Wah Wah Wednesdays – Tipping at the restaurant

Why bother doing the math for a 15% tip? I remember reading something in a book recently about a guy in the entertainment business that always tips 20%, which for those of you who aren’t math wizards, is just the total divided by 5. It’s easy, and on top of that, 20% may seem like a lot to you, salaried workers, but to those that are serving you, it could mean the difference between making rent that month for your server. Ever since I read that, I’ve always tipped 20%, no matter what. Some waiters are really trying hard, and others are falling on hard times. Give them what they deserve, but never anything under 20%, unless they spit in your food or something (or bring you fish, which I’ll discuss next week).

Smile

(This is based on true events that happened to me today.)

So I was on my lunch break, out to play the lottery
Hoping that dumb luck could make a millionaire outta me
But on my way there, I saw a sight I’m not used to seeing
Sitting on the ground with a sign – a beautiful human being

Analyzing her, much to my surprise
She had raw, natural beauty – what caught me was her eyes
Haven’t seen a countenance that attractive in a while
Rosy pink cheeks and a gentle little smile

Couldn’t tell that she was homeless – had a big coat and nice pants
But you could tell from details she was a victim of circumstance
What in the hell was she doing on the street?
As I thought, security made her get up on her feet

She was getting moved out, and I got a little nervous
Tried to check my bank account, but my phone didn’t have service
Couldn’t have been any older than myself
Forget the lottery now, dammit, all I want to do is help

Ran to the closest ATM to quickly get some cash
Back to the spot where I saw her, I continued to dash
But when I got back to the spot, she was already long gone
Probably to hide away from the dusk to see the next dawn

I know that she’s strong – I know she’s a survivor
My only hope is that tomorrow, I could still find her
Same spot, same place, same time, different day
With goodwill and contributions – but for now, I’ll pray

Pray that she finds herself a better deal of luck
I know with this economy – it’s easier to give it up
She had to be a sign from higher up to to let me know
That what we reap in the world comes from everything we sow

I make a good deal, and it wouldn’t hurt for more
But still, I have a soft spot for helping out the poor
What good’s a million dollars? You only have it for a while
I’ll give it to someone deserving, because I want to see them smile.

Wah Wah Wednesdays – Your name on a tattoo

Why do people get their own names tattooed on their body? I mean, tattoos are supposed to be an expression of art that you want permanently embossed on yourself to show a sense of individuality. I can understand if you want to get a spouse’s name tattooed on yourself to show your devotion, but in this day and age, relationships are fleeting, and sometimes that one you tattooed on yourself gets away, and forces you to cover it up with a picture of a fish.

But why the hell would you want your OWN name tattooed on you? What’s the sense in that? Is there a practical reason for it, like if you die, the coroner will still be able to identify your body without the forensics team? Is it so that you’ll remember what your name is in case you get too wasted one night at a club? If that’s the case, you might want to consider tattooing it upside down so that you’ll be able to read your own arm, or even have it tattooed backwards so you can read it in a mirror. Better yet, if you’re seeing double, you can have it tattooed so that it appears in 3D! But still, I think it’s a little obsessive just getting your own name tattooed on you, not to mention ridiculous. But hey, if it’s your thing…

Wah Wah Wednesdays – Typical names spelled differently

Why bother changing the spelling of a typical name? I don’t understand the people that try to make their child unique by changing letters in their name, or coming up with hideous conglomerations of names just so that they stand out. Honestly, it’s not going to make your name any more unique. It’s just going to cause frustration for your kids when they have to spell out their name every time they go somewhere for the REST OF THEIR LIFE. There’s nothing wrong with the name Tiffany. Don’t bastardize it and make it “Typhanie”, because that’s just awful. I can understand if you use a word from another language (If I have a daughter, I want to name her Chaitri, which is the first full moon day in the month of Chaitra in India), but changing the spelling of an already existing name isn’t as creative as you think. I’m not saying you should go all Frank Zappa on your kids for originality, but just have some discretion.

The routine

It doesn’t always have to be poetic to paint a picture. Sometimes it can be pure narrative, but narrative that really rings true to real life. Sometimes, we look past all of life’s little mishaps and simple pleasures, which is why I wrote this article. This was actually how I began to feel when I first started in the working world, since it was such a departure from the university life I grew so accustomed to. Enjoy!

Every day, the alarm goes off long before the sun even thinks about rising.

Fall out of bed.

Jump in the shower.

Turn the water on.

Jump out of the shower after you realize you’re still wearing the clothes you slept in when you entered the shower.

The water takes forever to warm up since you live on the top floor of the apartment complex that boasts bad water pressure as a selling point.

Once it heats up, you enjoy the feeling of the steam rising, the blood flowing in your body, and you begin to zone out and think of things that you normally wouldn’t think of, like when was the last time you went to the park.

All of a sudden, you snap out of it and realize you’ve been in the shower too long.

“Well, maybe just two more minutes…”

Running late, you heave your waterlogged body out of the foggy column, dry off, and put on the first articles of clothing you find: A wrinkled, pink-striped shirt and corduroys.

Rushing out the door, you catch a bus to work, standing room only because the much crazier people that woke up earlier than you had already claimed all the seats.

Flying through the door, you clock in and get settled at your desk fast enough so that your boss didn’t even realize you weren’t there on time.

Sitting in the corner of the labyrinth of computers, desks, phones, and 5-foot tall walls to house each of them, you revel in the fact that your cubicle is next to a window. You bask in the light of the morning sun, which is reflecting off of the building adjacent to yours since your window happens to face away from the street.

Finally, ready for work, you realize that you left the headphones to your mp3 player on the table at home.

Begrudgingly, you’re forced to listen to the symphony of the office: the staccato of keys typing the same 26 letters and 10 numbers we all learned as children, the same ringtone that passionlessly bleats from every phone, the sounds of people sipping the coffee that you neglected to drink since you’re been trying to cut down your dependency on it, and the sound of silence that permeates the office that is only disturbed by one of the preceding three sounds.

You begin to talk to yourself, where the conversation doesn’t end, whether or not you’re speaking to yourself out loud or in your own mind.

“Gotta print this report, due at 10, due at 10, due at 10…”

You send the command to print the document and make your way through the human maze of alleged productivity to get to the printers, “conveniently” located the length of the office away, only to find the small display blinking the mind-numbing message that incites rage in any worker that sees it: “REPLACE TONER CARTRIDGE. REPLACE TONER CARTRIDGE. REPLACE TONER CARTRIDGE.”

Finally, 12:30 comes around – the part of the day that you look forward to the most. It’s time to get some lunch. Eagerly, you venture out of the front doors only to be overcome by a strange sensation; as you walk through those doors into the real world, it feels as if someone hit the play button on your life. You see commotion, hear the sounds of traffic, people socializing, movement, life. You feel the wind in your face, the sun on your skin, the smell of the bread from the deli down the street. You finally catch up to what you’ve been missing.

Back to work, you put life back on pause and walk through the front doors before your break is over because catching an elevator is impossible.

You want to take the stairs, but all of the doors to each floor are locked from the other side for security measures.

Finally back in the office, you look for the piece of cheese that sits on your desk.

Once there, you look forward to the end of the day.

You remember the words that your friend from another country once spoke so eloquently: “The only true God is Time. You think about it all day, you plan everything in your day around it, you check it several times a day, and it is the basis for all of your memories.”

Closing time comes around. Time to shut down, pack up, and head out into the real world again. Finally, you get to go at your own pace. Walk around the city. Catch the late train. Go home and unwind before getting up to do it all again tomorrow.

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With love from overseas

I know what it’s like to be in love with someone from a long distance, so I wrote this poem/song a little while ago based on long distance relationships. Enjoy!

When I close my eyes, girl, I can almost hear you sing
Maybe it’s the ocean air in my ear whispering
The distance in between us like going from here to Venus
What to do….at night when I need you?

It almost makes me wonder why I did this to myself
How I can’t see myself in love with anybody else
I’ll talk to you tomorrow, but I’ll feel a bit of sorrow
all alone….we’ll talk when I get home

I’m counting back the hours so that I’ll know when to call
It’s crazy with these time zones that we ever speak at all
Through postcards and the Internet, professing love I won’t regret
It’s hard….being this far apart

You call to say “Good morning” when it’s nighttime over here
And when I saw good night to you, high noon is drawing near
At night I stay awake wondering how long it’s going to take
to fall asleep….and hold you in my dreams

Just want to say I love you, and I miss you every day
I know that times are hard because we’re just so far away
But one day, we’ll be together, our good times will last forever
You and me….That’s where I want to be.

For now, I hope you hear my voice while you’re reading this song
You’re beautiful and perfect, but you knew that all along
There’s no more words that can describe the feelings that I have inside
tonight….one day, we’ll reunite, my love