The Most Awkward Uber Ride in the World

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I don’t ride Uber very often. It’s not a service that my anxiety does well with. I’m literally taking my life and putting it in someone else’s hands for a period of time. I’m never truly comfortable with that but I do agree that it is a wonderful service and extremely convenient in this day and age, and I do take advantage of it occasionally.

After Saturday’s Uber ride I might have to re-think how often I’m taking advantage of it however.

My friend Becca and headed out to volunteer at the VA hospital that morning. We had been dropped off by her husband (he had some other errands to run). Therefore once our volunteering at the hospital was done we had the option to hang out at the hospital, or figure out how to get to the downtown area, grab something to eat and find somewhere to hangout until her husband was finished.

We opted for the latter. So Becca popped on and hailed an Uber. What a mistake that was. Or maybe not… you be the judge. It definitely is a funny story.

First of all, the women took almost 20 minutes to get to us after finishing the last trip and after we got in the car, we discovered why. While she told us that it was due to traffic, my money is on the fact that she probably wasn’t paying attention to where she was going.

But when she finally arrived and we got into the car was where the real fun began. Becca had happened to be saying something funny when she drove up so by the time we got in the car we were a little giddy. Apparently that was something of note for our driver.

“Are you ladies having a good day?”

“Not too bad but we’re definitely ready to head out.”

“Oh well you just both look so happy.”

Now here’s where it started getting weird.

“Did you get your sandwich sweetie?”

What? What sandwich? We didn’t have or order any sandwiches. That was a weird question.

Then we heard it. The man on the other end of the phone. And might I add turned all they way up on her Bluetooth speakers in her car.

“Yeah babe. I got it.”

That was the tip of the iceberg with this Uber ride. Becca tried to be funny and make a joke.

“I want provolone on mine.”

Our driver proceeded to turn down the volume just slightly, but not a lot after that comment. Making it clear to us that she didn’t want us interrupting her conversation, but also showing us that she wasn’t going to end it. So of course we felt awkward saying much or evening chatting with each other in the car for that matter. We spent that ride mostly silently texting each other in order to communicate.

Our driver and her gentleman collar were clearly still in the getting to know you phase because about 2/3 of the way into the ride the conversation between them took a turn for the really awkward for us.

First our driver mentioned how “you college aged girls will do anything if you’re horny.” We thanked her for being so kind but assured her we were both pretty far beyond college age. That however did not get her to pause her conversation there.

“You don’t even really like the football player but you sleep with him because you’re horny. You don’t like women but you’ll sleep with them when you’re horny. Me. I won’t do that. I guess I’m a good girl. I got 10 fingers that work just as well as any man. Aren’t I right girls?” She looks back through the rear-view mirror and bellows at us.

“That’s why I put on my POF profile that I’m bad in bed. Because I want men with that intention to leave me alone. But that doens’t even work. Then all the men want to do is teach ya. But you don’t care right Harry? You saw I had that on my profile right? And you still want to go out with me? Or are you going to leave me now that I’m talking about that?”

To Harry’s credit he responded with “No baby you know I don’t care about that.” He’s either a gentleman or really wants that ass! LOLOLOL! Either way he’s playing his cards right.

It was around this time that we pulled up to our destination and again to be funny Becca said from the back of the car “Yay Harry!”

As we left the Uber Becca heard our driver say in the background “Those girls were nice.”

As soon as we shut the door and pulled off Becca and I were roaring with laughter. Alcohol had to be our main priority at that moment.

Becca and I still haven’t fully recovered from our crazy Uber experience. I believe more consumption of alcohol in addition to our Bloody Marys and Mimosas after the ride are still needed in order to make a full recovery… but time will tell. LOL!

Does anybody have any Uber/Lyft horror stories? Can you top mine? Let me know!

-BBG

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Essentials for Making Your Road Trip Epic

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I travel A LOT! Not just for fun but also for work. I take overnight trips all over the state to do what I do, but I also like to take a lot of day trips to places around the area and have some mini adventures on my weekends as well. That means I’m in the car often which has allowed me to master the art of the road trip.

Here’s a few tips to keep in mind the next time you take one yourself.

Be Sure You Have a Decent GPS

If you’re like me, you hate sitting in any kind of traffic. I loathe it and it is slowly becoming my worst nightmare. I have found it beyond important to have a decent GPS on me when I’m traveling. The second I hit traffic I hop off the highway and drive along side it until my GPS says it’s clear. I would always rather take an extra 10-15 minutes to get somewhere and be driving more slowly than highway speed if it means I get to keep moving and that’s what I do.

Some people love Waze. It’s not for me. I’m a Google Maps person through and through. But really it’s a personal preference. Just be sure you’ve got one to help you out when necessary.

Get Yourself A Really Good Travel Mug

I have to have my caffeine fix on the road and let’s face it… the to-go cups from coffee shops like Starbucks and DD don’t really do the best at making sure your coffee doesn’t spill and stays warm for a decent amount of time. Therefore I always make sure I’ve got a trusty to-go cup with me that fits in my cup holder and that I know isn’t going to give me any difficulties on the road.

Keep Safety in Mind

I always like to make sure I’m covered by AAA, have a first aid kit in the car and have a means of communicating on my phone hands free. Road trips can be a lot of fun but can do a 180 very quickly if you aren’t keeping safety in mind.

Make Yourself the Ultimate Playlist

I’m obsessed with music! It’s a driving force for me so I need to be sure I have the best tunes for the road. That means I need to anticipate the moods I may be in on the road and load my playlist accordingly so I can help adjust my mood along the way if necessary. Plus it just makes the entire trip more enjoyable. I sometimes throw an interesting podcast into the mix as well, but I can’t listen to someone talk for too long. I always ending switching back to the tunes.

Never Leave the House Without Your Favorite Pair of Sunglasses

Who wants to have sun in their eyes the entire trip? Your visor only goes so far against guarding your eyes from the sun. Not only is that dangerous, but also super uncomfortable. Double check for the shades before you leave.

Always Keep Jerky in Your Jeep

Well maybe not jerky if that’s not your preference. LOL! But I definitely always have it in my Jeep to snack on during the trip if I need to. But definitely make sure you have some sort of snack on you. Especially if you are going on a longer trip. It breaks up the ride and gives you that little boost of energy you need to keep going.

Smell the Roses

It’s a road trip. Veer off the highway every now and then. Before I leave on my road trips that are shorter I always take a little bit of time before the trip to find one stop along the way that would be interesting that I hadn’t seen before. If I’m going on a longer trip I plan for several. Explore something new. Take some time to stop and smell the roses. In the words of Ferris Bueller… “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

How do you plan for a road trip? What’s essential to your road tripping needs? Let me know!

-BBG

Thankful

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So I know this is a bit late, but I had a busy holiday. Lot’s of baking and traveling. It really was a wonderful Thanksgiving.

So Thanksgiving is hands down my favorite holiday. I love the excuse to just hang out with your family and eat all day long. (If you’re lucky and you don’t have to work on Friday it’s literally a 4 day staycation holiday – my absolute favorite kind).

My last several Thanksgivings have been underwhelming. When I was out of the country it just wasn’t the same. As much as I tried to make it like home, it’s just different when you aren’t around family. I am usually particularly bummed out because I’m extremely close to my immediate family and due to the fact that I move everywhere, I don’t really get the opportunity to see them on my favorite holiday – Christmas usually wins out.

This year was particularly awesome. While I still didn’t get to see my immediate family, I was around family that really made me feel like I was part of a big group again. A huge shout out to my cousin for hosting. It really was special and finally brought back all the memories I had with my family when we celebrate Thanksgiving. It really put me into the holiday spirit which I am so excited about! My grandmother was even there which made it extra special.

This experience made me realize what I was really truly thankful for this year and that is family. I had some major realizations and new appreciations when it came to family this year and while I am always thankful for family, I’m starting to see family is different lights as well.

Of course I’m thankful for my immediate family. My mother, father and brother are absolutely everything to me. I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am without them. The three of them are the biggest influences in my life and that won’t ever change. My immediate family also got a little bit of an expansion a little over a year ago. My brother started his own little family recently when he started dating someone with her own kids (from this point in time know as Fairy Princess and Spiderman if I ever talk about them again in the future).

What a change for our family. We haven’t really had kids around regularly since our Aunt and Uncle lived close by with their kids. I couldn’t be more thankful for the change. They bring so much light and joy into our lives. Now… they also bring hustle, bustle and chaos to our lives as well, but in a really good way. It keeps us on our toes.

I also feel like I’ve gained a sister. I’ve had a few friends throughout my life that have become the sisters I never had, but it’s rare for me to find that kind of friendship and doesn’t happen often, so of course I’m beyond thankful that I’ve found that in my brother’s girlfriend. She genuinely wants to be part of the family and have us as a part of her life as well. It’s so wonderful because it allows our family to stay close and continue to support each other like we do so well.

Spiderman, Fairy Princess and their mom have been an incredible addition to our family in the last year and I am so thankful they’ve joined us. I can’t wait to take our first official vacation this Christmas with all of us. It’s going to be a blast!

This past year I have also managed to get back in contact with family I’ve lost touch with since we moved away to Kansas all those years ago. Before Facebook connected you with the world.

I am so thankful for this. It’s more important than you know to be in contact with family especially when you don’t live close to your immediate one. It’s been really awesome to reconnect with my cousin. We were inseparable when we were younger. Then we reached that really awkward age where one is in middle school while the other is in high school so we began to lose touch and finally in the end, I moved away which meant we didn’t keep in contact at all. We were kids. How were we supposed to know we should be keeping in touch?

Well since I moved back to the east coast and discovered that she now only lives 2 hours from me, we are back to keeping in touch often and seeing each other when we can, which I can honestly say has been awesome for me. I really needed someone I could talk to no matter what the subject and have a friend to listen – you can’t really do that with just anybody – and cousins are the best for that! So I’m thankful to have some family back in my life and close by that I didn’t have there previously.

Finally I’m thankful for the ability to also choose family. I know, this sounds a bit weird but stay with me. I have a lot of family in my life that just flat out don’t make the effort. I try to keep in touch, plan things, talk on the phone, even send a quick text, but no answer or response. Now I also have others (not family) in my life that put in 110% worth of effort into their relationship with me which brought me to a pretty big realization in the last year…

I don’t have to continue to put in effort if I’m not getting anything in return. Even if they are my family. It’s not worth it. It’s not worth the way it makes you feel. It’s not worth the wasted time and it’s not worth your effort. Just because they are family, doesn’t mean they are the best people… and that’s okay.

Now this doesn’t mean that it warrants an excuse to go out of your way not to keep in touch with them, but it also doesn’t mean you need to go out of your way for them either. Do what you can, when you can if the situation calls for it, but remember that it’s okay to say “no” even though they are family. If they aren’t actively putting effort into their relationship with you, don’t be afraid to tell them that it just isn’t going to work out this time if you can’t or don’t want to. Yes they are family, but your time is also valuable and they need to understand that. It’s okay to put more effort into the relationships in your life that put as much effort into them as you do.

I have a lot of people in my life that are not blood related that I would consider more family to me than some of the family members I have. I still love my family, but the family I am choosing is the family I want to put effort into and I am extremely thankful for that.

What are you thankful for this year?

-BBG

Where has all the Romance Gone?

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Most of you that know me know I’ve been single for most of my adult life. It’s tough dating nowadays. Social media and online dating has pretty much ruined any chance for people to engage in normal dating interactions and it totally sucks.

There’s no romance in anything anymore. All of a sudden men don’t think they need to try and impress a woman. And ladies… that goes for you too. You should be equally trying to impress them when you’re starting out as they are trying to impress you. Put on some make-up, get dressed up and put in a little extra effort from you day-to-day routines. Men… when did it become okay for you to make sexual advances at a woman before you even say hello? There was a time when you had to work for it.

And don’t think I’m being a prude because I’m not. I’m 30 years old. I know how this works, but if you’re going to be ballsy enough to bring up sex on a first date, at least work for it a little bit. Don’t make a girl feel like absolute trash from the moment you interact with her and don’t get upset when she turns you down. Maybe she’s not into just hooking up and has some self respect to not be interested in that right away.

What happened to the romance? When men used to actually pick a girl up and it took her a while to get ready because she was nervous and excited for a date. What happened to holding open doors for women and giving them your coat when it was cold outside?

Online dating sites have turned the dating world into a cesspool of people who aren’t into any real connection which sucks. And I’m 30 so I’m definitely not going out to bars and meeting people there. Hell I didn’t even like doing that when I was in my early 20s, never mind now.

Occasionally you actually start talking to someone that you are enjoying getting to know and then you’re hit with this whole “ghosting” thing that happens nowadays. When did it become okay to completely ignore another human being in all formats? How long does it actually take to just send a text message saying “Hey sorry. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you a bit but I just don’t think it’s going to work out. No hard feelings.” What’s so wrong with that?

Or you’re chatting with someone and they inevitably find some way to fuck it up and remove all the romance. Tell me something guys… do you really think it’s a good idea when you’re going to take a girl out on a date and they ask you what the plan is to tell them “you haven’t really thought about it”. Just what every girl wants to hear. That you’re putting no effort into wanting to meet her. At least if you haven’t thought about it lie. Say “I have a couple ideas but I want to know what you think is fun”. That way she can at least give you a couple ideas.

Come on guys. Step it up! Let’s get back to the days where romance bloomed and girls… put in some effort. We can’t completely leave it up to the men. We have to at least show some interest.

Let’s bring back the romance!

-BBG

Happiness is a Choice

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So if any of you are familiar with my mom, you will know that she’s pretty amazing in a lot of different ways. I’m sure I’ll have some sappy mother’s day post on here at some point pretty much laying out how my mother is a rock star in every aspect of her life and in the lives of those around her.

I go to my mom for advice a lot. She teaches me a lot of lessons, allows me to make mistakes, never shoves anything down my throat (physically or metaphorically LOL!) and overall is wise in general when it comes to life and all it’s joys and complications.

So I wanted to share with you a bit of a life lesson I learned from my mother over the years. It’s something I try to remind myself of each and everyday and I feel like it really has turned me into a better person overall.

HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE

That’s right. You heard it. It’s a choice you must make and decide on each and everyday. Sounds a bit crazy right? I mean c’mon… we need to choose happiness? It’s not something that just happens when all the pieces fall into place? How can that possibly be?

Well let’s think about this… sure, when something really great happens in your life you definitely feel good. You get a promotion at work or a new job, you meet a nice guy (or girl – no judgements here) and things are working out, your kids do something awesome and you’re proud of them… hell I receive a fun piece of mail and get excited (yes I know… but it’s the little things). Your endorphins are triggered and overall you have a feeling of joy and happiness.

But how long does that actually last? If it’s something big perhaps a little longer than normal, but that feeling isn’t permanent. After a while it dies off and then you find yourself searching for the next thing that will bring you that happy high.

Now, if you managed to go through life and wake up everyday choosing to be happy, regardless of what happens, you might find yourself in a much better mood more often. Now… I’m not saying this works all the time. I definitely have days where I wake up and know I’m making the decision to be happy and the day just goes to shit…. it happens.

But that’s okay. Instead of dwelling on that feeling for a long period of time, wake up the next day and choose to be happy again. It really does turn things around. Perhaps not right away… but eventually it will and you will be a much more positive and happy person for it.

The Dalai Lama once said “Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions”. My advice to you is to choose it. I promise it’s a choice you won’t ever regret.

-BBG

 

Relax and Unwind

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As most of you know, I am an extremely busy person. It’s completely of my own volition so please don’t ever feel sorry for me. I am the walking talking definition of what most people would call a workaholic.

Let’s be fair though, I’ve been single most of my adult life and I don’t sit still well so I need to do something to fill my time. Since I’m not filling it with someone, I fill it with work. I expect once I settle more into my adult life (and hopefully a relationship one day LOL!) I will start to decrease the amount of time I spend working outside of work. At the moment, I don’t feel like there is a need to. It’s made me extremely successful so far and until something else enters my life that needs more attention, this is how I’m choosing to fill my time.

That being said, I learned a long time ago that even when you are a workaholic, you need a small amount of work/life balance or you get burnt out REALLY QUICKLY. I discovered that the hard way.

You need to find the time to relax and unwind at some point in time. Contrary to what most people think about me, I’m not as extroverted as many people think I am. I’m outgoing, great with people and social situations and am usually never uncomfortable, however, extroverts recharge when they are around others. Introverts recharge on their own. As much as I enjoy social situations, I need some “me” time in order to re-gain my energy.

So about every other week (every week if I can), on Friday nights I bring home a little take-out, pour myself a decent glass of wine (or 2 or 3… LOL!), pick out a movie to rent, a series to partially binge for the night, or pull out a book (usually written by my friend Molly E. Lee or one of her friends who are authors – This is my cheap plug for her – she is amazing and if you like romance novels you should definitely pick up a copy of one of her books) sit back, relax, ignore my phone for the evening (for the most part – there is an elite list I would always answer for) and just let everything float away. I refuse to pull out work, school, bills or any other obligations that might be going on at the time.

It’s my time. I don’t share it with anybody. I don’t get it very often so the few hours where I do are precious and necessary for me to go back to the happy, perky person you all know and love (for the most part because we know that can be a stretch at times! LOL!)

The other thing I really love about this “me” time, is that I try to shut my brain down. While this is very difficult for me, I work really hard to try and not overthink things I’ve done or handled in the last couple of weeks. I really try to make it about relaxation. It allows me to recognize that I do value and respect myself which are key in waking up everyday and making the decision to be happy.

My advice is to be sure to not let yourself get burnt out. Take some time for yourself. Whether you’re an introvert, an extrovert, heck you could even be a convert! Doesn’t matter who you are or the type of personality you have. There really is value in taking some time to do what you want to do and not worry about others.

Oh! And if you’re really looking to relax and you live here in Connecticut you should definitely check out Del Soul Spa in Newington. This is where I go to over indulge myself. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Let me know what you do to unwind!

-BBG

I Don’t Have the Career I Thought I Would But That’s Okay

Career-Advice

I am a Professional Development Specialist.

Man. That is quite a career title. Raise your hand if you ever said: “I want to be a Professional Development Specialist when I grow up!”

Yeah. Didn’t think so. I never thought this is what I would be when I grew up either, but I can honestly say… I LOVE my job!

I went to college and studied Biology. I had a passion for it. I found it interesting and to be quite frank, I was under the impression that science = money. I spent my entire college career studying the ins and outs of biological sciences, running assays and analyzing and interpreting scientific research. Naturally, when I left college I just assumed I would continue down that career path for a while. I worked in pharmaceutical labs and veterinary hospitals in order to gain field experience, however, I graduated during a time where it was difficult to find work.

So I took the jobs I could get when I could get them. They were usually all temporary, seasonal or internships.

I was starting to get frustrated with myself. I had a BIOLOGY degree. That was supposed to mean something. How was it remotely possible that I could not find a full-time job in my field? I was starting to feel like I had wasted precious time and money studying something that I wasn’t going to make into a career.

I did what most would call crazy at this point in my career and decided to go back to school. Maybe more education would help me find a career that fit my needs. Well… let me tell you – it was one of the best decisions I ever made for myself.

That got me thinking about my journey to where I am today. It is ridiculous to ask an 18 or 19 year old – pretty much what I consider still an adolescent (yes I know we don’t think that when we are 19, but now that I’m 30 I feel like I’ve earned the right to consider 19-year-olds adolescents), to decide what they want to do for the rest of their lives, and that is basically what we ask them to do when they pick a major.

Now I had a passion for biology. I loved doing it and I loved learning about it, but I’ll be honest, I wasn’t the best at it. My skill set was decent when it came to actually doing science, but I would’ve never considered myself an expert and knowing what I know now, I would never have been.

The combination of going back to school along with the experience I gained while I was working during that time really gave me the opportunity to discover what I was good at. Where my skills were hidden and how I could use them to my benefit.

Once I figured that out I was able to determine what the best jobs were for me to apply for instead of just taking shots in the dark with who I thought would hire me based on my degree. It also allowed me to enroll in a graduate plan that taught me to build those skills and improve upon them.

In the end, all of these things came together to help me mold my career to me. Now I am able to use my passion (science) and combine it with my skill set to help make a difference in the next generation which is exactly what I had hoped to do in a career – make a difference in the world.

My advice is to really find out what you’re good at, not just what you like or are passionate about, and find a way to combine those things. Don’t be discouraged if it takes you in a different direction then you had hoped and don’t be discouraged if it takes longer than you think.

We are talking about the rest of your life here. You need to enjoy it.

The last thing you want is to wake up every day and dread going to work. We spend a third of our lives at work. That’s a lot of time. Find something you will be excited to get up and do every day.

-BBG