Spoiler Alert! – I Don’t Care.

Over the relatively few years I’ve been paying attention to the way people treat other people… let’s say 33… all my life… I’ve noticed that there are many times that people treat other folks in ways that they’d like to be treated.

This is good yes? Do unto others as you would have them to do you, was it?

The problem with that statement is that people take it too literally. It’s nice in theory, but in practice it’s not practical. Not everyone likes the things you do.

There are countless examples that I can think of where this philosophy just turns into nothing but irritation for me, and it’s usually in situations where whatever is going on is enjoyed by a majority of people, so therefore, must be enjoyed by me to, right?? Alas, no.

Dancing is one such example. Everyone loves to dance right!? …No, not so. I hate it. I get no pleasure whatsoever from dancing. I feel goofy doing, and when I’m done, I’m sweaty. Very not worth it. But dancing folk feel the need to pull you onto the dance floor anyway. “Oh, you’re just being silly”. “Once you get up there, you’ll love it.”

I appreciate the desire to share your enjoyment with me, and honestly I’m touched that you would go through such trouble to try to bring to me the enjoyment that you get, but please understand, you’re not the first to have tried. Believe it or not, my problem isn’t that I’ve never tried it before, or I misunderstand the activity. I’m sorry if I shake the foundation of all your understanding of the word “fun”, but I just don’t f*cking like it.

But this is not the intent of this particular post, which is why I only spent around 300 words, give or take on it.

I remember being about the age of ten, and I was given a book by a family member. I read a bit, got into the story, and wondered where it was going. I didn’t really feel much like reading though, as I’m a ridiculously slow reader, even now, so it was far worse twenty years ago.

I asked my family member what happened later in the book, and was told “You’ll have to read it.”

At the age of ten, I can understand this line of thought, as nothing makes a poor reader get more efficient at reading, like reading. It’s important to encourage a new reader to read. This attitude though persisted and not just with family members, throughout my entire life, and still does with most people.

I really hate when someone will refuse to “spoil” a story, even if you ask them to, because “well that would spoil it!” …I can honestly say, I have never liked a story less because I knew the ending. Ever. In fact, most of the time when I’m reading or watching a movie, I guess the ending. Almost always. And you know what? When I’m wrong, I don’t find it any more or less enjoyable than when I’m right.

So what then, if not for the benefit of my own enjoyment, would someone possible withhold the ending of a story? It really doesn’t matter to me as far as the overall enjoyment of the story, so what do you have to gain by not “spoiling” it… But even knowing that nothing would be spoiled on my end, they still will not share.

Having made myself clear that it wouldn’t spoil it for me, they maintain it will spoil it… Spoil what? If nothing on my end is spoiled, it must be something on their end, right? What could possible matter to you about sharing a story you already know with someone who doesn’t? What do you get out of knowing something that I don’t, which I will eventually anyway? Do you get some sort of perverse feeling of superiority from it? Some kind of “I read faster and comprehend better than you, and if you can’t just do it, then you don’t belong in the “I know the end of that story” club with me?

But, of course, the average person would rather not know the end of the story. Why? I don’t know, some people claim it does in fact ruin the enjoyment. I don’t understand it, but then, I don’t understand a lot about what motivates the average Joe or Jane.

But I think of it like… I’m a computer guy. I know things about computers, and when I need to know something that I don’t, I go and find it. I usually know what’s going on when someone who doesn’t know about the application they’re using runs into trouble, and they always ask for my help. Could I tell them “Well, if I told you what was wrong, it will spoil your enjoyment.”

Well then I’d just be being an ass, of course, right? But what if I get tremendous satisfaction for having solved my own problems? Doesn’t everybody? I mean, everybody must love to solve their own problems, I can’t take that away from them! Maybe you should try dragging your computer onto the god damned dance floor, maybe then you’ll be able to make your way through the problem and join the “I know why your computer isn’t working” club, how bout that shit?

If I ask you what happens in a story, it’s because I want to know. Don’t look at it as a chance to enhance my enjoyment of the story, because it won’t. It will only make me want to strangle you.

How bout you, got any pet peeves about people doing what they think you want, regardless of what you tell them?

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Pet Peeves – A to Z Blog Challenge

This is a repost, but I think it’s relevant. I made some changes to the writing, cause as I read it, I saw some room for improvement.

As I posted many posts back, I’m generally a happy fellow, and I try to always give others the benefit of the doubt. In that post I also mentioned that I do have some pet peeves, and I thought I’d share. 
I can’t stand when people stir coffee and clank the spoon around in the mug. Every clink in the mug strikes sharply against my nervous system. Every time I hear it, I have to resist the urge to lunge at the person’s drink and stay their hand. It’s like when something like a pan lid hits the ground and is allowed to half-spin weirdly until it finally lays flat. I just want to jump on it and cut it’s little symphony short in a dramatic slam, followed by golden silence. 
Drives me nuts when people slurp, like when their coffee is just too hot to sip and they need to infuse the intake of liquid with tiny gusts of air, so as not to par boil their lips. Please… If you’re guilty of this, just wait the five or so minutes until your coffee is cool enough to drink. Each slurp is like a tiny tear in the fringe of my sanity!
I hate wooden spoons. Not so much the ones one cooks with but those little two-ended spoon thingies… I can’t eat an Italian ice with those miniature wooden boat oars they give you. The feeling of the wood grain on my teeth and tongue sends uncomfortable shivers down my spine. Even just the thought of it… ugh. Popsicle sticks too. Can’t stand to let those touch my teeth or tongue.
I apparently have an unreasonable distaste for repeating myself. I especially clench my teeth when people say “Huh?” in response to every sentence I utter, when I know they’ve heard me. I’ve had friends say “Huh?” and then after I stare at them a moment, they say “Oh,” and answer my question. This was after weeks of thinking they didn’t hear me… I was going nuts thinking I might be mumbling, or they were going deaf. Nope. Just annoying. 
I actually hate (and I know I said I always try to not hate but…) when someone believes they are correct, and will not stop to consider another person’s input. Am I incorrect? Perhaps… but that doesn’t mean what I have to say isn’t pertinent or possibly worth consideration. I am always willing to entertain the possibility that I’m wrong on just about any given subject. If you feel I’m incorrect on something, please let me hear it. I’d much rather have been wrong, than continue to be so. 
I wish I could get people on public transportation to turn their music devices down just enough so that I can’t hear it. It’s extremely difficult to think when you have one baseline of something playing on the left, and another on the right. I personally find it rude. 
I am always disappointed by a lack of civility from people in customer service positions. If you deal with people on behalf of your employer, you have an obligation to be courteous, if not friendly. Don’t look at me like I just grounded you, no one’s forcing you to be there, or at least, I’m not. You are the face of your company. I’ll always associate your attitude with the company logo, even if it’s not fair, I can’t help it… It just works out that way. 
I don’t like car horns. There seems to be a prevalent misconception that when something is inconveniencing a driver, that the horn is there so that said driver can make sure everyone around him or her is just as irritated. The horn is there so that you can let others know you’re there so as to avoid an accident. Think about it… If there’s a traffic jam, no one cares that you’re there, they’re there in their car too. 
And now, having just said, “you’re there, they’re there in their”… it really burns my bacon when people misuse “there” “they’re” and “their” as well as “here” and “hear”. There are others like, “were” and “we’re”, and “should have” not “should of” but the the(ir)(y’re)(re) and he(re)(ar) are there most common amongst the social networking crowds these days. 
I think that’s enough to start with… Please feel free to comment with some of your own!

Things People Say – Part Two

I have a nephew who, at a very young age used to ask constantly “Cuz why?” and it drove me nucking futs.

Cause, it just is! Jeez!

I guess, it’s a pretty common question among children, and rightly so. There’s a lot to learn in this word, and how does one learn if not by asking questions? 
It’s kind of sad though, that the “Because it is!” answer is so accepted. I think it leads to things being stupid for no apparent reason, yet accepted. I think adults do not ask the question “Cuz why?” enough. If we did, I’d have less shit to complain about, and this blog post wouldn’t exist, I suppose, but the world would make more sense. 
For example… (you knew it was coming, didn’t you?) Why do people say these things?
Have you ever had someone looking for a recommendation ask you “Hey, do you have a good {insert noun here} you would recommend?” Why is that such an acceptable question?? First, if it’s something like a restaurant, then no, I do not HAVE one, good or bad, that’d I’d recommend. If it’s something like a recipe, then yeah, I have good ones… Why would I have bad ones? What kind of person collects bad recipes? And why do you feel the need to specify that I should only recommend the good ones, did you think I’d recommend the bad ones, even if I kept bad recipes? 
Hot water heater… If the water is already hot, why do you need to heat it? Isn’t it a cold (or at least ground-temperature) water heater? 
I really hate it when people tell me to be careful. My poor wife says it to me all the time when I’m doing something like going out in a rain storm, or using power tools or juggling knives, and I get so aggrivated. I know she’s only concerned for my well being.

Still though, I can’t help but feel like saying “Oooh, yeah… Good thing you said that, I might have forgotten to be careful…” I try not to though, especially when she says it…

Manners are very important, but I find it interesting sometimes. Saying “Please” for example… It’s just a word, right? I mean, you convey that you want something… and you’re by default being rude, until saying please. But why? Why is the default negative, and how is it negated by that word?

Feel free not to say God bless you when I sneeze. It’s just a sneeze, and I’m allergic to dust, which I have, and cats…which I also have. It’s not a demon, I just sneezed. God’s busy. I can handle a sneeze without divine intervention. In fact, I’m happier when people don’t say anything at all. Especially if I have a cold, and I could be blowing mucas all over my face, I don’t need other people calling attention to the fact that I just sneezed. (snoze?)

Don’t say “same difference”… If something is similar to something else, then “same thing” would be the proper phrase to convey the idea you’re aiming for. It’s not the differences you’re trying to point out when you’re inferring that the thing you said and the other thing are the same. And if there’s a difference, then it, by definition, cannot be the same. If it’s the same, then there is no difference.

What sayings that people use give you an eye twitch like me?

Descrepancies that Piss Me Off – A Rant

My mind is like a black hole for information that I will likely never need. Not necessarily useless information, cause someone, at some point, found it useful, and shared it… But there’s a lot of junk bouncing around in my skill that I’ll never be able to employ.

I am Ok with this. If you only ever knew the things you needed to know, you’d be a boring person. I’d rather someone tell me something I didn’t know than just stand there in silence.

The problem with this is though, that when you do know something that the general public doesn’t, and you see something done wrong in a movie that would otherwise be great, it completely ruins it. And me, being me… I have to share this information with the other people who I’m watching said movie with.

I once had occasion in high school to heat a piece of metal rod to red hot, and beat on it with a hammer. It was Metal Working class, so it was allowed. Anyway, I’d asked the teacher, as I was smashing said rod flat, why it was that you’d see a blacksmith hit the piece of metal, and then hit the anvil. He was delighted that I asked, I guess the average person doesn’t notice that. He said he was going to wait to tell me about it until the next day, after my arm was sore from the work, but since Id actually asked… The secret is that when you hit the anvil, the hammer bounces. So you hit the piece, and then a slight tap on the anvil assists in bringing the hammer back up, thus less strain on your arm.

Now, it’s not often that you see blacksmithing, (Which evidently Google Chrome doesn’t think is a word, cause I’m getting red-squigglied) even in movies, but when they don’t do that, and just keep hitting the red hot metal, I always think “They’re going to be sorry they didn’t go to Brookline high with me.” Worse, I’ve seen movies where they hit the thing they’re working on once, and then tap it… Then hit it, then tap it. They ALMOST have it right, I say.

Another thing that people say all the time is 9 months of pregnancy. There’s 4 weeks to a month right? 40 weeks to a “normal” pregnancy… how does that work out to 9 months?

Being a computer guy, I’m pretty good at typing. I hate watching people on movies pretend they’re typing, it’s so obvious that they’re not, if the camera angle is right. They almost never use the space bar.

Something else that bugs me, lead has not been used for writing since ancient Rome. The stuff in your pencil is NOT lead, yet mechanical pencil refills SAY lead on them… They’re not.

It’s PER-RIFF-ERR-ALL. Not PER-RIFF-REE-AL!! Same with nuclear. It’s not NOO KYOO LAR.

Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman was set in the year 1876. I was a fan as a kid… Anyway, several times, they played The Star Spangled Banner in the show. A song which wasn’t the national anthem until 1931. Ruined the whole series for me.

Am I the only one who has trouble looking past things like this? I really get hung up on these things, and my disbelief gets harder to suspend. What stops your enjoyment dead in it’s tracks?

The Things People Say

Exaggeration is a powerful tool when used correctly. When making a point a little exaggeration can get your point across with a touch of humor and can really make the point memorable.

Some exaggerations I’ll never forget:

“Sorry I’m late, I was stuck behind someone at the ATM who was balancing the national debt.” – spoken by my brother John, some years ago.

My father to me a month or two before I finished 8th grade – “Pick some electives that’ll mean something to colleges, not basket weaving and pothole digging cause it’s an easy a.”

“Jesus, this asshole’s driving right up my ass…” – spoken almost daily by either my wife or myself. That’s how we roll this close to Boston.

I have a healthy appreciation for exaggeration. I enjoy them, as I do the English language in general. However, the attention that I unconsciously pay to things like exaggerations doesn’t stop there… It’s present at all times, so I pick up things like exaggerations even when people don’t really realize they’re using them.

I don’t know why it bothers me, and honestly, I kinda wish it didn’t… Perhaps it’s some kind of psychological problem my pain-in-the-ass mind interprets the unconscious use as a disregard for something I enjoy, or something like that… Who knows. I’m a pain in the ass. It is what it is. I can’ explain it. Fortunately, this is my blog, so I don’t have to. 😉

Anyway, there’s a commercial for stamps.com where some guy says “There’s nothing worse than going to the post office and waiting in line!” …C’mon. I can think of SKILLIONS of things that are worse than that. How about going to the post office and and accidentally mailing yourself somewhere inconvenient. That’d suck, right? I’d rather stand in line.

Another one is when someone says “I could care less.” …soooo… You mean you care then?

“The LAST thing you want is to…” sorta goes along with the first example.

Double negatives used to bother me a lot, but I have worked on it… English is one of the only languages that doesn’t allow double negatives like “I aint got none.” Technically in English, that means you got some.

So what bugs you about the misuse of the English (or any other) language?