Turn Signal Tactics

Why do so many drivers these days act as if they possess no common courtesy for others on the roadways? Does having control of a ton or more of motorized metal compel people to be pricks? Being behind the wheel turns off the kindness switch in so many people that I’d say we’re in the midst of an epidemic. It’s not something that afflicts everyone; yet, it occurs so frequently that I believe that we’re moving from pandemic phase five to the worldwide catastrophic phase six of aggressive automobile acrimony. I guess you could just call it road rage, but that would be too easy.

Well, over the past few years of my life, I’ve lived and driven in Washington, DC, southern California and now Abu Dhabi in the UAE. Driving in each of these three locations appears to be a hazard to one’s health and it’s due to the increasing number of selfish, power-tripping vehicular stupers (which is short for remarkably stupid persons). I’m particularly miffed by one inane driving behavior prevalent in all three of these areas: cutting off people who signal to turn into one’s lane. In these locales, tumultuous turn signal tactics are a daily occurrence and I have fallen victim to this punk-ass behavior far too many times.

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What’s Your Superpower?

We all have five senses (some say we have a sixth sense); yet, we don’t all have the same five senseslevel of capability when it comes to our use of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. Everyone has some level of heightened sensory perception with one or more of his or her senses and some diminished level of ability with others.

I clearly know my strengths and weaknesses regarding my means of perception. Ever since the sixth grade, I knew that perfect vision was something I couldn’t have without corrective lenses (or, the relatively recent development of LASIK). I’ve managed with glasses and contact lenses over the years, but I’ve always been envious of those with 20/20 vision, like my wife, cultural junkie.

I knew my vision was terrible, but I was taken aback during my last visit to the optometrist.

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Feeling The Breeze: Dreadless

After nine years of growing dreadlocks, I’m back to where I started: bald. I’ve been contemplating cutting them for a few months now, but never seriously thought I was quite ready to let them go.

The locks became such a big part of who I was as a person, despite the fact that wasn’t something I considered when I first started to grow them. My original intent was to let my hair grow naturally, without any impedance from a comb. I wanted to see what hair looked like when original man roamed the planet. Also, I knew my hairline was moving back fast and I thought I might as well grow my hair long, while I still had it…and I did!

Back in 2000 I rocked a shaved head and let the hair grow. Slowly, but surely, the curls started to grow and I had a mini-unkempt afro. I liked the look of the nappy fro. It was bit wild in style, but easy to manage. As the first year ended, the naps started to lock up. I had small dreads that pointed straight to the sideshow bobsky, as if the force of gravity was more like the farce of gravity. This is when people started calling me Bob. Not Marley, but Sideshow. Yep, Sideshow Bob, the evil genius character on The Simpsons whose red, poofy locks defied gravity’s pull towards the Earth. I thought this was a bit of an amusing nickname, and I heard it for a good two years before my locks dropped.

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Discover What We Dream About

I discovered this remarkable resource recently: DreamBank, where you can search for what we dream about on your own. The University of California, Santa Cruz, search engine-equipped database of over 16,000 dream reports is compiled from people who call the research center and, apparently, our dreams typically feature mundane day-to-day activities.

I’ve always been intrigued by the whole concept of dreams. What do they mean? Are they real? What exactly is a dream? Do they help me? Am I crazy because I dreamed that ______________?

dream

I took courses in college that enabled me to dive more deeply into the world of dreams and have done some reading on my own, but I haven’t cracked open a book on the topic for at least five years. I have always wondered why this ubiquitous sleep experience exists, but I think my interest in dreams is fueled by the fact that I rarely remember my dreams. I enjoy hearing the dreams of others and live vicariously through their memories of that “other” state of being. The only dream that I consistently remember is the common chase scene where I spend a seemingly endless amount of time running from a group of people. Typically all the people coming after me are part of the same group; yet, the group is never the same. I’ve been pursued by Italian mobsters, urban gangsters, the KKK, Simpsons characters, the CIA, the FBI, the PTA, the police, the Muppets, historical figures, Greek and Roman Gods, etc. The strange thing is that I can never remember why they’re hunting me down. All I know is that I can’t let ’em get me!
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Don’t Be Emotionally Drained Without Knowledge Gained

Too often, when in the midst of a discussion or debate, people get worked up when others refuse to accept their opinions. Just because a person does not accept your viewpoint does not mean that you should take it to heart. A rejection of one’s ideas is not a rejection of a person as a whole. Furthermore, we cannot allow ourselves to walk away from these situations without understanding ourselves and the other(s).

arguementWe have all encountered situations like this at one point or another. You engage in a back-and-forth exchange with a friend, family member or colleague on some topic. After an exhausting debate both parties have become angered, bitter, frustrated, irate or some other negative emotional state. It’s likely that both experience a combination of several emotional states that don’t feel all that good. In fact, you’re probably left wondering, “Was it worth investing all that energy to have this ______ (fill in the blank accordingly) not get a thing that I said?”

Regardless of whether you think it was worth it or not, be sure to maintain a realistic sense of what really happened. This will prove to be difficult, because strong emotions can cloud our memories; yet, it’s imperative that one honestly reflects on what occurred. Try to make it a learning experience and gain a deeper sense of understanding about yourself and the one with who you were in disagreement. A simple dismissal of those on the “wrong” side of the discussion will leave you worse off than before you started: emotionally drained without knowledge gained. Do this and you essentially are a “stuper” (see Counterfeit Humans).

Here are some guiding principles for the discussion (in no particular order):

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I’m Not Bob Marley!

I can’t go more than two weeks without having some random stranger on the street singing a line from a Bob Marley song to me. Sometimes I’ll just get a, “Hey, Bob!”

I love Marley! I enjoy listening to his music and he’s greatly influenced me, but I’ve gotten tired of all the look-a-like comments from fools on the street.

Seriously, why are people compelled to do this?

Yes, I have dreadlocks and some defined facial features, but we do not lookbob-marley the same.

I’ve had my locks for almost eight years now and for most of that time I lived in Washington, DC. Over there, many men and women from various walks of life have dreads. It’s nothing out of the ordinary. You can’t go a day in the District of Columbia without seeing at least a dozen people with locks and I’ve never had anyone call me Bob in DC. Thank goodness!

About a year and a half ago I moved to Orange County, California.

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