English is a bizarre language, isn’t it? Why can I be uncomfortable, or be in discomfort; but I can’t be discomfortable, or feel uncomfort? Who dropped the ball on that syntax? It’s no wonder foreign students go to such extreme lengths to learn, and have so much difficulty becoming fluent in English.
I know every generation acquires their own slang, and that’s all fine and good. The “bad” is good movement of the 80’s was acceptable thanks to Michael Jackson (still better to be ‘badass’ than just ‘bad’ I’d say), “Sweet” got hot in the 90’s (I still back it), and I guess we’re onto the 2000’s variation of the 80’s “bad”; “sick” being used to describe really good things. Personally, I don’t use it in my vocabulary (why would you want to describe something positive in terms of vomit?), but I accept it for what it is.
The word “phat” floated around there for a while, until most people got tired of having to specify in mid-comment whether they were saying “fat” or “phat” because others were getting unnecessarily offended.
But for the absolute overuse and excessive overload of slang words, thanks so much, TMZ and other tabloids, for destroying the word “pregnant” for all of us. Is anyone else going to blow their brains out if they hear the words “preggo” or “preggers” again? Can I get a “with child” or simply “expecting” now and then just to keep my ears from bleeding? Don’t wreck pregnancy, it’s supposed to be a good thing.
Is it just me, or does Denzel Washington play the same character in every movie he’s in? I know he’s been in different movies. I know the characters he’s played have had different names and encountered situations that are unique from the others. I even know he’s worn different clothes every time. But haven’t all the characters in all the movies he’s done in the last 10 years all seem like the same cocky, swagger-laden Denzel? Maybe I’m wrong, but all the awards he’s won and publicity he’s received for being a great actor, can we get a little versatility?
Do the people at Wal-Mart, or any other store that has a security sensor at their door, even care if anyone sets off the anti-theft anymore? Have you ever seen one single staff member jump over the desk and hunt down a suspected shoplifter? The customer is walking out of the store, the machine beeps, they stop and turn around in embarrassment, make eye-contact with the clerk, who waves them through, saying, “No problem, you’re fine.” As if they couldn’t have pocketed handfuls of things on their way to the till that they chose not to show the checkout jockey. How many small-time crooks are exploiting this flawed security implementation? Why are we even installing these things anymore? Is the thought of setting off a beep from two towering metal detectors supposed to strike enough fear into our hearts that we don’t even think about stealing?
My wife and I have a rule against “Media Monopoly”, which means that you can control the TV, or you can control the computer, but you can’t monopolize both at the same time. If you’re sitting at the computer and you don’t like the show that the other has chosen, too bad. If you’re watching TV and the other person leaves the room for some reason, no cutting in while they’re gone. Fair is fair. My wife likes to “accidentally” leave the TLC Channel on whenever she’s finished watching TV. Because our computer is within seeing and hearing distance of said TV, I generally have to endure at least the audio of these programs while I’m in the room. So from having to endure the sounds of non-stop reality this and reality that, I’ve formed a few thoughts that I need to express:
Does it seem like TLC is kinda getting a little exploitative of the whole reality scene lately? It started out harmless enough with home-reno shows and stuff. I personally thought the “real” reality TV concept was a superior approach over the “throw-them-in-the-jungle-and-make-them-play-games” version we get crammed down our throat. But now the reality show market has become so saturated that it’s like a competition to see whose show features the biggest circus attraction. “This mom had 8 kids, let’s watch her for a while. Wait, we’ve got another family with 12 kids, film them. Whoa, hold on, This family has nearly 20 children, hmm that’s more interesting. Hey, our show about little people is popular, let’s spin it off and ride that out for a while. Hey, these people are good at making fun of people for not knowing how to dress themselves, that’ll bring in ratings.” Which brings me to my next point:
Are Fashion critics not the lowest form of professional criticisers?
“Oh, she wore that color with those pants? Those shoes with that color print? What was she thinking?!? It’s a travesty against humanity that she’s out in public wearing that!!”
No, the fact that you’re getting a paycheque to belittle people is a travesty. Look jackasses, people go into their closet and put stuff on according to how they feel about it. Granted, some people do need some assistance in their co-ordination, but can we power-down the drama a bit? They’re people, and they’re wearing clothes. Big deal. Why should they care what you think anyways? If that’s too much for your brain to compute, then maybe you should consider a new line of work, or at least some medication. People who judge others strictly upon their appearance is just so petty, isn’t it?
Speaking of clothes though, is there a garment more impractical that the vest? Why would anyone want to wear a jacket with no sleeves? You can’t wear a vest in the summer, because it’s too hot. You can barely get away with it in the fall, and then by winter it’s entirely useless. Maybe the tail end of spring could see it back in the line-up. But for a fraction of 2 separate seasons’ worth of action, sleeveless garments are a poor in‘vest’ment (pun intended). Also, you (deservingly) have to put up with heckles like, “Hey, who stole your sleeves?” and similar cracks at your sub-intelligence of clothing choice. Unless your name is “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, or you’re due on stage at “The Tool Box”, do yourself a favour and don’t wear a vest.
It’s a marvel that I’ve even gotten myself into writing.
I truly enjoy creating stories in the written format, especially in blogs. Writing whatever I want, without having to adhere to providing “research”, or “structure” in addition to other guidelines imposed by a professor is a phenomenal feeling. After all these years, I can finally use all the slang, jargon, fragments, run-on sentences, and general Format Guide rule-breaking I want. Peer proof-readers can go fly a kite; I edit my own stuff now. No more shall my writing have its content value be equal to its formatting correctness, and have my grade be brought down because I couldn’t follow simple directions outlined in a readily available and accessible guide a professor had their T.A. mark my paper, and look for formatting errors above substance. No more shall my writing have red pen ink rivalling the amount of black printer ink on my papers (mostly due to the fact that you can’t shouldn’t be writing on a screen. If one of my old prof’s gets cheeky and prints a copy of this, marks it up with red pen, and sends it to me, remember, I likely know where you live, if you’re still teaching at the same school).
I only ever had one teacher ever think I was anything above average at writing. My 9th grade English teacher, Mrs. Thompson, at Mount Boucherie Secondary School, gave me the only English award and English “A” that I ever received in my entire secondary and post-secondary career. So in the unlikely event that she’s reading this, thanks for believing in me, Mrs. Thompson. I have always, really, appreciated that.
So, all that to say, me in writing is amazing, mostly because I hate hate HATE writing’s necessary and evil equivalent: reading. Oh, how I loathe thee, reading.
A writer requires other people to read what he’s written, so it’s an interesting paradox that my labour beckons the very enemy I’ve fought to resist; only now it comes from a mass audience (more than 2 people could be called a mass, right?). It’s not that I’m no good at reading; my cognitive system is capable of decoding symbols for the intention of deriving and/or constructing meaning just fine. Silent or aloud reading; no problem. I just don’t find it fun. I have no idea how a people can pick up fictitious stories, involve themselves on an emotional level over a lengthy amount of time, and then repeat the process upon completion. Isn’t that exactly what you do when you watch a TV show or movie, only in a fraction of the time? Oooo, I had to create the images in my mind instead of seeing them with my eyes on a screen…big deal. I can watch TV faster than you can read books, any day. In the age of convenience and info-on-demand, getting the exact same information quickly (TV) rather than slowly (books), is a no-brainer. If I want to stimulate my imagination, I’ll draw a picture. Isn’t your imagination’s engagement from books only limited to the author’s vague and open-ended descriptions anyways? I really feel there’s better ways to get that part of your brain going, if that’s that side of the argument is for. If I’m going to read anything, it’s going to be something not made-up (non-fiction). A good autobiography by someone I like usually works (see: Bret Hart, Mick Foley, Wayne Gretzky, etc), or else something tangible like astronomy, history, or current events will arouse my interest.
School never helped either. When you don’t enjoy reading to begin with, being forced to read with the threat of assignment failure if you don’t, is probably the worst thing a non-reader could encounter. Reading became work, and work isn’t fun. Once you’ve had to develop the ability to “skim”, you know you’re too far gone. If you have to skim a book for information, that automatically means the 95% of the book you did not draw information from belongs straight in the trash, does it not? Obnoxiously large textbooks, research, citing sources, and extended visits to the libra…..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
The other problem with forced, educational reading is the absurd prices they make you pay to obtain the books that you are required to derive information from. My first encounter with this screw-job was at Okanagan University College in Kelowna, BC, while enrolled in the Fine Arts program. I had to take a course called “Visual Forum”, that required me to purchase a 2-inch thick, $200 textbook (that’s $100 per inch, for you math students). “Well, they said I need it, right?” said the naive freshman that I was, after freshly receiving my parents’ hard-saved college tuition money that was supporting my first year. A semester later, I swear to you, I passed the class without doing anymore than removing the plastic covering from that book. I went to return the squandered capital to the bookstore, who denied me and sent me to the used bookstore, who then told me they would consign the book at around a ¼ of my original purchase price. Upon haggling with the same story I just told you, I found there was no way I was getting that $200 back. I put that book up for consignment, and to this day, have not seen the money for it. Reading was dead to me. I told myself, “Never again.”
The continuance of my post-secondary education was dependant on student loans. Though some people like to believe their loans being deposited in their bank account is somehow the equivalent of winning the lottery, I was well aware that I would have to repay every dime eventually (National Student Loans likes to remind me of this every month now). So my college years carved some financial responsibility out of me. As you’re now aware of my personal vendetta against costly required/unnecessary reading material, textbooks were first on my chopping block. I vowed never to let the man put the screws to me again, and in 4 years of college, I never spent another dime on a textbook. Seriously.
Many people amass a bookshelf’s worth of textbooks after their college days. Such a display usually at least creates the illusion that you had or currently have some level of intelligence. My bookshelf is nearly bare; beyond the elementary school book-fair books that my parents bought for me that are still as unread as they were 20 years ago. Make your own jokes, but read the rest of this post, and then tell me who’s smarter out of 2 people with the same degree; the one with or without a pile of books collecting dust on a shelf that he’ll never read or use ever again? So if you share some of the same sentiments that I do, you may want to pay attention to the next few things. Here’s how I did it:
1) Some people aren’t that great in social interactions, which is fine. But if you have the necessary social skills that are required to make friends with other humanoids, then you’ll likely be able to do so with some fellow students who have already taken the classes you are enrolled in, and be able to borrow their old textbooks, as they’ve probably found them to be quite useless outside of the class. Just don’t be-friend people only on this basis, most people find this to be “shallow”.
2) This is by far the payload of advice on this topic, so if you pay attention to only one thing in this whole post, let this be it. To thwart your enemy, sometimes you have to march right through the gates of hell, and enter the dwelling place of the beast itself. That’s right, you’re going to have to go to the library. As soon as you get your Course Outline, find your required texts, and take that list to your school’s book repository. You’re likely going to find every single one of those books on file. As long as you have a library card, and don’t have outstanding fines, simply sign out every book you need for the term. If something’s not available, reserve it, and hold out until it comes back in (now that I’ve made this information public, you may want to hurry, as others may have caught on before you). Once you get the books, keep renewing them all semester. You’re home-free. It’s a proven, effective, corner-cutting method. You’re welcome. “Genius” comments are welcome at the bottom of this post.
So there you have it, a tale of woe that comes full circle and presents you with invaluable information. Learn from my mistakes. Use this information to stick the screws right back to the people holding the drill. Take away some lessons from your college experience that have nothing to do with the classroom, besides where you can buy the cheapest ramen noodles.
Aside from Mr.Clean, no one had less dirt on them than Tiger Woods, until now.
He’s the best golfer on the planet, and one of its (if not, the) highest paid athletes. 14 major golf championships, 71 PGA Tour events, more career major wins and career PGA Tour wins than any other active golfer, and PGA Player of the Year a record ten times. He’s held the position of “World Ranked #1” for the most consecutive weeks and for the greatest total number of weeks. He’s received uncountable other media adorned accolades, and is generally credited for increasing the global popularity of golf. He also founded and participates in numerous charitable organizations and events to benefit children, married a model, and even wrote a book called “How I Play Golf” to give bad aspiring golfers false hope of being as good as he is. Good dude, right?
Michael Jordan had his gambling. Wayne Gretzky had his (alleged) tie to a gambling ring. Now, Tiger Woods joins the world’s elite in another category: Sports’ most dominant athletes that have an actual or alleged character tarnishing event attached to them [note: Jordan’s the only non-“alleged” of the group].
Before recent events, all the media had on Tiger was a slump in 2003-04, and a little bit of course rage. The staff of TMZ and The National Enquirer must have made a(nother) deal with the Devil, because they got an “Cablinasian” Smorgasbord of a story dumped straight on their plates. Dinner’s served, media outlets and gossip-hounds; dig in.
Tiger had been as “squeaky clean” as those high-beam pearly whites of his. That is, until he soberly left his home at 2:30 am one morning, crashed his Escalade into a fire-hydrant, and then a tree at a speed too low to inflate the airbags, but high enough to cause himself bodily harm (quote from his website “I have some cuts, bruising, and right now I’m pretty sore”); to the affect that his wife had to smash his windshield with a golf club to get him out, and to force him to withdraw from his own upcoming tournament, citing the afore mentioned injuries. Oh, and he had allegedly been having an affair with one, maybe two, or maybe three women that aren’t his wife. Oh, and one of them has evidence to prove it.
Tiger says his wife acted “courageously,” as she rescued him, but I gotta wonder, at that speed, could the vehicle’s damage been so bad that just opening one of the multiple entry points by the handle was out of the question? Smashing the window? Did she drag him out through the shattered glass, sling him over her shoulder, and narrowly escape a fiery explosion as well? You can’t spell “courageously” without “rage”, after all (no domestic violence charges were laid).
And the jokes, oh the jokes. “The Driver lets Tiger down, yet again”, “I finally outdrove Tiger”, and the likes will probably haunt Woods for… ever.
In addition to the estimated $8000 to fix his truck, local police have issued Tiger a fine of a whopping $164 (yes, that figure is only 3 digits long, no zeroes attached) for careless driving, and some points on his license. Way to go cops, surely he’s learned his lesson now. Way to show him he’s not above the law.
We couldn’t have just let him be really good at golf, and let him get away with appearing to be an overall quality human being, could we? We love our heroes when they’re doing great and historic things on the playing field; but when they do something of the equal opposite in life, we love to read the stories and watch the news reports that have been milked by reporters, and hang them out to dry like we knew it all along, don’t we?
Is this even a story if it happens to any non-celebrity? Minor traffic violations? Extra-marital affair accusations? Yeah, those never happen to anyone. Unfortunately this time, it couldn’t have happened to a nicer (or more famous/rich) guy. It doesn’t justify any of the afore mentioned actions, and granted, it’s no one’s fault but his own; but should all the media scrutiny just be chocked up to the price of being a world-renowned celebrity? If it were say, Dennis Rodman or Danny Bonaduce, this would all be “par for the course”(pun) and less people would care because there sort of things are almost expected from them. But “Super-Tiger” has finally shown a weakness, and that’s what’s really interesting to people, and worth exploitation to people looking to make money off of other people’s misfortunes. He’s human after all folks, alright, mystery solved. You guys really got him good this time. Everyone happy?
Leave the guy alone, and let him clean up his life, so he can get back to doing what he does best: being better than anyone else on Earth at golf. Sure he made some mistakes and he’s paying for them, but I’d rather see him continue to frustrate Phil Mickelson’s attempt to better his World Ranked #2 ceiling any day; not to mention thwarting any other golfer’s attempt to win a tournament that both he and Tiger are both in. Isn’t that the Tiger Woods we’d all rather watch, hear and read about?