Facebook and the Beyond

I’m not the biggest fan on Facebook.  I don’t care about the egg you found, or What G0d Told You to Think Today, or your Teletubby name.  I rarely update my status, because it would look like this, “Going to court,”  “It’s raining again,” or “I really need to stop surfing the Internet and get back to work.”  And really, who cares?  But, through Facebook, I  have reconnected with old friends, and I do enjoy looking at my friends’ photos, etc.  So, I check in on Facebook probably once a week.

And, inevitably, on that one day a week, Facebook is always telling me to reconnect with the same person – you haven’t spoken to so-and-so in awhile – it’s time to send him a message!  And who is this person – the first boy to ever ask me out – we carpooled to Hebrew School, he sent me a Valentine, I said no.  He was a strange kid, wore a trench coat and carried a briefcase in sixth grade.  That’s not why a said no, though – I didn’t think I was too good for him, or anything like that – just in sixth grade, it freaked me out – it was weird, and I was a dorky kid myself.  Anyway, he was a year ahead of me in high school, and when Hebrew school stopped, so did our acquaintance.  He always annoyed me a little – he annoyed everyone a little – although, he was always endearing. 

So, when he friended me on Facebook, I was like, eh – he’s kind of annoying, but he’s also kind of endearing, and I would feel badly if I didn’t, so I did.  And, on Facebook, again, he was a little annoying – leaving stupid messages on my wall, etc. But, when I thought about unfriending him, I would look at his wall, and I felt too guilty – nothing had changed, annoying, but a nice guy in his weird way.  So, I just ignored his silly inquiries and went about my Facebook business, which has nothing to do with purple cows, or mafia hits, or joining a group called, “I love Flipflops.”

And then, tragically, he died.  Had a brain hemorage, and died.  Tragic. Awful.  And, when my mom called to tell me that he had died, my reaction was, “He’s not dead, he’s on Facebook.”

And, he’s still on Facebook.  Everytime I load up Facebook, it tells me to send him a message – reconnect!

Can you unfriend a dead person?  I don’t think you can – that’s just kind of mean.   And, look, I don’t get choked up everytime I see his picture – but I’m sure some people do.   So, today, I clicked on his page, and people are still leaving him messages – and I just think that’s weird.  Like Facebook is the new Quija board or something – that you can send a message on Facebook, and the tragically dead person is going to read it?  I’ve never been strong on spirituality – but to me, there’s something not only not comforting about communing with the dead through a computer medium, but also, it’s cheap – to send heartfelt messages that are sandwiched in between “so and so found an egg,” and “so and so found a stash of blackmail photos.”

I guess I’m sounding judgmental – if it gives someone comfort, so be it, do it, whatever gets you through the day.   I guess it’s more productive than virtual farming.

Dear Taylor, Romeo and Juliet Died

Any given morning, I’ll arrive at my office before the support staff, change into my super lawyer suit, and head off to court.  The office is quiet — maybe someone is getting the coffee pot going, maybe there’s another lawyer around heading over to court, but for the most part, it’s quiet. 

Then I return.

I walk past the secretaries station, and they have the radio playing – not blaring or anything, but just loud enough for the infection to take hold.

Just loud enough to get in your head for all eternity, or what feels like an eternity.

And for the past three days, I have been assaulted by that Taylor Swift song, Romeo and Juliet.

It only takes me about 10 seconds to walk through the saccarine zone, but it’s enough – and to Taylor Swift, I say enough!!! 

Has she read Romeo and Juliet?  Does she know it ended badly?  Really badly.   Does she know that the fathers weren’t onboard?  Did she read it and think, “Huh, this would be such a better story if it had a happy ending?”   Poison shmoison!    Are young girl’s hearts broken on a daily basis when they pick up this classic and find out that the teen teenie lovers actually die in the end?  Do they realize they have been betrayed, lied to, deceived?  Do they then turn to Dire Straits, and their Romeo and Juliet, and say, hey, not only is this a much better song, they got it right?

Of course they don’t – and that is what is wrong with this world.

At least for the ten seconds I have to walk through the Taylor zone.

Mystery Knitter Strikes Philly!

The caped crusader of fiber artists everywhere strikes at 16th and Locust!   On my way to work, I spotted this very warm bike rack.  Is this a copycat knitter?  Has the Cape May County Midnight Knitter expanded his/her search for truth, justice and the pursuit of yarn into our wool deprived metropolis?

Or, is this simply a crazy person who sees tree people and pole people who need tube top sweaters?

No News May Be Better

When I was growing up, we had family dinner.  Not Walton’s family dinner, or Eight is Enough family dinner – there was no chit chat, no revelations, no drama.  We ate, and we watched the local evening news.  The lead story was always a fire.  A warehouse is burning, a tractor trailer is aflame on the highway, smoke is roaring through an apartment complex.  Fire, that was the big story.
Then, if there wasn’t a fire to report on -and, really – there was always a fire – a church, a car, a backyard leaf fire, if nothing else, the reporter could always light a cigarette and set a garbage can on fire.  In any event,  there was always weather as a fall back.  An approaching storm, inches of rain, record breaking temperatures.  Like Jane Austen advises, if you have nothing nice to say, confine your comments to the weather.

So, I don’t expect much from the local evening news – at this point, all I want to know is is it going to snow? and is Donovan McNabb finally going to get the boot?   But, really, that’s my issue – I’m sure there are many out there who think that there can be truth in reporting, that our local newscasters are striving for something a little more than mediocrity, and that  covering the health care debate, the wars in the Middle East, etc., is still an essential function of even our local news.

So, taking into consideration my obviously low expectations, and an optimists unreasonably high expectations, the newscast should land somewhere in the middle, right?  It should hit about mediocrity, shouldn’t it? 

Well, you be the judge —

Last night, I sat down to watch the 11:00 NBC10 news.  Ok, you don’t want to cover a fire – fine.  The shooting on Dorrance Street?  Ok, you don’t want to lead with local crime, so be it.  So, Renee Chenault Fattah, married to a congressman, what’s your lead?  That the President of the United States was right here in our area last night, plugging away at his health care plan?

Nope.  Facebook.  Idiots who put their ridiculous photos online, only to have someone snatch them, and  – can you hear the beat of the sympathy drums – post them elsewhere only to make fun of them.  Gasp!   The lead story, which lasted a good five minutes, was some idiot woman, by anyone’s measure, overweight, who had posted pictures of herself ONLINE, scantily clad, in ridiculous outfits, eyeing her camera with “come hither” looks.  Really?  We’re supposed to feel bad for this woman for forgetting to check the box that clearly pops up every time you post a picture on Facebook about photo privacy and who can see your pictures.   But, the bottomline is – they are ONLINE – they are accessible by anyone who wants to see them – there is no such thing as online privacy.   Everytime you post a picture, the question should be – could my boss see that?  And if the answer is yes, ok, post it, and if the answer is no you’re just an idiot.  And this blog that highjacked her pictures – Philly Burn?  Does she really think that the exposure on Philly Burn is greater than the exposure of being on NBC10?  So whoever you really didn’t want to see them before, certainly has seen them now – because you put them on the local news.  So, the only news there really is that Channel 10 got snookered, because she is clearly proud of those pictures, and wanted the widest audience she possibly could to see them. 

And what could possibly follow that story?

The President at Immaculata University, right?

Nope.  People who wanted butt lifts, but instead had some chemical injected into their butts that gave them infections – something like window filler – I can’t give you accurate reportage about the story, because by then we were already actively comparing the NBC10 telecast to the 6ABC telecast, and in the time it took NBC10 to report on Facebook idiocy, and rotted butt injections, 6ABC had covered the shooting on Dorrance Street, the death of a medic, and the burglarly of a church for its copper piping, and the President’s visit.  That’s not to say 6ABC didn’t have it’s feel good story – suburban teenagers addicted to heroin – but at least they got some actual news in there before they got to the meat of their telecast.

And what’s up with NBC10’s good news segment?  I don’t even know what the regular time is – but it’s a half hour a day, and it seems like its on whenever I turn on the t.v.  For a half hour, they only report “good” news.  Good news, bad news – really, aren’t you just supposed to report the news – the days events – and let others be the judge of whether it’s good news or bad news?  And, a half hour a day – that’s 2.5 hours of what NBC10 dubs “good” news a week – 2.5 hours of kids with cancer to promote fundraising, maimed animals rescued from animal shelters to promote fundraising, and maybe a few minutes adorable adoptable children, again to promote fundraising.  If they want to do a telethon, just call it what it is, and don’t put it on the “news.”

And what does that make the happenings of the rest of the telecast – the bad news hour?  Good news, bad news – just tell me what happened today, ok?

Take Tylenol Cold – You Won’t Look Like the Scary Lady on the Train

hallsadReally?  This ad is going to sell you a cold medicine?  Take Halls – you’ll still look like crap, but you’ll be able to muddle through!  Take Halls – you not only will look like crap, but you will scare small children on the train! 


And not only is there one snot nosed lady attempting to sell Halls, there’s another one on the opposite wall, who’s nose is even redder – Take Halls – we know Rudolph was your favorite reindeer!


Seriously – is this really selling Halls to anyone? 


Not the work of Don Draper.

Ridiculous Wedding Favors

Remember a few posts ago, I mentioned ridiculous wedding favors?


I figured I’d show them to you, just in case anyone’s looking for a little (and I mean little) inspiration.


Favors should be easy – its easy to say thank you when you really are thankful.    Thank you for coming to our wedding, to show our appreciation we got you –

a mini buri fan?

a tacky lantern?


Or, perhaps, a pair of cheesy crystal swans?

crystal swans

Thank you for attending our wedding – here’s some crap to take home with you.


A nice trendy thing to do is to make a donation to a charity in your wedding guests’ names.  That’s fine for many families, but for my politically polarized family, that just wouldn’t be a good idea. Even a donation to feeding the homeless might raise an eyebrow — why are they homeless? my Republican brother might ask.  Anyway, I didn’t feel comfortable making a donation in someone else’s name – there are many charities that I wouldn’t want my name associated with – and I wasn’t going to do it to someone else.


The only wedding favors that I haven’t “accidentally” left on the table were edibles.  My sister-in-law is a bit Hershey bar happy – every family event has a corresponding Hershey bar – so I decided to go with Hershey’s kisses.  I surfed the internet looking for wedding favor folks who applied stickers to the bottoms of Hershey’s kisses. And you know what, the price of a kiss went up astronomically once it was transformed into a wedding favor.  


Huh, I thought.  I could do that – why should I pay someone.  And, huh, I could do it better – why just have it say, Joe & Wendy – why couldn’t it be a picture.  And really, why should it be just one picture – it could be many pictures!  In fact, each box could have all unique pictures.  Why not?


I’ll tell you why not – it was was a total pain in the ass.


But, I had a vision in my head.  I saw a clear box, tied up with a fall colored ribbon.  And through the clear panels of the box, you would be able to see the pictures — pictures of us, our family, our friends.  My ideas got grandiose – I could even make personalized boxes – yes! that’s it!  Each box will contain pictures of us and the pertinent guest.  It’ll be fantastic.


So, we went to A.C. Moore, and investigated the clear boxes.  The boxes came in 2 sizes – a 2 x 2 x 2, and a 3 x 3 x 3 — Joe, the candy man, poo pooed the smalelr box – that’ll only hold five candies, he proclaimed.  So, I went home with the 3 x 3’s, and started to load up the 600 kisses that I had already stamped.   


Well, it turned out a 3 x 3 x 3 box holds 25 Hershey’s kisses.  I needed to make 60 or so boxes.  So that’s 25 different pictures, on 60 different labels – and then they had to be individually sorted, box by box.  Have you done the math yet?  Yes, that’s right – I had to hand apply 1500 stickers to 1500 Hershey’s kisses.  So much for my 600 labels I had already printed – I wasn’t even half there!


And, of course, I had bought the last 2 label packs at the Michael’s in the Northeast.  I called the Willow Grove store, and had them put aside four more packages of labels, and we trekked out to the ‘burbs so that I would be able to finish the project.  While we were there, we also picked up fall colored ribbon to finish the box with a flourish – voila, a bow!


So, I printed out a gazillion labels, through the personalized box idea out the window, and sorted – I had a bag of 60 kisses with photo A, a bag of kisses with photo b, etc.  And, after all of the boxes were filled, I began the bowing.


I had tied up 4 boxes, and ran out of ribbon. 




Back to the drawing board.  So, we went back to Michael’s, and bought bows that were affixed to elastic – like a hair doo dah – and thank you tags.  Perfect, I thought.


Hmmm – the elastic wasn’t wide enough to get around the box.


No problem.  We cut the elastic off, and super glued each bow with tag on top of the box.


See, ridiculous wedding favors – what was I thinking!  But, here is the finished product:


Don’t Put Your Planet in the Microwave – Movie Round Up III – 2012

2012The sky is falling! Oh, that was Meteor.  It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s – aliens?  Independence Day.  No, in 2012 there’s no meteor shower, space ships, or drilling on the moon.  This time, there are tsunami’s, earthquakes, and planet alignment.  In 2012, this year’s The World is Ending movie, the Earth’s core is heating up, baking the earth from the inside out like a microwave, causing the Earth’s crust to shift (I guess I shouldn’t be complaining so much about cinema verite in law films – scientists definitely have a bone to pick with this movie), the Washington Monument to crumble, and Yellowstone National Park to turn into a bubbling, exploding volcano.  Scrambling car escape? Check.   Nearly missed by a flying train while escaping in a biplane?  Check.  National monument wreckage – of course.  All of the classic disaster elements are there – sigh, the Earth is ending again.


The only reason this movie worked at all for me is John Cusackjohncusack, playing a science fiction writer who “gets it.”  I liked him, I liked his family, and I wanted them to live.  Of course, since he’s a writer who “gets it,” he wasn’t “there” for his family, who leave him, and move in with mom’s new boyfriend, the likable, but not cool Gordon, a doctor who happens to be taking flying lessons.  At the end of the movie, you know that both John and Gordon can’t both survive, because the family could not be reunited with likable guy Gordon in the way.  I also liked the dog, a pretty ugly dog, but a dog nonetheless, and I was happy that the dog managed to live as well. 


The movie has a lot impassioned speeches from the President, and his scientific advisor – the moral centers of the film.  They talk like we would want politicians to talk – admitting wrong, taking the blame, “owning it,” and in the end, doing the right thing – more of  a fantasy than the earth ending I suppose.  Civilization be damned – we are going to do the right thing!  And of course, it all comes down to John Cusack saving the day – but first, he has to reunite with his estranged wife – and there’s a long kissy cooey scene where the seconds are ticking away, and he’s supposed to be saving the world. 


The movie is long – really really long – and editing out the romance would have been a nice way to speed things up a bit.  I guess the producers thought that the marriage between Indpendence Day and Titanic would sell more tickets to women – I don’t know why movie folks think that to get women to go to the movies there had better be a romance with a satisfying ending.  I don’t know – maybe they’re right – but this woman just wants to go to a good movie.