Thursday, October 30, 2008

4 - Partaking in Halloween without knowing the meaning behind it

In Hong Kong, there are roughly 900,000 kids, at or under the age of fourteen, who celebrate holidays such as Christmas, Easter and Mother's Day.

These kids receive a multitude of gifts in late-December, as well as go scavenger-hunting for chocolate eggs in March or April. And on Mother's Day, these kids get together with their fathers to give a meaningful card and/or present (perhaps a chocolate egg?) to their Mommies, in true honor of their undying commitment and unconditional love.

Tonight, apart from the slutty women and drunken alcoholics at Hong Kong's local drinking and clubbing area known as Lan Kwai Fong (
, HongKonger children will also be enjoying their own style of impish fun, knocking on doors and ringing doorbells, in the hopes of receiving gummy bears, chocolate bars, lollipops and other confectioneries, simply for wearing a costume that heightens their already-innate ability to look cute, innocent and ignorant.

Yes, ignorance is what I will be discussing this Halloween, or should I say Hallow E'en, as the Irish used to call it
. Hardly anybody in my local community actually knows what Hallow E'en is about, and while I agree that the origins of a holiday is trivial knowledge, I firmly believe that it is important for one to at least partially understand the significance behind a holiday before spending time, effort and money engaging in its festivities.

So let me teach you a bit about
Hallow E'en. While some occasions such as Mother's Day are pretty self-explanatory, Hallow E'en, like Christmas, Hanukkah and many others, actually has more to it than the modern-day customs that we now know of.

Hallow E'en is short for All Hallow's Evening (Oct. 31), and is the eve of All Hallow's Day/Hallowmas/All Saints' Day
(Nov. 1), which basically celebrates all the saints.

I bet you didn't know that the act of trick-or-treating is, in fact, a distorted imitation of what was known as souling.

Back in the Middle Ages, souling is what you would do if you were unable to obtain food for yourself, either because you were a child or you were poor (...or both). You go to people's homes, knock on their doors, and then sing a bunch of crap 'celebrating' dead people and the homeowners then reward you with a soul cake (pictured right, mmm...), each one symbolizing a single soul being sent off to Purgatory. This is where All Soul's Day (Nov. 2) comes from.

I apologize if I may sound a bit upset soon.

Thanks to American cultural media (really... I'm sorry), souling became trick-or-treating, and the dirty, filthy, ragged clothes on the backs of children and beggars back in the Middle Ages turned into the whole wear-a-Halloween-costume thing.

I can actually live with all the kid vampires and kid witches and kid werewolves trick-or-treating, because at least these children are maintaining the essence of the whole creepy, scary, death-related vibe. I mean, bring on the mummies, and the ghosts and Frankenstein's monster (which reminds me — I get irritated by the smartasses that feel the need to repeatedly point out that the monster is actually nameless and it's the creator that's really called 'Frankenstein'.)

Anyway, back to the costumes.

Why the Hell is Pikachu walking around outdoors on such an evil night? Why is Sailermoon celebrating
dead souls
? Why are these princesses, angels, clowns and cowboys associated with this holiday? Oh, look, it's Mickey Mouse. And there's George Bush! And there's CHUCK NORRIS! I just don't understand. Least of all, the groups of parents that have proudly dressed their children such that they appear to be a regurgitation of the Justice League.

Unlike my previous posts, I have no solution. I'll stop there. I'll simply continue to live through this disliking of mine: that is, stupid costumes and ignorance regarding meaningful holidays.

But you should know: There are many hypothesized reasons as to why Hallow E'en exists at all. I just went with the most obvious answer here, and if you really do want to find out more, the Wiki. page was quite enlightening, as were several sites that came up on a Google search.

What do you think, readers? Should we know more about our holidays? Did you already know about souling? Do you hate it more when the monster is mistaken to have the name 'Frankenstein', or do you hate it more when people point it out? Is this post too long? I mean, my fingers are exhausted...

And finally, what are you dressing up as for Halloween?
I, myself, am a vampire this year. Happy Halloween! >:[

3 - Yawning

This is not attractive:

Neither is this:

And no way in Hell can this ever be seen as nice:

*shivers* (I'm going to get nightmares about this post.)

To allow others to see the contents of your mouth is just incredibly horrifying. Surely there are civil laws that say that one reserves the right to sue for that sort of social disturbance
. And are there any religious scriptures that urge their followers not to yawn openly so as to cause others displeasure? I mean, look at the utter monstrosity, sitting beside Tony Blair, in this photograph:

The yawn is a strange physiological reflex that just doesn't have an explanation. Researchers hypothesize that yawning might be a method of cooling the brain physically, or perhaps calming the mind psychologically. Yawning might also be due to a lack of body sugar, or a lack of oxygen, or on the contrary, an overload of oxygen.

We yawn when we're tired, and when we're sleepy. Some yawn when they're stressed, but I've never been overworked to the point where I yawn. In my yawning experience, I do it when I'm bored and a lot of people, as I'm sure you know, believe that yawning is contagious. I actually yawned a total of seven times while I was doing a lil' research for this post. Yup, reading about yawning can cause you to yawn too (those of you who did, please say so in a comment :D)

The infectiousness of yawning can prove to be a bit annoying. I was having dinner with my family tonight, and just as I dug into my soup with a spoon, I looked up to see my lovely aunt yawning like a lion. The oh-so-transmittable yawn hit me, and, oh, yes, a little soup dripped out of my mouth.

But my goodness, the way she shut her eyes so intensely as if she was shone on with the light of a million fairies, created this effect of time passing by so slowly, to the extent where I could've counted the number of teeth she had.

Oh, but I did see her uvula, and you don't get to see another person's uvula everyday. That's special. Well, I think so.

Anyway. I like to cover my mouth with both hands when I yawn. I don't think any of us have exceptionally pretty guts, and I mean, the mouth is the beginning of the digestive tract if you think about it. So conceal your oral cavity because somewhere out there, there are millions of people suffering from those nightmares I mentioned earlier on. Well, maybe not millions. But you just never know.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

2 - Staring at others through a car window

So, the other night, I was on the bus, on my way home, and somewhere along the way, the bus stopped at a traffic light. I was tiredish and had had a long day, so I sort of had my head facing downwards for most of my ride. I looked out the window to check I hadn't missed my stop, but all I saw was a businesswoman of some sort, staring at me through the window of the taxicab she was in. She was dressed up all fine and had glasses that made her look all professional. The way she looked at me with such curiosity suddenly made my seat uncomfortable and it was just... creepy.

Why are people so interested in looking at me?

Each time I catch someone ogling at me like a newborn baby, they make me feel so incredibly self-conscious when all I'm doing is innocently trying to get from point A to point B. They're looking at me and I think to myself: Does she think my hair's too shaggy? Do I have ink on my face? I knew I shouldn't have worn this color. Do I look weird? Are my eyes too big? Is my mouth too thin? Is that old guy with the fanny pack... checking me out?

It's not like I'm a famous celebrity that actually deserves window-based attention (kudos to those of who can make out the celebrity kissing in the car 'make out' pun totally intended). There really is nothing mildly interesting about my appearance and I actually think it's slightly uncivil to make people feel so uncomfortable by glaring at them like that.

And my standpoint regarding this issue does not only include the creepy people that invade your privacy through your car window. Even if it's the occasional 3-year-old toddler gawking at you on the train with those cute, innocent eyes, I still firmly believe that kids should be taught by their parents and teachers that staring is every bit as bad as pointing. But hey, that may just be me.

In conclusion, it's disturbing. If you do have this worrisome habitude, kindly take a nap, read a book or play a game on your iPhone instead. And if you find yourself being stared at, there are a few things you can do.

(1) Stare back and scare them away. I mean, you can be creepy too, you know? Personally, I would recommend black eyeliner to give yourself a slightly more Gothic look. (2) Move out of the creeper's line of sight. (3) Start crying and make him/her feel guilty. (4) Ask him/her a question. Quickly take out a notepad, jot down an inquiry and slap it on the window. Do you like my shirt? Have you seen the new Saw movie? Obama or McCain?

(5) Or you could just make a general comment that concerns the creeper. I looooove your fanny pack.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

1 - Sending impromptu invitations

How many times have you ever been invited to an event — whether it be a family member's birthday party, or perhaps some hangout time with your friends at the mall, or the opportunity to go to a rock concert with your sibling, or a game of tennis with your co-workers, or possibly just a simple evening meal with your spouse — but the invitation was sent to you at the very, last, minute?

Yes, I'm sure we've all received a hasty invitation as such that made us feel unfairly treated. On the one hand, you don't feel like accepting the invitation because you worry it will come off as if you have nothing better to do but wait for that stupid invitation. Or perhaps you simply don't want to accept the invitation since you feel the other person is being insensitive and selfish, inviting you to go somewhere at the last minute as if you're some sort of afterthought.

But on the other hand, you want to join in with your relative's birthday celebrations, and you want to watch that movie with your friends at the mall, and you want to eat at that fancy restaurant downtown, even if it's with your charmingly improviso wife.

And in the case where you just can't accept the invite because you've made prior arrangements, all you can think is that it's all the host's fault for not informing you earlier. You feel unfairly treated, and insignificant compared to the other people that will show up at the occasion, since they, of course, received their invitations weeks ago. And as you carry out your previously arranged plans, the idea of being left out of that other thing is all that comes to mind.

And the next time you see your brother/sister, it angers you to think that while you promised to hang out at your friend's place, your sweet sibling was jumping up and down at the most bitchin' concert ever. And the following day at work, you might get tired of hearing all about your boss' swift backhand that day - while you were, at the time, bringing your sweet mother out to lunch. You try not to show your frustration, but either way, the thoughts just don't leave your mind that easily.

Here's a piece of advice to all of you who have this insensitive habit: Don't surprise your beloved family and friends with sudden invitations. People may have other dates too and they don't appreciate the way in which you so impetuously invite them to your social occasions off-the-cuff. Spontaneity sure is thrilling, but in this day and age where knowledge is so vital, people are definitely more appreciative of being informed with more time to prepare.

Please put other people's lives into consideration before you propose an event that you want to happen. That way, you might actually convince more people to join you.

0 - Introduction

So, here is how it works.

Every day, I will discuss one thing that I consider a nuisance to me. In the space of a single post each day, I will talk about one thing that I see as illogical, irrational, redundant, over-the-top, petty, nonsensical, stupid and/or downright irritating.

Sometimes, my posts will be exaggerated. Sometimes, they will be relatable. At times, my points will consist of one of my own pet peeves. And at other times, my arguments will concern something that is simply annoying to any sane and sensible person. The important thing I want to stress implicitly is that all of my entries are subjective. This is extremely crucial for I mean no offense.

I mean, all of us have bad habits; Hell, I have a lot of bad habits myself. Feel free to criticize my views. Rest assured, this blog is not a childish rant. This blog is not written in anger or in envy toward others, nor is it an escape from a miserable life. This is all written with good intentions and done all in good fun. It's funny, really. And clever. I swear. Just keep reading and you may very well find something that you agree with.

I understand that people don’t always need to be aware of their unhealthy behavioral tendencies. I certainly don’t think of myself as a high and mighty social expert, a dictator that can force the world to act and think more practically, sensibly and wisely. However, my aim is to merely increase people’s attentiveness toward their own demeanor, as well as that of others, so as to help inject some sense into society, sense that seems to be so lost nowadays in a world where matters and situations are dealt with, I find, much too carelessly and clumsily.

With that being said, I'd like to finally mention that I hope this turns out into something great and entertaining. Let us rejoice in the sanctity of hate. Don't worry about seeming hateful. You're not a terrible person for having problems with the foolish deeds of others. You're merely being observant and critical and you know those are good qualities. Share your daily annoyances, relieve yourself of your vexation and tell me, do you hate it too?