HE SAID: Words with Friends

May 27, 2011

There are 3 facts that I know about myself: 1. I am a nerd…I like to think of myself as one of those, “cool nerds,” but even that probably isn’t true. 2. I am in love with my iPhone4. 3. In direct relation to fact #2, I am, quite literally, obsessed with the ‘Words with Friends’ application. At this time, I have approximately 12 games going…and yes, all those games are with actual friends, not with strangers. I’m not that desperate. It might even interest you to know that I am 1-0 all time against “She Said.” In fact, she was forced to resign because she didn’t play a single move after I started a game. I don’t want to say that’s typical of her, but it’s typical of her.

The beauty of having so many games going at once is pretty much at any given time, I have a move to make. This means that I can now cancel all the magazine subscriptions I have (ESPN, SI, & Entertainment Weekly for those wondering), not to mention stop risking my laptop further damage. Why? You might ask. Because I can bring my iPhone with me into the pooper and make a move. And if it so happens that it is a rare occurrence where I have no moves to make, I’ll play some Angry Birds. Of course, the former might be exposing myself to some future preparation H use, but eff it. The games are that fun.

Not that Words with Friends is perfect, mind you. As always, I do have some issues. First and foremost, they need to figure out how to eliminate trial and error from the game. I mean for effs sake, I threw down S-E-X-T-O-N with ‘x’ on a triple letter and the word on a double word for  a substantial amount of points. Turns out the word refers to a church official in charge of ringing the bell. You think if we were playing Scrabble and someone challenged me I would’ve been confident that it was an actual word? Hell no. I only played it because I just went to a Martin Sexton concert last month.

Along those same lines, and this is not the responsibility, but cheating simply should be punishable by banishment of the application. There are some people I play who play multiple words in a row that reek of cheating. There is trial and error (lame), and there is using words that Charles Rudolph Quirk (can you believe there is a Wiki page for ‘famous linguists’?) has never heard of (wrong). I feel like I should be able to point this out to the developers of Words with Friends, and on a case by case basis they can decide to delete the app from the wrong-doers phone and not allow it to be downloaded again. Too harsh?

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SHE SAID: Autocorrect

March 9, 2011

I’m tempted to start this off, dear autocorrect, because the feature seems to have a will of it’s own when determining what to twist my texts and emails into.  But I will not give in.  My phone is a technical gadget, a mere machine.  And despite all attempts to convince me otherwise, is not a replacement for a sibling, friend, or significant other.  My friend Maggie, citing her “carl” app, would disagree, but that’s another matter all together and not one that refutes my point of view.

Let’s start with my name.  I cannot tell you how many emails I have signed and quickly sent, sometimes in work-related situations, only to realize my phone has auto-corrected my name to either Nicer or Niger.  I know, and I have realized the need to hit the little x by the corner.  But shouldn’t the auto-correct be an option and not the default?  As far as I know, there is no way to make my phone recognize certain oft used words, like the owner’s name, but it’s something that should be remedied.

Also, I would like to address the censoring of swear words, or more specifically, my written swear words.  In the words of a friend, my iPhone edits the truck driver in me.  My description of the ducking customers I have to deal with while working retail or me getting shot housed is only confusing my friends and loved ones.

The word that gets me most often is “you”.  While furiously typing away on my phone, I mess this word up constantly.  No, I don’t have man hands, and no, I’m not working with a cast or finger splint.  I just can’t seem to get this word correctly on any attempt.  The correction, Ou, is “a fruit-eating Hawaiian honeycreeper with a stout bill and green and yellow plumage” and I refer to it several times a day in text messages and emails since my phone merely capitalizes ou instead of ducking adding a y to the beginning of the word.

Auto-correct’s only benefit, I have decided, is for miserable spellers.  Then the Rennaissance becomes the Renaissance, seperate becomes separate and embarassed becomes embarrassed.  Misspellers, I hope Ou’re happy.

In the meantime, I’m waiting for someone at Apple to give a shot about us ducking swearers named Nicer trying to communicate with Ou.


HE SAID: Autocorrect

March 9, 2011

*Note – this is aimed at all people (not just my lovely co-writer) who bitch about autocorrect, because there are lots of you…

It’s a bit difficult for me to commiserate with all you people & your annoyance at autocorrect; because after all, I still have an old school phone. It’s not exactly a Zac Morris style Nokia, I personally think it’s top of the line as far as non-smart phones go, but still, it doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles that you iphone and droid users get. For example, I need to actually think for myself when sending a text message. So maybe the tune I’m singing will change once I convert to the Verizon iphone in a couple months, but until then I have one, small piece of advice – all of you should probably just shut the eff up.

Actually, I just realized that I lied…in a way I do have access to autocorrect, because every so often I’ll use the wifi feature on my iTouch and send an email or two, perhaps write a match.com message, who knows. But you know what I do when I write such a message? I make sure I don’t write anything that makes me look like an fu*%ing moron. Seriously, how hard is that to do? If you want to convey that you are out at the bars getting “SHITHOUSED” then pay a tiny bit of attention to your message, think a tiny bit for yourself, and make sure the “i” gets placed in the word. Unless of course you are actually that drunk…in which case while it is understandable you misspelling a word, at what age does it become less than cool to text your friends about how drunk you are?

I’m really trying my hardest to come up with something that makes me feel bad for you people…but all of you are using a phone worth more than the money in my checking account that allows you to do pretty much anything with the touch of your finger – you can do your banking, play angry birds, watch porn, listen to music, and even make a phone call or two. Yet you people choose to complain about a feature that is trying to help you? Just because you are too lazy to do some thinking, don’t blame Steve Jobs, he has enough to worry about.


HE SAID: Cell Phone Etiquette

November 3, 2009

I enjoyed reading through most of your rules, Nifer.  Luckily I have never encountered someone talking on speaker phone in public, because I’d most likely owe them $100-200 (depending on what phone they have) after slapping out of their hand Manu Ginobili style. Also, since I try my best not to take dumps in public bathrooms, I’ve yet to encounter someone talking on the phone in a stall.  But for the most part, I agree with all you put out there, I mean honestly, nothing screams douchebag like a bluetooth earpiece (although I’m ok with someone using it while driving).  I do have a few exceptions.

First, some ringback tones can actually kind of be fun to listen to.  I never thought I much of them, but one of my friends has “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” and I am almost upset when she answers.  Oh, it’s The Temptations version, not TLC.  Secondly, while I agree ringtones sound like shit compared with the real song, they are still more enjoyable to listen to then some bootleg tone nokia developed.  Also, I use one of my good friend’s bands song, so I feel like I’m helping advertise for him.  I do not agree with someone using a special ringtone for their significant other, unless it’s witty and funny, as opposed to forcing people to listen to “Right Here Waiting For You” by Richard Marx every time he/she calls.

My biggest disagreement comes with your rule for movies/class/etc.  Specifically, movies.  Turning your cell phone on vibrate is not enough.  Fuck it, even turning it on silent mode is not enough.  Turn it off*.  It amazes me that people can’t go two hours without checking their phone for messages or missed calls. You aren’t that important, whoever is trying to reach you isn’t waiting by the phone for a call or text back.  Leave it in the car, don’t be tempted.

*Of course, there are exceptions…Doctors on call, parents using a new babysitter for the first time, a drug dealer, etc.

I have one important rule to add, a slightly different take on your “face to face convo” rule.  If you are in a group setting, say…watching some football with a bunch of people, I fully embrace answering the phone if it is someone you wish to talk to.  However, leave the effing room.  While your phone call might be important to you, I assure you, it most likely isn’t to the rest of the group.  In addition, all you do is stifle conversation amongst the rest of the group, forcing us to resent you and most likely make fun of whatever it is you are saying.

Oh yeah, finally…”if you call someone and get voicemail, leave a message or don’t. Just don’t text, it’s gay” (movie quote alert).


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
facebook

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.