Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bummed Out

A couple of weeks ago I was walking to my friend's apartment to go to a birthday party for one of my friends in the YSA branch. The apartment was about two miles away and I was walking alone on a Sunday night.

As I was crossing the bridge on Michigan Avenue, I noticed a man begging for money, saying that he needed food. He had a two-year-old little boy with him and the man was pleading with everyone saying that he just wanted some food to feed his little boy. I only had a credit card, so I told him that I didn't have any cash and kept walking, but then I started feeling bad that I didn't offer to help at all. I thought of the little boy and couldn't help but think of my nieces and nephews.

At first I was thinking that I couldn't help him out because it was a Sunday and I didn't want to break the sabbath, but then I tried to think of what the Savior really would've done in that situation. I was a couple of blocks past him but felt like I should turn around, so I did. I walked up to him and said, "Hey, you need food?"

The man nodded.

"Cross the street with me," I said. "There's a Subway half a block south of here."

He winced upon hearing Subway and breathed in through his teeth in disappointment and said, "Aw man, Subway?"

I was surprised that he didn't want to eat fresh.

"Were you hoping to go some place else?" I asked.

"I dunno, I was thinkin' like McDonalds or somethin'. You know, to get a Happy Meal...for the kid," he said, pointing to his son.

Apparently beggers can be choosers.

I asked him if there was a McDonalds close by and he told me there was one about six-and-a-half blocks north on Michigan. I started to see where he was going with this.

"Alright, let's start walking," I said.

"Aw man," he said in a whiney tone. "That's pretty far. I don't wanna walk that far. I was prob'ly gonna to take the bus."

At that point, I was so frustrated with this guy that I just walked away from him. I couldn't take it anymore. I was bummed out. I couldn't believe how demanding this guy was when I tried to help him, and how selfish it was of him to make his son stand in the cold so he could get cash, not food, from people.

It reminded me of all the people that would try to hit me up for money on my mission. After I told one guy in Toronto that I didn't have any money he said, "Well, don't you have a credit card or something? Can't you go to the ATM?" The nerve.

The one time I really felt like we should give a guy money I didn't have any, so I told my senior companion to give him some. My companion handed him five or ten dollars and then we both watched the guy we had just helped walk across the street to the Beer Store to load up for the weekend. I was so mad I could barley stand it.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Left-Handed in a Right-Handed World

Tonight I wish to reach out to an oppressed minority group. Some of these people sit next to you on the bus, they work with you, they play sports, are engaged in the arts, and occasionally, they even give you a high-five. Who are these people? The lefties. And, as a south paw myself, I feel that I can be authoritative on this subject.

You wouldn't think it, but, one third of all children are born left-handed. You wouldn't know it, either, because many lefties are oppressed into right-handedness. This form of dexterouscide (see also leftnic cleansing) limits lefty liberties even more, because if less left-handers exist, no one will have to cater to their needs. But, I am here to make a stand. I'm here to say that if no one were left, I wouldn't be alright with all right.

Here are just a few of the many left-handicaps:

  • playing violin
  • can openers
  • spiral notebooks
  • check marks (you wouldn't think it, but the action is very right-hander friendly)
  • cursive
  • driving manual
  • starting lawn mowers, chain saws, etc
  • scissors
  • handshakes (except for in Boy Scouts)
  • drinking fountain buttons
  • the computer mouse
  • 10-key typing
  • car ignitions
  • cameras
  • wristwatches (I dare you to change the time without taking off your watch)

And I feel like I could go on forever. However, to be fair, there are some left-hander-friendly activities, too:

  • eating Continental style
  • rolling down the driver's side window (see also locking your friends out of the car right before they lift up the handle, then unlocking it, and locking it again right before they open the door)
  • bowling (I guess the floor isn't as worn down for lefties. I think I'm bad enough to disprove this one, though)
  • baseball
  • wedding rings
  • being right-brained
  • early death
  • nasty graphite/ink smears on your hand after writing for hours
  • people watch you while you write because it looks weird
  • people gawk at the way you hold and deal cards in card games

If those last four won't make you want to be left-handed, I'm not sure what will.

And so, although I know things aren't likely to change in my lifetime, There will come a day when there will be equal rights for lefts. I hope that my fellow left-handers won't give up hope by becoming right-handers. Just remember that when it comes to dexterity, it is better to have left and lost, than to never have left at all.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ronald Burris

This past January, when Blagojevich-appointed Ronald Burris took over as the newest U.S. Senator, everyone was a little wary of the whole situation. In attempt to quell the fears of the American people and the people of Illinois, Senator Burris testified under oath that he did not seek to raise funds for Blagojevich while seeking the Senate seat. While this testimony was meant to free Senator Burris of his guilt by association, instead of purging him it may have perjured him, costing him a reputation he spent a lifetime trying to establish. I still don't have all the facts, but the people of Illinois have had to handle a scandal too many this year, and everyone at work seems to be a little fed up with the state's latest political em"Burris"ment.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Web Crash 2007

I found this Onion News broadcast a couple of years ago and ran into it again last week. I think the control alt delete comment is my favorite. Enjoy.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Malapropisms: Take II

Most of the time when I take a subject and turn it into a blogject, the prosecution rests. But, some things, like malapropsisms, are gifts that keep on giving, and deserve another go-around.

And so, even though I already ranted about malapropsisms back in September, I'm back to pay malapropsisms another installment of rant.

Just this past week, my work ordered Chinese food for dinner. After the food was delivered, one of the other interns and I were trying to make sure we had received all of the food we ordered.

The other intern was looking through the bag and said, "Okay...Jeremy had the orange chicken...Jen ordered the Saskatchewan beef..."

"Wait, what?" I asked. "Did you just say Saskatchewan beef?"

"Yeah, isn't it Saskatchewan beef?" she asked.

"Not unless you're talking about Canadian beef. Jen ordered Szechuan beef!" After I told her, we both laughed. She probably just confused Saskatchewan's capital, Regina with Red China. Honest mistake.

The next one happened with the partner. Everyone at the office likes calling me B-O-B, so when the partner called me "Bob" one of the senior associates jokingly corrected him by saying, "It's not Bob, it's B-O-B." At this the partner said, "B-O-B, that's a conondrome. It's spelled the same backwards and forwards."

I cringed inside upon hearing conondrome. Being a palindrome myself, I knew that this was not so. One guy in the office also questioned the nebulous noun by loudly saying, "Conondrome?" To which the partner replied, "Yeah, it's a word that means something is spelled the same backwards and forwards. Look it up!" I wanted to interject, "No, it's not a word, don't look it up because it's not there," but I just kept my mouth shut. I figured that since we were accountants and not writers, I'd let that one slide. Plus, I knew that if I called him out on the conondrome conundrum he would challenge me to an accounting duel, and win in Chuck Norr-esque fashion.

Blog on Blag

A little over a week ago, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was unanimously voted out of office after being impeached for trying to sell the vacant senate seat left by President Obama. I'm not gonna lie, I was kind of sad to see Blagojevich go. I was hoping that by the end of my internship I'd have enough money to make a down payment on the Senate seat. I was even going to grow out my hair and feather it to build a relationship of trust.

But, alas, he had to go. Like the proverb says, "Spare the Rod, spoil the child." Is that what it meant? In any event, his was a story of Blag and white, where Rod was wrong and lost the fight.

In other news, just before coming to Chicago, I heard that Chicago is called the Windy City not because the wind blows, but because the politicians were corrupt and easily swayed. Don't be deceived, though, the wind still blows really hard here and it's really cold.