Monday, July 28, 2008

Our Lives on the Wheels of Mice

"Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things. I am tempted to think there are no little things."

Bruce Barton

It kind of really bugs me every time people tell me that I shouldn't sweat the little things. It really, really does. Okay, by being bugged I'm actually being the case in point here but we can't help that now, can we? Little things just bother me, and I'm not talking about those abstract little things like petty rivalries, baseless jealousy and tiffs with the girlfriend (I'm remarkably immune to those - just ask Phoebe). I'm talking about the littler things; miniscule micro-moments of fly-sized annoyances which we wade through on a daily basis like your professor's jarring verbal crutches, something stuck in your teeth which no amount of fiddling with your tongue can dislodge, or a toilet bowl which won't flush because someone flushed it a minute ago. Things like these frustrate me, mock me. They tell me that there's absolutely nothing I can do about them, in spite of how insultingly small they are.

I messed up my backspace key a couple of weeks back and now, it only registers half the time. It breaks my rhythm every time I punch a dud. It always take a second for me to realise that I have missed a beat, by which time I would have already ploughed on for another word or two, needing to backspace more than ever. That's why I haven't been blogging very diligently - it upset the system of my ordered world. It reminds me of that insect of a classmate I used to have in primary school who would stand beside me, reach behind my neck and tap me on my other shoulder to make me look the other way. Even after I knew it's just him and I no longer even bothered to turn my head, he wouldn't stop. He'd keep at it long after the novelty expired, all while laughing gleefully like a retard. I swear I can still feel him tap-tap-tapping deeper and deeper into a bleeding wound in my soul. That's how the tap-tap-tapping of my faulty backspace key feels like to me.

Yesterday, I broke my mouse wheel, and it really put into perspective just how much I've grown to depend on the thing. Every time I forget it's broken, it reminded me with that smooth, catchless rolling of a disengaged cogwheel - an impotent motion, a bloody waste of joules - and boy, did it bug me half to hell. I never knew just how many bajillion things on a computer screen were moved by it till it died. I remember when I first got a mouse with a wheel a few years back, I thought to myself "Wow, what a pointless invention." My life was all peachy and gay before they created it and I have no doubt that being able to scroll through things quicker won't make it a whole lot more peachier or gayer. Of that, I was completely right. It did not make things better. It just made me depend a whole lot on a really tiny little wheel that really doesn't give a lot in return. It was okay when I didn't have a mouse wheel back then. It's not fucking okay now.

It bugs me how much we tacked ourselves to another eleventy billion other little things like this. Your standard QWERTY keyboard has more than a hundred keys (go count, I'll wait), each and every one integrated seamlessly into your routinal everydays; that's more than a hundred ways for your day to derail. Just knock out one and all of a sudden, your keyboard becomes a hostile animal. There's another twenty possible disappointments on your cellphones, some handful on your mp3 player, a few other hundred thousand odd ones spread all around your life in the form of electric switches, window catches, doorknobs, belt buckles, toilet tank levers, milk carton pop-caps... the full spectrum of the mundane out-of-focus background which only becomes high-def when your backspace keys and mouse wheels fail you.

We are all living in the comfort of a rickety hammock strung together using the littlest things in life. That's what's bugging me. Little things do matter.

Good ones included, fortunately.


Here's a random, unrelated list of another few things I can think of right off the bat which also bugs me;
  • People using the word 'creative' - even when it's used in praise of me. Its like a nail on a chalkboard screech to my soul, I don't know why. Hey, I didn't say it was rational.
  • Also, words like 'proactive', 'comprehensive', and 'mugging' (in reference to rote-learning, not the other one with the criminal). I hate the first two because people keep peppering their sentences with them like they are some universal placeholder words which automatically convey formality and scholarship. They don't. They just convey retardation. I have this feeling that the people who use them don't really know what they mean. As for 'mugging', I hear it every day coming out of the mouths of my lecturers and colleagues. Go learn some new words, for Pete's sake. I die a little inside every time I hear words like these.
  • Bloggers blogging with a Thesaurus on his or her lap. It's freaking obvious, okay. I hate to break this to you but using big words doesn't make you sound smarter. It just shows how big a fake you are. One simple thing everyone needs to know is that synonyms don't always mean the same thing. There are small nuances in their definitions which only (a lot of) reading can teach you. Quarrel and argue aren't the same. Joy and elation aren't the same. Thesaurus-suckling poseurs and writers aren't the same. Read, purple prose.
  • Medical students who blog about normal stuff using medical terms. Even when used by their intended meanings, they still sound stupid. Like 'nasal congestion' for stuffed nose, 'tachycardia' for heart beating fast, 'tachypnoea' for panting, 'lacrimate' for weep, 'rhinoviral infection' for cold... it's a very long and very ugly list. Those words belong on a medical report or in a case presentation, not in your blog unless you're writing a very factual post about diseases. It's very, very weird to see words and phrases like this when you're writing about your everyday life. I know you're a big time medical student but you don't need to show off and remind other people about it in every other sentence, okay.
  • Couples celebrating monthly anniversaries. Firstly, the prefix anni- refers to 'year', not 'month'. Secondly, is managing to stick to your boyfriend or girlfriend for a whole month such a monumental achievement for you that it warrants celebration? If yes, you might want to re-evaluate your relationship or something.

One peeved guy,
k0k s3n w4i


pinksterz said...

until this day i am still wondering what is so nice with using mouse? :S touchpad is better! xD and my keyboard had lost two of its keys already. not too mentioned the condition of others. :(

and your last point in this point.

actually someone anonymous (a student here i figured out later) complained about me blogging about "mundane daily happenings" instead of blogging about medical stuff blablabla or islamic stuff since i am studying in egypt. -__- stupid gila kan kan kan? haha.

fubi said...

awwh, its ok baby. u got urself a new 1anyway T_T i din show off also T^T hmpf.

Zzzyun said...

oops occasionally guilty of the last one abt medical students. blek.

ps: and yes i agree abt the fact tat synonyms really dont mean exactly the same thing!! reading them in their context will help u to define the small differences.

bevE said...

this post is so comprehensive. you are like, so great. so creative.

1, 2, buckle my shoe.

senorita.. said...

anniversary? i forgot when was the last time we celebrated.. he he

ps:i actually refrain from reading ur post abt Dark Knight for fear of spoilers... i watched it and i gotta agree with u.. it's jus awesome

Terri said...

hey, i'm guilty of celebrating every month. except we call them "monthli-versaries" xD

i'd never been with someone longer than two months before my current boyfriend, so yeah every passing month was a big deal, a little celebration, a small victory. i admit though it's starting to lose significance; and we barely even celebrated our very first anniversary. xP

please don't be too hard on people like me!!! :P its exciting and just another excuse to celebrate your love. so what if it's juvenile and not very significant. it's significant to the people who celebrate it, that's WHY they celebrate it.

*sticks out tongue at Po*

(and don't you dare tell me to grow up) xP

bevE said...

grow up terri chen T^T

how come u commented instead of tagged this time round?

voon said...


What a lashing out eh?
So you hate poseurs?
You hate "mugging"?
How about "By-Hearting" (WTF DOES THAT MEAN?!?!%$#&@$$$$$)

I hate it too but I learn that sometimes you just can't hate people for what they are. They have names for people like that. Something along the lines of "elitist scumbag" or "racist fiend".


k0k s3n w4i said...

pinksterz: u can't play computer games with a touchpad. who wants to read medical stuff anyway? and since ur in egypt, shud blog about the egyptian gods!!! poor deities. no one prays to them no more *prays to Horus*

fubi: din show off? HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA

zzzyun: yes, don't let some self righteous fool with some two it blog post change u xD anyway, i mentioned it cos its painful to read most of the time. medical terms are so inelegant and awkward.

beve: your sister is hot.

senorita: if i post spoilers i'll write a big, big spoiler warning 1. no worries. i think u tersesat comment in wrong post d.

terri: how do you break up with someone within 2 months anyway? i mean, there's not even enough time to get tired of anyone! anyhow, it's nothing personal. things annoy me and i felt like venting. i celebrate my relationship a little everyday by... enjoying it :D in a perfect world, love ought to be effortless, like a couple's first year (or first two months, in some cases xD)

voon: aw shiet. we can't hate evil people for being who they are either? i'm sort of an elitist too. i try to offset that by cussing a lot xD and you, stay off urban dictionary and encyclopedia dramatica u crazy net junkie, you