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.

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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.