Cheeze Squeezins

If blogging was easy, anyone could do it. Oh, wait…

Archive for the month “July, 2012”

You wanna know what’s wrong with the Internet?!

THIS!  THIS is what’s wrong with the Internet!

Laura over at Fetch My Flying Monkeys posts a moderately entertaining (yet, really, let’s be honest, hardly a scathing, snarky expose’ of societal ills by any means) post about her nifty new house, and like, 122 comments!

That…there…that..there’s just something really kind of wrong with that.

Not that, you know, I’m all hung up on comment counts or anything.  Having blogged for a total of about two weeks. But….wull….still.

Just not right.

Wait…is it the pictures?! She has pictures!  “D’oh!” {{slaps forehead, immediately transitions to facepalm signifying great, yet humbling epiphany}}

I need pictures!  Hmmmm…..maybe LolCats.  YEAH THAT’S IT!

UPDATE!

AH HAAAAAH!  I see what she’s doing.  I see her little tricksies.  She responds to people.  As in, actually has conversations with them, and THAT pumps up her comment count.

Hmmm. Damn, this is going to be harder than I thought….

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The Office Mates From HELLLLL!

Yes, we all have them. Well, no, okay, not ALL of us, because, like, 10% unemployment, but……….anyway.

After far too many years squandered in various office jobs in various environments, I’ve come to discover that most office denizens can be classed into a few basic categories.  True, I may just have a karmatically unique ability to land amongst wierdos and social outcasts, but overall my observations have supported the theory that these creatures are commonly found in most office environments. To wit:

1) The Stealth Nose Picker.  Also known as the, “I’ve managed to convince myself that no one can see me picking my nose as I duck down behind my computer monitor” guy.  Yes, dude, we see you as you tenaciously work that pinky finger in to well past the second knuckle questing for that elusive gold.  And, we’re all pretty sure that you’re the one who flicks them all over the back side of the bathroom stall door, too.

2) Mr. “I’m Too Damn Busy/Important to Make Another Pot” Guy.  Yes, you know and love this person. And by “love” I mean want to stake them out on a fire ant mound covered in nothing but a Honey WheatBerry Jamba Juice smoothie.  You know, the person who drinks five or six cups of coffee a day, but will empty the last drop from the caraf with a bitter sigh of frustrated regret and betrayal that “someone” couldn’t keep the damn thing full for him, and so he has to settle for half a cup.  And, who then jams the pot back in the brewer and walks off, wearily shaking his head, leaving it stone cold empty despite all the colorful signs quoting Terry Tate saying, “IF YOU KILL THE JOE, YOU MAKE SOME MO!”  If you try and corner them about why, just WHY they didn’t make another pot, the answer will invariably be some variant of, “I was in a hurry and didn’t have time“.  Yeah, that’s right, because those YouTube videos aren’t going to watch themselves now are they?

3) The “I Didn’t Drink The Last Of It” Guy.  A close relative of Number 2,  this is the person who, regardless of how much coffee is (or isn’t) left in the pot, will always leave just a liiiiittle bit left in the bottom, even if it’s a whole whopping tablespoon or two.  This helps assuage any potential guilt by ensuring the ability to — with utter integrity and deniability — claim that they DIDN’T, in fact, drink the last of the coffee, because technically there are a good 14 or 15 molecules of it still left in there.  So, nooo, I DON’T have to make another pot (see #2) and get off me.

4) Speaker Phone Guy.  Ah yes, my personal favorite.  Usually a manager or sales rep.  Invariably results from an excessively over-optimistic self-evaluation of the “hip-ness” of the individual . For some reason, these offenders seem to be overwhelmingly male; mostly faux Alpha Males who want everyone to know just how central they are to everything going on by sharing all the intimate details of their phone conversations with everyone around them.  Conversations beginning with some variant of, “Hey Buddy! How they hangin!” followed closely by a hilarious personal anecdote involving “those chicks at that bar last night.”  And for some reason, despite all the advances in modern technology, micro-circuity and audio enhancement widgets that can pick up a fly farting half a mile away, SPG feels it necessary to talk loud enough for the guy in the corporate office in LA to hear him from Memphis…WITHOUT the phone.  Because using a handset it just so…so…”the little people.”

I’m sure there are many more, like “Always Leaves His Print Job On The Printer For Several Hours” Guy, and “Farts and Hope No One Notices Even Though OH MY GAAWD!” Guy.  But that, dear readers, is for another day.

From the “Unfortunate Headlines” Dept.

Also known as the “Editorial Fail” Dept.

3 LA-area homeless people found stabbed with notes

What kind of notes were they stabbed with?  Quarter notes?  Eighth notes?  Dotted half notes??

Or is it just a bunch of really bad paper cuts from PostIt notes?  Or were the notes they found rolled up really tightly so they’d penetrate the skin?

Dudes. Come on. Really?

The Real Reason Facebook Sucks

I just figured it out.  How Facebook is Teh Death of Real Relationships.

Along with my aforementioned Attention Deficit problem, or maybe inextricably tied INTO this problem, is my just generally crappy record of maintaining any kind of decent friendships over an extended period of time.  Part of the problem is that I tend to move around a lot, and so, lacking physical proximity to people who were once good friends, they tend to drift out of consciousness for me.  More importantly, I just flat lose track of how long it’s been since I’ve called/emailed/written/spoken with them.

And Facebook, rather than making things better, makes them all kinds of worse. At least for me.

See, the problem for me is, I’ll troll through Facebook, read the posts, see the pictures, maybe make a quick one or two sentence comment on someone’s “Wall,” and then I roll on to the next post, the next Demotivation poster..and oh, is that my phone?

And in my head, I think that I’ve “connected” with Jim or Tara or Milosh or whoever.  Until it strikes me one day that their kid who I remember being a spastic little 10-year-old has just graduated college and is engaged, with photos of the rehearsal dinner plastered all over Facebook.

Wait…the hell…wha?

So, I sit down, and realize that the last time I actually spoke with this person, on the phone, maybe on Skype, was four years, at least one job, and probably several significant family milestones ago.

Facebook makes us think we are connected, when in reality, it’s less than skin deep.  And, in my moment of epiphany, I realize that I have no real idea what is going on in my so-called “friends” lives.  Other than the quick snippets I get via Facebook. 

The problem is, people don’t usually post the gut-wrenching struggles they are fighting through on Facebook for all the world to see.  We get the fun vacation pictures, the cool sunset, pictures of the new deck or new motorcyle.  We get a false impression of how great everything is going, when if we were in fact really friends, and not just Facebook friends, maybe I’d know about the financial struggles, the job strife, the neighbor from hell or who knows what else.

But I don’t call.  I don’t ask.  I don’t worry.  Because it looks like everything is just groovy…on Facebook.  It gives me a false sense of connection that tricks my brain into thinking that I’m still “in touch” with these people, when in fact the simple reality of it all is that I’m a relationship voyeur.  I just watch, from the outside, as if through a window only really seeing what passes into my field of view.

I don’t come inside, sit on the couch, and share a beer while my friend/brother/cousin spills their guts and shares an actually personal experience. Develops a real bond.

For far too many of my former friends, our friendship is only Facebook-deep.  I’ve come to realize that if Facebook is all you got, you haven’t got much at all…  

…and that maybe, just maybe, the problem isn’t really with Facebook at all.

Another brush with fame, and, “SQUUUEEEE!”

I don’t really consider myself much of a fanboy. I don’t get all wrapped up in sports stats, who gets traded to whom.  Musicians as a whole leave me pretty, “Meh.”  I love to listen to their music, but the thought of meeting one of them doesn’t really fill me with stars-in-the-eyes superstar giggles.

Bloggers, now?  Yeah.  THAT gets me moist.

I don’t know why it is, but I have “followed” or read some of the more prolific bloggers for about as long as we’ve had blogs.  Yes, you obstreperous young pups, there was a time before blogs when all we had were newsgroups and BBS’s.  Shut up.

I’ve had a lot of my favorite writers/bloggers move on to other things, perhaps something as simple as realizing that blogging conflicted with things like job and family, and so they rather irrationally opted to pursue the latter at the expense of their little slice of bloggery fame.  Go figure.

Anyway, so when I go over to Rachel Lucas’ blog, and leave a comment, and then she actually responds to me, specifically, in person, THEN, oh yes, I get all stupid giggly like a tweener at a Bieber concert, and OHMAGOSHOHMAGOSHOHMAGOSH did you see?!  He looked right at ME!  And He smiled!  OMG I think I just DIED!1!!1!!!111!

Yeah.  It’s kinda like that.

Don’t know why.  Rachel seems like just a generally awesome chic, real, down-to-earth, and her simple, honest, engaging style is what makes me love to read her stuff.  I’ve read her site since way back, back when she was the “old” Rachel, who then took some crazy haitus, and came back as the new-n-improved Rachel, only to sort of bail again after the whole leaving-the-dogs-and-moving-to-Europe, but then she was BACK, and, ah, life was just a little sweeter again.

Yeah, no, really, nothing creepy here folks, at ALL.  Move along, move along.

But, she HAS rather sort of carved out a little niche of her own bloggery fame, and so I guess the thought of someone so well established and well respected in Blogdom to take notice of little ol’ me, well, I guess it does make me a little fanboyish.

Strange as it may seem, my favorite bloggers are my “superstars.”  Some people get all bent and slippery about someday meeting their favorite athletes, rock stars, politicians or nuclear physicists, but I guess my heroes are bloggers.

Well, okay, I would probably stand in line, in the rain, for three days to meet Amanda Tapping (LtCol Samantha Carter) from Stargate, but other than that, really, nothing.  Okay, maybe I lied a little there.  Richard Castle.  I’d gleefully knife a guy in the kidney to get behind the rope and shake hands with Nathan Fillion, on whom I’ve had a bit of a completely hetro man-crush since first mainlining Firefly directly into my carotid artery several years ago.

But, as bloggers go, I’d probably stutter and stammer like a school girl meeting Brad Pitt if I ever got to meet Ms. Lucas.  

I’m thinking Jeff Goldstein of Protein Wisdom would be cool to meet as well.  And LeAnn is slowly moving up my list of stalker favorites.   I guess after you spend so much time reading and “spending time” with these people, you start to feel like you actually know them.  It’s a wierd sort of vicarious relationship.  I remember very clearly two different times when one of my favorite, long-term bloggers died.  I’d go to their site, and someone from their family or a friend had logged on and posted the news that they’d passed on.  Both times it was like a punch in the gut, because it really felt like I’d lost a friend.  Sure, they didn’t know me from Adam, but I knew THEM, and that’s why it hurt.

So I guess maybe that’s why sometimes I feel like the nerdy kid at school whose biggest achievement is to be noticed by one of the “popular” kids, who, much to your surprise, turns out to be just a normal joe instead of jerky jock, and shazam, you actually get to know them as a person, and wow, it’s kinda cool to hang out with him (or her) and sort of soak up a little bit of their social status for a while.

And yes, maybe, despite your best efforts at self control, you let out a little, high-pitched “SQUUEEEE” of delight.

Not that I, of course, would ever do anything like that. Much. Very often.

UPDATE:

AND…AND…AND….Frothing Mouse linked me! In the Blogroll!

THE PHONE BOOKS ARE HERE! THE PHONE BOOKS ARE HERE!”

Thoughts on the Revolution

Well, I had some big, ambitious post to put up here about the 4th of July, but I realize that it ended up being some rambling dispeptic tirade sounding like nothing so much as some crazy homeless guy hopped up on sterno and paint fumes, so I just canned the whole thing.

I do want to say this.  I have, through years of military service, fortuitous circumstance, or other random job opportunities either lived in or visited over 23 countries of this world.  Ghana, Korea, Japan and most of the Persian Gulf countries. Mexico, Canada, Australia and a whole bunch of European countries.  And I will tell you one thing, unequivocally, and without reservation.  No where. NO WHERE else in this world do people enjoy the kinds of personal freedoms that we in the United States take so much for granted. 

An all the self-important Hollywood poppinjays who have nothing better to do than strut around lamenting how terrible America is as they cash another million dollar paycheck can just bite me.  And hypocritcal racist assholes like Chris Rock who spend so much of their time whipping up racial division while having no problem taking whitey’s money at the box office, can just STFU.  Why people continue to give air time to gasbags like them is beyond me.

Anyway, no, the USA isn’t perfect.  But no one or no thing ever is.   But, warts and all, I think we’ve got the best thing going, and I’ve got no problem saying, proclaiming and shouting that I am PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN.

In conclusion to this rambling dispetic tirade, I submit this:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

From the consent of the governed. Not at the whims of the rulers.  And when that’s no longer the case, bad shit happens.  Just sayin’.

 

Tell me a story. No, no. Not that one. A GOOD story.

I love reading frothy, feisty narratives chock full of barely-restrained energy and/or violence, usually but not always merely implied.  A rousing tale of woe or exhultation, often accompanied by whimsical, self-deprecating anecdotes.  I’d LOVE to be able to spin out a tale like that.

My problem?  I just don’t freaking pay attention.

Writers like Sheri Gilmour, Rachel Lucas or Leeann seem to soak in every subtle nuance of their experiences, maintaining an awareness of their surroundings I find truly daunting.  Beyond that, they do something nearly incomprehensible to me.

They actually REMEMBER these things long enough to write about them hours, sometimes even days later.  Black. Fucking. Magic.

I likely suffer, to a greater or lesser degree, from some form of long undiagnosed and untreated form of ADD. Easily distracted by shiny things.  Start and stop conversations randomly, often with no one other than myself.  It will be 15 or 20 seconds into a conversation with someone before I even remember their name.  Coping skills in these kinds of situations usually involve the liberal application of all sort of appropriately vague personal euphemisms, such as “Buddy” and “Hey you.”  I can talk for twenty minutes, catch up on old times, ask about the family, and wish them the best, without ever once using a first name.  It’s an essential life skill for someone with my, uh, “condition.”

So, while I often have grand adventures as well as many of those charming personal anecdotes involving a trip-to-the-grocery-store-gone-horribly-horribly-wrong, I’m often in such a state of mental fog that I’m hard-pressed to remember exactly how it is I ended up with six boxes of sanitary napkins instead of jumbo roll paper towels, and how DID I get this bump on my head? 

That’s why I have to take so many pictures.  They are like little mnemonic memory devices that allow me reconnect key associations between the scattered fragments of random memories.  Otherwise, it’s about a 50-50 chance that when someone asks me, “Do you remember the time we went to that one restaraunt with the Big Lobster out front?” I will invariably have to lie through my teeth and fake my way through the conversation with a lot of head nods and “Uh huhs” and laughing at jokes I really don’t understand because, really, it all kind of ceased to exist to me about the time we pulled out of the parking lot.   I live in fear that I’ll ever get arrested and have to provide an alibi for something. 

The Man: “Where were you at 7:15 pm on the night of June 18th?”

Me:  “That’s a great question. I have no frickin clue.  Let me see the crime scene photos and I’ll let you know if maybe I was there.”

There’s an old joke that having Alzheimers isn’t all bad, because you get to meet new people every day!   Yeah, it’s kind of like that for me.

So, if I really do intent to post anything of meaningful consequence on here, I suppose I’ll need to do a better job of actually paying attention to the world around me.  I mean, after all, who’s going to stick around to read a blog if the author is…

SQUIRREL!

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