Archive for October, 2009

Snacking

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Having just devoured a bag of BBQ Pop Chips, a Quaker Chewy Chocolate Chip granola bar, a boiled egg, and a bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats, I realized what a joy snacking really is. It’s instant gratification and provides a clear resolution to a problem–fatty hunger. I’m staring at a trick-or-treat sized piece of Heath Bar…such delicious toffee. I’m sure the more responsible thing would be to eat a banana or an apple, but they’re not tasty. Heath wins…and it’s decadent.

When I was a kid, the obligatory Milky Way or Rolo always hit the spot. Granted, growing up in Texas made being fat more acceptable to an extent, but I’m a witness to the trash that my generation grew up eating. Our cafeteria food was not healthy, and to this day I refuse to eat anything called Salisbury Steak. We had a candy sale every Tue/Thurs after school where the vice principal and two student volunteers got away with highway robbery, selling three (3) sour power straws for $0.25, one (1) airhead for $0.50, a BITE-size Snickers for $0.75, and the grandaddy for the rich kids – a Reese’s Pieces two-pack for $1.00. Highway robbery at its finest, but also the first thing to spark the idea light bulb in the little capitalist/opportunist brewing within me (that reads and sounds funny to think/say out loud). I decided to undercut “the man” by using my parents’ Sam’s Club membership to my advantage, convincing them to buy me a box of Sour Power straws (500 count, I believe), some “chinese candy” (dried/salted prunes for the lay man), and the kickers – a bucket of Tear-jerker gum and a box of Mega Warhead sour candy. These last two beasts are what set my product line apart from what the institution offered, and would ultimately prove to be the source of both my rise and fall as a 5th grade entrepreneur…

But I digress, more on that exploit later…in the meantime, enjoy this gem:

Get some A’ss

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Today’s commute began with what CA meteorologists have dubbed The Storm 2009, characterized by heavy doses of rain and…rain. Granted, high-water areas and unusually horrendous rush hour traffic is shitty, but to be given an 8.5/10 rating on a severity scale might be pushing it.

This got me thinking, are exaggerations really necessary when things are just too damn mundane?

SF weather is great 80% of the year, with daily temperature highs and lows typically fluctuating ~10 degrees (70°F to 60°F). For residents and tourists, it’s a wonderful thing. In terms of excitement/variety, it’s like a lecture on Art History to me. Throw in a day or two of moderately heavy rains and God forbid a burp of thunder, and we’ve got not just a storm, but THE storm of 2009. It’s similar to the “snow days” that some cities in Texas have during the winter. It’s really just frost/ice that accumulated over night (hence the quotes), but when a city like Austin grows accustomed 100+°F Summers and 80°F Autumns, frozen water is a Ron Burgundy…or a big deal, for the unenlightened.

Think about the stereotype of guys embellishing sex(less) stories, or girls doing just the opposite. Job interviews are perfect forums for exaggeration on both ends — the hiring manager making the opportunity sound more appealing while the applicant struggles to appear more qualified than he/she really is. On the same note, first dates would be fun to listen in on — It’s doubtful that he could’ve almost been a semi-pro baseball player if not for a freak genetically influenced injury, and it’s highly unlikely that she has never gotten blackout drunk.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not hating on exaggerations, I use them on a daily basis to make weekdays more tolerable. For instance, I’ll tell someone that I just demolished my cereal and fruit at breakfast, or that I went beast-mode on the burrito at lunch. Sometimes I’ll say that I crushed my presentation to management, or that my coworker blew up the bathroom. I’ve told the tale of my almost-but-not-quite collision with Sergey as I sped down the street on my bicycle as he jaywalked (he had stopped on the median when he saw me pedaling by, but I’m sure I would’ve almost hit him if he had decided to keep crossing and if I had consciously swerved to hit him). Then there’s my awful commute – in a private, clean, and free shuttle that supplies WiFi connectivity.

So why do people exaggerate? Mainly to get some A’ss {I added the extra “s” to make it look like “ass” because I’m immature} – attention, approval, acknowledgment & ass to name a few.

There are definitely times where perceived exaggerations are really warranted descriptions, though. Maybe she really was a whale, or he really smelled like dog shit sautéed in BO, just proceed with caution the next time someone’s details seem a little too outrageous…they’re likely after some A’ss.

Some nice exaggerations (tipoff in 2 weeks, cue the NBA on NBC theme)…
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