Sunday, October 31, 2010

Getting To Know Me A Little Better (Be Afraid, Very Afraid).

I never mentioned this before but, aside from being an office drone, husband and working on being a father, I'm also a student. That's right! I'm sloooowly grinding my way to the degree on evenings after work. (This is why you don't procrastinate, kids). Now that I've given a further glimpse into my life I'll continue.

For many of the subjects where I study we have group projects and yesterday I was on my way to one of these study groups. We currently have a project due and we hadn't done a thing yet and the deadline was in three days we were so dedicated we decided to meet despite the possibility of really bad weather due to a tropical storm in the area. Yeah right! It actually turned out to be the! I mean, people were actually looking up at the sky going, "When's that damned storm gonna get here, already?" (I joke but seriously, even though Tomas decided to go in another direction, he seriously tore some of our neighbors a new one and I refuse to be an insensitive prick.)

So, if I'm not going to quip about how the nation went into panic mode for three days (which includes the pre-storm ritual of crowding local bars hoping to guzzle as much alcohol as possible before the storm blows it all away) then what am I writing about? Well, since you asked - or didn't, whatever - while I was on my way to meet up with fellow procrastinators... I saw a girl in a white dress... and a bright blue cape. A cape...

Now, we don't really celebrate halloween here - not until a few years ago and it's something the whole country hasn't accepted (YET! Give it about five more years). I decided that her just being on her way to some halloween party made the most sense (party-goers are just as dedicated it seems). Because the whole thing isn't so much of an event in T&T it took me a few minutes to finally come to this conclusion and for few minutes my mind ran one-or-two other possible scenarios - more specifically, the first runner up, which was that this was, yet again, some new fashion fad. It's the runner-up that concerns me. While this idea was rattling around in my head for however long it was there, I was actually thinking, "SWEET!"

I've never liked fashion fads. I don't believe "real men wear pink" and I especially detest the current men's skinny capri oxymoron fad (I sincerely hope they all become sterile from crushing their nads in those things.) Maybe it's because it would satisfy some wannabe superhero complex but, somehow, I couldn't help thinking that if capes became the new thing that I'd be totally behind that one... How messed up is that?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Social Interaction - Meeting People On The Street.

About Four Or Five Months Ago, While On My Way Home From Work...

Guy walks up to me: Aye, man.
Me: (Do I know him? He looks like he knows me. He's smiling like he's glad to see me. He's even got this expectant look like I'm supposed to, like, remember his name or something. CRAP! I'm so bad at remembering people.) Oh! Heeeeey.... man.
Guy: How you doin'?
Me: Good... good. (Shit! He's still here. I wasn't expecting human interaction now. I was in my happy place. I'm off guard. I haven't prepared. Oh, well. Might as well come out with it.) Sorry, where do I know you from again? I'm bad at remembering people.
Guy: Didn't you go to El-Do? (short name of a local secondary school.)
Me: No. I went to -- (the School for Idiots, apparently).
Guy: Oh, so you know -- (Can't remember the name he said. Didn't know him anyway).
Me: Nope.
Guy: Anyhow, you got a five I could borrow.
Me: (You have got to be kidding me! You added five more minutes of awkward to my already awkward-full life for this?! We've never even met before, have we? I bet there isn't even a what's-his-name who ever attended old SfI, is there?) Nah, sorry.
Guy: Alright, later.
Me: (Not if I can help it.) Later.
(Where was I? Oh yeah, happy place)...

Nagrand Is So Pretty At Night

I quickly put that incident behind me and life went on... Until about a month ago. I was getting into a taxi to get to work and someone called out, "Aye, short man!"
I immediately thought, "Why, I'm a somewhat vertically challenged male. Perhaps I am the one being addressed."
I look up and sure enough, there he is, with his hey-we-know-each-other grin. Obviously he decided to work a different part of the city and change shifts to maximize profit. I get into the taxi and continue in my way.

Really! Does this guy think that I'm such a gullible idiot that I'd fall for the same trick twice? Is there some kind of sign on me telling con-artists they can waste my time? I spent half that morning annoyed because of him.

Yesterday, While Waiting For A Friend After Work...

Another guy walks up to me: Hey
Me: (Huh? Do I know him? He looks like he knows me. He's smiling like he's glad to see me. CRAP! I'm so bad at remembering people.) Heeeeey.... man....

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I Can Stop Anytime I Want To... I Just Don't Want To.

Mrs. C says that I have a problem. She seems to be of the opinion that I have become totally obsessed with drink a little too much coffee. After listening to her... um... argument, I myself began to wonder if there wasn't some truth to what she said. I remember, as a kid, I would say, "I don't know how adults can drink that!" and, "It smells nasty!" and even, "I will never drink coffee when I grow up!" Ah, the naivety of youth...

So what happened? When did it all change?

Then I started to think that, maybe, I was being too hard on myself. I might not even be addicted to coffee and I know people who are waaaay worse than me. To get some true perspective, I decided to make a list of how coffee has affected my life:
  • When the study showed coffee as having those oh-so-good-for-you antioxidants I saved the article for use in future arguments with anti-coffee fanatics.
  • I must not be talked to, asked anything of or interacted with in any way, shape or form until I've had at least one hit of caffeine. (Be prepared to lose a hand if you even attempt touching me pre: morning cup.)
  • I'm of the firm opinion that if Jack's family were interviewed following the beanstalk incident one would discover that the "magic beans" referred to in the account that brought them adventure, fame and wealth were, in fact, coffee beans.
  • I've attended meetings, seminars and conferences solely on the promise that free coffee would be available.
  • I took my own coffee mug to the office because there's no way in hell those standard-sized mugs hold anywhere near enough.

  • My scariest morning ever was when I woke up to find the coffee at home was finished. I kept it together until I got to work only to realize it was done there too. (I'm told I was found on the office kitchen floor, curled in a fetal ball, clutching my mug and whispering, "It's only a dream. A terrible, terrible dream..." over and over again.)

    As I suspected, no problem at all. Besides, I'm pretty sure there isn't any kind of support group or twelve-step program here in T&T to deal with this. And I'm pretty sure I wouldn't join anyway... Unless they had free coffee available.

    Sunday, October 24, 2010

    Is Nothing Sacred?

    Received an interesting email this morning. Based on the expert use of grammar I'm inclined to believe that either Blizzard's now hiring five-year olds to send out correspondences or I'm possibly in the process of being hacked:

    Hi (Not actual email address but what I believe they meant)
     This is Blizzard Entertainment's apology, we acknowledge a mistake, for you to lose the World of Warcraft account in order to recover our losses, we will give you 10000 gold coins free of charge and rare mounts a (celestial steed), I hope you can restart
    the game. Login website authentication, 48 hours you will receive compensation

    Confirm your account information . You will get the Cataclysm Beta Test invitation or the Trial Mounts
    Description: test account and permanently disabled can not compensation

    Well I know what that means: Anti-spyware to run, accounts to manage and passwords to change - can't be too careful. Guess I've got some work to do.

    Friday, October 22, 2010

    Dude, You Know. You Just Know.

    I'm battling two days of severe sleep deprivation – details of which I will provide once I can coherently form complete sentences and, no, it isn't from anything wild, crazy, passionate or fun. But in the midst of my caffeine filled haze I mentally complied some recent & way past experiences and came up with something I call:

    Dude, You Know. You Just Know.

    You know you're getting older when... you see on the old fb that your twelve year old niece has added jerkin' to her likes and you have to look in up before calling her mother.

    You also know you're getting older when... you actually have to stretch first... for everything!

    You know you're in love when ... you're both sitting on the couch at her place one evening late. She snuggles against you as you put your arm around her and, before you realize it, she's asleep. You look at her, so calm and at peace. She feels safe in your arms. Then... a tiny construction crew with not so tiny jackhammers gets to work in her nasal passage... And you don't run away.

    You know the relationship is solid when... an argument ends like:

    You: Bitch!
    Her: Asshole!
    You: ...
    Her: … (scowl)
    You: Wanna...? (do head-point gesture towards the bed) Y'know.
    Her: … 'K... But you're still an asshole.

    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    Conversational Trini.

    As mentioned, I'm Trinidadian. Once or twice in past entries made reference to my local dialect – which I refer to as “Trini-talk” & even dropped a phrase or two. So I decided it would be a good idea to introduce you to the colourful way in which we of Trinidad & Tobago (T&T) speak. I also decided that, before I got started, I would, first, give a brief history on the land I call home & how our dialect came to be. You know. Be all professional & stuff. Then I realized... I didn't know the history. Well, not so much that I didn't know it as I kinda... well... forgot. Don't gimme that look! I'm not particularly proud of me, either. Besides, it's not like I have actually had to make formal use of such knowledge. But, I decided not to obsess over my ignorance & focus on the matter at hand. Professionalism! That's right! I wasn't going to half-ass this one. I'm a man on a mission. So I pulled out the old history books googled Trinidad & Tobago's history (Dude, really. Like I kept my history books). After reading up only a few minutes I could no longer fight the overwhelming urge to go take a nap. When I woke up I realized that this was more work – and more boring – than I expected.

    So here's what I can tell you in the least sleep inducing way possible & if you hang around till the end (or skip the middle - that could work too, I guess) there's a free sample:

    Columbus came & brought the Spanish. They brought in African slaves after they all but drove the local natives to extinction. France later took control & now the poor slaves, on top of all their worries had to learn French. French, for Pete's sake! There was a little tug-o-war between France & Britain before the British eventually won & took over. Meanwhile, the Africans watched as yet another change in management took place & they were like, “Seriously! Dude we were just getting the hang of French. French, for Pete's sake! You know what, screw it! We'll just mix it in with the rest.” Soon enough slavery was abolished & Chinese immigrants & East-Indian indentured labourers were brought in to fill the work force. Over time, many other races & cultures joined the stew & all their languages were mixed in as well.

    That's it. Done. (Maybe this wasn't such a good idea, after all...)

    Anyhow, there you have it. That's how our local dialect here in T&T got it's start... more or less... Here's that sample:

    Trini: Ah drink two smirnoff an meh head feelin' nice.
    Translation: I'm a little tipsy from those two smirnoffs.

    Trini: Oh goooooood! Like Vinny wife put down ah nex bess cook dey, boy!
    Translation: Oh my! Vinny's wife seems to have, yet again, prepared an excellent meal. (She's a good cook. What can I say?)

    Trini: Ah get hit wit ah serious macajuel syndrome after dah lunch.
    Translation: Lunch today made me really lethargic.

    Trini: Dah gyul dey. She could real bubble. Buh de odda one could real flex.
    Translation: ??????????????! (Wait... What?...)

    Trini: Aye, boy, come fas nah. Yuh stickin.
    Translation: Dude, hurry up. You're taking too long.

    Trini: Doh study she. Is so she stop.
    Translation: Forget her. That's just how she is.

    Now you see what I have to deal with. If you'll excuse me, it's time for another nap.

    Monday, October 18, 2010

    Mon-day: A Parody

    This weekend I was went on office lime (Trini talk for get-together) and as I sat there looking around at all the people I share my work-week with I just felt inspired. The way I see it, with all our differences there’s one thing that connects us – and all working stiffs doing a nine-to-five:

    Wake up Monday morning feelin' really shitty.
    Wanna stick my head outside my window and yell, "F--- THIS CITY!!!"
    Instead, stagger outta bed and hit the can.
    That's when I realize that I overslept again.

    So I take a shower & throw on my clothes (clothes)
    Clean the crud from my eyes and nose (nose)
    Gonna miss the bus, I just know.
    I’m still hung over from last night’s binge
    I’ll never drink tequila again
    Never drink tequila again (Probably drink tequila again)

    Don’t start! Back up off me
    I’m not in the mood today
    Till I get some coffee
    Just stay outta my way
    Mon-day is here
    And I’m already late. I gotta go o o-o (go o o-o)

    Now as I step into the office they all stop & stare
    That’s when I realize that I forgot to comb my hair
    So I run up to the washroom to run my fingers through
    Dry it off with a paper towel. That’ll have to do

    Then I hurry back to my desk (desk)
    Supervisor’s givin’ me stress (stress)
    Co-worker’s bein’ a pest
    Gotta get to the meeting fast
    Worried that Ke$ha gonna sue my ass
    Ke$ha, please sue my ass.

    (CHORUS X2)

    I watch the clock
    Put my head down
    It’s only a quarter to three

    Four more days again
    ‘Til the weekend
    Man I can’t wait ‘til Friday

    Watch the clock again
    I'm considering
    Throwin' my desk phone out a window

    Four more days again
    ‘Til the weekend
    Man I can’t wait ‘til Friday

    Then this weekend I’m gonna party again

    (CHORUS X2)

    the end...

    I’m currently in negotiations with Mrs. C to provide vocals. The current offer on the table is 95% of my monthly paycheck. Wish me luck.

    Thursday, October 7, 2010

    When Media Runs Things – IF YOU ADVERTISE IT, THEY WILL BUY.

    Okay, so I posted my first blog almost a month ago and kinda fizzled out there. I somehow got it into my head that as soon as I started the genius would just pour out. I imagined it like one of those old black-&-white movies... me in a gray suit (I think it's gray... the fantasy is in black-&-white, remember?), cigarette hanging from my lips as I hunched over my netbook (No, I don't smoke! It's for effect. And no, the fantasy doesn't go so far as to include the typewriter). But in a seamless combination of procrastination and lack of inspiration I created... well, uh... nothing. As one may guess from my earlier 50's movie reference I grew up on old movies (thank you soooo much, dad. I'm sending you my therapy bills if this blogging thing doesn't work out).

    Don't get me wrong. I didn't just shelf the whole thing. I had stuff to write... I guess. Truth is I think I was trying too hard. For me, that was totally out of character since I pride myself on my overall lack of  enthusiasm. I wanted to really have something to say and nothing was good enough. I kept drawing a blank and days turned to weeks, etc, etc. But, you know what? Whenever faced with a hurdle I have to climb I just take a nice long sigh and say “Screw it!” That philosophy cured me of my fear of heights, drowning... girls (I almost left a comment to that last one then realized Mrs. C might actually read my posts some day).

    Anyhow, I digress. I actually did have something I wanted to write about and I think I'll stop wasting everybody's time and begin my story:

    It was a Sunday... Mrs. C was watching T.V. and I was over in the corner playing computer games (as per out typical Sunday afternoon ritual). During her show an ad was for some kinda “touchless” soap dispenser came on. At first I wasn't really paying too much attention because “...a huge wave of zombies was approaching...” and I needed to put more pea-shooters down. But somewhere on the edge of my subconscious heard the line “...and you'll never have to touch a germy soap pump again...” … and I cringed... and I thought about it... and I paused my most-skillful zombie slaughtering for a second... and wished I could, just this once, rewind time so I'd realize I just heard it wrong.

    But I didn't...

    I'll warn you now. Whatever you want to call it: people taking themselves too seriously, media mind control, excessive consumerism (I'll call it just plain idleness - Trini-talk) – this is one of those things that'll set me off. I mean, come on! Is this the society we live in today? When did we start worrying about when the little bottle that holds the liquid soap was a means to our destruction? Parents today must be mortified to even think that – dare I say it – MUD could even come into contact with their children. Parents in my day (remember, I'm still in my early 30's here) were glad to find any way to get us out of their hair and I'd be allowed to play in the mud, tall grass or even the middle of the street if it gave them five seconds of peace and quite. As such, I am not afraid of a little dirt. I live on a tropical island anyway and most people in the so-called developed countries think we still live in caves and mud huts (we were so glad when tablet pc's came out). Let's see who get's that one.

    But, continuing my rant, I am of the firm opinion that if we allow this trend to continue, by the time my kids (when we eventually do start our spawn)  – are parents, people will, most likely, live confined to their own plastic bubbles and procreation, if it still exists, will primarily involve the use of sterile test tubes. (And, yes, I do realize I'll get in trouble for the use of the word “spawn” to refer to our future children, by the way). Not that it's not important to practice good hygiene. I mean, I almost decked a guy in work the other day. It isn't that every thing he does just seems to annoyed the crap outta me but when he proceeded to stick his finger up his nose and subsequently, in one fluid motion, extract said finger and slap me on the arm with the same hand I had to stop and take a long, looong, deep breath and regain my composure (I still have flashbacks). To make things worse, he didn't even notice what he did (at least, that what I tell myself). Aside from incidents like those, however, which mostly require just a little bit of common courtesy, the rest is just, in my opinion, just plain idleness. And the guys in the suits and power ties use this and pander to our basic insecurities.

    Truth be told, all of the money spent on our obsession with germs is wasted anyhow because, as any gamer will tell you, the real cure for human contact is World of Warcraft – lucky for me, I met Mrs. C before I met WoW.