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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

10 Reasons Why You Should Stop Reading Lists

1) Because lists are mostly idiotic, but more importantly because lists are perverting what we read on the internet. In case you haven't noticed almost everything written on the web these days comes in the form of a moronic series that coaxes people into clicking through, page after page, as if we're rats tapping a button to get a pellet of substance. The difference is that rats get fed while we're just left with a block of wasted time. 

So please stop reading lists of stupid crap like "10 Best Beaches in Spain" or "25 Great New Sushi Joints in Seattle" and if you can't do that at least stop posting that shit on Facebook (unless you wrote the list).

2) There is no #2. Didn't you read #1? I thought that I was pretty clear on that. Go read a book. There is probably a list of the top ten books you should read this summer.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

File Under Audacity #210

I was buying a few things in one of Valencia’s ubiquitous green grocers that are almost the exclusive domain of Pakistani immigrants. As I placed my items on the scale the shop owner asked me if I wanted to buy a watermelon. I said that I didn’t, thank you very much, and he countered my knee-jerk dismissal of his offer by asking, “Why?”

You got me there, my man. I didn’t have a “because” for his “why,” at least not a good one, so I bought a beautiful watermelon. Not the most sophisticated sales pitch I’ve ever heard but his earnestness made me laugh.

Moral to the story: It’s summer; buy a damn watermelon already!

Estaba comprando algunas cosas en una de las verdulerías ubicuas de Valencia que son casi el dominio exclusivo de los inmigrantes paquistaníes. Al poner mis artículos en la escala el dueño de la tienda me preguntó si quería comprar una sandía. Le dije que no, muchas gracias, y él respondió a mi instintiva desestimación de su oferta con la pregunta "¿Por qué?" 

Me tienes allí, señoría. Yo no tenía un "porque" por su "¿por qué?", al menos nada bueno, así que compré una hermosa sandía. No es el más sofisticado argumento de venta que he oído, pero su seriedad me hizo reír.

Moraleja de la historia: Es verano; cómprate una maldita sandía ya!

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Karma, Patience, and a New Notebook

I was standing in line at the supermarket this morning after I remembered that I was almost out of coffee. The line was a bit long as we were stalled behind a couple of old gals rooting in their bags for the 14 cents they needed to make exact change. Two men in front of me motioned for me to go ahead of them as they had a full cart and I only had one item. I told them, thanks, but I wasn’t in a hurry.

One of my most steadfast rules in life is never to be in a hurry unless I can do something positive about it. If I'm in a hurry on my bike I can ride faster, if I’m on foot I can walk faster. Both of these outcomes are positive: I get more exercise. People who drive in a hurry are a fucking menace to society. You should have left ten minutes sooner so that you don’t put the lives of others at risk. When I’m at the supermarket I’m never in a hurry even when I sort of am in a hurry. I never change lines, ever, and I certainly would never ask someone if I could go ahead of them.

When the two men had made their purchase the total came to 40.02€ and the cashier asked them if they had the €.02. They didn’t so I handed the cashier the two cents. The two guys told me that wasn’t necessary but I assured them that I was fabulously wealthy and it was nothing. I also told them that it was a way to thank them for their earlier kindness. Everyone goes away happy in this scenario.

As I left the supermarket I noticed the variety store on the other side of the street and as I had a few minutes to spare I went in to look for a spiral notebook. It wasn’t just any spiral notebook I was looking for but a special brand that I couldn’t find anywhere, even after hunting in at least 15 different shops over the past couple of weeks (I take my pens and notebooks very seriously). Of course, they had my brand and, of course, this fact had nothing to do with the previous fact that I had given the two men two cents, but perhaps I left the supermarket in a better mood because I had done such an incredibly modest good deed and because of this altered state I had decided to look for my precious notebook.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Un café, por favor.

A human being can live for up to two months without food and 3-5 days without water but if it’s past about 07:30 and I haven’t had a cup of coffee there’s a very high probability that someone in my near vicinity won’t survive. If I don’t resort to violence you can—at the very least—expect to hear a polyglot and very profane aria coming from my kitchen as I inspect an empty container.

For the good of all humanity I remembered to buy coffee this morning. You're welcome.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Tools or Toys?

Our consumption of technology can be boiled down to these two choices: either our gadgets serve as tools which make our work easier and our lives more fulfilling or they are pacifiers to keep us from experiencing even a moment of inactivity which could lead to a split second of boredom which could lead to having an original thought. I’m not against entertainment but at least once in a while we should take our thumbs out of our mouths to ingest something nutritious.

And before you call me judgmental allow me to say that let he who is without sin cast the first stone at me as I watch this week’s episode of Game of Thrones waiting for the blond queen to get naked.