Monday, November 16, 2009

Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!

(You can have this baby for a song and a cool $800.)

A number of years ago, in the midst of unfocused undergraduate boredom, my best friend Jemima and I got what she called, “a scathingly brilliant idea.” We would plan a trip to Europe.

I wanted to visit Belgium, because I had friends living there at the time, and she wanted to visit a place where people actually spoke German, because she had taken all those years of German classes.

I had maybe $500 saved. I have no idea how much she had. Tickets to Europe were going for $850-$1600 a round trip ticket.

As usual, we hadn’t planned very well, money was tight, and we were running out of time. Then one of our friends told us about an “Internet Deal.” We could get tickets to Europe for $120 round trip.

We were overjoyed with our “luck.” We went home, carefully read the internet site for what seemed like minutes, and then we both pulled out our credit cards.

What were we thinking when we thought that deal was for real?

Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!

Final Conclusion: We didn’t go to Europe and were both out $120.

I was reminded of this story the other day, when my boss came to tell me he had just purchased a used vehicle: a 1998 fuel injected 3/4 Ton 4X4 Chevy Truck with 215,000 miles on it.

“Can you believe it? I got it for only $1700.” He smiled, incredibly pleased with himself.

Let me spell it out for you if you’re not mechanically savvy or much into automobiles: this truck had way too many freakin’ miles on it. If its engine were sound, it would have cost him at least $4,000.

My eyes stared blankly, and then I said with the fakest excited tone I could, “That’s awesome!” Naturally, what I was actually thinking was, “S-M-R-T! Dumbass. You just bought a lemon.”

Three days after he bought it, the engine threw a rod. I kid you not.

These lessons bring to mind Some Principles to Live By:

1. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

2. The flavor for hard work has an infinitely better taste than “Quick and Dirty.”

3. NOTHING is for free. You pay for everything eventually.

4. Gambling is a tax for people who are bad at math.

5. You get what you pay for.

6. Resist the tempting moment. There's almost always more than one option.

7. Never be afraid to be honest with yourself. Plenty of people will lie to you; you shouldn't be one of them.

8. Learn your lesson: Eat the humble pie. It's yummy.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Common Denominator is Me

Hi. My name is Becky. I'm your new roommate, and three things you should know about me are I'm mean, I'm bigger than you, and I enjoy making people cry.

I am about to share a piece of information that isn’t news to anyone who has lived with me, but has come as quite a stinging slap to me:

I suck as a roommate.

I’ve always operated under the precious delusion I was the one being put upon. Year after year, I would end up with a new batch (sometimes up to 20 different roommates in one year) of girls, and I would think to myself:

These people are seriously flawed.

List of Grievances

1. Loud
2. Dirty
3. Lacking in Musical Talent/Expression (You wouldn’t think this would be a factor, but my roommates are/were privy to my unveiled venomous musical criticism. I’ve been downright insulting.)
4. Demanding
5. Temperamental
6. Hormonal
7. Rude
8. Ignorant
9. Unstable
10. Not Very Bright
11. Cantankerous
12. Possess a Myopic Perspective
13. An Intrusion on My Space
14. Incapable of Changing The Toilet Paper Dispenser
15. Insidious
16. Temporary
Naturally, I never once fell into any of these categories. I have never been culpable.
Unfortunately, the years are passing, and I’ve started to see a factor in my roommate failures: The Common Denominator is Me.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Tell Us How You Really Feel

Disclaimer: The following is a gripe-fest against football. Please feel free to either amuse yourself by reading this “misguided/embittered” girl’s blog or click the x button.

A few Saturdays ago, I was asked by a friend if I wanted to attend BYU’s homecoming football game. Before she could even tell me the price of the tickets ($35, BTW), I said with the smuggest tone I could muster, “No. I hate football.” In truth, I have not always held the sport with such distain. But, after working for the BYU Grounds Crew for five years, with four of those years spent exclusively on the turf of Lavell Edwards Stadium, my perspective was forever tainted.
Here are few of my reasons.

1. It takes several dozen employees working year round and hundreds of thousands of dollars to sustain a playing field which is only used twelve times a year.

2. Football is a flawed game. It rewards bulk (juiced-up muscular, fat, guys) and downplays endurance (Hello! Players only play offense or defense). Consequently, contenders only have to be good for essentially half a game.

3. Reinforced individual narcissism has never been so rampant among so many undeserving. Numerous football players, because of their elevated physical and social status, would often justify poor behavior just because they could get away with it. I realize this qualm is true of many athletes, but please remember, I also took care of soccer, baseball, softball, lacrosse, track, and rugby fields. I was never treated poorly until I dealt with football players.

4. Hockey, Ultimate, and Soccer are totally ignored in this area of the country, because the beefbrains of the West don’t want to watch sports that require them to maintain their attention span for longer than 60 second plays. When you can watch a replay of a sequence three times before the next time the ball moves, you’re watching the wrong sport.

5. The Average Game Times—Ultimate: 1 hour 15 minutes. Soccer: 1 hour 30 minutes. Hockey: 1 hour forty five minutes. Football: 3 hours. Do you know how many things you can accomplish in three hours? I wrote this in less than one, so you do the math.

6. I’ve seen men put their marriages in jeopardy, because they were addicted to watching College football. “Jeeze, man. Uncle Rico still lives in a trailer, and you’re 37 with a beer gut. Go run or something.”

7. It cost $35 dollars to attend a BYU football game. It costs $2 (student price) to see a hockey game. Let me ask you this, “Where are you most likely to see more blood?”

So there are my reasons. Take ‘em or leave ‘em.