It happens every year, the day I spend a few hours attending an emergency preparedness meeting. Here are this year’s highlights:
“The manual’s been updated… but keep the old one, there’s some useful stuff in there.”
“I’m a 20 year war vet, spent 16 years at sea doing stuff like this.”
“Whoduv thunk it that the Boston Marathon, something like that would’ve happened there, let alone here.”
“The Fire Department will be here in 5 minutes, unless there’s an earthquake, then it’ll be 3 days.”
“This is a real important piece, and you’re gonna see these around, they fall down all the time. You see one, you call me.”
“In 13 seconds, this building could all be engulfed.”
“’89 was a long time ago. That’s reality.”
“You walk in the bathroom, walk out, there’s a briefcase there. I know, right? I’m not gonna check it out, I’ll call 911.”
***I found this sitting in my drafts, dated May 9th 2012. Enjoy!***
Here are the top 9 searches that have led people to my site so far this year:
- dog drinking milk
- karen twelves
- milk drinking dog images
- gatsby drinking
- katee sackhoff feet
- new years treats
Please don’t judge the content of my blog by this list.
I also find it curious that people actually clicked through to my site when no doubt researching for their English papers (this site gets a lot of Gatsby-related search traffic). I hope they got something interesting!
I still really want to do another “Drinking Through” project, but never came up with a book as good as Gatsby. Suggestions are appreciated!
This is mostly from a series of Facebook posts, but I want to put it here so it’s archived.
I have crowd funding fatigue. Some of this comes from my Twitter and Facebook feeds having more Kickstarter plugs than entertaining content, but most of it is my growing bitterness towards people abusing the system to ask for free money without producing anything, but expecting people to give on the merit of who they are and/or why they need free money. And yes, I’ve seen the Amanda Palmer TED talk, and no, this is not just in response to that.
I was struggling to consolidate my feelings on this into 140 characters so instead posted this:
I am having a hard time expressing my continuing bitterness w/ people abusing crowdfunding without sounding like a total jerk. FYI.
Which cross-posted to Facebook, where I elaborated:
Part of me is like, “Hey why swallow your pride and ask your family for help when you can take money from faceless strangers online and call yourself a worthy cause?” but then I’m like “Well some people don’t have family who would help them out” and I feel like a jerk.
I’ll think, “Well does it make a difference if a friend starts the crowdfunding on your behalf? Is it only bullshit if you start one yourself just because you’re behind on your bills? Does it depend on how much you’re asking for? Or how it is that you came to be in this position? Where is the line?” but then I’ll think, “This is making me way too judgy about if people are deserving of my charity or not” and I feel like a jerk.
And I’ll wonder, “Am I totally old-fashioned to feel ashamed asking ANYONE for money? Do I need to get with the times and be okay putting my financial woes online? Is that too brazen?” but then I think, “Why am I being so harsh on what other people do when it doesn’t affect me in any way?” and I feel like a jerk.
But then I start looking at the cultural standards that we have, which is that if someone asks you for help and you say no, you’re kind of a jerk, and people who intentionally abuse that model are kind of jerks themselves, because it’s not so different than jerks who say, “Well if you think I’m being a jerk then you can just tell me to stop being a jerk,” and they think that gives them the right to be a jerk. And that is a manipulative dick move. Then I’m basically calling anyone who needs help a dick.
Some friends chimed in with similar views, but I’ll add here just a few more comments of my own:
I’m referring specifically to people who start funds for themselves because they are in need of cash. In most cases it is because they have fallen on hard times, but for many I find the “dire circumstances” debatable, and it brings up a lot of mixed feelings and bitterness.
I am totally in support of crowd funding for starting new products or projects, and have gladly given money to see people make cool stuff happen.
I still remember asking my parents for $10 once as a teenager so I could buy a t-shirt I saw in a thrift store and HAD to have. And then I barely wore it and felt really guilty. So I definitely grew up with a fear of spending money. I’ve been living for about 10 years now with $0 in my savings account, and have borrowed a great deal of money from my parents. They have never made me feel bad about needing financial help, I just feel ashamed because I feel I should have my shit together by now. I get nervous spending more than $30 at a time in one store.
So I see someone making themselves a charity case and exploiting the crowdfunding fad and I feel really bitter. Then I feel like a jerk for judging people who, like me, need help, and are just doing what they can.
So, there it is. My funding fatigue and money anxiety. Hopefully I’ve gotten most of it out of my system.
But honestly, rather than wishing that I would stop having negative feelings about crowdfunding, I really just wish I could filter it out of my social media, so people can go do their thing and I can do my thing and we don’t have to worry about what the other person thinks. I don’t think that my feelings are invalid, I’d just prefer if they weren’t provoked so often.
If you’ve never heard of Planet Fitness before, good, because you have lived a life with one less thing to piss you off. And now I’m gonna ruin it for you.
I need to talk about this commercial:
I get it, Planet Fitness. You have this whole motto of being for a particular demographic of people who want to be comfortable at the gym and not intimidated. But I see this commercial and I actually feel bad for the hot chicks.
Planet Fitness has an alarm that they sound when someone “grunts, drops weights, or judges.” Yes, an alarm. Who’s the judgy one here though? Look at their commercial. Are the models maliciously making the other woman feel bad? No, they’re excited about how hot they are, and celebrating it with their friends. Good for them. When I dress up for an evening out and a friend says to me, “You look great!” and I say “Thanks, so do you!” I should not be kicked out of the restaurant because someone overhearing that conversation doesn’t like their own outfit.
There is a woman who works out the same time I do, who I’ll call Kelly. Kelly is a fucking badass and looks like an Amazon. She is tall and lean and works out hard. She also has 3 teenage boys so you know that in addition to the body type she was born with, she’s done a lot to get and keep the amazing shape she’s in now. Am I jealous of her body? Fuck yeah. Am I gonna hate seeing her every morning? Do I want her to be asked to leave because she makes me feel shlubby in comparison? Of course not. She is friendly and supportive and has nothing to do at all with my body and my goals. But I guess she wouldn’t be allowed in Planet Fitness because she’s too hot.
Dropping weights I get, because it’s dangerous. But grunting? It’s part of working out. My boyfriend grunts sometimes when he lifting. He’s exerting a lot of energy. Professional tennis players have signature grunts. They would be kicked out of Planet Fitness. But first they would sound a shrill alarm. Because that’s not potentially dangerous for anybody in the middle of a lift. Because there’s no strenuous lifts allowed in Planet Fitness.
They don’t allow deadlifts. I did deadlifts for 12 weeks. Anyone can do deadlifts. So would I be shown the door?
Let’s look at another commercial:
We all hate roided-out trainers who are only in it for the money, right? There’s good reason to be suspicious of trainers; they may not be giving you a workout that gives results but instead makes you dependent on them for more sessions. Surely you’d want a gym that doesn’t have built-in ways to slow you down in reaching your goals.
Planet Fitness does not have trainers. They have free unlimited pizza days each month. They have bagel days. They have free candy. And then there’s this:
Let’s also briefly mention that coming up behind people on a weight machine and patting them on the back is a good way to make someone lose focus, lose form, and potentially hurt themselves. But the real message of this commercial is that they have a contest where you will get cupcakes. Cupcakes for all! Because they want you to like their gym that isn’t really a gym, it’s a place where you can do a half-ass workout and not actually push yourself, and then undo all your not-very-hard work with a slice or two of pizza. And for just 10 bucks a month, you can keep that membership for as long as you like.
Because the moment you achieve your goal and are proud of your body, you’re no longer allowed at Planet Fitness.
[I found this draft sitting here from early October, and I have no idea why I didn't post it. So here you go.]
It seems that every time I go back to visit friends in Cork, I’m introduced to a new Irish meme. Last time it was “Horse Outside,” which I’m just gonna post again because it’s brilliant:
This last trip I took in August (which was amazing, by the way), I was told that I absolutely HAD to watch “Sminky Shorts,” a collection of cartoons featuring different Irish accents. Here’s my two favorites:
Now even for someone who’s familiar with Irish accents, I did not get all the words on the first viewing. I feel like my friends are showing me this as a cruel test, as if to say, “Yeah sure you lived here a while but can you understand THIS on the first try?”
Not yet, but maybe some day.
Me: Do you want to watch another episode?
Him: Of DS9?
Him: But you hate this show.
Him: You’re the best.
Me: I know.
Apparently us Americans are over-using Britishisms because of Harry Potter and Downton Abby. Okay there’s a bit more to the article than that, it’s worth the read.
I am definitely guilty of saying “cheers” instead of thanks (but I AM able to do it laconically, as the article recommends), but I don’t believe things are as bad as this guy thinks:
But borrowing from the Mother Tongue can be a slippery slope into absurdity, said David Coggins, a writer who lives in the West Village. “You find yourself calling your friends ‘lads,’ which is generally accepted,” said Mr. Coggins, 36. “The next thing you know, you’re calling them ‘chaps,’ which they might loosely tolerate. And then you say ‘tallyho’ and you’re greeted with a blank stare.”
Chill, dudes. We are still hella into our own words.