back up

… don’t stand … don’t stand so … don’t stand so close to me …

Space. The final frontier.

I like people. I like being with people. I like being with people that I like being with.

But I like my space.

I hate standing in lines. I’m not a big one for being in a tightly-packed crowd. I get annoyed when people stand in front of me when I go to see a band play.

You see, I like my space.

It’s fine when friends get really close physically, but when random people do it, it gets uncomfortable and I get annoyed. I want to have a little room to move, room to breathe — call it personal space, call it whatever you want.

Other people may not want or need their own space, but I do, and I don’t think I’m alone.

I wonder if I should just cut down on showers.

lighting up

… lights out … guerrilla radio … turn that shit up …

For years Disneyland had their electric light parade, and families came from lands far and wide to watch it rattle down Main St. About three years ago, they stopped doing it and there was crying ankle-biters and adults alike moaning about the end of the world. I don’t know why it came to an end, but it didn’t seem like too big an issue.

About four months ago, the state of California was the state of disarray. Not only were we being told that we were in for one of the hottest summers since Moses wandered the desert, but a bunch of friendly capitalists had decided to put the squeeze on the ‘quake state by charging some seriously marked up prices for electricity. To make it even worse still, the voltage suppliers had numerous power plants offline for “scheduled maintenance” — an industry name for “price gouging mechanism”.

About a month ago, I was trolling through the 400-odd channels that DirecTV inject into my home when the most surprising ad of the year came on. In what can only be described as a mind-boggling move, our friends at Mouse Inc. were shouting from the rooftops that the electrical light parade was making a return. And no-one even seemed to go, “huh?” and scratch their heads.

Why, when everyone in the state is being asked to trim their electrical usage, is one of the world’s most recognizable brands sucking up a bunch of volts to light up an array of vehicles so that people can go “oooh” and “aaah” as they drive by? Couldn’t the same thing be done by shuttling all those people out to the nearby I-5 and lining them up on an overpass to watch the Orange County commuters battle their way home?

I don’t care where they’re getting their power from to make glow-in-the-dark floats — it just doesn’t matter. It’s about understanding your influence on others, and Disney plays a large part in the lives of kids, and their families, the whole world over.

I don’t get it.

hiding patterns

… like wow … wipeout … no doubt …

They put patterns on toilet paper for a reason. Do people not understand this? I know that the bargain stuff typically doesn’t have patterns on it, but I’m pretty sure that most people have seen the rolls with the pretty floral patterns, or the ones with the crossword puzzles on them that your strange aunt gave to your dad as the annual bizarre Christmas gift.

By now you’re probably wondering what the hell I’m going on about, so let me tell you.

There are two ways to hang the roll of toilet paper, and it seems that there is a pretty even split of people who hang it each way. But that doesn’t make sense to me because there is a right way and a wrong way — at least in my small mind.

The roll should be hung so that the paper rolls over the front. That’s the way they do it on all those “puppy dog plays with toilet paper roll” commercials. That’s the way that makes it easier to grab the end of the roll — I think there’s something in physics that explains why the paper sticks to the wall when it’s rolled over backwards. That’s why they print the patterns on the outside of the roll. Lastly and most importantly, that’s the way my mum does it!

With all that in mind, the next time you see a roll of toilet paper hanging the “wrong” way, just try and resist rehanging it. I dare you!

two potters

… one bourbon … one scotch … one beer …

I grew up in Australia, and it seems that I was granted an extra gene as part of my birthright. In Australia this gene is commonplace, but when we up and move to the distant corners of the world, it becomes extremely useful. This gene allows me to drink more than most (especially Seppo’s) and still be fully functional.

Some folks look at me as a bit of a freak in that respect. Some folks just wonder (and hope) if they can ever get me drunk. Some folks just think I’m annoying.

Tonight it was purely a case of wondering why others can’t deal with their nights out like I do. That was what the bouncer asked me when the drunk French guy insisted that the bar still had his credit card. I’d never thought about it from that perspective before. I go into their bar, and I drink quietly and behave myself completely. When they ask me to leave, I leave. I guess I’m the ideal barfly — drink, tip, co-operate.

OK, I’m not exactly a drunk or an alcoholic — I drink very much in moderation, very much under control. I enjoy a beer or two, that’s not in doubt, but I certainly don’t want to become another statistic.

So why do people drink more than they can handle? Why do people go out to drink to get drunk? I’ve never understood that.

I think it was Bill Cosby who said that “it is claimed that alcohol enhances your personality.” He then pondered, “so what if you’re an asshole to begin with?”

I try to not be an asshole to begin with.

people grooves

… every move you make … i’ll be watching you …

Not long ago I met someone, and over the past couple of months we’ve become pretty good friends. She is this wild and crazy “broad” (as she puts it) who makes me laugh like mad, which is exactly what everyone needs — a good laugh every day goes a long way to keeping you sane.

At first, we saw each other once, maybe twice a week, but lately it’s more frequent than that. I know that it doesn’t mean anything beyond being an odd coincidence, but we seem to be travelling along similar paths. I’ve bumped into her in a few different places at which I might not normally be. She’s found me online, which is not somewhere that she would normally be. And as trivially irrelevant as it sounds, we ate the same thing for dinner tonight, separately. Yes, my first trip to KFC in moons, and the next thing she is telling me that she is about to have the same thing.

Look, I’m not trying to read anything into this, but it’s odd that we seem to fall into the same grooves as other people. Remember the movie, Four Weddings and a Funeral, where these two people keep bumping into each other — it’s a bit like that. Most of the time we don’t realize that we’re seeing some of the same people over and over again, just because we don’t recognize and know them.

How many times in your past have you been within 50 feet of someone you’ve just been introduced to?