Friday, May 22, 2009

High Fivers...UNITE

Competition was a big part of my life growing up. Me, my brothers, and my cousins would engage in city league sports. It didn't really matter what sport, basketball, football, tennis, badminton. The intensity was always high and when we would score, it was the greatest feeling in the world. So, how would we celebrate these monumental athletic accomplishments? With the greatest expression of all time...the High Five. But what happened to my beloved expression of victory? When did it become uncool?

As far as I can tell, the High Five started to disappear around the mid 90's. Some would say because so many elaborate moves were added to the simple gesture, it became too complex and time consuming to perform and people began to express themselves in other ways. I believe the culprit of the demise to my beloved High Five was the fear of being "left hanging." For those of you who have never experienced being "left hanging," it can be a crushing blow to the social life of a 12-18 year old. People point and laugh, and you walk away dejected. I would implore you to shake off the fear of being "left hanging," and reclaim the High Five. In fact, use the High Five at inappropriate times. High Five a co-worker who slips on black ice, or when you use the facilities, or even when your boss yells at you for being late (the look of confusion is awesome). But really folks, is there really an inappropriate time to use the High Five.

In conclusion, the High Five is a comforting old friend. Don't give up on it because everyone else says he's not cool anymore. And don't forget the variations... Air Five, Jump Five, Low Five, The Top Gun (combo of the High Five followed by a Low Five), Slap Me Some Skin, The Group Five, and the High Ten followed by the chest bump!

Thanks for the vent session...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

BOOO... scary huh?

Fear is a funny thing. People go to see horror movies because they're exciting, but put them in a parallel universe with giant floating heads trying to eat them and it just becomes awkward. I have a fear of speaking in public, which is ironic because I've been told that I'm a good public speaker. To me, public speak feels akin to being punched in the gut before beforehand, and awaiting another blow during the time I speak. It could be anything from delivering one line during a program to a full blown presentation. Honestly, I'd rather fight floating heads in a parallel universe with a wet paper towel. The worst part is that it seems like every member of my family is a gifted orator. My brother has a degree in Law from the University of California at Berkeley and is an excellent public speaker. His wife, a psychology degree from UC Riverside, speaks in court as an expert witness weekly. My younger brother is a college student, and a former missionary, is also an excellent public speaker, and my teenage sister... well, let's just say she will talk anybodies ear off given the opportunity. I admire them, because they have no fear of speaking to the masses. You may be asking yourself, "if this guy hates speaking in public so much, why is he doing it?" The answer is... I have no idea. If I had to put it into a word, I would say obligation. Sometimes, I have no choice but to do it because no one else can or is willing.

Your fear may not be public speaking. It could be fear of failure, dogs, the dark, work (a real phobia by the way), porcelain dolls, with their soulless eyes, staring, always staring... or even heights (another one of mine). But what can you do when faced with your fear? Curl up into the fetal position and weep, or face it? I mean, sure it's hard to face your fears, but sometimes it will be easier to grab a hammer and smash those evil little dolls into millions of little bits so they won't take your soul to hell or wherever they came from... ummm... I may have some issues. Anyway, I guarantee that there will come a time that you will have no choice but to face your fears, be it obligation or fear of the guilt you would feel for not facing it that fuels you, but either way you will be stronger for it, and besides those dolls can't be that hard to replace.

Thanks for the vent session...

Funny Rhetorical Questions...

Just got an e-mail of some funny rhetorical questions that I thought I'd pass along:

  • If a cow laughed real hard, would milk come out her nose?

  • If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?

  • What's another word for Thesaurus?

  • Who decided what order to put the alphabet in?

  • Why are cigarettes sold in gas stations when smoking is prohibited there?

  • Why are there locks on the doors to the convenience store that is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year?

  • Why do they call them apartments when they are all stuck together?

  • Why do you need a drivers license to buy liquor when you cannot drink and drive? And why do bars have parking lots?

  • Why does TEFLON stick to the frying pan, since nothing ever sticks to TEFLON?

  • Why is it so hard to remember how to spell MNEMONIC?

  • Why are there Interstate Highways in Hawaii?

  • Why are there flotation devices under plane seats, instead of parachutes?

  • Why do hot dogs come ten to a package and hot dog buns only eight?

  • Why do they put Braille dots on the keypad of the drive-up ATM?

  • If you keep trying to prove Murphy's Law, will something keep going wrong?

  • Why do flammable and inflammable mean the same thing?

  • Shouldn't there be a shorter word for monosyllabic ?

  • If 75% of all accidents happen within 5 miles of home, why not move 10 miles away?

  • Why doesn't onomatopoeia sound like what it is?

  • Does a fish get cramps after eating?

  • Why is it when two planes almost hit each other it is called a near miss ? Shouldn't it be called a near hit ?

  • Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?

  • You know that little indestructible black box that is used on planes? Why can't they make the whole plane out of the same material?

  • Why isn't palindrome spelled the same way backwards?

  • If you see a heat wave, should you wave back?

  • Why does sour cream have a 'best if used-by' date? Does it turn sweet?

  • How does the guy who drives the snowplow get to work in the mornings?

  • Why is it called TOOTHbrush when you brush all of your teeth?

  • Why do fat chance and slim chance mean the same thing?

  • If someone invented instant water, what would they mix it with?

  • Why is brassiere singular and panties plural?

  • Why is it that when you transport something by car, it's called a shipment, but when you transport something by ship, it's called cargo?

  • Why isn't "phonetic" spelled the way it sounds?

Now all I need are some rhetorical answers...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

You are the Donny to my Marie, I am the Ham to your Burger...

Just getting home at 3 a.m. and was bored so I jumped on the ol' laptop to kill some waking minutes. As I was staring at the monitor, hoping to doze off, I came across a little quiz about who I would be compatible with. So I meandered through the questions, answering as best as a sleep deprived brain could, and this was my result.

"You are most compatible with AQUARIUS! I'm sure most of your friends are Aquarians! Together you're going to rock! They are nearly always intelligent, concise, clear and logical. Aquarius are often felt to be unfathomable when in reality they live almost entirely on the surface. Aquarians will not reveal their innermost feelings no matter how hard others may try to persuade them, simply because they are unable to do so. People of this sign have a reputation for being enigmatic, difficult to understand, and different from everyone else, and cleverly play on this to gain power and attention. They are extremely friendly yet detached at a personal level, sociable in large gatherings, but unsociable at smaller meetings and parties which require greater intimacy. They are helpful and compassionate when involved with charities or group activities."

I gotta say, this is pretty close to what my friends are. They may not all be Aquarians, but they are some of the smartest folks I know. I especially liked the "Together you're going to rock" part. Being a musician, I find that rocking together to be essential. You may wonder what sign I am. Well, the answer is not that simple. I was born on the 21st of May and some experts say that I am a Taurus, others say that I am a Gemini. Astrologically, I'm defined as a stubborn troublemaker. Just the kind of buddy everyone should have. So if you're my friend, never fear that you are dumb, for the stars have determined you to be a genius. Mostly because you are friends with me! Just kidding... or am I? Well, I'm off to Dreamland.

Thanks for the vent session...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Just thought I'd share...

Ever been kicked in the face during a fight? I have. It is a very surreal moment and strange thoughts start drifting to the surface. You wonder if that really just happened, then you wonder how he was able to kick you in the face. You ask yourself, does this guy know kung-fu? Did it look cool? You start to replay the moment in your mind, in slow motion, as if it were a sports highlight. The whole time analyzing how you could have avoided the size 12 footprint on your jaw. All these thoughts happened in the space of like 2 seconds. Then the pain kicks in. Don't really know what transpired next, but I did win the fight. Still, these questions will stay with me forever. I guess it's kind of like a personal moment of enlightenment. At least I still have my teeth.

Thanks for the vent session...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Those poor tortured souls...

I went out to eat last night with four girls. Before you start handing out the high-fives and the nudges and winks, they are just good friends. As we perused the menus, we were engaged in typical small talk like global economic forecasts, electrical wiring methods, cartoons, speed of the postal service, and why my cellphone provider is selective about who receives text messages from me. While we were sitting there looking over photographs of mouthwatering entrees, the girl to my right (don't want to mention names because that's a good way to get slapped) said to me that she was hungry, but not just any kind of hungry... MAN HUNGRY. I must say... That is one of the coolest things I've ever heard any girl say to me. Being a man, I can appreciate that kind of hunger, but her dilemma was that she is going to be in a wedding as a bride's maid and she wanted to fit in her dress. I wanted to tell her to do what a guy would and just get a bigger dress, but I thought it would be better to keep my yap shut to avoid the punching of my face that would inevitably follow. This scenario started me thinking ( I know... Me ... Thinking?) why do women put themselves through so much torture to beautify? Maybe cosmetics are the war paint of dating.

Just in case you lovely ladies didn't know, I will walk you through how I get ready to go out.
1) Shower
2) Shave face, if more than two days of growth
3) Brush teeth, put on deodorant
4) Get dressed ... trying to match colours as best as I can
5) Brush hair (sometimes I don't even do this)
6) Out the door

This usually takes as little as ten to as much as 30 minutes, and I do this while watching a television show and eating a sandwich. I can't imagine the kind of precision it takes to shave ones legs while in a shower with soap on the floor, without cutting a major artery or suffering a concussion. Then to blow dry and style your hair in a damp environment, avoiding electrocution and, with a steady hand apply make-up, which may include the use of a sharp eye liner pencil, with out putting out an eye. It also must be equally frustrating to go through outfit after outfit to find the appropriate garb for your evening activities with shoes to match. To me, a typical human male, these kind of rituals mystify me to no end. Honestly, if I had to do these things every time I wanted to go out and have a good time, I would probably give up and watch TV.

But my question is "why?" What's so special about us guys. I believe that women deserve as much from us guys, but rarely receive it. I try to look good when I go out, but today, I just put on my work clothes, ran my fingers through my hair and made sure my socks were matching before I left. Maybe I should worry more about how I look, but I cannot imagine caring as much as women do. I don't know if there is a definite answer out there, and it may not be about us guys, but feel free to let me know what you think. So to you girls out there, I appreciate all you do so that guys, like me, can look upon you. I just want to leave you with what my Dad told me. "Women are precious and should be treated as such, because if you don't, there is a father out there ready to kick your face in..." and we don't want that... right?

Thanks for the vent session...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I wonder...what is cool?

Ever wonder if you're not as cool as you think you are? I use to think I was a pretty cool guy, but then I talk to my cousins and friends who are with what is "IN" these days, and I find that I'm a little out of touch with cool. Not too far off, but far enough that I find myself wondering. When I was just a wee lad, there was no question at all. I use to be that guy who knew all the trends. The music I listened to and clothes I once wore were "IT" in society, but now I see some fashions as weird and alien. I even caught myself saying, "why do these kids today listen to this stuff?" I actually said that while listening to the radio and almost crashed my car when I realized it. Don't get me wrong, I don't chalk it up to aging. I know there are guys my age and older who are still cool. Brad Pitt is like 40ish and he's still cool, right? Well, at least I know I'm cooler than some people.

I have an uncle who is pretty cool. He is about 50 and still has a body of a 20 year old athlete. He is cool by accident though. He has had the same hair style for so long, it went out of style twice!!! But, then again he married a girl who is a year younger than me. When I was a kid, I use to think that I was cooler than Steve Urkel (by the way, if you don't know who this is, you are too young to be wondering if you are still cool), but he got into his science gizmo and then he was way cooler than me. On the flip side, Michael Jackson use to be cooler than everyone...

I guess It's all in how you look at it. Rene Descartes said," I think, therefore I am", so I am going to apply this philosophy to myself by saying, I think I am cool, therefore I am... or at least I hope nobody calls me on it.

Thanks for the vent session

Monday, May 11, 2009

My Mama Always Said...

Sometimes I feel like a complete fool. Does that ever happen to you? Looking back on my experiences, I can totally see what I did wrong, but at the time I was oblivious. I spoke to my mother the other day and, as it always does, the conversation went to dating and getting married. My 29th birthday is in a few weeks and she doesn't want me to be that weird guy you see at the store buying soup for one. She gave me advise on dating and women in general. One thing that she told me, that never occurred in my mind, that girls wanted to be pursued. This statement surprised me because of my mothers personality.

She is a very "no nonsense" woman and I imagine that she was that way when she was a teenager as well. It always puzzled me that my father had gotten a first date with my mother, because my father is one of those class clown, goofy, anything for a laugh kind of guy. Not the kind of dude she would hang out with. They were both popular people, but their circles didn't mix. One day my dad had it in his mind that he was going to go out with this popular girl. My mother took an instant dislike to my father, but he was persistent. Actually it was borderline harassment, the way Mom tells it, but he finally wore her down enough to get a first date, and it was love. Almost 40 years later, she tells her only single son, that no girl wants to wait on a guy to call her.

I look back at the girls I have gone out with and the ones that I didn't, and I can see that maybe she is right. I can now clearly see all the signals that these girls would send out, but I would let it whiz by like Ray Charles playing baseball. Makes me want to kick myself to tell the truth, and I would if I were more limber, but I can't fix what has already happened. I must focus on the future, but what if I don't see these opportunities again? I am a shy person and the thought of pursuing a girl scares the crap out of me. I've never been the type to initiate any type of conversation, and I know I could NEVER do what my dad did, especially when I know for a fact that the girl doesn't like me. My dad would say that I need to "man up", but easier said than done. I guess I'm just afraid of receiving a can of pepper spray in the face. Well, let me know what you think world while I go look for a set of safety goggles.

Thanks for the vent session...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Them are some mighty big words...

Weird things always seem to happen to me. I love my job, but I am a fairly quiet person when I work. I am also quite a large fellow, so I guess people look at my size, my occupation, my skin colour and my quietness, and assume that I am ignorant. Well, you know what happens when you assume right? This assumption does not bother me because I love to see the look on people's faces when I tell them that I am college educated or whip out a word that they don't understand. The love of "the look" as I call it started while I was very young.

When I moved to the United States from New Zealand, I lived in one of the most notoriously poor city's in California, Compton. Later, we moved to a city that was more upper-middle class. I assume that the faculty would look upon me, being the foreign kid from Compton,CA, and figure that I didn't know anything remotely of consequence. It probably didn't improve matters that I was a troublemaker as well. I hardly did my classwork and disrupted lessons as much as I could, but would ace tests. My second grade teacher, Ms. Swanson (that's right!!! I still remember you!) accused me of cheating. I had to retake a different test in the office with the vice principal watching. So, can you imagine the satisfaction I felt when Ms. Swanson found that I had aced her test again? I am definitely not the smartest guys you'll ever meet, but I'm no box of rocks either. I relive this moment every time I see "the look". I would like you to feel the same way so I found some words that you can whip out on the unsuspecting co-worker.

PNEUMONO­ULTRA­MICRO­SCOPIC­SILICO­VOLCANO­CONIOSIS (also spelled PNEUMONO­ULTRA­MICRO­SCOPIC­SILICO­VOLCANO­KONIOSIS) = a lung disease caused by breathing in particles of siliceous volcanic dust.
This is the longest word in any English dictionary.

ANTI­TRANSUB­STAN­TIA­TION­ALIST = one who doubts that consecrated bread and wine
actually change into the body and blood of Christ.
(for those obscure religious conversations you may have)

= Fear of work. Can be a persistent and debilitating disorder in some people, causing significant psychological disability and dysfunction. (good one to use to get a sick day)

Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia = Fear of long words.

Euphemism = a pleasant or inoffensive expression used in place of an unpleasant or offensive one (one of my personal favorite words to use around the job site)

So get out there and impress a friend.

Thanks for the Vent Session

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Callers in the night...

The other day, I was giving a ukulele lesson to a couple of friends of the female persuasion, when the question of an appropriate time to return a call came up. One of these lovely ladies, received a few calls during the day from a guy that she was kind of "talking to" as the saying goes. Because of circumstances beyond her control, she was unable to return the calls to said guy immediately. It was getting pretty late in the evening when she finally had the opportunity to call the dude back. She looked up at the clock on the wall with a sort of pained look and asked the question, which all considerate young ladies would, "Do you think it's too late to call him back?"

Looking back on that day, I realize I don't know the definite answer to that question, but I am going to give you my opinion, because you can't stop me... If I had called a girl during the day more than once, and she didn't call back until 11:30 PM, I would totally pick up the phone and be grateful that she even thought to talk to me. I'm no player of women, or anything like that. I don't have hot girls kicking down my door, but I'd be happy if she called at all. I know what some of you "Ladies Men" are thinking, why take the time to answer, she'll call back because I am all that, the shiznit and so forth, but that is a good way to catch a swift kick in the bean bags (plz refer to my last blog and believe me, I promise to point and laugh ). It seems to me that any woman who wants to talk to a man is for any reason is worth the attention. There is a flip side to the argument though. I had this crazy girl who would call me at all hours. It was cool at first because I didn't know she was off her rocker, but 25+ calls a day started to freak me out a bit, so being the cowardly dude I was, I tried to avoid her calls... she had her mom give my brother a stern talking to at church about me.

So you ladies out there, if you wanna call a guy late at night, I say go for it. A guy who really wants to hear from you will pick up, unless he's a really heavy sleeper. If he doesn't pick up, don't freak out and have your mom yell at his brother at church. It won't be good for anyone involved. For you guys out there, if you are a heavy sleeper, and you see on your "missed calls" menu that a girl has called you late at night, be sure to wear a cup...

Thanks for the Vent Session