Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Newsom-groomed CCD?

I heard about the party, but:
"The biggest display, however, came Saturday night when a Newsom-groomed group called California College Democrats hosted a block party for the mayor in midtown Sacramento."
Um. That makes it sound like Newsom started or has been historically involved in CCD. But hey, I love CCD, if they got the resources and were aided in pulling it off and getting credit - more power to 'em.

But M&R don't give credit to the group for existing long before Newsom set his sights on statewide office.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Twitter + Swine Flu = Proof That We Now Officially Prefer Truthiness To Truth?


Seriously, thought: we've engineered ourselves the supreme, transcendent echo chamber into which we can whisper our deepest, 140 character fears, laced with just enough fact to make them terrifying, and now we're here. A country - a globe? - populated with people with access but not necessarily the education, perspective, or skepticism to process the vast swaths of information thrust upon them.

Somehow, I think part of the answer might be a renewed commitment to educating in maths and sciences.

Me And TSA, Just Trying To Work It Out

I don't travel A LOT, but I suppose, compared to some, I get around. It helps to marry someone from far, far away and to have friends who live far away (not far, far - at least not most of them). I pride myself on being a good screening subject. I wear easily slipped-off, yet comfy shoes. I have my liquids either checked or meticulously 3-1-1-ed in the appropriate size bag.

A trick I learned awhile ago that made traveling even more simple - in a world where so many brands still don't get that 4 oz just isn't helpful: you can "declare" larger liquids, set them next to your 3-1-1 bag, and continue on your merry way. Rad! So my econo sized contact lens liquid? No problem! Specialty face soaps that just don't transfer easily to smaller containers? It's a snap! Thanks for being reasonable, TSA! (They can't hear that very often.)

Oh wait a minute. You know there's a problem coming or this wouldn't be a post, right?

So on the way home (note direction of travel!) I have my 3-1-1 bag out, shoes off, carryon loaded on the conveyor belt, whiz through the magnetometer without a blip, and am waiting for my trays to emerge from the other side when the TSA screener says he needs to check some of my stuff. I don't have a problem with this. I hate asshole travelers who think they can prevail and change seemingly stupid policy by fighting it out with some dude doing his job. My bottle of contact lens stuff is the issue. Alrightly.

Second Mr. TSA asks me to remove the cap - I do (which is harder to do without also holding the bottle, FYI). He uses this little sniffer equipment which promptly makes a quiet bleeping and says "alarm" on the screen. Mr. TSA is all like "oh come on, really," and I say, "you can toss it, I don't really care." Third Mr. TSA comes over and says "oh, Clear Care? Yeah, see - right there" [points on the label to Second Mr. TSA what the problem is or what on the label is meaningful, but doesn't show me.] Again, I say "whatevs, junk it." He's going to junk it, of course, but not without taking down my information and noting "Clear Care" in the "prohibited items attempted to be brought on plane" column.

I figure I'm one transgression from landing on the do-not-fly list. (The first was the great Cake Cutter incident of Ought-7)

I'm assuming Clear Care's hydrogen peroxide caused the flag. It stings like a beotch if you don't use the special magic case for storing lenses, so I could've sting-eyed my way to plane domination, I suppose. Nothing on the TSA site gives me any more concrete reasoning than that.

The final, ironic element of the story, of course, is that I realized when I got to my BFF's house that I had left an econo bottle of Clear Care at her place last time I visited so I wouldn't have to car the big old thing around again BY AIRCRAFT, so there you go. I'm now out a bottle and potentially a recognized security threat.

P.S. Uh, Apparently, no one has told CIBA VISION - makers of Clear Care - that their shit is Toxic like a Britney Spears song. Whether it was the size or the ingrediants of the Clear Care that presented a problem, I'll probably never know. My only complaint for Second and Third Mr. TSAs would be that they should have told me the specific issue. Missed a teachable moment, y'all!

Iowa More Progressive Than Cali? Maybe.

This poste starts with a claim that on the issue of equal marriage rights, Iowa is more progressive than California.

Um, is it?

Let's not forget, kids, that Iowa same-sex couples are enjoying their rightful freedom because of a court case, not because of legislation or an initiative. That's how we had ours, too. The post also mentions that a poll found 62% of Iowans thought marriage rights should be reserved for hetero couples. The Democratic governor says he won't push for a ban. Great! Sounds like it's all safe in Iowa then! Oh wait, no, it's totally not. Because opposition doesn't have to be home-grown. Anyone, anywhere, can swoop into most states and use their processes (legislative, initiative, etc) to pursue less equality-loving goals.

So, Iowa, I am very glad your court ruled fairly. But if you take for granted for a second the high stakes and still shaky situation, you'll end up just like us: with a lazy, ineffectively managed organization unable to run a campaign to protect those delicate rights because they assumed it was all good.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Lest All Beaut Pageant Contestants Be Painted As Dumb B*itches

In case I didn't say it already, any smidge of high ground (snort) Perez Hilton may claim in the Miss California Debate was immediately surrendered when he chose to call Carrie Prejean a "dumb bitch" in his post-pageant vlog.

A former Miss California, however, has spoken out on the issue in a lovely way. A scholar turned pastor, Nicole Lamarche rightly points to Jesus's greatest commandments as prevailing over the edicts of Leviticus:

“In Paul’s letter to the community in Corinth we read, ‘For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church….’ And yet these words have not prevented Christian denominations from ordaining women, such as myself. Sadly, the Bible has been used to further prejudice throughout history. We have used it to permit ourselves to enslave people; to conquer and kill; and to denigrate the earth.

“The truth is that it is difficult to know for sure the intentions of the biblical authors, but we do know something about God. Those of us who know God through Jesus of Nazareth know that he went to great lengths to express God’s love to people who were labeled as outcasts. He spent time with children, prostitutes, and lepers, all of whom were labeled as outside of the grasp of the Holy. As we continue to seek God’s vision for us as a nation grounded in a love for justice, I pray that we might move closer to the cause of grace.”
See, now, is that so hard?

Poking The Breast-Feeding Bear In The Zoo

At the risk of being reminded why I should sacrifice everything (like silly work aspirations, sleep, or my lady parts) for the good of a child who will perish of neglect otherwise:

Poor, cyberbeaten Hanna Rosin, obviously learning no lessons from her Atlantic article, highlights a new study indicating that breastfeeding does have economic consequences on women. And they ain't so great!

Judging by the post (and lazily only from that, not the study), the study subtly highlights the class differences in breastfeeding as well.

Importantly, Rosin notes that breastfeeding should lose its free pass into the feminist cause. I read something yesterday that questioned its seat in the feminist world as well (can't find the link) because La Leche rose around the time that women were being urged back to the home because they were emasculating their poor men. If you make a time line, I don't think the movements' accomplishments - feminist and breastfeeding - would chart the same.

More Facebook Musings: On Manners And Boundaries

The investigation continues: I'm still not sure there's much in it over at facebook, but it seems rude to deactivate the account now. It is sometimes amusing and sometimes informative. A few days ago, Rob and I on-the-spot decided to check out a local beer tasting because two friends had set their status to reflect where they were tasting beer and we figured what-the-hell. That's a cool use of Facebook. It ain't all sunshine and roses and full social calendars, however.

On Manners:
This complaint isn't facebook-specific, but facebook surely presents more opportunity for the sort of lapse in good manners that can cause hurt feelings. Rob and I enjoy entertaining in our home. We don't do it as often as we'd like to but we try to offer food, drink, and television when we are able. Sometimes the invitations are broadcast liberally. Sometimes, they are smaller, more exclusive affairs - not because we don't enjoy having a house full of folks, but because we have a limited number of chairs (literally) and a limited budget. This is not to mention plain, boring, lame forgetfulness as a reason for exclusion: I didn't click that contact's box on the email account. It slipped my mind. It was a different social circle, etc.

I was raised very strictly in a home where I was taught that one could only bring birthday party invitations to school if one were to invite the entire class. The only acceptable caveat is if one were to invite all the girls or all the boys (because 2d graders don't necessarily have co-ed parties and gender-based exclusions are okay). Any more selective invitations must be mailed or delivered to the classmates' homes because it is mean to make a show of excluding people from a party.

So how is this related to facebook? We recently had a few people over for a lunch. It wasn't a highly broadcast invitation. One of our guests, with the best intentions, I'm sure, posted a comment to my wall thanking us for the event and the food, etc. It was a lovely thought and I appreciate the recognition and thanks. But my more immediate reaction was to cringe because other people who live locally were not invited to the event and I feared hurt feelings could result. But what can you do? I can't chastize the guest - that's equally rude if not more so as the original transgression. I deleted the wall post and still worried that would be seen as rude without an explanation. Facebook seems super public, y'all. Watch out for unintended consequences.

On Boundaries:
I recently said a highlight of facebook has been finding and catching up with former campers who I've known since they were wee things learning to make 3 string lanyards and perform skits in front of large crowds without running away in terror. They are at various stages in their lives now. College. Professional schools. Working. Some older than others. Some more or less mature than others.

There are two girls I recall with special fondness. Both were a bit awkward when they were young, but no more so than your average 10 to 13 year old girl. They were loved and feared by other counselors because they could be a handful on their own and together - good lord, watch out. But I loved them because they reminded me of myself at that age. So much eager enthusiasm. Such a lack of immediate cool. Good hearts sometimes unseen behind large mouths and precocious attitudes. These girls were and are smart as hell and I recall thinking when they were young that I couldn't wait to see how they grew up and what they would do later and when/if others would notice that they had grown up.

Both are now friended in my facebook account. One is off in the world. One is in our shared hometown. Both are still vibrant, smart, and funny. The one slightly wilder girl is still slightly wilder, as evidenced by her frequent updates and frequent evenings out which are chronicled by frequent updates and photos and comments and references to what early 20-somethings do when they are out.

The urge to counsel rages inside when I see what she's up to. To be clear: she's not up to anything awful. But I want to tell her to slow down on the pictures and the references. Other people don't know her in context, don't know her past, her heart, her smarts. All of the kissy-camera faces and seductive poses. Most of these are ironic, I know. At least partly, anyway. But as a culture, we frequently put on our irony-blinders when it suits us and I don't want her to be a victim of that practice later when she wants a job that doesn't want to be associated with her extracurricular activities.

There's another contact, too, someone I know even better who mixes photos of herself in a professional context and in a social context that I think has placed herself in a difficult position, should an employer become concerned that these public images just don't add up to a good result.

But what do you do? Do you say something and risk restriction that renders you unable to follow and look out for REALLY bad lapses in judgment? Do you try to educate anyway and hope it doesn't fall on deaf ears. Do you get over it an assume this half-generation behind you will take these things differently and make their own way just fine, thankyouverymuch?

Can facebook teach anything? Should it?

1998 Called

And offered this website again.

'Street-sweeper reductions costing Muni money'

This made me smile with fond memories of sharking the street sweeper to get my regular parking spot in front of my house in San Francisco. In Sacramento, I'm not sure the same game would save you from a ticket. Each Monday I would crawl out of bed, grab my keys, and sit, in my jammies, in my truck - pulled neatly up onto the sidewalk in perfect position to jut out just as the sweeper went past. Having jutted out and claimed my area, I could perfectly position the car and leave it parked for another full week. Heaven in a parking spot. Some have expressed surprise that I could park on the sidewalk or that no tickets would be issued once the sweeper passed. It seemed to work.

There were always chains of cars sharking the sweeper as well - ten or twenty - following along like baby ducks to their mama. I witnessed more than a few fights where slightly slower sidewalk sitters would nearly strike one of these stealth spot stealers. You had to be QUICK off the mark to claim your spot. There are no assumptions in parking.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Stag Races: 2010 Preview, Vol. I - Meet Mark Mehringer

Meet fellow Stag Mark Mehringer - he's running for the Colorado House's 7th District seat in 2010. That means you should start giving him money NOW! Mark helped introduce me to California College Democrats and California Young Democrats way back in the 90s. And I still support him! Haha - I kid.

Early money is key, y'all. Colorado has a pretty small limit of just $400 per person. Max out early!

Best of luck, Mark!

Am I Supposed To Snark At Tina Fey?

The tone in this post about Tina Fey's recent, expensive real estate purchase implies I should be snarking at her for . . . stuff and something.

But all I can think is: You go girl. Lady made it based on being smart as hell and funny to boot. So good on her. I'd love to follow her model.

Have We Really Come So Far?

So far that saying your against equal marriage subjects you to negative consequences like losing the Miss USA crown?

In the pageant world? Are we really so advanced now?

'Cause I don't think we are. But props to homegirl for getting on the Today Show. She joins the ranks of that Orangvale family incapable of teaching their daughter that adults and children are different while modeling some great methods of blind, petty revenge.

The world makes me sad this week. Strike that: American culture makes me sad this week.


The one thing I recall from the one episode of Southland I watched was the bleeped swear words. Other people noticed too and sighed a collective WT[Bleep].

Yes, the carefully created standards that govern where and when characters get to swear (network before 10pm, after 1am; cable; HBO; on-demand; yadda yadda) are hard to predict if you don't specifically follow such things. Unlike AdAge, however, I don't have too much of an issue with the bleeping. In fact, on many shows, it's funnier. Jon Stewart's bleeps are hilarious. In fact, didn't the bleep come to the fore with, what was it, the Osbornes - like 10 years ago?

In Southland, I'm sure the bleep was calculated to give it that gritty, so-real feeling. It has nothing to do with "but cops do swear on the job" and everything to do with "this will give us that hint of reality TV that COPS achieves so well."

As my mother knows and shakes her head over routinely, I swear like a longshoreman (blame the hometown?) and I'm sure that in law enforcement, mob life, and beauty salons, there's plenty of f-bombing because that's how people talk. I disagree, however, that the Sopranos would've been silly without the F-word. With "friggin'" it might have been. But had they just left out swears and swear-placeholders, I doubt people would've focused on it. Good writers don't need the f-bomb as a crutch. It can add some flair, but if Tony Soprano saying "fuck" every other word is what makes you, the viewer, think the Sopranos is such a great, true-life show, then . . . oh please, then you live nowhere near Jersey and you're not in the mob, right? Of course you aren't. 99.9% of the audience isn't, so what the hell do you care if there's more or less swearing.

Anyway - bleeps are funny and work better in comedy than in drama as many, many, mannnnny shows routinely demonstate. As for Southland, well, that show has bigger reasons for eye-rolling from the audience. Don't get me started on the show's presumptions about L.A. and the L.A.P.D. . . . .

Monday, April 20, 2009

Miss California Can't Answer A Simple Question In A GOOD Non-Answer Way

Miss California gave a terrible non-answer to her question about equal marriage rights. I'd say it doesn't seem to California, but post Prop 8, I guess it does.

(Hey, No on 8 Campaign - STILL YOUR FAULT)

Anyway - judge(!) Perez Hilton vlogged the response immediately after the show, calling her answer "THE WORST ANSWER in pageant history." Really? C'mon. This is the worst answer ever. Miss California just chose to walk the wrong line. Or it was an honest answer. Who knows. Perez, though, loses the high(?) ground when he calls her a "dumb bitch."

Friday, April 17, 2009

It's A Two-Haskins Post Kinda Day

Like I said, she's brilliant and accomplished and she sold a screenplay. Rad! Someone make the movie! Make the movie!

Pain Co-Opting, Vol. 246356987

'Thousands say goodbye to slain Tracy girl'

Says the lede: "Sandra Cantu was remembered Thursday as "Tracy's precious angel," but she may well have been everybody's little girl."

Except, she wasn't everyone's little girl. She was one family's little girl and arguably one mobile homepark's little girl if you believe the commentary about what a close community the park was.

But several thousand people didn't know this 8 year old. Most 8 year olds don't have several thousand fans or mourners. Unless they are Bindi Irwin and hopefully, she's not playing with anything deadly for a long time, if ever. And then she won't be 8 anyway.

Can we learn from her death? No, not really. We're already plenty paranoid about letting kids go unsupervised or play in their neighborhoods. We aren't going to learn much. And, realistically, we aren't going to miss much either.

(Should I bring out the somewhat tired, but still true point that many kids of various ages die in street violence in the course of a week but we aren't filling a gym and crying for them? This is a sexy story. But it's not a teachable moment.)

Speaking Of Ads: This One Was Made By A Man. Or A Committee of Men

My husband and I HATE THIS AD with every fiber of our being. The product looks kinda cool, but I'm so mad at Verizon for its subtle affirmation of modern, negative parenting trends that if I paid for a Verizon plan, I might just cancel it.

In the ad, a friendly mom (doesn't she look happy to be spending her free time making dinner for her family!) is learning about the exotic world of paella. Oooh, scary and different. It's just a rice dish, y'all. But the mom's kid responds to the text alerting the family of the impending paella dinner over which she is slaving with a video message that says, with ample derision, "I don't know what Pah Ella is, but I'm not eating it. Ever."

Mom shakes her head, oh that silly boy!, and picks up the phone and ORDERS A PIZZA FOR DELIVERY.

Congrats, Verizon family! Your son will leave the nest with no appreciation for food, an undeveloped palate, and the inability to comport himself politely when attending a function outside his home or comfort zone!

My mom would NOT have handled such a video message with the same warm, shaking-head, oh-kids! feeling as the commercial mom. I think the response would've been something along the lines of "you are not going to conclude that you will not eat this food until you have tried it and if you try it and don't like it, you know where the cereal and/or peanut butter is located because I am not a short order chef and I don't run a restaurant - you will eat what the family is eating or you'll be hungry."

Somehow - this commercial sums up for me everything that is wrong with modern parenting trends where kids aren't expected to . . . well, to do or try or accept much of anything and they should be driven to every manner of social activity they wish at all hours of the day and parents should live their lives FOR THEIR CHILDREN and place their own identities, desires, tastes, and activites in the back seat.

And NOT TO MENTION the gender role implications . . . .

I am full of rant this week. What's up with that?

Gardening 101

Have I mentioned that I love Sarah Haskins? I think I have. But I'll say it again. I love Sarah Haskins. If Jon Stewart ever retires, she's got my stamp of approval as a replacement. In fact, she should join Samantha Bee as a chief whatever whatever on the show because, let's face it, it's brilliant, but it's short on the shorties. Am I right?

Anywayz - here she is in her latest Target: Women installment talking about something I had seen in England a few weeks back - an oh-no-are-they?-yes-they-are ad for razors.

I had seen the second ad she shows (women jogging past hedges) in England and it took me until the product was show to go - wait, WTF - OMG - and a string of other text-speak shorthand for the sort of blushing shock that, let's face it, is hard to come by these days. It was so noteworthy that I had to pause, rewind, and call EVERYONE IN THE HOUSE over to see it. I said at the time that they wouldn't show such an ad here. WRONG!

Anyway - click, watch, enjoy, and be ready to go through her entire body of work, 'cause girlfiend is brills, y'all.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

On Snark, Wit

Taking off from the Facebook post below, where I mentioned that the site had connected me with some people I'd lost touch with that I really missed, I'll now direct your attention to the writing of one such person, Lori Kozlowski. Someday, when we've all become ragingly successful and/or won the lottery and I have time to organize my own Algonquin roundtable, she's SO going to need to take a seat.

Among her recent pieces for the LAT, this Q&A with David Denby on his book on snark. I haven't read the book, but the interview gives a good overview of his ideas on snark and why it is evvvvil. Maureen Dowd, also evil. Or at least, bad of the discourse.

Among the comments that struck me: "snark is not original. It is essentially parasitic and lazy."

And how!

[LAT, initially quoting from the book]: “Snark is the expression of the alienated, of the ambitious, of the dispossessed.” Is everyone who is snarky in need of love or medication or both, or is it something else?

Denby: In need of more success. Success usually makes people relax a little bit.

[He paused and then gave this example of how snarkers can become what they pretend to hate: There is a bit of envy involved. For instance, he said, people who work for Gawker and snark at the mainstream media take a job in the mainstream media as soon as a position opens up.]
This has been my point for so very long . . . God knows I both employ snark (along with other, slightly more elevated forms of humor. At least, I hope they are elevated) and attack the dreary MSM frequently - but by that same God I would welcome an NYT profile even though none is warranted because with an NYT profile or job offer comes a book deal. And an option. And freedom. And celebrity in the ominous way that Lily Allen sings about of late.

Here, read this part too:

JC[LAT]: You lay out nine Principles of Snark. Which of these is the worst? Which is most personally offensive to you?

Denby: No. 5. Total disregard of routine journalism. No phone calls, no checking things out. Journalism should try not to slander people.

The other one, No. 3. The trashiness of the jokes. The laziness. Just grabbing something off the rotting heap.

JC: Moving forward into the wild media landscape, how do you suggest we do better as Americans? How can we tame the writerly behavior on the Internet?

Denby: There are a lot of people who are sick of the way people drop in with their little bombs and insults. You need moderators — referees and editors who apply rules. We shouldn’t sober up. I love satire. But we should toughen up. Let’s apply writing standards to what we are saying.

JC: Let’s talk about Maureen Dowd (pictured, left). You devote an entire chapter to her. You call her the most “gifted writer of snark in the country.” Is she adding to our national conversation or just ruining everyone’s day?

Denby: She’s brilliant. She can be very funny. But she’s completely irresponsible. If she can make any joke about any way you are vulnerable, she will do it. She played Hillary and Obama off each other.… She gets things wrong a lot of the time because she is trying to find a point of attack.
See kids, Dowd is funny, but she's bad for you! You think she's good in a Jon Stewart kind of way, but she's snark and he's irony, wit, truth, and only a sprinkling of snark. Not snark-as-M.O.

Now I need this book. Please feel free to send it to me, faithful readers. Wait, damn, I don't have anymore.

Pg. 18/19

Happy Birthday, Elements of Style!

Sigh: I still suffer from the same problems and forget to live by the simple mantra, "Use the active voice."

If you don't have this book (or if you haven't bookmarked the free, on-line version), you are seriously missing out on some great tools to add to your arsenal. Writing isn't just important. It's essential. It's vital. It's powerful.

(h/t to Professor John J. Pitney, Jr. who, in 1997 - OMG, twelve years ago? I was a freshman twelve years ago? someone give me a paperbag into which I may breathe - required me to purchase and learn from this book and who never failed to provide the accurate page citation to my most common and pernicious stylistic errors.)

There Is Nothing About This Woman's Career I Wouldn't Follow

An Emmy. Acclaim. SNL head writer. Weekend update anchor. Cultural touchstone capable of swaying elections (or at least making them more bearable).

And this. My girl Tina on Sesame Street - which is, of course, like The Daily Show for four-year-olds in terms of cultural relevancy and importance. I want to party with muppets! Preferably Grover. or SUPER Grover.

On Flying, Lavatories, And Class

This reminded, tangentially, of my flight back from England recently. (Thankfully NOTHING to do with the particular form of illness addressed in the article. Ick.)

I'm pretty particular (read: neurotic) about flying, as some of you may know, and as part of that, I'm very specific on where I like to sit on flights. The chosen areas vary based on duration of flight, airline, type of equipment, etc. For example, I prefer a window seat flying a red-eye to Heathrow because I can sleep soundly and no one nudges me to enter or exit the row. On the way home, however, as I won't be sleeping (beat jet lag!), I prefer an aisle seat so I can move around, etc. This is only sort of related to the story - but at least you'll find this information handy, should you need to fly with me.

Anyway: it's however many hours into the flight and I decide to stretch my legs and visit the lavatory. The lighted sign indicates all are occupied, but I don't see a line and figure, eh, may as well stand up for a bit. In the time it takes me to get there, one other woman walks up and stands outside the block of lavs. No big deal. I look down the row of 4 or six closets and see the one on the end by us is vacant. Since the woman was there before me, I motion to her with the raised-eyebrow go-ahead signal. She points to a sign on the door that says "reserved [or something similar] for premium economy." She makes a comment to the effect that she wasn't but that if that applies to me (dot, dot, dot, disapproving look, she knows I'm crap class like her), I should go ahead.

Ohhh, helllllls no.

Look, those lavs were on OUR side of the curtain. And, more importantly, there was no one waiting from premium economy or otherwise besides the two of us low class types. So there's no way in hell I'm waiting for a restroom when one is open and there's no one else around. Note, there is NO DIFFERENCE between these two. The premium aren't. They're just airplane bathrooms.

As we're having this discussion, someone from premium does come through the curtain and I make [an overly snarkly and probably asshole-y grand motion] to the person to go ahead to THEIR restroom [but I plead airplane as an excuse].

For some reason, this concept of premium economy class restrooms located in lower class-ville struck me as the most classist, least American, least equal thing I had seen. in. my. life. and was an injustice that could not go unaddressed. So that poor woman had to have it addressed to her, as did my poor husband when I ranted about it upon return to my seat.

It's a LOO! And I wasn't marching up to the upper class bathrooms! Had I been the guy in the story, however, I'd have been similarly, righteously pissed as well.

The Facebook Experiment, An Update

So, it's been, say, a month or so since I caved and joined facebook. So far, I have to give it a shrug and an ummmm.

The highlights: finding a lot of former campers of mine and finding out they are adults or nearly adults - some with kids, most with college degrees, some pursuing professional degrees, all seemingly happy and doing well. That's as high a high as I could ever get from the internet and I absolutely love it. Also: the ability to send a quick hello to college friends I haven't spoken with in awhile or don't speak with frequently. Reconnecting with a few college friends I'd lost touch with. All these things are cool

The lowlights: I'm not sure it's enough to overshadow the highs, however, true to my fears, there have been a few friend requests that I honestly just don't know what to do with. (disclaimer: if you're reading here and you're a friend or contact, don't assume I'm talking about you - I am woefully slow at checking facebook and the friend requests, so sorry! for the coming mini-rant).

There was one request from a gal (and I doubt she reads this site) who I knew in high school but who must have married since I didn't recognize her name or her face from the teeny photos online. I asked around a bit and confirmed her identity and then wondered why in the hell she would friend me? From what I recall, we didn't end high school as friends. We ended it affirmatively as not-friends, I thought. And I haven't really thought much about her since. Not in a good or a bad way. But you move on and some people you think about and some you don't. So I just let the request languish there. I haven't hit ignore and my gut wants to just skip the confirm action because, well, really? I'm cool. She's cool, I presume, so, well, we're cool right? She wasn't at the reunion last year anyway.

It's too much passive access. With this site, people have to show up to see what's going on and it's only ever a limited peak into my personal life here and there. Granted, facebook profiles are only as personal and revealing as you make them. Still, it all seems too much for so many aspects of life - camp, hometown, high school, middle school, college, various organizations, law school, life - to appear jumbled up on one page.

So, facebook, I'm not loving you right now, even though I love the people you've put me back in contact with.

Monday, April 06, 2009

PTN, Possibly the Best Blog Ever

I'm biased, of course, because I heart PTN herself, but for my money, there's no better place for people to find out what a smarter person is thinking. And I like smart people. Smart people are cool. If you hang out with them, they can make you smarter.

It doesn't hurt, either, that she's my partner in a campaign to prevent ignorant law school attendance (as well as call for legal education reforms. Uh - GOOD reforms. Reform for reform's sake is bad. Bad!)

Then there are these gem-like links as well that make you think and rub your eyes at increased clarity.