Tuesday, November 30, 2010
The Annoyance: My grandmother-in-law's cooking.
Why It Shouldn't Bother Me: It's free food! Made with grandmotherly love
Why It Does Anyway: I think free food loses the appeal when you can't actually eat any of it. Through a combination of a wussy stomach and being a mildly picky eater, I have a somewhat limited diet. Kane's grandmother knows this, invites us over for dinner...and then makes exactly 1 dish out of 6 that I eat. I manage to feed myself daily, with enough of a variety that I don't go crazy. Yet she consistently makes the exact same meal every time we come over, and wonders every time why I eat very little. I don't think it's too much to consider someone's diet when you invite them for dinner. It's one meal you make a little differently. I don't feed my vegetarian friends chicken if they come over, and I don't make a chocolate dessert for my friends who don't like chocolate. My sister in law is allergic/intolerant to like 70 different things, yet when she visits us we make food she can eat and we all enjoy.
When there is something I can eat, I get all excited for about two seconds. It is a complete non-exaggeration that EVERY dish she makes contains at least a stick of butter. It floats atop the potatoes, too saturated to mix in. The brussel sprouts are swimming in a gleaming pool of creamy yellow goo. My poor stomach just can't handle that. I eat half a serving and am filled with so much grease I think my organs are going to shoot out of I sneeze too hard. It's just...too much. Before someone comments that she's just a good Southern cook...she's from Spain. I do not believe that Paula Deen-levels of butter are the top cuisine over there.
The Annoyance: When shirt sleeves/collars are not even.
Why It Shouldn't Bother Me: People, you know...move. Things are going to get ruffled up.
Why It Does Anyway: It's...not...even. I literally get all twitchy if someone's sleeve is half rolled up or their collar is half popped. I have to invade someone's personal space to fix it. If I notice this while I'm conversing with you, anything you say until it gets fixed is not going to be heard. I'm too busy restraining the urge to just tackle you to the ground and fix your shirt. Actually, the more I think about it, the more this looks like "you have mild OCD about this and may want to chill out" than a minor annoyance. Uh...moving on...
The Annoyance: When people leave their turn signals on for miles after they changed lanes.
Why It Shouldn't Bother Me: People get used to it automatically turning off, so if they changed lanes, they simple forget about not having turned enough to trigger it off.
Why It Does Anyway: From my perspective (this may tie in to the above annoyance), it's really distracting. Firstly, it's all blinky blinky and it's attracting my attention, like it was designed to do. I am giving you my attention. I don't know if you forgot to turn it off or if you're planning to leap lanes at any minute like a highway gazelle. In addition to all the other things I have to watch when driving, I have to give extra focus to you because your backside is flashing in my face. A lot of newer cars not only have the standard signals in the back, but also on the sides/mirrors. I can't help but see it, which again is the point, so please DO SOMETHING so I can go back to my regularly-scheduled driving program and not having to keep extra watch for you to try and ninja your way across 4 lanes at once.
Secondly...it makes very concerned about you as a driver. Those things make noise inside in the car! Do you not hear the clicky sound? Even if they don't make noise, they blink on your console. The fact that yours has been going for 7 miles tells me you haven't checked out your dash in quite some time. You don't know how fast you're going or if some "imminent death" warning light has popped up. It shows me that you are incredibly non-observant about your surroundings, which again means I have to pay extra attention to you because I can't trust you'll notice where your exit is and that at any moment you may hop 3 lanes in one go and then we may all die.
Final point - I also get annoyed when people turn on the signal for one direction and then go the other way. You are again laughing in the face of the intended purpose for the turn signal. When we all die, it's probably your fault.
The Annoyance: People telling me I should love the cat.
Why It Shouldn't Bother Me: Many people love animals and don't understand why I don't love this adorable little fuzzball.
Why It Does Anyway: The same way that you can't really generalize all people because we are all unique precious little snowflakes? Also applies to animals. Just because your cat is an angel who snuggles up next to you and is just "TOO CUTE!" doesn't mean that mine will be the same way. And in fact, mine isn't. I've talked at length about how I loathe this cat and all the ways it wants to ruin things for me. You having a cat does not make you an expert on all cats. Mine is just not well behaved, and I don't like it for that. If my cat is really just so wonderful, you're welcome to have it. I'll fake out my husband with a stuffed animal that has a recording of the cat's "possessed by Satan and calling back to hell" meow/growl.
Furthermore....how do you expect this to work:
You: You should love the cat!
Me: Oh, thank you! I couldn't love the cat before, but you telling me to just made all the difference!
Um..no. The next option always seem to be "well, let me tell you all the ways my cat is great! That will make you like yours!" Again, no. It makes me like your cat, but as we discussed, no two cats are the same. In fact, it actually makes me hate my cat more because he is nothing like your cat. So, good job there.
Lastly: It is okay to not like things! I love mushrooms and shrimp, but my husband doesn't. My best friend loves spicy things and I can't stand them. My good friends are huge soccer fans and I am completely indifferent to it. It's going to happen! We are different people who like different things, and that's okay. Just because you have a hard on for kitties doesn't mean I need to as well. Having this conversation just makes you seem like an ass:
Cat Lover: Love the cat!
Me: Ok...what's something you don't like?
CL: Purple is an ugly color!
Me: Well, you should like purple! It's wonderful and happy!
CL: No! It's stupid! You're stupid! You can't make me like purple!
Me: And you can't make me like cats.
CL: But my cat, Mr. Fluffy Bootkins, is TOO KEWT! YOU MUST LOVE ALL CATS!
I might have mis-remembered a few details of that conversation, but that's the general idea.
The Annoyance: People who call me and don't leave messages.
Why It Shouldn't Bother Me: If you called, it stands to reason that you want to talk. I can easily call you back.
Why It Does Anyway: Leaving a message tells me that you need something from me. I used to have a phone that would turn itself off fairly often. As such, any missed calls I had wouldn't show up as a notification once I turned it back on. I would really have no idea you called, unless you left a message. I'd get people annoyed with me for never calling them back even though I didn't know they called in the first place. I even made my voice mail recording specifically request that you leave a message or I might lose that you called. And people still didn't. And still got mad.
As you may have guessed or remembered from an earlier post, I hate using the phone. There's such a disconnect in not being able to read body language that I feel like I can't communicate effectively over the phone. Texting and emails work better because you should be stripping all that subtext away when you type. The phone crosses that boundary. As such, I like being prepared for conversations...hence why I want you to leave a message. I hate seeing a missed call several hours later, only to actually call the person back and have them say "oh, I don't need anything. Just seeing what was up, but it's too late now." This becomes awkward (see the previous post about awkwardness on phones), and could have been avoided with a message stating "if you get this before 7, let's grab some dinner!" If you say "hey, do you have the code for X"...I can look it up, call you, and get it to you. Otherwise, I'm left scrambling once you tell me what you need because I wasn't ready for it.
Lastly...it really helps me know if you meant to call me, or if it was a butt dial. (Though this doesn't always work because a friend ass-called me once and didn't know it. The call went all the way to voicemail where I ended up with a 5 minutes voice mail of him drunk and trying to put on his pants. Actually that worked out really hilariously.)
So those are some things that really bother me and probably shouldn't. I guess I'm a mildly bad person or something. I am toying with some new post ideas. I had a wacky dream I kind of want to illustrate.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Anyway...many annoyances are justified. It's annoying when someone is hateful or stupid. It's annoying when you step in dog crap. It's okay to be frustrated and bothered by these things. However, every so often, an annoyance slips in that just...doesn't seem worth it if looked at from outside. This is part I of the list of 9 things (yes, 9. And I bet it annoys someone that I have a top 9 instead of a top 10) that annoy me and really shouldn't.
The Annoyance: Someone asking me if I'm okay when I'm doing something completely innocuous
Why It Does Anyway: There are two reasons for this one. The first is that when I was younger (maybe 7 or 8), whatever age you are deemed responsible enough to go to the public bathroom by yourself, I would go the restroom when we were out at dinner (or something). Now, me being me, I'd be doing my business and then get really distracted at something on the stall walls - maybe some graffiti or the completely unnecessary art restaurants put up because I really care if the they carried the theme into the bathroom. Anyway, I'd be there, lost in surely riveting 7-year-old thoughts, completely oblivious to the passage of time, when a voice would shake me away from my ponderings. "Melody, are you okay!!!??", it would call. Yes, I would be gone long enough to worry my mom and she would come looking for me, asking the bathroom at large if I was alright. I remember it being incredibly embarrassing, as I had to scramble to get myself collected so I could be "rescued" by my mother. Ever since, being asked if I'm okay when I'm doing something completely safe and boring has always bothered me.
Second reason: My husband does this all. the. time. It's one thing if you don't know someone, and don't know what their "default face" is, so you may think "oh, they look bored" when really they are completely lost in thought, entertaining themselves on the meaning of cheese. However, once you know someone for awhile, you get to learn what their "I'm not actively trying to make a face and this is just what I look like so deal with it" face is. I've got friends who kind of default to bitch-face and I don't think they're pissed off all the time. I've got friends who could be thinking about their favorite joke and laughing inside and having a wonderful time, but outwardly they look about two seconds from jumping off a bridge. It's okay, though, because I know them and I figured it out. My husband, one would think, knows me fairly well. As such, he should know what my "I'm okay, nothing to see here" face is. I'm not going to run around grinning from ear to ear all time...if I did that would be creepy and then you'd have a legitimate reason to ask if I was okay. Most of the time, though, I'm just chillin'. Continuing to ask me if I'm okay just makes me incredibly paranoid that it looks like I'm not having a good time, even when I am, so I feel like I have to over-do the cheeriness and that just tires me out and it's awkward for everyone. So in short...yes, I'm okay. I'm having a fine time and we can all go on with our lives knowing everyone is fulfilled and happy, ok?
The Annoyance: People who insist on calling me to work out a simple detail
Why It Does Anyway: Notice I said "simple details" up there. I'm referring to situations where I can text "Does 7pm work for you for dinner?" and if you agree, text "yes" and then everyone is happy. This takes approximately 10 seconds to reach a solution. You really do not need to call me up to tell me "yes". What happens is that the phone adds this entire new social layer which just creates a lot of unnecessary talky talky.
*phone rings*Me: Hello?
You: Hey, 7 is fine.
You: So yeah, I'll see you at 7.
Me: Right. Bye..You: How are things?
*NOT NEEDED SOCIAL ENTAGLEMENTS*
can take anywhere from 5 minutes to several hours.
What happens is that this active two-way communication unfolds into a long drawn-out conversation that I was specifically trying to avoid by texting you . I texted you because I am also trying to do something else. Texting is passive - I can respond when I get free moment. Forcing me into phone conversations means that whatever task I was working on has to stop, most of the time for awkward phone conversation about the days events even though, as we discussed, I will be seeing you later that day ; blowing your conversation wad early means that dinner will be awkward because you ran out of things to talk about. I understand that if a lot of back and forth is needed to determine a solution, the phone is warranted. Otherwise...just shoot me a text and let me keep cleaning my house. I'll be happy to talk to you in person about every single detail of how you almost bought that sweet jacket, once we meet for dinner.
The Annoyance: When a car slows down to let me walk across in front of them, then get annoyed that I slowed them down
Why It Shouldn't Bother Me: They were just trying to be helpful, but also want to keep moving. It's a tough balance. Also...I shouldn't care whether some random driver is annoyed with me over something stupid.
Why It Does Anyway: This again is a two-fold problem. Firstly...I saw you were coming and was already stopped at the edge of the street. I was just fine waiting for you; I'm a pretty passive pedestrian. More than likely, there isn't a lot of traffic coming after you and I am okay waiting the approximately 3.45 seconds it will take you to drive past me. I am well aware it is a bigger inconvenience for you to stop your car than it is for me to stop walking. This leads into the second part. Oh, okay, you're going to stop and let me cross. That was very nice of you. I'll continue my walk - oh, you're at glaring me. I guess I can walk a little faster...Look, you are a human too. You know the average walking speed for different types of humans. Please do not expect me to turn into Usian Bolt for the interval it takes me to cross the street just so you can get moving faster. If you see a little old lady waiting to cross, it stands to reason that she isn't going to break out her inner cheetah and straight up fly across the road. You knew going into this about how long it was going to take for me to cross the road - don't give me the side eye because you decided I only get 2 seconds to cross, and I'm just not moving fast enough for you.
This relates to another annoyance: When someone some distance in front of me holds the door open for me. I then feel pressured that I need to run (or at least walk faster) to get in the door so you're not standing there awkwardly holding it open. I'm okay opening my own doors if it's seemingly going to set you back that much to hold it open. Sometimes I just don't want to run. Over the weekend, I managed to drop something heavy on my left foot, twice, and now it's all bruised and sore. I was walking slow on purpose, guy holding the door to work open for me. Now I feel like I need to double step it so you can wipe that "why am I wasting my time" glare off your face. My foot was not cool with that.
Here's the standard measure I like to use - if the door was going to close on it's own between you getting to it and me getting there...just go ahead and let it. I understand and won't be offended. I really can open my own door, at my own pace. This was I don't feel pressured and you're not delayed. Everyone wins!
The Annoyance: Facebook status ending with declarations of love...that have nothing to do with the rest of the status
Why It Does Anyway: Think about if you talked like this in real life. "Hey, I'm going to the store and I love Mike!", "I just took a nap and I love Mike!" , "My grandma is just the funniest old lady and I love Mike!"...and so on. Someone would punch you. Conversations are meant to have a flow to them, and with all the additions to Facebook over the years, statuses are a lot like conversations. If you constantly exclaim your undying love to your boyfriend of three whole weeks (more on this later) at the end of every sentence, you throw off the flow of the conversation. It becomes every one else responsibility to keep bringing the conversation back on track, though it's hopeless because everyone knows your love Tourette's is going to ruin things the next time it's your turn to speak. I'm glad you and Mike are happy...I don't need to know about it every 8.7 seconds.
Furthermore, I've noticed that most people guilty of this are those professing their pure, perfect, undying love to someone they've been dating a month. I appreciate that your relationship is new and exciting, but constantly talking about it shows me one of two things: Either it's not really working out and you're desperately trying to cling to the illusion that your relationship is perfect, overcompensating for your panic by telling everyone that you and Mike are just so in love. Alternatively, it means that your entire existence is wrapped up in your boyfriend, so much so you can't complete a single thought without mentioning that yes, you have a boyfriend and he's just the most wonderfulest thing ever. Either one leaves slight scent of pathetic desperation that I can't quite stomach.
Finally...the guilty ones are also the ones who update their status about 13 times every hour. That means that 208 times a day (subtracting 8 hours for sleeping), I get to know not only the minutia of your life, but also that damnit, you love Mike. I just don't care. (Yes, I am aware you can hide people from your news feed. I have. That option wasn't always available.)
I'm not saying don't share the special moments with your FB friends if you so choose. My husband got me a sweet dinosaur birthday cake and damnit if I wasn't all over giving him public props for that. Just...speak in a way that makes sense and won't nauseate your friends.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Anyway, the lunch conversation at work was great today (a coworker literally made Cherry Coke Zero shoot out my nose due to laughter), and it resulting in this post idea. And much, much loling.
Monday, November 15, 2010
The train is typically fairly crowded when I get on to go home. I'm used to it, and I as long as my short self can find a pole to hold on to, I tend to take the ride standing up without too much trouble. Today, however, was an awful, grey, slow, rainy day, and I just wanted to curl up in a seat and play Angry Birds on my phone. I was thus a little bummed out to find no empty seats once I boarded the train. I heaved a small sigh and posted up in the corner, ready to begin the 25 minute ride home. But then, an upturn - a couple stops down two women get off, leaving me a nice place to rest. I was so excited...if only I'd know what was coming in my future.
And so I sit, rocking out to some showtunes and playing phone games, blissfully unaware of the terror awaiting me. As the train goes on, I become aware of something lumbering toward me. Even through my headphones, I hear the mumbling, the sniffling, heading toward the unoccupied seat next to mine. I steal a glace as the beast sits down - a huge woman, wrapped inside a parka which only added to the already impressive girth. She was fully decked out for winter, and while it has gotten a bit cooler down here in Georgia, I was reasonably sure our last stop didn't take us through Canada. The extra layers caused her to be literally dripping with sweat. She proceeded to plop down in the middle of the row, sliding across on a sweat puddle to straddle both the seats, while building herself a small fort out of the bags she carried. In between her and myself, she wedged a sticky brown paper bag which left a greasy residue behind and smelled faintly of rotting meat. I've discovered I get used to smells quickly, however, so soon enough the scent was seemingly gone and I figured (hoped, prayed) the ride would continue uneventfully. I scrunched up next the window in an attempt to regain a modicum of personal space, and went back to my Angry Birds. I just wanted to get home.
Then...the mumbling started. This woman had a voice like she started smoking at age 12 and literally never stopped chain-smoking. It caused me physical pain to listen to her speak - like someone was scraping jagged rocks across my ear drums. Christian Bale as Batman would have thought this noise too gravelly. And the mumbling - she started with few simple whispers and grunts, but soon she was in full monologue mode. I couldn't fully make out what she saying, but in gist I got that someone named Margie had picked a "sorry sucker" to be her "new buddy". And something about her boss and a pig...I was trying so hard to just not notice. The smell, the sweat, the crazy ramblings...I just didn't want to deal with it today. I turned the music up a bit.
Nothing, however, could have prepared me for what happened next. Throughout the ride, interspersed with her ramblings, she had been coughing and snerking (the oh-so-pleasant sound people make when they try to suck the contents of their sinuses back up into their head). It was a gross, gooey sound that Rent just couldn't overcome. Up until this point, at least, she had kept the sick to herself. Suddenly, she grasps the bottom edge of the seat, whispers a quick "Dear Lord, here it comes", turns her head and...
Kersneeze. By assuming the crash position she had failed to have a hand free to cover her face. The snotty projectiles fired out by the sneeze found purchase on the seat where my head rested dangerously close. I tried to shift further away, all the while acting like I wasn't inches away from losing my lunch. For you see, I am incredibly neat and can't handle gross things. Once the milk in the fridge goes 2 days past the expiration date, even if I intellectually know it's probably fine, I refused to touch it. My husband is on permanent old milk duty. I go nowhere near the litter box. I keep some sort of antiseptic on me at all times, and collect cleaning products the way other people collect DVDs. I dug around my purse, desperately trying to find a tissue or something to wipe away the sneeze. Before I could handle it, over, the beast tries her own clean-up method. While mumbling to herself, she wipes away the sneeze...with her bare hand.
She doesn't wipe her hands on a napkin, or a tissue, or even her clothes. She just sits there, surveying the booger pyramids resting in her hand while mumbling about the lizard next door. I am quickly losing the ability to not completely flip out. But then, a possible break. We get to the second to last stop and a large contingent of people exit. There are empty seats all around and surely she will follow train etiquette move to an unoccupied row. But no, she stays firm. I wanted so badly to move myself, but she had trapped me in next to the window. Getting around her was impossible, and when I tried to get her attention for her to stand up so I could move, she mumbled about a lost kazoo and played with her hand boogers some more. I was about to lose it in a fit of sudden, germ-induced claustrophobia, but somehow I convinced to hold on for those last 5 minutes.
But then...it happened. The one thing I never suspected. As the train was pulling into the last stop, it jerked a bit. She screamed out "Woah!" as the train shifted, and went to steady herself on the closest solid object...
She grabbed me...with the hand she had just used to wipe her sneeze off the seat. I couldn't move...I knew what that hand had been and the fact that it had just entered my sphere was too much to handle. I could almost see the plague germs, cackling manically at me as they seeped into my skin.
I was stunned. I don't remember getting off the train or walking home. I faintly recall a final snerk, trailing away in the crowd. Somehow I made it home and washed my hands about 30 times.
It hasn't helped...I think I caught the plague and will probably never feel clean again. If you don't see any more posts from me, it's because I either died of the marta plague, or have gone Lady MacBeth-style wacky and can't stop trying to scrub away the germs.
PS: It is sickness season people - please, please wash your hands and take reasonable precautions. And don't sneeze on someone's head. You don't want to give them a complex.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Secondly: Here's the reader-chosen art! Congratulations to Micah and Igor for their submissions: You've made the blog! I liked Micah's because it meant I got to draw a penguin, and Igor's had lazers. Good stuff all around!
I had a few other good suggestions, but people didn't write them in the comments and I want to stay true to my rules. (Also, I forgot one of them. You gotta write these things down people). I hope to do more user-chosen posts in the future.
In other news: I got a post idea! Look for something new next week. It should be pretty sweet.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
I think I'm a little psyched out about posting. I think that squirrel drawing is possibly my best ever. I've become intimidated by that squirrel - its little beady eyes peering at me, reminding me I will probably never draw something as cool again.
Well, I did draw this iPhone that I think turned out pretty well.
Anyway...I'm going to think of something funny from my childhood or maybe something cool will happen in the next couple days. However, until then, here's a challenge for the readers. Give me something to draw. Like the "squirrels in wetsuits", just write a sentence or two as a comment to this post. Whichever idea (or couple) make me go "MUST DRAW THIS NOW" will get special highlighting on the blog.
For now I'm just going to keep drawing myself in different costumes to use as an avatar on our company instant messenger.
~Melody (needs inspiration. And also can't spell "squirrel")
Friday, November 5, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
My brain doesn't work. Well, that's not really true. My brain works in the same way that a bear works as a dining table - if you can position it just so, get it to stay still, and not startle it with sudden movements, it will work well enough for what you're trying to do. Get one thing out of alignment, however, and now you're running through the woods eating pot roast on the run while your dining table tries to claw your face off. That is my brain, aside from the face-clawing bit.
This is what I imagine a normal brain looks like:
It's a good brain. It's not perfect - it's probably not helpful or healthy to have an entire brain segment devoted to Doritos. However, to balance that out, you've got several areas which focus on adulty responsible things - going to the bank, working, remembering to wear pants. All in all, it's a good control box for someone.
This is how I imagine my brain looks:
This. This is why I can't ever get anything done. I've got a little area responsible for keeping me adult and focused, but it is easily overwhelmed by thoughts of Batman and the Triple Option. One part of my brain exists just to remind me that I hate cats (though it apparently stopped working for a second and my husband snuck in a cat and now I'm just doomed. That thing is going to live to be the oldest cat in the world just out of spite). The worst part is that red spot in the front - the useless trivia. I am a beast at trivial pursuit. However, the consequence of this completely unnecessary skill is that the parts of my brain responsible for appropriate social interaction have been replaced, and also those which govern muscle control. My mom stopped being concerned that I hurt myself when I was like 9.
NOTE: Right here, as if just begging to make my point for me, is a like 30 minute break in post-writing. Stephani mentioned something about squirrels in wetsuits and sham-wows being sent to sop up the oil spill in the gulf, so of course I had to draw that right effing now.
That right there is why I can't be a fully functional adult. Squirrels in wet suits.
Now I don't even remember where I was going with the rest of this post....damn. But that is a sweet squirrel, am I right?
Oh, I do remember one thing I wanted to share. In the "things that make me feel like a champ but are actually meaningless" category...yesterday I was champion of the stairs. When I get off the train after work, I always take the stairs. If I go up the most flights out of the group of people who got on the stairs when I did, I am champion. Yesterday everyone else wussed out by level 4, but I went to level 5. 10 sets of stairs, bitches! I am champion of the stairs.
I'm going to stop this post now before it just makes too little sense to be deemed acceptable to the Internet.
UPDATE: I was champion of the stairs AGAIN today! Pretty soon I'm going to need a trophy or something.