Wednesday, December 31, 2008

65 - Poor translations for Chinese food

Beef pie.

Sugary biscuit.


Fried noodles.

This is actually what it sounds like exactly. Tofu with stinky additions.

It says "Ovi fermented Glutynoes Wheat". I've forgotten what it was.

I think it's red bean paste wrapped in pastry.


It's 'Heartbroken noodles', literally. '凉粉' is the 'noodles' part, and literally means 'Cold powder' as it says on the sign.

Simply, boiled noodles.


Rice cake. Nothing else.

That is really what the Chinese says, too. It's just a fancy name for a dessert.

Very weird use of the em-dash and not a hyphen. It was fried rice.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

64 - Christmas decorations are still around

Last year, it took the Hong Kong government around a month or so to completely remove all the decorations from shopping malls, big open areas, the park, restaurants and the sides of skyscrapers, and I. know. they only did it to make space for the Chinese New Year decorations.

I hate seeing Christmas decorations when Christmas has already passed. There's an apartment building I pass by everyday on my way to and from school and hanging out one of the balconies is a Santa doll. It looks like Santa is climbing up the balcony, and I admit it looks sort of cute, but the thing is: it's hanging there all year round.

My family asked if I would put away the tree. That's not very fair, seeing as I didn't 'use' the tree, or appreciate it in the slightest. I find the whole decorate-the-tree thing so darn stupid. I hate the way it sheds little dark green pieces everywhere onto the floor and again, I hate the darn music that's emitted from those lights. I think it's such a hassle too, to bring the fake tree out of the box, put it up, decorate it, only to take off all the decorations, dismantle it and put it back in the box.

It's not my fault you put it up. You put it away yourself.

And put it away yourself NOW because it isn't Christmas anymore!

Monday, December 29, 2008

63 - People who like to say it's "New Year's Eve Eve"

And on January 1st, it's New Year's Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve.

Wasn't that amusing? Was it any more amusing than saying 'Eve' twice?
I think not!

Tell me: Do you hate it too?
(I haven't used the signature line for a while.)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

62 - Early Christmas shoppers

The only people worse than the procrastinating idiot that does all his/her shopping on December 24th are the smug morons that do all their shopping in the summertime when everything isn't overpriced or in great demand. You know, I don't even care that you do it (okay, I care a little. I think it's unnecessary). What I can't stand is the fact that you're boasting about it at the Christmas party. Shut up. It's not something to be that proud of.

Now, raise your hands, bloggers, if you're one of these early birds? Or if you're a procrastinator?

Does anybody do it post-Thanksgiving, the way a normal person would do it?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

61 - Christmas greed

As another example, I was having dinner with my mother at a buffet the other day and sitting on the table beside ours was this spoiled little brat that was screaming at his parents. He wanted a Wii for Christmas
a lot, and he was disrupting everyone's dinner in a two-table radius, by crying hysterically because his parents told him the painful truth of a Wii actually costing a lot of money. Horrible, horrible stuff, and I'm glad I don't know any kids personally that are like that.

Friday, December 26, 2008

60 - Getting Christmas gifts you didn't want

This year, I got a printer/scanner, some maths textbooks, a physics textbook and a vacation in China. I could say that I got everything I wanted this year, which is good, or better yet, I could say I didn't get anything I didn't want.

But I think almost every year before this year, I have received Christmas gifts I just did not care for or would never use. It can be quite an awkward situation. I would be sitting cross-legged in front of the tree with a half-unwrapped gift in my lap that I don't want to open anymore because it was crap. The person who gave me the gift would be disappointed on seeing my disappointed face, then my mother or some obnoxiously self-righteous friend of mine will say it's the thought that counts, so say thank you. And I would be obliged to say it, BUT in my mind, I'm thinking, "Well, if it's the thought that counts, maybe they should have thought of buying me a present that I actually wanted."

Does that make sense to you? I think it's sensible (and a little bratty).

I never understood why people thought I would actually enjoy a ball-point pen with my name engraved into it, or a red and green (Christmas-themed) woolen sweater that doesn't go with anything (I'm male but I can still tell).

After the Christmas spirit has worn off, the awkwardness is not necessarily gone. Maybe they'll come into my room, snooping around, and inquire, "Why is the pen I gave you still wrapped in the box? Why don't you use it? It has your name on it!" Or perhaps we'll go out for some lunch, they'll take a good, long look at what I'm wearing and protest, "Why don't you ever wear that Christmas sweater I bought for you? It cost $300!"

Here in Hong Kong, few families care that there's Boxing Day, a whole day dedicated to gift-unwrapping. We open our presents on Christmas Day anyway. But, whether you opened them yesterday or today, let me ask you: Did you receive any crap gifts this year? Book ends? Giant book of wordsearches? Cheap bottle of wine?
What about bad presents you've received in the past? You may not be able to share your real thoughts with anyone in real-life, but you're welcome to here. Rant away!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

59 - People who think that everyone needs to be happy just because it's Christmas

Is there a law that states that we NEED to be happy on Christmas Day? Or an eleventh Commandment on some third tablet that Moses didn't have the hands to bring down from Mount Sinai perhaps?

I don't think so, thank you very much.

At the risk of being associated with Scrooge or the Grinch, I have to tell you that it irritates the crap out of me when people have this compulsion to be happy, and reckon everyone else, in turn, should also be happy, just because it's Christmas day. There's always one imbecile, one person at the office party, or the family gathering, or the get-together with friends, that's insanely overexcited, screaming at everybody to get up and dance, insisting that everyone (happy, sad or otherwise) should 'lighten up', encouraging every single person to lose control like him/her, to go out, get crazy drunk, have a lot of 'fun'. (Look at the length of that sentence. ...Epic.)

Leave. me. alone

I'm a nice guy. I like celebrating, and I like it when people are happy. But hey, other people... they might have some issues. So stop harassing them with your... child-at-Disneyland, Ernie from Sesame Street, perhaps Prozac-induced... joy. We'll behave however we want to. We don't hate Christmas. We hate you.

Go away, lunatic! Ba Humbug!


Really, though, it's a great day, all hating aside. I recently watched Ghost Town. If you haven't watched it, get it on DVD because I think it's worth it. If you have seen it, you can tell me what you thought of it on my review.

Merry Christmas everyone!
Be sure to read my reflections on 2008 that will automatically be published on my other blog on the 26th!
(especially the last paragraph)

58 - 'Using' Santa for a mere photo

Alright, everyone's heard of the same old rant before. A kid is sitting on Santa's lap. Oh, it's an old, pervy man who wants kids to sit on his lap. Oh, it actually encourages kids to be personable in front of strangers. Oh, it's weird, and there's nothing really cute about it and parents force their kids to plant their asses on this old guy's lap just for a picture, so that when the images have developed, they can look at them, reminisce over the good time they had the mall with Santa and say a load of bullcrap like, "Maybe the picture will be better next year" or "This was so funny when little Torey was crying like that!"

But I'm not going to talk about that. Everyone already hates Santa and thinks he's weird. He climbs down our chimneys, he kisses our moms, he eats our cookies and drinks our milk.

I'm going to sympathize for Santa, today.

So, I was walking in the mall yesterday and saw Santa sitting on a throne on a large red podium. Kids and their mothers were all queuing for a turn with Santa and there was something off that just irritated me.

Here in Hong Kong, the meaning behind the most sat-on lap in the world is long forgotten. All parents want to do is to hurl their children at the poor fellow in the Santa costume, take a picture and scoop up their kids with a
rushéd "Bye Santa!" and that would be all. I hate to be stereotyping but Chinese mothers always, always want to take photos of things that just aren't worth capturing when the subjects aren't happy and when the backgrounds are not scenic or inspiring. Hong Kong mothers want to snap away at their kid with the Santa-costumed man, but I don't think many of their kids have actually talked to Santa about what they want for Christmas.

In a way, it's good, because I think the whole concept of Santa is extremely unbelievable and unbelievably extreme. Using Santa's Good Kid & Bad Kid list to enforce good behavior lacks a bit of authenticity for most children who are ever-so-intuitive, and it's a method of discipline that is short-lived only around the holidays and for the parents, is difficult to use effectively, as well as control and maintain.

But if your kid believes in Santa and if you
must use him in your parenting, let the kid talk and don't just throw him on Santa's lap, snap the pretty picture and then whisk the kid away. Consider Santa's feelings. Santa wants to talk. It bugs me when both the helpless kid and the helpless Santa are forced to smile in front of a lunatic mother with a camera.

But mothers can do anything to their own children if they wanted to. On the flip-side, you can't treat Santa that way. Santa's have worn this costume for the benefit of hundreds of mothers. They slave and they sacrifice, one child at a time every day. Be more considerate.


For a collection of creepy Santas, visit Alan's blog, Robot Nine, for a post with images of scary Santas.

For even more images of kids refusing to take a photo of Santa, I encourage you to click here for an entire photo gallery that displays photographs in the hundreds.


I'm going on holiday on the 26th!

What happens to the blog, you ask?

Well, I have prepared posts for the next few days while I'm gone and they are all set to be published automatically. One post per day, just the way you like it. Do you sense how much I love you all?

Just in case any of you miss my holiday messages on my other blog on Christmas Day and New Year Day, I wish you all a snowy (or foamy) Christmas that will hopefully include a lot of awesome food and bonding with the people close to you. I've certainly loved sharing everything that I have here on blogspot with you and it goes to show that hatred need not be a bad thing at all.

Enjoy this last week of 2008, you deserve it after such an eventful year. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

57 - Using foam as a substitute for snow

I feel quite sad stepping into a party or an amusement park where it's snowing foam. I mean, it's soap with water fired out of a cannon. I could do that. Give me some soap and water and a hairdryer. I'll show you. It's like how I can pull the plug out of the sink to make a cyclone. It's like creating a waterfall by tipping over a glass of water standing on a table. It's like throwing a rock at a bigger rock to observe the effects of a meteor hitting Earth. It's soap. Soap.

According to this webpage on the Hong Kong Observatory, Hong Kong has not seen snow in the past twenty years, and since 1967, has seen snow on only four occasions. That sad truth could cause any non-traveler in this city to become insanely jealous of those that have traveled to places with snow.

I, myself, have been to Korea, Canada and the States (including Alaska [but it was just to catch another flight at the airport]). Fluffy, flimsy foam doesn't even come close to the clean, crystalline beauties that snowflakes are. Look at the pictures above and below. The foam is traveling upwards and sideways. Real snow would fall from the sky. Look at the guy in the picture below, with foam all over his face and head. The foam has adhered to his head. Real snow would melt. And are the people in the picture below indoors? Foam can't be served as real snow.

Sigh, it truly is sad that I probably won't see snow for another year since I went to Canada/USA eight years ago. But I found a digitally altered image depicting a snowy Hong Kong that made me smile a little (Click to enlarge. On the right is the Hong Kong harbour without snow for you to compare):

Oh, if only it were real...

Using foam as a substitute does nothing but remind us people living near the equator that we. don't. get. snow. ...It shoves in our faces the fact that we can't have snowball fights, make snowmen, go skiing, go sledding, go snowboarding, make snow angels or uh... make igloos... or um... pee? Pee on the snow? ...I heard that's popular for some reason.


Foam-for-snow requires soap, and the power of wind to make it function and even that doesn't produce proper precipitation (prominent and priceless alliteration!). Foam gets in people's eyes and it stings. It gets in people's hair and clothes. The foam accumulated on the floor makes people's shoes and socks all wet and soapy. And the joy of having foam sprayed everywhere is a short-lived phenomenon, as Nature, surprisingly, is not bringing down craploads of it from the clouds.

As a concluding statement, and as I think it's rather playful: 'Foam' is 'phony' and 'sham' put together.

Monday, December 22, 2008

56 - Skin removal tattoos

This has nothing to do with tattoos but may I have your attention for just a second?

My aunt has just launched Charma International Limited, her own online boutique that sells jewelry and household accessories. They make very good gifts (albeit a little late to buy for Christmas) and I would love for all of you committed readers to check her website out.

Further details can be found on her website, and I talk about it in a bit more detail on my other blog.


(Be forewarned: Explicit photograph to come. If you are a sensitive perceiver, avert your eyes and come back for the next post.)

It's known amongst my friends that I have a phobia of frogs and lizards. Now, when it comes to tattoos and piercings... I think they fit into Top Fear #3 and #4. But hey, this specific form of tattoo is utterly horrid. Skin removal? Yikes.

I might get a tattoo if there's one that really suits me enough, but really, I think there are better ways of expressing oneself.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

55 - Throwing children into the air

This image was taken from a collection about women and the different qualities they have. Displayed here is her innocence when a woman is in the form of a daughter.

Exactly. They're innocent. Why throw them in the air if children never asked for it? Why throw them in the air even if the child wants it?

It's dangerous because you don't know where the child will swing his/her arms while in the air and you don't know you will be able to catch the child. What if the child brings the hands close to his/her chest? Where are the armpits for you to safely bring him/her back down to Earth? Who are you to be so confident in your child-catching capabilities?

I never quite understood how parents can do this to their children. I think it's the thrill for the parent that makes it so popular. It's the adrenaline rush induced by the fact that the parent could potentially drop their child from a great height. It can be regarded as a challenge for the mom or dad, a sort of test of his/her ability to throw children, these weird-shaped little creatures, into the air, and catch them, a task that requires a fair amount of skill more than propelling a regular ball in the air and have it arrive back into your hands.

If kids really want to get a rush from going up and down in the air, save it for the rides at the amusement park, people.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

54 - People who don't follow 'the rules' in an elevator

People all over the world conform to a set of unwritten rules* which dictates what is appropriate behavior and what is not in an elevator (especially one that is packed).

1. You are not permitted to speak to anyone, including a person you know.
2. You must avoid eye contact with others at all times.
3. You are to maintain a ‘poker face’ - no emotion is permitted to be displayed.
4. If you have a book or newspaper, you must appear to be deeply engrossed in it.
5. The bigger the crowd, the less the body movement you are permitted to make.
6. In elevators, you are compelled to watch the floor numbers above your head.

It's extremely annoying when any of these rules are broken. Just compare.

1. If you open your mouth to say something to a person you know, everyone else is made fairly uncomfortable having to listen to this personal conversation. The person on the receiving end of the conversation may also experience some discomfort as he/she has no choice but to let everyone else listen to the details of their private lives. If you open your mouth to someone you don't know, that's just weird.

2. Ah, the eye contact thing. It's awkward. It's very uncomfortable. People who do it are annoying.

3. If you're laughing, it makes others feel weird. If you're frowning, it may disturb a few people.

4. This is a toss-up for me, because I consider both to be annoying, whether you're not reading your book or whether you're pretending to be engrossed in it. I think the best thing to do is to leave a finger in your reading material to keep the page and wait until exit the elevator.

5. Body movement is a nono. It's irritating when someone keeps shaking their leg up and down, or even perhaps jumps, causing the whole elevator to move. Besides, it's a confined space. Moving at all, taking up more room, is unwise.

6. I hate it when people watch the numbers. Again, it's my whole liking to subtlety. When people gawk upwards at the numbers like they're all about to be abducted, it's not subtle at all. I don't know. Maybe it just annoys me.

Another one of these elevator-situated annoyances is when the elevator starts beeping because there's too much weight. Either people don't really care as they're content being at the back of the elevator, or people fight over who gets to step out and be the sacrificial benefactor for everybody. I try not to enter elevators that appear to almost be sustaining too much weight, if I can help it.

Do you hate people who break these rules too?

*Taken from Body Language: How to read others' thoughts by their gestures by Allan Pease.

Friday, December 19, 2008

53 - Eating/having dandruff

Back in primary school, I had a classmate that would eat his own dandruff. He had an awful lot of it to indulge himself with and as a thoughtful young boy back in the day, I really had to convince myself to believe that eating dandruff was wrong. It's dangerous to have a kid with such a habit go to school with lots of other kids and have the other kids potentially see it and practice the bad habit themselves. It reminds me of Fat Bastard in Austin Powers: Goldfinger. It's horrible. It's like those horror stories you hear about people that eat their own boogers or suck on their own earwax. It's enough to make someone vomit. Yeuck.

I went to get a couple of injections about a year ago because I was going to Thailand and I didn't want to get malaria. As I sat in the lobby waiting for my name to be called up to signal me into the doctor's office, I noticed that the 20-something man sitting next to me had many, many white flakes all over his hair. What made it even worse was the fact that there was a fan in the room that moved from left to right and left again. Every time it pointed toward us, the man's dead skin would depart from his head and arrive on my lap. It took every little drop of willpower inside me to resist standing up dramatically, shouting at the guy to suggest he use some special shampoo or something, risk getting bitten by a malaria-containing mosquito and leave without getting my injection.

I take pride in having relatively clean hair. I used to wash it with three shampoos and two conditioners everyday because I had this whole germaphobe phase. It was quite troublesome and expensive to do that on a daily basis. Now, I wash it everyday with one shampoo and one conditioner. I changed my ways. Go me!

Anyway, having dandruff is something I really can't stand about some people. As for consuming it after it's fallen from one's head, I hate that with a much greater intensity. It's utterly revolting.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

52 - When someone helps you but is slow about doing it

Have you ever tried to do a favor but realized you were taking too long to do it as the person you're helping stands beside you, anxiously awaiting your help to finish? The person you're helping sort of lingers behind you staring at your work over your shoulder, just waiting, waiting, waiting for you to be finished.

I made someone wait like this a few days ago and I then noticed that people always offer help but tend to be slow. Perhaps it's all subjective. While someone is doing something and you are doing nothing, you get impatient quickly. How do you deal with them?

Do you point out to them bluntly that they're too slow?
Do you ask if they could hurry up?
Do you lie and conjure up a reason to leave, maybe continue with the work at some later point when you'll feel more patient?
Do you tell them that you think you've got the hang of it and want to see if you can do it yourselves?
Or do you simply appreciate their help and wait until they're finished, however long it may take?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

51 - When people know you're (getting) upset but don't show their sensitivity

(I don't know if I'm going to make sense. I'm pissed.) Today, I got really upset by one friend and tried to find consolation in four others. I still ended up arriving home utterly pissed off. I didn't want to be. I wanted to write about something happier today, but no. No, because I just had to get it out of my system. It's taken my six hours of playing online poker and watching television to finally wrap my head around why I hated what I hated today. This post's title is pretty self-explanatory. I hate it when people know you're (getting) upset but they don't seem to care.

At our school, we take a class called Theory of Knowledge (TOK), also known as epistemology, the study of knowledge. Much like in any other subject, but especially in TOK, we are required to define what we actually mean by the different words included in the essay question/topic. In other words, I need to tell you what I mean by the words in my title step-by-step, so that you can grasp onto the general idea considerably better.

That's exactly what I'll do with this post because I feel that there are many reasons behind today's problem depending on which part of the title you or I focus on. Here they are:

Let's start with the word 'people'. Usually, you feel like people are being insensitive to your feelings when you feel that those people are close to you. You trust them and care about them. Therefore, you expect them to be sensitive because you're sensitive toward them.

But that's just the problem. Expectations.

Expectations of receiving in return all that you've given them. But in reality, perhaps they don't care about you and/or they mightn't trust you. They may not feel like they're close to you. These people may not actually be sensitive toward you even if you expect them to be, even though you want them to be, even though you need them to be. The first part of this problem may be due to the fact that these 'people' whom you expect to care about you just aren't the 'people' you thought they were. They're not your friend or your close family. You've given them a big title like favorite aunt, most trustworthy, or best friend but they fail to live up to that title. Are these people really as good as you made them out to be?

Going back to the actual title, this is about getting upset. In my experience of knowing people, it's quite easy to spot when somebody is upset. They pout, they cry, they don't want to talk, they limit their social communication, they shake their head, they sigh, they stop smiling, they stop joking, their humor gets dry, et cetera...

The second part of today's annoyance is the fact that maybe these people in question are too unaware of other people's feelings. They don't hear the disappointment in your voice or they don't sense that your sarcasm is being used as a defense mechanism rather than as a comical tool. I always thought that I was pretty open with my emotions but when people continue to joke around, smile and laugh around me when I'm upset, I wonder to myself: "Am I obviously angry right now? Am I actually coming across as sad?" What do you do when the people around you can't tell how you're feeling even when you're displaying your emotions ever-so-openly? Doesn't it worry you that people can't tell by your facial expressions and your bodily mannerisms that you're upset whenever you are? Or is it just the fact that they're stupid?

Now, the final bit is what angered me the most. It builds upon Part 1 and Part 2, in that it sort of reinforces the fact that they're insensitive. Part 1 was that these people were insensitive because they didn't know they were meant to be sensitive since they didn't believe the relationship was tight. Part 2 was that they were insensitive because they were unaware that you were upset. Part 3 is a lot more annoying.

Part 3 shows that even when they are the right people, your best friends and your close family, and even though they can see you're upset, these intuitive people whom are close to you just don't show you that they know how you feel, that they care about how you feel, that they want to make you feel better or even acknowledge the fact that you're upset, even though they know.

If it's because they purposefully ignore your distress because they just can't be bothered to deal with that right now, then it's pointless in remaining close with them for any longer. You go to a person for consolation and just because that person is feeling happy, he/she feels that he/she can ignore your feelings lest he/she might become upset too.

There's also the possibility that people 'don't know how to deal with' you being upset. I can understand that. There are some people that I will never know what to say in front of but the thing that sets apart real friends and less loyal friends explicitly is whether or not they try to make you feel better. As long as I feel people are acknowledging that I'm upset, showing that they respect my feelings and care about them, I will always, always reciprocate and show that I can be sensitive for them too in their times of need.

I hate it when people never try to deal with problems, whether they're battles within oneself, conflicts with other people or disagreements between him/her and me. Sometimes, it's obvious to me that people care about me. They just choose not to. They choose to say they 'don't know what to say' because it's just easier. How lazy and uncommitted is that?

The general problem with people being insensitive when you're upset is the fact that it raises so many questions in your mind. Do they really not know that you're angry right now? Is it not obvious that you're upset? Do you appear stoic? Why don't they show some compassion? Do they actually feel empathy? Do they not want to because it's just difficult? Does this actually seem fair to them?

Do they expect you to do all the work in this relationship while they sit on your coattail? Why even bother with him/her, even when you're happy, or even when they're the ones that are upset?
Are these the right people you should be expecting to care about you? Do you really need anybody to care about you?

I hope I've demonstrated that coming across as being insensitive is a dangerous thing to do. It confuses people, makes them worry, scares them even.

When people know you're upset but come across as if they don't care, do you hate it too?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

50 - When a lady leaves a pad in the toilet bowl and doesn't flush

Pretty self-explanatory and I don't want to elaborate too much. Yes, caught sight of one in the bowl today when I went to take my shower after school. I thought taking a photo would be too extreme. As if not flushing wasn't enough...

Monday, December 15, 2008

49 - Grammatical mistakes

Nowadays, we communicate with our keyboards as much as we do verbally. Often, in a lively conversation or a heated debate, we may think to ourselves, Did that person just say "HIV Virus"?, but we will only ponder that error for a moment, as the conversation carries our worst transgressions away. In the professional world, where writing is almost essential in any workplace, it is recommended to avoid these mistakes as best possible because once you let one big, fat grammatical mistake out there for the world to see, you will officially go in the books as being the clueless one or the careless one by your colleagues.

Here are ten for today that just make me cringe, but to be honest, it happens to the best of us whenever we're not being too careful. Take care with your writing, people!

1. Loose for lose
Wrong: I always loose my car keys.
Right: I lose my respect for anyone that uses 'loose' for 'lose'.

2. It's for its (in rare cases, its')
Wrong: Does the dog know it's tail is on fire?
Right: The dog knows its tail is on fire and it's disturbing and unpleasant.
Wrong: That man has terrible grammar and its extremely annoying.
Right: The man was murdered yesterday evening and it's possible it was due to his poor grammar.

3. They're for their for there
Wrong: Their in they're, having there English examination.
Right: I hope they're using their grammar correctly in there.

4. i.e. for e.g.
Wrong: There are many grammatical mistakes that exist (i.e., 'irregardless').
Right: There are many people that I know of that make these mistakes (e.g., my father, my friends and some bloggers).
Note: The term i.e. means "that is"; e.g. means "for example." And a comma follows both of them.

5. Effect for affect
Wrong: The teacher's absence should not effect today's schedule.
Right: The teacher's absence will affect our moods, though.

6. You're for your
Wrong: Remember to check for comments on you're blog.
Right: If you don't, you risk losing your readers.

7. Different than for different from
Wrong: The fireworks this year are different than the ones I saw last year.
The fireworks this year are different from the ones I saw last year.
Right: The fireworks this year are better than the ones I saw last year.

8. Lay for lie
Wrong: I was so drunk and had to lay down.
I was so drunk and had to lie down.
Wrong: Just lie that drunk kid on the bed.
Right: Just lay that drunk kid on the bed.

9. Then for than
Wrong: The boys had more problems with their grammar then the girls did.
Right: The girls had less problems with their grammar than the boys did.

10. Could of, should of, would of for could have, should have, would have
Wrong: I could of sworn his grammar was atrocious. I would of told him if only I was surer of myself...
Right: I should have known it was you with the bad grammar.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

48 - Christmas carols that aren't sung

It's Sunday. One shouldn't have to be woken up early at all, let alone by Christmas music playing in the living room. I have a three-year-old cousin who comes here quite often. Just to clarify my domestic situation, I live with my grandparents and whenever my cousin's parents, i.e. my aunt and uncle, have to go to work, he gets dropped off here to spend the day. This actually happens from Monday to Saturday but today, Sunday, was an exception. His parents had to go off to Macau to take care of some business, so at seven in the morning, bright and early, my three-year-old cousin was already at my place playing with his toy cars and such.

Two days ago, he and my grandparents put up a Christmas tree. It's nice, it has all the homely decorations that any Christmas tree would have, except for this one: the Christmas lights not only emit light, but they emit sound as well, Christmas carols without lyrics, just the music, like a ringtone. Yesterday, Saturday, I woke up to this noise, even though it was in the living room, even though I had my door closed, even when I angrily tried to muffle out the noise by pulling four cushions and my blanket over my head. I gave up soon enough and spent the whole day in my room. I continued to hear the light-music playing throughout the morning, the afternoon and the evening until my uncle came back from work to pick my cousin up and take him home. The whole day. Was it really necessary for it to be playing the whole day?... No.

My cousin also has this snowman doll that sings 'Jingle Bells' and 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town' in a voice similar to Frank Sinatra's. I woke up this morning thanks to that noise and it's hellishly annoying because it's Sunday, it's seven in the morning and the sound is coming from a stupid toy.

I hate it when Christmas carols originate from inanimate objects such as dolls and lights.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

47 - Staring at you from top to bottom

As I was on the train home the other day, I felt my phone vibrating in my pants pocket and when I motioned to get it out of my pocket, my arm, my elbow to be more specific, brushed against the side of this woman that looked somewhere between thirty and forty years old. She turned around and looked at me. Not just 'look' at me, but her eyes laid sight on my eyes and pierced through my skull as if wanting to read. my mind. Then, her eyes went down, down, down, all the way to my shoes and then back up again. It's weird. What is she inspecting?

Anybody else had such an incident?

Friday, December 12, 2008

46 - Causing an obstruction at a turnstile

I hate it when things get in my way in general, but when it comes to a turnstile, it's especially irritating because it just happens so often. Here in Hong Kong, we have a smart card called the Octopus card (pictured right) and it's used to pass through a turnstile in a metro system efficiently since you don't need to buy a ticket every time or take a card out of your wallet. I hate to sound self-centered, but there are some times when I think some people are purposefully getting in my damn way just because they can, just to anger me.

Every morning, this happens. Every morning, it's always some businessman who didn't anticipate the turnstile and take out his wallet in time. Or it's some elderly person that walks really slowly. Or it's some child that ran ahead of his parents, stopping in his tracks only to realize that he has to wait for his parents to come over with his card before he can go through. Or maybe sometimes, it's just the damn turnstile that doesn't turn for some reason and obstructs a person from crossing the first time, but the second, third or fourth time of trying instead.

This happens every time, I swear, every time. It's twice a day to and from school, but it's annoying beyond belief when it happens everyday. It's a damn turnstile and it shouldn't be such a long, difficult process for some people. You just slide through it, swiftfully, gracefully, quickly, smoothly, fluidly. Why on Earth, why the Hell, why in God's name is it so hard for some people to just walk a couple of steps and push a damn bar? Why, damn it, why?

The world doesn't revolve around me but if I was king of the world, I'd set up a personal turnstile for me and me only at every stop just so nobody else will ever get in my way again.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

45 - Indulging children with candy, toys and stuff

Even at a young age, my mother believed in indulging me with books, stationary and practical electronics. When I was a baby, she never gave me delicious baby food and she fed me tasteless congee and nutritional baby milk instead. When we went out, she would take me to the bookstore or the library, rather than the toy store. She led me by example by eating her vegetables in front of me and I love vegetables in addition to meat. Why is it so hard for some kids to do that?

This style of bringing me up has affected me greatly and she taught me that the finer things in life don't necessarily come in the form of a PlayStation. I learned that having what all the other kids had wasn't the healthy way to look at things and that I had to learn that what other children liked wasn't necessarily better.

She believed that those kids were the ones that would grow up never wanting to eat their vegetables. They're the teenagers that will never pick up a book. They're the students that will find learning at school boring. The kids that have always played with toy cars will become adults that'll want to spend extravagant sums of money buying fancy cars when they grow older.
They're the kids that will never mature.

And I look at my teenage friends, and I see the truth in what she believed. The ones that I deem to be immature are the ones that like the chocolate-flavored/sweet foods. They're the ones that get extremely excited by the thought of holidays coming up even though they've spent their entire school year doing nothing productive in class or at home. They're the ones that don't do so good academically, the ones that never pay attention in class, the ones that never appreciate tasteful food or art or literature or do anything that's significantly beneficial for their future and indulge themselves with computer games, expensive electronics and trivial knowledge instead.

I see this happening with my younger cousins as well. They have trouble at school because they're not accustomed to reading or thinking about deeper things. It's the way my aunts and uncles have chosen to bring them up, though, and I can't change their parenting style or my cousins' likes and dislikes. I'm not saying that a good treat serves no good purpose at all. I'm saying overindulging children with treats can lead to spoiled children that will never learn that there are more useful things to spend one's time and money on. I'm saying that these are the kids that will never grow up.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

44 - Sniffing sounds

It's that time of year again where everybody, from your grandmother to your baby cousin, is sniffing (that is literally the case for me where I live). You hear it during meals, in class, in lecture halls, in offices, in the middle of examinations, in the library, in museums, on airplanes, in trains and cars and on public buses and even in the comfort of your home. It seems like nobody is immune to the sniffles during the winter and even if they were, everybody is bound to know the sound of sniffing only too well.

I prefer the trumpet-like blast of sound made by blowing one's nose with a tissue (my grandmother likes to describe this action as 'making dumplings').

Am I right in saying that everybody would vote for "blow your nose or die!" as well?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

43 - Looking stupid when and after laughing

I like the subtle smile. The loud, enthusiastic laughter with no restraints turns me off because of the way people's faces get distorted in the process. The eyes squint, the ears tweak a little, the cheeks are raised, the mouth is wide open with the lips drawn backward so that the teeth are accentuated outward. Also, your larynx (voice box) bounces inside your throat and your body thrusts back and forth, or up and down, with every ha, he or ho. Then, when the laughter has worn off, the crimson face and shortness of breath ensue. People attempt to recollect themselves and regain control.

From what I know, it just depends on what you look like. Some people are photogenic and can laugh openly and freely without looking like an asylum escapee but, as I said to my friend today, some people don't deserve to laugh. They look too weird. What ever happened to the subtle grin?

Monday, December 8, 2008

42 - Drug talks

I'm sitting at a computer in the Hong Kong Central Library. These stations subtly remind me of why I never want to end up with an office job. There are strange people on either side of you, and in the row behind you and every now and then, you might also share an awkward look with the stranger who dwells behind the wall in front of you. Also, these chairs are unbelievably uncomfortable and every time I look behind me, it's either some old person staring at me or some kid staring at me or some old person holding a kid's hand, both staring at me.

At least it's quiet. And with a cubicle job, you can also personalize your work area by decorating your desk and your walls. That's always fun.

But let's get to today's topic. I was (barely) late for class this Monday morning and instead of apologizing to our teacher for being late, I found myself saying sorry to a young-looking Asian woman standing at the front of the classroom. I hastily opted to sit in the seat closest to the door, wondering what this could possibly be and oh, yeah, it was a drug talk. Whoopee.

We were given an hour-long presentation that supposedly raised our awareness of the dangers of consuming numerous stimulants, narcotics, hallucinogens and tranquilizers. I suppose the focus was to repulse us from the very idea of ever taking drugs and drowning our futures in a purple sea of addiction and short-lived euphoria. The lady spoke with a substantial Australian accent as she asked us several questions to find out what we already knew about drugs. Some of us knew nothing, some of us knew very little but none of us knew a lot. We've all been given the same old story before, though. Here's my understanding on the topic after being given four or five of these talks in the past few years:

Always say, "NO!" to drugs, even when it doesn't make any sense to respond with it. Don't succumb to peer pressure. Your friends are evil when they have drugs. Don't ruin your life. Drugs can do that. Don't find happiness in drugs. Drugs make you sad. Addiction is uncontrollable from the moment you take your first pill, sniff, injection or taste. Getting high will only increase the height from which you fall. Most teenagers don't even take drugs and that's because we give tons of these presentations. When you do take drugs, think of your family, even if it's weird. When you take drugs, think of your future, even though the LSD makes it seem like you have a pair of breasts right now. When you take drugs, think of your real friends that don't take drugs. It's nice to spare a moment of thought for those that couldn't join in with all the fun.

Seriously, don't take drugs. They're harmful to your nasal cavity, as well as your teeth, your gums, your throat and your esophagus, in addition to your tongue, your lungs, your mung bean-shaped kidneys, your hair, your head, your hands, your heart, your arteries, your veins, your capillaries, your red cells, your white cells, your B-cells, your T-cells, your sea shells on the seashore, and also, your liver, your pancreas, your stomach, your gall bladder, your spinal cord, your optical cord, your brain, your nerves, your CNS, and PNS, and ANS, and SNS, and SPD, and PSD, and your lymph nodes, your bones, and your genitals, your skin, your nails, your muscles, your joints, YOUR WHOLE BODY, OH, MY GOD! DON'T F***ING TAKE DRUGS, MAN!

You know what the funny thing is? If I'm being completely honest here, I still want to try taking drugs at some point in my life. Just once. Just a little.

I don't know about my classmates, but these talks have always appeared to be quite ineffective, to say the least. The worst part of the presentation we were given today was this fifteen-minute video. I had taken down notes in preparation for today's post but I've lost quite a lot of the frustration I was feeling as I was watching the video.

From what I can recall (and read from my scribbly notes) the video had a lot of sleazy animations, laughable-in-the-bad-way jokes and for no darn reason at all: child actors. A 'wise' teenager would ask some kid a serious question such as, "True or false: Consuming ecstasy will lead you into a deep state of depression." and the child actor would respond with, "Truuuuuuue." with an innocent voice. Why this was necessary to make the point is beyond me.

One the other hand, I guess the video was quite informative and captivating overall. The kaledioscopic colors succeeded in transfixing me and my fellow classmates and the over-the-top animations truly did mesmerize us for the whole duration the video was playing. It was almost like some sort of spell that had been cast over all of us. I caught a glance at them at one point and some of them looked like they were on the verge of being hypnotized. I was quite scared for their health. Man, don't play with vivid colors and crazy animations.

Anyway, the point that I have somewhat failed to elaborate on in too much detail is that drug talks and presentations are quite an ineffective drug prevention strategy. I believe that in order for one to truly fear the effects of drugs, one must first attain some personal experience and first-hand knowledge of what drugs can actually do to one's body and mind.

Sure, they're dangerous and they cause unpredictable effects. Sure, they're expensive, addictive and illegal. And sure, they can put you in a coma or worse yet, kill you. But, hey, treat the presenations a lot more seriously if you want to be taken seriously. Don't use child actors, cheesy jokes and unnecessary animations in your videos. Don't give us a wordsearch for us to find all the slang nicknames for drugs. And most importantly, don't think that talking about the ethics and the dangers of drug usage will convince us not to commit such acts. Us teenagers thrive on rebelling against society's moral standards and the highest part of getting high is the fact that we're snorting in the face of danger.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

41 - Saying something hurtful then laughing it off

Have you ever had someone say something that was somewhat of a poor joke yet also may be hurtful truth and then they laugh it off just because they're worried you might take offence? Something like, "that's because Michael's really insensitive, right, Michael? Hahaha..." or "you probably shouldn't eat that if you want to lose some of that weight. Hahaha, I'm just kidding..."

It's not the actual insult you take issue with. It's that horrid laugh afterward that the other person thinks he/she can use as some sort of veil that will cover the fact that they mean what they say. I'm all for laughing at our own mistakes, self-deprecating humor is fun, but to force someone to laugh with you about something that might be a real big problem is, well, a real big problem. Some people I know do it so often, so, so, so often that you wouldn't believe how often they do it. It's a sleazy attempt at being cute and endearing - a fake display of kind, friendly, 'positive' energy and character.

Every time I hear this particular abuse of laughter I want to just land one in their face and go HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

40 - Being argumentative

On the flip side of the previous post, there are those defiant, angry individuals that are always, always, always argumentative and continually seek out to prove you wrong. Being too argumentative is one of the most annoying bad habits to have because argumentative people aren't simply irritating others but they're possibly inflicting hurtful attacks on to people by defying their views, especially when the subject is something very personal. Some people call it barbaric hostility, others call it criticism and others call it contempt. Argumentativeness is an extremely unattractive quality for a person to have. They often don't listen to or don't care about what you have to say and will reject your opinion without the slightest hesitation.

I can think of four or five people who are too argumentative and all of us just hate the way they believe the world revolves around their perspective. Often their views are ludicrous and irrational. I'm open to a lot of opinion, I can respect views that oppose mine but when people are so caught up in their own view of the world, I just won't stand for it and I'll argue back. The most difficult thing to control is how to contain oneself when an argumentative person attacks you. You're forced to attempt not to get sucked into his/her angry black hole of defiance.

It isn't fair. It doesn't display very good character. I often wonder if these people genuinely believe their arguments are completely valid in all instances. Surely everyone has been told by their parents to listen to others and to share. Why do these people exist?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

39 - Avoiding argument

One thing that really annoys me is when people try to avoid arguments.

Arguments are discussions in which reasons for and against a given proposition are presented. I think it's unhealthy to be argumentative all the time but one should not be closed off when an argument does ensue. Arguments do give people a better understanding of each other and the topic at hand. Arguments often can provide some sort of resolution where a mutual agreement can benefit all parties involved. Arguments allow people to learn how to look at things from different perspectives and can give the pros and cons of a certain decision that's not limited to just their own selfish opinion.

I spent around two hours last night arguing with someone about our Universe, its size and whether there was anything possibly larger than our Universe. For a large portion of that time, we were focusing on this one small technicality that I didn't understand. I didn't know exactly what he was saying but in the end, it turns out we were on the same page all along. It took two hours and I know it was a very big 'waste of time' but so long as we both didn't get tired of each other, this helped us understand each other's points eventually.

Why some people are so quick to just throw in the towel and say they're not going to partake in a particular debate is beyond me. Without argument, nobody would ever advance in the amount of knowledge that they had and everyone would be peace. Peace is good and harmony is great, but without exposing yourself to other people's opinions and without having your own views challenged by others, we would just a world of self-righteous egotists.

38 - Mispronunciation

Just to clear out all of my own major slips of the tongue, let me just mention that I have pronounced the names, Peter, as Pet-ter, and Steven, as Steh-ven. Sometimes, my brain just doesn't calibrate the letters and process the order of those letters. The part of my mind that helps with pronunciation just blanks out. I remember there was a time I went to the movies with some friends. I was confused by a sign they had hanging on the wall and I turned to my friend with a very dumbfounded look on my face and asked, "What does no smocking mean?"

I felt very stupid when I made those mistakes and I believe I felt rightly so. I've always admired those that could read very well. Their trick is simply to read carefully and to stop briefly when they come to a longer or trickier word. There are some others that I've met who don't seem to have much talent in speaking correctly. I don't get awfully angry at these people. I just inhale deeply and sigh, sort of like my own method of therapy. People shouldn't open their mouth unless they know how to speak properly. It's annoying to listen to someone's thoughts when the words they're using aren't really words at all. Mispronunciations often occur when one is reading quickly so everybody should practice taking their time to read.

Here are some of the most annoying/amusing/common mispronunciations that I can recall:

Word: Mispronunciation (Comment)

actor: ak-tore (It's spelt that way but it's meant to be 'akter'.)
ask: ass/aks (You're an ass if you mispronounce such an easy word. Let's give the axe to ass and aks.)
clothes: close (Plain sloth.)
dog-eat-dog world: doggy dog world (Tragic mistake.)
environment: enviroment (There's an 'n', isn't there?)
espresso: expresso (I heard this at Starbucks the other day. My, my...)
et cetera: excetera (I have the impression this one is thanks to the King of Siam in The King and I.)
every: eh-ve-ree (It's a two-syllable word.)
February: Feb-ury (There's an 'r' after 'b' and an 'a' after 'u'. Pronounce them.)
government: guver-ment (Similar to enviroment. Even news reporters get these wrong.)
harass: her-ass (Scots never get this one right.)
helicopter: hel-ri-cop-ter (Asians do this. It's not good.)
hungry: Hungary (Hungry is the sensation of wanting to eat. Hungary is the Eastern European nation.)
idea: i-dear (Oh, dear. Do you see an 'r' at the end? I don't.)
José: Jozay (Spanish words require an 'h' sound as opposed to a 'j' sound. That's probably one of the worst misunderstandings you can have for other cultures.)
karate: ka-ra-tay/ka-ra-tee (The word is spelt exactly how it's meant to be said in Japanese. 'ka-ra-teh')
Ku Klux Klan: Klu Klux Klan (Sure. If there's a 'l' in 'Klux' and 'Klan', why not change it to 'Klu'?)
library: li-bry (Refer to 'February'.)
mayonnaise: may-naise (I love mayonnaise.)
nuclear: noo-coo-lah (George Bush says it this way and it sounds sort of dorky.)
parliament: parlament (There is an 'i'.)
probably: probly/prolly (This is horrible, especially when spelt in that haphazard way on paper.)
pronounce: pro-noun-ciate (I hate this one. It makes no sense at all.)
pronunciation: pro-noun-ciation (Ditto.)
snuck: sneaked ('Snuck' isn't a word, people.)
succumb: suck-cum (One should not succumb to laziness if one wants to avoid this awful, awful mispronunciation.)
supposedly: supposably (This is just stupid.)
the/this: duh/diss (Diss is more common dan you dink it is.)
toward: tor-ward (There's no 'r'.)
valve: volve (I don't understand how this happens. It's sort of like a bad attempt at sounding British.)
W: dubba-you (I dub you bad at pronunciation if you fail to say 'double-U'.)

Are there any that you can think of?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

37 - Throwing something in the bin

You might be wondering what I could possibly have against throwing something in the bin. Perhaps Michael's gone cuckoo and wants people to throw rubbish on the floor or out the window instead.

No, no, I'm not crazy. (Well, maybe I am. Let's see.) I think that the actual throwing of trash is annoying. Whether the trash enters the bin or not, it really boggles my mind how lazy people can be, lazy to the point where they don't want to travel to the bin to place it in. And if it's not for convenience, it's often for amusement. To see if the rubbish will actually get in the bin is such a petty, unsubstantial, superficial thing to be excited by. Damn it, it's just throwing away the trash!

I also have this slight irritation concerning noise. Whether you manage to project your litter into the trash can or not, it creates a sound. If it lands in, the sound emitted can range from a swish as it brushes along the plastic bag, to a thud thud-thud if it's plasticless, to perhaps a metallic ting if two aluminum cans come into contact for example, to a really disruptive cling clang if you shatter a glass bottle. That's if you get it in. You see, when you miss, there's a greater number of things that usually go wrong.

First, the trash lands on the floor when you miss. That is, in essence, quite stupid. You effectively send something through the air only to litter and not actually dispose of it. Then comes all the bother of going over there to pick up the trash off the ground, which sort of defeats the purpose, doesn't it, if you're doing it out of laziness?

Second, the action of lobbing it in the bin often requires a lot of movement and that makes it distracting, and as I have said in some post before, I hate it when people can't stay still. I believe in subtlety a lot. You see, when there's a bin in a given room, they're likely to be near the door or beside the desk. If it's outdoors, they'll be on the side of the pavement or the corridor or beside the benches. Whatever. The point is: bins are everywhere. If I have rubbish to throw in the bin, I will carefully plan out my steps to come, so I can skilfully pass by the bin and drop my rubbish inside without using much movement. You conserve energy. You conserve the energy required in the case where you miss the bin and have to go over and pick it up. It doesn't draw attention to yourself. The rubbish is bound to end up in the trash. And you feel good! I swear, the cleverly planned out route past the bin will give you a sense of satisfaction that exceeds 'the good feeling' you get from five beautiful slam dunks. Subtlety is the best!

Third and last of all, if you miss, your aim sucks. Even the best pros in the NBA have stats that say that they actually manage to score points for their free throws and three pointers less than 0.6% of the time.
(Was it just me or was the phrase "for their free throws and three pointers" a real mouthful?)

Who are you to believe in your ability to send trash through the air into a bin?
I mean, if you're doing it out of amusement, most certainly, you're one to go pick it up off the ground, return to your original position (or even go back a further distance) and retry your shot. In my opinion, the more times one misses, the greater the magnitude of stupidity that is on display...

Come on. Don't throw things in the bin! (Am I crazy?)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

36 - Saying it's the effort that counts

On the one hand, I can understand the intention behind such a statement. When people don't achieve very much they at least achieve in spirit because they tried their best. If they don't attain the perfect results, at least God or karma or the universe won't hold it against them and perhaps will provide them with some sort of reward later in life. You've succeeded even though you didn't win the match or get a higher mark than that classmate or get the big promotion before that other guy.

But the saying, it's not the destination that matters, it's the journey taken, really doesn't make anyone feel genuinely better. When people are upset with the bad turnout, parents, teachers, bosses, sports coaches, personal trainers, so on and so forth are actually sending them a really disturbing message. They've tried their best. They've put in all their hard work. They've done everything they could in the best possible way yet they still fail at what they're doing. Isn't that just troubling?

What makes me angry is the fact that sometimes, it is the achievement that counts. You're not going to pass an examination or get your ass out of high school and into a university by telling your teachers you tried your best and insisting that your mere effort should magically grant you good rewards that could've/should've/would've been earned in the conventional way like everybody else. You're not going to be a successful parent if all your blood, sweat and tears go toward raising a child only to still make for a disobedient and disrespectful teenager/adult You're never going to get a job if all you've got on your curriculum vitae is a long list of adjectives like 'independent', 'diligent', 'creative', etc... that completely encapsulates your personality and supposedly renders you perfect for the job, when what you really need are the qualifications, the degrees and the experience to make you suitable for a particular occupation.

So don't tell others it's the effort that counts and tell those that do say it that it doesn't achieve anything. Hard work is a good thing to do, but it's merely a good thing to do. I know that the effort doesn't count in most cases, so saying that it does is extremely necessary.

Personally, though, I don't think it's the effort that counts in any case. It is the attainment that will get you places. The effort is for you to have in your memory, to enhance your experience and perhaps evoke the feeling that you earned whatever you earned. What makes me happy is the result, the answer at the very end of the equation that shows me whether or not what I'm doing is right or wrong. Effort doesn't come into that equation at all and if I fail, then it's my working out that's gone wrong.


14 - My Favorite Food.