Can’t We Just Have Fun?

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Saturday Night Live aired its 40th Anniversary Special Sunday night, which I didn’t get to see until Monday.* Before I did, I saw a myriad of criticisms about the show and its lacking. I still liked the show, the haters didn’t ruin it for me. Why did they not just have fun?

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Which Are They?

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I saw a story on Huffington Post that featured a Twitter fight between celebrities. I haven’t been able to find the story in my browser history to reproduce it here, but what struck me about it was all of the hashtags, retweets and abbreviations that proliferated this conversation really made humans look ridiculous. If observed by aliens. And if so, and they’ve been waiting, this might be the time where they blast us to oblivion because we just need to be “gotten rid of.”

I would imagine they would be monitoring our electronic signals from afar and so stuff like tweets and posts and OMG this blog! is what they’d see. They’d see that there’s not intelligent life here and they’d just put us out of our misery like a poor animal on its last leg. They probably couldn’t register any value in cute cat videos. They’d see that we can’t talk to each other in complete sentences, don’t want to talk to each other in person, yet don’t want to let each other be if we don’t agree. We have no respect for each other, so why should some alien show us any respect when this planet could be saved, cleaned, and used as a resort destination. There’s lots of water if someone just cleaned the pool.

But then I started to think, that’s with the assumption that the aliens are smarter.

Every science fiction movie makes aliens out to have superior intelligence, but do they? What if the aliens think we’re the cool kids. If they’re the little off-green shriveled creatures Spielberg made them out to be, they must be just biding they’re time until they can do something that makes Kim Kardashian smile. They’re the geeks just waiting and learning so they can say the right thing to impress the hot chick!

Hmm. Which way could it go? Personally I still think we can clean up the language, think a little bit more about what we’re saying and doing, and throw out the garbage. But what do I know I’m just trying to write  funny stuff because women like a sense of humor. I’m after the hot chick too.

 

 

My 2015 Confusing Resolutions

2015This blog started out in a different place. I walked out of the grocery store yesterday to find three shopping carts, all at the point where they can’t go any further because of their wheels stopping, left in such a way to block the exit. For the walk back to my apartment I had the title “Ending Stupid” going through my head. People have to stop behaving like idiots, that’s the way the world will really change. That should be the World’s New Year’s Resolution.

Which of course, I’m right. 😉  But what I’ve decided has really got to change is me. Because all my thoughts and frustrations about the way I believe these people are being insensitive, rude, obnoxious and doing nothing about raising the level of care, concern and courtesy in our society, which again, I’m right, is still doing more damage to me than it is to anyone. All it does is curl me up in more of a negative ball of friction, disappointment and anger.

I’m a big fan of cognitive behavioral therapy and in particular rational emotive behavioral therapy (http://rebt.org) and one of its tenets is that it’s not the things that come at us that bother us but what we think of them. So my New Year’s resolution is to master the art of REBT. Instead of getting mad at these “cart pushers” that aren’t even there, I’m going to push one out of the way so the next person isn’t inconvenienced, until the person from the store tasked with retrieving them does their job.

When a person who is walking one of those little rat dogs on a retractable leash but fails to reel it in so that I have to stop or walk out of the dog’s way, I’m going to take the two seconds to step around because it’s much better than the greater number of my blood pressure possibly rising to.

When I see a misleading or idiotic headline on a website I’m going to write something positive or funny to counteract the misinformation and negativity in our society’s eyes and ears instead of letting it upset me.

I’m only able to change my world. And everyone does not have to act the way I want them to, that’s just not the way things work. So I have to learn to change my thinking. In a way this is a resolution that I’m continuing because I was very inspired (and wrote about here) by Amy Poehler making a comment about how our eyes and ears are hearing too much garbage and we need to hear better things. It’s made me re-work blogs that started out angry and turning them (hopefully) into something funny or meaningful. I’m going to try and do that faster in my one life and in my own head so that I don’t waste any precious time, thought or energy on something that I can’t change and is only hurting me. I want more positive and happy thoughts outweighing the negative this year. And I’m gonna do it, I CAN AND I WILL.

At least until i become king and can have little foot soldiers running around with little devices to give these cart pushers and dog owners a little zap to get them to re-think.

 

Man vs Tech: 27th Time’s a Charm

I haven’t spent enough time in other cities besides Chicago and I don’t remember them in that city, but here in Southern California we have the little button you press to let it be known that a pedestrian would like to cross at an intersection with a traffic light and they’d like to do it without being killed. That’s not the subject of the blog, that’s its own. This blog was inspired by my observation yesterday that people press it a gazillion times hoping that will make the light change sooner.

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Ok, not really a gazillion but it’s a funny word. Not even 27 like the title says, but again that’s a funnier number than say 8, which is in fact the real amount. People will also press the button after they’ve seen you press it, as if their fingerprint had the magic touch. I’ve had hispanic women press it after me and think to myself, “maybe they think it’s a language thing and they are more powerful in Los Angeles after all?”

Kids do press it a gazillion times, but they’re kids and I excuse them because they’re kids. But we don’t give it up as adults. And it’s not just these buttons. We used to do it with the old landline phones that hung on the wall, clicking repeatedly in the hopes that would get the dial tone faster. We press return again and again when our computers don’t respond quick enough for our needs. And we use it endless in the attempt to “send, send, SEND.”

We have at our disposal the most amazing, fastest, farthest reaching technology and we’re still not satisfied. The other day when I walked to the post office a compact bodybuilder slammed at the traffic light button with such force, at least five times, to get it to change quicker. I thought maybe I’d actually see someone accomplish what so many try be sheer power but man’s muscles can’t overcome technology. Neither can his brain. We need to work with it. They’ll get the text in time.

 

Auto-Correct is Making America Stoopid

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We’ve all seen the funny texts where auto-correct has changed someone’s word and it was sent before they could catch it. I’ve laughed. It’s happened to me. But in the last week I’ve seen several things that are leading me to believe that we need to start catching this now. All we need, America, is another strike against us that affects our employability.

Take for instance an individual that I had a business correspondence with just today. They told me that they didn’t want to “waste their time” but it came out as “waist.” Ok, funny ha ha honest mistake. But the thing is, it was business. And he or she did not bother to proof-read and they didn’t get corrected. We’re becoming a bunch of lazy slobs that expect to be spell-checked.

Back when I was in high school we didn’t have personal computers (that’s what a PC is for anyone under the age of thirty) and calculators weren’t aloud in school. No, this is not about how we had it more difficult and had to walk to school in the snow and how you kids blah blah blah blah blah. We just weren’t allowed to use calculators on tests because they wanted us to use our heads. And as ridiculous as it seemed at the time to me, and they did end up changing the rules, I’m glad. I like being aware!

I didn’t get it because I was actually good at math and I am still the guy that gets handed the restaurant check to figure out who owes how much and how much tip. I don’t know why they do it because my math is flawed in that situation because I always want to tip on hotness of the waitress and want them to tell her instead of my asking her out. What can I say, I still have the nerd shy kid in me.

I can also spell and am fairly good at grammar, although my critiques in writing groups are a bloody mess of corrections in the battlefield that is tenses for me. So I may not be sympathetic enough here, but I do also think I have a point. Just like calculator and later laptops and later iPads in the math classroom, auto-correct and spell check on everything has left us bereft of another basic skill that’s going to land more and more jobs in the outsourced inbox.

Now I can’t speak about other countries, maybe it’s happening there too, but it’s rampant here. Take a classic case of how many people use “ur” in their text messages and emails. That has just multiplied in exponential numbers the people that were already screwing up Your and You’re.

So fellow bloggers and followers that are obviously reading and using the Internet to read this, let’s start with us. I’ve made a vow to do a better job of proof-reading my blogs. For you bloggers, in case you didn’t know, there’s a little Preview button next to the Save Draft. Use it, your blog opens in another window and you can see it as it appears to all your peeps.

And all of you fine people I’m lucky enough to count as followers,  type out “are you home.” It will increase your hand-eye coordination and may burn off a couple of more calories—we really do need to do more about this obesity thing.

But one movement at a time! Join Me. Ashton Kutcher says that smart is sexy and he’s got to be right—he’s tall. Like I said, I like being aware. And that’s what using your head does. The more you pay attention to the simplest of things the more you’ll pay attention to the big beautiful things. Let’s get America smarter!

The Battle of the Brains

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It’s midnight, I want to go to sleep, but I also want to file my blog. I am a man of two minds, not only in this dilemma but the one that’s going on between the two hemispheres in the control of my functions: Left Brain vs. Right Brain.

I’ve found that my current personal and professional goals do battle in my noodle on a regular basis. There is the part of me that wants to be a full time writer and there’s the part of me that likes food and must still continue to do web design. And even though the second can be creative as well, the mathematical part necessary to code a web site puts it often more heavily into the left hemisphere and that side wants to dominate and tell the flaky artistic part to go get a burrito.

So I find myself here, laptop poised, fingers lightly on the a, s, d, f,j k, l and ; keys ready to type and I can’t get the brain to switch over. I slam the heel of my hand against the side of my skull trying to force the synapses to fire that way the way you might try to make water come out your ear. Nothing.

I watch a comedy clip of my favorite stand-up of the moment Louis CK. Nothing.

I wish to run nude and free through the unlimited universe of thought, imagination and creativity but there’s something unfinished on one of my website projects and the stubborn part of me that doesn’t like loose ends still has his pocket protector on.

The Battle of my Brains, or more appropriately, the sides of my brain, are like the battle waged every day in high school cafeterias, the cool kids versus the nerds. Each thinks they are better, each is a little jealous of the other’s capabilities, and neither wants to sit together. And the funny part is they need each other. Like the jock needs the nerd to copy off on test day, I need the left brain to manage websites and social media in order to increase my blogging audience. And like the geek needs the artist to introduce him to the art of talking to girls or at least procure beer so it won’t matter, I need the writer to help with all of the design parts and to keep me inspired on a day to day basis.

So why can’t they all just get along? Why is it that the logical side won’t make room for the creative side and vice-versa? Why do they have to have their “me” time? I suppose it’s like having twins, they both want more attention and will scream louder in an attempt to get it. But just like parents that can be exhausted by all the work until they see the twins dressed up for some special occasion, I should just be thankful that I’ve been blessed with both and keep doing my work.

Thanks for listening.