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!)