We've all got at least one. Some have more than one. Some must live their lives trying to avoid them.
And when someone finds yours, it hits a nerve that hurts you worse than any dentist can make you feel sitting in his/her chair!
I'm talking about pet peeves.
Those things that other people do that get under your skin and upset you deeply. Rather it be intentional or accidental, finding your pet peeve is something that you always pray that never happens. It irritates you worse than any rash you could get.
In recent years, particularly as I've got older, I've become a bit more irritable about certain things. Politics, crime, taxes, celebrities, and just about anything that gets more than its fair share of attention in the news and social media. The latter has been, in my humble opinion, the primary reason that my blood pressure goes up more often than usual.
However, I'm focusing on one-time events that hit you unexpectedly, and often times unknowingly by others, that might upset someone to the point where they can't think straight for a while. We all have them, even the most level-headed, calm, rational person has them.
As sensitive as I am to those topics I speak of above, I have only a quaint few pet peeves, but I have one that tops them all by a country mile.
Being interrupted when I am talking to someone or to a group of people.
This isn't limited to being verbally interrupted; it includes people visibly disinterested and talking or doing other activities when I am speaking or training a group of people. People playing on cell phones? Whoa! Brings out the Hulk in me!
It's the worst! Blood pressure jumps about 20 points, ears go flush red, I forget my train of thought, and I want to lash out in rage at the violator. To me, it's the penultimate show of disrespect and selfishness. If I catch myself doing that to someone else inadvertently, or I need to interrupt a conversation for an urgent matter, I politely excuse myself, deeply apologize to the speaker first, then to the listener, say what I need to say, apologize again, then remind the speaker of the point they were discussing before I interrupted them.
There are people I work with that are horrible at this. What's worse is that they don't pick up on the signs from me that they've peeved me. I don't think I could visibly show my disgust more if I held up a sign in front of my face! My problem is that I struggle with trying to tell the person that they've hit my most sensitive nerve without blowing off in rage and being unprofessional. Yes, I fight it quite a bit.
Instead, I typically stop talking calmly, look away to distract myself, and then walk away completely if I am not politely redirected into my discussion by the interrupter. That's what usually gets the attention of the listener and the violator. More and more I see that these days, and my reactions get worse and worse, sadly.
What's your biggest pet peeve? Do you bring it to a person's attention when they annoy you with it? How do you handle it, and how do you recommend I go about handling it? I'd appreciate your feedback and comments below. Maybe I can get a little better on my end with my own peeve, and perhaps I can help you.
Thanks for reading my blog post! I appreciate it very much. I enjoy blogging and chatting with people like yourselves who have so much to offer. If you have anything you'd like to add, or commentary about my posts, then please drop them below. Thanks and have a great day!
You've just finished up the rest of your Orange Chicken with pork fried rice (or like me, you've eaten half and will reheat the rest later), and now you're staring at some empty carry out boxes, a bunch of soy sauce and duck sauce packets, napkins, stray rice strewn out over the counter...
And a few packages of fortune cookies!
I think everyone has eaten a fortune cookie or two in their lifetime. It's the most intriguing part of a meal involving good friends and Chinese food. A bunch of people gather round, break open their cookies, eat half of the cookie, then read what the little piece of paper stuck inside the middle says.
Some people say their fortunes aloud, some keep it to themselves, some keep them in their wallet (like I used to), and some just don't care. Actually, I'm curious to know if anyone actually uses the numbers they give you for the lottery, or tries to learn the Chinese words on the back of some fortunes.
At any rate, I look at a Chinese fortune cookie kind of like I look at astrology - it's bogus fun that's intentionally geared to sound generic, positive, and just make you feel a little better about your future. I've never read a fortune cookie that said, "You're going to get in a major car wreck today!", or "Save up because you're going to lose it all!"
Fortunes can be both inspirational and cheerful. Again, I've saved a few in my day because I really liked what they said. However, if you had to write up some of your own original fortunes to be stuffed into cookies for perfect strangers to read, what would you say?
Here's some of my ideas for fortune cookies:
I know, they're pretty stupid, but then again so is the concept of a fortune cookie!
Thanks for reading my blog post! Many more to come, and I'd appreciate hearing from you and hearing what kinds of things you'd put in a fortune cookie. Please subscribe, and remember that writing is always about entertaining, educating, and inspiring!
In 1996, the Canadian prog rock and Rock Hall power trio better known as Rush released their 16th studio album Test For Echo (or T4E for short). Anyone who really knows me knows that I've been a huge fan of the musical creations of Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart all of my life. T4E is not my favorite Rush album - not by a long shot - but it does possess a few gems that I frequent on my favorite songs list. Besides the title track, "Half The World", and "Driven", their fourth single released from T4E was called "Virtuality". It's a song that describes how the Internet (which was relatively new at the time) influenced people and their relationships.
Personally, I really enjoy "Virtuality", but it's a love/hate song among Rush fans alike. One of the greatest things about the music of Rush is their lyrical compositions. "Virtuality" is a timeless piece that possesses some very relative lyrical meaning in today's world. The second verse of the chorus strikes a chord with me that I'd like to delve into here:
Net boy, net girl
Send your impulse ’round the world
Put your message in a modem
And throw it in the Cyber Sea
Peart takes the old "message in a bottle" and weaves some Internet magic and turns it into a message delivered by modem. Very cool! It got me to thinking, though. Let's say that you were on a beach and decided to get a wild hair and write up a message in a bottle, then cork it and throw it into the sea and see where it goes! I'm very curious to know what your letter would say, and who would you hope would find your message? Well, as usual, I'm willing to share my take on this. My take would be a bit more philosophical in nature, but nonetheless I'm curious to know what others would say.
If you are reading this message, then you've opened up the bottle that you've found washed ashore and have been put on a blind date with someone in all likelihood you've never met before. The note you are reading was written by a complete stranger who lives somewhere in this world where you are NOT right now. There's something strangely fascinating about meeting new people out of random circumstance. We live in a world today where one can get on a computer, go on the Internet, and in just a few brief seconds be talking to someone who lives clear on the other side of the globe! It's a random encounter - yes - but nowhere near as random as the old 'message in a bottle'. The chance of YOU receiving this note that I wrote, dropped in a bottle, corked it, tossed into the ocean, and rode the currents of the almighty ocean, only to wash ashore and randomly fall into your hands goes beyond astronomical odds reaching googleplex-like odds!
That sort of completely random encounter should be more than enough to warrant making the effort to reach out and find the person whose bottle you found! Wouldn't you like to know who wrote this? What that person looks like? When they wrote it? Where that person lives? How old they are? How much you have in common? Thinking deeper, I'd be curious to know about the life of the person who received it, and compare it to the life of the person who sent it. Was this just random chance, or was fate on our side? All of these questions and more need answers, and I'd really enjoy taking the time to learn about them and more!
So with that said, we are no longer strangers but rather good acquaintances. Perhaps if you can take it a step further, we could become friends! I would like that very much, so here is my address for you to use to reach out to find me. I hope to hear from you very soon!
Best wishes! - D.B.
And that would be my message in a bottle. Never actually done it, but now I have a certain incentive to actually do it. What would yours say? I never mentioned who I'd like to get the bottle because I actually don't care who receives it; I'm more interested in just learning who would be so lucky as to get MY bottle from the ocean.
So I'm scrolling through the news site on the Web today as I go about trying to decide what my blog topic is going to be. Sadly, I was seeing a great deal of news about the London terrorist attacks, the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, and even an article on how 5 people were killed and 19 wounded in shootings here in Chicago - THIS WEEKEND! Overall, just really rotten stuff! Nothing really great to talk about or reflect on recently. Yeah, Wonder Woman appears to be a hit at the box office, Albert Pujols of the L.A. Angels went yard for the 600th time, and pitcher Edinson Volquez of the Miami Marlins threw a no-no and dedicated the game to the late Jose Fernandez and Yordano Ventura - both good friends who each lost their lives over the weekend.
I would ask you to take a moment to watch this brief clip of the final pitch leading up to Volquez' no-hitter against the Arizona Diamondbacks. For most people, it's probably no big deal and doesn't evoke any emotions or anything like that. However, for people like me who have special memories of Fast Eddie when he pitched for the Kansas City Royals, I was quite moved by the moment. I'm very happy for Eddie and I'm so glad that he's found a place in the history books, then was gracious enough to dedicate it to his belated friends.
And so a blog topic is born - what is it that brings out the softer side in you? For some, it's the sight of an innocent young child, a puppy, a bouquet of flowers, a sad movie, or something else that might be uniquely touching. Everyone - even the toughest, strongest, and emotionally devoid person - can be softened up, or even brought to tears by something in the world. No man (or woman) is without a sense of caring and love.
As for myself, I'm well known as someone who wears his emotions on his sleeve, and isn't afraid to show those emotions at any time. I say that because I'm very comfortable in my skin, and I really don't care what others think of or about me. It allows me the ability to be myself, and I take great pride in that. I've got no problem with crying during a movie, or in public if I'm driven to that point.
So what will drive me to that point? Well, frankly, many things will do that to me. However, over the course of time and with experience I've grown to have thicker skin. I can tolerate a whole lot more than what I used to. Today, my softer side comes out whenever family-related matters surface, rather they be in reality or on film (but not reality TV, haha!) Anytime, anywhere, any place where I see a story or moment where family members are reunited after long periods of absence, or even personal disagreement, will trigger something in me that will make me lose it inside.
Military family reunions, if they are genuine, subtle, and involve moms or children, will make me lose it. Sadly, these types of events are so common anymore, as seen on YouTube, that it's relatively easy to see when a potential reunion is coming and it's being glamorized for effect. Those acts actually work completely the opposite on me, turning me off, and maybe even agitating me because I feel they are patronizing me and taking advantage of a precious opportunity to benefit financially from it.
Also, family members reuniting, such as brothers or sisters who haven't seen each other in years - or maybe never - seem to get the best of me. I guess I'm drawing back on my own rare family experiences as well when I see those things happen. They get me all mushy like a bowl of soggy corn flakes!
So what's yours? Please leave your comments below. I'd love to hear from you! The sight of a bunch of blog followers might soften me up as well. :-)
I remember back when the movie "The Bucket List" came out back in 2007 (starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman), the big thing was for people to make up their own bucket list. You know what a bucket list is, right? It's a personal list of the most highly coveted things that you want to do before you die. Well, it seems like everyone has their own bucket list these days. Even I have one, but it wasn't entirely official up until the other day when I created my own official bucket list.
Before I disclose my list, I'd like to talk a little bit about bucket lists in general. I'd like to say that I have a beef with people who have ridiculously long bucket lists, as well as having a similar beef with those who keep their bucket lists updated on the Internet for everyone to see. I realize that everyone has their own reasons for doing the things that they do, such as why I'm sitting here writing in my blog about bucket lists, and whatever your own reasons might be are your own business, of course. Whatever floats your boat, I guess!
So, these people that have bucket lists that are in triple digits and beyond - what's up with that? In my own humble opinion, I find that to be self-defeating in itself. I mean, a bucket list is supposed to be special - a list of defined activities that you want to accomplish to satisfy your own mortal wants and desires before you go off to visit St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. Frankly, it doesn't matter what you decide to put on that list, just as long as it holds a certain special meaning to you. Wouldn't you think that the longer your list is, then more pressure would be had to finish more items on that list, and then the closer you get in your life to finishing that list, the more focus you put on that which has not been accomplished rather than enjoying all that which you have done. Heck, with a list of 200 items, it might be difficult to remember the 5W2H of #73. What was that one by the way?
Who cares! You still have #24, #87, #98, #122, and #145 left to do.
Oh yeah, and if you happen to finish that list, then what? With everything accomplished, you might as well pack it in and call it a life!
So, we've settled that long lists are stupid. What about those who love to post their lists and continually update them for everyone else to see? Well, my answer to that doesn't require the word count that the first one did. Nope, quite simply...
I really don't care about your list of current accomplishments! Here's a quarter...!
No, it's not a bucket list at that point. It's become a "look what I did" list! I'm sorry if I sound cold and insensitive, but I'm simply not a big fan of low esteem, narcissistic, glory-hounds! Honestly, I am very curious to know what's on your list, but I have zero interest or desire to know when you've accomplished something on it. Remember, a bucket list is personal, and it's purpose is to fulfill one's personal wants and desires. If you made a bucket list so you can go brag about the things you've done before you croak, then please allow me to leave you with this.
You can't take it with you!
So, without further adieu, I'd like to present you all with my bucket list. It is only 10 items long, and consist of the most important things I would like to do before I leave God's great earth. I have other things that I'd like to do, but they are not in my Top 10, and when these are accomplished I promise that I will NOT be boasting about crossing something off of it! I think they are neat because you can learn about someone by reading their list and making certain presumptions about it.
D.B.'s Bucket List
So there is my list. It will not change. Sure, I may or may not complete it, but this is what it is and will be for the remainder of my life. I'm very curious to know what yours is, and I invite you to post up on this blog and share it with all of us.
I will continue to share with you my thoughts on various things each week in my blog. My goal is to post up a couple days per week. I hope to see you some of you regularly!
I've started several blogs over the last few years. I'd post a little here and there, land a couple of followers, then I'd lose interest and quit blogging altogether. One thing that would frustrate me was not only trying to find the time to blog, but also to find a worthy topic to blog about. None of these were worthy excuses. I mean, if other people have active blogs with tons of followers, then why couldn't I do the same?
It definitely wasn't for a lack of passion or self-expression! I'm notorious for writing exhaustingly long and opinionated posts on Facebook, as well as on Twitter (at least until I hit the character limit). I'd drop some long posts only to hear crickets from my audience. Understand that it's not that I want to draw attention to my posts just to get likes - I do appreciate the attention, but I've never been much of a glory-hound! No, in all honesty I find that I thrive the most on the interaction and sharing of opinions and thoughts between people. I really enjoy watching people share their experiences with others, and if someone doesn't completely agree with what's been said, or feels there is a different point of view that needs to be considered, then I believe it benefits everyone to make that known openly and to discuss it with everyone.
My problem with interacting in forums is that I have a very low tolerance for people who are fearful, ignorant, and exercise their personal prejudices openly. In today's social media driven world, they have all been lumped into a commonly-known category better known as "trolls". They are everywhere, and they get off by drawing attention to themselves. Much like bullies in school, they can spoil good wholesome, meaningful social interaction by simply interjecting a meaningless, hateful, or spiteful remark that really makes no logical sense whatsoever. It will typically draw the ire from the rest of the participants in the forum, resulting in a loss of focus and direction from where the original conversation was headed. Soon, everyone is too upset to continue, and the interaction dies.
The best way to kill a 'troll' is to ignore it completely, but that's easier said than done. Ever been to a cookout where there's that one fly or yellow jacket that buzzing around trying to get into everyone's food or drink? You try desperately to ignore it, hoping it will go away, but then it suddenly dive bombs into your glass of lemonade and ruins it. You replace your drink, but now you're thinking about that bug for the rest of the day. Bummer!
Needless to say, I avoid forums altogether now. Also, as I mentioned earlier, I used to drop long posts on social media. Those days are over as well. Instead, I'm channeling my inner voice toward writing in my blog, which will now be driven toward my effort of publishing my first novel, as well as the periodic writing prompt that I hope will inspire thoughts and creativity while spurning some feedback from my readers.
As the tag line of this blog clearly states, my goal here is to entertain, educate, and inspire, and I hope that I can do at least one or more of those for each of you here. Thank you very much for taking the time to read my work. I hope that you will find it in your heart to subscribe to my blog. If you have a blog yourself, then please let us know where it's located in the comments below and perhaps we can work together to gain some readership.
Cheers! - D.B.