Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Big Cheese and other idiotic idioms

Have you ever had bigger fish to fry?
The big cheese is always better than the little cheese. It's cheese, after all.
Hide the salami or some other type of phony bologna.
Sour grapes make good wine or good wine will turn anyone's sour grapes into smiles. Up to you.
Bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan...oh, nevermind.
Know what goes well with wine, cheese, fish and salami? Not bacon, but instead a hot potato.

If you caught all those idioms, you may (or may not) be an idiot. But don't worry. You are not alone. Why, just tonite Jay Leno announced that Barack Obama told reporter's that indeed, he is a Christian. What? The? Hell? Who cares? Apparently more people than I care to realize. Oh America.

Not so long ago, Newsweek's online newspaper published a sort of their own idiom in a story that mocks "America the Beautiful," contending that perhaps we are, "America the Ignorant" instead.

Included as one of the infamous misnomers is the accusation that Obama is Muslim. Also, some people think that the sun rotates around the earth. More people can name more dwarfs from Sleeping Beauty than Supreme Court Justices. Actually, as sad as true, it's not to tough to believe. More Americans know the names of Sleeping Beauties and Ben & Jerry's than they know who sits on the highest court of them all. Makes sense. Everyone likes beautiful ice cream. Especially chocolately deliciousness.  

Saturday, September 25, 2010

OH and In the News

I hate it when people stand behind their faith as a way of judging people. Don't we have better things to do? Like anything on the long list of things that people are getting judged on, perhaps.

Here are just a few things overheard and in the news that makes me think twice.

Christine O'Donnell. Ugh. Sarah Palin's long lost cousin from the woods. Thou shall not this, thou shall not that. Thanks for thinking out loud today Christine. Next time worry more about matching your toe nail polish to your clutch. Concentrate on your strengths, I always say.

Isreal. Hello? Which is worse? Government interference or the porn industry? Apparently porn, as recently decided by the Isreali government.
An animal planet reporter got attacked by an anachonda. Not at all a surprise. That's what you get for trying to interview a freaking killer snake, you moron.

And The Situation crashes and burns on the dance floor. What a disaster of a phenomena.

And in a final twist of fate, Harvard drop out turned youngest CEO billionaire in history, Zuckerberg is reportedly giving away a small chunk of his fortune with the goal of probably increasing his fame. Thanks, in no small part, to Justin Timberlake and the cast and crew of the upcoming sure to be box office wonder, The Social Network.

In other news, a social media study on digital natives was released by MTV and Volkswagon. The study targeted the social media consumption habits of audiences within the 18 -32 market (or something ridiculously young and dumb like that.) No real surprises y'all. Young hip trendy folks want MTV and they want to smoke it too. They want Doritos and they want skinny jeans. They want to watch Jersey Shore and they want a seat at the grown-up table to discuss politics and tax breaks. They want instant communication, multiple outlets for social media monitoring and super woofers for ultimate audio experiences. Simply put, they want it all. Which is soooooo much different than any other generational study out there, right?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

L is for the Way You Look At Me Until Death Do Us Part

O is for the only one I see.
V is very, very, extra-ordinary.
E is even more than anyone that you adore can

Love is all that I can give to you.
Love is more than just a game for two.

[Channeling fog horn] Wrong!

It is a game for two.
Haven't you heard that two is company but three is a crowd?? There is a reason why this is so true. Because it's true. Two people in love are okay. But three people makes it a triangle and that is, well, pointy. And not in a good way, either.

And what happens when there is too much love? It dies a quick and painful death. In life, but also in social media. Did you hear the one about the Facebook plant that died from getting too much love from all over the world? It's a true story, too.

I guess my point is - aside from a reference to the triangle - that all we need is love.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

In Memory of Dorothy, on this 11th day in September

I don't think I was yet seven years old. I remember the musty smell of the fake leather in her car and the windows that had to be cranked down just to let in enough clean air to make it possible to stay awake. Garage-sailing, I used to call it. Like sailing, except something much less desirable even for a blurry-eyed six-year-old.

I remember clamouring into her car early in the morning so I could spend the day garage-saling with grandma. She was larger than life. She was a big smoker and because bargain-hunting was her sport of choice, her anxiety levels spiked and her excitement grew from one sale to the next...alway resulting in her lighting up in victory or defeat once we exited the sales of the day.

Another memory I'll forever attach to grandma Dorothy was her pink salad.

One especially busy Saturday morning, I rode my banana seat bicycle to her house and found her in the kitchen. Pouring what seemed like an eternal load of pink-colored noodles into a tupperware she likely picked up the previous week, we climbed into the car and she placed the bowl on my lap.

"Don't let that spill," she said, "That's pink salad for the barbeque."
"I hate pink salad," was all I said, but that salad didn't spill one bit.

A few years later, Grandma came to our house to stay with us kids while my parents were away. It was a somber time in our household and the mood was depressed and still and heavy and silent.

"There's pink salad in the fridge," Grandma announced, "And you girls can come play cards if you want."

I sat down across from Grandma as she lit a cigarette behind squinty eyes and the biggest chubbiest-lipped smile a grandkid could ask for. Her round eyes widened further when she patted my knee enthusiastically and asked if I got some pink salad. Pat. Pat. Pat.

"Grandma, I hate pink salad, you know that," was all I said before reaching for the deck of cards and starting into a high-energy game of solitaire.

Every child that was born, every birthday party, every church picnic, every graduation, every single family event; there it was. Pink salad.

So it shouldn't have come as a surprise when years later, I sat down at the family meal in her little hometown Mennonite church to celebrate her life and my little but-now-grown-adult sister planted a healthy serving of beet-dyed macaroni noodle delight on my plate and smiled that contagious smile.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Interesting. Or Is It?


The very idea of being interesting is well, um, interesting to me. I can't think of the last time I witnessed someone using the word to actually describe something they found genuinely interesting. Instead, I can think of it being used to convey other thoughts. Like the following:

1. You are stupid. That is a dumb idea. But whatever.
2. Are you freaking kidding me?
3. I don't care in the slightest that we are sharing oxygen. I really. Just. Don't. Care.
4. Are you still talking? Because I was thinking we should ditch this popsicle stand...
5. It's a good thing you are so good looking.

Of course, this is just my opinion. But the fact is that when I hear the word, "interesting," I want to learn more. Not necessarily about the subject matter of the conversation, but more about the person who muttered it. And if I can catch a glimpse of their face as they say the word outloud, all the better. The mere muttering of the word "interesting" makes me interested in them.
The problem occurs when transferring these thoughts and actions to the world of social media. It's one thing to smile and scream, "seriously!" to your best friend when they tell you they got engaged. But when you text the same thing, they might interpret it differently as, "Seriously? You are going to marry that bum?" Or worse, "Seriously? He asked YOU to marry HIM?"

So think about the last time someone texted the word "interesting" to you and compare it to the last time you heard it in person. Never again will you assume that indeed, the sender of the text meant what they texted.
This new wave of misunderstanding the semantics of the message is a result of the sentiment being misdirected or misinterpreted. In order to avoid such a catastrophy, why not try connecting with the person you find so interesting. You were the interested party, weren't you?

If you think about it, it's not a new rule to keep your emotions in check when communicating your thoughts with your words or run into unintended consequences of an overly aggressive message. It's all in the semantics and it's all very interesting. For example, think about how the simple statement of "Ohhhh...nice! I really like your new haircut. I'm so surprised. You look great!"

turns into...

"Oh my god, you got your hair cut! You look soooo good! Holy crap...I really mean actually look, really, I'm not lying this, of all people, have accomplished a level of attractiveness whereby I do not feel like totally vomiting when I open my eyes and see you in my line of vision..."
You get the picture. It's interesting how quickly we can move from trying to communicate effectively with an intended audience to tripping over ourselves just to get to a place where we get to shut the hell up already.

All of this is to say that no matter how much we text or how often we engage in online social environments, there will always be a need for brick and mortar meetings, in-person gatherings and happy hours. It's those times that we put our blackberries down and pick our martini's up that the most interesting things happen.