Thursday, July 30, 2009

An Old Memory

One evening a couple of years ago, the power went out at my house. At the time only my sister and I were home.

My sister was no more than 12 years old when this incident occurred and she was still afraid of the dark.

Like most kids with nyctophobia, my sister screamed in fear as soon as the lights went off.

"The power's out!!!" she shrieked, as if I didn't notice how pitch-black the house had become.

My sister began running frantically down our hall [with no lights] to get to my room. Apparently, the power outage impaired her common sense.

She ended up running into the wall.

Upon hearing her frail little frame thud against the wall with enough force to cause her pain, I did nothing a big sister should have done. I didn't bother to check if she was okay, to console her, to get her some ice, to give her a flashlight... All my mind told me was that this was funny, and then it told me to laugh. So I laughed and said, "I heard that."

Monday, July 27, 2009

What's in a name?

I used to think it was cool that I was named after a saint, but I was also a little freaked out because that saint was beheaded.


How many people are personally acquainted with anyone named Agnes? I'm the only person I personally know with that name, and when I was younger I used to think it was great because it was somewhat unique. There are a whole bunch of Jennifers, Jessicas, Christinas/Kristinas, more than any one person is probably capable of counting. But I'll bet the number of Agneses in the world are countable by any single person.
When I went to the gym for a trial membership, one of the friendly staff introduced herself to me. Her name was Betsy. She was probably around 50 years old with slightly greying hair but she had a very bright personality.

When I finally signed up for full membership several months after my encounter with Betsy, I ran into her again. She approached me and said, "Hi, you're Agnes right?"

I was more stunned than anything. I hadn't been there for months and she managed to recall my name and my face, despite the hundreds of people that walk in and out of the gym every single day.

"Yes," I said. "You remembered?"

"Yeah, my grandmother's name was Agnes. There's not many of you left anymore," she said. She also told me that I could ask her if I had any questions. Then she left me to continue on biking while I pondered on the reason she remembered me: because her grandmother's name was Agnes.
At work there was a point where I answered phone calls for a few months. There was one particular phone call where a lady was desperate to find out if a certain item was in stock. I told her that while we at the time did not have it in stock, we would be more than happy to call the manufacturer of the item and get back to her the following day.

She seemed very happy with the assistance I provided her, asked for my name, then said, "Oh, that's great. My mother's name was Agnes. I think its a sign."
I met Gretchen's pastor when I went to visit her. His name was Eric, and when Gretchen introduced me, he went on to explain that my name meant "lamb."

In the Bible it is taught that Jesus is the shepherd and we are his flock. So my name meant lamb eh?
At Bank of America one day I sat down with a Lebanese banker. She was very friendly and told me about the sick quota-based commissions bankers receive. As she looked down at the paperwork in front of her, she recited my name to herself quietly. Then she said that Agnes is a very unique Catholic name. Then she went on about how she went to a Catholic school but that she was an Orthodox. "Orthodoxes and Catholics are very close, its just that we have different saints," she explained. "Do you practice [Catholicism]?"

I went along with the small talk, but I was more focused on how she reminded me again that my name had religious significance.
Gretchen has my number under "Angus Beef" in her cell phone. When she told her boyfriend that the number belonged to me, he said, "Who names their kid Agnes?"

I couldn't help but wonder the same question...
So, in short my name is more uncommon than a lot of other names. I am not acquainted with anyone else named Agnes in my age range. All the other Agneses I know are older. But my name really could be worse. Had I been a boy my mom said she would have named me Dion Paolo. Nothing wrong with that name... I just couldn't imagine being a guy named Dion Paolo.

Regardless, its not a name that defines a person anyway.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

WiFi Library Gym

As I strolled home from work today I came across a lady who appeared to be doing yoga.

She was under some big trees outside the library, wearing a nicely fit light turquoise t-shirt, black jogging pants, and white tennis shoes.

I'm not one to stare at people, but I couldn't help it because this woman had her laptop propped on a half-arch object. She appeared to be following demonstrations on a computer screen.

The lady stood outside the library. The sun was pretty much settled over the west, so the only reason I could think of for the lady choosing to exercise right outside the library was so she could take advantage the free WiFi.

I suppose anywhere and everywhere was the gym for this woman.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Crunched to Sleep

In an attempt to complete a total of 500 crunches and 500 reverse crunches early this afternoon (a goal, which I might add, I have only set for myself once previously), I ended up falling asleep.

I felt I had accomplished a lot when I had completed 200 crunches and 100 reverse crunches. So I decided to shut my eyes for a minute.

Moments later I heard the phone intercom beeping frantically. My eight-year old cousin, who was downstairs watching Disney Channel, asked if I would boil her water for soba.

Upon setting a kettle of water on a flaming stove, I marched back upstairs and returned to performing the remaining 700 crunches/reverse crunches I had yet to complete.

I can only imagine how long my body would have been sprawled across the ground, sweating like a pig, had Andie not bugged me to boil water.

I remain baffled, and will likely remain as such for some time, as to how I managed to doze off while doing crunches.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Facebook CAPTCHAs

I was on Facebook earlier today when I came across the profile of an old friend.

I clicked on the "Add as Friend" button. Following standard procedure, I clicked on "Send Request" to confirm that I really wanted to add that person.

Then the CAPTCHA popped up.

This one said, homosexuality enrico.

Oh, the phrases these programs generate... really makes me wonder if it's actually a computer coming up with this junk.

I also learned what CAPTCHA stands for. Technical as it sounds, its one of the most basic phrases one could possibly contrive:

Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart = CAPTCHA

Fascinating, these simple things... aren't they?

Friday, July 17, 2009

An Unordinary Stroll to the Mall

Who would've thought that a short three-block walk to the mall could be anything but ordinary?

I sure didn't.

It was late in the afternoon when my walk to the mall commenced. I passed by a car store when I heard someone yell out to me, "Hey, how ya doin' today?" I turned to see a dark-skinned man smiling at me. I politely smiled back and continued walking. About two seconds later I heard the same man say something along the lines of, "You part Filipina huh?"

My eyes widened as I ignored the man and crossed the street to the next block.

I was about a block away from the mall when someone else called my attention.

"Excuse me! Excuse me miss?" a feminine voice called out

I turned around, unsure if the lady was calling my attention.

"Where did you get that blouse?"

I looked down at the cheap black blouse I was wearing. Slightly flattered by the lady who thought my shirt was nice, I told her where I had bought the shirt, and encouragingly told her that blouses at that store were very affordable.

"About how long ago did you get it?" she asked.

I paused for two seconds, figuring out what to respond to that question, before saying, "about a month ago."

The lady said she had been looking for blouses like mine but had been unable to find any. She complimented me by saying that the blouse looked nice on me.

I couldn't help but saying "thank you."

The lady then began to reach into her bag.

"Here, let me give you my card..."

I suddenly lost my train of thought and wondered how in the world a conversation about where I got my clothes turned into the lady offering me a business card.

"Have you ever had a psychic reading before?" she asked, looking at me intently.

"Well, this is random," I thought to myself. If she was going to give me a business card I thought it might have been for a photography studio or a restaurant. Never in a million years would I have expected to receive a business card for psychic readings.

"Yeah, I have," I said, figuring she would have less to say to that response.

She started rambling on and on about my "family and friends" and how I might feel "confused." I unconsciously drowned out everything else she said to me. I was more focused on how such a casual conversation turned into a psychic offering.

"Why don't you get a free reading now?" she insisted.

"I actually have to go somewhere," I said.

"Okay," she said pointing at the card clutched in my hand, "you need to call me soon," she said.

I felt her looking at me fiercely. I nodded my head, said thank you, and walked off.

I immediately dropped the card into the first trash bin I saw at the mall.

That was the end of that.

A Dying Wasp

I was walking home from the gym yesterday when I noticed a small object rolling around the ground. Curious as to what it was, I immediately stopped and looked to the ground to discover a small wasp an inch away from my right shoe. It appeared to be dying as it swayed and bounced around on the concrete sidewalk. I watched it gracefully suffer as its frail wings unsuccessfully tried to lift itself off of the ground. The only movement this nearly lifeless wasp managed was when it was carried around by the same light breeze that caused the leaves on the surrounding trees rustle. I stared down at the insect for no more than five seconds before I decided to continue making my way home.

After taking three steps away from the wasp, I stopped again and asked myself if I had actually seen what I saw. I turned around and squinted in an attempt to locate the dying creature. After being unable to see that wasp, I took a split second to debate about whether or not to walk back three steps so as to give myself a better opportunity to scrutinize it. Before I had time to realize it, I found myself having had walked a couple of blocks and opening the door to the apartment. I had unconsciously chosen to pay no further mind to the wasp that was likely lifeless the moment I stepped foot into the kitchen.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

One time on the bus...

I saw a guy lift up his shirt and apply roll-on deodorant onto his underarm.

I was fascinated. There are actually people in this world who willingly and shamelessly perform such acts of personal hygiene in public as if they were at home! On a public transportation vehicle in front of an audience is a location I would least expect to witness such events. There were at least six other people sitting at the back of the bus with me who probably saw this guy put on his deodorant.

What stood out the most, however, was the scent of the guy's deodorant. The scent, oddly familiar and strongly feminine, managed to emanate throughout the rear section of the bus. I was almost entirely sure that the deodorant scent was either Degree or Secret.

Friday, July 10, 2009

First Blog

Here we go...