7

Terrible People, Part 2: Constantly Chewing Things

This one wasn’t inspired by anything that I saw today, but it’s been on my mind for a little while. So here it is.

Everyone knows someone like this, or has seen someone like that on TV. I know I sure have. It seemed to be all the rage on the most recent season of Survivor; at one point almost everyone was chewing on something, usually like a toothpick. Mike, the eventual winner, was rarely seen without something in his mouth, including during challenges and tribal councils. But that begs the question, where on the island did they get toothpicks? And if they weren’t toothpicks, then what were they? Dirty chips of wood they found on the ground? That seems…nasty.

Survivor Second Chance cast vote results Mike Holloway

Taste like a million dollars, Mike?

I have to admit, sometimes I just need to chew on something, but usually I use some gum or candy. Occasionally, if I am wearing long sleeves, I’ll chew on one of them, and when I was younger I used to chew on paper and cardboard, but it wasn’t all the damn time.

But seriously, it’s unattractive and gross to watch half-masticated pieces of wood rolling around between your teeth. It doesn’t make anyone look tough; it just makes people look stupid, like they had a popsicle and forgot to take the stick out of their mouth once they finished it. It’s like, are you that dumb that you don’t know when the popsicle’s finished and you’re just chewing on cold, potentially-tongue-splintering wood? And a tongue splinter would probably really hurt.

Stop it, you’re not that great.

I don’t have much more to say on this topic, but people, we’re not beavers. Stop chewing all the damn time.

Unless you are a beaver, in which case, hi there literate beavers! How’s the dam coming along?

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8

On Dealing Coke

Wow, a daytime post! Shocking, I know.

So, I just went to CVS to get some toothpaste and a snack. I go over to the frozen section to see if they have Lipton diet iced green tea, aka the feel good drink of dieting champions, and I noticed that instead of the usual logo, it says something like “Lisa” or “Rob” or “Brittany”.

Huh?

Apparently, Coke and Diet Coke have this new campaign called #ShareACoke where they are putting people’s names on the labels. Just random names. No significance whatsoever. I guess the thing they’re trying to do is encourage you is buy more of their product and share it. Like, if my name was Alicia, I would go into a CVS and be like, “I’m not thirsty and I don’t drink soda because it’s cool to say that, but OMG that bottle of Diet Coke has my name on it, it must be sign from above that means I must buy it and drink it and cherish it forever and you know what? I wasn’t thirsty when I started this thought but I’m getting there. Screw society, I’m buying this.”

Or something like that.

It’s not necessarily a good idea or a bad idea, per se, but it makes my curious mind wonder. What do they really mean by share a coke? Are they promoting communicable diseases? Or could it evolve into a peer pressure thing, like, you’re waiting at the bus stop with your Coke and I can come up to you, show you my license and be like, “Hi, I’m Brooke, and your bottle there says that you should share your drink with me, and since it’s a written contract that you bought yourself onto, you are obligated to give me a sip from that bottle, bitch?” Or could it evolve into a pickup line thing, like “Hey, I noticed that your bottle says share a Coke with Mike, so how about dinner on Saturday night?”

Does it make the bottles like those racks of key chains at truck stops and gas stations, forever alienating those Americans who have names like Julio or Tabitha or North West, forever searching the racks in vain, knowing that there is no mini Wisconsin license plate nor Diet Coke out there for you? (Although if your name is Julio, you might want to stop at a gas station in Texas where they usually have a rack of stuff with Spanish names next to the normal rack).

And finally, how literally do I have to take it? If I buy a coke that says Lisa on the label and I am feeling generous or I don’t want to finish it, should I seek out one of my exactly two Facebook friends named Lisa to share it with? I actually have a friend named Lisa here in Madison, although she may be home for the summer. The other one lives in Boston, and it would probably not be the best idea to wait for her to show up here or mail a half empty Coke to Massachusetts. Or, maybe I could try to find former child actress from The Facts of Life and recent runner-up on Survivor Lisa Whelchel and see if she’s thirsty? She probably isn’t currently within driving distance of Madison and who knows, maybe she’s more of a Pepsi gal? Although for some reason I think she probably likes Tab or Snapple.

Anyway.

Just bought toothpaste and chocolate-covered pretzels, and then walked over to Electric Earth for some iced coffee.

2

The Worst Best Day of the Week

That would be today. Thursday. My classes this semester are Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and Friday, I have Shabbat, and on the weekends, I do weekend-type things like shopping and sometimes being social. So that leaves Thursday. Most people would enjoy the fact that they have one day a week with absolutely no regularly scheduled commitments, but I am not one of them. From Sunday to Wednesday, I pull out all the stops, reading like a fiend, writing responses, taking notes and taking names. By the time Wednesday night rolls around, I am exhausted but relieved that another academic week is done. I make a promise to myself that I’ll get a jump on next week’s reading this week by starting first thing Thursday morning…and then it doesn’t happen. What does happen?

  • Wake up.
  • Remember that there’s nothing in my plans today, so sleep a little more.
  • Get up, make a leisurely breakfast, and a hot or iced coffee drink.
  • Head to the couch to catch up with Mental Floss, Ellen DeGeneres, and Jenna Marbles.
  • Promise myself I won’t waste the day.
  • Proceed to read twelve BuzzFeeds, stalk some friends on Facebook, play a round of Word Strips, check my blog stats (welcome, Uganda!), do the New York Times crossword puzzle.
  • Promise myself that I’m done.
  • Remember that I never get to watch Survivor since I’m in class while it’s on, so catch up on that.
  • Convince myself that if I don’t leave the apartment now I won’t leave until dance class (By this time, we’re in the late afternoon).
  • Head out for “lunch” since I “just ate breakfast” (at 10 AM).
  • Do I have enough time to get to the gym? Maybe I’ll go.
  • How about the library? But I have too many books. Oh wait, I need to do some research for that paper. You know what, I should just write the paper. Let’s go home and think about that.
  • Dance class.
  • Get home, unwind after a busy day of nothing. Contemplate studying but usually opt for YouTube.
  • Look at the time, frantically make dinner, call parents, and think of a blog post.
  • Compose and post said blog, and promise self that it’s early bedtime tonight.
  • Proceed to stay up all night (well, 3 at the latest) doing – guess what? – nothing but the Internet, and usually end up feeling bad for myself.
  • Head to bed with a book, and read about five pages before telling myself that I need to get some sleep.

And that’s how I spend my Thursdays, including today. My sad life is sad. And even though I got nine hours of sleep last night, I’m still exhausted. Get it together, Jacob, because your palm is going to have a date with your face come Sunday night.

0

Inspirational People: Alice Herz-Sommer

Once in awhile, a true inspiration of a person will come along. We lost Nelson Mandela recently, but there’s someone who’s possibly even more of an inspiration (at least to me) who’s still around…after 110 years. As she recently turned 110 and is in her 111th year, I dedicate this post to the truly inspirational but relatively unknown Alice Herz-Sommer, also known as the world’s oldest Holocaust survivor.

Alice Herz-Sommer

Alice Herz-Sommer was born in Prague in 1903. 1903 is also the year of the Wright brothers’ first flight, and the creation of the teddy bear,  Crayola crayons, and the nation of Panama.

The flag of Panama.

 

Teddy bear, born in Germany about 1954

 

English: Photograph of the first successful fl...

 

English: The first version of the Crayola No.6...

 

Alice’s story is one of courage, love and music. As a Jewish woman in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia, she was inevitably targeted by the Nazis and sent off to the concentration camps. However, due to her incredible talent on the piano, she was not killed but sent to live at Theresienstadt, a “model concentration camp” constructed by Hitler to be a “city for the Jews.” She spent the war years performing in an ensemble consisting of other Jewish musicians. They played for the Red Cross, Nazi soldiers, and Hitler as well. She literally “played for her life” as the Nazis deemed her as one of the few Jews worthy to stay alive – as long as she kept at the piano, she was safe.

One of her greatest pleasures in life is laughing, and she’s having the last one right now, having outlived most of the others of her generation. She lives in London, where she is adored by her family and the world for her indomitable spirit and for still possessing a sharp mind, a sense of humor, and a penchant for playing the piano, which she does every day. Every time I see her face, whether old or young, or hear her voice, I just feel so warm inside, like she’s my wise old grandmother. Alice Herz-Sommer is a true testament to the power of the performing arts, the will to celebrate life, and the beauty of the human experience. A true inspiration in every sense of the world. She’s had so much life experience and she’s still around to share it with the world.

To quote Ms. Herz-Sommer herself, “Music is beautiful…life is a beautiful thing.”

But don’t take my word for it, take hers.

Keep living the dream, Alice.