Wednesday, May 27, 2009

3 things....of this I am sure!

A social standard exists telling us not to talk about certain topics with friends. I am against this “unwritten rule.” When talking with close friends, I believe one of the ways you are able to get to know a person better is to discuss such topics. You are able to get a feel for what they believe, how they feel about certain ideas giving you an opportunity to agree or disagree in a conflict-free way. I have several friends who disagree with me politically, but because we are mature adults, we are able to talk about the issues in a calm manner. I also feel like when you know somebody well you lower the chance of offending them without knowing! However, I do believe there are certain topics that should be left out of the workplace.
The three things you should NEVER talk about at WORK:
1. Sex
2. Money
3. Politics
Talking about sex with coworkers coincides with the overshare issue I talked about in a previous blog entry. Like I always say, “Keep your PRIVATE life PRIVATE, please.”

Money is a very private thing to most people, although I never really understood that. I definitely do not talk about money much with coworkers (with the exception of Christy who=BFF). I do however talk about money with friends. My parents are always very weird about money or talking about it in front of friends. I feel we have entered a time when it doesn’t have to be such a secret. Thanks Dave Ramsey!
Politics should also be kept out of the workplace. The topic of politics can create a very tense environment, making it difficult to continue the workday in a pleasant manner. Keeping a pleasant atmosphere at work is very important to me, which is actually kind of ironic if you know anything about my current work situation.

Friday, May 8, 2009

A boy named Daniel-san

In 1984, my world changed forever, and I didn't even know it at the time. That was the year that the remarkable, energetic and comedic movie The Karate Kid was released. If you know me at all, you know that I am a huge fan of the Karate Kid franchise (excluding the travesty that is The Next Karate Kid), and of both Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita.
I find The Karate Kid to be one of the greatest movies ever made. Let's examine the story of The Karate Kid and thereby examine my love for a boy named Daniel-san.
Daniel moves from New Jersey to California, and is bulled by *believable* kids in his new school. He meets a nice girl who is cool in her own right, and meets the eccentric Mr. Miyagi, who ends up teaching Daniel the karate skills he needs to hold his own against Johnny. This all culminates in an awesome karate tournament that just gets me every time.
Ralph Macchio, who was NOT a child but looked like one at the time of filming, is originally from Long Island, so his NJ accent was not only believable, but correct (fake Jersey accents, or - even worse - Brooklyn accents on characters who are supposed to be from NJ, are one of my stronger pet peeves).
The characters in this movie were not too caricature-ish, as they so often are in movies today (or ... the aforementioned The Next Karate Kid). And the people that played children actually LOOKED like children. Daniel's mom acted like a mom. Mr. Miyagi was also a very believable character and the way Daniel ended up in his tutelage did not seem contrived, but it flowed with the story.
Finally, this movie left us with a plethora of catchphrases. There's always the ubiquitous "Wax on, wax off" but there's also "Sweep the leg, Johnny" (which, I think replaces "Nobody puts Baby in a corner" as my favorite movie line).
One more thing, William Zabka who played Johnny Lawrence in The Karate Kid, and who I'm convinced is one of the coolest people ever, wrote, directed and starred in this video for the No More Kings song "Sweep the Leg, Johnny". You'll see cameos by almost all of The Karate Kid stars. Awesome.

Monday, May 4, 2009

My iDisdain for iCarly

Clearly I should not be watching this show, since I am probably close to 20 years older than the suggested demographic, but I get like 3 channels on my TV, so here we go.
If you have never seen the show before, it's about a tweenaged girl named Carly, who lives with her 20-something brother (who is also her legal guardian). She and her 2 friends have a web-show, and we are led to believe that she is "famous" or something.
Here are my problems with this show:
iCarly's older brother, Spencer, is completely irresponsible in the few episodes I've seen of this show. Carly has little to no supervision and she and her friends - who have pretty awful home lives of their own (it is basically suggested that her friend Samantha lives with an alcoholic mother who is happy to leave her daughter with her friend and said friend's 20-something brother all day and all night) - are left to their own devices to get into trouble that in real life would leave them abducted or in jail.
Here's a summation from wikipedia: "Spencer went to law school for three days, and his marginal law knowledge has occasionally proven useful to Carly and her friends, such as in the episode iPromote Techfoots, when Carly and the gang use Spencer as their lawyer to get out of a contract with Daka Shoes." Um, no. Just no. Three days of law school = almost learning your class schedule; NOT knowing anything about the law. There are actually about 40 things wrong with the plot of that episode.
One of the features of the iCarly show is that viewers email in requests to see iCarly and her friend Samantha (Sam) do crazy things online. Some of the requests that I've seen: a male viewer requested close-ups of Carly and Sam sticking their tongues out as far as they could go. Another viewer requested that Carly and Sam dress up in cheerleader uniforms and wrestle each other with foam-covered bats. Does anyone else find this incredibly inappropriate? Do I just have a dirty mind here? I ... don't think so. Perhaps if the children had proper supervision they would not be made pawns in the perverse world of online predators.
My next issue is with Miranda Cosgrove, herself. The girl cannot speak any line at a normal decibal level. She yells everything.
And finally ... I have had it (HAD! IT!) with all of the Disney stars trying to be singers. It's one thing if the kid already has talent (ahem, Zac Efron) or the plan was to be a singer all along (ahem, Miley/Hannah). But why - why?! - do all Disney stars have to be singers, too? I'm looking at you, too, Mitchell Musso. Some people should just act. And some people shouldn't even do that. Miranda Cosgrove is a pretty girl, but she is not a singer. She cannot even keep rhythm to her own song.
Watch the music video here.

Friday, May 1, 2009


Working in a cubicle, you hear things you never thought would be said aloud. I was in early this week and it is usually pretty quiet in the early mornings. I was being quiet myself, working when I hear something ghastly. To get the full effect let me quote the message (*names will be changed to protect identities)
MESSAGE: “Randy, This is Dan. I was just calling because I have been having a few problems. My left testicle is very sore, it has been bothering me a lot. I called the doctor and they weren’t able to see me Friday, but they can today. Joanne said it was fine if I didn’t come in today, because we are all caught up on everything….” DELETE.
I am sure my face was PRICELESS! With every word, my face would react accordingly.

A fellow co-worker yells over the cubicle wall, “Randy, maybe next time Dan calls….It might be best not to have it on speaker phone.”
Randy: “I’m Sorry!”
Randy: “I know, I’m sorry!”

So this leads me to my advice on sharing inappropriate information. Although this poor man NEVER thought his message would be heard on speakerphone, I think it is safe to say the message shouldn’t have happened in the first place. I think it is best to leave personal information unsaid. Only family or really close friends should know that kind of information. Next time you feel the need to over share, DON’T!