Category Archives: Eliza’s Opinions

Driving Etiquette: Jumping to conclusions and recognizing you’re wrong

Road RagePhoto by Mr Jaded on Flickr

Doesn’t really sound like any of our past driving etiquette rants does it? That is because not only has it been some time since the last one but because it is different.

Today driving home HT noticed quite a few erratic drivers, nothing new for New Englanders but more than one person needed a toot from her horn so they didn’t sideswipe her (her car has a Napoleon complex but in this case people kept trying to merge into the car instead of in front or behind it).  Just minutes from home a common traffic behavior happened.

The opposite lane, which was at a standstill, let a driver turn into HT’s lane.  It was hard to see and she had to slam on her brakes because the person, who also couldn’t see came out in a leap of faith.  HT waved her on, really what else could she do any ways but noticed that the driver behind her was disturbed, waving and talking towards her.  Instead of getting angry or smiling both options she typically chooses she shrugged and raised her hand out the window and muttered, “What do you want me to do?”

Traffic moved again and she got back to singing to the radio thinking nothing more about it.  Not to many intersections later she was in the stopped turning lane when the disgruntled driver behind her slowed down as he passed, curious and expecting the finger HT looked over to see him mouth “Sorry” and wave.  She only had a moment to react and nodded but as he drove off she smiled.

Then that simple interaction took on a greater meaning.  She wondered how many times had she done stupid things on the road and felt in the wrong later.  Just a simple sorry can take the stress out of driving.

I thought that was a great way to sum up the experience but HT wants to add a few words.

“This situation was very benign and he wasn’t beeping or screaming out his window.  He probably couldn’t figure out why I stopped so short but once he saw the other driver figured it out.  I hate to admit but if he showed more than the minor irritation I probably would have responded by driving rather slow or some other stupid thing that could have easily escalated.  Err, but that is not what this post is about.”

Ha ha, HT nice try, but that deserves its own post don’t you think?  My only real question is why would you have your windows down in November?  Brr.

What about you?  Have you ever jumped to conclusions while driving and said or done something only to realize you were wrong?  What did you do?

Humans are made of Idiosyncrasies

It took me some time to figure this one out but after living in the human world for a while it finally dawned on me that humans are weird.  Those always searching for normalcy or to fit in are living in a fantasy world because there can be no normal.

Idiosyncrasy is defined as:
An individualizing quality or characteristic of a person or group, and is often used to express eccentricity or peculiarity

Types of Idiosyncrasies
Idiosyncrasies can be personality quirks, mannerisms, and little habits that become part of the person that exhibits them.  For instance, you may have to pick the third milk from the front or you can only eat a tuna fish sandwich with Ruffle chips inside.

Lately, HT and I have been enjoying sharing our pet peeves, pointing the finger at others complaining of their annoying habits but I thought it would be a great idea to examine the little quirks and weird habits that people, real and fictional possess in a more celebratory sort of way.  This will be a series of more than one but I thought it would only fair to start with us and when I say us I mean HT because, naturally, I am perfect and not a humanoid.

Why am I starting with my Human Translator?  Because I live in her house and see her more than the rest of you.  Let’s face it I’m judging the entire human race solely on my close observations of her temperament, mental facilities and personal hygiene.  I got to tell you based on that you are one seriously doomed species.

We’ll keep it simple, just five idiosyncrasies about each person.  Maybe you have one or two on this list?  Don’t be shy to share… remember it is for posterity.

Five of HT’s many Idiosyncrasies

1-       She thinks she is allergic to coffee.

Since quitting soda 15 months ago anytime she drinks coffee things get a little weird.  Crazy dreams, bug out eyes that bug out even more, increased hyperactivity and decreased productivity.

2-      She quotes songs and movies to herself and all listeners willing or otherwise.

For example, while typing “because there can be no normal” in the first paragraph she said aloud, “There can be only one…” in her best manly Highlander voice.  Some of her most commonly used quotes are from The Fifth Element like evil Zorg’s/Gary Oldman’s “I know” line.   Plus, she added one right into this post so extra points for the one that gets it.

3-      She continues conversations in her head but forgets to say it aloud.

The first time she answered a question I hadn’t even asked her yet scared me… I thought she was Shawn Spencer’s long lost sister.  Oh wait; he is just an ADHD smart alec.  Hold up, they are related!  Sometimes, she’ll hop from topic to topic and spin you around so much that when she answers your original question you don’t remember why you asked it to begin with.

4-      She always checks, sometimes multiple times that her phone is really turned off after hanging it up.

Paranoid that maybe the aliens who have tapped her phone will hear top secret information.

5-      She taps incessantly.  Especially while stuck in traffic or trying to fall asleep.

Sadly for her and us she has no rhythm.

EDIT:  It was after visiting good ole Wikipedia that HT stumbled across this bit of  compelling information and laughingly cried “NO!”  She is now double checking the sources.  Don’t worry not all people with idiosyncrasies are eccentrics.  Click on picture to make bigger.

Signs you may be an eccentric

Why short people need big cars…

Play it while you read… you know you can’t resist

As a short person, alright a mutant ant, I see things from a different perspective. Stop snickering, I don’t just mean that because I’m millimeters from the ground but because I change my physical perspective all the time. Perception is something that my human is quite obsessed with (here’s an example) and perhaps that is because as a human she is limited in hers. After all most humans, I know there are a few daredevils and human fly’s out there, can’t crawl upside down on ceilings (Catherine Zeta-Jones) or randomly decide to scale a skyscraper (Spidey).

How does this relate to short people and big cars?

Well it has nothing to do with a Napoléon complex, which is a whole other issue. Short people need big cars to be able to see everything around them. I have no scientific proof but how about a case study?

My human is 59 inches tall and when she drives a small car, say a Sentra or Corolla she needs to sit on a pillow to see over the steering wheel. Let that image just sit for a minute… thank you, had to get some evil cackles out on that. Now if she was driving a small to mid-sized SUV or truck this would not be a problem.

“Eliza, can I interrupt?”

Well, you just did. Would you like to add something from the short perspective, human?

“Just because you’re short doesn’t mean you need a bigger car to see over the steering wheel. You need higher seats or one of those nifty seats that tips up and raises you higher.”

So you are admitting that you need a pillow to see over the steering wheel?


Another good reason for short people or at least my human to have a bigger car is ground clearance.

“Why? Wouldn’t it be harder to get my short legs in, pest?”

That too, but at least when you hit curbs you won’t rip out the underbody. Heehee!

“Eliza Leigh! You promised you wouldn’t tell!”

Are you short and ready to switch to a bigger car?

Here are a few I like for those vertically or driving challenged.

2009 Toyota Venza

Toyota Venza by The Toad on Flickr

Volvo XC60

Volvo XC60 by on Flickr

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara * Wild Beast

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara by jiazi on Flickr

Noses Grow & Not Just From Lying

Photo Credit: Pinocchio by La Tête Krançien, on Flickr

Pinocchio isn’t the only one with an enlarged nose.  I caught my human despondently examining her widening nostrils.  I found it quite amusing to watch her sigh “I’m getting old”.  I pointed out the circles under her eyes, the wrinkles on her face and-

“Enough, they get the point.  I’m old.”

Well, those were more noticeable.  When I told her I heard ears grew but doubted noses did she argued and repeated a story her grandmother told her. 

“You mean the German fairy tales?  The boy who wouldn’t stop sucking his thumb so his mum cut it off?”



“Or the one where a boy wouldn’t eat his soup-“

 Enough,  Barbarian!  I mean the one where the lady who knew your grandmother when young saw her again years later and  said, “What happened to your nose?”

“Oh, that one, ha-ha.  Mine isn’t growing I think I just broke it.”

You have issues.

“Obsessing over noses is normal, at least compared to talking to mutant ants.”

True but it’s just more verification for your records.

“What records?”

Want to know what makes your nose grow?

They don’t!

Gravity wages an arduous battle on the human body and the nose rarely escapes unscathed.  Between faces sagging, noses drooping and wrinkles creating unique web-like designs, humans are natural morphers.

I still think exoskeleton is the way to go!


“If you’re still thinking about Little-Suck-a-Thumb’s fate here’s a link to Der Struwwelpeter the ten story collection by Heinrich Hoffmann to terrify teach children.  If you can get someone to read it to you in German it’s marvelous otherwise you can get it in English or read it online.”

Noses, human, we were talking about noses.  Focus…oy.

* Photo Credit: by La Tête Krançien on Flickr

eL Bizarro: Supermarket Serenade

Play for maximum immersion:

Bizarre Things Happen to Bizarre People

You may recall Bebe, the concert diva who we’ve mentioned here and on the hibernating eL music junkie blog.  Since she hasn’t been going to too many concerts (or she miraculously forgets to mention it until afterwards) she’s been busy elsewhere.  Last week she shared an interesting interaction at Stop & Shop with my humanoid who felt like I’d appreciate it.  Why?  I’m not sure but perhaps you will.  Either you’ll appreciate it or can tell me why she thought I would. 

“Eliza, you’re rambling.  How many times have I told you that coffee and mutants don’t mix?”

Bebe needed to run to the store for some feminine products.


What?  She ran out of shampoo and lipstick, what a combination.  Fine I’ll list her whole recipe, I accidentally went into her purse that day.  Do you think she’s missing her MBTA pass yet, hehe.

While picking up her shampoo, lipstick, bananas, Tofutti Cuties (for her cutie- as if) and frozen vegetables (sliced zucchini to be exact) she met a wOman.

Okay here’s a question for you.  Name two movies that had variations of the saying below in it…

She met a woman.
”What woman?”
Woman with a power.
”What power?”
Power to scare you.
”Scare who?
Scare Bebe because…


“Nice try eL, but not quite.”

Who’s the boss?  Thank you, thank you.  Just keep typing…

Let’s try this again and no more interruptions I mean it!

While picking up her shampoo, lipstick, bananas, Tofutti Cuties (for her cutie- as if) and frozen vegetables (sliced zucchini to be exact) she met a woman. While in the frozen food aisle a nicely dressed and sane looking forty-something lady abruptly approached Bebe. Bebe, absorbed in choosing between Purely Decadent fake ice cream or Tofutti Cutie fake ice cream sandwiches did not notice her until the dark-haired woman said, “Why do you girls dye your hair blonde?”

Bebe, the only other occupant of the aisle, who has brown hair with red and blonde highlights looked around confused, “Are you talking to me?” The woman then launched into a fascinating monologue on why men like women with their natural hair color. Some of her arguments included:

  • That her boyfriend of 11 years younger loves her just the way she is.
  • That girls need to be happy with themselves and not try to be something they aren’t.
  • That it really annoys her when she sees this.  And more “I am woman hear me Roar”.

Bebe replied at first, “Does my hair look blonde?”  She was confused.  Perhaps she was still thinking about whether to get vanilla or chocolate flavored desert.  Either way, the woman ended her tirade against “young girls”  by bursting out in a full-bodied rendition of you guessed it Billy Joel’s Just the Way You Are.

The young girls classification should’ve made Bebe happy.

“May I interject?  Eliza, that’s not exactly how it happened.  I think you’re exaggerating.”

It may not be exactly how it happened but she did sing loudly in the middle of the grocery store.  Almost, like you dancing down the aisles.

“Who told you that?  Besides, I think she was trying to make a positive message.  That’s something you rarely do.”

True.  There’ll always be good-doers.  Now be a good human and pass me that controller.  Let’s see if Billy Joel’s on TV.

Why My Human is Not Productive

Cold War Clock
Photo Credit:  Charles Kaiser 

Have you ever wondered where all the hours, minutes, seconds-

“Eliza, we understand the concept of time.  Mostly.  That time space continuum…”

Are you shocked when your day is done but your list is longer than ever?  My Humanoid’s interruption is a classic example of how someone’s busy life become busy.  Does HT (that’s Humanoid Translators nickname) really need to ponder the time space continuum theory?  Is that going to help her write her research essay on dementia?

No!  Instead of being a highly-organized, highly-motivated, highly-

“Are you gearing up for a short joke?  I can feel it and you my mutated friend can not talk.”

Well, all I was going to say is that you came up short…really.  By trying to do everything at once, having your hand in all the cookie jars-

“What kind of cookies?”

Does it matter?

”Yes, it’s very important for me to have details so I can visualize your genius.”

Fine, peanut butter.  Happy?  Now, no more interruptions.  Readers, again she demonstrates not being able to focus on the most important item on her to-do list but is now scrounging in the kitchen, possibly waking cranky humans in an attempt her peanut butter craving.

 To-do list book.
photo credit: Justin See

Do you make lists? 

There are many great resources in relation to to-do’s, agendas and the like.  In fact, here are a few posts littered about the internet on making practical lists and organizing your life. 

Life Hacker’s Doable To-Do List
Dot Connector’s 10 To Do List Tips

Plus, there are some interactive Time Management tools over at Study Guides & Strategies.  The to-do list was interesting.


The most important thing you should remember

besides not using my HT as your example is to accomplish something on your list daily

Not only will you feel the satisfaction of crossing things off your list, but you’ll actually get something done.


an old doodle / to-do list
photo credit:  Ario J

Orange-Monster Try It!
Write a quick to-do list today (simple, no need for Monk-style here) and accomplish at least one thing on it.  Leave a comment here with some of the things you did on your list.
See my challenges aren’t hard.

”Does waking up count?  What you don’t like it when I act like you Eliza Leigh?  See how annoying it is?  Hello?  What was I just doing?”

Pet Peeves at the Movies: What’s Yours?

Movie Seats, Regal Phillips Place Stadium, Charlotte NC
Photo credit: ChrisGoldNY on Flickr

My human went to see Ice Age 3 without me two weeks ago.

“And it was lovely.”

I’m beginning to notice a trend…..sorry human, the butter isn’t melting, now get that angelic expression off your face.

“My aren’t we cranky!”

You would to if it happened to you.  Human, must you sing that song or any when you hear a familiar phrase?

“It’s a sickness.  Sort of like talking to an imaginary ornery ant.”

I’m not imaginary!  Ornery yes, but very real.

“Calm down.  You’d think you’re the one who’s gone caffeine free.”

Please, you won’t last a day.

“Going on day 15.  Eliza, what’s the point of this post again?  Because, Dr. Pepper has just pushed everything else out of my mind.”

Pet Peeves at the Movies:  What’s yours?

“That’s it?  You’re not going to tell them about the man?”

What man?

“The one that sat behind me.  Complaining about people texting he pretentiously said, “When are they going to ban texting?”  Imagine an overeducated, middle-aged male with something lodged in his soft palate.”

You mean mucous?

“Eww!  But maybe.  The fact that the screen was still black without even commercials, let alone previews, rolling made it funny.  After I finished tweeting his whininess I turned off my cell phone.  Now if only he could have turned off his kid, who kicked my chair.  Repeatedly.  Did it annoy me, someone who abstained from popcorn, caffeine and candy?  No.  I went to a kids movie, I expected and reveled in the rocking chair (which made me quite sleepy).  It wasn’t until the end of the movie that the man truly got under my skin.”

That’s it?!  Why did you stop?

“Hand cramp.  During the little bonus, right before the credits, he leaned over to another parent he was with and spewed venom on the movie!  Personally, I agreed with some of his thoughts but I had hard time listening to his stuffy speech while it was ending.  He complained about it’s excessive violence in one breath and then extolled it as a ‘technological masterpiece’ (huh, did we both see Ice Age 3?).”

“His point about the violence was laughable since this is Ice Age Three, if the first or second movie had a particular element wouldn’t it be a safe to say that the third movie would follow the same formula?  Hmm, if he was such a concerned and conscientious parent who objected to the movie he could’ve looked up the reviews and ratings before coming or waiting until the end of the movie.  So save your thirty second commentaries for before or after the movie!”

WOW!  Coming from the girl who talks throughout the whole movie.

“I sat with a space on either side, it’s safer that way.”

Pet Peeves at the Movies:

Some of Human’s are below in italics.  Plus, Eliza’s comments inbold.

“Babies that cry continuously & the parents who don’t take them out.”

Or smother.

”Smelly burps that float up or down & asphyxiate you!”


”Loud Gum Smacking.”

In what context?

”Pretentious viewers- talking bad about movie in progress.”

Leave and get a refund people!

”People who continuously get up to bathroom.”

Depends!  Depend on it.

”Have stinky feet hung in your face.”

If you want to put your feet up in a crowded theater- sit in front of the bar.

”People who talk over the movie.”

Unless it’s you.

Do you have movie going story or pet peeve you’d like to share?  Leave a comment below or tweet us!

In the Garden: Be Warned It’s a Jungle in Here!

For maximum immersion play this song while reading.

“Think of it as this posts theme song.”

Orange-Monster Try It!
Spend five minutes (or more) in your yard, deck or parking lot. Take pictures of things you find, whether they are every day items or buried treasure. Look below to see what eL & HT found. Enjoy.

So out of five types of seeds my human was told to replant, she did three.

“Two out of three ain’t bad.”

Slave, you are no Meatloaf. When it a comes a time fer harvestin, don’t come lookin ter me ta feed yer.

“Eliza, what have you been watching? Or is that some sort of allergic reaction to all the rice you’ve been eating?”

A bunchc’r Westerns.

“Stop yer you’re making me regret cable… again.”

But, but, what about Primeval or The Torchwood Miniseries or Dr. Who?

“Those are all from BBC, they probably have them online.”

, what about Psych, Royal Pains, LeverageMy Manny

“My Manny! Never heard of it. Is it a reality show following Manny Ramirez? You know what, it doesn’t matter. Here I am lying on my blanket beneath an apple (or is it a pear?) tree, listening to the wind and the birds and the tires screeching. It’s beautiful. I’m not going to waste a sweaty, bug-crawling, dirt-relishing moment debating TV with you.”



Moving right along.  Enjoy some pictures from the yard. My human quickly got bored finished planting and then walked around aimlessly with a scarf a la turban on her head.

“Have you ever had a sunburn on your scalp? Didn’t think so.”

You never know what you’ll find. Things that look ordinary from another perspective can become quite extraordinary.

“From the beautiful to the bizarre.”

Wait, isn’t that a TV show?

“TV, eL, TV! Stop with the TV already.”

Wow, we just survived a bird brawl (I think it was my human’s shrill voice that set them off). Good thing you wore your turban, HT.

“Oh, don’t forget the pictures of the drowned ant.”
EVIL! Oh yeah, well The Unusuals is cancelled and I didn’t sign the petition. Pay back baby.

“One word.”

NO! Not the shoebox-

Did you try the Try It! Challenge? Don’t have a yard? Sneak in your neighbors, or go to a public place and take five random pictures (or more) of everyday things. Try it! Leave your musings below.

Back from Outer Space… I Will Survive

“Eliza Leigh, are you singing!!? ”

I Will Survive  What do you think the beautiful noise emanating from my mouth is?

“You’re last breath?”

Human, this would probably be a good time to tell you that I found your chocolate stash… and it is now depleted.

“I won’t survive.  What do you want?  I’m trying to unpack and edit all the pictures from this weekend.”

That’s what I survived.  Not only did we manage to emerge unscathed from the parking garage (how many spots did Bebe need to try out, they were all the same size) but I was tempted with  gluttony and did not have a coronary.  You on the other hand…

“Let’s not talk about food.”

No, let’s.  How many buffets did you go to?  Is Portland, Maine a mecca for them? 

“We went to two buffets.  The Great Wall and Pizza Hut.”

I was shocked they still have Pizza Huts.

“I know, but it was Bistro style.  A far cry from the Pizza Hut I used to go to as a kid, there was some Reading Rainbow book program and we got buttons and everything.  What was it called?  Eliza?  H e l l o?

Back from Outer Space… oh sorry I was tuning you out.  What we talkin about?  Right, food.  Show some pictures of the food we ate this weekend.


I wish you would hurry up and fix your flash player problems so you can upload the little video clips you took too.  Like Greg “I made Bill Cosby Laugh” who showed Bebe how to make frozen Gyoza at Trader Joe’s or How to Make Someone Queasy (that was the funniest/lamest video you made yet).

“Hey that one was your idea!”

Yes, but you taped it.

“I will survive, hey hey.”

Driving Etiquette: Borrowing a Car

No we don’t mean stealing.  When borrowing someones car there are a few things you should remember~

  • Return the car in the same if not better condition
  • Thank them verbally and in some cases monetarily
  • Don’t wreck it
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