Archive for June, 2013

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creep.

June 28, 2013

The Atlantic wrote a piece on calling guys “creeps”. I didn’t even know people had issues with this. I don’t even see how you can have a problem with this. Google the definition of creepy. It means causing fear or unease. So it seems a completely appropriate word to use to describe a person (or thing or place) who makes you uncomfortable. Guys who continue unwanted advances, bugs, certain neighborhoods, horror movies – the list goes on. In fact, creepy is much more appropriate that any other word I would also use – including shady or sketchy. And more appropriate that most words that guys use to describe women they dislike, which also have very specific definitions.

And all this whining about “it’s so subjective” or “the guy is just unattractive”. Guess what – there’s a word for just unattractive – it’s called ugly. So you have to do something else to earn the additional designation of creepy. If that’s continuing to hit on an uninterested girl – well, you really need to pick on social cues. And 100% it’s subjective. Different things make different people uneasy. I’m uneasy getting into a random stranger’s car – and yet San Francisco has several business built around this exact model and people love it. I’ve met people who I think are creepy because they’re too nice. Sometimes that means they have a secret agenda. Other times, they really are just super nice. These complaints just sound like whining from guys that can’t get a date.

My advice to guys who are called creeps and they think that it’s not true – ask your female friends. I’m sure they can give you a list of things that would potentially make you creepy. Probably starting with any facial hair.

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whole foods.

June 16, 2013

In Denver, I shop at Whole Foods a lot. It’s close to my hotel. They have great prepared food that I can grab for mostly healthy dinners or lunches. But there’s just something about the store that makes me shake my head.

There’s a lot of things about Whole Foods that I like. Specifically their prepared food. Love it. Especially while traveling, it gives me the ability to grab mostly healthy dinners. Everyone’s really friendly and helpful. And the store is really clean.

It just feels like it’s trying so hard. It’s like everything you grab is organic or fair-trade or eco-friendly or gluten free or extra nutritious (if that was a buzz word). Not that I’m against any of those things – though I’m not so into organic that I’ll pay $6 for raspberries when I can get them for half that much down the block. I just don’t need my paper bag telling me that I’m doing good because this bag is just a little bit shorter and therefore saving the environment. Are you kidding me?

Perhaps it’s an effect of living in San Francisco. Where so much of the food is local or organic or both. Where the stores won’t even give me a bag. Where I can compost everything. But all this “good behavior” is just expected and not plastered all over Or maybe it is and I just don’t notice because it all blends together?

Being at Whole Foods feels like hanging out with a really vocal health buff. Being in San Francisco is like having major athlete friends who work out and eat right and you’re not about to be the one who eat cheeseburgers on the couch.

 

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bias.

June 14, 2013

Last month, NYTimes column Well had two articles on the overweight bias in a healthcare setting. Specifically, one article discussed how doctors are not immune to this bias and tend to treat overweight patients with less empathy. The second reversed the roles and talked about the bias that overweight doctors face from their patients.

Two things struck me as interesting. One – how prevalent this bias is, even though we’d never want to admit it. And that it comes out in ways we most likely don’t even realize. Because how do you fix something you don’t know you’re doing? This isn’t really surprising. There are loads of articles that will tell me that because I’m a young, healthy, attractive female, I get a lot of benefits of people being nicer, etc that I just take for granted.

Second – that doctors are held to such a higher standard. And based on some of the comments – a lot of healthcare staff are too. Don’t be overweight. Don’t be a smoker. Don’t have the same biases all of us non-doctors have (even when we have them toward you). And yet if you’re the pinnacle of health – patients might not trust you to know how hard it is to lose weight or quite smoking.

Obviously, I have no personal story here. I’ve never been told to lose weight by a doctor. I’ve never consciously chose a doctor who was thin or not chosen one because they were overweight.  Maybe that’s why I find it interesting – because I’ve never experienced it.

 

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cars.

June 9, 2013

Have you ever noticed how different one car is from the next? I have. After weeks and weeks of rental cars, I still seem to have some trouble with figuring out exactly how a car works. For background, I had a Toyota Corolla for three years – manual locks and windows.

Let’s look at the first time I drove the Prius, which is my boyfriend’s car. I already knew I just had to have the key in pocket. But then, I hit the power button, switched to reverse and nothing. Had to call to learn that you have to push the brake first. Ok, that seems kinda obvious now. Then I couldn’t find the emergency brake, which at least I realized was engaged. This resulted in another phone call and kinda my fault because my Corolla had the e-brake by the side of the driver seat and not the foot pedals. Then I never really figured out that you need to turn the lights OFF so that the screen is BRIGHTER during the day. This gets me every time! Last – when the key runs out of batteries, it does not unlock your car. It is not terribly intuitive to figure how to do this when the key is not really a key. Had to make a phone call for that too.

So that was a lot of trouble with the car I currently drive. But rental cars. Why can’t everything be the same? Here’s my list of things that seem to confuse me every time.

  1. How to open the gas tank – at least it’s pretty standard how to tell which side it’s on.
  2. Different air controls for driver vs passenger – who really needs this?
  3. Up or down for intermittent windshield wipers?
  4. Lights – where are they? And why can’t the icon for automatic be the same everywhere?
  5. OnStar – why do they put this almost in the exact place I put my hand to adjust my rearview mirror? I accidentally called them in my last rental car and did not know what was going on.
  6. Radio controls – I thought this was pretty standard. Until I got a car where the seek buttons only switched between saved stations. It took me almost all week to figure out how to get to a non-saved station.

Final notes – the new Prius has the WORST graphic for the hybrid system indicator screen (I had to do a lot of googling to figure out what this was called). Had pretty had (still have?) zero clue what it’s telling me. Do I make the bar fill up? Is that good?

Also Minis are a terribly confusing car. The rental car person spent almost 10 minutes explaining how to drive this car. Why would you put window/lock controls in the bottom middle? And why does the turn signals have a weird half on mode that only lasts for three seconds?