Brief Pieces on Media (Social, Televised, and Other)

I’m that guy that doesn’t watch television, or really very much movies, because I’m a jerk like that. Super snooty about it, actually.

Actually, no, that’s a lie (sort of). I don’t have any access to cable or digital television channels. The tv we got from a friend is analog, so I would have to go buy a digital conversion box to even get that work, and really… the roommate and I decided against it. She got Netflix to use and I use my work (library) to borrow anything I care to watch (currently BBC and Portlandia) or the boyfriend. We are champion money savers, I must say!

On the flip side, I do care to keep up with my social media (because why not?), so naturally I pay attention to what’s going on via Facebook, Twitter, Google Reader, WordPress, BuzzFeed, and general news stuff. No, this isn’t going to be a post about what I thought about the Oscars solely based on a couple videos and photographs I saw. That’s really not relevant enough to me.

[Spoiler alert: I did not find Seth McFarlane offensive because let’s be real. if you have watched any Family Guy or seen Ted, or watched those other not-very-good shows of his, you know what’s coming. Seth doesn’t do clean or even lightly offensive joking. He pushes, crosses and shoves way past the line. It’s what he does. This should not be surprising to anybody at all.]

The social media world on the internet fascinates me. We’re intrigued by it, want to be wanted by it, solely depend our daily mood by how big of a response we receive by it, and quite frankly, letting our worlds be dominated by it. It’s not really a terrible thing, although it could be destruction in some cases. Worst case scenarios are using only technology to communicate with people, and yet not communicating with people IRL at all. (Mm, check out that old school AOL lingo right there…) There is definitely  a certain dependency on the internet and technology, which ranges for all people, but the hardest part is not letting it control you.

Of course, most people who actively use the internet have a hard time coping with this. I have an iPhone, use a computer at work and at home, and been debating on saving up money for a tablet (much later on this year or the next), but my thoughts keep swinging back to the “Do I really need all of this?” It’s a weird transition from living your younger childhood days without technology, straight into your teenage years being completely dominated by it. As we all know, with technology comes social media and alternative ways to interact with people aside from face-to-face or even via phone conversation (the talking part, not the texting), and that’s the hardest part we have to remember doing just maybe 10-12 years ago. 

As all things change over time, we often forget the “old way” of doing things. Simple things like looking up directions using a map, or doing math in your head, or even just excess tools in the kitchen. Do we really need a quesadilla maker? I swear it’s fairly easy to do without this magical device.

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This thing must be magical if it cuts my 5 minutes into 4 minutes!

So, in regards to the “old way,” this shows that the younger generation (including myself as a person in her mid 20s) often forgets how to communicate with people how it used to be done. Face-to-face, telephone talk, letters (PENPALS anybody?! I had one of those!), and what have you. People used to meet each other by just going up to someone in the market after getting their morning whisky fix at the bar and saying “Hey, I like the way you handle those eggs in your wire basket.” 

Am I complaining about this? Actually, no. I rather enjoy the current waves of technology and what’s coming ahead for us. I do at times reprimand myself for forgetting to keep in touch with people in the “older” ways because I took the lazy route, and I do often question why I keep my Twitter account (keeping up with the news, right?), and I’m also fairly certain I have no real need for a tablet, but hey, this is 2013. What else are we supposed to fret over? First world problems, anyone?

Dipping in that BBC Pool

I decided to start a new trend. Something fairly popular and commonly known to the internet world. I thought perhaps I was being a hater for far too long and I should embrace my more American side (just kidding, really). Anyways, I have begun a new destiny for myself:

Start watching BBC America shows.

Mind you, I don’t have any form of cable or digital television. I just have an ancient television with a DVD player and a VCR in case I want to watch Good Burger for a good fun. Hey, when you’re poor, you do what you can to get by. Anyways, with the help of some lovely friends and my awesome place of work AKA the library, I’m able to score some BBC goodness on DVD to get myself in the know of this wonderful world of British accents. I have this desire to know more things about unimportant matters than important, but that’s just way my brain operates sometimes.

Anyways, so I started with the original The Office, so I could get an idea where the American version got it’s idea and how they derived from it. I have to say that once I got into the BBC version, I was a little disappointed to see that the American version really did take so much from the British version. Tim to Jim? Really? Dawn’s troubled engagement to Lee to Pam’s troubled engagement to Roy? Stapler in jelly to Stapler in Jell-o? Ahh, I was very disappointed, but whatever, it works. Anyways, after I got through the first three episodes, I did enjoy it very much. I was surprised and pleased to see how much I ended up liking it by the end of the 1st series.

My next step is/was Sherlock. OH MAN. I was told to just go for it because so far, it’s a short series, only into it’s second bit. I was all, ‘Oh alright, if it’s short, it won’t take up too much of my time.’ I got my boyfriend to agree to watching the first episode with me and I was thinking, ‘Ah, this won’t be too much, right?’

First off, I didn’t know each episode was 90 minutes long (because I never read the fine print, I just generally grab and go). Ninety minutes later, both the boy and I were in a daze and a little confused by where the time went. HOWEVER, it was very good! I got very into the dynamics of the Holmes-Watson relationship and the mysteries were amazingly intricate. While the episodes were definitely long, I found myself very immersed by them. The second episode didn’t grab my attention as much, but the third one definitely went back up to speed. Of course it ends at a cliffhanger and of course, I don’t have BBC America, so at the moment, I’ll be waiting for my copy to come in at work.

What’s next then? Well, I’m waiting for The Office and Sherlock, both series 2. After that? Perhaps I’ll just jump into Doctor Who? I was also debating on some comedy series, in the situation I was told “The IT Crowd” is worthy of watching. I did watch an episode of it before and did like it very much, so I see that being possible too.

Now I’m aware there are some hardcore fans out there and I would very much love to ask your opinions, but let’s not be overwhelming, shall we? Baby steps… baby steps…

Back to the real world!

There’s so many ways to attach “Bro” to something: Brobama, Bronasaurus Rex. Brotato Chip…

I confess.

It’s been a very long time since I have done any blog postings on this website. I went through the whole sch-deal of being a standard 20-something girl: Getting involved in my job, getting a boyfriend, getting into new side activities, doing additional programs, having a sort-of-there social life, etc etc. Don’t get me wrong, everything has been super lovely and exciting. I still seem some interesting hurdles ahead of me that will prove my ambition to get somewhere with success (varying on my energy with correlates with my coffee intake). I started a Crafters group on a social website called MeetUp.com to meet and craft with people in my area. I’m applying for a higher position in my company and I have graduate school to look into in my future (after I take the GRE’s, then apply, then try to get some scholarships…). I don’t want to forget about this though!

I’m just going to throw out a couple key thoughts of things that have been running in my brain. Small exercises that will lead to larger things.

1) “Portlandia”

I’ve never been so conflicted on my liking for a television show. Mind you, I don’t even have any form of cable at my home (I depend on people’s Netflix when I visit or DVD rentals at work) and yet, I came across this show somehow. It spoke many things, mostly confusing feelings and uncomfortable laughter at understanding (usually some of, and occasionally most of) the jokes. They recently released a “Welcome to Portlandia” guide book (check your new non-fiction titles at your local library *winks*), which I, of course, checked out. When I read it, I will possibly write more about it.

2) Libraries

They’re awesome, right? I work in one and it’s awesome. I never loved going to work as much as this job. I’m currently looking to advance my position while looking into graduate school for library science (but specifically for “archival studies”), so my argument is a bit biased. However, they’re useful. They got all sorts of free stuff for rentals (books, movies, audio books, cds, comics, mangas, reference, health books, children’s stuff, video games, etc etc). Unless you live in an unfortunately tiny, desolated are where the nearest library is about 20 miles east of the white barn on your right, I highly suggest you should take advantage of your local spot. There’s probably a coffee shop nearby, so it’s like a double whammy of wins. I like wins.

3) Books for Young Adult/Teens

Admittedly, I generally dislike most “teen reads.” They’re usually overly emotional, heavily clique-y, typically take place in high school (honestly some of my less than favorable years of living), and at times, a little too uneducated. However, I have come across some unusual gems as of late. Books with a bit more realism, characters that are strangely more believable (and relatable?!), and doesn’t take place in the back of the movie theater or your parent’s basement! Amazing, right? They’re quick reads to boot. 

4) Do-It-Yourself. DIY. Seriously, just make it.

In the past year, I’ve picked up on the crafting trend. Yes, I have my times of laziness and “yeah whatever, I’ll just buy it cheap somewhere” (believe, it’s never really cheap), as well as stare listlessly at etsy/pinterest/craftster/thisiswhyimbroke/etc for ideas, then immediately list those other things I need to do in my head.

This is the part where I get a beer and watch Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law. If you haven’t watched this in Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim’s glory days, you’re missing out bad

Anyways, I have my basement halfway turned into a workshop AND I have also started a crafts program at work for adults to get together with their genius ideas. There are good and bad days, naturally; I consider it a work in progress. I’ve made things I’m pretty happy with and things I know I could have done better. But I’m still making them.

5) MeetUp.com

This website was a big turning point for me. It introduced me to additional ways to reach out to people based on interests and events, but it also showed me how flaky people can be, even online where the website gives you the option of saying Yes or No to any event that has ever been created and you have zero obligation to attend (so saying “yes” out of sheer politeness or laziness (??) is just wasting everyone’s time, including your own). End rant. It’s an interesting website. I gave the create-a-group option a shot (because it let you do a 50% off for the start up price), but I’m not sure if I see it going past the 6 months. I certainly learned a lot in reaching out to people though and how to connect on interests.

6) Write Something Happy Every Day

There are two things I make myself do every day before bed. Write on a slip of paper about something good that happened that day and put it in a jar, then write in my trendy-looking daily log about what happened that day. One reason is motivation. It makes me want to write something good on that damn piece of paper so I can reflect on it at the end of the year, and be all like “Heck yeah, I was awesome this year.” 

The other reason is that I really do have terrible memory. I just simply forget things instantly that I have to get in the habit of writing down ideas, lists, events, dates, etc. to keep anything in mind. I used to try to update my Google calendar for upcoming events, but it became an ordeal so I really just have been trusting my brain to keep things on the ball.

7)  Vegetarian Lifestyle

In a little over a month, I would have been living the veggiesaurus lifestyle for a year. Now, I have eaten seafood here and there, especially considering I just went into the vegheads cold turkey. I didn’t ween or go through my colored meats like baby chicks.

I just stopped altogether. It was interesting. I learned to substitute other things and in general, I just learned to eat healthier. I pretty much drop all of the fast food and rarely eat out much because I’ve been enjoying cooking at home and trying to make new things. Granted, my lifestyle is a bit of a rarity among friends and I prove to be a difficult person to please when out to eat (if the restaurant doesn’t even offer any seafood options, they’re doing it wrong to begin with). On the flip side, the veggiesauruses in the city have proved to be numerable and the options of places to eat out has substantially increased in recent years. I’m really not that difficult, honestly. I eat what the “normies” eat, just take the meat out of it. No harm done.

8) Music- Like the dubstep, house, rave kind

My music tastes haven’t really changed, I just haven’t listened to it as much as I used to. I still enjoy a show here and there, and I play stuff in the card. However, now that I stopped downloading AND buying music altogether, I just listen to whatever I already have on hand, and then do the Spotify/Pandora/WTFSILTN (http://whatthefuckshouldilistentonow.com/) for further interest. However, I have noticed an increase of the dubstep/house music creeping in my clicking around. It’s interesting and keeps me moving, but is it considered real music? I don’t have a real answer to that.

9) Moving

Last year, I moved into a cheap duplex with a college friend. We’re your standard 20-something female roommates who are trying to figure out what’s worth living for, adapting to real world policies, and making a name for ourselves (in whatever format). We have different interests, ambitions, views, habits, and everything else, but we manage to be decent roommates to each other. And seriously, the place is a goldmine for cheap living. it was an exciting time and it was the first I really, REALLY felt I was going on my own.

Ermagherd, I can decorate however I want? I don’t need stupid movie poster, I’ll paint something! Ikea bookshelves! Crockpots! Decorated washi-styled tape to put on the edges of shelves to make them look awesome?! You got it!

Don’t judge me.

10) Blogs

I still read some randomly. Some are funny, some are inspiring, some are creative, and unfortunately, some are dull. I’m certain this falls under the “dull, stupid, waste-of-my-time, omg-get-a-life category, but who cares? I enjoy it enough. 

Life update. Check.

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