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Archive for the ‘rants’ Category

Email Unsubscribing Fail

We all hate spammers just as much as the next person. So what could we possibly hate more than spam mail? Getting spam mail to tell us we unsubscribed to spam mail.

I get a lot of spam to my work email and this is what happens:

One minute later..

Way to do the one thing I asked you not to do.

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iPhone arrogance?

The other day, I had to drop off a friend at the airport. Upon opening the door to the car, he climbed in, shut the door and handed me his brand-new iPhone4, assuming that I wanted to play with it. When I handed it back to him without so much as looking at it, he was shocked.

I’m not an iPhone user and I know if I ever join the bandwagon and get one, I”m sure I’ll love it. But until then,  what makes iPhone users think that everyone else is gonna gush over their brand-new toy? Sheesh.

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Just a thought

If I can smell your cologne from the hallway while you sit in your office, you’re wearing way too much

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Sometimes, this is how I feel

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Work. Stress.

I have never smoked a cigarette in my entire life. I detest the thing. I don’t see the purpose of it except that it wastes your money and your health.

Most, if not all, my friends would consider me the last person on earth to ever smoke one.

However, thanks to recent work conditions in the office, I find myself thinking about one every free moment I have.

“Damn I could really go for a smoke break”
“I could really use a cigarette right now, even though I don’t know how to even smoke it”
“Should I go buy a pack and teach myself myself how to smoke one?? How do you even properly light the damn thing?”
“I really wanna make a cigarette burn into my boss’ arm”

Looking at the picture below, I don’t know who I rather do it to more, my boss or myself.

On the brighter side, I have grown to really love my students. Although it’s been stressful planning and preparing for each one, talking with them has been more rewarding than ever. I’ve had intellectual conversations with my students (ranging from 5th graders to 8th graders) regarding religion, economy, friendships, morals and values. It’s been entertaining and it’s been refreshing to hear such a point of a view from someone I just consider a child. Maybe they are more adult than I realize.

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How I feel all the time

How I feel all the time

My laptop and I have a complicated relationship. Correction, the last six laptops and I, have had a complicated relationship. In the last five years, I’ve gone through, six laptops. Yes, six.

By the way, they have all been PCs and while some of them may have been destroyed by my own fault, some of them have just plain died on me.

Here is a brief history of my tumultulous relationship with laptops

February 2004-September 2004: Toshiba. Dropped it on the floor in a puddle. This should have been the first sign that I was doomed with all laptops after that.
September 2004-October 2005: Fujitsu. Died because the power socket was rendered useless and fixing it would require replacing the entire mother board. I don’t know why but that’s what they said
October 2005-January 2006: Sony. Virus. My fault. Not under warranty and apparently virus ate everything inside
January 2006-February 2007: Compaq. The fan in the back broke and overheated the entire motherboard. Just passed the one-year warranty by one month so fixing it was cheaper to buy a new laptop than getting this one fixed
February 2007-June2008: Compaq again. I don’t even know what was wrong with this one but it had so many problems that after getting fixed 3 times, it was still broken.
June 2008-Present. HP. Already died on me back in December because the motherboard crashed but it was under warranty. Too bad I was out a laptop for three weeks. Now it has died again because the hard drive was defective? I tried so hard to keep this one in good condition too.

If my current one breaks again, I’m going to have to jump on the bandwagon and get myself a MAC.

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This past week, State Rep. Betty Brown proved to us that some people still live in the 1960s

Texas lawmaker: Asians should change their names to make them ‘easier for Americans to deal with.’

On Tuesday, State Rep. Betty Brown (R) caused a firestorm during House testimony on voter identification legislation when she said that Asian-Americans should change their names because they’re too hard to pronounce:

Rather than everyone here having to learn Chinese — I understand it’s a rather difficult language — do you think that it would behoove you and your citizens to adopt a name that we could deal with more readily here?” Brown said.

Brown later told [Organization of Chinese Americans representative Ramey] Ko: “Can’t you see that this is something that would make it a lot easier for you and the people who are poll workers if you could adopt a name just for identification purposes that’s easier for Americans to deal with?”

Yesterday, Brown continued to resist calls to apologize. Her spokesman said that Democrats “want this to just be about race.” ¹

I understand her argument. Not all of us were lucky enough to be born with such an easy name like Betty Brown.

Not to be outdone, Hypthen Magazine responded with a brilliant letter (thanks for the link Liz):

A Letter to Betty Brown

Dear Representative Betty Brown, I know you’ve gotten a lot of flak over your suggestion that Asian Americans change their names to something “easier for Americans to deal with” in order to exercise their right to vote. You know what? I agree. I mean, shoot, names like Ko, Vu, Chang, Patel, Kim, Gupta, and Park are just hard to learn. And why should you spend a second of your life trying to learn something new? You’re a busy woman, working hard at legislating and all. People should totally change for you!

In fact, there are a whole lot of words that come from difficult languages that we should change. These words are really hard too! Well, I’m here to help. I’ve taken the liberty of collecting a few of them and suggesting new names for them so that it will be easier for all of us:

Parmesan. Mozzarella. Gouda. Brie. Why do cheeses have such funny names? Henceforth, let us just call these all “American Cheese.”

Heineken, Corona, Guinness. A gal just wants to have a nice drink after a hard day’s work, but then you’re faced with all these difficult-sounding choices at the bar. What to do? If they’re sold in America, they should have American names. Henceforth, let us just call these “American Beer.”

Tortilla. That’s a word with a lot of L’s in it. And together they make a Y sound. So tricky! Henceforth, let us call them “American Round Flat Tasty Things.”

And who wants to have pie à la mode? Why do people call it something so fancy sounding? Really, isn’t it just “with American ice cream?”

Chevrolet doesn’t sound very American either. Let’s just call them all Fords.
You know what else is hard? The names on crayons. Sienna. Magenta. Turquoise. Why do these names need to be so strange and exotic? Let’s just call them all Brown. Cause, you know, everything should revolve around you!²

Thanks Hyphen Magazine, you made us proud.

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Call me stalker-ish but I love to people watch. Whether it’s to check out their outfit or check out their behavior, people watching has become my way of dealing with waiting. Waiting at the airport, the mall, in lines, restaurants, you name it. It’s also made me realize how stupid I am sometimes, after I see someone else act the way I have in the past.

So in hopes to channel my observation into writing, I’m going to begin this series called: “The 5 people you meet”, inspired by The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. I’m going to write about 5 different types of people I’ve observed in all sorts of areas: Airports, malls, restaurants, movies, etc.

Let’s begin with the airport.

Now, for the record, I’ve already flown 4 round-trips this year (with 3 more scheduled!) so I think it’s safe to say, I’ve observed a LOT of people at the airport. I’ve sat next to a lot of different types of people, some nicer than others.

The 6 people in meet in an airport:

1.The Princess/Diva: Hello J.Lo! Watching them is like watching People/US Weekly come to life. Pulling their designer label luggage (Louis Vuitton is the popular one), these divas are usually decked out in a overly-matching outfit with gold bangles hanging off their wrists and white sunglasses sitting on top of their heads. When boarding the plane, they are the culprits who hold up the line as they wait for someone to be their prince charming and put her luggage in the overhead compartments. They are also the ones who request napkins because they don’t want to get peanut dust on their outfit. If it’s open-seating, they’ll be sure to put their bag in the seat next to them so no one will be able to sit there. I love watching them when it’s a full-flight and they throw a fit because they have to move their bag to accommodate another passenger. If you really wanted a whole seat for your purse, maybe you should just purchase another ticket. One for you, one for your ego.

2.The Grunter: You know the type. They grunt when you sit down next to them, when you pull out your cell phone, when you open up a magazine. If you’re sitting next to them on a plane, they grunt when you put your bag under the seat in front of you. If you so much as sneeze and move your arm into their territory, they’ll kindly (but firmly) ask you to respect their space, all 10 inches of it.

3.The Chatterbox: Just like the subway entry I wrote a while ago, the chatterbox is someone who just wants someone, anyone to talk to. She or he will strike up a conversation about anything and everything. The weather, the turbulence, why they’re flying, why they like the aisle seat as opposed to the window seat. Oh. my. goodness. Even with my magazine opened in my lap, this person won’t take a hint. No, I don’t want to see pictures of your granddaughters. No, I don’t need to see your vacation pictures from Vegas. Hell no, I really don’t need to see pictures from your last liposuction surgery (true story) . The upside is that your flight goes by really fast. Or really slow, depending on the kind of chatterbox you get seated next to.

4.The tired parent with screaming child: Normally, I would say that these people annoy me but by the exasperated look on their face, I’d say that they’re annoyed of themselves. If you’re on a late afternoon/evening flight, the last thing you need to hear is the piercing sound of a child’s scream. There’s no better way to end the day. That being said, I emphasize for the parents. I don’t know how they do it. I’ve seen parents try every tactic in the book: screaming, ignoring, threatening, crying, whispering, you name it. You can’t really blame the parents because children are unpredictable. You can’t blame the children because chances are, we were just like them at their age. This is why you bring earplugs or blast your iPod until your eardrums bleed.

5. The one who loves to make a scene: These are the best. Look, delays are bound to happen. I hate them, you hate them. Most of the time when we hear that dreaded announcement, we’ll all groan for a few seconds but we’ll suck it up.  Unfortunately, there’s always going to be one of us who can’t handle it.

Angry Man: “An hour?! What do you mean an hour?!?!”
Southwest Staff: “Sir, I’m sorry but there are weather delays over on the East Coast and for the safety of our crew and passeng-”
AM: “I don’t care about them. What about me?! Do you even know what an inconvenience this is for me?! I can’t believe you guys! What kind of airplane can’t handle a little bit of weather?” (in this case, it happened to be a huge snow storm)
SS: “Sir, we’re sorry but the safety of our passengers always comes first”
AM: “How about the safety of THIS passenger right here?! UGH!” *throws hands into the air, eyes rolling to the back of his head as he storms away with his luggage*

Buddy, can’t you just sit quietly like the other 250 of us who are trying to catch the same plane? At least you entertained us for a good 5 minutes. I also think you need to quiet down before the Southwest staff pummels you into the ground. So unless you want to play God and change the weather, please sit patiently with the rest of us.

6. The Techie: Mostly businessmen, you can find these people sitting at the charge station, typing away rapidly on their laptops or bobbing along to their iPod. I’m all for listening to music but when I can hear Fatboy Slim’s Funk Soul Brother” for the 7th time, it’s time to turn it down a bit. Laptops aren’t as bad. Most of the time it’s business-related: business emails, word documents, spreadsheets, power point presentations, client lists and so forth. However, every once in a while you’ll get a gem. With earplugs to shut the rest of us out, these people will be seen (and heard) laughing up a storm as they watch some stupid or funny video via Youtube, F or something else. Sometimes, if you’re lucky (or unlucky) you’ll glance over and do a double-take as this man (or sometimes woman) is boldly watching porn for all eyes to see. There’s nothing like walking to your terminal and suddenly having your eyes flashed by an explicit orgy scene.

What kind of people have you met at the airport?

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Being a recent graduate in a free-falling economy is a pretty big blow to the ego. It’s one thing to be a recent graduate (I’m actually not even that recent anymore) completing with other grads to find your first “real-world” job. It’s a completely different thing when, on top of the other graduates, you’ are now competing with the millions of qualified people who were recently laid off. Once again, we have been pushed to the bottom of the barrel. No one wants to hire a recent graduate with little experience when they can take a qualified people who has been working in the job force for 10+ years. No one wants to hire a recent graduate when they can dub a position as an “unpaid internship” and give it to current college students as a means of free labor.

I will say, for the record, that chances are, these people who are more qualified probably need the job more than I do. After all, I don’t have a family I need to support, nor do I have mortgage payments or even loans to pay off for that matter. In that aspect, I do consider myself extremely grateful. However, recent graduates need to start somewhere too. We don’t want to continue to be a burden to our parents. We want to be able to sustain a steady income to support our future family. We are juts as important as all the laid-off employees.

Needless to say, I’ve become pretty bitter.

However, seeing that I have been blessed with an excess amount of time, I’ve been trying to see the good things in life, even if they are so tiny that it doesn’t matter. In the past couple of weeks, I have watched my mood fluxuate up and down and I have noticed that, when my mood is up, it is because of tiny details. Tiny enough that it would have otherwise gone unnoticed had I not been paying close attention.

The little things that make my day

  • A sunny day with white clouds in the sky. Okay let’s face it Californians, there’s a reason why we are hated by the rest of the nation (aside from housing Hollywood), it’s because our weather can’t be beat! You gotta admit, a nice day versus a dreary day can really make the difference in your mood. That being said, while I appreciate the sprouts of rainy days we’ve been getting (it’s really needed) I have definitely been enjoying this great weather, minus the summer heat.
  • Nice people during traffic. Again, California is home to the angriest drivers in the nation. So when you come across that rare person who waves to let you into their lane during 5-mph traffic, it makes you a little bit happier to see such random acts of kindness. Yes, in the state of California, that is considered a random act of kindness.
  • Sleeping in. While, I envy the people who get to look forward to a paycheck every 2 weeks, I don’t envy their 6AM wake-up call to fight traffic just to sit in an office all day. Although I hope I’ll be able to enjoy the workforce soon, I will take full advantage of my ability to sleep in as late as I want.
  • Personalized mail/mail in general. Does anyone even send out letter mail anymore? It’s no wonder its always a nice surprise when you receive a letter from an old friend, or a package for something you ordered on the Internet. Okay, that last one you already knew it would come but still, it’s always nice to see mail with your name on it.
  • Hearing an old song on the radio. Yes we all have the ability to customize our music playlist but it’s always nice to unexpectedly hear a song you haven’t heard in ages. Maybe it’s the nostalgic feelings that come with it or maybe it just reminds you of a good memory. Either way, you can’t help but smile when you hear a blast from the past. It’s even better when you’re in the car with your 10-year-old cousin, who has no idea what the song is or who the artist it. It shocks you and then you realize you’re just getting old.
  • Friendly and helpful customer service. It can come in any form: an attentive waiter, a helpful customer service rep, a friendly employee who makes your life just a little bit easier. Whatever it is that you are looking for or need, these people make the transition for you ever so smoothly. You gotta admit, these people make your life a lot simpler when you only have to spend 2 minutes on the phone with them, as opposed to the unhelpful customer service reps who take 2 hours of your life trying to find your information on their computer.
  • Finding a great sale online that expires before 5PM. If I were employed, I would not have been able to find these deals.
  • Empty malls, empty restaurants, and most importantly, empty parking lots. If you have ever spent 30 minutes trying to find a damn parking spot, then you will know how much that will make or break your day. That being said, your day is already looking good when parking never even becomes an issue.

What are the little things in your life that make your day? Count them. I’m sure there’s a lot more than you realize.

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I got hustled today. Outside of Walmart. In broad day light.

Damn these girls. There they were, dressed in their green vests and white undershirts. You couldn’t avoid them. They were literally right outside the doors of Walmart. Prime traffic area.  Their wide-eyes staring up at me telling me about how the proceeds would go to help…I don’t know. I was too mesmerized. Mesmerized by the boxes in front of me. Thin Mints. Somoas. Tagalongs. Staring at me, waiting for me to pick them up and hand over my $4 for each box.

These girls weren’t even that friendly. They already knew I got suckered in. You could see it all over my face as I stared at those boxes for a good minute without talking. They didn’t even need to convince me anymore. One of them even held out her hand for the money, before I even said I wanted to buy a few. She already knew. Those conniving little girls.

What is it about these cookies?! I want to say it’s the girls but honestly, these boxes sell themselves. It doesn’t help that they come out once a year and all of us are too lazy to just go directly to the makers themselves. Instead, we opt for the middle man, who come in the form of green-vest wearing nine-year-olds.

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