Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Putting on Miles

I made an 11.5 hour drive with my mom and brother from Florida to North Carolina on Saturday. It took us 14 hours.

The drive was miserable at best. My brother was cranky because he had been out late the night before. I was cranky because he was being a brat. My mom was cranky because we were going at it. So it goes.

Less than an hour into the trip, our dog had to vomit...on me. He hadn't been car sick ever before, but he chose a very long ride on which to suddenly do so. He had repeat offenses three other times during the trip. I felt bad for him, but the smell made me feel worse. And it put all three of us in wretched, tired moods.

Traffic and sweltering heat did not help. Of course were were traveling on a day when there were over 1,500 RECORD HIGH temperatures throughout the Southeast region of the U.S. We also managed to hit three or four bad patches of traffic congestion due to construction, lane closures and accidents. It was a very,very long day.

For all those who are vacationing out there, I have some serious advice to make these long car trips with your family more bearable. My mom made some really good choices that I'm including in this list, and I will never be able to thank her enough.

Briana's tips for Long Car Rides:

  1. Drink a lot of coffee and/or water before getting in the car
    • I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but drinking a lot of fluids does two things. One, it prevents dehydration, which leads to headaches, car sickness and other more serious symptoms. Two, it forces you to pee a lot. Frequent stops to use the bathroom and stretch your legs helps to break up the driving a little bit, which in turn reduces the aches and pains caused by sitting for too long.
  2. Pack a cooler with cold water bottles and a healthy lunch
    • The water bottles are an extension of number one. Keeping hydrated is important, any health expert will tell you that. The healthy lunch will help keep you energized, focused on driving (safety first!) and won't make you feel sick like most greasy options found off of the highway and at rest stops. It's cost-effective too!
  3. Make family-friendly playlists
    • Unless you subscribe to a satellite radio provider, chances are that you won't have a decent radio station to listen to since you'll be traveling in and out of coverage areas. So my advice is to invest in an auxiliary cord if your car has a jack for it, or buy some blank CDs. Making a playlist on your iPod or burning a few CDs with songs that the whole family can agree on (or at least tolerate) is a good idea. Silence can be deadly and leaves a lot of room for fighting.
  4. Bring a frisbee
    • This is the strange one. A frisbee, a football or really any toy that will force the family to play for a few minutes in the grassy area of the rest stop. Not only does it break up the sitting and driving, but the exercise also releases endorphins in the body. In the words of Elle Woods,  "Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't go around shooting people. They don't!" Happy travelers are less likely to fight. That's a big bonus, especially in my family.
  5. Have a "car kit"
    • This kit should include items such as band-aids, Tums, Pepto, painkillers, antibacterial ointment, etc. Any minor emergencies can be dealt with easily. Keep it in the clove compartment or center console for easy access be a passenger in the car.
  6. Know when to call it quits
    • If everyone in the car has become too tired, it's a bad idea to be on the road for your safety and the safety of other cars traveling. It's not a bad idea to budget out some money to take a hotel room for the night if it will mean happy, healthy travelers. 
That's all I have to say about that. Safe summer travels, and have a happy and healthy Independence Day! 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Give my regards to Broadway

There's a song for everything, right?

I'm fairly certain that we have the theater to thank for that, because lord knows that contemporary and/or secular music revolves around sex, drugs, money and rock n' roll.

On June 10 (just over a week ago) I sat down to watch the Tony Awards. I'm guilty of not keeping up with the ongoings of the theater world. I was much more active in it during high school, where I served as the president of the drama club and went to as many high school productions in the South Florida area as humanly possible.

Yet I found that even though half of the musicals were new to me and I didn't know most of the lyrics during this year's award ceremony, it was more enjoyable to me than say the Academy Awards that I watched just a few months ago. I cried when the award recipients cried. Emotion-provoking to someone who was largely detached from the Broadway world, who'd have thought?

It makes me question: what is it about live theater that makes it so superior to that of the "big screen" entertainment to me?

This question was intensified this weekend when I went to go see the film version of the musical Rock of Ages. It's so much harder to feed into the energy of the music. It's like the screen create this giant barrier that prevents me from getting the experience of a musical performance. It just wasn't nearly as enjoyable as I felt it should be. I would have been happier with the soundtrack, because at least with my stereo system I can adjust the bass and feel something.

With that, I answered my own question: feeling. Broadway, off-broadway, live people...have feeling. Energy, emotion and an innate ability to literally bring life to songs and characters.

So with this blog post I salute the men, women and people in between who put their blood, sweat and tears into a live production. It is a sincere form of entertainment that does not get the amount of attention and credit it deserves.

Give my regards to Broadway!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A question of Respect

On the relativity scale, I had a lovely day overall. But a run-in with some of the older gentlemen where my parents just purchased a beach condo really irked me.

Today's topic:
A little respect goes a long way.

Something that successful small business owners seem to understand and that many older folk I've run into seem to forget is this beautiful little word in verb form: respect.

Please, indulge me.

After a lovely morning walking along the beach with a girlfriend of mine, we decided to go to a local donut shop that I had never eaten at before. (Side note: if you ever walk in to a donut shop and there is a donut with the name 'sour cream' in it, eat it. It was legitimately the best pastry I have ever eaten.) After stuffing our faces with donuts and iced coffee, she began telling me about the owner who was unfortunately not working this morning. My friend, a loyal repeat customer, is known as "my girl" to the owner. A free donut here and a smile there gives my girlfriend every reason in the world to return. Friendly service and respect for customers leads to a faithful following. This is a very simple business model that works.

I went with my dad to the condo this evening. My parents are working on fixing up the place so they can move in next year when my brother graduates from high school. The association here has a lot of rules, so my dad has had issues dealing with them for construction and things of the like. So when he goes to speak to the head of the association, I would expect my dad to be treated fairly. Everyone in this building is an equal, right? Instead, I watched an 84-year-old man sass-mouth my dad.

Being the youngest person in this building, it was very difficult for me to keep my mouth shut and be "respectful" of this elder. But really, his complete disinterest in my dad or his requests upset me. To add insult to injury, the older man who lives below us comes upstairs to not only side with the association head, but to tell my dad that we make too much noise. We don't actually live here yet to make noise in the condo, and we haven't started any construction in here either.

Maybe it's because they think they've earned the right to not be respectful of others by being alive longer, or maybe I just happen to meet some really nasty older people. But I feel like these older men could really learn a lesson from a small business owner. A smile and being genuine will get you places. Being mean will make you enemies.

It's a good thing I don't really live at home anymore and that I'm up at school for most of the year. Otherwise, I'd show these old gentlemen what being a nuisance and noisy really is: a college-style house party. Beer Pong and Dubstep, anyone?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Welcome Aboard!

Hello e-World,

Welcome to my brand-new blog, Being 20-Something!

I was told to start a blog a year ago by my dad, who suggested I talk about my internship that I had last summer. The particular radio station wasn't too thrilled with the idea, so I scrapped it. And now here I am, inspired by several of my peers to just start writing about something, anything. Well, here goes nothing!

This blog will have one central theme: how I view daily life happenings while being in my 20s. Simple, open-ended and non-restricting. I intend for each post to have a different topic, but since my hormones and emotions tend to fly in all different directions my thoughts might too. Please forgive me in advance; I'm a novice at this.

So I'll begin by saying thank you. If you're reading this you either care about me or are genuinely interested in what I have to say. Props to you, because it's people like you that give communications students like me a chance to grow, learn and most importantly- write!

I'm keeping this first post short and sweet; there are no guarantees that my other posts will be nearly this concise. I'm hoping that my simple humor and unique writing style get to shine through in this blog and that you, my readers, are entertained and enjoy reading what I have to say.

With Love,