Thursday, December 31, 2009

206 - Feeling stuck

Do you ever feel like you're in a situation that you cannot get out of?



It doesn't matter whether the experience feels good or not, it doesn't matter if the people you have around you are agreeable or inharmonious company - it just hurts, and it hurts bad, to stay in the same place, within the same conditions, it just aches, and it chews at your heart slowly, and it lingers in the back of your mind for the entire time, mercilessly, like the universe is laughing at you, mocking you, teasing you, and intentionally throwing more obstacles in your way to obstruct your path in life, like God is laughing at your mistakes and your poor decisions, telling a humorous anecdote at the Table of Heaven, the story of your life right at this moment, all the Cherubim, the Seraphim, the Ophanim,  the Dominions, Strongholds, Powers, and Principalities, the Angels and the Archangels, all snickering at you, and chortling at your miserably mortal mind, throwing their fists on to La Tabella del Cielo, as they howl, Hahaha! Bad move there, Michael!, the rotten revelry that is your life, thriving on the fact that you still, to this day, are struggling like a fish brought out of water, trying to face the world with your pathetic excuse for courage.

Have you ever felt that helpless and inadequate - have you ever felt so unhappy with the cold, hard fact that you will never be able to achieve this, or that you will forever be unable to accomplish that? Have you ever felt the suffocating feeling of walls coming in on you as you try to push them apart? Have you ever felt like the last man standing, fighting against an entire army a hundred times stronger and well-equipped than you and the 5-inch-long dagger you'd much rather use to end your life with instead?

Today, I ask you the following, my readers. Have you ever in your life felt so vulnerable, so incompetent, so powerless, so feeble and forlorn, like you're up a creek without a paddle, so substandard, so sorry, so sad, so remarkably, strikingly stuck?

I hate this feeling I so depressingly describe right now, especially this depressingly so as it is New Year's Eve today. The only way I can face this is to step aside from the source of my distress, and attempt to retrieve the ratiocination that I have so dopily and dreamily displaced. Only by thinking logically, I can engage in active problem-solving - the conundrum is never a conundrum for very long once you get into the right mindset.

What do you think? How do you pull yourself out of the hardening cement? 'Cause I'd like to know.

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That will be all for 2009, my fellow haters. I raise my can of Sprite to 2010 in the hopes that you will raise whatever you're having with the same sentiments, that you, like me, are hoping for good tidings in the new year, academic and professional success, heart-filled times with your closest loved ones, and another chance to live your life individually, properly and happily.

Happy New Year, folks. If you're interested, I've written about my New Year resolution here.

And now, please tell me, do you hate feeling stuck too?

Friday, December 25, 2009

205 - When other people touch your Christmas gifts without asking

First of all, Merry Christmas, my Blogger friends. It's coming to the end of the year, and it's good to know that I was actually capable of fulfilling one whole year of blogging. Even though the posts became a bit spread out over the summer, I'm grateful of it nonetheless, and I'm sure I will look back on this one day and be really proud and happy to read what I wrote and what you said in return.

I'm not sure when all of you open up your presents, but do tell. I opened mine today and was quite pleased with the results.

The amount of gifts you generally receive over Christmastime as you get older begins at a high plot on the graph, and gradually becomes a downward-sloping curve, until some time around adolescence where it basically just becomes a flat line, lingering around three to seven presents 'til the day you die. I remember when I was just eight years old, and I got around four times the number my mother received. Oh, to be a child again...

I remember one of my gifts that Christmas was a Pikachu watch, and I was so elated that I wanted to try it on immediately. For some reason the watch wouldn't switch on, so I searched in the box for the manual. And that's when my grandmother decided to snatch the manual and the watch from my hands. I got so angry at her, I nabbed it back, shouted at her for not letting me do it by myself, stomped on her foot, and ran out of the house.

I was extremely bad-tempered as a kid. Eight-year-olds - not the nicest people in the world. (I nod to my family in Gravesend.) But I guess I'll talk about eight-year-olds some other day (like when I have my own?).

It is rude and infuriating when someone takes something of yours without asking, though. Especially something like a Christmas present that's still new and being examined. With my relatives that I'm staying with here in England, everybody is fairly well-mannered, asking if that toy could be played with, or if that book could be taken to have a look at. That's the right way to do things.



At the time, I thought my grandmother was just jealous of the number of presents I got (which she probably was a little because she just got two from the whole family). But she was just trying to help, of course. But there's a way to go about things. You don't snatch people's presents away from them without asking. 

And you also don't go about stomping on grandma's feet.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

204 - Mucophagy

(From www.damninteresting.com) "In the scientific and medical communities, the technical name for using one's finger to extract boogers is rhinotillexis, and doing so compulsively is termed rhinotillexomania. The act of eating the resulting harvest is called mucophagy."

There was a Dr. Friedrich who professed that eating your boogers is a healthy venture. The premise behind this conclusion was the fact that boogers, chock full of germs, when consumed, would lead the body to develop more antibodies, and make it more resilient to bacterial disease, thus improving the overall immune system. This is definitely one of the most stupid, senseless, dim-witted, annoying, ridiculous, laughable and mindless things I've ever heard in my life.

If you want to prevent getting sick, you best avoid germs, by washing your hands a lot, cooking your food thoroughly, clearing the grime from under your fingernails, dispose of tissue papers properly after blowing your nose into them, and separating the cutlery you use for raw food from those for cooked food. 

Also, it's best you not ingest dried bits of mucus infested with them. I don't know. Maybe a number of your readers need me to point that out to you.

It's also quite gross for other people to witness you doing it. I don't get sickened easily by sights of unsightly things - blood and gore, hardcore violence, explicit sex, death and illness, mental dysfunction, or claimed evidence of supernatural manifestations - but for some reason, even just picturing a booger going into someone's mouth gives me a sick feeling, a slight inclination to vomit out of disgust.

Please tell me you hate it too...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

203 - Unceasing grumpiness

Hello bloggers, happy holidays to you all, whether that means you're cozied up to a significant other on the couch watching Christmas specials, or visiting relatives finally after a few long months of school, or even if that means you're working even harder at your jobs, taking advantage of the holiday spirit and the accompanying increase in expenditure. Or crime rates, if you're a cop. Or frequency of car accidents, if you're a doctor.

I, myself, am staying with my aunt and uncle and their five kids in Gravesend. The entire journey took about four hours of lugging around a 30kg suitcase, a tremendous level of perpetual anxiety, and a good many four-letter words whispered under my breath. Blame it on the bad weather, snow shrouding the train tracks, ice adding an indomitable amount of friction to the rails. Blame it on bad luck, the first train I took didn't arrive in time at the station where I was supposed to change over to my second train. And I guess we should also blame it on my bad attentive skills for getting off at the wrong station once or twice.

Ah, well. I'm here now, safe and sound. A little chafed, but still around.

I'll tell you who was chafing - this grumpy old man sitting on the train near me. He was mumbling to himself as I took my time bringing my thirty kilogram baggage on board. I'm sorry I don't go to the gym more often. 

I couldn't get a good listen to what he was saying. He was probably exclaiming his disdain for people who bring large luggage on to the train. Or teenagers who wear eyeliner (...I'm trying something...). Or maybe Asians. Maybe he's an Asian hater. Shame on him.

Then I sat down, waiting for the train to begin moving. And as you naturally do on public transportation, I looked out the window to avoid awkward gazes.

Then I heard him suddenly exclaim, "Oh, just get this train bloody train moving already, will ya?!" so everyone could hear him. That did not work because the conductor was three carriages away. I wonder if the man knew that.

Of course, it took another twelve-ish minutes for the train to start up, and for the whole time he continually murmured to himself, grumbled about the weather, kvetched about the National Rail, and bellyached about the delay.

Just as the train started moving finally, someone a couple of seats behind us had taken out their PlayStation Portable, playing Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, judging from the music and the foul-mouthed character sound effects. The volume was turned up high, but I didn't care, I don't mind rap music.

After several shakes of the head, glances up at the ceiling (God?) and a slight reddening of the face and a light quivering/vibrating (lol?), the grumpy old man turned his head around and shouted, "COULD YOU KEEP THAT BLOODY NOISE TO YOURSELF, PLEASE?"

The person with the PSP and his friends all had a chuckle, as did I to the cold scenery outside, then the guy with the PSP lowered the volume by the slightest, slightest, most minuscule degree possible that would achieve the change of being 'quieter than before'. Grumpy probably did not appreciate this move but it was very funny to me.

Grumpy kept mumbling to himself, "bloody disrespectful youth these days", "bloody delay", "bloody repetitive train information announcer", "bloody climate", "bloody many stations...", "bloody, bloody 'ell"...

And damn, I really wanted to tell him to keep the bloody noise down himself. He's freakin' annoying himself as well. Does he expect everybody in the world to keep quiet just for him? Does he expect me to give myself a fractured spine just for him? Does he expect the train service to risk busting the wheels just for him? Does he expect Mother Nature to make it snow elsewhere just for him?

It was kind of amusing, a little annoying, undoubtedly entertaining, and a tad bit sad. The guy's face was so scrunched up, the lips and cheeks that formed his frown so pronounced that it looked like he had never smiled in his life. He looked absolutely miserable, he looked like he had never laughed before, like he didn't know how to see the good side of anything. I hope I don't ever turn into someone like that. 

I probably won't, even though I could see where he was coming from, getting annoyed at just about anything and everything.



If you ask me, he should try blogging.

Monday, December 14, 2009

202 - Holding the door open

Great Britain has struck me as very, very British - it has totally lived up to the expectations of this Filipino-Chinese, Hong Konger, international student.

For example, it is true that it is habit to talk about the weather at any point of any conversation, and also, to ask each other how the other is doing thirty thousand times in a mere five days.  Tea is consumed very often, and they always make sure to wait until everybody has arrived, or has sat down, or has been served, before we begin to jab our forks into our food. All English mothers are fabulous cooks, all English fathers 'know people', and all English kids love to go out and party. Everybody loves fish and chips, sausages, potatoes, pies, pastries, roast beef, bacon, baked beans, beer, ale, and cider. Everyone knows how to make knitwear, bake cookies, garden, navigate through London via the Tube, and perform a variety of different regional English accents. English people are also very informative (and very proud to be informative) when it comes to cricket, rugby and soccer. (Not football, I write in American English.) Contrary to popular belief, though, Prince Charles, The Beatles, Gordon Brown, David Beckham, and Her Majesty, The Queen, aren't that much of a big deal in Britain - in fact, I don't think I've heard them come up in conversation once in the last three months.



One particular social rule in this country, that is lightyears beyond just 'taken for granted', is the natural obligation you have to hold the door open after you have ambled through the doorway. It is a very British thing, because throughout my time here at university, I've observed how the Italians, the Koreans and even the Caucasian Australians don't seem to possess this behavioral principle these English people have obviously spent thousands of years practicing, ever since the last Celt that entered the medieval tomb had to tactfully roll the giant circular stone back to its original position to seal the entrance.



Back in Hong Kong though, nobody expects the people of the cold-blooded public to hold the door out for others in schools, restaurants, or shopping malls. It's like only the hotels and five-star restaurants consider the hazard that is the automatically closing door. On a side note, do you think there are any insurance companies out there that sell door-slamming-into-you insurance? I think it would be a very marketable idea. I mean, with treatment for nosebleeds and stubbed toes being such cheap medical regimens to compensate, there's plenty of room to overcharge clients.

Sigh, I hate it now when people hold the door open. They are always getting in my way. Unless you're telekinetic, there is no way you can avoid obstructing the path on which I'm walking. I never hold the door open for anybody here because everyone else does it too much. Everyone slows down as they get to the door, demonstrating a continuous domino effect of stupidity from 7 in the morning until 10 at night because they're all so desperate to do a good Samaritan-deed. Oh, you held the door open for me! You're my hero! 

What about the door, huh? When does it get done a favor? Can't two sides of a door hinge be brought together anymore nowadays as they were intended to be?

I just open a door and walk through it quickly, and expect whoever's coming through behind me to think fast, walk quicker or slower, and adjust the movement of his/her arm extension. If they get slammed in the face, it's only because they have slow reactions - not my bad. *shrugs*

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I also hate it when people don't say 'thank you' after you hold the door for them. And when people try to pull open a door that's meant to be pushed. If you choose to, posts #21 and #30 are there for your viewing.

Plus, follow me on Facebook and Twitter if you aren't already!

Friday, December 11, 2009

201 - Being forced to write

I watch a television series called Californication. For those of you who don't already know what it's about, the episodes revolve around the personal and professional troubles of a published author. In the show's pilot, the writer is being pressured by his agent to get his next piece of work ready for publishing soon, but the writer finds himself struggling to write a new book. So he makes an attempt. Anything he can put on a piece of paper, he writes it down. Then he throws it away because the idea sucks. He tries again, and then dumps it in the trash once more. He has no choice but to push himself, and trying to push your way through writer's block is what really grinds my gears today.

Writing, whether it be a book, an essay, a blog, a newspaper article, or even a text message, requires many different things - it starts with having an initial idea, and then having the vast pool of words from which you can select the ones that perfectly convey that thought. It needs a quick mind, prolific with ideas, to help you develop your craft, and an easily accessible, diverse group of trustworthy people you can rely on, to give you reliable feedback in case it's needed. Then, a critical eye is good to have after you've finished, to help you go through your work objectively and edit. Maybe this paragraph needs an image to go with it. Maybe I should use the rule of three. Perhaps these words should be italicized, this word should be boldfaced, and this sentence should end with a question mark to make it self-referentially humorous?

All in all, writing sure as Hell takes a lot of hard work. Especially if you want to write humorously, with distinctive flair and unique style, without making any mistakes in spelling, punctuating or grammaticizing. All of this hard work also needs time, time that could've been spent on homework, school work, office work, house work, working out, going out, catching up with an old friend, seeing a movie with the family, learning a new recipe, checking out a new restaurant, or going grocery-shopping at the supermarket. 

Writing takes a lot more than just creative power. It requires inner and superficial knowledge, some honesty, plus experience, experience from which you can draw if you are aiming to write from the heart. Writing also requires a certain level of strategy and socio-cultural awareness, to entertain, captivate and attract readers, and also to avoid angering and/or insulting them too. It requires pride and belief in what you're writing, you need to be courageous and unafraid of being openly or discreetly condemned. It's a demanding hobby/profession.

But at its roots, it is about creative power. Some people can just do it at any point of any day. Some people cannot. Most people.

I am still in school, and I am very familiar with the feeling of having to write about a certain topic before a certain date. Police officers don't know how to bulk up their reports. Businesspeople are finding themselves with blank Powerpoint presentations. Chefs can't put their finger on the perfect ingredient. Teachers regurgitate the same student evaluation thirty times. And bloggers don't know what to say.

Yet it's required of all of us to pull something out of our ass at some point. I have this to talk about now, but what am I going to do next time? Just pass on writing for a few more days?

Tell me, do you hate it too?


Sunday, December 6, 2009

200 - 2012 is the end of the world

Today is the day I publish my two-hundredth post. Congratulations to me, right? I can't even believe I continued doing this for a year, and still want to continue to do this - it makes me proud, it makes me wonder when I will stop and why, it worries me a little to know I have that much to complain about, it makes me feel hungry

Oops, typing out loud.

Ahem, 200 is a pretty special number. A cholesterol level of 200 or lower is considered to be a desirable amount to have, corresponding to a lower risk of heart disease. $200 or £200 is how much you're given when you pass "Go" in Monopoly. And the year 200 is when the Classic Period of Mayan Civilization begins.



Ah, 2012... Ever since I read an article five years ago, about Doomsday coming our way, set in stone to occur on December 21st, 2012, I knew that it was just a matter of time before all the hype about it would be generated, before the books, the documentaries, and the movie were going to be created to depict its apocalyptic effect, and before the scientists, the media, the public, the religious groups, the bloggers, the believers, the skeptics, and the government, all jumped on the bandwagon to build 2012 up and aggrandize it to something that it isn't.

I'm not going to go into the Mayan Long Calendar, or rant about how heinously flawed it is to attribute and reduce all this crap to the Mayan culture. I'm sure if you go to the library and pick up a book, or read some online journals, actually educated people will tell you how nonsensical all of this End of the World stuff is. It is true - they did predict a great end to the human race, as well as are birth of said human race, according to their specific time line. I've read about some of the theories, some of the explanations of why it's truth and why it's fiction - and whether or not I believe in the scientific word, or the words of whomever - I believe that it all doesn't matter, so long as I live today, and have plans for tomorrow, to continue living my life.

You may say that I'm conceited, perhaps a little bit too comfortable leaning back on my pillow as I sit on my bed here in my university dorm, and you may ask me, what if I'm wrong?

Truth is, I may be. The Olympics are set to happen in London in the summer of 2012. A solar eclipse is due in May and November that year. The Kyoto Protocol set up by the UN is set to expire at the end of 2012. The USA will elect a new president. It is said that Jupiter and Venus will align with the Sun and the Moon. It is said solar flares from the Sun will shift our poles and destroy the Earth. It is said a comet might hit us. It is said we might head straight into a black hole.

But I don't care. I am not going to swallow half a bottle of gin every night because there's no reason to live the next day. Nor will I live every day with no respect for my own wellbeing, or use this 2012 rubbish as an excuse to escape from my responsibilities.



And I believe it's wrong, man, how people are freaking out about it, naive, innocent people that don't know any better but to believe in these prophesies. The other day, I read something about people slitting their wrists and hanging themselves after seeing 2012, and I think that's quite messed up.

Anyway, I'm going to end there. Tell me what you think.

And here's a cool illustrated guide to how much 200 calories look like. And don't forget to follow me on Facebook and Twitter!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

199 - Sore winners

My best friend in Hong Kong was playing games with me online during the weekend, and although I hate sore losers and boastful winners, this special type of person that my best friend was pretending to be angered me the most, and made me want to blog about all three in the first place. I can only describe the kind of annoyance I'm talking about with the words, "sore winning".

My best friend will win, right, and then he'll say how he was lucky that time. And that I'll win next time. And he goes, "there, there, don't worry, man. I just got lucky. I'm going to lose next time, you'll see."

To which, my reaction is TAKE THE DAMN VICTORY AND SHUT UP ALREADY. It's so annoying by itself when you lose, and to rub salt on the wound, the opponent patronizes you, and encourages you. They're not your coach, or your personal trainer, or your best friend at that point - they are the opposition, so just act like it! 


Friday, December 4, 2009

198 - Boastful winners


Contrary to sore losers, which I blogged about a couple of days ago, on the other hand, there are also those that boast a lot about winning. They like to shove their victory in your face, whether it be a vainglorious checkmate on a chess board, a full house full of hot air in a poker game, or a highfalutin hotel bought and set in place on Boardwalk (if you're American) or Mayfair (if you're British) when you're playing Monopoly.

There is also the kind of bragging that comes with showing your support for a particular sports team. I actually personally don't mind this - although feel free to disagree. I've just been exposed to many displays of gasconade when people come into lectures, classrooms or the workplace gloating over Manchester United's defeat of Liverpool, India's triumph over Australia in cricket, and Jenson Button's domination of the Formula One World Drivers' Championship. Although I don't participate in the shouting and cheering myself, I get it - I would cheer for television shows, or books, if they ran around a pitch passing a ball to each other in front of millions of people.

But when it comes down to personal bragging rights - people tend not to have any in my eyes. To show off with or without substantiation is annoying nonetheless. Nobody cares that much if you win - a good game is a good game, and that's that. I tend to see it as an act of ego-boosting. A truly confident person doesn't need to advertise his skill. A truly impressive demonstration of achievement waits for others to do the congratulations.

Although this was true in the case of Kayne West's shout-out to Beyoncé a couple of months back, sometimes, some people, like Taylor Swift, deserve a minute of glory time. I've heard of having insecurities - but Kayne West... God knows what's wrong with him.

A pat on the back is nice, but a continual 24/7 patting of one's back is bravado that's clearly going overboard. Tell me, dear loyal readers, do you hate it too?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

197 - Sore losers



My 4-year-old cousin is a sweet boy, who brings a lot of love and laughter to our family dinners. He's learning to be conversational within the family, he's active and loves running around, and he's fairly disciplined in his general behavior and potty training, thanks to my grandmother's heavy hand.

If there's one problem that I had to point out, though, it would be the problem of him being a sore loser. He throws a tantrum, cries, kicks and screams if he believes somebody else is the winner, he cannot stand to lose. To be fair, we've taught him to think he is always a winner. I remember when the four of us cousins had a race at one point, and obviously, it was a matter of whoever was older, was whoever that ran the fastest. We like to tell my 4-year-old cousin that as long as you finish the sprint, everyone wins, we want to encourage him to think that everyone's a winner in the eyes of the family. So when it comes to him really losing at something, it upsets him immensely, because in his mind, the best policy is shared, unified victory.

But then again, he's only four years old. Who can blame him?

Who we can blame are the grown-ups, even the teens. They say it takes a real man to admit defeat, as people nowadays are so obsessed with keeping their reputation and dignity above everybody else's. I'm sure everyone out there knows of the sore losers I'm referring to - the kind that quit (not forfeit, they quit), and lose their tempers in the middle of a game because they know they're going to lose. I'm talking about the type that whine about how their tactics went wrong, or how they were tired, or weren't paying attention, the sort that complain after the game is over about how the rules were biased for those taller than him, or those with better mathematical skills than her, or how the opponent had a lot more time to spare to adjust to the controls than he/she did, how the sun was shining in their eyes, or on their side of the pitch, how it was their first time playing, how they got stuck, how they tripped, how they weren't thinking straight...

Why don't you just shut up, and move on with your life, instead of dwelling on it? What is wrong with healthy, happy competition where there are winners, and losers that just happen to be you? Jeez, no need to throw a hissy fit, just try again next time!

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

196 - One word: __________!

I never quite understood this emphatic technique, placing a single adjective after a certain place, person or thing, to stress how great a quality that place, person or something has.

"Last year's Christmas party, one word - Amazing!"
"Russell Peters, one word - Fuuuh-uuuh-neee!"
"The argument they had last night, one word - draaaamaaaa!"

How do you reduce the gravity of a given incident to a single adjective?

Have you ever heard someone say that, only to give you a different number of words instead?

"Oh, my God. That dissertation I did last night, one word - a headache!"
"There are only two things you need to pass these exams - hard work, and more hard work!"
"You know what those kindergarten kids reminded me of? One word - Lord... of... the... Flies..."

Even "awe-inspiring", and "cringe-worthy" are stretching it with the hyphen.

I also never understand how anything can be "epic", "legendary" or have "biblical" proportions. That's an insult to Odysseus, Jesus, Moses, Beowulf, the kingdom of Atlantis, and the Knights of the Round Table. I understand people are trying to be creative. I will admit it's a step up from having a "nice" day, "good" times, and "great" fun. 

But, uh, nothing in our reality is truly epic or legendary, unless you climbed Everest or can swallow your own nose or something. 



And when you begin with "One word...", you're effectively saying three words, are you not? Maybe people should disclaim it, like this:

"Three words - One word - Cringe-worthy!"

And then we can take it a step further:

"Five words - Three words - One word - Brilliant!"
"Seven words - Five words - Three words - One word - Crazy!"
"Nine words - Seven words - Five words - Three words - One word - A pain in the arse!"

Monday, November 30, 2009

195 - People who dislike their course

I find it such a pity when people end up disliking the choices they made earlier in their life that they thought would work out in the end. For me, the restrictions my family put on my choices were quite limited, combined with the fact that my own interests and goals were always fairly fluid, and so for me, my future was always flexible, ever-changing, free.

I did a little bit of research into this topic, concerning people who end up hating whatever they're doing or studying, and it's fascinating how the sentiment is shared amongst people in all areas of the global community - from doctors to architects, from farmers to sales reps, from authors, through teachers, to full-time stay-at-home moms. People just get overwhelmed by the duties they have to perform, the commitments that they have, and they end up living a life where the only relief for them is a bottle of vodka on a Saturday night when they finally find the time and cash to spare.

I know a lot of people here at university personally who just hate their course, hate studying it, hate doing the essays, hate the reading, hate everything. To which I ask the question: Why are you still here then?

I'm not saying you have to treat your course like a truelove, but you have to put up with it, you know, and learn to open your mind up and enjoy it. By no means, in my anthropology course, do I enjoy learning the names of twenty different species under the genus Homo, when only one species, sapiens, still exist today. I cannot find passion in learning the names of forty different kinds of blades - to me, they're all for the bloody sake of cutting stuff up and that's that.



But hey, there are ups and downs, and for the sake of your own well-being, and the people that care about you, learn to like it, and if you can't find it in yourself to do so, implement some change.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

194 - People who don't like Disney movies

So today, I'm going to talk about the reasons why I think Disney films are great, and the problems with people who dislike them. And when I talk about Disney films, I'm talking about the older stuff, the classical stuff, the better stuff in the earlier days, when the movies were completely composed of heart, fun and fantasy. Not the stuff that's been coming out in the past ten years. Not the films that they've sort of moved on with. I mean, Atlantis, Lilo & Stitch, Bolt and a couple of others have been fairly solid, but they've evolved (in the wrong direction, IMHO) since the good ol' days.



No, I'm talking about the masterpieces of Disney. I'm talking about Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid and Peter Pan. They brought you to another world, a whole different reality where caterpillars speak in vowels, pumpkins turn into carriages, and kids can fly with the help of a little fairy dust.



In some films, like The Lion King, Tarzan and Dumbo, the anthropomorphic effect made you appreciate (well, they made me appreciate) animals, and at the time those films were released, I was a kid that would actually learn about the animal kingdom through these films. It even made me learn to appreciate my toys after watching Toy Story, even the furniture in my house after seeing Beauty and the Beast. The scenes, the landscapes that were all drawn by hand made it so beautiful and believable, and I find that with a lot of real-life, in the flesh, movies, it's hard to feel that way because cinematographers are trying to make real filming locations beyond what they really are. With animations, especially the way Disney have done it, it can just be breathtaking, and enthralling, how they make a deer's mother matter so much, or how they make a puppet/boy matter so much. It really makes you wonder, and appreciate how much larger the Circle of Life is outside our own lives, our own modern-day age.



One of the other key reasons I also like Disney, is because they bring us to different places and time periods. From China (Mulan), through India (The Jungle Book), the Arabian deserts (Aladdin), France (Hunchback of Notre Dame), Greece (Hercules), to Native America (Pocahontas), how can it not be amazing to any viewer? How can it not be appealing for a parent to bring their kids to see these movies when they're just so educational and mind-opening, yet fun, for the kids?



The overall underlying theme in Disney works is the moral lessons they subtly include. They don't know shove the moral spectrum of right or wrong in your face - and at times, it can be difficult to tell where the ethics lie. Should Snow White learn to distrust strangers like the evil witch? Then again, should she trust her one and only family member, her stepmother, the Queen? Seeing as the dwarfs are strangers to her as well, was it right for her to trust them?



After the movie is over, though, you take away from it a real story, with complexity in the tale. You can't blame Pinocchio or Tarzan for not knowing what's right and wrong, it makes you think, it makes adults think when they re-watch them years later. How can people not understand how Disney movies are so ingenious?



I think it's because they've got their head too far up their bum. They're so narrow-minded, that they only see beauty in what they find beautiful, they find that their morals are sufficient to live the lives they lead, and they can only be emotionally invested in their own life, not the life of some 'stupid cartoon character', because they're self-centered. From where I stand, Disney movies are used to be beautifully crafted, empathetic, exuberant, compelling, and at times, even haunting, morally thoughtful, and absolutely cultivating for grown-ups, and certainly, any child growing up with parents that want their kid to learn.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

193 - Self-involved people



In the past week or so, a lot of people have been coming to me with their problems. These people are close friends, as well as people whom I've only known for about two months. I like how they trust me enough to tell me such things, it makes me feel really good inside, very mature, very responsible, and very helpful, to take some of that burden off their tired shoulders.

Somewhere along the way, though, I feel like I'm losing my voice in a lot of contexts. I can talk openly in front of my best friends, but with the people I've just come to meet here in university, I feel like they don't care about me. All they seem to want is my feedback, and when talking to them, it's not like I can interject and steer the focus on to one of my own problems. That is bad social etiquette.

I've had a few personal things come up in the past week or so. I've discovered a new hobby. I got really homesick during the weekend. I decided to have a Star Wars marathon, because I've never seen any of the films before. (I'm about to finish watching Revenge of the Sith. Exciting stuff.) And as most of you probably know already, I managed to bring my blogging career one step further last week. And I also went to the university medical center yesterday. (Mom, don't worry too much. I'll tell you about it when you come online.)

But nobody knows about any of that. Nobody cares about that. Nobody wants to hear about that.

I find it so funny how I've dealt with a lot of things by myself while being at university, with nobody's aid whatsoever. I find it interesting how people have only come to me with their problems, expecting me to always lend a helping hand or to advise them. Even the superficial, everyday things that I listed above, aren't of any interest to anyone here. How am I supposed to build new relationships with people, how am I supposed to trust them in our work, outside our work, or in our living situation, when they don't know anything about me?

(If you're one of those people in my real-life that feels that I'm talking to you, please don't assume it is just yet. The truth is, after I publish this entry, I'm going to feel much better, and a lot more forgiving of whoever it is I'm directing this at. I'm always there to listen to you, to want to listen to you, and I know how easy it can be to get too caught up in your own matters. We've all been there and I'm just frustrated. Trust me when I say my mood will improve the next time I speak to you. This is just one of my down moments that I'm trying to get over.)

This is why I am so amazed by people's kindness. To be supportive of me and to listen to me is truly touching. I had a friend send me a box of cookies and well-thought-out letters all the way from America. I was so surprised at the length she went to to send me those things. I am blessed to have a handful of friends who will always listen to me when I'm feeling down. I am so blessed to have them care about my well-being, about my troubles, and about my opinion. I hope this post makes you readers reflect on what you've done for other people in the past few days. I hope all of you can be proud of what you do today, this week, out of the goodness of your heart.

(Follow me on Facebook and Twitter for Do you hate it too? updates!)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

192 - When tough-looking guys do non-tough-looking things

Every morning here at my university, I have a free breakfast that comes along with the fee of my accommodation. I love breakfast, and I get really crabby if I miss it. So, I make sure to be up at 7:30, and I get dressed and everything to leave my room at 7:55.

When I get to the canteen at 8 o'clock, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, there's a guy there that works as a server. I'm about the height of his shoulder, barely, yet he's the one that serves me, a guy that's shorter and scrawnier, food.

I'm very wary of the fact that this guy's bigger than me, and it makes me uncomfortable asking him to perform a simple task like putting a sausage or an egg on a plate. There's something about big guys in the catering industry, especially at a university serving breakfast, that's deeply unnerving. I don't quite know what to think about it, because whenever I ask for some toast or some beans, he'll look at me with this menacing gaze that reads, "I don't actually like to work here. I hate this job, but I'm doing it because I need the money."

It's very discomforting, and I almost want to resort my breakfasts to only the other days of the week, when a smaller, friendlier Vietnamese girl works the line instead.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

New blog, new Twitter, new Facebook.

By the way, you might be interested in all the new stuff I have to show you.

Do you hate it too? has a Facebook fan page that you can join.

I opened a personal Twitter profile for you to follow, and a Twitter account for Do you hate it too? that you can also follow.

I'm finally launching my new anthropology blog, Holy Holism! 
Here's the introduction, and here's my first post on totem poles!

All of this seriously stressed me out today, and being the blogger that I am, I blogged about aforementioned stress (click here). It's been a long day, but I'm glad to say that it's finally over, and I hope all of you will appreciate all the hard work I did today. (Creating Twitter accounts may not be 'hard work' to you, but I found it thoroughly confusing at first.) Until next time, then, 'cause I'm going to sleep.

But maybe one more game of Solitaire before bed...

191 - Games that take over my life

I have recently discovered the Wikipedia Game. If you've never played, you basically are given the titles of two different Wikipedia articles, and your challenge is to get from, say, "Vaseline," to, let's say, "Barack Obama", in the fewest number of clicks you can. You can create an account to keep a record of your wins, and when you're one of the best players, you get your username displayed on the left-hand side. You will all be glad to know that I'm not one of the Top Five players (yet). But I did just spend about an hour playing it.



The thing is, if a game is a game I come to like, then I'm hooked for hours on end. When I first discovered and learned how to play Pinball, Solitaire, Minesweeper, Freecell, Hearts, and Spider Solitaire, I could not stop. Whether it was Snake on my phone, or Pokémon on my GameBoy, or the thousands of pointless games on Miniclip, Mousebreaker and AddictingGames, there have been many, many, many hours, days at a time, that have been just completely wasted on the severe pointlessness of games.

If you haven't been on Sporcle before, I recommend it. It's stimulating and fun on an intellectual level, and doesn't require you do much other than type. However, I warn you - you might get addicted. Just look at my Sporcle stats, you can see how much time I spend on these quizzes that serve no other purpose than to show off about and have false pride in.

Why do games have to be so damn addicting? 
I mean, they're consuming my life!
Do you hate it too?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

190 - People who pretend to be cats


When I was in my fourth year of primary school, I knew these two girls who would always sneak out of class to go to the ladies' room together. Even at my young age, I suspected that they might be engaging in some lesbionic activities at first, but it turns out that they were doing something a little less sexual, but a little bit more scary.

The bathroom doors weren't closed, so any passer-by could see the sink area, which is where they were, instead of the cubicles doing excretory business. One day, I decided to follow them out of the classroom, and I found them kneeling on the floor where the window of the washroom was, next to the sinks, and they were meowing up at the sky, so it seems, like wolves howling at the moon. Between purring toward the big blue, they would also lick the back of their palms (paws), and stroke their own imaginary tails (seriously). It was beyond bizarre for me to catch a glimpse of.

They saw me watching them, so they moved on their hands and knees toward me, like actual felines. I asked them what they were doing, and one of them, out of nowhere, reached out her hand, lashed me and scratched my face with her sharp nails. Then, I was left with a Jurassic Park-like laceration on my face.

That was weird, painful, and stupid. Damn girls and their weird games.

Monday, November 16, 2009

189 - When people complain about the weather


It's so damn annoying when you hear people complain about the weather. 15°C is too cold, 20°C is too hot, and when it's 17°C, it just so happens to be too windy for one's liking. They don't know hot until they've been to Brunei or the Central African Republic, they don't know cold until they've been to Norway or northern China. Face a drought in central Australia, or a snowmelt flood in Minnesota, or a negative 24°C hailstorm in Munich, before you start complaining about the climate where you live, and perhaps blurt out your opinion and vague understanding of global warming. You don't know how good you have it until you've been to the extremities of the world, meteorology-wise. If it's cold, wear thicker clothes. If it's raining, bring an umbrella with you. You don't need your mother to teach you that much. Grumbling on and on about it isn't going to change the weather, so quit complaining!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

188 - When people feel like they can't talk to me

I know it when a person trusts me or doesn't trust me. I can sense it in the way they talk, their body gestures, and the tidbits of their lives they decide to share with me. Honestly, I'll talk to anyone, about anything they want to, but what I cannot stand is a bit too much smalltalk and not enough meaning to the time spent together.

It's easy for me to listen to people, and to say something relevant in return, to learn from others as well as teach something to my correspondent. I don't like it when people don't seem to have this social skill, when people are afraid of opening up themselves, and don't feel I would want to listen.

Truth is, we all like comfortable and honest conversation, and all work together to contribute to society. We're of the same species, in need of food and drink, air, attention and affection. We are all co-dependent, in the same boat, which is why I don't know why there are some people that just don't get the benefit of sharing. And when they don't share, it makes me feel like I'm doing something wrong.

If you never share your thoughts, how am I supposed to know how to respect you or make you feel comfortable with me around? How am I supposed to know what you want? How are we supposed to know what you like to do, what you like to talk about, or where your lines are defined so that we don't cross them? How are we supposed to coexist if you don't start talking to me?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

187 - "Sorry, I'm terrible with names."


In our lives, we all hear the same clichéd line at social gatherings whenever we introduce ourselves to someone new. "Please don't hate me if I don't remember your name the next time I see you, I'm terrible with names!"

What is that? That's not a good demonstration of social skill and sensitivity. Is that what you want to introduce yourself as, as Clifford, the guy who's bad with names, or as Christine, a bit of a bonehead with the inability to remember anything? Show a bit of interest in this interaction, mate.

And you know what they say the next time they see you?

"Hi, have I met you before? I'm so sorry, I'm so bad with names. Again, so sorry!"

Excuse me? That's your excuse? Maybe I shouldn't have even bothered with your name. How much more disrespectful and insulting can you be? Why can't you remember a simple name? Are you at all invested in this relationship?

What was that? You're more of a face person? What the Hell is that supposed to mean? You remember my face, but you haven't registered my name? Tell me, what the f**k is the use in memorizing a nameless face?

You say you usually remember people's faces, their voices, what they're wearing, and if they had something really nice on. That's the way to sound like a creepy klepto. Can't imagine what it must be like in the case you find someone sexually attractive. The focus is probably brought even further away from the person's name, and not just on the person's face anymore.

What about you? Why are you bad with names?

You say you get distracted by trying to make a good impression and you get nervous. Jesus, what did I ever do to make you feel you had to make a good impression and nervous? I've barely said anything. Do I look like a royal prince, searching the social scenes of the modern age for prestigious companions? ...No!

And what about you? You say you "instantly dive into analyzing people's personalities and forget to remember the names." I reckon you need professional help, my friend, because I feel violated in a Freudian kind of way. Since that emotion's so rare, that can't be good.

After a couple of months of having to endure this problem time and time again, with working in a place I've never worked in before, with coming to university meeting all these people for the first time, now, whenever I meet someone and they tell me their name, I make sure to instantly respond with, "My name's Mikey, don't worry. I'm very good with names, and I'll be sure to remember yours."

You should see the smiles on their faces.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

186 - Having to copyright my blog

There are big plans ahead of me, and one of them is to finally try earning money with this blog. How exactly?

Still trying to figure that one out. But I'm willing to try just about anything, and I figured I might as well be honest about it with you guys. Anyway, the more areas in this world I delve into, the more I get to blog about, I suppose, if you had to put a positive spin on things. Think about it. I wouldn't be able to go into business- or marketing-related pet peeves, unless I started doing something like this. My anthropology course/career doesn't really cover a whole lot of finance and accounting, so I guess it's a good thing that I try to branch out on what I do here besides rant.

Speaking of anthropology, also in the works is a new blog about anthropological things. I plan to make it a lot more formal and serious than the two that I already manage, and although I've finished laying it out and everything, I haven't done much preparation with regards to actual written content. It's on its way, though, so for those of you anxiously waiting, it'll be here soon!

I also have great ideas for three more blogs, but those projects are still in their very early stages. If all goes well, though, that would bring my blog tally to six altogether! Imagine that!

Hopefully, by February or March of next year, these high ambitions will be fulfilled, but for now, I'm concentrating on one thing, and one thing only: Getting a Do you hate it too? book published. I talk a little bit more about that on my other blog, but for now, I just want to rant a little about copyrighting. I actually would really love it if you could stop by my other blog just to share your thoughts on this idea of getting published. Would you buy it?

The reason this has come up is because I obviously have to protect my blog's content before I start boasting about wanting to publish some book. Someone might take this idea from me and steal all my potential publishing profit.

It's really annoying having to copyright your work. Later, after you finish reading this post, I want you to scroll all the way down to the very bottom of Do you hate it too? and see the finished product of my copyrighting. Believe it or not when you see it, but a mere three lines took me three hours to generate, mainly because I had to go through pages and pages of material on what copyrighting actually means and how I'm protected by the Basic Law of Hong Kong. Plus, I got a little bit fidgety with the HTML. If you want to just take a glimpse at what I had to read through, click here.

Terrifying, isn't it?

You know, I wouldn't need to do this if people today would just respect the importance of keeping original. I don't even think I have a lawyer, but if I catch someone stealing my content without my permission, I'll be sure to sue them for a lot of their money, because it took me a long time to copyright this thing, and for them to disrespect it is bad.

How many of you have copyrighted something before?

Monday, November 9, 2009

185 - When people enjoy reading my blog but don't let me know

Lots to discuss today, but first of all, Do you hate it too? was awarded the 'Over The Top' Award by Marcy over at Tales of the Kids. Check out the award on my other blog here! You can also admire it as it proudly stands in my left sidebar.

Now that that's out of the way, on to the good stuff.

--------------------------------------------------

Have you ever tried Googling your own name to see what you find? (Apparently, there's a Michael Rivera that plays minor league baseball, and another Michael Rivera who appeared as an extra under the title, 'Spanish Guy', on
The Wire.)

What about Googling your own blog? Have you ever tried that?

For those bloggers out there that have been at it for a while, you might find a couple of surprises if you Google-search your blog's title or your blog's URL. Apparently, there's a Slovak fan out there who tried to post a link to my blog on a Slovak Wikipedia article. I suspect he's the same guy that tried to get me more attention in Slovakia by posting my URL on an online automobile-related forum. I don't know if any of you even remember when this happened about a year ago, but last November, I was slightly confused by my Flagcounter, showing a huge boom in the number of Slovak viewers. (It still stands as the 8th top country to visit
Do you hate it too?) I guess now, I finally have my explanation.

I just find it fascinating how so many people from so many different countries have seen what I have produced, yet I only really know who a select few of them are. Apparently, I also have a lot of fan girls in the US, Australia, and most of all, the Philippines. They apparently praise my eloquence and amazingness, and somewhat act like my groupies, which I find quite flattering and am almost a little bit embarrassed about. (Jonessa from the Philippines, I know you're out there!)

There is apparently a non-profit, non-commercial organization called
Hong Kong Blog Reviews that wrote a lovely, truly complimentary review of my blog and my personality, making me feel so incredibly special, not just to my mother anymore, but to the city in which I grew up in as well. (If you wish to read what the review says, you can click here. I'm sure you would agree that those are really, really nice things to say about a guy who enjoys writing for other people's entertainment.)

If you haven't noticed, I have got a GeoGlobe widget on my left sidebar. It's pretty cool, and it tells me where in the world people are from. I can tell it's probably Douglas if a green dot appears on Florida, or it's Fish if it appears on Liverpool, or AV if it appears from Rio.

But who the Hell is visiting me from San Antonio, Melbourne and Bombay? What about Søborg, Denmark? Or Butterworth, Malaysia? And how many of you actually know me in real life?

I am confused by you people who come by and leave without a trace.
I feel highly perturbed.
And I hate it.
(You heard me.)
(I am blogging about you today.)
(So, leave a comment.)
(Or send me an e-mail.)
(Or leave a message on my BRAND NEW chat widget ON THE RIGHT-HAND SIDEBAR.)
(Otherwise I will weep at night in my consternation.)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

184 - The fractions involved in diluting squash with water

I know that in Australia, Hong Kong and the UK, squash is a very popular beverage.

Better known as
cordial in the land down under, squash is a fruit-flavored concentrate that has to be mixed with water in order to be made appropriate for drinking. Typically, on the side of the bottle of squash, there are instructions for use, saying it requires the dilution of one part squash to four or five parts water.

I bought some squash about a week ago, and now it's finished. This particular brand of concentrate requires diluting one part squash with nine parts water.

I'm sitting there with my glass, using my fingers as measures, trying to divide the glass into ten equal parts, so that I can solve this mathematical predicament, but it turns out that this arithmetic cannot be done with the mere use of my phalanges as the glass is only nine fingers tall.


So I gather a ruler, a calculator, a piece of paper and a pen, and I try to work out the right amount of cordial needed to achieve the right amounts of concentrate and water. I even factor in the fact that the sides of the glass aren't parallel to each other, the fact that the volume of the glass itself can't be included, and the fact that I'm not going to fill the glass to the brim.

And after fifteen minutes of fiddling with h, r, s, x, y, a, and V, all the while, bringing back painful memories of having to learn integration in calculus class, I simply give up, pour into the glass what I feel is right, get it wrong (of course), and
suffer from the horrible blend of superfluous sweetness and overbearing acidity of the drink.

Do the manufacturers expect us to reach into our back pockets and get out our handy-dandy measuring cylinders?

They don't even say '
approximately one part squash to nine parts water' or 'around one-fifth of squash with four-fifths of water'. It's exactly the fractions stated, which makes me feel like I'm wasting the stuff if I don't get it precisely right.

I think I need help.

Friday, November 6, 2009

183 - Irrelevance

I hate it whenever I listen to or read something that is irrelevant to what I expected antecedently.

The title of a blog post, for instance, usually is a pretty accurate indication of things to come. When you're, instead, given text that contains no relation to the topic asserted at the top of the page, the blogger responsible for putting those words there makes you feel cheated of your time.



It's worse when you've actually purchased a material object, a book, or a DVD, for example, that reads on the back a convincing synopsis that makes the tale sound highly captivating, when in reality, it's pages and pages of filler content and countless tedious digressions from something normal people would call 'a plot', a little thing that may or may not be known to exist by some writers. (Think of just about any parody film made in the past decade, or perhaps Twilight. Of course Stephanie Meyer manages to describe the happenings that revolve around the heroic paragon that is Edward Cullen, but it is silly, and meaningless, and devoid of any explicit themes or deep characterization. But I suppose that's just my opinion.)


When a cheeky writer actually fools you into putting bread on their table and paying them viewership for a given product or service, you almost feel so dense to actually pay with your own time and money.

Whether it's a lecturer's words that lack any connection to your university course, or a friend's total inability to stay focused on the subject at hand, an American president's speech that carries no bearing on anything related to current affairs, or the 7 o'clock news describing celebrity scoop as groundbreaking information, irrelevance haunts us everywhere, everyday. It would be great if people would just appreciate the importance of remaining to the purpose as they act on a daily basis, but this isn't a perfect world.


Tell me, folks, do you hate it too?

182 - When you have to censor your blog

Recently, I have been trying to join a blog distributor. What this is is basically a system in which bloggers are paid to blog about certain things, to give their opinion on certain products and services. Clients signing on to the blog distributor will be looking for a certain theme of blog, like 'travel', to advertise their sleeping bags, for example. The blog distributor will notify the blogger, telling him/her to blog about sleeping bags, and the client gets what he wants, and the blogger gets paid a certain amount of money, 75% of what the client pays, and the other 25% goes to the blog distributor.

I put 'Do you hate it too?' under the 'Humor' category, because I'd like to think this blog is funny (or is it just me?). I got to choose a few more categories, so I chose 'Anger Management', 'Entertainment', 'Entertainment for Youth' and 'Stand-Up Comedy'. Amusing, isn't it, how I chose Anger Management?

Anyway, what I was thinking was that clients would be looking for some funny blogs, and so they can check in with me, the creator of 'Do you hate it too?', to see if I can write about one of their pet peeves. It's quite a long shot, I must admit, but I'm willing to try anything to get a bit of financial benefit from my blogging.

Last week, I received an e-mail from the blog distributor, and let me just copy and paste a segment of it here:
In order to have your Blog Certified with Blog Distributor, it must not contain profanity. The following is a list of the profane words we found in your Blog: s--t (6), p--ses (2), f--kin (2), f--king (2), f--k (4), b--ches (2), a-- (2).

I found this hilarious when I first read it - the fact that they actually counted the number of each profane word. Then I realized I would actually have to go back through all my posts, locate these cuss words and modify them so that they still made sense. I've already done it, and I can tell you, there was a lot more profanity than they actually counted. It was quite annoying to do so, and I don't entirely understand why it mustn't contain profanity. In voicing your opinion in a public forum, sometimes bad words are effective tools to create emphasis. Surely, many professional critics out there swear in their reviews sometimes, right?

On second though, perhaps not.

What do you guys think? Would you still be the same bloggers if you had to censor your writing?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

181 - When you're assigned the role of treasurer when you go out to eat

Here's the typical scenario: it's one of your friend's birthdays. The friend chooses a restaurant for everybody to eat in, and then everyone gorges on seventy-five percent of the menu. After desserts, coffees and teas are consumed by the end of the meal, the check comes, and gets passed around, until it lands on the table in front of you, because everyone else is apparently too busy chatting or laughing or picking their teeth to do the adding up. It's up to you to calculate how much each person (except the birthday person, of course) owes to the collective sum of money being charged on the bill.

When dividing by any number greater than four or five, you get difficult amounts of money owed, because the total at the bottom of the check is never a nice number that is easily divisible, or a number that, when divided, can be easily rounded up or down to a pecuniarily manageable figure. There will always be one or two people that do not contribute their part, due to the fact that they ate less than everyone else, or because they simply don't have enough money, and so you must go and seek out people that are generous enough to cover for them, or you just collect whatever money those cheapskates have, then divide the rest of the bill by the number of people left.

Then the birthday person makes a halfhearted attempt to pay, and everybody spends twenty minutes trying to convince him that it's alright, because for one, his birthday is everyone's treat, and second, he/she isn't even allowed to know how much the birthday celebration he/she is responsible for costs. You count the money seventeen times just to make sure it all adds up, only to have a nominated acquaintance count the money once more because she's known to be extremely responsible with her own pocket money. This is then followed by her boyfriend adding it up for a nineteenth time, because apparently, he took up an accounting class at school.

It never adds up, people have underpaid and overpaid and people want some change back. You have to listen to stories about how people have lost their wallets, how people have just signed up for a new debit card, their thoughts on the new design of the $10 bill, and countless other stories. You also have to deal with the asshole who wants to pay for one twenty-third of the bill using his credit card. After the check is settled after what feels like forever, you tiredly rub your forehead and temples with your palms, which to your mistake, leads to your overlooking the event in which two girls in the corner order an apple martini to share, which is then followed by the birthday person's best friend ordering a round of apple-flavored shooters...

Your job as treasurer isn't over yet, but at least there's alcohol on its way.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

180 - Catchy songs that play in restaurants

There are many times as I'm sitting in a fast-food restaurant, a pub, a bar, a club, or a high-end, fine dining establishment, when a catchy song comes up and plays as you're eating or drinking. You want to sing along, but you're half-hungry, as well. You want to mouth the words of the song, and see if your company is mouthing them, too, but you want to take a sip of your drink at the same time.

You end up doing a sort of half-chanting, half-consuming showcase, where you cut up your food while singing, but at the moment you would normally bring the fork to your mouth, you wait - you wait until one of your favorite lines go by, before you actually perform the act of ingestion.

Then you get tired of this routine. So you try and anticipate the breaks in the song, the intermissions, interludes and instrumental solos, and only guzzle up your food as fast as you can when there are no lyrics - only to find yourself struggling to swallow quick enough in order to make it for when the chorus of the tune comes up again. You want to sing, but food awkwardly dribbles out of your mouth, drinks go up your nose, you look weird, food is not being chewed, the food is ruined, the drink becomes ruined, and the song gets ruined.

It's even worse when you're dancing in a club. How are you meant to drink, and dance, and sing, all at the same time? The body is only capable of so much!

I absolutely hate it when this happens. It makes no sense for a restaurant to do that to its customers. Do you hate it too?