A Review of the “PARKEZ Parking Stop Sign for Garages”

I never know how far to drive into my garage before hitting the cupboard at the back end and lightly scratching the front of my car’s body. I tried to troubleshoot my way around it by using my brother’s car, which is parked adjacent to mine, as a gauge. If my right hand side mirror surpasses by brother’s left hand side mirror (we have a two car parking garage and I park on the left) then I know that I have parked far enough into the garage where my backend would not be too close to the garage door and my front end would not be touching the cupboard. It’s the ideal parking situation. However, when my brother’s car isn’t there, I don’t have a gauge. I might seem a bit incompetent in my parking skills, especially in my own garage, and you might observe correctly, but I’ve thought my way in and around this too many times. It’s become a mental issue now whenever I come home. I experience a moment of stress landing my vehicle in its proper place. If you can sympathize with my testimony, then you must continue reading.

I just knew someone, somewhere out there, has experienced the same unnecessary frustrations I had. After a few minutes of googling my frustrations (to be specific, I googled “parking garage guidance”), it appeared before my eyes—the answer, the truth, the ParkEZ Flashing LED Light Parking Stop Sign for Garages. This was the answer to my inability to gracefully enter my garage.

Essentially, it’s an oversized (about the height of the average fourth grader in America) bobble-head that has a miniature stop sign as its head. This stand would be placed in the preferred ending point that you’d like your car to be parked. Once the stand is assembled and in place, you slowly drive your vehicle into the garage until the front end lightly taps the ParkEZ stand, causing it to flash (hence the “Flashing LED Light” descriptor). Once you observe the bobbing of the stand, and even the flashing, you know that you’ve landed. No more worries about scratching your front end, or damaging your dad’s makeshift cupboard, or wondering if your brother’s home so you could use his car as a gauge for yours, etc. Peace of mind can be bought, and it’s affordable at under twenty Washingtons, or one Jackson (he’s the president on the twenty dollar bill, if you didn’t know).

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I ordered one stand through Amazon after considering the reviews customers had. The stand has averaged a 3.5 star rating out of 42 reviewers on Amazon. I’m usually a four star snob when purchasing items on Amazon. If the product I’m looking to purchase doesn’t meet the 4 star requirement with at least over 30 reviewers, I’ll be highly cautious and hesitant about making the purchase. However, this product seemed too good to be true and seemed, as I said before, like the answer to my problem. After sifting through the reviews and seeing what kind of cons customers had brought forth about the stand, I made the decision to hit the kill switch and went in for the buy.

The product was delivered to me within a week, and I’ve been using it for almost three weeks now, and it’s served its purpose beautifully, so far. The important thing is, I now no longer need my brother’s car or his help in guiding me into the garage, nor do I fear more light scratches appearing on the front end of my car or my dad’s cupboard, which he complained about at times (sorry, dad). And now that I’ve had the experience of actually using the product, I can address some of the cons customers had discussed on Amazon. The main flaw I saw most people review about was how flimsy the stand’s pole could be. I didn’t have an issue with how flimsy the pole was, especially since I was more concerned about hitting things that would cause more dinges to appear on my car. Why would I want to hit something that’s hard? That would defeat the purpose of the stand. I can suggest a workaround though. Consider the thinnest and lightest PVC pipes from your local hardware store and slide this onto the pole. This might make the stand more sturdy and definitely less flimsy.

Overall, I recommend this product. If you sympathized with my story and want to be free of unnecessary frustrations when parking in any kind of garage, then this budget-friendly product will bring you comfort in ways you would have never imagined—fine, it’s not that comforting, but it’s definitely peace of mind!

This is a video of a similar product I found on YouTube. It’s literally the same product. Check it out if you’d like to see it in action! I suggest starting from 0:55.

Commonplace Entry #4

When a new disability arrives I look about to see if death has come, and I call quietly, “Death, is that you? Are you there?” So far the disability has answered, “Don’t be silly, it’s me.” -“The Measure of My Days” by Florida Scott-Maxwell

This is the beginning quote given in Chapter 6 of Ellen J. Langer’s “Mindfulness,” which is about aging. I like the entertaining use of words in this quote. The subject experiences a new disability and begins to talk to it, wondering if it’s death this time. The quote finishes with the disability answering back, as if ideas can speak for themselves, that it’s just disability. The subject shouldn’t be silly and question if it’s death, because it’s not–it’s just disability.

Commonplace Entry #3

” A borderline suffers from a kind of ‘emotional hemophilia’; she lacks the clotting mechanism needed to moderate her spurts of feeling.  Prick the delicate ‘skin’ of a borderline, and she will emotionally bleed to death.” -p. 12 of “I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me: Understanding the Borderline Personality by Jerold J. Kreisman and Hal Straus

I really like how the metaphor is used in this sentence to convey how a person suffering from borderline personality disorder suffers. Hemophilia, which is the condition in which an individual bleeds severely due to an inability of the blood to clot, explains how one with BPD can also emote severely and eventually bleed emotionally to the point of nearing death. Sometimes I struggle with using metaphors, so I don’t, but when I read a cleverly used metaphor I take notice of it. This is one of them.

Commonplace Entry #2

“We were all in a circle. Kevin was the only one outside it. We had a fire. We had to look into the fire. It wasn’t dark yet. We had to hold hands. That meant that we had to lean forward nearly into the fire. My eyes were burning. It was forbidden to rub them. This was the third time we’d done it.” -p.127 of “Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha” by Roddy Doyle

Each of these sentences is a simple sentence, a single independent clause. Every sentence is read quickly in succession, causing our thoughts to shift quickly from one idea to another.

Commonplace Entry #1

“My boots were so heavy that I was glad there was a column underneath us. How could such a lonely person have been living so close to me my whole life? If I had known, I would have gone up to keep him company. Or I would have made some jewelry for him. Or told him hilarious jokes. Or given him a private tambourine concert.” -p.163 of “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” by Jonathan Safran Foer

Oscar, the main character, describes his boots to be heavy. This was explained in the story as him feeling burdened or insecure. I selected this passage from the story because of how each sentence begins with the coordinating conjunction, “or.” Typically, sentences wouldn’t begin with “or.” But in this passage, the writer chooses to do so and creates pauses in between each thought, pauses that are sustained longer with periods than with commas.

Rollerblading Crush (exercise 3)

It was during the afternoon when she had come out to rollerblade. I strapped on my rollerblades and went outside to join her. I liked her. She was my childhood crush. We were rollerblading around the cul-de-sac where we lived. I would go down these “ramps,” which were actually the driveways of our neighbors. She would join me. I hope I didn’t annoy my neighbors when we’d blade down their driveways, but perhaps we did. I sometimes saw their window blinds move as if they were checking to see that we weren’t vandals. I rolled down this slopier ramp and tripped on a crack in the sidewalk. I don’t remember what happened afterwards. I woke up in my living room sofa and I cried and screamed in pain immediately. I had broken my right arm. I was told that Mr. Lawnee, our African-American neighbor who had lived two houses away, had saw me on the ground in front of his house and carried me to the place where I was when I woke up. That was kind of him. I never did say thank you. I kept crying and screaming in excruciating pain until I fell asleep, at which point I didn’t feel anymore pain, and so I slept. I would get a cast the next day, which I had all my friends sign, including the girl who I had a crush on and rollerbladed with me.

My usage of voice in telling about this incident was used with the audience in mind–my classmates, specifically readers who I interacted with for the past few weeks but don’t really know on a personal level. I tried telling the story with this in mind, creating a voice that was both formal and casual. In terms of footing and positioning, I created a close physical space and familiar social standing, so as to include the reader in closely observing what I had experienced.

Brief History of Myself as a Writer

I don’t consider myself a very experienced writer. The only times I write are when I’m reflecting on something I read or did, to help better clarify my thoughts, and to communicate with friends, family, and others. I recall the time when I began writing intentionally and writing a lot. Before then, I often avoided writing at all costs and would only write if I were to receive a grade for my writing. I was in my second year at community college. During this period of my life, I was thinking more about the future, what I wanted to further study at a university, and if I even wanted to go to a university. I was also reading a lot more than usual—fiction, non-fiction, research-based articles, biographies, news, journals, blogs, etcetera. I was taking fewer classes and I just had time, so I read. As I read though, I found myself having problems understanding my readings and I had heard from a friend or from a reading or from some source out there that writing in reflection to what you read would help the decoding process. It did, to my surprise. I think it was because of this observed reciprocity that the vicious cycle of reading and writing began. I really didn’t enjoy writing before that time, before the discovery that writing could help my thinking and reflection process. It was only after seeing the benefits I was receiving from writing that I took up writing as a form of discipline, which eventually found its way to enjoyment.

I often wrote during the late and unholy hours of the night. I especially liked writing during these times. But that’s probably because my brain chemicals mixed around in a way to concoct the feeling of joy during these hours when I should have been sleeping. It’s strange. I wouldn’t even think of encountering these hours of the night to write. I sleep at a certain time, say half past nine in the evening, and I just happen to wake up the following morning at three, wide awake and ready to do something. So in these times I wrote because I couldn’t sleep. The things I wrote varied from notes about what I had dreamed, scattered thoughts I might have had the day before, thoughts about the future, to writing what I believed to be forms of poetry, though I’ve never been taught how to write poetically, ever. I just wrote because I couldn’t sleep. In a way, it was also sleep therapy, because I would write until I felt like I could sleep again. I would always sleep again after I woke up to write. Writing about this now, or rather typing about this now, I see that writing’s served me in more ways than one. Not only has it helped me better articulate my thoughts, it’s also been inexpensive, practically free, therapy to help whatever sleep issue I had or have.

When I read books, novels specifically, I look at how the author writes and wonder how he or she came to his or her own style of writing. I read the sentences and think that I would have never thought to write it that way or to add those details. It marvels me all the time. I wonder about what experiences, what habits these authors have cultivated, what books they read, and how they were instructed, if they even were, to write the way they do. I don’t think I’m envious. I think I’m just curious and would like a rope into this process. I once even tried to mimic an author’s style. I think it worked too. I was reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” at the time and saw that he used many adverbs and run on sentences in his writing to give his characters flavor and quirk. He also used a lot of different ways of writing that I’m pretty sure violated the prescriptive rules of grammar many of us learned during our primary school years. I would read certain passages of his over and over until his words would be in my thoughts, his style of phrasing ideas. I then transferred this style of phrasing ideas into my own writing. I found that it worked, as I began to see some similarity between my writing and his. In an essay assignment I had for my freshman composition course, I was even given feedback from my instructor to not use so many adverbs as it created wordiness and awkwardness in my writing. I pulled back a little from mimicking Jonathan’s style after that comment. I found that I was also chatting with my friends online in the same way. “That was an amazingly well told story, Stephen. I hardly knew you would tell me so honestly.” My friend would respond with, “Yes, that was amazingly well told and I am an honest friend, so I would honestly tell you things, Edwin.” I think this was a hint from my friend that I had gone a bit too far into the deep end about my usage of adverbs. Anyway, I think I’m better now with adapting different writing styles. I find that certain styles do appeal to me—the quirky and sometimes crass type. I don’t even know if that’s considered a style or not, but that kind of writing appeals to me.

Even after this whole reflection, I still don’t consider myself a very experienced writer. I suppose that’s subjective and can be up for interpretation depending on who’s reading my writing, which never happens since I don’t share my writing. But I’d to like explore more techniques and understandings of how to mold words and mix them into sentences that would taste good. I still continue to practice writing in response to my readings. I also still wake up in the dark finding a need to write to get back to sleep. And I still read and try to adapt different ways others write into my own writing. I suppose all these habits have and will continue to help shape me as a writer. Now, if I can only learn how to better control the styles I adapt and not write in all these voices that make me seem schizophrenic to my friends…