Sunday, January 29, 2012

Just Where Have You Been All Week... I Mean All Month... Or Is It 3 Months?

Just before I started with The Paper I stopped doing my weekly wrap-up posts. What can I say? I've had an eventful past few months.
First off, say goodbye to this toon. I've decided to give my wrap-ups an intro graphic like most of my other posts. So... introducing my new weekly wrap-up graphic!
I said "new" not necessarily "improved".

Now, on to the recap. I've decided to spare you the details of the last 3 months or so of stuff that have been going on. Long story short, crappy internet, new job, Christmas, New Year great blog friends encouraging me along the way and so on.

Now that we're all up to date I'll recap what I've been up to in the past week. Let's start with my activities here:
- Things have been pretty quite this week. Mostly that's because, as I said in Tuesday, my internet is being an asshole troublesome again. It started working again today. Mostly! Really slow connection but at least I can connect.

- Not to be deterred, I've been making extensive use of Blogger's post email feature. That's how I was able to post about one of my paranoid delusions suspicions I have from time to time.

A lack of internet did not stop me from posting on Sprocket Ink:
- On Tuesday we looked into a study revealing a male preoccupation with sex and violence. No shit! Really?

- Thursday I had fun with puns as I wrote about how one German city is dealing with its economic problems. The word "Robopimp" is used... And it actually makes sense.

And that's what I've been up to this past week. Hopefully, I'll be able to keep this consistent from now on. If not... well... then I guess I won't.

Don't you just love the whole  "my blog my rules" thing?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Paranoid Activity.

10:00AM

Editor A: Vinny, Curly called in sick. Want to cover court proceedings?
Me: I don't mind, but someone was supposed to go with me & show me around. Plus, I have an assignment for 11.
Editor A: Oh. We'll see what Editor C can do.
Editor C: Curly called from home already and found out there was nothing important going on in court today.
Editor A: Oh... Well go anyway, Vinny. Just walk and get the layout. You know! Talk to people 'n stuff. You can leave when you have to go to your 11 o'clock.
Me: Um... Ooookay...

While most people would have used this opportunity to go pay a bill or take care of some other errand, I am plagued by...

- Secret Paranoid Suspicion# 23: My employers, past and present, have me under surveillance. They track my every move. -

So, as a result, I spent the 45 minutes that followed that conversation wandering the halls of the courthouse like an idiot.

Since my phone is probably bugged as well, they're probably reading this post I'm typing up on it too.

All of this is normal. Right?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My Internet's Down Again.

The management of AVCI regrets to inform you that we are currently experiencing technical difficulties at this time. We apologize for any inconvenience you may be suffered as a result if this but circumstances remain beyond our control at this time.

We know this severely diminishes your blogging experience and as a result of this, management has taken the decision to provide a full refund. This can be redeemed at the following location:

Click Here.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Insert Funny Here: Part 2

Just like the last time, I'll let you do the talking...
After you're done, you can head on over to my post on Sprocket Ink.

Annnnnnd go!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My Real Friends.

Yes, I do have a new post over at Sprocket Ink today. But there's something else I have to say before I send you over.

Ever since I've started blogging, I've witnessed another side of people that I rarely see displayed in the RL. Bloggers have a way of forming connections with each other that bridge even the furthest distances. I've seen people form real friendships with people they've never met face to face and, no, that isn't pathetic.

Despite what someone who isn't a part of this world may think, bloggers aren't just geeks hiding from the real world in front of their computers. Almost all of the bloggers I've met since I first started are real people with real lives, most of whom have done way cooler things than I ever have. Only they're not afraid to share their lives and innermost thoughts with others.

Because of all of the talent and sheer awesomeness I come across every time I open my reader, it's safe to say that you guys intimidate me. I mean that. I'm proud to call myself a blogger.

Why am I gushing on and on like this? Well it's because that blogging kindness I just mentioned has struck again. Only this time, a lot closer to home.

When I first started blogging, one of the first people to hit the "Follow" button was a blogger called Nubian. Since then, she has always been there with a witty comment or an encouraging email. You could say, she's been one of my primary enablers.

Well, it seems she's taken it a step further because on day she sent me a message asking for my address. I knew what was coming after that.

I'll be honest. I try to avoid letting people send me stuff since I live all the way in the Caribbean and I don't want to put anyone through that expense. But, she wanted to send me a Christmas gift and I know her well enough to know that I couldn't refuse.

After some logistical issues with the post office (Read as: They gave the term "snail mail" new meaning) which, in turn, almost made her go postal on the postal workers, Nubian's gift finally arrived today (I guess by postal service standards, January 17 is close enough to Christmas).

Anyway... Behold! The package!
FYI, Not the first time I've said that. Even though it was under different circumstances then.
And here's what came inside.
I know! Awesome, right?!
This is for Mrs. C and her grandma, Evie.
But the rest... MINE!!! ALL MINE! BWAHAHAHAHA!!!

Ahem...

First, we have this:
Yes, KA-POW! It's like a chocolate bar only, not. They don't waste time with weak-assed chocolate in this stuff. What we're talkin' here is pure coffee, baby!

And next: I always said I wanted a bigger coffee mug. Now I've got one.
This baby's only available in London. SWEET!
As you can see, despite battling two different postal services and customs, it arrived unharmed. That's a Christmas by itself is a miracle if there ever was one.

Of course, to go with my new mug, I have some new coffee.
They make a cute couple. Don't you agree?
I'd have some now, but I've already had a block of the Ka-pow! and think the combination might make my head explode. It's that potent.

Last, but certainly nowhere near least is this lovely little card.
I won't share too much of what's inside. Let's just say, we accept your offer and can be all packed in an hour. *wink*

So, I'll say thanks once again to you, Nubian. You're more than just a longtime follower in my book. You're a real friend.

Okay... *sniffles* You guys go to Sprocket now before I hug someone.

[UPDATE: I've just been handed new information (new to me, that is) that Nubian's blog is no longer private. As such a link has been added. Carry on.]

Sunday, January 15, 2012

It's The Little Things

I was in the supermarket the other evening. I was in a particularly bad mood too. I won't bother to go into specifics but let's just say my mood was the end result of minor crappy events that I just let get to me.

I decided to pass by the bakery section to see what they could offer in the way of comfort food.
source
As I checked the display case, I began to notice the woman next to me who was already there choosing from the pastries on display.

There wasn't anything particularly special about her. She looked in her late 40's to early 50's, her clothes were simple: a cream coloured skirt and matching flowery blouse. Her hair was short and brown she had on a pair of thin-framed glasses.

Nothing special about her at all.

"I'll take two currant rolls," she said

The clerk behind the counter grabbed a pair of tongs and reached into the case.

"Wait, I'll take the one on top and that one in the front row in the middle... please."

"Oh boy!" I thought, "One of those. The kind who just had to pick out the specific piece of whatever it was they wanted. I know it was just my bad mood talking but at that particular moment, nothing could irritate me more. Excuse me while I fight back an eye-roll."

"Oh!" she continued, "I'll have a piece of cake too. The one closest to me. Second from the left."

She pointed out the piece she wanted. The clerk behind the counter fished it out for her while I resisted the urge to let out an exasperated sigh.

Then the strangest thing happened. As the clerk bagged her goodies up, the woman who I had now dubbed "Pastry Lady" smiled, clapped her hands excitedly in front of her face and bobbed up and down. Then, as though she just noticed I was standing there, she turned to me. And her smiled broadened as she continued her bobbing and clapping. She wasn't embarrassed. She wasn't phased in the least.

And I smiled back.

Not in a patronizing, "Yay for you, crazy cake-lady!" kind of way. No... For that one brief moment, that woman's... glee infected me. Whatever stresses she faced in life, whatever cares she had, for that one instant took a back seat and she was able to truly appreciate this one small victory as if nothing else mattered. And neither did mine. Not anymore.

Then I remembered a quote by Emerson that one of my good friends on the blogosphere, Kelly, used in a post she did recently:


- “For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”

Seems so simple, but it's true. I thought about all the little things I'd let pile up into one big ball of glum inside me and realized that they were just that. Little things. Each, by themselves, nothing. I gave them the power that they had over me.

After her pastries were bagged up, Pastry Lady turned back to the clerk, took the bags, smiled some more and thanked her as she left. I left too. I didn't bother to buy anything. Strangely, I didn't feel the need for "comfort food" anymore.

This stranger I encountered reminded me that as much as little things can bring us down, they can also serve to brighten our day as well.


People surprise me sometimes.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Conversations With Mrs. C - The Day Off.

The end of last week:

Me: I have to work on Sunday.
Mrs. C: That sucks.
Me: Yeah. But they have to give me a day off in the week in exchange. So I'm home on Thursday so I can get to-
Mrs. C: Really?! Awesome! I didn't say anything but I'm going on vacation next week! So I'll be home too!
Me: Wow... that's... that's great...
Mrs. C: I know, right?! Ooh! Ooh! Know what? We can spend the entire day together! We can go to the movies, maybe can grab something to eat after. Won't that be awesome?!
Me: Um... Yeah... I guess...
Mrs. C: And since we're both home on Thursday we can get a jump on this weekend's housework and probably do the laundry and go get the groceries and then I need to run to the bank and deposit Evie's pension cheque and not to mention I have to cook so you'll be helping me with that too and while we're at it you're due for another haircut and you could totally get that done on Thursday so we can free things up on Saturday because we have that thing with my sister but now that I think about it that sounds like a lot so we'll probably have to forget going to the movies and do it some other time and we'll probably have to get up early to make sure we get everything done and then we'll have to...
Me: ...Uhhhhh...

********

Quick! Before she comes back. Go see what I did on Sprocket Ink today. K' bye.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What They Fail To Teach Us.

Being an adult is hard. They don't make this clear enough when you're growing up.

As a child you're all like, "When I grow up, I'll make all the money and buy all the junk food I want! And you can't stop me!"

We assume our parents’ response to this (or rather, lack thereof) is because we're right and they really won't be able to stop us from the inevitable freedom that would one day come with becoming a grown-up. We assume this and we're wrong. What we fail to realize is that our parents are silently choking back riotous guffaws that our na├»ve little declarations have earned.

What we don’t know, as children growing up, is that money isn’t simply handed to you or earned from doing simple chores around the house. You have to go to work to get that money. And this place called “work” isn’t some place where adults go to have unsupervised play time with their friends all day. No way!

What they don't tell us is that going to work is a just like to school. Only much, much worse. You still have cool kids, popular kids, mean kids, geeks, nerds and losers. Only everybody's older and more bitter. Probably from finding out that there's no recess anymore. Of course, bullies are there too. Only now they’re your bosses.

Then when you do earn your money from “work”, you have to pay bills and loans and the like. By the time you’re done with that there isn’t enough left over for “all the junk food you want” anymore. Even if you could still buy your heart’s content in junk food, you no longer have the metabolism you once did and it most likely kill you very quickly. So forget that plan.

Another thing they don’t really clue you in on is that you now have to handle a ton of responsibilities. These include the aforementioned bills, loans and other financial commitments as well as household responsibilities.

Such is the case with the recent adventures in the C household which began with a flooded bathroom and ended in three hours of sleep and a lifetime of memories.

It all began with a strange noise. We had just settled into bed. I was tired because of that place called “work” I mentioned earlier. I had just drifted off into a very welcome slumber when Mrs. C asks, “What is that noise?”

Me (¼ asleep): Sounds like the pipes rattling (really old plumbing)
Mrs. C: Don’t you think you should check?
Me: Not our problem. It sounds like it’s coming from outside.
Mrs. C: You sure?
Me: Yeah...

Soon, however, Mrs. C's grandma, Evie, is knocking on our door.

Evie: There's a loud noise coming from the toilet.
Me: GROAN!!!
Mrs. C: Just go check!

I go over to the bathroom. Surely enough the pipes running to the tank are groaning and rattling like nobody's business. I adjust the water flow and it stops. Success! I head back to bed.

Mrs. C: Not our problem, huh?
Me: Yeah... yeah...

I couldn't be bothered with trying to explain myself. Sweet slumber awaited. In my defense, it really did sound like it was coming from outside. I was ¼ way asleep anyway. She should have known better than to trust my judgement at that point. Besides, I fixed the problem. No harm, no foul. Right?

Wrong! So very wrong. A few minutes later, Evie, was knocking again.

Evie: Vinny? It won't stop running.
Me (½ asleep this time): Huh..? Wha..?

This time, Mrs. C got up to check instead. Not long after that

Mrs. C: VINNNYYY!!!

I jumped out of bed and rushed toward the direction of the bathroom. There, Mrs. C stands almost ankle deep in water. She doesn't look happy.

In fact, she looks downright pissed.

I shut the water off.

Mrs. C: Get the mop and bucket.
Me: *GROAN!!!*
Mrs. C: What?
Me: Nothing. *mutters (quietly)*


Half an hour later, we finished cleaning up and I open the lid of the toilet tank and find the culprit. My sleep deprivation tonight is the result of a broken fitting I don't even know the name of... Nor do I care to. I'm moderately handy around the house, but this is above my pay grade. Even if could figure it out, it's almost two in the morning and hardware stores are closed, needless to say. This one, I decide to leave to the plumber to sort out later.

********

This is just one example of how our parents fail to prepare us for life as an adult. I'm sure I would have taken my time and enjoyed my childhood a bit more if my dad had pulled me aside one day and said, "Son, one day, when you grow up, you could actually be standing ankle deep in toilet water. And it will be your job to fix this. You can't call on me when this happens. You won't be able to go back to bed after the initial excitement is over and leave the adults to fix it. Because, then, you'll be the adult. It's all going to be up to you then."

IF I knew this would have cherished my childhood a whole lot more. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go get ready for "work".

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Scariest Headlines I've Ever Read.

I know I said I wouldn't do a pseudo-post again but I have to let you all know that Sprocket Ink's back from vacation and we're hitting the ground running. I've got a brand spanking new post up there so just click in my SI badge to the right (which I somehow doubt you'll be able to miss). Two words: Japanese. toilets.

Totally!

Actually, I wouldn't really call this one a pseudo-post since I'm still writing beyond that last paragraph. I submit then that this does not, in fact count as a pseudo-post and I have, in fact, kept my word.

Uh-uh-uh! No arguing. I already said it.

Anyway, as you've may have guessed, I read the news sometimes. But recently I've come across some very disturbing real story headlines that made me cringe before I even read the the actual stories.

I'll list some of them for you. Keep in mind these are the actual headlines from actual news sites:

Man Dies After Eating Cocaine Hidden In Brother's Butt
- Hiroyuki Joho, Man Killed By Train, Sued After His Flying Body Parts Injured Woman
Sex Assault on Chihuahua Gets Ex-Convict 10 Years

And my personal-um-favorite(?)

- Patient Allegedly Had Penis Eaten Off By Rats

RATS!!!

*crosses legs and puts hands in lap nervously*

Okay, so now that I've thoroughly traumatized most, if not all of you. Head on over to Sprocket and read about weird toilet obsessions.

If I Ruled The World (Imagine That).

Say what you will, the world's a pretty messed up place. Don't ask me why but everything just seems really screwed up as far as this planet goes.

Why? If you ask me, one of the main reasons is that the wrong people are in charge. Seriously! How did we end up putting some of these jokers at the helm? It's obvious the lunatics are running the asylum and they've locked all us sane people up in the cells. And there seems to be nothing we can do about it.

Until now.

All that's about about to change for, BEHOLD, I have been bequeathed yon Overlord Award!
This honor hath been bestowed upon me by Shirley of Shirley Ewe Must Be Joking. A fine lass indeed who doth weildeth a mighty blog and doth attacketh with her razor-sharp humor and wit. She also doth apparently longeth to one day defecate rare and precious gems. Indeed. A worthy aspiration if ever there was. Follow the link and be awed by her sheer awesomeness.


Okay, I'll stop now.


Yeah, so I think I was saying somewhere in that mess that I won me an award. This award means that, basically, I rule. I am overlord! Commander of all I survey. Bow down before, mere mortals!

Bwahahahahaha!!!

This award also comes with rules. Wait! I've just been crowned overlord and I have to follow rules? Well, okay then. But only because it pleases me to do so.

Bwaha... ha?

Now, most of the time when an award asks for me to list something, I sit and agonize for days (sometimes weeks) trying to come up with the right respnoses. However, for this one, it just so happens that I already have them prepared.

*takes stack of post-its out of back pocket*

What? Doesn't everyone keep a "If I ruled the world one day" to-do list with them? You should.

Unfortunately, I can only list three things so I'll give you my top three:

- All of the negative propaganda about coffee ends now. Enough is enough, people! Know that this may or may not involve nay-sayers ending up in the middle of town in stocks, Dark-Ages-style.

- My war with my unyielding foe, the Grackle, will finally be at an end as I defeat the vicious birds. Fear not though, for I will not destroy the creatures. Instead, I will subjugate them and use their skills. They will become my personal army. Put your assets to their best use, I always say.
I live to serve, master.
- As Overlord of the world I would require a base of command to rule from. For this I choose the country of Japan. Though much of the world shall be changed as my Grackle army raids the lands and peck the heads of my enemies, I shall leave the people and culture of Japan untouched, for they perfect. It is from there that I shall rule as ninja cat-girls serve me sake.

Also, as Overlord I am also expected to bestow this honor upon others. I'm not sure why I'd be expected to share my power. The only reason I can think of is that I will need to have worthy rivals to battle against so I can keep my skills honed. Either that or I'll need other overlords to send friend requests to.

I hear it's lonely at the top.

The following I have chosen definitely are deserving of that honor. Mostly because they already rule.

Thank Q
Cynicism 101
My Own Private Idaho
Pickleope
Sex Sequins & Sociopaths

With that my position as overlord had been cemented. I'm off to look at some Japanese real estate. They say Tokyo's nice this time of year.