Friday, June 26, 2009

Using My Old Student ID To Pay Lower Movie Ticket Prices: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

Earlier tonight, my friend Joe and I went to see Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (Personally, I liked it a lot. Movie critics are haters. I mean, it's Transformers!! You expecting some classic piece of American cinema?). I bought the tickets early to avoid the long lines and when I met up with Joe and handed him his ticket, something caught his eye.

Joe: Hey, these tickets say "student" on them?

Nev: Yeah, I used my student ID from college.

Joe: But you haven't been in college for, like, six years.

OK. First: I haven't been in college for, like, eight years. Second: Joe was missing the point. Movie tickets today are ridiculously expensive. $12-13 to see a film? On top of exorbitant prices for popcorn, nachos, soda and junior mints? We're living in troubled economic times, and the entertainment industry couldn't care less!!

So why shouldn't I use my student ID to save a couple of bucks whenever I attend the cinema?

Now granted: The ID is falling apart, it's been in my wallet since the 1990s and it contains a photo of myself that basically looks nothing like I do today. But so what? Which is the lesser of two evils? Using my student ID to pay less to see a movie even though I'm no longer a student? Or paying a ridiculously high price to see Rambo 4 because of a mere technicality?

Besides: Do we ever really stop becoming students? Do we ever cease to learn? I got the college degree, but that doesn't mean my mind no longer excepts the wisdom known as knowledge.

I will always be a student.

And students deserve lower movie ticket prices.

It aids in the learning process.


And now for this week's:


Last year, I wrote a blog entry about how I secretly yearned for my very own handicapped parking sticker so I can park in such spaces without worrying about looking for an open space. To this day, I still get fan mail on this post. Observe this latest praise (earlier this month) from faithful reader Mandy:

This has to be the single most IGNORANT thing I've ever read! It irrates me that someone so selfish could ever stoop to this kind of thinking! Oh, poor us who aren't disabled, we have to walk a whole 5 minutes, sad. Got news for ya buddy, those who are disabled would LOVE to HAVE to walk 5 minutes! You speak about elderly people, how about the young people who aren't able to walk or have trouble walking? Did you consider them on your careless search to get a handicapped tag for you own selfish pleasure? Yes, I often see handicapped spots open. There are usually 3 or 4 on each side. Parking spots are, what, 8 feet? So you're having to walk a total of 24-32 feet? Are you freaking kidding me?! If I was your mom I would slap you across the face for being so inconsiderate. And the fact that you posted this to a public forum for the world to see as if it's something you're proud of just absolutely blows my mind. I think you are pathetic and that this post is a joke. I'm so sorry that you have to walk a few minutes, wow..that must be absolute torture. Probably a lot like the torture that paras a quads go through when they see you walking by as they are wishing and praying that one day they will be able to walk as well. This just flat pisses me off. You are a careless, worthless, pathetic jerk who so inconsiderate of others' needs that you would rather have someone who cannot physically walk, or has extreme difficulty walking, park in the back just so you can spare yourself a few effortless steps. I hope you never have to know what it's like to be the one actually NEEDING the handicapped spot, but should that day come I hope you at least remember how selfish and lazy you are, and I hope an AB takes the last handicapped spot, leaving you to struggle getting to your destination, if you can even find a spot that allows you to get out of the car.

I heart fan mail. :-) I'm gonna send Mandy an "I love" mug.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Hitting Someone's Car With My Car Door: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

So I was leaving work the other day, going to the parking garage where my car was located, and when I opened my door, I did something that all of us have done at one time or another:

I hit the car next to me with my car door.

Now usually, hitting a car with your car door doesn't do any damage; at least, no visible damage. But sometimes, it does leave evidence of the act. A dent. A ding. A scratch.

In this particular case, my hitting the car with my door led to the rear view mirror being askew.

Now there are two things you can do when you ding someone's car with your own:

1) Leave a note on the front of the car, explaining to the owner what happened, and leaving your contact information in case any damages have to be paid.

Or 2) Get the hell out of there before anyone sees you and/or the owner shows up.

Political correctness tells us to leave the note.

I chose to get the hell out of Dodge.

Now I know what you're saying:

Nevin, how could you? You damaged some poor guy's car and rather than take responsibility for your actions, you run away like a thief in the night? That's just wrong, Nev. Wrong wrong wrong.

But here's what you're thinking:

I'd of gotten the hell out of there too.

Let's be honest with ourselves. Whenever you accidentally hit someone's car, your first instinct is to run. Run hard. Run fast. Run far so no one sees you. If you rear-end somebody on the street, you can't run but you sit there wishing that you could. It's just a fact. You don't want to own up to your mistakes. You want to get out of there before you get caught!!

And you want to know why?

Money. :-)

Simply put, I don't want to pay for the damages I caused!! It's an unnecessary expense I don't need. I got to pay for my own car, my home, my food, my video games, and I simply don't have any extra funds to pay for the damages I've done to someone else's car. So if I have the option of not getting caught for my mistake, I take it!!

I'm just saying what everyone else is thinking, folks.

Now: If someone dinged up my car real bad with their car door and didn't leave a note, would I be upset that they didn't?


Is that hypocritical?


Should others be expected to pay for damages they did to me, even if I avoid paying for damages I did to them?


Is it right for me to feel this way?


Do I care?


Do you understand where I'm coming from?

If you're honest with yourself -- and listen to that little voice that says "RUN" -- then yes, you do.

Listen to that voice.

It will save you money.


And now for this week's:


Earlier this week, I was IMing (that's "instant messaging", for those older-generation readers of mine) with a friend of mine, and we were arguing over what she considered my bad eating habits. During this IM chat, my friend said the following:

Nev, I'm telling you this because I care. If I didn't care, I wouldn't say anything and simply watch you die.

She was coming from a good place.

I think.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Trying To Get My Laptop Fixed: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

I have a PC laptop that has served me faithfully for nearly four years. It's the first laptop I've ever owned and -- like my first vehicle (a 1991 Ford Ranger -- black with racing stripes) -- it was with me through the many ups and downs of my early grown-up years. When I got my first apartment, all I had for the first few days were:


A TV tray.


And my PC laptop.

And damn it: We were happy. :-)

Recently, however, my laptop fan went out, rendering it temporarily unusable. Now I know nothing about computer repair, but I was told by several people that replacing a fan was a relatively minor and painless exercise, one that would go pretty smoothly.

Were they ever wrong.

I first went to the people at Best Buy, where I initially bought the PC laptop. Now my warranty had long since expired, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to try and get it repaired at the place where I bought the thing in the first place.

Besides: They had the Geek Squad.

Unfortunately, when I met face to face with the Geek Squad:

Geek Squad: Sorry, we don't do on-site repair here.

Nev: Oh OK. Well, what do you do?

Geek Squad: We send your computer to our main headquarters in Chino Hills.

Nev: Oh. And?


Geek Squad: And what?

Nev: And what else do you do?

Geek Squad: Well...we have a lot of products and accessories available.

Nev: So you sell stuff?

Geek Squad: Right.


Nev: How does that differ from the rest of the Best Buy store?

(no response)

Nev: OK, so you can't fix my computer. How will this work?

Geek Squad: Well first we'll ship it to our headquarters in Chino Hills. That's a $35 shipping charge.

Nev: Of course.

Geek Squad: And then they'll run a $50 diagnostic.

Nev: What? Why the hell would they run a $50 diagnostic?

Geek Squad: To find out what the problem is.


Nev: Dude, when I turn on the computer, it says "Fan Error." When I turn on the computer, it says "Turn it off and check your fan." You told me that when you turn on my computer, the fan doesn't move. Haven't we determined by this point that the fan is the problem?

Geek Squad: Yes sir, but a diagnostic will verify that.

Nev: For $50.

Geek Squad: For $50.

Nev: Of course.


Nev: OK, so we ship it to Chino...

Geek Squad: Chino Hills.

Nev: Right, Chino Hills. We send it there, they run a diagnostic, and then they fix it?

Geek Squad: Right. If they can find the part.

Nev: Wait, they don't have the part?

Geek Squad: No sir. No Geek Squad or Best Buy has the part.

Nev: How can none of you have the part? You guys sell computers!! It's a laptop fan!!

Geek Squad: But it's a PC laptop fan. And we don't sell PC laptop fans.

Nev: Why not?

Geek Squad: (shrugs)

Honest to God, he shrugged.

Nev: So let's review: You want me to pay $35 for shipping and $50 for a diagnostic I don't need, just so some guys in Chino -- wait I'm sorry, Chino Hills -- can determine what I already know and call someone to find the part because they don't have it themselves. Did I cover everything?

Geek Squad: Yes sir. But the good news is, if they find the part, they can install it.


Nev: Well yim-pin f-----in yi-min-nee!!!!

Needless to say, I declined.

Then I went to Frys.

They had on-site repair.

But not the part.

They called their parts supplier.

They didn't have it.

Now I'm typing up this blog on a laptop Mac that my work lets me use.

Just for fun, I was in the mall the other night and dropped into the Apple Store.

Nev: Excuse me, but do you guys have laptop fans for your computers?

Mac Guy: Of course, sir. We have tons of them.

And he showed me rows and rows of laptop fans.

Every color of the rainbow.

Nev: And you fix stuff here?

Mac Guy: Of course!!

And now:

I heart Macs.


And now, after a brief one-week absence (because a lot of you yelled at me for taking it away), here is not one but two:


SOTS # 1: Like everyone who watched American Idol this season, I wasn't shocked at all that Adam Lambert was gay. But did you see that cover of him on Rolling Stone magazine?

With all due respect to my gay friends and readers -- and you know I love ya -- this is why I wanted the straight guy to win. :-)


SOTS # 2: Did you know that there are reusable menstrual cups?

I'll leave it at that. :-)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

What L.A. Sports Fans Hate The Most: Opposing Teams And Their Fans: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

I hate you.

I loathe you.

I despise the notion of your very existence.

You are my mortal enemy.

Did I give you permission to breathe my air?


Now, let me ask you: Who do you believe would think such morbid thoughts? Terrorists? Rapists? Serial killers?

All worthy guesses, but all incorrect.

No, these thoughts were all thought by me, while watching Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

See, I'm a Laker fan. I grew up in Los Angeles and they've been my favorite basketball team since I was a kid. Tonight was Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Lakers and Orlando Magic, and at the start of the game they announced the starting lineups for each team. And when they announced the Orlando players on TV, each of these thoughts listed above ran loudly and frequently through my head.

Now: What do I have against Orlando? Nothing. Actually, I like them. They're a fun team to watch and a couple of their players led me to a second-place finish in my fantasy basketball league this year. But tonight, they were opposing the Lakers. My team. The team I grew up with.

And in Los Angeles, that's enough to want to burn you at the stake.

I've been talking to friends of mine who are sports fans from other cities, and I've come to realize something: Sports fans from other cities respect the opposing team. They may cheer for their hometown team, but they appreciate it when the opposing team plays hard, makes good plays and gives a good, honest effort.

In L.A, that just makes us real pissed off. :-)

In L.A., we go by the "If you're not with us, you're against us" train of thought. We don't like opposing teams, we don't appreciate their effort, and we barely tolerate their right to live.

And the fans of these opposing teams have it worse.

To non-Los Angeles fans who attend a sporting event located at Dodgers Stadium, Staples Center, or even Oakland Coliseum for Raider games (because football fans in L.A. still consider the Raiders their team), know this: We don't want you here. You aren't welcome. I frown upon our nation's history of slavery and Jim Crow laws. It's a dark period for our country. That said, I wouldn't mind a couple of "Dodger Fans Only" signs above the restrooms and water fountains at Chavez Ravine. Seriously, if we didn't fear God or the law, we would routinely push you guys down the stairs and take bets on how long it would take for all the blood to come gushing out of your head.

No offense. :-)

Simply put: If you cheer for the opposing team, if you wear the opposing teams colors, we don't want your kind. That said: If you insist on attending a sporting event in Los Angeles and you cheer for the opposing team, memorize the following rules:

1) Don't speak.

2) Don't speak even if we hassle you.

3) We will hassle you.

4) No eye contact.

5) No eye contact even if we scream, "LOOK AT ME %$#*&^%!!!

6) If your team does well, don't cheer.

7) Don't even think about booing when our team does well.

8) Don't even dream about showing teeth if our team does badly.

9) Don't use the bathrooms or water fountains (they're not for you).

And finally:

10) Leave our beach balls alone.

You know who you are.

Follow these rules and you might get out alive.

But I'll be muttering "I hope you die" as you walk out.


I've decided to phase out the "Sign of the Apocalypse" feature. I feel like it's run its course. Like Eddie Murphy's movie career. :-)