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Laura Kessel is managing editor of The News-Herald in Willoughby. She writes a weekly column and shares her thoughts here.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A few complaints about some bothersome topics

I’m in the mood to complain.

Maybe it’s the weather. Maybe it’s that I have to work five days this week after a few three- and four-day weeks.

Whatever it is, get ready. I’m about to vent.

In most cases, I’m sure you’ll agree that I’m right. If not, I’ll be complaining about that soon enough!

My dander first started  to rise last week when my boss was going over the list of area high schools and their commencement dates, in preparation for compiling our annual “Salute to Grads” section.

She was looking at the site for one of our area schools, and pointed out that there was a dress code for the graduates.

I asked why. She couldn’t understand why I was surprised.

I said then what I’ll say now: Why would a public high school require its graduates to dress a certain way on their last day of organized school activity, when, for the rest of their educational career, there was no dress code?

Don’t get me wrong. I wore dresses to both of my commencements. And, to show off even more, the one that occurred at Kent State in late August 1991 was outside in the football stadium on a 90-degree day while I was wearing a dress, pantyhose and high heels under my black robe.

I just don’t think it should be mandatory for a male graduate to wear a tie, when just about the only part of it you’ll even see is the knot. Let them be comfortable, because there’s a lot of pressure walking around on that stage, remembering which hand to shake with and that they’re not allowed to do any sort of touchdown dance after receiving what’s probably only their diploma case.

That displeasure only served to open the flood gates of my annoyance lately.

On the way home that night, as I pulled under the State Route 2 bridge over Vine Street, waiting for the traffic light to change so I could get on the highway, my favorite song stopped playing.

I was listening to Channel 10 on Sirius satellite radio, which is called The Pulse. It plays music from the 2000s and today.

If you know anything about satellite radio, it’s that there are no commercials. Until you go under a bridge or behind large trees. Then it’s a long, silent break that gives you lots of time to think. Many times, I think about how fast I can change to the channel back to mainstream radio, which continues to play regardless of how many bridges I drive under.

Other times, it’s like what happened that day. I sat under the bridge thinking about all the other things that can break through a bridge barrier — like snow, rain, birds, bugs, and other types of satellites that could ping off my cell phone to alert the police where I am.

But why, in 2012, can’t a satellite get the second half of Gotye’s “Somebody I Used to Know” into my car?

Bringing up Gotye leads to another frustrating curiosity.

For the past three days, Cleveland radio station Q104 has started playing his song as I passed the Mentor Avenue/Kirtland Road intersection. That’s about two minutes from my parking space at The News-Herald.

Is it possible one of their morning DJs is watching my commute — using a satellite, of course — and is just messing with me by starting my favorite song at a time that ensures I won’t be able to hear the whole thing?

I’m no conspiracy theorist, but I’m thinking of becoming one.

Something else I’m thinking of doing is writing to Ford, maker of my fine automobile, to complain about the fact that they’ve developed the technology that allows their vehicles to parallel park on their own, but nothing that turns the headlights on if it starts to rain.

My car turns its headlights on when it senses the light level has dropped from blinding sun to shady sun, but when I turn the wipers on, there’s no corresponding action.

As they say on Twitter, that’s a #fail. Come on, Ford. You can do it! I’d even accept it if you made it a command in your patented Sync system.

“Turn lights on.”

But then again, if it’s like commands to play certain artists on my iPod, I might end up with the trunk open.

I’ll stop complaining now. I know it didn’t accomplish anything, but I feel a lot better to get this stuff off my chest.

I think I’ll go for a ride to see if I can hear that Gotye song.

If anything, I can probably count on it coming on as I’m about to get back to the office.
Twitter: @Lauranh


Anonymous Jane Guzauskas Ruby said...

You complain a lot like me. One complaint seems to lead to another, and after a while I lose track of what I was initially complaining about.
But to address the graduation dress code: I also dressed like you on my high school graduation day, But other girls dressed more comfortably In shorts and without the nylons, and the teachers couldn't tell under the gowns.
But you know teenagers... You give them an inch, and they walk all over you! We had to have a dress code with warnings of withholding our diploma if we didn't follow it. But many a student decided to take the edge--looking like they were in code just past the gowns.

June 7, 2012 at 5:14 PM 

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