During my undergraduate years, I went through at least one major per department. At first I was a Biology major. I added German because I tested well enough to skip a ton of classes and it seemed like a waste not to take advantage. Then I dallied in the Math department. That lasted as far as Linear Algebra, from which I barely escaped with my sanity. Anthropology, Comparative Literature, and Chemistry similarly gave way back to Biology as my desire to get a degree and get out of there took precedence over personal enrichment.
But for one full year, I was a dedicated Psychology major. I spent a semester each in a lab with rats, a lab with toddlers, and a lab with kids who were old enough to vote, but in most other respects resembled the toddlers. I still retain enough tidbits to make my armchair diagnoses of other people sound convincing. For example, I know from Developmental Psychology how to get kids under six all riled up: sit them at a table and form a line of cookies in front of them. Then take the same number of cookies and line them up in front of you, with double the space between each cookie. Then ask them who has more cookies. Mwahaha.
A more useful tidbit, though, is the following: most people think they're more important than they really are. In studies where people are asked to anticipate their impact on other people, they almost always assume everyone is paying more attention to them than they are to everyone else. Obviously, the math doesn't add up, which means most people are walking around thinking of themselves as the main character surrounded by NPCs.
There is one minority group, whoever, who can accurately predict how much they mean to other people: those with a history of depression or low self esteem. Whether something about depression makes them hyper-sensitive to others, or whether a natural sensitivity makes them prone to depression, is up in the air. When I say "them," I include "me," because I do have a short history of clinical depression, and a lifelong history of low self esteem (until the last year or two, that is).
This means that I know full well that to people who do not have a vested interest in my success (e.g. my relatives and significant other) most of my ramblings are inconsequential. To me and my Sweetie, the content of this blog is meaningful. To visitors, it is for information or ephemeral entertainment only. Nobody wants to read pages of me whining about how busy I am, how irrelevant my coursework is, or how I don't feel pretty. I know because I've read some whiny blogs too, and I don't give a damn about how betrayed they feel or how many cookies they ate last night.
What is of interest to other people, though, are posts that may have relevance in their own lives. For example, descriptions of my trip to Japan allow people to dream of what they could do in Kyoto, or new recipes plant ideas for a new meal or dessert to shake things up next week. Today, I will attempt to provide relevant content with an entry type I usually avoid: product reviews.
Recently, I can't stop spending money. Every paycheck I get goes straight to some car trip or doohickey. I drink overpriced juice bottles from the cafeteria at least once a week and a few days ago, I bought bread. Earth-shattering, I know. You know what else I bought? Organic things. If I have one opinion that hasn't changed since I started this blog, it is that "organic" is a marketing ploy, pure and simple. But sometimes, I end up getting them for other reasons. Exhibit A:
Dried Fruits: These were sitting directly in front of the spinach, deliberately placed in the path of health-loving people. There were dried kiwis. I saw dried kiwis for the first time on another blog a few days before, and was dying to try them. They do not sell dried kiwis in the "regular" section, because only organics-loving health types will eat them. Farewell 45 minutes' worth of pay.
Soy Ice Cream: thanks to genetically inherited lactose intolerance, I cannot eat regular ice cream. The one kind I can is Breyer's Lactose Free, which only comes in vanilla and is $5 per 1.5 quarts. This little number was on sale for $2.50 for a pint, which is about the same price but with actual taste to it. The consistency is denser and less creamy than the "real" stuff, but the brownie bits more than make up for it.
Barbecue Potato Chips: There is no justifiable reason to buy the more expensive Kettle chips over Lays most of the time. However, the only potato chips I like are barbecue flavored, and Lays barbecue flavoring is lame. The chips taste like barbecue for about two seconds before they're just plain potato and salt. Kettle chips, on the other hand, are coated with a thick layer of seasoning and have a substantial, definitive crunch to them. Three hours after snacking you can still detect the smoky kick on the back of your tongue. Plus, they don't get stuck in your teeth.
Do you ever bend your principles in the name of yummy snacks?