Saturday, February 27, 2010

Jace Hall - Super Playa

After hearing a 20 second snippet of goofy paean to videogames, I decided it was worth my $0.99.

Please, enjoy (in as non-judgmental a fashion as you can):

Sunday, February 21, 2010

All aboard the discipline ship

I like lent. I've told you this before.

I'll take a pass the dogma from the kiddy-fiddler-facilitators who promulgate the practice, but I quite like the seasonal imperative to impose a bit of self-restraint.

Not only that, but it always makes for a few fun conversations with friends and acquaintances: from the initial announcement of the overly-ambitious lenten vow, to the cognitive dissonance reduction that transpires once those few salvos of weakness cause significant structural damage to the discipline-ship, and the entire endeavour is scrapped.

This lent, like the last lent I blogged about (2 whole years ago), to celebrate the forty days and forty nights of rain that God used to begin his creation anew (I prefer the models that you shake to start again), I'm putting a stop to my habit of guzzling sweet, sweet carbonated beverages.

Since most significant events in my life are logged on this blog, I looked it up: I announced the last soda fast on March 6th 2008 - two weeks since my last Coke, and I caved in to temptation on May 11th when illness and exams got the better of me.

This duration is impressive in hindsight - especially considering I've gone three days without a Coke and I still feel the need to yammer about my abstinence to bolster my resolve.

Like the Lenten-teetotallers who perseverate over the proper course of action to take on a St Patrick's Day that will cruelly take place during the planned dry-spell, I too am wondering how my self-governance will cope during my upcoming trip to the States and its bountiful supplies of the elixir known as Mountain Dew.

Who else is joining in the forgoing fun of Lent? (Got any good special pleadings to share so I can score some 'Dew?)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A brief guide to dealing with The Irish

I stumbled across a website called eDiplomat today - a handy resource that offers primers on societal conventions to inoculate against culture shock. Naturally, I wanted to see what they had to say about the Irish:

The People

The Irish are interested in people and place great value on the individual. They are naturally courteous, quick-witted and will go out of their way to welcome visitors to their country. Don't rush the Irish. Although they work very hard, the Irish are dedicated to a less stressful lifestyle that allows time for friends and family, a visit to the pub, a cup of tea, or just a bit of a chat on the corner. Families are closely-knit and very important to the Irish.

There's not much there that I can grumble about, let's drill deeper:

Meeting and Greeting
  • Shake hands with everyone present -- men, women and children -- at a business or social gathering. Shake hands again when leaving.
  • A firm handshake with eye contact is expected.
Body Language
  • The Irish are not very physically demonstrative and are not comfortable with public displays of affection.
  • The Irish are uncomfortable with loud, aggressive, and arrogant behavior.
  • A "Reverse V for victory" gesture is considered obscene.
Under the body language section, it states that the Irish people are "not very physically demonstrative and are not comfortable with public displays of affection", "uncomfortable with loud, agressive, and arrogant behaviour", and that a "'Reverse V for victory" gesture is considered obscene.

It recommends that one dress "modestly and conservatively", avoiding "flashy colours [...] white pants, nylon running jackets", and recommending "tweeds, wools and subdued colors". It also states that for "business meetings, men should wear suits or sportcoats and ties; women should wear suits or dresses and blazers (women wear pants less often than in America)."

Helpful Hints
  • The Irish respect reserved behavior. Initial meetings should be low key.
  • Assume that children will be included in family entertaining.
  • Always be sincere. The Irish dislike pretentious behavior.
  • Remember the Irish want to do things their way. You will not succeed if you insist on doing it "your way."
Especially for Women
  • A foreign woman will be accepted easily in the Irish business community.
  • It is considered more proper for a woman to order a glass of beer or stout rather than a pint.
  • It is acceptable, but may be misconstrued for a foreign woman to invite an Irishman to dinner. It is best to stick with lunch.
  • If a woman would like to pay for a meal, she should state so at the outset.
As far as guides to an entire race of people go, it's not too shabby. If I had to add an extra heading to the article, it would be the following:

  • The objective of a night out is to forget as much of it as possible, assisted by alcohol and occasionally, blunt-force trauma to the head.
  • After a night out, the preferred ritual is to establish oneself as the participant with the least recollection of the previous evening.
  • Alcohol absolves the imbiber of all personal-accountability.
  • Mating rituals in Ireland start with the dancefloor. Men will approach women from behind and attempt to entice them into acts of fornication by grinding their pelvis against the female's backside.
  • Interfering with the aforementioned dancefloor ritual will result in blunt-force trauma to the head.
  • Any alcoholic beverages left unattended are complimentary.
  • When leaving nightclubs, take care not to tread on drunken Irish females who have drank themselves into unconsciousness, and deposited themselves by the main exit to be located by their friends.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Teeth-whitening Mom, 7 months on

Back in April, I wrote a blog post bemoaning how advertisers, when pimping their healthcare products, would sooner tout their affiliation with some lone nutter making concoctions in a bathtub, than admit to the involvement of a team of elitist, educated, clipboart-toting, labcoat-wearing, science-doin' sons a bitches.

One of the examples used was an advertisement for teeth-whitening products:

"Read the trick" it exhorted, "discovered by a mom to turn yellow teeth white". Doesn't that sound like a splendid idea? Sadly, the only mothers I trust are single mothers, so I ignored this ad back in the day.

But lo, what's this I see in my browser window?

Not only is this person a mom (thus eliminating the possibility of her being part of the evil Big-Pharma conspiracy to poison us all), but she's single, and therefore much more deserving of my money and attention!

If only I didn't have a policy of only taking teeth-whitening advice from black single moms... With peg-legs.