Open Thread

This OT is Driving with the Windows Down

Ah, the first really lovely week of spring. It brings back such memories! Of driving around for hours with my BFF with the windows down, the music, blaring, and then heat on because while it was fairly warm, there was still enough chill in the air that it got a little nippy at 65 mph. Oh, and memories of gas being cheap enough that one could even contemplate driving around for several hours, just for funsies.

Here’s a little tune to take you back to the ’90s

Hope this gets you through the mid-week slump!

By [E]queSarahSarah

Part-time artist, full-time crankypants who dabbles in knitting, running, and burpees.

68 replies on “This OT is Driving with the Windows Down”

Rolling down the windows just doesn’t cut it. Weather this gorgeous has me missing my soft-top Jeep big time. Oh, how I miss those mold-resistant seats. And the plugs in the floor you could remove to let the water all drain out. And the total lack of A/C because really, you do not need A/C if the top and the doors of your vehicle can be removed. And the CD player that sorta jiggled when off-roading as it was (poorly) self-installed.

Anybody else assign genders/names to beloved vehicles?

I love driving with my music going and the windows down. I used to go on random drives much more frequently, but gas prices have certainly put a damper on that.

In other news, I GOT A MOTHER F’ING MOON DRAGON IN DRAGONVALE! She is sparkly, beautiful and serene. I’ll retreat back to my dork corner now.

I’ve had a Prius for about 6 years now; I’ve never kept a car this long, it has 75K miles just from me! I usually get cars starting out there! It is great for the gas, but the best part really was when I could commute in HOV lanes before I moved to NC. What would have been at least 1 1/2 hours sitting in traffic was less than 20 minutes. Glorious. Of course now I try to work at home as much as possible to avoid using gas, and I’ll be ending my current job soon so that’ll cut the driving down a bit.

My plan was to do more freelance stuff, but it definitely won’t be in Web stuff again any time soon. I had a client who was a friend of a friend that I’d been helping for a while with their site. It was a two-guy company and I dealt only with the one guy who I considered a friend too. He told me everything they wanted, gave me content, life was good. I switched their old site over to my host, got the content set up, made email accounts and social media stuff for them (per his request), it was all swimming along. Then his partner got involved, who actually owns the company, and complained about everything for two days straight. He didn’t want new email. He didn’t want social media. He didn’t want the content the other guy had given me. He talked down to me, but i ignored it. I made any changes he asked for that were easy to do immediately. I told him I could change anything he’d like, but mentioned that having the domain email address I’d set up (instead of the AOL one he used) would seem more professional/businesslike, and could just go to his account so he’d never noticed the difference.

Well, he tore me a new one over that. Accused me of calling him unprofessional (which I never said), took it as a personal insult, then proceeded to tear me down by telling me how he’s not just someone who makes web sites, he’s a m-f- rock star (exact words, and no, he is not), and SO IMPORTANT and he knows more about my profession than I do, even though he’s never done it & I’ve only done it for 18 years (not to mention, I have a lot of experience in his field as well). He was rude, condescending, and rather dismissive and disrespectful not only of the profession I was doing, but of me as a professional. I told him I’d be happy to change anything he’d like, but that his partner had wanted those things so they should get on the same page – but that I would not tolerate being spoken to in such a manner. So he ‘fired’ me and told me to switch all of his stuff back over to his old stuff. Um, if I’m fired, I’m not doing work for you. So I archived his stuff and took it off of my hosting account (knowing at this point I’ll never see a dime for the hours of work I’ve done over the months). He then went back and forth between trying to be nice (not apologizing, just saying ‘maybe we should work this out’) and telling me to give him his domain (which he was capable of doing on his own). His partner, the one I thought was my friend, who was the one who put me in the middle of the owner’s issues with everything he wanted with the site, sent a text message to our mutual friend saying he should ‘slap her’ (meaning me) for taking down the site. Except he sent it to me by mistake.

So, now this thing has stressed me out and I’m supposed to be making a demo for a ‘online video tutorial’ gig that would be perfect, but I’ve been too wigged out to concentrate. Not really helping me ‘real’ job either. Maybe I need to go for a drive…

I trolled my loud mouth sexist pigs of colleagues today with a horror story about my period (or as I titled it ‘tidal waves of blood’). If you’re one of those men that still says ‘Gross’ when a tampon rolls out of someone’s bag, you deserve my fake I-went-Carrie-last-night story.

[Insert favourite expletive here.]

The best I can come up with at the moment is “fuck”. Was meant to be having the day to myself but one way and another, ended up having to cancel. Then had the joiner call because apparently three hours notice is quite appropriate – and he’s still not here. And my head hurts. Even strawberries haven’t proved to be quite enough loveliness to help. Boo. Am trying very much to realise that there are far, far greater struggles than not having free time or having home repairs be feasible. Going on painkiller hunt. And pronoun hunt.

So I was watching Louis Theroux’s documentary on the Westboro Baptist Church, and I was kind of like “yeah, you hate fags, blah blah blah, etc.” and then there was a sign of Princess Diana with “fag enabler” on it and I swear I gasped at the same time as Louis Theroux.

Because, you know. Tell me I’m a damned uphill gardener doomed to eternal hellfire, fine, but mess with Princess Diana and shit gets real.

Louis Theroux Thai Brides is actually worse for me (I’m watching it now). It’s so fucking wrong, the way these men talk about Thai women. Racist, sexist, horrible. At least Westboro Baptist Church don’t put people in danger (they look after their kids, even if they do brainwash them). In this case, British men take Thai women who are looking for stable households for their children, or western husbands based on racist stereotypes of Thai men (again encouraged by these agencies) to the UK, where they may have minimal English and thus have severely impaired access to public services….it’s just so horrible and broken.

And all of it is based on perceptions of how “English women” are; i.e. emancipated. Ugh. It’s just so horrible.

They’re on, though most of them are uploaded through youtube. iirc the BBC isn’t too bothered about copyright issues when it has to do with their educational documentaries. You can find loads of really fascinating documentaries there.

I drove with my windows down today! It was on the way to get Vietnamese pho with the new boyfriend- I swear that stuff has magical cold-killing powers. And is also delicious.


To do list for tomorrow: Buy more tampons. Buy more engineering paper, in order to do the homework that is due at 3:30. Try to finish Friday’s lab report by 5. Go to my school’s Earth Week keynote presentation. Then scrub the living shit out of my apartment, because my mom is coming to stay this weekend and she’s less tolerant of the weird black mold that grows on my bathroom sink drain than I am. If finished cleaning by a reasonable hour (hahahaha yeah right), try and hang out with the boyfriend.


I’m lying awake fearing the cleaning. But it’s the price I pay to hang out with my mom and my sister for the weekend :-)

I’m a mess too, but the boyfriend is just as bad- I think eating pho neatly is the exception, not the norm. Doing it while sick was even better, I had a coughing fit that turned one of my noodles into a projectile. Fortunately it was aimed at the floor rather than across the table :-P

I got on Pottermore today.  I literally spent HOURS on the site.  I was supposed to be working from home today.  I have big assignments due literally every Monday and Tuesday for the next three weeks.  And I just spent hours of my day on Pottermore.  What is this disease?  Why, oh why, does it have to be so freakishly addictive?  GAH!

Yeah.  My computer gets slow and overheated sometimes, so occasionally things slowed up for me, but I’m fairly certain it was just my computer.  I did have one browser crash, but again, my compy is finicky.  Other than that, it worked fine for me.

I need help… or maybe just a place to vent. My brother is an emotionally abusive, narcissistic, self-absorbed ass.  I’m trying to give a gift to my mom and unfortunately he has to be involved.  I know this gift will mean a lot to her, so I can’t cancel it.  He’s been his usual self in planning this, in that he’s not doing the opposite of help, and instead of help he’s being abusive towards me.  I’ve reached my breaking point, and I’m contemplating avoiding ALL of my family as a result of this.  All of my family agrees that he is abusive and needs to change, but no one (except myself) will stand up to him about this.  As a result I take the brunt of his assaults.  I love the rest of my family and hate the thought of not seeing them anymore, but I don’t know what else to do.  My brother is in serious need of rehab & therapy, but I don’t think that will happen if all of his family lays down and accepts his abuse as normal.  Has anyone else had to deal w/ this sort of situation?  I’m so angry that I’m the one that has to be punished by needing to cut my family out of my life for my own health, when my brother is makes everyone miserable and yet is embraced. I’m tired of being treated as a doormat and crying about this.  I’ve had friends that I’ve had to cut off before, but I have no idea how to deal when it’s family.

I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Hugs if you want them.

Your decision on how to deal with this will be entirely personal. How I dealt with having an abusive parent was, ultimately, to cut off all contact with my family, extended family, and such. It was because of a very similar reason to what you mention. My mother treated me like shit, but people constantly made excuses for her and justified what she did. Or, they would cajole me to give her a second chance, to talk to her, so on and so forth. The only way I could ensure I removed her toxicity from my life was to take that drastic action of ceasing communication.

It was not an easy decision, and every once in a while I miss them intensely. But it’s been close to a couple years now, and it was one of the best decisions I ever made for my own mental health.

The thing is, it might not necessitate that I never talk to family again. I might, in time. That seems like it would never happen from where I am now, but things change.

But it does suck being in that position. You’re the one who is being mistreated and no one else is standing up to them, so why is it that you’re the one who has to suffer?

The thing is, if no one else is going to stick up for you, if they’re just going to tolerate his behavior like that, they are not helping. They are victims of the abuse as well, but they are also allowing you to be the main target so they don’t have to deal with it. This is the status quo, and if you continue to take his shit, the status quo isn’t going to change no matter how hard you fight him, because they are stuck. For whatever reason.

From what I hear, my cutting off contact with my family was a catalyst for my mother to get some of the help she had needed for so long. It’s because I broke the status quo, by hammering it home that I didn’t have to stick around if that was how I was going to be treated.

Now, if this sort of thing isn’t right for you, you shouldn’t do it. But I would say, if you do decide to cut off contact, don’t think of it as you’re being punished because your brother treats you like shit and no one is sticking up for you. Think of it as you’re taking an incredibly brave step into digging out your own mental health and refusing to let toxic people like your brother tear you down.

Thank you for the advice!  It’s very reassuring to hear your story and how you’ve managed to break the cycle.  I hope that it will also be the catalyst that changes my family, because I don’t know what else will be. I don’t plan on cutting off contact, but rather saying i won’t go to family functions if my brother is there.

I guess the only reason why I think of it as punishment is because I know I’m going to be hounded by all of my family to change my mind, instead of them directing their thoughts towards the actual culprit.  I think the thing that makes me saddest about this whole ordeal is that my mom divorced my dad because he was physically and emotionally abusive.  She did this in order to teach her kids that abuse isn’t right, and yet she can’t recognize that her son has learned those same traits from my dad.  I hope this all changes, but it’s been going on for so long that I don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.

I totally understand, and I can relate. I was in a similar boat because my mom had been abused as a child and she tried really hard to NOT repeat the abuse cycles. But she did, and it was very very hard for her to see that. And the rest of my family, too, tried to hound me to change my mind about talking with her. I don’t like that I’m not talking to anyone from my family, but for me, the only way to make sure my mom didn’t still have a grip over me was to remove all contact.

I’d say go ahead and do what you’re talking about, make it clear that you’re not going to be around when your brother is or have anything to do with him, etc. You also don’t have to take their cajoling to talk to him. They probably won’t let it go, but I suggest focusing it on a “since he isn’t going to change, I have to do something for my own sanity” sort of bent.

If this isn’t enough, then you might consider cutting off more contact. Create as much distance as you need to in order to keep your own sanity. But hopefully it won’t get to that point like it did with me! :)

I’m sorry, I wish I had words of advice, but all I have are internet hugs. It sucks that everybody is content to let you be the scapegoat.  Can you talk to other family members by phone for a while to keep in touch without having to be in the same room as your brother?

Thank you for the internet hugs :) I am def in need of one!  I hope to still talk to my family members, but refuse to be in the same room as my brother.  It helps that I’m moving across the country shortly.  But I think holidays and reunions are off the table for the near future.

oh sweetheart. that sucks so so very much.

as a former chemical addictions counselor, i can tell you that emotional abuse is, conceptually, much like alcohol or drug addiction in that many times the only way for the person to recognize how their behavior affects others is to have those others taken away.  many times interventions are more for the family than they are for the person needing treatment: a way for the family to set their boundaries, then cut off contact with that person in a really formal way.

i’ve found from personal experience that this is the perfect place to vent.  if it helps, we’re here for even just moral support.  take good care of yourself.

Thank you for your input!  There are no boundaries in my family, and I’m mocked for trying to set my own. I also believe my brothers rage is the result of drug and alcohol abuse.  Basically everyone agrees that he’s an alcoholic (or if not yet, speeding down the path towards it), but it seems everyone thinks we should accept this as normal.  I guess the only person I can help at this point is myself, so I should stop trying to convince others to do something about his behavior.

I miss cheap gas. I definitely remember when it was under $1… On the bright side I’m biking for errands and to work more and more often (woo spring!) and definitely reaping the benefits. My legs look gooood.

Also, I’ve been thinking for weeks that I need to download more REM to add to my wedding playlist!

I remember the first time I bought gas under a dollar. I whooped like a crazy person and pulled into the station just to fill up on principal. Oh, time, how you’ve fucked with me.

On car related news, we finally had to give up the ghost on our sporty little GTI. We ran that thing into the ground. We’ve been eyeing used cars for a while and even went on a test drive or two but nothing really grabbed us. Especially in our price range which is ‘poor people’ range. But! Tonight we put a down payment on a 2004 Buick Rendezvous, which feels like a real grown up people car. Yay!

Today I got into a bit of Facebook drama when a friend (who is going to graduate in a few weeks with some pretty heavy student loans and a career trajectory that basically means she’ll never have steady income) got so indignant about the Student Loan Forgiveness Act, which will never be passed anyway. I pointed out that one still has to pay their student loans for ten years at at least 10% of their income, and that this way, one wouldn’t be enslaved to a debt for potentially the rest of their lives that can’t even be discharged in bankruptcy, and which is very, very lightly regulated in terms of interest rates and fees charged (which translates into lenders can, and do, basically do whatever the hell they want). My friend posted a message about you take out the debt you have to repay it! which I think most people would agree with, but the reality is often much, much different. So, I made my points, and tried to justify them not only from a humanistic standpoint but an economical one (“If you’ve got $100,000 in student loan debt, you’ll probably never be able to buy a house, or a new car, or have children, or anything that would actually help the economy”) and was basically told by her other friends commenting that people are just stupid if they get in trouble with their student loans and they shouldn’t have taken them out and blah blah blah….all of this from people who have yet to begin paying back their loans and as such have very little idea of what the reality of being a new grad with an enormous debt burden means. Also, most of them are getting degrees that are not in high demand in this economy. I had to walk away, dudettes. I didn’t want to veer into sanctimonious oratory from me, and I couldn’t seem to get through to them by stating, ya know, facts. Ugh. I don’t even know why it upset me so much. I’ll be interested to see what they have to say about that in a year’s time, though.

Gas was $1.10 when I started driving, sometimes it even got under a dollar.  I remember being upset when it hit $2.  Now I’m excited when I can get gas for less than $4.  Yup, I’m old and the price of gas has increased by an unreasonable amount.

In other news, my landlord was over today to do some repairs.  He still really hot and he was kinda of flirty but he’s pretty much the most inappropriate person I could possible fuck.  First he’s my landlord so that’s a terrible idea and he has a son who is 6 (six!) years younger than me.  But so so hot.

I think it was $.99 when I first got my own car (1997). It took $7 to fill it and that lasted me a week an a half b/c my car was to not in any shape to go further than the limits of the city I grew up in. I think that may have been a strategic move on my parents’ part, now that I think of it.

Goddamn this paper.

I keep alternatively feeling really good about it and really shitty about it. I haven’t even started writing, but I’ve been reading a lot. What’s been happening is, I start reading some ideas in a book, I get really excited thinking they’re similar to what I’m trying to talk about…and then I read something else that tells me that idea isn’t what I want to go for at all.

It’s making me feel really anxious considering I have less than a month to finish off this paper, and I haven’t even STARTED on the other term paper past get a topic and check out a bunch of books for it.

I think I’m finally coming to the question I want to address with the consciousness-analogy I came up with, but goddamn. I’m wondering if any of the 15-something books I checked out from the library are talking about what I actually want to talk about.

Basically, I’m feeling really anxious about this project, whether or not I’ll come to something good to say, how I’m going to do it, and whether or not I will be able to do it, considering there’s apparently far more stuff in this area than I’ve ever read/heard about until very very recently.

I think I’m going to talk to my professor about it when I can and see what she thinks of my new ideas, because every time I’ve talked to her about it, she says that she likes what I’m doing.

Most of my issues right now are source-finding problems. It’s especially frustrating because most of my research has been spent reading about a philosophical idea, liking it, and then finding out after I had spent a few hours reading about it that it wasn’t what I wanted. So I feel like I’ve been just wasting my time.

It’s a relatively new field of focus in philosophy (embodiment), which is partly why this has been so goddamn hard. Especially since a lot of the work done in the field has been scientific studies related to philosophy of mind.

I think I’ve finally found the place to go in terms of how to focus my paper, but I need to find more stuff. More people talking about embodiment, people arguing against it…grrawrg.

Methinks I’m going to have to bust my ass this weekend.

And thank you for the comfort. :) Right now I think I just need to blow off some steam about this.

I feel ya. I’m currently working away on my annotated bibliography in an attempt to get it done, which helps to put the thought of the lit review that I’ve read some for, but haven’t started yet, that’s due in roughly 10 days.

I started off the semester so on top of things….

Loved, as in past tense? I have another REM nostalgia moment about 6 this morning when “Orange Crush” came on my boss’s iPod. My first car was a ’68 super beetle and it was tic-tac orange. The first song that played in my car was “Orange Crush.” Delilah was a death trap on wheels, but I loved that stupid car.

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