Archive for the ‘Overheard’ Category.

Quoting people is easier than coming up with something entirely original

Sue says

Is this how we define happiness to be now? That to be fully happy and successful in your life, you have to be married or in a long term relationship? Maybe I’m naive (or just been single for too long), but I would like to think that happiness isn’t fully defined by whether or not you have a significant other.

I contend that it’s a matter of balance. There’s a tendency for people to compare the extreme cases, but reality is always somewhere in between. I don’t think anyone at either of the following two extremes for a prolonged period of time would really be happy. Given the choice, I would choose neither.

  1. The person who is wildly successful in relationships, but doesn’t actually have an education or job worth noting.
  2. The person with PhDs coming out their behind and makes a six figure salary, but has never experienced a long term relationship.

The first person is missing out on the joys of accomplishment, peer recognition, working to help others, etc. The second person is missing out on a level of emotional and physical intimacy that you just can’t get from friends and family. A balanced person is a happy person.

Switching gears, she goes on to say: “We were talking about whether we would settle for someone subpar out of desperation because we had hit our 30s and still didn’t have the idealized wife/husband, two kids, dog, and house with a white picket fence.

I’ve always found the term “settling” to be kind of funny in this kind of context. To “settle” implies that you know for certain you can achieve something better, but you decide not to for whatever reason. In other words, if you don’t know for certain, then how do you know you’re actually settling? For all you know, you could already be achieving the best you’re capable of, in which case you’re not settling, you’re at the peak.

Well that’s the thing. During the course of your life, you’ll meet a finite number (N) of people that are “relationship material”. Let’s say that there is some omnipotent grading system. That is, for each choice, if you were to select that person, you’d end up with some quantitative value (H), representing your happiness in the end.

Now clearly, you want to maximize H. However, you only get a single pass over all N people you will meet, the H values of each person you encounter will be random with an unknown distribution, and you don’t know how large N is. Upon reaching a local maxima, if you decide to stay, can you really call it “settling”? What if the local maxima turns out to be the top of the heap?

All of this assumes that you’ll find at least one positive H value. If every H value you come across happens to be negative, you probably need to recalibrate your scale.

Sucking face

Not quite overheard, but "oversaw" just kinda sounds funny.

So the other day I’m sitting at a red light that is taking particularly long to change. To pass the time, the couple in the car behind me proceeds with a vigorous face sucking. Hello, windows! And not even tinted (not like it would have helped). At least they’d stop every so often to check the status of the light, then proceed with more face suckage.

I was gonna link to some article about people who have a tendency to pick their noses while driving because they think others can’t see them through their car windows. Alas, Google is failing me.

Smooth, real smooth.

Let me preface this entry by saying I know next to nothing when it comes to music. My musical tastes could probably best be described as, I dunno… girly[1]. I think I know enough to recognize funny situations though, as I’ll explain.

The “Chief Email Officer” at work (we call him the CEO), likes an assortment of what I’ll call dance/trance/jungle/electronica/etc. Basically samples played every so often between weird synthesizer-ish, artificial rhythms. The funniest example is from this one time we were in his car on the way to lunch. Bunch of beats… pause… then a sample of some guy saying, “IT’S ALL MINE…. AND YOUR WOMAN TOO”… more beats… pause… lather, rinse, repeat.

The “Close Talker” at work (I only call her that because she has a tendency to invade my personal bubble when asking questions) really likes Jamiroquai. Her desktop background always has that strangely feminine looking “buffalo man” logo, that kinda looks like the FreeBSD daemon. Kinda.

Anyway, apparently there’s some concert coming up in Toronto, that both the CEO and the Close Talker are excited about. They were yammering about it, when the President of the company walks by and asks what they’re talking about. The CEO explains, “Oh, see, Gloria and I like the same kind of music, and we’re just really excited about this Jamiroquai concert in Toronto.” There’s a pause, then the President goes, “I’m going to see Nickelback with my daughter next week” (at this point, the whole office goes quiet and tumbleweeds roll by).

[1] I won’t even bother listing selections from my CD and MP3 collections. You’d only roll your eyes.

At “La Vie en Rose” Yorkdale

Overheard from some Chinese girl while she was pawing at these: “Whoa, there’s so much padding on this bra!”

Never really understood the padded bra thing. Let’s say those booby holders work their magic, making them look bigger, and they help you to attract the man of your dreams. Won’t he eventually notice the discrepancy when he sees you naked?