SHE SAID: Winter Olympics

February 18, 2010

I love the Winter Olympics as well.  I love the idea, the excitement, the whole environment and attitude of the games.  I love how into it those around me are, how psyched friends are to get together and watch and how, in that sense, even more so than I would think, it brings people together.

That being said, I’m totally soured on it.  And the credit for that is going to go to NBC.  Because, while I’m okay with watching a decent amount of curling* and speed skating and figure skating, I also know there are a lot more sports that are being represented at the Olympics but not by NBC, and I know there are many more athletes than just those who win a medal or have a spectacular crash.

In Olympics past I used to complain that we, as Americans, should be able to see the American competitors.  Many people I know have a relative, a friend, someone they grew up with, some connection, however distant, to someone competing in the games.  I used to feel that seeing the Americans competing in the games should be mandatory.  But now, given the advances in technology in the past decade, I want more.  I want to have the option to see most, if not all, of the events.

I understand that there is only so much NBC can air.  I understand normal programming in addition to a ridiculous amount of events happening in Vancouver, means a lot is going to be left out.  NBC thinks two older women who look like they see the inside of a tanning bed more than a naked man discussing what men are really looking for in a relationship is important, more important than an Olympic event.  I don’t agree, but I’ll accept it.  I get pissed, however, when I don’t have the option to find these events elsewhere.

Here are some ideas:

Pay-Per-View.  Charge us.  Charge us and let us have the choice to watch the extended coverage of … anything we want.  NBC, you’ll make money.

The internet.  There is this new fangled thing called the world wide web.  Al Gore invented it.  People have access to loads of things: television shows they missed, medical resources, blogs, lesbian spank inferno porn, two and three letter word references for scrabble … it’s pretty amazing what is out there.  Use this internet to broadcast what you don’t have the space to show on television.  Throw some ads up there and bingo!  You’ve got revenue and maybe a few less member of the NBC hate groups on Facebook (Jeremy, I’m surprised you’re not a member of an anti-NBC group on Facebook, it seems right up your alley because you could litter the wall with moanings and complaints and maybe heckle them about airing some 90210).  Most other countries, I say most because I’m talking about most of the other big countries, have this option.  Any day, any hour, you can access sites showing live events going on in Vancouver.  For some reason, we do not.

My niece sat down yesterday and watched a movie that is in theaters on her computer for free.  She is able to find that, but I cannot find a feed of the live downhill?  I have to wait until 8pm and watch the eight racers NBC choose to highlight (two of whom had huge crashes, so six of the finishers) and try and enjoy it while I already know the results since any website I go to is thrilled about celebrating Lindsey’s gold!?  NBC, you’re hurting yourself here in waiting to air the event because in today’s day and age, we already know the results.  It’s not 1985 anymore.  You are not the only source for this information.

And let’s continue on the coverage.  Due to the amount of coverage they are getting, to quote my brother, you’d think Chris Collinsworth and Bob Costas were the Olympians.  The amount of talking those two are doing whether or not they know a lot, a little or often times anything about the subject matter at hand is astounding.  Viewers are not tuning in for their take on anything.  Please, stop subjecting us to them.  When it’s impeding me viewing an event, I’m not appreciative. I even get angry and join anti-NBC Facebook groups.  Next thing you know, I’m going to write a letter.

As for the outfits the figure skaters are wearing, they’ve always been pretty horrendous.  Maybe this year’s skaters are simply honoring the past decades of their sport by continuing to wear ugly stuff.  The Spyder designed GS suits are pretty terrible.  Perhaps Bode, Lindsey and Julia should borrow some of those sexalicious black numbers and show up to the starting gate in one.

*NBC aired curling almost all afternoon on the 17th.  Is there some statistic I am not aware of?  Is curling one of the most popularly viewed sports in America?  Second to auto racing?  There were three or four hours of it.  Detailed coverage.  We saw every competitor.  Who is watching this on the edge of their seat?  Why is NBC dedicating this much time to it?  I need to be clued in.


HE SAID: Craigslist

October 6, 2009

sex-forsale-on-craigslist-webcastr1

As regular readers know, I am currently in grad school 9 hours per week, and 159 hours a week is a mixture of some excercise, homework, eating, socializing, pooping, and sleeping.  I’m looking to fill a few of those 159 (15-20 of them) with some employment.  As a result, I have been searching high and low for something that fits my needs.  For those wondering, I’m really looking to find something that coincides withthe Master’s I’m pursuing…so long as it’s high paying and doesn’t require TOO much effort.  I need to concentrate on my studies, you know?

One place I’ve been searching is Craigslist.  This is really the first time I have actively used this site.  Actually, not entirely true.  Nifer and I once posted a fake Casual Encounter W4M ad…we received about 90 emails back in a few hours, about half of which had a penis picture included, not cool.  I’m glad I brought this up though, although we aided to the problem I’m about to describe, craigslist is incredibly effed up.

I peruse the Vermont craigslist about once a day…at first it was just for jobs, but then when I realized how many gems are included I find myself spending up to 45 minutes at a time looking at absurd ads.  For example, one job posted was looking for someone to package DVD’s for 10 cents a pop.  Shit, wait a minute, that isn’t that absurd…I can make money wrapping some DVD’s while watching TV from the comforts of my own home.  Sounds pretty ideal to me.

The real gems come in the Casual Encounters section.  I mean, check this one out.  I mean, really, who posts that? Or this, for that matter?  There is even a subcategories like T4M and MW4T.  Am I so sexually repressed that I didn’t realize that a couple would be interested in having a casual encounter with a trannie (is ‘trannie’ a slur along the lines of the N or K word? I don’t even know, I hope I’m not offending anyone).

Then there is the For Sale Section…I mean, as someone with no income I totally understand trying to make some extra cash on the side.  But seriously, a Baby Gate for $5?  And actually, it’s not even being sold for $5, the person selling is asking for $5, leaving the price open to negotiation.  And while we are here, who the hell wants to buy 4 BETA tapes?

I really wonder how many people have been scammed on craigslist.  Caveat Emptor…if it’s too good to be true, it probably is…People really need to adhere to these warnings when perusing a free for all site like craigslist.  42 inch flatscreen TV for $75? The original owner’s kid probably took a leak onto the circuits.  A 5’5, 110 pound blond with 36 D’s?  She probably comes complete with a side of chlamydia (or you’d end up responding to two Ritards who have too much time on their hands…like myself and Nifer).

Finally, I strongly urge everyone to check this out.  It is, for the most part, incredibly entertaining.  Probably one of the more time wasting sites on the net, short of our little blog.


SHE SAID: Craigslist

October 6, 2009

The casual encounters ad Jeremy and I posted on Craigslist was a research project that we felt the need to fully flush out.  The question being, who could garner more responses to a no strings attached night of fun.  We created fake email addresses and laughed harder than I had in a long time both while creating the ads and reading some of the replies.  In terms of responses, it was a landslide victory for me, but it was more than a little disturbing to see some of the things guys wrote.  Suffice to say it didn’t build up my confidence in finding a monogamous, honest man out there.

craigslist_ew

Other than that and the occasional link passed on from Jeremy, I’m not a huge Craigslist visitor.  The value is huge given the breadth of listings and the ease of use, and I like the fact that they don’t use advertising and that the site has maintained the same look for so long.  I believe I read once that it is one of the largest job posting sites in the US, and I know that there are many useful reasons to visit, however, it seems like a less reliable or reputable version of eBay complete with creeps who seem to thrive like toenail fungus on the site.  The creep factor is obviously higher since Craigslist has the whole personal section.  But it’s almost as if the designers/founders welcome that aspect given that there is a “causal encounters” section.

I like the rants and raves section.  Pissed about the handle getting stuck on your rental house’s bathroom door?  Why not write out that frustration.  Most likely someone will write back in defense of your landlord, whom they most likely don’t know, defense of the door handle, or write about what an incompetent loser you are for not knowing how to fix the sticking handle.  And this is all in response to something relatively mundane.  When someone writes about more inflammatory subject matter the tempers flare and mob mentality ensues and the reading gets better and better.

I have had friends who have found roommates through Craigslist.  Sold furniture without having to deal with the international shipping questions that inevitably arise on eBay despite you having checked off the will not ship internationally radio button.  Sold an old sweater without having to measure out the length of the arm from both armpit to cuff and shoulder to cuff as some eBay buyers will require.  Not that I’m speaking from experience.  I have found tickets to sold out events and looked for some freelance jobs using Craigslist.  It is easier and more relaxed than other sites, and while that can be a huge selling point for the site, it’s also what makes the abusers and the murderers and scam artists flock to it.  Which, in case you’re wondering, are not good.

Just recently some kids were arrested for listing items for sale and when the potential buyer showed up, they held a gun to his head and took the cash and his cell phone.  After three or four times, they got apprehended.  Also in the news are the men who were placing personal ads and then either raping or murdering women who agreed to meet with them.

While the potential for dangerous encounters is high with Craigslist, not putting yourself in a dangerous position is a really reliable way to go about not getting abducted, robbed, etc.  Unfortunately, we have gotten to the place where women need to assume that an unknown man might be thinking about harming her.  Anyone has to conclude that someone who wants them to meet in a less than busy location might be harboring less than honorable intentions.  A deal that seems too good to be true, usually is.  The internet has provided anyone with a connection, an opportunity to be anonymous.  And anonymity, while ideally creating a chance to show the good that can be done without needing recognition, often times brings out the worst when we see the chance to get away with something we normally could not.

I wish that were not the case.


SHE SAID: E-mail Forwards

September 22, 2009

Most email forwards I get at this point in my life make me laugh or are an interesting read.  I like to think this speaks highly of my friends that they send on interesting stuff for the most part.

However, lately I received this little gem:

Do not keep this message.

This message must leave your hands in 6 MINUTES.  Otherwise you will get a very unpleasant  surprise. This is true, even if you are not  superstitious, agnostic, or otherwise faith  impaired.

ONE.  Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

TWO.  Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.

THREE.  Don’t believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.

FOUR.  When you say, ‘I love you,’ mean it.

FIVE.  When you say, ‘I’m sorry,’ look the person in the eye.

SIX.  Be engaged at least six months before you get married.

SEVEN.  Believe in love at first sight.

EIGHT.  Never laugh at anyone’s dreams. People who don’t have dreams don’t have much.

NINE.  Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but  it’s the only way to live life completely.

TEN..  In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.

ELEVEN.  Don’t judge people by their relatives.

TWELVE.  Talk slowly but think quickly.

THIRTEEN. When someone asks you a question you don’t want to  answer, smile and ask, ‘Why do you want to  know?’

FOURTEEN.  Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

FIFTEEN.  Say ‘bless you’ when you hear someone sneeze.

SIXTEEN.  When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

SEVENTEEN.  Remember the three R’s: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all your actions.

EIGHTEEN.  Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

NINETEEN.  When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct  it

TWENTY. Smile when picking up the phone.  The caller will hear it in your voice

TWENTY-ONE. Spend  some time alone.

Now,  here’s the FUN part!

Send this to at  least 5 people and your life will improve.

1-4  people: Your life will improve slightly.

5-9  people: Your life will improve to your liking.

9-14  people: You will have at least 5 surprises in  the next 3 weeks

15  and above: Your life will improve drastically  and everything you ever dreamed of will begin to  take shape.

A  true friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart. Do not keep this message.

While the mission impossible innuendo is kind of cool and makes me feel dangerous and important, threatening emails are unpleasant to receive.  Threatening chain emails are not only unpleasant, but frustrating and anger inducing.  I was annoyed when I got them in grade school in the mail, and at least those required some effort on the sender’s part.  Within seconds of opening this email, I’m being promised impending doom if I don’t frustrate and anger a handful of friends.  Who doesn’t want to avoid something terrible horrible and no good happening to them?

“When you say ‘I love you,’ mean it.”  Thank you, Captain Obvious.

For a short period of time I would pick people I didn’t like or people who I knew were into this crap and send it on, just to save my Karma fearing self.  Then I decided that even that was lame and it was much more fun signing up people I didn’t like to get tons of spam emails from companies like the American Corn Hole Association then sending them hellfire and brimstone emails detailing How To Make Yourself A Better Person or reviewing life lessons you ignored when your mother yelled them at you from the kitchen.

And, for the record, the last part is not the “FUN” part.

Let’s start a boycott of this crap.  No more pyramid scheme emails.  No more send this on or descend into hell.  If it’s a picture of Jeremy from summer camp with the longish bowl cut looking slightly feminine, or his latest mug shot replica passport photo, send it on to as many people as you can think of, and yes you’re life will improve because people will laugh and you will laugh and laughing is healthy and makes you breathe deeply and exhale the bad air from your lungs.

Otherwise, let’s agree to just say no.


HE SAID: E-mail Forwards

September 22, 2009

I’ll start by throwing out a disclaimer, any forthcoming shitting on email forwards will only pertain to the types of forwards Nifer provided an example of.  As in, if my father forwards me a funny youtube link (at least, funny in his mind), it might annoy me but it is not even in the same ballpark of those fucking emails that tell me if I don’t forward it the love of my life will call me this week.  Guess what? She probably isn’t going to call this year, I already know that, I don’t need to hear that after reading 5 paragraphs of pointless drivel.

Wow, I must be angry this morning.

I will give people credit in this department though…because, quite honestly, until Nifer brought them up with her post, I hadn;t thought about them in awhile.  This leads me to two possible conclusions: 1. Faith in humanity that people have finally realized that forwarding an email claiming Bill Gates will pay you $50 for everyone you forward it to is a sham (not effing likely) and 2. Gmail’s Spam Filter is exception (highly effing likely).

Though I will also defend these morons to a small degree.  Let’s say you do have a crush on some girl, or you do need to make some fast cash…and some email comes along saying if you forward it to X amount of people you will get laid or rich…well I can see the appeal.  Honestly, most email applications are so user friendly these days it takes all of two minutes or less to throw in the appropriate amount of necessary emails to acheive your goals.  I guess what I’m saying is I can see someone rationalizing “Well, I know this girl won’t even make out with me let alone fall in love with me…but whatever, might as well forward it on, it only takes a minute.”

To all of you types though, let me stress, leave me the fuck off the list.

One final note (I’m keeping mine a bit shorter today, on account of Nifer’s Russianesque novel on her thoughts): People who fall for the scams along these lines, “Please help me.  I am from Nigeria and my father has recently passed but he has a fortune of 532352 billion dollars.  Please just give me your social security number and bank account details, so I have a place to store this money.  You will be paid 20% of the fortune.  Thank You. Dr. Okun.”  You are a bunch of “ritards” and deserve to lose your money.  Folks, please remember, “ritards” was made a politcally correct statement by “The Hangover.”


SHE SAID: Technology, you’re not helping

September 13, 2009
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source: xkcd.com

Women obsess.  We obsess and over think and tweak out about small stuff sometimes and need to be reminded to calm down.  We make things more difficult than they often times need be, and yes, we expect you to read our minds sometimes even though we give no indication as to what we are thinking or want.  We also, on occasion, obsess about guys.  I like to think I do it less than most, but Jeremy might disagree with me wholeheartedly.

At this point in time, I have more single friends than I have had in a long time.  It’s fun.  We see a lot of each other and we talk a lot more than we would were we all seeing someone.  Inevitably though and more and more frequently, I feel, this talk turns to men and how my friends are looking for a normal guy who won’t cheat on them, doesn’t laze around smoking weed all day, has ambition, likes to laugh and also wants to have sex with them since the days are turning into weeks and months at this point.

Doesn’t seem like a lot to ask.  And yet, the search has made many a sane woman go completely off her rocker.

And what’s more, this access to a million different types of technology is not helping.  So, instead of thinking about a guy all day and wondering why he’s not calling or pursuing her, one friend can check his Facebook page seven times an hour.  Another can email a guy ten times before lunch.  Texting back and forth or sometimes just forth, forwarding on his email for dissection by friends …. the access to information brings the level of obsession through the roof.

But this has been covered.  I admittedly saw He’s Just Not That Into You while stuck on a very long plane ride back from Prague.  Disclaimer: the idea was it would be so bad that I would sleep, instead I was awake and forced to watch a terribly movie on a very tiny screen.  But, I’m used to small screens at this point.  My point being, Drew Barrymore’s character has a funny line about when you’re wondering if a guy is going to contact you, you have way too many places to check (email, myspace, facebook, voicemails on land or cell phones, text, IM ….)

What hasn’t been covered is what happens when the technology we so readily abuse ends up screwing us instead.

Exhibit A: I once dated a guy who didn’t want anyone to know we were dating.  For almost three years, we dated secretly (yes, I have numerous issues stemming from this, but we’ll talk about that another time).  Thinking I was emailing him, I sent on an email to a mutual friend.  The cat was so out of the bag.  What was funnier was my follow up email, pretending I had been kidding in the first.

Exhibit B: A friend, forgetting her crush’s email address, tried to select just his name from a list so she could continue their flirtation.  Instead, she sent on their string of flirtatious emails to all of their mutual friends … one of whom was her brother.

Exhibit C: Another friend, thinking she was emailing someone on Facebook, posted private and intimate details on her boyfriend’s wall.

Exhibit D: Thinking she was texting someone else about breaking up with her boyfriend, a friend ended up sending the text to him instead.  Interestingly enough, it made the whole break up a lot easier than she had anticipated.

Technology, you’re not helping.  You’re making everything easier, more immediate, more accessible, and inevitably harder.  Because you don’t take the giddy factor into the equation.  Our minds are racing, we’re obsessing and over thinking and hoping … and only then we realize we hit the wrong button.  The room for error is just wide enough to provide some disastrous results.

But of course, it all makes for a great story somewhere far enough down the line.


HE SAID: The Overuse of WiFi/Internet Cafe’s

June 23, 2009

There are many, many viable reasons for spending lots of time in wifi cafe. Maybe you are a freelancer who works out of your house and sometimes you just need to find some new space to be more productive. Perhaps it’s a last resort because your own internet is down and the public library is too far away. There is always the chance that you aren’t a big drinker or bar person and feel most comfortable trying to pick up a member of the opposite sex while listening to the hip Indie music the barista is playing that day.
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While these options are all possible, they are all few and far between as well. Most of you assholes that spend an excessive amount of time at the local Starbucks (or localized version of Starbucks) are there for one reason and one reason only- to look cool.

You know exactly who I’m referring to. The guy with his Macbook (no, not even a Macbook Pro, because people with Pro’s are probably doing something productive), wearing a J. Crew cardigan and listening to The Shins. And you know what he is working on? His fucking screenplay. The same screenplay he has been working on forever. This person does not intend on actually finishing this piece of work (use that term loosely), but it is merely a conduit for conversation with random strangers who he wants to appear cool in front of.

It would be almost acceptable if this conversation in turn were a conduit to hooking up with whatever poor bastard this person ends up baiting, but seems to me in most cases it’s not. This person just wants everyone else in the world, or at least the wifi cafe, to know just how cool he/she is.

When I was in Indian Wells a few months back for work, I would sit at the hotel Starbucks every morning for about 90 minutes. I’d enjoy my non-fat double tall latte, catch up on emails, (sometimes listen to The Shins), and try to sell some extra tennis tickets. See, there was a point to my loitering. The more tickets I sold, the better quality of alcohol I could afford that night at the hotel bar (where I would try and sell more tickets).

Well one morning this approximately 30 year old male sat near me and asked me what I was working on. I told him, “just catching up on emails, I’m in town for the tennis so just killing time before the matches start.” (Notice the veiled reference to tennis, in case he were interested in some tickets). Now this guy wasn’t wearing a cardigan because it was 83 degrees, but I’m almost positive he put one on later that night since it cools down dramatically in the desert. What clued me in was when he said, “That’s cool, I’m usually in here working on some of my writing, but my creativity really feeds off different people’s vibes, and it’s just not crowded enough.” I almost spat my latte out, but given that it cost about six bucks I held it in, swallowed, and called him a douchebag.

Ok so I only thought about calling him a douchebag, but you all know I would have been justified.