Graduation Aural Torture!

My son graduated last Monday and although I was expecting the onslaught of uncouth behavior from most of the audience, I wasn’t prepared for the woman who sat one seat away from me.  No more than 5 feet tall and round as a ball, she spoke with a gentle voice as she made her way to her seat.  But when the graduates started to march in, she stood up and that woman must have some kind of diaphragm power because she yelled so loud that my left ear started ringing.

Before the ceremony, the school principal already requested that silence be observed since it was a formal occasion but most of the people did not listen.  This woman, among others, were calling out during the speech of the school superintendent.  She kept calling from someone named “Pigletto” or something that sounds like it.

This is not the first time I’ve observed this behavior.  When my daughter graduated two years ago, it was the same thing.  And my kids went to different schools.  When I graduated, it was very formal, parents dressed up and clapped when appropriate.  But the things people were wearing to this ceremony was verging on beach wear. Sure it was warm but is there no boundary anymore between leisure and special occasions?  People talked on their phones and one man was even wondering why there were no snack vendors.  Hello, it’s not a sporting event.  There were even bull horns!

Well, this woman wasn’t done with the screaming.  At one point, she was stomping on the bleacher floor and I was afraid she’d break a hole in it.  The faculty was looking at her and her companions were telling her to quit it already but she just kept at it until “Pigletto” walked down from the stage and poor boy was embarrassed as hell.

And it doesn’t get better with the college crowd.  I have worked in a university for 4 years and attended graduation only once and never again.  It was just as bad.  A woman even brought loud plastic clappers, like the noise-makers for New Year’s.  I think when people can’t hear the name of the graduate anymore, they should just stop the ceremony.  Or I wish security would take these people out.  This is just using exuberance as an excuse to behave crudely in public.

Sometimes I wonder if the movie “Idiocy” is a vision of the future.  Are we devolving?  Try and sit in an elementary school cafeteria for a few minutes and tell me what you think.



Image by Stephanie Stanley

Having spent all night trying to solve computer issues, my thoughts turned to other annoying things/persons that have lately been bothering me.  I don’t watch TV much because there are a lot of other interesting things to do but mainly because of bad programming.  But why is it that these people, despite my practically living under a rock, still invade my consciousness?  I’m sure to offend someone but I’ve decided to make a list of these omnipresent darlings of the masses.  They are in no particular order.

1.   Justin BieberI have to say that he is looking a bit better to me as he grows older but seriously, he’s not that special.  And I’m glad he changed his hairstyle.  He looked like a big head of cotton candy.

2. Snooki –  If you put a troll doll wig on her, she can easily pass off for one.  When I saw not one but two books of her/by her, I didn’t really care to know, in the bookstore, I nearly had a coronary.   What is there in her vapid life worth writing about?.

3.  The Kardashians – Why do people care about who they’re dating or if they’re pregnant?  What’s so special about them that their images are everywhere?

4.  Apple products – It’s amazing how people have flocked to this brand and how many of them think that they’re better than everybody else because of it.  Macintosh is robbing you blind, people!

5.  Teen Moms – It used to be that these are the girls who got sent away by their parents for a “vacation at Aunt Lily’s” but now they are glorified like some kind of role model.

6. The phrase “baby bump” – Why is it everyone’s business now if a celebrity is pregnant?  I’d hate to be the subject of speculation and scrutiny every time I get bloated.  I wish someone like Angelina would shout, “It’s just gas!”

7. The Olsen twins – They are always in the entertainment magazines but what have they done to entertain lately?  They look like mere husks of themselves and their outfits always lands them on OMG!

8. The price of gas –  Hey, I’ve been through the gas rationing years when oil was really scarce but nowadays, some potentate in the Middle East gets his knickers in a bunch and whoosh!  Up goes the gas prices.  I’ve literally gone down one street and come back 10 minutes in the opposite direction and see the gas station prices rise by 30 cents.  What happened between  that drive that I didn’t know about??  I don’t understand why gas, which was already in the storage tanks, suddenly become more expensive than their actual worth.

9. Text messaging – take note, not texting.  That’s a made-up word.  But I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s already in the Oxford dictionary.  After all, they’ve included OMG, LOL, and WTF. It’s quite discouraging that language is degenerating.

10.  Prince William and Kate Middleton – For a country that threw of the yoke of  being ruled by monarchy, why are we so fascinated with these two?  Sure I watched Diana and Charles get married but the media frenzy Will and Kate are causing is just ridiculous.  They are just people who happened to inherit a lot of money, that was probably gained in not so scrupulous ways through the centuries.

Okay I feel a little better.  But please, enough already!

Whining Behind the Wheel

Today was my day off and I had the brilliant idea of taking care of errands.  I always do this to myself but I digress.  I drive  every day and it never ceases to dumbfound me how many people don’t belong on the road.   I encountered at least 5 such people today and had to blast my horn at least twice.

Scenario 1:  I’m on a major thoroughfare with two lanes going both directions and a turning lane in the middle.  A sedan, was at a 60-degree angle into the turning lane but oblivious to the fact that one-third of his rear was still on my lane.  I had to stop and blare at him and he didn’t even budge!  What’s up with that?  Cars were piling behind me and I had to maneuver around him.

What’s really odd is on my way back, a few yards from the same area, another car did the same thing before going into the left-turning lane.  Did someone spray stupid gas at that stretch of road?  When I was learning how to drive, my mom told me to treat the car like an extension of my body.  So I wouldn’t ever hang my rear out like that.

Scenario 2:  I went into the Norfolk SPCA parking lot thinking there was one open space but it wasn’t wide enough for my car.  I was backing out when this woman tried to bully her way in, blocking my only way of egress.  Again, she wouldn’t budge until I started waving my hands in anger.  What did she expect me to do, execute a vertical lift-off like an Osprey helicopter?

I’ve been driving for 30 years and every year drivers get worse.  Is it because of rampant idiocy, unbridled selfishness, or the death of courtesy?   Please don’t drive in the HOV or the left lane if you are going below the speed limit.   Or swerve into another lane without signaling.  I would also appreciate you not plowing into me while I slow down to turn into my driveway.

Getting behind the wheel and bossing people around doesn’t make you powerful.  It just makes you a jerk. Speaking of jerks –  somebody parked his car on the lined space right next to my handicapped parking space.   It only made it harder for me to get out but who cares, right?

The Blame Game

Why is it that today, very few people want to take responsibility for their mistakes?  We all have witnessed car accidents where both drivers claim it’s the other person’s fault.  This happened to my daughter.  She slowed down for a yellow light and the car behind her overtook her from the right.  Unfortunately for him, he didn’t notice that a semi-truck was coming, which hit him.  His car hit my daughter’s (which was already at a stop) and he spun around to the intersection.  According to him, it was my daughter’s fault.  The judge thought otherwise and sentenced him to take driver’s classes and a fine.

Another personal encounter I had with the blame game is when our college’s electricity went out and the  fire alarm went off five minutes later.  As we all learned in elementary school, you are supposed to exit the building in an orderly fashion and the people inside our library did.  I stayed ten minutes walking around with a flashlight to secure the place before locking the doors. We have a cash drawer, a cart of MacBooks, and other valuables so I had to make sure they’re safe.  It turns out, someone was in the conference room.  She did not ask permission to use the room so we didn’t know she was in there.  She did not leave when the lights went out and she claimed she didn’t hear the fire alarm.  And no, she’s not hearing impaired.  When she finally saw emergency vehicles coming into the parking lot, she decided to find out what’s going on.  Of course, I had already locked the doors and she panicked.  She was shaking the glass doors and students passing the hallway couldn’t open it for her and told her to get to the emergency exit doors.  There’s one right next to the front doors and another across the conference room.  She was understandably upset but she took it all the way up to the campus president and of course, who was to blame?  Me.  For following directives to secure the library.  She said somebody should have checked on her.  What is she – five?  Like I said even elementary kids know what to do.    My boss apologized to her but I didn’t.  The campus president said it was embarrassing but he didn’t really scold me and just told me to make sure all the rooms are empty.   Now we have a new directive in place that states staff (professors, et al.)  were to leave all rooms unlocked.  So to hell with the school’s and people’s personal belongings.  We have to make sacrifices for stupidity.

I mention this today because I’m a test administrator and today a person shows up saying that he is scheduled for today when in fact he was supposed to come in yesterday.  I have it in the database and in an appointment book.  On top of that, he was sent a confirmation e-mail.  But my boss is a firm believer in accommodating the customer so it was implied that I had to take the blame for the misunderstanding and fix it.

Finding someone to blame is a common human tendency.  I would surmise that this probably stems from pride.  Nobody wants to look bad or stupid.
But it is a lack of consideration to the person you’re dumping the blame on is also an awful reflection of character.    Of course, we all know about the woman, her coffee, and McDonald’s. No wonder we read warning labels on products like : “Warning, iron may be hot when turned on.”

I read this interesting article titled “The  Psychology of Blame” from The Department of School Psychological Services of the Muskingum Valley Educational Service Center in Ohio, that I’d like to share.

It gives some insight on why people blame others.  For some laughs, check out this post on Squidoo:

And if you don’t like these articles, please don’t blame me.