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it don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that swing

What we want isn’t necessarily what we need December 28, 2005

Filed under: blogspot,Uncategorized — sp @ 11:50 pm

Advice for guys on buying gifts…

So a certain boyfriend of mine was trying to pick out a gift for my parents. At first he was looking at sausage and cheese baskets at Hickory Farms, but I recommended a food basket with something more European, such as pate or smoked salmon, instead. My sister suggested a dustbuster or a set of everyday glasses because these are things that are lacking in my parent’s, and currently, her, home.

So he decided to get them glasses, because he’s practical like that. So I look online for some suggestions, and then he goes to the store to pick them out. While he’s at the store, I tell him that they don’t really need 16 glasses (like the set I had shown him online), so it’s ok to buy a set with less glasses, but perhaps better design because my dad’s really into that Mikasa stuff and would appreciate something a bit nicer than ordinary glass cylinders. Later he tells me that he went to a different store (Wal-mart, the horror!) because the set he really liked at Target had 16 glasses, and I had told him that my parents don’t need that many glasses.

At this point in the story, some guys might be thinking, what’s wrong with that? While I, and the other half of the human race, realize, uh-oh – there’s been a break in communication due to gender differences.

Somehow he had interpreted my saying “they don’t need that many glasses” to “they don’t want that many glasses – don’t buy it”. For a second, I envisioned a future of gifts that I only needed – food processors, vacuums, linens, printers, etc. – and I knew I had to make sure he understood the error of his logic. He sighed, and complained, “women are so hard to understand!” But really, what’s hard to understand? When I said they didn’t need 16 glasses, I literally meant they didn’t need 16 glasses. I wasn’t implying they wouldn’t want so many or wouldn’t like so many. If I had wanted to communicate “don’t buy it,” I would’ve just said so explicitly, instead of trying to get him to understand hidden messages.

So for all guys who haven’t learned this lesson yet, just because your girlfriend/wife says she doesn’t need something doesn’t mean she wouldn’t like it or wouldn’t want it. I mean how many of us really need that pretty dress from Express or those pain-inducing heels from Nine West (we’ll buy them anyway)? Or that lovely bouquet of flowers? Or, for that matter, that lingerie from Victoria’s Secret that you’ve been drooling over?

There’s nothing wrong with buying gifts that are practical, just be careful to not cross off a potential gift just because she said she doesn’t need it. Personally, I like gifts that have thought/meaning (has anyone seen the Everybody Loves Raymond episode ‘The Thought that Counts’ ?). And besides, it’s often the most unnecessary gifts that make a girl feel special.

P.S. Just to clarify – Josh has bought me great gifts for Christmases/birthdays past, and yes he’s even bought me some totally unnecessary flowers on more than one occasion.


breaking news from ucdavis December 13, 2005

Filed under: blogspot,Uncategorized — sp @ 4:02 pm

I sat down at a table where someone had left his copy of The California Aggie, the campus newspaper, and saw this headline on the front page:

Electronic stapler installed in MU computer lab

Since there was actually some real news (vandalization of a building on campus), the installation of the stapler didn’t make lead story, but instead, was relegated to the 2nd-runner-up position right underneath the lead story.

Normally, I don’t even bother to pick up the Aggie. And now you know why.


‘Twas the weekend before finals December 11, 2005

Filed under: blogspot,Uncategorized — sp @ 6:16 pm

and all through the house, not a creature was studying, not even a mouse.

Three things:

1. Josh and I saw Billy Crystal’s 700 Sundays in SF last night. Great show, highly recommended.

2. My brain has been stubbornly refusing to study all day today.

3. And as if last-minute cramming for finals wouldn’t be painful enough, I banged my head really hard on a cabinet door … hard enough to result in a little bleeding.


Freedom of speech? December 9, 2005

Filed under: blogspot,politics — sp @ 12:12 am

Student suspended for speaking Spanish:

Didn’t you know? English is the ONLY language that’s allowed to be spoken in America, land of the free. We cannot allow bilingual students to speak in a different language during their own free time, for that would undermine the homogeneous nature of American culture.


The Christmas spirit December 5, 2005

Filed under: blogspot,politics — sp @ 1:33 pm

Do you find the phrase ‘Happy Holidays’ personally offensive? How about holiday trees? Or holiday shopping?

You may be wondering (and rightfully so): WHO CARES?!!!
Apparently, some people do.
Apparently, some people think ‘Happy Holidays’ is exclusive of Christians, despite the fact that it’s including the many different holidays celebrated this time of year.

Am I Christian? No. Do I sing Christmas carols? Yes. Just on Saturday, in fact. Did I feel uncomfortable as a non-Christian child when we sang songs about Christ our savior, and Satan’s power? Yes. We sang Hanukkah songs, too, though these did seem more secular than many of the Christmas carols. Still, I appreciate the history of the holiday and the beauty of songs such as O Holy Night.

Do I buy Christmas presents? Yes. And I don’t think I’ll ever call them holiday presents. Do I write Christmas cards? Well, not so much lately but that’s only because of laziness, not because of any resentment that they’re called Christmas cards.

Am I offended when people wish me a ‘Merry Christmas’? No. In fact, I’m more offended that Bill O’Reilly and Jerry Falwell and their allies find ‘Happy Holidays’ offensive. That they are so self-centered to think that ‘Happy Holidays’ is an attempt to bring down the Christian right. Honestly, have they even considered that Target and other stores might use ‘Happy Holidays’ in their advertising more out of monetary reasons? (Common sense dictates that the more people you include, the more gifts you sell.) And it’s obvious from their insensitivity to the inclusive nature of the phrase ‘Happy Holidays’ that they have no idea how it feels to grow up as a non-Christian in a predominantly Christian nation.

Moreover, why do they care so much about retailers not incorporating the word ‘Christmas’ into their advertising? Are extremely crowded malls and hundreds of dollars spent on gifts really a part of a Christian Christmas? They seem unable to separate the religious holiday from the secular, American holiday. I am not a Christian, yet I participate in this gift-hunting frenzy because I’ve adopted the secular aspects of the holiday (a time for family, friends, goodwill and cheer) as a part of American culture; the same way Thanksgiving is a part of our culture that my French classmates have accepted (one of them had no clue about the story about the Pilgrims and Native Americans coming together for dinner).

And the campiagn to have ‘Christmas’ trees instead of ‘holiday’ trees? Excuse me, but where in the bible do they talk about chopping up a tree and decorating it with fake snow and shiny metal balls in honor of Christ’s birth? (I still call them Christmas trees anyway, but still, why so much anger over holiday trees?)

Some have even argued that saying ‘Happy Holidays’ is un-American. Because obviously not saying ‘Christmas’ = un-Christian = un-American.

And so I have spent the last half-hour writing an entry about this issue that shouldn’t even be an issue. I guess on the bright side, I can thank Bill O’Reilly and Jerry Falwell for making me see how inanely idiotic they are.
I hope the O’Reillys and Falwells out there realize that they’re the ones killing the Christmas spirit. And I hope the American public realizes it too.


some links (courtesy of Josh, so yes, these are liberal-leaning):

Apparently, Fox News was selling an O’Reilly Factor Holiday ornament:

A great quote from a debate on Fox News Watch about the alleged Christmas vs. Holiday Controversy:

Neal: We’re at war, there’s Darfur, there’s an AIDS crisis and you’re worried about whether people should say Merry Christmas? What world do you live in?

And finally, a New York Times Editorial on this great controversy of our times:

P.S. And if you have the Pax channel, you may be lucky enough to see Jerry Falwell’s infomercial urging citizens to call up the Liberty Counsel for some free representation in anti-Christmas discrimination cases… I kid you not, I was flipping through the channels and came across this infomercial informing viewers that they “have the constitutional right to send Christmas cards” and they also “have the constitutional right to sing Christmas carols” and so on and so forth.

P.P.S. If you don’t care whether stores say ‘Happy Holidays’ or ‘Merry Christmas’, vote Yes in Bill O’Reilly’s poll:


Time for a change December 1, 2005

Filed under: blogspot,Uncategorized — sp @ 11:56 am

So I don’t really like the way my xanga posts aren’t clearly separated and I’m too lazy to try to format that stuff myself.

Maybe having a prettier format will inspire me to post more regularly? Though that wouldn’t necessarily be good for my academic health….