Thursday, December 16, 2004

generation x has their own holiday!

during a nice warm shower too early in the morning (the time and location where my most profound thought generation occurs) i a question arose… xmas. why do they call it xmas? christmas = xmas, hu? well… i’m an engineer, and engineers think in terms of logic and math. we know that the following is a fundamental concept which we use to describe nature:

if: (x)9 = (y+z)9

then: (x) = (y+z)

with this we can conclude that christ = x from the statement [christmas = xmas]. what does that mean?

i didn’t stop to answer that question. my brain was then bombarded with questions… so i resorted to what i knew… the “facts”. christmas is dec. 25th, when baby jesus was born to the virgin mother mary. three wise men gave jesus presents. no room in the inn… a manger (what is a manger anyhow? in all those nativity scene’s it looks like a crib with hay in it… but who has one of those in a regular barn?) and lots of animals watching what’s going on. flash forward 2000 years and what do we have? an old fat guy who lives in the north pole, flys with a sleigh that has reindeer [flying ones no less], employs an army of elves to manufacture toys which he in turn gives to children who are good. of course he monitors these children yearly and keeps a detailed list. to top it off, we put a tree inside the house and decorate it in hopes that the presents will be left underneath it.

what did i miss? god gives his only son in turn for everyone’s sins and we evolve it into this. so what did we do when this guy jesus died? oh yea.. easter!! don’t get me started on that holiday! rabbits?!? eggs?! baskets?!

since we’ve totally bastardized christmas –hence the word “christ” is in front of mas, the spanish word for “more”… we replace it with an x. xmas.

i did a bit of searching, and found an intresting page about the history of santa claus. here’s my rundown:

st. nicholas of turkey was a good guy, shit he was a saint. some poor girls couldn’t afford dowry [money a dad gives the guy who marries his daughters] so good ol st. nick gave them the money anonymously. he didn’t do a good job at doing this so anonymously, but he tried. by sending 3 sacks of gold down the chimney… which happened to land in the 3 daughter’s socks, which were hanging by the fireplace in order to dry out. he died on dec. 6th, which is when his day was later celebrated. after the church banned the celebration of this day, a backfire to their plan occurred thus meshing the two (christmas and st. nick’s day of death) into one. i think jesus got the short end of the stick in there, but he made up for it with the whole b.c. and a.d. year count switch over and all. sinterklaas is how you pronounce st. nick in dutch… that was later bastardized into santa claus.

so then, christmas has been modified, changed, altered, and mutated into what it is today- no wonder we call it xmas. i love when the puzzle pieces all come together!

i wonder what 9/11 is going to be 2000 years from now? maybe we’ll celebrate it on 11/9 instead, and have a majic sperm wale named talsama talbina that brings everyone frozen chickens which we dance around with for 10 mins then cook over an open flame which we have to set up in our family room along with a formation of rocks that symbolizes the fallen buildings. don’t tell me it couldn’t happen!!!

Friday, December 10, 2004

waiter can we have the bill please?

what’s the deal with going out to eat? Why is the bill always short? With the amount of schooling that we take, it should be a snap for us to calculate the total of what we ordered (especially since there’s a printout “receipt” right in front of us) and then on top of that, tax and tip.

I think that’s where people get tripped up. Once some math comes into play, especially percentages, people get all flustered and crazy. Tax is about 7.5%, and a generic amt to tip is 15%. “What’s 7.5% and 15% and how do we tip and what do I do?! I’m so confused, here take my 20 dollar bill and give me back how much you think I need in change.”Beware, anyone who throws a 20 at me and expects their math to be done for them will find that they have also paid for ameer’s number crunching service.

Here’s a quick lesson (for those of you who whip out your cell phone tip calculators which I find extremely embarrassing!). If you get a burger and fries for $5.99 and then a soda for $1.49 your total is about $7.50. but if you throw in a $8.00, you’re shorting everyone and the inevitable “hey guys, we’re short” phrase comes out. So what does one do in order to correctly figure out tax and tip? I have an easy formula for all you. It’ll make your life, and mine, much eaiser.

$7.50 is your food. Approx 7.5% for tax, and 15%ish for tip. How does one take 22.5% of their total? It’s not easy to do. So then, we simplify:

10% of anything is just a decimal point move to the left. Ex: 10% of 19.59 is 1.959! easy!

Now then, allow us to apply this mentality to something we can use in daily life. 7.50 is our total for food, and we use our 10% trick, to find that 75 cents = 10%. Afterwards, multiply that by 2. and viola you’ve just figured out 20% of your food’s cost, $1.50.

Here we go: $7.50 + $1.50 is $9.00. if you threw this in you’d be giving a bit less than 15% for tip, since 7.5ish% goes to taxes, you’ll be tossing 12.5%ish to tip. If you feel that the waiter/waitress was awesome, then give them a buck more, and you’re up to 33% tax + tip. That’s a bit much, you want to aim for 23%

There we go. Using our heads, and some simple math… we’ve solved the age old tragedy of someone paying 16.00 for a meal that cost them 8.99 (78% tax and tip). As far as remembering what who ordered, that’s still a mystery to be solved. Finally, for the record, there are only two times which are acceptable for the bill to be bill is split evenly among the number of persons at the table. Those two instances are if the meal was eaten family style (everyone shares everything), or buffets. Other than that: DO THE MATH!! It’ll keep your neighborhood engineer sane.

Tuesday, December 7, 2004

stress ball

i'm in no way stressed out these days (besides having no job and an unsure living situation). I was however spending a bit of time squeezing a stress ball, when it occured to me that everytime i squeeze this ball, it comes right back to the exact shape and form no matter how hard i try to contort it.

the ball is tennis ball sized, with the globe printed on it. dig your nails into this ball and in 30 seconds or less you will see it come right back to life, as if you hadn't strained every muscle in your hand squeezing the shit out of the "world".

this started to aggrivate me, and after a bit i had to just toss the ball away and take a few breaths. what madness this is. when i'm stressed, i want to destroy something, and see it break. the feeling of exerting lots of energy and effort into something that won't see any results is frustrating and can only add to one's stress. i've just discovered a market for stress balls you can actually break.

Thursday, December 2, 2004

mexico, teriaki, computer, freeway

i’m not special. i am unlike those that i admire and have been caught red handed aspiring to be just like. when it comes to communicating, i fail big time. “i failure big, uhhhh english only speak.”

it’s those bilingual/ trilingual/ quadlingual/ quintlingual/ hexlingual/ billion-lingual individuals that i admire. for each language you speak, i feel that you are another person. in a sense these people have split personalities, but in a non-schizophrenic, good, way. becoming a cultured individual is something that i’ve yearned for since i was young… hell, my name is ameer!!!! how could someone with a name as ethnic as mine be a monolingual ignorant uncultured american?

if i were bilingual, i would be able to answer my question for today. i personally don’t speak 2 languages, thus impairing me to make the correct decision. the question at hand is regarding words, and how they are pronounced while speaking another language.

for example, if i were to say “let’s eat a carne asada burrito” do i pronounce carne asada burrito as someone who was born and raised in minnesota would pronounce it? or do i slap on the accents that i learned from mrs. le’cakes traumatic spanish class? i’m speaking english here, not spanish. so do i do the switch over? do spanish people bust the switch when they are asking for a burger with fries/pizza/hotdog?

on the other hand, i heard my chinese friend talking to her mom on the phone the other day, and i caught “*chinese babble*lilly doo-ah-eh downtown *more chinese babble*” and distinctly heard the words “lilly” and “downtown” in the american english accent. this is where my confusion sprouts.

when people speak english, and then switch over to another language, they rarely use the accent of that other language. however, when people are speaking in a language besides english, they’ll say the english word with the english accent, instead of with the currently spoken language’s accent. is this different where english isn’t the primary language? does everyone in germany bastardize all words in french with their german shiza von newton accent while speaking primarily german?

this is the stuff that needs to be settled and standardized… one could spend hrs debating what is correct and what is not! one already did, instead of practicing spanish as to better myself and become that bilingual person i’ve so aspired to become.

but i’m only really learning one thing at a time, back to photoshop cs for now