Night Photos and Naughty E-mails

Oh hey! Hi! Welcome to another installment of the pandablog! Look at all the pretty night pictures in today’s post! Japan is so beautiful at night. If it were up to me, I’d be out there 5 nights a week taking photos of stuff at night. Interestingly enough, I almost did have a chance to do nothing but take pictures of Japan at night, because I came this close (puts index finger and thumb a microscopic distance apart) to getting fired last week. I can hear some of you now – “Fired? Panda!? What the…?!” Relax my friends, and allow me to explain.

night pictures

The scene unfolds late last Monday night. I’m on the phone with a friend who shall remain nameless and I’m doing nothing but complaining about how much work sucks. I remember when I was a child and I wanted to grow up to be a famous scientist. Instead, now I’m 27 years old and sit in an office printing form letters over and over again, only to have my bosses decide to change something even after they have approved and sent the documents off to print, necessitating an entire reprint of the series. It does much in the ways of killing my soul and the last vestiges of childhood innocence, and reminds me of a quote from one of my all time favorite Onion articles:

listen, no one can tell you that you can’t make a difference. It’s something you have to figure out for yourself.”

My friend, being the kind soul that she is, takes my complaints in stride.

“You poor panda…!” she laments over the phone. “Is there anything I can do to help?”

“Send me an e-mail, so I have something to do at work tomorrow.”

night pictures

“An e-mail huh? What should I write about?”

“I dunno… anything is okay. Or if you can’t think of anything, just send me a picture or something. Preferably something ridiculous or inappropriate so I can have a good laugh.”

“Inappropriate? I’m sure I can find something but won’t you get in trouble? I don’t want you to get fired!

“Fired!? Ha! Please, if I get fired it’d be a blessing…! I can’t stand the thought of another day in that hellhole!”

night pictures

She laughs. I laugh. And we move on to other random rambling topics (likely involving baby pandas).

So cut to the next day. It’s about 2pm in the afternoon and I’m about ready to jump out the window – I’ve got another 3 hours left at work, and I have exhausted every avenue of amusement available to me (having long ago finished my assigned tasks for the week) and have now resorted to obsessively clicking the “Check Mail” button on my e-mail program 10 times a minute, hoping that perhaps someone might have written me in the last 6 seconds since I last looked.

Suddenly, and to my incredible delight, the little icon appears at the bottom which reads “Messages on Server: 1. Beginning Download….“.

“Hoorays!” I shout to myself in glee, happy that I have found a reason to postpone my planned suicide for another few minutes. “I’ve got mail!” (sounding very much like that old AOL commercial)

The message downloads. And then it displays. And right there, smack dab in the middle of my rather large screen, is a rather… um… explicit image. And when I say explicit I mean explicit, as in umm, pornographic.

night pictures

The message at the top reads:

Hey! You *did* ask for something inappropriate right? I hope you can appreciate I had to look all over the internet to find a picture like this to send you. Haha! Bet this’ll make you laugh. Hope you don’t get fired for this! Good luck making it through the rest of your day!


At this point dear readers, I need to explain a few things. First, as I mentioned in my last blog, I just switched to a Mac. And I am still ridiculously clueless as how to operate it. It fights me at every turn. Also, a lot of the programs are different. When I was on PC, I used to use Microsoft Outlook as my e-mail program. I had it set up the way I like it – tight, concise and no-frills. Messages displayed as plain text – none of this fancy html mail b.s. – and images and all other attachments had to be manually clicked and selected to be downloaded.

On the Mac however, I use Microsoft Entourage. It works similar to Outlook, but because I haven’t had time to futz with it yet, it still has all the default frilly nonsense-nonsense eye candy default settings enabled. In other words, messages display in full html automatically (so with bold and italics and colours and all that b.s.) and more importantly – attached pictures are automatically downloaded and displayed right in the preview pane…!

night pictures

Which brings us back to the present, and this gigantic very explicit pornographic image plastered on my screen, right smack dab in the middle of a crowded Japanese office…!

“EERGLPPPFFFHHH!!!!!” I squeak out an incomprehensible sound as my mind begins to register what the frick is happening. “OH MY CHRIST!!!”

Instinctively, my fingers my fingers go to hit what should be the “window” plus “d” keys. On a windows machine, this automatically minimizes all the windows to the taskbar. On the Mac, “command” plus “d” does nothing at all in Entourage. Which means said image is still plastered right the frick graphically up there for all to see.

“OMIGODOMIGODOMIGOD!!!” I stammer-yell to myself as I realise I’m on a Mac and that shortcut doesn’t work. Instinctively I move to hit “window” plus “l” which on a PC will blank your screen and bring you back to the security log on. Guess what it does on a Mac in Entourage. It “refreshes the message list”, which means it has just refreshed this gigantic set of pornographic boobies displayed in my e-mail screen.

“OHFRICKOHFRICKOHFRICK!!!!!” I am sweating bullets right now and as I realise that none of the damn keyboard shortcuts work, I start freaking out – have I mentioned that there are people sitting all around me including two men standing a couple of feet behind me to my left talking about something!? – and grab my mouse to try and minimize the window – only I must have touched the magic corner of the desktop or something because suddenly I trigger “Expose” which is the Mac thing to help minimize all your windows so you can choose one to switch to. Only problem is, I only have one window – the Entourage window with the boobies in it – active. Expose will still work, but what it does is sort of “fuzz out” that window for a minute until you re-click on it to make it active. But I’ve only had the Mac for about 5 days at this point so I’m still not realising what I did – or that I have to re-click on the Entourage window to re-active it to make it respond to my commands.

night pictures

“OHFRICKSHITPIRATEPOOPWHATTHEFRICKKKKKK!!!!???? WHY DOESN’T IT WORK!??” I click click click trying to figure out what is going on until I manage to reactive the Entourage window – only in my spasmic mousing, I manage to accidentally hit the other “hot corner” causing – you guessed it – who else but my good ol’ friend, The Calculator Widget of Doom to come swooshing into the screen!

“OMIGODHI2UMISTARPANDA!! Do you need to calculate something?”


The thing is, even when the widgets are displayed, you can still see the underlying screen – again, in my case, filled with boobies from my friend’s e-mail attachment – which is not helping me one iota at this moment. I start desperately clicking and mousing to try and get the fricking calculator to go away.

At this point finally – finally – I remember that I’m on a laptop. With a speed akin to that of a rattlesnake strike, I lunge forward and slam the screen shut. Huffing and sweating like I just ran a marathon, I freeze for a second and wait for the telltale gasps or clearing of throats that will signal that someone in the vicinity just saw the porn on my screen in the middle of the office and is about to fire my ass. The gap into silence is positively crystalline in nature.

night pictures

After a few moments pass without obvious reaction, I dare to lift my head from its frozen vantage point mere centimeters above the closed lid and slowly turn to survey the room, scanning my co-workers faces for any visible signs of recrimination. Somehow, miraculously, everyone seems to be fully engrossed in their work. Even the two guys standing just beside me talking about something don’t seem to have noticed.

Whew. Dodged a bullet there. Now I move on to tackle my next problem, which is this – Macs wake up from sleep fast – real fast. Which means I can’t re-open the lid in the middle of the staff room because in about 1.5 seconds, said boobies are going to re-appear on the middle of my screen. Dammit! What to do!?

After thinking on it for a few seconds, I reach over and unplug my computer, tucking it casually under my arm and get up and walk out of the room trying to look as inconspicuous as possible. Once in the hallway, I start looking around for a deserted place where I can camp out and try to delete the offending message without anyone noticing. I pass the bathroom and think “perfect!” and start to head in.

night pictures

I’m about 3 steps inside the bathroom when I suddenly hear motion from inside. Then I have a very awkward thought. What about if someone should somehow find me, sitting in the middle of a stall in the bathroom with my laptop open and displaying an e-mail message that happened to have a pornographic picture attached to it? Talk about your classic case of “Wait guys, I promise you, this isn’t what it looks like!!!”


With that sobering thought in my mind, I wheel about and leave the bathroom. I start looking around desperately for anywhere else that might serve my purposes. Finally my eyes alight upon the break room, and I hoof it in there and sit in the farthest back corner, pausing for a few seconds to listen to see if I hear the tell tale footsteps of anyone heading this way. Finally, detecting nothing, I fling the lid open, and delete the offending message – a process that takes a seeming eternity as the machine struggles to find the wireless connection then negotiate with the server – an eternity that is filled with me praying harder than I ever have before that no one god, please let no one walk into the break room right now while there is this boobie picture displayed on my screen in the middle of the break room.

(in my head: random coworker walks into the breakroom “hey panda, whatcha doing?” “uhh… taking umm… a break?” s/he, glancing at my screen – “uhh I think we need to have a talk about just what kind of things one is allowed to do on their ‘breaks’…”)

night pictures

Finally, after what seems an interminable stretch of time, the program beeps back that the message has been deleted from the server. I breathe a long sigh of relief, and head back into the staffroom, already formulating the e-mail I’m going to send my friend in reply. It will probably start with “dude, when I said you should try and get me fired, I was joking…!


And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how panda almost got fired. I hope you enjoyed this post that had almost nothing to do with the pictures it features. (^_^)v

Now listening to: “Eminem – Encore”

But critics say that Doc is soft, Doc is talk
Doc is all washed up, knock it off
Who the fuck is Doc impressin’?
Doc is this, Doc is that, you got the wrong impression
You must be on the cock of Doc, cuz Doc left you all guessin’
So DJ take the needle and just drop it on the record (what)
We gon’ have this mutherfucker hoppin’ in a second (bump bump)
That’s why we always save the best cut last
To make you scratch and itch for it like fresh cut grass

Cuz we done swam with the sharks, wrestle with alligators
Spoke to a generation of angry teenagers
Whom if it wasn’t for rap to bridge the gap
May be raised to be racist
Who may have never got to see our faces
Grace the cover of Rolling Stone pages
Broke down barriers of language and races
Just call on the cape crusaders
And leave it to me and Dre to pass the mic
And we can play the back and forth all day
Like the hot potato game, that’s why we came to-

Cuz we came here to set this party off right
Let’s bounce tonight

9 Reactions

  1. Lorelei

    Oh, Panda…. Did you find my pictures on flickr? They should keep you occupied for at least 10 seconds, and they are safe for work! Don’t jump out the window, write me a letter!

  2. David

    Hey Panda,
    Its tough switching to a mac (not quite as easy as they claim), but stick with it.
    FWIW, holding “option” while clicking any part of the desktop should hide/minimize the front-most program. Click the dock icon to bring it back.

  3. emiree

    i would really like to see how offensive this photo really was ;)

  4. ashan

    hahahaha! can’t say you didn’t ask for it, though.
    The transition period is always a little confusing, but it’s really not that terrible as os x has a rather steep learning curve.
    Some helpful shortcuts:
    cmd + H – hides program
    cmd + M – minimises window
    cmd + W – closes window (without quitting program)
    cmd + ` – toggles between windows in same program
    cmd + Q – quit program (when all else fails ;)

  5. ashan

    by the way, I really like your new header images! so fresh it almost tastes like spring. :D

  6. momo

    wahahaha. once i tried that on a friend but almost sent a virus to her pc…

  7. NM

    That was hilarious. It’s too bad you don’t have more Mac experience, otherwise the Apple+Q function usually ownzors whatever is open.
    and yeah, the laptop screen. I might’ve thrown that lid down first.

  8. felix

    Panda! You always know how to make my day – and my past few ones have been filled with armageddon-like misery.
    Thanks for the story.

  9. moritheil

    Oh no. Oh no . . . you have a wonderful way of spinning a tale out into a progression of growing horror.
    I guess this just means that you should be careful what you ask for.