Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Odd people on the train

I've been in NYC long enough to have seen quite a few weird events and people (thank you subway system).  But something happened a few weeks ago that I thought was extremely funny (and therefore should be blogged!)

I've got a pretty long commute on the train, so I needed something to keep me occupied.  I always forget to recharge my electronics, so it had to be something... old school.  I love puzzles, so I started solving a Rubik's cube (actually I started when I was still living in a cubicle in the corporate world).  After a point, I wanted a bigger challenge, so I started solving the cube with my eyes closed (it took quite a while for me to actually figure it out!)  These days, I tend to solve it with my eyes closed as often as I can - it's a very good challenge, and I really do feel it helps expand my memory capacity.

So a couple of weeks ago, I get on the train, shuffle up the cube, and then start memorizing it.  It takes me about 5 minutes to memorize, and about 2-3 minutes to solve it.  My friends tell me I look like the rain man while I'm at it - and that doesn't surprise me one bit.  As I am memorizing it, I notice a guy sitting across from me acting a little oddly.  Eventually, he started pointing at my cube and saying things to the effect of "it's right there! see it?  You move it this way and you are on your way!"  Basically he was trying to "help" me solve it.  I said (a couple of times) "Yes, thank you; but I think I've got it".  The most annoying part of what he said was "it's so easy!  It's right there!"

I understand the urge for people to try and help others - it's a good urge that I hope more people would have.  But I also think it's important to know when to back off - like when someone really doesn't want your help.

It took me a bit longer to finish memorizing the cube since he kept interrupting and I had to keep saying "yes thanks, I'm pretty sure I know how to do it".  I think he might've been a tad tipsy, so I guess he wasn't trying to be a total douche.

So, finally I finish memorizing.  I take a deep breath and close my eyes.  Then it's just the click-click-clack of my cube as I get started.  I think I heard the guy whisper something along the lines of "what?!" as I started; but I really had to concentrate on the cube.  I do keep my ears out a bit - but only for announcements - I needed the rest of my brain power!

Fast forward a few minutes.  It was a bit pressured since I knew my stop would be coming up (and I was already a little late starting on it).  I speed up near the end and finally I was done!  Well I thought I was done - can't ever be sure till you actually look at it.  The train was just pulling into the station - I started getting up and opened my eyes at the same time; looked down at the cube and I did complete it!

As I stepped towards the door to walk out (the door by the guy), I looked at him, said "good night" and walked out.

I'm not a vengeful person by any stretch of the imagination... but that did feel good.  I remember the look on his face as I stepped off too.

I guess the moral of the story is - please don't ever think you are better than someone else or that you know how to do something better than someone else can.  And most importantly; if someone doesn't want your help - just back off.  Doesn't mean you shouldn't offer it; just know when to stow it.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Oh yea

Happy new year!  I forgot to put that up here.  (And while I'm here - merry xmas, and happy thanks giving too)

I'm sure a lot of people heard that during new years eve / new years day we had a Blue Moon.  A blue moon (scientifically speaking) is defined as the second full moon in the same calendar month.  Blue moons occur once every 3 or 4 years because the lunar calendar is out of sync (slightly) with the solar calendar months.  So seeing a blue moon does happen once in a blue moon... but the blue moon on new years was very special.  A blue moon on new years eve/day (by my approximate calculations) happens once in 1400 years

If that's not a herald for the awesomeness that 2010 holds, I don't know what is!  I'm particularly excited since 2010 is when I officially start medical school; so I know 2010 is going to be a very special year for me - wonder if it's the same for other people out there?

Cooking fiasco; part Deux

Well I guess it's happened more than once before - but my misadventures with cooking continued the weekend before new years.  I was frying some Poori and I guess the dough I was using had a bit too much water in it (or had a pocket of water).  So a nice blob of super hot oil jumped out of the pan and... onto my face. 

Anyone who cooks has probably felt the sting of hot oil on their skin.  Usually, it is limited to somewhere on my hands.  But this time the blob landed on my left cheek - ouch.  It's healing up well now; but seriously - I think oil has a personal vendetta against me.  Almost every time I cook with oil - something silly happens.  A mini explosion, blue flames, or searing my face.

I should probably wear my chem lab gear (goggles, gloves and overcoat) while cooking in oil from now on.  Yea, that's not weird at all.