Sunday, February 15, 2009

Can I rant? I'm going to...

... look, I am an optimist most of the time. You need a silver lining? I'll be the one who finds it; at the very least I'll help you look. But sometimes, sometimes, things just completely baffle me. When I am baffled I get annoyed. When I get annoyed, I RANT. A list of things that are baffling/annoying me at the moment, in no particular order...

- Customers. I could just stop there and everyone who has ever worked in retail would understand or agree, but that would be unfair, as sometimes I have wonderful customers. Some drive me almost to breaking point though. For example, the customer who asks you for help. You give them help. They question your help. You answer their questions. They question your answers. You paraphrase their original needs, reiterating the ways that the suggested product will help them. They ask about a product that is completely unsuitable for their needs. You explain why it is unsuitable. They look at you as though you are the one who is being difficult. You give up. They say they will "just look around for a while". You stand there and think "Why, for the love of God, WHY did you ask for my help and advice if all you wanted to do was ignore my suggestions and purchase a product that will disappoint you?!"

- Political Correctness OVERLOAD. I can't take it anymore. These PC Police have too much time on their hands, if they can consider all the ways in which children will be harmed by the same things that many of us grew up with. It did not cause me any harm. I've always been an avid reader. Among the first books I read were Enid Blyton's Faraway Tree series. I'd just like to note some of the changes made to these books since I read them as a child. Dame Slap is now Dame Snap. Corporal punishment is no longer relevant, so Dame Snap now yells at her students instead. Awesome. I'm actually not sure how that is much better, but you're certainly not going to hear me complain about that lest I find that Dame Snap has become Dame Sunshine-and-freaking-light and instead of yelling at her naughty students, she praises them for expressing themselves. Jo has become Joe because Joe is a boy and the J-O spelling was too feminine.  Bessie is now Beth.....because Bessie is a name rarely used now (oh, because I can totally remember the last time I climbed a magical tree inhabited by mythical creatures, can't you?!) Ridiculous. And poor old Dick and Fanny. Rick and Frannie. I'm sure I don't need to tell you why. What about the poor old Dick's and Fanny's of the real world who are being told their names are inappropriate? It is offensive to me, to think that people could be so serious about this that a piece of classic literature can be tampered with in this way. Ms. Blyton would be turning in her grave. JUST GIVE ME MY DICK AND MY FANNY!

- On that note, parents blaming everyone and everything they can in order to not take responsibility for their own children. Something that really grinds my gears is that teachers are supposed to educate children and help with academic endeavours, yet a lot of the time is taken up by children who have not learnt basic etiquette or social skills at home and have no idea what is, or isn't, appropraite. Teachers should not be expected to run deportment classes on top of the (considerable) workload they already have. It's not good enough. Parents should be parenting. Not blaming.

There are so many more. I think I'll leave it there though, I don't want anybody to think I'm a bitter and twisted cynic. Perhaps next time I'll write about the things that make me happy!

Love and laughter (and slight grunts of annoyance)
Mands xoxo

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Proust's Questionnaire

If any of you read Vanity Fair magazine, you might know that they interview a famous person and call it the Proust Questionnaire. It was a parlor game that Marcel Proust played in his youth (no, he did not actually invent the game). His answers were recorded once when he was 13 and once when he was 20. I've decided to play the parlor game as are my answers...
    • What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
        Clinical depression and being confined to a hospital because of it.
    • Where would you like to live?
        Wherever I feel I could make a home that doesn't stifle my creativity and freedom.
    • What is your idea of earthly happiness?
        To live in a house with a library and my family and close friends nearby.
    • Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?
        Atticus Finch, Aragorn, Professor Dumbledore, Sirius Black
    • Who are your favorite characters in history?
        Socrates, Oscar Wilde, Homer, Chaucer, Shakespeare
    • Who are your favorite heroines in real life?
        Maya Angelou
    • Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?
        Arwen, Eowen, Jo March, Calamity Jane, Holly Golightly
    • Your favorite musician?
        Ben Harper
    • The quality you most admire in a man?
        Intelligence, wit, honour
    • The quality you most admire in a woman?
        a good sense of humour
    • Your favorite virtue?
    • Your favorite occupation?
        Reading and writing
    • Who would you have liked to be?
      Myself, this time a year ago..... with the knowledge I have now....the world would be a fairer place for it.
    • Your most marked characteristic?
        My passion and determination; I've been called relentless by a friend before.
    • What do you most value in your friends?
        Intelligence, honesty, open-mindedness and courage
    • What is your principle defect?
        Extreme self-righteousness, over-the-top perfectionism.
    • What is your favorite color?
        Blue, purple, yellow, pale green, pink, silver
    • What is your favorite flower?
        White and pink roses, lilies
    • What is your favorite bird?
    • Who are your favoite poets?
        Wow.....that's hard.... Shakespeare, Maya Angelou, Kahlil Gibran, Pablo Neruda, William Blake, Robert Frost.....this could go on for a while...
    • Who are your favorite composers?
        Beethoven, Tchaiovsky, Mozart
    • What are your favorite names?
        Honor, Dante
    • What is it you most dislike?
    • What natural gift would you most like to possess?
        Wit to rival Oscar Wilde's
    • How would you like to die?
        Peacefully, after I've lived a long life with many achievements and had all my dreams realised.
    • What is your motto?
        Nothing is perfect, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.