Posted: 2009-12-21 13:31:18
In today's world, you run into a lot of people. Some might even say "a metric fuckton". I'm not one of those people, because I don't use fowl language.
It got me thinking about all the different ways you can greet someone, and what the appropriate response is. It really is a bit of an art, and some people (read: most people in the IT world) don't seem to understand how this works. You immediately know something is not quite right with someone based on how they respond to your greeting, or sometimes, how they greet you. So here's my take on 5 normal types of greets, and how you should, and should not respond to them.
Type 1: The "I've never met you and am being introduced by a mutual acquaintance" greeting.
This is the type of thing where you might shake hands, say "Nice to meet you," and then spend the rest of the night trying really hard to remember their name. What you don't do is go for the handshake/hug combo and hold that embrace for the longest 6 seconds of your life. Bad form.
Type 2: The "It's been a while since we last saw each other, how are you?" greeting.
There's a good chance that you genuinely like this person, otherwise you would have avoided eye contact and walked into the spare bedroom to hide in a closet. So you're off to a good start, and given the amiable hello, you're probably expecting something like a "Great to see you again! I've been great, Karen is doing well, and I just got a promotion!" When you see someone after a longer than normal absence, you fill them in with a few key high points that occurred in your time apart. It's warm and friendly and opens the doors to talk about more things that are warm and friendly.
What you don't say is "How am I? Like you don't know! Everyone has heard that Karen left me, I got fired, and my appendix are actually bursting right now, jagoff." This opens no doors that should be opened, and in fact makes me want to go find that spare bedroom closet.
Type 3: The "Hello, co-worker, I acknowledge that I'm walking past you in the hall" greeting.
Typically, this is taken care of with the concise "Sup?" It lets them know that you're not oblivious to their presence, but certainly doesn't imply the need for any further communication. A simple "Hey", mutual "Sup?" or even a head nod (up or down) will do.
What won't do is "Oh not much. I'm totally swamped right now though. Can you believe that Alan actually put me on this project. OMG, he must think I like punishment. Oh wait, do you think that means he doesn't like me? Anyway, I can see you were on your way to the bathroom, and by the way your arching your back, I'd say your holding in a big turd, so I'll keep talking a little longer just to see if you'll shit yourself because the only person that gets hated more than the long-talker is the guy who shits himself at work". I think I'd still hate the long-talker more.
Type 4: The "Hey, I don't know you and we're in an elevator alone but I like your shoes" greeting.
Elevators are weird places, man. You never know who you'll meet in them, and you never know how long you're gonna be in there. Sometimes you hit every one of the 15 floors on your way up. Other times it's just you and the mail guy rocketing down 13 floors only to be disappointed by stopping at 2 instead of the lobby because you were too busy keeping on eye on the
serial killer mail guy to push your own button.
Actually, I guess most of the time you just shut up when you get in the elevator. Unless you're a girl, then you tell someone you like their shoes. If I like another man's shoes, he knows it by the respect I show him. I don't have to say anything.
Type 5: The "Oh, hey, you're hot and I want to talk to you, but I'm bad at those things so, uh.. hi" greeting.
Naturally, I have never suffered this type of greeting, both because I A) have a hot girlfriend already, and B) am incredibly suave. But for those of you who have had to brave this kind of greeting, my heart goes out to you. Typically, you'd expect a "Not interested" or "Fuck off" or even "I don't do guys" response. That's probably about what you should be getting, because if you're really cool enough, they women will come to you. Just make eye contact, hold your breath to make your chest look bigger, and hope that you don't already have a hard-on.
In conclusion (that's how I ended every paper I ever wrote in grade school) the moral of the story here is to make sure you're greeting and responding appropriately, or you will fail at life.
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Posted: 2009-12-18 14:13:39
The other morning, Ethan had a field trip to get to by 8am, or the bus would leave without him. Amber usually doesn't get him to school until after 9 on most days, so 8am was an endeavor beyond anything we'd attempted before. As luck would have it, this was also one of the rare occasions that Ethan decided to sleep past 6:30... all the way to 7:15. Though normally this would be glorious, this day of all days it was frustrating.
So, we get him up, actually physically shaking him to get him out of his abnormally deep sleep, into some clothes while he was probably still dreaming, and plopped down at the table for some breakfast. All the while we were urging him along, telling him we didn't want to be late, that the bus would leave without him. Ethan was blissfully oblivious to the whole thing, not comprehending the meaning of "hurry" or what "being late" even was. As far as he was concerned, this morning was like any other, and school would star whenever he got there.
This is what really got me thinking, which I often have time to do on my .6 mile walk to the blue line in the mornings. Time is a very two-sided concept: On one hand, it has always been here, passing in linear fashion since the beginning of the world, universe, and beyond. On the other hand, time in a modern sense is a very man-made concept. We've taken an abstract thing and placed upon it a measurement created to suit the cycles of the earth (more or less). We've dreamed of altering time, but generally viewed it as unalterable. And yet, despite being man-made, it is something that has to be taught to children.
For a 3-year-old, sometimes it's light out, sometimes dark; sometimes you take a nap, but other times you go to bed; and occasionally you don't have to go to school, but most of the time you do. I don't think he really relates the happenings of his life to a normal cyclical occurrence, because sometimes he gets confused about which is taking a nap in the middle of the day as opposed to going to bed at night. He sometimes thinks that it's time to go to bed just because it's an overcast day and dark out by 2pm.
This whole thing got me thinking of how much pressure we feel every day because we do understand time. We can be late for something, we can miss an appointment, or show up so early that we have to play iPhone games for 45 minutes. But the greatest burden we face because of our understanding of time is that things are happening everywhere even when we are not present.
The whole basis of remorse, regret, anxiety, etc. is that an event is happening with or without us. It is inevitable, and we can't do anything to stop it or make it happen sooner. Once in a lifetime things happen only because we know that they have happened and cannot happen again, because we cannot experience something the same time twice. To a three-year-old, the only thing happening is what his worldview is, but to us, we have to constantly know that everyone else out there is experiencing something different than us all the time.
So, I pose a question for discussion: Which would you prefer? Is it easier to understand only the present, or is it more fulfilling to know the past and future?
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Posted: 2009-12-13 20:32:05
It's been quite a while since I've written here. I had an idea to make it more of a topical blog, with each post being an actual coherent thought, with a point. That's not gonna happen (any time soon at least).
Last weekend was a busy weekend. Amber and Ethan and I headed up to Michigan Friday night to see, well, everyone who lives in Michigan. We stopped off at Mandy and Frank's on Friday night, and Ethan had a blast playing with Owen. We shared a few good beers, chatted, and hit the air mattress pretty early.
Saturday was started with some traditional breakfast sandwiches and donuts from whatever that bakery is down the street from them. Always good. Then we were back on the road, out toward that place where Amber grew up. I got to see the shopping mall she hung out at as a youth, quite... um, boring.
Amber got her teeth cleaned, as one of the perks of having a dentist-brother, and then we headed off to her mom's place. We were later joined by the Seth/Dulcey/Emery crew for an early Christmas, filled with presents, home-made lasagna, and the Justin/Erin/Emerson/Thoren crew joined us through Skype.
Sunday morning, we headed back into Chicago, leaving me just enough time to take a nap before running off to O'Hare to catch my flight to Boulder. I had a job interview out there, and it went really well. Now I'm just waiting to have one more call with some higher-up over there, and crossing my fingers for good news.
This past Friday night was the Leo Burnett company holiday party. It was pretty awesome. A four-story night club with open bar and meat on a stick, rented out from 2:30pm to 6pm. I was at home asleep (yes, we're calling it 'asleep') by 8:30. I'm a rockstar.
Last night, Valhallodin, Basillisk, Dr. Z, and I all went out to see Nobuo Uematsu's music brought to life by the Chicago Pops Orchestra. It was an outstanding show. Nobuo San's music is really some of the best stuff out there, hands down. And he wails on the organ.
We have our Christmas tree up, and there are tons of presents underneath. Amber ha been super snoopy, and I've had to make sure I hid all hers before wrapping them. She has trouble controlling herself around presents (she gave Nathan his gift two weeks early because she was so excited). I'm really looking forward to Christmas this year, and so far haven't been finding this winter too harsh in Chicago (though, we've still got, oh, 9 more months of winter here?).
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Posted: 2009-09-28 21:09:56
I just want to get this out of the way right off the bat. WHAT THE HELL CHICAGO?!?! It was beautiful and sunny and warm yesterday, and today it was fucking freezing and gloomy and windy as hell. Why must you toy with me so?!
Ok, I've calmed down. Thank you Jameson and an episode of Mad Men.
This last weekend was a busy one. Our friend's Miranda and Andy got married this past weekend, and Amber was a bride's maid.
Friday night was the rehearsal dinner out in Oak Park. We went to Maya del Sol, a restaurant owned by Ruben Beltran who was a sous chef for Rick Bayless. If you don't know that name, you obviously don't watch Top Chef. The food was pretty awesome, and the dirty martini's were spot on (though missing blue cheese-stuffed olives... but I lived).
After the dinner we sped back to The Bottom Lounge to see The Weakerthans. Holy shit did they put on a good show. It was easily the best concert I've seen this year, and in the top 5 of all time. It also made me realize how much I love that band, as I could sing along with just about every song.
Saturday was the actual wedding, and Amber was gone for most of the day getting ready, so I video gamed it up for about 5 hours. Then I took one of the longest public transportation rides of my life from way up here in Logan Square all the way out to Oak Park. Oh, and I was wearing a suit. It was weird.
The wedding was nice and short, and the reception was filled with at least 8 glasses of Dewer's on the rocks plus some bacon wrapped scallops that were kickasstacular. Met some cool people that I'll never see again in my life, and still was asleep by 1.
Woke up this morning and it was about 2 degrees in the bedroom. On the one hand, I love being warm under the covers when it's chilly out. On the other hand, it's only September and I shouldn't be worried about snow.
I busted out the crock pot this morning and threw together a beef with barely soup and let it simmer all day. Thank god it turned out to be really good, because Amber threatened to ban me from cooking if it sucked. I think I'm going to try some Italian wedding soup, or maybe a jerk chicken chili next. I also think I need a bigger crock pot.
This has been a very thought-fragmented blog post. Deal with it.
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Posted: 2009-09-21 10:37:35
This past weekend marked the last weekend of summer according to the druids and dryads. It was an eventful weekend with a lot of signs already pointing to fall.
Friday night, The Van Goghs had a show at Silvie's. It went pretty well, though we played to a disappointingly small crowd. I guess that's what happens when we play with a folk duo and a blue grass/jam band. Need to work on playing shows with more musically similar bands.
Saturday we took a trip to the gym (where I have not been in about two weeks do to long Labor day weekends and illness) and my abs are still sore today. I'm a bit of a wuss. However, between that and catching up on my backlog of Men's Health and Men's Fitness magazines, I've stumbled on a renewed vigor towards keeping myself in shape. I have a strange craving to do yoga and have been hounding Amber about it for a few days. I think Sunday we may try a community class.
Unfortunately, all that physical exertion seemed to infuriate my sinus infection and I felt like crap Saturday evening. I had to pass on seeing The American Autumn play at the Underground Lounge, but I'm sure they did alright without me.
Sunday, Amber, Ethan and I ventured out to the farmer's market in Logan Square and supported our local farmers by buying overpriced tomatoes and some other random things. It looked like a gorgeous day, perfect for the apple picking we had planned for the afternoon.
When we woke up from our nap, however, the sky was gray and ominous. We hustled ourselves out to Woodstock to pick some apples regardless, and met up with my parents along the way. Apple picking was pretty fun, and now we've got fresh apples for a while, and I think we'll be making a pie or two!
Ended the weekend with ribs from Chris' Coach House, which were delicious (I can't believe Amber ate a whole slab!), and a rainy drive home. I'm still sniffley today, but Web MD told me that a sinus infection should clear up in 5-7 days (we're sitting on 7 today) so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Anyone know any good cold remedies?
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Posted: 2009-09-17 13:32:50
I just got back from a nice long walk, and while I was out and about I saw some construction workers on strike. I didn't really read their signs, I just walked through them. But it got me wondering about numbers.
Now I know that there are more reasons to strike than just higher pay, for instance better benefits or shorter work days. But for the sake of my thinking, I'm going with higher pay.
So, let's say we have a worker who makes $22/hour. Not a bad wage for construction (I think). He decides that he isn't happy with this and goes on strike for two weeks before the higher-ups cave in and raise his pay.
Now, with those two unpaid weeks he's accumulated from striking, how much more per hour would he have to be given to break even on the year?
Assuming he works a standard 40 hour work week, $22/hour equates to $45,760 a year (I'm not taking taxes and other pay deductions into account here. Net or gross, the idea is the same). Now, with those two weeks unpaid because of the strike, he's down to $44,000. He loses $1,760 because of his unrest.
Let's say he gets a measly $1/hour raise, up to $23/hour. I may not seem like much, but that works out to $46,000 if we deduct those two weeks unpaid. That's already $240 more than he would have made that year if he didn't go on strike!
I'll be honest, when I started thinking about this, I was actually thinking they would have to get a more substantial raise to break even (or come out ahead). But it turns out that even just $1/hour at the rate is a 4.5% raise, and this years 'cost of living' raise was only 2.2%. In theory, they're asking for double what their normal raise would be.
So what's the end result here? Maybe a typical strike would last longer (thus requiring a larger pay increase to provide benefit), or maybe an employer would scoff at a 4.5% raise when 2.2% is what they were expecting. I'm no economist, I just get bored when there's no work to do.
Have your own thoughts about my stupid mathematical ramblings? Let me know in the comments.
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