Surreal experiences

Voice changer/ray gunWitnessed this conversation with a police officer. I was sitting in the back seat of a Pontiac Sunfire with at least 4 other dudes. Also, I had my wisdom teeth removed the day before, so I was pretty high on pain killers.

Officer: What are you guys doing out here?

Driver: We got lost.

Officer: (points flashlight at floor of backseat) Is that some sort of ray gun?

Friend in backseat: No, it’s a (hits button on voice changer) *voice changer.*

Officer: Oh. You guys get home, there’s a storm coming.

Driver: Will do, officer.

Me: (as driver rolls up window) Protect and serve, officer!

Community

The pantheon of Things The Internet Does Not Hate is pretty hard to join. Cats, for whatever reason, have always been on this list. Certain entertainment enters and exits over time. Arrested Development (it’s coming back!!), for instance. Downton Abbey is another. The most relatable (at least to me) is Community. (And I wish I could say favorite, but, come on, Arrested Development!)

Maybe it isn’t actually on the aforementioned list. It could be a product of my own filter bubble, but I see it that way all the same. It deftly fills several sitcom tropes (gang of misfits, will-they-won’t-they, school stereotypes) and at the same time deftly undermines them (misfits actually center of attention, “will-they-won’t-they” is actually “yeah, they have for a while”, the term “school” is pretty loosely applied to Greendale). The first season of the show nails the vibe of a community college for anyone who has ever attended one. And oh the meta humor. Multiple timelines, homages galore, anus flags. Señor Chang, otherwise known as EL TIGRE CHINO, BECAUSE HIS KNOWLEDGE WILL BITE YOUR FACE OFF.

At its best, Community will tire you with laughter, and make you feel better for being a proverbial outsider.

At worst, it will bridge the yawning gap of midwinter from 30 Rock (RIP) to Arrested Development. (or Venture Brothers! or Game of Thrones! Crap there is a lot of TV to watch) (and a lot of parentheses in this post)

#sixseasonsandamovie

Phones

Problems with smartphones, as with so many things in life, are seemingly always user error. Nobody has an innate ability to operate such advanced technology unless they were drawn in a comic book or something. It is why you still see those people labelled holdouts because of their refusal to upgrade from their clamshell Nokia, and why “dumbphone” is a word now.

They don’t see the potential in their smartphone the way I do. All the things it can do and will soon be able to do. Connections to be made, data to be remembered or shared. It is how I communicate with the world outside my immediate vicinity, and occasionally within it. Smartphones have broken the fourth wall of reality, and the world can never go back to the way things were.

Unless you have an iPhone. That UI is old as hell.

Path

Facebook is causing me major hipster backlash. I wasn’t there first, but I was damn sure there before they let just anyone use it. It was such a different place when you actually had a Wall, and the big addition was uploading pictures.

It has evolved into a hideous amalgamation of all the things you do on the internet, or at least it is trying to do that. I admit that this is the only way I use it now, but I’m almost ashamed to still use it, even in that way. People on Twitter are more interesting and up to date, and people on Google+ are more engaged. Foursquare does its one thing better than everyone else. Tumblr handles memes and things far better, and you can make it your own.

But Path is different. It is what people initially put into their Facebook profile before it spirals out of control. Poignant and personal. No more or less information than you need. Limits on your connections force you to choose who you share with. Its focus on design is so great that Facebook has no problem copying it outright.

I still do not have the courage to drop off of Facebook, but I am close. Shareholders and the new drive to monetize everything I put into it make me wary of putting anything else into it. But I am trying to find a reason past sheer disgust. I want others to share that disgust and subsequently make their own exodus. If they are worth it, I will find them wherever they end up.

Update (2/5): Looks like I wasn’t far off.

Mundanity

I am battling with how to write a blog post without dropping into the mundane details of everyday life. It is something we have all become aware of with the rise in social media. There are people that inherently know how to use it, and there are people who do not. It is an ongoing internal struggle for me to grok this. It is probably why I started this blog.

I don’t think I’ve ever been that guy that puts up 14 pictures of the omelet he just made for breakfast. And that is not just a “do unto others…” thing; it mostly stems from the feeling that I don’t have much important to say. I don’t text friends or family out of the blue, even really good friends. I’m good at returning email, but not initiating the conversation.

So, before this post ends up eating itself, get to the point. That is why this blog was started. See if inspiration can be wrung from the person described above. Or, not even inspiration — just content. Balancing sparse entries with insight. Learning to make fingers type sentence good. Creating.