Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Chinese Restaurant

Have you ever had one of those good old chuckles where food shoots out your nose? Me neither. Oh, you have! Well, I hope your not eating now because this is going to cause stuff to come out of your nose.

You know me by now that I don't do allot of funny stuff. Well, maybe not as much as I should but it is always interesting to find something that is so funny, you just can't get it off your mind. I mean how many times that that happens. For me, not often. I think the last time that happened was this September when someone near and dear to me de-friended me. I won't digress.

I love going to restaurants ever now and then. I really have a fondness for Chinese buffets but any buffet or area where different groups of people congregate. Ever since I took sociology, I have been an astute people watcher. There is so much information you can get about a person watching them dine. How neat they are. Manners. Posture. Tips they leave. A whole lot of information is just waiting for the trained mind to harvest. Alas, this story is not about what people do socially but more about what you hear.

So, I was sitting there minding my own business and enjoying a bit of buffet sushi (Karen will cringe.) when something I overheard just had me tickled pink. Not that this would be a color that I would really chose to describe my feelings but the cliche' works every now and then. I mean sushi was actually coming out my nose and the joke just kept on coming. I even noticed other patrons getting a good chuckle.
It was not as much what was going on. It was what we were hearing. I know that American culture is growing wide spread amongst the Asian communities and specifically pop culture but this was a bridge too far. It was just something I could not fanthom would have even reached Asian culture. What were they thinking? It's bad enough that you can't understand the lyrics when it is in english. Now picture it being done in Chinese. Then to top that off, they even had the nerve to throw in a bit of Auto-Tune. Damn you T-Pain!

So, the next time you visit your favorite Chinese restaurant, listen carefully. If they are playing the Chinese music in it's all inspiring flair, then you are at the right place. But if the music sounds like Mary J, Pink or Nelly on crack in a chipmunk sounding foreign language. Run. Run fast and don't look back or you have sushi shooting out of your nose too!

BTW, my fortune cookie said "Your luck has been completely changed today." Could it really get any worse? Really!

Monday, January 18, 2010

A little taste of what I do for fun

Yes, I promised you some time back that I would let see a snippet of the TV show I am working on. So, here is a little taste. I wanted to offer a bit more but Blogger only allows 100MB video download and most of the better snips are 200MB or better. If you are in the Raleigh area, the show airs Sundays at 4:30 PM and Tuesdays at 5:00 PM. This was actually a blooper so it will not air. The scene was re-shot after cleaning up the audio problem. So, I will shut up now and let you enjoy the video. If you feel inclined, tell me what you think or not!

video

Friday, January 15, 2010

Helping Haiti

I want to post this for all my followers and urge they do the same to get the word out so that aid and relief get to the right people and organizations.

Watching the destruction in Haiti is heartbreaking. Many want to do something to help the victims, but don't know what to do. The following is a quick guide to pass along to those individuals and organizations who want to help. (Note: information is taken from guidance provided by FEMA, U.S Dept. of Homeland Security and the White House.)

Locating Family Members
Americans seeking information about family members in Haiti should contact the State Department: 1-888-407-4747.

Donate Cash
Cash is the most helpful donation. It allows professional, credible relief organizations to buy exactly what is needed most to help disaster victims. Cash donations minimize delays in collecting, packing, shipping and distributing goods and there is no added transportation cost.
Three ways to donate cash:
1) Contribute to the voluntary organization of your choice.
2) Contribute to one of the major non-profit organizations that are accepting cash donations to respond to this emergency, see http://www.interaction.org/crisis-list/earthquake-haiti.
3) Donate $10 to the Red Cross by simply texting "HAITI" to "90999." The donation will automatically be charged to your cell phone bill.

Donate Goods
Donated goods are discouraged at this point due to limited resources for transporting, distributing and receiving such supplies.

Volunteer
Many non-profit organizations and faith-based groups respond to disasters and offer a wide range of services. However, volunteers without prior disaster relief experience are generally not selected for relief assignments. To learn more about the training involved and volunteering in future disasters with one of these organizations, visit
www.nvoad.org www.serve.govwww.citizencorps.gov www.helpindisaster.orgwww.networkforgood.org

For more information, contact the Center for International Disaster Informationwww.cidi.org 703-276-1914

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

MY YEAR IN REVIEW

I don't try to contemplate on the past but instead, use it as instrument to guide my future. What I have learned from my mistakes, I carry those lessons forward and try not to make them again. This past year was a banner for making mistakes. We make choices good in bad in so many ways. What we say, what we write, the way we respond to people, when we respond, it all effects how are choices are perceived. Some things I wish I could go back and change while others, well, I wish they didn't change fast enough.

I was thinking deeply about whether I was even going to post this but I felt that I need to at least get some things off my chest so I could move forward. Sort of a lessons learned exercise. Something I learned in my years as a project manager. See, I view each choice, relationship, event and so on as a project. There is always an beginning and an ending. A start and a finish. I started a lot of new relationships, a few ended. I can't chalk it up to fate but it is what it is. Some projects are still going strong and others failed. One in particular really bothered me but I'm not going to digress. It's done and over and maybe for the best.

On a better note, my classes are almost over but like some projects. There seems to be a funding issue but I am going to do the best I can finish this up. Maybe I can get a scholarship or grant to help stipend these last two quarters. I am almost 90% sure I will continue for my masters but I am not going to focus on that now. Just want to get over this hurdle. I just wanted to thank all my friends and supporters, you have made the difference in me getting through this.

I didn't want to make this long so I will close. I wanted to at least scratch the surface and reflect a bit on my past year. Most of you already know all the stories so I won't bore you with rehash. This year started out mixed. Some good, some well, we'll see. I took on some new roles at work. My boss retired at the end of the year and now I have all his admin duties. I don't know if this means I am going to be offered his post but who knows. I don't really care for management but I wouldn't turn it down either if it meant a bit more pay.

With that said, here are a few things I have noticed or learned over the past year:
  1. Don't over explain, be brief and to the point.
  2. When the situation calls for a joke or sarcasm, know the difference.
  3. Avoid discussions regarding women and shopping. Specially footwear.
  4. Carnivores should avoid vegetarian diets at all cost.
  5. Take time to compliment.

Well, that's all I have for now but if you think of anything else, please feel free to tell me about it.

So, in closing I wanted to leave you with this thought. As a big fan of brit actor Rowan Atkinson, I loved his role in the "Blackadder" so I leave you with this final exchange. Atkinson is playing the role of Edmund.

Baldrick: No, the thing is: The way I see it, these days there's a war on, right? and, ages ago, there wasn't a war on, right? So, there must have been a moment when there not being a war on went away, right? and there being a war on came along. So, what I want to know is: How did we get from the one case of affairs to the other case of affairs?

Edmund: Do you mean "How did the war start?"

Baldrick: Yeah.

George: The war started because of the vile Hun and his villainous empire- building.

Edmund: George, the British Empire at present covers a quarter of the globe, while the German Empire consists of a small sausage factory in Tanganyika. I hardly think that we can be entirely absolved of blame on the imperialistic front.

George: Oh, no, sir, absolutely not. (aside, to Baldick) Mad as a bicycle! Baldrick: I heard that it started when a bloke called Archie Duke shot an ostrich 'cause he was hungry.

Edmund: I think you mean it started when the Archduke of Austro-Hungary got shot.

Baldrick: Nah, there was definitely an ostrich involved, sir.

Edmund: Well, possibly. But the real reason for the whole thing was that it was too much effort *not* to have a war.

George: By God this is interesting; I always loved history -- The Battle of Hastings, Henry VIII and his six knives, all that.

Edmund: You see, Baldrick, in order to prevent war in Europe, two superblocs developed: us, the French and the Russians on one side, and the Germans and Austro-Hungary on the other. The idea was to have two vast opposing armies, each acting as the other's deterrent. That way there could never be a war.

Baldrick: But this is a sort of a war, isn't it, sir?

Edmund: Yes, that's right. You see, there was a tiny flaw in the plan.

George: What was that, sir?

Edmund: It was bollocks.