The Obvious

miscommunication

Posted in a., silly by theobvious on January 4, 2011

Here is a very fascinating story which I’d like to share with you because it just happened a moment ago and if I don’t write it down I’ll be extremely annoyed and grouchy for the rest of the day. Yes, I treat this blog as a free therapy session. No, I don’t think it’s a problem.

So anyway, A. is at the home improvement store, and he calls me and goes:

— I’m so sorry, but I need you to do something terribly unpleasant for me.

— What?

— Sorry, I know it’s bad, but it’s not urgent, you can take your time.

— Oh God, what is it?

— I need you to check the vacuum cleaner and tell me the number for the bag.

Backstory: our vacuum cleaner is old and weird and has some strange bags which are difficult to replace. A.’s been trying to figure them out for a while, and while trying to get the bag out, he broke the lid, so now the vacuum cleaner is wearing a sturdy duct tape belt and has an overflowing bag inside, long past its due replacement date.

So I groan and mutter like Muttley, but I do get to work: take the vacuum out of the closet, wrestle the hose off, unpeel the duct tape, force the broken lid off, haul the bag out, spraying everything with dust (the place having been cleaned top to bottom hours before), turn it around—there’s no number. No identification whatsoever.

— Listen, I say to A. over the phone in an irritated voice, listen, there’s no number, where inside am I supposed to look?

— You don’t have to look inside! I just need the model, it’s supposed to say on the vacuum somewhere.

— Then why the duck did you tell me to look in the vacuum?!?

— I never said in it, I just asked you to check it out.

Well, I think to myself, “Oh, son-of-a-b-b– son-of-a-b-b– son-of-a-b-b– uh, gun. Heh, heh, heh. You thought I was going to, uh, say son-of-a-bitch, didn’t ya?” (source) Then I get back to work: stuff the overflowing bag of dust into its slot, spit out all the dust that got into my mouth, put the broken lid on top, slide it into position, fasten it back to the vacuum with duct tape—

Wait, no, I’m not doing any of that. I did squeeze the dust bag in, but the rest will be for A. to sort out when he comes back. Maybe next time he’ll skip the doom and gloom and not make the task of walking to the closet and looking at some numbers sound so daunting that I’ll assume I need to dismantle half the apartment. Rassum-fassum-rassum Rick Rastardly.

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a tiny disagreement

Posted in silly by theobvious on December 3, 2010

We were arguing about something on the way to work, and suddenly the thought struck me: how many opinions there may be in the world that disagree with us, yet we don’t hear them because they are voiced by those too small for us! This may sound as though I mean the third-world nations and the gay, but I’ve something else in mind.

Just think: there are billions, zillions of ants in the world. What if they are the sort of folk who practice habitual dissent, and we just can’t hear their tiny little voices saying it? WEE DISAGREEEE!, they chirrup, with a slight emphasis on the e’s, AND WEE RESENT WHAT YOU SAID! — and nobody pays any attention. They gather in tiny rallies, holding up banners saying STOP THE OUTRAGE!, ANTS SAY NO!, and WE’RE GETTING ANTSY! — invisible to all, unless the banners are made of crumbs, in which case we do notice and say “Honey, get the Raid®, we’ve got ants again”.

Well, A. opines, ants don’t even have free will, they just serve their queen. WEE DISAGREE! yell the ants. AND INCIDENTALLY, WEE ALSO DISAGREE THAT COGITO ERGO SUM! SHEE THINKS FOR US, YET HERE WEE ARE! They brandish their fists at A., who goes on to say that anyway, he isn’t sure ants have voices, however tiny. WELL THAT’S RICH, reply the ants, LIKE YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT US! HAVE YOU EVEN HEARD OF THE GREAT OPERA, ANT-IGONE? WHO DO YOU THINK CAME UP WITH THAT? They shake their antennae indignantly.

Then, finally convinced that the voices of the small and the swarm-minded will never be heard, they march off into the twilight in long rows, singing WEE WILL ALL GO TOGETHER WHEN WEE GO. They disagree strongly with everything that’s being said on the planet, but we will never know.

analyze this

Posted in food, random, silly, weird by theobvious on September 9, 2008

Here are some weird things that have happened to me lately:

First, a mate of mine called at 6:50 am on a Saturday morning. I only picked up because I keep the phone next to my pillow and it wouldn’t stop ringing. Oh, and because at that God-awful hour it was surely a matter of life and death.
‘What, are you sleeping or something?’ she inquired in amazement.
‘Yeah,’ I was inarticulate.
‘Anyway, I wanted to ask you, if I go to Finland, will you come?’ she blurted out.
‘Now?’ I asked.
‘No, no, just, you know, in general,’ she backed down, ‘If I were to go to Finland, would you come with?’
‘Probably,’ I said, ‘Ask me when I won’t be asleep.’
‘Oh, okay,’ she replied and hung up.
Life and death? Elämä ja kuolema, I’d rather think.

The following Monday I had my first Danish class. Uh, Dænish is sø hård tø prønøunce! If you thought French was difficult, try following instructions like ‘Say LLL, now lower your tongue to your bottom teeth and do it again, force the tongue down, keep it down there!’ Saying phrases like ‘what’s your name’ or ‘what are you doing’ is not unlike swallowing large portions of deep-fried gravel. Did you know that according to statistics only 7% of the letters in a written Danish text are actually heard in the pronunciation? Okay, maybe there are no such statistics, but I didn’t completely pull the number out of my donkey, either!

Finally, today A. gave me tofu with yellow tomatoes and I didn’t die. I totally expected to, you understand.

playing house

Posted in film, game, silly by theobvious on April 8, 2008

The last available episode of House is done and watched. I hear this season is going to be shorter, so these might be the last episodes of season Four we’re seeing. If that is indeed the case, then we need to prepare for a long wait. While the time away by creating fanfic, shall we?

Here’s my newest idea for what would be neat to see on the show. House is a great doctor, right? And people tend to like being alive instead of dead, especially when that clashes with their previous expectations, right? And usually, grateful people want to somehow reward whomever has helped them, right? So there would be gifts and letters and flowers and things, right?

Now, we know House would never take any of that crap home. But some of it could be valuable. So Cuddy could make a cupboard-closet-room thing at the hospital to store it all. Like a House-shrine. Of course, she doesn’t like feeding his megalomania, but that’s neither here nor there. She would still be physically unable to throw away stuff that could profit the hospital.

Sometimes, when nobody’d be able to find House, he’d eventually be located sitting in his gift-room, looking at the weird things people would have chosen to send him, musing on the nature of humankind. ‘What kind of person gives a football to a cripple? Interesting,’ – all the while performing amazing juggling tricks with the ball using his cane and his healthy leg.

He could also read the letters at random, sometimes quoting relevant passages about his brilliance to get a point across to Cuddy who would groan and swear she’ll have the shrine disassembled that very minute, but then relent, maybe persuaded by Wilson who’d claim that this at least is a healthier way to indulge House than letting him experiment on his patients.

Or something, you know.

things that happened

Posted in braces, i don't know, silly by theobvious on April 3, 2008

So, appointment today, 6 pm. The doc put in two more brackets (on my sevens), for which purpose she only just didn’t pull my face apart. I was lying there laughing my head off, thinking things like ‘Hey, I only got one mouth, woman!’ and ‘Whaddaya think I’m made of, gum?’ – and my bottom lip is still swollen.

And then afterwards I was walking along the river to the gym, and by the riverbank people were jogging, cycling, walking their dogs and their sweethearts, looking at the water, in one case even drinking vodka, and it felt like spring was indeed here – which added some spring to my step, sure enough.

A.’s alarm sings ‘I don’t love anyone’ by Belle and Sebastian. Quite appropriate, isn’t it. Very good for the god-awful time he likes to call morning, when he has to go to work. This song came on when I was on my way home, and it made me so happy, simply because it wasn’t time to get up yet. Whole night ahead.

How was your day?

recent spam harvest

Posted in silly, spam by theobvious on January 3, 2008

Here are some spam headings I’ve encountered recently. This might be turning into a category, I’m sorry to say.

Age-defying skincare.
Will it defy the fact that I’m 21 and make me all wrinkly? I wonder about this when shopping for skincare – why is the word AGE stamped in bold on every product for women over 35? Doesn’t make for good gifts, take my word on it.

As the new year…
…what? As the new year, you would like to be addressed Your 2008-ness? As the new year begins, you are sure I require your product urgently? And why is your name Eniko Hahaha? What is so funny about the new year?

Lose weight while you sleep!
How long would I need to sleep to disappear? I am obese, you know that because you mentioned it in your email. Do you also know that I lust for the neighbour’s dog? Never mind, tomorrow’s spam will surely take care of that.

Gurnards.
What is this about? It’s about the fish called the flying gurnard! No? Well, then it must be about Gurnard, the village! No, wait. It’s just one phrase: ‘6 inches is normal, but you need 9 inches to become a real man!’ – definitely about fishing.

Gain great size and force for your willy!
Now this is just plain cute. Willy? Seriously? ‘I am pleased to inform you, ma’am, that I have in my possession a willy of great size and force.’ ‘Her burning loins* were longing for his engorged willy.’ I feel sorry for these people.

I wonder if people actually fall for this kind of advertising. Surely, no brain of great size and force is needed to see that there’s something suspicious about the fact that seventy people you don’t know have simultaneously emailed you about pills?

By the way, this is not what I originally wanted to write about. But this will do while I tackle the oeuvres of Messrs. Sterne and Diderot. Ooh la la!

*See Friends, episode 702, ‘Rachel’s book’.

i wish i could punch ’em

Posted in bad, rant, silly by theobvious on December 14, 2007

I have been in deep and meaningful conversation with the support desk of my webmail provider all day. They seem to be a fine, fine office. Our conversation was as follows (name of webmail changed to avoid a lawsuit):

Me (through their support interface): Hi, please help, Yee-haw won’t send my emails. [technical description of problem, including an exact description of the error messages I’m getting]

Them (through email): Hi, we want to help you. We need to know what error messages you are getting. For that purpose, please send us screenshots of you not being able to send your messages through Yee-haw. Please use the Yee-haw account you’re having problems with.

Me (through my other major webmail account): Hi, I can’t use my Yee-haw, that’s kind of the whole problem. Here are the screenshots, please solve my case.

Them: Hi, thanks for replying. We aren’t sure who you are. Please prove you’re the same person (and not just someone trying to steal the answers to someone else’s vital question and sell them on eBay for $3,000,000,000) by telling us your date of birth.

Me: Hi, here is my very secret information. I was born on July 18th. I’m sure no villain would have been able to obtain that knowledge. Now you know it’s me, please help.

Them: Hi, thanks for sticking with us. In order for us to help you, we need you to send us screenshots of the problem you get when trying to send email. We’d rather you did this through your Yee-haw account.

Me: OMFG ARE YOU SERIOUS YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS PLEASE SAY YOU’RE KIDDING ME AAARGH (head explodes)

Still waiting for the answer. I can’t shake the feeling I’m standing at a helpdesk with a stereotypically blonde attendant. I’m here to see Mr. Jones. No, Jones. Not Smith. J-o-n-e-s. How many bosses do you have named Jones? Listen, there’s no call for this kind of language. Okay, do you wanna take this outside?

Do you, Yee-haw?

‘soon’ is its own sentence

Posted in funny, random, silly by theobvious on November 28, 2007

Ever since our return from St. Petersburg I’ve been thinking about the way that city is so young, but has enormous history and cultural value, and I don’t really understand how it all fits into those measly three centuries.

I wonder how it felt to be living in one of the great cities of the world when they were only just built. Imagine all those letters on stone tablets, parchment, and birch barks people sent their friends in the ‘cool’ metropolises (shouldn’t it be ‘metropoli’?):

“Dear Amos,
If you still think your Grandpa was wrong when he decided not to leave Egypt, think again. So you’ll probably marry a shikse. But at least you don’t have to spend day and night lugging stones in Jerusalem. They tell us this will be a city of gold, and bronze, and light. Yeah, right.
Yours, Micael”

“Dearest Patricvs,
I wish yov covld come visit me here. It’s no Rome, obviovsly, bvt Paris has a certain provincial charm. The bagvettes are top notch! I wish there was something cvltvral to do here. Anything, really.
Love yov as always, send books.
xxx, Marc”

“Dear Gladyse,
I am doinge fairly well in Londoun. It’s quite nice here, but those laundry-women everyone keeps talkinge about knowe no newe songs and keep singinge all the same crappe. Sir Tymberlake is so annoyinge.
Thou art myn fairest love, as ever.
<3, Johannes”

“Dear babushka,
Moscow is treating me fine, except it has burned down again. Please tell Mom that I’m out of clean socks.
Love, Vanya”

Ahhh, those were the days. Now all these cities are so intimidating, when every other building is a museum. But there were times they were all just not Constantinople. It’s strangely pleasing to think about that.