Call me, maybe?…It depends if I have reception or not.

Of all the phenomenal and impressive things my iPhone Archibald (giving him an aristocratic boys makes me feel better about my life choice to spend 23 hours a day cradling him) can do, making calls and contacting people doesn’t seem to be high up on his list. Which is a little concerning considering that is the primary reason for which I have him. Another fine example of a woman giving her life to a man and getting nothing but disappointment back, but I digress.

You see Archibald’s main problem is that during a task I’ve asked him to do, such as accepting a call, he gets bored and then stops doing his task half way through. Basically, Archibald just ceases to function, as if Philip Nitschke had caught him in a bad mood.

Take for example the incident that occurred to me this past Tuesday. Whilst at Uni I ran into Joel the grad student, who upon seeing me, frantically bowed his head down, pretended he didn’t see me and started waking away at the speed of light.  Given my mild penchant for schadenfreude (or masochism, depends which way you view the situation) I called his name out. He awkwardly stopped and even more awkwardly started explaining why he hadn’t called me back yet.
This whole situation was unfortunate for obvious reasons, only one of which included the fact that my phone started ringing somewhere in what I can assume was the middle of Joel’s monologue. I answered the call only to have it cut out 5 seconds in. Archibald was clearly preoccupied with his desire to continue listening to Joel’s excuses.

To be honest, whilst the phone call came as a well timed distraction and exit strategy from the situation I found myself in, it did leave me wondering why there was a lack of reception given I was standing in the middle of a large University in Melbourne as opposed to say, sub-saharian Africa.

I quickly concluded that in these harsh economic times, telecommunications companies have realised that they can significantly reduce their overheads if they just stopped wasting money on providing phone coverage.

And in the case of Tuesday’s incident, the telecommunications company obviously concluded they didn’t need to provide service to rural parts of Australia, such as the Melbourne CBD.

Now don’t get me wrong, this lack of coverage is often a good thing. But there are also times when it’s not your mother calling, and you want to speak to people.

I should also clarify that this post is in no way an exercise in blame and I am not going to name and shame my provider, Optus. The same way I’m not going to complain about iPhones with whom I’ve had a long and tumultuous relationship.
You see, I used to have an iPhone 4 which meant that phone calls used to drop out whenever I did something dramatic, like stand up. But fortunately, my new iPhone 5 has fixed that problem by rarely being able to make phone calls in the first place. These days I’m just grateful if the battery lasts long enough to even allow me to attempt to make a phone call.

Don't even get me started...

Don’t even get me started…

We’re living in an incredibly technologically advanced society; can we please find a way to make and receive phone calls? Can we please just be able to communicate and share joy with one another? Can we please just be able to send drunken text messages at 2am and know they’ll arrive before we get a chance to regret them in the morning!?

As for Joel, maybe he did try to call but just couldn’t get through…?

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A guideline to driving (if you don’t want me to hate you)

car1I am in a perpetual state of fear and anxiety. And no, it doesn’t have anything to do with bush-fires, earthquakes or One Direction. I live in my state of terror because everyone out on the roads drives like a lunatic. And yes, I know that makes me sound like an old condescending adult. But in my defense; back in my day it never used to be like this.

So here it is. I’ve comprised a list of various driving malfunctions that you need to avoid if you don’t want me to loathe the very thought of your existence for all of eternity. Funnily enough, it’s also a list of great safety tips should you not want to kill anyone with your vehicle today.

Put. Your. Effing. Phone. Down.
Just so we’re clear, even if you spend the morning in yoga class; it still doesn’t mean you actually have a third eye in the middle of your forehead. Thus you can’t use said third eye to casually glance at the road whilst being face-deep into your phone.
Now seriously, are you really that bored by all the other cars and goings on that you can’t stop inhaling radiation from your phone for a little while? I know you’re super important and if you don’t answer your phone right that minute all the puppies in the world will die, but maybe, just maybe you can pull over first?

Green = Go
Look, I know life’s hard. You’ve been driving for a whole ten blocks since the last red light and you’re just exhausted. And I know sitting in one place for thirty seconds is impossible to do without getting distracted by the myriad of tweets and messages that must have flooded in since three minutes ago. Being you is hard. No wonder it’s impossible to see when the light changes color. I completely understand.

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Or maybe you’re just taking a much needed break and can’t be bothered with things like 30 other cars behind you. You just do whatever you need to do. I’ll be here. Sitting until the end of eternity, waiting for you to figure out how to get your car to move forward at the speed of traffic.

Mind the gap
You know when you’re sitting at that red light, ignoring it lest it turn green and you might need to move again, and you leave that giant 6 meter gap in front of you? Can you explain that to me? I know your car is a special unicorn that needs it’s space, but chances are somewhere behind you is someone else stuck in the intersection. Be a Darl and shove a little forward will you?

The pretty yellow blinking light isn’t a decoration
I know that a car is like an apartment on wheels, but you still have neighbors. Thankfully, the rest of us don’t live inside your head so smart people with clipboards have designed a way for you to share your feelings about your directional choices with that clever blinking light. It’s called an in-di-ca-tor. Please use it. That way I won’t smash my car into yours when it changes direction with no warning at great speeds. Or when you suddenly slow from 60km/h to 10km/h because apparently it’s not possible to make a right hand turn at speeds exceeding turtle death.

The lines on the road are also, not decorations
Those pretty white lines, yeah, they go on either side of your car. Not in the middle. So stop veering into my lane. My car is in my lane. And I am in my car. I would like to keep all of this in a separate physical space from you and your car.
I’m no physicist, but if we combine our shared car space at an average speed, neither of us will be doing well. Just sayin’.
Also, if you’re driving 50kms below the speed limit and not letting me pass you because half of your car is in my lane; I may kill you.
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It’s not a race
You don’t need to dart between lanes so you can go 0.03km/h faster. If the person ahead of you is going at (or very near) the speed limit the only things you achieve by darting lanes to get ahead of them are:
a. Successfully looking like a dick head
b. Endangering everyone around you

And also, just for the record you’re allowed to let people into your lane. You don’t own it. Sharing is caring. And frankly, if you’re going to let anyone into it, make sure it’s that guy who’s had his blinker on since the dawn of time.

Tanks SUV’s are unnecessary
You can read my thoughts on this issue here. In summary, if you drive a SUV on suburban roads I hope you get herpes. On your eyeballs.

Look, I know driving is a challenging flower but the sun won’t implode if you think of people other than yourself whilst doing it. If we all paid just a little bit more attention we’d all be fine. And I wouldn’t come home every day feeling like I’ve narrowly escaped death – or at least death by insurance premiums.

Kindly drive your monster truck off this planet!

It’s Wednesday afternoon, I’ve just finished work and I have plans to meet up with friends. That’s right. I have plans. With real people. I’m just as shocked as you.
But rather than getting ready, I’m sitting in front of my computer in a mild fit of rage. You see, on my 10 minute trip from work I nearly died. And what’s worse, it was at the hands of an obnoxious, selfish monster truck driver. Otherwise known as 4WDs. You say potato I say potahto. Let’s call the whole thing off and ban these arrogant four-wheel bullies from our roads!

Now just for clarification this post isn’t aimed at the bush folk, people towing big things or people that legitimately go on drives through the outback and thus need to drive tanks. 4WDs are designed for a purpose, if you’re using them appropriately then you’re off the hook. This post however, is aimed at the 80% of four-wheel-drivers who never leave the metropolitan area and are involved in three times as many collisions, speeding fines, and drink driving convictions as us normal-car-size driving folk. I’m not making these stats up. Ow and as for backing over toddlers, pretty sure 4WDs are winning in that department too.

Newsflash! You don’t need a car the size of a truck to travel the 3 kilometers from your home to your nearest house of worship shopping centre. You don’t need a car the size of a 3 bedroom house to pick your kids up from school. And you sure as hell don’t need a car the size of your ego just to impress you friends. Your car doesn’t make you look rich. It doesn’t make you look successful. It just makes you look like a wanker.
The amount of space you take up on the road is equivalent to taking up 5 seats at the cinemas. Or wearing a dishwasher as a hat.
I can’t even be bothered outlining the detrimental enviromental effect these petrol guzzling machines have. Surely, even the intellectually retarded can figure out the larger-vehicle-equals-more-fuel-equals-bad-for-the-environment equation. Not to mention the added financial costs.

Need space? Try roof racks. Kids with 3 meter long legs? Call the guinness book of records. Want safety? Try a safe car. Not something that is twice as likely to roll and thus make you 3.4 times more likely to be killed due to crushed cabin space. Again, I’m not making these stats up, just google Monash University Accident Research Centre. And don’t even get me started on bull bars. The perfect child killing and small car crushing machine.
Bull bars make the thugs, lunatics, idiots and morons that drive these tanks feel safer. Thus make them more likely to use a phone behind the wheel, drink drive and not bother wearing a seat belt. And just habitually be completely oblivious to other cars on the road. And general road rules. Who needs to stop at ‘stop’ signs when your car can just smash through them? Why let a nature strip get in the way of your driving? And who really needs to use indicators anyway?

The car companies building these killing machines are just as bad. Using reprehensible slogans to appeal to soccer-mums insecurities. Jeep’s slogan? ‘Jeep rules apply’. Yup, and the rule is you have to be an abhorrent imbecile with no concept of road rules to drive one. Toyota’s slogan? ‘Get in or get the hell out of the way’. Couldn’t agree more. Get in a sensible car or do society a favor and drive your monster truck off this planet. Mitsubishi Pajero’s slogan? ‘In tune with the outback’. Here’s a crazy thought, maybe actually drive to the outback (and preferably stay there). And no, spending 10 years talking about how you’re going to drive up to Alice Springs at some arbitrary point in time doesn’t count. And lets get one more thing straight:  just because you owned a boat 10 years ago doesn’t justify you driving a tank today.

Just because you drive a monster truck on city roads doesn’t entitle you to drive as a hoon. It doesn’t entitle you to cut me off. Take up 2 parking spots. Speed. Be oblivious to cars around you. Ignore road rules. Endanger lives. Run over babies. Or ‘accidently’ knock my side vision mirror off. Buy a normal car, learn to drive or don’t drive at all.

And just for the record, ‘Pajero’ is actually ‘wanker’ in spanish. I’m not making that up. It’s not a coincidence either.

You’re*

I have a pet peeve. Actually I have many but one in particular makes me want to turn into a mass murdering psychopath and that’s when people use the wrong ‘your/you’re’. Upon seeing the wrong word being used my body starts convulsing, I develop a nervous twitch and anger consumes every cell of my body. Basically I turn into the Incredible Hulk. And no, sadly I’m not exaggerating.

My mind just does not comprehend how someone cannot see the distinction between the two words. It’s my firm belief that if you are over the age of 10, and you do not know how to use the words properly, we need to let you go. Clearly, somewhere down the line, you have stopped evolving and society as a whole needs to let you go. It’s the only solution. One less moron pissing in the shallow end of our gene pool.

It’s not just the misuse of ‘your/you’re’ that I worry about. It’s all homophones. ‘Their/There/They’re’.
Surprise! They are three different words with three different meanings. If you don’t know that by now, kindly go outside, drive yourself to the nearest large body of water and drown. Please and thank-you.

Some people in the past have been inclined to call me a grammar nazi. This may be true. I round up the ungrammatical misfits, comment on their posts, patronizingly correcting their errors, judge their lack of intelligence, worry about the state of the world and then torture them with piano wire until they conform. I do it out of love. They have to learn somehow.

Now I get that English is one of the hardest languages to master. English doesn’t always conform to the rules, which makes it appear like a linguistic anarchy. However it isn’t, and it most certainly isn’t an excuse to try and make it one! I see it more like a constitutional monarchy: somewhat anachronistic but designed with conformity in mind. You can’t just make rules up as you go along. It just makes you look like an idiot. And gives me a reason to fantasize about your death.

Now while I’m at it, another thing that irritates me is when people make grammatical errors and then proceed to either deny or justify them.  I have very few talents in life, and definitely none that are remotely useful, but I have a superpower when it comes to finding grammatical errors. Show me a chunk of writing; I probably won’t understand a word of it but if a grammatical error has been made the siren in my head goes off, my body turns green and I’ll start hitting things. It’s magic.
The amount of times people have tried to justify their mistakes by saying, “oh it’s just an oversight, I have an IQ high enough to get into Mensa, you don’t need to educate me in homophones” is staggering. If you don’t know the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’, the only way you’re getting into Mensa is if they need some plastering done and yours is the cheapest quote!

Ahhhh rant over. I feel better now. Just don’t get me started on people who use ‘ur’.