Friday, February 24, 2012

Bluetooth: The Not So Silent Killer of Conversation

I love my iPod. And I'm not using that term of endearment loosely. I literally treat it as if it were a newborn baby, with a head full of soft spots. I think it's the greatest invention since the wheel and sliced bread.

However, my father's opinion of the iPod is a bit different. It began when I received my first Walkman. What the honkey doody is a Walkman, you ask? 
You remember having to wind the cassette gears with your pinky finger and sweat collecting in the foam earpieces? Ah yes, the original iPod.

I got tired of my parents telling me to turn my music down, so once I owned a Walkman, I would just throw on my headphones, crank my music up and tune out the world. This became a major frustration for my parents when they wanted to get my attention to do daily chores, come eat dinner, stop giving them a headache from attempting the hit Mariah Carey's falsetto, etc.

According to my father, these bad boys ruined society. Alright, maybe he's not that pessimistic and maybe he owns an iPod himself, but he does have a valid point. As kids walk around campus to their next class (a perfect opportunity to meet complete strangers or start up a great conversation), everyone has white cords dangling from their ears, music blasting so loud that if a Jet Airliner landed directly behind them, they wouldn't have a clue. No eye contact is made, and it's as if people develop mute tongues until their personal mp3 device is powered down.

Hey man, we all need some time of reflection in my opinion. I can listen to music and get completely lost in the lyrics and it's the most fantastic euphoria.  But would it hurt to listen to the birds chirping, or the cars blaring on their horns to warn you that you're about to be transformed into a human pancake? 


My issue is with people who use their Bluetooth in public settings. It's one thing to be hands-free in a traffic jam. But when you're in a place where you could and should be having a conversation with the person that you're standing directly in front of, eyes fixed on their eyes, smiling, asking questions that the person could very well have an answer to, well... that's just cruel, unusual, and not to mention, extremely rude, in my opinion.

It's also very sneaky and awkward. Why does it seem like the person has every interest in how you're doing, but then they shake their head when you respond?

How am I doing? I'm very well today, how about you? Why are you shaking your head and looking confused that I'm doing well? Oh, you didn't want to know how my day was going? That's odd. Do you have Schizophrenia? Oh, your mom stopped by and did all 3 loads of your laundry? Well, I didn't really need to know that but thanks for sharing. My mom never does my laundry. Yea, I shake my head when I think about that too. I don't know your friend Cindy but I'm glad to hear her rash cleared up.

And then the person you were having an in-depth heart to heart with pulls back their hair, points to their ear, smiles, and continues on their merry way... leaving you feeling like a complete and total imbecile.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Get Crafty With It.

Call me what you will, you can even call me the next Martha Stewart and I wouldn't be offended. I've always been up for a good craft. It's a challenge, it gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment once you've finished, and you can put your own unique spin on the whatchamacallit you are choosing to create.

Unfortunately, I personally hate starting projects when I really don't have time to finish them, and therefore don't "craft and create" as much as I would like to.

That is, I didn't... until (DUN DUN DUN)... drum roll please...

The launch of PINTEREST!

If you haven't heard of , it's a new website that kids are using these days and the idea behind it is to have an area for people to share ideas. These ideas can be on anything from crafts, recipes, and decor, to fasion, music, and hair and make-up. If you enjoy any of those things but really don't have a whole lot of spare time on your hands, I advise you to click out of this post, and immediately block Pinterest from your browser. Just looking at the stuff other people post on there is addicting, but once you take it a step further and begin actually taking action (i.e. creating the crafts, cooking the recipes, braiding the impossible waterfall braids)... well, it's a done deal. In that very moment, your social life and free time will become unsalvageable. 

Here's my suggestion to you if you decide to give Pinterest a go... Thoroughly read and understand the directions, prep time, estimated project time, and any possible warning labels or side-effects that you may be in risk of inheriting via said project.

I saw a cute idea for old t-shirts one day and decided I would give it whirl. I had the weekend off from work and I figured I could get the entire project started and finished on a Saturday evening before dinner was ready. The only text that I read regarding the project was the materials needed and I skimmed over the directions. The project at hand was a shag rug, made from old t-shirt scraps. Simple enough, right?


Just cutting the scraps... all 3,000 of them... took me 4.5 days to do. And I literally spent every spare second I had doing it. Then I cut 3,000 holes into the base of the rug for the scraps to loop through. After those two tasks were completed, my thumb was so bruised and blistered that I thought I might have to get a doctor's excuse for work so that I could heal and lay around sobbing from the pain. I even considered what medication I might ask my doctor to prescribe me. Demorel? Percocet? Vicodin? None seemed to be strong enough. 
I then returned from my trip to crackhead fantasy land and realized I now had to loop 3,000 scraps of t-shirt material through tiny holes. 
My heart sunk. But I promised myself I would finish. It was a project that I wanted to complete and I knew I would feel like a million bucks the moment I looked at the finished product.

I began weaving the pieces into the base of the rug, letting out a small shriek from the pain with every scrap I looped. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel when the rug was close to 70% completed.

And that's when my mother intervened and said "Nicole, just cut the end off and call it a day."

I scoffed at her suggestion. "Mom, if you and Dad have taught me anything, you've at least taught me that once you set your mind to doing something, you finish it!"

She shrugged her shoulders and walked upstairs. 

And you better believe that the moment her bedroom door shut, I cut the end off of that bad boy, smirked, and therein completed the FIRST EVER "mini" t-shirt shag rug.

Sometimes, in the world of crafting, innovation trumps endurance.
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