Archive for August 2010

How To Break Up With a Friend

August 20, 2010

In the movie Charade, Audrey Hepburn says, “I already know an awful lot of people and until one of them dies, I couldn’t possibly meet anyone else.”  Fortunately, this is no longer true.  I just finished reading an article on breaking up with friends.  The idea is that sometimes you just have to cut someone loose, and oh, how that happens often!

The author seems to be against breaking up with a friend via an email in which you tell the other person exactly and in great, painful detail all the reasons that you no longer wish to be friends with them.  Obviously this was written by a woman with a great deal of time on her hands.  Dropping friends via email is a great plan.  First, you can get all those annoying things they did off your chest, easing your burden greatly.  Second, you don’t have to actually look at the horror on their faces as you list each and every one of your grievances.  Third, you don’t have to worry about their retorts.  You can simply delete their email responses without reading them, or even better, block their email address!  You don’t have to worry about having an awkward moment where neither person is sure if they should just leave or stay for the rest of the baseball game or dessert or the embarrassing outburst of anger and rage from the dumpee.  You also don’t have to worry about the ever-present danger of having hot coffee thrown on you afterward!  Finally – and most importantly – this will ensure that the feeling of not wanting to be friends is mutual, preventing a time of unanswered facebook messages and unreturned calls that, I think we can all agree, is quite uncomfortable.

Instead of the email, the author seems to favor the approach of ignoring the person, which can take weeks to sink in, or just telling them to back off, *$&@^.  If you’re going to do this, I highly recommend telling them your phone is broken, and you’ll call them as soon as it’s fixed.  That way they at least won’t run up your cell phone bill with the texts and voicemail.

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Mindset List: 2003

August 19, 2010

Yesterday, I wrote about the Mindset List for this year’s entering college students.  It made be think of what it must have said when I went to college, so I looked it up.  Here are the highlights from the Mindset List for the class of 2003.

John Lennon and John Belushi have always been dead.  I’ll say it: I’ve never been a huge fan of Lennon’s work after he left the Beatles.  John Belushi is someone I would have loved to see more of.  Instead, he’ll always be Bluto from Animal House and the samuri deli guy.  Of course, there’s also the Blues Brothers.

They have never needed a perscription to buy ibuprofen.  Thank goodness!

Cats has been on Broadway all their lives.  Sadly that’s no longer true.  *tear*  I’ll NEVER get to hear Magical Mr. Mistoffelees live!!!!

Mike Myers is The Spy Who Shagged Me not the first congressman expelled from that body in a century for his role in “Abscam.”  I know not of this Abscam of which they speak, but I do know a psychopathic knife murderer from suburban Illinois named Mike Myers.

The term “adult” has increasingly come to mean “dirty.”  Tee-hee.

They don’t understand why Solidarity is spelled with a capital “S.”  It is?

They have never seen white smoke over the Vatican and do not know its significance.  Sadly, this is no longer true.

They cannot identify the last United States President to throw-up on a Japanese Prime Minister.  Sadly, this is no longer true, either.

They remember when Saturday Night Live was still funny.  Ouch.  Fair, but ouch.

Then there’s the list of things that only children of the 80’s can explain:

They owned and operated a “trapper keeper.”  I think I may still have one or two laying around.  Do they not still make those?

They can explain the “cha-ching” thing.  I kinda miss those commercials.

They know what “psych” means.  Thanks to USA, that’s been expanded to lots of people.

They know that another name for a keyboard is a “synthesizer.”  Is not not still?

Partying “like it’s 1999” seemed SOOO far away.  It really did, and then it never happened.

They can, right now, hum the theme to Inspector Gadget.  And I am right now!

Poltergeist freaked them out.  How could it not?!?!?

They have occassionally wondered why Smurfette was the ONLY female smurf.  Or we wondered about her character.  They did eventually add that little girl smurf with red hair and freckles.

They know what a “Whammee” is.  I still think that is possibly the greatest game show ever made.  Of course, having not seen it for years probably has something to do with my feelings towards it.

That’s been a lovely trip down memory lane for me.  Hopefully it reminded you of something fun, too!

Mindset List: 2014

August 18, 2010

Beloit College in Wisconsin has created the Mindset List, a list to help professors know what references their students just won’t get, since 1998.  Since learning about this list, I’ve always found it fascinating to see what people born just x years after me just don’t know about.  The list for the class of 2014 is no different.  The first item on the list was not surprising: Few in the class know how to write in cursive.  That does not surprise me at all.  From my sophomore year in college until I went to grad school, four years later, I rarely used cursive writing.  I either typed or printed nearly everything but my signature.  In fact, when I went to grad school, I had to actually relearn some of my cursive letters because I had forgotten them.  (I still say that the cursive capital “Q” makes no sense.)

Also on the list is Clint Eastwood is better known as a sensitive director than as Dirty Harry.  Is that just because of Million Dollar Baby?  I have trouble seeing him as sensitive.  To me, he’ll always be waving a .44 Magnum around. 

Doctor Kevorkian has never been licensed to practice medicine.  If that was the case, what would they have put on Channel One news all those mornings for about two years?

They never twisted the coiled handset wires aimlessly around their wrists while chatting on the phone.  I’ve never done that either.  I always twisted it around one of my fingers.

Pizza jockeys from Domino’s have never killed themselves to get your pizza there in under 30 minutes.  I miss 30 minute pizzas – not that Domino’s ever offered that service to where I lived, 18 minutes from the nearest Domino’s.

Russians and Americans have always been living together in space.  That idea still seems strange to me.

Nirvana is on the classic oldies station.  That’s just wrong.

J.R. Ewing has always been dead and gone.  Hasn’t he?  Although I can never remember who shot J.R., I distictly remember that he was shot and that he was alive before then and not alive afterward.

The nation has never approved of the job Congress is doing.  Even I can’t remember when people approved of Congress.

If you want to read the full list, I put the link above.  If you’re lazy, here it is again.

So you thought you might like to go to the show.

August 13, 2010

I went out to see a play at a local state park last night.  I should have realized that Thursday the Twelfth was not a good night to go out, but I did anyway.  I managed to get lost on the way – on a road I’ve driven many, many, many times.  After driving a distance that should have gotten me there, I found myself on a major highway halfway to my destination.  At least I knew where I was, and I also knew a shortcut to the park.  I got on a limited access highway and sped – in reference to speed, not speed laws, of course – to the exit I wanted, got off and had another car come flying up behind me.  I floored the gas pedal to try to keep him off my bumper.  Flying through the woods on a windy, two-lane road with ditches on both sides is not fun, at least for me.  The jerk about a foot behind me seemed to love it.  He finally passed me in a no-passing zone and got stuck behind a utility truck less than a quarter-mile ahead, allowing me to catch back up to him.  I finally got to the park and found a great spot in front of the stage.

A friend of mine in the show told me a few days before that I needed to come see it because it was actually good, unlike the last show – which she had also said was good.  When I questioned her about it further, she said this one was much better.  The last show was very entertaining, but no masterpiece.  The acting was good.  The production was quite good, given the limitations of the venue.  The script itself didn’t give much to produce greatness though.  It was quite humourous and the cast fully brought out that aspect of it.  Unfortunately it was not a really good show. – I made a point after the show of telling my friend that she didn’t have to lie about how good it was because I was going to come out to see her in it anyway, after which she insisted that she did need to say that and that it is “the greatest show EVER!” in a completely “I’m bulls*^@%ing you” tone of voice. – It was still well-worth the trip out to the park to see it though.

They say that teachers are awful students and doctors make the worst patients.  I’m starting to think that actors are not the best people to go see plays with.  There was commentary through large parts of the show, ranging from the this-ground-is-hard/I-need-to-move variety to the our-friend-totally-lied-to-us kind.  I still think the latter was a bit of an exaggeration – although the ground was quite hard in reference to the former.  I’ve noticed the same thing with other thespians as well though.  Come to think of it, it’s pretty common among the general population these days, so nevermind.

After the play, I stayed for a bit and talked.  Someone recognized me from Copa, despite my having a beard for disguise. – She actually said that she didn’t recognize me until someone pointed out that it was me. – I eventually began my trek back home, and that turned out to be even more exciting than the way to the park.

There was a heavy fog at the intersection where I needed to turn to take the fast way home, but I managed to get the turn anyway.  The fog was so thick though that I could barely see the road, and the next thing I knew – literally only about 45 seconds – I was back on the road I had just gotten off of and headed back towards the park.  I’m still not sure how I managed to do that.  I turned around, took my turn again and headed off in the right direction.  Everything looked normal, aside from the fog.  There was the hill on my left side, a creek on my right, lots of woods and occasionally a house.  I finally crossed over the overpass.  I looked down at all the lights passing under me and realized something.  I wasn’t supposed to cross the interstate.  I actually wasn’t even supposed to get NEAR the interstate.  At least I knew that if I kept going on that road, I’d run into a major highway and take that east to get home.  Eventually, I came across that highway and had an incredible urge to turn west and just drive for a couple of days.  That sort of thing happens with me.  After sitting at the stop sign for a minute or so, fighting that urge, I turned east and headed home.  An hour and three counties after leaving the park – which is half an hour from home and in the same county – I got back home and went to bed.

This morning, I find myself exhausted after only five hours of sleep.  It’s for mornings like this that Starbucks was founded.  You also know you’re tired when your venti bold-roast coffee looks like it’s only a grande.  It wasn’t until about halfway through it that it started to look like the right size.  One thing I discovered last night that never would have if I hadn’t gotten lost is that Billy Joel’s For the Longest Time has to be the perfect song to warm up my tenor register to.  If I hadn’t spent that long driving home, I never would have come to that song on my iTouch playlist.