosophical months, there are still any number of things that irritate me most of the time.  And since I've traveled to Florida, I'm especially sensitive to road rules, to billboards, to habits of the locals.  So, without further ado, here's today's list, remembering full well that it could all be different tomorrow:

1. Hush puppies.  Hush puppies annoy me because they are one of those foods that people rave about as being something special at a particular restaurant when the reality is that the difference between an average hush puppy and a "great" one is almost indistinguishable.  The one you get at Captain D's is just fine; it tastes just like the one at the place that is known for their hushpuppies.

2. Bumper stickers.  Now that I'm rid of the car that I put bumper stickers on, I've come to realize that all bumper stickers are stupid.  They are simplistic and cowardly.  They make some sweeping, clever remark, but when you drive past the person who would put such a thing on their car, they will never look you in the eye.  They want to pretend it isn't their car. Or they want to pretend that the stickers capture who they are.  I sure am glad my car doesn't have them anymore.


3. Slide Shows.  The trend on websites to cover a lot of ground in an easy way by creating a "slide show" pisses me off to no end.  I wish this technology did not even exist.  They take forever to load, they require you to scroll around to find your spot on the page, and they rarely turn out to be worth the time.  Give me a simple one-web-page list any day of the week.

4.  Maceration and other cooking words.  I learned from my mother when I was a child that if you cut up strawberries and sprinkle them with sugar and let them sit, they will create a delicious syrup.  Now, that is not good enough.  Now, you have to "macerate" your berries.  Which means that you sprinkle them with sugar and let them sit so that they create a delicious syrup.

5.  Memory Care.  Here in Florida at the "Assisted Living" centers, they also advertise that they offer "memory care."  This is only the latest euphemism (see "assisted living") that attempts to hide from us the realities of life, especially the realities of growing old.  Why can't these places just say they take patients with demential or Alzheimer's?

6. Drivers who get mad at you for doing what they just did.  So you're driving behind a slow truck in the right lane and in order to get around it, you drift into the fast lane, into a space between cars that isn't even large enough for your car to fit, but the two cars accommodate you, and then when, a few minutes later, in order to deal with a slowdown, I pass you on the right and then cut in front of you with plenty of room to spare, you go apeshit?

7.  Passwords.  Why is it that the websites that are the least likely to be hacked into require the most complicated passwords?  To a pay a bill, I've got to have a password of so many letters, upper and lowercase, plus at least one number or a symbol.  And because it's complicated, I can never remember it.  Really, are there hackers out there who are breaking into utility websites and paying the bills for other people?

8.  Restaurants that make their employees greet you loudly when you walk in the door.  As if all of the employees shouting at you in unison and scaring the shit out of you as soon as you walk in a door is going to endear that restaurant to you.  The worst is CiCi's, who also tries to do it on the way out when you're finished and leaves people like me planning my departure when their backs are all turned.


9.  Artistic endeavors that lose their nerve. Like Cyrus.  Great set-up: fully-grown, odd son who is really attached to his single mom gets in the way of her relationship with a decent guy.  But for all of his quirks and creepy behavior, Cyrus ultimately doesn't deliver.  Why? Because the script and/or director chicken out.  You encounter a scene where Cyrus has all of the man's information and tax records on his computer, but he never does anything with it.  You have a scene where the man can see Cyrus but his mom can't and Cyrus is making signs that say "You're going down."  But Cyrus, who is as smart as he is off-kilter, never does anything.  They wrestle a little bit at a wedding and then they make up.  End of movie.  You lost me much earlier.



10.  Work zones that aren't. On the interstate, they start warning you miles ahead.  They make you slow down.  You caution you about what will happen if you speed when workers are present.  They countdown by miles, then half miles, then quarter miles, then yards when the work zone is going to start and then you get there and there is nothing there.  And then you get mad and you want to start speeding and maybe you get a ticket for going too fast.  But there is no ticket you can give in return for having to waste your time for miles by going too slow.

11. Me, myself, I.  It astounds me every time I come to Florida that I can revel in exercise--walking, biking, swimming--everytime I come down here, morning or evening, outside doing stuff, but that I can't rouse myself to do much of anything physical while I'm in "work mode" back in Chattanooga.

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