Monthly Archives: August 2012

The Lamest Reason for Going Vegetarian

The more I cook for myself, the more I realize I’m going to be a vegetarian one day.

It’s not because I’m some sort of champion of animal rights–though I do love animals and would hate for them to befall any sort of cruelty.

It’s not because I feel like “animals are people too.”

It’s not because I have some sort of ethical opposition to killing things for food.

It’s not that I dislike the taste of cooked meat.

No, it’s raw meat I have issues with.

I hate looking at it, I hate smelling it, and most of all, I hate touching it.  Blegh.

I hate cooking because cooking generally means “cooking with meat.”  

Or, it used to.  Last weekend I made a vegetarian lasagna.  I was convinced it would be terrible–after all, the meat-eating populace would have you believe that all vegetarian food is sub-par to the meaty deliciousness of tradition.

I was pleasantly surprised when my zucchini and mushroom dish was every bit as good as traditional lasagna.  Even more so at the unabashed joy I felt while making it.  I’ve never been so happy cooking before.  And all this just because I didn’t have to handle raw beef.

So I’m pretty sure that I’m going to go (mostly) vegetarian the second I start living on my own.

But I’ll never be able to officially be in the club because my reason for joining up sucks.  I’m pretty sure hardcore vegetarians would think I was a poseur.

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Wordsmithing 101: Bread and Circuses

Welcome back to Wordsmithing101, where we’ll continue to be flabbergasted at odd words together.

…Maybe next week’s word should be flabbergasted.

As I was in search of a word this week, I came across the most ridiculous phrase I think I’ve ever heard.  I was playing this really nifty dictionary.com game that I will link to because it is fun, when I came across this beauty:

Bread and circuses.

Initial reaction: “What. The.  Heck.”

And then I stared at my computer screen for a moment or so because I couldn’t comprehend a world where those two words would go together in some sort of coherent fashion.  Unless you were throwing slices of bread out to the crowd at a circus.  But bread is not a traditional circus food.  Cotton candy or popcorn, yes.  Giant mugs of rainbow slushee, absolutely.  Bread? No.

So I looked it up on the most reliable of reliable sites, Wikipedia. Because Wikipedia is totally legit.  Right.

Which is why I also checked out a few other dictionary-type sites as well.

Anyway, apparently “bread and circuses” is really a metaphor for appeasing people by catering to their superficial wants and desires.

Still kind of confused? It’s okay.  I was too.

Think of it this way.  You’ve got some douche bag running for public office, and he wants to curry some favor with the people so they’ll elect him.  So he passes out shiny stickers to make the people happy.  Which is cool, I guess, but the people are in desperate need of shoes.  And they’re angry because they need shoes and he gave them stickers.  But then he gives them all free cell phones to appease them because he knows that the people really want cell phones.  So even though the people are running barefoot in the streets, they promise to vote for him because, hello, cell phones are awesome.

Except that’s only half the definition.  The other half is a description of a people who shift from valuing things that really matter to valuing trivial things that are fun but aren’t really needed.

It’s when having fun trumps working hard.

That sounds an awful lot like our culture, does it not?

This phrase is awesome because:  It’s deep, man.  Deep.  I’m pretty sure it changed my perspective.

Likelihood of me using this phrase: 3%

Yeah, I don’t want to have to explain what “bread and circuses” means every time I use it.  I don’t have time for that sort of long-winded conversation, and it makes me feel kind of guilty for how society views the world.  And how I view the world.

“Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses” (Juvenal, Satire 10.77–81)

Duality of Work

Post-graduation, I find myself juggling two jobs to help make ends meet.

I know I’m not alone.

Many people pick up part time jobs on top of their regular ones to help pay the bills.   Here’s a list of some things I’ve found to be true while dual-job working.

1. When you have two jobs, everything is doubled–except your salary.

I’ll make maybe $2000 extra this year, but it’s enough to let me breathe easier each month.

2. You’ll have two bosses, so be sure you can manage both of them at once.

I’m lucky, my bosses are pretty awesome.  Yours might not be, so be sure you can handle it–or have an escape route if you can’t.

3. You’ll have double the workload.  (Duh.)

4. You’ll have less days to yourself.

It’s ridiculously hard to plan things because you have to take days off from both your jobs instead of just one job.  It’s also harder to keep up with how many days you took off.  Unless, you know, you just never take a day off.  Ever.  (I don’t recommend this.)

5. You won’t be able to do as much fun stuff.

Because you work every day of the week, you won’t be available when Suzy Q asks you to go to the aquarium with her this weekend.  Sorry about that.

6.  You’ll have to be perfect at two jobs.

Both of your bosses will expect you to live and breathe for the sole privilege of working for them.  You may fail at both (sometimes repeatedly) before you can deal with the increased workload.  You can do this.  Stick to your guns and don’t give up.

7. You’ll have double the problems.

You will make mistakes.  You’re only human.  But if you’re working two jobs, you may feel as if you never get anything right–since your mistakes might stagger across your jobs.  For instance, if I forget to file all the charts one week at one job, I might forget to sweep under the beds at the other the next week.  You’ll feel like you’re constantly in trouble.

The benefits of having two jobs are obvious.  Money, for one.  Always having something to do.  Perks that come with the jobs (like free travel, or discounted products).  Having an office of your own, or having really good views.

But let’s be honest.  Nobody wants two jobs.  Not really.  You do it because you have to, and the problems are so much more apparent to you than the benefits.

Chances are, one (or both) of your jobs are dead-end careers.

The most important thing is to keep up morale.  No matter what, don’t let your  frustrations dictate your mood.  In the battle of The Man vs. You, how you win is being happy regardless of what The Man does.

Just do the best you can, and forget the rest.

Just a Secretary

Sometimes I really hate my job.  

Every so often, someone walks through the doors of my humble workplace, takes one look at me, sniffs disdainfully, and shuffles back to speak reverently to the doctor.  

Does the fact that my name doesn’t have a “Dr.” attached to it make me any less of a human being?  Does it mean that I am somehow unworthy of your attention?  

It must.  It must because that is how I am treated more frequently than is acceptable.  

I’m convinced that people are intrinsically of equal worth.  A life is a life is a life.  Sure, we’re different.  Sure, some people are handicapable.  But the bottom line is this:  

We’re all human and should be treated decently by each other. 

So when I am confronted by someone who believes me to be a complete idiot because I am the front office girl without a “Dr.” attached to my name, I get rather heated about it.  

To them, I will always be “just a secretary.”

I am a college-educated person.  I am mildly intelligent.  My vocabulary is more expansive than most.  I believe I am skilled at most everything I do.  

I am a secretary.  

I am a secretary because it pays the bills.  

But being a secretary has defined my worth.  It has said to society that I am lesser.  That I am unintelligent and unlearned.  That I am merely a paper pusher, a doorstop for the doctors I work for.  

Without me, this place couldn’t run.

Secretaries are the glue that hold businesses together. We are important.  We are needed.  

Please treat me like I actually know what I’m doing.  Trust me, I’ve worked this job long enough to know what’s what.  

If you insist on speaking to the doctor after you’ve spoken to me about something that falls within the aspect of my work, please don’t be surprised when the doctor repeats everything I just said to you.  

Also, I am more than just a secretary.  Just like you are more than what you do. What we do may define us, but it doesn’t have to be all of who we are.  Some jobs are temporary, a means to an end much greater than what is today. 

My today will not be my tomorrow, and I won’t be a secretary forever.

Wordsmithing 101: Hubris

Welcome to Wordsmithing, where I’ll be learning words with you!

I’m fortunate enough to follow a lot of internet-type people who use intelligent vocabulary.  Sometimes I run across a word I’m unfamiliar with.  When I do, I’ll share it with you so that we can all get smarter together.  Sound good?

Today’s word is hubris. 

Hubris is defined as: excessive pride or self-confidence; arrogance.

My first impression:  “Hubris. Isn’t that ground up chickpeas? No,wait, that’s hummus.”

I’ve seen “hubris” used in negative and positive ways.

“I had the hubris to get a giant ice cream cone.”

“You will laugh and laugh at my fatness and hubris.”

This word is awesome because:  It can be interchanged with both “confidence” and “arrogance.”   What some people call confidence, others call arrogance–but they can all agree that it’s hubris.

Likelihood of me actually using this word: 40%

I still can’t get rid of my initial association of hubris with hummus.  I can’t say “hubris” without giggling and wishing I had chickpeas and tortilla chips.

What an XBOX Taught Me About Life

I recently caved and bought an Xbox.  It was a glorious, very frustrating day of my life.  Glorious, because that was the day I purchased Skyrim.  Frustrating, because everything that could have gone wrong, did.

I’d been thinking about getting an Xbox for a while.  And by “a while” I  really mean over three years.  Ever since I played at a friend’s house, I knew that I wanted one.  But I never had the money and I always justified it, saying that I was “a Nintendo person” and that I didn’t need an Xbox because I had Zelda–what more could you possibly want?

Now that I have a steady job, I have more money floating around.  It’s weird because I can actually get some of the things that I want instead of just having what other people (aka: family) gave me.  I don’t have to wait for Christmas to get a new pair of shoes.  I can go buy them myself, right this second if I want to!

It’s kind of liberating, but also kind of terrifying.

I’ve started being really afraid of spending money because once it’s gone, there’s no getting it back–so if something bad happens that requires money to fix I’d be in serious trouble.  So I wasn’t going to spend any money at all when I took a friend to a nearby gamer-type store.

Nope.  No money at all–but then I was suddenly distracted by my 3-year-long unrealized wants.  I decided I was getting an Xbox.  Finally.

Against my better judgment, I went up to the counter and asked for the one I wanted.  I knew that as soon as the words were out of my mouth there was no going back.

I stood there patiently, waiting for the Xbox I knew would be mine soon.

Patiently….patiently……a little less patiently……

I stood there for over an hour while I waited for them to ring me up.   First bad thing that happened: check.

Enthusiasm slightly dampened (but not extinguished!), I carted the package of wonder to my humble abode, where I opened it gleefully to find….

Not what I ordered.  This is not what I ordered!  Did I make a mistake?  Did they make a mistake?  Someone definitely made a mistake.  This is not the newest model, I specifically wanted the newest model–surely this can’t be right.

So I took it back to the store.

They said it was fine.  That the box said it was the right product so it must be right.  That they had others in the back but they’d be just like the one I already had–would I like the special limited edition crackerjack-filled shiny $400 one coming out half a year from now?  It’s a special editionnnnnn.

Now, I was not familiar with this particular game store.  But I was familiar with another one just like it someplace else.  So I called them.  Turns out I was right.  I decided to turn in my new/old Xbox and go visit the other store to make things right.  The only thing was that I wouldn’t make it to the store before they closed for the night.  I would have to wait until the next day.

So I wound up sitting at home, Xbox-less, staring at a very expensive paperweight the game I had purchased that day.  I had been so excited, but I was so very sad at that moment.

The next day I got my Xbox, and I realized that the console was more dear to me because of the hardship I went through to get it.

What’s more, I knew that I really wanted it–this wasn’t a flighty desire that was going to fly out the window.  No, this had been thought about, dreamed about, and planned for.  And yes, maybe it is silly that I value a game console.  There are loads of other things I could have bought that are more useful.

But isn’t it worth something that the value of a thing increases based on the hardship that occurred while getting it?

We live in a society filled with technology.  Kids have iPads, iPhones, Xboxes, all the cool gadgets–and they’re getting them at younger and younger ages.   They will never treasure these things if they are just handed to them.

I don’t treasure the things that I’ve had given to me.  But I do treasure the things I’ve fought for, paid for with my own hard-earned money.   I often don’t realize how much I value these things because I invest so much time into them–it’s too broad of a scale for me to wrap my mind around it.

Itook an Xbox and a havoc-filled day to show me that the best things in life come with a truckload of difficulty attached.  I’m pretty sure this is my favorite life-lesson to date.  The reward’s pretty sweet–hours and hours of Skyrim.

Blogger’s note:  Thank you guys for putting up with me while I ran around doing stuff the past two Fridays.   I’m going to try a new strategy tomorrow in regards to blog posting, so maybe there won’t be any more mishaps.  At least in regard to my posting late because I have Friday plans.

A very special thank you to “Orangeantelope” for his help last week!  Mayo milkshakes will get their own special post next week. (If I set a deadline, I’m more likely to do it.  So a deadline has been set.)

The Haunting of Limeokapi

This blog is officially haunted. And by that I mean that the words you see before you were not written by the Limeokapi you know and love, but by a dear friend with easy access to her username and password and a penchant for over dramatic introductions. For formality’s sake, you can call me Orangeantelope. It’s ridiculous, I know, but we’re going for a theme here. Tonight, I will be your ghost writer.

I wanted to do something about the recent Chick-Fil-A scandal, but I am pretty sure that if I see one more blog post about it I will go to the closest Chick-Fil-A, order $200 worth of sandwiches, and stuff them all down my throat until I choke to death. Let the world ponder over the message my bloated, chicken filled corpse will leave behind. Do I mean to say that I support Chick-Fil-A so much that I was willing to eat enough of their admittedly delicious sandwiches to kill myself? Or do I, perhaps, wish to convey the opposite message; that I wanted to show the world that Chick-Fil-A is evil and will inevitably kill us all? The world would never know.

And, thanks to the fact that the above paragraph is all I want to mention of Chick-Fil-A, nobody will ever have to find out. Instead, let me veer the discussion slightly to left field a bit. We’re currently tangent to deep fried chicken territory, but we’re safe for now. Let us instead discuss those annoying little things called opinions.

Ah, opinions. Many colorful phrases describes these glorious little bastards. “Opinions are like noses: everyone has one.” is probably the most recognized. There are other, more lewd, ones, but let’s stick with that. Because it’s true. Everyone really does have an opinion on everything. Right now, you’re probably forming an opinion about me, about my choice of words in this sentence, about my overuse of commas, or about any of a million different things. These opinions might change or grow or remain doggedly the same until the day you die, but you will always have them. And, I realized today, they are wrong.

Yep, Orangeantelope is Limeokapi’s rude and crude evil twin brother. He’s here to tell you all those opinions you’ve been hoarding like’s a dragon’s sweet loots are actually one hundred percent empirically incorrect. Ok, maybe it’s more of a “They’re not actually correct,” than a one hundred percent incorrect, but I’ll try to explain myself.

Opinions are not, contrary to popular belief, fact. This is a true statement no matter how you want to slice it. Therefor, this is a fact. If you believe gravity exists, it’s not an opinion, because if you believed gravity didn’t exist then we’d have to lock you in a loony bin. (Or give you a Nobel Prize, depending.) Belief in a proven fact is not an opinion; belief in an unproven fact is. If you want to believe that all children should be taught a second language before age twelve, that’s a decent enough opinion. It is not a fact, however, and is therefor not true. Your opinion is not correct because it is your opinion. If 99.9% of the world’s population agrees with your opinion, it is still not a fact. It cannot be measured or quantified in any way. What proof do we have that children under the age of twelve should be taught a second language? Sure, nobody would argue it wouldn’t be beneficial somehow, but is it one hundred percent absolutely true? The answer is no.

Let’s wind this long post down quickly to avoid typing up until 2am and forcing our Lime friend to have to drink a second mayonnaise milkshake. The short and hairy of the point at hand is that lately everyone’s been having a field day throwing around their opinions and either reveling in the fact that someone else agrees with them or inciting internet riots when someone does not. If you want to survive in this world, you have to recognize a few simple things: First, everyone else you will ever meet will have exactly as many opinions on exactly as many subjects as yourself. Second, no matter how eloquent your argument or righteous the fire that burns in your soul, your opinion will never be right. If this is not something you can accept with at least a forced smile and a half-decent word, you will probably not survive long in today’s hypersensitive society. And that is a fact.