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What the PHUCK?!

31 Jul

For the luddites out there who hate social media and proclaim it to be the end of meaningful discourse, I offer you this story, which to me summarizes all that is great about the Twitterverse (and conveniently omits all of the bad).

Here’s the story…

A few weeks ago, I raved about seeing a fantastic movie called “From This Day Forward” that I had funded as part of a Kickstarter campaign. In that same post, I said it was especially cool to see a crowd-funded project succeed in real-life, unlike most of the projects I’ve backed. Then in passing, I mentioned another project I’d sponsored (elegantly designed profane greeting cards) that actually seemed to have gone on to great success – though somehow my donor gift got lost in the shuffle.

Mind you, I wasn’t complaining. I was just bummed I’d never received a set of four profane greeting cards, but I was mainly excited that the company (Calligraphuck) seemed to be doing well. Fast forward a week, and the following appeared in my Twitter feed:

Twitter Calligraphuck

This is great for three reasons: 1) He owns that he was googling himself, 2) Nice customer service. Don’t you wish Verizon or Comcast would approach you proactively like this? (“Sorry we blew the service window by more than four hours – we’ll waive your bill this month!”), and – best of all:

3) I just received a package of notecards in the mail!!!

If you’re scratching your head, wondering what, exactly, constitutes a profane greeting card, keep reading.

If you’re opposed to swearing, you probably won’t be a fan. But Linus (the owner) is a talented calligraphist and his hand-inked designs are silk screened on to high quality paper, so it’s a nice juxtaposition of high- and low-brow rolled into one package – irony at its best. And we all know he offers tremendous customer service!

In case you’d like to offend your holiday distribution list, you can buy his designs at www.calligraphuck.com.

And if you’re struggling to come up with appropriate uses, here’s a quick list of suggestions I created:

For the office Secret Santa… 

Holiday Gift Tags from Calligraphuck

For the wedding you suspect will end in divorce…

Congratulatory card by Calligraphuck

For a neighbor who threw snow into your yard when shoveling – used ironically:

Thank You card - by Calligraphuck

A card all mothers should use when corresponding with their sons – just to keep them guessing…

Magnificent Bastard - by Calligraphuck

And I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to use this one to recognize the anonymous office worker who insists on peeing on the toilet seat every day:

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 9.43.48 PM

Check out his inventory at Calligraphuck – and let me know if I’ve missed some key uses.

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Kicks from the crypts?

14 Feb

Funny tombstone

Facebook recently announced the creation of a “legacy contact” feature, where you can appoint someone as the curator of your Facebook page to maintain it or shut it down after you die.

Upon learning this, I immediately went to my account settings and tapped my sister to see if she’d be up for the challenge in the event of my untimely demise. Who else would get the tone right in my post-life posts?

Here’s the type of updates I’d want her to keep flowing from my account:

“Hey guys – as it turns out, snowballs DO have a chance in hell.”

Whenever there’s a celebrity death, I’d like a, “You’ll never believe who I ran into last night,” post.

“BORED.”

“Need a haircut. Can’t trust anyone with scissors here.”

“All the constant singing and euphoria is starting to get on my nerves.” 

“Time to go take my accordion lesson.” 

“Heads-up: Eternity is over-rated.” 

“After-life? I’ve been to better after-parties.” 

My friend Alison hopped in on the action, suggesting that there would be some pretty rich opportunities for “Throwback Thursday” (#TBT) photos as well. I tend to agree:

“Remember this? Back when I was ALIVE??? #TBT”

“Wow. I really had some skin on my bones in this one. #TBT”

“Looking kind of fleshy, no? #TBT”

“This one literally killed me. Literally. #TBT”  

Speaking of hashtags, I’m thinking we could create a new one” #PLP – for “post-life post.”

Whew. Glad I’ve sorted this out. I don’t have a will or a DNR order executed, but I can sleep better knowing I’ve achieved social media immortality.

Why I feel sorry for Sochi.

7 Feb

Image Source: http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/19ennvwskeytrjpg/ku-xlarge.jpg

I’ll admit to laughing at some of the photos in this Buzzfeed collection of journalists’ tweets from Sochi. Mainly because I enjoy bathroom humor and – let’s be honest – who WON’T laugh when viewing “buddy toilets” side by side?

But after laughing, I felt guilty. Because at my core, I feel bad for Sochi. The Olympics have come to represent a moment of national pride for the hosting country, a chance to showcase all that’s great about their land on an international stage. And Sochi’s just plagued with challenges.

According to the coverage, hotels aren’t completed, bricks are still being hastily laid as guests arrive, the snow quality is a icier than desirable, the grass is being spray-painted green, the toilets aren’t installed properly… I mean, I know we’re all angry about the gay rights issue and Putin is a tool, but at some point this seems like a we’re just ganging up on the place.

It makes me think of birthday parties. (Stay with me.)

When I was a kid, a birthday party involved a few of my friends and a cake – maybe a slumber party. These days, birthday parties involve inviting an entire class and doing some expensive group activity – like rock climbing, an arcade outing, etc. And parents seem to struggle to one-up the last party so their kid isn’t teased for being a lame host.

It feels like that’s how the Olympics have become. Maybe I’m romanticizing it, but it seems like back in the day, it was a platform for the best athletes to represent their countries, uniting a world of viewers in the awe that comes from witnessing that kind of talent. And now, the focus has shifted and it’s on the host country to put on a party that tops the previous host. It’s about spending money and opulence and proving a nation’s wealth.

Except in my analogy, Russia is like poor kid in your class, who is being mocked for attempting to compete in a contest that’s a bit out of his depth. When I read things like the #sochiproblems tweets, it feels like a bunch of rich kids are picking on Sochi. And it makes me wonder if – like a kid bullied to the point of dawning a black trench coat – Russia is going to come out of this experience with an axe to grind.

People wonder why Americans get a bad rap internationally. Seems to me that gloating over another country’s failure doesn’t help the cause. Russia may seem backwards by our standards. It may have human rights issues that need to be addressed. But shaming a nation – and the people who were born there – isn’t likely to help those matters.

Instead of rejoicing in Sochi’s failures, why don’t we lead by example and show a little class? After all, the Olympics should provide a lesson in good sportsmanship, if nothing else.

If a tree falls and no one posts about it on Facebook, does it mean it really fell?

4 Feb

Image Source: http://media1.annabrixthomsen.com/2012/07/If_a_tree_falls_in_the_woods377Detail.png

Two weeks ago, I entered Facebook Silence. Or at least, that’s what I called it when I decided there was no time like the present to tackle the “Two weeks without Facebook” challenge from my 40×40 list.

For people who don’t have Facebook, that entry probably earned an eyeroll. But for those of us who check Facebook multiple times daily and feel like it’s our connection to people outside our immediate sightline? It seemed daunting.

I’ll admit, if I hadn’t deleted the Facebook app off my iPhone, I would’ve blown my resolution the day I started. I posted my intention to go dormant on a Sunday night, then – when I woke on Monday – I started my lazy wake-up routine. I don’t run my furnace at night, so I wake to chilly air and usually spend a bit of time lounging in my bed, reviewing emails on my phone before I can muster the courage to run to the shower. If it’s really cold, I’ll buy more time by flipping over to Facebook to see what people posted while I was sleeping.

That Monday, it was exceptionally cold, so when I finished the emails, I instinctively went to check Facebook. But my smart self had remove the app from my phone before I went to bed. Instead of a blue square icon, my phone simply had a blank space glaring at me. I briefly wondered what I’d committed to. Then I wondered if my Facebook usage bordered on an addiction. Then I showered. Image Source: http://media02.hongkiat.com/facebook-addiction-signs/facebook-addict.jpg

That first day was a series of realizations… not only that I used Facebook as a crutch on cold mornings, but also that I’ve become accustomed to checking it quickly as a way of mentally shifting gears between projects at work. More than once, I found myself landing on the login page, catching myself before I entered my credentials.

I hadn’t declared an outright ban on all social media, however, so I’d dip into Twitter daily and post something. I’ve never been much of a tweeter, and this two week period helped me figure out why: Facebook feels like more of a conversation. Twitter seems like a bunch of people just blurting things and occasionally responding to each other. Perhaps a bit like a Tourrettes conference. Also? It turns out I enjoy the photos people post on Facebook – even if they’re usually of children.

So while I bounced over to Twitter periodically, I’d wager that it held my attention for no more than five minutes a day. It kind of makes me wonder why I have four Twitter accounts. (I guess I did a land-grab early on? Beats me.)

I will say that this experiment DID help me reclaim a staggering amount of free time, so I definitely plan to restrict my Facebook usage moving forward. But I also found that I missed out on key events and had to learn about them second-hand, which I didn’t like.

Thankfully, Alan texted me when my friend announced the birth of her baby via Facebook. And it was from overhearing people in my office talking that I realized one of my work friends was stuck on a bus in Atlanta for 24 hours because of the snow storm. Trade-offs, I guess.

In any case, it was liberating to unshackle myself from Mark Zuckerberg’s three-legged race for a week. And it was a stroke of genius that my dormant period coincided with the Super Bowl. Because who has time for that?

Even the pig would like more direction.

14 May

Image Source: icanhascheezburger.com

The Recipe:

Perfect No-Mess Bacon: Place bacon slices on cookie sheet. Put cookie sheet in cold oven and set temp to 400. Walk away. Come back in 17-20 minutes to perfectly cooked bacon.

My Comment On This Recipe:

Hey Chef! Is your name Hannibal Lector? Have you seen what a cold oven does with bacon in 17-20 minutes? I’ll tell you: JACK. SHIT. 

That’s right: Nothing. 

Sorry if I seem irrationally upset. That’s probably because when the timer went off, I jumped from my chair – which is not easy because it is a RECLINER – chanting, “Who has no-mess bacon? I do! I do!” as if I were a cheerleader for the Lakers. (A Laker Girl, if you will.)

Imagine my disappointment at opening the oven door to find what looked a pile of cellulite limply staring back at me – puckered, greasy, white and raw. (Actually, now that I write that, it reminds me of my last bike ride. I couldn’t walk for days. And neither, sir, can that bacon. And it hasn’t even SEEN a bike seat.)

I’d hate to see your recipe for french fries: Put lard in the fryer. Drop whole potato in. Turn on skillet. Go take a nap. It will chop itself. 

Seriously. How did this even come up as the TOP result for “oven-cooked bacon?”

You suck more than the suckling pig that is sliced and raw in my oven. That is all.

Update:

Because I may or may not be the love-child of Anthony Boudain + Rachel Ray, I ended up extending the cooking time and dialing down the heat until the bacon was cooked properly. Turned out great – no thanks to the recipe.

Second Update:

That “no mess” part? Also needs to be revisited.

Thanks to a small hole in the tin foil lining the cookie sheet, I managed to drizzle a solid stream of bacon grease from my oven to the trash can. Have you ever buffed your floor with bacon grease? I don’t recommend it.

On the plus-side, my floors are now very shiny and my home smells like bacon.

Maybe I should start a cooking show.