Sunday, July 29, 2018

I'm Buggin', Myself

In our late 20s, "I feel so old" conversations began creeping into my friend group. These conversations were usually in the context of one of two things: our ability to recover from drinking or feeling just a little too old & out of place at bars that we had frequented.

Deep down I don't think any of us truly felt "old" in the figurative sense. We just found it fun to talk about how we were "aging." Perhaps we found solace in the fact that the degradation of our partying skills wasn't merely confined to ourselves. We were all "suffering" together.

In professional athletics, sports journalists observe a commonality in the decline of star athletes regardless of the sport: it's a precipitous fall. One day they have it, and the next they don't.

I had a similar experience last week.

This year, I was assigned to manage an intern. She's 20. I'm 34.

The company where I work aims to hire the interns after they graduate from college, so our summer program is actually staffed with stellar people that have the potential to turn into full-time employees. With only a few exceptions, interns in my past jobs really did only surf the internet all day & get coffee. My intern will probably take my job in three years.

During a dinner with other colleagues on a work trip this past week, she dropped the term "bool."

"What," I asked, or more likely exclaimed.

She explained "bool," but it didn't register. It would not register.

I asked for other parts of speech (verb: boolin'). I asked for it to be used in another sentence. Additional definitions. Etymology. Alternate pronunciations. It was like the Scripps National Spelling Bee, except I was allowed to ask how to spell it.

When I finally grasped the term, I attempted to use it in a sentence.

The awkwardness of my delivery could only be described as dad-like. In the universe of Teen Mom OG, I'm ALMOST old enough to be her dad. Though, that would be a specious reason for my performance.

At that moment, I knew. This was my precipitous fall.

I'm so old.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Things I Learned from Saved by the Bell: Part 3

I'm back with the third installment of my sporadic series, "Things I Learned from Saved by the Bell." Feel free to check out Part 1 & Part 2.

Like most other older millennials, Saved by the Bell was a crucial part of my development. Despite the cheesiness of it all I learned a lot about life, like how to dress or that caffeine pills could derail your burgeoning music career.

But the most poignant lessons were about relationships. It was hard to avoid. It was a show about hormonal teenage friends in high school, and everything revolved around the ostensible BMOC, Zack Morris.

Zack & Slater vied for Kelly. Zack eventually dated Kelly, and Slater started dating Jessie. Zack at some point made out with every girl in the group: Kelly, Jessie, Lisa, and let us not forget Tori. A Zack Attack, if you will. (Sorry. I haven't written anything in a while.)

I guess the lesson learned here is... Kiss every girl in your friend group until someone likes you?

Don't worry. That was not the reason I dusted off the old Blogger password. I saw a lot of Hallmark Christmas movie commercials this month, and I saw one starring Patrick Muldoon.

You probably know Patrick Muldoon as Jeff, the sophomore who transferred from Michigan to UCLA & is apparently qualified to be the manager at The Max, a local small business, while he's taking 15 credits (I assume). He may be 19, unless he's an older sophomore, which is entirely plausible. He also happened to be the reason Kelly dumped Zack.

Seeing this homewrecker on a Hallmark movie commercial dredged up painful memories. I can still hear Slater & Jessie lip-sync battle the Michael Bolton classic, "How am I Supposed to Live without You," in the background as Kelly is simultaneously dumping Zack & making him feel bad that she cheated on him. Personally, I think it's one of the classic scenes in sitcom history.

I decided to watch the whole episode. I remember watching it when I was younger and thinking how much that sucked for Zack. I wanted to see how I'd react to it now.

My first reaction: Marc-Paul Gosselaar is terrible at acting. It felt like he was just running lines to Tiffani Amber Thiessen's big dramatic moment.

Second reaction: Zack was way too nice. Just watch the end. It's painful, aside from the aforementioned lip sync battle performance.

Third reaction: Damn this seems familiar. Oh, right. The exact same thing happened to me in high school. My girlfriend was one year younger than me. It was the typical situation you've heard a thousand times: I'm going off to college in the fall, she's still going to be in high school, and we're figuring out if & how we're going to do the long-distance thing.

Unfortunately for me, I didn't need to make any decisions. My girlfriend pretty much left me (also probably cheated on me) for an older manager at work. He was 23ish, and she was 17 & still in high school... However, instead of being the manager at The Max, he was the manager of the dishwashing/cleaning staff at the bakery where I worked. He didn't wear ties with puffy shirts, rather he wore an apron.

Another reason I wanted to watch the whole episode is I honestly didn't remember what happened leading up to that break-up scene. I was curious to see how Jeff seduced Kelly.

Well, it's quite amazing how watching something after 20+ years changes your perspective on things. Every scene with Jeff & Kelly could be an instructional video on what constitutes sexual harassment in the workplace: ogling a prospective employee during an interview, telling an employee you miss her, telling an employee she looks good, kissing an employee, not to mention using his position of power (Manager, The Max) to seduce a subordinate.

There's also a scene where Belding says that boys who dress as girls for the Costume Ball still need to use the boys bathroom. Not even getting into that...

Friday, December 30, 2016

Think Positive, Leave Facebook

Everyone on Facebook is telling me 2016 is the worst year ever, and 2017 can't come soon enough because they think we've hit rock bottom. In all honesty, and selfishly, I had a great time in 2016.

I was able to attend seven weddings this year. While my wallet took a temporary hit, I loved getting blackout drunk with an open bar & dancing celebrating the love of all of these couples with my closest friends & family, who I rarely get to see these days.

Four of these weddings took place in California. I was a bit annoyed at first  flights, lodging, and rental cars aren't cheap. After all four trips, I was actually sad I wasn't going back this year. The coast, desert, giant sequoias & redwoods, beaches, fog, wine country, and food. It was all amazing.

In the field of recreational accomplishment, things really went my way. After a lifetime of utter failure in intramural & rec league sports finals, my Philly soccer team won the league thrice this year. And after repeated humiliation in bar quizzo, I finally won for the first time with some work friends. Can't complain about that.

A lot of other firsts happened this year too. I ate at my first Michelin-starred restaurant, gave my first wedding speech, and purchased my first pair of Jordans (Air Jordan 1). After a year of searching, I finally got a pair of adidas NMDs  persistence pays off. I attended my very first sporting event in a suite, where I watched the Phillies get walloped by the Blue Jays. This also marks the first time I've ever used "wallop" in any form in writing.

Continuing with all the firsts, but on the family side, El Grande Burrito & his wife had a kid, so that's my parents' first grandchild & my first nephew. I helped The Little Taquito get her first job at the same company where I work, so that means I'll get a referral bonus. I think. Anyway, all the Mirasol children are now employed, but we're still on the family phone plan. Not ditching that ever.

I was highly entertained this year. Movies were pretty awesome. You've probably seen or will see Rogue One & La La Land, but if you get a chance I highly recommend The Handmaiden. Don't bring young kids or parents though.

TV blew me away. Stranger Things, obviously. Thanks to HBO, my pre-Monday, Sunday night dread turned into "I fucking wish it was Sunday night already" for twenty weeks. Game of Thrones easily had its best season. Westworld kept me engrossed each week.

I went to my very first tribute band show this year. The opening act was a Nada Surf tribute band, which still confounds me. The main act was a Weezer tribute band that played all of Pinkerton. I hadn't heard any Pinkerton songs in so long, and it made me really appreciate how good it was.

When I think about all of these really fun & awesome things that I experienced this year, 2016 actually was a pretty good year. It's making me realize that all of this Facebook negativity is bringing me down. I need to get away from all the political rants, fake news, and general negativity  at least for a little bit, which is why I'm taking an indefinite hiatus as of January 1.

I'll definitely be back at some point, but I'm going to start the year without Facebook. I'll still be on a couple of the other social media platforms because no one is bombarding me with their thoughts on safe spaces or email hacks. Plus, pictures & videos are fun.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

English is a Piece of Cake

"You can't have your cake & eat it too."

Such a baffling phrase. Why would anyone get a cake & not eat it?

That was the big topic of conversation last weekend between Sanrio & I. After 6+ years together, the intellectual fire still burns.

But, seriously. Why, in fact, would anyone want to get a cake & not eat it? That's absurd. Cake is delicious. Cake is the best. If you disagree. let Jim Gaffigan tell you all the reasons why cake is the best. There really isn't any other explanation needed.

Cake isn't a throw pillow. I don't see cake & think, "Oh hell yeah. That'd look good on my kitchen counter."

When I see cake, my first thought is "attack!" Then, a few other things go through my mind:
  1. I hope it's the good kind of frosting. (The good kind of frosting has a texture that's thicker & more "solid." It some instances it looks like royal frosting, but it's actually softer. It's also loaded with sugar. Think about frosting from Magnolia Bakery or Sweet Revenge. The bad kind of frosting is the type they give you on grocery store cakes – the kind that is really soft & not that sweet.)
  2. I hope the cake is fresh. (Nothing worse than stale cake.)
  3. Should I share this cake with someone? No... 
  4. Yes. Yes, I should share this with someone. I need to fit into my pants.

And now back to the original phrase. After some in-depth internet sleuthing, I found out how the phrase originated & its literal meaning. It seems my immigrant understanding of the English isn't up to par, so I'll just go back to my country & eat cake there.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sartorial Spite: Sandals with Jeans - Revisited

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." I'm pretty sure Charles Dickens was a precog who foresaw the fashion crime of pairing jeans with sandals.

It's once again that time of the year where we have a few weeks of perfect weather that is both a blessing (best of times) & a curse (worst of times).

Temperatures are just cool enough where you can start comfortably wearing jeans without feeling like leather-pants-wearing Ross. However, temperatures apparently are not cool enough to shed the open-toed footwear.

I know I've written about this before, but... Ugh.

Guys -- when it comes to jeans with sandals, just say "no."

Friday, October 31, 2014

Milk First, Cereal Second

It's been nearly a year and a half since I've written, but I've decided to temporarily interrupt my sabbatical due to this incendiary Instagram post.

I've debated milk-first vs. cereal-first on multiple occasions. I realize I'm in the minority. However, that post makes me want to defend myself & all other milk-first proponents.

Here is my case for pouring milk prior to the cereal. You'll find it's as logical as saying "Belated Happy Birthday."

Reason 1
I hate milk. Actually, most Asians don't like milk. It's a fact. Google it. My mother used to put sugar in my milk so I'd drink it. That was until she discovered chocolate-flavored sugar, aka Nestle Quik.

Cereal was merely a delivery system for the milk, another way to get me to drink the stuff. When I first started eating cereal it wasn't because I was craving Cinnamon Toast Crunch, it was because I had to have my daily dose of dairy.

Because I had to drink a certain amount of milk each day it was measured in my bowl before the cereal was poured. So, milk-first was optimal to allow me to see how much of it I had to consume. And it allowed me to argue with my mother. I wanted less, but my mother always wanted me to drink more.

Reason 2
If I was going to eat cereal with milk, I at least wanted it to be as enjoyable as possible. That included crunch factor. Nobody likes soggy cereal. Pouring cereal last allows you to fill your bowl with just enough cereal to eat while it's still crunchy. Once you've finished what's in your bowl, simply pour more fresh cereal for a crunchy breakfast. Plus, depending on what cereal you eat & your pour, some of the cereal stays on top of the floaters, thus further preserving crunchiness. If you go cereal-first, all the cereal gets drenched & starts getting soggy immediately.

Now you know why it's milk first & cereal second. And knowing is half the battle.