The Blogging Affairs Desk

When It’s Good, It’s Good, When It’s BAD, It’s Better…

Animal Magentism

In case you haven’t been following me on Facebook or Twitter (@BAD0rg)IMG_0105, it may come as a surprise to you that my wife and I adopted a yellow lab about a week ago.

I could go into the why’s and how’s but I don’t feel like getting into it right now.  Just take for granted we went to a shelter, found ourselves a pretty laid back, albeit beat up, 5-8 year old yellow lab – slash – something else, and brought her home with us.

I’ve noticed, in the last week though, that people will literally (!) cross the street to come pet my dog.  Why, I have no idea.

I don’t mean to say that my dog, Ivy (so named because when we first took her for a “getting to know you” walk at the shelter, she dragged us through a patch of Poison Ivy), isn’t worth the attention.  She’s a great dog, great personality, non-aggressive or skittish.  She’s just a laid back dog, like any dog you’d find on a leash on Cape Cod.IMG_0103

Yet, everyone wants to talk to us about her, or pet her, or fawn a ton of attention on her.  People, she’s not like, Princess Diana’s dog or anything, Christ.

It’s annoying in the way that I can’t walk down our street without being stopped at least three times by some tourist asshole asking me a bunch of questions about my dog.

To wit:  Ang asked me to pick her up from work, as it was a Saturday night, and she’s taken a gig at a shop down the street from my office.  It was a nice night and since the aspect of having a pet I could actually walk was still somewhat new to me, I decided to take Ivy along and walk her down this boulevard towards Ang’s shop.

Because it was Saturday night the place was teaming with people, mostly hanging out in front of the many bars along particular stretch of road.  The road itself is congested, so when a slow moving vehicle is trying to squeeze through the throngs of people, I had to pull Ivy to the side between me and the loiterers.

“Hey, can I pet your dog?”  A gay guy asked me as I was walking by.  I don’t know if I hesitated or not, because I was walking with a purpose towards the other end of the street towards the shop, and Ivy loves to smell people/things so I was giving her little tugs on her leash to keep her moving.  Knowing the question was directed at me and was still up in the air, I half turned my head and said:

“No,” and kept walking.  The gay guy didn’t really like that.  He makes a huge fuss, calling me a douche bag.

“Who says ‘no?’ to someone asking to pet their dog!?” Shrieked the man.

I’m sorry that I don’t stop and let you pet my dog, sir.  In case you didn’t notice, I’m fucking walking someplace.  If I stopped and let every asshole in town who asked pet my dog, it’d take me an hour to go the four hundred yards down the street.  If you want an animal to pet so badly, go adopt one of your own.

Not to mention that my dog is currently in kinda rough shape and takes a bunch of pills because her former owners didn’t give two shits about her.  So how would you like to be swatted and rubbed down by complete strangers while you convalesced?  Or better yet, as you walked down the street?

I don’t understand it, honestly.  Before we were dog owners, I never went out of my way to play with or pet a stranger’s dog.  I see a dog being walked on a leash I just smile and keep walking; I probably side step too, just to get out of their way.  I sure as hell don’t stop that person and ask them 20 questions about the breed, age, pedigree, temperament, colorings/markings of the animal.

I understand that dogs can be used to attract people as well.  There’s countless movies where some hapless everyman is trying to attract a woman in a park with the aid of a puppy.  This ploy has been well documented.  But I’m a married man, out walking my dog.  My motives are clear:  I’m trying to get the animal to shit outdoors so it doesn’t shit in the middle of our living room.

Ang and I work in a gay community, so that Saturday night as I arrived at Ang’s shop, she was just closing up, and it was going to be a minute or two before she was going to be ready.

So Ivy and I hung out in front of the store, the dog sitting by my feet while I scanned the latest headlines on my phone.  This obviously was a huge signal for a group of gay men to come over and start talking to me.

“Wow, can I like, pet your dog?”  A member of the group of three or four asks.

I can’t be the same “douche bag” to these people, especially if I’m stationary, so I finish reading what I was reading on my phone and tell them they can shower Ivy with a bunch of attention.  While petting and rubbing her they press upon me the typical compliments about the dog I’ve been receiving the whole time, all while undressing me with their eyes.

“So what’re you doing here tonight in town?”  Another in the group asks.

“Oh, I’m just waiting for my wife,” I make sure to say.  That seems to get them to move along as they talk about visiting the “adult toy store” across the street.

IMG_0114To reiterate on my point:  If the dog is leashed, people, just mind your business.  If I’m at the dog park, or trails, or someplace where the dog isn’t leashed, then sure, don’t even ask, rub her little butt – she loves that.  But for Chrissakes, get your fucking hands off my dog.

August 26, 2009 Posted by | Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, Gonzo Journalism, Out and About, People I Hate, Pic Post | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Fuck It, Let It Ride (With Edits, However)

A slightly edited version of the earlier article.

Given where I live, I spend about 65% of my time on the road, either commuting or running errands.  Since moving to Cape Cod about two years ago, I’ve learned to hate driving, begun to detest riding my motorcycle, and have found that I have “rage triggers” when I’m stuck in traffic.

So I decided to write this article, breaking down my rage as to better understand it.  Each of the following sections will detail exactly how I feel at that given moment, as this piece was written largely in my head, while behind the wheel of my truck as I operated it like I was maneuvering a one ton black bomb on four wheels.

Section One:  Traffic.

traffic

Until I moved to Cape Cod I had never experienced the level of fucking traffic I’ve witnessed on this miserable tourist trap of an island, and this is someone who lived in NYC for three years.  It seems that during the summer tourist months people will come from all over the country to just sit in traffic from the Bourne Bridge to Provincetown.  “Hey kids, let’s go spend a blistering week this summer in our car, packed tighter than inmate’s shit and stare at NOTHING while we drive from one end of Cape Cod to the other!”  Why else would these people come out here?  It’s can’t be because of the beaches, because they suck and are over crowded when they are in fact open (thanks to a species of endangered bird, beaches on Cape are closed for half the summer).

So all these people come out and clog up the major arteries to get around Cape Cod.  What usually is a ten minute drive to the super market a few towns over takes three times as long because there’s just so much traffic to contend with.  Compounding things is that most of these jag offs want to turn left while driving down our one highway, causing a huge log jam of traffic.  The other tourists in the opposite lane won’t yield to let the turner make his turn because they have places they want to get to and can’t be bothered, leading me to lean out of my truck’s open window and hurl a fruit smoothie at someone’s windshield.

Section Two:  Other Drivers.

102_road_rage

As stated above, the mass of population I tend to deal with are out of staters here on vacation.  Like any vacationing sheep, they pack just about everything except their god given common sense.  Hey asshole, how about looking behind you when you back up, and I mean actually looking over your shoulder and not relying solely on your mirrors?  Or if I’m out for a run (I know I’m not behind the wheel of a car at that moment but it relates, just go with it) how about you don’t just pull out blindly from a side street?  Nearly getting fucking T Boned when I’m out minding my own business and trying to avoid you at all costs kinda puts a damper on my spirits.

Also, thanks for flying that “stay the fuck out of my way” flag on your rear view mirror.  Be it a handicap or camp ground parking placard, seeing something dangling from your rear view mirror tells me that you require wide birth because either you’re actually handicapped and shouldn’t be allowed to operate a motor vehicle but we feel bad for you, so here’s a set of keys, go wild, or you’re a fucking tourist staying at a camp ground and have no clue what you’re doing or where you’re going.  Either way, I know to stay the hell away from you.

One more thing about the camp ground placard:  The camp ground placard is also a swell indicator that the operator of the vehicle will likely slam on their brakes at any moment and try to make an abrupt left handed turn into traffic to take his tourist brood to either an ice cream shop, fried seafood restaurant, some gaudy eye-sore of an inflatable knick-knack/t shirt store, or yard sale.  The placard may as well just read “Caution;  Stay Back 500 Feet.”

Section Three:  Parking

103

If there’s anything on Cape Cod that’s an overpriced commodity, it’s real estate.  And at an even higher premium is a parking space.

To wit:  My wife bought a town parking pass to use for when she has to go to work.  This pass is supposedly designed for the purpose of people who work/live in town to be able to park at a reasonably close distance to their places of employment.  However, in practice, this is not the case at all.

On numerous occasions she’s had to double back to our apartment and have me drive her back out to work and drop her off and pick her up because the lot she’s supposed to park in is full.  Now, either the town sold too many passes (at 135 dollars a piece!) or people are just saying “fuck it” and are taking the 20 dollar hit on a parking ticket for illegally parking in the lot which they’ll never pay because they’re out of state residence.  Regardless, it’s a huge pain in our asses.

Also, again, getting back to the whole tourism thing, tourists out here tend to think they can park where ever they want, whenever they want, regardless of people’s feelings or intentions.  We, Ang and I, were going to do some laundry.  We had parked her car in the lot next to our apartment, all the way at the end, so the car would be out of everyone’s way.  It was mid day, the lot was about a third full.

We’re walking down the lot, carrying laundry baskets, detergent, quarters, etc, and we both get that weird sensation that we’re being followed.  So we both turn and there’s this champagne-colored Mercedes with Florida plates slowly rolling behind us.  Behind the wheel is some middle aged self-righteous She-Bitch in a big hat and sunglasses.

She waits for us to get to our car, load our laundry, get in and start the car.  She then proceeds to block us in by taking the spot next to us, making it impossible for us to pull out smoothly, resulting in me having to “shimmy” out of the spot.

Enraged by this cuntbag tourist’s selfish actions, I put the window down on my wife’s Honda and yell out “there’s like a million other spots you could’ve taken!”

From behind her cell phone she calls back “but none of them were in the shade, thank you!”

Thank you?  Was she thanking me for my comment, this arrogant bitch?  I was livid, to the point of wanting to drive directly to the nearest hardware store, purchase a spade, and proceed to bludgeon and dismember this audacious bitch into pieces to be eaten by seagulls.  I couldn’t believe her.

I should’ve rammed Ang’s shitty little Honda into the rear quarter of this old cock dumpster’s Merc, and shouted “THANK YOU!” over and over again.

I would’ve rammed her cell phone down her throat and kicked in her stomach until I dialed Tokyo.

Section Four:  Pedestrians.

pedestrians

Is it me, or do people generally think they have a magic force field around them as soon as they enter a cross walk?

Shortly after the vaginal swab of a tourist blocked us in, we were driving down our main drag when some beer delivery man decided to step out from behind the front of a parked truck, on a crosswalk, without looking to check for traffic, pushing his dolly in front of him.

I hit the brakes hard and let out an audible “YO!” with our windows down.  The dickbag with the hand cart turns over his shoulder at me and says “state law!” and keeps on pushing.

Yes, it is in fact a state law to stop for pedestrians crossing in a crosswalk, very good sir.  But that same state law will not mend your broken legs and hip when you get struck by a car because you failed to uphold your end of the bargain by stepping out into a busy street without looking.

You can claim “state law” all you like as a matter of fact, because when the state police’s accident reconstruction team arrive and release their findings on the collision, they’ll determine I was driving maybe 20 mph and see that you failed to look both ways when crossing a street, the first lesson we as people learn shortly after managing to tie our own fucking shoes.

Left, right, and left again, dildo-licker.

I have all the respect in the world too, for beer delivery people.  It’s a tough job and they truly are some of America’s unsung heroes.  So it sucks that one of you guys has to be a sandy tampon about crossing a street.

Part two of this section:  GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY WAY.

growling_dog

I understand that this certain street by where I work is a thoroughfare of just.., bizarre shit and that you’re all on vacation from your jobs as doctors and teachers and who knows what else, and you’re all having a gay ol’ time, I get it.  However, you’re walking down the middle of a fucking street, dude, where there’s actual traffic, slow moving I know, but it’s still traffic.  We, in the big objects on four wheels known as “cars” can’t fucking get down the street if you and your Abercrombie and Fitch model friends are blocking it up by walking down the middle of it eight abreast, blowing bubbles, slowly riding a bicycle, walking your poof ball little dog, or doing one handed push ups in tiny briefs (for real, not an embellishment).

I have a job I need to get to, and my office is at the tail end of this street.  It takes me almost half an hour to go one mile some times, from the hardware store to my front gate.  If I tap my horn, and I say “tap” because that’s what it is, a friendly “get out of my way please I’m driving here” and not a long, boorish blast that says “hey fucknuts, get the fuck out of the middle of the road or I’m going to dropkick you off the top rope” do not turn your head over your shoulder and give me some bitchy/sassy fucking look like I’m the one who’s fucking up YOUR day.  Just scamper out of my way, that’s all you have to do.  Do not argue with me, because sir, or ma’am or whatever, I am encased in an air conditioned almost-sound proof chamber and can’t hear your bitchy effeminate whining.

Section Five:  The Radio.

Retro Radio DJ

Here’s a sampling of the songs that were playing on my presets as I was writing this article out in my head:  Station 1: Smashmouth “All Star”, Station 2: that one song by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.  Station 3:  Some generic Led Zeppelin song.  Station 4:  Some generic song by Papa Roach.  Station Five:  NPR’s Fresh Air, but the topic was something obscure and boring, probably to do with some artist I’m unfamiliar with.  Station 6:  WEEI, sports talk radio, which I think is just a cover for their conservative media agenda, so I don’t really listen to it.

I don’t know about where you live, but here on Cape, the radio is fucking trash.  Until my truck was broken into a year ago, I used to listen to my iPod through an FM tuner.  Most mornings on my commute I listen to NPR, unless it’s something boring, as stated, or if it’s The Diane Ream Show, which makes me want to snort a line of chalk and sit down upon the Seattle Space Needle, bare ass.

Nothing is more frustrating than dealing with all the shit I’ve already listed, and then having to fiddle with your pre sets in the car, to find one station out of six that’s playing A) music, and B) something worth listening to.  I love Led Zeppelin, but it doesn’t have to be the only thing the stations around here play, because honestly, I think that’s the only album some of these stations have.  I will guarantee you right now, if I were to flip on the radio in the other room, I could get a Zep song, any Zep song, right now.

YOU’RE RUINING LED ZEPPELIN FOR ME PIXY 102.9!!
I’d shell out for satellite radio, but it seems overly costly for something I can get for free, that’s only really giving me more options.  Instead of 6 channels to choose from, now I have 600, but like that old Bruce Springsteen song goes “150 channels and not a damn thing on” or something like that.

I slam the buttons on the presets so often that I’m actually starting to wear away the numbered decals a little.  And if it isn’t music that’s being played, it’s some god awful local business advertisement, usually a used car lot.

“Come on down to Jeff’s Subaru, where we’ll give you honest prices from honest guys.  Hell, we’ll even throw in a fifty dollar gas card for just taking a test drive!” and so on.  Or the staged interview with the lot’s owner, dispelling some sort of rumor that he has a “private connection” with the factories in Detroit.

Dickhead, Detroit doesn’t make cars anymore, they’re all made in Canada now, get a clue.

I don’t know how to conclude this article, so I’m just going to say this:  People, next summer, just stay the fuck home.  Do me a favor, and don’t come out here, don’t spend your money on an overrated tourist trap, don’t waste your time bullshitting yourself that Cape Cod is a magical place to spend a week or two.  Sell your condo, time share, cottage, and get the fuck out of here.

I’m selling my motorcycle because of you.  Do you know what that means?  Let me put it another way:  I’m 27 years old, and I’m going gray because I get so stressed out behind the wheel.  Just stay home, if not for me, do it for your kids.  Because next summer if I see them lollygagging in the middle of a road I’m trying to transverse, I’ll fucking eat them.  I’ll kick them each in the balls so they can understand the pain I feel.

I fucking promise you.

August 22, 2009 Posted by | Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, Gonzo Journalism, Living in an Insane Asylum, Out and About, People I Hate | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Post That Was Here Was Removed By The Author.

The Post that was here, all 2500 words of it, has been deleted by it’s author due to excessive descriptions of violence.  If you want to read it, shoot me a message, one way or another, and maybe I’ll email it to you.

August 21, 2009 Posted by | Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, Gonzo Journalism, Living in an Insane Asylum, Out and About, People I Hate, Shameless Self Promotion, The Great Indoors, Too Much Time | , | 1 Comment

@Recant: Tweet?

@Recant:  Tweet?

A while back I posted an article where I pretty much took a match and a can of gas to Twitter.  For those of you who somehow still haven’t heard of Twitter, it’s the “microblogging” website that allows it’s users to post “status updates” in 140 character increments that are broadcast around the web to all those who mindlessly “follow” you.  In turn, you “follow” other people’s “tweets” – what it’s called when you “Twitter” but no one calls it “Twittering” because that just sounds like something a gay would do.

I’ve been largely conflicted as of late about Twitter.  Initially I was a huge naysayer of the service mainly because I had no real need for it; I updated my status regularly on my Facebook page which in essence is the same thing that Twitter does, so I saw no need to be redundant, even though you can link the two together.

But then one night, Ang and I had a friend over for drinking and bullshitting around the living room and the subject of Twitter came up.  I, being two beers in, loudly and quickly made my opinions known that Twitter was crap, that it was “simple blogging” or something to that affect, as from Twitter we get the lovely term “Microblogging” as seen above.

My argument was that Twitter makes blogging easy, so easy in fact, that my mom can do it, not that she does, thank god.  My stance was largely based around the fact that I work my ass off to maintain my blog, put out fresh article ideas, and try to promote the shit out of my site.  Twitter pretty much opened the door even wider for Civilian Journalism – a market with an expanding waist line and no foreseeable over-saturation point in sight.

Which brought up my wife’s point:  During our discussion, it came to light that she had a Twitter account (I was actually shocked and maybe a little pissed), which she says she created in light of the political protests in Iran regarding the reelection of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  The Iranian Government pretty much shut down cell phones and internet access across the country, but a few people were able to “Tweet” what was happening at ground zero, which made for invaluable journalism.

I had to admit that she had a point, that Twitter, in that case at least, served a purpose, oppose to allowing Ashton Kutcher to post pictures of Demi Moore in granny panties.

So fast forward a few weeks and with Twitter all over the news, everyone talking about the service, a million fucking Apps for the iPhone related to Twitter, it kind of dawned on me that I was fighting against the tide.

I could easily stay the course I am now and just try to ignore the inevitable; I could be the technology resistant North Korea of sorts and try to keep myself in the dark regarding Twitter’s presence in the world, or I could make it work for me.

I regularly will post a weekly update of this blog on my Facebook page complete with a primer, a picture I found on the web that somewhat ties together my general thesis, a funny caption, and tag all of my friends who I think might be interested in the article.  I try to keep it as non-intrusive/abrasive as possible by not establishing a link to the article but rather just writing out the web address telling people they can “read more” at my site.

But these little “notes” only reach maybe twenty people because of the security settings I have in place on my Facebook page (see also: Fort Knox).  So of the 20 people I ‘tag’ in the note, maybe two or three will wander over to my site and glance over the whole article.

By the way, these notes on Facebook are the only real advertising I can do for my site, aside from handing out flyers to people on the street.

With Twitter I can potentially raise my readership exponentially, as I use it as a catalyst for my own brand of advertising.  In the same sense that I blogsurf and leave a few thoughtful comments on some random guy’s blog (which tends to prove futile half the time because … well I’ll get into that in a minute) I can do the same on Twitter by “following” people and getting them to “follow” me in turn.  I can post links directly to freshly written articles and keep updates hot and fresh from my phone throughout the day without feeling like too big of a douche bag for flooding my friend’s News Feeds on Facebook.  With my Facebook only being about 40 people in size, I could grow my Twitter account to ten times the size, and see ten times the readership with little cost to any real friendships I have.

(We)B-logging (remember when it was still called that, circa like, 2000?) is becoming somewhat of a lost art on the internet anyway, as everyone a few years ago jumped on the bandwagon and soon the internet was a flood with people thinking they were special enough to post a few pictures of their cat and write a few half hearted articles in relation.  Soon they’d lose interest and move on to some other fad.  Now the tubes are messy with discarded blogs which lay in the middle of the road like a splattered squirrel.

In relation to blogsurfing, the waves, you could say, have died down to nothing.

Twitter seems to be the next logical step in order for me to get my name (and this site) out there.  I hate to admit when I’m wrong, and I hate to succumb to a fad so trendy, but to survive is to adapt.

You can follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/BADorg

August 17, 2009 Posted by | Corporate America Hates You, Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, Gonzo Journalism, Shameless Self Promotion, The Great Indoors, World Wide Events | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Is our love affair with Facebook over?

If you’re like me, which half of my readers are, socially, you’re tethered to the social networking site like some sort of umbilical chord to the outside word.  You’re literally given information about the people you know and the things you like through what is called a “feed”, an ever rolling, self updating ticker that keeps you abreast of everything from your friend’s status updates to free Wendy’s coupons.

However, is it time we say good bye?

I’ve been giving this a lot of thought because I, like roughly over two hundred million people world wide, use Facebook constantly.  And by “constantly” I mean since I started writing this article, some 150 words in, I’ve checked my Facebook twice.  It’s similar to drug addiction where in our culture we need to be kept aware of everything going on around us, like we’re a herd of Impalas on some Serengeti plain, and we just heard a twig snap three hundred yards to our left.

Our lust for information, especially easily digestible information in the form of side or top scrolling text is a product of 9/11 actually.  Shortly after the terrorist attacks every major news network started rolling out updates on happenings as they were happening.  The moment some Taliban asshole was getting a JDAM stuffed down his throat, Americans were being made aware.

Then we got Social Networking Sites.

First there was Friendster, which I know absolutely nothing about.  From Friendster we got Myspace and Facebook.  Myspace was cool for about two years, or until enough people got tired of their so-called friends’ .gif laden pages crashing their computers every time they logged on.  The mass exodus landed everyone at Facebook which appealed to people because of its minimalist (see also “impossible to customize with html scripting”) design.  It also had a slightly more professional appeal as young hip business types were supplanting their resumes with links to their actual Facebooks.

This soon became problematic as potential employers were seeing tagged photos of prospective employees doing keg stands and body shots during a weekend trip back to their alma mater.

So as Myspace has atrophied Facebook has gorged itself to the point of self collapse (the following is going to get a little technical, so if you don’t have a Facebook page or have no idea what one is, just, skip to the next blog or something, I dunno).

Have you recently become infuriated with how difficult it is to find anything on Facebook?  Take a second, right now, and try to find pictures of yourself, that you yourself have uploaded, and see how many clicks to different pages it takes you before you get to where you want to be?

I’ll even break it down for you:

If you’re like me, you keep your Facebook on the “home” page so you get the scrolling news feed.  From there, you’re going to have to click on your profile’s page, because if you click on “photos” from your home screen you’re going to be brought to a screen that contains all your friend’s photo albums, not any of yours.  So once you’ve gotten to your actual profile page, then click “photos” and you’ll see your own albums.

That’s entirely too much work for the second or third most visited website, in order to get to my own property.

Also, the “recent news” side bar is anything but recent.  There’s no rhyme or reason to it as well, as information will pop up on it that has very little to do with whatever I have going on in my tight little network of friends.  Oh, I see that a friend of mine apparently “likes” Tide.  Ok… or, here’s one random photo of a friend of mine tagged from someone I don’t know.

The point I’m trying to make is that Facebook needs to take some responsibility with it’s content, ie, make it a little more user friendly.  In the past year, Facebook has rolled out with a few less than welcomed site and policy updates which have spurred a lot of groups or online petitions, which have gone mostly unnoticed.

The site needs to be streamlined and have controls put into the user’s hands.  How hard would it be to create some sort of filter where I could chose what news enters my feed and how often a “recent news” item sorts itself through my page?  How about a one-click option to see the stuff I’ve posted, whether it’s photos, notes, posts, links, etc?

How about simply allowing me to sort my inbox messages?  That’s only been around since email first went mainstream, about twenty years ago now.

It almost seems that Facebook has grown lethargic under it’s own gross weight.

But like any relationship that seems almost too stable, the jilted half is only waiting for a chance for something better, sleeker, newer to come along.  This is what happened with Myspace and could potentially happen to Facebook, should some other Social Networking site be developed.

If Facebook wants to hold on to its share of internet browsing traffic, it has to clean itself up.  It needs to peel itself off of the proverbial couch, get the Dorito crumbs off of it’s chin, change it’s shirt, and get some sunlight on itself if it wants us to still find it attractive.

Once it manages to get a hold of its main site, then maybe someone over there can get a hold of the mobile site and do a total overhaul over there.  Facebook’s mobile application, whether you’re using it for your Blackberry or iPhone, is terrible, anyway you slice it.  I won’t go into how god-awful and laughably backwards it is, just take for granted that for a company as big as Facebook, you’d almost expect a little more.

I mean, at least Microsoft is TRYING.

August 12, 2009 Posted by | Corporate America Hates You, The Great Indoors | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ang’s Failed Revenge-Revenge

Karma:  It’s a bitch.

August 9, 2009 Posted by | Blogging Couple, People I Love, The Great Indoors, Too Much Time | , , | 1 Comment

When Recycling, At Least As Far As Ideas, Is A Bad Idea

Pretty soon all my readers, both of you, will think I’ve gone anti-green.

This isn’t true.  I’m very green.  Well not very, but I like to think I am, because it’s trendy.  And I’m a slut for trends.

Speaking of sluts, the cable channel Vh1 has been recycling the same fucking show for at least the better part of this decade.  It’s suddenly become apparent to me that the suits over at Viacom need to pull the plug on this feeble, wheezing genre of reality dating slop.

Typically, something so mind-numbingly abysmal hardly makes it on to my radar at all.  But “Megan Wants a Millionaire”, Vh1’s latest offering on it’s spin off of a spin off of a spin off of reality television which debuted two weeks ago, has to be the craggiest of the rockiest of bottoms for the music channel that still features music (some where?) within it’s programming.

For those of you new to the game, Vh1 started rolling out with these types of shows where skinny stripper chicks and off-season MMA fighter guys compete for the affections of a “celebrity” (quotes because it’s often that the celebrity in question is some washed up has been.  I’m sure that Vh1 will likely start looking to Pittsburgh Pirates junk ball middle relievers from the late 1990s for it’s next go around of shows) and are slowly whittled away through a process of elimination where those cast aside are “sent home” either for poor performance during the days events or some sort of social faux pas made on a date or something or other.

It’s all very trite, indeed.

Regardless, Megan, of “Megan Wants a Millionare” is a conventionally shameless whore, poured into a tight dress and fed lines off screen by her handlers.  She was a runner up on another Vh1 reality dating programme, as well as a runner up on two other Vh1 programmes, “Charm School” and the truth-in-advertising and aptly named “I Love Money”.  Her biggest claim to fame before landing her own show was being pulled about by her hair and beaten by a coke-and-champagne-fueled Sharon Osborne on a reunion episode of “Charm School.”

Like all of Vh1’s programming as of late, there’s very little mystery of what’s going to happen from one minute to the next, as pretty much everything has been laid out before hand by carefully staging events, and then going back and editing them a certain way.  Guy/Girl A doesn’t like Guy/Girl B, fight ensues, someone bleeds, someone’s sent home.  Or Guy/Girl A gets too drunk on all the free booze just left out on tables all over the property, passes out face down on lawn, shits self, wears shit-stained garment to elimination, is eliminated in shit stained garment.

The only real redeeming aspect of this show, if any at all, is the host of fresh meat allowed to trot on screen for their obligatory five minutes of fame before being cast asunder by a 20-something woman with the thought capacity of this jug of protein powder on my desk next to me.

These guys are losers.

But that’s again, something that Vh1 has carefully planned out for all of it’s shows.  At it’s very foundation the show has to cast losers with the ulterior motive that appearing on this show, or any of Vh1’s shows, will some how lead to fame and fortune.  But as history has taught us over the years, no one really gains anything from appearing on these shows, except maybe a shot at getting their own show, where the process begets itself all over again (A quick aside:  One of the contestants from “I Love NY” ended up dating and I think proposing to singer Jennifer Hudson.  But other than that, not one of them, even the white girl who spat on the black girl, has landed their own sitcom yet.).

But the male suitors of “Megan Wants a Millionare” are the very epitome of loserdom.  Set aside the fact that each of these twenty guys are absolutely cool with the primary reason that Bret Michael’s thrown away cum dumpster is only interested in them for their money, they are the high school nerd-who-grew-up-and-invented-something-simple-but-genius-and-made-billions-from-it stereotype.  Each of the contestants is in fact a millionaire to some degree, whether it’s self made (there’s a plumber with his own business) to inherited (two trust fund kids, one of which doesn’t even have his inheritance yet).  As each contestant is paraded in front of the screen to give some awkward commentary on the happenings in the house, their name flashes along with their net worth.

These guys are millionaires, yes, but only just barely, which allows the show to lose the tiny bit of credibility it was holding on to.  Most of the contestants are hovering around 1-2 million dollars, net worth, which is likely non-liquid.  It’s investments, or assets such as property or shares in businesses.

Hell, looking at my Charles Schwab account online, technically I could’ve applied to be on this show….

Also, there’s been a trend lately with Vh1 where with the non-celebrity main characters, they tend to bring in “help” in the form of some adviser who helps guide the object of everyone’s affection along their path to finding “true love” or a record deal or media exposure, whatever.  This worked rather well with “Daisy of Love” where former Mtv VJ Rikki Rachtman acted somewhat as a coach for Daisy (full disclosure:  I dig Rachtman’s style).  However on “Megan” not only do they have some upper crust tuxedo wearing butler who larks about doing voice overs on all the action like it were play-by-play for a cricket match, but Megan’s brought in two other blonde strippers to give her emotional guidance and support.

“Blonde Leading The Blonde” was the best joke I could come up with before we went to press, sorry.

Seriously, these two “best friends” stand dumbly to the side as Megan goes about her business in a squeaky falsetto of feigned excitement.  They usually have a bored expression on their faces which only mimics that of the audience as we sit and watch Megan make nerds and mamas boys bend to her will like some high school jock.

Again, I don’t know why I, or anyone would watch this or any other show like it.  There’s nothing redeeming about the programme.  Not one thing.  I literally get dumber for watching it.  And to be honest, I haven’t even been able to watch a full episode of the season premiere for this article and I forgot the square root of 144.  I get about half way through and my brain starts to poke me behind my eyeballs.  It says:  “Hey buddy, seriously, turn it to something else, or I’m packing my shit and leaving.”  He says this with a little hat on, holding a suit case, with an unlit stump of a cigar pushed into the corner of his brain mouth.

So I turn it over to ESPN 2 and watch billiard trick shots until the bleeding from my nose stops.

August 7, 2009 Posted by | Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, People I Hate, The Great Indoors, Why Am I Watching This? | , , , , | 2 Comments

866

My brain feels fidgety, which makes my whole body kinda numb, but panicked at the same time.

I think I’ve run out of things to do, to say.

But at the same time, it feels like my mind is swimming in gasoline, like it itches and I can’t scratch at it.

I need something else to occupy my hands, my attention, that sort of thing.

I feel bitter, like this beer in my mouth, this stupid lemon wedge the smiley face I don’t want.

I pretend it’s ok, because life is all about appearances.

Don’t let on that things are spinning out of control,

or that you’re unhappy.

Everything’s fine, really.

Turn up the radio, listen to the news.

Sip.

Listen to the sounds of your organs churning inside of you, your teeth gnashing, your muscles quaking.

Crack your fingers, sit down in front of the screen, stare.

Wait for it to come to you.

Backspace, backspace, backspace, start over.

Running head start.  Jump in.

Your eyes sting, your brow weeps, you look like a lost sailor.

You wish someone would see how hurt you really are.

You wish one person would see how hurt you are.

Fuck it, carry it like a load evenly distributed across your chest.

One step, two step, march.

Everything looks cheap and tastes cheaper.  You can’t get around the feeling that everything is set up to fall under your weight.

You get the sense that… despair is a better alternative.

But you fight against it.

You have plans, at least.

August 7, 2009 Posted by | The Great Indoors, Written Works | , | 1 Comment

The Rare Instance When Supporting Your Local Grocer Is A Terrible Idea

First, let me explain that I’m all about supporting the local guy, like 90% of the time.  That other ten percent goes to like, Netflix oppose to “Dan’s Awesome Videos” where I’m sure if I need a VHS copy of “Gone Fishin'” he can hook me up, but sadly I’ve saturated my taste for anything with the comedic buddy stylings of Danny Glover and Joe Pesci.

No, I dig the local bookstores, local bars, local coffee shops, etc.  There’s a community vibe that hovers over places like that, where you can kinda see the same “hey, we’re in this together, whatever ‘this’ happens to be” which nine times out of ten, is a local business.

But man, the grocer down the street, what a fucking shit show.

To wit:  We live on a main street in a sleepy harbor town on Cape Cod, so by “sleepy” I mean “jam packed with ding-dongs without a goddamn clue, for the three warm months of the year.”  The entire Northeast, for the most part, collectively deals with people from “Out of State (New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Quebec, etc)” during this time of the year, and we trade the fact that none of these people know how to properly navigate a sidewalk or use a crosswalk to get from one ice cream shop to the same identical ice cream shop across the street for their hard earned tourism dollars that they spend on the same generic Navy Blue sweatshirt with a silk screened CAPE COD across the chest (for my Maine readers, substitute Cape Cod for MAINE, for my Michigan reader, substitute Cape Cod for a Maple Leaf.).

It’s August, and frankly I’ve had enough of the tourist bullshit.

I was sent to fetch some garlic cloves for tonight’s dinner, and there’s a local grocery store at the end of the street, maybe a three and a half minute walk.  Along the way I pass by a small park, a restaurant/bar, a wine and spirit store (one thing I do love about where I live, is that it’s at least classy enough not to call itself a “liquor store” like they do in the black neighborhoods.), the box office for the local theatre, and then the market.

Remember those Warp Zone pipes from Super Mario Brothers on the old Nintendo?  You’d jump up on top of one, and squat, and magically you’d be brought to some other location, usually a perilous place.  Yeah, the grocer’s front door is like one of these pipes, where walking through it transports me to fucking mid-coast New Jersey.  The place is crawling with people, most if not all of whom are from out of state, and absolutely no one has a clue as to what the hell is going on.  Trying to navigate through this mish-mash of mouth breathing breeders makes me want (to paraphrase a line from Chuck Palaniuk’s “Fight Club”) “stalk up and down the aisles with a gas-operated AR10 rifle, pumping rounds into the chests of every fucking face I see.”

And on the subject of the breeders, the place is crawling with them.  I can’t think of any greater child-rearing deterrent to a late-20 year old guy than having to be held up at the front door by some balding, pot-bellied, bad hair cut having, tacky clothes wearing asshole trying to plaintively shepherd two obnoxiously inattentive children, equally tackily dressed, clutching melting ice cream cones which they’re getting on everything they touch.  Yes, I’m waiting for this piece of shit to herd his little cattle into the store so I can go in and buy an over priced jar of marinara, some cloves of garlic, and some imported beer.

Fuck.

So I managed to get around the store, which might I add is haphazardly organized; beauty products and pasta sauces are in one while, produce and napkins are in another.  There’s really no rhyme or reason to how things go, and I often find myself looking for an employee in a blue polo shirt as if I was in Best Buy and couldn’t find a BlueRay copy of “Training Day.”  When I do find an employee, it’s usually some middle or Eastern European college kid who barely speaks enough English to get hired, and has no idea where I can find a package of hotdogs and light bulbs (presumably they’re in the same aisle, I’m sure.)

I finally get what I came in for – a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Non-Fat Frozen Yogurt, this month’s GQ, and two boxes of matches, and now I’m standing in some serpentine line that seems to be the very definition of free-form.  I’m clueless as to where the line ends (or begins?) only knowing that between me and the old lady ringing in orders at the register, are about twenty people, each with a handful of small items.  There’s the mom with the package of hamburg, some laborer with a sixer of Red Stripe, an older couple from Quebec it sounds like, buying some prepped dish, etc.  And it seems that everyone has to have a conversation with the cashier.

People.  People, listen to me.  When you’re in a grocery store that resembles some Turkish open air bazaar, and there’s a growing horde of people behind you, one of which is near to the point of lashing out in violence if he can’t pay for his extension chord, rice pilaf and Snickers Bar RIGHT NOW, do not start some idle conversation about people you two mutually know, or about local events.  Not everyone is on a goddamn vacation, some people have wives at home who are burning the shit out of dinner because it’s taking them twenty minutes to bring home the bacon, spinach and peach chutney, ok?  For the love of Christ, His only begotten son, place your items on the counter, slide to your right, produce cash or debit card, pay, take your baggie of things, and get the fuck out of my way.

God help you if you pull out a check book.

August 4, 2009 Posted by | Corporate America Hates You, Gonzo Journalism, Living in an Insane Asylum, Out and About, People I Hate | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Social Networking OPSEC

From the Miltionary:

OPSEC:  Abbrv. for Operational Security.  Keeping the details or specifics of a mission secret as to not give away vital information to an enemy or undesirable group or person.

From the Jimtionary:

OPSEC:  Abbrv. for Operational Security. Not allowing everyone to know everything about you, until you’re dead and someone writes your biography.

The idea of the social networking site, such as Facebook, or if you’re a 15 year old girl, Myspace, caters to everyone’s inner attention whore.  At its very root, it’s an outlet for self promotion, whether it’s for the individual or a product or conglomerate.  One of the bigger downsides, however, is with pouring out so much promotional information, it can turn around and hurt you.

Obviously I’m not a corporation or product; I’m not a jug of Tide with Bleach, nor McDonalds.  I’m just a regular guy with a Facebook page that I use to keep in touch with a very small circle of people that 90% of which I know or at least have met, in person.

My problem is that when I do hang out with these people in the real world, oppose to the digital one, I’m not the same person.  That’s not to say I ‘m not the person in the picture or am lying about the stuff on the page but the key difference is the amount of information I’m putting out there.

Take for instance this party I went to at the beginning of the summer.  I had a good time and talked to a lot of people about different things.  However the things I spoke about at that party would never in a million years appear on my Facebook page or even this blog.  That’s because when I’m speaking with people in person, face to face, I have a certain degree of “spin control” on what I say or how I say it.

Ever hear how sarcasm translates poorly into text?  Information works closely along those lines.

If I put something into words, you the reader can take it in various ways depending on how you perceive me.  Or how you’re feeling emotionally; however you want it is how you’re going to get it – you get the idea.  Even if I’m talking to you on the phone, slight inflections in my voice can dictate how you receive the information I’m giving you.

But when you talk to someone face to face, you can use your entire body to convey a message.  Getting behind your message in such a way typically will lead to clear(er) understanding for whom is receiving that information.

Not so much on Facebook.

I can’t get into particulars, because it would somewhat defeat the purpose of this article’s main idea, but understand that I confided in some people certain information pertaining to my work and private life.  If you go on my Facebook page itself (which is set to very private), you’ll see where it is I work, and even pictures I’ve taken or had taken of me there.  It’s no big secret to the people who have access to my Facebook page what I do.

But, similar to this blog, I try to keep my activities at work, or relating to my work, to a minimum.  So imagine my aghast when someone posted a comment on my page relating to some personal issues in my life and work.  Things I didn’t really want announced to the public, even if that “public” was a select grouping of people I know professionally and personally.

I didn’t know about the breach in Social Networking (SN) OPSEC until I got a text from my wife stating that so-and-so let the cat out of the bag pertaining to some going-ons around my work.  I was pissed and immediately checked my Facebook page and saw the offense.  I quickly added a comment to try to soften the blow of the potentially hazardous leak of information.

Of course a buddy of mine who used to serve in the US Army picked up on it right away and commented in the same thread.

I understand that part of it’s my fault for offering such information out to people to begin with, especially information that probably shouldn’t be shared.  But again, when you figure you have control of that information when you release it you don’t think of how it can be used against you.

I guess you don’t really ever have control of any information, yours or others, ever.

So, within 24 hours (actually closer to two) I posted a status update which resulted in someone else putting some somewhat personal information about me into a comment thread.  Again, can’t go into the details, but it’s like, come on dude, seriously?  Like, how much harder can you blow a brother’s spot up?

Not everyone knows the same information about me that you do, and conversely, you don’t know everything that someone else already knows.  My wife is probably the one person who knows the most about me, only because we’re attached at the hip and she’s my resilient sounding board.

Regardless, I spoke with the offending individuals separately in private email messages explaining how I didn’t want that information shared.  Both were very understanding and apologetic, recoiling for their offenses, one so much as crying about it.  Like a little girl.

That being said, people need to think before posting on anyone’s, mine or otherwise, SN page.  Do you really want to air out their dirty laundry?  And just because you think something’s common knowledge (especially something related to a medical condition) don’t go talking about it in an open forum.  Would you want someone with a bullhorn letting all your friends and family know about your private life?

Do this:  Next time you’re about to click “post” ask yourself “if this were me, would I want someone posting this on my page?”

August 1, 2009 Posted by | Corporate America Hates You, Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, Shameless Self Promotion | , , , , | 1 Comment