Door Handles Are Evil

They look harmless enough. But appearances lie. Door handles are evil. Or rather, became evil.

About a week ago, I started getting extremely frequent bouts of being shocked by static electricity. At one point, it was so bad that I would get shocked opening the bathroom door, get shocked again turning on the faucet, and yet again opening my room door. Static shocks never bothered me too much, since apparently I’m too insensitive or something to really feel pain from them, but this was ridiculous.

What was even odder was that it just started out of nowhere. I didn’t change my outfit to something heavily wool- and nylon-based; I didn’t suddenly start vigorously rubbing my derriere on chairs whenever I sat down; I didn’t walk any more than usual. (Although, considering the fact that I probably walk more during a week in college than during a whole month at home, it’s probably a miracle that I never got shocked before.) (Also, if you’re wondering what walking has anything to do with it, a major cause of static buildup in your body is the charging of insulating material in your shoes. I had to look that up.) (Also, here’s another consecutive parenthetical statement.) There really was no explanation that I could think of  for this new, annoying phenomenon. Therefore, I reached the conclusion that the door handles I kept touching had suddenly turned on me. Yes, inanimate objects can be and are innately biased against people. Take the following as examples:

  • Headphones: It doesn’t matter what you try to do. Once the things go in your pocket, before you take them back out they’ll happily contort and tangle themselves in ways you didn’t even think physically possible.
  • Weed (the umbrella-term-for-undesired-plants kind, not the marijuana kind): Their lives delight in making mortal enemies of homeowners and gardeners everywhere.
  • Weed (the marijuana kind this time): Hemp could have become pretty much the most useful plant of all time. But cannabis decided it was too cool for that, and instead cultivated THC in itself so that it could become illegal. What kind of sadistic behavior is that?
  • USB drives: When’s the last time that you tried to stick one in in your computer and it would go in the first time? You always try to do it the wrong way first.
  • Coins: There’s too many of them when you don’t need any, but they magically disappear when you need to use some.
  • Digital cameras: They only run out of battery when you’re taking that all-important group picture. As well as just costing you a fortune in non-rechargeables in general.

I could go on. But the point is, some things just have it in for you. I don’t know what made the door handles decide that it didn’t like me after all. But there isn’t much I can do: I’m not going to stop wearing shoes, and I’m not going to wear totally anti-static clothing. Oh, sure, there are easier ways to reduce or eliminate static shocks. I could touch door handles with my keys before I touch them with my fingers; I could rap my knuckles on them first. I don’t know about you, but if I saw someone fishing out their keys and touching a door handle with that every time, or rapping their knuckles on one, I’d think there was something wrong with them.

Fortunately, most handles have regained their senses and have stopped shocking me in the past few days. But the huge stainless steel handle at UW’s Physics/Astronomy Auditorium that I must use to get to math class has been rather stubborn. We’ll see how long it takes before it succumbs. Until then, I still say door handles have become inexplicably evil.

[Note: while researching for this post, I ran across a BBC article that listed some ways to avoid shock. One of them read: “You could try driving completely naked. Going out in public unclothed is not recommended though, and liable to get you arrested. It’s doubtful the police would believe you’re trying to prevent static build-up.” Really, BBC? And no, I didn’t insert that link. It was there to begin with.]

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Learning English May Be Hazardous To Your Reputation

Learning English is serious business, in case you didn’t know. I got lucky since I got to learn the language immersively by living in the States, but that’s not to say that it didn’t take a few years of bumbling around and trying to figure stuff out. Unfortunately, that first part means that I embarrassed myself a lot while I learned. Actually, that second part too. Since they mean the same thing. But the point is, my early years here were filled with language-related incidents, most of which my memory back then must have decided to suppress. They were all part of a learning process, and I can have a laugh over the memories now. But you can imagine that it wasn’t so jolly for little me at the time.

I came to Washington during the summer of my third grade year, which means third grade had already finished across America. So I skipped half a year, totally without my knowledge, and started in the fourth grade in autumn. I remember feeling pretty cool for that. The first day of school was going well enough–my mom walked me all the way (we lived about five minutes’ walking distance away) and even sat in during class with a number of other parents. I liked my teacher, a kindly lady named Mrs. Ault, and thought the classmates were okay too. Then we had a little icebreaker (though I’m sure you never use that word with kids. What ice is there to break?), and during the instructions I heard the word “birthday”. I knew that word! It seemed that she would say all the months in order, and everyone who had a birthday in that month would raise their hand. (My birthday’s in August, so I had a little time to figure this out.) Then she would point to each person who raised his or her hand, and the kid would reply with some number. I was able to conclude that they were replying with the actual date of their birth. So I raised my hand when the teacher called “August”, and when it was my turn, I was able to triumphantly say “one” and feel good about my abilities of inductive reasoning.

My teacher didn’t seem so impressed, though; her expression turned rather curious, instead. If I had paid a little more attention to the numbers that everyone else was saying, I’d have noticed that they were all either nine or ten and thus realize that they were saying their age. I wasn’t embarrassed at having proclaimed that I was one year old to the class, though, because I didn’t figure it out until I thought about it at home later.

Things improved a little after a year of experience under my belt. Fifth grade was still dotted with a number of incidents, though, the most memorable of which is probably the rice debacle. The class was divided up into groups for a project that I can’t remember anymore. But it must have been some kind of crafts thing, because each member was assigned materials to bring from home. My material happened to be rice, and I was instructed to bring enough for the whole group to use. Oh hey, good news right? Not like I didn’t have tons of that at home.

At this point, I should tell you a couple things. First, the Korean language differentiates between two words for rice: “쌀” (pronounced “ssal”) and “밥” (“bap” with a long ‘a’), where the former is the grain in raw state and the latter is in cooked state. Second, the English language does not. Third, while I was learning English, I had this thing where if it was possible for me to understand something the wrong way, I generally would.

I went home and told my mom that I needed to bring, like, half a ton of bap on the next day for class. She thought something here was more than a little weird, but I was adamant that that was what I was told, because it was true. (Even though I thought that it was a tad bit odd too.) So mom ended up cooking a significant amount of rice that day, and it had to be packed into a plastic picnic basket for transport.  I walked into class the next morning with that big thing and set it down next to my desk for the first couple hours, until it was time for group work. Some of my friends were curious and asked if that was for lunch or something; I didn’t feel like explaining that it was for a project, so I just told them no. In retrospect, that must have have been confusing.

Imagine my groupmates’ surprise when I show up with lots of cooked rice and none of the raw rice that we actually needed. I don’t really remember what happened afterwards, but I think it involved a lot of languid laughing and kids trying to make me feel better. Oh, and that rice took a good while for my family to finish.

By the time I graduated from elementary school, I was fairly well versed in conversational English and most everyday expressions. What took a little more time to master, though, were cultural nuances. That was the reason for what happened in sixth grade. It was a Lion’s Quest class period: correct me if I’m wrong on this, but I believe it was sort of a citizenship development thing. The class took turns giving short presentations about what kind of behavior they would like to see and not see throughout the year. One of my “don’t want to see” things were hurtful gestures: for example, giving the finger. (Which, being in the sixth grade, one did see a respectable number of.) At that time, my understanding of the middle finger was that it was certainly an undesirable expression, but not quite at the level of taboo. I did my presentation, and when it got to that part, I thought I would show them an example of what I meant by hurtful gestures. What I mean is that I basically flipped off the entire class while my teacher was standing right next to me. Silence fell over the room for a few seconds, and to her credit, my poor teacher ended it with a terse “Thank you. But don’t actually show that, even as an example.”

Seven years later, I’m certainly bumbling around a lot less. Though sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever be totally caught up. I’m sure that there’s something, some aspect of Americana waiting for me to mess up somehow and learn it, but that’s okay. I’ll just tell myself that I’m Americanized enough, I’m okay, I’m good to go. And that I’m still Korean at the same time. What an idea. If it feels like this conclusion is rushed, it’s because I took a whole another post and crammed it into the last two sentences here without a sufficient transition. So don’t worry, it’s not just you. I’ll write about that someday.

Dorm Move-In 101

Moving into a college dorm is an easy process. Just follow a few simple steps and you’ll be all set!

1. Totally neglect to do anything about the process until a week before move-in.
2. Frantically try to buy all the stuff you’re going to need during that week. Multiple visits to the same store are to be expected.
3. Pack your newly acquired stuff along with your old stuff. Grossly underestimate how much stuff all this actually is.
4. Pack some more.
5. Realize that you’re never going to get this done in time, and end up making your parents do most of it.
6. Keep thinking up of crucial things that you forgot somehow. For example, a razor. Or a calculator. Scramble to find these things.
7. On the night before move-in, pick out what you’re going to wear the day after so that it won’t be buried in a pile of luggage with the other clothes.
8. On the day of move-in, wake up and see that it’s pouring rain.
9. There will be stuff that you haven’t loaded on the car at this point. This is always true. Go ahead and load all that. In the pouring rain.
10. Realize that the clothes you picked out from the pile last night are not prepared for this kind of flood.
11. Go back to the car and search for more suitable clothing. Destroy all semblance of order and organization with the loaded luggage in the process.
12. Find your hoodies, which happen to be at the very bottom of the pile. Taking everything out is not an option, so wrestle with pulling one out without ripping the sleeves to shreds for upwards of several minutes.
13. Win the struggle with the reluctant hoodie. Feel triumphant as you put it on.
14. Step outside the car, where it is now raining about twice as hard as before.
15. Resigning yourself to the fact that there will inevitably be something that you forgot, leave for school.
16. Get on the freeway, which at this point it would be very possible for people to waterski on top of. And if they really were you wouldn’t know, because you can’t see anything on the road.
17. As three freaking trailers swerve to get in front of you and spray half a ton of water on the windshield, watch as the limit of visibility as x goes to I-5 approaches zero.
18. Come up with a nerdy way to say that.
19. After getting off the freeway, stop by a Safeway because you need to buy milk for breakfasts as a poor college student and the local places were somehow sold out that morning. Pay twice as much as you would at home.
20. And after a long time, arrive at school.
21. Learn that every car coming into the parking lot must be guided, directed, and zigzagged by an army of helpful volunteers. Find that you can’t really be angry at the volunteers, but still feel like you’re wasting a royal amount of time.
22. Remember that you’re here, like, an hour early and don’t really have a say.
23. Slowly advance to residence halls.
24. After about five minutes, reach the main university entrance.
25. Realize that you missed the path to your hall a while back.
26. Backtrack.
27. Arrive at your hall. Be directed to a temporary unloading spot in the fire lane.
28. Get your keys and a mandatory, charged emergency pack from the desk.
29. Learn that while you thought “first floor” meant, like, first floor, in reality the ground floor is the third floor.
30. Take your stuff to your dorm room with parents and a volunteer.
31. Attempt to open the door with your mailbox key.
32. Unpack and get settled.
33. Realize that you forgot to bring a desk lamp. This is the beginning of several such revelations.
34. Open that emergency pack from earlier and be momentarily amused by the contents.
35. Attempt to go back up, and find out that the stairs are the only way up and down while people are still using elevators to unload.
36. Later, be frustrated at the stubbornness of the heater to blast at full strength even though it’s really hot in the room with the window open.
37. Be more frustrated that there are no controls.
38. Seriously consider going Greek.
39. Remind self to at least blog about this or something so that the experience won’t be lost.
40. Remember to write the blog post two days after moving in.

(The dorms themselves are fine, if you’re wondering. And I have it better than, say, people who need to go upstairs just to go to the bathroom. But that’s not the point of this post.)

QWERTY

I’m sure that whoever invented today’s keyboard layout was a pretty smart guy. It seems to be in random order, but there must be some kind of logic behind it, right? And it must be something very complex.

Actually, I’m also sure that this person was on crack when he invented it.

Just take a look at your keyboard right now.

What is this nonsense? Can you get any more random? What possible reason could there be for a sane person to jumble up a perfectly fine alphabet into a string of letters that is in no comprehensible order and even fails to at least spell an entertaining word while it’s at it?

I was going to write a full post on this disgrace, then I realized I should probably look things up before I rant on them. So I did some quick research, and found out that… Wikipedia had a nice picture of a keyboard that I could use on this post. I also found out that there was, in fact, a fairly understandable reason for the inventor of QWERTY to lay out his keys in this way, which totally makes the original point of this post moot and forces me to change the topic temporarily, but this is not as relevant.

So. Uhm. I guess QWERTY is okay. It does have its uses, such as replacing T9 as my preferred method of texting. Me and T9… we never really got along that well. I didn’t have an unlimited text plan for two years after getting my first phone, so I never really needed to get acquainted with it. I wanted it to make it work out between us–I really did. Whenever I needed to put something on the calendar, or make a memo, or send the rare (and expensive) text, I’d be like “Hey T9, long time no see. Can you type up this really simple line of text for me real quick?” and then T9 would be all “F*%& YOU! Imma misspell EVERY SINGLE WORD!” and it would go ahead and misspell every single word I tried to type. If it was possible to develop intense loathing towards a method of text input, it might have happened to me. Since then, I’ve been using a QWERTY touchpad phone, and the fickleness of T9 is just a distant memory. The problem is that I have a similar relationship with touchscreen, but that’s a story for another time.

And I admit that it’s not all that complex or random compared to some other schemes. For example, the method of Korean typing that is used the most widely is called the 2-set method, and while it’s a little hard to learn, once you’re proficient it’s no big deal. But an alternate scheme called the 3-set method exists, and as far as I can tell, this method is more complex than college astrophysics. Imagine that you took the jumbled order of QWERTY and mixed it up a couple more times just for the heck of it, then started combining a few letters into one key, shuffled it a few more times, then combined punctuation marks and special characters with the now-doubled-up letters, made it so that you almost always have to type from the right side to the left just to complete one character (using the shift key the whole time), and then colored it all bright and pretty to try and feel a little bit better about the fact that you just murdered an entire language’s alphabet using only a keyboard. That’s what the 3-set keyboard is like.

But that still doesn’t excuse QWERTY from its many quirks and downsides. For one, you can’t tell me that I’m the only one that feels a little sillier every time I try to type the word and don’t realize until a few seconds later that it is, by definition, simply the first six letters of the keyboard. If I really am the only one, well, I take pride in representing the opinion of a minority. Of one.

Speaking of typing QWERTY, why is it just those six letters? Why can’t it be QWERTYUIOP? Or just QWER? Or even ZXCVB? I kind of like ZXCVB. Has a certain ring to it, which I like to call “the unpronounceable ring”. But nooooo, whoever coined the term just had to think firmly inside the box and pick the most reasonable name.

And arranging a keyboard in this order has one massive, critical weakness, enough to eclipse everything else I’ve mentioned so far: you cannot type the English alphabet in order as fast. “But wait,” you might ask. “Why is that so important?”

Well, dear reader. How many times, during your lifetime, will you find yourself in a situation where you have to type the English alphabet in order? Probably not very many. Maybe once or twice, if that. But consider this: how many times, during that same lifetime, will you find yourself in a situation where you have to type the QWERTY keyboard’s letters in order? I can bet you that it will be much, much less often than the first option. And from that, we can conclude that the QWERTY keyboard is counterproductive. I’ll be waiting for the brave soul that ventures out to create a new typing system to rid us from this menace to our alphabet-typing efficiency.

And hopefully, no drugs will be involved this time around.

Random P.S.:

While reading up on QWERTY on Wikipedia, I noticed that the article had been vandalized by a very shy individual. How do I know the person was shy? Well, let’s look.

I decided to leave it alone. The guy (girl?) gets points for trying.

How I Came to Hate Federal Way Towing Companies

(First of all, if you are in any way affiliated with a Federal Way-based towing company, do understand that my hate is not directed towards any individual. You’ll see what I mean.)

My dad owns a small business that imports heated stone beds and sells to customers in the region. And for the past few years, I’ve been helping to deliver the things to people’s homes all over the Pacific Northwest. Usually they don’t live further than Seattle (northward) and Olympia (southward), and the only real issues are when we have to deliver to, say, Oregon or Spokane (the latter of which I haven’t done personally). I suppose I’m glad that this story didn’t occur on one of those faraway deliveries.

I think it happened in my junior year. Possibly near the end of sophomore year. At any rate, the year was 2008. There was a routine delivery to Federal Way (a bit more than a half-hour away from where I live, in case you don’t live around the Puget Sound) on a Saturday. The only thing was, our GMC Savana was being a little wonky in the week leading up to that–we were going to have the engine looked at, but this was a time-sensitive delivery and we figured we could just do it after coming back.

The drive up went okay. When I say “drive up”, I literally mean “up”. As in, these people lived on a hilltop. In retrospect, I still have no idea how an engine in that condition was able to handle it. The car did stutter heavily near the end, but we got there, pulled into the driveway backwards (so we could unload the bed), and set to work.

We must have finished in about 20~30 minutes. (I have no actual recollection of how long this particular setup took. I’m just assuming it took the normal amount of time.) Loaded up the empty boxes, bid the customers a good day, got in the car, turned the key. It refused to turn on. Okay, great. There are plenty of things to do here. Like try again. (Now, my recollection of this entire event is fairly vivid, but I can’t for the life of me figure out where the smoke was involved. I remember the engine starting to smoke at some point, and it may well have been at this second try. But I can’t be completely sure.)

Anyways, a bit later we tried getting water from the customer and topping off the radiator. (Yeah, you’re supposed to use distilled water for that, but do people keep that around their house very often?) And, on the next try, the engine magically turned on. It was still incredibly unstable, though–the car was idling roughly. Again in retrospect, this was probably a good time to give up and call a towing company. But I guess we decided to give the return trip a go.

My dad was driving carefully, and the car lasted the few minutes it took for us to roll down the hill. I thought we could make it. All the way down the hill, there was an intersection into a larger road (I don’t remember the name–if someone can figure it out from the description later on, let me know!) that we had to turn right into. The moment he stepped on the brakes at that intersection, the engine died again.

And it wasn’t coming back.

It was a busy road and a busy intersection. Immediately, the three or so cars behind us in the line started honking and driving around. Clearly this wasn’t a good spot for an engine to die. Fortunately, on the other side of the intersection was a very large (and more importantly, empty) parking lot, serving some kind of aquatics center that apparently was closed or something that day. I just used three adverbs to start three sentences in a row.

(A little visual aid of the situation. Hush about the quality, I whipped it up in about two minutes.)

First order of business: get the van from its awkward spot at the intersection to the nice and big parking lot. The intersection itself was on flat ground, but the far side was on a slight slope. So once the car got rolling, it would pick up speed on its own. My dad would steer (since I had never grabbed a steering wheel in my life at that time–I didn’t get my license until senior year) and I would push just for that little distance until the slope.

Let’s just say we overestimated my 15-year-old full body strength.

This wasn’t going to go anywhere. But by another fortune (this kind of thing is why I believe God has a great sense of humor), there were three random guys walking by at that moment. We asked for help, and the car rolled easily enough with their assistance. Though, now that I think about it, we were pushing this thing at high speed through a busy uncontrolled intersection and didn’t get hit. I guess people are more careful about their driving than I thought.

The vehicle was now in the parking lot and still in one piece. That was good, but on the other hand it started raining shortly after. Actually, I should say “pouring down a tumultuous torrent” or quite simply “someone took a lake and dumped it out on top of Federal Way”. We needed a tow truck as soon as possible, but where does one find the phone number for a local towing company in an empty parking lot of an “aquatics center that apparently was closed or something that day”? If your answer is that aquatics center, you are either truly thinking outside the box or just really desperate.

We were a bit closer to the desperate side. By our third stroke of luck that day, the receptionist was working even though the place was closed. I didn’t know why, and I didn’t care. She was a rather kind old lady and told us that she had an old phone book. Success!

There were three companies listed in the directory. The first one didn’t pick up their phone. Okay, that leaves two. The second one did pick up, but after I worked out the pricing and timing, suddenly told me that they could only have one other person in the cabin in addition to their driver. Obviously that was problematic. So we called the third place, and they told us that exact same thing. Regulations, they said.

Imagine, for a moment, that you are a fifteen-year-old boy who did hard manual labor (including loading stuff up from the warehouse) on a Saturday morning and was looking forward to an afternoon of relaxation, when your car breaks down in a busy intersection and you have to explain to people behind that your car is, in fact, in such crap condition that it broke down in a busy intersection and then try to push it across said intersection but fail miserably and you do eventually make it across without getting killed but then it starts to rain like the world is ending and you somehow find three people who can save your day but the first one is just too good to answer their damn phone and the others are basically saying that you’re going to have to spend a couple MORE hours alone either in that rain or in a completely vacated (except for the receptionist, kindly as she was) swimming pool until your father returns to pick you up and all you have on you is your cell phone before you got texting and the towing company people are being awfully rude about it.

I’m surprised I didn’t come out with some kind of trauma.

I did end up being able to come home quicker than I thought. My dad called a friend who knew the number to a Lakewood-based towing company, and even though they were going to take a while to arrive, we weren’t picky at the time. And yes, this company did allow its drivers to have more than one person riding in the cabin with them. It was over in a couple hours. And to be fair, the other towers didn’t really have anything to do with the car breaking down and they were just following their rules.

But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t absolutely hate Federal Way towing companies with all my heart that day.

Plastic horns and heart attacks

As you know, for the past couple weeks the world’s been abuzz with futboll mania. Halfway into the World Cup, and we’re already seeing plenty of entertaining news that’s not even related to soccer. To name just a few:

1. The French team’s soap opera, complete with betrayals, broken promises, and angry tears.
2. Controversy over how distracting the fans’ vuvuzelas are to viewers and players.
3. Players complaining about this year’s official ball.
4. Vuvuzelas.
5. Suspense over whether or not North Korea will actually nuke Portugal’s capital for destroying their team 7-0.
6. Those really loud horn things that make it impossible to hear anything from the game. I think they might be called vuvuzelas.

But hey, that’s not why we watch these things. My family normally isn’t huge on soccer, but like good, dutiful Koreans, my dad and I go into a frenzy over it every four years. The women in the house think we’re crazy. But no matter; when that World Cup season rolls around, we are willing to spend hours upon hours reading up on teams, following the news, and making predictions (but I’m usually more willing). This is all good and desirable.

I do admit that sometimes we get a little too into it. The following is an approximate account of our dialogue at various points of the June 22nd match between South Korea and Nigeria. It’s obviously not exact (technically it’s not even close, if you consider how we weren’t speaking in English), but I hope it carries the gist.


12th minute (right after Korea takes a shoddy goal)
Dad: “WHY was he [referring to a Korean defender] just standing out there?!”
Me: “Uh, why does our defense suck? This is so much bull.”

A few minutes later (Nigeria’s shot hits the bar, bounces out)
Me: (Still recovering from heart attack)
Dad: “WHY are we standing around and opening up dribble space?!!!”

38th minute (score 1-1 after a Korean defender scores)
Dad: “Yes!!! He’s our hope! Would you look at that!”
Me (after the obligatory “Goallllllllll!!!”): “Ahahahahaha, I reallyyy wish any of the forwards would score though.”

49th minute (2-1 when Korea scores again). After about three minutes of intense celebrating:
Dad: “That was absolutely perfect.”
Me: “Wasn’t there a guy who got famous after he predicted the first two games’ scores? If it ends 2-1 he’s three for three.”
Dad: “That guy could probably become a practicing psychic.”
Me: “I love him so much right now.”

64th minute (a Korean player who was screwing up the whole time is substituted out)
Me: “Yep, we’re done. We win. Psychic was correct.”
Dad: “This should have happened earlier.”

68th minute (the guy who just got substituted in fouls in a dangerous spot and gives away a penalty kick)
Dad: (expression turns foul) “……”
Me: “……. WHAT THE F*CK IS HE DOING?”

69th minute (penalty kick goes in, 2-2)
Dad: “……”
Me:

Last 10 minutes of game (Nigeria attacks again and again, almost scores on several different occasions)
Me: (gripping seat for dear life, mentally curses the sub)
Dad: (urgent exclamations of “Ahh!” or “Uhh!” every time the Nigerians shoot)


I forget what exactly happened when the game ended a draw and the Koreans were confirmed to advance to the next round, other than posting the result on Facebook. I think I must have been dehydrated or something. It probably didn’t help that I came back from my school’s senior party at 7am before waking back up at 11am to watch this.

The point is, the World Cup, like the Olympics or the World Baseball Classic or any other big international sporting event, is some seriously thrilling stuff. I get animated. Neither me nor my dad are likely to chew anyone out as thoroughly as we crucify bad players, and the closest thing to a swear word that I ever say in real life is “damn”. Written that way, it sounds like they bring out all the bad qualities, but that’s just part of it. Few things make me happier than a victory in one of these games, and few things make me giddier in anticipation than a high-stakes matchup.

If a sporting event gets me this excited, how come I never follow regular seasons of anything? I watch the World Series, the Super Bowl, NBA championships, international sporting events, Starleague playoffs (don’t judge me.), and March Madness, but I hardly ever catch a game during seasons. But I’m starting to see the reason: it’s all in the exhilaration. Perhaps more than the sport itself, I enjoy the drama, the suspense, the excitement of those events. Where that is lacking, I just can’t muster up the effort to see it. When this World Cup is over, and soccer fans revert to watching the English Premier League or La Liga or whatever, I won’t be there with them. The moment would be over for me. But in the meantime, I’ll continue to wake up at 4:30am to catch games, yell my lungs out rooting for teams, and almost die from heart attacks. And listen to those damn vuvuzelas instead of the game. Sigh.