Thursday, April 23, 2015

Highway robbery

How can one explain the need for earphones? Need. Operative word. A couple of days ago, as I was grumbling about how I need to buy a new pair of earphones, mum cut into my soliloquy, asking “Why do you need earphones?” Out of habit, and primarily out of mental reflex, I rolled my eyes and pretended I did not hear her. I had figured that it was a rhetorical question anyway.

For  days, I had frequented the mall, particularly the stores that sold audio equipments, in hopes that I would be able to find a decent pair of earphones that didn’t cost as much as Apple’s proprietary ‘Earpods’. Now, the Earpods has an excellent sound quality , but it just costs way too much. Read highway robbery. I am very particular when it comes to audio quality; carefully noting the values of frequencies (high and low), sensitivity, and impedance. But let’s not get technical here. I can blame this pernickety attitude towards audio quality on my dad who’s very keen on sounds, and my very first Creative mp3 whose earphones had superb quality.

Although I did find reputable brands such as Philips, Samsung, and Sony, and they didn’t cost nearly as much as the Earpods, its specs didn’t quite meet the preference I had. If you can get your hands on a pair of earphones that has an impedance value of 32ohms, take good care of it. Take a fucking good care of it; treat it like a newborn baby. Seriously. On the market, the values of sensitivity and frequencies on most earphones have little to no differences; the impedance, however, can differ from 16ohms to 32ohms. Apple’s Earpods has an impedance of 23ohms on paper and it costs 1,990. A few months ago, I bought a great pair of Samsung earphones for 600 pesos that surprisingly had 32ohms for impedance. But I lost it between pining over a guy and having had too much beer on a Friday night.

So why do I need earphones?
1. I listen to music a lot. I don’t think it’s possible for me to get through the day without music.

2. There are times when I just want to drown out the noise around me and drift away into the world inside my head. And in that world, it is a punishable crime to listen to teen movie actors with nasal problems singing “You don’t know me, you don’t know me” shit.

3. It keeps creepy old guys from attempting to have conversations with me. Although there are those who are just too stubborn, or perhaps too deluded, to take a hint. Holy shit, you’re as old as my mum.

4. Have you ever gone to a party where you don’t know anyone at all? Well, except for the host who, unfortunately, seems to have forgotten he invited you, and has therefore gotten lost with his other friends in a corner talking about NBA or, worse, Manny Pacquiao. I don’t mind such tragic situation, trust me, as long as there’s food and beer, and, yes, I have my earphones on.

5. It saves me the pain of having to endure way too much EDM at the bar while I’m waiting for my friends. Play that darn dance music all you want, and turn up the volume while you’re at it; Lana Del Rey is keeping my company while I’m chugging down beer, thinking ‘Where the fuck are you guys?’

6. When there’s a certain song  I really like, I’m going to play it on repeat for days, sometimes weeks; we all know how annoying that can be when it’s being played on loud speakers. Thank God, I’m not a DJ, yeah?

This morning, I bought a pair of Apple Earpods. I walked out of the store feeling like I was robbed. Apple’s trademark highway robbery feel. But hearing that good sound quality blaring in my ears for the first time in six days was like diving into a pool at the end of an insanely hot day.

A comeback of sort

‘U seem like a difficult person to please’ He messaged. And tempted as I was to correct him that perhaps what he wanted to say was ‘you seem like a difficult to please person’, I simply replied ‘I get that a lot.’ Because I got what he meant and, frankly, I was simply not in the mood to discuss how a misplaced adjective can change the whole meaning of a sentence.

The impression that I was difficult to please was derived from two short paragraphs I had written on the ‘About Me’ section of a social networking site. Had it been a few years back, I would have felt offended because I was very easy to please—I was delighted by the simplest of things, and appreciative of the faintest acts of kindness from people. Needless to say, over the years, pleasure has become as vapid a phenomenon as seeing a rainbow in the sky. Growing up, I was taught that a rainbow has seven colours. And over the years of my prepubescent and adolescent life, I deluded myself that I could indeed see seven colours in a rainbow. Then I got tired of making a fool of myself because I look at a rainbow and see only three colours: red, yellow, and blue. Don’t bother asking me where the other colours went; I have not the slightest of idea.

There are two things I would like to address here: first impressions and how I am, at the same time, easy and difficult to please. But the sound of the dogs barking and the loud TV are trying to drag me out of the zone. So feel free to hit the close or back button while you still have not wasted a good amount of your time.

First impressions do either of two things: pique our curiosity or dissuade attention. Either way, I find it morally and intellectually irresponsible that we allow these first impressions to rule over logic and lead us into judging a person based solely on first impressions; especially when such impression entertained on the account of appearances. He looks dumb, therefore he must be dumb; she dresses like a prostitute, she must be one. We all have fallen victim to allowing our first impressions of people dictate how we treat them. And I don’t think we should get comfortable with, or start making excuses for, it; I, for one, know it’s a struggle to put first impressions in the back burner. There is one first impression though that I always trust; that of cold beer, with its icy steam dancing on the bottle, and how it’s going to make me feel like angels are singing “hallelujah” behind me as the cold, golden liquid drenches my throat.

Now, as for first impressions people have of me, I have to admit that they almost always dissuade attention. I have often been told that I give off this impression that I am—drum rolls, please—a bitch; that I am intolerably rude and abhorrently insufferable. I am also aware that to some people, I am perceived as a pushover, mainly because of my sexual preference. Now, that one makes me want to chuckle my way into the next decade.

First impressions are either good or bad. And, personally, I don’t feel the need to either prove or disprove them. One cannot help how others perceive him, and I don’t think one should be remotely worried about it at all. If first impressions are people’s primary, or sole, basis of how they treat you, it’s their loss.

Now, although I don’t think I should avow whether or not I am difficult to please (my family and friends are far more calculable on the matter), I believe I am privileged and at liberty to throw in my two pennies worth since it concerns myself. I shall attempt to be succinct.

When it comes to superficial things (worldly stuff, if you must) I am generally easy to please; like a twenty one-year old whose idea of pleasure is food, sleep, coffee, alcohol and nicotine, unrestricted access to a good Internet connection, beach, and whatnots. Did I mention alcohol and nicotine? When it comes to relationships (people in general), however, it is quite difficult to even define what pleasure is.

Succinct, yeah?