I live in a snowy place.

Also unpredictable in that it could snow anytime between October and April and last for any duration of those seven months. This is not because I live in Montana or Wyoming or any of these places where snow is a serious business, but because I live by a lake. Which means Lake Effect Snow. We had some of this seasonal fun last night.

The variability of the anticipated snowfall, (predicting 1 – 3 feet over night) can make it feel like a sport (the reality was closer to 1 – 3 inches.)  People watch the weather reports, talk about the weather reports, speculate about rush hour and highway driving, make predictions and swear by their favorite weather forecaster.

I find that a persons Winter Driving Style usually fits into one of the seven basic writing tropes:

1. Man against Man (“Why am I the only one who remembers how to drive in the damn snow!)

2. Man against Nature (“I will conquer the snow with my F-150!” I believe this one is subconscious, but I can’t be sure.)

3. Man against Himself (“Oh s**t! Turn into the slide! Turn into the slide!?!)

4. Man against God (“Oh please, oh please, I promise if I make it to work on time I will replace these bald tires.”)

5. Man against Society (“I pay enough taxes! Why can’t they plow these f*****g streets!)

6. Man caught in the Middle (“Maybe I should go early & beat the traffic…or late when it’s clearer..”)

7. Man & Woman (“Will you just let me DRIVE!”)

Knowing your winter driving style – like having a membership with AAA –  can be handy. Unfortunately, accepting your Winter Driving Style, or trying to change it, is more like like AA.

Drive safely everyone. Remember – everyone else is an idiot but you.

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I have had to take a two-week hiatus from the blog due to an overwhelming amount of writing I am doing at my job.

May sound like mumbo-jumbo but I have been simultaneously working on three reports for the same project – a final report, a proposal for renewal and a request for a no-cost extension – as well as writing a final report for another project and planning the writing of three more grants. Not only am I confuzzeled by the necessary split focus, I am afraid I am starting to speak in plummy, Thesaurus driven, multi-clause contraction-less sentences which require the listener to envision “air semi-colons”. So I have not been writing blog posts out of consideration for my readers. Both of you.

What follows are a list of blog-ettes with highlights of the last two-weeks so I don’t feel like a complete slacker…

  • Heard a man in the Texas panhandle discussing how he is between a rock and a hard place trying to decide between a Morman and a Muslim for President. As he put it “I mean you got two isms there, neithers good.” What more can be said? It’s clear the election cycle is over for him.
  • Saw a licence plate cover that said “With God all things are possible” and it struck me that it should read “With God and Money, all things are possible.” Well, maybe you just need the money and then the God part just follows naturally since God loves him some rich white people in America.
  • Drove past a ramshackle soft-serve stand and my daughter remarked “That looks dirty!”. She has this thing about businesses that she perceives as dirty, whether they are really unclean or not is not the issue. The best I can figure out is that if a place looks run down, old-fashioned or out-dated in someway, she thinks they are “dirty”. A local Bruegger’s and Amy Joy Donut shops fall into this inexplicable category. Made me think of my mother whose most damning statement was that someone was dirty, by which she meant white-trash, hillbilly or a poor housekeeper. She had a vicious, hard judgement for women who didn’t wash their windows twice a year, sweep their sidewalk or keep their kids noses wiped. And she was considered a slacker by the babushkas that swept all the way to the center of the street. My mom died when my daughter was two so she didn’t have time to rub off on her, which means either a) perceptions of “dirty” are genetically transferred, or b) I have internalized my mom’s nuttiness and transmitted it to my kid. I think the jury is out on that one.
  • Had several more incidents where I was subjected to “girl behavior” (non-confrontational, indirect punishments for unknown offenses) which made me think I really need to write a pocket-sized book of daily affirmations for use with the M-PAPy program. Something along the lines of: “Just for today I will give thanks that I know how to speak my mind and discuss my feelings face-to-face. Just for today I will be kind to passive-aggressive people because injuring or swearing at them deepens their sense of victim-hood and perpetuates their insanity. Just for today I will view them as souls who have given their lives to the higher power of martyrdom and I will not be angry.” You get the idea.

Regular posting is resuming so that I may continue purge my over-worked brain of the cranky observations of politics, parenting and the other little irritations that regularly inhabit my world.

I need a plan for dealing with passive-aggressive people. Or an inoculation. If I do some research I bet the Internet will yield herbal supplements, self-help books and scads of “Tip Sheets” for managing these relationships.

Maybe I can start a 12 step program for Managing Passive-Aggressive People (and Yourself!) MPAPy:

Step 1 -We admit we are powerless over their behavior, and that our blood pressure has become unmanageable

Step 2 -We believe that a Power greater than ourselves will SMITE them and restore our workplace to reality

Step 3 -We decided to turn our will and our lives over to the care of Dr. Phil as we understand he hates that s**t as much as we do

Step 4 -We have made a searching and fearless moral inventory of every passive-aggressive person we have ever worked with, worked for, lived with or just had to put up with because our idiot brother married her

Step 5 – We have admitted to the blog-o-sphere, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of the wrongs visited upon us by passive-aggressive people and those times we did not verbally clean their clock

Step 6 – We are entirely ready to have Dr. Phil remove all those defects from their character

Step 7 – We humbly ask Dr. Phil to remove our guilt at confronting those among us who are afflicted with this terrible disease, for yea though they seem weak, they are vicious and sneaky

Step 8 – We have made a list of all passive-aggressive people we did not confront and are now willing to step to them all

Step 9 – We will make direct comments to passive-aggressive people wherever possible, except when to do so would cause us to throw a chair at them

Step 10 – We continue to take personal inventory of the buttons we allow to be pushed and promptly admit this in a factual way that will not increase their martyrdom quotient

Step 11 – We have sought through reflection and meditation to improve our conscious contact with our “inner Dr. Phil”, as we understand Dr. Phil, praying for the power to override guilt and self-blame to carry out the necessary direct confrontations

Step 12 – Having had a slap-upside-the-head awakening as the result of these steps, we will carry this message to others afflicted with these people, and practice these principles in all our affairs

Amen.

M-PAPy has a nice ring to it. Pass the coffee and donuts.

I live in a snowy place.

Also unpredictable in that it could snow anytime between October and April and last for any duration of those seven months. This is not because I live in Montana or Wyoming or any of these places where snow is a serious business, but because I live by a lake. Which means Lake Effect Snow.

The variability of the anticipated snowfall, can make it feel like a sport. People watch the weather reports, talk about the weather reports, speculate about rush hour and highway driving, make predictions and swear by their favorite weather forecaster.

I find that a persons Winter Driving Style usually fits into one of the seven basic writing tropes:

1. Man against Man (“Why am I the only one who remembers how to drive in the damn snow!)

2. Man against Nature (“I will conquer the snow with my F-150!” I believe this one is subconscious, but I can’t be sure.)

3. Man against Himself (“Oh s**t! Turn into the slide! Turn into the slide!?!)

4. Man against God (“Oh please, oh please, I promise if I make it to work on time I will replace these bald tires.”)

5. Man against Society (“I pay enough taxes! Why can’t they plow these f*****g streets!)

6. Man caught in the Middle (“Maybe I should go early & beat the traffic…or late when it’s clearer..”)

7. Man & Woman (“Will you just let me DRIVE!”)

Knowing your winter driving style, like AAA, can be handy. Accepting your driving style and trying to change it is more like AA.

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