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Uber and Lyft: Know Before You Go

Online ride services like Uber and Lyft are a relatively new phenomenon, and I realized just how awkward their informal entry into our culture has been while I was on the phone with my mom last week. My mom told me about her neighbor who called her son for a ride to Urgent Care. The son was busy and asked, “Can you get an Uber?” To her credit, the woman did—a lot of people in retirement villages don’t have the app, much less know how to use it. The driver arrived and didn’t get out at first. The passenger used a walker and she stood and waited for him to help her. He got out and staggered to the trunk, where he unloaded his own walker. Well, this wouldn’t do. The passenger was incensed that the driver couldn’t help her, and the driver was upset too. When I talked to my mom, she was waiting for a call from her neighbor to come pick her up from the doctor, so she didn’t have to go home with “that terrible driver.”


General

When Your Routine Gets Blown Like Bruce Willis’ Ductwork

I’ve written about routines before—one of my earliest posts. https://blogs.psychcentral.com/hidden-disabilities/2018/03/our-feline-dedication-to-routine/ We’ve all had short-term disruptions to our routines, but what are the effects of long-term disruption to the routines we rely on to maintain our best function? Alas, I got to find out. It’s been about 2 and a half months since my plunge into routine anarchy.


General

It’s Time for Quiet Housing to Be an Option

It’s the day after my triumphant post about moving to my tiny house, and more insights are flooding in. I decided to write next week’s post early so I get all this down. I’ve lived in my condo for 12 years. It’s a first-floor unit with a rental overhead. Having been a renter all my life before I bought this place, I didn’t think much of that. I’ve been paying for that lapse of judgment ever since. I could rant on for pages about this situation (and I started to, then saw my word count when I hadn’t even gotten to my point yet.).


General

Challenge: It’s Time to Step Up

Most of you know I’m in the middle of moving to a tiny house on wheels. This move is for a variety of reasons, the strongest of which is I just feel drawn to the movement. You know when you see something and think “that’s for me?” Well, this is for me. My inner 8-year-old adores the idea of my adult dwelling being like my childhood hideouts, but raised to a Bat Cave level of coolness. My lifetime of fraught relationship with Stuff comes to a resolution as I reduce my possessions to what is necessary (fun being a necessary thing in my world—there will be no putting away of childish things). Another aspect has made itself known to me this last month—that of choosing a lifestyle of greater physical challenge.


General

The Legend of the Plastic Toilet

Take a trip with me to Eugene Oregon, 1987. I was putting my then-fiance through grad school. I came from several years in Montana, and small-town Eugene felt urban to me. I applied for many jobs, and in my youthful enthusiasm, made some fatal interview mistakes that prolonged my job hunt. To keep us eating while I kept hunting for a good job, I fell back on my skills in fast food and started working the breakfast shift at a McDonald’s in the neighborhood locally known as Felony Flats. I started at 3 AM, when Linda, the morning manager, unlocked the door with a cigarette in her hand that she did not extinguish as she started making the morning McMuffin batter.


General

Let’s Talk About Bandwidth

I went to a party last week. Anyone who knows me well would make the perplexed head tilt now and say “really?” Yes, I did, and I even stayed an hour longer than I planned to. It was a dinner party for a local grassroots transportation advisory committee I’m part of. We participate in the public process for our city’s Public Works projects and comment on how they could be better for bicycles and pedestrians. This group consists of people with backgrounds in environmental law and urban planning—the kind of people who used to be my colleagues before I got the axe in 2009. The relief I felt at the conversation reminded me of parents of small children who are so happy to talk with other adults.


General

Moving: It Used to Be in the Top 3

What happened? I looked it up and it’s been demoted since I took college psychology. There’s the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale now (https://paindoctor.com/top-10-stressful-life-events-holmes-rahe-stress-scale/) that scores death of a spouse or child as 100—the worst thing that can happen. Moving is given a mere 20! I think that, in our demographic, it rates significantly higher. It’s much harder to move house when you have a disability of any kind, hidden or visible.


General

Home2 Suites—A Place For Us (and Everyone!)

Every once in a while, something you’ve taken for granted takes you completely by surprise. Such was the case last week with Home2 Suites by Hilton in Bellingham, Washington. While working food delivery, I had taken loads of food to this new local hotel, and hadn’t thought it different from any of the other hotels I delivered to, except everything seemed a bit more clean and modern because it was new. It smelled more like a new car than a motel and the décor was noticeably less cheesy. A dispatch to Home2 was always a relief, especially because it was close to home and I could usually beg off my shift early after a drop there.


General

My Day-Late Post Says it All

We in the world of hidden disabilities probably have even more stress at the holidays than other people, because our routines are blown. I’ve written before about our dedication to routine (https://blogs.psychcentral.com/hidden-disabilities/2018/03/our-feline-dedication-to-routine/) . Routines keep us going even when we don’t feel it up to it—they give us a script for our days and a sense of accomplishment when we manage to follow them under adverse conditions.


General

My Festivus Miracle!

A week ago, if you’d have told me what I’d be blogging about today, I wouldn’t have believed you. I’m not sure I believe it yet. Now, I’m a scientist by trade, and it just bunches my shorts when people twitter on about things like “Everything happens for a reason,” “It was meant to be…” In fact, I’ve blogged about that twice in my Platitude Culture posts: https://blogs.psychcentral.com/hidden-disabilities/2018/01/platitude-culture-type-aaaaaugh-if-youve-had-enough/, https://blogs.psychcentral.com/hidden-disabilities/2018/05/platitude-culture-ii-when-attempts-to-be-helpful-fail/. But this has all fallen together so neatly, it feels implausible and right at the same time.