#301 – Inspirational Quotes

The purpose of inspirational quotes should be just that–to inspire. What they inspire me to do is wish for the day when teenagers would still write in private diaries instead of googling quotes to post on their MySpace/Facebook pages. Let’s work our way down the list of the top 5 most uninspiring inspirational quotes you’ll see:

#5 It’s really not all that inspiring to realize that 2 Egg McMuffins and a family-size bag of Doritos later, you’re definitely worse off today than you were yesterday. When your comparison rating has a steeper downward slope than the Dow Jones, it’s time to just call it a day, every day.

#4 Einstein has forever given high school dropouts an excuse to act like there’s still hope for them to prove their genius. But unless one of them is going to discover some hybrid material between paper and plastic (plaper©), I’m pretty sure Einstein was more the exception than the rule. He may have been “passionately curious”, but so is my 2-year-old cousin, and all he’s discovered is how to break anything worth owning within a five mile radius.

 #3 “Those who matter” usually fall in the category of your professors, your boss, and pretty much anyone else in a position of authority, and there usually isn’t an open stage set up for you to air out your true feelings there. Also, I mind and I matter. Theory debunked. Try again, Dr. Seuss.

#2 If you shoot for the theoretical moon, you won’t land among the stars; you’ll land among all the other people who tried and failed to do the same thing you’re trying to do because they’re the same degenerates who believe in quotes like this.

#1 And rounding off the top 5 is a classic by the always overrated Marilyn Monroe. Yes, everyone has their ups and downs, their bests and their worsts. But seeing as how you were a basketcase, a drug addict, and apparently suicidal, your worst doesn’t seem worth handling. Turns out even you couldn’t handle your worst. Now your best is being tattooed on Megan Fox’s forearm and being quoted by 14-year-old girls everywhere. A true inspiration.

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#300 – Mediocrity

There is, indeed, nothing more annoying than to be, for instance, wealthy, of good family, nice-looking, fairly intelligent, and even good-natured, and yet to have no talents, no special faculty, no peculiarity, even, not one idea of one’s own, to be precisely “like other people.” –Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Idiot

If I ever decide to write an autobiography, it should be read cover to cover–specifically the back cover to the front. That way, it’ll sound like an inspirational story instead of the mediocre one it really is. “She wandered through life without any purpose or direction until one fateful day when she won first place at the science fair. The End.”

The thing with being mediocre is that you will always get shafted. There is no major obstacle to overcome to make your success special, and there exists in you nothing innately special to cause any success. No one ever shoots to be average. I mean, who has ever been happy reaching the middle ground in a compromise? Whose goal has it ever been to move out to Middle America? Who has ever volunteered to take the middle seat in a car? We are living in a world of middle-seaters who think they’re in the driver’s seat. We really are the 99%.

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#299 – Cursive

Life takes a pretty big turn in the 3rd grade. One minute everything’s all gummy worms and Pringles, and the next thing you know Ms. Buzzkill drops a bombshell–you’re going to be learning cursive. But what’s sold as classy and useful is really the biggest waste of time since that Intro to Basketweaving course you took in community college. Cursive is a skill reserved for calligraphists and grandmas, and I’m willing to accept that. I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that my signature on all of my important documents will look as though an 8-year-old is trying to forge their parent’s signature to skip P.E. Needless to say, I never got to skip P.E.

 

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#298 – Dentists

I think it’s safe to say that the most consistent relationship I’ve had in my life has been with my dentist. “Come back in a week,” “open wide,” and “watch the teeth” are all uttered in the most caring and sincere tone. But in the end, even he’s screwing someone behind my back–my insurance company. Every visit to my dear old dentist starts with being left sitting in a waiting room until out of the harem of dental assistants comes a call for me to enter the medieval torture chamber. There I’m left to stare at a scenic lake from some obscure midwest state along with charts of dental diseases, which are there to either make you feel better about not having three teeth fused together or to serve as a learning tool for the dentist, both very reassuring scenarios. Finally, the dentist appears, saving all the small talk and chit-chat until he has his fingers securely lodged in my mouth. It is then that cavities are discovered, gum disease fought, and root canals performed. This man is a modern-day Columbus, making discoveries and fighting battles, all for a noble cause. Only instead of reporting his  monumental, ground-breaking discoveries back to Spain, this brave crusader just reports some fake findings to the kingdom of Blue Cross. At least I know he loves me for who I am–an insured client.

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#297 – The GRE

You know when you used to be in your 8th grade math class and think “When will I ever need to know this?” Well, the GRE is your answer. Every vague and useless topic that you struggled with all those years ago manages to sneak back into your life in this 4-hour-long test.

The way it goes is that after a hasty set of essays, you begin the quantitative section which covers everything from quadrants and slopes to polynomials and nightmares. A typical GRE word problem reads as follows: If Train A is heading west at 90 miles an hour and Train B is heading north at 70 miles an hour, how long until someone on the BART gets into a fight? Answer: C) 2 minutes. And then there are the probability questions. You’ll soon figure out that marbles were only put on this earth to be used in proportion problems and as choking hazards. So if you have 3 blue marbles, 2 red marbles, and 1 green marble, what are the chances that you will not pick a purple marble? I’m not sure, but I do know that if you’re playing with marbles, there is a 3:1 chance that you have no friends.

The verbal section has a feckless role of its own. You can be an assiduous student and try your very hardest to commit vocab words to memory, and maybe you’ll actually learn a couple hundred. However, your felicity over your monumental feat will be ephemeral once you discern that for every one word you do comprehend, there will be a whole slew of words you won’t. But not to worry–the words you do learn will come in handy in a plethora of situations: 1) when you want to sound like an ass, 2) when you’re taking the GRE, 3) if you ever run into Keith Olbermann, and 4) when you want to sound like an ass.

Studying for the GRE is a long and arduous process, but here’s a big tip to help you along the way: the answer that your gut tells you is definitely right is definitely wrong. And the obviously wrong answer is actually the second best answer. Through a process of elimination, that leaves the right answer to be….C. Always go with C. Even with all these tips and tons of studying, your gut may still tell you that you’re definitely going to bomb the GRE–which by the aforementioned rule means you’re definitely going to do well, right? Wrong. The correct answer is C. Aren’t you paying attention?

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#296 – Long Voicemails

The idea of leaving a voicemail was probably revolutionary a few decades back. But by now, I think it’s safe to say that everyone gets the gist of it. We all know to leave a message after the tone. No one is expecting to leave a message after the car horn or after the meow or after the moan. Tone = leave your message. Got it. But instead, what should be a ten second process turns into some ridiculous ordeal that goes something like this:

Your call has been forwarded to an automated voice messaging system. eight one eight five six one five  five five five is not available. At the tone, please record your message. Beep.

“Hey, it’s Lara. Just wanted to say–”

When you are finished recording, you may hang up or press 1 for more options. Beep.

“Hi, it’s me. I was calling because–”

To leave a callback number, press 5. Beep.

“Hi, it’s–”

To send a numeric page, press 2 now. Beep.

“Hi–”

Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.

*hangs up*

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#295 – Facebook

10 Things I Hate About You: The Facebook Edition

1. I hate the way you update me and the way you’re always there.

2. I hate the way I feel obligated to wish you a happy birthday.

3. I hate that most of my friends are stand-ins for pedobear.

4. I hate your invites to events I’ll never go to and the way you ask what’s on my mind.

5. I hate you so much it makes me sick, it even makes me rhyme.

6. I hate that I know what you had for lunch even though I haven’t seen you in years.

7. I hate that how you look in your profile picture is a total lie.

8. I hate it when you make me roll my eyes, even worse when you make me sigh.

9. I hate it when you’re around and the fact that you creep on my wall.

10. But mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you, not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all.

*runs out of the room crying*

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#294 – Navigation Systems

If I wanted to get lost, I would just follow my instincts. But for some reason, I rely on technology to get me lost instead. Navigation systems consistently lead you onto unpaved roads and through abandoned shantytowns, all in the name of being the shortest route to your destination. But honestly speaking, I would appreciate an “Avoid Ghetto” option a lot more than the 3 minutes I would save by driving through a crime scene. In the end, all navigation systems should be able to boast of is somehow getting a robot to speak in both self-assured and condescending tones at the same time, and that’s only good news for Stephen Hawking’s Donald Trump impression. All I’m asking for is some honesty and maybe a “please” every now and then. Because being told to “Please make a sharp turn into that lake” is much more pleasant to the ear than “Turn left.”

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#293 – First Dates

Once upon a time, people would meet through chance encounters, go out for a cup of coffee, and fall in love. But that was long before tall, dark, and handsome was replaced by average, pale, and doable. Quality has dropped significantly as have standards, leaving the average Jane to pick her suitor from a pool of below-average Joes. So it’s no surprise that first dates have become synonymous with last dates. The typical first date usually starts with spotting Mr. Alright at the agreed upon location. And that fairytale feeling hits you right away–it’s settling at first sight. But what really determines how a first date will go isn’t looks as much as conversation, which more often than not feels like a mundane trivia game with all the questions coming from the Useless Information category. I mean, who can really say they found their soulmate based on sharing a favorite color/movie/pen brand? (I’m a Bic-girl myself). But what really does the conversation in is hearing about supposedly unique and special traits. You say you love to laugh? You like all types of music? You even like to breathe oxygen? Thank you for establishing that, yes, you are indeed human. I had my doubts for a few hours there. So the next time you find yourself being asked out on a date, remember this: not everyone deserves a chance. Whoever said that they do was just playing wingman for an ugly friend.

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#292 – Bad Haircuts

Every time I get a haircut, it looks terrible for about six weeks. Then it looks good for, like, a day, and that’s how I know it’s time for a new haircut. It’s what I call the “Haircut Cycle of Shame.” – Cory Matthews, Boy Meets World

Haircuts are tricky. You can either leave the hair salon with $75 less in your pocket and with absolutely no noticeable difference, or you can come out looking like a brand-new person with a brand-new hairstylist to hate. Either way, the results aren’t good. No matter which salon you go to, the process is always the same. Whoever is cutting your hair starts first by vehemently insulting whoever has done your hair before him (see: rule #1 in Rules for Becoming a Hairstylist). Then your stylist asks you what you want done to your hair (just to amuse himself) before he proceeds onto doing whatever he had in mind from the start. And so you put your trust into a French man whose pants are tighter than yours, and the snipping begins. A little from here, a lot from there, and 20 minutes later… Voilà! You have yourself a terrible haircut. Merci for nothing, Gaston. See you in 6 weeks.

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