Caught in the Matrix

No-one will believe me, I know, BUT … while driving to work today, I saw a car that looked just like mine. Now you might say, “Really, Wendy? Wow. It’s not as though there are thousands upon thousands of Kia Spectras in the country...” Just hear me out. It was the same exact model and color, with similar wear and tear. It had the same exact black and white paw print “spay/neuter your pet” magnet on the back … in the exact same spot as mine. I couldn’t tell what humane society it was from (I was on a highway in morning rush hour traffic doing about 60 mph at the time), but still. It had a short-ish woman with blonde hair driving.  Again, I didn’t get a good look at her because I was trying to not crash at the time. But I would like it noted that I am a short-ish woman with blonde hair. Here’s the kicker … the license plate was almost identical. Do you know, that was the one thing that made me realize I wasn’t in some sort of time loop where I was early (or late) and passing myself on the highway?

I know they say “pics or it didn’t happen!” Frustratingly enough, I was unable to snap a pic or even get my cell phone out cause, you know … driving.  I swear, I’m not crazy. I’m not.

I’m not.

Riding the Waze Wave

In the good old days, we had these things called maps.  I’m not saying I knew how to use them, just making light conversation.

I am both geographically and navigationally challenged.   When my daughter came in to the world, Mother Nature gave her looks, talent, and brains.  Then, looking down on me desperately trying to find the dairy aisle in a grocery store, Mother Nature decided to even the odds in my favor and give her an insanely accurate sense of direction.  My daughter could go someplace one time, and it is permanently ingrained on her brain map.  If, however, I am driving, and we end up three states away from our destination (due to my innate inability to follow directions), my daughter has fantastic technology in the palm of her hand to bring us back on track.  I was forbidden to touch the device, however, after that one time I tried to fold it back up and put it in the glove compartment.

With my daughter off to college and busy with her own life … too busy to help her old mother find that Starbucks two towns away that has that awesome white mocha latte that we’ve only been to 500 times (and I still can’t locate on my own), I figured I would never be able to find anything again.  I had visions of being lost in my own home, unable to find the bathroom or kitchen.  Luckily for me, she had an awesome solution called Waze. If you haven’t tried this app, you should. I swear by it now … and no, I don’t get paid to say that. It’s just as a person who routinely gets lost in my own hometown, I appreciate any little bit of help I can get to stay on track and on time.

Waze is more than just directions.  This amazing free app is powered by its users and allows them to enter alerts for police, traffic, accidents, road hazards, and so forth.  For some reason I do not understand, my car shows up on fellow Waze user’s screens as a blinking neon blip, with people regularly posting updates as to my whereabouts and adding absurd emoticons next to it. I’m sorry fellow travelers, but if it’s any consolation, I really don’t want to be doing what I’m doing either.

Waze has saved me time and frustration on more than one occasion by steering me away from traffic and into a smooth flow of backroads and little-known detours (at least little known to me).  I’ve been into neighborhoods I didn’t even know existed.  Every day driving is now an adventure!  At times, I like to feel in control and will deliberately ignore Waze instructions so that it realizes it is not the boss of me.  I mean, seriously, what the hell are you sending me this way for, you stupid app??  Needless to say, I’ve regretted it every time, because I’ve subsequently run into standstill traffic which has significantly delayed my road trip, not to mention added to my road-stress level…which, in all honesty, is about maxed out on a good day.

Waze doesn’t have the snark delightful repartee that accompanies my daughter’s route-finding directions, but it gets me where I need to be.

Now, speaking of lost, enjoy this news story about a family lost in corn maze who called 911 for rescue.   I may be a get lost in my own hometown kind of person, but I will never be the “lost in a corn maze calling 911 instead of cutting directly through the corn or flagging down the corn maze lifeguard” kind of lost.

Love Connection

Awwww, boo, I love you too!  My little chippie whippie … my little tater gator … my little sweet potato crispy wispy …

Okay, so yeah, that’s weird … even for me.

But still… just look at this lovely little heart-shaped chip! Isn’t it adorable? Is it an omen? Whatever it is, it’s gone. Like a thief in the night, my dog snuck up on my table and ate it … so much for a starchy harbinger of love …