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Monthly Archives: February 2011

Demoted to fluff

See this little thing here?

Your typical unicorn. Look at it – it’s colorful, cute, smiling, and probably poops rainbows and heart shaped candy. Delicious heart shaped candy.

Unicorns now are seen as the evolution of ponies (MP +3?), the dream of all little girls to capture and dominate. One look at a unicorn picture and all a she-child can do is imagine scenarios where a beautiful unicorn has been subjugated to her  will, forced to fly back and forth with rainbows and smiles from place to place as the child laughs in hysteria with no restraining harnesses. Her unicorn is pretty, soft, fluffy, and oh so happy to be her bestest friend.

But they be wrong. Unicorns should feel more like this:

See that?

Powerful, wild, fierce, unable to be tamed except for the wily tricks of a pure virgin (oh those virgins). In some legends (or history, depending on who you ask) the unicorn had the tail of a boar/lion, a billy goat beard, cloven hooves/elephant feet, and of course a massive phallic symbol horn on its head. Variations of the unicorn existed in cultures spread throughout the world from Greece to Japan, and were revered as symbols of power and wealth with healing powers in their horns (how a long, pointy protrusion ever heals anything, I have no idea, but it’s better than AIDS).

The original unicorn, dating back thousands of years as what was once the proud archetype of masculinity and quiet strength, has somehow been diminished to a child’s stuffed animal.

That shits rainbows.

Where’s the justice? Even the mighty grizzly bear didn’t get it this bad when it got demoted to stuffed animal level.

I stand painfully corrected

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Long forgotten cravings

For all you American citizens that have been in the country for more than 6 years:

Remember crispy M&M’s? You know, the best M&M’s ever invented? Little tiny rice puffs in cheap, candy coated chocolate that crunch, snap, and melt in your mouth all at once? Yeah, those

They made a beautiful debut here in the ol’ US around, what, 2001, and lasted for about 4 years, and then boomf. Gone. Kaput. Pulled from our shelves and cut from our commercials, but never erased from my heart. Oh, the heart ache. How I miss you, little orange M&M character. Red and Yellow are such camera whores, I’ve got your back little buddy.

These candies were AWESOME. I don’t particularly enjoy M&M’s all too much, but the crispy version in their spiffy little blue bags were enough to make a fan out of me. We bonded, the candy and I. We shared laughs, cries, memories, and a bit of our souls. Why would the Mars company pull them? WHY?? And to add salt to our wounds, they dare to try and later woo us with some pretzel M&M bull. We already have chocolate covered mini pretzels that come in snack size bags, why would I even try these things? It’s like telling a kid to downgrade to a razor scooter when he’s already bought a car. There’s just no point. It’s downright insulting.

From what I hear, these crispy M&M’s are still sold in other parts of the world, such as Australia. Well, after all the crap that Australia has gone through this year like cyclones… flooding… more cyclones and flooding… earthquakes… probably more cyclones… I say they deserve it. Yeah, why not. Pat yourself on the back and grab a well deserved bag of crispy M&M’s, Australians, for not only surviving in a place where a dozen animals could kill you on sight, but for making it through tropical storms the size of our own damn country.

Which, by the way, is in serious need of some crispy M&M’s right now. Rumors float around the internet about these delectable candies making a comeback in the US this year. Dare I hope? Dare I dream?

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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In your face!

This is basically what my brain has been doing to me for the past week. You know those times when you fondly remember something because of some stimulus that spurred said memory? When your train of thought flowed nicely from one topic to another in a beautiful, crystal stream of rational thought?
Yep. Definitely not this week.
It’s like walking in the middle of a forest on a nice, bright, sunny day. Birds chirping in the air, cool breeze blowing, green leaves rustling and sunshine sparkling through the trees. All is at peace in the world, and there aren’t even any mosquitos to ruin it. When all of a sudden a bright blue Terminator comes crashing down onto the earth with a hailstorm of brimstone and fire and chucks Care Bears at your face while you pathetically attempt to dodge Squishy Hug attacks and end up falling backwards into a pit of high school despair filled with rainbow jello.

If only teenage angst were this delicious...

Here I am, minding my own business, when all of a sudden BOOM! I get smacked in the face with a sensory overload of OCTAMUTHAF*CKINGONAPUS! Where did it come from? I don’t know. I don’t even want to find out. All I know is that one moment I’m balancing my spreadsheet, and the next I’m literally spazzing out, arms flailing, and nearly falling backwards in my chair. The image is crisp, the sound is deafening, and for a moment I see nothing but poorly animated stupidity. (After which my coworkers just sort of stare at my poorly animated stupidity…)
But oh, this wasn’t the end. A day or two later, what does my brain do? It Russian rick rolls me. That’s right. I got rick rolled by my own mind. This is around the same time that I’m slammed in the face with RDJ’s “black” character from Tropic Thunder, saying “Never go full retard“.
Sorry Robert, guess it’s too late for that.
Then to add to the confusion, the next day I’m bombarded once more with the gauntlet scene from the Single Ladies music video. Not the entire sequence, just the segment where Beyonce whips out her weird metal… glove… thing and sparkles.

What the hell, Beyonce?

These moments aren’t just soft little memories either. Usually when you remember something it’s like elevator music: it’s there in the background and you’re consciously aware of it, but you can still hold a conversation and plan your day out (or tightly clutch your purse and step away from the black man).
No, these flashbacks of youtube videos are like diving headfirst into a moshpit; everything is everywhere and it is swarming around you until you can’t breathe or even think clearly.
Maybe I should cut back on the caffeine in the mornings. Or get more sleep. Yeah, that’s probably it.
Please let that be it.
 
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Posted by on February 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Recycle Bin Empty

Those blissful days when everything is going. Not going well, not going badly, but simply going. Where the day moves by faster than nostalgia and somehow, in some fashion, you keep up. A glorious combination of physical exertion, mental wracking, philosophical theorizing, and bits and pieces of satisfaction for a job well done.

This is one of those days. A day where running on two hours of sleep is the most amazing high in the world, and everything falls into place last minute after hours of buzzing and preparation. The basic bodily needs of sleep, food, hydration, all of it flies out of the mind as the world goes by in a blur of jet stream to the outsider. But you, oh you, are inside the global jet. Neither tiring nor hungering, a steady and productive flow of outputs continues to spew out of the system until the sun is long gone and the day is still burned into the back of the eyes.

But, alas, slowly but surely tasks are being completed at a faster pace than can be replaced. Like emptying the trash every other day, eventually you’re so busy cleaning the bin that items get compartmentalized and thrown out even before they hit the bottom. Weariness sinks in, eyelids move on their own as a strange blurriness fills the vision. Muscles that didn’t exist before now begin their long and spiteful protest, and a strange coldness begins to creep into the fingertips. What used to take one minute now takes five, and what used to take five minutes now takes twenty. Productivity decreases at an alarming, exponential rate while you suddenly feel colder, hungrier, and more tired than you have ever felt in your life. Walking the ten steps to the door knocks the wind out of your very bones and the breath becomes shallow, the heart getting softer. Going to bed almost feels like a death sentence, as there is no guarantee that you will awake the next day from this coma. Literally every ounce of energy has been spent from this shell and it almost seems as if the surrounding colors fade, to perhaps lend some of their precious energy to this dragging corpse.

Today, was an amazing day.

— Another sleep-deprived excerpt from my journal. Mm.. yeah…. I don’t even know.

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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No, really, stop crying

Yes, yes, we all heard, it’s Valentine’s Day.

Ohhh. Ahhh.

Good, now that you got that out of your system:

It’s a stressful day for both couples and singles alike. People in relationships are trying to push an entire year’s worth of extra love into this one day, and singles are stuck watching these couples get on with the lovey dovey. It’s an overall unpleasant experience, one that continues on in tradition because apparently Americans don’t eat nearly enough chocolate during the rest of the year to justify their horrifying obesity.

This is what I think of every time I walk into a Valentine themed candy aisle

Valentine’s Day does indeed seem pointless though. If your gift giving (or lack thereof) isn’t appreciated enough to save your relationship the rest of the year, giving a gift on the day of obligatory presents probably isn’t going to help much. And if it really is to show “how much you love them”, doesn’t it defeat the purpose to do it on the day you have to show them? Why not a week before? Or just once a month? Or when flowers don’t cost three times the usual price? Couples are now burdened with the task of doing something “special” for this Hallmark occasion, but not too special as to completely outshine every other event in the year that they must eventually partake in.

Yes, Valentine’s Day is a bit unnecessary, and stressful, and really all it does is flaunt who is or isn’t in a relationship while making bank for the gifting business. But that’s no reason to get huffy about it.

In my perspective, angry singles are just as bad and obnoxious as overly romantic couples. Sure, you can rant on and on about how it’s the evil corporations taking our hard earned money and sexist stereotypes about who buys the flowers and chocolates and all that dribble about principles that don’t have to do with the fact that you’re single.

But you’re just a bitter lonely person. Quit your externally angry cries for attention. We’ve all heard it before.

Why don’t you be proud of your independence, your self-defining ways and the complete control over your own schedule? Let the lovebirds do their thing, and you do your thing. Neither really affects the other, unless you purposefully focus on them with eyes full of loathing.

It’s like glaring at the back of the head of the guy in front of you that got the last ticket to the movie. He still has his ticket, and by standing there mid-glare you just look stupid. Nothing’s going to change in this situation except for your own sensitive feelings. Get over it, buy a ticket for another movie, and maybe throw some chocolate candy in there for good measure.

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Those Days

And then I get a phone call from a non-English speaking Chinese woman who knows my name, leading to the next 7 minutes of pure confusion.

Yup. This was it. One of “Those Days”.

You see, Those Days are when everything is a little off.

Not hellishly bad, not so good, just off. Weird, off kilter, unbalanced, whatever, you name it.

This particular instance began with the sabotage of my computer at work. I say sabotage because the problem at my computer could have only happened if someone physically logged onto it and deleted my scanner settings. While this was somewhat bothersome, I must admit I felt a tinge of flattery. For someone to so purposefully ruin my system says quite a lot about how important I am even as a lowly temp. Huzzah!

So there I am. Six thirty in the morning, day has barely begun, and I’m already sensing the upcoming Those Days. Well, whatever, I can still keep working, just at a much slower pace. Here. I. Go.

All right, been an hour. A painfully slow and tedious hour. Time to switch gears. Let’s go numb my mind in the mail room, there’s very little that can go wrong with filing mail. What is that? The stamping machine is going crazy? Uh… what do you mean the mail guy is coming in ten minutes and we have to re-stuff all the envelopes??

Well that was a little stressful. Screw it, let’s go back to banking. Ah, sweet, sweet banking. This isn’t so bad, got through a few batches already, let’s deposit this last-

My deposit isn’t submitting. Why isn’t it submitting? Maybe I should just edit. Why can’t I edit? Forget it, let’s delete. WHY AREN’T YOU DELETING?!?!

At this point I realize that Those Days has finally caught up to me, and somewhere in the hour and a half I stayed on the phone with the bank’s technical assistant did I consider the fact that I would have probably been more productive if I had simply turned off the alarm, rolled over in my bed, and stayed home. My supervisor wholeheartedly agrees while she struggles to keep in her roaring laughter. Not laughing at me, she claims, laughing with me. Cue the rest of my coworkers giving me looks of pity atop tight lips holding back grins.

Fortunately the work day ends early, I go home, eat lunch, and sleep away the afternoon. Probably the best idea, because the moment I wake up, Those Days is lurking around the corner. Customer service seems to be having one of Those Days as well, because at both the post office and at Petsmart do I get juggled around from one employee to the other for something seemingly simple, like getting a flat rate box, or a bag of dog food.

Awesome.

Then comes night. Trying my best to ignore the semi-burn I got from the shower as I drive to bible study, I get a phone call from what seems to be an international number.

“Hello?”

“… hello? Is this **?”

“Yes?”

“… hello?”

“… yes I am..”

“Are you Chinese?”

“No?” (Only later do I realize she asked if I spoke Chinese, which I somewhat do. This single answer could have saved me a very perplexing conversation, which basically consisted of the first 5 lines over and over again until she hung up on me with a broken apology.)

As I sit in my car staring at my painfully bright phone screen, I feel a sort of hollowness inside draining away at my energy. I’m not angry, annoyed, or even frustrated. I laugh an empty laugh at the situation, and want nothing more than to curl up in bed and sleep away the next 12 hours.

gg, Those Days, gg.

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Why “grown-up” is a loose term

Ask a child what it means to be a grown up, and they will probably answer something along the lines of  “out of school”, or “can drive a car”, or “lives by themselves”. Legally speaking, a grown up is a non-minor “adult”, someone over the age of 18 who can vote, join the military, and buy useless things on TV without asking their parents.

Please someone understand this joke

Technically speaking, I am a grown-up, a bona fide adult. Plus I can legally drink, making me even more grown-up than the guy who can only buy cigarettes.

But am I? Really? The older I get the more I come to understand just how non-grown-up I really am.

I still feel uncomfortable being the first to pee in a public restroom. I don’t like hanging my leg over the side of the bed for fear of “something” that might come up from underneath (I even had this mentality when I was using a mattress box. You know, the base with absolutely no space underneath it.) Hell, I even still have the “ewww, kissing” reaction when I see blatant PDA.

You’d think that someone in their 20’s wouldn’t be like this. Granted, I have “grown-up moments: when I stress about bills and employment and friend’s weddings, but those are rare. In between those moments though, you can find me walking along the sidewalk stepping over the cracks out of concern for “breaking my mom’s back” (I’m such a good daughter ^_^).

Even when I’m in “grown-up clothes” at work in full out business attire, I often catch myself rocking back and forth on my high heels, the same way I did when I was 8.

When my relatives scold me for being childish, I giggle and run off to hide under the blankets while stealthily avoiding helping out in making dinner.

When I go grocery shopping, I stop and stare at the sour gummy worms and debate with myself whether those $3 are worth it, every single time.

When I wear dangly earrings, I can’t help but shake my head every few minutes to hear them clinking against themselves. They’re like mobile wind chimes strapped to your head!

Buy these for me and watch me get a self induced seizure

Sure, I’m a grown-up. I work, I drive a car, I pay bills, I talk about politics and the economy. But squirming right beneath that outer facade of adulthood, there’s a 10 year old kid screaming I WANT THE SHINY PLATE when passing out dishes at dinner.

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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I am what I describe myself to be… so what can I be?

I am no linguist and boast little if any background in the field, but I have been reading up on the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, or Linguistic relativity. In a nutshell, this hypothesis claims that language not only limits what people can say, but how they think, what they can mentally process, and all other sorts of goodies that we as the general public assumed was biological in some degree (or just chose to not think of the matter). This is not to say that some cultures are gifted with languages that allow them to lift two hundred pounds of sand, but instead they think of that sand as being north of you instead of next to you, or that the sand is comprised of 8 main cubes instead of simply being made of “many parts”.

This hypothesis, while still under the scrutiny of many researches and linguists, seems to have some sort of merit. A classic and extreme example would be the Pirahã people and their language. They lack the concept of numbers, only knowing “few” and “many”, and have thus so far been unresponsive to attempts to be taught simple arithmetic such as 1+1. They lack the concept of the abstract and linear time as we know it, and have no words for describing anything that is beyond the here and now. This explains why they have no myths nor fables nor imaginative art, and are even unable to remember the names of dead relatives simply because they do not exist anymore. Truly a fascinating example of the strength of language and its confines on our mentalities and culture. This hypothesis of linguistic relativity requires more study of course, but cases like these makes one wonder at what else we could be missing in our cognitive ability, only because we cannot say it.

Even in our individual lives can we see some fragment of truth in this hypothesis. I am blessed to have been born and raised in a bilingual family, and so from the beginning of my cognitive growth I have replaced phrases and words from each language with each other, if only because one just seemed more fitting at the time. There are different words for tastes, moods, colors, and even types of pain, and very often will I find that the people I am speaking to can’t truly comprehend my rough translation of the other word. This has proven to be especially difficult in hospital visits, as there is always a language gap even if we are speaking the same language.

Granted, this is not a mind blowing issue, and not being able to describe in my full capacity just in what way my soup tastes good is not a life threatening or even day-ruining problem. But what if we could get rid of language all together? That we could simply share thoughts? At some point as infants and wordless toddlers we must have some sort of thought process capable of communication, we are simply not indoctrinated into our own cultural linguistic norm yet. What would happen if there were no indoctrination altogether?

A certain brain implanted “Neuralynx system” is in the works at Boston University, with which a person only has to think of a word, and the system will read them and even synthesize the voice. Currently only being created with victims of “locked in syndrome” in mind, the device could have much larger implications. If we are able to digitally transmit speech directly from our brains to computers, what’s to stop us from eventually transmitting thoughts and concepts to each other directly without words? We could share thoughts that have no linguistic boundary, explore abstractions beyond our wildest, word-bound dreams. Will we see color differently? Experience different sensations of taste? Categorize an object by its shape and material and an infinite amount of other generalizations at the same time? Will we even have the same concept of time and space?

Even though this could only even begin to come into play if generations of people were immediately implanted with these systems right after birth, the idea is still a fun one to play with. Our “conversations” and understanding of the world could potentially become so much richer and diversified that our minds could hardly contain the grand scheme of it all.

Or, in my opinion, we would just have really intense awkward silences.

Now try describing this in Swedish

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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A cynic’s optimism

It was subzero all day today, what with the massive cold front in the heartland, and private and primary schools were all closed. Can’t have those little kiddies getting frostbite while waiting for the bus, now can we?

The world does indeed go on though, and from that we can correctly conclude that, yes, I had to drag my freezing self to work today. Another pre-dawn commute, cold, windy, and snowy. Begin, the funniest-bad-day ever.

Perhaps it was too cold overnight? Regardless of what caused it, all of a sudden this morning when I turn on the car the little yellow fuel light blinks on. “Odd,”, I think to myself, “It was at a quarter tank when I got home yesterday.” Ah well, suck it up and get gas on the way to work I guess? Bah, this sucks.

For those of you who have never had to get gas at 5:30 in the morning (I’ve never even thought of it), gas stations are usually closed. Their lights are off, the stores are dark, and it all seems frightfully post-apocalyptic. Fortunately I was too drowsy to notice the impending doom and quickly learned that the pumps still work. Cue silent “CHYEA!”

So here I am, half awake, eyes icing over from the cold, thick gloves on over frozen fingers trying to rummage through my wallet as I walk outside and trying my hardest not to fall. It’s a slow and painful process. I admit, it’s getting a little frustrating.

Get card? Success, after dropping it once.

Push buttons on screen? Success, after a couple tries.

Don’t fall on ass as I walk on black ice? Mild success, continue slipping.

Open fuel tank door? … Open fuel tank door?

What what? Puzzled, I press the latch in the car one more time and walk back to the fuel door, only to realize that the entire thing has been sealed shut with ice.

Now. This. Is. Just. Agitating.

With a huff I pull out my debit card and start digging into the sides of the door so that I can chip away at the ice. It’s dark and freezing outside, I’m all alone in an empty shopping center, eyes half open, slipping with every breath, and now I’m hunched over the back of a car in a poofy jacket with cumbersome gloves on, sawing away at the car with a flimsy piece of plastic as I grumble aloud to myself.

I couldn’t help it. I burst out laughing, right then and there. The mental image was too much for my sleep deprived mind to handle and I just stood there, card in hand, head thrown back; laughing. (Guffawed is more like it, but let’s be dignified here)

Optimism usually isn’t my thing, so behold my surprise when I realize throughout the day that whenever work got a little too mind numbing, or sleep sounded too enticing, thinking back to my awkward self in the empty gas station was sufficient to bring back snickers strong enough to push back any overly negative thoughts. My usually cynical, critical self was laughing/smiling all day because of something so ridiculously stupid.

Making fun of yourself is the best way to live, hands down. There are too many important things in the world for you to take yourself seriously.

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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