“Solitude vivifies; isolation kills.” – Joseph Roux

It’s pretty common knowledge that China does not mix well with the Internet at large, especially prevalent in regards to the standing bans on Facebook and pretty much anything made by Google. These difficulties are expected, though you’d be surprised how many ex-pats I’ve heard try to explain to the people back home that, “No, you cannot just send to me via Google docs.” What most people don’t know s that there are a whole variety of other issues pertaining to the realm of Chinese applications like WeChat, which really shouldn’t be surprising but at this point continues to catch my unawares. It was one of these times recently when my friends began to worry about me, as I was not responding to their messages. Turns out I wasn’t being antisocial on purpose; WeChat had randomly stopped its notification process.

While bemoaning the all-too-frequent struggle inherent in Chinese social media, said ex-pat friend brought up a good point: He had begun to wonder if I had slipped in the bath and was thus incapacitated, just waiting to be found (A situation which I’m sure will haunt my mother’s nightmares after she reads this. Sorry Mom.) Being the peppy, optimistic rays of sunshine that we are, he and I began everyone’s favorite discussion, “How long do you think it would take someone to find you should the worst happen?”

Morbid as this conversation is, I personally believe it’s a question everyone who lives alone should consider occasionally. I don’t mean to give anyone a complex about living alone, but it’s worth knowing how often someone checks on you and whether they would notice if you dropped off the face of the Earth. The safety benefits of this knowledge are pretty obvious, but there are a host of other concerns as well. For one, if you live alone with pets, you should probably be aware of how quickly they will quite literally turn on you.

This scenario is possibly even more important for those of us who live abroad, just due to the isolation factor. Your average person has a day job and likely a close group of friends and/or family that would probably notice a disappearance within 24 hours. For ex-pats, however, it all depends on your work situation and how social you are. My own university, for example, gives me enough of a free rein that I’m not sure how quickly they’d notice I wasn’t turning up to teach classes. I couldn’t even guess how long it would take them to check my apartment.

Before I send my mother into a panic attack, I should mention I have friends here who would probably notice. Apparently the friend I mentioned earlier was showing concern in less than two days, which is pretty good considering I didn’t even know I was ignoring him. Furthermore I live in the same building as four of the other foreign teachers, and I’m pretty confident they would notice my absence.

Isolation is a near-constant when living abroad, but I really do think it’s important for everyone to consider. If you’re like me, you’ve lived alone only a fraction of your life, and the isolation can be worrisome. Don’t get me wrong, it feels pretty good to have your own space, and to not have to share bathrooms or refrigerators. I absolutely do not want to have to live with room mates or with my parents. But in taking a moment to think about how long it would take for someone to break down my apartment door, I realized just how alone I am out here.

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“What is elegance? Soap and water!” – Cecil Beaton

You, as my readers, probably already know how I like to think about words. You may, in fact, be of the opinion that I like to think about and discuss words altogether too much. I should inform you anti-worders, despite how much I appreciate your reading my blog, that this is not likely to change. Anyway, on to the soap.

What? Yes, I want to talk about soap. I’ve been doing some thinking about soap, and the phrases we use that revolve around soap. There’s some pretty obvious ones like “Soap up,” (meaning to cover something or someone in soap) and “wash your mouth out with soap,” (which again refers to soap’s ability to clean things up. Or to taste terrible, I can’t remember.)

If you want to know more about soap and how it is made, here‘s the wikipedia page. The basics, though, are these: “Soaps for cleansing are obtained by treating vegetable or animal oils and fats with a strongly alkaline solution… brings about a chemical reaction known as saponisfication.” So there, you can learn more than you ever wanted to know about soap. You’re welcome. Also, this was probably unnecessary to making my point. I’ll get back to the words.

“Soap Opera” is a phrase used to describe a campy television drama, and believe it or not does actually derive its name from actual soap. These programs certainly aren’t known for their cleanliness, and no, I’m not trying to draw some weird connection between daytime television and fatty acids. “Soap Operas” were given their name because no one watches television during the daytime, and therefore the only advertising the networks could procure was for soap products. Soap is such a commonly-held necessity that its advertising had never garnered much weight, meaning these ads were cheap. So, “soap” is a reference to how poorly funded these shows are, and “opera” is probably a reference to how overly dramatic the acting is (I certainly doubt it’s at all connected to their capacity for musical performance.)

“Soap Box” is another common term (and if you remembered I used it in my last post, you get bonus points) which most people know refers to a person’s tendency to loudly express their opinions in a public forum. You may have also heard “standing on my soap box,” which is even less metaphorical and, yes, does refer to standing on boxes that used to contain soap. As mentioned with “Soap Opera,” soap is a really common item and so it was pretty easy for someone to acquire a box and give themselves an extra foot or so of height for shouting at others. I can only assume that Soap boxes were fairly sturdy, and therefore a good choice for standing on. Fortunately for us, we don’t have to find a soap box to express ourselves any more; we can just use the equally effective tool, Twitter.

“Soft soap” is a less widely-known idiom which isn’t a reference to the brand (though the brand may have chosen their name for the idiom?) It is, however, a reference to leaving the by-product glycerol/glycerin in the newly made soap as a softening agent (those of you who read the Wikipedia article saw this coming.) To “soft soap” someone is to coddle them, or make a subject more palatable. It also mean to sweet-talk or flatter a person. This idiom is probably vanishing as “softer” soaps are becoming the norm, as well as how most people don’t need to make their own soap any more.

“No soap” is probably even more of an obscure phrase, and probably my favorite on the list. This is not a term for a dirty person or a bathroom lamentation. “No soap” is actually referring to the same concept as “no dice,” meaning “I can’t do that,” “I can’t help you,” or “It’s not going to happen.” I have no evidence for why “dice” has outlived “soap,” but I imagine it has something to do with how gambling is still a situational activity and soap is pretty much available everywhere. In essence, lots of people might come up with “no dice” but very few people are in a position of “no soap.”

I’m not gonna soft soap you, there just aren’t that many phrases that use this word. I found these examples interesting and enjoyable too, but no soap, there aren’t any more.

“Any work needs doin? I can draw a Ninja Turtle, and beat Mario.” – Kumail Nanjiani, “Beta Male”

Ever since, hmm, I’m gonna say the invention of Pacman, roughly, people have had a lot of bad things to say about video games. I was going to litter that first sentence with examples, but I haven’t figured out how to link my blog to the numerous moments in time when my parents told me that playing video games was a waste of time. Yet.

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Except for Tetris. No one has ever said anything bad about Tetris, aside from the occasional string of swearing WHEN YOU GET A FRIGGIN’ “Z” PIECE AT THE WRONG TIME. [x]

Even though I’m don’t call myself a “Gamer,” I have been known to, from time to time, get so absorbed in a video game I have to remind myself to eat play some video games. Because of this, *ahem* minor hobby, I tend to fall in with the people who support video games as a viable and not-useless form of recreation. In fact, video games have reached such a high level of popularity that not only do people tend to forget that gaming is actually a pretty nerdy thing to do, but there are comedians like Kumail Nanjiani who regularly discuss video games in their stand up. If you don’t want to listen to a Pakistani man discuss his experience with racially insensitive game design, don’t click the link (Seriously though, listen to his album. He’s pretty great.)

“I’ve logged over 1000 hours on these, but I’m not like, a nerd.” [x]

What Mr. Nanjiani is talking about is the game Call of Duty, which for my older audience is a series of games in which you play various soldiers and complete missions set in famous wars. It’s pretty widely considered the McDonald’s of games (way too common, shows you might have poor taste even though everyone’s done it.) I don’t play Call of Duty. I tend to enjoy games with very involved stories where you are forced to make choices, commonly known as role-playing games.

“But Sam,” you ask, “couldn’t you just read a book or something?”

Yes I could, and yes I do, but ‘video games’ was all I needed to complete the “Reading Fantasy Novels – Browsing Tumblr – Free Space – Blogging” bingo for my How to Get Bullied in High School Bingo card. Honestly though, video games have reached a level where they are like interactive books. So yeah, sometimes I get lost in them, and I’m not ashamed to admit that.

Kumail Nanjiani also touches on the ‘video games are super awesome now’ point, but mentions another common criticism; “Video games aren’t for kids anymore.” This isn’t something I normally have to consider in my defense of gaming, but a recent experience kind of brought this home for me. On my recent flight to Shanghai, there was a Flight Attendant who stuck out to me. I’m going to call him Jerry, because he looked didn’t look like a Phillip. Jerry was one of those people who was always happy, and always bursting with energy, and probably really likes his job. In essence: a jerk.

Anyway, Jerry seemed to like me. You might be thinking, “Male flight attendant who paid extra attention to you? Sam I have something to tell you…” but I didn’t come here for you to make snap judgments about Jerry, so keep it to yourself. I try to be nice to people who spend their time helping me, a revolutionary idea, so it’s always cool to figure out who appreciates that.

Jerry was good at smalltalk, ended up giving me two beers (which I’m not sure if I should have been charged for) and even lent me a DC converter so that I could charge my laptop. Here’s where I connect the dots: My laptop needed charge because I used it to play video games on the flight. I wanted to plug it in so that I could play more video games, because honestly there’s nothing better for sitting in your chair for fourteen hours than a good video game. I noticed later, however, that Jerry’s attitude toward me changed throughout the flight. He started out calling me the commonly used “sir,” and by the time I left I was “buddy.” His body language and tone changed too, going from an exchange between equals to a more unintentionally condescending attitude, and all I can think of is that the man watched me play video games on my laptop.

Now I don’t mean to say that Jerry was anything but awesome, and I don’t mind being called “buddy,” especially since he was significantly older than I am. It was strange, though, to have a man who handed me two alcoholic beverages without checking my ID treat me like a teenager, which is how I am assuming he began to see me. I could almost see his perspective shift when he noticed me engaging in the “juvenile” activity of playing a video game. I figure he didn’t mean anything by it, and I don’t hold it against him.

But for goodness sake, I was traveling alone, to Shanghai. I have a job, and a full beard (which doesn’t hide my baby face, but still.) I am, for all intents and purposes, a full-fledged adult. I’m gonna play some video games if I damn well please.

“I was in Shanghai recently, where Twitter is blocked, and yet there were ads and billboards across town with hashtags on them.” – Dick Costolo

The Bund is a 1.6 km riverside promenade in Shanghai, along the Huangpu River (you might know the Huangpu due to Chinese farmers dropping dead pigs in it in 2013 – Careful, this article does actually show pictures of dead pigs). The Bund is pretty famous for it’s view of the Pudong (east side of Shanghai) skyline.

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What fewer people seem interested in photographing are the buildings along the other side of the promenade. To be fair, most of them are banks, with heavily western-influenced façades. But I want to talk about this one:

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This is the Jardine Matheson building. Pretty unassuming, right? You can read more about the multi-billion dollar conglomerate here, but I won’t give you the whole history in one post. What you need to know about Jardine Matheson is that they started their trade business in Shanghai by smuggling a few commodities like tea and cotton. Oh, and also opium.

That’s right, opium. The stuff heroin is made of. (To be fair there are plenty of valid, medicinal uses for synthetic opioids, but I doubt the good Misters William Jardine and James Matheson were the Robin Hoods of the Opium Trade.)

The University of Edinburgh grads (where my brother studies, incidentally) quickly diversified their business, which, given that opium smuggling does generate a lot of untaxed capital, isn’t all that surprising.

Anyway I’m not condemning the conglomerate or even the founders: I just felt like sharing a little history. The message here is also NOT “just sell opium, guys.” Your respective governments WILL catch you, and I don’t want you saying “Samwise told me to!”

Though I guess if you could go back in time, smuggling opium could eventually get you a company worth almost $60 billion.

If you need a reminder of the scale of 1 billion dollars, see this Tumblr post)

“The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.” -Marcus Tullius Cicero

A couple of days ago I took the chance to visit my grandfather’s grave, and it left me with a profound realization: Cemeteries are weird.

Welcome to Things That Are Weird Part, uh, VIII? I Dunno, Anyway: Boneyards and Boneheads!

Ever since I was a little kid, cemeteries have been a stressful place for me. This is not due to losing loved ones, or creepy stories about ghosts and ghouls. I’m not worried about zombie attacks or running into the Mystery, Inc. crew (Ten points to Gryffindor for the Scooby Doo reference!) I’m not even worried about the Weeping Angels from Doctor Who.

I just don’t like walking on people’s graves. But seriously, where else is there to walk?

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I’d get closer Grandpa, but I don’t want to step on your face.

Okay, I know people are buried under more than like 4 inches of dirt, so I’m not standing on anyone’s face. Ever since the 17th Century and that whole Black Plague thing, people have been buried 6 feet under, much to the chagrin of grave robbers (although it’s actually like 4 feet on average in the US, either because the depth was deemed unnecessary after the plague or because people’s feet used to be smaller.) So yeah, I know I’m not stepping on a person’s corpse, but when you’re there in front of a tombstone you start thinking that maybe six feet isn’t so far down (Ten points from Gryffindor for the Creed reference.)

Keeping this in mind, I generally try to do the movie-thing where you pick out a path between headstones, though I don’t usually look as cool as the hardboiled cop visiting his ex-partner’s grave. I had a conscious moment, however, where I considered that my grandfather had been cremated, meaning there was no body buried there and I was safe to tread upon his plot. It was nice to relax a moment, and just look at his plaque. (Of course, this means I forgot about picking a path altogether and then later realized I was standing on someone again.)

All jokes aside, I did actually come to a conclusion during my visit: While I enjoyed going with my family, visiting a cemetery should be a personal thing. It was good to go out there, just so I am able to find the grave again, if nothing else. As the youngest grandchild, I never really got to speak to my grandfather man-to-man. Hearing about him from my grandmother, it seems like the man generated too many stories for just one lifetime. But I guess that’s the best way to go, really.

“To make the bloody thing talk the way I do when I’m on a verbal roll, in my idioms and rhythms.” -Gary Lucas

As any immigrant to an English-speaking country can tell you; although English is not systemically difficult to grasp, its rules and exceptions are so at odds with each other that it is a wonder we can call it a system at all. Though it’s pretty common, I still love the quote:

“The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.”
–James D. Nicoll

I love English. I think it’s very confusing and convoluted and altogether a lot of fun to study. So, in the spirit of my native language, I decided to research and explain a few common phrases, because why the hell not? I will explain each term, give my initial based-on logic assumptions, and then give the actual origin.

Gaslighting:

Gaslighting is a form of mental abuse in which the abuser leads their victim to believe they are losing their mind. They may either simply deny that some occurrence or interaction ever occurred, or they may go about the more classical example of making small changes in the victims surroundings. Regardless of the methods, the process is at best disconcerting for the victim.

Quick assumptions

Gaslighting was a hard one, though the two words “gas” and “light” being used together certainly led me to believe this term originated in recent history. The best I could come up with was that, perhaps pilot lights on gas stoves, ovens, and water heaters used to go out fairly easily, in essence tricking the owner into thinking they could use their appliance.

Actual origin

The term refers to the 1938 stage play Gas Light (known as Angel Street in the United States). The play’s main character uses systematic psychological manipulation on his wife in order to convince her that she was crazy. The title refers to one of the abuser’s methods was to dim the gas lights of the house (I wasn’t totally wrong!). The play coined the term, despite its name change in the US.

Jury Rig (Jury Rigging):

Jury rigging refers to the act of repairing an object using only the objects close at hand. The makeshift repairs are likely not as functional as the original item or a true repair.

Quick Assumptions

Taking “jury rig’ to mean “using your available resources to achieve the best result,” I defined the words as best I knew how and figured it had to refer to the process of stacking the jury of a legal proceeding in order to have the best outcome. Essentially, the prosecutor or defendant could “rig the jury” with what was at hand.

Actual Origin

The term is nautical, meaning an improvised repair to the mast and yards in the event that the original mast was lost. “Rig” or “rigging” refers to the ropes and structure used to control the sails. “Jury,” on the other hand, is nearly unrecognizable for most people nowadays. The adjectival use of “jury” refers to “makeshift or temporary”, and dates back to 1616 (though the work was edited again, and the author John Smith didn’t get it published as “jury” until 1624.) There are several theories for “jury” in this sense, including: the Latin adjutare (“to aid”) via Old French ajurie (“help or relief”), and a corruption of the term “joury mast,” which was a temporary mast used as a spare should the main mast be compromised.

Jerry Built:

This phrase is often confused with “jury rigged,” and usually is combined into “jerry rigged.” Though for a long time “Jerry rig” was not accepted, it has since been incorporated as an alternate for both the previous phrases. Where “jury rig” is a makeshift repair, “Jerry built” refers to something that is poorly constructed.

Quick Assumptions

Honestly the only use of the word “Jerry” I knew of was a derogatory slang for German soldiers and citizens used in World War II. I assumed that since “Jerry built” is similarly derogatory, it was used as a way to describe something of German make during the 1940’s onward. This didn’t seem right, as for most of my life German engineering has had the opposite reputation.

Actual Origin

Though the phrase’s actual inception is uncertain, it seems to have arisen from 1830’s Liverpool. This may be due to “…the cheap, flimsy constructs of a Mr. Jerry of the Jerry Bros. of Liverpool.” It has also been speculated to refer to other poor constructions, including: the crumbling walls of Jericho, the prophet Jeremiah who foretold decay, and (my personal favorite) the gypsy word gerry, meaning “excrement.”

Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about some common idiomatic phrases! 

“It is so hard to leave—until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.” ― John Green, Paper Towns

I spent last week in Bloomington, IN for a kind of a going-away week-long vacation. This may seem kind of redundant, seeing as I have been unemployed for nearly two weeks and have a few more before leaving for China, but I guess I’m just the kind of guy who takes vacations while I’m already on a vacation. Regardless, I think I needed it, in a small way. I needed to say goodbye to some friends, my house, and the city of Bloomington itself. I mean, I did live there for five years, and even though aspects of it drove me crazy, it was my home.

Anyway, saying goodbye to Bloomington made me start thinking more and more about what will be good and bad about China, and I started a list in my head. It’s kind of a “pros and cons,” except I’m already officially going, so it’s more of a “things that I’m excited to leave behind” and “things you’re going to hear me complain about in future posts.” I’ve done a little research and talked to friends, so here we go.

Things I will miss very much:

Bread – Apparently, almost all of the bread that is commercially available in the Pacific Thea- I mean, South-East Asia, is lighter and sweeter than the bread we have in the States. So I probably won’t be able to find Marbled Rye, or Sourdough, or Asiago Cheese stuff. On the plus side I might lose a few pounds just out of sadness.

Personal Space – Everyone stereotypes the Eastern population as being rather small, and apparently we’re not just being racist, we’re being accurately racist. Also, let’s be honest, no one who has met me will call me a small man, so I am probably not going to always find adequate space for my frame. For those who don’t know, the bubble of personal space we consider common courtesy in the US is not a thing that happens in other countries.

Public Facilities – It’s not that China doesn’t have public bathrooms, it’s that you probably don’t want to use them. I’m not really looking forward to training myself to only use the bathroom in my flat, but from what I hear it will be much better than dealing with the squat toilets. And yes, “squat” refers to your bodily orientation, it’s not just an adjective describing how they are short and sturdy.

English – I am fairly confident that American and British Imperialism have been effective enough that I will have only the occasional problem finding someone with a common language as long as I stay in a city. However, just because the average citizen speaks enough English to sell me something doesn’t mean I will be able to converse with them. I’ve lived in another country before, but when one language failed me, I had another at my disposal. I doubt many people in the Republic speak Spanish.

Things I will not miss, thank you very much:

Driving – You may have noticed I do a lot of complaining about driving and traffic. I mean, I know I can be pretty subtle, but I have a feeling most of my readers are aware that I sing the praises of public transportation and in turn would rather set my vehicle and everyone else’s on fire than drive every day. It’s not even that I mind driving, just that paying for gas and repairs causes me financial stress, and being in traffic causes me to experience more anxiety-fueled rage than a self-conscious UFC fighter on steroids. In other words, I’d rather take the bus.

Paying Rent – China doesn’t really have a renting culture, and even if they did, my university is going to supply me with a place to stay. I hear the lodgings are far from luxurious but as Great Grampa Alphonse always used to say “Anything free is worth saving up fer,” (Escanaba in da Moonlight.) So, even though I’m half-way certain the university is only giving it to me free because they would feel bad making me pay for it, I’m excited to see that rent check go away.

Other peoples’ English – Seriously, have you listened to the people around you? In China at least I can assume their lack of ability in my language is because, well, it’s not their language. But here? It’s just shameful how some of our population refuse to take the time to learn how to speak correctly. Furthermore, as the people in China won’t speak as much English, I won’t have listen to their conversations. So pretty much what I am saying is that this entry probably should have just been titled “Other people.”

Things that, oh god, why don’t they have this in China:

Good Beer – I have been told the beer in China is at least better than Korean beer, but that’s not exactly setting a high bar. Once again, if you see me in person it’s pretty obvious that I like good food and good beer, and while China has some great food, they don’t fulfill the second half of my flawed lifestyle. It sounds like it will be easier to start my own brewery than to find something worth drinking there. So I guess I had better get started quickly because who wants to stop drinking beer?

Hugs – My friend Ale tells me that, while physical contact like holding hands or interlocking arms is pretty common, no one gives each other hugs in this part of China. This is going to be a problem for me. I am a hugger. I hug. I only hope that if I act strange enough, people will begin to accept my hugs. Either that, or Ale and I will be hugging each other and crying fairly frequently.

Humor – This one is going to be tough. My humor ranges from absurd to dark to awkwardly poignant, and I will probably need some time to get used to not making wisecracks and laughing at things that other people tend to find off-putting. There’s also that whole “they aren’t native English speakers” thing, which makes it hard to bridge the funny-gap.

BEER – But really, I’m going to miss craft beer. Like a lot.

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” -Lewis Carroll

****Challenge Accepted****

I asked readers to give me a person, place, object, and quest. Hannah gave me “Benedict Bandersnatch (you know, Cumberbatch), Maine, stiletto, making the perfect cup of tea,” and of course “Bandersnatch” reminded me of Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll. So let’s see if I can do it justice:

‘Twas brilliant, and the smaugy combs

Did billow and bumble through the hall

All whimsy were the tales of tombs

And the mum pass by all

 

“Beware the Benedict, my döttr!

The reptile eye, the smiles that catch!

Beware his nose upturned, don’t bother

The frumious Cumberbatch!”

 

She took her lifted heel in hand

Long time the handsome foe she sought

So rested she on Baker street

And stood awhile distraught

 

And, as in uffish thought she stood,

This Benedict, with eyes of blue

Came whistling with a carefree mood

A sunny day in Maine!

 

One, two! One, two! And three, and three

The hightened heel went clicky-clack

And instead of dead, a cup of tea

They went a-throwing back.

 

“And, as thou tamed the Cumberbatch?

Run to his arms, my beamish lass!

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”

With breath upon his glass.

 

‘Twas brilliant, and the smaugy combs

Did billow and bumble through the hall

All whimsy were the tales of tombs

And the mum pass by all

****Next Challenge****

I will continue accepting “person, place, object, quest,” prompts and turning them into poetry modeled after my heroes’ works. Or you can submit any other type of writing challenge you want from me and I will try to complete it.

“If you live to be one hundred, you’ve got it made. Very few people die past that age.” -George Burns

You probably don’t know this, but this is my 100th post! At five posts per week I should be at 20 weeks, though that won’t be until Friday because I have had 2, two-post days. You may think this means I’m cheating but to me it just means I get to celebrate twice in one week!

Since my post count has reached 100 I figured I would celebrate other things that there are 100 of, or that have turned 100 (yes, I know my blog isn’t turning 100, but since that is fairly unlikely to happen…) No, I am not going to do 100 items.

So here we go:

1. There are 100 US Senators.

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Hmm, not starting off very well with my celebration, am I? But at least Congress serves to employ a bunch of unqualified and unskilled people, right? Moving on to something more exciting and infinitely more useful…

2. There are 100 turns of thread on a spool.

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See? Much cooler! Isn’t that just an interesting fact? And now you know it! Even if you wish you didn’t.

3. There are 100 ways to love a cat, apparently.

I didn’t know this was a thing, but apparently the Internet has determined the 100 different ways to love a cat. Which is what the internet is good for, it seems.

4.  There are 100 pence in 1 pound sterling.

Well, since the UK went decimal, there are. The old UK system used to have 240 pennies in a pound. If you’re confused as to what I am talking about, just know foreign money is always more fun. And they have funny names!

5. Dubliners, by James Joyce, turned 100 this year (published 1914.)

So did Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Two great literary contributions, though they live on differently.

6. The Dodge Challenger released it’s 100th Anniversary model.

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No, they haven’t been making Challengers for the past 100 years, but the automotive company has been around since 1914-ish, which is good enough for their marketing team.

7. There are 100 cL in a Liter.

Okay, you knew this one. But I don’t think at this point I want to make a whole post complaining about how the US doesn’t use the metric system, so I’ll allow a little blurb here. Wouldn’t it be so nice, though, if everything was just divisible by 10? Wouldn’t that make sense for your measurement system?

*Ahem*

8. When you collect 100 coins in each stage of Mario 64, you get a star.

But you knew that already, right? Right?

(I’m not a loser I promise.)

9. July 2014 was the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Franz Ferdinand.

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Um, no. Close, but no cigar. Franz Ferdinand was the Archduke of Austria, making his name and title an alliteration double-whammy. Also, he was assassinated (see above) in 1914, which is commonly regarded as the even that started the first World War.

10. I just switched to Ubuntu, which is 100 x better than Windows 8.

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Seriously I can’t imagine actually using that thing. Where is my start menu? What are all these apps supposed to do? Also Ubuntu is open source and awesome.

 

Well that’s it. If you all hated this, I may never do it again. But it was fun for me. Thanks for reading my 100 posts!

“Goodbyes, they often come in waves.” -Jarod Kintz

Wednesday was my last day at work, and I realized that I am terribly awkward when saying goodbyes.

This was unfortunate, because of course everyone wanted to say goodbye.

So here’s the different types of goodbyes that I experienced yesterday, and my reactions to them:

1. The we-didn’t-really-work-together-a-lot goodbye.

“Oh hey, this is your last day? Well, good luck overseas. I hope it is a lot of fun.”

This one is probably the best and easiest for me to respond to. It’s quick, it’s painless, and best of all it’s genuine. It’s pretty great because you just have that shared understanding of “I recognize we worked together, and I really do hope you have a good life, but I’m not about to go home and cry,” so you just say something polite and non-committal and move on with your day.

2. The we-only-had-a-formal-relationship-but-I-want-you-to-think-I’m-overly-emotional-about-it goodbye.

“We’re going to miss you so much!! But you’re going to have so much fun! This really is a life-changing experience! I’m so sad!!! We can’t replace you!!!!!”

This one is the least fun, because you kind of have to put on a pleasant poker-face and lie through your teeth. These people usually weren’t great to work with, or at best made no real impact on your time with the company, but when it comes time for you to leave they want everyone to know how sad they are about it. Especially you. And especially everyone else too.

So you say, “Um, yes, thank you. I will miss you too. But I’m really excited too.”

*Internally screaming*

3. The I’m-going-to-act-like-I-was-your-mentor-when-actually-we-never-really-talked goodbye.

“You are going to make such an impact on this world. You are such a caring and honest person. Remember to be true to yourself.”

This is the longest conversation you have ever had with this person, and they’re clearly set on changing your life with their words. So your response comes out, “Yes, thank.”

4. The actual goodbye.

“Don’t leave me!”

“You’re a jerk!”

“So you’re coming back, right?”

They might say all of the above. Or none of it. You may not have the conversation at all. The thing is, you actually talked to and got to know this person. You are actually and legitimately going to miss seeing them on a regular basis. So you skip the fake-ness.

You just say, “yeah, I’ll see you later,” and you get their email address so you can send them pictures sporadically when you remember to.