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Dear Miranda: Traffic safety engineers are basically the OWCA

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In response to Dear Kyra: The trouble with sisters

Dear Miranda,

You know how in Phineas and Ferb Agent P works for the Organization without a cool acronym?

This past semester I had to edit a traffic safety manual for one of my classes. The target audience was traffic safety engineers, which apparently are a thing. The whole thing was just such an experience. Imagine your drivers education book except with a whole bunch of math.

In fact, we’re not even sure if some of the equations they used were real equations. Like the following:


Toi = J2wkyoi(k) (3)

minq l*o(fr) ~ *,(*)I + £maxq l*o(fr) ~ xi(k)I (2) l*o(k) ~ xi(*) I + £maxa- l*o W – xi(k) I

I mean, I’m not great at math, but I’m a little skeptical of the authenticity of such equations. Perhaps the only thing worse than the equations were the acronyms. Their uncoolness puts the OWCA to shame. Here’s a few of the best.

AASHTO, American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials

AADT, Annual Average Daily Traffic

BBBB, Broken Bones and Bleeding Blood (as opposed to all the other fluids you can bleed)

CATMOD, Categorical Data Modeling

FHWA, Federal Highway Administration

IHSDM, Interactive Highway Safety Design Model

IRM, Intersection Review Module (they have a module for everything these days)

MUTCD, Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices

SWOV, Dutch Institute for Road safety Research

TPHREG, Test Proportional Hazards Regression

WHO, World Health Organization

And  of course my favorite, DVI. Which, in case you couldn’t guess stands for Duurzaam Veilige Infrastructuur. Naturally.

So yeah. Drive safely.



P.S. Here’s the super cool cover I designed for the traffic safety manual. I think the traffic cone orange was a nice choice. Also the sign next to the road with a picture of a road (as most roadside signs tend to have). The back cover had quotes from the editors. Things such as “This book has taught me everything I need to know about road traffic safety!” and “Road traffic safety. Need I say more?”

Screen shot 2014-05-18 at 4.53.55 PM


Dear Miranda: Facebook FTW

In response to Dear Kyra: A Massage Memoir

Dear Miranda:

You know when you make a super witty comment on Facebook and it’s awesome? Yeah. And what’s even better is when other people also make witty comments and you start building off each other. This has resulted in some of my favorite conversations, as listed below. Alas, I don’t always catch the full conversation in a screen shot. You get the idea, though.

Everybody (20 people) quote The Emperor’s New Groove 

Screen shot 2012-07-25 at 11.23.30 AM


The Most Vehement Facebook Debate Ever

Screen shot 2014-03-17 at 7.38.07 PM


Dating is Hard

Screen shot 2013-12-24 at 1.05.57 AM


Dating is Hard, but Batman is Cool

Screen shot 2012-07-26 at 9.54.07 AM


That last one is all variations on quotes from The Dark Knight in case you didn’t catch that.

Yeah. I think those pretty much speak for themselves.



P.S. I noticed you changed your Facebook password. It’s like you don’t enjoy unexpected birthdays or something.

Dear Miranda: Dream on

In response to Dear Kyra 1o books that changed my life

Dear Miranda,

Surprisingly, somewhere in the process of writing an undergraduate thesis on the importance of pleasure reading, I did in fact decide that reading is good for you. Go figure.

So, it’s almost 3am. Because I’m a bit of an insomniac, that’s why. Good thing I can nap tomorrow?

The good news is, when I do sleep I usually have some pretty messed up dreams. And who doesn’t love a crazy dream to keep them entertained while they sleep.

The other night I was dreaming that I was the leader of a rebellion force against this evil tyrant who could hypnotize people with his voice. Everyone in the rebellion would wear ear plugs and use sign language so he couldn’t hypnotize us. And I got to be the leader of the rebellion because I could make myself intangible, which was very handy for escaping all the time.

Also, this evil tyrant guy had a really hot son. I spent most of the dream assuming that Hot Guy was evil just like his father. But then I was holding this prison break (the evil tyrant had thrown Madison in prison for being my sister, so naturally, I was setting her free like a good sister. There were also this couple who were thrown in prison for playing the piano. I’m telling you, this tyrant was a JERK).

Anyway, I had gotten everybody out safely, and was staying behind to fight off all the guards when the Hot Guy showed up and told me that he would hold off the guards so I could escape (very chivalrous, despite the fact that the guards couldn’t actually capture me on account of the whole intangibility thing). I woke up just as I was about to go confront Hot Guy about why he hadn’t bothered to tell me sooner that he was actually a good guy. I’m pretty sure kissing him was also on the agenda, but it never happened on account of I had to wake up for stupid classes.

I also have a number of interesting recurring dreams. I have one where I get kidnapped in an airport. I have another in which I’m trying to find something in Grandma’s house, but there are all these secret passages and the walls keep moving around.

My favorite recurring dreams have involved learning how to fly. It started out as me playing a game of The Floor is Lava and I jumped from one couch to another, but instead of landing I just kind of hovered over the furniture. Progressively, through my dreams, I’ve learned that if I arch my shoulders back, I can fly higher. So I’ve actually gotten to be a pretty proficient flier in my dreams.


But my favorite dream of all time (in terms of how messed up it was): I got teleported into the future, where giant robots were keeping humans as pets. This one guy has secretly built a time machine without his robot overlord knowing. Then he kidnapped me from my time period because I had my doctorate in linguistics. But this guy was actually trying to get Dr. Kevin Nelson, who invented the robot’s tech originally. So basically he got the wrong Dr. K. Nelson. He also had a huge crush on me, but I wasn’t really into him due to the fact that he kidnapped me from home and got me stuck living in a cage where we had to use those tubes that they have in hamster cages to get from one room to another. Because the robots actually designed our homes/cages after hamster cages.

Bascially, dreams are really weird.



P.S. The last time I played The Floor Is Lava, it was 3:30 in the morning. At a hostel in Scotland. And I almost died on an unsteady leg rest.

Dear Miranda: Mulan is basically the story of my life.

In response to Dear Kyra: Top 5 Gothic Archies Lyrics

Dear Miranda,

Oddly enough, I did know what a yurt is, for no particular reason other than that my brain appears to be a magnet for random facts.

Kyra's brain

Kyra’s brain

You like that? I drew it myself! I got skillz.

Anyway, sorry for being so slow blogging you back. I was kinda busy last week, trying to get ready for you guys to come to town. But I was thinking about this post a couple weeks ago.  I was watching Mulan because that movie is awesome. I had also just finished reading a post by Matthew (the guy I always torment…in a loving way). It’s called Why Toy Story 3 and Life are Basically the Same Thing.

So I was watching Mulan this go around  and all the sudden I was like “This is the story of my life.” Ok. Maybe I haven’t run away from home, dressed as a man to join the army, made friends with a dragon, defeated an army of Huns, saved China, or used fireworks to blow up the most evil man I’ve ever met (to be fair, the most evil man I’ve ever met is probably just my high school debate rival, Chad. He probably doesn’t deserve to be annihilated via fireworks. But his orange briefcase was really hideous.).

I know what you’re thinking. Kyra that doesn’t sound anything like your life. But my epiphany actually came while I was watching the matchmaker scene.

mulan matchmaker

My line of thought was something like this: Everybody just wants Mulan to get married. Everybody wants me to get married! I bet if BYU could, they would employ a professional matchmaker to get everyone hitched. Meeting the matchmaker probably would not go much better for me than it did for Mulan. I’m going to die alone.

Literally everyone is eager to tell Mulan how to land a man!


But she’s still just not that smooth.


In fact she’s not very good at a lot of things.



But she has an awesome family.



And some help from awesome friends.



She’s clever



And persistent


In the end, being herself is what works for her.


And I guess I relate to that. Who knows? It just might work out for me too. When it was all said and done, Mulan did get the guy. There may be hope for me too.


Love, Kyra