I’m Addic-, Addicted to…Facebook

June 29, 2007 at 8:57 am (Facebook)

So what is the big news of the day? The shooting on the T yesterday? The failed immigration bill? That movie that just came out about a rat, Ratatouille? Nope, nope, and nope. The first thing I have discussed with anyone this morning has been Facebook, or rather the current lack thereof. I got to work early, first one here, decided to waste a little time and check my Facebook, but what do I get instead of that beautiful news feed page? A message saying, “Hey, your account is temporarily unavailable due to site maintenance. It should be available again within a few hours. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

Now, this bothers me for a few reasons. First, shouldn’t they know that people need to be able to access Facebook at any time? And if they absolutely must do maintenance, they should do it at like 3 in the morning when a minimal amount of people may want to use it and the rest of the world is sleeping. But does this cross their minds? Apparently not. No, apparently 9 or 10 am is the perfect time to do work on one of my top procrastination tools! To quote Grace (with whom I was discussing this tragedy), “how am i supposed to waste my time if i dont have facebook?” Honestly! We need our procrastination tools! Our lives are empty without them! Without Facebook, who knows what we might do? We might, oh I don’t know, go outside and do something. Or perhaps update a blog. Or finish a book. Or something that is actually (dare I say it?) productive!

Now, my last complaint was obviously a bit tongue-in-cheek, but I do have an actual issue with Facebook’s “Inconvenience message.” They start it with “Hey.” Simple as that. I think I understand why they did it (my assumption being that they want to be seen as down on our level, on their users’ level) but I think it is condescending and a terrible way to start any written correspondence, except perhaps an IM conversation or a note to a close friend, i.e. something very very casual. A cardinal rule that I think everyone should be taught at some point is high school, or even college, if not before, is to never, ever, start written correspondence with “hey” or any of its associates. Outside of extremely casual correspondence, it is rude and condescending. All Facebook has to do to make this an actual message to their users is take out the “Hey” and simply start with “Your account…” The rest of the message is a perfectly fine, normal error message (I know its not actually an error message, but you get the gist). The “Hey” takes away credibility. Now, I know that this is Facebook, and considering their power, they can do just about anything they want, but I would hope that they would understand something like this and try to achieve some standard of propriety. Honestly.

Ok, rant over. I know its a little extreme, but it bothered me (obviously!). So now back to actually working perhaps. And we all know that I and millions of other people will be checking Facebook every hour on the hour to see if it is back up yet. I just hope it happens before we get a riot on our hands of productivity!

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Surprising Reaction on the Homefront

June 25, 2007 at 9:10 pm (Concord, Family)

Well, I made it home, safe and sound. Didn’t need to call my mom and have her come pick me up because I was too scared to drive home or anything. I figure that I can’t let this scare me too much or I’ll never get over it. I made it home in one piece, stayed out of the left hand lane until I needed to make my left hand turn to get home, etc.

I tried to call my mom before I left to ask her to ask everyone else in the house not to talk about it when I got home, because I didn’t want to talk about it, but it turns out that I’m glad I didn’t reach her. The reaction when I got home was infinitely better than I anticipated. Claire, my 12 year old cousin, was the first to see me, and she made a small comment, but nothing too bad. When I got inside, Duncan (11) was watching some sports thing on TV with his father, and he made a comment, to which I had no idea how to respond, but his father berated him, asking in to please show some compassion, if he was capable of it (no joke!). I really appreciated this, cause I thought that he and my dad would just make a bunch of jokes about it and make me feel worse. Instead, they really proved themselves to be on my side.

Whenever it was brought up, my parents and my uncle just kept assuring me that I would be hard-pressed to find someone who hadn’t been pulled over for speeding, saying that if I wanted, they could tell me plenty of stories. This certainly helped as well, more than I anticipated.

I kept thinking of the story I have heard so often about my aunt Selden calling up my grandfather one day, when she was a teenager I believe, sobbing, telling him that she had rear-ended a car at a stop sign or something. He told her to calm down, call the cops, they would help her, etc. Her response? “But Daddy, it was a cop!” Turns out she had rear-ended a police car, and she has never lived that one down. At least this was nothing near as bad or noteworthy.

So basically, the response when I got home was much, much better than I had anticipated and dreaded. For once, my parents, including my father, made me feel better about a screw-up situation. We shall see how I sleep tonight…

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I Won’t Grow Up!

June 25, 2007 at 2:39 pm (Family)

As you may know, my aunt, uncle, and four cousins (ages 3, 7, 11, and 12!) are in the states staying with us for a few days until the two eldest go to camp in Maine and the rest move down to their lake house at Deep Creek. Little kids (i.e. anyone younger than me basically) can be quite annoying and loud. I haven’t been able to sleep past 7:30 since they arrived! So basically, I’m a bit sleep-deprived.

Anyway, the 7 and 11 year old boys are the most annoying, mostly because they disagree on everything and are in constant competition and you cannot reason with them. Plus, they’re loud. Their older sister is nice and quiet and extremely mature for her age. I keep thinking she’s like 15 or 16 already, probably because she is both very tall for her age and she is so mature. The youngest, Brody, can be loud, but that is more because, being the youngest, that’s the only way he can get attention. He is also the cutest of all of them.

I was watching The Lion King with Brody the other day, and I can’t remember how it came up, but we started discussing growing up (as much as anyone can “discuss” something with a 3 year old, however precocious!). He informed me that he wasn’t going to eat so that he wouldn’t have to grow up, that he was going to stay the way he was forever, because growing up is scary.

I mentioned this to his mother when she came in the room a few moments later, and she told me that he had actually been having nightmares about growing up. In fact, he can’t sleep alone; he has to be sleeping in someone’s (usually his parents’) bed with them. And when he’s there, he needs to get as close to you as he can.

I think this kid is the most intelligent of all of us. Growing up is very scary, and Brody has realized this very early. Unfortunately for all of us, it’s a fact of life, and isn’t about to change any time soon. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to grow up, though I must admit, there are some perks to growing up. Ah well, wishful thinking gets us nowhere.

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99.9% Sure I’ve Never Been Here Before

June 25, 2007 at 2:13 pm (Concord)

This morning I had an experience that I never want to ever repeat that scared me as I never have been before, and I am not exaggerating here. I was heading to work, and there wasn’t much traffic on the highway, so I was going fast, so that maybe I could get to Alewife sooner and have time to make a call, plus I like going fast. Then I see a cop flashing his lights in my rearview mirror, pulling me over. He came to my window and told me, essentially, that I had been speeding, and accused me of trying to run away from him.

Apparently, he had been somewhere along the road with a radar gun and had seen me (though I was around quite a few other cars!) going about 80mph in a 55mph zone. He said that he had stepped out into traffic to wave me down, but I didn’t see him, so how did I know that? Plus, I admit I was going fast, but I actually realized I was going really fast and was slowing down anyway.

So he pulled me over, and I was literally shaking as I went through all the papers in my glove compartment trying to find the registration. When he went back to his car to check my information, I started crying and hyperventilating, I was so scared. I called my mom and she calmed me down a bit, but I was still scared out of my mind.

He came back, gave me the ticket and warned me to never try to run from a cop again. I wanted to scream at him that he was being unfair and that I would never do that, but I obviously couldn’t in the state I was in. Once he left, my mom calmed me down enough to get back on the road and get to Alewife safe and sound.

Once there, though, I sat in the car, called Ryan, talked to my mom again, and tried to calm down. It took a while, but I made it to work, albeit a bit late. I’m not sure how I’m going to do on the trip home, but we shall see, won’t we?

PS The title of this post is the song that I was listening to when I got pulled over. Seems like my faerie never takes a break. Guess I’ll never be able to listen to that song again. Thank you so much for ruining on of my favorite songs, angry cop dude

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Crazy Little Thing Called Love

June 22, 2007 at 9:57 am (Facebook, Rants)

I’m not sure why, but it seems that everywhere I look people are talking about marriage. It’s crazy! I’m not sure if its because its June – the penultimate wedding month – or because I’m just growing up and this is what people talk about, and no one bothered to clue me in earlier, but whatever it is, I am surrounded by talk of marriage!

I’ll freely admit that I am addicted to both of the PostSecret groups on Facebook, and an awful lot of marriage ones have been popping up recently. A lot of girls apparently have been dreaming of their respective wedding days since they were little girls. I don’t understand this! I mean, shouldn’t you find the guy you love first, and then start planning, hopefully with him? I mean, if you plan that much in advance, there are always things that are going to change, and so how will you feel if your wedding is not the day you have literally dreamed about and planned for years? I’d imagine it would be an awful let down, and who wants to remember their wedding day that way? That would be terrible!

Meanwhile, my sister apparently is in the plan-waaay-ahead-camp, at least when it comes to my wedding. She programmed my wedding date into my cell phone the other day, when I was writing a birthday note to my “beau” (as my mother likes to refer to him). By the way, I’m apparently getting married on June 27th, 2015, if any one would care to know. Plus, there was a wonderful awkward conversation the last night Ryan was here back in May. Sarah, Grace, Ryan, and I were sitting in the basement after watching Pirates of Penzance, and we ended up talking for a few hours. And one of the topics that came up was that Sarah and Grace apparently approve of Ryan, which of course led into wedding plans. I was really really uncomfortable, so I kinda didn’t say much, and my sister more than picked up the slack for me. Can’t quite remember what she decided, but I’m sure there was something about bridesmaid dresses in there….

And then at some point when I was out with my mom doing errands or something, I mentioned how Sarah had programmed the above date into my phone, and I was laughing about it, but my mom took it a step further and started warning me about planning too early / thinking about that too early. She told me something along the lines of not to go looking for it, cause you’ll end up disappointed. I mean, I appreciate her concern, but I think that I can handle myself, and I’m still working on getting through the summer, I can’t imagine getting married. I’ve always seen getting married as something I’ll do eventually, but have never actually thought about applying it to myself. I mean, I just turned 18! I’m not ready for marriage! I have 3 years of college left! Marriage is way too scary a proposition for me to think about, though apparently my sister disagrees….

So back to my original point of marriage talk being everywhere, I was talking with el boyo this morning since I got to the T station in record time (20 mins! half the usual!) and we were discussing my cousins coming into town this afternoon, and how much older I am than all my cousins. My parents are both the eldest in their families, and got married quite a few years before any of their siblings, so of course my cousins are all much younger. I think I have maybe 2 cousins above the age of 10, with 5 under the age of 5. And I have a lot of friends who have cousins older than them, who are married and have kids, so I mentioned how I was probably going to be married with a kid or two by the time the current youngest are in middle school, much less high school, and how scary a thought that is! Anyway, at some point in this conversation, Ryan said something like “After college, you could go to grad school and then get married” implying that my cousins might be older than I think if I wait. Anyway, his brother in the background apparently misheard him and thought he said something along the lines of “…and we get married.” Talk about awkward major! Why does everyone’s mind jump to marriage when you start dating in college? Honestly! I’m not going to school to find a husband, but to get an education, thankyouverymuch. Yes, a few decades ago, that would not have been the case, but this is the 21st century, and I’d like to think things have moved ahead a bit. That’s not to say if I come out of college engaged I wouldn’t be happy, but I’m just not expecting or looking for that in any way, shape, or form.

Anyway, the last part of the marriage saga in my life, the one that I suppose you could say pushed me over the edge to write this now, is that one of my fellow interns roomates from college (they just graduated) just got engaged. He started talking about how this dude was this huge party animal in college, drinking all the time and such, but now he’s mellow and barely ever drinks. According to my eloquent fellow intern, his friend is now “an old man.”

So that’s my rant on marriage. Just had to get it out of my system, I suppose. Anyway, have a good day and think happy thoughts!

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I Hate My Computer Sometimes

June 21, 2007 at 7:07 pm (Rants, Work)

So I installed Skype on my computer yesterday so that I could chat in real time with the programmers in Isreal for my internship, so that we could better fix bugs. But then all afternoon and into the night, my Internet Explorer kept crashing, and it said it was because of some Skype add-on. So naturally, I got sick of it and just uninstalled Skype and figured I’d use some other program to chat with them, cause there were plenty of options.

So today, when my boss asked me if I had been able to contact one of the programmers, I told him about my issues with Skype and how it kept crashing IE, and he was incredulous and took my computer and offered to make it run faster, which of course I accepted, cause I’ve always had issues with that. So I stood over his shoulder and watched as he went through all these steps to delete programs and whatnot from my computer and deleting temporary files and such.

After I restarted my computer, it was all well and good, but instead of the nice colors and attractive curved boxes and such like I’m used to with Windows XP, it had reverted back to the ugly square grey boxes and such of basic Windows. I had seen him turn off something called “Themes” but didn’t say anything, cause I was kinda intimidated. So then I had to waste like a half hour trying to figure out how to make my desktop and programs pretty again. I mean, I was really bored all day, so at least this gave me something to do, but honestly!

And then I reinstalled Skype, used it a bit to talk to the programmer dude, and it seemed to be working fine. And now Internet Explorer keeps crashing again! So annoying! At least its not as often as it was last night (knock on wood). So I guess we shall see who wins the fight of the century (well, the summer, but century sounds better, don’t you think?): me or Skype. Or me or my boss I suppose.

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Bless Your Beautiful Hide…

June 21, 2007 at 6:43 pm (Movies, Songs)

So I’m watching the special widescreen edition of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers with my sister, and I must say, I love this movie! And it leads to some interesting conversation with my sister. Very interesting.

Conversations about love and pet names and guys in the movie who look like guys in her class and mourning the death of the age of true courting, among other things. She’s decided she just wants normal pet names when her beau/husband uses them (eg honey). I didn’t really weigh in (surprise, surprise, I know!). Though she does like raising her eyebrows and making pointed comments during the sloooow love songs, which I always fast forward.

And it has been determined (by Miss Sarah) that Gideon is the favorite brother cause “he’s just so ADORABLE!” but Frank is the best dancing-wise, “cause he’s more versatile.” And the town boys are all ugly. Just thought I’d let you know.

Oh, and we also had a small discussion about beards, and how the brothers all look so much better without them and questions about if a certain scruffy acquaintance ever shaves…

“They’re out to murder you, and what do you do? Apologize for livin’!” Great line. I love this movie.

I wonder what I would do if a guy came up to me and offered me a “chaw o’ tobaccy” as a pick-up line…

“Love is like the measles. You only get it once, and the older you are, the harder you take it.” I don’t know about this one. I just don’t know…

“Can’t make no vows / to a herd of cows” Greatest line in the movie perhaps?

And I’m done for now. I love this movie! I mean, who wouldn’t love a movie about kidnapping women for a few months and then having them all fall in love and get married? Stockholm Syndrome, Hollywood style, anyone?

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The Right-Winged Uncle Sam (Literally!)

June 17, 2007 at 1:29 pm (Church)

So, seeing as how it is Sunday, my family attended church this morning, as we are wont to do, being good Lutherans and all. The pooch kept my parents up all night, so they slept in a bit and as a result we ended up attending the contemporary service instead of the usual, traditional one. I won’t say too much about that particular part of our morning. Suffice to say, we agreed unanimously that no one was allowed to sleep in past the 8:30 service anymore!

There wasn’t a children’s service today, as Pastor told us there would be a small pre-4th-of-July celebration at the end of the service instead. I don’t think anyone thought much of it then.

So at the end of the service, the last hymn has been sung, and all of a sudden this triumphant, sort of processional music comes on the speakers. It sounded a bit like Star Wars to me, but that may have just been because I am a total geek like that. Anyway, we were all looking around, trying to figure out a) where the music was coming from (since we had a band sitting right there, but they didn’t seem to be touching their instruments) and b) what it was for. Then these two men came in carrying this huge table down the aisle with a large box-shaped thing at one end. It was all covered with a cloth (later, we were told that someone had been overheard in the first service wondering if it was the Ark of the Covenant, and I have to admit, the similarity certainly crossed my mind!).

They get up to the alter, set the table down, parallel to the pews, and the national anthem comes on. One of the men whips off the covering to reveal a large box/crate thing and a small platform on the other end of the table. The crate has a large American flag hanging from it. We all stood up in respect for the flag and the anthem. The man opened the door to the crate (for that’s what it was), and when nothing happened for a minute, he banged the side of the crate twice, presumably to let whatever was in there know that it could come out.

From the depths of the crate appears this gorgeous bald eagle. It flapped a bit when it first came out, then climbed onto its platform and actually faced the cross, at the head of the church, with the rest of the congregation. I must admit, at one point during all this, I felt like I was about to cry. It was amazing. Simply breathtaking.

After the national anthem ended, we all sat down and the man introduced himself and the eagle, whose name is Uncle Sam (original, no?). He was the brother of a woman in our congregation and was visiting for a short time. He goes around the country with about 20 different types of birds of prey from around the world.

He found Uncle Sam 16 years ago. Back then, Uncle Sam had been a voracious hunter and scavenger. He was busy enjoying a meal on a road somewhere when he was hit by a car. This guy found him and nursed him back to health, though Uncle Same lost most of his left wing, turning him into a conservative for the rest of his life (I crack myself up!). Now, he is the only bald eagle on tour allowed in all 50 states and will be on the Today show for the 5th time this coming 4th of July.

They got a call on September 12, 2001, to come down to New York, to Ground Zero for a photo op. The dust still had not settled, and the search for survivors was still going strong. Before this, Uncle Sam had not always been part of the show, but because of 9/11 and the strength and bravery they saw at Ground Zero, he has been a focal part of every show, dedicated to all the brave men and women who have served and are serving our country every day.

The man went on to discuss his personal faith as well as the faith of the founding fathers. He told us that we are the only country in the world built on the Scripture thanks to the faith of the founding fathers. He reeled off a few great quotes from our first few presidents as well as some other signers of the Declaration of Independence. One of the most memorable ones, for me, said something along the lines that our country was not built on religion, but on God’s Holy Word, nothing more, nothing less. I really must find some of those quotes he brought up, as most of them were wonderful.

In the end though, of course the attention was on Uncle Sam (obviously, as I can’t even remember his keeper’s name!). He is a beautiful bird, and I got a few pictures with my cell phone (after the service of course!), which I may upload later. In the end though, it was a magnificent experience which I hope to remember for a long time to come!

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Songs to Find

June 16, 2007 at 12:37 pm (Songs)

Well, I started a list of books I want to read, and now I’m starting a list of songs I want to download at some point. It’s just easier this way so I don’t forget after hearing a good/great song on the radio. So here goes (expect constant updates!)

Stand – Rascal Flatts
T-R-O-U-B-L-E – Travis Tritt
Lost In This Moment – Big & Rich
I Can Still Feel You – Collin Raye
My Dream is You – This Providence
Moments – Emerson Drive
Ticks – Brad Paisley
Not a Day Goes By – Lonestar
I’m Already There – Lonestar

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Summer Slump

June 15, 2007 at 11:22 pm (Uncategorized)

Why is it that summers become the worst part of the year when in college?

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