Friday’s Feast First Again!

What is your favorite kind of cereal?
Choco Crispies :) Not with the monkey but with the elephant.

When was the last time you purchased something for your home, what was it, and in which room did it go?
We just bought a new set of plates. We went to Target and I actually saw them on sale, they are freaking HEAVY… I am getting carpaltunel from eating in front of the TV. They are simple, plain and sturdy.

What is the funniest commercial you’ve ever seen?
We crack up at the cookie movie, but my funnies one is because of my sister. She used to be terrified of a local commercial when she was a kid. It was something to do with keeping cows healthy and they showed a cow getting a shot… she would cry if she saw it, so my cousin and I would trick her into coming into the room as the commercial would come on. I know, we were bad, but it was pretty funny.

Main Course
Make up a name for a company by using a spice and an animal (example: Cinnamon Monkey).
Curry Lama – Lickity good alpaca sweaters.

Fill in the blank: I haven’t ______ since ______.
Slept for more than 6 hours since before Christmas. (End of the month Feb we should be done with most of the extra work we have been having lately.)


Carole Rule is a Handwriting Expert who is available as a speaker, analyst or teacher of Graphology, which is the science of interpreting handwriting. She has a blog called Your Handwriting Explained and before the last round of the Handwriting Meme we have never crossed path. She did a handwriting analysis for me and here are the results.


From your writing I can tell even without having read in your blog that English is your second language from some of your phrasing and letters.

Even your cursive is a print and cursive style called print script and an indication of a fast mature mind. The fairly fast writing sometimes becomes illegible because of the openness of the oval letters and the stretching of others.

Loyal to your family, friends and employer you expect the same in return and if they let you down you may continue your association but never fully trust them again.

Independent and preferring to do things your own way you will procrastinate, putting off jobs you don’t want to do until the last possible moment and then you run the risk of making mistakes.

You do like to talk and will listen to others ideas and opinions but it will be hard for them to change yours.

Decisions for you are based on facts, logic and how they will or will not affect you. Emotional appeals made to you have no chance

You use the th combination of a person who is able to convey information to others in an understandable way.

You like to talk and would especially enjoy reminiscing with friends or family about growing up. But you need your space to relax and unwind.

Usually an optimistic person you see the glass as half full rather than half empty.

I was surprised at how accurate this was. While some of it could be called general and applicable to many people, it did really apply to me or at least how my personality is by nature. The thing is that we all change behaviours to correct certain behaviours. The thing that jumps at me the most is procrastination. It is something that I do no like in other people and therefore I correct on myself. I have task list both in my head and written down that are prioritized by importance rather than for what I want to do, which is what I think everyone would do if given the chance.

The loyalty thing was the one that really took me back a couple of steps. I did not think that someone could read that from my handwriting, not even from reading my blog. Anyone that knows me IRL for a while will be able to tell you how high I put trust in my list of values for those around me.

The more I thought about this analysis, the more I found uses for it. I think the one that jumped to my mind right away was an interview tool. When you interview people for a job, you have to make several snap judgements based on reactions to what you say or ask. I think having an applicant write a page essay about maybe a childhood experience, how they handled a high stress situation or a past project at work, could then be analyzed. I am not sure if it is something that is feasible, but I think having a handwriting expert give you a report even as short as this one could be used in conjunction with what your perception was during an interview.


“Money can’t buy friends but it can get you a better class of enemy”
-Spike Milligan

Classism is defined in the wikipedia as:

Classism is the systematic oppression of subordinated classes of people by the dominant class. It includes individual attitudes and behaviors; systems of policies and practices that are set up to benefit the upper classes at the expense of the lower classes. Classism is grounded in a hierarchy belief system that ranks people according to socioeconomic status (SES), family lineage, and other class related divisions.

Reading Señor Truman‘s post about “What Money Means.” lead me to Spungen’s post about being impressed with some hippies. I have not read Spungen much, but I get the sense that she is very discontent towards the things she feel she does not have. Will in the other hand on the same subject seems to be very happy with his situation. What makes them so different is not the money or social class, but their outlook on what opportunity means to them. I hope you have the time to read both post before continuing, but I will try to make sense of everything if you don’t.

When it comes to social class, I have been all over the spectrum. I have never really identified with one label, but I guess I end up being part of the middle class if you put things in an average equation. Out of my 4 grandparents, both of my grandfathers lost their fathers at a young age, and of them was actually left to fend for himself as an orphan. My grandmothers in the other hand both came from families that were pretty well off, one of them actually came from the upper class. One of my parents grew up around hard work and strict rules in more of a working class environment than the other. At times when I look back I see the behavior of one side of the family as a middle class family desperately wanting to be upper class. Funny thing is that nobody from that family had ever even come close to it in the past, and yet the one person that grew up around a lot of money was the one that wanted it or even social status the least.

My father climbed the corporate ladder and started to get to the middle upper class before we moved to the U.S. I attended elementary school around my neighborhood around kids that were from the lower and middle class. I went to high school at a private school down in with a mixture of people from different backgrounds, but everyone there was at least middle class. There were several people that were from the upper class in my classroom. I was lucky enough to see how all the different classes back in Colombia lived and I think it made me a better person. It taught me that in every class there are good and bad people and that class at times had nothing to do with how people behaved.

My wife’s microcosm was a lot smaller. She was in what she thought was a middle class neighborhood growing up, but I have to keep on reminding there that having a close community where only certain people can enter puts you a little above middle class. Even if the earning power was not what other people in the lower upper class had, she had access to play tennis whenever she wanted and could wonder the neighborhood without any fear. The funny thing about her experience is that even in that environment she encountered the good and bad people and again, it had little to do with the money and more with the person.

Spungen said:

That’s never what I hated about not having money, though. No, it’s the people you have to be around, and the lack of insulation from them.

Initially I disagreed with this statement completely, and not just because there are ways to get out of one social class into another but because in this country, you can truly change your life if you want to. Then the more I thought about it, there is a downward mobility when it comes to class, but not necessarily an upward mobility.

When my family and I arrived in the US our social status changed completely. After staying with family we took flight on our own and lived in a one bedroom apartment for almost 4 years. We went from being middle upper class to being lower class in a brand new environment. It took hard work but after several years as a family we are back to the middle class. I am not sure if that was a product of being in that class before, or if the level of education and opportunity helped, but I believe that if I achieved it everyone else can. I might be completely wrong in that statement in the sense that I had a can do attitude and was not programmed to stay in the lower class by society itself.

Being around upper class people in the past made me very comfortable with them. My Dad worked for a period of time with people that were in the upper upper class in our city back in Colombia, and even thought there was always respect towards them it was never reverence. Reverence has always been displayed in my family towards elders, educators and clergy but not towards people that were simply in a higher class. Respect for someone you worked for was also never to be confused with servitude.

My concepts of poor and rich have a lot more to do with relationships than with money. I have seen it over and over in my life that money does not buy happiness, and sometimes the people consider poor because of money have a way richer life when it comes to happiness and good relationships. Education and open mindedness I value more than a huge bank account when I am choosing who I am around.

As kids we are limited by the decisions our parents make. If they chose to be in a neighborhood where outside influences are a constant factor in kids life’s it will affect them. Many kids from lower class families living in very dangerous neighborhoods end up getting out and not being affected by them. I think when you are young it is your parents responsibility to keep drama away from you. I never felt I had to be around people I did not want to growing up, and right now I have friends from every single social class imaginable.

I have a friend here in KC that is working his way up from having a modest living to actually making enough money to have his own home. I also have another friend that makes over six figures and has for most of his career but its struggling to keep his standard of living because of some poor choices in the past. Their social class means next to nothing to me, and it could partly be because I am in a the middle class and I can easily move from one to the other. I do not feel uncomfortable or out of place in either situation. I am not so sure if that will be the same for my friend in the upper class hanging out in a below middle class neighborhood or vice versa.

So the question that I post to everyone out there is, how does social class affect your relationships right now? Do you feel an upward mobility?

Car Salesmen at the stealer

This weekend I had the distinct pleasure of sitting at the waiting room in a car dealerships shop. I had no choice since it was something that is covered under warranty and apparently the dealer is the only one that has the equipment to do. So I woke up early on my day off and headed to the place that I stay away from as if it was the dentist’s office.

After they did not believe me about the problem and had to redo the inspection several times, the determined that what I told them originally was true and that they had to do exactly what I had asked for. This little tango lasted about 4 hours during which I got the chance to observe plenty of sales people getting ready for a busy day at the dealer.

My experience with car salesman has been pretty bad for the most part. With the exception of a personal friend that also happened to be car salesman, every single one I have dealt with has been trying to make as much money of me instead of really giving me the deal of a lifetime like they promised.

I had never really observed them closely from a bystander point of view. I then started to see a trend that really disgusted me. These people not only seemed to hate their job, but they were not very nice people at all. In the past, some sales people have come to talk to the customers waiting for their cars to get finished, that did not happen here. The coffee pot happened to be through at the other end of the waiting room and they all seemed annoyed to have to walk through the customers of the service side. I have never seen a more hurried group of people.

I have experienced all of their tricks, from the let me just write a number down to the special price book. I had never seen this level of rudeness from a group of people that are supposed to be at their top of the game when it comes to customer service. I saw a guy literally raise his voice to say “excuse me” because a customer was not walking in front to him was not walking fast enough.

This display of rudeness solidify my belief that these people are really not too happy to be there. When people are not polite or nice by nature, I think it has to be torture for them to interact with customers. I cannot even imagine if they are trying to sell a product that they do not believe in. I cannot wait until I find a local shop I can trust so I don’t have to give the local dealer any business. I can only hope that I can find a person that knows a good salesman so when we are ready for our next car purchase we don’t have to talk to just salesman x, but an actual friend.

Handwriting Meme Redux

I consider the Handwriting Meme a success since it has over 1000 members in the flickr group and many people in the blogsphere have participated. Since I do have many new readers I feel like it is time to do it again. The rules are very simple…

1. Choose a pangram of your liking, the most common being (“The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog.” )
2. Write it on a piece of paper and sign it with your blog name or online handle.
3. Take a picture and post it to the flickr group, your blog, myspace, facebook or all of them.
4. Link back or trackback to this post. (
5. Tag five people.

Handwriting Meme

I tag, Daniel, Chimpotle, Bea, Spyder, and XO.