Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Lion King sucks

I recently re-watched Lion King. Have you seen it? Here is what it is about:

It is a coming of age story about a young lion with unlimited potential. As the movie begins, Simba is promised an amazing life from the moment he is born. His father treats him with nothing but respect. He will own the world he lives in.

Instead of showing any sort of king-like responsibility, as he is encouraged to do, he demonstrates a complete lack of leadership. He sings about how special he is and how awesome it will be when he is king. While Simba sings, he forgoes the use of any metaphors and actually uses a tower of his subjects to build himself up.


He puts himself (and by extension, the future of the entire Pride Lands) in danger by straying specifically where his dad forbade him to go. He leaves the kingdom for some magical place where his lack of responsibility is the only important aspect to life. Hakuna matata. My world and upbringing? It's not my worry. The only reason he goes back to his old life is for some pussy.

Simba is a fuck and the movie sucks. Scar had it right, life isn't fair. No one in the movie seems to understand that.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lets see how good I can juggle

People walk around each day juggling their life. Take work or school, those are one ball. Relationships, that's another. Family, friends, hobbies, problems, worries, fears, anger, stress, etc. Ball each one up and toss them in the air. Some are made of rubber, like work and school: they bounce back if you drop them. Others are made of glass: if you drop them, they will shatter.

The people we encounter everyday are all juggling their own life. Some choose to help you juggle for a bit, some choose to throw another ball in.

It takes this analogy for me to realize that when you meet a person you don't know what they deal with in their daily lives. Their past, their daemons, and their stress. You could bump into someone on a day where they are overwhelmed.

I have done a better job over the past year trying to reduce the amount that I deal with. I see things clearly nowadays, things are simple. But there are problems that I have been running away from, the stuff I ignore.

Like throwing a ball high in the air when juggling, it is going to eventually come back down. Lets see how good I can juggle.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Gratitude

Oh the parents. My parents piss me off all the time. Most recently, my mother emails me (although we live in the same house, we don't talk) and pops off with some comment at the end about "how I don't realize or appreciate what she does for me". Now, I am a pretty mellow person, but it ruined my day. I became furious. Ended up lashing out on some people who probably didn't deserve it. Hey, we all carry our baggage. People deal with their particular daemons every single day. But handling our anger and stress will be a post for another day. So anyways, I end up emailing her back:

Don't think for a second that I underestimate what you have given me. I appreciate the fact that you have done all in your power to enable me to succeed.

However, you need to understand that I show my gratitude in a different way than most "normal" children. I don't write sappy cards, take pictures, and give hugs. Instead I have the knowledge that in adulthood, your children become your life. And as a parent you do everything you can to enable them to succeed. So instead, I show my gratitude by making the most out of the opportunities that you give me. I will not bring shame upon your efforts by not-succeeding. You don't need to look far to see that there are people, even within the family, who have been given opportunities (some greater than mine) and squandered them with their wasted potential.

I realize wholeheartedly what you have done for me, from day one. The times where you were on your own as a single mother. The times where I was difficult. The times where you put my interests above your own. The times where you gave me your food because there wasn't enough to go around. The times where it seems like I hated you. The times where I did not appreciate what you did for me. Well, this is not one of those times. Don't sit there at your monitor and try and pretend like I don't see what you have done for me.

I just show it in a different way. I show my gratitude by making you proud the only way I know how: by succeeding.

-Andrew

Her reaction was a mixture of pride, sadness, and acceptance that I am just different.

So recently, it is not just my mom who is having a problem with the way I act. Heartless, selfish, asshole-ish, or whatever. I have butt heads with people in the last couple months, more than I have the whole year. Maybe it is because I am becoming selfish again, dealing with my own problems, my own stress, becoming that cut-throat person I was in the past. Maybe I have lost my consideration for others. Right now, I don't care. I understand that there will be consequences for my selfish actions, so be it.

I based my life on seizing opportunity and taking advantage of favorable situations. I'm not about to apologize for that.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

You're really nice

Being "nice" is one of those dagger compliments that girls dole out. Usually to guys who are interested in them, but those girls don't feel the same way. Classics in this album include: "You're great, just not for me", "You are going to make SOME GIRL really happy", and "I'd like someone just like you, just not you".

But I digress, back to the compliment itself.

There are very few truly evil people in the world. Try to think of someone who you feel is a truly bad person. Not misguided, stupid, or careless. But malicious, insidious, and hateful. You might know 1 or 2 people. But the majority of people in the world just don't have that character. Calling someone "nice" has become so generic that I stopped using it out of spite. The exception being overly nice people. Even then, I tell them what exactly they did that I appreciate. I like to think that it makes my appreciation a little more meaningful. At least better than, "Hey, you're nice!"

I do realize that calling a person "nice" is never really a bad thing. In conversation, it has evolved into a harmless statement that no one really pays any attention to. How... ... ... nice.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Man up

A lot of people are willing to give advice based on feel-good thinking and perfect circumstances.

No one knows exactly what your situation is. No one but you. Your decisions are your decisions.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Placetimes

Testing whether I'd ever have access to a time-machine in the future I have stood at several well-defined locations, at well-defined dates. I have memorized these date-location combinations over the years. There are several because I refined the process over the years to take account of locations that may not be accessible in the future, due to sea-level rises etc (i.e. working on the principle of H.G. Wells' physically-bound machine, and not a TARDIS).

Had I been successful in gaining access to a time machine, I would have already come back to meet myself at the very time I made the decision to mark the time and location. I have not ever done this.

My conclusions (so far) are that: a time machine will not be invented in my lifetime, my future self is avoiding a time travel paradox, or early-onset dementia is preventing my future self from remembering a location-time correctly.

Hoping that is the later, I continue to memorize these placetimes.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Why first contact hasnt been made

The universe is around 15 billion years old. Earth is around 4 billion years old. Humanity has existed in its present form for a few tens of thousands of years. We've only had radio for around 100 years. In all likelihood, we will have created a computerized intelligence within another 100 years.

A computerized intelligence would be effectively immortal, and capable of making improvements to its own code, thus increasing its own intelligence, even if only by working with backups of itself. A society of such intelligences (or even a single individual) could potentially sustain itself and explore the universe for millions or even billions of years, and do so using vehicles that don't include any kind of life support.

In other words, in the eyes of a universe filled with multimillion year old super intelligent computers, biological intelligence would be considered a transitional species, and first contact would wait until the transition had been completed.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Out of the rut

Geeze, I was pretty emo for a bit there.

I had to hide myself from the world... I hate people seeing me when I'm weak. I have set an expectation of awesomeness and I can't let people know that I get sad, lonely, and vulnerable.

On another note: speeding tickets fucking blow. I swear to god if I didn't drive such a flashy car I wouldn't get pulled over half as much. I hate my life sometimes.

I should really change the name of this blog to Rantings of Andrew Tran. Reading some of the past entries, it's mainly shit I get pissed off about. With the occasional good feeling every now and then.

This blog keeps me sane and its pretty neat looking back on some of this stuff. I better end it here before it turns into a blog about blogging.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I'll have plenty of time to do that later!

In elementary school we do the things we will be doing in middle school. In middle school it's for high school. In high school we are doing things like how we are going to do them in college. At college we do things how they are done in the real world. In the real world… it has been in our nature to plan ahead as we've done our whole lives.

The way to really enjoy yourself here in the real world is to just stop over planning and live in the moment.

For two years in a row you are going to just sit back, take it easy, and be responsible. That’s completely fine, I don't care. Go ahead and waste the prime of your life. "I'll have plenty of time to do that later."

I don’t know if it was my near death experience in the car or something, but I can't help sitting here and thinking:

Nope, you aren't going to go next year. Next year, you are going to tell me about how you are "saving and planning for next year". And so on… and so on… until you reach the age where you finally DO GO and think "I'm too old for this, I should responsible"...

When will people realize that the moment is just as important as the future.

Come on, enjoy yourself in this moment because today is the future of yesterday.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Insatiable

I first thought this to be a blessing. An unexplained virtue that allows me to push myself past my limits and achieve great things. What I talk about is an intangible asset, something you can't learn from a textbook. It goes by many names: drive, ambition, never being satisfied, always wanting better, being insatiable.

As great as that sounds, I have discovered recently that never being satisfied is more of a plague. In some applications it is very useful. When this trait finds its way into other areas of my life and shows itself in a circular form... then it becomes a plague.

Math Time. Events are called mutually exclusive when they cannot occur at the same time. Let there be two mutually exclusive events, A and B. If in event A I yearn for event B, and if in event B I yearn for event A... we have what is mathematically and scientifically called… a clustermindfuckofshit.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Best Date Activity Ever

Because I'm lame, I talked about the weather on our last date. Somehow I managed to drop the word 'petrichor' on her. Shes like "What's that?" So I got my "nerd" on and talked about word origins and Greek mythology and she was pretty dazzled. I explained to her that I love the day after rain and the smell of wet cement.

Well we get back to her place and we're in her room. I'm on the desktop (to write my essay that is due tomorrow) and she’s on her laptop. The second I start working on my essay she’s says, "Hey your whole petrichor got me thinking... what are the little things we enjoy in life?"

So I took a break from my essay and we just hung out on her bed taking turns at the laptop and started listing the simple pleasures in life that we enjoy.

Her stuff:

Seeing the clock turn to 11:11. (it was like 10:50 when she typed it and at 11:10 we waited all enthusiastically. She moaned in elation when it was 11:11... adorable)

Turning graffiti swastikas into flowers.

Making ice cream sundaes for people.

Warm sheets.

This tangerine juice from Henry's. I can't help but smile every time I drink it. (seriously!)

When someone else using public transportation smiles back.

Leaving star-shaped notes for people.

Stretching out in bed, waking up for a little bit, then going back to sleep.

Fresh Dudley's bread.


My Stuff:

The first cut into a fresh piece of construction paper. (Shut up, I know it’s corny but it was my first one! Plus it IS awesome!)

Turning the pillow over.

Seeing children learn.

Hitting every green light.

That tingly feeling after you use antibacterial soap.

Making incredible shots into wastebaskets.

Randomly remembering a nice memory from the past.

Driving ALONE super-late at night with coffee, music, and no traffic.

Freshly cooked Bacon. =D


After all our warm little fuzzies we got after making the list, we kissed and I asked her to be my girlfriend. I'm pretty crazy about her right now. However, I'm not crazy about this half-assed essay...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Enders Game

Just finished the book. It's really good.

Also, I just realized that this is probably the first novel since high school that I have read.

On top of that, this is the first book I have ever read for "pleasure".

WELL, better be hittin' the ol' dusty trail... Back to glaring at my computer screen reading articles about the Lakers Dynasty and Random Travel Blogs.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Why Engineers Can't Get Chicks


They are boring and there are a lot of us to choose from. In business terms, its supply and demand.

First let’s address the supply issue. As a kid, every young boy either liked legos, computer games, or just building stuff in general. That young boy chose to make his childhood passion his career. 16 years of school later, an engineer is born. He is a successful, nerdy, and likable engineer, but sadly he is not unique.

Second there’s the demand. Frankly, there’s just not a lot of demand for engineers. I could pretend to be a guru on what every woman wants, but I am not. But let's sum it up to a mixture of 3 things:
1) TV and media representations of over-dramatized exciting relationships
2) Wanting to impress their friends
3) Sexual appeal

(1) Engineers are the safe-pick of boredom that women are not conditioned to like. We know we have merits, but for some reason we just "aren’t their type". Don't worry you're a great catch and someone should be so lucky as to have you!
(2) Engineers do not impress their friends and that's important to a lot of chicks. Yeah, I don’t get it either.
(3) Sexual appeal, again I'm no guru, but between my plethora of female friends and my access to a television, I can gather that for some reason construction workers, firefighters, and people who are on-or-around motorcycles are instantly more attractive than engineers.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Therapy

It has been brought to my attention that blogging is my mental anger outlet and sparring is my physical anger outlet.

You'd think by the nature of my last post and the frequency at which I spar, that I would be an extremely unhappy person... but that is not the case.

Right now, I am in a Thanksgiving-like state of reflectiveness and I'm counting all the good stuff that I take for granted on a daily basis. I can't really try to capture this feeling in words, but maybe when I read this I'll remember how I felt when I wrote it.

Cheesecake in the breakroom just made my day. Life is good.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

NERDRAGE

Top 5 things that irk me about social situations:

5) The "I'm broke" Person - Why did you come? Save money and don't come. You gonna stiff us with the bill and pay the absolute min without tip? Live within your means, it's smart and respectable. Sure it would be awesome if you were here, that is why you were invited. But if you cant afford it, just say you cant make it. If you actually DO come out and you are broke, don't sit there and complain as you spend money. Which brings me to the next worse category...

4) Complainers - You can either be a complaining high maintenance bitch and whine until the waitress comes. Or, you can just relax and the waitress will come when she comes. Here are your two choices: 1) stress and get result X. 2) relax and get result X. Which one are you going to choose? Stop talking so much about shit you cant do anything about. fuck.

3) Late People - a.k.a. People who are inconsiderate and poor planners. Once or twice is understandable, shit happens. But every single time? Really? Habitual lateness its not trendy or fashionable, its fucking rude.

2) Flakes - What is worse than the people that show up late? The people that don't show up at all. We held an extra spot at the poker table for nothing. We saved a chair and had 100 people ask if we were using it. When we leave the place, the people who asked us look and see how no one ever sat in the chair, and we all look like jackasses. Well thanks jackass.

1) Flip-Flops - Hey I'm not coming. Oh wait I can make it. Actually I'm going to say maybe until the very last minute, then end up showing up and imposing. Sometimes, its great if something cleared up and you can make it. Sometimes your pleasant surprise turns into a hindrance. Recognize the difference or just stop being such a fucking flip-flop.

While I'm at it let me just get a buncha other shit off my chest:

me: Hey would you like to come? someone: No.
Then repeat that invite like 5x times to all different events... Then a day after some event I didn't invite them to... someone: Hey I heard you did X, where was MY invite?!
Well you didn't get invited because you turned down my last 5 invites. How about instead of me taking my time to invite you, you take 1 second to tell me when YOU have the time? Or god forbid you actually invite ME to something.

me: Hey would you like to come? someone: No...
Perfectly fine. But now its followed by their life story about why life is so hard and they cant make it. Or better yet, the story about the super fun event that they are doing instead, that I wasn't invited to. For the love of god just say "cant make it" or "not this time". If I want to know why you cant make it I might be like "everything ok?" or playfully be like "WTF BISH WHY NOT?!" If it IS appropriate in the context of the conversation to tell me why you cant come, then say so succinctly.
I don't want to party with someone who doesn't want to be there. If you don't want to be there, don't come. If you actually DO come and the whole time all you can talk about is "Hey so I finally came out!" "Hey I'm here this time" "Hey look at me, the world revolves around me!" "Damn, I'd much rather be doing X" "I missed X for THIS" well... STFU! You got something better to do? So do I: NOT LISTENING TO YOU. STFU!

me: Hey do you play poker? someone: Yeah bro, I'm good.
And you don't even know what small/big blinds are. Stop fucking lying. If you just told me you were a noob, I might invite you to a noob game or something. But we have serious players who don't want to fuck around and waste time teaching some newbie. I had to vouch for you and you made me look like a douche for bringing you. And you didn't have a good time and blame me. Its your fault, liar.

While I'm at it:
Fuck you loser-type assholes giving me career advice. Yes you, ex truck driver, current security guard. Stop telling me your ambitions and trying to make them mine. You are all talk, and can't do shit by yourself, I don't need your input on what you think the best career path is for me, and no, I wont give you money. I have a good group of friends who are writers/mbas/codejunkies/waitresses/customer service/whatever who I don't mind shooting the shit about stuff like that with. BUT YOU???!?!?! I CANT HEAR YOU WAY UP HERE ON MY HIGH HORSE LALALALALA. la.

Stop pretending like you know me so well. There are probably only two people in the whole world who know a lot about me, and even they only know like 30%. Don't assume I'm nice because I put on that front for work. Part of me is caring and compassionate, but don't be fooled, I can be the coldest person on the planet.

Oh and here's a peeve. Stop planning so far in the future if I just met you. Obey the "you cant plan ahead more than half of the time I've known you" rule. If we are on the second date, 2 weeks in, and you want me to go with you to Europe in 9 months, it's probably not a good idea to ask right now. I'm not afraid of commitment but... IT WILL FREAK ME OUT.

Also:
Stop caring about what people think about you so much. Holy shit, its ridiculous. I don't fucking get it. Stop being so insecure. Who cares if the people in the gym think you're fat. That has got to be the stupidest shit on the planet, not everyone who goes to the gym is a hardbody fanatic you know. At least you are doing something about it. No one really thinks about you that much. If they do think about you, they don't nitpick you the way you do to yourself. no. one. cares.

FUCK PEOPLE WHO WALK EXTREMELY SLOW IN FRONT OF ME. FUCK THE RAIDERS. FUCK THOSE GUYS IN THE RIGHT TURN LANE GOING STRAIGHT WHEN THERES A LANE THAT GOES STRAIGHT NEXT TO THEM AND YOU GOT 100 PEOPLE BEHIND YOU TURNING RIGHT. AND FUCK RABBITS!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Lent

First of all, blogging is awesome. I think it would be really cool to look back on this blog one day and see how I was, then reflect on how right, wrong, or ridiculous I was. My friend Sarah calls blogging my therapy because I can talk to no one in particular about whatever I want. There is something comforting about it that I can’t put my finger on, but it is therapeutic indeed.

Anyways... Woo! Lent is great! Okay, I’m not Catholic, but every year I decide to give up something anyways. Like New-Years Resolutions, I find Lent to be just another yearly excuse to do something to better myself. Sure character change and maturity take time… but it has to start somewhere.

Well, what did I give up this Lent? My Ego! It is great to be proud of your accomplishments, but there’s a fine line between confidence/cockiness and I walk that end of the line instead of the humble/lack-of-confidence end of the line. I felt people perceived me in a negative way because of my ego. So... Great idea for Lent right? Wrong. I agreed to let my friends hit me whenever I let my ego slip... many arm-bruises later, my ego is now ready for a huge tirade, ready to slaughter anyone willing to stand in my way.

With Lent coming to an end, I look back on my journey and it was not a complete failure. At the very least, it stimulated some inward reflection about why I have the ego that I do. What follows is some of that reflection, the origins, and some situations involving it all.

Let me first defend myself by saying that I haven’t always had an ego. I think my front has been put up in full force recently, in 2008, as a defense mechanism. Like other people with cocky exteriors, I use it as a way to protect the insecure and hurt person underneath. Yes, I, a person with a huge ego, am admitting that underneath I am insecure and hurt.

Let me first attempt to justify my ego wall. Not that I feel like I have to, but maybe I can convince myself that it’s okay to have an ego like I do.

There are things that can destroy your trust in people. Here were my steps: Fall madly in love with a person, let them far into your life, and then have them nearly destroy everything. I am referring to an event about a year ago in which my heart was wrenched from me by a woman that I loved, Linda. Since then, I have not had a serious meaningful relationship. I would describe myself in my current state as a "hopeless romantic with a frozen heart".

Now that may seem like it has a negative connotation, but it really shouldn’t. Over the past year I have been happier and more successful than I have ever been. In a very third person way, my experience with Linda was definitely one of the best things to happen to my life. I have developed into a person that I am really content with, hence the ego. Of course there are things I can do to improve, but overall I am really happy.

In the past year there have been bumps in the road though. I would say the biggest "bump" was between me and a girl named Jenny. The roller coaster with Jenny was intense. I went through becoming friends, to thinking I was in love with her, to being even better friends. Then... cutting her out of my life completely. In hindsight, the whole situation formed from a series of ridiculous events, but the end result was clear to me. I will say with confidence that my experience with Linda definitely played a big part in how I handled things with Jenny. However, she is not the only girl to suffer from the shockwave from Linda. I would say that all my relationships have suffered since Linda, in the sense that I don’t give people a chance to hurt me anymore. I now deal with relationships in a very clairvoyant way:

See people for who they are, not who you want them to be. See a relationship for what it is, not what you want it to be.

Nowadays, when I am with a person, I am constantly evaluating who they are, how are they acting, what they are like, how they are treating me. I literally ask myself: Where is this relationship going? What does this person think of me? What do I want from the relationship?

I don’t like doing it, I consciously feel myself doing it and I can’t help it. If at any time I ask myself "What is the point of having this person in my life?" and if I can’t give myself a straight answer, my next action becomes clear: cut them out of my life. Well in spite of this harshly honest approach, the results have been outstanding. This precautionary, almost premature, cessation of relationships saves unneeded heartache, stress, and drama on both sides.

This brings me to the next biggest bump in my life since adopting this outlook. This event is actually occurring right now, and is the catalyst for my entry.

I am crazy about a girl right now. We like each other and I feel myself falling. She is basically perfect for me except for one minor problem, she has a boyfriend. Her relationship with her boyfriend is not going well. The old Andrew would basically woo her away from her boyfriend and we would eventually end up together. As I’m writing this, I can see how easy it would be.

However, with my new outlook, I should just avoid her. The whole situation is setting one of us up to get hurt badly. Home-wrecking would not be worth it for a plethora of logical reasons. So, armed with that information, I should just avoid this whole situation and hope that one day I get a Facebook update saying she is single. Lol. Sigh. Pathetic.

I feel stuck and frustrated at the whole situation. On one side I have my values: newly adopted values that have served me very well, making me happier than I have ever been. On the other side, these values have not served me well in the relationship department. I can consciously make this bad decision and tell myself that "I will be different. I can be the guy to make her happy". I can convince her to leave her boyfriend and I can think she won’t do the same to me. I could allow myself to think that love is blind and doesn’t obey the rules... I am aware of how stupid that sounds.

Sitting here today, I continue to tear myself back and forth.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Leporiphobia & My Easter Rant

Okay with Easter coming up, my fear of rabbits is at an all time high.

I seriously HATE rabbits. I will go out of my way to avoid then at all costs. This year I will be in Vegas on Easter, much better than my usual routine of hiding in my room until the day is over.

What exactly am I afraid of? Humans in bunny suits don't bother me… alright maybe a little. The actual creature itself… AHH… freaked out just by thinking about it.

People say they are cute and fluffy or whatever, and there are plenty of cute and fluffy animals that aren't rabbits. Analyze the traits of a rabbit for a bit. The animal makes almost no sound. Cats meow, dogs bark, rabbits... nothing. On top of that, they have huge ears, like they can hear everything. Rabbits are sneaky and stealthy. Also, CARROTS are a well known staple of their diet. A raw carrot is a pretty dense vegetable. As dense as say a FINGER or TOE. You can't expect bunnies to be able to recognize the difference between a carrot and a toe! Bunnies travel in packs, multiply like crazy, and carry diseases.

Okay maybe a little farfetched. But they scare me, and I can’t really explain it. I came up with those somewhat logical reasons a while ago to help try and justify my fear to people.

I do not know how it started, I wasn’t always afraid of bunnies. I have tried things to try and get over my fear: reading about them, going to pet stores, watching films... nothing works.

By telling people about it, I have become increasingly aware that it is not the most normal condition in the world. However, this condition is very real, it's known as Leporiphobia. Andy Roddick (a famous tennis player) has it, among others. It is comforting to know that other people suffer from it and that I am not alone.

I have done a little research and am considering doing Hypnosis-Hypnotherapy, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, or Energy Psychology.

On a related note: How stupid is the holiday of Easter? Think about this for just one second. Rabbits give LIVE birth, they do not lay eggs. So if I understand this correctly... This magical rabbit not only steals eggs from chickens, but he paints and hides the eggs for children to find? What the hell is the concept behind this tradition? What. The. F.

In America, Easter has become a holiday of junk food and religious celebration (like every other holiday). I suppose the one good thing about Easter is that Lent period will be over (oh lent, an entry for another time). In conclusion- Easter is stupid and Rabbits suck.

Friday, March 6, 2009

What do you want to be when you grow up?

It was a 3rd grade show and tell assignment. I had been absent the day before, and didn't know about it. My best friend at the time, Jerry, brought a model airplane and said "I want to be a pilot." (Jerry actually ended up in the Air Force. GO Jerry!) Scott brought a soccer ball and said "Soccer Player." Jason brought his dads motorcycle helmet and said "A race car driver." Other kids said "Chef" "Actress" "Doctor" "Engineer" "Singer"...

Then it was my turn. The teacher skipped me before, because she knew I wasn't ready at the time. After giving me a lot of time to think about it, Mrs. Bell looked over to me, smiled, and said "So Andrew, What do you want to be when you grow up?" At this point, I had listened to all the responses and tried to think about what I wanted to be... I still couldn't come up with anything. The spotlight was on and the pressure was growing because of my delayed silence, so I just blurted out, "Happy!" My face turned red and I had a very goofy smile. Everyone laughed, and Mrs. Bell repeated my response, "When Andrew grows up, he wants to be Happy!"

I don't remember much from my childhood, but that day I will remember forever. Even at that young, I knew that when I grew up... I wanted to be happy.

Its funny how you lose sight of all the things you thought you wanted when you were younger. Haha, I wanted to live in a house just like the house I was living in, except that it would have lasers to shoot all the bugs and intruders when I'm hard at work as a Ninja Turtle Power Ranger.

Some days I don't remember the big picture and I get caught up in the grind. But then some days, like this day... I remember what I want to be, and I get inspired all over again to stay true to the dreams of my 8 year old self.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Greatness

Everyone has an excuse to not be great. What’s yours? Hardship? Disability? Financial situation? Loss of an important person in your life? Lack of opportunity? Family problems? All the above? Something else? Every mediocre person on the planet has their pocket excuse for being mediocre. Because they are faced with -their- particular problem: it’s a struggle to even be mediocre, so being mediocre is an accomplishment in itself!

Well guess what mediocre people? It’s not. Being mediocre is still being mediocre.

Everyone has obstacles to face. Everyone has something holding them back. Sure, some people have it harder than others, not everyone is blessed with the same circumstances as another. Daydreaming and wishing for better circumstances gets absolutely nothing done. Chances are: you aren’t the most unique and talented person, you don’t have the best opportunities, you can’t beat Kobe in basketball, and you can’t sing as well as Leona Lewis.

The woods would be very silent if only the best birds sang.

I don’t know why I get so heated about it. Maybe it’s because I see the people I care about, settling for mediocrity in their jobs, mediocrity in relationships, even mediocrity in life.

I realize though, that my chance to be great goes hand in hand with other people settling. There can not be good without evil. Pacifists without war. And there can’t be great people without mediocre people.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

You're way too good for that person

I would just love to scream the title at my friend Tam, whom will most likely never see this.

There are relationships that contain one person that is way better than the other. You know what I'm talking about, we have seen it. The stagnant all-talk mooch with the naive woman who is fully supporting him. The manipulative gold digger with the guy who deserves better. We have other friends in these relationships. Sadly, you are in one yourself.

This concept isn't ridiculous considering that no two people are exactly the same. It would be impossible for two people to be completely equal in all respects. It is just when this gap is glaringly huge that I find it hard to swallow. What is equally frustrating is that you realize that you are in this type of relationship and don't seem to care.

Why is it that you stay with him?

Perhaps it is the comfort of consistency. Consistently bad is still consistent. You find comfort in hearing the theme-song to your favorite show, or knowing that wave is going to crash on the sand.

Perhaps it is because you have invested so much time and effort? You have been with him for this long and you are still together. I concede that relationships take effort and understanding. At what point does enough become enough though? You put in a lot of effort that clearly is not being reciprocated. This isn't like being 1 month away from your 5 year vesting period for your pension. Well I've been here this long, might as well stick around. Yeah that argument is as terrible at it sounds.

Perhaps it is because you don't think you can find someone better. All your friends tell you that you can. What if I cant? I don't have the time. Nothing worth having is going to be easy. What will be easy is you staying in this crappy relationship because you are hanging on to memories of the past. Maybe you are gambling that your future is going to be better if you stick it out now. A gambler might recommend to cut your losses.

Here is the real reason that I think you stay together. I submit that you are staying with him because, like all people, we have a desire to feel needed or useful. You have done it your whole life, validation for your parents, for your society, for your friends, and for yourself. It is great to feel like the work you do is useful or that someone looks forward to seeing you at the end of the day. He looks forward to seeing you because you are clearly so much better than him. In return you look forward to seeing him because he looks forward to seeing you.

At the end of the day it is your decision to make. I wish I could just tell you who is right for you. God knows I'm not right for you, your ex wasn't right for you, and I bet this guy will inevitably fall on this list as well. I am no relationship expert. Not even close. I do know a lot about you though. I have known you for a long time, I have learned a lot about you, I have seen you go through loser after loser, I have been through the good and bad times, I know that this parasitic relationship eats at your core, and I know you deserve a lot more in a relationship. I have watched you learn about yourself, and I know that you know all these things.

Out of respect for your decision to stay with him, I can't verbalize this to you. When this is all said and done I sincerely hope that I am just frustrated at what this relationship appears to be. Good luck and best wishes to you Tam.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Rant on Snuggies

The Snuggie is a fleece blanket with sleeves. Yup. That’s it. Luckily you can buy this amazing piece of trademarked engineering genius for only 28 bucks. Oh, don’t worry, because other people do too! Apparently they have sold enough of these things to create a commercial. This is where the product solidifies itself as an icon of Idiotic American Consumerism. The commercial is quite possibly the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen (well aside from the product itself).

Now part of me basks in the pure genius of this gag-like commercial, because it is SO DUMB that it succeeds in getting people to talk about the product. Unfortunately, once we get talking about the product... we find out the product sucks. This infamous commercial basically features a bunch of people who are “limited” by the range of movement that blankets afford (GRR, I can’t reach my TV remote or my book!). It also shows people reaching for things and getting cold because their arms have to come out of the comfort of their blankets. (GAH, my arms are freezing now that I have uncovered them for 3 seconds!).

Wow, what can we do to avoid these unpleasantries? Enter the solution - The Snuggie.

This fabulous product makes you look like a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry! Don’t worry, Snuggies are fashionable. This is shown in the commercial by the group of morons wearing fleece and cooking marshmallows around a CAMPFIRE. There is also the family at a baseball game, wearing Snuggies, and cheering for a kid (who is probably pretending like he doesn’t know them). This commercial now replaces “HEAD-ON APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD” for dumbest commercials of all time.

In closing, I have come to the conclusion that one morning, right before a presentation, some hungover marketing douche woke up and put his bathrobe on backwards. After realizing how ridiculous he looked, he decided to play a joke on his company. Well his company loved it. Now they are richer than ever because Snuggies have caught on like a fleece wildfire! They have cornered (and dominated!) the market of people who: a) have too much money b) want to look like they are in a cult and c) are complete idiots.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Friday the 13th! Useless prattle about Liars.

Friday the 13th is infamous for strange stuff to occur, and last night was not an exception for me. It has been a while since I have stayed up a full night deep in thought. This time my frivolous pondering was about one subject: Lying.

While in my GMAT prep course last night we came across this question:
Find the conclusion in the argument. If the argument does not state the conclusion, complete it with the most natural conclusion.

Most people would agree that it is immoral to lie. But if a kidnapper accosts you on the street and asks which way his escaped victim went, would it be immoral to point in the opposite direction?
So I correctly made the assumption that it would not be immoral to point in the opposite direction and therefore not all lying is immoral.

I got the question right! My question, however, gets the last laugh. I spent the whole night reading... different definitions for lying, different scholarly articles about lying, and even peoples own experiences with lying.

Reading with no real intent of answer confirmation, just a childlike curiosity: What is the definition of a lie? Why do people lie? Is it ever permissible?

Some interesting stuff I ran across in my cogitation:
There are a ton of different forms of lying. Exaggerations- could you really eat a horse, walk a million miles, wait a billion years. Lying by omisison- If a husband told his wife he went to the store, and although true, he also saw his mistress... He never denied a truth, just omitted some part of what transpired. White Lies, Lying to children, Bluffing in poker.... LIES!

Young children learn from experience that stating an untruth can avoid punishment for misdeeds, before they develop the theory of mind necessary to understand why it works. In this stage of development, children will sometimes tell outrageous and unbelievable lies, because they lack the conceptual framework to judge whether a statement is believable, or even to understand the concept of believability.

When children first learn how lying works, they lack the moral understanding of when to refrain from doing it. It takes years of watching people tell lies, and the results of these lies, to develop a proper understanding.

Our Governator was in the movie true lies. At the end his wife asks him what he did today and he replies "Saved the world."... or something to that effect. Which, in the movie, was true. However, the wife dismisses it as so outrageous it's clearly a lie. Here, Arnold states a truth, but is he still lying? Here is where deception gets involved with lying. Is lying still lying without deception?

Is speaking an untruth when both parties know the truth is still lying? The earth is flat. We both know its round, but I'm saying its flat for whatever reason. Maybe to prove a point in an argument. Maybe to ridicule an opposing theory. Is this still a lie even though we know I don't truly believe the earth is flat?

Some philosophers have decided it never permissible to lie, even if lying is your only way to avoid death.
Amongst all my contemplation and unanswered questions, I still think most people have a pretty good understanding that most people lie all the time. Everyone forms their own opinions on what is considered a white lie, telling a pregnant woman that she is not fat, or lying about how something is attractive to avoid hurt feelings. Is it alright to lie when it benefits the liar and the hearer? Where is this gray line defined? How did we even form this gray line? It is this unclear fog that has left me really ambivalent about lying.