Thursday, July 30, 2009

Horribly Named Technology

Via Wikipedia: "The vCard is a file format standard for electronic business cards. vCards are often attached to e-mail messages, but can be exchanged in other ways, such as on the World Wide Web. They can contain name and address information, phone numbers, URLs, logos, photographs, and even audio clips."

Hands down, the vCard is the most poorly-named piece of tech in human history. The double entendre of the name must create for incredibly awkward business scenarios:

Guy 1: But really...great meeting you, Rich.
Guy 2: My pleasure, Bill...say, do you have a vCard?
Guy 1: Excuse me?
Guy 2: I was just wondering if you had a vCard I could take down.
Guy 1: I'm not really you even know what you're asking me right now?
Guy 2: Um...well I mean I saw your BlackBerry, you seem like a tech-savvy guy...
Guy 1: What, a straight man can't keep up with the times? And why would you even think I'm never gotten...I have a wife and kids, goddamn it. You disgust me.

There's gotta be legions of young guys out there, black-suited, slick-back hair, bursting at the seams to gush out how many vCards they've taken in their careers.

But the vCard also brings on deeper issues, which I fear for greatly.

I can't even imagine the shmorgasbord of emotions that a man must feel in leaving a convention, realizing that he's just had his vCard taken by two men.

The thought of a young lady leaving her BlackBerry unattended, only to find a man stealing her vCard from her...her eyes well up into tears in front of the detective...the echo of the gavel sounding through the county courtroom...her blank stares into the distance at the dinner table until she finally comes to as her husband asks her what's wrong.

The vCard must be stopped. We cannot allow thousands of people to be forced to repeated re-live the forfeit of their innoncence. It is a violence against mankind. And just fucking terrible marketing.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bathroom Blunders

The men's bathroom in my office has only two toilet seats, one tight traditional stall and one more spacious handicap stall. While on the john, I enjoy a certain environment condusive to tranquilty and solitude. The claustrophobia of the smaller, tighter stall does not provide this in the same way that the open terrain of the handicap stall does.

The past two days at work, when I've entered the men's room to conduct my daily business, I've found the handicap stall occupied, with the smaller stall left open. Dejected but nonetheless resolute, I've settled for the smaller stall. However, each time, perhaps rushed by my presence, within thirty seconds, the adjacent occupant has finished up, flushed, and left quickly before I've even finished sanitizing the toilet seat for contact. And being the strange character that I am, I've gotten bold and made moves.

I call this move the Chamberlain Right Wheel. With belt buckle dangling down, fly open, and hands holding my pants above my backside, I quickly force open my stall down, flank 90 degrees to the right, throw open the handicap stall, and lock it before anyone else can enter the bathroom and wonder what the hell's going on. So far I'm 2-for-2 on not embarassing myself on the manuveur.

However today, I was forced to retreat by an enemy presence. Following digging into the trenches in the handicap stall, I released that the TP had run-out at a particularly inopportune time. I scampered back to the smaller quarters in the next stall over, fortunately avoiding giving away my position to foreign invaders who could have entered at any time.

It was shitty in general.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Fragments

Today is Friday. While Friday is technically 20% of the working week, I'd say I'm not too far off in estimating that it provides for about 4-5% of weekly productivity. After a moderately productive morning (I read 50 pages of an e-book and did about a solid hours' worth of work), I'm gonna give myself some "me" time this afternoon and go on auto-pilot. Since auto-pilot requires a lack of focus that doesn't allow a cohesive thought to exceed a paragraph, here's a couple of brief stories that have kept me entertained:

  • I spent most of the morning believing this story that a friend sent to me about Coors inventing a new can with an extra tab for shotgunning. Way too good to be true. This would surely be the defining invention of the 21st century and the greatest thing to happen to college since the latex condom.
  • Last night, in the continuation of a suspended Pirates/Nats game from May 5th, Joel Hanrahan got the win for the Nats despite having been traded from to the Pirates in the time since the game began. Nyjer Morgan, who started the game for the Pirates on May 5th, scored the winning for the Nats. Thank God for baseball.

Someone posted a note on the microwave in the break room this morning that reads "Do not leave unattended. Possible fire hazard." But when I took lunch break, no one was in the room. Looks like I'll have to spend the rest of the day keeping it company.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My Awful Start to the Morning

There are few worse feelings than the pit in your stomach that erupts when your alarm goes off in the morning on a weekday. In my case, this feeling reaches extreme levels during the summer months, when I generally run off 6 hours of sleep and have to be up at the crack of dawn for my summer job. While I'm usually reasonably pleasant when I wake up later in the morning, all bets are off before 8 A.M. My parents have learned to just leave me alone before I go to work or expect curt, dismissive responses to whatever conversation they try to start.

While much of the 45 minutes that I spend prior to leaving for work is devoted to my daily routine, I find solace in the 5-10 minutes that I spend eating breakfast in front of the tube. Its my time to wet my palate, perform one of my three favorite bodily functions, and get lost in SportsCenter for a few brief moments before sliding in the dark chasm of the daily grind of the real world.

But like clockwork, ESPN chooses to take away this pleasure from me for one week each year. Every summer, they choose to fill my morning with agony and guilt, topped with the syrupy-sweetness of fleeting hope. Every summer, my morning breakfast collides with each of the five segments of SportsCenter's week-long My Wish series.

The My Wish segment is a week-long SportsCenter special that shows terminally-ill children having their sports-related dreams fulfilled with their favorite pro athletes/teams via the Make-a-Wish Foundation. ESPN does a great job milking the melodramatic and using cheesy, obnoxious music to help paint the tale of these young tikes who get to live their sports fantasy, such as playing catch with Marion Barber, betting on pit bulls with Michael Vick, or taking a highway booze-cruise with Charles Barkley.

Don't get me wrong: I do have a soul. Do these kids deserve to have an awesome day in between chemo treatments? Absolutely. Is it great that this program for the kids exists? Certainly. Do I applaud the athletes for participating in it? Of course. Does it make for this make for good television? Well...

I'm sure there's an audience for this kind of fluff, namely the soap opera crowd or those who relish in having a good cry or heart-wrenching Holocaust film. But goddamn it, that's not the target market for SportsCenter. That market is young-to-middle-aged males looking for sassy commentary over sports highlights. Great ESPN, you get to improve your imagine. Meanwhile, I have a stomach ache because I just saw a kid get to walk out of Cowboy Stadium knowing that he just lived the best day of his life at age 6. That's not what I need in the morning. That makes me feel like shit. What I need is more Name That Molina or jokes about Livan Hernandez being fat. Sure, I could change the channel over to NESN for five minutes, but that's like trading in a Corvette with a engine trouble for a Toyota Camry.

So come on, ESPN. Hock this thing off to the Hallmark Channel. Let SportsCenter be for sports and give me my mindless sanctuary of box scores and Bottom Lines back.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Initial Real World: Cancun Reactions

MTV reality show The Real World premiered its 22nd season last Wednesday. 22 seasons! I thought the multiple VH1 Flava Flav spinoffs were excessive, but this is insane.

To its credit, The Real World was one of the earliest group-home reality shows. It has remained watchable over the years thanks to the simplicity of its premise, the new cast of personalities each season, and the fact that you can start watching at any point in the season and immediately understand what everyone's schtick is within about ten minutes.

I DVR'd the first two episodes and watched them on Wednesday and was pleasantly surprised. I normally hate the cast and stop watching after about 3 episodes, but this year's cast seems generally more real and likeable. Plus, there's a hot chick from Boston and a dude from Lawrence.

Basically, if you're bored most Wednesday nights during the summer like me, there's certainly worse TV to be watched. Anyways, here's my analysis of the character's so far:

From the first line he spoke all season, CJ completely carved out his character and made it clear he was going to be the Alpha Bro of the house: "I'm an NFL free agent and what that means is that I'm not tied down to one particular team. When I came out of college football, I was the number four kicker in the country." And perhaps the number one tool.

That being said, CJ is the most interesting person on the show, hands down. He seems genuinely nice even if he's shallow as a kiddie pool. He's the house heartthrob and all the girls love him for his wavy locks, dreamy smile, and ripped physique. He's pretty dumb when it comes to handling girls (i.e. sleep-spooning with Emilee, then telling his girlfriend via phone the next day...effectively ending the relationship) but he's managed to avoid serious drama. He's been macking out Jonna and the adventurer in me really wants to see him bag her. All the guys in the house get along with him and clearly wish they were him.

The Gist: Toolish in nearly everyway, but loveable.

The Bahston princess. As Barstool pointed out early this week, Emilee is a former Smokeshow model. She's hot as shit, but she doesn't dress well enough to flaunt it. She's shy, seemingly unintelligent, takes no initiative, and is generally boring in every way. If CJ didn't chase her and she didn't obnoxiously defend Ayiiia (who can go suck a nut), MTV would have no usable footage of her.

The Gist: I'd fall asleep having a conversation with the chick. Step up the slutty attire or go home.

I don't know how this guy got on the show, but I'm glad he did. Pronounced "Brah-nee" ('like the paper towels'), Bronne's a down-to-earth, average-Joe-looking dude who adds a positive energy to the house. He seems like the type of guy you'd want as a bench guy for your beer league softball team. He seems to hit it off best with Derek, the gay guy, but he gets along with everyone.

In what is the highlight of the season to date, Bronne hilariously started making out with a no-go Sharon Osbourne lookalike cougar on the dancefloor of a club one night. Joey was hooking up with a middle-of-the-road brunette roughly fifteen feet away, when she stops, looks over, and tells Joey, "That's my mom." Comedic gold.

The Gist: Going to be a dominant leader in the Drunken Mistakes stat category.

Holy shit this chick is hot. Out of the coveted Rihanna mold (sexy complexion + striking eyes), she dominates the rest of the girls in the house looks-wise. She loses big-time points for having a home birthday who she calls three times a day (they must be a fun couple to be friends with). She's been falling hard for CJ's Dream Team-calibur game, letting him snuggle with her on the hammock, buying matching bracelets with him, and presumably using his tongue as a washcloth in the shower.

She seems like a real clingy girl who needs a guy nearby. It's just a matter of time before the hunter bags him game and Jonna appears in the CJ box score.

The Gist: I'm in love with her.

Derek is gay. That's not a condemnation, but simply the reason he's on the show. He seems like a really nice guy and is the house mediator. But the fact is, it's blatantly clear he's on the show because he worked at the same bar as Jonna.

Here's my guess about the dialogue that locked Derek a spot up:

MTV RW Recruiter: So Jonna, we think you're great and we'd love to offer you a spot on the show
Jonna: Oh my god! Thank you so much. (cleans her face off and gets off her knees)
MTV RW Recruiter: There's just one thing. We're kind of strapped for time since shooting starts next week. Do you have any friends of alternative ethnicities or sexual orientations?
Jonna: Well, at the bar I work at, there's this one gay guy named Derek who...
MTV RW Recruiter: Would you mind texting him and asking him if he'd like a spot on the show? I really don't have time to interview for this last spot and I mean they're all the same anyways right?

The Gist: The gay guy

The Black Chick
Does it make me a racist that I don't know her name? No. Does it make me a racist that I don't even care enough to look it up? Probably.

Shawty is terrible annoying because she hits it off with Ayiiia, who is the Antichrist. She doesn't act ghetto all the time, but has the annoying quality of turning her Jive Dial up to 11 when she gets mad. Which is a lot because Ayiiia caused more problems than unprotected sex with Magic Johnson.

The Gist: A waste of the black niche spot. Should have gone for more ghetto/booty.

With Fall Out Boy and pop punk doing relative well on the charts in recent years, MTV needed their emo kid. Joey's skinny frame, multiple tattoos, lip ring, alternative clothing, straight, greasy hair, and armada of guitars sufficed for the role.

That being said, he doesn't fit the punk rocker stereotype (which must have been pretty clear if he accepted a fucking role on The Real World). He admitted to being very proud of being the first to fuck in the house, which is pretty bro. He also doesn't seem to mind CJ's unbelievable levels of brohood. He seems to get along well with most people in the house, except Ayiiia (which he deserves major daps for antagonizing her). He loses points for playing guitar too much, being in a pretty shitty pop punk band (that somehow impressed most of his housemates), and crying when Ayiiia fucked up his guitar.

The Gist: I don't like Joey, just like I don't like Mark Hamill. But in the fight against the evil Empire that is Ayiiia, we need a Luke Skywalker.

I don't know what dipshits voted this devil-woman in as the Real World Online Casting Winner, but they should repent. She thinks she is awesome, probably doubly so because her best friend in the house is black. She has told Joey repeatedly that she hates sarcasm and sarcastic humor. In terms of humor, that pretty much leaves Carrot Top prop jokes and The Three Stooges slapstick jokes, so she clearly is not a fun person to shoot the shit with. Admittedly, she has a nice body, but her teeth are disgusting. She thinks its a funny joke to crawl into peoples' rooms when they're fucking and spying on them. That's pathetic.

Another classic line by this Queen Bitch was what she told Joey on the beach after he earnestly apologized for spitting in her tacos. Keep in mind, she had it coming. She pretty much had treated him like he was a Mencia-level asshole because she couldn't take him picking on her innocently, as he does with all the other housemates. But on the beach, she tells Joey that she forgave him but admitted she wasn't interested in being friends with him. Her explanation: I'm genuinely a nice person, but I need to keep my guard up to prevent myself from getting hurt. No, Ayiiia, you're not a nice person. Just because John Wayne Gacy entertained the neighborhood kids by dressing up as a clown, doesn't mean we're gonna give him the Neighbor of the Year award.

The Gist: If God is just, swine flu or the Mexican drug wars will put her six feet under by season's end.