Isn’t this just one of the worst questions to be asked? I mean, really: if I present myself at a counter — say, the registration desk at the hospital — it’s precisely because YOU, person behind said counter, can help me. Or so I would hope.
Can you imagine this:
clerk: Can I help you?
That doesn’t even make sense!
clerk: Can I help you?
me: I don’t know, can you? I mean, you’re not busy or anything, right? And you’re not completely lousy at your job?
Sometimes I want to make it look like this:
clerk: Can I help you?
me: How about I tell you what I need and you tell me if you can help me. Hm? How’s that sound?
Yeah, I’m obnoxious, but I feel like “Can I help you” is charged with attitude. Might as well ask people, “What do you want?”
I’m on the market for a new fragrance. I ran out of Calvin Klein’s lovely Eternity Summer and only sort of knew what I wanted my next fragrance to be. I’d been pining over Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle for a while — especially at the time when I acquired Eternity Summer — but I think those days are over. I don’t like the way it smells on me, so I’ve decided to just let it go. In the meantime, I’ve got a shitload of samples so I’m trying to see if any of them react well with my skin.
Euphoria, which I used briefly last fall, is pretty nice but it smells just a bit too sweet. Armani Code for women smells a bit too strong (very woman), hence the motion sickness association (I used to be greatly affected by motion sickness, and I remember my mother’s strong fragrances making me feel like I was going to puke right there and then, in whatever stuffy car we were in). Anyway — it’s nice, but sweeter and stronger than I’d like. Amor Amor by Cacharel is the front-runner at the moment.
I don’t think I’ve ever gone so long without a perfume. I usually have a new one waiting for me to finish the last few drops of the old one… I don’t know what happened here. I wanted Chanel’s Allure for a long time, but my mom got it as per my recommendation, so there you have it.
So, what else has been up since the last time I posted? Well, the issue of the moment is that public transit hasn’t been running since Tuesday. The transit union, in short, isn’t happy. Apparently, a salary averaging $50,000 a year + crazy benefits aren’t enough for them. I understand that it must be frustrating to be without a contract for such a long time (since March). But the contract — which sounds fucking swell, by the way — proposed by SEPTA was quickly turned down, complicating things ever-so-slightly.
The contract “included a $1,250 bonus upon ratification, a 2.5 percent raise the second year, and a 3 percent raise in each of the final three years.
It also called for no increase in the workers’ health-insurance contributions, which are 1 percent of base pay. It called for a graduated increase in workers’ contributions to their pensions, from 2 percent to 3.5 percent, and an increase in the maximum pension payment to retirees, from $27,000 a year to $30,000 a year.”
Do you know how many people would kill for a contract like this? I’m not sure the transit union gives a shit or even knows whom this strike is hurting. I’ll tell you: it’s the people who don’t have cars, bicycles, or any other means of getting to work. And it’s precisely those people who might lose their jobs because they can’t. get. to. work. Those are the people whose jobs most likely involve more than just sitting on their behinds pulling levers and pressing buttons to make a vehicle crawl along the tracks, driving a bus around town, or sitting behind a window to sell tickets. Jobs that most likely pay less than those greedy bastards earn each year. Jobs that also might not offer health insurance.
So that’s my outrage of the moment. FUCK the union.
On Seemingly Unresourceful Kids Who Ask You for Answers to the Homework via Your Facebook Wall (and food)
Background information: You are a college sophomore and there is a grad student in one of your classes. You are on good terms with the grad student, whom you met in another class last semester. You have previously asked said grad student for answers to various homework assignments via his/her Facebook wall, and were told that not only it wasn’t wise to ask this type of question on Facebook, but you’re also never going to get an answer to your questions.
Situation: You have a homework assignment due Monday, and you can’t find the answer to one of the questions (“What does [foreign language phrase] mean?”). Do you:
a) try to translate it yourself to see where it takes you?
b) plug the sentence into some online translator to see where it takes you?
c) search online forums and the web in general to see what you find?
d) go to your grad student classmate’s Facebook profile and write on his/her wall, asking for the answer?
I don’t know what to do with this kid. I’m not sure how many times I have to write him back telling him that I’m not going to give him the answer, and I honestly don’t understand why he thinks that I would even consider helping him. This isn’t me playing the grad student who thinks she’s better than undergrads here; the professor made it clear, both in class and on the syllabus, that this was meant to be individual work. Schools don’t fuck around with academic integrity. I don’t fuck around with academic integrity. And I don’t care that it’s not like cheating on an exam; I don’t care that asking for the answer to a homework assignment is seemingly harmless. The point is that rules are rules, and this is an assignment that we have to hand in. Furthermore, I am a grad student after all, which means that we are NOT on the same level academically. I’m enrolled in a one-year program with which I am less than happy; you think I’m gonna risk my ass to help you with one little question? You must be outside your mind.
Okay, never mind that he was stupid enough to ask me AGAIN on my Facebook wall, AGAIN. Does he think, does he really think that I am stupid?
His message says that he looked up the phrase online and found nothing, which I had trouble believing because it’s a very common French phrase and, chances are, the translation is everywhere to be found. Open a dictionary. Go to wordreference[dot]com. I’m sure you’re not the first one to wonder what the fuck that phrase means.
So, since I didn’t believe that the answer was nowhere to be found online, I went to WR and searched for it. Two words. Didn’t even use quotation marks. Guess what I found.
Precisely ONE thread about what that exact phrase meant. Guess who started the thread.
Him. Nothing told me explicitly that it was he who asked the question, but the poster’s handle happens to be his name in French (coincidence? keep reading). I logged on so I could see said poster’s history, just to take a look at the threads that he started. Interestingly, one of the threads pertained to an expression that showed up on one of our assignments last semester — and guess when that thread was posted? GASP!!!!! LAST SEMESTER!!!!!!!!!!!
And guess what else I just found? Another thread about something else pertaining to this homework assignment! Started a few days ago!
Ok y’all, that’s just too much. There’s no way this is all coincidental. And it’s not like he started that thread because I didn’t give him the answer — no no no. The thread was started last night, someone provided him with the answer last night, and he wrote on my wall about two hours ago.
My conclusion: he asked me because he wants to confirm the answer he got on the forum.
Ain’t gonna happen. And I hate it when people beat around the fucking bush. It’s always, “Hey, how are you? How’s your weekend? OHBYTHEWAYIWANTTHEANSWERTOTHISQUESTION kthxbye.”
?? Don’t be an asshole.
Action to be taken on my part: None, except write about it. I won’t bother tagging his wall and telling him again that I won’t give him the answer blah blah blah. I’m sure he’ll get the point if he doesn’t hear from me, and, if not, he’ll just ask me why I didn’t answer when he sees me on Monday. And then I’ll tell him.
Or maybe I’ll just look at him and ask, “Are you fucking serious?”
I’m happy to announce that my mom is doing just fine. I headed back to Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon to go to the hospital with her on Friday morning. The additional tests that the doctor wanted to perform were another mammogram and an ultrasound. Everything is fine, it was just a scare (and a waste of our time). But a stitch in time saves nine, right? All things considered, it was a good weekend. It was nice to be home and spend time with her, without having work bugging me the entire time (I had cancelled my DSL in Philly and so didn’t take my laptop with me).
The ride from DC to Philly was pretty smooth; the bus left Chinatown around 4:15pm, and, since it was a Thursday, it wasn’t crowded. I managed to hit Union Station after class to pick up some Neuhaus chocolate. Luckily there was a sale, so getting three boxes didn’t ruin me (one for my mom, one for our neighbor Bev, and one for my aunt and uncle).
On my way down to the Metro, I picked up a generous sample of shea butter hand cream, which made my hands quite slippery for a while.
I watched the sun set and the cotton candy clouds go by. Violet sky. There really isn’t much in this world that can rival the sky — an ever-changing scene, a classic beauty. Calm, serene, light, jolly, dark, lonesome, stormy… Universal, infinite. I love it. When the sun is a glowing orange candy and all you want to do is taste it…
My lotioned hands smelled like cookies. I fell asleep, probably at the same time as the sun, and woke up a bit disoriented.
Kind of like today. It took me a while to remember that today was Saturday. I meant to step outside for just a moment, to breathe some non-apartment air, but it didn’t happen. Instead, I sat here all day doing homework and workwork. At least there’s still food in the fridge.
When I came back from Philly, I saw that the chocolate capuccino spread had been replaced by a jar of crunchy hazelnut chocolate spread. Sounds even tastier than just hazelnut chocolate spread, doesn’t it? Well, it tastes just like a Ferrero Rocher (which used to be called “Ferrero Roche d’Or” in France, by the way). As of my departure on Thursday the 19th, I had consumed about half of the chocolate capuccino spread, which I bought a mere three days earlier. I’m not sure what happened to it, but I’m glad Crunchy Hazelnut Chocolate Spread is here.
On a semi-related note, I bought bananas on Tuesday night — they were being brought out of boxes, nice and green. Today they’re green and yellow, but definitely ripe — too ripe for my taste, actually. I wonder why they’re still green.
Tastes change. I never thought much of tofu until a few months ago, and now I’m crazy about it. Despite what many people say, tofu does have a taste — and don’t ask me what it tastes like, because I’m just gonna tell you that it tastes like tofu. I love the way it absorbs whatever flavor is around it. And it’s so versatile.
I like making a beet-corn-mushroom-tofu salad. Add balsamic vinegar, olive oil, some salt, pepper, and a bit of sugar.
Tonight I made angel hair pasta with garlic and basil tomato sauce, sliced mushrooms, and diced tofu. Mmmm…
I noticed that if I eat a lot for dinner, I get really, REALLY painfully hungry the next day. I wonder why.
What the fuck is up with rude bus drivers?
Can you smile when I greet you, or thank you, or wish you a good day? Can you at least aknowledge that I fucking SAID something directly TO you? I don’t understand why some bus drivers are so fucking miserable. Okay, maybe sitting on your ass all day and driving people around isn’t the most stimulating job in the world. But you’ve got it a lot better than many others. You don’t have to trek around in the cold, and you don’t have to stand all day. You have MINIMAL interaction with people, so the least you could do is say “You’re welcome” when someone thanks you for doing your job. Did you go out of your way to stop where I got on or off? Was it an inconvenience to stop the bus where you’re supposed to and open the door? Are you God? NO. So why the dirty look? Do you think that your ass would be slightly less miserable if you sat on a cushion? I’m trying to help here. Throw me a goddamn bone for crying out loud.
People say, “Thank the bus driver! You could be walking!” You know what? I fucking like walking. Actually, I fucking LOVE walking, and I normally do, but the bus was there, and time is of the essence, and the transfer from bus to bus is free, so I figured HEY LET’S BE CRAZY and hopped on the bus.
So you know what? Next time, I’ll walk. Fuck you, and I hope every other passenger treats you like the piece of shit that you seem to be.
Oops, did I just offend someone? Would “dummies” make you feel slightly better, even though they essentially mean the same thing?
Moving on. I meant to write this yesterday, after I got back from the half-assedly shoveled streets of my residential neighborhood.
– After you shovel, you’re supposed to sprinkle SALT on your little piece of concrete so as to prevent the formation of a sheet of ice, should the temperatures drop overnight and freeze the slushy mess left over by bipeds.
– In the same vein, you’re supposed to sprinkle salt AFTER you shovel; what on earth do you suppose a little grain of salt here and there will do in two inches of snow? I’ll tell you what a little grain of salt here and there does in two inches of snow. NOTHING USEFUL. It’ll melt itself a nice little hole of about one inch in diameter AND THAT’S IT.
– And of course if you’re stupid enough to just put the salt and the snow together, I would hope that you’re not dimwitted enough to shovel it all away. Which means that you don’t shovel. BUY A SHOVEL AND GET TO WORK!
Is it icy outside today? Aw, shucks. I hope you enjoy the ice skating arena that you and people like you have inadvertently created! I’ll be working from home in my pajamas if you need me.
I hate people, too. Sometimes I wish that all of humanity would perish just to get rid of all the stupid people, because it sounds more feasible than a selective purge.
Sometimes I get frustrated and I don’t know why, or I know that I shouldn’t feel that way, but it can’t be helped. Some people just irritate the shit out of me, and, in an effort to remain civil and generally not knowing how to express those feelings, I keep everything inside. Until a crappy Sunday comes around and I actively look for various ways of letting it all out.
And so I’m folding paper stars. Origami is very therapeutic. Actually, activities that involve a lot of repetition, concentration, and meticulosity help me take my mind off the bigger things in life.
I want a big jigsaw puzzle.
I want a gigantic coloring book with very tiny details.
I want an endless ball of yarn.
I’d go to sleep and forget about my frustrations, but I took a 2.5hr nap this afternoon — meaning that I’m most likely going to be up for the next four hours or so.
I’m not sure if you can tell; I hate my life right now.
You know, I appreciate you standing outside in the bitter cold, working for a cause in which you really believe. What I don’t appreciate, however, is YOU getting all up in my FACE with that stupid binder/clipboard of yours, trying to desseminate all the facts and horrors compiled in your shiny little brochure and gather whatever personal information you need from me.
1. I’m listening to music. Partly because I need to get that song out of my head by listening to it at least 20 times in a row (which never works but hey, I never learn), but mostly to avoid people like you. And you can see that I’m listening to music because my earphones and the wire connecting them to my iPod (product placement WHAT!) are white, thus totally contrasting with my black down jacket that contains many dead birds. Point is, I stuffed my ears with things that emit sound so that I can actually not hear you instead of merely pretending. See that hand in my pocket? It’s turning up the volume. It means get away from me.
2. I’m not looking at you. When did my eyes ever meet yours? Never. I don’t want to look at you because it would somehow be an invitation for you to talk to me, and, in case you haven’t been following, I don’t want you to talk to me. Plus I’m sure you people have some hypnotizing powers, because I always see someone stuck in your invisible tentacles with a pen in hand, scribbling stuff on your binder/clipboard.
3. Not only am I not looking at you, but I’m also frowning. At you. Indirectly. In any case, it’s a meanie face. Don’t come near me.
4. I’m walking uber fast. Am I in a hurry or am I just trying to get away from you? Next time you see me, ask yourself that question. Actually, don’t bother; it’s either one or the other, so either way I can’t and/or don’t want to talk to you.
And despite all this, some of you folks just never learn! Do you do that at bars and parties, too? Jesus jumping up and down…
I don’t care about babies/pandas/polar bears (I actually happen to hate polar bears) enough to stand out there and freeze my ass off in the cold with you. That’s YOUR job; I’ve got mine to do. And, for your information, people who really care don’t wait to be asked on the street by some nagging stranger before giving money; they seek out charitable organizations on their own. Like I do. From the comfort of my home, where it’s rarely below freezing… because, you know, when you ask me to save polar bears in the bitter cold, all I can think of is how nice it would be to have their fur wrapped around me at that very moment.