Abbreviations for Things Where People Repeat the Last Word Abbreviated

Ok, I know this one needs a little explanation.  Let’s pretend you’re out in the street and you see this beautiful thing in a store window.  The object costs $150, and you only have $100.  You head to the nearest bank to use your card in the ATM machine.  NO!  YOU DON’T!  You head to the bank to use your card in the ATM!  The “M” stand for machine.  So, in essence, what you’re telling people is that you used your card in the “automated teller machine machine!”  How stupid does that sound?!?!  I have to admit, I have made the mistake many times, and I always hate myself in the morning.

atm When people go to the ATM, they are unsure of the nature of the beast.  We still remember the days of the bank teller, and her gruff and grim attitude when you needed to take out cash.  I think the need to say “machine” comes from the distinction between human teller and mechanical teller.  I must say, I was very young when ATMs were introduced, so more and more adults have only been in an ATM-saturated world.  The need to tack on “machine” at the end should be fading, but it’s not!

The phenomenon is not limited to everyday items like the ATM.  Witness DSW Shoe Warehouse.  It’s a great American store where you can get decent shoes for low prices.  I have shopped there many times.  Do you know what the DSW stands for?  It means “Designer Shoe Warehouse.”  So, people are calling it “Designer Shoe Warehouse shoe warehouse.”  Does this make sense?  No?  Well, DSW called themselves “DSW Show Warehouse!”  They are just propagating the idiocy!

dsw

My last example is slightly different from the other two.  This one is one of utter stupidity.  It has to do with people who feel the need to repeat the time of day when they tell a story.  Example: “Yesterday, I saw a man on the street drinking from a bottle of scotch….and it was only 9AM in the morning!”  “AM” MEANS THE MORNING, YOU MORON!  It’s not 6PM in the evening, or 11PM at night, or 7AM in the morning……the AM and PM tell you the time of day.  Living overseas, I have gotten used to the 24 hour clock.  My alarm clock goes from 0 to 23, so this error is rare in countries where they use the 24 hour clock.  I think the only reason they use the 24 hour clock is so their citizens don’t come off sounding like utter dumbasses every time they tell the time.

If you have any more of these repeated abbreviation examples, feel free to send them around!

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Elevators that Go Too Slowly

Ok, readers, today is going to be a short one because I’m short on time, and there really isn’t much to be said about this annoyance.  I don’t think there’s anyone out there who isn’t annoyed by slow elevators.

First off, when you’re waiting for the elevator, and it’s only 2-3 floors above you, you get excited that it’s coming soon.  It’s a horrible let down when it still takes several minutes to get to your floor.  You wait and you wait, sometimes while carrying heavy things, for an elevator that seemingly takes forever.  I’m lucky in my apartment building, because my elevator is very fast.  Traveling from the 1st to the 20th floor would be hell on a slow elevator.  It’s also very quick to pick up…..I’ve never had to wait more than 2 minutes.  At my work, however, we have an elevator that only goes between the 1st and 4th floors.  It takes longer for that elevator to travel from the 2nd to the 1st floor to pick me up than it takes my elevator at home to travel from 20 to 1.  I don’t know what is wrong with it.  There’s never anyone on it, so it couldn’t be that it’s ferrying people from one floor to the other.  I have seen this phenomenon before, mainly in older buildings with aging elevators.  Many of the more “quaint” hotels I stayed in when I was in Europe had slow, older elevators.  It’s a pain in the rear when you’re tired and just want to go to sleep…..but have to wait 5 minutes for the elevator to go from the 3rd to the 1st floor to get you.

When you’re traveling in a slow elevator, it’s even more excruciating.  You’re finally in, you’re on your way, and you’re moving at a snail’s pace.  It’s like being stuck in traffic after just waiting 20 minutes for a taxi cab.  The ride takes forever and you never think you will ever get there.  I have had this experience too many times to count, and it just gets under my skin!  Anyone feel the same?

Miley Cyrus

When I was younger, I didn’t have any idea who Miley Cyrus was.  Maybe that’s because she’s half my age….so, when I was 20 she was born.  I did, however, know Miley’s “Achy, Breaky” father, Billy Ray Cyrus.  He was one of the first country stars to crossover into the mainstream pop charts with his “Achy, Breaky” dance.  Many people mocked him, but the man knew what he was doing.  Crossing genres like that is difficult.  Unfortunately his child-rearing abilities seem to be questionable.  I wouldn’t have been saying this 6 years ago, when Miley Cyrus was known as “Hannah Montana”…..a fairly innocuous sitcom star on a television show that was geared towards the “tween” group.

hannah

For the past 4-5 years, however, Miley has changed.  I say this with a slight smirk on my face.  She’s not only changed…..she’s deteriorated.  The sweet Hannah Montana has become a slutty, sex-obsessed pop star.  Her first song, See You Again, was very sweet, and very apropos of Hannah Montana.  Her entire first album (Meet Miley Cyrus) was actually very sweet and innocent.  As she became more popular and got older, the songs and albums became more and more slutty.  She sang about things you just didn’t think Hannah Montana knew about.  She became one of those singers that you associate with sex music.  Britney Spears is one, Pink is one, any rap goddess is one, Madonna and Christina Aguilera used to be that way.  But, these people started off in that vein, so we never had to “adjust” to their change.  If anything, we had to adjust to their change from slutty sex-maven to more demure and pure roles.  This is not true of Miley.

Miley’s new album (Bangerz) features songs with names like FU and Do My Thang.  These are not the songs of Hannah Montana!  She’s paired up with Britney Spears on one of her songs and with countless rap and hip-hop stars for others.  She is “slumming” in her new album.  Just to get an idea of the downslide, let’s consider her album titles, shall we?  We begin with “Meet Miley Cyrus,” cute and worthy of Hannah Montana.  Then “Breakout,” also a very sweet title, considering her desire to “breakout” as a pop star.  The third album, “Time of Our Lives,” started to show a dirtier side of Miley, but with a sweetness that still left us in Hannah Montana country.  “Can’t Be Tamed” and “Bangerz” are the next 2 albums.  The titles tell the story.  For these, she had completed her slide into sluttiness and was now set up with the likes of Courtney Love and Katy Perry (she kissed a girl and she liked it).  Hannah is completely gone….welcome slutty, sexy, scantily-clad, twerking Miley Cyrus.  I’m sure dad is very proud!

Now, I fully admit, Wrecking Ball is a decent song, and the slut quotient is minimal.  But that’s the exception for Miley these days….not the rule.  I understand that she wants to move away from that smiling, sweet, innocuous Hannah Montana persona (nobody wants to be pigeonholed) but she has done a complete 180.  The pretty, young and sweet thing has completely disappeared.  Now she appears on awards shows twerking with Robin Thicke……then writes a song CALLED Twerk, which she performs with another fallen star, Justin Bieber.  Oh Miley…..what have you become?!?!?

2013 MTV Video Music Awards - Show

People Who Take Too Long to Pay for Their Taxi

checker cab

Let me set the scene for you.  I have just come from a doctor’s appointment.  I stopped at Subway to buy dinner as I walked to the taxi queue.  When I arrived at the taxi queue, there were about 5 people ahead of me waiting for a taxi.  Since I was at the hospital, there was a steady stream of taxis coming and going, so I expected to wait about 5-10 minutes for my taxi.  Not a bad wait, considering it was rush hour and the taxi drivers were changing shift.  Taxis came in and taxis went…..finally, I was the first in line.  A nice, clean taxi pulls up with a couple in the back seat.  She gets out, and holds the door for her man.  The man is fumbling in what looks like a man-purse and saying something to the driver.  The driver is saying something back as the man continues to fumble.  The lady gets impatient and closes the door.  She then goes around to the other door (where the man was sitting) and opens it.  She now joins the conversation.  This goes on for about 2 minutes until I see the man pull a credit card out of his purse.  In Singapore you can pay for taxis with a credit card.

sing cab

A Singapore Taxi

Verifying the credit card and signing the receipt took another 2 minutes (they had to find a pen).  Finally, the couple exited the cab and it drove up to me.  My wait had just increased by 7 minutes WHILE THE TAXI WAS IN THE DRIVEWAY!  A row of taxis and other cars had built up behind it, blocking the street.

Why do people take a taxi without carrying the cash for it?  Who doesn’t think ahead and plan for the taxi ride?  I know that when I have to take a taxi, I need to have enough money for the ride!  Another thing that bothers me is the person who has the money, but doesn’t prepare it before they arrive at their destination.  It’s like some sort of surprise when they arrive, and they have to rifle through their purse or wallet to find the correct amount.  “Oh, you mean I have to PAY for this ride?”  You’re in a taxi, you’re almost there, get the damn money ready BEFORE you arrive.  It saves the driver the extra time and it helps out the people waiting to take your taxi.  People can be so stupid sometimes!  There’s my rant for today….sorry so short, but I’m limited on time.

Soup Spoons

soup spoon

That’s right, folks, I’m going to rant about soup spoons today.  This most unwieldy of utensils does not deserve to exist.

First off, why does soup get its own spoon?  There are many other products that deserve their own spoon.  Tea get its own spoon because it has been around for hundreds of years in the same capacity.  The teaspoon, however, is used for many more things beyond tea, so it has become a versatile utensil despite its rather limited-use name.  The tablespoon, then, does everything else.  You want some cereal?  Tablespoon!  You want some ice cream?  Tablespoon!  You want some fruit salad?  Tablespoon! The tablespoon is one of the most versatile of utensils.  Its shape and design are perfect for inserting into the mouth, and it’s large enough to hold a fair amount of food.

Enter the soup spoon.  Round and large at the end, it barely fits into the mouth.  It takes effort and some pain to get your lips around it.  Many will say that it’s designed to be slurped from the side, but the tablespoon can do that as well.  The soup spoon doesn’t really have any recourse against the tablespoon.  The Asians have designed an even MORE unwieldy soup spoon, which definitely DOESN’T fit into the mouth and MUST be slurped.  So, this soup spoon problem is an international issue.  Soup spoons are not useful for anything…..even eating soup!

soup spoon 2

Chinese Soup Spoon

Today’s soups are also not conducive to using a soup spoon.  Most of them have chunky bits in them that might even require a fork to eat.  Gone are the days of the consommé or the bisque that was only liquid.  Today people want chunky soups that have pieces of meat, potato and vegetables in them.  Campbell’s even has a line of soups called “Chunky!”  I propose we ditch the annoying soup spoons and all adopt that staple of Taco Bell restaurants, the spork!  What an ingenious thing to combine a tablespoon and fork together!  This allows the soup eater to spear larger chunks, yet still get some of the liquid…..how serendipitous!  This is MUCH better than that big, round soup spoon that nobody really needs!  Sporks for everyone!

spork

Slow “Fast”food

I am a large man.  Anyone who knows me will tell you that.  I own my size.  I’m not proud of it, but I accept it.  Is there anything I can do about it?  Absolutely!  Will I be doing anything about it?  Probably not.  I’m too lazy to diet.  Dieting takes time and will power and the ability to come home from a difficult day and actually cook.  I’m just not in any mood for that.  So, I order delivery, or I go to the nearest fastfood place and get something quick to go.  I’m a product of the “instant” generation.  I want it hot and I want it now!

I don’t think this is anything new.  My grandmother used to drink Sanka coffee at home because it was easier than making a whole pot of coffee on the stove (this was before Mr. Coffee introduced everyone to the drip).  My mother would heat up frozen chicken or fish sticks for dinner……quick and easy.  This affliction of “fast” food is nothing new, it’s just been modified over the years.

I am thankful for Ray Kroc and his McVision.  He paved the way for places like Burger King, KFC, Taco Bell, Wendy’s , Checkers and all the others.

kfc mcdonalds burger

These companies make my dinner (and sometimes lunch) time quick and easy.  That being said, the food is usually not the best quality, and I know it’s probably the worst food I could be eating (damn you, Morgan Spurlock and your Supersize Me), but it’s something I can rely on and I can get it done quick.  Here’s where the Americans got it right (I know there are many things wrong with Americans and the USA, but there are so many more things that are right).  Most Americans share my sentiments, and the fastfood restaurants in the USA operate on a premise that it should be fast, above all else.  This is where the idea of the drivethru comes in.  It’s so fast that you can drive up to the window and your food is ready by the time your car reaches the next window…..ingenious!  And it works!

It was while I was living in Spain that I became aware that fastfood establishments do not operate the same all over the world.  First, they have different food, which appeals to the market they are in.  That’s understandable, because they want to sell food, so they have to cater to the tastes of their market (some of the things KFC sells in China would make an American throw up).  In Spain, you can get gazpacho at McDonalds…..some bit of fun, but nothing major.

Unfortunately, this is not the only way in which “foreign” fastfood establishments differ from American.  The main way is that they ARE NOT FAST!  When I go into McDonalds on a Tuesday afternoon at 3PM and there is a queue at the counter, there’s something wrong.  Some of these restaurants even have a section of the counter where they send people to wait for their orders.  Excuse me?  WAIT for my order?  Why the hell am I coming in here if I have to wait.  When I lived in Spain, I went to McDonalds or Burger King at least once a week.  It was an easy way to get food before I got home from work.  The queues were sometimes out the door.  This is not because so many people love these places in Spain, but because the counter people take 10-15 minutes PER CUSTOMER!  That is ridiculous.  There are no products ready-made, all the orders need to be made on the spot, which takes longer than the American restaurants.  They are also (not only in Spain) not good with keeping up with the fryer, so the alarm is constantly going off, but they are constantly out of French fries.  How does that work????  It’s like there’s some French fry black hole in the kitchen of every “fast”food restaurant outside of the United States!  McDonalds and Burger King are the worst culprits.  KFC isn’t far behind.

There are some “fast”food places that you expect to be slower.  Places that need to make your order while you’re there, are expected to take a longer time.  I’m talking about places like Starbucks, Dunking Donuts and Subway.  These places built their whole business on making what the customer orders on the spot.

dunkin starbucks subway

In other countries, these places are often faster than the so-called “fast”food places.  I’m in and out of Subway in 5 minutes.  My coffee is ready in Starbucks by the time I reach the end of the counter.  These places, where you expect them to be a bit slower, have actually surpassed their competitors and are now the fast option.

You may say that I’m just bitching about something that will never change, and you’re probably right.  Any of my friends who have ever lived overseas and entered one of these fastfood establishments, knows what I’m talking about.  It’s a hassle to stand in the queue, knowing that somewhere in the US you have a counterpart who’s getting their food a lot faster than you are.  I think I’m finished with the likes of McDonalds and KFC.  I’ll stick with my Starbucks and some of the “faster” sit-down restaurants (where I will often get my food faster than if I waited in the queue at Burger King), like Pizza Hut or Applebees.  There’s a certain service you come to expect from the fastfood places, and I’m not getting it!  It’s time to go…..maybe I’ll actually lose some weight now (this is the “easy” way to diet – haha)!

 

People Who Wear Crocs as Shoes

crocs

I have nothing against Crocs.  It think they are fairly comfortable and they make great sandals.  When I see people wearing them by the pool or at the beach, I do not have any issues.  They’re actually good for that.  It’s when people wear their Crocs out that I get annoyed.  Crocs are not shoes.  They are not meant to be worn as a shoe.  They are comfortable and they are plastic, so they are meant to be worn at the beach or pool.

They are also insanely ugly.  When a young man has on jeans a pair of Crocs, he is telling people “I don’t really care anymore.  I couldn’t be bother putting on actual shoes or sneakers.”  Why do people accept the Crocs as shoes thing?  It not only makes the outfit look insanely ugly, they make people’s feet get dirty.  Then you have ugly green Crocs and black feet.  Could there be anything more disgusting?  It’s almost as bad as wearing flip-flops as shoes (there will be a later post about this)!

I don’t want to hear about how comfortable they are, or how easy it is just to slip them on when you leave the house.  Think about how you look to others.  Think about how you are just saying “I give up!”  Please stop wearing them to places like the store, the mall, the restaurant, school or out for a walk.  Restrict them to the beach or the pool.  Thank you!

croc people

NOT ACCEPTABLE!!!