Friday, January 06, 2012

How Does That One Go Again?

One of my favorite things to do in life is watch people try to remember songs.  Sometimes the title will be familiar, but they won't remember the melody.  They'll ask their buddy, "how does that one go again?"

"Huhuhuhh", I say to myself... sometimes out loud

It can be an awkward situation for a shy guy like myself.  But while observing others, I've found that some people may not feel as uncomfortable.  In my independent research, I've noted the following types of responders:

There's the over-the-top (or under-the-bottom?) humble guy - the one who's got a good voice but will look skyward and reluctantly sing the line in a monotonous tone and quickened pace while nodding his head on every syllable.  C'mon man, I know you can saang!  Don't be shy...

But also don't be this guy... the guy who's hoping to get a record deal in case there's an executive in the crowd - you could ask this person to sing the ABCs and they'll go full out Beyonce on you, eyes closed and hand waving and everything.

"...oh... thanks..."  -_-

And then there's the false modesty guy - the one who insists on not singing but will oblige only because you're forcing them to apparently... observe (before YouTube takes it down):

Oh and I guess there's the in-between guy who's able to sing the melody clearly and confidently without showing off and making people uncomfortable.



Thank you all for participating in the "Feces or Not Feces" challenge from Dec 13, 2011.  Everyone got it right - it is NOT feces.  I'm not sure what gave it away, the dusty fibers or the kitchen countertop it was laying on...

Today's challenge is a bit more abstract.  But, since I trust that you've all seen plenty of this in your lifetime, I will ask you this - feces or not feces?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The B-Sides

I was sifting through the list of my previous blog entries to delete these random multiple drafts of the previous entry.  So as I'm going through and deleting the duplicates, I noticed I had some previously written and unpublished entries.  I'm guessing that I held off because I wanted to edit them but then got distracted for a year and a half.  Probably the TV thing again.

But here's a treat for you all.  I will be releasing these entries as part of a mini-series called "the B-Sides" (yeeeaah that's it..).  And since these were written in the moment, some of the material is dated and may not still hold up in this advanced future.  So to help you all better understand the context of these posts, I've enabled a time jumping mechanism on this page.  Oh yeah, it's true.  Although I must warn you, I haven't yet figured out a way to bring you back.. so proceed at your own risk.

 Click here to go back to April 5th, 2010...



April 5, 2010

I never felt so much pressure in my life.

A co-worker and I went to the company cafeteria to fetch some grub.  On the way back up, I started recapping the Yankee/Red Sox season opener from last night.  As we waited for the elevator to arrive, I filled him in on all the plays that he missed.  Being a Mets fan, there are a lot of things that I saw last night that I haven't seen from my own team in a long time.  Things like... I dunno, intuitive base running, fundamental defense... exotic skills like that.  As we entered the elevator, 2 other gentlemen followed behind.  They were also engaged in baseball talks, presumably about the same game (since there was only 1 yesterday).  I continued my conversation with my co-worker when all of a sudden it got quiet.  One of the gentlemen gave a slight head nod my way, as if to defer his own conversation to me.  Catching this through the corner of my eye, I knew then what was going on.  I now had to entertain these fools.

The ride was only 6 seconds long but it felt like eternity.  Those 2 gentlemen, my co-worker, and some other dude who looked like he couldn't care less were now hanging on my very next words.  Their ears lent to me, anticipating that my insight would fulfill their needs.  I only had time for one move and I knew I had to deliver. So I turned back to my co-worker and continued:

"Yeah.. so.. that was it"

(ding dong)

GAH choked again..

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Like Riding a Bike

About a year ago, I hopped on a bicycle for the first time in 11 years (when I got my driver's license).  You know how the old saying goes... something about riding a bike being easy after... well whatever I'm too tired to figure it out.  And equally as too tired to re-write this intro (man what a lame comeback attempt)

Anywhoo, as I wobbled down past 3 parked cars, I started to panic and decided to turn back.  I don't remember if there was any trick to making a U-turn on a bicycle but as I turned the handlebar, I almost fell and broke my face off.  I can't believe the universe lied to me.  And because of that, I was afraid to return to this blog... because my wrists might fall off..

You know what, that doesn't even make sense anymore.  Maybe because it's been 4 days from when I started this entry to when I wrote those last 2 sentences.  I completely forgot what the point was and thus, my analogy has veered way off course.  And once again, I didn't want my efforts to go to for naught so.. yeah, sorry for wasting your time.  But I guess that's my problem - I'm too indecisive.  I'm what you would call a lazy perfectionist.  I create something, I think it could be better, I re-work it, don't like it, have ideas for improvement.. and then watch TV.

I guess the lesson here is - sometimes you just have to hit the publish button.  It doesn't have to be perfect the first time, you just have to get it going.  I'm sure every songwriter has a piece of loose leaf with some real corny lyrics on it.  But until you can stare those lyrics in the face, you'll never get to your Unchained Melodies, Stairway to Heavens, every U2 song ever made (freakin' awesome)..

But enough of this serious stuff.. let's talk some feces

Quick - feces or not feces?

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Worse than a Toilet Seat

Why is it that whenever a scientific test is done on a the cleanliness of a surface, they always compare it to a toilet seat?  You'll always read an article about how dirty a door knob or a keyboard is... and they'll always say, "_____ has more germs than a toilet seat". 

I call malarky on these tests.  We're talking about a toilet seat, people... FECES!  What is dirtier than feces??  Yeah I know they're testing the seat and not the inside of the bowl, but I'm willing to bet they swabbed the the sides of the seat.  Try swabbing the back of the seat, where some of the doo doo water tends to splash.  I bet you'll find some germs there.  Like in the trillions.  Double if you're at a buffet.

Feces are gross man... I'd much rather eat food that fell on my keyboard than to eat off a toilet seat.  And that's science

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Gotcha sucka!

me: "Hello, Fece speaking"
co-worker: "Hi Fece, I was wondering if you could help me with something.  Do you know who the contact person would be for negotiating site contracts?"
me: "Hmm.. I'm guessing Carol?"
co-worker: "Oh ok.. thanks.  You know what, do you think you could reach out to Carol and...?"


About 3 out of 5 phone calls that I receive from this person happen just like this.  It usually starts out as a simple inquiry, then it becomes a trap.  But I don't think this is a superiority issue.  This co-worker and I are supposed to be considered equals on the hierarchy (although her job function is more involved than mine so I would understand if she felt she was higher on the chain).  I think it's just a matter social etiquette.  I mean you just can't set people up like that maaannn.  If you have a question, I can give you guidance but in the end you gotta handle your own business.  And I don't even know the background of the issue!  What am I gonna say to Carol once I contact her??

And what's worse?  She's actually a nice person, which makes it even harder to correct... for me anyways.  I never liked correcting people, ESPECIALLY when they take it well.  It just makes me feel bad afterward.  It's like once they concede, I instantly absorb their embarrassment and then I start apologizing.  Aye... but one of these days, I need to figure out a nice way to say "do it yourself".  In the mean time, I'll continue to take it and just vent about it on my blog like a good passive-aggressive Asian

*note - in order to protect the privacy of those involved, the names and events have been changed.  All except Fece.. that's my real name

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Small Talkin'

If there was ever a piece of advice that I could offer to the younger generation, it would be to strongly consider your career path while you're young.  Not because it'll earn you more money, but mainly because it will make small talk much easier.

As long as I've been an adult, I don't think I've ever had a conversation with someone that didn't involve my job.  You'll see, once you reach about 21-22, every conversation with each new person you meet will start like this:

stranger: "Hi, I'm _____"
me: "Nice to meet you, I'm Fece"
stranger: "Hi Fece.  So... what do you do?"

Sure it doesn't sound so bad but trust me, after the 400th time it starts to get annoying.  Lately I've been keeping time in my head, seeing how long it takes for this question to come up.  For me, I'll use it as a crutch if there's nothing else but most others will whip it out from the get go.  Now I don't have a bad job, but it's just hard to explain to people who don't know what it is.  It's nothing common like a doctor, lawyer, teacher... so most of the time I end up trying to explain it until the other person just gives up and nods.  Sometimes they yawn too, which is hilarious.

Why do we do this to ourselves??  I feel like I'm being judged by what I do for a living, with my approval rating slowly sinking as each word flies over their heads.  Shoot, I'm more bored than they are and I'm the one talking.  There's gotta be a better route to friendship.  Maybe we could try something different like, "Nice to meet you, I'm Fece. What is your biggest regret in life?".  I think you would get a lot more out of someone that way

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Dun Dun, Dun D-Dun...

The interesting parts of my day usually occur within the first 2 hours of it.  As much as I dislike public transportation, I know that it can also be quite entertaining.

Usually when I get into the train station, there's a 7 train docked and ready to go.  It's just a matter of "will I swipe my MetroCard in time to catch it?"  Sometimes it gets dramatic with the door-closing chime sounding as "Please Swipe Again" repeatedly flashes on the turnstile.  Exciting stuff.  

This morning was one of those relatively easy days where I made it on time and even got a seat to boot.  Shortly after, the chime went off.  As the door started to close, a 30-something year old woman made a sprint for the car.  Knowing that she was much too far to make it, she reached out and barely got her book in to stop the door.  I thought, “There goes the book.”  It was a thin soft cover… probably just thick enough to trip the sensors and hold the train up.  Still, I was kind of hoping to see the train leave the station with the book lodged between the doors, pages turning in the passing wind.  Well, give this lady credit for being determined because she wasn’t going down without a fight.  She wedged her fingers through the small gap and, just like the T1000 at the elevator, began to pry at that door.  I felt like John Connor cowering in the corner as Arnold the train conductor fought to defend me from this menace.  Just as she was starting to create some space, the conductor did the classic fake out move of opening and rapidly closing the door.  In that split second of false hope, she tried to lunge into the car only to have her head jostled by the rubber of the colliding doors.  I swear that all happened in slow motion it was so awesome.  I mean it was sad at first but once I saw she wasn’t seriously hurt, I might’ve chuckled a little.  (Or sympathized… depending on how you’re judging me right now)

Despite absorbing the near fatal blow, she somehow managed to keep an arm wedged in there.  This lady was in it to win it.  Thankfully for her, backup arrived as a busload of passengers stormed in from behind to overtake the door.  Holding her head, she rushed in and took her spot leaning against the opposite door, celebrating the victory of a battle well fought. 

I am glad she made it though.  She certainly deserved it after all the effort she put in.  It's embarrassing enough to have the whole car watching you struggle as they try to decide whether to help or to continue being annoyed at the delay you're causing.  Actually, one can say that your true colors show in these moments.  A moral fork in the road if you will.  I'm just making stuff up.