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Sarcasm Aside

random thoughts of a self-diagnosed neurotic with the attention span of a five-year old... a blog by Alternati

What is the Best Way to Pop a Balloon?

Friday, November 03, 2006

I personally go for the two step method, stepping on a balloon with my left foot then popping the now bulbous part of the balloon with my right. Sir Rodel went for the car key method poking at a rate of 1 balloon per second. Ma'am Marie and Tine went for age-old method of sitting on baloons. So why were we popping balloons? Let me trackback...

A BFitcsh called LiWanda
Day 0: Friday Afternoon.
Our call time for all venue preparations for the 15th National Conference of Architects (NCA) was 3 pm. We were welcomed by an ongoing supermarket convention. Thanks to the event coordinator of the CAP Convention Center, Linda, we waited on the boxes we brought until 5. "Linda" apparently gave a two hour extension without informing us, her name became synonimous with a female canine through the extent of the event. So there we were, bored to death with "This Side Up" letterings nearly tattoed on our asses. It was fortunate though that we caught a waning supermarket convention eager to dispose their promos. We had coffee, cheap wine, M&M Kissables, bisected shampoos, and bars of laundry soap. All appeared edible.

Ms. "One-line"
Day 0: Friday Night.
My tasks were relatively easy compared to say erecting scaffolding or coordinating with the caterer. I had the valuable job of organizing conference kits. Whoopee! Nothing is more fulfilling than stuffing a Boysen bag with souvenirs. (Insert forced smile here) The only "danger" involved in this job is papercuts. A number of student auxiliary were assisting me (I miss my capricious college days) We were actually having fun doing this, we had about four hubs of openers, stuffers, closers, and packers. Our efficiency was superb! When we were down to our last 3 boxes, some snot-nosed student auxiliary from "Manila" entered the room we were in and with a sneer said: "Ay sayang mas mabilis sana kung one line" (Too bad, it would have been faster if you did it in one line) then left. It was a hit and run! The daft ingrate became the subject of our insults and unflattering impersonations. Fueled by our loathing for this mutant, we finished the job in no time. Nothing like a wannabe with a linear way of thinking (that looks like that 3-eyed fish in The Simpsons) to increase work output by 100%.

Exercising the other 15 muscles
Day 1: Saturday
Lately, the only time I see the sun rise is when I've stayed up all night. I was nauseous when I arose from the double deck in our inn at 5 frickin 30 in the morning. "I am sleepwalking", I kept muttering to myself. It took a warm bath, a cup of cold pineapple juice and a couple of Marlboros to jumpstart my higher brain functions. That whole morning was a daze. I was stationed in the "war room", a rectangular arsenal of nuclear office supplies and a risograph with a mind of its own. This was the Secretariat base.

Here is the dialogue I used and made my assistants use (it became our stress mantra):
Good morning (change with time of day) sir/ ma'am!!! (smile)
Can I please see your I.D.??
Thanks!!!! (smile wider)
Can I please have your conference kit stub??
Thanks!!! (you can smile wider than that!)
Here's your kit!!!
Have a wonderful day at the conference!!! and may all your wishes come true!!!!!

I dunno what's worse, having lunch at 3 pm or forcing a smile the whole day. It took me so long to get my Ally Mcbeal pout down to a tee, and now I was smiling like a chipper fastfood employee. "Here's your conference kit! Would you like to supersize it?!" Whoever said "it takes 37 muscles to frown and only 22 muscles to smile" was a sloth. Aren't we supposed to work out as much as we can? (Oooohh... look at me endorsing working-out) Exercising another 15 muscles is my work-out.
At the end of the day, I must gave gained 5 pounds with all that smiling and my face was aching.

Wake up and Smell the SNAFU
Day 2: Sunday Morning. (Not the No Doubt nor Velvet Underground nor Maroon5 song)
I slept like a baby the previous night, but my face was still swollen. We still woke early early, but we moved a tad more lackadaisical. Most of the tasks we needed to do have been done on Day 1. We hovered over our breakfast longer. We arrived at the venue sometime around 8 and we were greeted by a frantic deputy chairman. Apparently whoever locked the war room the night before was nowhere to be found. Gentlemen, draw your cellphones! 3... 2... 1... Go! It took about thirty minutes of calling and texting to find out who had the key, and another thirty for him to get to the venue. Thankfully, "Eleven" knew how to open doors with a credit card (He didn't tell me how he acquired that skill either). The War Room was opened at 0845 hours. The person with the key arrived T + 30 minutes after.

Lucky M3!
Day 2: Sunday Afternoon
I have no luck with raffles. I can not recall a single instance where I've won a prize based solely on luck. But when it comes to picking the shortest stick... I'm a shoo-in. However, a raffle solely dedicated to the OrCom (Organizing Committee) (Thanks Arch. Roldan) was atypical. Knowing my luck in these things, Tine and I went away from the venue to buy stuff for an event later in the evening. On the taxi ride home, my phone kept ringing... numerous SMS saying I won something in the raffle. I was skeptical until Arch. Jovit handed me a white MP3 Player. Yey! This will free up space on my Palm! and... Tine won a TV!
In order for me to win a raffle: lessen the number or participants vis-a-vis increasing the statistical probability of winning AND go as far away from the venue as physically possible.

Was that Scary Pretty or Pretty Scary?
Day 2: Sunday Evening
The closing ceremonies was brief and straightforward. Speeches. The OrCom were called one by one and occupied the stage. Clapping for Orcom. Speech. Clapping for speaker. Someone stood up and made a speech about how hard the Orcom worked and that they deserved "something"... He left us hanging and kept elaborating on "something" we deserved... A car ala Oprah?? N93's?? A trip to Barbados?? We were all waiting for him to get to his point, the point being that "something"... and that "something" turned out to be... a... because we deserved it... that "something" is... you wanna know what it is?... it... is... a... Standing Ovation! My initial feeling was disappointment and my intial thought was clapping doesn't pay the bills...
As it turns out, the older members of our chapter told me that that never happened in the history of the NCA before. It was bigger than I gave it credit for... but hey, I would've loved sipping pina coladas with my feet in the Caribbean Ocean more.
The Fellowship Night soon followed. It is a euphemism for Get-drunk-and-do-the- Chicken-dance night. I was busy transforming Tine into a "white lady" (a local mythical hovering female ghost with long hair wearing a white ensemble) Our chapter was entering her in the "Pretty Lady in White" contest. There was no appropriate dressing room, so we claimed the Ladies' comfort room. When we were nearly done, Ma'am Mylen, Ma'am Marie, Ma'am Joy, and Star joined us in that small comfort room to do a test run. Tine was holding a lit candle to her face, we flicked the switch... We all screamed, including Tine (the white lady), Star ran outside as the 5 of us left chuckled all the way to the backstage.
We didn't win... The criteria clearly said "no blood or faux blood", the other contestants of course had ketchup smeared all over them, brilliant! And, the thing that irked me the most was that the contestants had to be Scary Pretty... ala Cate Blanchett as Galadriel or Morticia. Again, the other contestants must've heard "Pretty Scary" instead of "Scary Pretty", cause most of them were pretty dang scary, but not in a good, halloween appropriate way. What's worse than contestants who interpret criteria as the total opposite? Judges who think the same way! Bah!

Day 2: Sunday Monday Morning
What really signalled the end of the conference for me was singing REM's The One I Love at the top of my lungs. My whole UAP chapter, young and old(er), were singing.
And so that was how we found ourselves popping red and white balloons (see picture) at 3 o'clock in the morning.

Thanks to UAP National!
Thanks to all the Student Auxiliary (sans Ms. One-Line)!!!
and, Congratulations UAP Summer Capital the youngest chapter to ever host the NCA!!!

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