The traffic-deterring giant slug, systemic honk reform and fruit-picking through the car window with a retired bat researcher

# Lyft Line # Kids Who Lyft A college-aged guy sits down in the front seat. After announcing that he has philosophy homework and a big research project to turn in, he gets to work.  The app tells me our ride has two stops; next we will be picking up his niece at her elementary school.Continue reading “The traffic-deterring giant slug, systemic honk reform and fruit-picking through the car window with a retired bat researcher”

Corgi butts, passive-aggressive road gab, and a universe run by Siri

It’s a busy street in SOMA. So busy that when Tu—an Asian-American girl with shortly trimmed spiky hair, glasses, and a bouncy gait—lands buoyantly in the backseat of my car, a nearby vehicle is already honking at us to move.  Tu holds in her hands a salmon-colored paper box of cupcakes. Once we escape theContinue reading “Corgi butts, passive-aggressive road gab, and a universe run by Siri”

Carnal Questing: Passengers Talk Joys and Difficulties of Modern Dating

Perhaps more straightforward in our parents’ generation, dating takes so many different forms today. For some it’s exhaustingly uncertain and painful, for others it’s a dopamine rush and world-expanding. Some daters are out there looking for The One, others are experimenting with ethical non-monogamy, and still others are searching for (or open to) something inContinue reading “Carnal Questing: Passengers Talk Joys and Difficulties of Modern Dating”

A Lyft Line sickly symphony, the chinchilla at TJ’s, and my friend joins me for an Uber Eats run

#Lyft Line I kept yawning. Another passenger kept sneezing. A second passenger hiccuped, filling the air with the smell of beer. The guy next to me coughed continually. We were an unwell Lyft bunch if there ever was one. I briefly felt pride at our joint contributions to the Symphony of Sickliness. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Lyft Thought:Continue reading “A Lyft Line sickly symphony, the chinchilla at TJ’s, and my friend joins me for an Uber Eats run”

Dear Men (A Wearied Letter from your Burned Out Lady Lyft Driver)

“Picking up strangers—alone—and inviting them into your car. It’s a task that’s unappealing at its core, and it can be especially so to women who are perceived to be more vulnerable to harassment or attack.” —Claire Zillman in a 2015 Fortune Magazine article about women Uber drivers **Of the 160,000 drivers in the US, 14Continue reading “Dear Men (A Wearied Letter from your Burned Out Lady Lyft Driver)”

Honks, Expletives, and Relentless Traffic: Dispatches from the Wild Wild Road

The driver lets out a sigh as he waits for pedestrians to cross the street at the speed of molasses. Seeing that one of them has a walker, he eases up on the steering wheel, which he’d been gripping tightly before. “No one to blame, Anger. Stay down,” he instructs his festering emotions. The walker scootsContinue reading “Honks, Expletives, and Relentless Traffic: Dispatches from the Wild Wild Road”

To Hug a Porcupine: A Marin County Passenger Talks Bojack Horseman and Intergenerational Trauma

*Names changed to protect confidentiality For many years, Marin County was home to Robin Williams. Its natural beauty and proximity to San Francisco have made it a popular dwelling for affluent retirees in search of sanctuary without having to forgo easy access to the culture and bustle of a city. When I look up fromContinue reading “To Hug a Porcupine: A Marin County Passenger Talks Bojack Horseman and Intergenerational Trauma”

Rural passengers, 1950s vibes, and Walter the failed botanist in Ukiah, CA

Nice things people on Yelp had to say about Ukiah, a rustic town in Mendocino County with a population of 16,000: “The air is always sparkling clear (unless there are forest fires). Every night we can go outside and look up and feel as though we are camping in the Sierras—billions of stars! There areContinue reading “Rural passengers, 1950s vibes, and Walter the failed botanist in Ukiah, CA”

Therapists, Policemen, and Zebra Fish Researchers: Passengers Talk Interesting Careers

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” —Confucius Passengers here either currently worked in engaging careers, were in the process of pursuing one, or added a fresh perspective to one that most people probably already know about. One worked as a traveling psychologist and conducted appointmentsContinue reading “Therapists, Policemen, and Zebra Fish Researchers: Passengers Talk Interesting Careers”

Spanish-sounding Greek guys, Belle departs the Beast on an Uber Carriage, and the old man who spurned selfie sticks

On the line-up for this week: My thoughts on Uber Carriage, a babysitter explains the concept of ride share to two young children, and an anecdote from a passenger inspires a short story about the line between altruism and boundarylessness. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Lyft Quote “People think we are Spanish because the accents are similar.” —Four GreekContinue reading “Spanish-sounding Greek guys, Belle departs the Beast on an Uber Carriage, and the old man who spurned selfie sticks”