2.23.2009

Um...

I don't even know how to title this one...

2.20.2009

Facebook Faceoff

If I didn't have enough reasons to avoid Facebook, here's another. Apparently they think they own me and my sh**? I don't think so...

Facebook terms of service compared with MySpace, Flickr, Picasa, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter
, by Amanda L. French, PhD.

So fine, they withdrew the changes shortly after the brew-ha-ha (sp?) - but regardless. It's rude.

Facebook Withdraws Changes in Data Use, by Brad Stone and Brian Stelter, The New York Times

2.18.2009

I hate boys except my dad.

A funny note I discovered on someone's desk in my office...

2.16.2009

Let Them Eat Chocolate

Consumer behavior is infinitely fascinating, particularly during a recession-almost-depression like the one we're in now. While consumers lack the funds for (or perhaps are too afraid to spend on) substantial luxury purchases, the desire for a sense of luxury remains. One example I've heard several times is the lipstick phenomenon. (which I'm not sure is true for all lipstick manufacturers, but anyway...) When money is tight, women are hesitant to buy a pricey handbag. Understandable... But lipstick - - in many ways lipstick achieves an emotional reaction similar to that of a fancy handbag. Lipstick is glamorous. Lipstick is a luxury. Lipstick makes women feel special. But unlike handbags, lipstick is about 1/100 of the cost and even expensive lipsticks are, in comparison, a reasonable purchase at $25 a pop. Despite the significant dip in the market, Avon lipstick sales have more than doubled.

Apparently, this phenomenon extends to chocolate. At a time when unemployment is rampant and it seems like no one is spending money on anything - apparently people are perfectly willing to throw down $8 for a chocolate bar...

The Sweet Payoff
, by Rob Walker, The New York Times

A few more interesting stats,
  • Restaurants are out, cooking at home is in: 10.7 million people visited allrecipes.com in November 2008 - the best traffic month ever for the world's top food site.
  • In 2008, 1.3 billion Americans visited the public library, a 10% increase since 2006. Sorry, Barnes & Noble...
  • Local YMCAs landed 700,000 new members last year, making their current numbers the largest in history. Seems people are finally telling the pushy gym salespeople peddling $200/month rates to take a hike...
Courtesy of Marie Claire.

Joel Does Georgia

My friend Joel, a stand-up comedian, performs at the University of Georgia...

2.15.2009

I'm (Almost, But Not Quite) a PC

Kylie just might convert me to PC (well, probably not, but damn that's a cute commercial)

2.14.2009

Happy V-day, Love Cupid

2.13.2009

Happy 1234567890 Day

Apparently if you keep track of “Unix time” - this very instant (well, 3:31:30 PM today) is a pretty big deal...

Unix Time counts in seconds and began on Jan. 1st 1970. Today the clock strikes 1234567890. I know, wild. I'll give you a second to absorb that one...

Read more

Krazy Kid and Kittens

It's Possible I'll Never Procreate...

At an outdoor shopping mall this past weekend, my friend and I came upon a young mother and her 3ish year old daughter. The child was screaming bloody murder and dragging her feet in defiance, unencumbered by her mother's pleas that she quiet down and walk like a grown-up. My friend and I looked at each other and with an eye roll and a quick dash into a high-end-and-therefore-not-a-kid-destination store, we proclaimed in unison that we might never have children.

Truthfully, this is not that uncommon. I often find myself confronted with images or experiences that force me to reconsider that future. Here is another one:

2.12.2009

Variety: Overspiced?

This morning, I'm feeling overwhelmed by variety. Riding Caltrain and chuckling at a David Sedaris essay, I glanced out the window as we cruised through Hillsdale station and past what must be the largest Barnes & Noble in California. Thousands and thousands of square feet of books books and more books. Glancing down at mine, I wonder how many I'll read in my lifetime. I'm goal-oriented to a fault, so instead of feeling excited about the endless options, I am cursed with the understanding that I will never read them all. I will never finish. I may not read the books that occupy even one row of the hundreds of rows in that store. Granted, there are duplicates within those walls, but think of all the books that Barnes & Nobles doesn't have in stock. Think of the floors and floors and rows and racks at the public library. (and there are quite a few public libraries in San Francisco - nay - the world!)

The last time I remember feeling this sense of doom was during my brief time living in New York City. Operating on a shoestring budget, I would rarely eat out, but when I did I always wanted to try a new venue, hoping that maybe one day I could say I'd dined at every single restaurant in New York. But the more I considered this, the more it because clear I would never achieve it. There were thousands and thousands of restaurants in Manhattan alone, several on every block. These thousands were regularly replaced or supplemented with new eateries. Staring at the pages and pages of tiny font in the yellow pages, I felt defeated. Were I to eat out for every dinner for the rest of my life (roughly 20,000 evenings, I calculated) I might knock off every restaurant in New York at this very moment, but certainly not the many others that would come and go in those years.

Perhaps it's the realization that I'll never eat at every restaurant, read every book, travel to every city, hear every song, and see every film that keeps me ordering from the same Chinese delivery joint, watching Bravo marathons I've seen a thousand times, listening to Band of Horses on repeat and rereading my favorite Sedaris essays. Variety can be stifling. And if it ain't broke...

2.11.2009

Nightmares Make for Good Dreams

Last week, Nightmares on Wax (a personal favorite) took the stage at The Independent. Objectively, the show was outstanding - despite a late start, (11pm on a Wednesday) he had the sold-out crowd hoppin' and groovin' into the wee hours. Now, had I anticipated this upbeat tempo, I would have adjusted my expectations and been completely enthralled with N.O.W.'s musical stylings. Unfortunately, I'm an old-school fan and remain loyal to tracks like Les Nuits and Fire in the Middle. These mellow, trip-hop tunes don't lend themselves to dancing or jumping, rather their entrancing nature is best suited for naptime or a similarly slow and relaxing activity. (ie: I probably should have treated myself to a pre-show Red Bull instead of a chicken pot pie) While I'm disappointed he skipped those signature slow-jams that lull me to sleep so well, turns out all the dancing yields a similar result.

2.09.2009

Beaten with an Umbrella-ella-ella

Rihanna Identified as Alleged Victim in Chris Brown Assault, US Weekly newsletter.
WTF??? Apparently there was no deadly weapon found in his car, only an umbrella. How's that for irony?

In other WTF-ish news,
  • Steve Wozniak, one of the founders of Apple, will be joining the Dancing with the Stars cast. Read more
  • First-ever concert for the deaf to be staged in Toronto, by Sean Michaels, The Guardian. The Emoti-Chair, an audio-tactile device developed by Ryerson University, promises to ensure good vibrations for the hearing impaired by translating live music into mechanical responses.

Travel Notes to Self, Part 2

It's important to take a time-out every so often and treat yourself to a massage and a little lounging, maybe a hot-tub when available. But it is equally important that the hassles of pulling it off not outweigh the benefits.

Take, for example, this past weekend when I took a spa trip to Palm Springs. Highlights include: reuniting with an old friend, spa treatments, a brisk desert mountain hike, lots of red wine and a metric ton of black truffle mac and cheese.

That said, this trip was not without its disappointments, as all mini-breaks often have, including a weekend of rain and nightmarish travel delays. These misfortunes aside, the real trouble is that I can't quite afford a luxurious spa weekend at a fancy boutique hotel in Palm Springs. Every glass of wine, every encounter with the valet, reminded me of my steadily dwindling bank account. Therefore I've decided that until I can hand over my Visa guilt free, time to reel in my time-outs.

Travel note to self: If you don't have serious bills to drop, make the spa getaway a little less far away.

2.05.2009

Recession Revisions: Corporate Logos

Funny forward...







2.04.2009

Delightful Digital Experiences

Doing your taxes is a pain no matter how you slice it. So when I came across a TurboTax lightbox that made me chuckle, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude.

TT, Thank you for making this experience a little less awful and a little more amusing. Dad, sorry the lawyer got blamed, as per usual.

More Unsavory Press for MySpace

Ick...

MySpace Turns Over 90,000 Names of Registered Sex Offenders, by Jenna Wortham, The New York Times

2.03.2009

The World Wide Interwebs

So right, yet so wrong.

2.02.2009

Only thing better than skiing is...

Skiing to a beat. Why have I not tried this before? It seems so obvious - I would never run or hike without my iPod - why barrel down snow-covered peaks without some background music?

A few of the tracks that made my trip exceedingly enjoyable...

Untrust Us - Crystal Castles
My Girls - Animal Collective
No Excuses - air france
Calabria - Enur
Disturbia - Rihanna
We Can Work It Out - Stevie Wonder
Golden Age - TV on the Radio
In the Flowers - Animal Collective
Brothersport - Animal Collective
Idioteque - Radiohead