Tuesday, May 19, 2015

App-etizing Temptations

A while back I had a concept to design an app that was like tindr except instead of posting your picture, you post a picture of your pet. The idea being that if I saw a picture of a cute cat or puppy it would be a better introduction into who the guy is and what we have in common than just another stupid muscle gym selfie.  I would call it "Chasing Tail." But since I don't design apps, and I'm sure this concept would lead to some sort of kinky or awful complications that would horrify me, I dropped the idea. *
But I was onto something, apps are everywhere and there is an app for literally everything. Including now drunk shopping.
That's right. There's an app that will help you impulse buy while you are intoxicated. Like that jerk friend who lures you into the McDonald's on the way home from the bar.
 The app "Drunk Shopping" is brought to you by the same mastermind as that app from 2012 that blocks babies from your facebook newsfeed replacing them with cute cat pictures. So clearly, designer Chris Baker, a former Buzzfeed employee, knows what we want. And what we want is ridiculous crap.  Like this Nicholas Cage face shirt.
Nobody sober would want this. Ever. But when you enlist in this app by texting "heyyyy" to 551-333-7685, you will get a text at 2am on Saturday nights-when the booze has adequately addled your brain-with items such as this and the link to buy them. The app even sends texts egging you on to buying it by trying to reason with your drunk self about how awesome it would be if you had things like a Nicholas Cage shirt or a Loch Ness monster ladle. Dangerous. This app is pretty much like perusing pinterest while drunk. Not a good idea. 
Amazingly, I have never fallen victim to the temptation of tipsy internet shopping. I am more into tangible things I can acquire that have instant gratification aka purchases of the food variety. Those pretzels from street vendors are my kryptonite. I once bought every pretzel the vendor had for my friends and I to binge on. That was the closest I think I've gotten to blowing the bank while boozy.
Designer Chris Baker feels no guilt about preying upon drunken fools, and told Buzzfeed in an interview that "most of the time we’re sure people won’t be completely hammered, they’ll still have a great experience just seeing what products we choose and how we write about them.” I am considering signing up for these texts just so when I wake up (not hungover) on Sunday mornings I can scope out what the crazy internet item is they dug up. I'd also appreciate if there was a way that the people who accidentally actually bought this crap while drunk had to post about it. I'd love to see some confused dude opening a package that contains a Nicholas Cage shirt. Trust I will be checking the hashtag #drunkshopping for updates.

*Please note that after writing this, if I see this app appear I will come after you and sue.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Great Outdoors

Recently I have seen a couple of stories in the news about people surviving lost in the woods.
Last month there were two sisters in Michigan who got stranded in a remote wooded area for two weeks in their SUV and survived on Girl Scout cookies and cheese curls. Two weeks binging on Thin Mints and cheese curls without anyone bothering you? That actually kind of sounds like my ideal vacation. There are some days I'd eagerly pay to go on that retreat.
And then last week, I read about a woman in Arizona who somehow got lost while running a race and survived in the woods by drinking her own breast milk. I have many concerns and questions about this survival scenario- mostly involving the logistics of sucking on your own tit. Too bad she didn't have some of those sisters' cookies to go with her milk.
But the real question is, why are so many people getting lost in the woods? I think I live in the wrong part of the country for something like this to happen to me so I am not too concerned about having to put my survival skills to the test. Though once I did get stuck on an elevator in an old building in Lower Manhattan and I spent the first few minutes frantically trying to decide how best to ration the tin of Altoids I had in my purse.
While I may not live in the part of the country or have hobbies that would lead me towards the wilderness, that doesn't mean the wilderness can't find me. For example, bear encounters seem to be on the rise.

In my home state of Massachusetts earlier this week, police put out a warning stating, “Chasing bears through the woods drunk with a dull hatchet is strongly not advised.” They had to be specific because apparently some moron actually did that. But what if the bear was chasing you? Two joggers in Granby, CT last week were chased by two bears. Terrifying.
And you're not even safe in New York. At least five wild coyotes have been spotted and apprehended around Manhattan, including the infamous coyote who just wanted a cold beer on the bar rooftop in Queens.
So it is clear, that even if you aren't in the woods, you really have to be prepared to survive every time you leave your house because "oh baby baby it's a wild world."

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Keep Calm and Carry On

I'm working on not jumping to wild conclusions and overreacting. Mostly because it is exhausting. For example, the emotional drama I put myself through every time I freak out after going on WebMD when I have a weird ache or pain is worse for my health than anything.
And when I'm at a bar and a random guy starts talking to me, it's probably not accurate to be assuming that he is just planning to mug me.

But I do find it hard to calm my own self down when I live in this world where it seems everyone around us is anxious to escalate every benign situation into epic mass panics.

A great example of this occurred this week at a Target in Australia involving a man, a selfie, a Darth Vader cut out, and a crazed, paranoid woman. 
It shook down like this: A man stopped in the toy section to take a funny selfie with a giant Darth Vader cut out to show his kid. But then a female shopper heard from her kids who were also in the toy aisle about a man, wandering alone in the toy section, with a camera pointed at them. She did what any reasonable person would do and jumped to a crazy conclusion-that he was a child pedophiler. So she took his picture and posted it on the interwebs labeling him as such.
Here is the inflammatory rant she posted along with the picture:
Her post went viral and now this poor Star Wars loving man is receiving death threats and is afraid to leave his house.
This is a good lesson. We do need to calm our tits down. Maybe also stop binge watching brain food for these fears like Law and Order SVU.  
But, here's the thing-I can understand the thought path paved with paranoia this woman was on. And cell phone snap shots can be deceiving. It's hard to tell which of the two lens on cell phones is actually taking the picture. We are all walking around with James Bond spy gadgets. In fact, I have, on more than one occasion, pretended to take a selfie so that really I could surreptitiously take a picture of somebody doing or wearing something ridiculous that I felt I needed to share. And to keep up that ruse, I even pulled a fake selfie face. So, yeah, her fear is not totally unfounded. But, still.....
May the force be with us all as we try to navigate the galaxy of hysteria.

(Also, I'm back and you're welcome!)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Miss Universe's United Nations of Fashion

It's Sunday night, I'm bracing for Snowpocolypse 2015, and a half of bottle into wine when I stumble upon the Miss Universe Pageant on TV.
Beauty pageants that don't have Honey Boo and tantrums where flippers fall out are as uninteresting to me as sports game matches. But one minute into Donald Trump's Miss Universe and it became clear that this international hooker parade offered something of Olympic proportion with their cultural costumes. Game on, bitches.
Obviously these ladies all robed themselves in gowns featuring subtle, classy nuances that express what makes their homeland unique. Canada really nailed it, eh?
Scoreboard is the new scrunchie.
Canada wasn't alone in the use of an over the top fascinator to set that party mood. Some other favorites included:

Aruba's hooters
Peru's belt buckle (and angry bird cape)
And Indonesia's Maleficent
Good thing her invitation didn't get lost in the mail. I'd hate to think of the wrath she'd have on these other beauties.
It becomes clear it is go big or go home. I guess these girls have to do what they can to stand out and let you know where they are from because literally many of these beautiful girls look identical whether they are Indian or Dutch-I honestly can't tell. They are all tan with big pinterest hair and highlights. (Except Miss Jamaica and her daring pixie cut.)
But really, this night was more about feathers than anything. I imagine backstage to have looked like a chicken coup massacre. You had some real fowl play here with:

Jamaica's gay pride turkey
Nicaragua dressed as Disney World's Tiki Tiki Room
Belgium's no-armed spikey winged beach bird

And of course the good ol' USofA really showed how to fly like a patriotic eagle.
And this kind of bustle showgirl look went on and on with lots of feathers for everyone. I guess since Victoria's Secret has sexy angels, this pageant had to be different and use feathers for sexy birds.

But beyond the feathers, there were also some interesting use of props/accessories.

Bolivia wielded a glittery nerf sword.

British Virgin Isles brought all the genies for good luck.
You ain't never had a friend like me.
Japan made everyone nervous with a weapon that she shouldn't have been able to get past security.

While Hungary had a tiny little stuffed bunny.
I watched a "My Strange Obsession" about this kind of thing once.
At this point, it is clear anything goes. Anything. Even poor Miss Australia who clearly somehow lost her actual costume did ok by just taking some Crayola markers to a big round of cardboard and tying her hotel room drapes around her waist.

But at least she tried. Some girls seemed to miss the memo.
Like Miss Israel

And Miss Croatia who bought her dress at Forever 21.

Or that bitch from France who just threw on a beret with her ball gown because she is above all this.

And of course for all those who tried hard to resist this nonsensical push to be turned into a live action "It's a Small World" doll, there were several poor girls who ended up looking like the slutty Halloween costume version of their nationality.

Ok, Greece.
Ugh. Great Britain. I don't think the Queen approves.
Yikes, Nigeria.

And then there was the inexplicable and confusing multicultural muumuu from Korea.

Pretty much everyone of these stereotypical costumes bordered on offensive.

I mean for fuck's sake Germany was wearing a Berlin Wall snuggie. (And of course carrying some of the 99 Luftballons.) It's as if they said, "What do people think of when they think German? Like good stuff that won't make everyone nervous and hate us again."
And I guess Miss Germany couldn't just throw on a lederhosen and wear a beer stein because Miss Curacau already cornered the market on wearing a booze bottle.

There were some crazy, beautiful, cool looks that could make for some fierce America's Next Top Model high fashion photo shoots. I'd rate my top three smize-worthy as
The Venzuela tree
This goddess from India

And this prehistoric party from El Salvador

Yes, Miss Universe was truly pageantry at its finest.
Other than the costumes, I'd have to say the other big highlight for the evening was Miss Columbia (spoiler alert: the winner) saying that she wanted to pursue business so she could "produce and export Columbian products" thus confirming my suspicion that these girls are as smart as they are stylish.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Gone Girl

One time I met a guy online. This story ends with my brother (who was my roommate at the time) and I hiding on the floor of our apartment to pretend to not be home while that creep rang the door bell looking for me.

I know that according to all these happy people who find love from the internet that my story is allegedly the unlikely exception. But I have trouble believing that. I think it is a more unlikely exception for an online encounter to lead to a Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks "You've Got Mail" happy ending.
And in defense of my suspicions, it was reported today that a young woman in England Tupac-ed herself, aka faked her own death to, get rid of a guy she met online.

She told the British paper The Mirror that after a couple dates, she tried to break it off, but he was either too obtuse or crazy to understand that, so he was continuing to message her things like, “I think we need to have a date tonight! I will be around your house in 30 minutes.” (NOOOO!) And since she probably got sick of laying on her floor with the lights off hiding from him, she decided to take the next logical step in dealing with unwanted attention-tell them you are dead.
Well, first she said she was sick. She didn't want to rush death unless it was absolutely necessary. But when this kindly and persistent prince wanted to rush to her bed side, most likely to see if his kiss could heal her, she had no choice but to kill herself off.
Here's how quickly the saga played out:

As you can see, after the text where he learned she was dead, "Bad Date," who was waiting desperately outside the hospital, was so distraught at the thought of not getting to sleep with her, turn her into a skin lamp in his apartment, or whatever his plans were, that he couldn't even muster up the words "I'm so sorry for your loss."
Maybe he suspected he was being lied to. But either way, lying about your death is probably a bad idea. And an even worse idea is to return to the dating sight where you met the person you lied to. Which is what happened with this young woman. And, predictably, she encountered "Bad Date" on there and he called her out on being alive in a "horrid message." I don't really have sympathy for her on that part.
So....yes. I will continue to avoid online dating because I'm just too busy to properly fake my own death right now.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Happy Cheeze Day!

A totally legit holiday.
Because we all love cheese. It is the bond that binds us all. Like the gooey warm cheese holding together two pieces of bread.

But as much as cheese has the power to unite us, it can also tear us apart. There are few betrayals worse than someone eating your cheese.

Things get real. Fast.
Remember that woman who tried to poison her family because they ate her cheese? A part of me sympathized with her crazy in a way I've never understood crazy before.

Don't act like you don't get it. The Huffington Post reported today in honor of National Cheese Lover's Day that The American Cheese Society says that "in any given twelve-week period, approximately one-third of the population of the United States will eat macaroni and cheese at least once." Those are a lot of numbers and math to say that right now, you are probably reading this while eating some Mac & Cheese. Probably Kraft. Shaped like Sponge Bob. And you're 30. But feel no shame.

There is just no such thing as too much cheese.

In these destitute, dreary months of winter, as I hibernate and fantasize vacations, my couch naps bring dreams of escapes that not just involve the yellow glow of sunshine, but the yellow glow of cheese.

And even if I can't afford to escape the cold and take off on a quest for exotic cheese, we all know how luxurious the simple indulgence of snuggling up with night cheese is.

Cheese is great in all it's forms. From the highest end, fancy cheese where one tiny triangle costs as much as all the other groceries you are buying that day, to that suspiciously bright orange "cheese" powder that covers the balls that come in a giant plastic jar that after a long day you just want to go home and have your way with.

Cheese just makes you happy. Why do you think that when people go to take a picture they say "cheese?"

Sure it physically forces your mouth smile to say cheese, but really it makes your soul smile too. We don't say "peas." Nope. Those little green buggers that always manage to go rogue and infiltrate your freezer would not lead you smize with flair.

And while we are on the topic of smiling, it is worth adding the fun fact that some cheeses, like like mozzarella, cheddar, Swiss and American, help prevent tooth decay and protect tooth enamel because they promote the flow of saliva leading to elimination of sugar and acids from the mouth. This means less trauma at the dentist. Cheese just keeps being awesome.

Just start brushing with Cheeze Whiz.

Archaeological studies say cheese has been around since 6000 BC. And last year, a Chinese mummy was found to have been buried with its precious cheese. Makes perfect sense. I don't even want to think about an eternity that does not include cheese.

 Now, sure, when I encounter cheese in public it can get embarrassing.

Especially since my cheese consumption is most likely escalating in direct correlation with my wine consumption....

But on this one special holiday, that kind of behavior is ok!
Today is my Thanksgiving! I shall eat all the cheeses! And so should you!