Boo, I’m getting sick…:(

After almost a year of evading illness, I have finally succumb to a cold, or a sinus infection, or whatever the fuck this is.

I really just need to be at home with my John Cusack movies and my sock monkeys (one of which is aptly named “John CuSock Monkey”), but there’s too much to be done at work this week that I can’t afford to be sick.

Woe is me.

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I Met A Molly

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As anticipated, I met Molly Ringwald this past weekend at the 25th Annual Working Women’s Survival Show. She looks so great! She spoke for 50 minutes on her latest book, which covers everything from parenthood, to fashion, to loving your body and making time for yourself, to of course… what it was like being John Hughes’ teen angst poster girl in the 80s. She was pretty friendly, well-spoken and seemed like a sweetheart.

I look silly of course. But she’s so cute!

I did something remarkably silly though… after her talk when I went backstage with the radio station winner and on-air talent. When I walked up to her and introduced myself, I felt like I didn’t make enough eye contact with her. I think I was so nervous, I’m not really certain where I was looking, but I can’t remember what it was like to be face-to-face with her for some reason. I must have turned my eyes off. But my mouth was certainly still on. I just couldn’t control the word vomit. For any of you who have seen Pretty In Pink, you might remember the adorable scene in the high school hallway where Duckie says to Andie: “This is a really volcanic ensemble you’re wearing, it’s really marvelous!”…

I didn’t. No…yes, I did. I said it to her. >_< She had on this really cute outfit, with a cream and black top, black knee-high boots and a bright red skirt, and before I knew what was happening, “that is a truly volcanic ensemble” just spilled right out of my mouth. She chuckled though! I made Molly Ringwald chuckle. Life = complete-ish. 🙂

One other really awesome thing to note? I got to sit front and center during her talk (like literally a foot in front of her podium), and not long into her presentation, a petite man came and sat down right next to me. I tried not to look directly at him (because he was right next to me), but I thought he looked a little familiar…and then my suspicions were confirmed — I was sitting RIGHT NEXT to Molly Ringwald’s husband Panio the entire time!! Every once in a while when her PowerPoint slides weren’t working, she would look down at him and he would just seem confused. I felt all weird and tingly about it. I felt too embarrassed to snap any photos of her with her hubby sitting right next to me, so unfortunately I didn’t get any pics of her speaking. :/

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Molly & Panio!

So what’s next? I’m going to obtain a copy of her book, Getting the Pretty Back.

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I shall share with you my findings.

Clean, Happy Keys

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I just replaced 9 or so keys on my MBP. I guess I have that lucky body chemistry that erodes the pretty aluminum key coating over time. Now, for relatively cheap, I have happy new keys (although some of the letters have weird additional numbers on them, but I care not). Plus, I also recently bought a silicone keyboard protector (4 years too late, I know) so that my new keys will look new forever.

New and improved keyboard!

Goodbye poor old worn out keys… you served me well.

Ew.

Thank you, laptopkey.com.

Celebrity Crush Match: Jon Cryer VS. John Cusack

My two favorite ‘extended brat pack’ crushes face off against one another in a battle of the wits, flix and grand romantic gestures. May the best Jon/John win?

You ready for this, Cusack?

Bring it, Cryer.


Round 1: Chivalry Is Not (Quite) Dead (Yet)

Jon Cryer will serenade you with Otis Redding (via lip-synching and dance).

John Cusack will serenade you with Peter Gabriel (via window-side boom box).


Round 2. Gimme Gimme Moore, Gimme Moore, Gimme Gimme Moore

“No Small Affair”; 1984

Jon Cryer wins Demi Moore’s heart in 1984’s No Small Affair by using his photography skills to start an ad campaign to get people to listen to her sing to help her get a record deal.

Demi Moore and John Cusack Photo

“One Crazy Summer”; 1986

John Cusack wins Demi Moore’s heart in 1986’s One Crazy Summer by using his drawing skills to start an ad campaign to get people to listen to her sing to help raise money to save her grandfather’s house.


Round 3: On the Subject of Self…

John Cusack Says Things Like:

“I have a chronic rebellion disorder. It’s self-diagnosed and it’s been self-treated. If someone tries to corral me to do something I don’t want to do, it gets my Irish up.”

Jon Cryer Says Things Like…

“The fact is, I am a troll.”


Bonus Round 3 and 1/2: When He Gets On Twitter…

Jon Cryer Says Things Like:

John Cusack Says Things Like:


Cryer or Cusack? Cast Your Vote Now:

Have You Been Tethered Today?

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I was just talking to some friends about this, but the whole dream to wake transition can be really jacked up and stressful…especially if you don’t know what you’re doing (which is most of us).

For example, I just woke up, and for a period of about 5 – 10 minutes, during that process of returning to beta waves and a normal, day-to-day awareness of self and personal context, I feel like my mind has to randomly remind me of a few basic truths about being human to get me back on track. The past couple of mornings I go through this thing while I’m coming out of a dream, where I’m reminded of sex, or dirty laundry, or television, or nose-picking. Then it’s like, OH RIGHT, those are human realities that I live with. Sex is how I was begotten in the first place. That’s my context. That is what my species is and does. I can now proceed to being awake. I am now free to roam about in society again.

If you think back to when you were younger, do you remember how upon waking up in the mornings, you might have immediately thought about homework? Now I realize that that wasn’t just your garden variety academic conscientiousness…. it was my mind trying to remind me that I was a human child with pre-determined human child responsibilities, so as to give me a setting and a purpose upon awakening.

I have this theory that there’s a process called tethering that safeguards individuals (i.e. dream travelers) from being incorrectly transferred back to reality upon awakening. When you’re asleep, you’re like a ball floating freely through this other realm of reality, the realm of non-reality. But when you come back to wakefulness, you have to be grounded or connected to something earthly, something mundane and strictly human, otherwise… you will (on a psychic and emotional level) in theory, keep floating during your waking life. Your ball has to be tethered back to something, related back to daily human life.

It’s like you’ve gotta go through this set of checks and balances to make sure you’re still a viable person who is gonna fit into normal, civilized reality…because in the dream world, that shit ain’t normal. That’s not reality. You can’t just jump from that to the waking world and be completely smooth about it. You can’t just free-float in the waking world the way you do in the dream world.

At least I can’t. I guess I know some people who are pretty good at coming out of their dreams and seeming normal about it, but I’ve never been that great at it. I get so jacked up when I’m dreaming, that I’m usually pretty out of it in the mornings when I wake up. It’s like… I was just in the middle of whatever the fuck I was in the middle of… I don’t even know, but now I’m getting booted back to reality to finish whatever the fuck I was doing there 6 – 12 hours ago??? Are you kidding me? I can’t be expected to keep up with this back-and-forth shit on a daily basis. It’s strenuous.

So Here’s A Question…

…Why were the 80s so sweaty? I feel like in a number of the images taken of people during the 1980s that I have encountered throughout my life, everyone always looks sweaty. It’s like everyone was continually engaged in strenuous activities…or had spent some quality time under a heat lamp. Maybe it was all the Flashdancing…or maybe just the jheri curl juice. Either way, I suspect that everyone and everything was sweaty.

Honest to goodness, when I think of the 80s, the first things that come to mind are sweaty cheeseburgers (and/or sweaty cheeseburger wrappers), lycra, neon lights and high-tops.

Michael, you're sweaty.

Sweaty Cheeseburger

This boy band achieved its peak of fame in the mid 80s.

Menudo, All of you are sweaty.

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Michael, you look sweaty.

Sweaty Taco Bell employees

Everyone in this photo is sweaty.

Impossibly sweaty.

Everything was sweaty. All of you were sweaty. You were all just sweaty.

If I Were to Live Alone

I would never be awake.

I settled in on the couch after my last post earlier this afternoon to get in a good chapter or two of my book. I never ever managed to open it. I just sat there in a stupor for a while until falling asleep for the next 4 hours. I’ve been up for maybe two consecutive hours today.

I was hoping to shower, read and get some work done on a few projects that are long past due (Kelly, I’m talking about your portfolio site). What a great, productive start to my three-day weekend.

I Love When My Mother Asks Me Why My Father Is Upset and Yelling

Now why would she ask me that?

Here’s a woman who has known this man for over 25 years. She has known him longer than I have been alive to comprehend people or why they even act the way they do. On top of that, she is one who has perpetuated a marriage with this man for over 25 years.

And she has the gall to ask me, her child, a mere result of the madness, why he, her husband,  gets into the backwards moods that he gets into?

Could I have been born to a more ridiculous assemblage of individuals? (actually, probably yes, I could have, but still… what the fuck, mom?? It’s time you figured this one out.)

Stop asking me what’s wrong with your husband now 20+ years after the fact. I never had the answer to that in the first place.

 

Strange Days in the Glial Maze

I overslept this morning by quite a few hours and ended up in a very strange place doing a number of strange activities that included all of the following (in no particular order):

  • Searching for illicit drugs in an abandoned movie theatre with the intention of ‘sniffing’ out my friends
  • Wearing a large corset/back brace made of ceramic (for menstrual/medical reasons)
  • Attempting to go on a date with someone who may or may not be your cousin while wearing the aforementioned appliance, and expecting him to understand
  • Crusading against cereal box crusaders (Lady Gaga, Adele, Carrie Underwood, you know who you are)
  • Turning paper hangers into conduits of orange soda
  • Working on a train full of Jehova’s Witnesses
  • Finding a TV channel whose programming only deals with the affects of chronic anxiety on people riding the aforementioned trains, and also roller-coasters. How they eventually end up dying…
  • Being trapped in a screen door
  • Gossiping about a young neighborhood girl’s best friend’s father while she’s in your house. Offering her pizza and advising her to stay away from adults who are not her own parents
  • Whining about the fact that I haven’t gone swimming lately, but then being unable to locate deep enough water when given the opportunity

Make of any of that what you will. I just woke up, and I’m still really disoriented. This is probably the best time now to jump back into the McLuhan text that I started into last week. If there’s any time to understand the works of a philosopher who views media as the extensions of man, then it’s in the wake of dreaming (the ultimate mind-extension).

“Brain tissue in its natural state is too soft to work with, but it can be hardened by immersion in alcohol or other fixatives.” That’s really telling isn’t it, Wikipedia? Thank you for that brief interjection.

I’m off to go make French toast.

The New & Improved World Wide Web: Now With 50% More Crap

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog post in no way represent the views or opinions of the company with which I am professionally affiliated. In fact, any views expressed through this blog are not to be associated with said company, nor will I make any references to or claim association with said company through this blog.

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How do we make meaning of any of this?

When I think about social media, I don’t immediately feel a sense of connectedness. First and foremost, I feel overwhelmed. Following that, I feel somewhat distrusting. It all represents such a vast amount of information, coming from an impossible number of sources. The fact that the majority of this extra information is non-critical is what’s largely upsetting. You can choose, and are encouraged to choose, to be barraged with a ceaseless flow of “updates”, add-ons, comments, links, images, videos, you name it… all referring to something, but you can never really be certain of the information’s true point of origin. It’s damn scary.

Normal use of the internet nowadays involves this often involuntary wading process; wading through all of the extraneous chatter; wading through all of the questions, the comments, the edits and the opinions that led to any given piece of information’s availability, 24/7, anywhere in the world; wading through the biases, the filtration and the mistranslation of facts. The digital information sphere that we live in is so niche-ified and fragmented that it has become fairly useless for discovering any real, tangible information. Backing up and considering the fact that language itself is an imperfect system for conveying ideas and experiences, there may not even be such a thing as absolute information in journalism, but if there is, the internet is not the place to find it. The sources are far too numerous, and the information exchanged there is itself far too self-referential to ever be succinct or have a basic meaning. Everything is aggregate, and by consequence, inexact.

The presentation of information on the web is now just an instantaneously updated pot where we dump a few items, which may or may not be factual, and top them with a slew of comments and opinions…none of which should change the facts themselves, but somehow manage to. The substance, or “nutritional value” of the information we send and receive on a daily basis is close to 0. Commentary has become the new fact. New social media startups like Storify are a prime example. These “stories” that people are now consuming, are not comprised of any factual information, but rather snippets, loosely related interpretations, and fringe observations. It’s like writing a news story, but without the actual what, where or why, and the ‘Who’ is no longer the original persons involved…it’s everyone else and their mother. Regardless of when the original happening happened, the ‘When’ is always now, now, now, now, now. It’s constantly now. The news is created every time anyone anywhere has a thought and thinks to share it online. We’re creating stories out of the chatter left in the wake of the original information. And we will create stories from those created stories, and so on, and so forth.

We jump on the train of producing information for the sake of having produced it, and for the sake of having gotten there ‘first’. We don’t truly value information anymore. We just value our ability to distribute, dissect and dissolve it into nothingness en masse…into Tweets, into statuses and ‘likes’, into replies and mentions, into hashtags, into reblogs and reblogs of those original reblogs, into edits, diggs and reddits…into meaningless branches of social media, supposedly to be determined by how YOU wish to interact with the original source information… which is, to never really interact with it at all.

The distortion of information in journalism is nothing new, but the web has just taken it to a whole new level. Anyone with an opinion can embed that opinion into information as it passes by with the click of a mouse. As it filters through each social platform, it shapeshifts over time, and may become completely unrecognizable by the time it reaches its final resting place. I could literally read an article, hypothesize something (anything) about that article, republish it, and force-feed it to my friends via social media, and we’d call that creativity! We might even call it critical thinking. In fact, this weirdness might even be happening right now as you’re reading this (although I don’t actively advertise this blog, it can still be accessed via search engines, etc.). As far as internet use goes, I don’t think that I or anyone that I know has ever interacted with real information.

This is all so much that it makes me want to vomit. It’s trash. It’s information detritus. It’s excess and nonsense, but it’s very strategically targeted excess and nonsense, which makes it all the more sinister. If the information you’re consuming isn’t referencing itself into meaningless oblivion, it’s referencing you first (unbeknownst to you) before determining which parts of itself to reference back to you. Thanks to social media, open-source encyclopedias and big corporate advertisers, the internet is not a place to find clean information, but rather a place to observe individualized bubbles of recycled, pre-filtered metadata. And if it’s not companies or other individuals superficially filtering it for you, it’s you who is filtering it (via privacy settings, blocking capabilities, etc.).

When your information sources are practically infinite, and you have too little or too much control over the flow of the chatter, you can never acquire complete information. Ever. You will always be missing a piece of the puzzle, a piece of the understanding. We all know so much about everything and everyone thanks to social media, but at the same time we all know essentially nothing about anything, thanks to social media. Such diverse and endless information can’t possibly have absolute meaning to any one individual at any given point in time.

Were he around for this today, Marshall McLuhan might say that all of these social media extensions and iterations of information are normal, necessary progress. He might simply call them social adaptations brought about by the initial pressures of the information age. Just like evolutionary changes take place to prepare us for the potential biological impact of a consistent new environment, technological changes take place to help prepare us for the future mental and social stress of even greater technological intervention. The acceleration of technological intervention in our lives is at the heart of the singularity, and the fact that you could feel overwhelmed by the increasing diversity of social media outlets and information aggregates is proof that we are headed toward desensitization to extreme amounts of information overload. As much as I hate to admit it, our adaptation to this daily onslaught precipitates and is probably necessary for the eventual software/wetware merger, the bio-integration of nanotechnologies.

Social media has allowed for the personal filtering of whole information. It has allowed for bits of whole information to be exponentially referenced and duplicated by millions of users. Eventually, the amount of stories and the variations of each story will increase to a crescendo, and the flow will no longer be blockable by simply choosing not to engage in a certain social media platform. The ongoing production and flow of information will be invited into each and every one of us through the use of nanotechnology. One day, breaking news will induce grand mal seizures in all of us.

McLuhan is also noted for saying that “the medium is the message,” the message of course still being important, but the media used to convey it taking on an overarching importance. The medium transfers certain additional characteristics to the message, and says a lot about the people both sending and receiving the message. The variety of social media outlets with only minute differences between their aim and execution proves the fact that we’re much more concerned with comparing our individual, fragmented perspectives on information, than protecting the integrity of the original information itself. In addition to that, we weigh out the perspectives based on who produced them, and via which media they were produced. The aggregate info has become the new single commodity — the new information nugget, and maybe that’s ultimately correct. From a broader statistical standpoint, maybe this combination of all of the aforementioned information crap should be considered “whole” and “true” — afterall, any consumable information is only as valuable as our ability to understand it, and at the end of the day, that responsibility ultimately boils down to the individual. That single idea must be at the heart of all social media. It is our collective effort to better understand and make use of the constant stream of information crap that’s coming at us from all directions.

But still… I suspect that our execution is wrong, because it’s just too fucking overwhelming to actually work.

Haha. Speaking of Social Media…

“No.” lol.

Way to shut it down, John. Way to stand your ground. Refuse to shut up about baseball, and refuse to act in movies.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from following John Cusack on Twitter, it’s that he really doesn’t like being told what to do. He will also block you in a heartbeat if you even remotely dispute the grammatical content or subject matter of his tweets. He simply does not tolerate it.

I guarantee you that @Math was blocked immediately following that retweet…

Please to be Meeting Molly Ringwald

happinessisawarmgun:Molly Ringwald

LOVE!

Working Women’s Survival Show 2012
Saturday, February 25th – 3:00pm
St. Charles Convention Center

I am so fucking gonna be there.

Molly’s Speaking Topics

  • Getting the Pretty Back: Friendship, Family, and Finding the Perfect Lipstick
  • Women and Age: How to Love Your Age and the Wisdom That Goes with It
  • How Did Middle Age Happen? Generation X and the Angst of Growing Up
  • Pretty is a State of Mind: Empowering Women to be Their Best True Selves
  • The Language of Friendship: Making Friends and Nurturing Friendships at Any Age
  • An Evening with Molly Ringwald

More Info!

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Miss Molly