Friday, February 29, 2008

The Bible aint no bible

When my friend Heather changed her Facebook status to denote that she was playing Super Mario Bros 3 on the Wii, it prompted me to dust off my Game Boy and start playing it again myself. Around the age or 13 or 14, I played the game religiously until I conquered it. Back then, while I had no commitment to homework, I did labour over the challenges I faced in the Mushroom Kingdom and wouldn't rest until I returned prosperity to the land with the assistance of a plumber.

As an adult, while I enjoy playing the game, I really can't be bothered struggling to figure things out (though I remember an awful lot) or dreaming solutions in my sleep (that's successfully happened a few times) so I was fortunate enough that when I got a Game Boy Advance for my birthday a few years ago (I needed it to kill the hours I would spend bored at a merch table in various clubs) that it came with Super Mario 3 and a bible for game play. The guidebook provides a step by step outline of every level of the game along with the location of every hidden 1UP, warp whistle and beanstalk. Of course it would be no fun to play staring at the book, eliminating the challenge, but when I'm stuck, it's nice to have it as a reference.

I was marveling over the joy of having this at my aid yesterday when I realised that the Super Mario 3 bible lives up to what it's supposed to be better than THE Bible. It provides us with a clear and accurate guide to how to achieve the things we are aiming to do (in this case, clear the game and unlock as many secrets as possible) and there is no dispute as to the accuracy and validity of the information. It has been re-written a number of times, but the result is always the same and the results have been enjoyed in harmony by people all over the world which is more than I can say about THE Bible.
Somewhere along the line someone wrongfully attributed the title of "bible" to something that actually exceeded to capabilities of the work from which the name was derived. The phrase to "take if for gospel" is another aberration as the four gospels do not find complete solidarity when painting the life of Jesus.

As we all know, Super Mario 3 is not the only pastime which has been attributed a bible. There are bibles for all manner of interests such as cake making, swim coaching, bridge playing and cannabis growing to name a few. While I'm sure that with any such book, there will always be a disputed theories and some misinformation, they tend to be more straightforward and less disputed than THE Bible. I also daresay that you wouldn't find completely opposing views contained in the same book, if not only to illustrate other schools of thought in a matter. The same cannot be said for THE Bible which contradicts itself often.

PSA 145:9 The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.

JER 13:14 And I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, saith the LORD: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them.

Thanks, oh merciful Lord! Oh wait...

Obviously the first definition in the dictionary says,

Bible - 1. the collection of sacred writings of the Christian religion, comprising the Old and New Testaments.

The next two say more or less the same thing, until the fourth one,

4. (lowercase) any book, reference work, periodical, etc., accepted as authoritative, informative, or reliable: He regarded that particular bird book as the bird watching bible.

The actual Bible, with all it's confusion, inconsistency and inaccuracy isn't actually a "bible" of anything. I vote we either simply make "bible" lower case and use it exclusively as a noun to describe an authoritative book on something, rather than a noun for a book which does not meet that criteria, or we stop using the word "bible" to describe a definitive work. Something's got to give.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Not even IN one ear, let alone going out the other.

A long time ago I wrote a blog about people being too caught up in themselves to listen to other people during conversations, but there are a few people who are on a completely different level where virtually NOTHING anyone says is processed and I believe something like the video below is on a permanent loop in their brains.

One person in particular, a lady I work with, converses with me on such an unparalleled level of detachment that I took to documenting our conversations (inspired by Stephanie and her Hammerhead Theatre). She actually really loves me and likes to talk to me, but that doesn't seem to make her capable of a cohesive conversation. The conversations here have been building up for close to a year. At first I was waiting to collect a decent amount until the other day when I realised the collection had grown far bigger than I needed for a substantial blog, so I thought I best hurry up and post. There are also a couple of guest stars thrown in for good measure, but it's mostly about the star offender who will be known as Grug.

This conversation followed a work trip which I and a few other co-workers were on.
Grug: You didn't come back with the others?
Me: No, I flew in last night. They are landing at about 10am and coming straight here.
Grug: Ohhh, so they're not coming in to work?
Me: Noooo....*shuddering* I just SAID they're coming straight here.

This was before I learned to start appreciating these instances for the sake of collecting, sharing and laughing. You'll find less frustration as we go on.

A card is offered to me for sign discreetly while the person who the card is for is within view.
Grug: ??????????????... at lunch!
Me: (as I didn't hear her properly) You want me to wait until she's at lunch?
Grug: Everybody is at lunch. (making it hard to get the card signed)
Me: Oh! Well should I wait until SHE (the card recipient) goes to lunch? She's supposed to go any minute.
Grug: (still waiting for me to sign the card) Yeah! Everybody is gone!

Regarding a letter we sent out which has been returned to sender:
Grug: I don't know why it's come back!
Me: Did you look up the address?
Grug: No.
Me: Then how do you know it shouldn't have come back? Did you look it up?
Grug: No phone number, no fax, nothing.
Me: Did you look it up already?
Grug: Yes.

Customer: Leave it on order until December.
Me: Do you want me to cancel it at the beginning of December or the end of December?
Customer: Yes.

Grug: You stopped shredding?
Me: Yeah, it over-heated. It needs a rest.
Grug: The staples! It can't take it!
Me: No, it can handle the staples. I've been running them through all this time.
Grug: No! I take them out.
Me: But it CAN take them. It shows on the shredder that you can shred CDs and credit cards and I haven't had any problems. It's just hot.
Grug: Yeah, it can't take staples. (said like we are both saying the same thing)

Caller: May I speak to Jesus Freak?
Me: Just one moment (put them on hold. JF is on the phone. JF gets off the phone after a minute or so.)
Me: Jesus Freak, there's a call for you on line 4.
Jesus Freak: Which line?
Me: Line 4...oh, I guess they hung up.
Jesus Freak: Was is a male or a female?
Me: I don't remember.
Jesus Freak: Oh er, but do you know, was it a man sounding voice or a woman sounding voice?

After MANY conversations where I could tell this guy was never listening to me at all, I was delighted one day when he was blatant enough that I could call him on it, thus giving me license to avoid him from then on. He's such a dipshit because what he ignored was entirely for his own good.
Self-absorbed prick: So, I'm going to downgrade my Disneyland pass from the Premium to the Deluxe pass. Get one for my girlfriend too. We're going to go on on Christmas Eve and then go into the park.
Me: Oh! You can't! We have the Deluxe pass and Christmas Eve is a blackout date on that pass.
SaP: .... (talks about something else)

about two minutes later...

SaP: ....and yeah, like I said, we're gonna go on Christmas Eve and get our Deluxe passes.
Me: (harshly) I just TOLD you, those passes don't work on Christmas Eve!
SaP: (startled) Oh...

BUSTED! I've barely spoken to him since. I was always looking for an official way out and that was it. What must that guy hear when people speak? Like the school teachers in Charlie Brown cartoons?

Upon discovering I had opened the gifts given to me by people in the office:
Grug: My son is just like you (demonstrates ripping open gifts) He can't wait, I have to hide them from him. I have to leave them at other people's houses, put different tags...
Grug: Oh, I don't open things until they've been given to me.
Her: Yeah! My son is just like you. I have to hide everything!

Jesus Freak: Did you cut your hair?
Me: No, but I'm getting dyed again on Saturday.
Jesus Freak: What colour are you getting?
Me: I'm doing pink again, but my sister thinks that's too much for the wedding, so I'm going to go dark, blood red for that.
Grug: (nodding in agreement) I LOVE weddings!

(Grug has dialled a number to reach her husband so Boss Guy can talk to him. Grug dials, waits a few moments with her ear to the phone as though she is waiting for it to connect, then hands the phone to Boss Guy)
Boss Guy:(listens for a moment)'s saying it can't connect....

In case there is any question about Grug's hearing, I assure you it's fine. The following is a testament to the fact that things just don't go in. This is a case of her not processing what she is seeing.

Grug stands at the printer, staring at it for a solid minute. I notice her standing there as it is next to me and I also notice it isn't making a sound. As I get up to see what's wrong, she throws her hands up and declares how frustrating she finds the printer. I point out to her that the red error light is flashing. Again, she was staring at it waiting for it to start the whole time.

John Corke is on the phone as someone is faxing his regular phone line.
Me: Did you just fax John Corke?
Grug: Nooooo!
Me: (suspecting she wasn't listening, I said the name again) I need to find out who just tried to fax John Corke.
Grug: Oh, I just faxed him. (she didn't catch herself either. It was as though I said it for the first time)

Monday, February 04, 2008

Who are the people in your neighbourhood?

It was nice to see this clip with Bob not looking like a pervert as he always looked during my late 70's, early 80's viewership.

I was helping my new sister-in-law untangle a necklace after stating "I'm really good at untangling things." I went on to back up my claim with a de-tangling story, "I have a friend who's a magician who had a trick all tangled up..."
Kathryn: "I have a friend who's a magician." That's not something you hear every day!

It hadn't occurred to me until then how unusual that was to be friends with a magician, but I guess it is! It then made me realise that I do know a bunch of people with interesting professions. Upon having dinner on Friday with our friend who is a college professor, I decided to lay it all out for you. Stephen is probably the smartest person I know and I was so delighted to have a good chat with him, that this blog had to be written, if for no other reason, so I could boast about knowing him.

Black Jack player
Able bodied sea woman/First Mate/Captain
A-list actor/movie star
Personal Assistant to the above mentioned actor (This person is also a writer/director/actor/editor/musician. I consider him a real Renaissance man)
Washed up comedian/movie star (I don't like this person, hence the venom)
Singer/musician triplets
Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington
Sound man
Comedians (a bunch of 'em)
Costumer/Wadrobe department
Abominable snowman
Karaoke host (two of them!)
Special Ed teacher
Weather reporter
Dog trainer
Hairdressers (a few)
Travel agent
Musicians playing a various instruments
Massage therapists
Seller of surveying equipment
Drivers (One for the likes of Green Day, RHCP and RATM and another for Joeys Fatone, McEntyre and Lawrence all at once)
Make A Wish Foundation wish maker
Graphic artist
Record label owner
Film/TV Editor
Inventor of UV protective garments
Porn movie extra (no nudity required)
Fabric designers
Hostess at Television Preview. Here is Television Preview's version of what it's all about, and here is a disgruntled attendee's account of events.

If you are my friend and have a great profession that I've forgotten, please forgive me. It's 5am and I can't sleep for jet lag and I have to be at work in two hours. Kill me. You know what's missing from that list? A vegetarian chef. If you know such a person, tell them you know this awesome girl that wants to be their best friend and have them move in with her and her husband. (Seekers of funny business need not apply.)

Before I finish, here's a link to McSweeney's Interviews With People Who Have Interesting Of Unusual Jobs.