Thursday, April 19, 2007

Stupidest thing I've seen today

Most days people say things that are more clever than me, which sometimes threatens my massive ego. But luckily I always come across at least one really dumbass thing that secures my air of superiority. Today its a spa designed around napping. Now I've been know to do a new-agey thing or two (I do after all go to yoga twice a week), so I am not above paying to relax, but for fuck's sake- paying for a power nap? That's just plain stupid.

Starbucks doesn't charge that much for coffee, or you could, I don't know, just leave work before dark. If you are paying $24 to take a nap, you have too much money, way too much, and you should send some me right now. The only place I would pay to sleep is a hotel, where give you little soaps and let you sleep as long as you want, with out forcing you to do so in something that looks like it was designed by Steve Jobs.

I just can't wait until this place goes out of business and the city's homeless gets a supply of futuristic beds that elevate their feet above their hearts.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Step 23: Swim Across the Alantic Ocean

Google must be fucking with us again. The boyfriend decided to look up driving directions from New York to London (you know for weekend visits) and google suggests I swim 3,462 miles across the ocean and then make a slight right at E05. Very funny google, very funny. I think they are giving my swimming a bit too much credit too, they say it will only take me 29 days and 10 hours. Evidently the Atlantic is the only swimable ocean in the opinion of Google Maps, try to put in Los Angeles to Tokyo for example and it tell you it can't be done.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

And so it Goes

Kurt Vonnegut died.

I read Cat's Cradle when I was too young to really get it, and Man Without a Country last year. He was an interesting man, with a lot of interesting things to say:

"If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you're a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind."
Kurt Vonnegut

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Remembering Newspapers

Yet another post about my obsession about the state of print journalism.

Jack Lessenberry, a columnist for Metro Times Detroit (where a slightly younger, more idealistic version of me once interned) wrote this week about a Detroit newspaper editor and ownership shift that I am too young/too lazy to have paid much attention too. In his column however, he does sum up pretty succinctly what I have been trying to say about the tends in both newspapers and magazines:
"Newspaper companies, not just those in Detroit, seem to have made a decision to publish newspapers for people who do not like to read. They are putting out papers for those who would rather watch television.

That might have made some sense in somebody's head at some cocktail party somewhere, but I can report I have talked to actual humans who prefer watching television to reading. Talked to them at length, in fact. The truth is that they don't want a newspaper that looks like television. They just don't want to read, period. People who do want to read find increasingly less and less in newspapers in general."

He goes on to talk about how since newspapers have been trying to be TV they have lost readers in larger numbers and it is because of this not solely advances in technology that newspapers are dying.

The more and more the evil corporate chains buy up papers, the fewer publications escape the infotainment trap. Even those who seem to can get sucked in, the summer that I interned at Metro Times (2003) I sat in on a meeting with the local fox station about how we could partner with their morning broadcasts to promote our stories. Luckily they editors were all left with such a bad taste and the broadcasters didn't seem too keen on the story about gay bath houses in Detroit. The partnership, to my knowledge never took place.

Update (4/19): Mother Jones decided to send me two issues at once, so I've been busy reading the March/April issue in the last few days and every article in it is really good this time around. This one: Breaking the News, kind of says it all on this topic though.

Giggle Bites

The boyfriend (also known as Mark), reads this comic a lot. And today sent the above over to me.

It's mildly embarrassing but totally true- I have no idea how big a GB is. When I finally got a MP3 player last year, I thought "Well I like music, and I own lots of music, I should get a big one." So I got a 30GB one and put all my music on it, I have since realized that my MP3 player has a hard drive almost a big a my laptop and is only half as full. I don't use my MP3 player to store photos or video or any of that nonsense on- hell, I'm surprised I can use that thing at all.

Technology is confusing and the further I get immersed in it (and learn about it/write about it) the more that I feel it's treated like a secret little geek club. They could explain it to us in terms that soccer moms would get (like 10,000 cat pictures= 1GB) but they don't want to. They want to carry on feeling smarter than us, and making us buy MP3 players with hard drives as big as our computers.

Eh, I don't blame 'em really. I like feeling smarter than people too.

Paper or plastic

Oh Brooklyn politicians! Sometimes you can be so misguided, and sometimes you seem to get the idea.

It may seem like an odd issue to get enthusiastically behind, but it is the political issue that I've been must active and interested in, in the last few months. Sure, it's not the most important or pressing issue, but I think why I am so behind it is that it's something that is practical and beneficial and easy for people of any city or social standing to do. It's activism that doesn't feel like activism, so people might actually do it. It's putting something in your shoulder bag or old lady cart instead of the 20 plastic bags per item C-town seems to think you need. And the impact on the environment, animals, and oil dependency can be immediate and tangible.

I guess what it comes down to is that I used to be really idealistic, but more and more I am a grumpy old lady and don't have much faith in people to do the right thing. This is something I can actually see happening. Baby steps and all that.

Side note: When I searched for a picture of a plastic bag, and I got the above as a result. The photo was linked (perhaps unsurprisingly) to a California Green party website with a story about how last month San Francisco was the first city in the US to ban plastic bags. See those hippies have good ideas sometimes.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

"dead tree media"

I didn't read this whole article, because really how many pages can you read about an office move?

But I did read it long enough to:

1. feel nostalgic for an era of print journalism in which I have never worked


2. want to vomit a little over the use of "mod cons" in place of modern conveniences.

Number two basically explains its self and if I wasn't so lazy I would write the editor who let the phrase slide a stern email.

But let me if you will expand on number one a bit more: I think journalism is an exciting and necessary profession (which you know is luckily since I happen to be in it). Despite my formal training and short time at daily and weekly newspapers, a monthly magazine, and ugh, a company newsletter, I would be woefully prepared to be a reporter in a time even as short as 15 years ago.

Sure, I typed my high school papers on a broken typewriter, didn't use email or the interweb until late 1999, and am still far less tech savvy than many in the field, but I've also worked in offices when the computers have gone down and everyone sat there helpless and uncomfortable, me very much included.

Is it ironic that I am a print journalist, who gets 95% of her news online or on TV, who wants very much for the old traditions not to die, yet increasingly works on the interweb side of the media and would be hard pressed to research a story without a computer?

Don't ask me I learned irony from Alanis Morissette.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Isn't it Ironic?

In one of my English classes in high school we had to bring in the lyrics to a song and talk about the form and meaning like it was a poem. I brought in a Tori Amos song because I was so terribly deep and brooding.

If I had the assignment today I would like to think that I would bring in this cover of "My Humps" and explain a line by saying " I think what she's trying to say is that she would like to own the power that her body has over men and turn the patriarchal tide to use it in her favor, for wealth that she has systematically been denied."

"Also I believe that she would like us all to 'check it out'."

ps. It really does take something like this (and 12 years) to redeem Alanis for teaching a whole generation the wrong meaning of the word ironic*

*In another one of my English classes in high school we were forced to listen to Alanis Morissette's "Ironic" and write similar poems using "irony." I would of course look back now and call the exercise ironic, but I wouldn't want to mis-use the word.