Friday, January 9, 2009

Twitter me this.

So my check bounced today. Not just any old check, but a check from the City of Boston. A payroll check for close to $200. I was kind of counting on that money, money that I was given counter credit for. So what I'm really saying is is that this is not cool. Because I no longer work at the BRA this is going to cause me to call my boss on Monday and ask her to help me deal with this instead of me emailing HR from my office email which would have been much easier. Also I was expecting another $200 check to come in tomorrow which now I will be worried it will bounce.

I mean how does the City of Boston using Paychex bounce a fucking check? How is that possible? I mean I know I was the lowest of the low in my department and if anyone is going to miss out on money it's going to be the kid who USED to work there, but come on.

Sorry I just couldn't adequately describe my frustration in a Tweet.

From The Archives: Lost In Translation

Last year (or 10 days ago) I posted my reaction to my first experience with translators and meetings at the EU. I thought it high time that I post my second experience equipped with fresh new blatherings from yours truly. There is a third post lying around here somewhere which I plan to bring to you in the future, just not yet. Enjoy!

As always this color delineates a new comment.

Yesterday was my first foray into the committee meeting realm and to be honest there was so much shit going on in there I don't even remember what the meeting was about.

First off the fact that someone can translate from one language to another amazes me. You have to translate while at the same time remember what is being said so you can continue to translate. I would imagine that this would be incredibly exhausting and strenuous for the mind and can't even begin to comprehend the pressure that they feel. (I would like to add that every translator that I heard was always amazingly calm and spoke perfectly clear, no matter how heated the conversation would get)

Now that being said I was even more amazed when the first six speakers in the meeting, who all spoke different languages, were translated by a single translator. How does one know 6 languages fluently and not go crazy? I mean I struggled for 6 years to learn Italian and I know next to nothing and this guy knows 6?

Now the funniest part of the meeting was the effects that translation had on the attempts at humor made by the MEPs.

Every time an English speaker would begin to talk, I would take off the translation headphones for obvious reasons. In the front there was this Irish guy who was a fucking riot (looking back on it, it could have been mostly the Irish accent), but every time he made a joke I was the only one who would laugh right away, but then 4 seconds later the whole room would start laughing because of the translation delay. And some times people wouldn't laugh at all which confused me until I found my self on the other side of the situation.

There was this Czech guy who kept making the room burst out laughing every time he would talk except when it translated for me there wasn't any humor in the statement which puzzled me. Was my humor just that much different than European humor? Then it hit me, humor just doesn't always translate, certain words and sayings have different meanings from language to language so if the translator translates it literally then the humor will be lost.

It never really hit me until that moment that so much from culture to culture is lost simply because we can not express the true meaning adequately in any language other than our own. But then again that is what makes our cultures so different even if we do not have political borders (such as the EU is becoming) we have the borders of language to restarain us.

At this point I had been in Belgium for well over a month and it surprises me that it took this long to realize this about language when now it makes perfect sense to me. I envy those who speak multiple languages for it becomes increasingly apparent as I attend my Spanish class this semester that I am not all that adept at learning a second language. I took years of Italian only to come away with a minimal understanding of the language, and took a final my senior year to which my teacher said, I shit you not, "What am I supposed to do with this? And you took my class for 3 years?" But we'll see how it goes now that I have seen how many languages average Europeans know.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Where are we going and how do I get off this thing?

As many of you (or few) have noticed there really is no direction to this blog anymore. It started off as a way to vent about frustrations as a bottom feeder of the corporate, governmental, and scholarly fields that I find myself in, which it still is. But as of late it has taken many goofy and, one might even call, entertaining turns. I apologize if you if you came to this blog to find serious discussions about everyday problems. I have tried that before and sadly I come off like every other blow hard out there and to tell you the truth there isn't much fun in being a whiny bitch. What you have gotten instead is me (Hooray!) the goofy, socially awkward and sarcastic 22 year old (oh so young!) who has a slight obsession with Coke.

As far as the future of the blog goes, expect plenty of goofy Kevin things (imagine me dancing in your minds eye, it's OK you can laugh out loud) and maybe a serious thought or two mixed in.

Your New Years Resolution!

I know this comes a week late but the Church of Latter Day Underlings observes the New Year on January 8th not 1st.

Yes I have the audacity to tell you what your New Years Resolution should be. And what is it pray-tell? Well it's more of a task I ask of you, but what I would like you to do is get one friend (365 days, one person!) to start reading this blog by years end. That's it. I will ask nothing else of you this year (I lie). At this rate by years end we could have 8 readers! Imagine that by the end of 2010 we could have 16! Oh the possibilities! And for good measure another!

And while we are on the subject Grumbling of an Underling makes the perfect present! It's free and with the rate that posts come in it is the gift that keeps on giving (if by giving you mean sarcastic and snide remarks then yes it gives plenty)!

And for a limited time at 50% off (0 x .5 still equals 0 my friends) I, The Underling will give them a personalized email at your request! Just send over the order and I will give them a gift to remember!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Top Five: Kinds of Coke (Soda)

Anyone who knows me knows I love Coke (the soda of course my crazy drug addictions I am saving for a later date). A love that eats away at my insides and shaves minutes off my life with every glass. No matter though, it tastes good and hurts no one else's insides, unlike some other addiction. No more need to talk let my addiction speak for itself. Enjoy!

Top Five: Kinds of Coke (Soda)

1. European Canned Coke (Belgian Coke Can pictured)

Oh the sweet sugar! European Coke is made with sugar cane and not corn syrup, which makes this tasty drink unmeasurably better than it is in the US. People are always asking me about Belgium and if I miss it, to which I respond that I do, but really it is not Belgium that I miss but the sugar cane laced Coke that they provide. People think all I drank was Stella while in Europe but in fact I guzzled soda like no tomorrow. Beer? Ha! It holds nothing to Coke!

Oh if anyone has a connection to a Coke factory some where in Europe and can get me a job, hook a fiend up will you?

2. US Coke in a can

Up until last January this would have been #1 but then I went to Belgium and developed an addiction to sugar cane. But makes a proper substitute until I find myself in Europe again. The corn syrup aside what I desire is the Coke that has been fermenting in the can, eating away at the sides of that can (being a circle I guess I should say side not sides, but Math confuses me so let's leave it at that). And the sound it makes when you crack it open.

3. Fountain Soda

Stop shouting! Yes I know that you think I'm crazy to place Fountain Soda behind two separate (and clearly not equal) cans of Coke but I would like to explain myself. I agree Coke from a fountain can be the best Coke in the world, with the perfect levels of soda and syrup nothing can beat it. That being said Fountain Soda can be unbearable at times with too much syrup or too much soda. It is because of this inconsistency of Fountain Soda that it can be found at #3 on this list. If I could be guarenteed that each concoction was too my liking then yes it would be at #1 but alas it is not.

4. 16 oz

Where the can will not re-close and the fountain soda is a bit too large, the 16 oz is necessary. Despite it's plasticky taste and it's inclination to turn your soda warm far before you are finished. It works when moving from class to class in a way that a can would seem awkward and after a few minutes it doesn't turn sweaty like a fountain soda.

5. 2 Liter

The 2 Liter is the pack mule of the Coke world; nothing special but it gets the job done. Like it's little brother the 16 oz it has that plasticky taste that takes away from the flavor, but it's the cheapest way to get 2 Liters of coke and if you don't finish it in one sitting like I do then you can put it away for later.

Honorable Mention: Coke in a glass (Coke in a glass is delicious I must admit but I have not sampled one in a long time which disqualifies it from making this list).

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The thing about Co-Op is.....

They don't prepare you for the transition from the working world back to classes. They do everything in their power to push you out into the real world with a Co-Op but when you return you are expected to assimilate back into campus like you never left. Don't get me wrong, I love the Co-Op program and it is the reason why I decided on Northeastern over a much more affordable state school but there is nothing quite like the transition that takes place between the two spheres. For myself it has been over a year since a attended a class at Northeastern, what with my Co-Op and before that my study abroad program in Belgium I haven't set foot in a Northeastern classroom since last December.

A week ago I was waking up 5 days a week taking the T to my office and getting paid for 8 hours a day. Now I have class from 9 - 3 (which I pay for, instead of getting paid) in which I do more work than I would have on Co-Op. On top of that I will have homework which will fill up more of my time as well as a need to fill the void of my meager, yet weekly, BRA paycheck with hours of harder work at Borders and about equal difficulty (not saying much) work as an IM official. I never thought I would say this but being in the real world is significantly less stressful and much less physically demanding than being a student.

Many of you (many is not a word to describe the amount of readers I have but it's in the past now and we all know there is no going back) may scoff at such a notion but consider this. Every day I am incurring more debt through payments via loans to Northeastern and accruing interest on past loans while at the same time I am trying to pass the classes I am paying for the privilege to attend. On top of which I am working two jobs trying to keep from having to take out loans to afford to live on my own and feed myself.

As opposed to life working 40 hours a week. You go to work at 9, work, punch out at 5 and come home. No homework, no second job, just life. Granted it's not as easy as I just made it sound, but there is no University expense on top of that.

To put it bluntly, my lifestyle just changed overnight from a member of the global economy to a student with not enough time in the day to get by and my University, and life for that matter, expects me to just roll with it.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Old and In the Way

Today was just a day about feeling old. From seeing Freshman who look like little kids, to being the oldest person in my group of five in my Contemporary Black Politics class, to the first meeting of my Senior Capstone, to having graduation discussions it just made me wonder where the last 4 years of my life went. My last Co-Op felt like it lasted a week. Is this what life is all about? Time speeding up as your life goes on? Where does it all go?

It's Easy (but probably not probable) Being Green:The Revolving Door

In this time of high energy consumption as well as high prices the Underling has taken it upon himself to think of new ways of creating energy. The Underling must admit that none of the following ideas have been researched, there has been no cost benefit analysis done, and no physics have been thought through. What he means to say is, they may just not be feasible, but regardless of that fact they will foment discussion and may lead to the titans of government (We here at Grumbling are convinced that one of our five readers is either Barack Obama or Rham Emanuel, I am convinced of this and you can not prove to me otherwise) adopting something similar. That being said these are just crazy ideas that the Underling feels he must publish and will do so in a new feature we are calling "It's Easy (but probably not probable) Being Green".

The Revolving Door.

A Quick Note: If you have found this on google by typing in "Kevin Doyle Green Energy" then I must inform you that you have found the wrong Kevin Doyle. That Kevin Doyle actually has the middle initial "L" and his gmail also carries that letter between his name unlike mine which does not. I get far too many emails directed towards him.

And if you are looking for an Irish soccer player then just google image search "Kevin Doyle" and you will find what you are looking for.

Moving on!

You all know the revolving door and you all were either excited to see one in your early years or frightened to death by the prospect of getting stuck inside one forever. Whatever your fancy for revolving doors may be you had to have wondered like I did, why don't they have turbines on top of those things? I know right? If we had every one of the (I would have used the number of revolving doors in the US here but I couldn't find it but I did find this in use a lot) revolving doors in the US configured with a turbine we could power (I would need to understand physics as well as the average use of a revolving door to compute this but alas I don't try when it comes to proving my theories) homes in the US. Mr. Obama make this happen!

Here, for those of you who have no idea how a revolving door works, is a diagram of how to operate a revolving door.

Next week! The underackngowledged ability to derive power from headlights by squinting your eyes! Stay tuned!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Old Computer + Free Internet = Endless Possibilities

It is said that one does their best thinking while in the shower, I am now one to agree with that statement, and you my dear readers will benefit from todays shower for weeks to come.

Daniel has been suffering from his Mac conversion for about a month now, and in the past days it has morphed into something much more deadly and disturbing; a Mac-Torrent problem with a side of Comcastarits. We have discussed many remedies but none of them are feasible.

What I am now going to propose is the nuclear option, one that I think will become a popular one in these days of bandwidth limiting, RIAA, high energy prices, and old computers. What is needed is an old computer (preferably one with wireless) and access to a free internet connection (preferably a College one because they won't prosecute). You also must be prepared for the event that this machine is never recovered.

What you do is find a good hiding place for the machine on campus, set up the machine, hook it up to the internet, set up the torrents and walk away. You are using the school's bandwidth, the schools electricity and have no way to trace it back to you if you wipe the computer clean enough.

If your expertise are good enough you could try to access the computer remotely and control it away from the hiding spot, so you don't have to ever go back accept to load some torrents on the machine and possibly turn it back on again.

Now some one try this and get back to me!