The Rant: STRESS

For those of you who don’t know me, I have a lot of stress in my life. It’s not that my environment is particularly stressful, or that I have a lot of real stress. A lot of my stress is self-induced, because I, like many people in my family, worry constantly about the future. We plan for every situation, every outcome, little things that are really, in the end, unimportant. Regardless, this worrying can cause a lot of stress over time, and of course we all know that stress is bad for our health. I had an old dentist tell me once to cut the stress out of my life, I had a doctor tell me that, my driving instructor, teachers, family members. “Cut out the stressssssss” (I dragged out the ‘s’ because I wanted that to sound nasally and annoying).

Cut out the stress. What the f**k does that mean?! How exactly does one simply go from stressed to not stressed? Is there a switch somewhere? A form to fill out, perhaps? Or should I just stop paying the bill, and they’ll cut me off? The phrase “cut out the stress”, or any variation of that is absolute garbage. Maybe saying something with words like “begin to reduce” or “slowly bring down” would be more effective, but sentences that demand an sudden stoppage of all stress in your life are some of the least helpful things in the world. Their ineffectiveness is only amplified when the person telling you to cut out the stress gives you no concrete advice on how to do just that.

The key word above is “concrete.” Some people may tell you to do yoga, or some other new-age, trendy practice from Dr. Oz. A simple Google search, however, will bring up half a billion results. I’d like to go through one of these advice websites now, with all of you. Just a disclaimer: I did not single out this website for any reason other than the fact that it came to the top of the Google Search listings. I do not intend to defame the author or the content of the website, and am merely going to critique it with artistic licence. I’ll list the tip in bold, and then my thoughts below that. (The link will be at the bottom.)

This website intends to offer me seven tips on how to de-stress instantly. I can do instantly.

  1. Go for a quick walk.
    Here I am, at the office. I’m managing several files, working with clients, trying to think of what I’m going to make for dinner tomorrow, I’m also worried about the economy, my finances, my wife/kids/other family member, I have a weird pain in my chest, am I having a heart attack? STOP WHATEVER YOU’RE DOING, WE’RE GOING TO WALK NOW.I can see where this would be helpful if you actually lived in a world where you have an opportunity to get up and stop whatever you’re doing and go for a little walk. The only people that I can think of who would live in this kind of world are retired people, and what could they possibly have to be worried about? If I was retired, the minute I got stressed, I’d just leap up and start racing around. Probably confuse the hell out of everybody.
  2. Read some fiction. 

    Please see above for a quick explanation about why this is unfeasible in the modern world. Furthermore, allow me to simulate what a scenario would look like if someone took their break at work to read a fictional book.”Ah, finally I can sit down and read this adventure story. Hmm, maybe I should grab some coffee first. Oh did my phone just vibrate? There goes my desk phone. Wow, this coffee isn’t very good, but at least now I can sit down. Oh, that sounds like my email, I should see if that client got back to me. Ahhhh, now I really need to pee. Oh my break is over.”

    And yes, someone could conceivably “unplug”, but if someone has that down already, then what exactly do they have to stress about?

  3. Meditate or pray.This is probably the most reasonable one so far. The only two things I can think of are: what if you’re not religious? and, what exactly do you meditate to? Can you say, without a doubt, that at this exact moment you could stop and just start meditating? If you can, good work.
  4. Watch a funny video.This is also quite reasonable, aside from the fact that many workplaces (the centre of most of life’s stress) block sites like YouTube or Vimeo from their employees. If you’re at home, or can somehow manage to find a way to watch YouTube at work, then looks like you’ve got this one in the bag, congratulations.
  5. Make a herbal tea.This also has logistical issues, given that not everybody has access to a source of hot water when they’re stressed. If you’re at the office, that access can be temperamental. At home, it’s much easier to do, but one would actually have to buy herbal tea (which can be so pricey!), and then take the time to make it, and then actually sit there and drink it. I say it like that because most herbal teas taste like the juice that collects at the bottom of your garbage bin.
  6. Punch a pillow.Really? Are you kidding me? Okay. I don’t know about your work, but at mine, we don’t have a pillow dispenser in the staff room. And even then, if I punched a pillow and any one of my coworkers came in, I would be the subject of office gossip for weeks. This is not a viable workplace tip. At home, if you can a) not upset your wife/partner by punching one of the nice pillows, then excellent. Also b), if you have a young child, who, coincidentally, walked into the room at the same time that you were punching a pillow, try explaining that to him or her.
  7. Take slow, deep breaths. 

    This is probably the only one I would actually recommend. This can be a very soothing practice, if you have the patience and mental capacity to focus on taking slow, deep breaths. Just keep doing this.

So if any of these can actually help your stress, let me know. The breathing doesn’t do very much for me in the long run, and the rest of this is practically guff. This website is where I got these tips from, and when I looked at the other Google listings, other tips fell into the same general vein. If you’re as stressed as I am about unimportant things, let me know! Or just punch a pillow, whatever.

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Stay a while, and listen…

When I was writing my last entry about my new Galaxy Tab, it took about three hours longer than it normally takes me. This is partly due to the fact that I couldn’t stop playing with my new toy, but also because I needed to ensure that all of my copyright usage was in order. Just terms like Google, iPad, Samsung, even Galaxy Tab, all are locked away somewhere by some impossibly ancient man, who I shall now refer to as The Keeper of the Patents.

I imagine him to look something like this: Image

I don’t know if anyone has ever been inside a patent office, but I certainly haven’t. I’ve always pictured the patent office to look something like a massive room, with gray walls and a gray floor. There is one door, at one end, and no windows. Walk in through this door, and on your right, you see an empty water cooler with an abundance of small Dixie cups, and in front of you, several miles of that velvet rope they use to form queues at banks. One must stand in this very orderly queue during the office’s business hours of 11 am – 1 pm, although there is a one hour lunch break that takes place around 11:30, and all staff are entitled to two fifteen minute breaks (these are standard hours in any government building, though, so no one should be surprised here).

If, by some reason, your unfortunate soul should make it to the front of the line and actually manage to speak to The Keeper of the Patents, you will first realize that he is, in fact, The Watcher (as depicted above), and that he is the only person that works there. You present your patent documents to him, and he looks them over. He’ll mull over them for a few hours, and either a) tell you that you need form 36b, and send you home, b) reject the patent outright for no apparent reason, or c) approve the patent and then sacrifice a newborn lamb on your papers as an appeasement to the patent gods.

Of course when I say patent gods, I mean judges across the continent, because if it looks anything like Apple, expect to get sued.

 

(All licensed trademarks and copyrights used in this article are the property of their respective owners, of which I am not.)

The Rant: Breathe-Eating

Never mind, the rant begins now. I just want all of you to know that I had every intention of going to sleep, but then I began to fume, and I just knew that I had to write it down.

I encourage all of you to tell me if I’m weird or crazy or whatever, but, I don’t breathe when I eat. Whenever I’m eating, and whatever I’m eating, I hold my breath, take a small enough bite/slurp/whatever so that I don’t look like a slob, and then once I have swallowed, I take another breath. Is this weird? Probably. But I’ll tell you one thing: I don’t sound like a train trying to make its way up a hill.

Most of my family breathes when they eat. To demonstrate, it’s something along the lines of: “snsnnnnnn *chew* *chew* *chew* snnnnsnsnsnsnsnnsn”, rinse and repeat. I had a friend once (and only once ;P), whose dad breathed when he ate, too. I don’t know what it is, but it literally makes my blood boil! I cannot stand the sound of  breathing noisily while eating. If you’re one of those people who breathes silently, then that’s fine, but I’m sure you all remember some moment when you would be sitting at the table, eating, and some other person comes and sits down, but they have a cold. And then the breathing through one nostril begins, and they’re trying to eat, and “LOOK HONEY, YOU CAN HEAR THAT TRAIN TRYING TO GO UP THE MOUNTAIN AGAIN.”

Maybe this is how serial killers get their start, but I take pride in the fact that I eat silently, and I intend to train my potential children to do that, too.

The Rant: A Series!

As I’m sure all of my friends know, I have an exceptionally short temper. If I’m not ranting about something, I’m making up flashcards with swear words on them so I don’t have to strain my voice from shouting at people while I’m driving. So! I’ve decided to start sharing my aImagenger with all of you (I am pleased to announce that we have hit, on average, 26 hits a day for the past little while now).

26 is an appropriate number for ranting, I believe. Tomorrow, I’ll begin recording my anger, and hopefully you all get a laugh or two! Of course, if any of you have any rage fueled stories, would you care to share?

and they’re all wearing the same dress!

He’s sitting in the main building, in a chair that is far too uncomfortable for what it cost. He’s waiting to register, to continue his education, find a well-paying job, join society, have 2.3 kids, etc. He can register at exactly 1 PM, and not one minute before, an angry French woman had assured him of such. So he’s waiting in the main building with his headphones in, but he can hear them all running around, screaming! There must be 30 or 40 of them all sitting at tables nearby. They all wear matching hiking boots, matching niqabs, and the same white dress! Such an odd dress, it looks like it has Girl Guide patches on the shoulders. They walk around, back and forth, not going anywhere, and all screaming to each other. One, standing on the patio, lets off a high-pitched, “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.” Is it a word in their language? What is he even saying? Perhaps a mating call? Whatever this roar means, another one has responded with the same screech. It must be some kind of battle call, why would another one do the same thing? A call used to represent one’s determination to come and study at a Western university. The screeches resonate throughout the crowd of identical visitors throughout the waiting period.

The continual “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA”s that echo throughout the main building are beginning to drive him crazy, so he plots an escape. He’ll go for a walk, burn the last five minutes in the waiting period, and then come back in to register. But just as he gets up, so do they! He sits down, and they sit down. They must be following him, he thinks to himself, so he waits. They do stand again, a collective body, composed of identical beings, but they begin to screech collectively now, as if beginning a hunt. They walk towards a large staircase, and then back to their table, some 10 meters away. They repeat this trek, pacing the floor of the main hall as a collective, stopping to screech now and again.

Finally he cannot take it anymore, but he does not have to, because it is 1 PM. He goes to register, and listens as the person inputting his courses waffles on about terrorists watching her do her banking online. He’s always wondered what it must be like to be stupid, stupid people seem so happy! After telling him to put his money in a sock under the mattress, the deed is done, and he is locked into another debt circle, so that he can compete in the real world; the world of the educated, of “the Left.” That mental bash makes him chuckle.

The visitors are still screeching as he leaves, but at least they’re making it up the stairway now.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

what is a “drill?”

The most beautiful moment of my post-secondary career has probably just transpired in front of me today. Here I am, sitting in Microeconomics this morning, when suddenly the fire bell rings. Normally this would mean to leave the building immediately if not for the events that transpired.

My professor, a smart man, said that the school had sent out an email saying they were going to test the bells, but that this test should not interrupt lectures. When the bells began to ring, he stopped lecturing and said that he was not going to continue until the bells stopped ringing. When they continued for about a minute, he stepped out into the hallway and noticed that kids were leaving their classrooms and heading outside. At this point he said that we didn’t have to stay in the room, but we didn’t have to leave, either.

This all seemed very reasonable to the entire class for some reason, and we all continued to sit in the room for the next five minutes. The professor stared at us, and we all stared at him, while the fire bell merrily rang in the hallway outside.

Now, in the real world, this is absolutely not what you should do, good God. When the fire bell rings, you should save your valuables and get out as fast as you can. But we continued to sit.

After about five minutes, a friend of mine said that she was going to go get a drink, and left the classroom. She would later tell me that she was approached by a security guard while she looked for the water fountain and when asked what she was doing she plainly said, “looking for the water fountain!”, making no mention of the shrieking fire bell. The security guard screamed at her and told her to leave the building right away, and then upon checking classrooms noticed that we were still sitting reasonably in our classroom staring at our emotionless professor.

The security guard stormed into our classroom and told us that we had to leave. This is where a second thing you shouldn’t do while the fire bell goes comes into play. Not only did I leisurely put on my coat, I also proceeded to gather up not just my things, but the things of the girl next to me! This is very bad.

We left the building, and it did turn out to be a drill, one that I can say we failed miserably. Not only did we completely ignore the absolutely shrill fire alarm, many of us (not just myself) made sure to grab all of our things before we left.

I still laugh when I think about this, but in all seriousness , when the fire bell goes, just get out. I was lucky, because, well, it was me :D.

An entire class of economics students ignoring a fire bell… priceless.

Proverbs 31 1/2

10 who can find a virtuous lover? for his price is far above rubies
12 he will do him good and not evil all the days of his life.
13 he seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with his hands.
14 he is like the merchants’ ships; he bringeth food from afar.
15 he riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to his household, and a portion to his madiens.
16 he considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of his hands he planteth a vineyard.
17 he girdeth his loins with strength, and strengtheneth his arms.
18 he perceiveth that his merchandise is good: his candle goeth not out by night.
19 he layeth his hands to the spindle, and his hands hold the distaff.
20 he stretcheth out his hands to the poor; yea, he reacheth forth his hands to the needy.
21he is not afraid of the snow for his household: for all his household is clothed with scarlet.
22 he maketh himself coverings of tapestry; his clothing is silk and purple.
23 his husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
24 he maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
25 strength and honour are his clothing; and he shall rejoice in time to come.
26 he openeth his mouth with wisdom; and in his tongue is the law of kindness.
27 he looketh well to the ways of his household , and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28 his children arise up, and call him blessed; his husband also, and he praiseth him.
29 many sons have done virtuously, but thou is excellest them all.
30 favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a man who feareth his lover, he shall be praised.
31 give him the fruit of his hands, and let his own works praise him in the gates.

Sweaty Fingers

Does anyone else get self-conscious by the cleanliness of their laptop? I’m not saying that mine is filthy, it just isn’t as clean as it could be. It is 2 years old after all, and the screen has picked up some interesting markings (most notably from when I sneezed Neocitran onto it). Even worse, the keys on my keyboard, they’re just awful! I’ve noticed that my fingers tend to rest on certain keys the most, and the sweat (I guess my fingertips are very sweaty) tend to make these keys shinier than the others and I hate it so much. Every time I bring the laptop into public, I have to clean it with a very expensive LCD cleaner because it’s the only streak-free cleaner I can use on this thing. Is that obsessive? I just don’t want people to think of me as the Obsessive Finger Sweat Man.

I’ve been thinking about it lately, and I equate all of this laptop preening to dressing up when you go into public or brushing your teeth. You’re taking your public features out (in a sense, after all, your teeth are always out unless you have dentures, then they’re really out), so it would make sense that you make them presentable, so why not do the same for my laptop too?

The reason I’ve been doing all of this thinking about the appearance of my laptop is for a bunch of reasons, ranging from history class to the Black Screen of Death! In history class, we were discussing the Enlightenment (if you don’t know, take the time now to Google it), and how this one philosopher was preaching the benefits of being able to think for oneself, except at the same time declaring that the only way for a person to live is to be enlightened, which contradicts his belief that everyone should think for themselves. If the best way to live is to think for myself, who the hell are you to tell me how to live my life? What if I decide for myself that I want to live a life of ignorance? It’s complicated.

The second reason is this fabled Black Screen, which I encountered this morning. No one (at least according to Google) seems to really know what causes this Black Screen to show up after logging in to your Windows computer, but I seem to have fixed it by changing some registry values. The thing is, what the hell caused it? I don’t think it was updates, I haven’t changed anything lately, so I began to fear that my laptop hated me. I have been cleaning it religiously ever since I corrected the problem a few hours ago.

Is it strange that I want to pamper my laptop, so that it doesn’t give me any more black screens of doom? I think so, but I’m too afraid not to do this ritual now. Let me know what you think in the comments below, am I crazy?

I don’t know why I felt the need to type this rant out, it was just bothering me while I managed to wharf down my semi-cold food (see my post re: wisdom teeth from yesterday :P)

less-wisdom

My wisdom teeth came out two days ago. I can’t say that I’m not in a lot of pain, but that’s really only because I’m taking Tylenol 3’s and Advil, and they seem to be working wonderfully together. I had to be put under though, which was strange, but I’ll get into that later. First, some back story on the past few months.

The end of 2011 was about as eventful as it could be. I bought new train tickets for July 2012 (California here I come!), although I will say I am a little nervous that I haven’t actually gotten the tickets in the mail yet, but I can always get a hold of those. I got a new bed frame, because my old one was severely lacking in support. I got a Wii! And some fun Zelda games to go with it ;), and I also, um, got a 50″ 3D HD LED (all the Ds) Smart TV, and I don’t know how I feel about it. I love it to pieces, don’t get me wrong, I’m just not used to being able to see the wrinkles on every newscaster. It’s a really beautiful picture though, I finally understand the HD thing. I’m only a little worried about how much power it uses, but that’s not important right now.

Other than all of this spending, nothing was too radical in the end of 2011. But then, the teeth came out. It was a simple procedure, they gave me an IV full of Halcyon, which is a lovely drug that keeps you consciously aware of the procedure (though you’re not in any pain whatsoever), and then as soon as the drug starts to wear off, any memories created while you were under its influence are instantly wiped out! Even now, the last memories I have are having the doctor ask me about my plans for after university, and then all of a sudden I’m in a car and my mouth hurts. I have no idea what happened in between, but apparently I was very coherent!

My mouth hurts though, like I said. I’m taking an anti-swelling thing, some useless T3’s, Penicillin, but god I would kill for something stronger haha. Where’s the black market when I need it? ;)

I’ve even started university again, too. I’m taking a history course, a mircoeconomics course, a sociology course, a course on human origins, and English, of course (how many times did I use course?) The history course is fun, although I do have to say that my prof seems to drag on about last semester’s course a little too much (I don’t mind, but it is getting time to move on I think). I haven’t started English yet, my prof has been out of town, and I have human origins tomorrow morning. The real fun seems to be in mircoeconomics, which I never though I would catch myself saying. I was the only one who got an answer right today, and I feel pretty good about that, given the fact that I have to consciously focus on not drooling on myself. IMAGINE WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN I AM NO LONGER AS STONED AS A WITCH. I’ll probably do worse to be honest, don’t ask any questions about that. I’m just glad it’s all settling down, I was a bit worried about my courses.

New New Years Revolution: stop using the word “course.”

There is much more insanity to come in my university classes, I promise, but if I somehow forget, here’s to July 2012 ;).

Devotion and Fidelity

I could support you, yes, but dear, listen to what I have to say. No, don’t interrupt.
Dear, how many times I have told you that I love you? How many things have I
Done to win your heart? I’ve flourished you with gifts, painted landscapes,
Fought valiant battles, supported your argument whenever possible,
Run your races, wept over your losses, carried your colours, and finally,
Held your heart. But dear, none of this is truly love. I can say that I love you, yes –
I said don’t interrupt – but how can I prove this to you? Actions can speak louder than
Words, and certainly you know that my flow of words is incessant, but consider this.
To love is to offer one’s complete devotion, much as I do for you. Yes dear, I
Realize that you don’t feel I offer you that, but listen. How many times have I
Ignored my friends, how often have I tended your wounds, how often have I kept
Your house? Those are material things, though, and I should focus on the emotional
Aspect of love, you’re right. Love, or at least the act of love, should provide you with
Someone who will stay at your side, even as you grow to despise them, and fall back
Into love. The point of love is to have someone to confide in, and tend for, completely.
You have long had my love, even though – I don’t do these? Consider this.

Don’t consider love in the same sense as it was introduced to you. No, this kind of love
Is completely impossible. Don’t imagine that I will constantly kiss every part of your body, Nor will I make love to you tenderly night in and night out. Love is not these physical acts
Of affection, no, love is a certain feeling. The feeling that you and the object of your heart
Are so tied together that you cannot even imagine being apart for very long. And I do not
Mean being constantly connected at all hours of the day – I know you appreciate that very
Much. By tied together, I mean part of one another’s life. You may be in the same house,
And not speaking, but still together. That is the point of love.

You still do not understand, dear? I have told you what love is; or at least, I have
Explained to you its ideal form. Understand now, what love means to me. Love to me,
Is the absolute devotion of ones self to someone (or something) other than yourself.
This unwavering, undying, unending devotion is the foundation on which love is
Constructed. In return for my infinite devotion, all I expect in return is faithfulness
On your part. I extend to you devotion, you extend fidelity.

You’ve gone silent, love, is there something you wish to say? Whenever you grow
Silent, it always appears that you have guarded some fact very close to your chest.
No? Perhaps let me explain further. Love, to me, has never been an egalitarian concept.
In any relationship, be it between lovers, mother and son, or elder and child, there will
Always be someone who gives their all, and someone who takes everything. This is the
Natural order of things. If both gave their all, then they would simply overwhelm each Other and the relationship would fail. If both simply took all the other had to offer, then
Each would drain the other of their happiness for their own gain. This is why there must Always be one who devotes, and another who receives.  It is not that either should feel
Guilty, no, dear, that is not the point. The ‘point’ of this kind of relationship is to
Allow for the absolute happiness of the partner. The person who gives, in the end,
Does so for the sake of his or her partner. The person who takes, conversely, is not
Pleased that they do so, but it simply is their natural role. Either can take the role
Of the other, but neither, in the end, will do so.

This kind of relationship is one I believe – or maybe should say believed – that we had.
To you, I gave, or thought I gave, everything, but I can see now that I am wrong. Oh, you
Believe me now? Well, here, see my understanding. If I gave you everything, you would
Not be unhappy. Are you unhappy? I thought so. So you see, then, that I have failed on
My part of the relationship. It doesn’t matter, really, that you were unfaithful – I cannot
Expect any less. If I were capable of giving you everything, then it wouldn’t matter.
So you see why I blame myself, now.

Yet, you still want to stay with me. That confuses me.

If you are entirely sure, then by all means, stay. I will continue to try my hardest to give
Absolutely everything to you. I just hope that, in the end, I don’t let you down again.